Inspiration from the waters

The view from my author residency at Sunny Point on Keuka Lake in 2013.

The view from my author residency at Sunny Point on Keuka Lake in 2013.

Every summer of my life I have visited Keuka Lake, a Y-shaped lake in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes. On its vineyard ridged hills, the area’s world-renowned wine industry took root, first being heralded as a center for sparkling wine.

Keuka is a supporting cast member in four of my seven published novels, with four more to be published as part of the Caviston Sisters Mystery Series. Why is it so important to me?

First of all, it’s the crystal lake water. Spring-fed, the lake follows a glacier-carved path through beds of shale. Its waves smooth stones into prized skipping tools. You could watch its surface the entirety of daylight and never be bored by the constantly shifting colors and patterns. Glasslike in the morning, roughed up by breezes and boats during the day, then gently calming as the world slumbers — it’s mesmerizing. Even storms are magnificent on the lake. Curtains of driven rain billow across the lake from the south, churning muddy swells that lash through spaces between rickety wooden boards on the dock. When the wind shifts from the north, the lake turns chilly blue as it froths up whitecaps.

Keuka has always been a place of conversations. In my early childhood, it was a place for listening to my great aunts and uncles recall their childhood stories. It was where my siblings and cousins sat around bonfires on its shore listening to my parents and aunt and uncle sing in harmony. It was a place of happy memories as well as retelling tales of catastrophic floods and tragic drownings.

We’d stay there in August with my aunt. In the mornings, “guns” of hot gases shot off repeatedly throughout the vineyards in an effort to keep birds off the ripening grapes. Most of the day would be spent swimming or wandering up a creek to find salamanders and frogs. It was an ideal location for a child’s imagination to bloom.

As adults, we have enjoyed watching the wine industry grow from major operations to smaller, “indy” wineries. We’ve seen the trends shift from savoring native grapes to trying to earn worldwide respect for wines made with vinifera grapes, and now a shift back to appreciating what grapes always did well here.

final-logo-fulkersoneventOf course I am not alone in being inspired to write by the Finger Lakes. On October 21, I will join four other women writers to celebrate Finger Lakes Litspiration at Fulkerson Winery on Seneca Lake. Kristan Higgins, Laurie Gifford Adams, Roz Murphy, and Katie O’Boyle and I will discuss how these lakes inspire us, we’ll read samples of our work and then meet with readers to sign books and answer question.

For complete information, visit Fulkerson Winery’s Facebook page or its website. The event will benefit the Humane Society of Yates County – Shelter of Hope.

mondaycoffee

The Kindle version of The Curse of the Strawberry Moon is currently on sale for 99 cents.

As part of this Kindle Countdown, the price will gradually rise this week back to the list price of $4.99.

What can you get for less than a buck? According to reviews of this mystery…

thecurseofthestrawberrymoon_cover_150x228“It was truly ‘you cannot put this down until you finish it’ kind of book. I absolutely LOVED it. Cannot wait for the next one.”

“Loved the characters and the setting of the story so much that we took a drive to beautiful Keuka Lake to see it’s beauty for ourselves. Kept me guessing to the very end.”

“This easy-going, well-written novel is a discovery in the way that finding a great local restaurant, seeing a brilliant production by a regional theater company, or hearing an outstanding concert by local musicians are discoveries. I am looking forward to reading the next Caviston sisters mystery.”

Countdown deals, giveaway winners

reviews_tcotsmcoverIt’s almost time to start the Kindle Countdown!

Beginning Saturday, Sept. 17 at 6 a.m. EST, the Kindle version of my new mystery The Curse of the Strawberry Moon will be marked down drastically.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS
The Kindle version of the book has a list price of $4.99.
On Sept. 17, the price plummets to 99 cents and then gradually rises back to the list price at the end of the week.

Price increases go from 99 cents to $1.99, to $2.99, to $3.99, and then back to $4.99 on Sept. 24.

How long will it stay at the lowest price? It’s a risk waiting buyers must figure out. Remember, the clock will be ticking. The longer you wait, the less you save.

DID YOU KNOW: With the free downloadable Kindle app, you can read the book not only on Kindle but iPhone, Blackberry, Android as well as Windows and Mac tablets/desktops. The app is available at Amazon.com.

BUY YOUR COUNTDOWN COPY HERE.

Congrats to the GIVEAWAY WINNERS

Three people are the lucky winners of digital and paperback copies of The Curse of the Strawberry Moon. Congrats to Debra K. who won a Kindle copy through my Amazon giveaway, and Arlene D. and Angel L. who won signed paperbacks through the Goodreads giveaway. Stay tuned for more prizes!

Book Reveal!

thecurseofthestrawberrymoon_cover_450x684Here it is—the title and cover of my new rock ‘n’ roll mystery. This is book one of the five-part Caviston Sisters Mystery series. Each one takes place in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York, specifically Keuka Lake.

Sorry for the delay in posting. I was a bit distracted yesterday by my favorite band Chicago’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Woohoo! (Appropriate, don’t you think?)

On this snowy morning in upstate New York, there is much more work to do on the novel now that I’ve heard back from my editors. Stay tuned for updates on the actual publication date. Can’t wait until my readers return with me to beautiful Keuka where I’ll introduce you to the Caviston sisters and a few other nefarious sorts!