I started out the year celebrating 30 wonderful years with my wonderful husband, so that was a good start.
We went to Sonoma to take in the desert sights without any of the heat, though it was still pretty warm at times. We traveled to Jerome a former ghost town now revitalized by galleries and shops and even some wineries.
The red rocks of Sedona.
The pueblo of Montezuma's Castle.
As for the rest of the year, I astonished even myself when I pulled off writing FOUR books this year, a quantity I do not recommend writers normally attempt. Two Crispin books (because I had them under contract and we had to get going if we were to meet the deadlines--THE SILENCE OF STONES and A MAIDEN WEEPING), a paranormal book, and a Skyler Foxe novella.
And as usual, I traveled. I had speaking events in Seal Beach for the American Association of University Women, the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime chapter in Fresno, the Ridgecrest California Writers Club, the Historical Novel Society LA chapter's meeting in Fairfax, the Sisters in Crime LA meeting talking about self-publishing in South Pasadena, speaking to the Soroptomists of Brea/La Habra in Placentia, speaking at the Duarte Library. I participated in mystery writer panels in Costa Mesa, San Juan Capistrano, Beverly Hills, and Glendale. I spoke as part of the author lecture series at Santa Monica City College. Yeah, I like to drive.
I hadn't originally planned to go to Left Coast Crime in Portland, Oregon this year, but CUP OF BLOOD was nominated for an historical mystery award and I made the decision at the last minute to go. I didn't win but I had a blast anyway.
I had my first virtual Facebook book launch for those who couldn't come for my Tudor-era novel, ROSES IN THE TEMPEST and it was a hit! Lot's of people got a chance to see my presentation in pictures, to chat, and to win prizes. And then in April was the real book launch at the Huntington Library where we had a tea.
Playing in the Chinese garden at the Huntington Library before the launch.
Exploring the library and drooling over the Ellesmere Chaucer.
And enjoying some tea with a few friends.
I almost sold out on the books I brought to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, partly due to the release of ROSES IN THE TEMPEST.
Hubby and I took time out to go to the races at Del Mar where he won big! Well, big to us. Several hundred bucks. Not bad for a day's work.
In July we offered the ebook for CUP OF BLOOD for FREE for three days, just to generate some interest and maybe some reviews. I think I got the interest going, not so much the reviews. It was worth the experiment anyway.
Speaking of generating interest, I wanted to boost my numbers for my newsletter and began offering
unique prizes for those who received the newsletter and we did get quite a few more readers. Well done! (You can sign up, too, by going to my website and clicking on the shield.) By the way, the mouse below and more like him will be raffled off next year for the various release parties for THE SILENCE OF STONES.
We took a vacation to beautiful Mammoth Lakes where we dined on freshly caught trout and other fare. And where I worked on rewrites almost all day every day. We did take a side trip to the ghost town Bodie.
It rained the first few days and the higher elevations got snow.
That's Craig down there in the lower right, fishing at Rock Lake.
Our day trip to Bodie.
The abandoned mining operations in Bodie.
Back at camp the fishing wasn't great but we got a few nights worth of appetizers.
What it's all about.
And a sad event when we got back. One of our kitties, George, the tuxedo cat, lost his fight with kidney disease. We will miss our little hunter, our own Curious George who brought me lizards, both dead and alive, rats, gophers, and other gifts because I was too stupid to know how to hunt myself. He was always a little wild, that little stray, the well dressed cat who came to stay.
I took this picture right before we left. I had a feeling.
Always a daredevil.
And a sweetheart.
I wrote a Crispin Guest short story called "Dark Chamber" and it's still available to read on King's River Life online magazine. Click on the image to read it.
In October, I had my own booth this year at the Tournament of the Phoenix and sold books. I wish we had sold more. Another interesting experiment but a fun day.
There was jousting!
And more spectacle...no wait. That's me and my booth.
And at the very end of October, we had our virtual book launch on Facebook for the UK release of THE SILENCE OF STONES. Even better attended than for ROSES. And now we are looking forward to the US release of the ninth Crispin book in February. Keep in touch on this page and on my website so you can attend those. A decent year. Some highs and lows, as always. A few more highs made it noteworthy. See you next year!