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Friendship, Mystery

Meet My Mystery Writer Friend

Death of a Telenovela Star is the title of Teresa Dovalpage’s latest mystery. This novella, set on a cruise to the Caribbean, features a former Havana detective who now runs a bakery inIMG_0711 Miami. But Marlene Martínez can’t help figuring out whodunnit when a murder happens onboard. Yes, the telenovela star has an untimely death. This book is short, fast and fun read.

Full disclosure: Teresa, or la Te, as I call her is my friend, actually one of my closest friends. And while I want you to read her book, I want to tell you about her.

I met Teresa when I lived in Taos and took the Spanish 101 course she taught at the local branch of the University of New Mexico. She made the class fun. When I found out she was also an author, I bought her first novel, A Girl Like Che Guevara, which is set in Cuba, where she grew up.

Then she started reporting on a freelance basis for The Taos News — I was the editor-in-chief then — for our Spanish page, plus writing features in English. She had no journalism experience but caught on right away.

We became friends. I enjoyed her energy, humor, and Cuban coffee. We even collaborated on a project — a bilingual series for kids. I did the English, she translated. Only one — The Cousins and the Magic Fish/Los primos y el pez mágico has been published so far, but I plan to change that. The first book, which was second runner-up for the Zia Book Award in 2018, deserves a new layout and to be continued.

Teresa has had success with the publishing world. Check out her books on Amazon: Teresa Dovalpage Books on Amazon

I was frustrated by my lack of it. After many years of effort, including two agents who failed me, I ended up self-publishing two of my novels: Peace, Love and You Know What and The Sweet Spot.

Teresa always encouraged me and gave me good advice.

And then, she inspired me to write mysteries. This was a different genre for me. I like to think my adult books are literary fiction, but I am a huge fan of mystery shows, especially those from the UK.

Teresa wrote a mystery, Death Comes in Through the Kitchen, and sold it to a publishing house. I read a draft and thought why not try my own. Like Teresa, who set that book in her native Cuba, I chose to set Chasing the Case in rural Western Mass., where I have lived twice. (As I’ve said before, it’s a case of taking what you know and having your way with it.)

I so enjoyed writing that first book, I completed three more, all published by Darkstroke Books. And I’m onto my fifth.

When Hank and I left Taos to return to Western Mass. three years ago, Teresa and her husband moved to Hobbs, NM, where she is a professor at the university there. We keep in touch via social media, email, and the occasional phone call. I hope our paths cross again.

But back to Death of a Telenovela Star, it’s a good escape from this strange world we have now. Check it out.

PHOTO ABOVE: Teresa and I at the New Mexico Press Women’s conference in 2018.

KILLING THE STORY: No. 4 in the Isabel Long Mystery Series launched Aug. 26. Here’s the link: Killing the Story. And thanks for your support.

 

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Isabel Long Mystery Series, Killing the Story, Mystery, New release

A Healthy Obsession

I’m talking about writing fiction. I just can’t help myself and hopefully, there is no cure for it.

In college and a few years afterward, I was a poet. When I read the poems I’ve kept, I still like what I wrote. But I kicked that habit when I started having kids, lots of kids, six in all, now all adults. By then, I was more interested in prose although I couldn’t manage more than a few paragraphs and letters to friends. I read what other people wrote and thought one day I would do the same.

I honestly believe each kid I had is the equivalent of one or two books each.

Then, I got a job as a correspondent for the hilltown where I lived for a daily newspaper. Over the years, I covered more hilltowns, and then it became a full-time job. It wasn’t fiction, but I was writing and better yet, immersing myself in rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting for most of my  books. And I was learning how to sustain prose.

It wasn’t until I became an editor for the same newspaper, that I started writing fiction. I didn’t write down the date, too bad, but from that day on, I couldn’t go without writing. Yes, I was hooked and pretty darn fast.

I estimate I overcame a 25-year writer’s block.

My fixation has led to completed books, published and unpublished, for adults and young readers.

Killing the Story is the fourth book in my Isabel Long Mystery Series, which started when I decided to try writing a mystery. All of my other books, save the ones for young readers, are what I would call literary fiction. But after I finished the first, Chasing the Case, I was fixated on the characters, the setting, and coming up with a story that would have twists and turns that would fool readers about who might have dunnit. (I will admit I don’t know either as I solve the cold case along with my protagonist, Isabel Long and her sidekick, her mother.)

In Killing the Story, Isabel is investigating the death of a small town newspaper editor. Was it an accident or murder? She’s determined to find out despite obstacles thrown her way by the local police chief. But then again, he and the victim have a dark history.

The book, which was officially released Aug. 26, just completed a blog tour that garnered some great reviews. Now NewInBooks is giving it a push.

And so, I am onto the next mystery. This one is called Working the Beat. I started this week, getting up at 5 a.m. to write before I head to work. (I am the editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper.) As of this morning, I hit the 3,700-word mark. Isabel is just about to find her next case. Damn, I’m excited.

Interested in reading Killing the Story? Thank you very much. Hopefully, you, too, will get hooked on my series. Here’s the link on Amazon: Killing the Story

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: Lobsters awaiting their doom in a tank during a recent visit to Cape Cod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isabel Long Mystery Series, Mystery

Why Not Free?

In mid-March I gave away the Kindle version of Chasing the Case — the first in the Isabel Long Mystery Series — for free. Prior to that experience, I wondered why authors would make their books free for a limited time. What’s the incentive? The answer is to reach more readers and, of course, sales.

For readers who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, the pages they read from picking up Chasing the Case added up. My hope also was that readers who took advantage of the offer would get hooked on the series and it was evident that happened when Kindle readers bought Redneck’s Revenge and Checking the Traps. People even bought books not in the series. Now that was exciting.

But let’s be realistic. You can’t depend on the positives of one promo to last forever. So I am doing it again. Kindle readers can get Chasing the Case for free June 13-14 (Saturday and Sunday).

I will be honest and say I did pay for promotion through Fussy Librarian and Freebooksy. Afterall both have a tremendous amount of book-loving followers — far more than my efforts at social media could generate. So now I am paying to give my book away … am I nuts? I will know when I get the final royalty numbers from my publisher.

And I am game to try again. Afterall, today I just sent the fourth book Killing the Story to my publishers at Darkstroke Books. There is still work to be done like final edits, covers etc. But it’s good to stir interest in the series.

I have appreciated the support people have given my writing. If you haven’t picked up Chasing the Case, here’s your chance for free. Here’s the link: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

One last thing: Joining me on this freebie weekend are fellow authors from Crooked Cat Books and Darkstroke Books. We will be spreading the word via social media. Here’s your chance to discover a new author or more.

 

 

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