Ten Books! — Welcome Back Guest Valerie Burns

News Flash: Alicia is the winner of V.M.’s giveaway! Please check your email, Alicia.

If you are lucky you’ve read books by and met Valerie Burns. I love this inspiring story about her writing path. Look for a fabulous giveaway at the end of the post! Here’s a little about her new book (releases November 26) , Bookmarked for Murder, is the fifth book in the  Mystery Bookshop Mystery series:

Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it’s a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver’s seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .

Valerie: I’ve worked in corporate training for three decades (yeah, I’m that old). I’ve trained everything from DOS (remember that?) to Windows, Macs, software programs, customer service, sales and tons of other things. It’s hard to work in the training/education field without learning a few things along the way, even if it’s only about yourself. One of the things I’ve learned over time is that I have a need to analyze. So, here’s my latest analysis.

November 2019 marks my two-year anniversary as a published writer (where has the time gone?). My debut novel, The Plot is Murder, released in November 2017. On, November 26, 2019 Bookmarked for Murder will release. This will be my 10th book. Yes, I said 10th ! You’re probably asking how on earth I wrote 10 books in 2 years? The answer is, I didn’t. I absolutely did not write 10 books in 2 years. I published 10 books in 2 years (there’s a big difference). I started writing my first book, Travellin’ Shoes, back in 2008, but it took me 10 years to find an agent and a publisher interested in publishing it.

Between 2008 and 2017 I sent out a lot of queries to agents and publishers and got a lot of rejections. Over the years, I thought many times about giving up. Today, I’m very thankful that I didn’t give up. Whenever the desire to quit hit, I reminded myself about other authors who were rejected. Publishers rejected J.K. Rowling, Herman Melville, even Agatha Christie was rejected. Can you imagine that? Reading about those famous, highly successful authors who were rejected taught me that publishing is subjective. Just because one agent/editor doesn’t like a particular story doesn’t mean the story is bad or that another agent/editor won’t love it. Publishing is also a lot about timing. Getting the right book idea into the right agents’ hands at the right time is critical. Lastly, I learned the importance of perseverance.

During my 10-year waiting period, I wasn’t idle. I made a lot of revisions to my first book (I probably rewrote it at least 5 times). I read a lot of books on craft and I went back to school to get an MFA. I’m not saying writers need an MFA degree to be successful, I’m merely recounting my 10-year journey. Through everything, the one thing that I think helped me the most was that I kept writing. I wrote the sequel to my first book, Motherless Child. I even started another mystery series, my Mystery Bookshop Series. Eventually, in 2015 when I sold my first book, The Plot is Murder, it wasn’t the first or even the second book that I wrote.

So, as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, I am thankful for my soon to be released 10th book, Bookmarked for Murder. I’m also thankful for the many rejections that I received which helped me to get to this point. I’m especially thankful for the agent and the publisher that finally said, YES.

Readers: I’d love to celebrate Thanksgiving by giving someone a set of books in my Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series. For a chance to win the first four books in this series (U.S. ONLY) tell me one thing that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving Season.

About the author
V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Seton Hill University. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. V.M. Burns is also the Agatha Award nominated author of The Plot is Murder, the first book in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series; and the RJ Franklin Mystery series.

She currently resides East Tennessee with her two poodles. Readers can keep up with new releases by following her on social media.

Website: http://www.vmburns.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vmburnsbooks/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/v-m-burns

Available for Preorder—- BuyLink

70 Thoughts

  1. I am so thankful for my terrific husband, and our two dogs and cat. I cannot imagine life without them!

  2. Welcome, Valerie! Ten books is a fabulous milestone (I am going to hit twenty in March and can hardly believe it…). I’m grateful for a safe, warm, comfortable modest house in which to write, and for my relative good health as I inch closer to seventy.

    1. Edith, I am so impressed by your broad range of books and writing prowess. Congrats on your pending milestone. For twenty books, there should be a parade and cake! You deserve it. Thanks for letting me hang out with the Wickeds!

  3. Hello! Congrats on 10 books! I am greatful for my kids. They are everything to me.

  4. I am thankful for my health, my family (including my 7 Border Collies) , and so many books that make my life so enjoyable.

  5. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I am thankful for finding a small group of friends that support and love me no matter what I do. We are now traveling buddies which is so fun, I’ve never had a group of friends like this before.

  6. I’m thankful that I get to go to places like Malice and Suffolk and meet wonderful authors such as Valerie, Sherry, Julie and the rest of the wickeds. I have a wonderful husband who supports my reading addiction…I mean, hobby.

    1. LOL – Kristin, I am thankful that I get to meet other people who share my cozy mystery…hobby (addiction is more accurate) too. I’m also thankful for the Wickeds! They’re an amazing group.

  7. Congratulations on your 10th book being published! I love your story about your unwillingness to give up. That’s so amazing. I’m thankful everyday for my parents, my siblings, my husband and daughter, my friends, my job that I love and wonderful co-workers. This Thanksgiving I’m especially thankful for all these blessings. My husband was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer this year and is thankfully doing well right now. So grateful for our family.

    1. Renee, thank you for the kind words. It sounds like you have a wonderful family and work family (I spend more time with my coworkers than my blood relatives). I hope all continues to go well with your husband.

  8. I know that a lot of women love their husbands and are thankful for them. I must say though that I don’t think they have one near as thoughtful and loving as my sweet guy – in my opinion anyway.

    We have been married 36+ glorious years. In all that time, although it seems impossible, our love has only gotten stronger and bonded us together in ways that nothing could come between us. We have celebrated many high points and smiled and thanked God for them. However, we have also had many sad and tragic times from the normal interruptions in life like job changes to the earth shattering loss of our only child when she was only 17 in which we also thanked God for the time we had with her and for giving us each other to lean on during those hard times.

    During my health issues & surgeries and even the care of Mom during the years of Alzheimer and cancer, my husband has been my rock – always there for me. There is no chore or request that he hasn’t undertaken with a smile and willing heart always putting his needs last. He even took early retirement to help me in the full time care of Mom foregoing vacations and luxury times for several years.

    To say that I am thankful for this man seems to be a very severe understatement – but thankful I definitely am. Thankful that I can proudly say I love him with all my heart and give thanks for him each and every day that he’s in my life praying for many more years to do so! <3
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  9. If I have to come up with only one thing, then I will make a composite thing: I”m grateful for my wonderful life.

  10. Congrats on the new book. I know you said one thing but I am thankful for my husband, family, faith, friends and life in general.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

  11. To be quite honest… With all the cooking and prep work I’m going to be doing for this holiday I’ll be thankful when all my kids, relatives and friends have eaten enjoyed each other’s company AND GONE HOME! I’m not really a social type but everyone else it. I supply the food and venue and they can just enjoy the day.

    1. I’m sure there are many who share your feelings. Preparing for a big family gathering is a lot of work. I’m sure they are all very thankful for all you do to make the day special. I hope you get to enjoy the day too.

  12. I am thankful for my health. I had a surprise triple bypass last Christmas Eve. I just wanted an EKG because I had an odd feeling in my chest, not really chest pain. After 4 days of tests, I ended up in life saving surgery. So, every day is truly a gift.

    1. Linda, that is amazing. Health and life are often things that we take for granted as we muddle through the day to day. Every day is absolutely a gift.

  13. Welcome to the Wickeds, Valerie. Your story is so inspiring. My first book was fourteen years from first sentence to publication, though I wasn’t nearly so productive in between. I hope you have a marvelous Thanksgiving and a great holiday season.

    1. Barbara, It’s easy to be productive when you don’t have a life! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for allowing me to hang out with the Wickeds!

  14. I am thankful for the companionship of my husband, who keeps me honest and laughing. Hearty congratulations on your tenth publication!

  15. First of all, I am thankful you never gave up on your writing.
    Second, I am thankful for whoever said yes and did not reject The Plot is Murder.
    Finally, I am thankful that even with My poor eyesight, I am still able to read.
    Do not enter me in the drawing. I have all of your books already. I want give someone else the chance to enjoy your writing.

    1. Annette,
      Thank you so much! I am thankful for my agent and publisher too! I am also thankful whenever I learn that one of my books will be made into audio or large print, because it helps so many people with poor eyesight (like my dad) read my books.

  16. I am definitely thankful for good books! Thank you for sharing your publishing journey, and congrats on your two year anniversary!

  17. 10 books in two years is still impressive from a publishing standpoint never mind how many years you spent writing them. Congrats!

    And congrats for sticking with it until you did get published.

  18. I enjoyed reading about Bookmarked for Murder and your journey to become a published author. Thanks so much for sharing. This Thanksgiving season I am especially thankful for my family ~

  19. Congrats & thank you for the chance! I’m thankful for my husband because we moved & live away from my family and friends, he’s become my BFF & shopping GF!

  20. I’m thankful eldest son found a job after being laid off and thankful all the kids/grandkids are doing well. That’s all that matters. Thank you for this chance. Your books sound amazing.

    1. Vicky, Thanks for the kind words. Congrats to your son on finding a new job. Everyone doing well is definitely something to be thankful for.

  21. I’m thankful that my y Sister’s back surgery was a success and she’s recovering nicely at home and getting better every day.

  22. the ability to read. I have enjoyed many years of reading all kinds of stories. I like mysteries best these days.

  23. First, Congrats on 10 books! That is a great accomplishment, no matter the time frame, and published over two years is quite the feat!

    I’m thankful for friends and family that continue to be there with laughter and caring. And mostly for my other half! He has stuck with me through a hard 7 years of my cancer journeys, and still makes me laugh.

  24. Love Valerie’s book, I am a big fan and have #5 preordered. If you haven’t yet, you really want to try this series, you won’t be sorry!!!!

  25. I’m thankful for my little cat. She was a surprise gift at a lousy time in my life and she always makes me smile.
    I’ve been wanting to read this series for awhile now, last time I was at the bookstore they were all out! Guess that means they’re good. Congrats on 10 books, hopefully there will be 10 more!

    1. Alicia, Pets are absolutely something that I am thankful for too. I have two poodles and can’t imagine my life without them. So glad you have your cat. I hope it’s a good thing when the bookstore is out of copies. I hope they ordered more. Best of luck in the giveaway and thank you!

    2. Alicia,
      Congratulations! You are the winner of the Mystery Bookshop Mystery books 1-4. Please check your email for the details. Thanks again for commenting.

  26. Thanks for visiting on the Wickeds, Valerie! And congratulations on your snowballing success! I love to hear about other writer’s journeys and yours is so inspirational! I am thankful for so many things this year, the chief amongst them is that all my children and my husband will be gathered round the table with me this year to share a meal, memories and each other’s company. Truly, I am preposterously blessed.

    1. Jessie, thanks for the invite. I love hanging out with the Wickeds. Having your friends and family around you is a wonderful blessing. Thanks and Happy holidays.

  27. I`m thankful to still be able to share Thanksgiving and every day w/both my parents.

  28. I am thankful that I am still able to cook for my family! I would love to read your books! Thanks for the chance!

  29. I am most thankful for my husband who is my caretaker husband who lives out our wedding vows of almost 49 years daily.

  30. I’m thankful for authors and wonderful books. I’m thankful for my family 👪 and especially my grand kids. I’m also thankful for a warm place to live with my dog. Thank you for the chance it would be like Christmas if I won. I’d love to read and review your books.

    1. Donnamae, It sounds like you have a lot to be thankful for and that’s wonderful. So grateful we can stop and take time to remember them. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck in the giveaway

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