Heck yes, things are crazy around here! The publishing arm of the Steemhouse triangle has evolved into a physical entity, with few interactions happening online and most of them occurring face to face. Our four top execs just spent a few days in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for the official book launch and first Steemhouse Publishing corporate meeting. It went well! We received news of pre-order deliveries, like the photo below that was sent to us by @felt.buzz. We also filmed video and audio segments for a fundraiser video that we plan to release soon. We accomplished many things and still managed to spend some time just hanging out and having fun.
The excitement kicked off at the end of April when @michelios flew over from France to step into his role as co-owner of the publishing company, registered in the U.S. as "Steemhouse Publishing, LLC." Other posts may emerge that detail the difficulties he had with FIAT transactions, but for now, suffice it to say the vehicle purchased for our Steemhouse Publishing U.S. tour is a product of cryptocurrency transactions. FIAT banking and money transfer systems were woefully inadequate to make it happen.
Michel and @rhondak flew out of Roanoke Regional airport in Virginia to Albany, Georgia, to rendezvous with the seller of a 2014 Dodge Journey in near-showroom condition. This was the first time they'd taken a flight together, and despite the constant aggravation of having to deal with FIAT, they managed at least one selfie with smiles.
One Uber ride to Tifton later and an unexpected overnight stay with Rhonda's son Jeremy (thanks to the super-efficient U.S. FIAT banking system, har har,) Michel had Steemhouse on the brain.
Then, a Journey for the journey, and one very proud business owner with assets to show for all the long nights, hard work, and risks taken.
Because of the transaction delay in moving funds within the U.S. FIAT system, Rhonda had to drive nine hours from Tifton to Virginia, collect @catherine813 and @tawmink for the trip, then at two a.m. drive six more hours to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was a brutal trip, but ended safely. @caleblailmusick met everyone there the following day and the Steemhouse crew turned up with him at Fresh Brewed Coffee House in a show of support for his first gig there as an indie musician. We had a great time and will definitely be scheduling an author event there soon.
Filming the fundraiser video was a big production. Probably because he demonstrated a rare and unique type of genius by improvising a teleprompter and banner hooks from hair ties, and maybe because he was the only one who knew how to operate Steemhouse's swanky new 4K camera, Michel inherited the role of Film Director by unanimous default.
Elaine Moore got at least one good laugh out of the deal.
She supervised the hair-tie banner hanging incident.
She also enjoyed the authentic French cuisine served up by none other than Michel himself on Sunday.
But then again, who didn't?
Even the critters ate well. (Yes, it is legal to harbor and offer sanctuary to raccoons in South Carolina. No laws broken here, folks. Move along, please.)
Speaking of "harboring," if anyone harbors doubts about Steemhouse Publishing's acquisition future, worry yourselves no further. This is a pile of current and future SH publications-- High Kill was just launched, and The Rest of Forever will be released on our imprint this coming fall. We won't talk about the other titles yet, but let's just say that Steemhouse Publishing will be busy for the foreseeable future.
We are also happy to report that just in time for the book launch, Kirkus Reviews released their review of High Kill and it's now live on their website: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/diane-ryan/high-kill/ . This delayed the book tour by a few days as we updated the front matter of the novel to include an excerpt from this review, but we'll share it in its entirety here so everyone can celebrate with us.
In this fish-out-of-water thriller, a Richmond reporter takes on a curious homicide case in Appalachian Virginia.
Television reporter Taylor Beckett is not initially interested in driving from Richmond all the way to southwest Virginia to cover the detection of three bodies, all men, each found sealed in a plastic drum and dumped in the woods. “Somebody’s moonshine gig gone bad, probably,” thinks Taylor. “Or dope. Always dope in that part of the state.” But once she gets there, she realizes there is more to the story than meets the eye. For one, the men were all killed by a different method. For another, Eric Blevins, a sensitive, animal-loving teenage water utility employee who found the first victim, has a name very similar to a man from Taylor’s past. She successfully coaxes Eric into talking to her, no mean feat in the highly secretive holler culture of Randall County. Haunted by an unresolved trauma from her past, Taylor throws herself into investigating the murders, especially since the local authorities don’t appear particularly interested in doing so. Little does she know she will be forced to wade through a quagmire of corruption, addiction, prostitution, animal cruelty, and a generationslong suspicion of outsiders in her attempt to solve a case that gets right to the heart of modern Appalachia. Ryan’s (Wingspan, 2017, etc.) prose is textured and lived-in, particularly when describing the settings and people of Randall County. “It’s not odd,” says Eric, when Taylor asks him about a man shooting a hunting dog. “Not around here. A dog don’t do the job, it serves no purpose. Hunters kill ’em all the time. Leave ’em in the woods. Trade ’em, dump ’em, whatever.” Taylor—a jaded but ambitious loner who knows how to handle her male co-workers—will read as a bit overly familiar to fans of the genre, but her well-developed backstory provides an intriguing ballast and helps explain her drive to find answers. On the whole, the author manages to move beyond crime novel clichés and expose the deeper ills of the society in which her tale is set.
An immersive and substantial murder mystery with a strong heroine.
Very soon we'll post about the road trip and bookstore tour along with a tentative schedule. We hope for some meetups along the way, so follow our blog for more info!
'Til next time,
The Steemhouse Publishing Team