Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Announcing the Next Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery: FOOL'S GOLD, Coming December 3

ARCs for Other People's Baggage, which includes Fool's Gold.
This summer has been surreal in several ways: I finished my cancer treatments, released my first mystery novel, have been traveling around doing book events -- and this week I received Advance Reader Copies for the next Jaya Jones mystery being published by Henery Press on December 3!

Fool's Gold: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Novella is being published in the Other People's Baggage collection of three interconnected mystery novellas. It's a prequel to Artifact that I hope will tide everyone over until the next full-length novel comes out in 2013.

All historian Jaya Jones wants is a relaxing vacation in Scotland before starting her first year teaching college. But when a world-famous chess set is stolen from a locked room during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Jaya and her magician best friend, The Hindi Houdini, must outwit actresses and alchemists to solve the baffling crime.

At Malice Domestic 2012 with Kendel Lynn and Diane Vallere.
Working on this new mystery has been so much fun! It's a joint project with two other mystery novelists, Diane Vallere and Kendel Lynn.

We had all read each other's work, and we were struck by the fact that while our mystery series' were quite different, the heroines of our stories had a similar voice. We thought they'd get along famously. What was stopping us from bringing them together?

In Other People's Baggage, a storm reroutes planes and knocks out power, leading to a luggage mix-up as all three of our characters are headed out of town. Jaya, Elliot, and Madison end up with each other's suitcases, and they each solve a mystery with the help of something they find in the mixed-up suitcase...

OTHER PEOPLE'S BAGGAGE: Three Interconnected Mystery Novellas
(Henery Press, December 3, 2012)

These are the stories of what happened after a computer glitch mislabeled identical vintage suitcases and three women with a knack for solving mysteries each grabbed the wrong bag.

MIDNIGHT ICE: A Mad for Mod Mystery Novella by Diane Vallere
When interior decorator Madison Night crosses the country to distance herself from a recent breakup, she learns it’s harder to escape her past than she thought, and diamonds are rarely a girl’s best friend.

SWITCH BACK: An Elliott Lisbon Mystery Novella by Kendel Lynn
Ballantyne Foundation director Elliott Lisbon travels to Texas after inheriting an entire town, but when she learns the donor was murdered, she has to unlock the small town’s big secrets or she’ll never get out alive.

FOOL'S GOLD: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Novella by Gigi Pandian 
When a world-famous chess set is stolen from a locked room during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, historian Jaya Jones and her magician best friend must outwit actresses sand alchemists to solve the baffling crime.

Other People's Baggage ARC with my Lewis Chessmen, which feature into Fool's Gold.

If you're on Goodreads, you can enter to win an advance copy of Other People's Baggage, signed by me, Diane, and Kendel. The giveaway starts today and runs through October 24. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oregon Weekend: The Oregon Writers Colony and a Poetry Party

I spent a long weekend in Portland, Oregon. I was in town for a poetry book launch party for Sue Parman (aka my mom) and to give a workshop, "Different Paths to Publishing," for the Oregon Writers Colony. What an amazing writer's community they've got up in Oregon! If I ever get displaced from the San Francisco Bay Area, I know where I'm moving.

Now, I'm not a poet or a poetry reader, so I had no idea what to expect from the launch party for the poetry chapbook "The Thin Monster House." I was happy to see that soon after we arrived at Periscope Books & Tutoring in Forest Grove, Oregon, the place was packed for the party!

The bookstore is the kind of place I bet many a book-lover has fantasized about opening -- a cozy house lined with books, surrounded by items like a classic typewriter and a wandering cat -- and the owners live upstairs!

The next day, my mom and I led the "Different Paths to Publishing" workshop for the Oregon Writers Colony. They invited us to present because she's had books, stories, and plays across genres traditionally published for decades, and I'm focused on the mystery genre, publishing books, stories, and novellas through a combination of independent and traditional publishing.

Among the group of writers were several members of Sisters in Crime who are working on mystery novels that sound great. It was a 4-hour workshop, but like many things this past month, it felt like it went by in a flash. Here we are with the organizers of the workshop.

Before heading home, I got some writing done at the Insomnia Coffee Company in Hillsboro. I plotted out a new mystery series -- which takes place in Portland, of course. The Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series gives me an excuse to travel internationally, so now I've got yet another excuse to visit Portland!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Coolest Gift Ever: ARTIFACT Book Art

I really lucked out when it comes to my friends. I had the greatest crew taking care of me last year during chemo, and now look what I received last weekend to celebrate my book launch: book art for Artifact!

My childhood best friend, who I've known since I was about 8 years old, flew into town for the festivities, and she brought me this amazing handmade book she'd commissioned.

Here's what the folded pages look like up close.

I've got the book sitting atop one of my bookshelves, next to my gargoyles.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Launch Party Photos

It was a packed house at A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland on Saturday night for the Artifact book launch party. Special thanks to everyone who joined me in person as well as to all of you who let me know you were there in spirit!

The party was a joint celebration for the release of my debut mystery novel and for completing a full year of cancer treatments. I'm happy to report that both activities were a success. Artifact is making more of a splash than I imagined, and my doctors can't find any evidence of cancer left in my body! Here are some photos from the celebration:

The fabulous bookstore staff.

Views of both sides of the store as I began my reading. 

Business manager (er, husband), with Sophie Littlefield and Juliet Blackwell. 

With Terry Shames and Sophie Littlefield. 

With my youngest fan. 
(And yes, in case you were wondering, the book is kid-friendly; the little one here is younger than my target audience, but the book is a traditional mystery that would be considered PG-rated.)

The bookstore's children's book room doubles as a signing room. 
After getting my book signed, many attendees bought books for their kids! 

In the signing room with Andrew MacRae and Pat Morin. 

We served a selection of Scotch whisky from the region of the Highlands of Scotland where the novel takes place, and had ARTIFACT coasters as a take-away.

The party was so much fun that it inspired me to get back to work on the next book in the series!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One Crazy Week

Artifact poster in a bookstore window.
Somehow it's been over a week since Artifact went on sale. You'd think it was more work to *write* the book, and yes, to some extent that's quite true. But it turns out it's true that publicity is important to help people find the book, so I've been busy attending to opportunities that arise.

Today, I'm featured on Jenny Milchman's "Made It Moments" blog. Jenny is a mystery author whose first novel, Cover of Snow, debuts in 2013. For years, she's had a feature on her blog where she invites authors to share the story of when they feel like they've "made it" as an author. I used to think the answer would be when your book is published, but that's not generally what authors choose as their moment! It's not what I chose either.

It's really fun, and slightly surreal, so be hearing from mystery fans who already read the book. And it was cool to see this review of Artifact that appeared in ForeWord Reviews magazine. The most interesting thing is to hear the specifics of what different people think--the book is no longer mine alone, but a freestanding entity.

Post-chemo hair, week 8.
I'm getting ready for my book launch party at A Great Good Place for Books this weekend (there's a photo above of an Artifact poster in the window of the bookstore), and in the meantime of course it's a busy week at work so I can't take time off! But that's what coffee is for....

Lastly, so I don't slack off taking photos of my hair as it grows out, here's this week's photo. For the first time since it's been growing back, it's long enough that I feel the hair resting on my forehead. But at the same time, I'm also finally getting used to having short hair! Who knows if I'll decide to keep it.