Monday, July 17, 2017

Good News and Not So Good News

This weekend I decided it was finally time to update my website. After all, I have a new book out and I needed to add it to the site. As long as I was there, I thought I might as well update everything.

First I’ll tell you a little about the book, another Sandi Webster Mystery.
“Sandi Webster-Goldberg and her husband, Pete, are definitely out of their comfort zone when they become involved in kidnapping, Internet hacking, cybersecurity, and domestic terrorism.

Sandi’s cantankerous Aunt Martha arrives for a visit at the most inopportune time and discovers that the kidnapping victim is someone from her past; a former student and friend.

Who’s behind what could end up becoming the crime of the century, and can Sandi, Pete and Aunt Martha rescue Andrew Trapper, billionaire, before it’s too late?”

This story was both fun to write, and informative for me. I learned a lot about the world of the Internet, although I didn’t include enough information to bore the reader. After all, this is a mystery, not an over the top learning experience.

When you have a new book, you want to promote it. One thing I did a long time ago was build a short video that shows each book cover in the two series I write. I had to update it and add Entrance to Nowhere - A Sandi Webster Mystery. Therein lies the problem.

I discovered, quite by accident, that an extra frame had been added to the video containing photographs. The frame supposedly indicates places I’ve visited and the viewer can click on the photos to see more videos (not mine). I’ve never visited sites where most of the photographs came from, and one of the photos included a very scantily clad woman. There was another photo of a dog biting someone’s hand. Since my two series include dogs, this is not a good thing. Need I mention that I was upset about this added frame? Oh, I also learned that different people get a different last frame. Go figure.

I called the company I used to build my website. With their newest program, you can’t download your video from your computer. You have to upload it to a specific Internet site and then download it from there. Notice how polite I am about not mentioning company names? Anyway, the video site is the one who adds that last frame, not the website people. I tactfully suggested that the website builder program needs to add an alternative to downloading from another site.

So, when I finish the work on my website, I’ll take down the video altogether.

Writing a book is only part of the process. When you start promoting and marketing, often there are surprises waiting for you. That video of book covers has been up for at least a year, and I’d never played it through on my website, only on my computer. Of course, I wasn’t expecting anything unusual. Surprise!

Last, but not least, I'm happy to say that Marja’s Mystery Blog won a spot on the list of the Feedspot Top Fifty Mystery Blogs ( on the web (#29). You may have seen the Badge at the beginning of this week’s post.

I started with good news, moved on to a mini rant, and ended up with a compliment. That’s it for this week, folks.

Now I’ve got to get busy and finish the update to my website, including deleting the offending video. Well, at least the last frame is offensive (to me).

Until next week, have a good week. It’s summer, and with any luck you’re getting ready to take a relaxing vacation. If not, enjoy your weekends.

CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website (Hopefully you’ll see the updated site)
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to

Enjoy Black Butterfly – A Bogey Man Mystery, and when you’re done with that, give Entrance to Nowhere – A Sandi Webster Mystery a try. The first book revolves around an elderly woman who may be a retired Hit Lady. The second book includes kidnapping, hacking, cybersecurity and a domestic terrorist. Hint: The Sandi Webster book also includes a cantankerous aunt. You’ll love her.


  1. Marja,
    You hit the nail on the head when you said "Writing a book is only part of the process." I wonder how many non-writers realize how many headaches the rest of the process involves. This blog gave them an inkling. Congratulations on winning that award. Your posts are always interesting and informative.
    And, last but not least, congratulations on your new book! I can't wait to read it!

    1. Thank you, Pat! There's always something to keep us on our toes (like a video). Thank you for stopping in!

  2. Ahhh, the fun of being an author. Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Marja. Looking forward to seeing your updated website and reading your latest novel. I should have the paperback copy in my hands in a couple of days.

    1. Thank you on all counts, Evelyn! I'm deep cleaning the house before starting another book. Dang! I'm getting too old for deep cleaning. : ) Thank you so much for stopping in!

    2. Congratulations on the "good news," best to concentrate on that!!!
      Marcia Rosen
      M. Glenda Rosen

    3. Thank you, Marcia! Now I need to take that video down. :) Thank you so much for stopping in!

  3. Wow! Lots of news this week! Congratulations on the release of your new book and on winning a spot on the coveted list of 50 Best Mystery Blogs! I'm sorry you had to deal with the hassle of the video. Good luck with your website. And the deep cleaning. :)

    1. Thank you, Amy! I'm going to try to finish updating the website tomorrow. Deep cleaning? Ick. Gotta be done, though. Thank you so much for stopping in!

  4. Glad Marcia Rosen recommended your blog. What lively and penetrating descriptions of your writing experience! I suspect you enjoy, as I do, the game of correcting plot errors and character inconsistencies. It's so satisfying to work at restructuring fiction so that the story is both inherently sound and gibes with the laws of nature. I especially related to your having to bone up on the Internet for Entrance to Nowhere. I had to beef up my scant knowledge of computer technology to authenticate the connivings in my latest novel, Love and Other Hazards. I look forward to reading your mysteries!
    Claudia Riess

    1. Thank you, Claudia! Like me, you obviously realize just how important research is. My stories are lighter with a little humor, but I try to keep things on track when it comes to the facts. Thank you so much for stopping in!

  5. Marja,
    How awful that someone added those two frames. I've discovered that once someone's exposed to the public eye, a few people do spiteful things.

    Good luck with the new book. And congratulations on your blog being listed among the top 50 mystery blogs. You deserve it!!

    1. Thank you, Marilyn! As it turns out, the pastor at my church is quite the computer geek, and he knew how to get rid of that extra frame. That's what I'll be doing this weekend. :) And thank you for your comment about the blog, too.