Saturday, December 31, 2016

Free Murder Mystery

Good news! I'm now offering for FREE the first book in the popular, four-volume Detective Santy Mysteries. These murder mysteries are about the life and career of Clarissa Santy, a female homicide detective from Orange County, California. The series begins with the murder of her father. When she turns 18, she looks into the court records of the murder trial, and realizes that the wrong man had been arrested. When she contacts him, she finds out more about her family and learns the hard way that there are some questions best left unanswered. This series has earned many 4 and 5 Star ratings. All of the books in the series can be enjoyed as standalone stories.

To get your free copy, go to this link:

On the right hand side where it says "Buy" click on it and you will be taken to a page where you can enter coupon code "QL97E" This deal expires on Jan. 2nd, 2017.

(If you don't have an account, you will be prompted to create one. It's perfectly free.)

These books are also available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble,
 Google Play, and Kobo  at the regular price of $1.99.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

T. Jefferson Parker

My husband and I graduated in the same class as T. Jefferson Parker, a famous writer from Orange County, California who wrote mysteries that took place in our home town; so it's always been in the back of our minds to try to write our own mysteries, filled with lots of local color and tidbits of real crimes that actually occurred here.  My brother and his adopted daughter had a very close relationship and when he died, I thought I'd write a story about what would happen if he were murdered, and when his daughter looked into the case, she found out that the wrong person was convicted of the crime. In the process of her investigation, she finds out who her real parents are and discovers that there are some questions that are best left unanswered.  This is the first book in the successful Detective Santy Mysteries Series.  It has received five star and several four star reviews.  Only $1.99.

The Tustin Chronicles:
A Detective Santy Mystery

Friday, October 14, 2016

Is There A Ghost at Oak Alley Plantation?

Some say that no antebellum plantation house is without at least one ghost.  All sorts of strange sightings have been reported by the docents who work at Oak Alley Plantation. They have reported hearing the clip-clopping of a horse-drawn carriage driving on the plantation’s gravel roads leading up to the house and when they looked out the upstairs window, they saw neither hide nor hair of any carriage.  They've seen chairs rock in unison and candlesticks fly across the room.

One tour guide said, "There’s a lot of voodoo in these here parts. Go to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and visit the grave of Marie Laveau.  She had special powers and still does today. There are many things in this world that can’t be explained by logic.”

"The Ghost in the Plantation: A Nancy Keene Mystery" is a fictional cozy mystery about a teenage sleuth, modeled after Nancy Drew, who goes to New Orleans on vacation and becomes part of the investigation when a docent at Oak Alley Plantation is found dead inside the antebellum mansion.  Be an armchair traveler and take a trip to Louisiana to explore favorite tourist spots in New Orleans with Nancy and her "chums".

The eBook is available for $2.99 at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play and Smashwords.  The paperback is available at Amazon and Createspace.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October is Indie Writers' Month on Amazon

Our Book Is in the Library!

Throughout October, Amazon is celebrating indie writers published via Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace; and that includes our  books.  They've asked authors to share their paths as independent writers and here's the story behind how we got our books published on Amazon.

For years, I'd been trying to get published on my own. I have a M.A. in English and spent my twenties at the post office mailing my short stories to various publishers with no success.  It was always my dream to make money off my writing.   About five years ago, I read an article about how indie writers could get published on Amazon for free!  I couldn't believe it.   I began writing a murder/mystery about a group of librarians and what would happen if someone accidentally got crushed when the electronic compact shelving mechanism malfunctioned. How would my imaginary librarians react if they found the body? Would they accuse each other? I wrote about six pages and showed it to my husband. He liked it and I asked, "How would you like to write the rest of this book with me?" He kindly agreed and that's how we started writing books together.  Since then, I've gone on to write thirty-four books and have sold around 1600 copies. It really has been a dream come true for this English Major. Thank you Amazon: we couldn't have done it without you.

Check out Amazon's #PoweredbyIndie Page at the Following Link:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Autumn is Here

This is my favorite season of the year.  It's a time when I long for fall leaves in Lake Placid, white, steepled churches in Vermont, and covered bridges in New England. So many images come to mind: pumpkin people on the porches of old-fashioned general stores, maple syrup, caramel apples on a stick, cinnamon scented candles from Bath and Body Works, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and cozying up to the fire with a good book.

When it comes to autumn, this California girl lives on the wrong coast.  The temperatures here are still in the 80s and some days, even the 90s.  It's our season of fires and Santa Ana winds.  I'll never forget the time my husband and I planned a Halloween party that was supposed to take place in our back yard, but had to be moved indoors because ashes from a nearby fire were raining down on us and our decorations.  Forget about small paper lanterns lining the patio; we didn't want to burn our house down.

Autumn also reminds me of the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" which my husband and I have religiously listened to for over thirty years. The Fall is the time when the sun is getting low enough for us to light our candles and turn on our space heater that looks like an old-fashioned coal fireplace.  We lose ourselves in the stories that Garrison Keillor's low, mesmerizing voice weaves.  I love his world of bachelor farmers, Pastor Liz, Dorothy's caramel rolls, The Sidetrack Tap, and the Chatterbox Cafe.  Maybe there really are some places like the Chatterbox CafĂ©? Wouldn’t it be fun to go find out?

So after all the years of talking about this town where "the women and strong, the men are good looking, and the children are always above-average," my husband and I finally went to Minnesota on a pilgrimage to find the real Lake Wobegon.  This book is the result. I hope you will enjoy this story about a precocious teenager who talks her father into taking her to Minnesota on just such a quest. Her father  wants to go on a Bob Dylan pilgrimage while there, but she has other plans when a "bachelor farmer" (who was last seen at the "Chatterbox Cafe") goes missing and they join the search party. Part travelogue, this book also contains pictures.  It's only $1.99 and available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords, and Scribd.  Also available in paperback at Amazon.

The Missing Bachelor Farmer:
A Nancy Keene Mystery
by Louise Hathaway

Monday, September 12, 2016

Lady Chablis

I was so sad when a friend of mine told me this morning that the Lady Chablis had passed away. For those who don't know her, she was the scene-stealing star of the book and movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. My husband and I saw her perform in Savannah at Club One and she was hilarious. RIP Empress of Savannah.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Who loves Jane Austen?

I found out that not everybody does when I was in graduate school and announced to my Romantic Literature class that I had chosen Pride and Prejudice as my essay assignment. My fellow classmates dismissed Austen's book, saying that "it was just about some silly girls wanting to get married"; one of the ladies said, "Oh, I read that in grammar school." I couldn’t help but be reminded of a letter that Jane Austen wrote to her sister, saying, “I must confess that I think [Elizabeth Bennet, the main character in the novel] as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her …I do not know.”

Here's some good news for Jane Austen fans: "The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice" is now available at the lowered price of $1.99. It's about Mary Bennet, the plain middle daughter in Pride and Prejudice, as she compares herself to her beautiful sisters, tries to get her father to notice her, complains about her mother’s melodramatics, falls in love, considers a move to America, becomes a writer, and a ultimately becomes a champion of those less fortunate. What makes this book different from other books written about Pride and Prejudice is its depiction of the social history in Britain during the nineteenth century. Mary Bennet learns about the worlds of their servants in Pemberley, poor chimney sweeps, and factory workers. Transport yourself back to the Regency era and get better acquainted with one of period's famous fictional families.

The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice
is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble,
Kobo, Smashwords, and Google Play
for $1.99 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Body in the Law Library

Hooray! Our book, Death Among the Stacks: the Body in the Law Library, just received a five star rating on Goodreads!

It is the first book that my husband and I wrote together. It is loosely based upon something I witnessed while working at a library. My nieces helped us with the cover: Allison posed as the shushing librarian and her sister took this great picture. I love the way it looks as if the shelving is closing in on her, which was perfect because that is how the victim in our whodunit died.

Here is a description of our murder mystery: Why did an Inspector from the Government Printing Office get crushed between two rows of electronic compact shelving? Find out in this murder/mystery, an Agatha Christie-type whodunit with multiple suspects whom the book's detective assembles together in the final chapter for "the big reveal." Death-by-compact-shelving may seem like a stretch, but it actually almost happened at a library where I worked. You will never look at librarians and library shelving the same after reading this whodunit. 

Only $2.99. Available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Smashwords, Kobo and Scribd.  Also available in paperback at Amazon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Making Book Trailers

When it comes to the indie publishing world, things have never been so exciting and daunting for us writers.  These days, it's not enough to write a book, come up with a description, and go on social media to market it.  Now, many writers are making book trailers.  Luckily, I have a tech savvy husband who knows how to make anything work out whenever it comes to the computer.

We came up with this "music video" for our murder mystery "Fighting Demons: A New Orleans Mystery."  I wrote the text and we both chose the pictures to show them on.  I wanted the music to be slightly mysterious and more, important, it needed to be by a New Orleans musician.  There are so many classics from which to choose.  Ultimately, we picked Sidney Bechet's rendition of Summertime because not only is it fantastic, but it also corresponds with the mood of our story.

I've been looking at other book trailers and found one intriguing video that had each letter appear on the screen one-by-one, as if someone was typing them.   I thought that it looked slightly "film noire": perfect for a mystery by Raymond Chandler, for instance.

So, without further ado, here is our music video/ book trailer for "Fighting Demons: A New Orleans Mystery."

Our book is available for $ 2.99 at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble,
Google Play, Smashwords and Kobo

Also available in Paperback at 
Amazon and Createspace

Saturday, July 16, 2016

New Orleans Murder Mystery

In this suspenseful and romantic murder mystery, Homicide Detective Yvonne Dauphin risks her life and sanity when she checks herself out of the hospital after a bipolar meltdown, determined to prove to her boss and coworkers that’s she still up to the job of capturing a serial killer who has been terrorizing New Orleans. To further complicate matters, she’s hoping to reunite with her ex-husband at the same time she’s fighting a blossoming attraction to a young detective.

This murder mystery is half-off during the month of July 2016, exclusively at Smashwords.  Use coupon code SSW50 upon checkout to purchase it for only $1.50.  Here's the book link at Smashwords:

Available at the regular price of $2.99
at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Google Play, and Kobo

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Who Stole the Vermeer Masterpiece?

The Stolen Masterpiece: A Nancy Keene Mystery 
by Louise Hathaway

My new Nancy Keene Mystery, portrays five loves of mine: Nancy Drew Mysteries, Holland, Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, genealogy, and a loving, indulgent father.

Join my precocious teenage sleuth, Nancy Keene, on another of her international adventures. This book finds her in Amsterdam visiting her newly-found Dutch relatives who have recently discovered a secret room in their house that contains valuable artwork, including a Vermeer masterpiece worth millions. Someone has stolen it, and it’s up to Nancy and her team to find out who. If you enjoy travelogues, this book includes descriptions of some of my favorite sights I've visited in Holland.

Available at Amazon and Smashwords for only $1.99.
Click on the following links to Purchase:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pitching Your Book

Okay, you’ve just written the great American novel and can’t wait to release it to the world; then watch those royalties come streaming in.  You’ve asked a friend to proof-read it and give you constructive criticism.  He thinks your book is really good.  You may have even forked over $100.00 to a professional who designed a mind-blowing cover. Who wouldn’t want to buy a book with a cover like that? you ask yourself.

Stop.  Take a deep breath.  There’s one more make-or-break job you have to do: write a book description.  That’s not as easy as it sounds, especially with publishers like Smashwords who limit the short description to only 400 characters.  You may have a great long description, but you are going have to start deleting parts of it to fit into the short one.  It can be very frustrating.  I've seen some short descriptions where part of the last sentence is cut off.  Obviously, the writer didn't double-check it before publication.

Here are some suggestions to consider:

  1. Don’t use subplots:  Keep to the main point and don’t confuse your readers: they probably don’t want to take the time to read a long description anyway.  Ask yourself, “What is the primary action that drives my book?”
  2. Make it concise.  A creative writing teacher once told me that a poem is more difficult to write than a short story or novel because with a poem, every single word must be packed with meaning.
  3. Keep it under 150 words.
  4. Write in the third person, present tense.  Imagine sitting face-to-face with your reader and they’ve asked you what your book is about.
  5. Write it as if you are the publisher—not the writer. Remember—the book description is a marketing tool—it's not literature; so it’s okay to hyperbolize a little.  Just don’t overdo it.
  6. Read book descriptions by other authors in your genre.

Last, but not least:  Use Emotional Power Words.  Make your readers wake up and take notice.   How?

  1. Use words that will raise their spirits and make them feel better.  Examples: miracle, triumph, jaw dropping.
  2. Sex sells.  Take advantage of this by using words such as: sensual, thrilling, naughty, steamy, brazen.
  3. Make it forbidden by using these words: Pandora’s Box, confidential, cover-up, bootleg, Black Market.
  4. Fear is a powerful motivator, especially if you write murder mysteries.  Use words like: looming, revenge, frantic, searing.
  5. Fan the flames.  Make them feel outraged at injustice. Use words such as sick and tired, back-stabbing, ruthless.
  6. Feed Their greed: most people either want to make or save money. Use these power words to take advantage of this: bargain, profit, discount, quadruple.
  7. Make them feel safe.  Use these words: no risk, privacy, official, tested, guaranteed

Try using only six to ten of these emotional power words in your description. And last, but not least, here’s the most important factor to keep in mind when you are writing your description: make sure that your book lives up to your promises.  You don’t want your reader to feel cheated.  Make sure you deliver what your advertise, or your reader may want his money back; and even worse, may feel compelled to write a bad review or give a one-star rating.  And that’s the last thing we writers want.  Happy editing and good luck with your amazing new novel.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Books about Great Dads

I was blessed with a wonderful Dad and several of my books are about the special relationship between fathers and daughters, especially those in my Nancy Keene Mysteries. Teenage sleuth Nancy has a father who is every girl's dream of an ideal Dad.  He gives her a tremendous amount of freedom: he is often away on business trips, which leaves her with plenty of unsupervised time to investigate her cases.  It seems like all she has to do all day is to drive around in her vintage blue roadster and solve mysteries.  She has no pestering Mom telling her to clean up her room.    Because her father is a successful attorney, he has plenty of money to treat Nancy and her friends to wonderful vacations, including ones to New Orleans and London.  She can wrap him around her little finger, and almost always gets her way.  How lucky can a girl be?!

In the first Nancy Keene Mystery I wrote, "The Buried Treasure on Route 66", her Dad is having trouble accepting the fact that his precious Nancy has just turned 18, has a boyfriend, and is going away to college.  How will he handle the empty nest?  And what lessons will he learn when he joins Nancy and her boyfriend on a road trip?  This book is rated PG and only costs $1.99.

I love New Orleans and have been there many times, so I have Nancy going there on vacation with her Dad and her friends. When a docent at Oak Alley Plantation is found dead, Nancy will not rest until she figures out whodunit. She has to leave New Orleans before the murder is solved, but Nancy twists her over-indulgent Dad around her little finger and he allows her to return to the Crescent City to stay with her fun and funky Aunt Audrey in "The Ghost in the Plantation".  This book is rated PG and costs $2.99.

My most recent Nancy Keene Mystery finds Nancy, her Dad, and her girlfriend going to London. Nancy has her first serious crush at 16 when she sees that Daniel Craig is staying at the same hotel as they are.  She's a big fan of James Bond and even goes to Harrods to try a find an outfit like one of the Bond Girls to impress him.  When someone steals his BAFTA award out of his hotel room, Nancy is hot on the trail trying to figure out who stole it and why.  This book is called "The Stolen Mask" and is rated PG and costs only $1.99.

Nancy and her Dad are big fans of "A Prairie Home Companion" and she talks him into going on a pilgrimage with her in search of the towns that inspired Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon.  Her Dad wants to go on a Bob Dylan pilgrimage while they are in Minnesota, but Nancy has other plans when a bachelor farmer goes missing.  This book is called, "The Missing Bachelor Farmer" and it is rated G.  It only costs $1.99.

All of these eBooks are available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Three of them are also available in paperback at

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Genius and Thomas Wolfe

Have you seen the new movie "Genius" starring Colin Firth, Jude Law, and Nicole Kidman? It is about the relationship the famous Southern writer, Thomas Wolfe, had with his editor, Maxwell Perkins, and his lover, Aline. I'm excited about seeing it tonight.  Would you like to learn more about Wolfe's writing style and his relationship with Aline Bernstein, the character Nicole plays in the movie?  If you would, please checkout this literary essay I wrote after I received my Master's Degree in English and went to a Thomas Wolfe festival in 1991. While I was there, I had the good fortune to run into his nephew, who was the only living relative who actually knew him.

Nags, Sluts, and a Deep-Breasted Soulmate from the Shining City:
The Women in Thomas Wolfe's The Web and The Rock
Only 99 cents

I’ve always been a sucker for a good love story and was pleased to discover the best one in American Literature, in my humble opinion, in Wolfe’s long novel, The Web and The Rock. In that thinly-veiled self-portrait, Wolfe loves and captures the spirit of Aline Bernstein. In his extravagant rhetoric, he immortalizes her in his fictional character, Esther Jack. Written in the 1930’s, it shows a remarkable admiration for an independent woman, and in this respect, Wolfe was ahead of his time. The fact that Aline won a Tony award for Best Costume Design, makes the story of her relationship with Wolfe even more fascinating. This eBook also includes photographs.

Only 99 cents and available at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Friday, June 10, 2016

James Bond and Nancy Drew

This is a funny story about a teenage sleuth who goes to London with her father and is delighted when she discovers that Daniel Craig (AKA James Bond) is staying at their hotel.  I was inspired to write this book by my love of Nancy Drew books and my love of London.  On vacation in London a few years back, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan was playing him at the time) was actually was staying at the same hotel as my husband and I were.  Just like Nancy Keene in my story of The Stolen Mask, I was settling into our upstairs' bedroom when I looked out the window and saw Agent 007 drinking champagne in the hotel's garden. I was as star-struck as any teenage school girl would be. Nancy feels her first stirrings of passion and is pleased when she has an opportunity to come to his aid after his BAFTA is stolen from his room.

I am a total Anglophile and love all things British--its literature, its music, its history, its art. I love writing about places I've traveled to, so in this story I have Nancy sighting-seeing some of my favorite destinations in and around London.  She goes on a Jane Austen pilgrimage, visits Buckingham Palace, shops at Harrods, and goes to the Sherlock Holmes museum.  Nancy is very precocious, filled with esoteric knowledge, and has read a lot, so when she tries to solve the case of the stolen mask, she channels Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and Rumpole of the Bailey.

This book is one of my favorite ones I've written and I hope my readers will like it, too.  So, come with Nancy Keene on a trip to London where she meets James Bond and even gets to walk the red carpet with him when she's back home for the Oscars.  A bit of a stretch?  Of course, but a girl can dream, can't she?

Here's what reviewers are saying about this book:

"I loved it! This is a very clever parody of Nancy Drew set in the current times. Nancy Keene, her father Drew Keene, and her friend Beth travel to London where they not only meet Daniel Craig (James Bond) but also solve his mystery...I love Nancy Drew and I love England. The two together is a winner."

"Great story line for readers who loved Nancy Drew as a young person. It moves quickly and is a fun light read!"

This eBook costs only $1.99 and is available at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Google Play Books, Smashwords and Kobo Books

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Puppy Training

Have you ever wanted a Jack Russell Terrier like the ones from the TV shows Wishbone and Frasier or the movies Mask and My Dog Skip? Do you think you can handle such a high-energy dog? If you believe that you're up to the task, come along with us as we follow our new Jack Russell puppy through his first year and watch him learn and grow to become part of our world. Read about how we tried to prevent him chewing our walls and linoleum floor. Witness our horror after he almost overdosed on baby aspirin, caused a gas leak, and was in danger of being swooped up by a hawk. We hope that you learn from our mistakes and successes in bringing up this adorable, funny, intelligent, and always-entertaining breed of wonderful little dogs.

Our First Year Raising a Jack Russell Terrier Puppy
by Louise Hathaway

Only $1.49

Friday, April 22, 2016

Date Night Ideas

Are you looking for something fun to do on date night?  Here's an idea: how about going to a mystery dinner theater?  My husband and I went to a performance and had a great time interacting with the performers and trying to figure out whodunit. A few days afterwards, I was inspired to write this Romantic Comedy and Cozy Mystery about what happens when someone is actually killed during the performance. 

In this humorous and sexy romance novel,  Isabella, a librarian in her early thirties, goes with her friends to a performance where a murder takes place.  When a handsome detective comes to investigate, she falls in love with him, and gets herself mixed up with some dangerous people when she goes undercover—in spite of his warnings—to help him solve the crime.

Watchin' the Detective: A Mystery Dinner Romance 
by Louise Hathaway
Only 99 Cents!

Available at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Google Play,
Kobo Books and Smashwords

Click here to purchase at Smashwords

Here's what readers are saying in two 5 Star Reviews:

"What a wonderful little book! A great idea to take the dinner into an actual murder and then on top of it add some romance too. Great idea. This is a very easy read and hard to put down. I would recommend this to anyone who had been to a murder mystery dinner and hoped for more than just so-so food. You'll not regret it!"

"Walk through Orange County with Isabella as she helps Detective Don "Draper" Sterling solve a murder mystery. Light and fun murder mystery to read at the beach! Take Isabella with you..."

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jane Austen's Sisters

It's an interesting family dynamic to be a middle sister.  It's like the best of both worlds: I get an older sister to mother and protect me and a younger sister that I can try to nurture and influence, as if she were my daughter.  Before my younger sister died, we had a saying:  "There's no friend like a sister." I'd like to add that "there's no friend like a little sister."  She used to put me on a pedestal--no matter what stupid thing that I would ever do, she always believed in me.  Any book, movie or song I ever liked, my sister would run out and purchase for herself, so that we could "relate" to each other.  I have always done the same with my big sister.  I try to impress her with my knowledge of the music from her "Summer of Love" generation.  Not only have I tried to emulate my older sister: I am her biggest fan.

"What's this have to do with Jane Austen?" you might be asking.  My little sister and I loved Sense and Sensibility.  We often said that I was "sensibility" because of my caution and practicality and she was "sense" with her heady ideas of love.  She told me once, "You want to be safe and secure in love, but I like the roller coaster ride."  Doesn't she sound like Marianne in Jane Austen's book?  There is a scene in the book that my sister and I once talked about: Marianne is critically ill, on the brink of death, and Elinor, at her bedside, totally breaks down.  She practically demands that Marianne stay alive: "Would you break mother's heart?  Would you break mine?" I told my sister that I'd react the same way if anything ever happened to her.  Little did we know that a few years later, our lives would mimic this scene.  My sister was in Intensive Care for six months and I often thought of Marianne when I visited the hospital. Austen's fictional character was spared; but my real life one wasn't.  I wrote and dedicated this book to the memory of my little sister:

Nonsense and Sensibility: A Modern Austen Variation
by Louise Hathaway
At Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play,
Kobo and Smashwords

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Prairie Home Companion

The Missing Bachelor Farmer: A Nancy Keene Mystery
by Louise Hathaway

My husband and I have been listening to "A Prairie Home Companion" since the mid-1980s. What did you think of last night's show?  I am going to miss Garrison Keillor when he resigns from the radio show in the summer.  I'll miss Pastor Liz, the bachelor farmers, Ruth Harrison: Reference Librarian, and the skits for the Professional Organization of English Majors.  A few years ago, my husband and I made a pilgrimage to "Lake Wobegon" in search of the fictional world that Garrison Keillor created.  It was a great trip, as we traced his steps.  We had read that he owns "Common Good Books" in St. Paul, so we thought, let's just stop in the store and "soak up the vibe."  As we were pulling into the parking lot, I saw a tall, elderly man walking towards his car with a couple of books tucked under his arm.  I said to my husband, "Oh, my God!  That's Garrison Keillor!"  My husband called out, "Mr. Keillor."  Garrison kindly approached our car and shook my husband's hand.  We had a little conversation, too.  What a dream come true to meet our generation's Mark Twain.

I wrote about the whole experience in my book, "The Missing Bachelor Farmer: A Nancy Keene Mystery."  It's about a precocious teenager who talks her father into taking them on a pilgrimage to Lake Wobegon and they join the search party when a bachelor farmer goes missing.  It is available for $1.99 at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.  To purchase, please click on one of the links below:

Saturday, April 9, 2016

High School Reunion

High School Reunion: You Can Go Home Again
by Louise Hathaway

Okay, ladies.  ‘Fess up.  How many of you out there can admit that you go to your high school reunions hoping to see your old boyfriend?  You know, “The One Who Got Away”?  If you do, I think you’ll like our eBook, “High School Reunion: You Can Go Home Again”.  It is partly based upon my courtship with my husband who I met in high school.  He courted me by writing a poem and handed it to me on the last day of school as “a token of our friendship”--as he called it.  His wonderful poem is inside this story.  What a good poet he was and how very lucky I was to receive it.  I’m so glad I didn’t let him get away.  Our book's protagonist, Danielle Dubois, has spent twelve years looking for the guy who wrote her the poem and has been going to her high school reunions, hoping that she can finally tell him that she shares his feelings. Is it too late?  Will she get a second chance at love? 

This eBook is available at all of your favorite eBookstores (Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo).  And it’s only 99 cents!

Here's what one reader wrote in a Five-Star Review of this story:

Everybody probably had at least one crush in high school. Most people might have wondered at least at some point about what ever happened to that person. What would happen if you got one more chance to get together. How would it change your life?

That’s what this story is all about. It’s a very believable depiction of wanting to see that person again, and getting to meet up. There is some unfinished business in Danielle’s past, and the reader gets to experience tying up those loose ends.

I enjoyed reading High School Reunion. It’s that second chance you might have dreamed about. It’s about giving romance the chance that should have happened a long time ago. It’s about going out on a limb to try to get what you want, now that you have experience being an adult. Give this one a read if you've ever wondered, "What if?"

Thursday, March 31, 2016

1968 Newport Pop Festival

Great read, especially if were a "child" of the 60's era.

The Summer of Love:
A Trip Back to 1968
Louise Hathaway

Before Coachella; before Woodstock; there was the 1968 Newport Pop Festival. Join two sisters as they travel back in time to an outdoor rock festival in Costa Mesa, California. Once again, they hear bands such as The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, and The Jefferson Airplane. They hitch-hike back to their childhood home, see and talk to relatives who died years ago, and even run into younger versions of their husbands. Will they ever get back to the present time?  Will they want to?  Find out in this groovy time travel story.

Five Star and Four Star Reviews. Only $1.99.  Available at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Smashwords, Kobo, and Scribd.

Here's what readers are saying about this book:

"This story is so amazing I didn’t want to put it down afterall who wouldn’t want to go back in time and see loved ones that have passed on. Excellently written this story is an outstanding tale of the 1960’s with such descriptive detail I felt as though I was really there and living it all through the sisters’ eyes. From the festival, the stores, the cars, the house it’s all there. So amazing step into the photo booth take a flashback and relive 1968 once again."

"Great read, especially if were a "child" of the 60's era."

Here's a flyer from the festival (both sides):  
(I was there)

Friday, March 18, 2016

New Romantic Murder Mystery

My husband and I have just finished writing our new murder mystery.  It stars a female homicide detective who has bipolar disorder and takes place in New Orleans.  It is loosely based upon the Bedroom Basher Case about a serial killer who murdered several young woman in their bedrooms in the 1970s.  I knew one of his victims, so it is dedicated to her.  Here is the full description:

In this suspenseful and romantic murder mystery, New Orleans is under siege by a serial killer who’s been brutally torturing women and leaving their dead bodies all over the city. Homicide Detective Yvonne Dauphin must risk her life and sanity when she checks herself out of the hospital after a bipolar meltdown, determined to prove to her boss and coworkers that’s she still up to the job and will not rest until she takes this evil man down. To further complicate matters, she’s hoping to reunite with her ex-husband at the same time she’s feeling a blossoming attraction to a younger detective.

Fighting Demons is available for $2.99 at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.  It is also available in paperback at Amazon and Createspace.  Here are this book's direct links to each book seller:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jane Austen-Inspired Books for only 99 cents

Are you a Jane Austen fan?  She is one of my favorites.  I'm an English Literature Major and, believe it or not, didn't read my first Jane Austen novel until the semester before I received my Master's Degree.  When I announced to my class that I was writing my term paper on Pride and Prejudice, I was surprised by the reactions of my fellow students.  One man dismissively said, "Oh, that's just about a bunch of silly girls who want to get married." A lady in the class said, "I read that in elementary school."  I'm a late bloomer, I guess.
I loved Pride and Prejudice and the 5 sister who inhabit the story.  I'm a middle sister and paid close attention to Mary Bennet, "The Forgotten Sister", as I like to call her.  I don't think Jane Austen was very kind to her and poor Mary was more or less a foil for her beautiful older sisters and silly, boy-crazy younger ones.  There was a lot of room for a writer such as myself to pick up the story of Mary Bennet where Pride and Prejudice left off and show how she develops through the years.  Taking up the challenge, I came up with this novel, "The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice."  It costs only 99 cents today, exclusively at my publisher, Smashwords.  Just use code RAE50 at checkout to receive it for 50% off.  It's available at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo at its usual price of $1.99.

I've written another book inspired by Jane Austen.  It's entitled "Nonsense and Sensibility: A Modern Austen Variation."  It is a romantic comedy that takes place in modern times.  I've changed the locale from Regency England to Southern California.  I love how Jane writes about the relationship between Marianne and Elinor and Sense and Sensibility was a particular favorite of my younger sister, who recently passed away.  The scene in which Marianne almost dies and her older sister tries to give her the forbearance to keep fighting and not leave her loved ones behind is especially heartbreaking to me.  In my book, I use my experiences of watching my sister pass away, as I noticed the different foibles of her friends who came to visit her at the hospital.  One of her friends set up a "Care Page" so that there would be a central place for friends and family to talk about their visits and provide updates. It was quite the fodder for me to add some social commentary to my book:  the lady who created my sister's care page was very much like Jane Austen's Lucy in Sense and Sensibility and I definitely had her in mind while I was writing my book. I hope you enjoy it.  This book received a very unfair and hurtful review on Amazon, which resulted in my unpublishing it for a few months. I've corrected all the typos that were such a "travesty" to this reviewer and I hope readers will give it another chance.  It is available today at Smashwords for half off.  That's only 99 cents.  Use code RAE50 upon checkout.  It is also available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play for $1.99.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Creating a Book Cover: An Indie Writer's Challenge

With most of the 30 books that my husband and I have written, creating a book cover is the last thing we do.  Before then, we're concentrating on plot, characters, and location.  I know they say, "You Can't Judge A Book by its Cover"; but, unfortunately, the design you pick could make or break your book.  We don't have the $200.00 to go out and pay a professional to create a cover.  Luckily, my husband is a computer guy, and he has come up with some good covers in the past. 

Here's a good example of some of the problems we've gone through when deciding on a book cover. Our book, "The Body on Ortega Highway," is a sequel to our best seller, "Honeymoon in Savannah." It's the last book in the four-book series entitled "The Detective Santy Mysteries."  Unfortunately, this book has sold the least copies.  It has an interesting premise: our homicide detective is the chief investigator in case of the "Hillside Chopper", and in the course of the investigation, she realizes that, not only does she know the killer, she used to be in love with him.  How much danger is she willing to put herself through in order to capture him?  It's based on real events.

It's a psychological thriller about sexual obsession that explores the conflict the killer is going through, so I thought we'd put him on the cover.  Here's our first attempt:

This cover is one of the free images from which writers can choose that are available from Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing Cover Creator. This site also has several templates and color schemes to choose from when placing your title and author name on your cover photo. It's free, so check it out: there are several photos from which to choose.  My husband didn't care for this picture, so we decided that, instead of the guy, we'd focus on the victim.  We wanted to show the perils of teenage girls hitchhiking, which was what the first victim was doing when she was picked up and killed.  One of my favorite pictures of my Mom and her sister has them posing as hitchhikers; so, we used it as our mystery's cover. Then, we thought that it looked too much like the forties instead of the present time.  We decided that it was too whimsical for the subject matter of the book. 

 So, our next attempt at creating a cover was a picture of me actually going out on Ortega Highway and hitchhiking.

I didn't want my face to be recognizable, so I darkened it so much that you can't even tell I'm hitchhiking.  My husband and I sure got some funny looks that day as he was photographing me doing this.

The cover photo that is shown on the top of this post is the current one.  What do you think?  Our book costs only 99 cents.  It's available at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and Scribd.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Savannah Home and Garden Tour

My husband and I have been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling in the United States and Europe through the years, but we both agree that our favorite city in the United States is Savannah, Georgia (with New Orleans coming in as a close second).  What is it about this Southern city that has captivated us so much that we've traveled from our home in California four times to visit it?  What we love is its beauty; its people; and its history.  It is that quintessential southern town that reminds me of where Scarlett O'Hara might have gone to see her elderly aunt. It's the old South, with its beautiful moss-draped trees, sweet smelling tea olive bushes, red azaleas, and creepy yet beautiful cemeteries.  It's so different from Atlanta, which was mostly burned to the ground in the Civil War.  When Sherman marched to the sea to plunder and burn everything in sight towards the end of the war, he was met at the gates in Savannah and told that the city would surrender, as long as Sherman's army left the city unspoiled.  Thank goodness it was spared.

Here is a list of some of my favorite things to see and do, starting with our favorite hotel there, The Ballastone Inn.  For fans of the wonderful book: "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," this is the hotel where Kevin Spacey stayed when he was starring in the film version. If you'd like to see "where the scene of the crime" took place, be sure to visit  the Mercer Williams House. There are guided tours of the interior.   For a tour of the places mentioned in the book, try "All About Savannah Tours".

If you'd like to see one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world (outside of Pere Lachaise in Paris) be sure to visit Bonaventure Cemetery.  It's more like a park than a cemetery.  If you'd like to eat at someplace besides Paula Deen's, try Elizabeth's at 37th.  It's our favorite.  Definitely see a Home and Garden Tour during the Spring when the kind residents of Savannah open their doors and allow us to peek inside their homes and get a taste of what we're missing. This year, it will start on March 31, 2016 through April 3, 2016.  I hope you will like it as much as we have.

If you'd like some reading material to bring along, please take a look at our mystery, "Honeymoon in Savannah: A Detective Santy Mystery."  It costs only $2.99 and is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Paperback versions are available at Amazon.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Prairie Home Companion

Have you heard that Garrison Keillor is retiring this year from his popular radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion?"  My husband and I have been faithful listeners every Saturday night for over 30 years.  The first time I ever heard it was on a Saturday night when my husband and I were bathing in the afterglow and he turned on the radio before we got up and out of bed.  Garrison's monologue came on and we've been groupies ever since.  We've seen live broadcasts of the show in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.  For years, we'd talked about making a pilgrimage to Minnesota in search of the towns and locales that inspired Garrison's fictional world of Lake Wobegon.  We wanted to see the restaurants that spawned The Chatterbox Cafe and The Sidetrack Tap, and the Catholic Church that Garrison dubbed "Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility."  We finally made the trip a few years ago and I wrote this novel/travelogue about our pilgrimage.

The Missing Bachelor Farmer: A Nancy Keene Mystery
by Louise Hathaway
only $1.99

My book is about a precocious teenager who talks her father into taking her to Minnesota on a quest to see the towns that Garrison had in mind when he created Lake Wobegon. Her father wants to go on a Bob Dylan pilgrimage while there, but she has other plans after a "bachelor farmer" (who was last seen at the "Chatterbox Cafe") goes missing and they join the search party. 

My book only costs $1.99 and contains pictures from the my trip to "Lake Wobegon".  It's available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Smashwords and Scribd.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is a week from today, ya'll. If you are going or wish you were, take along this informative eBook about New Orleans and Louisiana. It's a travelogue/romance novel about my favorite places to visit, dine at, and stay overnight in the Crescent City and surrounding areas. My travelogue also includes helpful websites to look at before your trip there. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Only $1.99. Available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo Books, and Smashwords.

Honeymoon in New Orleans
by Louise Hathaway