Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Countdown to New Books

I'm getting excited:
One week from today, February 5, will see the publication of my new Molly Murphy E-story called The Face In The Mirror.
It's a tense story about a woman who thinks her house may be haunted or she may be going mad.

Also Lent is approaching and if you plan to give up candy bars, let me suggest a sinless alternative. This e-story is only 99 cents and it lasts a lot longer than a Hershey's.

And it's now just over a month to the publication of THE FAMILY WAY, the next Molly book.
Molly is pregnant and bored with enforced idleness until a strange letter from Ireland and a kidnapped baby lead her on a dangerous path that puts her own life and that of her baby in jeopardy.
Already great early reviews including ****1/2 stars from RT Magazine.

And in case you are new to the series and want to start at the beginning, Macmillan is reissuing Agatha winner Murphy's Law as a trade paperback--pretty cover and so much easier to read. The whole series will now come out in trade paperback including the latest Hush Now, Don't You Cry later this month. AND the whole series will be coming out in audio form on Audible.

A busy spring for Molly Murphy! You can pre-order now!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dishing on Downton, Week 4

Okay, who cried last night? I did. My daughter did. I suspect my son-in-law did although he didn't admit to it.

I've watched 3 seasons of Downton. I've felt sad when William died, when Lavinia died--although both were awfully convenient, weren't they? I did feel a few tears when Matthew proposed to Mary but this is the first time that the story really touched me. I suspected that the story for Sibyl and Tom couldn't end happily but I suspected that Tom would die in some kind of Irish uprising and Sibyl would come home.

But I really didn't think that sweet, adorable Sibyl would die thanks to a stupid doctor and a stubborn father. My daughter and I both said instantly "She's got pre-eclampsia" when they mentioned swollen ankles and confusion. They should have listened to us.

So now there are only two Crawley sisters and a hint that Matthew may indeed be sterile. Is there going to be no heir to Downton? I can't stand it!

On a lighter note, I'm enjoying the downstairs love triangle/quadrangle and evil O'Brien up to her tricks again. But what a lot of holier-than-thou pricks when it comes to Ethel. Would one of them let tbeir child starve? Would they have behaved as nobly by finally giving him up? Good for Mrs. Crawley.

But please--Bates and Anna have gone on long enough. Either kill him off or set him free.

What do you think is going to happen? I think Edith is going to make a name for herself. I hope Mary's going to get pregnant.

Can't wait for next week. Buying more tissues, just in case.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Did they really say that?

I mentioned this on my Facebook page and got such a lively response that I thought I ought to blog about it.
I was watching TV the other night and a commercial came on. "If you ever took Pradaxa and experienced the following symptoms--heart attack, internal bleeding or death--please call our office."

How many dead people called in, do you think? One of my Facebook friends suggested it was a good way to root out zombies.

Don't you just love all those drug commercials where they tell you how great you'll feel and then say very quickly in a low voice "side effects can include nausea, diarrhea,palpitations, numbness of limbs,heart attacks, head falling off etc etc." Do they think people don't hear?

And if I had restless legs or hay fever would I be willing to trade a non-restless night or a day without sniffing for nausea, palpitations, heart attack or death? I don't think so.

We also love the message on peanut packets says "Warning. May contain nuts." and I got a candle that said "Warning, may be hot when lit." Has the world become so litigious that we have to state the obvious all the time. Remember the McDonalds coffee cup? Those cups now say "Warning, contents may be hot."

Has all the common sense gone from the world?  Have you come across any really funny ones?

And what about Cialis and if you have an erection lasting more than four hours?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Celebrating a new Murphy's Law

Celebrating the launch of a new version of Murphy's Law. This twelve year old book is like the Energizer Bunny. It keeps on going! Now Minotaur has re-released it in trade paperback format, perfect for book clubs. Take a look at the cover:
What do you think?
This will be followed in a couple of weeks by the trade paperback version of Hush Now, Don't You Cry
AND the new e-story The Face in the Mirror
ALL leading up to the publication of the new Molly book:
THE FAMILY WAY on March 5th.
AND the audio version of all the Molly books.
Stay tuned to this blog as I begin a new feature shortly: a series of blogs on gutsy women of the early Twentieth century.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dishing on Downton, Week 3

Spoiler alert. If you haven't yet seen Week 3 do not read on and if you do, don't blame me.

I liked this week--it had some nicely subtle emotion to it--Daisy ready to tell Albert how she feels about him only to have him eyeing the new kitchen maid. And then the tear jerker--Ethel giving up her little boy to the horrible man. Why didn't an outspoken woman like Mrs Crawley point out that Ethel only sank so low because HIS SON got her in trouble to begin with? We guessed that Mrs. Crawley will give her a chance as a maid and the teaser for next week hinted that would happen. And Bates and Anna finally getting their letters. But Bates now has a deadly enemy and Anna isn't pursuing what she found out in London. How many more seasons before this is resolved?

And then there's Sibyl and Branson. Do you think that marriage is doomed? I rather suspect he may return to Ireland and get shot in an uprising, dying a martyr's death. What do you think? I don't see much future in the marriage.

And what do you think about the new footman? The maids adore him and we think he's clearly gay, so there might be attraction between him and Thomas. And someone at table mentioned that he looked like a stage footman, making me wonder if he really is not quite what he seems--on the run? And out of work actor?

Hooray for Edith now writing a column in a newspaper. Maybe she'll outshine them all. And the big question--is Mary pregnant?

So come on--let's hear what you thought of this week's episode.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Many Faces of Molly

This spring it's all about Molly Murphy--my feisty Irishwoman from the early 1900s in New York City. Her first appearance will be on February 6th when she'll star in an e-story called The Face in the Mirror. It's a long short story or a short novella in which she is asked to find out if a woman is going mad or her house is really haunted. It's good stuff and priced at only 99 cents. Cheaper than a candy bar and doesn't put pounds on the hips. If you have friends who haven't tried Molly yet, recommend this sample to them.

Then on March 5 comes the main event-- THE FAMILY WAY, the new hardcover book. Molly, expecting her own first child, is horrifed by a rash of kidnappings in the Lower East Side. She's promised she'll give up sleuthing but asking a few questions can't hurt. The story also brings her in contact with one of her own family, putting both their lives in danger.

Both of the above are available now for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

But wait, there's more. Minotaur will be releasing Hush Now, Don't You Cry and Murphy's Law as trade paperbcks (you know--the bigger kind that are great for book clubs and traveling)
the whole series will be coming out in audio form on AUDIBLE. I can't wait to hear who is doing the reading as my reader for the Royal Spyness series, Katy Kellgren, is so absolutely brilliant.

So get out your shamrocks, your green sweaters and have a lovely Irish spring with Molly.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dishing on Downton,Week 2

Sorry I've been silent during the week. We were moving back from California to Arizona after the Christmas break and we'll be here for three months, meaning a lot of organization required, then two days of driving, sore back muscles afterward etc.

However great weekend--49rs won, we celebrated Three Kings a week late with our Arizona family and we watched Downton, episode 2 together.

Please do not read on if you didn't watch last night's episode and plan to.

Things I liked about it: new clues on Mrs. Bates being poisoned. We now know two things, I believe--that she planned to poison Bates when he came to tea that night. The mystery writer in me has figured it out. She put arsenic in a pie, AND she had already been poisoned herself. The neighbor talks of seeing an aura around her, glowing in the drizzle--classic symptom of arsenic poisoning! So this is what I suspect--she planned to poison Bates by putting arsenic in a pie. She planned to make herself immune to poisoning by gradually building up her tolerance to arsenic by having a little at a time. (This has been done many times). She took too much. Finally killed her.

We'll see if I'm right. And will Bates be released before he does something bad to his cell mate or the cell mate does something bad to him?  What else did I like? Great lines from Maggie Smith, as usual. Mr. Carson's revealing how much he cares about Mrs. Hughes. That whole storyline handled nicely. I like the way Daisy is developing into a more confident young woman and the hint of future romance with Alfred.
Several things I didn't like: Sir Anthony walking out at the wedding. He struck me as an honorable man. He'd have come to see Edith before to tell her he couldn't go through with it, not left her like that.
The letter from Lavinia giving her blessing to the money so that Downton can be saved. A little too pat, don't you think?
Ethel having turned into something out of Les Miserables. I'm sure she could have found some honest laundry, ironing, mending work.
Thomas becoming too outrageously evil.

So what did you think? As good as previous seasons or not?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dishing on Downton, Week One

Warning: Do not read on if you haven't seen episode one yet.
Read on at your own peril...

It's finally here and I, for one, wasn't disappointed. Mary and Matthew married and I cried. American grandmama is wonderful and watching her with Maggie Smith would be worth it alone even if there were no story. Weren't they fabulous?

But now we have Mrs. Hughes to worry about, and Bates's new roommate. And I can't believe that happiness will go smoothly for Edith, can you? After all, if the girls are all happily married, where is the romance and drama? Perhaps Branson will get killed in an Irish uprising and Sibyl will come home....

My gripes: I found the scene in which the oven fails and the guests have to picnic ridiculously over the top. If that oven had been smoking for some time, someone would have fixed it. And it was just the oven that wasn't working, surely. Couldn't they have cooked some things on the stovetop? And frankly a house the size of Downton would probably have more than one oven. My sister-in-law's manor house, not as big as Downton, has an Aga stove and a gas cooker.

My other gripe. I hate inconsistency. Bates's house is okay because he signed it over to Anna. So how come Cora's fortune was all tied up in Downton? Couldn't she have kept some for herself?

And the evil Thomas versus the evil O'Brien--hasn't that theme gone too far now? Why doesn't she just tell the master that Thomas took his dog? Then Thomas would be fired and peace would return to downstairs.  That would be too simple and of course we need Thomas for that touch of evil, don't we?

Finally I've only just read that Matthew won't be in Season 4. That changes everything. Please, please don't kill him off at the end of season 3!

So let's hear from you. What did you like or dislike. Was it as good as the previous years?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, and may none of us fall over the fiscal cliff!

Looking back on the past year, it was certainly one of highs and lows--health scare for John, broken pelvis for me, but then two books on the New York Times bestseller list in one year, rising to #19 in the Amazon mystery author ranking, winning another Agatha Award for Naughty in Nice were all supreme highs. As was our visit to Paris and watching the end of the Tour de France and then being in London for the Olympics and coming home on the Queen Mary 2.

This year I'm hoping for peace and sanity in the world, for leaders who care more about us than about posturing and party politics, for an end to greed and selfishness and for everyone to realize that life should be fun and is to be enjoyed. I plan to laugh every day, to enjoy family and friends, good food, good wine, hikes and lovely views, good books, good movies and maybe write a little on the side :)

Actually I wrote the first page of my new book today. It feels good to put down the words Chapter One.  It is another Molly book and will be set in Paris. I'm not saying how and why Molly gets there.

I'm also looking forward to a new Molly book--The FamilyWay--coming out in March and before that a Molly e-story called The Face in the Mirror. It's available for pre-order now, and only 99 cents on Amazon. (and a dollar doesn't even buy a cup of coffee these days)

I'm planning to spend time at our condo in Arizona, to attend Left Coast Crime in Colorado Springs, Malice Domestic in Bethesda and a college reunion in England in May. After that the year is wide open...

So I'm wishing you all a year of health and happiness and good reading.