June is Audiobook Month! Celebrate with a Chance at a Gift Card!

Did you know June was audiobook month? I didn’t until recently! I love audiobooks–the right pairing between narrator and story is magical. All this month, N.N. Light’s Book Heaven is celebrating audiobook month by spotlighting a series of authors (including me) who have audiobooks out. You can enter to win a chance at a $75 Amazon gift card! You’ll find the entire schedule at the link above.

 

Check out the link here and be sure to check daily for the featured spotlight. You may just find something you have to have! An Embarrassment of Itches (Ginny Reese Mysteries Book 1) narrated by Jillian Yetter, will be spotlighted on June 26th, so keep your eye out for that. But you don’t have to wait until then to start collecting entries toward the grand prize. Go check it out now! 

Pre-order the new Ginny Reese Mystery: A Corpse in the Condo!

When I came here to make this post, I was shocked (and embarrassed) to realize I hadn’t made a single post this year!

We’ll have to do better than that. Though, to be fair, when you’re flat out working as hard as you can at the day job, trying to finish a new book in a series, attempting to keep up with social media, learning how to do marketing campaigns and advertising, and so on and so on… yeah. Some things fall through the cracks. Particularly when it doesn’t feel as though you have anything new to say!

But it looks like I neglected to tell everyone that An Embarrassment of Itches won a Best Indie Book Award for Cozy Mystery! I can’t believe I forgot to post about that here. I certainly posted enough about it on my TikTok account! (Edit: I found mention of it in my last post just before Christmas, but it doesn’t come up on a website search for some reason, so I’m leaving this mini-brag in…)

I’m also thrilled to announce that the newest Ginny Reese Mystery, A Corpse in the Condo, is now available for pre-order on Amazon and at these retailers! Release date June 1, 2023.

Blurb: Vacations are supposed to be fun, but when veterinarian Ginny Reese combines a trip to a coastal island to check out an inherited property with patching up her relationship with her sister, things quickly get out of control.

First there’s a corpse in the condo. Then a fortune in artwork goes missing. The lead investigator is a publicity hound, and there’s a hurricane bearing down. To top it off, Ginny’s former boyfriend, Joe Donegan, believes the police are looking at her for insurance fraud and murder.

With the help of her friends and her trusty dog, Remington, it’s up to Ginny to find the paintings and the killer before the storm wipes everything away.

I’m really looking forward to this release! Stay tuned, as I have more news to announce and will be planning some giveaways as the release date gets closer… 

Mystery Loves Democracy Auction…and You’re the Winner!

I’m so excited to be a part of this terrific auction to raise money for the Mystery Loves Democracy Auction Sept 18th through Sept 24th (starting at 12 noon today PST, 3 pm EST)!

Here’s a direct link to one of my packages: Ginny Reese Mysteries Gift Package 

I’ve participated in similar auctions for voting rights and women’s rights run by romance organizations, so I’m thrilled to find a cause to support as a mystery writer! From the Mystery Love Democracy website

We’re crime fiction writers, fans, and friends who believe all eligible voters deserve to have their voices heard. The funds we raise will support Fair Fight Action in their nationwide efforts to combat voter suppression.

I’m donating two Ginny Reese Mysteries gift packages (limited to Continental US residents only). Here’s a description of the gift package:

It’s Diagnosis Murder meets All Creatures Great and Small when house-call veterinarian Ginny Reese and her dog Remy discover that life in a small town isn’t always cozy. Sometimes it’s downright deadly.

These gift packages will include signed, print copies of the first two books in the Ginny Reese series, along with individualized bookmarks, pens, and assorted swag, as well as a sneak peek at the first chapter of book 3 in the series.

M.K. Dean is the new pen name of award-winning author McKenna Dean, as she dives into the world of cozy mysteries. She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like teabags, only sexier.

I do hope you’ll check out the auction! You have to see this list to believe it! There’s something for everyone’s budget, whether you’re a reader or a writer of mysteries and crime thrillers! You can bid on having a character named after you, books and gift packages, gift cards, Zoom meetings and consults with some of the biggest names in the business, brainstorming with authors on your WIP, manuscript critiques, beta reads, sessions with a psychologist (for plotting that complex character), an animal communication session, embroidered quotes from literary figures and more! Really something for every mystery lover and proceeds going to support voter’s rights. It’s a win-win for everyone!

 

It’s An Embarrassment of Itches… I mean Riches!

 

I never thought I’d be typing this sentence but here goes:

An Embarrassment of Itches is a RONE finalist, a Silver Falchion finalist, and a Royal Palm Literary award semi-finalist.

In fact, I didn’t realize how many awards it had been nominated for until I went to make the graphic for this post.

You know, I’m starting to think maybe this book is halfway decent. 🙂

The winners of the Silver Falchion awards will be announced at Killer Nashville August 20, 2022 at a live awards banquet. I’ll be attending KN this year, and will be a guest on several panels, doing book signings, and in general, having a fabulous time! I hope to see some of you there!

In the meantime, Mystery Week is about to begin in the Summer Fling Reader Challenge. It’s not too late to join in the fun–you may not have time to catch up on the grand prize (for the person who reads the most books during the month-long challenge) but there are giveaways, parties, and author takeovers every day of the Fling. I’m offering The Dogs Days of Murder (Ginny Reese Mysteries Book 2) as a free read for participating readers, and there are over fifty authors sharing their works!

Also, keep your eyes peeled for a notice about the second week of August… I have a surprise for you then!

Killer Nashville runs August 18-21, so if you’re planning to attend, I might see you there! All the Silver Falchion Finalists are also in the running for the Silver Falchion Readers Choice Awards. This is a fan-based award that has no bearing on the outcome of the primary Silver Falchion awards, but it does require votes to rank placement. As a debut cozy mystery author with a new pen name, I don’t have the following to rank very high in these types of events, but I would very much appreciate your vote here! Your support is what got Itches to first place in the PRG Reader’s Choice Awards, and made it a RONE finalist.

There are a LOT of finalists because it covers all the different categories of the SF awards, so scan the list carefully. You’re allowed to pick up to ten titles, but you can only vote once. Every single vote means the world to me–thank you!

So stay tuned because August is going to be hot month in more ways than one! 

 

 

An Embarrassment of Itches is Shortlisted for a Selfie Award!

A bit of a funny story here. See, I tend to submit my stories to a lot of awards contests. Not because I have an inflated idea of their worth–it’s mostly because I figure the more eyes I get on my stories, the greater the chance they will be seen and read by even more people. And if they final or win awards, the extra validation doesn’t hurt either.

This year, I found myself with my first ever cozy mystery, and many of the awards contests I’d entered in the past for my romances didn’t apply. I scrambled to find appropriate contests to enter and didn’t find out about some of the most prestigious awards contests until too late to submit. When I came across the Selfies, I banged out a submission but as soon as I clicked “enter”, I thought I’d made a big mistake.

There were no subcategories, only the single one of “adult fiction.” Mysteries, romance, women’s lit, you name it. All under one roof. And hosted by Publishers Weekly and Booklife. Kind of a big deal. I actually went so far as to wonder if this was even an appropriate contest to enter, and if I should contact the people in charge to see if I could get a refund. I figured they would email me and say An Embarrassment of Itches didn’t qualify, or at worse, they would keep my money and say tough luck, so in the end I let it go. Lesson learned, right?

Only last week, I got a Tweet from Maria Vale congratulating me on having Itches shortlisted for a Selfie. Because it was announced in Publishers Weekly!!! And I did one of those embarrassing, “Excuse me, what?” responses, and then dashed off to check my publishing email, which I don’t check nearly as often as I should because there was an email congratulating me on making the shortlist.

I am simply flabbergasted by this. I know I say this a lot, but I am. I really am. And while I have few expectations against so many great names and titles, I am honored beyond words.

I do like this story, too. If you haven’t read it, please consider checking it out.

How to Vote in the RONE Awards: An Embarrassment of Itches

Goodness, I’m late getting this post up! SO much has been going on. The Dog Days of Murder (Ginny Reese Mysteries Book 2) was released April 2, and your response has been delightful! If I didn’t tell you before, An Embarrassment of Itches (Ginny Reese Mysteries Book 1) won the Mystery Category in the PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards, and has also won for Best Animal Story and Best Cozy Mystery in the Firebird Awards.

Kirkus Reviews enjoyed An Embarrassment of Itches as well, calling it “a well-paced and entertaining series opener with an appealing protagonist.”

And now I’ve been notified that An Embarrassment of Itches has been nominated for a RONE award! If you’re not familiar, this is a prestigious indie book award run by InD’Tale Magazine, and only those stories given a Crowned Heart of Excellence are candidates for a RONE award.

Here’s the thing. In order to move into the next round of judging, nominated books must pass a reader voting round. The truth is, as a debut cozy mystery author under a brand new pen name, I simply don’t have the following to make Itches a contender. That’s why I need your vote (and for you to spread the word too)!

Voting in the Mystery Category for the RONE Awards runs from May 2nd to May 8th. You may only vote ONE TIME and you must be logged in to the site to do so (to protect the voting process). If you don’t already have an account with InD’Tale Magazine, you must set up an account and have it verified before you can vote. I should have posted this ages ago because voting as already opened (and closed!) in other categories, but I got swamped and forgot all about it. So I’m posting about the registration process today and will send out a reminder when it comes closer to the Mystery week.

To log in or create an account with InD’Tale Magazine, click here.

Or if you know you already have an account, you can go to the home page and go to the upper right corner to log in. Once you are logged in (and verified if the account is new), the voting page is here. Or you can search for the RONE awards from the dropdown menu along the upper right tab where it says InDescribe/Rones and search for the 2022 Awards.

The competition is going to be fierce! I doubt seriously I will move into the next round of judging, but I would love to make a decent showing! So I would love it if you’d register to vote and/or spread the word! An Embarrassment of Itches could use your vote come May 2nd!

 

What’s New in 2022: It’s a Party and You’re All Invited!

I don’t know about you, but somehow the end of the year snuck up on me without my realizing it. Life got crazy there for a while, and I never got around to making my EOY post, which is fine because I hate doing those kinds of reflective summaries anyway. I never seem to have been as productive or as successful as I might have hoped, you know?

Most of you who follow this blog know I like to create a power word or phrase for the coming year, and that looks like it will be a bust this year as well. I chose fearless for 2019. It was audacious for 2020. Resilent for 2021. I think maybe it’s time to retire power words for a while, don’t you?

I had a Tarot reading done for 2021 heading into 2022. The Tower and Judgement cards were major players in my life in 2021 (sadly, this could apply pretty much to every year since 2016), with the Devil and the Fool being factors in the upcoming year. I can overcome if I play to my strengths and ditch my issues with self-confidence and self-sabotage. Sounds ominous? I think so, too. 😉

I was recently exposed to Covid through the workplace, which led to a scramble to get tested. I’m negative at the moment, but isolating from my high-risk family members to be on the safe side.

All in all, I’m surprised I’ve gotten anything accomplished this month!

But the good news is I finished the draft of the second Ginny Reese book: The Dog Days of Murder! It’s off to editing soon. Look for a release date late winter, early spring! If you are signed up for my newsletter, you’ll get a sneak peek at the cover before everyone else! The gang’s all there: Ginny, her dog Remy, Ming the Merciless, the Siamese cat, as well as the cast of characters living in Greenbrier, including her mother, the indomitable Julia Reese! Ginny’s plans to open her own vet practice go awry when a newcomer swoops into town with mysterious financial backing AND a connection to Joe. Of course, this new veterinarian winds up getting murdered, right? 🙂

I did a fun interview with Marcia James about pets in books and why I include them. Be sure to check it out and see some great pictures! 

Tomorrow, I’m participating in a big release day bash for Kerry Blaisell’s latest release, Damning the Dead. There’s going to be a Facebook party with 13 other authors, with games and prizes galore. Not only are you invited, but you should invite your friends too! It’s Jan 5 from 4-7:30 Pacific Standard Time, so be sure to join us!! Join the group now so you won’t miss a thing!

Here’s the schedule:

Schedule of participating authors:
  • Jeff D. Ellis ~ 4:00 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Bob Herold ~ 4:15 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Tena Stetler ~ 4:30 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Dan Rice ~ 4:45 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • McKenna Dean ~ 5:00 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Hunter Skye ~ 5:15 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Pamela Thibodeaux ~ 5:30 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Shelly Chalmers ~ 5:45 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Theresa Finn ~ 6:00 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Augustina Van Hoven ~ 6:15 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Janet Raye Stevens ~ 6:30 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Anna M. Taylor ~ 6:45 PM PACIFIC TIME
  • Sally Brandle ~ 7:00 PM PACIFIC TIME

 

And now that I’ve finished the second Ginny Reese book, it’s time for me to go back to Bishop and Knight’s story. When we last left them, Rhett and Peter had become very close, but they’d also been fired from Redclaw and hired by the competition: Rian Stirling! We all know that Rian has his eye on Rhett as well, so this doesn’t bode well for our intrepid duo. Sometimes, however, you must form an alliance with an enemy to defeat a more powerful adversary. No spoilers, but we’ll find out the source of all those mysterious artifacts and why the planet has been seeded with them…

 

Maybe I should chose a power word after all. How does confidence sound? 🙂