Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thoughts on Dear Capitals

I ran across this on the Chicago Manual of Style site:

You can see that they don’t favor capitalizing pet names. Example: Please close the door, darling.

When helping others edit, this is the tactic that take (the tack that I take?). However, I DO see a lot of caps used for pet names. I would use capitals for titles, like this:
I’m coming home tonight, Mother.
Will I live or not, Doctor?
Or for pet names consistently used instead of actual names:
Oh for cryin’ out loud, Loopy, you know you can’t jump your motorcycle over the Grand Canyon.

But not for a common endearment, as in the second paragraph.

The question in the link mentioned “down” styling. I’m wondering just what this means. Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Last Eclipse Teasers

I’m happy this series has been successful and my readers have enjoyed it so much. This is the 6th and last group of 4 tidbits of eclipse stories that will appear in DAY OF THE DARK, the short story anthology of eclipse-based stories coming out July 21st from Wildside Press.

We reached the eastern shore with the last story from last week, so these are others that aren’t in order of the path of totality, or even in the same century or on the same continent sometimes. Without further ado, here is the last batch of the 24 stories:

“Women’s Work” by KB Inglee is a historical mystery story, set in the DC area in 1875. The reason her period pieces feel so authentic is because she spends a lot of time dressed up and re-enacting that period as a tour guide for an old mill.

“Open House” by Bridges DelPont takes us to a quirky swindle that I know you’ll enjoy in Boston.

“Relatively Annoying” by John Clark includes horror and sci-fi elements and a partial eclipse with other heavenly happenings. A chilling tale.

“Ascension into Darkness” by Christine Hammar, with a lunar eclipse, finishes up in Finland with murder and suspense.

I’ll do at least one more blog on this anthology, so stay tuned! And thanks for your continued interest.   

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

More Eclipse Teasers

The place I first heard of the upcoming total solar eclipse (coming closer every day!) was on Earth and Sky.  In fact, I subscribe to their posts and get them every day. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably seen me repost some of their things. I’ve always been fascinated by what’s up there in the sky—and by what’s down here on the earth.

The 24 authors who contributed to DAY OF THE DARK, our short story anthology of eclipse-based stories, decided to give some of the proceeds to charity. Guess what I chose? You’re right, Earth and Sky! Two others chose that, too. We’re a varied group, so we have a lot of different interests. Here are the charities that will benefit from our sales--

I like to say that these donations are going to these great causes in the spirit of light and life: Earth and Sky, Petconnect Rescue, Natural Resources Defense Council, Science Center in Finland,, Friends of Goldendale Observatory, Friends of the Earth, Morehead Planetarium, Texas Museum of Science and Techonology, for STEM education for future astronomers and scientists in Detroit, and personal friends in need. 

Here are teasers for 4 more stories, coming out July 21st, a month before the total solar eclipse in North America, from Wildside Press.

“Baby Killer” by Margaret S. Hamilton is a non-murder mystery eclipse tale that starts in Ohio and ends up in Tennessee. This one happens just after mine, also in TN and a bit to the west.

“Flying Girl” by Toni Goodyear continues the trend, taking place as the eclipse hits the Smokies. It’s a wonderful feel-good story told from a child’s point of view.

“To the Moon and Back” by Kristin Kisska will break your heart with the portrayal of mother-daughter love ending up in Greenville SC as the eclipse approaches there.

“Rays of Hope” by Harriet Sackler takes place on the coast of SC and involves a past mystery, treating the eclipse almost as a character in the story.

There are just 4 more stories to use for enticement. And the cover, of course. Isn’t it beautiful?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Third Eclipse Glimpse

Most eclipses just happen once, then they’re done. I’m enjoying drawing this one out by giving you a bit of info at a time. I returned from the Malice Domestic conference last week and know I should be blogging on that, but I neglected to take any pictures and had very little chance to promote the novels I had published in 2016, so the main value for me was chatting with writers and readers that I’ve known for years, some I’ve known for much less time, and some I just met this trip. Love that conference!

Here’s the best thing that happened for me while I was there. I dropped by the Wildside Press table in the dealers’ room and John Betancourt was just putting the finishing touches on the cover of Day of the Dark! Carla Coupe sent it to my phone and I showed it to everyone there. Now you can see it, too!

And now, a bit about 4 more of the 24 stories that will appear in the anthology, coming July 21st, a month before the total solar eclipse in North America.

“Awaiting the Hour” by Joseph S. Walker is a poignant tale of gentleness and brutality, side by side that will make you weep. At least I did! The story takes place as the eclipse comes to Kentucky.

“A Golden Eclipse” by Debra Goldstein reminds us that no matter what the event, there are always people ready use any occasion to take advantage of others.

“Picture Perfect” by LD Masterson is also placed in Kentucky and brings fine art into play. Well, fine photography anyway.

“The Darkest Hour” by yours truly, Kaye George, is set in my own town of Farragut (which is part of Knoxville TN) and I hope has enough of a twist for you.

Stay tuned for ordering information. It’s also possible the July 21st release date will move up a bit. Right now, as I type, we are all going over our proof pages, so it’s getting there!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

More Eclipse Glimpses

I’ve been revealing the stories of Day of the Dark, bit by bit, in much the same way that the moon will reveal the sun after it has devoured it. It will take about 45 minutes from start to total eclipse on August 21st. Then 45 more minutes for the moon to move out of the way and let the sun shine again. If you’re in the path of the total eclipse, you’re very lucky! Or maybe you plan to go where it’s total. You’ll see a partial eclipse from many other places.

Here’s something else that will happen. This sky map shows you what will appear during the eclipse—4 planets that are usually only seen at night.

Today, I’m giving you another illustration of how varied the 24 stories are. As I’ve noted before, Wildside Press will release the book July 21st, a month before the coming total solar eclipse in North America. We should have a cover sometime in May, which I’ll definitely post here.

“I’ll Be a Sunbeam” by M. K. Waller features a gentle, gentile killer, if you can imagine such a thing, and takes place in Killburn TX.

“Ocean’s Fifty” by Laura Oles, lets us see a unique swindle in Port Aransas on the Texas coast.

“The Devil’s Standtable” by Melissa Blaine thrills us with the supernatural in southern Illinois, near where I grew up.

“Date Night” by Cari Dubiel, takes us on an unusual journey, involving more than traveling through space.

All of these involve solar eclipses, some total, some partial. If you’ve been following these reveals, you might be seeing a pattern by now. I’m laying the stories out in roughly the path the eclipse will take across the US. I’m very excited to see what kind of cover Wildside will give us! I’m not sure I’ll post next Wednesday, since I’ll be busy with Malice Domestic, but will be back with more previews for sure in May.

photo by blondieb38 from Morguefile

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SQUEEE, as they say

I can finally announce this. OK, I could have announced it earlier, but I’m superstitious about not telling people about things until they’re all set up. On Monday I received the counter-signed contract from Kensington for a new three-book series!!! I’m VERY excited about this.

It will kind of replace the Fat Cat series that got dropped by Berkley Prime Crime when they mostly got out of the cozy mystery business last year. I had worked on this proposal off and on, but put it away when I got the Fat Cat series. That lasted for three books and gained me national best-seller status and a whole bunch of cozy/cat fans. I’m hoping for carry over to the new series.

My agent, Kim Lionetti at BookEnds, liked my idea of setting it in Fredericksburg TX. It’s a cute German tourist town in the Hill Country. It has lots of wineries in the countryside around there, very cute shops that draw shoppers, diners, and just plain tourists. There’s also an intriguing natural formation outside town, Enchanted Rock, which I intend to make use of.

Here’s a little personal story about the town. One Thanksgiving, it happened that all of our kids were due to spend the holiday at the inlaws’ places. Hubby and I were on our own! We decided to make a break for it and head out to do something we had been thinking of—a wine tour. We booked a B&B, drove from Dallas (where we lived at the time) stopping at wineries along the way. We had Thanksgiving dinner at a wonderful German restaurant and I did a bunch of Christmas shopping. I fell in love with the place and am so happy to be writing about it.

I had proposed a cupcake/candy shop set there, but Kim and Jessica Faust felt there were enough cupcake cozies either out or coming out, so they suggest Vintage Candy. Meanwhile, we moved to Austin and I dropped in on an actual vintage candy shop to acquaint myself with the stuff. It was wonderful—Clark Bars, Zero candy bars, all kinds of things I hadn’t had in years.

So I morphed the project into a vintage sweets themed series, rewrote the proposal, and Kim sent it out.

The upshot is that REVENGE IS SWEET will be the first book. I’m about 1/3 done with it, so I have a lot of work left to do.

One more thing—I’m going to give my main character, Tally Holt, a Maine coon. I hope all the cozy/cat lovers will like the new series. I’m having great fun writing it!

Maine coon photo from morguefile by katmystiry

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

More Eclipse Glimpses

As the moon starts its journey, the journey that will eventually completely cover the face of the sun, you can watch the light dim around you, so very gradually. If you’re watching the sun and the moon, be SURE to wear eclipse glasses. ($5 at Earth and Sky

Also be sure to visit here every Wednesday so you’ll catch the cover reveal for Day of the Dark, 24 short stories centered around eclipses, mostly solar, but some lunar. There’s sure to be something for everyone here with some of the stories as different as night and day.

Wildside Press will release the book July 21st, a month before the coming total solar eclipse in North America. I gave you a bit about 4 of the stories last week. Here are some samplings of 4 more:
“Torgnyr the Bastard, Speaker of Law” by Suzanne Berube Rorhus takes place in ancient Norse times, a political Norse historical using a solar eclipse

“An Eclipse of Hearts” by Dee McKinney, a dark supernatural tale taking place in Canada with a penumbral lunar eclipse

“The Baker's Boy” by Nupur Tustin, a murder in Vienna, long ago, featuring Joseph Haydn

“Black Monday” by Chéri Vausé, another dark one, psychological suspense in Terlingua TX where the eclipse is partial

The four above are medium to dark, traditional to supernatural, and modern to ancient, spanning the globe. Total solar eclipses occur anywhere on our earth, of course, but this one will be special for me because it will be total where I live. I think the air will be cooler for the couple of minutes the sun is completely gone, but this should begin about 45 minutes before that as the sun begins to dim. Some have reported that it’s very quiet, too, as all of nature senses something extraordinary going on.

lunar eclipse photo from Morguefile