Posted in Blog Tour, holidays

Blog Tour and Giveaway for The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable by Able Barrett

Andrew and his older brother Nicholas were separated as children.

Nicholas had been snatched away by the Prince of Darkness, and Andrew had all but given up hope, but now their mother is ill, and he’s determined to reunite them before she passes – despite her objections.

With his dog Jenny by his side, Andrew sets out on an epic and perilous crusade well beyond his wildest imagination, facing evil protectors, giant wolves, dark magic, Sorcerers, Goblins, and even the Prince of Darkness himself.

Then there’s The Great Tree.

It’s enormous, with a presence that’s nearly impossible to describe…

And it’s clearly the heart of the kingdom of the wicked Sorcerer.

This is the setting for the adventure story that changed Christmas forever!

Young people and adults of all ages will enjoy this thrilling fable in the same way we’ve enjoyed other great Christmas stories of the past.

Jenny the dog is based on a very real Jenny, the author’s vision of a true warrior – who has her own inspiring story that he’s happy to share with anyone who asks.

EXCERPT

The room at the inn had a window that faced the Great Tree with the castle by its side. As Andrew gazed through the window at the castle, his mind wandered back to his mother, who was at home sick with the deadly fever. Although she wanted to see her lost son one more time before she passed, she insisted that Andrew not look for him, for it was much too dangerous. She made Andrew promise that he would not venture off and search for his brother. Andrew agreed not to.

Andrew was now looking for his brother, Nicholas, in defiance of his mother’s wishes. He had made up his mind that he could not live with himself if he did not try. He understood his mother’s concern, but he felt he had to do what he thought was right. He lied to his mother out of love for her and because he did not want her worrying about him on his quest. Right or wrong, it was the way he felt about it. Nicholas had been abducted by an evil Sorcerer, an evil wizard of sorts, when they were both very young. Nicholas was his older brother. Andrew had been searching for Nicholas for weeks; he was now at a small mountain village where he had hoped to find Nicholas and bring him back to his mother before she died.

With Jenny at his side, Andrew, weary from his lengthy travels, fell soundly asleep while gazing at the castle in the distance.

All proceeds from the sale of The Great Tree go to The Last Road Dog Animal Sanctuary to rescue unadoptable dogs, cats, and horses, an approved 501 (c)(3) Animal Public Welfare Charity that greatly appreciates the ongoing support of readers like you!Author Bio:

Able Barrett is a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Strike Force Prosecutor who shamelessly admits he loves animals more than most people, and he’s the manager of The Last Road Dog Animal Sanctuary.

Author Links:

Website:  www.thelastroaddog.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TLRDSANCTUARY

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blkdogr4/

Purchase and Review Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BGK2ZNJF

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60553311-the-great-tree

CONTEST

For a chance to win these great giveaways, comment on this blog how an animal has been important in your life. The deadline for the contest is Thursday, December 1.

  • A signed copy of the book
  • Donation of $50 to The Last Road dog Animal Sanctuary in the winner’s name or a friend or family they wish give it in as a gift
  • The short video “The Journey” download
  • TLRD Water Bottle
  • Pet backpack carrier

Posted in Guest Post

6 Ways Reading Books Can Help You Discover Your Purpose in Life by Maggie Bloom

Reading books plays a significant role in modeling you into a better person. Reading expands your niche of knowledge on various life circumstances. As a reader, you learn new ideas and develop a deeper understanding of handling challenges. Books can also offer therapeutic benefits. Continue reading the article to learn about six ways reading books can help you discover your purpose in life.

1.  Reading Books Help you Develop Problem-Solving Skills

Enriching and enhancing your life largely depends on finding your purpose. When you develop a culture of reading books, it refines your intelligence levels. Depending on the types of books you love reading, you gain a proper approach to challenging situations over time. Insightful books will impact problem-solving skills necessary for everyday life. It is easy to learn and depict how a character in a book solves problems. It inspires you to develop a positive approach to any difficult situation.

Ideally, reading books improves your analytical thinking capacity. This means you can identify a problem and figure out a suitable solution within a short time. Regular reading of books boosts your brain’s functionality. It helps children to develop high-level cognitive skills through brain stimulation.

2.  Books Allow You to Learn Practical Life Insights

Reading about a character enriches you with secondary life experiences. You get an excellent opportunity to visualize the situations described by a character, after which you can now relate the situation to real-world happenings. Reading from a vast collection of books gives you real-life insights into understanding others. Extensive reading allows you to develop critical thinking skills necessary for everyday activities. Through fiction, you create a clear understanding of the present life situations.

3.  Improved Vocabulary

You’ll probably encounter new words that build your vocabulary list when you read books. Reading books gives you a contextual understanding of new words, which is the most effective way to develop your capacity for new words. This is different from memorizing new words, which can prove ineffective.

Once you’ve built a strong vocabulary for a given period, your communication skills are also improved. While reading, research the meaning of new words and understand their meaning in the context used.

4.  Books Offer Tips And Tricks More so If They’re Self-Help Books

Self-help books guide you on how to set life goals and how to achieve them. Since most of these books are authored by life coaches or therapists, you get inspired by the recommendations shared by them. These books can guide you on how to correctly interpret your understanding of the questions asked by the author. Through takeaways, self-help books acquaint you with tools to better yourself

Some of the tips you can gain from reading self-help books include:

  • Confidence
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Tidiness

Beware of self-proclaimed authors with fake self-help books, so always take your time and pick the right self-help book that will meet your interests.

5.  Fictions And Biography Help You Develop Empathy

Reading through books builds better emotional intelligence for proper empathy. When you read books on relationships, you can digest how a character reached a decision. Fictions and biographies have the best ways to improve your emotional intelligence.

Generally, having a strong sense of empathy is essential when dealing with real-life relationship issues. You can quickly develop an independent opinion on a given circumstance and help your partner, friend, or family member navigate through such difficult moments.

6.  Books Improve Mental Health

Reading books nourishes your mental health with a sense of calmness which is significant for your mental health. Picking your favorite book to read gives you a therapeutic feeling, lowering your heart rate and thus easing the tension within your muscles. Additionally, reading books provides a healthy escape, taking you into a world of fiction, which relaxes your mind.

Reading books can help maintain your mental health, especially if you are an introvert. Through books, you can quickly delve deeper into your innermost being. You get to meditate and visualize your dreams and how far you should push to realize the goals.

Generally, reading favorite books has a significant impact on your overall well-being. Books provide an opportunity to develop critical life problem-solving skills. Self-help books nourish your mental health with skills to handle sensitive and dynamic situations. Lastly, books are a better and cheaper source of psychologists. They provide therapeutic services.

Author Bio: Maggie graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in communication and writing. In her spare time, she loves to dance, read, and bake. She also enjoys traveling and scouting out new brunch locations.

Posted in Blog Tour, Interview

Interview of Heather Weidner, author of Film Crews and Rendezvous, A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery

Today, I’m welcoming Heather Weidner from Midlothian, Virginia to Ruff Drafts.

Hi, Heather. 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 since 2013. I write the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, and the Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries.

The Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries
Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers (Oct. 2021) Secret Lives and Private Eyes (2016, 2021)
Film Crews and Rendezvous (Oct. 2022) The Tulip Shirt Murders (2017)
Christmas Lights and Cat Fights (Oct. 2023) Glitter, Glam, and Contraband (2020)

Male Revues and Subterfuge (2022)

 

The Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries

Sticks and Stones and a Bag of Bones

Twinkle, Twinkle Au Revoir

A Tisket A Tasket, Not Another Casket

 

Short Stories

Virginia is for Mysteries (2014)

Virginia is for Mysteries II (2016)

50 Shades of Cabernet (2017)

Deadly Southern Charm (2019)

Murder by the Glass (July 2021)

Virginia is for Mysteries III (Jan. 2022)

 

Novellas
To Fetch a Thief (2019)  
To Fetch a Scoundrel (2020)  
To Fetch a Villain (2020)  
To Fetch a Killer (2021)

My publishers include Level Best Books, Untreed Reads, Wildside Press, Bay Breeze Publishing, Sandpiper Productions, and Koehler Books.

That’s quite a list of publishers and books.

Tell us a little bit about them — any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress.

FILM CREWS AND RENDEZVOUS is the second book in the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. The next in the series are CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AND CAT FIGHTS, DEADLINES AND VALENTINES, TEDDY BEARS AND GHOSTLY LAIRS, and FRUITY DRINKS AND HIJINKS.

STICKS AND STONES AND A BAG OF BONES is the first in the Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries, and it launches in January 2023. The other books in this series are TWINKLE TWINKLE AUVREVOIR and A TISKET A TASKET, NOT ANOTHER CASKET.

The fourth book in the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries launched in August. It’s called MALE REVUES AND SUBTERFUGE

Wow! You are certainly busy. I love the title of the next book in your Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries: Christmas Lights and Cat Fights. As an author who includes cats in most of my books and has two of her own, that title speaks to me 🙂

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 am so excited to have three series, and I’m working on a fourth right now. It’s also set in Virginia. The last few years have been very busy with lots of projects. I plan to work on the new series and final revisions on the other.

Great goals. I just started my second cozy mystery series, the Buttercup Bend Mysteries. I can’t imagine how you handle four.

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

My readers like fun, entertaining mysteries. Most are cozy mysteries with not a lot of graphic scenes.

We have similar readers.

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

Be persistent. It takes a lot of work (and waiting) to get your book published. Keep writing and revising.Writing is a business, and you have to think about it that way. Publishers and agents are looking for projects that don’t need a lot of rewrites and can be sold. You often only get one chance when you query, so make sure your manuscript is the best it can be.

Excellent advice and very true.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I do, and I think finding your writing crew is important for support, networking, and ideas. I’m a member of Sisters in Crime National and the Guppy, Central Virginia, and Chessie chapters, James River Writers, and International Thriller Writers.

I agree. I also belong to Sisters in Crime National and the Guppy group, as well as International Thriller Writers.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

We live near the reservoir, so I love to take the kayaks out for a paddle. I also have two crazy Jack Russells who like to go for walks, hikes, and car rides.

Very nice.

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

I love writing and researching. Editing and revising are my least favorite tasks, but they are probably the most important ones. When it’s time to sit down and revise, I have to stay focused.

I feel the same.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I have loved mysteries since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. I love the small, quaint communities and the quirky characters. I also love that they are amateur sleuths who solve crimes and puzzles and fight for justice.

I also love the crime and puzzle elements of cozy mysteries and the quirky characters in the small towns such as Alicia the librarian from Cobble Cove and Cathy from Buttercup Bend.

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

This is a bit from Film Crews and Rendezvous.

Jules Keene’s phone buzzed as she clipped the leash on Bijou, her Jack Russell Terrier. Another text from someone in town who just had to be an extra for the filming at her resort. Ignoring the latest request, she headed across the grassy area to the office.

Hollywood had arrived in Fern Valley, and Jules wasn’t sure the one-stoplight town would be the same. She had had to keep all the location scouting a secret, and that was difficult with the town’s active gossip grapevine. Now, everyone seemed to be plotting ways to get close to the action.

Great excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.

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

I’m a C. K. (cop’s kid), and I thought everyone talked about murder and mayhem at the dinner table. It wasn’t until I was college age that I learned that most folks didn’t. My dad is retired now after 46 years on the force, but he’s still my best resource, and he answers a lot of questions that I don’t want to Google.

Interesting. That must’ve been a great help to your writing.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Links

Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherWeidner1

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8121854.Heather_Weidner

Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-weidner-0064b233?trk=hp-identity-name

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-weidner-d6430278-c5c9-4b10-b911-340828fc7003

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@heather_weidner_author

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyBjyB0zz-M1DaM-rU1bXGA?view_as=subscriber

Biography

Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She writes the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, The Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, and The Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries.

Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Thanks so much for the wonderful interview, Heather. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below. Best of wishes on your new release.


Film Crews and Rendezvous: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
by Heather Weidner

About Film Crews and Rendezvous


Film Crews and Rendezvous: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Level Best Books (October 25, 2022)
Number of Pages 240
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BHLSYBZ9

Hollywood has come to Fern Valley, and the one stoplight town may never be the same. Everyone wants to get in on the act.

The crew from the wildly popular, fan favorite, Fatal Impressions, takes over Jules Keene’s glamping resort, and they bring a lot of offscreen drama and baggage that doesn’t include the scads of costumes, props, and crowds that descend on the bucolic resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Added security, hundreds of calls from hopeful extras, and some demanding divas keep Jules’s team hopping.

When the show’s prickly head writer ends up dead under the L. Frank Baum tiny house in what looks like a staged murder scene with a kitschy homage to the Wizard of Oz, Jules has to figure out who would want the writer dead. Then while they are still reeling from the first murder, the popular publicist gets lost after a long night at the local honky-tonk and winds up strangled. Jules needs to solve both crimes before filming is canceled, and her business is ruined.

About Heather Weidner

Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers is the first in her cozy mystery series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. She also writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series set in Virginia. Her Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries debut in 2023.

Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Author Links

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Lady Hawkeye – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 17 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Mythical Books – AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 18 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews– SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 22 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 23 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 24 – THANKSGIVING

November 25 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 26 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

November 26 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

November 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 30 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

New Release: THE CASE OF THE PARROT LOVING PROFESSOR: Buttercup Bend #2

I’m proud to announce the release of my 2nd Buttercup Bend cozy mystery, The Case of the Parrot Loving ProfessorIn this new mystery, Cathy Carter, co-owner of Rainbow Gardens Pet Cemetery and Rainbow Rescues animal rescue center who has recently returned to college, investigates the murder of her professor while preparing for her 27th birthday and a 1970’s costume dance.

I think you’ll enjoy learning more about the characters introduced in The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady, Buttercup Bend #1. I’m also excited to introduce my own cats, Harry and Hermione, into the series as kittens and pay tribute to my Stripey who passed away in May.

BLURB

Cathy Carter knew that returning to college would be tough, but she never expected it would involve finding her anthropology professor’s dead body.

There are no shortages of suspects in Dr. Bodkin’s murder. Besides his three ex-wives and estranged son and daughter, there are also the members of the Talking Parrots Club, a group of four parrot enthusiasts, of which he was the president and founder.

As Cathy delves into Bodkin’s murder, she discovers a relationship between her teacher and the Mennonite family from whom she purchased the farmland for her new pet rescue center. She and her friend Nancy, now employed at a detective agency, work together to help Detective Hunt and Sheriff Miller solve the crime. 
 
After receiving cryptic messages, they wonder if someone wants to put a stop to their investigation. With the Buttercup Bend church’s 1970’s costume dance and Cathy’s birthday fast approaching, can she and Nancy bring Bodkin’s killer to justice without endangering their lives?
Follow the blog tour December 12 to 18 on Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours to read excerpts, guest posts, reviews, spotlights, and earn a chance at a holiday giveaway. Remember that books make great gifts.
Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Interview

Interview with Dorothy St. James, Author of A Book Club to Die For, A Beloved Bookroom Cozy Mystery

It’s my pleasure to feature an interview with Dorothy St. James who also writes romances under her real name, Dorothy McFalls. Dorothy is the author of A Book Club to Die For that is currently on blog tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book tours. She hails from Charleston, South Carolina.

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

My first book, THE MARRIAGE LIST, was published in 2005 by Signet books as Dorothy McFalls. I have since self-published this book, and it’s become one of my top sellers.

My career as cozy mystery Dorothy St. James author began in 2011 with the White House Gardener Mystery series, published by my dream publisher Berkley Prime Crime. These books follow the adventures of a Charleston gardener who takes a job working as an assistant gardener at the White House. She digs up all sorts of crime there!

My next series, the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series, was published by Crooked Lane Books. This series is set on the fictional beach community of Camilla Beach. It’s based on the artsy town of Folly Beach in where I lived for twenty years. It has quirky southern characters, delicious chocolate recipes, and murder in a vacation setting. What more could you ask for?

And now I’m writing the Beloved Bookroom Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. I’m back with my dream publisher! This series follows the adventures of an assistant librarian in a small town as she stands up to government officials in her quest to protect her library’s books. It’s been a fun series since it combines my love of books with my past career with working for small southern governments.

I’ve written a few books that have been self-published and hope to do more in the future. In fact, I’ve continued the cancelled Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series by publishing the fourth book (and hopefully more to come) by myself. Self-publishing has been quite successful for me. I enjoy being able to take a book directly to the reader.

Wow! You’re quite an established author, and I find it interesting that you’ve found success both through a large publisher and through self publishing. My cozy mysteries and other books are currently being published by small, Indie publishers, but I’ve been trying to find an agent, so I can get them published by a larger publisher. My only experience with self publishing was for my first novel, a paranormal romance that I published through a self-publishing company. I since sold it to one of my publishers. That was years ago before authors began to self publish on their own. I’m still not sure it would be for me, but I’ll be having more time in the future to consider my writing path, as I’m retiring shortly.

Please tell us a bit more about your books.

My latest release, A BOOK CLUB TO DIE FOR (November 1, 2022) is the third book in the Beloved Bookroom Mystery series. Trudell Becket, assistant librarian at the Town of Cypress Public Library, is facing what might prove to be her biggest challenge yet. The Cypress Arete Society is one of the town’s oldest and most exclusive clubs. When Tru is invited to speak to the group about the library, its modernization, and her efforts to bring printed books to the reading public, her friend Flossie invites herself along. Flossie has been on the book club’s waiting list for five years, and she’s determined to find out why she’s never received an invitation to join.

But not long after Tru and Flossie arrive for the meeting, they’re shocked to find the club’s president, Rebecca White, dead in the kitchen. Rebecca was a former TV actress and local celebrity, but was not known for being patient or pleasant. She’d been particularly unkind to the book club’s host for the evening, who also happens to be the mother of Detective Jace Bailey, Tru’s boyfriend. And Rebecca had made it clear that she didn’t think Flossie was book club material.

With her boyfriend and one of her best friends wrapped up in a murder, Tru has to work fast to figure out who cut Rebecca’s story short before the killer takes another victim out of circulation….

Love that premise and that your book is about a librarian. I currently work at a public library and feature a librarian in my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. There’s also a librarian playing a minor role so far in my new Buttercup Bend mysteries.

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 hope to write stories that make the reader feel hope while also providing entertainment. The world can be a difficult place. For me, books have often served as a refuge in turbulent times. My fondest wish is to provide that safe harbor for others out there.

I hope to branch out into new genres in the coming years and to stretch myself as an author. I have been writing new stories and developing new ideas that take me outside my comfort zone and challenge me to ask some bigger questions and delve deeper into why my characters make the decisions they make. While I aim to bring to the table richer tales, I will always strive to keep the stories fast-paced, entertaining, and with endings filled with hope.

You have nice goals. Best of luck with them.

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

I would like to appeal to a broad range of readers. Most of my readers are women. And being a woman myself, I’m okay with that. Readers who enjoy solving puzzles and who are looking for a lighter read will enjoy my books.

That’s not to say my books are shallow. Comedies can be sneaky teachers. There’s no reason why comedic prose cannot tackle the same difficult questions that more “serious” books take on. And many comedic books do! How the author tackles the issue is what changes. I hope readers will walk away from my books feeling as if they have learned something valuable either about themselves or about the world.

I agree that most women enjoy cozies, although there are men who find them interesting.. I also like to add a bit of humor to my mysteries, along with more serious topics.

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

I have been writing seriously since 2001. And I’ve been hearing all this time that it’s becoming harder and harder to get published. The story never changes. So, if you are told this, don’t lose hope. I started out needing to learn many lessons about the craft of writing and the business of publication. As I honed my skills, it became easier and easier to find publishers and readers. That’s not to say it’s always easy. It’s not. But you can learn the market. You can learn to write the books the market wants. And if those aren’t the books you want to write, you can find readers by self-publishing your books and selling directly to your market.

And one more thing. I firmly believe that every person has an important story that they can tell. All it takes is the will and the time to learn the best way to tell it.

I totally agree with you. I published my first book in 2008 and have been publishing regularly since 2015. I currently have 14 books published by two publishers and have done that working full-time. I feel that I’ve improved with each book and am close to achieving wider recognition in the publishing industry.

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

Oh, I had so many challenges! I came from a government job writing regulations and grants, both of which I excelled at. I didn’t know how to write compelling prose. I didn’t know how to find my voice. But luckily, both of these things are skills that can be learned. I took online courses. I went to workshops offered by local writing groups. I took notes from the novels I read and enjoyed. And I read many how-to books. Eventually, gradually, I improved.

If I can do it, anyone can.

Thanks for sharing that. It’s an inspiring story.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers groups. I’ve been members of other groups along the way, including Novelist Inc. and Romance Writers of America. It’s important to find groups that fit where you are in your career and have programs that will help you grow and a place to network to find a support network of writers who are at the same level in their career as you.

I agree. I also belong to Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers, as well as a few other groups including the Cat Writers’ Association of which I’ve been a member of for many years and have received awards and opportunities.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love to read. And naps. Naps play a big role in my life. I also enjoy traveling, hiking, getting out into nature, and fiber arts (knitting, crocheting, macramé.)

Lol. Naps are good. They’re healthy for you. Traveling can give writers more ideas from which to draw. I also love the outdoors and enjoy visiting gardens, parks, etc. My daughter is into knitting and crocheting, like you. She’s self taught and enjoys that hobby immensely.

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

I love it when a story comes together. My heart starts pounding and my fingers move faster over the keyboard the moment when the plot and the subplots all make sense to me. I feel so accomplished.

I dislike the daily grind of coming to the page and fighting a plot that doesn’t feel like it’s working. Sometimes that means there is something wrong with the plot. Sometimes it means I’m tired. And sometimes it means I have to work through the rough bits to find the good bits. It can be a challenge figuring out where I am in the process and how to make my story move forward and to get better.

My biggest challenge is fighting my self-doubt. I suspect I’m—like many authors out there—my biggest obstacle. Self-doubt can be difficult to overcome. But if you have a story singing in your heart, it’s important to push through and get that story out on the page, even if you’re doing it only for yourself…especially if you’re doing it only for yourself.

You’ve made some very important points that other writers will identify with. I certainly do.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love both the puzzles of the cozy mysteries and the rich variety of characters. I think as a reader I come for mystery and come back to a series for the characters. Over time, the characters in a series can become as dear to me as an old friend.

That is exactly how I feel about writing my cozies.

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

Sure! I’d love to.

A loud crash from the kitchen made us both jump.

As we moved toward the swinging door to investigate, the front doorbell rang.

“What should we do?” I asked as I automatically moved toward the front door. “Answer the door or offer our help in the kitchen?

“Kitchen,” Flossie announced as she rolled her wheelchair in that direction. “As hostess, Hazel should be the one to greet her guests. She wouldn’t thank us for doing that for her.” The kitchen door swung back and forth in Flossie’s wake.

I hesitated.

The head librarian, Mrs. Farnsworth might be on the other side of the front door, ringing the bell. She wouldn’t appreciate being made to wait outside.

But then there was a second crash in the kitchen.

“Flossie? Is everything alright in there?” I abandoned my quest to open the front door and jogged to the kitchen to find Flossie sitting in her wheelchair next to an enormous kitchen counter that was lined with sumptuous dishes.

“Hazel did this all by herself?” I wondered aloud, barely able to restrain myself from taking a nibble out of one of the rainbow-colored mini hamburgers topped with feta cheese. My empty stomach rumbled.

Strangely, Flossie wasn’t looking at the food, but was busy slipping something into her bag.

“What were those crashes?” I asked her.

“Hazel must have dropped her pasta casserole onto the floor. It’s everywhere,” Flossie said. Her wheelchair made a squishy sound as she rolled through elbow pasta floating in an eggy mayonnaise sauce strewn with cucumbers, pink seared tuna, and chives. “You’d better get a mop.”

“We’re going to need more than a mop,” I said as I stepped further into the kitchen.

I pointed to the hardwood floor near the kitchen counter where a pair of legs were sticking out from behind the kitchen counter.

“Is it—?” Flossie asked.

I peered around the counter and followed the legs up to the rest of the woman. Rebecca White was lying flat on back. Her unmoving eyes seemed to be staring judgmentally at a tiny cobweb hanging from the ceiling.

Flossie looked at the shattered casserole dish lying in pieces next to Rebecca’s body. “Tell me she isn’t dead.”

“Can’t do that.” I sighed.

Flossie breathed out a long, loud breath. “It looks like there will be an opening for a new member in the society after all.”

“An opening? What do you mean an opening?” Hazel demanded. “Did Rebecca say something about my membership?” Our hostess came into the kitchen through the back door. She was carrying an empty garbage can while wearing bright yellow dish gloves. I was embarrassed that she’d heard Flossie’s uncharitable remark about a dead woman. “What’s going on in here?” Her voice was filled with suspicion as soon as she noticed the awful mess.

“What did you do to Rebecca?” Flossie demanded right back at our hostess.

Hazel looked at the pasta salad splattered all over the floor first and then at Rebecca who was lying in the middle of the mess. “Good gracious, Mary, and Joseph. She’s dead, isn’t she?”

The front doorbell rang for a second time.

“And the rest of the ladies are here. Of course, they are,” Hazel said before bursting out in a loud peel of laughter. The poor woman laughed so hard she had to bend over and grab hold of her knees to keep from falling over. And she kept laughing.

I called the police while Hazel continued to laugh so hard tears poured down her face. It took Flossie threatening to slap her silly before the poor woman managed to get control of herself.

“Sorry, sorry, I’ve had to put up with this sharp-tongued woman all week. She kept telling me that tonight was going to be a disaster…and then the dessert burned…and I had to take it out to the garbage…and…now…this,” Hazel explained between gasping breaths. “She was right, wasn’t she? Tonight is a disaster. I bet she died just to make sure she would be right. She would always go to any length to ensure her rightness. I can’t tell you how much I hated that.”

The doorbell rang again. Hazel glanced over at where Rebecca was still on the floor dead. The soles of the former actress’s high heels were really the only thing visible from where the three of us were. A short laugh seemed to explode out Hazel’s mouth. “Sorry. I can’t seem to help myself. Seeing her there reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the East at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz movie. Smashed by a house. Ding-dong.” She fought back more giggles and more tears. “Gracious, it isn’t funny. I know it isn’t. It’s just that I worked myself half to death this past week trying to make Rebecca happy and then, the moment before the guests arrive and before Rebecca’s friend from that television show comes to set up, that terrible woman drops dead. And my casserole dish is smashed too. It was a wedding gift from my sister.”

“You didn’t do this?” Flossie asked, pointing to the shattered remains of what I supposed to be the murder weapon.

“What? Buy that dish?” Hazel shook her head. “No. I just told you it had been a wedding gift from my sister. I’ve had it forever. It’s hard to find quality ones that are that large enough nowadays. I don’t know how I’ll replace it.

Love it! Thanks for sharing.

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

I live in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with my family and neurotic pets. I often can be found at the local library, searching for my next favorite read. I hope you’ll give one of my books a chance.

I certainly hope my readers will, and I plan to do so, too. Thanks so much for the wonderful interview. I’m sharing the blog tour for you new release below. Best wishes.

 


A Book Club to Die For (A Beloved Bookroom)
by Dorothy St. James

About A Book Club to Die For


A Book Club to Die For (A Beloved Bookroom)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Cypress, South Carolina
‎Berkley (November 1, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593098633
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593098639
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PZSBCVW

When a member of an exclusive book club is checked out, spunky librarian Trudell Becket must sort fact from fiction to solve the murder.

The Cypress Arete Society is one of the town’s oldest and most exclusive clubs. When assistant librarian Trudell Becket is invited to speak to the group about the library, its modernization, and her efforts to bring printed books to the reading public, her friend Flossie invites herself along. Flossie has been on the book club’s waiting list for five years, and she’s determined to find out why she’s never received an invitation to join.

But not long after Tru and Flossie arrive for the meeting, they’re shocked to find the club’s president, Rebecca White, dead in the kitchen. Rebecca was a former TV actress and local celebrity, but was not known for being patient or pleasant. She’d been particularly unkind to the book club’s host for the evening, who also happens to be the mother of Detective Jace Bailey, Tru’s boyfriend. And Rebecca had made it clear that she didn’t think Flossie was book club material.

With her boyfriend and one of her best friends wrapped up in a murder, Tru has to work fast to figure out who cut Rebecca’s story short before the killer takes another victim out of circulation….

About Dorothy St. James

Dorothy St. James is a former Folly Beach beach bum. She now lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with her family, slightly (OK, terribly) needy dogs, and the friendliest cat you’ll ever meet. Author of a dozen novels, Dorothy enjoys writing both cozy mysteries and romance.

Follow Dorothy Online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dorothy.stjames

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorothywrites

Instagram: www.instagram.com/dorothymcfalls

Website: www.dorothystjames.com

Purchase Links – AmazonPenguin Random HouseB&NKoboIndieBound

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 1 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 1 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 3 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

November 4 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

November 5 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 5 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – The Book Diva’s Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 7 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 7 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

November 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 9 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 10 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

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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: mybook.to/CobbleCove5

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.

Website: http://www.saraheburr.com

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/saraheburrsignup

Socials: https://bit.ly/sarahsocialmediahub

Too Much to Candle: https://amzn.to/3NlJkyU

Glenmyre Whim Mystery series: https://bit.ly/glenmyrewhimmysteries

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

Website: www.saraheburr.com

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/saraheburrsignup

Socials: https://bit.ly/sarahsocialmediahub

Sarah’s Blog: https://bit.ly/noteworthyauthorblog

The Glenmyre Whim Mysteries: https://bit.ly/glenmyrewhimmysteries

Amazon Author Page: https://bit.ly/authorsaraheburr

Facebook Instagram Twitter Goodreads BookBub Pinterest YouTube LinkedIn

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

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 19 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

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

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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: mybook.to/CCcollection

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: https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/435953

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 https://catwriters.com/2022-conference/

 

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.

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/435953

 

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.