Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Win for Tim Maleeny!


Pal and fellow Midnight Ink author, Tim Maleeny, brought home a Macavity Award Friday night for his short story "Till Death Do Us Part." You can read this award-winning short story in the anthology Death Do Us Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder, edited by Harlan Coben. The Macavity Award is awarded each year in various categories by Mystery Readers International.

BIG CONGRATS, TIM!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Meet Me At the Fair


The 6th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair is this Sunday, September 30th, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., at the West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.

If you're at the Fair stop by and say hello. From 11-12 I'll be signing books at the Sisters In Crime/Los Angeles booth and from 1:30-2:30 I'll be at the mystery pavilion moderating a panel entitled Murder Most Cozy: Crime on the Lighter Side with fellow authors Joanne Fluke, Linda O. Johnston, Susan Kandel and Linda Palmer.

The West Hollywood Book Fair has activities for the whole family.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Dinner With Naomi


I had the best time last night. Naomi Hirahara and I chowed down at Versailles, the cuban restaurant (this was a rescheduled dinner from an earlier date).

There is nothing quite like two mystery authors getting together and yakking about books done, book in progress, books to come, book marketing, book sales, book promotion ... you get the picture.

Naomi is on fire right now with an Edgar win earlier this year for her novel Snakeskin Shamisen (and an Anthony nomination), a short story in the popular Los Angeles Noir anthology, and an online serial called The Nihongo Papers (a biotech paranormal thriller, which is fabulous). In addition, she has a middle school novel coming out next August entitled 1001 Cranes.

Naomi Hirahara is someone to watch!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Night With the Bard



Odelia and I took a break from working on Epitaph Envy last night to see Twelfth Night at Circus Theatricals. My friend Joe Bays plays Fabian in the production.

I love live theatre and really enjoy the shows at this tiny venue tucked on a side street just off Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. Parking is easy, the tickets affordable and the productions creative. And the size of the theatre really gives a sense of intimacy between the players and the audience.

And, as always, the Bard's humor is timeless.

You can catch this production of Twelfth Night any Friday or Saturday night through October 20th.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Turning Lemons Into Womenade

Felicia Donovan, my friend and fellow Midnight Ink author, has a new book coming out, and like all authors is going through the angst of early reviews. Almost all of the major reviews of Felicia's The Black Widow Agency have been highly favorable ... that is, until her review in Kirkus. For those of you not in the know, Kirkus is one of the review entities that can make or break a book. It's right up there with Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. So when Kirkus called The Black Widow Agency a "bitch-a-thon," Felicia wasn't about to take it like a wimp with a broken nail.

Instead of bitching, Felicia is standing firm with a Bitch-A-Thon Campaign. For every copy of The Black Widow Agency purchased between October 1, 2007 and October 1, 2008, Felicia is personally pledging to donate a portion of the profits to her local chapter of Womenade.

You can read Felicia's entertaining rant about the Kirkus review today at Inkspot.

I'm marking my calendar for October 1st and lining up to purchase The Black Widow Agency.

You go, girl!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Will the Potential Murderer Please Stand Up

I found this little gem on Christa Faust's blog this morning. It's a quiz to see if you could get away with murder: Would You Get Away With Murder? Potential psychopaths that we are, both Christa and I were given no jail time, which gave me hope as I pursue a career in plotting murder mysteries.

Speaking of plotting murder mysteries, went to see pal Tim Maleeny speak last night at the Rancho Park Library. I'm waiting rather impatiently for his 2nd book to come out - Beating the Babushka. I just loved his Stealing the Dragon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Me? Famous?

I don't know how famous I am, but if you want the inside scoop on how I and many other of today's authors ran the gauntlet to become published, check out the recently released How I Got Published: Famous Authors Tell You in Their Own Words. Compiled and edited by Ray White and Duane Lindsay and published by Writers Digest, How I Got Published is insightful, as well as entertaining, and a must read for any budding writer.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Birthday Book Boat

Forget the Love Boat, come sail with me on the Birthday Book Boat!

Friday, December 21, 2007, is my 55th birthday, and to celebrate I’m taking a weekend cruise with my good friend Susan aboard Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas. The cruise leaves Los Angeles and travels to Ensenada, Mexico and back. I can’t wait!

But here’s the really fun part. Royal Caribbean is giving me time on Sunday, December 23rd, to talk to passengers about books and mysteries. My birthday and I get to talk about books -- now that's what I call a celebration!

If any of you mystery fans are thinking about taking a short cruise before the end of the year, consider this one. Not only am I planning a fun talk and will have books available for sale, but attendees will have an opportunity to win door prizes.

When you get there, look for me. I'll be the one with the green face holding a piƱa colada and humming the Love Boat theme while waiting for the Dramamine to kick in.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Me and Mr. Thoreau

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Mr. Thoreau and I are discussing dreams today over at the Inkspot. Come join us!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 - A Day of Remembering and Mourning


Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

After ten days of travel, I arrived back in Los Angeles last night from New England to resume my regular life. It was a very fun and productive trip. I reported on the first half earlier, so before I dash off to my day job, here's a rundown of the second half of the trip, which centered around a family wedding:

September 7 - The women of the wedding party had a girls' day out with manicures, pedicures and lunch, followed by me heading to the Barnes and Noble in Bellingham, MA for a book signing. Pal and fellow author Lee Lofland showed up in Bellingham to show his support and we had a great time catching up.

September 8 - The morning was spent on wedding stuff and getting ready for the rehearsal dinner that night. That afternoon, I signed books at the Barnes and Noble in Worcester, MA. In Worcester, I met a lovely family -- Dr. and Mrs. Wiener and their son Dr. Craig Wiener. Craig Wiener, a psychologist who specializes in ADHD, recently had a book released and was in the store finalizing details on his upcoming signing. Craig and I had a lovely visit, talking about books, publishing, marketing and generally the book biz. I also enjoyed visiting with his mother Betty, who is an award-winning potter. You meet the nicest people at book signings!

After the signing, I scooted home to attend the rehearsal dinner, which was a very fun and casual affair at the home of the bride and groom, where I was staying. Over dinner conversation, which consisted of extremely funny and true stories of rural New England living, I picked up a lot of material for my 5th Odelia Grey novel. Wait until you see some of it in print!

September 9 - The wedding day! The wedding, which was held at the Sturbridge Publick House, was both lovely and enjoyable. The bride was my sister-in-law Marlaine, or technically my former sister-in-law since she and my brother divorced many many years ago. We have known each other since we were teens and have remained very close through the years. We are more like real sisters than relations-by-marriage. She married a wonderful guy named Bob, who is my new "brother-in-law." The wedding and rehearsal dinner gave me a great opportunity to spend time with Bob's delightful family, some of which I met for the first time.

Bob's family is from New York and our family from Massachusetts, so, naturally, during the reception part of the DJ's job was to give regular score updates on the Patriots/Jets game. After all, it WAS opening day! (Patriots won 38-14)

September 10 - Before leaving for the Hartford airport, I took my niece and two nephews out for breakfast. It was so nice spending my last few hours with them. They are all grown up now and doing their own thing, so it's rare for just the three of them and me to have time together. I find as I get older, it is increasingly difficult to leave the family and fly back to Los Angeles.

When I arrived in New England the trees were various shades of vibrant green. When I left ten days later, the green was awash with gold, orange and red. I had arrived in the summer and left in the fall.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Quick Report From the Road

My combo vacation/book tour/family wedding trip is half over and so far it has been a ton of fun! Here's the rundown:

September 1st - Landed in Hartford, Ct and had a yummy breakfast with Lucia Zimmitti, sister of Sal Zimmitti, one of the attorneys I work with back in LA. Lucia is also a writer. We spent four hours yakking up a storm about everything under the sun (yes, even you Sal). From there it was a 2 hr drive to Vermont, where I checked into the Henry Farm B&B, operated by the wonderful and warm Patricia and Paul Dexter. (Paul used to be an attorney in New York - I just can't get away from them!) Then off for a 2 hr drive to Manchester, NH for a discussion and signing at Barnes and Noble. Great signing and fellow Midnight Ink author Felicia Donovan took me to dinner after. Then it was a 2hr drive back to Vermont. Along the way I was stopped by 2 of New Hampshire's finest for speeding... and let go with a stern warning... thanks, guys! And then stopped by a routine sobriety checkpoint, also in NH. Here they waved me by after flashing a light through the window.

September 2nd - After 4 hours of writing and reading at one of the B&B's patio tables, I took a lovely drive up and down the roads of Vermont, including Manchester, VT. Then more writing and reading before bed.
September 3rd - Met my niece Lindsay at Mike' Maze for a day of research and fun. The corn maze was a hoot and owner Mike and maze designer Will couldn't have been more helpful with my questions. Look for a corn maze in my 5th Odelia Grey novel, Fifty Can Be Fatal. After a late lunch with Lindsay, I returned to VT for a much needed shower and more writing/reading.

September 4th - Writing/reading and a trip to West Lebanon, NH where I had a great last minute signing at the Borders, followed by dinner with my brother and his wife. I hadn't seen Thom in seven years and had never met his wife Cheryl, so it was a lovely and emotional time.

September 5th - Writing/reading and then most of the day spent traveling the highways and byways of VT. The state is so beautiful it makes you want to cry! My destination: Ben and Jerry's Factory! Yes, I made a pilgrimage to the the promised land! Then back on the road to visit the lovely towns of Coochie and Woodstock (both in VT). Back at the B&B, I was too tired to write and fell asleep with a book in my hand.

September 6th - Moved from the B&B to my family's home in Brookfield, MA. Had a fantastic signing at the Barnes and Noble in Millbury, MA and spent more time with my niece, who chummed along to watch her auntie work.

So far, that's it... gotta run and get dressed. Family stuff and another book signing today.