Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Book

Zestful Blog Post #86

January 2015 Newschat

I just sent this message out as a Newschat, and now to my special Zestful friends!

I write this on the first morning of 2015 and all I can think about is Ach, I wonder how many times I’ll have to cross out 2014.

Regardless, happy New Year to you and yours. May your team win the bowl, and may the coming months of winter darkness be cheered by… oh, say, the new Lillian Byrd novel you’ve been craving!

Yes, it’s true: at long last, Lillian #5 is published and available, as of just a few days ago. Here’s where you can get Left Field,, and this is the back-cover skinny:

Lillian Byrd has been searching her soul after the gut-wrenching experience of killing someone in self-defense. Scrabbling to make ends meet, she takes a job as a quasi detective, solving life’s little mysteries for a pair of eccentric women in one of Detroit’s last prestigious neighborhoods. When she spots a corpse on the next-door lawn, she jumps back into honest work as an investigative journalist.

Her friend Mercedes reveals that the dead woman, Abby Rawson, played on a women’s softball team she manages and pressures Lillian into taking her spot. Softball turns to hardball when Lillian not only plunges into a love affair with the team’s sought-after pitcher but also goes undercover as an exterminator, a squatter, and a charity worker to investigate Abby’s death and the corrupt medical organization she worked for. No one on the team is above suspicion, and as they get closer to snagging the coveted championship title—and Lillian gets closer to discovering the dark truth behind Abby’s murder—she fights to keep her new love in her life and literally save her own.

Filled with Lillian Byrd’s trademark snark, nail-biting twists and turns, and a thrilling climax, Left Field scores a grand slam that’ll leave readers cheering in the stands.

I’m absolutely jubilant about the book, and I hope you’ll be too. Early notices have been raves. This snippet from an Amazon reader: “The pacing in the book is exquisite, and I found myself laughing out loud at the antics of Lillian and her pal Lou throughout the book. Brisk, smart writing; insightful social commentary regarding Detroit; lovable characters; and a highly original plot make for a paging-turning read.”

(Needless to say, if you read it and like it, please spread the word by posting a review.)

More news:
The publisher of Left Field is Spruce Park Press, an imprint I founded last summer to publish my new and backlist work. So far we’ve released:
- For the first time! Paperback editions of the three Rita Farmer mystery novels: The Actress, The Extra, On Location. Now you can get them, with beautiful new covers besides.
- Kindle editions with the new covers of the three Rita Farmer novels with the new covers.
- Besides both Kindle and paperback editions of Left Field, new Kindle and paperback editions of the first four Lillians with terrific new covers:

We worked with the award-winning firm of TreeHouse Studios to create covers that are lively, fun, and unique. We have much more in store for you in 2015, including a new stand-alone novel, short stories, and more writing instructional pieces. I might add that TreeHouse also developed the Spruce Park logo, which I love:

To answer a frequent question I’ve already been getting: We’re not publishing other authors. Yet, anyway.

Currently we’re experimenting with Amazon’s ‘Select’ program, so the e-books and paperbacks are available there. Also, the paperbacks can be ordered through any bookseller.

If you’d like to download the e-books to your non-Amazonian device, you can quickly and easily get the free Kindle app here.  It enables you to get any Amazon title on any computer, laptop, tablet, or phone, including all the i-devices. Furthermore, my titles are available for lending on Kindle devices, and they’re also available in the Kindle Unlimited subscription program.

I’ll be doing some test marketing using the tools available at Amazon and will let you know how it goes.

And yes, I’m already working on the next in the Rita Farmer Mystery Series!

Before I go, I want to give a plug to two terrific women and their new ventures. I mentioned them in my blog a short time ago:
- An outstanding writing coach who also happens to be my friend, Jamie Morris, has supercharged and expanded her business. Check it out via her new web site: The blurb from me is heartfelt.
- Another of my friends, Lori L. Lake, has recently founded a publishing company, Launch Point Press. I've contributed a story for an upcoming anthology. Lori is a terrific person and businesswoman.

I’ll resume my publishing narrative next week.
With love and thanks,
What do you think? To post, click below where it says, 'No Comments,' or '2 Comments,' or whatever.
If you'd like to receive this blog automatically as an email, look to the right, above my bio, and subscribe there. Thanks for looking in.


  1. Congratulations on your latest book Lillian Bryd novel. And Happy New Year! May 2015 also be better than 2014, but as it stands, it already is.


Tell us your thoughts! You know you want to.