Meeting Myself

Edith here, half high (no, not THAT kind of high…) and half exhausted north of Boston.

My eleventh mystery officially released on Saturday. Called to Justice is my second Quaker Midwife Mystery and I’m delighted by the reviews and cheers it has received so far. Any regular reader here knows that my tenth mystery came out only two weeks ago, and I was confronted with how to celebrate two books (under two names in two series from two publishers) at once.

So I held a double launch party at my fabulous local independent bookstore, Jabberywocky Bookshop in Newburyport, MA on Friday night. To top off the celebration, I’ll give away an advance copy of my third spring book, Mulch Ado About Murder, to one commenter today!

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Owner Sue Little is super supportive of local authors and readers everywhere. When I mentioned I wanted to interview my alter ego Maddie Day  – and vice versa – she thought it was a great idea.

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With Sue Little

I found an Indiana cap, and brought my Quaker bonnet. I baked gingersnaps from the late 1800s (Fanny Farmer helped with the recipe) as well as Kahlua Brownies Robbie Jordan might serve in her country store restaurant (recipe in Flipped for Murder). I assembled a few door prizes. And I wrote up a number of questions for Maddie and me to ask each other.

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The audience kept building. I spied local writer pals, a bunch of Quakers, fans I’d met at previous library events, and more.

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Writers Connie Hambley, Mary Schaefer, Nancy Langmeyer, me, Laurie Mendoza, and Holly Robinson

My darling son JD helped dole out raffle tickets.

I’d started speaking when two Wicked Cozys slipped in – Julie Hennrikus and Barb Ross, having battled traffic all the way up from the Boston area (we three slipped out for a drink and a late dinner afterwards, too).

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It was one of the more fun launch parties I’ve held. People seemed to like the alter egos talking to each other.

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After my script was done, I read a short first scene from each book, and then entertained lively audience questions.

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Afterwards? Wine, dessert, and signing books, of course.

And if anyone not local to north of Boston wants to order a signed copy of Called to Justice, please consider doing it via Jabberywocky! Just make sure to request a signed copy in the comments when you check out.mulch-ado-about-murder

Readers: Thanks to everybody for helping me celebrate! Which authors have you helped celebrate launches – or wished you had? Writers, favorite launch parties? Tips and downfalls? Remember, I’m giving away an advance copy of my third spring book, Mulch Ado About Murder, to one commenter today!

Where Are the Wickeds?

First Saturday: where are the Wickeds appearing this month? In person or in cyberspace, anything goes.

Edith: Busy month for me! April 8 at 7 PM I’ll be at Jabberywocky Books co-launching Delivering the Truth with Elizabeth Atkinson and her new middle-grade novel, Island of Beyond. April 10 is my historical walking book launch at 1:30 through the streets of Amesbury with readings at several spots in the book, followed by a book party at Crave Restaurant from 3-5. Join us! On April 16 I’ll be teaching “So You Want to Write a Mystery” at the Fairfield County Writers Studio from 9:30-noon. April 17 I’m hosting Sisters in Crime New England’s Member Reads from 2-4 at the Amesbury Friends Meetinghouse. On April 20 Barb and I share the book stage at the New England Mobile Bookfair at 7 PM. And on April 28 I head to Malice Domestic in Bethesda, where I’m nominated for an Agatha Award.

Cyberspace-wise, watch these spots: 1 April Omnimystery News. 3 April Auntie Em Writes, Mystery Lovers Kitchen, and my usual spot at Killer Characters. 7 April Drus Book Musings. 8 April Mysteristas. 9 April Shelley’s Book Case. 10 April Rocco,  Melina’s Book Blog, and my normal spot at Midnight Ink Writers. 12 April Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers, Cozy Up with Kathy. 18 April Jungle Red Writers. 19 April Writers Who Kill, and 25 April Stiletto Gang.

Liz: I’ll be visiting the Club Hen House blog again April 21, then heading off to Malice Domestic also on April 28. I’ll be on the Small Town Murder panel on Sunday at 10.

Sherry: I’m so excited to be with Julie, Jessie, and Sheila at the Adapting to Hollywood Sisters in Crime Conference through Sunday, April 3! We are having a great time!

Solo Retreat

Edith, all by herself gazing out at the Ipswich salt marsh.

View from the living room.

View from the living room.

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LaBelle in the living room.

Despite the joy and exhilaration of having a new book out – which really never gets old, even though this is my fifth published mystery novel – I do have more books to write.

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Rumpole in his chair.

I have a dear friend who lives alone in a lovely small house on a quiet dead-end road facing some of the salt marshes common to the town where I previously lived. She has three elderly rescue cats and likes to travel. I had mentioned to her that if she ever wanted me to come and cat sit, I’d be happy to. Sure enough, she’s off to New York for the week with her good friend to celebrate their eightieth birthdays.

IMG_20150603_084052_835So I have five days here alone at a kitchen table with my laptop, my cadaver friend, some simple meals, a box of wine, gorgeous scenery, and a mystery to write. I can see marshhawks, hummingbirds, and egrets, and hear crows outside and a cat dreaming inside.

I set the timer for an hour and do sprint after sprint, after the fashion of Ramona DeFelice Long. Better yet, the only internet access is at my friend’s desk in another room, so I am much less distracted by my Facebook addiction and the other lures of cyberspace. To check the Interwebs, I have to stand, walk across a room, up two steps, and into another room.

Jeeves catching a spot of sun.

Jeeves catching a spot of sun.

I take a walk outside now and then, maybe even venture over to Crane Beach or take my old walk along Labor in Vain Road. But mostly I’m head down cranking out some serious word count – 8000 new ones since Monday afternoon (will report in again at end of day). I’ll head home on Friday, just in time to get ready for my book launch party at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport (June 5 at 7 PM) – you’re all invited!

Thanks so much to my fellow Wickeds and all the rest of you fabulous readers who have offered congratulations and enthusiasm for my books this week and last. I’m on a two-week blog tour with Great Escapes Book Tours – schedule here – with lots of giveaways, in case you’re interested. Now, it’s back to the salt mines.

Readers – Tell us about your favorite retreat spot. Your dream getaway, even!

Wicked Cozy Road Show

Edith, north of Boston and LOVING summer.

photo 4A couple of weeks ago four of the Wicked Cozy Authors took the show on the road (for Edith, it was only one town away, but the rest of us had to drive an hour or two. Or three.). Jessie, Edith, and Liz were on a “Delicious Night of Cozy Mysteries” panel at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Julie moderated and several dozen folks turned out from all over the North Shore and New Hampshire.

And, if we do say so, we rocked it. Mostly due to having a tall, gorgeous, photo 5seasoned theater person (Julie) leading the discussion, but also because we’re good friends, we know each other’s writing and publication journeys, and we like to have fun. We sold books, we had a glass of wine with our audience afterwards (thanks to Jabberwocky’s Sue Little for that!), and we went home happy.

We realized we could do this again. And again! It would have been a lot better with Barb photo 4and Sherry along. Schedules and home addresses butt in, however, and next time it will surely be a different mix of four out of six.

Wickeds, what did you think?

Sherry: I wish I could have been there and hope next time I am! You all look fabulous!

Julie: First of all, a big thanks to Jabberwocky for hosting us. What a great bookstore. Well worth a visit. Secondly, I loved moderating. Third, we do have fun together, and I hope the audience had a good time too. I think they did. It was really fun to talk to folks afterwards. And last, I am really freakishly tall, aren’t I? (Note to self: take the glasses off your head before a photo is taken. Yeesh.)

Liz: Yes – thank you to Jabberwocky! Love this bookstore and this town and wish I could visit more often. I was the one with the two-hour drive to do this panel, and it was so worth it. I love being with my Wickeds (although we missed Barb and Sherry!!) and we had such a great conversation. And Julie, you look awesome as always.

Sherry: You were with the three short Wickeds, Julie. You needed Barb and me there — then you’d look normal!

Barb: I wish I’d been there!

Edith: We do, too, Barb and Sherry.

Jessie: It was really nice to visit with all of you and with so many enthusiastic mystery readers. The turnout was great and so many people stayed to chat afterwards that it made the event even more fun. The only way it would have been better was to have Barb and Sherry there with us!

Readers: Want to schedule a Wicked Cozy Night of Mystery at your library or bookstore? Just let us know. What questions would you ask at such an event? Curious about anything else? Ask away.