NOT an April Fools’ Joke

Minnesota Mystery Night poster for Chris Norbury/ Connie Evningson Conversation

The Highlight of My Writing Career

The poster above is definitely NOT an April Fools’ Joke even though I still have a hard time believing I’ll get to have a long, hopefully interesting conversation with my favorite living singer, Minnesota’s own, the legendary Connie Evingson.

We’ll be the headliners at Minnesota Mystery Night at Axel’s Restaurant in Mendota Heights, MN on Monday, April 15, 7:00 pm. Space is limited and reservations are required. You can either reserve a table for dinner between 5 pm and about 6:30 or reserve a seat just for the conversation at 7:00. Either way, call Axel’s at the phone number on the poster.

Many of these events sell out well in advance, but you can get on the waiting list and hope for a late cancellation. Thankfully, Axel’s is pretty good about squeezing in latecomers. But don’t risk it if you want to get to know one of the greatest jazz singers in the world (and me).

If you’re not familiar with Connie Evingson, check out her website or her YouTube page to read about her and hear some tunes. The reason we’ll be chatting is that I actually mentioned her in Straight River during a scene at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant; a place my wife and I frequently visited when Connie performed there.

Here’s the passage from the book:

As the final number ended—a vocal arrangement of “Anthropology” written by local singing legend Connie Evingson {bold is mine] and performed at a breakneck tempo—the crowd stood as one and put all their remaining energy into resounding cheers and applause. They clamored to hear more, but an encore would be anticlimactic. Still, they gave the musicians a standing ovation that lasted until long after they’d left the stage.

Straight River cover

An interesting side note: I began writing Straight River in about 2011, back when we frequently went to the Twin Cities for music events, especially to hear Connie sing. I’ve been a fan of hers for most of her long career, going back the 1986 when she joined a fantastic local group, Moore by Four. I patterned the entire sequence at the Dakota in the book based on a typical Connie performance:  her warm, sensual, pitch-perfect voice, sublime musicianship, commanding stage presence, a kick-ass backup band, and her irresistible charisma. Connie was actually the inspiration for the young singer in the book, Justine Daigneault. As I said at the beginning of this post, this is NOT an April Fools’ joke. 😎

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Thanks for keeping them trickling in for the trilogy.

But I could still use more for Little Mountain, Big Trouble. My goal is to get to 50 total combined reviews on all review sites, but especially and If you’ve read the book, loved it or hated it or anything in between, please consider posting an honest few sentences about LMBT. It’s the best way for readers to find the book other than word of mouth . . . so don’t stop doing that either! 🙂

Little Mountain, Big Trouble print cover

It only takes a few minutes, and I truly appreciate your effort. Thanks.

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