Posted in Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight of Sybil Johnson, author of Ghosts of Painting Past, An Aurora Anderson Mystery

It’s my pleasure to interview author Sybil Johnson from Manhattan Beach, California.

Hi, Sybil. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and share some details about your books. h

My first published piece of fiction was a short story, “Family Business”, that came out in 2005 in Crimson Dagger, a magazine that’s now long gone. It marked the first appearance of Rory Anderson, the main character in my Aurora Anderson mystery series. The first book in the series, Fatal Brushstroke, also my first book published, came out in November 2014. There are 5 books in the series so far, all published by Henery Press – Fatal Brushstroke, Paint the Town Dead, A Palette For Murder, Designed For Haunting and the recently released Ghosts of Painting Past.

My series features computer programmer and tole/decorative painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The books are set in the fictional town of Vista Beach, California. Ghosts of Painting Past, the fifth book in my series, came out November 19, 2019. In it:

It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

Sounds like a wonderful holiday mystery and also one that people would enjoy reading at any time.

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’m currently working on book 6 in the series that’s set around Valentine’s Day. I also have a couple ideas for other series—one cozy, one historical—that I’d like to develop further. At some point, I intend to get back to writing short stories. A dream of mine is to one day be published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine or Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. I think the best way of reaching my goals is to continue to write and submit my work.

Great 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?

Anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries and a good whodunit.

Your books should attract a wide audience.

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

Be persistent and be willing to learn about writing and the publishing world. Join an organization like Sisters in Crime, if possible. There you’ll get a lot of support from other authors. I also think writing short stories is a good way to dip your toes in the water and, potentially, get some publishing credits.

I agree. I’m a member of Sisters in Crime myself, and I also write short stories in addition to my mystery series and novels.

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

I first started writing in my early 40s while I was still in the software development game. I’d read a lot of mysteries over the years, but had no experience in writing fiction. My first challenge was to learn how to write fiction in general and a cozy mystery in particular. I read a lot of how-to books on writing and took a couple online classes geared toward mysteries. I also knew absolutely nothing about the publishing business. I joined Sisters in Crime and learned a lot from other authors. I’m a perfectionist so I find it hard to accept that I don’t have to be perfect when I write the first draft of a scene. I have to constantly remind myself of this even now.

Thanks for sharing your publishing challenges.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I’m a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. I served on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime for 6 years as Recording Secretary, Vice President/Programming Director and finally President. I recently finished a two year stint as We Love Libraries Coordinator for Sisters in Crime National.

Nice. As I said, I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and their online Guppies chapter. In addition, I’m also a librarian.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love reading, of course, both fiction and non-fiction. Like my main character, Rory, I enjoy decorative/tole painting, which I’ve been doing since the early 90s. I also enjoy learning about languages, particularly ancient ones. My focus for quite a few years has been on Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and Coptic.

Interesting hobbies and those that will help you with your writing, too.

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

I enjoy plotting stories and putting together a set of characters. It’s great fun to create my own little world. Deadlines are one of my least favorite things about being an author. I have a love/hate relationship with them. On one hand, they keep me writing on a consistent basis. On the other, I feel very stressed out every time I think about them. The other thing I find challenging is the promotion end of writing. While I enjoy meeting readers and going to conferences, promoting myself and my work doesn’t come naturally to me.

I have the same issues, and I think most writers don’t enjoy promoting themselves even though it’s necessary to sell their books.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

As a reader I’m drawn to cozies for a variety of reasons. I enjoy visiting the worlds and characters authors create. I feel like the characters are old friends. I also enjoy the puzzle aspect of cozies where the emphasis is on the problem and finding out whodunit rather than on blood and gore. They also always have a satisfying ending where the case is solved and the killer brought to justice, something that doesn’t always happen in the real world.

Those are the same things that I like about writing them. I like building a world and characters that I can revisit again and again. I like putting together a puzzle that readers will enjoy seeing solved, putting in twists and turns and red herrings. I also feel great satisfaction in figuring out a way for the killer to be revealed and caught.

As a writer and reader of cozies, I feel the same way.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest release?

This is from Chapter 1 of Ghosts of Painting Past:

The earthmover moved back and forth, tearing down the last remnants of a house on Seagull Lane, digging up all its secrets. Its engine rumbled, producing a deafening noise heard up and down the narrow street.

Rory Anderson turned up her radio, hoping the Christmas carols would drown out the noise enough she could work. Brushing her shoulder length brown hair behind her ears, she concentrated on her computer screen. Half an hour later, a frenzied shout followed by the cutting off of the machine’s engine brought a sudden silence down on her street.

Rory looked up from her programming task and leaned over her desk to peer out the window at the construction site directly across the street from her single-story stucco home.

Construction workers clustered around the earthmover, their attention divided between something in one of the worker’s hands and the ground in the far corner of the lot. Before long, the foreman pulled out his cell phone.

Rory’s gaze shifted to the street where residents went about their business, trying to ignore the intruders on their block. On the lot to the left of the construction site, a slender woman less than five feet tall stood on a ladder, hanging icicle lights on the eaves of the Tudor-style home.

Rory returned to her work, figuring the issue would be resolved soon just like all of the others the developer had encountered the previous week. When a police car arrived less than ten minutes later and two uniformed officers approached the construction crew, she abandoned her programming task, put on a hoodie over her long-sleeved T-shirt and headed outside to see what was going on.

Nice excerpt.

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

While Ghosts of Painting Past is the fifth book in the series, you don’t have to read the others to enjoy this one. I write all of my books so a reader can pick up any of them and get into the story without having to know what happened in the ones before it.

I try to do that with my Cobble Cove series as well.

Thanks for the interview, Sybil, and best wishes to you on your new release. I’ve included the details of your blog tour for the book below.

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson

About Ghosts of Painting Past

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115590
ISBN-13: 978-1635115598
Digital ASIN: B07XC3DXGN

It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

About Sybil Johnson

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

Website: www.authorsybiljohnson.com
Facebook Author page: www.facebook.com/sybiljohnsonauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sybiljohnson19
GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/SybilJohnson

Blog: : www.typem4murder.blogspot.com (This is a multi-author blog. I post every other Wednesday.)

 

Purchase Links – Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackKobo

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 19 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

November 21 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 22 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 23 – My Reading Journeys – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 24 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 25 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

November 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 27 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 28 – Thanksgiving

November 29 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

November 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

November 30 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

December 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Freebies and Special Offers

Free eBook, One Day Only, November 29, and a Sneak Peek of Two New Holiday Stories

If you had the chance to read A Stone’s Throw, the first book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, you came to know widowed librarian, Alicia, and followed her through the mystery that brought her to Cobble Cove and her meeting with John, the town’s newspaper publisher. In Between a Rock and a Hard Place, that takes place near the holidays in Cobble Cove, Alicia is faced with several new mysteries and one that is particularly close to home. This story can be read as a standalone or part of the 4-book series.

Get Your FREE book here (11/29 only): myBook.to/CobbleCove2

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

brhp-teaser-2Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

Check out the book trailer for this book:

 

Sneak Peek of Two Holiday Stories Releasing December 2:

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery

Another death has occurred in Cobble Cove near the holidays. This time, it’s the owner of the new pet store in town who was felled by a case of cat food that crushed his skull. Was it an accident, or murder? While the townspeople including the sheriff are divided in their opinions, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, sniff out the truth.

Murder Unwrapped

Richard Bright is a man with a plan. He’s an inventor who wants to kill his wife with one of his inventions. He hopes to put his plan into effect on Christmas, but his invention isn’t quite perfected. Dealing with his wife isn’t an option, nor her two rambunctious kittens, Harry and Hermione. What sweetens the pot is her large inheritance and a pretty young woman who is now working at his shop. Will Richard’s plan to have his special gift ready in time pan out, or will it fizzle with some of his other unfinished projects?

Thank you all for reading this post and my books and stories. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Posted in Cozy Mysteries

Book Review: Cozy Food Edited by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

This cookbook features recipes by 128 cozy mystery authors. The Table of Contents lists the recipes by category: Starters and Beverages, Pasta and Casseroles, Main Course Dishes, Veggies and Side Dishes, Desserts and Pies, etc. Each category section is illustrated with a cozy graphic. The recipes feature ingredients and instructions as well as the books and page numbers where the recipe was originally listed. An alphabetical list of author biographies is located at the back of the book along with websites and social media links of the contributing writers.

A perfect read for the holidays for those who enjoy cozy mysteries and cooking. This is a resource that can also be used all year to expand your recipe and mystery book collection. I found many interesting recipes that I’d like to try myself including  Maggie’s Lasagna, Shepherd’s Pie, Cashew Chicken, Sweet Potato Casserole, Make Ahead Caramel French “Toast,” Killer Quiche Lorraine, Nana’s Cream Puffs, Deep in the Black Forest Cupcakes, and Classic New York Cheesecake. I even found some recipes for my cats: Kitty Cat Tuna Crackers and Catnip Burgers.

This book is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

Cozy Food:
128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

About Cozy Food


Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes
Cozy Cookbook
Good Read Mysteries (May 15, 2014)
Number of Pages: 241 (167 of recipes, 70 of contributor bios and books)
ISBN-10: 0983589178
ISBN-13: 978-0983589174
Kindle ASIN: B00KGZSEQ6

What happens when 128 cozy mystery writers get together to do a cookbook? You get more than 220 recipes that are as varied and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job.

Regional recipes come from every part of the United States and England — a couple find their way from Australia and Italy, too — and from diverse times. There are recipes from people looking to keep gluten out of their lives, eat vegetarian, or make a treat or two for their furry four-legged friends. And yes, there are recipes that appeal to the sweet tooth, lots of them, in fact.

There’s no mystery about what happens when cozy writers get together. They bring the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in their books right along with their recipes.

The recipes are introduced by their authors and linked to the writer bios in the back of the book.
You can look up your favorite cozy writer and see which recipes are their favorites; they’ll tell you what the recipe means to them. Or you can enjoy a dish and then link to the recipe’s author’s biography and books.

Either way you enjoy the cookbook, you’re sure to find great new recipes to make and terrific new cozy authors to read.

Contributing Authors: Sparkle Abbey, Ellery Adams, (aka J. B. Stanley, Jennifer Stanley) Judy Alter, Marian Allen, Ritter Ames, Donna Andrews, Traci Andrighetti, Amy Beth Arkawy, Mignon F. Ballard, Sandra Balzo, JoAnn Bassett, Cynthia Baxter, (aka Cynthia Blair) Jenna Bennett, (aka Jennie Bentley) Sally Berneathy, (aka Sally Carleen, Sally Steward, Sara Garrett) Maggie Bishop, Cindy Blackburn, Juliet Blackwell, Susan Furlong Bollinger, Sheila Webster Boneham, Laura Bradford, Frances Brody, Duffy Brown, Joyce Ann Brown, Mollie Bryan, B.B. Cantwell, Laurie Cass, (aka Laura Alden) Nancy J. Cohen, Shelley Costa, Judith Cutler, Rebecca (aka R.P.) Dahlke, Kathi Daley, Kathleen Delaney, Diana Dempsey, Pamela Frost Dennis, Lesley A. Diehl, Leighann Dobbs, Vicki Doudera, Pamela DuMond, Carola Dunn, Jean Erhardt, Chloe Evans, Monica Ferris, (aka Margaret Frazer, Mary Monica Pulver, Mary Kuhfeld) Judy Fitzwater, Chris Forman, Kaye George, Sally Goldenbaum, Barbara Graham, Sarah Graves, Carolyn Haines, (aka R.B. Chesterton) Vinnie Hansen, Traci Hilton, Sibel Hodge, Valerie Horowitz, Mary Ellen Hughes, Linda Joffe Hull, Ellen Elizabeth Hunter, Dawn Greenfield Ireland, Melanie Jackson, Holly Jacobs, Miranda James, (aka Dean James) Nancy Lynn Jarvis, Heather Justesen, Pamela Kelley, E.E. Kennedy, Mary Kennedy, Josi S. Kilpack, Kelly Klepfer, (aka Michelle Griep, Ellie Marks) Barbara Lee Cool, Marilyn Levinson, Liz Lipperman, Gail Lukasik, Elaine Macko, Sylvia Massara, Sonja Massie, (aka G.A. McKevett) Edith Maxwell, (aka Tace Baker) Lorena McCourtney, Marja McGraw, Eileen Haavik McIntire, Staci McLaughlin, Catriona McPherson, Camille Minichino, (aka Margaret Grace, Ada Madison) Marie Moore, Ruth Moose, Amy Myers, Tamar Myers, Christa Nardi, Radine Trees Nehring, Kerri Nelson, Clare O’Donohue, Diana Orgain, Joyce Oroz, Elaine L. Orr, Helen Osterman, Gail Oust, K.B. Owen, Sharon Pape, Nancy J. Parra, (aka Nancy J. Coco) Allison Cesario Paton, Joanne Pence, Maggie Pill, Ann Purser, Melissa Bourbon Ramirez, (aka Melissa Bourbon) Nanci Rathbun, Rosalee Richland, Becky Lyn Rickman, Karen Robbins, Carolyn J. Rose, Pamela Rose, Cindy Sample, June Shaw, Connie Shelton, Clea Simon, Joanna Campbell Slan, Karen Rose Smith, Lane Stone, Maria Grazia Swan, Denise Swanson, Marcia Talley, Nancy Jill Thames, Sharon Burch Toner, Elaine Viets, Lea Wait, Wendy Lyn Watson, (aka Annie Knox) Christine Wenger, Gayle Wigglesworth, Lois Winston, Joan H. Young, Suzanne Young

About Editor Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Nancy Lynn Jarvis was a Santa Cruz, California, Realtor® for more than twenty years before she fell in love with writing and let her license lapse.

After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare/Santa Cruz at UCSC.

Nancy’s work history reflects her philosophy: people should try something radically different every few years, a philosophy she applies to her writing, as well. She has written seven Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries; a stand-alone novel “Mags and the AARP Gang” about a group of octogenarian bank robbers; edited “Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes” and a short story anthology, “Santa Cruz Weird;” and even done a little insider’s book, “The Truth About Hosting Airbnb” about her first year as a host.

Her newest venture is “The Glass House” is the first book in a planned series of PIP Inc. Mysteries. Now she’s trying to figure out when to work on another series she’d love to do called “Geezers with Tools” about two older handymen who will solve mysteries in the course of doing their work, and setting up writer retreats at her house.

Editor Links

Website – https://www.nancylynnjarvis.com/

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

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2918242.Nancy_Lynn_Jarvis

Purchase – Amazon – Kindle – Amazon Paperback

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Series, Spotlight

Spotlight for A Bad Hair Day Cookbook by Nancy J. Cohen

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook:
Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series
by Nancy J. Cohen

About the Book


A Bad Hair Day Cookbook: Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series
Cozy Cookbook
Orange Grove Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 324 pages
ISBN-10: 099979325X
ISBN-13: 978-0999793251
Digital ASIN: B07XSH6C7B

Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate. Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer.

Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Included in this cookbook are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family. Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes. Bonuses Include:

•Meet the Sleuth
•Introduction by Marla Vail
•Cooking Tips
•Excerpts from Series Titles
•Themed Menu Suggestions
•“A Sabbath Dinner” by Nancy’s Mother

For Home Cooks, Food Lovers, Mystery Fans and Cookbook Collectors

Recipes are listed in these categories:

APPETIZERS
BEVERAGES
BREADS
SAUCES
SOUPS
ENTREES – BEEF
ENTREES – LAMB
ENTREES – POULTRY
ENTREES – FISH
ENTREES – VEGETARIAN
SIDE DISHES
DESSERTS

“Reading through this cookbook has revived my interest in getting back in the kitchen.” Rhonda Gilliland, Author and Editor of the Cooked to Death Series

“Designed for busy cooks who may not be out solving crimes, but whose time is equally challenged.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Mysteries and cookbooks belong side by side on readers’ shelves. A Bad Hair Day Cookbook serves up both food and justice.” Christine A. Jackson, Ph.D., Author of Myth and Ritual in Women’s Detective Fiction

APPLE RUM CAKE

I like this recipe that uses an easy cake mix and prepared pie filling. When you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen, convenience matters. Whip this up to impress your dinner guests and serve with vanilla ice cream for extra pizzazz.

Ingredients

15.25 oz. box spice cake mix

21 oz. can apple pie filling

3 eggs

¾ cup light sour cream

¼ cup rum

2 Tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. almond extract

2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

⅔ cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. reduced fat milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 1 Tbsp. cake mix and 1½ cups of pie filling. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, rum, canola oil, almond extract, remaining cake mix and pie filling. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour half the batter into a greased fluted cake pan. In a separate small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, reserved 1 Tbsp. cake mix and pie filling. Spoon over batter. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 45 minutes.

Cool on rack. Invert cake onto plate. In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk. Dribble over cake as a glaze. Slice and serve.

About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy’s instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, was nominated for an Agatha Award and won a gold medal at the President’s Book Awards from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys cooking, fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

Author Links

Website: https://nancyjcohen.com

Blog: https://nancyjcohen.com/blog

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyjcohen

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen

Instagram: https://instagram.com/nancyjcohen

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/njcohen/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nancy-j-cohen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/nancyjcohen

Purchase Links – Amazon Kindle Amazon Print Apple Books Nook Kobo Books2Read BookBub Goodreads

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 20 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

November 20 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

November 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Ruff Drafts – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT

November 24 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

November 24 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT

November 25 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

November 25 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 26 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 27 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 27 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

November 27 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

November 28 – THANKSGIVING – OFF

November 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – REVIEW

November 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 30 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Book Blast for Fever Cabinet: A Professor Molly Mystery by Frankie Bow

The Fever Cabinet (Professor Molly Mysteries)
by Frankie Bow

About The Fever Cabinet


The Fever Cabinet (Professor Molly Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Hawaiian Heritage Press (August 20, 2019)
(November 20, 2019, all formats)
Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B07VFD3D26

An abandoned hospital, an antique contrivance, and a very modern murder . . .

All Professor Molly wanted to do was teach literature. Instead she’s just been named chair of her department at Mahina State University, and her department has been relocated to a run-down former asylum. She’s buried in paperwork and her dean has assigned her to mentor the department’s new “star”, the prickly Fiona Spencer.

Fiona Spencer had her own reasons for relocating from Oxford to join the faculty at remote Mahina State University. She is willing to put up with the broken air conditioning and constant construction noise in the College of Commerce building (formerly the Territorial Inebriates’ Asylum). She can even tolerate her annoying department head, Molly Barda. But when she finds a body in her office, clamped into an antique medical device, it’s all a bit much. Especially when she becomes a murder suspect.

Now Fiona and Molly have to work together to find a solution. And the answer won’t be found in the back of the textbook.

About Frankie Bow

Like Professor Molly, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Author Links

Twitter https://twitter.com/Frankie_Bow

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7809288.Frankie_Bow

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

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/frankie.bow.1

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankiebow/

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

Purchase Links – AmazonAppleB&NKobo

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BOOK BLAST PARTICIPANTS

November 20

I Read What You Write – REVIEW

StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 21

Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 22

The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

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Posted in local author event

St. Stephen’s Author Fair Featured 9 Awesome Authors

On Saturday, November 16, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Hicksville, New York hosted its third local Author Fair. This year, it featured keynote speaker and author, Roland Allnach, President of the Long Island Author’s Group, and eight other authors including myself. Roland spoke about the experience of being a local author and how the community can support them.

The authors spoke in three groups. Mystery authors, Debbie De Louise, James J. Cudney IV, and Catherine Maiorisi took turns at the podium sharing their writing and reading some excerpts from their books. After the three mystery authors spoke, there was time for a Q & A session with the audience and then a break where attendees could visit author tables, purchase books and raffle tickets, and help themselves to free refreshments.

The second set of authors included romance author, Nika Rhone; Young Adult author, Tracy Auerbach; and dark fiction author, Lisa Diaz Meyer. After these author’s spoke, there was another question and answer period along with a break.

The final two authors were non-fiction writers who both spoke on religious topics, Dr. John Krahn and Janet Rudolph. Dr. Krahn, also a pastor, had lectured many times at St. Stephens.

After the final questions from the audience and the last break, the authors posed for a group photo, and raffles were drawn for the books that the authors donated.

Posted in Authors, Books

Why Writers Shouldn’t Give Up

I’m participating in the Writing Contest: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer. The idea behind the contest is to write a blog post to inspire other authors to keep writing. In this crazy, competitive field, it’s very easy to become discouraged. Like other authors, I’ve gone through spells of depression and dissatisfaction with myself and my work. There were numerous times I was prepared to throw in the towel, chuck my writing, spend more time with my family and friends, and only write for myself if I felt the need. But this feeling passed when I reminded myself of how far I’ve come and the way I’ve touched readers’ lives by sharing my words with them.

I’ve been writing professionally for over thirty years. Because I’m an animal lover, and it’s always a good idea to write what you know or at least what you can research, I started by publishing articles in pet magazines. My first two articles about my cats enabled me to become a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association. A few years later, my first mystery story, “Stitches in Time,” appeared in the anthology, Cat Crimes Through Time.  In 2008, after my cat Floppy passed away, I self-published my first book, Cloudy Rainbow, a paranormal romance about a woman who participates in a virtual seance to save the man she loves. I featured Floppy as a character and the backstory included fictional details from my college days as an editor on the student newspaper at Long Island University/C. W. Post campus. I had no idea how to market the book, so I didn’t sell many copies, but I got a copy on the shelf at the library where I worked as a librarian.

I didn’t write again until 2015 because I thought I was too busy with work and family obligations. That was an excuse. I now realize that I stopped because I’d lost faith in myself and my ability to write because I hadn’t sold many copies of my first book. I came out of this funk when a patron at my library who’d read Cloudy Rainbow encouraged me to keep writing. She told me she believed I had talent and that I should follow my dream of being an author. I was hesitant to listen to her, but her words finally got through to me. I was inspired to write another book. This time, instead of self publishing the book, I began to look for a publisher. Having become involved in social media, I entered a Twitter competition called #Pit2Pub. It was through this competition that several small publishers contacted me and asked to read my complete manuscript. I ended up signing with one of them for A Stone’s Throwthe first book of what would become my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series that now totals four books.

Although I was thrilled to have landed a publisher, albeit a small one that focused on publishing eBooks, things didn’t turn out the way I’d envisioned them. I wasn’t paid an advance, and my royalties often totalled less than two digits. However, I’d met other authors, both those who wrote for my publisher and those who belonged to online Indie author groups, who showed me that they were in the same boat as I was. I no longer focused on making money but on reaching readers. It made my day when someone wrote a 5-star review for my book on Amazon or told me in person at the library that they loved the characters and the twist at the end of my book.

I was feeling better about myself and my writing until my publisher turned down the second book of my series. I was devastated. I thought my writing career was over before it really began. Then I saw an announcement for another #Pit2Pub competition. I figured that I had nothing to lose by entering, but I was worried that no one would want the second book of a series. As it turned out, I heard from a different publisher, Solstice Publishing, and signed a contract with them for Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceAlso, after getting my rights back from my first publisher, Solstice reprinted A Stone’s Throw with a new cover and updated edits. They also reprinted Cloudy Rainbow as a tenth-anniversary edition. I currently have six books and several stories published by them and have signed for two holiday eBook stories that will be published this December.

Last year, I found a second publisher, Creativia, now known as Next Chapter, through another author. I had an unpublished psychological mystery, Sea Scope, that I’d been shopping around to agents hoping to publish it with a larger publisher. I was attracted by Next Chapter because of its marketing approach, attractive covers, and the formats in which its booked were published. In May 2019, Sea Scope was published in paperback, eBook, and large type editions. The audio was released afterwards on Audible, and hardcover copies are scheduled soon.

Despite my success and experience with seven published books and three publishers, I still haven’t achieved my dream. I’m still seeking an agent and traditional publisher. I know that this dream is possible, but I also know that agents receive tons of queries. It’s hard to stand out in the current competitive book market, but that’s no reason to stop trying. I truly believe that whatever your writing dream is, you can achieve it as long as you don’t give up.

Posted in local author event

Come to the St. Stephen’s Fall Author Fair – Saturday, November 16, from 2 to 5 pm

On Saturday, November 16, I’ll be hosting the Fall Author Fair at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Hicksville on Long Island from 2 to 5 p.m. The President of the Long Island Authors Group, Roland Allnach, will be a speaker, and there will be eight authors of various genres signing books at tables. In addition, each author will talk about their writing, and there will be raffles for prizes. Admission is free, and raffle proceeds will be donated to Literacy Nassau and the church. It should be a fun day and a great opportunity to purchase some autographed books for yourself or as gifts for the upcoming holiday season. If you’re in the area, I hope you will drop by.

Here are some short bios of the authors:

Roland Allnach

Roland Allnach is a multi-award winning author of the strange and surreal. A lifetime Long Island resident, he has published numerous short stories, seven books, and is currently the president of Long Island Authors Group. He also developed the LIAG Traveling Bookstore to display the books of local authors at town fairs and has fostered an energetic expansion of the group. He has appeared on national and local television, Internet and terrestrial radio, and local libraries. His creative influences stem from classical literature, mythology, history, and his years of night shift hospital experience. For more, visit www.rolandallnach.com

Debbie De Louise

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, Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She’s the author of seven novels including the four books of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and her latest psychological mystery, Sea Scope. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and three cats.

Lisa Diaz Meyer

ALL ROADS HOME, ALL ROADS DESTINED and ALL ROADS SHATTERED are Long Island author, Lisa Diaz Meyer’s current works of multi-genre, dark fiction short stories, poems and plays. The author, poet, playwright uses several controversial topics and awarenesses in her collection of speculative fiction. She has received 5 Star Reviews for all three of her books from Readers Favorite and Literary Titan, including Literary Titan’s Gold Book Award for each as well as Independent Press’ Distinguished Favorite. For her book ALL ROADS DESTINED, she was nominated for a 2017 CIPA EVVY award and also received a New Apple Official Selection in Poetry 2017. ALL ROADS SHATTERED received the New Apple Literary Solo Medalist Award in Short Story Fiction She hails from Nassau County’s south shore.

James J. Cudney, IV

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I spend lots of time with family in Bethpage. By day, I work in technology. I began writing in 2016 and have two stand-alone family drama novels and a mystery series about Braxton Campus murders. I run a blog and read several books each week. Literature and chatting with fellow book lovers is my world.

Tracy Auerbach

Tracy Auerbach studied English and film in college, and education in graduate school. Some of her college poetry was published in the “Penn Review” (The University of Pennsylvania’s premier literary magazine). She went on to teach and write S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curriculum for the New York Department of Education. Tracy’s work is featured in the online literary journal “Micro-horror,” and “The Writing Disorder” fiction anthology. Her first novel, “The Human Cure,” was published in paperback in 2014. “The Sin Soldiers,” the first book in her YA Sci-fi “Fragments” trilogy, was released this summer from Parliament House Press. When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or playing with her own children. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons.

Nika Rhone

Nika Rhone spent her childhood wearing out library cards as she read her way through the extraordinary worlds far beyond her small hometown on Long Island, NY. By her teens, her imagination was taking her places all on its own, forcing her to learn how to type (badly) so she could get all the stories down on paper. After a long love affair with science fiction and fantasy, she finally discovered romance, fell head-over-heels, and now spends her days crafting happily-ever-afters for the characters who still tell their stories faster (and better) than she can type them.

Catherine Maiorisi

Catherine Maiorisi is the author of the NYPD Detective Chiara Corelli mystery series featuring Corelli and her reluctant partner, Detective P.J. Parker, two tough women who fight each other and the blue wall, while solving high profile murders. The first, A Matter of Blood, a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, was followed by The Blood Runs Cold. The third, A Message in Blood, is coming in 2020. Catherine has also published two romances, Matters of the Heart and No One But You. Her third romance, Ready for Love, will be published in the fall of 2019. Her three mysteries and four romance short stories are available in various anthologies.

Janet Rudolph

Janet Rudolph has written a trilogy of books on the shamanic lessons underpinning Biblical wisdom. This series of books grew out of her 25-year journey-quest to discover and experience shamanic teachings throughout the world. She has studied with many extra-ordinary shamans and has been initiated into two differing traditions. Rudolph combines practical knowledge with research capabilities to unveil secrets that have been hidden for millennia.

Dr. John H. Krahn

Dr. John H. Krahn is the best selling author of a dozen nonfiction books. He is also a sought after speaker and lecturer. His book, From Surviving to Thriving – A Practical Guide to Revitalize Your Church, has sold thousands of copies and has resulted in Dr. Krahn being asked to present workshops on the subject of church revitalization both nationally and internationally. He also is a frequent presenter at local libraries on the topic, “Living a Happier Life at Every Age.” He’s giving his latest book, Great Thoughts and Quotations for Speakers and Writers, away free. Stop by his table to obtain your free copy.

 

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post, holidays

Guest Post for Handmade Ho Ho Homicide: An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 8 by Lois Winston

A Communist Dog, a Russian Empress Cat, and a Shakespeare-quoting Parrot Walked into a Cozy Mystery

By Lois Winston

I write the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, a cozy series featuring a cast of rather unique characters, including Lucille Pollack, my sleuth’s communist mother-in-law and leader of the thirteen octogenarian Daughters of the October Revolution. However, along with the humans that populate the series, there are three non-humans, each with their own unique personalities.

Manifesto is the commie’s French bulldog, named for The Communist Manifesto, a political treatise written in 1848 by German philosophers Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels. Given Lucille’s political leanings, you’d expect her to own a Russian Wolfhound, wouldn’t you? Anastasia really doesn’t know why her mother-in-law chose a French bulldog. The two women converse only when absolutely necessary. However, Anastasia suspects size was the main factor. Russian Wolfhounds are quite large, and prior to moving in with Anastasia and her family, Lucille lived in an extremely small apartment.

You know how pets often take on the personalities of their owners? This is definitely the case with Manifesto. As such, Anastasia and her sons have given the dog a few nicknames, alternating between Mephisto and Devil Dog. Recently, though, Manifesto has begun to mellow and prefer the company of Anastasia’s sons to his mistress. Whether this is due to age or objecting to Lucille’s smothering is uncertain, but Anastasia and the boys see it as a welcome change in disposition. Too bad his mistress doesn’t take her cues from her dog.

Manifesto continues to have one nemesis, though. Catherine the Great is an overweight, pampered white Persian owned by Anastasia’s much-married mother Flora Sudberry Periwinkle Ramirez Scoffield Goldberg O’Keefe Tuttnauer.

Flora is the former social secretary of the Daughters of the American Revolution and claims to trace her lineage back to Russian nobility on her mother’s side. When she’s between husbands, she moves in with Anastasia. Due to the size of Anastasia’s home, Flora and Lucille are then forced to share a bedroom. The two women get along as well as their pets—which is to say they fight like cats and dogs.

African grey parrot, Psittacus erithacus erithacus, from the Congo region isolated on red.

The Casa Pollack menagerie is rounded out by Ralph, an African Grey Parrot with a penchant for quoting Shakespeare. Anastasia inherited Ralph from her great-aunt Penelope Periwinkle, a college professor and Shakespearean scholar who brought Ralph to all her lectures. Ralph doesn’t just quote the standard famous lines from the Bard of Avon, though. No “alas poor Yorick” or “friends, Romans, countrymen” for this bird. He has an uncanny knack for squawking situation-appropriate lines from any play or sonnet.

Because he’s potty-trained, Ralph has free rein of the house, much to the annoyance of both Lucille and Flora. Manifesto and Catherine the Great don’t think very highly of him, either, but Ralph could care less. He looks down his beak at any species that can’t converse in English. And much to Anastasia’s amusement, Ralph has developed a “bromance” with her boyfriend, photojournalist (and possible spy) Zachary Barnes.

Can you tell I write humorous cozy mysteries?

Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 8

Two and a half weeks ago magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack arrived home to find Ira Pollack, her half-brother-in-law, had blinged out her home with enough Christmas lights to rival Rockefeller Center. Now he’s crammed her small yard with enormous cavorting inflatable characters. She and photojournalist boyfriend and possible spy Zack Barnes pack up the unwanted lawn decorations to return to Ira. They arrive to find his yard the scene of an over-the-top Christmas extravaganza. His neighbors are not happy with the animatronics, laser light show, and blaring music creating traffic jams on their normally quiet street. One of them expresses his displeasure with his fists before running off.

In the excitement, the deflated lawn ornaments are never returned to Ira. The next morning Anastasia once again heads to his house before work to drop them off. When she arrives, she discovers Ira’s attacker dead in Santa’s sleigh. Ira becomes the prime suspect in the man’s murder and begs Anastasia to help clear his name. But Anastasia has promised her sons she’ll keep her nose out of police business. What’s a reluctant amateur sleuth to do?

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VG2QZXV/

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/handmade-ho-ho-homicide

Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/handmade-ho-ho-homicide-lois-winston/1132607263?ean=2940163093748

iTunes https://books.apple.com/us/book/handmade-ho-ho-homicide/id1473711082

Bio:

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Website: www.loiswinston.com

Newsletter sign-up: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z1z1u5

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anasleuth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/722763.Lois_Winston

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lois-winston

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

FREE Fantasy Story, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, in Memory of My Cat, Oliver

In memory of my sweet Oliver, who passed away two years ago on November 4, 2017 from a bout with Chronic Kidney disease, I’m offering my story, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, free from November 3 to November 5. I hope it gives some solace to others who have lost a beloved pet.

mybook.to/RainbowBridge

EXCERPT:

Old Tom the tabby was at the Gate. Next to him stood Shadow, a black shorthair who had been summoned while sun bathing on the Bridge. Shadow knew the reason Tom wanted to speak with him. It could mean only one thing. Another resident was arriving.

“Sorry to disturb you,” Old Tom said. “But I’ve had orders from above that another one of Kate Stewart’s cats will be joining us. This time, it’s Sam, her Siamese. He’s had a long life and much happiness with her, but it’s his time. Please alert Kate’s other cats about the new arrival.”

Shadow nodded his dark head. “I will be on it right away, sir. When is the welcome party scheduled?”

“Looks like tomorrow morning around 6 a.m. Remember, it takes time for the soul to reach us.”

“Who will be in charge of the party?” Shadow knew that, according to Bridge rules, the last cat admitted from a human’s family was the next in line to welcome the incoming resident. A year ago, when a car hit Shadow after he stupidly ran out the door when his human Ben came home from a doctor’s appointment, there had been no other cats in Ben’s family on the Bridge or at least none that Ben had forged the forever bond with, so Old Tom had welcomed Shadow. Now it was Shadow’s job to notify the last member of each incoming cat’s family until another first-timer was admitted.

Old Tom checked the register he held in his paws. Tom had been supervisor of the cat’s side of RB since he arrived 20 years ago because he was one of the unbonded, those pets who had either been ferals, strays, or housecats who had never developed the forever bond, that special connection of heart and soul that united animal and human eternally. In Tom’s case, he had been a stray in the alleys of New York City, living a surprisingly long life of ten years for an outdoor cat.

“Kate’s Floppy was admitted a few years ago,” Tom said. “I think he’s now residing on the north cloud over the rainbow. He’s a gray and white tuxedo fellow. Kate lost him from diabetic complications. It was one of our sadder cases. She administered insulin shots to him for many years and was at his side at the vet’s when the lethal injection was given. She’d had him since he was a kitten, and he misses her dearly but is glad that she found another cat to love while he waits for her on the Bridge.”

Shadow felt a tear wet his cheek fur. He was always choked up when he heard these touching tales. “Thanks, Tom. I will find Floppy and let him know. Although this is the first party he will host, he’s attended enough to know the procedure.” Floppy had already been on the Bridge for eight years, although up there they didn’t keep track of human time.