Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MB4 Newsletter 3

Welcome to the third Murder by 4 newsletter, a place where you can get the latest scoop on all four conspirators behind the scenes at MB4! Snuggle up with a nice glass of hot mulled cider and some sourdough donuts (doesn't that sound good right about now?) and read on to learn the latest about your favorite mystery/suspense authors.

Aaron Paul Lazar
(LeGarde Mysteries and Moore Mysteries)

Our family life has been hopping over the past few months. We moved daughter Melanie to Cambridge, Mass, where she’s studying for her graduate degree in music therapy at Lesley University. Her apartment is right next to the Charles River, with access to a lovely riverside trail and a five-minute walk from Harvard Square. Eldest daughter Jennifer has started her nursing job at Rochester General Hospital in their world famous cardiac unit, and in the process has kindly given us Balto, the Cavipoo we fell in love with when she and her family lived with us. Dale and I are thrilled! Of course, Balto can’t replace our beloved Max, but he’s following in Max’s paw prints quite nicely. Allison is doing beautifully in her creative writing classes ;o), and has moved home to bless us with her witty and amusing presence. We’re delighted to welcome her home again; she is such a sweetheart. Our three grandchildren are wonderful, providing us untold joy. And I’ve been picking baskets full of plums, peaches, pears, late season tomatoes, red raspberries, and all the usual fall veggies. As always, keeping up with it all is a challenge, but it’s all about taking pleasure in the little things, right?

On the literary front, MAZURKA and HEALEY'S CAVE have been assigned release dates of January and March of 2009, respectively. My publisher, Twilight Times Books, is preparing the ARCs for reviews from the big houses, such as Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist.

Meanwhile, I threw my back out a few weeks ago. It was a bit scary for the first two days, and I kept imagining how life would be if I were forced to be abed forever. A new story is brewing there. ;o) But the silver lining to this forced bed rest was that I finished the edits on FIRESONG: AN UNHOLY GRAVE, the sequel to MAZURKA. It’s now in my publisher’s hands. What a relief. I’d like to thank Marta Stephens, Patricia Fowler, and Peggy Adamson for their recent help with the newest edits.
This also freed me up to get back to my work in progress (which ended up being more like a "work suspended for too many months!"), THE AVIARY, a paranormal mystery featuring Ruby, a mind-reading parakeet, Joe, an obsessive compulsive antique dealer, and his wife, Marcella, who tries not to get too jealous over Joe’s passion for his bird. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to be able to write and create again. I’m deliriously happy, and am churning away at it with help from SW Vaughn, Nancy Luckhurst, and Peggy Adamson. This book is a standalone (I hope it doesn’t start a series. I don’t think I can handle three!) It’s also my first attempt to write from a woman’s POV. It’s a challenge, but I’m enjoying it.

I received some nice news for TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (the third book released and the prequel to DOUBLE FORTÉ). It’s being used to teach a literary class on mysteries at Pfeiffer University, in North Carolina. In addition, I’ve been invited to speak at my first out of state symposium for the Friends of the Library in Charlotte, NC. All expense paid trip, and I can talk about whatever I like. Hmmm. I hope they have a lot of time, as it’s hard to shut me up when I get started on my books and characters.

The Wood Library in Canandaigua invited me in to do a live interview on video. It's up here, if you'd like to take a look.

I’ve also had the pleasure of being on several radio shows over the summer. Here are the links in case you’d like to listen.

Interview with Maggie Ball, Compulsive Reader
Interview with Yolanda Renee, Renee's Book Talk
Interview with Dr. Kent Gustavson

I'll be selling and signing copies of the first three LeGarde books at the Heron Hill Winery October 18th, from 12-4, and on November 15th at the same location. I’ve restocked all books, and will be offering holiday specials – buy three for fifty bucks (save ten). Stop by if you're in a winery touring mood and looking for a good read.

Marta Stephens
(Sam Harper Crime Mysteries)

So much is going on right now, I don’t know where to begin. Okay, how about at the beginning? My second novel, THE DEVIL CAN WAIT, is three weeks away from its release—November 3!The cover is done, the blurb and excerpts are posted on my site, and the ARCs are in the hands of reviewers and I look forward to their comments.The first promotion to hit cyberspace was my publisher’s sponsored review contest 25 for 25 for my next book. The first 25 people to request a copy of the PDF ARC are asked to write a 25 word review. The best of the best will receive an autographed copy of the paperback when it’s released. You can read more about it on my website here: So if you haven’t already agreed to review the ARC and would like to get a free pre-release copy of “The Devil Can Wait” (possible errors and all—this is an ARC, not the final copy) please contact my publisher at’m thankful to have had several successful book signings in the past three months and am looking forward to several more between now and the end of the year.

Thus far three reviewers have offered to do a follow-up interview. The first will be a live radio interview scheduled on November 10, thanks to fellow Gather member, Renee Giroux, on Coffee with an Author, an interactive, live Internet talk-radio show on Coffee with and Author is live every Monday at 10 AM (CST). The show is hosted on BlogTalkRadio by Another Gather friend, Connie Cowger (Just Connie) is reading the ARC of “The Devil Wait” and will schedule a chat after she’s done. Reminders will follow!

So what’s next on my plate? I’m contemplating having a virtual launch party. Anyone out there like to party? The drinks are on me! If you have a blog and would be interested in hosting me during the month of November and/or December, please contact me at I would LOVE to accept your kind invitation.For updated information on events, please check out my website, It has a new look and lots of new links including links to my upcoming release, current interviews, reviews and a new fun link called, THE SHOP where you can pre-order an autographed copy of THE DEVIL CAN WAIT or a copy SILENCED CRY as well as a few other things I hope you’ll like. Many thanks to all who have followed my posts here in Gather and on Murder By 4, read my book, or have embraced me with your support. I truly value your friendship!

Kim Smith
(Shannon Wallace Mysteries)

Last November, my cozy, Avenging Angel, was accepted by Enspiren Press. Throughout the rest of the year, and into this one, I have spent my time promoting it, planning for its release and working on the other books in the series. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the book and my vision for it did not match that of the publisher’s and we parted company.

I am very happy to announce that the end of my dream for this book is not nigh. I actually turned that into a great new opportunity for Avenging Angel and in fact, for the rest of the series with a new innovative publisher, Red Rose Publishing.

The book will be out next year, as an ebook, but I understand from reading the home page at RRP that print is soon to arrive at this house. I am crossing all digits for a print option.
I would love to hear from you on what you are working on this month, if you need a blog tour, or an interview.

My newsletter, my blogs, website, and any other venue you can find me on is available for you to hijack if you need a boost in promos. Just let me know. Until then, I hope your fall is fun and fabulous. If you are doing Nano, be sure to look me up!!!
Avenging Angel, a Shannon Wallace Mystery
Red Rose Publishing

S.W. Vaughn
(Urban fiction and Suspense/Thrillers)
You might not think, with a book that doesn't come out until April 2009, that I have to do anything with it right now. However, they say (whoever "they" might be) that it's never to early to start promoting - and I've always wanted to have a great trailer for Broken Angel.
I'd actually created a trailer for this book about a year ago. At that time, I'd just discovered the joys of Windows Movie Maker with its captions and titles and transition effects, and the ability to fuse music/sounds and pictures. The trailer I made back then featured still shots with "fancy" titles, some decent atmospheric music (scoured from royalty-free websites), and a big ol' spaghetti-at-the-wall mess of narration that really didn't make much sense. I thought it was the Greatest Thing Ever.
And then, I discovered how to put video clips into Movie Maker.
The next time I went to New York City, I traveled armed with my sister's digital camcorder. I shot about an hour of footage, everywhere I thought might look interesting: out the window of the train, on the sidewalks, in the streets, through restaurants and stores, and in the subway. Down there, I went places I probably shouldn't have been allowed to go in order to get shots that I hoped would have a gritty, sort of desperate feel to them - the same mood I tried to convey in the novel. One of the girls I was working with there quipped that I wasn't supposed to literally die for my art, when I wandered out into the middle of Seventh Avenue in front of Penn Station to grab an interesting crowd shot.
When I finally sat down to make the new trailer, I faced the unenviable task of going through 60 minutes of footage to find about 60 seconds' worth that would fit what I wanted to include. The music I chose is a recent discovery, an instrumental band called Apocalyptica whom I absolutely adore.
Here are the results:
Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.

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