Posted in Cover Reveal, Freebies and Special Offers, Podcasts

Halloween Giveaway, Spooky Podcast, and Cover Reveal

Friday, October 28 to Monday, October 31, get your free e-copy of my cozy Halloween mystery, No Gravestone Unturned.

It’s October in Cobble Cove, and Alicia is busy preparing for the library’s Halloween party when she learns that John’s aunt from Florida has died and that John’s cousins and their spouses are coming to town to bury their mother.

The day after the funeral, the caretaker’s son is found dead by John’s grandfather’s gravestone, from a blow on the head. The only witness seems to be Sneaky the library cat, who, having left the library, turned up at Alicia’s door with blood and dirt on him.

As Alicia, Gilly, and Sheriff Ramsay investigate, a generation of family secrets is uncovered. Are one of the guests staying at the inn a killer? Will the humans solve the crime, and can Sneaky, Kittykai, and Salem, the inn’s guest cat, team up to help?

Purchase Link:

I’m being featured on the Everyday Monsters Halloween Special Podcast on Monday, October 31, reading my two unpublished horror stories, “Oceans Apart” and “The Last Word.” It will be available on all your favorite podcast applications on 10/31.

Check out the cover for The Case of the Parrot Loving Professor, Buttercup Bend #2 coming soon.

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Interview, New Releases

Interview with Sarah E. Burr, author of Too Much to Candle, a Glenmyre Whim Cozy Mystery

It’s my pleasure to welcome Sarah E. Burr to Ruff Drafts. Sarah is an author who lives in New York.

Hi, Sarah. 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’ve been publishing for a little over five years now. I’ve independently published the Glenmyre Whim Mysteries and the Court of Mystery series. Level Best Books publishes my Trending Topic Mysteries (#FollowMe for Murder), and TouchPoint Press will release the Book Blogger Mystery series next year (Over My Dead Blog). What can I say? I love a good mystery!

Nice. 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.

I’m celebrating the release of Book Two in the Glenmyre Whim Mysteries, Too Much to Candle, which came out on October 13th, 2022. Readers meet candlemaker Hazel Wickbury, who has a shocking secret. She can see when someone is going to die. This power, known as a “whim,” thrusts Hazel into the center of a missing person investigation when her candle shop assistant becomes the prime suspect. Add buried treasure and family secrets to the mix, and Hazel just might have too much on her plate to “candle.”

That sounds very interesting. 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?

The ultimate goal of my writing is to entertain. To bring happiness and joy through a medium that I love. A more personal goal is to capture as many of the stories spinning around my head as possible.

I aim to finish my Court of Mystery series with ten books (I’m writing Book Nine as we speak) and then launch a spin-off series featuring fan-favorite characters Captain George Solomon and Countess Serafina Braeknoch. I’ve been working on a detailed plan to expand the Realm of Virtues (the world where the series is set) for some time now, so I’m feeling very confident about its future.

I also hope to solidify one more cozy mystery series with a publisher; that process involves queries and proposals and lots of waiting.

I set word count and project goals to help myself stay on track. I put together a roadmap each month of what I need to accomplish, and that’s my to-do list for the next four weeks. I also do daily/weekly goal check-ins to ensure I’m moving in the right direction.

I know all about stories spinning in one’s head. I have an ongoing list of books to write and just have to find the time. I admire your goal-setting technique.

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

I love to entertain my readers. I want to create a happy escape for them where good always triumphs over evil. If a reader is looking for something dark and gritty, my books probably won’t deliver on that front. While I may write about murder, I focus more on close-knit friends banding together to do whatever it takes to bring down the bad guy. I make jokes, use silly puns, and my characters are quick with sarcastic quips. Readers who enjoy lighthearted mysteries with a paranormal twist can always read the Glenmyre Whim Mysteries for free on Kindle Unlimited.

 It sounds like you have a good awareness of your audience.

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

Get involved in the writing community. Whether online through social media or a local writing group, building a network and community of writers is vital in this industry. The support you both give and receive will be invaluable.

Great advice. I completely agree.

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

Five years ago, as a millennial trying to break into the cozy mystery space, I had to overcome a lot of naysayers who told me social media was “just a fad” and that my tech-savvy heroines wouldn’t be relevant in a few years. Thankfully, I found an agent and, subsequently, a publisher who believed I was on the right track with Coco Cline and her story in #FollowMe for Murder.

You showed them.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

 I am a member of Sisters in Crime and am on the board of my local New York chapter.

I am also a member of that group and also the New York chapter, although I live on Long Island.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

 I love to read, but that might be a given. I’m also a big Broadway buff and am an avid video gamer. I also love board games and card games.

Those sound like fun hobbies.

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

I love many things about being an author, but the best is hearing from readers. It really, really makes my day when someone reaches out to let me know how funny they think social media influencer Coco Cline and her friends are or how candlemaker Hazel and her Aunt Poppy make such a fantastic team. I love discovering that I’ve brought joy to someone’s life; that’s why I create these lighthearted, fun stories, after all.

As for my challenges and what I like least, I’d have to say grammar and proofreading! I’m terrible with spelling and catching mistakes. I will spend an hour determining whether I’ve structured one sentence correctly. Sometimes, I spell something so horribly wrong that spellcheck says, “You’re on your own.”

I do a lot of reading out loud to help catch my mistakes; it’s incredible how hearing something rather than reading it can shine a light on typos and misused words.

It’s so true that reading your work aloud helps you spot errors. I do that, too.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

Writing cozy mysteries is how I vicariously live out my childhood fantasies of being Nancy Drew. I love the idea of a civilian willing to put everything on the line to see justice done. Cozy mystery main characters are kind of like superheroes in that way. I also enjoy making warm, welcoming towns where I’d want to live. Every town I’ve created, I would live in, hands down.

Yes, that’s the fun part of cozies and, of course, the quirky characters who become like friends as you follow them from book to book in a series.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest release?

 Too Much to Candle:

Curses. I seethed inwardly as I gnawed on my lower lip to conceal my physical and mental anguish. I despised my ability in moments like this. I didn’t want to know when one of my closest friends was going to die. Iggy, thank goodness, had more than seventy years on his lifeclock, meaning he would live a long, full life, well into his late nineties, but still…knowing when someone was fated to die was an incredible burden.

I took a deep breath, keenly aware that Poppy’s eyes were locked on my hunched form. No doubt, my bestie knew what had happened. I was sure she’d go into super-protective aunt mode the moment we were alone. But for now, I had to keep it together, to pretend that I didn’t know when the two men before me were destined to meet their end.

Inhaling another cleansing breath, I straightened my shoulders and turned to Mayhan. I couldn’t help but feel somewhat relieved that we wouldn’t have this unpleasant fellow in our lives for much longer. Because, while Iggy’s lifeclock had shown decades, Mayhan Montgomery had only twenty-two days left to live.

Good excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.

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

I’m very active on social media and love hearing from readers, so please feel free to reach out through your favorite online platform. I also host a live-stream YouTube series with fellow cozy mystery author J.C. Kenney. Our show is called The Bookish Hour, and we interview authors across all genres about their books, characters, and writing. Our second season kicks off on October 13th with a special release celebration for Too Much to Candle.

That sounds great. I know J.C. I appeared on a panel with him once. I should check out your YouTube series. Maybe you can interview me next time.

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




Too Much to Candle:

Glenmyre Whim Mystery series:

Thank you for the great interview, and best wishes on your new release. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below.

Too Much to Candle (Glenmyre Whim Mysteries)
by Sarah E. Burr

About Too Much to Candle

Too Much to Candle (Glenmyre Whim Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery/Paranormal
2nd in Series
Setting: A fictional town in upstate New York called Crucible
Independently Published (October 13, 2022)
Number of Pages: 249
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B1QT8XL8

Candlemaker Hazel Wick bury sets out again to bring the truth to light.

Iggy Alewell, Hazel Wickbury’s friend and candle shop assistant, is eager to purchase his own home with the advance from his first big book deal. Iggy is on the hunt for something with character, so what could be better than the old Cragmire house that’s rumored to have buried treasure somewhere on its property? Hazel is thrilled her friend has found success, but things in Crucible take a nasty turn when another potential buyer for the Cragmire house goes missing. He was last seen taking a boat out on Lake Glenmyre, and when the rental is found empty, it’s clear to police that foul play is involved.

What’s worse is that Iggy becomes the prime suspect in the man’s disappearance, and Detective Holden Whitfield’s thorny, new partner is certain Iggy is guilty. To clear Iggy from suspicion and dispel the darkness penetrating their beloved town, Hazel and her Aunt Poppy team up again to find a killer before their friend gets burned.

Return to Crucible in Too Much to Candle, Book Two in the award-winning Glenmyre Whim Mysteries.

About Sarah E. Burr

Sarah E. Burr lives near New York City. Hailing from the small town of Appleton, Maine, she has been dreaming of being Nancy Drew since she was a little girl. After not finding any mysteries in corporate America, Sarah began writing some of her own. She is the author of the Trending Topic Mysteries and the Court of Mystery series. Sarah is also the author of the award-winning Glenmyre Whim Mysteries. You Can’t Candle the Truth was a 2022 NGIBA Best Mystery Finalist and a 2022 Silver Falchion Best Supernatural Mystery Finalist.

Sarah is a member of Sisters in Crime, currently serving as the social media guru for the NY-TriState Chapter. She is also the creative mind behind BookstaBundles, a content creation service for authors. Sarah is the co-host of The Bookish Hour, a livestreamed YouTube series featuring author interviews and book discussions. She writes as a member of the Writers Who Kill blogging team. When she’s not spinning up stories, Sarah is singing Broadway show tunes, video gaming, and enjoying walks with her dog, Eevee.

Author Links




Sarah’s Blog:

The Glenmyre Whim Mysteries:

Amazon Author Page:

Facebook Instagram Twitter Goodreads BookBub Pinterest YouTube LinkedIn

Purchase Link – Amazon


October 14 – The Plain-Spoken Pen – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 14 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

October 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 15 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 16 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

October 16 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW

October 18 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


October 20 – Elza Reads – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

October 20 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 – Lady Hawkeye – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Cat Writer's Association, Conference, Freebies and Special Offers, New Releases

Free Book, New Release, and Cat Writer’s Conference

This weekend through Monday, October 15-17, I have a free offer for readers, my short story cozy mystery collection, Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery and Other Cobble Cove Stories. The main story is a great Halloween read, and it also includes a Christmas story.

Pick up your free copy here:

Just released, a purr-fect collection of true cat stories, The Cat in the Christmas Tree and Other True Stories of Feline Joy and Merry Mischief. My story, “First Christmas with Kittens,” is included in this anthology.Pick up your copy here at the discounted price with free shipping:

And don’t miss the Cat Writers’ Association conference October 14 and 15. I’ll be appearing on two panels on Saturday, October 15. At 1 pm EDT, I’ll be joining three other members of CWA on the “Secrets to Successful Feline Fiction – The Story,” and at 5:30 pm EDT, the four of us will host a panel on “Secrets of Successful Feline Fiction – The Practice.” I hope you can join us and also attend the other great programs. Register at


Posted in Cats, New Releases

New Release: The Cat in the Christmas Tree and Other True Stories of Feline Joy and Merry Mischief

I’m excited to announce the release of The Cat in the Christmas Tree and Other True Stories of Feline Joy and Merry Mischiefa purr-fect stocking stuffer and holiday read.

My story, “First Christmas with Kittens,” is included in this pawsome collection.


Posted in Reviews

Review for Verity by Colleen Hoover

*****5 stars

Working as a librarian at a public library, I’ve been having more and more requests for books by this author, so I wanted to see what all the hype was about. After reading Verity, I’m not at all surprised at Colleen Hoover’s popularity.

I enjoy reading a variety of genres. Verity is dark fiction at its best. It reminded me of Gone Girl, although it’s a totally different story. Told in first person by Lowen Ashleigh, an undiscovered writer who has a chance meeting with Jeremy Crawford, the husband of bestselling author, Verity Crawford. The chance meeting turns into an offer between Lowen’s agent and Jeremy who is seeking someone to write the last three books of his wife’s series while she is recovering from a car accident.

Verity accepts the generous offer despite the fact that she’s not sure she’s up to the job. When she arrives at the Crawfords’ home, she’s surprised at the extent of Verity’s injuries and discovers an unpublished manuscript of her autobiography that contains some disturbing facts about her relationship with her husband and the death of her twin daughters.

Lowen becomes involved romantically with Jeremy and continues reading his wife’s autobiography while she attempts to finish writing Verity’s series narrated by the villian.

I had a hard time putting this book down. It was well written and featured a wonderful twist. If you enjoy dark fiction, psychological mysteries, and books about authors, you will love this novel. It definitely lives up to the hype.


Posted in Horror, Reviews

Review for Malice House by Megan Shepherd

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on October 4, 2022, and is available for order on Amazon at

****4 stars

Malice House by Megan Shepherd

If you’re looking for a new Halloween read, look no further. The premise of this book is a curse on a family that allows them to bring alive monsters from their writing and artwork.

Haven Marbury, a children’s book illustrator, is the daughter of bestselling author Amory Marbury. When he dies, she goes to his secluded home in the small town of Lundie Bay to clear it out.

While going through her father’s papers, Haven finds an unpublished manuscript that was written while her father suffered from dementia. Unlike his award-winning style, the manuscript appears to be a horror novel featuring an assortment of monsters. Haven adds her own drawings of the monsters to the manuscript, hoping to sell it. She shares the unpublished book and her artwork with the members of the Ink Drinkers, a literary club of which her father was a member and who work in a nearby bookstore. The club members reject her drawings, but one of them, a young woman named Kylie, befriends her..

As strange murders occur in town, including that of her father’s housekeeper, an officer suspects Haven may be involved, as the killings are like those in one of her father’s books. Haven grows close to her father’s neighbor, Rafe, an heir to a peanut butter fortune until she discovers some grisly items that he’s hiding.

This book is a perfect October/Halloween read. The monsters are well depicted, and there are quite a few twists to satisfy a reader. I would recommend, however, not to read it at night with the light off.

Posted in Reviews

Review for The Cloisters by Katy Hays

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on November 1, 2022, and is available for order on Amazon at

****4 stars


After her father’s death, Ann Stillwell leaves the small town of Walla Wall, Washington for a job at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But upon arriving, she is told that there isn’t a spot for her there. Instead, she is offered a position at the Cloisters, medieval museum. She works for Patrick, the museum’s curator, and with Rachel who becomes a very close friend. She also meets the gardener, Leo, to whom she becomes attracted.

During after hours at the museum, Ann leans that Rachel and Patrick read tarot cards. Patrick seeks the last card of a rare tarot deck to complete the set. He hopes to obtain this from an antique dealer. Ann comes upon the card accidentally and confides in Rachel that she’s found it. The two plan to capitalize on the find but wait for the right time to do so.
As Ann and Rachel grow closer because of their shared secret, Ann and Leo drift apart. Ann meets up with an old friend from her hometown who tells her some disturbing things about Rachel. While Ann doesn’t believe them, she is still concerned that she may not know her friend as well as she thinks.

One night, Ann joins Patrick, Rachel, and Leo in reading the tarot cards. This time, they ingest a mixture prepared by Leo that contains a small amount of a Belladonna plant that is poisonous in a higher concentration. They seek to achieve a state of enlightenment to help them receive the messages of the cards. The next day, Patrick is found dead,

Without giving away the rest of the book and the twists that follow, I would recommend this novel to those interested in divination arts, medieval history, and mysteries. I found the pace of the chapters leading up to the murder somewhat slow. After that point, the story really picked up.