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newschat May 2008

May 19, 2008

Dearest Correspondent,

Because it's spring, little duck babies nationwide are learning to swim and the furnace is taking a rest. This is good.

Life on my end grows increasingly glamorous. My new novel, THE ACTRESS, hits the stores---resoundingly, in hardcover---on May 27. Read the first chapter for free on the new and improved www.elizabethsims.com, thanks to my Web mistress extraordinaire, Marcia. The book is the first in a new suspense series from St. Martin's Minotaur, it features a quick-witted heroine, and yes, I'm finishing up the sequel as we speak.

You: What's THE ACTRESS about?

Me: Aspiring actress and single mom Rita Farmer has gone from struggling to find work to downright desperate. If she doesn’t land a paying job soon—horror movie, soap commercial, anything—she’s afraid her ex-husband will use her dire financial straits to take away Petey, her cherished four-year-old son. While she's charming the crowd at storytime at the L.A. library, a celebrity defense attorney approaches her with an unusual job offer: So long as she’s discreet, Rita can rake in $1,000 a day preparing his client for her appearance in court. Easy money? Hardly. His client, Eileen Tenaway, is not only a wealthy heiress and a queen of the tabloids but she’s been charged with the murder of her own child. The attorney needs Rita to coach Eileen secretly to help her seem more sympathetic, more human. He needs the jury to believe not only her words, but the subtle cues of body language, facial expressions, even vocal style. Rita knows she can do it, but what she doesn’t know is how determined she’ll become to find out what really happened to Eileen’s child that night. Her life, and Petey's, will depend on it.

You: What's the damage to my pocket?

Me: The MSRP is $24.95, but I'll bet you can find it way cheaper.

You: Are the critics panting with ecstasy?

Me: I am too modest to answer that directly. Here's a little of the buzz:

Kirkus Reviews New York, NY April 1, 2008 "In her first departure from her Lillian Byrd series, Sims crafts page-turner from stem to stern!" Publishers Weekly April 7, 2008 "Her wry commentary on life in Hollywood is dead-on." The Mystery Gazette April 23, 2008 review by Harriet Klausner "Elizabeth Sims provides a fascinating tale..." Booklist May 1, 2008 review by Kristine Huntley "Intricate and surprising, this is a gripping read and a promising start to a new mystery series." Elizabeth's Mom "It sure looks like a winner to me!"

You: What else are you up to?

Me: Oh, God. Starting today through Sunday May 25 I'm guesting on Moments in Crime, Minotaur's author blog. http://www.momentsincrime.com/ Please avoid looking in on this blog unless you wish to learn the most exciting secrets about my life and how I write the most beguiling fiction of any author in the world.

You: Wow. Now I'm dying to see you in the flesh!

Me: If you'll be at this year's Book Expo America in Los Angeles, I'll be signing THE ACTRESS at the Mystery Writers of America booth on Friday, May 30 from 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

That's for starters. Check my web site under 'events' for the full list of appearances in L.A. and Washington state.

If you're a writer too, you'll be pleased to hear that using the vast hunks of spare time at my disposal, I've written more features for Writer's Digest. Forthcoming (issues to be announced) are 'A New York Lunch,' about the fine art of schmoozing with your agent and editor, and 'Learning From the Classics,' which shows exactly how to write just as well as Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Ernest Hemingway.

You: OK, now I need to get back to work.

Me: Thanks for reading. Best wishes for a fantastic summer.

Elizabeth Sims

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