Friday, May 29, 2015

Celebrating A School Visit and a Guest Post Next Tuesday

Carla Pereira in her charming
shop, Casa Stop
It's again and I'm celebrating two events that  are actually going to happen next Tuesday, June 2nd. 

One of them is a school visit in Braga Portugal! How did this happen?
Last May, Rajan and I visited Braga, Portugal for the first time so I could do research on a new book that I've set in Braga. At that time, I met the very gracious Carla Pereira in a charming shop called Casa Stop which offers a range of things for the home. (You can see more about the shop at its Facebook page HERE.) Carla gave us directions when we got lost, and when she found out I was writing a book, we struck up a nice friendship that we continued by email. (Don't you love the Internet?)

My husband and I visited again in September, and when she learned we were returning in June, Carla asked if I would pay a school visit to her daughter's school. Well, of course I said yes! I'm thrilled! The students speak English (I don't speak Portuguese), and they are curious about American authors. It's a class of 30 I'll be addressing, ages 13 to 15. Pictures will definitely follow in a post visit blog!

The second wonderful thing I'm celebrating next Tuesday is that I'll be a doing a guest post on the cool blog, Mad About MG History, a blog about middle grade historical fiction. It's hosted by several bloggers, one of which is Chris Eboch, who has another blog, Write Like a Pro, a free online writing workshop. (I've heard Chris speak at workshops, read and liked a some of her books, and bookmarked several of her articles. She knows whereof she speaks.) You can visit Mad About MG History HERE and tap into some good reads for middle grade readers. Come visit me there on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I'm getting to celebrate all this with you, thanks to LEXA CAIN's blog and her co-hosts,
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom. Visit Lexa's blog and follow and join the other links. It's really nice to see what other people are celebrating.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Guest Post and Giveaway on Natalie Aguirre's Literary Rambles

I'm excited to have a guest post and a giveaway of my new book, Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls, on Natalie Aguirre's wonderful blog, Literary Rambles. You can read the post and maybe win your free copy HERE. Please visit her site and check it out.

Here's a teaser of the book, a trailer a friend made for me:

And at Natalie's blog, you'll find a wealth of information on agents and other authors.

Have you ever made a trailer for one of your books?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday? Already?

sheep grazie in pastures

one of the small villages
Add caption
It's time to celebrate small things again. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful for that week. It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  (Originated by VikLit)  Two wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @  TheCyborgMom

What am I celebrating today? Long walks in the countryside. Villages are close enough that you can walk from one to another and see sheep and cattle on the way. Yesterday we encountered some of our favorite people, Pepe and Melucha, from a nearby village. Pepe introduced us to his brother, who invited us into the bodega for a glass of home-made wine. His wife brought us bread and cheese. It was a bright, sunny day, with a soft breeze, and we stood and talked awhile, enjoying their gracious hospitality. These are memories I will never forget. They will be with me forever.

How about you? Do you enjoy long walks? What is your favorite snack?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Belated Celebration and Things to Come

I'm a bit behind in Celebrating Small Things, the very positive blog hop sponsored by Lexa Cain @, L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom. There are lots of good links over there, so hop on over to see what people are celebrating -- including Lexa, who has just had a short story published that sounds great!

For my part, I'm celebrating two things.

1. Catching up on sleep at last! (My husband and I are in Galicia, Spain, our favorite place, but it's in a time zone nine hours away from Sacramento's time zone. You can imagine.

2. I'm being interviewed tomorrow at Rosi Hollinbeck's blog, The Write Stuff . Rosi always has a lot of good writing sites to share,  as well as interesting book reviews and giveaways. I learn a lot from her site and am so pleased to be interviewed by her. 

3. Tomorrow is also my husband's birthday, and we are having lunch at a restaurant in a small town by the river, called Belezar. Delicious food (we went once before), and swans drift by as you eat. How cool is that?

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

More About My Interview at "Just Get It Written".

My hurried announcement Sunday evening didn't do justice to Mary C's cool blog, Just Get It Written, because I was madly packing. Early Monday morning my husband and I boarded a plane for Galicia, Spain. We arrived yesterday afternoon, getting to our village late in the evening.

But Just Get It Written is a site worth visiting. Mary C interviews authors every second and last Monday of the month in a column called Behind the Scenes, and I've learned a lot about various authors' processes and slants on writing. I felt honored to be interviewed on such an interesting site.

Please stop by and leave a comment.

Meanwhile, I met Mary C through Lexa Cain's Celebrate Small Things blog hop, a fun blog where you can link up with others who have shares they want to celebrate. (Check that out, too.)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Interview With Mary C

Traveling, so not much time to post, but tomorrow, (May 11) I'll be interviewed by Mary C. on her cool writing blog, "Just Get It Written" .
Come and visit.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper

The author, Diane
Gilbert Madsen with a
Corona Typewriter.
(I used to type on one
of those. Memories!)

            I’m a Sherlock Holmes fan, which is why many of my reviews lately are of Sherlock-related books. Today’s review, however, is of a contemporary mystery novel revolving around notes left by Sherlock’s creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.       
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
who was as great a sleuth
as his brain child.
          In The Conan Doyle Notes, new papers have been discovered that shed light on a question that haunted Victorian London’s populace: Who was Jack the Ripper? People are willing to kill for these papers, and the first chapter gets off to a rip-roaring start:

            DD McGill, a Chicago insurance investigator, is tailing a client suspected of insurance fraud when her bookseller friend, Tom Joyce, calls about an exciting discovery: While appraising the library collection at the David Joyce Grange estate, he found a small brown leather diary suggesting Grange had Doyle’s manuscript, The White Company, as well as notes proving Doyle knew who the Jack the Ripper was. Then DD hears a sound as if the phone has been dropped and Joyce’s voice yelling someone is trying to kill him. The phone goes dead.
            After calling 911, DD races to the mansion. An ambulance has taken Tom Joyce to the hospital. At the hospital, she learns he is in a coma due to injuries from falling down stairs. But DD suspects he was pushed. Why else would he say someone was trying to kill him? And who would have pushed him? She returns to the mansion, masquerading as Tom Joyce’s assistant appraiser, and the game is afoot.

            Madsen presents the reader with a fine array of suspects: Ivy Douglas, niece of the Dowager (Grange’s son’s wife who mysteriously died a year earlier.) Philip Green, a Sherlockian expert working with the estate. John Turner, “The Pretender” – who claims his mother was a mistress of one of Grange’s sons and wants his share of the estate. James M. Dodd, from Morrison, Morrison and Dodd Executors. Mr. Toller, the butler, and his wife, who knows secrets. More and more names unfold as DD investigates in a highly unorthydox manner. There is no way I can tell you how she investigates without giving spoilers right and left. More deaths follow, and I can’t tell you who the victims are, either. But the plot twists are dazzling and keep you guessing in every chapter.
             Interesting subplots are woven in: Mitch Sinclair, DD’s hunky boyfriend is involved in hush-hush work that keeps him in Paris. Woodley, DD’s colleague in the insurance fraud case, is getting surly. And someone is stalking DD, leaving threatening notes under her door.
            A quirky supporting cast adds spice: The 80-year-old Carabine twins, across the hall from DD are vigilant crime stoppers and follow the Cook County Crime Stoppers website, hoping to get on the show. Auntie Elizabeth, “The Scottish Dragon”, claims she is “fey” and knows things. Wolfie, Tom Joyce’s pet wolf, only eats burgers from McDonald’s. Karl Patrick, DD’s lawyer, is the lawyer you definitely would want on your side.

            DD is an engaging sleuth – smart, with a humorous slant on life, a bit too impulsive for her own good, and a loyal friend.
            The author’s setting details are just the right brush strokes to plunge a reader in DD’s Chicago without distracting from the plot’s forward movement.
            An added bonus is the way information about Doyle is woven into the story. This is a book to be enjoyed on many levels.

            Quote: “Everybody knows he wrote the famous Sherlock Holmes stories, but I had no idea he also introduced downhill skiing to Europe; metal helmets for combat soldiers; the inflatable life preserver for sailors; energetically championed divorce reform; and was an early proponent of constructing a tunnel connecting England and France.”

You can follow Diane Gilbert Madsen on Twitter
You can also visit her on Facebook  
Visit Diane’s Website (where you can see a cool trailer and read the first two chapters.)
Visit her Blog (and sign up for her newsletter.)
And you can buy the book at Amazon 

Diane Gilbert Madsen is the author of the award winning DD McGil Literati Mystery Series including “A Cadger’s Curse;” “Hunting for Hemingway” and her newest, “The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper,” which was awarded Honorary Mention at the London Book Fair and the Chicago Writers Association 2014 Book Awards, garnering 5-star reviews such as:

“Diane Gilbert Madsen’s “The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper” was the best book I’ve read in a long, long time. I was hooked by page six and couldn’t stop reading. Spellbinding, intriguing and with a beguiling wit, Ms. Madsen delighted me to no end.” --  Catherine Lanigan, author, Romancing the Stone,  Jewel of the Nile & Love Shadows.
Diane is the former Director of Economic Development for the State of Illinois where she oversaw the Tourism and the Illinois Film Office when The Blues Brothers and The Hunter were being made.  She later ran her own consulting firm and is listed in The World Who’s Who of Women and Who’s Who in Finance & Industry and in the 2014 edition of Who’s Who for Executives and Professionals, Florida Chapter.

Diane is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the International Association of Crime Writers, the Chicago Writers Association, and the Florida Writers Association.  She has published articles in The Hemingway Review, PBS Expressions Magazine; Mystery Scene Magazine; Mystery Reader’s Journal; Sisters in Crime Newsletter and The Write City Magazine, and has an upcoming article in the fall issue of The Baker Street Journal.  Diane was a guest speaker at the 2013 International Hemingway Colloquium in Havana, Cuba.

She lives with her husband Tom and Angel, their Japanese Chin, at Twin Ponds, a 5-acre wildlife sanctuary on Cape Haze in Englewood, Florida. She is a member of the Caladonian Club of Florida West and the St. Andrews Society of Sarasota as well as The Pleasant Places of Florida Sherlock Holmes Association.            

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Today I'm at Teresa Cypher's wonderful blog, Dreamers, Lovers, and Star Voyagers, doing a guest post about persistence in her "Tuesday Two Cents' Worth" column.

Teresa's blog has a variety of features, including her Weekend Writing Warriors hop, where writers share 8 sentences of something they've written, published or unpublished. She also provides a great list of writer resources in the margin.

To hop on over and look around, click HERE.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Book Signing

I'm celebrating Wednesday's book signing at Time Tested Books in Sacramento. It was such a wonderful evening, and we sold out the books! But the fun part was introducing friends to friends and seeing all those warm, supportive faces. I've done signings in the past at schools, but this was my first bookstore signing. I have more pictures about the signing and also Peter Keat's wonderful bookstore, Time Tested Books, at my other blog next door: Elizabeth Varadan's Fourth Wish. 
Fellow writers and teachers

Maddy, the star of the super
trailer her dad made for the book.
She was the perfect Imogene.

I was reading from my book.
They were such a good audience!
I've been busy setting up readings and school visits and the like these past weeks, so I haven't really done much posting, but come back next week for a review of a terrific mystery -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle figures in it . . .

Meanwhile - Celebrate the small things and join the hop. The link list is at Alexa Cain's great blog HERE, and her co-hosts are
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom           Check them all out.