A goodbye to my little friend

Six months ago, on March 12, my little dog H passed away. I was very lucky to have this mini schnauzer in my life for 15 years. She has, and will always be, an inspiration for the fictional dog, Laude, in my Nathan Miccoli Mystery series.

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My mother always said she should have lived with seven year old twin boys. But I disagree. She was always meant to be with me. She was the calmest spirit I’ve ever met. She never met a stranger. People are still stopping me in my neighborhood to ask for her.

She loved every holiday — she would wear a Halloween costume and never fuss. Here she is in her favorite, the Snow Queen. (In other years, she was Mickey Mouse, a student at Hogwarts–she’s a Hufflepuff of course, a bumblebee, a witch…the list goes on as does the photographic proof:)

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She was my little Easter bunny too (& would get into everyone’s Easter baskets!)fullsizeoutput_110

It has been six months without her and I still miss her everyday.

She will be missed. Always.

 

The next Nathan Miccoli book…

IMG_0421The next book in the Nathan Miccoli Mystery series has been sent to beta-readers!

The Feedback from one beta-reader is already back — “Great-Great”.

My cover artist is working on the cover. I sent an image to her for inspiration of the cover, her response — ‘I really like this! It is eerie and a bit creepy.’

Gone But Not Over, book 7 in the Nathan Miccoli mystery seriesis expected to be out later this year!

Some secondary characters are in it…who do you hope you see?

 

A R

 

 

It’s coming…

I’m back from the 10th Writers’ Police Academy, held in Green Bay Wisconsin. I’m always faced with challenges there. Do I attend ‘Back from the dead’ taught by Dr. Lofland or ‘Truth or Lies: The Art of Interrogation’ taught by Paul Bishop? Or ‘Behavioral Clues at Crime Scenes’ taught by Dr. Ramsland or ‘Constitutional Law: Traffic Stops’ led by Judge Rathburn? There are classes on undercover work, car fires, human trafficking, bloodstain pattern/spatter investigation and the list goes on and on.  ‘Car fire’ sounds interesting….I won’t say why.  If mystery writers write about it, there’s a class on it at the Writers’ Police Academy.  Thank you to Lee Lofland and the many volunteers for organizing another educational and fun event. Thank you to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and their staff for hosting the event again.

Needless to say, I’m ready to write. Are you ready to read?

The next novel in the Nathan Miccoli mystery series is coming….but there’s another book to be published first.

A legal thriller. Available at the end of September.

Check back for more information soon! Including the title and cover reveal!

Happy Reading!

A R

Author photos

For years, I’ve used a nice picture of myself with my dog on the beach as my photo on my website and social media accounts. My mother, who is not known for her photography skills, took it one New Years Day. You can barely make out my face.  I liked it that way.

While querying a new novel (translation: sending a letter to agents with a short description of my new legal thriller & receiving impersonal rejection letters), I’ve read a few books on having success in publishing. There’s a lot of talk about building your platform, social media strategies, etc. One thing mentioned frequently was having a professional author photo. I can’t imagine choosing a book based on an author’s photo but to each their own I guess.

The thought of taking author photos didn’t sound too appealing but it was more appealing than spending more time on social media.

First, I asked my editor for a referral. That person never got back to me. For over a month, I left it at that. I tried, didn’t I? Something prompted me to look for another photographer. And I started where I start most searches–Google. One of the first results, jordanadam.com, was in my town. Turns out, we live on the same block!

Jordan returned my email promptly. We spoke in a few days and we set up an appointment that week. That was the easy part.

I’ve read a few posts on a list-serv I’m on for writers (The Guppy chapter of Sisters in Crime) about how to prepare for the appointment. There’s lots of advice.

Practice your pose in the mirror. I didn’t.

Be comfortable. I found that to be unlikely.

Bring props. No thank you.

Since I was investing in new author photos, I figured I should have it done right and made an appointment to have my hair and makeup done. Jordan was surprised I was getting my makeup done. I didn’t feel the need to tell him my utter incompetence in doing my own hair and makeup.

Fortunately, I did have people I’ve known for years do my hair and makeup. MJ (at Vivo Salon, Island Park, NY) applied my makeup. I told her a brief story before she began. I’ve had my makeup done professionally 3 other times in my life. After 2 of those times, I was told that I looked like I could work on a street corner. That is not hyperbole. It is actually what was said. (Thank you Mom and Eli). MJ laughed and assured me she wouldn’t go wild.

I spent days fretting about what to wear. ‘Be comfortable’ could go many ways. You are talking to someone who wore yoga pants to work last week. (And no I am not a yoga teacher.) In the end, I chose jeans and a T-shirt, because other than New York Mets shirts and shorts, this is what I’m usually wearing.

I was relieved when I left the salon and the ladies told me I looked nice. (Thank you Norma for fixing my hair. And thank you Maggie for always doing a great job.) The relief didn’t last as I realized that was the easy part. I didn’t have to do anything. I was terribly nervous to meet a stranger and have him take pictures of me.

Jordan quickly put me at ease. Most of the passersby on the boardwalk and beach didn’t even notice & none pointed and laughed. I gave him one order– “I don’t want to be too smiley.” I was really looking for an author photo like Stephen King’s. Without telling Jordan my motivation, I sat on a bench and channeled Stephen King. Jordan showed me the pictures in the viewfinder. Turns out the serious face doesn’t look so great on me. So smiling it is…but not too smiley.

Moral of the story-

If you need a professional photographer, and live on Long Island, check out jordanadam.com

If you need to be made beautiful for said photographs (or any other event) and live on Long Island, check out vivosalonny.com

You’re not getting any younger, take those photos now!

A RIMG_8118

The Golden Donut Winner

I’m pleased to announce I won the Writers’ Police Academy Golden Donut Short Story contest. The challenge – write a story about the photograph below using exactly 200 words, including the title.

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Hide and Seek…

“Found!” Bryce yelled.

“Time to go!” their father hollered. “No more of your games. The tour starts in thirty.” The trio headed to the penitentiary. “I must be some big shot to get us on the first tour ever.”

The boys marveled at the old, now closed, jail. All the places they could hide. All the hours they could play.

The tour guide prattled on about the jail’s history, its famous inmates and one inmate never found. Convicted murderer Oliver Seaver. “Escaped, dead, or still here? We do not know.”

Reign and Bryce trailed behind, bored.

The guide continued, “Some say they still see him wandering the halls.” He cackled, scaring no one. “Is it his ghost? Or is he still here?”

“Hide and seek?” Bryce whispered.

Reign nodded and started to count. “Ten…nine…”

Bryce hid under a bed and waited. He heard Reign’s calls. And he remained hidden.

He heard his father’s calls. And he remained hidden.

Bryce heard the jingle of keys and the cell door closed. The lights shut off.

The museum closed for the night.

Leaving Bryce still hidden under the bed.

And then he was found.

But not by his brother.

 

Thank you to Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series, for choosing my story.

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Thank you to Lee Lofland, for organizing another educational, fun and well run event.

Writers– BUY his book.  It’s a great resource.

https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Lofland/e/B001JRUKC6/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

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Thank you to Linda Lovely & Howard, WPA volunteers, who presented me with the award on Sunday morning.

Readers– BUY her book.

https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Lovely/e/B0052O1H1U/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1502709646&sr=1-2-ent

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Someone in the crowd asked where I was during the Saturday night banquet, when the winner was announced.

 

Listening to the Mets game of course.

Goddess Fish Promotions

Thank you to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing my blog tour.

Thanks also go to the great blogs that hosted me and ‘Gone But Not Missed’ for the tour.

Readers – Today is the last day to enter the raffle for a gift card.

Also, check out the blogs below on new and exciting reads.

January 30: Fabulous and Brunette
January 31: Welcome to My World of Dreams
February 1: T’s Stuff
February 2: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’ – review
February 3: Edgar’s Books
February 6: Christine Young
February 7: Book Giveaways
February 8: fundinmental
February 9: Hearts and Scribbles
February 10: The Avid Reader
February 10: Rainy Day Reviews
February 13: EskieMama Reads
February 14: BooksChatter
February 15: Long and Short Reviews
February 16: Romance Author Hear Me Roar
February 17: Booklover Sue

Writers – Check out goddessfish.com for great promotional tours, at reasonable rates.

A fellow writer told me about her positive experience with Goddess Fish and I concur.

 

Today is the last day GBNM is on sale, ebook 99cents.

Happy Reading,

A R