Wednesday, February 18, 2009

MB4 Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

Have you heard the buzz? What’s all the hubbub, you ask?

One year, 297 posts, 108 guest writers, and over 11,640 visitors later, we think it’s time to CELEBRATE!

So get your party hats on, blow your horns, and join the party!

It’s hard to believe that a year ago on a cold February weekend my writing buddies, Aaron Lazar, Kim Smith, and I cheered and sent cyber hugs to a fellow writer and friend S. W. Vaughn when she announced news of a new publishing deal. The MB4 bunch have been friends for a few years and we were all in agreement that no one deserved the recognition more than our pal, S. W. Vaughn. As e-mails flew between Upstate New York, Indiana, and Mississippi the creative juices began to pour and soon over flowed with ideas on how to help promote our pal.

Now, anyone who knows us will agree that we’re a pretty creative bunch and not afraid to stick a toe in uncharted waters. As you can imagine, one thing led to another and in a matter of hours MURDER BY 4 came into being and was launched on February 18, 2008. Our initial thought, of course, was to use the blog as a way to promote our writings, post announcements, etc. However, it quickly grew into much more than a site to self-promote. We four have more than mystery writing in common, we remember our humble beginnings, the writing hurdles, and the many bumps and bruises we collected along the road to getting published. We also remember those who helped us get there. So as we continued to discuss what to do with this blog, the logical next step was to use it to promote other writers as well. A “pay it forward,” if you will.

To show our appreciation to our many loyal friends and readers,
we have a few things to give away. Every person who posts a comment today will have their name tossed into the cyber hat for a chance to win one of the following:

A copy of Aaron Lazar’s TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON

A copy of Marta Stephens’s

THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (paperback), an e-book copy of THE DEVIL CAN WAIT, and one of Marta’s Sam Harper Crime Mystery Series book bags, and ...

an e-book copy of Kim Smith’s AVENGING ANGEL.

So, what’s the MB4 gang been up to since our last newsletter?

A note from Kim Smith

My first book, AVENGING ANGEL, was released in December 2008, and we held parties everywhere including on the radio at Blog Talk Radio on my radio show, and it is still available in the archives. I kicked off the new year by having three pieces accepted! “A Will to Love”, a short romance novella (release date pending), “Love Waltzes In” a short story inclusion for an anthology coming in September, and the next Shannon Wallace mystery, “Buried Angel” due to be released in December 2009.

February was the launch of my virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotions, which is still ongoing. You can find all the stops at my website, or my blog, and let me tell you, it is so much fun! You can win a free book tour if you are a published author or a fifty dollar gift certificate if you are not. So be sure and come with me as I travel the Internet promoting Avenging Angel. Look for the print copy of Avenging Angel soon!

A note from S. W. Vaughn

Made my first major book deal! Agent sold one of my urban fantasies, and an unwritten sequel, to Pocket Books!

The book line up looks like this:

* Broken Angel scheduled for release through LBF Books on April 28, 2009.
* Hunted scheduled for release through Lyrical Press on June 1, 2009.
* Launched a new look for the website:

A note from Aaron Paul Lazar

The last few months have been spent buried under edits for MAZURKA and HEALEY’S CAVE. But finally, FINALLY, I finished and was able to release the final manuscripts to my publisher. MAZURKA is now scheduled for April, and HEALEY’S CAVE will follow sometime in 2009. FIRESONG: AN UNHOLY GRAVE is in review at Twilight Times Books. I’m hopeful that it will accepted to follow MAZURKA as the fifth LeGarde mystery.

Finishing up these edits has freed me up to work on THE AVIARY, a new standalone that will be my thirteenth book. It feels so good to be writing again, creating again! Since the last update, I enjoyed some delightful radio shows at the following locations:

Radio Interview by our own Kim Smith on Introducing Writers.

Join Kim Smith and Aaron for a half hour of laughs and fun. Topics included Mazurka (the fourth LeGarde book), writing, inspiration, and more.

Join us!

Literary Therapy with Dr. Ni. This experience was unique, and I invite you to join the 90-minute session that became almost a "literary therapy" experience. Wonderful topics were discussed, such as innocence, life in the country, why abuse is featured in the LeGarde series so prevalently, and more. Join us here for a fascinating step into TREMOLO and the author's and host's minds. Poetry, Prose, and Anything Goes with Dr. Ni.

I will also be appearing at the following venues in March. I hope if you’re in the neighborhood that you’ll stop in:

"Books Sandwiched In" at Wood Library, Canandaigua, March 2nd, noon, 2009

"Friends of the Library" Dinner and Author Talk, March 29th, 6PM 2009, 48 Union ST South, Concord, NC 28025 , (704)795-4902

Best wishes to all. Think spring!

A note from Marta Stephens

The release of the second book in my Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, THE DEVIL CAN WAIT, in early November brought with it an avalanche of promotional activities; book signings, talks at local libraries and several discussions at book clubs. I was sure the rollercoaster ride would ease up in December but since I’m not one to ever really slow down, I slipped a stack of articles and interview answers under my cyber arm and went on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. It was truly a fantastic experience with one of the top in the business. Loved meeting new friends and reuniting with old buddies along the way. You’ll find the links to my tour stops at my Prose & Musing blog:

With the new year looming just ahead, I made plans to work on the third book in the series, GRAVE WITNESS (working title). This book also began as a novella and although I began rewriting it last June, I haven’t had a chance to get back to it. The truth of the matter is that I needed some time to work through a difficult scene. I was certain that during the Christmas holiday I would dive into it—okay, maybe after New Years. By then, the difficulty had developed into a writer’s block so while I pondered the how and why of it, I launched yet another blog. This one features none other than my protagonist, homicide detective Sam Harper .

Stop by and chat with him. In return, he’ll entertain you with some short stories and periodic updates on some of his cases. Last week he received a call from Shannon Wallace (Kim Smith’s character). Shannon was in trouble and needed Sam's help. It’s all documented here, And while you’re there, check out the amazing book trailer at the bottom of the blog that our own talented S. W. Vaughn created for me. :)
So you see, we live what we blog about. We thank you for supporting us during our first year and for sending your many words of encouragement. Most of all, thank you for helping us make MURDER BY 4 a great place to meet new authors, pick up a writing tip or two, and oh yes, allowing us to do a bit of self-promotion.

Let’s face it, our journeys may differ but we’ve all stood on the same starting block. So keep writing and sharing, and for Heaven sakes, keep coming back to MB4!

We love ya!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on reaching one year! Whoot! Happy dance over here in Vegas for you and a toast to much continued success!


Unknown said...

A hearty CONGRATS on your 1st year, may the party be the 1st of many to come. Thanks for hosting my article. I was more than happy to be a part.

Ernie - aka Author Ernie Johnson

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your 1st anniversary! Sounds like you all have been very busy and very productive.

Marta, I enjoyed your live chat on Gather last night.

Best wishes to all of you!

Marta Stephens said...

Hi Moira! Many thanks. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Ernie. It was great to feature you this year. :) Glad you enjoyed it too.

Nancy!! Great to see you here. Thanks so much for all your encouragement. Glad you enjoyed the chat. It was great fun! :)

s.w. vaughn said...

Woo hoo!!! Holy crap, it's been a year already?! The time, it does fly. :-)

Thanks to everyone who visits MB4 and chats with us, and all of our wonderful guests so far, and especially to Marta, who works so hard at keeping everything together around here.

Aaron, Kim, Marta: I couldn't ask for better friends. Here's to lots more years! (((HUGS)))

Gayle said...

Happy Anniversary, guys! Thank you for being an important part of my blog tour.

Take care,

A. F. Stewart said...

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

I always enjoy your posts, and was honored to be be one of your guests.

Marta Stephens said...

Yes, SW, time flies fast when you're among friends. :)

Gayle and A. F., it was our pleasure. Be sure to keep us posted on your news and come back often!

Morgan Mandel said...

Congratulations on your first year anniversary! Great blogspot. Much success with all your writing endeavors and thanks for sharing it all with us.

Morgan Mandel

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I'm surprised you even knew it had been a year. I have no idea when I started my own blog or joined the couple of others I blog with.

In any case the Happiest of Anniversaries and I think you for the opportunity to guest blog here.

You're a great bunch and I feel like I know you all.


Marta Stephens said...

Hi Morgan. It's always a pleasure to see you here! Many thanks for the warm wishes.

Marilyn, I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but dates stick around. Go figure. LOL Then again, it WAS a momentous occasion! :0

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You are all such outstanding writers. Kudos for a successful year gone by and an fascinating and productive year to come. Best of luck with all your endeavours. And thanks for your ongoing support. You guys are the best!

Kim Smith said...

woo hoo! sorry i am late to the party but -- well, WOO HOO! we're celebrating all over the place :) isn't this great??? so much fun and so many friends have become a part of MB4 -- I am honored to be a member of such a glorious group!

Marta Stephens said...

Hey Joylene!! We've all been through it together, haven't we? It's always great to hear from you.

Pat Bertram said...

Congratulations on a wonderful first year, and best of luck on your second. Looking forward to more great bloggeries.

Marta Stephens said...

Thanks so much, Pat! We wouldn't be here if it weren't for our blogging friends. Look forward to reading more from you!

Beth Groundwater said...

Happy anniversary and congratulations to all four of you! Now when do the champagne corks start popping?

Marta Stephens said...

Why here it is, Beth! Hold our your glass and I'll pour. :()

Maggie Toussaint said...

Congratulations on all your successes, in publishing and with the blog from a fellow mystery author.

Marta Stephens said...

Thank you Maggie!

~Sia McKye~ said...

It is scary and exhilarating to create something new in Cyberspace. I'm also a great believer in helping others to promote and succeed as an author. Aside form the feel good factor, it's throwing your bread on the waters because it always comes back to you with benefits!

You have a great blog going here, Marta and crew. You tend to it carefully and it shows.

Wishing you all the best for the upcoming year!

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary, folks. Thanks for posting so many interesting essays in 2008. And thanks for the opportunity to post my guest essay on archetypes and stereotypes back in November. Here's to another year!

Suzanne Adair

Cheryl said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary. With everything that one can find here, it's surprising you've only been around that long.

Thanks for hosting our clients on tour. You've been a great supporter of Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

Wishing you all and MurderBy4 great success in the future.

All my best,


Marta Stephens said...

Friend and fellow author tried to post a comment but couldn't so here it is from Susan Whitfield through me:

"Marta, I celebrate with you guys! Congratulations!"

Joyce said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. When I first set up my blog, I began to follow Marta's Sam Harper blog. Marta then told me about MurderBy4 and I immediately set it up so I could follow it too and I have enjoyed it tremendously. Wishing you all continued success. Joyce

Mayra Calvani said...

Hi there,

Happy anniversary!

Marta, I got your books for review today. I started reading Silenced Cry. I'm sooooo hooked already! :-)

This is a great blog and I hope it'll have many more anniversaries.


Chester Campbell said...

Congratulations all! You always have great posts. With a year under your belts, it's on to the next plateau.

Kim Smith said...

Wow. This great group of posts just points to the fact that we have received the finest support around. Thanks to you guys MB4 is the best it can be with more in store for 2009!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Well, I guess I'm more than "fashionably late," today, LOL! Welcome and thanks to all who have come to wish us well, and a huge congratulatory hug to my cohorts. Ladies, it doesn't get better than this, and you're the best pals a guy could ever want. Thanks especially to Marta for keeping us going and filling in during my hiatus. Warmest regards to all!

Marta Stephens said...

Joyce! So good to see you here today. Thanks for following me around. :)

Hi Chester. Many thanks, my friend.

Mayra, so glad Cait was able to get the books to you. Thank you so much for your interest. Thrilled to know you like the read so far. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Kim, here, here. Another round on me!

{{Aaron}} Now the party is complete!! :()

April said...

Happy Anniversary all of you fabulous people! What great accomplishments you all have made and should be so very very proud!!

Maryannwrites said...

Happy Anniversary to you all. What a great achievement to have a whole year of great promoting under your belt. I, too, have done a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book, and it was a great experience. Finding this blog was one of the highlights. :-)

James Goodman said...

Happy Anniversary! :D May you have many more.

Ann Littlewood said...

What a great group of writers! I subscribe to your blog and I'm thrilled you all are seeing such success. Here's wishing you another stellar year.

Anonymous said...

Marta, you already know how much I loved Silenced Cry.

I can't wait to read The Devil Can Wait.

Great blog!

Chery Wright

sarirose said...

Happy Anniversary..a First Anniversary is Paper! How apropos!
Sally G

Kenna Coltman said...

Congrat's on the 1 year anniversary. I've followed the blog on and off, and always enjoy it.

And it's been great watching your journey, Marta!

Best of luck to all of you into the coming year.


Marta Stephens said...

Whoever said writing is a solitary life, didn't have a great network of friends and peers like all of you!!

April, Maryann, James, Ann, Cheryl, Sally and Kenna. Great to have you here.

Many thanks everyone for making this day extra special!!

Anonymous said...



A bit late, but Happy Birthday!


Marta Stephens said...

Thanks, Cait!! :()

Carol M said...

Congrats on your 1st anniversary!
Carol M
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