Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Word Search for DEATH ON THE TREK

This book will be released June 13th, so I'd like to get you into the mood. Here's where it can be preordered if you're impatient:
(Let me know if you see it for preorder in other places, please.)


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

GUEST TODAY: Journey by Debra H. Goldstein

I'm happy to introduce my good friend, good writer, and guest today, Debra H. Goldstein, a genuine retired judge who is having success as a mystery writer. She's got some crazy travel plans, too!

Visiting Travels with Kaye is perfect because I am in the midst of an arduous journey. There have been airplane delays, lost luggage, hotel rooms that weren’t feather free when I arrived, and angst over whether a cab or Uber was the better choice in a given city. The few down days scheduled to be home in Birmingham went by the wayside when my son had unexpected surgery in Denver. More travel plus nursing and shopping duties topped off by a reminder, as the plane was de-iced because of a sudden April 28th snowstorm, why I live in the South.

It is a tiring time, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am loving every moment of the launch of my new book, Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery.

Signings and talks scheduled for the next few months have me criss-crossing Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, and Florida. Conferences I’m participating in have added trips to Maryland (Malice), Florida (Sleuthfest), Tennessee (Killer Nashville), Minnesota (Police Writers Academy), Louisiana (Bouchercon), Massachusetts (Crimebake), Georgia (Decatur-Atlanta Constitution Book Festival and Atlanta SinC Chapter Short Story Workshop), and of course, Alabama (Murder in the Magic City, Murder on the Menu, and the Alabama Writers Conclave). Don’t worry about this blog revealing my crazy travel plans – Joel, the kids, and other friends will be minding the house. Joel is super supportive, but not into writing conferences. Consequently, no worries about things back home. Instead, I have the freedom to savor Should Have Played Poker’s entry into the world.

When my first book, Maze in Blue, a mystery on the University of Michigan’s campus, was published a few years ago, I didn’t smile. I was so busy doing PR while trying to learn the ropes of the publishing business that I didn’t know which end was up, let alone what day it was. It was a thrill to hold a book with my name, but I didn’t take the time to savor the joy of that accomplishment. This time, I’m doing more PR but I’m staying in the moment. I’m not thinking about the next speaking engagement or the next blog that is due. Instead, I’m focusing on the people I’m meeting and the happiness that comes from writing, good reviews, and positive feedback. I’m thankful for the people who come to my signings and particularly am intrigued by their diversity. So far, I’ve signed books for members of the clergy and fellow judges, downhome friends, and a group of tiara crowned Sweet Potato Queens.

The range of folks invigorates and delights me. It is nice to know Should Have Played Poker or any of the stories I weave are read by so many different types of people because that is what writing is about. Touching others. If my words can give a reader a few hours of fun or distraction, I’ve done my job. Not a bad end to a trip I once only dreamed about.

Thanks for posting today, Debra! Good luck on your travels.

Readers: Ready to read Should Have Played Poker

Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery (Five Star Publishing – April 2016) and the 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus. Her short stories and essays have been published in numerous periodicals and anthologies, including Mardi Gras Murder and The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fourth Meal of Mayhem. Debra serves on the national Sisters in Crime, Guppy Chapter and Alabama Writers Conclave boards and is a MWA member. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, Joel, whose blood runs crimson.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Brief Malice Domestic Recap

It was exhilarating and exhausting, as usual. This year I was there to let people know about two new books of mine that both came out in early April.

Here’s me at Malice Go Round, giving one minute of information on each book. This is an event described as Speed Dating, But with Authors. A pair of authors visits 20 tables of 8-10 people each, staying for 4 minutes and taking 1 minute to change tables. We tell the listeners about our books and give them bookmarks and sometimes other things so they’ll remember us. I paired up with Jim Jackson, James M. Jackson is his author name. His newest book is ANT FARM, in his Seamus McCree series. My new ones are FAT CAT TAKES THE CAKE (by Janet Cantrell) and REQUIEM IN RED (by Kaye George). This event was Friday morning after I checked in Thursday night.

This picture was taken by Patti Phillips when I was at her table.

After Malice Go Round, I walked over to Booeymonger’s with Judy Penz Sheluk, who was at Malice for the first time. This sandwich and salad place is where the Guppies have gathered for lunch ever since the convention moved to Bethesda from Crystal City in Virginia. I got to chat with several Guppies there.

Later that afternoon, I met with my agent, Kim Lionetti. This is the only time I see her face to face, once a year. That night Berkley, my Fat Cat publisher took us out to dinner at The American Tap Room.

Early Saturday, 7:30, was the Sisters in Crime breakfast, where all the Guppies wear boas or reasonable facsimiles. Jan Rubens, who came with Jim Jackson, took this picture of ALL the Gups that attended. After I wore a feather boa one year and threw it away the same day, I wear my chartreuse scarf.

I admit I deflated a bit and stayed in the hotel for lunch, then went to my panel, “Death for Dessert: Sweet Murder” in the afternoon. Our admirable moderator was Nancy J. Parra and the panelists were Kathy Aarons, Maggie Barbieri, me, and Jessie Crocket/Jessica Estevao. We all write cozy mysteries with dessert recipes in the back. We discovered that Jessie is actually the only one of us who is a good cook. 

This photo was shot by Julie Hennrikus.

I raced to the wine and cupcake reception given by my agency, BookEnds, guided by Terrie Moran, who had also guided me to the dinner the night before. If these people keep guiding me, I’ll never learn how to get anywhere. Actually, I may not anyway, so I’m grateful for that!

Our panel signed books soon after that, then we did a cocktail or so, then the Banquet with the Agatha Awards.

I highly regret that I wasn’t able to make it to the New Authors Breakfast the next morning at 7. I chalked it up to getting older, but I came down with a cold and bronchitis as soon as I got home, so I’ll blame that instead. I’m making plans to hold a mystery conference/convention where nothing starts earlier than 10.

My own camera, as usual, stayed safely tucked inside my suitcase for the whole trip. Someday I’ll take pictures!

Another fun time talking to and seeing so many of my online pals!