Monday, June 28, 2010

Dark and Disorderly by Bernita Harris

Online friendships are weird. Some of my...let's call them hardcopy friends, don't consider online friendships real friendships. I do. It's a different kind of friendship, but a friendship nonetheless. Sometimes the online friendships don't hold up in the real world. Other times, when you finally meet the person face-to-face, not a beat is skipped. But that's something to explore in another post.

Bernita Harris and I have been online friends for at least six years. Although we've never met in person, I can easily imagine hanging out with Bernita in her backyard garden. So I was so excited when I heard that Bernita had sold to Carina Press. Her first book, Dark and Disorderly, comes out today. It's been getting rave reviews. I just downloaded my copy from Amazon, and can't wait to read it!

Dark and Disorderly

"I was standing there naked when my dead husband walked into my bathroom..."

Lillie St. Claire is a Talent, one of the rare few who can permanently dispatch the spirits of the dead that walk the earth. Her skills are in demand in a haunted country, where a plague of ghosts is becoming a civic nuisance.

Those skills bring her into conflict with frightened citizens who view Talents as near-demons. Her husband comes to see her as a Freak; so when Nathan dies after a car crash, she is relieved to be free of his increasingly vicious presence. Lillie expects to be haunted by Nathan's ghost, but not to become Suspect #1 for her husband's murder and reanimation.

But what's most surprising of all is the growing attraction between her and psi-crime detective John Thresher. He thinks that Lillie killed Nathan—and Nathan must agree, because his zombie is seeking revenge. Now she and Thresher must work together to solve her husband's murder—before his corpse kills her...

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Sometimes I can't keep track of who I am. I started out writing under my real name, but when I switched to crime fiction the marketing department thought I should use something new. My middle name is Anne. My editor suggested Frasier, and that was pretty much that. At about the same time, I moved from Iowa to St. Paul where I met a new group of writers and booksellers, and they came to know me as Anne. I gave up trying to use Theresa, because nobody could keep it straight. I even had trouble emailing various people at the publishing house because they didn't know who Theresa Weir was, and I quickly realized I had to make a full transition in order for my career to move smoothly. And now I will eventually be transitioning back. It's possible that I'll continue to write suspense under Frasier, but at this point that's unclear. The hardest thing to change will be email. I've used the Frasier email address for so many years. Just not sure how to make that switch, but at the same time I'm afraid continuing to use Frasier will be confusing for people. And what's really weird is that in a lot of ways I feel more like Anne Frasier than Theresa Weir. I've been Anne for ten years, and I left that old life and that other name behind long ago. I'm sure I'll eventually get used to being Theresa again, but it all feels so strange! Sometimes I wonder if I just shouldn't get my name legally changed to Frasier.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


More book news!
I'm excited to say the Halloween anthology has found a lovely home! I can't share many details until I meet with the publisher, but it will be released in trade paperback September 2011. I couldn't have done it without all of the wonderful stories. Once the details are locked in, I'll post an official announcement including the publisher and a list of the contributors.

Above is my original mock-up cover which I doubt will be used. Back when this project was just a twinkle in my eye, the title was Bats in the Belfry because I'd planned to publish the book myself and I was calling my little publishing venture Belfry Press. But when the stories began rolling in, and they were so damn good, I felt we should reach higher. Now I think we might need a new title, and I'd like to have a list of options when I meet with the publisher. So please leave your title ideas in the comment section!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


A couple of weeks ago someone posted a thoughtful piece on self-publishing, or rather the dangers of self-publishing. I wish I'd bookmarked it, because now I can't recall the details, but it was something about self-publishing making it too easy for writers to publish before the book is ready to be published. And publish before the writer has really honed his skills. I don't even know if that's what the article was really about. All I can recall is my mental response and another viewpoint it triggered in me. And I've been thinking a lot about this lately because of my own interest in self-publishing.

My concern isn't that unpolished and undeveloped stories will be published, my concern is that good books, fantastic books, will go unread.

Writers who would normally take the traditional path - the tedious queries and rejections, the waiting and waiting, the revisions and waiting and revisions and more queries - many of those writers will decide to self-publish and we'll never read their stories.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Criminal Instinct by Kelly Lynn Parra

I'm so excited about Kelly's book, Criminal Instinct. It's one of the first titles for Carina Press, which officially launches today, June 7th!

Read about Kelly's long journey beginning with her initial conception of CI to today's launch. It's heartbreaking and inspiring.

Words of a Writer -- A Personal Journey


purchase from Carina Press

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I'm trying to build up my supply of storycards. Got some cute new paper. Really like the paper in the upper right-hand corner. You can't tell from this image, but it's flocked.

I'm in the process of getting slides scanned, and I will be posting some digital images in the coming weeks and months. I'm also going through my late husband's artwork and notes. When he was dying and could no longer speak, all conversations took place on paper. Of course these are just his side of the conversation, but it's easy for me to figure out who he was talking to. Probably twelve notebooks in all. At first he wrote everything on an erasable board, then we switched to spiral notebooks and legal pads. At the time, I didn't think about keeping them -- it was for convenience, because the erasable would sometimes vanish before he was done writing. I've been scanning some of this stuff, but it's hard to get a clear image since it was written in light pencil. But anyway, I'm digging through boxes and sorting and reading. Missing some slides and artwork, but hopefully they will show up.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Several friends have books coming out this month, and I will start with the first two just-out titles by Bill Cameron and David Housewright, both wonderful, wonderful writers, both of whom have stories in the Halloween anthology.

David (House to many friends and readers) happens to be doing a signing at Once Upon a Crime June 8. I haven't read this book, but it's on my to-buy list (you can't go wrong with a book by David Housewright) along with Bill's Day One. If you would like a signed copy of David's book, you can call Once Upon a Crime. They do mail orders! (Hey, you could order both books at the same time!)

Once Upon a Crime: (612) 870-3785


(Edgar and Minnesota Book Award author)

The Taking of Libbie, S.D.

7 PM Tuesday, June 8, 2010

from Once Upon a Crime:

Join us for a publication party at:

Once Upon A Crime

604 W. 26th Street, Minneapolis

Edgar Award-winning author Housewright jumps right into the story in his seventh Rushmore McKenzie mystery: it opens with two men breaking into McKenzie’s Minnesota house, zapping him with a Taser, throwing him into the trunk of a car, and transporting him several hundred miles to, of all places, Libbie, South Dakota. Once there, they discover they got the wrong guy: they're looking for a con man who used McKenzie’s name and identity to bilk the town of Libbie out of a lot of money. Believe it or not—and McKenzie can scarcely believe it—the abductors then ask the abductee to help them out by finding the con man and bringing him to justice. McKenzie describes himself as a knight-errant doing favors for friends (he’s way rich and doesn't need a day job, but that's another story - which we have:, namely A Hard Ticket Home).

"charmingly unlikable in a likable sort of way" – Booklist Online (referring, of course, to McKenzie, rather than the indisputably likable Housewright)

Bill Cameron
might dispute this description, but I would define his writing as literary crime fiction, partially because he is so good when it comes to the interior of his characters. I once said this about Bill's writing:

"Real is the word that immediately comes to mind when stepping into a world created by the exceptionally talented Bill Cameron. The landscape he illuminates is one we've seen before, but never with such focus or appreciation."

Bill's anthology contribution features some of the characters from Day One, and I can tell you the short story just blew me away, so I'm especially anxious to get my hands on a copy of his new release.

About Day One:

Born and raised in southern Oregon farm country, Elie Spaneker flees her home and abusive husband, unaware she's being tracked by an ex-cop in the hire of her vengeful father-in-law.

In Portland, retired homicide detective Skin Kadash fills his idle days drinking coffee and searching for Eager Gillespie, a teen runaway of special interest as the only witness in a troublesome and long unsolved murder. Eager, meanwhile, is on his own, grifting and working the angles in the homeless underground, oblivious to the unfolding events which will force him to face the consequences of a crime, and a longing, which has haunted him for years.

These disparate trails converge at a bloody standoff, the harrowing end of a series of brutal crimes which trace a path from the high desert to the streets of Portland, committed by a perpetrator known only as Shadow.


“Readers will get caught up in this thriller's various plot threads, which will lead them to a sad yet satisfying conclusion.”
—Library Journal

“Unrelievedly bleak and gritty yet thoroughly compelling.”

"The characters’ operatically intense passions are powerful."
—Publishers Weekly

I'll round out this post with a June release by friend Mary Logue. Mary is another awesome Minnesota writer. She and Bill are both published by Tyrus Books.

Frozen Stiff

The next installment in the Claire Watkins mystery series.

Car mogul Daniel Walker is celebrating New Year’s Eve alone. Or at least he thinks he is. The temperature is twenty degrees below zero outside, but he’s roasting in his sauna with a bottle of Stolychnaya. Not only is he about to be rid of his wife, but he has just conned an older woman out of her family farm. Everything is going his way. At midnight, he runs outside naked for a quick roll in the snow. But when he tries to get back in the house, he can’t. He’s been locked out.

The next morning he’s found, frozen and covered in snow. When deputy sheriff Claire Watkins gets to the scene, she calls an ambulance, remembering that sometimes people in this condition can be revived. As the doctors pump warm fluids through his body, his loved ones gather: his model daughter Danielle, his soon to be ex-wife Sherri Walker. Claire learns of others who weren’t happy with him: the son of the woman who sold the farm and the housekeeper’s daughter who is giving birth to an unexpected child in the same hospital.

While solving this midwinter crime, Claire realizes how tenuous love is and how frozen she’s been since her first husband was killed many years ago. She has been happy living with Rich Haggard, but in this chilling season she finds she wants more. Maybe she’s finally ready to step into the marriage he’s wanted all along.


"Readers who care more about intelligent depictions of passionate emotions than the details of police work will be most satisfied."
—Publishers Weekly

"A satisfying entry in a consistently entertaining series."

"Sure to appeal to Logue’s fans and readers who enjoy regional Midwestern mysteries."
—Library Journal