Posted in Anthology, Cozy Mysteries, Spotlight

Spotlight for Deadly Traditions: A Cozy Mystery Christmas Anthology


Deadly Traditions: A Cozy Mystery Christmas Anthology
by Justine Maxwell, Gayle Leeson, Estelle Richards, Erin Scoggins, Sage So, Dianne Ascroft, Ellie Ballard, Melicity Pope, Mollie Cox Bryan, and Sam Cheever

About Deadly Traditions


Deadly Traditions: A Cozy Mystery Christmas Anthology
Cozy Mysteries
Grace Abraham Publishing (September 27, 2022)
Number of Pages TBA
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B2LHQ2G9

Have yourself a DEADLY little Christmas.

Celebrate the holidays with mistletoe, mayhem, and murder. Join your favorite authors as they cozy up by the fire with twelve festive short mysteries that feature treasured holiday traditions. Serve up a slice of fatal fruitcake and deck the halls with danger, because the holiday season has never been so much fun.

This original collection is available for a limited time only, so grab your copy today.

Includes:
A Pickle in a Pear Tree by Erin Scoggins
Mistletoe and Murder by Dianne Ascroft
O Deadly Night by Estelle Richards
Larceny and Gingerbread Lattes by Justine Maxwell
Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas by Gayle Leeson

About the Authors

About Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women’s fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers.

About Mollie Cox Bryan

Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozy mysteries with edge. She’s the author of several bestselling mystery series, also writing under the pen name Maggie Blackburn. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman’s World. She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People’s Choice Award. She’s also penned a historical fiction: MEMORY OF LIGHT: AN AFTERMATH OF GETTYSBURG. She’s the mother of two nearly perfect daughters, each pursuing careers in music.

About Erin Scoggins

USA Today Bestselling Author Erin Scoggins is a long-time Southerner with a fondness for offbeat humor and fresh fried chicken. After fifteen years in marketing with a Fortune 500 company, she traded her MBA for fictional crime scenes and feisty small-town families. She writes fun, flirty mysteries that are celebrations of food, family, and the killer South.

Visit her at http://www.erinscoggins.com for book news and shenanigans.

About Estelle Richards

Posted in Anthology, Freebies and Special Offers

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A Gift and a Way for You to Help Pets and the Ukraine

Even if you’re not Irish, I’d like to give you a St. Patrick’s Day gift. My cozy mystery story, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, is free today, March 17, through the weekend. Pick up your copy here: mybook.to/BarkTree

Would you like to help support a good cause? Red Penguin Books is publishing “Where Flowers Bloom: Poems and Essays of Strength, Hope, and Resilience,” to raise funds to aid the Ukraine people. They’re seeking submissions until March 25 and also have a Kickstarter campaign.

For details, see: https://redpenguinbooks.com/ukraine/

Thanks to those who voted for Hermione in America’s Favorite Pet Contest. She’s now #1 in her group but still needs more votes until 6 PM PDT time on March 17 to stay in the contest and enter the quarter finals.

You can vote once each day for free or buy votes that raise funds for the PAWS Foundation to help pets. Please make St. Patrick’s Day and St. Gertrude’s Day (Saint of Cats) lucky for Miss Hermione on March 17.

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Recommended Weekend Reading if you Enjoy Historical Fiction

*****5 stars

I recently finished reading Ernest Lived . . . and other Historical Fiction Short Stories published by Red Penguin Books for their Red Penguin Collection that’s edited by J.K Larkin. These fifteen stories take place during different time periods. The anthology featured a contest for the best story that would be the featured story in the collection. Diane Kane’s “Ernest Lived” won and with good reason. This touching story features a boy who befriends an old World War 1 homeless veteran named Ernest whom he meets by the train tracks and invites to live with him on his farm. Ernest teaches the boy many lessons before he dies. The one he remembers most is “When your days are done, and you meet the Lord, it matters not what day you were born, nor the day you die. All that matters is how you lived.”

David Lange contributed two stories to this anthology. The one I liked most was the last story in the book, “Last Card, First Kiss,” about a boy in 1976 who collected baseball cards and was seeking one special card to complete his collection. Looking for this card, he finds something more valuable when he befriends a girl in his class.

Christina Hoag’s story, “The Night on the Rock,” is another 70’s story but involves teenagers instead of kids and has a very different theme. In this one, a young man learns a lesson the hard way after trying to be cool with the ladies and his friends.

Minoti Vaishnav’s story, “355,” takes place on Long Island during the War of Independence when the Culper Spy Ring existed. I loved the fact this story was local, and the twist at the end was very well written.

“Be Brave” by Valerie Ormond was another excellent story. It involved a young man who lost his family in a fire in 1860 and, after some trials, went on to become a Pony Express rider.

If you like stories with paranormal elements, you’ll enjoy “Snowalkers” by R.J. Erbacher that takes place during World War II and features a soldier who is visited by the ghosts of the people he killed in combat.

All the stories in this collection are excellent reads, but the ones above are the ones I enjoyed most not including my own, “The Pyramid Murder,” which takes the reader back to the building of the Great Pyramids and a murder that occurs there that is solved partly by a cat.

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review: The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories edited by JK Larkin

***** 5 stars

The Roaring 20’s: A Decade of Stories is another excellent anthology from the Red Penguin Collection. In this book, eleven authors share tales of various decades. Although I enjoyed every one of these stories and it’s hard to pick favorites, the ones I liked most included David Lange’s “Flapper and the Captain;” “An Act of Senselessness” by Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl; “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio; and “Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron.

Air Force veteran David Lange tells an interesting tale involving a flapper and an air force captain suffering from PTSD after receiving an injury in World War 1. The story’s origin, which is shared by the author at the end, is even more absorbing than this supernatural-type piece. Also with a strong paranormal element is Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl’s, “An Act of Senselessness” about a couple on Halloween in 1983 that are involved in a car accident with a twist.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio is a fun tale featuring wealthy ninety-something Southampton socialite. Miss Ellen, and her younger companion, Patrice. The ladies come to the aid of a girl at a club where they’re dining who is interested in a man but is having trouble gaining his attention. Miss Ellen gives her some old-fashioned pointers that do the trick. Along the way, Ms. Donadio includes interesting tidbits about Long Island history and popular culture of the 1980’s.

“Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron, is the last story in this anthology. Last but definitely not least. Mr. Rostron reveals his own family history from 1900-1970 in seven connected short pieces that tell their own stories about his relatives.

The one story I didn’t include among my favorites is my own contribution to this anthology, “Growing Up in the Summer of ’71” which is my own semi-autobiographical tale about an eleven-year-old girl in 1971 with an older sister and how the two deal with relationships during the 1970’s era of Vietnam, hippies, and drugs.

These stories make for a great read any time of year but especially during the holiday season when people often reflect on the past.

Pick up a copy of The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories here: https://amzn.to/3ywEPLI

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review: The Moments edited by JK Larkin

***** 5 stars

The Moments is another interesting anthology from the Red Penguin Collection. In this book, nine authors share a special moment in their lives. There are some amazing stories here and others that are everyday events that are still unique to the author.

Air Force veteran David Lange, recounts the birth of each of his children in different places in “Welcoming Life.” Swan Rose, a former musician and current poet, writes about various special moments with his daughters and wife in “The Best Time of My Life.” Retired navy pilot, Jim Tritten, describes a once-in-a-lifetime experience he had on a nine-day warrior expedition to Big Bend National Park in “Touched by Rapture.” Skye Ballantine pens “Christmas Kindness,” a story about sharing gifts with those less fortunate and the true meaning of the holidays in simple pleasures of special moments. “When the Music’s Over” by William John Rostron relates his failed attempts at playing in a band and attending Woodstock and what it taught him about life. Nika Jordan Rose completes the collection with a play called “Lost & Found” which explores the deeply human need for connection in a self-isolated world.

These essays and the others in this anthology make for a great read any time of year but especially during the holiday season when the opportunity to encounter special moments of your own are more likely. I especially enjoyed editor J.K. Larkin’s introduction to this book and how he began the popular Red Penguin Collection during the pandemic.

Pick up a copy of The Moments here: https://amzn.to/3oQ1hek

Posted in Anthology, holidays

Review: ‘Tis the Seasons: Poems for Your Holiday Spirit edited by J.K. Larkin

*****5 stars

This holiday poetry anthology is part of the Red Penguin collection of books edited by J.K. Larkin. It contains 36 poems by various authors that reflect the wonder, joy, and nostalgia of the holiday season. Some poems are funny; others are sad, but they all deal with holiday feelings and experiences.

Some of my favorite poems include David Lange’s “Needle in the Corner,” a poem with a sad twist; J.S. Manino’s “Thrill Before Christmas” which is a clever takeoff of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” song; Lisa Diaz Meyer’s “Merry Christmas Eve (Grandpa’s Walk); Linda Trott Dickman’s “Still Proceeding”; the funny “A Kiss Under the Mistletoe” by Gary S. Watkins; and two poems that deal with the pandemic: “A Pandemic Christmas” by Meldoy Lipford and “Bright Nights” by Kathryn Sadakierski. My short poem “Advent” is also featured.

I can heartily recommend this collection to get you into the holiday spirit. It’s available as a paperback or eBook and also free for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers. Pick up a copy at https://amzn.to/30QiuvO.

Posted in Anthology, Recipe, Reviews

Review of Feeding the Flock: Recipes from the Red Penguin Family

***5 stars

Feeding the Flock is part of the Red Penguin Collection of anthologies of various genres. This one focuses on cooking recipes for large gatherings, although the ingredients can be modified for smaller servings. Whether hosting Thanksgiving, a special birthday party, or other occasion or holiday, this is a perfect book to keep by your stove. What’s unique about this collection is that, besides some interesting yet simple recipes for groups, it includes note about how the cook/author created the recipe. It also features illustrations of each dish. Some of the familiar recipes included are Basic Stuffing Recipe, Dutch Apple Pie, Twice Baked Potato, and Linguine with Clams. Other less familiar recipes featured are Cawl Mamgu, a Welsh dish; Hungarian Krumpli Haluska; and Golabki (Polished stuffed cabbage). My favorite was the “Do You Take Your Peppered Peppers Laying Down or Vertical?” because I love stuffed peppers. I also enjoyed Mussels Marinara in Oyster Bay by Elaine Donadio who shared her memories of when she and her family lived and boated around this Long Island town which is one of my favorite places to visit. If you’re looking for a recipe book with a varied collection of dishes along with some great stories, this is the book for you.

Amazon Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2YHvd3m

Bookshop.org Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/3FgInDZ

Posted in Anthology, author news, Book Sales

July Book Sale, New Releases, and Author News

As July heats up, I have a “hot” offer for my award-winning psychological mystery, Sea Scope, about a murder at a lighthouse. Pick up a copy from June 30 through the Fourth of July for only 99 cents.

Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she returns to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.

Sarah hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.

After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope. Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home.

When past and present collide, Sarah must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?

Grab this book on sale here: mybook.to/SeaScope

Also, this month, I’m proud to announce that two new releases include my short stories. “The Pyramid Murder” is featured in Ernest Lived: and Other Historical Fiction Short Stories, and “Neighbors” is included in the 2021 Indie Authors’ Short Story Anthology. 

Ernest Lived …and other Historical Fiction Short Stories is a new anthology under The Red Penguin Collection that aims to celebrate the classic genre with over a dozen new entries. Travel across North America in the 1950s by train, sneak around the pyramids of Giza while they were first under construction, fight against the axis in the second world war—so many adventures await!

Featuring the works of the following writers:

Steven Alcott

Skye Ballantyne

Pat Black-Gould

R. J. Erbacher

Christina Hoag

Diane Kane

David Lange

Debbie De Louise

Valerie Ormond

Vaughn Roste

William John Rostron

Swati Singh

Jasmine Tritten

Minoti Vaishnav

Sarah Young

Pick up your copy of this book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1637770820/

The 2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology featuring the theme of moving and moving on, consists of thirty-give stories from twenty-five contributors across six different countries and five continents.

They are:
Thom Brodkin, Tammy Godfrey, Sue MacDonald, Steven McKenney, Richard Newell, Renee Pellegrino, Nina Heiser, Sunny Abernathy, Mustang Patty, © Maruschka Scott, Mackenzie M. Hebner, John K. Adams, Jessica Brimer, Jane Bradshaw, Ellen Eigner, Deidra Whitt Lovegren, Debbie De Louise, Cindy Myer, Christy Kunin, Chris Gibson, Charles Bucklin, C Alexis, Becky Crookham, and Astrid B. Blume

Pick up your copy of this book here: https://www.amazon.com/Indie-Authors-Short-Story-Anthology/dp/B0979M9V42/

In other news, an interview about my time travel novel, Time’s Relative, will be featured in the July issue of the International Thriller Writers’ Big Thrill Magazine. https://www.thebigthrill.org/ Did you catch the article about it in the summer issue of Mystery Scene Magazine?

On July 24, I’ll also be on a panel with other members of the Cat Writers’ Association presenting a Zoom program for the Broward County Public Library.

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review of Behind Closed Doors, the New Mystery Anthology in the Red Penguin Collection

*****5 stars

The Red Penguin Collection of anthologies feature short stories of various genres. Their latest, a mystery collection called BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, includes wonderful offerings by 15 talented authors. Although I haven’t read all the stories, my favorites so far are “Last Lap” by Diane Kane (what a twist); “The Time of His LIfe” by William John Rostron (a story every bored young person should read); and, no bias here, my story, “The Return of the Arch Villain,” about a St. Louis cop who reopens the cold case of his wife’s murder before he retires. This is a great collection of mysteries of all types and one any mystery reader won’t want to miss.

Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2RW3us4

Read more about the Red Penguin Collection in this blog post: https://debbiedelouise.com/2021/01/18/the-red-penguin-collection-a-great-opportunity-for-writers/

Posted in Anthology, Podcasts, Television Broadcast

The Red Penguin Collection – A Great Opportunity for Writers

Do you have unpublished stories hidden away in your files or on your PC? Poems, Essays, or other material? If so, you should check out the Red Penguin Collection, a series of anthologies with a variety of themes. Novice to advanced writers are invited to submit. The collection currently consists of 9 books including their new release, Stand Out, the Best of the Red Penguin Collection Vol. 1. On their website, there are also calls for 8 upcoming anthologies ranging from Feeding the Flock (a book of recipes); A Heart Full of Love (romance stories); The Florist on the Corner (nature-inspired poetry) and more. You can check the Red Penguin site for details and submission dates. I’ve been honored to have had my science fiction stories, “The Felindae Mission” included in both What Lies Beyond and the Stand Out anthologies. I’ve also had my poem, “Advent” included in the ‘Tis the Season anthology, and my essay, “Toasting 2021” included in We Made it!, their New Year’s anthology.

These anthologies are edited by J.K. Larkin, a Long Island based writer and recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College. They are one of the many opportunities for authors that Red Penguin offers. Besides the anthologies, Red Penguin also publishes books using a traditional or hybrid model. Stephanie Larkin, the Founder of Red Penguin, has worked with many writers’ groups, including the New York Chapter of the National Writers Union, and The Long Island Authors Group, on book development and marketing. She’s taught in the Marketing Department at Nassau Community College for the past 10 years, where she enjoys working with future entrepreneurs and marketing professionals. She also works with several colleges in the business and entrepreneurial divisions, including the New York Institute of Technology and the Yale University National Student Leadership program.  Stephanie has been the moderator and host for dozens of author and writing events at libraries, schools and bookstores, as well as scores of online events. She hosts the Between the Covers TV show, The Once and Future Authors Podcast, and the Author Corner Cable TV show. I’ve been a guest on Between the Covers and The Once and Future Authors.

I’m thankful that I was included in the Red Penguin Collection and have appeared on their shows. I hope other authors will consider these opportunities and submit their work to Red Penguin.