Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Featured New Book: An Idyllic Place for Murder by Liz Milliron


If you’ve looked around the site since the redesign, you’ll know Liz Milliron’s name. Or, you’ll recognize her real name: Mary Sutton, the head of our non-fiction department and one of our e-book formatters. Mary’s one busy woman! On top of writing and being a West of Mars subcontractor, she also has a day job and a family with needs. And I think there are some pets in there, too, but I’m not 100% certain.

Idyllic Place

She’s here with the first short story in her Laurel Highlands Mystery series. I was thrilled to find a fellow soul sister in Mary, in that on top of everything else, we share a love for Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. I’m not sure where her love of the area came from, but what’s important here is that Mary shares it.

The story was originally published at Mysterical-E, and she’s got the rights back, so … it was time to let a wider audience know about Jim and Sally. Once you’ve met them, you’ll be glad you did.

So, Mary/Liz… what song reminds you of your book?

I don’t have a particular song in mind for this story. However, thinking of my protagonist, Jim Duncan, always puts me in mind of Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen is classic rock, simple lyrics, just a hard-working every day guy. No punk, no death metal. Just a guy singing about life, usually in a small, working class town. And that’s Duncan, just a guy trying to do a job. He lives in a rural county and likes it. He likes being a cop, being a hard-working guy, doing a job he loves because he wants to do it. And he’s a little working class. But he’s, um, really not lucky in the relationship department. He had a wife he loved and lost her. So if I have to pick a song that represents Jim at this point, it’d be The Boss’s “I’m Going Down.” The song is about a guy who sees a relationship that used to be perfect going down in flames. And that’s pretty much where Jim is in the relationship department – down in flames.

Ahh, Springsteen… I’ve seen him live twice. He truly holds a special place in my heart, and that’s before we get into the really good stories (and the fact that he inspired my own short piece, Keys, which is in Demo Tapes 4).
See? I told you Mary is cool.
Ready for the story’s description?

The Laurel Highlands seem idyllic, but for Trooper First Class Jim Duncan, they’re anything but.

When a young woman from Pittsburgh ends up dead inside a rental cabin Confluence, it’s up to Duncan to find the killer before the event brings unwanted publicity to one of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s most scenic regions. There seems to be a built-in suspect in the local character known as The Creeper, but if Fayette County public defender Sally Castle has anything to say, The Creeper won’t end up in prison without a fight.

Previously published at Mystericale.com, “An Idyllic Place for Murder” is the first story in THE LAUREL HIGHLANDS MYSTERIES series.

This makes me want to read it, and I already have. Don’t be left out.

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We ran out of Rocktober, but the books keep coming!


It’s November, and there’s still more to covet. Didn’t I do a good enough job coveting all Rocktober long?

Guess not. But in my defense, I spent the month trying to catch up and even get ahead a bit for my editing clients (which means NOW is a really good time to book me if you’d like an edit! I have dates at the end of November and beyond, but if you blink, you’ll miss them).

So here’s a roundup of celeb bios and memoirs and other stuff that’s all music-related.

Bruce, by Peter A. Carlin, is billed as being an intimate look at The Boss. Yeah, Springsteen, who was in my fair town recently. After being underwhelmed the last time I saw Bruce, I wasn’t sad I missed him this time. And I hate that I had to say that, but there ya go. Sometimes, you gotta.

Ke$ha, who I once saw on a New Year’s Eve special and was horrified by, is putting out an illustrated memoir called My Crazy Beautiful Life. I might have to read it, just to see what the fuss is about. Not only about the book, but its subject matter, as well. Maybe I’ve been wrong about her.

Slash has a new one out.

“Slash: An Intimate Portrait” (Insight Editions), a new 144-page hardcover book by Richard Bienstock, with photography by Robert Knight, was launched … October 4 at Mouche Gallery in Beverly Hills, California.

Joe Perry (yeah, THAT Joe Perry, you Aerosmith fans) apparently wrote the intro. Cool! But… didn’t Slash write a book of his own a few years back? Like…2008? And isn’t Joe writing one now?

The answer to both questions, friends, is YES.

And then there’s Phil Anselmo, the man who was once so very kind to me outside his tour bus and who filled me in on why my promised tickets and passes had just vanished. He’s working on his autobiography. He’s even got a deal for it, so now it’s a matter of him writing it and seeing if it can match up to his bluster. I bet it can. Phil won’t work well with an editor. Even me.

I gotta admit that I’m not a Danko Jones fan any more than I’m a Ke$ha fan. So this new book? Too Much Trouble – A Very Oral History of DANKO JONES. I’ll pass, thanks, unless a copy finds its way onto my nightstand…

This one hit my radar mid-month:

“Black Sabbath And Philosophy: Mastering Reality”, a philosophical look at heavy metal’s dark masters of reality, BLACK SABBATH, has just been published worldwide via The Blackwell Philosophy And Pop Culture Series.

Expanding beyond the world of books only (and the e-book is only 27 pages, at that), we have

A new one-dollar app and eBook tell the story of the making of BAD COMPANY’s 1979 album “Desolation Angels”.

The ebook is free! It’s apparently a chapter taken from another of the prolific Popoff’s books.

And, finally, more Van Halen, as well.

A new book, VAN HALEN: Exuberant California, Zen Rock ‘N’ Roll, by John Scanlan, is now available via Reaktion Books.

A book description states: “I hate the word maturing”, singer DAVID LEE ROTH once said. “I don’t like the word evolving – or any of that bullshit. The point is to keep it as simplistic, as unassuming, and as stupid as possible.” Examining Roth’s sentiment, Van Halen: Exuberant California, Zen Rock ‘N’ Roll follows the band’s pursuit of the art of artlessness, and describes how they characterize what historian Kevin Starr terms ‘Zen California’ – a state of mind and way of being that above all celebrates ‘the now’. In rock’n’ roll terms it stands for the unregulated expenditure of energy; for a youthful exuberance that seems destined to extinguish itself.

Yeah, that’s probably a year’s worth of reading. I haven’t seen any figures, but given the plethora of celeb bios and memoirs flooding the market right now, you gotta wonder if they’re making any money for their publishers. I remember six, seven years ago when they weren’t, and the publishers were all admitting it, too. They had to have the bragging rights of landing the celeb, and who cared if they lost money. It was all about those precious bragging rights.

And people ask what’s wrong with publishing? Why a climate was established in which so many self-published authors are now taking great advantage?