Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cjpetterson@gmail.com cj

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.
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   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.
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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.  https://leelofland.com/the-language-of-law-enforcement-acronyms-and-texting-codes/
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   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 lofland32@msn.com
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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.
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   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.  
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   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 cjpetterson@gmail.com, and an autographed copy will be in the mail.
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   That’s all for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
   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.

➜ Follow me . . .
➜         on Amazon: Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author/facebook
➜         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson



Sunday, February 16, 2020

It's Mardi Gras Season in Mobile...and in New Orleans


cj Sez:   Along the Gulf Coast, Mardi Gras is a month-long season, and Mobile, Alabama, has an ongoing debate with New Orleans, Louisiana, about which was the first U.S. city to celebrate Mardi Gras. Hmm. Well, we know who that is.

   What do you think? Would a duel between the mayors of Mobile and NOLA satisfy the doubters?

   When I lived in Detroit, Mardi Gras was a one-day affair that many called Pączki Day. Pączki (pronounced "punch-kee" or "ponch-kee") are Polish pillows of pastry with a variety of possible fillings that Detroiters line up outside of the Hamtramck bakeries to buy and eat each year on Fat Tuesday. Someone in my office would get up at 5 a.m. to make a 6 a.m. paczki run to his favorite bakery where he might have to wait in line, in the snow, in sub-zero weather, barefoot, (hee hee NOT) for up to an hour to bring in several boxes (true).

   Hamtramck (“The World in Two Square Miles”) is a city located entirely within Detroit’s city limits. The hamlet is the go-to location for pączki because it’s been home to thousands of Polish immigrants since the early 1900s. These yeast-risen and fried doughnuts (that, in the minds of devotees, put the airy jelly-filled versions by Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts to shame) were first made by Polish people who wanted to use up the last of the sugar, lard, and fruit in the house before the austerity of Lent. 

Being a writer, I wonder: Is there a mystery story in there somewhere?   

Piotr Partook of a Poisonous Pączki and Passed Away on Pascha

   By the by, in case you didn’t know, Mardi Gras, the actual day also known as Shrove Tuesday, is February 25 this year. The parades in and around Mobile, however—each of which has a story—started in January.

   Lower Alabama’s first 2020 Mardi Gras parade rolled on Dauphin Island on January 25, Mobile’s first one rolled on February 7 and the parades continue until Fat Tuesday, which falls on February 25.
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Available on Amazon: 
  
 In MARDI GRAS PIECES, Mobile Writers Guild 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.

   In VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES, the third installment of the Mobile Writers Guild anthology series, members celebrate the traditional romantic aspect of Valentine’s Day with sweet and funny stories of hearts, flowers, and kisses, but they also explore the darkness that surrounds the day with a few tales of intrigue, madness, and murder.  
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   Coming next week…a give-away….A paperback of your choice: DEADLY STAR, CHOOSING CARTER, THE POSSE, or VALENTINE'S DAY PIECES. Check out the descriptions on Amazon this week and tell me which one you’d like. You might be the winner of a random draw!

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   That’s all for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
   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.

   These friendly people make a point to shelve the books of local authors, and the Mobile Writers’ Guild anthology series is also available there. If they don’t happen to have any copies of any book(s) you want, they’ll place an order for you.

➜ Follow me . . .
         on Amazon: Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author/facebook
         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Pieces of my life


cj Sez:   Today, Feb. 9, VALENTINE'S DAY PIECES authors are signing books at The Haunted Bookshop in downtown Mobile from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be goodies, laughter, authors to meet, and books to buy.

  P.S.: There are no Mardi Gras parades scheduled (I checked) to interfere with your trip to join us at 109 Dauphin Street.  

   Several of the VALENTINE'S DAY PIECES authors gathered for a book signing at The Mobile Bookseller on Friday, and here’s the proof. Left to right...Crystal Byrd, Candice M. Conner, me, Sheliah Schodlbauer, Christa Stanley, Joyce Scarbrough (who is also the awesome editor and formatter of the anthology).  Fun day.

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Passing along information…

   The following two links (click on the date) will take you to some good stuff. I found the info in these posts on Jane Friedman’s blog very helpful and interesting. Maybe you will, too.

Jane’s Guide to Getting the Most Out of a Writers Conference
Posted on

Intellectual Property: The Big Picture for Authors (by Ethan Ellenberg)
Posted on
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On the personal front…

   I made it to the finish line for one of my short story deadlines (haven’t heard yet if it was accepted…fingers crossed) and gave up on the other. I was way too distracted by real life to get my mind around a fictional life.  

   My novel-work-in-progress needs at least an additional 20,000 to 25,000 words because if I stopped right now I would have to put “the end” at the bottom of 43,000 words. Not nearly enough words, so another EDIT cycle will happen.

   But…the story will again go back on the mental shelf while I start gathering up all the data and documents I need to file my personal and author tax returns. I was waiting for the publisher's royalty form which arrived a few days ago, but there are a couple of more tax forms to come in. Once that happens, I’ll make an appointment with the CPA and that will (maybe) keep me from procrastinating. How are you doing with your taxes?
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   That’s all for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
   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.

   These friendly people make a point to shelve the books of local authors, and VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES anthology is also available there. If they don’t happen to have any copies of any book(s) you want, they’ll place an order for you.

➜ Follow me . . .
         on Amazon: Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author/facebook
         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Perfect for fans of symmetry . . .


cj Sez: It’s been centuries in the making, and you have now entered your personal once-in-a-lifetime event!

   And I quote: February 2, 2020, or 02/02/2020, is a rare palindrome, meaning it reads exactly the same forward as it does backward.

   The last time such a palindrome occurred was 909 years ago on 11/11/1111.

It won't happen again for another 101 years, when the calendar turns to 12/12/2121.

I bet you thought I was going to tell you about the Super Bowl or maybe Groundhog Day.

///

   One of our local book stores, The Mobile Bookseller, has a special sale on Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. I think his books are great research resources for the kinds of suspense I like to write. I also favor James Lee Burke and Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone and Spenser novels. Do you have specific authors you target for inspiration? Or do you target genres instead, no matter who the author is? 

I'll pick up a few James Bond novels when I’m at The Mobile Bookseller later this week for a book signing. Hope to meet some local readers while I’m there.

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   Plan to stop by The Mobile Bookseller on Friday, February 7, anytime between 3 and 6 p.m. Authors from the VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES anthology (including me) will be there signing their stories.

The Mobile Bookseller is located at 3990 Government Blvd., Mobile, AL, in the Skyland Shopping Center, at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Azalea Road.

///

On the personal front…

   A sweet, yellow kitten I rescued was diagnosed with an incurable, painful illness and died in my arms last week. I’ll be a long time getting over that one. One moment four-month-old Skipper was purring, and the next, the vet’s injection stopped his heart and put a deep scar in mine. I’m depending on the lyrics of a Gary Allan song to get me through this difficult time: “Every heartache will fade away, just like every storm runs out of rain.” It’s still raining at my house.

   That’s all for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
   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. These friendly people make a point to shelve the books of local authors, and VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES anthology will be available there soon. If they don’t happen to have any copies of any book you want, they’ll order it for you.

➜ Follow me . . .
         on Amazon: Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author/facebook
         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson


Sunday, January 26, 2020

And the nominees are . . .


cj Sez: So many books to read, so little time.

   “The Agatha Awards, named in honor of Agatha Christie, are nominated and voted on by Malice Domestic fans. The Agatha Awards honor the traditional mystery—books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely defined as mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence; and usually (but not limited to) featuring an amateur detective, a confined setting, and characters who know one another. Agatha Awards are awarded in five categories for works first published in the United States by a living author during a calendar year. The winners for 2019 publications will be announced at the Agatha Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 2 in Bethesda, Maryland during Malice Domestic 32.”
   The Malice Domestic Agatha Award Nominees can be found here:  http://malicedomestic.org/agathas.html


   From the Mystery Writers of America press release on their website on January 22:
“Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 211th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the Nominees for the 2020 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2019. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 74th Gala Banquet, April 30, 2020, in New York City.”

   Find out if your favorite author is a nominee here: https://mysterywriters.org/mwa-announces-the-2020-edgar-nominations/

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   Mark your calendar! There’s a book signing coming up, and some of the authors whose stories are in these anthologies will be there to sign your copies. For sure, I'll be there, looking forward to meeting you!

   Plan to stop by The Mobile Bookseller on Friday, February 7th from 3 to 6 p.m.

   The Mobile Bookseller is located at 3990 Government Blvd., Mobile, AL, in the Skyland Shopping Center, at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Azalea Road.
///
On the personal front…

   I have new and exciting covers and titles ready to re-issue my novels. I can hardly wait to reveal them, but I have to revise the front matter and tweak the stories before I’m ready to publish. Hopefully, that won’t take too long.

   I finished a short story Saturday afternoon (thanks, I’m sure, to your wishes for good luck), and it is now with a copy editor. The deadline for submission is looming, and I’m hoping for a fairly clean manuscript diagnosis so I don’t have to do a crash and burn to incorporate all the necessary edits in time to submit.

   I’ve also started an extensive revision of another short story to see if I can get it ready for submission to an anthology in two weeks.

   My granddaughter, Maggie Rose Johnston, made her debut on Friday as the "Good  Godly Woman" (which she really is in her daily life) in a country music YouTube video. Like author reviews, the more the video is seen and commented on, the better….so I’ve been sharing this information all over Facebook and thought you might enjoy it as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSQgU62j95o&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR3cH2-UjfuMnTahwZT6BibUhbUoBuKMQ7bN8NLWHo1sYlY0RJjEbPFDfao

   That’s all for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
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. These friendly people make a point to shelve the books of local authors, and VALENTINE’S DAY PIECES anthology will be available there soon. If they don’t happen to have any copies of any book you want, they’ll order it for you.

➜ Follow me . . .
         on Amazon: Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author/facebook
         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson