Shaken, Secrets and a Very Special Cat

I received some wonderful news yesterday—CITY OF DRAGONS has been nominated for a Macavity, specifically the Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery Award!

The Macavity is as wonderful as it gets, a recognition of your work from some of the most astute readers in the community: members of Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Readers International. I’m deeply honored to have Miranda’s debut novel nominated … and am especially tickled because when I was a kid I used to be able to recite by heart “Macavity, The Mystery Cat” (the poem by T.S. Eliot for which the award is named). I can still remember a few stanzas, so if you see me at a convention and ask me to recite—be forewarned! 😉

I’m also celebrating something else: a special effort by authors—an anthology of short stories—written and published and sold to raise money for Japan in the wake of its almost unimaginable calamity. The anthology is called SHAKEN: STORIES FROM JAPAN, and is currently available on Amazon for $3.99. The brainchild of author (and fellow Macavity nominee) Tim Hallinan, the book features 20 stories by 20 authors, many crime fiction favorites, with elegantly translated haikus interposed between the stories. Even the cover is designed by the multi-talented Gar Anthony Harwood. I’m proud of participating (my story is called “Coolie” and is set in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake); proud, too, of Amazon, for donating their share of the royalties: fully 100% of this book goes to help the people that need it. It feels so good to be able to help, even a little.

It’s hard to believe that July is almost upon us. CITY OF SECRETS will be hitting stories on September 13th, and I’m busy writing the third Miranda (working title is CITY OF GHOSTS) while preparing for the launch. My website will soon have all the bells and whistles I hope my readers have come to expect: a book trailer, video, photo gallery, sound track, inspirations and more. In the meantime, you can check the progress by going to the CITY OF SECRETS page and exploring the sub-menu.  I’m also looking forward to the paperback of CITY OF DRAGONS, which hits stores August 30th.

To celebrate the launch of Miranda’s second novel, I’ve written a special short story: “The Memory Book”. Set on Treasure Island during the World’s Fair, it takes place before CITY OF DRAGONS and after my previous short story, “Children’s Day.” I’ll have more news on the release soon.

Speaking of “Children’s Day, FIRST THRILLS has been out for over a month now, as a mass-market paperback. My first! And what a thrill it is, to see my short story in such stellar company! If you haven’t read this prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS, you can now read it FOR FREE on the ITW website: just go to The Big Thrill and click on the banner.

In the Roman part of my life, we’ve made NOX DORMIENDA newly available as an e-book! You can find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Diesel, Sony and Smashwords for $3.99. I’m happy to see it back in pixel-print, and hope to have word on a paperback version before the end of the year.

I have a number of events coming up this summer … a trip to Yreka, CA and Ashland, Medford and Klamath Falls, Oregon, as part of the fabulous Ashland Mystery Readers Group Festival, now in its ninth year. I can’t wait to visit my old stomping grounds–I traveled to Ashland every year in high school, and it’s been way too long since I’ve been back!

I’ll also be speaking at the fabulous Desert Sleuth’s WRITE NOW! 2011 Conference in Scottsdale, AZ, with friends Sophie Littlefield and Juliet Blackwell … I can’t wait to see my fellow Sisters in Crime and the desert in all of its summer glory!

In the meantime, I’m writing … and writing … but will be back sooner rather than later with, I hope, some movie recommendations. Hope you all have a wonderful Independence Day, and thanks for sticking with me while I’m writing in the dark! 🙂 And congratulations to all the Macavity nominees!