Jane's Trying Her Hand
at a Thriller
Jane had the opportunity to ask the multiple award winning (including being a Nero-finalist) author, Jan Burke, what it takes to write a great thriller.
In addition to the obvious—engaging, multi-layered characters; exotic or unusual setting; complex, action-oriented plot; pitch-perfect dialogue; and irresistible prose, Jan listed four structural components that great thrillers share. Jan's points in Jane's words:
- the consequences of failure must be global
- the consequences of failure must be personal
- the action has to be against a fast-ticking clock
- the villain must be really, really, really evil
"Every sub-genre of fiction has its own structural standards. Every time I aim for a new project, I have a boat load to learn and this is no exception. I've been working on the synopsis for more than a year, and I'm not done yet," Jane says. "I'm nothing if not persistent."
New Hampshire Public TV Auction
Last year, Jane's donation of sets of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries sold for over estimate!
Help support their stellar programming by participating in this year's auction!
to Die For
"Fantastic and Fascinating"
"A fascinating look at the behind-the- scenes goings-on in the antique business, Cleland's novel combines the best of mystery and romance to bring her readers a charming tale that entertains as well as educates. Without a doubt, ANTIQUES TO DIE FOR is a rare find and definitely worth the bid."
Jen Vido, FreshFiction.com
This is a fantastic and fascinating third series installment...."
Mystery Lovers Bookshop
"This is a series antiques buffs will love, and one that those who don't know a Queen Anne secretary from a majolica pitcher will appreciate." –Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch's Book Bag blog
"With great dialogue and description, a strong but insecure heroine, and enough inside info about Josie's business to satisfy an Antiques Roadshow fan—what's not to like?" —Mystery News
Compulsively readable and definitely recommended....
Q: I believe that you're on tour right now... do you enjoy it?
A: I love it! I have always enjoyed traveling, and on a book tour you get the extra benefit of meeting booksellers, librarians, and readers—three of my favorite groups of people! What a great experience it's been!
If I'm coming to your neck of the woods, I hope you'll come by and say howdy! My tour schedule is on my website.
Wes Shines in
Antiques to Die For
Wes Smith, the eager-beaver cub reporter for the Seacoast Star returns once again to help and irritate Josie in equal parts. Here's an excerpt from Antiques to Die For:
"I pulled into the Portsmouth Diner's parking lot just before ten and was settled in a booth near the back when Wes came in.
"You first," Wes said once as soon as he slid into the banquette.
"Hi, Wes. How are you?"
"Good, good. Whatcha got?"
"I'm fine, thanks."
"Ha, ha. So?" he asked, wiggling his fingers to speed me up.
I sighed. Wes was, as my mother always said about people who didn't adhere to the standards of common civility, "something like something I don't know."
"Can you find out if and how someone died for me?" I asked.
"Sure. Who died and why do you want to know how?"
"It's in connection—" I broke off as the waitress arrived.
I ordered coffee and a fruit salad, and shook my head as Wes ordered a double side order of bacon and a Coke.
"What kind of breakfast is that?"
"What do you mean?" Wes asked, surprised.
"Bacon and Coke?"
He shrugged. "I like bacon and coke."
"Forget what I eat. Tell me about the dead guy," he said.
I sighed, but didn't comment further. "As part of an appraisal I'm working on, I've run into... well, a situation.... I'm following a ‘something's fishy's hunch." I described the circumstances...."
Please ask your librarian for Antiques to Die For or buy your copy now.!
Cooking Tip from Josie's Mom
If food lacks flavor, many people's first thought is to add salt. Josie's mom said to consider adding acid first.
Lemon juice, onion juice, lime juice, and vinegars of various flavors, add complexity that can't be replicated with salt.
In potato salad, for example, Josie's mom's secret ingredient is lime juice.
Several recipes from Josie's mom are on Jane's website.
Antiques Collecting Fact:
Did You Know?
Antiques and Collectibles:
Vintage Wooden Objects
Hold Their Value
Collectors love the rich patina that comes from the daily use of essential wooden objects—especially those from the dairy.
Butter paddles, butter stamps, and milking pails, for example, have enduring appeal—and are highly affordable.
The primitive-floral design in the butter stamp shown above, for instance, might sell for as little as $50.
Animal and wheat-sheaf butter stamp designs are rarer, and thus command a higher price.
Fun facts about other antiques and collectibles are available on Jane's website: www.janecleland.net
Also, want to pit your antiques appraisal skills against those of the professionals? Take the challenge, updated weekly, at What's It Worth? You Be the Judge.
What Kind of Horse Are You?
An excerpt from
Jane's latest Blog
I'm not a clothes horse. I select outfits for comfort, not style. In other words, I'm a comfort horse.
When I was twelve, my father told me that he would gladly pay for any and all beauty treatments. He liked his women well-kempt. My mother was more of a comfort-first sort of gal, so this was his way of suggesting that I try a different approach. From that unspoken—and to be fair, perhaps, unintended—message, I learned an important lesson—comfort horses aren't as valued by men as beauty horses.
Be that as it may, and not to belabor a metaphor, but it didn't take me long to learn that for me at least, it's impossible to change horses midstream. A comfort horse I was, and a comfort horse I am. Sorry, Dad.
One of my nephews tells me he's a restaurant horse. If he has extra cash, he spends it on fine dining. A writer friend of my acquaintance.... [MORE]
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