Old Age Ain’t for Sissies!
Vic Deveaux’s glory days as a winning jockey have ended, but he refuses to accept that pile of horse hockey!
When the West family asks Vic to take an easier position at their Thoroughbred farm, Westwood, he becomes enraged and teams up with two greedy stable hands in a scheme to kidnap the youngest son, Shane.
Things turn ugly when Vic discovers that his new-found friends have murder on their minds. Suddenly Vic finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He has betrayed his good friend, Eric West, but will he participate in his son’s murder as well?
Not content to sit at home and wait for her men to bring her brother home, Kate West convinces homicide detective, Carl Lugowski, to check out a hunch at an old
abandoned mansion. Soon they’re trapped in a hornet’s nest of a notorious biker gang.
Oh yeah, Vic’s deception has placed the West family in more danger than they know what to do with!
CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT!
by Cindy McDonald
The research and months and months (possibly years) that you have spent in front of that computer screen typing, rewriting, tweaking, thinking, and yes, banging your head on the desk has finally paid off! Your manuscript is finished—off to the editor—and now is available for the public to enjoy. Whew! You did it! It’s time to sit back, relax and … and what? Celebrate!
Yep that’s what I said: celebrate. C’mon don’t just sit there waiting for the amazon sales to roll in, because that’s a slow moving train, my friend. Think about it—you’ve worked hard. Writing a book is tough, not to mention it is an accomplishment that many contemplate, talk about, but never seem to attempt. You are a published author (traditional or indie—it makes no difference) so assemble your friends and family and find a way to make the occasion special.
When I published the first book of my Unbridled Series, Deadly.Com, in September of 2011 I was thrilled, but the enthusiasm soon fell to a hush after the congratulations from friends and family died down. I did not place Deadly.Com on a book/blog tour and the reviews were few and far between—even as we speak. Hmmm, that was way too much effort for all the silence.
When I was a professional dance teacher I spent months and months prepping my dancers for the spring show, at the end there was applause and a reception—lots of fanfare and gratification. The publishing of Deadly.com was dead quiet—crickets. Ouch! So I made a decision right then and there that the second book of my Unbridled Series, Hot Coco, would receive more bang.
In June of 2012 Hot Coco released—I registered for a book/blog tour and I set a date for a wine tasting party at my Thoroughbred farm to launch my accomplishment. I sent invitations with a picture of the cover of Hot Coco to my friends. Keeping the group small and intimate, I invited only twenty. Everyone was excited. Most of my friends had never been to a wine tasting or a book launch party. They were intrigued—very good.
On the invitation they were instructed to bring a bottle of wine and a hors d’oeuvres to share. I am most fortunate that I have a friend, Dave, who is very educated in the history, and the process of making and tasting wines. He served as our wine steward—this is definitely not a requirement, but very nice to have.
As the guests arrived, Dave gathered the wine from each guest to cover it with a brown paper bag, tag it with a number, and then register the wine on a sheet. We placed the white wines on the dining room table along with small decorative bowls filled with oyster crackers to cleanse their pallets in between tastings. The red wines were placed on the table on our covered deck. Keeping the red and white wines separated is best, if it is possible.
We were blessed with a perfect evening. A soft summer breeze blew through the deck that looks out over our paddocks, where my husband had left some of the Thoroughbreds to graze. I was so please because my publishing manager, Lauren Carr, drove all the way from her home in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia to attend. Once all the wines were collected and bagged and placed on the proper tables, I gathered my friends on the deck and did a short reading from Hot Coco. As an added bonus Ms. Carr read a short passage from her latest novel as well.
Afterward, Dave explained how the wine tasting worked: fill your glass with a small amount of wine, swirl it around in the glass to examine the color and clarity of the wine. Smell it. What do you smell? Citrus? Oak? Fruits? What else? Finally taste. He encouraged the guests to eat in between tasting and to drink the wine with food to see how they enhance the flavors. What food did you enjoy with what wine? They wandered from the kitchen where the hors d’ oeuvres were set up on the bar into the dining room, and to the deck. There was a lot of laughter, eating, and tasting. I found great joy in watching my friends enjoying the event.
Dave was in his glory all evening answering questions and educating my friends about wines. At the end of the evening we voted on the favorite wine. The guest who brought said wine won a bottle of Coco Vino—a chocolate wine that I had purchased from a winery in Jeanette, Pennsylvania—very apropos for Hot Coco.
Everyone had a blast; they all encouraged me to have another for my next book. I was so pleased and rejoiced in the fact that Hot Coco had a proper kick-off, and I that I had celebrated my accomplishment—no crickets. Hooray!
The third book in my Unbridled Series, Dangerous Deception, released on November 1st—I am considering a murder mystery party—it’s all about the fun, the joy, the accomplishment, and sharing it all with your friends and family. You’ve worked hard to write your story. You had the courage that so many do not possess to expose that work to the public and say: Here is what I have written. Read it, judge it, and review it, because I believe in it. Even if you go to your favorite restaurant for a quiet dinner with your special someone—commemorate the moment—you’ve earned it, and you certainly deserve it.
Cindy’s books are available in print and ebook on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and where all fine books are sold. The books of the Unbridled Series are available for review upon request: email@example.com.
Cindy’s networks: www.cindymcwriter.comtwitter handle: @cindymcdonald7