Sunday, 13 July 2014

"The Dating Do-Over" Snynopsis

Work on The Dating Do-Over, my contemporary romance set in Toronto, proceeds on schedule. I've just finished a two-week marathon editing the first draft. The second draft is going out to my editor and to two trusted beta readers tomorrow. I'll be spending a couple of days on promotion for the September 18 publishing date before starting work on the 3rd book in the Anna Nolan mystery series, Tidings of Murder and Woe.

Appearing for the first time, here's the synopsis for The Dating Do-Over. Stay tuned for the first two chapters, and an August free e-book promotion!

Toronto school teacher Viv Nowak has a sympathetic heart and abominable taste in men. She expects an engagement ring when her live-in lover of six years lands a terrific new job in Vancouver. Instead, she gets dumped ‒ on Valentine’s Day! Everyone, from her best friends to her father to her estranged mother, has an opinion on how she should fix her life. Her friends even insist on a dating do-over. But Viv has an epiphany while watching the film classic, Roman Holiday. Like Audrey Hepburn’s princess, she realizes that it’s time to make her own decisions. But will her friends like her choice when she finally knows what her heart wants?

If you would like to be contacted when new books are due for release, please leave your name and e-mail address with the "Contact Cathy" app to the right of this post.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Hurrah! The First Draft of "The Dating Do-Over" is Finished!

Just finished the first draft of my contemporary romance, "The Dating Do-Over," and I'm pleased. The manuscript is just shy of 90,000 words, so a good length to work with. Something odd; I've noticed that my romances are always longer than my mysteries.

Now comes the less nerve-wracking process of editing and polishing. I'll be posting the first 2 chapters on this site soon, so stay tuned!

If you would like to be contacted when new books are due for release, please leave your name and e-mail address with the "Contact Cathy" app to the right of this post.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Town Haunts Review, and Why I Hate Asking Readers for Reviews

Over My Dead Body!The Mystery Magazine Online has published a review of Town Haunts, the second book in the Anna Nolan Mystery series. My thanks to them for their endorsement.

Although I hate to say it, both professional and readers' reviews do seem critical to a book's success. And the reason I hate to say it is because I don't like asking readers to leave a review of my book on their e-retailer's website. Readers were never expected to review books before the dawn of e-books, other than to share their enjoyment of a book with their friends - hopefully. Today, authors are all clamouring for buyers to leave reviews with Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. because it helps us to sell books. Not that readers should feel beholden to leave a review; after all, they've just shelled out their hard-earned bucks to purchase the book. But today's readers don't seem comfortable purchasing a book unless it has a good rating, particularly if the author is new and struggling to build an audience. Good ratings mean more purchases, which lead to more visibility on a bookseller's site, which leads to more purchases.

So, I shall swallow my reluctance and ask readers who have enjoyed my books to please leave a review with their e-retailer, should they be so inclined. And thank you to all of the readers who have left positive reviews already. Your appreciation means a great deal to me, and encourages me to continue writing.

If you would like to be contacted when new books are due for release, please leave your name and e-mail address with the "Contact Cathy" app to the right of this post.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Indepth Q&A Published by Mystery Maven Canada


Mystery Maven Canada (New, reviews, and schmooze by and about Canadian Mystery writers) has just published "Schmoozing With Cathy Spencer," a question and answer interview with moi. The site mistress, Linda Wiken, has also given Framed for Murder a plug for winning the 2014 Bony Blithe Mystery Award.

I had the pleasure of meeting Linda last weekend at the Bloody Words Conference, where she co-hosted a panel entitled "Pssst, Wanna be a Professional Author" with Don Graves. Not only does Linda host this great website all about Canadian mysteries (yay!), she's also a talented author, writing under the name Erika Chase. Linda is also a former mystery bookstore owner. You could say that she's devoted her life to mystery.

Click on this link to read the interview. If there are any other questions you'd like me to answer, just leave a comment below.

If you would like to be contacted when new books are due for release, please leave your name and e-mail address with the "Contact Cathy" app to the right of this post.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Winning the Bony Blythe Mystery Award!

Just returned yesterday from the 3-day Bloody Words conference in Toronto, and what a great weekend it was! It was terrific meeting so many authors and readers of Canadian mystery. I attended several informative sessions, sat on the panel for "Indie Publishing: We're here to Stay," and participated in the "Books with Legs" fashion show of authors wearing their book covers. Here's a picture of me wearing the cover for Town Haunts.

The icing on the cake, however, was winning the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award for Framed for Murder, the first novel in the Anna Nolan series. It was awarded at a costumed banquet on Saturday night. The finalists - Janet Bolin, Vicki Delany, Elizabeth Duncan, Howard Shrier, and I - all read the first 250 words of our manuscripts aloud. I was thrilled when they called my name as the winner! It's so encouraging when your work is recognized, especially when you're a self-published author. 

That's me at the beginning of this post with the  colourful Bony plaque. He's lying on the couch reading a book - a mystery, no doubt - while his bony cat lounges on top. You can bet that the plaque will be hanging over my computer when I'm writing in future. And the $1,000 prize is much appreciated, too.

It was fun seeing all the costumes at the banquet Saturday night. Here are just a few:

And here I am up on stage reading aloud at the banquet:

Thanks a bunch to my husband, Reid, for accompanying me to the banquet and taking the pictures! 

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Framed for Murder or its sequel, Town Haunts, just click on the "Bookstore" tab of this website for further information. 

If you would like to be alerted when the 3rd installment of the series, Tidings of Murder and Woe, comes out this Christmas, just leave your name and e-mail address with the "Contact Cathy" app at the top right of this site. I'll send you a brief message with the synopsis, cover, and purchase details. Of course, I won't share your information with anyone else. Cheers!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Going to the Bloody Words Conference Tomorrow

I`m going to the Bloody Words Conference this weekend at Toronto`s Hyatt Regency Hotel. The first item on the agenda on Friday afternoon will be the annual general meeting of the Crime Writers of Canada; not really part of the conference, but taking place beforehand at the hotel. Since I`ve only been a member of CWC for a couple of years, and I was in Calgary during last year`s meeting, this is my first opportunity to meet many of my fellow members.

Other items of note on Friday are sitting on the authors` panel that`s discussing Indie Publishing: We`re Here to Stay, and taking part in a fashion show of book covers. My cover will be the one for Town Haunts. Not sure how we`re going to do that, but I have to wear my cover down a catwalk. Here it is:

Saturday night is the banquet, during which they`ll announce the winner of The Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. (That`s Bony at the top of this post; he looks like such a happy skeleton). My Framed for Murder is one of the 5 finalists, and we authors will be reading the first 250 words of our novels aloud. I`m not expecting to win - I`m the only self-published author - but it would certainly be exciting, especially since this is the last year for the conference and the award. It`s a costumed affair, and my husband and I are going in-tandem, lucky guy.

The conference ends early Sunday afternoon with 3 different presentations. The schedule is jammed with panels and presentations all 3 days, as a matter of fact, and it`s going to be tough choosing which ones to attend. Fortunately, we`re booked into the hotel Friday and Saturday nights, so we won`t have far to go to collapse.

Sure looking forward to it!

If you would like to be contacted when new books are due for release, please leave your name and e-mail address with the "Contact Cathy" app to the right of this post.

Monday, 2 June 2014

The Top 10 Regency Best Sellers

Yes, ladies, Amazon has a top ten Regency Best Sellers list, which is  updated hourly! 
I'm thinking that these are a lot spicier than the regencies Jane Austen wrote.
So, as of 9:09 p.m. EDT, here are the top ten Regency Best Sellers, in reverse order:

10. The Convenient Bride: Book 3 (The Clearbrooks)

9. The Unwanted Earl (The Lovebird Series)

8. Shunned No More (A Lady Forsaken)

7. Worth Lord of Reckoning (Lonely Lords)

6. The Three Disgraces Series

5. To Tame a Highland Earl (MacLean Highlander Novel)

4. Daring Miss Danvers: The Wallflower Wedding Series

3. Tempting a Devil: A Loveswept Historical Romance

2. Deceived by a Duke: An All's Fair in Love Novella

1. The Duke's Holiday (The Regency Romp Trilogy)