Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review: Face of the Enemy

Face of the Enemy

Reviewed by Crystal V. Rhodes

I like the old black and white, fast talking film noir mystery movies of the 1930s and 40s that I’ve occasionally run across on TV.  I like the sense of urgency, and the sense of style they convey, but rarely have I found a book that captured the feeling of that film genre, that is until I read Face of the Enemy, by Jo Anne Dobson and Beverly Graves Myers.

Set in December 1941, shortly after Japan bombed Pear Harbor, Face of the Enemy sheds light on America’s racial paranoia during that period of time, especially its bigotry toward people of Japanese descent.  Even more interesting is the fact that this novel doesn’t take place on the West Coast where there were mass government incarcerations of people of Japanese ancestry. Instead, Face of the Enemy takes place on the East Coast, in the glitzy art world of New York City.

When the murdered body of an art dealer is discovered in his gallery, the authorities suspect artists, Masako Fumi, an avant-garde Japanese immigrant, married to a university professor, who is American and who is gravely ill.  Although there are other suspects and even a lead detective who is skeptical about her guilt, the FBI is anxious to turn the talented artist’s case into a political coup, especially since she’s the estranged daughter of a high official in the Japanese government.  It seems that Masako’s only hope for redemption is her husband’s nurse, an unassuming Southern bell named Louise Hunter, who fervently believes in the woman’s innocence and vows to help her.

The twists and turns in Face of the Enemy are a mystery lover’s delight.  The characters are vivid and the dialogue is snappy.  As for the story line, it contains historic references about an era about which I knew little.  Face of the Enemy wasn’t merely entertaining, but educational as well.   

C.V. Rhodes is a member of the Speed City Sisters in Crime chapter and co-author, with L. Barnett Evans, of the Grandmothers, Incorporated cozy mystery series.  Visit their website at www.grandmothersinc.com

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Join Author Ross Carley for Book Launch of New Wolf Ruger Mystery: Formula Murder

The book launch party for Speed City Chapter member Ross Carley's latest novel, Formula Murder, will be Saturday, April 29 at Porter Books and Bread, on the grounds of Fort Benjamin Harrison at 5719 Lawton Loop E Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46216.  Ross will be signing books from 10 until 2.

Formula Murder is the second Wolf Ruger mystery by Ross Carley. Private Investigator Wolf Ruger, returning Iraq vet with PTSD, tackles high-stakes high-tech crime and elusive murderers in the fast-paced world of Formula racing, undeterred by beautiful women and organized crime. 

Ross Carley is a cybersecurity and electronic warfare consultant, with experience as a military intelligence officer, an engineering professor, and CTO for a defense contractor. He authored several nonfiction technical books before writing his first Wolf Ruger mystery, Dead Drive. He is a member of Sisters in Crime and lives in Indianapolis.
If you can't make the book signing, Formula Murder is available on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. 

You can visit www.RossCarleyBooks.com  and www.Facebook.com/RossCarleyBooks for more information.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Here's a Cool Way to Organize Your Writing

By S. Ashley Couts

            I don’t know about you but I sometimes get overwhelmed by all of those words. It is easy to get lost in the plot. Mary might be Mary one place but Margaret in another. It can be hard to keep a handle on all that. When I am planning a story or a book I need to see a hard copy and yet I can still get lost in all of those pages. I’ve attended a number of workshops and seminars on writing and learned that this is a common problem.
        Recently I read an exciting article about a writer who has solved this problem. Michael Jecks, an English writer in his article “A Book in Three Stages” in Writers’ Forum gives step-by-step instructions including photos.  His article was so convincing that I ran right out to buy supplies in order to employ his method.
       Jecks method involves using two English notebook Atoma4 and 5 for plotting out his books. I realize as I write this now that somewhere out there my British friends are having a chuckle because apparently the Atoma notebook is as common as a legal pad across the pond. However, to the unschooled you might be asking, what is so special about the Atoma and how can it help my writing? 
          Jecks a historical crime writer (Blood of the Innocents) explained in his article a bit of the history of the A5 and A4 Atoma which was invented in Belgium in 1948. The initial design being easy and portable with fat removable side rings and a flat surface. The article included a three- page instructive illustration. The Atotma notebooks Jenks referred to in his article have five large holes.
        In my search, I found something similar at Office Depot (TUL Custom Note Taking System)—a flat notebook in those requisite two sizes albeit with more plastic side holes. Their system comes in a variety of colors, styles and you can purchase a special hole punch, colored stick-on page markers etc. The prices range from around ten to fifty dollars.  
         These notebooks are useful to writers because of their flexibility. Pages are easily removed with a slight flip of the finger. If you get a bright idea and decide all at once that Harry should be the protagonist and not Herbert, simply exchange those pages –no sweat. You can even mark the change by inserting a yellow or red tab or slip in a short page that includes a note. Easy-peasy.
       Jecks plots his character in the small Atoma-- Office Depot sells two sizes if you want to follow his example. He uses a specific structure in his writing. Stage one is planning the novel. Stage two is using the second notebook to insert the detail and characters. In Stage three he uses a white board to pull it all together. 
     “This is the part that gets sticky for me . . . making sure I haven’t left out anything out. It (the board) sits on the wall dominating my study.”  The white board is his master he says. His website is : www.michaeljecks.co.uk

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Speed City Author addressing Society of Midland Authors in Chicago, April 11

Speed City Sisters in Crime member Stephen Terrell will address the century old Society of Midland Authors in Chicago Tuesday, April 11.  Terrell is an Indianapolis lawyer and author of two legal thrillers. He will discuss the law and writing, as well as self-publishing.

The meeting will be held at Celler Dwellers, on the 22nd floor at 200 S. Michigan Avenue, overlooking Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. The reception begins at 6 p.m. with the presentation at 6:45 p.m. It is open to the public.

The Society of Midland Authors was founded in 1915. Among its charter members were Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, Edna Ferber and lawyer Clarence Darrow. Noted members have included Ring Lardner, Edgar Lee Masters, Gene Stratton Porter, Daniel Boorstin, Jane Addams and Carl Sandburg.

Terrell is the author of Stars Fall, a 5-star rated legal thriller, and his newly released legal thriller, The First Rule. Both are available in trade paperback and ebook on Amazon.

Terrell has also self-published two personal books, a short story collection titled Visiting Hours and Other Stories from the Heart, and There and Back: Journal of a Last Motorcycle Ride. While both are available to the public, they were published primarily for friends and family.  He has also assisted other authors in self-publishing their own works.

Terrell also has two stories -- Expose Yourself to Art and Street Art -- in The Fine Art of Murder, the Speed City Sisters in Crime most recent short story collection.  The Fine Art of Murder is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Walmart.com.