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!

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. “

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. 

Gearing up for the Great Blog Book Tour of 2008!

Dang me, this blog book tour thing is a lot of work!  I was told by the Yoda of Blogbooktour.blogspot.com (that would be Dani) that I need to put a sitemeter on my blog.  The secret of adding this sitemeter is hidden somewhere in my WordPress dashboard, possibily under ‘widgets.’   I have gone my entire life without the need for widgets (which rhymes with ‘midgets’, ‘fidgets’ and ‘gidgets’, doncha know…) and suddenly I’m forced to explore this strange new world of cyberstuff.

Widgets.

Feh.

Upcoming Blog Tour

Yes, that’s right.  I’m actually going to DO this blog book tour I’ve been dropping hints about for the last month!  It’s going to start the Monday of the third week of January.  If I had a calendar nearbye, I’d give you the date.  but I don’t and I have felines lounging on me and can’t get up to check.   Does this make me lazy?  Perhaps.  Or does it make me a good mother?  I prefer to look at it that way.

So I’m gonna be doing interviews and guest posts at…six different blogs, hosted by six diversely talented writers and bloggers.  Still working out the logistics, but we will be having several drawing for free copies of my book, MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon.  If you win, you’ll have to bake your own chocolate chip cookies to eat while reading it, but the book itself will be free.

I will be posting a schedule with the dates and urls of the blogs I’ll be visiting and hope you’ll stop by all of them and check it out!

It’s Meme Time!

I’m still not entirely sure what a meme is (I could google it, but I’m too lazy…), but I’ve been sent one by Dani at HotButtonPress and I have vowed to do this.  And then it will be sent to other bloggers.  HAHAHAHAH!!!!!    So…now it begins.

What have you just read?

I have just read the first two Bloodline books by Tanya Huff, Shopaholic and Baby by…by the gal that writes those books and my mind is blanking…, A Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle, and lots of other books.  I read on the Muni every day, read when I walk anywhere and lose track of what I’ve read.

 What are you reading now?

Now I’m reading… what am I reading?  Ah yes, Designer Knockoff, a fun mystery set in Washington D.C. with reporter  Lacey Smithsonian as the protaganist.  It took me a while to get into it, but now I’m loving it.  Lots of cool vintage clothing details, a sassy heroine reminiscent of a Hepburn character, and an intriguing plot.
Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
The next Tanya Huff Bloodline book.

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?

Urm…  I have never been forced to read anything.  I actually seek out bad writing.  We’re talking SHOWGIRLS bad.  So bad that it’s fun.  I have a book by D.B. Patterson (a zombie book) that’s so badly written, it’s now a party game with my friends.  We open it and read a paragraph at random.  Bliss…

What’s one book you always recommend to just about anyone?

well…Murder for Hire, of course!  :-)  Seriously, it depends on the person, their interests and the genre.  For horror, WHERE THE CHILL WAITS by T. Chris Martindale.  It inspired my very first (one of two) fan letters.

Admit it, sadly the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?

Even MORE sadly, no.  I just started going to the library in San Francisco.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?

Nope.  I have impeccable taste.  Good AND bad.


Do you read books while you eat?While you bath?
While you watch movies or TV?
While you listen to music?
While you’re on the computer?

Yes to all of the above.  I love to read.  If the movie is really good,  I won’t read.  But I read when I walk.  I love to read and find every opportunity possible.


When you were little did other children tease you about your reading habits?

Nope.


What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

Sigh…the last Harry Potter book.


Have any books made you cry?

If I’m in the right (or wrong) frame of mind, anything will make me cry.

Okay then.  Time for me to tag my blogger pals!

Reliving my childhood

Or at least parts of it.  The parts when I was shy and awkward.  I used to be a very friendly, open kid who’d make friends anywhere.  But after a few negative experiences dealing with the kind of casual cruelty that kids specialize in, I became a lot more hesitant about approaching people and spent quite a few parties hiding out in corners.  I outgrew that over time and have had relatively few awkward moments in my adulthood as far as interacting with strangers, but today at the Mystery Writers of America/Sisters in Crime holiday party at M is for Mystery Bookstore, I had about an hour of pure, agonizing shyness, straight out of grade school.  I clutched my glass of wine with one hand, Dave’s arm with the other and felt my heartrate speed up as I began to hyperventilate and wonder what the hell I was doing there.  I vanished behind a long row of bookshelves and tried to get control of my breathing and stop myself from making a hasty escape back to the car.

It got better.  A very kind woman, Susan S. (webmistress for MWA) took me under her wing and introduced me around to a few people.  The ice melted, my breathing returned to normal and I ended up having a great time.  Sold a few books, bought some and had them signed by the authors, and am really looking forward to the next SinC event.   But tonight was an object lesson to me that we may grow older, but we never really leave our childhood behind, both the good bits and the bad. 

Morning Glass, Adventures of a Legendary Waterman, by Mike Doyle

I just finished the above titled book by Mike Doyle, legendary surfer and all around waterman. Doyle was one of the original crowd at Malibu and, as I found out from reading his autobiography, the book and subsequent movie BIG WEDNESDAY (directed by John Milius) were based on Doyle and the other surfers at Malibu during the uncrowded, halcyon days of the late ’50s.

I loved this book. Written in a matter-of-fact, totally non-judgemental voice, Doyle captures the joy of surfing and shares the adventures, triumphs and failures of his life in an honest and inspirational way. I would recommend MORNING GLASS to surfers and non-surfers alike – anyone going through a life crisis will benefit from Doyle’s story. He’s living proof that you can change paths at any point in your life and find happieness and success. A real testiment to ‘follow your bliss and success will follow.’

Unfortunately the book is now out of print and copies are going anywhere from $50 to $200 bucks. I lucked out and found a copy for $20 on Half.com, but it was the only one below the $50 price point.