How I have used my book titles to establish my brand

When a potential reader looks at a book product page in one of the on-line bookstores, the first two things they are likely to notice are a book’s title and its cover. A good title can not only capture a reader’s interest, but it can signal the genre and sub-genre of the book, the setting and time period of the story, and it can even reveal a little about the plot. In addition, if the book is part of a series, the title can help brand that series. I am going to discuss the titles of both my novels and my shorter works in my mystery series to demonstrate how a title can achieve all of the above. In 2009, when I published my first novel, Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery, I knew it was to be Read more…


Lethal Remedies is now available

I’m always a bit ambivalent when one of my books is launched. Happy that the long period––usually between a year and a year and a half––spent working on the book is over. A little sad to be leaving behind some of the characters who may not show up in the next book. Anxious to see how readers—specifically fans of the series––react. With the launch of Lethal Remedies, the seventh full-length novel in my Victorian San Francisco mystery series, I was also curious about what it would be like to launch a book in the middle of a pandemic. On one hand, it’s clear that many people have been finding more time than ever before to read, so there is the hope that this will have a positive effect on sales. In addition, this book, perhaps more so than my last Read more…


Dandy’s Discovery is out, and I’m doing fine, how are you?

First of all, pleased to announce that my new short story, Dandy’s Discovery, is now out, and people seem to be enjoying this little bit of fluff to lift their spirits. In addition, the manuscript of my newest Victorian San Francisco Mystery novel, Lethal Remedies, just went to my proof reader (Jessica Meigs). It has been through multiple drafts and two rounds of beta readers, so at this point it has been read by nine people and much improved by their feedback. I enjoy hearing back from this small team of readers about what they liked about the story, but I also like hearing where they had problems. In my experience, my beta readers often pinpoint exactly those sections of the book I already had some doubts about. This really helps because then I know exactly those sections that need Read more…


What am I doing in response to the Pandemic?

Dear friends and readers, I’m in that group (elderly with compromised immune system), so I’m being good and staying at home as much as I can. This meant pulling out of Left Coast Crime, a convention what was held in my home town this week, even though I was on a panel and this made me feel guilty. Of course, then when everyone else on the panel also pulled out and the actual convention was halted during the second day by an order of the county, I felt smart and responsible. I’ve two more outings I can’t cancel, but I’m cancelling everything else and using the phone or internet instead of face-to-face contact. And I am letting my much healthier husband do the limited trips outside the house. And we are not hoarding TP. (smile) But that doesn’t seem enough. Read more…


Valentine’s Day and Bloody Lessons

Every year I try to discount the third mystery in my series, Bloody Lessons, around February because of its Valentine’s Day setting. This year, the ebook is again Free on Kindle and all other major retailers until January 31. In addition, this year the audiobook edition is also discounted. You can get it on Apple Books for only $3.99 or on Chirp for $4.18 until February 14. (for those of you who prefer audible, the ebook only costs $7.49 when you have bought the Kindle Amazon edition.) To get you in the mood, here is a post I wrote some time ago about Valentine’s Day in 1880 (first published in the Historical Fiction Author’s Cooperative). I had so much fun figuring out how the Irish in San Francisco celebrated Halloween, that as I started writing Bloody Lessons, I decided I should Read more…