THE LAVA WITCH (Kensington Books), Book 3 in Debra Bokur’s Dark Paradise Mysteries series, will be released on May 31.
Detective Kali Māhoe is on the trail of a killer who left a young woman hanging from a tree in a Maui forest, her feet charred and her nostrils packed with lava dust. Kali’s investigation leads down a winding trail of seemingly unconnected clues and diverging paths—from the hanging tree itself, a rare rainbow eucalyptus, to rumors of a witch haunting the high areas of the forest, to the legend of the ancient Hawaiian sorceress Pahulu, goddess of nightmares. Casting a shadow over it all—the possibility of a Sitting God, a spirit said to invade and possess the soul.
The launch party will take place on June 11 from 3 to 5 pm at the new Tattered Cover Bookstore in Westminster, and all Sisters and Misters (and guests) are invited. Live entertainment will be provided by the Kalama Polynesian Dancers and acoustic performer Rob Rowe. Signings, drumming, dancing, and giveaways of Hawaiian-themed gifts.
Starred review from Publishers Weekly: “This procedural keeps readers guessing all the way to the gratifying solution. Fans of Tony Hillerman will be enthralled.”
The number one secret to my success as a bodyguard? Staying under the radar. But when a wildly public disaster blew up my career and reputation, my perfect, solo life took a hard left turn to crazy town. And to bodies. Lots of dead bodies.
I thought my tiny hometown of Nowhere would be the ideal out-of-the-way refuge to wait out the media storm.
My little brother had moved into a treehouse. The obscure mountain town had decided to attract tourists with the world’s largest collection of big things… Yes, Nowhere now has the world’s largest pizza cutter. And lawn flamingo. And ball of yarn…
And then I stumbled over a dead body.
All the evidence points to my brother being the bad guy. I may have been out of his life for a while—okay, five years—but I know he’s no killer. Can I clear my brother before he becomes Nowhere’s next Big Fatality?
Buy this quirky, fast-paced mystery series now!
Murder mystery game included in the back of the book.
Wanda Duff is an unconventional New England clergywoman, addicted to chicken wings, high-octane ice cream, and saying yes to anyone in need of a prayer, even the folks her town might think don’t deserve one.
When parishioner Niels Pond dies unexpectedly at the Fair Havens assisted living facility, Wanda’s duty to minister to his family is beset by her suspicions about the circumstances of his abrupt passing. Wanda finds an unexpected co-detective in high school vice principal Prudence Rye, who fled town on graduation night a decade ago and returned only recently.
Rye puts her job on the line to investigate the mourning Ponds with the surprisingly edgy Wanda. As they expose difficult family truths and uncover a dangerous conspiracy operating out of Fair Havens, Rye and Wanda discover curiosity has an unanticipated cost.
Comfortably gossipy, with a fresh take on the characters and ethos cozy mystery fans will love, Maria Mankin and Maren C. Tirabassi’s Death at Fair Havens launches a series that celebrates intergenerational women’s friendship and the power of inclusion, curiosity, and love.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm How to Edit Your Own Story – Carly Stevens
Editing means more than fixing commas or hiring a professional. Before all of that, you are alone with your story. So, how do you improve it? There are plenty of guides for revising nonfiction, but what about fiction? This class will give you a plethora of practical tips on how anyone, regardless of experience, can improve their own work. From plot to character, scene structure to style, you’ll walk away feeling confident that you can make your story shine!
12:00pm – 1:00 pm Lunch (brown bag or visit nearby restaurants)
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Being a Mitigation Attorney and Saving Someone from the Death Penalty – Brooke Terpening
“Death is different.” That’s what the Supreme Court stated when it recognized the irrevocable nature of a death sentence. There are no do-overs. Some view the death penalty as fitting justice, others as a deterrent, and still others as a barbaric form of punishment. No matter what your personal beliefs are, the reality is that the system isn’t perfect. For every 8.3 people executed in the United States in the modern era of the death penalty, one person on death row has been exonerated. The uncomfortable truth is that proportionally more Blacks are sentenced to death than Whites, and the poor disproportionately receive harsher sentences.
To offset these inequities, a mitigation specialist fulfills the constitutional mandate for individualized sentencing in capital cases. The mitigation specialist is an indispensable but little-known member of the defense team with the skills to recognize mitigating factors in the defendant’s life and to understand how these conditions may have affected the defendant’s development and behavior. Most importantly, the mitigation specialist must present this evidence during sentencing to enable jurors to see the convicted without any preconceived biases of race, gender, or cultural differences. Put another way, a mitigation specialist humanizes the hated.
Please feel free to come to either the morning or afternoon session if you cannot attend both.
The Zoom login information will be posted in the chapter’s groups.io listserv.
About the Presenters:
Carly Stevens lives and writes in beautiful Colorado Springs where she has taught high-school English for over ten years. Several years ago, she decided to make her childhood dream come true by becoming an author. Since 2019, she has published three novels, four short reads, and a book of short stories. She primarily writes adventure-filled YA fantasy novels, but she’s currently working on a dark Shakespeare retelling set in the 1920’s. A huge Star Wars and Shakespeare fan, she posts weekly videos to her YouTube channel (appropriately called English Nerd) which tackles topics in literature and all kinds of writing.
After nearly thirty years as a software developer and engineering director at startups in Silicon Valley and Silicon Mountain, Brooke Terpening went to law school to become a patent attorney. Law school is where she discovered a talent for writing, a talent which propelled her to first in her class.
While studying for the USPTO bar exam, a classmate introduced her to one of Florida’s top defense attorneys. She became immersed in defending death penalty cases. The next five years took her inside the workings of Florida’s criminal justice system. The cases were sometimes frightening and always heartbreaking. The attorneys and mitigation specialists who did the thankless job of defending accused killers were among the most dedicated professionals she’d ever met. Today she lives in Colorado and draws on her experiences to write legal thrillers and crime fiction.
*** This event is funded and presented by Sisters in Crime-Colorado and is not sponsored by Douglas County Libraries.
Denver Noir (http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog/denver-noir/) will be published on May 3, 2022 by Akashic Books. Denver Noir joins over 100 volumes in Akashic’s award-winning Noir Series of location-based dark fiction anthologies. SinC-Colorado member and Denver Noir editor Cynthia Swanson (author of The Bookseller and The Glass Forest; http://cynthiaswansonauthor.com/) has pulled together 14 contributors who know the city best to pen short tales set in distinct locations from Aurora to Washington Park. SinC-Colorado members with stories in the collection include Francelia Belton (Five Points), Amy Drayer (South Broadway), Barbara Nickless (Union Station), Cynthia Swanson (Cheesman Park), and David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Aurora). Release events for Denver Noir can be found at http://www.akashicbooks.com/author/cynthia-swanson/.
When Lt. Everett T. Pope is notified of an explosion in downtown Denver close to the judicial buildings, his first instinct is gas leak. No such luck. As Incident Command and Pope’s own Major Crimes unit move in, he discovers he knows the intended victims—an Assistant U. S. Attorney—and Pope’s former partner, now a private investigator, has died shielding the injured AUSA with his body.
As ATF and the FBI take over investigating the bombing and unraveling motives behind the murder attempt, Pope is relegated to a peripheral role. But the injured AUSA’s aunt is a United States senator used to getting results. She turns to the team that solved the Black Pearl Killer murders with a very big ask—find her answers and locate the bomber.
FBI Special Agent Brian DiPietro must recall his entire cold case team from their far-flung assignments knowing he’s being asked to do the impossible. The senator, however, doesn’t know the meaning of the word. All too soon, DiPietro finds his team working alongside ATF on a red-hot mission. One that uncovers a decades’ old cold case.
Can a woman’s psychic connection to a truck prove a killer’s undoing?
Classic car restorer Renni Delacroix has a unique gift, one kept carefully hidden: when she touches a car, she sees its history. Focused on building her business in the small town of Rampart, Colorado, she hides the truth of her psychic ability.
But when a Marmon pickup is delivered, visions of terrified women jolt her clean off the old truck. She has no choice but to come forward, especially since one of the women was her best friend, murdered six months earlier. Renni explains what she saw to Detective Matt Brody. Skeptical, he’s surprised to find evidence the Marmon belonged to a serial killer known as the Rocky Mountain High Killer.
While battling Brody’s suspicions, and her growing attraction to him, Renni uses skills honed hunting down classic parts to unearth the killer. But will she be able to give their identity to Brody before she loses everything—her job, her home…even her life?
When a fitness center is a locale for both health and murder,exercise enthusiasts must weigh their odds of the outcome.
Shear Misfortune, book seven–and the final–in the Melanie Hogan Mysteries released today! Join Melanie and the Cut Above Hair Salon crew as they solve their final mystery. Available here.
Beauty salon owner, Melanie Hogan, decides an exercise regimen is long overdue and joins a gym, but she gets more for her money than sore abs. Not only does Melanie find a body, but she also finds herself at the center of the investigation. Again. Instead of improved muscle tone, Melanie gains a lesson in the perils that lurk beneath the surface of the health industry.
Along with best friend and salon co-owner Claire Davis and Melanie’s beau Detective Levi Wescott, they set out to clear her name while Melanie practices resistance training—resisting going to the gym to investigate. When the police eventually zero in on a salon employee, the team joins forces, getting a life-or-death workout. Will they all survive?
THE DARKEST WOODS HIDE THE DARKEST OF OBSESSIONS… Dark Obsessions, the follow-up to Marie Sutro’s bestselling and award-winning debut crime thriller (Dark Associations) will be released on April 26, 2022. (Available for preorder through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, as well as other major and independent retailers.)
Reeling from the trauma of her last case, SFPD Detective Kate Barnes heads to the Olympic Peninsula hoping to heal the present by resolving the past. When the ravaged corpse of an unidentified teen is discovered, her search for personal peace takes a back seat to the quest for justice.
As Kate digs deeper, she discovers the victim was not the only one who had been taken against her will. Racing against the clock to rescue the remaining girls, she uncovers a complex series of ever-increasing horrors. In the darkest corners of Washington state, Kate Barnes will come face-to-face with an adversary so ruthless and powerful that it will take everything she has to save herself, let alone the girls.
“Dark Obsessions is a taut and terrifying descent into madness and redemption.” —Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of Strong Cold Dead
“An especially gripping, well-researched tale from a formidable talent.” —Kirkus Reviews