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newschat June 2009

Dearest Correspondent,

Gosh, once again the bunnies are nibbling the carrot trees and the little raven cubs are emerging from their dens, and coincidentally a certain author has another book due out in a week.

THE EXTRA, the second in the Rita Farmer mystery series from St. Martin's Minotaur, hits the stores June 23:

Studying to be a lawyer in Los Angeles, Rita Farmer is so broke that she has to hustle for bottom-of-the-barrel acting jobs to keep herself and her son afloat. Decked out in police uniform as an extra, she wanders from a low-budget movie set into a rough part of town only to be pulled into a vicious assault. Rita stops the street beating (with not-so-surprising ease, given her outfit) and chases off the men but the boy they attacked isnít out of danger yet. Ritaís heart goes out to him and his grandmother Amaryllis B. Cubitt, the director of an urban mission that Rita had turned to for help years ago. But the mission has changed from its unassuming past, and is now flush with private donations and gruff guards posted at the doors. Amaryllis seems troubled, but the more Rita tries to help, the more secretive Amaryllis becomes, and the more hell breaks loose on the streets of L.A. When a Rita-lookalike cop gets gunned down, Rita realizes that her life's at stake unless she can figure out what's going on---and free Amaryllis from the grim problems lurking behind the mission's friendly facade.

You: OMG! I've gotta read it.

Me: You are in so much luck, because you can read the first chapter for free at my Web site:


(If link doesn't click, you know what to do.)

You: And if I want to read further?

Me: You can pre-order right there, or lie low and next week storm into your local bookseller and demand a copy of THE EXTRA. I might add that early reviews use such adjectives as:

"Entertaining... satisfying... amusing... appealing... steamy" -- Publisher's Weekly

"Brisk... vivid... engaging" -- Booklist

You: Why belabor the point? I've already heard that people's lives have changed after reading your fiction. They wake up in the morning feeling strong, optimistic, and attractive, with a higher net worth than before.

Me: You're right.

You: Gonna tour?

Me: Yes, I have appearances booked on the West Coast in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. You can check out the sked on my web site. The dates are all in July and August.

You: Terrific. BTW, I'm still waiting for the paperback of THE ACTRESS.

Me: Yeah. My publisher has decided to hold back that edition indefinitely; blame it on the economy and general uncertainty in the publishing business. At this point, seeing authors dropping like flies (a colorful way to say they're not getting renewed by their publishers), I'm glad to still be in the game in hardcover.

You: Any other irons in the fire?

Me: Absolutely. I'm under contract for the third in the series, and am polishing that up right now. I've also got plans for other books, including a non-fiction title that's still too embryonic to discuss beyond the fact that it'll probably make me a rock star.

You: Wow. What else?

Me: I'm pleased to be the newest Contributing Editor at Writer's Digest magazine, having written for them since 2006. I've specialized in the art and craft of fiction writing, and am currently working on a trial column for them on bestselling books. Stay tuned for that, but in the meantime pick up the current issue and check out my writer-to-writer feature on what it's REALLY like to get a book published. I'm also doing a little teaching, and if you happen to be in Anchorage this summer, come on over to the Alaska Writers Guild Workshop, August 21-22.

You: This might be nuts, but I think I'll be in need of a procrastination tool in mid-July. I don't know why I'm bringing it up, except maybe you can help.

Me: You're the luckiest person! Mark your calendar for July 16-19 to look in on my blog on Minotaur Books' Moments in Crime: http://www.momentsincrime.com/ . I'll be discussing many innermost secrets on writing THE EXTRA as well as myriad glamorous and intellectual topics.

You: I have to get back to work now.

Me: Far be it from me to keep you. One last thing: if you read THE EXTRA, let me know what you think of it, OK?
With thanks and fondness,

Elizabeth Sims

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