Friday, January 21, 2011

Win a Free Book!

The next novel in my Possessed Mystery Series, FEAR ITSELF, will be coming out in April.  I want to celebrate by giving away a book a month between now and then, and I thought, what better way to find the most worthy fans than to let Miss Maggie give 3 of her famous history quizzes.

Miss Maggie is my protagonist's sidekick, Magnolia Shelby, a 90+ year-old retired history teacher and probably the most popular character in the series.  She even has her own fan page on Facebook (check out the link to the left of this blog).

Here's the way the contests will work:  Send your answers to first quiz below, along with your full name, to  All entries who ace the quiz will be entered in a drawing to win the free signed book of their choice from the Possessed Mystery Series.  If you have all 3 books already and can't think of anyone who'd like one as a gift, don't let that stop you.  Tell me that on your entry and another prize will be selected for you.  If no one aces the quiz, the person with the best score will win the book.  Entries not selected in the first drawing will be eligible for later drawings.  I'll post another quiz in February and one in March, then we'll do a grand prize drawing in April, which will be for a hot-off-the-press signed copy of FEAR ITSELF.

Only entries sent to will be eligible.  Deadline for entries for the quiz below will be January 31, 2011.  Winners will be announced February 1st. 

Since my first novel, BY BLOOD POSSESSED, was set in May 1864, the Civil War is the subject of the first quiz.  Pencils ready!  (Or should I say, start your Google Search Engines?)


1.  Miss Maggie's Bell Run estate is on the southbank of the Rapidan, just downstream from Germanna Ford and upstream from Fredericksburg.  The Union Army crossed the Rapidan near here for all the following battles except which one?

a) Chancellorsville
b) Gettysburg
c) Mine Run
d) Wilderness

2.  The Commander of the Union forces for the Wilderness Campaign was

a) Meade
b) Hooker
c) Burnside
d) Grant

3.  The Confederate general in command of the 2nd Corps at the Battle of the Wilderness had the nickname

a) Stonewall
b) Marse Robert
c) Old Bald Head
d) Peter The Slow

Good luck,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Frog in My Throat

I now have a scar coveted by pirates and mystery writers alike.  My Sisters in Crime chapter said I need an elaborate story about how I fought off an attacker determined to slit my throat.  My brother thinks I should  simply state that the vampire wore braces.  Either explanation is way more entertaining than just saying I had thyroid surgery.

So, unlike a lot of mystery writers, I've now had the experience of having my throat cut.  Of course I slept through the actual cutting, so that's no help (not that I would have had it any other way, given a choice).  I can tell you I woke up with a head and throat filled with fluid and had the sensation of drowning.  Possibly I could write a good water-boarding scene from it.  I was surprised that I could talk, albeit softly, with a sexy bullfrog-like rasp.  I also now know how many different movements of the body require neck muscles.  If they aren't working, getting out of bed is next to impossible.

I had time to contemplate, in those first 48 hours, what a faux pas of evolution the neck seems to be.  I mean, the heart's protected inside the ribcage and the brain's protected inside the skull, but connecting the two is this narrow, vulnerable isthmus.  Then again, it's a great design for craning above the herd to search for approaching predators or the nearest Starbucks.

Anyway, I have a new experience to work into my writing.  And maybe I should get my next author photo taken before the scar fades.



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