Category Archives: Authors/Books You Might Like

TATTERED LEGACY by Shannon Baker

I’ve known Shannon Baker for several years. In fact, we launched books together, along with another pal, Peg Brantley.

Shannon writes two mystery series.

The Kate Fox mysteries, set in rural Nebraska cattle country are STRIPPED BARE and DARK SIGNAL.

The Nora Abbott series is a fast-paced mix of Hopi Indian mysticism, environmental issues, and murder. The first in the series, TAINTED MOUNTAIN, is set in Flagstaff, AZ, where she lived for several years and worked for The Grand Canyon Trust, a hotbed of environmentalists who, usually, don’t resort to murder. It was a 2013 finalist in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. BROKEN TRUST is #2, and the one I’m giving away, TATTERED LEGACY is #3.

It’s a signed copy that one lucky reader will win. You must be a subscriber to my So Seldom It’s Shameful newsletter because that’s where you’ll find instructions about how to enter AND where I post the winner’s name.

Good luck!

 

OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon

I met Diana Gabaldon at a writer’s conference and attended a workshop she taught about story immersion.

Two things resonated so much with me that I actually wrote them down. I know!!

The first was, “Start with your story and let your setting catch up with it.”

This is such helpful advice. So often when we write we feel like we need to do everything at once — ground your story in its place and time, draw a compelling character that readers will care about immediately, and pull readers into the action. In the first three pages.

It was nice to be told to settle down and take things slower. Phew.

The second thing she said that I loved was, “Every person reads a different book even though it has the same cover.”

She meant that we all come to a book with different perspectives. It’s why we can reread the same book at different ages and it can seem like a different book altogether. When we’re young we might identify with Hermione Granger, but as an adult we might be more empathetic to Dumbledore or Mrs Weasley.

Diana Gabaldon also spoke at length about her writing process, which was so different from mine I got heart palpitations and sweaty palms just hearing about it. Mind you, I LOVE hearing about other author’s writing divinations, and sometimes I can borrow a tidbit or two from them. But not hers! She is wholly unique in how she tackles the page. Man-o-man it works for her, though.

If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, take it!

Subscribers to my mailing list get the chance to win this signed copy. I have many more spectacular books from many more spectacular authors, so if you’re not a subscriber, sign up today. And if you are a subscriber, keep an eye out for my So Seldom It’s Shameful News. Your name will be in the next issue if you’ve won. (Keep me out of your spam folder because I can’t breathe in there.)

 

LITTLE PRETTY THINGS by Lori Rader-Day

This is definitely on my BEST OF THE YEAR list. Couldn’t put it down!

Subscribers to my mailing list get the chance to win this signed copy. I have many more spectacular books from many more spectacular authors, so if you’re not a subscriber, sign up today. And if you are a subscriber, keep an eye out for my So Seldom It’s Shameful News. (Keep me out of your spam folder because I can’t breathe in there.)

Read the first chapter here.

 

5 Novels I Can’t Live Without

5-novels

When I realized I wrote in a similar manner to Janet Evanovich, I began to study her books to see how she does what she does. And, of course, I’m forever in her debt for introducing me to Ranger.

We read “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” in our book club. It touched every emotion I had. Well done, Rachel Joyce.

When our kids were young, we took a long road trip and listened to the audio version of Jennifer Donnelly’s “A Northern Light” in the car. It captivated all five of us, often making us sit in a parking lot at our destination to hear the end of the chapter. When we got home I read it to see how she did what she did. Still not entirely sure.

I have four copies of Zippy. I lend them all the time, but never want to be without one myself. I love Zippy and Haven Kimmel like petunias love sunshine. It’s one of the very few books I’ve lifted to “You Betcha, I’ll Read It Again” status. It does three things to me simultaneously … laugh hysterically, break my heart thus turning me into a little puddle of sobbing Becky, and curse the day the writing bug bit me because I’ll never be Haven Kimmel.

Garrison Keillor and I go way back. When I was a young’un, my dad would dial up his “Prairie Home Companion” show on the car radio and we’d load into the car for a drive while we listened. If we were lucky, we’d watch a thunderstorm roll toward us, engulf us, then release us while we caught up on the news from the Sidetrack Tap, the Chatterbox Cafe, Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery and Bertha’s Kitty Boutique.

To this day radio static always makes me smile.

What are the five novels you can’t live without?

One Question Interview — Ann Parker

I started doing my One Question Interviews because I am lucky enough to be able to meet tons of eclectic and interesting authors. It occurred to me you might want to meet them, too. So I wrote a dozen or so questions on index cards, steered the authors to a quiet corner with me and my iPhone, then had them pick a question at random. I hope you like them and their books as much as I do. Visit their websites, find them on social media, buy their books, and/or ask your library to carry them. Share this post and the video with anyone who might enjoy their books.

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SilverLiesCoverIron_TiesLeadenSkiesCoverMercurysRise coverWhat_Gold_Buys_Cover

Ann Parker wanted to live in Colorado since she was a child, but through various “twists of fate” and life decisions, has only managed to move one set of hills east from where she was born and raised in Northern California. She wrote her first novel when she was 12 years old featuring… a strong female protagonist and set in the Old West! (Started young.) She’s  been a wordsmith since then, making a living by spinning words in one venue or another since she got out of college, mostly as a science writer. What she REALLY wanted to be was an astronomer (hence the double degree in Physics, with English Literature tagging along because she lived and breathed stories and words). Ah well, maybe next time.

She works like a crazy woman in her day job(s) and writes fiction the rest of the time. She lives with a spouse and a cat who uneasily (and barely) co-exist.

Her favorite book as a child was The Tall Book of Mother Goose, copyright 1942, illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky. This book came out long before she was born, so it must have been handed down from a cousin or some such. She loved the beautiful illustrations first, before she could read. At some point a little later on, she taught herself to count and recognize numbers using the page numbers. And when she finally could read, the whole world of poetry and “literature” opened up. This book has a little of everything. Mystery (who cut off the tails on Bo-Peep’s sheep?), danger and adventure (Jack and Jill! Up the hill! Then Jack falls down!), horror (little Miss Muffet and that scary spider), love (Mary and her little lamb)… you name it! She still gets a great feeling of “resonance” looking through the book.

What_Gold_Buys_CoverAnn’s newest book WHAT GOLD BUYS, set in Leadville, CO, is the fifth in the Silver Rush mystery series, and is available RIGHT NOW for pre-order.

Read descriptions of all the books in the series on Amazon.

Connect with Ann at her website,  on Goodreads, and all the usual places.

 

One Question Interview — Kim Fay

I started doing my One Question Interviews because I am lucky enough to be able to meet tons of eclectic and interesting authors. It occurred to me you might want to meet them, too. So I wrote a dozen or so questions on index cards, steered the authors to a quiet corner with me and my iPhone, then had them pick a question at random. I hope you like them and their books as much as I do. Visit their websites, find them on social media, buy their books, and/or ask your library to carry them. Share this post and the video with anyone who might enjoy their books.

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the map of lost memories2013 Edgar Award Finalist for Best First Novel by an American Author

In 1925 the international treasure-hunting scene is a man’s world, and no one understands this better than Irene Blum, who is passed over for a coveted museum curatorship because she is a woman. Seeking to restore her reputation, she sets off from Seattle in search of a temple believed to house the lost history of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer civilization. But her quest to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century soon becomes a quest for her family’s secrets. Embracing the colorful and corrupt world of colonial Asia in the early 1900s, The Map of Lost Memories takes readers into a forgotten era where nothing is as it seems.  As Irene travels through Shanghai’s lawless back streets and Saigon’s opium-filled lanes, she joins forces with a Communist temple robber and an intriguing nightclub owner with a complicated past. Deep within the humidity-soaked Cambodian jungle, what they bring to light does more than change history. It ultimately solves the mysteries of their own lives.

Kim Fay is the author of the historical novel, The Map of Lost Memories, a 2013 Edgar Award finalist for Best First Novel by an American Author, and the food memoir Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam, a Gourmand World Cookbook Award winner. She is also the creator/series editor of the “To Asia With Love” guidebooks and has contributed to the The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook and Sisters in Crime’s Writes of Passage.

She was born in Seattle and spent her childhood reading Nancy Drew throughout the small towns of Washington State. After working as an independent bookseller at the Elliott Bay Book Company, she moved to Vietnam in the mid-1990s. She fell in love with the country and lived in Saigon for four years, and she has been traveling regularly to Southeast Asia for more than twenty. She currently resides in Los Angeles where she is working on a novel about Vietnam in the 1950s, as well as a mystery series set in L.A. in the 1970s.

www.kimfay.net

https://twitter.com/kimkfay

https://www.pinterest.com/kimkfay/

https://www.facebook.com/kimfayauthor/?ref=hl

 

One Question Interview — Ellen Byron

I started doing my One Question Interviews because I am lucky enough to be able to meet tons of eclectic and interesting authors. It occurred to me you might want to meet them, too. So I wrote a dozen or so questions on index cards, steered the authors to a quiet corner with me and my iPhone, then had them pick a question at random. I hope you like them and their books as much as I do. Visit their websites, find them on social media, buy their books, and/or ask your library to carry them. Share this post and the video with anyone who might like their books.

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PlantationShuddersSmallerPLANTATION SHUDDERS, Ellen Byron‘s debut novel, was nominated for a Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and for an Agatha Best First Novel award. She’s a television writer whose credits include WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and STILL STANDING, as well as pilots for all the major networks. She’s written over 200 magazine articles, and is also a playwright whose work includes the award-winning one-acts, GRACELAND and ASLEEP ON THE WIND.

PLANTATION SHUDDERS comes out in paperback on August 11th. BODY ON THE BAYOU, the second book in the Cajun Country Mystery series, launches on September 13th.Body on the Bayou (smaller) (2)

 

Connect with Ellen on Twitter, too!

 

 

 

 

 

One Question Interview — Mark Stevens

I started doing my One Question Interviews because I am lucky enough to be able to meet tons of eclectic and interesting authors. It occurred to me you might want to meet them, too. So I wrote a dozen or so questions on index cards, steered the authors to a quiet corner with me and my iPhone, then had them pick a question at random. I hope you like them and their books as much as I do. Visit their websites, find them on social media, buy their books, and/or ask your library to carry them. Share this post and the video with anyone who might like their books.

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Mark Stevensmark stevens book award‘ newest mystery was nominated for a Colorado Book Award! I’ve read his Allison Coil series and I wish I had more than two actual thumbs-up to give. I guess I could get by with some metaphorical thumbs, but I’m not zen like that.

 

 

 

Mark has a presentation “Write What You Don’t Know” coming up at

  • Bemis Library
  • Saturday, April 16 from 2 – 4:30 p.m.
  • 6014 S. Datura Street Littleton, CO 80120

 

mark's books

 

One Question Interview — Zoe Burke

I started doing my One Question Interviews because I am lucky enough to be able to meet tons of eclectic and interesting authors. It occurred to me you might want to meet them, too. So I wrote a dozen or so questions on index cards, steered the authors to a quiet corner with me and my iPhone, then had them pick a question at random. I hope you like them and their books as much as I do. Visit their websites, find them on social media, buy their books, and/or ask your library to carry them. Share this post and the video with anyone who might like their books.

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Jump the GunZOE BURKE lives in Portland, Oregon, where No Gun Intended, her new Annabelle Starkey mystery, takes place. In Jump the Gun, the plot began in Chicago and ended up in San Francisco, with Las Vegas in between. Burke is working on the next book in the series, which–so far!–is situated in Manhattan. But no matter where the action takes place, the Annabelle Starkey series is an entertaining read suitable for any couch or beach chair.

Find Zoe Burke at her website … on Facebook … and at Poisoned Pen Press.

NoGunIntendedSM

Zoe has a book signing coming up at
Copperfield’s Books
850 4th Street
San Rafael, California
March 26, 7:00 pm.