Monthly Archives: December 2008

16 Random Things


Over at Facebook, a high school friend (the same one who has posted shockingly embarrassing pictures of me as a young choir geek with adventurous haircuts) “tagged” me with a note asking me to generate a list of 16 random facts about myself.  I figured I’d post them here as well:

1.  I was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was raised primarily in Wichita, Kansas, still miss Portland, Oregon like crazy, but will probably stay in New York forever.
2.  I went to law school to be an entertainment lawyer.
3.  I’ve sat in the same room with a serial killer.
4.  I met my husband online.
5.  I’ve talked on the phone with Bill Clinton.
6.  When I was little my sister Pamala and I transformed the closet beneath the stairs into The Buddy Club.
7.  I once had a fat orange tabby called Roscoe P. Cattrane
8.  I’m addicted to exercise trends.  Have gone from aerobics, step, rowing, kickboxing, pilates, yoga (ashtanga, vinyasa, bikram, all of it), kettlebells.  Always end up running again.
9.  I am physically incapable of turning off the TV if Working Girl, Trading Places, or Saturday Night Fever is on.  I watch repeats of Gilmore Girls, Buffy, and Arrested Development over and over and over again.
10.  Golf is the only thing I’ve ever stuck with despite having no natural abilities for it.  (I tend to be a quitter and have a long list of unmastered musical instruments to prove it)
11.  I like olive oil gelato.
12.  I listen to 80’s music…a lot.
13.  I wish none of my NY based friends had ever moved.
14.  I have two sisters, a brother, and parents I wish I could see more often.
15.  I wish my dog could talk, at least to me, and realize this probably means I’m a little crazy.
16.  I’m handy.

Finally feeling the holiday season


Without much immediate family near me, and with a husband who works through the holiday season in the city, and with a general aversion to shopping, I haven’t felt much of the Christmas spirit yet this year.  But this weekend we finally dragged home a Christmas tree from Tenth Street in the snow and decorated it while sipping egg nog and listening to Christmas music.  Turns out that did the trick.  My cousin was in town this weekend and we did some Christmas shopping, baked cookies, and watched Gremlins (I know, I’m a great NYC host, right?).  

I’m in full holiday mode now, finally mailing the Christmas cards out today.  This year’s featured photograph is (as usual) Duffer’s holiday portrait.  As you can see, I never did get around to taking him to an NYC landmark.  The background is our living room floor.  He looks pretty good in his Christmas boa.

Another review for Angel’s Tip

From the Contra Costa Times:

It seems almost every day I get an e-mail or a phone call asking if I can recommend someone who writes “just like James Lee Burke”. That’s like asking if someone out delivers presents “just like Santa Claus”.

Folks, another writer like James Lee Burke isn’t going to happen.

But Burke’s daughter, Alafair, is a wonderful author, too.

“Angel’s Tip” by Alafair Burke (Harper Collins, $23.95, 339 pages, www.alafairburke.com .) Ms. Burke is the author of four previous books, three Samantha Kincaid novels, plus two Ellie Hatcher novels: “Dead Connection” and “Angel’s Tip.” All are excellent thrillers with strong female protagonists.

“Angel’s Tip” could have been taken from the front page of any major city in the country. The scenarios are all too common a young woman makes the headlines because a tiny mistake leads to her murder. A college student leaves a bar with boys she just met. A young woman stays behind for one more drink. An illegally parked car is towed, and a woman finds herself walking alone in a bad neighborhood. Small mistakes, costly tragedies. “Angel’s Tip” is their story.

Video of the Day

Books make great gifts! This is a terrific video featuring authors such as Maya Angelou, Judy Blume, and Jon Stewart talking about why books make such great gifts. You’ve got to sit through about five seconds of Elmo, but it’s worth it.

Another sad 4 am story

This week our friend Lesa Holstine (frequent poster here and author of Lesa’s Book Critiques) commented about the similarities between Angel’s Tip and last week’s disappearance of a woman missing since she left Manhattan hotspot Marquee at 4 am with a man she apparently didn’t know. The details of this tragic case remind me too much of Natalee Holloway, Jennifer Moore, and Imette St. Guillen, the cases that eventually led me, as I explain in the author’s note to Angel’s Tip, to the plot of that novel. You can read Lesa’s thoughts about the eerie similarities between the book and this case here at USA Today. My thoughts are with the young woman’s family.

Ellie Hatcher’s online profile

My UK editor wants to include a fictional profile for Det. Ellie Hatcher in the UK edition of Angel’s Tip, which will be called City of Fear on the other side of the pond. I thought some of you might be able to help me write it. Some of the requested information is pretty straightforward (family, job, etc.), but some categories permit more creativity: music and film preferences, favorite actors, fears, sense of humor, and “character.” I made my girl up, so of course I have some thoughts on how these things would be answered. But with only two Ellie books on shelves, I haven’t yet told you everything I know about her. So, what known traits of Ellie’s should be included in her profile? What traits of your imagination might we include?

I hope you all are up for my reindeer games. This one could be fun (and really helpful given my current homework assignment!).

Best NY Christmas Card Sights

I can’t believe the holiday season is here again.  For the past three years, my Christmas card has featured a photograph of Duffer.  Year 1 was a photo of Sean, Duffer, and me in front of the Christmas tree, which also doubled as a marriage announcement because Sean and I didn’t have a wedding (It read “Duffer is pleased to announce …).  Year 2 was a photoshopped photo of Duffer in an army outfit.  Last year was Duff in his pajamas.  

So what to do this year?  I’d love to photograph Duffer in some iconic NYC locale but am having a hard time identifying a location that would capture both the sight and a 30 pound dog.  Suggestions?