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