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Vol. VI, No. 10
In this issue:
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You Can Pre-order Your Copy of Blood Rubies Now!

Blood Rubies Blood Rubies, the ninth Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, is a tale of Fabregé eggs, antique snow globes, and obsession—and a cat named Hank.

bow The novel will be available from St. Martin's Minotaur on December 2, 2014. (Ooh! What a great holiday present!) Poisoned Pen is accepting orders for personalized autographed copies. Place your pre-order now!



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Is Your Fabregé Egg Real?

faberge egg The allure and mystique of Fabergé eggs is legion. The master craftsman, Peter Carl Fabergé, created unique treasures. Here's a mini-excerpt from Blood Rubies, the ninth Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery. Ana Yartsin hires Josie to appraise what she hopes is a genuine Fabergé egg.

Of the fifty Imperial eggs known to have been produced by Peter Carl Fabergé, forty-two are extant. The Yartsin family believes theirs is the fifty-first produced, the forty-third extant. They’re convinced that it’s the real deal, the last egg commissioned by the Tsar. Ana says that when the Bolsheviks seized the Fabergé workshops, this egg, the Spring Egg, was one of the few treasures that Fabergé was able to save as he fled

rare egg Can you imagine finding a real one at a flea market or garage sale? Check out this true-life story! Scrap metal dealer’s junk market purchase turns out to be $33 million Faberge egg






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Gift Idea for New Grads! Business Writing for Results
— Now available as an ebook!

bookMy book, Business Writing for Results (originally published by McGraw Hill), takes a practical, three-step approach to writing: Think, Write, Revise. Filled with examples and exercises, the book is a crucial tool for anyone ready to beef up their communications skills.

As Malcolm Forbes once wrote, "A good business letter can get you a job interview, get you off the hook, or get you money. It's totally asinine to blow your chances of getting whatever you want with a business letter that turns people off instead of turning them on."

Help your favorite grads make the transition from academic writing to business writing—get them a copy today!

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Antiques Fact: Did You Know...
Tiffany Lamps Glow

lampThe artist and designer, Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany (who founded the venerable jewelry store, Tiffany & Company), was best known for his work in stained glass.

Genuine Tiffany lampshades change color when the light is on—they glow. This phenomenon occurs through the use of what is called confetti glass. Specks of various hues are often visible to the naked eye.

Because the shades are fragile, relatively few examples are extant. This scarcity drives up the price, leading some less-than-honest people to create replicas they pawn off as originals.

Luckily, Josie knows how to distinguish an authentic lamp from a fake. She checks the signature, the base, the switch, and the wax used to hold the glass pieces in place, and she assesses the artistry evident in the glass coloration and pattern formation.

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Ask Jane: With your schedule, how do you find time to write?

time I squeeze writing in throughout my day using a strategy I developed during my thesis semester. I had to develop a strategy to write efficiently during my thesis semester. (I earned my MFA in Creative & Professional Writing in 2011; I went back to school to earn a terminal degree so I could teach at the college level. I'm now happily a member of the full-time faculty and the Director of the Program for Professional Writing at Lehman College, part of the City University of New York system.)

What I came to realize during that period was that deadlines—whether self-imposed or contractual—don’t care how busy you are. Deadlines don’t care about conflicting priorities. Deadlines must be met, plain and simple.

When I was finishing grad school, I was also teaching nine (count 'em—nine) courses as an adjunct at three different colleges, serving as the Faculty Coordinator of a Writing Center, writing my thesis ("Women Who Love Men They Hate: A Theatrical Examination of Female Frailty."), and finishing Josie # 7, Dolled Up for Murder. I had no time to think. I had no time to do anything but finish one task and move on the next. What I did was learn to write in ten-minute increments.

Ten minutes doesn't seem like a lot of time when you think about it. But it's long enough to read the last paragraph you wrote, revise it, then write a new paragraph. Reading the prior paragraph allows you to get your head back in the game, then move on to the next thing you want to write about. And guess what? Do that three or four times during the day and holy moley—you've written a page or more.

You don't need unlimited time. What you need is self-discipline. Here's how I think of it: We're born with talent—or not. Opportunities happen—or they don't. The only thing under our own control is self-discipline.

lee child Lee Child once said, "In some ways writing—making things up that didn't happen to people who don't exist—is so weird that I think writer's block is the likely default state. But—for us anyway—writing is basically a job, and "job block" is something that working people can't afford. Does a nurse get nurse's block? Does a truck driver? I'm sure there are days when a truck driver really, really doesn't want to go to work ... but he has to. He climbs in the cab, he starts the motor, he clips his belt ... and the muscle memory eases him into it, and off he goes. It's the same for writers.  There are days when we don't feel like it, but we sit down, we fire up the computer, we open a file ... and muscle memory takes over."

As you may know, I write plays as well as fiction. One of the professional organizations I belong to is the Dramatist's Guild. Gary Garrison is the Executive Director of Creative Affairs, and he has a slightly different take on the question of where he finds time to write. He kindly gave me permission to republish his essay here. It first appeared in the Dramatist's Guild's newsletter. The title is "The Definition of 'Writer'."

Sitting around a dinner table the other night, looking at a platter of cold, congealed, uneaten nachos (and believe me, they deserved to remain uneaten), I listened as one writer, who I don't know very well, talk about how frustrated she was that she didn't have more time to write. And yet, if I did my math right, she has more writing time in a week than I have in a month. I looked around the table: six other writers in all were doing their own personal mathematical equations and sighing, shifting uncomfortably in their chairs, avoiding eye contact with each other and longing for a change of subject. I was snapped out of my own daze when someone asked, "When do you write, Gary?" I impulsively said, "August."

gary garrison The whole energy of the table shifted. Someone laughed; someone blew a raspberry through their lips; someone dropped a piece of bread in their glass of water, but everyone was immediately making comparisons. Was I joking? Was I telling the truth? I continued, "I write in August. I rewrite the other eleven months of the year." The table shifted again. Was I joking? Was I telling the truth? A final offer: "It's all I can do. I work full time at the Guild, I teach at NYU, I travel around the country, I have a house that needs constant attention, I have really fun friends that I want to spend time with and a father who's 88 years old and needs me to care for him. It's what I can do. It's all I can do." Was I joking? Was I telling the truth?

The whole energy of the table shifted with an unspoken, "Well, at least I do more than that." But here's what I didn't say: I write every day when I ride the subway and study how a young man can't meet my gaze, but instead studies his fraying shoe lace. I write when I sit in a theatre and watch a beautifully rendered character a skilled playwright has constructed. I write when I make a convincing argument to my father that not eating Wonder Bread might lower his blood sugar. I write when I help dissect a failed relationship with a friend who's been left heart-broken and feels robbed of his youth. I write when I see the first sprigs of green shoot up from the dirt under a mound of half-melted snow. BUT, I sit in front of my computer in August.

There is no singular definition of “writer,” there’s only the intense desire to write plus the reality of my life. I get to choose whether to see it as addition or subtraction.

• • •

Being in control of how you perceive the time that's available to you—that's something to think about.

How do you find time to write? I'd love to hear what works for you. Please post your comments on my Facebook page or email me directly. And thank you! I'll share ideas in my next newsletter.

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The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. "Ingenious ... engaging!" Publishers Weekly.
www.janecleland.net Jane does Business Communications training work, too! www.janecleland.com

P.S.  Please add "Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com" to your address book!

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Vol. VI, No. 9
In this issue:
    • January 9, 2014: A dinner lecture: Finding Stolen Art: The Truth Behind the Isabella Stewart Gardner Heist
    • January 10, 2014: A complimentary sample workshop on “Communicating With Influence”
    • January 10-12, 2014: The 4th Annual “Aspiring Writers Weekend”
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Three events in the Boston area—you’re invited!
• January 9, 2014: A dinner lecture: Finding Stolen Art:
The Truth Behind the Isabella Stewart Gardner Heist

Gardner museum stolen art Twenty-three years after one of the world’s most brazen art heists, the FBI Art Crime Team announced they know who is behind the theft—yet the 13 priceless paintings are still missing. The crime remains #2 on the FBI’s top ten list. Hear details of the international investigation that looked into everyone from the Irish mob and Whitey Bulger to Colombian drug lords and college kids looking to make a quick buck.

The MIT’s magnificent Endicott House Executive Chef has created an enticing four-course dinner menu for this special event. After dinner, you’ll hear the story of America’s most notorious art theft. Watch this brief video to hear Jane explain what her intriguing visual lecture: youtube.com/watch?v=KjioDl3qM6Y&feature=youtu.be

January 9, 2014
6:30-9:30 p.m.
MIT Endicott House
80 Haven Street
Dedham, MA 02026
Last year’s dinner lecture sold out! Make your reservation today! Please call:
617-253-5211.

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• January 10, 2014: A complimentary sample workshop on “Communicating With Influence”

Come with your most challenging communications questions… leave with practical, relevant answers, tactics you can use right away. Specifically, you’ll discover how to:

  • Present yourself as both authoritative and personable
  • Match your message to your own communication objectives and your audience’s needs and interests
  • Write emails that get results
  • Get the information you need to do your job
  • Say no without offending people or losing their respect
  • Persuade and influence others within your organization

Watch this brief video to hear Jane explain what the workshop will include and how it might apply to you and your situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2faCjlUfYXc

January 10, 2014
8-10 a.m.
Continental breakfast included.
The workshop will be held at MIT’s spectacular Endicott House;
80 Haven Street Dedham, MA 02026
617-253-5211
www.mitendicotthouse.org
Please RSVP by January 6, 2014 to attend this thought-provoking workshop as our guest.
~ 617-715-4900 or mmygan@mit.edu.

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• Aspiring Writers Weekend

Gang at Endicott HouseartAspiring Writer’s WeekendRegister Now for January 2014

Have you always wanted to write? Do you have a story to tell? You can. Watch this brief video to hear Jane explain what the weekend experience will be like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xedjga51ThI&feature=youtu.be  

Join a small group of like-minded people on a journey to discover your writers’ voice. You’ll experiment with different genres, engage in fun, interactive experiences and exercises, and discover what form your story should take—all at one of the most beautiful venues in the world, MIT’s magnificent Endicott House. Check out the Agenda.

The weekend experience starts Friday, January 10, 2013, at 5 p.m., and ends after brunch on Sunday, January 12, 2013.

Registration is now open! (A gift certificate makes a great gift for an aspiring writer you love!)

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Lethal TreasureLethal Treasure named a Top Ten read for 2013

Great news! Jen Video has selected Lethal Treasure as a top pick of the year.
See the full list here.







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Pelham Manor Club
Jane’s Keynote Speeches—Pelham Manor Club

Jane was the keynote speaker earlier this month at the gorgeous Pelham, New York Manor Club. She spoke on “Deadly Antiques: The Anatomy of Writing Antiques-Themed Mysteries.”

Klimt She’s been invited back on May 6, 2014 to present her visual lecture, “Finding Stolen Art: A Detective Takes on the Nazis.”

Jane would love to speak to your group, too! Contact her directly for more information.



Pelham Manor Club

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The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. "Ingenious ... engaging!" Publishers Weekly.
www.janecleland.net Jane does Business Communications training work, too! www.janecleland.com

P.S.  Please add "Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com" to your address book!


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Vol. VI, No. 8
In this issue:
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Dolled Up for Murder
Dolled Up for Murder won the David Award!

Jane K. Cleland won the David Award for Dolled Up for Murder. The David Award, named in honor of David G. Sasher, is given out annually at the Deadly Ink Conference to honor the best mystery published during the prior year.





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Lethal TreasureGreat Reviews Continue for Lethal Treasure

four stars Four Stars from Romantic Times

“Josie once again turns sleuth. Ample antique lore and credible characters bolster an intriguing plot.” -- Publisher’s Weekly.

From antiques expert, radio show host, and columnist, Harry Rinker: “I am in love with Josie Prescott, something my wife Linda does not mind since Josie is a fictional character. I read Cleland’s Prescott mysteries in one sitting. Once I start, I cannot put the book down. The novels have a lyrical, wistful quality. The characters have become family...”

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Josie’s Taking to the Stage: “Killing Time” — October 21,2013

“Killing Time,” a Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery short story Jane converted into a full-length play, has been selected for a developmental reading by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New York Chapter. The event is hosted by Arlene Dahl and produced by Ellen Muir.

You’re invited and your feedback is welcome! Oct 21, 2013, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Midtown Manhattan location. For reservations (required) and location information please call 212.459.3630, ext. 204. No email reservations will be accepted. Please be sure to leave your phone number. You’ll get a call back with the address.

“Killing Time,” based on the much-loved Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series, now eight strong [books, all from St. Martin’s Minotaur], plus three short stories [all in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine], is set on the rugged coast of New Hampshire. In a cozy Bed & Breakfast, a man whose identity is unknown is murdered. Using her knowledge of antiques, appraiser Josie Prescott discovers that love can morph into hate and people who hate can kill.


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aspiring writer's weekend Have you always wanted to write? Do you have a story to tell? You can. Join a small group of like-minded people on a journey to discover your writer's voice. You’ll experiment with different genres, engage in fun, interactive experiences and exercises, and discover what form your story should take—all at one of the most beautiful venues in the world, MIT’s magnificent Endicott House. Check out the Agenda. The weekend experience starts Friday, January 10, 2013, at 5 p.m., and ends after brunch on Sunday, January 12, 2013. Registration is now open! (A gift certificate makes a great gift for an aspiring writer you love!)


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Antiques Fact: Did You Know? The Language of Liz Sweibel’s Art: Rayon Thread from the 1930s

rayon thread Visual artist, Liz Sweibel, uses ordinary materials, including this rayon thread from the 1930s, to create extraordinary objects.

From the artist, “The foundation of my language as a visual artist is ordinary materials (like wood and thread) and space (silence); the syntax is subtle, spare, repetitive. Small, seemingly simple phrases accumulate to make a larger statement. It works like poetry; what is unsaid and unseen carries at least the weight of what is given. Within that language, each work finds its own vocabulary, pacing, composition, and tensions. Any narrative is purposefully masked, but gives the work credibility. The work evokes time with its resonances and tendrils, but asks the viewer to yield to a visceral, unstructured response.”

The NURTUREart gallery, which is presenting fragments of our own, is housed in a 1930 manufacturing building with a history in the “needle trades.” Liz explains, “Certain materials in this installation need to be true to the history of a garment factory—hence the vintage rayon thread.”

Speaking of vintage thread and original materials, Jane’s Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Deadly Threads is a tale of vintage clothing, a cat who fetches, and betrayal.


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Ask Jane: I have a question about your writing process.

Q: Mary from Kansas City wrote, “How long does it take you to write one of the Josie books?”

A: This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and I understand why—I’m fascinated by the vast differences in authors’ writing processes, too. The answer is complicated because I work from synopses. It often takes longer—sometimes, far longer—to write the synopsis than it does to write the book. The quickest I’ve ever written one of the Josie books was three months; the longest took ten months.


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The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. "Ingenious ... engaging!" Publishers Weekly.
www.janecleland.net Jane does Business Communications training work, too! www.janecleland.com

P.S.  Please add "Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com" to your address book!


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Vol. VI, No. 7
In this issue:
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Welcome to Rocky Point!
Read an excerpt from Lethal Treasure

lethal treasure Valentine’s Day is just a week away, and with the sun sparkling on the fresh-fallen snow in Rocky Point, New Hampshire, it is the perfect day for antiques dealer, Josie Prescott, to pursue her newest source of inventory—the contents of abandoned storage units sold at auction. There’s no telling what unexpected treasures she might discover.

A crowd gathers at the storage facility, including the owner of a local home decor and interior design store, Henri Dubois, who bids against a man who is new to the local auction scene. Josie is thrilled with her win, a small unit filled with Depression-era glassware and stunning vintage jewelry. The larger unit won by Henri has some exciting discoveries as well, including hand-painted silent movie posters, which Henri eagerly hands over to Josie for appraisal.

greta garbo When Josie receives a frantic call from Henri's wife, Leigh Ann, the next morning, she learns that Henri never made it home after the auction. Heading to the last place he was seen, the police open Henri's newly-acquired storage unit. Hidden amidst a jumble of objects, including a broken porcelain garden stool and a shattered bookcase, they find Henri, dead. Was he killed over one of the objects? Is his wife hiding secrets that led to his death? And who was the stranger who bid against Henri? When the police turn to Josie's antiques expertise, she discovers more than provenance—she uncovers a murderer.

Read the excerpt here. Welcome back to Rocky Point!

Pre-order your copy here.

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The Lethal Treasure Launch Party & Jane’s Book Tour

French martini Hold the date! LIM College, where Jane taught for many years, is hosting the launch party for Lethal Treasure, June 25, 6 p.m. at Fashionopolis! Jane will discuss the role hidden messages play in communications. Books will be available for purchase and signing. French martinis will be served!

Jane will also be visiting Murder by the Book in Houston on June 29th, speaking at the Tomball Public Library on July 1st, and participating in Poisoned Pen’s conference in the Biltmore Hotel in Scottsdale on July 6th. She hopes you’ll stop by and say hello!

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Aspiring Writer’s Weekend,
“Finding Stolen Art: The Truth Behind the Isabella Stewart Museum Heist,”
and Communicating With Influence

lethal treasures Hold the dates! January 9-12, 2014! MIT’s spectacular Endicott House will be hosting Jane’s annual Aspiring Writer’s Weekend, check out the detailed agenda here, a dinner lecture on “Finding Stolen Art: The Truth Behind the Isabella Stewart Museum Heist,” and an interactive workshop, “Communicating with Influence.” You’re invited! Questions about any of the events? Please email Jane directly.

To register for any of the events, please contact Endicott House at: info@mitendicotthouse.org.


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Lethal Treasure Is Getting Great Reviews!

Jane was thrilled to read this review from Brodart Vibe’s Cathi Rooth! Since 1939, Brodart has been helping libraries find products and services designed specifically for their needs.

As Lethal Treasure unfolds, the reader is treated to a fascinating insight into the world of antiques. Not being someone whose interest normally lies in that world, I loved all I learned about it in the seamless way Cleland weaves it into this story. Not too little, not too much…just right.

I did not figure this one out correctly before the murderer was revealed. The reason for Henri’s death was there, but I had the wrong reason and person in mind. Love when that happens. There’s nothing worse than a mystery that is too easy to solve by the reader.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Lethal Treasure and I know I will be going back for more Josie Prescott mysteries in the near future. There’s nothing better than finding a new mystery series!

The full review is here: https://brodartvibe.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/lethal-treasure-by-jane-k-cleland/

Remember, please ask your librarian to order Lethal Treasure! Thank you!


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Ask Jane: Your Recipes Sound Yummy—How can I get them?

french toast Q: Danielle from Boise, Idaho asked, “The recipes in the books sound yummy—and I love that they come from Josie’s mom’s handwritten cookbook. How can I can my hands on them?” chicken

A: Good news, Danielle! Most (but alas, not all) the recipes have been published on my website. Here, for example, are the recipes for French Toast With Mango Surprise Syrup and Orange Chicken. And yes, they taste as good as they look!


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Antiques Fact: Did You Know…
Art Nouveau Vases Can Fetch Thousands

This turn of the last century Art Nouveau vase is attributed to Clement Massier. At auction, it might fetch more than $1,000. This appraisal was done by the famous auction house, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. Want to pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the experts? Check out this fun, free section of Jane’s website: What’s It Worth? You Be the Judge!


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The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. "Ingenious ... engaging!" Publishers Weekly.
www.janecleland.net Jane does Business Communications training work, too! www.janecleland.com

P.S.  Please add "Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com" to your address book!


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Vol. VI, No. 6
In this issue:
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Lethal Treasure is Dedicated to Librarians
(and a featured title in Macmillan’s Library Newsletter!)

Jane has long considered librarians to be the rock stars of her world. Here’s the lovely article that appeared in Macmillan’s current newsletter and the dedication:

lethal treasureFor antiques dealer Josie Prescott, an abandoned storage unit is the perfect place to find some killer treasure, but finding a dead body amongst the wares is more than she bargained for.

Just like Josie, we got more than we bargained for when we opened up LETHAL TREASURE (Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries #8) and found Jane Cleland's loving dedication to librarians "the rock stars of [her] world."

See the full dedication below. Click to enlarge.

Giveaway: We have 50 ARCs of LETHAL TREASURE for the first 50 librarians to send us an e-mail with their full name, title, and mailing address (US only). Mail to Library@MacmillanUSA.com, subject: Lethal Treasure.

Isn’t that wonderful?! A featured book!

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You’re Invited! Hear Jane speak on
Finding Stolen Art: A Detective Takes on the Nazis

Maria Altmann Sponsored by Lehman College’s City and Humanities program, Jane’s visual lecture is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 4th, 12:30 to 2 p.m., The Black Box Studio Theater.

Jane’s visual lecture is a fun, inspirational David vs. Goliath tale. According to Interpol and the FBI, the Nazis stole almost 20 percent of all Western art. To this day, more than 20,000 objects are still missing. Jane tells the story of one woman’s efforts to right a 60-year wrong.

Lehman College
250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
Bronx, NY 10468
It’s an easy ride on the number 4 train, about 30 minutes from Grand Central.
Here’s the link to the campus map.

Any questions? Email Jane directly.

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Ask Your Librarian to order Lethal Treasure
—and pre-order your copy, too!

lethal treasures The eighth Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Lethal Treasure, a tale of silent movie posters, hidden messages, and love—and a cat named Hank, will be published in June 2013!

hank in josie's arms May I ask a favor? Please ask your librarian to order it! Thank you so much. And of course, your pre-ordering a copy would be wonderful! I’d be most appreciative! If you’d like a autographed or personalized copy, it can be ordered through Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale. 888-560-9919. Thank you.


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LIM College Is Hosting the Lethal Treasure Launch Party, the Kick-off to a Mini-tour

Hold the date! LIM College, where Jane taught for many years, is hosting the launch party for Lethal Treasure, June 25, 6 p.m. at Fashionopolis! 12 E 53rd Street, New York City, 212.371.8862. Jane will discuss the role hidden messages play in communications—and a cat named Hank. Books will be available for purchase and signing. French martinis will be served!

Jane will also be visiting Murder by the Book in Houston on June 29th and participating in Poisoned Pen’s conference in the Biltmore Hotel in Scottsdale on July 6th. She hopes you’ll stop by and say hello!


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Mystery writer, Meredith Anthony, provides a deadly take of workplace homocide in her witty and thought-provoking look at the role work plays in our lives—and why it often leads to murder. Read it here.

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Ask Jane: Where are you with adapting Josie for the stage?

Q: Gladys from Omaha, NE asked, “Last I heard you were working on adapting a Josie story into a play. How’s it coming?”

A: I’m busily revising the adaptation of “Killing Time,” a Josie short story that first ran in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, for the stage. It’s more complicated than I expected for three reasons. First, all my Josie stories are written in the first person, which means a lot of the action takes place in her head. Watching someone think doesn’t work on stage. (Picture watching paint dry.) Second, Josie spends a fair amount of her time at the computer researching things. Think of that activity on stage… are you yawning yet? Third, a short story is, well, short. A full length play needs to be more complex. That said, I’m excited to report that the revisions are going well. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New York chapter, is hosting a table reading in May. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to hear the words spoken aloud.

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greta garbo
Antiques Fact: Did You Know…
Silent Movie Posters Were Hand-Painted

From 1924 to 1928, Batiste Madalena designed and painted nearly 1,500 movie posters for the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York using tempera on illustrator board. When the Eastman Theater changed hands, the new owners trashed all the old posters, literally putting them out on the curb. Luckily, Madalena saw what was happening in time to rescue a few hundred of them. This poster was part of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 2008.


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Vol. VI, No. 5
In this issue:
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Jane Spoke About “Smuggling Dolls” at the
Westport, CT Library…
She’ll Come to Your Venue, Too!

Jane Murphy Talk about putting on putting on the dog! Look at the cake the gorgeous, thoughtful, brilliant Jane Murphy, a librarian in Westport, CT organized for a recent talk brought to the event! So special! (And how cute is her “Me, Jane” photo?!)

Jane and cake Jane’s talk on “Smuggling Dolls” fits with her latest Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Dolled Up for Murder. Since dolls were first carved by craftsmen, they’ve both served as role models and reflected current definitions of beauty. Her visual lecture discusses how dolls have evolved since the sixteenth century, how fashion relates to image, and how bounty from the Civil War leads to murder. By following a historical trail from Queen Anne to Sesame Street, attendees discover how dolls have been used for smuggling—and how they represent innocence—or should.

Does your organization, book club, or library host events? Jane would love to participate! She can deliver one of her many visual lectures, business communications training workshops, or participate in your book club discussion. Contact Jane directly for more information!


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endicott house consigned to death
Finding Stolen Art:
A Detective Takes on the Nazis
-Come to MA in Jan 2013

Join Jane on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at MIT’s spectacular Endicott House for an evening of delectable food and wine and an engaging, informative presentation. Jane’s presentation on “Finding Stolen Art: A Detective Takes on the Nazis” tells the story of the Nazi’s plunder of art (a fact that’s pivotal to the plot of Consigned to Death).

According to Interpol and the FBI, the Nazis stole almost 20 percent of all Western art. klimtTo this day, more than 20,000 objects are still missing. This visual lecture traces one woman’s effort to recover her family’s art. It’s a real David vs. Goliath tale—inspirational and fun!

For more information or to reserve your spot, call Michael R. Fitzgerald, General Manager, at 617.715.4901 or email him at mrfitzg@MIT.ED.


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Two Fab Reviews of Dolled Up for Murder

Dolled Up for Murder got two terrific reviews last week—by the great (and Edgar-winning) Joe Meyers in the Connecticut Post and by the great John Valeri in Hartford Books Examiner.




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Antiques to Die For Now Available in Paperback

antiques to die for Here’s what Antiques to Die For is about: When the body of a lively new acquaintance, Rosalie Chaffee, washes up on New Hampshire's rugged coastline, antiques dealer Josie Prescott is pulled into the mystery. A blow to the head suggests foul play. And when the victim's much younger sister, twelve-year-old Paige, asks for help, Josie finds herself doing what she does best—hunting for a valuable antique.

Paige can't tell Josie what exactly they're looking for. All her sister told her before she died was that it was worth a lot of money, and Paige fears greedy relatives are already scheming. As suspicion falls on the victim's boss, the CEO of a modular furniture company about whom Rosalie was penning a biography, the mystery deepens. Soon, an illicit love affair, a devious wife, an old diary and a threatening stalker steer Josie closer to the truth—and a killer surprise.

guavatini Read an excerpt! Are you a member of a book club? Here are the discussion questions (and martini recipe!) for Antiques to Die For. Buy your copy today!     It's available in large print, too!




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Antiques Fact: Did You Know?
Silent Movie Posters Were Hand Painted

silent movie poster letha; treasures
From 1924 to 1928, Batiste Madalena had designed and painted nearly 1,500 movie posters for the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York using tempera on illustrator board. When the Eastman Theater changed hands, the new owners trashed all the old posters, literally putting them out on the curb. Luckily, Madalena saw what was happening in time to rescue a few hundred of them. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York City featured his work in a 2008 exhibition. Silent movie posters are the pivotal antique in the eighth Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Lethal Treasure, which will be published by St. Martin’s Minotaur in June 2013.

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hurricane sandy
Ask Jane: You live in Manhattan
—did you suffer any damage from Hurricane Sandy?
Karla from Omaha

A: Thanks for asking… we’re fine… our midtown Manhattan neighborhood was spared Sandy’s fury. Our landmark casement windows held. Our power never went off. The plants on my terrace survived without damage. Many other areas in the tri-state area were hit much harder than ours.

Taken by a surveillance camera around 9:30 p.m. on Monday, October. 29, 2012, this Port Authority of New York and New Jersey photo shows the PATH station in Hoboken, N.J., flooding.

I hope you’re all safe and sound, too.

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The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. "Ingenious ... engaging!" Publishers Weekly.
www.janecleland.net Jane does Business Communications training work, too! www.janecleland.com

P.S.  Please add "Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com" to your address book!


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Vol VI, No. 4
In this issue:
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“What’s It’s Worth” is Back on the Website—Get Ready for Fun!

sugar shakers To introduce the very first Josie mystery, Consigned to Death, Leslie Hindman (of the world renowned antiques auction firm, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers) and her staff, did hundreds of antiques appraisals for my fun, free “What’s It Worth? You Be the Judge!” challenge. We’re putting the archives back online… take a whirl and see how you do. For instance, look at this photo and description of Sugar Shakers … then decide, what do you think it’s worth?

Want to see more? Here ya go! Click on this link to “What’s It Worth? You Be the Judge!”


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lethal treasure
First Peek!
Here’s the Cover Art for LETHAL TREASURE,
Josie #8, Out Next June

Once again, Hank is a cover boy! You’ll note that he’s playing with movie film… the pivotal antique is silent movie posters.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Calling All Aspiring Writers! Calling All My Writing Students!

endicott house Join Jane at the magnificent Endicott House for an inspiring writing weekend— January 11-13, 2013. You’ll find your unique writer’s voice as you journey through six modules with thought-provoking workshops and inspirational activities. Click here for the detailed agenda. This weekend workshop is intimate, appropriate for both novices and more experienced writers, including those who’ve participated in Jane’s past workshops. Here’s some comments from past attendees (some of whom will be back in January!):

  • “You are amazing.  Thanks for a truly fabulous weekend.  I came back with a glow.” Lita Nelsen
  • “It was probably late Monday afternoon before I came down from the high of this past weekend... I left feeling inspired, invigorated and renewed. Some people can write and some can teach, you are one of those unique individuals who can do both! Thank you for sharing your expertise so generously with us, and for putting together a program that seemed to touch us all, regardless of our different backgrounds and experiences.” Deb Carlson
  • “Thank you for a wonderful inspiring weekend. I really enjoyed your workshops. You have the talent to engage your audience and share all your knowledge. Your warm understanding feedback was a pleasure to hear. Thank you again. I am off writing.” Theresa Jay
  • “Thank you so much for the Rubric and for the wonderful and inspiring weekend.  I am looking forward to editing a few pieces that I have had tucked away in my desk for too long. Also, several of the prompts you gave us over the weekend provided me with insight about where I need to go with my writing. Now I am actually looking  forward to getting back to working on my memoir!” Jean Mudge
  • “I just returned from an amazing Aspiring Writer’s weekend at MIT’s Endicott House. I was absolutely WOWED by everyone’s writing, honesty and openness, including Jane’s, who shared above and beyond my expectations and turned a group of strangers into a family.” Elizabeth Dougherty

To register, buy a gift certificate for someone you love, or for more information, please call 617-253-5211 or email info@mitendicotthouse.org. Questions about the workshop content, the instructional design, or whether you’d feel comfortable attending? Email Jane directly.


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Antiques Fact: Did You Know?
Verdura’s Wrapped Heart

verdura wrapped heart
A secondary plot on 2013’s Lethal Treasure, involves a gorgeous wrapped heart by the legendary jewelry designer, Fulco di Verdura. Verdura designed one-of-a-kind pieces for many of the most glamorous women in the world including Coco Chanel, Babe Paley, Greta Garbo, and the Duchess of Windsor, among scores of other leaders of 1940s society. If a brooch such as this were to sell today, assuming provenance could be confirmed, it would likely fetch more than $250,000.

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Ask Jane: Why does Josie drink Diet Coke?

dolled up for murder Q: Joni from Connecticut sent an email saying, “In Dolled Up for Murder, Josie drinks a Diet Coke… I would like it if you would persuade readers to drink something healthy.”

A: Jane replied: “Josie doesn’t drink Diet Coke often… she prefers martinis."

Joni wrote: “You are so cool. Martini's are more healthy, of course.”

Each book features a special martini. And in each book, Josie always uses her father’s favorite toast, “Here’s to silver light in the dark of night.”

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Vol VI, No. 3
In this issue:
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Dolled Up for Murder Smuggling Dolls—the Genesis of Dolled Up for Murder

In the latest Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Dolled Up for Murder, there’s a Civil War theme, which required in-depth research. Here’s a comment from Jane on what she learned in the process:





nina doll In researching dolls of the Civil War era, I came across a doll named Nina who, it seems, came to America from Europe with her papier mâché head filled with morphine or quinine, an effort orchestrated by Southern sympathizers to get medical supplies past the Union blockade and into the hands of sick Confederate soldiers. Nina lives in the Museum of the Confederacy, by the way, in Richmond, Virginia. Nina hid medical supplies. Think what else could be hidden in dolls’ heads or in their hollowed out legs, or under their clothing, strapped to their little bodies. Jewels, perhaps, or gold coins, or military secrets… or who knows what else. And that’s the genesis of dolls in Dolled Up for Murder.

Dolls of all kinds have been used for smuggling for as long as dolls have existed, and smuggling itself has been going on for even longer than that. I am a realist, so I get it. If you have something to smuggle, you want to find a container that’s not likely to attract attention. I may understand the smuggler’s motivation, but to my mind, there’s something especially distasteful about using dolls for illicit purposes. Dolls represent innocence, or should. When a drug dealer or a spy or a thief use dolls to stash contraband, it isn’t merely breaking the law. It’s a betrayal of innocence.

hank in basket Enough of that. Let’s do what Josie does when she’s upset or confused. She finds her Maine Coon cat, Hank. Since smuggling dolls is so dark, I thought you might enjoy reading a brief excerpt from Dolled Up for Murder, that isn’t. Here’s Hank as you meet him in Dolled Up for Murder:


Excerpt from Dolled Up for Murder

Downstairs, I made a beeline for Hank’s area. He was curled up in his basket, asleep. I squatted beside him and stroked under his chin, his favorite place to be rubbed. Second favorite was his tummy.

“Hank,” I cooed, “you’re such a good boy. Are you a good boy, Hank? Yes, you are. What a good boy.”

Hank’s fur was mostly silver with charcoal and apricot highlights. His vet called the color chinchilla. Hank had lived at Prescott’s for just over a year now, ever since Gretchen had spotted him wandering around outside. We hadn’t been able to find his owner, so we’d adopted him. It had taken him about a minute to settle in. It had taken me about two minutes to fall in love with him.

“I’m leaving a little early, Hank. I’ll see you tomorrow… okay?”

He turned his head just enough to lick my hand. His eyes stayed closed. I stood up and he settled back in, curling into a tight little comma.

Buy your copy today! Also, please ask your librarian for the book, and if it’s not in their collection, ask them to order it! Thanks!

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Cara’s Raspberry Lemon Lace Squares—Barbara’s Solution

Cara's cake Several readers wrote for the recipe for the Raspberry Lemon Lace Squares Cara baked in Deadly Threads, and when Jane confessed that there was no recipe—that she’d invented the name and nothing else, they tried to come up with their own. It turns out raspberry is tricky to work with—it’s super sweet, among other things. Barbara Moglia came up with the perfect solution! She asked Kate at the cute tea shop, Sweet Tease in Manasquan, New Jersey, to come up with a recipe. Yum! Thanks, Barbara! Thanks, Kate! While only Kate knows how to make Cara’s Raspberry Lemon Lace Squares, lots of Josie's mom's recipes have been posted on the website. Enjoy!

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Calling All Book Clubs! Jane Wants to Participate!

Jane loves participating in book club discussions. Thought-provoking book club discussion questions for Dolled Up for Murder have been posted online. These questions are guaranteed to result in lively discussions. Jane loves to attend or call in book club discussions. Contact her directly to set up a time!


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A New Author’s Tribute to Jane’s
Favorite Mystery Author: Rex Stout

Read this lovely tribute to the creator of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin from a fellow St. Martin’s Minotaur author. Jane integrates all sorts of Wolfean trivia into her Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries for her pals in the Wolfe Pack. If you don’t know Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe stories, you’re in for a treat! Jane recommends starting with one written in 1950s or 60s.

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Antiques Fact: Did You Know?
Antique Dolls Need Furniture, Too!

antique dining table and chairs
Tiny dolls need tiny furniture. This Eppendorfer & Nacke-produced oak set dates from about 1900. The upholstered chairs are barely five inches tall. Sets in excellent condition such as this sell for about $200. Looks like a charming place to have dinner!

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Ask Jane: How Do You Select the
Antiques Featured in Your Books?

silent movie poster Jane: I try to find an antique that will interest readers. Also, Josie needs to be able to use it to solve a crime. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I make a lot of false starts before I find the one. In Josie #8, Lethal Treasures, out in summer 2013, the pivotal antique is silent movie posters. Fun!



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The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. "Ingenious ... engaging!" Publishers Weekly.
www.janecleland.net Jane does Business Communications training work, too! www.janecleland.com

P.S.  Please add "Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com" to your address book!


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Vol VI, No. 2
In this issue:
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Dolled Up for Murder Dolled Up for Murder Is Getting Great Reviews

Dolled Up for Murder, from Publishers Weekly to Library Journal and from librarian and blogger Lesa Holstein in Arizona to Fresh Fiction reviewer and blogger Jen Vido in Maryland, the reviews for the seventh Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Dolled Up for Murder. have been stellar. Here’s a sample:

“In Cleland’s winning seventh Josie Prescott antiques mystery… the action builds to a seamless and fitting conclusion.” www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-250-00184-9

"... a winning cozy series." Library Journal

“Beautifully written,” Lesa Holstein www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com

“Just the right amount of intrigue paired with quirky, lovable characters.” Fresh Fiction, review by Jen Vido http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=32548.

Buy your copy today! Also, please ask your librarian for the book, and if it’s not in their collection, ask them to order it! Thanks!

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LIM College Hosted a Fabulous Launch Party… the Down-side of Blue Martinis

Jan book launch at LIM
joe with blue tongue
LIM College, where business meets fashion, where Jane is on the faculty, hosted the launch party for Dolled Up for Murder. Seventy-plus people attended to hear Jane’s presentation on “Smuggling Dolls” and enjoy yummy Blue Martinis (the cocktail featured in Dolled Up for Murder). The only downside is that the blue, ahem, leaves its mark. Here’s Jane’s adorable husband, Joe, demonstrating the issue.



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A Non-Josie Short Story: “Last Supper” Appears in the June 2012
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Now on Newsstands

“Last Supper,” a short story that appears in the June 2012 Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (now on newsstands) introduces a new character, Laney, a 12 year-old orphan. Laney might be young, but that doesn’t mean she’s blind to human frailty or stupid. She knows that people almost always do what they want or need to do—no matter what they say to the contrary. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting her.


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DEADLY THREADS Now Available in Paperback!

deadly threads The sixth Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, Deadly Threads, a tale of vintage clothing, a cat who fetches, and betrayal, is now available in paperback from Harlequin e-book club. In Deadly Threads, you get to meet Prescott’s cat, Hank.




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Jane’s Going on Tour! Come Say Hello!

From New Hampshire to Arizona, Jane’s hitting the road! Come join her… she loves meeting readers!

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Book Clubs: Discussion Questions for DOLLED UP FOR MURDER
Available On-line (along with the recipe for Blue Martinis!)
blue martini

Thought-provoking book club discussion questions for Dolled Up for Murder have been posted online. These questions are guaranteed to result in lively discussions. Jane loves to attend or call in book club discussions. Contact her directly to set up a time!

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Antiques Fact: Did You Know?
Union Currency is Rarer Than Confederate Currency

1862 dollar

Meet Barry Simpson, whom Josie describes as the “numismatist to the stars.” Here’s a snippet from Chapter Eight of Dolled Up for Murder: “This is Union currency, issued to support the Civil War. It’s way rarer than Confederate money, because fewer were printed. Best guess is that there’s only between three and five thousand extant. If this is genuine, it’s an example of the first ever federally issued one-dollar bill. Think on that… the first ever. That’s Salmon Chase on the front. He was secretary of the treasury under Lincoln, and is considered the man who bankrolled the Civil War. In as good condition as this appears to be, which is to say uncirculated, it’s worth two thousand dollars, maybe more.”

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Ask Jane: How Do You Pick the Martinis You Feature in the Books?

Ask Jane: How do you pick the martinis you feature in the books?

Jane: I have fun with it! After this year’s launch party a bunch of us went out for a nibble and we talked about which martini Josie might try next. Now that I’m writing Josie #8, I know the answer. (Josie’s told me her choice!) But I’m not telling you yet!

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The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. "Ingenious ... engaging!" Publishers Weekly.
www.janecleland.net Jane does Business Communications training work, too! www.janecleland.com

P.S.  Please add "Jane_K._Cleland@mail.vresp.com" to your address book!