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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Special Trip

I wrote this blog article before I found out the news that my father, Bill Crider, was being admitted into hospice care.  This post might seem a bit light-hearted considering what my father, my family, and I are experiencing right now, but I wanted to go ahead and share it since it describes a special trip my dad and I took together.  I'm extremely grateful that we got to spend this time together just this past October.

For my last blog post, I wrote about fan conventions and my impending trip to Toronto for Bouchercon World Mystery Convention 2017.  So today, I thought I would tell you a little bit about that trip.  



I had brilliantly arranged my flight to arrive at the same time as that of my father, Bill Crider.  With no delays for either of us, we arrived at the same time.  We headed from the airport to the hotel together and soon met up with friends Jeff and Jackie Meyerson and George and Diane Kelley.  The Kelleys generously treated us to a steak dinner with delicious food and entertaining company, so our time in Toronto started off with a bang.  

For the next few days, I attended the panels of authors, editors, and other experts in the mystery world.  So far, although you tend to hear similar things about writing and the book world at these conventions, I have never gotten bored of these panels and enjoyed every minute of them - perhaps because the schedulers do such a great job of mixing up the different topics and the people who share their perspectives about them; or maybe because I'm still somewhat new to attending these conventions.  Dad was feeling good for this trip (in fact, I struggled to keep up with his pace), and it was especially nice to attend the panels on which he participated.  

Doctors Demento:  Authors with PhDs.  Front:  Frankie Bailey, Dana Cameron, Bill Crider.  Back:  Radha Vatsal, Catriona McPherson, Kenneth Wishnia 

We had a great time each evening mingling with friends and enjoying the panoramic skyline views of Toronto from the hotel’s lounge.



Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (EQMM) was being honored at the convention for 75 years in publication and its distinguished contribution to the genre, and Janet Hutchings was honored for her 25 years as its editor.  This was a special treat to me since I have a story being published in one of EQMM’s upcoming issues, and was thrilled to be invited to attend a dinner that included some of EQMM’s distinguished contributors, including Dad.  

Clockwise from left to right:  Toni L.P. Kelner, Dana Cameron, G.M. Malliet, Bill Crider, Janet Hutchings, Angela Crider Neary (feeling unworthy in the midst of greatness), Charlaine Harris, Paula Woldan, Brendan Dubois.  Photo courtesy of Dana Cameron.

Myth Hawker Traveling Bookstore had Li’l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau:  The Case of the Parrots Desaparecidos for sale and invited me to be a featured “author of the hour” to promote the book.  



Then, there was time to explore Toronto.  The CN Tower (the third tallest tower in the world) was just a short walk away from our hotel.  




We met some nice bears and moose (mooses?).



We also took a subway trip to Casa Loma, a majestic castle-type structure built in 1911 as a residence for a wealthy financier.  It is now a museum, and is also used for special events and as a filming location for movies (for example, X-Men) and TV.



I even made my way up winding staircases to the top of the castle’s towers.  It was a bit windy up there, but the view was incredible.



It was a wonderful trip (an unsettling aspect was that the Sonoma County fires were blazing uncomfortably close to my home while I was away, but that’s a story for another day, and in the end my husband and I were lucky to have suffered no personal or property damage).  I will always cherish this special time spent at the convention and exploring Toronto with Dad.  






Angela Crider Neary is an attorney by day and writer by night. She is an avid mystery reader and especially enjoys reading novels set in interesting locales. She was inspired to write her first mystery novella, Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau: The Case of the Parrots Desaparecidos, by one of her favorite areas in San Francisco, Telegraph Hill.  Stay tuned for her second book in the series, Li'l Tom and the Case of the New Year Dragon. To learn more, visit her on Facebook and Amazon.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Island of Misfit Authors




‘Tis once again the season to deck the halls, brush off the old traditions, and maybe even start a few new ones. When I was a kid, it wasn’t Christmas without the annual viewing of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. To this day one of the things I remember most about Rudolph is the Island of Misfit Toys. Some part of me identified with those toys because I was a misfit too. I was painfully shy and, due to the makeup of my extended family, I was far more comfortable around adults than people my own age.

Image courtesy of www.123rf.com
 Over the years, I became more comfortable in my own skin. When I started writing, for the first time in my life, I felt like I had found my passion. Then, when I finally got brave enough (I still struggle with shyness) to meet with a local group of writers during NaNoWriMo, I knew I had found my people. They were just like me! These people knew what it was like to have a head practically bursting with stories. They understood how you can intensely dislike a character that you created. They also knew what it was like to have stories—and characters—take off in a completely different direction from what you intended. It was like magic.

As I joined professional organizations and took classes one piece of advice kept recurring—find others that write the same thing you do. Get to know them. Learn from them. Network. I tried. Really, I did. However, that’s when I discovered that once again, I’m a misfit.I joined one group only to discover that it was a bit… clique-ish. I had enough of that sort of thing in high school so I let my membership expire. I joined another group of sweet/clean writers only to learn that I couldn’t promote any of my work there because my first novel was sexy, not sweet. Strike Two. Finally I found another group of multi-genre authors that seemed to be a perfect fit… until the founder of the group got too busy to run it and it died a quiet death. *sigh*

I have written fantasy romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and one genre-defying video-game themed romantic short story. My Kudzu Korners series is sweet, humorous, paranormal romance. I can find plenty of other authors who write humorous paranormal romance but their stories definitely aren’t sweet. I can’t help but think there are others like me but I have as yet to find them. Oh, well. Maybe someday. 

In the meantime, I’ll be over here on the Island of Misfit Authors waiting to find a home. Want to join me? Everyone is welcome!

Until next month, take care and Happy Holidays to you and yours!



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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Release -- Her Forever Dreams by Agnes Alexander

A Coverton Mills Romance Book 3

Handsome ranch owner, Seth Armstrong, has been trapped in a loveless marriage for too many years to count—until his crazed wife, Eve, decides to murder him and their son, Hunter. Though Seth had tried before to negotiate divorce, Eve has threatened him numerous times with keeping their three children from him—something Seth couldn’t live with. Now, he and Hunter have barely survived being gunned down by the woman he should have left years before.

During a separation when his children were young, Seth met and fell in love with Julia Halsey, a woman who understood Seth better than anyone, and loved him too much to see him hurt. She disappeared from his life once she realized Eve meant what she said—but Julia had no idea she was pregnant when she decided to uncomplicate things for the man she loved. 

Years later, when Seth’s two sons’ paths cross in a most unlikely way, Julia comes back into his life again. But will their former lives apart—and the people they’ve known—allow them the happiness they so richly deserve after so many years of separation? 

Someone is out to hurt Julia, her son, and even Seth and his family—but who? And why? Even though Seth and Julia only want to put their patchwork family together as one after all this time, someone is determined to keep Julia from realizing HER FOREVER DREAMS…

EXCERPT:

     He stepped in and closed the door behind him. “So, you’re not all the way over your mad?”
     “I’m not mad, Chet. I’m disgusted with you and your services are no longer needed or wanted in this company.”
     “Oh, come on, Julia. You know I’m slated to be the manager in the Asheville store. You don’t have anyone else to send so there’s no way you can fire me now.”
     “Wanna bet?”
     “Yeah. I’ll bet you. Who are you going to send in my place?”
     “Not that it’s any of your business, but since I have good managers in all the other stores, I know just the right person to manage the Asheville store.”
     “And who is that, my dear?”
     “Me.”
     For the first time, a frightened look crossed his face. “You wouldn’t want to do that.” She didn’t reply and he went on, “You know I can run that store at a profit.”
     She still didn’t say anything.
     “Julia, be reasonable. I don’t want to leave Singleton’s. Where would I go?”
     She only lifted an eyebrow.
     He shook his head. “I really thought you and I had a rapport. Why, I was hoping we’d get together. Maybe even get married sometime. None of that will happen if you push me out.”
     “You’re more pathetic than I thought, Chet.” She looked at her watch. “It’s 3:15. You have two hours and forty-five minutes to clear your office.” She picked up her pen. “Please close the door when you go out.”
     As soon as her door closed, she dropped her pen, put her elbows on the desk and dropped her head in her hands. What was she thinking? Had she made a decision too quickly? There was no way she could manage the store in Asheville. No way at all.
     She lifted her head and leaned back in the swivel chair. But why not? He’s probably nowhere near Asheville now. Her mind contradicted this statement. That can’t be so. There’s no way he’d leave his farm. Her mind flipped again. So, what if he is still on the farm? He probably doesn’t come into Asheville very often, and if he does, he certainly wouldn’t be shopping at Singleton’s. He would leave that to his wife. Her eyes flew open at this thought. Oh, my Lord, what about his wife? She would probably be the type to shop there. Julia’s heart beat faster at this thought and a feeling of apprehension filled her. What will it do to me if I come face to face with Mrs. Seth Armstrong?