Thursday, February 18, 2021

This and That

 Is everyone all right, weather-wise and pandemic-wise? Here in southern Arizona where I live, it's sunny and 66ºF today, which is our reward for having to live through our summers. However, all my siblings are back in the deep freeze. My sister in Joplin, MO, was subject to a rolling blackout night before last, and sent me a photo of her thermometer on the deck registering -16ºF, with about a foot of snow. My sister in Tulsa went out to check her mail, stepped on the ice and, as she put it, "did a dance like Elwood Blues" before taking a tumble and bruising her elbow, and my Tulsa sister-in-law did a slider with her car right through an intersection while trying to stop at a red light, (both are okay). Below is the photo my s-i-l took of their front yard a couple of days ago. Fortunately none of my Tulsa relatives have lost heat. I can't say the same for some of my poor relatives in Texas. 

Photo by Donna Casey, Tulsa, OK

I have to comment on some of my blog mates' recent entries. John Corrigan's observation on Thursday about the process of writing is so spot on, so on the money, so to the point, that I'm going to steal it: "The path into the forest is never scary. It’s only after you’ve been in there a while and realize you’re lost that fear kicks in." 

I'm so delighted for Charlotte Hinger, whose The Healer's Daughter has won the Will Rogers Memorial Silver Medallion, a Kansas Notable Book Award, and was named a finalist for the High Plains Book Award. It's such a wonderful book and deserves every single accolade it is eligible for. Charlotte did say she wished she could go to Fort Worth to receive the Will Rogers award in person. My guess is her feeling is - not so much, right now.

I totally agree with Douglas's assessment of Bad Day at Black Rock, and of many classic movies in general. Classic movies were often much more adult and thoughtful. I could name many wonderful examples, but I'll confine myself to one, the 1944 noir thriller Laura, based on the novel Laura by Vera Caspary, and starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. I often use that particular screenplay as a sterling example of suspense, characterization, and plotting, and if you haven't seen it, well, why not?

In other news, since my latest Bianca Dangereuse mystery, Valentino Will Die, came out on February 2 I've gotten several solicitations from newsletters to advertise my book to "tens of thousands" of subscribers for a week/month/year for anywhere from $29 to $150. I'm not familiar with any of them but checked them all out. I'm skeptical. Has anyone else signed up and had success with Author Week, Book Machine, Fresh Fiction, or anyone else? I posted this question on my Facebook author page and got no response, so if any of you Dear Readers are also authors and have experience with one of these newsletters, do your fellow authors a favor and give us the benefit of your insight.

And finally, since I can't resist another opportunity for some BSP, writers know what a relief it is to get a good review from Kirkus Reviews, a notoriously tough review magazine. But I'm pleased to announce that they liked Valentino Will Die. Whew! Their reviewer says: "A plausible and exciting premise, famous characters, period movie glamour, and a blockbuster ending." 


anna said...

A good review from Kirkus! Fabulous!

Donis Casey said...

No kidding, Anna!

Rosemary Simpson said...

I get those same email solicitations, Donis, and always ignore them.

Donis Casey said...

I ignore them, too, Rosemary, and always have, but I got so many this time that began to wonder. I'm glad to hear others ignore them, as well.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Donis, thank you for the very kind mention of The Healer's Daughter. But I'm especially thrilled with the reception you're getting for the new mystery--Valentino Must Die. What a great title.

Donis Casey said...

Thank you, Charlotte!