I’m Celebrating!

One Bad Day After Another is one of five Finalists for the Daphne Award for unpublished mainstream mystery!

I never imagined that one day I would write a book! Honest. I’m not someone who will say “I knew I wanted to write since I was in first grade.” Not even close. I’ve always enjoyed reading and speaking. But where authors got the idea for a story I couldn’t imagine. (Just like I can’t imagine how a composer ‘hears’ music.)

But one summer afternoon I was sitting in the backyard and the opening scene of One Bad Day After Another came, full blown, into my head. This year I entered the manuscript in the Daphne writing competition It was quite a shock when I got the phone call saying the book was a FINALIST! (In fact, for an entire day I expected the phone would ring and they would say they’d called the wrong person by mistake – sorry!)

But that didn’t happen…and I am off in July to attend the Awards presentation in Denver.

One Bad Day After Another introduces Ottawa, Canada, female private eye Baker Somerset. She’s a feisty red-head with freckles and a hard-boiled attitude. Please check her out at her website http://www.bakersomerset.com

The Daphne du Maurier Award is presented by the Romance Writers of America Mystery/Suspence Chapter Kiss of Death. http://www.rwakissofdeath.org/daphne


Review: The Whites by Harry Brandt

The Whites is a powerful story of a group of NYPD detectives, criminals, trust, friendship and the lengths that a person will go to for those who deserve his loyalty.

Billy Graves is commander of the Night Watch squad; the officers that cover Manhattan’s felony crimes between 1a.m. and 8 a.m. Billy was one of seven young cops assigned to anti-crime. Known as The Wild Geese, they became like family to each other and now, twenty years later, five of them remain. Billy is the only one still at work.

Each of them is burdened with a case of their own where a criminal had managed to get away with a particularly horrendous crime. These criminals were known as ‘The Whites’. Now the Whites are turning up dead. At the same time, someone has targeted Billy’s family.

You can’t read this book quickly or lightly. There are multiple, complex characters and you need to pay attention. The effort is well rewarded, it is a read that has completely drawn characters; you get to know them, with all their flaws and all their demons, and you want them to come out all right in the end.

Brandt gives you the story of the Wild Geese, the Whites, the nightly cases of the Night Watch squad, the consuming rage of the stalker of Billy’s family and the moral challenge that Billy must face all in one tightly woven story. You couldn’t ask for a better read.

Published in: on March 13, 2018 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ruth Graham & YA literature

The nice thing about blogging and ‘feature writing’ is that you really don’t need to know anything about your subject – you just have to have an opinion.  Ruth Graham is a case in point.

In her article, which I understand has gone viral on facebook, she suggests that while you should be free to read whatever you want, you should “be embarrassed when what you are reading was written for children”.  My opinion, worth something only to me, is that Ms Graham should be embarrassed that she wrote the article.

I think she has something against one or two books in particular and so has decided to paint the entire YA group of literature as somehow not worthy of an adult’s time.  She endorses a statement made by Jen Doll, “YA aims to be pleasurable”, by saying that “YA endings are uniformly satisfying .. .emblematic of the fact that the emotional and moral ambiguity of adult fiction—of the real world—is nowhere in evidence in YA. fiction.”  (Is she for real?)

She also feels that  “if they (adults) are substituting maudlin teen dramas for the complexity of great adult literature, then they are missing something. ”

Books in the ‘maudlin teen drama’ genre must include The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath,  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou,  The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers by Dumas, Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Catcher in the Rye by Salinger, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Twain, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman, The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Traitor to the Nation by M.T. Anderson, The Call of the Wild by Jack London…  and I think I have missed a few!

“Uniformly satisfying”?  YA literature deals with war, racism, hunger, slavery, disease, rape, incest, greed, religious prejudice.  At the end of some you cry, at the end of others you are angry,  and yes, at the end of some you are smiling.  Maybe if they were all simple ‘romance’ and books filled with blue skies and birds singing, YA literature wouldn’t contain the highest percentage of banned books.

I’d like to let Ms. Graham know that there are some pretty maudlin adult fiction books out there and it is really wrong, a wrong that any writer should by horrified by, to tar an entire genre of literature just because she doesn’t feel a couple of popular books at the moment are great literature.

I’m an adult, in fact I’m older than Ms. Graham, and my statement is that “If you haven’t looked on the shelves at the library in the junior and young adult sections you should be ashamed because you are missing some great books.