The Next Chapter is Unveiled DEADLY ASSETS by Wendy Tyson

Killer Rivalries & Hidden Agendas

DEADLY ASSETSImage consultant Allison Campbell returns in DEADLY ASSETS, the anticipated follow-up to the psychological page-turner KILLER IMAGE. Just as nail-bitingly intense as the first, Wendy Tyson’s second Allison Campbell mystery will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. Secrets are revealed when DEADLY ASSETS hits shelves July 22!

An eccentric Italian heiress from the Finger Lakes. An eighteen-year-old pop star from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Allison Campbell’s latest clients seem worlds apart in every respect, except one: Both women disappear on the same day. And Allison’s colleague Vaughn is the last one to have seen each.

Allison’s search for a connection uncovers an intricate web of family secrets, corporate transgressions and an age-old rivalry that crosses continents. The closer Allison gets to the truth, the deadlier her quest becomes. All paths lead back to their sinister Finger Lakes estate and the suicide of a woman thirty years earlier. Allison soon realizes the lives of her clients and the safety of those closest to her aren’t the only things at stake.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments – to the Hen House or Wendy. We’d love to hear from you.

Cheers!

Hen House Staff

SMALL TOWN SPIN’s Book Birthday!!

LynDee Walker stops by the Hen House on her SMALL TOWN SPIN release day to chat about her biggest new stories, Nichelle’s deepening love triangle, and her own real-life love story.

LYNDEE WALKERFirst of all, congrats on your third Headlines in High Heels book release! One of the things we love about Nichelle is how she digs into a story until her inner Lois Lane is satisfied. Has there been a time in your own life, when you’ve had to summon up that same level of tenacity?

LW:  Thank you! I’m SO excited about this book.

I had a few big investigative stories in my career that required Nichelle-style digging. It started early, with a story all the way back in high school that caused a clash with the administration and won me a couple of friends at the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C.

In college, I worked for an entire semester on a series about why our professors were so underpaid (can we say “football?”). They ended up getting a significant raise, and many were so grateful they set up a scholarship fund for the journalism school. I was shocked last year when I found out my alma mater still awards a LynDee [Walker] Integrity in Journalism Award every spring. That’s one of the coolest things ever.

I wasn’t quite twenty, working my first huge investigative story at my first “real” job, when a high-ranking officer in a large police department threatened to arrest me because I wouldn’t give him my tape recorder. Looking back, I think I might’ve been too young to understand the gravity of that situation. As it was, I stood up and said “Sir, I’m not sure exactly what that section of the Texas penal code says, but I am pretty sure it doesn’t say I can’t have a tape recorder in a public meeting.” And then I walked out of his office. Shaky and colorless, but I walked. I spent the entire elevator ride to the lobby convinced the doors would open to a trio of uniformed officers with guns drawn. Thankfully not.

I didn’t ever meet anyone like Joey, though. And I’ve never been shot.

HP:  We love this first line from SMALL TOWN SPIN: “The news doesn’t take sick days.” As a writer and mom, you’ve probably pulled your share of working sick days. Do you have any funny personal stories from the trenches?

HS papersLW:  Aw, thanks! And I do indeed. I once had a big murder trial story going out, and I had the stomach bug. I went to work (these days, I would totally hate myself for spreading germs, but back then, I only cared about the story) for about half the day to get that copy ready and babysit it through production. I got so tired from running back and forth to the restroom that one of the other reporters collected every trash can in the newsroom and brought it to my desk, just in case.

I just thought that was hard until last year when I found myself alone for a week, caring for three little ones while I had a horrific upper-respiratory mess. My hardest memory of that week is vacuuming baby powder out of my son’s carpet at 10 p.m. while hacking up half a lung and running a 103 fever. Moms don’t often get sick days, either.

HP:  SMALL TOWN SPIN opens with a high-profile teen suicide. Nichelle did a great job as a reporter, showing compassion for the family’s loss despite the media frenzy. What challenges did you face when writing these scenes, given your real-life experience as a crime reporter?

LW:  Fictional bereaved people are so much easier to handle than flesh and blood ones, but I still cried writing those scenes. It’s so hard, asking people who are living a nightmare to talk to you about something that’s painful for them. It was always my least favorite thing about the job. Nichelle gets that from me.

HP:  Fans of the Nichelle Clarke series will be excited about the ongoing romantic tension between Nichelle and her two hotties, Joey and Kyle. Any hints for your loyal readers, about what’s to come in Nichelle’s complicated yet exciting love life?

LW:  Hmmmm. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’m almost finished with DEVIL IN THE DEADLINE, and Nichelle’s love life definitely heats up in this book. I don’t expect her to be stuck between these guys forever—she won’t handle the uncertainty well. But she has some things she needs to work through for herself before she can commit to a guy. She’s figuring that out.

HP:  We heard that you and your husband just marked your thirteenth anniversary together. Congratulations!! Did you two do anything special to celebrate?halloween

LW:  Thank you! Thirteen years married and *cough* nineteen this week *cough* as a couple.  That’s more than half my life. Wow.

We celebrated the wedding anniversary with a day in Washington, D.C. My friend Rick Campbell’s book launch party was on our anniversary, so we went to the Navy Memorial to celebrate with him in the morning, then walked around the city a bit and shopped (my hubby bought me new shoes! Aren’t they gorgeous?) for the afternoon.

This week we’re celebrating the dating anniversary (yes, we are those cheesy people who do both) with a book launch. I’m a lucky girl.

HP:  Your references to mouthwatering BBQ meals in SMALL TOWN SPIN and the other Nichelle Clarke titles make us hungry for more! How do you handle food cravings, when you write certain scenes?

LW:  When they get really bad, I drag someone to Buz and Ned’s in Richmond for lunch or dinner. It’s the restaurant where Nichelle and Parker had dinner in FRONT PAGE FATALITY, and they have the best BBQ I’ve ever eaten. Since I’m from Texas, that’s saying something!

But then I have to walk. Far—their food is definitely not points-friendly.

Pick up your copy at these resellers:

Amazon Kindle     B&N Nook     Kobo

Amazon Paperback     B&N Paperback

Happy Book Release Day! SMALL TOWN SPIN by LynDee Walker

SMALL TOWN SPIN by LynDee WalkerPaparazzi & a Sassy Reporter!

Nichelle Clark fans rejoice! SMALL TOWN SPIN will knock off your kitten heels. When a superstar athlete’s family suffers a tragic loss in a town more concerned about protecting its own, Nichelle throws on her slingbacks and starts digging for the real story. You’re going to love LynDee Walker’s SMALL TOWN SPIN, the exciting third book in the Headlines in High Heels Mystery series.

“Whether she’s juggling the demands of her complicated love life or solving the mystery… reporter Nichelle Clark jumps headlong into any situation with courage and tenacity, not giving up until she gets the answers she wants.” – Maggie Barbieri, Author of Once Upon a Lie

“A riveting mystery with big ideas and wonderful characters. SMALL TOWN SPIN is a treat not to be missed, a fantastic addition to the Headlines in Heels series.” – Duffy Brown, Agatha Award-Nominated Author of the Consignment Shop Mystery Series

Visit us on the Henery Press website to find out more. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments – to the Hen House or LynDee.  We’d love to hear from you.

 Cheers!

 The Hen House Staff

Pick up your copy at these resellers:

Amazon Kindle     B&N Nook     Kobo

Amazon Paperback     B&N Paperback

THAT TOUCH OF INK Release Day! Guest Post by Diane Vallere

THAT TOUCH OF INKOn the release day of her second Mad for Mod Mystery, THAT TOUCH OF INK, Diane Vallere pops over to the Hen House and discusses how she picked Doris Day as the inspiration for amateur sleuth, Madison Night, and why she’s a perfect role model for modern day women.

People have asked how I decided to write a series that featured a Doris Day-loving amateur sleuth. Was I raised on her movies? No. Well, not exactly…

I was going through a divorce, and that was a period of great empowerment for me. I was 38 and on my own for the first time in 13 years.  Armed with a laptop and a membership to Netflix, I was working my way through the cannon of Alfred Hitchcock movies, and the first Doris Day movie I ever saw was The Man Who Knew Too Much. I had a preconceived notion about Doris Day, and was surprised to find her to be nothing like what I expected. Intrigued, I added Pillow Talk to my Netflix Queue. Two days later, I was hooked. [Read more...]

Interview with Annette Dashofy, Author of CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE.

Joining us today, and chatting about everything from her two cats to her fabulous CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE launch party, is author Annette Dashofy.

launch partyHP:  You celebrated your launch with a party at Mystery Lover’s Bookshop. What a blast! Considering your time working with Mystery Lover’s Bookshop, hosting launches and wrangling authors for their festival, how did it feel to be on the other side as the celebrated author?  

AD:  In a word: FABULOUS. The party was bigger and sweeter than I ever dreamed, and I’ve dreamed about it a LOT! In the way of advice to other up-and-coming writers, go to author events in your area. I’ve gone to more than I could count, and you learn what works and what doesn’t. That really helped me feel comfortable in front of a crowd.  launch party2

HP:  You seem to draw many of Zoe’s characteristics from your own life, including your rural background and work as an EMT. Do you share any other aspects of Zoe’s character?  

AD:  Truthfully, not much. Her horse, Windstar, is based on a horse I had, but the real one bucked me off and nearly broke my back! The Windstar in the book is the horse I wish mine had turned out to be. And Zoe’s family situation, or lack thereof, is worlds away from mine. I grew up in a painfully normal family. Not good fodder for fiction. Zoe likes cheeseburgers. I’m pretty much vegetarian. But I like to think I share Zoe’s tenacity and fierce loyalty to those she loves.    CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE

HP:  Zoe and Rose have such an unbreakable bond as best friends, though they go through quite a rough patch in CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE. Is there a real-life Rose? (And did you two get into as much trouble as they did? If so, spill!)  

AD:  Rose is conglomeration of different friends I’ve had. But I confess I borrowed heavily from one in particular to come up with her spunk and fire. As for getting into trouble, I’ll have to plead the fifth! But I will say we excelled in getting others into hot water! My husband in particular!

HP:  You started work as an EMT straight out of high school, and you’ve surely seen many traumatic scenes. That must have been really tough. How did you cope with the intensity at such a young age?  

AD:  It was tough, for sure. I was one of the founding members of our ambulance service. Previously, the only ambulance we had in our area was more like a hearse that the volunteer fire department operated. Since we were a new service, a great many of our crew members were quite young. We coped by having a very warped sense of humor. If outsiders had heard some of the remarks we made in private, they’d have been appalled. But it kept us sane. We were a really dedicated group, although they could have made a really raunchy sit-com from some of our antics around the station!

HP:  As a self-proclaimed cat-spoiler, you must have several hilarious stories of your two cats. Please share one of your favorites.  

annette and catAD:  Just one? Okay. Last Christmas we came home from the family dinner with a bunch of the leftovers, including a plastic bag filled with yummy home-baked rolls, which we made the mistake of leaving on the kitchen table. The cats are “not allowed” on the table. Ha. The next morning we got up to find Skye perched next to the bag. Holes had been chewed through the plastic and tiny bites taken out of every single roll. I couldn’t even yell at her because the look on her kitty face was one of total innocence. “Who? ME?”

HP:  Finally, tell us your favorite mystery novel and what draws you to that particular author and the genre as a whole.  

AD:  Again, just ONE? Can I have two, please? First, Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series. Second, Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series. I’m drawn to books and series that place me firmly in a location and that have characters with individual and sometimes quirky voices. I read and re-read books from both these authors not only for enjoyment, but to study how they do it.

To learn more about Annette, and find out about her appearances, visit her at annettedashofy.com.  To purchase her book, visit these fine resellers:

Mystery Lover’s Bookshop      Amazon         Barnes & Noble       Kobo 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Book Birthday! CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE by Annette Dashofy

Cold-Blooded Murder, Betrayal and Revenge

CIRCLE OF INFLUENCESmall-town secrets make for big chills in Annette Dashofy’s debut release CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, on sale today! Paramedic and deputy coroner Zoe Chambers has been privy to a number of local secrets over the years in rural Pennsylvania, but when a dead body is found in the Township Board President’s abandoned car during a January blizzard, Zoe learns that some secrets can hit too close to home. You’ll love getting wrapped up in Dashofy’s CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, the compelling first book in the Zoe Chambers mystery series.

“Dashofy takes small town politics and long simmering feuds, adds colorful characters, and brings it to a boil in a welcome new series.” – Hallie Ephron, Author of There Was an Old Woman

“Her revenge-fueled tale of small town manipulation and murder will keep you turning the pages. This series is a winner!” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-Winning Author

“Look out world, you’re going to love Zoe Chambers and Pete Adams, and CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE is just the beginning.” – Donnell Ann Bell, Bestselling Author of The Past Came Hunting and Deadly Recall

Visit us on the Henery Press website to find out more. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or comments – to the Hen House or Annette.  We’d love to hear from you.

To learn more about Annette, and find out about her appearances, visit her at annettedashofy.com.  To purchase her book, visit these fine resellers:

Mystery Lover’s Bookshop      Amazon         Barnes & Noble       Kobo

 

Cheers!

Hen House Staff

Why Book Publishers Need to Think Like Amazon

Why Book Publishers Need to Think Like Amazon

Publishers have been poor at branding. But where there’s a quandary, there’s often an opportunity — and direct-to-consumer may be the best strategy.

Editorial by William Kingsland and Rakesh Satyal of Siegel+Gale

William Kingsland

William Kingsland

George Packer’s recent article in The New Yorker about the ever-increasing presence of Amazon is simply the latest in a long line of wake-up calls — or calls-to-arms — to the traditional book publishing industry. Amazon’s ability to sell directly to consumers, as well as use consumer insights to predict future purchases, continues to challenge the ways in which publishers think of their business models. In fact, publishers will likely have to change from a business-to-business model to a business-to-consumer model in order to evolve as brands and compete effectively in the marketplace.

Rakesh Satyal

Rakesh Satyal

Publishers face many challenges when it comes to establishing themselves as viable brands with customers. Traditionally, they have little to no brand recognition with book buyers because it’s been the author’s “brand,” not the publisher’s, that’s typically been marketed to consumers. Furthermore, bookstores have acted as the main point of contact between publishers and readers, and regardless of whether they are bricks-and-mortar or online, very rarely have they focused on the personality of a publisher instead of the books themselves. Until recently, it’s been largely unnecessary, given the traditional sales model. Most readers, then, have only a passing knowledge of what makes a literary imprint like Random House’s Knopf, for example, different from another literary imprint like Simon & Schuster’s Scribner, or even from a more commercial imprint like St. Martin’s Press.

When it comes to content development, the expanding capabilities of a retailer like Amazon present book publishers with an obstacle not unlike the one that television networks face from an online enterprise like Netflix. Just as Netflix makes its own series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black easily accessible and affordable to its users outside of the traditional TV model, Amazon can engage directly with readers via its Kindle Singles program, which offers Kindle owners original content from well-known writers for low prices. Add to this challenge the fact that publishers typically have conservative and cautious ways of thinking and behaving — in terms of both content creation and sales strategy — and you have a full-tilt quandary for the publishing industry.

But where there’s a quandary, there’s often an opportunity. Establishing relationships directly with book buyers is one significant opportunity that lies within these current challenges. The book clubs of yore did this to some extent, but the advent of social media — and of the Internet, in general — has opened up robust channels of communication between publisher and book buyer, as it has between author and fan. Some publishers have used social media exceptionally to engage with consumers. Penguin’s Twitter Book Club is a prime example. Penguin invites its Twitter followers to join a discussion of a Penguin title each month via the hashtag #readpenguin. Readers then talk with one another, with Penguin, and often with the author him- or herself. Because Penguin is facilitating the conversation and participating in it, consumers understand that Penguin is enhancing their reading experience by embracing social media, as an informed brand would.

Publishers are also going directly to would-be writers. For example, Macmillan’s Minotaur imprint, in conjunction with Mystery Writers of America, hosts the annual First Crime Novel Competition. Random House’s Delacorte imprint has held contests for the publication of a debut young adult novel, and Penguin’s Grosset & Dunlap imprint is capitalizing on the explosive popularity of genre fiction by holding a contest for a novelized sequel to Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s 1982 film “The Dark Crystal.” (The winner will receive a $10,000 contract to write what will be the first book in a new young adult series based on the film.)

What lies at the heart of this approach is not so much something radically new as it is something long-established — the simple joy of talking about a book, or the thrill of seeing one’s work in print, especially in hardcover or paperback. To that end, in decrying print books as relics, many tech gurus miss an essential point: a print book and its attendant prestige still mean something to consumers, and likely will for a while.

Yes, the long-term future of print books — like print magazines and newspapers — doesn’t look so rosy. But electronic books, as has been widely reported, have plateaued at around 30% of sales. This may be a temporary flattening out, but it points to the fact that print books can — and currently do — live alongside ebooks (as opposed to being devoured by them). And print books can live symbiotically with apps and other electronic media related to them. In other words, publishers should continue to embrace electronic versions of their authors’ works — whether enhanced for a tablet, pared-down for a smartphone, or spun off into an app — that can exist harmoniously with hardcover, paperback, and verbatim ebook editions.

This is a conversation that publishers need to own. They should talk directly to consumers about the whole host of experiences they offer instead of relying solely on booksellers to do so. This is especially true as technologies advance and it becomes more viable (and affordable) for publishers to create, or to partner with multimedia developers to create, new and enhanced versions of authors’ works. But it’s also true for classic reading experiences, like digging into a new hardcover on a quiet weekend afternoon, now that publishers are faced with distributors like Amazon that produce their own content in both print and electronic form. Should publishers begin to offer books directly to consumers, thereby going around Amazon and others, (as has been suggested by some, including the influential literary agent Andrew Wylie), then articulating a brand to consumers becomes not only important but essential.

How difficult might this be? Not very, actually. Publishers can begin by leveraging their greatest asset — their authors — to shape their brand identities in consumers’ eyes. This gives customers an idea of an imprint’s character while highlighting publishers’ rich editorial heritage and professional expertise in acquiring, editing, and promoting books — something that can hardly be learned overnight. After all, discerning the good from the vast sea of bad is both a skill and a profession, not an algorithm.

Despite its current and very real challenges, book publishing remains a multibillion-dollar industry. But what distinguishes publishing houses from other content providers — that is, what sets them apart as brands — is the genuine love of literature that lives at the heart of the enterprise. It’s a love shared with book readers of all stripes, whether commercial or literary, adult or children’s, and whether they read on a tablet, a phone, or in print. This is where publishers’ conversation with book buyers needs to start – and where the best content, regardless of format, will both flourish and endure.

William (Billy) Kingsland is a senior content strategist of brand development, based out of Siegel+Gale’s New York office. Before venturing into the world of branding, Billy spent more than a decade in the book publishing industry in New York, working primarily on the literary agency side of the business. He helped writers—including a number of award-winners and bestsellers—conceive and write their book. 

Rakesh Satyal is a naming strategist based out of Siegel+Gale’s New York office. Prior to beginning a career in branding, he spent ten years as a book editor, first at Random House and then at HarperCollins. He has taught as an adjunct professor in the publishing program at New York University and been on the advisory committee for the annual PEN World Voices Festival. He is also a novelist, and his Lambda Award-winning debut novel, Blue Boy, is now taught at high schools and colleges worldwide.

KILLER IMAGE Charity Giveaway

KI-giveawayHey, peeps! If you love KILLER IMAGE, today is your lucky day. Henery Press will be donating 15 original-cover copies of KILLER IMAGE (left side) to one lucky winner’s favorite charity. Here’s how to enter:

  • On FACEBOOK: “Like” Henery Press and leave a comment with your favorite charity’s name and why they’d love to receive these copies.
  • On TWITTER: “Follow” us and mention @HeneryPress in a tweet along with your favorite charity’s name and why they should win copies of this daringly dark mystery.
  • On EMAIL: Shoot us an email with your favorite charity in the subject line. Be sure to include why they would love this giveaway (with all your contact info).

OR enter all three ways for an even better chance for your charity to win!

Hurry, chickens! This is a special one-day giveaway. The winner and their charity will be announced tomorrow at 2 p.m., so keep your chicken fingers crossed…

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