Friday, November 25, 2016



As this captivating cozy mystery series featuring real estate agent Sam Turner continues, a dream home turns into a crime scene when murder intrudes on an open house.

Thanks to a few sales and a self-help book on becoming a super-agent, Sam Turner is well on her way to becoming real estate royalty in Arlinda, her eccentric hometown on the Northern California coast. And after settling into her new house with her teenage son, she’s finally a homeowner, too. Sure, things aren’t perfect—for example, her sister still doesn’t know that Sam is dating her ex, police chief Bernie Aguilar—but perfect is boring. And Sam’s life is never boring.

When Sam’s boss, Everett Sweet, assigns her an open house in Arlinda’s most exclusive neighborhood, she brushes up on her super-agent tips, hoping to wow potential buyers. But there’s nothing in the manual about stumbling upon the owner’s dead body halfway through the tour. When suspicion falls on her boss, Sam and her co-workers are suddenly out of work, their real estate licenses suspended. Now, with her job on the line and a mortgage to pay, Sam will need every trick in the book to clear Everett’s name.


It’s been impossible to get anything done around here.

Not because of the spectacular fall weather, which on the North Coast tends more toward the “liquid sunshine” spectrum. We had record-setting rain in October, three roof leaks, and a body of water at the foot of our driveway that rivaled Lake Shasta. But that’s just business as usual when you live in a maritime climate.

Not because our year-long bathroom remodel means there’s a bathtub in the middle of the living room, a state of affairs that’s gone on so long it seems almost normal. You keep your tub in the bathroom? How odd.

Not because of the bitterly-fought election season. Don’t even get me started on that. If I could, I disappear into my writing room and emerge in 2020.
No, truth is, in a moment of weakness, I succumbed to the charms of . . . a puppy. And the sweet, sleepy, limpid-eyed bundle of golden fur I fell in love with has magically transformed into a dervish of sock-chewing, puddle-producing, middle-of-the-night-summoning boundless energy.

Last night I was up at one, then two, then again at three, at which point I gave up sleep as a lost cause and sprawled out in the tub with a book, Aggie the pup curled around my feet, until it was time for breakfast (two scoops of kibble and a cup of coffee).

My intentions were good, as they say. Our old retriever, Scout, was lonely. My boys pointed out that our animal family had dwindled over the last few years – such is the sad truth of companion animals, that they never live as long as our hearts need them to. A small dog, I thought, mature and sedate, would keep the old girl company. And then I met Limpid Eyes. It was all over in seconds. Before I knew what had hit me, I was naming her Agatha after my favorite author and stocking up on indestructible puppy toys, which she ignores in favor of leather Birkenstocks. At least her tastes are refined.

But it’s clear she’s an unqualified success in our household. It’s impossible to keep from smiling when there’s a puppy around. She plays hard and naps hard, except, of course, at night. She’s happy to trot up the street with the boys, proudly sporting her little purple harness, or curl up in a warm lap after an afternoon of digging up the garden – her preferred activity after her bath. She’s universally adored by everyone she meets.

Except, possibly, for Scout, whose peaceful afternoons dozing in the sun may at any moment be interrupted by a nip on the ear or a shrill bark inviting her to wake up and play. On several occasions, she’s firmly squashed Aggie’s overzealous enthusiasm, as a pack leader should. Other times, the two tear around the living room, barking at top volume until our ears ring. It’s bedlam.

I often wonder, especially around 2 a.m., why the whole notion of a second dog had seemed like a good idea.

Then yesterday I found my younger son curled up with the pup, his face buried in her fur. “I love you, Aggie,” he whispered.

Oh yeah. Now I remember.


Sarah Hobart
 is a real estate agent and former newspaper reporter in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children in a majestic fixer-upper overlooking State Highway 101.

Buy the book:

Amazon   |   B&N

Monday, November 21, 2016



Lyle Hall is a new man since his car accident and spinal injury. The notoriously insensitive Bridgehampton lawyer is now afflicted with an odd sensitivity to other people's pain. Especially that of a mysterious young girl he encounters outside a long-abandoned Victorian house late one October night. “Jewel” looks about 12. But Lyle knows she’s been dead a hundred years. Jewel wants his help, but it’s unclear how. As if in return, she shows him an appalling vision—his own daughter's tombstone. If it’s to be believed, Georgie’s last day is four days away. Despite Lyle’s strained relations with his police detective daughter, he’s shocked out of complacent convalescence and back into action in the real world.

But the world now seems surreal to the formerly Scrooge-like real estate lawyer. Lyle’s motion in court enjoining the Town of Southampton from demolishing the old house goes viral because he leaked that it might be haunted. This unleashes a horde of ghost-loving demonstrators and triggers a national media frenzy. Through it all strides Lyle’s new nemesis in high heels: a beautiful, scheming TV reporter known as Silk.

Georgie Hall’s own troubles mount as a campaign of stationhouse pranks takes a disturbing sexual turn. Her very first case is underway and her main suspect is a wannabe drug lord. Meanwhile, Lyle must choose: Repair his relationship with Georgie or succumb to the devious Silk and her exclusive media contract. He tells himself seeing Georgie’s epitaph was just a hallucination. But a few miles away the would-be drug lord is loading his assault rifle. Berto needs to prove himself.


Ken, what's your favorite thing about the writing process?

Solitude. If they’d only just leave me alone!

Do you have a writing routine?
Try to: 8:30 am to 1:30pm.

Do you write every day?
Yes. This is writing, right?

Absolutely. What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
Oh. Taken hostages.

What do you think is the hardest aspect of writing a book?
Plot. Characters are tremendous fun, I think, but they must have something to do.

What books do you currently have published?
Ghost Hampton. Smashed is on the way. (It’s about substance abusers in a rehab. And is funny. Sort of.)

What’s the oldest thing you own and still use?
My Dad’s watch.

Is writing your dream job?
Yes, if I can’t be a movie star.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? What did it teach you?

Delivering orders for a pharmacy when I was 18. Do well in college.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
PBS. I watched Wolf Blitzer for a year last night.

How do you feel about Facebook?
I’m addicted to it, but don’t tell anyone. And it’s a great way to keep up with both far-flung and close-flung friends and relatives and in-laws.

What scares you the most?
No afterlife whatsoever.

Would you make a good character in a book?

What five things would you never want to live without?
The New York Times
My Jeep Wrangler
My gym membership (without that I can’t have the first two)

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?
I never leave the house without cursing, because I’m always late for the next thing.

What do you love about where you live?
The changing seasons.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?

What's the biggest lie you ever told?
My golf score.

What’s your favorite fast food?

What’s your favorite beverage?

What drives you crazy?
Medical commercials on TV.

What is your superpower?
I get premonitions but do not understand what they mean until later, when something really happens and it’s not a surprise.

Name one thing you’re really good at and one thing you’re really bad at.
Ad libbing. Faking niceness.

What do you wish you could do?
Time travel.

What is one of your happiest moments?
The birth of my second son. (Kidding! The first was a blast, too!)

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
Smoke a cigar outside with a beer and text with old friends.

Where is your favorite place to visit?
The Caribbean. Anywhere in the Caribbean.

What would you name your autobiography?
Get it Right the First Time.

What’s your least favorite chore?
Pulling someone else’s hairs out of the shower drain. They’re definitely not mine.

Would you rather be a movie star, sports star, or rock star?
Movie. Rock is kind of over-rated. And sports . . . well, you know.

If you could be any movie star, sports star or rock star, who would you want to be?

Bruce Willis.

Do you give your characters any of your bad traits?

No! There’s nothing to give!

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

No. I kill them off to see if readers are paying attention.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy?
TV announcers who are unable to enunciate.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Left a New York City hospital with acute appendicitis.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Left a New York City hospital with acute appendicitis.

I guess I shouldn't be amazed at how many times those two answers go hand in hand. What is your most embarrassing moment?

Definitely that time on the bus. When the carload of teenage girls pulled up alongside.

What would your main character say about you?

“I love this guy.”

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

My hometown Manhasset Library. They’ve been very, very good to me. (So have the others, but they’re far away.)

Who is your favorite fictional character?
John Corey, by Nelson DeMille.

I like him too! 
If you had a talk show who would your dream guest be?
Elizabeth Banks.

What’s one thing that very few people know about you?
I’ve written a book called Ghost Hampton!

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

How do you like your pizza?
Crispy, with fresh tomato sauce, crumbled sausage and red pepper flakes.

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?

Can’t see it; too many icons and things.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m a caricaturist.  And I do vocal impersonations.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Brave, courageous and bold. Very.

What’s your favorite song?
“Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan.

What’s your favorite smell?

What’s your favorite color?

What are your favorite foods?

French food: French toast, French fries, French’s Mustard.

What do others say about your driving?


What’s your biggest pet peeve about writing?
Other people.

What is your favorite movie?
The Perfect Storm.

If you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?

Get me outta here!

What are you working on now?

Ghost Hampton Harrier (it’s the sequel)!


Ken McGorry has been writing since third grade. (He learned in first grade but waited two years.) He started a school newspaper with friends in seventh grade, but he’s better known for his 23 years as an editor of Post Magazine, a monthly covering television and film production. This century, he took up novel-writing and Ghost Hampton and Smashed are examples. More are in the works, like the promised Ghost Hampton sequel, but he’s kinda slow.

Ken lives on Long Island with his wife and they have two strapping sons. There are dogs. Ken is also a chef (grilled cheese, and only for his sons), and he enjoys boating (if it’s someone else’s boat). He has a band, The Achievements, that plays his songs (try Back at Manhattan College (English major!), he was a founding member of the venerable Meade Bros. Band. Ken really was an employee of Dan’s Papers in the Hamptons one college summer, and really did mow Dan’s lawn.

Connect with Ken:
Website     |  Facebook   |   Twitter  |   

Buy the book:

Friday, November 18, 2016



Professor Molly Barda is thrilled to be included in a grant to investigate attitudes toward biotechnology. But she immediately finds herself embroiled in the deadly fight between big biotech and anti-GMO activists. When Molly and her best friend Emma Nakamura stumble onto the scene of a brutal murder, they realize that everyone has something to hide–and there are some questions you don’t ask.

The Professor Molly mysteries are the first campus murder mysteries set in Hawaii.


The most dangerous animal is not what you think

As a mystery author, I’m always on the lookout for death and danger, and the animal kingdom is a great place to find both. Nature, Tennyson reminds us, is “red in tooth and claw,” and a quick perusal of the Netflix catalog confirms that ferocious animals continue to capture our imagination. Sharks (Jaws), dogs (Cujo), giant snakes (Anaconda), birds (The Birds), bears (Grizzly), rats (Willard), even cockroaches (that episode of Creepshow . . . *shudder*).

But when it comes to human fatalities, none of these creatures holds a candle to deer.
That’s right, deer.

In the United States, deer rack up (ha!) 120 human deaths a year, on average. Bears, alligators and sharks murder a paltry one human per year, and rattlesnakes, those slackers, are responsible for 0.23 annual deaths.

So where’s the scary deer movie? Aside from this one scene from The Ring Two, there doesn’t seem to be anything.

Maybe it’s because deer don’t look that fierce.

Also, they aren’t really out to get us; we’ve expanded into their habitat, and most of the fatalities result from humans in cars running into them. The deer, it must be said, don’t benefit from these encounters any more than we humans do.

So would I consider a death-by-deer plotline? Sure.

It could even be seasonally appropriate.

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair.

She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.


Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Connect with Frankie:
Webpage  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  LinkedIn 

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



Coffeehouse manager and reluctant sleuth Juliet Langley returns in a gripping novel from the bestselling author of Death Before Decaf and Mug Shot. Just as things are perking up in Nashville, a serial killer sends tensions foaming over. 

Juliet’s personal and professional lives have recently received an extra jolt of energy. Her romance with the hunky detective Ryder Hamilton continues to simmer, and business at Java Jive has never been better. But her good mood quickly turns as stale as day-old espresso when she finds out that Ryder has been promoted to his precinct’s homicide division. With him risking his life to catch the worst kind of criminals, Juliet’s growing sense of unease ignites when a local college student goes missing.

Suddenly every Nashville resident is on high alert, especially Juliet’s neighbor Chelsea. Juliet does her best to calm the girl’s nerves, but her worst fears are confirmed when she finds Chelsea dead. Even though she tries her best to stay out of it, Juliet’s involvement puts a strain on Ryder’s first homicide case. The situation soon becomes even more personal for Juliet and her best friend Pete Bennett when one of their employees disappears during her shift. As a killer lurks in the shadows, Juliet, Pete, and Ryder seek out a double shot of justice.


I’m a little new to songwriting, but I’ve found that it’s one of my favorite things to do.  I’m even taking songwriting lessons (along with my nine-year-old daughter, who is super creative and musical) from The Honey Vines, a fantastic local singer/songwriter duo.

The first thing I decide is what kind of a song I want to write—a soulful ballad, an up-tempo pop tune, a jazzy throwback, etc.  That totally dictates the rest of the process for me.  Then I decide what the main theme of the song is going to be.  Am I going to deal with love, loss, and break-up, or is it going to just be something fun?  Once I have some kind of idea where I’m going, I listen to other songs in the genre and songs with similar themes to get some ideas.

When I’m ready to buckle down and do some actual work, I begin by jotting down notes outlining the theme—ultimately, the points I want to make in the song.  Then I start playing around with chord progressions I think “sound” like they’ll go with my idea. 

I take the notes I’ve jotted down and then write some snippets of lines and phrases I want to use.  Building on that, I take those phrases and group them by ideas that would fit together.  I group those ideas by ones that might rhyme, or be made to rhyme, and I decide what parts I want to include in the verses, chorus, and bridge.

After I have a clear idea, I nail down the chord progression and strum pattern I’ll use on the guitar, which forces me to firm up my phrases into real lyrics that will fit into the rhythmic pattern I’m planning to use.  Once that is done, I let my creative juices flow and come up with a melody that works with both the chord progression and the lyrics.  That’s not always an easy task, and most of the time I have to go back and tweak the lyrics to better fit within the melody.

As with any writing endeavor, I go back over what I’ve done with a critical eye, making changes to tighten everything up and smooth everything out.  When I’m sufficiently happy with my nearly-finished product, I make a rough recording so I can sing along and come up with some harmony vocals, which is my favorite part.  If given the choice, I always want to be the backup singer instead of the lead, because I think harmony is way more fun. 

The only thing left to do after that is to use my Finale program to make a professional-looking copy of the sheet music, which is the worst part.  After enjoying so much creative freedom, it all comes down to fighting with a computer in order to be able to share my music with the rest of the world!

To learn more about my book writing process, follow the A WHOLE LATTE MURDER blog tour for more of my guest posts.  And to hear my latest song, “You Are Mine,” from A WHOLE LATTE MURDER, go to for a list of retailers.


Caroline Fardig is the author of Death Before Decaf and the Lizzie Hart series. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.

Connect with Caroline:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  |  Amazon 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |   B&N

Sunday, November 13, 2016



As Halloween approaches, engaged couple Mae December and Sheriff Ben Bradley have devoted all their energy to Ben’s campaign for reelection as sheriff of Rose County, Tennessee. The race is already too close to call when the sheriff’s office is hit with yet another maddeningly tricky murder case. In recent years the town of Rosedale has had more than its fair share of murders, a fact Ben’s smarmy opponent is all too eager to exploit.

Investigator Dory Clarkson and her friend, Counselor Evangeline Bon Temps, are visiting the mysterious Voodoo village when a resident tells them her granddaughter, Zoé Canja, is missing. Her dog, a Weimaraner nursing four pups, escapes the house and finds the young woman’s body in a shallow grave. Evangeline becomes Sheriff Ben Bradley’s unofficial consultant because her grandmother in Haiti and later her mother in New Orleans practiced Voodoo. A threatening symbol is left on the pavement by Dory’s front door, effectively banning her from the case. Evangeline and the sheriff’s office ask too many questions, and Evangeline soon wears out her welcome. Voodoo curses aside, Ben’s job is at stake, and no one associated with the case is safe until the killer is found.

Book 5 in the Mae December Mystery series, which began with One Dog Too Many.


Note: Lia Farrell is a mother/daughter writing team. These answers are from the mother, Lyn.

Lia, how did you get started writing?
Wrote grants and journal articles for much of my career. Started writing fiction when I took early retirement in 2008.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
Starting a new book.

Do you have a writing routine?
Normally write 2 hours each morning.

Do you write every day?
Usually 5 days a week.

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process? Started years ago!

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

How often do you read?
Every day and normally in my genre.

What is your writing style?

I am plot oriented and set up problems my characters need to solve.

What do you think makes a good story?
Great characters, a cool setting, and a writer who can take me there.

What books do you currently have published?
One Dog Too Many, Two Dogs Lie Sleeping, Three Dog Day, Four Dog’s Sake, Five Dog Voodoo (release date 11/16) also Indie published by Lyn Farquhar: Journey to Maidenstone, The Songs of Skygrass, Skygrass Reunion Sab-ra’s Story, Skygrass Reunion, Ruby’s Story.

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

How much of an author’s life has to be devoted to marketing and publicity. I don’t like this part as much as writing.

Do you have any secret talents?
I have a nearly perfect color sense and most of my memories are in still images like photographs. Most people’s memories are like movies.

Is writing your dream job?
For sure. Only wish it made more $.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
Running a cash register at a student book store (when I was 19) at the beginning of fall semester. Routinely gave customers back too much $. My cash register never balanced. They fired me. Taught me I needed to do something that didn’t involve handling cash.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
I love the Goodreads and the Amazon Book Giveaways. It’s really good for a series writer.

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

How do you feel about Facebook?
I don’t love the personal side of it, but it has been helpful in posting updates about the May December series to friends and for posting book covers.

For what would you like to be remembered?

As a person who left behind something for others to enjoy.

What scares you the most?
Being too ill at the end of my life to take care of my pets.

Would you make a good character in a book?
I think I would because I’m energetic, open-minded, love kids and dogs, and commit myself to what I want to get from life.

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?

Debit card and most of the time, my dog.

What do you love about where you live?

We have many large 40 acre parcels with mowed paths for walking in my area and my yard is filled with huge trees and multiple gardens.

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

Going to a play in Stratford, Canada.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?

Junior Mints.

What's the biggest lie you ever told?

Goodness, there are so many . . . I consider exaggeration and sometimes making things up part of the life of a story teller and author.

What’s your favorite fast food?


What’s your favorite beverage?


What drives you crazy?

People who won’t try to learn new things.

What is your superpower?

An eidetic memory for images.

Name one thing you’re really good at and one thing you’re really bad at.

I have an excellent sense of time and always know how much time something will take whether it’s cleaning the garage or writing a chapter of a book. I am badly coordinated and I was always the last person chosen for sports teams in school.

What do you wish you could do?

Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

What is one of your happiest moments?

The day our publisher sent us a contract. 

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
There is never nothing to do in my life! When things are slow, I read, write, or take long walks, even when it’s below zero outside. 

Where is your favorite place to visit?
Santorini, an island in the Cyclades. 

What’s your least favorite chore?
I hate to iron because I’m so bad at it. Actually I think I’d hate it even if I were good at it.

Do you give your characters any of your bad traits?

Yes, Detective Nichols suffers from low self-esteem and has a hard time forgiving himself. I do too.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy?

I don’t suffer fools gladly.

What’s your favorite/most visited Internet site?


What’s in your refrigerator right now?

I make chocolate melting cakes for family dinners and often have extras chilling in the fridge. They only take 16 minutes to cook in the oven. Delicious.

What is the most daring thing you've done?

I am 73 years old. This year I hiked to the top of the Acropolis in Athens in 103 degree heat. 

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?

Going to a bar late at night with a girlfriend who ditched me and took my car keys with her.

What’s one of your favorite quotes
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” -Anias Nin

What would your main character say about you?

That I should get a life and a boyfriend.

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

I have a hard time writing scenes that are violent. Hate doing it. It’s because I deplore violence in life.

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

I love the Special Collections room in the basement of the MSU Library for all the old books that have to be handled with white gloves under the gimlet eyes of a librarian.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

Ruth Galloway, the archeologist in the Ellie Griffith books.

If you had a talk show who would your dream guests be?

Spock, the Dalai Lama, and Jane Goddall.

What’s one thing that very few people know about you?

That I’ve always wanted to own a farm.

How do you like your pizza?

Thin crust, sausage, green peppers.

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?

Pictures of flowers.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Intellectual, energetic, creative, animal lover, self-critical, grandmother.

What’s your favorite song?

"Bridge over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkle.

What is your favorite movie?

Out of Africa. 

Do you have a favorite book?
Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandrian Quartet.

What are you working on now?

Book 6 in the Mae December series.


Lyn Farquhar taught herself to read before starting school and honed her story telling abilities by reading to her little sister. Ultimately, her mother ended the reading sessions because Lyn’s sister decided she preferred being read to over learning to read herself. She fell in love with library books at the age of six when a Bookmobile came to her one-room rural elementary school. The day the Bookmobile arrived, Lyn decided she would rather live in the bookmobile than at home and was only ousted following sustained efforts by her teacher and the bookmobile driver.

Lyn graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan and got her college and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a Ph.D. in Education, but has always maintained that she remained a student for such a long time only because it gave her an excuse to read. Lyn holds the rank of Professor of Medical Education at Michigan State University and has authored many journal articles, abstracts and research grants. Since her retirement from MSU to become a full time writer, she has completed a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy called Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom. Volume I from the trilogy is entitled Journey to Maidenstone and is available on Lyn has two daughters and six step children, nine granddaughters and three grandsons. She also has two extremely spoiled Welsh Corgi’s. Her hobby is interior design and she claims she has the equivalent of a master’s degree from watching way too many decorating shows.


Lisa Fitzsimmons grew up in Michigan and was always encouraged to read, write and express herself artistically. She was read aloud to frequently. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was seldom seen without a book in hand. After becoming a mom at a young age, she attended Michigan State University in a tri-emphasis program with concentrations in Fine Art, Art History an Interior Design.

Lisa, with her husband and their two children, moved to North Carolina for three exciting years and then on to Tennessee, which she now calls home. She has enjoyed an eighteen year career as a Muralist and Interior Designer in middle Tennessee, but has always been interested in writing. Almost five years ago, Lisa and her mom, Lyn, began working on a writing project inspired by local events. The Mae December Mystery series was born.

Lisa, her husband and their three dogs currently divide their time between beautiful Northern Michigan in the summertime and middle Tennessee the rest of the year. She and her husband feel very blessed that their “empty nest” in Tennessee is just a short distance from their oldest, who has a beautiful family of her own. Their youngest child has settled in Northern Michigan, close to their cabin there. Life is good.

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

Buy the book:
   |  Barnes & Noble

Friday, November 11, 2016



New to the historic town of Metamora, Indiana, Cameron Cripps-Hayman is looking to make friends with her neighbors. What she isn’t looking for is one of their bodies floating in the canal.

When she and her estranged husband, the town sheriff, are both named suspects for the murder, Cameron takes solving the crime into her own hands, teaming up with her eccentric co-workers who dub themselves The Metamora Action Agency.

As if hunting for a murderer with two high school geniuses, the town drunk, and an elderly kleptomaniac isn’t hard enough, Cameron adopts the five mangy guard dogs of her deceased neighbor. But maybe a stint at playing gatekeeper is just what she needs to come face-to-face with the killer and save another neighbor from being the next victim.


Jamie, what is your writing style?
I write dialogue and action heavy books with a fast pace, and I attempt to write humorous cozies. 

Is writing your dream job?
It was at one time. Now I would rather do it just as something I love to do.

What five things would you never want to live without?
Sneakers, my shower, Advil, chocolate, and coffee.

What’s your favorite thing to do on date night?
Dinner and a movie with my husband and even my two teenagers. We love Marvel movies, Harry Potter, and Starwars.

What’s your least favorite chore?
Laundry because it takes forever!

What would your main character say about you?
“Wow, we have a lot in common!”

Who is your favorite fictional character?
Jamie and Claire Frazier in the Outlander series are tied. You can’t really have one without the other. 

You have a personal chef for the night. What would you ask him to prepare?
My husband cooks a lot, although I wouldn’t say he’s a personal chef . . . I ask him to make his French onion soup a lot.

How do you like your pizza?

My kind of woman! 
What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
My 14 year old daughter and 13 year old son being silly.

How often do you read?
I try to read a bit every day. I read everything. Historical fiction, fantasy, all kinds of genres. Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with reading about Sisi, Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

Do you have a favorite book?
Where’d You Go Bernadette? is my favorite book. Author, (and former Arrested Development producer) Maria Semple is a genius. Plus, I think I might be Bernadette (minus her architecture abilities).

What are you working on now?
Book 3 in the Dog Days Mysteries series.


Jamie Blair (Ohio) is the award-winning author of young adult and romance books, including Leap of Faith (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and Lost to Me.

Connect with Jamie:
Website  |  

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo 

Monday, November 7, 2016



A mysterious woman appears on the doorstep of Great Aunt Sybil’s Attic in the middle of the night. Owner Anne Hillstrom lets her in, only to have the woman die in her arms. With no final words, and only an old lantern clutched to her chest, the dead woman provides Anne and her partner CC precious few clues to discover her murderer or why she spent her last moments in their antique store. The two Antique Hunters search for clues, finding themselves entangled in a centuries-old mystery leading them to a cemetery in Ireland where a ghost from the past has left them a cryptic message, and a killer has left them no choice but to discover his identity before he kills again. On their journey, the two best friends encounter antiques, romance and the key to a murder.


Only 49 more days left until Christmas. If you’re anything like me, you struggle finding just the right gift for your friends and family. I start my shopping early and often, beginning on December 26 of the previous year. For those I haven’t met already, I am Anne Hillstrom, antique hunter and star of the Antique Hunter Mystery Series by Vicki Vass. This year my shopping list is quite full with all the new friends I’ve met through my adventures with my business partner and dearest friend, CC Muller.

When we opened our antique store, Great-Aunt Sybil’s Attic, I thought life couldn’t get any better. All our blog fans came to the opening and shared their requests for orphaned artifacts. Finding the right home for these antiques is my greatest pleasure in life. But then tragedy struck as it is want to do, when an old woman carrying an antique lantern appeared on our doorstep and collapsed in my arms. Her dying words sent us on a journey that changed our lives forever.

Thankfully Vicki was able to chronicle our adventure as she always does. But it left me woefully behind in my holiday shopping. As I closed the store for the night, I glanced around at all the beautiful antiques we have collected. Above the cash register, Aunt Sybil’s portrait smiled at me, giving me inspiration and the key to my dilemma. This year, I’d give memories for Christmas.

I asked each one of my friends and family to write a ‘Dear Santa’ letter, including a list of their heart’s desires and their favorite memories of their childhood Christmases. I checked the list with no need to check it twice because all my friends are nice. Well, Betsy Buttersworth has a tendency to be naughty. She’s always trying to outbid me at auctions and flirt with my on-again, off-again boyfriend, the very tall and very British detective Nigel Towers. But it’s Christmas and all is forgiven.

For that reason, I began with Betsy’s wish list. Betsy and I were best friends at one time growing up on the northwest side of Chicago. Her favorite memory was Christmas dinner at her grandmother’s house in 1976. Even as a young girl, Betsy appreciated fine things. All her cousins would gather around the long mahogany table, next to the roaring fire. Her grandmother’s finest bone china and silver candlesticks set next to pine cones, poinsettias and gold ornaments. After the feast was finished, the children would sip hot chocolate from her gold adorned, hand-painted Haviland Limoges chocolate service. It was literally Betsy’s first taste of the joy of fine china. It took me some time but I found it.

For my dear cousin, Suzanne, and her sweet little girls, it was a strange request but one I understood quite well. Our beloved Grandpa Booty Hillstrom, so named for his workboots, was known for his dill pickles. When he left Sweden in the early 1900s, he brought with him the Hillstrom family pickling jar. Suzanne and I played with it as young girls, pretending to make pickles for all dolls. It was a memory I held fond also. That jar had long been lost. It took some doing but I found almost the exact jar on eBay. Now she can continue the tradition with her daughters.

And, for my dearest CC, I searched estate sales near and far and found her the perfect gift. Even as a young girl, she knew she wanted to be a journalist. She would come over to my house and interview my dolls, writing up stories about the day’s events. And, occasionally we would sneak into her father’s study where she would click away on his old Remington portable typewriter. I found one in perfect condition. I imagined all her stories she would write and all the stories that had been written on this piece of American history.

As I went through my Christmas list, I realized I had not written one for myself. I sat, sipping my tea, with my white Persian, Sassy, curled around my feet by the fire and her naughty kitten, Sybil, laying across the top of my wingback chair. I thought about all the blessings in my life, all the people who have come and gone, and I realized the gift I wanted for Christmas was to share these memories with my friends and family. And maybe just maybe a Sterling Silver soup tureen for my Christmas table. But I’d be happy with just the memories, too. What about you? Perhaps you should ask your friends and family for a Christmas memory list.


With a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.
Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.
She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

Connect with Vicki:
Website  | Blog  |  Facebook 

Buy the book:
Amazon | B&N

Saturday, November 5, 2016



They say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a stuffy literary writer falling in love with a self-published romance writer?
Meet novelist Aaron Mite. He lives in a flea-infested rented alcove, and his girlfriend Emma, a combative bookstore owner, has just dumped him. He meets Laurie Lee at a writers’ colony and mistakenly believes her to be a renowned writer of important fiction. When he discovers she’s a self-published romance author, he’s already fallen in love with her.
Aaron thinks genre fiction is an affront to the fiction-writing craft. He likes to quotes the essayist, Arthur Krystal who claims literary fiction “melts the frozen sea inside of us.” Ironically Aaron doesn’t seem to realize that, despite his lofty literary aspirations, he’s emotionally frozen, due, in part, to a childhood tragedy. The vivacious Laurie, lover of flamingo-patterned attire and all things hot pink, is the one person who might be capable of melting him. In the tradition of the Rosie Project, Love Literary Style is a sparkling romantic comedy which pokes fun at the divide between so-called low and high brow fiction.


Top-Secret Writing Tips Revealed

Every  once in a while, I get a phone call from someone who will say, “I want to be a writer. Will you tell me how to do it? Could we have lunch or actually, I don’t have time for lunch. How about coffee? Or could you just e-mail me your answers.”
 know what they actually seek from me. They want to know the real writing secrets; the ones buried deep in the bowel of a mountain and closely guarded by a moat filled with hammer-head sharks.

They most definitely do NOT want the garden variety secrets that can be readily accessed by any old Joe Schmo with a library card or internet access.

In the past I’ve declined to reveal the secrets because when they were told to me by a cabal of tipsy mega bestselling authors at a writers’ conference, I was warned not to tell anyone, lest my tongue shrivel up, and turn to dust.

But, in the interest of educating my fellow writers, I have finally decided to risk a dusty tongue and lift the veil of silence. So here they are:

The 5 sacred secrets to writing.

If you’re working too hard, you’re doing it wrong.

You’ve probably been told writing is Sisyphean task. That great art only comes with suffering. Not true. The muse is actually a lazy girl who loves to putter. She doesn’t respond to bullhorns or whips or clenched jaws. She isn’t interested in your 4,000 daily word count goal or any of your other grand ambitions. If you poke and prod her enough, she’ll begrudgingly release some prose, but it’s likely going to be cliché, dry, and strained.

You must give your imagination time; don’t panic or over plan. As writer Brenda Ureland says in If You Want To Write “…Your soul gets frightfully sterile and dry because you are so quick, snappy and efficient about doing one thing after another that you have no time for your own ideas to come in and develop and gently shine.”

Give writing your full attention

When a brain surgeon removes a malignant mass from the cerebral cortex his mind is only on tumor and tissue, not Twitter. His attention is so rapt he barely needs a knife.

And so it should be when you’re writing. The muse flourishes best when the writer is living in the present moment with full attention to the task. Such sustained attention is difficult to maintain for long periods of time so you should always take breaks. Believe it or not, frequent breaks actually increase productivity.

Meditation also helps with attention. Fifteen minutes a day of quietly watching your breath and your thoughts will do wonders for your writing. When silly thoughts intrude during your writing time, whether they be moments of grandiosity or self-loathing, you’ll immediately recognize them and cut them off saying, “Please don’t pester me now. Can’t you see I’m writing?”

Write first drafts with wild abandon

Remember when you were eight and something marvelous happened at school, like maybe an alley cat wandered into the lunch room and the teacher chased it and fell on her behind and everyone got a peek at her days-of-the-week underwear?

Remember how that story came out in a great rush? And yes, maybe it was a mess in the telling but it crackled with enthusiasm.

Many, many years ago when I first started writing, several other women and I would get together and one would shout out a topic and we would write for twenty minutes and never quit moving our hands. (We got the idea from Natalie Goldberg’s book Wild Mind.)

Breathless, beautiful stuff would come flowing out of our pens, prose you’d think we would labored over like Egyptian slaves.

Except for one girl. Her writing sounded like an essay on her summer vacation to an earthworm farm. She couldn’t let go; she was too attached to making an impression or playing it safe or being writerly, which brings me to my next point.

Learn to Let Go

You’ve heard of the phrase “kill your darlings?” The truth is, everything you write is a potential darling, don’t get attached to any of it. Sometimes you might have to slash and burn great forests of words, and you will fret over word count because you are under the mistaken belief that the muse is stingy and won’t replace them, when, in truth, there are always more words to be had–newer, better, shinier, truer words. Words that will make readers shiver and quiver with recognition.

And when you finish the writing, you must also let it go, let it find its place in the world. Don’t get too attached to either the pans or praise and always remember the writing is of you but is not you.

But what about publication? Fame? Fortune? My interview with Terry Gross?

The only time you should ever think about publication is late at night when you are far away from your pen or your computer, and then you can dreams your dreams of bestseller lists and author action dolls.

But when you sit down to write, sit down because you are a generous soul who wants to share what you see and feel, and you’re passionate about what you have to say and you can’t bottle it up any more. Or maybe you write to understand something about yourself, and that’s why you must go at it. But never sit down with the idea of wowing anyone—agents, editors or the public. The expectations will weigh your writing down and it will hit the page with a sickening thud.

And now, I will leave you with this final sage advice; the most important of all:

Show, don’t tell. And for Godsakes never, EVER include a prologue.

I’m kidding.

Here is the biggest secret about writing:

The joy of doing it on a regular basis will always surpass the tangible rewards of writing for publication… yes, even the interview with Terry Gross cannot begin to touch it. You might not believe that now—I know it took me forever to come to that point– but one day you will and if the magic is going to happen, that’s when it will happen.


Karin Gillespie is the national-bestselling novelist and has also written for the New York Times, Washington Post and Writer Magazine. She has an MFA from Converse College and lives in Augusta, Georgia and was recently awarded a Georgia Author of the Year award.  Visit her on her web site, her FB page or on Twitter. She is also on Good Reads. A book excerpt can be found here.

Buy the book:

Thursday, November 3, 2016



Coop's case takes an unexpected twist when he discovers the dead body of his latest client.

A newcomer to Nashville with a troublesome problem requests an emergency meeting with private detective Cooper “Coop” Harrington. When she fails to keep her appointment, Coop and Annabelle, his faithful friend and assistant, become worried and go in search of their new client. Their hopes for a quiet Sunday are dashed when they discover her dead body.

Coop and Annabelle find themselves immersed in the investigation, uncovering tenuous links to a handful of suspects. With the help of his loyal golden retriever, Gus, and meddling but well-meaning Aunt Camille, Coop works to untangle the web of connections to expose the motive and identity of the killer before anyone else is murdered.


Friday morning, Coop was ensconced in his favorite booth at Peg’s Pancakes across from his best friend and Chief of Detectives, Ben Mason. They had been meeting for breakfast every Friday for the last twenty years, having met in school at Vanderbilt. Although they couldn’t be more unalike in looks, with Ben short, stocky, and balding, and Coop tall and lanky, with a full head of dark hair, they were closer than brothers. They were discussing the current state of crime in Nashville, with Ben focused on the recent hit and run.
    “So, no leads yet?” asked Coop.

    Ben shook his head and moved his coffee cup to make room for Myrtle’s delivery. She placed two heaping plates in front of each of them. “Y’all eat up now. Anything else for my two favorite men?”

    Coop smiled. “Looks delicious. I just need AB’s order before we leave.”

    Myrtle smiled and turned to retrieve the coffee pot. She refilled their cups and said, “I’d never forget that sweet girl. I’ll be back with her box in a jiffy.”

    “No leads. From the camera feeds it looks like a black SUV, no plates, nothing to identify it, and dark windows. We’re trying to enhance everything, but with the rain and the reflection of the lights, the quality is horrible.”

    Coop shook his head. “Tragic situation all around. Looked like a nice kid.”

    Ben nodded as he stuffed a wedge of pancake in his mouth. “Nobody had anything negative to say about him. I can’t figure out why the car didn’t stop though. Speeding away doesn’t help your case when you’ve hit a man.”

    Myrtle returned with the check and a box she placed in front of Coop. “There y’all be.”

    Ben’s phone rang and he wiped the syrup from his mouth and answered. “Got it. I’ll be there in a few minutes.” He disconnected and took a swig of his coffee.

    “Gotta run?”

    Ben nodded. “Homicide in Bells Bend. Guy shot to death while running.”

    “Another reason I don’t like exercise,” said Coop, puffing up his chest so Ben could get a look at his t-shirt of the day. It read, Exercise?  I thought you said extra fries.
    Ben smirked and shook his head. He threw some bills on the table. “My turn this week. Give AB a hug from me.”

    “Catch ya later,” waved Coop, as Ben slid out of the booth.

    Myrtle came by the table and let out a tsk. “That poor man never gets to enjoy a meal anymore.” She filled Coop’s cup. “Too many hooligans in the world today.”

    “There’s been a murder. He had to go.” He shoved the money and the check to Myrtle. “Keep the change.”

    She beamed and tucked the money in her apron pocket. “See you boys next week.”

    Coop gathered the box and took one more gulp from his cup before leaving through the glass doors, festooned with holly and berries for the holidays. He jumped in the Jeep and Gus lifted his head, sniffing the box.

“That’s not for you, big guy.” Coop petted the golden retriever’s head, causing a thumping frenzy of the dog’s tail.

He drove the few blocks to Harrington and Associates and parked behind the renovated three-story home that served as his offices. Gus bounded out of the Jeep and waited by the back door. Coop turned the handle and the dog slid across the wood floor, his paws wet from the rain.


Winner of 2016 Gold Medal from Global E-Book Awards

When private detective Cooper “Coop” Harrington meets record label mogul Grayson Taylor at a swank gathering of country music artists and politicians he never imagines he’ll be investigating his brutal murder less than twenty-four hours later. 

The suspects are plentiful. More than a handful of people could have wanted him dead. Retained by Taylor’s widow, Coop works alongside his best friend and Chief of Detectives, Ben Mason. The investigation leads Coop and Ben to visit the luxurious mansions of recording industry magnates, navigate the murky undercurrents of the political world, and probe complicated family matters. Scandalous indiscretions, secrets, and hints of corruption swirl in the midst of their pursuit of the killer. 

Coop’s faithful friend and assistant, Annabelle and his loyal golden retriever, Gus, both lend a hand during the investigation. Even his Aunt Camille mines the local gossip mill to unearth potential killers with motive. Yet the case seems hopeless until a crucial piece of evidence emerges that sends Coop and Ben on a race to catch the killer before someone else dies.



#1 Finding Home
A coming to life journey for a middle-aged woman, who flees to a small island expecting a change of scenery and discovers much more.

Shattered by her husband's infidelities after twenty-five years of marriage, Sam Collins is plagued by constant fear and loneliness, reliving the tragic death of her parents and the betrayal by the man she loved. She leaves Seattle seeking relief from the relentless darkness that has swallowed her. With only her dog for companionship, she sets out to live in her vacation home on San Juan Island. 

In her search for a carpenter, she meets the handsome and very available, Jeff Cooper. Sam's not looking for romance, but can't deny the attraction to the retired firefighter, turned handyman. While working together and eating her pies, Jeff finds himself falling for her. 

The past she wrestles to let go of comes hurtling back when she least expects it. In an effort to help a struggling young man, she is forced to confront the anguish she is desperate to escape. While torn between love and friendship, she must face her fears and choose between the life she's known and a chance for a family and home she's been longing for all her life.

#2 Home Blooms
Return to the picturesque island community where you’ll check in with your old friends and meet a few new ones along the way.

Linda is knee deep in bouquets and boutonnieres, designing a beautiful ceremony for Sam and Jeff. The bride’s matchmaking plot takes shape as she volunteers her best friend, Max, to help Linda create the perfect wedding. 

Linda and Max are thrown together when a tragedy threatens to destroy the honeymooners’ newfound happiness before they have the possibility of a life together. Compelled to make some changes in life, Linda uncovers a family secret that causes her to question her existence and leads her on a search for the truth. 

As Max begins to penetrate the protective walls around Linda’s heart, a visit from her youth causes her to risk it all. While struggling between the past and the future, Linda has a chance to let more than her flowers bloom.
#3  A Promise of Home
Spend Christmas in Friday Harbor this year surrounded by the friends you know and a couple of special deliveries from the Hometown Harbor Series.

In between holiday activities, friends of Linda and Max are helping plan their Valentine’s Day wedding. Regi is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her fortieth birthday and the fulfillment of the promise she and Cam made over twenty years ago. 

As she anticipates the reunion with Cam, she’s oblivious to the signals the local delivery man, Nate, is giving her. She and Nate work together helping a newcomer open an art and antiques shop. While spending time together, she discovers she has feelings for Nate and bonds with the new shopkeeper over their past losses. 

As Regi’s contemplating her choices, she’s dealt a blow that brings her to her knees and reconnects her with the past. In the pursuit of her youthful fairytale promise, she’ll risk the only chance she’s encountered for true happiness and a home.

#4 Pieces of Home
A story of long ago secrets revealed and the strength of one woman’s journey to overcome the pain of her past.

Ellie hasn’t seen or spoken to her parents in twenty years—since she came to live on the island with her aunt and uncle.  Ellie’s all grown up now and runs the popular family bakery, Sweet Treats. 

An unforeseen plea for help forces Ellie to reveal a secret she’s kept hidden from even her closest friends.  Her innate kindness and desire to help propel her on a turbulent journey.  The pieces of her past she’s worked so hard to escape resurface and bring her face to face with heartache.  In the midst of unearthing her long buried pain, she faces challenges that threaten her livelihood and those she holds most dear.

When newcomer Blake Griffin arrives, he frequents the bakery in the early morning hours and over fresh cinnamon rolls they develop a friendship.  He renews a sense of hope and joy in Ellie, but she’s hesitant to trust him with her heart.  Instead of letting her past define her future, Ellie must summon the courage to recognize an unexpected path may be a welcome gift.

Prequel to book 1: Hometown Harbor: The Beginning
Dive into Sam's private journal in this prequel novella to the first book in the Hometown Harbor Series.

Get a glimpse into Sam's life and thoughts through selected excerpts from her journal over the last thirty years. You'll get to know her before she takes center stage as the main character in Finding Home: A Hometown Harbor Novel


5 favorite foods:     
ice cream, chocolate, cheeseburgers, potatoes, and strawberries

5 things you love about where you live:   
rural, mountains, sunsets, family, and community

5 things you need in order to write:
outline, post-its, cup of tea, my characters, and my computer

5 favorite places you’ve been:
Lake Tahoe, Ireland, Vancouver Island, San Juan Islands, Zion National Park

5 things you always put in your books:   
dogs, friendships, food, surprises, and characters I love


Tammy L. Grace is the award-winning author of The Hometown Harbor Series of women’s fiction set in the picturesque San Jan Islands in Washington and a mystery series set in Nashville, Tennessee, featuring Cooper Harrington, Private Detective.
Born and raised in Nevada, Tammy L. Grace loved reading at a young age. With the help of her middle school teacher, she discovered the joy of writing. When Tammy isn't working on ideas for a novel, she's spending time with family and friends or supporting her addiction to books and chocolate. She and her husband have one grown son and a spoiled golden retriever.

Connect with Tammy:
Website    |   Blog   |   Facebook  |    Twitter  |   Goodreads  |   Amazon