Wednesday, November 30, 2011

EXCESS BAGGAGE by Sue Ann Jaffarian

The few days before Thanksgiving, I took off for Las Vegas for a combination vacation and book research trip.  I needed the R&R in a baaaaaad way – much more, it turned out, than I realized.
“Now this is more like it.”
The familiar voice rocked me out of my Zen-like moment. I was sitting naked, immersed up to my neck in the hot bubbly water of the hotel spa waiting for my massage appointment. Opening one eye, I looked across the pool to find Odelia Grey similarly dunked – the two of us floating in the water like large, seeping tea bags.
Before speaking, I cast a look over my shoulder, making sure we were alone. “I thought I left you at home,” I told my creation with a bit of a snarl. “I’m on vacation.”
She ignored my obvious annoyance and forged ahead. “No, you’re not. Not really. I happen to know you’re in Las Vegas to research a new book.“ She leaned forward in the water, her face lit with eagerness. “It’s about time you took Greg and me someplace interesting. Are Zee and Seth coming, too? That could be a lot of fun.”
Again, I looked over my shoulder, half expecting to see a spa attendant. “Go away, Odelia. People will think I’m crazy.”
“Trust me, Sue Ann, that ship has sailed. And it wasn’t a row boat, but more like the Titanic.”
“Hey, did either of you catch that Titanic exhibit upstairs? It was awesome! I was hoping to find a few fellow ghosts hanging about, but didn’t see any.”
It was another familiar voice.  I groaned and thought about slipping under the heated water until the voices went away or until I drew my last breath – whichever came first. Instead, I answered. “No, Granny, not yet. I’m checking that out tomorrow.”
“You gonna put that in my book?”  On the tile floor by my head, Granny danced with excitement.
“That’s not the plan at this time, Granny. But you never know.”
Her book?” Odelia was not pleased.  “You’re here in Vegas researching a Granny Apples book?”
“Book 4 to be exact,” the ghost answered with pride. “It’s called Ghost of a Gamble.” She turned to me for confirmation. “Isn’t that right, Sue Ann?”
Slowly, I nodded with resignation.
“What?!” Odelia glared at me.  “What about my seventh book? You’re in the middle of that right now, so I thought you were here to do research for that.”
“I am currently writing Odelia number 7,” I explained to both Odelia and Granny, “but I’m here to do research on Granny Apples number 4.  This week was the best time for me to get away and do it.”
Odelia slapped the water with a flat palm, sending a heavy spray my way. “Granny and Emma always get to travel. First it was to Julian, then Catalina, then Pennsylvania, and now to Las Vegas. I never get to go anywhere.”
“You went to Massachusetts,” Granny said, correcting her. “That corn maze seemed like a lot of fun.”
“Humpf.” Odelia crossed her arms across her large chest as she bobbed in the churning water like a buoy. “It’s hardly the same thing as Vegas, is it?”
Eyeing the wall clock, I started to get out of the water and prepare for my massage. “Don’t worry, Odelia. As soon as I get home, I’ll be burying myself in book 7.”
“See.” Odelia pointed a wet finger of accusation at me. “You don’t even have a title for my book yet and it’s due in a few weeks.
“Oh, quit your bellyaching,” Granny said to Odelia with a scowl. “It’ll get done. You know it will.”
With a sigh, I slipped into the spa robe and made my way to my massage appointment.  Once I was face down on the table in the dimly lit room with soft background music, the masseuse went to work, laying her capable hands on my shoulders. I winced in pain.
“Ms. Jaffarian, your neck and shoulder muscles are so stiff. You have to learn to relax.”
I sucked in the scent of lavender from the sheets beneath me. “Tell me about it.”
Sue Ann Jaffarian is the best-selling author of the Odelia Grey mystery series, the Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series, and the Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries. Gem of a Ghost, the third Granny Apples book will be released February 2012, with the 7th Odelia Grey adventure released in fall of 2012.  You can follow her at and on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Editors: What I am REALLY thankful for...

In following along with Vicki's author post, I thought I would post about what I am thankful for as an editor.  Here goes!!

Inkers at Malice

1.  Readers.  Let's face it, we wouldn't be making books if there was no one reading them.  I love readers.  I feel at home with them.  They understand me and I understand them.  The written word, no matter what genre or style, connects us all.

2. Authors.  I am so lucky to work with a group of wonderful authors.  Excellent writers, yes.  But more importantly for me, incredibly fabulous people.

Production editor
3.  Co-workers.  There are many people involved in making a book - art, production editors, designers, marketing, publicity, sales, the warehouse folks that ship our books out...  every piece is important.  And my fellow acquisitions editors - even though we acquire different types of books, we are a team and somehow manage to keep each other somewhat sane.

4.  Co-workers who bring food/treats.  Today I am pigging out on chips and homemade dip.  Good for the soul...  not good for the waistline.  :(

5.  My mom.  I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my mom.  Not only is she a big reader, she has supported me in every step I've made to get here.  :)

6.  Captain Morgan.  Need I say more?

Ben LeRoy
of Tyrus Books
7.  Conferences and writers conventions.  Anytime there is a gathering of readers and/or writers, it's a good thing.  The energy is amazing and while cons are physically exhausting, they do boost my spirits.  At a con, I am among my people.

Agent Josh Getzler and
Inkers Linda Hull and Alan Orloff
8.  Coffee.  Kinda goes along the same lines as Captain Morgan.  :)

9.  Agents and other editors.  It's important to have connections with agents and editors.  Not only do agents bring me polished manuscripts, but these relationships keep me in tune with what is happening in the publishing world.  That, of course, helps me to do my job better.

10.  My authors who send food.  :)

hmm... maybe I should re-commit to going to the gym.  Yep, I better do that soon.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Writers: What We’re Really Thankful For by Vicki Doudera

Please welcome guest blogger - Vicki Doudera  :)

The holiday when we feast on turkey and count our blessings is right around the corner. What do writers think about when we give thanks? Along with the intangibles like patience, talent, and persistence, here are ten things for which many of us are very grateful indeed.

Vicki and Terri at Crime Bake

1. Editors

They go to bat for our books, help us be better writers, and ask questions of our characters such as: Do you think Darby will marry Miles? (The very question Terri asked me this past weekend at Crime Bake, a writers and readers conference in Boston.)

2. Tea
Authors are the world’s number one consumers of tea. Okay, I made that up, but I know that for me, this flavored beverage is an important part of my writing process. It’s my “treat” when I’ve reached a little milestone (like my quota of pages) or my incentive if I’m somewhat stuck. I can’t tell you how many varieties I have – probably close to thirty – and depending on my mood, I pick my poison. I mean, flavor.

3. Electronic Reading Devices
Debate all you want about whether reading on a Kindle is the same as reading a hardcover – we’re just grateful that people have discovered yet another way to enjoy the stories we’re writing.

4. Dogs
Our canine companions get us out of our chairs, away from the screen, and into fresh air at least once a day. How many times have plot ideas popped into your head while you were walking your dog?

5. Supportive Friends & Family
Where would we be without them? From our mothers, who saved our very first poems, to our spouses, who read our first drafts, to our friends, who not only coax us on, but also plug our books to their friends and families.

6. Interesting Day Jobs
Writing is my career, but real estate is my profession. Luckily, it puts me smack into situations where drama naturally occurs. Can I mine that for my mysteries? Yes – and I’m appreciative.

7.  Expandable Waist Pants
For the days when tea doesn’t work and we chow down on chocolate instead.

8. Hard-drinking Writers
We’re thankful for the guys like Hemingway who guzzled booze by the boatload because it makes our daily glass of wine look paltry (and healthy) in contrast.

9. Woodstoves
Writing in the winter can be downright chilly, and I know I’m not the only writer who is thankful for her Vermont Castings Intrepid. I fire that baby up and keep it stoked while I write. Did I mention that my desk is only two feet away from its warming presence?

10. Readers
These can be Supportive Friends & Family (see number 5) but they can also be strangers upon whose kindness we truly depend. Hopefully, those of us who are writers also fit into this category.  Where would all of us be without readers? Fortunately, we don’t need to imagine that scenario.

Vicki Doudera
Happy Thanksgiving!

Vicki Doudera’s Darby Farr mysteries star a smart and savvy real estate agent solving crimes and making sales – even when deals go deadly. Her latest release, KILLER LISTING, “masterfully uses the backdrop of high-stakes realty as a great setting for a murder mystery.” (Bangor Daily News) Her debut novel, A HOUSE TO DIE FOR, was chosen by Suspense Magazine as a top read of 2010. Vicki is also the author of two non-fiction books and is a Realtor on the coast of Maine. Her next title, DEADLY OFFER, comes out in April of 2012. Find more about Vicki at

Monday, November 7, 2011

Free E-Book Download

Get a free e-book copy of Chili Con Corpses by J. B. Stanley — only available this month. You can download it at:
Barnes and
Sony’s Ebookstore

This free e-book offer only lasts through the end of November.

Chili Con Corpses
a cozy mystery by J. B. Stanley
Chili Con Corpses
The Supper Club Mysteries
J. B. Stanley

A spicy adventure awaits the “Flab Five,” a supper club for dieters, when they sign up for a Mexican/Spanish cooking class. Includes recipes!

“Stanley offers another entry in the popular Supper Club Mystery series, and her fans now have a new volume to relish.”  —Booklist

“Heavy on fun, light on gore, this savory mystery comes complete with yummy recipes.” —Publishers Weekly

Check out the other titles in the delicious Supper Club Mystery series.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


National Novel Writing Month

Are you writing?

I am wondering how many of you participate in NaNoWriMo?  It has grown to over 200,000 people taking part.  Those are people who register... I am sure there are others out there who do it, but don't sign up on the website.  (you will have to find their website - just google nanowrimo - currently their website is down)

I know one author who eventually sold her book after participating.  Well, she wrote the manuscript and then revised it a jillion times.  :)

Please share your experiences with the rest of us!  I am fascinated by the idea of NaNoWriMo.  Just like my views on Harry Potter, whatever it takes to get kids reading is a good thing.  Whatever it takes to get writers writing is a good thing.  So let's hear your stories!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween is finally here at Llewellyn!!!

Here are some pics from our Halloween party...  more to come!!  Comment on your favorite pics and you'll be entered to win a copy of Mind Over Monsters by Jenna Harlow!!  A winner will be picked on Monday, October 31st.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Win Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow

Tricks & Treats: What is your favorite Halloween costume? Answer by FRIDAY for a chance to win MIND OVER MONSTERS by Jennifer Harlow!

Comment on Midnight Ink's twitter feed (@midnightinkbook) and you could win a copy of Mind Over Monsters!!

Mind Over Monsters


“Jennifer Harlow’s debut novel had me laughing and gasping from start to finish!”—VICTORIA LAURIE, New York Times bestselling author of the Ghost Hunter Mystery series and the Psychic Eye Mystery series

“Wonderful! A gritty, dramatic police-procedural with a compelling heroine and a fascinating group of sidekicks. Looking forward to the sequel!”—KAREN CHANCE, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Cassandra Palmer series

"The most engaging detectives to face the walking dead since Scully and Mulder. Part urban fantasy, part police procedural, and entirely marvelous, monstrous fun."

"If Donald Westlake had ever gotten around to writing a paranormal mystery, it would have sounded like this. Harlow's genre debut is funny, creepy and refreshingly brash."

"Mind Over Monsters is funny, scary, and creepy—and ridiculous amounts of fun!"

"Mind Over Monsters is a non-stop rollercoaster ride that fans of urban fantasy will love! Fast-paced, fun, and wildly entertaining, Jennifer Harlow has given the paranormal police procedural a fresh spin with her loveable machete-wielding heroine. A quirky cast of characters and sharp writing make Mind Over Monsters a wholly wonderful debut. I can't wait to read more!"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


As you can imagine, Halloween is a big deal here at Llewellyn/Midnight Ink/Flux.  As departments we dress up and decorate our cubes for our big party.  We bring food and treats.  Planning starts sometime in June and the dis-information starts circulating soon after.  Here are some photos of Halloween's past:

I will add more photos as we near Halloween!!  And of course, the day of, I will post as many as I can, especially since Acquisitions plans to win it all this year!  :)

Also stay tuned for a Twitter give-away next week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

daily ramblings


My little guy Luc declaring the
Packers as #1.

Today has been one of those days...  dealing with all sorts of random things that have come up that somehow keeps me from getting any actual work done.  Well, that isn't quite true, I am getting lots of work done, but it doesn't feel like it.  Unfortunately, when days start like this, it's hard to get out of that ADD mode and dig into a manuscript or contract.  Today you will just have to put up with random thoughts and ramblings.  :)

First let me say that I am so happy to be a Cheesehead these days.  The Green Bay Packers are off to an amazing start.  This weekend we play the St. Louis Rams...  poor Rams.  That's about all I can say.  Oh yeah, the Claymaker is scary good.  And Aaron Rogers is the best quarterback in the NFL right now.

While we are talking about football... have y'all seen the Wisconsin Badgers this year?  Holy cows.  Wisconsin football is a lot like Wisconsin basketball... methodical, pound it out kind of play.  But this year, the football Badgers have a little more flash.  Credit starting quarterback Russell Wilson for bringing in not only a great arm, but great leadership.
Go Bucky!!

Now, it's October and in Wisconsin we naturally have turned to football and beer.  After all, we really excel in the area of beer making!  But what is this???  The Brewers are still playing?  And there is some crazy frenetic energy going on in centerfield.  He seems so little 6 foot tall and 175 pounds.  But Nyjer Morgan is pure energy and he is a spark ignites a crazy fanbase.  Yes, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are the big guns. 
But Nyjer is just a whole lotta fun to watch.  :)

Nyjer Morgan - bringing a special energy
to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Here are some websites that distract me when I should be working:

This Is Why I'm Broke - 'enuf said
LOLcats - not only are the LOLcats great, but the historic LOLs and Failbook crack me up
Sconnie Nation - you can get all your funny Wisconsin gear here.
Regretsy - caution - you may loose an entire day to this site...  sorry if it's not your type of humor...
Tarot Reading Psychic - love tarot - does anyone not know about woot?  it's where I get all my cool t-shirts.  :)

umm...  I think that is about all for today.  Hope the Brewers win tonight!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

InkSpot: When One Thing Leads To Another…

InkSpot: When One Thing Leads To Another…: by Kathleen Ernst I’ve mentioned here before that I often write in coffee shops. This post is about some nice and unexpected things that ...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


OMG.  Where have I been?  Let's see...  Denver for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference then to St. Louis for Bouchercon.  Came home with a cold, yuck, and now I am finally going to post some pictures.  I had a great time - chatted with lots of old friends and made a whole bunch more new ones.  :)

our booth

Funny man Alan Orloff
The Inker bowling team -
Jessie Chandler, Darrell James, Kathleen Ernst, Jess Lourey
Terri Bischoff and Steven Pomije
Jessie 2 and Jessie 1.  Jessie 1 always closes her eyes when I try a sneak attack photo...
Jessie Chandler and me

Lois Winston signed ARCs of Death by Killer Mop Doll
Jess Lourey with her eyes open :)

Darrell, Steven, Jessie C, Lois and Alan
Kathleen Ernst

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Free Download - Mama Does Time by Deb Sharp

Free Download!!

Don't miss out on your chance for a free download of Mama Does Time by Deb Sharp on both and Barnes & Noble. This is the first book in the Mace Bauer series. And after you've read her book, you will most likely want to check out the others in the Mace Bauer series.

The free download will only be available thru the end of September. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Free Download - Lye in Wait by Cricket McRae

Free Download!!!

Don't miss out on your chance for a free download of Lye in Wait by Cricket McRae.  This is the first book in the home crafting series.  And after you've read her book, you will most likely be inspired by all her crafting skills - so check out her blog, Hearth Cricket, to for all kinds of great stuff.

The free download will only be available thru the end of August.  It is available on most ebook platforms.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bouchercon Schedules

Bouchercon, the world's largest mystery convention is just around the corner!  B'con is incredible and hard to describe.  This four day event is packed full with opportunities to meet your favorite authors, here them discuss the craft and how they work, get books signed and photos taken.  If you lucky, you might find yourself standing at the bar next to Sophie Littlefield.  Or John Connolly.  Or William Kent Krueger.  Or SJ Rozan.  Or, gasp! you could be standing next to me!  :)

Check out the Guests of Honor:

American: Robert Crais & Charlaine Harris
International: Colin Cotterill & Val McDermid
Life Time Achievement: Sara Paretsky
Fan Guests of Honor: Kate Stine and Brian Skupin
Special guests (local living legends): Robert Randisi and John Lutz
all brought together by...
Toastmaster: Ridley Pearson

And if meeting Charlaine Harris or Sara Paretsky (both of them wonderfully generous and gracious women) isn't enough for you, check out the complete author list here.  As for our Inkers, we are going to have a pretty good showing!  Thanks to our very organized Publicity Director, Steven Pomije, here is a list of our events:

Friday, Sept 16
 11:00 am—12:00 pm: Alan Orloff, DEADLY CAMPAIGN (Advance Reader’s Copy)
Saturday, Sept 17
 11:00 am—12:00 pm: Lois Winston, DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL (Advance Reader’s Copy)

In-booth MEET THE AUTHOR events:
Friday, Sept 16
 9:30—10:30 am: Joanna Campbell Slan, Make Take Murder
 4:00—5:00 pm: Sebastian Stuart; Dead by Any Other Name
Saturday, Sept 17
 9:30—10:30 am: Darrell James; Nazareth Child
 12:00—1:00 pm: Jess Lourey; October Fest
 1:00—2:00 pm: Jessie Chandler; Bingo Barge Murder
 2:00—3:00 pm: Alan Orloff; Killer Routine
 3:00—4:00 pm: G. M. Malliet; Death at the Alma Mater
 4:00—5:00 pm: Kathleen Ernst; The Heirloom Murders
Sunday, Sept 18
 10:00—11:00 am: Lois Winston; Death by Killer Mop Doll, Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun

Author PANELS:
 Thur, Sept 15 o 8:30 am, Alan Orloff, Laughter of the Clowns: Comedy in crime fiction; Landmark 5,6,7
o 8:30 am, Jessie Chandler, Hitting the Ground: New writers talk about their first book; Landmark 4
o 2:30 pm, Jess Lourey, To Love is To Bury: Finding new ways to get rid of the body, Landmark 1,2,3
 Fri, Sept 16
o 8:30 am, G. M. Malliet, Bad Blood: Celebrating Agatha Christie; Majestic D
o 8:30 am, Darrell James, Fresh Blood: New writers talk about their first book; Majestic A, B, C
o 10 am, Kathleen Ernst, The Darkness of Light: Developing diversity in our characters; Landmark 1,2,3
o 11:30 am, Joanna Campbell Slan, Death By Good Intention: Doing away with characters; Landmark 5,6,7
 Sat, Sept 17
o 8:30 am, G. M. Malliet, Nocebo: Playing fair with your readers; Landmark 1,2,3
o 4 pm, Lois Winston, Time to Murder and Create: Listening to the voices in your head; Landmark 4
o 4 pm, Sebastian Stuart, Time to Murder and Create: Listening to the voices in your head; Landmark 4  

Charity Bowling Tourney: The Midnight Inkers
 Midnight Ink authors and staff (the Midnight Inkers) take on 12 other Bouchercon teams to raise money for the St. Louis Public Library system.
 Fri, Sept 16th at 12:30 PM at the Flamingo Bowl, 1117 Washington Ave, downtown St. Louis

So come check out our booth in the book room, or drop in on one of our author panels.  We'll be glad to meet your acquaintance.  I can't wait to see you in St. Louis!

Title Give-Aways in our booth: 
 Mind Over Monsters; Baited in Blood

In-booth Drawings:
 1st prize: The full 2011 Midnight Ink collection
 2nd prize: A limited edition Midnight Inkers Bowling Tee from the Bouchercon Charity Bowl
 3rd prize: The Agatha Award winning St. Just mystery series by G. M. Malliet

In-booth Coupon for Online Order Only:
 Get 20% off all Midnight Ink titles; Visit and use promo code BOUCHERCON2011. Offer expires 12/31/11. Standard shipping fees apply.