Tales of Alice Town – and Braselton

My friend Steven Macon started a project called Tales of Alice Town, for which he invited a wide range of writers to submit stories about a fictional county in Virginia (one for which Steven set up basic parameters such as the names of towns, their population, and some key characters who live in those towns).

One of the rules was that if we added a character, other writers in the group could include that character in their own stories, but they had to remain true to the personality of that character as put forth by the original writer.

Great! So today, my story Ekkal Rorrim was posted as the second in the series. You might want to scroll down and read the first story (October 1st) just to get a feel for what a magical place Davis County is.

I have a few more stories floating around in my brain. Just need to get them written down. Maybe I’ll even be inspired to post some more here on my website (I know, I know; I’ve been way too lax about that).

In the meantime, I’ll be headed to Braselton Gallery tomorrow from 1:00 to 3:00 to join seven other authors in a Local Authors Extravaganza. If you’re in the area, stop by and pick up some great books. You’ll be able to spot me easily — I’ll be the one in the Scottish arisaidh, talking about A WEE MURDER IN MY SHOP.

authevent.pdf

AudioBook, New Cover, & Fireworks

Last night as I listened to the booms and ka-pows coming from the houses around me in this usually quiet cul-de-sac, I began to imagine that the Independence Day Fireworks heralded a new beginning. I’d already read the Declaration of Independence and the entire U.S. Constitution, the way I do every year on July 4th; I’d already sung America the Beautiful, God Bless America, and the Star-Spangled Banner; I’d already comforted the cat-terror over all the loud noises. Now it was time to reflect.

There’ve been some big goings-on in the world of Fran’s Books lately. I will be eternally grateful to all the people who’ve bought my books, who’ve shared the word with friends, and who’ve helped to keep the book-buzz alive.

AudioBook Cover
AudioBook Cover

Many of you have asked when audiobooks would be available. Well, the first ScotShop audiobook, A WEE MURDER IN MY SHOP, is available now for pre-order from Tantor Media. I have to admit I was surprised at the whimsical nature of the cover when my editor at Berkley Press sent me the notice, but apparently that’s the style Tantor uses for all the cozy mysteries they record.

The great news is that I’m delighted with the voice of Tanya Eby, the narrator. Listen to the sample audio clip from the book (just click on the “MP3 Audio Sample” button). I love what she’s done with this sample of Peggy and Dirk’s conversation. And now I’m confident she’ll do justice to all the voices — Peggy, Dirk, Harper, Karaline, and all your favorite characters in WEE MURDER.

AWeeMurderInMyShopAs I explained to a book club I’d been invited to speak to a few months ago, authors seldom have much input into what the cover of their books look like. Here for comparison is the cover of the print version from Berkley Prime Crime.

Even though this cover looks like a totally different book, I assure you, they’re one and the same!

I can’t wait to hear the finished result of the recording. I have no idea when it will be ready, so I’m not holding my breath waiting for it. I’m just continuing to write books — working on the 4th book in the ScotShop series and the 8th Biscuit McKee mystery.

WEE DOSE OF DEATH CoverDid you know the 2nd ScotShop book, A WEE DOSE OF DEATH, is available for pre-order? Yep! And here’s the (wonderful) cover to prove it.

Thanks for being a reader. Without you, I’d just be talking to myself.

 

 

 

Girls of the Mist Book Club

Yestereen (a word that’s been in the English language for more than 400 years–it means yesterday evening), I was invited the speak to one of the most successful book clubs I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. Many of the members are teachers, and everyone there was a joy for me to meet.

The Scot-themed book club event began with scones and shortbread, of course, as well as Scotch eggs and a wee dram or two. Someone had even brought Dirk’s favorite oranges, which as you may know (and if you’ve read my book you’ll definitely know) were a true delicacy when Dirk was alive in the 14th century. I was delighted with the thought that had gone into the presentation, and was even more delighted by the enthusiasm of the book club members.

They’d all read A WEE MURDER IN MY SHOP, and had lots of very illuminating questions about it, some of which surprised me. I was intrigued by their predictions as to what had been going on with Gilda, the ScotShop’s assistant manager, and several of them came up with suggestions that had never occurred to me — ones I’ll have to keep in mind for a future book.

They asked, of course, about several loose threads I’d left dangling. Why do I do that? Well, life itself seldom ties up everything with pat answers. In a mystery, it’s important to have the basic questions answered – who did it, how, and why. But sometimes there’s another why out there, and sometimes I like to leave that for people to wonder about.

Then too, there are the ongoing threads that will wind through any good mystery series. Those are the reason most people like to start with the very first book so they can see the threads developing. I love that sort of growth, where the characters change over the course of the series, where relationships develop (or fall apart), where people come and go, sometimes reappearing, and sometimes not.

These nine delightful women were like a gift. Women who read, women who obviously love books, women who teach, women who know the value of other women.

What more could anyone ask?