cozy mystery, Crazy Cat Lady, Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mysteries

Crazy Cat Lady Book Dedications, PLUS Overboard on the Ocean Release

Whoo-hoo! I released Overboard on the Ocean, the sixth book in my Mollie McGhie cozy mystery series. It’s all a bit crazy when you’re getting a book ready for publication – editing, formatting, proofreading, uploading files etc. But one of the fun parts of the process for me is coming up with a dedication.

Since one of the stars of this series is a Japanese bobtail cat named Mrs. Moto, it only seems fitting that the Mollie McGhie books are dedicated to cats. Cause, you know, I’m a bit of a crazy cat lady. So in honor of my latest release, I thought I’d share the dedications with you.

So, drum roll please . . . let’s have some fun with book dedications!

Overboard on the Ocean (Book #6)

Why is it that whenever I sit down to read a book, the cat who was previously being incredibly aloof wants me to pet them, feed them, do anything but read my book?

For cats everywhere who wish their humans would stop reading stupid books and pet them instead. Or feed them. Food is always good. Especially the expensive stuff from the cans that we’ll throw up later. The litter box probably needs changing too. And those hairballs aren’t going to clean themselves up, are they? Put the book down and hop to it, human!

Shooting by the Sea (Book #5)

Cats have a hard time understanding human priorities. What’s not to love about a cardboard box?

For cats everywhere who can’t understand why their humans don’t like to roll around in catnip and sleep in cardboard boxes like they do.

Dead in the Dinghy (Book #4)

When a cat’s gotta be fed, a cat’s gotta be fed!

For all the cats out there who love nothing more than waking up their humans at the crack of dawn to demand their breakfast. There’s nothing quite like a furry alarm clock pawing at your face to get you going in the morning.

Poisoned by the Pier (Book #3)

In this book, Scooter (that’s Mollie’s hubby) decides to start dressing Mrs. Moto up in cat costumes. Trust me, she wasn’t impressed, but she put up with it. (By the way, if you’re curious what the rutabaga reference is all about, you’ll have to read the book. You’ll never look at rutabagas the same way again.)

For cats everywhere who put up with wearing silly costumes and in memory of my father-in-law who never met a rutabaga he didn’t like.

Bodies in the Boatyard (Book #2)

Mrs. Moto loves to wander around the marina where Mollie and Scooter keep their sailboat. She’s supposed to wear her collar but somehow she keeps losing it. Can’t say that I blame her. Would you want to wear a collar?

For cats everywhere who hate wearing collars.

Murder at the Marina (Book #1)

This was the very first book I published, so instead of something crazy cat lady-like, I dedicated this book to my mother. I’m sure all the cats out there will understand. Cause, you know, moms. Everyone loves their moms.

If you’re interested in getting a copy of Overboard on the Ocean, you can pick one up at your favorite retailer:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (AU)

Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Google Play | Smashwords

What about you? Do you read book dedications? Any fun ones you want to share?

IWSG, Romantic Comedy, Writing

Smoochy Face: Thoughts on Writing Romantic Comedies | IWSG

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It’s a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there’s an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they’re struggling with what to say.

This month’s question is:

Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

Check out how people have answered this month’s question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list HERE. I opted not to answer this month’s question. Instead, Simon the Cat pops by for a visit and I’m sharing some thoughts on writing romantic comedies. Check it out below.

I felt something heavy land on my shoulder. Turning my head, I saw a large menacing-looking gray cat staring at my computer.

“You weigh a ton, Simon. Get off me.” I tried to shoo him off, but he dug his claws in. “Ouch! that hurts!”

“Toughen up, lady,” he said. “No pain, no gain.”

“What exactly am I gaining by having you claw me to death?”

He leaned forward and peered at my screen. “I’m going to criticize your book.”

“How exactly is that helpful?”

“You want to know if your writing is bad, right?” he asked as he leaped onto the table.

“Uh, sure, but in a constructive way.” I rubbed my shoulder and winced. Antiseptic was going to be needed for these scratches.

He pawed at the screen. “Ooh. This is gross. They’re smooching.” Then he lowered his paw and pressed the delete button.

“Simon, stop!” I pulled him off the table and into my lap. “I spent all morning working on that.”

“Nobody wants to read about people kissing, lady,” he said, squirming in my arms. “Get back to writing about dead bodies.”

Thoughts on Writing Romantic Comedies

So, yeah, last month I decided to start writing romantic comedies. I certainly didn’t see that coming! I was about a quarter of the way through writing book #5 (Shooting by the Sea) in my Mollie McGhie Cozy Mystery series when I opened up a new Scrivener file and began typing away at a smoochy face book in my new Smitten with Travel series.

All I knew when I started was that I wanted it to be about travel, food, and, of course, happily ever afters. Then I got in the zone and the words started flowing out, characters made their presence known, and I giggled to myself as I created some truly goofy (and hopefully humorous) scenes. Drooling cats are funny, right?

Then I did something crazy—or at least crazy for me—I put the first book in the series, Smitten with Ravioli up for pre-order with a July release date. I haven’t even finished writing it yet! I know people do this all the time, my release date is far enough out, and I’m about halfway done writing it, so it should be fine (she says to herself in a reassuring tone while scarfing down cookies). Plus, I’m finding it highly motivational to have a release date looming over me.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few thoughts about writing romantic comedies that have struck me over the past month:

1 – It’s much easier to skip around from chapter to chapter.

When I write cozy mysteries, it’s a very linear process. I do a rough outline, then write each chapter in order. But when it comes to romantic comedy, I find that I’ve been hopping around all over the place. In fact, I’ve already written the epilogue with their happily ever after scene. {Spoiler alert: they get married.}

With cozies, I think a structured approach works much better for me because I need to make sure I plant all the clues and red herrings in such a way that Mollie can solve the mystery.

It might also have to do with the fact that there are more characters to worry about in my cozies—I usually have five suspects, plus Mollie, her hubby, and the other recurring characters. With my romantic comedy, there are two main characters—the heroine and hero. Sure, there are other supporting characters, but the story focuses primarily on the two lovebirds.

2 – Cozy mystery readers may not like romantic comedies.

Because this is a new genre, I debated about whether to write my romantic comedies under a pen name. As you can see from the cover above, I decided not to. It seems like way too much work and additional expense to have a pen name. Plus, because my romantic comedies are “clean” (i.e., plenty of sizzle, but no sex) and cozy mysteries are “clean” by default, I figured I wouldn’t have to worry about alienating any current readers since I won’t be publishing “steamy” books.

But I have to accept the fact that this new series may not be of interest to my current readers and that I’ll have to build up an audience who enjoys romantic comedies.

3 – What’s funny to one person may not be funny to another.

I’ve been reading / watching a lot of romantic comedies lately. Sometimes, I laugh out loud. Sometimes, I smile quietly. Sometimes, I don’t get the joke. Then I hear from other people that the joke I didn’t get had them rolling on the floor in hysterics.

People tell me that my cozy mysteries make them laugh, sometimes out loud. That’s one of the reasons that I decided to try my hand at writing romantic comedies. But what if I’m not funny enough? Or not funny at all? Has everyone been lying to me? Do they yawn when they read my cozies? Do they not get my jokes?

Can you tell I’m a little insecure about this? When I do start to panic, I try to remind myself that what’s funny to one person may not be funny to another. Then I have some chocolate. That always seems to help.

Want to know more about Smitten with Ravioli? Click HERE. I’ve been playing around with blurb and trying out different things such as first person vs. third person (the book is written in first person present) and how to position it (or not) in terms of heat level, so if you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them!

By the way, for all you Mollie McGhie fans, don’t worry, I’ll get back to Shooting by the Sea once Smitten with Ravioli is finished. Mollie still has a lot of murders to solve.

What about you? Has a single photo or piece of art inspired a story? Do you like romantic comedies? What makes you laugh?