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#Fridayreads – Some Suggestions From Bouchercon

Posted by mcm0704 on November 8, 2019 |

One of the perks of attending Bouchercon was getting tickets to select four free books from the book bazaar. I was delighted to see books from some authors I’ve enjoyed reading in the past, especially Timothy Hallinan. We’ve been virtual friends for some time, and I’ve read and enjoyed many of his books. It’s hard to say whether I like the Poke Rafferty series over Junior Bender, but I do have to say there’s something intriguing about a protagonist who’s a burglar. I picked these four up on my first day of the conference and look forward to reading them. All solid reads from top-notch writers. IMHO

Another special treat at Bouchercon was meeting many authors there who had debut books. It took me back to the days when I was a young, eager new author with my first book – oh so many years ago. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of that first publication – that first validation – that makes smiles a little wider and eyes a little brighter.

There was a debut author’s breakfast on Saturday morning, where authors were given a few minutes to introduce themselves and talk about their book. I was impressed with the stories, as well as the confident presentations. If the authors were nervous they hid it well.

I came late to the breakfast, so I only heard a few of the thirty authors speak, and while all were good, I was particularly impressed by Patricia Shannae Smith and her book Remember. Published by Angora/Polis, it’s the story of Portia Willows, a girl who struggles with severe social anxiety disorder.

Portia Willows was a senior in high school in Los Angeles when her world fell apart. While dealing with the aftermath of the accident that took the lives of her mother and sister, she finds herself forced to face her own memory―which may not be quite what it seems. But Portia suffers from severe social anxiety disorder that prevented her from having any sort of life, while her little sister, Piper, was her best, and only, friend.

What impressed me the most about the author was her journey from living with  depression, cutting, eating disorders, and addiction, and her final decision to deal with those problems and come out whole again. In her Amazon bio Patricia says, “writing is not what I do, it’s who I am”. I first heard those words over forty years ago from another writer, and they have always stuck with me.

I hope Patricia continues to stay clean and sober and continues to write. Her book is high on my wish list.

August Norman was the next author to speak about his book Come and Get Me: A Caitlin Bergman Novel from Crooked Lane Press. His publisher discounted the e-book to $1.99 for Bouchercon, and continued the sale until today. Don’t miss your chance to get the book. Hurry over, I’ll wait until you get back.

When award-winning journalist Caitlin Bergman is invited back to campus to receive an honorary degree, she finds an opportunity for a well-earned victory lap—and a chance to face the trauma that almost destroyed her as an undergrad. But her lap becomes an all-out race when a student begs her to probe an unsolved campus disappearance: Angela Chapman went out one Friday night and never came back.

To find the missing woman, Caitlin must join forces with a local police detective and the department that botched her own case so long ago. But while Caitlin follows the clues behind Angela’s disappearance, someone else is following her…

I didn’t resist the chance to get the book at a low price, as I could relate to Caitlin on many levels, as a journalist, a sexual-assault survivor, and one other that I probably shouldn’t mention. 🙂

I’m so glad I bought the book. It is so well-written, with great characters, fresh and descriptive language, and a most interesting intersection of crimes, past and present. I’m about half-way through the read, and I’m finding it hard to stop so I can get on with other things in my life, like writing and maybe doing that laundry from the conference that is still sitting on my closet floor.

The final book I want to recommend is an anthology, The Killer Wore Cranberry, in which I’m thrilled to have a story, No Starch in the Turkey. No, it wasn’t featured at Bouchercon, but the publisher has put the entire Thanksgiving mystery series  on sale! Save 30% off all ebooks  now through the end of November at store.untreedreads.com or at DriveThruFiction.com. Save 15% off paperbacks from the UntreedReads site, or pick up the specially-priced bundle of books 3-5 for even more savings.  http://store.untreedreads.com

Just when you thought it was safe to head to the table for Thanksgiving feasting, the Killer Wore Cranberry series is back with a fifth course of pure chaos!

The Killer Wore Cranberry has been acclaimed worldwide for its wicked combination of humor and Thanksgiving-themed mysteries, and this year’s installment is sure to carry on everyone’s new, favorite holiday tradition.

This year’s contributions come from 14 of today’s best and brightest short mystery authors that could be seated at one dinner table: Barbara Metzger, Arthur Carey, Earl Staggs, KM Rockwood, Herschel Cozine, Kelley Lortz, Bobbi A. Chukran, Lesley A. Diehl, Albert Tucher, Maryann Miller, Liz Milliron, Terrance V. Mc Arthur, Betsy Bitner and DG Critchley. And, back by popular demand, Lisa Wagner provides delicious recipes, proving that murder and mystery work best on a full stomach. 

It was great fun to write for the anthology, and I’m honored to be included with these other authors who have written some laugh-out-loud stories.

That’s all for me folks. I should be back on Monday. Until then I plan a fairly quiet weekend. How about you? Whatever your plans, be safe, be happy.

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