Thanks to everyone who shared comments and suggestions on the cover. I think together we came up with a winner. What do you think?
The ebook price is $2.99
The print version will be $10.99 when it becomes available (Soon!)
Thanks to everyone who shared comments and suggestions on the cover. I think together we came up with a winner. What do you think?
The ebook price is $2.99
The print version will be $10.99 when it becomes available (Soon!)
I’ve received about 100 responses on the covers, so far, and it’s neck-and-neck.
There is still time for you to register your preference and influence the final decision.
Tillie is drawn into an adventure that ends up being more than she bargained for while rooting out the truth about a supposedly accidental death.
BONUS: Recipe Included!
Matilda Thistlethwaite revisits a youthful dream and joins the local community choir.
She is pleasantly surprised when she is chosen as the new soloist and dismayed when she becomes a target of jealousy and soon finds herself embroiled in yet another mysterious crime.
When the choir director deviates from the chorale’s annual program and chooses new music, as well as a new soloist, the resident diva is incensed.
As a newcomer, Tillie remains unaware of the dangerous undercurrents swirling around her until she hears the shocking news of the lead soprano’s accidental death.
When making a condolence call on the woman’s stepson, her detective instincts kick in and she is convinced the death is no accident. She is soon on the trail of a killer.
Despite her crime-solving track record, will Tillie get in over her head, this time? She soon discovers that justice isn’t as simple as it had seemed.
A charming page-turner, perfect for fans of Jan Karon, Agatha Christie and Dorothy Gilman.
I’d love to have your comments on the covers and the book blurb.
And let me know if you would like to be considered to receive an Advance Review Copy when it becomes available.
Since I last posted to my author blog, I learned to make a face mask (and wear one without grumbling), changed both my email and website, and most remarkable of all, lost twenty pounds! However, that isn’t my most exciting announcement. I’m posting today to let you know that the latest Mrs. Thistlethwaite release is becoming a reality.
Although delayed by these interesting times we live in, the draft manuscript is with the editors and we are in the design phase for the cover.
This post is to give you a chance to help me choose the right look for this book.
In the book, dear Tillie joins a community choir where she warbles bravely with her fellow singers and encounters her latest crime to solve.
I am eager to get your ideas and suggestions in the comments below!
A few readers have asked for more stories about the pastors’ wives in the First Ladies Club of Bannoch, Oregon, so my new work will be the fourth book in that popular series.
This book focuses on a new member of the club, Hope Masterson. Hope, in her mid-thirties, was introduced to my readers in the first of the Tillamook Tillie series, Mrs. Thistlethwaite and the Magpie. She played an important role in the second book, as well, while teaching a senior citizen’s self-defense class in Mrs. Thistlethwaite and the Whippersnapper. In the most recent Tillamook Tillie mystery, Mrs Thistlethwaite and a Shadow of Doubt, Hope shares her excitement when telling Tillie about her engagement to Gideon Hopkins, a pastor in Bannoch (also introduced in “Whippersnapper”).
My new book begins a few months after the wedding and highlights Hope’s struggles to become what she considers to be a “proper pastor’s wife.” As an independent-minded ex-Marine, Hope fails to see how she will fit in as the First Lady of Mt. Zion Tabernacle, a one-time AME church which has only recently become a non-denominational community church. She faces adjustments to her new life, as well as peril when she runs afoul of local drug dealers.
I’m still considering what to call the book, but the current working title is Finding Hope. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.
As the eBook and Print on Demand phenomena hit the scene and began to grow, it created a new industry supporting and advising independent authors . Whenever I heard about a new site, tool, or technique I filed it away for the day when I would have time to read and try out the information, since I was working and spent my free time writing.
When the day came and I was able to quit my day job and devote myself to being an author, my first impulse was to dive into this backlog of advice and immediately implement all the wisdom I’d compiled. I was hopping off in all directions at once like a schizophrenic jack rabbit. I made very little forward motion in spite of all my effort and was becoming frustrated. Worse still, I wasn’t writing. Even though my first and still-favorite character is called Bunny, this system was not working for me. I needed to prioritize and take my time.
We are often reminded that writing is a marathon and not a sprint. Very few authors become overnight successes and many of the best spent years developing their craft, so I decided to slow down, forget about trying to immediately replace my previous salary with book royalties, and concentrate on writing the best books I can, while testing and implementing promotional practices one at a time.
The bit of advice I’m concentrating on at the moment comes from Stephen King: know your Ideal Reader. I’ve created a bio of this IR in order to get to know her better.
I have been utilizing Twitter for some time to promote my books and support other authors, with mixed results. Keeping Stephen King’s advice in mind, I am now focusing my own tweets on my Ideal Reader and only retweeting what I think the IR might find interesting. For instance, I know my IR doesn’t want books with half-naked men or women on the cover. She isn’t into vampires or zombies, either, but she’ll read a cozy with a ghost or witches, if there are enough cats in it. I don’t write those, but she likes them, bless her heart.
I’ll let you know how my new slow and steady system goes in a future post. Just be patient.
I moved to Wyoming in 2006 and have spent the last ten years exploring the state. My husband is a third-generation Wyomingite and has been a wonderful tour guide. I can’t believe I grew up so close to Yellowstone and the Tetons and had never visited them until I moved here. They are spectacular and should be part of everyone’s summer vacation at least once.
I haven’t lived in Alaska, but I’ve been to towns very similar in feel to my imaginary Coho Bay. Unlike many tourists, I spend a lot of my time talking to locals about what it’s like to live there – the good and the bad so I hope they’ll feel their time talking to me was well spent when they read the new book. I’m returning for another two weeks in May and hope to be back on a regular basis.
Different coaches have different areas of specialization. Mine is working with people who’ve been laid off. I help them explore what they’d like to do next. Some want to jump right back into the work force, doing pretty much what they’ve done before so I help them be more competitive in doing that. Others want to step back and think about their next move and I help them explore what they might want to do next, then map out a strategy to take them there.
My work in nonprofit human services, which I did before I became a Career Coach, bubbles up in Emma’s career as a therapist and in Jake’s work in juvenile justice. I very carefully don’t base people in the books on people whose stories I’ve been privileged to hear over the years, but what I’ve learned about mental health and about how the courts work does find its way into the books.
I have, at current count, seven cats and one incredibly patient dog. Ringo left me a couple of years ago and is now starring in my short stories about his exploits as a ghost cat. That cat had too much personality to say good-bye! One day he was sitting on the porch, flopped on his side in his lion pose, listening to my husband talking with his daughter and her fiancé. My husband made the mistake of saying that Ringo was too “fluffy” to catch a bird. Well, that cat stalked off the porch and was back not five minutes later with a bird! Caught and released, mind you, just to prove that he could.
I get emails and comments from readers who love that I write rescue animals into the lives of my characters. I’ve always had rescue animals and I absolutely love them. I’ve adopted kittens and puppies, but I have to say I’ve had the best luck with the adult dogs and cats I’ve brought home. They are much more easily introduced into the crowd I always have with me and they are so often passed by in favor of the babies. I encourage everyone to consider adopting an adult cat or dog.
I am looking at working with a small press for my Coho Bay series and we’ll see whether they like the book enough to offer me a contract. It’s a LOT of work being author and publisher in one and I would love to see some of that workload go off my shoulders. However, I won’t hesitate to publish independently in the future. It’s been a learning experience, but a satisfying one.
Two things helped me most. First, join a really knowledgeable and supportive author’s group. There’s so much to learn but you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Second, make the investment in an editor, even if only a line/copy editor. It makes a huge difference.
Carla Garcia, who is a graphic artist. I am her only covers. She normally designs websites and marketing material.
Coho Bay is with my editor right now. My next work is the fifth Jake and Emma book, A Body on the Ballot, which is currently in outline form. I am planning to spend a month in Texas next year, researching locations and culture as a setting for a work I’ve been tossing around in the back of my mind for more than a year now. I’d planned to write it after Death Changes Everything came out, but Coho Bay elbowed it’s way in and demanded to be written first. Books do that.
We will keep an eye out for Coho Bay and the next Jake and Emma. We have enjoyed sharing with you today, Linda. Thanks so much for stopping by.
Readers can sign up for notifications of new releases and promotions on your website, http://www.lindajcrowder.com/
See Linda’s Amazon Author page: http://smile.amazon.com/Linda-Crowder/e/B00A3AY5RG
I know some of you think the real April Fool’s Day falls on April 15, but that’s a discussion for another day. Today you are being put to the test to see how well you remember what you read (or is this a test of how memorable my characters are? Oh dear, the prank may be on me!).
Oh well, to carry on, below you will find a scene from one of the books in my Bunny Elder Adventures series of thrillers and mysteries. OR IS IT? That is the test.
After reading the scene, respond with a comment of TRUE or FALSE. Correct answers will be eligible to win a copy of my book.
I will read your comment and let you know if the scene is really from one of my books. If not, and you guessed True, or if it is an authentic scene and you guess False, my reply will be “April Fool!” If you guess correctly, my response will be, “Happy reading, and best of luck in the drawing!” If you wish to enter to win a copy of my award-winning ebook Vain Pursuits please email me at email@example.com with your preferred format (Kindle or epub) before midnight PDT April 4). The winner will be announced on this blog on April 5.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In order for you to be included in the drawing for my book, we will need an email address to send the book file. If you would also like to be added to my newsletter email list, please indicate that in your comment. If not, I promise you will not be added, and if you chose to be added, you may opt out at any time. I don’t spam or share your email address.
Thanks for participating.
The severely blonde flight attendant wrestled impatiently with her serving cart while making halting progress along the narrow aisle between banks of cramped gray seats in a Lufthansa Airbus high above the Atlantic Ocean. Turning from side to side she grimly dealt out pre-packaged dinner trays to the restless passengers. Although her icy pale hair and crisp blue uniform remained unruffled, the stewardess was obviously near the end of her tether from long hours of forced congeniality with the fretful mass of economy-class passengers assigned to her care.
A creased and crumpled, though still dignified, elderly man, inching back to his seat from a thoroughly disheartening visit to the claustrophobic restroom, inadvertently blocked the attendant’s forward progress. Peremptorily rapping the old fellow’s shoulder, she hissed sharply with Prussian authority, “You must not block the aisles! Return to your seat, immediately.”
With a gasp, the man recoiled, stumbled and landed without ceremony in the soft lap of a petite middle-aged woman. Mortified, he attempted to scramble to his feet, but the serving cart bumped him back onto his startled seat mate.
The old gentleman creaked stiffly to his feet as soon after the flight attendant’s passing as possible, trembling with humiliation and repressed rage.
“Please excuse me, madam. I am so terribly sorry. Have I injured you?” the man addressed his fellow victim in very slightly accented English as he attempted to regain his composure.
“Oh, no, not at all. I’m fine. Really. Don’t worry about it. That certainly wasn’t your fault. Brünnhilde’s assault would have done in a lesser man, I assure you. You are lucky to have survived,” Bunny Elder replied with a wry smile, as she straightened her khaki skirt and pushed a lock of graying blonde hair back into place behind one ear.
“Yes, well, it would appear there are reasons why this particular airline was never touted as part of the ‘friendly skies’.”
Prize & Giveaway
Prize and book giveaway starts April 1st. The winner of the $50.00 Amazon Gift Card will be announced on April 5th on the indieBRAG website.
Click on the indieBRAG Website starting April 1st and comment to enter for a chance to win a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card!
Each author is providing a print copy or e-book in the book giveaways. Be sure to visit their websites and comment on their post to enter a chance to win a copy of their book.
– The chance to enter for the prize and giveaways ends April 4th. The winner of the Amazon gift certificate prize will be announced on the indieBRAG Website on April 5th. And each author will announce the winner for their giveaways on their sites at the date they choose.
– You must be 18 years or older to participate in the prize & giveaway.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize and giveaway or a new winner is chosen.
As my readers know, I write about Christians in various stages of their faith walk. Believers who sometimes stumble when encountering temptation or confronting evil, but who get back up and keep pressing on.
All of my main characters, from Bunny Elder to Naidenne Davidson, Judy Falls and the other pastors’ wives of the First Ladies Club, and the ordained ministers, Merrill Bishop and Elizabeth Gilbert, are currently preparing to refresh their spirits and revive their faith in the upcoming celebrations of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Their church sanctuaries have been decked out with banners and lilies by their church women’s groups, the musicians have been practicing cantatas and other special music for weeks, the choir robes have been cleaned and the instruments are tuned in anticipation of the glorious event. Sermons have been prayed over, practiced and polished to present on this special day.
While the worldly may think Christmas is the highlight of the year, Christians know Christmas is just the prelude to the fulfillment of the Resurrection.
If you have the opportunity, I pray that you will take advantage of all the preparation and anticipation and share in all this joy and excitement by attending worship at a church near you this Sunday.
This month we are taking a closer look at the Reverend Doctor I. Merrill Bishop, introduced in A Body in the Belfry.
Character Name & brief background: Merrill, born Indigo Merrillanne Rose to hippy parents, has two brothers; older brother Wolf and younger brother, Sage. After spending their preschool years living in a tepee, a caravan and a couple of communes, the Rose children and their now middle-class parents moved to the Southern California suburbs.
Called Indigo as a child, Merrill decided the moniker “Indigo Rose” sounded more like an exotic dancer than a serious student and began using her abbreviated middle name in college, where she met and married William Bishop who was attending a nearby seminary.
Role in Story: Protagonist in the second book in the First Ladies Club series.
Occupation: After enjoying many years as the wife of a pastor, Merrill felt the call to ministry and went to seminary, obtaining her Master’s Degree in Theology. She assisted her pastor-husband until his death from cancer. As a widow, she joined the staff of a large Bay Area inner-city church. When we meet Merrill she has just been called to her first senior pastorate, the struggling First Baptist Church of Bannoch, Oregon.
Physical Description: Merrill has shoulder length blond hair, sprinkled with gray, blue eyes and a trim middle-aged figure. She is petite, but stronger than she looks.
Personality: Fun-loving and mischievous by nature, Merrill feels a responsibility to maintain a more serious demeanor befitting her role in the church and community.
Habits/Mannerisms: Merrill is determined to maintain her physical health with regular exercise, including long daily walks on the beach. She plans her wardrobe so as not to appear frivolous, but to seem approachable. Aware of the prejudices some hold against women pastors, she walks a tightrope trying to avoid offending anyone.
Internal Conflicts: Loneliness may be Merrill’s greatest conflict. As a still-vibrant woman, she longs for companionship and intimacy, but fears that becoming involved in close relationships would distract her from her ministry or even undermine her position in her church.
External Conflicts: Someone is killing people in her new hometown and may be targeting her church, the congregation, or Merrill, next.
If you read A Body in the Belfry and wonder what happens next for Merrill, you will be able to catch up with her and her friends in the First Ladies Club in the next book in the series, A Corpse in the Chapel, scheduled for publication this summer.
As you can see from the photo, we are in for a real treat today as we visit with the fun and unexpected Julie Seedorf, author of cozy-comic mysteries set in Minnesota.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Julie, and for answering a few questions for me and your many curious fans… I mean the fans are curious to learn about you, not that they are necessarily odd, you understand…(ahem) Maybe we’d better get right to the questions:
Well, this is surprising, Julie, look who just came in! Bunny Elder, what are you doing here? and who is that with you?
Hi, J.B. This is my pal, Hermiony Vidalia Criony. When we heard that you and Julie were getting together, we decided to add our two cents. Move over, ladies, and let us take your seats, so I can interview Hermiony. Put down the pitchfork, Granny, before you poke someone’s eye out.
As a woman of a certain age, I know numbers don’t matter, but just how old are you, Granny? – I am 25 but I am an undercover sleuth, you know, so I have to hide under this wrinkly body costume. Your kids seem to think you are on the edge of decrepitude, but you look pretty spry to me. – Do you remember Spry cooking oil? If you greased something up with that it would slip through your fingers. So as long as they think I’m, ah, that big word you used, then I’m just like the cooking oil, slippery, and I can slip things right past their noses. Just like they did when they were teenagers. You know what they say, payback is a *****.
Do you mind that Julie shares your secret passions – “naughty” books and lingerie – with the readers? I just hate it when J.B. tells everyone when I slip up or give in to temptations. A girl should have some secrets; don’t you agree? – I don’t mind, as long as my readers don’t tell my kids or Franklin or Silas. Oh wait, you probably haven’t met Silas. Anyway, if my readers tell my kids then I will put the kibosh on Julie telling tales.
Don’t your fancy purple leather pajamas sweat? Of course, the Oregon Coast where I live is warmer than Fuchsia, Minnesota.- Honey, I can’t answer that question for the readers because this is a G rated interview.
I envy your ability to eat what you want (all those chocolate truffles and doughnuts!) and not worry about cholesterol or extra pounds. Do you have an exercise regimen you can recommend? – Yup, you should try it sometime. You take your right hand, if you’re right-handed, and pick up a truffle or a donut and then you raise your right hand to your mouth, give it a twist and toss the truffle or the donut into your mouth. Then you lower your arm and hand, pick up another truffle and donut, give it a twist and toss. Great arm exercises. You forgot to add wine. I bend over my footstool, whip my arm in a big circle and open the footstool. Lift out the heavy bottle of wine, twist my wrist to pour it all while bent over, and then I lift the bottle back into the footstool, tap twice on the top of the footstool to make it secure and then I slowly unbend at the waist and lift the top of my body back up straight. Then I lift my right arm, grab my wrist with my left arm, open my mouth and gently move my wrists to tip up the glass and pour the wine into my mouth. I can give you a diagram sometime if you want to follow those exercises.
Julie provides you with some wonderful mysteries to solve, but your bad guys seem pretty tame compared to the nasty brutes J.B. gives me to deal with. Would you like a roommate? Ya know, I know it seems that way in the books, she tends to whitewash it, but if you knew what I really go through, but she insists this needs to be a cozy mystery so she refuses to tell the entire gruesome tale. Did you say broommate? You know a witch?
Well, thanks so much for dropping by, girls, so sorry you have to leave, right now. Bye, Bunny, bye, Granny! So long, see ya! – Whew! Please excuse that interruption, Julie. I know you understand how it is. We create these characters and before you know it, they have a mind of their own. Now, where were we? Oh yes:
Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Julie. It’s been great fun.
To learn more about Julie and her writing follow any of the links below: