Friday, November 8, 2019

CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH DEBRA SENNEFELDER'S HOPE EARLY










Food blogger Hope Early finds one item not on her scavenger hunt list—a dead husband . . .
 


Between developing her food blog, Hope at Home, and choosing low-cal recipes for a feature in Cooking Now! magazine, Hope has a full plate. Still, she’s never too busy to compete in a Jefferson, Connecticut, tradition—the town’s annual scavenger hunt.



But as she races with her team to check off the next item, Hope discovers a grisly surprise—the body of shady real estate developer Lionel Whitcomb, shot in a parking lot. His wife Elaine, who’s also in the hunt, gasps and nearly faints. But two other women on the scene cry out that their husband is dead.



It turns out this louse of a spouse was more than a little lax in legally divorcing his former wives. Did one of them put a bullet in the bigamist? Number one suspect and number three wife Elaine begs Hope to investigate. Now Hope is on a new kind of hunt—for a cold-hearted killer and triple widow-maker . . .



Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!


Book Details:


Title: Three Widows and a Corpse   

Author: Debra Sennefelder

Genre: cozy mystery


Series: The Food Blogger Mystery Series, book 3


Publisher: Kensington Publishing (October 29,2019)


Print length: 352 pages


On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours









Basic Character Questions

Name: Hope Early.
Age: mid-thirties.
Hair color: brunette.
Relationship status: dating.
Name of (romantic) partner: Ethan Cahill.
Personal style: (hippie, preppie, classic, sloppy, jeans/t-shirts . . . ) Since she spends her days recipe testing and photographing her recipes, she prefers yoga pants and hoodies.
Is this a main character or supporting character? Main character.

Personality

Is she optimistic or pessimistic? Optimistic.
Is she an introvert or extrovert? A little mix of both.
What is her strongest character trait? She’s tenacious.
What quality does she most value in a friend? Honesty.
What is her pet peeves? Not using coasters.
What is her ambitions? To grow her food blog and expand beyond to incorporate videos and cookbooks.
What past act is she most proud of? Turning her blog into a full-time job in such a crowded field.
What is her password? Ha! Like she could remember. Too many passwords.
What is her favorite food? Chocolate anything.
Is she a messy or a neat housekeeper? Neat. Borderline obsessive.
Describe her home. It’s a work in progress. When she saw first saw the house, she knew it was perfect for her. Though, the farmhouse needed a lot of work.
What does she do first thing on a weekday morning? She loves to go for a run now first thing. It helps clear her mind and she likes to listen to podcasts.
What does she do on a Sunday afternoon? She enjoys making an early supper and then curling up with Ethan and her pets, Bigelow and Princess, to watch a movie.
What does she do on a Friday night? Lately, she loves making homemade pizza and inviting her sister with her family and her friends over for dinner.

Friends and Family

Does she have a big or small family? Who does it consist of? Hope has a sister, Claire, who is married and has two children, Logan and Hannah.
Does she have any pets? Yes, two adoptive pets. Bigelow a dog she took in after his owners could no longer care for him. Princess is the fluffy white cat she rescued after a neighbor passed away.
Who are her enemies? She really doesn’t have enemies. Well, she has a childhood frenemy, Meg Griffin. Their relationship is complicated but they’re working on it.
Is she in a relationship? Yes, she’s dating Ethan Cahill.
Has she ever had her heart broken? Yes, when she divorced not too long ago.
Does she have a sidekick? Two. Her best friend, Drew Adams. He’s a reporter for a local newspaper. And Jane Merrifield, a retired author who loves a good mystery.

Work, Education and Hobbies

What is her current job? She’s a food blogger.
What does she think about her current job? Hope loves her job. From the first recipe she published, she knew she wanted to continued blogging and developing recipes. Now she’s able to it full-time and she loves the flexibility and the creativity.
What are her hobbies? She knits. She loves to garden. And thanks to her old farmhouse, she gets to indulge in numerous DIY projects.
What is her educational background? She graduated with a BA in English.
Does she have a natural talent for something? Cooking and baking.

Possessions

What is in her fridge? It’s way too packed with ingredients and results from her recipe testing to give a full accounting over everything.
What is on her bedside table? Her phone, her current read, a romance novel by Eve Kincaid, and a lamp she salvaged and had re-wired.
What is her most treasured possession? There’s a vase in her entry foyer that she loves. It was the first antique she ever purchased and she to save for months on her editorial assistant salary to buy it.

Miscellaneous

Is she comfortable with technology? Yes. As a blogger she has to keep updated on tech.
If she could call one person for help, who would it be? That depends on the kind of trouble and if she was in the mood for a lecture.
What is her greatest extravagance? Her bedding. Even though she’s on a budget, she indulged in luxurious bedding because she’s on her feet all day either working on recipes or on DIY projects around her house.
What would she do if she won the lottery? Not much would change in her day-to-day life. Though Hope would love to fund charities from animal rescue to food deliveries for seniors.
What would she ask a fortune teller? What’s the next big social media platform that will take off so she could promote her blog.
How does she respond to a threat? Hope doesn’t back down. In fact, she becomes more determined to find the truth.
Is she confrontational? Yes, when she must be. When she’s searching for the truth, for justice, she will be confrontational if it’s necessary.






Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Debra:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

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






Thursday, November 7, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: CONNIE BERRY






American antique dealer Kate Hamilton’s Christmastime jaunt to a charming English village leads to an investigation of a missing ruby . . . and a chain of murders.

It’s Christmastime and antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is off to visit her daughter, Christine, in the quaint English village of Long Barston. Christine and her boyfriend, Tristan, work at stately-but-crumbling Finchley Hall. Touring the Elizabethan house and grounds, Kate is intrigued by the docent’s tales of the Finchley Hoard, and the strange deaths surrounding the renowned treasure trove. But next to a small lake, Kate spies the body of a young woman, killed by a garden spade.

Nearly blind Lady Barbara, who lives at Finchley with her loyal butler, Mugg, persuades Kate to take over the murdered woman’s work. Kate finds that a Burmese ruby has vanished from the legendary Blood-Red Ring, replaced by a lesser garnet. Were the theft and the woman’s death connected?

Kate learns that Lady Barbara’s son fled to Venezuela years before, suspected of murdering another young woman. The murder weapon belonged to an old gardener, who becomes the leading suspect. But is Lady Barbara’s son back to kill again? When another body is found, the clues point toward Christine. It’s up to Kate to clear her daughter’s name in Connie Berry’s second Kate Hamilton mystery, a treasure for fans of traditional British mysteries.


Book Details:

Title: A Legacy of Murder

Author: Connie Berry

Genre: traditional mystery

Series: A Kate Hamilton Mystery, book 2

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (October 8, 2019)

Print length: 336 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours












IFs


Q:  If you could live in any time period, which would it be?

A: As much as I adore history, I have to say right now—the present. Not only do we enjoy the physical comforts of reliable heat and light, a safe food supply, and modern medicine, but we also have access via the internet and vast archives to the documents of the past. Think of the olden days when we had to search through card catalogs, locate the books we wanted (which may or may not prove helpful), lug them to a desk somewhere, and pour over them word by word. Now, from the comfort of our own homes, we can learn the schedules of ships sailing between New York and Glasgow in the eighteenth century. We can read actual diaries written in the time of the Great Fire of London. We can pull up inventories included in the wills of people who died in past centuries. We can even translate works written in other languages. And then there's word processing. When I typed my master's thesis, I produced three error-ridden pages for every acceptable one. Now, typos vanish without so much as a thought. If I had to choose a time period other than the present, I'd probably choose the beginning of the nineteenth century, but I'd insist on permission to pop back to the present every once in a while for a bath, a change of clothes, and a clean bed.

Q: If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?

A: I've already done it! For twenty-five years I taught theology and trained leaders in a class of more than five hundred. Not once did I consider it work. When I retired three years ago, I decided to write full time—and I love this, too. Considering all the possible jobs I might have had in business, medicine, academia, or public service, I lucked out. The work I've done and am doing suits me to a tee.

Q: If you had to do community service, what would you choose?

A: One community service organization I've been associated with over the years provides a helping hand to the needy, the elderly, and the homeless. The elderly hold a special place in my heart. I love to listen to their stories of the past. Many of them did amazing and courageous things, and they should be treated with the utmost respect and kindness. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, and it breaks my heart. Elderly men with their instinct for gallantry are especially dear to me—which makes my husband very happy.

Q: If you were on the Amazon bestseller list who would you choose to be one before and one below you?

A: Since this question takes us into the realm of fantasy, I'll be bold and say I'd like to be wedged between Louise Penny and Deborah Crombie. I aim high.

Q: If  you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet, and what would you talk about?

A: Choosing just one author to meet for coffee is a challenge—and my answer might change, depending on what I'm reading at the moment and what I'm writing. Today I'd probably choose Louise Penny since I just finished her wonderful new book, A Better Man. I'd ask her how she plots out all the possible suspects and their secrets. She kept me guessing until the very end.


ANDs


Five things you need in order to write:

•    a comfortable place to sit. We've all heard about J. K. Rowling, writing the Harry Potter series while sitting in a coffee shop. I guess it's true, but since writers spend so much time sitting, the first thing we need (in my opinion) is a comfortable chair. Mine is adjustable, so I can vary my position from time to time.
•    my computer. As I mentioned before, the ability to correct and revise seamlessly is one of the great benefits of living in the present day. Years ago I wrote everything out in longhand first and then transferred it to the word processor. I can't even imagine going to all that extra work now!
•    my keyboard. I took keyboarding in high school and perfected my lightning-fast typing speed at Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York. My computer keyboard is a direct link between my brain and the printed page.
•    something to look at. My favorite place to write is our cottage in northern Wisconsin where I can gaze out at the lake and the woods. At home in Ohio, my desk faces a wall, but I've put up a bulletin board with photographs of the most important women in my life—my mother, my aunts, my friends, my mentors. They inspire me.
and
•    my dog, Millie. Millie is a Shih Tzu, one of the sweetest dog breeds in the world. She follows me around like Mary's little lamb and when I'm writing, finds a comfortable place to curl up near my feet. She's quiet and calm, but every once in a while, she insists on sitting on my lap as I'm writing. Not the most convenient, but I don't mind. Millie is my silent partner and ever-faithful companion.

Five things you love about where you live:

I live in central Ohio, just north of Columbus, our capital city. The five things I like best are:
•    The Ohio State University (and yes, "The" is an official part of the name). I don't go in much for sports, but the university definitely adds to the cultural richness of the city and surrounding areas. When my sons were small, I got my master's degree in English Literature there. A friend's husband, now retired, audits classes every semester. The university is a wonderful asset.
•    German Village, a neighborhood just south of downtown Columbus, settled in the 1800s by German immigrants, who recreated their hometowns with small houses on cobbled streets. Most of the old homes have survived and are now beautifully renovated while retaining their Old World charm.
•    the vibrant Short North area between the university and downtown, filled with wonderful restaurants and unique shops.
•    Thurber House Literary Center and James Thurber Museum. The house, on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to evening chats with authors, summer literary picnics, adult writing workshops, and a summer writing camp.
and
•    living near my sons and my friends. Any place feels like home when the people you love are there.

Five things about you:

•    I'm more logical than emotional.
•    I have a touch of OCD, mostly visually.
•    my favorite household task is doing laundry—and I love to iron.
•    I'm a pretty good cook, but I don't enjoy cooking and rarely use recipes (too much work).
and
•    I adore animals—all kinds. I'd have a whole menagerie if I could, but we travel too much. So I'm content with Millie.

Five favorite things to do:

•    traveling internationally. Tours and cruises aren't really my style because I want to eliminate as many filters between me and the culture as I can. That means slow travel—meeting people, eating their food, participating in local events, and generally trying to see life from another perspective.
•    walking, preferably in the countryside. My husband and I spend time every year in the British Isles, and I love the fact that Brits are able by law to walk anywhere they like, as long as they stay on marked paths and don't bother grazing animals or tramp down growing crops. Following walking guides is a wonderful thing to do, incorporating a bit of map reading and guess work. And ending, usually in a small village with a pub.
•    having a wonderful meal in an historic British pub. The cuisine in Great Britain has come a long way from the overcooked roasts and mushy peas of the past—except that mushy peas are now back on the menu as a favorite throw-back to childhood.
•    reading—especially crime fiction set in the British Isles. My current favorites are Anthony Horowitz, Deborah Crombie, Elly Griffiths, Tana French, and Charles Todd. My favorite secret crush is the Agatha Raisin series by M. C. Beaton. I've heard that her latest, Beating About the Bush (not yet released in the U.S.) will be her last. I'm already feeling symptoms of withdrawal.
and
•    Getting pedicures. No explanation needed.

Five things that drive you crazy:

•    drivers in the U. S. who can't figure out how to navigate traffic circles.
•    educated people who apparently never learned proper verb tenses, especially past participle.
•    same as above but with pronouns: Using me, him, or her as the subject of a sentence should be punishable by law—with a stiff fine.
•    paintings hung too high. Art work should be hung at eye level. Always.
and
•    people who mistreat animals. Don't get me started.


WHATs


Q: What's your favorite vacation spot?

A: Anywhere in Europe, but especially the British Isles and Scandinavia, where my grandparents were born. Within the U.S., my favorite spot is the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where we have a lake cottage.

Q: What's your favorite dessert?

A: I usually skip dessert, but I'm hopeless in the presence of white wedding cake with buttercream frosting and meringues.

Q: What's your favorite color?

A: Red in all its many hues—scarlet, plum, cherry, candy apple, raspberry, brick, ruby, and barn red, to name a few.

Q: What smells remind you of your childhood?

A: The smell of bread baking, especially with a hint of cardamom. My Danish grandmother made cardamom raisin bread (systekage) every week. I'll never forget her sparkling clean kitchen and the aroma of bread filling the house.

Q: What book are you currently working on?

A: Right now I'm working on Book 3 in the Kate Hamilton Mystery series, with the working title of A Pattern of Betrayal. Kate is back in the Suffolk village of Long Barston, filling in at Ivor Tweedy's antiquities shop while he recovers from bilateral hip surgery. She's thrilled when a wealthy recluse consigns a pricey Chinese Han dynasty funereal jar—Ivor's cash flow needs a shot in the arm. But when the jar goes missing and a body is found in the shop's stock room, Kate finds herself on the trail of a missing daughter, a puzzling local legend, and a centuries-old pattern of betrayal.

Q: What's your latest recommendation for:

Food: As we move into autumn and winter, I'm loving short ribs made in the Instant Pot.
Movie: Downton Abbey, of course! It's worth seeing for Maggie Smith alone.
Book: Dear Mrs. Bird, a debut novel by the English author A. J. Pearce. The book has gotten a lot of press and rightly so.
Audiobook: Louise Penny's A Better Man, narrated by the wonderful English actor Robert Bathhurst, who played Sir Anthony Strallen in Downton Abbey.
TV: Two wonderful, older British series, Wild At Heart, set on a game preserve in South Africa; and The Royal, set in a cottage hospital in Yorkshire.

Q: What books do you currently have published?

A:  A Dream of Death and A Legacy of Murder, books 1 and 2 in the Kate Hamilton Mystery Series. 
Book 1: A Dream of Death by Connie Berry
A traditional amateur sleuth, published by Crooked Lane Books on April 8, 2019 (320 pages).
On a remote Scottish island, American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton wrestles with her own past while sleuthing a brutal killing, staged to recreate a two-hundred-year-old unsolved murder.
Autumn has come and gone on Scotland’s Isle of Glenroth, and the islanders gather for the Tartan Ball, the annual end-of-tourist-season gala. Spirits are high. A recently published novel about island history has brought hordes of tourists to the small Hebridean resort community. On the guest list is American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton. Kate returns reluctantly to the island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his sister, proprietor of the island’s luxe country house hotel, famous for its connection with Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Kate has hardly unpacked when the next morning a body is found, murdered in a reenactment of an infamous unsolved murder described in the novel. The Scottish police discount the historical connection, but when a much-loved local handyman is arrested, Kate teams up with a vacationing detective inspector from Suffolk, England, to unmask a killer determined to rewrite island history—and Kate’s future.

Book 2: A Legacy of Murder by Connie Berry
A traditional amateur sleuth published by Crooked Lane Books on April 8, 2019 (327 pages).
American antique dealer Kate Hamilton's Christmastime jaunt to a charming English village leads to an investigation of a missing ruby and a chain of murders.
What could be lovelier than Christmas in England? Kate Hamilton arrives in the Suffolk village of Long Barston, dreaming of log fires, steaming wassail, and Tom Mallory, the detective inspector she met during a recent murder investigation in Scotland. Kate also looks forward to spending time with her daughter, Christine, an intern at Finchley Hall, famous for the unearthing in 1818 of a treasure trove known as The Finchley Hoard. But when the body of another intern is found on the estate, romance takes a back seat. Long Barston is on Tom Mallory’s patch, and the clues to the killer’s identity point backward more than four hundred years to a legacy of murder and a blood-red ruby ring.








Like her main character, Connie Berry was raised by charmingly eccentric antiques dealers. Besides writing mysteries, she loves history, travel with a hint of adventure, cute animals, and all things British. Connie and her husband have two grown sons and live in Ohio with their adorable dog, Millie.

Connect with Connie:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  Goodreads  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest

Buy the book:  
 Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble  |  Indiebound   |  Kobo





Tuesday, November 5, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: SHELLEY NOBLE








Miss Fisher meets Downton Abbey in Tell Me No Lies, part of the critically acclaimed Lady Dunbridge Mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble.

Rise and shine, Countess, you’re about to have a visitor.

Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She’s come to New York City, ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. The social events of the summer have been amusing but Lady Phil is searching for more excitement---and she finds it, when an early morning visitor arrives, begging for her help. After all, Lady Phil has been known to be useful in a crisis. Especially when the crisis involves the untimely death of a handsome young business tycoon.

His death could send another financial panic through Wall Street and beyond.

With the elegant Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the opulent mansions of Long Island’s Gold Coast as the backdrop, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.




Book Details:

Title: Tell Me No Lies

Author: Shelley Noble

Genre: historical mystery


Series: The Lady Dunbridge Mysteries, book 2


Publisher: Forge (November 5, 2019)


Print length: 364 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours











Ifs



Q: If you could live in any time period which would it be?
A: The 20s, because the clothes. When I was a kid we used to sneak up to the attic where there was  a trunk of carefully preserved  sequined dresses and feathers and head bands.  They  were the most exotic things we had ever seen.


Q: If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
A: What I really love to do is research, not modern research but delving into the past. I think I would have been perfect as a nineteenth century researcher, organizing some eccentric’s library, discovering long lost facts in the shelves of musty tomes. Maybe even uncovering  a secret of the ages or two. It would be hard on the sinuses but so worth it.


Q: If you had to do community service, what would you choose?
A: I like working with people of all ages whether reading or movement. My first career was that of professional dancer, and I worked with special needs, adult rehab, migrant framers children, teenagers. Anything that opens people to a new experience, one that lights up their world, and mine. 


Q: If you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet and what would you talk about?
A: Mary Stewart, who wrote the most engrossing romantic suspense. We’d talk about how she manages to keep you riveted to the page or audio, with just the power of her words, no (not too many) high speed car chases, or massive weaponry, no martial arts, stalking psychopaths, just the complete mastery of the telling. I try to read at least sections of her books every few months, just to remember her mastery of storytelling. 


Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
A: In my wish-I-could-live-there moments, I would love to live in Cornwall. It really feels like the end of the world. There’s an actual point called Land’s End, and when you’re standing on the cliffs, you feel that the sea could gone on forever. Then there’s Penzance, as in the Pirates of . . . Oh, and my favorite town ever, Mousehole (pronounced Mowzel) that is the setting of one of my kids’ and my favorite children’s books, The Mousehole Cat, and also the home of Stargazey Pie, which no, I’ve never eaten, even in Mousehole, and the Minarck Theatre carved into the side of the cliff and overlooking the sea. So many wonderful magical places, and people, and such history. Amazing.




Ands



5 things you need in order to write:
    •    designated time
    •    space to spread out
    •    quiet
    •    writing utensils (I keep notebook, pen, and flashlight by my bed)
and
    •    coffee 


5 things you love about writing:
    •    the intensity of thought
    •    the focus
    •    getting inside the story
    •    discovering the story of my characters
and
    •    shaping, fixing, and honing the way I tell the story  

5 things you love about where you live:  


    •    close to New York City
    •    not too close to New York City
    •    friends
    •    kids are not too far away
    •    nature down the road one way
and 
    •    theater and museums the other

5 things you never want to run out of:

    •    patience
    •    compassion
    •    willingness to start again
    •    enthusiasm
and
    •    coffee


Whats


Q: What’s your all-time favorite place?
A: All my all-time favorite places are special at the moment. As soon as I think of one, there’s another. Big Sur, no, Montreal Old Town, no, Teotihuacan, no Minarck Theatre, no, Disney World . . . see what I mean?


Q: What’s your all-time favorite memory?
A: Besides the ones with my children, Christmas at Westminster Abbey


Q: What’s your all-time favorite movie?
A: A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim.


Q: What’s your all-time favorite author?
A: Lots, but for get-away-from-it-all reading, Mary Stewart.


Q: What’s your all-time favorite city?
A: Manhattan.


Q: What’s one thing that very few people know about you?
A: I’m a complete introvert, usually well hidden.



Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
A: People who are gratuitously mean.


Q: What’s the loveliest sight you’ve ever seen?
A: Home.


Q: What’s your favorite quote?
A: You can’t slide into second with one foot on first. (Fortune cookie) It’s my motto.


Q: What’s your favorite candy bar?
A: Marzipan.


Q: What’s your favorite social media site?
A: Facebook. You can chat, come back to conversations, talk about stuff now and later.  Instagram is fun for in-the-moment things.


Q: What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
A: The ocean.
 


Q: What movie genre do you prefer?
A: Any, as long as it is historical with lots of fabulously-constructed costumes.


Q: What book are you currently working on?
A: I’m in different places with two different ones. Edits on my next beach book, Lucky’s Beach, about a young woman who has always played by the rules and yet feels like something is wrong. And just finishing up the third Lady Dunbridge mystery, A Resolution at Midnight, where Lady Phil takes on corruption and murder and witnesses the first ever Times Square New Year’s Eve lighted ball drop.

Q: What are your latest recommendation for:
Food: My go-to meal is brie, paté, and a baguette with a good red wine. Yum! Makes me feel like I’m someplace special even if I’m eating at my desk.
Music: I’m really into listening to Holst’s The Planets while writing this book. It’s so majestic and quirky.
Movie: Just discovered the 2012 made for TV movie, Restless, with Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Rufus Sewell, Charlotte Rampling, and Michael Gambon. So exciting.
Book: I just read an advanced copy of Anna Lee Huber’s A Penny for Your Secrets. Really enjoyed it.
Audiobook: Relistening to The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. Barbara Rosenblatt captures all the characters perfectly. What fun they had.
TV: Shakespeare and Hathaway.
Netflix/Amazon Prime: On Netflix, I love, love, love, The Great British Baking Show. I’ve also been watching lots of 30s and 40s black and white mysteries on Prime. So simple and the actors had such personality.
Miscellaneous: Take time to stop and listen, see and feel your surroundings for a few minutes, or even a few seconds. Even the tiniest things can seem wonderful if you take the time to notice.

Q: What books do you currently have published?
A: 
I’ve published over thirty books, Since I write under two names, links to all of them can be found at my Shelley Noble website, and my Shelley Freydont website.

Here are some of the latest:
Tell Me No Lies
Ask me No Questions
(A Lady Dunbridge Gilded Age Manhattan Mystery)
A Gilded Grave
(A Newport Gilded AGE Mystery)
A Golden Cage
A Beach Wish
Lighthouse Beach
The Beach at Painter’s Cove









 


Shelley Noble is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction. (Beach Colors, Whisper Beach, Lighthouse Beach.) And the author of the Lady Dunbridge Gilded Age  Manhattan mysteries. Tell Me No Lies is the latest of the series.

She has written eighteen amateur sleuth and historical mystery novels and novellas as Shelley Freydont. (The Sudoku Murders, Celebration Bay mysteries, The Gilded Age Newport mysteries.)

A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to discover new beaches and indulge her passion for lighthouses, vintage carousels, and the past.



Connect with Shelley:
Website Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads  |  Instagram  |  Bookbub

Buy the book:

Amazon





Sunday, November 3, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: NICOLE ASSELIN








Thirty-two-year-old Madeline Boucher’s Grandfather instilled a love in the Boston Red Sox into her from an early age and increased that love by purchasing a local Independent League Baseball team, the Abington Armadillos.



After losing her corporate job in Boston, Madeline realizes her best option is to join the family baseball business. As the new “Social Media Director” for the team, Madeline attends her first business function and witnesses an argument between her brother Ben, and a strange man.



A few days later when walking the ballpark during her early morning hours, she finds the body of a man beaten to death with a baseball bat in the Visitor’s Dugout. It was the man her brother was arguing with at the party. Madeline is concerned that her brother would be considered a suspect. Through the local detectives and Davis—the head of security for the ballpark—she learns the victim is Christopher Dailey, a local baseball scout and prior felon.



When her brother is arrested and taken to the police station, she realizes she needs to figure out who the real culprit is, so her brother doesn’t take the fall for something she knows he didn’t do.


Book Details:


Title: Murder at First Pitch


Author’s name: Nicole Asselin   


Genre: cozy mystery    


Publisher: Pandamoon Publishing (September 4, 2019)


Print length:188 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours











Things you need in order to write
: my trusty laptop. This summer I have been listening to Red Sox games whilst I write. Sometimes I just get out of the house and head to Dunks or Starbucks (or Barnes and Noble).
Things that hamper your writing:  social media! I always find myself checking Facebook and Twitter too many times during a writing session.


Easiest thing about being a writer: inspiration! Everything is a story, and I find that sometimes I have too many ideas to write down.

Hardest thing about being a writer:  finding time to write!


Things you love about where you live: seasons. Living in New England is amazing, especially in the Fall. The leaves are changing, and the weather is chillier.  Which means sweaters and boots.
Things that make you want to move: I grew up moving a lot with my Navy father, and every few years I get the itch to just move. That, and it’s crazy expensive living up here.

Things you never want to run out of: BOOKSSSSSSSSS!!!!
Things you wish you’d never bought: Um, books? Cause now I’m poor and have books all over my floor.  BUT I WILL NEVER STOP!  *maniacal laugh*


Favorite beverage: iced tea lemonade unsweetened from Starbucks *Yum*
Something that gives you a pickle face: coffee. I’ve tried, and I just can’t do it.

People you consider as heroes: my parents are personal heroes in life. My mom has gone through a whole bunch and is still kicking butt. She might not think it sometimes, but she is the coolest. My father has been successful in both the Navy and private career, so he’s given me my work ethic that I follow today.
People with a big L on their foreheads: what I want to say will probably offend half the country . . . but, you know. Also everyone who agrees with the racist, misogynistic, homophobic people who try to tear people down instead of realizing that we are all special and unique!

Things you always put in your books: cats. I have three of them, and I love them.

Things you never put in your books: super bloody gory deaths. Not my jam. Plus, I write cozies, so those don’t show particularly violent deaths.

Things to say to an author:  “I loved your book!”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “If it were me, I would’ve done this different in your book . . . ”

Favorite places you’ve been: I took my Mom to Ireland in 2017. It was both our first times, and she is an O’Loughlin by birth. It was AMAZING. The west coast of Ireland is my new favorite place. My dream in life is to retire to the countryside and have a sheep farm somewhere out there.

Places you never want to go to again:  okay, so this might be a hot take, but I HATED New Orleans. I loved all the history of the city and the old cemeteries . . . but man, it was just way too hot. Even when I went to get beignets at like 4 in the morning it was already melting weather. So, I’m good.

Proudest moment: this book getting published! I’m so excited to be able to share this book in the world, and I hope people enjoy it!


Most embarrassing moment: way back in HS, I traveled to Europe as part of a group known as American Music Abroad in their choir. There was a super cute kid named Will (I think it was Will) that I had crush on as soon as the trip started. So, in Heidleburg Germany, we had the night off, and we all went around the town exploring.  I ended up with him on a stoop eating ice cream just talking. I was so happy. And then, he dropped the bomb. “What’s your name again?  Is your roommate available?” No joke. My roommate, Martha, was the worst . . . she always snuck out in the middle of the night and would get us both in trouble. So, after that, I just stayed with my friends and enjoyed the rest of my time, not telling anyone what had happened. Mortifying.





Nicole Asselin grew up a Navy Brat, and spent her formative high school years in the middle of Pennsylvania but always identified with her New England roots.

Nicole graduated from Curry College in Milton Mass with a degree in English/Creative Writing, minoring in Dance in 2004. She also attended George Mason University and received a Master’s in Arts Management. Now working just outside of Boston as a Technical Writer, she lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts with her three cats Julia, Jacques, and Madeline (no relation to the main character of her book).


Nicole is a current member of Sisters in Crime (National and New England) and the Mystery Writers of America. She sits on the Board of Directors for the NE branches of both groups as Social Media Liaison. She’s attended several conferences in the past few years to study the craft including Malice Domestic, Bouchercon, and the NE Crime Bake. Her short story, “Mile High Murder” can be found as part of Z Publishing’s “America’s Emerging Suspense Writers: East Region” published in early 2019.




Connect with Nicole:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  
Amazon


Buy the book:
Amazon




Friday, November 1, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: BARBARA BARRETT









Beware the east wind! It’s hurricane season in Florida, and everyone’s attention is focused on preparing for the latest tempest. But in Serendipity Springs, mah jongg pals Marianne, Sydney, Micki and Kat are caught in a different kind of whirlwind—a mesmerizing murder case involving a slain hypnotist/chef and the woman police suspect of doing her in, her embittered catering partner, Portia.

Tasked by Portia to help clear her name, and at the risk of infuriating Kat’s sheriff boyfriend, Marianne and her friends discover there are more than enough suspects—and secrets—to go around. Wary of getting themselves into more dangerous situations, Marianne and Syd agree to let their protective spouses join the hunt, even if their scheming husbands are really in it for the action, not bodyguard duty.

As they dig into the hypnotist’s explosive files, more and more questions arise. Was she blackmailing her clients? Did her husband knock her off to gain access to those secrets? And is Portia telling them everything she knows? The sleuths pile their own deceptions on top of the suspects’ lies as a dangerous storm gathers steam offshore. When will the east wind strike, and will the hurricane’s merciless eye reveal a killer?


Book Details:

Title: Beware the East Wind   

Author: Barbara Barret

Genre: cozy mystery (senior sleuths)


Series: Mah Jongg Mystery series, Book 4


Published: August 17, 2019


Print length: 254 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours









Ifs



Q: If you could talk to someone (living), who would it be and what would you ask them?
A: If you’re familiar with the TV show, Love it or List it, you know who Hilary Farr is. On the show, she’s a bit argumentative and self-important, but a lot of that is staged. I think the rehabs she creates are the some of the best in this genre of TV show, and I’d like to learn more about her outlook on interior design and, if she’ll share, the behind-the-scenes scoop on what it’s like putting together this show.

Q: If you could talk to someone (dead), who would it be and what would you ask them?
A: I never really knew my paternal grandmother. She experienced mental problems shortly after my aunt was born and was institutionalized thereafter. Although my mom took my sister and me to visit her a few times when I was a little girl, I know very little about her. What was her early life like? Were her problems evident from a young age or did they present only later? What does she think caused them? How did she meet my grandfather? How did she feel about my father?

Q: If you could live in any time period which would it be?
 A: I’m happy with the current time period, crazy as it is. But I’m happy I lived through the 50s, 60s, and 70s. So many technological and cultural changes occurred then and I was part of them.

Q: If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
A: As you may have guessed from my earlier response about Hilary Farr, I’d be an interior designer. TV rehab shows fascinate me, not that I’d like to start with some of the challenges faced on Flip or Flop, but I’d love to have unlimited resources and complete independence to do my own thing.

Q: If you were on the Amazon bestseller list, who would you choose to be one before and one after?
A: One before, Nora Roberts. One after: James Patterson. Why? Because I think I could be spotted there by potential readers who might associate me with their writing. And I would consider myself fortunate and to have arrived to be included in this company.

Q: If you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet and what would you talk about?
A: I just finished reading Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins. Unlike some of her earlier books, which were contemporary romances, this was women’s fiction. I almost didn’t finish this book because so many of the characters were unlikable, but I kept at it and appreciated how it all came together. I’d like to sit down with her and ask her why she created such loathsome characters. One of the main characters is an eighty-five-year-old woman who is hiding her illness from her granddaughter. Higgans’ first person description of a person of this age was intense; how did she learn so much about the inconveniences of age when she is a much younger woman? How could she so aptly describe the early stages of dementia and how it affects the mind?


Ands



5 favorite possessions: 
    •    my laptop computer
    •    my TV set
    •    pictures of my children and grandchildren
    •    my wedding rings
and
    •    my car

5 things you need in order to write: 
    •    my laptop computer
    •    a TV set
    •    a comfortable chair
    •    a scenic view
and
    •    Diet Coke

5 things you love about writing: 
    •    the chance to express my thoughts
    •    the process of inventing characters and plot
    •    how it keeps my mind active
    •    the chance to explore other worlds
and
    •    the control I have over my own creations

5 favorite places you’ve been:
    •    Hawaii
    •    France
    •    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    •    Spain
and
    •    Florida

5 favorite authors:
    •    Susan Elia MacNeal
    •    Marylee Ashford
    •    Nora Roberts
    •    Susan Elizabeth Phillips  
and
    •    Agatha Christie


Whats


Q: What’s your all-time favorite movie?
A: West Side Story (Sweet Home Alabama is a close second.)

Q: What’s your all-time favorite author?
A: Agatha Christie.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite city?
A: Paris.

Q: What’s your favorite song?
A: “Happy Together.”

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Pizza.

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream?
A: Maple Nut.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when there’s nothing to do?
A: Watch TV.

Q: What’s your favorite candy bar?
A: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Q: What’s your favorite movie snack?
A: Buttered popcorn filled with M&Ms and Diet Coke.

Q: What’s your favorite color?
A: Blue.


Q: What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
A: Three of my grandchildren.


Q: What movie genre do you prefer?
A: RomCom.

Q: What book are you currently working on?
A: Book 5 of the Mah Jongg Mystery series, working title: Flower Power.

Q: What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: Red Robin Onion Rings (frozen)
Music: Soundtrack from Hustlers
Movie: Where Are You, Bernadette?
Book: Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
TV: Call the Midwife (It’s been around for some time, but I just discovered it and love it!)
Netflix/Amazon Prime: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Miscellaneous: Learning German.


OTHER BOOKS BY BARBARA BARRETT


Craks in a Marriage  
Bamboozled 
Connect the Dots
Beware the East Wind 
Don’t Toy with Me 
Change Up
Love in the Third Act 
Driven to Matrimony 
Paradise by Design
The Billionaire’s Big Birthday Bash
The Sleepover Clause 
Seduction on Wheels 
Keeping It Casual
Tough Enough to Tango 
Not Your Mama’s Mambo 



 






Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.

Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job in human resources for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.

Beware the East Wind, the fourth book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who play mah jongg together and share otherwise in each other’s lives. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.

Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America (Kiss of Death) for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft. She is also a member of Sisters in Crime and Sinc-Iowa.

Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.

Connect with Barbara:
Website  |  Newsletter  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo Apple






Wednesday, October 30, 2019

NINE ESSENTIAL WOMEN'S HEALTH READS




Halloween is just around the corner, and winter is not far behind! That means it’s finally time to relax indoors after a busy summer and back-to-school season. It’s the perfect time for bookworms to curl up under a favorite blanket with a cup of tea, and catch up on some of the reads we’ve missed this year! The extra time is also a great opportunity for some self-development and learning more about what makes you tick. If you want to combine these two activities, take a look at the roundup from the women’s health experts at Rory below. They’ve included summaries and recommendations for the top books to read on women’s health, covering the mind, body, and spirit.






REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BOOKS


If the list above isn’t enough to sate your appetite for knowledge, here are a couple more of our favorites. These spicy reads should keep you warm even during the chilly winter nights, and chances are you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.

The Vagina Bible by Jennifer Gunter

Sometimes called Twitter’s “resident gynecologist,” celebrated author and OB/GYN Jennifer Gunter answer all the burning questions you have about your vagina and its health, along with plenty of others you’ve probably never even thought of. Is there a specific way I’m supposed to be cleaning my vagina? Are lace thongs unhealthy? Is the G-spot even real? It’s Dr. Jen’s “vagenda” (her word, but we love it) to provide a comprehensive resource for women of every age, and in her new book she definitely succeeds!

Come As You Are  by Emily Nagoski

This New York Times bestseller finally answers the question we’ve all had at one time or another, which is: Why is it so easy for guys to have a good time in bed while we ladies are often left feeling lukewarm at best? Well the answer is complicated, just like we are. Turns out, women have a much higher variance in our sexual anatomy than men do, which makes us a little harder to figure out. Beyond the physical differences, our mood and feelings also play a much more central role in our desires than they typically do for men. This book is seriously fascinating and will have you thinking about your own experiences in a much deeper context!


Key Takeaways


If you’ve finally finished reading most of our winter picks, or even if you’ve just gotten through the summaries, you’ve probably noticed several key themes that are central to the messages in many of these books:
    1.    Listen to Your Body – Whether in terms of food, emotions, or sex, your body knows best! Staying in tune with yourself will be the best indicator for how to make healthy choices.

    2.    Give Yourself a Break – It’s absolutely true that you are your own worst critic. Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes and treat yourself as you would a friend.

    3.    Know You Have Power – If there’s something in your life that’s dragging you down, chances are that with enough determination, you can do something about it. Whether it’s eating right or learning to assert yourself, you can make things happen.


Our physical, mental, spiritual, and sexual health are all connected, and it’s important to continue to learn about your body and do what you can to help yourself thrive. For more resources for women of all ages, visit Rory.




Reposted from Rory: https://www.hellorory.com/roar/health-books/



Monday, October 28, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: BRYAN J. FAGAN




ABOUT THE BOOK


Gibson Baker had it all. A beautiful house in Seattle, a beautiful girlfriend and a steady teaching job.

But when Gibson’s loses his job and his girl on the same day, he’s forced to crawl home to Eugene, Oregon.

At least Mom’s happy to see him.

His successful realtor sister, Hope, is not impressed and makes it clear he needs to land another job, and soon! Dempsey, Gibson’s best friend from high school, arrives with promises of ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’. Dempsey wants to open a restaurant. But Dempsey’s dreams are always that – dreams. And Gibson’s not eager to get involved in yet another doomed venture. Until Gibson’s childhood sweetheart, Gail shows up.

What starts out as a wild dream, a desperate plan and a dare, soon takes on a life of its own. With Hope’s help, the trio of misfits finds the perfect spot for the restaurant, but as the grand opening approaches, each must face unresolved issues from their past.

Can they pull together and grow beyond their previous failures, or will they give up their dreams to do the safe and responsible thing?


Book Details:


Title: Dempsey’s Grill

Author: Bryan J. Fagan


Genre: comedy/romance       


Publisher: Foundations Book Publishing (August 26, 2019)


Print length: 324 pages







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH BRYAN J. FAGAN


A few of your favorite things: corn on the cob on a summer day; my daughters laughter; Saturday mornings.
Things you need to throw out: moldy bread that has more hair than me; memories of my one and only blind date; my one and only 8-track tape. 


Things you need in order to write: two Oranges; pot of coffee; hazelnut creamer; two favorite pens and one sheet of typing paper.
Things that hamper your writing: pen running out of ink; out of oranges; no coffee and/or hazelnut. 


Things you love about writing: the challenge.
Things you hate about writing: see above.

Easiest thing about being a writer: listening to the characters speak.

Hardest thing about being a writer: admitting that the story isn’t ready to be told.


Things you love about where you live: I’m from Western Oregon. The sound of the rain is music to my ears.
Things that make you want to move: Eugene is a big city. I’d love to move back to the country.


Things you never want to run out of: laughter.
Things you wish you’d never bought: a witch’s hat. Don’t ask. It was the 1980’s.


Words that describe you: funny; determined; adventurous.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: loud.

Favorite foods: steak; German Chocolate Cake; cherries.
Things that make you want to throw up: peas.

Favorite music or song: Def Leppard; Motley Crue; The Cars; The Sundays.
Music that make your ears bleed: Rap. Don’t ever go there.

Favorite beverage: diet Dr Pepper
.
Something that gives you a pickle face: hot tea.

Favorite smell: fresh cut grass; sawdust.

Something that makes you hold your nose: silage—yuk!!!

Something you’re really good at: creating a story out of a single word.

Something you’re really bad at: anything math.


Something you wish you could do: go back in time and play football at my high-school.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: date bad girls.

Something you like to do: crash on the couch and watch a movie with my daughters.

Something you wish you’d never done: attempted to fix the lawnmower. Let’s just say it was a long day.

People you consider as heroes: my grandparents.

People with a big L on their foreheads: people who talk but don’t listen.



Last best thing you ate: thick-cut steak—yum!!!!!

Last thing you regret eating: late night Taco Bell. I keep forgetting I’m not in my 20’s anymore.

Things you’d walk a mile for: a good knee so I can walk a mile.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: spiders. Yes, I’m one of those.

Things you always put in your books: a broken person who heals.

Things you never put in your books: harming an animal.

Things to say to an author: I just ordered your book.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: How much money do you make?

People you’d like to invite to dinner: people who make me laugh and think.

People you’d cancel dinner on: people who do not make me laugh or think.

Favorite things to do: exercising; talking to friends; listening to my daughters tell me about their day.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: vacuuming.

Things that make you happy: writing.

Things that drive you crazy: wondering why I’m not writing.

Most embarrassing moment: asking a woman when she was due. She wasn’t. 

Proudest moment: holding my first born for the first time.

Best thing you’ve ever done: stop being scared.

Biggest mistake: letting a friend down.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: sliding down an icy hill.

Something you chickened out from doing: sliding down twice.

The last thing you did for the first time: balanced a cucumber on my nose.

Something you’ll never do again: balance two cucumbers on my nose.



TRAILER FOR DEMPSEY'S GRILL






ABOUT THE AUTHOR 



Bryan Fagan is a former Chevy Chevette owner, a culinary arts degree holder, and a one-time journalist. He is also a failed magician. He could never make the rabbit disappear. His adventures in life have allowed him to create funny and loving characters that he hopes you will enjoy.

Connect with Bryan:
Blog
  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble