Posted in Contest

Votes Needed for Books Running in Reader’s Poll

VOTES NEEDED PLEASE

Two of my books are running in the Critters.org Readers Choice 2021 Awards. The poll ends on January 14.

My time-travel novel, TIME’S RELATIVE published by Next Chapter Publishing, is entered in the Science Fiction/Fantasy book category. To vote for it, please go to https://critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml and click on the box next to the book title (note the choices are arranged alphabetically, so this book is further down on the page). Once you vote, you’ll receive an email that you will need to confirm so that the vote will be officially counted.

My latest cozy mystery, BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE: Cobble Cove Story #5 published by Solstice Publishing, is entered in the all other short story category and is listed as the first choice. The link to this category is https://critters.org/predpoll/shortstory.shtml.

Please follow the directions above for casting your vote.


Two of my fellow Next Chapter authors, Brian L Porter, and John Broughton also have books running in the Critters.org Readers Choice Awards 2021 and would very much appreciate your vote.

To vote for Brian L. Porter’s THE MERSEY FERRY MURDERS in the Mystery category, please go to https://critters.org/predpoll/novelmys.shtml

To vote for John Broughton’s THE RUNES OF VICTORY in the All Others category go to https://critters.org/predpoll/novel.shtml

Thank you all for your support of my books and those of two of my friends and fellow authors.

Posted in holidays

Happy New Year! Let’s Think Positive Thoughts for 2022

I had high hopes for 2021, and things started to look better until recently when new variants of COVID appeared and are now rampant again worldwide. I don’t want to get into politics or discussions about vaccines or masks. I just want to send my wishes and prayers for a better 2022. The pandemic is only one of the issues that’s troubling the world right now. There are terrible weather-related disasters – tornados, earthquakes, forest fires and more. There are shootings and bombings, and other forms of violence. Yet there is still beauty everywhere. The sun rises and sunsets; the oceans, babies’ smiles; kittens and puppies; a really enjoyable book, TV show, or movie; chocolate. If we can focus on the positives, it will help us cope with all the negatives. Please comment on some of your favorite things that you look forward to in 2022.

Have you made any plans for next year? Travel is still questionable as are large gatherings, but maybe you have some personal goals, a project you’d like to complete, an exercise routine you’d like to start, a diet (don’t we all want to start one of those after the holidays?), or some other new hobby or endeavor. For me, I hope to write and publish more books and also work on improving my craft and growing as an author. I haven’t given up my quest to find an agent to represent my work, but I realize that takes time. I’ve decided, with the help of newsletter subscribers, to submit to one of my publishers the book that I was querying to agents for a long time. This will be the start of a new cozy mystery series featuring the owner of a pet cemetery and shelter who becomes an amateur sleuth when the “cat crazy” lady in her small town is murdered. But I’ve also just finished writing a standalone book that I want to edit and query to agents. I have several other projects that I hope to complete, if not in 2022, then another year. My focus, though, will be on my writing which means I’ll spend less time on social media.

I want to thank you all for reading this blog. I’m trying to post more book reviews of both Indie and popular titles. I’ll also continue to post my updates, sales, and other author news, but less often as I need to focus on my writing.

A reminder that the holiday sale for my four cozy mysteries is running through January 4. For more information and details on how to purchase these books, please read this blog post: https://wp.me/p6m4z7-3pA

If you’d like to be included in my newsletter and aren’t yet a subscriber, you can sign up at https://debbiedelouise.com or contact me to ask to join my list. The newsletter comes out monthly and more often for special sales and announcements. I choose a winner from my active subscribers each month for a giveaway, post photos of subscriber’s pets, and feature character spotlights from my books.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2022. Think positive, keep your goals in mind, be thankful for your friends, loved ones, and pets . . . and smile.

Posted in Reviews

Review: 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up by Jim Ryan

***** 5 stars

We all know last year and the year before it presented many challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, and we all hope 2022 will be better. But what we may not realize is that we have the power to make it better for ourselves. In 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up, Jim Ryan presents a week-by-week guide with exercises, assignments, tips, and reviews of a method that can help us take control of our lives and live it better.

This is the perfect book to start in the New Year or at any time during the year. Some of the 52 topics include “It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint,” “Wake Up Your Senses,” “When the Student is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear,” “The Grass is as Green as You Make It,” “Job Career or Calling,” “Have a Mind that is Open to Everything and Attached to Nothing,” and “Fear is the Enemy of Happiness.”

Working through these exercises, a week at time, will help you make changes that can benefit your well being as you develop a more positive outlook. Although some of the information Mr. Ryan relates is religious, this book isn’t aimed at any particular religious belief. Mr. Ryan also provides his contact information for people who wish to submit feedback about their experiences following the exercises.

Ryan has worked as a motivational coach, speaker, and author. He holds a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and offers a free inspirational “Aha Moment,” every Wednesday to those who sign up at his website: http://www.JimRyanTalks.com.

Pick up a copy of 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up here: https://amzn.to/3eONxw9

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Holiday Book Sale Through January 4

I’m honored to be part of Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Book Sale. Four of my holiday-themed cozy mysteries are on sale through January 4. in a previous post, I said that these books were discounted only on a certain day during the promotion. I’m sorry for the confusion. You can still get a copy of the following 4 books for 99 cents until January 5.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place .

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

Purchase Link: mybook.to/CobbleCove2

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters

The characters from my Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from me, the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first and second books in the series.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/XmasCharacters

Murder Unwrapped

Richard Bright is a man with a plan. He’s an inventor who he wants to kill his wife with one of his inventions. He hopes to put his plan into effect on Christmas, but his invention isn’t quite perfected. Dealing with his wife isn’t an option, nor her two rambunctious kittens, Harry and Hermione. What sweetens the pot is her large inheritance and a pretty young woman who is now working at his shop. Will Richard’s plan to have his special gift ready in time pan out, or will it fizzle with some of his other unfinished projects?

Purchase Link: mybook.to/xmasunwrap

Last but not least, my award-winning cozy, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery
Another death has occurred in Cobble Cove near the holidays. This time, it’s the owner of the new pet store in town who was felled by a case of cat food that crushed his skull. Was it an accident, or murder? While the townspeople including the sheriff are divided in their opinions, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, sniff out the truth.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Look for other Solstice books on sale through January 4 and enjoy the holiday season with great books at a great price.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Holiday Book Sale

I’m honored to be part of Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Book Sale. Four of my holiday-themed cozy mysteries are on sale for one-day only.

On Christmas, December 25, you can get a copy of Between a Rock and a Hard Place for 99 cents.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/CobbleCove2

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters is on sale December 28.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/XmasCharacters

Murder Unwrapped is on sale December 30.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/xmasunwrap

Last but not least, my award-winning cozy, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery is on sale on New Year’s Eve, December 31.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Look for other Solstice books on sale through New Year’s and enjoy the holiday season with great books at a great price.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

My Time-Travel Novel, TIME’S RELATIVE, is on Sale Through December 21

http://mybook.to/timesrelative

It’s the fall of 1998, and librarian Samantha Stewart is looking for a new job. After seeing an ad for a high-paying position at a company called Virtual Software that entails research and travel, Sam investigates the company and learns that its president has gone missing, and that it’s currently being run by the vice-president Greg Parsons.

Before Sam makes it to the interview, she’s visited by a strange woman who introduces herself as Jane Oldsfield: a time traveler whose mission Greg Parsons is trying to prevent.

Sam ignores the woman and goes on the job interview anyway. Soon, she finds herself involved not only with Greg Parsons, but also Philip Montmart, a chain-smoking detective with a vendetta for his wife’s killer, and the time-traveling Oldsfield and her feline accomplice.

Witnessing world events that have yet to happen in her lifetime, including 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, Y2K hysteria and the COVID pandemic, can Samantha figure out Oldsfield’s plans?

Read what reviewers are saying:

*****Prepare yourself for a thrilling roller coaster ride of a story that will make you hold your breath as you flip the pages as fast as you can read them. Loved it!!

*****I loved the characters in this book.

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review: The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories edited by JK Larkin

***** 5 stars

The Roaring 20’s: A Decade of Stories is another excellent anthology from the Red Penguin Collection. In this book, eleven authors share tales of various decades. Although I enjoyed every one of these stories and it’s hard to pick favorites, the ones I liked most included David Lange’s “Flapper and the Captain;” “An Act of Senselessness” by Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl; “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio; and “Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron.

Air Force veteran David Lange tells an interesting tale involving a flapper and an air force captain suffering from PTSD after receiving an injury in World War 1. The story’s origin, which is shared by the author at the end, is even more absorbing than this supernatural-type piece. Also with a strong paranormal element is Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl’s, “An Act of Senselessness” about a couple on Halloween in 1983 that are involved in a car accident with a twist.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio is a fun tale featuring wealthy ninety-something Southampton socialite. Miss Ellen, and her younger companion, Patrice. The ladies come to the aid of a girl at a club where they’re dining who is interested in a man but is having trouble gaining his attention. Miss Ellen gives her some old-fashioned pointers that do the trick. Along the way, Ms. Donadio includes interesting tidbits about Long Island history and popular culture of the 1980’s.

“Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron, is the last story in this anthology. Last but definitely not least. Mr. Rostron reveals his own family history from 1900-1970 in seven connected short pieces that tell their own stories about his relatives.

The one story I didn’t include among my favorites is my own contribution to this anthology, “Growing Up in the Summer of ’71” which is my own semi-autobiographical tale about an eleven-year-old girl in 1971 with an older sister and how the two deal with relationships during the 1970’s era of Vietnam, hippies, and drugs.

These stories make for a great read any time of year but especially during the holiday season when people often reflect on the past.

Pick up a copy of The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories here: https://amzn.to/3ywEPLI

Posted in Books, Reviews

Review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

 

*****5 stars

Note: I reviewed this book through a NetGalley advanced reader copy. It will be published in February.

Jess has a dilemma. She’s come to visit her brother, Ben, who is a reporter in Paris. Although they haven’t had the best relationship over the years because, after their mother’s death, he ended up with a more privileged life while she landed in less fortunate circumstances in various foster homes. Upon her arrival at his apartment, she discovers some unusual things. He doesn’t answer his phone to let her in and when she manages to follow someone else into the locked complex and knocks on his door, he doesn’t seem to be there, although he’d contacted her only minutes before. Gaining access to his apartment, she finds evidence that frightens her — blood on the floor and Ben’s broken medallion that he never removes.

Meeting the other occupants of the apartment building who tell her they haven’t seen Ben recently, she doesn’t know who to believe or trust. This book features alternate points-of-view of each of the apartment residents. There are multiple twists on the way to learning what really happened to Ben. Each character is well depicted with both good and bad traits, and each one has a motive to kill Ben and make sure his sister doesn’t ask too many questions.

Jess befriends Nick, Ben’s friend who invited him to stay in the apartment and who has a secret of his own. They go to the police together to file a report about Ben’s disappearance, but since Jess can’t speak French, Nick translates her request for the investigation. Because the police don’t consider the issue a priority, Jess takes matters into her own hands and contacts Theo, a man that Ben was scheduled to interview for a story before he disappeared. When Theo takes her somewhere that he tells her may help her find out what happened to her brother, the answers put her life in jeopardy as they reveal the truth about what took place at Ben’s apartment before Jess arrived.

If you like a mystery with twists and interesting characters, I recommend this book.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Holiday Cozy Mystery Giveaways

As I mentioned in my December Author News, two of my cozy mystery eBooks are free Friday, December 3 through Monday, December 6.

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery won the coveted Muse Medallion from the Cat Writers’ Association.

Another death has occurred in Cobble Cove near the holidays. This time, it’s the owner of the new pet store in town who was felled by a case of cat food that crushed his skull. Was it an accident, or murder? While the townspeople including the sheriff are divided in their opinions, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, sniff out the truth.

Here are some reviews:

SHORT AND SWEET

“A quick coffee break read that has you catching up not only on the humans but also the animal residents in a small town. The death of a new owner of a pet shop has divided the town. Was it an accident or was it murder?”

FUN BOOK TO READ

” . . . a quick moving and fun book to read.”

Giveaway Link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters was the first Cobble Cove story. It introduces the characters from the first two books through the gifts they give their author (me).

The characters from Debbie De Louise’s Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first book, A Stone’s Throw, and the new release, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Here are some reviews:

WHAT AN INTERESTING WAY TO INTRODUCE YOUR BOOKS! NOW I WANT TO READ THEM ALL!

This short novel has served its purpose, with me at least. I now want to read these books in their entirety!”

FIVE STARS

“Love this author…another of her winning novels!”

Giveaway Link:

I hope you enjoy both of these seasonal stories and wish you all a very Happy and Healthy Holiday.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Holiday Showcase with December Sales and Author News

HOLIDAY SHOWCASE

If eBooks aren’t your thing or you’re looking for print copies to give as gifts this season, I have a dozen suggestions. Some of these books are available in large print and hardcover, as well as paperback. I’ve included a short description of each with purchase links to Amazon and Bookshop.org that supports Indie Bookstores. Bookshop.org also has free shipping through Monday, November 29.

Cobble Cove Cozy Mystery Series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, Love on the Rocks,, and No Gravestone Unturned.

Follow the adventures of Alicia, the librarian and Sneaky the library cat in the small, fictional upstate New York town of Cobble Cove, New York.

Amazon Purchase Link: mybook.to/CCseries

Individual titles are also available on Bookshop.org

My romance novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, makes a thoughtful gift for those who enjoy love stories featuring jewel thieves, a scavenger hunt, and a cat.

Amazon Purchase Link:  mybook.to/Jackpaper

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3I2ggec

Cloudy Rainbow is a paranormal romance featuring a virtual world, a clairvoyant, and reincarnation.

Amazon Purchase Link: mybook.to/CRpaper

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3D2siQO

Reason to Die is my mystery thriller with cozy elements. It features a female detective, a serial killer of handicapped people in a small town, and a parrot.

Amazon Purchase Link: mybook.to/RTDpap

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3nVbPcZ

My psychological mystery, Sea Scope, has won several awards, including a silver medal from Readers’ Favorites. It involves a murder near a lighthouse, family secrets, and features alternating timelines.

Amazon Purchas Link: http://mybook.to/seascopetp

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3D23f0v

Memory Makers involves the clinical trial of a new memory drug and the woman who volunteers for it hoping to recall the face of the man who killed her sister.

Amazon Purchase Link: mybook.to/MMpbk

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3E4NuXK

Time’s Relative is a time-travel tale that takes place in 1998. The main character is a librarian who accepts a job that turns out to allow her to travel to the past and future where she encounters Y2K, 9/11, and the COVID pandemic.

Amazon Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/timesrelative

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3FLKUXg

Meows and Purrs is a collection of cat poems that were inspired by the felines I’ve known and loved all my life. Some poems are funny; some are sad, but they all capture the beauty and intelligence of these creatures. A great gift for cat and poetry lovers.

Amazon Purchase Link: mybook.to/catpoemspaper

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3EgHwn3

SALES

I have three books on sale this December. My award-winning eBook, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery and Celebrating Christmas with My Characters, the first Cobble Cove story are both free on Amazon from December 3 through December 6.

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery purchase link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters purchase link: mybook.to/XmasCharacters

Also on sale for 99 cents rom December 17-21 is the eBook of my time-travel mystery, Time’s Relative. Please note that the sale for this book may not be posted until noon EST on the first day of the sale.

Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/timesrelative

AUTHOR NEWS

I’m proud to announce that my publisher, Next Chapter, will be reprinting my self-published cat book, Pet Posts: The Cat Chats. This book will soon be available in paperback, hardcover, large print, eBook, and on audio.

Also, in case you missed it, I appeared on Stephanie Larkin’s TV show, Between the Covers, with two other authors. I talk about my latest releases and read two poems from my collection of cat poetry.

In January, I’ll be sharing my writing and publishing plans for 2022. There will be a survey regarding this in my December newsletter, which will be emailed on December 1. Those who complete the survey will be eligible for a $10 gift card. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign up at https://debbiedelouise.com. Even if you don’t win the survey contest, I select a winner each month for a surprise gift from my active subscribers.