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Exercise to Murder

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Beaded to Death

Now available

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MerryÖ What?

 How on earth did it get to be December so quickly? What happened to 2012? The whole year just went by in a blur. I know I say this at the beginning of every letter, but itís true Ė time just rushes by and itís so hard to grab a bit and make it slow downÖ

 Two subjects this time Ė some really, really, really good news and more on my ongoing agent saga.

On to joyous announcements Ė I have received most of my Christmas gifts early! This past five days has been simply unbelievably superb! First of all, the incredible Lee Lofland has most generously added my Janis Patterson website to the sidebar of his famous Graveyard Shift blog, putting me in the company of most of the magnificent mystery writers in the world. Thanks, Lee!

 Second, 3 December was release day for EXERCISE IS MURDER (written as Janis Patterson) from FiveStar/Gale Cengage. Itís a hardback, and my first hardback in a number of years. (And no, Iím not going to tell you how many!) That release, coupled with the mid-October release of BEADED TO DEATH (also written as Janis Patterson) from Carina Press, has made my end-of-the-year simply splendid.

 Now for the really spectacular news!

 As we all know, Carina Press puts out a large number of great books every year. What I didnít know was that there is a list called ďBest of 2012 Ė Staff PicksĒ containing twelve books the staff liked best. Twelve out of all the books they publish all  year.

 And this year, of that twelve, TWO of them are MINE!

 TIMELESS INNOCENTS, by Janis Susan May Ė a horror novella.

 THE HOLLOW HOUSE, by Janis Patterson Ė an historical mystery, which was also an RT Top Pick when it was released.

 Can you still hear me shrieking in joy? I swear, my feet havenít touched ground since the list came out.

 Now Ė for the not-so-fun stuff.

 Iím still looking for an agent. Still. Iím on rejection one hundred twenty six, (yes, 126!) and frankly, Iím beginning to get discouraged.  

Youíd think that as one of the founders of RWA, a professional writer nearly all my life, former editor-in-chief of two multi-magazine publishing groups and a multi-published novelist I wouldnít have this much trouble. My work has been honored (see above) for years. I have sold over twenty (maybe thirty Ė Iím casual about counting) in my career) novels to well-respected publishers, six in 2011 alone. I keep deadlines, try always to be professional and have a work ethic that wonít quit, but still no agent wants me. And Ė what I donít understand is that so many of the agents I would love to sign with (and have turned me down) will snap up some unknown on the basis of three chapters and a synopsis, in spite of that said unknown having never finished a novel in his/her life! I just donít understand.

 Somehow, returning to jewelry design is starting to look awfully good, in spite of the great rush I got from the Carina Staff Picks List.

 My work ethic is kicking in. I must at least finish the work in progress, a traditional Gothic called CURSE OF THE EXILE Ė itís a great tale of 1850s Scotland, with an isolated castle, lost gold, a brooding laird, a shy and prim female librarian, a ghost called Mad Margaret and a murder. Once a most perspicacious reviewer called me Ďthe logical successor to Phyllis A. Whitneyí Ė that was a rush, too.

 Hope all is well in your worlds, and that each and every one of you have the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years!

 PS Ė Iím also having Safkhet Books bring out my backlist as ebooks, but thatís a subject that will have to wait for another letter!


Autumn, 2012


Wow! Where did the summer go? And wasnít it both hot and weird on top of that! We got softball sized hail in June that fell like rain for over half an hour. Our front lawn was solid white Ė the whole thing looked like it did under snow last winter. Our roof was destroyed, our trees shredded and my car totaled. Everyone in the neighborhood got a new roof Ė it was like living inside a popcorn popper for a while Ė and the trees needed thinning anyway. Thatís what I tell myself, at least.

But I mourn my old car. I loved that car. Named Moby Chick because it was big, white and feminine, it was about ten years old and had almost 100,000 miles on it, but aside from the new cellulite-look outside and a small ding on the bumper (the interior was pristine) it was magnificent. Ran like a watch. I cried when they towed it away. On the other hand, The Husband made up for it, gifting me for my birthday with a brand new (7 miles on it when we took possession) BMW SUV. Her name is Princess and sheís a pale metallic blue. She has a totally different operating system from any car Iíve ever seen, so Iím having to learn how to drive again. She also has a sunroof, which I can operate easily! Iíve always wanted a sunroof, and this is the first one Iíve ever had. What am I saying? This is the nicest car Iíve ever had!

 And I donít care what The Husband says. I did NOT spend the first night in her. Not all of it, at least.

The writing news has been good. BEADED TO DEATH (by Janis Patterson) was released by Carina Press on 1 October. This is a light-hearted cozy mystery about a widowed bead artist who comes home from an art-fair circuit to find the dead body of a stranger in her house. Before itís all over she finds herself involved with drug smuggling, a devastatingly handsome FBI agent who may or may not be rogue, and a 7í3Ē nephew on the run from an unwanted basketball scholarship. She also almost loses her life. BEADED TO DEATH is also available as an audio book by Audible.

 5Star is bringing out EXERCISE IS MURDER (also by Janis Patterson) early in December as a hardback Ė first hardback Iíve had out in years and years. This is a little bit darker tale, with two sleuths. Rebecca Cloudwebb is a former police detective who was crippled in a shootout that might have been set up by her dirty-cop former lover. She is now an antique dealer. Flora Melkiot is the wealthy widow of a jeweler and can be most charitably described as the dark side of Miss Marple. When a new tenant whom no one knows is brutally killed in the exercise class of Floraís exclusive condo building Flora blackmails Rebecca into helping her solve the crime. Thatís no easy task, as just about everyone in the class has motive to murder just about everyone else in the class, no one even knew the victim or had any motive to kill her.

 Iíve uploaded excerpts and covers from both. I think youíll agree the covers are spectacular! 

Right now after a heavy year of revisions and publicity on the six books I sold in 2011, Iím behind in my writing, but now Iím starting to create again. As Janis Patterson Iím working on two mysteries, one set in 1916 New Orleans and one a sequel toÖ ah, but youíll have to wait until I find out how they end before I can talk about them. Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I donít always know whodunit before I finish the book Ė though I always think I do. Remember, books take on a life of their own. As Janis Susan May Iím still trying to finish the traditional Gothic romance CURSE OF THE EXILE. I know where it goes, I know what happens, and I donít have that much left to do Ė itís just that life gets in the way!






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