10 November 2020
Political thriller THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY has been longlisted for the 2020 Millennium Book Award. The novel features a Mexican attorney who fights an insidious plot to use drug cartel money to buy the Mexican presidency, even as his lover fights Mexico’s restrictive social ladder.
Forty books are currently longlisted for the prize, which is sponsored by BookViral Reviews. The shortlist will be announced 21 November, with the grand prize winner announced on 1 December.
The longlisted titles may be seen here: https://bookviralreviews.com/millennium-book-award-2020-2/
The first 2 chapters of THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY may be read here: Chapters 1-2
15 October 2020
AWAKENING MACBETH, a romantic thriller with a paranormal twist by Carmen Amato, tops BookLife’s Indie Spotlight of paranormal and supernatural offerings for October 2020: https://booklife.com/news/authors/10/15/2020/indie-spotlight-part-1-october-2020.html
The tale, inspired by Amato’s grandmother’s advice, is available from Amazon in ebook and paperback editions here: https://geni.us/awakening-macbeth
About the book: Professor Brodie Macbeth is tormented by nightmarish scenes pulled from the pages of her deceased father’s British history books.
Author statement: “My grandmother gave me the idea for this book. When we granddaughters had children of our own, she cautioned us to always wake a child gently, never abruptly.‘The soul wanders while we sleep,’ she said. ‘It needs time to come back to us before we’re fully awake.’ But if evil steals a soul, what happens next? My grandmother never told me that part.”
See more about Amato’s family and the genesis of AWAKENING MACBETH, as well as the first chapter, on the author’s website: http://carmenamato.net/awakening-macbeth/
For more information, please contact Carmen Amato at carmen @ carmenamato.net.
27 September 2020
The Italian translation of MADE IN ACAPULCO was released this week by Italian publisher Virgibooks. Specializing in short stories and novellas, Virgibooks will translate and distribute additional Detective Emilia Cruz titles in 2020 including “The Angler” and “Feliz Navidad from Acapulco,” introducing the first female police detective in Acapulco to a new international audience.
See Virgibook’s offerings here: http://www.virgibooks.com/
13 September 2020
The Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series received the 2020 Poison Cup Award from CrimeMasters of America, the second year in a row that the series has been honored with the award. A peer award, the Poison Cup is a significant and coveted honor.
CrimeMasters of America seeks to elevate independent mystery authors and their work through Facebook Group activities and annual awards including:
- Poison Cup Award (Annual); Best Book and/or Series, Audio. Best support in editing, cover design, audio talent, graphic design.
- Masters Poison Cup (Annual) Most group support from a member. Most active member through sharing, mentoring, educating.
- Yorick Skull Award (Annual) Best First Book ( must be written and published/self-published the prior year of the award.
30 July 2020
RUSSIAN MOJITO, the 7th installment of the Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco by Carmen Amato, is a finalist for the 2020 Silver Falchion Award from the Killer Nashville International Mystery Writers Conference. See the press release here: https://killernashville.com/2020-killer-nashville-silver-falchion-award-finalists-announced/
Amato was awarded the Silver Falchion in 2019 for the Detective Emilia Cruz bilingual short story “The Artist.”
Published June 2019 by Laurel & Croton, RUSSIAN MOJITO pits the first female police detective in Acapulco against ruthless kidnappers and thieves targeting Mexico’s underground gas pipelines. It is available from Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats here: https://geni.us/russian-mojito
25 June 2020
CLIFF DIVER, the first thriller in the Detective Emilia Cruz series by Carmen Amato has been released in Spanish as LA CLAVADISTA. Emilia Cruz, the first female police detective in Acapulco, dives into an ocean of secrets, lies, and murder when she investigates the death of her own lieutenant.
The prequel collection of short stories, MADE IN ACAPULCO, which reveals how Emilia Cruz became the first female police detective in Acapulco, has also been released in Spanish under the title HECHO EN ACAPULCO. View descriptions in Spanish here.
Translations for both books were done by Karen Leclair Ayestas. In addition, the editor of LA CLAVADISTA is Gabino Iglesias, author of COYOTE SONGS, etc.
Both HECHO EN ACAPULCO and LA CLAVADISTA are available at Amazon in ebook and paperback editions. Please see the global links below:
HECHO EN ACAPULCO: https://geni.us/44fk4wv
LA CLAVADISTA: https://geni.us/clav
26 May 2020
The first six books in the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco are available as a box set for Kindle entitled DEATH IN ACAPULCO: Detective Emilia Cruz Books 1-6. This box set contains the complete first 6 novels: CLIFF DIVER, HAT DANCE, DIABLO NIGHTS, KING PESO, PACIFIC REAPER, and 43 MISSING, which was a finalist for the 2019 Silver Falchion Award for Best Procedural. The series is a two-time winner of the Poison Cup Award from CrimeMasters of America.
Find the box set on Amazon here: https://geni.us/EC-box1
In addition to the novels, the box set includes Bonus content: prequel story Acapulco Sugar, and Emilia’s Circle which contains a riddle for readers to solve.
Proclaimed “A thrilling series” by National Public Radio, Emilia Cruz is the first and only female detective on the Acapulco police force. The other detectives want to force her out and each lieutenant is worse than the one before. Meanwhile, Acapulco is the epicenter of the drug war. Mexican drug cartels battle for control and politicians are bought with blood money. Murder sets a new record every week. Add Emilia’s family secrets and her rocky relationship with hotel manager Kurt Rucker for heart-stopping tension.
For additional information, please contact Carmen Amato at carmen @ carmenamato.net.
May 21, 2020
Mystery author Carmen Amato breaks down the best-selling business book, THE 10X RULE by Grant Cardone, to show how it applies to a writing career. Entitled “What Writers Have to Learn From the 10X Rule,” the article appeared as a guest post for Jane Friedman’s blog here: https://www.janefriedman.com/what-writers-have-to-learn-from-the-10x-rule/
Amato breaks down Cardone’s prescription for success and addresses where writers go wrong when it comes to goal setting and achievement, as well as how to build 10X goals for a successful writing career.
Blog host Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential industry newsletter for authors, and has previously worked for F+W Media and the Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2019, Jane was awarded Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World; her newsletter was awarded Media Outlet of the Year in 2020. Her expertise has been featured by sources such as NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, The Washington Post, the National Press Club, The Authors Guild, Nieman Journalism Lab, Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, and PBS. (source: janefriendman.com)
16 May 2020
NARCO NOIR, the 8th installment in the Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco by Carmen Amato, is now available in ebook and paperback formats from Laurel & Croton.
A bitter past drives Acapulco’s first female police detective into a Hollywood film starring lies and murder when she goes undercover to catch a killer. As the camera rolls, Detective Emilia Cruz will face her toughest case yet.
Called, “A thrilling series” by National Public Radio, NARCO NOIR continues to pit Detective Emilia Cruz against troubling family drama as well as Acapulco’s spiraling cartel crime, but introduces a series twist that will put readers on the edge of their seats.
Cover art by Matt Chase.
Global link to Amazon editions: https://geni.us/narc
November 19, 2019
Mystery author and 30 year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, Carmen Amato walked mystery and thriller authors through the federal intelligence agency in a webinar for Sisters in Crime. Entitled “Inside the CIA for Mystery and Thriller Authors,” the webinar looked at the history of the agency, common misconceptions, intelligence terminology, and highlights of intelligence operations, followed by a question and answer period.
Amato shared a virtual walk-though of the CIA Headquarters building, using content published on the agency’s voluminous website and showed attendees how to best mine the site for the expertise and details so that their fiction rings true.
Author with Career Intelligence Medal on the Great Seal, shortly before Christmas 2016
Founded by Sara Paretsky, Sisters in Crime is an organization that has 3,600 members in 48 countries worldwide, offering networking, advice and support to mystery authors. Members are authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers and librarians bound by their affection for the mystery genre and their support of women who write mysteries.For more see www.sistersincrime.org
He put the cord over my head. It scratched against my neck, heavier than I expected. My heart was beating too fast. The noise buffeted me, my vision a blur . . .
Nope, I wasn’t strangled, but won the Silver Falchion award for THE ARTIST/EL ARTISTA in the Short Story Collection/Anthology at the Killer Nashville mystery writer conference. Competition included a story by R. L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series.
Novelist Joyce Carol Oates, who received a lifetime achievement award, and David Morrell, creator of Rambo, were both in the audience.
As thrilling as winning an award is, the real reason for attending the Killer Nashville conference is the ability to network with other authors. I like Killer Nashville because it is a relatively small setting, as writing conferences go, and there is time to have sidebar conversations–although never enough!
Related post: Lessons from Killer Nashville 2018
With Mike Faricy, author of the Dev Haskell series
With Baron Birtcher, who won 3 awards including Best Overall Novel for “Fistful of Rain”
R.G. Belsky, Carmen Amato, and conference founder Clay Stafford
Souvenirs for all
Killer Nashville is also a good place to get a dose of inspiration. Panel presentations are specific to the mystery and thriller genre. Conflict, characters, setting, red herrings. Finding out how other authors twist their plots or plan their characters is like a dose of new insights and fresh ideas.
It’s the proverbial shot in the arm.
My solo presentation “Inside the CIA” was delivered to a standing-room-only audience. Everyone stayed, despite the wonky projector that muddied my slideshow. I’ll be replaying it in a webinar for the Atlanta chapter of Sisters in Crime. You can sign up for the webinar here: https://www.meetup.com/Sisters-in-Crime-Atlanta-Chapter/events/264524525/
Andrea Amherst, who came all the way from Vienna, Austria (!) for the conference, joined me in leading a workshop on “How to Make Your Website Work for You.” We used this PDF checklist, which you can download here: http://carmenamato.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Killer-Nashville-website-checklist.pdf
Observations and a suggestion
Last year, I came away from Killer Nashville with the feeling that a storm between trad and indie publishing had brewed under the surface, led by indie publishing champion Joe Konrath. He did not attend the 2019 conference, so the buzz was quieter, albeit still there.
Most of the authors still working on their first novel want a trad deal rather than “being forced” to strike out into the wilds of indie publishing. Yet almost all the authors I spoke to who were traditionally published had a nightmare story of publishers closing, editors bailing on them, contracts left in limbo, etc. Indie authors were making a decent income and liked the sense of control.
I expect this will continue to be an ongoing debate.
This year, I ran into more would-be authors who were still in various stages of completing a novel and wondering how to get it published. All seemed to be looking for a mentor. Beyond the actual writing process, they were looking for someone who could explain the publishing industry and how to market books. Maybe next year’s Killer Nashville could have a mentor program.
Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.
August 24, 2019
Carmen Amato has won the 2019 Silver Falchion Award in the Short Story/Collection category from the Killer Nashville International Writers Conference for THE ARTIST a Detective Emilia Cruz short story published in the bilingual illustrated volume THE ARTIST/EL ARTISTA. The list of 2019 Silver Falchion category winners is available here: https://killernashville.com/2019-killer-nashville-awards-winners/?fbclid=IwAR1x_
THE ARTIST/EL ARTISTA continues the theme of missing women that runs through the Detective Emilia Cruz series. Cruz is the first female police detective in Acapulco, taking on corruption, cartels, and Mexico’s tradition of machismo. In THE ARTIST, Cruz and her partner go undercover to find out who is leaving extortion threats in front of a school. They are assisted by the head of the school, but thwarted by a teacher with a regrettable connection to the gang issuing the threats.
The story is inspired by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia’s efforts to bring awareness to the plight of families impacted by the drug war violence and references photos of some of the rallies held in Mexico in recent years.
THE ARTIST/EL ARTISTA is available in ebook and paperback editions from Amazon: https://geni.us/the-artist-el-artista
Killer Nashville 2019 with author Dick Belsky, Silver Falchion winner Carmen Amato, and Killer Nashville’s Clay Stafford