Friday, July 11, 2014
It’s 1972 and fourteen-year-old New Yorker Elizabeth Landers is sent to the sleepy town of Ahoskie, North Carolina to spend the summer with relatives. Her expectation of boredom is quickly dispelled when police sirens and flashing lights draw her to a horrible scene at the Danbury Bridge. Mr. Samuel, owner of Samuel’s Lumber Yard, has driven his car off the bridge and into the river, drowning himself and his daughter. The medical examiner thinks it’s an accident, but the Sheriff finds fresh bullet holes on the bridge right where the skid marks are. Curiously, Mr. Samuel died clutching a unique 1909 wheat penny—a penny that is then stolen from the Sheriff’s office. Lizbeth witnesses Miss Violet’s grief upon learning that her husband and child are dead, and decides she will help by finding the penny.
Her search involves Lizbeth in the lives of many Ahoskie residents. Like the owner of the grocery store, mean old Mr. Jake, who—as all the kids in Ahoskie know—hates black folks. Plenty of pennies in his till. Then there is Ms. Melanie Neely, otherwise known as “Ms. McMeanie,” who thinks the lumber yard should belong to her. And Mr. Samuel’s handsome brother Ben, who struggles to keep the business afloat after his more clever brother’s death. Lizbeth searches through the collection plates at church and in the coin jars of crazy old Aunt Ode, a strange old woman missing one eye and most of her teeth, who keeps a flask in her apron pocket and a secret in her soul.
About the Author:
Treva Hall Melvin, has been a practicing attorney in all levels of government as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. A native New Yorker, she graduated from Villanova Law School in Pennsylvania and now lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband, their two children, and their dog Audrey. She loves athletics and antiquing.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Crime City Central has a new story by moi up on its podcast -- "A Fox in the Hand," a rather gentle little mystery featuring a good witch, some bad motives, several tarot decks, a missing ceremonial dagger, and a Siamese named Puff Daddy. There's also some musings on holding on and letting go and the magic at the heart of the mundane.
If you'd like to listen on streaming or download the episode (for FREE of course) then here's the link: http://crimecitycentral.com/crime-city-central-no-102-tina-whittle/. You'll find several other stories up by some of the mystery genre's finest, including Lawrence Block, Peter Lovesy, and Carolyn Hart, also for freesies.
Friday, June 20, 2014
One of the beautiful Le sisters is dead. Hartford, Connecticut’s small Vietnamese community is stunned. Mary Le Vu, wife of a poor grocery-store owner, is gunned down in a drive-by. Her twin sister insists dutiful Mary “wouldn’t be caught dead” in that drug-infested zone. The police rule it an unlucky accident. Skeptics hire private eye Rick Van Lam to get to the truth.
Amerasian Rick—his father an unknown US soldier—is one of the Bui Doi, children of the dust, so often rejected by Vietnamese culture. But his young sidekick, Hank Nguyen, a pureblood Vietnamese, can help Rick navigate the closed world of Little Saigon. Surrounded by close friends—a former-Rockette landlady, his crusty mentor, and his ex-wife Liz—Rick immerses himself in a world that rejects him, but now needs his help. Especially when a second murder strikes in Little Saigon.
About the Author:
Ed Ifkovic taught literature and creative writing at a community college in Connecticut for over three decades and now devotes himself to writing fiction. A longtime devotee of mystery novels, he fondly recalls his boyhood discovery of Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason series in a family bookcase, and his immediate obsession with the whodunit world. Caught Dead is his first novel under the name Andrew Lanh. Previous books are Lone Star (2009), Escape Artist (2011), Make Believe (2012), Downtown Strut (2013), and Final Curtain (2014), all Edna Ferber mysteries.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Thanks to Janet Hubbard for tagging me in this blog hop -- you can read more about her work at her website: http://www.janethubbard.com/. And you can learn about three more awesome writers at the end of this post.
The fifth book in the Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver series, a contemporary traditional mystery series set in Atlanta. It features amateur sleuth Tai, owner of a Confederate-themed gun shop, and Trey, a former SWAT corporate security agent.
2. How does my work differ from other authors in the genre?
For one, I have co-protagonists. Tai is my narrator, but Trey is her partner in both romance and crime solving. Their issues with trust and commitment and what it means to care about someone provide lots of practice in the kind of skills that make them excellent detectives. Tai is emotional, intuitive, quick off the starting line. Trey is rational, analytical, more inclined to take things slow. Their respective strengths and weaknesses complement as often as they conflict.
Another unique aspect of my series is that I write a character in recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury (a TBI in the medical parlance). Trey suffered damage to his frontal lobes – the seat of executive judgment, decision making, language processing, and emotional intelligence – and his challenges to recover his sense of purpose and identity help me think about larger thematic issues.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I enjoy exploring identity, the ways we create our personas to keep our real selves safe and protected. My characters allow me to do that in multiple ways – through Trey, whose sense of self was literally scrambled, and Tai, who has spent a lifetime rebelling against other people’s constructions of who she is. And I get to do it through one of the brain’s most natural function – story-telling.
4. How does my writing process work?
It’s taken me years to figure this out. I am a pantser all the way (one of those people who just starts writing and seeing where the story goes). It’s messy and inefficient, and when I wrote my second book, I swore I’d do it differently. It was a nightmare! Outlines do not feed my creative engine. I have to jump in and get messy. I’ve discovered it may not be the easiest or fastest way, but it’s my way, and now that I’ve accepted that, I’m becoming better at streamlining the process. Scrivener – a word processing program for writers – helps a lot because it allows me to write and organize simultaneously, saving me tons of rewrites.
Also get to know:
Also get to know:
Reporter Natalie Joday’s career is at a crossroads. She thought she’d seen the last of cops and courtrooms, but if she agrees to join the Bergen Evening Star’s Crime Bureau, foul play and forensics will be her daily fare. Natalie puts off the decision by getting involved in a newsroom mystery: who is sending letters filled with riddles and signed simply “Enigma” to the Star’s elderly (and easily rattled) advice columnist? It’s just a game to Natalie and her psychologist friend, Rebecca Elias, until the solution points to the murder of an alcoholic bankrupt—a man whose political career was ruined by the Star twenty years earlier.
When she finds the body of a second victim, Natalie’s mind is made up: whoever it was that burned off the dead man’s face must pay. And fast—because a rival paper, the Bugle, is having a field day blasting the Star’s owners as murder suspects on its front page. While her sometime friend Sgt. Geoff Allan tries to drag the truth from Myra Vandergelden, the Star’s glamorous CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Natalie sets out to track down Enigma among the political bigwigs and power brokers of New Jersey. The situation comes to a head at a local Meet the Candidates event, where Natalie finally gets the chance to ask questions of her chief suspect. But can she get a politician to tell the truth? And will there be a paper left to work for if she does?
About the Author:
Ellen Larson’s short stories have appeared in Yankee Magazine, AHMM (Barry Award finalist), and Big Pulp. She is the author of the NJ Mysteries, The Hatch and Brood of Time and Unfold the Evil. After working as an editor in Egypt for fifteen years, she returned to the states and now lives in an off-grid cabin, enjoying the solitude.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
AN EVENING OF BOOKS AND NIBBLES
Please join The Book Lady Bookstore, Roots Up Gallery and Low Country Sisters in Crime for a reception and reading featuring Jenny Milchman and Tina Whittle.
Wednesday, July 2nd
at Roots Up Gallery
6 East Liberty Street (upstairs)
Reading and Discussion 6:30-7:30
at The Book Lady Bookstore
6 East Liberty Street (downstairs)
Come enjoy light refreshments at the gallery, which features works of art from folk, visionary, outsider and regional artists. Meet Jenny and Tina and other writers in the Low Country area. Then gather downstairs in the bookstore for readings from Jenny's and Tina's latest works and talk on all things bookish and writerly.
There will be giveaways and other surprises. So join Joni and Chris, Leslie and Francis, Tina and Jenny, and the Low Country Sisters in Crime for an evening of mystery and art.
* * * * * *
Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from the Hudson Valley of New York who lives for seven months on the road with her family in what Shelf Awareness called "the world's longest book tour."
Jenny's debut novel Cover of Snow was published by Ballantine/Random House in January 2013 and earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, as well as praise from the New York Times, San Francisco Journal of Books, the AP, and many other publications. It won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel of 2013, and has been nominated for the 2013 Barry Award for best first novel of 2013. Ruin Falls, Jenny's second novel, was published by Ballantine in April 2014 to starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal.
Tina Whittle’s Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver series — featuring intrepid gunshop owner Tai and her corporate security agent partner Trey — has garnered starred reviews in Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. Published by Poisoned Pen Press, this Atlanta-based series debuted with The Dangerous Edge of Things, followed by Darker Than Any Shadow (2012) and Blood, Ash and Bone (2013). The fourth book in the series — Deeper Than the Grave — releases in November 2014.
A nominee for Georgia Author of the Year in 2012, Whittle's short fiction has appeared in The Savannah Literary Journal, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and Gulf Stream, which selected her story “Lost Causes and Other Reasons to Live” as the 2004 winner of their Mystery Fiction contest. When not writing or reading, she enjoys golf, sushi, tarot cards, and spending time with her family (one husband, one daughter, one neurotic Maltese and four bossy chickens).