Grace Koshida is the winner of Tracee de Hahn's Swiss Vendetta! Grace, please contact Tracee at tldehahn at Yahoo.
In addition, we're offering one lucky commentor a FREE copy of Tell Me No Lies by today's guest, Lynn Chandler Willis!
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Lynn Chandler Willis knows a bit about awards. Her novel, Shamus-Award finalist, Wink of an Eye, won the St. Martin's Press/PWA Best First P.I. Novel, making her the first woman in a decade to win the national contest.And we all know winning a St. Martin's Press contest is a guarantee of (ahem) excellence.
Lynn decided to move her setting from Wink, Texas to her home state of North Carolina - and use her own history as a small-town newspaper owner - for the debut of her new series, TELL ME NO LIES.
Ava Logan, single mother and small business owner, lives deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, where poverty and pride reign. As publisher of the town newspaper, she’s busy balancing election season stories and a rash of ginseng thieves. And then the story gets personal. After her friend is murdered, Ava digs for the truth all the while juggling her two teenage children, her friend’s orphaned toddler, and her own muddied past. Faced with threats against those closest to her, Ava must find the killer before she, or someone she loves, ends up dead.I could quote you the good reviews TELL ME NO LIES got from Kirkus, Publishers' Weekly, and Margaret Maron, but my favorite is a Goodreads reviewer: "Clever mystery with several viable suspects. Romance, children and a dog add to its charm."
Forget hype and plaudits - that gets right down to what REALLY makes a book we want to read!
The Golden Globes were handed out a few weeks ago. I didn't watch—I happily cut the cable when the monthly bill became my single largest utility bill and my little antenna doesn't pick up our local NBC affiliate. Although I didn't watch, I read all about the awards on line and the overwhelming thought from many was “I haven't seen any of these movies!” And there lies my problem.
What constitutes Best Movie in our minds doesn't always jive with the voting board's opinion. Why? Because we're commoners. If we were to appear in an episode of Downton Abbey, we'd be the downstairs help while 'the board' rambles around upstairs oblivious to the common folks likes and dislikes.
By the time this post runs, the Academy Awards nominations will have been announced and chances are, you may not have seen any of those movies either. That's not to say the movies aren't good or even award worthy. They're just not the popular choice for weekend date night with the commoner.
Look at some of the titles of box office record breakers: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Marvel's The Avengers...do you see any Best Movie nominees in there? Yeah, me neither.
So my problem with the elite of the elite award shows is I feel like I'm being talked down to because I enjoyed Marvel's The Avengers. It's snobbery. Pure and simple. I will proudly stand up for all those high-grossing, special effects laden, escapism movies. It's like...shhh....we must whisper this part...writing or reading genre fiction.
Sure, our traditional and cozy mysteries, our thrillers and romantic suspense, our private eyes and amateur sleuths may never bring home a Pulitzer but they can sure collect an Anthony, an Edgar, an Agatha or a Shamus. And those awards, as a commoner, are awards I can relate to.
|My grandson Casey isn't so sure about his twin sister Ireland's singing abilities|
Several years ago I got caught up in the hype of a certain movie. It was the “must see” movie of the decade. It was a remake of a remake of a remake, based on a breath-taking classic novel considered to be one of the best of all time, a movie based on the record-shattering box office musical play. My daughter and I went and sat in the packed theater watching Hugh Jackman suffer, and sing. My daughter leans over and whispers to me, “Wolverine's singing.”
And that started the giggles. And we couldn't stop. While the entire theater (minus the two of us) wept and jumped to their feet in a standing ovation shouting BRAVO! BRAVO! my daughter and I giggled. The more we tried to suppress it, the worse it became until we couldn't catch our breath while our shoulders shook with silent laughter.
It wasn't the movie, or Hugh Jackman—or Russell Crowe!—singing. It was the pretentiousness of it all that got to us. Give me an Agatha or an Edgar or an Anthony or a Shamus award any day.
Have you ever seen a “must see” movie, or read a “must-read” book you just didn't get?