It's certainly been a year to remember. In May, Paper, Scissors, Death was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The list of novelists over the years who have been nominated include Mary Higgins Clarke, Jan Burke, and Janet Evanovich. I mean, really, how could you be in better company?
Cut, Crop & Die was released in June 2009, but the release was quickly overshadowed by word that my mother had terminal cancer.
My mom died in July. She was in a coma for eight days, but my sisters and I were there to care for her. I've never admired anyone as much as I admire Jane and Margaret. Our dear Aunt Shirley was with us, and Mom, until the end, too. It was a horrible time, and our friend at hospice Sally Lippert said she's seen thousands of deaths, but that Mom's suffering was unique. The morphine didn't help her pain. Afterwards, we learned that was probably because liquid morphine is absorbed through the saliva glands, and Mom's had been compromised by radiation when she had cancer of the larynx. Who knew? I thank God for hospice, and I highly recommend the service to you.
In August, we moved our son to college for his sophomore year. I signed a contract for Books #3 and #4 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series. Number 3 will be called Photo, Snap, Shot and the release date is May 1, 2010. I'm at 66,000 words of an 85,000 word Book #4. I'm calling it Make & Take, Murder, but that's always subject to change by the publisher! I'm still futzing around with the punctuation on it. Tell me. Do you like "Make & Take, Murder" or "Make, Take, Murder" or "Make and Take Murder" best?
Paper, Scissors, Death and Cut, Crop & Die are both out in large print versions and Paper, Scissors, Death is now available on Kindle.
On September 1, we moved to the metro Washington DC area so my husband David could become the official Steinway piano dealer for DC and surrounds.
Later in September, the house we built, the one where we raised our son, sold. I know it's a blessing to sell a house in this economy. We had great help. Kristi and her son J.T. Monschien made it happen. They were super. But sometimes I still miss my old home and my neighbors Kathy and John.
Last month I signed with a new agent. That's exciting. In today's market, I think it's important to have someone who is in New York most of the time. The publishing world is at a cross-roads, and every choice is difficult. Having a representative who rubs elbows with editors all the time is a huge advantage.
I've been offered the chance to write Book #5 in the Kiki Lowenstein series. I love Kiki. Her world is an escape for me. Tell me...what would you like to see in an upcoming Kiki book? You know I really do listen to you. Some of the stray comments I've heard at signings come back to me as I write. Knowing what you like helps me make better decisions!
David's new job is opening all sorts of doors for us. We were privileged to attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting (that's the photo above) and the Opening Gala for the National Symphony Orchestra. Stay tuned! I'll try to share all the excitement with you!
So now it's nearly Christmas. It's going to be a difficult one for my family. My sister Margaret came up with a crackerjack idea. We're going to Disney World for Christmas. It was a bit unexpected, but you know, it is the happiest place on earth. And anywhere my family is...well...that's a very good place to be.
May God Bless and Keep All of You and Yours in the Coming Year.