This just announced…..The winner of the International Thriller Writers –Best Paperback Original category is….P J Parrish for AN UNQUIET GRAVE! HUGE CONGRATS, P.J.!
I promised an excerpt to RUN, Laura Griffin’s part of our new book HIT AND RUN that launches today. (Yeah! Cheers! Applause!) I think one of the reasons I love w
Laura and I are thrilled that HIT AND RUN, book two in the Moreno & Hart Mystery Series, will be on-sale Monday. It’s available for pre-order at Amazon, Kob
So Many Books, So Little Time… By MSW Super Reader Toni Linenberger Toni has been a stalwart MSW follower for years, a fabulous reader, and I was lucky enough that s
I’m off to Thrillerfest on the Red Eye. Yes, I’m crazy. Yes, I swore I’d never take the Red Eye again. But there were several factors that went into
I became very interested in the idea of writing a series when I fell in love with the work of Michael Connelly. His taut, brilliant Harry Bosch novels were a conduit t
Keeping the Mythic Distance By Sarah Hilary My great friend and mentor, the late Ranald Graham, would have been able to explain why I turned to crime. He understood th
I have two conferences coming up — Thrillerfest in NYC and RWA in San Antonio. I have a lot to say about these conferences, and you’ll hear most of it over
I’m still playing around with the cover copy for COMPULSION, but I wanted to share the cover with you all … it was just released into cyberspace, so itR
I’m starting a new feature here at Murder She Writes — Writer Wednesday. It’ll be either an original writing article by yours truly, a friend, or a c
This just announced…..The winner of the International Thriller Writers –Best Paperback Original category is….P J Parrish for AN UNQUIET GRAVE! HUGE CONGRATS, P.J.!
As you read this, I’m probably on my way to the New Orleans airport to catch a flight to New York. ThrillerFest starts this Thursday, and although I’m not exactly thrilled about the event’s price and pricey location, I’m looking forward to meeting old friends, like Katherine Ramsland, who I haven’t seen in a while and meeting new folks, especially James Patterson. The reviewers can say anything they want to about the man’s books, but there’s no denying his marketing savvy. I’m sure the fact that he was once a marketing executive for a Fortune 500 company helped develop that prowess, but regardless, I plan on picking his brain at every opportunity.
Last year’s Thrillerfest was like walking through a ‘who’s who’ gallery in publishing. Soooo many New York Times Best-selling authors were there, and this year promises more of the same. I left last year totally pumped up to write the best stories ever, yet at the same time I felt depressed about the gulf that seemed to divide my puny work from these great masters. I’m sure I’ll bring back the ‘pumped-up’ again this year, but I definitely plan to leave the depression in New York.
I think no matter how many books I eventually wind up publishing I’ll always have stars in my eyes when faced with the greats. It’s just something that happens to everyone I think who’s involved in any activity with a following. Baseball fans and players are just as eager to stand in line and wait for an autograph from one of their favorite players as authors and readers are from one of the literary heroes. If you really think about it, though, what probably builds our eagerness is the desire to be close to such great talent more than it is the person. That’s how it is for me anyway because I’ve met a few literary ‘heroes’ in my day who, as people, were complete jerks.
Oh, yeah, another challenge that usually occurs at events like this, especially one with so many superstars, is the signing events. Have you ever sat at a signing table next to one of the biggies? You feel like a flea on a shaggy dog’s butt. Completely lost and hard to find. Every once in a while you’ll luck out and get some overflow from the throngs lined up to see Superstar, but only if you’re lucky enough to be sitting right beside him or her. Nevertheless, it’s an experience not to be missed!
Once Thrillerfest is done, I’ll be off to Kentucky for a two and a half-day Ghost Hunting expedition in Bardstown, Ky. That should be a hoot since they’ll be broadcasting it live over the Internet AND filming a documentary at the same time. I’ll make sure to take pics at both events and share a full report!
I’ll catch up with everyone tonight as soon as I get Internet access. Until then, though, spill the beans, gang……who’s the biggest author Superstar you’ve met to date, and who’s the one you’ve yet to meet but would LOVE to?
All across the west fires are burning out of control, and Utah is no exception. One horrible fire, in particular, the Milford Flats Fire, is the largest wildfire in Utah history, and has already burned more than 300,000 acres. Two people on a motorcycle lost their lives when smoke covered the freeway and they stopped, only to be hit by another vehicle. In addition, truckers have had to abandon their loads and drive for their lives. The freeway, I-15 from St. George to Salt Lake City, has been shut down alternately, along with I-70, an alternate route.
In short, things are a hot mess, and the fire is not even close to being contained. And given the forecast, things won’t change for quite a while.
In Central Utah, the Nebo fire has left many Utahns homeless, and killed three people, including a father and a son who were trying to help another man turn on his sprinklers to protect his ranch. All three died. An eleven-year-old boy outran the flames. He lost his father and grandfather.
And Utah is not alone. Nature is often more brutal than any criminal could ever hope to be. One of my favorite authors, Nevada Barr, has managed to combine both worlds in her books. That of nature, and of man.
Firestorm, was one of the first Barr books I ever read, and after that I was hooked. Here’s a description of the book from Amazon.
A raging fire in a national park seems an unlikely setting for a murder, but that’s exactly the circumstances that crime-fighting park ranger and medic Anna Pigeon confronts in this mystery thriller. A suspicious fire breaks loose in Northern California’s Lassen Volcanic Park and Pigeon assists in battling the blaze and treating the wounds of other fire fighters. As if that’s not enough, Pigeon finds herself without food and water trapped with a group of fire fighters, one of whom is a murderer. She tries to figure out who the culprit is before he, or the weather, strikes again.
Fire, weather, and murder, all rolled into one. Fighting the elements along with humans with murderous intent was also the theme of a Linda Howard book I just read, Cover of Night.
In the charming rural town of Trail Stop, Idaho, accessible to the outside world by only a single road, young widow Cate Nightingale lives peacefully with her four-year-old twin boys, running a bed-and-breakfast. Though the overnight guests are few and far between—occasional hunters and lake fishermen—Cate always manages to make ends meet with the help of the local jack-of-all-trades, Calvin Harris, who can handle everything from carpentry to plumbing. But Calvin is not what he seems, and Cate’s luck is about to run out.
One morning, the B&B’s only guest inexplicably vanishes, leaving behind his personal effects. A few days later Cate is shocked when armed men storm the house, demanding the mystery man’s belongings. Fearing for her children’s lives, Cate agrees to cooperate—until Calvin saves the day, forcing the intruders to scatter into the surrounding woods.
The nightmare, however, is just beginning. Cate, Calvin, and their entire community find themselves cut off and alone with no means to call for help as the threat gathers intensity and first blood is drawn.
With their fellow residents trapped and the entire town held hostage, Cate and Calvin have no choice but to take the fight to their enemies under the cover of night. While reticent Cal becomes a fearless protector, Cate makes the most daring move of her life . . . into the very heart of danger.
Nature also played in to the best book I’ve read in a very long time, Chill Factor by Sandra Brown. Brown is the QUEEN of twists and turns, and she leaves you guessing at every turn. And in this book she does it better than I have ever seen her do it before.
Here’s a blurb from a review by Publisher’s Weekly.
Lust, jealousy and murder suffuse Brown’s crisp thriller (after White Hot), set in the snowbound mountains of North Carolina. Lilly and Dutch Burton’s marriage didn’t withstand the loss of their three-year-old daughter, despite their attempt at a fresh start with the purchase of a vacation cabin in bucolic Cleary, N.C., where the novel opens on the divorced couple discussing its sale. Dutch is now Cleary’s chief of police, and Lilly is a magazine editor in Atlanta. As she races back to the city to beat a blizzard, her car skids out, striking a hiker emerging from the woods. Turns out he’s a man she knows: handsome freelance writer Ben Tierney, whom she met and flirted with the summer before. With no choice but to wait out the storm in the cabin with Ben, who is injured, Lilly calls Dutch, but he can’t reach her via the now impassable mountain road. Meanwhile, Cleary is haunted by the case of five missing women—all now feared dead. With Lilly still stranded, Dutch goes ballistic when the FBI arrives in town with evidence that Tierney is the serial killer. The snowy suspense will cool off Brown’s fans during the dog days of summer. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information,
So there are just three examples that I can think of where nature and murder are entertwined. You aren’t fighting one demon, you are fighting too, and both demand respect. Nature, I suppose, must be forgiven. The other, of course, deserves no forgiveness. But both are brutal and the combination of the two creates some very intense suspense.
Anyone else have some good examples where nature and murder both bring chaos to good fiction?
I woke up this morning (Sunday) with a list of things to do. My husband was leaving to spend the day with one of my kids. Another kid came home, but he wanted to study. I pretty much had the day to myself.
I had a list:
1) Finish cleaning the bathrooms.
2) Read and judge a contest entry (note to self—stop saying YES)
3) Go buy the stupid vacuum. Don’t ask. I mean really, how hard is it to pick and vacuum and buy it? I make major decisions all the time, but this vacuum thing is killing me. Anyway…
4) Work on a synopsis. Love the story idea, not sure I love the way I’m getting it down on paper.
5) Go to the store and pick something up for dinner because oldest son is here.
6) Go swimming, enjoy the pool.
7) Answer email and write cheerful happy notes to all my friends going off to the Romance Writers of America Conference and leaving me all by myself. Not that I’m jealous or anything. It’s my own fault, by the time I got around to registering the hotel was full and I didn’t want to stay at an offsite hotel…sigh.
8) Write the Murder She Writers Blog. I usually do it on Sundays.
That was just the start of my list but I was raring to go. I came downstairs bright and early for my cup of coffee and made the fatal mistake of thinking I’d read a couple chapters of a book while drinking my coffee.
Then I read a couple more chapters.
Crap, look at the time! Having enormous self-control, I put the book down and took a shower. I had plans to get stuff done! I can read later! I got in gear, did the shower, dress and fluff routine and cleaned the bathrooms! I was on a roll.
But tired, right? I deserve a little break. I poured some more coffee and thought, I’ll just read another chapter. Just one…
My son rolled out of bed at noon, came downstairs and started chatting. Guess what? I can still read and talk to a kid. I still got it! I can still multi task!
Wait, task…didn’t I have some things to do? Something? I asked my son if he was staying for dinner.
Yes, darn it, and he wants lemon chicken. I slapped the book down and went to the store to grab some chicken. On the way home, I thought about how much time I’m wasting reading this book. It’s a gorgeous Southern California day and I’m letting my pool out back go to waste…and then it hit me…
I can swim and then read on the lounge! Which I did! It was wonderful.
Later, I came inside to find my son studying. “Hey,” I said smugly, “I bet you wish you could go in the pool!”
“Yes,” he grumbled. “But I want to finish my laundry, wash my car and read three more chapters before I go home tonight.”
I laughed. “The pool felt really good.” Sure, I’m tormenting him, but he deserves it, trust me.
“Mom, don’t you have a blog to write?”
Spoilsport. I don’t know where he gets the mean streak. “I have time,” I muttered and looked at my watch. Four O’clock! Where did the day go! The hubby and another kid will home around five, then there dinner and other things to get done. The day somehow slid away from me. It’s not fair, I was SEDUCED. The book is BEYOND THE HIGHLAND MIST by Karen Marie Moning. What seduced me? The characters…they seduced me. It’s not my fault! I just kept having to read one more page, then one more…
Besides, so many people are gone to either RWA Conference for Thrillerfest that no one is probably reading this blog anyway. But if anyone is out there—am I the only one? Or have you been seduced too?
And I’m off and running. While Allison trekked the mall for the perfect RITA dress yesterday, I’m trekking off today in search of the perfect haircut and pedi. I have so many things on my list of things to do, I doubt I’ll stop until I drop at the end of the evening. Well maybe not. We’re having dinner with friends tonight. They are good friends we don’t get to see much of with both of our crazy schedules so it will be nice to curl up around a nice glass of cab and visit.
Saturday morning I’m off and running to one of my local RWA Chapter meetings where I’m part of the Boot Camp for National workshop. Following that, off to a promised shopping spree with number one daughter. Sunday? If the family thinks they’re getting a big dinner out of me they have another thing coming. I need the day to put my suitcase in order. Monday morning, it’s up by 3 a.m. and off to the airport for a 6:25 a.m. flight to Dallas.
I still have a scene I want to rewrite for the novella I just turned in, and my editor wants it Monday. I meant to do it yesterday/last night, but my youngest son had his wisdom teeth pulled yesterday morning. While he was a decent patient, he was a little bastard until the anesthesia wore off. He then profusely apologized for being, ‘such a jerk.” Hrmph. Jerk was mild.
Anyhoo, changing gauze very 20 minutes for two hours, keeping him iced, hydrated and medicated, and then making sure my surly patient didn’t do anything dumb was time consuming. Then there was the trouble shooting with the business, and life in general stuff. Just when I sat down to begin the scene, my son comes into my office and tells me he’s hungry. “Would you make me some of that garlic and butter pasta, mom?”
Oh sure, he’s sweet as pie now.
Okay, so the point of this blog wasn’t to say wha, I’m so busy, it was to say, wha, I’m so busy I can’t think of a decent thing to blog about today! I was going to blog about men and what lousy patients they are, but didn’t feel like it. Then I was going to do a google search for the infamous SFPD video a bunch of cops did off duty and got slammed for by the mayor and Chief. I have to say it was hilarious! There were 23 involved and they all got beach time. The first cop who sued the city over it won today. I was happy for him. I hope the others get their pay for their beach time and the suspension cleared from their records. The video was done in fun, for a Captain’s retirement or birthday or something. The city says it was embarrassing, slanderous, racist, blah blah blah blah. What it was, was hysterical.
But I was too lazy to dig for it. Sorry. Just too much on the old brain right now to think a coherent blog thought.
With that sorry excuse, I will bid adieu until next week. I hope to blog Friday, but I’m slammed at conference. And, um, I like to party, so no guarantees you’ll hear one peep out if me until I’m back safe and sound in Cali.
Allison Brennan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-four romantic thrillers and mysteries, including the Lucy Kincaid series and the Max Revere series. She lives in Northern California with her husband and five children.Read more
Two years before the events in Notorious, Max travels to Colorado Springs to investigate the disappearance of a college student. Frustrated over the lack of interest from both friends of the victim and campus authorities, Max tags along with the leader of search and rescue and his dog through the beautiful and deadly Rocky Mountains in the hopes of finding answers. Every answer she finds leads to more questions--questions neither the police nor the college want Max asking.