Sisters in Crime’s Guppy Chapter Releases its Seventh Anthology

by Paula Gail Benson

The anthologies organized and published by the online Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime have had an enduring influence in nurturing both new and established authors and in encouraging more readers and writers of short stories. The recently released Hook, Line, and Sinker (organized by Debra H. Goldstein and Carol L. Wright) is the seventh in the series and features twenty-three stories. Emily P.W. Murphy is the anthology editor and cover designer.

An invaluable part of appearing in a Guppy anthology is working with the organizers and other authors on promotions. Following are the descriptions provided by the contributors for their stories in Hook, Line, and Sinker.

Now available in Kindle and Paperback, why not add Hook, Line, and Sinker to your “to be read” list?

Sandra Benson – “Manual for Success”

Pharoahs were not the only ones buried by pyramid schemes. Krystal Markham plans to make money – or at least replace the money she took—by selling coffin franchises for EverRest. Using the manual for success EverRest provided, will she be able to? Or will her desperation lead her to bury something – or someone – else?

C.N. Buchholz – “Truth Be Told”

There are almost 100,000 psychics working in the US. How many of them would you trust? How many should you trust? This tale of sleight of hand, deception, and death will have you on the edge of your seat.

Lida Bushloper – “Senior Discount”

A remote spot in a parking lot. A vulnerable senior citizen (don’t call her that to her face!) with a broken-down car. A stranger approaches….if you think you know the rest, “Senior Discount” will give you a secret surprise.

Judith Carlough – “Man Up in the Air”

We’ve all heard about – or lived – a midlife crisis. We may think we know what will happen when Macon’s body meets Ashleigh, a beautiful flight attendant. Can he resist the temptation? A story that appears as sweet as carrot cake can have a very spicey bite!

Kait Carson – “Gutted, Filleted, and Fried”

Do you trust your spouse? Should you? Or, across the breakfast table do you think, there are plenty more fish in the sea? This tale of betrayal and surprise is cold enough to store fresh produce at Costco.

Susan Daly – “The Americanization of Jack MacKenzie”

A famous director said, “Film is a battleground.” In “The Americanization of Jack Mackenzie,” the battleground would appear to be Julie’s hometown of November Falls, Ontario, Canada. Yet, in this brilliant, twisting tale, the fight for preserving the town’s Canadian sweetness is mapped with devious strategy.

M.R. Dimond – “Playing It Again”

Detective Marie-Louise “Lou” Delacroix turns her investigative talents to a blackmail case involving a scandal, an inheritance, and some of New Orleans best beignets. Lou is smart, observant, and accustomed to navigating the ins and outs of New Orleans criminal underworld, but will she give up this important case to follow her lover to California? Or will the life and death stakes of the case keep her in the Big Easy?

Mary Dutta – “The Grift of the Magi”

Does the saying “lesser artists borrow, good artists steal” apply to the art of a good fraud? “The Grift of the Magi” takes the reader through a brilliantly twisting con where the reader is never sure who is the true owner of an Old Masters painting of the Adoration of the Magi and who is the master con artist crafting a beautiful portrait of a swindle.

Kate Fellowes – “The Buddy System”

Bennett is always the new kid in school. He tried to fit in, but it all felt pretty fake. He and the school bully Max are thrown together because neither have any friends. Will Bennett fit in with Max and his family? Or will it be another counterfeit experience?

Wrona Gall – “Capone’s Chair”

Nona Ponticelli is looking forward to moving into Labella Active Living but first, she needs to empty her apartment of 50 years of Mikasa dishes and her antique furniture. But Chicago is full of gangsters who might take advantage of her. This story shows us that gray hair does not mean a feeble brain and, as Nona eats her chocolate creams, she’s got a plan in the works worthy of Capone himself.

Vinnie Hansen – “Perfect Partner”

Over 300 million people use dating apps like Perfect Partner. Who could resist new love that is literally in the palm of your hand? That’s what Maya thinks when she starts texting with Adam – a man as handsome as original sin. But is the dating app a clearinghouse where lonely hearts and sweetheart swindlers meet? In “Perfect Partner,” we are not sure – whose heart – or wallet – will be stolen.

Ann Michelle Harris – “Changeling”

Who can resist a needy child? That’s what Shane is counting on when she takes another woman’s toddler out to test the limits of that question. This uncompromising tale of grifting will have the reader spellbound.

Kim Keeline – “Occupied With Death”

Nilda Santos does not like to be called the Death Doula, but that’s what she is. With poise and practice, she helps people prepare to die. But when a missing heir shows up at Eduardo Calvera’s funeral, possibly disinheriting his nephew, Nilda feels compelled to ask questions. As she investigates, Nilda finds secrets hidden in Eduardo’s retirement home that surprise even the Death Doula.

Jane Limprecht – “Net Profit and Loss”

Vacationing retirees Maggie and Ben Springfield encounter two internet entrepreneurs in a beachside Florida bar on a sunny afternoon: one runs an online loan modification company, the other operates an internet publishing business. Later, over tacos on their timeshare balcony, the vacationers contemplate whether their new acquaintances are dodgy scammers bent on fraud. Read this lighthearted tale to discover what Maggie and Ben do next.

Sally Milliken – “Trailblazer”

Brie’s life seems to be a series of Mondays, focused on work and trying to climb the corporate ladder. A friend encourages her to try online dating after Brie realizes that if she feels she’s peaked she needs to find a new mountain. When she meets Flynn, an experienced hiker, she’s ready to track him along a surprising new trail of deceit.

M.A. Monnin – “Just Another Shot in the Dark”

Raymond knows the success of any scam hinges on the savviness of the mark. He learned that from his father. Now Dad wants a brand new walker, which he can get with Seth’s new con, which promises to be more than just a shot in the dark.

A.W. Powers – “Restitution”

Is it nonsense or a sixth sense? That’s what parapsychologist John Thompson is trying to find out when he visits Madame Varna. Can Madame Varna truly channel the spirit of John’s sister? Or will a different ghost from the past make an unexpected appearance at the séance? This story will leave you breathless!

Merrilee Robson – “The Ass-In”

Did you ever just have one of those days? Wally sure is having one. Money goes missing. Police show up. There’s a fall from the second story. Maybe there’s someone smoking something they should not. But everything might have been all right for Wally, if not for the damn dog!

KM Rockwood – “Dear Lathea”

Sweetheart swindling can be a lucrative business, just ask Roderick, dear Lathea Markowitz’s long-time partner. Even though Ginger, Lathea’s cat, does not care for him, Roderick lives in Lathea’s home, and remains lovingly available to take the dear lady to fentanyl-laced doctor’s appointments and will-altering lawyer’s office visits. Is all doomed for Lathea? Will Ginger end up at the pound after Lathea dies? Or, is it “pawsible” that Roderick might have a more “furmidible” enemy than he could ever imagine?

Lisa Anne Rothstein – “Catch and Release”

Amanda Wallingford has cheated death once. Her time in the tropical paradise of St. Hilaire was supposed to restore her spirits before death patiently called again. However, Amanda finds that, for all the island’s beauty, St. Hilaire hides many secrets. Could one of them be that death has followed her? This taut thriller will make you suspicious of your next plate of sushi!

Steve Shrott – “Crime and Convenience”

It’s an ordinary convenience store with some extraordinary characters. “Crime and Convenience” disturbs the surface of your daily coffee run in a way that you will never forget.

Frances Stratford – “Wise Enough to Play the Fool”

July 28, 1540 was a busy day at Henry VIII’s court. That morning he married his fifth wife. Before his midday meal, Henry VIII sent the architect of his fourth marriage, Chancellor Thomas Cromwell, to death in the Tower of London. Yet many voices in the Tudor court worked to save Cromwell from the headsman’s axe, reminding the king that Cromwell was the king’s most faithful servant. So who was the cloaked figure who stole into the palace under cover of darkness and convinced Henry VIII to execute his most capable minister?

Shannon Taft – “Research”

Becca is a psychic and fraud from East Nowheresville. She and her dog Nostradamus have an established rapport that, along with Becca’s ability to research people’s deepest secrets, puts clients at ease. But when Becca unexpectedly finds one of her marks dead, she becomes a murder suspect. Will her skills as a researcher help expose who was the real fraud?

New Year’s Resolution: Read a Short Story a Day

by Paula Gail Benson

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope it has been healthy, comfortable, and prosperous for all.

Barb Goffman

If you are still considering resolutions and have any interest in short story craft, may I suggest a recommendation by well-known, award winning writer and editor Barb Goffman? Why not read a short story a day? Debra H. Goldstein has already made an excellent suggestion to get started: the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime’s latest anthology, Hook, Line, and Sinker. In addition, there are plenty of online and periodic publications to choose from, all featuring outstanding authors. Many of the Sisters in Crime Chapters have organized and released anthologies to showcase their members and give newer authors a chance not only for a writing credit, but also to learn how to promote their work.

Even if you are not interested in writing the short form, seeing how it is put together can help you strengthen skills for longer efforts. With a short story, characters, setting, and mood must be established quickly, in only a few carefully chosen words. It has to be wrapped up concisely, without leaving loose ends or unsatisfied questions. Those elements are important for novellas and novels, too. Figuring out how to develop a story and keep a reader engaged is a primary focus for shorts.

If you are interested in writing short stories, please consider the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable’s Annual Short Story Contest. This year, submissions must include a holiday element, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. They must be 2000 words or less and submitted as provided in the description of rules. An entry fee of $15 is required for each submission. The top awards are: First Place, $200 and publication in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s anthology Season’s Readings; Second Place, $100 and publication in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s online quarterly, the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable; and Third Place, $50 and publication in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.

Maybe the best news about the contest is that this year’s celebrity judge is Barb Goffman. Here’s a link with an interview where Barb talks about the most appealing aspect of writing short stories, how her careers as a journalist and lawyer have influenced her writing, what some of the most frequent mistakes she sees writers make, and what’s her best advice for submitting to an anthology or contest.

Start you New Year right: reading and writing shorts!

A Good Use for a Dead Darling – Catriona McPherson

Sparkle Abbey’s guest – Catriona McPherson

 

I was at a two-and-a-half hour Zoom meeting earlier today (the UK Society of Authors’ AGM) and in the montage of the year’s highlights there was a wee tiny clip of another Scottish writer, Damien Barr, talking about how he no longer minds cutting stuff out of his drafts, now he’s published, because he can always return to the cut subject in blogs.

How, how, did that never occur to me in the course of writing thirty novels and mourning the stuff that ended up in the bin?

So, Stiletto Gang, here goes: you are the captive audience for my first resurrected-darlings blog post. Hope that’s okay.

SCOT IN A TRAP (Last Ditch Motel Book 5) is set in the present day but it concerns a time almost twenty years ago when Lexy Campbell was a school and then a university student, falling in (and out) of love for the first time. I wrote her first date, her first [billowing curtains] and the party at which her romance hit the skids. Inevitably, in the over-written first draft, I catalogued everything she wore. (I say “inevitably” because, if anyone can write about twenty years ago and not get there by visualising the fashion,  I never want to go shopping with them.)

In the first draft, however, I made a rookie mistake. I cast my mind back. When I was at school, we were in the height of  New-Romanticism. We crimped our hair, sewed brocade on shoulders and tied scarves round our legs. (Why did we tie scarves round our legs? We had necks.) By  the time I got to university, I was dressing like Bruce Springsteen: sawn-off checked shirt, tight jeans, work boots. I stole my dad’s old cardigans. He didn’t mind: he had moved on to fleeces because it was modern times.

The trouble with mining these memories for Lexy’s look is that she’s twenty years younger than me. Oops.

So, in the second draft, she had ironed hair and wore low-rise boot-cut jeans, hanky tops, and rocked many a barely-there sandal – remember those bloody things? Like a slice of toast with a single piece of string glued to it?

She also wore the ubiquitous gap-year chic of a dress and trousers. I still remember the first time I ever saw someone in a dress and trousers. It was one of my students at the University of Leeds – literally just back from her gap year. Note, I don’t mean a salwar kameez; lots of Pakistani diaspora women wore them throughout my childhood in Edinburgh and, in Leeds, men wore them too. But a western dress over wide-leg jeans? Mind blowing. That was the first time I ever felt old. I genuinely thought she’d been in a rush that morning and got mixed up about what she meant to wear. Like the time I put my skirt on the ironing board, left the iron to heat up, grabbed some toast, brushed my teeth, put my coat on and went to work.

Once I’d got used to the idea, I embraced the dress and trousers trend enthusiastically. And Lexy looked fantastic in the second draft, wearing hers. She was slightly under-dressed in the third draft and, by the time I’d got to page-proof stage, I wasn’t relying on clothes to ground the story in its time at all, which freed up her fashion choices to play a role in the plot. (No spoilers.) It was fun while it lasted, though.

Have you got happy memories of the fashions of yore? Anything you swore you’d never wear and ended up loving? Anything you still swear you won’t be caught dead in if it comes back? I’m not sure I could go round by flares for a third time, but you never know . . .

 

SCOT IN A TRAP

A mysterious object the size of a suitcase, all wrapped in bacon and smelling of syrup, can mean only one thing: Thanksgiving at the Last Ditch Motel. This year the motel residents are in extra-celebratory mood as the holiday brings a new arrival to the group – a bouncing baby girl.

But as one life enters the Ditch, another leaves it. Menzies Lassiter has only just checked in. When resident counsellor Lexy Campbell tries to deliver his breakfast the next day, she finds him checked out. Permanently.  Shocking enough if he were stranger, but Lexy recognises that face. Menzies was her first love until he broke her heart many years ago.

What’s he doing at the Last Ditch? What’s he doing dead? And how can Lexy escape the fact that she alone had the means, the opportunity – and certainly the motive – to kill him?

 

Catriona McPherson (she/her) was born in Scotland and immigrated to the US in 2010. She writes: preposterous 1930s detective stories, set in the old country and featuring an aristocratic sleuth; modern comedies set in the Last Ditch Motel in fictional (yeah, sure) California; and, darker than both of those (which is not difficult), a strand of contemporary psychological thrillers.

Her books have won or been shortlisted for the Edgar, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Lefty, the Macavity, the Mary Higgins Clark award and the UK Ellery Queen Dagger. She has just introduced a fresh character in IN PLACE OF FEAR, which finally marries her love of historicals with her own working-class roots, but right now, she’s writing the sixth book in what was supposed to be the Last Ditch trilogy.

Catriona is a proud lifetime member and former national president of Sisters in Crime.  www.catrionamcpherson.com

A New Anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers of America: Love in the Lowcountry, Volume Two

by Paula Gail Benson

When I first became serious about writing, I joined a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, the Lowcountry Romance Writers (LRWA), based in Charleston, S.C. A friend from Columbia and I would travel back and forth on highway I-26E every month (about a 90-minute journey each way) to hear wonderful presentations about craft and marketing as well as to meet other writers and learn about their projects and goals.

My concentration has always been more on mystery and suspense fiction, but for a while the LRWA was the only local active group that provided contacts and insight on the publication industry. I learned a great deal and was very appreciative of the information I received.

A few years ago, I thought about discontinuing my LRWA membership because I had joined several Sisters in Crime chapters and had become involved with the Mystery Writers of America and its regional Southeast chapter (SEMWA). Then, LRWA offered its members the opportunity to have their short stories published in a chapter anthology. I had been writing short stories and felt like I would like to try my hand at romance, so I continued to belong to the chapter. To be accepted for the anthology, each story had to take place during the winter holidays (Thanksgiving to New Years), take place in Charleston, go through two vigorous beta readings, and meet deadlines. In addition, each author had to develop promos to be used in social media. (I have always been impressed that romance writers know how to effectively sell their fiction!) The whole process was like boot camp and it was tremendously successful. Love in the Lowcountry gave both experienced and new writers a chance for publication and the sales made money for the chapter. I felt it a true privilege to be part of the work.

This year, the chapter decided to develop Love in the Lowcountry, Volume Two. Like the first volume, it included established writers along with debut authors. It expanded the holiday season (from Halloween to Valentine’s Day) and the territory (anywhere in South Carolina). The eleven included romances feature contemporary and historical settings; time travel, magical realism, and paranormal elements; sweet to spicy storylines; and LGBTQ+ characters.

Here’s a brief summary of each story:

“A Sunrise Christmas” by Linda Joyce – In others, Lauren “sees” their heart’s desire, but Justice hopes he can open her eyes to love.

“Candlemas” by Paula Gail Benson – Can they find their way through time, and to love?

“Chase” by Suzie Webster – A Lowcountry Liaisons Short Story – He thought love wasn’t in the cards, but a second chance may change his luck.

“Edi-Snow!” by HM Thomas – After the storm, the snow won’t be the only thing melting.

“Let Me Call You Sweetheart” by J. Lynn Rowan – One disappointed in romance. The other hiding from life. A chance encounter makes them wonder – could this be true love?

“Maeve’s Welcome Home” by Addie Bealer – Friends. Lovers. Business rivals. Can they have it all?

“No Regrets” by Robin Hillyer-Miles – Neither planned to be single and sixty but a cute meet and an intense attraction could change all that.

“Second Chances” by Victoria Houseman – Second chances are often the best chances when it comes to love.

“The One That I Want” by Elaine Reed – Charleston welcomed her with open arms, but she longs for a different embrace.

“Watchman’s Remedy” by Victoria Benson – Struggling to understand her reality, Cora falls…for an 18th century pirate.

“When It’s Meant to Be” by Danielle Gadow – Relationships evolve, but how will they know “When It’s Meant to Be”?

By purchasing Love in the Lowcountry, Volume 2, you’ll be helping to support LRWA, which in turn will continue to offer authors programs to improve their craft and marketing skills. Please give it your consideration.

A New Anthology by the Bethlehem Writers Group: An Element of Mystery

by Paula Gail Benson

The Bethlehem Writers Group holds a special place in my heart. My first short story appeared in its online publication, the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. At that time, the monthly Roundtable was a nonpaying market, but I remember how thrilled I was to be selected as the February featured story and asked to write a top ten list for the issue. I compiled my favorite romantic musicals, including Sound of Music, 1776 (remember the songs between John and Abigail Adams), La Cage aux Folles, Bye, Bye Birdie, and Hello Dolly!

Since that time (2013) and that story (“Nectar of the Gods”), I had two additional featured stories in the Roundtable, “Long in the Tooth,” which received third place in the 2013 short story contest (that year judged by Hank Phillippi Ryan) and later was reprinted in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s winter anthology, Let it Snow, and “Cosway’s Confidence,” which placed second in the 2020 short story contest. My tale of interspecies mediation, “Apple’s Lure,” appeared in the 2014 July-August issue.

During pandemic times, the Group began meeting by Zoom. I felt privileged when along with Debra H. Goldstein I was asked to join.

This year, Debra’s “Death in the Hand of the Tongue” and my “Sense Memory” appear in the Group’s An Element of Mystery: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of Intrigue. The anthology contains twenty-three stories, all by Group members except for the two by contest winners: “Good Cop/Bad Cop” by Trey Dowell (the 2021 short story winner, judged by Charlaine Harris) and “The Tabac Man” by Eleanor Ingbretson (the 2022 short story winner, judged by Kate Carlisle). Members of the Group whose stories appear in the volume are Courtney Annicchiarico, Jeff Baird, Peter J Barbour, A. E. Decker, Marianne H. Donley, Ralph Hieb, D.T. Krippene, Jerry McFadden, Emily P. W. Murphy, Christopher D. Ochs, Dianna Sinovic, Kidd Wadsworth, Paul Weidknecht, and Carol L. Wright.

While many of the stories involve crimes, the required element was mystery, so some focus on puzzles rather than unsolved offenses. With expert editing and selection of cover design by Marianne H. Donley and Carol L. Wright, the anthology was released in September and is a perfect gift for the holidays. By purchasing An Element of Mystery, you’ll be helping to support a Group that is developing and supporting writers. Please give it your consideration.

An Interview with Saul Golubcow

by Paula Gail Benson

Last Monday, I introduced you to Saul Golubcow, whose Frank Wolf and Joel Gordon mysteries have just been compiled in The Cost of Living and Other Mysteries, available through Amazon and the publisher Wildside Press. As I mentioned in last week’s post, I’ve enjoyed reading each new story and been bold enough to ask Saul for more! I think you’ll find his characters and situations so intriguing it’s difficult to put a story down until the end. Saul’s been gracious enough to answer some questions about his life and how he found his way to writing fiction.

Thank you, Saul, for agreeing to be with us.

If you haven’t already been reading his work, now is a great time to start!

(1)        What made you decide to write fiction? 

Hard question as it suggests a definable or rational causality. But here goes. I think when I was much younger, feeling inside a pulse and rhythm of the English language and resonating viscerally to so much of what I read, I thought perhaps I could bring forth life through a fictional rendering. And perhaps I thought if others can do it, why can’t I? But in the same way I try to present Joel in my stories, I was immature not so much from an impulsive or know-it-all perspective, but rather as Joni Mitchell may have put it, I couldn’t see “both sides now.” It took decades of growing up to feel comfortable with myself writing fiction. Writing non-fiction opinion pieces demands much less in its two-dimensional approach to a subject. But I realized if I wanted to really depict Holocaust survivors, I had to devise a multi-dimensional way which could only be done through a fictional world of relationships, tensions, nobility, hypocrisy, loss, and vindication. I thought I was finally ready to create lives.

(2)        How did you create the characters of Frank Wolf and his grandson Joel Gordon? 

An easier question. As I mention in the “Acknowledgments” section, for one of my drawer-kept projected stories, I thought about the life and personality of my father-in-law. He had lost his first family during the Holocaust, and he arrived in the United States in later middle age following the Hungarian Revolution. He was well versed in religious practice, history, arts, the sciences, and the technologies of his time. I was also struck by his various observations of the human condition. Although he never attempted private detective work, he often spoke of “critical analyses” as an imperative for reining in impulsive and rash decision-making, the core skill of a good detective. I back then wondered, might I create a Holocaust survivor character who becomes a private detective in Brooklyn?

But also, Frank Wolf represents that spirit of Holocaust survivors that has insisted that while they suffered horrible victimization, they would not succumb to victimhood. Even before I met my father-in-law, this response to suffering was bred in my bones. I also saw it in my own family. My parents also lost whole families in the Holocaust. Grateful for the opportunity to make a living as poultry farmers in South Jersey even though they knew nothing of farming, nor later of being hotel managers in Atlantic City, they demonstrated a resilience in the midst of enduring pain, building a new life in which my sister and I were protected and a path into our future developed. My father often insisted, “I can’t give up.” These traits are infused into my Holocaust survivors’ characters, regardless of their individual and differing personalities.

As for Joel, I think my wife and I are the models for his character. Young, sometimes over-confident, sometimes self-doubting, sometimes respectful, sometimes imperious, we wrestled with our “Frank Wolf” and learned a good deal about love, trust, and respect as we did so.

(3)        Tell us a little about Frank’s background, which is unique. How did you develop it? 

As mentioned above, I took my father-in-law’s real-life background as the blueprint for Frank Wolf’s character. Before the War, though not a university professor, he was well educated in both secular and religious studies. He may have become a professor or a Rabbi or both had he, as the eldest male in the family, not been forced to take over the family business after the early death of his father. Frank Wolf before the Holocaust was the easiest task for me. The challenge was conceptualizing his life after, and seeing him as a private detective the way I present it in the stories seemed the right way to go.

(4)      How do you determine the length of a story? What length do you feel most comfortable writing? 

Intriguing question. When I am in short story conceptualization mode, I must deal with the constraints of forums accepting just so many words. So I go into “less is more” mode, and that’s ok for that particular genre. But as it occurred for me with “The Cost of Living” which was originally published as a short story, I wanted to say so much more about Frank’s background and life story that turned it into novella length. I gave myself the same leeway with the other stories (especially “The Dorm Murder”) because I wanted the reader to understand so much more about psyche, feeling, and crime solving method that I couldn’t advance in a word limited short story. I am comfortable novella length, but it’s possible my next mystery will be even longer.

Saul Golubcow

Saul’s Bio:

When he is not immersed in the New York of the 1970s with his detective Frank Wolf, Saul Golubcow lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife, Hedy Teglasi. His Jewish themed fiction centers on the complexity of and challenges Holocaust survivors in the United States have faced. His stories have appeared in Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Weekly, and Jewish Fiction.NetThe Cost of Living and Other Mysteries is his first book-length publication featuring Frank Wolf, a Holocaust survivor. In addition, his commentary on American Jewish culture and politics appear in various publications.