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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Missing: A Mysterious Gathering of Tales

by Amy Alessio

What a treat to blog on this site. I really enjoyed Joanna's mystery and love to make scrapbook cookbooks for folks. (I'm a cookbook junkie:

It's an even bigger privilege to write about Missing: A Mysterious Gathering of Tales. In 2007, Echelon Press President Karen Syed asked me to contribute a story to her anthology The Heat of the Moment, benefiting the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County, where thousands of folks lost their homes to fires. I wrote about Alana, an antiques store bookkeeper and cookbook collector, and her savvy teenage son, who solve an arson case at their business. I was so impressed with Karen for putting this project together, and I was also impressed with the other area authors I met from the project, including Margot Justes, Norm Cowie and Robert Goldsborough.

At the same time the nightly news in Chicago was filled with stories of missing adults. Stacey Peterson, Lisa Stebic, John Spira. These folks, with families and busy lives, simply vanished. For many years, I had followed the stories of the young Bradley sisters, who disappeared after being seen on a Chicago playground. I asked Karen if she could do another anthology about missing people or animals, with the proceeds benefiting a missing persons organization, so someone could be found. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children does not publicly endorse projects like this, but we have chosen as a group of authors and publisher to donate all proceeds of the book to their important work. As Karen posted on the cover: During 2007, 814,967 missing person records were entered into the National Crime Information Center's Database.

It was my pleasure to edit the collection, and to contribute another story about Alana and her cookbooks. Many popular authors came forward to be involved in this project, including Henry Perez and J.A. Konrath. Michele Scott has two popular series with Berkley and a new YA from Echelon, and she also took time to add a story. Luisa Buehler, Mary Welk, Margot, Norm and Robert added stories from their series. Some new authors also brought wonderful stories to the collection. While I had edited some librarian publications, this was my first fiction edition project, and these authors made it easy. Every story has something unique to bring, and readers of all types of mysteries should find many stories to enjoy.

The anthology is available now at, but will soon be up on Amazon and through distributors like Ingram and other places.

Title: Missing
Author: Anthology
ISBN: 978-1-59080-611-1
Genre: MysteryPages: 344 Price: $16.99 US

Amy Alessio"Missing Andy", Missing, Echelon Press, February 2009


Anonymous said...

I am the aunt of Tionda and Diamond Bradley and could you please tell me if they are included in this anthology and who else is included? I can be contacted at

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Shelia, please accept my thoughts and prayers for your family. I'm sure Amy can answer this...

Mary Welk said...

I'm sure Amy will comment on this request very soon, but as one of the authors whose work was included in the anthology, please let me say that none of the stories in MISSING mention, or are related to, the disappearance of Tionda and Diamond Bradley.

Rather than concentrate on actual cases that might cause added grief to the families of the victims, we chose to use our imaginations to create stories featuring fictional missing people and the sleuths who search for them. None of the stories concern real people who have gone missing.

It is our hope that these stories, while fictional in nature, will raise public awareness concerning the increasing number of people who go missing each year in the United States.

Our country's Amber Alert system has proven to be an effective aid in the search for missing children. More must be done, though, to discourage the abduction of both children and adults and help the police in their search for missing people.

It is our hope that the funds raised through the sale of MISSING will be used by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to aid families faced with the tragedy of a loved one gone missing.

Mary Welk

Amy said...

Hello Sheila:
I echo Joanna's sentiments and want you to know that your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Mary is correct; all stories are completely fictional and not based on real stories in any way. I mentioned Diamond and Tionda and some of the other stories from the Chicago area in the introduction and in my dedication only to say that we were inspired to action because of them.

Norm Cowie said...

Yeah, what they said. My story was definitely made up ... though you'd probably guess that if you read it.


Anonymous said...

One of the things we did when putting this book together is to ensure that everything was fictionalized. It was out thoughts and emotions that went into the stories and the formation of the book.

I can tel you personally, that my heart goes out to everyone who is, or has, lived through this nightmare.

Please know that we keep each of you in our prayers and that if we can sell more of these books, it is money going to help find all of your loved ones.

I am sorry for anyone going through this pain and we wish peace for you.

KAren Syed

Margot Justes said...

I agree with everything that had been said here, it was an incredibly satisfying project and yes, more needs to be done.
Margot Justes