Posted in Authors, Books, Cat Writer's Association, Cats, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Patricia Fry

cozycatpicAlthough I consider myself a romantic suspense author and fan, I also used to be an avid reader of cozy mysteries especially those featuring cats. For those of you who also share that interest, I will be featuring Cozy Chats with cozy mystery authors on this blog. If you are an author who writes a cozy series and would like to participate in a future Cozy Chat, please contact me.

FryThis week’s Cozy Chat is with Patricia Fry who I spoke with about her Klepto Cat Mysteries.

Hi, Patricia. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Klepto Cat Mysteries? What gave you the idea for it?

I’ve been writing for publication for over 40 years. I started out writing articles for magazines and have had hundreds of articles published in around 300 different publications. I have also produced 41 nonfiction books—most of them books for authors on topics such as publishing and book promotion. My latest book for authors is “Propose Your Book, How to Craft Persuasive Proposals for Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children’s Books.” (Allworth Press, 2015)

In June of 2012, I decided to give myself a birthday gift—the time and space to try writing fiction. I knew my stories would be light (cozy) mysteries and they would involve cats. I have a cat who takes my things—lingerie out of my drawers, small stuffed bears off the shelves, etc. She has a whole collection of stuffed toys that she carries around. So I decided to create a cat character who can’t keep his paws off other people’s things and who seems to have a knack for discovering clues to the various mysteries occurring locally. Hence the series title, The Klepto Cat Mysteries.

Rags, the klepto cat, is also patterned after my mother’s cat who is quite confident, strong-willed, creative, and has a sense of humor. Rags (Ragsdale) belongs to Michael and Savannah Ivey, who are veterinarians in Northern California. He has many human and cat friends who help keep the stories interesting and lively. By the way, there are no talking cats. Rags, for example, is an ordinary cat with some extraordinary habits.

CWA member and artist, Bernadette Kazmarski designs the beautiful covers for the Klepto Cat Mysteries.

That’s awesome. I’m a member of the Cat Writer’s Association, as well.  Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

I’ve been offering advice through workshops and presentations at writer’s conferences, etc. for years. Probably the most important thing a writer must understand, if he or she wants to publish and sell their work, is the marketing concept. Know who your audience is, where they are, and how to approach them. Write for that audience and plan your marketing strategy far in advance. A book is not like a baseball field where if you build it they will come. It takes an enormous amount of thought, planning, time, and effort to write the right book for a particular audience, then to promote it successfully to that audience.

Excellent advice. What are you currently working on?

Picture Purrfect Christmas-cover-1000pxA Picture-Purrfect Christmas,” number 13 in the Klepto Cat Mystery series is already available. I have number 14 proofed/edited and almost ready to go and I’m starting the process of fleshing out book number 15. I keep thinking I’ll run out of ideas, but once I sit down at the computer, a new story just seems to flow from me. I must say, I’m addicted to the process.

I know the feeling. I’m working on the sequel to “A Stone’s Throw” right now. I don’t know if it’s going to end up a series, but I have lots of other ideas for other books, as well. Authors like you with so many titles under your belts inspire me to keep at it.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

As I said, I have written nonfiction for years—the how-to, informational, self-help, historical, profile piece, and so forth. From the very beginning of my career, I was fascinated by article-writing. I spent several years prior to writing my first article, studying the industry and the type of material I wanted to write. I started my article-writing career writing for horse magazines. My first book was on horse care. I’ve also written for Cats Magazine, Cat Fancy, ASPCA Animal Watch, Woman’s World, Health, Entrepreneur, Writer’s Digest, and many others. I had no interest in writing fiction, until three years ago and now I’m hooked. It’s all I want to do.

I’ve written for cat magazines as well and am still doing some work for Catster.com and my local paper, but I do prefer fiction.

Patricia, can you also tell me how you got started in writing?

I married young and soon had three little girls. My husband and I didn’t have much money and couldn’t afford greeting cards and gifts, so I’d make cards to send for family birthdays, Christmas, and other occasions. People loved the verses I wrote inside. When my grandmother was injured in a car accident in another state, I was unable to visit her, so I wrote to her several times a week. She praised my letters—said they were so well-written. I enjoyed the compliments and I enjoyed the process. I decided that when my daughters were older, I would become a writer. And writing has been my passion and my livelihood over the past 40 years.

What an interesting story. What are your hobbies besides writing?

I enjoy gardening, but things have changed here in CA with the drought. Instead of nurturing sweet flowering plants, I’m becoming addicted to growing succulents, making succulent wreaths and so forth. I walk every day and have for many years. I can sew and do needlework, but have put those hobbies on the backburner. I’m still available to mend or alter clothing items for my grandchildren and great grandchildren. I do love our cats. We currently have three—all rescues. There’s Lily, one of 15 kittens born to 3 feral mother cats one spring. Sophie lived on the streets in a colony until she was rescued at 10 weeks old. We found Max in our woodpile and worked endless hours to socialize him. He’s 17 and a half now and loves lap-sitting.

I’ve begun walking myself. It definitely helps clear your mind and is great exercise. Some of the other authors I’ve spoken with on Cozy Chat have rescue cats, too. 

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

Picture Purrfect Christmas-cover-1000pxAll 13 of the Klepto Cat Mysteries are formatted for Kindle and to date, 9 of them are in print. We brought out the Christmas story this year in print and for Kindle. All available at Amazon. You can also order them along with note cards featuring some of the beautiful covers from my publishing website: http://www.matilijapress.com/Klepto-Cat-Mysteries 

That sounds great. I have a Kindle, although I still read print books. I also order mysteries for our library and will definitely check to see if we carry your series. The note cards sound nice, too. You can never have enough cat decorated items – lol.

Thank you so much for joining us on Cozy Chat today, good luck with all your writing projects, and Happy Holidays.

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Posted in Authors, Books, Feature Friday

Feature Friday November 27 – Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

featurefridayI am proud to present this week’s Feature Friday, Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor. Every Friday, I feature an author and their book on this blog. At this point, I am selecting authors published by Limitless Publishing, my own publisher. In the future, I may consider other submissions. All purchase links and details are included. The books are available in paperback and eBook. Please support these outstanding writers by spreading the word to your friends, family, and co-workers.

shutterspeededitedSHUTTER SPEED by Mark Taylor

Kindle Unlimited: http://amzn.to/1LZLm0x
✺ SYNOPSIS ✺

Burned, scarred, and left for dead, Jimmy Tasker is running from everyone.

The blaze changed him—changed the way his brain fires—and left someone else in his head with him. Someone who wants to kill for fun.

He changes his name, buries his past, starts a new life…and disappears.

Years later, four friends from the city are hard up. Steve needs work, Gil’s jumpy, Peter is struggling, and Cal’s an addict. So they plan a robbery. Steve backs out, but the other three go through with it and botch the job, resulting in the death of Lauren Westerbrook.

Ronan Westerbrook has a hidden past, a love of photography…and a fondness for flame.

Ronan’s revenge for his wife’s death culminates in a bloodbath—and unleashes Jimmy, who was there all along, tormented by nightmares of atrocities he has no idea if he truly committed.

Steve is trying to build a respectable life, but now Jimmy has one last piece of unfinished business…the only witness who can identify him.

✺ ✺ CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER ✺ ✺

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sqUQ6JfEFc

✺ ✺ MARK TAYLOR ✺ ✺

Mark Taylor crash landed on planet earth in 1975. Then he started writing. He writes macabre, dark, stories, with a brooding style. He has enjoyed releases of both novel and short story collection alike.

Some of Mark’s work is about kittens and daisies. Just not very much.

Some say he is a product of his environment, others, a product of his own imagination.

Whichever it is he works happily, portraying dark existences on this planet and others. He relays his fears and doubts on his characters, so always has a smile. If Mark is real, as some say he is, you might find him in England. Perhaps.

LIMITLESS PUBLISHING: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/mark-taylor/

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

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/filingwords

WEBSITE: http://www.authormarktaylor.com/

GOODREADS:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8285292.Mark_Taylor

Posted in A Stone's Throw

Giving Thanks for Being a Loser

thankfulI’m especially thankful this year as I just released my second novel, “A Stone’s Throw.” I am posting this to thank my followers and the awesome authors I have met from Limitless Publishing and elsewhere. I  want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and share some personal thoughts about this past year. This post also appeared as a guest post on Ayden K. Morgen’s blog, and I read it at a Jenny Craig open house on Thursday night.

A year ago this November, I made a decision that changed my life, and it happened in an unexpected way. A co-worker at the library where I work had lost some weight on Weight Watchers. Having been on many diets on and off all my life and gaining the weight back plus more, I was hesitant to try dieting again. But seeing this co-worker and realizing I was at my top weight, 200+ pounds that is considered obese for a woman my height, 5 feet 3, I knew I had to do something. I was more concerned with my health than my looks at this point. I’d never had high blood pressure, but I was beginning to get borderline results. I also didn’t have diabetes, but it ran in my family.

Considering what weight loss program to give another try, I was close to enrolling in Weight Watchers. But before I did, I visited my credit union to make a deposit (I rarely do this in person, but I had to make some changes on the account that required me to go into the office). When I walked through the doors, I was greeted by a woman distributing a coupon for a free-month trial of Jenny Craig. I’d tried both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig years ago with short-term results, but I figured I had nothing to lose by trying a free month. I took the coupon and made the appointment with a counselor to start my program. Having a center close to my home made it easier to attend the weekly sessions with a very nice woman named Lauren who made me feel welcome and was very supportive.

jennycraigFollowing the program, I lost 10 pounds the first month and really didn’t feel hungry, but I knew that initial weight loss is usually high and tends to taper off. I was also not convinced I would continue to follow the program. The cost was also a bit prohibitive. In addition to the price of the food and the monthly program fee, it made a dent in our family budget, but my husband encouraged me to continue. He said that I couldn’t put a price on my health, and we would just have to cut back in other areas.

A few months into the program, I was losing steadily between the 1 to 2 pounds that Jenny Craig indicated was the norm for dieters following the plan. I began to have more energy, my blood pressure was no longer borderline, and I found myself writing again. I had stopped after self-publishing a novel several years back and hadn’t been able to find the time or inspiration to write another. I started with short stories and even enrolled in some online writing classes offered by Gale Courses that my library offered. Then I got an idea for another romantic suspense novel. In February of 2015, three months into my Jenny Craig program, I began writing “A Stone’s Throw.” Meanwhile, my weight loss continued. As the book grew, my body shrunk. My husband and Jenny Craig counselor were very proud, and I was feeling so much better.

diet2diet3I find it hard to believe, when I look in the mirror, that I’ve actually lost nearly 60 pounds and 12 clothing sizes this year. I can now shop in a regular department store instead of online through the specialty “large women” shops. I’ve also added exercise to my regimen and walk a mile a day to help burn up more calories as I get closer to my goal weight.

“A Stone’s Throw” was just released by Limitless Publishing.  I’m not sure if I owe its publication to the creative energy I developed as a result of my weight loss or if it’s just another sign of what you can accomplish if you are determined and have the support of others. I only know I’m thankful for having gone to my credit union that day last November, that I decided to give Jenny Craig another try, and that my husband and counselor were so supportive. In addition, the support of my fellow authors has been amazing. My Thanksreader’s Release party this past Friday was a great success with 25 authors participating and offering prizes and giveaways. There were scrumptious recipes included, and readers were actively involved in the contests and discussion. I am truly blessed and thankful to have had so many people help and support my book’s release.

Debbie’s blog/website: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author

Posted in Authors, Books, Feature Friday

Feature Friday November 20 – Touch Me Not by Apryl Baker

featurefridayI am proud to present this week’s Feature Friday, Touch Me Not by Apryl Baker. Every Friday, I feature an author and their book on this blog. At this point, I am selecting authors published by Limitless Publishing, my own publisher. In the future, I may consider other submissions. All purchase links and details are included. The books are available in paperback and eBook. Please support these outstanding writers by spreading the word to your friends, family, and co-workers.

touchmenotfeaturefridayTouch Me Not from @limitlessbooks: by @AprylBaker

 

✩✩ NOW AVAILABLE ✩✩

TOUCH ME NOT by Apryl Baker

Series: Manwhore Series, Book #1

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Genre: New Adult Romance

★✯ SYNOPSIS ✯★

A past tragedy has left Lily Holmes burdened with a devastating secret…

Since the death of her twin sister, Lily can’t bear to be touched. Not accidentally, not casually…and certainly not intimately. This makes it impossible for her to confess to her best friend Adam Roberts that she’s in love with him. She can’t give him the sort of relationship he needs, so she watches in silence while he plans his wedding with someone else.

Enter Nikoli Kinkaid, the campus manwhore…

Nikoli is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of women, and he wants to add Lily to his list of conquests, but she wants nothing to do with him—until he makes her an offer she can’t refuse. He’ll teach her to enjoy human contact again, giving her a chance to win over Adam, while Nikoli uses all his considerable charm to seduce her.

But Lily raises the stakes…

Lily loves cars. Her late father was a racer, and she grew up under the hood of a car and on the racetrack. Nikoli has a limited edition 1970 Plymouth Barracuda she covets, so she informs him the terms of their deal also require he not sleep with anyone for six months. If he does, she’ll win the car. If she surrenders and ends up in his bed, his beloved ’Cuda is his to keep.

In an intricate dance of control and surrender, a reluctant friendship becomes something more. Lily begins to crave things she never believed she could, and Nikoli realizes there is more at stake than his reputation.

If Lily overcomes her phobia, will she crave Adam’s touch as she’s starting to crave Nikoli’s? 

Or will she only find pleasure from the touch of a semi-reformed manwhore?

✰ GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26131858-touch-me-not

★✵✦ PURCHASE ✦✵★

 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Nkd6Bh

B&N: http://bit.ly/1VSOlik

 iTUNES: http://apple.co/1O6B9VR

 Kobo: http://bit.ly/1YgwRP4

   MEET THE AUTHOR: APRYL BAKER   

So who am I? Well, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn’t love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.

Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there’s always someone to tell your mama you were seen kissing a particular boy on a particular day just a little too long. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled “Lord Margrave’s Deception.” I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.

Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my niece and nephew and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce…lol.

I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.

LIMITLESS PUBLISHING: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/apryl-baker/

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

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/AprylBaker

BLOG: http://mycrazzycorner.blogspot.com/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5173683.Apryl_Baker
 

Posted in Authors, Books, Cats, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series, Dogs

Cozy Chat with Carolyn Haines

cozycatpicAlthough I consider myself a romantic suspense author and fan, I also used to be an avid reader of cozy mysteries especially those featuring cats. For those of you who also share that interest, I will be featuring Cozy Chats with cozy mystery authors on this blog. If you are an author who writes a cozy series and would like to participate in a future Cozy Chat, please contact me.

My second Cozy Chat author is Carolyn Haines who I spoke with about her cozy Christmas e-short story “Jingle Bones” from her Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series.

Hi, Carolyn. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

rock-a-bye bones jacket revisejingle bones cover

Can you tell us a little bit about the Sarah Booth Delaney Series? What gave you the idea for it? 

I had finished a two-book contract with Dutton, and I was sitting at my computer watching my horses graze, thinking about ideas for a book. I heard these two women bickering. One was really bossy. I sat down and started typing their conversation, because I knew I’d been gifted with a story to tell. As it turned out, one character was Sarah Booth Delaney, who’d returned to Zinnia, Mississippi, after a failed career on Broadway. The other was Jitty, a 150-year-old ghost from the Civil War era. Jitty functions as Sarah Booth’s conscience. 

In an effort to save Dahlia House, Sarah Booth’s home, she takes a case investigating a wealthy man who everyone believes killed is mother when he was a young boy. And so THEM BONES was the first in what turned out to be a mystery series.

What about Jingle Bones, can you tell us a bit about that? I understand it’s a short mystery only available digitally?

Oh yes. Two very bad young boys, Lord Darcy and Heathcliff. Are accused of stealing the baby Jesus from a church manger scene. The goal is to keep them out of the Christmas pageant because they are so disruptive. But the boys extract their own brand of revenge and Sarah Booth and Tinkie are in the middle of it. It’s on sale now, and people can purchase it from Amazon.

Very interesting. Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Write what you love. This is too much work to write about characters you don’t love. After nearly two decades writing about Sarah Booth and the Zinnia gang, they are close friends. I enjoy spending time with them, and it’s a good thing because they’re a big part of my daily life. Read good writers, study the craft, and revise, revise, revise.

I agree completely. I grew so fond of my characters in A Stone’s Throw that I’ve started a sequel. I’m not sure if it will turn into a series, but I think it has at least one or two more possibilities.

What are you currently working on?

I’m editing ROCK-A-BYE BONES, which will be the 16th Sarah Booth mystery. It will be released in May, 2016, by St. Martin’s Press. And I’m finishing the first book in a new series, a paranormal/historical/mystery, which I’m very excited about.

That sounds wonderful. Maybe we can schedule another chat to discuss that.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Yes, I write darker crime stories (under Carolyn Haines) and I also write horror as R.B.Chesterton.

I didn’t know that. I know you also used to write under Carolyn Burnes for your “Fear Familiar” series, one of my favorites because I love cat mysteries. I understand you may be reprinting some of those. Can you share a few details about that? Also, can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I am working to bring the first Familiar book back into print and digital. I’ll probably re-publish under Carolyn Haines.

I grew up in a family of journalists, and I’ve written for publication since I was very young. I’ve always been a big reader, and I loved Southern writers. I was greatly influenced by Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and Doris Betts. I wrote short stories and in a strange turn of events, obtained a literary agent who told me to write a novel. I thought it was nuts, but I had a story I really wanted to tell, so I gave it a try.

Most of the authors I speak with have also been writing since they were young including myself. All of us also love to read.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I rescue animals, and I run a small sanctuary on a farm where I live. I have horses, cats, and dogs. And I work hard to raise awareness for the need to spay and neuter companion pets. Last year Good Fortune Farm Refuge sold cookbooks based on the Bones characters and we raised money to spay/neuter over 100 animals. There are so many unwanted animals who needlessly suffer and die. It doesn’t have to be this way. And I also teach fiction writing at a university. I like to stay busy.

How awesome. I have great respect for animal rescuers. It’s a tough but very rewarding job.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I am a terribly practical joker. I love to torment my friends. But I’m also a good friend.

My website is www.carolynhaines.com

 Great info. I will check out your website. Thank you so much for joining us on Cozy Chat today, and good luck with all your writing projects and animal rescue work.

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Feature Friday

Feature Friday November 13 – Dial QR For Murder by A.E.H. Veenman

featurefridayI am proud to present this week’s Feature Friday, Dial QR For Murder by A.E.H. Veenman. Every Friday, I feature an author and their book on this blog. At this point, I am selecting authors published by Limitless Publishing, my own publisher. In the future, I may consider other submissions. All purchase links and details are included. The books are available in paperback and eBook. Please support these outstanding writers by spreading the word to your friends, family, and co-workers.
 

featurefridaydialqrformurderDial QR For Murder from @limitlessbooks: by @MG_Mystery

✩✩ NOW AVAILABLE ✩✩

DIAL QR FOR MURDER by A.E.H. Veenman

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

 SYNOPSIS 

For defense attorney Isis Ferrelli, life is good—until the second day of the Norman Kane trial…

Her client was accused of using QR code software he’d developed to steal a drug called Fentanol. But when he’s murdered, Isis fears someone from her own past might be involved. Her uncle, Louis Fernoza, put her through law school. Now a mob boss, he wants to end their estrangement and make use of the star attorney he created.

To protect those she cares about, Isis turns to her crime blog and her alter-ego Marjorie Gardens to find answers…

MyThugShot.com is Isis’s resource to find out how Kane’s QR code was hacked to set him up for the theft, and who had decided “dead” was a better strategy than “framed.” With the help of her blog followers, she begins to dig into the Kane family, where no one is who they seem.

Photographs of a building, a Nieman Marcus loafer, and a programmer with two names…

When a new online member appears at the Kane estate, Isis’s investigation is thrown into chaos. He seems to know the murderer…and how to take Isis offline permanently.

In order to find a tech-savvy killer, Isis must take her search into the digital age…even at the risk of her own unmasking.

✦✦✦ ‪#ONE-CLICK YOUR COPY TODAY! ✦✦✦

Kindle – http://amzn.to/1KEXAeX

Paperback – http://amzn.to/1Fx2nSJ

DialQR1 (1)✦✦ A.E.H. Veenman ✦✦

My passion for writing began with a hunger for books from fellow New Jerseyan Judy Blume, and Nancy Drew mysteries. And each Saturday, a side dish of The Hardy Boys whet my appetite for hunting down clues and solving crime. Thus began a three-course menu for becoming a writer. 

For hors d’oeuvres, I sampled women’s fiction for a bit with novels, All Waters Gathering (2008) and Carruther’s Place (2011). It wasn’t until I realized murder should really be on the menu when the main course became my thriller, Barbecue(2011).

My plate’s not quite clean of things that go bump in the night—plenty of horror and creepy thrillers in the works!—but one must always save room for dessert.

Rich and sweet came Dial QR for Murder, the first Digital Age Cozy™ in the Marjorie Gardens Mystery series.

And I haven’t reached the icing on the cake just yet! I couldn’t have enjoyed this feast of writing from my home in Holland without my husband and our daughter—to who I owe thanks for all their patience and compassion when (at times) I bit off more than I could chew!

LIMITLESS PUBLISHING: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/a-e-h-veenman/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/anethea.hodges

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MG_Mystery

AMAZON AUTHOR PROFILE: http://amzn.to/1KEYwA4

GOODREADS:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4852550.A_E_H_Veenman