Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Muse Medallion

I'm honored to have won five of these over the years from the Cat Writers Association. This latest one is for best novel of the year, Dogs Don't Lie, which despite the name, features an ornery tabby named Wallis.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A contest (in which I celebrate a win)

Hi folks,

In the spirit of supporting indie bookstores – and celebrating my recent Muse Medaillion win – I'm offering a contest. Buy any one of my books at an indie bookstore* between now and Dec. 15, and you will be entered to win a CD audiobook of Dogs Don't Lie. Runner-up prizes will include a signed Shades of Grey cover flat, and various other miscellany. Win and I will personalize your prize (to you or to anyone you choose) and make sure you get it before Christmas and/or the end of Chanukah! (I'll try for Kwanzaa, too, but I'll have to look up when that is this year.)

How can you let me know you've bought one of my books at an indie bookstore? Well, if you order one of my books from Harvard Book Store or Porter Square Books, you can email me – and I'll go down to the store and personalize your book before they send it off to you (you have to do this by phone and let them know that I'll be in to sign the book before they ship it!). If you buy from any one of a hundred other fine indies, like Mystery Lovers Bookstore, Brookline Booksmith, Booked for Murder, or M is for Mystery, please either email me the order confirmation or a copy of the receipt – and you're in! Want to find an indie close to you? Click on the link on my home page, plug in your zip code, and you'll see some brick-and-mortar options.

Do your bit to support those little corner bookstores we all know and love, and get some of your gift shopping done, too. Maybe treat yourself... after all, what are the holidays for?

All best – and GOOD LUCK!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

DOGS DON'T LIE (well, ok, Wallis) wins a Muse!

Just found out I won the Muse Medallion for Fiction from the Cat Writers Association, an international association of vets, behaviorists, researchers, wildlife journalists, and, yes, fiction writers who write about cats. This is the fifth time I've won, but each time is an honor.

I did not attend the banquet last night, but received an email with the judge's comments:

“This may be the toughest category I've ever judged. What a terrific collection of books!”

Judge’s comment: “The characters are deep, well-drawn and realistic. Her ‘talking’ cat is the most realistic and least anthropomorphic depiction I've seen, finally doing justice to the personality of the cat.”

The Muse Medallion goes to: Clea Simon for Dogs Don't Lie.

(I'll post a graphic if I can find one...)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wowza! Library Journal is on the pre-pub ALERT!!

I opened the LJ pre-pub alerts, because I saw it had a Mysteries Jan-April 2012 and I thought, hmm.. maybe one of my books will get a mention. Well, I got most of a whole subsection AND a cover!!!

excerpt below:


In Clea Simon’s Cats Can’t Shoot: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir (Poisoned Pen. Apr. 2012. 250p. ISBN 9781590583258. $24.95; pap. ISBN 9781590588697. $14.95), animal psychic Pru Marlowe learns that a White Persian supposedly jostled a fancy dueling pistol, setting if off and killing her owner. But is this puss really responsible? Simon’s Grey Expectations(Severn House. Apr. 2012. 208p. ISBN 9780727881342. $27.95) is the next Dulcie Schwartz mystery, featuring the ghost cat Mr. Grey and the kitten Esmé, who are cozying up to Dulcie’s boyfriend even as she investigates a colleague’s murder. Marian Babson’s No Co-operation from the Cat (Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2012. 288p. ISBN 9780312332402. $24.99) features harried Martha, who’s frantically testing recipes for a cookbook when she discovers that the author originally chosen for the book died eating one of the recipes. Japanese bobtail Cho-Cho-San helps out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Honoring Jack the Cat

As one of more than 20,000 followers of Jack the Cat (whose saga was chronicled on the "Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK" facebook page), I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear that the lovely creamsicle-colored feline died today. Along with all those other cat lovers, I had followed the search for him – a search that resulted in many other strays and ferals being rounded up (and adopted, thanks to the thousands of "FoJs" or friends of Jack). I rejoiced when he was found, falling through a ceiling tile into the airport customs office. I read about his care, looking up the fatty liver disease that so often occurs in malnourished cats. And I celebrated prematurely when his condition was upgraded from "critical" to "stable." I thought he was out of the woods, and looked forward to following along with his recuperation and eventual trip home. It was not to be. After being lost for 61 days, Jack was simply unable to fight off infections, and according to his facebook page, died today.

Pets die. We all know that. And in this world, animals suffer – often needlessly, too often from our own cruelty and negligence. However, more than 20,000 people across the world came together to support, search for, and root for Jack. Together the FoJ have saved other feline lives – some helping to transport adopted cats across the country, others chiming in with offers of donations (AA paid the bills, as well they should have) and support.

Now, let's take the action one step one further. Let's call our legislators, sign petitions, write letters. Jack did not "escape" of his own free will. Jack was lost in the bowels of AA because of employee carelessness. He was lost because his crate was not in a secure area. He was lost - and subsequently died - because AA did not treat him right. Airline regulations regarding the transport of animals need to change.


Just emailed AA via the company page to say I would not fly AA until and unless they change their policies (Jack's crate was stacked, fell, and split open - careless and avoidable, then the search really only started when the FoJ kicked up a fuss). I recommend other FoJs do the same:

Friday, November 4, 2011


Now, just as Peter Murphy used to sing that everyday is Halloween, so some of us feel that everyday is a cat day. But the first week of November has been officially designated as National Cat Week by, well, by the folks who determine such things. So CELEBRATE! And also, speak out for our feline friends, if you get a chance: