So here it is, the cover for The Advocate’s Conviction. The cover art was designed by Daniel Pearson. I love his work. He has done all three of my books and I’m really happy with all of them. On top of that he is an extremely pleasant young man. So if you need any artwork done, he’s your go-to guy. I would highly recommend him.
So here we go, book number 3 in The Advocate Series, The Advocate’s Conviction. It will be released on October 22, 2011. That is only 8 weeks and 2 days from today. In the next few days I will share the cover with you and let you know when and where we will have the launch party. We’re still tying up a few loose ends.
Get ready for Sabre, Bob, & JP to get themselves in and out of another mess!
“The Advocate’s Conviction” is the name of the third book in The Advocate Series. It is finished. The editing process is completed. The jacket cover has been designed. Keep an eye out here on my blog and I’ll keep you posted each step of the way.
Yippee! Let’s go to print…
Presently in California, the public is excluded from the dependency courtroom unless the judge gives special permission for a non-party to be there. Dependency court is where child abuse and neglect proceedings take place. For approximately 50 years the courts have been closed to the public primarily to protect the minor’s privacy. However, there is an argument that because of the “secrecy” of these courts children’s rights aren’t always protected.
Assembly Bill, AB 73, addresses this issue and suggests that California try a four-year pilot program in which the courtroom would be presumptively open to the public as opposed to being presumptively closed which means they are closed but can be opened at the discretion of the court. In the twelve years I spent in juvenile dependency court I never saw a case opened to the public. However, there was an occasional exception which allowed individual members of the public in the courtroom. With the courts open to the public, some cases would be closed at the discretion of the presiding judge most likely at the request of the child (or child’s attorney).
According to the bill, “personally identifiable information” would not be disclosed in open court and the court would still have the discretion to have the child testify in chambers.
Nationally, only Pennsylvania and Oregon have open courts in dependency. Fifteen other states have presumptively open courts. Fifteen have presumptively closed dependency courts.
The concern for both sides is essentially the same–the potential harm to children. Opponents argue we need to keep the courts closed because the children have a right to privacy. Proponents argue that opening the courts will result in more public awareness and interest in child welfare services resulting in better services for the children.
What are your thoughts? Should California open the dependency courts to the public?
Last weekend I had the pleasure of signing books at the Barnes and Noble in Henderson, NV. The booksellers were great to work with and the customers were fantastic. I spent three days there and signed a lot of books. One woman named Kelly came into the store early on Friday and bought “The Advocate’s Betrayal.” On Saturday morning she returned to tell me she couldn’t put the book down and stayed up most of the night reading it. That’s what keeps me writing!
I had a few other interesting experiences as well. There was the woman who nearly passed me up when I offered her a bookmark. She took it and scurried off. About ten minutes later she returned, apologized for being rude and explained she was embarrassed because she hadn’t had her toes done. Of course, that drew me immediately to look at her feet. They looked fine to me, but apparently she never leaves the house without polish on her toes. She turned out to be a very sweet woman and she even purchased my book.
I really enjoy the face to face contact with readers. It’s one of my favorite parts of this whole “author” experience. One thing I find interesting is some of the unusual names I see every week. Most unusual this past weekend was “Janina”. Have you ever met a Janina?
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. I’m lagging behind here and I apologize for not posting this last month, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pitch in. Every day is a good day to help prevent child abuse. So, what are some things you can do?
1. You can contact your senator or congressman and encourage them to not cut the programs that help in this endeavor. There have been so many cutbacks in the government programs that are effecting the victims of abuse. As a result, it almost looks like abuse is down because the filings are lower. Most of the statistics come from court filed cases. If there are less social workers and investigators to work the cases there are also going to be less filings. You do the math.
2. Donate money to groups that are dealing with child abuse prevention. Or donate something from your business to help these groups. Many of them do fundraiser that need gifts for drawings and door prizes. There are plenty of these organizations out there doing great work. Do a little research and find the one that works the best for you.
3. I know these are tough economic times so if money is an issue then donate your time. That’s even better. Again there are many organizations that need your help. One such organization is CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). They need volunteers to work with these children. Every abused child needs an advocate. Or if dealing directly with the abuse is too difficult for you, then find an organization that works with children that have not been already targeted as abused. If you work with youth in any fashion it will certainly help to give children something to build their lives on. And you can be sure that if you are working with a youth group you will touch some children who have been or are being abused.
Get involved. Help save a child!
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books takes place this weekend, Saturday, 4/30 and Sunday, 5/1 at USC. The festival has traditionally been held at the UCLA campus but for some reason has been changed to USC campus this year.
I’m truly excited about attending this event. I’ll be signing the Advocate series at the “Murder, They Wrote” booth #903 with five other wonderful authors. They include: Jeff Sherratt (Detour to Murder), Joel Fox (Lincoln’s Hand), Jenny Hilborne (Madness and Murder), Gayle Carline (Freezer Burn), and Anne Carter (Cane Seduction.)
If you’re at the festival early on Sunday morning please stop in at the Sisters In Crime booth #373 where I’ll be signing “The Advocate’s Betrayal.”
If you’ve never attended this festival you really ought to try it. It is a wonderful place to meet new authors and hear seasoned authors speak such as Stuart Woods, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, and many, many more. There is a full children section, cultural events, cookbooks, panels, writing seminars, dancing, music, food booths, and many other reasons to attend.
I hope to see you all there.
Sabre’s brother, Ron, was a huge Grateful Dead fan. For those of you who may not be fans you may be unaware that Jerry Garcia was also quite the artist. He used his paintings on a series of ties. They are all very bold and bright and quite colorful.
When Sabre graduated from law school Ron gave her a Jerry Garcia tie. He told her if she was going to work in what was traditionally a man’s profession she needed to dress like one. Sabre was never sure if he actually intended her to wear it, but she did. At first she wore it to show her brother she could, and later as a fashion statement. The tie Ron gave her became the first in a collection of many.
The beige and yellow tie was her second one. This one she bought herself. The third was red and pink with bold hearts.
Who is Sabre, you ask? She’s the protagonist in The Advocate Series, of course.
More of Sabre’s tie collection to come….
As a child I always loved carousel rides. I still do. I ride one every chance I get. I know it’s slow and it just goes around in a circle, but for some reason I feel so free on them.
I remember when the Polk County Fair would come to town in Minnesota and we would go with my family. It’s the first ride I remember ever taking. I thought I was flying. Even then I would lean back and feel the air on my face. I still do.
This carousel is at California Adventure in Anaheim…King Triton’s Carousel to be exact. The animals were from the sea and very colorful. I spotted a bright purple seahorse (I’ve always found them fascinating.) that I wanted to ride on But some little kid beat me to it. I probably could have taken him, (he was only about three years old) but his father was pretty big, so I let him have it. I settled for a sea lion.
Sometimes you just have to feel like a kid. Does anyone else still like to ride the carousel?
My readers often ask me about the use of bad language in my books. I do a lot of book signings at bookstores and talk to many readers, and the one question I hear more often than any other is, “Does it have a lot of bad language in it?”
The concern is often not so much a prudish one, but rather that it detracts rather than adds to the story. I had one man tell me that he expects a writer should be able to come up with more creative words than he can hear every day on the streets. I tend to agree, although there are times when the situation just calls for it and without it, the scene loses authenticity. For instance, I had a scene in my first book where a hardcore methamphetamine user had just lost her children in court. She wasn’t about to say, “Oh, piddle-sticks!” So she said something a little more down to earth.
What do you think? Does it bother you when you see a lot of derogatory words in a book? How much is too much?