Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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You may have noticed by now that I love the whole trapped in an isolated situation with a killer trope. This one made for easy reading. While I figured out the who (but not the why) early on, I must say that the author did a great job of handling so many characters – I was able to keep them straight right away, which isn’t always the case. Recommended for readers who want a fun, quick paced, mystery. Not recommended for those who want an intricate, hard to solve mystery.
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This is the sequel to The Things You Find In Rockpools, which I loved. While this one was good, the author normalized the MC too much, losing some of the quirky charm that made the first book so appealing. Recommended for readers looking for a fun, if somewhat unbelievable, dual mystery. Not recommended for readers who are driven crazy by typos, etc. – while the first book was clean, this one was in dire need of a good edit. Dire. Need. My head almost exploded.

On audiobook:

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This was the second audiobook I’ve finished, and, again, I really wish I’d have read it instead of listening to it (it took me several months to finish). It seemed like a fun YA mystery thriller. There was a lot going on, and I feel I lost a lot in translation with the frequent gaps and breaks I took in listening to this. I liked it enough to read another of her books.

I just started:

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I used to LOVE this author, then her books sort of . . . lost my interest. Really looking forward to seeing if the spark is reignited!

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This book was EVERYTHING! I laughed, I cried, and still I want more! Irreverently funny, obscene, and yet at times poignantly deep. Totally not the type of book I typically read, but so worth the departure from my norm. The zombie apocalypse told from the perspective of animals, mainly a crow, as they try to rescue the pets locked in their homes and survive the zombies and changing world. 5 blinding stars! Recommended for everyone, because this is the first book I’ve read this year that makes me feel that way.
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I really enjoyed this one, despite being a bit disappointed by the direction it went. It was quick paced, tensely plotted, and kept my mind racing with thoughts about what must really be going on. Recommended for readers looking for a twisty thriller. Not recommended for readers who want a completely believable tale.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This one had suspense and intrigue, but I didn’t feel vested in the characters. There were several subplots and plenty of red herrings, but ultimately lacked that little something that would have elevated it from a good mystery thriller to a great one. Recommended for those looking for an easy beach read. Not recommend for those looking for a procedural mystery.
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This one seemed to be almost as much about outgrowing old friendships as it was about the murder mystery. There were lots of directions this one could have gone in, and I liked the way the author kept you guessing about who it was who had been murdered for the first half of the book, but the foreshadowing was a little heavy handed and once I knew who the body belonged to, I knew what had happened except for a subplot that came as a surprise. Recommended for those looking for a mystery set in an interesting locale. Not recommended for readers who want likeable characters.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Bad Moon Rising . . .

I’m thrilled to announce that my story, “Bad Moon Rising,” is available in the July issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine! Mystery Weekly is, in my opinion, the more approachable, hipper, sassier younger cousin of Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines!

If you like short mystery and crime fiction, you should give this magazine a read. If you’re a short fiction writer, this is a market you need to check out! (FYI – it’s a qualifying market for the Mystery Writers of America – so if you’ve got your eye on active membership or that Edgar Award, definitely consider submitting!)

Publication Announcement!

Recent cover image or website screenshot for Tough

I’m pleased to announce that my short story, “The Heat”, has been purchased by Tough: Crime Stories.

“The Heat” will appear on the ezine in February 2019, and in their published anthology in April!

This piece is a suspenseful mystery, part police procedural, part something more – I’ll let you decide what! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Click here to join my mailing list and be among the first to learn about events, giveaways, juicy secrets and other useful info!

(I promise I won’t spam you or send updates more that quarterly!)

Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing – Crime Baked

New England Crime Bake

This past weekend I attended the 2018 New England Crime Bake, which was my first writing conference. For a while I’d been reading about how important it is to network with other writers for both support and to establish a writing community, so I decided to give it a try.

I met so many AMAZING people there that it was worth going for that experience alone!

scoreI also met the authors of these three fantastic books and got them signed, which was a major score because they are all wonderful, yet very different, stories, and I cherish the opportunity to let a writer know how much I enjoyed reading their book. The authors are absolutely awesome, too! How awesome? Let me count the ways. . .

Walter Mosley was the guest of honor of this year’s conference. The author of more than 40 book and a multiple award winner, he’s probably best known for his Easy Rawlins mysteries, yet he contributes to many genres and writes for TV and film as well (ever heard of the series Snowfall?).

Mosley is hilarious, but he’s also a very insightful, eloquent speaker who doesn’t mince words when sharing his experiences in the publishing industry. If you get a chance to hear him speak, don’t miss it – you won’t regret it!

As both an agent and a writer, Munier considers herself a “storyteller and storyseller”. She is a huge animal lover, which is all I need to know to turn into a super fan! She is also incredibly nice and friendly, a very genuine person.

Her latest release, “A Borrowing of Bones”, was inspired by the “hero working dogs she met through MissionK9Rescue”. I really enjoyed the mystery and recommend you give it a try!

 

Image result for hank phillippi ryanHank Phillippi Ryan is a firecracker! So much energy and enthusiasm and with personality for days, Ryan knows how to keep an entire room enthralled! I took a master class with her at the conference, and she was definitely one of the major highlights of the weekend!

She may be best known for her day job as an investigative reporter who has won over 34 EMMYs and dozens of other awards, but she hasn’t done too shabby in the writing department. “Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and for The Other Woman, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award.” Her schedule is PACKED full of events for her latest release, “Trust Me”. This is an author that you have got to see for yourself! #TrustMe

Was it perfect? No. #CrimeBake wasn’t everything I had imagined or hoped for. I don’t feel like I learned very much, but as an event for both readers and writers, it wasn’t as instructive as conferences that focus exclusively on writing and craft development. (I learned that at the conference!)

I did, however, have a truly memorable and enjoyable time. Talking with other writers, hearing about their experiences, the other conferences and events that they had attended, was truly priceless.

Was it worth it? Yes!

Would I do it again? Absolutely!

The bottom line is that I was there to meet other writers, and that’s exactly what I did. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and most authors don’t get an agent or a publishing contract overnight. (While #CrimeBake does have a pitch option, I did not partake. This time.) To me, the important thing is that I took some time for myself and spent it immersed in my passion. What more can I ask for?!?!

 

Upcoming Publication Announcement!

I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Dying Print”, has been purchased and will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Wild Musette Magazine next year!

Image result for detectiveThis is the sixth mystery featuring the character Detective Shaw to see publication. There are several other Shaw stories kicking around the slush piles out there – my plan is to eventually compile a FREE anthology collection of all the “Shades of Shaw”. If you’re interested in receiving a copy, sign up for my newsletter here so you don’t miss out!

(I promise I won’t spam you or flood your inbox – I know how annoying that is! My newsletter is never sent more often than quarterly, and only when there’s enough great new info to make it worthwhile.)

#Thriller in the Woods #Book Signing and #Author Event

thrillerinwoods1-e1539282021408.jpgI’m fortunate enough to live in an area with an incredible indie bookstore and some fantastic local authors who are kind enough to indulge the local readership with awesome events.

When I heard that White Birch Books was sponsoring “Thriller in the Woods: A Night of Conversation with Lisa Gardner and Lisa Unger,” I knew I couldn’t miss it.

Lisa Gardner launches her book tour in North Conway, NH each year. She’s a great speaker, super personable, and pens thrillers guaranteed to keep you on the edge thrillerinwoods.jpgof your seat! I try to attend any event where she’s featured, because it’s sure to be a blast! This time, the event was held at Theater in the Woods, and she brought a friend!!!

Lisa Gardner and Lisa Unger are both internationally best selling authors. They both write suspenseful thrillers. They’re both named Lisa. Put them in a room together and let the adventure begin!

thrillerinwoods2The event was in celebration of the release of Lisa Unger’s newest novel, Under My Skin, and the paperback release of Lisa Gardner’s novel, Look For Me.

The two authors had an incredibly interesting discussion touching on everything from their different writing processes, where they get their ideas, how they perform their research, how they got their start, and so much more!

Both women are wonderfully dynamic, and the conversation flowed with the natural ease of two old friends having a casual chat. I really enjoy attending book signings and author talks, and have met my fair share of bestselling authors in the process – I cannot stress how genuinely friendly and engaging these ladies are! If you get the chance to see either of them speak, do it! You won’t regret it! #TeamLisa

 

 

 

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas ~ #YA #Mystery #BookReview

40670509It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA book, and after my love affair with the Pretty Little Liars series, I was read for a ‘little’ something, and monsters turned out to be that thing.

This book deals with the usual teenage angst of family issues, feeling like you don’t belong, not fitting in, and feeling like you have to compromise yourself to satisfy the demands of peer pressure, among other issues, yet it takes it one step further with a murder, which creates a mystery.

The plots seems plausible enough. The writing is good, the characters well-developed, and the suspense keeps the pages turning. There was enough angst to satisfy my YA craving. It was good, but not quite everything I was hoping for. (I think my standards for this one may have been impossibly high.) 4 stars.

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