Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I was tagged by my friend Clare O’Donohue in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop, so I’m answering some questions on my blog today about that. Just for the record, I’ve tagged friends D.C. Brod and Teri Barnett, so watch for their posts on January 9.

Here are my answers:

What is the title of your next book? The next book is an anthology called HOOSIER HOOPS & HIJINKS which I’m co-editing with Brenda Stewart. The book is a collection of short mystery stories about Hoosier basketball. I’m also contributing a story, “Snowplowed,” which feature Charlotte and Francine, the two heroines from a story in an earlier anthology, RACING CAN BE MURDER. HOOSIER HOOPS & HIJINKS comes out in October, 2013. I’m also working on a full length novel about the two women, MURDER ON THE BUCKET LIST.

Where did the idea come from for the book? The inspiration for HOOSIER HOOPS came from Indiana’s obsession with basketball. If you’ve never heard of Hoosier Hysteria, it is a very real thing that occurs at the end of high school basketball season. As for Francine and Charlotte, I can’t reveal the continued source of inspriration about these two women and their friends, who have a wide variety of edgy bucket list items. Otherwise, I might not get fed more story ideas :-)

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? HOOSIER HOOPS & HIJINKS is being published by Blue River Publishing. I’m hoping MURDER ON THE BUCKET LIST will also be traditionally published.

What genre does your book fall under? “Snowplowed” is definitely a cozy. Most of the other stories in HOOSIER HOOPS are also on the lighter side of the mystery spectrum. MURDER ON THE BUCKET LIST is most definitely a cozy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Since Betty White is being overused, I’m thinking Carol Burnett for Charlotte and either Jane Fonda or Lily Tomlin for Francine.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? For MURDER ON THE BUCKET LIST: After a dead body falls out of a pool shed during the night a group of older ladies are trying to have a secret, bucket list-related skinny-dipping party, the ladies find they must uncover the identity of the murderer while at the same time dealing with sudden national attention celebrating their bucket list adventure.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? I have a real interest in stories that are life-affirming. My goal with the Charlotte and Francine stories are to celebrate life. I hope that readers will enjoy these stories of women who may be getting older but whose lives are getting no less richer.

What about your Nick Bertetto series? I love Nick and hope to write more stories about him and his family. The earlier books fit into my  theme of life-affirmation, and the new ones I have planned will continue in that same way. Right now I’m outlining a new trilogy of Nick books. I hope to be able to have two series going if the Francine and Charlotte book takes off.

Why the world won’t end on Friday

Whenever someone finds out my latest book, the thriller THE FINAL MAYAN PROPHECY, is about December 21, 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar on that date, they ask if it really means the end of the world.

I don’t want to talk too much about the book and give away the end because I hope you’ll read it :)  –so let me answer it in a completely different way. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular ways people are predicting the earth will be destroyed in 2012, some in conjunction with this Mayan end date:

1)      Asteroid hits earth: According to recent reports from NASA, the odds of a really big asteroid hitting the earth in the next 28 years are 1:625. That’s .0016 or .16%, or way less than a 1% chance, and that’s within 28 years.

2)      Nuclear war: The Doomsday Clock sits right now at 5 minutes to midnight. The closer the clock is to midnight, the closer the world is estimated to be to global nuclear disaster. (All of this is according to Wikipedia, not always reliable but as best as I can tell, is accurate in this case.) The latest adjustment, made on January 10, advanced the clock one minute to its present position. To me, that means nuclear war is a little more possible (1.67% more; one minute more out of 60) than it was last year, when we successfully escaped global disaster, so, rounding up, I’d go with maybe 2% as the odds for global nuclear destruction. Keep in mind, I’m no statistician.

3)      Solar flare sends us back to the Stone Age: According to a report in last month’s Christian Science Monitor, which gets this information from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, “When aimed at Earth, strong solar flares and CMEs [Coronal Mass Ejections] …  can pose a danger to astronauts and satellites in space, as well as power grids, navigation and communications systems on Earth.” Reporter Amina Khan, writing in the Los Angeles Times, quoted space weather scientist Mike Hapgood at the Rutherford  Appleton Observatory near Oxford, England about the odds of this happening,. “A recent paper (published in February in the journal Space Weather) tried to estimate the chance … and came up with a value of a 12 percent chance of it happening in the next 10 years.” It’s probably not technically correct for me to average this over ten years, but if I did, it’d be a 1.2% chance each year.

So, after looking at these scenarios, I think the odds are small that December 21, 2012 will be the end of time.

Did the Mayans think that way? My personal philosophy is always one of great hope, that even out of the worst situations, good emerges. To find out if and how I carry this through the plot of THE FINAL MAYAN PROPHECY, you’ll need to read it. I thank you if you do.\

The Final Mayan Prophecy

Premise: The ancient Mayan calendar, accurate for more than 5,000 years, comes to an end on December 21, 2012. (It’s almost here!) What did the Mayans know that we don’t?

Among the Maya, some believe the birth of the god-king Kukulcan will occur at the end of this age. When a rebel group awaiting that birth kidnaps a pregnant woman and her husband to force the prophecy, the event triggers a string of happenings that may cause it to come true.

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At Smashwords.com, you can get the ebook version for ANY e-reader you have, whether it’s an iPad, a kindle, a nook, a kobo, or whatever else.

Not sure about this e-reader stuff? Still prefer paper? It’s available in trade paperback at amazon for $9.99.

The novel was co-written with television producer Paul Skorich and is based on a screenplay we also co-authored.