Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Bookstore Buddies

I was delighted to see two photos of my books, on sale at independent bookstores. I love the thought of readers browsing the tables and discovering my work! I've haunted bookstores since I was a grade-schooler and have found countless treasured novels that way.

Yesterday, my friend Diane Wilshere, whom I've known online since we were part of the same yahoo discussion group on Tudor England, sent me a photo that made me cry "Yippee!": My novel The Chalice is on sale as a "staff pick" at Powell's Books, in Portland. Powell's is one of the most influential bookstores in the U.S., a chain of stores actually, often called a "city of books."

The "Staff Pick" note says, "A little bit like The DaVinci Code...except the main character is a woman! Joanna Stafford was a novice in the Catholic Church until Henry VIII dissolved it; she's a nun on the run. Prophecy & Mystery!"

Last week, I received a wonderful email from some in a city closer to home. Melodie R. Winawer, author of the upcoming historical thriller The Scribe of Siena, spotted The Tapestry on the table of a bookstore in Saratoga, New York.

Thank you, friends, for sending me these snapshots from the front, and thank you, bookstores, for supporting my novels and bringing readers to the world of Joanna Stafford.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Interview With Rhys Bowen

By Nancy Bilyeau

As the editor of The Big Thrill, I get books in the mail literally every day. Yes, even Sunday!

Last year, I was struck by the cover of one novel (an ARC in publishing lingo, standing for "advance review copy") and the author's name.

The book that I removed from its envelope.

I was intrigued. This didn't seem to be a book in one of Rhys's series of historical mysteries. (I'm an admirer of both series.) A glance at the press materials revealed that this was a "standalone," in the lingo of publishing, and a big epic World War II thriller.

Even though I had work up to my ears and was in the middle of two other books, I turned to the first page of In Farleigh Field, and was immediately captivated. I plunged into her suspenseful story of a family in 1941 England and how they become caught up in a widening conspiracy after a soldier is found on the family estate, dead in his parachute and with false papers. My favorite character was the young man living near the estate, the vicar's son, who is in love with one of the daughters but must investigate the possible treasonous conspiracy as a secret intelligence officer.

After finishing, I contacted Rhys's publicist and arranged an interview. We spoke for an hour on the phone and she was full of interesting stories and perspectives on England during World War II, women as spies, and how she wrote the book she wanted to write. Very inspiring.

And she was quite funny. I love the pictures she sent to accompany the interview, including one of her and a cutout of the Queen:

Please read my interview with Rhys here.

And check out In Farleigh Field!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Feuds, Feuds, and More Feuds

My latest story for Town and Country magazine is a round-up of the most memorable feuds of the last century (and a little longer!). The premise being that Joan Crawford and Bette Davis are only the beginning :)

Some of the feuds are famous, such as the hatred between Wallis Simpson and the Queen Mother.

Some are less known but even juicier. :)

Two of the feuds that readers have particularly responded to are Alice Roosevelt versus Eleanor Roosevelt and Truman Capote versus Jack Kerouac, I think because in most cases there was a cruelty, a bullying of the other person. Poor Jack Kerouac was no match for Truman!

To read the story, go here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Publication Day for a New Noir Mystery

Today is the official launch date for the noir novel The Gods Who Walk Among Us. It's set in New York City, the story following Adam, a failed lawyer turned paparazzi who is tracking a reclusive human-rights icon who doesn't want to be found. Not only that, he's part of a shadowy world that can ruin Adam's life all too easily.

The author is someone I know: my husband. It's his debut novel. :)

The Gods Who Walk Among Us is also a winner of the Kindle Scout competition. This amazon division is "reader-powered publishing": a whole lot of books are posted and people vote. About 4 percent of the books that compete, win. Max's book is one of the winners.

Can I be objective? Probably not! So here is a review from Robert K. Lewis, author of a great private detective series. His mystery Critical Damage was a finalist for a Shamus Award for Best Original Paperback P.I. novel.

“Max Eastern’s debut is witty, clever and superbly executed, and I could not get enough of
Adam Azoulay, the down on his luck failing lawyer turned paparazzi. If you want a fun ride and read, look no further than The Gods Who Walk Among Us." -- Robert K. Lewis

Max at the United Nations. The international nonprofit relief world is at the center of his novel.

Also I'd like to share an Amazon review that was posted by a reader last night:

 5.0 out of 5 stars Bonfire of the Vanities meets The Big Sleep, March 13, 2017
Verified Purchase
This review is from: The Gods Who Walk Among Us (Kindle Edition)
This novel is more than a mystery. It's a satire of New York City, the celebrities and the billionaires who run the nonprofit relief groups, and the way they work in tandem. The hero of the book is sarcastic and funny, a down on his luck lawyer searching for a human rights icon who really does not want to be found. This book is original.
I'm very excited about these early reviews. And I'm delighted that after years of shunning social media, my beloved spouse is actually enjoying his ventures into this world. Check it out!
Many of us like to read a first page or a first chapter before making a decision. The Kindle Scout page still offers the first two chapters for free.
The mystery is for sale in the U.S. and the UK. Amazon page of the book is here.
Thank you!!!