More Shameless Self-Promo Work: Let’s Party!

Do you remember the movies where authors were big celebrities and were constantly at New York parties?  Have you ever been to a book launch at a book store?  The two events seem widely different.  The world of writing fiction is much different than all the glamour of the movies, and that can be a big disappointment–IF you’re a roll with the flow kind of person. Me? I want, and therefore am willing, to make good things happen.  And so are my writing friends.

So . . . 

pic of book launch cakeInstead of quietly launching our books to the same friends we drag with us to every writing event, we decided to join forces and increase the size of our book launches by each of the four of us inviting 10 friends to not a book launch, but a baby book shower.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I had a blast and our guests said they had fun too.  Here’s what happened:


Planning . . .

Back in May we began planning the event.  We designed an invitation to have pictures of our covers and a baby umbrella to boot.  We didn’t mention anything about selling or reading or signing our books.  This was designed as a day to thank our readers and friends who promote and support us.

Playing . . .

And then, on Saturday, Christine Goff, Catherine Dilts, and Pat Coleman each brought a baby shower game that they’d tweaked to be more in line with mystery/suspense writing to the event.  We had food, soft drinks and great attitudes to pull this off.  Thirty-five friends and well-wishers came.  No one knew everyone, but everyone knew we were all there because we love books.  How cool is that?

Word search at the partyPat Coleman led the way with a word search filled with words from each of our books.  The prize winner received copies of each author’s book and some tea and other tea-related items, because Pat’s new book is called Tea and Treachery. Yummy little mystery.

Catherine Dilts had us trying to cover ourselves up, by earning patches of cloth for bathing suits of the 1920’s.  You see, Agatha Christy was launching The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1920 and our guests were invited to the beach party she was having.  Can you answer some of these questions:

  • Do you ever read more than one book at a time?
  • Have you given a book as a gift this year?
  • How much (in pounds) was Agatha paid for her Styles book?

Catherine’s book, Stone Cold Case, is the second in her Rock Shop Mystery series, and she gave away a very cool ammonite with our books.

Thanks for all the help!

We couldn’t have done this without the help of our friends!

Christine Goff, who is branching out into a new, thriller/mystery realm, wrote Dark Waters from the memory of visiting the middle east several years ago.  Lee Child wrote on her cover, that this book is “altogether terrific.” Wow.

Chris had us all on a scavenger hunt around my house, looking for middle eastern and thriller/suspense objects.  She even had one person wear one of the objects. And the winner of this game received a garden water and rain gauge inside their basket of books.

Lastly, I had people try to solve a mystery by looking at a “crime scene.”  I’m attaching my photos of the doll house I set this up in so that you can try your hand at solving this:

  • Who is the victim?

    dollhouse murder scene

    Who done it?

  • How were they killed?
  • What did the victim collect?
  • What other hobby did they enjoy?
  • Who is the prime suspect & why?
  • Who the heck decorated the house? (Okay, this was a freebie–except that no one would take credit for that house’s decor!)

If you want the answers to these questions, let me know and I’ll send them along.

THANK YOU to all my wonderful hosts, guests, and reading friends for helping to make this book launch a huge success.

Now, let’s hope the sales will follow.

Wishing you a great and creative week.

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.