November 2011

November 13 HoTXSinC Meeting   

Texas Author and Journalist

Ron Franscell

True Crime at Its Best

We are fortunate to have Ron Franscell as our Sisters in Crime November 13 speaker.  Over the years, Ron Franscell’s books have earned high praise from bestselling authors such as Ann Rule, John Lescroart, Vincent Bugliosi, C.J. Box, Howard Frank Mosher, and Warren Adler. Among his books are Angel FireThe DeadlineThe Obituary, and The Darkest Night–a still bestselling true crime.  Two new books have hit the shelf recently. The Crimebuff’s Guide to Outlaw Texas (November 2010) is a quirky travel guide taking true-crime and history travelers to some 400 outlaw- and crime-related sites all over the Lone Star State. Look for the next in the series, Outlaw Rockies, in late 2011, and Outlaw DC in 2012.

New in January 2011, Delivered From Evil explores the entangled lives of mass-murderers and their victims, tracing the lives of 10 ordinary people who survived some of America’s worst massacres. Auspiciously, it debuted on the day a deranged young gunman killed six and wounded 13 at a Tucson supermarket in one of the most shocking crimes of our day.

Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter, meets monthly on the second Sunday of the month at 2:00 p.m. at the Westlake Barnes & Noble bookstore, located at the southeast corner of Loop 360 and Bee Cave Road, in The Village at Westlake shopping center.

For information contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity, at (512) 266-6543.



Before & After the Meeting  

Before our meeting on November 13, 2011, we invite you to join us for lunch around 12:30 at Hangtown Grill at The Village at Westlake Shopping Center–down the drive from Barnes & Noble Westlake.  They have a selection of burgers and sandwiches, and you can usually get a meal for about $10.00.  

After the meeting we will take our speaker, Ron Franscell to dinner at La Madeleine Westlake, around the corner from Hangtown Grill, at the opposite end from Barnes & Noble, along the same drive.  La Madeleine has a selection of entrees, and a buffet with salads and quiche and soup and, of course, desserts.  You can usually get a meal there for $10.00 to $15.00.


Blog Tour de Troops: Free eBooks for Soldiers

A Letter from Ann Charles 

Good morning,

In case you haven’t heard anything about this already, the Indie Book Collective (IBC) is putting on a Blog Tour de Troopsover the long Veteran’s Day weekend. This is a tour where you, the reader, hop from blog to blog to receive a free copy of an eBook for you and another eBook for a soldier just by leaving a comment. There is also the option to leave a donation for Kindle Readers for soldiers, if you’d like. IBC did something similar for Memorial Day this last May and it was a huge success for troops stationed overseas.

Today [November 12], the blog tour passes through my blog. If you’re interested in acquiring a free eBook of my newest release, DANCE OF THE WINNEBAGOS, and sharing thoughts with me on some of your favorite war-related films, please stop by. I’ll also add an eBook to the “Troops” pile if you leave me a comment. Here is the link:

The tour actually started yesterday [November 11]. If you’d like to follow it from the beginning, you can find all of the links to yesterday’s and today’s author blogs here:

Thank you for your time!

Ann Charles

The tour runs until Monday, November 14, at midnight.–Ed.


Holiday Book Drive @ Barnes & Noble Arboretum

Barnes & Noble Arboretum will collect donation of new books (purchased at Barnes & Noble) for theirHoliday Book Drive benefiting Dell Children’s Hospital. The Dell Children’s Half Pint Library is located in the Family Resource Center at Dell Children’s Hospital. Children’s books, donated by various individuals and organizations in the community are available for patients and their siblings to read. They can also take up to three books each home for free. For more information, visit   


Book Review

Blind Fury, by Linda LaPlante

Reviewed by Vallie Fletcher Taylor

Mystery writers like to solve things, so here’s a riddle: When does blind fury turn a sleepy head into a night owl? Give up? That happens when it’s the title of a thriller written by British writer Lynda La Plante.

Even as a teen, I was addicted to an early bed time. The day I received my copy of Blind Fury, a family member inquired about the state of my health after noticing that I was still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 2:30 a. m. Ms. La Plante has definitely mastered the art of captivating the reader from the first sentence.

Detective Inspector Anna Travis is given the job of identifying two of the three victims of a serial killer/rapist. The third unfortunate woman is a haggard truck-stop prostitute with a long string of arrests. So, what does she have in common with two pretty young innocents? To complicate police work, there is no paper trail to indicate either of the younger victims ever existed.

An assortment of strong personalities weave their way through the patient and repetitious police work as they return, over and over, to the incident board. Hannibal Lector-like Cameron Welsh baits the police from his prison within a prison, with promises of sharing inside information. Detective Chief Inspector James Langton, Anna’s current boss and former lover, complicates both her career and personal life. Is he trying to rekindle their past relationship?

In the midst of this frustrating case, a new love interest suddenly materializes for our hard-working policewoman. They meet in the most unlikely of locations and suddenly begin to share more than clues with one another.

Yes, La Plante hooks the readers early and keeps them busy juggling plot twists and quirky clues. If there is such a thing as a British-American Dictionary, borrow one before you dive into this intriguing novel. I’ll admit I had fun attempting to translate the many expressions used by our UK cousins that are unfamiliar to most readers on this side of the pond.

Vallie Fletcher Taylor is  the author of Spirits of Texas and Eyes in the Alley: Memories of San Antonio and the Great Depression. A member of HoTXSinC, she can be contacted at vallie46 (at)

FTC Disclaimer: HoTXSinC received a free review copy of this book from the publisher. Receiving the book did not influence the review.


The Word on Our Members

Dave Ciambrone has two books coming out in 2012. In June it is another Adam Thomas mystery called The Trashy Grommet. In the fall is another Virginia Davies series mystery called Dangerous Threads. Dave is also working on an as yet unnamed novel about a coroner (Jack Parker, Ph.D.)  for a New York publisher who requested it.


Kaye George

On November 5, Kaye George signed copies of Choke at the Arboretum Barnes & Noble.

On November 11-13, she was at Comic Con, selling All Things Dark and Dastardly.

And on December 2, she will sign copies of her books at Hill Country Bookstore (name changing to Square Books) in Georgetown, 5:30 p.m.



“The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers will award grants to two unpublished writers in the malice domestic genre at Malice Domestic 24 in April 2012… Materials will be accepted between September 15 and November 15, 2011 only…” The two $1500 grants are to be used to defray expenses related to attendance at a writer’s workshop or conference. Grants also include registration and lodging at the following year’s Malice Domestic. See item under Events, below, for more about Malice.


Rules and guidelines for the St. Martin’s Minotaur / Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition are found at “Contests for Writers” on the MWA website.


The Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writers will offer two scholarships of up to $500.00 each to “offset tuition and fees for writing workshops, writing seminars, or university/college-level writing courses taking place in the U.S. in summer, fall, or winter of 2012 or early spring of 2013.” Find complete guidelines for submission at Mystery Writers of America.


Rasana Atreya has created two groups on Facebook: Recommendations for Readers, where you may post information about your book; and Resources for Writers, where you may post tips and resources. Find details at her blog, On Getting Published, Good Books, and Living Goddesses.



Free from Writers Digest: 6 eBooks on writing:


Tweeting? See “52 Wonderful Twitter Chats for Writers.”


Be sure your email account hasn’t been hacked. Check out PwndList.


For an explanation of key contract provisions, read “Book Publishing Agreements: What You Absolutely, Positively Must Know,” by Daniel Steven, at


Literary Austin reports “New Central Library Design Approved.” Preliminary views of the building are located at Austin Public Library Friends Foundation.


“Forensics Q & A: Explosives Detection in Airports” appears in


Kim Komando recommends “Free Alternatives to Pricey Software.” “Potential overall savings: $7800.”



11/13 @ 6:00 p.m.History of Mystery Class discusses Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout. MysteryPeople @ BookPeople. 

11/16 @ 7:00 p.m.–Author and former Austinite William Adler speaks and signs The Man Who Never Died (Nonfiction, History). “In 1914, Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Utah and sentenced to death by firing squad, igniting international controversy. Many believed Hill was innocent, condemned for his association with the Industrial Workers of the World-the radical Wobblies. Now, following four years of intensive investigation, William M. Adler gives us the first full-scale biography of Joe Hill, and presents never before published documentary evidence that comes as close as one can to definitively exonerating him.” 

12/4Sherlock Holmes Event. Clues to Sherlock Holmes stories will be hidden in one of the most beautiful houses in College Station. Tours @ 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00 p.m. Reserve tickets now: Individual, $50.00; couple, $75.00; group of 25, $1000.00. “You will be offered a ride–first callers in the limousine–high tea, a visit to a beautifully decorated home, and, of course, a prize for the winner!” For information, email Ann Willaert <>

12/14 @ 7:30 p.m.–The Mystery Book Group Discussion Group will discuss Anne Perry’s A Christmas Gift and a Christmas Secret.Barnes & Noble Arboretum.


HotSinC 2011 Program Schedule

  • January 9 – Jerry Carruth, Retired Federal Prosecutor, and George Sanchez, Retired Federal Investigator: Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling
  • February 13 – Claudia Grisales:  Crime Reporting in Austin, Texas
  • March 13 – Texas Ranger Sergeant Cody Mitchell: The Texas Rangers
  • April 10 – Satish Chundru, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner
  • May – Texas Mystery Month
  • May 15 – Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event
  • June 12 – George Arnold & Ken Squier present:  An Author’s Guide to Successfully Selling Your Book
  • July 10 – Jennifer Aguirre: Crime Scene Analysis
  • August 14 – Shelia Hargis: Making Sense of Crime in Austin–Crime Analysts in Action
  • September 11 – Hector Gomez: Lone Star Fugitive Task Force
  • October 9 – Marian K. Williams: The United States Postal Inspection Service
  • November 13 – Ron Franscell, Author of Delivered From Evil: My Life of Crime: A Crime Writer’s Journey
  • December 11 – Karen and Mike Cross: Christmas Mysteries

HotSinC 2012 Program Schedule

  • January 8 – Detective Ruben Vasquez presents “Murder Investigation Step by Step”
  • February 13 – Gordon A. Bowers presents “Property and Evidence Management”
  • March 13 – Durriyah Chinwalla presents “Banking as You Don’t Know It, or Laughter Is the Best Medicine


Nolo Contendere

Please send news for the December issue of HOTSHOTS! to katherine.waller68 (at) by November 25.


As always, if you find errors or omissions in this (or any other) issue of HOTSHOTS!, please notify me at katherine.waller68 (at) Blogs are forgiving–I can easily make necessary changes.


The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

The First Thanksgiving--Image via Wikipedia


Mayflower--1920 Issue--1 cent--Image via Wikipedia

How Well The Corn Prospered. Squanto or Tisqua...

How Well the Corn Prospered--Image via Wikipedia

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Image of stamp by US Post Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Image of Squanto by The German Kali Works, New York [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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