Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Please Welcome Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

This week's featured guest is DOROTHY ST. JAMES, who also writes as Dorothy McFalls. She's gone the extra mile and written a guest blog to share with you in addition to visiting all week.

 

Check out Dorothy's website here: http://www.dorothystjames.com/

 

She's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/dorothy.stjames

 

 

Her Dorothy McFalls website is here: http://www.dorothymcfalls.com/

 

And she's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/dorothy.mcfalls

 

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Please Welcome Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Please Welcome Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Meet Dorothy:

 

 

 

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, two crazy dogs, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

 

See More Pictures of Iona!

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

 

See More Pictures of Suki

Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger."

 


Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Please Welcome Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Meet Casey:

 

Good gracious, it's wonderful to meet you! I'm Casey Calhoun, Assistant Gardener at the White House.

The First Lady, Margaret Bradley, has tasked me with developing an organic gardening program for the gardens and lawn. The reason for her special project is a SECRET. So shhh...



My love for gardening and for the land comes from my grandmother Faye, who also taught me how to act like a good Southern lady (although I can't say I always make her proud on that account. I have a bit of a wild streak in me.) Grandmother Faye and my aunts Abla and Willow raised me in the historic City of Charleston, South Carolina. Oh my, were there gardens to drool over in Charleston! The loveliest of them all was, of course, my grandmother's. Her garden wrapped around the old family estate in the South of Broad neighborhood, providing stunning colors and textures ten months out of the year.

You'd think I'd lead a quiet life, but *sigh* trouble seems to find me. I'd only been working at the White House for a few months when...

 

I stumbled across a dead body in Lafayette Square! 

 

 

She'd been stuffed into a trashcan.

 

 

 

Now everyone at the White House is worried about what is happening. The Secret Service believe that President John Bradley might even be in danger! 

If you were in my shoes, I know you wouldn't sit on your hands and hope for the best. I saw something in that park that pre-dawn morning. If I ask a few questions, I'm sure I can puzzle out what happened and why.

Easy as pie
, as my Aunt Willow would say. What harm could come from asking a few questions?

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Please Welcome Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

[ Edited ]

Killer Characters

 

Killer Characters: Blog post 11th of every month

2012:
April 11: Escapewithdollycas.com Blog Post
April 27-29: Malice Domestic, Bethesda MD
May 18-20: SC Book Festival, Columbia SC
June 15: Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers Blog Post
Oct 4-7: Bouchercon, Cleveland OH

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Please Welcome Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Looking Back:

 

Dec 11, 2011: Dorothy St. James begins a BLOG to document her White House adventures.

Dec 5, 2011: Dorothy St. James was invited to attend the White House Holiday Open House Tweet-up, where she met with administration officials and then took a tour of the White House. She Tweeted about her experiences, which was highlighted on the White House's Official Blog and in the Charleston's Post and Courierand Folly Current newspapers.

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Please Welcome Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Flowerbed of State  

 

Flowerbed of State

 

Overview

 

Cassandra "Casey" Calhoun's passion for gardening has carried her to President's Park on which sits the White House. But when she finds a dead body in a trash can, Casey has to root out a killer before she ends up planted herself.

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Please Welcome Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

The Scarlet Pepper  

 

The Scarlet Pepper

 

Overview

 

As the White House's organic gardener, Casey Calhoun is up to her elbows in dirt. But when someone starts tampering with the Presidential vegetable garden, embarrassing the First lady-and a hard-nosed investigative reporter is found dead, Casey realizes that the next thing buried in the dirt might just be her...

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

The Making of THE SCARLET PEPPER

 

by Dorothy St. James

 

In celebration of THE SCARLET PEPPER’s release, I thought you might like a brief look into what happens in the process of making a book.

 

Way, way back in the fall of 2010—was it really that long ago?—I started thinking about THE SCARLET PEPPER’s plot. I got out my notebooks and plotted the story arc, created descriptions of the characters, brainstormed motivations, and researched organic gardening facts and White House garden facts that I’d wanted to include in the book. And I also started planning research trips to D.C., because that’s just tons of fun!

 

Then I start writing. It takes me nearly as long to write the opening chapters as it does to write the entire book. This is how it usually goes. Write a chapter. Read it. Delete. Write the chapter again. Read it. Delete. This went on until Christmas.

 

January 2011: Yay! Happy New Year! With my opening finally hammered out I threw myself into writing the rest of the book. My New Years’ resolution was to write fast. Get the book done early. A doable goal.

 

Disaster: Just like in a book, life is filled with plot complications. And boy, oh boy did my household have plenty of them in 2011. First, despite the flu shot, I came down with the flu in early spring, which turned into bronchitis with a high fever for a little more than a month. The little bit of writing that I managed to do ended up getting deleted after I came to my senses again.

 

Not long afterward, my husband had a medical emergency that put him in the ICU for a week and homecare for about a month following that. Thankfully, THANKFULLY, he’s okay now. Thank goodness. He’s my rock. I need him to be healthy. But during that time, I put my family first, and Casey’s fun adventures sat on the backburner.

 

May 2011: Let me interrupt this crisis to promote my new release, FLOWERBED OF STATE, the first book in the series. What was that book about again? With everything going on, and being immersed in the details of the second book, I had to make a cheat sheet to help me remember the book’s plot points. Embarrassing!

 

During this time, the publisher was working with the synopsis for THE SCARLET PEPPER. They were having meetings about the title, what the cover should look like, what they should do to promote the book.

 

It’s almost summer: YAY! Wait...Oh, no. The book is due. It’s not even close to being done.

 

I’d already contacted the publisher and explained the situation. Everyone was super kind and supportive. Thank goodness. But that didn’t make missing the deadline any easier.

 

Oh yeah, since I had all this free time on my hands, I decided to adopt a puppy. A naughty, rambunctious collie mix from our local animal shelter. Her name is Rosie. And she’s super sweet— even though her favorite hobby is digging up the plants in my vegetable garden.

 

Summer hit and THE SCARLET PEPPER became available for pre-order: And I wasn’t done writing it yet. Yep, I started to get nervous.

 

Summer was coming to an end, and also the book’s ending was coming to me. The words seemed to flow onto page all by themselves. YES, I turned in the book! Thank goodness! Deep breath. Collapse on sofa.

 

Fall fell on me: Actually, fall was filled with fun things. I was writing book 3. Working on revisions for THE SCARLET PEPPER. They weren’t too bad. But with every pass, I kept finding things I wanted to change.

 

The publisher has a 3 step process for refining the book. First, revisions. This review pass is for the big picture plot issues.

 

Second, copy edits. The publisher gives the book to a grammar guru who keeps an eagle eye out for typos, misplaced commas, broken or ignored grammar rules, and most importantly continuity.

 

Christmas 2011: The third and final part of the revision process came. I received the typeset pages. Once upon a time, this was mailed as printed pages. Now, it’s an electronic PDF file. This was my last chance to make changes. They don’t like the author to make any major changes at this point in the game. I only made a few. (Blame it on the revision nut in me.)

 

I printed out the typeset PDF pages, because it’s easier that way, and over Christmas vacation at my in-laws, I read through the book with pen in hand, marking anything that didn’t look right.

 

A few days before the New Year, I sent in my last bit of changes for the book. Once I hit “send” I knew no more changes are going to be made. But I hit “send” anyhow.

 

Happy 2012! In a few months, a new book will be born. But I can’t sit back on my heels, because—gosh—I need to get book 3, OAK AND DAGGER written, and because I turned book 2 in late, I’m way behind schedule on book 3.

 

It often feels like I’m going around a track at a horserace. Gallop, gallop, gallop. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking and wonderful.

 

Go fly away, THE SCARLET PEPPER. You sprang to life from the tips of my fingers in bursts of passion...now you go do the rest!

 


 

dorothy st james 1.JPG
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Please welcome DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

 

Author
dorothy_mcfalls
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎01-19-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Thank you for the warm welcome, Becke! I look forward to hanging out with y'all this week.

White House Gardener Mysteries
Flowerbed of State May 2011
The Scarlet Pepper April 2012
Oak and Dagger April 2013
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!


dorothy_mcfalls wrote:

Thank you for the warm welcome, Becke! I look forward to hanging out with y'all this week.


Looking forward to it, Dorothy!

Scribe
ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,530
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

dorothy_mcfalls, Hi, I hope you have a great visit. I like the titles of your books. Do you conisder them cozy mysteries?

 

They look good and I must check them out.

 

Have a great visit.

 

ReadingPatti

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Dorothy - Congratulations on your new release! Will you be doing any Barnes & Noble book signings?

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Author
dorothy_mcfalls
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎01-19-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Good morning, everyone!

 

Hi ReadingPatti! Thanks for stopping by. My mystery novels definitely fall neatly into the cozy mystery genre.

 

I'm glad to hear that you like the titles. I find coming up with punny titles challenging. That said, OAK AND DAGGER, the book I'm writing right now, that title just came to me and fit the story perfectly. I was chewing my nails, worried that the publicity department wouldn't let me keep it, because I loved that title. Just last week, though, I learned that they loved it too! It's the little joys that bring me the most joy.

White House Gardener Mysteries
Flowerbed of State May 2011
The Scarlet Pepper April 2012
Oak and Dagger April 2013
Author
dorothy_mcfalls
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎01-19-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

I don't have any signings set up yet, Becke. Our major bookstores in the area are Barnes & Noble, so that's where they'd be! :smileyhappy:

 

I am doing a signing at the SC Book Festival in May. The books are supplied by Barnes & Noble. I've heard from authors who have attended in past years that I'm going to have a blast, and that it's the best book festival they've attended. I can't wait!

White House Gardener Mysteries
Flowerbed of State May 2011
The Scarlet Pepper April 2012
Oak and Dagger April 2013
Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
Posts: 4,012
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!

Hi, Dorothy, I've never read your books but plan to invest in one after reading about the White House gardener. I hope you have an enjoyable week here at the Forum.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!


dorothy_mcfalls wrote:

Good morning, everyone!

 

Hi ReadingPatti! Thanks for stopping by. My mystery novels definitely fall neatly into the cozy mystery genre.

 

I'm glad to hear that you like the titles. I find coming up with punny titles challenging. That said, OAK AND DAGGER, the book I'm writing right now, that title just came to me and fit the story perfectly. I was chewing my nails, worried that the publicity department wouldn't let me keep it, because I loved that title. Just last week, though, I learned that they loved it too! It's the little joys that bring me the most joy.


Fabulous title! I'm so glad they let you keep it. When's the anticipated release date for this one?

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Guest Blog by Author DOROTHY ST. JAMES!


dorothy_mcfalls wrote:

I don't have any signings set up yet, Becke. Our major bookstores in the area are Barnes & Noble, so that's where they'd be! :smileyhappy:

 

I am doing a signing at the SC Book Festival in May. The books are supplied by Barnes & Noble. I've heard from authors who have attended in past years that I'm going to have a blast, and that it's the best book festival they've attended. I can't wait!


I noticed you're going to Malice Domestic. This will be my first time there - I look forward to meeting you! I'm going with my friend Duffy Brown, who has a new mystery series with Berkley.