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See Jane Dance! Is Coming Along

See Jane Dance! Is Coming Along

Book 3 in West River Mystery Series is in the works. Learn how See Jane Dancer! is coming along and why Jane is taking square dance lessons.

See Jane Dance! is coming along. As in, I hope to finish the first draft in the next month to six weeks. So while you’re engrossed in See Jane Run! or eagerly waiting for See Jane Sing!’s release this fall, my head is all See Jane Dance! all the time. Since first drafts are hell, this is not my head’s favorite place to be. I’m escaping confinement briefly to let you in on a few details.

  • See Jane Dance! is the third book in the West River Mystery Series.
  • The publisher, Midwestern Books, originally hoped to release it in January of 2023. Because we now realize that was a bite too big for the writer and the publisher to chew, the release date has been pushed back to late fall of 2023 or early winter of 2024.
  • The cover is amazing and will be disclosed sometime in 2023. There is a fiddle on the book’s cover, hence the picture of the fiddler for now.
  • The reason for the fiddler is that square dance lessons are a main driver of the plot in Book #3.
  • Part of the research for See Jane Dance! involved a long weekend at a square dance center and campground near Lolo Springs, Montana.* I interviewed the owner and the square dance caller about the progression of steps taught during beginner lessons. The interview was necessary because we remember very little about the 8 weeks of square dance lessons Hiram and I took 40 years ago when we lived in South Dakota.
  • The one thing Hiram and I do remember is the song the teacher used each time we practiced a new step––There’s Something About You Baby I Like.** The song does appear in See Jane Dance!
  • Readers will find nods to the old Vander Meer Bakery in Le Mars, Iowa, South Dakota’s frigid winters, and school Valentine’s Day parties.***
  • Squeamish readers should be aware that this book includes more blood than previous books, including one human death, several dead cattle, and a taxidermy shop.
  • As of this posting 36 of 50 chapters in the first draft are written.****

Enough avoiding returning to the rough draft. It’s back to See Jane Dance! for me.

*The campground is closed this summer due to a death in the family, and their website is no longer there.
**Those who click on the You Tube video can thank me later for the ear worm.
***For which elementary school teachers deserve sainthood.
****Not that I’m counting or anything, but this means that 14 chapters of hell remain.

The See Jane Sing! Book Cover Is Here

The See Jane Sing! Book Cover Is Here

The See Jane Run! Book Cover Is Here

The See Jane Sing! book cover is here and ready for the world to see.* Even better, the publisher will soon list it on Amazon. I’ll give you a head’s up, as well as roll out the pre-order bonuses, when the time comes. Here are some tidbits to whet your bookish appetite until then.

  • Midwestern Books will release See Jane Sing! in October or November. That’s a month or two later than originally planned, but not by much.
  • The events in the story start the Saturday after Thanksgiving and end on Christmas Eve. Which means this book is a Christmas mystery. That wasn’t my intent, but I must stay it worked out quite nicely.
  • Hiram, my husband, is of the same opinion. In fact, he gave it the coveted Hiram Seal of Approval.
  • Back to the Christmas theme…the wreath hanging from the “G” in the title was my idea. I’m very proud of my contribution.
  • In my humble opinion, this book has Hallmark Christmas Movie potential.
  • A call to join the See Jane Sing! launch team will be coming soon. It would be great to have you be a part of it.

So what do you think of the cover? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

*Those who attended the See Jane Run! book launch party in June got a sneak peek at that event and free chocolate. Which proves that live events are replete with amazing perks!

See Jane Run! Is Gaining Steam

See Jane Run! Is Gaining Steam

Jane is gaining steamSee Jane Run! is gaining steam, and today’s post provides an update of what’s heating things up, what’s going on behind the scenes, and fun stuff to come.

Amazon reviews and ratings. Look at those numbers––25 Amazon reviews! That means Jane is halfway to 50, the magic number that will make Amazon algorithms sit up, take notice, and promote the book to a wider audience. See Jane Run! also has 52 ratings. While ratings don’t influence the algorithms like reviews do, they show that the book’s being read. That’s good news!

If everyone who rated See Jane Run! could be persuaded to write and post a review, it would reach the magic number in no time. And if there were reviews from everyone who’s read the book, imagine what that would do. I’ll tell you one thing that would happen. I’d record myself doing a happy dance and post it on social media. You heard it here first.

See Jane Run! audiobook is in production. How cool is that? I met with the voice artist a few weeks ago to discuss pronunciations, dialects, and such. She happens to be my niece who has speech communication and drama training. She teaches drama and directs plays in a large high school in the Des Moines Metro. Not only does she have the same midwestern speech patterns as Jane, she also has the teacher voice. I can’t wait to hear what she does with the narration.

The Harding County Fair. In a previous post, I wrote about our plans to attend the Harding County Fair this summer. (See Jane Run!’s Tipperary County is modeled after Harding County.) Those plans are complete, and we are looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and showing off See Jane Run!. We’ll take oodles of pictures to show off the amazing beauty of the place where we once lived. I’ll be  recording audio of people in the area to share with the voice artist and doing research for future books. It’s gonna be so much fun!

See Jane Run! is gaining steam and so is the entire West River Mystery Series. Stay tuned for updates about what’s happening with future books in the series.

The See Jane Run! Book Launch Party Left Me Speechless

The See Jane Run! Book Launch Party Left Me Speechless

Since the See Jane Run! book launch party left me speechless, these pictures are standing in my wordless gap.

Though I appear to be talking here, I’m actually reading an excerpt from See Jane Run! Were it not for the words on the page, I would have been speechless.

The See Jane Run! book launch party left me speechless. That’s saying something since I’m rarely at a loss for words of either the spoken or written variety.

Every time I sit down to write a post about it, a flood of emotions and memories of the day wash my words away. And yet, the day deserves to be shared. A record needs to be made. Now. So in lieu of paragraphs full of words, here are pictures and short captions to give you a flavor of the day.

The four of us became friends in ninth grade and remain friends to this day.


To my right is a former country school student, her daughter, and my student’s mother who was our son’s first day care provider.


She was in high school when we met. She helped in my third grade classroom a few hours every week for two years. Now she’s in education, too.


She’s been taking my author head shots since 2003.


A former third grade student who stopped by to buy the book for his wife, who loves to read.


This sweet woman was a one-on-one para in my classroom, but she was there for every child who needed assistance and calm during the day.


Do you know what it means when your former principal comes to you book party and says he’s proud of you?


These people made teaching at Boone Community Schools in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s an absolute joy.


When I left teaching, this high school English teacher volunteered to edit my first manuscript. She said I was a good writer. I held onto that statement through years of rejection letters!


She has prayed for my writing and ministry for years. What a blessing she remains to this day.


Meet my book launch party team. Their vision was the secret sauce for the party’s success.


My husband Hiram and me with Ann and Terry Stark, the owners of Chocolaterie Stam. The Stam proved to be a perfect venue and the Starks were perfect hosts. Fun fact: Hiram and Ann worked together at Mary Greeley Hospital for years.


The box of books showed up 7 hours late and were all sold before they arrived.


Now you can see why the See Jane Run! book launch party left me speechless.

See Jane and Jolene Saying Ay Yai Yai Yai Yai!

See Jane and Jolene Saying Ay Yai Yai Yai Yai!

See Jane and Jolene saying ay yai yai yai yai? Do you know why they’re saying it? Because the release date for See Jane Run! is only days away.

Jolene’s not sure she’s ready to hear from people who don’t like her baby.
Jane’s not sure she’s ready for people to get to know her.

As a result, they’ve resorted to making faces at each other while fiddling with their glasses.

Juvenile behaviors to be sure.
Or maybe nervous habits.

Whatever the case, there’s only one thing to say about the situation…ay yai yai yai yai!