Category Archives: writing

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here!

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Audiobook of Murder Strikes a Pose!

Well, it’s here virtually, at least. The first audiobook in my Downward Dog Mystery series, Murder Strikes a Pose, is now available!  I’ve wanted to put the series on audiobook since I typed the words “the end” on the finished manuscript.  I battered and harassed and cajoled and pleaded with my agent, but she wasn’t able to sell the series to Audible.

So I took matters into my own hands and self published.

ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) made it, not easy, but definitely doable for a newbie like me. I auditioned several narrators, found Anne James, who matched my vision of Kate’s voice and spunk perfectly, and we got to work.

Six months later, I have a product that I’m ecstatic about. I hope you will be too.

Enjoy!

PS—I have three free copies that I’d like to give to the first three readers who agree to listen to the book and give an honest review on Audible no later than September 30. If you’re interested, e-mail me at Tracy@WholeLifeYoga.com.

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!

Mystery Goes to the Dogs

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Hey all!  This week I’m blogging at Inkspot (the blog for the writers of Midnight Ink)  about an event I recently attended called DogFest!  Check out the photos of some of my newest four-legged fans.

http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2016/08/mystery-goes-to-dogs.html

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.

Tracy and Tasha

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.

Tracy and Michelle

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.

Tracy and Ana

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

Writing, Gardening, and Killer Laurel Hedges

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Surrounding my Seattle home is my new mortal enemy: the laurel hedge. In the decade my husband and I have lived in this house, our laurel hedge has been trimmed eight times. By eight different landscapers. Each of whom says when they finish, “I will never trim that hedge again.”

The last few years have presented a special problem, because our beloved dog’s health is waning. She goes crazy when strangers are near her house, and she’s susceptible to injury. In the past, we’ve taken her out of town whenever gardeners have been present, but we can’t do that anymore. So we let the hedge go.

Or, to be more accurate, we let it GROW.

This year, we couldn’t delude ourselves anymore. Something had to be done.

Since we couldn’t hire anyone for fear of harming the dog, hubby and decided to trim it ourselves. Five days and thirty-nine overly full yard waste bags later, I came to realize that trimming a laurel hedge has a lot in common with writing.

There are plotters and there are pansters. Plotters are like my husband. They buy three different ladders and four kinds of clippers, each which trims exactly one branch at time. They have a plan, you see. A process. From beginning to end, they know exactly how they will tackle this monster, the tools required for each step, and the artistic creation that will emerge.

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Then the panster (yours truly) comes to a startling realization: this process will take FOREVER. The panster then grabs the closest clipper and starts cutting. “Let’s just see where this leads us!” she says. The plotter groans.

The project feels like an insurmountable goal at first. You clip, clip, and clip some more. Blisters form on your fingers. You look back on your day’s work… And realize you’ve written less than one chapter. (Or in the hedge analogy, you’ve clipped only a few branches.) This is when you first realize that you’re completely in over your head. Unfortunately, you’ve already told everyone you know that you’re clipping the Great American Hedge. You are committed. So you keep clipping, cursing your big mouth and your idiocy.

Once you get in the groove, you don’t want to stop. Frankly, you become a little obsessive. Nothing matters as much as this hedge. Not your family, not your job, not your life. People whisper behind your back and try to pry your hands off of the clippers. Some part of you knows you’ve become addicted to clipping. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is Finishing. That. Hedge.

At some point you see progress, followed soon after by hitting “the middle.” The point at which you realize how far you still have to go. The point at which you know, without a single doubt, “I suck at this.” This is, of course, after it’s too late to turn back. You’ve committed yourself to this monster even though you know, deep in your heart, that you are the worst hedge trimmer that has ever lived.

Every now and again, you step back to evaluate your work. Some places you trimmed look all green and healthy; some yellow and sickly. Some are great big plot holes showing nothing but sticks. But you keep going, knowing that what you can’t fix now will inevitably grow back in time. And if you killed it, well, then at least you won’t have to do this again next year.

Somehow though, in spite of your bumbling, clip by clip, word by word, you start to make progress. That progress propels you forward.

When you’re done, your hedge needs lots of editing. The lines aren’t straight, and for some unknown reason everywhere you look you see brown areas that you don’t know how to fix. The work needs distance. A second eye.  Someone who can look at it, tell you what you did wrong, and help you learn for the future.

People’s reactions to your work vary from “Way to go!” to “Are you crazy?” to “I’d never do that,” to “I could trim a hedge better than that,” to “Hey, I have a hedge. I’ll point you to it and all you have to do is trim it!” to “For goodness sake. Just hire someone competent to trim that hedge already!” All you can do is take a deep breath, smile, and keep clipping.

When you finish, you swear you’ll never do it again. Seriously. Never. You’ve learned your lesson. The gardeners you hired in the past were right. This thing is a monster. An evil being to be left alone. A being that will surely take over the planet.

Months pass. Most people don’t even notice your lovely hedge. Some do and really like how you trimmed it. Others give it one star on Amazon, saying, “Not my kind of hedge,” or even worse, “Meh.” But before you know it, new green leaves start showing, new idea tendrils form. Before you can stop yourself, you become convinced that you could trim that hedge easier next time.  Faster. Better. Prettier.

So you start all over again.

And so it begins.

Tracy Weber

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

How About a Cover Reveal Contest?

I’m practically jumping up and down about the cover of my fourth Downward Dog Mystery, A Fatal Twist.  Last year’s cover reveal contest was so fun, I’ve decided to do it again!  Here’s how it works:

Each day for the next seven days, I’ll post an element of the cover on my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/TracyWeberAuthor.  Before midnight that day, leave a comment naming the object pictured and you’ll be entered into that day’s contest.  “Liking” my author page or “Friending” me on Facebook while you’re there is good Karma, but not required.

While you’re there, be sure to make a note of the object for the grand prize round.

Then, any time between when I post the final object on Sunday, July 3 and Wednesday, July 6 at midnight, send me an e-mail at Tracy@WholeLifeYoga.com with all seven objects, and you’ll be entered to win the Malice Prize Pack: a copy of  Malice Domestic Murder Most Conventional, the Malice 28 book bag and program, the coolest author swag I scooped up at the event AND an autographed, advanced copy of A Fatal Twist when it is available in August.

Here are the prizes! 

  • Monday: An autographed copy of my Agatha Nominated first book, Murder Strikes a Pose. If you already own it, remember:  books make great gifts!
  • Tuesday: A Downward Dog Mysteries coffee mug.
  • Wednesday: An autographed copy of the second book in the series, A Killer Retreat. If you already own it, remember:  books make great gifts!
  • Thursday:  An oh-so-cute German shepherd coloring book and colored pencil set.
  • Friday:  An autographed copy of the third book in the series, Karma’s a Killer. If you already own it, remember:  books make great gifts!
  • Saturday: A $15 Amazon gift certificate.
  • Sunday: An advanced copy of A Fatal Twist when it’s available sometime in August.
  • Grand Prize:  Malice prize pack AND an advanced copy of A Fatal Twist when it’s available.

The first cover element is pictured below.  Visit today’s post on my  Facebook Author Page and make your first entry!

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NOTE:  By entering, you acknowledge that Facebook is not liable for any part of the contest.  The contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.  😉

Namaste and good luck!

Tracy Weber

 

books available

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series. KARMA’S A KILLER,  A KILLER RETREAT and MURDER STRIKES A POSE are available at book sellers everywhere! 

Why I love Sequence Whiz

Hand with thumb up isolated on white background. Ok sign by womanI’ve been meaning to write a blog about this website for over a year now. Like me, Olga Kabel is a yoga therapist who has been certified through the American Viniyoga Institute.  She is making huge contributions in the yoga world. Not only has she developed one of the best yoga sequence drawing tools I’ve seen, she also offers free videos and virtual yoga privates via Skype.

What I really love about her Sequence Whiz site, though, are the articles.  Most of them are not only Viniyoga friendly—they are Viniyoga accurate and commonsensical, meaning that her articles promote safe and sane yoga practices that are likely to help, not injure, practitioners.  I often share her blog articles with my teacher training students.  Maybe someday she’ll write a textbook I can use in my teacher training!

In the meantime, here are four great examples of the articles you can find there:

Whether you’re a yoga teacher, a yoga student, or simply someone interested in body mechanics, I highly recommend that you check out Olga’s website and sign up for her bimonthly newsletter.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the professionalism, depth, and accuracy of the information she provides. And the graphics are simply out of this world!

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Tracy

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

Killer Excerpts and Killer Prices!

Available January 8, 2015 from Midnight Ink!

Hey all!  This week I’m blogging at Inkspot (the blog for the writers of Midnight Ink).

I’m so excited I can barely see straight!  A Killer Retreat, the second book in my Downward Dog Mystery Series, was a BookBub featured deal on Saturday!  It is still on sale for only $1.99 (normally $10.99) on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo!

Sale ends April 23, so don’t wait!

In honor of the special sale,  I’ve shared a few mini-excerpts from the book and the photos that inspired them.  Here’s a teaser photo of the dog that started it all, my German shepherd, Tasha. If you want to see the rest, you’ll have to go to the link!

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“A German shepherd queen, ruling her subjects.”

http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2016/04/killer-excerpts-and-killer-prices.html

Please share the sale links below with your mystery, yoga, or dog loving friends!  Sale purchase links are below.

Happy reading!

Tracy Weber

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

Ten Ways to Show Your Favorite Author Some Love

Hey all!  This week I’m blogging at Inkspot (the blog for the writers of Midnight Ink)  about some simple ways you can show your favorite authors some love.  Check it out and let me know what you’d add to the list!

http://midnightwriters.blogspot.com/2016/03/ten-ways-to-show-your-favorite-author.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!

 

 

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!

Take your dog to a book store!

Hi all!  This week’s blog article is all about a fabulous event I’m doing at the end of this month with a group of four other authors called the Dog Squad!  Grab your best furry friend and hustle on down to Phinney Books for an afternoon of fun!  Support your local book store, chat with several local authors, and show off your best canine buddy at the same time! (Humans without canine buddies welcome too!)  😉

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Join Dog Squad authors Laura T. Coffey, Waverly Curtis, David R. Gross, and Tracy Weber for an afternoon of Fido fun! All four authors will read from their books, answer questions, and accept dog kisses. Come prepared to share your dog’s special talents. Who knows?  Maybe your pup will be featured in one of our future books.

Readings, signings, prizes, and dog treats!  What more could you ask for?

Well-behaved dogs welcome.

Saturday, January 30, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Phinney Books

7405 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
206-297-2665
info@PhinneyBooks.com

About the Authors:

Laura T. Coffey: My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts

Laura T. Coffey is a writer, editor and producer for TODAY.com, the website of NBC’s TODAY show, and the author of the non-fiction book “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts.” An award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, Laura has written and edited hundreds of high-profile human-interest stories. She lives in Seattle. Her author website is http://www.myolddogbook.com/.

Waverly Fitzgerald and Curt Colbert (Waverly Curtis): Silence of the Chihuahuas

Waverly Fitzgerald and Curt Colbert make up the writing team known as Waverly Curtis. In 2011 when Curt showed up for one of their weekly meetings with the start of a novel within a novel featuring a talking Chihuahua. Waverly said she would like to help him write that novel (especially since it was loosely based on her daughter’s Chihuahua, Pepe) and the collaboration was born. Five years later they’ve written five novels and one novella in the Barking Detective series for Kensington books; the most recent is called The Silence of the Chihuahuas.

David R Gross: Travels with Charlize

David R. Gross graduated from Colorado State University’s veterinary school in 1960. Following private practice for ten years he enrolled in graduate school and earned a M.Sc. degree and a PhD degree from the Ohio State University. He taught and did research at Texas A & M University for sixteen years then became Director of the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Research Labs at the University of Kentucky Medical School for five years. Dr. Gross retired in 2006 after twelve years as Professor and Head of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Since retirement, he published: ANIMALS DON’T BLUSH (Book Publishers Network), MAN HUNT (Whiskey Creek Press), SUCCEEDING AS A STUDENT (Book Publishers Network), and TRAVELS WITH CHARLIZE (Book Publishers Network). He blogs at http://www.docdavesvoice.com.

Tracy Weber: Karma’s a Killer

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series. The first book in the series, Murder Strikes a Pose, won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Karma’s a Killer is her third novel. Tracy is the owner of Whole Life Yoga in Seattle. She and her husband Marc live in Phinney Ridge with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd, Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.  For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/