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Showing posts with the label Simon & Elizabeth

Such A Deal for You!

Often I have stories that are funny to me but might set other people thinking, "The woman doesn't have a clue." I know that, and mostly, I don't mind. At the beginning of the month I signed up for a promotion that required I reduce the price on a boxed set. I did that, making The Simon & Elizabeth Mysteries (all 4 books in that series) just $.99 for the month of September. When I went back to list it on the promo, I realized it didn't fit the criteria. Result: The e-book boxed set is really cheap this month, for no good reason. I did manage to get one promo right, so KIDNAP.org will be free for download on BookFunnel starting Friday., Sept. 20 and going until Oct. 19 (link: https://books.bookfunnel.com/feel-goodcrime/xb92i6xlq7 For that promo an author lists how many books she's willing to give away, and they stay available until that # is reached. If you haven't yet started that series, it's fun, and the second book, PharmaCon , is a

Simon & Elizabeth Redux

My first successful series was the Simon & Elizabeth Mysteries with Five Star Publishing. Going on the "write what you know" advice new writers get, I focused on Elizabeth I of England, one of my favorite historical characters. She had so much going against her as she grew up--I mean, how many girls can say their father had their mother beheaded? In the last decade or so, some authors have (very successfully) attacked Anne Boleyn's character, making her seem like Satan's First Date. I'm afraid that's more drama than historical accuracy, but we all interpret history to suit our own thinking...and some knowingly twist it to make a salacious story. I won't argue the right and wrong of that, since Shakespeare did a lot of the same things to make his stories work. It's just sad to me that those who read only fiction might believe it. Anyway, my series focuses on Anne's daughter Elizabeth, and she's a very sympathetic character. In Her Maje

30 Days of Christmas Day 27: Simon's Reply to the Queen

Your Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth (and, by your grace, 'Highness' between us two), I was honored to receive your missive at this Christmastide, and humbled by your care for a mere subject of your great and prosperous realm. That you take interest in my life here on the outskirts of London is a source of pride to me, and I recall each single time we have met over these many year with great joy. You speak of growing old, but if I may respectfully disagree, Gloriana cannot age. You are our nation's shining light, and when light fades, the world grows dark. You spoke of holiday preparations at Greenwich, and though I have not been there, I think I can picture the stonework hung with greenery and the many candles lit for evening festivities. Things are simpler here, but since you asked, I will tell you of our preparations. My son Henry cut some holly to put over the doors, and my wife tied it with red ribbon. Its bright green leaves and red berries add a festive air

30 Days of Christmas Day 25: Her Royal Highness' Christmastide

My old friend Simon, I have thought of you often in recent days. It has been some years since we last met and I sent you off to Scotland. I am certain you have grown ancient, for I myself am old. It came to my mind to write to you of my days in Christmastide. Perhaps you will in turn tell me of yours. We are keeping Christmas now, since it is December 24th. The next twelve days will be busy ones, with parties each day until the last and largest one on Twelfth Night. Much of it is silliness, with men dressing as women and women as men. There is also gambling, which some abhor, but I believe life must offer good times to balance the bad ones we cannot avoid. I have ordered the cooks to spare no expense in feeding the household, so we shall dine on meats of all kinds, marchpanes, pies, custards, frumenty, plum porridge, and much else. I look forward to the Christmas pie of neat's tongue, eggs, sugar, lemon, orange peel, and spices. As I told you when last we met, s

Plain Talk for Writers: Series

3 Current Series: Upper left, Loser Mysteries. Upper right, Simon & Elizabeth Historical Mysteries. Lower left: Dead Detective Mysteries. Somebody Doesn't Like Sarah Leigh is a stand-along mystery. Publishers love series . They invest in an author's work, and series mean they can reap the rewards of that investment more than once. Readers love series . It's nice to know that characters we love are going to come back and visit us again, telling us about their latest scrapes. Writers love series--to a point. It's comfortable to slip into the minds of characters we've already created. We know how they think, what they'll do. (Even if we don't, we can look back at the books that came before and refresh our memories.) The problem with series-writing is keeping it fresh . Writers don't want their characters to "jump the shark," but it's obvious to me from reading some series that authors find it difficult to tell when they've r

Simon & Elizabeth Are Back

At my signing on Saturday, a reader asked about the next Simon & Elizabeth book. Sometimes I feel like I neglect them, but it's mostly because my publisher accepts the manuscripts and then sets a date for release 20 years in the future. Okay, maybe not 20. Five Star is an excellent publisher, and they have a large number of authors who keep writing more books, so each submitted manuscript is put into a queue. I sent them the fourth in the series in late 2013 and got June 18, 2015, for my release date. Once I've done the work they require, editing, writing cover copy, etc., that leaves me with well over a year to forget the book exists. So if I haven't mentioned my historical series lately, that's why. Book #4 is called HER MAJESTY'S MISCHIEF. Elizabeth is now queen, (hence "Her Majesty") and she wants Simon to go to Scotland and form an honest appraisal of Mary, Queen of Scots. The "mischief" in the title might refer to Mary and her plo

Freebie Day 3: April 13, 2015

Her Majesty’s Mischief Want 2 free copies of this book? I'm giving away two books each day until the release of the 3rd Dead Detective Mystery, DEAD FOR THE SHOW, on April 20. The books are mixed up, so if you want a specific title, watch this spot daily until the one you want shows up. Then respond here or on Peg’s News on Facebook to be entered in the daily drawing. Yesterday's winner is  Lori C.N. Congratulations!   NOTE: This one isn’t out yet, so you’ll have to wait until I get copies, May-ish. Book #4 of the Simon & Elizabeth series Setting: Tudor London & Scotland Elizabeth I sends her loyal friend Simon to Scotland to bring back an honest assessment of Mary, Queen of Scots. While Simon’s away, his wife and son get into hot water trying to solve a murder. Nobody has a good time for a while, but things work out in the end. Check out DEAD FOR THE SHOW on Amazon, where it's

The Winter Slowdown

I tend to book fewer author events once October is gone. In the first place, the tourists have returned home, at least the ones who shop for books. Visitors who come north in the fall and winter tend to have goals like skiing or snowmobiling, so they don't visit bookstores much. In the second place, people who live up north start heading south. Michigan bookstores don't host many authors outside the summer months because there just isn't the return on the time invested. In the third place, the weather is full of surprises, so booking a trip to Traverse City or Grand Rapids is a bit of a crap-shoot. Will I be able to get there, will it be a nail-biting ride, and will anyone else show up if I do make it? In the fourth place, I need time to focus on writing. I plan one more Dead Detective book (though #3 has yet to appear). I got the cover art for the 4th Simon & Elizabeth (left), which comes out early in 2015, and I'd like to do one more of those. And my Maggie Pil

What Am I Working On?

Someone asks me this about once a week, so I thought I'd attempt an answer. I just finished the final edit for the 4th Simon & Elizabeth mystery, Her Majesty's Mischief . If you've been paying attention, I had some trouble choosing a title for this one, and readers gave me some great suggestions. I chose this one because it has a double meaning. Simon is sent to Scotland to try to determine if Mary, Queen of Scots is hatching mischief in the form of revolt against Elizabeth, now Queen of England. In his absence, Elizabeth hatches some mischief of her own, secretly sending Simon's old friend Calkin to investigate a murder in Simon's family. Both endeavors lead to trouble, of course. I have no release date yet for that one, but they said I'll get Advance Review Copies in December, which means it should come out about two months later. I will let readers know through my newsletter, so if you aren't signed up, you can text 22828. It will ask for a passwor

"Where's That Book?" You Might Ask

Coming Spring of 2014 (I was told!) I've been asked many, many times in the last few months about upcoming books, with good reason. My last book released some time ago, and some fans have even asked if I'd stopped writing. No. (Couldn't do it if I wanted to, because my brain keeps sending out ideas.) What's happened is the slow publishing industry, which is frustrating for me as well as my readers. Months ago I submitted the next Dead Detective, the next Loser, and the next Simon & Elizabeth to my publishers. They're in various stages of production, with Loser #3 likely to be the next release. No date's been given for the 3rd dead detectives (and no reason why it isn't moving along). The date for Simon's fourth adventure is 2015, due to some issues at the publisher that have nothing to do with me. I know. It's frustrating. Most people know very little about how a book goes from manuscript to book, and most don't care, except when it