Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Mrs. Odboddy And Then There Was a Tiger by Elaine Faber

The Formulaic Cozy Mystery Template

Whether Thriller or Cozy, avid mystery readers consume thousands of books each year. They acquire their reading material from the library, through book sales, garage sales, borrow from a friend and sometimes, actually purchase from the author!

Let’s pretend for a minute, we’re an author desirous of writing and publishing a new cozy mystery series. How is it done? What shall we write about? What is the secret of success? After careful analysis of numerous successful cozy mystery series,’ we begin to notice a certain template to the storyline of each novel.

If we follow this template, our story should begin with a beautiful, blonde female sleuth, recently divorced. She has a dog to capture the hearts of animal lovers. The dog doesn’t have to solve crimes, but it helps. Her sweetheart, (who likely resists a committed relationship) is connected to an inept police department, allowing her access to official information and documents generally withheld from the public. She also needs an unusual profession.

The best jobs or hobbies have already been snagged by other popular mystery series’. These include book store owners, catering services, dog groomers, travel agents, writers, pet sitters, private detectives, cruise ship directors, college professors, librarians, etc.

For any hope of a successful series, she’ll need a career that hasn’t been done to death, but one that gives her access to plenty of potential murder victims. It is a series, remember?

Here’s a thought. Our sleuth will own her own septic tank truck giving her access to plenty of back yards where she spots nefarious ‘going’s-on’, or how about the door-to door Avon lady selling wrinkle cream? Plenty of opportunities to look beyond the screen door and see someone bound and gagged…Maybe not.

Let’s stick with the septic tank pumper-outer lady concept.

We must follow the cozy mystery template. The lady plumber and her quirky sidekick (did I forget to mention the quirky sidekick?) find a body in the pump house. Proceed to red herrings, unrequited love, and suspicious characters, sadly, all have alibis. Toss in some plumbing trivia, stopped up toilets, overflowing bathtubs, (a humorous scene or two), and move right on to the climax where our heroine agrees to meet the  Home Depot plumbing salesman in the plumbing warehouse, but doesn’t tell anyone where she’s going. The killer-plumber strings her up to the rafters, because he’s been ‘flushed out.’ Her death is imminent. However, her dog, tracking her scent, led her detective boyfriend to the warehouse. He arrives in the nick of time. The killer is apprehended, every toilet is unstopped, and the heroine rides off into the sunset in her sewer truck.

To be fair, there are many ways writers change up the various topics; hobbies, quirky friend, red herrings, suspects, mysterious packages, murder, theft, kidnapping, contraband, , secret message, villains (always the most unexpected cast member), etc.

This is the formulaic template, with assorted variations, that most cozy mysteries follow.

Mrs. Odboddy – And Then There was a Tiger is a mystery/adventure that diverges from the monotonous, formulaic cozy mystery. Framed for burglary, and accused of passing counterfeit bills, elderly, eccentric Agnes Odboddy is determined to clear her tarnished reputation, locate and return the war bond money she misplaced, and seek justice for the local county fair’s carnival tiger, whose reputation is almost as besmirched as her own. Not a whisker of a formulaic template here, except that, of course, everything works out in the end.

Available at Amazon in print and e-book.

Read more about my mysteries at www.mindcandymysteries.com

Mrs. Odboddy: And Then There Was a Tiger: (Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries)
by Elaine Faber

A WWII tale of conflict and carnivals, turmoil and tigers.

About the Book


Mrs. Odboddy: And Then There Was a Tiger (Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries)
WWII tale of conflict and carnivals, turmoil and tigers.
Cozy Mystery/Humorous/Historical
3rd in Series
Elk Grove Publications (July 25, 2018)
Print Length: 349 pages
Digital ASIN: B07FXDV1C6

While the ‘tiger of war’ rages across the Pacific during WWII, eccentric, elderly Agnes Odboddy, ‘fights the war from the home front’. Her patriotic duties are interrupted when she is accused of the Wilkey’s Market burglary.

A traveling carnival with a live tiger joins the parishioner’s harvest fair at The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. Accused again when counterfeit bills are discovered at the carnival, and when the war bond money goes missing, Agnes sets out to restore her reputation and locate the money. Her attempts lead her into harm’s way when she discovers a friend’s betrayal and even more about carnival life than she bargained for.

Granddaughter Katherine’s turbulent love triangle with a doctor and an FBI agent rivals Agnes’s own on-again, off-again relationship with Godfrey.

In Faber’s latest novel, your favorite quirky character, Mrs. Odboddy, prevails against injustice and faces unexpected challenges . . . and then There Was a Tiger!

About the Author
elaine-4.-touchup

Elaine Faber lives in Northern California with her husband and two feline companions. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, California Cat Writers, and Northern California Publishers and Authors. She volunteers with the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. She enjoys speaking on author panels, sharing highlights of her novels. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines and multiple anthologies. She has published seven books. In addition to the Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries Elaine writes the Black Cat Mysteries.

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 19 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST

November 19 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

November 20 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

November 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT, RECIPE

November 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 22 – Thanksgiving U.S. – Off

November 23 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

November 23 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 24 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 26 – Books Direct – GUEST POST, EXCERPT

November 27 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 27 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

November 28 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 29 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

November 30 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

December 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Author Spotlight, Cozy Mysteries, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Matt Ferraz, author of Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game

I’m pleased to have author Matt Ferraz from Contagem in Southeastern Brazil here to speak about his writing and new release, Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game.

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

I self published my first book, Teorema de Mabel (Mabel’s Theorem) in 2013. It’s my only literary book written in my mother language, Portuguese. Since then, most of my works have been in English, and a few in Italian. My second novel was Killing Dr. Watson, a murder mystery which was released in the UK by MX Publishing. Then, I started my series Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, with the first volume, The Convenient Cadaver, being self published in 2015. It’s a cozy mystery series with a character I did inspired by my own grandmother. The second book in that series is coming out in early 2018.

My new book is called Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game, and it’s a crossover between the world’s greatest detective and Pollyanna Whittier, from the Glad Game books written by Eleanor H. Porter. The synopsis is as follows:

British sleuth Sherlock Holmes can solve any mystery from a small clue. American traveler Pollyanna Whittier can only see the good side of every situation. The only thing they have in common is their friendship with Dr. John Watson. When Pollyanna shows up in London with a mystery for Holmes to solve, she decides to teach the detective the Glad Game: a way of remaining optimistic no matter what. A dangerous – and hilarious – clash of minds, where these two characters of classic literature need to learn how to work together in order to catch a dangerous criminal.

Sounds like you’ve written some nice mysteries.

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 dream, which I share with most writers, is to make a full living out of my books. It’s not easy, and takes a lot of hard work, but I’m determined to pursue it. My country is going through an economic crisis right now, so I have just as many chances of making money with my books as I would with a regular job.

Sorry about your country’s economic situation, but best of luck with your book selling.

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

With Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game I intend to reach sherlockians, who love everything related to the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; cozy readers, who love a clean mystery read; and also people who like classic literature and want to see how characters as different as Holmes and Pollyanna will interact.

A nice audience.

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

Learn everything you can about the publishing market. It’s not enough just being a good storyteller and putting the business work in the hands of an agent or publisher. You need to know the ground you’re stepping in.

I agree completely.

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

I had problems with word count, and everything I wrote was far too short to be released by a regular publisher. It took some time to fix that.

I think most publishers are now accepting shorter-length books.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I attended to a wonderful workshop with Joanna Penn and Orna Ross in London, which taught me lots about how to make a living out of books. Besides that, I took some courses about publishing, but never about the writing itself. I agree with Stephen King, who says that writing can be learned but not taught.

Interesting idea.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m a trained barista, and can make some pretty tasty coffee drinks. I also love cinema, and go the movies as often as I can.

Nice.

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

Being a writer makes me feel like I can be in the same club where many people I look up to are. The worst part is that people don’t see it as a career, only as a hobby, and I have a tough time convincing them that this is what I want to do for a living.

I understand that issue.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.
Great! Thanks for chatting with me today, Matt, and best wishes on your new release and upcoming mysteries.
Posted in holidays

The First Thanksgiving After Mom

I have a lot to be thankful for — my husband and daughter; my full-time job as a librarian and my second career as an author; my church and community; my health and successful weight loss, and much more. But, like so many people, I feel a bit depressed with the coming holidays. I recall last year when my daughter, husband, and I went out to Thanksgiving dinner with my brothers and their wives and my mother. Mom had been a resident at her nursing home for five years by then and enjoyed being taken out during the holidays. We lost her this summer to a combination of recurring infections and increasing dementia.

For those who are also missing a seat at the table this year, I know how you feel. Not only did my family lose my mother in 2018, but we also lost her cat who we’d taken in when she went into the nursing home. Oliver became a beloved part of our household, and his presence will be very missed, as well.

On the bright side, our family gained three new members this year. No, I didn’t have another child. I’m talking about pets. In addition to Stripey who’s been with us for ten years, we now have two kittens adopted from a cat cafe and shelter, Harry and Hermione. We also have a betta fish, Betta Blue. I’ve shared their stories on this blog: https://wp.me/p6m4z7-1Pe and also on Pens, Paws, and Clawshttps://bit.ly/2DAySD8So life goes on. We celebrate with heavy hearts but hope that we’ll see our loved ones again one day. For now, we make the most of each day appreciating what we have and who’s still at our table. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones. May they always be in your heart if not by your side.

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Let Her Go, a Lillian Dove Mystery, by D.J. Adamson

AN IDEA AT ITS ORIGIN.

When a teenager, at the end of an evening, maybe after a movie, several of us would go to the T&R, a large truck stop which also served as one of the many restaurants in our city providing an exquisite dining experience. Actually, you didn’t see many older patrons unless they were doing their own non-culinary business. It was mostly teenagers and young adults several deep in the booths on the restaurant side because they had no legal tender to get into the cocktail lounge.

This was, however, a great incubator to escalate my storytelling.  I had always been a storyteller. Show and Tell was a stage for my realistic imaginings. In the second grade, I told a whooper about how a television crew was coming to our house to film my family, and Mrs. Whitaker decided to make it a “Class trip.”  She asked every day for over a month when the filming was going to take place. This gave me the ability to add chapters to a story once started. When she found out the truth, she said I was a good enough liar to become a writer. Thus…here I am.

There is, after all, a little bit of truth in every story.

While I learned chapter and plot sequences in Show and Tell, I developed strong characters at the T & R. For each person I picked out, I made up a story of why they had come to the restaurant. My friends then began to ask for the back stories of these characters, and I found I enjoyed making up the back story of why they were at the T & R almost more than the invariable reason they were sitting in the booth and what might happen to them.

Lillian Dove in the Lillian Dove mystery series is a little truth in fiction, as well. I never met my Aunt Lillian, my father’s sister. She was estranged from our family due to her over-enjoyment of alcohol. Back in the 1940’s, alcoholism was just becoming understood as something more than just a bad habit. Today, we can actually see generational alcoholic behaviors. Learning that Mormons believe a soul can be saved after they have passed, I decided, to give my Aunt Lillian recovery. Only, there are a great many alcoholic detectives out there in fiction-land, and I wanted to research and advise my readers on other aspects of life besides crime-doesn’t pay.  So, while Lillian IS five years in recovery, her individual journey in the series is to learn how to take on life with all its challenges.

(From Let Her Go.)

If only I could go back and do life differently.

Isn’t that what people say? 

Life would be so much better.

Would it?

            If only was the mantra I’d repeated most of my life. If only I never took that first drink from my father’s bottle of Absolut, wondering at the age of twelve, what he found so exhilarating.

            Why did he like it more than us?

            Would I have always taken that throatful no matter the day or time, the year, or moment? No matter if my father drank himself dead every night? No matter if my mother killed him every day?

            Was it my destiny?

Dahlia, my mother.  Did she want to go back? Do it differently?  She always seemed so sure of herself. Right vs. wrong. White over black. Many people think she is hard to manage. Abusive. But she lived the same life I did.

Might she be unsure? Reactive? Defensive?

Are we so different?

My name is Lillian Dove. I am five years sober.

This rebirth I’ve taken has given me more questions than answers.

I have admitted my life was and is full of mayhem, but I have also admitted I have choices. I have come to suppose there is more for me if I want to take steps to create it.  I choose to believe in the Lillian buried deep inside fighting to come out.

Life shouldn’t be this hard.

Right?

LET HER GO: Lillian Dove Mystery
by D. J. Adamson

About the Book


LET HER GO: Lillian Dove Mystery
Suspense Mystery
3rd in Series
Horatio Press (November 6, 2018)
Paperback: 448 pages
ISBN-10: 1732672210
ISBN-13: 978-1732672215
Digital ASIN: B07G9TTMZ5

Murder. Betrayal. Love Gone Wrong

With her ability to present clues without giving away the endings and offering surprising twists encouraging the reader to the next page, D. J. Adamson delves into a family tragedy ending up in murder and a teenage daughter missing. When Lillian Dove finds herself involved in the police investigation, she realizes the daughter holds the key to unravel who killed her mother.

It is three days before Christmas when Lillian Dove comes across Dr. Conrad standing out in front of his house, covered in blood. When going inside the house to help other members of his family, she finds his wife killed, his son seriously injured, and his teenage daughter, Peyton Clayton, missing. Even more shocking, the police suspect Dr. Conrad. Understanding how emotional dilemmas have strained the family emboldens Lillian to help Detective Jacque Leveque, Major Crimes Detective for the Frytown Police Department, find the prime witness to the Conrad truths.

Let Her Go is a nerve-wracking exploration into a family lost, and the extent love elicits both the good and the bad. In this Third Step in Personal Recovery Lillian works to find Peyton Clayton, while battling the worse arctic freeze in Frytown’s history, untangling human frailties, and confronting the ghosts of Christmas.

About the Author

D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author for both her mystery novels and her science fiction novel. She is the editor of Le Coeur de l’Artiste, a newsletter which reviews books, and a blog, L’Artiste with offers authors the venue to write on craft, marketing, and the creative mind. D.J. teaches writing and literature, and to keep busy when she is not writing or teaching, she has been a board member of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles and Sisters in Crime Central Coast, a member of the Southern California Mystery Writers Organization, California Writers Club and Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society. Her books can be found and purchased in bookstores and on Amazon. To find her, her blog L’Artiste, or newsletter go to http://www.djadamson.com.

Author Links

Website: http://djadamson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LillianDoveSeries/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamson_dj

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8511075.D_J_Adamson

Purchase Link

Amazon

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

Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Leigh Perry, Author of The Skeleton Makes a Friend, a Family Skeleton Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Leigh Perrry who also writes as Toni L.P. Kelner from Malden, Massachusettes here to speak about her writing and new release, The Skeleton Makes a Friend that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Welcome, Leigh.

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.

Are you trying to make me feel old? My first book came out just over 25 years ago! I had eight books of the Laura Fleming series with Kensington. (Though two were under the Zebra imprint.) The three books of the “Where are they now?” series came out from Berkley Prime Crime. The anthologies I co-edited with Charlaine Harris came out from Ace. (Though one came out from Audible first.) The first three books of the Family Skeleton series were published by Berkley Prime Crime, and the most recent two are coming from Diversion. And I published one collection of the Laura Fleming series under the auspices of JABberwocky, my literary agency. That’s not counting short stories—if we throw those into the mix, it’ll be far too confusing.

Wow! that’s quite a publishing history. I’m impressed.  Tell us a little bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

These days I’m writing the Family Skeleton mysteries for Diversion Books, and the fifth—The Skeleton Makes a Friend—came out November 6. The elevator pitch for the series is this: Adjunct English professor Georgia Thackery moves her teenaged daughter back to her family’s home, and has to confront the family skeleton. Which is a skeleton. Named Sid. He walks, he talks, he makes bad bone jokes. Together, he and Georgia solve crimes!

That 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?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? I’d like to hit the New York Times Best Seller List (extended list would be fine), get a movie or TV show option, and receive an Edgar nomination. And all I can do for all three is to write the best books and stories I can.

Well, good luck with those excellent goals. I hope you achieve them.

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

Generally, I think I appeal to the cozy reader. But these books also appeal to a handful of young people who are usually science fiction and fantasy readers.

That’s a good mix for a readership.

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

Don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to try new things. I started out trying to write science fiction, and honestly wasn’t very good at it. When I switched to mystery, I did much better, but it still took a lot of query letters, rewriting, and more query letters before I got a contract.

It’s even harder in today’s publishing world. I’m trying to find an agent myself, although I’ve been publishing my series with a a very good online publisher.

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

I don’t know that I had it any harder than anybody else. It might have been a little more difficult getting interest in a Southern series back then, but Margaret Maron, Carolyn G. Hart, Sharyn McCrumb, and Joan Hess were doing just fine. In some ways it’s harder now because there are fewer big traditional publishers.

Very true. As a librarian, I recognize those authors and have enjoyed their books.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I’m in some writer’s organizations (Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, American Crime Writers League, Shore Mystery Fiction Society), but no writing workshop kinds of groups.

Those are good organizations. I belong to Sisters in Crime and also their guppies group.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Reading and playing on the computer.

Those are my hobbies, too, although I also like to exercise to video DVD’s to get away from the computer and play with my cat and new kittens.

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

I hate the waiting. Waiting for a contract, waiting for an edit, waiting for reviews, waiting for sales figures. It’s a powerless feeling, and I despise it. My personal challenge is belief in myself, even after all these books.

I think those challenges are pretty common for most authors.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I don’t think I set out to write cozies—I just set out to write the world I know, and my world is pretty cozy. That being said, there’s still plenty of meanness, anger, fear, vengeance, and of course murder to keep my mysteries moving.

I relate to that because I didn’t set out to write my cozy series either. I thought the first book was a romantic suspense standalone novel, but readers thought differently, and so the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series was born.

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

Sid unzipped the rest of the way, pulled himself out of the suitcase and back together, and tried to turn the knob. “It’s locked.”

“Can you open it?”

“Easy peasy,” he said, pulling a set of lock picks from inside the suitcase. My locksmith sister Deborah probably hadn’t realized that teaching my daughter Madison how to pick locks was tantamount to teaching Sid. Madison had shared everything she’d learned with him, and he’d promptly ordered his own picks online. “You really should learn to do this, Georgia. It’s not that hard.”

Despite his assurance, it seemed to take an awful long time to get the door open. Or maybe it just seemed like a long time because I kept looking down the stairs, worried that somebody would hear us and come to see what was going on.

Finally there was a loud click, and Sid said, “Nailed it!” He opened the door, and cold air streamed out.

“Brr!” I said. “Wouldn’t you know that a department with everybody on vacation would be the one with overachieving air conditioners?” The window unit in my classroom had gone out twice. “Not to mention the waste of electricity.”

“You can complain about it later,” Sid said. “Come on.”

I followed him into the human resources department, pulling the empty suitcase along.

There were four more closed doors: three offices labeled with names and one marked File Room.

“Here we go,” Sid said, using his picks on one of the office doors.

This lock was easier to deal with, which was a relief, but unfortunately, the smell seemed to be coming from that office. “I’m going in.”

“Remember what I said. Get in, look around fast, get out.”

“Got it.” He stepped inside.

Between the cold, the horrid stink, and the fear of being caught, I was hoping that Sid would be swift, but I was surprised when he came out in under two minutes. “That was fast. Did you find something?”

“Don’t go in there.”

“I wasn’t going to—”

Then I looked at him.

He shouldn’t have been able to look like anything but bone-colored, but somehow he seemed paler than usual, and his bones were so loose he was nearly falling apart. “What’s wrong?”

“He’s in there. At least I think it’s him.”

“Did he see you?” I said stupidly.

He slowly shook his skull, and only then did I realize what it was we’d been smelling.

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

Just that the Family Skeleton is not a metaphorical skeleton. Sid is a real live… Okay, not live, but a real living skeleton. So many mysteries use skeletons and skulls on their covers, and I don’t want anybody getting upset when Sid shows up on the page.

Thanks for clearing that up for those who may have misunderstood.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Website: http://leighperryauthor.com/

Sid’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Family_Skeleton

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/LeighPerryAuthor

My Alter Ego

Toni L.P. Kelner: www.tonilpkelner.com

The Skeleton Makes a Friend (A Family Skeleton Mystery)
by Leigh Perry

About the Book


The Skeleton Makes a Friend (A Family Skeleton Mystery)
Diversion Books (November 6, 2018)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-10: 1635764440
ISBN-13: 978-1635764444
Digital ASIN: B07GT39K2X

Georgia Thackery is feeling pretty good about her summer job teaching at prestigious Overfeld College, and she’s renting a rustic cabin right by a lake for herself, her daughter, Madison, and her best friend, Sid the Skeleton. Together again, the trio are enjoying the quiet when a teenager named Jen shows up looking for her friend. Georgia doesn’t recognize the name, but she learns that the person Jen was looking for is actually Sid.

Sid reveals that he and Jen are part of a regular online gaming group that formed locally, and one of their members has gone missing. Sid admits that he might have bragged about his investigative prowess, enough so that Jen wants him to find their missing player. Given that Sid doesn’t have many friends offline—none, really, unless you count the Thackery family—Georgia agrees to help him search. They manage to discreetly enlist Jen, who lives in town, and follow the clues to… a dead buddy.

Now they’ve got a killer on their hands. Probing the life of Sid’s friend, they realize a lot is wrong both on campus and in the seemingly quaint town, and someone doesn’t want them looking deeper.

Purchase Links:

Amazon B&N Kobo

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

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

November 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 7 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 8 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW

November 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 10 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 11 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW

November 12 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

November 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 14 – Varietats – REVIEW

November 14 –My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

November 16 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW

November 17 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 17 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Killalot, an Ivy Meadows Mystery, by Cindy Brown


When Your Subplot Just Isn’t Working…

As you can tell by the titles (Macdeath, The Sound of Murder, Oliver Twisted, Ivy Get Your Gun, The Phantom of Oz, and now Killalot) all of the Ivy Meadows mysteries are set during plays. Writing those theatrical subplots is lots of fun (they are very silly) and really tough (you try to mash The Sound of Music with Cabaret). This time around I wanted to set my mystery at a Renaissance Faire. The obvious theatre connection (and the only one, really) was Camelot. I decided to parody the show by setting it during the Kennedy era, since that time is often referred to as America’s Camelot. But try as I might, I could not make the idea work. I didn’t want to give up the Ren faire plot. What could I do?

I made the parody not work. Read on, and you’ll see what I mean:

“So I’d like to welcome you to the first rehearsal for our new musical…” John Robert spread his arms wide to the sky. “Kennelot!” Silence. He dropped his arms. “Kennelot! Get it?”

“Um,” I said, “Doesn’t that sound a little like kennel? As in dog kennel?”

“No, no, no. Don’t you see? It’s a combination of Kennedy and Camelot.”
I was pretty sure we all got it. “Now let’s talk about your characters. Of course, I want you all to research Jackie, JFK, and Marilyn respectively. Let’s talk about them as they relate to Camelot. We’ll get back to the songs tomorrow. The only ones I really have worked out so far are “Kennelot” and “I Love You, the Hell with Silence.”

“That’s a reworking of ‘I Loved You Once in Silence’? The song Guinevere sings to Lancelot?” Hayden asked.

“Exactly. But now you’re going to sing it to Marilyn.”

“But did he really love Marilyn? I mean, me?” I really hoped John Robert was serious about feedback, because I couldn’t seem to keep my mouth shut. “Wasn’t it more about sex?”

“Honey, how old are you? Do you really not know that men confuse sex with love?”

“If you’re talking to Marilyn, no, I don’t think I ever did figure it out. If you’re talking to Iv—”

“No, no, no. Stay Marilyn.”

“It does seem rather a generalization,” said Jackie. “And it’s not just men who confuse the two. Though I do think women are more likely to confuse love and romance.”

“Which brings us right back to Camelot,” John Robert said. “Since that’s precisely what Guinevere does.”

“So I’m Guinevere?” I asked. “And JFK is Lancelot?”

“Exactly,” said John Robert. “Now…”

“Wait, I thought I was Arthur,” said JFK. “Wouldn’t that make Jackie Arthur?”

“Well…oh.” John Robert’s face fell. “That’s a problem. Yes.” His tongue played with his front teeth while he was thinking. “So…Marilyn, you’re the one who destroys Camelot.”

“I’m pretty sure it was Lee Harvey Oswald.”

“In the play, you’re the one who destroys Camelot. So you’re Lancelot.”

“And I’m Guinevere?” said JFK. “I really need to be a man.”

“You are a man, darling,” said Jackie. “That’s why you’re president.”

“Okay, maybe I need to rethink that song. I’ve also been wondering about the round table…Who do you think should be invited to the table?”

“The Cabinet?” said Hayden.

“Too boring.” John Robert shook his head. “Maybe it’s full of JFK’s women?”

“Mistresses aren’t very knight-like,” I said.

“Maybe it’s the Kennedy women,” said Jackie. “You know: me, Ethel, and Joan?”

“Ooh, we could do ‘The First Ladies Who Lunch,’” John Robert said. “Maybe even use the tune from the song in Company. Do you think Sondheim would approve?”

I doubted it.

See? I think it works. What do you think?

Killalot (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
by Cindy Brown

About the Book

Killalot (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (November 15, 2018)
Hardcover: 282 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114330
ISBN-13: 978-1635114331
Paperback: 282 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114306
ISBN-13: 978-1635114300
Digital ASIN: B07H3CH4RH

A jouster, a playwright, and a detective walk into a faire…but it’s no joke when one ends up dead.

Actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows is thrilled when she learns that the famous playwright behind Hello Dolly Madison is in Arizona. Not so much when she realizes he’s a suspect in the murder of a Renaissance faire jouster.

As is her friend Riley. And about a thousand other people, all disguised in Renaissance costume during the fatal jousting match.

When Ivy is hired to investigate the killing, she goes undercover as a Cockney belly dancer at the faire and finagles her way into the playwright’s Kennedy-inspired version of Camelot—as Marilyn Monroe, no less.

Then, in the midst of her toughest case ever, Ivy has to solve another dilemma: Will she follow her lifelong dream of being an actor or settle down with the love of her life?

The murder investigation, the play, and real life come together in a twist that begs the question: Is there a happily-ever-after for anyone?

Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:

MACDEATH (#1)
THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2)
OLIVER TWISTED (#3)
IVY GET YOUR GUN (#4)
The Phantom of Oz (#5)
KILLALOT (#6)

About the Author

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

Author Links

Website & Blog: www.cindybrownwriter.com

Twitter handle: @friendlybrown

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Brown-author/288210721356802?ref=hl

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N

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

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 14 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 14 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW

November 15 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

November 16 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW

November 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

November 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, Renaissance Recipe

November 20 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf– SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

November 21 – The Ninja Librarian – 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 A Vintage Death, A Keepsake Cove Mystery, by Mary Ellen Hughes

A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
by Mary Ellen Hughes

About the Book


A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2018)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752274
ISBN-13: 978-0738752273
Digital
ASIN: B0795RTP2B

As the new music box store owner and resident of Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. She volunteers to plan the Fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who’s come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed by a pair of vintage scissors.

Suspicion is cast on the victim’s estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove’s vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep quiet.

About the Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Author Links

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

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mehughes13/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mehughesauthor

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/402922.Mary_Ellen_Hughes

Purchase Links – Amazon B&N Midnight Ink

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

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 7 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

November 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

November 8 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

November 8 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, Sissy, & Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 9 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 9 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

November 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 10 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 11 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT*

November 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 12 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

November 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 13 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 13 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 15 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

November 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

November 16 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!