Carole Price has written her first short story, "The Glass Birdhouse." It is published in Happy Homicides 4: Fall into Crime. The anthology is a bountiful harvest of cozy mysteries, including six novellas and seven short stories, plus a special bonus file of recipes and crafts.
Priscilla Royal's The Proud Sinner is up for pre-order should anyone feel inclined to medieval violence as opposed to any current political stuff... Ereader version available in Feb.
Christmas is only 132 days away, so Camille Minichino is busy furnishing a dollhouse for her annual donation to a local school Holiday Raffle. (Uh-oh, are those bodies in the living room?)
You have until midnight Monday, August 15, to enter the Goodreads giveaway to win an uncorrected proof of Ann Parker's What Gold Buys, the newest of her Silver Rush mysteries. Click the giveaway button below.
Speaking of Ann Parker's newest, What Gold Buys received a VERY nice review from Historical Novels Review. Reviewer Ellen Keith notes, "I haven’t read the first four but was so taken by Parker’s protagonist, Inez Stannert, that I’ll rectify that asap." Other nice comments follow. You can read the entire review here.
Ellen Kirschman, Camille Minichino, and Ann Parker took a jaunt to the monthly Northern California Mystery Writers of America meeting on Saturday. Topic: how authors and libraries can help each other.
Ellen Kirschman's first LadyKillers post comes up this Friday! Be sure to check in and say hello to her...
Politics! Are you in or out??
Politics is a hot button topic, no matter what side you're on... So what's a writer to do? Jump in, comment, take a public stand, and maybe alienate readers? Or stay away and talk about ... the weather? Politics is not the only controversial subject around, but right now it's one of the most volatile.
So, what do you think? Do you like your favorite authors to come forward on topics such as politics, or do you wish they'd just stick to writing?
See what the LadyKillers have to say about politics (yea or nay or abstain), and public controversy...
Camille Minichino, the perennial professor, is gearing up for teaching her fall roster of classes. Bay Area peeps are invited to sign up for a 6-session Writing Workshop, starting August 30. Details at Camille’s website, www.minichino.com/classes
We have a new LadyKiller joining our merry band of bloggers! Please welcome nonfiction and mystery author Ellen Kirschman!
Ellen has been a police and public safety psychologist for thirty-plus years. Her work with first responders has taken her to four countries and twenty-two states. She's won several awards and in 2014 received the California Psychological Association's award for distinguished contribution to psychology. I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know was her first book. I Love a Fire Fighter: What the Family Needs to Know came next, prompted by the tragic events of September 11th. Following that she wrote Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know, third in the "need to know" series, with Mark Kamena and Joel Fay, both of whom are retired cops.
Burying Ben, her first-ever mystery featuring police psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, received first prize for the not-yet-in-print novel from the Public Safety Writers Association. Her second mystery The Right Wrong Thing is a finalist in the Fiction: Thriller/Adventure category of the USA Best Book Awards. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, see her website: http://www.ellenkirschman.com.
Ellen is taking the every-other-Friday spot, opposite Peggy Lucke. Her first post will appear on August 19, so stay tuned!
The Skinny on Reviews...
This week's topic for musing and consideration is Best/Worst Reviews. As authors, we get all kinds. As book readers, we deliver them as well. Some people like to read reviews before deciding to buy a book, others eschew them.
So what about you? How do you feel about reviews? What makes you pay attention and give weight to one while dismissing another?
Grab your favorite cuppa and check out this coming week's offerings and offer your own take on reviews!
Apparently this phrase dates back to the ancient Greeks (doesn't everything?) and has to do with a constellation that looks like a dog (Canis Major) chasing one that looks like a rabbit (Lepus).
The star Sirius (14th c.), the brightest in the constellation, is at the dog's nose. The meaning of the phrase has morphed into a characterization of the period of Sirius's rising, from July 3 to August 11, a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.
Never mind that in (roughly) 13,000 years, the dog star Sirius will be rising with the sun in mid-winter.
Some imagination those ancients had. It took an entire semester-long course in college for me just to match the names, the gods, and the myths.
What interests me is how, and how come, so many of the names have survived. For example, the multi-channel radio in my car is by Sirius. It seems incongruous that I'm listening to Willie's Roadhouse on a service with a name that dates back at least 7 centuries and means scorching.
The Nova laser, one generation after Shiva, from the Latin, meaning new.
One of the world's most powerful lasers of the 20th century was named Shiva, the name of a Hindu god, the Destroyer. Apt, I suppose, since Shiva the laser decimated any target it was aimed at.
But wouldn't you think there'd be a more modern hi-tech name, indicative of the high-level technology that brought Shiva into existence?
Maybe this is why LASER is one of my favorite words, the acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. There are no gods associated with it; no wars, no constellations, no etymology traceable to the ancients. While not the first acronym, the word itself has no other origin.
So, maybe the Dog Days of Summer can be called Dodaysum, and in 1000 years or so, someone will think she was a 21st century goddess who lay around all day.
And now, speaking of new words: I think I'll make my exit from this blog, i.e., my Blexit. <groan>
Michael A. Black is at the San Diego Comic Con set to do a panel for being a finalist in the Best Original Novel category for the Scribe Award for DESERT FALCONS, the Mack Bolan Executioner novel. Go, Michael!!
Camille Minichino got a lovely "thumbs up!" from Publishers Weekly for her ninth Miniature Mystery, MATRIMONY IN MINIATURE: "A realistic and very human cast of characters enhances this cozy, as does the loving relationship between Gerry and Maddie." Yay, Camille!!
Priscilla Royal is in the midst of edits. Or so the cats say. No one has seen her in two weeks...
Ann Parker is offering up three advance reader copies of her latest on Goodreads ... and she has absolutely no idea how this all works nor how to promote it. Take pity on her, please, click on the widgety thingy below, and sign up to be in the drawing for an unproofed copy of WHAT GOLD BUYS. Giveaway begins Monday, July 25.
The hottest story in the Periodic Table Mystery Series
I'd like to take this opportunity to share some secrets about our LadyKillers blog group. If the admins kick me off as a result, I'll be sad, but I'll have to live with it.
First, there are the little-acknowledged admins themselves, MYSTI BERRY and ANN PARKER, who have taken on a big job for our reading and writing pleasure. These ladies spend a lot of their time in the background making sure our bills are paid, our site is up to date, and that there's always something new to tune into. They also have to handle complaints from the rest of us (or is it just me?) that a posting is stalled or that a file won't load, or just whiny BWAHHHs.
Thanks Ann and Mysti!
Second, there are the Topics, which change every week. Here's how they're arrived at: the admins put out a call; some or all of us send in lists of possibilities; the admins schedule the topics and post the calendar. There's no guarantee that a particular member blogger will be assigned her own topics, or even a topic she understands.
Which brings me to WHEN IS HOT TOO HOT?
Is this a reference to Kool & The Gang?
Did the admins have something else in mind? I didn't want to take any chances, so I googled WHEN IS HOT TOO HOT. Here's the result of my research.
If you're wondering about hypothermia and risks to your health in hot weather, read this.
If you're worried about global warming, read this.
Maybe you're concerned about how heat affects your computer. Read this:
I'm sure you get the idea, and can find other meanings on your own. How hot is too hot for a fever? How hot should your hot water be?
P. S. • If you're thinking in terms of hot (bleep) sex, you're on your own. I don't want to increase the odds of unwelcome spam.
Camille Minichino is polishing her syllabus for “Science, Technology, and Social Change” at her first faculty meeting this week. Fall classes begin at Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA, on August 28.
Ann Parker and her upcoming book in her Silver Rush series (What Gold Buys) are featured in a Q&A titled "Spirits and Silver" in this coming week's Publishers Weekly.
As for the other LadyKillers??
Michael A. Black and Mysti Berry just finished a stint at the annual Public Safety Writers Association conference. Here's Mike, wowing the crowd as he moderates the panel "Anatomy of a Murder."
As for the rest of us? We're all chillin', because it's a long hot summer, and the topic for next week is...
WHEN IS HOT TOO HOT?
Whether in weather or fiction, sometimes it just gets "too hot for comfort." Drop on by with your favorite ice-cold beverage this coming week as we discuss this, uh, hot topic.
Comparing the Americans and the British on July 4—really?
Wouldn't it be considered unpatriotic if I said I prefer British mysteries, as if I wished we had lost the Revolutionary War? From a native Bostonian yet, where it all began?
As I thought about the nationalities of writers I love, it turns out I have favorites from many countries. Karin Fossim from Norway. Pierre Lemaitre from France (How can I resist a male cop named Camille?) The recently deceased Umberto Eco from Italy. An American or two, like Thomas H. Cook and John Verdon. I thought I had a few British favorites, too, but it turns out Peter Robinson is Canadian and Peter May is a Scot. I'm one of the few readers unimpressed by the work of Denise Mina or Val Mcdermid, but Brit Mo Hayder makes up for them.
A couple of years ago, I became a British writer. Well, to be exact, a UK magazine asked me to write a short story. I was (and am) thrilled. The story was published in parts over 3 months in The Dolls House Magazine.
Although I've never seen the house in person, I knew all about it from books and videos. I knew about its running water (the cisterns housed in the basement), electric lighting, and working lifts, its miniature crown jewels and special tea services.
I was sure I could capture the essence of the dolls house; what I worried about was the language of the British characters, especially the British docent. I agonized over using "bloody"—too mild? too wild?—and finally checked in with my friend Simon Wood, who agreed to vet the story.
There was only one language problem that neither Simon nor I could have predicted.
"Docent?" a UK contact from the magazine asked me. "We're not sure what that is."
What? I'd been concerned about the docent's dialogue, not the definition of the word. And isn't the UK the home of the OED?
I figured the person was too young for an old word, or she was a foreign intern serving across the pond.
In the end, we settled on changing "docent" to "guide" and the story made it through the rest of the process.
Come to think of it, it was all a lot easier than dealings I've had with American publications.
Someone—a well-meaning LadyKiller—made a typo and asked for a blog on Beaches and Books. But I'm sure she/he meant Bleachers, not beaches.
I wouldn't want to get sand on/in my Kindle; plus, I can't pay attention to words with the sounds of the beach in my ear.
Here's my ideal place to read: the (relatively) new bleachers in Times Square.
I imagine myself sitting in the seventh row center, with my recent read, NYPDRed (James Patterson and Marshall Karp) or Evidence of Blood by New Yorker Thomas H. Cook (so what if it's set in Georgia.) Both are great Bleacher Reads.
There's so much going in these bleachers—in other words, the outside world is being taken care of, and I'm free to immerse myself in the book world.