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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Endings, Openings, and A Give-away Winner

cj Sez: The pre-Lent parades with their high school bands, beads, toys, and Moon Pie throws continue here along the Gulf Coast but will come to a roaring end on February 25—Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday.

   I have yet to attend a parade, but my family is involved in various ways: Official krewe photographer, loading floats with supplies of throws, and riding on the floats
Granddaughters on float
themselves. It’s been a busy and fun month. Everybody will fall back into sanity on Wednesday.
   Speaking of Fall Back, did you know Daylight Saving Time is coming to an end? It’s almost time to lose an hour of sleep and Spring Forward. I’ll remind you next week.
Tidbits to share:
   Jane Friedman’s blog post of November 20, 2019: “When Your Story Opening Does Nothing but Blow Smoke.” Peter Selgin, the award-winning author of Your First Page offers first-page critiques to show just how much useful critical commentary and helpful feedback can be extracted from a single page—the first page—of a work-in-progress.
   Lee Lofland’s Graveyard Shift blog post of August 27, 2019: “The Language of Law Enforcement: Acronyms and Texting Codes.”  You don’t have to writing a police procedural to get something of value out of this post.
   Just a reminder: Registration for MurderCon (The Writers’ Police Academy) opens today, Feb. 23, at noon, and space is limited. The conference is great for hands-on experiences and information about police procedure, forensics, EMS, firefighting, and more. (I went there, did that a few years ago.) This year’s guest of honor is author David Baldacci.

   If you have questions or need assistance, contact Lee Lofland at
Mobile Writers’ Guild anthologies available on Amazon:

   In MARDI GRAS PIECES, MWG members share their stories—some true and some fictional, some funny, some touching, and some downright chilling. So don your beads and deck yourself out in purple, gold, and green, grab a Moon Pie and relax while you experience a little bit of the Mobile Mardi Gras tradition.
   Sometimes there is more to Valentine’s Day than candy, flowers, and sweet nothings whispered in the ear of a lover. My short story in VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES, the third installment of the Mobile Writers Guild anthology series, was inspired by a personal challenge to write an old-fashioned, noir mystery in the 50s and 60s voice/style of author Mickey Spillane.

   In “Call Me Kate,” an ordinary Valentine’s Day becomes a race for survival as Patrick O’Donnell struggles to save the life of a beautiful and mysterious woman who says she will die at the hands of a killer before the day is over.  
   The give-away winner is (drum roll please): ….Congratulations to Sherry Zehner Ney who asked for a copy of VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES. Thanks, Sherry, for playing along. Send your address to, and an autographed copy will be in the mail.
   That’s all for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

   Autographed print copies of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, and THE POSSE are still available at the Haunted Bookshop. TO ORDER (and support an indie bookstore) contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and an award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

   If you’re in Mobile area, do stop in at the book store; it’s a neat place to browse. Can’t find a copy of the book(s) you want? They’ll order it for you.

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