Tag Archives: mystery novel

A Gift and My Interview

After six years with Solstice Publishing, I have decided to no longer renew the contract for my mystery novel, Stranger or Friend, but rather do it on my own.

It was an honor signing with Solstice, being given an editor and added to their catalog. The book did very well, earned a lot of reviews – editorial and readers.

The book was also voted P&E best mystery novel.

Whereas entering the publishing world felt at once exciting and confusing, regaining control feels liberating. Cover design, formatting, upgrades, promotional decisions all required publisher approval. Author requests weren’t always approved – for example my request to update the upload after the first try messed up the text. It’s a business, I understand.

The book distribution stopped as we the parties tried to decide the next steps.

Now, Stranger or Friend is back in the Amazon.com world with a new cover, and formatting issues fixed.

To mark the event, Author Linda Covella hosted me for a candid conversation. Take a look, if you will.

And to celebrate, the novel is FREE to download starting tomorrow December 21st till Christmas. Here is one of the clickable links taking you directly to the book.

My gift to the mystery reader on your list.

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New Book Cover – I need your help

My mystery novel, Stranger or Friend, will be re-released under new cover and with a few minor additions to the story a couple of weeks before Christmas, 2021. So, in just a few short weeks.

The story takes place right around Christmas time, after all.

As of now, I have two covers to pick from. I love both. So, I’m torn. Would love your opinion, choice, whatever you’d like to add.

So ….

Here we go, and thank you for your help:




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What in the World?


What does sending a new book out into the world entail? A lot of hits and misses.  Comedy of errors. Insert favorite cliché.

It also involves marketing, which I am learning about at headache-inducing speed. But that’s apparently what we’re supposed to do while having a book on pre-order, and ahead of release date. Luckily, I find this new, enthralling dance fun. So far, anyway.

While going through the ‘to-do’ list ahead of release, I started with goodreads and updated my profile, as instructed.

Voila. So easy, I thought, let’s explore the site.

As I clicked away, there was a part about inviting folks to my page/book, so I clicked and it opened my gmail contacts. I clicked okay, and before I knew it an email was sent to everyone on my gmail contact list, with this message: “check out my book.”


I hate spam.  So, if any of you were affected by this oversight, ignore and forgive me. I’m still learning the ropes.

Next on the ‘to-do’ list was a twitter chat.  If someone had articulated this term to me last year, I would’ve shaken my head at the weird word combinations.

Luckily, I have heard of twitter chats when we chatted our hearts away ahead of the blogging challenge. Thank God for blogging.

Fine, I replied. I will chat on twitter, if you want me to.

An hour later, another message:  Okay, you’re on for our twitter chat, Friday March 13th (why Fri. the 13th, of all days?) at 8:30 Central, 9:30 Eastern. Meaning 6:30 AM my time in CA.

Is there no end in sight to this strangeness, you ask?

No idea.  What I do know is that I have a hashtag for tomorrow’s twitter chat, which is #StrangerorFriend. If you happen to be at your computer, and feel like stopping by, come chat with me and my publisher on twitter. It’s something like a short, informal Q&A.

I’m afraid to look at the next item on my ‘to-do’ list.

There Comes a Day: Stranger or Friend


In the middle of preparations for the blogging challenge — scanning photos, thinking up words that start with letter Q — my publisher sent this message:

“Your book link is live,” and the link followed. There was more to that email, but I don’t remember another word. I clicked on the link, and there it was.

The mystery novel I’d spent somewhere in the neighborhood of five years writing, re-writing, editing, and shopping around. Available for pre-order on amazon.

The novel will be released on March 24th, but pre-orders help an author (especially a newly published one like yours truly), move up the amazon ranks.

Here is a short excerpt from Stranger or Friend, published by Solstice Publishing:

“Across the gravel road Zoe’s childhood home looked smaller, as if shrunken under the weight of life. Smoke from the chimney caught the moonlight in a slow dance, blurring into the night sky. A place of happiness, but Zoe knew better. She pushed the car door open and stepped out, ready for her final visit home.”

There comes a day, an old friend once said, when you will understand that writing the book was the easy part. :)