Countdown to The Carolina Emerald Book Launch: T Minus 8 Days

This is launch control for The Carolina Emerald Book Launch. We are currently at T minus 8 days and holding. All research stations please stand by to give status report when called.

Fashion?

Fashion is holding for correct answer to this True/False Question:

Truly fashionable women wear gemstones made of car paint.

Click here for answer.

Countdown to The Carolina Emerald Book Launch

May 1 is almost here! Are you ready to read The Carolina Emerald, the third book in the Jeweler’s Gemstone Mystery Series? If so, please join me here for the Countdown Party.

Starting April 22– ten days before The Carolina Emerald is published — you’ll find countdown games, insider information and scenes from The Carolina Emerald. Each day brings a fun, new festivity. Join me in Launch Control to ready all stations for blast off.

 

Countdown to The Carolina Emerald Book Launch: T Minus 10 Days

This is launch control for The Carolina Emerald Book Launch. We are currently at T minus 10 days and holding. All research stations please stand by to give status report when called.

Diamond?

Diamond is holding for correct answer to this True/False Question:

After killing your husband, you can hide the body by turning it into a diamond.

Click here for answer.

 

 

                                                                                                  

                                                                             

The Carolina Emerald is Coming May 1, 2017!

 

A college friend’s engagement gives Kimberley West the rare opportunity to dig in a private emerald mine.  The fun weekend, however, quickly deteriorates when the friends stumble onto a plot fueled by revenge and greed.  Events escalate and soon the sheriff pursues one of their group as a prime suspect.

In true Indiana Jones fashion, Kim and her sidekick poodle uncover buried treasure – and trouble.

The Carolina Emerald is the third book in the Jeweler’s Gemstone Mystery Series.  Readers say they’ve fallen in love with the heart-warming cast of characters, savored the interwoven gemstone legends and lore and laughed at the antics of two precocious dogs.

Do you like fast-paced mysteries featuring a resourceful amateur sleuth and filled with unexpected twists, a touch of romance and fun?  If so, please join The Diamond Digest to learn more about The Carolina Emerald becomes available.  To join, please click here.

Party Time!

Have you ever wanted to see your name appear in a book?  Well, now’s your opportunity.

To celebrate The Pirate’s Ruby, the second book in the Jeweler’s Gemstone Mystery Series, Dickinson Jewelers is holding a cocktail party at their Dunkirk, Maryland store — and the winner of one of their evening drawings will name a character in the next Kimberley West mystery.

If you’ve ever attended one of the Dickinsons’ events, you’ll know they put on a fun, high-class party.  This one features a drool-worthy display of rubies.

The party for The Pirate's Ruby features a display case of drool-worthy rubies.

The party for The Pirate’s Ruby features a display case of drool-worthy rubies.

There will be drawings for a number of great prizes, good food and lots of laughter.  I’ll be giving a talk/reading and, afterwards, signing bookmarks and booklets.

The display features a treasure chest just like the one in The Pirate's Ruby.

The display features a treasure chest just like the one in The Pirate’s Ruby.

If you haven’t been to one of the Dickinsons’ parties, please consider coming to this one.  I promise you’ll enjoy yourself.

The party will be held on Thursday, June 26 at 7 p.m.  The Dunkirk Dickinson Jewelers store is located at 10286 Southern Maryland Blvd (Rt. 4), Dunkirk, Maryland 20754.  You’ll find the store in the Safeway shopping center.

The event is free, but please rsvp to alison@dickinsonjewelers.com

 

Scenes from The Pirate’s Ruby, the latest Jeweler’s Gemstone Mystery

What danger lurks in Pirate’s Cove?

The Pirate's Ruby, Lynn Franklin, Dog Mystery, Cozy Mystery

People often ask me where I get ideas for my cozy mystery books.  So I thought I’d do a series of posts show inspirations for The Pirate’s Ruby.  Above is a winter photo of one of the cliffs located along the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County, Maryland.  This location became the inspiration for Pirate’s Cove.  The following is a brief quote from the book.

Kim trotted up the path that led to the parking lot, looking for a place to climb onto the cliff top.

Danger in Pirate's Cove, dog mystery, Lynn Franklin, The Pirate's Ruby, Cozy mysteryAlong the way, signs warned visitors to stay off the cliff.  The sandy soil was steadily eroding.   With each rain, the cliff edge grew more unstable as pieces dropped to the beach below.  Trees like the leaning one Liz had hidden behind could tumble loose at any time.

The Pirate's Ruby, Lynn Franklin, Dog Mystery, Cozy MysteryFinally, Kim spotted a winding path leading up.  Beside it, two bicycles laid on their sides.

Childhood Dreams and The Pirate’s Ruby

Lynn Franklin, The Pirate's Ruby, Cozy Mystery, Jeweler's Granddaughter Mystery

Back in second grade when I was penning my first “books,” my vision of publishing went something like this:  I’d awake full of creative energy and climb the stairs to my writing room — a high tower featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and magnificent views of a sunny shoreline or sparkling fields or majestic trees.  Note the excessive use of adjectives in that sentence; at seven years old, “creative” meant using as many adjectives as possible.  Ahem.

Once settled in my room with the inspirational view, I’d write feverishly until the story came to its happy ending.  Then I’d send the manuscript to my editor, who’d not change a single word.  And within a couple of months, I’d hold my bestselling novel in my hands.

The reality, of course, is far from childhood expectations.  I never built that writing tower, though I do write in a room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a view of the tree tops.  And, yes, the view does inspire.  But it also distracts.  I mean, how can you concentrate when someone is staring at you?

Lynn Franklin, The Pirate's Ruby, Cozy Mystery, Jeweler's Granddaughter Mystery

More reality:  It takes years to write and re-write a quality novel, one that moves so seamlessly that readers tune out the world around them and become immersed in the story.  At some point in this writing process, the author loses her perspective and must rely on trusted first readers and editors to point out areas that require smoothing.  That mystical editor, the one who doesn’t change a single word, not only doesn’t exist; she’d be useless if she did.

But some childhood dreams really do come true.  The joy of writing that last sentence, the one that ties the book together and makes the reader happy she spent valuable time immersed in the world I created, remains the same.  Meeting and talking to readers always delights.  And the friends I make along the way can never be replaced.

Friends like Leanne “when’s the next book” Githens, seen below helping me send manuscript forms of The Pirate’s Ruby to my first readers and editors.

And unnamed allies, like Mr. UPS Man:

Maybe, in the end, childhood dreams aren’t so unrealistic after all.

What about you?  Did you have childhood dreams or expectations that turned out differently but pretty darn good?  If so, please share them; I love to hear from you!

 

Judy Garland Would So Not Be Impressed

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m writing frantically to complete The Pirate’s Ruby, the second in the jeweler’s granddaughter cozy mystery series.  A few weeks ago, select patrons of JT’s Kitchen had a sneak preview of the book.

JT’s Kitchen is one of Calvert County’s newest restaurants and if you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a treat.  The family-owned business specializes in comfort food and making you feel like you’ve gone over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house.

Munching on fried whiting, macaroni and cheese and apple crisp is always delightful; premiering a new book was a bit more nerve-wracking.  New restaurant, new patrons, new book… Eeek!

To make things even scarier, er,  more interesting, my talk and reading inaugurated JT’s author/artist program.  Periodically, the folks at JT’s plan to host readings and talks given by local talent.

Fortunately, the comfortable atmosphere invited casual conversation.  I do casual really well.

The Pirate's Ruby, Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz, Lynn Franklin, Jeweler's Granddaughter Mystery

The lovely fruit and snacks tray and endless iced tea helped, too.

I’m a firm believer that author readings should properly represent the tone and character of the book.  As an avid reader, I feel betrayed when I purchase a book expecting light mystery only to encounter Hannibal Lector.

Despite the fact that, at the age of nine, I titled my first mystery “Bloody Murder,” my stories never show graphic violence.  I’m more interested in the way my characters relate to one another and in giving the reader a fair chance at solving the mystery.  I also love to weave interesting history and lore into stories and adding a bit of humor.  Books that provide a fun way to learn new things have always been among my favorite.

In researching The Pirate’s Ruby, for example, I discovered the origins of Dorothy’s ruby slippers.   When you first saw The Wizard of Oz, did you wonder if Judy Garland’s shoes were made of real rubies?

Turns out that King Thibaw, a late 19th-Century Burmese king, wore slippers that were, indeed, encrusted with real rubies.  At the time, Burma (now Myanmar) was the ruby mining capital and Thibaw got a bit greedy.  He ordered his craftsmen to stick rubies to everything – crowns, robes, ceremonial daggers, so why not shoes?  And, generous man that he was, he had a lesser pair made for his queen.

I gotta say here that neither Thibaw’s nor his queen’s shoes were as impressive as Dorothy’s, at least not in the one photo I could find.  Thibaw’s slippers had a genie-like curl to the toes.  Raw-cut, polished rubies dotted the shoes, but the stones didn’t sparkle as much as the sequins that decorated the movie shoes.  The queen’s shoes were even more ho-hum, basically flip-flops with rubies clued to the sides of the soles.

I’m not sure I’d want to wear rubies on my feet – even Judy Garland found the shoes uncomfortable – but the legends and lore surrounding rubies make a good foundation for a mystery.  And I’m excited to report that at my reading, the audience at JT’s Kitchen laughed at all the right moments and clamored to read The Pirate’s Ruby right now.

Soon.  I promise to release it very soon.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of my new friends.

First up, Sheldon (left) and Frank Taylor, owners of JT’s Kitchen.  They named the restaurant after Frank’s father.  And I got to pose between two handsome men!

JT's Kitchen, The Pirate's Ruby, Lynn Franklin, Jeweler's Granddaughter Mystery, Cozy Mystery

Below are Barbara Bishop (in white) and Dorisa Jones (with the big smile).

More fun ladies, below, left to right:  Joyce Freeland, Carolyn Jones, Ruth Reid.

Even though she’s a lovely lady, it took some coaxing to convince photographer Linda Ward, below, to step in front of the camera.

Judy Garland, Lynn Franklin, The Pirate's Ruby, Jeweler's Granddaughter Mystery

Unfortunately, Phyllis Lester, the sweetheart who organized this event, managed to escape Joan Rose, my intrepid photographer. So here’s a thank you to Phyllis and the wonderful folks at JT’s Kitchen for inviting me into their family.

Return to Osprey Beach

Blogs routinely contain posts from the author apologizing for disappearing for a few months.  I’m going to break with tradition and not apologize or offer excuses.  Though this blog has been idle, you all have been in my thoughts as I’ve scrambled to complete The Pirate’s Ruby, the next book in the Jeweler’s Gemstone Mystery Series.

I’m pleased to announce that the rough draft is finished.  I’m now polishing it in preparation to sending the manuscript to first readers and editors.  With any luck, the book will be available this fall.

In the meantime, I hope to post here more often, starting now with an update on the local ospreys.

A few months ago, I posted a video of the osprey laying an egg.  Apparently, this was the only egg she laid this year.  I guess after raising three babies last year, she was too tuckered out for a full nest this year.  The young osprey survived and is doing well.

In the photo, if you look to the left of the mother osprey, you’ll see the baby.

Lynn Franklin, jeweler's granddaughter cozy mystery