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Spring Has Sprung!

IMG_2693Yesterday, officially, was the first day of spring. Well, okay, it didn’t really happen until around 4:30 p.m. but it was March 20. Today, however, I can really see it’s spring—all day long (so far.)

In New Mexico, we have what we euphemistically call”interesting weather.” Mostly that means things can (and do) change from one minute to the next. It can be gray, cloudy, blustery, and then, as if by magic, the clouds scuttle away, the sun takes over, the skies turn vivid blue, and it’s gorgeous. Today it started out that way and seems to be holding.

Spring brings so much promise. For me, it’s eager anticipation of the UPS man delivering three heavy boxes of books. My new mystery, Murder on Sagebrush Lane, is on it’s way to me, and I’m as eager to see those boxes as I was the very first delivery of my first mystery two years ago. Of course, this also means Continue reading Spring Has Sprung!

Reblogged Review by Amber Foxx of The Easter Egg Murder.

A New Mexico Mystery Review: The Easter Egg Murder
This entry was posted on November 25, 2014 and tagged New Mexico Mystery, Patricia Smith Wood
front cover  Easter Egg

The best analogy I can think of for this book is a Rubik’s Cube. As I read it, I knew all the pieces of the puzzle could fit together, but I never did figure out how until the end. It’s the kind of mystery that engages the mind, with intricately constructed interlocking pieces and multiple layers of relationships, motives and history. It has a whodunit within a whodunit, as the team of amateur sleuths, police and FBI in 2000 work out who is behind the unsolved “Easter Egg murder” from 1950, as well as a murder and an attempted murder in their own time. In spite of this complexity there are no loose ends, no holes, and even its surprise ending is set up so the closure comes from the prior events, not out of the blue.

The cascade of events in this story is triggered when Senator Philip Lawrence starts writing two books—his memoir of his life in politics, and a book about a fifty-year-old murder that took place in the small New Mexico town of Los Huevos on Easter Sunday. The second book becomes more important to him than the first, and when word gets out that he’s working on it, the project stirs up some serious trouble. The retired senator’s editors find themselves in the middle of that trouble. I liked the way the two editors’ involvement in solving a mystery was handled. The amateurs don’t outsmart the professionals, but cooperate and communicate with them in a realistic way, as well as occasionally striking out on their own.

The characters are deft sketches, the pace brisk. The pieces of the puzzle keep moving. For those who like their books spare and fast, this will fit the bill. The tension is seldom at a life-threatening level, but it builds steadily to that point. There isn’t a dull moment or a single extra word that could have been cut.

I actually would have liked a few more words. The historical part of the mystery was so interesting I wanted to explore that time and place in more depth. I had a good sense of Harrie—one of the editors who is the primary point of view character—as a whole person, but I didn’t get to know the other major players as well as I would have liked. Almost like a radio play, a good portion of the story is told in dialog. I’m never in a hurry to have a good book end and I wouldn’t have minded if this slender 212 page novel had a little more meat on its bones.

*****

Next week I’ll have an interview with the author, in which she shares some fascinating background on this book.

I’m Glad You Asked – Guest Blog Appearance

MAY 15, 2014

I’m Glad You Asked. http://cncbooksblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/im-glad-you-asked/

This is the latest Guest Blog appearance I’ve done since The Easter Egg Murder was published last year.

I would appreciate having as many people as possible read it and comment on it. A Guest Blogger needs to “deliver the goods” by bringing people to the blog site and getting them to express interest. When a post is well received, people ask you back to post another day. That’s what I hope happens for me.

So please check it out and leave a comment there.

Talk to you later!

Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, Did You Enjoy The Play?

MONKEY
Pat’s Unhappy Face

I am, for the most part, an upbeat person. I don’t get hysterical–well maybe just a little when I see a spider or a creepy, crawly, bug–but I’m pretty even-tempered. Sure I have some down days, but usually I’m a happy camper. If you’ll refer to one of my past posts, Sometimes Dreams Come True you’ll see I was a VERY happy camper back in September 2012 when I received the official offer Continue reading Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, Did You Enjoy The Play?

And now, we present The Easter Egg Murder on Kindle!!!

Easter Egg on KindleLadies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, talking parrots and animals of good taste! This is the announcement I’ve been waiting for—The Easter Egg Murder is now available on Kindle!

I was excited when the actual book was delivered into my hands. I could thumb through its pages, knowing these were my words, and now everybody could read them. But the world has changed in the last couple of years (yes, no kidding! It has! Just look around at all the new gadgets!) Now many readers prefer  to acquire their books in e-book form. Those of you who still prefer the feel and heft of a book in your hand, to be able to turn those paper pages, even to makes notes in the margins, my book is still available to you in that format. But for those who eschew building more bookshelves to contain your literature, the Kindle is a Godsend. Those of you who own one already know that  hundreds and hundreds of books can be stored for your reading pleasure. It’s a small device, easily transported, and far easier to rely on when on the road. Armloads of books no longer need to be taken in suitcases to satisfy your thirst for reading.

I’m beyond excited to reach this goal. You can even “take a look inside” now! It shows the first couple of chapters to entice you into purchasing.

I would love to learn there had been a major swarm of mystery readers clicking on The Easter Egg Murder and either downloading it to their Kindle or deciding to become the owner of the paperback book. Either way, I encourage you to check it out. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised by the story.

Three Women and a Conference: The Initiation of a New Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday starts the week of initiation. I’m frantically preparing for a five-day stay in Colorado Springs for Left Coast Crime 2013. This conference will mark my debut in the world of authors, and for the first time, my book and I will be introduced to attendees. I’ve been waiting for this occasion so long it’s difficult to realize it’s almost here.

I’m driving up with two dear friends from my writers critique group. We’re called The Marvelous Ones, and for good reason. These women really are marvelous ones to have as friends and doing critiques of your work. I wish our entire group could go right along with us. But Margaret and Charlene will be good representatives for the team. They’ve promised to sit at my table at the New Author’s Breakfast on Friday morning and be my fans. I hope others will join them there!

After that, we will have another three days of panels to attend. Published authors will share their wisdom and experiences on such topics as: “The Lighter Side of Death & Dismemberment”; “Read My Shorts”; “You Don’t Have To Be A Lawyer To Kill Like One”; and the two I’ve been invited to be a panelist for, “Occupations To Die For” and “Breaking & Entering: Tales of the First Sale.”

It’s a great opportunity to meet new writers and mystery fans, learn new skills, and for me, begin to feel like a real writer. (I’ve already experienced a taste of that feeling when friends who’ve already bought the book give me feedback. That is a real thrill.) Then  Sunday afternoon, we pack up and make the drive home. With three of us all trying to talk at once about our wonderful weekend, it should be an entertaining seven hours!

On Easter Sunday, I’m having my first “official” book signing at Treasure House Books and Gifts in Old Town Albuquerque. I can’t thank John Hoffsis and his dad, Jim enough for being so supportive, not only to me, but to all the other local writers. I’ll be there from 1:00 to 3:00 that day, handing out candy-filled Easter eggs and signing books. That morning at 9:00 a.m. I’ll be a guest on the Terrie Q. Sayre Show on 770 AM, KKOB Radio. Terrie has been very kind to let me and my fellow ham radio operators appear on her show the past three years to promote the annual ARRL Field Day activities. Now I get to tell her and her audience about The Easter Egg Murder.

I’ve already gone through almost thirty of the books I ordered from the publisher. I’m also taking thirty to Left Coast Crime to be sold in their book store. We’ll see how many I have left after that. I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining, because I’m not! This is so exciting and dream fulfilling. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that it’s no longer something living in my imagination! It’s here and now, and it’s real! Wahoo!!! Bring it on!!