Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ain't Nothing Like a Dame

Is there anything better than a pajama party with fun girlfriends?

That's exactly what my Dangerous Dames tour of North Carolina has felt like this past week. My pals and fellow mystery authors, Julie Compton and Joanna Campbell Slan have been fabulous traveling partners. North Carolina resident Molly Weston, our escort, den mother, and psychological counselor, has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Not only has she put us up (and put up with us), she's told funny stories, stuffed us full of wonderful, fattening food, and brought in wonderful readers from all over North Carolina's Triangle to share in the fun. What else could you ask of a pajama party planner?

The PJ party comes to mind as Julie and I sit here on the last morning at Molly's house.(Joanna left yesterday, and we miss her!) We're both in our pajamas, clicking away on our little netbooks, sipping our hot beverages of choice (tea for me; coffee for Julie). Writers spend half their life in their PJs. The other half, they spend gussied up, going out to book signings and events to talk about the book they just spent a year writing.

The picture above features the gussied up Dames, Molly at the left, Joanna, me and Julie. I'll spare you the photo of us in our PJs, robes and fuzzy socks, sans make-up, hair products or glamor. That's the image, though, that I'll remember: gathered around Molly's kitchen table, the Dangerous Dames in their natural state. Just a quartet of gal pals throwing a PJ party.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Big Ol' Blog Tour, 2011

Somebody's got to help me remember where I'm supposed to be guest-blogging (it's clear I haven't remembered to blog here, at home room, for a good little while!)

Today is the official release date of MAMA SEES STARS, the fourth book in my funny, Southern-fried Mace Bauer Mystery series. All the kids are doing blog tours, so I thought I'd try one, too. But I'm old, and kind of lazy ... so not only am I not making that many stops, I've also screwed up the scheduling through failure to plan and memory lapses.

Hence, I have lots of days with no stops, and a few days with too many stops. Sigh.

Anyway, I'm putting a list here of where I'm supposed to be, and what I'm supposed to write about (either as the fictional Mama character or the relatively real me). I think I can remember my way back to Mystery Gal to check from time to time to see if A, I'm who I thought I was, and B, at the tour stop where I'm supposed to be.

Do check out some of the wonderful bloggers so graciously hosting me:

MAMA SEES STARS Big Ol' Blog Tour, Sept-Oct 2011

Sept. 8, Launch Date:
Mama on Aromatherapy: Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers

Interview with Gail Shepherd on her blog about writing, PARADOXY

Profile by Jackie Minniti, Fabulous Florida Writers

Sept 9:

A Day in the Life of Mama, at the blog of super reader Dru Ann Love.

Bling My Boa, at the Midnight Ink Writers' Blog, Inkspot

Sept. 12:

Five Great Public Speaking Tips for Writers, at Elizabeth Craig's terrific blog, Mystery Writing is Murder

Sept. 15:

Guest at Barnes and Noble's online Mystery Book Club. Moderator: Becke Davis

Sept. 23:

''Watch for Falling Logophiles,'' at Cozy Chicks.

Oct. 13:

Guest Blogger at Meanderings and Muses, with the fabulous Kay Barley.

Oct. 23:

Sweeeeet!, Deborah on Movie Candy at Mystery Lovers Kitchen

Oct. 31:

Mama's Horrifying Halloween at Killer Characters

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sparkle Power

Do you think Sue Grafton is running around her house today, trying to find something dressy to wear on Saturday night, along with a pair of black pants that don't make her look fat?

On the eve of Malice Domestic, an annual conference for fans of mystery novels, I'm still wading through piles of clothes in my bedroom trying to choose the least hideous things to pack. Don't get me started on shoes. Comfy = ugly. Cute = tortuous. I usually opt for comfort. I'm packing a pair of bright pink Nike sneakers. 'Nuff said.

Grafton is the author of the zillion-seller Kinsey Millhone series (From A is for Alibi, all the way to U is for Undertow, so far). On Saturday night at the conference, which annually draws some 500 mystery aficionados, Grafton will receive a lifetime achievement award from Malice Domestic's board of directors.

I can't wait to see what she's going to wear.

I myself may have gone a bit overboard on the Saturday sparkle. Witness the jacket pictured above, a little number I unearthed for $15 at a thrift store. I always like to imagine who might have worn these ''gently used'' frocks before I found them. My husband is convinced this jacket belonged to a magician's assistant. When the stage lights bounced off those green, purple and silver sequins, all the better to distract -- or maybe blind -- the audience from his magical sleight of hand. Either that, or it was a cast off from a performer who rode horses in the circus.

"Maybe the former owner wore it on an exotic cruise,'' I said.
"Yeah, that would have to be Carnival Cruise Line,'' he said.

What a kidder.

I know the jacket is a bit (okay, a lot) over the top. I know it fairly shouts ''Come to the Carnival! Look at me!'' But, hey, I have to do something to stand out from the crowd of a couple hundred mystery authors who will be at Malice Domestic. If I had a whole alphabet worth of titles like Sue Grafton, that jacket would have stayed on the rack at the thrift store and I could show up in jeans.

But I need a little sparkle power, a little sleight of hand since I've only managed this far to write four books. If you're asking, here they are: Mama Does Time, Mama Rides Shotgun, and Mama Gets Hitched, are already out. Next up, in September: Mama Sees Stars.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lovin' this Cover

How fabulous is that??

Midnight Ink's design for Book #4 is another home run for my Mace Bauer Mystery series, featuring Mace's wacky Mama. Over at her advice column on the Wide World of the Web, Mama quibbles a bit about the number of bullets lodged in the movie marquee. (''There weren't THAT many people who got shot!'') But all in all, even the notoriously hard-to-please Mama gives the new cover two thumbs up.

Oh, yeah ... and Mama's creator does too.

Mama Sees Stars comes out Oct. 1, 2011. I swear, I'll try to get back to visit my sadly neglected blog before then.

In the meantime, here's a quick peek at the plot: When a Hollywood movie company comes to little Himmarshee, Mama becomes the star she's always known she was destined to be. The Hollywood folks are out of their element in the Florida wilds: sweltering heat, mosquitoes the size of Gulfstream jets, and no decent place to order a half-skim, heavy foam vanilla latte. When moviemaking turns to murder, just about any member of the cast or crew could be the culprit. The aging action hero. The troubled teen diva. The director who tries to lure Mama to his casting couch, and winds up duking it out with Sal, Husband No. 5. If daughter Mace can't stop the killer, this movie might be Mama's final act.

Now, wouldn't you want to read about that?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

OMG! I'm on TODAY!

Mama takes Manhattan, y'all. I got the chance to go on the Today show and talk about my latest funny mystery, MAMA GETS HITCHED. Anchor Tamron Hall couldn't have been nicer, and I got to sit next to country star Martina McBride in the make-up room.

I kept feeling someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and say, "Hey, you! You're not supposed to be here!''

Here's the link, if you'd like to watch.