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Introducing Mother-Daughter Murder Night
Aka the new scary wild thing I created.
It's September 5, and my new book, Mother-Daughter Murder Night, is out today. It's a fun, twisty story about three women—a grandma, single mom, and teenage girl—who come together to solve a murder in the Monterey Bay. It's part family drama, part mystery, part light-hearted nature escapism.
These people are smart and influential, and I’m honored to have their support. But I didn't write this book for them. I wrote it for my mom, and for you.
Before I share more about why I wrote it, here are the basics:
You can buy Mother-Daughter Murder Night as a hardcover, ebook, or audiobook. Buying the book THIS WEEK is especially helpful. Just like a movie's opening weekend, the first week of book sales determines how visible the book will be in the months ahead. So if you can and you want to, please buy it now.
It's available anywhere in the US books are sold. Outside the US, there are great options for purchase too. I'd love to see a pic if you find it in your local bookstore.
If you want a signed copy, you can come to an event (see below), or you can order one from my wonderful local indie bookstore, Bookshop Santa Cruz.
You can also request it from your library (I'd love to see those pics too!).
I'm going on tour, and I hope you'll meet me somewhere on the road:
I'm starting in Santa Cruz (tonight, Sep 5), San Francisco (Sep 6), Scottsdale (Sep 7), Salinas (Sep 8), and Los Angeles (Sep 14).
Later this fall, I'm coming to St. Louis, Albuquerque, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Corte Madera, and Alhambra.
Almost all these events are free, and I’ll keep adding dates as events come up. Here’s the full schedule. Bring your friends! Bring yourself! I would love to share one of these events with you.
Now, back to the why.
I never expected to write a novel. I love reading fiction, but before 2020, I only wrote nonfiction, and as a teenager, poetry.
Then, in the fall of 2020, my life turned upside down. My mother—my smart, energetic, independent mother—was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I quit my job to help care for her. We were lucky to be together, but as treatments and complications mounted, we started to lose hope. We needed a distraction, something that wasn't cancer, to keep us going.
We found it in murder. My mom and I have always loved murder mysteries, and we found ourselves rereading old favorites for comfort. Then one day, I asked her: "What if I tried writing a mystery, with someone like you as the lead detective?"
Mother-Daughter Murder Night was born. Every morning, while my mom slept, I would sit next to her typing on my laptop. My goal was to make every scene one that would make her smile. When she woke up, I'd hand her a cup of tea and a rough chapter to read. And then we'd talk about the story, debating plot twists, character quirks, and what should happen next.
My mom was my first reader, my research buddy, the book's biggest champion. She'd text me lines she particularly liked. She’d leave pointed voicemails about ones she didn’t. One day, my mom called me from the chemo clinic with an idea about a weapon. Just as she was getting fired up, laying out a murderous arsenal over the phone, her voice dropped to a whisper. The nurses were getting alarmed.
We started this project as a way to distract ourselves, and it worked. Mother-Daughter Murder Night was a gift we gave ourselves, a sweet escape from the world of cancer.
Now, my mom is stronger, and we’re excited to share this story with you.
At first, I was nervous about what how you'd react to this book. I've always taken professional risks, yet this feels different. Mother-Daughter Murder Night is my most personal work project ever, my first novel ever. That makes me feel vulnerable. But as the drafts piled up, I realized: that's exactly why I want to share it with you. I want to feel okay being vulnerable with you. I want to share new and scary things I'm attempting. I want to make you smile. I wrote this book with a lot of love. I want to share that love with you.
So, please: send me your pics of the book in the wild. Buy a copy this week if you are able. Let me know what strikes you in this story, and tell me about the new scary thing you're trying to create. I'm here for your risks, your twists and turns, your own wildest dreams. As I hope and believe you are here for mine.