Friday, June 28, 2019

Confessions of A Pantser or What's the Best Way to Write a Novel? by T.K. Thorne

Writer, humanist,
          dog-mom, horse servant and cat-slave,
       Lover of solitude
          and the company of good friends,
        New places, new ideas
           and old wisdom.

A controversy rages over the best way to write a novel—plotter vs. pantser.

A plotter is a writer who outlines the plot points and/or scenes before diving into the writing.

A pantser goes "by the seat of her pants," plotting as she goes.

The truth is that writing a novel is a process that requires one’s entire brain in ways that neurological science has (yet) been able to completely understand.  For simplicity, let’s call it left brain and right brain processes. The left hemisphere is the origin for analytic/judgment making and the right brain is the origin of the creative/where-the-heck-did-that-come-from? You could also term it the conscious vs. the unconscious. I think in reality they both muck together a good bit, but we’ll use the terms for now.

One might say that plotters engage their left brain more in the planning process and pantsers use the right brain to come up with plot organically.  True and not true, but either way, I agree with Larry Brooks, who has postulated three stages for writing a novel.

• Search for Story
• Development of Story
• Polishing of Story

Both plotters and pantsers must follow these stages, although they do not have to occur precisely in order.  Sometimes you need to develop somewhat in order to find the story. Many writers advise writing a complete draft before you start polishing, but some writers polish as they go (which doesn’t mean you don’t need to rewrite. Robert Heinlein is the only person I know of who claimed he didn’t rewrite anything, and I’m not sure I believe him or possibly he said that toward the end of his prolific career.)

Some people start with the story concept, which is different from a plot, by the way. A concept might arise from something as simple as a “What if—?” question. What if a radioactive spider bit a man giving him super spider powers?  What if young boys and girls went to a secret school to learn magic?

Wow, we have a concept, the first step in writing a novel, right?  Right . . . except, not always.
It certainly can begin that way, and you can then explore the concept with an plot outline, noting the needed developmental points, develop the characters, and then write the story.  That may work best for you.

But it is not the only way to find story.

One day, I was brushing my teeth, and three words popped into my head, seemingly from nowhere.  The words were: “You’re a hero.”  I literally had nothing more, but felt the need to put my fingers on the keyboard and find out what lurked in my right brain/subconscious. Quickly spitting out toothpaste, I ran to my laptop and typed those words and then . . . let the muse play.  I’ve ended up with a trilogy. House of Rose is the first in the Magic City Stories.

On another occasion, I “saw” an image of a young girl listening to her grandmother and just started writing the scene, which turned out to be Noah’s Wife.  My next novel, Angels At The Gate, began without even a scene in mind, just a few words out of an audacious young girl’s mind.

So how exactly did that work?  Angels was loosely based on the biblical story of Lot’s wife. If you recall, she is the lady who looked back at the burning city of Sodom and turned into a “pillar of salt.” Nameless and only granted that one famous line, she didn’t give me much to go on. But I figured even as a child, she must have had a little problem with obedience. That led to the idea of her as a young, impetuous girl hiding a puppy in her robe. It could have been her own pup, but given the obedience issue, I decided she stole it. To explain why she stole it, I had to invent a character (the pup’s owner) who gave her a reason--she overheard him say he was going to throw it into the cook pot.) And so it went. The characters determined what happened, or at the least, how they reacted to whatever I threw at them.

In both cases, I did prior research about the time period, but I had no idea what the story would be.  I wrote based on the first words that came out, building layer by layer. You don’t have to keep those words, but they provide a launching place. A work of quality can emerge from this process. Both novels won national awards.

With that experience, I am tempted to give my truest advice with two words—Go Play!
On the other hand, I have been writing and studying the craft of writing (omg!) for 40 years. According to Malcolm Gladwell, who studies such things, it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert in anything.

So, read, study, and play for 10,000 hours.

Does that mean don’t try writing novels before you have the millage?  Absolutely not! Seven “practice novels” slumber in my computer, unpublished.  Writing them is part of playing and practicing.  It’s important.  And maybe it won’t take you that many!

In reality, plotters and pantsers exist on a continuum, and I am no exception.  My brain, no doubt, is bouncing back and forth as I work, right to left, left to right, subconscious to conscious, and vice versa (as my husband trying to get my attention will quickly tell you.) I may start out totally by playing, but at some point I am imaging scenes and dialogue in advance and write toward that. I may or may not make notes about where I’m going, but it is very helpful to have a ending in mind, even if it is a vague one.  And there are definite places (plot points) in most fiction where certain types of things need to happen, and knowing where they are is helpful.

What I don’t do is set how to get there in stone, because I like surprises as much as a reader. If I don’t know what is going to happen next, neither will the reader.  On the other hand, it is scary to start without knowing where you are going, especially if you have a publisher waiting for a book or if you are working on a series and don’t want to box yourself in by doing something in book one or two that will make book three not work.

So, I will amend my advice: Do what works for you. Be a plotter or a pantser, or something in between, or switch as you go. Whatever works is the right way.

T.K. Thorne’s childhood passion for storytelling deepened when she became a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama.  “It was a crash course in life and what motivated and mattered to people.” In her newest novel, HOUSE OF ROSE, murder and mayhem mix with a little magic when a police officer discovers she’s a witch. 

Both her award-winning debut historical novels, NOAH’S WIFE and ANGELS AT THE GATE, tell the stories of unknown women in famous biblical tales—the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. Her first non-fiction book, LAST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE, the inside story of the investigation and trials of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, was featured on the New York Post’s “Books You Should Be Reading” list. 

T.K. loves traveling and speaking about her books and life lessons. She writes at her mountaintop home near Birmingham, often with two dogs and a cat vying for her lap. 

 More info at Join her private newsletter email list and receive a two free short stories at “TK’s Korner.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Babies in Cages by Juliana Aragon Fatula

Dear Reader, 

This photo was taken at Dillon Beach, California on a summer day with my comadre, Aimee Medina Carr, the author of the novel, River of Love. Homebound Publications releases this coming of age novel on Sept. 24th, 2019. I am celebrating along with the author because this was my first attempt at mentoring a new writer into the world of writing, editing, revising, revising, revising, submitting, publishing, promoting, and enduring the success that comes with publishing your first book.

Aimee and I have a relationship that goes back to the '60s. Yes, you heard me right. I said the 60's. We grew up in a small community in Southern Colorado. The headquarters in the '20s of the KKK.

We survived and went onto become educators, filmmakers, writers, performance artists, poets, novelists, mothers, wives, and friends. They say blood is thicker than water; however, our blood connects us in more ways than just being from the same ancestry. We grew up in the '70s and survived. We are survivors. We did what we had to do to survive.
Now it's 2019, and we are both published and accomplished writers.

We write to set ourselves free but to free the minds of others who need freedom. I write for my students who are growing up in a community of racism. Yes, I said it. Racism. Aimee and I survived because we had each other. Now we are grown-ass women, and we see babies in cages, and our blood boils. How can it be that after all of the protesting, voting for equal rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, that government continues to rape, plunder, and violate all that this country stands for? I'm outraged.


Aimee and I continue to fight racism with words from two girls who survived the racism of a place that had removed the Southern Ute from their winter hunting grounds, removed African Americans from their homes by burning crosses in their yard. The kids who live here no longer hear those stories. We plan to change that. We educate the next generation of what happens when the place is stolen, and innocents are hung, shot, killed, and displaced. It's called gentrification

Writing a book is not for the glory, the money, the recognition. It's for educating and or entertaining the person who reads the book and then tells a friend, who tells a friend, who ends up sharing the lesson to their students, who grow up knowledgeable about racism and pass it on to the next generation.

Aime and I both grew up with a two-spirit sibling. Aimee had her two-spirit relationship. I had mine. They were vastly different experiences; however, we learned about homophobia and xenophobia and racism. Yes, all three. Oh, and sexism. Don't forget how women have been disrespected and violated over the centuries. So we could cry, victim; or we could do something about it. We did something about it. We wrote. We wrote about our heartaches, our mistakes, our successes, our growth as human beings. We told our stories on paper, and I tell my stories on stages to educate to entertain, to explain racism in this country. Two brown girls taking on the country with pens in hand. We didn't know white privilege, look at those brown faces, eyes, hair, and souls in these photos. 

We worked our asses off to find our strengths. We are writers. We tell stories. Our ancestors rest in their graves, knowing we will tell their stories to any who will listen. We write about what it is for us to be Chicana in this country. We are both Mexican and Indian. We are Mexican-Indians. Not Mexican Americans. We hang onto our indigenous roots. We have ancestors who never crossed the border. The border crossed us. 

There are babies in cages on the southern border, and parents weeping for their stolen children. What are we going to do to free them? 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Day in the Life...

by Bethany Maines

This week I have officially sent my third San Juan Island’sMurder Mystery off to the beta readers, broken a client’s website, and took my daughter to her first karate class.  It’s been a busy week.  Tish Yearly, the heroine of the San Juan Mysteries also lives a busy, scattered life, hopping from emergency to emergency.  But that’s not really the kind of thing I want to emulate about my characters.  And I certainly don’t want to be finding dead bodies every time I turn around.  It would be extremely untidy if nothing else.

In fact, I think living the life of a mystery heroine would be extremely fraught.  You would never know when your next acquaintance was going to turn up dead.  There are some benefits of course.  There’s always some sort of hot police personnel person hanging around and who doesn’t like that?  But the number of friends hiding dark secrets must only be rivaled by the friends in a Romance novel.  Possibly less secret babies, but I wouldn’t want to place money on that.  And don’t forget that usually one of your other friends is the killer.  What kind of people are you associating with mystery heroine?!!  You need a better friend group! 

So, to sum up… I’m glad I’m not a mystery heroine, but I really wish I hadn’t broken the website.  And now if you’ll excuse me I have to go spend some time on hold with the person who can access the website database.  But here is a quote from Unfamiliar Sea to make us all laugh while I cry over the hold music.

Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she's not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her fifth degree black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Favorite Places to Write

By Lynn McPherson

The other day I was struck by the fact that the desk I bought two years ago has never been used for writing—its intended purpose. Although handy for keeping my writing tools organized—pens, notebooks, and post-it notes, I’ve yet to sit at it and write a word. Instead, most mornings I’ve chosen to settle into my kitchen table, with a cup of coffee, and start my day my looking out onto the wooded area behind my home while cracking open my laptop. Later on, I often head out to the nearby café, brimming with life and chatter, to soak in the energy. The desk, facing a wall in the corner of my bedroom, has yet to seem appealing.

I’ve come to realize that I like two things when I write. First, a view. It doesn’t need to be the sunrise over the horizon or the Eiffel Tower (although If I could choose anywhere, that would certainly be first). But the large bay window, with the sun shining down on the trees, or the clouds moving in for another rainy day, is a much better option than a boring beige wall. I also enjoy being surrounded by daily life and movement. The birds, squirrels, and deer are an endless source of interest behind my home. Often, even better, are the tidbits of conversations to be overheard at the busy coffee shop between friends or colleagues as they go about a hectic day.

Some writers find a lot of movement distracting—and prefer a quiet place to focus—but I find life inspiring.

How about you? Where do you like to work? Do you need a quiet place to concentrate or a busy atmosphere teeming with life?

Lynn McPherson has worked for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ran a small business, and taught English across the globe. She has travelled the world solo where her daring spirit has led her to jump out of airplanes, dive with sharks, and learn she would never master a surfboard. She now channels her lifelong love of adventure and history into her writing, where she is free to go anywhere, anytime. Her cozy series has two books out: The Girls' Weekend Murder and The Girls Whispered Murder.  

Friday, June 21, 2019

The American Library Association Conference AKA Book Heaven

by Shari Randall

You may know me as the author of the Lobster Shack Mystery series, but this week I get to wear another hat, that of Library Liaison for Sisters in Crime.

Part of the Library Liaison gig is organizing the Sisters in Crime booth for the American Library Association's convention in Washington, DC June 21-24. After years working in children's services at a public library in Virginia, it will feel good to be back in the library world, even if it's only for a weekend.

Never been to ALA? It's book heaven. The ALA Conference is a souk of ideas, connections, and fun. Dozens of authors will appear on panels and sign books. There's a Cooking Stage to celebrate cookbooks with live demonstrations. Speakers! This year the speakers include Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, award winning children's author Jason Reynolds, tv talk show star Hoda Kotb, comedian Mo Rocca, graphic novel legend Frank Miller, publishing sensation Tomi Adeyemi, and Star Trek icon George Takei. Talk about something for everyone!

The Exhibit Hall, with hundreds of booths and displays by publishers and other businesses related to libraries, is just as exciting as the speakers. Because librarians are taste makers and influencers, publishers entice them with heaps of swag and give away advance readers copies of books they hope will become best sellers  - stacks of them. Because wheeled carts have been banned from the hall, librarians struggle to get all the free books home - you'll see them weighed down by bulging tote bags, but smiling through. All those books are a nice problem to have.

But the thing I'm most excited about is the chance to tell librarians, publishers, and readers about Sisters in Crime. Sisters in Crime is a world-wide organization devoted to promoting the advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

And we love libraries! Tell your librarian friends to stop by the SINC Booth 1353. We're doing a giveaway called It's Raining Books. The library that wins the giveaway will receive a shower of books from over 100 authors - best sellers, award winners, mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense. The best part? As any librarian who has hauled home all those ARCS can attest, the only downside of ALA is getting all the books home. Well, Sisters in Crime will ship the shower of books to the winning library. #freeshipping

We also offer the Doris Ann Norris We Love Libraries grant. SINC gives a $1,000 grant to one library per month. You can find out more here.
See you at the conference!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Book Birthday!

A year ago - wow, that year went by quickly – someone at Amazon pushed a button and In It For The Money launched into the world. Of course, the release ended up more of a splat than a soar. I foolishly agreed that a pre-sale period was the marketing tool du jour and worked with my editor and cover artist to create the prettiest, shiniest book of the series, while the link sat online for people to anticipate the upcoming book.

Yeah, that whole planning thing? Didn’t work out so well.

The author (that would be me) has to put an “asset” in place when setting up a pre-sale. Due to a snafu, that dummy file went out on release day to everyone who pre-ordered the book. (Yikes! Cringe!!) One saving grace – I’d marked up the file like crazy: “This is a placeholder. If you receive it, contact Amazon for the actual file.”

So, what’s the best way to describe the book release process? Sorta like having a baby. (Many authors compare the book writing process to actual birth.) Except sometimes the “baby” arrives butt-first and there’s some uncomfortable adjusting to do.

But stumbles and all, the anniversary of In It For The Money’s launch rolled around – and I decided, why not celebrate? Let’s call it a Book Birthday! In It For The Money is on sale at 75% off (only 99 cents – first time ever)! Grab your copy now!


In It For The Money by Cathy Perkins
Holly Price traded professional goals for personal plans when she agreed to leave her high-flying position with the Seattle Mergers and Acquisition team and take over the family accounting practice. Reunited with JC Dimitrak, her former fiancé, she’s questioning whether she’s ready to flip her condo for marriage and a house in the ‘burbs.

When her cousin Tate needs investors for his innovative car suspension, Holly works her business matchmaking skills and connects him with a client. The Rockcrawler showcasing the new part crashes at its debut event, however, and the driver dies. Framed for the sabotage, Tate turns to Holly when the local cops—including JC—are ready to haul him to jail. Holly soon finds her cousin and client embroiled in multiple criminal schemes. She’s drawn into the investigation, a position that threatens her life, her family and her already shaky relationship with JC.



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Writing by the Bechdel Rule—and Not Even Knowing it

by Kay Kendall

Even though the Bechdel Rule has been around for three decades, I never heard about it until seven years ago when it first popped up in film reviews in the New York Times. Now, I love movies and try hard to keep abreast of trends, so I looked it up pretty quick. I don’t like feeling behind the times.
Also known as the Bechdel Test, it judges movies by three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. Cartoon illustrator Alison Bechdel popularized her pal Liz Wallace’s concept in the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985. There are now 8,151 movies listed at that pass the test.  
When I first read the test’s definition, I was astonished. Movies I watch and books I read routinely pass this test, even before I knew it existed. The first mystery I was in the midst of writing, Desolation Row, passed as do the two books that followed.
I believe I was born a feminist so it’s no wonder this rule was one I lived by. There are fictional female characters to whom I give credit for prodding me along my way. They include the mighty Jane Eyre, the extremely curious Nancy Drew, and even the tragic Anna Karenina. After all, the Russian woman came to a very bad end indeed by living only for the love of a man and nothing else.  
I recently returned to my treasured copy of Jane Eyre to see if it held up to my current feelings about living one’s life as a female. Again I was astonished because the proto feminism of the novel was laid out on almost every page. For example, look at this passage, written in complete contrast to the fate of poor Anna Karenina: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being      with an independent will.”
While that is the second most quoted passage from Jane Eyre, here is another one, a real doozy, given the era it was written in, the 1850s in Victorian England:
“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”
And yet Jane Eyre is also a magnificent love story because of the heroine’s passion for Mr. Rochester. Proving that she could be not only independent but in love too, she most famously stated, “Reader, I married him.”

Second wave feminism peaked in the 1970s and declined thereafter. Feminism was attacked as being anti-male. I always thought that was utter bosh, complete nonsense. I am delighted that has changed of late. We women can stand up for ourselves without trashing all men, for certainly all men do not deserve that, only the ones who seek to hold women down, to keep us, as the Rolling Stones gleefully sing, “Under My Thumb.”
In my second mystery, Rainy Day Women, I quote that awful title from the Stones, and in my third mystery, After You’ve Gone, I have my heroine quote Jane Eyre, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me.”
So books that pass the Bechdel Test with flying colors snared me as a young reader, and they do so today as well. And, dear reader, now I write them too.
 Author Kay Kendall is passionate about historical mysteries.     She lives in Texas with her Canadian husband, three house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. Her second book Rainy Day Women won the Silver Falchion for best mystery at Killer Nashville.

Visit Kay at her website   or on Facebook at


Monday, June 17, 2019

A Tribute to Sandra Seamans

by Paula Gail Benson

If you’re a writer of mystery short fiction, you’ve probably followed a blog called “My Little Corner” that was written by Sandra Seamans. Faithfully, Sandra chronicled potential publishers seeking short fiction and linked to information about the submission guidelines. Every time I spoke to groups about writing short stories, I referred them to Sandra’s blog as an essential market guide.

Sadly, Sandra Seamans passed away on the morning of Thursday, May 23, 2019. Here is a link to her obituary

Paul D. Brazill wrote a message spotlighting Sandra’s talent and work on December 3, 2010. He began with a quote from Sandra, who described herself as “a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a writer. But not always in that order.

Later in the Brazill interview, she explained how she became a writer and why she felt that short stories were important:

I’ve been making up stories in my head since I was a kid but about twenty years ago I decided to start putting them down on paper. Not very good ones, I might add. I discovered that there was a whole lot I didn’t know and started studying. About five years or six years ago I started submitting my stories on a regular basis instead of just one a year then quit for a year because it got rejected. Staring that rejection in the face, then sending that story back out is the hardest part of writing. . . . I was also tired of being told that just writing short stories wasn’t good enough, that you had to write novels to be an actual author. But there’s so much talent out there in the short story field, and especially online, that I decided to share what I loved about shorts, the writers who pen them and the zines that publish all those great stories. So, the Corner became a place to celebrate short stories.”

Since her passing, a number of authors have written tributes about her contributions:

“R.I.P. Sandra Seamans--My LittleCorner” by Patricia Abbott (May 30, 2019).

“Remembering Sandra Seamans” by Al Tucher (May 30, 2019).
“Small Crimes: Sandra Seamans and Friday Reads” by David Nemeth (May 31, 2019). 

“Loss and Gratitude” by Travis Richardson at Sleuthsayers (June 3, 2019). 

Her blog, which she last updated on May 16, 2019, contains messages of admiration and respect in the comments to her final message:

In 2007, Sandra’s story “Home Entertainment” (A Cruel World, July/August 2006) was a finalist for a Derringer Award for Best Flash fiction.

From 2010-2012, she served as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Prior to her election, she wrote a statement that was posted on the SMFS blog. Here are a few snippets from that message:

“I’d like to see every short story writer feel welcome at the SMFS, no matter if they write cozy or dark. Only the strength of the story should count. . . . I’d also like to see if we could get editors to post more often on the list - get them to give us insights into their selection process or maybe just do a Q & A interview that we could post. . . . Shorts are starting to come into their own via the online markets, there are more and more people talking about them and I know of several sites that actually review individual stories and collections. As a short fiction society we should be a part of this. Well, I know I’m not supposed to be posting this before I’m asked, but the membership deserves to know where I stand so they can nominate someone to run against me if they don’t agree with what I believe the SMFS should be about. And I’d really prefer that this be an election not just a put her in office because nobody else wants the job situation.”

Unfortunately, Sandra’s anthology, Cold Rifts, is no longer in print. I appreciate so much the interviews and tributes I found for this post because they directed me to links where you can read Sandra’s work online and in anthologies. Here is the list of Sandra Seamans’ stories that I found:

“A Mulberry Street Christmas” (December 19, 2008)

The following are available though Amazon:

“The Gimmick” in Discount Noir an anthology edited by Patricia Abbot and Steve Weddle, Untreed Reads (October 21, 2010) (available on Amazon).

“Taking Back” in Grimm Tales an anthology edited by John Kenyon with introduction by Ken Bruen, Untreed Reads (December 19, 2011) (available on Amazon).

In a July 25, 2012, interview with Steve Weddle, Sandra described the process that led to her story “Taking Back” in Grimm Tales:

“The minute John Kenyon put up the challenge to rewrite a fairytale into a crime story, I was in. Yeah, I’m a fairytale freak. I also knew I wanted to do something different. There are only so many variations of the usual suspects that you can write. I found a website that had many of the Grimm’s published. Reading down through the list of titles ‘The Blue Light’ caught my eye. It was the story of a Soldier who’d fought for the King and when he was wounded and not as useful, the King sent him away. Through a meeting with a witch he finds a way to get his revenge on the King - perfect setup for a crime story. I used the basics of the fairytale but turned the soldier into a cleanup man for a mob boss, gave him some rules he lived by and off we went. It was a fun story to write.

Thank you to a writer’s writer, Sandra Seamans. We are richer for the legacy you have left us.

Friday, June 14, 2019

What a Month or Three New Babies!

What A Month or Three New Babies! by Debra H. Goldstein
May proved to be a crazy and wonderful month. It was so exciting, I want to share it with you.
The month began with my husband and I being on pins and needles anytime the phone rang for fear our daughter, Jennifer, whose first child was due on May 25th had gone into early labor. We breathed a sign of relief at the end of the first week.
Then, the doorbell rang. It proved to be a different kind of delivery. Two boxes from Harlequin . I tore into the box and held the new Harlequin Worldwide Mystery version of my second baby (book).
Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery.

Here’s the history of my second book. In 2014, Five Star purchased Poker. Because its 2015 calendar was filled, the book was scheduled for publication in 2016. A hardback version was released in April 2016, but to my dismay shortly thereafter Five Star ended its mystery line. Instead of a series, Poker became a standalone. Then, a nice thing happened. Harlequin Worldwide Mystery bought the book’s mass market rights. That meant it would be distributed to Harlequin’s book clubs and mystery subscribers and would also become part of its catalog for the general public to buy in a reasonably priced paperback format. With joy, in May 2019, I held the new edition of Poker, which officially releases on August 6, but already can be pre-ordered for the special discounted price of $6.39 -

Despite my happiness of the rebirth of this book, my attention still was on when Jen’s baby would   Another week went by – nothing. Her due date came – still nothing. She appeared to be no closer to delivery than I was. The doorbell rang again. When I opened it, no one was there. I looked down and was surprised to see a box. Confused, I carried it inside and carefully opened it. The box contained ARCS of Two Bites Too Many, the second book in my Sarah Blair series, which will be available on September 24 (but can be pre-ordered for delivery on that date at or .

Again, I was excited, but my mind was on Jennifer. Would her baby ever arrive? Of course, on May 31, 2019, Eliza Rose Feld entered the world. As happy and excited as I was at the other two May deliveries, neither topped Eliza. I’m over the moon at my third May delivery … and I think it will be a few days until I come down long enough to write anything that isn’t gibberish. Do you blame me?