Tag Archives: literature

Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Friday, October 4, 2013 / “Roots: The Saga of an American Family” by Alex Haley / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

As abhorrent as I have always viewed slavery, this book actually made me feel it. Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley Like most of Americans in the 1970s, I was riveted to the mini-series “Roots.”  Also probably … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Monday, September 16, 2013 / “Until She Comes Home” by Lori Roy / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A murder and disappearance destroy the essence of a once-respectable neighborhood in “Until She Comes Home” by Lori Roy. Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy Winning an Edgar for your first novel is a hard setup for your second one.  … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Thursday, September 5, 2013 / “Tell Me” by Lisa Jackson / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Who murdered a pregnant teenage girl? Her mother is not talking. Tell Me by Lisa Jackson Thriller author Lisa Jackson’s new book “Tell Me” sucked me in and disabled me like a snakebite.  Out of nowhere, from the first page of … Continue reading

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Critiques Are A Two-Edged Sword / Author Maggie Toussaint

Authors are polarized on the subject of critiques. For some, the idea of anyone criticizing any part of their baby is unthinkable. Other authors wouldn’t dream of turning in a manuscript unless it had been vetted by critique partners. So … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Tuesday, June 23, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

The senseless murder of children in Africa, an Amish love affair, a woman’s heart-tugging self-discovery, the financial industry’s crooked corporate deals, and the death of a police officer. Here are some books I think you might find of interest. Some I have … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Friday, June 19, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A man on death row, a second wife learning the startling truth about the first, a sister avenging the death of her sister, and how to write a killer thriller.  Here are some books I think you might find of interest. … Continue reading

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A Writer’s Training Ground / Writer Tom Wood

I always loved a good mystery, but never, ever, in my thirty-six-year career as a sports writer and copy editor at a major Southern daily newspaper did I imagine writing one. So when I decided it was time to write … Continue reading

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The Best Contest I Ever Lost / NYT bestselling author Lynn Viehl

In 2012 I entered Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award contest, but don’t bother checking the names of the finalists; I didn’t make that list.  There was no trophy or bragging rights for me; I’m just one of the many Claymore losers … Continue reading

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The Dark Side of Mystery Writing / Author Joyce Lavene

I was thinking about how much darkness mystery writers have to take in – and deflect – every day. What made me think about it were the shocked and horrified faces of friends and family after I’d related what I … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “You Cannoli Die Once” by Shelley Costa / Thursday, May 30, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa An Italian food mystery series?  What could be better than this!  Get ready to sit down and indulge. Edgar Award-nominated author Shelley Costa has put the fine touches on the start … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Rapscallion” by James McGee / Tuesday, May 28, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Rapscallion by James McGee It’s the early 1800s and espionage is alive and well in jolly old England. “Rapscallion” by James McGee is the third adventure for Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood and in this installment, without giving … Continue reading

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My First Literary Advice / Award Winning Author/Screenwriter Heywood Gould

It’s 1963. I’m twenty- one and I have the best job in the world— police reporter for the New York Post. I’m making $95 a week and paying $53 a month in rent. A bowl of shrimp fried rice costs … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “The House of Special Purpose” by John Boyne / Monday, May 13, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne If you are looking for a page-turning mixture of suspense and betrayal within a well-executed part love story, part historical epic, and part-tragedy, then “The House of Special Purpose” is … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “The Mothers” by Jennifer Gilmore / Friday, May 10, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Mothers by Jennifer Gilmore It is amazing how, when one can’t have children, that one sees children and pregnant women everywhere, hears women getting pregnant who didn’t want to be, hears innocent remarks made by family members … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “No Way Back” by Andrew Gross / Wednesday, May 8, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is No Way Back by Andrew Gross In Andrew Gross’s “No Way Back,” a woman has an affair and, while in the illicit situation, her lover is murdered.  In self-defense, she kills the killer, whom she IDs as a … Continue reading

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Clichés and the Writer / Author Randy Rawls

So now you’re a writer. You qualify for the title because you’ve 1) published your first book, 2) finished your first book, 3) begun your first book, or 4) decided to begin your first book. Doesn’t matter which, you’re well … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Submergence” by J.M. Ledgard / Monday, April 29, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Submergence by J.M. Ledgard J. M. Ledgard’s “Submergence” has figuratively grabbed me by the…neck.  Every few months I read a book like this and it just blows me away.  This novel hit me in the gut. The story … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Skin in the Game” by R.P. Finch / Monday, April 22, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Skin in the Game by R.P. Finch The University of West Alabama came upon a prize with R. P. Finch’s first novel “Skin in the Game.” This is a delightfully original and quirky book. Backstabbing deals. Characters’ high … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “The Mystery of Mercy Close” by Marian Keyes / Monday, April 15, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes Page-turning laughs await in the new mystery from Irish author Marian Keyes’ “The Mystery of Mercy Close.” This is the fifth Walsh Sister novel. Helen, the protagonist, is the youngest … Continue reading

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Characters for Hire / Author Ken Vanderpool

  Key Players Everyone knows the most important people to any successful business are their customers. Running a close second and facilitating that success are the company’s employees. As a hiring manager in operations for the past forty years, I … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger / Friday, April 5, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger William Ken Krueger’s new deeply human grief-ridden novel “Ordinary Grace” is as much a literary novel as it is a mystery. Told from the point-of-view of a 13-year-old boy, Frank, an about-to-be … Continue reading

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Best-Laid Plans / Author Michael Guillebeau

I’ve been at this business of learning to write for sixty-one years or four years, depending on how you count. I keep learning and losing the same old things and find myself spending more time scratching my head than writing. … Continue reading

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Perps & Guns – It’s No Mystery / Award Winning Author Marco Conelli

When writing the young adult Matthew Livingston Mystery Series, I get to inject some of my 20 plus years’ experience as a NYPD detective into my stories. The beneficiary of said experience is the main character of the books, 17 … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Hunting Daylight” by Piper Maitland / Thursday, March 21, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Hunting Daylight by Piper Maitland I’ve discovered a new series!  Today’s Book of the Day is two-for-one.  Fellow Tennessee writer Michael Lee West has duplicated herself into writing alter ego Piper Maitland.  Berkley sent “Hunting Daylight” by Piper … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Wednesday, March 20, 2013 / “Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction” by Tracy Kidder & Richard Todd

Today’s featured book is Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd “Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction” by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd provide a rare treat for nonfiction writers.  Here is the chronicle of two men … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Tuesday, March 19, 2013 / “Heart of Ice” by P.J. Parrish / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Heart of Ice by P.J. Parrish I save books from P.J. Parrish for when I know I won’t be interrupted. For “Heart of Ice” even sleep had to wait. I can’t say enough superlatives about this writing dynamic … Continue reading

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Okay, I Love Television. So Sue Me. / Award winning author Laura Hayden

I’ve been enamored with it all my life. When I was a kid, I loved television so much that my parents felt compelled to limit me to one hour a day. So what did I do? I started a diary, … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Baksheesh” by Esmahan Aykol, translated by Ruth Whitehouse / Tuesday, March 5, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Baksheesh by Esmahan Aykol, translated by Ruth Whitehouse Bribery can get you many things. Including an apartment where a dead body turns up and you become the main suspect.  Such is the case with Esmahan Aykol’s second book … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia” by Siddharth Kara / Friday, March 1, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia by Siddharth Kara “Brings new meaning to owing your soul to the company store. A study of debt bondage and violent enslavement of men, women, and children in … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Tuesday, February 26, 2013 / “The Incense Game” by Laura Joh Rowland / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Incense Game by Laura Joh Rowland. “Here’s my numerical review: 16-15-1. It’s a lottery number you’ll win by. Sixteenth Century mystery. Treacherous politics. History. Culture. An earthquake bringing the city down upon them. Number 15 in Rowland’s … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “And When She Was Good” by Laura Lippman / Monday, February 25, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman. “A mom’s sacrifices for her only child. A mom’s secret Heidi Fleiss life behind a gated community. A suicide that might be murder.  Washington D.C. politicians and power managers. Betrayal. … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Splendors and Glooms” by Laura Amy Schlitz / Friday, February 22, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz. “I picked it up to give to my son to read and loved it myself. Written by a Newberry Medal Winner who never delivers a less-than-stellar book. A confused little girl. … Continue reading

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My take on writing a “Cozy” / Kay Elam

My very first writing conference was Killer Nashville, and I was scared to death. After all, I envisioned the other attendees as real writers, many published, many successful. I was only starting my writing journey, but knew I needed to … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Tuesday, February 19, 2013 / “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. “A classic. Pulitzer Prize winner. Modern Library’s 36th greatest novel of the 20th Century. The fictional rise of governor Willie Stark and the self-discovery of Jack Burden. Written in the classic voice … Continue reading

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Translating Patrick Conrad’s “No Sale” / Jonathan Lynn, former Reuters correspondent

How do you translate a thriller written in a language you can’t speak? That was the challenge I faced when I undertook to translate prize-winning Belgian author Patrick Conrad’s novel Starr (now published in English as No Sale). Patrick has written a dozen … Continue reading

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Projectile Tech 101: A two-part series (part 2) / Sgt. James Spitzer (Retired)

An Expanding Bullet serves two distinct functions. The first function is to create a larger wound track, thereby inflicting more damage to the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system or the muscular/skeletal structure of the unlucky recipient.  The empty space … Continue reading

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Projectile Tech 101: A two-part series / Sgt. James Spitzer (Retired)

In the world of Forensic Science, part of the job of a Firearms Examiner is to wade through a sea of myths and misconceptions to deliver the genuine facts into the hands of an often bewildered jury. This is never … Continue reading

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My Take on Thriller Writing / Author Chester D. Campbell

I’ve always enjoyed reading about authors who lucked up by hitting the right agent who sent their manuscript to the right publisher at the right time. Problem is it never happened to me. I got a good agent for the … Continue reading

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Why I Prefer Third Person Viewpoint / Author Phil Bowie

First person viewpoint is an appealing initial choice for a suspense writer. It’s familiar and intimate because it’s the way we all tell each other our ordinary personal stories every day. It’s an easy way to grab reader attention and … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Tuesday, December 11, 2012 / “The Facility” by Simon Lelic / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Facility by Simon Lelic. A novel that will leave you questioning everything. Why Clay Stafford chose this book: About the first page of the first chapter, I thought, “What the…” Yet, I was riveted. The story takes … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Friday, December 7, 2012 / “Last to Die” by Tess Gerritsen / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen. Save the kids. Why Clay Stafford chose this book: Let’s hope there is no “three’s the charm” in this book. Twice in a row, Teddy Clock has survived a massacre of his … Continue reading

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Writing the Cozy Mystery / Author Jayne Ormerod

When I tell people “I write cozy mysteries”, about half of the people say, “Wow.  That’s cool.”  Pause while they think about that.  “What the hell is a cozy mystery?”  The other half say, “Wow. That’s cool.”  Then they pull … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Friday, November 30, 2012 / “12.21” by Dustin Thomason / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is 12.21 by Dustin Thomason. Read this novel before 12/21/12. After that, it may not be available. Why Clay Stafford chose this book: Conspiracy theories and doomsday predictions do nothing for me in real life, but they are great … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Wednesday, November 28, 2012 / “Run to Ground” by D.P. Lyle / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Run To Ground by D.P. Lyle. What would you do if someone brutally murdered your child? Why Clay Stafford chose this book: The thriller “Run to Ground” is D.P. Lyle’s best work of fiction. I served for four … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville Author Interview with Mary Burton

Today, Killer Nashville is proud to interview New York Times bestselling author MARY BURTON. Mary is a Richmond, Virginia native and a graduate of Hollins University.  After a career in marketing, she shifted gears and became a full time writer. … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Tuesday, November 27, 2012 / “Death of a Schoolgirl” by Joanna Campbell Slan / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan. Who would have thought Jane Eyre was such an excellent detective? Why Clay Stafford chose this book: Joanna Campbell Slan’s new historical series stars Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. “Death of … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Monday, November 26, 2012 / “Man in the Blue Moon” by Michael Morris / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris. The rich get richer and the poor…keep fighting them off. Why Clay Stafford chose this book: You have to ask yourself, what has Michael Morris been doing all these years? … Continue reading

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The Villain / Author Jaden Terrell

On Villains: Perception is Everything I’ve been thinking about villains today, and one thing that really stands out to me is this: hardly anyone thinks he is one. Take Darth Vader. He’s not out there thinking, “This is me, being … Continue reading

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How to Make Your Query Stand Out / Agent Jill Marr

Every writer goes through it—the painful process of penning the perfect pitch letter. Compared to writing an 80,000 word novel or coming up with an incredible, stand-out non-fiction project, writing the ideal query to agents and editors is the act … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Monday, November 12, 2012 / “Luther: The Calling” by Neil Cross / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross. Womb raiders. A missing child. A serial killer. Why Clay Stafford chose this book: I’m a speed reader. I read one book a night. This one I had to take slowly like … Continue reading

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