Category Archives: Gratitude

A Book’s Worth of Thank Yous

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My Fourth Downward Dog Mystery, A Fatal Twist will officially launch this Sunday.  I’m never sure how many people will read the book.  A smaller subset will look at the acknowledgement pages.  So today’s blog article features those pages, in hopes that my gratitude for those individuals will spread further.  Here’s to all of the wonderful people who influence and inspire me.  I appreciate you all.

 

Dedication:

To Michelle. Of all of my lifelong friends, you influenced me the most. I miss you.

Acknowledgements:

Publishing can be a brutal industry. Most writers have days in which we wonder why we continue storytelling. For me, the answer is simple: my readers. Thank you for each e-mail, Facebook post, letter, blog comment, tweet, and review. Without you, I’d have given up long ago.

A Fatal Twist has a special cast of supporters I’d like to acknowledge.

As always, thanks to my agent, Margaret Bail, editors Terri Bischoff and Sandy Sullivan at Midnight Ink, and freelance editor Marta Tanrikulu, who all give me invaluable help and feedback.

Special thanks go to three awesome readers: James D. Haviland, who came up with the book’s title, Penny Ehrenkranz, who named the puppies in this book, and Becky Muth, who named Rene’s twins.

My husband, Marc, and my real-life Bella, Tasha, will always be the lights of my life. We lost Tasha this year, but she continues to be my inspiration.  Without her, this series would never have come to fruition. My new baby German shepherd, Ana, is teaching me how to write about puppies, and I’m grateful for the belly laughs she gives me each day, even when she chews up my manuscript. Marc gets extra kudos for designing and maintaining my author website, as well as for listening to all of my grumbles.

Finally, thanks go to my mother, Marcia, who was always my biggest fan and my best friend, Michelle, who inspired Rene in the series. You are both missed.

Tracy Weber

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All four books in the Downward Dog Mystery Series are available at booksellers everywhere!

A Fatal Twist can be found at Amazon and Booksellers everywhere!

The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Bad Day

Some days you just shouldn’t get out of bed. I had one of those recently.

I was on day twelve of the monster-cold/sinus infection that had kept me out of work for a week and a half. After almost two weeks of misery, I gave up and made a doctor’s appointment in Bellevue, about a twenty-minute drive from my house in Seattle.  My goal?  Beg for antibiotics.

I almost made it.

A block away from the clinic, I got into a car wreck. I thought the car that collided with me was in a turn lane, but other driver says he wasn’t.  Traffic cameras will ultimately determine who was at fault.  At first, the other car kept driving, and I thought I’d been involved in a hit and run.  I pulled to the side of the road only to realize that I’d left my cell phone at home on my desk.

I flagged down a Fedex driver who called 911, and a few minutes later, the other driver appeared on foot from two blocks away. The damage to his car was worse than mine, but both seemed relatively minor considering the impact of the collision.

We didn’t speak much during the 90 minutes we waited for the police, but I was grateful that no one was injured. After the policeman took my statement, he told me that he hoped I’d have a better rest of my day.

How were either of us to know things would only get worse?

On a freeway onramp a few blocks later, I felt my car wobble. Then I noticed that I had to hold the wheel at a 45 degree angle to keep the car straight. There is no way in HECK the car was safe to drive.

I pulled to the side on the dangerous onramp, because I figured it was better than driving on the freeway. My cell phone was still at home on my desk, so there was no way to call for help. I put on the hazard lights, got out of the car, and tried to wave down someone to call 911.

At least 200 people drove by at 55 MPH. Business vans, burly-looking men in cars, SUVs, even taxis. I tried to look innocent. I yelled the word “please!” I even tried yelling, “Dial 911!”  I was too far away from a safe street to walk.  I considered the merits of dying in my car versus walking on the freeway, only to come to one frightening conclusion: There was no way this day was going to end well.

Finally, a woman stopped. I opened her car door and asked her to call 911, which she did.  The 911 operator said they could do nothing to help. The stranger, shocked, said, “This woman has no phone and it’s not safe for her to stay in her car. What do you want her to do?”

Their answer? “Sorry, we can’t help. Have her call a tow truck.”

The stranger (who is obviously a saint) said “get in” and drove me to the closest gas station, which was 10 minutes away. Thus began our adventure

To make a long story short, 911 and my husband said to call the tow company; the tow company said to call 911. Eventually, my new hero (the saintly stranger) helped me with the tow company, took me to get a rental car, and stayed with me until I’d been reunited with my husband—two hours after she picked me up on the freeway.

Why do I write about this?

I’m grateful.

I wasn’t a threat to anyone while I was stranded on the side of the freeway, but hundreds of people drove past me, ignoring my pleas for help. The person who finally stopped was a woman, driving alone, who had plenty of things she’d rather to do than cart around a sobbing stranger who’d been in a car accident.

Instead, she stuck with me. She helped me. She even prayed for me. She made a horrible, awful, traumatizing day better.  When I asked her why, she said “I hope someone would do it for me.”

We should all be so kind.

There are good people in the world. May each of us be one of them.

Tracy Weber

PS–all three books in my Downward Dog mystery series are now available!  Learn more at http://tracyweberauthor.com.  Thanks for reading!

Whole Life Yoga–Fifteen Years and Counting.

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OMG  I can’t believe I missed Whole Life Yoga’s 15th anniversary!  We opened on October 12, 2001, about a month after my father’s death.  I didn’t think Dad approved of my decision to quit my management job at Microsoft and open a yoga studio until the day of his funeral. During the eulogy, the pastor mentioned how proud my father was that his daughter decided to dedicate her life to helping others. That sentence has kept me going for the past fifteen years.

So many things have happened since then….

  • Literally thousands of people have come through our door to take yoga classes.  Almost 15,000 unique individuals, by my best estimate.  WOW!  Fifteen thousand people that we’ve impacted, hopefully for the better.
  • We’ve hosted fourteen teacher trainings, which represents well  over 250 yoga teachers that have been certified in the Viniyoga lineage.
  • We’ve donated classes to hundreds of nonprofits for auctions and other events.
  • We’ve held fundraising events for nonprofits, neighborhood businesses, and friends struggling with illness.

When I opened the studio, the longest I’d stayed with any career was five years. The fact that I still work at Whole Life Yoga after fifteen years is nothing short of astounding.

Running a small business hasn’t been easy, and to be honest, some days I wonder how many more years I have left in me.  But I can honestly say there’s nothing I’m more proud of in my life.  Thank you to all of you who have been a part of this journey.

Tracy Weber

PS–all three books in my Downward Dog mystery series are now available!  Learn more at http://tracyweberauthor.com.  Thanks for reading!

Where the Healing Begins

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As many of you know, I’ve lived through challenging times over the past ten months. Last October, my mother died of breast cancer that spread to her brain, less than two weeks after I learned of the metastasis.

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Mom and me, with our spouses

My beloved dog Tasha passed away in July, likely also of cancer that spread to her brain, though we’ll never know for sure. Like my mom, Tasha died a couple of weeks after becoming ill.

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Tasha and me, three weeks before she passed.

In ten months, I’d provided hospice care to two of the most important souls of my life.  I felt sad. Depleted.  Exhausted. No longer able to fulfill my roles as boss, teacher, and business owner.  I couldn’t stand any more losses.

A few days later. I learned that my childhood best friend died the same day as Tasha.

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Michelle and me, age 15.

My story isn’t unique. We all suffer losses.  This article isn’t about loss, anyway.  This article is about healing.

The day Tasha died, I only knew two things for certain. She had made my life better, and she would have hated for me to suffer.  I owed it to her to find a new love.  I started researching German shepherd breeders and found one I both respected and trusted.  They often have a two-year waiting list, but oddly, they had a female available.

My puppy would be ready to come home in three weeks, but I didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t explain why, but I felt strongly that I needed to meet her first.  Unfortunately, the visit would involve an 800-mile flight and a four-hour drive each way, all to spend a couple of hours with my soon-to-be best friend—at seven in the morning, no less! The visit would take place six days before we brought her home.

I told the idea to my engineer husband, who said what he always says when I announce that I’m about to act on an expensive, completely illogical impulse.

“If you want.”

I abandoned my business, my significantly-behind-schedule writing, and my overworked spouse and took off for the three-day adventure.

It was one of the best irrational impulses I ever indulged. Everything about the trip seemed to be blessed.  From unanticipated first class flight upgrades, to a stay at a wonderful eco-spa for less than $100 a night.

I had two days of dead time around my two-hour puppy meeting, so I indulged in massages, ate waffles and dark chocolate cake, and worked on my novel from a patio overlooking the resort’s koi pond. On Sunday morning, I fell in love with my new pup, Ana. I spent time with the lovely Penni Elaine, her fiancé, and her best friend, who are doing a fabulous job of raising her. I have no doubt: Ana and I are a match made in heaven.  Tasha arranged it.

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Tracy and Ana meet!

Later that night, I spent forty-five mesmerizing minutes watching the resort’s koi ease smoothly back and forth through the water. I named the five largest: Spot, Dalmation, Stripe, Silver, and Ghost. A sense of deep peace overcame me.

This is it, I thought. This is where the healing begins.

The process of healing is long, filled with ups and downs, and I don’t know how long it will take. But I can mark its beginning. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Tracy Weber

Love Wins Love

If you’ve read my first book and you live in Seattle, you can probably figure out that I’m a big fan of Real Change and their work to help the homeless.  I’ve befriended a few of the vendors, one of whom is working on project to spread love, light, communication, and hope between those with housing and those without.  It’s my great pleasure to interview Susan Russell and Denise Henrickson today to talk about their project, Love Wins Love.

I’m all about hope and connection, which is why I so love the idea that “Love Wins Love.” How did you come up with this idea, and why prayer flags?

(Denise) We met almost exactly 2 years ago when I had gotten a small grant from the Department of Neighborhoods to make batik hearts at an Earth Day/Connect the Dots event at Seattle University. The day I received the grant award, I attended a Stand for Compassion event in Occidental Square and heard Susan speak. I’d included a small stipend in the budget and in that moment, I decided to reach out to Susan, rather than hire someone familiar. I stepped out of my comfort zone and  tracked Susan down through Real Change. We worked really well together. Susan and I became friends. We had supplies left over, so we kept setting up heart-making stations in community settings. We loved the process… “You wear a heart someone else makes and somebody else wears your heart” are the words that Susan uses to describe our process and we noticed that extraordinary conversations would take place around the painting table. Over the past 2 years, we’ve facilitated making over 2000 hearts, witnessed many “aha’s!” and seen new friendships take root and blossom.

(Susan) The idea for making prayer flags came out of that. Originally, we thought of prayer flags because they take a little longer to make, maybe people would stay for slightly longer conversations,… but the day after we first talked about making them, I spoke in support of homeless encampments in Ballard. People talked about how ugly the encampments were. Encircling the encampments with prayer flags would bring beauty to those places and also say to everyone who saw them… “Love Lives Here.”

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We decided to set our goal at 4,505 prayer flags because for the past two years, I’ve been at City Hall the morning after the One Night Count to ring the gong.  Real Change rings a gong for every person found sleeping unsheltered on that one night in January.  This year, the One Night Count was 4,505.  It takes hours and people take turns. It was while I was ringing the gong to honor each person that it came to me: we need to make 4,505 prayer flags. Each one a life. Each one a prayer.

We also realized that 4,505 prayer flags will stretch almost a mile when tied together. Wrapping City Hall or the Capitol in Olympia with a mile long string of prayer flags will be a beautiful, honorable way to bring a message of the need for shelter to the eyes– and the hearts– of policy makers.

(Susan) When I see these prayer flags, Love comes instantly to my heart and mind. “We see you. We honor you. We love you.” Without love, some people give up and they die. I’ve seen it.

Tell me your stories.  Have you ever been unsheltered, and how did your situation change, if it has?

12976832_1584065495254646_7395882607193105252_o[1](Susan) I lived on the streets in Seattle for 6 years. I was a union cement mason, helped build Safeco Field, the Exhibition Center, the West Seattle Bridge… then, one night, on my way home from work, I got rear-ended by an uninsured motorist. It screwed up my hip and my back. I couldn’t do my trade anymore. I lost my job. I couldn’t pay my bills. I spiraled down into depression and, eventually, addiction.  I went through SeaDruNar, got off drugs (hardest thing, ever)… Now, I sell Real Change and live in transitional housing- and make art and build community and advocate for shelter.

(Denise) I lived in my car for three months when I drove alone across the country after graduating from college. I had some scary moments, but I knew it was a choice, an adventure. I’ve never thought of myself as homeless. Even when I was really, really broke, like in my mid-20’s when I broke up with a boyfriend and he fired me (he was also my boss) and that same week there was a second arson in my building and I needed to move, I was down to my last $20… I had friends who took me in. I realize now how lucky I’ve been to have always had a safety net of family and friends. Not everyone does. I don’t think anyone chooses to be homeless.

What do you hope to achieve via this work?

There are so many systems falling apart right now- lack of affordable housing, millions of people who still don’t have health care and, like Susan, are one accident away from homelessness…, fewer family-wage jobs, rising student debt… We are both very concerned about the climate crises and extreme weather events and the connection of that to the rise in the number of people around the world who are being displaced.

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Through this project, we hope to create opportunities for people to experience our shared humanity. To experience new perspectives and create safe, beautiful spaces to step out of our comfort zones. We are all in this together. When it comes down to it, we can choose to respond to this extraordinary time with either fear or love- and model that for our children who will be facing even more challenges as weather patterns continue to shift.

Through this project, we are choosing love. Love makes us more resilient. And it makes our journey more joyful. Over and over again, in the simple act of talking to each other with brushes in hand, we’ve seen people have “aha” moments around the painting table. It’s a really simple set-up– recycled bed sheets and curtains, non-toxic fabric paint and soy wax– but what we’ve been able to witness has been profound. We think this kind of face-to-face cross-class/ cross-cultural dialogue plants new seeds of understanding and empathy that ripple out into the world. Love has the power to reweave our humanity together. It’s an ancient truth we are rediscovering.

We call our project Love Wins Love because we believe that love is regenerative…. Love gives back so much more than it takes. It is the most powerful force in the universe.

(Denise) When I think about how my life has been enriched since I went beyond my comfort zone to hire “that homeless woman in the Seahawks outfit” to work with me, I am incredibly grateful that I had the courage to acknowledge my own bias– my fear, really– and chose love. Susan’s connection to her heart, her belief in the goodness of people, and her profound gratitude for EVERYTHING, especially in light of all that she has been though– is deeply humbling.  Because of our friendship, I have more faith in humanity.  In my dark days, I can hold onto that.  It’s solid.  And it is growing stronger.12961322_1582578955403300_6527941037491559987_o[1]

We set up a blackboard whenever we have our art stations: one side says “What Do You Value? And the other, “What Do You Need to Thrive?” We’ve noticed so far, that no one has written anything that costs money. This has gotten us thinking about the double meaning of “Transitional Housing.” There’s “transitional housing” like where Susan lives in SandPoint. And then there’s the whole “transition movement” of people and communities who are shifting towards living more lightly on the Earth. We are curious and excited by the connections between these ideas and are continuing to explore them.

Where are some of the places you’ve already posted the prayer flags?

IMG_3174We hung our first string of prayer flags at Camp Dearborn. Within a few days they disappeared. A friend told us she saw what sounds like a remnant of it as part of an altar in Pioneer Square. A week later, the residents of the encampment were evicted (2 days before they were told they would be) and the tiny houses that had been built for them by the community were bulldozed… (City of Seattle- We can do better!!!!!!)

The next string we hung under I-5, in the Jungle. We attended a memorial gathering to honor people who had died there, as part of the Homeless Remembrance Project. That’s where we learned that over 67 people died on the streets last year.  People held the string of flags and made prayers before we hung them.  We went back a few days later to check on the community and the flags and learned that someone had come into their camp and set the flags– and their couch– on fire.

under I-5

(Susan) “Apparently, those prayers needed to get up fast!”

We are planning to hang future strings in places that are more stable, like shelters, but we also know that as beautiful as the flags are, it’s the conversations that take place in the process of making them together that are the most valuable— and those experiences never go away.

I’m moved by the plight of those without housing, but I’m never sure how I can best help.  What would you suggest?

(Susan) Say “Hello.” Being invisible, being treated as less than human, was the most difficult part of being unsheltered, by far. It’s what led to my addiction.  And if you are willing to take a bigger step out of your comfort zone, you can ask “What do you need?” And take it from there. But it’s important that you let go of expectations. What that person needs will likely be so simple it will break your heart. Open.

I want to paint a flag! Where can we find you next?

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Last week, we made flags at Julia’s Place, a shelter for women and families in Madrona. We also celebrated Earth Day at the Peace Encampment at 24th and Spring in the CD.

On May 13-15, we will be at Break Free in Anacortes, making prayer flags with people there. We believe there is a connection between rising temperatures, resource extraction and exploitation, rising economic inequity, and the rising number of people who are homeless in Seattle, the nation and the world. We also believe that love and compassion need to be at the heart of how we respond and relate to ourselves, each other, and our Mother Earth. We are all connected.

We have about 4200 more flags to make, so we need your help! We are open to suggestions of places to make them. If you can contribute money towards making them, that would be most welcomed, too.

How can we follow you and this effort?

The best way to stay in touch with us is through our FaceBook page: Love Wins Love (three separate words). If you message us with your email, we can add it to our email distribution list. And we always have sign up sheets at our booth.

How can people support this project?

Come make prayer flags with us!  We always have a donation jar at our booth to help pay for supplies.  At our booth, we also sell strings of prayer flags that we make to reimburse some of our time. The flags we make to sell are ones we make on our own; the community-made ones go to shelters and encampments and are not for sale.

And we are always looking for people to be part of our team to help us facilitate art-making and conversations, social media support, fundraising, … build transitional villages! … If this project inspires you and you’d like to work with us, we’d love to hear your ideas and what you are passionate about.

Ultimately, this project is just a small manifestation of a bigger vision- To create a more connected and compassionate human family. Any action you take that requires you to step out of your comfort zone with love serves this shared vision. Love Wins Love.

Thank you, ladies.  I hope to come to one of your painting events soon.  Thank you so much for joining me here today!

21481_1571284239866105_6639173131585106058_n[1]Susan Russell is Real Change vendor and housing advocate who has been to the depths of hell and back when living on the streets of Seattle.  She believes that if her work helps one person from experiencing what she went through, she will be successful. Love Wins.

Denise Henrikson is an artist and community activist who believes people can change the world.  We do it every day.  You can contact us at info@salmonislife.org

 

Creating Beauty from Devastation

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I borrowed the title of today’s blog from the Facebook post of one of my favorite yogis, Jillian Cobo.  She attended yesterday’s fundraiser for the Greenwood Neighborhood, which was devastated less than two weeks ago by a natural gas explosion.

In spite of the devastation, there are always blessings.  Over 50 businesses and homes were damaged, several completely destroyed. But there were no severe injuries or deaths. That’s probably the most important miracle we could have hoped for.  The most beautiful miracle is how people in the neighborhood have come together to support the individuals impacted by the explosion.

Reconstruction is already beginning.  Windows are being replaced.  The stark brown plywood panels of those still missing have been decorated by murals, most of which (like the three below) are  wonderfully appropriate for the businesses they decorate.  The community will rebuild.  Of that I have no doubt.

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The yoga teachings have a concept called sangha–community.  The drawing together of people with united intentions.  Sangha has been wonderfully present in my neighborhood these last two weeks.  Many businesses, including mine, have pulled together to raise funds.  Whole Life Yoga’s fundraiser today reunited me with yogis I hadn’t seen in a very long time and introduced me to new friends.  In three short classes we raised over $1500.  As always, my students make me proud.12419261_10154265207043268_8936778293896193307_o[1]

I know many of my friends and students have donated via the Phinney Center’s donation link, and those donations aren’t included in the $1500 total.  But all of the money goes to the same fund and will be distributed to those who need it most.  If you haven’t yet donated and would like to, you can still do so at this link.

Thank you all!

Tracy Weber

books available

PS–all three books in my Downward Dog mystery series are now available!  Learn more at http://tracyweberauthor.com.  Thanks for reading!

The Tracks We Leave

“We are remembered forever by the tracks we leave.” — Native American Proverb

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This past Monday, twenty-two students, five teacher training assistants, and I completed an eleven-month journey together.  A journey that saw us through illnesses, addictions, pregnancies, deaths, engagements, divorces, moves, job changes, and more challenges than one could think possible in less than a year.  And yet we stuck through it.  Together.  It was only appropriate that we should celebrate.

We began with a ceremony to set intentions and commemorate our time together.

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We finished in a circle to honor our community.

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Afterwards we drank wine and ate delicious Greek food.

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Which is, of course, infinitely more delicious when shared with friends.

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Before we knew it, it was time to clean up, stack the blankets and head home.

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But even though the training is over, their work is just beginning. You see, these people are my tracks: the imprint I hope to leave in the world.

Taking yoga teacher training is a responsibility. It only starts with the classes, the homework, the missed family events, and the late nights designing seemingly impossible yoga sequences.  The real responsibility begins the date you finish.  The head of our lineage, Desikachar, says that if you learn the yoga teachings but do not share them, you have stolen them.  They are not the property of any individual—they belong out in the world.  During our ceremony, we chanted a single mantra: Om Namaha “not mine.”  A reminder that what we’ve learned is meant to be shared, whether or not we ever perform another asana.  Yoga is the act of living in greater balance,  more aligned with our values. Yoga helps us ensure that the tracks we leave behind are positive ones.

A personal message to all of these lovely new teachers: You were my thirteenth yoga teacher training, and like each group that preceded you, you were special. I wish I could give you the confidence to know what great teachers you already are, but the best teachers only gain confidence with time and practice. I’d like to say “make me proud,” but you already have. Instead, I’ll just tell you the truth: you’ve each taken a piece of my heart.  

Use it well.

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Namaste, my friends. I am better for knowing you.

Tracy Weber

Murder and Mayhem Animal Style

My favorite childhood cow, Beauty. One of the many animals that have had a profound influence on my life.

Hey all!  This week I’m blogging at Inkspot (the blog for the writers of Midnight Ink)  about the many animals in my life and how they’ve informed my mysteries.  Check it out and leave a comment about the important animals in your life.  Who knows?  I might include them in one of my future books!

http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2016/01/mystery-and-mayhemanimal-style.html

See you there!

Tracy Weber

PS–all three books in my Downward Dog mystery series are now available!  Learn more at http://tracyweberauthor.com.  Thanks for reading!

Happy Book Birthday! Come Give Me a Hug!

WLY launch party

My third written child was officially released on last Friday, January 8, and the busy push of parties, appearances and publicity will soon take over my life for a month.  Who knew that writing the book would the easy part!  Below is a partial list of upcoming events and recent articles.  I hope to see you at a book signing soon!

January Book Signings and Events:

Launch Weekend Press:

  • Facebook Launch Party! According to Facebook, almost 250 people attended the event from all over the US and as far away as Australia. Even though the party is officially over, you can still check out the site to find excerpts, photos, games, and questions.  Check it out and join us live next year!
  • Examiner.com:  An interview with me about writing, yoga and Karma’s a Killer:  “I wrote this story, at least in part, to help readers truly get to know and understand Kate. Through this case, Kate discovers the origins of her pogonophobia—the irrational fear of beards—and learns why she has, at least up until now, has been so terrified of commitment. Although most of the book is about Kate’s sometimes-inept attempts at murder investigation, the most satisfying part of the book is rediscovering Kate.”
  • Page 69 Test: An excerpt from Page 69 of the book and my analysis of it: “Page 69 brings us to the end of a scene in Karma’s a Killer that is both similar and dissimilar to the rest of the story. My protagonist, Kate, has just learned that her mother, Dharma—who abandoned her thirty years ago—is back in Seattle and wants to reconcile. Kate doesn’t yet know that Dharma is about to be arrested for murder.”
  • Dru’s Book Musings: An interview with Blackie (a crow!) who has a very important role in Karma’s a Killer:   “I sure wish I could speak English. Not only was I here at Green Lake the day Kate overheard a fight between two women, but I saw one of those women get murdered later that night! I’ve been trying to tell Kate what I saw, but she doesn’t understand me. Bella, her crazy German shepherd, ignores me. Probably because I eat all of her cookies.If I leave Kate a clue, do you think she’ll figure it out?”
  • OmniMysteryNews: I interviewed yoga teacher/sleuth Kate.   She had this to say on behalf of her dog Bella…. “As for your canine readers,[Bella would] tell them to stay the heck away from her house, her yoga studio, and me. I’m her best-trained slave, and she’s not willing to share me. And Bella gave me a special message for the brown-suited, box-carrying psycho-killer that drives the UPS truck. She has her eye on you. One false move, and she’ll eat delivery man for dinner.”
  • Musings and RamblingsI talk about Seattle and what makes it the perfect setting for a mystery series:  “Seattle gets a bad rap for being gray and rainy, but the flipside is that you’ll never see a place greener or more lush outside of the tropics. Within an hour or two, you can visit a major university, climb a mountain, go boating, dip your toes in the ocean, ski, attend live theater, shop in a quaint island town, and hang out with a troll holding onto an actual Volkswagen. And don’t get me started on the annual nude bicycle parade…”
  • CBS8.com had this to say about Karma’s a Killer “A taut tale with more twists and turns than a vinyasa yoga class, Karma’s a Killer brims with suspense, wit and whimsy.  With a to-die-for plot, sensational storyline, and charming characters-of both the two- and four-legged varieties-Karma’s a Killer is a clever, colorful, and utterly captivating cozy mystery.”
  • Blog Critics:  An interview with me in which I talk about research, writing, and the writing life.  “An important character in the book, Blackie, is a crow that was raised as a fledgling and released back to the wild. I have been fascinated by crows since my own German shepherd, Tasha, befriended a crow in our neighborhood. Learning more about these intelligent, highly social, and quirky animals was one of the biggest joys of writing the book.”
  • Seattle Times! I was delighted to see Karma’s a Killer make the Sunday Seattle Times yesterday.  They even printed the book cover in color! Here’s a link in case you don’t subscribe…

That’s just a sampling, and lots more is scheduled to happen the rest of this month and in February.  Stay tuned, and please check out the series, and please come give me a hug at one (or more) of the events!

I hope to see you soon!

Tracy Weber

books available

PS–all three books in my Downward Dog mystery series are now available!  Learn more at http://tracyweberauthor.com.  Thanks for reading!

Dedications, and Thank Yous and Acknowledgements, Oh My!

Until I was a writer, I rarely read the acknowledgements section at the beginning of a book, but I know now that it represents the village of people it takes to write a novel. So, for your reading pleasure, here is a pre-view of the kudos coming when my book is released this Friday. I’m sad that my mom never got to see the dedication, but I was able to tell her about it before she passed. 

Dedication:

To my mom, Marcia. Your support of my writing means the world to me.

Acknowledgements:

First of all, I’d like to thank every reader who has contacted me to tell me that they enjoy my work. Each e-mail, Facebook post, and letter makes my day. Without you, I’m not sure I’d have the fortitude to continue writing.

Karma’s a Killer has a special cast of supporters I want to acknowledge.

My yoga students continue to listen to my grumblings, join in my cheering, attend my events, and support my writing in more ways than I could ever have hoped for. Special thanks to Katie West, who addressed and mailed a seemingly infinite number of packages to my street team members, and Katie Burns, who proofed the manuscript before I submitted it to Midnight Ink.  Thanks also to my agent, Margaret Bail, editors Terri Bischoff and Sandy Sullivan at Midnight Ink, and freelance editor Marta Tanrikulu, who all continue to give me invaluable help and feedback.

Special thanks go to Michael Westerfield, author of The Language of Crows. Michael graciously answered my many questions about crow behavior. His insights about crows raised as fledglings and released to the wild were invaluable.  Of course, if there are any errors in this work—about crows or anything else—they are completely mine.

My husband, Marc, and my real-life Bella, Tasha, continue to be the lights of my life. Anything I accomplish is only possible through their love and support.  Marc gets extra kudos for designing and maintaining my author website.  Tasha gets credit for introducing me to her crow friends and fueling my fascination for these intelligent, underappreciated creatures.

Finally, thank you to all of my street team members. These dedicated individuals spread the word about my writing, pass out my bookmarks, and make me smile on days that otherwise seem glum.  The best part of writing has been connecting with all of you.

Tracy Weber

Karmas a Killer (4)Purchase my newest mystery, KARMA’S A KILLER, now at Amazon Barnes and Noble, or a bookstore near you!

Check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT and MURDER STRIKES A POSE are available at book sellers everywhere