Monday, January 19, 2009



Introducing the Blanco County General Store!

You've probably noticed that I haven't been posting much around here lately. The truth is, I'm a little burned out on it. So I'm going to take a break for an undetermined amount of time. Before I do that however, I wanted to mention this....

Not long ago, at a book club, a reader asked if I was doing anything to commemorate the end of the Blanco County series. Well, I hadn't even thought about it. Considering that the paperback of Holy Moly will be released in a few months, I figured I'd better get on the stick. 

So I'm proud to announce the grand opening of the Blanco County General Store (also known as the web storefront where Ben shamelessly hawks questionable merchandise). I've attached a couple of examples of the shirts available on the site. 

Check it out by clicking here.

Again, thanks for all your support over the years. My agent is currently pitching the standalone novel I wrote last year. When I have news on that front, you can bet you'll hear it here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The 2009 Edgar® Award Nominees are...
Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, its Nominees for the 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2008. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 63rd Gala Banquet, April 30, 2009 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.


BEST NOVEL

Missing by Karin Alvtegen (Felony & Mayhem Press)
Blue Heaven by C.J. Box (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Sins of the Assassin by Robert Ferrigno (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
The Price of Blood by Declan Hughes (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
The Night Following by Morag Joss (Random House – Delacorte Press)
Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR

The Kind One by Tom Epperson (Five Star, div of Cengage)
Sweetsmoke by David Fuller (Hyperion)
The Foreigner by Francie Lin (Picador)
Calumet City by Charlie Newton (Simon & Schuster - Touchstone)
A Cure for Night by Justin Peacock (Random House - Doubleday)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL

The Prince of Bagram by Alex Carr (Random House Trade)
Money Shot by Christa Faust (Hard Case Crime)
Enemy Combatant by Ed Gaffney (Random House - Dell)
China Lake by Meg Gardiner (New American Library – Obsidian Mysteries)
The Cold Spot by Tom Piccirilli (Random House - Bantam)

BEST FACT CRIME

For The Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb and the Murder that Shocked Chicago by Simon Baatz (HarperCollins)
American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century by Howard Blum (Crown Publishers)
Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It To The Revolution by T.J. English (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Hans van Meegeren by Jonathan Lopez (Harcourt)
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale (Walker & Company)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL

African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey (McFarland & Company)
Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories by Leonard Cassuto (Columbia University Press)
Scene of the Crime: The Importance of Place in Crime and Mystery Fiction by David Geherin (McFarland & Company)
The Rise of True Crime by Jean Murley (Greenwood Publishing – Praeger)
Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories by Dr. Harry Lee Poe (Sterling Publishing – Metro Books)

BEST SHORT STORY

"A Sleep Not Unlike Death" - Hardcore Hardboiled by Sean Chercover (Kensington Publishing)
"Skin and Bones" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by David Edgerley Gates (Dell Magazines)
"Scratch of a Woman" - Hardly Knew Her by Laura Lippman (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
"La Vie en Rose" - Paris Noir by Dominique Mainard (Akashic Books
"Skinhead Central" - The Blue Religion by T. Jefferson Parker (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)

BEST JUVENILE

The Postcard by Tony Abbott (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Enigma: A Magical Mystery by Graeme Base (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff (Random House Children's Books – Wendy Lamb Books)
The Witches of Dredmoore Hollow by Riford McKenzie (Marshall Cavendish Children's Books)
Cemetary Street by Brenda Seabrooke (Holiday House)

BEST YOUNG ADULT

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd (Random House Children's Books – David Fickling Books)
The Big Splash by Jack D. Ferraiolo (Harry N. Abrams Books – Amulet Books)
Paper Towns by John Green (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dutton Children's Books)
Getting the Girl by Susan Juby (HarperCollins Children's Books - HarperTeen)
Torn to Pieces by Margo McDonnell (Random House Children's Books – Delacorte Books for Young Readers)

BEST PLAY

The Ballad of Emmett Till by Ifa Bayeza (Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the story by Robert Lewis Stevenson (Arizona Theatre Company)
Cell by Judy Klass (International Mystery Writers' Festival)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY

"Streetwise" – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Paul Grellong (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)
"Prayer of the Bone" – Wire in the Blood, Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson (BBC America)
"Signature" – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Judith McCreary (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)
"You May Now Kill the Bride" – CSI: Miami, Teleplay by Barry O'Brien (CBS)
"Burn Card" – Law & Order, Teleplay by David Wilcox (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)

BEST MOTION PICTURE SCREENPLAY

The Bank Job, Screenplay by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais (Lionsgate)
Burn After Reading, Screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Focus Features)
In Bruges, Screenplay by Martin McDonagh (Focus Features)
Tell No One, Screenplay by Guillaume Canet, based on the book by Harlan Coben (Music Box Films)
Transsiberian, Screenplay by Brad Anderson & Will Conroy (First Look International)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD

"Buckner's Error" - Queens Noir by Joseph Guglielmelli (Akashic Books)

GRAND MASTERS

James Lee Burke
Sue Grafton

RAVEN AWARDS

Edgar Allan Poe Society, Baltimore, Maryland
Poe House, Baltimore, Maryland

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD

Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton (St. Martin's Minotaur)
The Killer's Wife by Bill Floyd (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer (Random House - Doubleday)
A Song for You by Betsy Thornton (St. Martin's Minotaur)
The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (St. Martin's Minotaur)

# # # #

The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just another day in Iran.
TEHRAN — Two men convicted of adultery were stoned to death in northeastern Iran last month, but a third convicted man managed to escape, judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said. The stoning took place in the city of Mashhad in late December, he said. Typically in such cases, a man is buried up to his waist, while a woman is buried up to her neck. Those carrying out the verdict then throw stones until the person dies. If the person manages to escape from the hole, he or she will remain free under Islamic law. "Given that the third person managed to pull himself out of the hole, the verdict was not carried out," Jamshidi said.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Article

Some of you know that I bought a new point-and-shoot camera last summer, and I loved it, and I kept babbling about it on this blog. Well, I took that enthusiasm and wrote a magazine article instead, and you can read it here in Texas Parks & Wildlife.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Why is sausage news always amusing?

I don't know, but it is...
Woman charged with stealing soap and sausages
By Isadora Vail | Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 10:30 AM

A woman was arrested and charged Monday with stealing several packages of soap and a pack of sausages from a store, according to an arrest affidavit.

Etta Ellison, 49, was seen putting a package of sausages, two packs of Dove soap, and a pack of Jergens soap in her purse by a cashier at the City Market on Airport Boulevard, according to the affidavit.

The cashier said Ellison put the items in her purse and left the store without paying, the affidavit states. The items total $10.94. Because Ellison has two prior theft convictions, according to the affidavit, this charge is a state jail felony that is punishable up to two years in a state jail if convicted.