Plague Nation Launch Party!!!

Plague-Nation-cover WHEN:  Tuesday, April 9th, 7:30pm PST

WHERE:  Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, California 90278

I’m going to be traveling south and celebrating the release of my second Ashley Parker novel at the amazing store Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach. They know how to do book events and I am so thrilled to be having the launch event there! I hope you can make it!

Murder in Miniature – Book Review

Several days behind, but still determined to do my one review a week (or am I now a week behind?…never mind), here I am with my review of Margaret Grace’s new mystery, MURDER IN MINIATURE.  For those of you not in the know, Margaret Grace is the pen name of Camille Minichino, well known for her popular Periodic Table mysteries featuring witty physicist Gloria Lamerino.  I’ve been lucky to meet Camille/Margaret through Sisters in Crime and, like the other writers I’ve met recently, she’s as witty and fun in person as she is as a writer.

Murder in Miniature is the first entry in Margaret’s new Miniature Mystery series, featuring recently widowed Geraldine Porter,  retired and now able to devote her time to her favorite craft, building miniatures.  Gerry is juggling chairing the local Dollhouse and Miniature fair while babysitting her precocious granddaughter when a troubled friend and fellow miniaturist goes missing.  Murder quickly follows and Gerry is drawn into the thick of things against her own better judgment, not to mention that of her nephew Skip, who just happens to be on the local police force.

And that’s all the plot you’re getting from me ’cause I don’t want any spoilers here!

Gerry is a likable heroine.  Her grief at the loss of her husband, protectiveness towards her granddaughter, and desire to be a good friend, whether or not some of her friends deserve her loyalty, give her a core of believable vulnerability.  The character of the granddaughter is precocious without being irritating; she just happens to be smarter than most kids her age and yet still easily bribable with pizza and ice cream.  The cast of suspects gives the reader plenty of possible perps to choose from and you’re kept guessing through most of the book.

My favorite parts, though, were the loving and detailed description of the miniature construction, from how to make DVDs and books for a miniature library to using the little white ‘tables’ in delivery pizzas as the inspiration for an Italian restaurant miniature.  Grace gives the reader an insight into the mind of a miniaturist and how every day items (‘found’ items) are seen for their potential and given new life.  Absolutely fascinating stuff and guaranteed to make readers think twice before throwing anything away!

Back from the Thelma and Louise Tour…

…and working on a writing deadline (tomorrow, June 1st!) AND still recovering from road weariness.  So this is gonna be a shorty.  I just wanted to share reviews of my book and Jess’s that I found on Seattle Press Online:

Dana Fredsti & Jess Lourey Book Signings

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Dana Fredsti’s “Murder for Hire” centers on a semi-fictional theatrical group that is best known for murder mystery role-playing … until one night, when the line between acting and real life becomes blurred.

The novel is a well-executed throwback to the era of film noir dramas of the late 1940’s: fedora, trenchcoats, stylish heroines and all.

“August Moon” is the fourth novel in the successful “Murder-by-Month” series by Jess Lourey. Readers will enjoy the events that ripple through the seemingly tranquil town of Battle Lake, Minnesota. A refreshingly strong heroine steps into the role of detective in this scorching summer mystery.

Nifty!

An excellent description of love and loss

I just finished re-reading Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy, some of the best young adult books ever written.  Without giving anything away (no spoilers here!), one of the characters experiences a tremendous loss after discovering how much it’s possible to love someone or something so much it changes her life forever.  The quote that resonated with me:  ‘She thought the tenderness it left in her heart was like a bruise that would never go away, but she would cherish it forever.’

What a great way to describe  the terrible joy that goes with getting an amazing gift of love and then having to say good-bye to it.   Yes, Haggis, I’m thinking about you.

Not much else to say today – it’s been a long week (much over time at work) and I’ve got two posts to finish this weekend for my blog tour with Jess.

Upcoming Virtual Book-signing Events

My friend and fellow writer Steve Prosapio, is holding Bookdays on his blog, virtual interviews and book drawings with four writers, including myself.  Steve’s blog is here.  Below, in his own words, is a more comprehensive description of the events.  Please stop by his blog, both on the dates mentioned and just to check it out!  And yes, a free copy of MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon, will be up for grabs!

 

They say that March comes in like a lion…

 

But I’m hereby declaring the next thirty days, “March out and buy a book” month! In support of that, I’ll be hosting virtual “book-signing” events each Wednesday this month on my blog. In fact, I’ll no longer refer to the fourth day of the week as “Wednesday” any longer. It’s now called “Bookday.”

 

Okay, that last part might be a bit over the top, but the “book events” will be fun.

 

Without further ado, here’s who will be joining us:

 

March 5th – Chicago, IL

Geoffrey Edwards, author of Fire Bell in the Night, a historical novel set in antebellum South Carolina that centers on the trial of a man who helped an escaping slave.

 

March 12th – San Francisco, CA

Dana Fredsti, author of Murder For Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon, an almost-cozy murder mystery about an acting troupe that specializes in spoofing, not sleuthing…until bodies start stacking up. 

March 19th – Sienna, Italy

My review of Too Much Tuscan Sun by Dario Castagno, a memoir of a Chianti tour guide. I recently met Dario at a book signing. I’d corresponded with him from time to time since purchasing his book in 2005.

 

March 26th – New York, NY

Seymour Garte, author of Where We Stand:  A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet. This nonfiction work explores environmental topics and suggests what we can do to better care for the earth. 

Stop by for any/all of these events on my blog. Interviews with the authors will be posted and some of them have agreed to stop by the blog that day to discuss their work and answer questions from the audience (aka the No Bull Gallery). You do NOT need to be registered with Live Journal to participate. You can post anonymously (hit the “anonymous” button after clicking your comment), but please make sure to put your name on the post. Books and/or gift cards will be given away on the Friday following the visits to those who participate.

 

Don’t miss out on your chance to “mingle” with published authors (and win free books)!

 

Again, these events will be held ON MY BLOG on the posted dates. I will be “replaying” the interviews, so to speak, on my gather.com home page but if you want to win prizes, come and post to the BLOG itself. “

Drawing for Three (3)! Copies of Murder For Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon…

…will take place tomorrow night at approximately 7:00pm Pacific Standard Time.  I’m compiling the lists from my lovely blog hosts, must type it up, cut the names into separate strips of paper, then put ’em in my handy dandy fedora, stir ’em up, and pull out the winners.   Whew!  I’ll be posting the winners on my blog as soon as I finish the drawing and will also send the names to the seven hosts so they can post the winners as well if they so desire.

Thanks again to everyone who followed the tour, whether or not you left comments!  And a huge thanks to Elysabeth, Dani, Kat, Blaize, Nessa, Mr. Fab and Redzilla!  You all rock (can I stil say that at my age?) and made this experience a fantastic first blog tour for me!

And now to sip some very lovely Rosenblum Abba Syrah and read the rest of DARK TIDE by Elizabeth Forrest…

Taking a breather…

I spent my three day weekend writing up all the posts for my Blog Book Tour for (get ready for shameless self-promotion here) my murder mystery MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon.  By me.  Dana Fredsti.

Google alert?  Are you paying attention?  Pingoat?  Say you’re there!

I have not had such a focused period of writing for ages.  It felt great, but dang me, my fingers hurt!

I’m saving my big thank you email till the end of my tour, but I just have to say that my blog hosts and their blogs are all awesome.  Or is ‘awesome’ too late ’70s/early ’80s an expression?  Oh well, too bad!  ‘Cause they are.  Please scroll down a post and check out the tour schedule, bookmark those blogs and visit them often!

I’m currently reading Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff.  She writes urban fantasy/supernatural..er…not romance, but…well…okay, I don’t know what genre this is.  But she’s now up there with Barbara Hambly as one of my favorite writers.  The books are funny, horrific, smart, and just plain fun to read.  My favorite line to date in reference to a character who’s a vampire (I’m paraphrasing here ’cause I left the book at work):  ‘Henry wore his blandest expression; blood wouldn’t clot in his mouth.’   I laughed out loud when I read that.  On the Muni.  People moved away from me on the train.

I just finished Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement and give it two thumbs up for mystery afficianados and animal lovers alike.  It’s easy to tell the author has spent a lot of time with dogs and cats and an equal amount of time honing her writing skills.  Can’t wait to start the second one in the series!

Speaking of series… Time for me to get to work on MURDER FOR HIRE: The Big Snooze!

Dates for my Tour!

Yes, the tour for Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon, is slowly coming together. I will have an official page for this on my website under The Goods section, but what’s the use of a blog if I can’t further promote myself and my lovely host bloggers? I’m very excited about this, but the coolest part is the wonderful blogs I discovered when researching the tour and meeting some incredibly talented and nice people. Please take a look at my list of tour stops:

Sunday, January 20th

Elysabeth’s Emerald City

Monday, January 21st
Blogbooktours.com

Tuesday, January 22nd
Kat’s Random Thoughts

Wednesday, January 23rd
Chrysalis Stage

Thursday, January 24th
Kitty Litter

Friday, January 25th
Pointless Drivel

Saturday, January 26th
Redzilla Attacks!

These are all on my blogroll, which got ate by WordPress when I added my RSS feed and link to the blogbooktours group on yahoo. My lovely and talented website designer, Leslie Keats, is working on recovering said blogroll and my blog archives. If you need website design, I cannot recommend her highly enough! And aside from her web design talents, she surfs and enjoys drinking wine while watching bad movies. My kinda gal!

My First Official Appearance as a Mystery Author

San Diego Mystery Club Appearance

This was taken at the San Diego Mystery Club meeting in November.  I’m happy to say I’ve lost a full dress size since then, but quite pleased with how cleverly (and kindly) the photographer (thank you, Bill!) hid my butt with a copy of the book cover.   I’m gonna have him photoshop all future unflattering photos!   This picture was taken five minutes after arriving at the hotel restaurant where SDMC holds their monthly meetings.  We were fresh off the plane, which was delayed over an hour, and our Avis rental car.  I drove in record time from Charles Limburgh Airport to Hotel Circle South, arriving at the meeting minutes before dinner was served.  The lovely hostess took one look at my frazzled expression and handed me a glass of wine, which you see in my hand.