Aug 07

Welcome to my blog

Hello!

My first book – Death is Like a Box of Chocolates – came out in September 2014, and when I started my blog, I thought I’d write every week or so about the life of a debut author. Hmm. Not so much.

Today, I’m attempting to revive that effort. I’ve learned a great deal since then – namely how to juggle many activities at once — and I’m very excited to announce that Truffled to Death, the second book in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series, came out in June!

I’ve been talking about it on a bunch of blogs, but neglected my own.

It was great fun to revisit the characters and town of West Riverdale when writing Truffled to Death!

During a recent walk, I was thinking about rules. I’m lucky to live close to one of the most beautiful places on earth — the Torrey Pines State Park.

Pedestrians take over the place on weekends, with a lot of people ignoring the “Walk on this side” signs and walking on the left/driver’s side of the road. Last week, a man was driving up the road with his windows open, admonishing every single left-side walker to move over to the right side. And it made me wonder what kind of person does that. He wasn’t a park ranger, just someone who decided that it was his job to tell fine, upstanding citizens who were enjoying a walk in their state park to follow the rules. By the way, I was walking on the right. Definitely more of a rule follower than a rebel!

Did he think they didn’t know the rules? Was he some kind of control freak? The same kind who drives the speed limit in the fast lane, with a dozen cars piling up behind them, because “These are the rules and I’m going to make sure all of you follow them” kind of people?

Of course, I put on my writing brain and thought that he had to be a character in a future book! He would have to work against Michelle and Erica because any amateur sleuth worth their salt is a rule-breaker at heart.

Michelle and Erica, and a few other characters, break a lot of “rules” in Truffled to Death when they take on international art traffickers and more. Here’s the cover copy: two best friends sell books and bonbons—and solve crimes—in this mystery from the author of Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates…

Hoping to sweeten sales for their shop, Chocolates and Chapters, Michelle and Erica host a reception highlighting a new museum display of ancient Mayan pottery curated by Erica’s former mentor, Professor Addison Moody. The evening has a few hiccups, but the ladies soon smooth things over with ample servings of wine and chocolate.

Yet with the sweet comes the bitter. The very next day, the antiquities from the reception are discovered missing. The professor accuses Erica of having sticky fingers, claiming she wants revenge on him. And she’s only in more trouble after he’s found stabbed to death with one of the artifacts. Now Michelle must help Erica track down the real killer before someone else finds themselves in less than mint condition…

Truffled to Death is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and pretty much anywhere books are sold. Mysterious Galaxy has signed copies!

Aug 11

This is my first blog post ever

WELCOME to my first blog post ever!!

I’m Kathy Aarons, author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, first in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series, by Berkley Prime Crime, which will be out on September 2, 2014.

I typed that very calmly, but in my head I’m thinking, “OUT ON SEPTEMBER SECOND! MY FIRST BOOK EVER!”

(Deep breaths.) It’s very exciting.

Since authors are supposed to have blogs, this one is mine, and this first posting will be all about me, which is my favorite thing to talk about besides my kids and my husband.

But back to me. I’ve been writing for a long time and once my oldest daughter went off to college, I decided to get serious about the whole publishing thing, and prove that I wasn’t writing just to avoid housekeeping. (But that was, and continues to be, the main reason.)

I signed on with the amazing Jessica Faust, super-agent with BookEnds LLC, and in about a minute, she got me a book deal with Berkley Prime Crime. She’s that good.

And then I had to learn how to write a book in a year. My first book, which is what convinced Jessica to sign me, took 17 years. I’m kidding. 10 years. Really, 7 years on and off. Mostly off. I was the queen of volunteering including: PTA president, education foundation fundraiser, youth theater costume chair, puppet making business assistant, basketball, swimming and soccer mom, room parent, and all around “crazy mom.”

Now that I have actual deadlines that I always, always meet (don’t show this to my editor), the only volunteering I do is helping with the Canyon Crest Academy Writers Conference, the only free writing conference for high school students in the country. It’s a truly amazing day full of writing workshops by wonderful authors and other writing professionals and students who love writing so much they spend a whole Saturday inside. (Go ahead and Google it to see articles from previous years.)

Oh wait. I just joined the board of Playwrights Project, an awesome non-profit with the mission to advance literacy, creativity, and communication by empowering individuals to voice their stories through playwriting programs and theatre productions. A truly amazing organization. http://playwrightsproject.org/

Anyway, I did it! I finished Death is Like a Box of Chocolates in one year. My wonderful editor, Robin Barletta, helped to make it a heck of a lot better. I learned a ton about the publishing industry. I’ve been around a lot of published authors for years and thought I knew what to expect, but each milestone was thrilling. Signing a contract! Attending the Berkley dinner at the Malice conference and sitting across the table from THE Carolyn Hart! Seeing my cover art – OMG! Reading galleys – my book is so pretty!

Did I mention it’s coming out soon?

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