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.


Joke: The trial of the three huts.

I was just saying to my parents that I haven’t heard a good joke in a while. Here is one of my best ones. Gimme yours.

An explorer gets lost in Africa and is captured by hostile natives. He’s taken before the chief, who says, “You were caught trespassing on sacred burial grounds. We can kill you immediately, or you can attempt the trial of the three huts.”

“What’s the trial of the three huts?” the explorer asks.

“In the first hut is a giant boa constrictor. You must tie the snake into a knot so it can’t kill you. In the second hut is a huge lion with a toothache. You must pull the tooth and leave him purring like a kitten. And in the third hut is the mighty Gullenda, a warrior woman who has never been sexually satisfied. If you can sate her incredible sexual appetite after completing the tasks in the first two huts, we will deliver you back to your people, a free man.”

The explorer doesn’t hesitate. “I’ll take the trial of the three huts.”

“You’re a brave man,” says the chief. The tribe trots the explorer through the jungle to a clearing, where three huts stand, and they shove him into the first hut, which is festooned with giant empty snakeskins.

The natives wait outside and listen to groaning and shrieks from the man, and the occasional angry hissing. Finally everything is quiet. They go to the hut, expecting the explorer to be dead, but as they reach the door he staggers out, coated with sweat and grime. They look inside the hut and find the giant snake tied into a knot like a pretzel, completely helpless.

“You have survived the first trial!” They take a moment to cheer him, then push him into the second hut. The noise is much worse. The man’s agonized screams are interspersed with roaring and snarling from the lion, and the sides of the hut bulge as things crash against it from inside. Finally everything is still. They tiptoe toward the entrance, expecting to peek inside and find the lion eating the explorer, but as they reach the door he staggers out, his clothes in strips, claw marks all over him. They look inside the hut. The enormous lion is relaxing inside, purring like a kitten.

The tribe cheers like maniacs. “No one has survived the second trial!”

The explorer, looking a little disoriented, raises his shaking arms over his head in triumph. “All right! Now where’s that warrior woman with a toothache?”