Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Great event in Portland!

I'm off to bed, but just had to tell you about the great book signing event I had at Murder By The Book in Portland last Sunday! The owners do a really great job putting together an author event. Lots of wonderful people attended, including three old friends from Eugene, Oregon. What a surprise to see them there! Small world.

I spent the night with a friend at her beautiful home in Vancouver, Washington. Talk about southern hospitality! Kathi spread out the red carpet and wined and dined me in great style. And does this woman have a fabulous collection of jokes! I don't know how anyone can remember so many and tell them so well. Amazing!

I've re-scheduled the Seattle book signing events I was supposed to do in Seattle for next Wednesday and Thursday, April 28th and 29th. I'm still coughing a bit from a nasty bout of bronchitis, but I'm feeling better with every day.

I hope to see any of you who live in the Seattle area. Please check the Events Page on my website for more information.

Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ready to start my book tour!

Bob and I arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area about an hour ago and were greeted by bright sunshine and clear skies! Since we've had days of rain in Oregon, it was a great welcome.

Tomorrow I start my book tour for SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL. Two book signings tomorrow -- the first one starts at noon, a lunch/talk/get together at Towne Center Bookstore in Pleasanton. Yes, a lunch, isn't that something? I'm really looking forward to it! Then tomorrow evening at 7:00, I'll be at Books Inc. in San Francisco, for a San Francisco Mystery Panel. Sounds like fun!

At one o'clock on Friday, I'll be visiting Book Passage in Corte Madera. Since I spent my senior year of high school at a Marin County school, I'm hoping for a good turn out. Then at 2:00 on Saturday, I'll be signing books and answering questions at a really fantastic bookstore -- especially if you're into whodunits, thrillers, or just great mysteries -- M is for Mystery in San Mateo. It's always great fun to visit Ed and his wonderful bookstore! He knows how to treat readers right, and writers, too!

Since I attended three schools in the SF Bay Area, and college at nearby San Jose State University, I'd love to see as many of my old school friends as possible! Come on, guys, show up and support me! It will be so fantastic to see you all! And I promise it will be fun.

Tune in to my Blog Page again tomorrow to find out how Thursday's book signings went. If nothing else, looks as if it's going to be a sunny, glorious day!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hooked by the Internet!

It seems to me that I'm spending way too much time online these days. Granted, when a new book is released it's almost carved in stone that you have to check your book's ranking on Amazon (which changes every hour), and the publicity work every writer is forced to do online never seems to stop. Nonetheless, I think checking email, Facebook and Twitter gradually, or not so gradually, grows to be more than a habit; it becomes an addiction!

I've tried promising myself that I'll only check my email two or three times a day, that's it, no more three times a day max! I'm sure I don't have to tell you how well that worked. My inbox is like an irresistible magnet, taking physical control of my fingers and forcing me, always against my will, of course, to click on that harmless-looking link. Come on now I ask you, how can anyone resist that kind of power?

One day last week I kept track of how much time I spent reading email, tracking Facebook and Twitter postings, and taking a "quick" peek at Amazon and Barnes and Noble book rankings. It came to a staggering two hours!! Two hours that could have been spent far more productively working on my new book. But I can't seem to change -- I admit that it's controlling me. Two hours a day times seven days a week is 14 hours a week, 56 hours a month! My name is Shirley and I'm an addict!!

If anyone out there in cyberspace has a cure for this illness -- tricks that work, meditations, hot line phone numbers, anything! -- I beg you, please share them with me!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Singing is good for the soul!

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I belong to a singing group. Actually, I belong to two singing groups, a very large one -- approximately 80 women -- and a smaller group of about a dozen women. I love them both!

My life (like so many of us!) is hectic and stressful. Some people have told me that adding yet one more activity to the mix is downright foolish -- okay, so some have used stronger words than that, but I don't feel it's appropriate to mention them here. But they're wrong. Singing truly is good for the soul. When I'm singing my head feels better and so does my spirit. Ironically, after three hours of practice, I come home feeling rested and rejuvenated. Funny, huh? Not only is it liberating to belt out some catchy tunes, but I'm surrounded by wonderful friends, women who share the same love for music as I do. It's very special.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my life as a mystery writer. But when you sit at a desk all day, usually by yourself, it can get lonely after a while. What a great release to join with a group of like-minded women and sing your heart out.

I just got home from my Monday night rehearsal tonight, and I feel so much better for it. As I drove home, I was still humming some of the songs we'd practiced. It was pouring rain outside (I do live in Eugene, Oregon, remember), but there was truly a song in my heart. A great way to celebrate the release of my new book tomorrow. Sing! Sing! Sing!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Less than a week to go!

I just realized yesterday that my new Sarah Woolson mystery, SCANDAL ON RINCON HILL, will be released next Tuesday, March 30th! This last month has really flown by. Still so much to do, and even less time to do it in!

For those of you who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, here is the schedule for my book signings/talks, etc.

Thursday, April 8th, 12:00
Lunch & Book Signing at TOWNE CENTER BOOKSTORE, 555 Main St., Pleasanton
Phone: (925) 846-8826
Website: http://www.towncenterbooks.com
Email: info@towncenterbooks.com

Thursday, April 8th, 7:00
San Francisco Mystery Panel, BOOKS INC, 3515 California St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 221-3666
Website: http://www.booksinc.net/SFLaurel
Email: inystrom@booksinc.net

Friday, April 9th, 1:00 pm
Book Signing/Chat BOOK PASSAGE, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Phone: (415) 927-0960 , (800) 999-7909
Website: http://www.bookpassage.com
Email: kwest@bookpassage.com

Saturday, April 10th, 2:00 pm
Book Signing/Talk M IS FOR MYSTERY BOOKSTORE, 86 E. 3rd Avenue, San Mateo
Phone: (650) 401-8077 , (877) 405-8077 (toll free)
Website: http://www.MforMystery.com
Email: info@mformystery.com

I'd love to see as many of you as possible at one of these events. If we haven't met already, it's time that we did. Come prepared to have a lively discussion about Sarah, Robert Campbell, Pierce Godfrey and life in 1880s San Francisco. Most of all, come prepared to have fun!

Just a reminder! You still have until March 30th to enter to win an Amazon Kindle, a $75 Amazon gift certificate, a $40 deluxe day planner, and a $20 Flex book light. Just click on the "Contest" link on the Welcome Page of this website to enter. Good luck!

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 31st.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Beautiful Farewell

On Sunday, Bob and I attended the funeral of our son Mike's mother-in-law Beatrice Aceves in Sacramento, California. It was a long ride down from Eugene, Oregon, but we were determined to be there in order to say goodbye to a truly wonderful lady.

The funeral service was one of the most touching I've ever attended. Mike and Norma's four beautiful and talented older children -- our grandchildren Melissa, Vaneza, Danielle and Mikey -- played their violins, filling the church with music that seemed to come straight from the angels. When Melissa played the piano and Danielle sang a particularly poignant song for her late grandmother, I doubt if there was a dry eye in the entire, overflowing crowd.

After the funeral service and reception, Bob and I got back in our car and made the long, sad drive back to Eugene. But though we feel her loss keenly, we know in our hearts that Beatrice was with us all in spirit. I know that she heard the heavenly music played by her grandchildren, and felt the waves of love coming from her family and many friends. It was truly a celebration of a life well lived.

Goodbye, Beatrice. We're going to miss you!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sad News

I'm sorry to announce that my son Mike's much loved mother-in-law, Beatrice Aceves, passed away early this morning after a long illness. Beatrice was a wonderful, caring woman, who devoted her life to her husband and family, including her six grandchildren. Although she'll be greatly missed, we're fortunate to be left with so many loving memories of this great lady.

Mike, Norma and kids, all our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time!