Thursday, August 29, 2013

Labor Day - Thank a Worker

Labor Day Parade NYC 1882
As a coal miner’s great granddaughter, and one who has researched just how bad (and dangerous) it was earning a living “down in the hole,” a mile below the surface, I consider Labor Day to be more than a reason to have picnics or for politicians to glad hand their constituents.* However, in appreciation of all those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold,”** I am prepared to enjoy a cold Guinness and to eat Polish sausage, macaroni salad, cole slaw, baked beans, etc.

A little history on the holiday from The Dept. of Labor website: "The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The CLU urged similar organizations in other cities across the country to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. With the growth of labor organizations, the idea spread, and in 1885, Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
Coal Miners in the cage (elevator)
By 1894, 23 states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

So have an enjoyable weekend. Be careful driving, use sun screen, and watch the kiddies around the water.

*Two of my great grandfathers were killed in roof falls in the mines. A third died of pneumonia in his thirties, and the fourth broke is leg in a roof fall and developed emphysema. My grandfathers were both picking slate in the mines before they were twelve and were mule drivers in their teens. Fortunately, as adults, they found jobs above ground.

**That is a quote from Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor and one of two candidates for the founding of Labor Day. The other possibility is Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, New Jersey. In 1882, he made his proposal while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. Since I grew up in East Paterson, New Jersey, I’m voting for Matthew Maguire.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

.99 E-Book - A Death in Hampden by Mary Simonsen

A Death in Hampden is available on Amazon Kindle for only .99 (regularly $4.99) on August 21st and 22nd. If you enjoy mysteries or know someone who does, this is a great deal. Please share.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Launch and Giveaway of A Death in Hampden - a British Mystery by Mary Simonsen

You may have noticed that I have changed the title of my blog from Austen-Inspired Fan Fiction to Fiction by Mary Simonsen. The reason is that I have published three mysteries in the Patrick Shea mystery series. To mark the change and to celebrate the publication of the third mystery, A Death in Hampden, I am giving away a paperback or e-book copy of my newest release. Here is a description of my latest effort:

When pop rock star, Derek Prince, is found dead in his London mansion, the case is assigned to Detective Chief Inspector Tommy Boyle and his sergeant, DS Patrick Shea, of New Scotland Yard. Although Prince's ex-girlfriend, Chloe Hastert, was found walking Hampden's High Street drenched in the singer's blood and carrying the knife that killed him, there is something about the case that doesn't sit right with DS Shea. With everyone believing Prince's killer is already in custody and with pressure from above to close the case, it falls to the two detectives to make sure they have got it right.

Also available are Three's A Crowd and A Killing in Kensington. If you are a fan of Law and Order UK, you will enjoy the Patrick Shea series.

The rules: The paperback is available for residents of the U.S. and Canada. The e-book is available to everyone. All you have to do is leave a comment WITH YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS telling me who is your favorite mystery writer. A favorite title would also be appreciated as I enjoy reading books others have enjoyed. If you do not leave your e-mail address, I cannot contact you, and I will have to choose someone else. Please leave your comment by August 14th. The winner will be announced on August 15th.

A Death in Hampden is available on Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.

P.S. If you enjoy my Austen re-imaginings, I am giving away a copy of The Perfect Bride for Mr Darcy on Austen Authors.

Three's A Crowd - A novella introducing Detective Sergeant Patrick Shea

A Killing in Kensington - #2 in the Patrick Shea mystery series