Wednesday, August 22, 2018

AUGUST 25 MEETING FEATURED SPEAKER: Laura Baugh on Social Media for Writers

Laura VanArendonk Baugh
DATE:  August 25, 2018
TIME:  12:30-1:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Barnes & Noble, 8675 River Crossing Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46240
TOPIC:  “Social Media for Writers”
Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Laura VanArendonk Baugh is an Award-winning Author of Epic and Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Mystery  Laura writes captivating epic and urban fantasy, historical fiction, and mystery, as well as non-fiction on animal training & behavior. Many people known to have exceptional taste think it’s pretty cool stuff.

Discoverability, branding, and marketing are critical to the success of a traditionally published or self-published author, but there is still a startling amount of unhelpful or just plain wrong information being shared. Laura VanArendonk Baugh will discuss technical aspects of branding and marketing, with walk-throughs for setting up and maintaining an author website (including caveats for common mistakes and dangerous pitfalls for the novice) and tutorials for some of the scariest bits of marketing (learn to love the camera!).

According to Laura's own biography:

Laura was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame her childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth and unable to walk, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized animal trainer, a costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and of course a writer. Now she is an award-winning writer of speculative fiction, mystery, and non-fiction. Her works have earned numerous accolades, including 3-star (the highest possible) ratings on Tangent‘s “Recommended Reading” list. She admits a mental turning point in her career when she realized she could buy that sexy red Tesla with income from her books!

For more information about Laura, visit her website lauravanarendonkbaugh.com.

Monday, August 20, 2018


Crowds line up early for Monday nights performance of DEADBEAT at the IndyFringe Theater. 

Don't miss out. Only three performances left:  
Thursday, August 23 at 7:30  Friday, August 24 at 6:00  Sunday, August 26 at 7:30

Don't miss on THE HIT show of 2018 Indy Fringe

TO ORDER TICKETS, CLICK HERE, or go to www.indyfring.org or call 317-292-4429 or 317-292-6910

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Praise Pouring in for DEADBEAT.

Deadbeat, the one-act murder mystery play written and produced by Speed City Sisters in Crime, is getting a high praise from the media and audiences alike.  

The INDIANAPOLIS STAR did a feature article on Deadbeat. It was singled out among the 62 performances at this year's Fringe Fest.  To see the article, CLICK HERE

The play premiered on August 16 as part of 2018 Indy Fringe Fest, and will run through August 26.  

ORDER TICKETS, CLICK HERE,  go to www.indyfringe.org or call 317-292-4429 or 317-292-6910

Here are two reviews from those in the audience for the premiere.  

By Crystal V. Rhodes

After more than a year of preparation, the play Deadbeat, written and produced by Speed City Sisters in Crime, opened Thursday, August 16th.  Directed by Deborah Asante, the premiere was filled with drama, and it wasn’t all on stage.

Deadbeat was scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m.  At 4:30 p.m. stage manager, Barbara Michelle Dabney received a message from Alicia Simms, the very talented actress who plays the character of Celeste in the three person play.  Alicia's words were the last ones that anyone associated with a live theatrical production wants to hear.   The actress was stuck out of state and couldn’t get a flight back to Indy in time for the show.  Deadbeat. has no understudies and it was to made its debut in four in a half hours.  What in the world were they going to do?

Michelle Dabney had the answer.  As the stage manager for Deadbeat she attended every rehearsal for the past six weeks.  She knew every line, every stage cue.  When the lights went up on the Opening Night of Deadbeat, Michelle stepped on stage and transformed into Celeste.  The Theatre Arts Major from Indiana State University nailed it.  She didn’t miss a beat.  Together with veteran actress, Gabrielle Patterson, whose command of her part as Abby was flawless, the sheer force of their combined talents brought Deadbeat to life.  The ladies ruled the stage! 

Alicia has returned to Indy and will resume her role as Celeste for the rest of Deadbeat’s run.  Michelle will return to running the show as stage manager, but Speed City Sisters in Crime owes the young lady a very big thank you for stepping up to save a very special day.

by Cheryl Shore

If you like your murder mystery infused with convincing psychological elements, you need to see Deadbeat, directed by Deborah Asante, at the Basile Theater as part of Indy Fringe. I was fortunate to see the premier on August 16. 

Everyone is in the dark at the beginning of the one act play, literally and figuratively. When the first light shines on the stage, we see the body of a man (Matt, the “deadbeat”), and two frantic women (Abigail and Celeste). Each of the two women is convinced the other committed the murder. The dialogue between Abigail and Celeste helps the audience understand the characteristics of the deceased and each woman’s conflicted relationship with him. The voice of the dead man helps develop the possible motive and gives more of the backstory concerning the trio.  

The true character of each woman, and the complex relationship between them, is revealed through their conversation. By the play’s conclusion the audience knows the Who and the Why behind the murder.  

Deadbeat’s actors were skilled in revealing the nuances of characters. Barielle Patterson played Abigail and Zach Hyatt played Matt.  On opening night, Barbara Michell Dabney stepped in and played Celeste without missing a beat. 

This is an intriguing whodunit. Be sure to see it before the final performance on August 26! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Tonight, we had our very last rehearsal for DEADBEAT. The next time the actors will go through the play, it will be at its opening -- LIVE -- on Thursday night, August 16.

It has been an amazing journey so far. The play really is quite wonderful and you should really enjoy it. And all of you -- the entire chapter, all of its members -- should be proud of what we have been able to do. Some 15 months ago, this play wasn't on any of our radars. And now, look what we have done. We are about to premiere a fully developed one-act play.

TO ORDER TICKETS, CLICK HERE,  go to www.indyfringe.org or call 317-292-4429 or 317-292-6910

Although not everyone took part in the writing, this truly has been a chapter project because the writing and storytelling were only the first steps. Many of you have helped with logistics, legal, marketing and promotions, graphics and designs, and in providing props. And without help in all those areas (and more), this production could never have seen the light of day.

So I applaud us all.

But we are not at the end yet. We have to continue pushing to get people in the seats. We have appeared in Senior Living, and will appear in an article in the Greenfield paper and in the Indy Star. Plus, we had an interview on No Limits on WFYI public radio.

Send out another eblast to your friends and family, and hand out any postcards you have. 

The Indy Friinge Previews will be Wednesday night, August 15, in the large, white beer tent across the street from the Fringe, which is at 917 E. St. Clair St. You really can't miss it.

The previews (1 minute presentations on each play in this year's Indy Fringe Fest) starts at 6 p.m. DEADBEAT is in Group B, which means we will be on some time between 6:35 and 6:50.  Come see the show and talk it up to everyone you meet.

Thank you all again.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Get Your Tickets NOW! DEADBEAT Is a Winner!


By Crystal V. Rhodes

Deadbeat is a winner!  

The One Act play written and produced by Speed City Sisters in Crime mystery writers will make its debut at the 2018 Indy Fringe Play Festival on August 16th, and my predication is that Deadbeat is going to be THE play for Fringe audiences to see!

The Speed City Chapter is making history! The Indiana Chapter is the first chapter of the international Sisters in Crime organization to write and produce a theatrical production. 

TO ORDER TICKETS, CLICK HERE,  go to www.indyfringe.org or call 317-292-4429 or 317-292-6910

Am I biased?  Yes.  I am a member of Speed City Sisters in Crime. It’s hard not to crow over such an achievement, especially after having the pleasure of attending a recent DEADBEAT rehearsal.

Under the skilled direction of Deborah Asante, founder and Artistic Director of the Asante Children’s Theatre, DEADBEAT has made quite a transition from the page to the stage. 

Described as a “one act play of murder, malice and mystery” with a touch of humor, audiences can expect to experience a myriad of emotions as the talented cast infuse layers of nuance into their characters in ways I didn’t expect. The experienced cast of local actors includes Gabrielle Patterson (Abigail), Alicia Simms (Celeste) and Zach Hyatt (Matt)   

Although familiar with the script, I was surprised by the depth of my response to some of the lines delivered by the actors.  The acting is on point.  Added to that is how well music is used to set the play’s mood.  

Yes!  I’m sure that DEADBEAT is a winner. I'm certain that audiences will think so too’

The 2018 Indy Fringe Festival starts next week, running from August 16th through August 27th.  DEADBEAT will be presented for SIX PERFORMANCES ONLY at the Indy Fringe Basile Theatre, 719 E. St. Clair St. in Indianapolis:

THURSDAY            AUGUST 16     9:00 P.M.

SATURDAY            AUGUST 18      9:00 P.M.

MONDAY               AUGUST 20      9:00 P.M.

THURSDAY           AUGUST 23     7:30 P.M.

FRIDAY                  AUGUST 24      6:00 P.M.

SUNDAY                 AUGUST 26     7:30 P.M.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.indyfringe.org.  By phone at 317-292-4429 or 317-292-6910 or at the Indy Fringe Box Office located at 719 E. St. Clair Street, Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Free Parking for the Fringe Festival will be available at Bottleworks, which can be entered off Massachusetts Avenue between College Ave and Edison.


C.V. Rhodes is the co-author of the Grandmothers, Incorporated cozy mystery series, written with fellow author, L. Barnett Evans.  Visit their website at www.grandmothersinc.com.  Rhodes is also the author of the romantic suspense Sin Series and the recently launched Stillwaters Series.  Visit her website at www.crystalrhodes.com.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

150 Pack Tipton Public Library for Launch of Janis Thornton's True Crime 'Too Good a Girl'

More than 150 people crowded the Tipton Public Library on August 4 for the launch of "Too Good A

Girl," a true crime book by Speed City Sisters in Crime member Janis Thornton. 

The book tackles the 53-year-old unsolved murder of 17-year-old Olene Emberton in Tipton. Olene was a classmate of Janis. 

In the mid-sixties, no part of the world seemed more serene and secure than rural small-town Indiana. That all changed in an instant when Olene Emberton, a quiet 17-year-old high school girl disappeared after a Saturday night date. Two days later, her nude body was found along a desolate road, her clothes neatly folded beside her. The autopsy could not determine a cause of death. 

Fifty-three years later, Janis Thornton explores the still unsolved crime that left her classmate dead, police without any leads, a family shattered and a town forever changed. 

The murder has haunted the town ever since, as was evident by the turnout. Several surviving members of the Emberton family were present for the book launch, as were a number of Olene's classmates.  

Janis gave a reading of Chapter One of the book, a very personal account of learning of Olene's death and the shock waves it sent through Tipton County. Janis answered questions about the book and the task of researching and writing it.  Coroner of Tipton County and several former police officers who assisted Janis in her research, also answered questions about the difference in current and past investigation and forensic techniques. 

"Too Good A Girl" is a gripping read, pulling the reader in from the first page. With dogged determination, Ms Thornton examines the evidence, re-interviews witnesses, questions investigators, and seeks for an answer to what happened to “Too Good A Girl.” The truth is there. It is only up to the reader to determine which truth is the right one.  

It is available on Amazon.com as well as through http://www.janis-thornton.com 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

53 Year Old Unsolved Murder of Classmate; "Too Good a Girl" set for release August 4

Janis Thornton

 “Too Good a Girl,” the Book That Took
53 Years to Finish, Launches August 4

By Janis Thornton

            I’ve always loved that old Don McLean song, “The Day the Music Died.” But for me and most of the kids who grew up in Tipton, Indiana, during the insulated, enchanted days of the 1950s and ’60s, the day music died was Monday, October 18, 1965.

            That was the day we learned our 17-year-old classmate, Olene Emberton, had been found dead, her body lying in a ditch alongside a remote country road.

          Although local and state police conducted a vigorous investigation, they found no clues, no evidence, no witnesses, no cause of death, and ultimately no answers. The case could not be solved. Today, nearly 53 years later, the case remains open.
            Like Olene, I was also 17 — almost an adult, but still a kid. For kids of any age, losing a school friend is traumatic under any circumstance. But the circumstances under which Olene had died were unthinkable. Her death rocked my world.
            The idea of writing Olene’s story first occurred to me some thirty years ago. I felt that someone needed to set the record straight, so why not me? Frankly, 30 years ago, it shouldn’t have been me. I had no writing experience and lacked the skills to report on a sensitive, emotionally charged topic that was certain to ruffle feathers, stoke anger, and hurt feelings.
            However, by 2004, I had been a staff writer at a daily newspaper for four years, and I was ready. I pored over court records, combed through news articles, tracked down and interviewed law enforcement officials who had worked the case, sent Freedom of Information Act requests, talked with forensics experts, studied criminology, attended conferences, surveyed my classmates, met with Olene’s friends and family, and followed the loose ends.
            The result of this 14-year-long pursuit for truth has manifested in my book, “Too Good a Girl,” scheduled to launch Saturday, August 4, at the Tipton County library.
            Did I solve the mystery? No. Instead, I have unraveled all the strands of Olene’s complex story so readers can weave their own tapestry of truth and discover their own solution. And who knows? One of them might just be right. •

How You Can Help Preserve Olene’s Memory and Give Her Life Renewed Meaning
            Readers of “Too Good a Girl” can also help preserve Olene’s memory by helping graduating Tipton High School students achieve their dream of a teaching career.
            When Olene was a freshman at Tipton High School, she authored a brief autobiography. In it, she noted her dream for the future. “I plan to graduate from high school in 1966,” she wrote. “I want to attend Ball State University. After I graduate, I want to be a junior or high school teacher.”
            No one can give Olene’s life back to her, but I believe I’ve found a way to give her life new meaning by assisting graduating Tipton High School students who share her dream.
            With the help of the Tipton County Foundation — a publicly supported organization that helps Tipton residents set up and oversee philanthropic projects — the Olene Emberton Memorial Scholarship has been established. The scholarship will benefit college-bound Tipton High School seniors who, like Olene, plan to pursue teaching.
            Reaching the fund-raising goal of $25,000 by the end of 2018 will ensure that an award of $1,000 will go to a deserving student in Olene’s memory each year in perpetuity.
            I invite you to visit www.tiptoncf.org and make a gift. In addition, the proceeds from book sales will go to the fund. And every donor of $100 or more will receive a copy of “Too Good a Girl” with my compliments and gratitude.
            The book is available for purchase on my website, www.janis-thornton.com and Amazon. •