Sisters in Crime/LA Hosting Write-Ins For NaNoWriMo 2020!

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Sisters in Crime/LA will be hosting ZoomWrite-Ins for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2020 in conjunction with sponsorship from our National organization, Sisters in Crime, Inc.

Write-Ins will be open to members and non-members, but please note the Zoom rooms have a 100 person capacity limit. RSVPs will be required.

RSVP Links Available Now! Reserve your spot by clicking on the day and time you want!

Sunday, November 8th, 2020 – 3:00 to 4:30 pm

led by Sisters in Crime/LA Corresponding Secretary Paula Bernstein

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 – 2:00 to 3:30 pm

led by Sisters in Crime/LA President Anne Louise Bannon

Saturday, November 14th, 2020 – 3:00 to 4:30 pm

led by Sisters in Crime/LA Webmaven Shannon Muir Broden

Saturday, November 21st 2020 – 3:00 to 4:30 pm

led by Sisters in Crime/LA Webmaven Shannon Muir Broden

Sunday, November 22nd, 2020 – 3:00 to 4:30 pm

led by Sisters in Crime/LA Recording Secretary Marie Stein

Saturday, November 28th, 2020 – 3:00 to 4:30 pm

led by Sisters in Crime/LA Webmaven Shannon Muir Broden

Sunday, November 29th, 2020 – 3:00 to 4:30 pm

led by Sisters in Crime/LA Recording Secretary Marie Stein

Good luck reaching 50,000 words in November!

Make Time in Your Month for HOUSE ARREST!

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Since June of 2020, the Speakers Bureau of Sisters in Crime/LA has brought together members of our Speakers Bureau, along with special guests, for a fun-filled night on Zoom every month called HOUSE ARREST. Experience readings and more as we celebrate and elevate female crime authors and those who support them. Watch the site for additional dates.

Don’t Forget to Sign Up for the WHAT’S NEW THIS MONTH Newsletter!

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For the highlights of new book releases and a monthly run-down of author events, subscribe to the WHAT’S NEW THIS MONTH newsletter. Subscription is automatic when you join as a member, but non-members are also encouraged to sign up! This newsletter is assembled and released by our Public Relations/Social Media board member. See the sign up block on the right hand side of every page of the website.

MEMBER ARTICLE – 6 Types of Evidence & How They Solved the Real Life & Fictional Murder in Hole in the Woods

6 Types of Evidence & How They Solved the Real Life & Fictional Murder in Hole in the Woods

By Jennifer Graeser Dornbush

It’s no secret that cold cases draw a lot of entertainment and media interest. From podcasters, to thriller novels, to true crime TV– viewers and readers can’t get enough! And I’m no different! My new thriller, Hole in the Woods, is based on a cold case I followed for twenty-five years. The specific cold case was that of Shannon Siders of Newaygo, Michigan. Shannon was brutally raped and murdered the summer of 1989 and her body was left for three months at the Hole in the Woods, a local party spot deep in the Manistee National Forest.

Once I started researching Shannon’s case, I got a behind the scenes look at how investigators pieced together 25 years worth of evidence to finally make arrests. So, what was the lynchpin that locked away two killers for life?

Before I give you the big reveal… let’s take a look at the six types of evidence investigators look for in cases.

What Are The Types of Evidence?

Direct Evidence
Direct Evidence is a term meaning factual evidence recovered from a crime scene that usually can not be disputed. Examples include eyewitness reports, photos, and videos of the crime.

Circumstantial Evidence
Circumstantial evidence infers that a crime happened. It is indirect evidence. Example: A fingerprint at a crime scene thus might incriminate a person through inference.

Physical Evidence
Like its name suggests, physical evidence is anything touchable, tangible, or present at the scene that you collect and that is related to the crime. It contains three subcategories:

Biological Evidence
As its name suggests, biological evidence comes from a live source. Blood. Urine. Saliva. Semen. Skin tissue. Organ tissue. Hair. Teeth. Vomit. It’s the ooey gooey stuff we’re all made of and all produce.

Impression Evidence
Most commonly, impression evidence includes impression marks made into soft and malleable material by shoes, tools, tires, or teeth.

Trace Evidence
Trace evidence is bits of an object. Usually only very small quantities of physical evidence are left at a crime scene or on a victim. You may only get one strand of hair, a few skin cells, a thread from a fabric, a glass shard, or a few granules of soil. What evidence was found in the Shannon Siders case?

Shannon’s case was not solved based on biological (DNA) evidence. In fact, there was very little physical evidence extracted from her murder scene. And the only biological evidence found was her own.

Shannon’s case was eventually solved because of direct evidence – witness testimony! Lots and lots and lots of witness testimony was used to corroborate times, dates, locations and other related data linked to Shannon’s murder. I hand selected only a few pieces of evidence from Shannon’s case and replicated them for my fictional tale. And a few others I made up or massaged a bit for entertainment purposes. I’m not going to spoil the story by giving you the details. You’ll have to read the Hole in the Woods and see how it all plays out!

A percentage of the sales from Hole in the Woods will be donated to the Cold Case Foundation. www.coldcasefoundation.org

About Hole in the Woods

In 1989, in a sleepy Michigan town, missing high school grad Nina Laramie’s skeleton is found near a remote party spot in the forest. Fear and anger ripple through this tight-knit community when the case goes cold. Thirty years later, Riley St. James is assigned to the case, despite her similar past to the victim, and must face the killers who want their secret to stay in the Hole in the Woods. This true crime thriller is based on the 1989 true-life murder case of Shannon Siders, in which the author’s father was the medical examiner.

Photo Credit by Byron Nickelberry

Jennifer is a screenwriter, author, international speaker, and forensic specialist. As she says, “I grew up around death.” The television or movie screen is the closest most people will ever come to witness in the forensic world. But Jennifer was raised in it, as the daughter of a small town medical examiner whose office was in their home. Her latest novel, Hole in the Woods, released August 4th and can be found online wherever books are sold. Connect with Jennifer and join her newsletter at www.jenniferdornbush.com

SISTERS IN CRIME/LA August 2020 Meeting Recap

On August 2nd, 2020, Sisters in Crime/LA met virtually via Zoom.

 

Featured Speaker
Toby Neal

 

Award-winning, USA Today bestselling social worker turned author Toby Neal grew up on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Neal is a mental health therapist, a career that has informed the depth and complexity of the characters in her stories.

Neal’s Paradise Crime Mysteries, starring multicultural detective Lei Texeira, explore the crimes and issues of Hawaii from the bottom of the ocean to the top of volcanoes. Spinoff Paradise Crime Thrillers, with Lei’s friend Sophie, features a tech sleuth with a mean left hook and an ongoing vigilante justice manhunt.

Neal’s also written the romance thriller Scorch Series (with Emily Kimelman) and her own Somewhere Series romances under Toby Jane.

Toby’s memoir, Freckled: a Memoir of Growing Up Wild in Hawaii, has been widely praised. Kirkus calls Freckled, “an affecting and riveting chronicle…in a Hawaii long lost.” She writes memoir under TW Neal.
See her work at:  Home – Toby Neal

 

 

Featured Reader
Henry Forman aka Jordan Hanks

 

Henry Jay Forman is an emeritus professor at the University of Southern California and University of California at Merced. Dr. Forman is an award-winning scientist with over two hundred scientific publications, and editor of a scientific journal. He uses the pen name Jordan Hanks to write mystery novels that are based in the world of biomedical science, the first being “The Death of Death.” This will be part of a series in which the lead characters are Cindy Firestone, a police detective turned private investigator and her husband, FBI agent, former forensic pathologist, Steve Jude.

Sisters in Crime LA Member Appearances and News – August 2020

Find out where our members in person this coming month (and subsequent months), or where you can find them – or their content – in media outlets such as podcasts or Zoom conferences! Or, maybe you have time on your hands for a good read and there’s something new you should know about!

We’ve consolidated all the “hot off the press”  news to know here – this list is updated throughout the month with last minute additions and changes, so keep checking back!

 

MEMBERS NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Craig Faustus Buck‘s “2 is For Taboo”, “Cuppa Joe” and “Heavy Debt”, have all been accepted for reprint in the 2020 BOULD Awards Anthology, which will be published in late November.

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Tori Eldridge‘s book, THE NINJA DAUGHTER,  is a Macavity Award nominee for Best First Mystery. Tori’s debut novel was also nominated for an Anthony Award (Best First Novel) and a Lefty Award (Best Debut Mystery). Her next book in the Lily Wong series, THE NINJA’S BLADE, releases September 1st!

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Sheila Lowe spent 3 hours in front of a camera for Burden of Proof, a documentary to be aired on HBO this fall. She figures that will get her about 30 seconds of screen time. The show is about a 1987 cold case where a 15 year old girl disappeared, leaving some mysterious handwriting.

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Gary Phillips has a short story, “High Sheriff Blues” in Low Down Dirty Vote II, profits from sales to go to the Southern Poverty Law Center to fight voter suppression and another, the Twilight Zone influenced “No Room! No Room!” in Stop the World: Snapshots from a Pandemic. Those profits to benefit a charity as well.

SISTERS IN CRIME/LA July 2020 Meeting Recap

On July 12th, 2020, from 2 to 4 pm, Sisters in Crime/LA met on Zoom.

 

Featured Reader
Ellen Byron

Ellen read from the opening of her new book, MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD.

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Her new Catering Hall Mystery series, written as Maria DiRico, launched with Here Comes the Body and was inspired by her real life. She’s an award-winning playwright and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS. But she considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart.

 

Featured Speaker
Kathy Reichs

Photo by Marie-Reine Mattera

 

In an interview with Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles Chapter Speakers Bureau Director August Norman, Kathy discussed her career as a forensic anthropologist, common mistakes crime writers make when dealing with forensics, her journey from aspiring writer to best-selling author, and her 19th installment in the Temperance Brennan series, A Conspiracy of Bones.  Questions were then taken from the audience as time permitted.

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan books include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection.   In addition, Kathy co-authored the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, ExposureTerminal, and the novella collection Trace Evidence. The series follows the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan.  Dr. Reichs’ latest novel, Two Nights, was released July 11 and features Sunday Night, a tough-talking, scarred heroine.  Dr. Reichs was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and to the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted in the recovery of remains at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.

 

Sisters in Crime LA Member Appearances and News – July 2020

Find out where our members in person this coming month (and subsequent months), or where you can find them – or their content – in media outlets such as podcasts or Zoom conferences! Or, maybe you have time on your hands for a good read and there’s something new you should know about!

We’ve consolidated all the “hot off the press”  news to know here – this list is updated throughout the month with last minute additions and changes, so keep checking back!

 

MEMBERS NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tori Eldridge, debut author of THE NINJA DAUGHTER and upcoming THE NINJA’S BLADE (out 9/1/20), appears in three video events for Virtual Thrillerfest XV July 6-14.

  • ITW Author Videos – “Action Thrillers: Driving the Pace and Keeping It Real” with Award-Winning Authors Karen Dionne, K.J. Howe, Zoë Sharp, and Tori Eldridge (July 8-10, free to view)
  • Debut Author Presentation (July 11, 12pm EDT, free to view)
  • Mega Craftfest Conversation with #1 International Bestselling Author Karen Dionne (July 6-10, registration required)

Tori Eldridge—author and former actress of Broadway, television, and film—performs her action-thriller short story “Tough as Stone” for The Poisoned Pen, the first chapter of THE NINJA DAUGHTER for Vroman’s Bookstore, and two excerpts from her debut novel for Book Soup!

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Glen Erik Hamilton will join national bestsellers Jeff Abbott and Ellison Cooper in a Facebook Live event, July 14 at 6:00pm with Poisoned Pen, as part of book tour for Glen’s fifth Van Shaw thriller A DANGEROUS BREED.

Details and more of Glen’s upcoming appearances at:
glenerikhamilton.com/events.

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Shannon Muir‘s mystery/action backlist of short stories are featured in the charity volume WHO’S WHO IN NEW PULP, with all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It is a directory of 222 authors, artists, editors and reviewers in the “new pulp” movement, writing tales today that evoke the styles of the mystery and action pulps of old. This title is currently available from Amazon.

SISTERS IN CRIME/LA June 2020 Meeting Recap

On June 7th, 2020, from 2 to 4 pm, Sisters in Crime/LA met on Zoom.

 

Featured Reader

Paula Bernstein

Paula Bernstein began her career with a PhD in Chemistry from Caltech. After several years of research, she escaped from her lab and went to medical school. Like the heroine of her medical mystery series, Hannah Kline, Paula has spent most of her professional life practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology in Los Angeles. After retiring from her full time practice, Paula unearthed all the first drafts she’d written over many years, found a great editor, and published the Hannah Kline Mysteries; Murder in the Family, Murder by Lethal Injection, Murder at a Private School, Murder in the Goldilocks Zone, Murder In Vitro and Murder on her Honeymoon. Her newest Hannah Kline novel, Murder is a Nightmare, will be published this year.  Her short story, On Call for Murder, a Hannah Kline prequel, was published in the Sisters in Crime 2017 Anthology, LAst Resort.

Featured Speaker

Lori Rader-Day

She talked about writing suspense and her newest novel, The Lucky One.

Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony Award- and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Under a Dark SkyThe Day I DiedLittle Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She co-chairs the mystery conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and serves as the national president of Sisters in Crime. Her new book is The Lucky One, set in a true-crime amateur online sleuth community.

Sisters in Crime/LA Member Appearances and News – June 2020

Find out where our members in person this coming month (and subsequent months), or where you can find them – or their content – in media outlets such as podcasts or Zoom conferences! Or, maybe you have time on your hands for a good read and there’s something new you should know about!

We’ve consolidated all the “hot off the press”  news to know here – this list is updated throughout the month with last minute additions and changes, so keep checking back!

 

MEMBERS NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Shea E. Butler’s short story, “Do Not Go Gently,” became available 5/17/20  in Black Veins Anthology (published by The Great Void) on Amazon for Kindle.  Paperback publishing date summer 2020. Link: getbook.at/blackveins

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Tori Eldridge, debut author of THE NINJA DAUGHTER and upcoming THE NINJA’S BLADE (out 9/1/20), appears in three video events for Virtual Thrillerfest XV July 6-14.

  • ITW Author Videos – “Action Thrillers: Driving the Pace and Keeping It Real” with Award-Winning Authors Karen Dionne, K.J. Howe, Zoë Sharp, and Tori Eldridge (July 8-10, free to view)
  • Debut Author Presentation (July 11, 12pm EDT, free to view)
  • Mega Craftfest Conversation with #1 International Bestselling Author Karen Dionne (July 6-10, registration required)

 

Tori Eldridge—author and former actress of Broadway, television, and film—performs her action-thriller short story “Tough as Stone” for The Poisoned Pen, the first chapter of THE NINJA DAUGHTER for Vroman’s Bookstore, and two excerpts from her debut novel for Book Soup!

~~~

Gay Toltl Kinman‘s Close Encounters” is the second in the four-part Death in San Antonio Mystery Short Stories series, just released from Mysterious Women.  Brooke needs a new partner for her P.I. agency, but in the meantime she works with two other P.I. agencies on missing dog cases. They bait a trap for the dognapper—and Brooke has a close encounter with death.

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Dennis Palumbo did an interview with Writers Guild newsletter about how writers are dealing with the quarantine.

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