Jenn McKinlay's News #22
January 5, 2017Book News: ASSAULT AND BERET the final London Hat Shop Mystery hit the shelves this week on January 3rd! Set in Paris in the art world, this was one of my very favorite mysteries to write. When Viv and Scarlett agree to teach a hat making class in Paris, it is more than just a jaunt to the City of Light. They are there to find a man, and not just any man. Rather, they are looking for corn-fed Iowa insurance agent, William Graham, who Viv got hitched to on a spur of the moment elopement to Gretna Green. Scarlett spends her days tracking the errant groom, but when she finds him, she finds a whole heap of trouble to go with him.
Viv’s description of Will as an insurance man does not really do the ruggedly handsome man justice. He is an insurance investigator who works with the priceless pieces of art that reside in the museums and galleries of Paris. When a small Renoir landscape turns up in a French junk shop for next to nothing, Will has to trace its provenance, which leads him back to the suspicious death of the original owner, her avaricious family, the museum to which it was bequeathed, the owner of the shop, and the collector who will stop at nothing to own the piece. When Will goes missing, Viv feels a moral imperative to find the man who is technically her husband. Scarlett agrees. The only way Viv can annul the marriage is to find her husband. Unfortunately, the people who want Will to stay missing will stop at nothing to keep it so, including murder. It’s up to the two milliners to find the missing man before he investigates his final claim.
More books will be coming out later in 2017 with CARAMEL CRUSH in April, ABOUT A DOG in May, BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE in September, and DEATH IN THE STACKS in November.
Other News: BIG news! This year I will be joining the award winning, bestselling, smart, kind, and funny ladies at Jungle Red Writers! (This is the equivalent of being invited to sit at the cool kids table at lunch - LOL). A wonderful blog about writing and life, there is something new every single day. Be sure to stop by and meet my new friends: Deborah Crombie, Hallie Ephron, Rhys Bowen, Lucy Burette, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Ingrid Thoft. Check it out: www.jungleredwriters.com
Contests: If you follow me on Facebook (JennMcKinlayAuthor), you’ll find the Wednesday Giveaway is in full swing with all sorts of goodies that I’ve collected, including berets, pens, pads, bookmarks, measuring spoons, tote bags, and copies of my books! Yay! I do love free stuff!
What’s on my mind? Change.
We have a love hate relationship, because while I love the idea of making changes, you know, like starting a new job, moving to a new house, etc., I am usually stopped short by the fact that I am the laziest person whoever lived and big change generally requires work and commitment. Bleh.
Seriously, I am a “can you start my orange for me” sort of person. The thought of cleaning my closets causes me to nap. The idea of moving the living room furniture for a new layout, while awesome in my mind, makes my back spasm and that’s before I actually, you know, move anything.
The crazy thing is that I love change. I love trying new things, like food, hairdos, authors, even driving different routes to the same destination just to mix it up a little. Big change, however, makes me feel twitchy and causes me to instinctively pull the covers up over my head until it goes away.
Life, however, doesn’t really give a rip if you like change or not. If you’re a player in this game, it is a given that at one roll of the dice or another you are going to be required to suffer through some change, big or small, by choice or circumstance, like it or not.
For me, the past year brought on new adventures, significant losses, and big changes. For example, my hooligans both grew taller than me. I’m six feet tall so that’s no small feat. (Get it? Feet? Feat? Sorry! The pun ran away before I could step on it. Ha!) One started high school and is learning to drive while the other headed off on a school trip far away, on his own, without any of us with him. Weird!
The hooligans embraced these changes. I did not. I took all of my shock (where did my babies go?) and angst and channeled it into writing a book in a brand new genre. I hadn’t been looking to do anything new, but I needed to do something completely different to exorcise all of my anxious mama pangs and so I did.
Subsequently, a romantic-comedy called ABOUT A DOG, which comes out in May, was written in exactly one month. Yes, I wrote 450 pages in thirty one days. I don’t think I’ll ever achieve that sort of output ever again in this life. Looking back, I was in a bit of crazy place, my family ate a lot of takeout food while I was consumed with the book, but in the end when the book was finished I had leveled out. I had taken on a new challenge, operated out of my comfort zone, and embraced doing something new and different. So, instead of just enjoying the idea of change in my head, I had actually implemented it – and I didn’t have back spasms or take a nap!
So, now I’m looking at the furniture in my living room and thinking it’s time to do some rearranging, because after cranking out that book, I realized that the best way to deal with life’s inevitable changes is to find a way to make them work for you, so that’s exactly what I plan to do.
Wishing you the very happiest of new years and hoping that all the changes that come your way are good ones!