Wednesday, October 31, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: ELLEN BYRON




ABOUT THE BOOK


USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron is back at it with fan-favorite plantation B&B owner Maggie Crozat in a fourth installment of the Cajun Country mysteries. 

Southern charm meets the dark mystery of the bayou as a hundred-year flood, a malicious murder, and a most unusual Mardi Gras converge at the Crozat Plantation B&B.

It’s Mardi Gras season on the bayou, which means parades, pageantry, and gumbo galore. But when a flood upends life in the tiny town of Pelican, Louisiana―and deposits a body of a stranger behind the Crozat Plantation B&B―the celebration takes a decidedly dark turn. The citizens of Pelican are ready to Laissez les bon temps rouler―but there’s beaucoup bad blood on hand this Mardi Gras. 



Maggie Crozat is determined to give the stranger a name and find out why he was murdered. The post-flood recovery has delayed the opening of a controversial exhibit about the little-known Louisiana Orphan Train. And when a judge for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant is shot, Maggie’s convinced the murder is connected to the body on the bayou. Does someone covet the pageant queen crown enough to kill for it? Could the deaths be related to the Orphan Train, which delivered its last charges to Louisiana in 1929? The leads are thin on this Fat Tuesday―and until the killer is unmasked, no one in Pelican is safe. 



A simmering gumbo of a humorous whodunit, Mardi Gras Murder is the fourth piquant installment in USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s award-winning Cajun Country mysteries.


Book Details:


Title: Mardi Gras Murder

Author: Ellen Byron

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: Cajun Country mysteries, book 4

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (October 9th, 2018)

Print length: 304 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH ELLEN BYRON


A few of your favorite things: My rescue dogs and all my gorgeous needlepoint. Especially the Christmas ornaments.
Things you need to throw out: Pretty much everything else. Our house could be on that show, Hoarders, these days.


Things you need in order to write: My fingers and a computer.
Things that hamper your writing: The Internet and… the Internet.


Things you love about writing: The magic of coming up with a great plot twist or a truly unique turn of phrase.
Things you hate about writing: Having to tear myself away from Facebook.

Things you love about where you live: My neighbors! I live in the Hollywood Hills, and five of us gals power-walk at least one night a week. We call ourselves the West Donas Walkers because our neighborhood is nicknamed the Donas, and we’re on the west side of it.
Things that make you want to move: Typical Los Angeles complaints: terrible traffic and self-involved people. Also, I love rain and desperately miss is.

Words that describe you: Funny, loyal, pragmatic, driven, honest, questioning, passionate, caring, emotional.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Annoying, impatient, neurotic, stubborn, self-centered, opinionated, procrastinator.

Favorite foods: Chocolate, pasta, pizza, jambalaya, cake, gumbo, all kinds of meatball soups.
Things that make you want to throw up:  Coffee and cilantro. I despise them both. I have to rinse out my mouth if I accidentally eat either of them.

Favorite song: “Get Down Tonight,” by KC and the Sunshine Band. I consider it the best pop dance song ever written and no one will ever convince me otherwise.
Music that make your ears bleed: Heavy metal and anything by Drake. He is ALWAYS off key!

Favorite beverage: Unsweetened iced tea.

Something that gives you a pickle face: Sweetened iced tea – or any sugary drink.

Favorite smell: Night-blooming jasmine.

Something that makes you hold your nose: Tar.

Something you wish you could do: Dance en pointe in ballet. A dream of mine I never realized.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Spend money!

Something you like to do: Dance.
Something you wish you’d never done: Roll stop signs. All the tickets I’ve ever gotten – except for one speeding ticket – have been for rolling stop signs.

Last best thing you ate: Rum raisin cake. I was testing a recipe that will go into the fifth book in my Cajun Country Mystery series. Thumbs up for me, it came out great!

Last thing you regret eating: Rum raisin cake. It totally demolished my Weight Watchers points for the day.

Things you always put in your books: Recipes.
Things you never put in your books: Gory violence or torture of any kind. Yuck!

Things to say to an author: I love your series! 

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: You’re shorter in person than I thought you’d be.

Favorite things to do: Read, dance, needlepoint, hang with family and/or friends, wine-taste, just plain drink wine.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: Cleaning my house.

Things that make you happy: My doggies and my family, when everyone’s in a good mood. Also, see my list of “favorite things to do.”
Things that drive you crazy: People who would rather be right than happy.


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

Plantation Shudders
Body on the Bayou
A Cajun Christmas Killing





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellen Byron authors the Cajun Country Mystery series. A Cajun Christmas Killing and Body on the Bayou both won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery and were nominated for Agatha awards in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. Plantation Shudders, was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Mardi Gras Murder launched October 9th. Ellen’s TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles, and her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. She also worked as a cater-waiter for the legendary Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing.

Connect with Ellen:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Instagram

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  
Barnes & Noble  |  Bookbub








Monday, October 29, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: CAROLYN LAWRENCE




ABOUT THE BOOK


After the shocking death of her sister, Lily's life is shattered as she returns to her family's small hometown of Dacre, Georgia, to raise her socially awkward nephew Finn. But then a television show comes to town. When the lead actor Dutch Sturgess takes an interest in Finn's acting ability, then Lily herself, many around town are not happy. Especially Eli Bradley. Things quickly turn sour when the paparazzi uncover the secret Lily buried with her sister becomes front page news and unknowingly exposes the painfully abusive childhood Dutch tried to leave behind. The only comfort they have is with each other, but their bond will be tested when Eli and his brothers decide to make trouble for them. Lily and Dutch will take on a centuries-old moonshining feud with the Bradley boys, unsure if the town–and their love–can survive.




Book Details:


Title: The Mess We’re In

Author: Carolyn Lawrence

Genre: Romance


Series: The Dacre Anthology


Publisher: Carrick Press (August 14, 2018)

Print length: 258 pages







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH CAROLYN LAWRENCE



A few of your favorite things: I have a strong passion for ancestry and history, which runs rampant in my books. There is something romantic about digging into the dirt of the past and seeing what you find. I also enjoy sewing and cosplay. I just like creating. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as along as I am creating something.
Things you need to throw out: Those clothes I’m probably never going to fit into anymore, which are sadly out of date. 


Things you need in order to write: Music. I really don’t like writing without some music on. And a cold root beer.
Things that hamper your writing: My cats. I love them, but they really don’t like sharing the attention. 


Things you love about writing: The creation of a whole other world. You have the ability to design something, create something from scratch and play the ultimate chess game with the characters as you develop the story. There’s something rewarding about being able to do so. Also, I like the unknowing of it. While we might have control of the creation, the action seems to come from characters and we very rarely know exactly what is going on. It’s an adventure for the writer as much as it is for the characters.
Things you hate about writing: Sitting. I need a new chair. I really don’t hate anything but the sitting.

Easiest thing about being a writer: The writing. And the editing. I love editing.
Hardest thing about being a writer:
Being taking seriously, I suppose. Everyone thinks it’s just so easy to write; you just sit down and do it. But to write well takes skill and mastery which no one really seems to want to acknowledge and that is discouraging because you end up with statements like “I’d write a book if I had the time” hurled at you. We don’t have the time either, but we make it. That’s why we’re writers.

Things you love about where you live: It’s the South and I do love my South.
Things that make you want to move: Pollen. I’m allergic to everything that blooms here. And the traffic.

Things you never want to run out of: Toilet paper. Is that too obvious? Sorry I’m practical.
Things you wish you’d never bought: I really can’t think of anything? Probably yet another 6 pack of root beer. I really need to stop.


Words that describe you: Practical, intellectual, sarcastic, know-it-all, moody, introverted, funny, creative, observant.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Know-it-all, moody, distant, snobby,

Favorite song: "Heart and Soul" by T’Pau.
Music that make your ears bleed: Probably anything pop today.

Favorite smell: Jasmine and lemon (though not together)
.
Something that makes you hold your nose: Vanilla, pumpkin spice things, the obvious pungent though natural smells which come with daily life.

Something you’re really good at: I’m odd in that I’m good at a lot of things. If I put my mind to it, I can master just about anything. So can anyone else. You just must be willing to try.

Something you’re really bad at: I cannot, for the life of me, dribble a basketball. 


Something you wish you could do: I wish I could speak Gaelic.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Honestly, nothing. I love learning and everything I learn has a practical value in life.

People you consider as heroes: Gwendolyn Brooks is probably my biggest hero, because I had the privilege of meeting her in high school, and she was very encouraging of my writing. 

People with a big L on their foreheads: I dislike people who don’t understand boundaries.

Favorite places you’ve been:
Jackson, Wyoming and Moffat, Scotland.

Places you never want to go to again: Meridian, Mississippi, but there’s a story there. 

Favorite books: Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, To Kill a Mockingbird, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Huckleberry Finn, anything by Flannery O’Conner and Edgar Allan Poe.

Books you would ban: Most books have an audience, and I wouldn’t want to take that away from them, but if it is poorly executed then I would ban it, like Stephanie Meyer or E.L. James (which is my opinion, they are), but again, there are people who like them, so I would never say ban them, because I would rather see people reading. I just won’t read them.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: Stephen King, JK Rowling, Guillermo del Torro Evangeline Lily and Lou Diamond Phillips. They are all very inspirational to me.

People you’d cancel dinner on: Probably everyone, because I’m an introvert and if it consists of putting pants on, I’m usually a no.

Proudest moment: Publishing my book and handing it to the people who helped give me the courage to publish it. Pure joy for me.
Most embarrassing moment:
I do embarrassing things all the time. There’s no particular moment which is more embarrassing, but then again, I don’t really get embarrass by what I do. My friends on the other hand . . .



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Carolyn Lawrence is a writer and an instructor in Georgia. She holds a BS in Communications, a Masters in Humanities and a Doctorate in Education. She teaches Humanities, American Literature, Perspectives in Humanities and Film Studies.

Connect with Carolyn:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

Buy the book:

Amazon



Saturday, October 27, 2018

GUEST POST BY: ABIGAIL KEAM



ABOUT THE BOOK




Josiah joins an amateur thespian group that puts on plays in quirky places like public parks and crumbling antebellum mansions. It is a way to socialize, and Josiah feels lonely when her friend Hunter stops calling. Since the new play is being staged at Hunter’s ancestral home Wickliffe Manor, Josiah sees this as a win-win situation. She gets to have fun and remind Hunter that she is still alive and kicking. Hint. Hint.

What could go wrong? Everything!

Hunter ignores the acting group including Josiah, and it doesn’t help when the leading lady, Madison Smythe, drops dead on Hunter’s antique Persian rug. To make matters worse, Franklin, Hunter’s brother, is arrested for her murder!

Josiah does the only thing she can. She sends an S.O.S. to her daughter Asa to investigate the murder. Asa must also discover why a love note from Hunter was found in the dead woman’s coat pocket. Josiah is ready for romance, but she doesn’t want to fall in love with a cheater . . . and possibly a murderer!


Book Details:


Title: Death by Drama

Author: Abigail Keam


Genre: Cozy mystery


Series: A Josiah Reynolds Mystery, book 11


Publisher: Worker Bee Press (July 24, 2018)


Print length: 228 pages


On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








 GUEST POST BY ABIGAIL KEAM


Readers ask me how I get my ideas for the Josiah Reynolds Mystery Series, which is about an amateur beekeeping sleuth. I get them from a variety of sources. One is dreams. I sometimes dream my plots. Other storylines come from the headlines. Death By Bridle, Death By Drama, and my soon-to-be released Death By Stalking are based on true events. I change the names and some of the events, but the stories are basically true. 

In all my novels, I try to be as factual as possible. To understand the culture in the Bluegrass, you have to understand the past. As Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That is why I weave history into the mystery storyline. I love history, and I think my readers enjoy reading Kentucky’s fascinating history as well.  Kentucky is not called the “dark and bloody ground” for nothing.

The one thing I try to do for my readers is write an enjoyable mystery. If they learn about honeybees and some history, I’m happy, but I want them to have a good time. I try to make Josiah witty, fun, and naughty.  I do consider my novels dark cozies because I write about serious subject matters such as spousal abuse, but I hope I write them in such a way that it does not come across as preaching. I want the readers to finish my mysteries with a light heart, and I will continue to write about Josiah, my heroine, as long as readers want to enter her world through the written word. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abigail Keam is an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author who writes the Josiah Reynolds Mystery series about a Southern beekeeper turned amateur female sleuth in the Bluegrass.

Her first mystery novel, Death By A Honeybee, won the 2010 Gold Medal Award for Women’s Lit from Reader’s Favorite and was a Finalist of the USA Book News-Best Books List of 2011.
Death By Drowning won the 2011 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery Sleuth from Reader’s Favorite and also was placed on the USA Book News-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist.

Miss Abigail is also an award-winning beekeeper who has won 16 honey awards at the Kentucky State Fair including the Barbara Horn Award, which is given to beekeepers who rate a perfect 100 in a honey competition.

A strong supporter of farmers’ markets and local food economy, Miss Abigail has taken her knowledge of beekeeping to create a fictional beekeeping protagonist, Josiah Reynolds, who solves mysteries in the Bluegrass. While Miss Gail’s novels are for enjoyment, she discusses the importance of a local sustainable food economy and land management for honeybees and other creatures.

She currently lives on the Kentucky River in a metal house with her husband and various critters. She still has honeybees.

Connect with Abigail:

Website  |   Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |    Instagram  |  YouTube
  

Buy the book:

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |   Google  |  iBooks





Thursday, October 25, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: TRICIA L. SANDERS




ABOUT THE BOOK


An unwelcome visitor, an unrequited love, and a dead body create chaos in a middle-aged woman’s plan for a productive summer.

Despite a looming divorce, an empty checkbook, and a struggling cleaning business, Cece Cavanaugh is determined to land on her own two feet. Adamant about staying a safe distance from the handsome detective who has her fantasizing about violating the morals clause in her prenuptial agreement, Cece dives headlong into her work.

Even though she has no free time to spare, Cece finds herself guilted into cleaning a hoarder’s home. Her discoveries in the condemned house are too shocking to ignore. Diamond-laden pachyderms, a secret cache of money, and a dead body lure Cece into launching an investigation that places her in direct contact with the one person she’s desperate to avoid--hunky Detective Case Alder.

With clues in hand, Cece runs down leads and eliminates suspects one by one. Her conclusion and brave accusation put a friend’s life in peril forcing Cece to hatch a plan to outsmart the killer. A daring move could either save Cece and her friend or lead to their demise.


Book Details:


Title: Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn

Author: Tricia L. Sanders

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: The Grime Pays Mystery series, Book 2

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing, LLC (October 24, 2018)

Print length: 250 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH TRICIA SANDERS



A few of your favorite things: My family, old photos, flamingos.
Things you need to throw out: Old clothes, clutter, everything in my basement (I hate to throw stuff away, so I always put things aside that I can recycle. Only I never find the time to turn them into something else.)


Things you need in order to write: Laptop, music, iced tea (unsweet, no lemon).
Things that hamper your writing: Too many ideas and not enough time, noise, laundry
.

Things you love about writing: Making stuff up, creating characters, building relationships.
Things you hate about writing: Editing, marketing, talking about myself.

Things you love about where you live: Four seasons, my friends, my writing group.
Things that make you want to move: My daughter doesn’t live here, I hate single-degree temps, live too far from civilization.

Things you never want to run out of: Iced tea, clean underwear, gas (in my car).
Things you wish you’d never bought: An oak entertainment center, 1992 Dodge Dynasty (in 1992), a boat (we never used it, and took a beating when we finally sold it)
.

Favorite foods: Anything Mexican, pizza, a good salad.
Things that make you want to throw up: Anchovies, beets, oysters.

Favorite music: Country music.
Music that make your ears bleed: Heavy metal (is that still a thing?).

Favorite beverage: Iced tea (unsweet, no lemon).

Something that gives you a pickle face: Grapefruit juice.

Favorite smell: Lilac (the real deal flower, not fragrances that are imitation lilac)
.
Something that makes you hold your nose: Farts.

Something you’re really good at: Photography
.
Something you’re really bad at: Singing
.

Something you wish you could do: Play piano.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Play clarinet. (Like why would I need to know how to play a clarinet.? Bad move, Mom!)

Something you like to do: Sit on my patio and watch the sunrise.

Something you wish you’d never done: Ate a persimmon that wasn’t ripe.

People you consider as heroes: People who are charitable and give of themselves and their time.

People with a big L on their foreheads: People who put down other people.



Last best thing you ate:
Scallops at my favorite restaurant.

Last thing you regret eating: A lemon bar. It was okay, but not spectacular, and I ate the whole thing.

Things you’d walk a mile for: A hug from my daughter, to rescue a dog, to see an old friend.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: Reality TV, frozen pot pies, dirty dishes.

Things you always put in your books: Sassy women, best friend relationships, iced tea (I’m addicted)
.
Things you never put in your books: Graphic sex, raw language, demons.

Things to say to an author: I wrote a review for your book
.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: When are you going to get a real job?

Favorite places you’ve been: Kenya and Tanzania, Venice, Santorini
.
Places you never want to go to again: Mexico.

Favorite genre: Women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, suspense, anything by Harlan Coben
.
Books you would ban: Badly edited books.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: Harlan Coben, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright
.
People you’d cancel dinner on: Anyone who wants to discuss politics, or anyone who abuses their position to hurt/destroy other people.

Favorite things to do: Photography, writing, traveling, watching the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball
.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: Dishes, cooking, housework.

Things that make you happy: My family.

Things that drive you crazy: My family.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: Rode in a hot air balloon over the Maasai Mara
.
Something you chickened out from doing: Tubing down a river in Belize. (I didn’t really have the opportunity to chicken out. The event was canceled due to weather, but I was not looking forward to doing it and would have chickened out if it hadn’t been canceled.)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Tricia L. Sanders writes cozy mysteries and women’s fiction. She adds a dash of romance and a sprinkling of snark to raise the stakes. Her heroines are humorous women embarking on journeys of self-discovery all the while doing so with class, sass, and a touch of kickass.

Tricia is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don't get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women's fiction road trip adventure.

A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.



Connect with Tricia:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |   Newsletter Sign Up



Buy the book:
Amazon  |  BookBub 


BOOK 1 IN THE SERIES:
Murder is a Dirty Business



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: LOIS WINSTON



ABOUT THE BOOK

Anastasia Pollack’s son Alex is dating Sophie Lambert, the new kid in town. For their community service project, the high school seniors have chosen to raise money for the county food bank. Anastasia taps her craft industry contacts to donate materials for the students to make Christmas ornaments they’ll sell at the town’s annual Holiday Crafts Fair.

At the fair Anastasia meets Sophie’s father, Shane Lambert, who strikes her as a man with secrets. She also notices a woman eavesdropping on their conversation. Later that evening when the woman turns up dead, Sophie’s father is arrested for her murder.

Alex and Sophie beg Anastasia to find the real killer, but Anastasia has had her fill of dead bodies. She’s also not convinced of Shane’s innocence. Besides, she’s promised younger son Nick she’ll stop risking her life. But how can she say no to Alex?




Book Details:

Title: Drop Dead Ornaments

Author’s name: Lois Winston

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 7


Publisher: Indie published, (10/22/18)

Print length: 283 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








INTERVIEW WITH LOIS WINSTON


Q: Lois, what’s the story behind the title of your book?
A:
Since this is a Christmas-themed story that involves Christmas ornaments and a murder, I wanted to combine the two elements in the title. Thus, Drop Dead Ornaments.

Q: Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
A:
Anastasia Pollack is the crafts editor at a women’s magazine. When the first book in the series (Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun) opens, she’s been recently widowed. Her husband has left her with staggering debt, a loan shark breathing down her neck, and her communist mother-in-law as a permanent and unwelcome houseguest. Anastasia is forced to moonlight to earn extra money to keep from losing her home. She’s hampered in her efforts by the dead bodies that appear at regular intervals since her husband’s demise.

 Although this is a series, and I would recommend reading the books in order, but they can be read as standalones.

Q: Where’s home for you?
A:
I’m a Jersey girl, born and bred a short train ride from Manhattan.

Q: If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
A:
Theater tickets. I’d take in a show every night if I could afford to, but I’d need an extra thousand dollars a week for that.

Q: What do you love about where you live?

A:
Being a short commute into New York City.



Q: Have you been in any natural disasters?
A:
We lost power for nine days during and after Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy, but as inconvenient as it was, many people had it far worse. In hindsight, we were relatively lucky.

Q: What is the most daring thing you've done?

A:
When I was nineteen, I backpacked across Europe with a friend.

Q: What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
A:
Allowing myself to be talked into selling my home and moving in with my in-laws. It was six years of pure hell.

Q: What makes you bored?

A:
People who talk incessantly about themselves.

Q: What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
A:
I should have chosen to go to my second choice college instead of my first choice.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
A:
I’d grab my laptop.

Q: What would your main character say about you?
A:
She’d complain about the mess I’ve gotten her into. She was living a very comfortable middle-class life before I came along.

Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
A:
Anastasia’s mother-in-law is inspired by my own communist mother-in-law, the main difference being my mother-in-law didn’t own a dog.

Q: Are you like any of your characters? 

A:
I think Anastasia and I share a common outlook on life, but I’m not about to put my life in danger to solve a murder—except on paper.

Q: One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
A:
I’m allergic to lilacs and eucalyptus. All he or she would have to do is lock me in a room filled with both.

Q: What book are you currently reading and in what format?
A:
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared by Jonas Johasson in e-book format.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?

A:
Kirkus Reviews called Anastasia “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.”


Q: You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?

A:
Supergirl. I’d love to be able to fly, and some of her other superpowers would be totally cool, as well.

Q: What would your dream office look like?

A:
It would be on an upper floor of a pre-war building overlooking Central Park and have floor-to-ceiling bookcases, not that I’ll ever have enough money for that dream to come true. Do you have any idea of the price of New York real estate?

Q: Why did you decide to self-publish?
A:

My publisher and I had a parting of the ways when they wanted to revert to a boilerplate contract instead of the agency contract that was hammered out for the first three books in the series. I walked away from two additional contracts that were on the table, one for more books in the current series and one for a second series, and decided to go indie.




OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun
Death by Killer Mop Doll
Revenge of the Crafty Corpse
Decoupage Can Be Deadly
A Stitch to Die For
Scrapbook of Murder
Drop Dead Ornaments
Crafty Crimes





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Connect with Lois:
Website
  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |   Newsletter 

Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes  |  Bookbub





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Sunday, October 21, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: SARA ROSETT




ABOUT THE BOOK


A high society murder. A spirited lady detective. Can she out-class the killer before an innocent person takes the fall? 

London, 1923. Olive Belgrave needs a job. Despite her aristocratic upbringing, she’s penniless. Determined to support herself, she jumps at an unconventional job—looking into the background of her cousin’s fiancé, Alfred.

Alfred burst into the upper crust world of London’s high society, but his answers to questions about his past are decidedly vague. Before Olive can gather more than the basics, a murder occurs at a posh party. Suddenly, every Bright Young Person in attendance is a suspect, and Olive must race to find the culprit because a sly murderer is determined to make sure Olive’s first case is her last.

Murder at Archly Manor is the first in the High Society Lady Detective series of charming historical cozy mysteries. If you like witty banter, glamorous settings, and delightful plot twists, you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett’s series for Anglophiles and mystery lovers alike.

Travel back to the Golden Age of detective fiction with Murder at Archly Manor. 





Book Details:


Title: Murder at Archly Manor   

Author: Sara Rosett

Genre: Historical mystery
Series: High Society Lady Detective series
, book 1

Published: Oct 15, 2018

Print length: 254 pages
On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








INTERVIEW WITH SARA ROSETT


Q: Sara, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
A:
Murder at Archly Manor is the first book in the High Society Lady Detective Series. Each book in the series will be a self-contained mystery that is solved by the end of the book. Murder at Archly Manor is set in 1920s England and follows Olive Belgrave as she sets out to make her own way in the world. She falls into an investigative job and gets tangled up in a murder investigation. Researching the 1920s was so much fun. I learned about so many things—the fashion, the music, the slang, and so much more!

Q: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
A:
I like to write at home at my desk. I use a combination of dictation and typing. I do my best writing while I’m fresh in the morning when the house is quiet.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A:
I had a reader tell me she read one of my books while going through cancer treatment and the book let her escape into another world. I got teary-eyed!

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
A:
It’s a toss up between a short story and a locked-room mystery novel. Short stories are a challenge because they’re sort of unforgivable. All the parts must work together perfectly or else the whole thing falls apart. Locked-room mysteries are difficult because you have to come up with a seemingly impossible crime that is actually solvable. Thankfully, I did finish both the short story and the locked-room novel. I suppose the ultimate challenge for me would be a locked-room short story!

Q: Have you been in any natural disasters?
A:
I survived Hurricane Harvey. It was an awful time. There was so much destruction and loss, but it was also wonderful to see how people helped each other, jumping into to meet needs right away. Thankfully, we only had a little wind damage, but I don’t want to go through anything like that again. I’m sure the experience will show up in my writing someday.

Q: What makes you nervous?
A:
Speaking in front of people. I’ve done plenty of events, both as a solo speaker and on panel, but I still get nervous—every single time! 


Q: What makes you happy?
A:
Books and chocolate, preferably on a rainy afternoon. :)

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
A:
I love the Maxwell Perkins quote, “Just get it down on paper and then we'll see what to do about it.” I read that quote when I was writing my first mystery and realized I had to stop working on the first couple of chapters. I had to get on with the rest of the book. Once I had it down paper I could edit it and make it better, but I had to move forward.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
A:
Tough question! I would probably split my time between the mountains in the summer and Texas in the winter with lots of traveling to visit new places in between.

Q: What book are you currently reading and in what format?
A:
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen. It’s one of my favorite series. I love to read historical mysteries as well as write them!

Q: What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
A:
I don’t like books that start with what I call an internal cliffhanger, an exciting scene that breaks off in the middle then there’s a time jump that takes the reader back a week or two, which means I have to go back and read twenty chapters or so to get back to the exciting scene. I find the technique extremely annoying. It makes me want to stop reading the book.  

Q: Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
A:
My favorite library exists only in my memory. It was the library that my mom took me to when I was a kid. I discovered the magic of reading in that library and dug into mysteries like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. The library has moved to a new building, but I can still remember hurrying through the doors to look for the row of yellow spines in the mystery section.

Q: What are you working on now?
A:
I'm working on the next book in the High Society Lady Detective series. I'm really enjoying spending time in 1920s England. In the next book, Murder at Blackburn Hall, Olive goes to a quiet English village in search of a missing mystery writer.


OTHER BOOKS BY SARA ROSETT

Murder on Location series
On the Run series
Ellie Avery series



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted mysteries for readers who enjoy puzzling plots, charming settings, and quirky characters.

She is the author of the Murder on Location series, the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the High Society Lady Detective series. Sara also teaches an online course, How to Outline A Cozy Mystery.

Publishers Weekly called Sara's books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement.


Connect with Sara:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  |   Kobo  |  Google Play






Friday, October 19, 2018

FEATURED CHARACTER: KAREN SHUGHART'S EDMUND DECLERYK




ABOUT THE BOOK


Early one gray November morning, retired Lighthouse Cove, New York police chief, Edmund DeCleryk, finds Emily Bradford’s body on the beach at the base of the bluff where the local museum and historical society stands. At the same time, a break-in has been reported at the museum, and Emily’s coat and purse are found hanging on a peg in the museum’s gift shop where she worked. Was her death the result of a burglary gone bad or something more sinister?

When the police chief is called out of town for a family emergency, he hires Ed, now working as a criminal consultant, to assist deputy police chief, Carrie Ramos, with the murder investigation. After several leads don’t pan out, the chief, now back in Lighthouse Cove, decides to close the case. Confident that with more time the murder can be solved, Ed is determined to continue investigating on his own, with encouragement from his wife, Annie the museum’s executive director.
One morning while in the basement of the museum, the couple discovers a copy of a map dated 1785, and Ed’s instincts tell him it may be connected to Emily’s death. On a hunch, he and Annie travel to Toronto, Canada, where he learns of the original map and a manuscript written in 1847 that were unearthed during an archaeological dig. The manuscript contains information about a ship that capsized during a fierce storm on Lake Ontario — in 1785. Now Ed has clues as to why the murder occurred, but he still doesn’t know who committed the crime. Or does he?


Book Details:

Title: Murder in the Museum


Author: Karen Shughart

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery, Book 1

Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (February 13, 2018)


Print length: 266 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours





ABOUT EDMUND DECLERYK

Edmund DeCleryk was raised in Lighthouse Cove, New York. After graduating from high school, he received his B.S. in Forensic Science from Syracuse University; and a Masters’ degree in Criminal Justice from Rochester Institute of Technology. He retired as a Rear Admiral in the Navy, where he spent much of his career as a SEAL. 

After heading a violent crimes squad in Albany, New York, Ed served as police chief in Lighthouse Cove and then became a criminal consultant. He currently helps to solve murders when the small police force is overwhelmed with other responsibilities. He and Annie, his wife, live in a restored ship captain’s home, have two sons and daughters-in-law, five grandchildren and a ten-year-old beagle, Gretchen.



INTERVIEW WITH KAREN SHUGHART'S EDMUND DECLERYK


Q: How did you first meet Karen? 

A:
She had heard about me through some of her criminal justice buddies and thought my character would be perfect as her sleuth. I’m tough but gentle.

Q: Want to dish about her?

A:
Yes, she’s a bit intense and sometimes needs to focus-she’s good at a lot of things. I told her to pick something and stick with it. She decided it would be writing.

Q: Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?

A:
I’m a bit of a Renaissance man, if I do say so myself.

Q: Tell us about your favorite scene in the book. 

A:
My favorite scene is when Annie and I travel to Toronto, Canada and combine business with pleasure. We discover a manuscript, written by a man named Thomas Battleforth in 1847, that provides us with clues about the murder, but we also have a very intimate evening where we dine at an exceptional French restaurant and then later in our hotel have a romantic interlude.

Q: Did you have a hard time convincing Karen to write any particular scenes for you? 

A:
Yes. I wanted a love scene with my wife, Annie. Karen was somewhat uncomfortable at first because cozies don’t have explicit adult scenes. We negotiated a bit then finally agreed that the scene would be a “fade away,” like the film noir movies of the 1940s and 1950s–more suggestion of what comes next than description. My wife approved.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not being read somewhere?

A:
Oh, the book pretty much describes what I like to do. But I’d say ice boating is among one of my favorite activities in the winter. My vintage sports car is almost restored, so when it’s ready, I’ll take to the backroads. I love going fast. And I spend time with my Navy buddies and Annie and our friends and family.

Q: If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

A:
I’d probably tell Karen to write a little less about how the characters' dress. Some of it sets the scene, some of it may not be necessary.

Q: Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters? 

A
: I like most, but not all of them. I respect some, but not all. You’ll have to read the book to guess which ones.

Q: Do have any secret aspirations that Karen doesn’t know about?

A:
I’ve always been in law enforcement in one form or another. I might be a racing car driver if I were a bit younger.

Q: If you had a free day with no responsibilities, what would you do? 

A:
I’d have breakfast at Bistro Louise with Annie, take my metal detector to the beach after that, have lunch with friends, continue working on my sailboat and sport’s car restorations, have drinks and an intimate dinner with my wife.



Q: What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
A:
I hope they like me. I’m very calm and rock-solid, and I think I’m warm. I’m interested in people I meet. I think I also appear a bit serious at first, but when they’ve known me for a while, they get to see my sense of humor.



Q: What's the worst thing that's happened in your life? 

A:
I got shot, but it was only a graze (it’s not in the book). I learned to be more careful.



Q: Tell us about your best friend. 

A:
My best friend is definitely my wife, Annie. We’ve been together since we were at college, and we tell each other almost everything (except when we are told things in confidence that we can’t share). We have the same values and share many of the same interests.



Q: What are you most afraid of? 

A:
Losing Annie, our children and grandchildren.



Q: What’s the best trait your author has given you?

A:
I’m very loyal and even-tempered.
The worst?
I’m not at home as much as I’d like to be to help around the house.



Q: What do you like best about fellow character Charles Merrill?

A:
He’s very smart and very complex. He’s a wonderful historian. And he’s honorable.
Least?
At times his loyalty to others clouds his judgement, and he can be a bit irascible.

Q: What’s Karen’s worst habit?
A:
She’s a bit obsessive about wordsmithing, sometimes she just needs to realize that what’s she’s written is good enough.



Q: How do you feel about your life right now?

A:
I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing.

Q: What aspect of your Karen’s writing style do you like best?

A:
She writes great descriptions. She paints beautiful pictures with words.

Q: If your story were a movie, who would play you?

A:
Andy Garcia, or if he’s not available, then Richard Gere. I’m a little taller, but they are the right age and either of them would fit the part.

Q: Describe the town where you live. 

A:
Small, quaint village on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in upstate, New York, not too far from Rochester, Syracuse and Canada. Friendly people, real sense of community, spectacular scenery:  apple orchards, vineyards and of course, the sea. Who wouldn’t want to live here?

Q: Describe an average day in your life. 

A:
I get up early, around 6:00, let our beagle, Gretchen, out, then make coffee for myself and get Annie’s tea ready. She sleeps later than I do. We read the local daily newspaper and/or watch the news on TV, then walk Gretchen. Other than that, there’s no average day. If I’m sleuthing, I may be interviewing, writing notes, traveling to different locales, contacting other law enforcement agencies or sitting in meetings with the police chief. On days I’m not working and Annie can take time off from her job, she and I do stuff together and I work on projects and hobbies or meet some of my Navy buddies for lunch.

Q: What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre? 

A:
I’m male. Many cozy protagonists are female.

Q: If you could be “adopted” by another writer, who would you choose?

A: 
Louise Penny. She’s a wonderful author.

Q: Will you encourage Karen to write a sequel?

A:
Yes, she’s told me that she’s already started writing it. It’s called Murder in the Cemetery, and the historical link is the War of 1812.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Karen Shughart received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comprehensive Literature from the University of Pittsburgh and completed graduate courses in English at Shippensburg University. She is the author of two non-fiction books and has worked as an editor, publicist, photographer, journalist, teacher and non-profit executive. Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery is her first work of fiction. Before moving to Sodus Point, New York, she and her husband resided in south central Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Connect with Karen:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

  |  LinkedIn 

Buy the book:

Amazon 





Wednesday, October 17, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: CYNTHIA KUHN




ABOUT THE BOOK


English professor Lila Maclean knew drama would be involved when she agreed to consult on Stonedale University’s production of Puzzled: The Musical.

But she didn’t expect to find herself cast into such chaos: the incomprehensible play is a disaster, the crumbling theater appears to be haunted, and, before long, murder takes center stage.

The show must go on—yet as they speed toward opening night, it becomes clear that other members of the company may be targeted as well. Lila searches for answers while contending with a tenacious historical society, an eccentric playwright, an unsettling psychic, an enigmatic apparition, and a paranormal search squad. 


With all of this in play, will she be able to identify who killed her colleague...or will it soon be curtains for Lila too?


 Book Details:

Title: The Spirit in Question 

Author: Cynthia Kuhn
Genre: Cozy mystery, amateur sleuth, humorous mystery,
Series: Lila Maclean Academic Mystery, book 3
Publisher: Henery Press (October 2, 2018)
Print length: 252 pages
On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH CYNTHIA KUHN


Things you love about where you live: Blue skies, sunshine, wonderful people.
Things that make you want to move: Lack of shoreline, high altitude, crazy lightning.

Favorite foods: Salad, popcorn, red licorice.
Things that make you want to throw up: Mushrooms.

Favorite beverage: Skinny caramel latte. 

Something that gives you a pickle face: Whiskey.

Favorite smell: Vanilla .

Something that makes you hold your nose: Locker rooms
.

Something you wish you could do: Be a librarian.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Trigonometry.

Best thing you’ve ever done: Marry my high school sweetheart and have children>

Biggest mistake: Wait so long to have children.

Things you’d walk a mile for: People I like, books.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: Bullies, yelling at sports.

Things to say to an author: “I enjoyed your book” or “I just wrote a review.”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “You did it wrong.”

Favorite places you’ve been: Jamaica, Toronto, San Francisco, Disney, any beach
.
Places you never want to go to again: Junior high school.

Favorite books (or genre): Academic mysteries, traditional mysteries, humorous mysteries.

Books you would ban: I would never ban a book.

Things that make you happy: Family and friends, great conversation, humor/laughter.

Things that drive you crazy: Rudeness, condescension, unnecessarily long meetings.

Things you always put in your books: Bookmarks and love. 

Things you never put in your books: Cheese slices.


OTHER BOOKS BY CYNTHIA KUHN

The Semester of Our Discontent (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #1)
The Art of Vanishing (Lila Maclean Academic Mystery #2)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series: The Semester of Our Discontent, an Agatha Award recipient for Best First Novel; The Art of Vanishing, a Lefty Award nominee for Best Humorous Mystery; and The Spirit in Question. Her work has also appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD, and other publications. She teaches in Denver and serves as president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado.

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

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  IndieBound  |  Book Bub








Monday, October 15, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: TAMARA VEITCH & RENE DEFAZIO




ABOUT THE BOOK

When the world collapses from a Golden Age into one of chaos and strife, mankind’s salvation lies in the hands of eternal Emissaries― guardians chosen to protect the secrets of a sacred, ancient civilization and to guide humanity back to enlightenment even as its darkest hour approaches.
A timeless tale of love reborn through the ages.

Marcus and Theron are two lovers bound by an eternal and unshakable bond. As a series of catastrophic events nearly destroys their world, the two along with a chosen few become Emissaries destined, over the course of 13,000 years and through many reincarnations, to lead humanity into an era of peace and prosperity as foretold by the Elders of their race. But the forces of evil have taken possession of one man, Helghul, who relentlessly pursues Marcus and Theron through time, determined to destroy them and ruin all hope for salvation. The Emissary tracks Marcus’s epic adventure across centuries of human civilization to present day, where envoys of darkness gather threatening to bury the life-giving secrets of Atitala forever.

Good and evil come to blows and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

“For every soul there is a theme, a path that must be followed, lessons that must be learned...”
Veitch and DeFazio’s award-winning debut novel deftly blends elements of a fantasy- adventure with historical fiction to create an unforgettable, fateful tale of eternal love, undying devotion, betrayal, suffering and the hope that binds us all.


Book Details:


Title: The Emissary

Author: Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio

Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romantic Fiction


Series: The One Great Year Series, Book 1

Publisher and publish date: Waterside Press October 9, 2018

Print length: 216 pages







INTERVIEW WITH RENE DEFAZIO & TAMARA VEITCH


Q: Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
A:
The One Great Year Series begins with Book 1, The Emissary, which opens on a Golden Age world where Marcus and Theron are two lovers bound by an eternal and unshakable bond. As a series of catastrophic events nearly destroys their world, the two – along with a chosen few – become Emissaries destined, over the course of 13,000 years and through many reincarnations, to lead humanity into an era of peace and prosperity as foretold by the Elders of their race. But the forces of evil have taken possession of one man, Helghul, who relentlessly pursues Marcus and Theron through time, determined to destroy them and ruin all hope for salvation. The Emissary tracks Marcus’s epic adventure across centuries of human civilization, to present day, where envoys of darkness gather threatening to bury the life-giving secrets of Atitala forever.
The Emissary  blends elements of a fantasy-adventure with historical fiction and covers three vastly different periods in history.
Readers don’t have to read our books in order because we are careful to include all the background readers need as they join the series, but as Book I, The Emissary closes, there are many more stories yet to be shared including lifetimes in ancient Greece with Plato and Socrates, Genghis Khan’s Mongolia, and World War II German occupied France. We are releasing Book II The Emerald Tablet, rapid fire in February 2019, so that readers can jump right into the series without a long wait.

Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
A:
"I alone know that I know nothing . . . " was attributed to Socrates more than 2000 years ago. In our research, and in life, we have learned to never judge others, because we cannot know their thoughts, experiences, capabilities and limitations. It is only the weakness of the ego that judges without compassion. Life is a series of lessons and the more patient and empathetic we can be with others and ourselves, the better the world will be.

Q: Have you been in any natural disasters?
A:
Yes, and the experience has been used in our second novel! While in Lima, Peru in South America Rene was staying at a hotel and one morning while in the shower a slow rumble began to increase in volume. At first he thought it was a train traveling under the hotel. It was then he remembered the hotel was on a sheer cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly, the roar became deafening, and the toiletries began to fall off the glass shelves into the sink below them. He stepped out of the shower dripping wet, his mind in utter confusion. He opened the bathroom door and the bed was moving up and down rocking on its four legs across the room. He had never experienced an earthquake, and he panicked and ran around the apartment like Chicken Little, naked. He vaguely remembered learning that he should stand in a doorway, so he did until the earthquake subsided.  When it ended, he went to the window and the Peruvians were outside walking their dogs like nothing happen, business as usual. The concierge later said, “that was a big one!” Apparently it was a 7.6 on the Richter scale.

Q: Wow! What is the most daring thing you've done?
A:
Quitting our day jobs to write full time actually rates higher for us on the daring scale than either Rene’s world highest bungee in New Zealand, being charged by a twelve foot bull shark, one hundred feet down scuba diving six hours off the coast of Australia, or when we repelled 275 feet through waterfalls in Costa Rica. We both knew that The Emissary needed our undivided attention, and we have never looked back. So, for us, the most daring thing we have ever done was definitely the wisest decision of our lives.    


Q: What are your most cherished mementoes?
A:
Our most cherished mementoes are the albums of our travels around the world. We learn something new every time we travel. From year to year, the photos immortalize and catalogue all of our memories. We can see the changes that those experiences have brought in us and in our children. It is wonderful to reflect on moments and places that deeply affected us and to learn how small the world is and how generous and alike people truly are. Another treasured memento is the Ica stone that we were given while in Peru researching. These same stones are woven into the storyline of The Emissary, when Marcus is incarnated as Sartaña in Stone-at-Center.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
A:
Our dog! Socrates is the best writing buddy on the planet, and he takes turns encouraging each of us. Every writer should have a dog at their side over the long solitary hours. We rescued Socs a year and a half ago, and now we can’t imagine life without him.

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
A:
There is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein that clearly outlines how we think: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, The other is as though everything is.”  Even in the most difficult times we try to find lessons and gratitude and stay positive. That doesn’t mean never feeling anger, sadness or grief – those things are essentially human. For us it is a reminder to notice the wonder and beauty in the world around us.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
A:
We will always maintain a home base in the Vancouver area on the West Coast of Canada. We feel truly blessed to live in such a beautiful location, surrounded by amazing family and friends. As passionate travelers we plan to live as citizens of the world. Our goal is to long-stay in a number of places around the globe throughout the years. Our research for The Emissary took us to Peru and Bolivia, and we fell in love with the beauty and simplicity of Pisac, Peru. It is near beautiful Cusco and is only a few hours from Machu Picchu in the Sacred Valley. We can definitely see ourselves spending a few months a year there. We also love Europe and are looking forward to improving our French, Spanish and Italian. Books III and IV will also have us returning to Asia for research, so we might just find another gem location that sticks in our hearts. There is just so much to see. We truly believe that next to reading there is nothing that helps one grow like travel.

Q: What would you like people to say about you after you die?
A:
We would like to make a difference. We would like to have it said that we made the world a kinder, gentler place and that by fearlessly following our instincts and passions we were able to create novels that both entertained and inspired people. We would like to remembered for imagining beautiful possibilities and maybe even help people suffer less.

Q: How did you create the plot for this book?
A:
The original idea for The Emissary and The One Great Year Series was inspired by Graham Hancock’s book, Fingerprints of the Gods. Rene was backpacking around the world visiting ancient ruins in Egypt, England, Indonesia, and others. Hancock’s alternative view on history was a huge inspiration to him. Rene got the idea to place characters into a world based on that reality. He wrote a fifteen-page treatment in which the main character Marcus was reincarnated. Marcus had past life memory, but his soulmate Theron did not, and he pursued her throughout the ages. Many years later, Rene pitched the idea to his co-author Tamara. Tamara loved the history, romance, and fantasy and together we wrote The Emissary.

Q: Is your book based on real events?
A:
The Emissary and the entire series are based on a real theoretical phenomenon known as The Great Year Cycle. The Great Year Cycle has been documented in over 31 ancient cultures. As our series progresses and more stories unfold, real world events and familiar historical characters are introduced. It is original, historical fantasy fiction based on world history, philosophy and infinite imaginative possibilities. We like to say it’s a fiction story in a non-fiction world.

Q: One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
A:
Helghul, our antagonist, is the character most likely to demand brutal restitution for our plotting, but because The Emissary is a reincarnation tale, our key Adversary likes to keep his enemies alive where he can see them. Helghul knows we authors will kill him off, over and over again, so rather than murder us, and allowing us to be reborn to write his brutal death in endless more ways, he would imprison us, torture us cruelly just for amusement, and prevent us from writing him any more harm.

Q: Yikes! With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
A:
We are two authors so we have two answers: For Tamara: I would love to be stuck with JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, and my dad. I have literally studied the phrasing, dialogue, character development, and writing styles of these authors my whole life. They are my literary heroes, and I want to thank them.  My dad, Jim Veitch, is in that list because though he was a huge supporter of my writing he passed away when I was only sixteen. I would love to be able to hand him our books and say thank you!  #Gratitude  
For Rene: I would like to be stuck with Mark Twain because I could listen to his ramblings all day, Socrates because who wouldn’t want to spend time with the wisest man ever to walk the planet? Marlon Brando not only because he was well-read but also just to bask in that charisma, Albert Einstein so I could tell him the quantum world does exist, and maybe he would finally find the theory of everything. Don Rickles because after all that heavy conversation we would all need a good laugh! 

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A:
The greatest compliment for us has been “this book changed my life.” It is a BIG one, and we don’t take it lightly! We have heard it many times now, and we know it’s true because the theme that is the basis for the story changed our lives, too. Most people are wondering what their purpose is, or why we are here. Through lovingly crafted fiction we contemplate and then illuminate the answer to that question. As Marcus is reincarnated over the ages, he struggles with the brutality and grief of everyday life, but he doesn’t lose hope, because he and the other Emissaries know that there is a thread of consciousness that binds us all. The Emissary reminds us that the illusion of separation between people is truly the root of all evil, and when we remember we are ever interconnected, we are changed, for the better. 

Q: What are you working on now?
A:
We are working on the audiobook for Book II, the Emerald Tablet, that will come out February 2019. We loved recording the audio for The Emissary because it allowed us to hear the story told as we had intended while writing. Rene is an experienced actor so he brought an incredible range and depth to the reading. It was rewarding to get the final audio files and hear how many character voices we had actually managed to record! 
We are also very busy writing Book III in the series, and we are excited that the story still feels so alive and interesting; we are taking it in yet another fascinating direction. In between our creative ventures, for the rest of fall and winter, we will be visiting our local bookstores and libraries to meet readers and engage with people in person. We will also spend a lot of time on social media connecting and answering questions. We have decided to do a video blog to chronicle The Emissary’s journey to becoming a bestseller, so along with our busy family life, we have our hands full!


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Rene DeFazio was born and raised in Canada and currently resides in the Vancouver area with his wife and writing partner Tamara Veitch. Rene is an actor and producer with more than eleven film and television roles to his credit. A world traveler and lifelong adventurer, Rene has called upon his unusual and exciting experiences in co-creating The One Great Year novel series. His tireless research and first hand knowledge of exotic locations, customs, sights, and smells help to bring this epic story to life.

Tamara Veitch is a writer, mural artist, and mother of three. She grew up in Canada and attended Simon Fraser University, studying English, psychology, history and General Arts. Tamara has had a lifelong interest in spiritual wisdom and has carefully researched ancient teachings from many traditions to ensure historical accuracy throughout The One Great Year Series.

Tamara and Rene have completed Book I and II in The One Great Year Series and are currently working on Book III. To maintain a dynamic and authentic presentation of the ancient secrets at the core of their writing, they travel to exotic locations in search of esoteric knowledge and cultural insights that will inspire readers everywhere. In 2014, Veitch and DeFazio were each awarded Empowered Writers Award at the World International Peace Festival in Vancouver, Canada.

Connect with the authors:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble  |   Indiebound