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!

 

All quiet on the wintry front

cato1

It’s bleak midwinter. Snowstorm after snowstorm have been dropping white post cards from the heavens. Winds that skied down the Canadian Rockies and across the great plains have plummeted this area into a frozen state. No better time to stay inside and work on the second draft of my new novel. Right? If only it were that easy. Relentless snowfall requires constant shoveling. My writing den is chilly, so layers of clothing are required to sit here for long spells. Outside there is the sound of snowplows dropping their iron walls on the pavement and scraping along as they shove white walls across my driveway’s recently cleared entrance.

I take long walks with the dog when possible to seek inspiration. Most days I note the different birds chattering. Bluejays seem to grouse the most about the cold weather, I’ve decided. Once we were watched by a peregrine falcon atop a telephone pole. It was hungry, just like the cottontail rabbit in the back yard who has been gnoshing on the Indian corn that adorned the front door in the fall.

This second draft entails typing the handwritten first draft as I edit, but I also end up adding more text. So far I have about five thousand more words in the second draft, and I’m barely a third of the way through the manuscript for this new suspense novel. Once this draft is done, I imagine the third draft will reduce in size. The process is not unlike building a clay bowl on a potter’s wheel. Build, take away; build, take away.

And so I plow along in my small creative world, awaiting the coming spring thaw. Soon, I whisper, soon.

NaNo-NaNo

nano2014Just a quick shout out to all of my fellow National Novel Writing Month participants. It’s crazy and right now you probably think you’re never going to make that gray bar of “words to write” disappear, replaced by the turquoise bar of accomplishment.

The great thing about this contest is how it instills the daily habit of writing. And as you see through the duration of the challenge, even writing just a few pages a day can add up quickly.

Over the past six years I’ve marveled at people who could get done so early. Now I know how they have accomplished it: by piling on a big number of words at the start. That decreases substantially your daily word count goal number, making the finish more easily attained.

This is the tactic I took in 2014 and it’s paying off. Right now I’m within reach of the 40K-words mark and we haven’t hit the midway point of the month. Things look bright for a finish.

Wishing you all the best!

~ Mary Pat

The House With the Wrap-Around PorchThank you readers for your patience as I finish the editing of my new novel, The House With the Wraparound Porch. Publication should be on track for sometime within the next month. Right now I’m doing a final edit before layout begins. Can’t wait to share this Finger Lakes-based family saga with you! Stay tuned….

UPDATE: Work in progress

The House With the Wrap-Around PorchMy sixth novel, The House With the Wraparound Porch, is now in the hands of my editors. If all proceeds smoothly, look for its release sometime in May 2013!

It’s quite a moment. I’m trying to savor it and reflect on its meaning.

Tonight, 3/17 became the first of my books to be named a No. 1 bestseller. It happened on Amazon France. The book capped the Top 100 English language humor books.

Wow! No. 1!

This book made it onto Amazon U.S.’s Top 100 Bestsellers list in May 2011 and has received some rave reviews since it debuted in 2010.

From an Irish reader: “The novel is a razor sharp witted, psycho social, mystical and musical evisceration of some of the excessive over indulgencies of Hiberno Americana. “3/17” should be required reading for anyone even contemplating visiting the eastern seaboard of America during the madness of the Irish marching season of March. So, if you’re Irish, or think that you might be, or simply just find Irish people to be very amusing – then you need to read this book. Warning: you will never look at corned beef and cabbage the same way again!”

From an American reader: One of the funniest books I ever read in my life–and I am hard to please. It’s right up there with “Lucky Jim” and “Whisky Galore.” Mary Pat certainly knows her way around Irish music and Irish musicians, and she can spin a yarn with the best of them–Dante included. A band of traditional Irish musicians gets lost on the way to a St. Patrick’s Day gig in upstate New York and spends the next few days trying to get back to reality. On the way, they encounter pukas, little girl step dancers, tyrannical Comhaltas session players, clueless and keyless singers of “Danny Boy,” and even Danu herself (maybe…), all the while defending themselves from offerings of corned beef and cabbage by the locals. The structure of the story is frankly, and with tongue-in-cheek apologies, taken from The Inferno, but the style is completely picaresque. The climax is a hallucinatory brawl featuring all the characters the band has encountered, and ending with an epiphanic parody so hilarious that I couldn’t catch my breath for several minutes, I was laughing so hard. A novel Flann O’Brien would have been proud to write.

Do you know someone who’s a fan of traditional Irish music? Was your friend caught up in the Riverdance craze? Have a friend who’s a fan of wild parody? Consider buying a copy of 3/17 for this Christmas.

Vendor Links:

CreateSpace paperback

Amazon U.S. paperback / Kindle

Amazon UK paperback / Kindle

Amazon France paperback / Kindle

Amazon Germany paperback / Kindle

Amazon Spain paperback / Kindle

Amazon Italy paperback / Kindle

Amazon Japan paperback / Kindle

Amazon Brazil / Kindle

Amazon Canada / Kindle

Smashwords all digital formats

Barnes & Noble paperback / Nook

Sony e-reader

#samplesunday A Sudden Gift of Fate

For my offering this week, let me direct readers to my second novel (in paperback), A Sudden Gift of Fate. It follows an Irish couple we met in The Cyber Miracles after they receive a curious wedding gift from the groom’s cousin: the offer to manage a run-down winery in New York’s Finger Lakes. The problem is, they haven’t a clue about winemaking.

The sample opens as the couple sees the winery for the first time.