Critical praise for Christy!

For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings

For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:
"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance,
"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner,
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" -

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What Happened to October?!?

All right, troops. Would someone please explain to me where the entire freakin' month of October disappeared to? I mean, didn't I just do the book launch and signing thing at North by Northwest? How did an entire month go by so fast?

Seriously, this past month was a whirlwind. It started with a pro-level writing workshop here in town, where I helped teach every night after work. In the middle of the two-week workshop we had a very successful book launch, and at the end of the week a senior editor from my publisher came in as a guest instructor.

After which I collapsed - until my husband got sick, and then, well, see that last post about the glamour of the writing life!

One very cool thing happened just before the launch. I got a book release gift from a wonderful friend. Here's the explanation I emailed to our writers loop:

I just got the coolest, funnest "book release gift" ever! Last night Steve
showed up with a special gift from Cindie Geddes to celebrate the release of
SINK TRAP. She had arranged with him to pick up something she had ordered locally for me - and I was simply blown away.

Cindie, I have to say, this gift was unique and it made me laugh!!

What Steve presented me with on Cindie's behalf was a LARGE pipe wrench, which was pretty cool all by itself. But that wasn't all - she had managed to talk the local hardware store guys into engraving the release date for the book on the handle, and the name of my main character on the jaws!

Now, when I say a big wrench, I really mean it. Just look:

Is that totally cool, or what? The victim, er, student in the picture is Michael Bellomo. He wanted his picture taken with me and the wrench, and I really couldn't disappoint him, now could I? Somehow, I see another Georgie plot shaping up... Rest assured, Michael survived, and is now resting comfortably at home in California. He may even come back to Oregon. Someday.

And those books on the table? They have sticky notes on them because they were pre-ordered, which was a good thing, since Sheldon (McArthur, bookseller extraordinare) actually ran out of books and had to take backorders! Doesn't get much better than that.

Steve recovered from his flu, after sharing it with me, and I've recovered, too. There is news about LEAD PIPE CINCH (coming in April), and more maybe-news on the horizon. And maybe the next month won't disappear quite so fast.

Who am I kidding??


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The glamorous life of an author...

I ran into Sheldon Mcarthur, the local indie bookseller who is hosting my signing on Saturday, at the grocery store this morning. He told me the books had arrived and he was getting the display set up and arranging stuff for the signing. Then I picked up a copy of the local paper (News Guard, Lincoln City, Oregon) and checked out the profile piece on me, along with the very nice review of SINK TRAP that's quoted above.

But the really glamorous part? I was wearing a baggy T-shirt and blue jeans, and drooling because I had just left the dentist's office.

I tell you, the glory never ends!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Road to the Bookstore - Arrival!!

According to the publisher, today is the official release day for SINK TRAP. I will be reading and signing at North by Northwest Books & Antiques here in Lincoln City on Saturday, October 10, at noon. If you can’t make the signing but you’d like to get an autographed book, contact Sheldon McArthur at North by Northwest (, or call the store (541) 994-6809.

The release of a book is a milestone – the culmination of that whole Road to the Bookstore that I’ve been talking about. It means that the manuscript you sweated bullets over, the careful cover design, the hard work of artists, designers, typesetters, editors, and copyeditors has finally produced the beautiful volume that’s on the shelf with your name on the cover. It’s a cause for celebration, and an opportunity to stand in the aisle and admire your finished product – and maybe squeal just a little.

But in a larger sense the release itself is anti-climactic for a working writer. The book that appears on the shelf today is a book I wrote last year. I did the revision many months ago. I’ve already seen the cover art, and the finished cover. I checked the copyedits and the galley pages, and distributed advance copies. I’ve even seen a few reviews – the source of the quotes at the top of this page.

For me, the book is history. I’ve moved on to the next book, or beyond. In the case of the Lady Plumber books, I have already written the second and third books in the series. At the moment I am working on the copyedited manuscript for the second book, and squealing with glee over the preliminary cover design. But as far as SINK TRAP is concerned, most of my work is done.

I’ll still promote the book, and I’m immensely proud of what I’ve done. I’m pleased with the story, and happy that the early reviews are favorable. It’s what I call the Sally Fields moment – “You like me! You really, really like me!” – and it’s a wonderful feeling. But writing is my job, and just like everyone else, my job doesn’t end just because one project is complete.

So I’ll be at the bookstore at the end of this particular road on Saturday, and I’ll enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with the completion of the project. I’ve earned that moment.

But come the next day it will be time to go back to work, and start another journey on the Road to the Bookstore.

Who knows where the next one will end?

Reminder: Signing this weekend!

Chris will be signing and reading from "Sink Trap" this Saturday, Noon, at North by Northwest books in Lincoln City, Oregon. The address is 6334 S Hwy 101. Phone is 541-994-3087. If you can't make the signing, the store will be glad to take your orders for signed books.

The store is located on the far south end of Lincoln City in the Streetcar Village antique center. Find a map HERE. (Yes, it may seem like you've left town before you get there, but don't worry, unless you pass the Salashan Resort, you haven't driven too far.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Problem in the Pipes - "Sink Trap," Chapter 1 (continued)

The first part of Chapter 1 was posted last week, here. (Go ahead, go read that post, we'll wait.)

Here's the rest of the chapter. I hope you'll enjoy it enough to want to pre-order the whole book, which you can do HERE. And, yes, there will be a Kindle version for you early adopters. Just follow the "other editions" link from the page that link takes you to on Amazon.

Chapter 1 (continued)

The inspection of the Tepper warehouse hadn’t gone well. So far, we’d discovered one restroom with some serious leaks, and a stopped-up utility sink.

Fortunately for me, clogged pipes are easier to diagnose than leaks, so Barry took the bathroom and I got the sink.

But on this job, nothing turned out to be simple. I’d struggled with a plumber’s snake for twenty minutes before I gave up, grabbed my tools, and crawled under the sink where my mother had found me.

Plumbers, in my limited experience, spent an inordinate amount of time under sinks. Or under houses. I’d take the sink any day.

From my cramped quarters back under the sink, I heard familiar footsteps echo through the empty warehouse. Over my shoulder I saw the worn steel-toe boots of my boss, Barry Hickey.

Lately, I identified everyone by their shoes.

“Hand me that work light, would you, Bear? I can hardly see what I’m doing under here.” The nickname fit his stocky frame and brown hair, though I didn’t use it often. It seemed a little too familiar.

But sometimes Barry felt more like the older brother I never had than my boss. And it didn’t hurt our budding friendship that I made the office computers do tricks he didn’t think possible.

Barry thrust the small round light under the counter, into my outstretched palm. “Getting late,” he said. “I’m done with that bathroom for now. We could knock off for the night, come back in the morning when you can see what you’re doing.”

I wiggled further under the sink and grabbed the wrench handle with my leather-gloved hands. I tightened the jaws around the connecting ring of the drain pipe, digging into seventy year’s accumulation of unidentifiable corrosion.

“I can see,” I protested. “Besides, another five minutes, I swear, and I’ll be done under here.” I grunted as I pushed against the wrench, my reward a scant inch of movement.

“And we can’t come back tomorrow,” I continued, as I braced myself for another push. “We have to do the walk-through on the Tepper house.”

The two properties were both owned by Martha Tepper, a retired librarian who’d left town a couple weeks back. I’d heard she was tired of Oregon winters and wanted someplace with sunshine.

I think she went to Arizona, though I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t seen much of her since I left for college, but I remembered her from summer vacations when I camped out in the mystery section of the library.

Now my mother and Gregory were working with Rick and Rachel Gladstone, Martha’s attorneys, on a deal for both properties.

“You promised Sandra it’d be done, and she wants to get back to the Gladstones before the end of the week.”

The wrench moved again. The pipes in the warehouse were old, but I had the right tools and a whole lot of stubborn.

“Sandra?” A disapproving tone crept into my boss’s voice. “Georgiana, she’s your mother.”

It bugged Barry when I called my mom by her first name, but it was one way I kept my personal and private lives separate. And as long as Hickey & Hickey worked for Whitlock Estates Realty, I needed that separation.

I’d already messed that up once today, talking to Sandra herself. I wasn’t going to do it again.

“She is. When I’m at her house for Sunday dinner or we’re visiting her sister in Sweet Home. Not when she’s paying for a job, Barry. Then she’s Sandra. Or would you rather I called her Mrs. Neverall?”

Barry’s feet moved away, out of my line of sight. He paced across the dirty concrete floor of the warehouse.

Barry wasn’t good at waiting.

I herked on the wrench one more time and the connector ring broke free. A couple good turns and I was able to put the wrench down and turn the coupling by hand.

The stubborn joint came free, releasing the end of the outlet pipe. A gush of stagnant water ran into the waiting plastic bucket. Judging by the stench, that water had been sitting in the pipe for a long time.

I dropped the rusty coupling in the bucket and wormed my way back out from under the sink.

“You know, Barry, you didn’t put ‘contortionist’ on the job description.” I reached back in for the work light and played the illumination over the end of the pipe to be sure the flow of stinky water stopped before I moved the bucket.

Barry chuckled. “You’re the girl who wanted to be a plumber,” he said.

“Woman, Barry. Woman. Your daughter is a girl. Maybe. But I am not a ‘girl.’ Haven’t been for years.” I reached under the sink to retrieve the bucket.

“Megan’s twelve. Of course she’s a girl.”

I glanced up, shaking my head. “Not so much anymore, Barry. She might tolerate you calling her that right now, but not for much longer.”

Through the high windows of the warehouse, the sky was nearly dark. I let go of the bucket and pulled back the cuff of my leather glove to glance at the scratched plastic bezel of my dime-store watch. I had learned the hard way never to wear a good watch when messing with pipes.

Nearly seven. How did it get so late? I was late for dinner with Wade.

I bit back a curse. Barry tolerated a lot from me, but one of his rules was no cursing in front of customers, which had morphed into no cursing on the job. Never mind that there wasn’t anyone in the building but the two of us, or that he was probably the only construction-trade guy in the country who didn’t swear a blue streak. It was still a rule.

The bucket stuck and I put my head back under the sink to see what the problem was, shining the light on the exposed pipe ends.

Something bright caught my eye. Given the condition of those pipes, there shouldn’t be anything bright under that sink.

Dirty, yes. Rusty, yes. Smelly, definitely.

But not bright and shiny.

I poked one gloved finger into the pipe, but the thick leather didn’t fit in the tight opening. I pulled the glove off, reached for the pipe, then reconsidered.

I had no idea what I was reaching for.

I grabbed a close-fitting latex glove from my pocket, stretched it over my hand, and reached back under the sink.

It was a lump of metal and stone, large enough to block most of the pipe. It should have been too large to have fallen down the drain, except the drain guard had rusted through, probably years ago.

The piece was lodged crosswise, and I pried it loose with my finger. It popped out of the pipe and landed in the bucket with a plop.

Curious, I fished it out.

It was a brooch. A very distinctive brooch, and one I thought I recognized. Martha Tepper, the retired librarian who was supposed to be in Arizona, had worn it every day, the same way a happily-married woman always wears her wedding band. If it was the brooch I remembered, she never went anywhere without it. So why was the librarian’s favorite accessory sitting in a glop of plumbing goo in my hand?

After being lodged in the drain pipe of an empty warehouse in Pine Ridge, Oregon?

And what was I going to do about it?

(To be continued...)

Order "Sink Trap" now:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet Georgiana Neverall!! (Read the opening to "Sink Trap!")

A Dirty Business

Always keep a Tyvek jumpsuit and a dust
mask on hand. Both can be purchased at
most hardware and home supply stores. You’ll
be glad to have them when you have to crawl
underneath the house, or through the attic.
When dirt and worse are flying everywhere, it’s
handy to have a tough outer layer to repel it.
—A Plumber’s Tip from Georgiana Neverall


“Georgiana? Georgiana Neverall , is that you under there?”

My mother, Sandra Neverall, the doyenne of Whitlock Estates Realty and one of the more demanding customers of Hickey & Hickey Plumbing, stood in the doorway. Her stylish stiletto heels, the only part of her visible from my position under the utility sink, looked impossibly out of place on the dirty concrete of the warehouse floor.

My mother could turn a simple hello into a referendum
on my entire life. “Yes, Mother. Who else would it be but
your only daughter?”

I regretted it the instant the words left my mouth. She
knew how to push my buttons, and I knew she knew, but it
didn’t stop me from rising to her bait.

“We-l-l-l-l . . .” She dragged the word out, and I could
picture her arching one perfectly penciled eyebrow. “I’m
really not sure. My daughter spent a fortune on a degree
from Cal Tech. I’d hardly expect to find her in ragged
coveralls under the utility sink of a filthy warehouse, now
would I?”

I bit back the impulse to answer in kind. We’d read that
script too many times already. I’d recently discovered I
liked wearing coveralls and crawling under sinks, and she
thought I should wear aprons and serve meatloaf to an
adoring husband. Or at least make some use of that pricy
college degree.

“And yet, you have.” I abandoned the stubborn pipe
joint and wiggled out from under the sink, standing up to
face my mother, work boots to stilettos. “So, what was so
important that you dragged yourself all the way out here
to find me?”

She widened her eyes in an attempt at innocence. She
held the expression for a few seconds, but then realized I
wasn’t buying her act and gave it up.

I love my mother, and I truly believed she loves me.
But that didn’t mean we dropped in on each other, or
palled around together.

Or understood each other.

To tell the truth, I was surprised she even knew where
to find me.

“I went by that charity house first. I assumed you were
there.” She refused to call the project by its proper name,
Portland Homes for Help.

“I finished there before I came to work.” For a moment
I remembered the rich odor of fresh-cut pine and the scent
of new carpet. The house was nearly done, smelling like
hope and the promise of help for one deserving family.

“It’s charity, Georgiana,” she said, as though reading
my thoughts. She says that’s a mom talent that never goes
away. She’d been really good at it when I was a teenager,
but you’d think it would lose its potency when I passed

Apparently not.

But it explained how she found me. The Homes for
Help crew ratted me out.

I nodded, bit my tongue, and waited for her to go on.

“I’m on my way out to the Clackamas Commons Development,”
she finally continued. “Gregory and I.” She
always referred to her boss as Gregory, not Mr. Whitlock,
and I wondered for a moment about the apparent level of
familiarity before I focused back on her words. “—so
we’re going to take over sales for all three hundred units.”

“Great, Mom. Really. If anyone can sell those places,
it’s you. I can picture the commissions stacking up.” I
grinned at her, to let her know I really was pleased. “But
you didn’t need to come all the way out here to tell me
that. You could have called.”

“It was on my way,” she lied, waving a freshly manicured
hand in dismissal.

Plum Crazy. The color registered without thought. I
hadn’t had a manicure in over two years—not since I left
the high-wire act of corporate competition—but it used to
be my favorite color. And it described perfectly the way
my mother made me feel.

I turned away and crouched back under the edge of the
sink. “That’s great news, Mom. Thanks for telling me. But
I need to get back to this job.”

I really didn’t expect it to work, and it didn’t. But it did
make her get to the point. Finally.

Her tone became all-business, as though someone had
thrown a switch. I found her ability to change so abruptly
a tad creepy. Then again, it was a useful talent.

“I just talked to Barry,” she said.

So she’d come to see my boss, Barry the Plumber, not
me. “He promised me the two of you would get this inspection
done by tomorrow.” She glanced around the warehouse,
her nose wrinkled in distaste. “And he said he’d
start on the house as soon as you finish here.”

She paused and I hoped we were finished, but she had
one more zinger before she left. “I asked for you on this
one, Georgiana, because I know you need the work. I just
hope you don’t waste too much time on that charity house
when you have a paying job waiting.”

She walked away, her heels clicking loudly in the
empty space, and I wiggled back under the sink. Charity, I
reflected, was not one of Sandra Neverall’s strong suits.

Be fair, I reminded myself, as I went back to work on
the corroded pipes. Charity was what forced her to go to
work after my dad died. The beloved Dr. Neverall of Pine
Ridge, Oregon, had treated his patients for free, and left
his widow with a stack of unpaid bills, and a load of resentment.

I promised myself I’d cut her some slack.

Or at least I’d try.

(Click to continue...)

Order "Sink Trap" now:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We Have A Winner Times Two - and A Bonus Giveaway!

I want to offer my congratulations to the winner of the Advance Readers Copy of SINK TRAP

(Drum roll, please!!!)

Louisa of Portola, California!!!

This is the part where I thank you all for playing, and offer some consolation. Whatever. But since I really appreciate the support from all of you, well

(Would another drum roll be too much?)

We're giving away another book!

Same as before, except I'll keep all the current names (except you, Louisa. Sorry!) in the drawing and add any new ones. You've got about a week to be sure your name is on the list, but I want to be sure I get the book to you before it hits the stores, so you can get a head start on the rest of the world.

And while I'm giving stuff away, there's one more thing to give away tonight. At the suggestion of my dear husband, I've made some knitted Kozy Kovers for the Kindle e-reader. Over at I collected names to give away a Kozy, and the winner of the first Kozy is:

(Hey, drummer, you should know the drill by now.)

Robin Page!!!

Now, before you all go away and plot how to make me draw your name next week, I am going to offer a consolation prize. On Thursday - really, it's on my calendar for Thursday - I'm going to post the first chapter of SINK TRAP right here on the blog! (And there might even be a few more pages between now and the release date...)

Once again, thank you all for stopping by, for your kind words and your support. This Road to the Bookstore is always made better by the company of friends and fans!

Congratulations to our winners, and WATCH THIS SPACE.

Chris/Christy - Georgie - Daisy - Buddha - and all the residents of Pine Ridge

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Great Bookstore - and a FREE BOOK!!

Last Saturday I gathered all my courage in both hands, and made a cold call on The Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles. I was only in town for three days, and had the World's Most Beautiful Granddaughter in tow, but I wanted to see the store.
I am SO glad I did!! The store itself is exceedingly dangerous - books packed into every square inch of the store, and something for every mystery reader. They also had children's books, which the WMB Granddaughter immediately started checking out. Fortunately for me, Grandpa was on hand to help her while I talked with the store personnel.
I was nervous, and didn't write down names, which was a stupid mistake. But the guy I talked to was so welcoming and helpful and not only willing but actually interested in taking the ARC I had brought in.
I can't say enough about the gracious welcome and the sincere appreciation of all things mystery exhibited in the store. It was well worth taking the time out of our short visit to the Southland!!

I still have a couple ARCs of SINK TRAP left from the stash the publisher sent me, so I am going to offer them to my followers here. Leave a comment, anything you want, and on Saturday, September 12, I'll draw a name for a copy of SINK TRAP. I'll even pay the postage so you can read SINK TRAP before it hits the stores!!

Yes, there are more posts on the Road to the Bookstore coming, but I think they will have to wait. SINK TRAP will be out in just a few weeks, and there are some things I want to do before it goes on sale - including posting the first chapter right here!! That's right, in just a week you'll be able to get a little taste of Georgie, her mom, and the town of Pine Ridge. It will leave you wanting more, I promise!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kozy Giveaway

Take a look at for details on the Kindle Kozy Giveaway. A Kozy cover for your Kindle, to read cozy mysteries!!

And did I mention that it's FREE?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Road to the Bookstore, Part 5 - Cover Design

The timing for this post is excellent. Just yesterday there was a knock on my door early in the morning, as I was getting dressed for work. I threw on a robe and scurried to the door as a truck pulled away, a clue that there was probably a package delivery left on the porch.

Sure enough, there was a small padded envelope next to the door. Too small to be an actual book (and a little early in production, too) but it was from my publisher.

I wrestled with the plastic for a couple minutes, then gave up and went in the kitchen for a pair of scissors. I very carefully slit open the envelope and found two cover flats. Now that’s something worth answering the door in your bathrobe for!!

A cover flat – for those of you who don’t know – is a book cover before it’s folded around the printed pages. (Thus the name “flat.”) For promotional purposes, there is an extension on one end which contains additional information about the author, marketing bullet points, and a description of any special marketing plans from the publisher, among other things. In addition, it has sales and ordering information – ISBN, pack size (how many books in a case), number of pages, cover price, release date, etc. This is one of the tools the sales force uses when presenting the book to book store buyers.

The cover flat is usually the first time you see the actual cover design come together in one piece. It is the work of a cover designer, a person who takes the various elements and combines them into the eye-catching package that entices the buyer to pick up your book, carry it to the counter, and lay down their hard-earned dollars. In my case that job was done by Rita Frangie (as I mentioned earlier), and I am delighted with her work.

As you can see from the picture, she’s taken the cover art, the review quote (Thank you, Joyce & Jim Lavene!), the cover copy, and the Prime Crime logo, selected a typeface, arranged them with the title and author name, and other required elements (like the bar code), to create my cover. Which, in my not-so-humble-opinion, is really cool! Look closely, and you will see that she mirrored the front cover art on the back cover, underneath the box with the cover copy, and she took a little slice of the cover art and used it to decorate the spine – with one of the Airedales (I think it’s Buddha – Daisy would never sit that still!) displayed below the title.

(sigh - This post has been sitting for a week while I wrestled with my scanner, in order to post a scan of the full cover flat. Alas, the scanner has taken 2 falls out of three, and I am posting without the scan, so as not to delay any longer. Don't you just love technology? Scan will follow if I can ever figure this out!)

All in all, I am way happy with everything that has gone into this process. SINK TRAP is getting closer to the bookstore every day. There are several more steps along the way, and fun stuff to come.

Stay tuned, there's more to come. And a couple surprises in the next week, I promise!!

The Road to the Bookstore, Part 4 - Acknowledgements

So we have a book, with wonderful cover art, great cover copy, and a dedication. Each step brings us closer to finding our book on the bookstore shelf. But there are still several steps to go. In my last installment I gave you the story behind my dedication, now I want to talk about the other piece that goes in front of the story: the acknowledgements.

As I said, some writers have pages worth of acknowledgements, especially in non-fiction where the writer may have talked to dozens - or hundreds - of people in the course of their research. Often they have had help from professionals, specialists, and experts who have provided assistance. But fiction can require research and assistance, too.

In my ALIAS books, the story covered several continents - often in places I had never been. I spent many hours scouring the Internet for photographs, maps, and first-hand accounts of the places my characters visited.

For SINK TRAP I needed to learn more plumbing tips than my rudimentary homeowner skills could provide. Fortunately, I had a friend who had recently been a lady plumber's apprentice. You can bet her name is in my acknowledgements.

I also found an amazing first reader who not only shared my love of mystery, but turned out to have excellent copy editing skills. A good first reader is a treasure - but one who can fix your commas? Priceless!! She told she always wanted to be one of those people whose name was in the front of a book. I was very happy to be able to make that wish come true.

I made sure to thank my editors. They worked with me and provided me with incredible support and assistance and I want to ensure that they get lots of public accolades. They deserve every bit of thanks.

Most writers have a circle of friends and family who have been helpful on the road to publication. This is your chance to let everyone know how much you appreciate them. In my case, that includes my local peeps - the people I meet with every week, who have been mentors and cheerleaders, and my closest friends. They also include the network of writers I've developed over the course of several years, the people who are only an email away when I need a shoulder, a sympathetic ear, or a place to crow about accomplishments.

In addition, there's a local innkeeper who hosts writer workshops, which provides a place to meet, share information, and learn from each other. I get something new out of every gathering at his place, and Kip deserves a shoutout for his support.

Of course, there's someone who shows up in all my acknowledgements: fellow writer J. Steven York. Of course, it just happens we're been married for twenty-five years, so he's more than earned any accolades that come his way. Having another writer for a spouse means there's always someone around who "gets it" when you talk about writing, and who understands when you tell him to get his own dinner because you're on deadline.

There are more steps to come, and I'll try not to let another research trip sidetrack me this time.

And keep checking back - there are a couple cool surprises coming over the next few weeks as we lead up to the release of SINK TRAP.

The Road to the Bookstore, Part 3 - Dedication

The production of a book takes a long time, and yet many things happen at the same time. Cover art and copy - and cover design - are done early in the process. It all has to do with how the publisher actually produces the physical book. The cover and the blurb are used in the publisher's catalog, and it has to be ready months ahead of the book itself.

While the art department and the designers are creating the cover, the editor and the author are going through the process of polishing the writing and the story, making it the best it can be. It can be a complex and daunting process, and I want to say right here and now that my editors - Denise Little at Tekno Books and Michelle Vega at Berkley - made the process manageable. Oh, and they also made the book better. My thanks to both of them.

Somewhere in the process of edits and rewrites, it comes time for the writer to add the dedication and acknowledgements - if they want to. There are writers who don't put these in their books, and writers who include multiple pages. Often non-fiction writers will have acknowledgements that run for several pages, thanking the many, many people who were instrumental in their research.

My dedication came about because I realized where my love for mystery originated: my great-uncle Hubert Darrell Rader. This the story behind that dedication.

Uncle Darrell was born in 1900, so he was nearly fifty when I was born. He never married, living with his widowed father until his father's death.

I was fortunate to grow up with my family nearby - grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins of all sorts, all living within a few miles. I attended church with my grandmother just a few blocks from Grandpa and Darrell's, and after church she would take us to visit her father and brother.

I was a bright kid, and Uncle Darrell had a soft spot for bright kids. When I was really little he would dig in his pocket and let me keep as many pennies as I could count. I outgrew that game far too soon, but the adults would take the vocabulary quiz in each month's Reader's Digest, and they would let me try it with them. As I got older he taught me to play chess, and then one magical day he lent me one of his books: a Perry Mason mystery. My very first adult mystery. Sure, I'd read every Nancy Drew book I could find, and had tried the Hardy Boys, but I'd run out of "kid's" mysteries and I wanted more.

Perry Mason was absolutely what I wanted. Uncle Darrell read a lot, so there were many books to borrow. I'd borrow a book on Sunday and devour it - often within a day or two - then take it back to Uncle Darrell the next Sunday and exchange it for another one. There wasn't a new book every week, but there were a lot of them.

I remember those years with affection. Uncle Darrell gave me a passion for mystery novels that eventually led to the three books that are now on the road to the bookstore. Fot that reason, and so much more, my first mystery novel is dedicated to the memory of Uncle Darrell.

Darrell and Grandpa were a couple bachelors, they had their own life style and their own food choices. Every Sunday we could count on what we would find at Granpa's house for lunch: Smokie Links, rye bread, yellow mustard, Fritos, and Spanish peanuts. OK, not the most balanced meal, but it's loaded with nostalgia for me. So if I have a launch party for SINK TRAP the menu may be a little, um, different.

I hope I'll see you all there.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Road to the Bookstore, Part 2 - Cover Copy

One of the things that happens early on is cover copy. That's the blurb on the back of the book that is meant to intrigue and entice a shopper into picking up the book and carrying it to the checkout counter. It's like a movie trailer. Good cover copy will give the reader a taste of what's in store, without giving away all the "good stuff."

The cover copy is part of the overall cover design, which includes the artwork, typeface, colors, etc. For someone as artistically tone-deaf as I am, it's amazing to see what someone can do with these elements. According to the rights page of SINK TRAP, the cover design was done by someone named Rita Frangie, and I owe her a big shout-out for a great cover! I find myself strangely amused by the little Prime Crime logo handprint in the corner of the cover. Don't ask me why, it jus tickles me. I know the logo is on the cover of other Prime Crime books, but the color and placement on SINK TRAP feels like it's part of the artwork somehow, rather than an add-on logo.

I don't know who actually wrote the cover copy, but here it is, a taste of SINK TRAP.

An amateur sleuth with a great set of pipes…

When Georgiana Neverall’s fast-paced, corporate lifestyle goes down the drain, she moves back home to Pine Ridge, Oregon, and makes an unconventional choice—to apprentice herself to Barry the Plumber. Her uptight, super-successful realtor mother, Sandra, is plumb disgusted. She never dreamed she’d see a Neverall in coveralls toiling under someone’s sink.

Georgiana loves her new occupation, but is a bit surprised when she finds the favorite brooch of Martha Tepper, the town’s former librarian, clogging a sink. Martha supposedly retired to Arizona, but everyone who knew her says she never would have left without that brooch. Georgiana has a sinking feeling that Martha may have been retired permanently—and suddenly it’s up to a plumber’s apprentice to flush out a killer.

That's today's installment of the Road to the Bookstore. Stop back soon for more on the progress of SINK TRAP, LEAD PIPE CINCH, and CRAWL SPACE.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Road to the Bookstore, Part 1 - Cover Art

One of the joys of getting a book published is watching each of the zillion steps along the way. There are so many milestones, and each one is a reminder that in the near future (for flexible values of "near") a book with your name - or your pseudonym - will appear of the shelves of a bookstore near you.

{Note: Because we live in a very small town that same flexible definition of "near" applies.}

Cover art is one of the first steps. Because the artist needs time to produce the artwork, which musts then go through the approval process at the publishing house, there is a long lead time on cover art. You'll notice that I had was able to post the cover in April, even though the book won't be out until October.

A couple weeks ago I got the name of the cover artist. And recently, on a whim, I looked him up online. Wow!! I mean, I love my cover, but his other work is incredible. If you don't know Brandon Dorman, take a look here:

Is this guy great, or what?

So now you can all join me in geeking out over the fantastic artist who painted the cover for my book. Go admire his work, tell him how fabulous he is, and maybe buy one of his books. They're beautiful!

And keep your fingers crossed for me that I get the same artist on book #2, LEAD PIPE CINCH.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Sink Trap" cover

Helper Steve here: While Chris is putting the final touches on book three, here's the cover for book one, "Sink Trap." Doesn't it look great? Click on the image to see it even bigger.

Sink Trap is scheduled for release in early October. You can pre-order by clicking on the smaller image in the sidebar.

The author herself will be along to comment presently.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Welcome to Pine Ridge!

Hi, I'm Christy Evans!

Well, sometimes I'm Christy Evans. Most of the time, out in the so-called real world, I'm Christina York; but in the mystery world I'm Christy Evans.

Last year I signed on to write a three-book mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime: the Georgiana Neverall Lady Plumber series. The first two books are finished and turned in, and I'm working on the third book.

So Christy Evans Mystery is here to host discussions of mystery reading and writing, and maybe to give a few sneak peaks at Georgie, her friends, her family, and her home town of Pine Ridge, Oregon.

Come visit with us!