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.


  1. Debra, congratulations! I'm delighting in your success from a distance and looking forward to the times we'll be together to celebrate.

    Kaye, congratulations to you, too! I'm so excited to see the multiple books you are releasing.

  2. I can't wait to read Should Have Played Poker! Sounds like fun.

  3. Thanks for coming by, Paula and Maria! Debra is a whirlwind!

  4. I love the Tiara group! You are really hitting every conference out there, Debra. I'm tired just thinking about it... Best of luck with the new book.

  5. Paula, Looking forward to doing the short story workshop with you in Atlanta in October (Kaye, too, but first I get to see her at the Alabama Writers Conclave demystifying the mystery). Maria, hope you enjoy Should Have Played Poker. Edith, the tiara and bawdiness of the Sweet Potato Queens was marvelous fun ... speaking of tired, you're my role model -- I don't know how you do it. Nine wonderful books in 3 years, active in so many activities, and always open to others .... btw, did you notice this is the anniversary week when we walked away from our other lives (job)?

  6. So it is, Debra! Thanks for the reminder. Still happy about it.

  7. Same here, Edith. Irony of how I remembered the date-I didn't . Facebook sent me a memory message this morning citing the post from then as a major event in my life. Wonder how Facebook knew to highlight it (it normally doesn't highlight things for me)