October Book News

fall-on-the-flathead-river-polebridge-montana[3]

Ah, fall. The light is changing. The trees are changing colors, and the leaves are beginning to carpet the woods and paths. It’s a good time to dive deeply into our projects, a contemplative time. But there’s plenty of action going on, too!

Last weekend was the 25th annual Flathead River Writers Conference, sponsored by the Authors of the Flathead, where many of us met. Betty Kuffel again co-chaired the event. Watch for details of the 26th conference soon!

Our mystery writer members, Leslie Budewitz and Christine Carbo, will be attending Bouchercon, the annual international mystery convention, in Raleigh, North Carolina, Oct 8-11. It’s a gathering of 1500 readers, writers, and folks involved in the bookselling and publishing businesses, and a lot of fun! Leslie will be on a panel discussing ways to nurture talent, in ourselves and others. Christine will appear with other writers discussing the importance of location.

On Wednesday, Oct 7, before the convention gets rolling, Leslie will be part of a mystery and thriller conversation at the North Raleigh Library, and on Friday, she’ll become the new president of Sisters in Crime!

And on Oct 23, Leslie will be the guest speaker at the Glacier County Library in Cut Bank, as part of the library’s cookbook sale and celebration!

Wherever we go, we hope to see you — and we hope you have a good book to read on the journey!

Marie F Martin was in Battle Ground, WA last week signing books for friends, fans and family.  Marie says she received such encouragement from their kind words.  Fans are such special people.  She is also closing in on the first draft of her next novel, 101 Harbor Place.  It’s a mystery of sorts.

Becky has a book

Becky has a book

Advertisements

February Book News

deer heartThe heart of winter — crisp, cold, and full of surprises.

Here’s what’s new at Montana Women Writers:

Assault and PepperLESLIE BUDEWITZ is getting ready for the launch of her new series, the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries, with ASSAULT and PEPPER, out March 3 from Berkley Prime Crime. (Available for pre-order now at your independent bookseller and all the usual online sources.) If you’d like to catch up with her on her book tour or follow her blog tour, check her website  for her schedule and sign up for her seasonal newsletter. (The website may be down temporarily for a few days for updates, but watch for a new and improved site soon, at http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com!)

 

Betty Kuffel completed two books recently.

Secrets of Loon Lake is the first of a series of cozy mysteries set in Northern Minnesota lakeIMG_8960 country in the 1960’s. Betty and her co-author sister Bev completed the first draft between March and July of 2014. Fine tuning and revisions are nearly complete. They will publish on Amazon.

Fatal Feast is a contemporary medical thriller about an aggressive variant of mad cow disease. Terrorists penetrate a high risk research lab in Montana intent on spreading the disease into the world food supply.  She will submit agent queries and if there is no interest, will go with Kindle and Create Space for publication.

Summer’s coming — and so is Crime Rib

CrimeRib_CV.indd LESLIE here. Delighted to share the cover and copy of CRIME RIB, my second Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, to be published by Berkley Prime Crime on July 1, 2014. (And already available for pre-order!

From the cover:

“Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s scrumptious local fare some national attention. But her scheme for culinary celebrity goes up in flames when the town’s big break is interrupted by murder…

Food Preneurs, one of the hottest cooking shows on TV, has decided to feature Jewel Bay in an upcoming episode, and everyone in town is preparing for their close-ups, including the crew at the Glacier Mercantile, aka the Merc. Not only is Erin busy remodeling her courtyard into a relaxing dining area, she’s organizing a steak-cooking competition between three of Jewel Bay’s hottest chefs to be featured on the program.

But Erin’s plans get scorched when one of the contending cooks is found dead. With all the drama going on behind the scenes, it’s hard to figure out who didn’t have a motive to off the saucy contestant. Now, to keep the town’s rep from crashing and burning on national television, Erin will have to grill some suspects to smoke out the killer…”

I hope you find it a tasty treat!

Leslie Budewitz

Is it a Mystery—or a Romance?

Leslie-WEB-ColorBy Leslie Budewitz

Join Leslie on Facebook for a chance to win a gift box of jam from Eva Gates Homemade Preserves. As Erin Murphy, the protagonist of Death al Dente, nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel says, “If it’s made in Montana, it must be good!”

I love a good mystery. And I love a good romance. Actually, to my way of thinking, every novel is a bit of a mystery—or should be. Whether the book is shelved in the mystery section or elsewhere, some deep human question—some deep human mystery—lies at the heart of every novel.

And of course, so does love. Whether it’s romantic love, filial love, or that deep and mysterious form of friendship the Greeks call agape, the longing for love and all the related struggles tug at readers of nearly every kind of fiction.

But when my first mystery, Death al Dente, was published last year, I was surprised to discover that mystery readers have distinct opinions about how much romance is too much. Cross over the line, and your books will be categorized not as mystery but as romantic suspense. That’s not bad—but it does put you in another section of the bookstore, and give you a different set of readers. The audiences overlap, but some readers will never cross that line.

Other readers love a good romantic tug-of-war. The love triangle. Will Heroine choose Guy A—or Guy B? Will the man we suspected of murder in the first installment instead turn out to be Mr. Right? Will the man we were rooting for turn out to carry a torch for the long-lost love, returned from the dead in book five? deathaldent

Lo these many years, I found myself interested in two men at the same time. “You’re old enough,” I told myself. “You can date them both.” And so I did, for about a week, when the second man banished all thoughts of the first. (Except for that oh-so-uncomfortable conversation with the first man. He lived.) ANYway, I’m not the only woman to have such an experience, so when my girl Erin found herself interested in both Rick Bergstrom, aka “farm boy,” and Adam Zimmerman, the nerd-turned-hunky wilderness camp director who carried a torch for her in college, though she barely noticed him—well, it seemed true-to-life.  I was not prepared for the readers who said “oh, not a love triangle.” Others said “don’t let it go on too long.” I suspect that despite its realism, it’s been over-used—one series in particular comes to mind, the one with the NJ lingerie buyer who—well, never mind.

But don’t worry. Erin’s a woman who prides herself on both her decision-making and her intuition. She’ll know her  heart soon. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

How much romance is enough in your mystery? And how much mystery do you like in your romance?

February Book News

deer heart

February, the month we celebrate love of all kinds, and relish time with a book in front of the fire.But we’re not sitting home in front of the fire. Nope. We’re a busy bunch.

deathaldent

Leslie Budewitz is delighted to share the news that Death al Dente, the first in her Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries,  has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Death al Dente, a light-hearted mystery set in fictional Jewel Bay, Montana, was published in August 2013 by Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Books. The second in the series, Crime Rib, will be published July 1, 2014.  Leslie’s first book, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure, won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction.

On February 9, several Montana Women Writers will be at the Whitefish Community Center from 2 pm to 5 pm, in celebration of National Heart Day. Your Heart Book Cover- Final 1Betty Kuffel, M.D., will give a presentation entitled “Know Your Heart Disease Risks, based on her book, Your Heart: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease in Women, Men, and Children.

MaternalHarbor_Final_small[1]

Marie F Martin will be at the Whitefish Community Center along with Betty Kuffel on Feb 9th to help celebrate Your heart Day.  She will have Maternal Harbor and Harbored Secrets available for sale and will participate in the author’s reading.  She hopes to see you there.

Ann Burden of Breath Cover - MinnettMinnett will read an excerpt from her second (forthcoming) novel, Serita’s Shelf Life, at the February 9th event. She is also the author of the novel Burden of Breath.

Breaking TWIG

Breaking TWIG

Southern fiction author Deborah Epperson will read from her novel, Breaking TWIG.

Other Montana Women Writers members will talk about writing from their hearts, including the heart of their stories, including Nan McKenzie, author of Big FootAngela Miller, author of The Hornbill’s Daughter; P.A. Moore, author of Courthouse Cowboys and Courthouse  Rebel; and Karen Wills, author of Remarkable SilenceTreats will be served and books will be available.

ChampagneBlue Jay ShamanCongratulations to Montana author, Lise McClendon, who is celebrating twenty years in print in 2014. Her first mystery, THE BLUEJAY SHAMAN, was published by Walker & Co., New York, in 1994. For a limited time THE BLUEJAY SHAMAN, set in Missoula and on the Flathead Indian Reservation, is free on many e-book platforms including KindleiTunes, and KOBO. Publisher’s Weekly called it a “gripping debut” and James Crumley said it was “reminiscent of Tony Hillerman at his finest.” Check out art dealer Alix Thorssen’s first adventure!

planonit

Kathy Dunnehoff signed a contract with AmazonCrossing to her romantic comedy The Do-Over in German as print, e-book, and audio by 2016.  She’s also just completed recording the audio version of  Hollywood Beginnings, available on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon by mid-February. And her novel Plan On It will be on sale on Amazon as a 99 cent download Valentine’s Day weekend.

On February 19th, Dr. Betty Kuffel will give a presentation in a webinar sponsored by Planetree Alliance, an international healthcare organization that includes North Valley Hospital in Whitefish. Her thirty minute presentation will address Heart Disease Risks and aspects of providing heart health education. The goal is to reduce the number one cause of death in adults through sharing ideas that can be replicated in many organizations and communities. A panel discussion follows the presentation. She has also been invited to write an article for Planetalk Magazine and e-news for Feb.