"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Bork! Bork! Bork!

I finally finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yesterday. Yes, I know, everyone's read it already, plus the second one, and I'll bet half of you have pre-ordered the last of the series. Seriously, folks, I've been a little busy.

At any rate, I bought it from an independent bookseller, who said she'd read it and enjoyed it. I hadn't read any of the Amazon hype, hadn't heard more than the title of it, just read the jacket blurb, needed something to read, and jumped in with my glasses on.

The first thing I discovered was Stieg Larsson has been dead for a bit, and this trilogy has been translated from the Swedish by certain Reg Kreeland, which makes me wonder if Stieg would have approved. We'll never know about that, although it does give me an idea for a short story, where a dead writer's ghost comes back to haunt a translator he doesn't care for…

Anyway. The second thing I discovered was Stieg/Reg had broken most of the writing rules that have been drummed into me so thoroughly, I imagine a ruler thumping my knuckles when I try to break them. A lot of the book is written in passive expose, and it takes forever to get the back story of all these characters. For example, it takes eight paragraphs to explain how Mikael Blomkvist got the nickname Kalle. Really? Eight paragraphs? The read and critique groups at SCWC would have my head on a stick for that kind of self-indulgence.

Having read a lot of Dickens, Dumas, Hugo, etc, I'm used to stories that take awhile to tell, so I soldiered on. I've always wanted to visit Sweden; I thought I could immerse myself in the names and places and get a feel for the country. What with Mikael Blomkvist and his employer, Henrik, and the rest of the Vanger clan in Hedestad, I was soon steeped in Swedish.

And then this guy showed up.

For those of you who don't recognize him, he's the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show. Here's a clip of him in action:

(YouTube link here.)

By the way, while I was looking for the S.C., I found a blog by a guy who hates living in Sweden and posts ludicrous things that happen there. Check him out here.

Maybe the novel's pace is too slow, or perhaps it is all of the Scandinavian words, but I began to hear the story in the Swedish Chef's voice. ("SAL-andirr spint SEFF-rel DAYCE COOMing de EEN-ter-NET - hernder fernder bork-bork-bork!")

Kind of kills the whole "dark-hearted thriller" mood. On top of that, I suddenly noticed a USA Today review on the back cover: "Imagine the movies of Ingmar Bergman crossed with The Silence of the Lambs."

Hmm, okay. Jodie Foster is in the basement, in the dark, hoping to kill Buffalo Bill before he gets her. Suddenly, Death walks in the door, and we see that her conflict is not with a serial killer, but with Man's Desire for Immortality…

This might be why I'm not allowed in some churches anymore (just joking).

The book actually picked up when it started spending time with Lisbeth Salander, who turns out to be the main character. Unfortunately, she isn't introduced until page 36, which I'm pretty sure breaks yet another rule.

At the end of the day, I kind of enjoyed the book, in that I liked Salander's character, and I liked the way the mysteries were all tied up and resolved by the final page. But I am left to ponder: when is a genre book literary? Basically, Larsson wrote a thriller, but one that examines larger themes according to his agenda. If I had included, in Freezer Burn, my opinion of how the world should be, via expose and back story, would it be literary fiction? Would it get published?

And more importantly - could I get the Swedish Chef to read it for Books On Tape?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wah! Nobody loves me!

Okay, my last post was about how book reviews influence you as a reader. Now let's talk about how they influence you as a writer.

Of course, if you lived and died by whether all reviews of your work were glowing, you'd probably never write a word. Or, you'd become a serial killer, although I suspect you'd be easy to catch. ("The killer is targeting anyone who gave a bad review to Freezer Burn. I'd say our list of suspects is pretty short.")

Like I said last time, I've gotten some really nice reviews, either in person or in writing (e-mail, blogs, Amazon), but of course, the one I remember most is when my doctor told me the ending seemed contrived, like I was trying to rush the story to get it done. She also said she enjoyed the book and that I was a good writer, but the C-word bugs the crap outa me.

Lesson learned for little Gayle Sue - skin isn't thick enough yet.

Even worse, in a way, was a little comment on the Wake Up Celebrity Author site. They're having a contest, where the book with the most votes gets a prize. I'd tell you all about it, but the site is problematic; I can only access it about ten percent of the time. At any rate, one guest voted for my book and gave it 3.8 stars, out of 5. Here's his comment: "I didn't read it but here's my vote."

What the hell? I mean, thanks for the vote, I guess, but you never read it and are reviewing it? What part of Crazy Town do you come from?

Someone said they didn't read their reviews because "if you believe the good ones, then you have to believe the bad ones." I don't remember who said this, but if you know, please tell me. If you do read reviews, you have to throw out the outliers. Good reviews that are so vague as to sound solicited are worthless. Ditto for bad reviews that focus on the author ("You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny" is not a review). If the ones left are mostly positive, then yay for you.

But what if they're bad? If they're meaningfully and thoughtfully negative, then maybe I owe it to the reader to take another look at what I'm writing. After I stop slamming doors and calm down, that is.

If they're just silly and stupid, there are a number of things you can do:

1. Submit them to The Worst Review Ever blog. It's a great site for posting bad reviews and talking about how you dealt with your feelings when you read them.

2. Blog about the experience yourself. Joe Konrath is pretty good at trotting out his hippo-thick hide and parading bad reviews in front of the rest of us, while he laughs all the way to the bank. Note: Can you believe that reviewers of his horror novel, Afraid, described as a "gore fest for fans of gross-out horror" complained that it was gory? What did they not understand about the description?

3. Read the negative review aloud, in your whiniest voice. This is a tip I got from another writer at a conference. Actually, I don't have to do this with my doctor's review - her voice is naturally whiny.

4. (Virtual) death to your enemies! This one was given to me by a therapist I saw many, many years ago, when I needed help in figuring out why I was married to the (seriously) wrong person. My favorite way to "kill" people in my head is to imagine them in a giant trash compactor. Sometimes I squish them quickly. If they've really pissed me off, I snap each bone. Individually. K-RunCH.

Or maybe you just don't read the reviews at all, good or bad. But if you do this, tell me your secret: how do you resist? I'm so insanely curious, I can't help but look. Must be why I like mysteries!

Come tell me - do you read your reviews (be honest)? How do you handle the negative ones?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What did they mean when they said...?

This weekend was not nearly as spectacular as last weekend at the Placentia Library, but I got a little work done, which is always a good thing.

1. I worked a bit on the new book. My mechanic, Allen, gave me an interesting way to tamper with the tire on Peri's car so it goes flat after about a mile, without letting Peri suspect it was sabotaged. I'm thinking of giving him a small part in the book. He's quite a character.

2. I re-did the "Where's Gayle?" page of my website, so that I have actual calendar pages with events listed and links to those events. I think it's easier to find things, although I'm now thinking I should work on it a little more so you can go directly to a month, instead of scrolling through January to get to April. Of course, I'm assuming that anyone wants to know where I am, which may be a great leap of ego on my part.

3. I added a page to my author pages to list some of the very kind reviews from folks about Freezer Burn, which brings me to my question(s) of the day…

As a book reader, how important are reviews to you? And, in keeping with that theme, how important is the source of the review?

Here's the thing: I'm getting really nice reviews from people. Some of them are from "professional" book reviewers who've posted on Amazon and other places. I have a lovely review from my friend and humor-mentor, Gordon Kirkland, and one from the delightful Mr. Dino Martin Peters on his I Love Dino Martin blog. And then I have some great reviews from regular Joes (and Janes), if you will.

Does a review only matter if it's from Publisher's Weekly or an incredibly famous person? I mean, if the debut author happens to know a reviewer on the PW staff, or the incredibly famous person, and asks for a review, they're probably going to get, at the very least, an ambiguously nice one. "A well-written thriller from a promising new novelist" doesn't sound like wild applause to me.

Then there are the reviewers (famous and not-so-much) who don't post reviews if they didn't like the book. This is fine, except there's no way to mark a book "not reviewed by X", because if there was, it would automatically be known they didn't like it. When I see 5 stars from a reviewer on all of their reviews, I start to wonder if they like everything, have no taste in reading material, or are paid for their opinion.

Or does it carry more weight if Joe Schmo says, "What a great story"? Unless I'm related to Uncle Schmo, or his best buddy, shouldn't a reader who doesn't owe me diddley-squat carry more weight than another writer? Especially another writer who may want me to return the favor.

Let's say you go into a bookstore, just looking for new reading material. You see a cover that catches your eye. You read the jacket blurb and find the plot intriguing. Maybe you read the first page, or perhaps give it the "page 99 test" - is Page 99 as fascinating as Page 1? Is there any point in there where you read any review blurbs on the book? And do the reviews actually influence you?

By contrast, maybe it's two a.m. and you can't sleep so you're shopping on Amazon for a different author in a genre you like. Without Page 99, how important are the reviews?

Tell me what draws you to a book as a reader. Then, next, I have some questions for writers.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

There's a lot to celebrate

Meeting people is so much freakin' fun!

Wow, didn't know I had that in me. It's Sunday morning and I had a rather late night because my hubby was watching a movie in our bedroom that kept me awake so I didn't get to sleep until 2 or so and then I had to get up early because the cat repeatedly jumped on my torso to get up and feed her and this is all probably TMI, huh?

The main thing is that the Placentia Library event yesterday was a lot of fun. Everyone was happy and helpful, and Jeanette Contreras, the library director, was just perky as the devil, hugging me like a lost sister. I got there early and set up my booth.

Nice, huh?

Since my book is titled Freezer Burn, they set me up in the "freezer section", next to the Sno-Cone booth, and gave me a cooler filled with freezer pops to hand out. They even gave me a student volunteer, Manuel, who loves to read mysteries, and would have sat and read Freezer Burn instead of handing out the pops, until I convinced him to get his job done.

(Poor Manuel - very nice kid, but this seems to be a theme of his life. All students in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District must complete 40 hours of community service in order to graduate from high school. Manuel will be a senior this year. Saturday was his first community service project. It is mid-August and he has 35 hours to go. Good luck with that.)

It was a great day. There were craft booths, rides, free food (I'm talking pasta with marinara sauce, salad and bread!), movies, storytelling - Jeanette and her staff went all out to get the community out for a celebration.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., I talked to so many people, my head was nearly spinning with euphoria. People came up to talk about my column and buy a book. The volunteers came up to talk about my book… and bought my book. I even sold a book to the couple in charge of the pony rides. Trust me to find the horse people in the crowd.

I only have a couple of slightly-less-happy-than-I-wanted complaints. First, let's just say that sno-cones, freezer pops and books don't always mix. Small children wanted to come and pet my gnomes, sno-cones in hand, and then come and run their sticky little fingers across my books. One small child leaned into my gnomes and spilled her sno-cone on the green felt.

My exact words: "Oh. That's… no bueno."

S'Okay. Felt cleans. I think.

Also, the freezer pops were encased in plastic and had to be either snapped open or clipped with scissors. As a kindness, I brought out a pair of scissors for Manuel to use. Unfortunately, my young friend, being a typical boy, was not always careful about his aim, and got juice all over one of my boxes (empty, thank God) and the flat container where Dino rests when he is not being employed. I hope I can get the goo off, 'cause I don't know where to find another flat box like that.

This brings me to Mr. Martin, whom I adore and wanted to include in this event. He was, as always, a delightful and gracious guest, until the winds kicked up. No amount of heavy boxes and wedging could keep him upright when the breeze blew through the courtyard. He spent most of the last hour close to my side so I could catch him when he fell. After all, what are friends for?

One of the people I met came as a complete surprise. As he bought one of my books, he told me that he supports writers at signings whenever possible because, as a horror writer, he hates doing signings and would pretty much rather be eaten by one of his own monsters (okay, I'm exaggerating here, but he really hates signings). I asked what he wrote, and he told me two things: one of his short stories was made into an episode of Masters of Horror, about George Washington being a cannibal, AND he was made uber-famous when USA Today reported that Stephen King was reading his book when he got struck by that minivan. What he didn't tell me was his name - he asked that I autograph his book to his dad, who loves to read mysteries.

Of course, I went home and scoured the Internet for "George Washington cannibal". Turns out I had been talking to Bentley Little, horror-author-extraordinaire, discovered by Dean Koontz, championed by Stephen King, author of over 20 novels… yeah, THAT horror writer. Holy guacamole! Even better, he was such a lovely person, he said he'd tell his dad to read my book in public and every so often exclaim, "Wow, what a great story." How sweet is that?

I immediately made plans to get my book into a famous person's hands, then run over them with my Chevy Venture. (Just joking, people! Cancel that call to the FBI!)

When the day was done, I had sold 20 books, raffled away a basket for the library, and felt a great contentment, for being in the midst of such a pleasant community, speaking with such good people.

Ah, I love my life!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Three Cheers for the Library!

Know what day it is? It's the day I start bugging everyone about the library event this Saturday. Yes, this Saturday, August 15th, I will be part of the Summer Reading Celebration at the Placentia Library, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Of course, I will be there with plenty of copies of Freezer Burn to sell, but mostly I'll be there to support my local library.

According to the flyer, there will be fun! There will be games! There will be pony rides!

No, not like this. Pony rides that the kids will enjoy.

See? Kids LOVE pony rides!

I love libraries! That rich smell of paper and glue and, I don't know, book dust, the je ne sais quoi quality of eau de bibliotheque. And the extra special sounds of quiet. The soft padding of feet, the swish of books being pulled from shelves, opened, put back. Whispers, no cell phones. Peace. Ahhh.

I remember my first library trip. Actually, it was a two-step trip. I was in 1st grade and had just learned to print my name (I knew how to write my signature, but the teacher insisted I put on the brakes and learn to print first). My dad took me to the library to get a library card. I don't know if my dad wanted to take me, but my mom didn't drive, so he was stuck with the task. This is what the Decatur Public Library looked like in 1960:

Except it was called the Carnegie Library. I still remember climbing all the steps and walking through the columns and thinking it was the most gi-normous building I'd ever seen.

The room had floor-to-ceiling shelves crammed with books, and there were more rooms on more floors; the possibilities of the worlds I was going to see made me want to dance with joy. I walked up to the desk and the lady gave me a card to print my name, and I was nearly vibrating across the floor. And then the worst thing happened - I printed my name too big for the card.

Now that I think about it, it didn't seem like that big of a deal. All the lady had to do was give me another card and let me try it again. But she didn't. She told me to go home and practice until I could fit my name onto the card and come back.


I did as she asked and talked my dad into taking me back that afternoon. It took all my concentration, but I printed small and made it all fit and went home with a library card and several books. I wish I could remember how many, or the names. I just remember the victorious feeling of having a library card of my very own.

Later, I discovered the joys of the Bookmobile. It was a condensed version of the library, and had completely different books every week. Yummmmmmy.

Today's Decatur Public Library looks like this:

Call me nostalgic, but I prefer the old one. It was torn down, in the 70's I think, to build a metal-and-glass branch of the Soy Capital Bank and a parking lot. Yeah, that's better.

So, tell me a library memoir - what do you remember about your library experiences?

And - if you're anywhere near Placentia, California on Saturday, come celebrate a library with me!

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Contest! Get it while you're hot!

I promised you another contest for a free, autographed copy of Freezer Burn, and here it is. It's not as hard as the last one was; I won't make you write about pictures of strange women or vampires or cute kitties, etc. I won't make you create anything.

You do have to do a little work, though. Call me a Puritan, conservative, workaholic, but… actually, call me any of those things and I'll slap you into next week. I'm no task-mistress. It's just boring to have a contest where nobody does anything. What kind of contest is that?

This time, all you have to do is wander around in my website, and answer six questions. The answers are all there, easily found, in black and white and read all over.


1. What are the names of my two horses?
2. Who would my husband like to play him in the movie?
3. What TV show inspired me to write "I Know What She's Thinking?"
4. Name one Freezer Burn item you can buy on Zazzle.
5. What's the name of my grandpa's hunting dog?
6. Where do I think the (possibly) first drag wedding was held?

The first person who emails me (gaylecarline@sbcglobal.net) the correct responses gets a free book. C'mon, it'll be fun!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Does the shoe fit?

Before you read today's post, go to Murderati and read Toni McGee Causey's post, about trying to do things in our lives that don't fit our fundamental natures. By the way, if you write, and especially if you write mysteries, you should be tuning into the Murderati blog every day. It's a great group of authors with interesting things to say.

Today, Toni is describing a meeting with her friend who has become a vegan and looks great; Toni wonders if it's just that easy, but in the end decides it's not who she is. Being a vegan doesn't "fit" her.

This started me thinking about characters, on the stage, screen and page, and how we complain when they are not real, not fully dimensional human beings. In other words, they do/say things that don't "fit" them. I struggle in my own writing, between trying to make a character do and say the things I need for the plot and keeping them true to the personality I've given them. I'm afraid, if I take a misstep, readers will call me on it. Mean readers.

This is possibly why Peri is 50 years old and not 30. In my youth, I tried on a lot of things that didn't fit me - scuba diving, skiing, marriages to the wrong men. By my late forties, I was finally wise enough to decline suggestions to go skydiving and river rafting, because I knew what I liked, and neither tossing myself from an airplane nor being tossed into white water did it for me. At 50, Peri knows what fits her. She likes running and old movies and her independence… although life does intervene to make her question her choices.

By juxtaposition, I'd like you to take a look at a book I just read, The Belly Dancer by DeAnna Cameron. I don't normally read romances, but not only is DeAnna a friend of mine, the cover and jacket blurb was so intriguing that I had to have a copy. Her protagonist is a young girl, a new wife, who is desperate to join the elite Victorian society of Chicago. But what she thinks she wants doesn't fit her. I liked the story, even when I wanted to shake Dora by the shoulders and tell her to stay away from those awful society women. The story rings true, even while the character is being false (to herself). BTW, good job, DeAnna!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Do you prefer a main character who is still trying to figure out what they want in life and is tossed about by the storyline, or do you want your protagonist to be the stable one in the story, the person you can count on when everything else seems to be falling apart?

Perhaps some of you can even extend this discussion on your own blogs… we'll make a chain post!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bet you thought I forgot

The thousands of you who submitted flash fiction for the Freezer Burn contest probably thought I was never going to wade through all the entries and find a winner. Well, maybe the five of you.

For those of you who don't remember, I asked for a 100-word story about this picture. To see what I wrote about it, go here.

The winner will receive an autographed copy of Freezer Burn. Since there were only five entries, and they were all so good, I thought I'd share them with everyone.

From Jim Thomsen (aka Ninja of the Mundane):

We didn't dare breathe a word until Lizzie Borden was convicted. Then, Agnes and I went to the barren apple tree under bleak morning light, and dug up the silver and fine things we stole from the Borden House.

The ax, we buried deeper. And planted a fresh apple tree atop it.

Tonight, we take the midnight coach to Boston. And then the dawn sailing to Lisbon.

The Bordens should have been nicer to their housemaids. That is all I will say.

Chilling, yes? And Jim, I'd have loved to provide a link to your website, but I don't know what it is.

K. A. Laity wrote:

The picture was taking longer than Elizabeth thought strictly necessary. Why did it take her brothers and her father to make sure that her mother and she were properly framed by the lens.

It wasn't just the discomfort of standing side by side, pretending that her mother was proud, pretending that she was basking in a warm glow. While the afternoon sun threatened to turn the September afternoon to sultry heat, she knew it wasn't simply the sun that was making her head ache.

"I'm so proud," her father had said when she received the letter. The first woman they were admitting to medical school in the whole of the state.

"Some young man is not going to medical school," her mother had said, staring out the window as if he were standing out there somewhere. All summer they had sidestepped one another in silence.

"I think we've got it now," her father laughed, Edwin tugging at his sleeve carelessly. Elizabeth tried to smile, looking down at the carpet bagged, packed for the train ride to the east.

"You'll probably meet a man and get married," her mother said quietly. "But you can always come home."

"Thanks, mama," Elizabeth said, her voice barely audible, but she knew she would not return.

Okay, technically, Kate's entry is not eligible because it is longer than 100 words, but - CHICKS RULE!

Nick Valentino entered this:

The airship rumbled through the sky. Victoria stared at the photo of her mother and grandmother vibrating in her gloved hands. Two days after the picture was taken, the town behind them was bombed, killing her entire family.

Since she was seventeen, Victoria joined up with sky pirates looking for every opportunity to quiet the anger inside her.

Victoria jumped up and slipped her goggles over her eyes. She could see the ship they were going to board through the porthole. She gripped her cutlass with one hand and her revolver with the other. Today she would have her revenge.

Argh, mateys!

Cynde Hammond plotted revenge in this piece:

Why does father insist we stand so close together when we have our photos taken? I am never going to accept her as his wife—not after I saw what she did to mother.

He never should have married beneath his station in life. How could he betray our mother by marrying the very maid that she had begged him to dismiss? Mother despised her. She must have sensed she was up to no good.

I will see to it that she pays for murdering mother, but her death will be much worse than merely being shoved down the stairs.


And Karen Brees should get an award for brevity:

She was the Chosen One.

As you can see, the choices were tough. Everyone had a great take on the two women in that stark landscape. Ultimately, the one story I kept coming back to was Nick's. What can I say? I love pirates.

Nick, get me your address offline and I'll ship your autographed copy of Freezer Burn.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got an idea for the next contest.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm back!

Did you miss me? I missed you. Yes, especially you - the guy in the back row with the Buddy Holly glasses and the fake vampire teeth.

Those are fake, right?

We got home about 8-ish last night, there's no food in the house, and I'm feeling the very special lethargy that accompanies an 8-hour car trip home from a week's vacation and the desire to sleep in when you know Real Life awaits. There is unpacking, laundry, groceries - oh, yeah, and book "stuff" to do.

So here's a quick snapshot before I start separating the whites from the colors:

1. New column - if you want to know more about the book launch party, check out my column in the Placentia News-Times. The fun thing about being a columnist is that, if you're any good, you get a following. The bad thing is that, when I asked my editor for press coverage, she sent... me. "Since you're already going to be there, can you just cover it in your column?" Sure.

2. Guest blogging - Please do check out the I Love Dino Martin blog today. Mr. Dino Martin Peters (may I call you Pallie, DMP?) allowed me to blather on about why my character, Benny Needles, loves Dean Martin so much. Mr. Peters is being an absolute darling about promoting Freezer Burn on his site, and I'm insanely happy that he loved the book. He even reviewed it on his blog here.

3. Vacation ops - while I was up in the mountains, I wasn't just resting on my laurels. I contacted three bookstores about ordering my book and having me come back to do a meet 'n' greet. High Sierra Books bought three copies I had with me, and I gave Epilog Books and The Book Haven complimentary copies for their review. I figure, if the store owner reads it and likes it, she'll want to stock it, yes? All three stores were very positive and I now have to plan a trip back for early fall. Yes, they are small stores, but I'm going to try for the larger cities in the (Sacramento) area as well.

4. Reviews - In addition to Mr. Peters' lovely review, I actually have a (positive) review on Amazon, which is good to see. I've also had two reviews by local Placentia residents, who had this to say:

"Watch out Travis McGee and Kinsey Millhone, Peri Minneopa of Placentia is about to knock your socks off with her gum shoe skills. She may be 50, but it is a young 50, thank you. Her latest adventure was a fast, fun read. The reader picked it up at 11am today and only put it down when interrupted to take care of visitors and do the manly Sunday meat preparation thing. He finished at the sound of D-Land fireworks at 9:30. He normally watches the PBS mystery at 9:00 with his wife, but tonight it was pre-empted by a do-wop program, allowing him to finish before bed. He is anxiously awaiting the next adventure. He did make the mistake of telling his lovely wife that Peri was having lunch at Zov's. Ooo, we haven't been there in a while, she cooed. Thanks Peri, that'll cost you.
"I really enjoyed Freezer Burn. I really felt you did a fine job of developing the characters. I liked the character Benny, a kind of creepy Peter Lorie type as I visualized him. Peri seemed a stretch at first - a 50 something in a new career, but I see a character similar to Ambulance Girl, a book made into a movie. Kathy Bates played a true to life character who becomes an EMT. Skip gets a little too close, but manages to keep his distance and maintain most of his professional distance, sometimes. It was fun to read and identify Placentia places and streets."

-Warren and Claudine Emens

"I took Freezer Burn over to my Dad last Saturday at 8:30am since he's a faster reader than I am and has no problem foregoing laundry and dishes to sit and read -- I think I need to be more like him. Anyway, he called me at 1:30pm on Saturday and said he finished your book and really liked it. He wants to know when your next book is coming out!"

-Colleen Neidiger

Okay, peeps, I got so much stuff to do and so little energy to do it, I'm off to find my motivation. Is there such a thing as a vacation hangover?

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