Friday, February 28, 2014

Catching UP!

No Books went to press this week:


Galleys went out on the following books: 

MOONLIT BAY, by Elena Bowman
   A paranormal novel
 

LIVING THE CALL OF GOD, Jesus Series, Vol. 3by Barbara Garro
With Vol. 3 of her popular Jesus Series, Living the Call of God, Barbara Garro suggests a new approach to giving glory to God through service. 

Work began or continued on the following titles:


 
A VANISHING BREED: The Volunteer Series, Vol. 2, by Tom Ward.

Heroic firefighter Robert J. Doyle is back, still struggling with his inner demons, the result of an incident in war torn Lebanon, when he ordered the destruction of a complete village. As he walked through the carnage, Doyle vowed one day to pay for the loss of innocent lives.


DOING DEAD MAN'S TIME, by Matthew L. Schoonover

From the author who brought you the supernatural thrillers of The Arbiter series and the impossible mysteries of The Tornado Man series comes a new tale of supernatural suspense. Phil Talbot is in the here-after, awaiting judgment. He is given the opportunity to come back to the mortal plane and fix the one mistake that changed his supernatural fate. 



SWANNEE RIVER MOON, by Thornton Parsons
   When their plans for their Charleston vacation are sidelined, Bonnie and Sue find that Savannah offers more than meets the eye.


THE DEPUTY, by C.M. Albrecht
   A dark mystery from popular author C.M. Albrecht


THE MORGENSTEIN MURDERS: Jonas McCleary Series, Vol. 2, by C. M. Albrecht

Sequel to the popular SAND BLUFF MURDERS, detective Jonas McCleary moves to the city and finds himself facing a serial killer.


BLEEDING HEARTS: Killian Kendal Mystery Series, Vol. 1

   Winner of the Stonewall Society's 2002 Pride in the Arts Literary Award in the Whodunit Category!
 

 

EXIT PLANS,  by Terry L. White
   A group of senior citizens form a group to try to control their fate.

REAP THE WHIRLWIND: Killian Kendall Mystery Series, Vol. 2,  by Josh Aterovis.
   Suicide, or murder? That's the question in the second Killian Kendall mystery. Will Smith suspects murder when an old childhood pal drowns, and asks his friend Killian for help in solving the mystery.


TRUTH OF YESTERDAY,  by Josh Aterovis

ALL LOST THINGS, BY Josh Aterovis


CHANGE  OF WORLDS, by Josh Aterovis 

THE PROMISE, by Kaarina Brooks

REWIND FORWARD, by Michael E. Field







Jack's News!
a gossip column. 
 
Matthew Schoonover's novel, Doing Dead Man's Time, has been added to the print schedule. Beaucoup apologies to Matthew, as somehow the print edition was missed after Shelley did the e-book. Bad, bad, Arline! Also another reason we changed the procedure to do the print books first and make the e-books after. 

Arline got a warning that said someone at Craig's List was trying to pay her at Paypal and she had to download a file to fix her information. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS??? People are trying to steal identities again! They make it look just like it came from PayPal, too. And say someone owes you money so you'll fill in the information for them and they can steal from you. 
 
Please, all of you, don't ever fall for scams like that! Even a cat knows you should Always go direct to www.paypal.com and sign in to your own account with your password. Never fill in any form that asks for your password, or bank information,  unless you are signed into the secured site.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Beef and Barley Soup


Fabian Dakota's haunting guilt over his little brother's disappearance from their parents barley farm twenty years earlier leads him home again to confront the painful memories of his past and to learn to accept his wife's terminal illness. He soon discovers that from the other side of reality, in a perfect world of barley and gold, comes the power to heal and the magic to believe. "Barley and Gold" is the story of one man's struggle to face his own guilt and fear, as well as to understand the inevitable truth of life.

Beef and Barley Soup

  • 8 ounce(s) sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 4 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk(s) celery, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon(s) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup(s) quick-cooking barley
  • 4 cup(s) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup(s) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 teaspoon(s) red-wine vinegar

Directions
  1. Sprinkle steak with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onion, and celery to the pot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add tomato paste and thyme and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated with the tomato paste and are beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add barley, broth, water, salt, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juice to the pot and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vinegar to taste.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Black History Month

The Story of Harriet Tubman: Runaway Slave, Conductor on the Underground Railroad, and Spy for the Union Army

by Arline Chase
Epic Award Finalist

After escaping to freedom herself, Harriet Tubman led more than 300 other slaves to freedom. She spied for the Union Army during the Civil War. The above is a fictionalized biography, based on her published interviews with her biographer, and on other original source records.



Question from the e-mail: Black History Month is almost over. What are your favorite Black History stories? 

Answer: Anything about Harriet Tubman, no question!  Including my own book, above.  Harriet didn't start out to be a heroine and rescue hundreds of people, you know. She just wanted to help her family and one thing led to another.

Harriet wanted to be free and saved her money to buy her freedom as she had been taught in church that running away was "stealing." Then her husband, a free man, got drunk and gambled away her hard-earned "freedom money."

When confronted, her husband said "the old man" had left her freedom in his will, but she hadn't had sense enough to leave. In those days, if offered freedom, many slaves chose to continue with the life they knew.  Harriet went to Cambridge Court House (yes, same town where I'm living) and paid someone her last $5 to read her the will. If her mother had left with her children, they would have been free. But no one had told them.

Shortly thereafter, Harriet took off for Philadelphia. That was far enough, then, as no Fugitive Slave Law had yet been passed. Still, she missed her family and "sent word" home often. 

When Harriet heard one of her brothers was in trouble with his owner and might be "sold south." she went back to help him get away. He was not the only one waiting for her signal, a song "Go Down Moses,"sung from within the forest, so no one could tell that they had seen her.

Harriet went back home many times to help people get away. Slave owners posted rewards for her capture, all together they offered $10,000 dead or alive.

If you read the book, The Underground Railroad, by William B. Still, take note of how often a conductor named Moses is mentioned. All the conductors had code names, of course. Their identities were a closely guarded secret. It is interesting to read how often she went forth, and how many of her passengers (some in almost every party) were named Ross. For Harriet's Family name was Ross. Her married name was Tubman.

Eventually, Harriet got both her parents to safety when they were in their 80's and unable to walk more than a hundred yards. She “borrowed” a horse and wagon and got them aboard a train in Georgetown, Delaware, with falsified papers. They were terrified, neither having ridden a train before. William B. Still of The Philadelphia Abolitionist Society met them and cared for them until Harriet could walk to Philadelphia and get them on to Canada.  Dauntless was the word for Harriet Tubman.




Later, after the war began, Harriet served as a nurse in field hospitals, caring for wounded Union soldiers and their Confederate captives alike. She started passing along information that she heard to officers, and they, in turn, began to ask her go and find out things.

Finding out sometimes required a walk behind Confederate lines to gather information, but Harriet never hesitated. When she saw the plight of displaced slaves who had been abandoned by owners to fend for themselves and who fled from the fighting, she got the Army to set up camps where they could stay until the government could help them find new homes.
  
Together with another Write Words, Inc. author, Helen Chappell, I attended the service at Christ Episcopal Church when Harriet Tubman was named a saint by the Episcopal Church. Seated within the sanctuary were the descendants of the people who had considered Harriet and her brothers and sisters "property," and posted a price on her head. The members of St. Stephens Church were  honored guests, and a choir made up of descendants of slaves sang Harriet's “code” song, “Go Down, Moses.”

Everyone there had come to honor Harriet's memory. We shivered as the music and the thoughts of her deeds touched all of us.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Markenting Advice from Jan Shapin


A Snug Life Somewhere is about Penny Joe Copper, daughter of a roustabout shingle weaver, who is caught up in a 1916 union tragedy known as the "Everett Massacre." Her brother Horace is killed, as is the cousin of a radical organizer, Gabe.

When her love affair with Marcel, a music student seven years her junior, is thwarted, she is pulled into Gabe’s campaign to avenge the “Everett Martyrs.”

Author Jan Shapin, busy promoting her newest title, offers advice on how to use a blog tour to promote your book.
  

         Try a virtual book tour.

By Jan Shapin

I struggle with ways to get my books noticed. Print book reviews are going the way of the buggy whip. Those few outlets remaining are captive of the large publishing houses. A few book outlets like Midwest Book Review review unknown authors and books published by small presses, but even those are on-line reviews that themselves struggle to get noticed. Fans posting on Amazon help, but are suspect as the work of friends.

So where to get independent reviews that bolster your credentials? Something that has worked for me is the Virtual Book Tour. There are several companies out there, often specializing in genres, and what the book tour operator does (for a fee) is to put together a tour of your book with writing blogs that are affiliated with them. Those blogs are a mixed bag – some almost professional, some librarians moonlighting, some women blogging while the kids are at school. But all of the reviewers like to read and have other readers who follow their blogs. They are fiercely iindependent and do it for love not money.



My first experience with a virtual book tour came with A Desire Path, my first novel published by Write Words, Inc. I had in hand a strong review by Midwest Book Review but didn’t know where to go next. On impulse I started checking out virtual book tours and chose one that had good vibes –TLC Book Tour. I sent a query and got back a prompt response. The price would be $549 for a minimum of 10 book reviewers on a tour spread out over three weeks. I would be responsible for sending out a copy of the book to each blogger and checking in when the reviews were posed and adding a comment.

The response was decidedly mixed. Some loved the book, some were respectful but not enthusiastic, a few didn’t review or did not finish. I used the rave reviews on my web site (www.janshapin.com) and encouraged those reviewers to post on Amazon and GoodReads. What I got out of the experience was not only some excellent reviews but also important feedback that matched how my friends reacted to A Desire Path. Some loved it, some yawned, some didn’t finish.

This February began my second TLC Book Tour with A Snug Life Somewhere (republished by Write Words, Inc.). The results to date have been fantastic! Most of the reviewers were lavish in their praise. I am using those reviews in concert with a book giveaway and ad campaign on Goodreads that is really generating interest—well over one hundred readers adding the book to their “To Read” shelf. The work isn’t done—I’ll still have to figure out how to get those readers to purchase, but the TLC Book Tour was the engine starting in motion a chain of interest hopefully leading to a solid word-of-mouth campaign for the book.

My TLC Book Tour is ongoing through March 5. You can check out the reviews and find out more about TLC on the following link:  http://tlcbooktours.com/2013/12/jan-shapin-author-of-a-snug-life-somewhere-on-tour-february-2014/

Jan Shapin, Author

jshapin.writer@gmail.com                       

     

Friday, February 21, 2014

Catching UP!

 Books that went to press or back to press this week:

THE STORYBOOK, by Elena Dorothy Bowman

Who hasn’t marveled at the sight of a child nestled in his or her grandparents arms as the reader takes that child into the kingdom of tigers, and dragons and bears, oh my! Watching as their grandchild’s eyes light up, drifting off into the domain of far away places, to distant parts of an exotic world, to the bottom of the sea,  and even to the far reaches of space.

POWERS IN BALANCE: Red Knight Chronicles, Vol. 6. by Ray Morand

There is a bloody war being waged between the mage-ruled Kingdom of Ludnikan led by the dark elf armies of the Nameless King against the elven Kingdom of Nadezhda and her ally the Kingdom of Niadhardal. The Scaled Fist and Nexus teams are barely holding their enemies at the borders and then only because of the dragons constantly being recruited by Captain Isobel, the only known dragon speaker.
A VANISHING BREED: The Volunteer Series, Vol. 2, by Tom Ward.

Heroic firefighter Robert J. Doyle is back, still struggling with his inner demons, the result of an incident in war torn Lebanon, when he ordered the destruction of a complete village. As he walked through the carnage, Doyle vowed one day to pay for the loss of innocent lives.




Work began or continued on the following titles:

SWANNEE RIVER MOON, by Thornton Parsons
   When their plans for their Charleston vacation are sidelined, Bonnie and Sue find that Savannah offers more than meets the eye.


MOONLIT BAY, by Elena Bowman
   A paranormal novel.


THE DEPUTY, by C.M. Albrecht
   A dark mystery from popular author C.M. Albrecht


THE MORGENSTEIN MURDERS: Jonas McCleary Series, Vol. 2, by C. M. Albrecht

Sequel to the popular SAND BLUFF MURDERS, detective Jonas McCleary moves to the city and finds himself facing a serial killer.


BLEEDING HEARTS: Killian Kendal Mystery Series, Vol. 1

   Winner of the Stonewall Society's 2002 Pride in the Arts Literary Award in the Whodunit Category!
 

 

REAP THE WHIRLWIND: Killian Kendall Mystery Series, Vol. 2,  by Josh Aterovis.
   Suicide, or murder? That's the question in the second Killian Kendall mystery. Will Smith suspects murder when an old childhood pal drowns, and asks his friend Killian for help in solving the mystery.


TRUTH OF YESTERDAY,  by Josh Aterovis

ALL LOST THINGS, BY Josh Aterovis

CHANGE  OF WORLDS, by Josh Aterovis 

THE PROMISE, by Kaarina Brooks

REWIND FORWARD, by Michael E. Field

THE MORGENSTEIN MURDERS, by C. M. Albrecht.




News!
Hi!

It's me, Jack!

Gossip is my favorite thing, so... Arline's face is sure red! The last Catching UP! had Elaine Simmons's name on THE STORYBOOK, when the book was actually written by Elena Dorothy Bowman! I know she is sorry, Elena, but Arline should really be more careful.  As for me, I love your Sarah's Landing series. Telepathic communication is my favorite thing! After all, it's what I do.

Author Elaine Simmons and her family will be appearing on Saturday afternoon at the National Outdoor Show in Golden Hill, MD. with copies of her newest book ROOTIE'S ADVENTURES.

Bashful author Tom Ward insists his volunteer paramedic character Robert J. Doyle is not a hero, just because he goes out and saves lives. Arline wrote "heroic" on the cover anyway and said she believes that all paramedics are heroes, because when it's you lying on the Gurney, you know who the heroes really are.

Jack, your Official Bookstore Cat!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mushroom and Brie Pizza


Arbiter Series, Vol. 1 By Matthew L. Schoonover

The first in a series of supernatural police procedurals.

Agustus Pilot, a detective assigned to Special Services, is not a new kid on the block. in fact, he’s an Arbiter, a supernatural being assigned to solve any paradox between God and Satan for the disposition of contested souls. He’s not your average cop. These aren’t your average criminals.

Mushroom and Brie Pizza

Mushroom and Brie Pizza with Whole Wheat Beer Crust **
Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Serving Size: 2 slices
Ingredients

** While the following dough is very good, to be honest I quite often cheat by preparing the filling and using a frozen pizza crust.
    For the Pizza Dough 
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 3/4 C warm darker beer (about 115 degrees) (I used Harpoon Oktoberfest)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 + 2 tbsp all purpose flour 

    For the pizza
  • 1/2 large onion, thin sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tbsp dark beer (I used Harpoon Oktoberfest) plus a tad bit more for the mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 3.5oz package of shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 4oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4lb brie cheese, cut into small pieces
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
Instructions
    For the dough
  1. Place the warm beer and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until foamy.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat and all purpose flours
  3. Add the salt, 1/2 C flour mixture and olive oil to the beer/yeast mixture. Mix with the dough hook until well blended.
  4. Add the remaining flour about 1/2 C at a time and knead for 8-10 minutes. Due to using whole wheat flour, you may need to add a little more liquid to the dough. Do this slowly as you do not want to add to much and make the dough sticky.
  5. Place dough in a oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise 1-2 hours or until double in size.
  6. Place the dough ball on a floured surface and roll into a 12 inch circle.
  7. Press into the bottom and partway up the sides of a 10 inch cast-iron skillet.

  8. For the pizza
  9. In a large pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and saute the onions and rosemary until the onions are tender. Add the beer and simmer until the beer evaporates. Place onions in a bowl and set aside.
  10. Add the remaining oil to the pan, season with salt and pepper and saute the mushrooms and shallots until tender. Add a little beer and cook until it evaporates. Mix in the parsley.
  11. Brush the prepared pizza dough with olive oil. Top with sauteed onions, then mushroom mixture and then top with the brie cheese. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Should I take a writing class

Billy Benson, at age 9 in 1952, gets in trouble  and finds himself "banished" to his grandfather's farm for the summer. Billy is captivated by the stories told him by his grandfather, especially those of his great-grandfather's service in the Civil War.
Question from the e-mail:  My book was turned down by your book committee. They pointed out some errors and suggested that I take a writing class. Frankly, I'm not sure about that. I've been out of school a long time and don't know how I'd fit in with the other students.

Answer: Well there are classes, and classes. The trick is to find one that will best suit your needs.

Some are held in  university settings, others are available through your local adult education programs at Community Colleges, libraries, or through your County Arts Council. Many of those outreach classes are filled with working adults, not full-time students. There are a number of correspondence courses as well and if you are self-motivated you can certainly gain a lot from them.

At the least, any class will give assignments or will ask, "What did you write this week? So you will be more productive.

I do understand your reluctance. Taking my own first class was traumatic. I'm a late bloomer. Didn't go to college until I was 35. When I walked in, I was the only one in the room over 30, the only one without jeans and sandals, the only one wearing polyester.

The attitude of the other students approximated a shark attack. The instructor's attitude was that if you wanted to write, you had to be able to "take it." The whole class was a trial by fire and if you stayed in it, "You might have the makings of a writer."

I fought back as best I could with remarks like, "Well, why didn't you like it? What was wrong with it? It's not enough to say, 'It sucks!' You have to tell me how to fix it. And they all offered different ways, so I did learn a lot.

By the end of the term, I had gained their respect and had two of the pieces I wrote for the class scheduled for publication, though I never made the school's literary magazine. Publication, it seems, wasn't the aim of the class. Perfecting the process was the aim. Again, I was a fish out of water.

I wrote for other people to read. Publishing was certainly MY aim, the reason I took the class was to learn to write well enough to submit my work for publication. And it worked for me. I published two short pieces after that class and a novella I wrote for it was returned 67 times by various publishers, but later won a major state writing competition.

That experience stayed with me and when I became a writing teacher, I made it a point never to let students in my classes behave rudely to one another. "It sucks" conveys exactly the same information as, "It still needs work." There's no real reason to be rude about it.

Whether you are a face-to-face student in a classroom or work singly with an instructor through a correspondence school, people who take classes always learn something.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Firebird chicken Pasta



Katy’s investment in a rental property pays an unexpected dividend when she catches the eye of the artist upstairs. They have little in common, but are they different like oil and water or like a match and gunpowder?



Firebird Chicken Pasta


* This recipe is for 2lbs of pasta so if you are making less you may want to make less of the cream sauce.

Cream Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil


1/3 cup chile rub (ancho chile powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, sugar and salt)*

* I did not have a Chile Rub so I just mixed the ingredients the recipe has listed  to make
my own adding more of the chili powder, paprika and cajun spices and just a pinch of
the cayenne pepper, salt and sugar.

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

Roux (Whisk 2 Tbsp flour with 1/2 cup of chicken stock to make a paste)

1 1/2 cups asiago cheese, grated

3 tbsp basil, roughly chopped


2 lbs penne pasta

4 chicken breasts, grilled

4 slices apple wood-smoked bacon, cooked

3 cups chile asiago cream sauce (see recipe above)

3 tbsp green onions, chopped

1 large fresh tomato, diced

Fresh Parsley

Sauce:
Heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium heat, add the shallots and garlic and cook
about 5-7 minutes.  Add the chili rub.  Mix well. 
Add the wine and cook on medium / high until reduced by half.  Add the chicken stock
(the half cup that is left after you made the roux) and bring to a simmer. 
Add the heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the roux ,  asiago cheese and basil. 
 
Season* the chicken with salt and pepper. (* I seasoned my chicken with a little bit of the chili rub).
Cook on medium high. Set aside .  Cook the bacon, set aside.
 
Cook the pasta.
 
While the pasta is cooking dice the green onion and tomato, chop the cooked bacon, and slice the chicken.
 
Drain the pasta.  Place it back in a big pot.  Add the cream sauce over the pasta and stir well.  Add in the green onions, bacon, tomato and stir.   Serve with a little parsley or basil on top.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Survey for Writers...


Chef Merle Blanc, he has the nose. And when millionaire Bernard Goldberg dies during his wedding luncheon, Chef Blanc's nose, he smells the murder! What greater insult for Chef Blanc than that someone would commit a murder in his restaurant during the wedding reception he has so painstakingly prepared. But the doctors and police believe Goldberg's death was natural. Can Chef Blanc keep some forty guests and employees long enough for him to don his apron and cook a killer's goose?

Author, teacher, and friend Jan Phillips, sent this request for a writers' survey.

Greetings!
We are working on a book that addresses the myths about creativity that have kept many of us silent and "in our place" for centuries. We are hoping to elicit from you some of the notions, myths or voices that have led you to feel you are not creative or discouraged you from trying. Your responses are confidential and anonymous. There are only 17 short questions. Thanks for sharing your time and insight. Jan and Ruth
 
 
Blessings on all your creative visions and endeavors!


http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e8xvpb3dhrnya3je/a02162hrrzbdej/closing;jsessionid=1573B2782CADFB0FCD7398F37302A6E8.worker_respondent

Friday, February 14, 2014

Catching UP!

Happy Valentine's Day!

NO books went to press this week:



Galleys that went out this week:


THE STORYBOOK, by Elaine, Simmons.
   A collection of stories, articles, and poetry by the popular science fiction writer.

POWERS IN BALANCE: Red Knight Chronicles, Vol. 6, by Ray Morand
   The conclusion to her popular Sword and Sorcery series.




Work began or continued on the following titles:

MOONLIT BAY, by Elena Bowman
   A paranormal novel. 
 

A VANISHING BREED: Volunteer Series, Vol. 2, by Tom Ward
   Our action paramedics from VOLUNTEER, are back on the job.


THE DEPUTY, by C.M. Albrecht
   A dark mystery from popular author C.M. Albrecht


SWANNEE RIVER MOON, by Thornton Parsons
   When their plans for their Charleston vacation are sidelined, Bonnie and Sue find that Savannah offers more than meets the eye.


BLEEDING HEARTS: Killian Kendal Mystery Series, Vol. 1

   Winner of the Stonewall Society's 2002 Pride in the Arts Literary Award in the Whodunit Category!
 

THE MORGENSTEIN MURDERS: Jonas McCleary Series, Vol. 2, by C. M. Albrecht

Sequel to the popular SAND BLUFF MURDERS, detective Jonas McCleary moves to the city and finds himself facing a serial killer.
 

REAP THE WHIRLWIND: Killian Kendall Mystery Series, Vol. 2,  by Josh Aterovis.
   Suicide, or murder? That's the question in the second Killian Kendall mystery. Will Smith suspects murder when an old childhood pal drowns, and asks his friend Killian for help in solving the mystery.


TRUTH OF YESTERDAY,  by Josh Aterovis

ALL LOST THINGS, BY Josh Aterovis

CHANGE  OF WORLDS, by Josh Aterovis 

THE PROMISE, by Kaarina Brooks

REWIND FORWARD, by Michael E. Field

THE MORGENSTEIN MURDERS, by C. M. Albrecht.



News!

Hi!

It's me, Jack, your new official bookstore cat, making the report today. Arline has a winter cold again. (Sneeze) I think she caught it from me. (Sneeze.) Don't know how I got it. (Sneeze!) Trust me I'd never set paw outside in this snow!


Personally, I think her runny nose and eyes are all due to missing my late lady friend. I miss her, too, of course. Miss those extra sickroom treats and Fancy Feasts she was getting, too! Me and the baby sister only get Kibble now.

Jack,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Person?

 
Lake District Stories, Vol. 1

By Nancy Madison

Failing to sense the danger that lurks about her, expatriate Kate Stanhope converts her deceased husband's Lake District mansion into an upscale hotel. The first weekend the hotel's open, a Cornish guest is found dead in his room, poisoned by Kate's special recipe*. Investigating the death, Detective Chief Inspector Nick Connor soon concludes Kate was the intended victim, not the Cornishman. But who'd want to kill Kate?

Question from the e-mail: People keep saying my manuscript has "person mistakes." What does that mean? Don't they like my characters?

Answer: "Person,"  is a grammar thing. But mistakes therein could be from a number of reasons.

There are three kinds of “person” as far as writing is concerned:

    First Person, I narrator. We are INSIDE the “I” character and see and hear (and taste and feel and KNOW) only what the “I” character does.
           
    Second Person, writing a letter, or addressing the reader directly as “you.” Second person is usually regarded as a mistake as the last Big Hit epistolary novel was DADDY LONG-LEGS, published in 1906. Yes, I know about LETTERS by John Barth, but...

    Third Person (limited), the viewpoint character is “he” or “she,” or the given name, never “I” unless they are speaking dialogue, but the reader is still inside that character’s body, thinks with that character’s mind, and feels with that character’s heart.

Once you have established person, you should not switch from one to the other within the same short story. In novels it's usually okay to switch character at scene or chapter breaks, but only briefly and everything should be third person.

So to me, "mistakes in person" would be to use I instead of she or he. This could happen easily if you started a story in first person (advantage: instant identification, but limited), later changed it to third, and missed some.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Canadian Cowboy Rib Eyes recipe

The Moretti Men Series, Vol. 2
by Anna Dynowski

Jet-setter Santino Moretti died and left the Triple-M property, worth nearly $25 million, to his three neglected sons, Micah, Marek, and Matteo, each born of a different marriage, and each unknown by the others. Before any one of them can inherit, he must take turns living on the farm for three months, then they must return and all three live together for a final three months. Half-brothers, city boys, and complete strangers, they face the biggest challenge of their lives: to put aside their distrust and bitterness and live together like a kind and caring family.
Canadian Cowboy Rib Eye Steaks

1   pound tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1   small red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4  cup snipped fresh parsley
2   tablespoons lime juice
2   cloves garlic, minced
1 - 2  serrano chile peppers, seeded and minced* (optional)
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/4  cup ancho chili powder
2   tablespoons paprika
6   cloves garlic, minced
1   teaspoon salt
1   teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2   tablespoons olive oil
4  10 - 12  ounces beef ribeye steaks, cut 1-inch thick

Directions For Chaparral Salsa:


1. In a medium mixing bowl combine tomatoes, onion, parsley, lime juice, 2 cloves garlic, (serrano peppers if you like fiery spices), and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.
For spice rub:

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine ancho chile powder, paprika, 6 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir in olive oil to make a spice rub paste that clings to meat.
2. Trim fat from meat. Coat both sides of steak with spice rub. Cover steaks and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. For a charcoal grill, place meat on grill rack directly over medium coals. Grill, uncovered, until desired doneness, turning once halfway through grilling time. Allow 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare doneness (145 degrees F) or 12 to 15 minutes for medium doneness (160 degrees F). 
(For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place meat on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as directed.) Allow meat to stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with Chaparral Salsa. Makes 8 servings.
Note * Because hot chile peppers, such as serranos, contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with chiles as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the chile peppers, wash your hands well with soap and water.