Agatha Christie day coming up on October 12, 2012. I pick PERIL AT END HOUSE. Not that someone else can't have a shot at it too.
The Summing Up, Friday, August 31, 2012
Amy. Industrial Magic, Kelly Armstrong
Patti Abbott, The Millstone, Margaret Drabble
Sergio Angelini, One for the Road, Fredric Brown
Yvette Banek, Epigrams, Oscar Wilde
Eric Beetner, Dark As Night, Mark To Conard
Brian Busby, Thirty Years at Stratford, Robertson Davies
Bill Crider, Amazing Stories: the Anthology, ed. Kim Mohan
Scott Cupp, Any Day Now, Terry Bison
Martin Edwards, Silence of a Purple Shirt, R. E. Woodthorpe
Kurt Evans, The Protege, Charlotte Armnstrong
Ed Gorman, Murder Among Owls, Bill Crider
Jerry House, Hauntings and Horrors, ed. Alden H. Norton
Randy Johnson, Voodoo, Jeffery Wilds Deaver
Nick Jones, The Sour Lemon Score, Richard Stark
George Kelley, A Confederation of Valor, Tanya Huff
Margot Kinberg, Faceless Killers, Henning Mankell
B.V. Lawson, Murder for Treasure, David Williams
Evan Lewis, Mr. Sixgun, Brian Garfield
Steve Lewis/Allen J. Hubin, The Baxter Trust, J.P. Hailey
Todd Mason, Our Generation, Vlume 17, Number 1
Neer, The End of Her Honeymoon, Marie Beloc Lowndes
Neglected Books Page James AswellJ.F. Norris, The Cross-Eyes Bear, Dorothy B. Hughes
Juri Nummelin, Tales of Suspense Audio book-link below
Richard Pangburn, Paranoia, Joseph Finder-link below
David Rachels, Pro Bono, Seicho Matsumoto
James Reasoner, Johnny Lidell's Morgue, Frank Kane
Ron Scheer, The Pilgrim and the Pioneer, John C. Bell
Michael Slind,A Neat Little Corpse, Max Murray
Kerrie Smith, A Great Deliverance, Elizabeth George
Kevin Tipple, Sorrow's Anthm, Michael Kortya
TomCat, The Book of Changes, R.H.W. Dillard
Prashant Trikannad, To the Last Man, Zane Grey
There are two C-cassettes (and yes, I still have a C-cassette player) and a leaflet containing the four stories read aloud in the cassettes: Rob Kantner: "The Last Day", Nancy C. Swoboda: "Roomer Has It", Chet Williamson: "The Undertaker's Wedding" and Pauline C. Smith: "The Dog". The readers are William Hootkins and Barbara Rosenblat. The year is 1986.
There's just one problem: I don't usually have time to listen any audio books, so I guess I'll just read the stories.
More Forgotten Books here.
Dubonnet. Blue M&Ms. Taylor Hicks. What do they have in common?
Each of them won their coveted place in history as the result of a competition. Dubonnet’s, at least, wasn’t rigged. (Purple M&Ms and Katherine McPhee forever!)
Quinine, an essential defense against malaria in the era of empire building, is an extract from the bark of cinchona trees. It’s also impossibly bitter. The English took theirs by adding it to tonic water, which in turn they doused liberally with gin. The French, as is their way, proved a fussier lot, to the extent that in 1846 the government ran a contest: help our Legionnaires choke their medicine down! Parisian chemist Joseph Dubonnet took the prize, masking the quinine with fortified wine and a potpourri of flavors including cinnamon and orange peel. The aperitif quickly outgrew its therapeutic and Gallic origins; it’s Queen Elizabeth II’s preferred tipple.
Dubonnet is frequently blended with gin, but it works astonishingly well alongside rye in the Deshler, a World War I-era variation on the Manhattan capped with additional orange notes. It first appears in Hugo Ensslin’s pre-Prohibition landmark Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1917). Note that Ensslin’s original recipe calls for equal parts rye and Dubonnet.
But what of the cocktail’s namesake? Dave Deshler was a lightweight boxer who in a fourteen year career amassed a remarkably even-keeled record of 27 wins, 25 losses and 24 draws. The New Jersey-born, Boston-based battler’s non-alcoholic claim to fame is an ignominious one. During Deshler’s bout against Young Nitchie at the Brooklyn Beach Athletic Club on August 7, 1911, referee Johnny McEvoy left the ring in the seventh round, refusing to officiate. According to reports, “McEvoy stated to the crowd that Deshler was stalling and not trying to box his opponent.” Both Deshler and Nitchie begged to differ. The crowd sided with them, raising a ruckus while the pugilists’ managers recruited a volunteer to referee the final three rounds. But officials backed McEvoy, the fight ending in a no contest. Deshler would defeat Nitchie on points a year later.
Here’s hoping that isolated incident is not why Dogged Dave had a cocktail named after him. A century later, this Deshler still packs a punch.
Hugo Ensslin, Recipes for Mixed Drinks (modified)
1 ½ oz. rye
1 oz. Dubonnet
¼ oz. Cointreau
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Stir. Strain. Garnish with an orange twist.
Who doesn’t want a Catwoman action figure?! (via THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: Hot Toys Reveal Official Gallery Of ‘Catwoman’ Action Figure Images)
Gargoyle of the Day. Paris style. For more gargoyles and things that growl in the night, check out BREED by Chase Novak.
by Erin Mitchell
Earlier this week, I read an insightful, intelligent, and inspiring post by Hilary Davidson on the 7 Criminal Minds blog. In it, she explains why social media will not sell your book.
While I agree with almost everything in Hilary’s post, I have a slightly different take on social media and selling books. Ok, a completely opposite take. As a marketer and a reader, I have seen that social media will sell your book, and for precisely some of the reasons Hilary outlines. And her own books provide the perfect illustration.
I enjoyed Hilary’s first novel, THE DAMAGE DONE, and this year’s THE NEXT ONE TO FALL just about as much as anything I’ve read recently. So much so that I’ve purchased multiple copies to give people. But were it not for social media, I never would have read them at all. The jacket copy would not have hooked me. The stories didn’t really sound like my cuppa. I read THE DAMAGE DONE, though, because of social media. Because of the posts and tweets from Hilary herself as well as bloggers I trust. And photos. Before I ever met her, I knew Hilary was a lovely person because of the photos shared via social media.
But I said I agreed with Hilary, right? Here’s the thing: A constant stream of posts that say nothing more than BUY MY BOOOK! will not sell your book. Autoreplies won’t sell your book either. They’re both annoying. Social media done stupid won’t sell your book, but that doesn’t mean you should throw your hands up at social media as a whole.
I have made the case before for authors having Facebook Pages. Hilary, by the by, is a perfect example…I’ve been advocating for her to have a page for a while now, and I’ll keep doing so. A Page gives your readers a place to gather and discuss your book. It’s also clearer for readers; when someone clicks ‘Like’ she or he knows to expect updates from your page at regular intervals. Pages also provide (many) more options for engaging with your community.
Pages also don’t have a limit on the number of fans they can have. Just this week, I have twice tried to find authors on Facebook (Jeremy Duns and Tom Piccirilli, to be exact), only to discover that they have profiles that are over the circa 5,000 friend limit cap. So here I sit, outside their Facebook community, without a way in. Woe is me. Pages also work far better than Profiles if you jump into the Facebook advertising pond.
Pages come with a certain responsibility, too, of course, to share content at regular intervals. And not just BUY MY BOOK! posts. This is an investment (of time or, if you choose, money) well worth your time.
And what about Twitter? Opinions abound…here is mine (might sound familiar by now): Incessant BUY MY BOOK! tweets don’t work. Or rather, they might sell a couple of copies of your book, but they won’t move any discernible needle. Also, disappearing from Twitter while you’re writing or vacationing or whatever will not help sell your book because…wait for it…it will not build your brand recognition. A consistent presence, though? That will build your brand, which in turn sells your book.
Here’s where I diverge from many of the social media thought leaders: I’m not saying never tweet a link to Amazon or wherever people can buy your book. Fact is, these links make purchasing easy. And we are, in the end, a fairly lazy species. Nothing wrong with making things easy.
In the end (and in the beginning and middle), social media is all about engagement. If you feel all alone out there in the social media landscape, then you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t see people talking about you and your books, ditto. Can’t remember the last time you answered a question from or thanked a reader? Think about what you need to change.
As for the other social media venues—Pinterest comes immediately to mind—I have yet to see them have an impact on brand-building or book sales. I’m watching, though, because I can see that might change. And all of this leaves the enormous topic of blogging aside…that’s for another day.
Ed Gorman is the author of the Dev Conrad and Sam McCain series as well as some darn great westerns and standalones. You can find him here.
Margaret Drabble was one of my favorite writer in the late sixties and early seventies. She was able to make the concerns of young women seem important, serious, and legitimate. Yet her novels had a light-heartedness to them too.
Her characters seemed to be experiencing the things I was also at that time.
All of the early novels are great fun but THE MILLSTONE (1976) is one of my favorites. In this novel, a young woman is pregnant after a one-night romp with a gay friend. At first, she is eager to be rid of the fetus, but she eventually has the baby and discovers herself in the process.
I am also very fond of THE WATERFALL, JERUSALEM, THE GOLDEN and THE GARRICK YEAR. Drabble has continued to publish steadily having some 17 novels by now.
She is the sister of A.S. Byatt. According to Wikipedia, they are in a dispute lasting many years over a tea set and have not spoken. This happens more than you'd think, doesn't it? And is certainly the stuff of good fiction.
Steve Lewis/Allen J. Hubin
Neglected Books PageJ.F. Norris