Tag Archives: Annette Dashofy

News Roundup, end of September edition


I’ve been super busy and haven’t had time for an update, but lots of friends and clients and cool people are doing newsworthy things, and since it’s mostly all book related, let’s spread the love.

Reviews are continuing to roll in on my friend Joyce Tremel’s first book in her new series, Brewing Trouble. The second book comes out in early October, so check out what our mutual friend (and amazing writer, herself) Annette Dashofy has to say over at the #30Authors event.

West of Mars friend KC May has updated her E-Book Formatting for Novelists. It’s available for free at a number of locations, including this one at InstaFreebie.

West of Mars friend Liz Milliron (among mega-cool others) has a story in a new anthology, Blood on the Bayou. Check out this glowing review — and then get a copy for yourself.

If you don’t know by now, West of Mars is located in the Pittsburgh suburbs. I’ve always loved living here (okay, not so much in high school, but how much do you really appreciate in high school anyway?). My beloved city is currently having a sort of renewal, rebirth, or has simply done stuff to be trendy and hip. I’m not sure which. But at any rate, to go with our killer new restaurants, we’ve got a brand-new bookstore: Nine Stories. I’m busy during their grand opening, but I’ll have to go on down and (find parking. Ugh. The bane of my existence; I hate being a suburban girl!) make some connections to help better the writing/reading community in the city… and beyond.

Over at The Rock of Pages this week, Jett’s coveted a few books and left an important announcement about Rocktober. Which is that I’ve been busy recovering from the bike accident (yes, still — today’s the 40-week mark and go and make all the pregnancy jokes you’d like to) and didn’t have the time or energy to hunt down authors to ask them to join in. If you know an author of Rock Fiction or read Rock Fiction, Jett and I are always glad to hand the site over for a guest blog post and/or review… or anything you can think up, so long as it joins music and fiction. At The Rock of Pages, it’s Rocktober all year round. Spread the word. Get involved.

On an editing front, I’m booked out about three weeks at this point, but there are a couple potential clients who I’ve been talking to, and I’m awaiting a major project from a client, as well. If you need an edit, better be in touch with me soon. And by soon, I mean NOW.

Also on the editing front, although a bit differently, one of my clients is debating the merits and advantages (and disadvantages) of ACX versus Audible. Leave your feedback here or at the West of Mars Facebook page. Help a fellow author — or two. You never know who is lurking and will take your advice to heart!


Susan’s Book Talk: Congratulations to my friends!


Let’s take a minute here from the fun of my eye (this is fun? Really?) and talk about books, shall we?

Well, the heck with you, because I want to, and this is my blog and website. And besides, it’s always super to talk about friends who are being recognized for putting in the hard work and releasing books that get noticed and nominated for awards.

The nominations were announced for the Agathas, given out yearly by the Malice Domestic conference. This is big stuff, folks. From the press release: Those commendations honor “traditional mysteries,” meaning “books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie as well as others.”

Not exactly small stuff, huh?

I’ll let you use that press release to see the full list of nominees, but I wanted to take a minute to congratulate in particular, my longtime real-life friend Annette Dashofy, who is going up against another longtime buddy, Hank Phillippi Ryan in the Best Contemporary Novel category. (among others, but those are the two I want to single out.)

I recognize a lot of other names, folks I’ve brushed shoulders with and had engaged in passing conversations (and that’s not the non sequitur it seems to be). Names who I’ll pick up when I am in need of a good, solid read. Rhys Bowen, for one.

And names I recognize (Laurie R King) but have yet to crack the spines of. (sorry! It’s not personal!)

In the short story category is Edith Maxwell, another writing buddy.

This is company I’m proud to keep. Why not pick up some of their books — or stories — and join the fun. Like what you read? A few words of review at GoodReads or your favorite retailer (there’s more than one!) is always appreciated.

And if you have friends elsewhere on the Agatha list, or you’re inspired to pick up a book by one of the authors on the list, let me know. I’m always glad to make a long TBR mountain range even longer.

Support those doing the hard work, pushing themselves to excellence. It lifts the entire literary community.


Featured New Story: Sweet Deadly Lies by Annette Dashofy


Yep, we’re going three for three with the Lucky Charms anthology. I don’t know about you, but I sure hope the other nine contributors weigh in.

Today’s author has been a friend of mine for probably going on ten years now (wow). Annette Dashofy is one of the coolest, most persistent women I know. A true pro author, through and through. No one’s celebrating her recent string of success more than me.

Well, other than Annette, herself.


She’s not the music lover I am, but stay tuned for the song. It is indeed an earworm!

I firmly believe in the importance of a good title. I’ve had stories rejected over and over until I changed the title. Then they were picked up immediately. After a few of those, I make a greater effort these days to get it right the first time.

For me, titles either come very easy, often before the story completely forms in my mind—or they fight me tooth-and-nail. Nothing fits. Nothing sounds right. Such was the case with the short story I wrote for my local Sisters in Crime chapter’s anthology, Lucky Charms:12 Crime Stories.

My story involved the homicide of a woman who was thought of as sweet…at least to those who didn’t really know her. My protagonist, Officer Abby Baronick, knew otherwise. The deceased loved to stir up trouble by telling lies. Lies that eventually got her killed.

I had a blast writing the story, which included Detective Wayne Baronick, Abby’s brother, who also has a part in my upcoming novel Circle of Influence (Henery Press, March 2014). But when it came time to give this story a name, I was stuck. Thankfully, I have a great bunch of critique buddies who had read it and could brainstorm ideas with me.

Keywords from that brainstorming session triggered a musical memory. An earworm. The exact song title didn’t work, but with a slight modification, “Sweet Deadly Lies” was born. Now I can’t listen to the song without changing the words in my head. “Tell me lies, tell me sweet deadly lies…”

You know you need a copy… here’s the links:
Amazon digital

Amazon print


Mystery Lovers

Barnes & Noble digital: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lucky-charms-pittsburgh-sisters-in-crime/1117388201?ean=9780991051311

Barnes & Noble print


Apple iBooks

Get to know Annette.