Oct 29, 2010

Tears for Fears - Mad World - Top of the Pops 1982

And the original version which I still love.
This song does a number of different things for me, reminds me of friends and good times and gets me through rough ones.
plus I wish I could still do that stuff with my hair...

Mad World - Gary Jules

I love this version of the song. It's haunting and melancholy and wonderful.

Oct 21, 2010

Bouchercon 2010

We have attained Bouchercon!

Touchdown SFO. A moment that turned into one of the best nights of my life provided by Cara Black & hubby. Such a treat to meet the Mister and to be able to say we love Ms. Black's husband.

Jon did, as I expected him to, fall in love with this city he'd never seen.

One fantastic couple leads into the next. The City by the Bay. A leisurely walk in unexpected tropical temps. Tasha Alexander and Andrew Grant. Two extraordinary writers we cannot imagine without one another and thankfully never have to. Friends first; there was a lot of eye rolling on the girls part as Jon and Andrew picked up post cards and license plates. When we hit the bridge at a perfect sunset, the four of us were bonded forever, and yet, we all took to Twitter. Giggles ensued for the gals. Boys are much too dignified for giggles.

From there, well, it's Bouchercon. The whole darned thing blew up. Mystery and imagination were available everywhere along the Embarcodaro. There was Opening Ceremonies. there were awards. There were tears. The panels and guest interviews were carefully crafted.

What panels there were. OMG does not cover it. I went to more panels this Bouchercon than any since my first. I would have not missed them. The play put on by Declan Hughes and his friends was my favorite. A little different, a little new. Oh, so watchable.

My own panel went well and it was a joy to reintroduce Janet Dawson to the community. At the same time I had the privilege to introduce future luminaries Jamie Freveletti, Andrew Grant and Matt Hilton. Well, since Jamie had won the Barry by this time, maybe there was no "future".

Up and down the stairs, escalators and elevators at the hotel we all embraced crime. I had moments with heroes and moments with friends. I caught up with favorite and "never met before" deities of the everyday. I saw two folks who I love get agents. I saw four folks get new publishers. I saw a boatload of folks win awards.

I got to introduce Eddie Muller to Bill Link. I witnessed Greg Rucka meeting Duane Swiercynsky. I met Med Gardiner. I met many new writers for the very first time in person. Even more I met people whom I'd only known though the internets. I met Marjorie Tucker!! Pop Culture!! the list goes on.

And there was Val. I'm fairly possessive of Ms. McDermid. Always have been. we shared a rather unique experience early on and certainly one this past weekend. I'd always known, but was extremely gratified to find that she commanded respect from every corner. Val McDermid is the best; writer, attendee, comic, friend.

Huge whoo!! for Lee Child. His book, WORTH DYING FOR, was not readily available in Bouchercon's book-room. Yet here he was, throwing a party for 1500 people he knew and making sure everyone else knew it too. This Sunday Morning we all have a date with CBS. 7:30 Eastern Time. (raised eyebrows) I did already mention you should buy the book?

My true shero of this con?

McKenna Jordan. Much as I'd like to claim to be her sister by marital bloodline, I cannot. I will, if she allows, claim her as a sister.I know she's a friend. Here, now? I'll echo the solidarity of this past weekend, "We're so glad you came. It meant a lot to everyone."

Rae Helmsworth has evolved from mere Goddess to Hera in the rapid blink of an eye. Nobody else would have made Bouchercon fold into the fabric that is San Francisco as seamlessly. That she did it with elegance,grace and far more class than those before, it is a testament to the crime fiction and mystery at large communities. Thank you Rae for nurturing something we both love.

My husband did and so did my Co-Chair from '08, Judy Bobalik. Me? No credit. Isn't it nice to know there are people as involved in mystery as you are?

Bless us all and here's to St. Louis!

Oct 19, 2010

Crimespree Award Winners

This year we had the privilege of giving out the Crimespree Awards at the Anthony Award Brunch.

Here are the nominees and the winners

Favorite book of 2009


BURY ME DEEP by Megan Abbott
TOWER by Ken Bruen & Reed Farrel Coleman
TRUST NO ONE by Gregg Hurwitz

Favorite First Book 2009

WINNER - EVEN by Andrew Grant

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL by Jamie Freveletti
A BAD DAY FOR SORRY by Sophie Littlefield
Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville

Best in an on-going series for 2009


THE SILENT HOUR by Michael Koryta
SHATTER by Michael Robotham
TRUTH by Peter Temple

The Jack Reacher Award is given to an author who is someone we would recommend  to everyone one we meet and is also great to their fans and gives back to the mystery community. This year's went to Val McDermid.

Oct 10, 2010

Bouchercon 2011 Table at this year's Bouchercon

Next weekend we're in San Francisco for what promises to be a HELL of a Bouchercon.
We'll have a table in the book room, stop by and say hello.
We'll be in the book room.
Also bring books, we've got authors signing at our table all weekend!


Kelli Stanley – 11:00
Tasha Alexander - 11:00
Libby Hellman – 2:30
Todd Ritter – 3:00
Martyn Waites - 3:00
Brett Battles – 3:30
Stephen Jay Schwartz – 3:30


Val McDermid!!! – 10:30
Meredith Cole – 11:00
Rebecca Cantrell – 11:00
Joe Finder – 11:30
Jonathon King – 12:00
Duane Swierczynski - 12:30
David Corbett- 1:00
Shane Gericke - 1:00
Toby Ball - 1:30
Hilary Davidson – 2:00
Doug Corleone - 2:00
Lou Berney – 2:30
Cara Black - 2:30
Steve Hockensmith – 3:00
Sophie Littlefield – 3:00
Juliet Blackwell – 3:00
Christa Faust – 3:30
Carla Buckley – 3:30


Alafair Burke – 10:00
Bill Crider – 10:30
Marcus Sakey – 11:00
RJ Ellory – 11:00
Brad Parks – 11:00
Hank Phillipi Ryan – 11:30
Andrew grant - 11:30
Bryan Gruley – 12:00
Ozzy Osbourne *
Ken Bruen – 2:00
Reed Farrel Coleman – 2:00
Michelle Gagnon – 2:00
Megan Abbott – 3:00
Sara Gran – 3:00 

*Not really, but it would be cool wouldn't it?

Oct 8, 2010

Max is Back! - Jonathon King

Don’t miss meeting Jonathon King, Edgar Award winning author of the Max Freeman series, on Friday, October 15th. He’ll be at the Bouchercon 2011 booth inside the bookroom giving away free USB drives with video and a sample chapter from his new book Midnight Guardians (the fifth in the Max Freeman series). Come and get it!

By the way, this year in San Francisco at Bouchercon 2010, Open Road Media will be there.If you’re not familiar with who they are, they’re a new ebook publishing company focused on bringing fans and authors closer together by using cool video and new content direct from authors. Find out more about their company here: http://www.openroadmedia.com/

Open Road publishes a wide range of authors, but have a strong crime fiction and mystery list, including Kensington authors M. William Phelps and Kevin O'Brien, and now Jonathon King, a long time Bouchercon attendee. Jonathon will be host an E-Signing with his new ebook Midnight Guardians on Friday from 12 to 1 PM at the Bouchercon 20100 booth (in the library) -- there fans can have their photo taken with him and uploaded onto USB drives with sample chapters and video from his new book.

Open Road execs Luke Parker Bowles and Rachel Chou will be at the convention.They’re going to be filming their authors and they want to meet readers and people who have eReaders and get your thoughts and opinions. So if you see a bunch of people who look tired from carrying a camera all day long, say hi and find out more ;)

Check out Jonathon King’s video here.


Oct 7, 2010

Homicide School By Kathryn Casey

     Writers are always watching. It’s an occupational hazard. We absorb, recall and use what we see. I stand in line at Starbucks and focus on a lanky young man in shorts and flip-flops with dark hair curling around his T-shirt’s neckline, a backpack slung casually over one shoulder. He catches my attention because he shuffles in still groggy from sleep, then stands, eyes glazed over, vacantly memorizing the menu.
     “What’ll you have?” the cashier asks, growing impatient. 
     Backpack man yawns, and then shrugs. “Not sure.”
     “Rough night?” the clerk inquires, raising one eyebrow.
     Writers see things and commit them to memory, and at some point backpack man becomes a character in a book, perhaps carrying something lethal in his satchel, perhaps a terrorist walking into a crowded movie theater.
     The sound of rain on a tin roof? The yellowed green of grass in a summer drought? The emotional evisceration of losing a true love. All fodder, all life lessons, all catalogued for future reference.
      Many of my life lessons have involved courtrooms, prosecutors, cops and killers. I started reporting on sensational murders in the mid-eighties, as a magazine journalist. The first case was the trial of a middle-school principal for the killing of the school’s football coach, in a tiny Big Thicket town east of Houston. Seven weeks in a courtroom hearing evidence about blood splatter and decomposition.
      Since then, I’ve covered many cases, from serial killers to an ex-wife willing to murder to regain her kids. I once sat across from a killer who explained in vivid detail what if felt like to plunge a samurai sword into the chest of a woman begging for her life. These are moments I’ll never forget. They stay with me, like the chill of hearing prison doors clang shut behind me.
      From magazine work, I went on to write true crime books, six of them so far. And then, about five years ago, I wrote my first novel, Singularity, a mystery centered on a Texas Ranger/profiler. I’m not sure where Sarah Armstrong came from, but I think of her as a composite of all the women cops I’ve known over the past twenty-five years. She speaks her mind, and she’s smart. She has good intentions, if they sometimes lead to trouble, as in this first book, when she’s drawn into the hunt for a serial killer.
     The second book in the series, Blood Lines, came out in 2009. This time the germ of the idea formed close to home. In the early nineties, I took the dog for a walk and saw crime scene tape encircling a neighbor’s house. The woman had been found in bed with a bullet through her head and a typed suicide note at her side. In Blood Lines, Sarah asks if a rich, beautiful young oil company exec really pulled the trigger? Could it be murder?
      It’s perhaps not surprising then that months after living through Hurricane Ike, I’d write a crime novel where the ticking clock is an approaching hurricane. In The Killing Storm, a child is missing and slaughtered longhorns turn up outside Houston, ones with cryptic African symbols drawn on their sides, symbols that tie back to a long-forgotten era of sugar cane plantations and slavery.
     Where will the next idea come from? Who knows? I don’t. But it will come, and when it does, I’ll file it away. Someday, when I need it, it’ll be there, waiting.        

Kathryn Casey bio:
     Kathryn Casey is an award-winning, Houston-based novelist and journalist, the creator of the Sarah Armstrong mystery series and the author of five highly acclaimed true crime books. SINGULARITY, the first in the Armstrong series, debuted in June to rave reviews. It’s a Deadly Pleasures magazine Best First Novel of 2008 selection, was included in Vanity Fair’s Hot Type page, won stars from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and the Tampa Tribune said: “Not since Patricia Cornwell's POSTMORTEM has a crime author crafted such a stellar series debut. Kathryn Casey hits the right notes.”
     The second in the series, BLOOD LINES (2009) was called a “strong sequel” by Publisher’s Weekly, and was included in a Reader’s Digest condensed books edition for fall 2010.
       The Killing Storm isn’t out until November 2010, but is already garnering rave reviews. It’s been chosen as a Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection, and Publisher’s Weekly called it “the best in the series so far.” Library Journal gave the book a star, and Kirkus has called it “pulse-pounding.”      
     In addition, Ann Rule has called Casey, “one of the best in the true crime genre.” Her non-fiction books all published by HarperCollins include: A WARRANT TO KILL, (2000); SHE WANTED IT ALL (2005); DIE, MY LOVE (2007); A DESCENT INTO HELL (2008), EVIL BESIDE HER (2008), and SHATTERED (2010) . Three were both Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Doubleday Book Club selections.

Oct 2, 2010

King of Kindle by Parnell Hall

Parnell Hall with a boatload of cameos from Mary Higgins Clark and Larry Block to Gayle Lynds and John Gilstrap. This is really fun.

And his PI series is really good, the latest is CAPER

Oct 1, 2010

The Art Of Drew Struzan

if you have been to a movie in the last thirty  years it is a really good chance you've seen a movie poster featuring the work of one Drew Struzen. The Art Of Drew Struzan is a collection of his work in a nicely oversized collection. 
160 pages of art and text about the art by Struzan and David J Schow from Titan Books.
One of my favorites is from Big Trouble in Little China. 
There is also work from the Hatty Potter movies, Raidersof the lost Ark, Buffy, Mad Max and Hellboy.

If you are anything of a fan of movies or movie art you should pick up this book. From Amazon it's under $24 and worth every penny.