Thursday, July 23, 2015

Author T. Stephens at New England Mobile Bookfair

Had a great time at the book event for author T. Stephens, who made an appearance at the New England Mobile Bookfair (the largest independent bookseller in all of New England). You have to come here for the thousands of books that seem to go on for miles.

What I love about this writer is his passion- he makes a personal connection with his audience, talking to them, not at them. He spoke of his journey to write and publish Dante's Cypher, to date his only novel, but one that's selling very well. (And being made into a movie!)

To see an interview with T Stephens, click here.

Oh- and check out what other cool writers they have on their shelves of local authors! That's all 3 books of my Zack Taylor mystery series, right next to Dante's Cypher

So T had his publicist Wendy show up to make the show more fun- and to get people interested in him and the book.

T weaving his spell- the audience was small, but enthralled.

They stayed for the whole show, then bought books.

Special note- this is Steve, a huge supporter of writers and the bookstore. He came out just to buy the book in person. You may have seen him in the pictures from December's Gala Mystery Night, where he and his lady Robin bought sackloads of books.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Reunion and Potato Blossom Festival

So I went back to upper Maine for a high school class reunion, and had a great time. So nice to connect with people after all these years. It was held at the Aroostook Valley Country Club, where I used to work 40 years ago. It's on the border, and actually the clubhouse is on Canadian soil.

What a trip down Memory Lane. So nice that people have mellowed, and all were pleasant and friendly- unlike the experience of many in high school. Maybe they were nice because they now knew I could write about them if they weren't!

P.S.- If you want to read a great book about a class reunion, see Reunion by David Daniel. It's awesome! 

Many thanks to Vickie Levesque for putting in a ton of hard work to make a good time for everyone else.

I was in a play (The Star Spangled Girl, by Neil Simon) with Sue and Kirk over 40 years ago, and we still laugh about it now.

Some people just age better than others...

Me with some lovely classmates

Friends forever!

Just about everyone was smiling and happy. 

With Rhonda, who's been a big supporter of my writing career.

I also put up a booth and sold books at the Maine Potato Blossom Festival the next day. We got the parade and some sales in before the rain hit!

And more classmate friends stopped by to share in the fun.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lancaster Library Mystery Panel

We went to the lovely Lancaster, MA, Thayer Memorial Library for a “Death in Shorts” mystery short story panel, to promote Rogue Wave, the premier New England crime and mystery anthology.

Many thanks to Paula Castner and the library staff for hosting us. A great day with a lively discussion.

It featured local authors (L to R) me, Janet Halpin, Ruth M. McCarty, and Leslie Wheeler (an editor at Level Best Books), the moderator, who helped put the panel together, and done in conjunction with the Seven Bridges Writers Collaborative.

Great crowd who showed up, interested and engaged. Showing support (and bringing her family) was writer Ursula Wong, who answered a question on her research for her forthcoming book, Amber Wolf.

I pontificate...

Our panel. Most of us are Sisters in Crime, and we spoke on the fine art of murder...

Ruth does a reading

We look forward to more programs like this at the library, where writers meet readers.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

More Signings! Me and other authors

Phew- it's a busy time. Recently had great book-signing visits to the libraries in Scarborough, Maine, and Danvers, MA.

Thursday night, the 11th, I'll be dropping by the New England Mobile Bookfair to see Ray Daniel  launch his latest book, along with the Wicked Cozy Writers. Should be a lot of fun.
(To see an interview with Ray Daniel, click here.)

Another drop-in is to the Chelmsford Library on Saturday, 6/13, to see their Local Authors Day, featuring the talented Ursula Wong. (To see an interview with Ursula, click here.)

Then I'm doing another panel at the Thayer Library in Lancaster, MA, on June 20th, for the Level Best Books anthology, Rogue Wave. We're starting early, so be there by 10:30 in the morning.

Then on Thursday, June 25th, I'm at Tatnuck Booksellers for a feature on 3 members of The Storyside: Ursula Wong, Vlad V., and myself, possibly reading from our collection Insanity Tales.

And then... up to Portland, Maine on Saturday the 27th for Portcon, a big convention, where I'll be signing books with the New England Horror Writers.

How's that for a schedule?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Scarborough Library Level Best Panel

Had a great time today when I returned for a visit to Scarborough, Maine, to the library there for a “Death in Shorts” mystery short story panel, featuring authors in the Level Best Books anthology, Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave.

(First, though, had to have lunch at Pat's Pizza, a 40-year tradition. U Maine graduates will understand completely...)

Anyway, we had this panel, talking about our writing process for short stories, and read an excerpt from our Rogue Wave stories, and fielded questions from the appreciative audience.

Moderator Katherine Fast, one of the Level Best editors, did a great job, especially since she was subbing for the injured and very busy Barbara Ross, who has a deadline tomorrow!

Fellow writers in the Rogue Wave anthology Maurissa Guibord and Karla Whitney seemed to have a good time. This is Karla's first published fiction!

Many thanks to the library staff for giving us the opportunity to meet new fans and help spread the work about a terrific anthology. And the treats...

Celeste Shimay, the library Program & Development Manager, who greeted us and set up the show

Our audience on a rainy Sunday

Karla, Dave, and Kat share a moment

Left to R: Karla Whitney, Katherine Fast, Maurissa Guibord, and moi

The panel

After hearing us, the crowd turns to the tasty treats provided...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Signings for Friends and Me

Hey there- lots of author activity lately, with a couple of upcoming book launches and an appearance you should know about.

First is this Friday, May 29, 7pm – 9pm
Book Launch for The Troubles by Connie Johnson Hambley
Jabberwocky Bookshop, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA

To see an interview with Connie, click here.

To see Connie's previous book launch at the New England Mobile Bookfair, click here.


This Sunday, May 31st, at 2PM, I return to dear old Maine, for a “Death in Shorts” mystery short story panel, featuring authors in the Level Best Books anthology, Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave.
Scarborough Public Library, 48 Gorham Road, Scarborough, ME.


Then on Thursday, June 11, 7pm – 9pm
New England Mobile Book Fair, 82 Needham Street, Newton Highlands, MA
Ray Daniel and the Wicked Cozy Authors present a panel on writing to celebrate the launch of CORRUPTED MEMORY.

To see an interview with Ray, click here.

To see Ray's previous book launch at the New England Mobile Bookfair, click here.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Two Crime Writers to Read

Hey there, wanted to let you know about a couple of top-notch writers of hard-boiled crime fiction you're going to want to check out, Patrick Shawn Bagley and Mike Miner. I met these guys recently when we all read at Noir at the Bar Boston (a great time for the fans and the authors!).

Just finished Patrick's Bitter Water Blues, a rollicking tale of people and deeds gone wrong. He lives up in Maine, and brings it to life in his book. Here's my review:
The noir genre is noted for bad things happening to bad people, and BWB is a great example of all this. There are beatings and shootings galore, as big-city hoods mix with backwoods Maine rednecks. Start with a retired Brooklyn hit man who now soaks in Chicago blues, and is forced to do a final job, knowing he's marked for death at the end of it. On the Maine side, there's the worst small-town psycho you never want to meet, and his dim, Lenny-like, reluctant partner in crime. Add in a tough and troubled woman police officer who's having man problems and is making horrible life choices. Sprinkle in some more bad characters, and put them into a blender, where their paths and gunfire cross.
Phew. Yeah, that's a recipe for a good kind of disaster you want to read about, and the book brings it all off, in a hail of bullets, booze, and blood. The bodycount gets higher than a Clint Eastwood western, as things spiral completely out of control.
Lots of references to good books and music are put in as subtle seasoning to the mayhem, along with revealing glimpses into small-town life. It's a corker of an action yarn, and one you won't want to miss.

And I also finished Mike Miner's The Immortal Game, another fine example of tough crime fiction. It's not easy mixing chess with rough action, but Mike does well with it. Here's the review of that one:

Sometimes, shorter is better. Especially here, when the action is so wild and woolly, you couldn't take it if it the book was longer. The physicality is so overwhelming, it's like getting socked with a series of body blows.

It's a portrayal of a violent world, and the body count amasses as things spiral out of control. People get betrayed and strike back, even against loved ones.

The dialog is crisp and fun in good noir fashion, the way it should be, with the women talking and acting as tough as the men. Bullets and fists fly in abundance, so if that's your thing, you're going to love this. And you'll see a lot of Boston locales called out. So grab a copy and prepare to get roughed up- in a good way.