Identity Crisis? PR puzzle?

This month’s blog post is written by Susan Kiernan-Lewis

Every time I go out into the world to represent Florida Sisters in Crime—complete with banners, signs, bookmarks and brochures—I’m always shocked at how most people who approach my booth at whatever book festival or writing venue I’m at have never heard of Sisters in Crime.IMG_0314

“Can I join? I’m not a writer. Does that matter?”

Florida Sisters in Crime is a chapter of the national organization that was created to support the professional advancement of women crime writers, women mystery writers and women thriller writers.

That said, our membership is open to anyone interested or connected to the love of mysteries and crime writing be that publicists, publishers, librarians, police officers or just readers!

Furthermore, while we are an organization that was created to fill the gap left by mystery writing organizations that were led and largely populated by men (specifically Mystery Writers of America), our door is also open to men! And to redheads! And to left handed people everywhere! In fact, to anybody and anyone who loves a good mystery and wants to know the behind-the scenes details!

Our monthly speakers, our agendas, our workshops and our meetings are all created with that goal in mind. If you’re not a writer but you think what we do sounds like something that would interest you, you do not have to become a writer to join us and you are always welcome.

If you want a club that is more than just a women’s crime writer’s club, you can find fellowship, good books, and lively discussions with us every month.

If you’re looking to write mysteries, this is a good place for you to be!

But if you’re looking to craft your very first novel, there are better places for you to go. As much as our club is focused on supporting women professional mystery and crime writers, we are not strictly a writer’s organization. We don’t teach it, we don’t have a newbie workshop tract. (Although we do have amazingly generous members who are willing to mentor beginning writers because…after all…sisters.)

While it’s true it’s probably not possible for one club to be all things to all people I feel like we have so many different skillsets, backgrounds and viewpoints in our Florida Sisters in Crime member base that our club has become a diverse, growing and complex group of women (yes, yes, and men too) and one that can provide many different things for its members.

If you can handle that, pay your $20 and take your seat!


2016 Writing Workshop brings in the big guns!

mag cover knHank Phillippi Ryan is coming to Jacksonville to headline the 2016 Florida Sisters in Crime Writing Workshop at UNF Adam W. Herbert University Center on August 20.

Hank Phillippi Ryan brings a lot to the party and was a very special “get” for our club. An on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate, she won 33 EMMYs, 13 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her groundbreaking journalism.  Hank has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: five Agathas, two Anthonys, the Daphne, two Macavitys, and for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award.

National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her 2013 novel, THE WRONG GIRL, won both the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and the Daphne Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller. TRUTH BE TOLD, is the Agatha Award winner for Best Contemporary Novel and an Anthony Award nominee for Best Novel. TRUTH BE TOLD was also a Library Journal BEST BOOK OF 2014, with starred reviews from Booklist and from Library Journal, which raves, “Drop everything and binge read!” She won a second Agatha Award in 2015 for Best Nonfiction, as editor of WRITES OF PASSAGE, an anthology of essays by mystery authors, which was also honored with a Macavity Award and Anthony Award. Ryan’s newest novel, WHAT YOU SEE, is an Agatha nominee and a Library Journal Best of 2015, with a starred review which raves, “Mystery readers get ready: you will find yourself racing to the finish.” It’s also an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for “Exceptional suspense!” Her first award-winning series starring reporter Charlotte McNally is now available in all-new editions. She’s a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime.

Check Out These New Releases by your Florida Sisters!

hardcoverstack_621x739 copyFew things top the charts as much as a new release! We have several new releases this spring so what better way to showcase them then right here on the NEWS page? Check them out, enjoy them and then review them! Remember we aren’t sisters like Mary and Edith are sisters but Sisters in Crime sisters–more like Lucy and Ethel!–with vast knowledge of weaponry and MO…so support your sisters and write a review!

Kait Carson has a new Hayden Kent Mystery–Death by Sunken Treasure— that released this month from Henery Press. This is Book 2 in the series so you’ll definitely want to grab up Book 1–Death by Blue Water.



Susan Santangelo’s popular Jim and Carol Andrews Baby Boomer Mystery series is available right now. Number 8 is locked and loaded! Oh the surprises come fast and furious with Second Honeymoons Can Be Murder–but you’d know that if you’re familiar with this popular best-selling series. Available at Amazon for your Kindle and also in paperback.

Susan Kiernan-Lewis has also just released a book–Book 8 in her hardbackstandingstraight_890x1110-6 copy 3

popular Maggie Newberry Mystery Series. Murder in the Abbey is a change of pace from France and the vineyard just in time for all of us already suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal. Available at Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and  iTunes!


You’ll also want to check out the latest hot read from Rainy Kirkland in her Florida Heat series. Street Stalker follows on the heels of
hardbackstandingstraight_890x1110-3 copy 5Deadly Revenge which came after the pilot book in the series, Florida Heat. Available at Amazon. Pick it up now and you’re welcome in advance!


hardbackstandingstraight_890x1110-3 copy 10
And if you’re in the mood to lock the doors, turn off the lights and scare the $#!@!# out of yourself, you’ll want to reach for FlSinC Member and Past-President Kathy Bain’s latest thrill fest. Small Town Terror is a recent release with an average of 4.8 stars! Find it now at Amazon.

If I forgot anyone, well, there’s your nudge to reach out and let your Sister Webmaven know what’s going on with you!

It’s not too late! Shoot me an email and I’ll add you to this page.

Meanwhile, happy reading everyone!

All hail the new ruling party!

Janet Kuchler is a long-time Sisters in Crime member and the author of the Murder in the Low Country mystery series

Janet Kuchler is a long-time Sisters in Crime member and author of the Murder in the Low Country series

Rainy Kirkland is best known for her award-winning Florida Heat mysteries

New 2016 VP and Maryland transplant Rainy Kirkland is best known for her award-winning Florida Heat mysteries

Janet Kuchler and Rainy Kirkland were voted in as our newest board members at the last members’ meeting.  New 2016 President Janet Kuchler and VP Rainy Kirkland join Karen Higgins who will serve again as club Secretary and take on the Membership Director’s role as well. (Elaine Anwander will continue on as Treasurer and 2015 President Susan Kiernan-Lewis as Webmaven.)  All in all, it promises to be a great year ahead with many exciting events in store. Congratulations Janet, Rainy and Karen!

Margaret Maron is coming to our holiday party!

044c9f0998e253066f39c27e67ac6ad5_f135 Edgar, Agatha, Anthony & Macavity-award winner Margaret Maron will be our featured speaker at our December 5 meeting!

Thanks to the amazing generosity and ingenuity of National Sisters in Crime, specifically Hank Phillippi Ryan et al, a National Sisters in Crime Speakers Bureau was created in order that chapters like ours might have the benefit of awesome and amazing authors come speak to us–at no cost to our club! This is very exciting news and an awesome way to see out what so far has been a fabulous year for us.

I’ll be needing a few volunteers for that day as Margaret will need to be picked up at the Amtrak station here in Jax. We’ll definitely plan a lunch with her and a few other activities to fill her day before we take her back to the train station later that evening. (This is your chance to get all the advice and wisdom–not to mention anecdotes–that you can only get from a best-selling author at this level.)

Please be thinking of what you’d like Margaret to speak about at our meeting. She’s open to doing a craft session or just talk informally about whatever we’d like.


New Banner Tagline Contest!

Voila the existing Sisters in Crime banner from National, complete with its (largely incomprehensible) tagline and 3 seriously adorable Florida SinC members in front of it.

Voila the existing Sisters in Crime banner from National, complete with its (largely incomprehensible) tagline and 3 seriously adorable Florida SinC members in front of it.

Florida Sisters in Crime is creating its very own chapter banner!

And we need you to come up with the words for it.

While it’s true you won’t win anything beyond your chapter’s undying respect, a lasting legacy for generations to come, and the satisfaction of knowing your words will live on after you do, we are having a contest to decide on the tagline for our brand new chapter banner!!

To be clear, the purpose of this banner is to be used to represent our club at book fairs and conferences, during those events when we have booths to sell books or just want to have a club presence. It would serve to lure (I mean attract) people over to our table who might then decide they want to join us, or merely as a way of letting readers know that there’s a whole group of mystery and thriller writers in the state whose books they can discover.

I’ve had a couple of people already offer up clever lines playing off the word “sink” but spelled “SinC.” My suggestion to you as you begin to adjust the chin straps of your thinking caps is to consider the fact that only fellow “Sisters” really get the whole SinC thing. To everyone else, ie the public with whom we are attempting to communicate with this banner, the word Sinc is confusing. So YES bring on the puns by all means, my fellow wordsmiths but not at the expense of a clear message.

Please email Susan K-L with your suggestions and bon mots and let’s brand this puppy (ouch! that didn’t sound good), I mean let’s get our name OUT there!

We are taking it to the beaches…

…this Saturday! April 11 in Clearwater! Don’t Miss it!


Susan Santangelo, Kathy Bain, Wendy Dingwall, and Kait Carson will be showing the world exactly what we’re made of at the inaugural Florida Sisters in Crime Beach Read being held on April 11 at the Clearwater Main Library.

Find out how mystery and crime authors come up with the great stories they do, what kinds of things they read for inspiration and pleasure–and register to win a beach bag full of amazing Sisters in Crime reads!

Wow! Win Win anyway you look at it!