Friday, August 28, 2015

Sunday in Appleton


Writer’s Police Academy was great and I got a lot of nice details to put in my books. Just a hint. Molly Pink always seems to be almost getting arrested and I’ve had her handcuffed to a bench in the police station without exactly knowing what they look like. Not anymore. I saw the real thing and sat on it.

I also enjoyed the time I spent in Appleton, Wisconsin. It was a little like stepping back in time. No all night television Saturday night/Sunday morning, at least on the ABC station. And almost all of the stores and restaurants on the downtown street were closed on Sunday. The hotel gift shop and coffee spot both closed at 11 a.m. on Sunday. I haven’t seen that since I was a kid in Chicago.

In the meantime I’d found out that Houdini considered Appleton his home town. I had time to kill Sunday afternoon since my plane wasn’t until the evening and when I saw a listing on a town map that there was a Houdini center and one of my character is a magician, it seemed like a perfect fit.

The Houdini center ended up being an exhibit in the Appleton history museum and it was open on Sunday. I found out that he was born in Budapest and his name was Erik Weisz. The family came to Appleton because his father was Rabbi of the local temple. Most of the exhibit was devoted to his illusions and explained how he did a number of them. I know from the magic class I took and the tricks I right for my character The Amazing Dr. Sammy, that what seems impossible when you see it, seems very obvious when you look behind the curtain.


By the way this bust of Houdini is supposed to be haunted, though I didn't notice any ghostly apparitions when I was there.

While in the museum I found out that Edna Ferber also came from Appleton and actually belonged to the temple Houdini’s father was the Rabbi of. In case you’re not familiar with her, she wrote books like Giant, So Big, Saratoga Trunk and some others. A number of them were made into movies. I remember them being on my high school reading list. The museum called it an exhibit, but it was really a glass case with a couple of old type writers, her picture and some books. She had an interesting life starting out as a newspaper reporter and ended up in a literary circle in New York.

There was a small gift shop and I bought Saratoga Trunk, since I don’t think I’ve read it and it seemed like a nice souvenir. I also bought a magic trick that would be perfect for the Amazing Dr. Sammy to carry in his pocket. The building the museum is in is called the Castle and at one time belonged to the Masonic Temple.

My Sunday adventure made a nice close to the weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

They're Here! They're Here!

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A quick note:  Want to win an autographed, advanced copy of Karma's a Killer for your very own?  Sign up for my mailing list before Friday at 11:59 PM and you'll be entered to win!  Contest details at http://s.heyo.com/8fb546.  Good luck!
 
August is an exciting time for me on so many levels. I’m on sabbatical from teaching yoga, which means I can concentrate on my writing. Sounds simple, right? It’s significantly more complex than you might think. Just as I was ready to dive into the second draft of my fourth novel, tentatively titled A TWISTED DEATH, I got requests to read and endorse two new fabulous mysteries, and my second editor at Midnight Ink got back to me with edits on my current novel, Karma’s a Killer.

This is the first time I’ve worked with Sandy, and I must say she’s AWESOME! She brings an attention to detail that my work has rarely seen before. And, if I have to brag, I guess this is the time: Karma’s a Killer is my best book so far. I truly believe it. Even better, it’s definitely by far my best cover!

Just when I thought my excitement couldn’t get any higher, the advanced copies and press release for Karma’s a Killer arrived on Wednesday. I keep burying my nose in the books, inhaling their new book smell. Can you tell I’m excited or what?

Here’s an excerpt from the press release for this newest installment in the series.
The latest mystery by award-winning novelist Tracy Weber, Karma’s a Killer is a fun, fresh, feisty new mystery featuring Seattle yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her trusty canine companion Bella.

About Karma’s a Killer: Yoga instructor Kate Davidson is about to discover that when it comes to murder, there’s no place like om. When she agrees to teach doga—yoga for dogs—at a fundraiser for Dogma, a local animal rescue, Kate believes the only real damage will be to her reputation. But when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning, a few downward-facing dogs will be the least of Kate’s problems…

The police arrest Dharma, a woman claiming to be Kate’s estranged mother, and charge her with murder. To prove Dharma’s innocence, Kate, her boyfriend Michael, and her German shepherd sidekick Bella dive deeply into the worlds of animal activism, organizational politics, and the dangerous obsessions that drive them.

And if solving a murder weren’t complicated enough, Kate will also have to decide whether or not to reconcile with the estranged mother who abandoned her over thirty years ago. Not to mention having to contend with an almost-bankrupt animal rescue, a cantankerous crow, an unwanted pigeon houseguest, and a rabbit in a doga class. What could possibly go wrong?

A taut tale with more twists and turns than a vinyasa yoga class, Karma’s a Killer brims with suspense, wit and whimsy. With a to-die-for plot, sensational storyline, and charming characters—of both the two- and four-legged varieties—Karma’s a Killer is a clever, colorful, and utterly captivating cozy mystery.
Sounds like a book I’d actually like to read. How about you? Time to get working on scheduling those book launch events!

Namaste

Tracy Weber


You can preorder Tracy's newest mystery, KARMA'S A KILLER, now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Yee haw, yippee, and yahooey!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Giveaways Galore

I'm looking forward to a fun weekend full of writer stuff, including giveaways.

First, I'm part of D.D. Ayres' 10 Dog Days of Summer Giveaway, celebrating the launch of her new K-9 Rescue novel PRIMAL FORCE.  She asked nine other authors to participate and provide a giveaway of swag worth at least $50--and I'm one of them.  My giveaway is on Saturday the 29th, and I'm providing copies of several of my mysteries from different series--including my two newest, the Superstition Mysteries and Barkery & Biscuits, as well as a Pet Rescue and a Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter plus some additional stuff.  Please be sure to enter on Saturday--but you should also enter every other day since the giveaways have already begun.  How?  Here's the link:   http://www.ddayres.com/#!contests-and-giveaways/cv0q 

Then there's Sunday.  I've joined Writerspace to host my website, and they do lots of other fun things, too.  One is the Beach Party this Sunday, August 30, where there will be a chat from 8-11 PM Eastern time, plus a whole lot of giveaways from many different authors.  The link for that?  http://www.writerspace.com/beach/   I'll be giving away a copy of LOST UNDER A LADDER, my first Superstition Mystery, there. 

So be sure to enter both--all of them, in fact, since you can start today with the 10 Dog Days of Summer Giveaway if you haven't already.  Since I write Superstition Mysteries, the fact I'll be crossing my fingers for you should increase your luck--although I admit to being as much of a superstition agnostic as my protagonist Rory Chasen.  But if you don't enter, you won't win, so give them a try!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Disaster!

I knew the road was bright and fair
Or once it seemed to be,
But it has changed so much of late,
It has few charms for me.
- From the epitaph of Roswell Stowell
Who died in 1875, Aged 59

I have suffered a loss that is about the worst that can happen to an author.  My computer had been acting up the last couple of weeks.  I thought it was me, doing something wrong.  I’d boot up after lunch and the paragraphs I’d written in the morning would have vanished.  Sometimes Ellen could make them return, sometimes not. And sometimes the thing would perform properly.  But this past weekend, the computer became downright malicious.  Whole chapters would vanish.  I re-wrote some of them – and they’d vanish.  I would save what I’d written of the whole book as a new file and it would vanish.  I kept being interrupted while writing by a new file opening without warning.  When I did get a file back, it would be changed.  Paragraph indentations would be gone.  The font would change, or the size would.  And all this while a deadline was screaming at me: Monday, Monday, Monday the 24th!

I finally surrendered on Sunday afternoon, broke down in tears, went in another room, sat down and began stitching furiously while Ellen struggled to regain control of the beast that used to be my helpmate.  But no longer.  She came out and said it was no use, what I’ve lost was gone forever and the computer could no longer be entrusted with my deathless prose – or what passes for it in my case.  So we went out and I bought a brand new laptop.  I wrote my editor and my agent and told them what had happened and that I was in default of my contract.  I was furious and ashamed.

So now Knit Your Own Murder won’t be published as scheduled next May.  I am taking my traitorous laptop to a specialist today at noon to see if he can retrieve more of what wanders like a specter in the depths of my insane hard drive.  (Unless it is less than a ghost, and is gone forever.)  Meanwhile Ellen is educating my new computer in my ways.

What else?  Well, when I went off to water aerobics Monday morning, I was shocked to get out of my car at the Courage Center about quarter past six and discover that the temperature was fifty-eight degrees.  That’s October weather!  But guess what?  Four of us are going to the Minnesota State Fair next Monday, and I’d like something of this weather to hang around, because it’s far more pleasant to walk outdoors when it’s a little too cool than when it’s way too hot.  As my mother used to say, you can always put on more clothing, but there’s only so much you can take off.

And today’s another day.  I can begin to work on the book again on the new computer, editing what remains of the manuscript until I discover if any of the lost text can be rescued.  And if not, starting the task of recreating the scenes to link what remains together.  I won’t know how bad it is until I hear from my specialist.  I am not optimistic – see the poem above.