Thursday, December 11, 2014

Memories of made of this: Thanks for a great year (+One-Sheets for Celia Conrad's Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy)

Happy Holidays!

Like the shoemaker who was too busy to make his own shoes, I've neglected updates for my own PR blog. As the year draws to a close (farewell 2014!), I realize that I have not attended to my own marketing--in other words, Communication.

I began the year with the dual launch of Santa Fe authors Judith Fein and Nancy King (The Spoon from Minkowitz and Changing Spaces, respectively). The prep started in September 2013 with Nancy needing my assistance in the packaging of the book at every level before publication, including a rather harrowing experience where the indie publisher and Amazon got their wires crossed and Changing Spaces was listed with its summary...under another book title and author (complete with the wrong book cover); and fielding 20 emails a day from the Human Dynamo that is travel writer extraordinaire Judith Fein. Personal book appearances galore were organized, ditto radio interviews (including one major cap feather: NPR asked to feature Fein and her book).

Throughout the year, I negotiated and re-negotiated and gave out free how-to info to newbie authors, and learned learned learned....

Closing out the year, I've been frantically, happily busy with the amazing British murder mystery author, Celia Conrad. At this moment, we're waiting to hear back from the Italian Book Club (a new resource that features worthy Italian heritage authors) who have expressed interest in Conrad's strong half-Italian lawyer/detective heroine, Alicia Allen, while we have pulled out all the stops to market the last book in the trilogy, Murder in Hand.

What have I learned to do and not to do? Well, I've been working in PR for 10 years--and as a journalist for 20--but book publicity has been my focus for 2 years now and it IS a learning experience. Will post in the New Year a DO and DON'T list for you admirable people who have the gumption and belief and stick-to-itivity to publish and market your beloved creations.

Oh yes. And I became a Midwest Book Reviewer! (And to think it all started when I was 9 years old and my book report won first place in a library competition.)

Happy Holidays! And without further is what we started with: One-Sheet Summaries.
PLEASE NOTE: These are the bare bones that we crafted to start the re-launch for these books. Many 5-star reviews have been added to all the books, along with special interviews featuring Conrad in blogs across the internet. This is just to show the foundation.


Contact Author Celia Conrad:

Book Trailer
(Full Disclosure: I did not make this fun book trailer. Celia Conrad had it made in England.)


In law firms and strip clubs, nobody can hear you scream...

A Model Murder is a fast-paced mystery that draws scary, sometimes hilarious, parallels between alpha males in strip clubs and law firms. This first book in the Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy introduces Alicia Allen, a 29-year-old London Anglo-Italian lawyer whose desire for Pringles is matched only by her desire to solve crime. When her neighbor—a beautiful aspiring Australian model—is found raped and murdered before she can pick up her first paycheck at a sleazy “hostess” club, Alicia ignites with such passion to bring the wrongdoer to justice, it would make even Portia envious.

As her dangerous quest draws her into the dark world of exploitative “hostess clubs,” Alicia finds herself facing similar circumstances in a new law firm where alpha males roam the halls in solicitor suits intimidating or stalking undervalued female coworkers. Worse luck, the deeper she delves into the investigation, the more her comfortable world falls apart. Friends are viciously attacked...potential lovers may not be what they seem...clues pop up in Italian opera, Shakespeare, and a cat.

Discussion Guide available. Full details and ordering info at
Check out Celia Conrad's new blog (and Book Giveaway Contest) at

What do law firms and men’s “hostess” clubs have in common? If your first thought is “alpha males,” you’re already on board with A Model Murder. Conrad draws disturbing, often painfully entertaining, parallels between these two worlds where Neanderthals still roam the Earth, and a resistant female might get a bop on the head or worse. British author Conrad has painted a loving portrait of the multi-cultural melting pot that is London and her down-to-earth heroine who has no superpowers of intuition and deduction, but is quite simply a good neighbor who will stop at nothing to bring the perp to justice. When Alicia coincidentally finds herself in a life-threatening work situation from a mad-dog senior partner, the link between sociopaths who legally run law firms and take unfair advantage of women “underlings” and the sociopaths who run illegal prostitution rackets solidifies.—MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

This insightful novel follows the everyday life of a British lawyer as she makes a new friend and then loses her to death. I also learned about the everyday life of a woman who is a lawyer, not a lawyer who happens to be a woman--there is a distinction. It was a good experience to see the protagonist grow in strength and character throughout the story. This novel is well written and while there are not a lot of cliffhangers per-se, the prose compels one to read on—not only to learn who the murderer is and why, but to follow the story through to its nicely constructed ending. I look forward to reading more in the Alicia Allen series.—David Wind, author of Angels in Mourning and The Cured with Terese Ramin


Title:  A Model Murder
Author: Celia Conrad
Series: Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy
Publisher: Barcham Books (Sept. 15, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0954623320       ISBN-13: 978-0954623326
Genre: Crime Fiction
Paperback: 352 pages        Language: English      E-Book Versions Available 
Product Dimensions: 6 x 8.4 inches          Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Books are shipped directly from the U.K. (shipping charges apply)     
Order from "Alicia Allen Investigates" Website or Amazon   * Pricing Varies   


This second mystery in the Alicia Allen Investigates trilogy lures the justice-loving solicitor out of London and into the shadowy depths of the Land Down Under where nothing is what it seems and a risky Trust could lead to murder.

When an Australian-born heiress living in London asks Alicia to draw up a Will in expectation of her forthcoming marriage and impending English fortune, she reveals that her family members have been meeting untimely deaths. After her fiancĂ© is killed in an explosion, and her own life is threatened, she implores Alicia Allen to investigate. Alicia soon finds herself hot on the trail of a psychopathic killer who could be responsible for the deaths and near-deaths that continue to occur in England and Australia—or are there two psychopaths working in tandem?

Alicia Allen's quest takes her to Australia—coinciding with a friend’s wedding in Brisbane where she encounters her old flame, Alex Waterford, a London lawyer who shares Alicia’s hardheaded determination to bring about justice, no matter what the cost. Together they put their own lives on the line in pursuit of the answer to this murderous mystery that lies just beneath the misleadingly placid surfaces of Probate, Wills and a Trust.

Alicia Allen in Australia may seem a cuddly, fluffy, Pringle-crunching koala, but when needed she can show both class and claws! Author Conrad turns in a bravura performance: setting any number of teasing possible outcomes in motion, and reserving some daring bait-and-switch manoeuvres for the final chapters. For much of the novel Alicia Allen is in Australia while many of the key plot developments take place in England...yet the pace never slackens. —OPHIDEID, Amazon U.K.

Title: Wilful Murder
Author: Celia Conrad
Series: Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Barcham Books (Dec. 1, 2011          Language: English
ISBN-10: 0954623339             ISBN-13: 978-0954623333
Genre: Crime Fiction
Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.3 inches             Weight: 1 lb.
Available in All E-Formats                       
Paperback Books are shipped directly from the U.K. (shipping charges apply)     
Order from "Alicia Allen Investigates" Website or Amazon   * Pricing Varies   


Alicia Allen—the Anglo-Italian London solicitor with such a passion for justice, it would make even Portia envious—returns to star in this novel set in London and Italy. It is the last book in the Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy.

Alicia’s Uncle Vico, a New York attorney, introduces her to Fabio Angelino—an Italian American living in London who needs her help dealing with the Probate of his mother’s English estate. Fabio’s father worked with Vico at Scarpetti, Steiglitz & Co. in New York before transferring to its U.K. branch and disappearing in Sicily sixteen years ago. The Italian police suspected the Mafia was responsible for his death, but the case remains unsolved. Fabio reveals to Alicia that now someone is trying to kill him. When Fabio’s sister Giulia is found callously murdered, Alicia feels compelled to investigate the crimes on her own. Her quest takes her through Sicily, Italy, Tuscany and Umbria over beautiful but sinister terrain as she finds herself pulled into an underworld where the most dangerous and corrupt criminals are those who hide behind the law.

This case brings to the surface our heroine’s Italian heritage and willingness to take on dark forces to bring about justice; but in her bid to entrap the perpetrators, has Alicia taken on malevolent forces too great, and will this be her last investigation?

This a book I can recommend for Italophiles, Anglophiles, fans of Traditional British Mysteries, and fans of Cozy-Murder-Mysteries....Savor the setting details, meanderings, the theories, and the relationships. All true to the genre, along with multiple murders, investigative trails galore, an exciting ending, and a romantic Epilogue. The Allicia Allen Investigates series gives Italophile cozy-fans a look into the world of a young English woman whose life is enriched by her Italian mother's culture, If you have read the first two books in the series, you will enjoy catching up with Alicia's friends and family. If you are new to the series, you will still be able to understand and enjoy Alicia's relationships, especially the interplay and affection with her boyfriend who is Alicia's sounding board.ITALOPHILE BOOK REVIEWS  - Candida Martinelli [

Title: Murder in Hand
Author: Celia Conrad
Series: Alicia Allen Investigates
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Barcham (March 1, 2012)            Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954623347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954623340
  • Genre: Crime Fiction
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches      Shipping Weight: 1 lb.
  • Available in All E-Formats                       
    Paperback Books are shipped directly from the U.K. (shipping charges apply)     
    Order from "Alicia Allen Investigates" Website or Amazon   * Pricing Varies   


Celia Conrad is the British author of three crime fiction novels (Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy: A Model MurderWilful Murder and Murder in Hand) and the bestselling essential divorce contact guidebook, Father's Matter. As a former specialist family lawyer, she has appeared on television, given evidence on family law to Parliamentary Committees, regularly responds to Government Consultations and her comments on legal reform have been reported in the Press. She studied law at King's College, University of London, and after qualifying as a solicitor, specialized in family law working for several 'magic circle' firms in London before leaving private practice to become a full-time free-lance legal writer and author. A Model Murder was Conrad’s first book, written at the suggestion of a mentor who encouraged her to write mysteries based on real-life stories she encountered while working within the law. Conrad shares similarities with her heroine, Alicia Allen, in her own Anglo-Italian heritage and solicitor experience (aka "lawyer" in the U.S.), as well as an enthusiasm for crime solving, Shakespeare, All Things Italian and Pringles.

For more info on Fathers Matter, visit

and on her blog at,