PILLOW STALK Release Day! by Diane Vallere

PILLOW STALK Release Day! by Diane Vallere

PILLOW STALKOn the day of PILLOW STALK’s book birthday, fabulously talented author Diane Vallere chats with us about her career in fashion, writing three different mystery series at once, and her recent promotion to president of SinCLA.

In addition to the Mad for Mod Mystery Series, you also write three other mystery series. You are a one-woman dynamo! How do you keep so many characters in your head at once (without going crazy)?

It is a challenge! But truthfully, each set of characters is inspired by something: a movie, a decade, a time in my life. When I’m working on a book, I try to root myself in the things that inspired that particular set of characters. I do occasionally catch myself putting actions that one character would do in another character’s books. That’s when I have to say, “Madison would never do that. That’s Samantha.” And rewrite.

You recently became President of the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinCLA). Congratulations!! What exciting things do you have planned for this year?  [Read more...]

PIRATE VISHNU’s Book Birthday!!

PIRATE VISHNUNewly Agatha-nominated Gigi Pandian celebrates her PIRATE VISHNU book release by giving valuable advice to debut authors, chatting with us about her overseas NaNoWriMo experiences (and making us completely jealous with pictures of her travels!)

Jaya Jones is quickly becoming everyone’s favorite treasure hunter! And congratulations on your recent Agatha nomination for Best Short Story, what an accomplishment. How did you celebrate?

Thank you! It’s especially exciting to have this particular story, “The Hindi Houdini,” nominated, because it features Sanjay from the Jaya Jones series – making it a double Jaya Jones celebration this week!

I haven’t yet had a chance to celebrate properly. The day I received the phone call about the Agatha nomination, I was in the throes of finishing a book that was due that week. Even before the call came in, it was already a surreal day. I was so close to finishing the novel that I was surrounded by notebooks full of scribbled notes, printouts of critique reader notes, dog-eared research books, and empty coffee mugs. My husband and I toasted that night, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with readers at upcoming book events.

With your second book officially released, what advice can you give to debut authors? And what makes this release different from the first?

My biggest piece of advice to debut authors is to remember to have fun. Publishing is a crazy business, and it’s not worth it to worry about things that are beyond your control. You have control over writing a great book, so once you’ve poured your heart and soul into your debut novel, definitely take time to sit back and enjoy what you’ve accomplished. (And then get back to work on the next book!)

The biggest difference between the first and second book releases is that now I have readers who are actively looking forward to reading the new book. It’s a lot of fun to hear from readers.

We loved looking at all of your NaNoWriMo pictures from your trip abroad! Is PIRATE VISHNU your NaNoWriMo novel?

Mont-St-Michel-storm-by-Gigi-Pandian-webres-textBoth ARTIFACT and PIRATE VISHNU are NaNoWriMo novels. Before I had a publishing contract and “real” deadlines to meet, National Novel Writing Month was the way for me to learn to write to a deadline. If it hadn’t been for that challenge, I would never have completed a novel.

It’s tempting to revise as you go along, but when you’re a beginning writer, it’s far too easy to get stuck in the middle of a novel and never reach the end. No matter how bad your first draft is, once it’s complete, you can go back and revise it. It’s a system I love so much that I continue to write new novels with NaNoWiMo.

Part of PIRATE VISHNU takes place in India, and I understand you traveled there before writing it. Did the trip change your original story idea?

India-2010-Gigi-Pa-Kanyakumari-webres-textMy dad is from India, and I’ve traveled there several times. It was on my most recent trip in 2010 that I came up with a key plot twist in PIRATE VISHNU. I had already written a rough draft of the book, but it was lacking the twists and turns of ARTIFACT. When my dad and I were traveling up the western coast of Kerala, from the southern tip of India to Fort Kochi, the plot fell into place.

What cool tidbits from your overseas trip didn’t get a mention in the novel?

India is such a vibrant country that I’m going to answer this question in pictures: India-2010-Gigi-in-Fort-Cochin-outside-Dutch-Cemetery-webresIndia-2010-Elephant-walking-down-highway-Gigi-Pandian-webresIndia-2010-Madurai-temple-west-tower-closeup-Gigi-Pandian-webres

India-2010-boaters-through-trees-Gigi-Pandian-webres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please tell us about your current projects. Are there more Jaya Jones adventures in the future?

France-2013-Nantes-Gigi-w-elephant-webres-textRight now I’m working on the next book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series. I’m still calling it “Jaya Book 3” because it doesn’t yet have a title – if anyone out there has any great ideas, please let me know! The story takes Jaya and Lane from San Francisco to Paris to Mont St. Michel and involves an art heist, the French Revolution, and, of course, a treasure hunt!

I’m also writing a new mystery series, beginning with THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST, about a female alchemist and her impish gargoyle sidekick who was accidentally brought to life by a French stage magician. Like the Jaya Jones books, this new series involves a lot of fascinating true history and a sense of adventure.

I’m discovering that writing two different series is helping me keep my ideas fresh. My characters have a way of taking on lives of their own, and my new writing schedule gives them time to figure out what their next adventures will be.

A Fresh New Design! PILLOW STALK by Diane Vallere

Capri Pants & Bubble Hats!

PILLOW STALKNo one knows 60′s mod quite like Madison Night, and no one else makes it look so good. PILLOW STALK is a fun and trendy mystery, one to make Doris Day proud. The first in Diane Vallere’s Mad for Mod Mystery series will be decorating bookshelves March 4, 2014.

Interior Decorator Madison Night has modeled her life after a character in a Doris Day movie, but when a killer targets women dressed like the bubbly actress, Madison’s signature sixties style places her in the middle of a homicide investigation.

The local detective connects the new crimes to a twenty-year old cold case, and Madison’s long-trusted contractor emerges as the leading suspect. As the body count piles up like a stack of plush pillows, Madison uncovers a Soviet spy, a campaign to destroy all Doris Day movies, and six minutes of film that will change her life forever.

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 Diane.  We’d love to hear from you.

Cheers!

Hen House Staff

 

Book Release Day! ARTIFACT by Gigi Pandian

ARTIFACTJoining us today is Gigi Pandian, author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries and the fabulous newest addition to the Hen House family. Stay tuned as she talks self-publishing, travelling, working with Henery, and everything in between.

Henery: After your agent pitched your manuscript tirelessly to publishing houses, you finally decided to publish ARTIFACT yourself.  Now that you’ve re-released ARTIFACT with Henery, what are the benefits of publishing with a publishing company vs self-publishing?

Gigi: Self-publishing is so much work if you want to do it right. I could probably write a book on the subject at this point, but I’ll be brief here. (I’ve taught some workshops on the subject plus written blog posts and articles about it, so if you’re interested in reading more, you can start here: http://gigipandian.blogspot.com/2012/07/5-things-you-really-need-to-know-before.html.)

With self-publishing, the author has all the control. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. You can publish your writing exactly as you envision it and on your own schedule, but you’re also responsible for everything that goes on behind the scenes with publishing a book. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be, but also a wonderful learning experience about the publishing industry. It’s still an uphill battle to get noticed in a crowded marketplace, but because I had a good book and put in the work, I was able to find success.

However, it was difficult for me to spend so much of my mental energy on the technical aspects of publishing. I got into writing because I wanted to be a writer, not a publisher. I’m lucky that my agent was supportive of my decision to self-publish after we’d come so close to book deals; she believed in Artifact and wanted to see it out in the world. And now I’m happy I’m in such good hands at Henery Press. They take care of all of the back-end publishing details I didn’t like dealing with, plus a lot more that I was never able to do myself. The best part? Now I have time to focus on writing!

1985 Gigi with a bagpiper by Loch Ness Scotland - webres cropHenery: You seem to draw several aspects of ARTIFACT from your own life, such as your anthropologist parents, your advanced studies, and your time in England, Scotland, and India. How much of the story would you say actually comes from your own life experiences and how closely do you relate to Jaya?

Gigi: When I was a kid traveling with my mom on her research trips to Europe, I would make up adventure stories based on the cool locations we’d visit, like Loch Ness in Scotland. Those travels made an impression on me and made me want to write adventurous mysteries set in foreign countries — though unlike Jaya’s adventure in Artifact, I’ve never found any jewel-encrusted treasures in real life.

I’m not Jaya, but we do share some things in common. We both come from two worlds, with one American parent and one parent from India. But Jaya was born in India, has more of a tragic past, and is more pragmatic and scholarly than I am — which leads to your next question.

Henery: Like Jaya, you were working toward your PhD, but you decided to leave education and write mysteries instead. It must take a lot of courage and bravery to make such an adjustment. What made you come to that decision?

Gigi: When I left my PhD program, I didn’t actually have a plan! I only knew that I wasn’t enjoying academic research, so I knew I didn’t want to spend my life doing it. Without a job or a plan of any kind, I packed my belongings into my car (everything fit except for my books, which I had to ship) and moved to a town I’d fallen in love with one summer during college. I got a part-time job at a non-profit organization I loved, began taking art school courses, and started tinkering with writing a novel.

Henery: You’ve accomplished so much since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. You’re now a published mystery author and spend your time working for a non-profit organization. Were you able to continue writing during treatments or did you have to put writing on hold during that time?

Gigi: It was the month following my 36th birthday when I received my diagnosis. Not something I expected! But I’m not good at feeling sorry for myself or being bored, so when my immune system was shot during chemotherapy treatments I worked from home. I also needed something to do in my free time while I was tired and trapped at home. During my year of treatments, I gave myself the project of self-publishing Artifact so I’d have something positive to focus on. I also wrote a draft of a novel during National Novel Writing Month that year. I got the words down on paper, but my style wasn’t quite the same as usual, so that book needs a lot of rewriting. (And no, I’m not super-human. I just have the world’s greatest husband, parents, and friends, all of whom who helped out a lot!)

Henery: Since your recovery, you’ve blogged about living your life fully and adventurously. What are some of your favorite places you’ve been or things you’ve done? Or what do you hope other people reading your blog will take away from it?

Gigi: Life is uncertain for all of us, so I hope by sharing my journey that I can inspire people to follow their dreams. If you ever wanted to write a novel or go on your dream vacation “someday,” do it today.

I used to travel a lot when I was younger — the youth hostel/backpacking type of thing. But after getting caught up in a career, I didn’t travel as much. Cancer made me reevaluate my priorities. In the past year I’ve traveled to London, Lisbon, Paris, and Prague. Great writing material for future adventures for Jaya…

It’s gratifying to be contacted by other women who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, who’ve thanked me for sharing my experiences — the good and the bad. One experience that sums up the good and the bad wrapped up in one is when my amazing writers group threw a party to take me wig shopping. They picked out fun wigs for me, making the experience of losing my hair less scary and rather fun.

Henery: So you’ve told us your fav book is Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters. What draws you to this particular book?

Gigi: There are so many mystery novelists who credit Elizabeth Peters with inspiring them to write mysteries. I’m one of them. She writes clever puzzle plots in a humorous voice, featuring brilliant female heroines who go on exciting adventures with a touch of romance. It’s been one of the biggest thrills of my publishing journey that so many reviewers are comparing Artifact to an Elizabeth Peters novel. It was another thrill to meet Elizabeth Peters (real name Barbara Mertz) in person at the Malice Domestic mystery convention last year.

Gigi Pandian and Elizabeth Peters Malice 2012 - webres squareGigi Pandian with Elizabeth Peters signing Malice 2012 webresBorrower of the Night is the first book in Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss mystery series. It’s an adventure that takes Midwestern history professor Vicky Bliss to a German castle on a quest for a lost historical item. If you enjoy reading Artifact, you’ll love Borrower of the Night and the rest of the Vicky Bliss series.

Sign up for Gigi’s email newsletter to receive a free, exclusive Halloween-themed short story in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series this October: http://gigipandian.com/newsletter/.

And don’t forget to add ARTIFACT to your bookshelf today!  AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, KOBO

Blogroll: CRIMINALELEMENT.COM

Fresh Meat: Artifact by Gigi Pandian

ARTIFACTArtifact by Gigi Pandian is a traditional mystery debut and the first in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt series, in which a historian’s led by a jewel-encrusted Indian artifact to a Scottish legend of lost treasure. (available August 6, 2013).

With Artifact we meet the lively Miss Jaya Jones, a study in contrasts. She’s a distinguished professor who loves to wear stilettos to heighten her five-foot frame, studies trade routes and military skirmishes of the British East India Company, plays the tabla drum in a local restaurant two nights a week, lives in a small apartment above her eccentric landlady, and eats like a stevedore.

I think she must look somewhat like an ant when carrying the tabla case over her shoulder. Like most mystery heroines, however, there’s more to Jaya than meets the eye. I really liked her. She’s ambitious and doesn’t allow something as tedious as danger keep her from finding what she’s seeking.

Pandian brings us into the story at midnight. Not only does this add to the sinister atmosphere, it makes for a great exchange between Jaya and Nadia, her landlady. [Read more...]

Blogroll: Mystery Writing is Murder

Using Pinterest for Pinspiration

BS-pic

When I first heard of Pinterest, I wanted to cry. Another social networking site to use, learn, master? Can’t be done. It’s asking too much of me.

I can barely handle Twitter and Goodreads, and I’m not on the Facebook or Google Plus, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, StatWatch. (I made that last one up.) However, someone kindly took the time to show me what Pinterest truly was, and once I figured it out, and how it worked for me, I was hooked.

Pinterest is a way to organize all those beautiful pictures you see every day, from the delicious torte you’d love to make (but never will) to the beach you’d love to visit (and hopefully will). And for us creative types, it’s a visual playground of inspiration. In one weekend, I created boards for different aspects of my protagonist’s world. While Elliott Lisbon comes to life on the printed page, she’s viewed in vibrant color on the Pinterest page. [Read more...]

Blogroll: dru’s book musings

A Day in the Life of Elliott Lisbon by Kendel Lynn

BOARD STIFFThe patio of the Ballantyne Foundation manse overlooks seventy-five acres of lush Sea Pine Island landscape. Majestic oaks draped in Spanish moss mingled with sweet blooming magnolias, winding amongst tennis courts, croquet lawns, formal gardens, and a sparkling pool not ten feet from my chair.

I took a slow drink of lemonade, trying to make my five minute break feel like ten. It had already been a hectic day, though as director of the Ballantyne Foundation, I’d yet to encounter a day that wasn’t.

“Oh, Elli, what am I to do?” Zibby Archibald, the Ballantyne Foundation’s oldest board member, and truly the most interesting, teetered across the patio and plopped into the chair across from me. “Someone stole my piñata. Right from my house!”

I tried to hide my dismay, lest I start a piñata panic. A missing paper party accessory isn’t usually cause for panic, but our Cinco de Mayo celebration was in five hours, and Zibby’s piñata was the showpiece.

“Start at the beginning,” I said as I passed her an icy glass of fresh lemonade.

“I went inside to get my good tweezers. There was a sticky sliver of wood on my sledgehammer and it kept poking my palm. Thought I better pluck it out before I finished beating the hook for the pig’s hat.” [Read more...]

Blogroll: CRIMINALELEMENT.COM – Fresh Meat: Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn

Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn is the first book in the Elliott Lisbon humorous mystery series (available April 30, 2013).

BOARD STIFFAs director of the prestigious Ballantyne Foundation, Elliott Lisbon has her hands full. Not only is it her job to plan fundraisers and vet grant applicants, but the Ballantynes also expect her to fill their shoes as hosts whenever they’re away—a task that is often much trickier than it sounds:

Tod was helping me man the Bash in the absence of the Ballantynes, who were on safari in India. Or maybe it was mountain climbing in Pakistan. They entrusted me with their life’s work while away doing more life’s work. Tonight that included acting as one part host and one part referee.“So what’s up? Is Mr. Abercorn dancing naked on the tables again?”

“Not quite,” Tod said. “You have three fires to put out, though Jane is more of a firestorm of seething lava and flaming fireballs.”

“Don’t be so melodramatic.” I glanced at my watch. It was already past eleven, dreadfully late for a party that started at five. How did I miss seeing Nick Ransom for the last six hours? My lips tingled at the thought of him being so close. Traitors.

Tod snapped his fingers. “Hello, Elliott?”

“Right, melodramatic. Things can’t be that terrible, can they?”

“Jane is beheading board members, Mr. Colbert is serving guests from the canapés stuffed in his pockets, and Mrs. Kramer is singing with the band.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad.”

“They’re in the men’s room.”

Elliott’s also assigned with helping board members solve certain kinds of problems—ones police or press involvement would only serve to complicate. This part of the job is usually a piece of cake for Elliott; she does have a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, after all, and is in the process of becoming a licensed PI, to boot. But Sam Spade, she’s not (at least not yet), so when the Ballantynes task her with solving the murder of eccentric board member Leo Hirschorn and exonerating prime suspect (and board chairwoman) Jane Hatting, she understandably balks at the request:

“About Jane,” Mr. Ballantyne continued. “I’m going to need your help sorting things out with the police.”“How can you possibly know about Jane? I heard not ten minutes ago.”

“The chief phoned me this morning, and I’ve just hung up with Jane. She assures me she has nothing to do with Leo’s murder, nothing at all, Elli, and I believe her. I need you on this one; I’m counting on your expertise. You’ve helped many a donor out of a pickle before, you can do it again!”

“But Mr. Ballantyne, this is a murder. I’m afraid I don’t have much expertise with those.” As I protested, my mind raced. I grabbed my notebook and started listing questions from yesterday’s excursion to Leo’s house: Why the mess? Where was Bebe?

“You can do it, my girl! Clear your plate. This is your top priority, your top priority, Elli. We owe Leo and we owe our Jane. I know you won’t disappoint me!”

I scribbled as we spoke: Police suspect Jane. Why? “I suppose I could poke around a bit. I don’t have any other inquiries at the moment.” How much harder could this be? A stolen golf cart, a missing brooch, a man shoved into a clock…My heart sank a bit as I thought of Leo. He definitely deserved better.

The Ballantynes have every faith Elliott can accomplish the task at hand, but Elliott suspects Leo’s murder will be more difficult to solve than the other cases she’s tackled. And as it turns out, she’s right. Her “client” is less than cooperative:

“Hi, Jane, it’s Elliott. Do you have a minute?”“No, Elliott, I don’t.”

“Great. I spent the afternoon with Leo’s neighbors. It seems you neglected to mention you were at Leo’s house the night of the murder.”

“Are you still pretending to be an investigator? I’m going to talk to Edward. You have too much time on your hands.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“You didn’t ask one, Nancy Drew. Care to try again? I should warn you, I may hang up at any time.”

I spoke slowly. “Jane. Why didn’t you tell me. You were at Leo’s. On Saturday. After the party?”

“Because I wasn’t there. If you’ll excuse me—”

“No, I won’t excuse you. Leo’s neighbor saw you, Jane. Saw. You. Black Sebring, scarf in your hair, speeding away from the murder scene. A witness.”

“That’s ridiculous. That police detective tried to pull this same stunt at the station. The neighbor is obviously lying. I wasn’t there. Period.”

“Then where were you?”

“Look, Elliott, I’m not interested in playing this game with you.”

“It’s not a game. I’m trying to help you. I’m the only person trying to help you.”

“You’ll have to try harder than this,” she said and hung up on me.

The local police force—of which her ex-boyfriend is a member—seems determined to freeze Elliott out:

“Now, if you’ve finished mocking me, I’d like to get back to work.”He slowly picked up his jacket. “I’m not mocking you, Elliott. I’m serious. This investigation doesn’t concern you.”

“Have you not been listening? Of course it concerns me. You are questioning one board member about the murder of another. This isn’t a job, Ransom, it’s my life. The Ballantynes treat me like a daughter; they’re my only family. They were there for me when my parents died. You left. They were all I had. I won’t let you shred their reputation while you witch hunt my board. Besides, your chief called my chief last night.” I stabbed his chest with my finger. Twice. “I’m in this.”

Ransom stepped forward, his jaw tight. “What did you say?”

“Mr. Ballantyne asked me to find out who killed Leo Hirschorn and I’m going to.” So maybe not exactly what Mr. Ballantyne asked, I thought, but close enough. The extra investigation hours could go toward my PI license, and that also helped the Ballantynes. “I don’t answer to you. We’ve always had the cooperation of the Sea Pine Police, and based on my phone call, this won’t be any different.”

“It will be on my terms,” he said, an edge in his voice.

“If you’d like to think that, have at it. Now, when I said afternoons spent by the pool, I didn’t mean me. I have a job.” I walked along the path by the garden toward the front. “I really liked Lieutenant Sully,” I muttered.

“Maybe you’ll like me, too,” he said over my shoulder. “Just stay out of my way and we’ll be fine.”

“You do the same, Lieutenant.”

Her love life is in shambles (which proves more than a little distracting):

I placed my palm on his chest to push him back. I met a warm brick wall covered in silk. “Stop. We’re not doing this here.”“Doing what?” Matty asked, walking up to us. I dropped my hand, startled. “Hey Matty.”

Ransom remained two inches from me, but stretched out his hand to Matty. “Lieutenant Nick Ransom, Island Police Department, former Special Agent FBI. Ex-boyfriend and new neighbor of Red’s.”

“Mattias Gannon, Headmaster of Seabrook Prep,” Matty said. “And a very close friend of Elli’s.”

They shook hands. They held on too long. The men were nearly the same height and their eyes locked together tighter than their hands. Seconds ticked by, then they finally released.

“Well, I’m glad we cleared that up,” I said.

It was kind of interesting, actually. To see men stripped down to their natural competitive instincts. Both vying for the top prize. Which I think was me in this bizarre scenario, considering neither man actually wanted me. Matty and I weren’t even dating and Ransom had a girlfriend.

I put my hand on Matty’s arm. “We should be getting back.” I wanted to get out of there before the tension swallowed me whole.

Ransom tipped his head. “Of course. Have a good night.”

I felt his eyes searing into my backside as I steered Matty through the lobby and over to our table. The waiter had delivered fresh pots of coffee and slices of pineapple upside-down cake while we were gone. A perfectly centered pineapple ring and cherry topped each one. Pete and Kyra had already finished; only crumbs remained on their pale blue saucers.

“You failed to mention your new neighbor is your ex-boyfriend,” Matty said. He chopped off a slice of his cake, but didn’t eat it.

“He’s not my ex-boyfriend, Matty. We spent one night together. Maybe five. Well, not like the whole night, every night. We kissed, made out, rounded a few bases.” Jesus, Elliott, what are you saying? I stuffed a piece of cake in my mouth.

Matty wouldn’t even look at me. I felt my cheeks pink up.

Which made me think of Ransom, which made them pink up another shade. Five more minutes and my head would explode.

“What did you mean by ‘we’re not doing this here’?”

“I didn’t mean anything, Matty. He’s probably on a date for Pete’s sake.”

“You’re on a date for Pete’s sake.”

A date? The stomach slivers returned. How did I miss that signal?

And then there are the other assorted and sundry hiccups she encounters over the course of her inquest:

I went to grab my handbag from the dining room and noticed it sat on a massive glob of puff paint. The entire back side was soaked in blue and stuck to the table. Like dried macaroni on a pencil cup. With a solid yank, the purse came loose but my elbow cracked into the Cookie Corral. It toppled to the floor, hitting the wall on its way down.Holy shit and OH MY GOD.

Dust floated everywhere and covered everything. The carpet, the drapes, the table, the wall. I started to choke. Air and sound battled for release. Breathe or scream? Breathe or scream? Panic crept from my toes to my fingertips. I stared at a large broken shard covered in Leo dust.

My fingers shook. I couldn’t think and I couldn’t look away.

The dust on the floor wasn’t dust. It was Leo. Literally Leo.

Ten seconds slid by, then twenty. I stared in horror, torn between doing the right thing and the wrong thing. Only I had no idea which was the right thing and which was the wrong. Other than Bebe simply could not find out about this. Nor could Mr. Ballantyne. Or any person I ever met, saw, or even thought about.

When it comes right down to it, though, the Ballantynes were right to put their faith in Elliott. Elliott’s not just a charity director or a social host or a disastrous dater or a fledgling private eye—she’s all of these things. Elliott Lisbon is a Renaissance woman, dammit, and that makes her uniquely suited for the task at hand. Renaissance women know how to throw good parties, but as it turns out, they’re also perfectly capable of catching cold-blooded killers; it simply takes determination and a little chutzpah—two things the Ballantyne Foundation’s director has in spades.

For more information, or to buy a copy, visit:

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Agatha Noms Due Soon

Agatha Noms Due Soon

For those who registered early for Malice Domestic, January means its nomination time. Those Hollywood Oscar folks aren’t the only ones who get to have all the fun…

Malice attendees have the opportunity to spotlight the best and brightest in mystery writing by nominating favorites for Agatha Awards. This year, Henery Press has several eligible titles, and we’re proud as a peacock to be able to share them with you.

 Best First Novel:

** Diners, Dives & Dead Ends by Terri L. Austin (July 2012)

** Portrait of a Dead Guy by Larissa Hoffman (August 2012)

** Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer (September 2012)

 Best Novel:

** Cropped to Death by Christina Freeburn

 Best Short Story:

** Switch Back by Kendel Lynn (December 2012)

** Fool’s Gold by Gigi Pandian (December 2012)

** Midnight Ice by Diane Vallere (December 2012)

(Note: All three shorts were featured in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE, and qualify individually in the Best Short Story category.)

We’ve been lucky little chickens to have such charming, funny, crafty, twisty, mysterious whodunits in the Hen House, and truly appreciate the support the community has shown us. We’re so looking forward to attending Malice Domestic in May, and hope to meet you there!

Blogroll: Library Journal review of OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE

Mystery Reviews | December 2012

by Teresa L. Jacobsen on December 11, 2012

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Lynn, Kendel & others. Other People’s Baggage: Three Interconnected Mystery Novellas. Henery Pr. Dec. 2012. 272p. ISBN 9781938383106. pap. $14.95. M

Three novellas are built around the premise that a major airport snafu resulted in each protagonist picking up the wrong suitcase. In Diane Vallere’s “Midnight Ice,” interior decorator Madison Night (a Doris Day fan extraordinaire) gets caught up in an undercover operation dressed in Western wear that is decidedly not her norm.OTHER PEOPLE'S BAGGAGE Lynn’s “Switch Back” features a Texas town that proves less than hospitable to Eli Lisbon when she investigates a philanthropist’s murder wearing tiny black pieces that belong to another sleuth. Meanwhile, across the pond in Edinburgh, Gigi Pandian’s historian Jaya Jones (“Fool’s Gold”) is grateful for her magician friend’s help in a decidedly locked room treasure hunt case involving a stolen museum-quality chess set.

VERDICT A cozy triple-scoop that tastes divine… the pleasantly contrasting novellas make it easy to finish off a story in one sitting, plus each novella serves as a prequel to the respective author’s full-length work.

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