Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New for Me and Angel

 Tomorrow night will be my first time to stand before a group and talk about my first fiction book, Angel Sometimes. And I'm a little bit nervous. Which is odd since I have a Master's in Public Speaking. I've spoken before at conferences and meetings, but this is the first time to talk about my own book and about Angel herself. It's a new-to-me experience.

How about you? As the author, are you ever a bit nervous about standing up and talking about your book? As a reader, has it ever occurred to you that the author may be nervous?

As the author, how do you plan what you'll talk about? For this talk, the moderator has already sent five questions/expectations that she has:
1. What is your elevator speech for your book?
2. What did you use in your personal background to bring your characters to life?
3. What inspired you to write this book?
4. What was the most challenging thing about getting your book published?
5. What else is in store for your readers?

After that, then it'll be open for me and the second author to throw out what we want to add. Once we're through talking,  I'd like to open it up to questions from the audience.

What else would you want to hear from the author of a book you're thinking of buying?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Passion in Your Writing

How does passion fit into your writing, be it birds, wildlife conservation, baseball, opera, peanut butter, running Marathons, Egyptology, cooking, or cycling? In a recent presentation I gave about my nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story, I was asked, "why whooping crane?" A good question, but one that gave me pause. Why did I spend six years writing a book about a giant bird that migrates from Canada to Texas? Why was I mesmerized by my first sighting of a family of whoopers feeding in the shallows on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge twenty years ago? And why was I so compelled to tell Bob Allen's story?
Released on 9/16 by
University Press of Florida

I also began pondering the writing of my Sydney Lockhart mysteries and noticed bits and pieces of things I'm passionate about show up in my fiction as well. I realized that childhood experiences, exploring the woods around my grandparents' farm, watching baseball with my dad on the old black and white TV, eating peanut butter out of the jar, helping my mom bake kolaches, riding my bike all over creation, led to my passions as an adult. Opera, running, and Egyptology? well, I'm not sure where those came from, but they keep life interesting.

Here's something to think about: everyone is passionate about something, but not everyone writes about it. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Mystery Out Today!

It's official. On the Nickel is out on Kindle today for a whopping $2.99.

Previously released in hardcover for the library market, this ebook cozy mystery is sure to please.

Mama's car killed the church lady, but who was behind the wheel?

Check it out at Amazon.com. There are two chapters on the look inside link that I know you'll enjoy.

Here's the link:

While you're there, be sure to LIKE and tag the book!

Have a great week, Maggie Toussaint

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's an EBook, Yes it Is!

I figured after all my complaining about how hard it is to do all this stuff--and it still is for me--here's the book and yes, it's available on Kindle.

My friend's angel husband did the whole thing for me--not write it of course--but he formatted it for Kindle and downloaded it. I did pay him and it was worth every penny or I'd still be fiddling around trying to figure out what I had to do.

I had already contacted someone to do the cover, but he took care of the process so fast we had to wait for the cover to be designed. The wait wasn't long as the artist came through quickly too.

And the book is there on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009R7DZ1S just waiting for readers.

The Devil's Foothold is a supernatural mystery.

While jogging, Deputy Jessica McGuire discovers a baby’s grave in an old family graveyard has been desecrated and the skeleton stolen. Pastor David Tanner calls to report a hand carved redwood cross has been stolen from his church. A beloved kid (baby goat) has disappeared.  When one of Pastor Tanner’s cows is mutilated, he is convinced Satan worshiping is going on in the mountain community. Though not completely convinced, Jessica teams up with David to investigate. She stumbles upon a robed and hooded group having a ceremony in the woods and they all scatter when she makes herself known. The more she learns, the more she wonders if her teenaged son might be involved. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

I Feel Like Such a Dummy!

Lately I've been reading about all these writers putting their older books (and some their brand new ones) on Kindle. I remember I book I have that might do well on Kindle.

I found the place, read the directions and couldn't make head or tail out of them. Must be my aging brain. I'd already found a cover artist so didn't want to back out yet. One of my e-mail friends who I actually met once offered her husband's expertise to convert the book. He did but told me I need to take out some tabs. How do you do that?

He gave me some other instructions and I began to get a headache. Sweet soul has offered to do it all for me. Of course I'm going to pay him for his work.

Wonder if I'll recoup what I put out to do this?

Now I know why I have two publishers for my mystery series.

Is there anyone else out there who gets stymied by all this stuff?

Marilyn Meredith aka F. M. Meredith

This one was free for awhile and is still for some Amazon customers. I'm afraid I don't understand any of this. I talked Oak Tree Press into trying this out and though there were a lot of free downloads it hasn't resulted in any wonderful sales for this book or any of the previous ones. Yes, I did do a lot promotion, but I guess I don't have the magic formula.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Great Review for Playing With Poison

Yippee! Playing With Poison is a Featured Book of the Month over at Cozy Mystery Book Reviews. Bella McGuire is my new hero. 

This is my favorite part:
"If you love murder and mayhem, with a good dose of romantic energy then you are going to want to pick up Playing with Poison. The scenes between Jessie and Captain Wilson Rye just crackle off the page." 

Here's the link to the full review.
You can buy the book at Amazon.

Thanks for your time!

Cindy Blackburn

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yowser! Great Review

I just ran across a wonderful 5-star review for my funny mystery, MURDER IN THE BUFF. Thank you, Marilou George, for reading and liking this book!

As seen at amazon:

"Molly Darter is a reporter for her small town newspaper in Marshview, Georgia and her latest assignment is to pick up an obituary from a nudist camp. She is dreading going there in person as she feels totally uncomfortable with the idea of being up close and personal with a nude stranger. On top of all that her personal life is a mess. She is separated from her husband after she caught her sister and him kissing and she feels as if her world is spinning out of control. Dealing with the nudists is presenting quite a challenge for Molly and when they suggest that their friend, Barbara Jean, was a possible murder victim her life and the lives of her dysfunctional family will be forever altered.

This is a suspense story with enough twists and turns to keep you anxiously awaiting the next. The flow of the story is fast paced and engaging. The writing style is refreshing and the banter between the characters is realistic and appealing.

Molly is a great character who you will feel compassion for. She is headstrong and determined and through all the stresses she faces she learns about herself and what is really important. The supporting cast of characters successfully contributes to the drama and underlying tension of the story as well as adding humor to some tense situations.

This is a suspense story mixed with romance and the dynamics of a family. It is a story that will keep you guessing and totally entertained. This is the first book that I have read by Maggie Toussaint and definitely not the last. "

If you're wanting to join the fun, here are buy links for this ebook: Muse It Up Publishing  Amazon.com  BarnesandNoble


Maggie Toussaint

Fantastic Review - The Bull Rider's Brother

Okay, I'll tell you a little secret.  When I send my book out to review blogs, I worry.

Worry, they won't love James and Lizzie's story as much as I do.  That JR will run wild through their homes.  Well, that won't happen, but you get what I'm saying.  Authors worry about how our books will be seen in the real world.  (Or at least I do.)

This last week, I got a nice surprise from a Google alert.  A great review for The Bull Rider's Brother.  You can read Bitten By Love Book Review here.

Want more?  Check out The Bull Rider's Brother on Amazon. Or, stop by my website for a free read.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Her Handyman is Free at Amazon Fri and Sat




Throw in a handyman, a crazy canine and a quirky artist and you've got mayhem!

When Jake, the handyman, sets out to help Zoe, the artist, little does he know that soon he'll be the one needing help!

You can download to your computer or other device if you don't have a kindle.

Tell your friends, please!

For all of Morgan Mandel's books, see

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I entered one of those "Find America's Next Writer!" contests. What this means to you is . . . free story!

If you click on the link I provide below, it'll take you to my author page on this contest site. Then you can click on "Read Online" or on "Download This" (or whatever the buttons say) in order to see my Splatterfairies story in its current form. I wrote this for a Pulphouse Publishing anthology, but they went out of business and closed down the anthology before it ever got published. I still think it's a cute story, even if it is a bit fey, twee, arch, and affected. LOL (You may or may not agree. Why don't you go and see?)

I already have one review from someone I don't know. I thought her review was pretty good!

You don't have to review it or vote on it, but if you want to see the story in final form, here's a chance to read it online! (If you do feel moved to vote for me, thank you in advance. I think they'll probably make you register on their site and all that rot.)


(Page down to the story title, THE SPLATTERFAIRIES' HALLOWEEN)

Check out my new mysteries, as well. Out now: the winner of the Oak Tree Press contest, NICE WORK (a pair of Snoop Sisters in their twenties who stumble upon a network of BDSM clubs and must investigate a killing of one of the members), and MURDER BY THE MARFA LIGHTS (a skeptic is tempted by the Marfa Mystery Lights while looking into the suspicious death of her former boyfriend). Coming soon: a new YA fantasy/adventure series starring my Genius Girls, April and June Bliss.

What Would You Do?

Most of us, thankfully, never have serious crime intrude into our lives. But what would happen if it did? I am fascinated about how people react when their lives are taken out of their control by murder.

Lilias Ruiz, heroine of my 1 October cozy mystery BEADED TO DEATH, is an ordinary woman. A widow, a bead artist who makes her living at craft shows and art fairs, she is Everywoman. At least until she returns from a craft fair tour and finds the body of a man she's never seen before on her living room rug.

From there on her life spirals out of control as she gets involved with drug smuggling, an FBI agent who may or may not be rogue and a 7'3" nephew on the run from an unwanted basketball scholarship. And she has control over none of it.

What would you do?

BEADED TO DEATH is available from Carina Press (http://bit.ly/SjFrXM), Amazon (http://amzn.to/O2j3pJ) and other fine etailers.

Janis Patterson is a seventh-generation Texan and a third-generation wordsmith who writes mysteries as Janis Patterson, romances and other things as Janis Susan May, children’s books as Janis Susan Patterson and scholarly works as J.S.M. Patterson.
            Formerly an actress and singer, a talent agent and Supervisor of Accessioning for a bio-genetic DNA testing lab, Janis has also been editor-in-chief of two multi-magazine publishing groups as well as many other things, including an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist.
            Janis married for the first time when most of her contemporaries were becoming grandmothers. Her husband, also an Egyptophile, even proposed in a moonlit garden near the Pyramids of Giza. Janis and her husband live in Texas with an assortment of rescued furbabies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Holidays Can Be Murder!

We all know that the holidays can be murder....   Untreed Read's has combined the best of mystery and humor in their new anthology THE KILLER WORE CRANBERRY: A SECOND HELPING.

This anthology features a host of well-know authors as well as a few fresh faces.  I'm thrilled to have my own story, The Over the Hill Gang, included with stories from many of my favorite authors. 

If you get a chance, check it out.  

Untreed Reads:  http://bit.ly/RwyLY9

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/PoMVxU

This Makes a Writer's Day

Hello, Maryann Miller here. Thanks to Morgan for the invitation for us to come and share news about our books and writing.
It is always such a thrill for an author to get a review of his or her book. That is why I try to always review the books I read, especially the ones I fall in love with. 

Back in the spring, I sent a copy of my suspense novel, One Small Victory,  to Dan Wright, an author, reviewer and blogger, hoping for a review, and when I did not hear back right away, I thought perhaps he hated the book and just declined. 

Yes, we all have our doubts. (smile)

To my surprise, he contacted me not long ago to say he had finally read the book and loved it. Here is a snippet from the review,  "It’s brilliantly written and never once ceases with the drama, making you want to carry on reading to find out whether it has a happy ending or not." 

Wow! Thank you, Dan. If you would like to read the whole review, click on Dan's name above. And, of course, I'd love it if you tried the book for yourself. It's only $2.99 for Kindle, NOOK, and KOBO

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The Go-To Spot For The Latest and Greatest in Books and Book Industry Happenings Is Right Here!

Exciting news coming soon!!