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Please Welcome Featured Author LIBBY FISCHER HELLMAN!

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LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN - Books and ebooks

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About LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

About Libby Fischer Hellmann

About Libby Fischer HellmannLibby Fischer Hellmann writes Compulsively Readable Thrillers. With ten novels and twenty short stories published, she has also written suspense mysteries, historicals, PI novels, amateur sleuth, police procedurals, and even a cozy mystery. At the core of all her stories, however, is a crime or the possibility of one.

She is a transplant from Washington, D.C., where, she says, “When you’re sitting around the dinner table gossiping about the neighbors, you’re talking politics.” Armed with a Masters Degree in Film Production from New York University, and a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania, she started her career in broadcast news. She began as an assistant film editor at NBC News in New York, but moved back to DC where she worked with Robin McNeil and Jim Lehrer at N-PACT, the public affairs production arm of PBS. When Watergate broke, she was re-trained as an assistant director and helped produce PBS’s night-time broadcasts of the hearings.

In 1978, Hellmann moved to Chicago to work at Burson-Marsteller, the large public relations firm, staying until 1985 when she founded Fischer Hellmann Communications. Currently, when not writing, she conducts speaker training programs in platform speaking, presentation skills, media training, and crisis communications. Additionally, Libby also writes and produces videos.

Her first novel, AN EYE FOR MURDER, which features Ellie Foreman, a video producer and single mother, was released in 2002. Publishers Weekly called it a “masterful blend of politics, history, and suspense,” and it was nominated for several awards. That was followed by three more entries in the Ellie Foreman series, which Libby describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24.”

A few years later, Libby introduced her second series featuring hard-boiled Chicago PI Georgia Davis, which the Chicago Tribune described as “a new no-nonsense detective… tough and smart enough to give even the legendary V.I. Warshawski a run for her money.”  There are three books in that series so far: EASY INNOCENCE (2008) and DOUBLEBACK (2009), which was selected as a Great Lakes Booksellers’ Association “2009 Great Read,” and TOXICITY (2011), a police procedural ebook thriller that became the prequel to the Georgia Davis series.

Her 8th novel, SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE (2010), was a standalone thriller that goes back, in part, to the late Sixties in Chicago. Publishers Weekly described it as “top-rate” and said, “a jazzy fusion of past and present, Hellmann’s insightful, politically charged whodunit explores a fascinating period in American history.” It was short-listed for ForeWord Magazine‘s Book of 2010 in the suspense/thriller category. Her 2012 release, A BITTER VEIL, was released in April. A stand-alone literary thriller and love story, it’s set in revolutionary Iran during the late ’70s.

Her most recent release is HAVANA LOST, a third stand-alone thriller set largely in Cuba. It will be released in September, 2013.

Libby has also edited a highly acclaimed crime fiction anthology, CHICAGO BLUES (2007). In May, 2010, she published a collection of her own short stories called NICE GIRL DOES NOIR.

In 2005-2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 3,500 plus member organization committed to strengthening the voice of female mystery writers.

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Re: About LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Awards and Nominations:

 

Awards and Nominations For Books by Libby Fischer Hellmann

 
An Eye For Murder

  • Anthony nomination, Best First
  • Winner, Best First, Readers Choice Awards (Love is Murder conference)

 
A Picture of Guilt

  • Finalist, Ben Franklin Award, Mystery/suspense
  • Winner, Best Traditional Mystery, Readers Choice Awards (Love is Murder conference)

 
A Shot to Die For

  • Winner, Best Traditional Mystery, Readers Choice Awards (Love is Murder conference)

 
House Rules (Short story in Murder in Vegas anthology)

  • Agatha nominee
  • Anthony nominee

 
Chicago Blues Anthology (Editor)

  • Stuart Kaminsky story nominated for an Edgar
  • Deb Brod story winner of Readers Choice Award (Love is Murder conference)

 
Easy Innocence

  • Winner, Best PI/Police Procedural, Readers Choice Award (Love is Murder conference)

 
Doubleback

  • Chosen as the “Great Lakes Great Read,” Autumn 2009 by Great Lakes Bookseller Association

 
Set the Night on Fire

  • Shortlisted for Foreword Magazine’s Best Suspense Novel, 2010

 
Toxicity

  • Winner,  Best Suspense Novel 2011 (Love is Murder conference)

 
A Bitter Veil

    • Finalist, 2012 Book of the Year, Chicago Writers Association
    • Winner, Best Suspense Novel 2012 (Love is Murder conference)
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LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN - Events and more

Libby blogs here: http://www.libbyhellmann.com/blog/

 

Saturday, September 21
Evanston Writers Workshop Conference — Orrington Hotel
Evanston, IL
Workshop: “Dialogue, Plot, Setting”
10:30 AM

 

Wednesday, September 25
North Shore Senior Center
Afternoon

 

 

Saturday, October 19
Barnes and Noble
Rockford, IL
Afternoon: Appearing with CWA members

 

Wednesday, October 23
Chicago Public Library Foundation Dinner
The Forum at UIC, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago, IL
Dinner Banquet

 

Thursday, November 21
Oaklyn Branch Library
Evansville, IN
3 PM

North Park Branch Library
Evansville, IN
6:30 PM

 

Friday, November 22
Owensboro Public Library
Owensboro, KY
Noon — Brown Bag Lunch

 

Monday, November 25
Brandeis Women’s Study Group
South County Civic Center
Del Ray Beach
2-4 PM

Tuesday, November 26
Broward County Library — Main Branch
1 PM

 

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN - New Release!

[ Edited ]

Havana Lost  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview

On the eve of the Cuban Revolution, headstrong 18-year-old Francesca Pacelli flees from her ruthless Mafia-boss father in Havana to the arms of her lover, a rebel fighting with Fidel Castro. Her father, desperate to send her to safety in the US, resorts to torture and blackmail as he searches the island for her.

 

So begins the first part of a spellbinding saga that spans three generations of the same family. Decades later, the family is lured back to Cuba by the promise of untold riches. But pursuing those riches brings danger as well as opportunity, and ultimately, Francesca's family must confront the lethal consequences of their choices. From the troubled streets of Havana to the mean streets of Chicago, HAVANA LOST reveals the true cost of chasing power instead of love.

 

HAVANA LOST is award-winning author Libby Fischer Hellmann's tenth novel and third thriller that explores how strife and revolution affect the human spirit. HAVANA LOST is a testament to Hellmann's gift for authentic historical detail as well as her talent for writing compulsively readable thrillers.

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Please welcome LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN!

 

 

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LibbyfhLH
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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Thanks, Becke... Boy, you sure know how to welcome someone. I hope everyone get through all the material above.. it almost looks daunting. 

 

Anyway, it's great to be back. I'll be in and out today but will check back as often as I can. If it's okay with you, I'll start out with a very short Q&A about HAVANA LOST...

 

But before I do, has anyone had the chance to read it yet? If so, what did you think?

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Here's the Q&A:

 

What attracted you about a plot set in Cuba? Where did the inspiration come from?

I was talking to my sister on the phone after I’d finished A BITTER VEIL. I knew I wasn’t ready to go back to my Georgia Davis series yet, even though I was already about 60 pages into it. I’d been thinking about doing a World War Two thriller—I’m continually drawn back to that period of time. Unfortunately, I ultimately realized there was probably nothing I could write about the period that hadn’t been done better by someone else.

The conversation turned to other time periods and settings, and my sister brought up Cuba. As soon as she mentioned it, I started to get that itch. It’s the kind of itch that can only be scratched by delving more deeply into the subject. I told her how I remembered my parents flying down to gamble in Havana. This was when Batista was still in power. I must have only been about 6 or 7, but I remember being jealous that they were going to a foreign country and culture. I wanted to go too. Of course, they didn’t take me.

A few years later Fidel took over and Cuba became off limits to Americans. Plus, it turned Communist! Communism was our enemy. Because of that, Cuba seemed even more mysterious and exotic, and I remember wanting to know more about the place. Then, of course, there was the Cuban Missile Crisis, which made Cuba even more impenetrable and distant. So close and yet so far.

Finally, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I recalled one of the Godfather films where Al Pacino (Michael Corleone) and Lee Strasberg (Meyer Lansky) are on a rooftop supposedly in Havana discussing how they’re going to own the island. Shortly after that, Michael sees a rebel willing to die to overthrow Batista and changes his mind about doing business with Lansky.

That clinched it. I realized I had most of the elements for a terrific thriller: revolution, crime, conflict, and an exotic setting.

There was only one other element I needed.  I enjoy—actually it’s more than that… it’s probably an obsession—writing about women and the choices they make. I needed a female character who would have been thrown into the middle of the revolution. It would be fascinating to see what she did and how she coped. Once I came up with Frankie Pacelli, the daughter of a Mafia boss who owns a Havana resort, the rest was, as they say, is history.

Are any of the female characters in HL based on you? If so, which aspects of their personalities are inspired by yours?

None of my female characters are based on me. All of my female characters are based on me. I think it’s impossible for an author not to share shades of themselves through their characters. The issue isn’t so much what’s from me or someone else, though; it’s the character’s authenticity. Once they’re on the page, they have to be true to themselves. Consistent. They can’t do one thing on Monday, and the opposite on Wednesday, even if I want them to.

Have you been to Cuba? What did you think / feel about it?

Absolutely, I went to Cuba.  My daughter and I went in 2012 on a cultural tour that coincided with the Havana International Book Fair. It turns out that the Book Fair is one of the largest in Latin America, and it was packed. We were there for 9 days. Of course we did a lot of other things and saw other places (Varadero, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad), and one day, we even ditched the tour and went on our own to Regla. I had written most of the book by then, so it was a perfect opportunity to fact-check. I’m glad I did. I got the geography of Regla wrong. 

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN


LibbyfhLH wrote:

Thanks, Becke... Boy, you sure know how to welcome someone. I hope everyone get through all the material above.. it almost looks daunting. 

 

Anyway, it's great to be back. I'll be in and out today but will check back as often as I can. If it's okay with you, I'll start out with a very short Q&A about HAVANA LOST...

 

But before I do, has anyone had the chance to read it yet? If so, what did you think?


I killed my Nook (I'm hoping B&N can fix it - wish me luck!) so I'm having to read it on Nook for PC. It's not difficult, it just means I can't carry it around with me so I can't read it very quickly.

 

I'll also be in and out today - my grandbaby will be arriving soon and once she's here I don't dare go on the computer. She can get into everything now she's walking and climbing! I'll be back later in the day and this evening.

 

Hope you all have a great day!

 

One note about Havana Lost. Some good friends of mine (two brothers and a sister) were born in Cuba and came to America in the 1950s, when they were children. They never talk about it much but I believe they still have family there who they've never been able to meet. It's hard to imagine!

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

By the way, Libby, I'm THRILLED that you were able to sign in. It's been a problem lately!

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Libby - What was your inspiration for Havana Lost? Was this story brewing for awhile?

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maxcat
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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Hi, Libby, welcome to the forum this week. I need to pick up one of your books. I see them all the time but have just passed them by. I won't the next time round.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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LibbyfhLH
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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

That would be great, MaxCat... I won't stop you. :smileyhappy:

 

Becky... in the Q&A I talked about how I decided to write about Cuba... but here it is again.

 

I was talking to my sister on the phone after I’d finished A BITTER VEIL. I knew I wasn’t ready to go back to my Georgia Davis series yet, even though I was already about 60 pages into it. I’d been thinking about doing a World War Two thriller—I’m continually drawn back to that period of time. Unfortunately, I ultimately realized there was probably nothing I could write about the period that hadn’t been done better by someone else.

The conversation turned to other time periods and settings, and my sister brought up Cuba. As soon as she mentioned it, I started to get that itch. It’s the kind of itch that can only be scratched by delving more deeply into the subject. I told her how I remembered my parents flying down to gamble in Havana. This was when Batista was still in power. I must have only been about 6 or 7, but I remember being jealous that they were going to a foreign country and culture. I wanted to go too. Of course, they didn’t take me.

A few years later Fidel took over and Cuba became off limits to Americans. Plus, it turned Communist! Communism was our enemy. Because of that, Cuba seemed even more mysterious and exotic, and I remember wanting to know more about the place. Then, of course, there was the Cuban Missile Crisis, which made Cuba even more impenetrable and distant. So close and yet so far.

Finally, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I recalled one of the Godfather films where Al Pacino (Michael Corleone) and Lee Strasberg (Meyer Lansky) are on a rooftop supposedly in Havana discussing how they’re going to own the island. Shortly after that, Michael sees a rebel willing to die to overthrow Batista and changes his mind about doing business with Lansky.

That clinched it. I realized I had most of the elements for a terrific thriller: revolution, crime, conflict, and an exotic setting.

There was only one other element I needed.  I enjoy—actually it’s more than that… it’s probably an obsession—writing about women and the choices they make. I needed a female character who would have been thrown into the middle of the revolution. It would be fascinating to see what she did and how she coped. Once I came up with Frankie Pacelli, the daughter of a Mafia boss who owns a Havana resort, the rest was, as they say, is history.

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN


LibbyfhLH wrote:

That would be great, MaxCat... I won't stop you. :smileyhappy:

 

Becky... in the Q&A I talked about how I decided to write about Cuba... but here it is again.

 

I was talking to my sister on the phone after I’d finished A BITTER VEIL. I knew I wasn’t ready to go back to my Georgia Davis series yet, even though I was already about 60 pages into it. I’d been thinking about doing a World War Two thriller—I’m continually drawn back to that period of time. Unfortunately, I ultimately realized there was probably nothing I could write about the period that hadn’t been done better by someone else.

The conversation turned to other time periods and settings, and my sister brought up Cuba. As soon as she mentioned it, I started to get that itch. It’s the kind of itch that can only be scratched by delving more deeply into the subject. I told her how I remembered my parents flying down to gamble in Havana. This was when Batista was still in power. I must have only been about 6 or 7, but I remember being jealous that they were going to a foreign country and culture. I wanted to go too. Of course, they didn’t take me.

A few years later Fidel took over and Cuba became off limits to Americans. Plus, it turned Communist! Communism was our enemy. Because of that, Cuba seemed even more mysterious and exotic, and I remember wanting to know more about the place. Then, of course, there was the Cuban Missile Crisis, which made Cuba even more impenetrable and distant. So close and yet so far.

Finally, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I recalled one of the Godfather films where Al Pacino (Michael Corleone) and Lee Strasberg (Meyer Lansky) are on a rooftop supposedly in Havana discussing how they’re going to own the island. Shortly after that, Michael sees a rebel willing to die to overthrow Batista and changes his mind about doing business with Lansky.

That clinched it. I realized I had most of the elements for a terrific thriller: revolution, crime, conflict, and an exotic setting.

There was only one other element I needed.  I enjoy—actually it’s more than that… it’s probably an obsession—writing about women and the choices they make. I needed a female character who would have been thrown into the middle of the revolution. It would be fascinating to see what she did and how she coped. Once I came up with Frankie Pacelli, the daughter of a Mafia boss who owns a Havana resort, the rest was, as they say, is history.


Sorry to ask a question you'd already answered - it's definitely Monday! Will you go back to writing more traditional mysteries or can we expect more on the lines of your last two books? What are you working on now?

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LibbyfhLH
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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

I think I've exorcised my historical thriller phase... I'm about 75% done with the 4th Georgia Davis mystery. Turns out it's really dark. When you couple HAVANA LOST, the still untitled Georgia book, and a couple of short stories I've just written, I've gone waaay too much to the noir side. So when I finish Georgia, I think I need to lighten up with another Ellie book. She's more traditional, has a sly sense of humor (at least I hope so), and I need to laugh these days. So that's the plan.

 

But, as you all know, plans are meant to be changed... 

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN


LibbyfhLH wrote:

I think I've exorcised my historical thriller phase... I'm about 75% done with the 4th Georgia Davis mystery. Turns out it's really dark. When you couple HAVANA LOST, the still untitled Georgia book, and a couple of short stories I've just written, I've gone waaay too much to the noir side. So when I finish Georgia, I think I need to lighten up with another Ellie book. She's more traditional, has a sly sense of humor (at least I hope so), and I need to laugh these days. So that's the plan.

 

But, as you all know, plans are meant to be changed... 


I've always wondered if authors who write really dark thrillers get sucked into that mindset. Sometimes I need a dose of humor after reading a book like that. I can't imagine what it must be like for the authors who live in that world for months at a time, or even longer.

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Libby - When you were researching your last two books, did you come across anything that really intrigued or surprised you?

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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

Libby - I hear mixed responses from authors about book tours and book signings. What are your thoughts on those?

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LibbyfhLH
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Re: LIBBY FISCHER HELLMANN

That's a tough question to answer. I wasn't intending to travel this time around but it turns out I will be. One reason is that I am still a fan of  Book Fairs and Festivals, so I try to get invited to the Fair, then instead of a store I try to set up events at libraries. For example, I'll be at the Miami Book Fair in November and have been able to set up a couple of library events in addition to the Fair.

 

Aside from Book Fairs/Festivals, though, I'm doing pretty much all my promotion online. (Waving my hand at all your book club members...:smileyhappy: I think ultimately, reach more readers that way.