Monday, May 7, 2012

Back, Books, and Breakouts

I'm Back! And I have to confess. last month was a total blur. Finished my WIP, revised it, prepped another MS for subs...

Let me start off saying a Big Congratulations! to everyone who completed the A-Z Challenge. I couldn't do it this year, but I think more than a thousand of you did. Great work!

The second of my three Bs up there is a new Book! is coming out June 5, and it is awesome.

Some of you might know Tami Hart Johnson, The Watery Tart, and my critter extraordinaire (link). She's writing a new mystery series. Here's my review of Book 1:

AZALEA ASSAULT (June 5) (link)
by Alyse Carlson (that's TH's pen name)

The first in a new series of gardening-themed mysteries led by amateur sleuth Camellia "Cam" Harris, it's layered and unexpected and very fun. (I kept thinking I knew who the killer was, and I was wrong every time!)

Cam is a lovable, grown-up Nancy Drew-style main character. She's the new PR person for the Roanoke Garden Society, and she's suddenly faced with a murder to manage in her old home town.

She learns new things about her old friends, and as the story progresses, everyone takes a turn being favorite suspect.

It's a quick read, and Carlson kept me guessing all the way to the end. If you're a friend or blog-follower,  you'll enjoy catching dashes of the author's trademark, sassy humor throughout.

Even if you're not a regular cozy-mystery reader, do give this one a whirl. It's twisty, turny, and tons of fun! Can't wait to see what mystery Cam tackles next (in "The Begonia Bribe").

Here's the link to it on Amazon (link). Get it!

Finally, for the Breakout (not acne). Last year about this time, I did a post about my memories of the Kentucky Derby. That post is here (link) if you're interested.

On Saturday, I was all prepared to root for Take Charge Indy or Union Rags, when a 15 to 1 shot, a Mexican jockey riding in his very first Derby on Cinco de Mayo, came out from behind and won the race.

Here's the link to coverage. (link)

I think they said the owner--a man who used to work two jobs, one of which was laying telephone wire at night--bought the winner I'll Have Another (cookie) for $11K.

Source
His son wants to get a hot tub with their winnings.

How much fun is that?

Yes, friends, I confess. I'm a romantic old derby fan, and that was what it's all about.

Dreams. Inspiration.

Have a great week, reader- and writer-friends. It's good to be back! And if you would, leave me an update in the comments section. I'd love to hear your news~ <3

37 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Yay! welcome back! :o) I had no idea Hart was your critter! What a fabulous pairing you'd both make!

Old Kitty said...

I am soooooooooooo happy for the most gorgeous and NAKED Tart!! She's lovely and am super duper excited for her book launch about to be let loose to the unsuspecting world! WOW!!!

Take care
x

SA Larsenッ said...

YAY for Tami!! And welcome back. Missed you... ;D

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you're back. And thanks for sharing about Tami's book. Love the cover.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've missed you!

Could you imagine if the participants had to visit everyone's blogs who participated????? *faints*

Love Tami's cover!

Creepy Query Girl said...

sounds like a fun weekend! Hart's book sounds like so much fun!

Pat Hatt said...

welcome back to blogland. Never even seen a derby but wow it would be nice to win 11K

Meredith said...

I almost picked I'll Have Another because of the name. Thank goodness I didn't put any money down! :) Such a great story! Welcome back to blogging!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Good to see you back!

Theresa Milstein said...

I like your B theme here!

While I enjoyed A to Z, I don't think I'll ever do it again. Takes too much time.

M Pax said...

Glad you're back, Leigh. Hope you got your ms where you want it.

I've been watching the Derby since I was 8. I rooted for Creative Cause.

Glynis said...

Great to see you back. A-Z was hard work, not sure if I can cope again.

I used to enjoy watching the Derby when I lived in the UK. A few of my patients used to have mini bets. I only ever won chocolate. :D

Janet Johnson said...

I've never been much aware of the Derby, but I love the come-from-behind wins like that! I sense a movie on the horizon. :)

And welcome back!

Chris Fries said...

um, wait... You were gone?

Just kidding! Welcome back to the blogosphere!

A-to-Z was insanity, pressure, deadlines, obligations, chaos, and utter madness -- I loved it all!

Summer Ross said...

Welcome back! Let's see news: graduation this Thursday with my BA in English. I hope you have a fantastic day!

Nicole Ducleroir said...

Hart's name is Tami?? See how much I learn when you're here? Welcome back to blogging!!!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Glad you're back! I didn't watch the derby, even though every year I mean to do it. But I don't need an excuse to make mint julep- as you know, my yard has minty issues. (Note to the wise: Plant mint in a container where it can't escape to become the evil overlord of your back yard.)

Can't wait for Tart's book to come out. I <3 Nancy Drew type mysteries AND gardens!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Glad you're back! And with a bang, so that's great. :D

LTM said...

@Chris--HA! Yes. You must've blinked. No, April felt incredibly long and incredibly short at the same time... It was intense. :p

@Summer--Super congrats to you!!! I love the quotes from your WIP. Good luck w/all! :o) <3

Lydia Kang said...

Welcome back! The book sounds great, thanks for the head's up!

Elle Strauss said...

Welcome back! It's hard to believe it's been a whole month. Glad you got lots done :)

Tracy Jo said...

Welcome back!!!! Yay! I bet the month did go so fast. Always love your reviews. Seeing you back out here put a smile on my face...great way to kick off a Monday! :-)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I watched the Ketucky Derby since it began just as my Cinco de Mayo party was starting. Short but fun. Would have LOVED to have gone.

Wow, you got a lot done!

DEZMOND said...

I think Tami Hart's real name sounds better than her pen name. The book sounds nice.

Tracy said...

welcome back and glad it was productive for you and thank you for the congrats...the A to Z blog was a lot of fun! Tami's book Azaela's Assault sounds good. I love mysteries!

Clarissa Draper said...

Congrats to Johnson on her book. I'll be sure to pick it up in June. Welcome back!

Mark Murata said...

Are there any pictures of you in one of those huge derby hats?
I'm impressed that you've completed your work in progress.

Ella said...

Glad you are back! Congrats to you on the MPax journey...excited. I will mention both of you, later this month! Excited for Hart, too~

Hart Johnson said...

DOH! And I was negligent yesterday! Forced to work at work and all... Thank you SO MUCH for the lovely review! And thank you to all the commenters who have been so nice, too!

Talli Roland said...

Welcome back - we missed you!

I too loved Hart's book and will be doing a review of it shortly. What a fun read!

Elana Johnson said...

I feel like I'm missing huge things! Glad you're back and here's to catching up...

RaShelle Workman said...

Can't wait to read Hart's book. Sounds like you got a lot done last month. Woot!

Laura said...

Hello!I hopped over from Hart's place. Great review and very nice to meet you
Lxxx

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Holy moly you got a lot done last month! Well done!

I think I remember that Kentucky Derby post!

Hart Johnson said...

Feeling even warmer and fuzzier! Thank you so much, kind friends!

lbdiamond said...

Welcome back. Thanks for sharing all this news!

Pk Hrezo said...

Hey there! Welcome back! I've been taking a bit of a break myself and just finished the first draft of a new story. Glad you had a nice break! And Hart's book sounds great! :)