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December 30, 2008

'Tis the Season for 'Best of' lists

The * Best of 2008 * lists have been raving about DHS all-stars. Here are the outstanding authors in January Magazine's Best Crime Fiction of 2008:

EMPTY EVER AFTER, by Reed Farrel Coleman

"Reed Farrel Coleman is a writer at the top of his game. The winner of several prestigious mystery-fiction awards, he never cheats his readers. There are well-delineated reasons his characters do what they do, and his stories leave you thinking. Coleman writes lush back-story, and wry observations are coupled with broad comedic touches that lighten the tone. Gem-like characters pebble the landscape"

ENVY THE NIGHT, by Michael Koryta

"Envy the Night is that rarest of literary creatures: a standalone thriller that you want to see turned into a series. Could it happen? We live in hope."

SEVERANCE PACKAGE by Duane Swierczynski

"In Severance Package, the Pole with Soul offers up...a combination of The Terminator and Die Hard, except this is written by Duane Swierczynski, whose debut novel, Secret Dead Men, centered on a schizophrenic zombie. So this is really Terminator and Die Hard on acid. As a bonus, the novel shows some influence from Swierczynski’s comic-book work. This book makes the list on its weird factor alone."

Over at Mystery Bookshelf, Swierczy's THE BLONDE is one of the Top Ten Best Reads of 2008.

Last, but certainly not least, is GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE, by Victor Gischler.

Not only is it one of January Magazine's Best books of 2008, but it's also in Bookgasm's Top 10 books of 2008.

"This is the book that surprised me the most. This is a living, breathing world where the worst things you can imagine could happen, do. The scariest part is how plausible it is. I daresay it’s even better than Cormac McCarthy’s slightly overrated THE ROAD, because its satire is a lot smarter. And because of how funny it is, the horror of the world’s situation is even more horrific. I can’t believe how great this book is. Go find out for yourself." - Cameron Hughes

And for anyone out there who doubted go-go girls could be fodder for literary research, the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) has some choice words for you:

"Gischler’s book, as it straddles the line between science fiction and Southern studies, presents a vision of the American South that estranges and interrogates contemporary notions of the modern South, and especially, the notion of Atlanta as an 'international city of the future'...Gischler is onto something here...the city’s cultural identity and its landscape have been transformed and fragmented by economic processes...Gischler’s entertaining narrative and rugged, fun prose give us something to consider"

A merry toast to one and all!

These comics are nothing to laugh at...

they are premier series that take things up to a whole 'nother level!

MAGNETO: TESTAMENT is IGN's Best Miniseries of 2008.

"Greg Pak has spent years researching Magneto's past, mapping events in his life with true historical accounts of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. The result is a tragic tale that not only respects the horrors of that era but lays down a definitive, sympathetic origin for one of the greatest villains of all time."
Catch up on past issues before #4 comes out this Friday!

Greg Rucka and Duane Swierczynski are also featured in Comic Book Resources' Best 100 Comics of 2008:

CHECKMATE (Written by Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann)
"A diverse cast, political maneuvering and all-out spy action, all topped off with superheroes... an exciting read each month."

THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST (Written by Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction, Duane Swierczynski)
"Brubaker, Fraction and Aja's run on “Immortal Iron Fist” established the series as a wildly inventive title that blends Kung-Fu action with a wide variety of genres, and current creators Swierczynski and Foreman haven't dropped the ball. Their run continues to be both fun and fascinating."

December 29, 2008

Much love from Maddow

"Genius" has such a nice ring to it, dontcha think?

"I like spy stuff...and I like comics (though I'm not much of a superhero fan). And Queen and Country the comic series by Greg Rucka is fantastic. Rucka's a genius, Ian Mackintosh — Rucka's inspiration — was also a genius. Tara Chace is one of the all-time great/tragic action characters. I came away with the realization that bureaucracy and internal power-struggling isn't a side-show to the real's determinative as to whether or not your "real work" gets done. Spying is something we all ought to want our country to be really, really good at."

- Rachel Maddow (Host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and The Rachel Maddow Show on Air America)

December 23, 2008

Happy holidays

Reed Farrel Coleman’s Moe Prager novels keep winning over converts. Ian Rankin calls them his "Discovery of the Year"!

The Houston Chronicle also chimes in that "the twists and reversals are expertly done, and Moe’s voice, which mixes Jewish intellectual with cop smarts, is company worth keeping."

A perfectly-sized stocking stuffer is David Cottrell's MONDAY MORNING CHOICES, which was featured in THE COSTCO CONNECTION's December issue.

Sean Doolittle's SAFER is already getting readers excited. "Unsettling...Admirably complex", says Publishers Weekly.

The Omaha World-Herald heartily agrees that "this could be the Omahan's breakout novel. That wouldn't be much of a surprise. The only question is what's taken the rest of the reading public so long? It's time Doolittle's name starts popping up beside such contemporaries as Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos, both of whom have written past blurbs for Doolittle."

Very Short List, an email subscription that recommends must-see gems, plugged Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis' graphic novel adaptation of THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON this month.

"Brad Pitt’s latest blockbuster is based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novella The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, about a man who’s born old and ages back to infancy. The movie comes out this Christmas. But this graphic novel is no less inventive than the film. the graphic novel retains the original time frame — as well as the story’s ties to Fitzgerald’s own, favorite era — and its carefully compressed text and beautifully detailed illustrations evoke that era perfectly. Needless to say, no adaptation can match the experience of reading the novella itself, but this one comes remarkably close."

If you're looking for a less genteel era, dive into Victor Gischler's GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE for a trip that's "utterly insane, action scene after another, linked together to tell the tale of a man trying to find sense in an insane world...way too much fun to miss out on...sheer entertainment." (SF Site)

ENVY THE NIGHT, by Michael Koryta, is #2 on Oline H. Cogdill's top mysteries of 2008.

She applauds the "sharply plotted Envy the Night [as] one of the year's finest crime novels. Kotya shows a new confidence in storytelling that doesn't follow the predictable lines of the genre and illustrates his affinity for shaping authentic characters."

Another top writer who champions authenticity is Theresa Schwegel. If you haven't read her newest book PERSON OF INTEREST yet, the mass market paperback will be in stores on the 30th!

The Mystery Bookshelf endorses THE BLONDE in its 2008 Holiday Gift Guide for Mystery/Thriller Readers:

"This was the most hilarious story I read all year. I enjoyed Swierczynski’s writing style and fell in love with the characters very quickly. I’m definitely buying this for my friends."

In comic news, Swierczy's Immortal Iron Fist #21 comes out on the 24th.

"Danny Rand was not the first Immortal Iron Fist…and he won't be the last! The year – 3099. The place – a distant planet first colonized a millennium ago by the People's Republic of China. Now, a humanity oppressed by a totalitarian technological tyrant has just one hope for salvation – the kung-fu freedom-fighting of the Immortal Iron Fist! But his coming is nothing more than a prophecy and a silent prayer…and even if the Iron Fist does arrive, he must first defeat the most powerful weapon the evil robot empire has…Robo Fat-Cobra! Hot off the heels of Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman's rip-roaring "MORTAL IRON FIST" arc comes an all-new look at the future legacy of the Immortal Iron Fist...with a jaw-dropping cover by Juan Doe!

In January, Duane Swierczynski and artist Mico Suayan come out with their four-issue “Dead of Night Featuring Werewolf by Night” miniseries, from Marvel's mature readers MAX imprint.

Beware, "Marvel's most famous werewolf" is back!

November 6, 2008

Achievements on screen

Excellent news for Reverend Carroll Pickett and Kartemquin Films: AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR will play at the prestigious International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) this year. IDFA runs from November 20-30 and is the largest documentary festival in the world.

"[AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR is] An impassioned portrait of a quest for truth." - Loren King, Chicago Tribune

"A quiet powerhouse… The Rev. Carroll Pickett makes for a subject you won’t soon forget." - Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

"A-. There is much to be gained from weighing Pickett’s moral quandary." - Entertainment Weekly

"Pickett’s courageously naked honesty about his experiences make ‘At the Death House Door’ indelible viewing." - David Kronke, LA Daily News

"May fill you with righteous anger or keep you up nights in despair." - Andrew O’Hehir,

In other film news, Bill Minutaglio's book FIRST SON was one of the resources that Oliver Stone used for his new Bush biopic "W", as mentioned in Alan Peppard's column in the Dallas Morning News, the New York Post, and the New York Times to name a few.

A round of applause for Michael Koryta, who's being recognized by Indiana University today. The 2008 College of Arts and Sciences Annual Recognition Banquet is honoring Koryta with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award for bringing "great honor and distinction" to his alma mater.

Koryta's fine interviewing skills must have also counted in his favor!

November 4, 2008

In top form

THE COLD SPOT is hot! Tom Piccirilli's novel is one of's Top 10 Mystery & Thrillers of 2008. Pick up a copy today and then get in line for the sequel THE COLDEST MILE. The action's just getting started.

Reed Coleman is also "a writer at the top of his game. Winner of several prestigious mystery awards, he never cheats the reader. There are well-delineated reasons his characters do what they do, and his stories leave you thinking.

[In EMPTY EVER AFTER] Coleman writes lush back story, and wry observations are coupled with broad comedic touches that lighten the tone. Character gems pebble the landscape, like Auschwitz survivor Mr. Roth and pregnant Puerto Rican PI partner Carmella Melendez. After several well-constructed twists in the plot, Coleman delivers a nice pyrotechnic conclusion." (Anthony Rainone, Lincoln Journal Star)

October 20, 2008

Starry night in Chi-town

The Chicago Public Library Foundation honored Tom Wolfe and Theresa Schwegel at the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards gala Wednesday evening. Schwegel received the 21st Century Award for her significant achievement in writing by an author with ties to Chicago.

More coverage at the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Sun-Times, Northwest Herald and the Chicago Public Library.

Photos from top left:
(1) The radiant author posing at the entrance
(2) Great minds meeting for lunch (editor extraordinaire Kelley Ragland, Theresa, VP of St. Martin's Minotaur Andy Martin, and DHS)
(3) Theresa with Rhona Frazin, President of the Chicago Public Library Foundation
(4) Accepting the 21st Century Award from Deborah Bricker
(5) Theresa's acceptance speech onstage
(6) A close up during her speech
(7) Author and journalist Tom Wolfe speaking to the audience after being presented the Carl Sandburg Literary Award
(8) Theresa signing a book for Maggie Daley, wife of Mayor Richard M. Daley
(9) Theresa with her parents and DHS, aka her most avid enthusiasts (Photos 1, 4, 6 and 8 by Dan Rest)

Schwegel's most recent book PERSON OF INTEREST continues to receive rave reviews:

RTE Guide, a popular Irish magazine, says PERSON OF INTEREST is "a poignant and gripping tale...This is another super example of Schwegel’s ability and portends even better things to come".

"Theresa Schwegel's first two thrillers showed a writer of great promise, which is impressively fulfilled in Person of Interest. Schwegel's story is complex and cleverly nuanced, and it succeeds mainly because her characters, even the most minor, are so brilliantly realised and wholly believable. She scarcely puts a foot wrong as she drives her narrative through a maze of deception and betrayal to its bittersweet conclusion." - The Telegraph

October 17, 2008

Razzle dazzle roll call

With Al Roker acting as sous chef on The Today Show, Chef Jon Bonnell demonstrated a succulent, grilled lobster with herb-infused olive oil.

Professor Tim Calkins' book, BREAKTHROUGH MARKETING PLANS, is "drawing raves" by top executives of major companies.

Reed Coleman's SOUL PATCH scored the 2008 Shamus Award at Bouchercon last weekend. That Moe Prager is one award-winning character!

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, is officially in stores. Readers, young and young at heart, will enjoy F. Scott Fitzgerald - graphic novel style.

"The impending release of a movie version starring Brad Pitt has made this humorous tale, formerly among the least known of Fitzgerald's short stories, a hot property. DeFillippis and Weir's adaptation preserves the original's straight-faced tone describing the career of a man who begins life in his 70s and grows progressively younger…there's much to enjoy in this handsome little hardbound book. Cornell's sepia watercolor panels are especially clever at showing physical and emotional changes as Benjamin moves backward through life while America rolls forward for 70 years. A useful, gracefully written afterword by Donald G. Sheehy, professor of English, completes the volume nicely." - Publishers Weekly

Sci Fi Wire picks up on Gischler's Apocalypse In A Strip Club.

Mucho congrats for Michael Koryta, who has a shiny, new deal with Michael Pietsch at Little, Brown!

"THE LOST RIVER, a thriller with a supernatural twist, in which a filmmaker hired to document a wealthy man's hidden past unleashes the buried secrets of a town that was once America's most luxurious resort, to Michael Pietsch at Little, Brown, in a major deal, for three books, for publication in 2010".

J. D. Rhoades' "BREAKING COVER is a brilliant novel. Vivid, fascinating and action packed, this is a thriller that will no doubt leave one wanting more. Those who like their thrillers to be thought provoking and with bullets flying will love it. Let's hope that we get to see much more of Tony Wolf." (Reviewing the Evidence)

Elizabeth Somer offers The Today Show viewers some helpful tips for a healthy diet through the decades. Somer's new book -- a step-by-step guide to being happy, mentally sharp, and energized, while trimming and permanently managing weight -- will be published by Deb Brody at Harlequin.

The sassy and snappy Magic Trixie is up to her mischievous antics again in MAGIC TRIXIE SLEEPS OVER. This beautifully illustrated second installment by Jill Thompson is in stores on Oct. 21.

Variety reports on the very nice film sale for Boston Teran's GOD IS A BULLET:

Film rights for the thriller have been optioned by screenwriter Ehren Kruger (The Ring, Skeleton Key), who will co-produce with Daniel Bobker (The Brothers Grimm) and Bradley Bell.

October 14, 2008

Snapshots from Bouchercon

(1) Will Dennis and Brian Azzarello present THE JOKER, a deliciously twisted standalone featuring the "clown prince of crime".

(2) Duane Swierczynski fans get in the game early on, collecting signatures from the stroller.

(3) Batman keeps watch while Jill Thompson signs at Geppi's.

(4) Brian Azzarello, Gary Phillips, and Will Dennis join forces on the DC Vertigo Crime panel.

(5) Dan Conaway, J. D. Rhoades, Sean Doolittle, and Alafair Burke relax at Mick O'Shea's, this year's bar of choice for the annual DHS "off-campus" party.

(6) Mark Sullivan is the picture of cool composure no matter where he is, be it listening to Lynn Grady at a bar or tracking prey in the woods.

(7) Here's a nice bottle of Beck's, pausing for a photo with Michael Koryta and Kelley Ragland.

(8) Sean Doolittle, Michael Koryta, and Derek Nikitas -- all smiles before climbing onboard the Coast Guard Cutter as research for future books. Allegedly.