Friday, August 19, 2011

Onward and Onward and Prize!

I'm doing new things and setting new writing goals.

First news, Dan Case, from AWOC publishing is acquiring "Privy to Murder." It will have a brand new cover for it's re-release. Can't wait. It will be available as an e-book on Kindle and Nook and as a soft cover print book from AWOC

So I'm revising and editing Privy once more.

Then I'm going to rev-up the revisions for "Fairy Dust" so I can send it to Carina.

After that I'll attack Museums are Murder, see what sales are with Privy and Edit "Bloody Murder" for re-issue.

In September I'll be going to a Celtic Festival in Colorado for a Harp class, should be so fun, girl friends too-wine and gossip and cool weather. What an idea.

I'll keep you posted. In honor of the re-issue, one commenter will win an electronic copy of the original "Privy to Murder."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

News and Views

All kinds of things going on here.

I have the rights back for my Tali Books and Fairy Dust.
Doing a re-write on Fairy Dust and submitting it to a new publisher.
Have a short fantasy running around in my head.
Working on a new Tali Cates short mystery.
Deciding what to do with the novel length Tali Cates books. Kindle? Look for another publisher? Do I need to make them sexier or beef up the romance??

Lay-off potentials making me evaluate whether or not I could stay home, write, fit in some nonfiction since that is where the money comes from at the moment.

Even just a part-time job would let me write more. Everything always comes down to finances. Have to pay bills.

So, I'll keep you posted. How do you handle major career-life changes? They stress me out. I like the familier but maybe it's time for me to take a leap.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New for Tali, Mail Drop

Sara Sain John and I share a table.

AH, a victim (customer.)

Good news! I'm starting a new Tali Cates mystery, "Murder Most Fowl."
I will keep you posted when it's done and where to get it. This one will be shorter, 20 to 30,000 words. I love writing short and tight.

It deals with Murder of course, both the fowl and human kind. Should be fun. Wolves in north Texas.

I attended a book signing last Saturday. (See pictures above. Sara Saint James and I shared a table. Then we had lunch with other writing friends and had good food as well as wonderful conversation. Leaving the restaurant for 106 degree weather was not as fun. Couldn't touch the steering wheel or car door.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mystery Blog Tour- Anne K. Albert

Introducing Anne K Albert and her yummy looking mystery.

Bio: Anne K. Albert has taught high school art, sold display advertising for a small town weekly newspaper, and worked for a national brand water company, but now writes full time.

A member of the Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and married to her high school sweetheart for more than a quarter of a century, it's a given she'd write mystery and romantic suspense.

When not in her home office, she enjoys traveling, visiting friends and family, knitting, crocheting, and of course, reading.

Carol - What are your favorite books to read?

Anne - The same kind I like to write - cozy or gentle mysteries and romantic suspense stories. I can’t resist a puzzle to solve, a handsome hero, spunky heroine, and a happily-ever-after. It’s also very important to me that the villain gets his comeuppance in the end. Plus, I prefer that all morbid details, harsh language, and intimacy to be ‘off stage’. For that reason you won’t find any of those in my stories.

Carol - What did you hope to accomplish with your books?

Anne – All I’ve ever wanted to do is entertain the reader. If I can provide a fast paced story, bring a tear to their eye and a smile to their face, well, that’s all the better!

Carol –How would you describe your books to someone who has not read any of your previous novels? Anne - My stories chill the spine, warm the heart and soothe the soul – all with a delightful touch of humor.

Carol - Tell us about your book.

Anne – FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL is set the week before Christmas when the stress of the holidays is enough to frazzle anyone’s nerves. Tensions increase when a close friend begs Muriel to team up with a sexy private investigator to find a missing woman. Forced to deal with an embezzler, kidnapper, and femme fatale is bad enough, but add Muriel’s zany yet loveable family to the mix and their desire to win the D-DAY (Death Defying Act of the Year) Award, and the situation can only get worse.

Here’s an excerpt:

My cell phone blared from the confines of my purse. I dug to retrieve it, and then picked up. “Hello?”
“Muriel,” Aunt Val said. “Come home. Quick. I think I accidentally killed someone.”
“What do you mean ‘accidentally’?” Frankie accelerated, steering the Envoy into the outside lane of highway 290 and zooming past everything in sight. Including a police cruiser.
“How should I know?” I said. “Val hung up before I could ask for specifics.”
“She’s at your house?”
“I think so.”
“You think so?”
I checked the rearview mirror for flashing lights. “Slow down. You’ll get a ticket.”
“You’re more worried about a traffic violation than the fact you’re aunt just killed somebody?”
“She thinks she killed someone. Big difference.”
Ten minutes later, we arrived in my driveway. The Christmas lights I’d put up that morning stretched the full length of the front of the house and twinkled on the snow-covered shrubbery with wild abandon. I might have been impressed with my handiwork if not for Val and Big Boy standing guard beside the garage. In the shadows, I saw a body at their feet.
I climbed out of the Envoy and dashed to their assistance. Problem was I had no idea what to do. Dead bodies were new to me. As were missing persons, kidnappers and ransom demands. But I was learning. Fast.
“Are you okay?” I asked, as Frankie joined me.
“I’m fine.” Reigning Big Boy in by his collar, Val toed the body that lay face down in the snow. “Don’t know about him, though.”
“What happened?”
“I took Big Boy out for his evening constitutional. Got as far as your driveway, noticed you’d put up some lights and stopped to admire them. Then, I spotted someone crouching by the side of the garage. I figured he was a burglar, so I let Big Boy loose and, well, one thing led to another.”
“Such as?” Frankie knelt down to examine the body.
“Big Boy lunged at him. I thought he’d tear the guy to pieces. Turns out all he wanted to do was sniff his crotch. You know how dogs are.”
Yeah. We knew.
“Anyway, this guy wasn’t all that obliging. He tried to push Big Boy away. Big Boy pushed back. Then the guy fell backwards into that drift and I think he hit his head on Muriel’s gnome. See?” She pointed to a mound of snow. “It’s right there. You can see the top of its head. It’s the ugliest gnome I’ve ever seen.”
Frankie looked up at me. “You’ve got a gnome?”
“Gargoyle. And it’s supposed to be ugly. To ward off evil spirits.”
“Doesn’t ward off thieves or burglars,” Val pointed out.
Frankie placed his middle finger on the man’s throat. “He’s alive.”

Carol - Where can readers get a copy of your book?

Anne: (I’LL LET YOU ADD THESE LINKS, J) It’s available in e-book format now at Amazon,
Barnes and Noble, Smashwords,
or from my publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing. The print edition will be released in July 2011.

Thank you so much, Carol, for hosting me on this stop of the Murder We Write Blog Tour. I’d like to invite readers to visit my website or my main blog

If they drop by my Muriel Reeves Mysteries blog and leave a comment mentioning this interview, I’ll enter their name in a draw to win a pdf copy of FRANK, INCENSE AND MURIEL. I’ll announce the winner at the conclusion of the tour, sometime during the week of August 22, 2011.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Flowers and Dogs

Finally loaded pics of my yard so I can show you some of my favorite place, the patio and yard. Just because I love it. It's where I have coffee in the mornings, watch birds and just chill, at least on my days off.

The first picture is silly old dog Jasper. Then two yard views. If I dealt well with heat, I'd spend more time writing outside but I love early mornings and late evenings

Decided its time to write another Tali Cates mystery. So that's my current direction in addition to trying to sell to Woman's World.

New projects anyone? Or old projects you are going to renew? I've spent a lot of time exploring genre's but think I really want to go back to my first love, mystery with a paranormal element. So I need to start plotting away. I'm leaning toward making Tali's world and life a little darker and harder to deal with but don't want to give two much away.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mystery Blog Tour, Vivian Zabel

“Stolen,” is Vivian Zabel’s latestnovel. It’s a story, that for over 12 years was a true nightmare for Vivian and her family. “Stolen” is a story about a young mother’s effort to get her children back after they are “stolen” by her ex-husband.

Vivian’s advice for those wishing
to write a book…Bio

Vivian Zabel always has had a vivid imagination and, when a child, used it to tell her siblings and friends stories. As soon as she could write, she began to put those stories on paper. She wrote her first poetry when she was eight, and still writes it. Poetry was and is her therapy. When a “friend” laughed at her announcement that she would write a book someday, Vivian didn’t share her goal any more, but she didn’t stop planning on writing that book.
As she reared her children and was a stay-at-home-mother, with spells of working in the business world, Vivian wrote short stories, poetry, and articles, which were published. Vivian taught English and writing for 27 years and retired in 2001. Every year she taught, she attended writing classes, workshops, and clinics, not only to learn how better to teach her students, but also to hone her own writing skills. Finally in 2001 she was able to write full time and write longer works, after she retired from teaching.
At present, Vivian has six books to her credit, two co-authored. Her latest books are Prairie Dog Cowboy (written under the name V. Gilbert Zabel), Midnight Hours (written under the name Vivian Gilbert Zabel), and Stolen, released in November 2010.
Her interests besides writing include her family (husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren), reading, helping other people publish their books (through 4RV Publishing), and traveling.

As an editor for over thirty-five years, an English and writing teacher for nearly thirty years; an author with poetry, articles, short stories, and novels published over a span of forty-two years (with more than her share of rejections along the way) and the head of a small publishing company for over three years, Vivian Zabel experienced both sides of the submission experience. Since submissions for 4RV go to acquisition editors anonymously (only fair way to do the job), one of her submissions was rejected a couple of months ago.
Her publishing company 4RV Publishing produced the Oklahoma Book Award winner in fiction for 2010: Confessions of a Former Rock Queen by Kirk Bjornsgaard. Other books have received regional awards in their categories. 4RV has released children’s books, middle grade and young adult books, novels, and nonfiction books.
Vivian has also received emails from rejected writers thanking her for sharing evaluation comments that help and some swearing at her for being so blind she can’t tell wonderful writing when she reads it.
Since submissions for 4RV go to acquisition editors anonymously (only fair way to do the job), one of her submissions was rejected a couple of months ago.


Vivian’s blog:
Vivian’s website:
4RV Publishing
Orders (other than from bookstores, online suppliers)

1. Read!
2. Learn!
3. Write!

The result of a broken heart – a novel, the writing of Stolen

Over 14 years ago, two of my grandchildren were taken by their father. We had no contact with them, didn't know where they were, didn't know if they were alive or not. The pain nearly destroyed us. We loved them so much, and they were such major parts of our lives, my husband and I felt as if a chunk of our hearts had been ripped out. I can only imagine the agony their mother, our daughter felt. Something had to be done with that severe pain and despair. I turned to my therapy - writing. Stolen was born. Every year for 12 years, around the time they were last seen by anyone in the family, I would blog a letter to them, giving my contact information. A friend asked if he could spread my latest blog, November 2007, through the blogs of his friends around the world. Of course I agreed. Early 2008, I received an email, "I think you're my grandmother." Finally, the novel is released and a sequel will be possible. God does answer prayer; He just sometimes takes much long than we want. If you're interested in reading more about the book visit Also my website is .

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mystery Blog Tour-Regan Taylor.

This is the official beginning of the Mystery Blog Tour and my first guest is the lovely Regan Taylor with her book "The Glass Cage. " Regan, take it away. BTW-Love the cover.


As I sat down to prepare my post for Carol I took a moment to think about a few of the things she had mentioned about herself and what stuck out for me is that she has some younguns’ in her life. I don’t go into detail but she’s got some under eighteens that are pretty special to her. That led me to thinking about my aunt – kind of the reverse situation. I’m definitely over 18, but my aunt and I share the kind of bond I picked up about Carol and her family.

My aunt Carolyn is the last of my dad’s siblings still living. She’s an awesome woman and over the years I’ve not just heard but been a party to some of her best stories. She’s a fighter in terms of holding on to life and making every day count and has completely supported my writing career.

Two years ago she was going into the hospital to have a pacemaker put in and at 3,000 miles away I was concerned. There were so many things still to tell her and share with her and while the prognosis was good, she was, at the time 84. (She’s now 86 and still an avid reader, especially of my books.) She’d read my sweet western, Indentured Bride and seemed to like my characters. The Spell and The Glass Cage from my McKenna Crime series hadn’t come out yet – but she has said she liked them too. While preparing to go into the hospital and making sure she had enough reading materials she scoured the internet for what might tempt her. She came across my first book – the one I never talk about. Yes, it’s still out there but you have to dig for it.

My aunt was thrilled! She just couldn’t believe her good luck.

Neither could I. (not).

I panicked. I called her and told her not to read it. I called my cousins and asked them to PLEASE take the book away from her. In my world aunts who also happen to be former nuns (another story) aren’t supposed to read certain kinds of books. I was on the fence about the romantic suspenses because, well, sometimes in suspenses and definitely in mysteries, people die. Right?

We all went back and forth debating the wisdom of her reading the book – or any of my others for that matter simply because I had put a label on her age. Okay, that and her former profession or calling. It was my cousin, Mary, who I’m closer to than a sister, who was the voice of reason.

In her matter of fact way she said, “I can’t think of a better way to test out the pacemaker, can you?”

My aunt, however, had a different perspective. Her comment was, “Just because I was a nun 65 years ago doesn’t mean I don’t know the first thing about life and, after all, I did have four children.” And, I might add, in her now 86 years she has seen a lot, maybe more than most of us will in a lifetime.

She is still an avid reader – and for writers and publishers out there – large print. There’s a world of readers out there who would read a lot more if they had large print available for them.

And she is my hero.

You can learn more about my books at

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More from OWFI

Steve Berry's lovely wife, Liz, Executive Director of Thrillerfest in New York, in July.

The wonderful thriller writer Steve Berry surrounded by adoring fans, Nita Beshears, Amy Shojai and Carol Shenold as he takes time out of a busy day to pose with us, gracious as always. It's a southern thang.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Prom in the News

Invitation to prom on school wall.
Punishment dealt.
Boy banned from prom.
Media intervention.
Punishment recinded, changed.
Happy couple ready to dance.
The power of the press.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Conference pictures-OWFI 2011

Above-Lois and Joanna Tweedy. Left, Frank and Ron, can you tell it's happy hour? Me dressed for banquet.

Amy's Queen dress to the right, my booksigning below.

Amy and Joanna Tweedy, both sweet and beautiful. Me at my book signing.
I never seem to get the pictures placed right, must practice.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

OWFI and Beyond

OWFI conference was wonderful this year. We had a great time. I spent time with Amy Shojai, got to hear William Bernhart and Steve Barry as well as Liz Berry, great speakers. Also heard and visited with a lovely poet, Joanna Tweedy and her husband.

I was so impressed with Liz Berry, I'm making firm plans to go to New York next year for Thrillerfest.

Now, I have to buckle down, finish Dead Fairies--I know, I've said that before, write a mystery and romance for WW this month. If I could sell some, it would help pay for the NY trip. I decided not to let myself get distracted my any other projects before Dead Fairies is done.

I'll get conference pics posted here and on facebook this weekend.

Don't forget, the Mystery Blog Tour is coming May 23 and my first guest will be Regan Taylor

Friday, April 22, 2011

To Market, to market

We've all heard the words "write for yourself, not for market." Of course we all want to be read, to sell, so we run to where the "money" is.

I thought I'd learned my lesson when I tried so hard to write straight romance and mystery with no paranormal elements, since that was selling. Guess what, it didn't work for me. The minute I let the paranormal elements creep in, I had way more fun writing and it must have come through because I began to sell.

But I got tempted again. A call for Medical Romances went out for Harlequin. I couldn't resist. I've been a nurse since before most people I know were born. I know medicine, I'm a good writer, I could do this. So I did. One chapter went out and got a request for more. 60pages later I sent off a three chapter proposal with a synopsis.

I was rejected. They really liked my writing and my strong heroine. However, my hero just wasn't the Alpha-McDreamy they had in mind for the medical romance line and they suggested I submit again, with a new idea and new characters. As rejections go, this was an extremely flattering one.

Guess what I learned. I write strong, kick-ass heroines. I like having the unexpected magic happen. The romance is secondary to the mystery/adventure, even though the romance is there. I'm going back to what I love because I had to make myself write the romance. I was already thinking of ways to add murder and mayhem into the mix. I may write a paranoramal that involves a medical background and mystery some day, but straight romance, probably not.

What genre switches have you tried and what did you learn? Comment about it to win an electronic copy of one of the Tali Cates mysteries.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Stay tuned!
In just a few weeks the Mystery Blog Tour begins.
Each week a new author will be my guest.
Author Stars include:

Blog Host: CAROL SHENOLD Features:
Week #1, starting May 23 – Regan Taylor
Week #2, starting May 29 – Carys Weldon
Week #3, starting Jun 6 – Vivian Zabel
Week #4, starting Jun 13 – Anne K. Albert
Week #5, starting Jun 20 - Beth Anderson
Week #6, starting Jun 27 – Pat Browning
Week #7, starting Jul 4 – Sharon Ervin
Week #8, starting Jul 11 – Jackie King
Week #9, Starting Jul 18 – Mary Martinez
Week #10, starting Jul 25 – Marja McGraw
Week #11, starting Aug 1 – Jean Henry Mead
Week #12, starting Aug 8 – Marilyn Meredith

Tour day will be every Thursday.

I can't wait to see all the exciting things we'll have to read each week.

I'll keep you all posted where I'll be appearing each week.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow? Please don't.

Yes I'm still alive, hard to believe. This being trapped in the house, no sunshine, crises going on, all the pits. Beginning to hate snow. 3 or 4 inches not so bad, but 13 inches with blizzard winds? Seriously? We're in Oklahoma not Alaska. Snow in Dallas for super bowl, ice in Houston. The rate this is going, the end of the world, 2012 will involve snow and ice.

Enough whining. I have food, warm house etc. I have to think of the homeless with no choice except some shelter that they're afraid of.

I'm angsting about which book to finish first and what to do with them. I love writing Dead Fairies and at the same time I should finishe the medical romance. Plus I'm leaning toward trying a woman's world mini romance for fun.

Then do I really want to go for NY or another epub or is Kindle the way to go? There are Kindle authors who have gotten picked up by Bantam with advances. Right now, the idea of receiving all the money, not just puny royalties is definitely appealing. Of course all of this is moot if I don't finish one soon.

Thing is, I've made more from one nonfiction piece this year than I have for all my fiction. If I sold to WW, same story, more money than from all my novels.

So decisions are in the works as soon as I can melt the icecicles from out of my brain.

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