Saturday, April 29, 2017

Happy Bookstore Day!

It's Independent Bookstore Day today!

Why? To quote the website: Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.

In a world of tweets and algorithms and pageless digital downloads, bookstores are not a dying anachronism. They are living, breathing organisms that continue to grow and expand. In fact, there are more of them this year than there were last year. And they are at your service.

How can you participate? Why visiting your favorite indie bookstore, of course! And if you can't, consider ordering from one. Signed copies of my books are available at Porter Square Books and Harvard Bookstore. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Diversity makes us stronger!

We all know that a full spectrum of characters, people, and places are what bring our favorite books to life. Now the wonderful organization Sisters in Crime, of which I'm a proud member, is offering the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, a grant of $1,500 to help mystery writers of color get their start. Although unpublished writers are preferred – we want to give a newcomer a leg up! – one work of short or academic work will not disqualify applicants. Are you a writer of color dreaming of finally getting the mystery written? Do you know of someone who could use a financial boost? Read about the grant here and help spread the word.

Who was Eleanor Taylor Bland? Read more here:

Eleanor Taylor Bland was a pioneer in crime fiction. In 1992 the first in a series of crime fiction novels that feature Marti MacAlister, an African American female police detective who works and resides in a Midwestern American town that closely resembles Bland’s own adopted home town, Waukegan, Illinois, was published. Bland also published several works of short crime fiction and edited a collection titled Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors (2004). When she passed away in 2010, she was one of the most prolific African American authors in the genre. With Marti MacAlister, Bland created an enduring and much beloved heroine who went against the grain of perpetuated stereotypes related to African American women in much of U.S. popular culture.... (continued here).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

You missed it?

Not to worry! Bookstores like Porter Square Books (pictured) have visiting authors sign stock. Drop by, call, or order online to get a signed copy (the bookstore web page tells you how!).

Monday, April 24, 2017

"I was enthralled..."

"This is completely different from anything I have read before," writes this book blogger about my As Dark As My Fur. "I was held enthralled from the beginning..." How nice! Read more here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A working #FelineFriday

Musetta is quite a stern taskmistress - and as I'm revising what I hope will become the third Blackie & Care mystery,she's keeping a close watch on me. What am I doing? Well, I'm giving the first draft a read-through for plot first - making sure that people only find things out in a somewhat logical order and that key clues are more or less discovered when they should be. This are very rough fixes. After this, I need to read it through to see how it READS. You know, the writing part! Oh, and I'm giving treats, of course. Lots of treats!

Happy #FelineFriday!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"The innocence and wonder of those times..."

I gave an advance copy of World Enough to once and future Boston rocker Rick Paige​ (now the proprietor of the funky fun Atomic Dimestore​ in Hyannis) and he sent me the following message, which he gave me permission to share. Particularly because he is not a mystery fan, his response was extremely gratifying.

His response in full (unedited): "It was really engaging, I had a hard time putting it down. I buzz-sawed right thru it. There was one part that I really liked, when she's walking home from the club, and you write (paraphrasing), "Maybe this is what we love, the night", that scene just captured the innocence and wonder of those times with a little bittersweetness.

I'm not a huge fan of the mystery genre, so I'd hesitate to say I LOVED it, since it was, after all, a mystery. But I liked it a lot."

You can pre-order your copy of World Enough now by clicking here.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Come get Cozy with us!

Celebrate Patriot's Day at Porter Square Books with a bunch of cozy authors. We'll be reading, chatting, answering questions, and giving away prizes – tonight at 7 p.m.!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy #FelineFriday

Not all cat books are cozies, and not all cozies have cats – but I can promise you both on Monday at Cozy at the Cafe @PorterSqBooks
Monday, 7 p.m. Happy #FELINEFRIDAY!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

So honored!

Guess what arrived in the mail? Yes, my Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers Association, an international professional group dedicated to – yes – writing about cats! Both nonfiction and fiction writers are welcome, but of course this is for my 2016 mystery, The Ninth Life.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cats on the web!

Where do you go for your cat information? One of my favorite stops during the day – for useful tips or simply a fun break – is Ingrid King's The Conscious Cat, which features everything from in-depth, insightful book reviews (thank you again, Ingrid!) to stories about a wedding with rescue kittens (the bride and groom are both vets and wanted to promote cat rescue, of course!). Ingrid also gets serious, with real-life product ratings of toys and cat care products, vet and behaviorist interviews, and much much more. Check out The Conscious Cat today. By the way, Ingrid's house panther is a Tortie - and she's the author of several great cat books, including Tortitude.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Happy National Pet Day

Yes, it is National Pet Day! Time to spread the message to spay or neuter your pet - and that when it's time for a new pet, adopt, don't shop. Now bow down and pay homage to your animal overlord (or, in this case, lady).

Monday, April 10, 2017

Black Cats Tell All

We all know #BlackCatsAreBeautiful, right? Well Layla Morgan Wilde, one of my colleagues in the Cat Writers Association, has launched Black Cats Tell All, a site dedicated to black cats. The site is going to have multiple black cat products and already has a beautiful Black Cat calendar for sale. Her site is a New York-based 501 (c)3 non profit initiative and all proceeds go to raise awareness and adoption rates for black cats. Check it out!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Page proofs

Do you write on the weekend? Well, no, I usually try to take the weekend off. This weekend, that means reading through page proofs. Because nothing says excitement like reading your own work for the umpteenth time and knowing that THIS IS YOUR ABSOLUTE LAST CHANCE TO CHANGE ANYTHING. Sigh.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Happy #FelineFriday - and a celebration!

Happy #FelineFriday! I'm beyond thrilled to announce that my "The Ninth Life," the first Blackie and Care "chat noir" mystery, has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Cat Writers Association. The CWA is a professional organization of journalists, authors, and bloggers who focus on cat science and behavior, and, yes, feline fiction. Each year, the CWA hosts a communications contest in which entries from around the world (yes, we are international) are judged by other professional members. Entries that receive a combined score of 90 or above (out of 100) receive Certificates of Excellence. Plus, Certificate of Excellence honorees are automatically up for a Muse Medallion. (I've already won a few!) Those will be announced on May 19. I'd love for you to wish me luck, but in truth, I'm already thrilled to be a winner. Thank you, CWA!

Can you hear me purring?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

New England Mobile Book Fair update

According to the Boston Globe, people care – and are reaching out. Stories here and, even better, here tell of towns wooing the independent bookstore. As Boston Globe reporter Mark Shanahan writes, "The story of the New England Mobile Book Fair may have a happy ending after all.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The cardinal

Some poems write themselves.

The Cardinal

We were walking, talking about the dead
and their partners, who remain.
A grim subject for the bright spring day.
The flash of red offered relief,
and I welcomed the diversion. Watched it
darting toward the road and back.
Oh, look, I said. A cardinal.
We noticed, then, together, that it flew – or tried to
– toward the carcass of another,
hit by the heavy traffic and now still.
And so we waited, wincing at each passing car.
Until you could make your move,
picking up the sad remains to place them on the curb,
where I stood silent, my heart caught up,
by such respect for love.

- Clea Simon

Monday, April 3, 2017


"Simon is extremely cat-savvy to pull off this unconventional narration with such accuracy and feeling," says Mollie Hunt, of Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries of my brand new As Dark As My Fur. " I appreciate the opportunity to get to know Blackie and Care in this inspired sequel to 'The Ninth Life.'" You can read the full review here.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Happy launch day to "As Dark As My Fur"!

Today's the day - no fooling! The second Blackie and Care cat noir mystery, "As Dark As My Fur" is officially launched! It is out now in hardcover and e-book versions, and you can read a sample, reviews, and more here at While you're on my site, consider signing up for my newsletter (you can also do that here). Then you'll be up on all the latest – and be registered for prizes, too, like the $20 Amazon gift certificate I'm giving away to celebrate!

"perilously walks the line..."

AS DARK AS MY FUR "perilously walks the line between dream and nightmare," says Publishers Weekly, which also calls my dark new cat mystery "hypnotic." And it is OUT TODAY!