Thursday, October 25, 2012

History Research for A RED, RED ROSE

The Bedford Friends of the Library sponsored a speaking event for me Tuesday night at the Central Library. I detailed my research process for historical events in SW Virginia that provided the background for setting, characters and plot, not to mention theme, in my cozy mystery/Southern Gothic A RED, RED ROSE. What a responsive audience! The Bedford Museum was the source for much of my findings, so I was gratified that an employee there attended my talk. And...I've been invited to speak before their geneological society in July!
My thanks and gratitiude to all the folks who make the arts real and accessible in our wonderful community.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The oldest book club in Bedford, Virginia

What a thrill it was to share a RED, RED ROSE with one group of snazzy ladies yesterday. To begin with, being present while a book club discusses your very own book is surreal. To top it off, this is The Friday Book Club, the oldest book club in Bedford, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary! Folks, the original members were reading Hemingway when he was a budding writer!
Yesterday's event was just plain fun! The ladies asked good questions and told me how they really felt about my book, which warmed the cockles of this old writer's heart. The meeting was held in a lovely house and home-made refreshments displayed fetchingly on an autumn-themed table included apple cider, home-made brownies and pumpkin-shaped chocolates.
Wow! I felt like Queen for a Day! Thanks, Friday Book Club. You know how to treat a hard-working author.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Lisa's Walk the Talk" BBS Radio Show link

Anyone who'd like to hear my BBS radio interview with "Lisa's Walk the Talk" Show can tune in by clicking on this link. Be warned: It's an hour long but you can listen to however much you like! I had a grand time doing this and love the idea that people all over the world could have heard my interview. Here's the link:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Interview with the Bedford BULLETIN August, 2012

Check out this wonderful article Tom Wilmouth, editor of the Bedford BULLETIN wrote about our interview:

Moneta author pens ‘cozy mystery, Southern gothic’ novel

-A A +A

By Tom Wilmoth

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Years ago when Susan Coryell lived in Northern Virginia, she started writing a novel about a haunted Revolutionary War era estate nearby.

Author Susan Coryell of Moneta.

But then she moved to Smith Mountain Lake. Her address changed, but her desire to write didn’t. Coryell decided to continue working on her novel, "A Red, Red Rose," but move the setting to a lake. "I did the bulk of my research (for the book) at the Bedford Museum," she said. "It was just fascinating doing the research." Later this fall, on Oct. 23, Coryell is scheduled to talk about her book and the history she researched at the Bedford Central Library. Coryell calls her novel "a cozy mystery" as well as a Southern gothic novel. That means it is high on mystery and low on gore. She said the characters are ones "the reader might encounter in daily life anywhere and they are set in small, picturesque towns or villages." And the Southern gothic allows for a number of the region’s cultural issues to be explored. That’s certainly true of "A Red, Red Rose," which includes cultural clashes between Northern and Southern values, city and country living, wealth and attitudes about the Civil War, family ties and bloodlines, revenge and retribution as well as history and nature. "Characters have their flaws," she notes. The protagonist in the novel is 20-year-old Ashby Overton from New Jersey, who visits her aunt and uncle at their historic estate in Southern Virginia. She hopes to unearth her ancestral roots and the cause of a mysterious rift surrounding the horseback riding death of her grandmother many years ago. From the moment she enters her room in the oldest wing of Overhome, Ashby feels an invisible, enfolding presence. This was Rosabelle’s room, but no one is willing to talk about Rosabelle. As summer unfolds, so does the shroud of silence surrounding Overhome. Ever present is a force Ashby never sees, only feels. Thus the entrance of the paranormal: candles light themselves, notes from an old lullaby fall from the ceiling, the radio tunes itself each day. And roses, always meant for Ashby appear in the unlikeliest places. Notes Coryell: "Full of heartbreak and adventure, fear and passion, the summer leads Ashby on a suspenseful sometimes terrifying journey as she navigates centuries of family strife alongside the puzzling parameters of the spirit world. Ultimately she discovers that some secrets, even the most fiercely guarded, are destined to be revealed." Coryell has been working on her book for more than a decade. She said it appeals to a wide audience because of its

range of themes and characters. This is her first time to have a work available on E-book, which Coryell said is exploding. She said it’s been receiving positive reviews and has also drawn an audience from paranormal groups. "There is a lot of theme in this book," she said. "I like to keep people turning pages." Coryell said the history in her book is authentic. She said she’s never encountered a ghost but has friends who have. Some groups have said her version of a ghost have fit perfectly what their experiences have been. She is planning a sequel, based on Ashby’s life some three or four years later. She said it will "solve" one of the long-standing Confederate mysteries. Writing is nothing new to Coryell—a retired English teacher—or her family. "I always say writers know who we are and writers have to write," stated Coryell. Her maternal grandfather was a published poet; her brothers are both published nonfiction authors; all three of her children are writers and a couple of her grandchildren are also following in those footsteps. "My mother said I was born with a pencil in my hand," Coryell said. Her first published book was "Eaglebait," which took on the issue of bullying. Though published two decades ago, it has received renewed interest. "Eaglebait" won two awards—a national and an international one—and is cited on numerous anti-bullying Web sites. That prompted Coryell to bring it back out in softcover last year. "I do think that is an issue that isn’t going to die," she said of bullying. And Coryell is setting her writing standards higher, the more she writes. "I want to make my writing even better," she said. When not writing, Coryell enjoys boating, kayaking, travel, golf and yoga. Coryell notes that her book is a good choice for book clubs because of all the themes and layers. "My novel is not just a who-done-it thriller but a book based on multiple themes," she said, adding she would be happy to meet with book clubs that read and discuss the book. "A Red, Red Rose" is published by L&L Dreamspell: It is available as a Kindle E-book at Amazon; AllRomance/omniLit; multi format Ebook from Fictionwise; iBookstore!; and Nook E-Book (Barnes and Noble) for $4.99. Print copies are available from Amazon and at Barnes and Noble bookstores for $13.99. Visit her Web site: and her blog: She is on Facebook and utilizes Jacket Flap, Linked In and She Writes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A new Adventure!

I'm about to embark on a new adventure! Thursday, August 23rd at 9 PM Pacific Time (that's midnight EST), I'll be interviewed live on BBS Station 2 on "Lisa's Walk the Talk" show. It's a call-in venue and I'll be broadcasting over a large range of the world, so this should be interesting, to say the least. I'll talk a bit about A RED, RED ROSE and writing in general and read some excerpts. Then the call-in questions. The show lasts for an hour. Wish me luck, everyone!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another great review for A RED, RED ROSE

Check out the latest review for A RED, RED ROSE posted on Paranormal Fiction Review:
I am loving the paranormal connection for my cozy mystery/Southern Gothic!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another interview about A RED, RED ROSE

Check out today's "Laker Weekly" section of the Roanoke TIMES for an article about A RED, RED ROSE and me.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A RED, RED ROSE in Not-Quite Prime Time

My big TV Debut today on Daytime Blue Ridge TV 10!
Here's a link. It was all fun and I'd love to do more live tv spots. Did I miss my calling?

Friday, June 15, 2012

What a unique experience I had at the Seven Hills Paranormal Society's June meeting! I shared some points about my research and writing of A RED, RED ROSE, then read a passage in which my protagonist in the middle of the night is led by music to an old porch where a chair rocks itself. Got nice reactions from the group and some pithy questions.  But here's the FUN part...I waqs the one asking questions as I sketched out for them my next novel. "Can children actively seek and find resident spirits in a house?" was my first question. "How much technical help would be needed by adults and what might that involve?" was another. I got so many suggestions and ideas that I wanted to run home and start typing immediately. And then, today when I checked the Seven Hills website, I found someone had posted a lot of historical and background info about "family ghosts" that so fit my Rosabelle character in A RED, RED ROSE that it gave me goosebumps. Especially since I made up everything about my Rosabelle Spirit--or so I thought! thanks to Seven Hills Paranormal. I can't wait to go on a field trip and learn more!
Tomorrow it's a group signing at the new library in Roanoke. This is virgin territory for me; I know only a couple of people who live there, so it will be a good test of interest for A RED, RED ROSE. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mystery Lovers Corner Interview and Lakeside Singers

Lots of action here at Smith Mountain Lake! I'm pleased to share my guest interview with Mystery Lovers Corner, which includes a free give-away of two copies of A RED, RED ROSE. Pull it up and register! I am finding these on-line interviews and guest blogs to be more fun than Christmas! I love the chance to interact with readers and writers all over the world. Here's the link:
On a different note, Friday night was the first performance of Lakeside Singers' "Savor the Seventies" concert. Local lakers, if you love the memories evoked by the sounds of
the Bee Gees, ABBA, the Carpenters, the Beatles and other greats of that decade, come out to the Saturday matinee at 2 pm at TEP. Ned does a pretty good John Travolta (without the hair)!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Romance Bandits - a new blog for A RED, RED ROSE

Just posted and already many comments--from Australia and the UK, too! Very excited to share this blog with everyone!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Link for Lynette's Book World blog

Here's the link for Lynette's Book World blog:

For the record, since we had 9 and dine golf tonight, I was hoping the bird invasion was an indication we'd get some birdies on the links. Alas. Four birdies only netted two under. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Birds and a Blog

Something going on with birds at my house today. Breakfast time I heard a thundering pounding on the roof, like some alien fly-over had dropped a hundred rocks on us. Turns out it was a flock of vultures. Yuck. Chased them off with the dinner bell and hope they just keep movin' on. Then a woodpecker set up a rat-a-tat-tat on the siding. Was it looking for lunch or signaling a mate? Whatever...we don't need holes in the house. As I write now a crazy blue bird keeps bumping the lakeside windows. It appears to be spying on my husband and me. I'm beginning to wonder if a Shakespeaerian ominous portent is looming.
On a brighter note, Lynette Phillips has posted a blog I wrote on her blog "Lynette's Book World." Please check it out!
Also, I had a wonderful time speaking at the Smith Mt. Lake chapter of AAUW on Saturday. My talk was of bullies (re: EAGLEBAIT my novel about school bullies), but I also noted A RED, RED ROSE's availability. A most attentive and charming audience.
My next speaking gig is this Thursday at the Moneta/Smith Mt. Lake Library, hosted by the Friends of the Library. I hope to see a good crowd there.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

First Signing for A RED, RED ROSE is a Success!

Tuesday night the Westlake Library meeting room was brim-full with folks waiting to hear about my just-released cozy mystery/Southern Gothic novel A RED, RED ROSE. I spoke about my historical research, the idea that inspired my writing process and the setting prototype which is so obviously Smith Mountain Lake where we all live.I read a selection that was designed to leave them salivating for more! My lively audience asked wonderful questions and many lined up for signed copies of my novel. I was blown away! THIS is the fun part about being published. Thanks to the Westlake Library staff and the Franklin County Friends of the Library for providing a warm setting and cool refreshments for the event. And thanks to all those who took time out from their busy schedules to offer me support.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Review and some new appearances
Please read this excellent review. I am thrilled to be compared to Carson McCullers one of my all-time favorite Southern gothic authors. Thanks, Peter!
Spent today at the Smith Mt. Lake Library for a "Meet and Greet," with other authors, musicians and artisans. A fun day and I sold some books! Next stop is a personal signing at the Westlake Library April 24 at 5:30 PM. Also, I'll be a presenter at the Sedalia Writers Conference the last weekend in April and will speak at the SML AAUW meeting in May. MORE to come! I love a busy spring!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Red, Red Rose is up and running!

Exciting news! My latest novel, A RED, RED ROSE, published by L&L Dreamspell, is available now as Ebook at AllRomance/omnilit and Kindle Ebook at Amazon. Coming soon: Multiformat Ebook at Fictionwise; ibookstore; and Nook at Barnes and Noble. Print books will be available at Amazon and B & N next week! I bought a Kindle Fire to celebrate (and read it myself) and hope all my blog followers and Facebook Friends will get your own copies soon. Amazon's ebook price is $4.99 and the print price is $13.99.
If you go to, click on Authors and my name, you can get the synopsis. Once there, click on the cover picture and then click on Amazon and you'll be able to read the Prologue and 2 chapters. A Sneak Preview!
Thanks for your support and interest!!

A Red, Red Rose is now available in e-book

Sunday, February 5, 2012

FBI in Hawaii! Surprise, surprise!

Bet you didn't know that FBI means Friend of the Big Island--a group here on Hawaii. We think of ourselves as FBI-FANS of the Big Island. The Hapuna Beach Hotel is grand and seems uniquely tailored to us. There's a 50-meter pool for lap-swimming, numerous gourmet eateries, and a mile-long white-sands beach peppy enough for boogie-boarding and body-surfing, but gentle enough for fun paddling, wading and swimming. We're sure enjoying our "vacation from our vacation" in Hawaii.
We're also doing some historic touring here: King Kamehaha's birthplace, Mauna Kea observatory, the "City of Refuge," and the historic village of Wainae with its paniola (cowboy) traditions. Eating WAY too much but doing a lot of exercising too--swimming, surfing, walking, and I sneak in yoga early in the mornings.
I just finished the most amazing book - ROOM. Different
from anything else I've ever read. Highly recomment it!
Aloha for now. Will try to post a pic or two.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Wow! Do we stay busy in this lush tropical paradise! What fun to eat yummy "fusion" cuisine while enjoying the live performance of our fav Hawaiian duo, the Brothers Kaz. Add to that a basketball game at Univ. of HI, Aieda at the Honolulu Opera House, A live performance of "A Prairie Home Companion," with Garrison Keiler and his entourage at the Blaisdell Center (New Year's Eve), and almost daily beac

h excursions and family get-togethers...well, you get the picture.
All this eating and partying necessitates daily exercise, which is easy when the weather only varies a few degrees from day to day and night to night. Pictured is a bit of my view as I walk around Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach. I can almost forget I'm working out when there's so much to see. I've counted 40 different activities on and around Magic Island--everything from rowing teams on outrigger boats to Karate matches--weddings and kid parties with bouncy blow-ups--yoga and spinning and Tai Chi classes--church services (even a baptism in the Pacific Ocean)and surfing, of course.
This Wednesday we fly to the Big Island for a week at the Hapuna Beach Resort. Last year Kiluea erupted and the sunami wiped out Kona Bay exactly one week after we left the Big Island. Adventure awaits!
Aloha to all

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

EAGLEBAIT Across the Nation

I've just spent three days in the wonderful state of Hawaii "book-talking" and work-shopping my young adult novel EAGLEBAIT with over 300 middle school students. They have been a marvelous crew--receptive, responsive, and rousingly fun! I could not have dreamed up a better audience. Several school libraries now offer EAGLEBAIT on their shelves and one school is considering using the novel for a unit they are doing on family relations. How to turn a vacation into a lttle sales and promotion!
On a related topic, I've just sent back my final edits for my next book, A RED, RED ROSE, to be published this spring by L&L Dreamspell. A RED,RED ROSE is a Southern gothic with a 20-year-old protagonist, probably suitable for high school and older. I call it part gothic, part paranormal (yes, there's a ghost involved) and ALL fun!
Soon it will be back to the beach for me. Aloha, friends. More later along with some fetching photos.