Fabulous Weekend at SC Book Festival!
I’m just back from the annual SC Book Festival. Wow, what a ride!
Friday, friend and fellow author, Kim Boykin, and I set up our booth. We couldn’t have asked for a better spot. We were right next to Barnes and Noble, and across from where the book signings were held after panels. Five different Master Classes were on the schedule for Friday, and all of them sounded fantastic, but Kim and I had decorating to do. Friday evening’s opening reception was held at the F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina. Oh my stars! So many of my literary heroes in one room–and a feast, and an open bar. Saturday, May 18, was officially declared Pat Conroy day AND Paula Watkins day. You may have heard of Pat Conroy–he’s published a few books. Paula Watkins is the super hero at the SC Humanities Council who has made SC Book Fest a reality for the past seven years.
Saturday, the exhibit hall opened at 10:00 am. I was bowled over when Barnes and Noble sold out of Lowcountry Boil shortly after noon–only a little over two hours into the festival. Fortunately, another super hero, Jill Hendrix, owner of Greenville’s wonderful independent bookstore, Fiction Addiction, had ordered stock for our exhibit booth. My first panel, Women of Mystery, was at 3:20. Other authors on the panel were C. Hope Clark, Sue Duffy, and Sasscer Hill. We had so much fun, and such a great turnout! And what a wonderful surprise on Sunday morning when a friend told me we had made the front page of the State newspaper Metro section! [Read more...]
The Hen House is chirping with excitement over our fun weekend at Malice Domestic. We met readers, fans, colleagues, and lots and lots of favorite authors. And oh, yeah, our very own Susan M. Boyer won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel!! Chicken kisses to Susan and her fantastic LOWCOUNTRY BOIL!! So deserved and we are so proud of you!!
For more Malice scoop, peek at the pictures posted on our Facebook page. And you might want to read through these great blogs for more details and even more cute pics.
Our feathers will stay happily ruffled for a very long time. Mystery, mayhem, and Malice is soooo enjoyable! See you next year, little chickens…
Mrs. MRM reviews Susan Boyer’s “Lowcountry Boil”
I just finished reading Susan Boyer’s Lowcountry Boil, and I am experiencing a severe case of PBW – Post Book Withdrawal! I haven’t had as much time for reading as I would like recently, but this book made me want to steal every minute possible to read. I was a bit hesitant at first as I am not usually a big fan of paranormal story lines, but the depth of characterization made every character (even the ghost) strong and relatable. Plus, if you’ve ever visited or lived in the Charleston area, you know it is almost impossible to experience the city and its barrier islands without feeling the ghosts of the past looking over your shoulder. Every time I found a minute to read, I found myself slipping into the warm sea air of Stella Maris, and I instantly felt like an island insider. In this fantastic debut, Boyer does a lovely job of maintaining tension while developing sympathetic, identifiable characters. Any small town southerner would be hard-pressed not to see someone they “know” in this book. She kept me guessing right up until the end, but in hindsight all the clues were there. It was smart, funny, and overall a very enjoyable read. I am impatiently waiting her next book and another Liz Talbot adventure!
The Low country of the South has been the setting of choice by a bunch of authors over the last ten years or so. Rich with Southern tradition and legend the area offers Dorothea Benton Frank, Katherine Wall, Mary Kay Andrews, and Carolyn Hart—among many other authors—a great setting for mystery, romance, and crazy families. Susan M. Boyer’s Lowcountry Boil adds to the genre in a very good way. A first novel, Lowcountry Boil is a lively read with both appealing characters and enough plotting to keep you guessing until the end. Hopefully Ms. Boyer will use this as a jumping off point for a series of books featuring this crew of characters. [Read more...]
Special congratulations to Susan M. Boyer on her Agatha nomination for LOWCOUNTRY BOIL in the Best First Novel category.
This post is reproduced with permission of Criminal Element. 2013 is in full swing, which means the awards are coming in for 2012’s best books. In addition to the winners of the Loveys and the nominees for the Lefties, last week we heard the announcement of the nominees for the Agatha awards, the winners of which will be announced at Malice Domestic in May.
Best First Novel:
Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown
A Scrapbook of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan
A Killer Read by Erika Chase
Faithful Unto Death by Stephanie Jaye Evans
by Chef John Malik
Are you looking for a clever murder mystery? One with a unique sense of place and enough quirky characters to make the cast of The Big Bang Theory take notice? Can you deal with a ghost as a central character? And I don’t mean a ghost in the traditional sense, one that fades in and out on a whisper and holds the same mass as the aromatic vapors of a warm chicken pot pie. Nope. This ghost comes and goes when summoned, holds conversations with a dear friend and plays an integral part in a tightly knit crime drama. If you can let yourself go long enough to enjoy the preposterousness of the ghost of a 17 -year-old sworn to protect the fictional island of Stella Maris, just north of Charleston, S.C., then you’re going to love Lowcountry Boil, the debut novel of Susan M. Boyer. [Read more...]
Ho Ho Ho! It’s a Hen House Holiday Sale on the entire Henery Press Mystery Collection thru Jan. 13th.
Save up to 80%, so load up that kindle or nook little chickens…
DINERS, DIVES & DEAD ENDS on Sale 99¢
PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY on Sale 99¢
LOWCOUNTRY BOIL on Sale 99¢
CROPPED TO DEATH on Sale 99¢
LAST DINER STANDING on Sale $2.99
OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE on Sale 99¢
Humor is in the ascendancy in Susan M. Boyer’s Lowcountry Boil. A plethora of Southern eccentrics populate this rousing tale of murder and real estate on the tiny South Carolina island of Stella Maris. After her beloved grandmother dies, PI Liz Talbot suspects murder and uses her considerable investigative skills to find out the truth. Along the way, she discovers a plot to develop the serene island for tourism, something the island’s strict zoning laws have historically forbidden.
Murder may be a serious matter, but there are guffaws galore as author Boyer treats us to some of the goofiest and most loveable characters in crime fiction. There’s Liz’s cousin Colleen, who, due to her untimely death, is now a ghost who delights in popping up at untimely moments; Liz’s mother, who believes that mayhem and heartbreak can be cured by freshening up your lipstick; Liz’s shotgun-toting daddy; her brother, the perpetually perplexed police chief; and last, but certainly not least, Chumley, a drooling basset hound.
Twisted humor has long been a tradition in Southern literature (maybe it’s the heat and humidity), and Boyer delivers it with both barrels. In lesser hands, all the hijinks could be distracting, but not in Lowcountry Boil. Boyer’s voice is so perky that no matter what looney mayhem her characters commit, we happily dive in with them. An original and delightful read.