Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring & a New Release by Diane Burton

Where has the year gone? It’s the end of March already. I know that’s not very original. We all seem amazed at the quick passage of time. Remember when we were kids and time dragged? Spring has finally come to Michigan. I don’t dare say it’s the end of snow. If past years are any indication, we’ll get more—hopefully, only flurries. Trees and bushes are budding and spring bulbs are poking their heads through the dirt.

Easter will be here before we know it, and that signals the release of my newest book. Connecting a religious holiday with a PI mystery probably sounds sacrilegious. In recent posts, I promised to have The Case of the Meddling Mama published by Spring, then I narrowed it done to by Easter. This is the book that seemed to take forever to finish. And I have no idea why. I love my character. Alex O’Hara is quirky, fun, and gets into almost as many scrapes as Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. Alex’s main squeeze Nick is a mystery. He comes and goes at the will of his employer, a secret government agency. A hot topic in today’s news—opioid addiction—is featured in the story.

Even though the manuscript is with my editor-extraordinaire, our own Alicia Dean, Meddling Mama is up for pre-order on Amazon and Kobo at a reduced price. You might think that’s an odd combination. I have a good reason. Amazon covers the U.S. and its subsidiaries hit most other countries. Kobo is huge in the rest of the world. Amazing the things you find out on writer loops. I’d never even heard of Kobo when I first started to self-publish. The Case of the Meddling Mama will be available at most online vendors on April 17, the day after Easter.

My wonderful cover designer, Florence Price at The Novel Difference, did a fabulous job on the cover. When I started the series, she suggested we use the same scene but change with the seasons. The Case of the Meddling Mama takes place in Spring, so she added pots of tulips in front of Alex’s office. Although people are enjoying a sunny day at the beach, they’re too smart to go into Lake Michigan’s frigid waters. A big event in West Michigan is Tulip Time, a week of Dutch-themed parades, crafts, food, and dancing. Of course, I had to add that to the story that takes place in the fictional resort town of Far Haven, similar to Holland, Michigan.

Here’s a little bit about The Case of the Meddling Mama.

Once again, Alex O’Hara is up to her ears in mysteries. After surviving an attempted murder, all she wants is R&R time with Nick Palzetti. But his mother leaving his father (“that horse’s patoot”) and moving in with Alex puts a crimp in their plans. Then Nick leaves on assignment and the teen she rescued from an abusive father believes his buddy is doing drugs. Meanwhile, Alex has two easy cases to take her mind off her shaky relationship with Nick—a philandering husband and a background check on a client’s boyfriend. Piece of cake.

When two women entered the exclusive dress shop, Ellie left to greet them while her assistant chivvied me to put on the shoes. White socks, black strappy heels, and the gorgeous emerald green bridesmaid dress. I made such a fashion statement as I stood on the platform. Call Vogue.
I so didn’t want to be there, especially when I recognized one of the women. I’d been the bearer of bad news to Nora Finley last week. Her Mr. Perfect turned out to be a Black Widower. He and his cohorts had the perfect plan to kill her. A plan I thwarted just in time.
“Oh, you’re here,” Nora cried out when she spotted me and tugged on her companion’s wrist, practically dragging her over. “Ginnie, this is the PI that saved my life. Alex O’Hara!”
I cringed while heat bloomed in my cheeks.
Nora looked up at me. “I’ve been telling Ginnie here that she absolutely must hire you to check out her boyfriend. She met him on one of those online dating sites.”
Ginnie winced, like she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her. I knew the feeling.

The Case of the Meddling Mama is now available for pre-order at $1.99.

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. When she isn’t writing cozy mysteries, like the Alex O’Hara PI series, she’s writing science fiction romance and romantic suspense. She’s a regular contributor here on the 30th of the month, at Paranormal Romantics on the 13th, and on her own blog every Monday.


Leah St. James said...

I already ordered my copy. Can't wait to read it!
Question: In the second line of the excerpt, what does "chivvied" mean? (I'm from Jersey. Some people think we speak a different language.) :-)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Diane, what a neat cover (and concept) for THE CASE OF THE MEDDLING MAMA. The tulips and an Easter release make great sense! Your comment on how some books take sooooo long, rings true for me. You'd think we'd get speedier, but I think the more we know and the new concepts we fiddle with in our books...the more time they take. Good luck with your Amazon, Kobo release plan!

Margo Hoornstra said...

These books are so on my TBR pile. I love Alex too. (Nick ain't bad either ;-) As you know, I'm in awe of your marketing skills. Best of luck with this latest.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks so much, Leah. Chivvy means to repeatedly tell someone to do something. You aren't the only one who comes across unusual words while reading. I love that on my Kindle I can highlight a word and get the definition. If I had to find a dictionary and look it up, I'd lose my place in the book.

Rolynn, thanks. I love my cover. One of the things to slowed down my progress was the research on drugs and online dating. I would go from link to link and become so engrossed in the research that I didn't write.

My 2 best sources of income are Amazon and Kobo. Even though my books are at many vendors, and I appreciate the income from those sources, it made sense to concentrate my energy on putting the book up for pre-order on Amazon and Kobo.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Good Luck on your upcoming release. And thanks for explaining Kobo. I didn't know what it was, except for a selling base. I feel as though I write slower, too. I used to be able to write a book in 3 months. Now it takes me 4 to 5 months. I hate to use the "A" word as a reason for slowing down.

Diane Burton said...

Margo, I always appreciate your support.

Vonnie, I'm amazed at how popular Kobo is in other countries. Since they're a Japanese company HQ'ed in Toronto, they don't send 1099s so you have to keep track of your deposits from them and (since I'm an honest citizen) report that income.

Alison Henderson said...

Congratulations on The Case of the Meddling Mama, Diane. This is such a fun series, and I LOVE your covers!

Andrea Downing said...

Diane, I love the title and no doubt will love the book. Good luck!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Alison. So glad you like the series.

Thanks, Andrea. This title came so easily, for a change. LOL

Jannine Gallant said...

The only sign of spring here is the fact that my daughter is home on spring break. Of course it was chain controls over Donner Summit, driving to get her today... My yard is still a big, dirty pile of snow with a little fresh on top! Your book sounds great. Congrats on finishing it!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Jannine. I never realized how far into the mountains you are. As much snow as we get here in Michigan, I've never used chains. Not needed. Glad your daughter is home safely. Enjoy spring break, even if the snow hasn't left.

Alicia Dean said...

Shoot, late as usual!! I am not a fan of spring, but I am a fan of Alex O'Hara, and I'm so luck to get a sneak peek as your editor. Loving this one so far! Good idea about the pre-orders. Best wishes!!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Great cover! Story sounds fun. Happy Spring!

Diane Burton said...

You're not that late, Alicia. I'm so glad you enjoy Alex and her adventures. I did a pre-order for the last book and was very pleased with the results.

Thanks, Brenda. Fun is what I aimed for.

Alicia Dean said...

This is such a great read, and you picked a wonderful excerpt to share. Can't wait til it's out for everyone to enjoy!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Alicia. I love hearing that.