Summertime! I'm so excited to be writing to you from sunny Southern Illinois. Our family travels are pretty much done for the season, and it's been lovely to return to find that Mother Nature had kept my garden well watered. I saw a lot of cornfields and hotel rooms over the past few weeks, mostly in the Midwest. Oh, and I saw plenty of rain clouds filled with rain. My son went to a distant robotics camp (sadly, he didn't bring us a robot back), and I ended up driving him back home on my 54th birthday. (No worries, there was, indeed an early cake, made by my wonderful daughter!) But in between all the driving and raindrops, there's been lots of writing and lots of planning.
If you've gotten my newsletter before, you know I've recently been hinting about exciting things coming up. Of course, the really big thing is The Abandoned Heart, the next Bliss House novel, which comes out October 10th. Have you pre-ordered? I want you to have it the minute it's available! And don't forget that the paperback of Charlotte's Story comes out at the same time.
Now for a really fun giveaway!
I wrote the Bliss House novels, Bliss House, Charlotte's Story, and The Abandoned Heart, as well as Cold Alone: A Bliss House Story as standalones. Meaning that while they are all about the inhabitants of Bliss House through time, the stories can be read in any order. But that doesn't mean you won't want to read about Bliss House before The Abandoned Heart comes out in October, right? My amazing publishers at Pegasus Crime have given me permission to give away—are you ready?—50 ebook copies of Bliss House, the first book in the series!
How can you get one of these copies? Easy-peasy. I confess I do have an ulterior motive, though. It's not a catch, but if you do get a copy I would be SO GRATEFUL if you could read it and leave an honest review at your favorite book place (i.e. Amazon, BN.com, Goodreads, iBooks). You should even mention that you received a free copy from the publisher. The more reviews Bliss House receives, the more curious folks will be about the other books, yes?
Just be one of the first 50 readers* to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with "I Want To Read Bliss House" in the subject line. Be sure to type your full name and email address in the body of the message so I know how to reach you. Within 48 hours I'll send you a link so you can download it. My friends at BookFunnel will even make sure you get the right one and will help you if you have a problem getting it onto your ereader.
Act fast—I don't want you to miss out!
*US and Canada only
Around My House
The rain has certainly kept the flowers blooming and the bees and hummingbirds happy. (Not to mention the birdbath filled as if by magic. Love that.) Every other day it seems I have to run out and put my potted flowers on the porch, under roof.
Here are a few beauties that are blooming right this minute:
Out and About
July 30th Meshuggah Café, Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO for the launch of St Louis Noir, edited by Scott Phillips. It includes my short story A Paler Shade of Death.
September 15-18th Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana.
November 3rd Vinton Branch, Roanoke County Library, Roanoke, VA. (Time TBD)
More events in October and November are in the planning stages.
Be sure to drop by my site and enter my July contest. This month's winner will receive a copy of New York Times bestselling author Erica Spindler's thrilling novel, Watch Me Die, as well as a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card.
Wait! I almost forgot. You know, I love to write blogs. Essays, really. But my output on my own website has been woefully low over the past couple of years as I've concentrated more on writing novels—and homeschooling my teenager. Now I'll have no excuse not to blog. Every other Wednesday I'll be writing about writing with the amazing pros at The Kill Zone Blog beginning this month. Please come by and say hi!
I'll be here writing and waiting, waiting for October. Hope you're well, reading lots, and loving and laughing a lot this summer.
"The half-hour of crowded anticipation, how fully it pays for the sterile hour that follows!" —Elizabeth Bibesco, poet
P.S. Please do pre-order The Abandoned Heart. It really helps spread the word.
Research Corner (Don't eat while reading this month!):
Vultures don't just eat rotting carcasses, but are known to hunt live prey. Unlike eagles, which occasionally pick up adult cats or small dogs, vultures tend to stick to smaller, wounded or sick animals. They are able to eat long-dead prey because their stomach acid is corrosive enough to dissolve and neutralize bacteria that would kill other animals. Some vultures urinate down their legs to keep their feet and legs bacteria-free. Like other birds of prey, vultures soar on thermals to search for prey, but they do not circle dying animals (or humans). Once they have found their prey—dead or alive—they attack it immediately, before another animal can get it. A flock of vultures is called a kettle and a group is called a committee.