Friday, May 28, 2010


I'm fond of saying I never missed a deadline. Up until now. For the twenty years I spent at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I never missed a deadline. Since I'm retired, that will always be true.

Desert Breeze publishes my ebook romantic suspense novels, and for two of them, WHEN SERPENTS DIE and HONORED DAUGHTERS, I got my copy in on time.
Then comes WAGON DOGS, my upcoming 2010 Fall release.
My editor, Gail Delaney, sent an email reminding authors with September releases that copy was due June 1.
Why, I wondered, was Gail sending this to me? My third book wasn't due out until October, which meant I didn't have to get it to her until July 1.
So, I looked for my contract and couldn't find it. But I shot off an email anyway, saying I'm not due out until October.
Gail replied. You are on the schedule for September.
When I found my contract, it was dated October 2009. And Gail went on to remind me that HONORED DAUGHTERS had been released in October 2009. That must have been the problem. October on the brain.
Whatever. I missed a deadline. No way could I get the novel ready in five days.
Gail, being the complete editor that she is, said she'd check with other authors to see if someone could help me out.
And to the rescue comes Melanie Atkins. She had her romantic suspense (same genre as mine) manuscript ready for its October release ahead of time and was delighted to switch months with me. (Bet she never loses her keys, either.)
Thank you Gail and thank you Melanie.
Look at these wonderful covers. You know there's a fabulous story inside. I highly recommend CHERISHED WITNESS, CHOSEN TARGET and PRIME SUSPECT. They are available (along with mine, aforementioned) on the Desert Breeze website store.

By the way, Desert Breeze Publishing will be open for submissions on July 1. Check the website at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Yesterday, my favorite Southern novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, turned 50.

Monroeville, Alabama is having a mega-celebration birthday party for the book, authored by hometown girl, Harper Lee. I used the word "girl" calculatingly, because in the South boys are, well, "boys" and girls are "good ol' girls", no matter the age. The festivities are to run all summer and four editions of the book are planned by publisher, HarperCollins, each with a different cover.

Harper Lee, as is her self-imposed legend, most likely will avoid the limelight. She is 84, lives in Alabama and has never published another book. TKAM was originally published in 1960 by J. B. Lippincott and Company and won a Pulitzer Prize.

The classic of high school lit classes, the plot takes place in the Great Depression. Scout Finch, an avowed tomboy, lives with her brother, Jem, and their widowed father, Atticus, in Maycomb, Ala. Atticus is a prominent lawyer and the Finch family is well off. One summer, Jem and Scout befriend a boy named Dill, who has come to live in their neighborhood. Dill becomes fascinated with the spooky house on their street called the Radley Place, owned by Nathan Radley, whose brother, Boo, has lived there for years, never going outdoors.

Scout, and Jem make fun of Boo Radley, doing everything in their power to lure him outside. Atticus stops it, admonishing the kids to understand and sympathize with the odd Boo. But the three sneak onto the Radley property, where Nathan shoots at them. Jem loses his pants and returns for them later. He finds them sewn and hanging on the fence. Scout find more presents in the tree, presumably left by the mysterious Boo.

A fire breaks out in a neighbor’s house, and during the fire someone slips a blanket on Scout’s shoulders as she watches the blaze. Convinced that Boo did it, Jem tells Atticus about the mended pants and the presents.

In a seeming subplot, Atticus agrees to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a white woman. In this break with the societal norm, Jem and Scout are made fun of. Scout doesn't take kindly to this treatment and wants to fight back. They find refuge with the black community.

At the trial, Scout and Jem sit in the colored balcony. Atticus proves the accusers, Mayella Ewell and her father, Bob, are lying. That Mayella propositioned Tom Robinson, was caught by her father, and then accused Tom of rape to cover her shame and guilt. But Robinson is convicted. Scout can't understand why, and Atticus explains he had to do his duty, but that the verdict was a foregoing conclusion, given the culture they lived in. Shortly after, Scout learns that Tom Robinson had been killed in an escape attempt.

Bob Ewell is raving mad at Atticus and the judge and vows revenge. He tries to break into the judge’s house, then attacks Jem and Scout as they walk home. Jem is wounded. Boo Radley intervenes, stabbing and killing Ewell. The sheriff protects Boo by saying Ewell tripped over a tree root and fell on his own knife. Boo once again confines himself to the Radley house.

Moral of the story: Scout's experience with prejudice and hatred gives her an understanding of what others must go through in a stratified society. She begins to under sympathy and practices kindness.
The New York Times reports that in Rhinebeck, N.Y., Oblong Books will host a party with Mocktails and a performance by the indie band the Boo Radleys.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Gerrie Ferris Finger
Minotaur Books
Child Trace, Inc. is a private firm devoted to missing children.

Created by Moriah Dru after she leaves the Atlanta PD, the company has been gaining recognition and momentum since it’s beginning. All of Moriah’s efforts are paying off and she’s become the go-to investigator in cases involving kids.

This latest case that she’s been called in on may turn out to be her most difficult yet. Two sisters are missing after their foster parents have been killed in a devastating house fire. Arson is the cause and Moriah has to wonder if the kids were the target all along.

Working alongside her former partner and current lover, Detective Rick Lake, Moriah knows that time is not on her side in this investigation. The suspect list is long and continues to grow as every minute passes, and when Moriah discovers the real reason behind the kidnapping, things get even worse.

Gerrie Ferris Finger’s first in this new series is a fast-pace and totally gripping story. It’s also a darker mystery that will appeal to readers across the mystery genre.
05/10 Becky Lejeune
A note about the books reviewed... A new law was recently enacted that has been causing some confusion among online reviewers. For clarity's sake, all reviews on this site are the opinions of the reviewer, based on a careful reading of the work. Books are furnished to reviewers in a variety of ways, including review copies from the publisher, the author, and/or publicists. Other books are borrowed from libraries, received as gifts from friends and family members, and purchased in bookstores, both online and bricks & mortar. Reviewers stand by their reviews as their own opinion, regardless of the source of the book being reviewed.
From BookBitchBlog

Monday, May 10, 2010

BISG Conference Message: Change or Die

BISG Conference Message: Change or Die

On my recent book tour, readers and potential book buyers ask: "Is your book available on Kindle or Nook?"

The answer is YES.

Read the link below to understand the changing nature of book sales.


Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Not exactly Breakfast at Tiffany's, but the coffee was hot at 7:30 in the morning and the fans were enthusiastic. A ballroom was set up with tables for ten, each with a new mystery author at the table.

The fruit was fresh and so were the authors when it came time to reveal the plots of their books, me included.

I don't know how I sounded. I'm a writer not a speaker, but the applause was nice.

Malice Domestic is a wonderful fan convention. Mystery readers are avid to know everything about your book, but, Oh, no spoilers, please!

I'm off to a panel to discuss "Ripped from the Headlines" about how newspapers, TV, and on-line programs influence your work. My novel centers around two missing little girls, abducted for the overseas slave trade. A very timely topic.

Must go now.