Libraries, Workshops, Book Clubs
Here’s what librarians are saying about A Bend In The River:
Sisters Mai and Tam’s very different paths to survival in war-torn Vietnam provide a compelling, page turning story. Hellmann brings history to visceral, tangible life by shining a light on torture from all sides of the conflict and shows the devastating effects on Vietnamese citizens. Questions of morality and justice are subtle in the point of view of each of the sisters who become different, yet equally sympathetic people in a trauma-filled world. Amy Alessio, Author, Librarian, Reviewer
A beautifully written story of two sisters in war-torn Viet Nam. This devastating saga shows us the enduring strength of redemption and survival. Debbie Hoffman, Reader’s Advisory Librarian (retired)
If you are a librarian or member of a Book Club, I would love to talk to you (virtually) about the story, how it came to be, and answer questions about the Vietnam War. For Book Clubs, a discussion guide will be available soon. For librarians, a sell sheet will be too. They will be right here.
Download the sell sheet (PDF)
In fact, given Zoom, Skype, and Streamyard, distance is no longer a factor if you’d like an author visit. As you may know, I conduct writing workshops and historical lectures (see below) as well as book talks. (More about the workshops here). Actually, I conducted a virtual signing and workshop for a library in Seward, Alaska last spring! Here’s a one minute video clip from the event. We were talking about my writing process, and someone asked me whether I outline.
If you’re interested in an author talk, contact me or fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Click here to fill out a form and request a virtual visit from Libby!
If you’re not familiar with my work, following are a few titles that have been chosen by book clubs. Of course, I’m happy to focus on ANY of my books, novellas, or even short stories. Consider the following just ideas.
When pretty, smart Sara Long is found bludgeoned to death, it’s easy to blame the man with the bat. But Georgia Davis — former cop and newly-minted PI — is hired to look into the incident at the behest of the accused’s sister, and what she finds hints at a much different, much darker answer. It seems the privileged, preppy schoolgirls on Chicago’s North Shore have learned just how much their innocence is worth to hot-under-the-collar businessmen. But while these girls can pay for Prada price tags, they don’t realize that their new business venture may end up costing them more than they can afford.
EASY INNOCENCE continues to be a favorite with Book Clubs. We’ve shared many interesting and intense conversations about the values we’re teaching our daughters these days. Reviewers have been kind, as well.
Hellmann brings to life the reality of bullying among teenage girls with enough twists and turns to keep you reading. Highly recommended. Library Journal, Starred Review
War, Spies, and Bobby Sox
Public Libraries Online’s review of WS&B says in part:
“Any of these stories could have been a stand-alone novel; there was great character development, as the reader could sympathize with the characters, while the prose was descriptive, and the story was filled with action…I found this to be both an entertaining and a thought-provoking read…The author’s passion for the topic also shines throughout the book. If you love WWII fiction, give this book a try.”
WS&B is available in print, ebook, and audiobook at Ingram, Brodart, Amazon, & Overdrive
It consists of three novellas, all set on the home front during the war. All three feature women who are fighting and coping with the war in ways you may not have imagined. Released March 1, 2017, reviews have been wonderful! You can find out more about the book here.
After a 10 year absence, Chicago video producer Ellie Foreman is back! And soon entangled in a web of espionage, drones, hackers, and spies, all of which threaten those closest to her. I had a great time writing this thriller, and I hope you have a great time reading and recommending it to your customers and patrons. If you’re in a Book Club, we could discuss some of the issues raised in Jump Cut, including espionage, electronic security, mercenaries, and the growth of China as a super-power, Jump Cut was released March 1, 2016.
Starred Review from Publishers Weekly: “Exceptional… As Hellmann’s convincing, conflicted characters face impossible choices, the tension is real and memorable.”
Former cop-turned-PI Georgia Davis takes on what could be her most personal case yet in Hellmann’s thrilling fourth installment in her Chicago based series. Georgia always thought she was an only child until she receives a bloodstained note revealing that she has a half-sister Savannah, who’s not only in trouble but is pregnant. With little to go on, Georgia soon discovers that Savannah, who’s almost sixteen and is called Vanna, is caught up in Chicago’s underground human trafficking ring, which provides whoever’s willing to pay with everything from organs to babies, not to mention girls for sex. Few people are willing to talk to Georgia about the details of the operation, but the wily PI soon learns that a former foe could be an asset in bringing her sister home safely.
Honors and Accolades:
Finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.
Finalist for the 2015 Shamus Award, Best PI Indie Novel.
Finalist in the Chicago Writers Association — Fiction Category
Shortlisted for the Kindle Book Review Awards: Mystery/Thriller category
Finalist in the Fiction: Mystery/Suspense — 2015 USA Best Book Awards
More Historical Thrillers
A Bitter Veil, which takes place in revolutionary Iran during the 1970s, is one of three other historical stand-alones along with Havana Lost (1958-present) and Set the Night on Fire (1968-1970). All have been warmly received by book groups. More about them in My Books.
Cuba and Iran: Power Point Presentations
Based on the enormous amount of research required for these novels, I have created power point presentations about Iran and my trip to Cuba. I’m happy to present one or both to your library patrons or book clubs, either in person or via Skype. Below are a few excerpts.
Crime writing workshops
In addition, I have developed a full day crime writing workshop which I call the “Anatomy of Crime Fiction” for aspiring writers. If you’re interested, you can find out more about them right here. If your library can’t do a full day, I’m willing to chop up the workshops and conduct just one or two sections of the agenda, which are called, of course, “Body Parts.”
Just for Fun
If you work in a library, you might be interested in a novella I co-wrote with David J. Walker. It’s a cozy mystery, and, of course, we murder the library director. It’s widely available here as well as B&N, iBooks, and Kobo.
If I can answer any questions about any of the above, feel free to email me. Thanks for reading this far.
Download the Discussion Questions in PDF