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Here you go, a Seattle flash mob performance in three locations. Fun!

One of the perks of being a writer is that people send you advance reading copies (ARCS) of upcoming books. How much do we love that, people? I’m going to try to be more organized about posting my recommendations here. I read a lot and I read fast, so sometimes things just speed by.

Today’s recommendations–

The Promised World by Lisa Tucker
Lisa Tucker is a good fairy. She was nice enough to have her publisher send me an ARC (advance reading copy) when she saw that her upcoming novel was on my wish list. Would that all wishes were so easily granted! Her other books possess dark fairytale quality I find mesmerizing, and The Promised World has it in spades. Lisa Tucker writes with compassion and sensitivity about the fine balance between sanity and madness, the cost of secrets and lies, and the redemptive quality of love. This novel is also a first class page turner, with a twisty and absorbing plot that will keep you up all night. Major thumbs up!

The Promised World: A NovelThe Promised World by Lisa Tucker

Lisa Tucker is a good fairy. She was nice enough to have her publisher send me an ARC when she saw that her upcoming novel was on my wish list. Would that all wishes were so easily granted! Her other books possess dark fairytale quality I find mesmerizing, and The Promised World has it in spades. Lisa Tucker writes with compassion and sensitivity about the fine balance between sanity and madness, the cost of secrets and lies, and the redemptive quality of love. This novel is also a first class page turner, with a twisty and absorbing plot that will keep you up all night. Major thumbs up!

A Bad Day for Sorry: A Crime Novel

A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield. Okay, can we talk about titles here? And cover art? I would have bought this book based on the front cover alone. Totally irresistible. But the real story is between the covers. A smart-alecky narrator with the kind of attitude we all wish we had, Stella Hardesty is a woman on a mission. She’s a survivor of domestic abuse and the proprietor of a small-town sewing machine shop. Her mission–to help other women escape and avenge the violence done to them. It’s filled with danger, humor, suspense and a romance with a boyfriend named Goat. Trust me, you’ll love this one.

Although I’m sure my editor was charmed by the scenic flight over Puget Sound, the swimming, hiking, biking, boating and eating…I’m pretty sure this was the highlight of her trip to the Northwest:

Its the Pyrex Museum!

It's the Pyrex Museum!

Im not kidding. Theres a Pyrex Museum

I'm not kidding. There's a Pyrex Museum

Pyrex Nirvana. We have found it.

So I get this letter, hand written in “rage” mode: “I have just finished reading your book…terrible book…this one was awful…At least you didn’t use the F-word every other page…can’t believe I wasted my money…” A whole page of this, and then on the back, she writes:

crankygram

crankygram

Sorry, couldn’t resist. I love saying g’day. And I just love the look of the Australia/New Zealand/Malaysian edition of Just Breathe.

ahhhh

ahhhh

I like it so much, I think I’ll give away an extra copy. Post a comment–tell us what you’re reading now–and I’ll do a random drawing.

Please note: Any photo can be improved by the addition of a ground squirrel. Here’s how to squirrelize your pics.

the Squirrelizer elevates any photo to fine art

the Squirrelizer elevates any photo to fine art

Next time I have the noive to complain about my job, I hope you will remind me of days like this:

having a serious talk with my editor about the fate of Daisy Bellamy

having a serious talk with my editor about the fate of Daisy Bellamy

Coffee on the patio with my editor while her children (including the large one known as a “husband”) are swimming, beachcoming, hiking, biking, harrassing the dog, building fires, eating smores and practicing general mayhem. Later, they will be treated to a scenic flight from our beach to Snoqualmie Falls, Bill Gates’s house and interesting places in between.

We were having some big ideas, along with the French Roast and smoked salmon.

Some days there is more to writing than W-R-I-T-I-N-G.

The water’s only 56 degrees F and the current is swift…so what are these people doing?

gorgeous photo by the incomparable Pete Saloutos:

It’s a fundraiser to help a friend in need. 🙂

Picture the most elegant waterfront restaurant on Puget Sound, with an adorable waitress serving you a brunch of sourdough macadamia nut pancakes and Dungeness crab hash. As you watch the boats coming in and out of the marina, you talk about the books you’re reading, and what’s on your TBR pile, and which novels you’re really looking forward to reading, and then you talk about your kids and you laugh a lot you know you’re doing something right when eating and shopping are your business for the day. I’m not saying every day is like this for a writer, but
as I indulged in that lucky-author feeling, I remembered an old story. A writer came home one day to discover her house burned down, her car vandalized, all her treasured possessions gone or stolen. “We’re so sorry, ma’am,” said the emergency workers. “But at least we know who the culprit was–your literary agent.”
The writer staggered in shock. “You’re kidding. No way!”
“I’m afraid so, ma’am.”

“Wow,” said the writer, shaking her head in disbelief. “My agent came to me house…”

Picture the most fabulous waterfront restaurant on Puget Sound, with an adorable waitress serving you a brunch of sourdough macadamia nut pancakes and Dungeness crab hash. As you watch the boats coming in and out of the marina, you talk about the books you’re reading, and what’s on your TBR pile, and which novels you’re really looking forward to reading, and then you talk about your kids and you laugh a lot.

After brunch, you head out to a gallery and then to a landmark bookstore, shopping and talking the whole time.

And then it dawns on you. Your girlfriend also happens to be your literary agent, aka the woman in charge of the three-ring circus that is your career. This is a business meeting. You are “at work.”

You know you’re doing something right when eating and shopping are your business for the day. I’m not saying every day is like this for a writer, but
as I indulged in that lucky-author feeling, I remembered an old story. A writer came home one day to discover her house burned down, her car vandalized, all her treasured possessions gone or stolen. She stood there in horror as one of the emergency workers said, “We’re so sorry, ma’am. But at least we know who the culprit was–your literary agent.”
     The writer staggered in shock. “You’re kidding. My agent? No way!”
     “I’m afraid so, ma’am.”
     “Wow,” said the writer, shaking her head in disbelief. “My agent actually came to my house…”

A hard day at work for my agent and me. 🙂

It’s such fun having a story in a collection about mayhem! Thanks to the Bellingham Herald for the good ink. 🙂

Murder and mayhem star in fiction from Northwest mystery writers

BARBARA LLOYD MCMICHAELFOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
(full article here)

It would be criminal to let the summer go by without indulging in a little escapist reading in the mystery genre. Two of the Northwest’s bestselling suspense authors have come out with books that should satisfy every reader’s sleuth-tooth.

Whidbey Island writer Elizabeth George, perhaps best known for her popular Inspector Lynley series, has edited “Two of the Deadliest,” a collection of 23 never-before-published stories, most of them submitted by some of the top female crime writers at work today. But also included are stories from five up-and-coming writers from George’s own writing classes. All of the selections focus on lust and greed, transgressions that (as the title suggests) fuel some pretty abhorrent crimes.

Some tales in this book are downright chilling, although the contributions by the Northwest-based authors seem to have a bit lighter touch. George and another one of her bestselling writer-pals, Bainbridge Island author Susan Wiggs, each serve up stories having to do with false identities and misbegotten romance. Eugene, Ore., author Elizabeth Engstrom writes about siblings gathered together for the reading of their dad’s will.

This anthology, with its variety of stories, is a good way for fans of crime writing to discover new favorite authors.

[…]

The Bookmonger is Barbara Lloyd McMichael, who writes this weekly column focusing on the books, authors and publishers of the Pacific Northwest. Contact her at bkmonger@nwlink.com.

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