Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Author Spotlight: Victoria Gilbert, Author of Booked To Death, A Booklover’s B & B Mystery

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Victoria Gilbert from the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, a rural area outside the cities of Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point.

Welcome, Victoria. 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 published book (2014) was CROWN OF ICE, a fairytale retelling of H. C. Andersen’s The Snow Queen. It was originally traditionally published, but for various reasons I pulled all my rights from that publisher and republished that title, as well as its companion title, SCEPTER OF FIRE – a “mash-up” retelling of Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling and The Steadfast Tin Soldier – as books one and two in the Mirror of Immortality Series. Those books were both independently published in the spring of 2017 with my author co-op, Snowy Wings Publishing.

I also wrote a YA scifi novel that was traditionally published in 2016, but that book is another where I pulled my rights. It’s now out-of-print, and I currently have no plans to republish it.

My first mystery novel was A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS. It was published in December 2017 by Crooked Lane Books, and is the start of the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series. Since that time, Crooked Lane has published more books in that series – SHELVED UNDER MURDER (2018), PAST DUE FOR MURDER (2019), and BOUND FOR MURDER (2020). A fifth book, A DEADLY EDITION, will be published by Crooked Lane on Dec. 8, 2020.

The first book in my new cozy mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B series, is BOOKED FOR DEATH, which was released by Crooked Lane Books on June 9th.

You have quite an interesting publishing background.

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.

The fifth book in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series is A DEADLY EDITION, which will be published by Crooked Lane Books on Dec. 8th of this year.  It is already available for preorder.

I have recently signed a contract for books six and seven in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, so I’ll be working on those books later this year and into 2021.

Currently, I’m working on book two in the Booklover’s B&B series, RESERVED FOR MURDER, which will be released in late spring of 2021.

Very nice. They all sound like great books.

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 simply want to keep writing and publishing as long as I can. As I already mentioned, over the next few years I plan to continue my current two series. I also intend to write a few books in the general fiction/women’s fiction genre and see if my agent and I can find a home for those books as well.

Those sound like excellent goals. Best of luck achieving them. It’s so important for writers to set goals. I’ve just made up my own plan for starting a new series and writing/finishing other book projects in the next two years.

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

As I am a very eclectic reader myself, I would be happy to attract anyone who enjoys reading.

As far as who might be most interested in my two current series, I would say anyone who likes cozy or light mysteries, anyone interested in a small-town settings and interesting and diverse characters, anyone who enjoys some (clean) romance in their books, and anyone who likes historical mysteries mixed in with contemporary crime-solving.

Sounds like you have a wide target audience.

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

Experiment and try new things, especially if you are feeling “stuck” or unfulfilled with where you are now. I started out in one genre, and while I did get published, I discovered that my real strengths as a writer lay elsewhere. Experimenting with writing mysteries, a genre I always loved but wasn’t certain I could write successfully, opened up a new world to me. I learned that my style and interests fit the mystery genre – something I would never have known if I hadn’t attempted to write in a new and different genre.

I would also say to explore new paths to publication if you find that the traditional publishing world isn’t interested in books that you’ve written and love. Although my SF/F books don’t match the market for traditional publishing today, I still believe in them and have found that publishing them independently (with my author co-op) is a great alternative to leaving them languishing “on the shelf.”

Excellent advice. I haven’t yet landed an agent or a large publisher, but I’ve been publishing with two Indie publishers and have also considered self publishing in the future, although I’m still querying to agents and submitting to my current publishers. I agree completely that writers need to experiment with genres and styles as well as different publishing options.

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

Despite starting later in life, my path to publication wasn’t as difficult as some. I actually signed with an agent and got a publishing deal after only a year of querying. To be honest, I faced more challenges AFTER being first published than before. I really don’t wish to go into details about those problems, but I will say that all my experiences have taught me a great deal about the publishing business, which I think is always beneficial.

There’s so much to learn about publishing, and writers have to experience most of it firsthand.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I am a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. I am also involved in my local Sisters in Crime chapter, Murder We Write.

I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers. I’ve considered joining Mystery Writers of America, also.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Of course I love reading! I also enjoy gardening, walking, traveling, drawing and painting, listening to music, attending theatre and dance performances, and watching films and some TV shows.

A nice and varied set of hobbies.

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

What I like most is the creative process and bringing my characters to life. I also enjoy developing plots and honing my words into something that can make me feel proud. (Even though my writing is never perfect and I am still learning). In addition, I love hearing from readers who have enjoyed my books, and discussing writing and books with other readers.

My toughest challenge is promotion. I am not a natural salesperson so dealing with the marketing aspect of the business is much more of a challenge for me than the creative side.

Those are my favorite and least parts of the publishing process, and I believe most authors feel the same about the challenges of marketing and promotion.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

As someone who is not fond of reading books that include graphic violence, language, or sex, I enjoy writing in a genre that doesn’t include those things. I also enjoy being able to focus on characters and everyday life while still being able to include action and adventure. In addition, cozies are fun – something I think we need more of in this world.

I feel the same way.

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

From BOOKED FOR DEATH, Book One in the Booklover’s B&B series:

Scott leaned back in his chair. “A costume party? Sounds like fun, but I have another engagement. Of course, to be honest, I’m not really a part of the Tey celebration, so I guess I can be forgiven for my absence.”

“Yes, you’re excused, but no one else.” I kept my tone light. I never wanted to force my guests to participate in an activity. Their payment for the event, which ran from Saturday to Saturday after a Friday evening check-in, included the dinner party, but if they wished to skip it, that was their choice. “We do have some local people attending the party, so there are plenty of participants even if you can’t come, Scott. Although you are welcome, of course.”

“I, for one, wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Lincoln said. “I have the perfect costume, which I certainly don’t want to waste.”

“Let me guess,” I said. “Richard the Third?”

“Oh no.” A slow smile spread over Lincoln’s face. “That’s much too expected. No, I plan to represent his eventual adversary, Henry the Seventh.”

“Siding with the opposition—the House of Tudor against the House of York?” Scott stood up and tossed his napkin onto the linen tablecloth. 

Lincoln sat back in his chair. “The Tudors won.”

“But even that line didn’t last,” Scott observed. “Still, your choice is unique, so good for you.”

Jennifer tapped her chin with one finger. “According to Tey, Henry was the villain who killed the young princes.”

Lincoln shrugged. “Who knows the truth of that story? Tey had her opinions, but nothing has ever been proven.”

“At any rate, I hope you’ll all have a good time tonight, virtually traveling back in time just as Tey’s Detective Grant did,” I said, as Alicia appeared with fresh eggs and other items and plopped them down in front of Lincoln and Jennifer.

“Full English breakfast,” she said. “Enjoy.”

Lincoln lifted his fork. “Thank you. Now, once more into the breach…”

I turned aside, swallowing a remark about the inappropriateness of his quote. Because, as far as I knew, no one was at war, or in any danger of death.

Of course, as later events soon proved, I was quite wrong in this assumption.

Great excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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

I want them to know that I am happy to engage with readers on social media or via my website contact form and would also love to talk to them if we meet at any conferences, signings, or related events. So readers – don’t hesitate to connect with me!

Also, while I do write series, and there is character development and plot progression over the course of the series, I never write cliff-hangers! If someone wants to read my books out of order, they should still be able to enjoy them.

Finally, my mystery books are all available in audio book format as well as hardback and eBook.

Great! Thanks so much for the interview, and I will share your current blog tour and giveaway. Best wishes on your new series.

Booked for Death: A Book Lover’s B&B Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About Booked for Death


Booked for Death: A Book Lover’s B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853074
ISBN-13: 978-1643853079
Digital ASIN: B07XX7PHTV

From the critically acclaimed author of SIBA Okra Pick A Murder for the Books, Victoria Gilbert embarks with a new series for perfect for fans of Kate Carlisle and Juliet Blackwell.

A book lover’s B&B in an idyllic waterfront village becomes the scene of a grisly murder–and a ruthless battle between treachery and the truth.

Nestled in the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, North Carolina, Chapters Bed-and-Breakfast is a reader’s paradise. Built in 1770, the newly renovated inn hosts a roster of special events celebrating books, genres, and authors. It’s the perfect literary retreat–until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house during a celebration of Golden Age mystery author Josephine Tey.

The victim’s daughter points the finger at forty-two-year-old widow and former schoolteacher Charlotte Reed, who inherited the B&B from her great-aunt Isabella. Charlotte is shocked to discover that the book dealer suspected Isabella of being a thief who founded Chapters on her ill-gotten gains. Charlotte has successfully learned the B&B business in a year, but nothing has prepared her to handle a death on the premises.

Armed with intelligence and courage and assisted by her vibrant older neighbor, a visiting author, and members of a local book club, Charlotte is determined to prove her innocence and to clear her great-aunt’s name. But the murderer is still at large, and equally determined to silence anyone who might discover the truth behind the book dealer’s death. Now, Charlotte must outwit an unknown killer–or end up writing her own final chapter.

About Virginia Gilbert

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and lives in North Carolina. This is her fourth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links:

Website/blog: http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGilbertauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/VictoriaGilbert

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

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4J0jvZ-D0NVF9Qv7H2ua8Q

BUY LINKS: 

Amazon B&N Kobo Indie Bound

A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/a-murder-for-the-books/

SHELVED UNDER MURDER: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/shelved-under-murder/

PAST DUE FOR MURDER: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/past-due-for-murder/

BOUND FOR MURDER: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612101/bound-for-murder-by-victoria-gilbert/

A DEADLY EDITION (preorder): https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/647523/a-deadly-edition-by-victoria-gilbert/9781643854762/

BOOKED FOR DEATH: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/622813/booked-for-death-by-victoria-gilbert/

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 8 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

June 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

June 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

June 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 10 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

June 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

June 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

June 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

June 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

June 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 15 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

June 15 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 16 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous– REVIEW

June 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

June 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

June 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

June 18 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 19 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

June 19 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

June 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 20 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

June 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 21 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Interview

Interview with T.R. Ragan, author of Don’t Make A Sound, A Sawyer Brooks Thriller, by T.R. Ragan

I’m honored to interview Theresa Ragan/TR Ragan, author of Don’t Make a Sound, for my blog today. Theresa is from Sacramento, California.

Thanks for joining me today, Theresa.

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.

In 2011, after writing for 20 years and struggling to get published, I self-published two time travel romance novels—Return of the Rose and A Knight in Central Park, four contemporary romance novels, and a romantic suspense novel under the name Theresa Ragan. Soon after, I self-published one thriller titled Abducted by TR Ragan, which shot up to the top of the Amazon store. Months later I was approached by publishers. By that time I had sold more than 350,000 books. In March 2012, I sold Abducted and two more books in the Lizzy Gardner series to Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer thriller imprint. I have been with T&M ever since!

Self-published: Return of the Rose, A Knight in Central Park, Having My Baby, An Offer He Can’t Refuse, Taming Mad Max, Here Comes the Bride, Finding Kate Huntley, Dead Man Running, I Will Wait for You: a novella

Published with Thomas & Mercer: Lizzy Gardner series: Abducted, Dead Weight, A Dark Mind, Obsessed, Almost Dead, and Evil Never Dies; Faith McMann Trilogy: Furious, Outrage, and Wrath; Jessie Cole series: Her Last Day, Deadly Recall, Deranged, and Buried Deep; Sawyer Brooks series: Don’t Make a Sound, Out of Her Mind, and Untitled Book #3.

What a great story. My first book, Cloudy Rainbow, a paranormal romance, was also self-published but I used a publishing company to do it. That book has since been reprinted with the publisher of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. I also write traditional mysteries and short stories of various genres. My latest book, Sea Scope, is a psychological mystery, and I just submitted a medical mystery to one of my publishers. I’ve also always enjoyed time travel and Twilight-Zone type tales and have a manuscript for one I hope to get back to soon.

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.

My newest series is about three sisters who all grew up within a dysfunctional family in a small town with lots of secrets. I have four sisters of my own, and we all remember things from our childhood a little differently. Same goes for Sawyer Brooks and her two sisters. They all handle the lingering horrors of their childhood a little bit differently. Sawyer Brooks, the youngest of the three, is the main character weaved through the three-book series. She struggles to overcome her feelings of being abandoned by her older sisters. It isn’t until she returns to her hometown that she learns that not everything is what it seemed. DON’T MAKE A SOUND by TR RAGAN was released on June 1, 2020.

Congratulations on your new release and interesting comment about how people remember things differently. I just submitted a manuscript that deals with repressed memories of a trauma that the main character is seeking to recall to solve a murder.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My goals as a writer is to always improve, always push myself to do better. After I turn in the third Sawyer Brooks novel next month, I will be writing my first standalone. I’m excited!

That’s great. I enjoy writing both standalones and series books.

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

When I write, I usually have readers like myself in mind. People who know the difference between right and wrong. People who want justice for all. My thrillers are about everyday people overcoming tremendous obstacles and finding ways to not only move on in life, but thrive. My heroines are not victims. They are survivors.

Excellent!

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

Read and write. If you have to give up TV to write for an hour after coming home from a full-time job, then do it! If you’re at home raising kids, write while they’re asleep or at school or while you’re waiting in the pick-up line to bring them home. I started writing when I was pregnant with my fourth child. My first book took me five years to write. I call it my Writing 101 Class. I thought about quitting a few times, but I didn’t. I wrote every day. I was determined and I persevered. When the rejection letters came in the mail, I cried for five minutes and then kept on writing. I have sold over three million books and I hope to sell three million more. It’s not easy. If it were, everyone would be writing a book. But if I can make it happen, so can you.

Three million books! That’s amazing. You’re an inspiration for many would-be and less successful authors including me.

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

Finding time was the most difficult part. I worked full-time while raising four kids. When daycare costs became more than my paycheck, it made sense for me to stay home while my husband worked to keep a roof over our head and food on the table. I wrote late at night and early in the morning. There were six of us in a small house, so I set up a table in my bedroom and that’s where I wrote for the first fifteen years. I also wrote in bed and at the dining room table and in the car. When I signed with my first agent, I thought I had made it! I was so excited. I made all the revisions that editors asked of me, but to no avail. After writing for more than fifteen years, I grew frustrated and I started writing my first thriller, ABDUCTED. I got out my frustrations with the publishing world by killing off characters. If a character didn’t spit out great dialogue—off with their head. I’m kidding. Sort of. The point is, I found a new genre and I found my voice. Everything changed after that.

Such an incredible story. While I also work full-time and have difficulty finding the time to fit in writing, I can’t imagine what you went through with four kids while I only have one daughter, now a teenager, and 3 cats. I’m still trying to find an agent and a large publisher, but I’m not waiting for that to happen.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to ThrillerFest, RWA, and the Sacramento Chapter of RWA.

I haven’t heard of ThrillerFest, but I belong to International Thriller Writers as well as Sisters-in-Crime and a few other groups.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love hanging out with my husband and all four of my grown children. I play the piano, self-taught since the age of fourteen. I love hiking with my sisters, too.

Nice. I tried to teach myself piano, but I haven’t played in years. I enjoy walking and a little running that’s not too hard on my knees, but I haven’t tried hiking.

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

The most challenging part for me is writing the first 100 pages of every single book. It doesn’t matter if it’s the second book in a series or the sixth. Those first 100 pages can cause me to lose sleep. I’m also not a big fan of deadlines. But that’s part of the deal! The very best part is writing THE END and realizing I did it again! Of course, I still have to revise, revise, revise, but that first draft is the tough part.

The best part for me is taking an everyday person/character and putting them in harrowing situations to see how they’ll deal with finding a way out of this often deadly and dangerous predicament. In my Faith McMann trilogy (Furious, Outrage, and Wrath) a wife, mother, and teacher is left for dead. Her husband has been killed and her two children have been kidnapped. Once Faith McMann begins to recuperate, she realizes she might be her children’s only hope. Faith becomes stronger, physically and mentally, and there is nothing that will stop her from finding her kids.

Good answers. I get stuck in the middle, but then I find that it gets going again if I don’t give up. The hardest part for me is promoting and marketing my books because I’d rather be writing which is my favorite part of the process because I enjoy creating characters and seeing where they lead me.

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

Of all those tragic memories, the night her sisters left was the most troubling, often as eerily vague as it was disturbingly real. Sawyer had been wearing her favorite nightgown, a light-pink cotton shift with a torn hem that fell below her knees. Out of breath and freezing cold, her heart hammering against her chest, she’d stood on the front porch of their old house in River Rock, staring into the night, praying it was all a bad dream and her sisters would return. That’s when a weighty hand had clamped down around her shoulder.

Oooh, exciting!

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

I would like anyone who reads one of my books to know that my sole purpose is to entertain. I would love for readers to finish a book of mine and truly feel empowered—to know there is absolutely no obstacle they can’t conquer.

Readers interested in signing up for a monthly newsletter or getting their name in a TR RAGAN book should check out my website at http://www.trragan.com

Very nice. Thanks for the great interview, and I will also share your current blog tour and giveaway. Best wishes on your new release.

Don’t Make a Sound (Sawyer Brooks)
by T.R. Ragan

About Don’t Make A Sound


Don’t Make a Sound (Sawyer Brooks)
Psychological Thriller
1st in Series
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (June 1, 2020)
Paperback: 287 pages
ISBN-10: 1542093872
ISBN-13: 978-1542093873
Digital ASIN: B07S4MFSFG

Her own past could be a reporter’s biggest story in this twisting thriller about murder and family secrets by the New York Times bestselling author T.R. Ragan.

Plagued by traumatic childhood memories, crime reporter Sawyer Brooks still struggles to gain control of her rage, her paranoia, and her life. Now, after finally getting promoted at work, she is forced to return home and face her past.

River Rock is where she’d been abandoned by her two older sisters to suffer alone, and in silence, the unspeakable abuses of her family. It’s also where Sawyer’s best friend disappeared and two teenage girls were murdered. Three cold cases dead and buried with the rest of the town’s secrets.

When another girl is slain in a familiar grisly fashion, Sawyer is determined to put an end to the crimes. Pulled back into the horrors of her family history, Sawyer must reconcile with her estranged sisters, who both have shattering memories of their own. As Sawyer’s investigation leads to River Rock’s darkest corners, what will prove more dangerous—what she knows of the past or what she has yet to discover?

About T.R. Ragan

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author T.R. Ragan has sold more than three million books since her debut novel appeared in 2011. She is the author of the Faith McMann trilogy (Furious, Outrage, and Wrath); the Lizzy Gardner series (Abducted, Dead Weight, A Dark Mind, Obsessed, Almost Dead, and Evil Never Dies) ; and the Jessie Cole novels (Her Last Day, Deadly Recall, Deranged, and Buried Deep). In addition to thrillers, she writes medieval time-travel tales, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense as Theresa Ragan. An avid traveler, her wanderings have led her to China, Thailand, and Nepal. Theresa and her husband, Joe, have four children and live in Sacramento, California. To learn more, visit her website at theresaragan.com.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TRRaganAuthor/ Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/trraganauthor/ Twitter – https://twitter.com/TRRaganAuthor

Purchase Links – Amazon B&N

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 26 – Booked on a Feeling – REVIEW

May 27 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

May 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

June 3 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 4 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

June 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour

Author Spotlight of Abby Collette, Author of A Deadly Inside Scoop, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery


Today,  I welcome Abby who writes under the pen names Abby L. Vandiver and Abby Collette. She is from Cleveland, Ohio.

Hi, Abby. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and  what titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

I’m a hybrid author and have penned more than twenty-five books and short stories. I first self-published a mystery-sci-fi-ish book in 2013 and I’ve been writing full time ever since. I have six series, five of which are in the cozy mystery genre—Mars Origin Series, Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery, Normal Junction Mysteries, Tiny House Cozy Mysteries, the Romaine Wilder Mystery published by Henery Press, and starting in May, 2020, the Ice Cream Parlor Mystery published by Berkley (Penguin Random House).

That’s wonderful. You are quite prolific.

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.

My books are mostly cozy mystery, although I’d like to try my hand at writing different genres, so look out for that. My first three books were sort of a Dan Brown mystery but not fast paced or action packed, it was more character driven. I have a new series with Berkley, the first book is A Deadly Inside Scoop. It’s an #ownvoice cozy set in a real suburb of Cleveland. It’s the first series I’ve written a series set in my hometown since my first book, In the Beginning. A Deadly Inside Scoop was released on May 12, 2020.

I also write cozy mysteries but have dabbled in other genres myself. I’m hoping to publish a medical thriller soon. I love the idea of an ice cream parlor mystery series. Best of luck with the first book.

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 continue writing books both as a self-published author and traditionally published. I also want to branch out and try my hand at writing in different genres. And I’d like to promote my books, especially the old ones. Sometimes, I think that I neglect them and I have a handful of short stories that have yet to be published. I’d love to work on that, but writing takes me in different, unexpected directions so I look forward to finding what surprises the future hold for me.

We have a lot in common in that I also have old book-length and story-length manuscripts that I’d like to revisit and publish one day. Some of them aren’t even on computer, so they will require a lot of work. I understand your feeling of needing to promote older titles. It isn’t easy to write new material and promote the old at the same time.

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

I hope everyone likes my books! I do write with everyone in mind, but for some, I know, cozies just aren’t their “cup of tea.” My readers are those that enjoy a light, humorous read. Ones that like to settle in, escape for a while and hang out with “friends” as I hope my characters will be to them.

I agree that characters are one of the most important features of a good book especially a cozy one.

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

I’d say to hang in there. It will come. And today, there are so many options. Self-publishing, and self-help publishers are great alternatives (or first choice) to traditional publishing. But whatever you choose, don’t stop writing. Finish that book and get it into the hands of readers.

Great advice. I’m still hoping to find an agent and publish with a large publisher, but I’m happy that I’ve been able to get my work out there through two Indie publishers.

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

I had a lot to learn when I first started. I didn’t have experience writing, never taken any writing classes and had been in writing groups. I had to learn my craft at the same time I had to learn how to market the book. Publishing was the easy part seeing that I did it myself.

I think it’s very important for authors and those who are hoping to publish to educate themselves through classes and writing groups. I’ve been taking courses through Sisters-in-Crime that I feel have been very helpful. I agree that it’s true that marketing is the tough part for most authors.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to a writing group, #amwriting, at my local library. I started the group about two years ago. In addition, I have a writing partner. We share our work and offer feedback and help on our work. I couldn’t do what I’m doing without the support of others.

I agree completely. No writer is an island. As a librarian, I also find it nice that you belong to a writing library group. I started one at my library, as well. It’s been led by a writing teacher.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love binge watching Netflix shows, good movies and traveling. I’ve been known to wake up and decide to take an out-of-town trip that day!

I also enjoy traveling. I miss it, but I also like being home with my cats who I worry about when I go away.

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

Coming up with ideas for the next book is a challenge. You always want to write something fresh and new, but that it hard to do. I can’t think of anything I don’t like about being an author.

I don’t have much trouble coming up with ideas, but it’s hard to find the time to execute them. Even being off from work, there are so many other things for me to do including virtual work for the library.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love writing cozies because they are fun. I get to show my humorous side and set up clues for people to follow.

I like that, too. I hope to get back to my Cobble Cove mystery series soon.

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

Excerpt:

“Was there anyone else out tonight?” he asked. “Anyone that may have seen you or the gentleman you found?”

My mind and my eyes wandered back to Ms. Devereaux and her store. He got what he deserved . . . She had to know who he was, otherwise how would she know that he’d merited his fate?

The store was set directly in front of Bell Street.

Maybe she had seen something. But when I brought my eyes back to meet with the detective’s, I saw that scarf.

The multi-colored one.

It was wrapped around the neck of a young boy. Probably the young boy I’d spotted under the streetlight as he’d scrambled back up the hill coming up from the falls. A woman stood behind him, her hands on his shoulders.

“He may know something,” I said, and led him in the direction of the boy with my eyes.

Detective Beverly looked over his shoulder, following my gaze, then turned back to me. “Who?” he asked.

“That little boy,” I said. “I saw him down by the falls.”

“You saw him?”

“I think I did,” I said, and focused my gaze on him. “I saw his scarf.”

“Hold on.” He turned to the officer and asked him to go and get the boy.

I heard the detective say something to me, but my attention was on the boy and the woman. Through the sea of faces and movement, it seemed that briefly her eyes had locked with mine. It was as if she knew, somehow, that I had spoken about her—or the child—and she started to edge away.

The officer must have radioed his intent because before he got to her, another officer came up behind her. He leaned in and spoke to her. I saw her acknowledge the officer as he headed over.

“Bronwyn.” Snap! Snap! Fingers were in front of my face making the noise. “Bronwyn!”

“Yes,” I said, diverting my thoughts and refocusing my eyes on the detective.

“You got lost there for a minute,” he said. “You alright?”

“Yeah. I am,” I said. “Just cold and tired.”

“Do you need another blanket?” He tugged on the one I still had wrapped around me.

“Mm-mm.” I shook my head. “This one is fine.”

“Detective Beverly.” It was the officer speaking. He had escorted the woman and boy over. She didn’t seem too happy about it. “Here’s the woman you wanted to speak with.”

Her red lipstick was faded and dull. The mascara laid thick on her eyelashes had begun to run due to the dampness in the air. The curls in her blond hair—dyed, as evidenced by her dark brown roots—had flopped. She held her head up, her grip on the boy tight.

“What do you want?” she said. Her voice was gravelly, like she’d been smoking ten packs of cigarettes a day for the past forty years. She didn’t look that old, though. “I have to get my son home. Out of the cold.”

“Ms. Crewse here”—the detective pointed to me—“said she saw you down by the falls.”

“Not her,” I corrected. “Her son.” I flapped an arm in his direction.

“He wasn’t there,” she said, not even taking the time to consider my claim.

The detective looked at me.

“I saw that scarf around someone’s neck. A child’s neck,” I said. “That’s how I found the body. Chasing after it. Him. Then I saw the scarf again lying on the ground when I came back up to get help.”

“She must’ve seen another scarf,” the woman said dryly.

“Exactly like that one?” I asked, sarcasm threaded through my words.

She shrugged. “It wasn’t my son’s. He wasn’t anywhere near the falls tonight. Or anytime today.”

“Then why are you over here?” I asked, and before she gave an answer, I suggested one for her. “You come looking for that scarf?”

She blew out a snort. “No. I came to see what was going on, just like everyone else.” She looked at the detective.

“Where were you coming from?” I asked. “Did you go to the movies tonight?” I remembered the voices I’d heard earlier. I had heard a woman calling out something . . .

The woman raised an eyebrow. “Is she working for you?” She directed her question to the detective.

“No.” He chortled at the woman’s words, his green eyes lighting up. “But do you have any more questions, Bronwyn?”

I wasn’t amused. “It was his scarf,” I said. “And it was him.”

“Is this why you asked me to come over here?” she said, slowly taking her eyes from mine and looking at the detective. “So she could accuse me—or my son—of something? I don’t know what this is about, but I can’t help you. And neither can he.”

Great excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.

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

I think my books are fun and funny, and I love sharing them with readers. I also think they may be a little different and many are filled with fun facts!

Very nice. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway for An Inside Scoop below. Thank you so much for the wonderful interview, and best wishes on your new release.

A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

About A Deadly Inside Scoop


A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (May 12, 2020)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099664
ISBN-13: 978-0593099667
Digital ASIN: B07WJF48NC

This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop—with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.

Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she’s going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.

To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It’s not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she’ll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown…

About Abby Collette

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. Born and raised in Cleveland, it’s even a mystery to her why she has yet to move to a warmer place. Author of the two Southern cozy mystery series Logan Dickerson Mysteries featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian who is always digging up trouble, and the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, set in East Texas, it pairs a medical examiner and her feisty auntie who owns a funeral home and is always ready to solve a whodunnit. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries and spending time with her grandchildren, each of which are her favorite.

Author Links

Facebook – www.facebook.com/authorabbyl.vandiver; Twitter – www.twitter.com/abbyvandiver;

Instagram- www.instagram.com/abbylvandiver; Website – www.authorabby.com

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NGoogleIndieBound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

May 12 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW

May 12 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

May 12 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

May 13 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 14 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

May 14 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW*

May 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 15 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 15 – Diane Reviews Books– REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 15 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

May 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

May 16 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

May 16 – Here’s How It Happens – SPOTLIGHT

May 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 17 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

May 17 – Brooke Showalter – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

May 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW*

May 18 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

May 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

May 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight of Sybil Johnson, author of Ghosts of Painting Past, An Aurora Anderson Mystery

It’s my pleasure to interview author Sybil Johnson from Manhattan Beach, California.

Hi, Sybil. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and share some details about your books. h

My first published piece of fiction was a short story, “Family Business”, that came out in 2005 in Crimson Dagger, a magazine that’s now long gone. It marked the first appearance of Rory Anderson, the main character in my Aurora Anderson mystery series. The first book in the series, Fatal Brushstroke, also my first book published, came out in November 2014. There are 5 books in the series so far, all published by Henery Press – Fatal Brushstroke, Paint the Town Dead, A Palette For Murder, Designed For Haunting and the recently released Ghosts of Painting Past.

My series features computer programmer and tole/decorative painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The books are set in the fictional town of Vista Beach, California. Ghosts of Painting Past, the fifth book in my series, came out November 19, 2019. In it:

It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

Sounds like a wonderful holiday mystery and also one that people would enjoy reading at any time.

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’m currently working on book 6 in the series that’s set around Valentine’s Day. I also have a couple ideas for other series—one cozy, one historical—that I’d like to develop further. At some point, I intend to get back to writing short stories. A dream of mine is to one day be published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine or Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. I think the best way of reaching my goals is to continue to write and submit my work.

Great goals. Good luck with them.

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

Anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries and a good whodunit.

Your books should attract a wide audience.

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

Be persistent and be willing to learn about writing and the publishing world. Join an organization like Sisters in Crime, if possible. There you’ll get a lot of support from other authors. I also think writing short stories is a good way to dip your toes in the water and, potentially, get some publishing credits.

I agree. I’m a member of Sisters in Crime myself, and I also write short stories in addition to my mystery series and novels.

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

I first started writing in my early 40s while I was still in the software development game. I’d read a lot of mysteries over the years, but had no experience in writing fiction. My first challenge was to learn how to write fiction in general and a cozy mystery in particular. I read a lot of how-to books on writing and took a couple online classes geared toward mysteries. I also knew absolutely nothing about the publishing business. I joined Sisters in Crime and learned a lot from other authors. I’m a perfectionist so I find it hard to accept that I don’t have to be perfect when I write the first draft of a scene. I have to constantly remind myself of this even now.

Thanks for sharing your publishing challenges.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I’m a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. I served on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime for 6 years as Recording Secretary, Vice President/Programming Director and finally President. I recently finished a two year stint as We Love Libraries Coordinator for Sisters in Crime National.

Nice. As I said, I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and their online Guppies chapter. In addition, I’m also a librarian.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love reading, of course, both fiction and non-fiction. Like my main character, Rory, I enjoy decorative/tole painting, which I’ve been doing since the early 90s. I also enjoy learning about languages, particularly ancient ones. My focus for quite a few years has been on Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and Coptic.

Interesting hobbies and those that will help you with your writing, too.

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

I enjoy plotting stories and putting together a set of characters. It’s great fun to create my own little world. Deadlines are one of my least favorite things about being an author. I have a love/hate relationship with them. On one hand, they keep me writing on a consistent basis. On the other, I feel very stressed out every time I think about them. The other thing I find challenging is the promotion end of writing. While I enjoy meeting readers and going to conferences, promoting myself and my work doesn’t come naturally to me.

I have the same issues, and I think most writers don’t enjoy promoting themselves even though it’s necessary to sell their books.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

As a reader I’m drawn to cozies for a variety of reasons. I enjoy visiting the worlds and characters authors create. I feel like the characters are old friends. I also enjoy the puzzle aspect of cozies where the emphasis is on the problem and finding out whodunit rather than on blood and gore. They also always have a satisfying ending where the case is solved and the killer brought to justice, something that doesn’t always happen in the real world.

Those are the same things that I like about writing them. I like building a world and characters that I can revisit again and again. I like putting together a puzzle that readers will enjoy seeing solved, putting in twists and turns and red herrings. I also feel great satisfaction in figuring out a way for the killer to be revealed and caught.

As a writer and reader of cozies, I feel the same way.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest release?

This is from Chapter 1 of Ghosts of Painting Past:

The earthmover moved back and forth, tearing down the last remnants of a house on Seagull Lane, digging up all its secrets. Its engine rumbled, producing a deafening noise heard up and down the narrow street.

Rory Anderson turned up her radio, hoping the Christmas carols would drown out the noise enough she could work. Brushing her shoulder length brown hair behind her ears, she concentrated on her computer screen. Half an hour later, a frenzied shout followed by the cutting off of the machine’s engine brought a sudden silence down on her street.

Rory looked up from her programming task and leaned over her desk to peer out the window at the construction site directly across the street from her single-story stucco home.

Construction workers clustered around the earthmover, their attention divided between something in one of the worker’s hands and the ground in the far corner of the lot. Before long, the foreman pulled out his cell phone.

Rory’s gaze shifted to the street where residents went about their business, trying to ignore the intruders on their block. On the lot to the left of the construction site, a slender woman less than five feet tall stood on a ladder, hanging icicle lights on the eaves of the Tudor-style home.

Rory returned to her work, figuring the issue would be resolved soon just like all of the others the developer had encountered the previous week. When a police car arrived less than ten minutes later and two uniformed officers approached the construction crew, she abandoned her programming task, put on a hoodie over her long-sleeved T-shirt and headed outside to see what was going on.

Nice excerpt.

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

While Ghosts of Painting Past is the fifth book in the series, you don’t have to read the others to enjoy this one. I write all of my books so a reader can pick up any of them and get into the story without having to know what happened in the ones before it.

I try to do that with my Cobble Cove series as well.

Thanks for the interview, Sybil, and best wishes to you on your new release. I’ve included the details of your blog tour for the book below.

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
by Sybil Johnson

About Ghosts of Painting Past

Ghosts of Painting Past (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115590
ISBN-13: 978-1635115598
Digital ASIN: B07XC3DXGN

It’s Christmastime in the quiet Los Angeles County city of Vista Beach, home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The magic of the season fills the air as residents enjoy school concerts, a pier lighting ceremony and the annual sand-snowman contest.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Rory plans on painting ornaments to sell at the local craft fair and joining in on the holiday fun. But she finds the season anything but jolly after the house across the street is torn down, revealing a decades old crime. Past meets present when her father is implicated in the murder.

Fearing for her father’s future, Rory launches her own investigation, intent on discovering the truth and clearing his name.

About Sybil Johnson

Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

Website: www.authorsybiljohnson.com
Facebook Author page: www.facebook.com/sybiljohnsonauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sybiljohnson19
GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/SybilJohnson

Blog: : www.typem4murder.blogspot.com (This is a multi-author blog. I post every other Wednesday.)

 

Purchase Links – Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackKobo

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 19 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

November 21 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 22 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 23 – My Reading Journeys – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 24 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 25 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

November 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 27 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 28 – Thanksgiving

November 29 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

November 29 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

November 30 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

December 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Author Spotlight, New Releases

Author Spotlight of Mystery Author Judy Penz Sheluk

I’m pleased to have fellow mystery author Judy Penz Sheluk here to chat about herself and her writing.

Nice to have you here, Judy. 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 novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery, was originally published in July 2015 by Barking Rain Press (BRP). BRP has also published book 2 in the Glass Dolphin series (A Hole in One) and book 1 in my Marketville Mystery series, Skeletons in the Attic.

In Feb. 2018, I started Superior Shores Press, my own publishing imprint. I have since published The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, a multi-author anthology where I worked as publisher and editor and two more books in the Marketville series: Past & Present (Sept. 2018) and A Fool’s Journey (Aug. 2019).

Very nice. Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, 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 write amateur sleuth mysteries without the cats, crafts, or cookie recipes. The plots are a bit more complex than a traditional cozy, but they don’t contain bad language, violence or sex. My most recent release is A Fool’s Journey, which releases on Aug. 21.

Interesting. I always thought my mysteries, although they always contain cats, are non-traditional cozies, too. I envisioned the first book of my Cobble Cove mystery series, A Stone’s Throw, as a romantic suspense novel. Readers felt differently, and so began the cozy mystery series.

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’m currently working on the third (and final) book in the Glass Dolphin series; I love the series, but I know where I want the characters to end up in their lives. Sometimes it’s just time. I plan to continue the Marketville series, and I’m working on a standalone suspense. I hope to publish another anthology next year, if The Best Laid Plans is successful.

I have a few stories in anthologies. I like to write them along with my books. I have 4 books in my series and hope to write at least another one. I also have plans to start a new series. So many ideas, so little time. I know you can relate to that.

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

Anyone interested in clever cozies and mainstream mysteries, age 14 to 140.

A large audience.

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

Don’t give up. Rejection is part of every writer’s life. Believe in yourself, and in your story.

Excellent advice.

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

The usual, I’m sure. Self-doubt and rejection topped the list. But I knew this is what I was meant to do.

That’s so important.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I’ve taken writing workshops, and have a diploma in Fiction Writing from Gotham Writers Workshop and a diploma in Creative Writing from Winghill.

Good for you. I participate in a writer’s workshop at my library. I’ve taken several online courses and am currently taking two Sisters-in-Crime classes. They are very helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love to golf in the summer, walk my dog (a three and a half-year-old Golden Retriever named Gibbs) year round and try to read at least one book a week. I also love hanging out at our camp on Lake Superior – but only in the summer and fall. Winters in Northern Ontario are brutal!

I also like walking. When I can’t do it outside, I do exercise videos. I can’t walk my cats, but I play with them. I enjoy running after the two young ones. I wish I could read a book a week. With my full-time job at the library and my writing, I find it hard to read a book a month.

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

I love the writing part best. I also enjoy doing local events, speaking engagements, and going to book clubs (either by an online Zoom meeting or in person). I don’t love shameless self-promotion, but I also understand that it’s part of the job. And to be honest, if I wasn’t an author, I probably wouldn’t have any social media presence.

I relate to that. I find marketing and promotion time-consuming and frustrating, but, like you, I know it’s necessary.

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

Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/JudyPenzSheluk/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8602696.Judy_Penz_Sheluk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudyPenzSheluk

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/judypenzsheluk/

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/judy-penz-sheluk

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04

Blurb for A Fool’s Journey

In March 2000, twenty-year-old Brandon Colbeck left home to find himself on a self-proclaimed “fool’s journey.” No one—not friends or family—have seen or heard from him since, until a phone call from a man claiming to be Brandon brings the case back to the forefront. Calamity (Callie) Barnstable and her team at Past & Present Investigations have been hired to find out what happened to Brandon and where he might be. As Callie follows a trail of buried secrets and decades-old deceptions only one thing is certain: whatever the outcome, there is no such thing as closure.

Excerpt:

Poplar Street was a mixed bag of retail, commercial, and questionable residential. Real estate ads liked to suggest that it was a neighborhood in transition, though which way it was transitioning was uncertain.

Trust Few Tattoo was sandwiched in with Triple P Pizza, Pasta & Panzerotti, and Totally Tempting Thai. The building itself was narrow, with a red brick façade and charcoal board and batten framing a gilt-lettered window and canary yellow door. Food smells from both restaurants wafted out to the street and I knew I’d be getting takeout for dinner.

I opened the door and was greeted with the droning sound of a tattoo machine. My senses were further assaulted with the sickly-sweet smell of industrial strength sanitizer and walls completely covered with framed pages of brightly colored tattoo designs.

The front desk attendant was leaning on a glass display case full of various jewelry items, half of which I wouldn’t know where to put. She glanced up from her smartphone when I walked in. I wasn’t sure if it was the head-to-toe look she gave me, or her heavily tattooed hands and fingers that made me feel slightly out of place. She stood up and favored me with a gap-toothed grin.

“Hey, welcome to Trust Few. I see you’re checking out the flash. What can we do for you?”

The flash? The dazed expression on my face must have given me away, because the shop assistant’s grin broadened.

“The generic drawings,” she said, waving her intricately patterned hands. “They’re called flash. Not as popular as they were once, if I’m being honest. Most of our clients are looking for custom work, unless, of course, they’re underage or impaired. Sam won’t work on either. But flash still makes nice wall art, don’t you think?”

I nodded and then got straight to the point. “I have some questions about a tattoo.” I felt a flush of embarrassment creep up my neck. Why else would I be here, if not about a tattoo? “I was hoping you could help me.”

“Sure.” She pulled a large day planner out from behind the jewelry-filled display case, and her arms opened to reveal a tattoo of a bear trap inside her left elbow. I winced, thinking of the pain.

The assistant caught my look and laughed. “Don’t worry. We never do ditch tattoos on newbies.”

Ditch tattoos? Once again I must have looked clueless, because she elaborated.

“Inside the crook of an elbow is called a ditch tattoo, and yes, it hurts like hell. Not as much as this one did, mind you.” She raised her right arm to reveal a black rose covering her armpit. “Anyway, Sam’s with a client right now, but I can probably slip you in for a consult in a few minutes. When and what were you thinking of getting tattooed?”

I shook my head. There was nothing in this world that I cared enough about to have it permanently inked on any part of my body. “The tattoo isn’t for me.” I reached into my bag for the photocopy I had brought of Brandon’s tattoo. “I have some questions about someone else’s tattoo, and I was wondering if you could help me?”

The shop assistant eyeballed me further, her former grin transformed into something resembling a scowl. “Like, what kind of questions? Is it infected or something? Because we usually recommend the person comes in so we can look at it…”

I placed the photocopy of the tattoo on the counter as the girl trailed off. As she spun the image around to face her, I was able to make out the tattoos on each of her digits—what initially had appeared to be random shapes and lines were actually symbols of the Major Arcana. Thank heavens for Pinterest.

“I like your finger tattoos,” I said, quickly realizing how hokey the words sounded.

“Thanks.” She extended both hands so I could take a closer look. “Sam is big on mystical things. She wanted to practice, so I said she could give me a few finger-bangers.”

Flash. Ditch tattoos. Finger-bangers. I was getting a primer on tattoo talk. I wondered what kind of monopoly you placed on your own skin to let someone randomly practice tattoos on a place as visible as your hands. I also felt my pulse quicken as I realized that I’d made the right choice in selecting Trust Few, though I felt moderate surprise at the fact that Sam was a woman. I’d expected Sam Sanchez to be a big, burly, intimidating biker-type. It served as a reminder to let go of any preconceived notions. That type of thinking could block an investigation. I pulled myself out of my thoughts when the shop assistant spoke.

“What do you want to know about this tat…oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name?”

“Callie,” I said, extending a hand. The assistant shook it, and I was surprised at how soft her hands were, despite their harsh exterior.

“Tash,” she said. “Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise. As for the tattoo, I’m curious about the young man who got it. That is, if he got it here.”

“It looks like it might be Sam’s style, but she’d be the expert on that. C’mon around and we can ask. Like I said before, she’s with a client, but they’ve been at it for quite a while. I’m sure they can both use a break.” Tash waved me around the desk.

I picked up the photocopy and followed her down a narrow hall. More tattoo flash was on the walls, along with a neon Jägermeister sign and a framed poster of The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem final concert in Kingston on August 20, 2016. Three small offices opened into the hallway; the one at the end of the hall had its door slightly ajar and I could hear laughter mixed with rock music and the buzz of the tattoo machine. Tash rapped on the door three times and pushed it open.

“Hey, Sam, sorry to bug you, just wondering if you can help this lady out with a question about a tattoo?”

The buzzing stopped. “Sure.”

Tash moved out of the way and I took it as my cue to step into the doorway. A thirty-something woman wearing combat boots, a sleeveless black Nine Inch Nails T-shirt, and torn jeans with more rips and holes than denim looked up at me and nodded. A tattoo of a woman on a bucking brown horse took up most of her lower right arm. The words “Cowgirls don’t cry” were written above it, with a green heart below circling “We can be heroes.” The image reminded me of the 1950s Calamity Jane movie poster I’d discovered in the attic of Snapdragon Circle, and I wondered if there was an equally personal meaning behind her artwork. There were countless other tattoos on her legs, arms, chest, and I imagined, on body parts I couldn’t see or begin to imagine, but I didn’t want to stare.

“Hi,” I said, holding out my hand.

“Ah, sorry. Sterile environment.” Sam held up two latex-gloved hands. Her current client was lying facedown on a padded table, and turned her head away from the wall to face me. I tried to look at what was being tattooed on her lower back, but couldn’t make it out. Sam put the tattoo machine down on a stainless-steel countertop, the surface covered in industrial grade paper towels, and gave me her full attention. Her cornflower blue eyes were in stark contrast to her long dark hair, which had been shaved on one side. Under the buzz cut I could see “Sanchez” and I found myself wondering how much getting your scalp tattooed would hurt. I figured a lot, maybe as much or more than a ditch tattoo, maybe even more than one under an armpit. I had no plans to get any of them.

“Tash says you have a question about a tattoo?” Sam smiled, showing off a row of perfect white teeth, made whiter by the deep plum lipstick she was wearing. I wondered what made her eyetooth gleam so brightly until I noticed the tiny diamond adhered to it.

I held up the photocopy of the partly finished tattoo. “Do you recognize this?”

Sam cocked her head and peeled off her gloves, throwing them into the trash. She took the photocopy from me, her expression serious as she studied it from every angle.

“This might help to jog your memory,” I said, and offered the newspaper photograph of twenty-year-old Brandon Colbeck. “It was taken a few years back.” I omitted the year. Sam either remembered Brandon and his tattoo, or she didn’t. There was no point planting seeds that might otherwise not be there.

Sam looked up at me, then turned her attention back to the photocopies, her fingers tracing the outline of The Fool tattoo over and over.

“Yeah, I remember this tattoo,” she said, finally. “I never got to finish it, though…”

Now available for pre-order, A Fool’s Journey, book 3 in Judy’s Marketville Mystery series, will be released on August 21 in trade paperback at all the usual suspects, and on Kindle.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Posted in Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight of Multi-Genre Author A.J. Griffiths-Jones

I’m pleased to have author AJ Griffiths-Jones here to chat about herself and her writing.

Nice to have you here, AJ. 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 was published in 2015. I currently have seven published books, all with Creativia/Next Chapter Publishing. They are ‘Prisoner 4374’ (true crime) ‘The Villagers’, ‘The Seasiders’, ‘The Congregation’, ‘The Circus’, ‘The Expats’ (all cosy mysteries) and ‘Black Sparrow’ (my first crime thriller).

Excellent. Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, 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 write across multiple genres, crime, mystery, thriller, children’s, non-fiction, historical. I’m currently working on a series of six detective novels set in France of which I expect to finish book one in the next few weeks.

Wow! That’s terrific. Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My goals are very simple. I aim to share my stories with my readers in the hope of gaining new followers who can appreciate the tales I have to tell. I’ll just keep writing until the ideas stop.

Sounds like a good plan.

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

Typically, I’m looking to attract readers that like to try something out of their comfort zone. I’ve managed to surprise quite a few people in the past with my twisted endings and colourful characters, so I think anyone with a passion for a suspenseful read would love my work.

Those are the types of books I write, too, and also enjoy reading, so I must check out some of your titles.

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

My motto is ‘There’s a reader out there for everyone.’ Don’t be put off by rejections, every author has to go through that process, but also don’t let yourself be pigeon-holed into writing run-of-the-mill stories.

Good advice.

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

The first book that I embarked upon took ten years and a lot of money to research. It was true crime & therefore I had to procure prison files, photographs, letters, and went through a lot of legal red-tape to gain copyright. It also put off a lot of publishers, as I chose to write in the first-person, using the documents as samples of the criminal’s actual words. I don’t think many editors knew how to handle it.

I guess you learned a lot from that experience.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I haven’t taken any classes or formal instruction, but I’m a former English Teacher & I worked as a Language Training Manager in Shanghai for ten years, predominantly teaching banking staff to speak and conduct business in professional English. Hence, I’m very particular about grammar and punctuation.

Interesting. What are your hobbies besides writing?

I swim as many days a week as I can, to try to keep in shape. I also have a passion for cooking & created a recipe blog to share my unique recipes. My husband is a classic car enthusiast, so throughout the summer we go to a lot of shows and exhibitions, we also try to travel as much as possible.

Sounds like a nice variety of interests.

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

I love the idea of being able to create alternative worlds for my reader to escape to, away from life’s daily toil, so I’m happiest when I’m in my study writing. The downside of being an author, for me, is the constant need to advertise, push purchasers to review and sell my wares.

I think most authors feel the same way. I know I do.

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

Facebook: A.j. Griffiths-Jones Author Page & We love AJ’s award-winning books

Twitter: @authoraj66

Instagram: authoraj66

Thanks so much for the interview, and I wish you the best on your forthcoming books.

Posted in Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight of Sharon C. Williams, Children’s and Multi-Genre Author

I’m pleased to have author Sharon C. Williams from Cumberland County, North Carolina here to chat about herself and her writing.

Nice to have you here, Sharon. 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 was first published in Spring 2013 so I just celebrated my sixth year as a published author.

My books:

a- “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure” was published in 2013 by Fountain Blue Publishing. It is being re-released by Creativia Publishing under the title of “A Rainforest Adventure (Jasper – Amazon Parrot Book 1)” The paperback is out as of June  23, 2019 and the ebook will be released July 9th , 2019

b- “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: Rainforest  Friends and Family” was released in 2015 by Fountain Blue Publishing. It is being re-released by Creativia Publishing under the title of “Rainforest Friends And Family (Jasper – Amazon Parrot Book 2)” the paperback released June 25, 2019 while the ebook will be released on July 23, 2019

c- “Squirrel Mafia: Black & White Edition volume 1” by Sharon C. Williams  was released on March 2015 by Peaceful Musings Publishing

d- “Everyday Musings: Anthology”– This was released on September 30, 2016 by Lysestrah Press; 1rst edition

e- “The Wedding Bouquet”- an ebook short story that was self published on May 2015

f- “Root Canal”- an ebook short story that was self  published and released on May 2013

g-I also have 6 short stories in three anthologies

Wow! You certainly are prolific.

Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, 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.

1-“A Rainforest Adventure (Jasper – Amazon Parrot Book 1)” is a children’s book and is a series. The 2nd edition of this book was released on June 23, 2019 and the ebook will be released on  July 9, 2019.

Synopsis :

Jasper, the Amazon parrot, is no ordinary bird. He lives in the rainforest, which secrets he’s eager to explore. He loves his life, his home, and his family – grateful for the blessings he’s discovered.  He’s also in charge of his younger brother Willie, a responsibility Jasper takes very seriously.

Learning how to fly, he learns to appreciate the world around him. When he meets a spider monkey with a penchant for food and a laid back attitude named Charlie, he realizes he’s in for an adventure he never thought possible.  Even if this means getting into danger and worrying his mother to no end, Jasper is happen to have made a friend in his home.

Exploring the boundaries of the forest, Jasper soon understands that there is more to the world around – especially the strange new creatures that have come to live there. Are they safe? The young parrot doesn’t know. But with Willie and Charlie by his side, he will soon find out.

2- “Rainforest Friends And Family (Jasper – Amazon Parrot Book 2)” is volume two of my Jasper, Amazon parrot series.  It is a children’s book and the paperback was released June 25, 2019 while the ebook will be released on July 23, 2019

Synopsis

Jasper, Amazon Parrot: Life in the jungle is never boring.

From the moment he was born, Jasper’s curiosity has consumed him. With his brother Willie, they’ve made new friends and learned more about the jungle. In their eyes, the Amazon is everything they could have imagined and more.

The youngsters have grown close through the course of their short lives, intent on making the most of any situation they find themselves in. Jasper’s main job, however, is to make sure his brother comes to no harm. But that’s easier said than done: the jungle is full of many obstacles, and if they’re not careful, things will quickly get out of hand.

New dangers are always around the corner, a fact they learn through the course of their travels. Determined to make his mother proud, Jasper vows to protect himself and his friends. If they’re to make it home in one piece, they’ll need to trust in one another, as well as those they come across. It never hurts to give someone a helping hand, either.

The Amazon is vast, piquing their interest every step of the way. Its secrets must be discovered, and each new experience opens their minds to new possibilities. New friends also make their unexpected trips worthwhile. Though trouble tends to follow them, Jasper and his friends do their best to overcome the adversities coming their way.

3- “Squirrel Mafia” is a humorous and adult novel.  It was released on March 2015. It is as of now part of a series. Volume two is being revised with plans for a third volume

Genre: Adult, Humor

We tend to think of squirrels as cute furry creatures that scamper around playing while looking for nuts. Yet I’ve a different outlook on these rodents from Hades.

As an animal lover, one who’s owned by eight birds, I’ve had the opportunity to observe a group of squirrels around my home here in the suburbs for the past year. The experience I’ve gained gives a whole new meaning to the words ‘little darlings’.

I offer you a unique perspective of the furry friends entangled within our everyday lives. Their antics and shenanigans have earned them the name, the Squirrel Mafia. This book chronicles my ongoing battle with these pesky little critters.

4- “Everyday Musings” was released in September of 2016. It is anthology of short stories and poetry. The genre is anthology and short stories.

Synopsis

The little things in life are worth remembering.

There are moments in life that stir the senses. Moments of joy, moments of surprise, and moments that can cause great fear. Moments that cause us to reflect on the experiences we’ve encountered.

Dive into various worlds of the author’s own making. Everyday Musings is full of tales of the unexpected, heart-warming stories, and bittersweet poetry. Come in and turn the page. Discover the little things that make everyday worthwhile.

5- At the moment I have a few WIPs.

– “Lost Faith” is base in the future where religion is not allowed. Our main character is 16 and determined to fight  back.

– “Woman of Color” is based on a true story in the 1980’s of racism at a college campus.

– “Distorted Reality” is about Molly, a woman who has just woken up from a coma, to find out someone has attempted to kill her.

– “Squirrel Mafia 2”  is the working title to the follow up book to volume one. It is a continuation of my war with the squirrels in my back yard.

– “Jasper, Amazon Parrot book 4” is the working title to the continuation of Jasper, his friends an their adventure in the rainforest.

Those all sound excellent. I’m sure children will love them.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My goals is to expand on my genre writing. At the moment I am known as a children’s writer even though I write in more than one genre. I have a book that genre one could call comic relief while another is an anthology that has a range of topics and themes. I have at the moment three  WIPs that need my attention on them so they can be completed. This is my fault since I told people about the substance of them and now I am being asked repeatedly when the books will be finished. The subject matter on them are a true story on racial tension, mystery and the last one being drama.

What do I hope to achieve?  I hope to have a stronger and larger fan base. I would love to be able to have my books in a book store. This is a hard feat.

How do I plan on doing so? I do have a variety of WIPs, that I mentioned above, and I am hoping to finish these projects and give them the same around of light and promotion that I have done for my children’s series.

I understand your dilemma about choosing a genre. I prefer mystery, but I have written a paranormal romance. I seem to be known for my cozy series, although I have two mystery thrillers. I also understand your desire to enlarge your fan base and get your books in bookstores. These are also two of my goals.

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

My children’s series are chapter reader books. It is based on my rescued parrot, Jasper, whose heritage is from the rainforest. I am hoping to attract kids who are learning to read at this level. Also, children who are interested in nature, animals, learning about the rainforest and the problems they face. My comic relief book, Squirrel Mafia which is for adults, is well to make one laugh at something that we see everyday. It is more making fun of myself when it comes to the squirrels in my backyard and their way of frustrating me. Those who have read it have enjoyed the humor and it has given them a time to just laugh. So, anyone who wants to take time from stress and just laugh at the mundane and every day life of the squirrels and myself. As for my anthology it is a mixture of genres. I am hoping it will appeal to a wide audience who might like poetry, fantasy and all in between.

Sounds great.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published? I would say to get your manuscript in the best shape possible. That includes having beta readers and a critique group that can go over your work. Publishers get so many submissions. They just need one small thing to toss your work into the trash can. Try to make sure they pause as they read your manuscript instead of an easy no. Be persistent. I know an author who stopped querying after a handful of rejections. You will get rejected. Period. But you have to keep at it. And lastly, if you don’t love your manuscript deeply why would you expect others to?

I agree. Great advice.

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

One of my first challenges was having people read my WIP and critiquing it. As we all know our manuscripts can end being our children and to let someone see it and tear it apart is not easy. But it is necessary. Another struggle was submitting to publishers for the first time. I had filled out the online submission form and all I had to do was hit submit. I must have walked around my office at least a dozen times and I tried to convince myself to hit submit. I would sit back down in my chair and soon after be back up pacing. It took me easily 30 minutes to hit send. But once that first one was done the rest was much easier. Another struggle was convincing myself that yes I was an author.

Those challenges sound very familiar.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I have taken a character developmental class at a local community college as well as a creative writing class. Once I was done the character developmental class I went home and all the projects  I had at the time I redid. I learned so much and I knew I had to put the time in to revise if I wanted them to be successful. It showed me different ways to make my characters more complete instead of just a outer shell and just a bit of the inner shell.

The creative class was really fun. It showed me how to write outside of my genre, how to think outside the box, and how to be more confident of myself as a writer.

Sounds like you found it helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’ve been an avid reader from an early age. I also love to sketch, take photographs, walk, exercise and go to the movies. I also love music,  sing and dancing even if I am lousy at the last two. I knit and do calligraphy. I’m a huge sports fan of basketball, hockey, football,  baseball and now rugby.

My gosh, it’s amazing how you can fit in writing, too.

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

I  love to write. I love how the stories in my head make me literally force me to write.   I tend to write longhand. For me the creative juices work better than by  typing. Having the story line unfold and seeing other avenues gives me a buzz. There is such a great feeling as your manuscript unravels. I also love to mingle with other authors. Writing is such a solitary profession so when I am able to hang out with writers and talk about writing that is another buzz for me.

Anyone that knows me will know the least thing I like about being an author is editing. It is tedious, boring, unless of course a new idea creeps up and I get more words down on the paper, and I rather just write.

My toughest challenge is marketing. But it is a necessary evil. I promote myself and other writers as much as I  can. It is not always fun to do. Also, I am a strong belief that writers need to help other writers. After all we didn’t do it alone. If you think that you did you are seriously mistaken or you feel your book is 100 % golden after the first draft. To add to that is when writers want you to help them but they don’t want to return the favor. It’s frustrating to say the least but I continue to do it. Plus, speaking out in public is tough. I have been given really nice compliments after I have done a talk but still the butterflies never go away for me.

I feel the same way about meeting other authors both online and in person. It’s a great way to network, and authors are such friendly people. I also love the creativity of writing, but I’ve trained myself to compose as I type. I’m a fast typist, so that wasn’t too difficult to do. I don’t mind editing, although I’m with you about marketing. It takes so much time away from writing but is necessary to sell books.

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

 Amazon author page and where to purchase:
http://tinyurl.com/pulyvg2

 Book review website:

http://www.mainemuse.wordpress.com

 FB:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Sharon-C-Williams/195232693863109

Twitter
https://twitter.com/NewEngland_Muse

 Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/newenglandmuse/

 Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7078132.Sharon_C_Williams

 LinkedIn:

http://tinyurl.com/j39swwc

 iTunes

http://tinyurl.com/o7jpqj6

 Newsletter Subscription:
http://mad.ly/signups/98152/join

 Youtube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/NewEnglandMuse/videos

You are quite well connected. I wish you the best of luck with your books. Thanks so much for the great interview.

 

 

Pictures of covers of my book can be found here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sharon-C-Williams/e/B00CSAFL8Q?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1561576742&sr=8-1

Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Maddie Day, Author of Strangled Eggs and Ham, A Country Store Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Maddie Day from Amesbury, Massachusetts here to chat about her writing and her cozy mystery, Strangled Eggs and Ham, A Country Store Mystery, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Nice to have you here, Maddie. 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.

Speaking of Murder, my first mystery (written as Tace Baker), came out in the fall of 2012. It and its sequel were published by Barking Rain Press. I had a few short stories published before that (as Edith Maxwell). As Maddie Day, Strangled Eggs and Ham is the sixth Country Store Mystery from Kensington Publishing, and there will be at least three more plus a novella. Maddie also writes the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, with Murder on Cape Cod as the first.

I have five Local Foods Mysteries, also from Kensington, out as Edith Maxwell, and Edith writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, which were from Midnight Ink through Charity’s Burden, book four, and are continuing with Beyond the Page Publishing with Judge Thee Not and at least two after that. I have self-published the rerelease of a number of my short stories, which originally appeared in juried anthologies, as short ebooks.

Excellent. You are quite prolific.

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.

My Country Store novella “Christmas Cocoa and a Corpse” will be out in September in Christmas Cocoa Murder. After that will be Nacho Average Murder next summer and I just finished writing book eight (title TBD). Murder on Cape Cod rereleases on all platforms in January, and Murder at the Taffy Shop will be out in a Barnes & Noble exclusive in April.

Those sound great. I love the title of the Christmas one.

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 aim to meet my contractual deadlines for three-plus books a year in three series. My writing is my full time job and I treat it as such. I also like to stretch myself by writing short stories that are a little darker or which feature the villain as narrator, and I’m playing around with ideas for a new historical series. Stay tuned!

That’s quite a schedule, so it’s good that you can devote all your time to it. I also like to write short stories in addition to my books, but I work full-time, so it takes a bit longer for me to write.

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

I’m looking for readers who love a compelling, well-told story in which characters have strong bonds, the protagonist is a smart strong woman, and things get put right by the end. My readers won’t see violence on the page, read obscenities, or see romance get too hot (lovers close the bedroom door just in time).

A great “recipe” for cozy mysteries.

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

Plant your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard to write the best book you can. You can’t fix what you haven’t written. Find your tribe of writers, such as Sisters in Crime, and learn from them. Revise and polish and hone your book, then get someone with a critical eye to do the same. Persist! Early on I told myself, “Somebody is going to get published, and it might as well be me.”

Very motivating. I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and find them very helpful. I’ve published 7 novels (4 are part of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series), but I’m still seeking an agent and to publish with a large publisher like Kensington.

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

I gave up on finding an agent after more than fifty rejections, but then an agent came to the New England chapter of Sisters in Crime looking for authors, and we worked out a deal. I was also writing around the edges of a full-time job, which isn’t easy.

That’s my issue. Glad it worked out for you.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Sisters in Crime, including the New England chapter and the Guppies, and Mystery Writers of America. I also belong to a local cross-genre group, the Newburyport Writers.

As I said, I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and also Guppies, but there’s not a chapter near me, so I connect with them mostly online.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I like to garden, cook, do crossword puzzles – and read, of course.

A nice variety of hobbies.

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

I love when I hear from readers that my book got them through a tough time, whether sitting with an ill relative or their own hospital stay. I also delight in the times when I feel like I’m channeling the story, when my characters surprise me and I have to keep typing to find out what happens next!

The middle of the book is a challenge for me every time, but now that I’m writing novel #22, I know I will get through it if I persist. Promotion is also a challenge – figuring out how much and what kind is enough and effective, and how much puts readers off.

Although I’ve had some wonderful comments about my books, I haven’t yet been told it’s helped anyone through a hard time. I would love that. As far as my characters surprising me, they do it all the time. Regarding promotion, I think most authors struggle with that whether you self publish, have a small publisher, or a large one.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love that I can set up a community of returning characters and, after some mayhem, restore justice to the community in the end.

Yes, that’s a lot of fun but also a challenge.

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

Here’s a tidbit from Strangled Eggs and Ham:

Adele faced me, fists on her waist. “So you’re not going to help me? A little old lady who’s done so much for you?” Her tone was plaintive, but a smile played at the edges of her mouth.

“Hey, Jordans don’t guilt trip, right?” I lowered my head and gave her the look my mom used to give me. “And you’re hardly a helpless old lady.” On the contrary, my aunt was one of the most competent women I knew.

She chortled. “I’m pulling your leg, sugar. That said, I mean to stop this Fiona if it’s the last thing I do.”

I shivered. If this conflict led to another murder, it had better not be Adele’s. “Promise me you’ll be careful?”

“Girl Scout’s honor.” She held up three fingers.

Except her other hand was behind her back, and I was willing to bet my month’s profit she was crossing her fingers back there.

Well written.

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

Please find me! I love to hear from readers. You can sign up for my author newsletter on the home page of my web site, edithmaxwell.com. And, as always, a short positive review on Goodreads, Bookbub, and Amazon goes a long way toward helping the author. Also, come visit the Wicked Authors blog and join our Facebook group. We are six New England authors who have built a community of readers. We host giveaways, a book club, guests, and so much more.

Wonderful. Thanks so much for the interview, Maddy, and best wishes on your new release. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below.

Strangled Eggs and Ham
(A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day

About the Book


Strangled Eggs and Ham (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711254
ISBN-13: 978-1496711250
Digital ASIN: B07HW1D15K

Robbie Jordan’s rustic country store is growing in popularity. But when a dead body appears, it turns out that Robbie’s home-style cooking attracts hungry customers—and murder!

While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders for her expanding clientele at Pans ‘N Pancakes, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat in South Lick, Indiana. Real-estate developer Fiona Closs plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, and not everyone can see the sunny side of the imposing proposition—including Robbie’s furious Aunt Adele, who doesn’t waste a minute concocting protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . .

Includes Recipes for You to Try!

About the Author

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at http://www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.

Purchase Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 24 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, EXCERPT

June 24 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 24 – ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

June 25 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

June 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 25 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

June 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

June 26 – Author Teresa Watson – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 27 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT

June 27 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

June 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

June 28 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

June 28 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

June 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

June 29 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – GUEST POST

June 30 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

June 30 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

July 1 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

July 1 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

July 1 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

July 2 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

July 3 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW

July 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 3 – The Cozy Pages – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

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Author Spotlight of Julie Seedorf, author of Granny Bricks A Bandit, A Fuchsia Minnesota Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Julie Seedorf from Minnesota here to chat about her writing and her cozy mystery, Granny Bricks A Bandit, a Fuchsia Minnesota Mystery, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Nice to have you here, Julie 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 was published in July of 2013.

The Fuchsia, MN Series –Cozy Cat Press

Granny Hooks A Crook

Granny Skewers A Scoundrel

Granny Snows A Sneak

Granny Forks A Fugitive

Granny Pins A Pilferer

Granny Bricks A Bandit

The Brilliant, MN Series-self published by Hermiony Vidalia Books

The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors

The Discombobulated Decipherers

The Granny Is In Trouble Series- Children’s books-self published by Hermiony Vidalia Books

Whatachamacallit? Thingamajig?

Snicklefritz

That’s quite a list of books. Please tell us a little bit about them– 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.

Granny Bricks A Bandit from the Fuchsia, MN Series was just released in March. Granny is an over-the-top Senior Citizen that defies what we all believe older people are. She has a menagerie of animals, suitors and a group of friends that help her get in trouble and solve crimes. The community of Fuchsia is a satire on all the rules and regulations we live by in real life. It is an over-the-top community too. The goal is to make people laugh and take them away from the real work for a brief respite.

Sounds great.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My goal as a writer is to make people lives better. I want to give them the gift of laughter and also reach their heart so they know life is worth living. I want to be an encourager.

 That’s so nice.

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

I believe most of my audience might be women and older children. Although I think men might like my books if they like to laugh and want a break from serious subjects.

They say laughter is the best medicine, and your books sound like they would certainly raise people’s spirits.

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

Be true to yourself. Follow your instincts when it comes to writing. Don’t try to be like another author. Having said that, be able to take constructive criticism about your writing. It will only make you better. Decide what is of value and what will feed you. And find a good editor. That has been the weakness in some of my books. I have an excellent one that I use for my self-published books. But if you are with a publishing company make sure they have one too. Check all of the manuscript.

Good advice.

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

I have to say, I had an easy road. I had no challenges and that is why I call it a nudge from God.

Good for you.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I don’t. Not because they aren’t valuable but I live in a rural area and groups that fit my writing are hours away. If you have a group that is critical of your genre it will not help you.

Good points.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Watercolor painting, reading, crafts of any kind, movies and the list can go on. There is always something new.

It’s good for authors to find activities, especially other creative ones, as a break from writing.

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

I love the readers I meet and my world has opened up with author friends from all over the world, some being the same people I have read for years. An expanded world teaches on so much about every facet of life and people. My toughest challenge is editing and taking the time to write each day.

I also believe meeting fellow authors whether online or in person is a great way to enrich your life with friendships and networking opportunities. Finding time to write every day certainly is a challenge especially when you work full-time, but it can be done even if only a few minutes a day.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I can let my imagination soar. Also I like the fact my grandchildren could pick up a book and there would be nothing in that book that I wouldn’t want them to see. Also cozy readers are awesome people.

I agree.

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

I came to my computer repair career late in life and also my career as an author. You are never too old to keep learning. If you think you can do it, you will. If you think you can’t, you won’t.

One of the great things about writing is people can do it any age.

It was a pleasure chatting with you, Julie. Best wishes on your new release. I’m sharing the blog tour below.

Granny Bricks A Bandit
(Fuchsia, Minnesota Series)
by Julie Seedorf

About the Book


Granny Bricks A Bandit (Fuchsia, Minnesota Series)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Cozy Cat Press (February 18, 2019)
Paperback: 239 pages
ISBN-10: 194606372X
ISBN-13: 978-1946063724
Digital ASIN: B07P1J663L

Granny and her cohorts are at it again! When Granny and her neighbor Mavis, go water-skiing and discover a dead body, Granny’s sleuthing instincts take over! She is determined to identify the corpse and find the killer. But wait! No sooner are Granny and her cohorts on the murderer’s trail, then Mavis’ husband George suddenly disappears! Could he be the killer’s next victim? Or could he be the killer? When the gals take a side trip to the Mall of America, they find a man fell to his death on a climbing wall––and Mavis is certain she spots George nearby! What does it all mean? Will Granny get to the bottom of it, with the help of her entourage of buddies and pets?

About the Author

A Bit About Me As An Impassioned Writer

As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.

I have worn many hats throughout my life such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities person, office manager and finally a computer repair person eventually owning my own computer sales and repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Adding four more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a new Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity.

I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble.

Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

Author Links

Website: http://julieseedorf.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/julie.seedorf.author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/julieseedorf

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/julie_seedorf

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/julieseedorf

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Seedorf/e/B009WAAANQ

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/JulieSeedorf

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JulieSeedorf

Purchase Links

AmazonKobo

Other Formats – Nook, BarnesandNoble.com, Ibooks, Overdrive

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

June 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 14 – Teresa Watson’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 16 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

June 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTEVIEW

June 18 – The Cozy Pages – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 19 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

June 19 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

June 20 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

June 21 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

June 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

June 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST

June 24 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 25 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

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Author Spotlight of Mary Lawrence, author of the Alchemist of Lost Souls, a Bianca Goddard Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Mary Lawrence from Limington, Maine here to chat about her writing and her cozy mystery, The Alchemist of Lost Souls, a Bianca Goddard Mystery, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Nice to have you here, Mary 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.

The Alchemist’s Daughter came out in 2015.  Kensington publishes the Bianca Goddard Mysteries. There are 4 books in the series with a 5th to come in 2020. Death of an Alchemist (2016), Death at St.Vedast (2017), The Alchemist of Lost Souls (2019).

Some interesting titles. Tell us a 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.

The Bianca Goddard Mysteries are set during the final years of King Henry VIII’s reign. Bianca is the daughter of an infamous alchemist and a neighborhood white witch who combines her knowledge of plants and rudimentary chemistry to make medicines and also to solve murders. Instead of a historical series set in the Tudor court, I concentrate on the stories and struggles of commoners. My forthcoming book, The Alchemist of Lost Souls released on April 30. I’m currently finishing work on the fifth and final book in the series, The Lost Boys of London.

Sounds like you are quite productive. 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 have a few ideas for new books, but haven’t decided which to do first. Probably, I will concentrate on writing a standalone novel set in Tudor London, since I’ve created a niche for myself and people familiar with my writing are expecting more Tudor stories. Basically, I will just sit down and keep writing.

That’s a great plan. What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

Readers who like my series have an interest in historical fiction and are open to me mixing in a little superstition and creepiness. My work is often described as ‘atmospheric’ and that folks feel immersed in the time, like they have been dumped on the streets right alongside Bianca. I hope to stretch people’s imagination and entertain at the same time.

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

Learn to deal with rejection. Enter contests and learn to sift through critiques to figure out what is helpful, then ignore the rest. Never think you are a special flower.

I’m sure that’s good advice. What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

I wrote for over 25 years before I got picked up by a traditional publisher. I was rejected by 86 literary agents before I found one who believed in me. He sold the book to the second publisher who saw it. I thought after all this time and struggle, finally I had arrived. You know what? A writer never arrives. A writer must always try to improve.

Wow! That sure is inspiring especially to writers like me who are still trying to find an agent and large publisher, and I agree that writers must always strive to improve the quality of their books.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I don’t belong to any writing circles, but I do belong to several organizations that have been great resources for me. Namely, the Historical Novel Society, The Author’s Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and the International Association of Thriller Writers. I would also give a shout out to the Romance Writers of America. They have wonderful chapters throughout the US and sponsor contests and workshops.

Those are great groups. I’m a member of International Thriller Writers and a few other groups including Sisters-in-Crime which you didn’t mention but is also a terrific group for female mystery authors.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I run a berry farm with my husband and we make specialty jams from our own fruit. It’s a business, but I love being outside and taking care of my ‘children’—180 blueberry bushes, raspberries, plums, etc. I also took up piano a few years ago, and I listen to political podcasts.

The berry farm sounds delightful. I love berries and just attended a strawberry festival. I’ve also played some piano but sadly haven’t done so for many years.

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

What I like most, is that rare moment when I feel really happy with what I’ve written. When I’m finished with a manuscript and can say, ‘Yup, that’s pretty damn good.’ I’m very critical of my writing so, like I said, it’s pretty special when I feel that.

What I hate the most is writing under a deadline. I put a lot of pressure on myself anyway, so a deadline feels like I’m sitting in a pressure box trying to be creative. I’m not a fast writer.

I think the toughest challenge is reminding myself that I can do this. Everyday I have to give myself a pep talk.

I also get a rush when I finish a book I’m particularly happy with such as my latest release, Sea Scope, which really came together very well in my opinion.  I can understand why you hate deadlines and have to give yourself a pep talk. I think most authors feel that way.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I don’t think of my series as a cozy series per se. There are cozy elements to it, like having an amateur sleuth and a returning cast of characters. I do enjoy working out the cast of characters and involving them in the unfolding plot.

I feel that way about my books. I didn’t feel the first one in my series was a cozy. I thought of it more like romantic suspense but, as I continued the series, it’s become cozier. I consider Sea Scope a psychological mystery. It definitely isn’t a cozy because of the themes it contains, but it has a few cozy elements.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title?

Meddybemps tried cajoling her out of silence. “What are you making?” the girl had a generous helping of black bile coursing through her veins at any given time, and the best way to squelch its influence was to get her to talk about her latest experiment.

“This isn’t for market. It is for me.”

“You? I daresay you rarely need your remedies.”

“I do now.”

Meddybemps tipped his head. “What secret do you keep? Prithee, what ails?”

With the blade of her knife, Bianca swept the herbs into a pan. “It is no illness, but a condition. One that shall pass in time.”

Her hint fed his curiosity and the iris of his errant eye appeared to skip. Taking a moment to study her, he asked, “Are you with child?”

Bianca checked the firebox of her stove and craped out the ashes.

“Go to!” said Meddybemps. He danced a little jig, his bony elbows and knees jutting all akimbo like a skeleton. He took hold of Bianca’s hands and danced her around the room, twirling her once and making her smile. He looked so foolish, how could she not?

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

I think if folks are open to a fast, fun, read with a bit of history and creep thrown in, then they will enjoy the series. I touch a few nerves with these stories and reactions run the gamut. There is some mild explicit language and a little bit of squish.

Thanks, Mary. That concludes our interview, and I’ve enjoyed chatting with you. I’m including more information about your blog tour below. Best wishes on your new release.

The Alchemist of Lost Souls
(A Bianca Goddard Mystery)
by Mary Lawrence

About the Book


The Alchemist of Lost Souls (A Bianca Goddard Mystery)
Historical Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1496715314
ISBN-13: 978-1496715319
Digital ASIN: B07G6R99SR

A dangerous element discovered by Bianca Goddard’s father falls into the wrong hands . . . leading to a chain of multiple murders.

Spring 1544: Now that she is with child, Bianca is more determined than ever to distance herself from her unstable father. Desperate to win back the favor of King Henry VIII, disgraced alchemist Albern Goddard plans to reveal a powerful new element he’s discovered–one with deadly potential. But when the substance is stolen, he is panicked and expects his daughter to help.

Soon after, a woman’s body is found behind the Dim Dragon Inn, an eerie green vapor rising from her breathless mouth. To her grave concern, Bianca has reason to suspect her own mother may be involved in the theft and the murder. As her husband John is conscripted into King Henry’s army to subdue Scottish resistance, Bianca must navigate a twisted and treacherous path among alchemists, apothecaries, chandlers, and scoundrels–to find out who among them is willing to kill to possess the element known as lapis mortem, the stone of death . . .

About the Author

Mary Lawrence lives and farms in Maine and worked in the medical field for over twenty-five years before publishing her debut mystery, The Alchemist’s Daughter (Kensington, 2015). The book was named by Suspense Magazine as a “Best Book of 2015” in the historical mystery category. Her articles have appeared in several publications most notably the national news blog, The Daily Beast. The Bianca Goddard Mystery series also includes Death of an Alchemist, Death at St. Vedast, The Alchemist of Lost Souls, and the fifth title for 2020.

Website: www.marylawrencebooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marylawrence.author/

Twitter: @mel59lawrence

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84420.Mary_Lawrence

Purchase links: Amazon Barnes & Noble

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 3 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

June 3 – Reading Reality – REVIEW

June 4 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 4 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT with EXCERPT

June 5 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW

June 5 – The Book’s the Thing– SPOTLIGHT with EXCERPT

June 6 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 6 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT with EXCERPT

June 7 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 7 – Kelly P’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 9 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

June 10 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

June 11 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

June 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 12 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

June 12 – Ebook Addicts – REVIEW

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