February 29, 2012

Farewell, Davy Jones!

What a shock to hear that one of my favorites, Davy Jones of The Monkees died today of a heart attack at 66. (Hard enough to think of so many of these guys at that age!)

So glad I got to see them last June, 2011 before they cancelled their reunion tour! (Photo: (c) C. Verstraete 2011)

February 22, 2012

In Miniature Style II Finalist Voting

The finalists are up for Best New Product at Miniatures.About.com. Love to get your votes! The online poll is open until March 1.

See details for In Miniature Style II Available in print and various ebook formats (PDF, Nook, Smashwords/Kindle, iPad, etc.).

February 21, 2012

IN MINIATURE STYLE II Finalist at About.com Readers' Choice Awards!

In Miniature Style II (available in print and ebook) was chosen as a finalist for the About.com Readers' Choice Awards for Best Miniature Product!

The next round of voting begins on Feb. 22 to March 21. Stay tuned for details!

February 16, 2012

2011 Agatha Awards

The 2011 Agatha Awards honoring "traditional mysteries" typified by the works of author Agatha Christie and others are given to books and ebooks published in the US. The winner from among the 2011 entries will be awarded at the annual Malice Domestic convention, April 27-29 at the Hyatt, Bethesda, MD.

Agatha Award Nominees 2011

Best Novel:
The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis (Berkley)
Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur)
Three-Day Town by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Best First Novel:
Dire Threads by Janet Bolin (Berkley)
Choke by Kaye George (Mainly Murder Press)
Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry (Crown)
Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab (Berkley)
Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend (Berkley)

Best Nonfiction:
Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure by Leslie Budewitz (Linden)
Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks by John Curran (Harper)
On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda (Princeton University Press)
Wilkie Collins, Vera Caspary and the Evolution of the Casebook Novel by A. B. Emrys (McFarland)
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris (Ace)

Best Short Story:
"Disarming" by Dana Cameron, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - June 2011
"Dead Eye Gravy" by Krista Davis, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology (Wildside Press)
"Palace by the Lake" by Daryl Wood Gerber, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology (Wildside Press)
"Truth and Consequences" by Barb Goffman, Mystery Times Ten (Buddhapuss Ink)
"The Itinerary" by Roberta Isleib, MWA Presents the Rich and the Dead (Grand Central Publishing)

Best Children's/Young Adult:
Shelter by Harlan Coben (Putnam)
The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein (Random House)
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (Scholastic Press)
The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey (EgmontUSA)
The Code Busters Club, Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton Key by Penny Warner (EgmontUSA)

Best Historical Novel:
Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Murder Your Darlings by J.J. Murphy (Signet)
Mercury's Rise by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen Press)
Troubled Bones by Jeri Westerson (Minotaur)
A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper)

February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day and Valentine's Blog Hop!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today, I'm sharing two passions - miniatures and writing. Here is a small scene containing some items made by my friend, Kitty. I made the larger cakes and small red Valentine box (yes there are cards inside!)

To celebrate as part of the Valentine Day Blog Hop, comment to be entered to win a copy of my light horror ebook, THE KILLER VALENTINE BALL.

Jess reluctantly goes out on a blind date... a date that ends up being a night she'll never forget...
Light horror with a touch of humor!

February 04, 2012

Valentine's Day Miniatures

A few of the minis my friend Kitty made and sent to me for Valentine's Day. She's so great at making all this dainty stuff!

February 01, 2012

Update: Dog "Attack" in Michigan: - Official Press Release

UPDATE: The official facts:

Official press release from the Royal Oak MI City Attorney: (Text is condensed; Specific persons and locations have been masked for privacy.)

On Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, a X resident approached a woman (a friend of a person in the owner's family) holding two Dobermans outside (a grocery store). He asked the woman if the dogs were friendly and she said they were. As he came closer to them, one of the dogs jumped up and bit him in the face. After getting immediate treatment from store employees, the man went to the emergency room at X Hospital for treatment. Hospital staff had determined that the bite had broken the man's nose.

The dog owner was issued two misdemeanor citations, one for dog bite and one for not having the dog licensed. Two pre-trial conferences were held in District court; the owner pled not guilty. A third is scheduled for Feb. 9.

The city is not seeking to have the dog destroyed. Under both state law and city ordinance, the city has the authority to file a petition in district court to require the owner to show cause why the dog should not be destroyed. The city has not filed a petition regarding a dangerous animal, and does not intend to file a petition in this case.

In the context of plea negotiations on the pending citations, the city is looking for the owner to take reasonable steps to minimize the chance that the dog will attack or bite anyone in the future.

Law and government gone awry?
According to a report at Examiner.com,, Royal Oak, Michigan town officials are allegedly threatening to destroy a family's 4-year-old Doberman for "attacking" a man when he received a broken nose. The family claims it was an accident that happened when the dog jumped up and the man bent down at the same time.

(And dog owners, who hasn't had that happen? I saw stars the other day when I bent down and my German Shepherd looked up, and her head hit me in the nose.)

(NOTE: See update below and official press release above; draw your own conclusions but the dog is safe.)

After writing a letter to the city commissioners, I was informed this is now a court matter. City commissioner Pat Capello wrote: "... I am told that Heidi is not deemed a dangerous animal and will not be punished for her actions, at least not by the City of Royal Oak. Heidi's owner and the "bitten" party can settle their dispute in court, and Heidi will be allowed to remain with her owner..."

* See the family's blog, Save Heidi.com for background and petition. The case will be decided on Feb. 9.

* See story