Monday, September 14, 2015



Hoping for a romantic honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch, hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband Dalton arrive to find a series of mishaps plaguing the resort. A nearby ghost town is suffering similar problems. Is it mere coincidence that Dalton’s Uncle Raymond owns both properties? When Raymond asks for their help in finding the culprit, Marla and Dalton eagerly accept. Then news of a local forest ranger’s death raises the stakes.

With sleuthing more natural to Marla than horseback riding, she delves into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she discovers skeletons in the family closet. Someone means to drive Raymond out of business, and the reason may be linked to his past misdeeds. Raymond isn’t the only one with secrets. The trail leads Marla from an environmental activist group to saguaro poachers to water rights proponents to an abandoned copper mine beneath the ghost town. She’d better saddle up, rein in the clues, and find the killer before she becomes the next spirit inhabiting the haunted hillside.

Book Trailer:


Nancy, how did you get started writing and when did you become an “author?”
My first career was in nursing. Cherry Ames books inspired me to become a nurse and also got me interested in mysteries, along with Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton. Besides reading, I liked to write stories, poems, and travel journals. But it wasn’t until I went to grad school to earn my Master’s Degree in nursing that I wrote my first novel.

I wrote six books before selling the seventh one, so persistence pays. I met my first agent at a conference sponsored by Florida Romance Writers, and my writing improved once I joined a critique group. Networking with other writers made all the difference to my career as an author.

My initial published works were scifi romances that I wrote for Dorchester. After doing several books in this genre, I switched to mysteries and began the Bad Hair Day series for Kensington. Along the way, I decided to return to my romance roots and wrote three books in the Drift Lords series for Wild Rose Press. These stories are paranormal romances with scifi/fantasy elements based on Norse mythology. But the mysteries feel like home. I enjoy writing about Marla the hairdresser and her escapades in crime solving. I’ve learned about all sorts of things in the course of research and visited many interesting sites.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
Writing “The End.” Seriously, I enjoy plotting the story, especially when all the elements begin to come together. Once I have my synopsis done, I put myself on a writing schedule of five pages a day. This part is both a joy and a torment. I face that blank page every morning, but somehow those five pages get filled in. What I like best is writing the second half of the book, when the story elements are in place, the characters have been introduced, and the story flows on its own.

How long is your to-be-read list?
Enough for a lifetime.

What books do you currently have published?
My book list includes 20 novels, a nonfiction title, and a novella.

Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?
When I have a new release, I plan my promotional campaign ahead of time. These activities include social media, ads in trade journals and online sites, signings and appearances, blog tours, FB launch parties, giveaways, and more. I maintain a blog on a regular basis and team up with other authors at Booklovers Bench to reach more readers.

How long have you been a writer?
I’ve been professionally published since 1994. The first book that I sold was the seventh one I’d written.

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

The Hallmark Channel. I’m a sap for their romantic comedies and amateur sleuth mysteries.

How often do you tweet?
Several times a day.

How do you feel about Facebook?

I like the direct connection with readers. It’s a great way to get feedback on my work and to engage with friends. I like to read about what other people are doing, ask fans for input if I have a question about my work, and alert people to my book news. I share travel photos, pictures of recipes I make at home, interesting things I see along my morning walks. I’ve always kept a journal one way or another. This is merely another means of expression.

For what would you like to be remembered?
Generosity of spirit, encouragement of others, optimism, enthusiasm, and dedication. 

YouTube is . . . not something I watch often but useful for exploring sites when I can’t go there.

What five things would you never want to live without?
My family, air-conditioning, coffee, books, and good health.

3D movies are . . . Fun, we have a few in our collection to watch at home.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
An extrovert at conferences; an introvert at home.

Do you spend more on clothes or food?
Food comes first.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Pistachio nuts, grapes, and a glass of wine.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“Never surrender, never give up.”

What would your main character say about you?
“She needs to get out more.” Same thing my mother told me when I wanted to stay indoors and read.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?

I like the Helen B. Hoffman Plantation Library because it belongs to the city, not the county, and it’s like an old-fashioned homey library used to be. I belong to the Friends and attend meetings there.

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

Sarina in Circle of Light, my first published book. She became the legendary Great Healer. If I had the choice of any superpower, I would like to heal the sick.

What's your relationship with your cell phone?

It entertains me when I’m in waiting rooms or have an idle moment away from home. The slogan, “Don’t leave home without it” applies to your cell phone.

How true! 
How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Six to eight.

What is your favorite movie?
Galaxy Quest.

Do you have a favorite book?
Not any one in particular.

How about a favorite book that was turned into a movie?
Harry Potter. I liked the films because they stayed mostly true to the books.

Do you sweat the small stuff?

If you had to choose a cliche about life, what would it be?
“Life is short.” Remember that each moment is precious and cannot be repeated. Don’t waste your time. Make each minute count.

How long is your to-do list?

What are you working on now?
Hair Brained, #14 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. It’s a direct sequel to Facials Can Be Fatal which is coming next.

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting? Cake
Laptop or desktop? Desktop
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Either
Emailing or texting? Email
Indoors or outdoors? Indoors
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Unsweet
Plane, train, or automobile? Auto


Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring hairdresser Marla Vail, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide on how to write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, theme parks, cruising, and outlet shopping.

Connect with Nancy:
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