Showing posts from November, 2013

Death by Misadventure by E. E. Smith

 People who don't know me very well will invariably ask what the word "caboose" is doing in my strange email address. That's when I have to explain that I used to own one, and so it came to mind when a young computer wizard was trying to concoct an email address for me and finding that anything with "Smith" in it was already taken. He asked for something absolutely unique, and "caboose" was the only word I could think of that no one else would be using. And it worked. My email address Why in the world would anyone want to own a caboose, you may ask. You might have to read my secondnovel,Times Like These,to understand such madness. In the book I explain that I grew up on the railroad, back when there were steam trains. As the daughter of a station agent, I was often allowed to ride in the caboose, along with the conductor and the brakeman, just for the fun of it. To me, it was like a playhouse, and I dreamed of ha…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Besides preparing and eating lots of delicious food, this is the day to give thanks.

We who live in this country have so much to give thanks for. Yes, there are problems, but we have the liberty to complain about the problems in so many forums and except for irritating people who might think differently, no one is going to come looking for us.

On a personal level, I'm thankful for each and everyone of my children, their spouses and all of their offspring. Each one has brought me and my husband great joy over the years.

I'm thankful that I have a personal belief in God and I can worship how I wish. And I'm thankful that He listens and answers my prayers. (Sometimes he says no, and other times, it's not yet, but oh, so many times, a miracle is given.)

I'm thankful for this day that I can spend with some of my family and enjoy their company. I'm thankful for the youngsters who still want to play games with their great-grandma.

I'm thankful for the granddaughte…

Bellman and Black by Diana Setterfield, a review

What a Curious Book!

It almost defies description because it doesn’t fit into any specific category. Literary as far as the writing goes and compelling when it comes to the story. Diane Setterfield is an expert at enticing a reader into following a not particularly likeable but extremely ambitious man through his life. Along the way grand descriptions of life, death and mourning during Victorian times in a small town in England propel the plot.

Always hovering in the background are the mysterious rooks. Included are many interesting facts about these blackbirds--one of the main characters throughout.

Not a book I would picked up on my own, (it was given to me by the publisher) nevertheless, I couldn’t stop turning the pages. The writing is beautiful--and the message clear--don't let anything come between you and your family.

This is not a book for everyone: Though called a ghost story, it really isn't. It doesn't have a happy ending--but the ending is inevitable. However…

Flint House by Kathleen L. Asay

Sometimes a book is more than just a book. Sure, it’s the first book I’ve written that’s made it into print and it took long years to happen. It’s also the first book I’ve written that is not strictly a conventional mystery. To a reader, it’s only a few hours diversion. To the publishing world, the world in general, it’s barely a blink of the eye.
Still, this book, Flint House, is more than just a book, my first book, my first non-mystery, to me. Many years ago, when I was first married, I worked in an office building on a major boulevard in Los Angeles and across the street was a bookstore. In that bookstore, often enough, was an older woman dressed in yellow, with 1930s make up and yellow hair. A lovely looking woman, one you would notice even if you were twenty-five. I looked at her and I wondered who she was and who she had been since she was clearly trying to hold onto that person. Too shy to ask, I vowed to give her story someday.
I was writing mysteries, however, and I could see …

What Do You Have to Do to Be a Published Author?

On Saturday, November 23 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. award winning authors Shirley Hickman and Marilyn Meredith will be at the Porterville Art Gallery, 151 North Main, Porterville CA. to answer that question.

Topics of Discussions:

What Does it Take to Write a Book?

Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing, Small Presses

What comes Next?

Question Welcomed

Both authors will have copies of their books available for purchase and signing.

Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith, review

With an amazing ability, the author creates a story about a side of Russia the majority of us will never see—and that’s probably a good thing.
Moscow investigator Arkady Renko can’t believe the famous reporter, Tatiana Petrovna would commit suicide by jumping from her sixth floor apartment. Like a pitbull, he won’t let loose as he tries to find out the truth despite warnings and attempts on his life.
Besides being a complicated mystery with many side trails and the most unusual characters, it’s a glimpse into horrific crimes, an unusual seaside city, corruption, bird watchers, and a strange puzzle in a translator’s book.
Both fascinating and gritty, Tatiana kept me turning pages and I felt like I was getting an insider’s peek into a country I know little about. Simon and Schuster gave me this book.

Warning Shot by Tim Smith

I’m pleased to announce the release of my newest romantic thriller Warning Shot from eXtasy Books. This is the third installment in the Nick Seven spy series, featuring my two most popular characters, former CIA spooks Nick Seven and Felicia Hagens. They were featured in the best-selling books Memories Die Last and Never Look Back. Although this is part of a series, the books do not need to be read in order, as each one is a stand-alone adventure.
For the uninitiated, Nick and Felicia live in Key Largo, Florida, where they fled to get away from the spy game and intrigue. Nick is a moody action hero plagued by memories of things from his past, and Felicia is the Barbadian beauty who was once his co-worker. This installment finds them helping Nick’s former mentor from his spy days when it appears that this person has gotten involved in something he shouldn’t have.
Nick Seven and Felicia Hagens left the CIA for the laidback ease of the Florida Keys, leaving behind a life of intrigue. When…

What Inspired Helen Macie Osterman to Become a Writer

What inspired me to become a writer? It was certainly not an epiphany. I was a storyteller from childhood. On beautiful autumn days, I walked through the park, leaves crunching under my feet and adventures running through my mind: an African safari, a trip to outer space, being chased by a monster. When I grew up and became a nurse, I wrote for nursing and medical journals. But technical writing is a far cry from fiction. The years passed and I took a couple of courses in creative writing. That did it. My character, Emma Winberry, appeared in my mind. I visualized her: shaped like Olive Oyl, hair spiking every which way. But that wasn’t enough to make her different from other protagonists I read about. Emma is in her 60s, has luminous gray eyes, and has a sixth sense. She converses with her Guardian Angel. I know this woman, her hopes and dreams. She loves the opera, but is not a singer. So I gave her the role of supernumerary, an extra in the opera.
Being an opera lover myself, I always …

The Year Without Christmas by John M. Wills

John Wills has been both a regular attendee and presenter at the Public Safety Writers Conference and I'm proud to count him as a friend. I've read his other books, which I enjoyed, but The Year Without Christmas is outstanding. I asked him to tell me--and everyone who reads my blog--what inspired him. Why I wrote this book:
Having read a number of Christmas novels over the years, I have always been moved by them. My favorite stories come from Dan Walsh, a Christian writer. He inspires me to write with emotion. This year I had the urge to write a Christmas novel myself, and I had a number of ideas in mind as I sat down to share my story. In The Year Without Christmas, the protagonist, Officer Doyle, is a cop—a darn good one—on a small department in Michigan. He unfortunately gets involved in a tragic shooting. Despite having followed his department’s guidelines, and even though the outcome was ruled to be a justifiable shooting, the man begins a downward spiral that eventually c…

My Book Party for Spirit Shapes

When: Saturday, November 16, 1 p.m.

Where: Fellowship Hall, Springville Baptist Church, Bogart Dr., (off 190 at the top of the hill) on the way to Springville. (CA)

What: I plan on telling what led to the writing of Spirit Shapes. I'll also have a few copies of some of my other books in the series.

Refreshments:  My friend Cheryl who bakes the most wonderful cakes is providing one for this event.

I realize my party is in competition with all kinds of Christmas bazaars and boutiques all over Springville and Porterville. But, remember, a book signed my an author makes a unique gift.

I'm looking forward to seeing a few of my friends.

(And for those who think once a book is out, the author can rest, I've already started the next one in the series, and I'm going over the edits of my next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.)


The Greatest Benefit of Virtual Book Tours

The Greatest Benefit of Virtual Book Tours
by Cheryl C. Malandrinos
I’ve been promoting authors’ books with virtual book tours (VBTs) since 2007. I could share numerous benefits of VBTs: promoting a book from the comfort of your own home, the vast audience they reach, and their longevity (I can type the author’s name and book title from one of my first clients into Google and still see results from her virtual book tour.). I might even discuss two detailed articles I wrote on why VBTs work and how to judge your VBT’s success from my own experience promoting Little Shepherd when it first came out.

But I’m not going to talk about any of that. Why? Because that’s not what I feel is the greatest benefit of virtual book tours.
For me, the greatest benefit of promoting my work and the work of others through virtual books tours has been connecting with readers and other authors.
It’s easy to forget the hard-working people behind the blogs; but owning several blogs myself, I doubt anyone does it…

Serial Killers and Criminal Profiling

By Pete Klismet
[Editor’s Note: Criminal profilers conjure up all kinds of images to the average person. Movies, television shows, and novels have often given us misconceptions of this special breed of investigator. Our guest writer today can help us understand this part of law enforcement because that is what he is trained to do—profile criminals. Pete Klismet, is a retired FBI criminal profiler who teaches, writes, and provides consulting services on this subject.]

Pete, can you tell us what some of the more common questions you hear about profiling are?
“How’d you know that?”
“Are you some sort of a psychic?”
“Do you have a crystal ball or something?”
Anyone who has been trained in criminal profiling and has worked with law enforcement agencies, or has taught about the concept in college, has heard all of these comments.And many more.The word “profiling” conjures up some sinister images in people’s minds, and seems almost devilishly frightening to some, but yet fascinating to others. On…