Monday, February 28, 2011

New Phone - Welcome to the 21st Century!

So one of the cats (Kitka, of course) swiped my phone down the basement stairs and cracked it on the concrete floor. Good bye trusty little Nokia. I had it for a long, long time. The folks at the phone store claimed I'd had it since 2002, but I really think I upgraded once since then. Oh well, it didn't matter. As of yesterday, I became the owner of a smart phone.

Yeah, right!

So blasted smart it doesn't come with an instruction manual.

I tried to get my favorite ringtone installed on the new device. No luck. I had to wait for my middle daughter to come home to fix that for me. Once I got it, though, I learned how to upload others pretty easily, so it was worth the angst.

This morning I figured out how to silence the alerts on incoming emails while keeping alerts noisy for texts. I *think* it's working. We'll find out soon. The emails are silent - which is great. Just waiting for a text to ensure I didn't accidentally silence those, too.

Now that I've gotten all this crazy phone stuff handled and I feel like a real 21st century citizen, I can get to my real work - writing!

Best of all, now that I know how they work (and don't) my characters can more believably use smart phones!

All good!

Friday, February 18, 2011

PLAYING WITH MATCHES is live on #Kindle and #Nook!

Woo-hoo!! Finally! I'm excited to announce that PLAYING WITH MATCHES, the first novel released by my alter-ego N.C. Hyzy, is now available on Nook and on Kindle.

A quick warning: This book is not cozy! The language is slightly more coarse, the situations slightly more ... edgy. Riley Drake is a private investigator in Chicago and she doesn't take grief from anyone.

I don't want to disappoint any cozy mystery readers with a new title that doesn't match their expectations - hence, the N.C. Hyzy pseudonym.

Remember: N.C. = Not Cozy!

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I spent the last week or so formatting/fixing/analyzing/reformatting and finally, uploading a new title to Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. I have *no* idea if they'll come out properly. Sure, I did the preview, but I've been hearing horror stories about garbled uploads lately, so my fingers are desperately crossed.

My daughter did a wonderful cover for this new title. I can't wait to announce it here... and show off the great cover, but I'll wait until I know the book is live. Don't want to jinx myself.

The waiting is tough!

But finally, at least, I can get back to writing. The next Grace book awaits. This would be book #3. Someone asked me the other day what I had planned for her. I started talking about all the relationships... what may be happening with Frances, what's up with Jack, and updates from Grace's sister, but as I was talking, I realized I had no murder yet! These characters are just so real to me that I think first about them, then about the plot!

Speaking of Grace books... I just received my galleys/pass pages from Berkley. This is my last read-through to check for typos and mistakes. No room for big changes, just the necessary ones. I always get so nervous going through these. What if I find a huge inconsistency?

I'll be working on that project early next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Backlist eBooks!

As of today I'm officially a member of Backlist eBooks!

This busy group is comprised of print-published authors who have decided to release (re-release, actually) their out-of-print titles as ebooks. Great news for Kindle and Nook readers!

My backlist titles (Artistic License, Deadly Blessings, and Deadly Interest) are in their Kindle bookstore here. Just scroll down and click on my name. Lots of great authors there, huh?

Oh, and Backlist eBooks has a Facebook page too! Come visit and "Like" our page!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Barry Award nominations!

I am *very* excited to announce that EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS has been nominated for a Barry Award in the Best Paperback Original category.

Woo-hoo!!! So excited! So happy! And look at that list! What wonderful writers, all. I am humbled and honored to be included among them. And absolutely giddy. Can't help it!

The full list is below.... plus a little extra.

The Barry Award Nominations 2011.
The nominees for the 2011 Barry Awards have just been announced. Voting is done by the readers of Deadly Pleasures magazine. The winners will be announced at Bouchercon (September, in St. Louis, MO).

*More about the Barry Awards at the end of the list

Best Novel

NOWHERE TO RUN, C. J. Box (Putnam)
THE LOCK ARTIST, Steve Hamilton (Minotaur)
MOONLIGHT MILE, Dennis Lehane (Morrow)
BURY YOUR DEAD, Louise Penny (Minotaur)
SAVAGES, Don Winslow (Simon & Schuster)

Best First Novel

GUTSHOT STRAIGHT, Lou Berney (Morrow)
ROGUE ISLAND, Bruce DeSilva (Forge)
THE POACHER'S SON, Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
SHERLOCKIAN, Graham Moore (Twelve)
THE HOLY THIEF, William Ryan (Minotaur)
ONCE A SPY, Keith Thomson (Doubleday)

Best British Novel

STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG, Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
BLOOD HARVEST, S. J. Bolton (Bantam Press)
NIGHT WHISPERS, John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton)
THE WOODCUTTER, Reginald Hill (HarperCollins)
THREE SECONDS, Roslund & Hellstrom (Quercus)
FOURTH DAY, Zoe Sharp (Allison & Busby)

Best Paperback Original

THE HANGING TREE, Bryan Gruley (Touchstone)
THE DEAD LIE DOWN, Sophie Hannah (Penguin)
EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS, Julie Hyzy (Berkley)
FEVER AT THE BONE, Val McDermid (Harper)
THE RHETORIC OF DEATH, Judith Rock (Berkley)

Best Thriller

13 HOURS, Deon Meyer (Grove Atlantic)
AMERICAN ASSASSIN, Vince Flynn (Atria)
THE BRICKLAYER, Noah Boyd (Harper)
BOLT ACTION, Charles Charters (Hodder U.K.)
ON TARGET, Mark Greaney (Jove)
THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, Daniel Silva (Putnam)

Best Short Story

Mitch Alderman, "Requiem for Antlers" (AHMM Jan.-Feb. 2010)
Robert Barnard, "Family Values" (EQMM Feb. 2010)
Caroline Benton, "The Body in the Dunes (EQMM Jan. 2010)
Loren D. Estleman, "The List" (EQMM May 2010)
Terence Faherty, "The Seven Sorrows" (EQMM Mar.-Apr. 2010)
Ellen Larson, "When the Apricots Bloom" (AHMM July-Aug. 2010)

The Barry Award is named for Barry Gardner, who was one of the best fan reviewers in the world. He died in 1996 and the editorial staff of Deadly Pleasures magazine decided to keep his memory alive by naming this award for him. For a biography, courtesy of Deadly Pleasures, please click Barry Gardner's name above.

I am so happy to make this announcement. Good luck to all!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Killer Characters

All this talk about Love Is Murder, and my first novel, ARTISTIC LICENSE, got me to thinking... it also got Annie Callaghan, my very first protagonist, thinking.

She's blogging today at

Come visit and share your favorite standalone protagonists.

Monday, February 07, 2011


I am so very excited to announce that Grace Under Pressure won the Lovey Award for Best Traditional Mystery at the Love Is Murder Mystery Conference this weekend.


All those who won, especially Tasha Alexander, and Laura Caldwell, spoke about how much they love Love Is Murder. It truly is the warmest, most welcoming conference out there. But I was touched most personally, by Jamie Freveletti's speech. In it, she too talked about how much she enjoys Love Is Murder, but she went on to tell about her first time at the con. About how she and I met. Because her critiquer hadn't shown, and my critique-ee hadn't either, those in charge of the manuscript critique program put us together.

From the first sentence, I knew. Jamie can write. Powerfully and with incredible energy. On Saturday night, with her Lovey in her hand, she told the story of her first Love Is Murder and how encouraged she was to hear that I loved her work. Jamie can, indeed, write. She's amazing. She's won many awards... The Thriller Award and the Barry, I believe. Plus -- she's been tapped to write the next Ludlum novel.

What's especially great about this story is that at *my* first Love Is Murder, I met Debbie Brod. At that time Debbie not only had five books out, she was also an acquisitions editor for Tekno/Five Star and she agreed to read my first manuscript. Looking back, it was nowhere as good as Jamie's, but Debbie called me later with unbelievable news. Five Star wanted to publish me.

Debbie and Jamie are incredibly talented women. I'm just so happy to have met them at Love Is Murder and very lucky to count them both as good friends.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Snow Day Pictures!

Pictures from Snowpocalypse
Just outside Chicago

Trying to dig out from our front door...

And our driveway.
But why bother?
We were able to get our driveway relatively clear, but there's nowhere to go. Can't even go out to get gas.
That's our street, below...

In an area where major elections are won and lost based on snowplowing efforts, it's almost unheard of to see a street still unplowed at eight in the morning. No idea when they'll get to us. As I write this, it's now 10:00AM, still no plows in sight, and the snow started up again about an hour ago.

But at least the backyard looks pretty!

Outside the window to my writing room.

We're all just taking a day off here. I have a ham in the oven and a hot cup of coffee right next to me. My kids will tell their kids about Snowpocalypse.
I wonder if we'll beat the record snowfall of 1967. That's when 23 inches fell over 35 hours. Last I looked, we were only at 17 inches today.