November 2007 Blog Posts (171)

Defending Teachers

There have been several posts lately on a forum I belong to concerning why kids don't read. Several people lay the blame at the feet of teachers who assign "boring" books and kill the love of reading. While I can't defend all teachers and certainly recognize the type, I have to say a few words about the other end of that spectrum.

There were teachers who read to me/us all through elementary, who made books seem as fascinating as I discovered them to be once I could read them myself. I…


Added by Peg Herring on November 21, 2007 at 10:09pm — No Comments

The Historical Novel Society Reviews ISLAND OF EXILES

Well, I suppose if you're writing historical novels, it's a very good thing if the Historical Novel Society reviews your latest and praises it. I'm grateful. I like all my reviews. In a way I live for the reviews.

My connection to historical novelists is tenuous at best, though. To me the Akitada series are mysteries first of all. Even my current book (set in 18th century Germany) I look at as somewhat off-genre -- a novel about two young people, brother and sister, facing their…


Added by I. J. Parker on November 21, 2007 at 8:34am — No Comments

Review: The Bright Silver Star

The Bright Silver Star: A Berger and Mitry Mystery
by David Handler
St. Martin's Minotaur, 2003

Check out the Speakeasy for a review of this charming book and more.

Added by Susan Brassfield Cogan on November 21, 2007 at 8:08am — No Comments

What is a "Legitimate" Author?

Recently, the Bouchercon committee posted their minutes from their last meeting which was held at Bouchercon in Anchorage. The chairperson of that Bouchercon is reported to have said the "big name" authors didn't come because so many small press and self-published authors did. I was there and yes, I'm one of the small press authors--but I saw lots of big names. Frankly, if numbers were down it was because of the cost of going to Anchorage IMHO.

The committee then went on to say that…


Added by Marilyn Meredith on November 21, 2007 at 1:32am — 4 Comments

We Are a Merry Crew

Picture yourself taking off in a Conestoga wagon, heading for an unknown destination in the West. Or maybe you're starting across the Sahara, hoping to find treasure or happiness or simply a better life. Maybe you just need to know what's out there.

Anyway, you start on this trek with some trepidation. The territory is foreign, it's scary, and you don't know the dangers so it's hard to watch out for them. But suppose you meet people along the way who tell you, "Here's something you…


Added by Peg Herring on November 20, 2007 at 9:45pm — No Comments

kindling debate

It's a trifle ironic that, on the same day that the new NEA jeremiad, er, report on how reading is going to hell in a handbasket (again) Amazon finally released its e-book reader, Kindle. So, if nobody reads anymore, is Kindle - or, as Newsweek puts it in swooningly glowing… Continue

Added by Barbara Fister on November 20, 2007 at 11:21am — No Comments

Signing My First Publishing Contract

Some time ago I spent a good six months working in fits and bursts on a

short story idea that needed time to percolate. Most stories do,

usually for much less time, but this one was special: it meant

something to me.

I'm talking about religion here.

Having spent many hours reading books on Zen Buddhism and…

Added by Daniel Hatadi on November 20, 2007 at 8:49am — 6 Comments

Mark Billingham Interview Is Up!

Suspect: Mark Billingham

Age: Hmm?

Occupation: Author, stand-up comic, all 'round troublemaker

Last known location: Lurking in London

In this episode, Mark talks about his Tom Thorne police procedurals, his

upcoming stand-alone novel, IN THE DARK, and the foreword he… Continue

Added by Angie on November 20, 2007 at 4:40am — No Comments

Crime: Miami Versus Chicago

When I moved to Miami a year ago from Chicago, I was a little disheartened, because Chicago had been my muse and my inspiration for so much of my fiction, much of it centered on crime. Chicago can be a wonderful place, but it can also be fickle, mean, cold, and moody, much like the Great Lake that lies along its eastern border. With a history of serial killers like John Wayne Gacy, Larry Eyler, and nearby Milwaukee’s Jeffrey Dahmer, Chicago must have had something to nurture and cause such…


Added by Rick R. Reed on November 20, 2007 at 12:57am — No Comments

Harvest Time

Posted by Sheila Connolly

I just submitted the draft of One Bad Apple, the first book in my orchard series, to my editor. With Thanksgiving looming, this seems the right time to talk about apples (oh, no, not another food post!).

Warner_house_008 This series came about in a rather convoluted way. My agent had seen and rejected the…


Added by Writers Plot on November 19, 2007 at 11:16pm — No Comments

The Dreaded Information Dump

It happens right in the middle of a book you're enjoying: the story stops while the author tells you everything he or she knows about ark-building, quantum physics, or blind cross-stitching. If you're really into that particular subject, you nestle into your chair and think, "Cool!" If you're not, you let your eyes roam ahead to the spot where we get back to the story. We've all had the experience of reading a book where everything stops while two characters sit down and discuss some topic…


Added by Peg Herring on November 19, 2007 at 11:08pm — No Comments

The Bringer of the Sweet Potatoes

The e-mail was simple, a group e-mail to everyone in my husband's family.

"Everyone, Thanksgiving is at Pat's house and contact me to sign up for what you are going to bring. Everyone, that is, except Mari. Mari, you are bringing the sweet potatoes."

Grinning, I posted a reply.


There is a story about the sweet potatoes, as there are about most things from my Southern past. If you go to my website and read my Author's page, you will see that I…


Added by Mari Sloan on November 19, 2007 at 1:46pm — No Comments

<h1>A Cynic's Views of Thanksgiving Volunteers</h1>

Here’s an example of why I sometimes have trouble admiring people who volunteer on Thanksgiving and Christmas at organizations like soup kitchens. I overheard a woman explain her intentions by saying, “My son is going to his girlfriend’s family, so we might as well.” In other words, she and her husband are volunteering because they have nothing better to do.

Most soup kitchens don’t need volunteers on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Lots of people…


Added by Jane Cleland on November 19, 2007 at 11:00am — No Comments

Simplify Your Gift Giving For Book Lovers and Lighthouse Enthusiasts

Simplify Your Gift Giving For Book Lovers and Lighthouse Enthusiasts

Do you need find gifts for book lovers? Are there lighthouse and beach enthusiasts on your list? This could simplify your gift shopping experience. Award winning author Nikki Leigh, is offering a special that will please the readers and beach lovers on your list and it makes your shopping easier. What more could a hurried shopper want as the biggest gift giving season of the year approaches?

Author, Nikki… Continue

Added by Nikki Leigh on November 19, 2007 at 9:02am — No Comments


Managed to crank out a first draft for my entry into the Crimespace Australia contest. I feel way less gay for having made steps to participate in this particular contest. Anyways, blah blah blah.

Added by Jimmy Callaway on November 18, 2007 at 6:16pm — No Comments

Review - The Killing Hour, Paul Cleave

Just posted my review of THE KILLING HOUR - the second book from the NZ / Christchurch based author. Twisting and turning and frankly, scary, I'd recommend THE KILLING HOUR to
anybody who is a bit of a fan of having the **** scared out of you once
in a while

Added by Karen from AustCrime on November 18, 2007 at 5:33pm — No Comments

San Francisco Chronicle reviews HEAD GAMES

Eddie Muller writes:

"Craig McDonald, a genuine expert on the history of crime fiction (with a wonderful book of author interviews, Art in the Blood, to prove it), gives free reign to all of his crime fiction obsessions in a debut novel that's a berserk 1957-based caper running roughshod through the politics and pop culture of the latter half of the 20th century. His hero, Hec Lassiter, a pulp fiction writer, gets caught up in a…


Added by Craig McDonald on November 18, 2007 at 6:15am — 1 Comment

A cat shooting in Texas

Now that I have your attention, let me state for the record: I would never shoot a cat in one of my books (and certainly never in real life). I may have multiple human victims in my mysteries, but all my cats have happy endings (and if I ruin some of the suspense for readers by saying that, so be it. I don't like reading books in which animals are harmed, and as a reader, I'd want to know that.)

But there's a case in Texas that has been on my mind, and those of animal lovers… Continue

Added by Clea Simon on November 18, 2007 at 4:51am — No Comments

My Kitty, My Self

Posted by guest blogger Clea Simon

Last weekend, I ran into a very nice man I know slightly and he shocked the stuffing out of me. How? He showed me a picture of his 13-month-old son, Declan.

Why was I shocked? I’d actually…


Added by Writers Plot on November 17, 2007 at 10:19pm — No Comments

This is supposed to be about me?

Blogging is something I've never done, but I have been part of an ongoing e-mail group for more than eight years. I imagine this is somewhat like that, only a little more. Although I hate being boring, it might be fun talking a little about what I do IRL (In Real Life). IRL is versus here, cyberspace, virtual reality, whatever the catchword of the moment is.

I've survived a lot in cyberspace the last eight years. I was a regular in the AOL Author's Lounge during it's infancy,.when it…


Added by Mari Sloan on November 17, 2007 at 1:19pm — No Comments

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