Category Archives: holiday

We’ve got winners!

Drum roll, please….

The winners of last Friday’s Vigilante Dead contest have been notified. They are Sherry F., Jeanette H., and Donna. Thanks for playing 🙂 And BIG thanks to all of you who helped make the book launch such a resounding success by sharing, liking, Tweeting, downloading, telling your friends and family, and everything else!

You guys rock.

I’m now going to hunker down in my writing lair and work on the next Leine Basso thriller. I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Solstice, Festivus, New Years, and/or whatever you believe.

There’s room for all of us, you know.

I’m going to leave you with a scene of one of my favorite places: The Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy.
(photo by Martin Falbisoner via Wikimedia Commons)

Fireworks over Ponte Vecchio 2

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Giveaways!

Hey there!  I mentioned I’d be back with some giveaways today, so here’s 3 🙂  (Contests end Monday, December 12)

Giveaway #1:

Win a signed paperback copy of Vigilante Dead from Goodreads. (For some reason the widget isn’t resolving correctly on the blog, so you’re going to have to click on the link to go to the book’s page on Goodreads. You can enter the contest there. Goodreads will notify the winner.)cover for Vigilante Dead

Giveaway #2:

I’m also giving away the T-shirt pictured (size large) with the book cover on the back (see pics below). Just leave a comment with your email address and I’ll choose a random reader to win! (Must be in US or Canada to receive the book and T-shirt.)

Vigilante Dead tshirt front

Logo on the front (you tend to get double takes wearing this 🙂

Vigilante Dead Tshirt back

Vigilante Dead’s fabulous book cover on the back

Giveaway #3:

So I get to include everybody with an internet connection, regardless of whether you live in the US or elsewhere, I’m also giving away winner’s choice of one of my back list titles in eBook or audio book format. (All of my books are available in audio except Vigilante Dead and A Killing Truth. Cargo  is currently in production and should be available in audio by the end of the month, so you can choose that, if you’d like.) I’ll announce the winners (with the exception of the Goodreads giveaway) on Tuesday, December 13.

Good luck, everybody!


Thankful

photo of pumpkin pie

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends, and Happy Thursday! I am so looking forward to eating pie 🙂

As I sit here at my desk on this wet, blustery Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful first and foremost for the cup of coffee in my hand (without which I’d be a blithering idiot at this time of the morning), my family, the friends I’ve made both online and off, and the work that I have the great fortune to do. Yes, there are lots of things to be concerned about–the state of the world, the environment, extremist religious fanatics who want to take away my right to live as I see fit–but today I’m going to buy into the theory behind Thanksgiving and be…thankful.

What a concept.

I am especially thankful for all of the help and support I get from you guys. I know I haven’t been around much lately (just  checked the date of my last post–holy cow–October 8???), but there’s a good reason for it. I’m excited to say that I’ve gotten the edits back for VIGILANTE DEAD from the lovely Miss Laurie, made the corrections, and have sent out the ARCs to my awesome Advance Reader Team (ART). Which can only mean one thing…

VIGILANTE DEAD will go live December 3rd! In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the cover created by the always fabulous Deranged Doctor Designs:

cover for Vigilante Dead

And here’s the description:

“Death. Lies. Revenge.

After years of running, Kate Jones is finally putting her past behind her. Between restoring ties with her younger sister, moving in with Sam, a cop-turned PI, and working as a PI herself, she’s learning to live life without looking over her shoulder.

Then Kate lands a case that changes everything: a young college student with no history of drug abuse dies of an overdose, and the parents come to Kate demanding answers. Soon, Seattle is reeling from dozens more deaths, all with the same chemical markers. At first, police assume that the victims are closet junkies who got a hold of a bad combination, but after someone close to her becomes a victim, Kate believes something far more sinister is going on.

The deeper Kate digs, the more she uncovers about the deadly drug’s origins, forcing her to choose between doing what’s right…

and getting revenge.”

I’m happy to report that I’ve already gotten positive feedback from my ARTeam (don’t you just love fast readers? Cue big sigh of relief). The paperback should be available at the same time, with the audio after that.

Earlier this year, I decided that Kate Jones needed a new look and I asked DDD if they’d create a brand for the series that was different from the Leine Basso books but would still be recognizable. Here’s what they came up with:

bookcovers for Kate Jones series

And here’s the new look for BAD SPIRITS, the lead-in to the series:

bad-spiritsnew

 

I think they did a fantastic job. I especially like the bullets 🙂

So, that’s all I have for now. Since we’re leading up to launch week (Dec. 3-10) you can expect more posts–and have I got some fabulous surprises to share with you!

As always, have a safe and happy weekend/holiday. I’m going to try not to eat too much at dinner today or be too outspoken, but you know how that goes…


A Conversation with Father Time

1328101886 HourGlassSo there I was, sitting at my computer, toiling away on my seemingly endless work in progress, chewing my fingernails and glancing furtively at the clock, when *poof* this old, ratty-looking dude appears in the chair across from me. Now, when I say ratty, I mean some truly matted, snarly hair that was way past dreds, a year’s worth of beard on a gnarly, wind and sunburned face, and the clothes—uh, well let’s just say his clothes would have made a nice little mid-winter bonfire. A more odoriferous fellow I’ve not yet had the fortune to meet.

He smiled a languorous smile, the spaces between his Jack O’ Lantern teeth big enough to drive a flatbed through, and pulled out what was once euphemistically referred to as a Marley. He drew it beneath his nose, snuffling the scent with a satisfied smile, and wasted no time in lighting the fatty with a wooden match pulled from the well-worn folds of his attire. And he did indeed inhale.

“Who the fuck are you?” I asked, my annoyance obvious at this most unwelcome intrusion. You see, I was on a roll. Writing like my life depended on it, savoring the cadence and ebb and flow of a day in the zone.

Well, actually, that’s a lie. I was struggling mightily putting words to page, on the verge of throwing my keyboard across the room.

But still.

“Whoa. Am I detecting a little attitude?” he asked, as  a dense, aromatic cloud  of what I assumed to be cannabis sativa bellowed forth.

“You didn’t answer me, pops. Now who the hell are you?” My cheeks flushed hot, reminding me I hadn’t slept well the night before, which always leaves me cranky.

He picked what appeared to be vegetation from between his teeth and grinned, leaning back in his chair. “I’m Father Time.”

“You’re what?”

“Father Time. You know, out with the old, in with the new?”

“Yeah, I know who Father Time is. But isn’t he a tired old man with a scythe who’s ready to kick?” I looked him up and down. “I mean, you’re no picnic, but looks to me like you’ve got some mileage left.”

He grinned again and offered me a hit. I declined, preferring to be fully in control of my faculties when experiencing a psychotic break—which this most unfortunately appeared to be.

“If I may be so bold,” he continued. “You strike me as a writerly sort, am I right?”

I rolled my eyes and answered, “What, did the computer, thesaurus, and Chicago Manual of Style give me away? Or perhaps it was the quotes on the wall by Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Parker?”

A throaty chuckle escaped him and he shifted, crossing one leg over the other, his huarache-clad feet expelling little dust clouds as he moved.

“Yeah. That would be it. Along with the sarcasm. Tell me,” he said as he took another hit off the joint and stubbed it out on the sole of his shoe, “Are you happy?”

The words stopped me cold.“Wha—what do you mean? Of course I’m happy. Happy as a goddamned lark, buddy, so back the fuck off, okay?” I rose from my chair and started to pace. “Where do you get off, asking me if I’m happy?”

Time just shrugged, cocked his head, and looked at me sideways. “Look, no offense, but all you ever seem to do is sit at your computer, day in and day out, writing about murder and mayhem and shoving your characters into all sorts of crappy situations. You spend your time researching the lower aspects of humanity and then you write a story around them. Yeah, for the most part, there’s a happy ending and the bad guys get theirs, but when do you take a break? When do you live your life?”

“My life? I—uh—I don’t…” I sat back in my chair as the realization hit. He had a point. Was I living well? I ran through the past year, remembering the elation when I’d published books, sharing time with new friends and old, the book signings, the travel, the sales. Yeah, that all seemed fun, great, even. But then I reminded myself of all the bad things that happened throughout the year, not necessarily for me or my family and friends, but the world in general. The acidic political posturing, Paris and San Bernardino, Syria and the refugees, mass shootings, murders, global warming, canned hunting, human and animal trafficking, etc., etc., etc. But mainly I realized how my attitude started slowly shifting toward fear. And protection.

And FEAR.

Time gave me a wistful smile. “Sneaks up on you, doesn’t it?”

Tears sprang to my eyes. “Like little cat feet,” I murmured.

“The trick is, you’ve got to put your attention somewhere positive.”

“But,” I protested, “I can’t just ignore the news. I write crime novels.”

“Sure. But you don’t have to spend all of your time there.”

“There’s so much to process. I can’t absorb it all.”

“So don’t. Spend time doing things you like to do—things with a positive return. And let go of outcomes. You can’t control what’s going to happen. Yeah, you can mitigate some of the stuff just by being aware of your surroundings, but what if you let go and let life happen? Use your imagination for your books, not your fears.”

“Oh.” Yet another salient point. “Is it really that easy?” I asked, hope pinned to my chest.

The wise old dude nodded. “Yep,” he replied. “Don’t get me wrong. It’s not gonna be all unicorns and kittens, believe me. Your readers wouldn’t like that, anyway.  All I’m saying is, accentuate the positive—like when you’re done writing for the day. It’s all about balance. Capiche?”

“So this really isn’t a psychotic break? You’re actually Father Time?”

Time pulled out the fatty and slipped it between his lips. “Girl, what you been smokin’?”

 

2010-07-20 Black windup alarm clock face


Seasonal Greetings

Firework, New, Year, HolidayI hope you all have the opportunity to enjoy friends, family (at least try 🙂 ), puppies, kittens, and that odd guy down the hall who picks his teeth with an envelope. Be kind, be happy, let go of expectations, and do something nice for yourself and/or somebody else. Thank you for stopping by–it means a lot–and I sincerely hope to see you all again next year.

In honor of the year about to pass and in anticipation of the year about to come, and because giving stuff away makes me happy, here’s a Goodreads Giveaway for an advance reader copy of The Body Market 😀

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Body Market by D.V. Berkom

The Body Market

by D.V. Berkom

Giveaway ends December 29, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


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