Book Reviews for Sliced Vegetarian

Do you know the feeling when someone says something nice about you? When that kind and generous comment gets back to you?  Don’t you get excited and look in the mirror with your chin up? Imagine if those compliments meant money.  In the publishing world, they do.

Sliced Vegetarian Front Cover

Thank you, Sandra Dallas!

Authors live (and sometimes die) by the reputations they build (author platform) and the reviews they get for their books.  That’s part of why we go to book conferences and conventions, we give talks to any group interested, and we “shamelessly self-promote” wherever we can. We also try to make friends with authors a little farther along in their careers, because, a) it’s fun to have a friend who shares your interest and does it so well, and b) sometimes you can ask that friend for a review/blurb for your book. It’s all important, and all marketing.

So you can imagine how thrilled I am this week.  I have reviews to share with you on Sliced Vegetarian!  My publisher and I sent Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) to review publications and famous people to see what they think of the book.  Here are some results:


Do you know Sandra Dallas?  She is a New York Times best-selling author and book reviewer for the Denver Post.  Ms. Dallas started her career as the first woman bureau chief for Business Week, still a thought leader in business under the Bloomberg Press Conglomerate.  In other words, this author is a big deal, a really big deal.

I contacted her about a year ago to do a blog post for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.  We spent a pleasant 30 or 40 minutes together at the end of which she was kind enough to ask about my writing.  When I told her about Daisy Arthur she encouraged me to contact her when my ARCs came out.  Shamelessly, I did.  I didn’t really expect her to remember me or her offer, yet she accepted my ARC and wrote a very nice blurb:

“Sliced Vegetarian is one meaty little mystery. Readers will adore Daisy Arthur and her cast of dogs and detectives as she fights for justice for her special needs friends. There’s both charm and suspense in this satisfying cozy.”

My publisher jumped all over this and you can see the result.  A portion of this quote is on the cover of Sliced Veggie.  How cool is that?  An almost total stranger helping a little person in publishing out.

If you like reading good books, please visit Sandra’s website.  She has thirteen novels set in the West, award-winning non-fiction, and even two children’s books.


Have you read the Birdwatcher’s Series of mystery?  If not, you’re in for a treat.  Chris is a rising star in the publishing industry, and it’s my true honor to call her my friend.  We collaborate on projects for our local chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and I always enjoy our time together–including going to her birthday party this past week–at a HORSE RACETRACK! Fantastic.

Anyway, one of the things I admire about Chris is that she truly reads the books she reviews.  Even though she was swamped with edit deadlines on one of her novels, she took the time to read my book.  Here’s how her review starts:

“Cozy mystery readers will love Daisy Arthur, a heroine with heart and spunk.”

Chris and I, along with two other writing friends are going to have a book “baby shower” at the end of August. I’ll try to remember to write a post about a party where the hosts act like mothers-to-be of our new babies:

  • Stone Cold Case by Catherine Dilts
  • Tea and Treachery by Patricia Coleman
  • Dark Waters by Christine Goff
  • Sliced Vegetarian by yours truly

I think it will be a party to DIE for–heh, heh, heh.


Ellen is the president of our chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and a super cool leader, friend, and most importantly, mystery writer.  You can imagine how grateful I was to receive this comment from her:

“No matter how you slice it or dice it, Sliced Vegetarian is a tasty treat for cozy mystery readers.”


While its thrilling to get “big press,” I believe the home-town paper has even bigger clout.  When “local author does good” kind of stories appear, people in the area are bound to look out for a read where they have a real interest in the setting as well as the story.

I’ve never met Ms. Ellingboe, but I can tell from the several column inches she generously gave to my review that she truly read the book, and wrote the review in such a way that my good guy even said it made him want to read the story (he is NOT a cozy mystery fan).  Thank you, thank you, Ms. Ellingboe!


While I didn’t get a review in this on-line publication, I have been added to their author list. This is hugely important because Stan and Lucinda have a fantastic following of readers, with a twice-monthly newsletter on new mystery books, book give-aways, and everything mystery.  If you like to read mysteries, this is the place for you.


Yippee! Yahoo!  To get a mention in the big guy’s reviews is a terrific feather in any author’s cap.  For Sliced Vegetarian, I received mentions in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist Review. My publisher was able to pull positive quotes from each and I am dancing on Cloud Nine.


My publisher let me know that Thorndyke Press, a sister company of Five Star Publishing, is acquiring rights to publish Sliced Veggie in large print.

Do you know anywhere else I should send an ARC?  I always appreciate making a new connection in the mystery writing world.

Have a great and creative week.  I’ll be on vacation next week but will return on July 8, with more writing experiences.


Writer’s Market — A Good Read

Thank you everyone who posted get well wishes.  With my new format, I’m not automatically sent an email to let me know you posted anything.  Will have to check my settings for sure.

Meanwhile, I’d like to share some of the reading done while recuperating.  Yes, I dipped into a few stories because there’s nothing like a visit to other times and places when you don’t want to be where you are at the moment.  But I also took a good dive into my latest Writer’s Market edition.

To be honest, I will never make enough money to pay off the many volumes of this book I’ve purchased over the years.  Even when the books were so expensive I had to save for months to get them, I “invested” in these lists of publishers, magazines, and thoughts of “what freelancers should charge” for their work.  It was a regular accompaniment to my magazine subscription.

Picture of Writer's Market 2015

Information and Inspiration–a writer’s best companions.

Writer’s Market and Writer’s Digest magazine have been good friends for me since my early twenties.  I’ve read success stories and how-to’s, I’ve managed personal marketing and built career plans.  But mostly, Writer’s Market and the annual list of freelance writing opportunities have allowed me the most important element of being human–they have helped me dream.

Each time I flip to a section of magazines I’m interested in, there are great ideas that pop out at me.  Here’s one I liked:

Kaleidoscope — This magazine was listed under the subject of “Disabilities” (note: not under “Differently Abled”).  The magazine is 75% freelance written. Okay, that gets the hope up right there.  They want nonfiction, fiction, and poetry–a rarity in today’s publishing marketplace.  And they pay for work with real cash (not complimentary author copies).  That is so good!  The best part of an entry like this is the TIPS.  Not every magazine listed will have this, but the editor of Kaleidoscope was thoughtful and generous enough to do that.  She wants “thought-provoking subject matter, and in general, a mature grasp of the art of story-telling.  Writers should avoid using offensive language and always put the person before the disability.”

So what would I write about, given this little bit of information?  I keyed in on the final phrase and here are some ideas:

  • Getting Into Life’s Game — too many people with physical or mental challenges are left out of the game of life, but I know there are those who jump in no matter what.  I could tell stories of people who enter dance competitions, join sports teams, and generally make the most of the lives they have–even with their challenges.
  • Advocacy for the disabled in today’s world.  I could explore how children’s educational and physical needs are being met, and find out the best ways to support a full lifestyle for everyone.
  • Profile of organizations in Colorado that support people with physical, emotional, and  mental challenges.  There are a few near me, and I’d be excited to know more about them.

And that’s the real key.  Writer’s Market is full of opportunity IF you have a passion for the subjects they reveal.

And Writer’s Market is only the first step.  Next I’ll need to do an in-depth visit to the Kaleidoscope website, acquire a copy of the publication, review the advertisers, look for the media kit and generally dig in to see if I fit this community.  All this may take about an hour of work.  But before I do that work, I’ll think of all the stories I could write…everything begins with a dream and a vision.  Hoping your visions take you where you want to go this week.