Posted in Guest Post, Solstice Publishing

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Deadly Southern Charm, A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology, by Sisters in Crime

My short mystery, “Unbridled” is set in a fictional equestrian facility in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

Riding stables don’t lend themselves to many recipes—unless, of course, you’re a horse, then oats and hay!  But I’ve always enjoyed the outdoor tailgates, picnics, pool parties, barbeques, and garden parties that Southerners celebrate in their signature style. My go-to contribution to any seasonal gathering is this marinated cucumber and tomato salad.  It’s a breeze to prepare, chill for a few hours in your fridge, and then be ready to be the star of any buffet table.  Even your riding instructor will approve.

Marinated Cucumbers, Onions, and Tomatoes

3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced ¼” thick

1 onion (I prefer sweet) sliced and separated into rings

3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges

Dressing:

½ cup white vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

1 cup water

2 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh coarse ground black pepper

¼ cup oil

Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Pour over vegetables and mix well.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 2 hours before serving, stirring once per hour.

Drain excess dressing before serving.  Enjoy!

Kristin Kisska used to be a finance geek, complete with MBA and Wall Street pedigree, but now she is a self-proclaimed fictionista. Kristin contributed short stories of mystery and suspense to the Anthony Award winning anthology, MURDER UNDER THE OAKS (2015), VIRGINIA IS FOR MYSTERIES- VOLUME II (2016), FIFTY SHADES OF CABERNET (2017), DAY OF THE DARK (2017), MYSTERY MOST GEOGRAPHICAL (2018), MYSTERY MOST EDIBLE (2019), and DEADLY SOUTHER CHARM (2019). She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and James River Writers. When not writing suspense, she can be found blogging on her website~ KristinKisska.composting on Facebook at KristinKisskaAuthorand Tweeting @KKMHOO. Kristin lives in Virginia with her husband and three children.

PRAISE FOR THE ANTHOLOGY

Deadly Southern Charm is a keep-you-up-at-night collection loaded with well-crafted characters and perfect plotting by some of today’s best mystery writers. Brava!

USA Today and NYT Best-selling author, Ellery Adams 

Deliciously devious and absolutely delightful, these marvelous stories will keep you captivated! Sweeter than sweet tea on the surface, but with smartly sinister secrets only a true southern writer can provide.  What a joy to read!

Hank Phillippi Ryan best-selling Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Awards winner

This collection of short crime fiction charms even as the stories immerse you in murder, revenge, and deadly deeds. Set all over the south, from Virginia to North and South Carolina, in Atlanta, Memphis, and New Orleans, the stories by eighteen authors engage and entertain with rich imagery and dialog from the region – and nefarious plots, too. Pour a glass of sweet tea and settle in on the porch swing for a fabulous read.

Edith Maxwell, Agatha and Macavity Awards nominee

This can’t-put-it-down collection of mystery short stories is flavored with the oft-eerie ambiance of the South, where the most genteel manners may hide a dark and murderous intent. Enjoy Deadly Southern Charm with a Mint Julep in hand – a strong one.

Ellen ByronUSA Today best-selling author, Agatha and Daphne Awards nominee and Lefty winner

Deadly Southern Charm (Cozy Mystery Anthology)
by Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia

Frances Aylor, Mollie Cox Bryan, Lynn Cahoon, J.A. Chalkley, Stacie Giles, Barb Goffman, Libby Hall, Bradley Harper, Sherry Harris, Maggie King, Kristin Kisska, Samantha McGraw, K.L. Murphy, Genilee Swope Parente, Deb Rolfe, Rod Sterling, S.E. Warwick, Heather Weidner
Editors: Mary Burton and Mary Miley

About the Book


Deadly Southern Charm (Cozy Mystery Anthology)
Cozy Mystery
Wildside Press (March 27, 2019)
Paperback: 173 pages
ISBN-10: 1479448397
ISBN-13: 978-1479448395

About the Authors

Frances Aylor, CFA combines her investing experience and love of travel in her financial thrillers. MONEY GRAB is the first in the series. www.francesaylor.com

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of cookbooks, articles, essays, poetry, and fiction. An Agatha Award nominee, she lives in Central Virginia. www.molliecoxbryan.com

Lynn Cahoon is the NYT and USA Today author of the best-selling Tourist Trap, Cat Latimer and Farm-to-Fork mystery series. www.lynncahoon.com

A. Chalkley is a native Virginian. She is a writer, retired public safety communications officer, and a member of Sisters in Crime.

 

Stacie Giles lived many places before settling in Virginia where she is returning to ancestral Southern roots, including a grandfather who was a Memphis policeman.

Barb Goffman has won the Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards for her short stories, and is a two-time finalist for US crime-writing awards.www.Barbgoffman.com

Libby Hall is a communication analyst with a consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia. She is also a blogger, freelance writer, wife, and mother of two.

Bradley Harper is a retired Army pathologist. Library Journal named his debut novel, A KNIFE IN THE FOG, Debut of the Month for October 2018. www.bharperauthor.com

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series and is the president of Sisters in Crime.www.sherryharrisauthor.com

Maggie King penned the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet anthologies. www.maggieking.com

Kristin Kisska is a member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and programs chair of the Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia chapter. www.kristinkisska.com

Samantha McGraw has a love of mysteries and afternoon tea. She lives in Richmond with her husband and blogs at Tea Cottage Mysteries.www.samanthamcgraw.com

K.L. Murphy is a freelance writer and the author of the Detective Cancini Mysteries. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two dogs.www.Kellielarsenmurphy.com

Genilee Swope Parente has written the romantic mystery The Fate Series with her mother F. Sharon Swope. The two also have several collections of short stories. www.swopeparente.com

Deb Rolfe primarily writes mystery novels. This is her first published short story. She and her husband enjoy life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

 

Ronald Sterling is the author of six books and draws upon his colorful and varied life experience as a U.S. Airman, saloonkeeper, private detective, realtor, and New Jersey mayor.

S.A. Warwick, in the last century earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Ever since, she has been trying to decipher the American enigma.

Heather Weidner is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries. She has short stories in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 SHADES OF CABERNET and TO FETCH A THIEF. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and Jack Russell terriers. www.heatherweidner.com

EDITORS

Mary Burton is a New York Times, USA Today and Kindle best-selling author. She is currently working on her latest suspense. www.maryburton.com

Mary Miley is a historian and writer with 14 nonfiction books and 5 mystery novels to her credit. www.marymileytheobald.com

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LethalLadiesCVA?lang=en

Website: https://www.sistersincrimecentralvirginia.com/anthologies

Purchase Links – Amazon

Wildside Wildside eBook

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 21 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – SPOTLIGHT

April 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 23 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

April 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 25 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

April 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

April 27 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

April 28 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, RECIPE

April 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 30 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

May 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 1 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

May 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

May 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

May 4 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Mysteries, New Releases

New Release: Sea Scope, a Standalone Psychological Mystery, by Debbie De Louise

I’m proud to announce the release of Sea Scope, my standalone psychological thriller. This book, quite different from my cozies and yet still containing a couple of cozy elements such as cats and an inn, also has other unique features. It’s the first book of mine to contain photographs and illustrations along with facts about lighthouses and lighthouse lore. In addition, it alternates back and forth in time in various chapters; and, while told in first-person by Sarah, the protagonist in the current time, it’s told by other characters in third-person in the past.

eBook & Kindle Unlimited: mybook.to/SeaScope
Paperback: mybook.to/SSpaper
Large Type: mybook.to/SSLT

Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she accepts an invitation to return to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.

She hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.

After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope.

Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home. As the past and present collide, she must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?

Excerpt

When we crossed the bridge to Bretton Island, Carolyn exclaimed, “I wish my first view of Cape Bretton wasn’t in the pouring rain. It still looks lovely. I can see the lighthouse in the distance.”

I’d noticed it, too, but tried to ignore the emotions that welled up in me at its sight. We followed the one-lane road to Sea Scope next to dripping Spanish moss. The road wasn’t well lit, and I had to concentrate to find the turns that led to the inn relying on my memory more than the address I’d plugged into the car’s GPS which was often inaccurate.

“It’s coming up,” I notified Carolyn as we took another twisting turn, the wipers furiously swishing against the windshield in a futile attempt to keep it clear of the downpour.

“Thank God,” she said. “Be careful, Sarah. I can hardly see the road.”

The tires felt like they were rolling in mud as I accelerated so the car could crest the hill up to the inn. I finally came to a stop a few feet from Sea Scope’s door next to two cars, one I recognized as my aunt’s Honda. I wondered who the green Camry belonged to.

“This is it,” I told Carolyn who was already gathering her purse and overnight bag. “I think we can make it inside without using an umbrella if we run for cover under the porch.”

Carolyn looked ahead at the house. It was not as large as I remembered, but things always appear bigger to children. I could tell, even in the dark, that it needed upkeep. The bushes out front were overgrown and, although I couldn’t see the back garden, I assumed it also needed tending.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Carolyn said with her hand on the car door. “I love these types of Victorian sea homes. It looks like the houses I saw when I visited Cape May years ago. The view of the water and lighthouse must be amazing in good weather. I can’t wait to see the inside.”

“I’m glad you approve. It looks a little unkempt to me and not as large as I remember, but it still exudes that Southern charm of which my aunt and father were always so proud. C’mon, let’s make a run for it. It looks like one of the other guests is already here. No need to drag along our suitcases. The overnight bags we used in the motel should be fine. We can get the other stuff tomorrow.”

Carolyn nodded, throwing open the passenger door to the onslaught of rain. I ran up the porch steps behind her. When I got there, I tapped the anchor doorknocker even though I saw there was now also a bell.

“Welcome to Sea Scope,” I said, taking a deep breath as I waited for an answer.

Author Bio

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the four books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and the standalone mystery, Reason to Die. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and three cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debbie-de-louise

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

 

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Wed, Read & Dead, A Mystery Bookshop Mystery, by V.M. Burns

Wed, Read & Dead
(Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

About the Book

Wed, Read & Dead (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718291
ISBN-13: 978-1496718297
Digital ASIN: B07G6RDBRV

Bookstore owner Samantha Washington sells and solves mysteries in North Harbor, Michigan—including the murder of her mother’s wedding planner . . .

Sam’s mother can’t wait to wed her wealthy beau, Harold Robertson. The big mystery is how they’re going to pull off a lavish wedding in three weeks. Harold’s snobby sister-in-law proposes a solution: engage flamboyant wedding planner Lydia Lighthouse. But their beacon of hope quickly sends everyone into a blind rage, most of all the groom-to-be. So when the maddening micromanager is strangled with her own scarf, it’s a shock, but not a surprise.

It’s a case of art imitating life as Sam pens her next historical mystery set in England between the wars. Lady Daphne Marsh insists on marrying Lord James Browning on Christmas Eve, three weeks hence. But when the fop planning their wedding ends up with a knife in his back, she vows to nab the backstabber before she walks down the aisle.

Meanwhile, when she’s not writing, Sam and her beloved and boisterous Nana Jo rush to shine a light on Lydia’s killer—so her mother’s new husband won’t spend his honeymoon behind bars . . .

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:

Website: http://www.vmburns.com/

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

Twitter: @vmburns

Purchase Links – AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundBooks-A-MillionHudson Booksellers

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 23 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

April 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

April 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

April 25 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

April 25 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 26 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW

April 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 27 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

April 28 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

April 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 30 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

May 1 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

May 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

May 2 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Interview

My TV Interview on Between the Covers

On Wednesday night, April 24, I was a guest on Stephanie Larkin’s television show, Between the Covers. This was my second appearance on a TV show. Last year, I appeared on Lisa Maria Frank’s Writer’s Dream show. This time, I was featured along with the Book Fairies, a great organization that puts unwanted books into the hands of those who need them. I was also lucky enough to have some friends attend to cheer me on.

Here are some photos from the show.

Me outside Paradise Studios where Between the Covers is filmed. (Photo by Lauren Artus)
Me with Stephanie Larkin and the Book Fairies during the show. (photo by Lisa Diaz Meyer)
My friends Mary and Lauren who cheered me on during the show.
My friend, Lisa, also an author whose book, “All Roads Shattered” I recommended to viewers during the show.
Me talking with Stephanie about my books and cats. (photo by Lisa Diaz Meyer)

To watch and listen to the broadcast, click below.

 

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight for Hide Not Seek, A Not So Reluctant Detective Mystery, by D.E. Haggerty

Hide Not Seek
(The Not So Reluctant Detectives)
by D.E. Haggerty

About the Book


Hide Not Seek (The Not So Reluctant Detectives)
Cozy Mystery/Romance/Humor
3rd in Series
Independently Published (April 18, 2019)
Print Length: 183 pages
ASIN: B07NYSCT6W

I know who you really are.

Pru has a secret, which she has no plans to reveal – ever. But after a woman is murdered and all clues point to her, she has no choice but to disclose her true identity. When her revelations help thwart the killer’s plan to frame Pru for the murder, the killer begins stalking her. With each note he sends, he gets closer. The police are stumped. Pru wants to run away. She really, really wants to run, but Ajax has found the woman of his dreams and he’s not letting her go anywhere. He can be patient. In the meantime, he’ll protect her with his life. Pru isn’t feeling very patient, and her friends, Mel and Terri, are definitely not willing to wait until the police uncover who the stalker is. The three friends take matters into their own hands and jump headfirst into the investigation.

Will Pru and her friends uncover her stalker before he turns his violence on Pru?

About the Author

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Hide Not Seek is my fifteenth novel.

Author Links

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com

Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dehaggerty

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dehaggerty/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/

Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/bbmdj9

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DEHaggerty/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-e-haggerty

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/d-e-haggerty-4b49a29/

Purchase Links

Amazon

Smashwords

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

April 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 23 – ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 24 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 25 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

April 25 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

April 26 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

April 26 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 27 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – GUEST POST

April 27 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

April 28 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

April 29 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

April 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 1 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

May 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

May 2 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 2 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 3 – Books Direct – REVIEW

May 3 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

May 4 – Here’s How It Happened – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 4 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

May 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Connie Berry, author of A Dream of Death, A Kate Hamilton Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Connie Berry from Delaware, Ohio to chat about her writing and her cozy mystery, A Dream of Death, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Nice to have you here, Connie. 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 debut mystery, A Dream of Death, was published this month by Crooked Lane Books. Wait, wait—did I just say that? I don’t think I’ll believe it until I actually see my book on a library shelf or in a bookstore somewhere. Although I know plenty of wonderful and successful self-published authors, my goal was always to be traditionally published.

Congratulations, Connie. Tell us a little bit about your book.

A Dream of Death is the first in the Kate Hamilton Mystery series. Autumn has come and gone on the Scottish Isle of Glenroth, and the locals gather for the Tartan Ball, the annual end-of-leaf-season gala. Spirits are high. A recently published novel about island history has attracted hordes of tourists to the small Hebridean resort community. On the guest list is American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton. Kate returns reluctantly to the island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his sister, proprietor of the island’s luxe country house hotel. Kate has hardly unpacked when a body turns up, murdered in a way eerily reminiscent of an infamous murder described in the book. The Scottish police discount the historical connection, but when her husband’s best childhood friend is arrested, Kate teams up with a vacationing detective inspector from Suffolk, England, to unmask a killer determined to rewrite island history—and Kate’s future.

The second in the series, A Legacy of Murder, will be published in October of 2019. Currently I’m working on the third in the series, The Chinese Vases (working title).

They sound wonderful.

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?

On a practical level, I hope to continue writing the Kate Hamilton Mystery series. With the third book underway, two more are rough outlined and another two are roaming around in the back of my brain. On an aspirational level, my goal is to continue growing as a writer—honing my skills, adding depth and complexity to my characters and plot, writing beautiful prose. I would love to have my books described as literary mysteries. For the future, I’ve been thinking about a second series set in the UK, maybe an historical.

Terrific goals. Good luck with them.

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

I imagine my readers will be a lot like me—those who enjoy a good mystery and love to be surprised at the end. I hope to attract readers who like vivid characters with gifts and flaws, regrets and dreams. My readers will include fellow Anglophiles and those who like stories set in another country or culture. They will love history and reading about how the present is shaped by the past. I hope they will enjoy learning a bit about the world of fine art and antiques.

That’s great. Sounds like you have a an interesting target audience.

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

My best advice is to read, read, read. Notice how writers use language, setting, dialogue, and characterization. Pay attention to story structure. Take time to learn craft. Attend as many writers’ conferences and workshops as you can afford. Join groups like Sisters in Crime or Romance Writers of America. Connect with other writers. Swap manuscripts. Help others succeed.

That’s very good advice.

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

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. With a master’s degree in English literature and having read hundreds of mysteries, I thought, “How hard could it be?” As it turned out, pretty hard. I struggled with impatience, an unwillingness to stop writing and start learning. It took me years to produce a manuscript I felt confident putting out there. Finally, once I’d done everything I knew how to do, I was fortunate enough to meet my wonderful editor, Faith Black Ross from Crooked Lane Books, and my agent, Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary.

It’s so true that there’s a lot more to writing than what people imagine before they publish.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Yes. I belong to Sisters in Crime, national, as well as my local chapter, Buckeye Crime Writers. I also belong to the Midwest chapter of  Mystery Writers of America. Some years ago I attended a writers’ workshop called Seascape, hosted by Roberta Isleib, Hallie Ephron, and Hank Phillippi Ryan. Afterwards, a fellow attendee asked me to join a critique group. We’re scattered all over the country—California, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Maine. Three of the four are now published with the fourth not far behind. We exchange manuscripts online and try to meet yearly at the Crime Bake conference near Boston.

I also belong to Sisters in Crime. It’s a great group.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Great question! Life is more than writing. My interests include reading (of course), knitting, my family, our sweet dog, Millie, spending time at our lake cottage in northern Wisconsin, foreign travel with a hint of adventure, and hiking. I attend BSF, International—the class I taught for over twenty-five years. I belong to a book club. And I’m on the board of two organizations—Buckeye Crime Writers and the Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

You certainly are busy.

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

What I like most about writing is re-writing—revising and polishing a manuscript. Once I have words on a page, I relax and begin to enjoy life. What I like least is putting words on a blank page. Because they’re never good. As Ernest Hemingway famously said (quoted in a posthumous article published by Arnold Samuelson), “The first draft of anything is [rubbish].” With that said, one of my toughest practical challenges as a writer is getting enough exercise. This past year—getting my first novel launched and finishing the second—has been brutal on my body. One of my goals going forward is adding regular exercise to my daily routine.

I make it a point to exercise a half hour a day and take breaks between computer time.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I call my books traditional mysteries with cozy characteristics. There are plenty of non-cozy crime novels out there, and I read them—Ann Cleeves, Tana French, Val McDermid, Elizabeth George. But years ago my thesis advisor recommended picking a topic I loved enough to spend many months with. That applies to writing. Reading a crime novel takes days. Writing one takes months if not years. I choose not to describe violence in graphic detail. I have no wish to venture into other peoples’ bedrooms. I love children and pets too much to describe their harm. And while I admire crime novels based in large cities (especially if the city is London), I’m more interested in the complex dynamics of a village. Perhaps it’s my early exposure to Agatha Christie, but I like nothing better than writing about a small community with plenty of interconnections and conflicts to create havoc—and murder. Writing a mystery with cozy characteristics isn’t a matter of what I do and don’t approve. Wasn’t it Miss Marple who said, “I don’t approve of murder.”

I feel the same about my books. Even when I write my standalones, apart from my Cobble Cove mystery series, I tend to inject cozy elements.

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

The setting is the Tartan Ball. Kate’s self-centered sister-in-law, Elenor, has just announced her engagement to Dr. Hugh Guthrie, a bachelor who cares for his disabled mother, Margaret—the closest thing the Isle of Glenroth has to nobility:

Elenor held up both hands. “Before we celebrate, there’s someone Hugh and I wish to acknowledge.” She turned toward the head table. “Margaret, may I call you Mother now?”

 Every head in the room swiveled toward Margaret Guthrie, sitting like a ramrod in her wheelchair. She looked as if she’d just taken a swig of sour milk. “Even though Hugh and I will no longer be living on Glenroth,” Elenor said, her eyes glittering, “we will always have your welfare uppermost in our minds. Wherever you choose to live—now that Hugh will no longer be able to care for you himself—please remember that we will do everything in our power to make the days you have left happy ones.” I heard a few audible gasps. Guthrie pulled a handkerchief from his inside pocket and mopped his face.

Margaret Guthrie reared up like a cobra in her wheelchair. “You are too hasty, my dear. I am certain my son has agreed to no such plans.” She turned to Hugh. “Take me home now. I’m tired.” The audience held its collective breath. Hugh Guthrie stood motionless, a pile of metal shavings between two powerful magnets. He looked at Elenor, then at his mother, and seemed to quail. Releasing himself from Elenor’s grip, he stepped from the platform and hurried to Margaret’s side. The wheelchair squeaked through the stone archways toward the exit. Moments  later we heard the thud of the heavy front door closing, followed shortly by the roar of an engine and the crunch of tires on gravel. Elenor still held the microphone, her face frozen in a smile. The band began to play “Some Enchanted Evening.” Clearly one of the musicians had a wicked sense of humor.

Excellent excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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

A Dream of Death involves a contemporary murder and a historical murder from 1810. The two stories are interwoven through the use of excerpts from a novel written in the form of a diary. A list of book club questions will appear shortly on my website (see below). I’d love to meet readers! If you live in central Ohio, check out my scheduled appearances; and if you’re planning to attend Malice Domestic in May, please say hello!

If you’d like to know more about my writing and upcoming events, you can find me at www.connieberry.com. Sign up for my newsletter. Watch for my bi-monthly blog. Follow me on social media:

Facebook and Instagram: Connie Berry, Author

Twitter: @conniecberry

Pinterest: Connie Campbell Berry

Thanks so much, Connie, and best wishes on your release and upcoming books in the series. I’m sharing your blog tour below.

A Dream of Death
(A Kate Hamilton Mystery)
by Connie Berry

About the Book


A Dream of Death (A Kate Hamilton Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (April 9, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319877
ISBN-13: 978-1683319870
Digital ASIN: B07H7P2KTS

On a remote Scottish island, American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton wrestles with her own past while sleuthing a brutal killing, staged to recreate a two-hundred-year-old unsolved murder.

Autumn has come and gone on Scotland’s Isle of Glenroth, and the islanders gather for the Tartan Ball, the annual end-of-tourist-season gala. Spirits are high. A recently published novel about island history has brought hordes of tourists to the small Hebridean resort community. On the guest list is American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton. Kate returns reluctantly to the island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his sister, proprietor of the island’s luxe country house hotel, famous for its connection with Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Kate has hardly unpacked when the next morning a body is found, murdered in a reenactment of an infamous unsolved murder described in the novel—and the only clue to the killer’s identity lies in a curiously embellished antique casket. The Scottish police discount the historical connection, but when a much-loved local handyman is arrested, Kate teams up with a vacationing detective inspector from Suffolk, England, to unmask a killer determined to rewrite island history—and Kate’s future.

About the Author

Like her main character, Connie Berry was raised by charmingly eccentric antique collectors who opened a shop, not because they wanted to sell antiques but because they needed a plausible excuse to keep buying them. Connie adores history, off-season foreign travel, cute animals, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable Shih Tzu, Millie.

Author Links: Website –www.connieberry.com

Facebook Author@Facebook.com

Twitter @conniecberry

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18733373.Connie_Berry

Purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight for Murder at the Marina, A Kelly Jackson Mystery, by Janet Finsilver

Murder at the Marina
(A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
by Janet Finsilver

About the Book


Murder at the Marina (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (April 2, 2019)
Print Length: ~200 Pages
ASIN: B07FC2C3BH

She’s got to solve this—or her friends are sunk . . .

Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is fond of the Doblinsky brothers, Ivan and Rudy, members of the Silver Sentinels, a crew of crime-solving senior citizens in their Northern California seaside hamlet. After she discovers a jewel-encrusted dagger—with what appears to be dried blood on the blade—on their fishing boat, they share their family history with Kelly, and she learns that the knife may be part of a set from their long-ago childhood in Russia. Its sudden reappearance is eerie, but the mystery grows much more serious when a body is found on the boat. The victim was staying at Kelly’s inn, in town for a Russian Heritage Festival, and some of the organizers were clearly harboring some bitterness. But the story behind this murder seems as layered as a nesting doll—and Kelly’s feeling completely at sea . . .

About the Author

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016. Book 3, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE was released on March 14, 2017.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/janetfinsilverauthor/?fref=ts

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JanetFinsilver

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

Web – http://janetfinsilver.com/

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle Play

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