Chihuahua of the Baskervilles: Librarian review, Facebook ad

Allbritten’s debut mystery offers a good mystery, a terrific team of sleuths, ghost stories, and a number of possibilities for future locations. I can’t vote, but half-way through 2011, Chihuahua of the Baskervilles would be one of my nominees for the Agatha for Best First Mystery.

That’s from a wonderful review by Lesa Holstine, of Lesa’s Book Critiques. Lesa has been a library administrator and manager for 30 years. She’s  a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, and various websites, and was also winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. So this is kind of a big deal. My eyes got a little prickly feeling when I read her review.

She also sent me a list of great interview questions, and the results will be on her site tomorrow.

In other news, I’m picking my parents up from the airport today. They often visit, and are timing this one so they can attend my first book signing. Of course, this meant that I woke up from a dream this morning where I lost track of time and looked at my watch to realize I was supposed to be at the airport five minutes ago.

Ten of my author copies came yesterday. I’ve never understood why they arrive in dribs and drabs like that (I’m due another ten). I got one all on its lonesome a while back, but immediately gave it to a well-connected friend at her birthday party, so it’s nice to have one to fondle again.

Still have three blog posts to write. — Wait, maybe four. I’ve discovered that it’s a good idea to keep checking back with people to make sure they still have you on the schedule. Also gotta make a bunch of glow soap for the signing, and also to mail to various people as thank-you gifts and for general promo.

I whipped up a Facebook ad last night. 

Am having it click through to my website (with excerpt, reviews, etc.) rather than straight to a sales page on Amazon or whatever. Don’t know if that’s a good idea or not, and of course, it’s impossible to track actual sales when you’re not working with your own sales site. If you’re wondering about the headline, Chihuahua of the Baskervilles was too long to fit, so Chihuahua of Doom is what I came up with. I went back and forth on the all-capped Doom, but in the end decided it was funnier. I’m running a week-long test.


Chihuahua of the Baskervilles hits the shelves!

It’s here, the day you had no idea you were waiting for — Tuesday! Ah, but a Tuesday different from all others, because you can finally get Chihuahua of the Baskervilles in either hardback or ebook. (Yes, ebook! You could be reading it right now, instead of this parenthetical comment!) Links to your favorite sellers are in the sidebar, top right.

I had some extra excitement this morning in the form of a short radio interview with Tron Simpson of the popular morning radio show, “Tron in the Morning.” Super nice guy. I requested anything by Aretha Franklin.

Also today, if you’d like an extra-special (aka “tiny”) bonus scene from the lives of Angus, Suki and Michael, come over to the Killer Characters blog, where I am answering any and all questions, many with the same answer. (“I don’t know.”)

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. We watched the Folsom Field fireworks from our super-secret parking lot, which was enlivened by a guy who had smoked a great deal of pot (“This is just like when I was sucked up into the cosmos as an enormous ball of light! I was pure love!”).

Happy Tuesday!


Village Voice trashes my book without reading even the back cover blurb.

Ah, Google Alerts. They let me know when people are talking about me, and this time, it’s a doozy.

James Hannaham, author of God Says No and apparently a professional angry person, put together a vitriolic little paragraph entitled “Dumb Dog Books” at the end of the May 25 book page in the Village Voice newspaper. Here’s what he had to say about mine:

Chihuahua of the Baskervilles claims to be the first novel in a moronic series about a ghost pup…

Um, no. That’s like saying Mark Twain wrote river-rafting stories. The Tripping Magazine series is about a cut-rate travel magazine that covers destinations of supposedly supernatural interest (I use that qualifier a lot in my promo text). The canine apparition appears in this one book only. The book’s title references a rather  well-known story where the ghost dog turns out not to be a real ghost. So, yeah… I’m thinking he got his idea strictly from the cover. (Isn’t there some kind of saying about that?)

Since he has a website with his contact info on it, I was able to send him an email, in which I noted,

Based on your cover, I’m guessing God Says No is about the wacky things someone finds in a U-Store-It unit, but I wouldn’t write that in a newspaper without making sure.

Here’s a link to the original Village Voice article (the pertinent paragraph is the last one, and the link takes you directly to page two).

Don’t go on any rampages on my behalf, but do make a mental note that you can’t believe everything you read. And hey, I got mentioned in the Village Voice!

Chihuahua of the Baskervilles excerpt

Simultaneous ebook release for Chihuahua of the Baskervilles!

This is exciting! I just got on and saw that Chihuahua of the Baskervilles will be released simultaneously in hardback and ebook versions (Kindle and Nook)! The price for both platforms is $10.99. If you’ve pre-ordered the hardback and would prefer the ebook version, I think you can log onto your online bookstore account and cancel the hardback order. The ebook version has a pre-order option as well. Don’t hesitate to buy the the lower-priced ebook on my account. I get a bigger percentage of those sales. 🙂

New review of Chihuahua of the Baskervilles

Nikki of Obsessive Chihuahua Disorder wrote a review on the advance review copy I sent her. Gotta love a reviewer who includes photos.

Chihuahua of the Baskervilles kept my attention from the very beginning to the very end. I couldn’t wait to get back to reading each time I had to put down the book because it was time for dinner, time to go to work, time to go to class, etc. I couldn’t wait to find out who was behind all the strange activities going on in the Baskerville’s house.

Read full review here.

First review from the trade pubs: Kirkus on Chi of B

Review Date: May 15, 2011

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Pages: 288

Price ( Hardcover ): $23.99

Publication Date: July 5, 2011

ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-312-56915-0

Category: Fiction

Classification: Mystery

A magazine staff investigates a ghost dog’s appearance in a quirky Colorado town.

Beleaguered Scotsman Angus MacGregor is sent to resuscitate Tripping magazine (about ghosts, not drugs) with a fanciful story of a ghost dog. Charlotte Baskerville, the owner and operator of the niche shop Petey’s Closet, “Where the Well-Dressed Pooch Shops,” has seen the clothing catalog’s namesake wandering her home’s grounds at night, a year after Petey’s death. Charlotte’s sourpuss husband Thomas insists that her story is further grounds for having the poor old dear declared incompetent, though a skeptic might suspect he’s more concerned for her money than her mind. With bold photographer Suki Oota and cynical writer Michael Abernathy in tow, Angus visits the Baskerville home determined to write the story, whether or not the ghost is real. The Tripping team quickly becomes integrated into the quirky Baskerville household, from fame-hungry Russian dog trainer Ivan Blotski to Charlotte’s own granddaughter and recovering alcoholic Cheri to bizarrely optimistic neighbor Bob Hume, who’s obsessed with acai berries. Charlotte’s living Chihuahuas, Lila and Chum, play non-speaking, emotionally supportive roles for the old girl while Angus and his mates investigate in order to assuage her concerns over Petey’s message from the beyond. The mystery takes a backseat to tensions among the characters, all culminating at the town’s annual coffin race festival.

Allbritten (Bound to Love Her, 2008, etc., as Esri Rose) tells a light and engaging tale with charming characters that will appeal to those outside of both mystery and canine genres.

Obsessive Chihuahua Disorder

Nikki, of the fantastic site, Obsessive Chihuahua Disorder, is in the process of reading an advance copy of Chihuahua of the Baskervilles.

(Bebe is my fave of Nikki’s Chis, btw. She’s the little mite who is second from the left in the photo below. To give you an idea of how wee she is, Monte (second from right) weighs three and a half pounds. Bebe is the dog equivalent of a sparkling fairy pony or a shoulder dragon with tiny flapping wings.

I have to mention some coincidences between Nikki and the book. Suki is Tripping Magazine‘s staff photographer. She’s half-Japanese. Nikki is also half-Japanese and a photographer. And their names both end in ‘i.’ There will be one more coincidence at the end of the second book, Portrait of Doreene Gray. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Oh, and if you’d like to join a super-fun Facebook group for Chihuahua lovers, join Nikki’s. I’m on there all the time, cooing over photos of Bebe.