Friday, October 31, 2014



It has happened again. The future has snuck on me and become the present. As little as a few weeks ago I was thinking my release day was a long way off. This past week I was so busy in Chicago finishing up the synopsis for crochet mystery #10, I thought I still had a ways until KNOT GUILTY came out. And then all of a sudden, I got emails about the panel I’m going to be on at the Agoura Hills library on my release day and realized how close it was. This is my last blog before KNOT GUILTY hits the shelves in hardcover and FOR BETTER OR WORSTED comes out in the paperback edition.

I have turned in some guest blogs that will be appearing in the next couple of weeks. I actually got my website BettyHechtman.com updated before the last minute and I heard my bookmarks are waiting to be picked up.

And in the midst of all this I got the contract for the fourth and fifth books in the Yarn Retreat Series.

KNOT GUILTY was fun to write. I took what I’d learned from going to a number of yarn shows and added some more trouble. I won’t name names, but some yarn shows are quite snobby when it comes to crocheters. They begrudgedly add a few crochet classes and some vendors that are crochet centric, but the focus on the show is knit, knit, knit. I am still astonished that there are many in the yarn world that look down on crochet.

FOR BETTER OR WORSTED starts off at a wedding with a lot of drama when the bride’s mother is found sitting in the wedding cake with a bloody knife. Of course both books have recipes and patterns.
I’m bringing candy and bookmarks to celebrate my release day to the panel which by the way is on How Writers Work and includes Joel Fox, Harley Jane Kozak, me and Patricia Smiley. It’s at 6:30 Tuesday, November 4 at the Agoura Hills Library, 29901 Ladyface Ct in Agoura Hills. I would love to see you.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's not a bug, it's a feature!

If you look closely, there might be a hidden message on this shirt!

Monday was my monthly blog day on Ink Spot--the blog for the writers of Midnight Ink. I wrote about a wonderful experience I had recently that was the direct result of a mistake. Check it out, learn about my mistake, and help me thank my wonderful street team for their support!

http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2014/10/its-not-bug-its-feature.html

What if, as the yoga teachings say, there are no mistakes?  What if mistakes are meant to draw us closer?

Tracy Weber

Check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series. Book 2 in the series,  A Killer Retreat will launch January 8, 2015!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Launch for Number One, New Title for Number Two

While I'm still having fun with the launch of my first Superstition Mystery Lost Under a Ladder, I'm about to send in the manuscript for the second in the series, which is due November 1.
 
Meanwhile, my publisher Midnight Ink has also been ensconced in preparing for number two despite the fact it won't come out for about a year.  They've already held a meeting to discuss the title and cover.  I won't tell you about either just yet, but I'm pleased. 

So what's next with the launch of number one?  My second physical launch party will be this weekend, on Sunday, November 3, at 3 PM at the Flintridge Bookstore in La Canada Flintridge, California.  If you're in the area, be sure to stop in.  There'll be some good luck goodies given out, for one thing.  And I had a lot of fun at my first physical launch party last weekend at Mystery Ink, where I talked about a bunch of the superstitions that I used in my story.  I intend to do the same thing at the upcoming launch, too... and more. 

Will I remain busy after meeting this deadline?  Yeah!  In a good way.  For one thing, I have a couple of mystery conventions coming up, including Bouchercon--and a bunch more deadlines facing me after that.  Plus, Bite the Biscuit, my first Barkery and Biscuits mystery which launches in May, is already being publicized a bit by Mystery Ink. 

I'm just knocking on wood that people enjoy both my Superstition Mysteries and my Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries.  My fingers are crossed, too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Life's Bitter Cup

A sad and unfortunately common epitaph in nineteenth-century New England.  This example is over the grave of four-month-old Caroline Newcomb of New Hampshire:

She tasted Life’s bitter cup
Refused to drink the portion up
But turned her little head aside
Disgusted with the taste and died.

Magna cum Murder was great.  My two panels went well, and I met some truly remarkable authors who are writing remarkable novels.  I shared the panel on locale with the Guest of Honor, Robert Wilson, who writes harsh, dark mysteries set in Portugal, Spain, and West Africa.  A brilliant Englishman with the Brit’s expansive vocabulary, it was kind of intimidating to hear him offer an exotic story of corruption in Africa, when all I had to offer was a needleworking sleuth who lives in an ordinary small town in Minnesota.  Still, it was fun, and I was honored.  And maybe the contrast was telling.

But on the way home we stopped in a little town called El Paso in Illinois for gas, and the car wouldn't start.  As in dead as a doornail, wouldn't even turn over.  Oddly, there was a Ford dealership right across the road from the gas station (I drive a Focus) and though it was closed (Sunday), there was a phone number to call for an emergency.  A man asked us if we wanted a tow, but we wanted first of all to know how much trouble we were in.  He came and thought it might be the alternator.  He gave us a jump start (no charge!) and warned us not to turn the engine off until we were home.  Once started, the car ran fine.  Headlights came on at dusk as usual.  We did have to stop again for gas - but no problem, though I arranged to be in the store while Ellen filled the tank with the engine running.  We arrived safely at home over three hundred miles later.  I tried restarting the engine - still no response at all.  We had to leave our suitcases in the trunk because we didn't open it before turning off the engine and of course the electronic thing-ee wouldn't work - but neither did the inside push knob.  And the trunk does not have a keyed opener.  So Monday morning Ellen gave me a jump and followed me to the Ford dealership and then a ride home.  They called an hour later to say one of the cells in the battery was faulty and had shorted out the whole thing.  Can't recharge it.  It cost a little over $180 for the service and a new battery.

Life in the twenty-first century.