Tag Archives: mystery novels

Publishing and its Vagaries

by Susan Oleksiw

susan-oAbout a year ago those of us who publish with Five Star learned that things were changing. I thought this meant the end of the Anita Ray series, and wasn’t sure if I could continue it with another publisher. To my surprise, I sold the two books in the series to Harlequin, for their worldwide mystery club. The Wrath of Shiva came out in mass market paperback on November 1.

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Harlequin Releases With Full Malice as Mass Market Paperback

Exciting news! Received word that Harlequin will release With Full Malice as a mass market paperback in Feb 2015. It’ll be for their WorldWide Mystery subscribers.


Harlequin WFM front & back

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December 16, 2014 · 8:30 am

FREE Download!

My local newspaper, the News Mirror, published a fantastic full-page article about my book signing & reception – thank you Claire & Rachael – and I’ve had inquiries about my other novels as well.

So I’ve created a 3 & 3 Novel Sampler, 3 chapters from my 3 novels as a download.

And it’s FREE!

I’d appreciate comments, but they’re not required. You don’t even have to sign in. Simply go to the site and click on the ‘Click Here’ button:

3 Novel Sampler

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Book Signing @ Barnes & Noble, Redlands

On my way to the book signing event at Barnes & Noble Sunday, June 3, I broke out in a sweat. How would it go? I’m not a famous author – yet –  tho I’m working on it, and I’ve only been in CA a few years. And since most days are spent in front of the computer, I didn’t know that many people. My friend and fellow writer, Millie Hinkle, traveled about forty minutes on the SoCa freeway to be with me, so that was a comfort, but still I worried:

Would I sit at that little desk all alone, totally humiliated in front of the B&N personnel?

When I walked into the door, I was astounded by the group of people at my desk, and I looked behind me, expecting to see someone famous. But no, they were waiting for me! And a miracle happened:

My book sold out in 35 minutes!

After that, the events mgr had me sign plates for the customers who ordered the book.

The reception afterward was fantabulous! News Mirror editor Claire Teeter put together an event I’ll remember always. Rachael Gustuson’s hors d’oeuvres were visually appealing and delicious. My son & daughter in law, Roger & Debbie Bowman, spent two days making cake pops to fit the occasion and were a hit with everyone. Mayor Dick Riddell led a champagne toast to me and I truly felt honored.

Thanks to everyone who showed up to make my day a special one.

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With Full Malice Book Signing & Reception

Sunday June 3, 2012 will be a fun, happy day for me. A book signing at Barnes & Noble, Redlands, CA!

Barnes & Noble, Citrus Plaza Shopping Center
27460 Lugonia Ave
Redlands, CA 92374
(909) 793-4322

1:00 p.m. – 3:00p.m.

And if that weren’t exciting enough, Claire Teeters, editor of the Yucaipa/Calimesa News Mirror, has organized a reception at the Mousley Museum of Yucaipa History from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Mousley Museum of Yucaipa History

35308 Panorama Dr

Yucaipa, CA (909) 790-3163

And thanks to Rachael Gustuson for creating the Hors d’oeuvres. I’ve tasted some of the treats she has in mind and are they ever special. I’ve also learned that the gracious ladies of the Yucaipa Woman’s Club, Evening Section, will be assisting in set-up and in general, offering moral support.

Thank you, ladies! I truly appreciate your help and support. I’m honored.

And to the special people who volunteered their time and expertise to help me in the writing of the book. I’ve listed most of them in the book, altho I’m sure I’ve omitted some.

Well, my novel has come full-circle, from idea, to the first draft, to the book contract to the finished result and signing. What a time this has been, nearly a year and a half from the signed contract to the release, at least three years from the idea for the book.

At times, because of all the detailed research involved, I nearly gave up, but as a novel writer, I felt compelled to keep going. I write because I must. All the other writers out there understand. Now, when I hold my book in its beautiful hardback edition, I’m so proud I could cry. So the frustrations, the anxiety, the exhaustion at times was worth it. I hope you’ll see for yourself.

Stop by the signing and the reception afterward. I’d love to meet you.

Thank you.


Filed under Events, My Blog, The Publishing Process

With Full Malice news & reviews

Barnes & Noble in Redlands, CA will host a book signing event for me on June 3, 2012. I’ll post the exact time as soon as it’s confirmed.

I’m so happy to share two new reviews for With Full Malice:



and Kirkus:

“The premise of Hill’s third novel is certainly arresting, and the story holds your interest.”


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1st Chapter Workshop

Are you stuck in the slush pile? Or worse, are you getting rejections?

Some agents say they can tell in the First Few Paragraphs if a manuscript is worth reading. They may read the entire first page, but if the writer hasn’t presented at least the first of the essential elements by then, off goes the manuscript with a rejection stamp.

Do you know what they’re looking for?

Have you included the 5 Essential Elements in your first chapter?

On Feb 11, 2012, I’ll be conducting a 1st Chapter Workshop at UCR Palm Desert. If you’re in the area and need work on your first chapter, bring the first two pages of your chapter and join us!

REGISTER NOW,  and learn how to apply the Essential Elements to your own first chapter. Learn how to take your chapter from dull to dynamic!


February 11, 2012

10 am – 12:30 pm

UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center

75-080 Frank Sinatra Dr

Palm Desert, CA  92211

Sponsored by the Palm Spring Writers Guild

Click on Upcoming Events

Direct link:

See you there!

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Exciting Next Step

I’ve been informed that my mystery/thriller novel, With Full Malice, has been sent to the publisher’s art department  for a cover.

How exciting!

The director said they’ll be designing a cover for the ARCs, Advanced Reading Copies. The publisher then sends the ARCs for reviews.

I can’t wait to see the cover. Will it be dramatic? Intriguing? Will it hint of murderous evil-doers?

What an exciting time for an author.

I’m still calm, though. But once the ARCs are debuted to the world – at least the reviewer’s world – I’m sure I’ll be a basket case. After all, my creation will be read and judged by the so-called authorities, the experts who are supposed to know a good book when they read it. They’ll read and mark it for the public – worth reading or not.

Of course I’ll be hoping for a good mark, but still, I can’t help but remember the age-old adage, ‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.’

If that’s true, doesn’t a good book lie in the mind of the reader?

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Finding Inspiration

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity: receiving an offer for my mystery/thriller, With Full Malice, a novel that took nearly two years to write and edit, completing the other tasks my new publisher requested, then getting it all submitted. And I formed a local critique group for novel writers.

Then came the lull. And letdown.

I’d decided to write in another genre – paranormal – one of my favorites, although my three previous novels are women’s fiction, sorta, with a touch of suspense, although With Full Malice is more of a mystery/thriller. So I’ve been thinking about the new storyline, working on the opening chapter and more, but unlike my work habits in the past, I haven’t dedicated all my time to writing. I do my part; I show up for work and firmly plant myself in my desk chair, but instead of opening my novel file, I surf the net, checking this site and that one, wondering what my friends were doing while I spent time with my nose to the computer. That lassitude lasted for days and weeks and I hadn’t been able to snap myself out of it. I’d been so lackluster that I was concerned I’d lost my drive to succeed.

But I finally found the solution to my problem. Or at least something to help me get back on track – the Paul Potts youtube videos, from his first audition to the one announcing him as the Britain’s Got Talent contest winner. After the announcement he’d won, they requested an encore performance, and he was magnificent. It’s all so inspiring, and no matter how many times I watch the videos, tears stream down my cheeks. There’s a young man who went for a dream – and made it come true.

Then I turn to the Susan Boyle videos. I love those especially when I’m feeling down and on the verge of a pity party. I’m getting too old to be successful, I’d think, and, if only circumstances had allowed me to pursue my dreams and goals when I was a younger woman. If only I’d realized, as a young woman, that I didn’t need a literary family heritage or even have a college degree to be a writer. If only I’d known all I needed was the drive to succeed and a willingness to learn. If only . . . if only . . .

To snap me out of that dead end, I watch Susan Boyle. She strutted on stage – to everyone’s horror – but once she began singing, she had the audience, including the judges, on their feet cheering her on. No one cared about her age or her degrees – or the lack thereof. She, along with Paul Potts, turns my thinking around and drives home the message: if I want to succeed, nothing’s stopping me, even at my age, except me, that the world will accept me if I have something to offer, so I have to get back to work and try my damndest to make my next story interesting enough to entertain others.

That’s the thing: to write a story that will entertain others. If I can do that, no matter what, I will have succeeded.

Paul Potts audition:

Susan Boyle:

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2nd Round

I went through my manuscript and corrected the errors/typos my editor flagged, but wasn’t sure how to correct the unexplained event. Finally, after a couple of days of ‘power thinking,’ I figured it out, wrote it, and sent the manuscript back to the editor. She seemed happy with my addition.

But something kept nagging at me, so, since we’re ahead of schedule, I asked if I could go through it once more. Graciously, she sent it back to me.

I cranked up the font and I’m really looking at it, reading sentences, wondering why on earth I wrote this or that sentence the way I did. So I’m revising again, and now I’m about halfway through. If I had my way, they’d have to pry my manuscript from my fingers to print the darn thing, yet I want to be through with it so I can concentrate on the next novel.

Besides, I can’t wait to see the cover.


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