Thursday, September 4, 2014

BIG MOJO Available for Pre-Order

It's taken only six years, but like some old general once said, I have returned. That's right fans. Austin Carr--that's me--has zombied up with a new adventure. We've talked about BIG MOJO many times. Number three. Mama Bones plays a major role, casting bullets, spells and wicked lies. But now you can actually pre-order my first new novel since 2008. I'd better stop saying that out loud, else The Famous Author might faint.

TFA finally found me some stockbroker love at Down and Out Books. Thank you Eric the Publisher.








Monday, August 18, 2014

Read the Opening Paragraphs of BIG SHOES

Dana King tagged The Famous Author to be next in line for a blog hop. (Thanks Dana!) Writers answer four questions, then tag two other writers to answer a week later. Well, TFA called in sick today. The flu, he says. So I'm stuck me with contacting the other authors and writing the answers for him. Boy will he be sorry.

What am I working on?

TFA is working on #5 in my series, BIG SHOES. I stole this draft opening off his computer:

The big thing about my temporary business partner, Angelina “Mama Bones” Bonacelli, the mildest of professional consultations can deteriorate into crime and violence. Lunch negotiations have turned into shootouts. Her Power Point presentation to a Jersey state racing commission last summer was raided by the FBI. As a Jersey shore racketeer with direct ties to what's left of a once powerful New York crime family, Mama Bones even packs a loaded semiautomatic.

Our association has been ... well, problematic. Bullets, knives and poison keep turning up at our mutually occupied locations and joint functions. In fact, I am lucky to be alive -- charmed, really -- and I've decided I need a new partner and a new livelihood. Trying to explain these concerns and my desires to Mama Bones last month, following the funeral of one Heriberto Garzia, a man murdered right before my eyes, Mama Bones told me to take a vacation. Think about my future, she said. Don't rush into drastic change. "Maybe when Vic gets better, you'll feel different," she said. Not likely. Her son Vic -- my real business partner, who Mama Bones is subbing for -- remains physically wounded and mentally unstable following an earlier, unrelated shootout. Unrelated, except minutes before being shot, both victims were talking to me.

I did take some time off, per Mama Bones' strong suggestion, but the results are not what she'd hoped. An exhaustive detailing of past events and stern logic worked against her, particularly a list I made of her associates who were murdered or who disappeared in the last three years. Honestly, only a suicidal fool would stay. This morning, my vacation is over. I'm here to tell Mama Bones that Bonacelli Investments will have to do without me. I've sold my last tax-free bond.

I don't think Mama Bones is going to let me out of the business that easily, do you?

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

In the sub-genre of funny mystery, TFA tries to do what everybody else does -- make the reader laugh. The one thing that makes me (Austin Carr) unique is my background -- that is, growing up in Los Angeles and moving to New Jersey. It's a scary place for easy-going guys like me.

Why do I write what I do?

I don't write it. TFA does. What a dumb question.

How does my writing process work?

Same thing. I don't have a writing process. I don't write. I'm a character. I sit inside TFA's head and whisper stupid stuff to confuse him. Or sometimes I tell him dirty jokes, make him spit coffee all over his desk. Ha. Man does that tick him off.

Travis Richardson was just nominated for an Anthony and other awards. He's a fine young man with a lovely wife. You can look at his Amazon author page here and his blog here. Les Edgerton is another award-winning author, teacher, coach and mentor to hundreds of writers across the globe. You can see his author page here and his blog right here. Both of these fine authors will answer these four questions next Monday. Don't miss them, especially Travis.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Funny Crime Authors to Try Besides TFA

Donna Andrews was born in Yorktown, Virginia, the setting of Murder with Peacocks and Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos, and now lives and works in Reston, Virginia. When not writing fiction, Andrews is a self-confessed nerd, rarely found away from her computer, unless she's messing in the garden. She is a member of Sisters is Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Private Investigators and Security Association. www.donnaandrews.com












Jeff Cohen is the author of the Comedy Tonight and Aaron Tucker mystery series, and as E.J. Copperman writes the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, whose sixth installment INSPECTOR SPECTER will be published by Berkley Prime Crime in December. Jeff collaborated with E.J. Copperman (and the negotiations were intense) on the Asperger's Mystery series from Midnight Ink, which begins in October with THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD, introducing Samuel Hoenig, a borderline genius with an autism spectrum disorder who answers questions for a living and narrates his stories.



Jeff Markowitz is the author of the Cassie O'Malley Mysteries, an amateur sleuth series set deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Jeff holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Princeton University and graduate degrees in special education and human services. He has spent four decades working in the non-profit sector, developing services for children and adults with autism. Jeff's new book, the stand-alone mystery, Death and White Diamonds, will be released by Intrigue Publishing in January 2015. Jeff is a proud member of the New Jersey Authors' Network and the Mystery Writers of America.










The Famous Author (TFA) used to be a newspaper reporter. Big deal. I'm still the best thing that ever happened to him. You can click on my blue or green adventure on the right side of this blog, or you can wait until this pink one comes out in October. Though it's almost ready, the boss says October 14 because he's trying to earn some early reviews. Go Eric! TFA and I greatly appreciate the thought and extra work.




By clicking on each author's name (except TFA) you will travel to read about and potentially purchase a new clever and LOL mystery novel. I know, everything's lol these days. Shopping lists are ROTFL. But these three authors made me laugh literally, both this weekend at the Deadly Ink mystery writers and readers convention and conference, and also when I've read their books over the years. Promise: These are smart funny people.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Will I Always Be a Work in Progress?

So The Famous Author is busy busy busy with the final touches on my new adventure, number three in The Austin Carr Mystery Series, BIG MOJO from Down and Out Books. Below you can see the preliminary cover and an early blurb from TFA's friend and mentor, Hank Phillippi Ryan. Actually, several of the ladies over at Jungle Red Writers have served as TFA's mentors over the past few years, offering advice and manuscript help, most often Roberta and Halle. The female point of view has greatly improved TFA's writing, not to mention his language and manners.

Okay, so farther below is the back cover copy that still needs work. TFA labors away while I speak, searching for catchy phrases and popular hooks to make potential readers open up to Page One. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, or hard work would be appreciated in the comments section and I'm guessing probably rewarded with a free copy of Mojo when she hits the market sometime in August. Deadline is next week.

DRAFT #21

"Gordon Gekko meets Janet Evanovich in this wry and winning caper--Jack Getze does it again!"    

      Hank Phillippi Ryan
      Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award winning author of TRUTH BE TOLD
  

Wall Street's miasmal garbage washes up on the Jersey Shore when a small time broker falls in love: Is he attracted to the beautiful lady -- or her brother's inside information? Held spellbound by a steamy, auburn-haired woman with a questionable past and a get-rich-quick, insider trading scheme, Austin Carr knocks down a beehive of bad-acting Bonacellis, including the ill-tempered "Mr. Vic" Bonacelli, who wants his redhead back, and local mob lieutenant Angelina "Mama Bones" Bonacelli, architect of a strange and excruciating death trap for the fast-talking stockbroker she calls smarty pants. To survive, Austin must unravel threads of jealousy, revenge and new affections, discover the fate of a pseudo ruby called the Big Mojo and slam the lid on a pending United States of America vs. Austin Carr insider trading case. Can Austin and his Jersey Shore mouthpiece possibly out maneuver the savvy U.S. District Attorney from Manhattan? Will 
anything matter for Austin ever again if Mama Bones flips that switch?



Saturday, July 5, 2014

This D-List Redhead Makes Our A-List

Fifty-three-year-old Kathy Griffin moved to Los Angeles from Illinois at the age of eighteen, studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, and several years later became a member of the improvisational comedy troupe, The Groundlings. Griffin began making people laugh as a standup comic in the 1990s. She then appeared as a guest star on several television shows, and finally achieved major public recognition on the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan, beginning in 1996.

Wikipedia says her breakthrough came on the Bravo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (2005–2010), which became a ratings hit for the network and earned her two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Program. Griffin has since released six comedy albums, with all of them receiving Grammy Award nominations.

Griffin has taped numerous standup specials with HBO and Bravo. For the latter network, she has recorded 16 specials, breaking the record for the number of specials in any network. In 2011, she also became the first comedian to have four televised specials in a year.

Besides her comedy career, she is an LGBT activist involved in causes such as same-sex marriage and the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell". She has also participated in two USO tours. After being nominated for six years in a row for "Best Comedy Album", she finally won the Grammy in 2014, becoming only the third woman to win the category. Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin are the other two. Nice company, huh?

You can follow Kathy on Twitter. Or check out her tour dates, find out when she'll be close to your city. You make us laugh, Kathy. Thanks to you and Wikipedia for the info.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Heartbreak No Stranger to This Redhead

Born in Georgia, now living in New York City, Allison Moorer is an American alternative country singer who overcame the early horror of her parents' death to become a star. She signed to MCA Nashville in 1998 and made her debut on the U.S. Billboard country charts with the release of her debut single "A Soft Place to Fall", which reached No. 73. 


Since the release of her debut album Alabama Song, she released seven albums and 11 singles, five of which reached positions on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Allison was raised in Frankville, Alabama, just north of Mobile. Raised on George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris, she sang harmonies as a toddler, eventually thinking she'd make a career of it. Following the murder-suicide of her parents in 1986, she moved into her aunt and uncle's home.

Allison moved to Nashville after her high school graduation. She sang for a while but returned to Alabama to earn a degree in public relations. She skipped the graduation ceremony to move back to Nashville. There, she met Doyle "Butch" Primm, an Oklahoma-reared musician who soon became her husband and frequent songwriting partner. In June 1996, she took part in a series of tributes to her songwriter friend, the late Walter Hyatt, singing his "Tell Me Baby" at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Nashville agent Bobby Cudd was sufficiently impressed to hook her up with producer Tony Brown. After a few meetings, Brown asked her to cut some demos, from which two tracks -- "Pardon Me" and "Call My Name" -- ended up on her first MCA album, Alabama Song.

Her song "A Soft Place to Fall" was tapped for The Horse Whisperer in 1998, and she also appeared in the movie. Because the ballad earned her an Academy Award nomination, she performed it on the 1999 Oscars ceremony. However, none of her singles from Alabama Song or its follow-up The Hardest Part caught on at radio, though both projects were highly praised by critics.

Allison enjoys sewing and keeping her southern accent. Here's a recent entry from her journal (which you can find and read yourself on her website.)

"There’s something about being born in the south that you just can’t shake. It never leaves your blood, no matter where your life may take you. I’ve been all over the world and still have Spanish moss hanging all over me. It’s in my vowels and dropped g’s, in my gestures, in my tendency to want to monogram anything that will stay still long enough, in my longings, in my music, and in my dreams. Someone asked me once how long I’d lived in New York City, and when I replied that I’d lived here for years, he asked me how I hadn’t lost my accent yet. I told him I couldn’t if I wanted to and that just for the record, I did not want to."

-- Thanks to Wikipedia and Allison's website


Friday, May 16, 2014

HOT TIPS: Treasure Hunter Stock Under $2

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (OMEX), which recovered nearly 1,000 ounces of gold during an initial reconnaissance dive, is currently salvaging what it can find from the wreck of the SS Central America, a 280-foot wooden-hulled, three-masted side-wheel steamship.

In operation during the California Gold Rush, the ship made 43 successful round trips between New York and Panama, but on the 44th was caught in a hurricane and sank 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina.

When lost on September 12, 1857, the Central America carried consignments of gold for commercial interests, mainly in the form of ingots and freshly San Francisco-minted U.S. $20 Double Eagle coins.

OMEX recovered five gold ingots (shown in photo above) and two $20 Double Eagle coins (one 1857 minted in San Francisco and one 1850 minted in Philadelphia) during a two-hour reconnaissance dive. The gold ingots were stamped with assayer’s marks and weights that range from 96.5 to 313.5 troy ounces.

Odyssey was selected for the project by Ira Owen Kane, the court-appointed receiver who represents Recovery Limited Partnership (RLP) and Columbus Exploration LLC (CE). The contract has been approved by the Common Pleas Court of Franklin County, Ohio, which has given Mr. Kane responsibility with overseeing the recovery project.

The archaeological excavation, valuable cargo recovery and ship-board conservation will be conducted and underwritten by Odyssey on behalf of RLP. In return, Odyssey will receive 80% of recovery proceeds until a fixed mobilization fee and a negotiated day rate are paid. Thereafter, Odyssey will receive 45% of the recovery proceeds.

Remember: Before taking a tip from this website, Austin Carr -- that's me, the guy giving you the tip -- is a fictional stockbroker. Like, he doesn't exist.