Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Well, release day finally came for Shotgun Moon on September 1. Yep, the Sunday before Labor Day, and a week earlier than I had originally been told, but it’s out and I’m happy, happy, happy. As of this writing, Amazon is already out of the trade paperback version (THANK YOU to everyone who pre-ordered!), but they will be restocked very soon and copies are still available at Barnes and Noble and lots of Indie bookstores such as Powell’s, Seattle Mystery Bookshop and Old Firehouse Books, just to name a few. And of course there are Nook, Kindle, and Kobo ebook versions, too.
Speaking of Old Firehouse Books, mark your calendar because the official book launch will be held there on Saturday, September 14 at 2:00 p.m. until whenever. I’d love to see you.
Shotgun has already received some nice reviews:
“In a departure from her lighthearted crafting mysteries (Deadly Row To Hoe, 2012, etc.) McRae pens a darker story filled with repressed anger and sexual tension.” – Kirkus
“McRae constructs a satisfying mystery, in the process affectionately portraying rural Montana.” -- Booklist
And finally, you might have noticed in the header above there is a Goodreads Giveaway in progress for three copies of the book. Just click on the Enter to Win button if you’re interested!
I do love writing both of my cozy mystery series, but it sure was fun diving into something a little grittier this time around…
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Okay – I’ve been hinting at this book for a while on the blog, and if you’re not familiar with my Facebook posts this might be news.
This is the cover for the new book I’ve written as K.C. McRae. I absolutely love it. Many thanks to Lisa Novak, cover designer extraordinaire at Midnight Ink. She caught the flavor of so many elements important to the book – western landscape, threats from nature as well as people, and a sense of freedom despite hardship. Oh, and mystery, of course. And murder. All of it.
Why another name? After all, I’m already writing the Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates. Well, it’s only slightly different from Cricket McRae and I wanted to be clear that Shotgun Moon is a different kind of book than the Home Crafting Mysteries, which are cozies.
A cozy, or traditional mystery, is a rather gentle animal. It features an amateur sleuth, usually is set in a small town, and doesn’t feature sex, graphic violence or swearing. They are by definition light and entertaining.
True, I don’t exactly cling to those rules in the Home Crafting Mysteries – there’s definitely some language and a bit of violence (I’ve been asked to tone down a couple of scenes by editors), and I tread into some issues that some cozy writers carefully avoid. One author I approached for a blub said she couldn’t be associated with a book that had THAT in it! It doesn’t matter what THAT was, really. And thank heavens Midnight Ink is more interested in a good story than a bunch of rules.
But: Shotgun Moon is not a cozy. It’s a contemporary western mystery set in Montana … well, I’ll just share the nice endorsement Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries which are the basis for the hit A&E series Longmire gave the book. I’m grateful both for his endorsement and for the fact that he tends to call me kiddo. Funny how weirdly endearing that sounds now that I’m pushing fifty.
“Merry’s got a problem. Fresh from a Texas penitentiary, she returns to Montana to discover that her cousin is suspected of killing a man, trouble the spitfire McCoy knows something about – but you won’t have a problem with K.C. McRae’s western mystery. Shotgun Moon is easy on the ear and the eye – definitely an author and a character to watch out for.”
As it happens, Merry was in prison for killing her rapist. There’s sex and violence in this one, folks. Not a ton, but more than you’d ever find in a cozy.
So: Not so light. And “K.C.” is because I don’t want readers to pick the book up and expect it to be like other books of mine that they’ve read. Simple as that.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
First off, good thoughts to you and yours who have been affected by tropical storm Sandy. I’ve been glued to the news with a combination of horror and awe. Here’s hoping for power and safety for everyone, and soon.
--- Guest Posts ---
It’s been a busy time around the Hearth, what with deadlines coming up and two books releasing. The first is Deadly Row to Hoe which officially releases in trade paperback and ebook formats on November 8th but is already shipping from Amazon. So today Sophie Mae is a guest over at Killer Characters, talking about Love and a Full Larder.
And while my alter ego, Bailey Cates, doesn’t have a new book out until December, I/she was invited to guest post over at Sirens of Suspense. Stop by and learn how Halloween and witch costumes fit into the next Magical Bakery Mystery, Bewitched, Bothered and Biscotti.
--- New Standalone Mystery! ---
I mentioned a new project in my last post, and here’s the deal – I’ve contracted with Midnight Ink for a (presumably) standalone western mystery called Shotgun Moon. It’s set in contemporary times in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. This one’s NOT a cozy, folks, and so no one will confuse it with my other books, I’m planning to publish it under the name KC McRae. It features Merry McCoy, a thirtyish woman who is coming home to her ranch and small town after a four-year stint in a Texas prison. It’ll hit the shelves and e-readers sometime next fall.
--- Goodreads Giveaway ---
If you’re a Goodreads kind of person and want a chance to win a free copy of Deadly Row to Hoe, I’m running a giveaway until November 15th. Just click on the button in the header above to enter. There are five copies on offer.
---Comment Moderation ---
Well, it’s finally happened: the spammers have tracked me down. There have been a series of odd comments, marketing comments on old posts that most people wouldn’t see, and downright evil links that either Blogger or I have removed before most anyone sees. But I’m getting tired of watching for them so have decided to start moderating all comments. Sorry for the short delays that might cause, but it’s for your Internet safety and my peace of mind.
--- Cool Wallpapers ---
I try to change the wallpapers on both of my laptops every week to keep things fresh and interesting. Most of them I pick up from Vlad Studios for free. Check out the site – they have hundreds of fun, creepy, odd, and beautiful illustrations. The Cheshire cat above will be my wallpaper until after Halloween. And no, they’re not paying me to say nice things about them.
Okay, I think that covers the news for today. Have a great Halloween, everyone!
Saturday, October 27, 2012
This morning I went to the last summer farmers market to stock up on winter goodies. There was a feeling of finality – fewer booths and fewer vegetables on offer. However, this is always the best time to pick up winter squash and pumpkins at a discount, and I had to make two trips back to the car.
My haul included a loaf of red onion-dill bread, a pound of crimini mushrooms, two white onions and two red ones, a big bunch of carrots, half a dozen crisp Granny Smith apples, two spaghetti squash, two butternut squash, a couple heads of garlic, a pound of fingerling potatoes, and seven assorted pumpkin-type squash.
These last were not of the Jack-o-lantern variety – those are a particular kind of squash that grow large and are great for carving, but not so great for eating. So don’t even try cooking those homogenous big guys found in the bins outside your local megamart – the resulting puree will be dull and watery at best.
For eating you want sugar pumpkins, also known as pie pumpkins. They are smaller and sweeter, with a denser flesh. I bought three of those and three reddish “Rough vif D’Entampes”, also known as Cinderella pumpkin (because the resemble the pumpkin her fairy godmother turned into coach). This is also the variety that the pilgrims are said to have served at the first Thanksgiving, and they’re suitable for pies or any other winter squash recipe. Often you see them much larger than the ones above, which are only about ten inches in diameter. Of course I only paid 50 cents apiece.
Lastly, I got a small Kakai pumpkin. Isn’t it pretty, all orange with those dark green ribs? The man who grew these varieties (and more) told me the flesh of the Kakai isn’t great, and they are hard to peel since the shell is so hard. But get this: the seeds are hull-less! So once we’re done appreciating its beauty, I’ll crack it open, take out the seeds, soak them in brine and then roast them to salty, crunchy goodness.
Tonight we’ll have butternut squash soup made with leeks from the garden, bacon from our pork side, cream that was delivered to the front door, and homemade chicken stock. With that I’ll serve slabs of red onion-dill bread slathered with homemade butter and a simple salad of lettuce from the aquaponics place down the road along with arugula, tomatoes and carrots from the garden.
Yep, still managing to eat a few fresh things from the garden, despite snow yesterday. But soon that will be a thing of the past.
However, today was only the final summer farmers market, and in two weeks the winter market begins with many of the same vendors and a slew of new ones. Last year’s winter markets were so packed and so popular that they’ve added several more to the calendar. Yet another way to feel lucky and rich.
If you’re interested in more information about all those funky looking squash on offer this time of year, check out this site.
Now back to writing for me. The deadline for the third in the Magical Bakery Mysteries I write as Bailey Cates approaches, and beyond that another deadline for a book I’ll tell you more about in another post.
Hint: It’s not for either of my existing series…