Noir at the Bar in Harrisburg – Tonight! (May 20)

Noir at the Bar returns to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, tonight!

Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Sturges Speakeasy, 400 Forster Street. Admission is free, the restaurant serves great food and great beer, and there will be book giveaways. So join us!

Join us for a great lineup (complete bios available here) that includes:

Owen Laukkanen, author of the brand new maritime adventure thriller Gale Force (which has been praised by the likes of Clive Cussler and Lee Child), along with six critically acclaimed Stevens and Windermere FBI thrillers.

Robb Cadigan, author of Phoenixville Rising and an upcoming second novel which is based on a true crime story and set in Pennsylvania.

Beth Fantaskey, author of five paranormal and mystery novels for young adults and middle-grade readers and (as Bethany Blake) the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries.

Gabriella Gill, author of Saving Metropolis, Behind the Mask, and the upcoming The Gentlemen’s Flying Club.

Merry Jones, author of Child’s Play, the third novel featuring unreliable narrator Elle Harrison, as well as a series of thrillers featuring heroine Harper Jennings, an Iraq war veteran.

Catherine Jordan, author of the paranormal thrillers The Book Seller’s Secret and Seeking Samiel.

Jon McGoran, author of eight novels including Spliced, a near future science fiction thriller, and the ecological thrillers Drift, Deadout, Dust Up, and Down to Zero.

John L. Micek, author of the upcoming novel Saving Time and the opinion editor and political columnist for PennLive/The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa.

David Nemeth, writer of the crime fiction blog Unlawful Acts and a columnist at Do Some Damage.

And last but certainly not least, singer-songwriter John Austin, who has released 10 critically acclaimed albums, will be performing a new song with… me. But don’t worry, I won’t be singing.

I hope to see you tonight at Sturges Speakeasy!

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17 Games You Can Play Right Now!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of board games. A few of my current favorites are Ticket to Ride (especially the Pennsylvania map), Betrayal at House on the Hill (can’t wait for the upcoming Betrayal Legacy), Pandemic (and its offspring), and Downforce (a wonderful auto racing game).

But there are times when you find yourself stuck somewhere without any games. No cards. No dice. Not even a coin to flip.

That’s why I put together the ebook 17 Games You Can Play Right Now!.

As long as you have a pencil and paper, you can play any of these 17 great public domain games, including laugh-out-loud party games, deep-thinking strategy games, clever word games, and more. I rewrote the rules from top to bottom to ensure clarity and consistency. (That was the goal, anyway. You can decide if I succeeded.) Here’s the full list of games:

  • Bulls & Cows (2 players)
  • Capture (2 to 4 players)
  • Categories (3 to 12 players)
  • Celebrities (4 to 12 players)
  • Charades (4 to 12 players)
  • Dots (2 players)
  • Geography (2 to 8 players)
  • Ghost (2 to 6 players)
  • Gomoku (2 players)
  • Hangman (2 players)
  • Labyrinth (3 to 6 players)
  • Paper Soccer (2 players)
  • Paper Telephone (6 to 10 players)
  • Poker Squares (2 to 8 players)
  • Salvo (2 players)
  • S.O.S. (2 players)
  • Word Squares (2 to 8 players)

17 Games You Can Play Right Now! is available as an ebook for Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Nook, Kobo and other e-readers.

And right now, it’s just 99 cents!

Huntingdon County Library – This Saturday (11/4)

Four mystery authors will be at the Huntingdon County Library in Huntingdon, PA, this Saturday (Nov. 4, 2017) at 11 a.m. Please join us if you can!

The lineup includes Jane Kelly, Don Helin, Susan Thibadeau, and me. We’ll be talking about “The Long and the Short of Mystery” — discussing what goes into writing both novels and short stories.

The library is located at 330 Penn St., Huntingdon, PA. The event, organized by Mystery Writers of America, is free and open to the public. I hope to see you there!

Huntingdon County Library

Noir at the Bar Crawl: May 19-21 (Richmond, DC, Baltimore)

The first-ever Noir at the Bar Crawl is taking place in Richmond, Washington, DC, and Baltimore on May 19-21. Click on the flyer below for all the details:

All the events are free, feature great authors reading great stories, and there’s a good chance you might win a book.

Noir at the Bar is always a great time, and I’ll be reading a story on Sunday, May 21, in Baltimore. Hope to see you there!

Baylee Schultz Wins Second James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship

Baylee Schultz, a student at Wilmot High School in Wilmot, South Dakota, is the winner of the second annual James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to graduates of Wilmot High School who display an aptitude in creative writing by authoring a short story.

Baylee’s story, “The Market,” was chosen as the winner by novelist Merry Jones and the scholarship selection committee.

“The Market” opens with a compelling and disquieting question — “Have you ever wanted to just fall out of your own body?” — and explores the terror of human trafficking.

Baylee was presented with the $250 scholarship during Wilmot High School’s Academic Awards Program. She also received a signed copy of Merry Jones’ latest thriller, Child’s Play.

Special thanks to Wilmot High School principal Larry Hulscher and especially English teacher Danielle DeGreef for all of their help.

You can learn more about the scholarship, including the reason it goes to a student at Wilmot High School, right here.

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible (at least in the U.S.) contribution to the James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship Fund, the South Dakota Community Foundation makes it easy.

You can contribute with a credit card online. (If you contribute online, SDCF covers all transaction fees. There’s no cost to you or the fund.)

Or you can contribute by sending a check made payable to “James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship Fund” to:

South Dakota Community Foundation
P.O. Box 296
Pierre, SD 57501

No contribution is too small. Thank you!

Best Wishes to Bob McGinn

Since 1984, Bob McGinn has covered the Green Bay Packers. First for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, then for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

I’ve been reading Bob’s work regularly since the Internet first gave me access to the Journal-Sentinel. His articles and columns are among the very best sportswriting you’ll ever read. Heck, they’re among the very best writing, period. His day-after-the-game stories are always the best, his in-depth game analyses later in the week are uniformly outstanding, and his NFL draft coverage is without equal.

Yesterday, the Journal-Sentinel announced that Bob’s retiring.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Although we’ve never met, Bob’s like a member of the family. Dad and I had too many conversations to remember which began with something Bob wrote about the Packers. He was diligent, fair, tough, and knowledgeable. He was exactly what you want in a sportswriter.

To quote from the Journal-Sentinel article about his retirement, “In 2011, he was selected by the Pro Football Writers of America as recipient of the prestigious Dick McCann Award for long and distinguished reporting, placing him in the writers’ wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. In Wisconsin, he is a six-time winner of the Sportswriter of the Year award from the National Sports Media Association.”

In January, Sports Illustrated featured an in-depth profile of Bob, written by Greg Bishop. Reading that piece is a great way to understand why Bob was so revered by fans, players, and writers alike.

To Bob and his wife Ann, I offer my best wishes. Thank you for all of your work covering the Green Bay Packers, and thank you for your dedication to a job well done.