Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Lefty Award Nominees

The Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Awards are fan awards chosen by registered members of the Left Coast Crime convention. Nominations for awards to be presented at each annual convention are made by people registered for that convention and as well as the previous year's convention. A ballot listing the official nominees is given to each registrant when they check in at the convention, and final voting takes place at the convention. 

Four Lefty Awards will be presented at Left Coast Crime 2017, “Honolulu Havoc,”  the 27th annual LCC convention in Honolulu, Hawaii. They Lefty awards will be presented at the Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel

• Donna Andrews, Die Like an Eagle (Minotaur Books)
• Ellen Byron, Body on the Bayou (Crooked Lane Books)
• Timothy Hallinan, Fields Where They Lay (Soho Crime)
• Heather Haven, The CEO Came DOA (Wives of Bath Press)
• Johnny Shaw, Floodgate (Thomas & Mercer)
• Diane Vallere, A Disguise To Die For (Berkley Prime Crime)

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial)
for books covering events before 1960

• Rhys Bowen, Crowned and Dangerous (Berkley Prime Crime)
• Susanna Calkins, A Death Along the River Fleet (Minotaur Books)
• Laurie R. King, The Murder of Mary Russell (Bantam Books)
• Catriona McPherson, The Reek of Red Herrings (Minotaur Books)
• Ann Parker, What Gold Buys (Poisoned Pen Press)

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel

• Sarah M. Chen, Cleaning Up Finn (All Due Respect Books)
• Marla Cooper, Terror in Taffeta (Minotaur Books)
• Alexia Gordon, Murder in G Major (Henery Press)
• Nadine Nettmann, Decanting a Murder (Midnight Ink)
• Renee Patrick, Design for Dying (Forge)

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel

• Matt Coyle, Dark Fissures (Oceanview Publishing)
• Gigi Pandian, Michelangelo’s Ghost (Henery Press)
• Louise Penny, A Great Reckoning (Minotaur Books)
• Terry Shames, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake (Seventh Street Books)
• James W. Ziskin, Heart of Stone (Seventh Street Books)

To be eligible, titles must have been published for the first time in the United States or Canada during 2016, in book or ebook format. (If published in other countries before 2016, a book is still eligible if it meets the US or Canadian publication requirement.)

Information about registration for Honolulu Havoc is available here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Funny Friday

      Incidental Comics      by Grant Snider


Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Visit From St. Nicholas

This got such a good response last Christmas Eve that I'm posting it again.  Enjoy.

(Click to play audio.)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
 Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; 
 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, 
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, 
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; 
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap, 
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,  
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. 
Away to the window I flew like a flash, 
 Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. 
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, 
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, 
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, 
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. 

 More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, 
 And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; 
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! 
 On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! 
 To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! 
 Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!” 

 As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, 
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; 
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, 
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too. 

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof 
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. 
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. 

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, 
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; 
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. 

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! 
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! 
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow 
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow. 

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, 
 And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; 
 He had a broad face and a little round belly, 
 That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly. 

 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, 
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; 
 A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, 
 Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose, 
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle, 
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Friday, December 9, 2016

Funny Friday

                                             Bizarro by Dan Piraro                       December 8, 2016                              

Thursday, December 8, 2016

More Gift Ideas -- Colouring books for everyone!

Colouring has recenly had a resurgence in popularity as an activity for adults. Not only is it a proven relaxation technique, it's simply fun. 
Following is a list of colouring books to suit almost anyone on your gift list.  (Most of these products are available through your favorite online bookseller, or possibly even your favorite local bookseller.)

For people who love to travel:

The Colorful Cities series  -  So far, this series, published in the USA, includes Seattle, Portland, and Tokyo. Books are $15.00 each, and postcard sets for Seattle and Portland are $11.00.

The Pictura™ series - The cities included in this series are London, New York, and Paris.  One of the cool things about these is that they fold out into a panorama.  $13.00 each.

For the nature lover:

Adams Media publishes several garden-themed books, including a couple that have pictures suitable for framing when they're done.  ($12.00 and up)

Johanna Basford, who may be the one who instigated the comeback in the popularity of colouring books, has several nature-themed books, beginning with Secret Garden.  Her products are available as wall calendars, postcards, notecards and frameable pictures.
($10.00 and up)

For hipsters:

Coloring for Grownups  - Two veterans of offbeat Internet humor hilariously combine the mindless fun of children’s coloring books with the mind-numbing realities of modern adult life in this coloring book for adults. (paperback, $10.00)

Beards Rock  - 64 drawings of beard men, from the temples of Antiquity to the streets of contemporary San Francisco, to color in every tint you want. 
Each plate is easy to remove and perfect for displaying. (paperback, $11.00)

For the celebrity-struck:

Mel Elliott is a British artist whose online gift shop features everything from coloring books to paper dolls, t-shirts, and smartphone cases.  Celebrity coloring books include Ryan Gosling, Cara Delevingne, and Benedict Cumberbatch. ($13.00 and up)