Wednesday, December 30, 2015

GUILTY PLEASURES

I'm counting my blessings after signing contracts in 2015 for three more books in both of the  mystery series I am writing: Mattie Winston (as Annelise Ryan) and Mack's Bar (as Allyson K. Abbott). These are for books 4, 5, & 6 in the Mack's Bar series, and books 8, 9, & 10 in the Mattie Winston series. It amazes me how these two series have managed to continue on, growing in terms of the characters, the plots, and the number of readers and fans. I sometimes carp about having to produce two books a year, but I know how quickly a writing career can disappear--mine did for a number of years thanks to some quirks of publishing fate--so I try to keep myself looking at the positive, relishing every fun, enjoyable, (and occasionally agonizing) moment of it all.

Some personal life issues caused me to fall behind on my writing schedule three years ago and I went from someone who turned her manuscripts in a month or two ahead of time to someone who was months late. I've been slowly gaining ground in an effort to catch up and I'm happy to say that I turned in my latest (#8 in the Mattie Winston series) on time, though it was literally down to the last minute of the last day. And then I treated myself to something I haven't had in three years: two weeks of no writing. It seems like forever that I've felt guilty about letting even a day go by without writing something, so this two-week indulging of movie and TV marathons, reading marathons, and sit-around-and-do-nothing-for-a-few-hours marathons was a deliciously wicked guilty pleasure. I caught up on The Knick, The Affair, Major Crimes, and several network TV shows. I watched movies that have been on my list for a while, including The Age of Adaline, Before We Go, Terminator Genisys, The Gift, Trainwreck, and World War Z. And I read some great books including The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, Want You Dead by Peter James, and Finders Keepers by Stephen King.

But now it's over. It's time to get back to the keyboard, to touch base with my characters and see where they are. And I'm looking forward to it. I love the fictional worlds and characters I create, and I look forward to each and every visit with them. Like family members and good friends, they aren't always easy to deal with and there are times when I have to put up with them and would rather not, but all in all my life is richer because of them. And I have to confess, getting paid to spend time with them is the best guilty pleasure of all. For however long it lasts, I'm enjoying the ride.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Here is the cover art for the next book in the Mattie Winston series, STIFF COMPETITION. Mattie finds herself in double trouble when she not only has to investigate the murder of a local real estate developer who is found with an arrow through his neck, Hurley's daughter, Emily, goes missing. As a new mom, Mattie is pulled in many directions at once as she tries to balance her work and home life, not to mention her love life.

This is book #7 in the Mattie Winston series and fingers crossed ... there will be more to come with some big changes in store for Mattie!



Coming in July is IN THE DRINK, the third entry in the Mack's Bar series featuring Mackenzie Dalton, a bar owner with a neurological disorder called synesthesia that cross-wires her senses. As a result, she experiences all of her sensory input in multiple ways, giving her an edge when it comes to solving crimes. This time out she is involved in solving the twelve-year-old cold case involving the murder of the sister of one of the members of the crime-solving Capone Club that meets in her bar. Yummy drink recipes are included.

And good news: there will be more Mack's Bar books to come! I'm hard at work on #4 now: SHOTS IN THE DARK.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The first book in my new Mack's Bar series, MURDER ON THE ROCKS, written under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott, was released last week and it debuted this week at #32 on the Barnes & Noble Bestseller list for mass market paperbacks! Thank you readers!

MURDER ON THE ROCKS is a mystery featuring Milwaukee bar owner, Mackenzie "Mack" Dalton, a feisty redhead who has a neurological disorder known as synesthesia. Her disorder causes her senses to become cross-wired, something she considers a pain. But Detective Duncan Albright considers it his secret weapon when it comes to solving the murder of the woman whose body Mack finds in the alley behind the bar, a woman who just happens to have been the girlfriend of Mack's murdered father at the time of his death eight months earlier.

Not only will MURDER ON THE ROCKS give you an entertaining and unique mystery read, there are some fun drink recipes included, both in alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms. Help spread the word, and thanks again to all you readers out there.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Get ready for some exciting things to happen in Mattie's life when BOARD STIFF comes out in March 2014. And if all goes according to the plans that were discussed today, I should have some good news to report on the Mattie Winston front.  
Read more »

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The First Review for MURDER ON THE ROCKS


It's always a little nerve-wracking when you have a first title coming out, or any title for that matter. Will readers like it? Will reviewers be kind or cruel? Or worse yet, will they just ignore me? Will I become the laughing stock of the reading/writing community? That first review is key for me. If it's good , I can handle the bad, and I'm happy to say that my first review for MURDER ON THE ROCKS is a great one! It earned their highest rating. Here it is: “The first book in the Mack’s Bar Mystery series is a hit! Abbott keeps things fast and interesting, and her strong and likable heroine has a lot to deal with. Throw in a bunch of would-be crime-solving barflies, and you have the makings for a great ride.” – RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars, TOP PICK

Thursday, June 13, 2013

And We're Off....



The last of my earlier books is now proofed and formatted and up for sale as an e-book. The most recent one I've made available is SECOND SIGHT. So there are now three of my earlier novels available for the first time as e-books and two entirely new novels that are also available.



The two books on the right, NICK OF TIME and THE FACE OF DEATH, are the two new novels, both of which are being published for the first time. They are available only as e-books for now and can be found on Amazon.com, B&N.com, Kobo, Smashwords, or any other online e-tailer of books. I'm hoping to obtain some library distribution as well in the near future.
On the left are the remade covers for the three novels I wrote back in the nineties that were published by HarperCollins. I have kept the content as true to the originals as possible, though there may be some very minor differences here and there (I did do an exclamation-point-ectomy on COLD WHITE FURY.) Keep in mind when these were originally written as some of the technology that's available now makes some things in these books seem silly...for instance back then, cell phones weren't the cute, multi-purpose, smart devices they are now and most people did NOT have one.
It's fun to glance through these books and compare them to what I'm writing now. I think I've grown a lot as a writer and have improved overall, although I can also see a few bad habits that I've managed to hang onto through the years.
Anyway, the books are out there and I hope some of you will give them a read. (And if you notice any major problems with them being readable in their e-book form, please let me know.)





Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Old Books Wearing A New Dress

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am trying to reissue my earlier books (the rights to which I have had returned to  me) along with a couple of other books that I wrote but was not able to sell to a

"traditional" publisher. Reissuing the earlier published books hasn't been easy because they were written before I had a computer with 50,000 megabazillion bytes of memory and storage, back when files were saved on 5-inch floppies, the computer screen wasn't much bigger than my current phone, and the only mouse near my computer was the one my cat dragged inside from the backyard. Yes, I jumped on the personal computer bandwagon very early on and my finances kept me typing away on something that looked like it had been cobbled together in Steve Wozniak's garage for longer than I would have liked.

So what that means is that, aside from the finished books that were issued as mass market paperback originals by HarperCollins, the only copies I have of those early books is in a very old electronic form, saved on a variety of floppy disks, hard disks, CDs, and thumb drives as time and my computers progressed. They exist as collections of files written in some old word processing program, each book's chapters saved in individual files so that any one book requires the opening of some 20-30 different files. They are pre-copyedited files, so they don't match the finished products exactly, and the process of copying them from one type of storage medium to another over the years has resulted in several lost files and a few corrupted ones. And opening those files in modern-day Word software created some mystery stuff in several files that looked like a band of wild monkeys with a penchant for the wingdings font went on a typing spree.

I am painstakingly resurrecting, and in some cases recreating, those files (with some help) and trying to keep them as true to the original works as possible. Though I have to confess, I have made a few minor changes with regard to punctuation, grammar, and an occasional word change (you'd think I was getting paid by the exclamation point for Cold White Fury). And since I can't use the original cover images because of copyright issues, I am making each book a new dress to wear. I'm happy to say that I have the first two, Cold White Fury and Eyes of Night, finished and currently available as e-books. Their new dresses aren't fancy but I think they communicate the flavor of each book to some degree and I'm happy with them. I'm not sure how they would translate in print form but it's a moot point. I'm only issuing them as e-books for now since the original print versions can all be had used for prices that are too low for me to compete with. Those penny prices help me keep my ego in check.