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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Robin Burcell is Our Speaker for February!

Our next SJ SinC meeting will be Saturday, February 6 at 10 a.m. Yosemite Falls Restaurant.

Our speaker is Robin Burcell and she'll be talking about "Police Procedure and Forensic Art".  Read her bio and you'll see she knows what she'll be telling us. 

Robin Burcell, the award-winning author of eleven novels, spent nearly three decades working in law enforcement as a police officer, hostage negotiator and criminal investigator before retiring to write fiction full time. An FBI Academy-trained forensic artist, her drawings have been used to solve a number of crimes, including homicides and bank robberies, and she was called upon by the various Valley law enforcement entities, including the FBI, for this skill.  She has appeared on several true-crime television episodes as an expert witness.

Her most recent series is about an FBI forensic artist. The first, FACE OF A KILLER, received a starred review from Library Journal, and was followed by THE BONE CHAMBER, THE DARK HOUR, and THE BLACK LIST. The most recent book in that series, THE KILL ORDER, was named as one of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014.

Her latest novel, THE LAST GOOD PLACE, was released November 3, 2015 and is a continuation of the 1970s series by the late Carolyn Weston, whose novels were the basis for the hit television series THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO.
And most recently, Burcell is co-writing with Clive Cussler on book # 8 in the Fargo series. That book will be released September 2016.

More information as well as contact info can be found on her website at:
as well as her author page on Facebook.

Members $15 Visitors $20

**NOTE: We will be served a choice of

RSVP by Wednesday before the meeting

If you can, we highly encourage you email your reservation instead of phoning it in, Thanks.

Please EMAIL TO:

Meal Choices:

Mountain Climber Sandwich
Patty Melt Burger

Greek salad

NOTE: please put your lunch choice on subject line

Do not log on to the website, simply send email to the above address.

IF YOU CAN NOT EMAIL Please call 559-431-0360
with your name & choice of lunch.

Dial carefully, there is no greeting announcing SJ SinC.

****After paying,
 Sign up for your lunch choice
 Take meal colored card
 Put on the table in front of you.

****If you write a check, make it out to Yosemite Falls Café.

****Also, we ask that members and guests enter the restaurant and banquet room from the front. Only those with a load to bring in come through the back door of the restaurant. We will, of course always welcome the disabled to use that entrance if they need to.

Monday, January 11, 2016


   . . . Twenty years of Coveted Dead Bird Events! That’s right, 2016 marks our 20th anniversary the short story event with the sought after trophy – an actual winner’s trophy with a black bird on top, claws up.

Basic rules are the same: 10 manuscript pages with double spacing between sentences, 12 pt. font, courier or times Roman type. Must be a crime, OR THE INTENT TO COMMIT A CRIME, somewhere in the Central Valley. 

Theme this year is Crime Comes Calling – a very broad and far-reaching topic. Remember the Fuller Brush Man or the Avon Lady? Do a vintage piece of 30 – 40 years ago, or update it with a pizza delivery man. Or maybe Miss Nosy Parker next door wants to be the first to see what the new neighbors have in their house. How about an old flame decides to pay a surprise visit? Lots of ways to go there. And how ‘bout the UPS guy, the neighborhood kid selling magazine subscriptions, your mother-in-law drops in and catches you in bed with someone else.

So we have the rules, the theme, and we are waiting on a time. We would like to keep this writing adventure in the chapter, but we may have to do it elsewhere. Also, we are opening the doors to writers everywhere to compete for the Bye-Bye Birdie Award. That and other categories are being considered along with resurrecting the Laughing Lucas Award just as soon as I can find another rubber chicken.

 Get started now kicking those ideas around. Cut out pictures of faces you would like to use as your characters. Go shopping for your characters in magazines or Pinterest. We are planning a major blow-out celebration for you, so let’s get cracking.


Friday, January 8, 2016

BIRDS OF A FEATHER by Gloria Getman

Petite fours, lemon drops, tea, and a deadly stabbing normally don't go together, especially at a colonial high tea.

Deena Powers is back in Four Creeks to attend the annual event put on by her aunt’s chapter of the Women of Colonial Heritage. But when her aunt’s closest friend is murdered, Deena finds herself drawn to investigate a tangled web of misappropriated chapter funds, adultery and long-held secrets and she soon discovers that sins of the past are never left behind, no matter how carefully the trail is covered up. 

Helping Lieutenant Avis “Buzz” Walker acquire vital evidence leads to rekindled feelings, but when a killer steps in, it might just be too late.

Birds of a Feather is the second book in the Deena Powers series. People who read the first book, Lottie’s Legacy, often told me they liked the characters and the location and asked if there would be another book. How could I resist? Deena’s Aunt Madge and her problem initiated Deena’s return to Four Creeks in the first book, so naturally it became the setting for the sequel.

I really like the character of Madge. She’s active in the social life of Four Creeks and knows a great deal about the people and their secrets. I’m an avid genealogist, and so I figured Madge would be too. And as such, she’d join an organization like the Women of Colonial Heritage. It seemed likely that a group with links to colonial history would put on a colonial high tea. And what better place to have a murder?

It followed that the ladies of the WCH would not as nice and refined as they seemed on the surface, so Deena was going to sleuth her way to the bottom of the mystery as well as figure out her true feelings toward Lt. Avis “Buzz” Walker. Stir the pot a little and out comes a story with a bit of a surprise in the ending.


Gloria Getman is an active member of San Joaquin and Central Coast Sisters in Crime, Tulare-Kings Writers and SLO Nightwriters. Her work has been published in national magazines as well as local publications. LOTTIE’S LEGACY, her first Deena Powers mystery is available at Amazon and as a ebook for Kindle.  Some of her short stories can be found in the anthology, LEAVES FROM THE VALLEY OAK. She lives in Exeter, California.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Report on Our First Meeting of 2016

Unfortunately, our much anticipated speaker didn't show up. (Later learned, he was called in early for a planned surgery.)

So what was to be done? Vice-President Terrence MacArthur entertained us with tales of the stories he's sold lately: a horror story, a ghost love story on Love Boat, a vampire on the comedy club.

Jeanne Yamamoto gave a run-down on the Clovis Book Club including some of the guest authors who've come and visited. (Sunny Frazier and Marilyn Meredith did a duo there once, and despite a big rainstorm, a record number of members came.)

Terrence, who is a librarian, then told us how he became a mystery writer. He entered a writing contest while he was teaching titled "I Could Do it Myself but I Won't." He won in his category. The rest of the winners were student who got to read their entries aloud. Terrence's story was a bit too gruesome for tender young ears the powers-that-be decided. His talk was delightfully hilariousn.

Marilyn Meredith was given the opportunity to tell a bit about her two latest books, Not as it Seems and Violent Departures. She also was asked to tell about the time when she was only 10 and came home to find blood on the floor and in the sink, steaks cooking in the broiler, and no one at home. She was sure her family had been murdered. Ask her about it the next time you see her.

Jeanne then asked some questions of the audience and we learned:

16 members were born in California, and 8 of those were born in Fresno.

4 were born in Chicago, 1 in Detroit and 1 in Arkansas.

5 members worked in law enforcement at one time.

4 librarians.

8 of the attendees are writers.

3 of the original members were in attendance.

Despite our missing speaker, we all had a great time.