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.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy Independent Book Store Day- Insanity Tales Example

Hello all- yes, today is the day you've been waiting for, Independent Book Store Day. A day to celebrate those local, independent, community-building, non-megachain, vendors of books.

They must work ever harder to do well in this age of electronic ordering at home with one's computer. They provide a place to come down and see and feel good books, to get a sense of the weight of a story, and the pride of ownership of something other than electrons. Like having a signed copy by an author you know or admire.

So go buy a book today, from someone near to you. Support your local bookbuying community. Many bookstores are having cool events today- readings, author signings, and more.

Here's a few great New England places:
Middlesex Community College Bookstore
New England Mobile Bookfair
Annie's Bookstop, Worcester, MA
Tatnuck Booksellers
Willow Books
Porter Square Books
RiverRun Books
Mainely Murders Bookstore
Letterpress Books
Toadstool Books

And just to show you how cool it is to be an author, one day you're walking down the street, and you see your book in the window of a bookstore! Like we did with the Middlesex Community College Bookstore in Lowell, MA. Our group collection, Insanity Tales, is the feature in their big window!