Blurbs are the hardest part of writing

rsz_57610016Blurbs are the hardest part of writing.

You’d think it would be the beginning of the novel that’s the most difficult to get right. Or the ending. But it’s that teeny, tiny bit on the back of your paperback and in the product description that’s meant to draw audiences into your world. That’s the hardest part to write.

I’ve just finished the very last stages of proofreading THE GOODALL MUTINY. Pre-publication work is scheduled for next week.

Here’s what I have so far for the blurb. Comments appreciated:

All the normal sounds usually reaching the lower decks of the USS Goodall during routine subspace flight had just been cut off.

As if someone at the controls suddenly wanted the crew isolated.

No loudly arguing male voices, no deliberately mishandled supplies tumbling down the corridor, no nothing.

Had the impossible happened? Was this the Goodall mutiny everyone expected? The one that had almost begun over the captain’s horrible cat. That tall, long-bodied and grey-striped, tail-swishing bundle of nerves they had started calling Tiberius.

Mutiny? Or something even worse?

The Goodall Mutiny. First in the Goodall series of short science fiction novels.

Make it so!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: I’m reading several things but haven’t finished any.

Photographs by Roxanne Rix

Go to  http:/http://rixcafetexican.com for a list of my books.

Book Reviews

I’m going to write a few book reviews from now on.  Wildflowers with butterfly

NIGHT CHILL by Jeff Gunhus.

When seven-year-old Sarah Tremont is taken by a killing cult for their ritual sacrifice, her father stops at nothing to get her back. Even though his wife and everyone else in town think he’s kidnapped Sarah himself.

Night Chill is a riveting child-in-peril thriller. And a harrowing supernatural horror story. A well-written, fast-paced read you can’t put down. Vivid imagery. Suspenseful from the very beginning. A real page-turner.

Can you tell I liked it?

 

 

TRANSFER OF POWER by Vince Flynn.

There aren’t too many books that keep me up reading all night. This was one. Once you get past the middle, you don’t want to stop.

A very detailed, Chuck Norris movie-type “save the White House” patriotic thriller. If you enjoy this type of military action-adventure (and if even if you like any type of action-adventure), you’ll love Transfer of Power.

ranch

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus.Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn.

 

Curious about my books. Visit  http://rixcafetexican.com. Photos by Roxanne Rix

 

The Talking To The Dead Guys tour of Lockhart (we had a fun time of it)

TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS is a humorous mystery set in the small Texas town of Lockhart, featuring our dog Boo Radley. Most of the settings are real. But this is a real courthouse.

And believe me, I made up all of the characters (except for our dog), even though local readers josh me from time to time about how they recognize so-and-so in certain scenes.

Boo Radley

Boo Radley

If you live in Lockhart and have read the book, then it’s pretty easy to scout out the real places. But for readers from outside the area, (we had the opportunity last week showing a nice couple from Seguin around) we came up with the TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS Lockhart tour.

We started at the City Park (where the novel begins), drove past the site where the first dead body was found down by the creek bed (in the book, guys. it’s all made up). Then down into the historical cemetery right next door. One of the inspirations for TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS was the yearly Speaking of the Dead nighttime cemetery tour the historical society holds out here. The last year we walked it, when I couldn’t keep up and came close to tripping over grave borders, I started laughing, picturing our dog Boo Radley dragging me through the dark and onto something scary. Angel

After the cemetery we drove to look at the mansions along Main Street, one of which served as Grady William Pearce’s fictional abode. Then to the Caldwell County Historical Society Museum, which is commonly known as the old jail. It looks like a castle on the outside, and up on the second and third floors it’s definitely a 19th century rusted-out jail. We still think it would be a great place to have an overnight ghost story party.Lockhart

 

 

We were there too early in the morning to tour.

From there we passed Grace Lutheran Church, then to Maple Street and the house standing in for the Gruene House in my book. Then to the Maple Street walking and biking trail. The year I wrote the book, the fields alongside it were planted with cotton. Every other year, it’s corn. Here’s a photo of the corn. Walking Boo Radley past the corn or cotton fields day by day and dealing with her quirky personality was the other inspiration for TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS. I really did make part of it up walking the dog (getting dragged by the dog is more accurate).Corn

 

From there we drove all the way up to the field alongside the junior high school where the fictional Barkie Bark and Sophia got into so much trouble. Then back down to the park where the fictional FBI agent got into so much trouble.

Ended it with a short look inside the Dr. Eugene Clark Library (where the third installment of my Boo Done It series will see a murder done). And then we really ended it with a great BBQ meal at Blacks BBQ.

The couple we took on this tour wanted photographs to send along with TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS to make it more special for the recipient. We volunteered to drive them around because it sounded like a fun thing to do, especially since they liked our mystery novel.

Clark Library

 

The friendliest BBQ place in town. Good BBQ, too.

 

I doubt we’ll ever get any more Boo Done It fans visiting Lockhart just to see the places I’ve written about, but if we do, we might be up to showing them around. Front yard flowers

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Watch Me Die by Lee Goldberg.

Check out our website http://rixcafetexican.com.

The Talking To The Dead Guys Tour

LockhartWe’re doing a Talking To The Dead Guys Tour of Lockhart this weekend.

Taking a couple of readers around town to shoot photographs of the actual sites I used in my murder mystery novel Talking To The Dead Guys.

http://rixcafetexican.com

There are a lot more of them than I remembered. And I’m not even counting the ones from the sequel Tea With A Dead Gal.

A Boo Done It Mystery

A Boo Done It Mystery

The high school gymnasium. The police department. The Maple Street walking/biking trail. Black’s BBQ.

The Maple Street walking/biking trail and my experiences on it with our dog Boo Radley actually inspired the book.

The old jail house. Maple Street Park. The Main Street mansions.

The old jail house gave me a really neat idea for the end of the mystery.

City Park. City Cemetery. The Caldwell County Courthouse.

The Speaking of the Dead graveyard tour held in Lockhart’s City Cemetery every October inspired the murder and mystery I made up for Talking To The Dead Guys.

The green house (Gruene) where much of the action takes place.

One look at the real house this was based on and you’ll understand why I populated my fictional setting with all those newspapers, photographs, and ….to say anything more would spoil the surprise.

The friendliest BBQ place in town. Good BBQ, too.

The friendliest BBQ place in town. Good BBQ, too.

Our tour should be fun.

I hope we get to do it again.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: The Peyti Crisis by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Photos by Roxanne Rix

Boo Radley

Boo Radley

Caldwell County courthouse

THE GOODALL MUTINY

I’ve finished my next book. It’s with the beta readers for proofreading. It’s with my critique group for fine-tuning. And it’s my to-do chore (proofreading and proofreading again and again) for the entire month of January.

THE GOODALL MUTINY. Science fiction. If you like the steampunk novels of Lindsay Buroker, you’ll probably like my new series. No banter, however. If you like the young adult novels of Robert Heinlein you’ll probably like THE GOODALL MUTINY. 

Look for it late February.

I’m starting on the sequel Friday, January 1. I’m really interested in seeing where the story is going to go. Photo below is of me at Armadillocon in Austin. Two years ago.

Go to http://rixcafetexican.com to see a complete list of my already published fiction.

Photo by Roxanne Rix

 

Dealers Room at ArmadilloCon in Austin, Texas 2012

THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN

For this last post before Christmas 2015, let me mention the sequel to THE COWBOY’S BABY. (And Merry Christmas, you all!)

I named it THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN. You can find it here http://amzn.com/B00G99P8WG and also at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

It’s a better book than THE COWBOY’S BABY. Funnier. Better written. It’s got two full romances going. I call it a romantic comedy. It’s pretty much the type of book that would have been made into a Sandra Bullock movie back when she was taking on light romantic roles.

No explicit sex, though. And don’t worry.(Spoiler) Baby doesn’t die. Heaven’s the name of a town.

romantic comedy

 

 

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Search and Recovery by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Boo Radley, Talking To The Dead Guys

darwin

Talking to the Dead Guys

A Boo Done It Mystery

A Boo Done It Mystery

 

Right now, Talking To The Dead Guys is $3.99 for the e-book version. This won’t last forever. So, if you’re interested, this might be the time to buy. Available at Amazon at http://amzn.com/B0094FBA8S and at Smashwords at http://smashwords.com/books/view/273657. It’s also available for Nook.

Talking To The Dead Guys is a humorous murder mystery set in Lockhart, Texas, and loosely based on our family dog Boo Radley. It’s also loosely  based on the real annual graveyard tour called Speaking of the Dead that’s held in October. The last time I took that tour, I began wondering what would happen if our dog was out here and I got dragged into a murder scene.

I’ve published a sequel, Tea With A Dead Gal, and a third mystery novel is planned. Actually, I hope for this to become a long series.

I lowered prices in an experiment. At the end of the year I’ll look at the figures. But I’m pretty sure the prices will go up.

Here’s a photo of the real Boo Radley dog, taken by Roxanne Rix.

Boo Radley

Boo Radley

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THESE LAST WEEKS:  Fuzzy Navel by J. A. Konrath. Black Jack by Max Brand. Orders Is Orders by L. Ron Hubbard. Grave Passage by William Doonan. Anniversary Day by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Blowback by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Visit us at our website http://rixcafetexican.com

Finished First Draft Next Book

From the State Fair of TexasLast month I wrote THE END to my most recent novel. This upcoming month I’m editing it. I have read it from beginning to end, and am mostly very pleased. It’s a very quick read, which was my goal. And because I did a bit of editing as I wrote it, it’s pretty clean. I’ve already made a list of discrepancies I had found, and have cleaned up problems in chapter one and chapter two.

When all of this revision is done, THE GOODALL MUTINY goes to my first reader. Hopefully she gives it a big okay. From there it goes to my three Beta readers and I start proofreading the hell out of it.

If you’re a writer, you know the drill.

And if you’re reading this, you might wonder why the delay. Well, to steal from Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, life got in the way. I had and still have a more important role to play than writer right now. Hopefully, everything will be back to normal in a week or two. Until then, most everything is on hold.

 

 

 

 

WHAT I READ THESE LAST WEEKS:  Dress Her In Indigo by John D. MacDonald.  Wool by Hugh Howey.  Spurs & Lace by Bonnie R. Paulson. Tiffany Tumbles by Kristine Grayson.

You can find my books here http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix