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

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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

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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

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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

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Spotlight

Spotlight of A Cold Brew Killling, an All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery, by Lena Gregory

A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

About the Book


A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Lyrical Underground (November 6, 2018)
Print Length Approximately 250 Pages
Digital ASIN: B079R5Y14L

When an ice cream vendor discovers a frozen stiff, Florida diner owner Gia Morelli has to serve up some just desserts . . .

Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café. Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities. But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something’s very wrong. Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold. When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight—a dead body in the open freezer. But the ice cream man’s troubles are just beginning. The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface. Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice . . .

Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

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/

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo

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November 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 7 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

November 8 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 11 – cherylbbookblog – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 13 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 13 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

November 14 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 15 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 16 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

November 19 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight for Cry Wolf, a Zoe Chambers Mystery by Annette Dashofy

Cry Wolf (Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy

About the Book


Cry Wolf (Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Henery Press (September 18, 2018)
Hardcover: 276 pages
ISBN-10: 1635113954
ISBN-13: 978-1635113952
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-10: 163511392X
ISBN-13: 978-1635113921
Digital ASIN: B07DXBSPF8

Rural Pennsylvania’s Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams is down an officer and has been dealing with extra shifts as well as a pair of bickering neighbors, one of whom owns a machete and isn’t afraid to use it.

Golden Oaks Assisted Living is outside Pete’s jurisdiction, but a murder in the facility his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father calls home makes the case personal.

Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers has been itching for an opportunity to take the lead in a death investigation. She gets her chance when her boss is hospitalized and not only assigns her to the Golden Oaks homicide but puts her in charge of the county coroner’s office.

As if she doesn’t have enough to handle, a long-lost, over-protective, older half-brother walks into her life threatening to drive a wedge between her and the man she loves.

A second dead body leads them to realize the case may have dark ties to a distant past…and if Zoe doesn’t untangle the web of lies, Pete will be the one to pay the ultimate price.

About the Author

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and BRIDGES BURNED was nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel.

Author Links

Website– www.annettedashofy.com

Blog– http://annettedashofy.blogspot.com/

Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/annette.dashofy

Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 7 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Mysteries with Character – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 9 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

November 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 10 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

November 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – GUEST POST

November 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 12 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 12 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

November 12 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 13 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Character Guest Post and Blog Tour for Purls and Poison, a Black Sheep and Company Book 2 by Anne Canadeo

This post was contributed by Anne Canadeo. Her cozy mystery, Purls and Poison, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

PURLS & POISON VIRTUAL TOUR

Character POV – Suzanne Cavannaugh

Anne Canadeo

 Three Things I Learned from Being A Prime Suspect

Here’s some advice I hope you never have to use. But, as dear Grandma Rosa used to say, “Suzanne, you never know what’s going to happen when you wake up in the morning. For better or worse.”  Being named the prime suspect in a murder investigation definitely falls into the latter category and I am, right now, at the top of the list of some very shady characters who may have killed  my co-worker, Liza Devereaux.

How did I win this dubious honor?  Let’s just say everyone has a Liza in the office; that annoying someone who always has to one up you, poaches your clients and steals the big deals out from under your nose. All of my co-workers – the whole town, practically — knows the nasty truth about our relationship, and someone did a bang up job framing me. It’s a living nightmare and a learning experience, I have to say. Here are a few tips that might help you navigate these choppy waters—and keep you from falling overboard.

# 1) Don’t trust the police to figure it out. And keep your big mouth shut: I guess that’s two tips,  but they are connected.

I hate to talk down the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us every day. Most of the time, they do flush out the guilty party. But if I leave it to them to track down the real culprit of this crime, I’ll be trading my designer wardrobe for an orange jumpsuit in no time.

Each question the detectives pose pushes me closer to an official murder charge.  Partly my fault, since I can’t always control what pops out of my mouth. I know that women especially want to be helpful. But take it from me, the less said the better when you’re stranded in an interview room. Which brings me to my next point…

#2) Support, support, support: Find a smart lawyer. You’ve read it in books and seen it in the movies. The advice is so obvious, why even say it. Hey, it’s a cliché for a reason. Because it’s true! I struggled like a moth caught in a web until super-sharp, no nonsense attorney Helen Forbes flew to my rescue. Then I pressed a hand over my mouth while she did the talking.   (See point # 1 again.) I just hope we can hold out until the truth is discovered.

I also have the greatest family, which goes without saying. And the most amazing group of loyal and true friends, who not only love me unconditionally (while the rest of the town treats me like a soon-to-be jailbird)  but have been putting their very clever heads together 24/7 to find out who really killed Liza.  Let’s hope they can untangle this mess before my time runs out. In the meantime, I cannot neglect self-care, right? Which brings up point number three…

#3) Pamper yourself! Yes, it sounds crazy, but I am so not kidding. Don’t let all the rumors and accusations get into your DNA. You are totally innocent and you know it, even if no one else in the office, or all of Plum Harbor – except for your nearest and dearest – believe you.

Don’t hide in your house, binge on cup cakes and pizza, or dress like a bag lady. Get your hair done, have a massage and a facial or eyebrow threading while you’re at it. The best revenge is looking good, my lovelies. You have nothing to hide. Let the world know it.

The bonus to this strategy? You can and will pick up some very juicy gossip at the salon. What better place to get the low down on the desperate characters who might be involved in this dirty business.

Those are my pearls of wisdom – no pun intended. I will let you know if I wiggle out of this mess. Right now, it’s got a tighter hold on me than a pair of Spanx three sizes too small.

Wish me luck !

Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
by Anne Canadeo

About the Book


Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708636
ISBN-13: 978-1496708632
Digital ASIN: B079KT54BW

When a fellow Black Sheep Knitter is suspected of poisoning her coworker, the group puts down their needles and takes up their friend’s defense . . .

Suzanne Cavanaugh has just about had it with her office rival at Prestige Properties. It’s bad enough that Liza Devereaux is constantly needling her at work, but when she shows up at one of Suzanne’s open houses to poach potential buyers, it’s the last straw. No one in the office fails to hear the two snarling at each other.

When Liza is later found dead in her office cubicle—poisoned by a diet shake—Suzanne becomes the prime suspect. It’s soon discovered, though, that Liza had double-crossed so many around town and stashed their dark secrets in her designer handbags that anyone could be the culprit.

The Black Sheep Knitters have no doubt their friend has been framed—but they need to prove it. Stirred to action, they get together to catch a sneaky killer who’s trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes . . .

About The Author

Anne Canadeo is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, including the Black Sheep & Company Mysteries, and as Katherine Spencer, the Cape Light and Angel Island series. She somehow manages to write a lot, despite many and much loved distractions — such as digging up the garden, hanging out with her dog, trying new recipes, drinking copious amounts of mint tea, eating chocolate and volunteer work in the community. She lives in Northport, NY, a village on the Long Island Sound very much like the settings of her stories. Anne loves to hear from readers. Answering their messages is definitely another favorite distraction in her day.

Author Links

Website: annecanadeo.com
Facebooks: www.facebook.com/AnneCanadeoAuthor
Instagram: www.instagram.com/annecanadeo

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Powell Books

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

November 9 – Ruff Drafts – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 11 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

November 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 16 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 18 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

November 21 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour

Author Spotlight of Loretta Marion, Author of House of Ashes, a Haunted Bluffs Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Loretta Marion from Bristol, Rhode Island here to speak about her writing and new release, House of Ashes that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

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 current book, HOUSE OF ASHES, releases on November 13th and is published by Crooked Lane Books.

My debut novel, THE FOOL’S TRUTH, was independently published through a company I set up, Time at Last Books. (Fall of 2016)

Very nice. Congratulations!

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.

HOUSE OF ASHES is the first in the Haunted Bluffs Mystery series that takes place in the fictional town of Whale Rock on Cape Cod. The story centers on Cassie Mitchell, a thirty-seven-year old painter who is about to lose her beloved family home to mounting debt. The mystery involves the disappearance of two young people who happen upon Cassie’s property and end up staying for a while to help her out of her bind. Interwoven into the present-day story is the account of Cassie’s great-grandparents and the century-old curse that still threatens the Mitchell family. That the spirits of these ancestors still inhabit The Bluffs adds another element of mystery to the story. Why are they still there and what do they want of Cassie?

HOUSE OF ASHES has the upcoming release date of November 13, 2018. The next book in the series will be published in the fall of 2019.

THE FOOL’S TRUTH is a twisty mystery with whispers of romance, following Cordelia Richmond, a desperate young mother who becomes stranded in the backwoods of Maine. Dark secrets, deceit and danger emerge when she and her young daughter are taken in by a witch-like hermit living off the grid. THE FOOL’S TRUTH received the following awards: Finalist in two categories (Mystery & Suspense) IAN 2017 Book of the Year Awards, Honorable Mention New England Bookfest, Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Both books sound fantastic.

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’ve never been a goal-oriented individual, but simply put, I hope to continue to write books that entertain, to hone my craft and to build a readership following for my writing,

I was told early on, the more you write, the better you become. I intend to keep writing.

That’s a great goal in itself.

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

As a mystery with elements of the paranormal and a touch of romance, HOUSE OF ASHES has a lot to offer. It would appeal to readers of mysteries, romantic mystery, romantic suspense and paranormal mysteries. With a main character who struggles with hardships – many brought upon herself – and evolves to become more resilient, I think the story would also be appealing to fans of women’s fiction.

Sounds like there’s a large audience for your book.

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

Make sure you are submitting a very clean and polished manuscript to agents and editors. Continue to learn about the craft and be open to constructive suggestions. Attend writing conferences and learn how to pitch your book. Be persistent but patient and realistic. Not every book has a Cinderella story attached to it.

Good advice.

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

Probably my greatest struggle was in determining if my writing would attract a following, which is difficult to assess until you are actually published. I struggled with the decision of whether to take one of my books to the market independently to make that determination. I ultimately took that route with my first book, which was quite a journey and a long learning curve. But I’m glad for the experience as it helped me better understand the publishing world as well as my own personal expectations.

All publishing journeys are educational.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Not at present but I’m looking into which would be a good fit for me and my writing.

There are many to choose from, some are better than others.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love to travel as well as outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and kayaking. My quiet hobby is knitting, and I especially enjoy making baby blankets and scarves – nothing too complicated please!

A nice variety of interests besides reading and writing.

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

I enjoy entertaining people with my stories and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to do so. It’s wonderful to be able to spend time with my characters. At the beginning of a project they are mere acquaintances, by the end they’ve become a part of me.

What I like the least are deadlines. It’s a different process when you are writing to serve someone else’s timetable.

The toughest challenge is probably book promotion. Although I’m proud of my writing, it’s not easy for me to tout my work. Also, finding a good balance between the writing, the promotional aspects and life can be a challenge.

I know exactly how you feel. Characters definitely grow on an author. As far as book promotion, most authors struggle with that. I certainly do.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

Though a mystery, HOUSE OF ASHES would not be considered a cozy. Most of my writing involves a mystery in some form, though I didn’t start out with that intent. I was originally headed in the direction of Women’s Fiction, but that element of mystery kept insinuating itself into my writing. I must admit, there is something uniquely satisfying about plotting out the intricate threads of a mystery and then weaving them together to reveal unexpected results.

I write different types of mysteries in addition to my cozy mystery series. I also love to read them.

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

Since the book interweaves two stories, I’ll share excerpts from both the historic and present-day accounts.

EXCERPT ONE:

Eighty years ago ~ Whale Rock, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod Bay

Friday, December 13th

The fire bell was ringing, and someone yelled in through the tavern door, “There’s a fire up on the north end! Battersea Bluffs. We need all the hands we can get!”

“No, it can’t be,” Percy whispered. The Bluffs was his home. He leapt from the barstool and ran for the street, bumping into a stranger as he passed through the tavern door. The man’s eyes were ominously familiar to him, but with more pressing concerns, there was no time to bring to memory why. He had to get home to Celeste.

It sickened him to see the flames as his Ford pickup rounded the top of Lavender Hill. How hard he and Celeste had worked to build this house, a grand Victorian with a widow’s walk and a proud front porch facing out to sea. Fire trucks were already there, and men he’d known these many years were working hard to contain the blaze.

As he ran toward the house, it came to him who the stranger in the tavern had been, and later one of the firefighters would recount that Percy had screamed: “Damn that lighterman’s curse. Damn you to hell, Robert Toomey!” Nobody was quick enough to keep Percy Mitchell from entering the inferno. Moments later he emerged, his clothing and hair afire, carrying a charred human form. Any man would have been delirious from the pain, but as the firefighters looked on in shocked disbelief, Percy walked with a purposeful bearing and a swift gait toward the bluffs. A few men chased after their friend, but before anyone could stop him, Percy reached the ledge and cried out, “I am not finished!”

And then, with his already dead wife in his arms, he hurled them both into Cape Cod Bay.

 EXCERPT TWO:

Present day ~ Whale Rock, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod

September ~ three days since the disappearance

Back at home, I took a good look at my beloved Battersea Bluffs, with its towering widow’s walk, double chimneys, and impressive wrap-around porch. It had become part of Whale Rock’s lore that the majestic Victorian sitting high above the cliffs on the craggy northern end of town was possessed by the spirits of my great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, its original owners. The legend evolved from a rumor initiated by my father when he was trying to take back his rightful home. It had been a successful strategy, but he could never have guessed how prophetic his fable would become—or maybe he’d already sensed the mysterious aspects of the old house. To be fair, Papa and I had never discussed the lurking scents and sounds presented by the spirits sharing our home.

I unlatched the gate, to a warm greeting of soft whimpers and an exuberant tail.

“You’re missing them too, aren’t ya, buddy?” I reached down to stroke the German shepherd’s glossy black fur, those usually erect ears momentarily relaxed. I widened the gate.

I followed the dog to the ledge of Percy’s Bluffs, so named after my great-grandfather’s dramatic leap from the cliffs overlooking Cape Cod Bay. I stared down to where the waves were crashing against the rocks below. Through the years, this spot had become my refuge, where I’d come to contemplate decisions or brood over troubles. Exhausted and numb, I sank to the ground and idly fingered an abandoned champagne cork, probably left here the night Vince and Ashley moved in with me. We’d brought a bottle down to the cliffs to toast our new alliance and the home they were going to help me save. I closed my eyes to bring to memory the feel of the fizzy liquid against my tongue, the first I’d tasted in years.  There’d not been much to celebrate in recent times. But that night, a sense of hope had returned to me.

Excellent excerpts. You’ve got me hooked.

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

My desire to become a writer of fiction evolved from the unlikely world of hospice. As a volunteer, I started a Legacy Story program for the patients who were still able to tell their stories. It was an incredibly meaningful experience. I credit the courage demonstrated by those patients who were facing their grim realities for inspiring me to be bold enough to step out onto that path that may or may not lead to publication. I’ll be eternally grateful for how those patients’ stories touched my heart and for the journey that resulted from the experience.

The paranormal aspect of HOUSE OF ASHES was inspired by my own experience with an otherworldly visitor.

How interesting. It’s not uncommon for authors to weave their own personal experiences into their books, and that makes them more realistic.

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

Website: https://www.lorettamarion.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15863622.Loretta_Marion

Links for HOUSE OF ASHES:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/House-Ashes-Haunted-Bluffs-Mystery/dp/1683318439

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/house-of-ashes-loretta-marion/1128856330?ean=9781683318439#/

Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/House-Ashes/Loretta-Marion/9781683318439?id=7293377974282

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781683318439

Links for THE FOOL’S TRUTH:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997788607

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LY8U5B1

I’ve enjoyed answering these interview questions. Thank you for your interest in my spotlighting my writing!

My pleasure. I’m just sorry I posted your interview late. I’ve been preparing for an author talk at my library and got caught up. I wish you the best of luck with your new release and your future mysteries.

House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery
Supernatural Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318439
ISBN-13: 978-1683318439
Digital Details Coming Soon

A family patriarch’s dying proclamation, an enigmatic disappearance, and a century-old curse converge in the shadows of a majestic home on Cape Cod’s craggy coast.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it’s by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter―but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help―until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what’s happened to the young couple…even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police―as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism―Cassie can’t help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family’s dark curse destroys everything in its path?

About the Author

An author of fiction, Loretta Marion’s writing bridges the genres of mystery and suspense and women’s fiction, always with hints of romance and humor, sometimes delving into the psychological and paranormal. She creates strong but flawed and struggling characters as appealing as the rich atmospheric settings in which the stories take place.

Loretta is a true bibliophile and has loved reading and creating with words since she was a young girl. And that affection for the written word followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she put pen to paper crafting marketing and advertising copy, educational brochures, and newsletters. But her passion for writing fiction evolved from the unlikely world of hospice. As a volunteer, she set out to establish a Legacy Story program to honor and preserve the rich heritage of the fascinating people who were soon to leave this world. The meaningful experience inspired her to create her own interesting characters and stories. Her debut novel, The Fool’s Truth, was a twisty and suspenseful mystery with whispers of romance. Her newest novel, HOUSE OF ASHES – A Haunted Bluffs Mystery, is the first in a series published by Crooked Lane Books.

Though born and raised in the Midwest, Loretta fell in love with New England and has made it the setting for much of her writing. When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey, and their beloved Mr. Peabody, a sweet, devoted and amusing “Corgador” (Corgi-Labrador cross). (www.LorettaMarion.com)

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Guest Post and Blog Tour for Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn, a Grime Pays Mystery, by Tricia L. Sanders


My To-Do List or What’s on My Horizon

Making lists is second-nature to me, and I love putting check marks next to the entries. I’ll make a list for almost anything, and if I can color-code it and turn it into a spreadsheet, even better. I have more highlighters on my desk than I have ink pens. And don’t get me started on sticky notes. My top, left desk drawer is dedicated to my sticky note collection. Not kidding! I have them in every shape, size, and color. The notes with flamingos are my favorite.

For this post though, I thought I’d share my to-do list for the next 12 months. Maybe if I get it out there in the blog-o-sphere, it will help me with accountability. Procrastination is my middle name, so the more people who know what I have on tap, the better my chances of actually getting my list completed. And yes, it is in spreadsheet form and color-coded on my laptop. Keep in mind, this is my writing to-do list. My personal to-do list is a beast all to itself.

*Book 3 in the Grime Pays Series. This is the top item on my list. It’s in rough draft stage, needs editing, and still needs a title. It’s the continuation of Cece Cavanaugh’s story and picks up the week before Thanksgiving with… a murder, of course. There’s an unexpected love twist, an ex expires, and Cece’s mother comes to visit. Oh, and someone gets a big surprise.

*Video Book Trailer for Book 2 in the Grime Pays Series, Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn. I put together one for Murder is a Dirty Business and love it so much, I want to get one together for Book 2.

*Marketing two Christmas Anthologies – Candy Canes and Corpses and Sleigh Bells and Sleuthing (coming to Amazon soon.) I have stories in both, and the stories are prequels to two new series ideas.

*Book 4 in the Grime Pays series is partially outlined. Finishing that outline is a priority.

*Outlining Book 1 in the Mattie and Mo Mystery series. This is the story that has a prequel in Sleigh Bells and Sleuthing. The series will focus on retiree couple Mattie and Mo. He’s a former Police Chief, and she’s a certified snoop.

*Outlining Book 1 in the Tropical Cozy Mystery series. This is the story prequel in Candy Canes and Corpses. This series will focus on a mother/daughter, Grace and Shelby Rutherford who inherit what they think is a working plantation but turns out to be a rundown house which includes a coffeeshop and bookstore along with a snow cone truck on an island off the coast of Florida.

As you can see, I have a busy year planned. Oh, and I’m helping my daughter relocate to the U.S. after living abroad for 4 years. That will definitely be more work than anything on my to-do list. And a lot more fun.

What’s on your agenda?

About the Book


Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn (Grime Pays Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Soul Mate Publishing, Inc.
Release Date – October 24, 2018
Approximately 254 pages

An unwelcome visitor, an unrequited love, and a dead body create chaos in a middle-aged woman’s plan for a productive summer.

Despite a looming divorce, an empty checkbook, and a struggling cleaning business, Cece Cavanaugh is determined to land on her own two feet. Adamant about staying a safe distance from the handsome detective who has her fantasizing about violating the morals clause in her prenuptial agreement, Cece dives headlong into her work.

Even though she has no free time to spare, Cece finds herself guilted into cleaning a hoarder’s home. Her discoveries in the condemned house are too shocking to ignore. Diamond-laden pachyderms, a secret cache of money, and a dead body lure Cece into launching an investigation that places her in direct contact with the one person she’s desperate to avoid–hunky Detective Case Alder.

With clues in hand, Cece runs down leads and eliminates suspects one by one. Her conclusion and brave accusation put a friend’s life in peril forcing Cece to hatch a plan to outsmart the killer. A daring move could either save Cece and her friend or lead to their demise.

About the Author

Tricia L. Sanders writes cozy mysteries and women’s fiction. She adds a dash of romance and a sprinkling of snark to raise the stakes. Her heroines are humorous women embarking on journeys of self-discovery all the while doing so with class, sass, and a touch of kickass.

Tricia is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

Author Links

Website: www.triciasanders.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortricialsanders/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tricialsanders

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/tricialsanders/

YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXRJSRSmTjg

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