Enjoy some Mayhem & Magic!
Our blog is meant to evoke fun with the magic of myths, folklore, movies and the mayhem of murder and madness. We have to keep it interesting so if you like different genres of movies and books then you're at the right blog. Our authors are a wide range of experts and our readers know what is top of the line in their favorite genres. Sometimes we post recipes that might be fun to try if a culinary author has one in her book that we think is especially yummy or one that Terri and I have created and want to share with you. Enjoy Guest Blogger Alice Duncan's monthly muse on her books and writing mysteries.
Plus you won't want to miss our book reviews, author interviews or our guest bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage then join us for some magic and mayhem! The good news is that you don't have to leave the house or your comfy chair. We have something for everyone's taste and every month we have a different topic for our bloggers: ones we feel that might be useful in your own writing and reader points of view. Not to mention, life in general. So join us and be sure to have a notebook handy as your to-be-read pile will grow as you add books, recipes, movies and t.v. series you won't want to miss. Not to mention folktales, myths or ideas you may wish to explore. Be careful what you wish for because on mayhemandmagic2 you just might find it.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Author: Linda Palmer
Publisher : Berkley Prime Crime
Morgan Tyler is the head write for Love of My Life, a daytime soap opera. When Damon Radford is found murdered after a failed attempt on his life, Morgan doesn't think things could be worse. She is dead wrong because when Damon's will is read it appears he left her the bulk of his fortune. The worst of it is he told important people (such as his mother) that he was going to marry Morgan. There are two problems with his line of reasoning...first Morgan couldn't stand Damon and second he forgot to tell Morgan he was planning on marrying her.
The worst is yet to come when someone tries to run Morgan down and then when Morgan is on a date with a charming writer they are both almost killed when someone shoots through her window. To makes matters more interesting one of the detective's assigned to investigate the murder is falling for her. Her life has now become a soap opera. With two men interested in her and Detective Matt Phoenix comes complete with a wonderful witty Aunt Penny who thinks her dead husband will return for her one day. Well you just can't write this stuff and Morgan hopes she will live long enough to get the chance to try but the problem is she stumbles across two more dead bodies and all the while trying to do her job if replacing a lot of dead people in the script, trying to keep the secrets of all the players while sorting fact from fiction on all the murder fronts....
Life is too short for such headaches and her best friend Nancy would agree with her but Morgan is determined to find out why everyone around keeps turnng up dead.
Love is Murder is absolutely wonderful and you will zip through this mystery with no hardship. I like a fun and I never knew all the balls a head writer has to go through but I am certain they are never paid enough to keep all the characters juggled to fit the plot. It's true LOVE IS MURDER and Linda Palmer pens murder with a clever cast of characters and her plots aim for the heart just watch out for the droplets of blood.
Pamela (this book gets and A) or if you 9 of 10
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Author: KATE KINGSBURY
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Pub date: November 2010
Christmas Mystery Edition
Historical Cozy Series
Cecily Sinclair Baxter, once again has been unlucky when it comes to murder. Her footman and the new maid are both dead and a murderer is afoot once again at the Pennyfoot Hotel. Where the guests at the hotel range anywhere from from honeymooners to Sir Author Conan Doyle.
While everyone is preparing for the festivties of the season and while head house maid Gertie is trying to not to miss her two children, who are away in London. They will be home in time for the Christmas Eve events someone kidnaps Cecily's best friend's baby.
If all of this isn't enough to make anyone cry then Baxter (Cecily's husband) has some holiday angst of his own and while noone can stop Father Christmas it sure seems like time is standing waiting for Cecily to catch the murderer and put Christmas to rights once again.
The questions is...Can Cecily make everything alright or will it take a higher power than her to add some Christmas Magic to the Mayhem of murder?
Still there is something about a kissing bough that puts a smile on everyone's face.
MISTLETOE AND MAYHEM by Kate Kinbgsbury is a wonderfully old fashioned murder mystery with just the right touch of suspense. One thing is for sure at the end of this mystery everything will change and maybe just maybe this is not a bad thing.
Pamela James ********* I give this book ten stars or an A
Here are some new mystery authors you might like to try.....
Christy Evans her home repair series is quite fun to read.
Juliet Blackwell let me just say she adds magic to her books. I think her auora must sparkle.
Jennie Bentley if there was ever an author who created fun chick lit mystery plots it's her and her books.
I am sure you have your own list of authors and please share them with us.
Yesterday was Presidents Day and I did read Linda Palmer's "Love Is Murder" now she is another I love but I don't think she is a new author as I seem to remember her being around for a while. I'm thinking she writes romance as well as mystery. Her mystery series revolves around soap opera stars and a soap opera and the characters are so much fun they almost leap off the page. I can see this series being turned into a movie or a series for television.
For now that is all I have to say on the world of authors, books and of course entertainment.
Friday, February 18, 2011
* denotes winner. Congratulations to all the nominees!
Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
Drive Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Mira)
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (St. Martin's Paperbacks)
Best First Novel:
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames (Berkley)
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden (Signet)
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower (Five Star/Gale)
Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill (Wildside Press)
Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff (Midnight Ink)
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (Penguin)
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: 50 Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran (Harper)
Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Stephen Doyle & David A. Crowder (For Dummies)
Have Faith in Your Kitchen by Katherine Hall Page (Orchises Press)
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Best Short Story:
"Swing Shift" by Dana Cameron, Crimes by Moonlight (Berkley)
"Size Matters" by Sheila Connolly, Thin Ice (Level Best Books)
"Volunteer of the Year" by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes: They Had it Comin' (Wildside Press)
"So Much in Common" by Mary Jane Maffini, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - Sept./Oct. 2010
"The Green Cross" by Liz Zelvin, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - August 2010
Best Children's/Young Adult:
Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (Dutton Children's)
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin)
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (Candlewick)
Virals by Kathy Reichs (Razorbill)
The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith (Atheneum)
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Why is it when we make up our minds to do something then in five minutes time we find that we are actually doing something else? This happens to me all the time. I make up my mind to write and the next thing I know I'm scrubbing the bathtub or folding laundry? I decide I am going to take the afternoon and read and before I know it I have a ton errands and chores to do and if that isn't bad enough when I do sit down to do what I am supposed to (in my case write on my mystery) then the scene I wanted to work on won't come through but while I had been spraying lysol in the trash can I had the perfect thought for said scene.
Should I go back and stand over the trash can with the can of Lysol in my hand waiting for inspiration? Should I love to a different scene but what if I'm actually not ready for to write that scene (still I suppose jotting it down can't hurt. I mean look what happened when I didn't jot down my thoughts with hand free of Lysol)??
Maybe I should start another book or story in hopes of letting the previous story purculate but do books really become finished when you start multiplying them? Can you actually write more than one book and have anything finished in a timely manner? For that matter does time matter and if you go bowling instead of writing that day does it bring bad karma on your writing career?
How bad does karma become for the writer who is easily distracted and what is the average life expectancy for an author/writer?
Are there really only so many words in us and is there really only so many plots to go around?
What if you aren't your character, don't want to become your character but you find you're acting more like her everyday? Does this make you a bad judge of character therefore a bad writer? What if your real life is so bad you want to escape into your fictional life but you find one fictional life won't cover it? Does this mean you should go back to the point (see above) and write multiple books in hopes of finishing one? Or should you just go get lost in someone else's words ie...fictional book? Especially if you can't afford thearpy or health insurance/ Maybe you should take up other creative endavors? WAIT I tried that and now have about five cross stitch projects incompleted so maybe this whole not finishing anything goes deeper? Except wait I have finished cross stitch projects reacently but really what does all of this have to do with writing a book?
Does it have more to do with karma and I admit I have no answers but I do feel that I used to NOT be a nice person and now that I am I have to wonder if I still suffering from past karma regression and will I ever have good karma again because I may die before good karma shows up in my current life.
Anyway what do you think of karma, writing and characters?
Monday, February 14, 2011
It's that time of year again with all the hearts and flowers. Personally I like a little blood on the vine, droplets on the flowers and poison in the candy. In other words I like murder with my mushy sentiment. I loved Carolyn Heart's Valentine's Day Murder, she wrote the mystery eons ago but it's still tried and true.
Don't pay any attention to me I am just not the sappy type and honestly this has so far been a very bad year. However when in Rome and all of that HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY as I know I'm in the minority when it comes to this holiday. Truth the told I probably just never really had an exceptional Valentines day to brag about and so therefore for me it's a non holiday.
What type of holiday is hard for you to warm up to and why don't you like it?
Do you have a favorite Valentine's Day Mystery?
I do remember in school decorating the Valentine's Day Bags and Boxes but even at that mine was not all that great in the decorating department but as a kid I still had fun doing them.
Maybe after I write my Christmas Mystery I will write a Valentine's Day Mystery because I think it might be fun to murder someone (on paper of course) for Valentine's Day.
Okay tell us your Valentine's story of what you dislike, love or hate about Valentine's Day?
Monday, February 7, 2011
I hope it's a good Monday morning for you today. Frank is back to work and things seem to be a little more settled down. This is good because I have missed blogging and reading other author blogs.
How about that Superbowl game yesterday? My team did not win but all in all it was a good game. Not sure I thought so much of the half time events or for that matter the commericals but the game was good.
I am hoping that this week is the turning point where I can write every day instead of just once in a while. That is to say I've been writing roughly three times a week for a few hours which for me is not regular enough.
Fatal Fixer Upper is a really good mystery that I am reading this week. My friend Terri sent me some books and I can't wait to start reading Devil May Ride by Wendy Roberts (A Ghost Duster Mystery) I've been dying to read this book. LOL
I want to thank everyone for their prayers, support, cards and gifts as I have been going through this ordeal with Frank and his health. It's nice to have friends and a support system. My friend Skye made me a beautiful card that I will cherish.
Today we reach a high of 30 and tomorrow will be even colder. I think that chicken soup is in order for tomorrow but tonight we are going to have hoagies and salad.
I finished my cross stitch project last week and started the Irish Coffee Sampler (but put it away until floss arrives) started a Hinzeit B O O K S pattern this weekend and have the B, the background etc done on the first letter and have started the background on the second letter. There is more to this pattern than you think. LOL
Okay I need coffee this morning but even if the weather is dreary remember to smile.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
The following works have been recommended for inclusion in the preliminary ballot for this year's Stoker Awards. In the coming weeks, the votes will be cast and counted, after which, the nominees will be announced.
Superior Achievement in a NOVEL
* VIPERS by Lawrence C. Connolly (Fantasist Enterprises)
* SIREN by John Everson (Leisure)
* HORNS by Joe Hill (William Morrow)
* IT CAME FROM DEL RIO by Stephen Graham Jones (Trapdoor Books)
* SPARROW ROCK by Nate Kenyon (Leisure Books)
* DESPERATE SOULS by Gregory Lamberson (Medallion Press)
* THE FRENZY WAY by Gregory Lamberson (Medallion Press)
* ROT AND RUIN by Jonathan Maberry (Simon & Schuster)
* APOCALYPSE OF THE DEAD by Joe McKinney (Pinnacle)
* EMPIRE OF SALT by Weston Ochse (Abaddon)
* DWELLER by Jeff Strand (Leisure/Dark Regions Press)
* A DARK MATTER by Peter Straub (DoubleDay)
Superior Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL
* MR. SHIVERS by Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit)
* FREEK CAMP by Steve Burt (Steve Burt Creations)
* THE MAN OF MYSTERY HILL by Tracy L. Carbone (Echelon Quake)
* BLACK AND ORANGE by Benjamin Kane Ethridge (Bad Moon Books)
* CARNIVAL OF FEAR by J.G. Faherty (Graveside Tales)
* A BOOK OF TONGUES by Gemma Files (Chizine Publications)
* AT THE END OF CHURCH STREET by Gregory Hall (Belfire Press)
* MADIGAN MINE by Kirstyn McDermott (Picador Australia)
* CASTLE OF LOS ANGELES by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press)
* SPELLBENT by Lucy Snyder (Del Rey)
Superior Achievement in LONG FICTION
* THE DOCTOR, THE KID, AND THE GHOSTS IN THE LAKE by Mort Castle (F Magazine)
* REQUIEM FOR THE BURNING GOD by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Cthulhu's Dark Cults)
* THE PAINTED DARKNESS by Brian James Freeman (Cemetery Dance)
* CHASING THE DRAGON by Nicholas Kaufmann (Chizine)
* DREAMS IN BLACK AND WHITE by John R. Little (Morning Star)
* DISSOLUTION by Lisa Mannetti (Deathwatch)
* BLEMISH by Joe McKinney (Dark Recesses #1)
* THE SAMHANACH by Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
* JADE by Gene O'Neill (Bad Moon Books)
* INVISIBLE FENCES by Norman Prentiss (Cemetery Dance)
Superior Achievement in SHORT FICTION
* THE BEHELD by Paul Bens (Dark Discoveries #160)
* RETURN TO MARIABRONN by Gary Braunbeck (Haunted Legends)
* SURPRISE! by G.O. Clark (Dark Valentine 2)
* SEMINAR Z by J. Comeau (Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology)
* THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS by Brock Cooper (The New Bedlam Project)
* THE FOLDING MAN by Joe R. Lansdale (Haunted Legends)
* 1925: A FALL RIVER HALLOWEEN by Lisa Mannetti (Shroud Magazine #10)
* SURVIVORS by Joe McKinney (Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology)
* BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN by Weston Ochse (Dark Discoveries #16)
* ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE by David Sakmyster (Horror World)
* TROOT by Margaret B. Simon (Null Immortalis)
* THE DAYS OF FLAMING MOTORCYCLES by Catherynne Valente (Dark Faith)
* FINAL DRAFT by Mark W. Worthen (Horror Library IV)
Superior Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY
* DARK FAITH edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon (Apex Publications)
* HORROR LIBRARY IV edited by R.J. Cavender and, Boyd E. Harris (Cutting Block Press)
* CTHULHU'S DARK CULTS edited by David Conyers (Chaosium)
* HAUNTED LEGENDS edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
* THE NEW DEAD edited by Christopher Golden (St. Martin's Griffin)
* BLACK WINGS edited S.T. Joshi (PS Publishing)
* EVOLVE: VAMPIRE STORIES OF THE NEW UNDEAD edited by Nancy Kilpatrick (Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing)
* NULL IMMORTALIS edited by D.F. Lewis (Megazanthus Press)
* DEAD SET: A ZOMBIE ANTHOLOGY edited by Michelle McCrary and Joe McKinney (23 House Publishing)
* SCENES FROM THE SECOND STOREY by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall (Morrigan Books)
Superior Achievement in a COLLECTION
* OCCULTATION by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
* BLOOD AND GRISTLE by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
* THIS WAY TO EGRESS by Lawrence C. Connolly (Ash-Tree Press)
* WHAT WILL COME AFTER by Scott Edelman (PS Publishing)
* FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King (Simon and Schuster)
* LITTLE THINGS by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
* A HELL OF A JOB by Michael McCarty (Damnation Books)
* A HOST OF SHADOWS by Harry Shannon (Dark Regions Press)
* FUNGUS OF THE HEART by Jeremy Shipp (Raw Dog (Screaming Press)
* HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION by Connie Corcoran Wilson (Sam's Dot)
Superior Achievement in NONFICTION
* WEIRD ENCOUNTERS by Joanne M. Austin (Sterling Publishing)
* TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS by Gary A. Braunbeck (Apex Publications)
* SHADOWS OVER FLORIDA by David Goudsward and Scott T. Goudsward (Bear Manor Media)
* THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE by Thomas Ligotti (Hippocampus Press)
* WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE by Jonathan Maberry and Janice Gable Bashman (Citadel)
* MASTERS OF IMAGINATION by Michael McCarty (Bear Manor Media)
* LISTEN TO THE ECHOES: THE RAY BRADBURY INTERVIEWS by Sam Weller (Melville House Publications)
Superior Achievement in a POETRY Collection
* DARK MATTERS by Bruce Boston (Bad Moon Books)
* LOVE CRAFT by Bryan Dietrich (Finishing Line Press)
* CHEMICKAL REACTIONS by Karen L. Newman (Naked Snake Press)
* WOOD LIFE by Rich Ristow (Snuff Books)
* WILD HUNT OF THE STARS by Ann K. Schwader (Sam's Dot)
* DIARY OF A GENTLEMAN DIABOLIST by Robin Spriggs (Anomalous Books)
* SAVAGE MENACE AND OTHER POEMS OF HORROR by Richard L. Tierney (P'rea Press)
* VICIOUS ROMANTIC by Wrath James White (Needfire Poetry)
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
This year started out with a day job. Now I’m not altogether in love with day jobs, since I have other work that I have to get done at home, but boy, I needed the money. This particular job was as legal secretary to an attorney in Roswell named Ramon Garcia. He’s a very nice person, and his wife, who got a Kindle for Christmas (and who’s a total sweetheart named Rachel) bought all my Kindle books! That, as you can well imagine, gave me a big lift. As did the money from the day job.
January was also the month PECOS VALLEY REVIVAL, book #2 in my Pecos Valley series, was released (actually, I think the actual release date is February 9, but who knows about these things). Mind you, until Five Star picked this book up, I didn’t realize there was going to be a Pecos Valley series, since the publisher for which I wrote the first book and this one got wiped out in 2005 thanks to Hurricane Wilma. But I’ve just finished writing Book #3, so I hope this month’s book does well. That’s a hint, in case you didn’t catch on. By the way, I don’t care if you read my books, but if you’d buy one or two of them, I’d really appreciate it.
Also in January, I finished putting what I thought was my entire backlist up on Kindle and Smashwords. Then I realized I forgot two books. That’s not a bad thing; it only means work, but I’ll get them formatted and uploaded eventually. Then I’ll have a whopping thirty-four books available in e-formats of various shapes and sizes. I do have two books and three novellas that aren’t available in e-formats and never will be, but that’s just the way the ball bounces. Still more magic than mayhem going on, by gum.
And then the Powers That Be at Five Star sent me the cover art for GENTEEL SPIRITS, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s fifth adventure. This is not only about the best cover I’ve ever received, but it has my very favorite line, ever, from a review of one of my books on the cover! The line is from a review of HUNGRY SPIRITS, last year’s Daisy offering, and it says (in case you can’t read it), “This entertaining series deserves to be much better known.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
As if that wasn’t enough, I got a whole box full of ARCs (advanced reading copies) of my May Mercy Allcutt mystery, FALLEN ANGELS. I love this cover, too, although it doesn’t hold a candle to the GENTEEL SPIRITS cover:
Since I have all these lovely ARCs, I’ll be giving away three of them in my monthly contest. If you’d like to enter, simply send me your name and home address at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’ll toss your name into Daisy (my winner-picking wiener dog’s) special contest doggie dish, and at the end of the month she’ll slurp up three wieners—I mean winners.
Speaking of wieners (not winners), I am at present fostering two absolutely gorgeous orphans. Bitsy is a little black-and-tan longhaired mini-dachshund, who’s just found a home with some wonderful people in Albuquerque. Hot Dog is a spectacularly handsome mini-dachshund. His coloring is technically called “wild boar.” What that means is that he’s red with an overlay of black. As you can see, he’s adorable. This picture shows him doing what he likes to do best: chew up pinecones. Never mind that there are two (count ‘em) nice, dog-friendly squeaky toys on the couch with him. He wants to make a mess. I think it’s a testosterone thing.
Also in January, a woman from a local book club asked if I could speak at the group’s next meeting, which will be held on February 2. I’m not gung-ho on speaking to groups, but they’re going to give me dinner. Whatta deal!
All of my dogs are healthy. Anni, my older daughter, now lives in Roswell and actually has a job. Robin, my younger daughter, is moving to Roswell (!), something I can’t quite get my brain around, but which makes me ecstatically happy. And Riki, my younger grandson is visiting at this very minute! I tell you, every now and then life is good.
At any rate, so far so good. If the rest of the year continues along these lines, it might be worth living!