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My Reindeer

Christmas begins early at our house. The tree goes up right after Thanksgiving, a faux pine but a beautiful one, with artificial snow sprinkled about its branches. It’s always a full weekend of hauling boxes, unpacking ornaments, putting out the whimsical Santa that stands in our front hallway, and climbing up on the ladder to put the spindly glass ornament on the top of the tree. But for me, there’s really no Christmas tree without one special ornament, a reindeer with a red nose: Rudolph, of course.

This particular ornament takes me back to my childhood in Wisconsin. I don’t remember not having it. As far in the past as my memory travels, it hung on my parents’ Christmas tree. To see it, I imagine most folks would wonder why it’s so special. It’s made of plastic not gems or even blown glass. It doesn’t sparkle. It has no value. But to me, it’s irreplaceable.

My mother kept it in a green box, in amongst her collection of ornaments. There were many. Some my maternal grandmother crocheted, others my father’s sister and mother made of wax paper and sparkles during the Great Depression. As a small girl, I heard the stories of how my father sold the tiny creations door-to-door, desperate for money to buy food and wood for the stove. I think of the trials many are enduring today, with a rocky economy and so much trouble in the world, and those small tattered stars remind me that there have been tough times before, and always we’ve persevered.

Of all the ornaments, however, for me the reindeer was exceptional. I don’t know why except  Read More 
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The German edition of Singularity

Hey All,

Had to share this: Singularity is getting a German make-over. Yup. That's the cover in the right hand column, in German. They've renamed the book, I believe "Blood Sins," or something like that. Since I don't speak German, I'm not entirely sure. This is exciting.

Plus, a reminder: Next Saturday, November 13, at 3 p.m., I'll be at Murder by the Book signing all my books, most of all the latest Sarah Armstrong mystery, The Killing Storm. The reviews have been great, and I can't wait to get out and meet everyone again. The truth is that we writers spend entirely too much time at home alone at our computers. I really need to get out more!

I would also like to take this opportunity to again say thank you to all of you out there, everyone who reads my books and recommends them to others. Your help is sincerely appreciated. I can't tell you how much it means to me. I hope fall is beautiful wherever you are, and I look forward to seeing all of you who can make it at Murder by the Book next Saturday! Read More 
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Listen in tomorrow. I'll be on All Things Southern

Hey Everyone,

Tune in tomorrow to hear me on Shellie Rushing Tomlinson's All Things Southern radio program. We'll be sitting on the porch talking about my new mystery, THE KILLING STORM. During the program, we'll pull a name out of the hat and award an autographed copy of SINGULARITY. There are rules, it's true.

Here's all you have to do:

1. You must subscribe to both of our newsletters:

http://www.kathryncasey.com/newsletter.htm , http://www.allthingssouthern.com/index.php

Comment on both of our blogs:

http://www.kathryncasey.com/blog.htm , http://www.allthingssouthern.com/atsblog/?p=890

And be our facebook friends:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1405351429#!/pages/Kathryn-Casey/78341053846 , http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1405351429

Once that's all accomplished, you're in the drawing! Fun, right? Of course. Hope you win! Read More 
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My Life Writing

by Kathryn Casey

The truth is that there's always one. Whenever I have a new book out, as I do right now with Shattered, I emerge from the confines of my office, momentarily unlatched from my computer, eyes blurred from months of staring at the screen, ready to meet the world and do book signings. Now let's be honest, what I'm there for is to connect with people who enjoy reading and, I hope, sell some books. Meanwhile, what those who attend are there for varies. Some folks like to drop in just to say hi and tell me that they enjoy my books. Others come to ask questions, bringing up different aspects of the cases in my books or inquiring about the inspiration for my fictional characters.

While that's why most have come, at nearly every book signing at least one person  Read More 
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Getting Away With Murder

by Kathryn Casey

We like to think that the bad guys get caught, and that when a murder takes place, the person responsible is held accountable and punished. Unfortunately, that often doesn't happen. One of the most disturbing headlines I've seen ran in the Houston Chronicle on a recent Sunday: People Are Getting Away with Murder.

Reading the piece, I learned that the national clearance rate on homicides is a dismal 64 percent. As the cause, the article cites a lack of money, manpower, too many murders and not enough folks in law enforcement investigating. It points out that in a city like Houston, with six million folks, there's more crime than cops to go around. In all, 120 Texas communities didn't even reach the national threshold, with clearance rates of 63 percent or lower. Take Galveston, for instance, where of the 32 murders committed in 2004, only seventeen were solved. That means that fifteen families are still waiting for justice. San Antonio is even worse, with a clearance rate of only 39 percent. The trend isn't new. One study showed that from 1980 to 1996, the national clearance rate  Read More 
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LIBRARY JOURNAL gives THE KILLING STORM a star!

Great News! The Library Journal just gave my new novel, the third of the Sarah Armstrong mysteries, a starred review! This is the highest of honors. Rather than rattle on about it, here's the review:

The kidnapping of a four-year-old boy from a Houston park brings local law enforcement and the FBI together in an intense search. Meanwhile Texas Ranger Sarah Armstrong (Blood Lines) investigates the slaughter of some prize cattle. Symbols drawn on their hides point to African folklore. As the search for the guilty party intensifies, a major hurricane bears down in the Gulf heading straight for Houston. Contrasting the seeming unconcern of the missing boy’s mother with the anguish of Sarah’s daughter, who has just recovered from her father’s death and now fears that her mother will perish in the storm, adds depth to this suspenseful thriller. VERDICT Readers waiting patiently for the next J.A. Jance mystery will want to try this exciting read.  Read More 
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My morning with the Discovery TV crew

Hi All,

I had an interesting Sunday morning this week; two producers, a sound and a camera man from Investigation Discovery dropped in to interview me. They shuffled around my living room furniture, set up lights, hooked up cameras and the sound equipment, then sat me in a chair and drilled me with questions. What about? Did I get caught doing something illegal? No, thank goodness. They wanted to talk about the case in EVIL BESIDE HER, that of James and Linda Bergstrom.

It seems that ID is introducing a new series this coming fall. They don't have a set title yet, but it'll be on women who've married men only to find out later that they're criminals. That, of course, fits Linda to a "T." She married a shy young man who worked in a paint factory, one who blushed when shown Playboy and who wanted to wait until after marriage to have sex. Only later did she discover that he was a dangerous sexual predator. By then, she was pregnant and worried that if she left him he'd attack other women and, on visitation days, molest their own daughter.

At first Linda tried to change James. Then, when presented with evidence that she couldn't, she worked to get police to stop him. I have so much respect for Linda. If it weren't for her, many more women would have suffered. She hit so many roadblocks, but kept pushing. It was a long battle, full of heartbreaking twists and turns.

Anyway, it was quite the morning. Linda, the producer, drilled me with questions the way I usually do those I'm interviewing. Some I expected, others really made me think. But in the end, it was fun. I'll be sure to let y'all know when the show begins airing, and I've posted a photo of myself with the crew in the right hand column of this page.

But through all of this fun, there was the heart of the issue. I will talk to anyone who's willing to talk to me about James Bergstrom. I need to get the news out. I don't go around protesting paroles very often, but this is one very sick guy, someone who needs to be kept behind bars. And the scary thing is that he occasionally comes up for parole.

For those of you who haven't protested James's parole, there are instructions on my update page. Remember: This guy's the real thing, a true psychopath and a sexual predator. We don't want him out of prison. We really don't. So make your wishes heard, and let's keep him behind bars.  Read More 
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The credit goes to all of you!

This is a thank you letter of sorts. If I knew all your names, I'd personalize one to each and everyone of you. But I don't, so please forgive me for not being able to do that.

As many of you know, my latest true crime book, SHATTERED, debuted on June 29th. You can look it up here on my Web site by clicking on the title in the left hand column. It's on the Houston murder of Belinda Lucas Temple, and it's a fascinating case, an investigation that took eight years and one of the most amazing trials I've covered. I can't overstate the number of twists and turns this case took over nearly a decade.

The reason I'm saying thank you is that the book is doing remarkably well. It was in the top ten on Amazon's bestselling true crime list for more than a month before it came out. Since its release, SHATTERED has consistently had two places on the top ten, one for the paperback and another for the Kindle edition. For its first two weeks and counting, it's been high on Amazon's bestselling nonfiction summer reading list. Truly wonderful.

And who do I have to thank? All of you, the folks who read the books, and especially those who read them and then make a point to recommend my books to others. So again, thank you! Keep up the good work! It's sincerely appreciated.  Read More 
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A great weekend in San Antonio

I just returned home from a wonderful weekend in San Antonio, where I was on a panel at the Texas Library Association Convention. Thank you to Sharon and Victoria who invited me to attend, and to all the great librarians who stopped by to meet me.

Libraries are inspiring places, don't you agree? I told the story of my first encounters with the school library, and how I fell in love with one book in particular: The Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature. Strange choice? True. Very true. Why that book? Because Read More 
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A Book of Note: Susan Murphy Milano's TIME'S UP

Hey All,

Tomorrow is a good day: Susan Murphy Milano's new book, TIME'S UP: A GUIDE ON HOW TO LEAVE AND SURVIVE ABUSIVE AND STALKING RELATIONSHIPS will be out. For anyone out there caught in a dangerous relationship, this book is for you. For anyone who knows someone locked into a destructive relationship, TIME'S UP will help you understand and perhaps help.

Here's what author Diane Fanning had to say about TIME'S UP on Women in Crime Ink:

Susan explains abuse simply and clearly in the beginning of the book so thoroughly it left me shaking and in tears, even decades after my escape from that bad relationship. I was stunned to read so much about my experience and know I was not alone. Then she takes Read More 
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