Arizona Mystery Writers – November Meeting

Arizona Mystery Writers Meeting – Saturday, November 10, 2012

El Parador Restaurant, 2744 East Broadway Blvd, 10am – 2pm.
$15 for members who RSVP, $20 for walk-in members and non-members, includes lunch.

$10 for either the morning or afternoon session, without lunch.
Please RSVP at  or call 575-313-2837 by Wed., November 7th.

Morning Speaker:
Our speaker is an active-duty FBI Special Agent with 20 years experience in major investigations such as apprehension of the Unabomber, the destruction of the Twin Towers, and TWA flight 800. He is currently FBI Liaison to the local prison system, where he works with serial killers, cult leaders, and gang bosses.

Afternoon Writing Workshop:
Practice writing, based on a prompt suggested by the speaker’s topic. For example, if a Judge gave a talk on memorable cases, the afternoon prompt could be “A judge gives you an unusual sentence. You thank her.” Attendees can write solo or in a group, then we share our masterpieces. Afternoon also includes handouts with info like writing contests, tutorials, and informative web sites.

This month our El Parador menu choices are Beef Fajita Salad or Chicken Carnellos (stuffed tortillas), both served with extras like Pico de Gallo and guacamole, or a Spinach Quesadilla with fresh fruit. Remember to pick up a chip with your menu choice from the table outside the meeting room.

Please RSVP as soon as you can at the contact information below, and definitely before the deadline of noon on Wednesday, November 7th. A special note – I will always acknowledge your RSVP via e-mail or phone, if only to leave a message. If you do not hear from me, I didn’t get your RSVP! Keep trying!

 See you there!

Gail Gibbs, Membership Chair


October Sisters in Crime Meeting – Tucson Chapter

October Craft Speaker: JoAnn Bassett: Six Ways to Pump Up Your Setting

Setting is sometimes an undervalued component in mystery. We get so excited about our characters, plots, sub-plots and red herrings that we often forget that readers read to escape—to spend time somewhere other than their own zip code. In the fourth “W” (“Where?”) we’ll look at six key ways to `juice up’ your setting. To make it more genuine, more compelling, more unforgettable. We’ll look at ways to not only make readers love the book they’re reading (yours!) but to make them want to come back again and again to the place you’ve created for them (your entire series!). This presentation focuses on series mysteries, but the setting suggestions are also helpful for stand-alone mysteries. 

JoAnn Bassett was born and raised in Seattle, but always preferred palm trees to pine trees. She wrote firefighter training videos for a living but dreamed of “making stuff up” once she put the working life behind her. In 1998, she and her husband bought a home on Maui. Best day ever. She loved living on the beach but her husband longed to get back to “normal life” so they moved to Southern Arizona. Now JoAnn writes about life in the islands as a way to stay connected. Her first book, “Mai Tai Butterfly” became a #1 Kindle ebook bestseller in the Travel category. Her “Islands of Aloha” mystery series features stories set in each of the major Hawaiian islands, starting with Maui. She’s completed two of the series, “Maui Widow Waltz” and “Livin’ Lahaina Loca,” and is now working on “Lana’i of the Tiger.”

October Crime Speaker: Nora Rankin on DNA

Nora Rankin, senior criminalist in the Forensic Biology (DNA) Section of the Tucson Police Department’s Crime Lab, first will present a short history of forensic DNA before explaining types of DNA analysis, how DNA is processed in the laboratory, and the use of DNA databases in solving crimes. She also will talk about some interesting cases.

Since joining the lab in 1989, Ms. Rankin has worked more than 900 DNA cases and has testified in court on over 120 cases with DNA. She is also the local CODIS (DNA database) administrator. Her hobbies include reading mysteries!

Any questions please use the contact buttons at website: 

Viscount Hotel 4855 East Broadway Boulevard Tucson, AZ 85711
Meeting date: Oct 20 10:00 am to 2p.m.
Includes Lunch
Members: $20.00
Non-members: $25.00
Please go to the website for reservations and PayPal link:
Any questions please use the contact button at website.


Canyon Voices Literary Magazine – Call for Submissions

Our Fall 2012 Deadline is October 1st. The magazine comes out quarterly.
  1. Poetry: Up to eight (8) poems may be submitted (no longer than two pages each) per publishing period. All poems must have a title.
  2. Non-Fiction: Up to two (2) creative non-fiction stories per publishing period. Each story may be 20 pages or shorter, double spaced, 12 point font in Times New Roman or Arial.
  3. Fiction: Up to two (2) fiction stories per publishing period. Each story may be 20 pages or shorter, double spaced, 12 point font in Times New Roman or Arial. Flash fiction is accepted to a maximum of 1,000 words.
  4. Art: Up to ten (10) photographs or pieces of art work, which is at a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) or JPEG format to make sure the file is less than 1 MB, may be submitted per publishing period.
  5. Scripts: Up to two (2) scripts may be submitted per publishing period. A maximum of a 15 page script can be submitted.
All documents submitted should be double-spaced, 12 point font in either Times New Roman or Arial. Poetry may be single-spaced. All documents must be submitted in a (.doc) or (.rtf) format. All work submittied must have a title.
Submitting Work: To submit your work, please send it to our e-mail Be sure to attach all the work you wish to submit to the e-mail and include an author biography in the text. If you would like to submit a photo to add along with your biography, please be sure to attach it to the e-mail as well. Also, because we are apart of a university we must uphold academic standards. Therefore if your work is accepted we reserve the right to make minor superficial changes (IE: grammar, punctuation). If your work requires more than basic edits, we will contact you.
Explicit Materials: Because this is a university magazine, submissions containing sexually explicit material and explicit language will be accepted and determined eligible for publishing depending on the context of the explicit material in the work. Material deemed inappropriate or unnecessarily explicit will be summarily rejected.
Contact Information
Name: Janae Hopkins
Tel Number: 623-670-9735
Email Address:

August Sisters in Crime Meeting – Tucson Chapter

Contact to reserve your spot!

Notice for all the early birds to get your reservations in for the August meeting, Saturday 8/18. I’ve met lots of fictional private eyes, but never a real one. Plus a successful screenwriter to give us the inside dope on writing dialogue. Hope to see you there.

August Crime speaker: Eddie Resner

De-mything Fictional Detectives

Most detectives in popular fiction are impossibly courageous and incredibly cool. But if you’ve ever suspected that private investigators in books, on TV and in the movies are just too witty and charming to be true … you’re right. Most of what they do would land a real private investigator in jail. Our August speaker on subjects pertaining to law enforcement, private investigator Eddie Resner, will take us through the differences in the way private investigators must operate and the way law enforcement is allowed to operate. He also will talk about some typical cases, and the techniques and technology used to work them.

A native of New York, Eddie’s professional background includes over 30 years of credit, collection, law enforcement, and investigative experience. He is a founding member, lead investigator, owner and corporate officer with Nationwide Private Investigations, a local firm specializing in collection-fraud investigations and pre-employment screening. His investigative experience includes criminal and civil background investigations, premises liability, insurance fraud, missing persons, record retrieval and court research, corporate due diligence, false invoicing and disbursement fraud, asset searches, and worker’s compensation investigations. For the past 20 years, he has served as vice president of the largest locally owned collection agency in Southern Arizona. Eddie also is the state commander and chief executive officer for the Arizona Rangers, a law enforcement agency created by the Arizona Territorial legislature in 1901, He is responsible for overall operations and leadership for almost 400 Rangers statewide. Eddie spoke about the Rangers at our first chapter meeting last February.

Appearing with Eddie will be Lt. Robert Garcia, recently retired from the Tucson Police Department after 25 years as a street-gang officer and vice investigator who also worked on fraud investigations.

August Craft Speaker: Ginia Desmond

Character Development Through Dialogue

Screenwriter Ginia Desmond works to make her characters more interesting, better understood, deeper, darker, or funnier through their spoken words. “Let’s be clear,” she says, “screenwriting is the only form of writing not meant to be read.” At our August meeting, she will help us better understand how to develop our characters using dialogue. “Give them a reason to exist,” she says, “make them distinct from one another. To not be predictable, yet believable.” Genia’s genres are dark drama, dark comedy, the coming of age, etc.; she even has a sci-fi in mind — character based, of course.

Ginia was originally a Valley Girl from North Hollywood. Her dad was Gene Autry’s partner and a songwriter. The family moved to Scottsdale in the `50s, and she enrolled at the University of Arizona in 1960. “I strongly believe in putting my foot into new turf every now and then,” she says. In the late 60s to mid-70s she was a full-time artist, having earned a master of fine arts degree from the UofA in painting and drawing. In the mid-70s, “I broke rank and went into Business, to the horror of my artsy friends.” But it was an artsy business. She became an employer — Sangin, an international trading company — bringing in hand-crafted goods from Asia … furniture, baskets, pottery, etc. “Twenty-six years later, I sold it and became a screenwriter … a natural progression, right? This has been my main interest since 2004. And except for Nora Ephron, God rest her soul, a screenwriter can walk the earth and never be recognized.” She has written a dozen scripts, optioned three, one of them twice … “or maybe three times, I can’t remember.” She won a silver in an international screenwriting contest and as a result has “a cardboard award plaque to show off.” Nothing has yet been produced, but that will finally change next year, with the production of “Santiago’s Children,” for which she was hired “to adapt this amazing memoir.” Ginia has three daughters, four grandchildren, “and lots of UofA grads in the mix.”

Promote Your Novels with the All Mystery e-newsletter

The following article is written by Rebecca Dahlke, author of four great mystery/suspense novels, including “A Dead Red Oleander,” “A Dead Red Heart,” “A Dead Red Cadillac,” and “A Dangerous Harbor.” She is also the publisher of the All Mystery e-newsletter!

In 2010, I started an e-newsletter for mystery and suspense authors. It ran, free of charge to the authors until December 2012. I decided to let it go because: 1) authors just weren’t with me on how effective this kind of advertising could be, and 2) I had my own books to write.

So I put the website in mothballs, but kept the Facebook site, the yahoo group (which is where authors meet to talk about promotion, and readers come to see what authors are talking about.) and Good Reads group for Indie and small press promotion, and a Twitter account.

Since then, I have put four mysteries up on Amazon/Kindle, and because I understand that this my book is a product, I also began a six month quest for the best, and most effective, form of advertising my books.

The results were exciting! I discovered that with a combination of inexpensive paid and free promotion, I could sell more books. I thought the results of this were interesting enough to share with my writing friends. So the first thing I did was put together a 7 page handout and speak on this subject with my local Sisters in Crime chapter in Tucson. The handout was necessary because I had a lot of powerful and helpful information to share, but cautioned my grateful listeners with the following: The only thing I could guarantee about this information was that some of it would change.

That was in June, and sure enough, things have changed… again. One of the sites I listed as smart and creative just bit the dust, and another site, Digital Books Today, has taken a giant leap after only 18 months in the business.  Eighteen months? Gee, All Mystery e-newsletter had started before Digital Books Today… so that meant… but wait! There’s more!

In a recent e-mail from the founder of Digital Books Today, Anthony Wessel, he says, and I quote: “Traffic on our Sites: March: 8,000, June 16,000” and in their “The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books List: November 2011: 600+ and June 2012- 10,000+ with 38,000 click outs to books on Amazon.”

It is obvious that Indie and small press authors are now using paid book marketing as part of a successful campaign to sell their books. I know, because I was using them too, and the results have been gratifying—except for one thing. As a mystery writer, all of the best e-newsletters had mystery squished in between vampire and memoir.

It didn’t take me much more than a nano-second to see that All Mystery e-newsletter was needed.

I ticked off the possibilities for resurrecting this e-newsletter against the fact that it might take some time to gain momentum. Then realized I already had all of my requirements for a good promotion site: Facebook page, Yahoo and Good Reads groups, and Twitter with a small army of Re-Tweet pals.

The website is now up and running. Better yet, September is already SOLD out, but I am accepting submittals for October through December 2012. And, yes, the ad insertions for this e-newsletter are reasonably priced: $10.00 a book insertion.

Here are links to All Mystery e-newsletter places:

  5. Twitter handle: @allmysterynews

Last but not least, for those of you who would like a copy of my updated copy of that 7 page hand-out for both free and paid promotions for authors, send me an e-mail with “promotion handout” in the subject line and I’ll send you a PDF copy. E-mail:

2013 Great Southwest Book Festival


AUSTIN _ The 2013 Great Southwest Book Festival has issued a call for entries to its competition honoring the best books of the late winter/spring season.

The Great Southwest Book Festival will consider published and unpublished works in fiction, non-fiction, biography/autobiography, how-to, compilations/anthologies, photography/art, children’s, cookbooks, poetry, spiritual, young adult, business/technology, unpublished manuscripts, wild card (anything goes!), nature/animals and regional lit. There is no date of publication restriction, but all entries must be in English.

Our grand prize for the 2013 Great Southwest Book Festival winner is $1500 cash and a flight to our awards ceremony, to be held in March, 2013.

Submitted works will be judged by a panel using the following criteria:

1) General excellence and the author’s passion for telling a good story.
2) The potential of the work to reach a wider audience.

For more information, visit or email

Profiles of Healing – Book Series

The following is a Facebook message from Linda Rettinger. This is a fantastic cause, so I am helping to spread the word!

There has been a donation of books to the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers by the Ringing Rocks Foundation who has closed it’s doors a few years ago. It is a series of 10 books written on an Indigenous healer/medicine person from around the world which includes a cd so you can hear the persons voice telling their story, prayers, or songs. They are very well done with beautiful photo’s. These books are out of print.

For more information on the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and the work they are doing for the world go to:

We are looking for volunteers to help bring this process to fruition, from bringing the books from Flagstaff to Phoenix, to help fulfilling the orders in Phoenix, web design, to helping spread the word by e-mail or advertising. If you or anyone you know who supports the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers is willing to help in any way, even if for a couple hours, please have them contact Linda Rettinger at 602.686.3169 or e-mail

We have 300 boxes in Flagstaff, although we have already brought 1/3 of them to a storage in Phoenix. We need to bring the remainder of the boxes to Phoenix so we can proceed with selling them. We will be making a run to Flagstaff to pick up the books on Monday June 25th, and can use all the help we can get. For any remaining books we will be making another run on Saturday June 30th. I already have a list of people who would like to buy sets of book, so as soon as we can get the books here and have everything in order we can begin sending the books to where they are meant to be.

Below is a flier of the books, although there is nothing being sold on any website yet as we are in the infant stage of this process, people are just calling me for orders now and I’m taking their name down. I have the description on my website at You can scroll down the home page to see it. We could use some help with web design for this project.

100% of the proceeds will go to the 13 Grandmothers directly and the Center For sacred Studies who has taken care of the Grandmothers Council from the beginning. We are attempting to form an all volunteer team as a show of appreciation for the Grandmothers work in the world. they are involved in preserving the water sources of the world as well as other resources of the earth. They help with so many world projects attempting to preserve the earth for the next 7 generations. They also are involved in preserving indigenous ways of life as we see slowly reducing as cultures and languages breaking down. The Grandmothers do so much for the world, I would like to give back in this way.

When you contact me please use the headline Profiles of Healing. If anyone would like to see the books in person contact me and we can get together. If anyone is interested in a set or a single book contact me as well.

Please invite anyone who you feel may be interested.

I’m grateful for our community and what we can accomplish together 🙂

Prehistoric Civilizations of the Southwest

The following are some of the ancient civilizations of the Southwest:

  1. The Sinagua from Flagstaff and the Verde River Valley in Arizona. This includes the Sedona region and Sunset Crater Wupatki National Monument
  2. The Hohokam who inhabited Phoenix, Tucson and Mexico – to learn about this culture you can visit the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix. This industrious farming culture transformed the arid desert of the Salt and Gila River valleys into fertile farmlands and thriving villages.
  3. Mogollon – Eastern Arizona into New Mexico and south into Mexico.Mimbres is a subculture that developed beautiful black-on-white pottery
  4. Patayan – Western Arizona, S.E. California & Southern Nevada. Many Patayan and Hohokam sites have been discovered in the Barry Goldwater Range in Arizona.
  5. Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) Four corners region – Hopi, Zuni & Pueblo are descendants of the Anasazi. The image below is the boulder house, located at the Hovenweep National Monument near Cortez, Colorado.

Boulder House at Hovenweep National Monument