Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sisters in Crime - We Love Libraries!

Like many of you, I pretty much grew up in the stacks at my local public library, and have long been an ardent fan and supporter of libraries in Minnesota, who do so much wonderful programming, in addition to fostering reading and learning every day of the year. So I am thrilled to report that another Minnesota library has won the national Sisters in Crime "We Love Libraries" drawing! 

Libraries enter the drawing by sending in photos of staff members with books by members of Sisters in Crime. I was delighted that the Mille Lacs Community Library in Isle, Minnesota decided to feature in their winning photo a whole bunch of books by members of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime, including BLOODY HALLS by Carl Brookins, BUTTONS AND BONES by Monica Ferris, DEATH OF THE MANTIS by Michael Stanley, BINGO BARGE MURDER by Jessie Chandler, and FALSE MERMAID by yours truly. 

The Mille Lacs Community Library will receive their check from current Twin Cities Sisters in Crime president Rhonda Gilliland and a panel of local SinC authors (Mickie Turk, Pam Leonard, and Christine Husom) on April 17, at 7 pm. All are welcome for the panel discussion and celebration! 

Here's a bit more about "We Love Libraries" from the Sisters in Crime website: 
Grants of $1,000 will be awarded monthly from January through December 2013. At the end of each month, a winner will be drawn from entries received at our website at Only U.S. libraries may enter the drawing. Below you will find photos of our latest winners. 
To enter, simply complete the entry form and upload a photo of one or more of your staff with three books in your collection by Sisters in Crime members. You can find a list of our members who are authors by clicking here, or by navigating to our left side menu under Resources, SinC Authors. 
After the random drawing on the last business day of the month, the winning library will be contacted and announced. All branches within a larger system may enter; however, once a library in the system has won, no other libraries within that system can win the grant. Those not successful in one month will automatically be entered for subsequent drawings. Grants must be used to purchase books and may not be used for general operating expenses. Book purchases are NOT restricted to the mystery genre nor to those by Sisters in Crime members. There is no cost or obligation other than allowing us to post winners' photos on our website. 
All libraries are welcome to enter.

For more details and an entry form, check out the Sisters in Crime website.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


What a wonderful night! After worrying about the weather (about eight inches in the morning, and it didn't stop snowing until late afternoon), we went ahead with the launch party for THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH on March 5.

Thanks to our friends and family, and to all who braved the weather to come out on a snowy night to Saint Paul's beautiful James J. Hill Reference Library for a brief visit to Ireland's recent and not-so-recent past! 

The Hill Library, with its shelves reaching all the way to the second-story ceiling, is reminiscent of the Long Room at Trinity College Library, and was a perfect setting for launching THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, a story that draws upon the history of ancient Irish scholars and scribes and their marvelous handwritten manuscripts.

We had some gorgeous music from our friends Ann and Charlie Heymann—also known by the name of their band, Clairseach—with Ann on wire-strung harp, and Charlie on cittern, accordion, and various other instruments as well. 

Paddy and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting about and reading from our books, and sharing images of the people, places, and artifacts that inspired our stories. Paddy read "Hairpins and Combs," a chapter from THE ROAD TO CASTLEBARNAGH about his first musical instrument, a mouth organ, purchased for one shilling from a peddler who visited his family home in the early 1950s. I read a section from the prologue of THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, a dramatic tale of murder set in the 9th century.

Many thanks to Alayne Hopkins from the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and to Beth O'Connor and Dawn Knapek from the James J. Hill Reference Library for all their work in making such a wonderful and welcoming event.

Huge thanks also to everyone who helped with setup and making sure that everything ran smoothly: Bonnie Schueler, Betty and John Rogers, Julie Hart, Karen Mueller, Linda White, Shannon and Mike Nemer, Lisa McDaniel, Laurie Muir, and Sue Zumberge and David Unowsky from SubText: A Bookstore.