Follow by Email

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Writing Female Heroes, by Simon Wood

For our next meeting, Saturday, February 4, 10 a.m. we are delighted to once again welcome one of our favorites, Simon Wood.

He has just released a third stand alone novel with a female protagonist.  He will speak on writing for female 'heroes', changes in the publishing industry and the excitement of having a movie option!


Described as “a dark demented angel” by author Ken Bruen, Simon Wood has built a reputation for concocting wild and dangerous thrillers that would have given Hitchcock nightmares.  His writing takes an even darker and stranger turn as Simon Janus, his horror fiction identity.  Having been a petrochemical engineer, race car driver, pilot and private investigator, it’s not surprising he sees the world a little differently.  Originally from England, he lives in Northern California with his wife, Julie, and a menagerie of rescued animals.  Poke around to learn more about Simon.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Big Change

This blog is going dark.

It will be left up for awhile so people have access to prior posts, but from now on, all new blog posts will be on the new San Joaquin Sisters in Crime webpage.

Be sure and visit for all the latess news from the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

National Sisters in Crime

What is the national Sisters in Crime organization about – what does it

The national Sisters in Crime organization sets the mission and vision and articulates
five-year strategic plans to determine priorities for spending, sponsoring, supporting the
membership. The web site is a great place to check out what is happening, and see how
you might fit in. Members of chapters are required to be members of national, too, so
they get the full benefit of networking, industry alerts, and special opportunities such as
the recent call for authors who are interested to submit published books for the
Smashwords thumb drive giveaway at Bouchercon.

Every year, all the members vote on a slate of officers. We meet, mostly by phone, during
the year, and vote on a number of chapter proposals for grant funds and other issues
affecting the members.

Here’s some background taken off the web site (

SinC was founded in 1986 and is now 3600 members strong in 48 chapters world-wide,
offering networking, advice and support to mystery authors. We are authors, readers,
publishers, agents, booksellers and librarians bound by our passion for the mystery
genre and our support of women who write mysteries.

Mission: Promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional
development of women crime writers.

Vision: Serve as the voice for excellence & diversity in crime writing.

Values: Values are the guiding principles embraced by the SinC team.

• Promote respect and embrace diversity
• Continue our non-hierarchical tradition
• Support members along the publishing continuum
• Advocate for women crime writers
• Cultivate a positive presence within the crime writing community
• Educate and inspire
• Foster integrity and ethics
• Celebrate writing excellence

Goals: Some organizations consider goals as their core competencies. After input to the
facilitator and extensive first day discussions, the board set four goal areas or core

Membership Growth, Retention & Value Creation

Chapter Relations

The Voice of the Industry & Promotion of the Profession

Educational Excellence

Monday, January 9, 2017

California's Deadliest Women by David Kulczyk

David Kulczyk regaled us before lunch with tales of the most horrible women murdered in California history. He was worried about telling gory details before we ate--he had no idea how many gory tales we've heard at our meetings over the years.

He said that some of these women had no choice--others had everything and were just downright evil.

He told us that four doctors' wive killed their husband, and about a twin who killer her sister and had no remorse afterwards.

None of these tales have happy endings. And for most of these people, he feels that it's almost better to let them rot in prison.

Some of his stories were familiar, some not.

You can get his book from Amazon.

Blurb: We like to think of women as nurturers, not murderers, but women do kill. California’s Deadliest Women is the definitive guide to the murderesses of the Golden State, a horrifying compendium of women driven to kill by jealousy, greed, desperation, or their own inner demons. From Brynn Hartman, who killed her husband, comedian Phil Hartman, to chemist Larissa Shuster, who dissolved her husband in acid, to dominatrix Omaima Aree Nelson, who cooked and ate her husband, the 28 women profiled in California’s Deadliest Women show that the fairer sex can be as evil―and as deadly―as any man.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Conversion to Mystery Reading by Chris Paige

People are converted to many things, things like: faith, dietary decisions, exercise routines, and PBS guru’s. People convert for many reasons, and all converts have a story to share of being impacted by something that opened their minds and made them think differently about the world around them. I, myself, was converted to reading mystery novels as a sixth-grader who found solace from the “latch-key kid” scenario by snuggling up in a bean-bag chair in the corner of my public library with a book by John Bellairs. 

John Bellairs, was an American mystery and thriller writer best-known for the children’s classic The House with a Clock in its Walls (1973). It’s a story about an orphan boy, Lewis, who is sent to live with his mysterious uncle in a fantastic house that has a perplexing dilemma. The story has a kind of Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe meets Flavia deLuce feel to it, and is suspenseful to the last page. The House with a Clock in its Walls starts off a Lewis Barnavelt series of twelve books, and although the books are categorized as children’s book, they are contenders to some of the best adult mystery novels I’ve come across.  

Sometimes it’s nice (especially as a new year begins) to reflect on why we enjoy the things we do and when we were converted to them. Looking back for me as a young girl (who, as an adult, is an avid reader of bakery, coffee house, knitting, cat, and private-eye mystery novels), I fell in love with the adventure perpetuated from characters who were making sense of the world around them one clue at a time. So, if you’re looking for a good mystery read to cozy up to this winter, add The House with a Clock in its Walls to your list. PS- If possible find and early edition as the illustrations are delightfully Masterpiece Theatre like.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Review by Terrell Byrd

California’s Deadliest Women: Dangerous Dames and Murderous Moms

By David Kulczyk

During the holiday season I watch uplifting shows and read books with group hugs and happily ever after. Well usually I do, but this year is different. I picked up Kulczyk’s (pronounced Coal-check) latest edgy history of killers and victims in California. There are no happy endings in the twenty-eight tales in this volume. There is a lot of blood, senseless death and truly crazed females, but no heroines, true love or redemption.

This book is the closest thing to a bag of potato chips for the mind I have come across in a long time. I told myself, I would just read one. Or two. And there I was half an hour later cooking dinner while I read just one more. And then eating with the paperback in one hand and a fork in the other. After a while I was at the bibliography and couldn’t believe I had wolfed the whole thing. But I did!

Perhaps the most powerful takeaway from this book is that murderesses, if I may use an old-fashioned word, are still relatively uncommon (although there are more in this generation than before). Kulczyk states that he started with under a hundred really proven cases of hands on murder by women in our state. He used various factors to sort through and picked out the stories that showed real intention to take the life of another with no remorse for the deed.

An interesting nonfiction read containing more real evil than a Stephen King novel. Recommended.

Saturday, Jan 7, 2017. 10AMou will get the opportunity to meet David Kulczek and purchase his book if you attend San Joaquin Sisters in Crime January 7, 2017 meeting at 10 a.m. 

Yosemite Falls Restaurant, on Ashlan, Westside of 99.