Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tui Snider: Launch Party TODAY (8/19)

Tui Snider's New Release Launch Party

News from Tui:
The paperback is now slowly working it's way up the bestseller charts! Right now, it's at #11 for Landmarks and Monuments. 
Meanwhile, the ebook remains #1 in US Architecture! 

Hope to see you on my FB Author Page
I really hope you can drop my my Online Book Launch Party sometime this weekend. It may seem silly, but after working so hard on this book, this little virtual party is a big deal to me.

Launch Party: Trivia Q's & Prizes
Every hour from 10am 'til 7pm, I'll be posting cemetery symbols trivia questions. I'll use
 to pick winners from those who post the right answer, and/or share the post. 

Prizes include: my hubby's skull & crossbones soap, my books (including the as-yet-unreleased Graveyard Journal), and even my music CD.  

Invite your friends
If you know someone who might be interested in my book, or maybe you belong to an FB group that might be interested in cemetery symbols (genealogy? ghost hunters? history?) perhaps you could share my party invitation there.  Or just TAG the people you think would enjoy coming. 

Latecomers welcome!
I'm sure some folks won't see the party or questions until tomorrow orMonday. That's why I am waiting to choose winners until Monday night. 

Thanks again! And I hope to see you at the party this weekend.

Celebrate with Me on Rogue Talk Radio tonight!

Tonight, from 8-10 pm Central Time, I'll be celebrating my book release with hosts, Sheila Gay and Kerby Dewbre on their fun show, Rogue Talk Radio! We will even be doing a live giveaway, so if you're feeling brave, call in during the show at: 323-870-3877

Tune into the show (live or replay) by clicking this link: 

One last thing: My book is still 1/2 price!
After this weekend, the price of my book will double, so:  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Don't forget - today is LAUNCH PARTY day!

Join our launch of 8 more mystery titles in the Lei Crime Kindle World
Based on the best selling series by Toby Neal

Join the launch day party and enter to win amazing prizes! 

Grab her first book in the series free! 
Blood Orchids

***From award-winning, bestselling author Toby Neal, whose writing Kirkus Reviews calls “persistently riveting,” comes the Lei Crime Series!***

Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water—but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise.

Overcoming a past filled with scars, Lei makes a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. When a routine patrol turns up two murdered teens, Lei’s world is rocked: she knows one of the girls. Even as Lei is drawn into the case, the killer’s attention fixes on her. Despite the strain of being toyed with by a murderer, Lei’s attracted to the lead detective, Michael Stevens--but she can’t afford distractions. Amidst an enchanting backdrop of Hawaii’s black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests, a killer’s closing in on her.

                                  Mercury Blues                        Simmering Illusions                  Pay the Price
                                  A.J. Llewellyn                        Amy Allen                                 Corinne O'Flynn

                                    Paradise Dead                           Angel's Poison                             Sunflower
                                    D.B. McNicol                            Dylan Keefer                              Fiona Manning

                                                          Broken Beginnings                       Deadly Treasure
                                                          Kayla Dawn Thomas                    N Kuhn

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NEW RELEASE: "Paradise Dead" now available!

We're throwing a party on Facebook and you're invited!

Join in the fun, meet the authors, ask questions, play games and possibly win a prize from one of the authors or even the GRAND PRIZE!
You can enter to win a Kindle Fire, Hawaiian themed spa basket and gift card!!!
Authors Currently Signed Up
5:00-5:30 Amy Allen
5:30-6:00 Heather Hiestand 
7:00-7:30 Corinne O'Flynn
7:30-8:00 Dylan Keefer
8:00-8:30 DB McNicol
8:30-9:00 AJ Llewellyn 
9:00-9:30 Fiona Manning
9:30-10:00 Kayla Dawn Thomas 
10:00-10:30 Toby Neal
10:30-11:00 N Kuhn
 (Times are EDT)

Paradise Dead is now available via Amazon

Hawaii - paradise or a death trap?
Ten friends gather in Kauai to fulfill the final wish of an old friend - the scattering of his ashes.
One by one, they are beset by accidents.
Are they really accidents?
Or could something more sinister be at play?


For the first time, I'm participating in the Write...Edit...Publish (WEP) bloghop challenge. For August, the challenge is REUNIONS. Below is my entry of 760 words, NCCO (no critique, comment only please). While it may only be meaningful to us baby boomers, I hope you will still enjoy it.

On August 4th 1990, I attended my twenty-fifth high school reunion. This was my first one and I was terrified yet exhilarated. In school, I was not cute or pretty, not funny, not athletic, not artistic, not musical, not much of anything other than fairly smart. I had one close girl friend but tended to be a loner who desperately wished they were an insider. It wasn't to happen.

But fast forward twenty-five years, I was married to the love of my life, had a wonderful career and had grown into my looks. Success in life encouraged me to attend the reunion and show what I had become.

I wrote a speech, the first and last speech I would ever write. Here is what I said...

Dear Classmates,

Here I sit reflecting on the past twenty-five years. Where did it go? Twenty-five years, a quarter of a century!

We left high school with enthusiasm and high hopes. Some went to college, some to work. Some got married, some didn't.

The 60's were a radical change for some of us - free love, drugs, rock music and Vietnam. For others, time seemed to move more slowly, perhaps even standing still.

The 70's started out on the same 'HIGH' as the 60's. Make love, not war. Of course some of us were too busy with our growing families and advancing careers to notice. Others were still living day by day. But by the end of the 70's we started to notice a change, we were settling more and more into the mold set by our parents. We changed some of the angles, maybe smoothed some of the edges, but it was still the same mold of responsibility eventually accepted by all generations.

In the 80's we started to take a closer look at ourselves. Some careers were flourishing, others were dying. Some went back to school, others changed direction. Marriages came and went. We had to deal with single parenting, blended families and step-children. The world around us was changing rapidly, sometimes more rapidly than we could accept. Our children were facing a world vastly different from the one in which we had grown up in. As the 80's drew to a close we realized that we had officially passed into the world of middle-age, even though we knew in our hearts that middle aged people were really 10 years older than us!

Now here it is 1990 and we're looking at not only a new decade but the end of a century. Where will we go from here? What forces will shape our next 10 years? How will we fare in the days to come?

Well over the last 25 years I've learned one very important lesson - the value of friendship. No matter how bad things may seem, friends will help you through. Some of us are fortunate enough to be married to our best friend, others can count on family. But the friendships sustained over the years will always be of great value to us. They allow us to maintain a balance in our lives. Some of these friendships were started right here in high school. Others came later in life. Some of us had close friends but lost touch, others still remain in close contact.

So keep this thought in mind tonight - renew those friendships that have strayed, maybe start some new ones. But no matter what happens, let's have a good time and a great decade!
After I gave it, I was asked if I was in Toastmasters (no, I was not). I was asked what happened to the wallflower (she grew up). I was congratulated on the speech.

I felt longer the wallflower of years past, no longer the outsider. I had grown and blossomed, I was welcomed into the inner circle.

But I discovered that it no longer mattered...

Sunday, August 13, 2017


We're Having A New Release Party on Facebook and You're Invited!
Thursday, August 17 at 5 PM - 10 PM EDT

Authors will participate in 30 minute shifts, they will chat with you, you can ask questions, play games and even win some individual prizes from some authors. You can enter to win the GRAND PRIZE of a Kindle Fire, Hawaiian themed spa basket and gift card!

My time slot is 8:00-8:30 pm ET and I will be offering the following prizes to winners chosen randomly from all who post during my time slot.
  • $15 Amazon gift card
  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • Ebook copy of either Paradise Down or Paradise Dead
    Note: If you already have both books, you can choose either a $3 Amazon gift card or an ebook copy of either of my Klondike Mystery books.

I hope to see you there and be sure to invite all your friends!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Moving right along and what's next?

What a busy week this has been! I realize I have been very remiss in posting here.

Even worse, I haven't sent out a newsletter in a LOoong time. I hope I can get back on track soon.

So what have I been doing? Well, for one thing, I published my first fantasy middle grade short story book (a collection of seven short stories).

Fanciful characters, amazing lands, and creatures unheard of in our world! Duits, wizards, rock fairies, Numanitoonics, tree sprites are just some of the fantastical creatures that come along looking for aid from the likes of Bernie Bushkin, Nicola Nippernosh, Luca Lucknless, Piper Pendergast and others.

These seven short stories were written with the idea of creating worlds where imagination runs free. Fanciful characters, amazing lands, and creatures unheard of in our world. I hope these stories will fuel a thirst for reading and encourage young folks to be more creative.

Each story has a life lesson involved - losing a best friend, bullying, missing a parent, helping others, dealing with family and more.

I also have been working hard to finish writing the second novella in my Lei Crime Kindle World "Paradise" series, Paradise Dead. I even pulled an all-nighter this past weekend. And I got it done! It's out for final edits and will be ready for the big launch on August 17th.

If you haven't read the first book, this is a great time to do so!

So what's next? That's easy. The first draft of the third book in my Klondike Mystery Series, Almost a Touch has been sitting on the back burner. Next week I will tackle it again with the hope of getting it published before the end of September.

If you haven't read the first book, this is a great time to do so!
When Cherie Marshall catches her fiancé and best friend in a compromising position, she cancels her upcoming wedding and jumps at the chance to escape to quiet Klondike, Pennsylvania to care for her elderly aunt. She thought her biggest issue would be adapting to life in the middle of a National Forest, so very different from her upbringing in the deserts of Arizona.

But that was before she met State Trooper Fire Marshall Jamison "Jazz" Maddox at the scene of a mysterious fire. As they both become acquainted with the close-knit Klondike residents, things get complicated as Cherie and Jazz find themselves in the middle of a local crime wave where arson, kidnapping, embezzlement and a decades old murder are just the tip of the iceberg.

Monday, August 7, 2017

What am I doing? Writing...writing...writing...

I'm writing and writing and writing...trying to make an August 12th deadline for an August 17th launch party for Paradise Dead, my second novella in my Lei Crime Kindle World Trilogy. The first was Paradise Down, available in the Amazon Kindle store. If you haven't read it, now would be a good time. Honest! ;)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

#IWSG for August 2017: Perserverance

Once again, it's the first Wednesday in the month and time for a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This month I'm going to use my own prompt - continuing the saga of QUITTING & EXCITED and now on to....

I must perservere!

I managed to make it through the month of July, a very busy month. Busy with daily household things (like baking my first Blueberry Banana Bread)

and adding a new puppy! He has his own Facebook page and Instagram account. Spoiled puppy...just look at all the toys he has and he wants to play with an empty milk bottle. LOL!

But still I persevere... I have one week left to get my latest novella, "Paradise Dead", to my typo hunters. Keep your fingers crossed that I get it done!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Something for your favorite mystery author or reader!

Dead Fred Pen Holder

  • Desktop pen holder
  • A fun gift for your colleagues
  • Made from silicone rubber
  • Measures 13cm x 6.5cm x 2.5cm


Flat Stan the Coaster
  • Made from silicone rubber
  • Easily maintainable drinks coaster
  • Measures 11 x 13 x 2 cm

Part of the Dead series - also available:
Mummy Mike, Hanging Harry Light Pull and Stress Ball Paul

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Books by Indies - Great Summer Reads

Looking for something to read this summer? I have an amazing group of author friends with an even more amazing array of books. One of these friends spent quite some time assembling a list of books ranging from romance to mystery to sci-fi and even dystopian and fantasy books.

From short story anthologies to full length novels, there's bound to be something in the list that interests you. I hope you will stop by to check out her comprehensive list (and yes, I'm included).

blog post by C.A. Newsome

Friday, July 7, 2017

INTERVIEW: Tui Snider - New Book Release

Q: What possessed you to start on this project?

Writing research often takes me to historic cemeteries. I love it! But all these trips to the graveyard made me realize that us modern folks have forgotten what burial grounds are for. 

Graveyards don’t exist simply to shelter the dead. They are also meant to nurture the living. In fact, it may surprise your readers to learn that America’s garden cemeteries were our nation’s first public parks! 

During the Victorian Era, especially, families might take a picnic to a cemetery for a fun day in nature. Yes, FUN! 

Graveyards could be quite lively on a sunny day, with hunters shooting game, artists painting landscapes, and families strolling about. Some garden cemeteries even hosted public festivals and carriage races!

In recent decades, many of America’s original garden cemeteries have been placed on the historical register. More and more cemeteries across the country offer historic tours, annual festivals and events which run the gamut from jazz picnics, birding tours, costumed reenactments, performances of Shakespeare, and more. 

Also, since the shrubs and flowers planted during the Victorian Era are now a source for heritage bulbs and plantings, many burial grounds have arboretum status. In this way, America’s historic cemeteries have become living libraries!

Another thing that deepened my appreciation of historic cemeteries was understanding the meaning behind the many different symbols people used on their headstones. The meaning behind these has been forgotten over time, and that’s a shame. 

Anyway, I tried finding a concise guidebook to graveyards and cemetery symbols, one I could keep in my purse or glovebox. While there are a lot of great books out on the subject, I never found quite what I wanted. So I decided to write it myself!

My hope for Understanding Cemetery Symbols: Your Guide to Exploring Historic Graveyards is to inspire readers to get out and enjoy these living libraries for themselves! 

Q: Do you consider yourself a history buff? Or are you just interested in quirky things?

While I now consider myself a history buff, I hated the subject in school. It seemed like all we did was learn about wars and memorize battle dates. Boring!

But even as a kid, when it came time to write a history report, I managed to dig up quirky facts, like how Paul Revere was a talented silversmith who made a special collar for his beloved pet squirrel, or how Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay on farting, invented a musical instrument that made people go insane, and believed in the healing power of taking “moon baths” in the nude. 

Q: How did you research for this book?

First off, I read (and continue to read) every book on cemeteries and symbolism I can get my hands on! The research is ongoing.

The bulk of my research was offline, but I used the internet, too. For instance, the US Department of Veterans Affairs website was helpful for researching military headstones. (And I’m very grateful to them for granting me permission to use their Emblems of Belief graphics in the book.)

Visiting museums and speaking to curators, historians and other experts was helpful, too. I visited a Greek monastery, for instance, to learn about ex votos and the meaning behind the Eastern Cross. (I was left a little red-faced, however, when the first monk I spoke to simply shook his head and walked off. Turns out he had taken a vow of silence!)   

Last week, I gave a talk about Understanding Cemetery Symbols at the Southern Monument Builders Association (SMBA) conference. Wow! Was that ever a great experience. I came armed with a list of questions and they did not disappoint!

And, of course, I visit historic cemeteries every chance I get! I’ve got a research road trip coming up at the end of this month. I’ll be exploring historic graveyards, Native American burial mounds, scraped graveyards, spirit houses, and so much more along the way! (If you want to follow along, I’ll be posting photos on Twitter and Instagram as @TuiSnider as well as my FB Author Page: Author Tui Snider

Q: Will this be a series? If so, do you have any idea of how many books there will be? If not, what might be next on your agenda?

Oh, boy! While I knew that cemetery symbolism is a huge topic, it really hit home while writing Understanding Cemetery Symbols. People have been dying for a very long time, after all, and it doesn’t look like they will quit any time soon! 

Seriously though, every single chapter in this book could easily be expanded into an entire book of its own.

There’s a chapter on crosses, for instance. Sounds simple, right? But not only are there well over 300 different types of crosses, but nearly every cross goes by at least four different names, and has an extensive history behind it. Needless to say, I couldn’t include every single type of cross in Understanding Cemetery Symbols. So there’s a possible book topic, right there.

The same goes for my chapters entitled "Saints, Angels and Other Beings," "Cemetery Architecture," and "Plants, Flowers and Trees." And don’t even get me started on the chapter about "Clubs, Secret Societies & Organizations." Considering that at one time there were over 2000 active fraternal organizations in America, you can see how there's another topic that could easily grow into a book of its own!

That said, when I give presentations, audience members really love hearing about all the quirky graves I’ve seen, such as the military grave for Douglas the Confederate camel, or the alleged space alien grave in Aurora, Texas. So, while I don’t yet have a title for that one, I have enough bizarre burial stories to fill a book. That one could well be my next book, actually!

Q: How do you envision this book being used by people such as those researching their genealogy?

Good question! I really do have a mental picture of my readers - lol! While I'm sure every person will have their own way of using Understanding Cemetery Symbols, I have little daydreams of people keeping a copy in the glovebox of their car, so it’s handy for spontaneous trips to historic graveyards. I’d really love it if my book inspired people to visit graveyards in their area for the fun of it.

In fact, despite of the rather pointed epitaph I saw in Key West claiming, “If you’re reading this, you desperately need a hobby,” I think exploring cemeteries is a great hobby. For starters, it gets you out into nature and it helps you connect with history. 

You asked earlier if Understanding Cemetery Symbols was part of a series. Yes, it is! The title of the series is Messages from the Dead, because our ancestors left symbols on their headstones as messages to the living. 

So in addition to Understanding Cemetery Symbols, I have created two companion workbooks: Graveyard Journal: A Workbook for Exploring Historic Cemeteries, and Ghost Hunters Journal: A Workbook for Paranormal Investigators

Graveyard Journal is a workbook for keeping track of all the cemeteries you visit. It has room to record the details for up to 50 different burial grounds. 

Ghost Hunters Journal, on the other hand, is a place for paranormal investigators to keep track of the various experiences they have, whether they are in a haunted cemetery or elsewhere.

Even if you don’t use my companion workbooks, it’s a good idea to write down the details of your cemetery visits. Details can get fuzzy over time. You may forget which cemetery has your favorite angel statue, where the key to the graveyard gate is kept, or which farm to market road leads to your favorite country burial ground.

Q: Anything special you'd like to tell folks about this book?

I should let everyone know that I've got some crazy discounts going for a limited time. The paperback version is 1/2 off right now. It's currently only $9.99 (and will soon be $19.99). The ebook version is also deeply discounted, too. Right now, the preorder is only $2.99!

Also, if you or your readers ever share photos online from your own cemetery visits, I invite you to tag them with #TuiSnider #GraveHour and/or @TuiSnider, so that I can enjoy them and respond to you.

T U I  S N I D E R 
Amazon author page: Tui Snider
Twitter:        @TuiSnider
Facebook:   Tui.Snider

Both of my best selling travel books, Unexpected Texas 
Paranormal Texas, are available on Amazon!

A HUGE thank you to Tui for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. Remember, you can still pre-order both the ebook and print book versions of "Understanding Cemetery Symbols" at Amazon at discounted prices!