Tuesday, November 30, 2010

That Gluten-Free Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner

I'm the one that's gluten-free. The son that lives with us is vegetarian. And with only three of us at home this Thanksgiving, only two of whom are carnivores, we decided to try for a gluten-free vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner menu.

High point: This time I didn't make a black bean casserole that looked like a loaf of cornbread piled on top of a can of beans.

Even higher point: Today--Tuesday--the son announced, while studying at his computer, that...
  1. He liked my cornbread (A first. Gluten-free baking, at least my gluten-free baking, is often boring and dry, but I added salsa to the dough this time and, apparently, it worked!)
  2. He doesn't like squash, and had serious doubts when I triumphantly carried my stuffed acorn squash to the table, but it was really good
  3. As was the rice stuffing with bits of cranberry in it (so now I know what stuffing to do for Christmas).
  4. Oh, and that Indian thing I did last week apparently tasted nice too.
I think my son just made my day! And I'm definitely feeling thankful.

No compliments for the pie though; it wasn't a brick, and it didn't collapse in a heap, but gluten-free pastry still leaves something to be desired--gluten perhaps?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday's Gift

It took a while before I realized Black Friday referred to future shopping, not some dire historical event. Having learned, I decided not to participate--there must be better ways to work off those calories than going to war with the neighbors. Meanwhile the internet was full of sites advising "Shop Black Friday deals from the comfort of your own home," conveniently forgetting the internet would reduce to a blank screen on Thanksgiving--well, blank screen with tiny icon saying "waiting for something.something.ad" while you wait for "something.com." Still, Amazon's advertised deal on Black Friday Kindles was certainly enticing--would my scruples (and internet) hold me back, or would I try?

They said the deal would start at 9am Pacific time, so my husband brought me coffee in bed at 8:20. By 8:40 I was awake and sitting at the computer, which was slightly less awake. Middle son was reminding me "Don't read your emails Mom. Just go to Amazon."

The page loaded at around 8:55. One item in the "kindle lightning deal"; one countdown, surprisingly, ticking without "waiting"... "Deal starts in 0:00:01" then suddenly "Add to cart." Fingers shaking, I clicked the right spot. "You have 14 minutes and 43 seconds in which to complete your purchase," said the pop-up screen, which again, somehow suffered no delay. So I went to my cart, filled in the appropriate details, watched pages refresh (slowly), and won the day.

The internet's full of tales of those who failed to get that Kindle, so I'm sorry. Honest. But I'm pleased as well. My first Black Friday shop and I succeeded; I live to tell the tale. Mixed emotions? Maybe that's why they call it black.

And Black Widow's slated for release from Gypsy Shadow in December!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WooHoo! Black Widow has a cover!

I just got my first look at the cover for Black Widow, coming soon from Gypsy Shadow Publishing. Look at that black and red--perfect for a black widow spider--and the blue man's slowly succumbing to her web, or her to his. That red and gold makes me think of Christmas too, and it sounds like the book will be out in time for the season. What a wonderful Christmas present for the computer, e-read for the cook, and sheer delight for me.

Start with week with Action or Literary Prose

I'm still catching up on posting my book reviews for that reading journey. These are the action adventure tales I've read in the last couple of weeks, and scroll down for literary fiction--my favorite.

The Capablanca Variation by Douglas Quinn: Charlie's Angels meets James Bond--world-traveling agents steered by a behind the scenes chess-master; death, mayhem and destruction.

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers: dystopian science fiction; dark world; scary technology; and great fun.

Shadows from the Past by Ashley Dawn: Christian suspense with lots of backstory and description. Former friends thrown together in the hunt for a murderer who's got them both in his sights.

And in a more literary vein...

The Reckoning by Howard Owen:  A teenager comes of age, tied down by his father's own coming of age during the Vietnam war, and threatened by loss. A surprisingly powerful tale that stays with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Seducing the Spirits by Louise Young: A stunning depiction of tribespeople, jungle, science, humanity and spirituality. Wonderful descriptions. Fascinating characters. And interesting questions of identity and intent.

Tepper isn't going out by Calvin Trillin: Ah, but why isn't he going out? And why is he so determined? And how can sitting in your car almost cause a riot? A really fun book.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Children's stories (and tales for the young at heart) for Saturday Morning

These are the childrens' and young adults' books I've read recently on that reading journey... Fun reads for a Saturday morning while rain drips outside.

Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke: I'd been waiting to get this in paperback for a while. I love the series, just not quite enough to shell out for a hardback. And this was a very fitting conclusion--best yet in my estimation.

My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond: With an evil anti-hero narrating his fall from wickedness, this one's great fun and told in a really enjoyable voice.

The Unwanted by Daniel Carter: Genetic engineering, faith, superheroes and the FBI combine delightfully. Looking forward to more in this series.

The Royal Dragoneers by M.R. Mattias:  A well-crafted world with rich detail and vivid descriptions, interesting characters and an enjoyable storyline.

Dawn of the Shadow by Peter Kelly:  Young adults trying to make their way in the modern world are suddenly faced with a very different history than the one they've learned.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Some scary books for a windy night

Continuing to list those books I've been reading recently, here's some scary ones for when that rain turns to howling winds tonight... As usual, if you click on the links you'll find my reviews on gather.

Friday the Thirteenth, by M. Flagg:  Humanity's more dangerous than the jungle, so she chose Manhatten; a fun little scary romance.

The Poison of a Smile, Salazar book 1, by Steven Jensen: Beautiful evocative language. Lovely old-fashioned feel of Bohemian decadence. Gruesome, haunting, sad...

The Eyes Have it, by Denise Bartlett: An intriguing lunch-time read with a green-eyed sting in its tail.


Vow of Superstition: Dragon's Blood, by Skhye Moncrief: A fascinating world, with dragons, and a drink of dragon's blood to seal a young woman's fate.

Witches, Werewolves and Jack the Ripper, by G.M. Jackson: a cool scary story that looks at the Jack the Ripper story from some very interesting points of view.

Wonder, an erotic anthology edited by Selena Kitt: There's some disturbingly scary stories here, and some beautiful ones too, with a lot of physical intimacy: definitely not cozy.

How Long is a Piece of String?

I used to ask way too many questions as a child, though surely not as many as my own children. My Gran would silence me by saying "'Cause y's not z," and my Granddad would ask, "How long's a piece of string?"

I'm hosting a Second Wind Publishing discussion on Facebook and Goodreads where I ask how long's a novel, novella, novelette, short story, etc... and invite you to to wonder where dribbles and drabbles and chapters and  blurbs fit in. I think my biggest conclusion so far is I'm still not sure if my e-book's a short story or a novella, but I'm convinced I'd find it harder to sell as a short story. Somehow short, and pay real money for it, don't quite fit together. But what do you think?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some cozy books for a rainy day

It seems like a while since I posted a list of reviews. I think I must have been distracted by something. I think I'm still distracted--runs round the room. And no, the housework's not getting done; at least, not just now. But the contract's been sent and I really need to get down to reading and writing.

So, what have I read recently on that reading journey? Too many books to list I think, so I'll put the mysteries and cozies here first and write another post with some more...

As usual, if you click on the links you'll find my longer book reviews on gather.

Murder in Winnebago County, and Buried in Wolf Lake, by Christine Husom: Two murder mysteries set around the very likeable and believable Sgt. Corky Aleckson, with a very authentic feel, down-to-earth characters, and villains that are scarily real.

A Miracle at Speedy Motors: The 9th Number One Ladies' Detective Agency novel by Alexander McCall Smith, and I'm still addicted. I love the way he lets his readers see another culture and at the same time turns our view of our own on its edge.

Hide in Plain Sight, by Marta Perry: The first of a series set in a guest house in Amish country, combining homely kindness with a series of accidents that just might be deliberate.

And Christmas Mourning, by Margaret Maron: The first I've read from this series, I loved the feel of a small-town courthouse, sympathetic judge with real family and real life, genuine love, genuine teenagers, cell phones and murder...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's in the mail

I mailed it.
Okay, first I reread it, even though my husband had read it last night. Then I signed it and read my signature and checked up on the date. Then I wrote the envelope...

Then, since I was going to the post office anyway, I parceled up my self-published books for copyrights, labeled each, attached deposit slips, wrote case numbers on envelopes, stacked them in a box, counted them, checked them, counted them again...

Then I drove to the post office and with quivering fingers signed the check and sent five books and one contract off.

Today was a stressful day. And it's raining, windy, gray and miserable...
...and I'm still dancing round the room!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fears, Rational and Otherwise

1. Maybe I misread the email...
I've reread it a thousand times, and shown it my husband and son. It's not likely to change.
2. Maybe the email wasn't really for me...
But it's got my name and the name of my novel on it.
3. Maybe I'll invalidate the contract somehow--misspell my name or something...
So I'll get my husband to check it before it goes out.
4. Maybe I'll address the envelope wrong...
But the address is online, on the contract and in the email; I've lots to chances to make sure it's right, and my husband will certainly help.
5. Maybe my writing's not good enough, and the novel will just get worse the more I edit...
But they thought it was good enough to make me an offer...
6. Maybe the editor won't like me...
But the publisher does, so I know they'll choose someone just right...
7. Maybe...

All those irrational fears are jumbling around in my head. Just sign the contract and get it sent back and STOP WORRYING!

But maybe that tickling feeling is a spider on my leg. Now, there's something rational to worry me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

That Dreaming Thing

I used to dream about how it might happen. A phone-call maybe. A letter that didn't begin "If you sent a stamped addressed envelope we are returning your manuscript." Or an email of course. But the emails always begin, "Thank you for your query... but..." And that's what I thought this email would be when I clicked on it.

"Thank you for choosing... After careful consideration... I would be pleased to extend an offer of publication to you..."

I jumped out of my seat. I shrieked. My son, after first confirming I wasn't in pain, said, "Did you just get an offer?" Then I demanded he, and my husband, read the email just to be sure I wasn't somehow inventing words that weren't on the page.

I wasn't. It's real. I have a contract in my hands waiting to be signed. They said yes to my novel!!!! (And it wasn't even the one I was working on last week for that "full manuscript" request. This one was right out of the blue, and I'm not feeling blue.)

I like 2010!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Official Indie Book Reviewer List

I just got an email about "The Official Indie Book Reviewer List," a sort of Yellow Pages of book reviewers who are interested in small-press and self-published books, and review them free! It sounds a wonderful resource. Christy Pinheiro is offering it as a pdf file for just 99 cents, and I'm thinking I really ought to buy it. But while I'm thinking about it, here's a link so you can think about it too.

http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net/

Free book reviews is free publicity, right? And free publicity might translate into sales. So, many thanks Christy for the hours you must have put into compiling this. I hope you sell lots and lots and decide to bring out a POD paper version next year. (I know. I'm boring. I do like paper books.)

Contact information, submission guidelines, likes, dislikes, pet peeves... what more could we indie writers want?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In the Spotlight!

My eBook, Refracted, is in the spotlight over at A.F. Stewart's "In the Spotlight" blog today. It's a beautiful site, spotlighting lots of wonderful books and authors; I'm honored to be in such good company. There's an impressive Amazon associate page too where you can find links for purchases. I'm really grateful to A.F. Stewart for spotlighting me, and I hope you'll all go over there and browse the various posts.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Doing housework on a manuscript

I should be dusting, polishing, cleaning floors... all those pine needles the rain tracked in...

Instead I'm dusting, polishing, cleaning words. I got an email from a publisher yesterday. They want to see the whole manuscript of my Young Adult novel!!!!

Yes, I know it doesn't mean they're going to say yes, but it's one step higher on the mountain of dreams. Please wish me luck, and well-dusted, well-polished words.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meet Anjuelle Floyd, and win a kindle!

To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, author Anjuelle Floyd is offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her promotional blog tour. I'm delighted to have Anjuelle as a guest on my blog today, where she is giving a fascinating character sketch of Edward Manning from her book, and answering the question "How does a writer come up with her characters?"

See yesterday's post for more information about Anjuelle Floyd and The House, and don't forget to read to the end of this post to find out how to win a Kindle!

Over to you Anjuelle:


CHARACTER SKETCH: Meet Edward Manning
Have you ever wondered how a writer comes up with her characters? Author Anjuelle Floyd provides a peek inside the profile of her dying character, Edward Manning. 

I recently began reading a book on the craft of writing fiction, entitled “The Half- Known World,” by Robert Boswell. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1555975046/httpanuellec-20

Boswell suggests that stories to truly engage and hold the heart of readers need to possess aspects that are not fully revealed.

Much as in life, Boswell proposes that:

He writes, “The illusion of people and place created by a story is the algebraic product of a writer’s art and a reader’s engagement. This world exits not on the page, but in the reader’s mind. The writer is responsible for the surface story of the character and conflict, the evocation of a fictional reality (including the terms by which it operates), and the execution of a full narrative shape. If the writer’s goal is literary fiction--a slippery term, but for the moment let’s call it “fiction that aspires to be art”--then there are additional responsibilities. One of these, I’ll argue, is the creation of the half-known world. To accomplish this, the writer must suggest a dimension to the fictional reality that escapes comprehension. The writer wishes to make his characters and their world known to the reader, and he simultaneously wishes to make them resonate with the unknown.”

Boswell likens sitcoms to fully known worlds where we see and understand all that is taking place. Lacking the threat and occurrence of change and transformation we feel always welcome. These experiences sound the death knell of the show. And yet, Boswell writes of this lack of this threat that, “To make something fully known is unreal.”

Edward in the The House, epitomizes that which we cannot know fully. Why death has affected him to surrender to Anna after over 3 decades of infidelity is incomprehensible on so many levels.

Surely he is afraid, quite understandably. But why has the certain approach of death shaken him so? He never directly addresses that.

Neither does he hint whether his terminal illness is the reason that at the opening of the novel he has granted Anna both the divorce and a deed to the house. What is even more interesting that somewhere along the way when Anna has taken him back home and he recognizes that she has not divorced him, he chooses to give the house to David. By this time he has dissolved Manning Real Estate, made Anna owner of Manning Ventures, a company formed in the face of his approaching death.

I realize now as I write that the dissolution of Manning Real Estate and creation of Manning Ventures symbolizes the death of Edward’s physical body that is to come and the diasporic transformation of what he had built that leads to a sort of immortality.

We lose ourselves, surrender the material possessions we have amassed to those we love, in hopes of gaining a place in their hearts. We gain immortality most simply by living on in the memories of others. We can but hope those memories bring a best, joy, in the least, bittersweet remembrance of what once existed if only for a moment, a shining flame of hope of what could have been.

Thank you Anjuelle. You can read my review of The House here.

And now, as promised, details of Anjuelle's wonderful Kindle contest:


WIN A FREE KINDLE!
To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, author Anjuelle Floyd is offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her promotional blog tour. A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 1, 2010.

TO REGISTER ONLINE - http://bit.ly/TheHouseKindleGiveaway

For More Information

• Visit the author online at http://www.anjuellefloyd.com
• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/TheHouseBlogTour

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Anjuelle Floyd visiting my blog tomorrow--chance to win a kindle!

Author Anjuelle Floyd will have a guest post on my blog tomorrow, which I'm very much looking forward to. To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, she's offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her promotional blog tour. A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 1, 2010, so don't forget to visit tomorrow and find out how to enter. Meanwhile, here's some information about Anjuelle and The House.

About the Author
Anjuelle Floyd is a wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.

A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. She has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops.

A student of Process Painting for the last decade, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Anjuelle facilitates writing groups and provides individual consultation of fiction projects. She also gives talks on The Need for Family, the Writing Process as a Path Toward Self-discovery and Healing.

About the Book

On receiving the very thing she wants—a divorce and the power to sell their house—over which they have fought the past year—Anna Manning learns that Edward, her soon-to-be ex-husband is dying from cancer.

A faithful wife for three decades, and stay-at-home mother of four children, Anna endured Edward’s constant absence due to travel for his international real estate firm and numerous extra-marital affairs. With their children now adults, Edward has less than six months, possibly three, to live.

Anna takes him home to die in the house she has fought so vigorously to sell. But letting go of someone who has caused so much pain in your life doesn’t come easily. Edward has changed. There are Anna and Edward’s four children, three of whom who are married and struggling to endow their families with meaning and purpose.

News of Edward’s terminal illness provokes her to understand the present, rooted in a wellspring of the past and pouring into a future without him.

The House shows what happens when one adopts the belief that: All hold regret and are seeking forgiveness. Our salvation rests in the hands of others—most particularly the ones we love, and who have treated us wrongly.


Purchase the Book Online at:
http://www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/

Read my review at
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978488517

Friday, November 5, 2010

Meet Bruce DeSilva

I'd like to welcome author Bruce DeSilva to my blog. His Book, Rogue Island, has been getting some rave reviews, and is touring the internet at the moment. I was delighted to be asked to be part of the tour.

Bruce DeSilva offered to write a guest post here, so I asked him my favorite question, little realizing what a great read his reply would be. My question: Please would he tell me something about his journey from there (unpublished) to here (published and racking up the 5-star reviews). His response... well, you'll have to read on. Meanwhile he's offered to drop in from time to time during the day to answer any other readers' questions.


Over to you Mr DeSilva...
 
Way back in 1968, as I trotted off to college to major in geology, my favorite high school teacher made a prediction:  I would soon find myself writing from compulsion. 

He was right.

My first job after college was covering the little town of Warren, R.I., for the venerable Providence Journal. Over the next 20 years I wrote thousands of newspaper stories, many of them investigative articles or long piece of narrative journalism, for the Journal and The Hartford Courant.  Then I spent another 20 years editing such stories for the Courant and The Associated Press while writing occasional feature articles and book reviews on the side.

But in the summer of 2009, after 40 years in journalism, I knew it was time to leave. Given what was happening to the profession—the precipitous decline in newspaper quality, the rise of unreliable websites as sources of news, and the degradation of TV news from a bastion of mediocrity to a cacophony of loud-mouthed propaganda—I actually felt that journalism had left me.

And so I retired as writing coach/worldwide of the Associated Press and devoted myself to writing crime novels full-time.  I’d read thousands of them since getting hooked on a paperback copy of Raymond Chandler’s “The Long Goodbye” in junior high, so I figured I ought to know how to write one by now. Besides, after all those years of worrying about accuracy, I knew I’d have fun making stuff up.

For most of my journalism career, the idea of writing a novel never occurred to me; but a seed was planted one day in 1994 when I got a note from a reader. It praised a “nice little story” I’d written and went on to say: “It could serve as the outline for a novel. Have you considered this?”

Normally, I would have just tossed the note in the trash with the rest of the mail, but it was signed by Evan Hunter, who wrote fine mainstream novels under his own name as well as the brilliant 87th Precinct police procedurals under the pen name Ed McBain.

I sealed the note in plastic, taped it to my home computer, and started writing. At the time, I lived just 15 minutes from work, so I would get up early and work on the novel for a couple of hours before going in.
I was just a few chapters into the book when my life suddenly turned upside down. I got divorced. Then I got remarried to a woman with a two-year-old child. I took a demanding new job as the head of the news/features department at the AP in Manhattan. My new commute was three hours a day.
In this busy new life, there was no time for writing novels.

Years streamed by. Every time I bought a new home computer, I would peel that note from Hunter off the side of the old one and re-tape it to the new one, hoping I would get back to that novel someday. But I didn’t.

Finally, a couple of years ago, a mutual friend introduced me to Otto Penzler. For those of you who don’t know about him, Otto is a legend. He’s the proprietor of the famous Mysterious Bookshop on Warren Street in Manhattan.  And he is the dean of America’s crime fiction editors, with his own imprint at a major publishing house. Otto and I quickly discovered that we admired the same writers, had friends in common and even looked a lot alike. We hit it off. 

One evening over dinner, I happened to mention that long-ago note from Evan Hunter. Otto dropped his fork. It landed on his plate with a clank. 

 “Evan Hunter wrote you that note?”

“He did,” I said.

 “Look,” Otto said, “Evan Hunter was a good friend of mine. In all the years I knew him, I never heard him say a single good thing about anything anyone else wrote. He really wrote you that note?”

“Really,” I said. “I still have it.”

“Then you’ve got to write that novel,” he said, “and when you do, you have to let me read it.”

My wife is a writer too, so she understood what I had to do next.  I wrote every night after work and all day every Saturday, saving Sundays as family days. Six months later, “Rogue Island,” the story of an investigative reporter on the trail of a serial arsonist in the corrupt, claustrophobic little city of Providence, was finished.
True to his word, Otto read it; and he loved it. 

“Do you have an agent?” he asked.

I didn’t even know any.

“Let me make a call for you,” he said.

The next thing I knew, I was represented by Susanna Einstein of LJK Literary Management, one of the top agents in the country. I had no idea what a big deal that was until months later when she told me she’d never agreed to represent a first-time crime-novelist before.

As Susanna worked to find a publisher, I decided to see if I could get some blurbs for the cover. This was my first rodeo, so I didn’t know that you aren’t supposed to bother famous crime novelist with that until you have a book contract. 

 I asked Dennis Lehane, who I’d known since before he was famous. “Sure,” he said, “as long as I like the book.”  

I also sent requests to 14 other crime novelists, hoping that one or two of them would remember meeting me at a publishing event over the years and be willing to do me a good turn.  To my astonishment, 13 of them including Harlan Coben, Alafair Burke, Michael Connelly, Ken Bruen, James W. Hall, and Joseph Finder said yes. Two of them, Hall and Finder, even favorably compared “Rogue Island” to Lehane’s “A Drink Before the War,” which has always been my gold standard for first novels.

When I started down this new road, I imagined living the leisurely life of an author. I’d take my time writing my books, hand them over to my agent when they were done, and hope that royalties would start rolling in. But since Susanna sold the book to Forge, which published it on Oct. 12, I’ve been working harder than when I had a job.

Nobody told me how hard an author has to work to promote a book. The last few months have been a blur of social networking, blogging, and public appearances. And all the while, my agent has been clamoring for me to finish the sequel. 

The first book had come easy, so I figured it would be the same with the second. But I was wrong. At a recent gathering of crime writers, I was bemoaning how much harder it was to write the sequel.

“Of course,” said mystery writer D.P. Lyle. “You spent years thinking about the first one. You’re trying to write the second one from scratch in six months.”

But a week ago, I put a period at the end of the final sentence to book two, tentatively titled “Cliff Walk.”  Now, as I hit the road for more book store appearances, I’m already made a start the third in the book in the series.

Meanwhile, I bought a new desktop computer the other day. Once I finished setting it up, I peeled that note from Hunter off the old one and taped it to the side of the new one.

I guess I'd better hurry and read the first book, if the second is coming soon. Congratulations Bruce, and many thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bruce DeSilva, author of Rogue Island

Bruce DeSilva's Rogue Island currently has fifteen 5-star reviews and three 4-star reviews on Amazon. Bruce will be visiting my blog tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's some information from his Press Release...



Advance Praise for Bruce DeSilva’s ROGUE ISLAND:

“Rogue Island has everything a crime fan could want…this tremendously entertaining crime novel is definitely one of the best of the year.”
Booklist *starred review*

“Smart-ass Mulligan is a masterpiece of irreverence and street savvy, and DeSilva does a fine job of evoking the seamy side of his beat…they all contribute to the well-wrought noirish atmosphere that supports this crime novel's dark denouement. A twist in the tale will keep readers turning the pages until the bitter end.
Publishers Weekly (A “Fresh Fiction” Fall 2010 selection)

“The smallest state bursts with crime, corruption, wisecracks and neo-noir atmosphere in DeSilva’s blistering debut. Mulligan is the perfect guide to a town in which the only ways to get things done are to be connected to the right people or to grease the right palms.”
Kirkus Reviews

“When it comes to fresh noir-on-wry, readers could not ask for more—except for the author to hurry up with Mulligan’s next adventure in detection.”
—Otto Penzler, editor and owner of New York City’s The Mysterious Bookshop

“In this vivid landscape peopled by colorful mobsters, brutal cops, and sleazy politicians, a droll hero named Mulligan fights long odds to find a measure of justice. Rogue Island is a stunning debut in the noir tradition.”
—Harlan Coben,  New York Times bestselling author of  Long Lost

“Writing with genuine authority, a dose of cynical humor, and a squinting eye on the world, Bruce DeSilva delivers a newspaper story that ranks with the best of them.”
—Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Harry Bosch novels

“DeSilva has a way of making you feel as if you are right there with Mulligan as he searches for the criminals. His writing draws you in and will keep you wanting more…the characterizations were so vivid and extremely real…Long story short: Rogue Island is a winner.”
—Excerpt from Library Journal “Book Cheer” selection

With Rogue Island, Bruce DeSilva accomplishes something remarkable: he takes everything we love about the classic hardboiled detective novel and turns it into a story that’s fresh, contemporary, yet timeless.  By turns gripping, funny, and touching, it’s a tale filled with characters so vivid they jump off the page.  One of the best debuts I’ve read since Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War. 
-- Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Vanished and Paranoia


ROGUE ISLAND (Forge Books; ISBN: 0-7653-2726-0; Publication Date: October 12, 2010) is a “tense, terrific thriller and a remarkably assured debut” (Dennis Lehane) from retired Associated Press investigative journalist, mystery critic, and writing coach Bruce DeSilva. DeSilva introduces old school newspaperman Liam Mulligan, a cynical, wisecracking investigative journalist for the major Providence, RI daily. Drawing on his extensive experience on the investigative beat, DeSilva paints a colorful, vivid landscape of the corrupt and sleazy in the capital of the country’s smallest state.

Mulligan is the kind of reporter who knows every cop, judge, mobster, and politician on a first-name basis. But with circulation on its way south and an overbearing editor pushing for human-interest fluff to compete with the 24-hour online news cycle, he’s also the kind of reporter fast going endangered.  But when a chain of fires leaves five dead and a slew of nasty coincidences in its wake, there’s an outcry for justice in a city not known for anything of the like. With all of Providence on his back, Mulligan must weed through maniacal vigilantes, sleazy politicians, and the shadowy vestiges of an old mafia that has degenerated into something much more dangerous to discover the truth behind it all.

With 40+ years experience in the newspaper industry, including many years at the Providence Journal, Bruce DeSilva has edited stories that have won every major journalism award, including the Polk and the Pulitzer, and his experience directing an elite Associated Press investigative reporting unit lends authority and credibility to this taut debut novel. DeSilva’s voice is authentic, his characters rich and vivid, and his plot as tight and exciting as they come.

“A stunning debut. Authentic, hilarious, and compelling. I’ve read hundreds of crime books, but this one bleeds the truth.”
—Ace Atkins, critically acclaimed author of Devil’s Garden and Infamous


About the Author

 Bruce DeSilva recently retired from journalism after a forty-one-year career. Most recently, he was the Associated Press writing coach, responsible for training AP journalists worldwide. He is now a master’s thesis advisor at the Columbia University School of Journalism. He and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith, live in Howell, New Jersey, with their granddaughter, Mikaila, and a Bernese mountain dog named Brady

ROGUE ISLAND                                      For more information, contact:
By Bruce DeSilva                                      Justin Golenbock, Senior Publicist
A Forge Hardcover                                  T: 646-307-5413
ISBN: 0-7653-2726-0                                F: 212-982-2862
$24.99 / 304 pages                                     justin.golenbock@tor.com
Publication date: October 12, 2010     www.Tor-Forge.com/RogueIsland

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Watch this space...

I have two authors visiting my blog over the next few days. On Friday, Bruce DeSilva, author of Rogue Island, will be talking about (my favorite question) how he got from "there" to "here." In his case, "here" is an author blog-touring the internet with a fantastic book that's already got tons of rave reviews. I'm so lucky to have him visit here, and I know his story will be really interesting.


Then next Monday Anjuelle Floyd will be visiting. To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, author Anjuelle Floyd is offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her blog tour. A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 1, 2010.

TO REGISTER ONLINE - http://bit.ly/TheHouseKindleGiveaway

Two fascinating authors. Two great books. And a competition. Watch this space. I'm certainly looking forward to reading my blog on those days:)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Discovering Google Reader

Okay, I finally took the plunge. I clicked that "view in Google reader" button on my blogger dashboard. Then I made a coffee while it loaded--it seemed to take forever but only 'cause it had so many blogposts to compile. Then started to read.

I shall certainly read way more blogposts now I'm using Google reader; it's so neat, just scrolling down the page reading them one after another instead of having to click. But I'll leave fewer comments I suspect since scrolling back to the top of an article to open, then back to the bottom to comment, then...--well, it just takes a a bit more decision-making effort when I'm already absorbed in the next interesting post. I'll get better at it I expect, learn to open some posts in a window before I read... something.

Anyway, Google reader's pretty neat and I like it, so thank you to those dear blog friends who told me to try it. But now it's time to make another coffee. Rushing wind, blowing leaves, gray skies... the world is cold out there.