Mysteries...with some steam!

Month: March 2021

Little Free Libraries

I love little free libraries.

Those little boxes that people have made at their end of yards and people take and leave whatever books. Some are works of art, like small houses with little windows, carefully crafted with tiny shingles on the roof. Others are thrown together and scarcily keep the rain out. Still…I love them all.

On my daily walk with the dogs I have a route that takes me past five different libraries (seven if I do the bigger loop).

The contents are always changing of course, which makes daily visits a constant journey of discovery. And the selection is generally hard to predict. One day a whole science fiction collection will get jammed in between a dog eared cozy mystery and a historical tomb that has been there for months. The next day it will be a stack of Harper’s magazines, and some Scandinavian noire.

But I say ‘generally’ hard to predict…because there is a trend based on geography!

The battered red library with the wonky hinges at the end of our street is predominantly populated by sci-fi, cook books, and various self-help themes.

The one around the corner (a beautifully done mini version of the actual house behind it) leans towards YA (young adult) sort of fair. But also mature mysteries (Tana French, Louise Penny, most noticeably).

Then, past the path through the woods, is the mother lode. A large multilevel box outside a modern flat-roofed house…but across the street is a retirement age condo building. All those wonderful grey haired little old ladies who — apparently — have an unending appetite for the filthiest sort of romantic smut imaginable. The turnover is daily, and some of the stuff is too graphic even for me! (Anal gang-bangs? Really??) Additionally though, is a great volume of cozy mysteries and Agatha Christie type material.

Fourth on the list is a cool log-cabin type of box. It has lights inside when you open the door and everything. Now were into mostly thriller sort of things. Lee Child, Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler, etc. etc. But also religious pamphlets, travel guides, and the biggest source of popular ‘literary’ type things.

Lastly, down by the beach, is another favourite. The turn-over here is wildly eclectic, and huge. Every visit is a new grab-bag, and competley unpredictable.

Regardless of the library in question…I’m tempted to buy a bunch of ‘The Night Swimmers’ in paperback and seed them in. Just to see how long they stay before someone takes them home. And then wait to see if they return again.



So the great March give-away went pretty well I think.

245 copies of “The Night Swimmers” were downloaded over the five days of the promotion. Which is cool!

I know from reading on the Reddit romance subs that it is often the case that people will download ‘anything’ free…but not necessarily ever get around to actually reading them. And also that free offerings tend NOT to translate into ratings and reviews. Like because the reader didn’t have to invest financially in it there is somehow less attachment to the book. Curious. Some interesting psychology going on there I think!

Speaking of which…I’ve been delving into the world of voyeurism. This is going to play a significant role in “Katie Undercover(s) Book 2”. So I’ve been onto a few related websites and, wow! Really fascinating to me. Entire apartments with multiple cameras in EVERY single room, recording absolutely everything 24/7. I gather that the residents receive some significant remuneration beyond (presumably) free accommodations.

These are (mostly) all young and attractive individuals and I expect the heat must be cranked to the max as clothing is often limited. Which is of course largely the point.

I can barely function on a zoom call without being overly self-conscious. I cannot conceive of being remotely comfortable in one of those apartments where my every move and angle is constantly recorded! But maybe you would get used to it?Maybe you learn to just block out the thought and live your life ‘normally’. Certainly the folks I’ve seen appear to have pulled that off.

Will ‘Katie’ be able to though…? I wonder.


Free Free Free!!!

I’m kicking off March with a free promotion on Amazon!

That’s right! For 5 whole days, the world can enjoy “The Night Swimmers” (ebook version) completely free. So that’s right now! March 1 to March 5. Get ’em while they’re…hot? Crazy huh!? Apparently not. I’m told it’s a good thing to do to raise one’s visibility in the (very, very, very) crowded sea of new authors.

One favour though, if you do read it, puhlease give it a rating/review on Amazon or Goodreads. It would mean the world to me! 🙂

Did you know that apparently on Amazon alone a million (1,000,000) new books get published every year? I mean…holy cow! That’s a LOT! Now I’m fairly certain that a big percentage of those might contain a spelling/grammar mistake or two. And I imagine there is a chunk of angsty teen vampire-related themes that might be a bit overworked. But still..

So the word on the street (just an expression – I don’t go out much these days) is that a free give away can help give a bit of a bump. This idea works MUCH better when you have other books available that aren’t free, so as to entice new readers into your little world. But I figured I would give it a go right now just to see what happens.

Amazon only lets you have promotions like this for a short period of time so it will be long back at ‘regular’ price before book 2 is all polished to a shine and ready for publishing. At which time I can always do the free promo thing for The Night Swimmers again.


I’m getting a new (to me) laptop! I found a used place downtown that has EXACTLY the same little Lenovo that I have now. Only theirs has one where the keyboard works. I’ve gotten a bit tired of the sticky keys on this one – the result of a oopsy when I dropped it and a bunch flew off. Some teeny tiny plastic edges got snapped/folded/scrunched. Its never been the same since. So…time for an upgrade.

What else? Oh yes! I took a WHOPPER of a fall the other morning. I was out with the dogs (and Christie) and we were frolicking along the beach in the crisp morning air. The tide was high, and in one cove, the logs were piled up and beautifully dusted with frost. Super slippery frost. As usual I was wearing footwear of less than practical leaning. We were climbing over a small pile, and using the logs as (narrow) pathways as it’s easier than trudging through the pebbles and kelp and bric-a-brac.

The sun was only somewhat up and I looked to admire the light dancing over the water and ….Swoooooop! One foot zipped out from under me. It was like I’d stepped on a buttered teflon…or maybe like that time the lube bottle broke and things with my vibe got a bit out of hand…I digress.

Anyway! I landed with a wallop on my ass/thigh. I now have a nifty bruise that looks like I was kicked by a small mule. It’s become a ‘please do NOT touch me there’ zone at the moment.



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