Posted in Cats

Review of Sammie’s Tail: My Story of Rescue by Stasie Fishman

*****5 stars

As a cat lover and author who features cats in my book, I also enjoy reading about them. Sammie’s Tail: My Story of Rescue, is a children’s book told from the point of view of a rescued cat with special needs. It’s heartwarming and beautifully illustrated. While aimed at children up to fourth grade, adults will also appreciate this story that teaches about pet rescue.

Sammie is a Bombay cat who has trouble seeing out of her left eye. She started hanging around the author’s house. After being fed outside and gradually getting to know Stasie, she eventually summoned up the courage to go inside. Despite trying to escape through a screen, she adjusted and made the place her home.

I love how Ms. Fishman used the word “Tail” in the title as an acronym for Tolerance for Animals Inspires Love. A forthcoming rescue story of her cat Bettinna is previewed at the back of the book along with photos of her fur family and information on reader extras found on the website SammiesTail.com.

Posted in Blog Tour

Memory Makers is on Blog Tour with an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

It’s my pleasure to announce that my new mystery release, Memory Makers, is on a month-long blog tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours. Please follow the tour to read spotlights, excerpts, and guest posts, as well as earn a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

Memory Makers

by Debbie De Louise

Genre: Mystery

Twenty-five years ago, Lauren Phelps and her sister Patty were kidnapped from their backyard on Long Island. Lauren escaped her captor, but Patty was killed.

Ever since, Lauren has suffered from nightmares of the “Shadow Man.” Trying to recall his face and avenge her sister’s murder, Lauren, now a kidnapping investigator, enrolls in a clinical trial for a new memory drug.

At the offices of Memory Makers in California, she receives the injections of the Memory Makers’ serum, and begins to experience flashbacks of repressed memories. Along with the flashbacks, she receives threats from an anonymous source that point back to her childhood trauma.

Soon, Lauren becomes involved with a fellow trial participant who seeks to recall his own traumatic past. But can Lauren discover the identity of the “Shadow Man” before history repeats itself?

Goodreads * Amazon

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her seven published novels include the 4 books of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks, her paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, her mystery thriller Reason to Die, and her latest psychological mystery, Sea Scope. She also published a romantic comedy novella featuring a jewel heist caper, When Jack Trumps Ac. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. She is currently querying agents to represent the first book of a new cozy mystery series. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and three cats.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

$10 Amazon gift card

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway and/or check the schedule for each blog.

Aug 21

kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

A Pinch of Bookdust

Aug 22

Inside the Insanity  – GUEST POST

Aug 23

This Is My Truth Now

A Wonderful World of Words   – GUEST POST

Aug 24

BooksWithMollyAhern

Rabid Readers Book Blog

Aug 25

All Things Dark & Dirty

Girl with Pen

Aug 26

The Writer’s Grab-Bag

Bayou Queen Book Fanatics

Aug 27

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

Sylv.net

Aug 28

eBook Addicts

nanasbookreviews

Aug 29

I’m Into Books

Daily Waffle

Aug 30

Readeropolis  – GUEST POST

Aug 31

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Bedazzled By Books

Sep 1

IndiePowerd by No Sweat Graphics

Craving Lovely Books

Sep 2

T’s Stuff

Insane Books

Sep 3

zolablue

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Sep 4

Literary Gold

The Book Dragon

Sep 7

Musings From An Addicted Reader

The Bookshelf Fairy

Sep 8

Scrupulous Dreams

Twisted Book Ramblings

Sep 9

Author Kim Knight

Our Town Book Reviews

Sep 10

Book Lovers 4Ever

Celticlady’s Reviews

Sep 11

Indie Author Book Reviews

Dragon’s Den

Sep 12

All the Ups and Downs   – GUEST POST

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Sep 13

Books, Authors, Blogs

Sep 14

Nina Soden #TheRedheadedAuthor  – GUEST POST

Books all things paranormal and romance

Sep 15

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

Sep 16

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Sep 17

The Pulp and Mystery Shelf   – GUEST POST

Pen Possessed  – GUEST POST

Sep 18

Authors & Readers Book Corner

Book Corner News and Reviews

Sep 19

Anna del C. Dye official page

Sep 20

Books A-Brewin’

Teatime and Books

Sep 21

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

Louy Castonguay

Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases, Spotlight

Spotlight for All Done With It: A Dreamwalker Mystery by Maggie Toussaint

All Done With It (A Dreamwalker Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint

About All Done With It


All Done With It (A Dreamwalker Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (August 11, 2020)
Number of Pages 211 pages

A Jane Doe jogger homicide near the swamp mystifies Dreamwalker Baxley Powell. The petite woman carried no ID, and no one recognizes her. Worse, a shadow passes from the body to a deputy, rendering him unconscious. The deputy and the corpse are dispatched to the hospital and morgue, respectively.

With summer heat and pending childbirth on her mind, Baxley’s dreamwalks into the spirit world fail to yield leads, frustrating Baxley and her deputy husband, Native American Sam Mayes. Days later, Jane Doe’s description matches a missing Mississippi woman. Turns out, her new husband is missing too. Jane’s sketchy brother-in-law and her aunt arrive, full of secrets. At Jane’s campsite, the team encounters a terrifying anomaly, nullifying Baxley’s senses. With such danger present, they must protect their unborn child. No more dreamwalks will occur until Baxley gives birth.

When her friend Bubba Paxton vanishes, Baxley sights him in a mirror, trapped between worlds with other souls.

Meanwhile, the shadow invades other hosts, demanding to see Baxley. Mayes and Baxley ignore the shadow as they rescue Bubba, untangle the Jane Doe case, and handle missing persons reports.
To free the trapped people, Baxley must outwit a powerful foe. Can she stop this super villain before he steals her soul?

In this 7th Dreamwalker Mystery, female sleuth and psychic crime consultant Baxley Powell works a homicide case that leads straight to an evil force in the spirit world. The stakes? Her soul, her unborn child, and humanity’s freedom.

About Maggie Toussaint

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes cozy and paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, and dystopian fiction, with twenty-plus fiction novels published. A three-time finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, she’s won three Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s past president of Mystery Writers of America-Southeast chapter and an officer of LowCountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows.

Author Links

Website – https://maggietoussaint.com/

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

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/MaggieToussaint

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/MaggieToussaint

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-toussaint

Purchase Links – Barnes and NobleKobo

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST

August 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

August 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 14 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

August 14 – Books to the Ceiling – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

August 16 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 17 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

August 18 – RUFF DRAFTS – SPOTLIGHT

August 18 – Reading Authors Network – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

August 20 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

August 20 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

August 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

August 21 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Interview with Tracy Gardner, Author of Behind the Frame: A Shepherd Sisters Cozy Mystery

It’s a pleasure to have Tracy Gardner from Howell, Michigan, here to chat about her writing and new release, Behind the Frame: A Shepherd Sister’s Mystery.

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

My first traditionally published novel released last year through Hallmark Publishing. OUT OF THE PICTURE: A SHEPHERD SISTERS MYSTERY was the first ever Hallmark Publishing cozy mystery novel. That has now become a Hallmark cozy mystery book series, with book two, BEHIND THE FRAME, releasing August 11th, 2020, and book three, STILL LIFE AND DEATH, releasing summer of 2021.

And just recently, I’ve signed with Crooked Lane Books to publish a new cozy mystery with series potential called RUBY RED HERRING: AN AVERY AYERS ANTIQUES MYSTERY.

Prior to receiving the Hallmark Publishing deal in 2019, I had published a women’s fiction novel, THE FALL OF OUR SECRETS, through a small e-publisher that has since gone out of business. That book is still available on Amazon as well; readers should note that it has more PG-13 / R rated content as opposed to my nicely G / PG rated cozy mysteries above.

That’s wonderful, Tracy. I also have a 4-book cozy mystery series, The Cobble Cove Mysteries, with Solstice Publishing, a small Indie publisher, and am looking to publish a new one with a larger traditional publisher if I get lucky with an agent. In the meantime, I’m happy publishing my series and standalone mysteries with Solstice and Next Chapter.

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.

In Hallmark’s Shepherd sisters series, Savanna Shepherd has just returned to her small Lake Michigan hometown of Carson after a broken engagement and lost job in Chicago. As an art authenticator, Savanna has a special talent for spotting clues hiding in plain sight. Savanna is thrilled to be reunited with her two sisters, and her family is happy to have her home. In OUT OF THE PICTURE, when it becomes clear that someone is trying to kill Savanna’s would-be grandmother, town matriarch Caroline Carson, Savanna races to uncover the truth and find the culprit with help from her sisters, Detective Nick Jordan, and intriguing town doctor, Aidan Gallager. By book two, BEHIND THE FRAME (8/11/2020), Detective Jordan realizes Savanna could be an asset when she discovers the body of a murdered councilman and has insight into possible suspects. Savanna once again becomes embroiled in a murder mystery in book three, STILL LIFE AND DEATH (summer 2021), when her beloved uncle is suddenly a suspect in the strange murder of the town florist.

Aside the mystery in each book, Savanna and her sisters share a wonderful friendship, and we see Savanna recover from her broken engagement and begin a slowly developing relationship with a Carson resident. The Shepherd sisters series encompasses high-stakes mysteries, Sunday family dinners, a gourmet dog treat and grooming salon in a town you’d love to live in.

In Crooked Lane Books’ RUBY RED HERRING, Avery Ayers now runs her parents’ antiques and artifacts appraisal business a year after her parents perished in a fiery car crash. But Avery’s life is turned upside down again when she receives a mysterious message from someone claiming to be her (deceased) father on the heels of being hired to investigate a potentially priceless ruby that could be the missing dragon eye in famed Emperor’s Twins Xiang Dynasty medallion. Avery and new friend Detective Art Smith are pulled into a mystery involving a possible faked death, a stolen ruby worth millions, and New York’s Museum of Antiquities. RUBY RED HERRING takes place in the upstate New York town of Lilac Grove and in Manhattan; Avery Ayers younger sister Tilly and eccentric force of nature Aunt Midge keep Avery centered as she delves into her parents’ past and how it is connected to the ruby under lock and key at the museum.

Both those series sound excellent. 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’d love to continue working with wonderful publishers and writing stories that matter to me and resonate with readers. I’m so extremely fortunate to be on this path, and I’m committed to doing the work necessary to continue.

Writing is definitely a labor of love. Best of luck to you meeting your goals.

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

I think anyone who is looking for characters they can relate to, sweet, slow-burn romance, mystery and intrigue, and/or normal, everyday life issues we all deal with will enjoy my books.

That’s a nice, wide audience.

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

Don’t stop.

If you’re completely worn out from the effort of trying to get your work out there, and it’s too heartbreaking or soul-crushing for you to go on, go ahead and try to quit. If you feel okay and at peace not writing, or writing solely for your eyes only, then you’ve made the right decision. But if you try to quit and find you can’t, then get back on your journey to publication and keep on going. Don’t stop.

Great advice. Even if I never land an agent or publish with a large publisher, I will continue to write and publish wherever I can because I truly love sharing my characters and plots with readers.

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

This question made me smile, coming right after the previous one, as the answer is in that advice. I became worn out and just mentally and emotionally crushed more than once. You can get into an unhealthy cycle of focusing so much on this one goal, that you lose perspective of what really matters. The last time I tried to quit, I’d reached the point where I realized I was siphoning away time, energy, and enjoyment from my family in pursuit of this thing I’d tried for over a decade to achieve, and for what? I told my agent (the one it took me years of querying to secure) to take me off her website because I was done. She nicely told me no, and to take some time and step away from writing for a while. I was able to strengthen my focus on the things that really matter to me—my kids, my husband, and how truly blessed I am in life for so many reasons. When my agent got back in touch and asked if I wanted to put together a proposal for Hallmark’s new publishing division, I said sure, why not? I think the difference then was that my expectations were gone. I can’t say the drive was absent, but I really had nothing to lose and zero expectations.

I’m sure there are a million different routes to becoming published. I wouldn’t recommend mine to anyone, but I’m so grateful I’m here.

What a great story. Thanks for sharing your experience. I know many writers who have gone through a similar period of despair, as I have, and questioned all the time and effort they’ve put into writing for very little reward. It’s good to know that a successful author such as yourself has gone through the same thing.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I don’t, but I should. Well, that’s not 100% true. The Hallmark authors have a little online group I’m part of, and they are some of the sweetest, most helpful and supportive people I’ve ever known. I do not belong to any organizations or formal groups, but I’m sure I would benefit if I did.

I also belong to my publisher’s Facebook groups and a writing group at the library which currently isn’t meeting. Other than those, I belong to  Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Cat Writers’ Association, and the Long Island Authors Group. I find certain groups are more helpful than others depending on your interests and type of writing you do.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I really enjoy spending time hanging out with my kids, who are now 18, 20 and 20 (son and two daughters, respectively). I learn so much from them; they are pretty cool people.

My husband and I have transitioned from a Harley to a Side-By-Side (SxS) ATV, different but still fun. I love, love, love live music, and that is one of the things I’m saddest about in our current pandemic: that I have no idea when my concert-wife and I will be able to see our favorite bands again. I also love reading, baking, and snuggling our pets.

My only daughter will be 16 in October, and I think she’s cool, too – lol. As for snuggling with pets, I absolutely adore our two-year-old cats and our 13 year old senior tabby.

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

Most: Those moments when the little plot points come together or the characters are talking and I suddenly stumble across the deeper meaning in what I’ve written. That’s seriously the best. That, and being able to write the stories of these random characters who pop into my head. If I couldn’t do that, I think I’d always be curious about them. I keep notes on characters I’ve “met” and haven’t yet had time to figure out their stories and write them.

Least: The tech-angst I experience when trying to do necessary things like create and link newsletters or construct book promo graphics or change formats of files or find the right platform to get something to run. My tech guy (my 18-year-old son) is leaving for college any minute and then I have no idea what I’ll do!

Toughest challenge: Beginning. Writing that first sentence in a new manuscript.

Most authors cite promoting and marketing as their toughest challenges, and they are definitely mine. You mention your struggles with technology to create your promotions. I enjoy learning how to use graphics, but I have difficulty locating photos I’ve saved and the time it takes to master everything. As far as beginning a new manuscript, I have no trouble with that. I’m now outlining my plots which also helps.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

Oh, good question! I have fun coming up with who I want to be the victim, and then all the reasons various other characters might have to kill that person. I enjoy being along for the ride as my main character follows the clues. I especially love writing the mini cliffhanger—those  Oh no! What happened?!  moments when you’re reading a book and you know you absolutely can’t put it down now, you’ve got to read another few pages. At least!

I also love all of that, but I enjoy switching up genres now and then, alternating my cozies with standalone mysteries of a darker nature.

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

Sure! Here’s a little from Behind the Frame:

Now Savanna saw what was wrong with the view. As she walked around the gazebo into Carson’s park, she stared up the twelve-foot-tall statue of Jessamina Carson on her pedestal. Jessamina wasn’t quite twelve feet tall any longer. Savanna gasped, covering her mouth in shock.

Jessamina Carson’s head was missing.

Savanna took an involuntary step back, away from the defaced, century-old statue, taking in the scene. What in the world? The head of the statue lay several yards away on the ground, scattered debris littering the grass between the base of the statue and the eerily severed concrete head. Across the base of the statue, from one side to the other, spanned large, red spray-painted words, NEVER CARSON.

Savanna whirled around at a sound behind her, hands up defensively—a reflex, considering what she’d just stumbled onto. Her friend Britt was walking toward her, his eyes wide and his short, white-blond hair making him look paler than Savanna felt.

“Savanna? What is this? What happened?”

She shook her head. “I have no idea.” She turned in a circle, searching the park for any sign of the person who’d done this. No one. The park was deserted.

Britt stood, hands on his hips, looking the statue up and down, gaze coming to rest on the ugly words. “Well, I’d say someone has a problem with your town.”

I liked that. Thanks for sharing it.

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

You’ve asked some great questions, I can’t think of anything else. But I do want to say how grateful I am knowing people are enjoying the stories! Thank you for reading!

I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, Tracy. I’m including your blog tour and giveaway below. Best wishes to you on your new release and forthcoming books.


Behind the Frame: A Shepherd Sisters Mystery
by Tracy Gardner

About Behind the Frame


Behind the Frame: A Shepherd Sisters Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing (August 11, 2020)
Paperback 360 Pages
ISBN-10: 1947892975
ISBN-13: 978-1947892972
Digital ASIN: B084FHKMTG

When art in the park
leads to murder in the dark,
the Shepherd sisters
have another crime to solve.

Savanna Shepherd, an art expert turned elementary art teacher, is planning the Art in the Park festival for her hometown of Carson. But apparently, someone isn’t happy that Carson got to host the event: the beloved statue in the park is destroyed. Not long after, Savanna finds the dead body of one of the people on the planning committee.

Savanna and her sisters are convinced that the arrested murder suspect didn’t do it, despite strong evidence to the contrary. With the help of Dr. Aidan Gallager, Savanna’s new romantic interest, they uncover hidden resentments and intrigue. Several people in Carson had a motive for the murder. Can they find out which one of them is behind the framing of an innocent person?

This intriguing mystery includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Mini Rhubarb Pies.

About Tracy Gardner

Tracy Gardner is a fiction author represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel. Tracy writes Hallmark Publishing’s Shepherd Sisters Mystery series, intriguing, engaging stories about Art Authenticator turned elementary art teacher Savanna Shepherd and her sisters solving murder mysteries in a small Lake Michigan town. A Detroit native, Tracy is the daughter of two teachers. She grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries and rock and roll. Tracy lives with her husband and best friend of thirty years and a menagerie of spoiled rescue dogs and cats, her front door constantly revolving with her two daughters and son back and forth from college. She is a strong believer in the power of baked goods, live music, family, and friends as staples to a happy life.

Author Links

Website: tracygardnerbeno.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tracy_Beno

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/tracy-gardner

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19478520.Tracy_Gardner

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

August 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

August 13 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 14 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

August 15 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

August 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST

August 16 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

August 17 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 18 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

August 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 18 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cat Writers' Association, Contest, events

MUSE-ing About My Award from the Cat Writers’ Association’s Communication Contest

On Saturday night, August 8, the Cat Writers’ Association hosted their 26th annual Awards Ceremony, but this year it was conducted virtually and live streamed through Zoom and Facebook. Despite some minor technical glitches, the event was well planned and professionally presented. Many people were involved in this effort and also the contest itself. CWA President, Deb Barnes, was the main person who made the event possible.

I am truly honored to have won a Muse Medallion, the most prestigious award the CWA sponsors, for my short story, “Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery.” Although I’ve won Certificates of Excellence in the past, this was my first Muse. If you’ve seen or read any of my interviews where I talk about how I got started publishing my work, I always mention CWA. It was the first writing organization I joined over twenty years ago and is the one I feel proudest to belong to.

Besides the awarding of the Muse Medallions in various categories of writing, videography, photography, social media, blogs, and more, the sponsors who supported the contest gave away special prizes that consisted of monetary awards and other items. Here are a list of all the talented winners and their entries: https://catwriters.com/wp_meow/contest/

And here is a link to the beautiful program brochure produced by Past-President, Marci Kladnik. Only the Certificate of Excellence winners are listed  because it was published prior to the event: https://catwriters.com/wp_meow/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-Banquet-Program.pdf

One other feature of the event included raising funds for Tabby’s Place, a cat sanctuary in New Jersey. Donations are still being accepted. Each donation will earn entry into raffles for prizes donated by sponsors. The raffles will be drawn on August 16.

Here’s a video about Tabby’s Place that was featured in the early part of the awards ceremony but got cut off from the Facebook feed:

For those who missed this great event, it can still be viewed here:

I look forward to next year’s awards ceremony that will, fingers and paws crossed, take place at a conference where all members can gather in person.
Posted in Conference

The Cat Writers’ Association Awards Ceremony Goes Virtual and Everyone is Invited

Last year, the Cat Writers’ Association celebrated its 25th Anniversary Conference in St. Louis. This year, due to the pandemic, this stellar event will be virtual. This is a great opportunity for non-members who produce cat-related material (stories, books, videos, poems, photography, art, etc.) to learn more about this great organization and for anyone else who might be curious about it. I’ve been a member for over twenty years. Joining this group has helped me grow as a writer, network with other authors and cat lovers, and make many new friends.

This year, I received three Certificates of Excellence in CWA’s annual communication’s contest. My winning entries included my short story, “Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery“; my pet character’s blog, Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog; and my Petsit.com article, “Keeping Your Indoor Pets Safe from Houshold Hazards.

During the Awards Ceremony, the winners of the Muse Medallion, the most coveted prize of the Cat Writers’ Association, will be announced. Those who received Certificates of Excellence are eligible to win in the categories in which they won the certificates. My cats are keeping their paws crossed that I will win a Muse this year.

CWA is also hosting a fundraiser for a great cause, Tabby’s Place Cat Sanctuary. All donations will be entered into a raffle for wonderful prizes. The winners will be drawn on August 16. More details can be found here. You can also view some videos of Tabby’s Place on my cat character’s Feature Friday blog post.

I hope you’ll be able to join me and the other members of the Cat Writers’ Association on Saturday, August 8, at 7 pm EST. The event will be live streamed on the CWA Facebook page and the Glammies to Jammies event page, as well as on Zoom. Don’t miss this pawsome event. Your kitties can even attend with you.

Posted in Authors, Interview, New Releases

Interview of Claire Fullerton, Author of Southern Fiction Novel, Little Tea

It’s a pleasure to have author Claire Fullerton from Malibu, California, here to talk about her new release, Little Tea.

How long have you been published, Claire?

Since the year 2013

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

I am traditionally published and have four novels and one novella out in the world. A Portal in Time was published by Vinspire Publishing in 2013; Dancing to an Irish Reel was published by Vinspire Publishing in 2015; Mourning Dove was published in 2018, by Firefly Southern Fiction, who also published my novella, Through an Autumn Window in the anthology, A Southern Season, the same year. Little Tea was released on May 1, 2020 by Firefly Southern Fiction.

Those sound like interesting books. Tell us a bit about them.

I write stand alone books best categorized as Upmarket Fiction, in that they bridge the gap between commercial and literary fiction. I pay attention to character and language, and love to write stories about the human predicament, which is best played out through relationships. My last two novels (Mourning Dove, and Little Tea) have the subject of family dynamic at the heart. I love to write about that which goes into impacting character.

Characters are important in all books, and it’s true that featuring them in context with their families, as you do, is a great way to develop them.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I plan to write as best as I can, as long as I can. My aim is always work with a compatible publisher for the genre in which I write, which is, in some way, open-ended.

Great plan. I also like to write different genres, but mostly mystery subgenres.

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

I love all readers. Seriously, I do. I think readers are intelligent creatures, and those who read tend to do it as a way of life. I am a storyteller who basically depicts what goes on in this business of life. I assume everyone relates to the vagaries of life and chance and cause and effect. Those that like reading stories with a strong sense of place and a lens on character are those I’d love to read my books.

As a librarian, author, and also a reader, I also appreciate people who read and those who write, as well. I’ve learned many things from other authors and found inspiration through their books.

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

I love this question because it is so important that authors compare notes. It’s most important to understand that you already are a writer! The aim is to see your work out in the world and in this day and age there are many options. I see the publishing business as two-fold. There is art for art’s sake, and then the business of publishing. Ask those you know who have books out in the world why they chose to go the route they did. Consider all options and decide how much time and work you’re willing to put into it. I am traditionally published because the thought of self-publishing is daunting, but I know many self-published authors who are enjoying wonderful careers.

That’s a great answer, Claire. It’s important for authors to find their own paths, and although there are so many choices to doing that today, that makes the decision a bit tougher. That’s why it’s so important to network with other authors and learn about the business side of publishing.

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

When I shopped my first novel, I didn’t have a body of work behind me that was very impressive, and so I had a lot of agent rejections. Luck and timing gave me the opportunity to write a weekly column for The Malibu Surfside News, in which I basically told first person stories! It helped me as a writer and gave me a good credential. All the while, I wrote essays and submitted them to magazines. By the time A Portal in Time was signed, I had a body of work behind me. The first shift in my career happened then.

It’s good to have publishing credits, even if they aren’t from novels. I started with articles and then had a short story published in an anthology. I’m still querying to agents, but I have two very good Indie publishers, have published 8 books, and am continuing to write articles, short stories, books, and blog posts.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I do not belong to a writing group. My joke is I’m a lone wolf in the wilds of California. I believe writing critiques are subjective, anyway. I think finding one’s voice and growing comfortable with it is key.

I don’t blame you about that. Some writers find them helpful. I’ve never belonged to a critique group myself, although I participate in a writing workshop at my library. If you don’t use a critique group, it can be useful to have beta readers.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m the proud dog-mother of 3 German shepherds and one expressive black cat. I love their personalities, and we have a great rapport. I am also a teacher of ballet barre and Pilates mat. And one of my main loves is music, as I was a radio DJ for nine years and grew up in the musical haven of Memphis.

How interesting about your music and ballet background. I also have a black cat and two others. I had a German shepherd when I lived at home with my parents and also poodles.

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

I won’t say I don’t like it, but promoting a book once it’s out in the world is a full-time job! I’ve learned a lot through the years, and always encourage new authors to gain an understanding of the promotional sphere before they have a book out. What I like is helping authors.

I might give you a call – lol. Actually, I find promoting the toughest part of being an author because of the amount of time it takes away from writing which is even more difficult for those, like me, who have full-time jobs.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?

From Little Tea:

The light was always dim in the entrance hall, irrespective of the time of day. The carved crown molding on its high ceiling matched the dark walnut wood of the floor and door casings, which glowed in polished rosettes above the opening to the formal dining room on the right and the ample living room on the left, with the green-tiled solarium behind it. The entrance hall had a central catacomb feel and was always the coolest area of the house. In its cavernous elegance, footsteps were amplified on the maple floors during the months of June through September, then fell to a muted padding when Mom had Thelonious haul the crimson-and-navy runner from the attic and place it beneath the foyer’s round, centered table. At the end of the hall, behind the stairs, was my father’s den and attendant screened porch, but rarely did I visit the interior. My father was a private man, reclusive and solitary by nature, and whether he was in the library or not, the door was always shut. I had to skirt the gladiola arrangement on the entrance hall table. The floral design reached wide with flourishing arms toward the French credenzas against both sides of the walls. My reflection flashed in the ormolu mirror as I ran toward the stairs to find my mother. My hair crowned me with the color of night’s crescendo, dashing so dark it almost looked purple. I am 100 percent Wakefield in all that distinguishes the lineage, from the dark eyes and hair to the contrasting fair skin. There has never been a Wakefield to escape the familial nose; it is severe in impression, unambiguous in projection, straight as a line, and slightly flared. John and I are mirror images of each other, the yin and yang of the Wakefield, English bloodline. But Hayward was born golden, just like our mother, who comes from the Scottish Montgomerys, whose birthplace is Ayrshire. John and I possess an unfortunate atavistic Wakefield trait, though on me the black shadow is a ready silence, but on him it plays out as something sinister. John and I are individual variations of our father’s dark countenance, which is to say in our own way we are loners. People slightly removed. But Hayward got lucky, in possessing our mother’s shining essence. I could always see an internal light in their green eyes that set off their amber-colored hair.

I put my hand on the thick banister and climbed the stairs to the first landing, where my parents’ bedroom and living quarters unfurled like wings. The bay window overlooking the garden had its draperies drawn against the searing, silver sun. Walking into the sitting room at the right, I called for my mother, thinking she may be in the adjoining master bedroom. “I’m upstairs,” her voice descended. “Celia, come up. I want to see you.”

I mounted the stairs to the third-floor landing and found my mother perched lightly on the sofa in the alcove that served as a central area for the other four bedrooms. Behind her, sunlight filtered through the organza window treatments, highlighting the red in her hair. Her slender hands held a three-ringed binder of fabric swatches, the swatch on top a cool, blue toile. She patted the seat beside her and I settled softly. My mother was cultivated, circumspect, and radiated a porcelain femininity. Always, in my mother’s presence, I gentled myself to her calm self-possession. In my heart of hearts, it was my hope that the apple didn’t fall far from the proverbial tree.

“Tell me,” she said, “what do you think of this fabric for your draperies? We could paint the walls a light robin’s egg and put white on the molding. I think it’d be divine.” She looked around the room as if seeing it for the first time. “It’s time we got rid of the wallpaper in there. You’re growing up.” She laid her ivory hand on my cheek. “You’ll want this eventually. I think now’s a good time.”

I knew enough of my mother’s ways to know she was engaged in preamble. She was practiced at the art of delivery by discreet maneuver, and I suspected her impulse to transform my room had hidden meaning. “Why is now a good time?”

My mother looked in my eyes and spoke softly. “Celia, I’m telling you before I tell Hayward because I don’t want this to come from him. Your father’s going to be taking a job in Memphis, so we’ll be moving.”

“We’re moving to Memphis?” I gasped.

Yes, honey. You’ll be starting school at Immaculate Conception in September,” she answered. “You know the school; its attendant to the big cathedral on Central Avenue.”

“But that’s a Catholic school, Mom. I thought we were Episcopalian.”

“We are, honey, but it’s highly rated academically. Your father and I think being exposed to a different religion will broaden your mind and give you beautiful advantages. We can come back here any weekend we want, and you’ll have a brand-new room when we do. You’ll have the best of both worlds, you’ll see. You’ll make new friends in Memphis, and Little Tea will still be here. It won’t be a drastic change at all. Try to think of it as an addition. There now, sweetie, don’t make that face. It isn’t the end of the world.”

But it was for me; Memphis intimidated me. Memphis was the big city compared to Como, and I found it cacophonous and unpredictable in its patchwork design. There was a disjointed, disharmonious feel to the city, what with its delineated racial relations. Parts of town were autocratic in their mainstay of Caucasian imperiousness and there were dilapidated, unlucky parts of town considered dangerous, which a white person never chanced. This much I’d learned on my visits to my grandparents’ house near the lake in Central Gardens. Blacks and whites never comingled in Memphis, even though they did coexist. But there was an impenetrable wall that separated the races, and I’d been raised in a footloose environment where it didn’t matter so much.

I took my teary eyes and sinking stomach to my bedroom so my mother wouldn’t see me cry. Through the window over the driveway, I watched as Hayward and Little Tea threw a stick for Rufus. I hadn’t the heart to run tell them our lives were about to end.

That was excellent. Best wishes with your new release. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway. Thanks for joining us on Ruff Drafts.

Little Tea
by Claire Fullerton

About Little Tea


Little Tea
Southern Fiction
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction (April 28, 2020)
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-10: 1645262596
ISBN-13: 978-1645262596
Digital ASIN: B0817J667Y

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.

About Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers’ Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire’s first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.) Little Tea is Claire’s 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and on the short list of the Chanticleer Review’s Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary.

Author Links

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

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/cfullerton3

Website – https//www.clairefullerton.com

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/cffullerton

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 3 – Literary Gold – GUEST POST

August 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

August 5 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 5 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 5 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 6 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTEVIEW

August 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

August 7 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 8 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – GUEST POST

August 8 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 9 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Author News: New Release and TV Appearance

I’m proud to announce the release of my new Cobble Cove cozy mystery story, “Sneaky’s Summer Mystery” available on Amazon for only $1.99 and free on Kindle Unlimited.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/SneakySummer

Cobble Cove is in the midst of an August heatwave. It’s the worst time for the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove library to break down. Alicia has no choice but to close the library and bring Sneaky, the library cat, home with her. After scheduling the air conditioner service with Rudy Gibbs, a technician from Hapnabber’s Repair Shop, she is surprised to learn that John knew Rudy when they were teenagers. When Rudy turns up dead after working on the AC at the library and Alicia learns of it during a barbecue she and John host with Gilly and Ramsay, Sneaky and Kittykai must once again protect their favorite ladies when they conduct their own investigation into the murder.

EXCERPT

In this scene, after Sheriff Ramsay is notified at a barbecue that Rudy Gibbs, the repairman hired to fix the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove Library is missing, Sneaky and Kittykai follow him and Alicia to the library where the man was last seen.

Sneaky swallowed a few leftovers that Alicia had tossed him and then said, “Did you hear that, Kit? There’s a missing repairman. We might be able to work on another mystery together.”

Kittykai’s green eyes widened. “That’ll be fun. Shall we follow them?”

Sneaky, who’d lived his whole life inside, unlike Kittykai who Gilly found on a beach in Hawaii during her honeymoon, had only ventured out alone once before when he was investigating alone, and someone left the library window open. “How do you propose we do that, Kit? Alicia is very careful when opening the door.”

“Follow me.”

Sneaky bounded after the calico toward the front door. The sheriff was holding it open for Alicia. Just as he walked through, Kittykai slipped by. She looked back at Sneaky briefly to make sure he was behind her. Outside, they hid in the bush as Alicia got in the sheriff’s car.

“Phew!” Sneaky exclaimed, “You sure are quick, Kittykai.”

“There’s one problem. How do we get to the library? We can’t very well “tail” them,” Kittykai said watching Alicia drive off with the sheriff.

“That won’t be necessary. I know the way to the library and if I get confused, I still have my sniffer to assist.” Sneaky enjoyed showing off for his girlfriend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 Writers’ 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 mysteries Reason to Die and Sea Scope. Her latest book, Memory Makers, is a medical thriller. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and three cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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

All Author: https://allauthor.com/author/debbiedelouise/

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

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiedelouise/

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

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

Debbie’s Character’s Chat Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

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

Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog: https://Sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

If you didn’t catch my TV appearance on Between the Covers, you can view it here:

Posted in Blog Tour, Interview, Paranormal

Author Interview of Clarissa Kae, Author of Once and Future Wife

Welcome to Ruff Drafts, Clarissa. How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

Once And Future Wife is my debut novel (after working as an editor for roughly a decade). In full disclose, I am on the board for Carpe Vitam Press but am in talks with another publisher for a three book deal.

That sounds exciting. Best of luck with that.

Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, 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. 

Once And Future Wife is a time slip novel, not necessarily time travel as one character is immortal and the other is reincarnated. There’s dual timelines which was such a blast to write! I have an upcoming release for Pieces To Mend, a contemporary paranormal romance (again, dual timelines of past and present). It’ll be out for the world to see in October.

What interesting concepts. Even though I mostly write mysteries and a cozy mystery series, I have written a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, also my very first book. I also enjoy writing dual timelines when they work in a novel such as they did in Sea Scope and also Cloudy Rainbow.

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?

While working as an editor, I’d never fully given up writing. Because of that, I have quite a few books in the pipeline and hope to get those polished and ready to roll. I am a big believer that authors are/should be agents for change. Every story has potential to give a slightly different perspective, creating space for empathy. Every character in every story is a bit different just as every person we meet in life. My goal—more than anything—would be to help those around us to be a little kinder to our neighbors and shed a softer light on mental illness, racial inequality…whatever that particular character is helping us with.

I really like that attitude, Clarissa. I also have a large stockpile of writing and hope to publish all of it one day. I also want my books and characters to touch my readers.

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

Fans of Susanna Kearsley and Amy Harmon (those are the authors I’ve been compared to) would enjoy my stories. A whisper of paranormal with historical or meatier topics.

Nice. You should attract a good audience with those themes.

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

Do not compare your journey to anyone else. And be flexible. This industry changes on a dime, so learn to dance.

I agree. You have to be happy with what you write in order to sell it and not be influenced too much by current trends.

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

For me, knowing if my writing was polished enough. I worked as an editor and held myself to a higher standard (and would become super frustrated when the idea in my head wasn’t matching the words on paper).

I can understand that.

Can you please list a brief excerpt from your book?

As a kid, Mom had taken me to several daytime practices of local plays. One by one the orchestra would tune each instrument. The cacophony was as soothing then as it was now. An image pulled at my heart. Mom was running her hands along the tops of the seats. Even with Garuda’s help, she wouldn’t be entering a theatre anytime soon. Until Stephen had accused her of coercing critics, I’d thought Mom secretly resented me for killing her career. But the nurse painted a different story. Right here, alone with my thoughts, there was a bit of relief and I wasn’t sure why.

The lights dimmed, and I shrugged out of my coat. Before I could save the seat next to me a couple took the last of the empty chairs. Earlier, Ty had come up with a plan. Whoever saw Denton first was to monopolize his time until the other could join. Between the two of us, we would find Denton and ask about my mother. My stomach twisted, no longer sure if we should be convincing Denton. I couldn’t admit it to Ty yet. He hadn’t seen my mother. To be fair, I didn’t fully understand what I was feeling or what had transpired at the hospital. The only thing I knew for certain was my mother was dying.

Without a master of ceremonies, the curtain rose, revealing two empty seats on the stage. A raven-haired man in jeans walked in, holding a small banjo, immediately followed by a blonde man in a tuxedo carrying a violin. The banjo player plucked a few notes and walked toward his seat. Just as he was about to sit, the violinist ran the bow across his instrument and mimicked the same notes. The banjo player nearly missed his seat, much to the delight of the audience. Like a soothing breeze, joy caressed each audience member, gaining strength row by row.

The banjo player began again, this time with a longer rendition.

With a toss of his hair, the violinist smiled. My heart leapt.

“Rhys,” I whispered. A spark lit inside me. Leaning in, I felt the fire spread.

Rhys matched the banjo player note for note. Four more times, they bantered back and forth. Rhys deftly stroked the violin into the cheerful fiddle song of cowboys. The banjo joined in mid-measure, and the audience clapped along. Faster and faster they dueled, each man furiously and happily dancing along with his instrument until they collapsed simultaneously with dramatic flair into their respective chairs to grateful applause.

While the men retreated to the shadows, a young girl in a white satin dress waltzed and spun to a silent dance in the center of the stage. With the help of a hidden orchestra, she sang O Holy Night in a polished, unexpectedly mature voice. She was followed by a blind woman, her cane thin and covered in twinkling crystals. She played a piano medley of David Lanz, Bach, and George Winston. The confidence she carried, the accuracy of her fingers. The audience—including me, watched in wonder.

Rhys entered the stage once more. He had visited me in my dreams, this fair boy named Rhys. The thought of his soft, golden hair and sky-blue eyes warmed my cheeks. Soft hair? I’d never touched it, but I knew it was smooth, fine. His laugh was airy and easily provoked—I had never heard him laugh. Nor had I ever touched him.

A small orchestra composed of several elementary-aged children appeared behind Rhys. With respectful silence, he began to play Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in the appropriate D Minor.

My hands wrestled in my lap, tangling the silky folds of my dress. I had loved this song when my mother played it. She’d close her eyes and sway with the music. Even as a child, the emotions and the story resonated with me. It was a four-part tribute to Johann S. Bach’s first wife and her death. Rhys played the low hum to the youngsters’ accompaniment.

The loss of Bach’s wife was tangible, held in every note, the pain etched in Rhys’ face. I felt the unbreakable pull, the moth to the light, the lion to its prey, as I watched.

The mood of the music seemed to flow through his body, consuming him. Genuine.

I glanced around. Every man and woman sat frozen. They appeared engrossed in their own painful memory of loss.

I rose from my seat and kept to the shadows, inching along the balcony, closer to the side for the stage below. No one should feel this strongly about a stranger—at least no sane person. Unable to maintain my composure, I wrapped my arms around my waist and fled the auditorium.

With a hand on the rail, I ran down the stairs gripping the skirt of my dress. Someone called my name. Refusing to answer, I turned to another round of stairs, hoping it led to a back entrance. The light dimmed as I descended into the belly of the theatre. There was a feeling of comfort in the stairwell, urging me to keep going. My phone vibrated, pulling me back to my senses. With the back of my hand, I wiped my wet cheek. Only an idiot would cry like this.

That pulls you right in. Thanks for sharing.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Love this question! I love to ride horses (we own four) and I love to run. I competed as an equestrian in college and have never stopped loving horses.

My daughter went through a horse riding phase, but I’ve never tried it. I have started some jogging, but I need to watch my knees. It’s great that you have your own horses.

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

Honestly, balancing life is the biggest challenged. I love to give 110% in all that I do and that’s just not feasible. I have three kids and my husband has a very demanding job (he’s on call 24/7) in the medical community. What I love most is creating life and characters. Nothing is greater than breathing life into something—a home, a garden or a book.

I feel the same way. So much to write, so little time.

Thank you so much. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below. Best wishes on your new release. It sounds great.

Immortal men like Rhys Glyndwr belong to forgotten fables—along with his reincarnating wife—but instead, they haunt the mind of a modern scientist, Isla Belle Thorne. Like an old blanket, visions of the healer servant and his wife, the daughter of a duke, have comforted Isla Belle, the only constant in her unstable childhood.
When her mother is hospitalized for a mental breakdown, Isla Belle fears for her own health and keeps the visions a secret. As Isla Belle starts her new job at a renowned medical organization, she comes face to face with Rhys—the same man from her visions.
She’s told an impossible tale of a love that death cannot kill. Surrounded by science but faced with an implausible legend, Isla Belle must decide what to believe and what to leave behind.

 

 

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.
Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.
Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.
She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

 

 

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Posted in Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal for Sneaky’s Summer Mystery my New Cobble Cove Story

I’m proud to present the cover for Sneaky’s Summer Mystery, another Cobble Cove story coming soon.

Cobble Cove is in the midst of an August heatwave. It’s the worst time for the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove library to break down. Alicia has no choice but to close the library and bring Sneaky, the library cat, home with her. After scheduling the air conditioner service with Rudy Gibbs, a technician from Hapnabber’s Repair Shop, she is surprised to learn that John knew Rudy when they were teenagers. When Rudy turns up dead after working on the AC at the library and Alicia learns of it during a barbecue she and John host with Gilly and Ramsay, Sneaky and Kittykai must once again protect their favorite ladies when they conduct their own investigation into the murder.

 

Check out Sneaky’s previous, short story, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery, that won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association.

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery: A Cobble Cove Story (mybook.to/sneakyxmas)

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

Also don’t miss the Cobble Cove series.