Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Julie Mulhern, Author of Shadow Dancing (The Country Club Murders Book 7)

I’m pleased to have author Julie Mulhern from Kansas City, Missouri here to speak about her writing and new release, Shadow Dancing, that is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

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

My first book, The Deep End, released in February, 2015 from Henery Press. The Deep End began the Country Club Murders series. Shadow Dancing, my latest book, is book seven.

I’m also working on a new series, The Poppy Fields Adventures, about a Hollywood IT girl. In the first book, the heroine, Poppy Fields, finds herself pitted against a drug lord.

That sounds like quite an impressive workload.

Tell us a little bit about your new release and its series.

The Country Club Murders are set in Kansas City (write what you know) in the mid-1970s. I picked the 70s because I was more interested in researching history than I was in researching CSI-type things.

Ellison Russell, the heroine, is a widowed artist who is also part of the Country Club set. She was raised at a time when the expectations for girls were simple—grow up, get married, and have children. But, in the 70s, times were changing. As Ellison solves mysteries, she also tackles women’s issues.

I try (Lord, do I try) to include a laugh-out-loud moment in each mystery.

Shadow Dancing, the latest of Ellison’s adventures, it released on June 19th.

What an interesting time period and concept for a mystery. It’s also great that you try to add some humor to your books.

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?

My goals as a writer are to write the best books I can write and to make a living.

Writing isn’t a static skill—at least not for me. I love learning how I can improve and am a big fan of podcasts on the craft of writing. Also the craft of marketing (that whole making a living goal).

Not easy making a living off your writing these days, but I agree that it’s important to keep improving your skills as a writer and to study marketing, as well.

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

I have some younger readers, but most of the people who enjoy the Country Club Murders were alive in the 70s. They enjoy the nostalgia and the humor and they don’t mind a mystery that addresses societal issues.

As for the new series—I’m hoping readers who love Ellison will also love Poppy.

Time periods and characters are big draws for readers.

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

I wouldn’t dare give advice to other authors—the path is different for all of us. That said, I’ve seen a lot of talented people, who want to be published, release their books too soon. If you’ve sent out your manuscript to more agents than you can count and none have nibbled, it might be time to take a look at your book not self-publish.

That’s an interesting answer and one that I haven’t had before at an interview but have read in publishing articles.

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

When I finished the first book I ever wrote, I thought it was marvelous. It wasn’t.

I thought the second book was even better—only so far as it wasn’t quite as dreadful as the first.

With the third book, I found myself a critique group. I listened (to podcasts and my critique partners) and learned, and made massive changes.

That third book got me an agent but the book didn’t sell, and didn’t sell, and didn’t sell.

While it wasn’t selling, I switched genres and wrote The Deep End.

The rest is history.

Great story that is a lesson in itself for aspiring authors.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I’m a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

I belong to Sisters in Crime, too. It’s a great group for women mystery authors.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I spent ten years getting up before the crack of dawn to write before I went to work, writing at kids’ soccer practices, writing at night, writing over lunch hours.

Now that I’m a full-time writer, my interest is losing all the pounds I gained over the past decade. I’ve become a dedicated walker, love barre classes, and adore yoga.

That rings a bell with me. I, too, get up very early to write. I still work full-time, though, and try to fit in walking which I feel helps clear my head to write (and also manage my weight).

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

There are days when the words are simply not there. Those are not good days.

That happens to all of us.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

What I love about mystery series is getting to know the characters so well they feel like friends. In the Country Club Murders, Ellison, Grace, Aggie, Frances, Anarchy, and even Max, the Weimaraner who wants to rule the world, all feel like family. Writing a Country Club Murder means spending time (a lot of time) with some of my favorite people.

Yes, characters certainly grow on authors as well as readers.

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

I love hearing from readers and the best e-mail I ever received was from a woman who was laughing so hard when she was getting chemo that everyone wanted to know what she was reading. If I’m feeling discouraged, I hold onto the fact that I brightened a very difficult day.

I know exactly what you mean.

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

Website – www.juliemulhernauthor.com

FB – https://www.facebook.com/juliekmulhern/?ref=hl

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieKMulhern

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573907.Julie_Mulhern

Thanks so much for the interview, Julie, and I wish you the best on your new book and future publications. I’m also including a link to the rafflecopter that’s part of your blog tour for those who wish to enter your giveaway contest: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792731/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Connie di Marco, Author of Tail of the Dragon: A Zodiac Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Connie di Marco from Los Angeles here to speak about her writing and new release, Tail of the Dragon, that is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

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

I write as Connie di Marco (for the Zodiac Mysteries) and as Connie Archer, I’m the author of the Soup Lovers’ Mysteries from Berkeley Prime Crime.

Nice to meet you. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My first series was the Soup Lovers’ Mysteries published by Penguin Random House/Berkley Prime Crime.  The first book, A Spoonful of Murder, was released in August of 2012.  After that, I wrote A Broth of Betrayal, A Roux of Revenge, Ladle to the Grave and A Clue in the Stew.  As you can see, my publisher really liked plays on words.

My second series is the Zodiac Mysteries, published by Midnight Ink (the fiction imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide).  This series began in August of 2016 with the first book, The Madness of Mercury.  This was followed by All Signs Point to Murder and now my recently released Tail of the Dragon

Those all sound great. As someone who enjoys astrology, I think I would find your Zodiac mysteries interesting. Please tell us more about them.

The Zodiac Mysteries, my current series, features Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco astrologer who never thought murder would be part of her practice.  Julia lost her fiancé in a hit and run accident a few years before the start of the series.  Instead of continuing with her career plans, she found solace in the study of astrology and developed a completely different career.  She’s been very successful in building her clientele and she also writes Ask Zodia, an astrological advice column for the Chronicle.  Tail of the Dragon is the third book in the series and will be released on August 8th this year.

In Tail of the Dragon, Julia agrees to go undercover at her client’s law firm.  He needs her help because three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled — the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire.  Before Julia can solve the mystery, two people are dead and her own life is in danger.

You got me hooked.

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 plan to continue the Zodiac Mysteries.  I think Julia’s world offers a lot of adventures.  I’ve also started working on a police story set in Los Angeles, plus I have several ideas for other traditional mysteries.

Excellent.

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

First and foremost, these are mysteries, so I think anyone who enjoys a good story would appreciate the Zodiac Mysteries.  If a reader happens to have an interest in astrology, all the better.  Julia leads a very exciting life and I always try to incorporate lots of thrills and danger in these books.

I think you have a wide audience. There are a lot of people who enjoy astrology, if only for fun. By the way, I’m a Taurus.

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

Don’t give up.  Keep writing and most importantly, read the writers you most admire.  I believe as writers we learn more from reading the masters in our genre than from reading all the available “how to” books.  I’m not knocking those books at all, they have their place, but the best way to educate yourself as a writer is to learn from the very best and keep writing.

That’s so true.

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

Well, I guess the biggest challenge was grappling with the question, “Could I do this?”  Could I write a mystery?  My goal when I started was to write one mystery and (hopefully) get it traditionally published.  I didn’t know anything about self-publishing, so I didn’t think of that at first.  I never anticipated that six years later, or maybe more because I started writing a few years before I was published, that I would have written eight books in two different series.

What a great accomplishment.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Yes – Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, all wonderful organizations.  Also, Sisters in Crime includes the Guppies, which stands for the Great Unpublished.  Sisters at the national level (and there are many local chapters all over the country) can offer all sorts of help and guidance in writing and publishing for newbies.

We belong to a few of the same groups. I’m a member of International Thriller Writers and also Sisters in Crime. Even though I’m already published, I also recently joined the Guppies because I’m hoping to publish with a large publisher one day.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Astrology is certainly an interest of mine, as you can tell by the career path I’ve given my protagonist Julia, but I also enjoy making soups (this came in handy for the Soup Lovers’ Mysteries), sewing and refinishing furniture.  The problem is time, of course.  If I’m busy writing there’s very little time to pursue these other interests.

I can relate to that. I’m a librarian, so it’s easy for me to write about Alicia, the librarian who is the protagonist of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series.

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

It’s really a thrill to create a whole world of characters and to know that these “people” will have a life of their own and many stories to tell.  It’s a wonderful feeling when ideas flow and plots come together.  I guess the toughest challenge is the start of a new book.  I wonder if I can do this again.  I wonder if I can make this book even better.  It feels as if I’m gearing up to climb a mountain, but somehow, one sentence, each word, leads to the next and before I know it, a new story is coming together.

Yes, I’ve had those feelings, too.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I don’t think in terms of ‘cozy’ or ‘not cozy.’  I just try to write the most interesting story I can come up with.  Call it mystery or thriller, call it crime writing – it’s an area I find fascinating.  What is most fascinating is the psychology of those involved in the crime.  What forces could cause an ordinary person to commit a terrible act?  Was their survival at stake?  Was it a crime of passion?  An act they wish they could undo?  What drives people to do such a thing?  Writing mysteries is an endless study of psychology.

Good point. I agree.

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

Sure, I’d be happy to.  Thank you!

EXCERPT – TAIL OF THE DRAGON – by Connie di Marco

I followed the curve from Sutro Heights down to the Great Highway.  Here, the road runs parallel to Ocean Beach.  Sheets of sand had blown across the highway and formed dunes every so often high enough to block the ocean view.  Waves crashed against the concrete abutment sending salt water spray across my windshield.  I turned east on Ulloa away from the roiling Pacific and spotted Sarah Larkin’s address on the opposite side of the street.  The wind off the ocean picked up, blowing east.  Particles of dust and beach sand hit my face as I climbed out of the car.  Keeping my head down for protection, I hurried across the street. 

I climbed the long stairway to the front doors where a sign indicated 3102-3104.  At least here, in the shelter of the entryway, there was respite from the wind.  I pressed the buzzer to the door on the right.  After a moment, a woman called out.  “Who is it?” 

“Hi.  My name is Julia Bonatti.  I’ve come from Meyers Dade & Schultz.”

The door was quickly yanked open by a woman in her late forties.  Her face was round and slightly puffy.  She wore no makeup and was dressed in a nondescript brown jumper over a black sweatshirt.  Her long hair, streaked with gray, was combed back behind her ears. 

She peered at me.  “For God’s sake.  What now?  I told him I didn’t want anything from him or his damn law firm.”  Her eyes were thin puffy slits. 

“I . . . I’d just like to talk to you about your brother.  I was hoping maybe you could help us in finding his murderer.” 

“His murderer . . . I’d give his murderer a prize if I knew who he was,” she sneered.  She looked me up and down and finally decided she’d talk to me even if it was only because I offered a sounding board for her bitterness.  “Come on in,” she said resignedly.

“I gather you and your brother weren’t close, but I am sorry for your loss.” 

“Don’t be.  Wasn’t a loss.  Believe me.  I haven’t talked to Jack for years.  Since my son died.” 

“Oh, I’m so sorry.  I didn’t know.”  A familiar pain flickered in my chest.  My loss seemed small in comparison. 

“Nicky was sixteen when he died.  He had a drug problem.  He got mixed up with the wrong kids and they were into some heavy stuff.  I was sure if he had one more chance . . . a good chance, he might make it.”  Her voice trailed off.  “I begged Jack for the money.  I never asked him for a thing in my life.  Never.  But I begged for that.” 

“He refused?” 

“Said he didn’t see why he should pay for rehab or counseling.  The other places hadn’t done Nick any good, so what difference did it make?”  She looked at me, her eyes betraying a deep well of pain.  “Jack never really loved anyone in his life.  How could he possibly understand what it’s like to love a child?  I didn’t have anyone else to ask.  My husband was killed in a car accident when Nick was seven. Our parents are dead, and Jack had plenty of money.  Big, successful lawyer . . . but he didn’t give a damn about me or Nick.  Yeah, I hated him.  I still hate his guts.  I don’t care if he’s dead, I only wish he had suffered more.” 

Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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

I love to hear from readers.  Don’t forget, all writers work in isolation, so it’s important to hear if people enjoy your stories.  I can be reached at the emails listed on my website(s), so please don’t be shy.  All writers love to hear from readers!  After all, that’s why we do this.  We love to entertain.

Isn’t that the truth?

Please list your social media links, website, and blog if you have one.

You can visit my website and blog at http://conniedimarco.com, at Facebook.com/ConniediMarco(Author) and Twitter @AskZodia.

My website and blog for the Soup Lovers’ Mysteries can be found at http://conniearchermysteries.com, Facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.

And before I forget, I blog regularly on the 15th of the month at Killer Characters where one of my characters does the talking.

Sounds great. I have my own Cobble Cove character chat group on Facebook where I also feature a character each month.

I’m also including the link to your rafflecopter. Best wishes on your tour and new release. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792730/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Murder Made to Order: an All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery by Lena Gregory

This tasty post was contributed by author Lena Gregory. Her cozy mystery, Murder Made to Order, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Breakfast Ideas

By Lena Gregory

When I was younger, I worked the breakfast shift at my grandfather’s deli. I loved everything about it, but I especially remember enjoying the aromas; coffee brewing, bacon, freshly baked Kaiser rolls…To this day, the smell of breakfast cooking reminds me of my childhood.

When I decided to write a cooking cozy, it seemed natural to base it around breakfast, but I started wondering if there would be enough items to fill the menu. So I sat down and thought about everything you could make for breakfast, and to my surprise, the list just kept getting longer and longer. Of course, you can always go with the traditional bacon, eggs, home fries, and toast, but here are a few more suggestions from the All-Day Breakfast Café menu you may enjoy.

Omelets: Omelets can be a quick easy breakfast, especially if you prepare ahead of time like Gia does. Once or twice a week you can spend a few minutes dicing your vegetables, or frying and cutting your meat, then keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator. When it’s time to make breakfast, you just throw in whatever you want, and you have a nice, hot meal in no time at all.

There are two ways to make omelets. You can cook the eggs first, then fill the omelet and fold it over, or you can scramble the omelet ingredients into the eggs, then cook them together. Personally, I prefer everything cooked together.

And what can you put in your omelet? Pretty much anything you’d like! Some of the omelets on Gia’s menu include:

Meat Lovers – a blend of bacon, ham, and sausage, topped with American or cheddar cheese.

Veggie Lovers – any kind of vegetables you like. Some of my favorites are spinach, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini.

Western – diced ham, green peppers, and onions topped with American cheese. Western omelets are also amazing on a Kaiser roll with salt and pepper.

Breakfast Pies: Breakfast pies take time to make, but they can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge, then you can simply take a slice and heat it up any time you’re ready. When Gia makes breakfast pies, she lines the pie tins with home fries or shredded potatoes, then she scrambles eggs with whatever ingredients she want to use. (Mostly the same ingredients she uses in omelets.) Once cooked, she adds them to the pie tins, then sprinkles shredded cheddar cheese over the top and puts it in the oven until the cheese melts.

Sandwiches and Wraps: You can never go wrong with a nice bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll. Not only can you make it quickly, you can take it with you and eat it on the run.

Those are just a few breakfast ideas, but you could also do pancakes and waffles, (with or without toppings) burritos, quesadillas, even a breakfast pizza. So next time you aren’t sure what you feel like having for breakfast, just give something off Gia’s menu a try.

Check out Lena’s social media links and try your luck at her rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792735/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

Website:  http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/

 

Posted in Books

An Update on my Book Projects: Something for Every Reader

For those who don’t subscribe to my author newsletter, I thought I’d post an update on my book projects. I believe my works-in-progress will appeal to readers of a variety of genres.

I’m currently editing a new version of my very first novel, a paranormal romance called Cloudy Rainbow.  This book was originally self-published but will now be reprinted in a new version by Solstice Publishing. I’m hoping it will be released by the end of the summer. The book was written after my 15-year old cat, Floppy, died and includes him as a character. It features themes of reincarnation, clairvoyance, and virutal reality and is told in alternating time periods from 1992 to 2008. It received an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Books Contest. Although only printed originally in paperback, it will now be available as an eBook on Amazon.com and will be free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Coming in the fall, I should be submitting my fourth Cobble Cove cozy mystery, Love on the Rocks, to Solstice. This book takes place near Valentine’s Day and features the Cobble Cove characters from the series with a few additions including a new kitty in town who keeps Sneaky on his toes.

I’m also working on a time-travel story that continues one that I wrote for an anthology called Cat Crimes Through Time nearly twenty years ago. The main character, Gina Garrett, now grown will once again travel back through time for two different reasons. I’m hoping this will evolve into the start of a new series.

I have two other completed novels that I hope to publish next year: The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady, the first of a new cozy series; and Sea Scope, a psychological thriller.

To view a video of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series including the upcoming fourth volume and my new standalone mystery, Reason to Die, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1FmAW4U-jA

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

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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

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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

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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.

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