Christine Wiltz Receives the Prestigious Louisiana Writer Award for 2013

Los Angeles, CA

Premier Digital Publishing is honored to announce that novelist, essayist and screenwriter Christine Wiltz has been named recipient of the prestigious Louisiana Writer Award for 2013. The Louisiana Writer Award is chosen annually by a State Library-appointed committee to recognize extraordinary contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.

Wiltz's native New Orleans has inspired much of her work. The Neal Rafferty series about an Irish Channel detective includes The Killing Circle (1981), A Diamond Before You Die (1987) and The Emerald Lizard (1991). Glass House (1994) is about a police offer who was murdered near a violent New Orleans housing project. The highly acclaimed The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld (2000) is a biography of French Quarter legend, Norma Wallace. Wiltz describes her latest novel, Shoot The Money (2012) as "social commentary disguised as a dark-humor crime novel." It investigates women's ambition for money alongside themes of friendship and rivalry.

"Chris Wiltz is an immensely talented writer who brings an authentic feel and unique themes from her native New Orleans to vivid life," said Hutch Morton, President and Publisher of Premier Digital Publishing.

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will present Ms. Wiltz the Louisiana Writer Award on November 2, 2013 at the State Library of Louisiana in Baton Rouge. Ms. Wiltz will also discuss her work, including her latest book Shoot The Money, in a festival program with Susan Larson, host of WWNO's The Reading Life.

The Louisiana Writer Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary and intellectual life of Louisiana. Past recipients include novelists James Lee Burke, Ernest J. Gaines, Shirley Ann Grau, Elmore Leonard, Tim Gautreaux, Valerie Martin, James Wilcox and John Biguenet; children's author William Joyce; poets Yusef Komunyakaa and William Jay Smith; historian Carl A. Brasseaux; and scholar Lewis P. Simpson. For more information about Wiltz and the 2013 Louisiana Book Festival, please visit

Praise for The Neal Rafferty New Orleans Mystery Series:

The Killing Circle

"A lean, smart, warm-centered mystery debut - rich in unromanticized New Orleans backgrounds, shrewd character sketches, and steady, non-corny action." - Kirkus Reviews

"A well-made, Chandler style private investigator caper." - Publishers Weekly

"Wiltz brings a refreshing, individual outlook to the formula of hard-boiled detective fiction. Rafferty is his own man, less the loner and not as hard-edged as some shamuses." - Washington Post Book World

A Diamond Before You Die

"A tangle of corrupt politics, drug-peddling and shifting alliances...A hot affair." - Publishers Weekly

"So real are Wiltz's depiction of her scenes that we are tempted to try to find Rafferty's Euclid apartments on St. Charles [Avenue]." - New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Right up at the top of the list...ranks New Orleans private eye Neal Rafferty. A Diamond Before You Die is an elegant tale of sexual and political corruption with attractive characters, a tragic story and a very clever mystery." - Andrew Greeley, The Arizona Daily Star

The Emerald Lizard:

"Criminal characters of psychological intensity and authenticity...Chris Wiltz is one of the stars in mystery and crime fiction...she writes with humanity and heart." - James Lee Burke

"In his third appearance, two facts help likable, savvy New Orleans private eye Neal Rafferty solve this fact-paced, baffling mystery...Wiltz brings a story suffused with love for her hometown to a smashing, stormy climax. More please." - Publishers Weekly

"Lizard darts about like its namesake, and there is never a dull scene. Wiltz knows her hometown and can make it crackle. And her hero Neal is as rough as Bourbon Street." - The Houston Post

Praise for The Glass House:

"The Glass House is far more than a story about one city. It's about the fear and rage and desperation that are destroying us as a people and a nation. New Orleans itself becomes a living, wounded presence as pervasive as the smell of Confederate jasmine or the reek of garbage cans behind the Convent project. I have never read a better depiction of the tormented American heart." - James Lee Burke

"It is the painful and unflinching honesty with which Wiltz confronts the issue of crime and fear of crime that give her novel its strength and power...A novel that needs to be read on both sides of Convent Street." - The New York Times Book Review

"Wiltz' expertly paced story sustains real entertainment while causing readers to search their hearts for their own hidden version of Convent Street." - The San Francisco Chronicle

Praise for The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld:

"In this world, there are great characters who have no idea that they are great characters, and great characters who are fully aware of their greatness. Wallace must be counted among the latter. She had the wit of Dorothy Parker and the instinct for self-dramatization of Tallulah Bankhead." - Michael Lewis, The New York Times Book Review

"Christine Wiltz has done a remarkable and rare thing: she has captured perfectly the essential earthy complexity of the most fascinating city on this continent. The Last Madam is an exhilarating mardi gras of a book." - Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author

"Wiltz elevates [an] impeccably assembled historical narrative above its elementary bawdy elements into something more elegant and fragile: the resurrection of a secret world like those uncovered by Luc Sante and James Ellroy." - Publishers Weekly

"Juicy, jaunty."-Entertainment Weekly

"Wiltz also roams beyond Wallace's professional and romantic affairs to spotlight her state's infamously crooked politics, the licensed depravities of the French Quarter, and Wallace's humorous attempt to realize a pastoral ideal in the backwoods amid a community of righteous citizens."-Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Shoot The Money:

"Wiltz delivers fresh-sounding dialogue, and she powerfully evokes the feel of New Orleans on the rebound." - Toronto Star

"Chris Wiltz is one of the stars in mystery and crime fiction...Her themes shine, and she writes with both humanity and heart." - James Lee Burke

"Money is at the heart of this fast-paced, action-packed thriller which will especially delight female fans of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiasson. Wiltz writes about New Orleans as only an insider can, with both alarm and deep affection. Shoot the Money is unputdownable, funny, sad, and true." - Valerie Martin, Orange Prize winning author of Property

For more information on Ms. Wiltz's novels published by Premier Digital Publishing, please visit:

About Chris Wiltz:

Chris Wiltz, a native of New Orleans, is the author of six novels, including The Killing Circle, A Diamond Before You Die and The Emerald Lizard, all set in New Orleans and featuring Irish Channel detective Neal Rafferty. Her novel Glass House was praised by The New York Times as "unflinchingly honest" and a book that "needs to be read on both sides of Convent Street." Shoot The Money, her most recent fiction, is an edgy novel of ambition and friendship reminiscent of Thelma and Louise. The Last Madam, her biography of French Quarter legend Norma Wallace, is under option for film. Chris Wiltz is the recipient of the 2013 Louisiana Writer Award.


About Premier Digital Publishing:

Premier Digital Publishing is a leading independent digital publisher and innovator in eBooks, enhanced eBooks and interactive content. Led by a team of digital media pioneers, the company ranks among the top suppliers of quality print and eBook entertainment to the industry's most prominent tablet reader distributors and top-tier retailers.

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