Sunday, November 10, 2019

Speed City SinC Member Releases New Novel: Stephen Terrell's Last Train to Stratton

Stephen Terrell, member of Speed City Sisters in Crime, has released a new novel, Last Train to Stratton.  The novel is available in print and eBook formats on Amazon.com.
Janis Thornton, author of Too Good a Girl, commented: "Stephen Terrell’s Last Train to Stratton sneaks up on you and yanks you in. The writing is as sensitive as it is tough, and the unforgettable characters are as familiar as they are fresh. Simply put, Last Train to Stratton is a gripping, heartfelt read that will stay with you long after you finish it."
Set in the years between the end of the Vietnam War and the Nation’s Bicentennial, the book follows Zach Carlson, a deeply cynical Chicago crime beat reporter. When Zach’s life in Chicago shatters, he moves to a small Indiana town to run a weekly newspaper, seeking to lose himself in the mundane dullness of small-town America.
Instead of tranquility, Zach finds a town trying to cope with its own fear, anxiety and anger. When Stratton suffers its first murder in decades, Zach’s investigation uncovers secrets that tear away the town’s veneer of innocence and force Zach to face the still-open wounds that eviscerated his life.
This is Terrell’s third novel. It follows two well-received Kisti Newcombe legal thrillers, Stars Fall and The First Rule, both of which are still available on Amazon.com. Below is the opening Prologue to Last Train to Stratton.


The times when our lives change, when everything before is altered and everything after is different, are seldom recognized as they happen, rarely understood for the ripples that extend beyond the horizon to places we cannot see. Life does not come with highway signposts that warn “Danger Ahead” or “Go Slow,” or perhaps more importantly “Do Not Enter.”
Robert Frost wrote of two roads diverging in a wood, but most watershed junctures are not so obvious, so visible, so tangible. Instead, significance is concealed among daily comings and goings. The import of decisions and events may not appear for years – decades – a lifetime later, when in quiet reflection, we glimpse the ghosts in our memories, discerning faint shadows of people and happenings that, knowingly or unknowingly, shaped not just the path of our lives, but the way we perceive the human experience. 
While the tumultuous 1960s shook the foundations of society, I cruised through those years on a steady, seemingly well-planned course. I was a budding star in the newsroom, my career progress measured in headlines and bylines. My personal life flourished in an isolated singularity of booze, cigarettes, baseball and uncommitted sex.
But beginning in the fall of 1972, my life transformed like shifting tectonic plates that cause the ground to fall away and reveal an unfamiliar world around me. Looking back on a brief window between Nixon’s zenith and the Nation’s Bicentennial, I can see those transformative moments stacking up in my life one upon another like so much cordwood. Some jarred me instantly like a stray hand on high voltage. Others were part of the mundane daily routine, their significance overlooked until long after the concrete had set.
Such was the case in June 1975. My life shattered, I sat in a cluttered office in a western suburb of Chicago, interviewing for a new job for the first time in more than a decade. It was a small-town job, and in its dullness I expected to find a numbing balm for the pain that scorched my life.
I was wrong.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

LIVE Webinar with Tiffany Yates Martin "The 10 Biggest Mistakes Writers Make"

Tiffany Yates Martin
Sisters in Crime International has a new live webinar with development editor Tiffany Yates Martin on  "The 10 Biggest Mistakes Writers Make"

Date: Tuesday, April 23
Time: 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT
Where: ONLINE. Link will be e-mailed prior to the event.

Presenter: Tiffany Yates Martin

 $FREE for all members and non-members

Register at this link:

All registered attendees will receive a separate e-mail from Crowdcast with log-in information prior to the event.

Overview:  No matter how experienced you may be, no matter how talented, it’s impossible to gain perfect objectivity about your own work—so it’s no wonder there are certain missteps almost every author may make at one time or another.

You can learn to readily spot the common mistakes that may be keeping your story—and your writing—from being as effective and compelling as they can be. Find out how to check your own work for these trouble spots, and how you can address them and make sure your story stands out. This practical, accessible workshop can take your writing to the next level.

About Tiffany Yates Martin: 

AIn her 25+ years in the publishing industry, developmental editor Tiffany Yates Martin of Foxprint Editorial has been privileged to help hundreds of authors, from New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestsellers to up-and-coming authors, tell their stories as truthfully, compellingly, and effectively as possible. She works directly with authors as well as through major publishing houses. She's led workshops and seminars for conferences and writers' groups across the country and is a frequent contributor to writers' sites and publications.

Twitter: @FoxPrintEd

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

How Do Libraries Choose Their Books?

So how do libraries stock their shelves with all those tens of thousands of books -- and now ebooks and audio books, too?

The New York Times has just published a fascinating story about how the New York Public Library chooses all the millions of books on its shelves.

For many books, it's a bit of a formula. All James Patterson books get chosen.  So too with John Grisham, Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts.  A few copies of almost all titles issued by major publishers Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan Publishers, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins Publishers are chosen, but in lesser numbers than the best-seller names.

The process also involves sometimes taking a chance.  The Library ordered a dozen copies of Angie Thomas' first novel, The Hate U Give, before it was released. The book became an acclaimed best-seller. Now the New York Library has 400 copies -- and 200 copies on order of soon-to-be released second novel.

And as for self-published books, the New York Library even has a smattering of them.

Here's the link to the New York Times article, "How the N.Y. Public Library Fills Its Shelves (and Why Some Books Don’t Make the Cut)" CLICK HERE. 

For writers and readers alike, it's an interesting behind-the-scenes read.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Crystal Rhodes' Play "Lillian and Beulah" Performances at Conner Prairie Feb 9, 16 & 23

Speed City Sisters in Crime member Crystal Rhodes’ latest play, Lillian and Beulah, will be presented each Saturday during February at the Lilly Theatre at Conner Prairie.
The play is part of Conner Prairie’s Black Hoosiers: Untold Tales, honoring Black History Month. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door.
Crystal is an experienced playwright, with her plays being produced across the country, including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. She wrote Lillian and Beulah when she was playwright-in-residence at Conner Prairie. She recently won a national playwriting competition.
The play centers on real-life character Lillian Thomas Fox, a civic activist and newspaper writer who rose to prominence in the late 1800s. She founded the Indianapolis Women’s Improvement Club and was an organizing member of the Indianapolis Anti-Lynching League. In 1900, she became the first African-American woman in the nation to write regularly for a white newspaper, The Indianapolis News.
Well-known local actress Gabrielle  Patterson plays the part of Lillian Fox. Patterson received rave reviews for her performance at Fringe Festival in the Sisters in Crime play “Deadbeat.”
Remaining Performances at February 9, 16 and 23 from 7 – 9 p.m.  Lilly Theatre is located in the Conner Prairie Welcome Center, 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers, Indiana.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Larry Sweazy Message Celebrates 10 Years Since His First Published Novel

I hope your 2019 is off to great start. I have to tell you, mine has, thankfully, been a whirlwind. It’s interesting that this year is my tenth anniversary as a published author. My first book, THE RATTLESNAKE SEASON (Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger #1) was published in 2009. I was 49 years old, so I got a late start. But, as you may know, it took me fifteen years of near misses, near heartbreak, and a lot of determination to get published. My hope was to write a book a year, but more than that, my real hope was to be able to keep writing, publishing, and get better. No matter what, I was going to write. And that’s still true today. I write every day.

I’m happy to tell you that my fifteenth book, THE LOST ARE THE LAST TO DIE (Sonny Burton #2), is slated for publication in November of this year (2019). This book is the follow-up to A THOUSAND FALLING CROWS, and I couldn’t be happier that Five Star is going to continue this series. It will be available in hardcover, ebook, and large print. The next Sonny Burton book in this early-20th century western/thriller series, WINTER SEEKS OUT THE LONELY (Sonny Burton #3), is scheduled to be published in mid-2021.

There’s more good news for Josiah Wolfe fans. The books in the Josiah Wolfe series have steadily and continually gained fans and readers since 2009. I’m happy to say that none of these books, which started out as paperback originals (PBOs), have been out of print, though the series did end with THE GILA WARS (#6) in 2013. Five Star has enthusiastically decided to continue the series with THE RETURN OF THE WOLF (Josiah Wolfe #7) to be published in mid-2020 in hardcover, ebook, and large print. The chance to revisit Josiah and the Frontier Battalion-era Texas Rangers ten years later is a thrill, and I’m really excited about the future of this series.

And finally, if all that isn’t enough to pop a cork for, I have also contracted with Kensington to write a new western series featuring U.S. Deputy Marshal, Trusty Dawson. Publication dates will be forthcoming, but the first one will most likely debut in late-2020. Once I know more, I’ll let you know.

I know some of my Marjorie Trumaine fans might be disappointed that I don’t have any news about that series. Don’t give up hope. I haven’t. Josiah Wolfe is a good example. A series can continue on a few years down the road. As it stands right now, SEE ALSO PROOF is last book in the Marjorie Trumaine series—but I have other ideas and irons in the fire for that series. Marjorie still has plenty of stories to tell as far as I’m concerned, and I hope there are more Marjorie books in all of our lives. The audio version of SEE ALSO PROOF will be available later this year.

In the meantime, I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to continue to write for and work with some of the best editors in the business. Ten years down the road, I could have never dreamed that I would be so lucky to get to write every day like I set out to do. Writing is something I never take for granted, and feel privileged to do. I’m lucky to have the support that I have from Rose, my agent, my editors, and everyone involved who make it possible for me to be able to tell the stories that I do. But none of this would be possible without the people who read and enjoy my books. Thank you. I’ll try my best to continue to entertain you.

THE LOST ARE THE LAST TO DIE (Sonny Burton #2/Five Star) – available 11/19

WINTER SEEKS OUT THE LONELY (Sonny Burton #3/Five Star) – available mid-2021

THE RETURN OF THE WOLF (Josiah Wolfe #7/Five Star) – available mid-2020

U.S. Deputy Marshal, Trusty Dawson series (Kensington) – dates forthcoming

SEE ALSO PROOF (audio) - available mid-2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sisters in Crime Launches "SinC Talks" Jan 15: Learn How to Create Your "Author Brand"

Looking for a great way to jump start your year? Want to learn how to grab readers’ attention and increase your readership? Join the International Sisters in Crime organization for the first in a series of LIVE Webinars with Dana Kaye. The first event is FREE to members and non-members alike. 

“Your Author Brand”  will be presented by Dana Kaye on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 3:00-4:00 pm ET

Online Registration is available until: 1/14/2019

Each year, millions of books hit the market, both online and in-stores. How will yours stand out?

While some readers are willing to take a chance on a new author or a book they’ve never heard of, most want a guarantee that the next book they pick up is worth their time and money. That means the established names, the books getting tons of media attention and the current award winners get chosen.

So how can new or midlist authors tap into that buzz? How can you get readers’ attention and build an audience in such a crowded marketplace?

By establishing an author brand.

This workshop will lead you through the steps in identifying your author brand, creating a tagline or brand message, and establishing that brand online.

Dana Kaye is  veteran publicist, social media pro, and brand manager. She founded Kaye Publicity, Inc., a boutique PR company specializing in publishing and entertainment in 2009. Known for her innovative ideas and knowledge of current trends, she coaches her clients on how to identify and establish their unique personal brands. Kaye is also the author of Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales, and the creator of Branding Outside the Box, where she helps driven entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders become more memorable.

All registered attendees will receive an email with the time and log-in information prior to the event.

The next two SinC Talks will be:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019: Growing an Engaged Community
Social media and email marketing should not be a one-way conversation or a constant wave of self-promotion. The most successful authors are the ones that cultivate relationships with their readers and grow an engaged community.

This workshop will illustrate what happens after a reader becomes familiar with your work, focusing on email marketing, social media, and in-person events.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019: Launch Your Own PR Campaign
Whether you're self-publishing a book, working with a small press, or under contract with a Big Five publisher, most of the promotion responsibilities fall on the author. Between securing review coverage, booking TV and radio appearances, and locating influential bloggers, the book promotion process can feel daunting and overwhelming.

Following the live presentations, all webinars will be available for replay in the MEMBERS ONLY section of the website. Watch for additional programming.  If you have any questions, please email us at Education@sistersincrime.org.

Sisters in Crime is an international organization that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of (mostly) women crime writers. However, male members are welcome. The organization offers networking, advice and support to mystery authors. The 3600 members in 51 chapters include authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers and librarians bound by our affection for the mystery genre and our support of women who write mysteries. 

Speed City Sisters in Crime is the Indiana Chapter which meets on the fourth Saturday of every month at Barnes and Noble Bookstore, 8675 River Crossing Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46240 (next to Keystone at the Crossing).

Membership in Sisters in Crime is $50 per year, and membership in the Speed City Chapter is $15 per year. Information on membership can be found at https://www.sistersincrime.org and http://www.speedcitysistersincrime.org