An Interesting Concept for Releasing a Series/Trilogy

One of my sister authors at misterio press is doing an all-at-once release of a new trilogy. Thought you all might be interested in how she’s doing it.

Binge Reading – No, It’s Not What You Think

by Kirsten Weiss

Call it the age of Netflix.

It’s spoiled us for the wait – no longer do we have to hang on an aching seven days to find out what comes next on our favorite TV show. With shows produced by Netflix, we can now binge watch the entire season over a weekend. (And yes, I’m guilty of this – Longmire! Stranger Things!).

So when I heard about “binge reading,” I decided to take the plunge with my new Doyle Witch cozy mystery series. Fortunately, my patient editors at misterio press were willing to take this journey with me, because a lot ended up happening in a short span of time.

The concept is simple – launch all the books in the series at once… Read More

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When & How Should Series End? — Guest: Kassandra Lamb

Hi, All! I’m guest posting today over at Jami Gold’s cyber home. She has an awesome following of authors for her writing oriented blog. Thought you all might be interested in this topic…

When (And How) To End A Series?

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I’m currently writing Book 9—what I thought would be the last book—in my Kate Huntington Mystery series (Note to my readers: don’t panic; I think I’ve changed my mind—more on this in a bit).

When a writer sets out to write a series, often there’s no set number of books in mind. The vague thought is that we’ll keep writing as long as readers are reading and we’re still coming up with story ideas.

But everything has to come to an end some time.

When Should We End a Series?

When should a writer stop a series? Here are my thoughts on possible reasons to say “the end,” based on my own ruminations about winding down the Kate series. Read more…

 

#ExcerptWeek ~ANXIETY ATTACK, A Kate Huntington Mystery (#9) by Kassandra Lamb

Hi, Everyone!

Here’s a sneak peek at the first chapter of my next Kate Huntington adventure…

The police radio chattered with unintelligible codes. Kate shoved a dark curl out of her eyes and stifled a yawn.

The uniformed officer in the driver’s seat glanced her way. A corner of his mouth quirked up. “Don’t know who said it first, but it’s true. Police work is mostly boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror.”

She flashed him a smile. “Sorry. It’s been a long day.”

What have I gotten myself into?

“All available units,” the radio squawked. “Shots fired. Armstrong building.”

The officer sat up straighter.

Kate couldn’t make out the address the dispatcher rattled off. All she caught was “…third floor.”

Armstrong building. Why does that sound familiar?

“Unit 12 responding.” Officer Peters hit the siren and lights. The cruiser surged forward.

Kate’s heart went into overdrive.

At nine o’clock on a rainy Sunday evening, the business district of Towson was relatively quiet. The few cars on the roads quickly got out of the way. Kate suspected it wasn’t nearly as easy to get to a crime scene during a weekday, when these streets would be teeming with cars and pedestrians and delivery trucks.

Her heart rate kicked up another notch as they careened around a corner onto York Road. “Remember to call me once you have the scene secured,” she yelled over the wail of the siren.

Officer Peters nodded slightly without taking his eyes off the slick road in front of him.
He pulled into the parking lot of a high-rise office building. Braking to an abrupt stop, he killed the siren and unhooked his seatbelt. The actions seemed to happen all at once. Continue reading

Missing on Maui #ExcerptWeek

by Kassandra Lamb

Missing on Maui FINAL

A row of palm trees and tropical underbrush–with foliage Kate recognized from houseplants in Maryland–greeted her at the edge of the beach. She was about to step out onto the sand when she noticed a young man loading a canoe off to her right.

The predawn light made his movements seem furtive. He hefted a large gray sack and slid it into the boat.

Kate’s fertile imagination wondered if there was a body in that sack.

Stop that!

She’d had more than her share of adventures with corpses and wouldn’t mind if she never encountered one again, thank you very much!

The young man, a blond wearing a tropical shirt and swim trunks, leaned down to shove the canoe into the froth at the edge of the ocean. Then he climbed in and lifted a paddle to steer the boat further out into the surf. Once clear of the breaking waves, he let the boat drift. It shifted around, and Kate could now see that it was an outrigger–from one side, a float extended on two curved supports to keep the vessel more stable. The increasing daylight revealed a mast. A white sail unfurled in the early morning breeze.

Ah, that’s what was in the sack–the sail.

The man looked back to shore, his head turning slowly as if scanning the beach.

Kate instinctively moved back into the shadow of the palm trees, then wondered why she’d done that. She was considering stepping out into the open and waving, when the man turned his head toward the open sea and pulled in the sail to make it taut. The boat skimmed off across the water.

Kate soon forgot the young man as she walked along the deserted beach. Beams of sunlight streamed across the water, sparkling like bracelets on a young girl’s arm. But the puffy white clouds in the sky were only slightly tinged with pink. Disappointed in the poor showing the sunrise was making, Kate turned her head toward land.

There, above the mountain, the sky was streaked in pale yellow and pink.

Duh, this is the western side of the island. The sun would set over the ocean this evening.

Kate yawned, unsure if her jet-lagged body would be able to stay awake until sunset.

She strolled on the beach, one eye on the rolling surf and one on her footing. The sand was deep, making it hard to walk. Ahead of her, the shoreline curved outward a bit into the sea, giving her a view of sand and water juxtaposed against red and black lava cliffs. She sucked in air at the beauty of the sight. The green hillside sloped upward to the top of the dormant volcano that had formed this section of the island of Maui.

Kate set a goal of rounding that point. Then she would rest. She slogged forward through the thick sand. The sun was now peeking above the top of the mountain, and the sea sparkled in various shades of blue, from turquoise to indigo and everything in between.

By the time she reached the point, her legs were wobbly from the strain of walking in the deep sand. She gingerly lowered herself to sit on the beach. Leaning back on her elbows, she raised her face to the morning light.

She hadn’t realized she’d drifted off until one elbow gave out, dumping her sideways into the sand.

The sound of a throat clearing. She startled and jerked her head up.

A massive shadow blocked the sun.

Missing On Maui, A Kate on Vacation Mystery

It’s an awkward situation at best, and a deadly one at worst.

Days before Kate Huntington is scheduled to leave for her niece’s wedding on Maui, she receives a frantic call from said niece. Amy’s mother–Kate’s rather difficult sister-in-law–is at it again, alienating the groom’s family and even the wedding planner. Can Aunt Kate come early and run interference?

Soon after her arrival, Kate discovers that young women are going missing on the island, and Amy’s maid of honor is hanging out with a notorious local player. Is he involved in the disappearances?

Hawaii is supposed to be a relaxing paradise, but Aunt Kate is kept busy locating a new wedding planner (the delightful Pali Moon), refereeing between Amy and her mother and chasing down errant wedding party members… Oh, and facing off with a psychopath.

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Sunset on Maui

Interview with Kate Huntington: Psychotherapist, Fictional Character and Reluctant Amateur Sleuth #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger

by Kassandra Lamb

Missing on Maui FINAL

I write a series of novellas called the Kate on Vacation cozy mysteries that parallels my main Kate Huntington Mystery series. I recently released the story of yet another of Kate’s vacations that got a bit more exciting than she’d planned.

That started me wondering how Kate feels about all this murder and mayhem in her life, so I sat down to have a chat with her. Here’s what she had to say:

Kassandra Lamb: You have a real propensity for stumbling over dead bodies, Mrs. Huntington. How do you feel about that?

Kate Huntington: Please, call me Kate. And honestly I don’t care for it all that much. I do like solving mysteries, but I wish there weren’t so many corpses involved. It gets kind of stressful after a while.

Kassandra: Have you always liked mysteries?

Kate: Yes, I loved puzzles as a kid, and I guess that’s part of what drew me to psychotherapy as a profession. I like to help people of course, but I’m fascinated by the puzzle that is the human psyche.

Kassandra: So in this latest adventure on Maui, except for the whole people-going-missing thing, how did you like Hawaii?

Kate: I loved it! Hawaii is absolutely gorgeous. And the people are very friendly. And the food! The mahi-mahi and the fresh pineapple… And once Skip was able to shake free from his work and he and the kids got there, we had so much fun.

Kassandra: Speaking of Skip and the kids, what’s the deal with your name? I notice you still use Huntington, which was your late first husband, Ed Huntington’s name, but sometimes you go by Huntington-Canfield, which is quite a mouthful.

Kate: Well, I’d already established my reputation as a therapist as Kate Huntington, so I use that name professionally. My daughter is my first husband’s biological child, so her name is officially Huntington-Canfield. At her school and in some other settings, I use the hyphenated name. And sometimes I just go by Kate Canfield.

By the way, why are you asking me this? You’re the one who saddled me with these cumbersome names. Why couldn’t you have made Eddie’s name Smith? Then I’d be Smith-Canfield. That rolls off the tongue so much easier. Continue reading

#ExcerptWeek To Kill A Labrador by Kassandra Lamb

Thank you, Marcia, for letting me join you all here on The Write Stuff. I can’t believe I haven’t stumbled on this wonderful blog before now.

Hi, Everyone. *waving from Florida* My name is Kassandra Lamb and I’m the author of a successful mystery series, the Kate Huntington mysteries. And now I’m launching a new series of cozy mysteries.

I’m so excited to share a little bit of the first book, about a young woman (whose first name is also Marcia) who trains service dogs for veterans with PTSD. Wait, I’ll let her introduce herself:

ToKillALabrador FINAL

I’m a normal person. Granted I have a somewhat abnormal vocation. I train service animals for PTSD sufferers–mostly combat veterans.

But other than that, I’m just a small-town, thirty-something divorcee.

My name is Marcia Banks–pronounced Mar-see-a, not Marsha. Okay, okay, so I don’t have a totally normal name.

I live in central Florida, on the outskirts of the Ocala National Forest, in a little town called Mayfair, population 258 (and a half. Agnes Baker’s pregnant. Again.)

Mayfair sprang up in the 1960s, in response to the transitory success of the Mayfair Alligator Farm (rumor has it that old Mr. Mayfair poached the gators from the Forest). Billboards plastered along the newly minted I-75 corridor drew in vacationing families to witness the wonders of gator wrestling and to buy fake alligator skin handbags and belts. Sadly, the farm went under in the mid-seventies, when Walt Disney plopped his amusement park down next to another sleepy Florida hamlet–Orlando.

Mayfair was virtually a ghost town when I moved here two years ago, shortly after the demise of my brief but disastrous marriage to a concert violinist in the Baltimore Symphony.

It’s a great place to train service animals because everybody knows everybody. It didn’t take long for the residents to learn the rules. The main one being to never, ever pet the dogs I’m training unless I say it’s okay.

The exception is my Black Lab-Rottie mix, Buddy, if he’s the only dog I’m walking at the time.

He was my first trainee, and how he came back into my possession was the beginning of my not-so-normal avocation–unwilling amateur sleuth.

One sunny day last winter, I received the most shocking phone call of my life. It even beat out the anonymous one three years ago informing me that my husband was having an affair with a cello player.

The caller said she was with the Collinsville Sheriff’s Department and wanted to know if I had trained a service dog named Buddy.

My mind scrambled for a reason why someone from a sheriff’s department would be asking me that. Had Buddy bit someone?

“Where exactly is Collinsville?” I asked, stalling for time.

“Off 33, near Polk City.”

“In Florida?” More stalling.

“Yes, ma’am, not far from Lakeland.” Her tone said she was losing patience with me. “Are you the Marcia Banks who trained Buddy?” She mispronounced my first name, of course.

I couldn’t figure out how to get around admitting it, since I had signed off on his training certificate. “Uh, yes.”

“Could ya come get the dog as soon as possible?”

“Why? What’s happened to his owner?” Jimmy Garrett was an Iraqi veteran who’d had a close encounter with an IED. As a result, he’d come home with a prosthesis where his right leg used to be and some pretty disabling nightmares, among other PTSD symptoms.

“He’s been arrested, ma’am.”

“What about his wife?”

A long pause. “That’s why he’s been arrested. He’s bein’ held on suspicion of murder.”

“Of his wife?” My voice rose, ending on a squeak.

“Yes, ma’am.”

The book is available for pre-order now and will be released on April 10, 2016 (Psst! It’s just $1.99 during the pre-order period; it goes up to $3.99 once it’s released.)

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The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 23 Marni Graff @GraffMarni

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Can’t believe how fast November is flying by. It’s already Day #23 of the #MysteryNovember tour, and our bus is stopping to pick up author Marni Graff. To learn more about Marni and her books, click on the link below. Just don’t forget to share, please, everywhere you can. Thanks, and enjoy!

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 23 Marni Graff @GraffMarni

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The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 22 – Nell Peters @paegon @AccentPress #SundayBlogShare

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Day #22 of the #MysteryNovember tour is upon us, and the bus has picked up author Nell Peters. To learn more about Nell and her books, check the link below, and please remember to share. It’s what we do. 😉 Enjoy!

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 22 – Nell Peters @paegon @AccentPress #SundayBlogShare

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The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 21 Sam Cheever @samcheever

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Here comes that #MysteryNovember tour bus, and today it’s stopping to pick up author Sam Cheever. Learn more about Sam and her work at the link below, and please don’t forget the part about sharing everywhere you can. We’ll do the same for you, when it’s y our turn. 🙂 Enjoy!

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 21 Sam Cheever @samcheever

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The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 20 Geoffrey West @GeoffreyDWest #FREE download

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Happy Freya’s Day, Everyone! Today, the #MysteryNovember tour bus stops to pick up Geoffrey D. West. To learn more about Geoffrey and his books, click the link below. And . . . ready for it? . . . please remember to share far and wide, so others can meet writers new to them, as well. Thanks!

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 20 Geoffrey West @GeoffreyDWest #FREE download

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