Friday, August 31, 2012

A new-to-you cozy mystery by ... yours truly

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

#2What do you do with a perfectly good manuscript that's sitting on the shelf?

These days, you publish it, and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

The problem?  Way back in the day (we're talking 2004), I sent the 2nd Jeff Resnick book (Room At the Inn) to my agent.  She read the first three chapters and told me, "I won't represent this.  It's a cozy."  Pity she didn't read the rest of the book. It does have a cozy setting (a country inn in Stowe, Vermont), but it's still a Jeff Resnick book, and that means it's a tad gritter than my Booktown or Victoria Square books.

Woman writingShe went on to say, "Write another book.  You have lots of ideas."  The problem was, I was working full time, I was running my own little business, and I didn't have lots of ideas or time.  I started the book and then lost my job, which did give me the time to write and finish it (in record time, I might add). I decided to set Dead In Red three months after the first book (where the original second book happened six months after the first), and I borrowed elements from that book and incorporated them into Dead In Red. I will admit, Dead in Red is a lot grittier and violent than Room At The Inn, but man, both have exciting endings.

I finished Dead in Red, was in the midst of polishing it, when I got a note from my agent. "Surprise! I'm retiring!"  And she did. I had no representation, and that was it.  I was not a happy camper.  I felt abandoned, and I'm sure I could have sold that original book to Five Star (where the first one ended up) without a blink of an eye.

Read meSo, Room At The Inn has been sitting on a shelf for the past eight years, gathering dust.  The problem was ... I'd already finished the first four books when I wrote Dead in Red. I hadn't figured out how to remedy the stolen storylines. But ... now I have.

Despite the fact I did not then see the book published, I decided NOT to remove references to it in Cheated By Death and Bound By Suggestion.  I figured Room At The Inn was a part of Jeff's history and in my heart of hearts I knew that somewhere down the line I'd figure out a way to get that story out there.

And so, I've spent the past month getting the book ready for publication.  I got a copy edit, I got a new cover and, most importantly, I changed the plot points that were borrowed for Dead In Red.  The results?  I'm quite happy with them.

Room At The Inn is officially slated to be published on September 10th.  To read more about it, click this link.

Although you cannot pre-order it, Room At The Inn will be available on Monday September 10th for all e formats (although Sony and iTunes might be a bit slow listing it--those of you with those readers can always download it from Smashwords), and as a trade paperback from Amazon (and eventually from Barnes & Noble, and any other bookstore on the planet).

Do you think you'd be interested?

P.S.  Another Cozy Chick has a new book debuting on September 10th.  It's MURDER BEGINS AT HOME, a Gertie Johnson Backwoods Mystery by Deb Baker.  (It'll be available as an ebook.)  Watch these pages for more information on Murder Begins At Home.