Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

Are you an old movie mystery fan? You know, black and white. Real Whodunnits with Noir and tough sounding dialogue mixed with the comedy of yesteryear?

I bought all of the Thin Man movies and got a Blu Ray player last Christmas to watch them and my Charlie Chan Collection.

BUT IF YOU HAVE ROKU on your TV I recommend the Free Channel you can add called TV TIME COZY MYSTERIES. It has all six of the Thin Man Movies and no commercials.

There are many other old Mystery Series available too. Think Charlie Chan, Torchy Blane, The Lone Wolf, The Shadow, Agatha Christie (with all Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple Movies), Boston Blackie. Bulldog Drummond, Dick Tracy, Ellery Queen, The Falcon, Mr. Moto, Nancy Drew, and a few others.

I’ve found some of the above free on YouTube, but this channel has pretty much the whole series on each of them. The caveat? There are some commercials, but there are some with no commercials too. Most are 1-2 minutes between breaks.

Many newer TV’s have the Roku app built in, but if yours doesn’t you can always buy the Roku Streamng media player and remote for $40 at Best Buy. For $10 more you can upgrade to a voice activated media player.

There are tons of free channel apps and many have old mystery channels, but none as good as TV Time’s. Search for the channel and add it to your ROKU lineup and you are ready to go.

It’s official, I am a published Author!

Coming from a family of cops, when people close to her start dying, Billie Bly realizes that, she too, bleeds blue.
My New Book

My publisher surprised me by getting my new book, Bleeding Blue, online in time to take advantage of the after Christmas new e-reader and Ipad audience looking for a good read.

The print version is due out in mid-to late March and I will have a Launch party for my friends and the public with a reading and signing of purchased books. Its been a long time coming and I have a hard time believing it’s happening.

You can download and read Bleeding Blue from Amazon if you have a Kindle or PC or Smart Phone  and Tablets, just follow the red links if you need to download the software to read books.

You can also download my book on your Ipad, Sony Reader, Nook or other platforms by searching for the title or by going to Smashwords.

As a teaser to new fans, I am offering my short story free again, with the hopes people will read it and want to purchase Bleeding Blue for $7.99.

Check out Billie Bly in my short story, Death Fits Like a Glove free Dec. 28-30th on Amazon.

It has gotten several Five Star Reviews. One person told me she couldn’t go to sleep after reading it, because if was so suspenseful.

Here’s the Dust jacket info on Bleeding Blue:

P.I. Billie Bly’s physic tells her she will stumble upon a murder, but neglects to mention she is to be the victim. Maybe her psychic doesn’t want to give her more to worry about with a million dollar lawsuit looming and a missing client who doesn’t want to be found.

She is determined to learn who wants her dead and why as people start dying around her. The trail leads deep inside Portland’s City Hall and involves a mayor who wants to be governor at any cost; his mistress, who wants to tag along with or without her city auditor husband; a city commissioner who hires a P.I. to spy on Billie; and an ambitious cop lurking in the background waiting for his opportunity for advancement.

The pressure mounts as the Mayor attempts to put Billie under house arrest for her own good; and an assassin tries to kill her in a drive-by shooting, narrowly misses blowing her up with her car and garage, and kills a chief witness at the Portland Pirate Festival.

When the cops start a manhunt for Billie’s former partner, whom she still has a crush on, as their main suspect, she decides one of them must die to unravel the truth.

Will her psychic prove to be right after all, or will Billie finally flush out the killer responsible for the murders of four people? It comes down to a late-night shootout with a vicious killer on a Portland riverfront to learn why she must die.

Following is Chapter One of my first finished, alas unpublished novel. I thought I would offer it here for the people who have been supportive of my writing endeavors. If you comment and ask for more, I’ll continue posting chapters (yes the entire book) –otherwise you’ll have to wait until I get around to self publishing it. (more…)

The Portland Aerial Tram in Portland, Oregon. ...

There might be 60 people inside this tram buying my books and there are two trams.

Have you thought about your marketing for when your book get’s published. If not, how come? Marketing is widely left up to the author these days.

Publishers will do some PR for you, but unless you are on the Best Seller list, they expect you to carry your own weight. Heck they expect that even if you are on the BS list.

I attended a book launch last week because it was a member of one of the writing groups I volunteer for and because I wanted to learn how it was done. I attended one a few years back and it was a standup affair in a wine shop, serving–you guessed it–wine.

The one I attended last week was held in a church. it was a good venue. There was a large lobby where people circulated, bought books, ate deserts and punch, and the author shook hands.

Then, we were ushered into the pews and the author read a few portions from her book and left us wanting more. I guessed if the turnout was meager, the whole thing could have been done in the lobby. Since she had upwards of 120 there, we moved to a larger area..

I asked one of the people how they knew the author. Turns out she was a friend of the spouse, and she was curious.

One of the questions I always ask myself, is if I held a book launch would anybody come?  I think they would because writers seem to have this aura among readers. Whenever I tell them I’m writing a book, they inevitably say, “I’d like to read it, when it’s done.”

Tip:  Always write their name and contact info down when they say this.

Here are some random ideas I’ve thought about to get people to turn out:

1. Put together an email list of my former real estate clients (they all know I write), former chamber members, writing colleagues, friends and family, former co-workers. Email them at least three times prior.

2. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, etc., and send invites. Ask people to send it to their friends.

3. Write a PR news item (I’m a writer, right?). Send it to all news media, from the biggest to the smallest. Put it in the church bulletin.

4. Have a contest or incentive. i.e: Bring a friend to the event, put your name in the pot, and the author will draw a name at random. If you win, the author will use your name as a character in his next book. Give a book away in a drawing.

5. Pick an interesting venue–some place where people might want to go anyway. A restaurant, a book store, the aerial tram that goes from the waterfront to OHSU at the top of the West Hills (my hero rides on down from the top of it and it holds 60 people.) You get the idea.

6. Have food. Lots of Food. Good Food. Wine? Advertise it: We have Good Food!  Food brings people out.

7.  Invite a local community college radio station or public radio to attend and broadcast or cover it. After all, you are a local author.

8. Schedule interviews on local radio stations prior to the book signing.

9. Ask colleagues to write a review of your book, including when the book launch happens. I know of two or three people who write reviews for the large daily paper in Portland. They are authors themselves.  Invite blogs to review your book: See Blog Tours on this blog.

10. Promote it with Writing Associations. Willamette Writers and Oregon Writer’s Colony (in Portland) offer free web space on their web pages for authors to plug their book and WW also does bulletins. If you’ve been volunteering in writer organizations you will know where these opportunities exist.

11. Make It Fun!  How? That’s up to you. But make it a happening and let people know it will be fun.

12. Spread announcements out to all bookstores in your city. Ask if you can circulate or post a flyer.

So those are the ones I came up with just sitting here. Can you add other ideas? Think inside and outside the box. Comment and share your ideas.

Robert Dugoni Book Signing

Robert Dugoni at recent Book Signing

There were a slew of people killed last weekend at the Oregon Writer’s Colony Spring Conference in Newport, but given the mix of characters, it was inevitable.

The guest author was Robert Dugoni and his appearance inspired an abundance of mayhem in the form of mystery writers killing off innocent victims during late night critique group readings at the Sylvia Beach Hotel at Nye Beach.  Actually there were many other genres represented, but Dugoni’s appearance seemed to bring in a lot of mystery writers.

He was joined by his agent, Meg Ruley, who single handedly (being the only agent at the conference) listened to 30 pitches on Saturday.  I was impressed by both, Dugoni for sacrificing his weekend traveling from Seattle to host three extended workshop sessions (seven hours total) Saturday and Sunday, and Ruley for coming from New York and being so open and helpful to published and non-published writers.

I attended the conference, hoping to network and get plugged into the writing scene a little deeper. Not being much of an extrovert–I can do it, but it’s uncomfortable– I pushed myself to schmooze with people during a wine and dine event Friday.

Later, I decided to sign up for one of two critique sessions and it was the best move I made all weekend. I signed up to read Saturday night and attended Friday night to see how it works. Both nights I offered critiques, got to know people, and spotted writers I wanted to get to know better because I think I can learn from them.  You had to be dedicated to attend the sessions because they happened between 9:30 p.m. and midnight (breakfast was 8 a.m.)

I also remembered why I like critiquing. Aside from getting my work reviewed to make it better, I like listening to other people’s stories.

Meg Ruley talked about her love for reading through slush piles when she first started as an agent. She said her love was inspired by possibly finding that next great author. But I think it’s more than that. I think she too likes to hear other people’s stories.

The conference gave me everything I was looking for. It was small (a limit of 50 people.) I met and got to know several writers, I got some great tips from Dugoni I can use in my current book to make it better, I gained tremendous confidence in reading my work to other writers I deeply respected, and I think I got a spiritual boost in knowing I’m on the right track in my goal to be published.

Dugoni’ writes Legal Thrillers and has been compared to John Grisham. I would say he is where Grisham was in his first three books (which were his best.) I recently read Dugoni’s book, Bodily Harm, a story about a toy manufacturer about to launch a new kid’s toy that has already killed three infants, and the lengths someone in the industry is willing to go to keep Dugoni’s protagonist, lawyer David Sloan, from stopping the toy’s launch into the market. It has all the elements of a great book: conspiracy, murder, suspense,  a flawed protagonist dealing with great personal loss, and an ending that will leave you guessing. His next book, Murder One, is due out June 7th.

Click Here to see his website