Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Charlie Donlea, Author of Don’t Believe It

I’m pleased to have authorCharlie Donlea here from Chicago, Illinois, to speak about his writing and new novel, Don’t Believe It, which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

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 broke into publishing in 2016 with my first novel Summit Lake, and followed with The Girl Who Was Taken the next year. Both novels were international bestsellers. Don’t Believe It is my third novel

All of my books have been published by Kensington Publishing.

Prior to Summit Lake, I wrote three full-length manuscripts that were rejected by more than 100 agents and publishers.  

Impressive. You’re an example of the determination that all writers need to succeed.

Tell us a little bit about your books.

Don’t Believe It will be released late May 2018 and can be pre-ordered now. It follows a true crime documentary filmmaker who produces a hit television series that chronicles the details of a gruesome crime from ten years ago. What starts out as a careful retelling of a haunting story turns into a race for the truth, and some chilling discoveries along the way.

Sounds intriguing.

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’ve been on a book-a-year pace for the past three years, with my fourth book due to be released in the summer of 2019. My goal is to keep churning out thrillers at the same pace. I plan to reach that goal by putting my butt in a chair, and my fingers on the keyboard in order to beat my deadlines.

Good plan.

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

Thriller and suspense readers. Readers who like to read fast-paced stories with great twists, and surprise endings.

Sounds like some of the readers I’d like to reach with my standalone mysteries that are not part of my cozy series.

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

Don’t listen to the naysayers. If you concentrate on how difficult it is to break in, you likely won’t. Pick out a few of your favorite (and successful) authors, and study their careers. Remember, before they had any success in publishing they were trying to break in just like you.

For me, that writer is John Grisham. He tells a story of going to a bookstore as an aspiring writer, looking at all the books on the shelves, and wondering what he’d need to do to stand out from all the other writers. I’d say he figured it out pretty well.

Excellent advice. As a librarian, I’m well aware of how long it took many well-known authors to become big names. Your example is inspiring.

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

Lots of rejection. I wrote three manuscripts that were rejected by more than 100 agents and editors before I broke in.

I’ve been querying two unpublished manuscripts right now and haven’t sent those many out yet but have had my share of rejections.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

But as far as writing groups, I’ve always been a solo writer. I have never been part of any critique groups.

I’m also a member of International Thriller Writers as well as Sisters-in-Crime. I’d love to join Mystery Writers of America but am not yet eligible. I agree with you that critique groups aren’t for everyone. Our library has a writer’s group, but it focuses on writing lessons rather than critiques.

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

First drafts are my greatest challenge. And I’m sure my writing deadlines are causing cardiovascular issues.

It’s important to pace yourself, although I know that’s hard to do. I work full-time, so I have to limit my writing time but still write every day.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.

https://www.facebook.com/charliedonlea/

https://twitter.com/CharlieDonlea

https://Charliedonlea.com

Thanks so much for the interview, Charlie, and best wishes on the blog tour and your new release.

Join the Rafflecopter for the blog tour here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792715/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

 

 

 

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight on Dead as a Doornail by Tonya Kappes

Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
by Tonya Kappes

About the Book


Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (May 15, 2018)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635113341
Digital ASIN: B079V6DNFW

Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can only mean one thing: Murder!

Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa?

It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.

About the Author

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website at Tonyakappes.com .

Visit Tonya:
Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes,
https://www.facebook.com/authortonyakappes

Kappes Krew Street Team
https://www.facebook.com/groups/208579765929709/

Website
tonyakappes.com

Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4423580.Tonya_Kappes

Twitter
https://twitter.com/tonyakappes11

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

Purchase Links:

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

May 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

May 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

May 12 – cherylbbookblog – SPOTLIGHT

May 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

May 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 15 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

May 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 17 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

May 17 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

May 18 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW

May 19 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

May 20 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 21 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 21 – Varietats – REVIEW

May 22 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight for The Face on the Other Side by John Carenen (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)

The Face on the Other Side (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)
by John Carenen

About the Book


The Face on the Other Side (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)
Mystery
3rd in Series
FPS (February 10, 2018)
Paperback: 340 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1945338946

He’d promised Sheriff Payne that he wouldn’t take any more matters into his own hands. So, when on a leisurely morning drive, SEAL-trained Thomas O’Shea sees two girls attacking a boy on a sidewalk, he opts not to intervene. When the boy is later murdered in the local hospital, though, all promises are off. What seems at the start to be a simple case of gang activity turns out to be far more. Even O’Shea, who has seen more than his share of evil, could not have guessed what is about to transpire…

About the Author

John Carenen, a native of Clinton, Iowa, graduated with an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the prestigious University of Iowa Writers Workshop and has been writing ever since. His work has appeared numerous times in Reader’s Digest (including a First Person Award), McCall’s, Dynamic Years, and other periodicals. He has been a featured columnist in newspapers in Morganton, North Carolina and Clinton, South Carolina. His fiction has appeared in regional literary magazines. A novel, Son-up, Son-down, was published by the National Institute of Mental Health. He is happily married to (long-suffering) Elisabeth, and they have two grown daughters, Caitlin and Rowe. When he isn’t writing, he thinks about getting in shape, cheers for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Boston Red Sox, and takes frequent naps. He has traveled extensively, having visited 43 states and 23 countries. He is a USAF veteran, having served in the Philippines and Massachusetts. A retired an English professor at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, he is hard at work on another novel.

Author Links

Purchase Links

Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 9 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

May 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

May 10 – Fantastic Feathers – REVIEW

May 11 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

May 11 – Valerie’s Musings – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 12 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

May 13 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 14 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 15 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 16 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

May 17 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST

May 17 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

May 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

May 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 21 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

May 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

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Posted in Authors

Author Fair at St. Stephens Church

Jan and Rick Mosebach at the St. Stephens raffle and information table.

The first church author fair at St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Hicksville took place on Saturday, May 12. It featured nine local authors, raffles, a church table with information and giveaways, and refreshments. The raffle prizes were donated by the authors. The money raised through the ticket sales were used as a fundraiser for the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club. Throughout the afternoon, each author spoke about their writing and autographed books at their table. The authors who participated wrote a variety of genres from mystery to romance to children’s books and poetry.

Rick Mosebach, Inreach/Outreach Director opening the fair.
Author Debbie De Louise at her table

Since I was the one who suggested an author fair for St. Stephens, I opened the program after Rick Mosebach, the director of Inreach/Outreach ministry, gave a few words about the church and their upcoming events. I introduced myself as a librarian at the Hicksville Public Library and the author of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and a recent standalone mystery. I read the blurbs to the first book of my series, A Stone’s Throw, and then the blurb and prologue of my new mystery, Reason to Die.

Author Michael Di Leo

Mike Di Leo spoke next and read an excerpt from his historical novel, Images of Broken Light, taking place in 1980 during the time of John Lennon’s murder.

Karen Harter

Karen Harter, a children’s author from Manhasset, spoke about the first book in her series, Jeremiah Strout and the Curse of the Golden Harp and shared some excerpts from the book before a short break that allowed the audience to chat with the authors, purchase autographed books, and have refreshments.

JoAnn Krapp

After the break, JoAnn Krapp, a School Library Media Specialist and children’s author, spoke about her writing and books.

Jeannie Moon

Jeannie Moon, a high school librarian, romance author, and member of the Romance Writers of America spoke about her books published by Penguin Random House and Tule Publishing and read an excerpt from them.

Russ Moran

Russ Moran was the last speaker before the second break. Russ, a member of the Long Island Authors Group along with a few other authors at the event including myself, spoke about his Time Magnet time travel series and other books. He mentioned how characters can become “real” to authors and develop their own identities.

Michael O’Keefe

After another short break, Mike O’Keefe, a retired NYPD detective, read excerpts from his crime novel, Shot to Pieces

Cliff Bleidner

The next presentation was given by Cliff Bleidner, Coordinator of the Performance Poets Association, who was fit into the program last minute after one of the authors cancelled due to an emergency. Cliff read some of his poetry to the audience and spoke about his writing. He encouraged audience members who had an interest in writing to not let their fears stop them.

Elaine Whitehouse

Last but not least, Elaine Whitehouse, a journalist and former editor of the Fire Island Tide and the Fire Island News who currently lives in Sayville, read an excerpt from her historical novel, Hart’s Tavern.

After the speakers, the raffle winners were announced. Each author who donated an autographed copy of their books drew a ticket. The largest prize was a gift basket of books donated by Meara Platt, an author who couldn’t attend the event. Janet Muller, the winner of that prize, also won a copy of my new mystery.

The fair raised $221 for the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club and was a nice opportunity for local authors to share their work with readers. St. Stephens hopes to make this an annual event.

Debbie De Louise with Janet Muller, winner of two raffle prizes at the fair.

 

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, Guest Post, New Releases

Guest Post by Maymee Bell, Author of Cake and Punishment

It’s my pleasure to feature a guest post by authorMaymee Bell whose new release, Cake and Punishment, is currently on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

From ideas to the page. . . 

I write by the seat of my pants. Not literally, but really—I don’t plot before I sit down, but I do think a lot.

Writing is definitely a job that is solitary. It’s just me and my made up world all day long. And just like in a regular job, whether it be a desk job, teacher, or stay at home mom, I have to make the commitment every single day to show up at my job—bring my fictitious world out of my head and on the page.

Since I write murder, it’s a little different than a novel in a different genre. I have to know the ending and the whodunit and the why before I even type a word on the page. This is when I scour crime scene interviews, reasons people are murdered, motives, news stories and zany ways to kill people.

Checkered Crime is the first novel in my latest mystery series, A Laurel London Mystery, and I knew there had to be a hook besides a mob guy kills because things didn’t go his way. So the “what-if” game starts.

I tape a big sheet of white paper on the wall in my office and I make bullet points of the what if’s with the answers. I’m leaving the answers out here because I don’t want to give away any of the fun details of the novel. You are going to have to buy and read the book for all the fun!

*What if the mob guy was missing a finger? Why is he missing a finger? How can I use that in the murder or the crime?
*What is unique about my heroine? What is her quirk? What if she lost her job and needed an old beater car? What if the car is yellow? What if the mob guy thought it was a taxi? What if he hired her to be his driver? OMG! What if the FBI is watching him? The FBI guy jumps in her car and forces her to work for the FBI…then she’d be working for both sides?
*What is in it for the heroine? 
*What is the crime? Why is the crime so important that it needs to be solved? 

This game goes on and on. I talk to myself and put the quirkiest answers next to the question. It may or may not make it into the book, but my ideas start to flow and the plot begins to take place.

This is when I sit down and begin to write the first draft or the “bones” of the novel. It takes me about one month, sitting butt in chair, and eight hour days to get it finished. After this draft is complete, I go back through the draft and add in all the little quirky or funny parts since I inject humor into the story. This is how I put the “meat on the bones.” The story deepens. My characters deepen and come to life. The dialogue tags take shape and the story begins to form into a solid novel.

This process takes me two – three weeks. After that, I will print out the novel and read it out loud, taking me another week. Here I begin to change around scenes or add more storyline or details.

This is the last before I send it off to my editor for the first round of edits. This is a back and forth process until it’s ready for my beta readers. With the feedback, I complete the novel for one last round of edits before it’s sent out into the world for readers.

I’m giving away ONE prize across all the blogs for a Kindle. Here is the link to the rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Posted in Solstice Publishing, Twitter

April #TwitterTales: The Muir Woods Murderer (Flash Fiction Story)

 

My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way through an exercise of flash fiction. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In April, that photo was of a forest. Below are my tweets for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.

When Josh suggested a romantic stroll through Muir woods, Allison wasn’t too keen on the idea. That past summer, three girls had been found knifed to death, their blood spilled into the forest’s dirt carpet. The killer had never been caught.

What made Allison change her mind was Josh’s promise to protect her. They’d been dating a year and enjoyed long walks together. The fall forest was dark but strangely enticing. She clung to Josh. Nothing could happen in the safety of his arms.

“Where are we headed?” Allison asked. They’d taken so many turns that she was becoming disoriented, but Josh kept leading her deeper & deeper into the dark woods where 3 of her friends had died. A shiver ran up her spine as she awaited his answer.

“Are you scared about what happened here to Holly, Jean, & Laura even though you’re with me, Allison?”
“No,” she lied. “but maybe we should go back, Josh. I’m getting tired,” The full moon illuminated his face. The expression he wore chilled her.

“Why are you scared, Allison?” As he approached, the full moon waned. The forest darkened. “I asked to leave, Josh.” She backed away. “So did they.” His eyes glinted in the half light as he took a knife from his jacket. She screamed and ran.

Allison’s chest heaved. Her breath came in shallow gasps as she ran through the woods trying to avoid falling over the twigs that carpeted the forest floor. Josh was closing in, his knife slashing a path behind her.

She ran with Josh in pursuit, her breath coming in ragged gasps. Each time one of her friends was found dead, Josh was missing. He said he was home while his parents were out, but she now
knew he was the Muir Woods killer & she was his next victim.

She tripped and fell face down on the forest floor. Picking herself up, she turned to see Josh flash his knife. She deflected its blow, kicked him in the groin, and ran through the trees into the street where a police car stopped to aid her.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog Tour, Cover Reveal, Cozy Mystery

Announcing Cover Reveal and Blog Tour for The Golden Pawn by L.A. Chandlar

The Gold Pawn

November 1936. Mayor La Guardia’s political future buckles under a missing person case in New York City. Simultaneously, Lane unravels devastating secrets in the outskirts of Detroit. As two crimes converge, judging friends from enemies can be a dangerous game . . .

Finally summoning the courage to face the past, Lane Sanders breaks away from her busy job at City Hall to confront childhood nightmares in Rochester, Michigan. An unknown assailant left Lane with scattered memories after viciously murdering her parents. However, one memory of a dazzling solid gold pawn piece remains—and with it lies a startling connection between the midwestern tragedy and a current mystery haunting the Big Apple . . .

Meanwhile, fears climb in Manhattan after the disappearance of a respected banker and family friend threatens the crippled financial industry and the pristine reputation of Lane’s virtuous boss, Mayor Fiorello “Fio” La Guardia. Fio’s fight to restore order leads him into more trouble as he meets a familiar foe intent on ending his mayoral term—and his life . . .

Guided by overseas telegrams from the man she loves and painful memories, only Lane can silence old ghosts and derail present-day schemes. But when the investigation awakens a darker side of her own nature, will she and New York City’s most prominent movers and shakers still forge ahead into a prosperous new age . . . or is history doomed to repeat itself?

Ready . . .

 

Set. . .

Reveal!!!

 

Coming September 25 from Kensington Books!

Pre-order your copy today!

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About the Author

L .A. Chandlar is the author of the Art Deco Mystery Series with Kensington Publishing featuring Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and a fresh take on the innovation and liveliness of 1930s New York City. Her debut novel, The Silver Gun released August 29, 2017, and the sequel, The Gold Pawn, will release September 25th, 2018. Laurie has been living and writing in New York City for 16 years and has been speaking for a wide variety of audiences for over 20 years including a women’s group with the United Nations. Her talks range from NYC history, the psychology of creativity, and the history of holiday traditions. Laurie has also worked in PR for General Motors, writes and fund-raises for a global nonprofit is the mother of two boys, and has toured the nation managing a rock band.

Author Links

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