Showing posts with label e-books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label e-books. Show all posts

Feb 9, 2016

Books with a Theme: SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD

Last week's post was about four authors who've joined together to celebrate Shakespeare's work. We've each written a mystery, set in modern times, that connects to the Bard. That led me to wonder who the other authors were and why they chose Shakespeare as a theme for their books. Here's what I found out.

Nancy G. West, who wrote NINE DAYS TO EVIL, ( http://tinyurl.com/a9aswr9) tried to convince herself to love business, but writing was always tugging on her sleeve. She went back to college and studied English literature. I can guess there was some time spent on the works of you-know-who.





                    Lise McClendon, author of PLAN X     (http://smarturl.it/plan–x likes Gothic novels (which were my faves growing up) and thrillers (which PLAN X is). What could be more natural than combining those things with Shakespeare's work? Love, blood, a little scary stuff--It's perfect.









Cindy Brown's book MACDEATH (http://amzn.to/1Ohx14f) is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. How's that for entering the scene with panache? Ms. Brown is a self-described theater geek, and we know those folks get lots of Shakespeare along with their Simon and Sondheim.







And of course there's me: the reformed English teacher who came up with SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD (http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeares-Blood). Macbeth was one of my favorite things to teach, and when I thought of writing a run-around-trying-not-to-die suspense novel, the Bard just naturally butted in and put himself in the center of it all.




Celebrate Will's 400th with us by reading a Shakespearean mystery: try one--try them all!



Sep 7, 2015

"What Are You Working On?"

Every once in a while, I update readers here, because so often I get questions about "What's next?"

Here's a rundown:

The Loser series is finished, at least for now. The first two are out as audio books. The third is in the pipeline, but the narrator is at university and just had a baby, so she's asking for patience.

The Simon & Elizabeth series will have one more installment (#5), but it's going to be a while. I'm slow and so is the publisher of this series. (To their credit, they like to get it right.)


The Dead Detective series will have its final story sometime in early 2016. The manuscript is not complete, but the story's down.


The Sleuth Sisters series book #4 will probably be next. It's in my head but not written down anywhere yet.


My new/old standalone mystery about the death of a friendship in northern Michigan is out. (It used to be just an e-book but I rescued it, got a new cover made, and arranged for print copies.)
(FYI: There are copies of the two books above locally at Tom's Market, per reader requests).

And yes, (sadly) I have a new idea circling my brain. I hope it will be as fun to write as it seems, but there's the problem: EVERYone has a book in his/her head. It's the writing-it-down thing that stops so many.

Jun 29, 2015

Choosing New Covers

I asked the original publisher of the Dead Detective Mysteries to give me back the rights to the books. They were very nice about it, and I began the process of re-publishing them. Since audiences are often interested in how book covers come about, I thought I'd share my experiences with this series.

When publishers accept a manuscript, they often ask the writer for her ideas on what the cover should look like. There is NO guarantee they'll listen, and other writers I've spoken with had covers they hated or felt didn't represent their books at all, but they were stuck with them.

When asked about a cover for Book #1, I said I pictured a girl on a ship with a mysterious man in the background. My publisher's cover artist chose this as the cover for The Dead Detective Agency. Some people liked it; some didn't. A couple said the girl looked like my daughter; others said she looked like a robot. My first reaction was disappointment, but I recognize that I am NO judge of art, so I left it to them to say what would sell.

This time around, it's up to me what the cover will look like, although I worked with a cover artist because, as I said, art isn't my forte. I still liked the ship/mysterious man combination, so this is what the artist came up with.
The second book had a great cover when it came from the publisher, with the Mackinac Bridge as the background, but I can't use someone else's art when I re-release the book. I asked the new cover artist to do much the same thing but with a little less of a dark feeling, since the books are rather light-hearted in their look at the Afterlife. They definitely aren't scary, spooky, or gory. Here's what we had and what I chose for the new version:

Book Three is my choice of cover, since the old publisher never got around to releasing it. The artist found a detective to represent Seamus and we have several poses, so it will be the same guy in Books 2, 3, and 4. Three looks like this:

I like that there's a theme connecting the books now: similar lettering, the same Seamus, and the character(s) in front of the most important setting, the ship for #1, the Mighty Mac for #2, and Toronto for #3. Note of interest: Title fonts have gotten bigger in the last few years because so many people buy their books online. It's a huge no-no to have the title too small or fussy to read when it's reduced to a tiny little rectangle online (as the original for Book #1 is).

Four isn't coming until next year, but it will feature another pose of the same Seamus with an "old Chicago" cover, since he's going back to solve his own murder. Shout out to Phillips Covers for the new art, and for taking the burden off me. Once again, NOT a cover expert!


Apr 12, 2015

Freebie Day 2: April 12, 2015



Winner of Yesterday's books: Victoria K.

3 Sleuths, 2 Dogs, 1 Murder

Want 2 free copies of this book? Respond here or on Peg’s News on Facebook to be entered in the daily drawing.




Book #1 of the Sleuth Sisters Series by Maggie Pill (AKA Peg)

Setting: Allport, MI, a town seems a lot like a blend of Alpena and Rogers City

When middle-aged sisters Faye and Barb start a detective agency in their small town, most people think it’s a joke. Only Baby Sister Retta wants to associate with them, and since she tends to be bossy and manipulative, she’s the one person they don’t want around.


Nov 24, 2014

I Am Not Just Sitting on My Hands

Sunday Update: The promo is finished. 80,000+ people downloaded the book, and there was a big jump in sales for the audio book as well.

Friday Update: Down to #3 in Free Books on Amazon but #1 for Women Sleuths. I'll take it!

Thursday Update: THE SLEUTH SISTERS is now #1 in Amazon's Cozy Mystery List. Imagine me dancing around the kitchen!

Wednesday Update: THE SLEUTH SISTERS is currently #1 on Amazon's list of FREE books. The FREE days last until Saturday, so if you haven't downloaded it yet, now's your chance.


Most people know by now that Maggie Pill is also me. She writes cozy sleuth mysteries, and her first, THE SLEUTH SISTERS, will be FREE for Kindle from Tuesday, November 25 to Saturday, November 29, 2014. Here are a few tidbits:
        Set in northern Lower Michigan
        Concerns sisters who start a detective agency for widely different reasons
        Deals with sisterly issues in a funny way
        Involves some tromping around in the U.P. (while getting shot at)
        Has a sequel coming out on Dec. 5th called 3 SLEUTHS, 2 DOGS, 1 MURDER. (To be honest, it's available now. Release dates don't mean  what they used to!)

For those of you who wonder why Maggie Pill: She's a new persona for a different sub-genre, and her name honors my grandmother, Margaret Ruth Pillsbury. (She would get SUCH a kick of of all this!) A cozy series isn't much like the Losers mysteries or the Dead Detectives or the Simon & Elizabeth historicals. Maybe I should have 5 different names, but it's a lot of work just keeping up 2!


For those who wonder why I'm not working on the other series: I am. It's the publishers who are slow. I finally got a date for the next Simon & Elizabeth mystery, HER MAJESTY'S MISCHIEF: July 8, 2015. It seems very far away, but I haven't even got a release date yet for the next Dead Detective, DEAD FOR THE SHOW. The wheels of publishing grind slowly!



Aug 21, 2014

What It's Like When You're Expecting...a Book

My copies of KILLING DESPAIR arrived yesterday, and it got me thinking that expecting a book is a lot like expecting a baby.
*When you tell people about it too early, all those months of waiting detract from the excitement.
*You can't be sure when it's going to happen, despite the dates the experts throw out there.
*There are periods of discomfort, and you have to remind yourself that something good is going to result.
*Friends are supportive, but they're seldom as excited as you are about the coming event.
*You wait for it to be "over" but soon learn there's more work after it's "over" than you ever imagined.

E-book:
 http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Despair-Loser-Mysteries-Three-ebook/dp/B00MKBH3MU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408621189&sr=8-1&keywords=killing+despair

Print:
http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Despair-Loser-Mysteries-Three/dp/0990565513/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1408621189&sr=8-1

My signing itinerary is above if you'd like a personalized copy.





Jul 21, 2014

Loser Mystery #3 and Dead Detectives, Too

I know I've said it before, but it looks like this time Loser #3* really will release on August 9. If you're signed up for my newsletter (below on the right side), you'll be reminded when it's available on Amazon, and I'll post on FB when I have actual copies in O-town and for signings. My itinerary is posted here, just above this box, so you can track me down in various places if you want a personalized copy.

*Killing Despair is the third and probably final book in the Loser Mysteries. Though I love Loser and have enjoyed sharing her adventures, right now there's no continuation that does her justice in my head. I refuse to write a book just because a series is doing well, because it's too easy to get stale and repetitive. Loser was broken in Killing Silence, better but a long way from healed in Killing Memories. In Killing Despair she faces the things that almost destroyed her and comes to a sense of peace about it all. I hope you have enjoyed her journey as much as I did.

I've been asked several times about the third Dead Detective mystery (Dead for the Show), and in turn I've been asking the publisher--for months now. It got sidetracked (no one explains how or why) but they've promised they'll get to it the last part of August. I don't know what that means for a release date. It's been edited, but I haven't seen cover art or been asked for the ancillary stuff (Yes, authors get to write the catalog copy, the back cover copy, etc. We love it. No, really.) I'm guessing that means it's months away, so maybe it will be someone's Christmas present.


BTW, thanks to all those who ask about the next book. It's not bothering an author when you ask; it's affirming that what we're doing is worthwhile to others.

May 21, 2014

Body Parts & Five Mystery Suggestions

The quiz, "Body Parts" is at the bottom of the page. You might have to scroll.

With the new blog, which combines two older ones, we're expanding the Five Mystery E-books/week a little. These are books someone on my team read and enjoyed. No helping out friends in the publishing business. Just honest appraisal of our favorite sub-genres, from moderately cozy to moderately hard-boiled.




South of Hell  by P.J. Parrish (part of the Louis Kincaid series)
   Parrish is actually sisters. They began their Louis Kincaid series in Florida, but Louis spends a lot of time in
   Michigan lately. Hell, Michigan, in this entry.
Another Man’s Moccasins by Craig Johnson (part of the Walt Longmire series)
   If you've seen Longmire on TV, great, but you need to read Johnson's prose to fall under the spell of this   
   series.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie King (part of the Sherlock Holmes & Mary series)
   The first of the series, in which Mary & Sherlock meet and fall instantly into dislike. Temporarily.
Burn Marks by Sara Paretsky (part of the V.I. Warshawski series) 
   Paretsky's tough female detective was a ground-breaker back in the day when there were no female P.I.s, 
   in the world of books, only nosy old amateurs.
Callander Square by Anne Perry (part of the Thomas Pitt series)
   Perry's Victorian series cleverly encompasses several memorable characters, allowing mystery-solving to
   range from amateur to procedural to private investigation. All of the sleuths are worth meeting.

How About a FREE Print Book?

Readers love book deals, right? Here’s the situation: I have books I didn’t sell, largely due to COVID. I’m not interested in doing li...