Monday, July 16, 2018

You Heard It Here First! Reds Headlines

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  The Reds have a little yahoo listserv--the place we go to set up schedules and keep in touch and make sure the blog works the way it's supposed to.  As a result, we also know each others comings and goings, happinesses and sorrows, travels and domestic travails.  We've been together going on eleven years now, and I am grateful for it every day.

Anyway. We also know each other's deadlines! And this year, hilariously, there's a whole crop of Jungle Red books coming out around the same time, and several more in the works!  So today, will you allow us a little trumpet flourish and fanfare?  And then we want to hear about your books, too--whether you're reading them or writing them!  

My TRUST ME, for which I spend my entire life crossing fingers, is coming out August 28! I am so excited for this, my first psychological standalone. it's two strong women playing a high-stakes cat and mouse game--but which one is the cat, and which one is the mouse? I dare you to find the liar!

The amazing Lesa Holstine--you know her, right, super-librarian and reviewer extraordinaire--just tweeted about it: "TRUST ME is better than Gone Girl. This summer's page-turner!"  Now, THAT is a tweet.  (You can read the first five chapters here, free!   Or get the  SAY NO MORE e-book for $2.99, and the chapters are included! Click here. Or--go for it! And preorder here.)

And I'm adoring the reviews on Goodreads--they seriously make me cry. One said "If I could give this book 100+ stars, I would!" And another said "Trust Me is one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read - and I have read hundreds." And how about this: "I would force myself to put it down to go to sleep but my mind would not stop. I was wondering what the characters were doing while I was sleeping. Best book I have read this year!!"

Ahhh. DO you know how hard I worked on this? What a joy to read these fabulous responses. (And trust me, nothing is more important to a book's emergence than happy readers posting reviews.)

I'll be keynoting at the Cape Cod Writers Conference coming up, and presenting at the National Book Festival in Washington DC, and ..well, more about all that later.

So Reds, what's your next book? Tell us about it! (Some Reds are keeping secrets, and some Reds are in the midst of the process...it's that's you, just give us a hint!) And what else is in the future this summer?

HALLIE EPHRON: My next comes out summer of 2019... so I'm looking forward to celebrating every ELSE's books in the coming weeks/months. I'll be on hand for Rhys's (Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding) and Lucy's (Death on the Menu) shared book events at Brookline Booksmith (August 8) and RJ Julia in Madison, CT (August 9). Then, so much excitement over Hank's new book (Trust Me) and looking forward to her launch August 28 at Brookline Booksmith. 

As for me, I'll be teaching writing workshops at Willamette Writers Conference August 3-5 in Portland, OR, and at the annual NYC Writers' Digest Conference August 10-12. August is packed!

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm so looking forward to sharing two book launch events with Rhys (I have DEATH ON THE MENU, Key West food critic mystery #8) and Rhys has FOUR FUNERALS AND MAYBE A WEDDING. 

And the other Reds are such good supporters of new books--Hallie and Hank will both be helping us launch at Brookline Booksmith on August 8, and Hallie's also coming with us to my hometown August 9 event at RJ Julia Booksellers. I have to admit it's kind of a nerve-wracking time, as you can't know who's going to buy it and read it, and how reviews will come out. (I'm going to let Kathy Reel tell you what she told me about Menu!). I'm also deep into edits on A DEADLY FEAST, and that will be out next spring. Sometimes it all runs together in my mind...but truthfully, I wouldn't trade this crazy time for anything!

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Sigh. The good news is, I've gotten back to writing (finally) and am shooting to have the first draft of HID FROM OUR EYES completed by the end of summer. I have no idea how that will translate into a publication date. Meanwhile, I'm going to be cheering all the rest of you on, as my TBR pile gets higher and higher!

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Can I add to Julia's sigh? I, too, hope to be finished with the book in progress by the end of summer, and believe me when I have an official title and a pub date, I will be shouting it to the rooftops!!! I just want to reassure Duncan and Gemma fans that they, and all their cohorts, are indeed in the midst of investigating a mystery.

In the meantime, I'm going to be thrilled to have so many REDS books to read!

RHYS BOWEN: I'm one of the crazy Reds who always seems to have a new book coming out. The moment I turn in one manuscript I'm off on tour for the one before. I still haven't finished celebrating The Tuscan Child, which came out last February and has been on Amazon Chart's Top Twenty list ever since and now I'm excited about my next Royal Spyness novel, called FOUR FUNERALS AND MAYBE A WEDDING. It comes out on August 7th, the same date as Lucy's book, and we're doing two joint events, with Hank and Hallie in Boston and Madison CT. 

Before that I have to face copy edits for my next stand-alone called The Victory Garden. (Yes, I can say the title now as I've just seen the first cover mock ups). It comes out next February. This time it is set in WWI and is the story of women in the land army (as well as a cursed cottage and maybe a witch). And I've just started work on next year's Georgie book but I'm not telling you the title yet!

JENN McKINLAY: This is fabulous! So much to celebrate in Jungle Red Landia!  I'm looking forward to the release of my next library lover's mystery HITTING THE BOOKS in September, followed by a new bookstore rom-com series launching with THE GOOD ONES in February, after which another cupcake bakery mystery DYING FOR DEVIL'S FOOD releases in April. In the meantime, I am writing WORD TO THE WISE, the next library mystery, then I'm penning THE CHRISTMAS KEEPER the second bookstore rom-com, and finally I'll be writing another cupcake bakery mystery, after which I hope to be launching my first women's fiction title, which is already written but I am holding onto it for a bit to be certain I've tortured my characters sufficiently. I have to work at that as I don't like to make my characters feel bad. LOL.

INGRID THOFT: It’s an embarrassment of riches in Reds’ releases!  Like Julia and Debs, I’m working on my next release, SUBMERGED, and I don’t yet have a pub date.  I, too, will be singing it from the rooftops when I do!  Between writing and cheering on the other Reds, I’ll be at Bouchercon and the Hampton Road Writers conference (http://www.hamptonroadswriters.org/2018conference.php) in VA in September.  

Hank, are we talking about the Huntington event yet?  

HANK:  Well, since it's only among us: it's still a secret that an amazing number of us--total still to be determined--will be appearing together in October in Boston at an unprecedented and unusual...well, we'll let you know. But if you live near Boston, hold October 13! 

So reds and readers,  whether it's a book or a garden, a new dish or a legal case, a research project or a quilt--what are you working on this summer?  

(And we're giving away a two books today--who knows which Red's book or advance copy you'll win? Just leave a comment!)

127 comments:

  1. My to-be-read pile keeps growing and continues to teeter, but [like every other reader] I’m thrilled to know there are so many Jungle Red books to look forward to reading. I can hardly wait!

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  2. Thank you, Joanne! You are such a stalwart and treasured friend… We rely on you so much!
    What are you reading this summer?

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    1. Joan Joan! So much for dictation software !

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    2. My phone does the very same thing whenever I try to dictate!

      I just finished the ARC of "Trust Me" [absolutely amazing; so wonderful] . . . then I’ll read Sheena Kamal's "It All Falls Down" and “Find Me Gone” for Goodreads and LibraryThing before tackling my teetering to-be-read pile. And I’m definitely looking forward to all the wonderful books the Reds are writing . . . .

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  3. SO much great news! I'm sorry I'll have to miss the Oct 13, but I have August 8 and 28 on my calendar. Delighted to hear Julia is back working on a first draft, and that Ingrid has a new one in the works, too. (I'm wondering if I missed a Gemma and Duncan - off to check when Debs' last book came out.)

    Me, I'm a day away from sending my completed and polished second Cape Cod mystery to my editor. Which is good, because Death Over Easy, my fifth Country Store mystery, releases in two weeks! Tomorrow I'll get back to polishing the fifth Quaker Midwife mystery (my twentieth novel), and this fall will be writing a Christmas Cocoa novella. Never a dull moment at the desk.

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    1. You're a marvel Edith! And ps, Edith and Lucy will be appearing at the Savoy Bookstore in WEsterly RI on August 29--so mark your calendars for that too!

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    2. So amazing Edith! What title did you come up with for your Christmas Cocoa story?

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    3. I didn't settle on a title for my novella yet, but it'll be in a Kensington collection of three called the Christmas Cocoa Murders. Several friends helped me brainstorm titles, so I have some choices.

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  4. Isn't this wonderful? All the updates are much appreciated. We read all across the spectrum in our mystery group, but each and every Jungle Red has their special 'fan' there. I'll be sharing the upcoming news. Hank, can't wait to read Trust Me. I am hearing such good things. Can't wait for all of the great books to come - named or not.

    As to what I'm reading - well, all kinds of things. Our mystery group is doing a 'staycation' theme for August and so Texas books are crossing my path right now: LONE STAR LAWLESS by Austin Mystery Writers and friends and also DAUGHTERS OF BAD MEN by Laura Oles. Plus those lovely 'Guppy' books keep arriving in my mailbox, courtesy of wonderful writers and my live auction win at Malice. They are a treasure trove indeed!

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    1. You're so kind Kay! thanks for reading all kinds of mysteries and being enthusiastic about our news:)

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    2. So delighted to hear this, Kaye! The book of the month club is such a treasure…
      And crossing fingers you love trust me!

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  5. No books being worked on or awaiting publication for me.

    I'm working on four books to review for Mystery Scene, though the first one I finished reading was, sad to say, crap.

    And I'm continuing to write my series The Cassette Chronicles for Limelight Magazine.com as well as doing CD and a bevy of concert reviews for KNAC.com. I've got one show review going up this week with at least four more before the end of summer. With a slate of shows still to come in September and October.

    And on the off chance that anyone was going to ask, don't worry, it's all music that nobody here will like.


    Boston, October 13th? Hmmmm...Jungle Red Con?


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    1. You're too funny Jay. Maybe you underestimate us...what do you do about reviewing a book that you feel is dreadful?

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    2. Jungle red con! ! What a brilliant brilliant brilliant idea.
      Yes, and I’d love to know the answer to the question Lucy asked, too…

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    3. I can't answer for Jay, and I don't really review books, but I tout them on Facebook. If I can't recommend a book, I say nothing at all. Books that don't grip me aren't necessarily bad. This is why there are menus in restaurants. I'm not sure what I would do if I was an actual reviewer. But personally, I won't publicly criticize something I couldn't begin to do myself. Privately is another issue.

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    4. Lucy, I listen to and review heavy metal. I was at a show on Saturday in Allston, MA for the band Armored Saint and Act of Defiance. I don't think you'll be asking to go with me to a show like that.

      As for the answer to your question (and for Hank's too), when I'm reviewing a book for MS that I don't like, I either tell my editor that I'm passing on the book (and why, plus I FINISH the book) or I write a review where I try to be constructive about why I didn't like the book rather than a "This Sucks!" kind of review.

      I've had a few books that I passed on because they were just awful (to me, because I've seen reviews of said books that raved about them), but I've had a couple reviews printed for books I didn't feel all that kindly towards.


      If I'm reading for pleasure, I usually put up a review on Goodreads and I apply the same rules to the reviews there, generally speaking.


      I'm not worried that an author is going to get bent out of shape because I didn't like something they wrote. As long as I'm conducting myself in as professional manner, that's just the way it goes. Still, the best feedback I ever got was for a middling review I gave to a music DVD. The band leader said (among other things) that I "must be a stupid, unintelligent American" for me to not have raved about the DVD. Made me chuckle for years.


      Ann, the reviews for MS whether good or bad, are what I get paid for. I could be wrong, it has been known to happen before. But I get paid to offer my opinion and have an editor to sharpen what I say when I say it so that I sound as smart as possible (love my editor). I'm shy in life about some things, but I have no problem offering my opinion on something.

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    5. The fabulous Celeste Ng recently put up a tweet saying something along the lines of--if you don't like a book in your review, PLEASE don't tag the author to make sure she knows. WHY would you do that?
      And someone else wrote: every reviewer should be required to sigh an agreement where they acknowledge they understand a REAL PERSON, with real feelings, is on the other end of it, and the real person is going to read the review. Brilliant.

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    6. Hank, I try to remember not to tag the author if the review I do is less than glowing. I don't think I've done that that I can recall.

      I never savage a book, because I try not to be (slang term for male sexual organ) as much as possible. If it is a book that I truly hate, I pass on doing the review when it is a MS review.

      I may not be what most would consider a "true professional" but I try to have what I think is some professional standards for myself and my reviews.

      And boy do I serve as a cheerleader when I love a book...ask Ingrid!

      As for the review agreement idea, I don't have anything on paper, but I do kind of make that deal with myself whenever I put a review of mine out there in the world.

      So I hope that clears up anything about what I've written previously in my responses on this topic.

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    7. Yes! Jay is the most amazing cheerleader when he likes a book! My publisher should hire him!

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  6. Such delightful news! So many wonderful books to look forward to! I've read TRUST ME and it is everything that people say and more! Might be the very best book I've read this year! My problem is that I like to read slowly and savor the words and the story but there are so many books to get to! Such troubles, I know. And I am working my way through the Poldark books. Oh and I am taking care of a 10-month old. I don't know where the time goes!

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    1. Oh my gosh, Judi! Thank you! Was that your review I saw on Goodrrads? Oh my goodness, can you possibly imagine how gloriously happy you make me? Thank you !

      And Poldark! How did you decide to read that?

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    2. Happy to make you happy - you deserve all the praise we can give! I've been watching Poldark on PBS and I've heard the books are even better. Written by Winston Graham in 1945, they don't come across as dated at all. Of course they take place beginning in late 1700s so maybe they already are dated. Sometimes it's good to read something totally different between the books I usually go for.

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  7. Wonderful! Now I know I will never get to all the books on my t-b-r mountain!

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    1. Yes, and isn’t that a good thing, really? What are you reading now?

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    2. Just finished The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard, Gotcha! one by Fern Michaels that I missed, Murder at the Mansion a new series by Sheila Connolly, Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz and waiting on Reds at the library!

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    3. Fabulous! I am hearing great things about the new Sheila Connolly!

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    4. So far so good...and I forgot Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King.

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  8. For your fans this is all great news, Reds! Lots of fabulous entertainment to come from you all, yay.

    Overseeing the building of a new home here, which seems to consume an awful lot of energy, despite my not needing to hammer a single nail. All the big decisions are made, the old house is cleared out and knocked down (took 45 minutes!), and the footers are getting dug now. And I am trying hard to stay calm.

    Last night I decided to start sewing again, to distract from all the chaos. Oh, and it's blackberry picking time, which means canning and freezing.

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    1. Building a new house is so exciting, but also stressful. I think sewing is the perfect solution!

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    2. Lovely, just lovely! What are you sewing?
      Do you have blueberries in your backyard? Or where?
      And well, building a new home… Amazing! We can’t wait to see it!

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    3. Have not started sewing yet, Hank! We had to move all my sewing stuff (takes up an entire room, plus a big closet), down to the basement, and I have not yet put the room together. It's cool down there, though, so these hot summer days will be perfect. But I think I will make some new clothes. We are on a sabbatical from spending money until we see what we will need for the new house, so I'll "shop" in my own fabric stash (which is extensive).

      And we have wild blackberries, Hank, acres and acres of them at the farm.

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  9. My mind boggles with all the production going on here! Kudos to each of you for all your hard and vastly unrewarded work. No matter what you get paid, it isn't enough.

    My summer work has been on my body. I'm in the middle of month five of my commitment to lose the walker. My right leg strength has come up to a 3+ from a 0, the goal being 5, and I am going to the gym 4-5 times a week, once for PT, once for Old Ladies' Water Ballet (really an aquasize class), and 2-3 times to work a course on dreadful machines that exercise and strengthen every muscle in my body except my brain. And I also walk the dogs daily. And garden a little. And feed us. It's a project.

    If anyone is wondering, last summer I had a failure of my right knee prosthesis with two femoral fractures, nondisplaced, which required an emergency revision surgery that wasn't guaranteed to work. So the fact that I am up and walking is amazing.

    Books I've read so far this month include THE GREAT BELIEVERS, by Rebecca Makkai, SNAP by Belinda Bauer, THE STOLEN ONES by Owen Laukkanen, DOT by Araminta Hall, THE HONEY FARM by Harriet Alida Lye, LOW DOWN DIRTY VOTE, edited by Mysti Berry, and BEARTOWN and US AGAINST YOU by Fredrik Backman. I recommend them all.

    You all are my joie de vivre.

    And now I need something new to read, not that I'm hinting.

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    1. You read those in ONE MONTH??? Amazing. xoox . (You know you can get the first five chapters of TM free....)

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    2. Hank, I’ve had TM ordered since forever. So I’m passing on the first five chapters. And I’ve read those books in the last couple of weeks. I start a new one in the evening and finish it the next usually. I’m not reading Beowulf or Proust you know.

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    3. Laughing--got it! Still... xoox . (and thank you!)

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  10. Despite having a lot of “free time”, I am a slow reader and it takes me on average a whole month to finish a book. That said, I am reading more than ever before. And a lot of that is listening to audiobooks. I am currently listening to Plainsong by Kent Haruf. This is a paperback that I actually purchased while waiting for a bus in New York City many years ago. I usually travel with multiple books, so I am not sure why I bought a book. I love singing in church and the title appealed to me even though I knew nothing about the book. Over the years, I would pick it up and put it back down.
    This summer, a church bulletin of a church (not my own) posted a notice that the book would be one of a series of books that members would meet to discuss. I had no idea where my copy of the book is, so I looked online and found both the e-book and the audiobook available online from the library. Now, I am more than halfway through the book and finding it compelling. I will let you all know when I finish it.

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    1. David, I love those "found" books. That happened to me with A Talent for Murder, by Andrew Wilson. It was kind of a spontaneous decision--and wow. It was fabulous. It's about where Agatha Christie really went in those two weeks she was missing.

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    2. David, Plainsong was a finalist for the NBA when it came out. Thanks for reminding me of it. Time for a reread I think

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  11. So many new JRW's books to devour. I am already on the waiting list for most of them (61,920 minutes until Trust Me is launched)552 hours for Rhys and Lucy. I am very happy that Julia has found her muse. Trust Me, I hope she will be submerged and avoiding 4 Funerals and not noticing death on any menus.
    I am currently back on a sci fi time travel jag, reading a series where Nantucket was displaced to 1200 BC. Can't wait to get back on the mystery train again in August.
    Thanks to all.

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  12. So much exciting news for the Reds! I love it.

    As long as the train behaves, I'll be at the Brookline Booksmith event to celebrate the launch of Lucy and Rhys's books with Hank and Hallie. My first trip to Boston - so when you add that event and Moulin Rouge into the mix, it's sure to be a summer vacation to remember.

    Other than that, I'll be working to get the BOLO Books schedule under control. With Bouchercon so early this year, I have to make sure everything is in place before that long trip. At Bouchercon, I'll be leading both the New Author Breakfast and the Author Speed-Dating events, so assuming I survive those, I hope that the fall slows down a bit. (It won't happen, I already have a Enoch Pratt Library event planned for October to discuss new releases and the year's Best Of).

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    1. Can you believe how SOON Bouchercon is??Whoa. SOone said yesterday--well, it's six weeks away. I CANNOT deal with that....

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    2. 7 weeks from the Thursday, but I'm not sure that's much better. LOL

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  13. Doing my happy dance here! Julia and Deborah led me to JRW and most of the other Reds, too--so I'm especially happy to hear about the possibility of first drafts by the end of summer!!! I need to get caught up on a few series, obviously, such joy!

    Currently I'm juggling a number of family crises (big family!), trying to convince nephew #1 that, no, he does not need to add a puppy to the household, and writing on a story loosely based on my maternal great-grandmother, advancing another story by one line at a time--a medieval fantasy, editing a 4-book fantasy series, and keep coming back to the opening pages of a modern YA fantasy and wondering if there's a market for anything YA that isn't dystopian and has no werewolves or vampires. For reading, I'm snatching moments with very old favorites (working my way through Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah and Max series right now).

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    1. Oh, there is DEFINITELY a market for what you're talking about--absolutely! You are quite the juggler, Flora!

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    2. Thanks, Hank! Believe me, you should see the rest of the balls rolling in all directions!

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  14. What wonderful news! I look forward to enjoying your captivating novels. I am reading memorable historicals which hold me spellbound. Apart from that relaxation I dogsit for my son's dog with plenty of walking and take the little ones to camp and parks.

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  15. Reading gives me such enjoyment and pleasure. Your books would be just perfect for my summer and fall. Your talent and creativity is wonderful. I am busy cooking up a storm for family and friends who are too busy and stressed so I assist whenever necessary. I also create unique gifts for them to cheer them up and enjoy this greatly.

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    1. Oh, tell us what you're cooking! (when you have time--ha!)

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  16. Hank, I am so excited for you about Trust Me. Can't wait to read it. As for what I'm working on, I'm trying to get into my current book but am not feeling very motivated at the moment. I will get there though!

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    1. We are cheering you on! (And thank you, yeesh. Very nervous and excited!)

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  17. I lost 3 weeks of precious reading time when I was sick, so I'm behind in reading. Hank, your book is up next in my queue and I can't wait to read it.

    Excited for all the Jungle Red Writers and their upcoming book releases.

    Roberta, I never got an ARC of your book. I'll purchase it and review it when it comes out.

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    1. Oh, poor thing... are you okay now? You work so hard!

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  18. This summer the whole family is working very hard on downsizing. My father-in-law died in April so my mom-in-law is downsizing to an apartment. We're helping her do that AND getting rid of lots of stuff at our house, too. I hate the upheaval but look forward to having a clutter-free life when we're finally done.

    I take lots of breaks to read and I'm currently reading Death in Dark Blue by Julia Buckley and 11.22.63 by Stephen King. Serious mistake since I don't want to put down either book!

    Now that the shock of Dad's death is wearing off, I'm thinking about writing and have made some decisions about my protagonist that have made me more excited about it.

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    1. Cathy, that's a very difficult transition. its very lovely that you are using books and writing to help--and we are here for you, too! Love you.
      And wow, 11.22.63--incredible, huh? How does he do it?

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    2. Cathy, so sorry about the loss of your dad. Good luck with the down-sizing--it's so smart to clear out clutter from your house at the same time!

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  19. Congratulations on all the new releases! Progress: the 422 square foot deck is stained, so I can attack the five foot weeds in the flower beds. My debut novel is through a developmental edit and I'm in earnest consultation with the local PD about the crime scene.

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    1. SO great! You will keep us posted, right?

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  20. So much good news here! Adding several titles to my buy list. I wish I could get to some of the events but I have a friend with a house in Madison, CT I will pass it on. As for me, slogging through my next Brooklyn book, which has turned out to be a hard one to corral. Faint light at end of tunnel appearing. I finally read Alafair Burke's The Wife.Wow.

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    1. Oh, I enjoyed that book, too. We know your book will turn out beautifully--they always do!

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  21. Big high fives and hugs all around for everyone's new releases AND works-in-progress!
    I'm currently reading the third in Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series, The Concrete Angel, and also Sarah Morgan's First Time in Forever--I have to have something light to balance the scary/creepy of police procedural stuff.
    I'm currently deep into writing my fourth book. I should say re-writing, as the damn thing has taken me on quite a ride! I'm so excited about how it's coming along, though! Here's hoping for a finished book by summer's end.

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    1. Oh, Dana, you will keep us posted, right? xoxo

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  22. Oh my goodness! So many things to celebrate for the Reds!! I'm eagerly awaiting the new releases and sending hugs and congrats across the miles.

    I just turned in my manuscript for my third book and am enjoying the few weeks before I receive edits by hanging out with our kids and devouring books on my TBR list. Next up: Adrift by the talented and wonderful Micki Browning.

    High fives all around!

    xoxo

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    1. High fives to you, too, Kathy! (And gang? Kathy sent me a gorgeous red lipstick--that's called TRUST ME! Is that not the most meta thing in the world? I LOVE it!)

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    2. And Kathy, can you believe you're on book 3???

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    3. Hank, you'll have to wear that lipstick when you're on book tour for Trust Me!

      DebRo

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    4. I saw it and couldn't resist!! Plus, it's a perfect complement for Jungle Red. :)

      I can't believe I'm on book three. Time is flying!

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  23. I already have several of these books on my TBR list, just waiting to put them on hold at the library. But winning one would be FABULOUS! Keep on writing, Reds!

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  24. I am enjoying the summer and having my daughter home from college. I'm trying to catch up on my TBR's which seem to grow every day, as well as making sure I write reviews for every book I've read. I'm so excited that there is so much to look forward to from the Reds in 2018 and 2019!

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    1. Oh, Celia, every author thanks you! It is SO important to get reviews--good ones, at least! It makes such a difference. Even a very short one--there's no need to do a big synopsis, in fact, it's often better not to, so the new reader has the same discovery experience. Just say how much you enjoyed it, and what it felt like to read it, and why. Thank you SO much xoooo

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  25. Thanks to all the writers whose books I'll be reading in the near future! I'm so disappointed that I won't be able to get to the event at RJ Julia; I have a prior commitment.

    For the first time in many years I'm growing plants on my deck this summer.There are two tomato plants which suddenly have a lot of tomatoes, there's basil, nicotiana, pansies, and more. I look forward to not killing them:-)


    This is my first summer of being retired and I am loving it. I'm taking some classes at the senior center, including creative writing. My goal is not to be published, but to exercise my mind. I'm also taking Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Just recently I started volunteering at the library. Mostly I'm just directing people to the department they want to visit. It got a little exciting last week when a lady with Alzheimer's went "missing" for about half an hour. She was discovered sitting peacefully in the Children's Department, so this is a story that had a happy ending!

    DebRo

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    1. Oh, such fun to have patio plants! Let us know how it goes.

      And aw, so great of you to volunteer at the library. Um, want us all to send you bookmarks, oh so casually?

      And what an adventure!

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    2. Great idea about the bookmarks, Hank! I can "accidentally" leave them in library books when I return the books, among other things!

      DebRo

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    3. Oh rats DebRo, we'll so miss having you there! I have an event in Guilford with Barbara Ross on 8/19--maybe you can make that one?

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  26. These sound fabulous! Looking forward to reading them.

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  27. I already have my copies of Lucy/Roberta and Rhys' new books for review. Can't wait to dive into them! And I'm very much looking forward to Trust Me as well, I just don't have a copy of it yet.

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    1. Hurray, Mark! Yes, Trust Me is very different--much more darkly psychological than my others. SO keep that in mind! xoxoo

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  28. So far this summer I have been reading like a fiend! It's too hot to go outside. I've been executor of my mom's estate and will hopefully have that wrapped up by the end of summer. We're getting some needed work done on our house. Tomorrow a crew is coming to clean all the grout in the bathrooms and regrout our shower. Exciting, I know. We'll need a new shower door next. Then I need to get an electrician out here. I was reading about Swedish death cleaning recently and have been threatening to do such to my husband if he doesn't straighten up. I'm planning two trips: one the end of this month. Going to drive to NE Ohio and visit friends, then pickup our granddaughter and go on a road trip. We're aiming for Bay of Fundy area of New Brunswick and then Nova Scotia. Buzz down through Maine on the way back to Ohio. Lobster rolls. This will be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants trip; no advance reservations anywhere since we have no time table except when we have to be back. I hope that doesn't backfire. In October my sister and I are going to the Charleston SC area for a week to explore. We decided to invite our spouses along so now I have to find out enough about the area to be able to find us an Airbnb to stay at. Any suggestions? I'm looking at Mount Pleasant at the moment. Hank, I read Trust Me last month, courtesy of NetGalley. Loved it! I put a review up there, BookBub, and Goodreads. Oh, and my one crop from my very small urban yard is going to be humongous this year: satsumas. I haven't had any in a few years; when I did they were delicious. Fingers crossed. . .

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    1. Pat D, your review is WONDERFUL! (am I allowed to say so?) Thank you so incredibly much.

      What's a satsuma?

      And--you know? I'd adore to have clean grout. Aren't we exciting?

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    2. Love satsumas--that's a good single crop to have!

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  29. Oh thank you. Writing is a chore to me. A satsuma is an easily peeled orange and is very flavorful like a tangerine.

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  30. I love it when we get a peek into your next books. Always on my must-read-immediately lists. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of Hank's TRUST ME and Lesa Holstine is right! Leaves Gone Girl in the dust. And I have missed Hayley and so happy DEATH ON THE MENU is almost here. Debs, thanks for the reassurance that we'll see Gemma and Duncan again. Off to update my calendar, and re-reading some series not a bad idea.

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    1. Oh, whoo hoo. Thank you! Ah. Hurray. Spread the word, okay? Trust me, no pressure, it's just my career....

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  31. I've had a great idea as I was reading all these comments about the fab Jungle Reds and also their upcoming books. I moderate (and choose books for) our mystery group at a branch of the Austin Public Library. I used to work there, but now do this as a volunteer. Anyway, I'm already pondering the first half of 2019. With the way library funding goes, we often read with themes so we can have enough copies of books (we're a big group). Anyway, I'm thinking that a 'JUNGLE RED WRITER' theme would be great. Everyone could read the new books or the old books written by JRW and then come and convince the rest of us to read them as well. As I said in my comment earlier this morning, we have big, big fans each of the authors here. I'm thinking that February 2019 will be 'JUNGLE RED WRITERS' month! Perfect! Thanks Hank and everyone for putting that suggestion in my mind. It will be great! Ha!

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    1. Kay! What a fabulous idea! Thank you! And....invite me! I can easily get to Austin, seriously. xoooo

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    2. Seriously, seriously?? Wow. Well, it would be on Wednesday, February 6th in the evening. Our group would be amazed and honored. We'll have to talk soon. :-)

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    3. Let's see if we can make that happen! Email me at h ryan at whdh dot com, and we will confer! xxoo

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    4. I will email very soon! Thanks so much for your kind offer!!

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  32. The next year looks to be full and rich in reading material! Yay!

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  33. I'm trying to get an agent for my women's novel that was dystopian until this political administration.

    I'm reading Catherine Couldter's NEMESIS and loving it!

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    1. Donna, I just burst out laughing. xxxxx Crossing fingers!

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  34. Wow what a huge summer for great reading. Looking forward to it - and I have a big ole circle around October 13th, Hank!

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  35. I'm excited about everyone's book launches.

    Diana

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    1. Hurray! We are excited, too....and nervous!

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  36. It is now 29 days until the official release for ROOT OF ALL EVIL and 26 days until my launch party. AAAAAHHHHHH!

    I just reviewed cover mock-ups from Level Best and I am dying to have it finished so I can share!

    I also just put my name in the hat for the New Author Breakfast and Author Speed Dating at Bouchercon, so we'll see what happens.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Very much looking forward to hearing more about your book. I've been watching your comments here for a long time. Good luck and let us know!

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    2. Thanks, Kay. Like all the rest of the Reds, I'll be shouting as much as possible when I'm able. LOL

      Mary/Liz

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    3. HURRAY!!! xoxooxo . Be happy! We are SO happy for you!

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    4. congrats Mary--looking forward to seeing and reading it!

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  37. Hank, congratulations on all the stir, and the great reviews. You can be sure I'll be reading it when I can get my hands on a copy! It seems you just go from success to success. Good for you.

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  38. Happy to hear about new books coming out. I just started Ruff Justice by Laurien Berenson. I have Jenn's romance on my Nook and Edith's on pre-order on my Nook.

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  39. You ladies are The Best!!!

    Libby Dodd

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    1. Oh, Libby Dodd, you are such a good pal! xooxo

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  40. My congratulations to all of the other Reds for new / forthcoming books. It's so great to know there are wonderful books in the pipeline. Rhys - I loved In Farley Field and am eager to read Tuscan Child. Yes, I'm behind, but what fun catching up will be.

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  41. And my greedy self says "Yes! I'd love a book by any of you!" Please!

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  42. It is certainly a glorious summer for reading the Reds! I told Lucy that every page was a delight in Death on the Menu, and I couldn't be more sincere. Reading it was like having your favorite dessert in the whole world (which would be Key Lime Cake from Firefly Restaurant on Petronia St. in Key West for me) available to you whenever you want. Of course, I'd like to taste that Mojito Cake that Haley bakes in the book. I do think this book may be my favorite in the series. Of course, I've loved them all.

    Hank, I have a date with Trust Me this coming week, probably starting Thursday. My husband will be out of town, and I'll have the house and your book all to myself and can stay up all night reading if I want. I've been tingling with anticipation, Hank, and I know I'll agree with Lesa. I'm currently finishing up Lori Rader-Day's new one out on Aug. 7th (the day the book world explodes with great new titles), but I should finish it up tonight or tomorrow (it's a fantastic read, too).

    Rhys, I didn't receive an ARC of the new Georgie book, and I should have asked, but maybe it's good that I have one to read the first of August. I already know I'll love it. Jenn, where to start. Well, I have your Library Lover's series on my calendar to start in August (want to get it in before meeting you at Bouchercon), so I guess I'm looking most forward to that series in your new books, but I'm trying to catch up on you, so I know it will all be wonderful reading. Ingrid, same with you about catching up. I have Loyalty on my August calendar to read before meeting you at Bouchercon, too.

    Debs and Julia, every book I read in the Gemma and Duncan series and the Clare and Russ series is a treat and a treasure to me. They are so worth waiting for.

    Now, just a quick comment for those whose books I'm reviewing. I'm a bit behind because I've had a little health glitch, blood clot in lung, but everything is under control, and I have doctor appointments lined up to make sure all runs smoothly in the future. It is rather scary, but apparently, if you have to have a blood clot in the lung, it's in a good place in mine. It could have been much worse. And, I have to tell you that the one thing that has kept me calm is reading and knowing that I have these amazing books still to come. You all do so much to enrich lives and make people enjoy it more. I'm going to suggest to my doctor tomorrow that he prescribe reading the Jungle Red Writers' books for his patients with concerns. xo

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    1. Kathy , we are thinking of you! SO scary! And you know you can talk to Jonathan in solidarity...
      Sending good health (and everything) vibes for absolutely all of us!

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    2. Hank, I do have a couple of questions that I like to direct to Jonathan. I message you tomorrow. xoxo

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    3. that's a great idea for a prescription Kathy LOL. thanks so much for your support and hope you heal quickly!

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  43. And, dear Mary/Liz, I am adding Root of All Evil to my New Books list and TBR list. Congratulations!

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  44. Congrats on all your upcoming releases! Can't wait to read them & those that are in progress of being in written! I'm currently reading Fran Stewart's ScotShop Mysteries.

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  45. What a combined "force" you all are! So many good books to look forward to reading. Recently finished A Gentleman in Moscow for book club and currently reading Kitchen Counter Cooking School and Jenn's Read It And Weep.

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  46. I am working on a baby blanket for my granddaughter that lives in Ca we hope to make the trip in Oct if dr says I can just getting the scooter in a rental car will be fun. The drive from eastern Iowa to the bay area in Ca is a drive we have taken 4 times in 16 years so I deserve a chance to go. peggy clayton ptclayton2@aol.com

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  47. Deborah, I am so glad to hear that Gemma and Duncan are out there adventuring. I found your books this last spring and I have been reading my way through them. I just picked up Garden of Lamentations from the library last night. I was so sad....even though I look forward to reading it on vacation.

    I found the Jungle Red Writers through you. I love this website!

    Thanks, Marie, (Michigan)

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