I am so sorry that it's been quiet here at the blog this week. I'm trying to get some extra reading in before Bouchercon so I'm ready for my panel moderating, but that also means I'm getting backed up on the reviews I need to share with you. So prepare for some to be coming!
I have some fun things to share with you before I get to this week's Five on Friday. So let me take care of that first.
If you're an M.C. Beaton fan, Criminal Element has a pretty spiffy contest going on right now where you could win the whole series - 22 books!
Marcus Sakey is helping out a good cause. During the month of September he's donating all his proceeds from Scar Tissue - his ebook anthology - to the Team Julian Foundation to battle childhood cancer. After September half of all proceeds will go to the foundation. I reviewed the anthology here so if it's up your alley, now's a great time to buy a copy of it. If you're a Kindle user, here's the link for Amazon. Nook readers, I'm working on locating the link for you. I'll update here when I have more info!
And most of you know I'm not a big proponent of selling for Amazon, but I posted about this on Facebook the other day because I thought it was such a steal. Martyn Waites writes in conjunction with his wife Linda as Tania Carver. Their first book, The Surrogate - which I reviewed here - is on sale at Amazon for $7.13 (when I posted to FB it was under $7 - I wonder if there's been a surge in purchases). It's hardcover, so you're basically getting the hardcover for a mass market paperback price - heck, even mass markets are like $10 these days. Anyway, I love this series, so if you're at all fond of dark crime novels and you haven't checked out Tania Carver yet, this is a GREAT chance to do so.
And speaking of Martyn, you can see him in this cool video from Open Road Media (along with Joseph Wambaugh, Ken Bruen and others). I'm going to try to corner Martyn at Bouchercon and get him to tell me more about this prison experience of his:
Which leads me into Bouchercon. There have been a lot of updates on the conference at the website, so be sure to check them out. A couple things I'd like to draw your attention to:
Wednesday, October 3rd at Baldwin College Library, 10 Minotaur authors will be speaking and signing books. This isn't a Bouchercon event, so you don't need to be registered for the conference to go, but you can go if you're registered. This is a great opportunity to check out.
Criminal Element is sponsoring a social hour at 6 on Friday in the Grand Ballroom. If you're attending the conference I hope you'll come out for that. And if you're not dying to be anywhere else, I hope you'll pop into my panels on Friday and Saturday morning at 9. Next week I'll give you locations and whatnot, but you can also find the info in your programs!
My friend and fellow blogger Lesa Holstine will be here for Bouchercon. I can't wait!! She's a native Ohioan, like me but she had the good sense to fly the coop to warmer climes years ago. My good sense obviously flew the coop on me because I'm still here, but anyway, I always peek over at her blog on Thursdays so I can remind you that she's holding a book giveaway. I want to enter this one myself because I didn't get a copy of THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS and I'd really like to read that one. But she's also giving away Mitch Albom's new book as well. So, if those interest you, pop over and enter that contest.
O.k. well, even if I've left something off this week, I think that's enough housekeeping for this week. Let's get to the main event, shall we?
Hilary Davidson is an amazingly talented writer. Before publishing her first novel, THE DAMAGE DONE, she was a travel writer and spent some time reviewing restaurants for magazines. (Maybe I need to find a job like that!) Hilary's restaurant reviewing came before she discovered her special dietary needs and it came in rather handy when she started the very successful Gluten Free Guidebook Blog.
Hilary is a also a great supporter of other writers. She's an integral part of the crime fiction community and I like to consider myself her cheerleader.
My friend and fellow blogger, Elyse Dinh, would consider Hilary someone to "shove down the stairs" because you want to envy her beauty and talent and intellect. But at the same time you can't at all because she's so kind and generous. I am always excited to welcome Hilary to Jen's Book Thoughts and I am honored to have her participate in the Five on Friday:
In San Diego's Santa Fe train station
1. The most bizarre place I ever found inspiration for a story was: When I visited Machu Picchu in 2007, my first reaction was that it would be the perfect place to kill someone. The plot of my second novel, The Next One to Fall, was actually built around that impression. I think it’s normal to find inspiration everywhere you go, but I readily admit that seeing a majestic, beautiful place and thinking about murder is probably not normal.
2. Five songs on my iPod/music player right now are: My secret obsession is creating iPod playlists — I have a lot of them. The latest one has an eclectic group of songs: “Breaking Down” by Florence + the Machine, “Le Blizzard” by a Canadian group called Malajube, “Generals” by the Mynabirds, “Next to Me” by Emeli Sandé, “Dead and Gone” by the Black Keys, and “Miriam” by Norah Jones.
3. My favorite toppings on a pizza are: Cheese, cheese, and more cheese. I also love pepperoni, bacon, olives, and peppers. But the main thing is that the pizza has to be gluten-free.
4. My favorite t-shirt (that I own) is: One that I kind of made myself. I found an iron-on transfer of a classic Ava Gardner photo, and I put it on a plain white t-shirt from Target. You have to understand, I have no talent at all for craft projects — this is as “crafty” as I get. I brought it with me on my book tour in the spring!
On the Mount of Olives, in sight of Jerusalem
5. The #1 item on my bucket list right now is: My bucket list is all about travel. For a long time, the #1 item was “Visit Israel,” and I was lucky enough to do that earlier this year. Now “Visit Cambodia” is at the top of the list — I especially want to see Angkor Wat.
I don't believe I've ever really talked to Hilary about music beyond her knowing my obsession with Harry Connick, Jr. I learned something about HER interests in music today - I love Norah Jones!
If you have not read Hilary's books or short fiction yet, I encourage you to do so. Her third book will come out in March of 2013, so you have plenty of time to catch up. Hilary will also be at Bouchercon so if you're coming be sure to find her and say "hi." For those who can't meet up with Hilary in person, you can learn more about her at her website. You can also catch her blogging at Criminal Minds every other Tuesday.
My thanks to Hilary. I know she's been under the weather lately, but she still made time for Five on Friday! Such dedication. It makes my heart smile. And happy reading to all. Have a great weekend!