Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer 2017 Newschat

Zestful Blog Post #221

If you also follow my Newschats, this will be a duplication, unavoidable. I’m posting it here first, so if you see the Newschat come in later to your inbox, you can disregard.

Oh, so much to tell! Got a giveaway going, an invitation to be a beta, and more. Gonna be quick on each of these:

In honor of the dead of summer, get the third in the Rita Farmer mystery series, On Location, free through this weekend here. The rain and cold of the Pacific Northwest in storm season—apart from Rita’s mad adventures—should take you away from whatever swelter-zone you might be inhabiting. Like south Florida. So sweltering…

A new Lillian Byrd is waiting in the wings, and I need beta readers! No don’t get horribly worked up; it’s not the sixth in the series, it’s a shortie. But it’s Lillian! Here’s the brief:

When Lillian Byrd’s friend Billie calls for help liquidating her beloved vinyl record collection to get her car out of the police pound, Lillian hustles right over. Trouble is, getting rid of great music’s hard to do! This short novelette (about 30 pages) gets Lillian out of her upper flat and, once again, into the lower regions of subterfuge.

A solution beckons when another of Lillian’s pals, auto-biz heiress Flora Pomeroy, calls with an offer: If Lillian can help her win a thousand-dollar bet with another Detroit blueblood, she’ll be richly rewarded. With the money, she can help Billie get her car and preserve her record collection!

However, the bet involves climbing aboard a sailboat with a hard-drinking, vulgar businessman and an assortment of other, perhaps more refined, passengers. Deep water leads to deep trouble—and a lot of grief for Lillian if she can’t pull this one out.

[Sneak peek.]

If you’re interested in joining my Special Team of Advance Readers (S.T.A.R.), just shoot me an email (esims at elizabethsims dot com) and say, “Add me!” You’ll get a link to your choice of e-reader file and my sincere thanks. You’ll also get a link for a free copy once the novelette is released, with my request for a fair and honest rating or review. Please join! The world needs more good fiction, and you can be part of the glorious process of creation by being a STAR.

I’ll be giving the luxury version of my workshop “How to Write a Dynamite Mystery or Thriller that Sells” deep in the heart of Texas, and you can be there. It’s the Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop, September 15-17, 2017. I’ll be doing my two-parter on Saturday the 16th. We’re talking Midland, Texas; we’re talking cowboy boots; we’re talking beef for dinner, I hope. Am thinking of a guy I overheard at a restaurant in Amarillo who, when asked how he wanted his steak, said, “Jes drahve it in and awl bite it off.”

And here’s the main link. To see registration options, click the ‘Seminar Selections’ rotating thing in the right-side bar of stuff.

On the same subject, I’ll be joining the adjunct faculty at Ringling College of Art + Design in Sarasota to teach the fall term Short Story Workshop. Have not been around that many young people at once since I was experimenting with herbal and pharmaceutical remedies for ennui in my own college days. To answer a question that’s already come up, nonstudents may not audit the class, sorry. But I hope to have some new experiences to add to my inner compost pile of material…

If you’re a Novelists, Inc. author too, we can eddy out for coffee at the conference in St. Petersburg, Florida the first weekend in October. (Yeah, Neil, I’m going!)

I contributed an essay about being a Midwestern writer to Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Readers Journal, Spring 2017 issue. My piece is called “The Lake Effect,” and it’s about—what else?—the Great Lakes and their mysterious power. I know I don’t live in the Mitten these days…but sure am thinking fondly of it as the heat index here climbs daily into the hundreds. This magazine’s not free, so if you buy one, consider it support for the arts.

Here’s a (free) link to a nice interview you might have missed from ManyBooks, during a springtime promo for The Actress.

Fellow Mensans, my latest novel, Crimes in a Second Language is rumored to be reviewed in next month’s Mensa Bulletin. Just a heads-up.

And last but way not least, here’s a link to a super nice interview in Sarasota’s SCENE magazine, by my special bud Ryan Van Cleave, a talented writer in his own right—and, as head of the creative writing program at Ringling, my new boss there!

And now we’re caught up. I’ve got lots more stuff in the pipeline, so best keep your finger on this pulse.


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  1. Wow! You're busy, busy, busy! I was probably the first email that said "add me" and I'm looking forward to beta reading for you. That was a very nice interview, by the way.

    1. I had never heard of Novelists Inc before. I looked them up and as soon as my second book qualifies me for membership, I'm going to apply. It looks like a great resource. Thanks for mentioning them.


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