Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Three's A Crowd, my first mystery, will be available on Kindle for FREE! Tell your maw, tell your paw, tell everyone down in Arkansaw. In other words, I hope you will spread the word. This is very helpful to someone who is trying to break into a new genre. Thanks. Mary
Posted by Mary Simonsen at 8:48 AM
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
In Jeremy Paxman’s The English, A Portrait of aPeople, the author attempts to establish a national identity for the English, not British, people. With their Celtic roots, he argues that the Welsh and Scots have a strong “national” identity. The Welsh have managed to hold on to their language and their songs while the Scots have their bagpipes, Parliament, legal system, and field their own football teams in World Cup competitions. So what about the English?
Paxman traces the history of the British stereotype, beginning with the obese, meat-eating, ale-drinking John Bull in the 18th Century followed by the stiff-upper-lipped Englishman of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The latter stereotype is the result of the British public (private in the U.S.) school system in which boys are treated badly as a matter of course, made to eat vile or tasteless food, and are expected to just “take it.” Their training served them well in the two world wars. But what about their 21st century identity? That is the essence of the book.
For 266 pages, Paxman wanders the country in search of a national identity for the English, and in some cases, with amusing results. An editor and uber patriot, Roy Faiers, contends that you don’t have “to be English to be English.” “The actor James Stewart was an American, but he has Englishness.” By the time you get to the end of the book, you still have no sense of who a late 20th-Century Englishman is (other than he loves football and prefers lager). But in a country as ethnically diverse as England, is it even possible?
In the U.S., I have lived in the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, Southwest, and Texas (which is its own region). In Arizona, many of my friends are from the Midwest—refugees from the region's harsh winters. I can tell you that, like the English, it is difficult to say what a typical American is like. There are generalities: we are very patriotic and more religious than most Western nations, but you only have to look at our politics to see the great divide.
Although I enjoyed Paxman’s book, I was looking for something to hold on to—a Eureka moment where Paxman would reveal the true Englishman, but it never came. And so I ambled along. Because it was written 14 years ago, it is dated. But even in 1998, Paxman came up with very little to show for his efforts to find an English persona. I would think his task would be impossible today.
Friday, August 10, 2012
There are two giveaways going on for my mystery, Three's A Crowd. Maria Grazia is hosting the giveaway of two Kindle e-books on her blog Fly High that ends on August 15. Your chances of winning are excellent!
I am hosting a giveaway of a paperback copy of Three's A Crowd on Goodreads that will end on August 17. I have received nine four or five-star reviews which thrills me to no end because this is my first mystery.
If you can't wait, and who could blame you, the e-book is available on Amazon for .99. Here's a summary:
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Yesterday was a big day for me. On Kindle, my first mystery, Three's A Crowd, could be downloaded for free. Why would I just give my book away? Mostly because few people knew that, in addition to my Jane Austen re-imaginings, I am also a mystery writer. (I can say that now!) It was the only way I had to get the word out. So after posting a notice on Facebook, I crossed my fingers hoping my friends would help me out. And, boy, did they! Three's A Crowd landed in Kindle's Top 50 for mysteries and Top Ten for Police Procedurals for free Kindles on 8/1/12. I've already seen a boost in sales. Most importantly, I was able to let my friends in the UK know that I have written a British Police Procedural!
As a way of thanking all you lovely people, I am giving away two paperback copies of Three's A Crowd. All you have to do is leave a comment here on my blog (with e-mail address please) or on Facebook or send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Hugs to all!
Posted by Mary Simonsen at 9:26 AM
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Today my mystery, Three's A Crowd, is available for FREE on Kindle. I hope you will download it and meet my character, Detective Sergeant Patrick Shea of Scotland Yard. Even if you don't like mysteries, you can still download it and share it with a friend. I would appreciate it so much, especially if you share its release with your friends. Here's the blurb from the back jacket:
In Three’s A Crowd, we are introduced to Patrick Shea, a young detective sergeant with the Hampden Criminal Investigation Department, whose career is being fast-tracked by the Metropolitan Police in London. With an eye to an appointment with a murder investigation team at New Scotland Yard, Shea is doing everything by the book. Unfortunately, his love life is a bit of a mess and gets messier when he learns his former lover, Annie Jameson, has been assaulted on someone else’s patch. Will Shea’s involvement in the under-the-radar investigation of his ex-girlfriend put his career in jeopardy and possibly her life as well?
If you are a fan of the television series Law & Order UK, you will enjoy Three’s A Crowd. This novella is the first in the Patrick Shea Mystery Series.
Thanks to everyone for their support! Mary