Chasing the Case launch party (dragged)
Chasing the Case, Isabel Long Series

Virtual Party, Real Fun

It was my first rodeo, as they say, for a Facebook launch party last Friday for my new mystery Chasing the Case. I had already done a physical reading, but this online event would be a way to reach people who live around the globe and obviously couldn’t attend in person. Yes, a lot is possible on the Web.

I will admit this was new to me, so I was lucky enough to have the camaraderie of my fellow authors at Crooked Cat Books. I popped into their Facebook launches. They were free with their advice such as writing posts and gathering graphics ahead of time, so they can be inserted easily.

I planned my prizes: appearances in a third Isabel Long book plus signed editions of my earlier books. I created a welcome video.

Just have fun, my author friends said. Hmm.

The hardest part was choosing a time given friends live in Europe, the Mideast, Australia, and of course the U.S. So I settled on 2 p.m. Eastern Time Zone. I planned to keep the discussion up for 24 hours, so people could join in when it was convenient.

The fun actually began before 2 p.m. with authors posting celebratory good wishes. Thank you.

Then 2 p.m. came. First the video and then a contest question. Here it is: “I always have a bar in all of my adult fiction. Chasing the Case has the Rooster. In my novel, The Sweet Spot, it’s the Do-Si-Do. It’s your turn to create a name for a bar. I will use your name as a character in my next Isabel Long mystery. Fair warning: the character could be a suspect.”

I was a little worried because it started slowly. But my son, Zack, weighed in and then my longtime friend, Fred. Then things started rolling.

In all I had six contests, all connected to Chasing the Case.

I was surprised who came to the party — a delightful mix of family (my husband’s cousins who are now my cousins had a strong showing), authors, high school and college friends. Oh, the list goes on.

I returned in the evening to find my author friends from Australia weighing in. I was glad to go back and forth with them.

The contest winners have been notified. To tell you the truth, it was hard. There were some clever people on Facebook that day.

I believe the launch went well. Others said the same. A few who were also rookies to these sort of events said they look forward to the next one. Yes, there will be another Sept. 26 for the next in this series, Redneck’s Revenge. I will let you all know. I hope you can make it.

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: A portion of the conversation at my Facebook launch party.

GET YOUR OWN COPY: Here’s the link to get your copy of Chasing the Case: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

 

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Chasing the Case, Isabel Long Series

My Low-Pressure Sales Pitch

I’ve been thinking of ways to tell readers nicely how happy it would make me if they pre-ordered my brand new mystery, Chasing the Case. So, here goes.

Pre-order, you say? This is how it works: you tell Amazon ahead of time you want to buy the Kindle version of the book, and on May 18 it will pop into your computer, tablet, or device like a pleasant surprise.

I am grateful for those who have already made a purchase. As for others, I can imagine what you’re saying: May 18 is a long ways off. Why can’t I wait?

Here are ten reasons.

ONE: Chasing the Case is a really good mystery, if I say so myself. Yesterday somebody sent me a challenge on Twitter about what three things I need to write. My top answer was: A story I can’t let go. That’s the scenario for this one. It was my first attempt at this genre and I found I loved writing mysteries.

Here’s a short summary. Isabel Long, a long-time journalist, becomes an amateur P.I. after she gets canned from her newspaper job. She’s got time on her hands, so she decides to solve a mystery of a woman who went missing 28 years earlier. It was her first big story as a rookie reporter. And it happened in her town of a thousand people.

Isabel is smart, sassy and doesn’t take crap from anybody. She’s got a Watson, her 92-year-old mother who lives with her. And she takes a job tending bar at a local watering hole so she can get up close and personal with those close to this case.

The story is set in an imagined hilltown in Western Massachusetts.

As a journalist, Isabel never lost a story she chased. Now, as an amateur P.I., she’s not about to lose this case either.

TWO: It’s damn cheap at $2.99 (US), £1.99 (UK) and $3.99 (AU) and CDN $2.99 (CA).

What could you possibly buy at that price that would bring you lasting pleasure? Not much these days. I’ve had coffee that cost more than that.

By the way it’s free, if you have Kindle Unlimited.

THREE: It’s damn easy to buy. Just go to these links. On a box, you will see a place that says “Pre-order with 1-Click.” Just click it.

You go to: Amazon US or Amazon UK or Amazon Canada or Amazon Australia.

FOUR: It’s good for the novel’s ranking on Amazon. Yup, the book industry is a numbers game.

FIVE: Uh, I don’t own a Kindle. You can download a free Kindle app for your computer, tablet, even your phone.

SIX: Hold on. I prefer a book in hand. Yes, I understand. I have a library of books I’ve collected.

My friend, Amy, sent me this humorous message on Facebook: “Troglodyte Murphy awaits the hard copy… Ring me on my 2006 Tracfone when it’s ready.”

Paperbacks will be available soon and I will let you know when.

SEVEN: On launch day, I will be hosting an online party on Facebook. It will last a few hours. There will be opportunities for fun discussions and contests with prizes. Would you like your pet’s name to be used in the second sequel I’m working on? Perhaps you would like one of the characters to have your name. That’s a start. It’s open to anyone on Facebook.

EIGHT: I promise not to be a pest about this. My publisher, Crooked Cat Books, recommends our presence on social media should be 80 percent us and 20 percent our books. I am going to have to post a whole lot more to make up for this pitch.

NINE: Let me repeat: you will make me happy. Very happy. And grateful. Writing brings me immense pleasure, but it takes a lot to put together say a 75,000-word novel. I want people to read it. Luckily, I have the support of Crooked Cat Books and I hope you.

TEN: Thank you for sticking with me if you’ve read this far.

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Isabel Long Series

And Now for the Sequel

Here’s some very welcome news: Crooked Cat Books has signed Redneck’s Revenge. The mystery will be published several months after its prequel Chasing the Case — Crooked Cat has that one too.

Two mysteries written and signed this year. Damn, I’m excited.

Those who know me also know that it’s been a challenge breaking into the business side of writing. I thank Laurence and Steph Patterson for providing that break.logosmall2

So, here’s the lowdown on Redneck’s Revenge, which like most of my books takes place in Western Massachusetts — although my characters and towns are pure fiction.

Isabel Long, a journalist turned amateur P.I., has taken on her second case: the suspicious death of a junkyard owner.

Despite her success, Isabel is feeling a bit lost months after solving her first. Her relationship with Jack, the owner of the Rooster Bar, has cooled. Then the police warn Isabel she must work for a licensed P.I. before she can go out on her own.

With the encouragement of her 92-year-old mother, Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case. The official ruling is that Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited the junkyard, believes he was murdered.

Topping the list of suspects she gives Isabel are two dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband. Isabel is unfamiliar with the hilltown of Caulfield and its rough-and-tumble residents. But as she did when she worked as a journalist, Isabel checks out leads and builds a story.

Could Chet’s death simply be a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.

Right now, Chasing the Case is in the hands of my editor Miriam Drori. And I’m onto writing the next one. It’s called Checking the Traps. Yup, Isabel is once again in the thick of things.

Here’s the link for Crooked Cat Books: www.crookedcatbooks.com

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