Sunday, April 23, 2017

CHARACTER GUEST POST BY ZARA KEANE


ABOUT THE BOOK

Movies. Muffins. Murder.

Maggie Doyle moved to Ireland to escape her cheating ex and crumbling career in the San Francisco PD. When the most hated woman on Whisper Island is poisoned at her aunt’s Movie Theater Café, Maggie and her rock-hard muffins are hurled into the investigation.

With the help of her UFO-enthusiast friend, a nun, and a feral puppy, Maggie is determined to clear her aunt’s name. Can she catch the murderer before they strike again? Or will her terrible baking skills burn down the café first?

Cozy, quirky, and fun, this tongue-in-cheek mystery is a delicious introduction to the Movie Club Mysteries Series. Grab a cocktail and join Maggie as she takes her detective skills across the pond in Dial P For Poison.




GUEST POST WITH MAGGIE DOYLE

MOVIES CAN BE DEADLY


When I was a kid, I spent many summer vacations on Whisper Island, the blink-and-you-miss-it Irish island where my dad grew up. Coming from a city as large as San Francisco, I loved the freedom that I had on the island. I could roam unsupervised with my friends and get up to all kinds of mischief. We swam in the sea, climbed rocks, and explored the medieval ruins that dotted the island.

One of my favorite places to explore was the old movie theater in Smuggler’s Cove, Whisper Island’s one and only town. Every time we drove past or walked by, Aunt Noreen would tell me she planned to buy the movie theater one day and renovate it. We’d peek in through the cracks in the boarded up windows and plan the décor. Before long, my aunt’s dream became mine, and I threw myself into Noreen’s fanciful plans for the place.

When I was older, my cousin, Julie, showed me a way to sneak inside the abandoned movie theater. We explored every inch of the building, unstable staircase and all, and found old film reels still in their metal boxes, as well as old movie posters. Noreen collected vintage movie magazines and Julie and I pored over their contents and experimented with styling our hair like Forties movie stars. By the time I turned eighteen, I’d watched every old movie I could get my hands on, including the silent classics. I was more knowledgeable about movies made long before I was born than I was about the modern pictures the kids at school raved about.

Although I hadn’t been back to Whisper Island for eleven years before I moved there a couple of months ago, I never lost my love of old movies. One of the wonderful aspects to moving to Whisper Island was discovering that Noreen had made good on her dream. She’s now the proud owner of the newly renovated Movie Theater Café. Every month, her movie club watches a classic movie in the small theater at the back of the café. I love the club, but our meetings don’t always go according to plan. But how could any of us have known that Sandra Walker, Whisper Island’s most vicious gossip, would be poisoned during a screening of Dial M For Murder? With the killing taking place in my aunt’s café, and the poison added to a cocktail that I’d made, I had to help solve the crime. It wasn’t like the bumbling Sergeant O’Shea was going to interrupt his golf plans to catch a killer! If you’d like to read more about my adventures, check out Dial P For Poison, Book 1 of the Murder Club Mysteries, out April 13. And for even more movies, mayhem, and murder, join me in the second book, The Postman Always Dies Twice, out April 20.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


USA Today bestselling author Zara Keane grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and spent her summers in a small town similar to the fictional Smuggler’s Cove, the setting of her new cozy mystery series.

She currently lives in Switzerland with her family. When she’s not writing or wrestling small people, she drinks far too much coffee, and tries – with occasional success – to resist the siren call of Swiss chocolate.



Connect with Zara:

Website Facebook  |   Goodreads   |   Reader Group 

Buy the book:Amazon  | 


Friday, April 21, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY




ABOUT THE BOOK

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky . . .  if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.


TWENTY QUESTIONS WITH SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY


1. Love or money?
I write romance. Love!

2. Plain or peanut? 
Plain.

3. Beef or chicken?  
I grew up in Texas, so beef. : )

4. Coffee or tea?
Coffee and lots of it.

5. Oxford comma: yes or no?
LOL. I’ve written 60 books and still am not sure what that is.
**Editor's note: I was thrilled to see a recent article in favor of the Oxford comma!

6. Hardback or Kindle?
Some authors I always buy their hardcovers, but I have two kindles. I love getting books in ten seconds.

7. Salty or sweet?
Sweet Especially if it involves cookies.

8. City or country?
City. As much as I love visiting my Amish friends in the country, I enjoy the excitement of being in the city. 

9. Dog or cat?
Dog. Specifically, dachshund.

10. Fame or fortune?
Fortune.

11. Laptop or desktop?
Desktop.

12. Health food or junk food? 
I’m *trying* to eat healthy but junk food in a pinch.

13. Mountains or beach?
 Beach.

14. Gourmet or diner?
Gourmet, though I’m not a picky eater, especially if I didn’t have to cook it or do the dishes.

15. Sweet or unsweet? (Tea of course.)
Unsweet. Always.

16. Humor or drama?
Drama.

17. Dr. Seuss or Mr. Spock?
LOL. Dr. Seuss!

18. Halloween or Christmas?
Christmas.

19. Spring of fall?
Fall.

20. Morning or night?
Morning, I’m usually in bed by 10:00. So boring, I know.


EXCERPT FROM HER SECRET

CHAPTER 2

Someone was coming. After reeling in his line, Isaac Troyer set his pole on the bank next to Spot, his Australian shepherd, and turned in the direction of the noise.

He wasn’t worried about encountering a stranger as much as curious to know who would walk through the woods while managing to disturb every tree branch, twig, and bird in their midst. A silent tracker, this person was not.

Beside him, Spot, named for the spot of black fur ringing his eye, pricked his ears and tilted his head to one side as he, too, listened and watched for their guest to appear.

When they heard a muffled umph, followed by the crack of a branch, Isaac began to grow amused. Their visitor didn’t seem to be faring so well.

He wasn’t surprised. That path was rarely used and notoriously overrun with hollyhocks, poison oak, and ivy. For some reason, wild rosebushes also ran rampant there. Though walking on the old path made for a pretty journey, it also was a somewhat dangerous one, too. Those bushes had a lot of thorns. Most everyone he knew chose to walk on the road instead.

He was just wondering if, perhaps, he should brave the thorns and the possibility of rashes to offer his help—when a woman popped out.

The new girl. Hannah Hilty.

Obviously thinking she was completely alone, she stepped out of the shade of the bushes and lifted her face into the sun. She mumbled to herself as she pulled a black sweater off her light-blue short-sleeved dress. Then she turned her right arm this way and that, frowning at what looked like a sizable scrape on it.

He’d been introduced to her at church the first weekend her family had come. His first impression of her had been that she was a pretty thing, with dark-brown hair and hazel-colored eyes. She was fairly tall and willowy, too, and had been blessed with creamy-looking pale skin. But for all of that, she’d looked incredibly wary.

Thinking she was simply shy, he’d tried to be friendly, everyone in his family had. But instead of looking happy to meet him or his siblings, she’d merely stared at him the way a doe might stare at an oncoming car—with a bit of weariness and a great dose of fear.

He left her alone after that.

Every once in a while he’d see her. At church, or at the market with her mother. She always acted kind of odd. She was mostly silent, sometimes hardly even talking to her parents or siblings. Often, when he’d see her family in town shopping, she usually wasn’t with them. When she was, he’d see her following her parents. With them, yet separate. Silently watching her surroundings like she feared she was about to step off a cliff.

So, by his estimation, she was a strange girl. Weird.

And her actions just now? They seemed even odder. Feeling kind of sorry for her, he got to his feet. “Hey!” he called out.

Obviously startled, Hannah turned to him with a jerk, then froze.

Her unusual hazel eyes appeared dilated. She looked scared to death. Rethinking the step forward he’d been about to do, he stayed where he was. Maybe she wasn’t right in the mind? Maybe she was lost and needed help.

Feeling a little worried about her, he held up a hand. “Hey, Hannah. Are you okay?”

But instead of answering him, or even smiling back like a normal person would, she simply stared.
He tried again. “I’m Isaac Troyer.” When no look of recognition flickered in her eyes, he added, “I’m your neighbor. We met at church, soon after you moved in. Remember?”

She clenched her fists but otherwise seemed to be trying hard to regain some self-control. After another second, color bloomed in her cheeks. “I’m Hannah Hilty.”

“Yeah. I know.” Obviously, he’d known it. Hadn’t she heard him say her name? He smiled at her, hoping she’d see the humor in their conversation. It was awfully intense for two neighbors having to reacquaint themselves.

By his reckoning, anyway.

She still didn’t smile back. Actually, she didn’t do much of anything at all, besides gaze kind of blankly at him.

Belatedly, he started wondering if something had happened to her on her walk. “Hey, are you okay? Are you hurt or something?”

Her hand clenched into a fist. “Why do you ask?”

Everything he wanted to say sounded mean and rude. “You just, uh, seem out of breath.” And she was white as a sheet, looked like she’d just seen a monster, and could hardly speak.

Giving her an out, he said, “Are you lost?”

“Nee.”

He was starting to lose patience with her. All he’d wanted to do was sit on the bank with Spot and fish for an hour or two, not enter into some strange conversation with his neighbor girl.

“Okay, then. Well, I was just fishing, so I’m going to go back and do that.”

Just before he turned away, she took a deep breath. Then she spoke. “I’m sorry. I know I’m not making any sense.”

“You’re making sense.” Kind of. “But that said, you don’t got anything to be sorry for. It’s obvious you, too, were looking for a couple of minutes to be by yourself.”

“No, that ain’t it.” After taking another deep breath, she said, “Seeing you took me by surprise. That’s all.”

Isaac wasn’t enough of a jerk to not be aware that seeing a strange man, when you thought you were alone, might be scary to a timid girl like her.

“You took me by surprise, too. I never see anyone out here.”

Some of the muscles in her face and neck relaxed. After another second, she seemed to come to a decision and stepped closer to him. “Is that your dog?”

“Jah. His name is Spot, on account of the circle around his eye.”

“He looks to be a real fine hund.” She smiled.

And what a smile it was. Sweet, lighting up her eyes. Feeling a bit taken by surprise, too, he said, “He’s an Australian shepherd and real nice. Would you like to meet him?”

“Sure.” She smiled again, this time displaying pretty white teeth.

“Spot, come here, boy.”

With a stretch and a groan, Spot stood up, stretched again, then sauntered over. When he got to Isaac’s side, he paused. Isaac ran a hand along his back, then clicked his tongue, a sign for Spot to simply be a dog.

Spot walked right over and rubbed his nose along one of Hannah’s hands.

She giggled softly. “Hello, Spot. Aren’t you a handsome hund?” After she let Spot sniff her hand, she ran it along his soft fur. Spot, as could be expected, closed his eyes and enjoyed the attention.

“Look at that,” Hannah said. “He likes to be petted.”

“He’s friendly.”

“Do you go fishing here much?” she asked hesitantly.

“Not as much as I’d like to. I’m pretty busy. Usually, I’m helping my father on the farm or working in my uncle’s woodworking shop.” Because she seemed interested, he admitted, “I don’t get to sit around and just enjoy the day all that much.”

“And here I came and ruined your peace and quiet.”

“I didn’t say that. You’re fine.”

She didn’t look as if she believed him. Actually, she looked even more agitated. Taking a step backward, she said, “I should probably let you get back to your fishing, then.”

“I don’t care about that. I’d rather talk to you.”

Her eyes widened. “Oh?”

“Jah. I mean, we’re neighbors and all.” When she still looked doubtful, he said, “Besides, everyone is curious about you.”

“I don’t know why. I’m just an Amish girl.”

He thought she was anything but that. “Come on,” he chided. “You know what I’m talking about.”
Looking even more unsure, she shook her head.

“First off, I’ve hardly even seen you around town, only on Sundays when we have church. And even then you never stray from your parents’ side. That’s kind of odd.”

“I’m still getting used to being here in Kentucky,” she said quickly.

“What is there to get used to?” he joked. “We’re just a small community in the middle of cave country.”

To his surprise, she stepped back. “I guess getting used to my new home is taking me a while. But that doesn’t mean anything.”

Aware that he’d hurt her feelings, he realized that he should have really watched his tone. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I was just saying that the way you’ve been acting has everyone curious. That’s why people are calling you ‘The Recluse.’ ”

“ ‘The Recluse’?”

“Well, jah. I mean you truly are an Amish woman of mystery,” he said, hoping she’d tease him right back like his older sister would have done.

She did not.

Actually, she looked like she was about to cry, and it was his doing.

When was he ever going to learn to read people better? Actually, he should knock some sense into himself. He’d been a real jerk. “Sorry. I didn’t intend to sound so callous.”

“Well, you certainly did.”

“Ah, you are right. It was a bad joke.”

“I better go.”

Staring at her more closely, he noticed that those pretty hazel eyes of hers looked kind of shimmery, like a whole mess of tears was about to fall. Now he felt worse than bad.“Hey, are you going to be okay getting home? I could walk you back, if you’d like.”

“Danke, nee.”

Reaching out, he grasped Spot by his collar. “I don’t mind at all. It will give us a chance to—”

She cut him off. “I do not want or need your help.” She was staring at him like he was scary. Like he was the type of guy who would do her harm.

That bothered him.

“Look, I already apologized. You don’t need to look at me like I’m going to attack you or something. I’m just trying to be a good neighbor.”

She flinched before visibly collecting herself. “I understand. But like I said, I don’t want your help. I will be fine.”

When he noticed that Spot was also sensing her distress, he tried again even though he knew he should just let her go. “I was done fishing anyway. All I have to do is grab my pole. Then Spot and I could walk with you.”

“What else do I have to say for you to listen to me?” she fairly cried out. “Isaac, I do not want you to walk me anywhere.” She turned and darted away, sliding back into the brush. No doubt about to get covered in more scratches and poison ivy.

Well, she’d finally said his name, and it certainly did sound sweet on her lips.

Too bad she was now certain to avoid him for the rest of her life. He really hoped his mother was never going to hear about how awful he’d just been. She’d be so disappointed.

He was disappointed in himself, and was usually a lot more patient with people. He liked that about himself, too. And this girl? Well, she needed someone, too. But she seemed even afraid of her shadow.

***
Excerpt from Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Shelley Shepard Gray. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Connect with Shelley:
Website  |   Facebook  |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Pinterest  

Buy the book:
Amazon 


Giveaway!

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Shelley Shepard Gray and HarperCollins Publishers. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com gift card. The giveaway begins on April 15th and runs through May 2nd, 2017. This giveaway is for US residents only.
Void where prohibited by law.


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

IT'S RAINING COZIES!!

GRAB YOUR UMBRELLA AND YOUR CREDIT CARD AND GET SOME GREAT COZIES FOR FREE OR
99 CENTS!




Check out a lot of great authors in the It's Raining Cozies promotion!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: JULIE CHASE



ABOUT THE BOOK

Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats--and one very dead Annie.



Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie's family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie's fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie--if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.



Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.






INTERVIEW WITH JULIE CHASE


Julie, do you write every day?
Yes! But I try to take one weekend day off. (It doesn’t always work out.) I typically write Monday through Friday from the time my youngest child’s school bus leaves until my oldest child’s bus comes home. It’s a constant and ongoing affair, writing. The work never ends because my brain never rests, and the juggle/struggle is real. Being a mom who is engaged in the three miraculously full lives of her offspring while pursuing a personal dream is hard. Daunting, even. And some days it’s flat out impossible, but I never stop trying. I also write after they are asleep at night, and I get up at 5am for a jump-start on the work, before their alarms begin dragging them from bed. 

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
I wish I would have taken more time getting started. I tend to run headlong at my goals, full speed ahead, and I think if I could do it over again, I would have taken my time getting those first stories published. I wouldn’t have rushed to find an agent. I would have honed my craft and waited for the right opportunities, right presses, right representation, before entering the industry. But, that’s not like me at all, so… *laughs* The important thing is that I have all that now. I just wish I would’ve slowed down at the beginning and made better choices early on.

What books do you currently have published?
I’ve just finished a romantic suspense manuscript that will release in February 2018 from Harlequin Intrigue. That will be my twenty-first published novel. There are currently about sixteen out there in the wild. Some sweet romance. Some young adult. Cat Got Your Secrets, the third book in this Kitty Couture Mysteries series will release in September, and my first Christmas cozy, The Twelve Slays of Christmas (written as Jacqueline Frost) releases in October. My dance card is filling up fast!


Is writing your dream job?

Yes! I was thirty-three before I had any idea that I could be an author. I’d never given much thought to how books got on shelves until I saw an interview with Stephenie Meyer (the author of Twilight). She was a stay at home mother of three just like me, and she’d never written anything before Twilight, but she wound up on my bookshelf. That was all it took for me to be bitten by the writing bug. I walked away from that interview wondering if I too could write a novel. Turns out, I could! And I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.


What do you love about where you live?
Everything. I live in a semi-rural area of Ohio. The crime is low. The schools are good. We’ve got a great “small town” vibe here and a strong sense of community. People are friendly. Life moves a little slower. There are plenty of parks, tow paths, and rivers to get away and enjoy the beauty of nature or a day on the water. And the seasons. Wow. The seasons are magnificent. Absolutely mind-bogglingly gorgeous.


What’s your favorite thing to do on date night?

My favorite night out is a slow walk along a street of local shops with a coffee or an ice cream in hand and at least an hour lost in a book store.

What’s your favorite fast food?
Chipotle! I LOVE the veggie bowl with white rice, fajitas, black beans, lettuce, cheese, guac, and tomato salsa. YUM.



Where is your favorite place to visit?

The ocean. I’m completely at peace there. Mesmerized by the sea air and endless movement, by the way the horizon meets the water. I think I am perhaps part mermaid.

What’s your least favorite chore?

Laundry. Good night. The Laundry! It never ever ends. There is no satisfaction from completing the chore because it’s never finished. And I hate it. 


Describe yourself in 5 words.
Kind. Compassionate. Loving. Fun. Determined.


What are you working on now?

I’m writing book 4 in the Kitty Couture Mysteries. Cat Got Your Crown, and so far, I’m in love.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast, and the alter-ego of author Julie Anne Lindsey. Today she hopes to make readers smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her fantastically patient husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Connect with Julie:
Website  |   
Facebook  |   Twitter  |   Goodreads  

Buy the book: 
Amazon   |   B&N   |   BAM!  |  IndieBound


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Monday, April 17, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: RANDI PERRIN


Love has never been Cheryl Brigham’s plan. She’s not cut out for second dates, Love has never been Cheryl Brigham’s plan. She’s not cut out for second dates, relationships, or happily ever afters. All that changes when she’s on vacation in Paris. First dates lead to second dates, which leads to a whole lot more than she ever bargained for—but she knows it's all over when she returns home. That’s okay with her. When it’s no-strings-attached, what will Cheryl do when her heart gets tangled up?

Note: This is book of a series. While it is not necessary to read the predecessor, Virtue of Death, before reading this book, it is highly recommended.




INTERVIEW WITH RANDI  PERRIN


Randi, how did you get started writng?

I started writing poetry, actually. That’s how I was first published, back when I was thirteen. My degrees are in Journalism and Mass Communications so writing has always been there, it’s just at work I write non-fiction. But that never satisfied my soul, I always had something knocking at me. For years I denied the muse—I was in my early twenties, and I knew better than everyone, and writing wasn’t what I wanted to do, despite the fact sometimes ideas would come to me and not go away. When I had a health crisis, my entire perspective changed, and I realized life was too damn short not to do what you want to do, so I started writing. (You’ll actually see this referenced in the dedication of the first in the Earthbound Angels series, Virtue of Death.)

Do you write every day?

No. I don’t. I just don’t have it in me, I have to take a break from time-to-time, plus I would like the chance to hang out with my daughter before she hits her teenage years and hates me for existing. I’ll have plenty of time to write then when she’s slamming doors and avoiding me.

What’s more important – characters or plot?
Characters! I’m a big fan of letting the inmates run the asylum—I mean letting the characters write their story—so the moment they finally step up and throw my original plot for a loop is when it starts to get good. If the characters are strong and have a mind of their own, in my experience, the plot is better. I’ve started pieces where the characters never really became real for me, and those pieces were abandoned. I don’t believe in forcing it. When it’s ready to be written, it will be.

What books do you currently have published?

There’s the Earthbound Angels series and the first two books are out.Virtue of Death, which is Sera’s story, and Promises of Virtue, which is her best friend, Cheryl’s, story. There
will be one more in this series.

I’ve also got a m/m romance novella out, called Wreck You. This story is a slightly heavy
read, insomuch as it touches on addiction and depression. It’s a story of second chances and
miscommunication.

I’ve also been in an anthology here and there. There was Unintentional: North American
Edition, which is a collection of friends-to-lovers tales. In late April, I’ll be a part of another
anthology, called Food & Romance Go Together.

What’s the oldest thing you own and still use?
My husband?
No, really, I’m a book nerd like none other. When I was a teenager, I started collecting really old books, starting with a biography of Robert E. Lee from 1895 (don’t judge, I grew up in Virginia and we believe he walked on water there). I’ve learned how to spot good ones and some of my favorites include a dictionary from 1865; a first edition, fifth print of Gone With the Wind, a first edition, first print of Charlotte’s Web; and a printing of Mary Poppins with the spine printed upside down. I don’t crack the spines on these (for obvious reasons), but I do use them to make people jealous.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
Food Network.

I absolutely adore watching people cook, and I have since I was a kid. My mom used to catch me watching cooking shows on PBS before there was a Food Network. Virtue of Death actually features a baker, because I love baking (cheesecake is my specialty) and wanted to use all the cool baking knowledge I had both from experience and countless hours in front of Food Network shows.

Where is your favorite place to visit?

Paris, France and the surrounding areas (particularly the Loire Valley). I’ve been twice and if you asked me to start planning my next vacation tomorrow, I’d do it again. I just can’t get enough of it. There’s something so freakin’ cool about standing on the ground where French monarchy stood hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Therefore, it should come as no big shock that Promises of Virtue is all about Cheryl visiting the amazing places France has to offer. She’s obsessed with fine art, and there’s definitely plenty of it to spare in the City of Lights.

Would you rather be a movie star, sports star, or rock star?
Rock star. Oh, what I would give to be able to sing. I absolutely love music, so it seems a cruel joke that the tone-deaf fairy beat me mercilessly with the tone-deaf stick early in my life.

If you could be any movie star, sports star or rock star, who would you want to be?
Nicole Kidman, because she’s married to my favorite male on the planet, Keith Urban.

Have you ever killed off a character fictionally, as revenge for something someone did in real life?

So far, none of the characters I’ve killed have been based on real people, though my buddy Gen Ryan writes romantic suspense and she actually killed off a character based on a guy I was complaining about.
I have, however, written a villain with a particular person in mind. I have one novella that’s coming out this summer, called Anticipating Temptation, and one of my beta readers told me, “I want to throat punch Lee.” I laughed and told her that the person he was based on deserved it too.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy?

Just one? Come on, that’s hard. The list is long and distinguished.

Nope. Sorry. Gotta narrow it down.
All right, if I have to pick just one, I’d say poor grammar. I have a shirt that I’m surprised isn’t threadbare yet, because I wear it all the time. It says “I am silently correcting your grammar.” It’s true. Some people consider good looks a turn-on, for me, it’s if that person can speak the English language properly. (Okay, good looks doesn’t hurt. Neither does having a good sense of humor. Call me selfish, but I want all three.)

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Half a gallon of milk, some leftover pizza, a quarter a bottle of red wine that I’m not really
digging, a whole bunch of Redd’s Apple Ales (I keep them on hand because I always bust out a #RejectionRedds for days when I receive a rejection.) Oh, yeah, there’s some healthy stuff in there like fruit, yogurt, and cheese, but you don’t want to hear about that.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?

The work-in-progress I’m working on now would be. It tackles some really dark issues that I have experienced in my life (so the emotion in it is coming from a very real place). Part of the difficulty stems from dredging up emotions I don’t want to feel again, part of it comes from the desire—nay, the need—to get it right to do the characters, and the people they are based on, justice.

You have a personal chef for the night. What would you ask him to prepare?

His name would be Gordon Ramsay and if Gordon Ramsay is in my kitchen, that man can prepare whatever the hell he wants. I’m a picky eater, but if he makes it, I’ll at least try it.

What’s your favorite smell?

I grew up in Virginia Beach (and that’s where Virtue of Death takes place!), so I spent a lot of time on the water. For me, it’s the very first whiff of salty sea air that hits my nostrils when I get home. Now, it’s really true of any beach, but all beaches I’ve been to smell different. (Believe it or not!) It’s a great smell elsewhere, but that first whiff of Sandbridge (my favorite beach back home), nothing can top that.


OTHER BOOKS BY RANDI PERRIN




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Randi has spent her entire life writing in one form or another. In fact, if she wasn't writing, she'd likely go completely and utterly insane. Her husband has learned to recognize when the voices are talking in her head and she needs some quality time with an empty Word file (the key to a successful marriage with a writer).
A pop-culture junkie, she has been known to have entire conversations in movie quotes and/or song lyrics. (You'll see this come up in her writing as well.)

She is the author of Virtue of Death, Promises of Virtue, Wreck You, and a story included in the anthology Unintentional.

 

Connect with Randi:
Website  |    Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Goodreads   |   Pinterest   |  Instagram 

Buy the book:
Hot Tree Publisher   |    Amazon  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

GUEST POST WITH STEVE HOCKENSMITH



ABOUT THE BOOK

Reformed con artist-turned-tarot reader Alanis McLachlan gets paid for predicting the future—too bad she didn’t see all the trouble in hers. First a figure from her past tries to drag her back into the life of crime she thought she’d left behind. Then a new suitor tries to sweep Alanis off her feet, forcing her on-again, off-again romance with hunky teacher Victor Castellanos to hit the skids. And then there’s the little matter of the client who gets an ominous reading from Alanis . . . and is promptly murdered. Danger is in the cards for Alanis, and she’ll need all her skill at reading people and reading tarot if she’s going to survive.


WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

A great read . . . ~Babs Book Bistro

This is a funny mystery filled with con men, an investigative reporter, mafia types, old ladies with uzis, a pony-tailed German man, and a touch of the occult.
~Teresa Trent, Author  
 
Give the Devil His Due is another fun addition to the Tarot Mystery Series. I must say that I am really enjoying this series! ~Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf 

I really love the layout of this book, you aren’t left guessing what the cards look like, they are in the book! An author that dots his i’s and crosses his t’s.

In this book there’s mystery, action, a little bit of melodrama and humour, perfect for anyone searching a good read! ~Varietats




GUEST POST WITH STEVE HOCKENSMITH


Musicians, I’m guessing, are inspired by music. Painters are inspired by paintings. Sculptors are inspired by sculptures. People who make art out of cat fur are inspired by…well, cats, probably.  But filmmakers are inspired by films. Etc.


And, yes, writers are inspired by writing. But it seems to me that writers — and novelists, in particular — aren’t just inspired by work in their own field. They’re inspired by movies and TV shows and songs, too. Maybe even by art made out of cat fur. (Coming soon to a bookstore near you — Macaramé Is Meow-der: A Cat Fur Art Mystery.)

The Tarot Mystery series I do with Lisa Falco was — surprise surprise — inspired by tarot cards. Lisa’s a great tarot reader, and her deep knowledge of the deck has been woven into each book. (The latest is Give the Devil His Due, I should mention. Because you know what else inspires writers? Sales!)
But it’s not just the tarot that made the series what it is. There were other influences, too. Influences like —

A book: I loved the way Mma Precious Ramotswe, the hero of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, helps her clients by solving mysteries that seem (when judged by the high bar set by, say, contemporary thrillers) low key and down to earth. Lisa and I wanted our tarot-reading hero, Alanis McLachlan, to do the same thing. We ended up straying a bit from that — the murder mystery in Give the Devil His Due is probably the wildest, wackiest one of the series — yet I think we’ve stayed true to our vision of Alanis as a sleuth who doesn’t just ask “Whodunnit?” but “Howyadoin'?” as well.

A series of movies: Alanis doesn’t have a socialite wife or a terrier, but like Nick Charles, the detective hero of the classic '30s and '40s Thin Man films, she’s got a breezy attitude and a shady past. Before I even knew I was a fan of the mystery genre, I watched those old movies over and over and over again. So when I finally started writing mysteries of my own, there was no way I could keep Nick’s irrepressible bonhomie out of my protagonist. (Big Red Amlingmeyer, the narrator of my “Holmes on the Range” mysteries, has it, too.)

A TV show: Speaking of irrepressible bonhomie, The Avengers has got it wall to wall. And I’m not talking about Captain America’s sprightly banter with Iron Man. The Avengers I’m talking about didn’t wear tights. Well, one of them kind of did. John Steed and Mrs. Emma Peel, the superspy team at the heart of the eccentric 1960s series The Avengers, solved mysteries while swilling champagne and sporting the grooviest Carnaby Street threads. (Mrs. Peel’s outfits usually had only enough threads to cover her body very, very tightly indeed.) While the series was goofier than the Tarot Mystery books, the light tone was an inspiration, as were the title cards that hinted at events about to unfold. (From an episode called “The Joker: Steed trumps an ace; Emma plays a lone hand.”) The latter we repurposed in the structure of our novels, with an interpretation of a tarot card opening its chapter and teasing what’s to come.

Cat fur art: You’ve just combed your kitty as a good pet owner should, and now it’s time to peel off and throw away all the excess hair stuck to the brush. But wait! Don’t you know you can make finger puppets with that?!? Inspired by the DIY spirit of the cat fur art movement, Lisa and I….

Oh, alright — I admit it. Cat fur art hasn’t had any influence on the Tarot Mystery series. Although — true story! — the illustrator who did the cover for the first book tried to slip in a cat even though there wasn't one in the book. Maybe he was like, "This is a cozy, right?" So I added a cat to the second book . . .  and then the cat didn't make it onto the cover.

I guess that's what I get for taking inspiration from something as far-out as the cover illustration . . . 



 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve Hockensmith’s first novel, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and Dilys awards. He went on to write four sequels as well as a pair of bestselling follow-ups to the international publishing sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. More recently, he wrote (with collaborator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder) the middle-grade mysteries Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab and Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

Connect with Steve:
Website    |   Facebook  |   Twitter  |   Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon   |   B&N


Friday, April 14, 2017

Twenty Questions with Edith Maxwell





ABOUT THE BOOK

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man's innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim's young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose's future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal―only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?




 

TWENTY QUESTIONS


Love or money? Love.

Plain or peanut? (M&Ms) Peanut, of course!

Beef or chicken? Chicken.

Coffee or tea? Coffee, but mostly dark roast decaf because I weaned myself from caffeine twenty years ago.

Oxford comma: yes or no? Of course!

Hardback or Kindle? Hardback when I can find it and I’m not traveling.

Salty or sweet? Salty.

City or country? Country, for sure.

Dog or cat? 3 cats!

Fame or fortune? Hmm. Neither? I guess I’ll go for fame.

Laptop or desktop? Laptop, but a large one I can see the screen and use a decent keyboard.

Health food or junk food? Healthy food.

Mountains or beach? Beach. Ah, toes in warm sand.

Gourmet or diner? Gourmet.

Sweet or unsweet? (Tea of course.) Unsweet.

Humor or drama? Drama.

Dr. Seuss or Mr. Spock? Dr. Seuss.

Halloween or Christmas? Halloween – I LOVE getting into costume.

Spring or fall? Spring, after a long New England winter, is heaven.

Morning or night? Morning, for sure.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edith Maxwell is an Agatha-nominated and national bestselling mystery author who writes the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries. Delivering the Truth, featuring a Quaker midwife sleuth in 1888, released in 2016 and is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery. Her story, "The Mayor and the Midwife," is the second Rose Carroll story to be nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Called to Justice releases in 2017.

Edith also writes the Local Foods Foods Mysteries. Mulcho do About Murder releases in 2017. Edith once owned and operated the smallest certified-organic farm in Essex County, Massachusetts.

As Maddie Day, Edith writes the Country Store Mysteries set in southern Indiana. When the Grits Hit the Fan releases in 2017.

Maddie Day also writes the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, with Murder on Cape Cod debuting in 2018.

Bluffing is Murder, the second in Edith’s Lauren Rousseau mystery series written as Tace Baker, features a Quaker linguistics professor. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics.

Edith's short stories have appeared in more than a dozen juried anthologies and magazines. She is active in Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and is President of SINC New England.

Edith, a fourth-generation Californian, has two grown sons and lives in an antique house north of Boston with her beau, their three cats, a small organic garden, and some impressive garden statuary. She worked as a software technical writer for almost two decades but now writes fiction full time.

Connect with Edith:
Website  |  Blog   |  Facebook  |   Twitter  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon



Monday, April 3, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: MADDIE DAY



ABOUT THE BOOK

Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s Country Store restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer? Robbie and her friend Lou go snowshoeing and find a contentious academic frozen under the ice. Police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff in Pans ‘N Pancakes the night before. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie absorbs local gossip about the professor’s past and develops her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way.







INTERVIEW WITH MADDIE DAY


Maddie, do you have a writing routine?

I am at my desk and writing every day (except Sunday) at seven. I work all morning on creative stuff, either first draft or revisions, then take my power walk. After lunch I use the afternoon for the business end of being an author: writing guest posts, arranging events, and finances. 

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?

The middle. The beginning is fun, and anything can happen. The end is exciting and it's satisfying to wrap up the story and make the puzzle work. But the middle? It's hard to get my arms around the first hundred pages, remember everything that happened, and still keep the story moving forward toward the end. I always despair, and I always get through it. But it's not easy for me.

How often do you read?
Daily, but sometimes I don't get through many pages. I love being on vacation or even after a surgery when I can read a book a day.

What is your writing style?

In this series, my style is light and funny. I love finding quirky Southern phrases for my police lieutenant, Buck Bird, to utter.

Well, if you like quirky Southern phrases, you just might like my Goose Pimple Junction series! What books do you currently have published?

This is my third Country Store Mystery. Writing as Edith Maxwell I have two historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries, with Called to Justice the most recent (and at least three more in the future), and four Local Foods Mysteries. Number five in the latter series, Mulch Ado About Murder, will release in late May.

Is writing your dream job?
Yes! I've been a writer all my life (journalism, academic writing, tech writing), but creating mystery fiction full time is the best job I've ever had.


What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
One summer in high school I went door-to-door with Fuller Brush catalogs. I hated it.  I don't like making cold calls, and even for a political candidate I adore I refuse to do door-to-door canvassing. I just can't. But I'll talk to a group of readers I don't know any day!

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
Our local public television affiliate. But that's the only one I watch, anyway (and that, rarely).

How do you feel about Facebook?
My names are Maddie and Edith, and we're Facebook addicts. I love it! I like to keep up with friends, relatives on the other coast, fellow authors. I spend way too much time over there.

For what would you like to be remembered?
Besides being a great mom to two sons, I'd like to be remembered for taking my readers out of their worlds, giving them a great story to live in for a few days, and restoring justice to the fictional world by the end of the book.

What scares you the most?
You realize I make up scary stuff for a living, right? I have always had a way too vivid imagination. Any noise in our antique home at night, particularly when I'm alone, terrifies me. The stories get cranking in my brain far too easily.

I hear you. Would you make a good character in a book?
Maybe. I've been pretty adventurous in my life I've had a half dozen careers, lived in places like West Africa, Brazil, and Japan, and taken certain risks that others find amazing.

What do you love about where you live?
I love the history in my town, and that I can walk everywhere (and do).


What’s your favorite thing to do on date night?
Strolling a few blocks to our local bistro and having an excellent meal. We always split the chocolate hangover cake for dessert.


What’s your favorite beverage?

An excellent glass of red wine.

What is one of your happiest moments?

Gazing at my adult sons when they are both home together and cooking dinner, music on, jokes being exchanged, and the kitchen full of delectable smells. I never get enough of them.


What are you working on now?
I am writing the first Cozy Capers Book Group mystery, Murder on Cape Cod. I'm excited for this new series, and just got back from a solo writing retreat week on Cape Cod where the books are set, soaking up flavors, accents, and scenery.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

National best-selling author Edith Maxwell is a 2017 double Agatha Award nominee for her historical mystery Delivering the Truth and her short story, “The Mayor and the Midwife.” She writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies, and she is honored to served as president of Sisters in Crime New England. A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, gardens, and wastes time as a Facebook addict north of Boston with her beau and three cats.



Connect with Maddie:
Website  |   Blog  |  Facebook  |  
Twitter  |  Goodreads  

Sales links:
Amazon


Thursday, March 30, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: ABBY L. VANDIVER




 ABOUT THE BOOK

It’s the sixth installment of an Amazon #1 Best Selling cozy mystery series by Author Abby Vandiver! South Seas Shenanigans continues the adventures of amateur sleuths, Logan Dickerson, archaeologist, and Vivienne Pennywell, aka, Miss Vivee - a five-foot nothing, ninety-something Voodoo herbalist.

Fans of this series have enjoyed the unusual, rarely heard causes of death that only Miss Vivee and her new husband can recognize, and this one doesn’t disappoint! Sail away on a Fijian paradise vacation with Logan, Miss Vivee and Mac as they suffer the shenanigans of a prankster, dance the Meke, and solve an untimely death. Oh, wait! Did I say “a” death? Make that two! Can you guess whodunit?

Additionally, Abby is offering a boxed set of the first three books in the series. Both South Seas Shenanigans and the Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Boxed Set were released March 29, 2017. Meanwhile, Abby had only planned to write one more book in the series, but in listening to her fans, she has decided to continue writing the series a little longer. Check out her website for more information.




INTERVIEW WITH ABBY VANDIVER


Abby, how did you get started writing?

A college professor didn’t believe I wrote an assignment because she said my grammar was bad, but the writing was so good that I should be writing prose. The two didn’t mix for her. I tried to improve my writing, and then later found I was a natural.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
My favorite thing is making people laugh. But it’s really hard. I’m funny in person, but to do that on paper is more difficult than I’d thought.

Do you have a writing routine?

I write thoughts and characters down in a notebook. I scribble in the margins, on the sides, bottom, and back of the pages. My son told me it looked like the writing of a madman. Actually, it’s just the beginning of my book.

Do you write every day?   
I try to write every day, but life gets in the way. But there is always a story going on in my head. Sometimes I have to write down ideas and conversations on napkins and receipts so I don’t forget them.

I can relate. What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
Learned about writing. I wrote well, especially persuasive, scholarly papers, but boy is that different. I learned so much about the “rules” of writing after I published my first book.

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
Staying on track. I just have so many things I want to say – to share with my readers. But everything in my head doesn’t belong in a book.

What’s more important – characters or plot? (You cannot say both!)
Both!! Haha. No. I think it’s the characters, right? They drive the plot. When you figure out who they how, how they react, then you know what will happen with the story. You should of course have a plot in mind when you start writing. That always helps.

What books do you currently have published?
I have about ten books. Three sci-fi-ish mystery books, six cozy mysteries, an historical fiction novel, and a Kindle Worlds book based on A.G. Riddle’s Atlantis Gene. I also have a short story in an anthology that I keep saying I’m going to make into a novel. So far, that’s only an idle threat.


What’s the oldest thing you own and still use?

My fingers and toes.

That's cheating! Is writing your dream job?
Yes!


If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?

It used to be MSNBC, but now it’s HGTV.

How do you feel about Facebook?

Facebook should not be for people to post all the happenings and drama in their life. I post info on my books, and sometimes I get suckered into debates, which I immediately regret after I post.

Would you make a good character in a book?

Yes. And I am a character in one of my books. Read them and see if you can guess!

What’s one thing you never leave the house without (besides your phone)?
I will definitely leave home with my cell phone. I usually don’t know where it is. But the answer is glasses. I need them for distance.

What’s your favorite beverage?
Pepsi. I think it’s a panacea.

What drives you crazy?
There are so many things that drive me crazy, consequently crazy is my normal state of being.

What is your superpower?
I have a way with people. 


What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?

I like to do nothing. Sometimes I don’t even turn on the television or the radio. I just enjoy the company of me.

Do you give your characters any of your bad traits?
Yes, and boy did reviewers hate that character!

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
South Euclid/Lyndhurst Library (Shhh! I’m there now).



Five Fives

5 things you need in order to write: The internet, paper to write on, a pen, a computer, and somewhere I can work out the story out loud.

5 things you never want to run out of: Vaseline, ice, love, tweezers, and wrinkle cream.


5 favorite foods: Pizza, chicken, Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese, pork chops, and BBQ ribs.

5 things you always put in your books: Humor, mystery, true facts, personalities of people I know, and the copyright page.

5 favorite places you’ve been: Nicaragua, Jamaica, Montreal, Aruba, and Lakeview Cemetery.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She'd always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.



Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, Book I in the Mars Origin "I" Series was an Amazon #1 bestseller. It was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She's penned a slew of novels since then and has even more in her head. Although she writes mostly mystery, she has co-authored a historical/women's fiction novel with author and friend, Kathryn Dionne, under the pen name Kathryn Longino. Currently she is working on several cozy mystery series, including the Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Series which was an Amazon #1 International Best Seller and soon-to-be released Normal Junction Paranormal Cozy Mystery Series.


A former lawyer and college professor, Abby has a bachelor's degree in Economics, a master's in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her wonderful grandchildren.

Connect with Abby:
Website  |  Blog  |  
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Boxed Set   |  South Seas Shenanigans