For those of you not on my mailing list, or who have me trapped in your spam, here’s the newsletter for the Fall.
It’s coming on November. The leaves are turning. There are any number of upcoming holidays, celebrations, events, and even a novella launch in the next little while. That means this newsletter covers a lot of ground. Stay tuned. Don’t stop reading now, or you’ll miss out on a wealth of details.
A Veteran’s Day Must-Read
First, in honor of Veteran’s Day, I want to mention a book that isn’t new at all, but it was new to me about six months ago. The author of A Corpsman’s Legacy wrote to me about her book shortly after shedding tears reading Second Watch. I can tell you that I certainly shed tears as I read hers, and I’m betting you will, too.
Suppose there was a little girl who grew up knowing she was adopted. Suppose that the same girl, as a college student, went to Washington, DC, where she stood in front of a certain panel at the Vietnam War Memorial and wondered about all the names etched on that piece of polished granite. Then, when she was in her late twenties, that same girl, faced with a serious medical condition, reached out to her birth family. Suppose that search led her to a birth mother who, having lost her boyfriend to the Vietnam War, gave her child up for adoption. And suppose, even later, the girl discovers that when she visited the Vietnam War Memorial years earlier, she had unwittingly paused to study the very panel containing her father’s name.
That’s the basic premise behind Stephanie Caisse’s moving memoir, A Corpsman’s Legacy. It’s the story of a young woman’s determined search to find and honor Gary Norman Young, the father she never knew. This book touched me. It reads like a mystery as Stephanie follows the clues leading one by one to two welcoming families–families she never knew she had. As she learns who her father was, she slowly unravels the secrets surrounding his death and finally sees to it that he is posthumously awarded the mistakenly withheld medals and honors that should have been granted to him and his family decades earlier. A link to Stephanie’s website is here: A Corpsman’s Legacy.
There were a lot of unsung heroes during and after the Vietnam War. You met two of them, Doug Davis and Bonnie Abney, in my book Second Watch, and you’ll meet two more, Gary Young and his daughter, Stephanie Caisse, in A Corpsman’s Legacy. Put this one in your to-be-read stack, digital or otherwise. You won’t be sorry.
This isn’t exactly a November event. It’s actually an end-of-October event. I’ll be at the Oshawa Public Library near Toronto, Ontario, at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 25, where I’ll be part of Suspects & Sleuths, the library’s Mystery Author Festival for 2014. This I something that requires advance registration. Here’s the link to the event registration page: Mystery Author Festival: J.A. Jance.
I’m writing this on October 13. The registration page shows that right now there are still 96 tickets available. Hope you’re able to grab one of them.
I don’t come to the Toronto area often. That means I may have fans there with LOTS of unsigned books. No problem. Feel free to bring them to the event. My corporate policy is to leave no book unsigned. And since I don’t have a tight schedule or a plane to catch that day, you can be assured that your books WILL BE SIGNED. Yes, if you bring a suitcase of books, you’ll have to wait until the end of the line, but you won’t go away empty handed!
For five years, between 1942 and 1947, Anthony Boucher reviewed books–mainly mysteries–for the San Francisco Chronicle. Now, some seventy years later, the world’s annual premier mystery readers convention is named Bouchercon in his honor, and the awards handed out at the convention are aptly named–the Anthonys. (No, I haven’t won an Anthony although I was nominated once.) This year, I’m happy to say that I’m scheduled to be the American Guest of Honor at Murder on the Beach, Bouchercon 2014 in Long Beach, California, November 13 – 16. (Wait. Did I just say Guest of Honor? I believe that strange buzzing you hear is the sound of my head swelling!)
There will be lots of other mystery writers in attendance. For full details about programming and registration: Bouchercon 2014.
On Tuesday, November 11, there will also be a benefit dinner at the Long Beach Public Library. For registration details on that—LB Confidential, A Night of Noir–go to: Bouchercon Night of Noir.
Bouchercon is fun. It’s a time to see and mingle with your favorite authors. Bring your books–maybe a wheeled bag of some kind would be more appropriate than lugging them–and have them all signed. Yes, I said ALL. I know program planners put limits on numbers of books that can be signed at any one time. You may have to work your way through a line more than once or simply wait until the very end, but the reason authors attend festivals like this is to meet and greet their fans and to sign books. Yes, it’s tiring. Yes, it’s work. By Sunday evening, I probably won’t be at my photo-op best, but if you live in Southern California or even if you don’t, please consider coming.
A Last Goodbye (the noBella Novella)
Four years ago this weekend, a little brown waif came into our lives when my grandson, my daughter, and I found a miniature long-haired dachshund abandoned and running for her life on a nearby and very busy street. We chased her down, caught her, and brought her home. Terrified, soaking wet, muddy, and cold, she had no tag or chip. Our
grandson named her Bella that very night, and Bella she remains. Over time, we’ve learned a few things about Bella’s previous life, and pieces of her history are woven into the background of A Last Goodbye. The novella also includes Ali’s and B.’s Las Vegas wedding extravaganza. The novella is scheduled to go on sale in an e-book edition on November 24 for the whopping price of $.99 for a Kindle edition! You can hardly beat that. A Last Goodbye will also be available through other e-book outlets.
Yes, I know. I know. The DTRs, also known as my faithful Dead Tree Readers, are already screaming. “Wait a minute, we only read REAL books.” Please be patient. A Last Goodbye will be printed in the mass market, aka paperback, edition of Moving Target, due out at the end of December.
Okay, now I must stop working on the newsletter and track down a few of the things I’ll be needing desperately in the next couple of weeks–my roll-aboard luggage, my passport, and my recipe for pumpkin pie. Always homemade. And always made with real pumpkin! Oh, and birthday candles. LOTS of candles. I’ll be turning seventy at the end of this month. I believe at that time I’ll be officially able to claim my place as “a woman of a certain age.” All I can say about that is this: It beats the alternative!
My mother, the inimitable Evie, once said that after she turned 80 she felt free to “speak her mind.” So here’s fair warning. I might get the drop on her by starting that process a whole decade earlier.