Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Poison by Punctuation by Kelley Kaye

This post was contributed by author Kelley Kaye. Her cozy mystery, Poison by Punctuation is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

https://www.aspeninstitute.org/magazine/can-literature-save-us-need-saving/

I’ve always felt that books can save lives. Whatever it is that’s going on in your life, there’s a book for it, something out there that will teach you, heal you, inspire you or shelter you.

For me, the shelter aspect was key. The young version of Kelley was a total nerd, forty years before nerds became cool. I hated sports, sucked at foursquare, and did really well in school, thought knowing how to spell was the awesomest. Translation: big ol’ geek. The playground was not a respite for me; rather a black hole. I only wanted to escape back into the classroom, where I felt much more surefooted, or, escape into a book, where I felt…indomitable. Into a world I controlled by a turn of the page, or not. I can still picture myself, propped on the playground curb, one skinny leg stretched out to one side, with the book splayed open on the concrete. Catty little girls or thoughtless little boys took a back seat in this world, where space travel is as easy as a Sunday drive, telepathy is real, and if you want it, the good guy always wins. It saved my life.

As a teacher, my motto was “If you don’t like to read, you just haven’t found the right book yet.” I still believe it, even though I’ve been trying for over fifteen years now to find the right one for my husband. I’ll keep trying.

But for a lot of my past students the old adage rings true: take Elijah, who as a freshman hadn’t read a book since fifth grade, hated the idea of books, but after experiencing the motto–and the persuasivenessAKAbossiness–of teacher Kelley, he found his groove in a Dean Koontz book, and by the end of his senior year had finished 30 of them. Same thing happened with Brian, though for him his groove was Harlan Coben.

Now I don’t know if these two examples would be dead if they’d never found a love for reading, but I know I would be. The article I posted at the beginning of my guest post talks about literature as a lifesaver more in terms of big world issues being better understood, disseminated and dealt with through books, which is maybe a more literal way it saves lives.

But no matter how you look at it, for a lot of us, books are akin to breathing.

A lifesaver. How about for you?

Here’s a book trailer for Poison by Punctuation: Poison by Puncutation Trailer

Poison by Punctuation (Chalkboard Outlines)
by Kelley Kaye

About the Book


Poison by Punctuation (Chalkboard Outlines)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Red Adept Publishing, LLC (April 24, 2018)
Print Length: 243 pages
Digital ASIN: B07BTYJXCG

High school teacher Emma Lovett is finally recovering from her first year of teaching when she discovers another dead body. As if that wasn’t bad enough, this time, someone has killed a student, Kisten Hollis.

Emma and her best friend, Leslie, are desperate to solve this murder. But suspects abound. The perpetrator could be a teacher, an administrator, a member of Kisten’s zealous church community, or even another student.

Emma must juggle her teaching responsibilities, her new romance with handsome Hunter Wells, and interest from a hunky second suitor, all while searching for evidence to bring a killer to justice before someone else dies.

About the Author

“Kelley Kaye” taught High School English and Drama since 1992 in California, then Colorado and now Cali again, but her love for storytelling dates back to creating captions in her high school yearbook. Maybe back to the tales she created for her Barbie and Ken—whatever the case, the love’s been around a long time. She’s married to an amazing man who cooks for her, and they have two funny and wonderful sons.

Website – http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorkelleykaye/

Blog – http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/kelley-s-blog2.html

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kelkay1202

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kelley-kaye

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Kelley-Kay-Bowles/e/B00JJ9T7AC

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1380492.Kelley_Kay_Bowles

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play BookBub

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 13 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

June 14 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

June 15 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

June 15 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 16 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Varietats – GUEST POST

June 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 20 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

June 20 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

June 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 22 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 23 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

June 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

June 24 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 25 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

June 26 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Advertisements
Posted in Authors, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Murder Gone Missing by Lida Sideris

This post was contributed by author Lida Sideris. Her cozy mystery, Murder Gone Missing, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas Escape into a Good Book. 

Rustling Up Characters

I’m often asked where I find my characters. Are they based on people I know? Nope. But they are based on people I don’t know. For instance, in a subplot in my first book, heroine Corrie Locke is hired by basketball superstar, Ty Calvin, to find his missing lucky charm. I’ve never known any professional sports stars. But I did have a brush with one. It was enough for me to want to base a character on him.

A few years ago, I waited on the first tee of a local golf course with my junior golfer son. Basketball superstar Alonzo Mourning approached us from behind and asked if he could play through. In golf speak, that’s, “Mind if I go first? I’m in a little bit of a rush.” He asked so politely, so kindly, that he left me with a lasting impression. Of someone who treated others well, of an animal lover, a gentle role model, one who was bent on doing the right thing. I have no idea what Mr. Mourning is really like. But I had a strong notion of what my basketball player creation would be like. Kind, thoughtful, generous, and yes, an animal lover who would go to great lengths for his animal and human friends. Would I have created the character without that brief encounter? Probably not.

Sometimes, a character idea will arise from viewing a photograph or a movie. For instance, I was watching a 1947 Bogart film, Dead Reckoning that co-starred an actress I wasn’t familiar with: Lizabeth Scott. I’d never seen or heard of her, but her mannerisms were enough to inspire me to create a lanky murder suspect, patterned after her character in the movie. I used her in Book Two. Ms. Scott’s expressions, the way she spoke and walked, her hair and her clothes in that particular film, helped me to get a sense of the character I was seeking to create. Ms. Scott has a very unique voice and every time, my character, Alyce Scerbo, opened her mouth, I thought of Ms. Scott.

Basing characters on my impressions allows my imagination to run around and figure things out. It helps me to hear them speak and move…and eventually breathe between the pages.

Murder Gone Missing: A Southern California Mystery
by Lida Sideris

About the Book


Murder Gone Missing: A Southern California Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Soft Boiled Mystery
2nd in Series
Level Best Books (April 10, 2018)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1947915046
Digital ASIN: B07BHCBX51

Newly minted lawyer Corrie Locke has taken a vow of abstinence. From PI work, that is. Until her best friend Michael finds his bully of a boss stabbed in the back after confronting him earlier that day. Michael panics, accidentally tampering with the crime scene…which could lead the cops to Michael instead of the real culprit. He turns to Corrie to track down the killer. She doesn’t need much coaxing. Her late great PI dad taught her the ropes…and left her his cache of illegal weaponry.

They return to the scene of the crime, but the body’s missing. Racing against time, Corrie dredges a prestigious Los Angeles college in pursuit of clues. All she finds are false leads. Armed with attitude and romantic feelings toward Michael, Corrie dives into a school of suspects to find the slippery fugitive. Will she clear Michael’s name before he’s arrested for murder?

About the Author

Lida Sideris is an author, lawyer and all around book enthusiast. She was one of two national recipients of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America scholarship for her first novel, MURDER AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS. MURDER GONE MISSING is the second book in the Corrie Locke series. Like her heroine, Lida worked as an entertainment attorney in a movie studio. Unlike her heroine, she keeps her distance from homicides. To learn more about Lida, please visit her website: www.LidaSideris.com

Author Links

WEBSITE: http://www.lidasideris.com/

BLOG: http://www.lidasideris.com/blog/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/lidasideris

TWITTER: @lidasideris

GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26139837-murder-and-other-unnatural-disasters?from_search=true&search_version=service

Purchase Links

AMAZON B&N

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

June 11 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

June 12 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 12 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

June 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

June 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

June 14 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

June 14 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

June 14 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 15 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

June 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

June 16 – My Fiction Obsession – SPOTLIGHT

June 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

June 17 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

June 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 18 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

June 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

 

 

 

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight for As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)
by Leslie Budewitz

About the Book

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752419
Digital ASIN: B075W25FNF

Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit—and herself—alive till Christmas?

In Jewel Bay, all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily has turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Includes delicious recipes!

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N BookBub Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY

June 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

June 7 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

June 7 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 8 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

June 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

June 8 – Carole’s Book Corner – GUEST POST

June 9 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

June 9 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

June 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

June 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 11 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

June 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

June 12 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

June 13 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

June 14 – cherylbbookblog – REVIEW

June 14 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

June 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

June 15 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

June 16 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

June 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

June 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 19 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

June 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

June 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

June 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

 

 

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for A Deadly Eclair (the 1st. French Bistro Mystery) by Daryl Gerber

This post was contributed by author Daryl Gerber. Her cozy mystery, A Deadly Eclair, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas Escape into a Good Book

Giveaway below!  Don’t miss out.

Hi, all! I’m so happy to be on the Great Escapes Tour. I’d like to share some of my favorite recipes from A Deadly Éclair, the 1st French Bistro Mystery. It came out in  hardcover in November, but I’m excited to say it’s out in trade paperback as of June 12. And the second in the series, A Soufflé of Suspicion, comes out July 10!

One of my all-time favorite desserts is crème brûlée. I often order it at a restaurant, just to compare. For this luscious dessert, use the best vanilla beans available. If you’re planning this recipe for a party, remember to remove them from the refrigerator a few hours ahead so they can warm to room temperature before applying the vanilla sugar and heat to the top.

I like a utility blowtorch from a hardware store, but you can always spring for the big bucks and get a pretty one from a kitchen store, at double the cost.

Tip:  Vanilla sugar can be costly, but it’s worth it. However, you can prepare it at home by combining approximately 2 cups of white sugar with the scraped seeds of one vanilla bean. Put it in an airtight jar. Let the mixture age for about 2 weeks, and then use 2 tablespoons in place of one packet of vanilla sugar. Make sense?  Each time, replace the sugar that is used, and the vanilla beans will last indefinitely. Cool, right?

Enjoy the recipe, and please tell a friend about A Deadly Éclair and the giveaway for this tour!

Crème Brûlée

1 quart heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 cup vanilla sugar, divided (*you may use regular sugar)

6 large egg yolks

2 quarts hot water 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan, which has been set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and set aside for future use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup vanilla sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color.

Add the cream, a little bit at a time. Stir continually.

Pour the liquid into six (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into roasting pan or a 13 x 9 cake pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake the ramekins until the crème brûlée is set, but still able to shake a little in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to finishing the top.

Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Below is the link to the tour’s rafflecopter and Dayl Gerber’s social media links:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792726/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N     Kobo    BookBub

 

 

Posted in Books

What’s Your Great Read?

As a librarian and an author, books have played a big role in my life. When I heard about the Great American Read, an outreach campaign by PBS that aims “to get the country reading and passionately talking about books,” I was excited to participate in this endeavor. I organized a display in my library of some of the 100 titles that were nominated and will be voted upon through the summer. These books range from classics such as Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice to contemporary works like Gone Girl and the Da Vinci Code. Childrens and Young Adult books as well as Science Fiction, mystery, and Horror tales are represented.  In addition, the complete Harry Potter series and James Patterson’s Alex Cross mysteries are listed with a few other multi-book sets.The title receiving the most votes will be announced in the fall. During the voting period, PBS will run a series featuring a discussion about the novels by celebrities, authors, and book readers across the nation. The launch episode, hosted by Meredith Vieira, can be viewed on the Great American Read website where you can find the 100 titles and cast your votes:  https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/

The website also features an opportunity to share your own story about how a novel changed your life and a Facebook group you can join to discuss books with fellow readers:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/greatreadbookclub/about/

While I applaud PBS for their effort to excite people about reading, there are many titles that didn’t make the cut to the list that I believe were worthier than others that did. I realize the difficulty of choosing only 100 novels from the sheer number of books published in the U.S. The choices excluded non-fiction and poetry. Some of of my favorites that weren’t featured are listed below:

  1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (time-travel romance made into a popular movie)
  2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (tear-jerker novel also made into a movie)
  3. Time and Again by Jack Finney (classic time-travel book featuring historical photographs, also a film)
  4. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (popular classic children’s book and movie)
  5. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (childrens/young adult book)
  6. The Eight by Katherine Neville (This chess-themed mystery that features some chapters taking place during the French Revolution had a following in the 1970’s)
  7. The Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne (popular children’s time-travel series that is much requested at libraries and one that my daughter loved when she was younger.)
  8. Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Great Expectations made the list, but this one is my favorite)
  9. The Cat Who Series by Lilian Jackson Braun (The only cozy mystery on the list is Agatha Christie’s And then there were None. This is one of my many favorite cozy series)
  10. The Winter People by Phyllis Whitney (although maybe not as popular as the others, this was the first gothic romance that I read as a teen that got me interested in authors such as Victoria Holt and Barbara Michaels).

What about you? Are there any books that you consider your own great reads? I’d love to see your comments.

 

 

Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Meg Macy, Author of Bear Witness to Murder

I’m pleased to have author Meg Mims who wites as Meg Macy and is also half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland from Southeastern Michigan here to speak about her new cozy mystery, Bear Witness to Murder, that is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Welcome, Meg. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

I was first published in 2011 with Double Crossing, a western historical mystery, using Meg Mims. Double Crossing won a Spur Award from the Western Writers of America for Best First Book. That book and the sequel, Double or Nothing, are with Prairie Rose Publications. I wrote several holiday romance novellas and self-published them – Santa Paws, Santa Claws, Home for the Holidays (all with rescue dogs and cats); The Key to Love and The Key to Christmas (artist-themed), Winner Takes All and A Holiday Hoax (both western romance), plus several short stories. I co-write the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries (Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, Move Your Blooming Corpse, Get Me to the Grave On Time, With A Little Bit of Blood) with my college friend Sharon Pisacreta under our D.E. Ireland pseudonym; two books were nominated for Agatha Awards, Best Historical. Right now, I’m writing the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear cozy mysteries for Kensington Books. Bearly Departed debuted in 2017, and the next in that series, Bear Witness to Murder that came out May 29th, 2018.

You’re quite accomplished. Congratulations on the new book. The series sounds delightful. Tell us what you’re working on next.

I’m writing book 3 of my teddy bear mysteries, Have Yourself A Beary Little Murder, coming out late in 2019, as well as working on a new series.

Sounds great.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I love writing cozy mysteries and my goal is to get two books published in a year or year and a half – I’m not a fast writer, so I’m trying to streamline the process and spend less time on social media. Not easy! I so enjoy sharing funny memes, jokes, and photos with friends every day. It’s like being in a close community, only spread out over the U.S. And writers are often introverts in our own world, so having that contact is important. But I do need to cut down on the time spent on Facebook!

I agree about social media taking up a lot of time. I’m trying to do the same myself to get more writing time; although, as you say, it’s important to stay connected with readers online.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

Readers of cozy mysteries set in small towns with dogs, cats, and quaint shops. People who love and collect teddy bears, tea parties, art lovers, kid lovers – anyone who loves a good story, really.

Your books certainly have wide appeal.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Read, read, read, across genres – good, solid authors – and choose one to outline. The beginning, middle, end, plus the points in between. That will give any would-be writer the structure of a story, but so will Robert McKee’s Story. Know your characters – their flaws and strengths, backstories, etc. But finding your voice is key, and the only way to do that is to keep writing and never give up. Write every day. Discipline yourself to produce, learn how to self-edit and revise, learn to take criticism with grace.

Excellent advice.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Learning to infuse emotions into my characters was a challenge for me. I spent far more time on research, plot, and especially setting and other details. It takes a lot of rewriting to get everything in a good balance.

That’s a good point. Characters are crucial in most books and especially cozies.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

 I belong to Sisters In Crime (national and local), Novelists, Inc., and a Facebook group of historical authors called Sleuths in Time (my friend and I write as D.E. Ireland) – we share information about our books and research. I’m hoping to start a Facebook group for fans of cozy mysteries set in Michigan or the Great Lakes region, too.

Nice. I’m a Sisters in Crime member, too.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m an artist (watercolor, pen/ink, mixed media) although I haven’t had much time for it over the past five years. I love reading (every day), love visiting tea rooms with friends for lunch (at least once a month), and must exercise (to improve my health) by either walking at the mall or working out at Planet Fitness. I also love Pinterest, relaxing over photos of teacups, flowers, gardens, book nooks, etc. It’s marvelous. I enjoy watching classic movies with a big bowl of popcorn.

Very nice past times and relaxing, I’m sure.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I have lots of ideas, but getting a detailed outline is a challenge for me. Writing is so much easier when you prepare as much as possible ahead of time. I also think self-promotion is much tougher for authors now, although Kensington is really wonderful about helping spread the word about their cozy mysteries. Still, it seems a “social media” presence is necessary – and I prefer Facebook to Twitter. I share photos on Instagram but keep my author info to a minimum there.

I outline very little myself and I agree that can make things difficult, and I also find promotion challenging. I wish I had a larger publisher like Kensington behind me (still querying), but I know authors today need to promote themselves on social media as you say no matter who they publish with.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I was an early reader of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, so the “twist” is important to me. I try hard to incorporate that in my work and hope to surprise readers. I also enjoy creating the quaint setting (and wish I lived in a small town), the “family and friends” community atmosphere, the lack of graphic blood/gore and profanity. I am not a fan of books that utilize all that for shock value, or show violence toward women and children. Just not my cup of tea.

That’s how I feel. I also like to add twists to my mysteries.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?

Of course, I’d love to! Here’s a bit from Chapter 1 of Bear Witness to Murder:

So much had changed in the short time since “Will’s Folly.” That’s what Silver Hollow residents now called the murder of the Silver Bear Shop & Factory’s sales rep, Will Taylor, before Labor Day. Few were sad; Will hadn’t been popular with our workers. Still, others had been affected in the aftermath. Murder was a nasty business. Sales at the shop boomed from all the publicity, good and bad, and visitors to the area tripled. But I wasn’t proud of nearly getting myself killed by sleuthing. I’d learned my lesson.

In record time, the Wentworths had hired a crew to clear out and clean the entire Queen Anne-style house from top to bottom. Then they brought in a massive black walnut sideboard for the front parlor, plus square tables and chintz-covered chairs in a pink, green, and gold rose pattern. They’d installed teacup chandeliers – four in each parlor and two in the library. Crisp linen cloths in pastel pink or green draped the tables with white lace overlays. Place settings in an eclectic array of teacups, saucers, plates, and flatware added to the charm. Gold-framed landscapes of the English countryside and castles hung on the walls.

I had to admit the tea room was an improvement over the dowdy bed-and-breakfast.

“Celia! Stop that,” Elle hissed to her younger daughter, who was dunking a shabby teddy bear’s nose into her full teacup.

“Mom, she spilled all over the tablecloth,” said her older daughter, Cara.

“I’ve got it.” I mopped the liquid with extra napkins. Both girls wore party dresses and hair ribbons, and I recognized Elle’s pale blue dress from a shopping trip we’d taken last spring. “Which of the sandwiches did you like best, girls?”

“The strawberry cream cheese,” Celia sang out.

“I like the peanut butter ones,” Cara said, “but they need more jelly.”

“Jam, not jelly. And no, teddies can’t eat or drink,” Elle said. The girls giggled at the wet smear on Celia’s bear. “Now behave, or we won’t be able to come next year.”

“I’d better get back to work. Of course I’ll bring more scones,” I said when the woman at the next table waved me over. “I hope you’re enjoying the tea party.”

“Yes, indeed. We’re planning on a visit to the new toy and bookstore, too.”

When she turned to speak to her friends, I noted Elle’s discomfort. We were all worried sick for her and my cousin Matt. Bad enough that people ordered books online instead of visiting small bookstores like The Cat’s Cradle. But the competition from Holly Parker’s new toy and bookshop, Through the Looking Glass, would draw customers away and cut into their profits. I knew full well that Matt and Elle were barely surviving.

I glanced at the large corner table where Holly Parker sat with a red-haired woman. Holly and I shared a bitter rivalry long ago in high school; she hadn’t changed her hairstyle, still wearing it straight and long, although her tortoise-shell glasses looked modern. I tried to keep an open mind about her return to Silver Hollow, although I had to wonder why she chose to open a shop two weeks ago in direct competition. That didn’t set well with me or my family.

Holly looked like an ingénue in a white dress with a row of sparkly rhinestones along the neckline. She’d always favored white, from what I recalled, which set off the natural olive hue of her complexion and tanned limbs. A pale pink jacket with silver bling spelling out think pink was draped behind her chair. That reminded me of her extensive collection of Pink Panther memorabilia. Or perhaps “obsession” was more apropos.

To each their own, I supposed.

I wasn’t pleased reading Dave Fox’s Silver Hollow Herald, which quoted Holly as saying “Our shop is already number one in sales here in Silver Hollow.” That seemed a stretch. Maddie had witnessed her double-parking in the middle of Theodore Lane and getting ticketed by the local police for it, over the weekend she’d moved into the former Holly Jolly Christmas shop. That reminded me. I needed to ask about some stray bears.

“Are you both enjoying the party?” I asked. Holly beamed at me.

“Oh, yes! I’m so glad we got tickets. It’s so sweet, seeing all the little kids with their teddy bears. I hope you don’t mind that I passed out a few flyers for my shop.”

Since she’d already done so, I figured it was useless to object. “Gina Lawson,” the red-haired woman said and gave me a firm handshake. “I’m Holly’s shop assistant, marketing guru, and publicity person.”

“Nice to meet you, Gina.” I eyed her short tomato-red pixie haircut, gelled up in a curved ridge, rocker-style, and heart-shaped face. “Sounds like you know your promo stuff. I’ve seen a lot of your social media lately. Tweets and Facebook posts about the new store.”

“Great.”

Gina smiled, a bit slyly I thought, so I addressed Holly. “I should have asked you long before now, but did you happen to come across any of our silver or white teddy bears? Among all the items left behind in the Holly Jolly, I mean.”

Holly looked sorrowful. “No. We tossed broken ornaments, scads of nonworking fairy lights, and empty boxes. It was such a mess cleaning up.”

… My sister Maddie met me at the kitchen doorway and pulled me out of sight beyond the swinging doors. She waved her cell phone in triumph.

“See that red-haired woman? She’s trouble. Mark my words.”

Great excerpt.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?

They can all be read out of order, but if you want to learn more about the characters’ growth over the series, start from the beginning. In my teddy bear series, I like to put kids in the books’ beginning, either in the shop or at an event, because teddy bears are important for children – for comfort, companionship, and lifelong friendship.

The books in my Cobble Cove series can also be read as standalones, but it is better if you start with the first one, A Stone’s Throw, because the main characters develop as minor ones are added or leave. I like the idea of the teddy bears in your books. For adults, they bring back special memories of childhood and create a charming theme to your stories.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc.

https://www.facebook.com/MegMacyAuthor/

https://www.facebook.com/DEIrelandAuthor/

https://www.facebook.com/SantaPawsMegMims/

https://twitter.com/megmims

https://twitter.com/DEIrelandAuthor

Thanks so much for the interview, Meg, and best wishes on the blog tour and your new cozy. I’m also including a link to your rafflecopter giveaway for those who wish to enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792721/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

 

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab by Columbkill Noonan

This post was contributed by author Columbkill Noonan. Her cozy mystery, Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

“Surprise!” says the Publisher. “We’ve got a launch date!”

“Ahhh!” says Barnabas, the earnest, responsible, and slightly high-strung detective from Victorian London. He turns a bit red in the cheeks, and shifts nervously from one foot to the other. “And when is this ‘launch date’, I wonder?”

“Why, it’s in September!” says the Publisher. “You’ll be coming out with your second book on the 4th. Isn’t that wonderful news?”

“Wonderful!” says Me, the Author. “Exciting!”

“Errr….” mumbles poor Barnabas. The red has now spread out from his cheeks to color his face entirely, giving him the complexion of a nearly-ripe tomato. It is a most alarming sight, really.

“Why, what’s the matter?” I say. “You look as though you’re having an apoplexy.”

“It’s just I’m not certain I’m quite ready,” says Barnabas. “I’m not even properly dressed.” He pats awkwardly at his billowing white robe. (Don’t ask why he’s wearing such a ridiculous thing, please; you’ll only upset him and besides, it will all become clear somewhere smack in the middle of “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab”, the first book in the series. Poor Barnabas would never forgive me if I spoiled his story!) As for what he wears in the second book, the one that’s coming out in September, well, that’s another story entirely.

“Now Barnabas,” says Me. “We’ve talked about this. You’ll be fine. You’re completely ready.”

“I suppose,” says Barnabas. “It’s just such a…, well….”

“Yes?”I prompt.

“It’s just such a surprise!” he sighs.

And isn’t that the way of surprises? They can be good, or they can be bad, or they can seem good to one person and bad to another. It doesn’t really matter what the surprise is, it’s how you view it.

I personally love surprises. I think the most magical moments in life are unplanned, unforeseen, and therefore, unforgettable. There is beauty in chaos; a field of wildflowers growing every which where, or a rocky seashore with the waves fling themselves wildly upon the cliffs. And there is so much to be learned in the unexpected.

Once I was in Frankfurt, all by myself. I don’t speak German (excepting that I can sing all the words to 99 Luftballons, which is, of course, not very useful when one is trying to navigate around a foreign country by oneself. “Hast du etwas zeit fur mich?”is not something one says normally in the course of a day, is it?) Anyway, I decided on an impulse that I wanted to go to Heidelberg, so I walked to the Frankfurt train station (which is enormous) and somehow managed to buy the ticket (I knew the words for train, and which track, and so forth. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know numbers (which are incredibly important when one is looking for a particular train track and there are what seems to be half a billion different tracks), so when the ticket seller told me which track to go to, I was more than a little uncertain.

I ran around in circles for a bit, then found what I thought was the right track, that happened to have a train sitting on it pointing in what I thought was probably the right direction. So I got on the train, and sat there…and started to worry. What if it’s the wrong train? What if it doesn’t go to Heidelberg? But then it hit me: so what? I might not be going to Heidelberg, but I am going somewhere, and maybe I’ll like that place too. So I just sat there and happily waited to see where the train would take me.

Turns out I went to Heidelberg after all, and it was fabulous, and I loved it, and I kind of wish I lived there now.

Barnabas, of course, is a bit more British about things; he likes everything neat and orderly and predictable. He likes to know where he is, and where he is going. He would be most decidedly unhappy to be on a train with a destination unknown. He thinks roses are their most beautiful when they are trimmed and arranged just so, so that each one is in its proper place. He likes for people to behave the way they are supposed to (in a civilized sort of way, that is to say).

Of course, fiction doesn’t usually behave in an orderly, predictable sort of way, and “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab” is no exception. Indeed, beginning almost straightaway, Barnabas (together with his loyal assistant Wilfred, who is just a tad more resilient about things) finds himself in the most unexpected and terribly surprising circumstance. To be stolen from a museum in the middle of London and thrust into the very strange (and rather frightening) Egyptian Afterlife is about as unexpected and surprising as it gets. But our Barnabas, distraught though he may be, has a job to do, and he knows that it isn’t terribly polite to let one’s feelings interfere with the discharge of one’s responsibilities.

But I’d better stop talking about that, before I give away too much. I don’t want to spoil all the exciting surprises that are in store for the readers!

So, back to the topic of surprises and chaos and order. Isn’t life (and fiction) just a wonderful mix of all of these? And, as the Fibonacci sequence shows, wildness and order are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Maybe Barnabas and I are not so different, after all. We are merely looking at the same thing from opposite sides, we are two sides of the same coin, the yin and the yang, yada yada yada. I am excited for the launch date, and can’t wait to see what will come from it, what people I’ll meet, which adventures I’ll have. But when I think about it, I am nervous (just like our dear, earnest Barnabas). People will read the book. I hope that they will like it, but of course not everyone will…nothing is universally liked by every single person on the planet.

So, whilst I tend to be a happy, excited sort of person (the kind who loves surprises!), Barnabas really is a reflection of my more anxious, worrisome side. Really, both sides are required for everything to stay in balance, and to work out the way they should. Sometimes one needs to plan, and sometimes one needs to just go with the flow.

So….Surprise! Chaos and order are both necessary, at the same time.

But, really, what does one wear to something like this? 😉

“Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab” is now available on Amazon! The sequel, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds”, is coming this very September!

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barnabas-Tew-Case-Missing-Scarab-ebook/dp/B072JMJV1F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499437082&sr=8-1&keywords=barnabas+tew

US: https://www.amazon.com/Barnabas-Tew-Case-Missing-Scarab/dp/1546786074/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499198796&sr=8-1&keywords=barnabas+tew

Enter the book tour’s rafflecopter here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792719/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

Connect with Columbkill:

Blog: www.columbkill.weebly.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ColumbkillNoonan

Twitter: @ColumbkillNoon1