Have I ever mentioned how much I love Sisters in Crime? In a few weeks, I’m headed down to Southern California for the California Crime Writers Conference, put on by the local chapter of Sisters in Crime there. But today I had the great pleasure of attending the NorCal Chapter’s Spring Showcase event at Orinda Books in beautiful Orinda. For those that haven’t had the opportunity to attend a Showcase, let me explain. Twice a year, “Sisters” and “Misters” who have had works published in the previous six months read excerpts from their new darlings. And today we had one heck of a lineup of talent.
Susan Shea, our wonderful MC, started off the event with a raffle, which, as usual, I did not win. Sigh. Congratulations to those who did, though! And how did I miss mentioning the goodies in the pot luck? There was wine, champagne, water, and soda; cookies, chocolate, crackers, cheese, salami, fruit… OMG I could go on for a long time about the spread.
First up was the team of Bette and J.J. Lamb, reading from their latest in the Gina Mazzio’s medical thriller series, Bone Pit. I’ve enjoyed the previous books in the series, and I can’t wait to get into this one! And rumor has it that there’s a fourth in the series in the works. http://www.bettelamb.com or http://www.jjlamb.com
Linda Howe Steiger was up next with her debut novel, Fog. I was completely engaged in the opening scene, a description of the Bay Area fog and then sent swirling into the investigation of a murder and molestation and the controversy of the death penalty.
Death of a Clown, by Heather Haven, was the next excerpt we heard. Murder under the Big Top – which Heather swears has never really happened…that she knows about. Her description of protagonist’s aerial work was so good, it was obvious that she has some insider’s knowledge. Anyone who has ever dreamed about running away with the circus had better get a hold of this book (and let me know, after reading it, if running away is still your dream).
A 13th century mystery was up next: Priscilla Royal’s Sanctity of Hate. I was thoroughly intrigued by her description of the story and the excerpt she read. When a dead body shows up, no one wants to think that their closest neighbors and friends could be the killer. Much easier to blame it on the newcomers…
Our beloved “Mister” in Crime, Jim Guigli, read next from Bad News for a Ghost. This story takes place in Old Sacramento and follows a PI who is hired by a news personality to find a ghost. The excerpt Jim read about a publicity stunt by the news caster had me wanting to hear more. Taunting a ghost never ends well….
Our next three authors read from their short stories that were published in Fishnets: The Second Guppy Anthology. Helen Stavropoulos’s reading from her story, The White Flip-Flop had me wondering if I’d mistakenly gone into a Romance Writer’s reading. Oh my! And when Mysti Berry and Gigi Pandian finished reading their short stories, I was hoping that there would still by copies of Fishnets on the table.
Yves Fey delighted us with an almost poetic reading from her new novel, Floats the Dark Shadow. I can’t wait to read more of it and see what else is in store!
Are you into spies and intrigue? Then you definitely want to check out Diana Chambers’s The Company She Keeps. This is the second in the Nick Daley series, and while each of these novels can stand alone, I’d highly recommend starting with the first, Stinger. You won’t be sorry!
As always, Dana Fredsti steals the show. Rife with humor and gore, her new novel, Plague Nation picks up where Plague Town left off with Ashley Parker fighting zombies. When the zombie apocalypse happens, I want Ashley by my side!
Gigi Pandian hopped back up to the front for a second time, this time to read from her new novella, Fool’s Gold. Not only did her reading entertain me, but she gave us some great news. You had to be there to hear it, otherwise, you have to wait until the official announcement, and I won’t spoil it. Keep an ear out for Gigi! Great things will be coming!!
Heather Haven also came up for a second time. Sheesh, two novels coming out so close together. Heather, you are one amazing gal! Death Runs in the Family is the third in the Alvarez Family series. It had me laughing even while it was gripping me in a suspenseful scene of a PI creeping through a dark alley with only her trusty gun and not-so trusty ex by her side.
The last to read was Susan Shea. King’s Jar is part of the Dani O’Rourke series, and from Susan’s reading, it’s sure to be as engaging as the others. Another one I can’t resist. As always after these Showcases, my book bag is full, and as I drive home, I’m wondering when I’m going to be able to read all my new treasures. I didn’t really want to work out today anyway…
As a final note, I’d like to thank Orinda Books for being such an outstanding Indie Bookstore! They always make us feel at home and will go the proverbial extra mile for their patrons. http://orindabooks.com/