Twitter Book Marketing

This past week a friend pointed out to me that since it’s December, I should be marketing my Blue Lake Christmas Mystery on Twitter.I’m of two minds about book marketing on Twitter. Mostly, I don’t do it. I depend on blog posts to indirectly indicate that hey guess what I write books too! So she said “pin a new post every day with a fresh picture, hash tags, and a buy link.” I accepted the challenge and posted a new pinned tweet every day last week. I’m not sure I sold any books. I am hoping none of the people who follow me got annoyed.

I find people who post a ton about their products annoying. If that is the only thing they post.

(Just as an aside I am trying to use the new “better” Word Press format. I started this post yesterday and couldn’t finish it because I got so confused. New tech is daunting for me. But I am determined to publish this post today. I see in previews that I do not like the box format at all!! Don’t know how to fix it. Hope it goes away when I hit publish! Sorry for all the !!!! but I am frustrated.)

So back to posting about your book (or your service, or your product that is not a book) on Twitter. It really doesn’t work as a sales tool for me. It does work for some people. I figured out why it doesn’t work for me this week. I usually post to Twitter once a week with a blog link. That’s it. I do look at other posts on the day I tweet. I have my favorites, but I also randomly read those I follow, too. If something someone says interests me, I will retweet it or make a comment or like it or all three.

Lately I’ve noticed people are not retweeting as much. I get many more “likes” than retweets. I thought it was just a new trend or perhaps a new rule. Really, are people sick of retweets? I thought RT was queen of Twitter, but at least for me, not so much anymore. Still, I persist in RTing. It’s what I do most on Twitter.

From what I’ve read, the rule for tweeting your book on Twitter is make it ten percent of your tweets. So that’s one post in ten. I like to mix up comments and RTs. I don’t do a lot of original tweeting because there are so many other people who speak tweet better. But I tweet a bit when I have a flash of brilliance…you see I set a high bar.

For blogging, I like posting on Monday to catch the #MondayBlogs hashtag. But those posts are not supposed to be about your book. They’re not for promotion or sharing buy links. So I kind of got out of the habit of talking about my books at all on Twitter or in my blog posts. I’m less shy about it on my Facebook author page. Not sure why.

So what this week has shown me is that if I pin a new post every day, I will look at my Twitter feed and spend some time on there commenting and RTing and even tweeting an original though every so often. I liked doing the new pinned book tweet every day, too. It was fun, even if it didn’t sell books. I think I will keep up this practice. And there’s always #TuesdayBookBlogs.

Happy holidays everyone and thanks for reading.

The Character Who Never Leaves


I should have known from the minute she elbowed her way into Blue Heaven, acting like she owned the joint, that Lily would be trouble. She was 17 and secretive, a minor character who thought she should have a bigger part. I gave her a love interest, but it turned out she had issues with boys.

I thought I ended Lily’s story at the end of that first book in my Blue Lake series. She was safely away at college in book two, but came barreling back with vengeance on her mind in book three. I had a hard time deciding which of my two female characters would take the lead. I hadn’t meant it to be Lily, but damn that messed up woman was fun to write.


By the fourth book, even though she left town, her name and her story stole a few scenes. I’d promised her her own book–I even tried to write it–but it was so dark I had to take a mental health break and write a light fun Christmas story. I thought about dumping the Lily chapters I’d started before my most recent release, but my critique group, who have more influence on me than I’d like to admit, would not hear of it.

I’d set myself a challenge with Lily’s story and I needed to see it through. It’s about done now, well at least a workable draft is almost there. But I keep thinking about where and how I want Lily to end up. I want to do right by her. I want to give her the peace she’s been seeking for so long. So I’m taking my time with the denouement. Not that it will be a lot of pages, but it will be the right way to leave this woman, now in  her mid-30s, who I’ve been following for most of her adult life.

It might seem strange to say I’m following a character I created. But that’s what I do. I know some writers would roll their eyes at that. Who’s writing the story, anyway? Well, here’s the truth: it’s me and then it’s not me. It’s a part of myself I only access when I’m writing. It’s where my imagination goes when I get quiet inside and try to keep up with characters like Lily.

Compelling Minor Characters

Lily White, the protagonist of my WIP, lives in Detroit and works as a P.I. She used to have a very different life, in Blue Lake, my fictional tourist town on Lake Huron in northern Michigan. Lily started as a minor character in my first Blue Lake novel, Blue Heaven. Even in that book, she threatened to take the story over. She was a little brat, just 17 years old, a damaged runaway. The way I tamed Lily for that story was to tell her someday she’d have her own turn.

Then I forgot Lily until I began writing Love and Death in Blue Lake. Searching for a subplot, I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to bring Bob and Lily back after they’d graduated college? I wanted to see what would happen to them. I kind of figured they’d get their happy ending. Sometimes plots don’t go the way you plan, but I was pleased with the way Love and Death ended. It felt right somehow. Lily got into a whole lot of trouble, and she settled some old scores. When she rode out of Blue Lake leaving a broken-hearted Bob behind, I had no idea where she’d end up.

CynthiaBlueLake Series

Sorry for the spoiler about Bob, but it is a very minor one. He gets his own story in my upcoming (November 2016) release Blue Lake Christmas.

Lily of course couldn’t let Bob have his own story without demanding a bigger, better one of her own. Well, to her it’s a bigger city, Detroit, and a better mystery, because she’s the one solving it. I’ll be working on Lily’s story for the next several months. If not years. Lily has layers and I’m taking my time uncovering them.

And yes, she’s already insisting that she should have her own series. I’m not sure about that, but what I do know for sure is compelling minor characters can take your stories further than you’d ever imagined.



Mystery & Me


Blame it on Nancy Drew. She was my first love (but far from my last) in the mystery genre. In the 1960s, as a young girl, I collected her books and began a life long commitment to binge reading. Which led to writing, which led to writing a mystery. My first mystery, Love and Death in Blue Lake, releases worldwide today.

Love and Death in Blue Lake didn’t start out as a mystery. I’d written several romance and women’s fiction titles and I thought for sure this book, about high school sweethearts who reconnect, would be another in the same genre. But no. Stories often take unexpected turns as this one did when I wrote a gun into someone’s purse.


What began as a small subplot came to be an equal plot to the romance story. It constantly threatened to take over the book, but I had my heart set on writing a rekindled love story. Eventually I found a way to get the thwarted lovers to reconnect over the mystery and that’s when I realized that this book would be different.

Love and Death in Blue Lake is the third in my Blue Lake series, and brings back several characters from the first book, Blue Heaven, to expand and deepen their stories. I love writing a series…I just hope readers like the new direction mine has taken as much as I do.


To celebrate the season, I am giving away two autographed print copies of Love and Death in Blue Lake to commenters #2 and #5 in U.S. only. The first commenter, US or UK, will receive free Kindle editions of Blue Heaven and Love and Death in Blue Lake.

Update: I opened contest on Facebook too and added a few more books:) Contest now closed. Congrats to all winners and I will get your books out soon!


Contest winners: Anita Dawes, my U.K. winner, plus Lynn Cobb (from DWW!), Tom Edwards, Louise Martin, and Cindy Springer-Holsing, three Facebook friends. Love sending people books!