Category Archives: One Writer’s Journey

My Publishing Journey: Audiobook News!

I’m beyond excited to announce that both my books are now available in audiobook format! Find them on Audible, Amazon and iTunes, and if you’re cozy with your local library, I would really appreciate it if you could spread the word (or let me know if your local library might be interested, and I’ll contact them directly).

Here’s a recap of both titles:

The Hanged Man’s Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery #1

Narrator: Suzanne T. Fortin

Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in this fast-moving, deftly written tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.

Journalist Emily Garland lands a plum assignment as the editor of a niche magazine based in Lount’s Landing, a small town named after a colorful 19th-century Canadian traitor. As she interviews the local business owners for the magazine, Emily quickly learns that many people are unhappy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-box store. At the top of that list is Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of an antiques shop, who will do just about anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s historic Main Street.

But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Before long, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered, and although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused.

Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme before the murderer strikes again.

Skeletons in the Attic: A Marketville Mystery #1

Narrator: Claira Jordyn

What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there.

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville – a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a 30-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?

PS: If you’re an audiobook reviewer, I will happily email you a coupon code to download FREE the book(s) of your choice from Audible.com or Audible.co.uk (sorry, offer not available in Canada; it’s an Audible thing…) in exchange for an honest review. Contact me to arrange!

 

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The Tulip Shirt Murders by Heather Weidner

It’s my absolute pleasure to showcase Heather Weidner’s latest release, and the second book in her Delanie Fitzgerald Mystery series. Heather is the force behind the multi-author blog, Pens, Paws, and Claws, of which I am one of the authors, and she’s also a very talented writer and gifted storyteller. 

Author Name: Heather Weidner

Book Title: The Tulip Shirt Murders

Book Genre: Mystery/Female Sleuth

Release Date: November 15, 2017

Synopsis: Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a music producer hires them to find out who is bootlegging his CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case.

Excerpt: Delanie Fitzgerald hopped on the stool at Lucille’s Lounge to get a better view of the guy she tailed. He leaned forward, inching closer to a raven-haired woman at the end of the bar. Delanie ordered a ginger ale and straightened her Lycra dress. The glances from the other male patrons let her know that it was the perfect outfit for this evening.

The man looked past his companion and stared at Delanie, who smiled and tossed her red curls over her shoulder. She sipped her drink and waited. The dark-haired woman moved on to talk to two guys at the pool table. The man picked up his drink and slid into the empty seat next to Delanie. That didn’t take long, she thought.

“Hey, there,” he said, moving in closer and brushing her shoulder with his.

“Hi,” she said as she pressed her lips together in a half-smile.

“I haven’t seen you in here before.”

“I’m new in town. And this looked like a fun place to spend a Saturday night. I didn’t want to stay home by myself.

“It’s a friendly place,” he said, signaling the bartender for a refill.

“I’ll be back in just a minute. Don’t go anywhere, and save my seat,” she said, winking at the forty-ish man next to her.

“Hurry back,” he said, leaning toward her.

A few minutes later, she pulled her barstool back. “Did you miss me?” A full drink greeted her on her return.

“Most certainly,” he said, scooting his barstool closer to hers.

“Thanks for the refill. I didn’t catch your name.”

“It’s Joey.”

“Well, hello, Joey. I’m Misti,” she said, sticking two fingers into her glass. When she pulled her hand back, the pearly white nail polish turned purple. She smiled and pretended to take a sip. “So, Joey, what do folks do for excitement around here in Mechanicsville? I’ve only been here a month or so. And I need some ideas for fun.”

He leaned toward her again. Any closer, and he’d be sitting in her lap. “I like to have a good time. We could go somewhere quiet and have our own party. And we could talk about other things we could do next weekend.”

About the author: Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, Lethal Ladies Write, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Find her at www.heatherweidner.com.

Find the book on all the usual suspects, including Amazon.

 

Will You #NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) officially begins each year on November 1, when participants start working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. For those of you mathematically challenged, that’s 1,666 words a day — if you write 7 days a week.

I’ll admit I’ve never been successful at past NaNoWriMo efforts, but this year I really need the inspiration. I’ve had a story in my head for a while, and just haven’t been writing it — 50,000 words would go a long way to getting me to a finished first draft.

So here goes. Wish me luck and good writing!

If you’d like to find out more, it’s not too late to sign up. Find the scoop here. Oh, and if you need validation (beyond knowing you’re actually trying to write  your book), you can even earn badges! I’ve already earned these two badges… and it’s only the first day! I could get into this…

Badge for creating novel on NaNoWriMo

Badge for filling out my author profile.

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My Publishing Journey: It Never Gets Old

Any original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is automatically protected by copyright the moment it’s created. But it’s still recommended that authors file for “official” copyright. I wrote about this at some length when I filed for my very first copyright in 2015 for THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE, the first book in my Glass Dolphin mystery series, and my debut novel. You can read that post here.

But here’s the thing: First time, second time, third time…filing for copyright NEVER gets old. At least, it doesn’t for me. There’s something exciting about getting that certificate in the mail and seeing your name attached to something you created.

A HOLE IN ONE is the second book in the Glass Dolphin series, and it picks up a few months after NOOSE ends. Many of the characters are the same, but there are some new additions, and some character who, for a variety of reasons, didn’t make the sequel. Here’s a brief synopsis of what you can expect:

Murder, mystery, and mayhem—small-town secrets have never been bigger…

When the Glass Dolphin antiques shop agreed to sponsor a hole in one contest at the Miakoda Falls Golf & Country Club “Kids Come First” charity golf tournament, co-owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland never dreamed it would bring them anything but positive publicity. That is until Arabella’s errant tee shot on the third hole landed in the woods—right next to a dead man with a gunshot wound in the middle of his chest. A dead man they soon learn is closely related to Arabella’s ex-husband, Levon Larroquette, who had been acting as the Course Marshal.

With means, opportunity, and more than enough motive, Levon soon becomes the police department’s prime suspect, leaving Arabella and Emily determined to clear his name—even if they’re not entirely convinced of Levon’s innocence.

The duo’s investigation leads them to a mysterious cult, Emily’s ex-fiancée and the woman he left her for, an Elvis impersonator, and a “going out of business” antiques mall vendor with a secret of her own. Along the way, an anonymous blogger complicates their lives even further with online posts rife with rumor, innuendo, and accusation.

Publication of A HOLE IN ONE is scheduled for March 2018. A limited number of ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) will be available shortly in print, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and PDF formats. If you’re a reviewer or blogger and would like a copy in exchange for an honest review, please contact me.

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Bouchercon Toronto Recap

With Dru Ann Love (Dru’s Book Musings) and Kristopher Zgorski (BOLO Books)

I’ve been a member of the Bouchercon 2017 volunteer committee since 2015, meeting quarterly at first, and then escalating to monthly. While my contributions were far less than co-chairs Helen Nelson and Janet Costello, this past 2 1/2 years has opened my eyes to the sheer volume of work that goes on behind the scenes to put on a four-day 100% volunteer run conference like Bouchercon. It was an invaluable experience and one that I will treasure always.

My books in the book room!

But what about the conference itself? What can I say? At last count, there were more than 1,700 attendees, of which approximately 33% were authors, including NYT bestsellers like Louise Penny, Maureen Jennings and Megan Abbott, as well as folks like me (not yet on the NYT list…but hope springs eternal).

CWC had a significant presence at Bouchercon. (L to R) Member Jim Napier, RCMP Officer Julie Meeks, CWC Past President Rick Blechta, CWC Chair Cathy Ace.

For my part, I was able to take my turn manning the Sisters in Crime – Toronto table, the Crime Writers of Canada table, and the Crime Writers of Canada hospitality suite. These are great opportunities to meet and greet other authors, and introduce readers to  SinC, CWC, and of course, my books.

I also had the opportunity to moderate (my first time as a moderator) a panel of reviewers: Margaret Cannon (Globe & Mail), Steve Steinbock (Ellery Queen; AudioFile Magazine), Marsali Taylor (Mystery People; Mystery Readers), Erica Ruth Neubauer (Publishers Weekly, Crimespree, Mystery Scene), and Andrew Gulli (The Strand Magazine). We had a tough time slot: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Sunday—trust me when I tell you that an early morning panel on the last day of a four-day conference is not ideal. Fortunately, the strength of the panel drew people in, and we pretty much had a full house. I wasn’t perfect, and I might do some things differently if I ever have another opportunity, but overall, it went really well. The thing I’m most proud of? Two years ago, I was terrified to speak in public, and there I was, moderating a panel of esteemed reviewers in front of a packed room!

Inside MacKenzie house on the Ghost Walk tour

One of my favorite moments was leading the Ghost Walk tour on Wednesday night. It was damn cold, and a wee bit drizzly, but I learned about Toronto’s “ghost subway stations,” AND I actually saw where Samuel Lount was hanged for treason! Readers of THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE will understand why that was such a thrill for me.

View from my hotel room

The hardest thing (besides the sheer sense of exhaustion as the days and hours start to blend together) for a solitary loner type like me is the crowds, but thankfully I’m well familiar with Toronto, having been born and raised there, so I was able to escape during lunch times and walk around downtown. Sure, there are crowds there, too, but in typical big city fashion, it’s pretty easy to blend in and become anonymous. For the moment, at least, you don’t have to be “on.”

Gibbs sleeping at my feet.

My next conference is Left Coast Crime in Reno, March 2018. For now, I am just happy to be back home, and I think Gibbs is happy to have me here.

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Bouchercon 2017 #1: Reviewers Recommend

This post will be the first of several dedicated to Bouchercon 2017 Toronto, which will be held from October 12-15, with some special events starting on the 11th.

Although I now live about 90 minutes northwest of the city, I still consider Toronto my home patch, since I was born and raised there. So I’m pretty excited to be part of this massive celebration of all things mystery.

Today, however, I’m looking for your input. I’ve had the great fortune to be assigned a panel on Sunday, October 15th from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. It will be my first time as a moderator! and the topic is Reviewers Recommend, described as Reviewers Discuss their faves. Here’s the prestigious list of panelists:

Margaret Cannon (Toronto Globe and Mail)
Andrew Gulli (The Strand Magazine)
Erica Ruth Neubauer (Publishers Weekly, Crimespree)
Steve Steinbock (EQMM)

Marsali Taylor (mystery people and Mystery Readers)

Are you nervous for me yet??? Yeah, I thought so!

Now…pretend that you’re in the audience. What question do you want me to ask?

Ready…set…GO!

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Alliston Potato Festival

This past Saturday, I was a vendor at the Alliston Potato Festival, an event that closes off the main (Victoria Street) of Alliston, Ontario, where vendors — selling everything from soap to art to books to jewelry to food — line the street. As a member of the South Simcoe Arts Council, I was invited to share a booth.

This was my first time as a vendor at Potato Festival — the past two years (I moved to Alliston in 2015) I was a curious customer. Unfortunately, afternoon thunderstorms forced us to call it an early day, but I’d definitely do it again next year. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea!

Yours truly before the rain!

Battle of the Brushes! Artists were given 30 minutes to paint a picture with 7 acrylic colors.

Painting in earnest.

The winners!

South Simcoe Arts Council members selling the Spirit of Canada, a collection of short essays and stories.

Jewelry is always popular…

The Carrot Sticks. Find them on Facebook! A terrific Country/Folk/Rock group.

Free Short Story: The Cycopaths

Something you may not know about me is that I used to do triathlon. I started back around 2005 with a try-a-tri, gradually built up my distances to sprint and Olympic, and completed a 70.3 (Half Ironman) in Benton Harbor, Michigan, in 2009. Once that was off my bucket list, I went on to complete the 200-kilometer Toronto to Niagara Falls Ride to Conquer Cancer in 2010. I sold my bike a year later, ready for the next adventure.

This short story was loosely inspired by a training camp I took in Collingwood in the early days, minus the dead body, of course. It’s part of my Live Free or Tri collection, and has been reprinted by Kings River Life Magazine with my permission. I hope you enjoy it!

The Cycopaths: Mystery Short Story

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