If you live in the NY/Long Island area, this is a not-to-be-missed event. Come out and meet your local authors. I’ll be there with my Cobble Cove mystery series, my paranormal romance, and my standalone thriller.
On Thursday night, June 22, I presented an author talk at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library on Long Island. The program, sponsored by their Friends of the Library group, was part of their summer reading events. It was my eighth library appearance, and I will be speaking again at my home library, Hicksville, on August 18.
After being introduced by Jeannine Sharkey, a librarian at Plainview, I further introduced myself and spoke about how I started writing, my books including my Cobble Cove mystery series that include A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and my latest, Written in Stone, published April 2017 by Solstice Publishing.
I explained that since I was a young girl, I’d always loved reading, writing, telling stories, and cats. My love of books brought me to the field of librarianship in which I’ve worked for 25 years. My love of cats started me writing articles for pet magazines such as Cat Fancy after I graduated from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island where I majored in English and Library and Information Science and also wrote for the student newspaper, The Pioneer, for which I received a journalism award for my feature writing.
I shared the history of my first published story and novel. My first published story was a mystery in the Cat Crimes Through Time anthologycalled Stitches in Time and was a time travel tale that involved Betsy Ross’s cat. In 2008, I self-published Cloudy Rainbow, my first novel, that was a romance with some paranormal elements and a cat named after my beloved Floppy who passed away that year at 15.
After Cloudy Rainbow, I told the audience that I stopped writing for a time while my daughter was young and I focused on my full-time library position. In 2015, after a patron who’d read my book persuaded me to write another, I took advantage of my library’s new Gale Courses online database to take several publishing courses and ease my way back into writing. Two months later, writing in the early morning before work, I had completed the first draft of what was to become the first Cobble Cove mystery, A Stone’s Throw. I sold that book to a small publisher, Limitless Publishing, and it was published in November 2015.
Not initially intending A Stone’s Throw to become a series or a cozy mystery, I decided to continue the story of a librarian, Alicia and a newspaper reporter, John McKinney, in the small, fictional upstate town of Cobble Cove, New York with a second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I changed publishers at this time to Solstice Publishing who now have published the three books in the series and also several of my short stories in anthologies of various genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and romance.
In February 2017, I related that I also published a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, and my story, Saving Snow White, appears in the latest anthology from Solstice, That Summer Day, that was published just a few days before my talk on June 21.
I pointed out that all my books and stories include at least one cat and sometimes a dog. The Cobble Cove mysteries feature a Siamese library cat, Sneaky, and Fido, a golden retriever. The audience found it amusing when I explained that Sneaky has his own blog where he “scoops the shelves of cat litterature” and where he has interviewed a variety of other cat characters. His blog can be found at https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com. I also created a Facebook group called Cobble Cove Character Chat that is hosted by a different character from the series each month and where group members can enter a monthly contest for prizes that range from Amazon gift certificates to copies of books.
Although I had some technical difficulties with my Powerpoint slideshow, I was able to display some of my book covers and the newspaper articles that were written upon their releases. I also read some excerpts from my mysteries and the blurbs of my stories. In addition, I played the book trailers, short clips, to each of the Cobble Cove novels.
I ended my talk with information about my future publishing plans. I am currently querying agents for my psychological thriller, Sea Scope, and have completed a standalone mystery, Reason to Die, that I hope to edit and submit for publication in a few months. I may also start the fourth Cobble Cove mystery soon.
When I asked for audience questions, one guest wanted to know why I like cats so much. I explained that I like other animals but am especially fond of cats because they have unique natures, are quite intelligent, and can intuitively sense when you are sad and need comforting. I am far from alone in this interest for felines, as they are often characters in books, art, and online videos that go viral.
The evening wrapped up with a raffle for an autographed copy of Written in Stone. The winner posed for a photo with me.
I’d like to share an experience I had recently of locating a very special item that I thought was lost, my 1984 Laurence C. Lobaugh Memorial Award for Journalism from Long Island University/C.W. Post Campus. For those, like me, who are constantly losing or misplacing belongings, I’m also providing some tips for keeping them safe or finding them when they are missing.
Most people realize that, like a detective, you have to follow your last steps of where you last had an item in order to try to trace it. In my opinion, there are three types of things that go missing. The first we can refer to as Only Misplaced(OM). This is something you put away either for safekeeping and then forget where you put it or something you left in a place it didn’t belong because you were either in a hurry putting it away or didn’t have a good place for it. This was the case with my journalism award. I could’ve sworn I’d put it in my jewelry box in a special section, but it turned up in a small box in my closet that was not even the box it originally came in. This forgetfulness loss is the easiest to remedy, as items are usually eventually found ironically often when looking for something else.
The second type of missing item is more difficult to find. We can refer to it as the Unknown Missing (UM). It’s when you realize something is missing like an earring or other type of jewelry, but you did not put it anywhere. It may have fallen off and, because you usually don’t know exactly when you lost it, it’s hard to trace your steps leading up to its loss. This happened to me with one of my favorite earrings and an anniversary ring. This loss is usually permanent, as the objects which are usually small, either get vacuumed up, thrown in the garbage, or blown away by the wind if lost outside. Occasionally they are found, but the person finding them has no way of matching them up with you.
The last type of missing item is something that is just misplaced temporarily such as keys, water bottles, cell phones. In most cases, the person just forgets where they left these items. Sometimes this happens on a regular basis. I’m a big water bottle misplacer. I usually leave them in doctor offices and in various places around the library where I work. We refer to this type of missing item as the Commonly Misplaced (CM).
Here are some tips to dealing with all 3 types of lost items:
For OM’s, the best course of action is to not lose these items in the first place. If they are valuable to you either financially or emotionally, set aside a place for them. Put them in a firesafe box or a jewelry box you can lock (but make sure not to lose the key). If you’ve already lost the item and are sure it’s in your house, don’t panic. It will turn up eventually when you are looking for something else. If you’re in a rush to find it for some reason, you can try cleaning the room where you have similar objects. For instance, if it’s jewelry, you might look through all your jewelry boxes or in the room where you normally keep your jewelry. If it’s an item of clothing, you might look through your drawers and closet or even where you store your out-of-season clothes.
For UM’s, all you can do is try to retrace your steps. If you’re not even sure where and when you lost it, you will have to look everywhere. The sooner you do that after you discover it missing, the better your chance of finding it. To prevent losing this type of item, you should make sure your jewelry fits well. For earrings, you should check that the backs are secure. For those that dangle, like the one I lost, be sure that you use the tiny plastic back to secure it. Also, if you are wearing a coat, check that it might have fallen inside or to the floor when you’ve put it on or taken it off and especially check the place you put the jewelry on in the first place. If it’s a ring, make sure it’s not too loose, as mine was. Items like these can fall off without you feeling them drop.
For CM’s, you just have to be more aware of where you place things. However, there are now apps and devices you can buy to track your objects. My husband got the whole family a Tile tracking devicesfor Christmas that can attach to your keys and other items so that you can track them with a cell phone app (and you can track that too as long as you keep it signed into the program). I actually find this more of a nuisance, although I have to admit it helped me find my keys once.
When all else fails, you can say a prayer to St. Anthony, the saint of lost items.