Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Freebie Fiction!!!

It's Friday and there are freebies all over the place.
Like Dystopian? Here you go. Fancy something more steampunky? Check these out. Books with kick-ass heroines across a variety of genres? There's a giveaway for that.

Here's a thriller and mystery deal that will end soon--as in today, Friday the 28th. So don't wait.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Twenty -three writers, one boxed set

Venom and Vampires, a boxed set of novels and novellas themed to paranormal creatures, went live last night on Apple, Kobo, Nook, and Amazon.  It's a double-dozen tales, with a little something for everyone, from straight up urban fantasy to historic fantasy to Kory Shrum's rural noir-tinged tale. This is a limited edition and the material is all original, so it's not one of those boxed sets where the editor gathered a bunch of stuff that's already out there. If you love the genre, you really owe it to yourself to pick it up. (Just 99 cents plus tax where applicable.)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Author Interview...KB Inglee

KB Inglee writes historical short stories. Her collection, The Case Book of Emily Lawrence is available from Wildside Press. She works as an historical interpreter at a 1704 water powered grist mill. She lives in Delaware with her family and too many pets.

When you research your fiction you really get into it. Are you part of an organized group of history re-enactors? I work at Newlin Grist Mill where I present the 1704 grist mill and the 1739 miller’s house, spin on a great wheel, and wrangle any animals I can. I am not part of an independent group of re-enactors.

What is your favorite era, and why? Early colonial. My grandfather was the pastor of the Pilgrim Church in Plymouth and the Adams church in Quincy, so I was pretty much brainwashed as a kid. I haven’t figured out how I ended up writing late 19th century, probably my least favorite time period.

In the spirit of your historical fiction, have you ever written a story longhand? When I started writing, I wrote in longhand a lot, but as I aged it got more illegible, so if I want to read it, it has to be on the computer.

Do you find it hard to “switch gears” when you go from short to long fiction? I don’t have a problem since nowadays write only short fiction.

Are you a member of a writer’s group? Do you belong to Sisters in Crime? Have you ever been to a writer’s convention? Yes, yes, and yes. I would not be where I am now if I hadn’t found Sisters in Crime. I belong to two SinC chapters, and a critique group. I also belong to Pennwriters, and I am part of a group of Delaware writers. I try to attend two writer’s conferences a year. Favorites are Malice Domestic, New England Crimebake and Pennwriters.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Author Interview...Debra H. Goldstein

Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery (Five Star -2016) and the 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus. Her short stories and essays have appeared in periodicals and anthologies, including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Birmingham Arts Journal, Mardi Gras Murder and The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fourth Meal of Mayhem. In addition to being the Sisters in Crime Guppy President, Debra serves on the national Sisters in Crime board, numerous civic boards in Birmingham, Alabama and is an MWA member.

I love the title of your website, “It’s Not Always a Mystery.” Your first two books—including the IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue—were mysteries. Do you have an alter-ego who’s writing in another genre?

For years, my alter-ego could be found in the decisions I issued as Judge Debra H. Goldstein (much more boring than my mysteries).  I called my blog “It’s Not Always a Mystery” because, under my own name, I write both mystery and literary short stories and non-fiction essays, as well as my novels. 

You grew up in New Jersey and Michigan and worked in New York before moving to Atlanta to attend law school. Now you live in Birmingham, Alabama. Was it an adjustment, a culture shock when you first moved to the South?

For me, moving to the South was a charming experience.  I embraced it although I came South by accident. I was working in New York and had been accepted to several law schools.  I got on a plane to tour some of the ones offering me scholarship money.  It was snowing when I left New Jersey, snowing harder in Pennsylvania, snowing even harder at my next stop, but when the plane broke through the clouds in Atlanta, I saw the red clay Margaret Mitchell described in Gone With the Wind and this English major was hooked.  I didn’t know it was the day after one of our terrible rainstorms when the air is clear, the pollen washed away. At that point, I thought I would be here for three years, but when I took my first job out of law school, it was in Michigan during a winter which had thirty-four inches of snow.  I moved back to the South the following year.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Author Interview...Kristin Kisska

Kristin Kisska used to be a finance geek, complete with MBA and Wall Street pedigree. A member of the International Thriller Writers, James River Writers, and Sisters in Crime, Kristin is now a self-proclaimed fictionista.

Her short mystery story, “The Sevens” was included in the Anthony Award-winning anthology, MURDER UNDER THE OAKS (2015). “A Colonial Grave,” which is a murder mystery set in Colonial Williamsburg, was included in Virginia is for Mysteries, Volume II (2016). She was excited that her jewelry heist short story, “Wine and Prejudice” set in Savannah was included in Fifty Shades of Cabernet (2017). And, she contributed her psychological suspense short story, “To the Moon and Back” to the eclipse-themed anthology, Day of the Dark (2017).

When not writing suspense novels and historical thrillers or blogging for Lethal Ladies Write, she can be found on her website~, on Facebook @KristinKisskaAuthor, and Tweeting @KKMHOO. Kristin lives in Virginia with her husband and three children.

On your website, you describe yourself as a “finance geek” complete with an MBA and a Wall Street pedigree. Does that background figure into your fiction?

            Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Katherine! It’s truly an honor.
No, I haven’t written any finance stories yet; perhaps I overdosed on corporate financial statements and stock prices when I wore my investment banker hat. That said, someday I hope my muse will inspire me with a chilling MBA-themed suspense or mystery plot.
So far my published stories have involved a secret society (“The Sevens”), a cold case murder (A Colonial Grave), a jewelry heist (“Wine and Prejudice”), and with Day of the Dark, a mother-daughter bond (“To the Moon and Back”).

I had to laugh when I saw you had a story in an anthology called Virginia is for Mysteries. I used to work for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and had the original “Virginia is for Lovers” t-shirt. (And yes, many people asked me if my name was Virginia.) What took you from Virginia to Prague?

I’m a first generation American from then-Czechoslovakia.  A few years after the Iron Curtain fell, I decided it was finally time to explore the country of my dad’s birth and meet my family members. I bought a one-way ticket to Prague—my parents thought I was nuts.  After three years living in the *Paris of the East*, I returned to the States, but Prague is still the city of my heart (it’s the setting of both a new short story and the novel I’m currently writing).

Friday, July 7, 2017

Bride of the Midnight King is free!

In honor of the release of Midnight Queen next week, I have put Bride of the Midnight King on freebie for five days. It's been my best-seller since it was published and has a nice smattering of 5-star reviews.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A timely Shakespeare quote

"Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss."  The line comes from one of Shakespeare's lesser plays, Pericles. (Most scholars believe that Shakespeare had a co-author for this one and that he only wrote about half of it. It is commonly lumped in with the :"Jacobean plays.") Whoever wrote it, it's a great line.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Free mysteries

Free mysteries and thrillers to download from InstaFreebie.
Who doesn't like #FreeBooks?

From Russia with Love

Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet
Every once in a while I get a huge spike in views of this blog in Russia. While I'd love to think that I've suddenly picked up a lot of fans in Moscow and Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg, the reality is that some Russian bot is probing Kattomic Energy for weak spots. The bots hang out for about a week, sending my view count sky high, and then they slink back to wherever they came from.

I found myself wondering what Shakespeare thought of Russia, if he thought of Russia at all. Shakespeare's life spanned the 16th and 17th centuries and by then, Moscow was a huge cultural center. It was a principality known to the English as "Muscovy." That land pops up a couple of times in Shakespeare's plays, most notably in Act V, Scene III of Love's Labour's Lost when Rosaline asks another character why he looks so  under the weather: 

Why look you pale?
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. 

In searching for Shakespeare/Muscovy links, I ran across this article about the way Soviet Russia viewed Ophelia. Poor Ophelia.  Using Grigori Kozintsev's film version of Hamlet as a source, the article deconstructs her "corruption." It's interesting reading.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Shakespeare's balls

19th century lawn tennis
Tennis balls, that is.

One of the best scenes in Shakespeare's Henry V is the one where he receives a gift of tennis balls from the Dauphin. (This actually happened. See the account here.) Henry is not happy with the gift, which is an insult to him and the resulting speech, which begins, "We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us," is a masterpiece. taht scene takes place in the 15th century, and by then, the game was already three centuries old. Think about that as you watch Wimbledon.