Monday, February 24, 2020

Missed My Regular Posting Date--

with good reason.

Our very busy library burned down last week and two firefighters were killed while checking the building to anyone who might be trapped. The flames were visible for miles!

To add to the tragedy, it was set by two 13 year-old-boys. Nothing has been said officially about the motive, be people who frequent the library said they were troublesome, making to much noise, hollering and whooping and using foul language. They'd been chastised and sent home several times.

At the time of the fire, the library was crowded as it always is after school. Many children came to the library to do homework and wait for parents to come pick them up. Homeless used the library as a place to rest and read the paper and magazines. Many activities were planned for all ages.

Fortunately the library staff got everyone out safely.

Frankly, this is all I've been able to think about lately.

The building was built in the '50s and no sprinklers.

Someone has offered an empty building close to where the library was for a temporary solution. Donated books are being collected there for now. What else they do with the space, I have no idea.
However the library staff are very creative and resourceful. And yes, I'm donating books. I have many that I know I'll never reread.

By March, I'll be back on my usual schedule--I hope.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Truth In Advertising - At Least, Sort Of

by Janis Patterson

Most of you know that I grew up in my parents’ advertising agency from the age of nine on, starting as a stripper (not that kind!) and progressing to doing product photography and writing copy before I entered high school, then doing international space buying several years before I graduated. One of the things that was drummed into me during those formative years was that my ad copy had to be truthful.
Apparently that is a virtue long gone extinct, at least in the book business. When I scroll through the online ebook vendors I am appalled at some of the titles. No, not the regular titles, though some of them are pretty grisly, but the subtitles. Now I will admit that personally I am sick to death of pun titles, but that’s just me. What I cannot stand is the subtitle, which sometimes appears to be as long as the book. For example (and totally fictitious) – The Leaving Tree – A Riveting Exercise in the Deliciously Lethal Discipline of Gardening, Where Each Plant Has A Story to Tell And No One Walks Without Fear. Or – Bedding the Lustful Billionaire – A Heartwarming Story of True Love Distorted by Money, Blackmail and Jealousy That Will Warm Your Heart and Give You New Hope For Romance.  You get the idea.
Isn’t it the duty of the blurb to give an indication of what the story is about, not a lengthy and more often than not mendacious subtitle? When the subtitle proclaims the story to be ‘thrilling’ or ‘can’t put it down’ or ‘riveting’ or any of a hundred other descriptors, you can pretty much believe it isn’t. When I read a title/subtitle/blurb I want to know what the story is about, not something telling me how I should feel about it.
One example (again fictional) of a subtitle that is not overblown and offensive is a short, accurate piece of fact that a reader really needs to know, such as Flying High – A Jane Smith 1920s Mystery #6. It just tells you what it is, not what the writer wants the reader to think or believe or feel. The book itself should do that.
On the whole, these lengthy and overblown subtitles make me think of books printed during the Victorian era and before, where pretty much the whole title page was taken up with what is basically a long subtitle, usually with every line done in a different typeface. It may have helped sell books back then, but in today’s short soundbite society I don’t think such over the top description helps.
It shouldn’t. In my not-so-humble opinion, the book – and to a lesser extent the blurb – should be what says the book is. I mean, why read the book if the story is revealed in the subtitle? Shouldn’t the reader be the one who decides if (and hopefully leaves a review saying) the story is riveting, heartwarming or whatever?
Honesty, and a decision made by the reader. What a concept.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Marketing Old Books

Because I have over 40 books published, I recently decided to see what would happen with those that are self-published if I wrote something about one or another and posted with a link on Facebook. I did the self-published, because I can see if anyone has purchased a book after I wrote about it.

I started with some of the older Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries. The first and the second, Deadly Trail and Deadly Omen.

I did a couple that had started out as Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, but didn't quite seem like they fit the bill.  Deadly Feast was one of those. I got the idea from a huge flood that happened a long time ago where I'm living and a bridge was washed out, stranding people for several days.

 I did some others too. Every time I did this on Facebook, a few of the books were purchased. So it was worth the few minutes it took to do this.

I'm always willing to try something new, how about you?


(The above books are available on Amazon for Kindle and in paper.)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Making a difference through Blogging

Make Mine Mystery

Linda Lee Kane
February 5, 2020

Not long ago, I took a class about blogging from Nina Amir. I also bought many of her book and I’ve learned so much from her about so many things in writing, as well as blogging. 

About two years after taking her class and following her plan I jumped right in and wrote about women who’ve made a difference in our society throughout the ages and many that you’ve never heard about. I got the idea after writing my YA book, Chilled to the Bones. I wrote it about the heroines of the American Revolutionary War…how many of you knew that it was Agent 355 who took down Benedict Arnold? To this day, we don’t know her name, we do know that she was a member of George Washingtons Culper Spy Ring, and we know she died in the British ship, New Jersey after giving birth. That’s it, nothing more. To me, knowing about these unsung heroines can make a difference in a kid’s life. It can inspire them to reach for the stars.

I decided, after listening to CNN, speak about ‘what can bring our country together again’? I had been thinking about this for quite some time. So I stopped writing about Heroines and began writing about the history of state desserts. I mean, what can bring people closer together than food, particularly a great dessert? How many people knew that each state has its own dessert? I didn’t and when I discovered that I researched the history behind each dessert and how it came to be so important to that state. I call the blog, 'Bringing the US Together One State Dessert at a Time! I’ve also written the recipe out for each dessert. All last year, every week I baked or cooked up a dessert from each of the 50 states. The people at the barn, the people at the football parties, and family gatherings loved each and every one. So in a small way, no matter the politics my desserts brought people together, and for just a while shared in the joy of food, the history behind it, and forgot their differences in politics. 

That's what writing can do, it can make a differnce.

You can read my blog at