giveaways

The Introverted Author, the Malice Domestic Convention, and a Giveaway!

Malice Domestic 29

To (liberally) paraphrase Austen: it is a truth universally acknowledged, that we introvert authors need to come out of our writing caves from time to time and interact with our fellows.

The Malice Domestic Convention fits the bill nicely for those of us who are mystery author introverts. Malice celebrates mystery fiction written in the cozy style, aka the tradition of Agatha Christie, and has been held yearly in Bethesda, MD since 1989. With its three days of panel discussions, book signings, awards, and social receptions, the convention draws authors and readers alike.

One of many signings, after the crowd had thinned and I could move around.

When I step into the space, I feel as if I’ve rediscovered my tribe. No one bats an eyelash over you bringing your takeout lunch to Luci Zahray’s (otherwise known as the “Poison Lady”) panel on the use of organophosphates to bump off someone (characters, of course). The audience was practically rubbing its hands and cackling with glee as she detailed the symptoms, the lack of a test to detect the compound, the difficulty in reversing the effects, and the ease of access to the poison (any Home Depot or garage sale…also, apparently DDT can still be found at the random garage or yard sale because folks don’t throw out ANYTHING).

Luci Zahray, “Poison Lady.” You can’t see the rat poison and other samples she had on display from this angle, unfortunately.

For the introvert, the nice thing about a convention is you can pick and choose when you want to converse. You can get a lot out of the convention by simply attending the panels and listening (not an option if you are ON the panel, of course, but then you signed up for that, LOL).

The hospitality lounge is a nice place to get yourself some coffee or tea and browse the long tables for bookmarks and promotional goodies that authors set out. I came away with a pen, a set of sticky notes, a disposable flashlight, and a hand mirror…all kinds of cool stuff! I had brought some of my own material for the hospitality tables, too: bookmarks of my Concordia Wells series, along with a basket of peppermint patties and individually wrapped tea bags with my logo sticker/web address on the back of each piece.

It’s hard to see the stickers here, but they were really cute. *wink*

I kept refilling the basket, but there wasn’t a candy or tea bag left by Sunday morning!

In between browsing the dealers’ tables, chatting with folks, getting my books signed, and going to the Agatha Awards dinner, I attended several terrific panels that weekend (there were many more I couldn’t fit in). Here’s a partial list to give you an idea:

  • Malice Go-Round: It’s Like Speed Dating, But With Authors (Attendees sit and relax while pairs of authors come to them, distribute bookmarks–and sometimes chocolate, and describe their series and new releases. Then the moderator calls time, they rotate to another table, our table gets a new pair of authors, and so on. One of my fave events).
  • Making History: Agatha Best Historical Novel Nominees (Authors nominated for the Agatha in the category of best historical novel talk about their books, their research, etc. A fab and funny group!).
  • Murder on the Menu: Food & Mysteries (Several food-themed series authors talked about their inspiration, where they get their recipes, and the funny coincidence of growing up in households where their moms couldn’t cook all that well…maybe compensation for a deprived childhood? *wink*)
  • Poison Lady (Described above).
  • Book’em: Book-Loving Sleuths (Kind of self-explanatory, but it’s amazing how many bookshop mysteries are out there!)
  • Murder Way Back When: U.S. Historicals (Loved hearing about research challenges and successes…I continued the conversation with a couple of the authors afterward, comparing databases we use).
  • Sherlock Lives! (I love reading about the Great Detective, and it was so much fun to listen to the discussion of the current pastiches out there, and all the SH societies).

Panel for best historical Agatha nominees. Catriona McPherson won!

 

The most meaningful event for me personally was the Mystery Most Historical Signing, held on Friday evening. Mystery Most Historical is this year’s Malice anthology of short stories, and guess what…a story of mine is in it!

“Summons for a Dead Girl” is set in September of 1911 in New York City, months after the devastating Triangle Factory fire, and features spirit medium/con woman Maddy Cartiere. The blurb and opening paragraphs below give you an idea of the story:

***

This book signing was an additional thrill because I was part of a large group of authors (many of them prolific and best sellers) who were also signing. The reader turnout for autographs was amazing, and it was such a privilege to chat with mystery fans while sitting in the company of award-winning authors such as Catriona McPherson, Victoria Thompson, Carole Nelson Douglas, and Elaine Viets!

Your typical group picture: someone looking away, someone’s eyes closed, someone waving a hand or fussing with something, LOL.

 

Short story author Keenan Powell was signing on my left. Such a nice lady!

 

The volunteer photographer got my blurry side, LOL. I never looked so good.

So, to celebrate the release of the Malice anthology (and my birthday, hubby’s birthday, Mother’s Day…so many excuses), I’m holding a…

Giveaway Drawing

May 9th-23rd

I’ll be giving away five (5) signed paperback copies of Mystery Most Historical!

To help with logistics, I’m using the Gleam giveaway service to keep things organized and make the random selections. All you have to do is click below to see your options for entering the drawing (you can enter multiple times, if you wish):

Anthology Giveaway!

Once the contest is over and the winners are notified, I won’t keep your email info for any reason. I respect your privacy.

However, if you’re interested in signing up for my author newsletter (sent out approximately 4 times a year to announce sales, giveaways, and book releases), I would love to have you on board! Here’s the sign-up for that:

concordia-1thru5

Sign up today, and receive a FREE novelette!

Thanks for signing up! Your email is in good hands, I promise. Once you have confirmed your subscription you’ll receive a thank you email with a link to my FREE novelette, NEVER SLEEP!
~KBO

Whew! This was a longer post than I usually write. Thanks for reading, and good luck with the contest!

~Kathy

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The appeal of the amateur, and a group giveaway!

 

 

Hi everyone! Today is the first day of a week-long, Amateur Sleuths Group Giveaway sponsored by Henery Press. The giveaway features books from 32 mystery authors, myself included (more on that below).

The topic of amateur sleuths got me thinking: why do readers and authors find the amateur so appealing? As a former lit professor, I couldn’t resist taking a stab at analyzing it. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Reader engagement:
    • When we’re talking about an amateur investigating a crime, there must be a powerful personal motivation for him/her to get involved in the first place. After all, why disrupt one’s comfortable life as a wedding planner/baker/teacher/knitter/what-have-you, when the police can do the dirty work? When it’s personal, it helps draw the reader in.
    • An amateur sleuth is a “regular joe” – an ordinary person without any specialized training in criminal detection. We as readers can identify more readily with such a character, looking on and sympathizing as the protagonist struggles to blend his/her personal life with this crazy investigation s/he has unexpectedly taken on.
  • Then there are the opportunities for conflict, suspense, and uncertainty, all crucial elements in a good mystery:
    • The amateur is caught unprepared, and struggles to deal with the emotional cost of learning unpleasant truths about those s/he is close to.
    • The amateur is likely to encounter resistance from friends, family, and the authorities in the course of investigating.
    • As an untrained amateur, our protag might very well make mistakes along the way. Could one of those missteps prove fatal? Bwahaha….

What could be more fun than making life harder for our favorite amateur sleuth, right? *wink*

So now…on to the giveaway!

April BookmarkIT Amateur Sleuth Group Giveaway

April 5-11th

Grand Prize: Kindle Fire and 32 ebooks (shown above)

1st Prize: 32 ebooks

…and there will be FOUR 2nd Prize winners, who will each be awarded 8 ebooks (randomly selected) from those listed above!

How to enter: It’s FREE! Simply click on the giveaway link, enter your info on the entry form online, and you’ll be notified if you win! It’s a great way to try out authors you may not have heard of, and you’ll get future info about releases and sales on new-to-you amateur sleuth mysteries.

So, what do you like about amateur detectives? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Kathy

Want to read more about amateur sleuths? Check out these posts:

Nancy Drew: girl detective, Master of Mystery

Miss Marple visits Masters of Mystery Monday

By the way, the Miss Marple post above includes a fun video spoof: Marple, Matrix Style.

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Research for the Historical Author

Research for the Historical Author

Hi everyone! I’m guest posting at Jami Gold’s site today, talking about my Top 7 online resources for historical research. Hope you can stop by!

Researching History for Fiction Authors

 

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up the latest Concordia Wells mystery, it’s available now at all the major online booksellers. Here’s a bit more about book #5 and what the lady professor is up to:

belovedandunseemlyebook

A stolen blueprint, a dead body, and wedding bells….
Change is in the air at Hartford Women’s College in the fall of 1898. Renowned inventor Peter Sanbourne—working on Project Blue Arrow for the Navy—heads the school’s new engineering program, and literature professor Concordia Wells prepares to leave to marry David Bradley.

The new routine soon goes awry when a bludgeoned body—clutching a torn scrap of the only blueprint for Blue Arrow—is discovered on the property Concordia and David were planning to call home.

To unravel the mystery that stands between them and their new life together, Concordia must navigate deadly pranks, dark secrets, and long-simmering grudges that threaten to tear apart her beloved school and leave behind an unseemly trail of bodies.

Available at your favorite online bookseller (buttons are clickable):

Thanks so much! Hope to see you at Jami’s place!

~Kathy

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Beloved and Unseemly Release Day!

Beloved and Unseemly Release Day!

It’s release day for Beloved and Unseemly! The book has been available for pre-order for the last few weeks. For those who have already ordered it, thank you! The book should now be loaded onto your e-reader. I hope you enjoy Concordia’s latest adventure.

Haven’t ordered the book, but interested in learning more about book #5 of the Concordia Wells Mysteries? Here’s the teaser:

belovedandunseemlyebook

A stolen blueprint, a dead body, and wedding bells….
Change is in the air at Hartford Women’s College in the fall of 1898. Renowned inventor Peter Sanbourne—working on Project Blue Arrow for the Navy—heads the school’s new engineering program, and literature professor Concordia Wells prepares to leave to marry David Bradley.

The new routine soon goes awry when a bludgeoned body—clutching a torn scrap of the only blueprint for Blue Arrow—is discovered on the property Concordia and David were planning to call home.

To unravel the mystery that stands between them and their new life together, Concordia must navigate deadly pranks, dark secrets, and long-simmering grudges that threaten to tear apart her beloved school and leave behind an unseemly trail of bodies.

Available at your favorite online bookseller (buttons are clickable):

Quote-a-day Countdown Giveaway

 

I started “The Twelve Days of Concordia” on October 22nd as a countdown between the time that Beloved and Unseemly was available for pre-order and its release date of November 1st.

Details of the contest can be found here:

The Twelve Days of Concordia Giveaway!

 

You all have been so supportive – subscribing, tweeting, sharing on Facebook, and replying in the comments sections. I’ve been keeping a tally along the way for the random drawing, and of course my loyal subscribers were added automatically to the drawing, too!

(Psst…want to subscribe? Click below)

Thank you to everyone who participated. I wish I could give books to you all!

 

concordia-audio

concordia-1thru5

Without further ado, here are the winners, selected via Random.org:

Terry Alford, Karen McFarland, Tresa Flynn, bendad2, ktnsteve, pragalba, dogmysteries, Celeste Schiller: your choice of any ebook or audiobook in the Concordia Wells series (including the new release!)

Patricia Rickrode, Jeanne Moattari: your choice of any ebooks/audiobooks

Mary Phillippou: your choice of any 2 ebooks/audiobooks, and a signed paperback copy of Beloved and Unseemly

Gail Malane: GRAND PRIZE! All 5 ebooks in the series and a signed paperback copy of Beloved and Unseemly 

Congrats to the winners! I’ll be sending each of you an email or Facebook private message (depending upon what info I have), asking for your preferred titles, file type, and (in two cases, for the paperbacks) your snail mail address.

A Special Request: Please Consider Posting a Book Review!

Reviews bring visibility on bookseller sites such as Amazon. Indie authors such as myself rely upon these online booksellers to promote our work when a prospective reader visits the site. From what I’ve learned, 50 is the magic number of reviews it takes for Amazon to start making our books more visible when customers browse.

Can you help? If you have purchased and read any of my books via Amazon (or anywhere else), you can post a review! And we’re not talking about anything lengthy or profound. Just your honest rating (number of stars), and a sentence or two. But it will make all the difference.

Happy November, everyone, and thanks so much for your support!

Until next time,

Kathy

Concordia logo FINAL small

 

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Day 12: The Twelve Days of Concordia

Day 12: The Twelve Days of Concordia

Welcome to Day 12 of the quote-a-day countdown giveaway, to celebrate the November 1st release of Beloved and Unseemly! To learn more about the lady professor’s adventures in book #5, along with details of the contest and prizes, click here:

The Twelve Days of Concordia Giveaway!

It’s the final day, you guys! Are you excited? Tomorrow I announce the 12 winners of the giveaway, and those of you who have already pre-ordered Beloved and Unseemly will find it -poof!- on your tablets, ready to read. I suspect that Concordia would have been a big fan of our e-reader technology. *wink*

Okay, on to the final quote!

day12-beloved-quote

Forward we go!

If you are celebrating Halloween today in your corner of the world, I hope you have a spooky-fun time!

See you tomorrow,

Kathy

pumpkin1

 

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Days 10 and 11: The Twelve Days of Concordia

Days 10 and 11: The Twelve Days of Concordia

Welcome to Days 10 and 11 of the quote-a-day countdown giveaway, to celebrate the November 1st release of Beloved and Unseemly! To learn more about the lady professor’s adventures in book #5, along with details of the contest and prizes, click here:

The Twelve Days of Concordia Giveaway!

Yeah, yesterday kind of slipped by me…the weather was so nice, and I had a ton of yard work (my back is paying for that right now, ugh). But judging from the search terms popping up in my blog stats, y’all are more interested in looking at barfing pumpkins right now, LOL.

So, time to do a little catching up…the contest ends tomorrow! Here is yesterday’s quote:

day10-beloved-quote

Uh-oh…

Here’s the quote for today:

day11-beloved-quote

A little tough love from the lady professor.

That’s it until tomorrow! Thanks for following along!

~Kathy

Concordia logo FINAL small

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Day 9: The Twelve Days of Concordia

Day 9: The Twelve Days of Concordia

Welcome to Day 9 of the quote-a-day countdown giveaway, to celebrate the November 1st release of Beloved and Unseemly! To learn more about the lady professor’s adventures in book #5, along with details of the contest and prizes, click here:

The Twelve Days of Concordia Giveaway!

Today’s quote comes from a dinner conversation:

day9-beloved-quote

Hmm, seems a bit awkward….

Happy Friday, and thanks for following along. Just a few more days before I announce the winners!

~Kathy

Concordia logo FINAL small

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Day 8: The Twelve Days of Concordia

Day 8: The Twelve Days of Concordia

Welcome to Day 8 of the quote-a-day countdown giveaway, to celebrate the November 1st release of Beloved and Unseemly! To learn more about the lady professor’s adventures in book #5, along with details of the contest and prizes, click here:

The Twelve Days of Concordia Giveaway!

Ready for today’s quote? Trouble seems to be brewing at Hartford Women’s College:

day8-beloved-quote

Brace yourself, Mr. Langdon.
See you tomorrow, and thanks again for helping spread the word!

~Kathy
Concordia logo FINAL small

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