Thursday, June 23, 2011

Marilyn Levinson, Author of A MURDERER AMONG US

I'm thrilled to have Mystery & Children's Books Author Marilyn Levinson, the President of Long Island Sisters in Crime, as my guest blogger today. 
Congratulations, Marilyn, and much success on the release of your latest novel, A Murderer Among Us. 

Kathy, I’m happy to be your guest blogger today.  I was fortunate to meet Kathy when she joined the Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime that I co-founded last summer with my friend and fellow writer, Bernardine Fagan.  Kathy became a valuable asset -- helping us with all things police-related, PR, Facebook, and Twitter.  We’re a friendly, informal group of mystery writers who meet in various libraries around Long Island.  Our meetings vary from month to month.  We’ve been fortunate to have two wonderful writer guests so far -- Hank Phillippi Ryan and Reed Farrel Coleman.  We critique, try to fathom the mystery of writing mysteries, publishing, and marketing, and support one another wholeheartedly.  We welcome all Long Island mystery writers to come and join us.
My mystery novel, A MURDERER AMONG US, debuted on June first.  My sleuth, Lydia Krause, has moved to Twin Lakes, an upscale retirement community on Long Island, to start a new life.  Lydia’s appalled when her neighbor introduces her to the community’s financial advisor, a convicted embezzler whom Lydia holds responsible for having driven her sister to suicide. She exposes the man in public and exchanges heated words with his wife, who is discovered the following morning, mowed down by Lydia’s Lexus. Suddenly, Lydia is Suspect Number One. Employing the many skills she’s honed as CEO of her own company, Lydia undertakes an investigation to prove her innocence.
The book is about new beginnings.  Widowed and no longer in charge of her company, Lydia forges new friendships.  Her relationships with her grown daughters take unexpected turns.  She even finds herself in a budding romance.  Life, Lydia learns, marches on.
A MURDERER AMONG US is available at Wings ePress in print and eBook format. will soon be available on, Kindle, and

Visit my website at:
If you’d like to know more about Long Island Sisters in Crime, feel free to contact me at Marilev4 (at) optonline (dot) net. 

Thanks, Marilyn, for visiting today, and your very kind words. I enjoy being a member of Long Island Sisters in Crime. As a relatively new group, I think we're off to a smashing start, if I say so myself!

Visitors: If you have a question or comment for Marilyn, leave a comment ~ and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Beach House Noir at Do Some Damage

Steve Weddle at Do Some Damage offered up a summertime flash fiction challenge for some Beach House Noir, 500 to 5,000 words. I'm a little late to the game, but I finished a story to add to the mix, called "Wanderlust," which clocks in just under 630 words. 

The awesome stories are up at Do Some Damage. Congrats to Thomas Pluck, the winner of Duane Swiercyznki's Fun and Games


After a scorcher on Fire Island during the summer of 1994, Phil and Garrett were about to fall asleep in their upscale cottage rental when a questionable sound of flatulence arose. 
“Was that you?” Phil asked.  
“No,” Garrett said, sitting up. “I was about to ask you the same thing.”
Phil whispered. “Who the hell farted, then — and where did it come from?
Garrett pointed toward the closet. He quietly slipped out of bed and reached under the bed for a bat. He stood near the closet. Phil turned on his bedside lamp. 
“We know you’re in there,” Garrett warned. “I have a weapon, so don’t try anything funny.”  
“I fell asleep — don’t hurt me. Can I come out now?” the burglar asked.
Garrett pulled the closet doors open. A balding man, not yet sixty, struggled to get on his feet. He rubbed his eyes.
“Who the hell are you — and what are you doing here?” Garrett demanded. 
“My name is Tommy Rogers,” the intruder said. He glanced at Phil, who held a cordless phone in his hand. “Please, don’t call the police. I can explain.” 
Garrett loosened his grip on the bat. The paunchy invader appeared harmless. “Let’s hear it — and we’ll decide whether to call the cops or not.”
“This community — well, you know, it’s reputation and all,” Tommy said, gazing back and forth at the startled pair. 
“You’ve got something against gays?”
“No, not at all. It’s the atmosphere of isolated beach communities. Doors are left unlocked. Everyone’s too trusting — which is to my benefit.”
Garrett asked, “And what benefit would that be, Mr. Rogers? Money? Jewelry? Drugs?”  
The disheveled, uninvited man explained, “I look for a wallet on the dresser.” His gaze shifted toward the wallets sitting on their dresser, making his point. “I only remove one credit card, though. I touch nothing else.” 
Phil surmised the rest. “To buy time — until the victim realizes it’s missing, or the credit card company notifies the victim — whichever comes first, but could take a while.”
Tommy nodded. “Exactly. If I get a card, I beat feet; but you guys walked in before I even had a chance to look. I didn’t take anything — we’re all good, I promise. I ducked into the closet, waiting for you to either leave or go to sleep. Guess I’m the one who crapped out. What gave me away? Did I snore?”
“We heard you rip one,” Garrett said. 
“Damn chili dogs,” Tommy muttered, looking down at his feet.
Phil asked, “So what’s your goal with the stolen card?”
“I book a plane ticket and get the hell out of dodge. I fly to the next gay enclave and steal another card. I’ve been all over the world, and no one’s caught up to me yet.”
“Until now, you idiot.”
“Technically, you’re correct; but do you know that when a burglar enters a potentially occupied home, he is mentally prepared to commit homicide?” Tommy asked, but didn’t wait for a response as he pulled a gun from the small of his back. 
He shot Garrett before he could lift the bat. 
Tommy double-tapped Phil before he could dial 911, or any other number. He crumbled to the ground. 
Tommy heard the front screen door slam. 
“Doesn’t anyone ever lock their doors around here?” he grumbled. 
“Phil? Garrett?” You guys setting off fireworks?” a concerned friend asked. When he reached the bedroom door, his eyes met the intruder’s. His mouth fell open, but could form no words.  
“Fireworks,” Tommy sneered. “I got your fireworks right here.” Bang-bang. 
Tommy locked the front door behind him. The drifter strolled down the tree-lined boardwalk, blended in with the crowd, and made his way towards the ferry. 
He had a plane to catch.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Antenna TV

Fans of yesteryear television, rejoice! Antenna TV (shows you used to watch using an antenna) is now available ~ depending on your TV provider and area. Enter your zip code to see if it's available where you live. Sadly, it is not currently available on DISH network or DIRECTV.

We're talking a channel devoted to such shows as All in the Family, Soap, Maude, Good Times, Hazel, The Three Stooges, Dennis The Menace, Three's Company, Here Come The Brides, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, and so many more ~ and movies, too.

To think I gave up ballet lessons on Saturdays so I wouldn't miss The Monkees; certainly no VHS available back then. I just had to wait 40 years to see it on TV on a regular basis again (well, I did buy some DVDs of the shows in recent years, and I've seen The Monkees ~ minus Mike Nesmith ~ in concert several times).

The Network launched on January 1, 2011, with a Three Stooges marathon.

You can follow @AntennaTVOnline on Twitter or "like" Antenna TV on Facebook.

If you have this channel, which show(s) are you interested in seeing? I can't wait to watch Soap again (and Here Come the Brides, and All in the Family).

TV Land, which has been around many years, has quite a line-up of shows, too. Gunsmoke, Bonanza, I Dream of Jeannie, Sanford and Son, and many more. You can also find TV Land on Facebook and Twitter @tvland.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Turning Fifty

Today's the big 5-0. I don't feel fifty! I got that AARP application in the mail last week, so I guess it's real!

I did a quick search and found out whom else celebrated/celebrates June 13 as his/her birthdate. I'm in some pretty good company. Here's a quick sample:

Basil Rathbone ~ 1892 - born in South Africa, actor ~ played Sherlock Holmes
Dorothy L. Sayers ~ 1893- British Author
Paul Lynde ~ 1926 - Comedian; Bewitched actor
John Forbes Nash ~ 1928 - American Mathematician
Christo ~ 1935 ~ Bulgarian Artist
Malcolm McDowell ~ 1943 ~ British Actor
Whitley Strieber ~ 1945 - American Writer
Stellan Skarsgaard ~ 1951 ~ Swedish Actor
Richard Thomas ~ 1951 ~ American Actor
Tim Allen ~ 1953 ~ American Actor

I'm thrilled to learn that June 13 is also the birthday of fellow Sister-in-Crime Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames). Hope you're enjoying your day today, Daryl!

I came across this inspiring quote:

"I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming... suddenly you find - at the age of 50, say - that a whole new life has opened before you." ~ Agatha Christie

Here's another one, author unknown: "Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age."

There's tons of jokes, of course, about turning 50. Here's a cute one from Digital Dream Door

Well Organized Life

Two senior ladies met for the first time since graduating from high school. One asked the other, "You were always so organized in school, did you manage to live a well planned life?"

"Oh yes," said her friend. "My first marriage was to a millionaire; my second marriage was to an actor; ,my third marriage was to a preacher; and now I'm married to an undertaker."

Her friend asked, "What do those marriages have to do with a well planned life?"

"One for the money, two for the show. three to get ready and four to go."

Do you have any words of wisdom about turning age 50? I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories

Mulholland Books has announced that between now and June 12, 2011, residents of North America can download the new ebook, L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories, for free. After the 12th, it will be available for 99 cents. The collection features original stories from Joyce Carol Oates, Lawrence Block, Megan Abbott, Andrew Vachss, Duane Swierczynski, Joe R. Lansdale, Francine Prose, and Jonathan Santlofer.

For those without e-readers, the collection can be downloaded to a PC or a Mac. Details are available on the Rock Star games site.

L.A. Noire is a video game available for PlayStation3 and XBox360; it is set in 1947. Players are challenged to solve a range of crimes. It was released in North American on May 17, 2011.

I think this is a fascinating partnership between ebook publishing and video gaming. It will be interesting to monitor the results of this marketing concept. What do you think of this alliance?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Casey Anthony Murder Trial

Casey Anthony
Are you following the Casey Anthony murder trial? She is the Florida mother accused of killing her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony. Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008, but not reported missing until July 15, 2008 -- which triggered a nationwide search. Her remains were discovered near her home in December 2008.

The Orlando Sentinel is covering it extensively. The Caylee Daily also covers stories about the case.

You can follow updates on Twitter at @OSCaseyAnthony, or simply use the hashtag #CaseyAnthony and find tweets related to the case.

"In Session" on TruTV (formerly Court TV) is airing live coverage of the trial.

CNN's Nancy Grace is covering the trial, too, weeknights at 8 pm EST. Follow @TeamNancyHLN for an inside view of the trial.

There's been a series of bombshells since the trial started; Casey's defense attorney claimed that Caylee drowned -- and that she and her father, a retired police officer -- covered it up. The attorney has also brought up that Casey has been sexually abused by her father and her brother. Casey's dad was the first prosecution witness, and he denied the sexual abuse allegations and the defense attorney's claims of finding Caylee in the family swimming pool.

Caylee Anthony