Ann Parker here, author of the Silver Rush mystery series… Is it mid-October already? What with the release date for MERCURY’S RISE (the fourth in my series) being the auspiciously numbered 1.11.11, I am preparing for November and all the promotional book-ish stuff that goes with it. The photo accompanying this post was snapped when I was focused on the phone and completely unaware of my husband sneaking into my inner sanctum. I’m in “Mission Control” mode, and the photo reveals my home office as it really is.
Yes, it’s a mess, because preparing for Mercury’s Rise release has consumed all my time. At least, all the time that is available. When this photo was taken, I was conversing with my “sister in Colorado crime,” author Beth Groundwater, about our joint Colorado appearances in mid-November. Added to my 10-day Colorado trip are some Northern California events with fellow Poisoned Pen Press author Priscilla Royal, an appearance at the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona, with long-time friend and author Camille Minichino, and a blog book tour of ever-growing complexity. My list of “real” and “virtual” appearances list changes frequently, and I’m keeping my webmistress busy with updates to my Appearances page. All this activity involves wrestling with mountains of emails, burning up the phone lines, pounding on the keyboard, and creating/tackling long “to-do” lists (that keep getting lost in the piles you see scattered about in the photo). I’ve hardly time to eat or cook or … sleep?? What’s that??
Oh yeah, there’s also work projects to squeeze in (turned down a writing project that would’ve netted me about $2,500 with great regret: It would’ve paid for a great deal of all this running to and fro, but I didn’t see any way to do it and keep my sanity intact)… AND regular mom-type pestering so that the youngest will get her college applications in on time. (The deadline for most of the applications is November 30… of course. With my over-active imagination in high gear, I can’t help but see impending disaster and a plaintive wail on December 1: “I didn’t get anything in on time because yoooooouuuuuu weren’t heeeeeerrrre!”)
Okay, deep breath. Step back. Get perspective.
As I write this, the initial reviews are in for Mercury’s Rise, and all is well. Lots of tasty soundbites to plaster on flyers, websites, bookmarks. Things like:
“Parker smoothly mixes the personal dramas and the detection in an installment that’s an easy jumping-on point for newcomers.”— Publisher’s Weekly
“Featuring new characters and an intriguing variation in setting, this is an excellent addition to a steadily improving series.” — Booklist
“A dazzling amount of historical detail is woven in yet never overpowers this story of deceit and greed. Laden with intrigue, this will also appeal to readers of historical Westerns. Parker’s depth of knowledge coupled with an all-too-human cast leaves us eager to see what Inez will do next. Encore!” —Library Journal
“The latest Stannert American Silver Rush historical mystery (see Leaden Skies) is a terrific thriller that focuses on the quacks making a fortune selling cures for tuberculosis. The heroine’s family hurts enhances the fullness of the protagonist while the intelligent inquiry into a wrongful death is clever.”—Mystery Gazette
“I confess this is my first Silver Rush mystery by Ann Parker but it will not be my last! Written in sharp prose, the characters are descibed with perception and wit.”—Criminal History
And wonderful supportive endorsements from authors I very much respect and admire:
“Hang on to the edge of your seat! Ann Parker’s tale of medical machinations and murder at the wild West’s version of Saratoga Springs is as fast-paced as a runaway buggy and has more twists and turns than a mountain trail. MERCURY’S RISE is the best entry yet in Parker’s consistently excellent series of historical mysteries.” —Kate Emerson, author of At the King’s Pleasure
“A single page of Ann Parker’s Mercury’s Rise reminds the reader why her novels are held in such high regard: her command of historical detail is matched only by her deft pacing and irresistible characters. Parker’s language is perfectly pitched, and the dialog sets the tone without ever jarring contemporary ears. … an un-put-down-able read.”—Sophie Littlefield, author of A Bad Day for Pretty and A Bad Day for Scandal
“Mercury is poison, but Inez Stannert’s latest adventure is pure gold. From the creepy opening (what do you do when somebody dies on a stagecoach?) to the fascinating setting at a new Western spa, MERCURY RISING is as satisfying a mystery as it is a romance. Highly recommended.” —Sarah Smith, Agatha-winning author of The Other Side of Dark
With such words of encouragement to bolster my confidence, take-off is assured. So, all systems are go. By 1.11.11, all events for the month will be solid, all book blog tour posts written and delivered to their hosts. The family troops will have their orders, their backup plans and systems in place, and will “forward, march!” under their own power.
Here’s hoping I see some of you in the bricks’n mortar and/or virtual world when I blast off with Mercury’s Rise in November!