WITH A SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
By Lena Gregory
About With A Spirit of Vengeance
With A Spirit of Vengeance (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Bay Island (Just off Long Island, New York)
Beyond the Page Publishing (June 28, 2022)
Paperback Print Length : 249 pages
ISBN-10 : 1958384046
ISBN-13 : 978-1958384046
Digital ASIN : B0B3GG5P68
Psychic Cass Donovan must uncover the truth about long-buried secrets and recent murders to bring peace to a troubled spirit and bring justice to a flesh-and-blood killer . . .
When the spirit of Ophelia Wilson turned to clairvoyant Cass Donovan for help, Cass was able to prove Ophelia’s innocence in the century-old murders of her family members—and solve a contemporary murder in the process. But Ophelia’s spirit has returned, this time angrily demanding that Cass expose the identity of whoever did kill her family. And then eerily, two descendants from the Wilson family tree are murdered, suggesting that Ophelia has the power to meddle in modern-day events to satisfy her rage.
As Cass struggles to solve the two recent murders and unravel the sparse clues about murders from a hundred years ago, she and those around her begin to suffer Ophelia’s wrath—including an attempt on the life of one of Cass’s closest friends. Relying on all of her own psychic powers, Cass has to confront the spirit’s hunger for vengeance and track down a merciless killer before she becomes the next victim of both . . .
It’s a pleasure to have Lena Gregory here from Clermont, Florida.
Welcome, Lena. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
I have been published for about eleven years. My Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which are published with Berkely and Beyond the Page Publishing, include Death at First Sight, Occult and Battery, Clairvoyant and Present Danger, Spirited Away, Grave Consequences, A Spirit Seeks Asylum, and With a Spirit of Vengeance. My All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, published with Lyrical Press, include Scone Cold Killer, Murder Made to Order, Cold Brew Killing, Whole Latte Murder, A Waffle Lot of Murder, and Mistletoe Cake Murder.
I am also writing two new series. No Small Murder, Mini-Meadows Mystery #1 is due to release in August, and my Coffee and Cream Café series is due out next year. I did give self-publishing a try, a short story called Ghost, which is still available, but I’m not sure I’d do so again. I’m pretty technologically challenged, and self-publishing is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I may give it another try when I have time to learn more about it.
Your books sound great. Tell us a little bit about your series and any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
My first series, Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, is about Cass Donovan, a former psychiatrist who returns to her hometown to open a psychic shop on the Boardwalk. The newest Bay Island Psychic Mystery, With a Spirit of Vengeance, is due to release on June 27, 2022.
In my second series, All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, Gia Morelli leaves New York City, where she was born and raised, to open a small café on the outskirts of the Ocala National Forest in rural Florida. Books 7-9 have been contracted, with book 7 due to release in the fall.
My Mini-Meadows Mystery series, the first of which, No Small Murder, is due to release on August 22, 2022, takes place in a community of tiny homes in Florida and is about Emma Wells, a downsize specialist who leaves behind her Daddy’s mansion for life in a tiny home made from two shipping containers. My Coffee and Cream Café Mystery series takes place on Eastern Long Island in a small town amid the famed Hamptons. The first book, Murder A La Mode, is due to release next year.
You are certainly busy. Congratulations on your new and upcoming releases.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My current goal is to somehow get through writing the thirteen or so books I have contracted over the next two years. I enjoy writing cozies, and I’m hoping to continue with all four of my current series’ as well as adding one more which I’ve begun plotting. I also write an inspirational romantic suspense series under a pen name, which I’d like to continue. In addition to that, in another pen name, I have a YA fantasy trilogy reprint due to release next year and a MG fantasy due to release in July of 2023 and a picture book as well. So, all of my writing is pretty much planned out through 2024, and then I’ll have to reassess and decide what to do next.
Impressive. What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I think people who enjoy fun cozies set in small towns with an emphasis on the importance of friendships and a hint of romance will enjoy my books most.
I think you have the same readers as I do, although it seems I have more pets in my cozies. Cats, in particular.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
“Never give up!” It’s definitely not an easy road, and there is plenty of rejection along the way, but achieving your dream is so worth it.
Excellent advice. What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
The biggest challenge I faced when I began writing was the technology. I am completely technologically challenged. I wrote half of my first book, a 90,000 word fantasy, in a looseleaf notebook before my husband bought me a computer with Microsoft Word, which my best friend taught me how to use. I had no idea how to use email, Word, track changes. I didn’t have any clue how to find a publisher, didn’t even know I needed an agent. But I was determined, and little by little, I figured it all out.
You should give yourself a lot of credit for that. I still have manuscripts written in notebooks, but they were done before computers.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
I am a member of Sisters in Crime and Faith, Hope & Love Christian Writers.
I’m also a Sisters-in-Crime member, but I haven’t heard of your other group. I guess it’s a good one for those who write Christian fiction.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I love walking, especially with my kids. Since moving to Florida, we’ve hiked all kinds of trails and I’ve enjoyed taking hundreds of pictures of scenery and wildlife.
Sounds lovely. I also enjoy walking. I’ve cut back a little due to my knee issues, but now that I’m feeling a little better, I hope to get back to it.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I enjoy everything about being an author. I think the thing I enjoy most, though, is celebrating my releases with facebook parties. I love getting to know my readers and other authors and have made some great friends that way. My least favorite part is writing the first rough draft. I definitely struggle with that. My toughest challenge is finding the discipline to sit down and write every day, especially since I began homeschooling my son.
I love Facebook parties, too. I meet so many readers that way. Unfortunately, I can’t attend or host too many. I have one coming up on July 22 for the Cozy Mystery Party Group. I’m looking forward to that.
I don’t have too much trouble with the first draft. It’s the editing and revising that I find challenging. Finding the time to write is also tough, as I work full-time as a librarian.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I really enjoy the recurring characters. Each time I sit down to write, it’s like visiting with old friends. It’s also one of the things I enjoy most about reading cozies.
I agree. The characters certainly become like friends to you and, hopefully, to the readers, as well.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?
With the vision still burned into her memory, a blast of frigid air rushed through her, and she shivered as she let Bee pull her to her feet. “I’m sorry, Bee.”
“It’s fine, Cass. I’m not hurt. But are you all right? What happened?”
Since she wasn’t sure of the answer, she ignored the question and turned to Thea instead.
The young girl simply stared at her through wisps of brown hair that hung limp over her weary brown eyes. “Is something wrong?”
“I don’t know.” Cass smoothed her long T-shirt over her leggings, then took a deep shaky breath and looked Thea straight in the eye. She had to know if the girl was lying. It was imperative she determine the truth, right here and now. “You’re not planning to commit multiple homicides, are you?”
Thea simply lifted a brow and studied her. “It’s not currently on my to-do list. Why?”
Cass shook her head. She needed a moment to think, to clear the vision from her mind, to focus on something else. Anything else. “Okay.”
“Okay?” Bee tilted his head, looked into her eyes, searching for something. “That’s it?”
“What do you want me to say?” She regretted snapping at him even as the words left her mouth, but how could she tell them, tell Thea, what she’d just seen?
“Seriously, Cass?” He propped his hands on his hips. “You walked into your shop, gasped for air and basically plowed me over trying to flee, then asked your only employee, a skinny little slip of a thing who’s yet to see her twenty-fifth birthday, if she’s planning a mass murder, and all you can say is ‘okay’?”
“I don’t know what you want from me.” Though she was pretty sure an explanation topped the list—an explanation she wasn’t quite ready to give, maybe one she didn’t even want to contemplate herself.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe a little less Debbie Downer and a little more ‘yippee-kai-ay I didn’t hire a killer’ for starters.”
“Yeah, well, you’re not going to be doing the happy dance either.”
“Oh?” He leaned against the wall, folded his arms across his chest. “And why’s that?”
“Because, despite everything we just discussed on our way here, it looks like we’re going to have to solve the mystery of who killed Ophelia Wilson’s brother and parents after all.”
Very nice. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
I enjoy getting to know my readers and can often be found on facebook if you’d like to say hello 😊
Great! Thanks for the interview, and best wishes on your new release and blog tour. I’m including your social media links and blog tour info along with your giveaway below.
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About Lena Gregory
Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full-time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts
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