Category Archives: Books

New Covers!

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With the release of my fourth Dog Park Mystery, It has been past time to ramp up my game. I hired the inimitable and incomparable Elizabeth Mackey to take my portrait of Julia to the next level and redo my covers to create a series brand for me.

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I’m a painter. I’m not a designer. I am especially not a book cover designer, a discipline which involves much more than arranging text and images.

I love how she’s taken my paintings and added a fun, sassy edge.

She has also updated my audiobook covers:

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And then there’s the new logo for my imprint, Two Pup Press:

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How many ways are there to say, “I LOVE it!”?

The Bible Meets Science in Messiah’s Star

 

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Last winter, Marti Dourson (a dog park friend) said, “Mike is writing this paper about the Star of Bethlehem and he wants to get it published. I keep telling him he should talk to you because that’s what you do.”

“Sure, have him call me when he’s ready,” I say. I always say this.

Early in March, they sent me a copy of Messiah’s Star.

Marti’s husband, Mike Dourson, is a well-respected toxicologist. He’s president of TERA (Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment) and spends much of his time traveling all over the world to consult. He’s such a busy guy, that I only knew him to wave at, even though I’ve lived two doors down for a quarter of a century.

Mike has been teaching a class at his church called “Evidence for Faith,” which has evolved into a passion for integrating scientific knowledge with Biblical text. He explained to me that he takes his core premise from Saint Augustine:  the Bible and the world align, and if interpreted correctly, say the same things.

Messiah’s Star, in which Mike uses astronomy to support key Biblical texts regarding events surrounding the birth of Christ, is the first of what I hope will be many books based on his classes. He retells the months before and after Jesus’ birth, through the eyes of Biblical figures. While fictionalized, his version is true to scripture. The book is short and easy to read, rigorously researched and well supported. There are copious foot notes.

I am a non-traditional Christian, what most people call “spiritual but not religious.” Despite not having much interest in Bible study, I found Messiah’s Star fascinating and faith-affirming. I put everything else on hold so I could help him get it out.

If this is a subject that interests you, I hope you’ll take a look at Messiah’s Star. Currently is it only available in Kindle form, on Amazon (at the introductory price of $2.99).

 

 

One Way Trip to Emo-Ville

Have you ever just wanted to smack a book character and the author who created him? That’s how I’m feeling right now, though I will have to settle for shaking the librarian who recommended In the Woods by Tana French.

I had a free pass, too. I decided to join my neighborhood branch mystery book club to improve my understanding of the genre. Sarah gave me In the Woods to read for the next meeting. I  put it aside because I was in the middle of three projects and had no time for reading or much of anything else. Friday, I decided enough was enough and it was time for a vacation. Not having time for a vacation, I figured a book by a new author would do as well. I looked at the calendar and discovered the book club had met on Tuesday. I would read the book anyway, as penance.

The two page preface put me off. Not because it was badly written. Because it was too well written–so effusive with descriptive hyperbole, the page swam before me, undulating passages that I lost my way in. By the time I got to the end of a sentence, I forgot what it was about. I almost put it down.

“No, I shall carry on. After all, I am used to reading James Patterson. I need to expand my horizons. The Washington Post loved it. I should discover why.”

The book is told  through the voice of Rob Ryan, a  self-admitted coward who believes his reputation as a detective is maintained by looking the part more than by any true merit. There is an annoying note of self-castigating self-absorption that runs through the book, marring the pleasure I wanted to take in French’s lyrical prose. Ryan’s sensitivity apparently applies only to himself. As the book progresses, he reveals himself to be a bonafied dirt-bag.

But Rob has a compelling back-story. As a child, he entered the woods to play with his two best friends. Many hours later, he is discovered, traumatized, with no memory of the day’s events. His friends never appear again. The jacket blurb promises “Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him, and that of his own shadowy past.”

Even though NPR’s Morning Edition promised this book would bamboozle even the most astute reader, I knew who my money was on early in the game (I was right). But I soldiered on to the end, lured  by the promise of his childhood mystery. The promise is ultimately unfulfilled.

Maybe Ryan grows in some way through his tribulations. Nope. In the end, “She informed me, matter-of-factly, that she was old enough to know the difference between intriguing and fucked up.” Once a loser, always a loser.

The mystery is complex and well-told, the villain is suitably heinous and the police procedure is convincing. It’s a shame she didn’t have a better story to tell about her protagonist (Ryan is such an unsympathetic character that I started wondering if he was based on an ex-boyfriend. Hint to French: Next time, kill him off in a  prolonged and gory manner early in the book and get it out of your system).

Tana French is a good writer. Much of this book is worth reading. I was most engrossed by the memories Ryan recovers of the summer of 1984. Even so, tomorrow I’m  going to find Sarah, and I’m going to ask her what the hell she was thinking.

 

#FurbabyFriday – Corrie Fischer

Russell In Corrie’s own words:
Tucker’s Tale
With cash in hand, I drove over two hours with the intention of making my dream a reality. I was bound and determined that I would own a yorkshire terrier. After weeks of searching, I found a listing online for yorkie pups within my price range. When I arrived, all of the puppies were cute, but I struggled to choose one. Something about the whole situation just felt off. However, I had invested too much time and effort to turn back empty handed. I choose the smallest male puppy there.

I took him home for a few days and all was well. He was a sweet little guy and cleaning up after him while potty training wasn’t much of a mission (that was a bonus). A few days passed and at the urging of a friend, I went over to their house for the night and brought my puppy, Russell, with me. The friend had a few other people over that I had not met previously. We all had a few drinks and enjoyed our night. The strangers were primarily women and they gawked over my little puppy. That night, I feel asleep on the couch with Russell snuggled up in my arms.

When I awoke the next morning, my puppy was gone and so were the strange girls. The front door to the country home was wide open. Not wanting to believe the worst, I awoke everyone in the house and we started a massive search. We trekked around for hours, calling his name, “Russell!” Finally, my mind led me to one conclusion. One of the girls had taken him. It broke my heart, but was still more comforting than the thought of my helpless little puppy running around in the woods alone.

In case I was wrong, I put up ads on Craigslist, posted flyers, and did all I could to find my lost puppy. My friend also called the girls to ask if they had seen the puppy. They replied that they had not. In my heart, I hoped it was a lie. Why, you may be wondering. Well, if they were willing to steal and lie to take my puppy, they must at least have wanted him fairly badly (and would hopefully provide him with a good home). To this day, I do not know if they were telling the truth or a lie.

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Several weeks passed with no sign of my lost puppy. Since he had been the first dog I had gotten on my own, it drove me to completely question my responsibility level as a potential pet owner. One day, I decided to search online and came across a website with local shelter listings. I figured if I got a mutt then other people would be less inclined to steal him/her from me. The idea gave me a small spark of hope as I searched through the pages.

Then, one little, black puppy caught my attention. He had been given the temporary name of Trek. I called the shelter to ask some questions about him and the adoption process. The woman on the phone apologized and said he was already pending adoption. She insisted they had other great puppies needing homes, but I took it as a sign. Okay, it just isn’t meant to be.

Approximately two weeks later, I was driving around randomly as I sometimes do to relax. I realized I was close to the shelter. I thought to myself, “screw it, why not just look?” I walked down the aisles and saw several older dogs. I felt bad, but I really wanted a puppy. I wanted to raise him or her and teach them from the beginning. I wanted to know I could do it and be a good pet parent. I asked the receptionist if they no longer had puppies and she directed me to a separate part of the facility.

I walked past several pens containing numerous, adorable puppies, but none of them truly caught my attention. Then, as I approached the last pin, one stood out. He was a small black puppy with eyes that stared directly into mine. It was almost as though he was saying, “Me. Pick me.”

If you have never experienced this, there are no words to explain it. As a child, I have had many dogs I loved dearly, but none ever immediately connected with me like this. It was incredible. I turned around to look at the postings on the wall to identify this pup’s name. I searched and searched, but could not find it. Then, it dawned on me.

There, in the center of the wall, was a picture of a small black fur baby with the name Trek. The photo was cute, but he had his ears back in it and looked like a completely different puppy. I nearly broke out in tears of joy at the realization.

I walked to the front desk and asked to start the adoption process for Trek. The woman handed me a clipboard while typing away on her computer. “Oh dear, it looks like he is already pending adoption. He has already had his first shots, gotten neutered, and they have paid for him.” My heart sank. I wanted to start bawling my eyes out right there, but then she continued. “Actually, the family was supposed to pick him up last week. We’ve tried calling them several times, but they have not answered or returned our messages.”

I think she could see the tension on my face. I wanted that puppy more than words can express; there was something about him and he was the one. He was my intended to be my fur baby. “I’ll tell you what, go ahead and fill out the paperwork. If we can’t get a hold of them by Saturday, then I’ll call you and he’s yours.” She smiled brightly and I did the same before completing the paperwork.

Walking out, I felt my nerves screaming at me in every way. I wanted to embrace the elation, but I was scared. What if they did call? What if they came to get him first? I knew they had the right to do so. They had found him before me after all, but my heart hoped they would not.

Saturday morning rolled around and I checked my phone like a mad woman, every five seconds. I longed for the call that would say he was mine. Then, it came. “Miss Fischer, this is the ____ Animal Shelter, the previous adopters for Trek have not arrived. If you’d still like to adopt him, you may come get him.” I wanted to jump up from my desk for joy. I could not have been more excited!

Now, I will admit, it was not all fun and games. Like any other puppy, Trek who was renamed Tucker, had his rebellious streak. I lost more than one piece of furniture throughout the training process, but I wasn’t about to give up on him. I loved him from day one and decided I would do anything to provide him the best home possible. After months of training from me and with the help of those close to me, Tucker became an obedient, nearly perfect dog.

Today, Tucker is three years old and knows a multitude of tricks, including sit, shake, lay down, speak, talk (he growls in a way that sounds like “Uh huh”), wait, and can even balance treats on his nose. His favorite toys are balls and he obsesses over them. He will still obey the command to stay/wait even if the ball is thrown. He doesn’t go after it until I give him the release command. He also loves to snuggle under the blankets by my feet each night and that is where he loyally sleeps.

Though losing Russell was a major heartache, it could not even compare to the joy I have now owning Tucker. He is my dog, my best friend, and my child. He is my fur baby and I will continue to love every day I am blessed by his existence.
 

Corrie’s Book
REM

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Three young women are all confined by the same enchantment. It is an ever powerful, eternal demon that rests within their very hearts and minds. It is fear. The feeling consumes each one of them like a plague, influencing their every decision.

Renee, a thirteen year old girl, is the first to attempt freedom from this internal curse. She embraces the tinge of courage within her and allows her feet to drive her far away from her small town life of entrapment. Little does she know her journey against the unseen terror has only just begun.

The older, questionably less mature, Emily is blinded to her own imprisonment. Instead she allows guilt to cloud her mind while hiding under the cover of meaningless socialization. It is only when Emily finds herself in a strange land that she must finally confront her demons. Will she bow down to the nightmare before her? Or alas will she defeat the monster within?

Unlike the other two, Ms. Morrison has finally gotten her life in order, or so she believes. A professional, strict school teacher, she stands proud in all she has accomplished. Despite her success, terrors of a life long forgotten still torment her mind.

When all three women are forced to confront their inner horrors, their paths cross in an unimaginable way that will leave you breathless!

About Corrie
Corrie Fischer was born in Fort Oglethorpe, GA but only lived there the first three days of her life. The daughter of a military chaplain, her life of travels continued on for many years. She has lived in eight different states and over fifteen homes. When she was sixteen years old, Corrie started attending college. At the age of eighteen, she was accepted as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In 2013, she graduated from Northwest Arkansas Community College. She currently resides in her Fayetteville, Arkansas home with her dog Tucker and a leopard gecko named Spike.

Corrie’s Website: www.corriefischer.com

 

#FurbabyFriday – Author Mike Meyer

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Coco and Pom Pom – In Mike’s Words:
Coco loves to be chased, and Pom Pom loves to chase. They tear after each other, running up the stairs in less than a second, and flying down the hall in a flash. Every now and then the tables will be turned, and Coco will suddenly be chasing Pom Pom. Kitty and I have so much fun just watching our little boys romp through the house. Sometimes we will pour ourselves a glass of wine and sit together on our sofa, watching Coco and Pom Pom chase each other, wrestle, play tug-of-war, suddenly pounce on one another, and playfully stalk each other. Kitty and I have the best entertainment ever, watching the boys at play. They make us feel good, and they make us laugh.

Michael Meyer
A writer of international suspense stories, Michael has also published a memoir about his journey with Coco, Pom Pom and Kitty.

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Losing loved ones is an awful fact of life; losing one’s loving spouse, one’s day-to-day partner through life, especially in the prime of life, is one of the most unbearable tolls that we humans are forced to endure. This is the true story of my journey from grieving widower, not caring if I lived or died, to the once-again happily married man I am today, a man who both loves and cherishes life. My three kitties have given me a new zest for living.
My story begins with loss and tears, but it ends with lots of love and laughter. I hope that you will find yourself both entertained and inspired by my journey.

EXCERPT
It is amazing how time helps. In time, I have learned to overcome my own albatross. I have learned to live again, to love again. Life is a gift reads a plaque on our dining room wall, and that sums up what I have gained from the three kitties that saved my life. From Coco, I learned to care again. From Kitty, I learned to love again. From Pom Pom, I have learned how to cope with my own demons, the effects of aging being one of these. Pom Pom has taught me to accept what is and then to move onward. Yes, I have learned plenty from my three kitties.

Find out more about Michael Meyer at: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Meyer/e/B005E7M8CW/

T-Shirt Sale!!! Ends February 10

Jerome1Between now and February 10, you can order a T-shirt featuring your choice of any of my eBook or audiobook covers. Check out my Lia Anderson Dog Park Mysteries to see your options.

Shirts are $20, shipping included. If you choose to order more than one sent to the same address, the price is reduced :

  • 1 shirt   – $20
  • 2 Shirts – $38
  • 3 Shirts – $55
  • 4 Shirts – $71
  • 5 Shirts – $86
  • 6 Shirts  – $100

This is going to be a low-tech operation:

  • Send your order to carolannnewsome AT netzero DOT net
  • Specify image choice(s)  Note: audiobook images are 12″ x 12″; eBook images are 8″ x 12″
  • Specify size(s), Men’s Small – XXLarge.
  • Include your shipping address.
  • Submit payment via Paypal to carolannnewsome AT netzero DOT net

Your order will be final when payment is verified. Shirts will be shipped via USPS Priority by February 21. This sale is an experiment made possible my printer’s semi-annual discount.

The Kiss Is Here! Get Your Free Copy!

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The Kiss: thirty-one stories in a multitude of genres, each revolving around the idea of a kiss. I can’t decide which I like best. Ben Cassidy’s farcical fairy-tale kiss? JL Jarvis’ encounter with a hunky, out-of-time Highlander? Jason Deas’ wrenching tale of a returning Vietnam vet? Colleen Hoover’s depiction of family life for her first family, Layken and Will? Jess Mountifield’s sci-fi novella about a resourceful slave who longs for safety?

I could go on and on. But I’ll just give you the links. You can get the Kindle version on Amazon for $3.99, if you are so inclined. Or you can go the Smashwords and get The Kiss in a variety of formats for free. And if you are so inclined, feel free to report a lower price to Amazon, we’d love them to price match.

Whatever you do, be sure to read my story, Kiss No. 43, it’s my best short ever.

Gotta Brag! A Shot in the Bark is #1!

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Doing the happy dance here! I never thought I’d see #1 in the Free Kindle Store. Shot is free through Monday. If you don’t have your copy yet, click the cover in the sidebar to get yours.

BONUS: Shot is part of the whispersync program with Audible. If you own the Kindle edition, you can get the audio, with Jane Boyer’s wonderful narration, for $1.99. How cool is that?