Monday, March 29, 2010

Writers' contest; updated calendar of crime

HERE’S ANOTHER CHANCE to become published. If you have a short story, up to 5,000 words set in New England, you are eligible for a cash prize of $100 and publication in Level Best Book’s next anthology of sort crime fiction. There is no entry fee and writers can enter up to two stories. The contest is held in conjunction with the New England Crime Bake Mystery Conference where the winners will be announced. The deadline for entry is April 30 and you need not attend the conference to win. The Conference will be held November 12 -14 at the Hilton Hotel, Dedham, Mass. Details for the conference and contest can be found on the conference website.

Other mystery upcoming conferences include:

Malice Domestic 22, April 30-May 2, 2010, Arlington, VA

Crimefest, May 20-23, 2010, Bristol, England

Book Expo America, May 25-27, 2010, New York, NY

Mayhem in the Midlands, May 27-29, 2010, Omaha, NE

PSWA Conference, June 17-20, 2010, Las Vegas, NV

Thrillerfest 2010, July 7-10, New York, NY

Theakston’s Old Peculier Harrogate Crime Festival, Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK, July 22-25, 2010,

Killer Nashville Mystery and Thriller Conference, August 20-22, 2010, Franklin, TN

Writers’ Police Academy, September 24-26, Jamestown, NC

Bouchercon by the Bay, October 14-17, 2010. San Francisco, CA

NoirCon, November 4-7, 2010, Philadelphia, PA

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

“Love is Murder” – an old friend is back

LOVE IS MURDER, the Chicago mystery conference, on hiatus for the past year, will be back next February, bigger and better than ever, according to the program organizers.

It is scheduled for February 4-6 at the Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare, 5300 N. River Rd., Rosemont, Illinois, complete with its famous “Pitch-a-Palooza” where writers have the chance to pitch editors and agents. It was at a pitch session like that where I sold my first novel, Murder Most Holy, at Love is Murder a few years ago.

I’m planning on being there with End of the Line.

For more information on Love is Murder, click here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nice event by the Joice Library

MY WIFE AND I HAD a wonderful time yesterday at the Seventh Annual Author Invitational and omelet breakfast held as a fundraiser for the Joice, Iowa Public Library. There were 13 authors present ranging from Christian and inspirational, to romance, to murder (me). We met some very interesting folks, and made some nice contacts for my new novel, End of the Line, which is due out in June.


One of the attendees was Robert Kerr, a Des Moines area school psychologist, who wrote an interesting book, Completely Restored, in which a new homeowner is taken back in time to the year the old house he was restoring was built. Seated next to me was Valerie Lackore (above), a writer from Forest City, Iowa whose book, Trials to Triumphs, is the inspirational story of her son’s more than 50 laser surgeries.

One of the most interesting authors was Carson Ode who, with his wife, traveled through all 99 counties in Iowa and documented, in words and photos, what living in Iowa is really like. His book was so spectacular I’ve included a link to it in my “Recommended Books” section in the right column. Cover below:


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Joice (Iowa) Library Event

THIS SATURDAY (March 13) I’ll be at the 22nd Annual Omelet Breakfast and 7th Annual Author Invitational for the Joice Public Library. The event will be held at Bethany Lutheran Church from 7 to 11 a.m. There will be 14 other Iowa and Minnesota authors there all signing their books, including Des Moines romance author Maggie Rivers.

This is a breakfast and fundraiser for the library. The church is at State and Franke, about a block south of the library. I will have copies of Murder Most Holy for sale and autograph as well as information on the upcoming End of the Line.

If you are in the area, please stop by. It sounds like a fun and relaxed time.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mama Lacona’s 1957-2010

LAST NIGHT MY WIFE AND I had our last dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Mama Lacona’s. It was our last meal there because Mama Lacona’s closed at the end of business Sunday. It was a sad end, not due to lack of business or poor management, but government bureaucracy. It seems that Mama Lacona’s grease traps did not meet EPA standards, and the cost of upgrading was prohibitive to the restaurant’s owners. Thus, rather than bend a rule, a long-time, stable, and locally-owned family business was forced to close. To top it off, 30 employees of Mama Lacona’s are today out of work. Chalk one up for the bureaucrats. Mama Lacona’s RIP.