Sunday, June 24, 2012

Now available in Print! Lone Star Death

For lovers of horse mysteries with feisty young female sleuths!

Now available in print

Monday, June 18, 2012

Self-Publishing is a whole new thing!

I'm publishing printed copies of LONE STAR DEATH for sale to libraries, schools, and of course, anyone who wants one. :-)  It's been quite an education going from a very old Word document, to a Kindle e-book format, to a Nook format, and now to a printed digital printed-on-demand format.

I published the trade paperback book through Createspace, Amazon's print-on-demand company.  Over all, it was a very easy process, and I'm still blown away by the idea that I can submit it today and get a finished paperback book next week.  WITH full color cover.  Amazing.  Technology has finally caught up to me.  Now all those finished books and manuscripts sitting in my drawer can see the light of day.

 I had to scramble around and design a logo to put on the cover, and came up with this simple design:

Publishing the first e-book is always the most complicated.  If I did dozens everyday, I could do it a lot faster.  But I've learned so much in the last month, I feel like my brain has been stretched.  
Next thing, I'm teaching myself to do book trailers.  Piece o' cake, right?  LOL!

The whole field of digital publishing  has given many authors a new way to get their writing out there.   And with print-on-demand, there are no returns, no wasted paper, no books sitting around in cartons collecting dust.

Amazing stuff, this e-publishing!

Oh, by the way, as soon as I get a copy of the printed cover, I'll post it.  It's different from the e-book cover, but still has that familiar horse on it.  :-D

Happy trails from Texas! 
bobbi c.
Lone Star Death
Available in Kindle, Nook and Printed editions (coming soon)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Featured on Literary Austin

I was pleased to see that I and my new book, Lone Star Death, are featured this week on Literary Austin. Thanks to Allyson Whipple for having me!

Happy trails!

bobbi c.

And the Doctor said...

Quote for the Day

"You want weapons? We're in a library.  Books!  Best weapons in the world!  This room's the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself1"

--Doctor Who

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Little Thing---A free mystery short story

Mystery writers can be strange.  It's just the way we're drawn.  On one of my online listservs, we've been talking about the logistics of how to hide a body in a septic tank, a landfill or some other not-easily-located place.  On another list, we're talking about amateur sleuths and what bugs us about them.  I can't help myself sometimes; I just have that Inner Spoof thing going and this stuff has gotta come out!  When a member of the group mentioned the time worn idea that the amateur sleuth finds way too many bodies, this short story came to me.  Enjoy!  And yes, it's a spoof, and yes, it's the brand new, unedited version.  :-)

Happy trails y'all!

bobbi c./b.a. neal

One Little Thing
By  B. A. Neal

“Aren’t you the one that found that body last year?  The one stuffed into the septic tank at that old farmhouse?” the Sheriff asked her.

“Well, yes, Sheriff, as a matter of fact, that was me,” she answered, modestly.

“And here you are again—right in the middle of another big mess!  How do you explain that?” he asked.

“I just have the knack, I guess.” She shrugged.

“Either that, or you’re the killer!”  He looked her up and down, suspiciously.

She smiled. “Who, me?  I’m just a little old lady who loves to knit.  I saw all the lights and thought I’d come over and check it out.  I’ll go back home now, if you don’t need my help.  I need to get two more rows finished on this damned afghan before bedtime.”

“No, we don’t need your help. Please go home.  We're the experts here."

She started to walk away, then stopped. “There is just this one little thing….” 

The End

Animal Antics! in Williston, North Dakota

Anybody near Williston, ND on the 19th through the 21st of this month?  That's coming up soon, folks!

If so, go see my LITTLE RED BOOTS & COOTER COYOTE, MASTER OF DISGUISE play at the Old Armory Theatre.  Wish I could be there, but I can't! 

Summer Shorts 7: Animal Antics, Youth Education On Stage, Williston ND June 19-20-21, 2012, directed by Jack Dyville.

LITTLE RED BOOTS is my Texas-style, insane crazy adaption of the Little Red Riding Hood story, except with a wiley coyote, a talking horse, fried chicken and an armadillo Sheriff ("Matt Dillo" natcherly).   As they say about most of my fairy tale mish-mashes, this ain't yo mama's fairy story!

Good luck to the cast, and break some legs!  :-)


bobbi c.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Writing is not a linear activity.

An oldie but goodie, reprinted from my previous writing blog......

Being a writer doesn't feel like you think it will...

When I was ten years old, writing my first poetry and submitting them to contests, I'm not sure what I thought the life of a "real" writer would be like. All I knew was that I loved to write, and wanted to do a lot of it. I don't really remember a lot more of how I felt back then.

But as I got older, perhaps a starry-eyed teenager, I guess I formed a picture in my mind of what it would be like when I finally became published, became well-known, or at least, well-read by intellectual types. Maybe I would sit at a wonderful old oak roll top desk, with a little lamp on the corner sporting a cheerful green glass shade. I thought I'd be sitting at that desk all day with an old typewriter clacking out page after page of wonderful Stuff. Or I'd be sitting by a crackling fire, sipping cognac, pondering Great Thoughts.

When it came time to go to college, I decided to major in art. To this day I wish ONE person had said “You have talent. You should write.” It took years of frustration trying to sell my artwork before I started writing about it instead and stumbled onto a whole new path.

Well, you know what? I finally got published. And it was NOT the way I thought it would be. My first desk was a fold-up, rickety card table in the corner of my bedroom in a low-rent apartment. I had an electric typewriter by then, but produced a manuscript using plain white paper and a lot of White-Out.

My first advance for a 250-page book was $500. In those days, that paid about two month’s rent and a few bills. Over the next few years, the royalties weren't much more than that. But I didn't care; I was published!

My first books were dry, dull, resource guides that took hours and hours of research and correspondence. After twenty plus years, even that got old, and my old dream started nibbling at the corners of my mind. To tell stories--that was the dream.

You think you’ll sit down, and begin at the beginning, and write a story from beginning to end. You think that if you have your little stack of color-coded index cards, that you’ll have your plot all worked out, nice and neat. Little do you know that once you put two characters in a room alone, they’ll start a conversation and pass you by so fast your head will spin. You’ll have no control over them, what they say or do. You’ll be freaked out about this, but go with it.

You won’t have set hours to work. You’ll feel like crap all day, have a cup of tea at 5pm, then next you know it’s 4am, you’re freezing, and you have a stack of pages beside you. You have no idea what you wrote, or where it came from.

You feel Out of Control. You are a writer.

You think that you’ll “dream up” the beginning of a story, and if you keep working on it, you’ll work straight through from beginning to end. Nope. Doesn’t work that way. The first inkling you have of a story might be a snippet of conversation you hear over breakfast in the neighborhood diner…”…after my first son was born, I had a flap of skin that hung down to the floor, honey…” Take that and go with it. Turn it into a character. Write about her, then see what she wants to do. Or it might be a news story you hear in passing about a mutant rodent. Go with it.

Here’s the Big Secret that it took me years to learn. You don’t always start at the first sentence. Writing is not a linear activity, it’s more of a spiral thing. It’s organic, it grows, a little this way, a little out that way. You don’t have to know the ending until you get there! Wow, what a mind-boggling idea that is!

I sure wish I’d known this before the age of 50. I think it would have helped me be a little freer with my writing and get to the authentic stuff before now. I would have written more without having to know the first sentence. I would have paid better attention to the folks in the back corners of old diners.

Here’s the other Big Secret…you are not in control. Not really. You are a writer.

Bobbi A. Chukran
Copyright 2010

Now available for the Nook on Barnes & Noble

Less than 2 days later, my novel Lone Star Death went live and for sale on Barnes & Noble, in Nook e-book format.  Click on the links below to be magically whisked away to the or the Barnes & Noble sites where you can read free samples of the book, or to order. :-)


Happy trails from Texas!  bobbi c.
AKA "B.A. Neal"

Friday, June 8, 2012

LONE STAR DEATH for the Nook!

Dear peeps,

After a lot of hair-pulling, cussin' and cursin', I finally got my new mystery novel, Lone Star Death, formatted correctly and uploaded to the Barnes & Noble website (in spite of hours of "technical difficulties" where I wasn't sure if it was something I did, or something really wrong with their system.  Yep, it was THEM. :-) )

Hopefully, within 24 to 72-hours, it will be published and available to buy there for the Nook.  Yay!

It's a minor thing in the grand scheme of things, but a milestone for me.  It's been years since any of my printed (on paper!) books have been for sale in the Barnes and Noble stores.  I'm just glad I'm able to make the book available for the folks who have Nooks AND Kindles.

And since I still love holding books in my hot little hands, AND love seeing my books on library shelves, I'll be signing up with CreateSpace to make that happen.  Soon, very soon.

Ginger Snap Ann says "You can't sit on an e-book, dagnabbit! Whassup with THAT?"

Baby steps, people, baby steps!

Happy trails from Texas--
bobbi c.

Friday, June 1, 2012

LONE STAR DEATH--now available!

Now available for sale on, for the Kindle. 

And remember, you don't have to own a Kindle to read Kindle books.  You can download free reading software on

Happy trails!

bobbi c.

Lone Star Death---new title!

My Texas historical murder mystery, LONE STAR STATE OF DEATH, published back in 2006,  has a new title, new cover, and a new author!  Well, not exactly a new author.  Same ol' author (me!), with a new name.

For some time now I've been pondering using a pseudonym on the updated Kindle e-book version of this book.  I finally decided on B. A. Neal, my maiden name, and a little more generic.  Also, easier to spell and pronounce.  :-)

Since the book is totally updated, I wanted a new title, something that would set it apart from the previous version and be a bit shorter.  I pondered many hours over this, and finally came up with LONE STAR DEATH.  Close enough to the old name to be found by Google, but different.

As for the cover, I've always loved that photo of the horse, but wanted something a bit more "western-ish" in design and color.  Luckily, I have an art, graphics and publishing background and was able to easily redesign it.  Using a little Photoshop Elements magic, here's the new cover I came up with:

The plot and characters are the same.  The new version takes care of some pesky typos and formatting errors that ended up in the original one.  I also fixed the problem of the doctor whose eye color changed from chapter to chapter!  LOL

To read a synopsis of the book, read about my inspiration for the book and a little background, check out the book's blog, here.

I'll post more news when the book is available for sale on Amazon.  Hopefully, that will be within the next week!

The book is now live, and available for purchase!


This book has been through an exciting adventure since I first wrote it sixteen years ago, and I'm happy to see it available once again, this time for the Kindle.

Happy trails!

bobbi c.