« If Beds Could Talk | Main | International Moving Violations »

September 23, 2009

Where's My Book? (And How Do You Get a Free Copy?)

Where’s My Book? (And How Do You Get a Free Copy?)

By Elaine Viets

Last week, I unlocked the chain on my ankle to give a speech at a bookstore. I blinked at the bright light. I’ve spent the last six weeks in my office dungeon, finishing up the next Helen Hawthorne novel.

Signing fifty-three books was a treat. One woman asked me to autograph "Shop Till You Drop," my first Dead-End Job mystery.                                                                      


"I can’t wait to take this on the plane with me to California," she said.

Being a normal writer (which means an abnormal person), I brooded on her remark. She was taking my book to California. What was I doing?

Slaving over another book. Oh, the irony. Stab me with a fountain pen, heartless readers, and watch me bleed blue ink.

My book was going to vacation-splurge restaurants while I ate canned tuna in my kitchen, and the cat howled for my lunch. It’s hard to persuade myself I’m having a heart-healthy meal when a fat feline is fighting to eat it.

My book would be on a sun-drenched beach, while I was holed up in my office. By the time I finish a book, I’m as pale as a cave creature, and nearly as crazed.

This wasn’t the first time readers told me they were taking my book some place exotic. One woman bought "Dying In Style" at the Tel Aviv airport. I’ve never been to Israel, but my book has.

My St. Louis friend, Jinny Peterson, bought "Murder Between the Covers" at Murder Ink on Dawson Street in Dublin. I’ve always wanted to see Ireland. My book has.


A pair of fans bought "Killer Cuts" in Fort Lauderdale and took it to Belgium, birthplace of Hercule Poirot. I’ve never seen Belgium, but my book has.

Let me tell you about Japan. My books sell there in Japanese and in English. They’re even used in a university course as an example of American culture. (I’m not making this up.) Meanwhile, I’m back in the USA. The closest I get to Japan is sushi from the supermarket.

At least my books help others while I selfishly stay home and try to make money. Las Vegas fan Nancy Smith (pictured in this blog) sent a photo of "Killer Cuts" she’d donated to the Nevada Cancer Institute. Nan Siemer of Virginia donated a set of my books to a hospice.

My next Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper novel, "The Fashion Hound Murders," will be published November third. Heaven knows where it will wind up.

But since I have to stay home and write, I’d like to see where my books travel. Send me a photo of my book at any landmark. Have your child or pet read it. (What do you mean dogs can’t read? They’re smarter and more faithful than most of my newspaper editors.) Donate my book to some worthy cause. Then show me.

I’ll give away five free autographed copies of "The Fashion Hound Murders" to the best photos. Here are the rules:

(1) You can use any books in the Dead-End Job series or the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. The complete list is on my Website at www.elaineviets.com and on my Facebook page, Elaine Viets.

(2) Risque photos will be not accepted. (This means you, Margie.) Sister Valeria will inspect them for occasions of sin.

(3) All photos will be published on my Facebook page. If you send me a book photo, you’ve given permission to put it on my Facebook site.

(4) Photos must be entered in one of these five categories:

(a) Most exotic tourist spot book photo       


(b) Best pet and book photo

(c) Best child and book photo

(d) Best worthy cause and book photo

(e) Most inventive reader photo

(5) Photos must be emailed by midnight Nov. 3, 2009, to [email protected] Don’t forget to name the category. Some winners will be displayed on The Lipstick Chronicles on Wednesday, November 11. All acceptable photos will be posted on the Elaine Viets Facebook page.

(6) I will give one autographed copy of "The Fashion Hound Murders" to each of the five winners.


Go ahead, torment me. Show me all the fun my books have while I’m stuck at a computer. Send your entries to [email protected]


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Where's My Book? (And How Do You Get a Free Copy?):


Gosh darn it, I wish I could send you a photo of your book in some exotic place but since I'm not traveling and am holed up... doing...what? Oh, yes, I'm writing.
All I can do is say how wonderful that your books are found far and wide--congrats!!

(Mine are only found in my computer or as excerpts on my blog thus far...)

I did take three Blackbird paperbacks to Ireland in 2004. And I think I took one of the Tart's hardcover books to Germany last August.

But I don't have photos.

What a fun idea. I can't wait to see the pictures. Alas I'm not traveling, my cats drool and chew on books so they are out, my son is almost 32, so a charity it will be.

Great idea, Elaine!

I may have to borrow a pet for this.

This is a fun idea! I'm not going anywhere exotic, apart from my basement, which is not exotic in a good way. I have 3 dogs and a cat, though, so I can work on them.

Love the Fashion Hound cover!

Thanks, Josh. I appreciate the trip to Ireland.

Great idea, Elaine!

Josh, if onlyyou could find the Blackbird Sisters' parents and the remains of their money. But the Sisters deserve a good time.
Laura, I don't have a basement in my condo, but there are times when I'm afraid to open the hall closet.

great idea for a contest...something all of us will enjoy seeing. Although I think it's unfair not to let Me, Margie use her, um, "creativity" to produce an unforgettable moment for all of us.

I'm traveling NO WHERE exciting so I'm out of the contest. If I can catch one of my dogs with my glasses and reading, I'll snap a picture however.

Hmm, I'm up for a challenge. Too bad all my year's travel has come and gone, though.

This should be fun for all concerned. Thanks, Elaine, and good luck with the new book.

I think we should stop with the free books and solicit donations to send Elaine to Europe. Put this blog to good use!

Elaine, one of the highlights of my year was this past summer when S.J. Rozan sent me a photo of a woman in Italy reading my book. I really felt I'd arrived. But you're right, better that I should be in Italy, photographing that woman reading my book.

Dear Miss Elaine,

It is too bad you made that No Risque picture rule. I have one from the time Steve told us we were going to a surprise location, and it was a topless beach and Margie had to use two of your paperbacks as a bikini top. It's kind of hard to read them that way, but a girl's got to protect her ho-ha's from the sun.

Cousin Rita

Dear Cousin Rita,
My hardcovers will give a girl more shade and protection from the sun. Just don't drink so many margaritas you fall face-forward.

No exotic trips for me anytime soon -- $$ going into the house and the still-waiting-for-someone-new-to-love condo. I could take photos at one of those "exotic" locations . . .
Actually, Elaine, I wouldn't take one of your books on an exciting trip because then I'd want to be reading instead of sightseeing . . . ;-)
Your books are just too hard to put down!

Does Vancouver count as an exotic location?

Of course Vancouver counts, Gaylin. It's also beautiful.
Remember, one person's hometown is another person's tourist spot -- Fort Lauderdale, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Houston, San Diego and a few other back blogger cities that may seem ho-hum to their residents.
Heck, we used to vacation in Branson, Missouri, in cabins with roll-away beds. And that was definitely exotic.

The only landmark here in Summerfield is Mike's Place! Jackie Joyner Kersee comes here on her birthday for the pizza! does that count?

Sure it counts, Rita. Is the pizza any good?


This is Daisy, fearless fortunehall dogblogger and book critic...Elaine, this is so funny. Of course dogs read! But exotic locales for me usually means tagging along for a walk in the neigborhood.

Exotic has many definitions, Daisy. I don't find the beach at Fort Lauderdale exotic because I see it every day. Tourists might disagree. So send us your dog's eye view.

I could just scream!!! I've taken your books on vacation (we just got back from Europe) but never photographed them! Imagine what I could have done with one in Amsterdam!!!!

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Breast Cancer Site