Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour

Author Spotlight of James J. Cudney, Author of Academic Curveball, a Braxton Campus Mystery

I’m pleased to have author James J. Cudney from New York City here to speak about his writing and new release, Academic Curevall that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book. He’s asked me to call him Jay because he’s actually the fourth in a direct line with his name.

Nice to meet you, Jay. I’m a Long Islander, so we don’t live too far from one another. 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 debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, a contemporary family drama about a woman who loses her husband in a car accident and learns a huge secret about one of their 5 adult sons, was published on October 8th, 2017. Over the last 15 months, I’ve published another 3 books all with Creativia Publishing. My second book, Father Figure, is also a contemporary drama and was published in April 2018. It alternates perspectives and stories between two college-aged girls who struggle through life over two different decades. Readers have to figure out what their connection is, but more importantly, which of them will survive in the face of major trauma. My third and fourth books are the Braxton Campus cozy mystery series: Academic Curveball (1) and Broken Heart Attack (2) both published in the fall of 2018.

I haven’t self-published anything and am happy with Creativia. We shall see what the future holds for us!

Sounds great. I’ve never heard of Creativia before. I publish with Solstice Publishing and have been happy with them, but I’m always interested in hearing about authors’ experience with other publishers.

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.

Stand-Alone Books

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

 Braxton Campus Mysteries

Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (Early 2019)

Flower Power Trip, the third in the series, picks up from the cliffhanger dropped at the end of the second book, with Ursula and the secret she shares with Kellan. How will he help his new boss while hoping he doesn’t cause problems with his other boss, Myriam, who just so happens to be Ursula’s wife! Not only that… Kellan’s brother, Gabriel, has been found and has a secret of his own that only Kellan knows. Will he keep it or share the truth with the rest of their family? And let’s not forget about what Kellan’s former mother-in-law called to tell him at the very end of Broken Heart Attack. If you thought the cliffhanger in book 1 was a doozy, just wait until you see what happens next.

These sound 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?

I want to write everything forever. Is that achievable? No, unfortunately, so I have to figure out the best order. My 2019 goal is to write 2 more books in the Braxton Mysteries and 1 or 2 other stand-alone novels… well sort of… I am planning a sequel to my debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, where the Glass family hopes they can recover from the fallout in the first book. But they won’t. What happens in book two will be far worse. I do like to torture my characters, don’t I? The 4th book is a collection of related stories written in a unique format and with a varied approach on genres.

My hope is to continue this pattern for a few years… a few cozies each year and a stand-alone family drama. I have 4 book plots fully fleshed with outlines, but I never know which one will be the most attractive to begin writing at the time. As a writer, my goals are fairly simple – to create characters and plots people connect with and want to share with others. I tend to prefer book series because I can invest in settings and characters, but it also helps build a larger readership. To achieve these goals, besides writing, I’m also an avid reader. I tend to read 3 books per week: usually 1 cozy, 1 contemporary drama, and 1 other. The other ranges from science-fiction to YA and everything in between, so I can stay current on trends but also connected to newer readers.

I, too, like to vary my writing and reading. In addition to my Cobble Cove mystery series, I write standalone mysteries and hope to start another new series soon.

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

I’m most definitely a plot writer. Readers who enjoy my books need to thirst for clever plots, cliffhangers, surprise twists, and long-term relationships / secrets. From there, it’s about creating characters who feel thoroughly real. I want it to seem as though (s)he is sitting next to you telling you the story. I’m also a relatable writer. What I mean by that is I tell stories and focus on situations that we’ve either experienced or can understand. To me, my book is a conversation with the reader. I picture myself reading it aloud while the reader sees and hears it happening between us in the room. Sometimes I go overboard with descriptions. Sometimes I get a little formal in dialog. But this is who I am as a person in reality, so it is how I write, too. There is always depth, rarely fluff. I like fluff, but I’m not good at writing it. I like multi-dimensional, complex characters.

Sounds like you offer a reader quite an immersive experience.

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

Authors have to make decisions. Do they want money and fame, or do they want to tell stories to make people feel various emotions? You can do both, but it’s not easy to achieve. If you set your mind only to achieve both, you will struggle and have a difficult life. If you can accept it, then go for it. If you cannot, then find a compromise in the beginning. Is writing your only source of income, or do you have your bills and expenses covered in other ways (partner, spouse, family, etc.)? Once you know these parameters, then decide how much you want to market and advertise for yourself. You can choose to self-publish or find a smaller press without an agent. You can wait for the big break and focus only on finding the agent. There are dozens of ways to make it happen, but you need to understand the impact and responsibilities associated with each one. You need to know what kind of a person you are and what your strengths are before you choose a specific path to get there.

Good advice.

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

I knew I wanted to publish a few books but that I had no contacts in the industry. While I was writing, I began blogging. I posted reviews of every book I read in the last ten years that I could remember. I built up a readership (a few hundred people at first) just so I could test the waters. I connected with some of them more than others and felt comfortable sharing bits and pieces of my story. After 6 months, I suddenly had a thousand followers. One thing that is critical for bloggers or writers to understand – you can’t just put content out there and expect people to follow. It’s not like that saying, “Build it, and (s)he will come.” You need to interact with others. LIKE their content. Comment on their content. Share their content. Chat with them as you would with someone you met in a bar, coffee shop, club, work, or park. Build your connections, develop relationships. Then, when you have a book to publish, you might have a few people who like your style and are willing to help promote for you.

It’s rare success happens quickly for new writers. It takes years in most cases depending on your definition of success. I’d love to be on all the TV shows, best seller lists, and top viral or digital sites, but I’m not there – YET! In the meantime, I’m thrilled with all the connections (close to 7k at this point) I’ve made and new authors and readers I get to know. It took me a while to figure out the balance of writing, editing, marketing, reading, and networking. And it isn’t always the same split, but at least I now understand how it works and can adjust my scheduled when needed. That’s critical for new authors looking to make some sort of splash or find some sort of break.

I agree that balancing all the parts of writing, publishing, and promoting is a challenge for authors.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I do not. I had to decide what I had time for and didn’t have time for. There are only so many hours in the day. I have a group of wonderful beta readers who help me with my books, and I beta read for a few folks I’ve come to know through their blogs. It provides me the same sort of experience as a writing group without a formal date, time, and place to meet.

Writing groups aren’t for everyone, and beta readers are very helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Genealogy! I love to find new ancestors. I’ve got ~3k at this point and traced most of my roots back to Germany, England, Scotland and Ireland. I love to cook. I have a young shiba inu dog, Baxter, who takes up a lot of my time. And I like to travel and read a lot.

Nice hobbies. I can see how Genealogy would be an interest with so many generations of James Cudney’s.

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

I don’t like the sales stuff. Even in business, I’ve never been the kind of guy to push a product or company. I prefer to lay out the pros and cons, then let the true owner or decision-maker decide. As an author, that doesn’t work. I can’t send a list of books to readers saying what’s good and bad about mine and others… so I post about my book, share when it’s free or discounted, put a call out for beta or ARC readers, etc. I try not to email directly to ask someone to read it. My toughest challenge is the in-person stuff. I’m fantastic at finding new avenues through social media or digital technology. But I can’t figure out the best way to get set up with book signings, store connections, or awards and magazines. I probably need help in that realm when I’m ready to spend more marketing dollars on that area of focus.

Many authors find different areas of marketing challenging.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

The readers are an amazing group of people. There are so many styles and themes, it’s a prolific place to be. I love writing about a consistent group of characters but revealing new details about the same setting or supporting cast – evolving with each successive book. The mystery aspect is also such a fun adventure. I can create bad characters and punish them for things they’ve done without actually doing anything more than writing a cruel death scene. (Think of all those people who bug us, and we wish we could give them a taste of their own medicine!). Coming up with clever murder plots or weapons, building fake alibis, finding a balance between witty and serious… it’s all a writer’s dream.

Writing cozies is definitely as fun as reading them.

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

I’m beyond grateful for your help and support. It’s a long and difficult process for writers to become successful within a market already flooded by talented authors. When readers take personal time to share their experiences through reviews, blog posts, marketing, and social media, it truly makes a difference. I do this for writers myself, so I understand what it takes. I read and review 3 books each week and try to promote them as much as I can so I can help their sales and careers. Thank you for all you do to help us in return.

It’s always great to meet a fellow author who promotes other authors. Thanks so much for the interview, Jay, and I’m sharing the info on your blog tour and rafflecopter below. Good luck with your series and future books.

Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

About the Book


Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (October 14, 2018)
Paperback: 281 pages
ISBN-10: 172877876X
ISBN-13: 978-1728778761
Digital ASIN: B07HMYSQFH

When Kellan Ayrwick returns home for his father’s retirement, he finds a dead body in Diamond Hall’s stairwell.

Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Soon after, the college’s athletic program receives mysterious donations, a nasty blog denounces his father and someone attempts to change students’ grades.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up.

With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. But who is behind the murder?

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries. I frequently blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball,, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!

List of Books & Blog

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (Early 2019)

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Social Media Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

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

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4

Purchase Links

Amazon

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ACADEMIC CURVEBALL TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

January 7 – Mythical Books – REVIEW

January 7 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

January 8 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

January 8 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

January 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – Bobo’s Book Bank – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

January 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

January 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 12 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

January 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

January 14 – Carla Loves To Read – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 14 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

January 15 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Interview, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Cathy Ace

I’m pleased to have author Cathy Ace here from just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Cathy was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales and migrated to Canada from the UK when she was 40. She’shere to speak about her writing and new release, The Wrong Boy that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Hi, Debbie. Thanks for having me along today!

My pleasure, Cathy. 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 was published in 2012. THE CORPSE WITH THE SILVER TONGUE was the first in the Cait Morgan Mysteries – there are now eight books in that series (TouchWood Editons). They feature a Welsh Canadian professor of criminal psychology who travels the world solving “closed circle” mysteries (contemporary, but very much like Agatha Christie, in that they are true “traditional” mysteries). I also write the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (Severn House Publishing), which feature four female professional PIs who run their business out of a Welsh stately home. They’re cozier than the Cait Morgan Mysteries. I have two collections which are self-published (Four Tails Publishing) – one is a collection of short stories, the other a collection of novellas. These two volumes contain the earliest tales about both Cait Morgan and the WISE women, and also about DI Evan Glover…who appears in my forthcoming novel THE WRONG BOY, which was published on January 9th 2019.

Congratulations! That’s quite a nice publishing record. Your mysteries sound very interesting.

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

I hope to keep writing the two series across which I have already 12 books published, but also want to be able to work on standalones, which will be darker – though not gritty. In other words, I intend to keep my head down, and work hard!

Good luck with those goals. I also hope to start a new cozy series and keep writing standalones. I’d also like to publish some short story collections.

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

My Cait Morgan Mysteries attract readers who enjoy a true traditional novel, whilst the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries attract those who enjoy tea and cakes, a bit of gossip and real British mysteries. THE WRONG BOY will appeal to those who enjoy a thrilling tale of suspense with layers of deceit and old lies being ripped away…the effects of which impact a small community in Wales, and one family of three women in particular.

A widespread audience.

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

Read! Not books about how to write, or about how to get published, but award-winning books in the genre and sub-genre that appeal to you. You need to know what’s good (and bad) out there to learn from the best and avoid the worst.

Excellent advice. As a librarian, I have access to a large number of books and try to read as much as time permits.

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

I was very fortunate – after a career of writing professionally (in advertising and public relations) I self-published two collections of stories mailed them to a publisher, who asked me to submit a manuscript for one of the characters – and that was published. Right background, right place, right proposition, right time!

It all lined up for you. What a great story, excuse the pun.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

No, writing is – for me – a solitary undertaking.

I can understand that. Some writers find groups helpful. Others, like you, prefer to go it alone.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m an avid gardener. Lucky enough to live on five acres, my husband and I actively garden about three of those acres. I love it!

Nice. A good way of getting healthy exercise and fresh air away from the computer.

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

Easy….I love writing a first draft, and I hate editing!

Editing is a challenge, but I find promotion an even bigger one. First drafts are fun and a great way to flex the creative muscles.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I have to admit that whilst my WISE series is cozy, my Cait Morgan and DI Glover series are not and, for me, I enjoy writing in a mix of styles.

I feel the same way. I’ve written other genres but prefer mysteries of different types.

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

These are the opening two pages of THE WRONG BOY.

John Watkins hooked open the bedroom curtains and wiped the frost-feathered window with his pajama sleeve. ‘I thought that’s what I could see. Somebody’s lit a fire on the hill above the village.’

His wife tutted her annoyance at him letting in the cold. ‘All the way up there? No.’

‘Yes. Come and take a look.’ Brass rings clattered as he pulled at the worn brocade. He breathed hard on a couple of panes to clear them.

Dilys gripped her steaming mug of tea with both hands as she shuffled across the room. The moon hung in the coal black sky, and glistened on the coal black sea. Her eyes shifted from the sparkling surf to the inky hillside above. ‘That’s up by the old RAF listening station, by the looks of it.’

‘Guy Fawkes Night. Probably some kids,’ mused John, rubbing his arthritic thumb. ‘They had that do at the pub in Rhosddraig tonight, didn’t they? Sparklers and hot dogs. Maybe someone had one too many and thought it would be a good idea to start their own bonfire up there.’

‘That’s dangerous, lighting fires all over the place.’ Dilys shook her head with resignation as she turned toward the bed, eyeing its welcoming mounds with delight. Even her bones felt tired. ‘It’s nearly midnight. Who’d be out there in this temperature, doing that?’

Her husband’s face creased into a smile. ‘It’s only one fire, not loads of them, Dilys. And I can think of a woman who – when she was a girl – would have been up for a bit of mischief like that.’ He winked and smiled. ‘Remember her?’

Dilys rolled her eyes. ‘Even sixty-odd years ago I wouldn’t have wanted to be out in this cold, not with you or anyone else, John Watkins.’ She sat on the edge of the bed, placed her mug beside the alarm clock, and pushed off her slippers with her toes. ‘Come on, let’s get back in here to warm ourselves, and get some sleep. We’re up early in the morning with a long day ahead of us. A diamond wedding anniversary, with a blessing in the church and a party afterwards, only happens once. You never know, there might be a surprise for you at the breakfast table.’ She patted her husband’s pillow.

‘Who’s that, now then?’ said John, ignoring his wife’s invitation. He was still at the window, bobbing his head to avoid the reflection of the bedside lamp. ‘Well, well, I don’t know how that family’s got enough to pay out for the sort of get-ups they wear these days. That coat alone must have set them back a bit. And look at that – riding a bicycle on the footpath. I’ll have a word with them about that, I will. And the fire, too.’

‘John, come on, it’s late, love.’

John clambered into bed, and kissed his wife’s cheek. ‘What were you doing sixty years ago tonight, I wonder?’

Dilys gave her husband a gentle shove. ‘Crying myself to sleep because I was terrified about my wedding night, that’s what. My mother – God rest her soul – had tried to tell me what to expect of being with a man for the first time; she didn’t do a very good job of it. I had a bad stomach that night too. Butterflies they were back then, not this blinking wind I’ve got griping me now; I can’t seem to shift it.’

John snuggled under the duvet. ‘You were such a sweet girl. Carried away with you, I was. And I love you even more now. You know that, don’t you?’

Dilys nodded and grunted.

John didn’t like to see his wife in pain. He thought she looked more than usually peaky. ‘Why don’t you sit up for a bit; rub your tummy. Maybe that tea will shift it. You took some of your medicine, didn’t you?’

‘Yes, I did. Don’t worry, love, it’ll pass. It always does – one way or another.’ Dilys chuckled. ‘Now, come on, night, night. It’ll be time to get up before you know it.’

‘True enough.’

John turned off the lamp.

It was gone four in the morning when John rang for the ambulance. For once in his life he cursed the fact that the farm – high on the coastal moor between the villages of Rhosddraig and Lower Middleford – was so remote.

Very nice. Great descriptions.

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

Knowing that THE WRONG BOY moves in darker territory than my two other series, I have written it bearing in mind the fact that I don’t want to shock or offend my existing readers, and hoping they’ll take a chance to journey down a Welsh country lane with me, to find out what really goes on behind all those twitching net curtains!

I think your readers may welcome a change of pace.

Well, it was great having you here, Cathy, and I’m sharing info about your blog tour and giveaway below.

I appreciate that, Debbie, and enjoyed the interview.

The Wrong Boy
by Cathy Ace

About the Book

The Wrong Boy
Suspense/Thriller
Four Tails Publishing Ltd. (January 9, 2019)
Print Length: 307 pages
ASIN: B07KRNGV3R

Perched on a Welsh clifftop, the ancient, picturesque hamlet of Rhosddraig has its peaceful façade ripped apart when human remains are discovered under a pile of stones. The village pub, The Dragon’s Head, run by three generations of women, becomes the focal point for those interested in the grisly find, and it’s where layers of deceit are peeled away to expose old secrets, and deep wounds. The police need to establish who died, how, and why, but DI Evan Glover knows he can’t be involved in the investigation, because he’s just two days away from retirement. However, as the case develops in unexpected ways, it becomes irrevocably woven into his life, and the lives of local families, leading to disturbing revelations – and deadly consequences . . .

Author Links: Website Facebook Twitter: @AceCathy GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonKobo

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

January 8 – Reading Authors – SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

January 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

January 11 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

January 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

January 14 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

January 14 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

January 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

January 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

January 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour

Author Spotlight of Rosalind Barden, author of Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case

I’m pleased to have author Rosalind Barden here from Los Angeles, California here to speak about her writing and new release, Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Welcome, Rosalind. 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.

“TV Monster,” a children’s picture book I wrote and illustrated, is my first published work in 1988. My latest is “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” 2018, Mystery and Horror LLC. The following is my complete list:

Picture Book:

  • TV MONSTER, Crown, 1988. I both wrote and illustrated this children’s picture book.

Novels:

  • SPARKY OF BUNKER HILL AND THE COLD KID CASE, Mystery and Horror LLC, 2018. First novel in the SPARKY OF BUNKER HILL Young Adult mystery series
  • AMERICAN WITCH, self-published e-book through Amazon, 2012.

Print Short Story Anthologies:

  • STRANGELY FUNNY V, anthology with my short story, “CHILDREN OF THE DONUT,” Mystery and Horror LLC, 2018.
  • STRANGELY FUNNY III, anthology with my short story, WEREMAN OF A SOUTH PACIFIC ISLAND, Mystery and Horror LLC, 2016.
  • STRANGELY FUNNY 2 1/2, anthology with my short story, THE DEMON OF CITY HALL, Mystery and Horror LLC, 2015.
  • HISTORY AND MYSTERY, OH MY!, anthology with my short story, THE MONKEY’S GHOST, Mystery and Horror LLC, 2015. This anthology won the 2015 FAPA President’s Book Awards Silver Medalist for Short Fiction.
  • MARDI GRAS MURDER, anthology with my short story, INTERNATIONAL VOGUE AND THE PAJAMA FIASCO WEEKEND, Mystery and Horror LLC, 2014.
  • STRANGELY FUNNY, anthology with my short story, INDRICOTHERIUM, Mystery and Horror LLC, 2013.
  • CERN ZOO (Nemonymous 9), anthology with my short story,  LION FRIEND, Megazanthus Press, 2009. British Fantasy Society nominee for 2010 Best Anthology. Ellen Datlow selected LION FRIEND as a 2010 Best Horror of The Year Volume 2 Honorable Mention.
  • STRANGE STORIES OF SAND AND SEA, anthology with my short story, THE PROBLEM WITH WOMEN, Fine Tooth Press, 2007.
  • TWISTED CAT TALES , anthology with my short story, CAT DISCIPLINE, Coscom, 2006.

Webzine Short Stories:

  • THE FLIGHT OF THE GUINEA PIG, SpeckLit.com, 2015.
  • THE HUMAN DYNAMO THEORY, SpeckLit.com, 2015.
  • RESCUED CHILD, The Dark Krypt, 2006.
  • THE FEMINIST ARGUMENT, Whispers of Wickedness, 2006.
  • PROPER WEAPONRY, Exquisite Death, 2005.
  • DRUMMER BOYS, The Dark Krypt, 2005.
  • FORTY YEARS OF TALKING, Whispers of Wickedness, 2005.
  • MISSY’S HOBBY, Issue # 16 Dark Fire Fiction, 2005.
  • SEA MONSTER, Gothic Revue, 2005.
  • THAT BOY, Gothic Revue, 2005.
  • THE ARRANGEMENT, Camp Horror, 2005.
  • THE GOOD FORTUNE OF BEAVERS, Gothic Revue, 2005.
  • A MOCKERY OF A DOG, Gothic Revue, 2005.
  • HELLO, PAT!, Whispers of Wickedness, 2005
  • SHOWER DEBACLE, Camp Horror, 2005.
  • DIETING DILEMMAS, Gothic Revue, 2004.
  • REGINALD, Volume V Bloodletters, 2004.
  • THE FLORIDA ROOM, Halloween Issue Camp Horror, 2004.
  • UNFASHIONABLE FLOWER, Gothic Revue, 2004.
  • DESICCATED MOUSE, Whispers of Wickedness, 2004.
  • DEVIL’S TAIL ROAD, Camp Horror, 2004.
  • PERFECT FLOORING, Gothic Revue, 2004.
  • REFRIGERATOR, Whispers of Wickedness, 2004.
  • TIGER BEATS COUGAR, Issue #10 Dark Fire Fiction, 2004.
  • A FAILURE Of SELF-HELP, Fools Motley, 2004.
  • DECORATING MOTIFS, Gothic Revue, 2004.
  • DEITY DIFFICULTIES, Issue #9 Dark Fire Fiction, 2004.
  • EXEMPTION, Gothic Revue, 2004.
  • JURY BOX , Gothic Revue, 2004.
  • FENG SHUI: POWER IN ACTION, Gothic Revue, 2004.

Wow! That’s quite impressive. 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.

“Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” was recently published by Mystery and Horror LLC. “Sparky” unfolds in downtown Los Angeles’ old Bunker Hill neighborhood in 1932. It takes a wacky look at the noir mystery genre. Though it’s a Young Adult mystery, and the main character, Sparky, is eleven, grownups will enjoy the book’s off-beat sense of fun too. Fingers crossed, “Sparky” will be the first in a series of Young Audit mystery novels. I’m currently writing book two in the “Sparky of Bunker Hill” series, tentatively titled, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the No Nose Knucklehead.” After that, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Monkey Island Murder.”

Originally, I planned to keep Sparky frozen in time. She’d never leave the summer of 1932, but would continue to have adventures while solving mysteries. With prodding from the publisher, I changed this notion and realized it’ll be more interesting to have her grow up through the series. She’s a street kid, so has been out of school for awhile. Going back to school, which happens in “Monkey Island Murder,” will be a real challenge for independent, smart-mouthed Sparky.

Most of what I’ve written have been short stories published in print anthologies or webzines. I have stories in four of the six “Strangely Funny” print anthologies from Mystery and Horror LLC. I’m fortunate this publisher has taken a liking to my strange brand of humor. The most recent anthology, “Strangely Funny V,” came out this year with my short story, “Children of the Donut.” This story was inspired by a weight-loss challenge I participated in last year, and, of course, my mind created a strange, satirical twist on my real-life experience.

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

In five years, I’d love to work full-time as a writer, instead of only in stolen moments. To have more books in the “Sparky” series published would be wonderful. I’d love to get back into picture books, plus finish all the projects that I don’t have time for now. Writing is a tough business, but my plan is to keep plugging away.

Those are good goals. I think all writers would love to work full-time if they can. It’s my dream retirement job, but it won’t be for quite a few years. In the meantime, like you, I’m plugging away with my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and other books/stories.

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

Any reader with a sense of humor who is looking for something different will be interested in “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.” Readers who enjoy noir films and mysteries will get a kick out of it too. “Sparky” is a Young Adult mystery, but I didn’t write it with that specific market in mind. My humor tends to be on the subversive side, which the grownup readers will appreciate.

Can I make a plug for the return of short stories? In this day and age of no-time and zero attention spans, what is more perfect than short stories? Add some humor and weirdness, and the “Strangely Funny” anthology series is perfect.

I think that many readers are wary of short stories, because they think of the “serious, literary-approved” stories from school days. There’s certainly a readership for those kinds of stories. But the world’s a big place, full of lots of different readers. There’s plenty of room for wacky, strange stories too.

I think that the growth and innovation in the short story is happening now in the genres: horror, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery (and don’t get mad if I left a genre out). I hope readers take a look at the genre short stories and give them a try.

Excellent reply, and I’m glad you included information about short stories. I agree that there’s a lot of room for growth for genre short stories. I’m working on several right now and already have quite a few published in addition to my books.

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

Keep at it. If you feel that one project is stuck, try another one. You can always circle back to the first one. Don’t be afraid to try different types of writing. For example, if your screenplays aren’t getting anywhere, how about short stories? That’s what I did.

Also, just because one publisher rejects your work, that doesn’t mean another won’t think it’s great. Opinions about any creative projects, be they art or prose or music, are all subjective.

That brings me to another piece of advice: be careful about rules on how you’re “supposed” to write. What one person thinks is the only way, someone else feels the opposite. It’s all subjective. So why not follow your own style and write what you want? When you’re a new writer, it can be hard to tell the difference between good, solid feedback (“I couldn’t tell if the ghost or the rabbit caused the real estate crash”) or pompous put-downs (“Stories about ghosts and rabbits causing real estate crashes are not serious literature”).

Follow your gut. If you don’t really like writing a certain way, or in a certain genre, or what’s supposed to be “hot” or “correct,” don’t. You’ll do better if your heart is in it. If you’re given advice, what does your gut say? If you feel depressed and hopeless after, it’s probably a pompous put-down to be ignored. But if you feel that little light bulb in the back of your head saying, “Oh, yeah, maybe I didn’t make clear that the ghost and the rabbit are one in the same,” then it’s probably good feedback.

Your answers are great, Rosalind. I’m currently querying agents for some unpublished manuscripts, and I totally agree with your advice about following or ignoring feedback.

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

It’s tough to get your foot in the publishing door. For my first book, “TV Monster,” a 1988 picture book that I wrote and illustrated, I had no luck submitting to publishers through the mail. At that time, author/illustrators could still go to New York and make appointments to see editors in person. I did that, showed my work, and Crown Publishers was interested. I thought I was on my way, but then I found that getting a second picture book published was even harder than the first.

So, I tried my hand at screenwriting. Despite placing in several competitions and putting a huge amount of work into the screenwriting, I wasn’t able to crack that door open. Then I switched to short stories, which I found work really well for a writer like myself with limited time. And it’s a great way to put to paper all those ideas swimming around in my head, without the commitment of a full-length novel.

That said, in between these other writing adventures, I’m always working on one novel or another. Novels are a bear. Just the logistics of putting all those scenes together, making what’s happening on page one consistent with what’s happening on page 101, that’s tough. For “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” I created a character list so I could keep straight who I named what. It was an invaluable help. After all the hard work is done, there’s nothing more satisfying than actually finishing a novel.

I’m fortunate that I am flexible as a writer, and can write in different formats and different genres. I know that not everyone can do that easily.

That’s true. I also enjoy writing in different formats and genres, although I do prefer my mysteries.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Sisters in Crime, and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Nice to meet another fellow Sisters in Crime member.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Writing takes up most of my free time, but when I can, I love to travel. Travel is a great way to jumpstart the mind. I find that ideas will come tumbling into my head during a trip. I think getting out of my usual environment, my usual set of worries and mundane to-dos, subconsciously gives me permission to let my mind wander down interesting paths.

I enjoy traveling, too, although I don’t get much of an opportunity to do so because I work full-time and have a daughter in school.

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

What I like most is the process of creating, when I get lost in a story and time flies by as I’m writing away, or daydreaming about plots and scenes. Toughest challenge is time. That’s the wall I’m always bumping up against. That and having a story rejected. The disappointment never gets better.

And promotion, that’s a huge challenge. I like to hole up and write things, but emerging from the hole to talk about what I write? It’s not easy for me to come up with the “elevator pitch” for my latest story, or explain where I get my ideas from (“I make stuff up,” doesn’t usually satisfy). Again, it eats up time, which I’m always running short on.

Those are very common challenges. Time, rejection, and promotion with time being the biggest for most writers.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

Cozy mysteries typically have more humor, which I like, both as a reader and a writer. I enjoy creating wacky characters and situations, which fit well in cozy mysteries. I think cozy mystery readers are open to more fun. I know I am! Also, I feel that cozy readers enjoy creativity and appreciate authors who take chances.

I agree and that’s why I enjoy writing my cozy mystery series.

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

It’s hard to pick one excerpt because I have so many favorite scenes in “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.” Here’s an except from the end of Chapter 10. It includes a short bit about the “bonkers lady.” This is her only appearance in the book, but her brief scene is one of my favorites because it’s strange, humorous, and sad all at the same time. This section also touches on the dynamic between Sparky and Bobby:

            Keeping low so Marigold’s mom wouldn’t see us over the fence line, we took off. We slipped behind another fence into a backyard that was always empty because the lady who lived in the house was bonkers and did nothing but talk to her bathroom mirror all day. We could hear her soft voice but couldn’t see her clearly through the white lace curtains that moved in and out her open bathroom window in the hot breeze: “Oh, yes, Charlie, I’d love to go there. You know how I enjoy dancing the cha-cha.”

            “Sparky, we need to go back to Creepy House,” he said in his low voice.

            “They’ll get mad at me for running around. The goblin told me to stay put.”

            “I know. But they’re really worried. Besides, we have to let them know what we found out. Maybe they’ll have some ideas.”

            “Yeah, maybe. You know, I think Onion Girl might be a girl gangster. I don’t know for sure. But, what else would she be?”

            “Holy Moly. We have to tell them that.”

            “But we can’t tell them everything. Tootsie doesn’t want goblin to know about the City Hall car because then he’d know that she beat up the bad man to find out.”

            Bobby tapped the bug jar on his chin, thinking. “Maybe we can say that bookie told you.”

            “Nah, better leave him out. Tootsie doesn’t like the sounds of him.”

            “No kidding.”

            “Hey, we’ll say we found out about the car at the rooming house or something.”

            Bobby shrugged. “Okay. We have to let Gilbert know somehow. We need his ideas and Tootsie’s.”

            I wasn’t sure if any ideas would come, but I did know I was starving. My stomach decided to growl, proving my point.

            We worked out another game plan. Bobby would walk the streets, bold as a brass button. If any cops stopped him, he still had the bug in the jar, plus the extra ammunition of his for-real library card. When he got close to Creepy House, he’d duck into a back yard a couple houses away and sneak over, being careful not to muss his clothes. “I have to keep my parents in the dark. That’s imperative.”

            Did I tell you Bobby liked to show off his big words?

            And me? More crawling and scrambling. My overalls were still wet from the rain barrel I had to hide in, and they stank so bad, any extra dirt wouldn’t make a difference.          

            Before we parted ways, Bobby leaned in close, like he was going to kiss me. I braced myself. But then he pulled back. “Sparky, you stink bad. Really bad.”

            Thank you, stinky slop-covered overalls.

            He was about to leave again, but then he stopped and said, “What is it with you and Marigold?”

            My heart turned to ice. Oh, no.

Great excerpt. Thank you.

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

“Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” grew out of my short story, “The Monkey’s Ghost,” which appears in the short mystery anthology, “History and Mystery, Oh My!,” published by Mystery and Horror LLC in 2015. Some of the characters are the same, though I made Marigold older in “Sparky.” The main characters in “Sparky” are new, except silent screen vamp, Tootsie, who is pulled from another, unpublished short story of mine. That story explains Tootsie’s early, pre-stardom days that are only eluded to in “Sparky.”

For “The Monkey’s Ghost,” I was influenced by a short story from 1902, “A Study in Piracy” by Josephine Dodge Daskam, which was republished by “Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine” in April 1999. I love this story about the wacky misadventures of a group of kids. In Chapter 12 of “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” Sparky explores the cellar of Creepy House and finds, “. . . a brass ball that might be from an old horse harness.”  That’s a bit I boldly borrowed from Ms. Dodge Daskam’s story (hope she doesn’t mind).

Added to this influence, is the strange and sad history of Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. Long before I knew its story, I was drawn to Bunker Hill and still am. Though I’ve lived most of my life in Los Angeles, I didn’t grow up here. I spent my elementary years in a place called Fairview Hill, that rises steeply up from downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Before Bunker Hill was razed and shortened in a burst of wild post-war redevelopment, I suspect it was a lot like my childhood home, Fairview Hill, which is populated with old houses and nooks and crannies fascinating to a kid. I took the feeling of running around Fairview Hill as a kid, and added it to both “The Monkey’s Ghost” and “Sparky.”

I’m sure readers will find that back information interesting.

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

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden

About the Book


Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
Young Adult Mystery
Mystery & Horror, LLC (October 9, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1949281027
ISBN-13: 978-1949281026
Digital ASIN: B07H49P46T

Lots of characters have it bad, in my Bunker Hill neighborhood smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, but I’ve had it rougher than most.
There may be something to this 13th business.

That’s my birthday, and I’m learning to dread seeing it roll around. My mother died on one birthday. The cousins dumped me on my last. This year, 1932, I found a dead kid on a park bench. It’s my eleventh birthday, and the day me, Sparky, ended up on the run, wanted for murder.

If the dead girl wasn’t enough, the dirty newspapers pinned every body in LA on me, and even blamed me for the Great War. I wasn’t even born then. The price on my head got bigger by the day.

It was up to me to find out who killed the girl and why I got framed, before I ended up dangling from the hangman’s rope.

About the Author

Over thirty of Rosalind Barden’s short stories have appeared in print anthologies and webzines, including the U.K.’s acclaimed Whispers of Wickedness. Mystery and Horror, LLC has included her stories in their anthologies History and Mystery, Oh My! (FAPA President’s Book Award Silver Medalist), Mardi Gras Murder, and four of the Strangely Funny series. Ellen Datlow selected her short story “Lion Friend” as a Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention after it appeared in Cern Zoo, a British Fantasy Society nominee for best anthology, part of DF Lewis’ award-winning Nemonymous anthology series. TV Monster is her print children’s book that she wrote and illustrated. Her satirical literary novel American Witch is available as an e-book. In addition, her scripts, novel manuscripts, and short fiction have placed in numerous competitions, including the Writers’ Digest Screenplay Competition and the Shriekfast Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Discover more at RosalindBarden.com

Author Links
Website – http://rosalindbarden.com/
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Rosalind-Barden/e/B001KDZ344/

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 13 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

December 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

December 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

December 16 – My Journey Back- The Journey Back – REVIEW

December 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

December 18 – Ruff Drafts – INTERVIEW

December 19 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

December 19 – Varietats – GUEST POST

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour

Author Spotlight of Jodi Rath, Author of Pineapple Upside Down Murder, a Cast Iron Skillet Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Jodi Rath from Ohio here to speak about her writing and new release, Pineapple Upside Down Murder that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Welcome, Jodi. 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.

This is my first fictional piece I’ve published. I self-published Pineapple Upside Down Murder through my company MYS ED llc. The series is The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series.

Congratulations. Tell us a little bit about the book and any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress.

Pineapple Upside Down Murder book one in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series was just released on 11/23/18.  Book two in the series, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder, comes out 6/21/19. My grandma gave me her 70-year-old cast iron skillet for Christmas and that gave me the idea to write this series. She has only ever made pineapple upside down cake in this skillet, thus the title for book one.

Very interesting. Great idea.

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 series has fourteen books and I plan to write two to three books per year in the series as well as write some flash fiction, short stories, and 3-minute mysteries that tie into the series and give them away for free on my monthly newsletter.

That’s very ambitious. I wish you luck.

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

In advertising the book as a preorder, I’ve found that Canadians are the #1 group of people who have bought the book with Mexico and Spain coming in second and third then the U.S. then the U.K.  I’ve also found that many teens are interested in the book. The characters ages range from kids to 70-year old villagers so the age range is expansive.

You’ve certainly done your research. I’m sure it will be helpful in marketing your work.

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

Don’t give up! I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was five years old playing “magazine” with my dolls and stuffed animals. I’m 45 now, so it only took me 40 years of practice and patience to get here!

I have a similar story. It’s very important for writers to persevere.

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

I was in education for 20 years as a high school English teacher. I still work in higher education from home now working for local universities teaching online courses. My biggest struggle was loving teaching but having little time to write. I know everyone thinks teachers get so many days off, but my job was a big responsibility and I took it seriously! So, I was drained every weekend. During summer months, I had to do PD courses and I read many journals and books to help improve my lessons and teaching. That left little time to write.

Writing time is certainly a big challenge when you work full-time. As a librarian, I also find it difficult to spend as much time as I’d like on my writing.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to MWA, SinC, Guppies, RWA, ALLI, IBPA, SCBWI, NCTE, and ASCD. The last two are educational affiliations that I write for. I write both fiction and nonfiction.

Great. As you know, I’m a fellow Sinc and Guppies member.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Cats! My husband and I have eight cats that are our fur babies. We are the crazy cat people. I sketch using charcoal and paint using acrylics. I also do Ken-Po which is a combination of kickboxing and martial arts.

A fellow cat lover! You beat me by five cats, but I just added two kittens to my household (lost one furboy last year). Your painting and martial arts hobby are diversified interests.

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

I love brainstorming the characters and the setting. My series has a map of the fictional village, Leavensport, Ohio.  It was fun coming up with the names of places in the village and mapping out character traits. I also loved creating the theme for the entire fourteen books. Each book has its own plot but the fourteen books in the series has a few continuing working themes that will come to a resolution in the last book.

I love all parts of being an indie writer because it gives me control over what I’m doing. I’ve learned so much from drafting to revising to marketing to advertising campaigns to formatting to covers to the end product.

Formatting was the most difficult thing for me to learn. It’s wonderful to make the final product look professional but for some reason my brain struggled to comprehend how to do all the headings and add images and spacing for each file I had to create. I don’t think many readers think about the amount of work and time that go into just formatting so the book looks right on the devices the reader uses. I know I never gave it a thought.

Excellent. I also love coming up with the names for the places in my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. If you notice, I also use “stones” and “rocks” in my titles like you use food, but there’s plenty of food in the Cobble Cove books, too. Since I publish with Solstice Publishing, I don’t do my own formatting, so I don’t have any experience with that, but I imagine it must take time to learn.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love adding humor into my writing and I’ve always been a huge mystery fan. So, writing cozies is a natural fit for me because it allows me to do both.

Very true.

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

Click here for a peek at chapter one of Pineapple Upside Down Murder

Thanks for sharing that.

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

Every cover of my book will have a picture of one of my cats on it. Book one has D.J. Lynn Rath (yes they have middle names! LOL). She is our 19 year old kitty. Book two has Stewart Michael Rath ,our one-eyed kitty. Book three will have Bobbi Jo Rath our bobtail kitty.

Awww. I would love to have my cats on my covers. As of now, I’ve featured two cats on my books, but they were images of the characters included.

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

Newsletter Sign Up http://eepurl.com/dIfXdb

Website:  https://www.jodirath.com/

Blog: https://www.jodirath.com/blog

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

 Twitter:   https://twitter.com/jodirath   @jodirath

 Pinterest; https://www.pinterest.com/jodirath/

 Amazon Author Page: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18363719.Jodi_Rath

 FB Author Page https://www.facebook.com/jodirathmysed/

Newsletter sign up link: http://eepurl.com/dIfXdb

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jodi-rath

Purchase Links: Draft2Digital https://www.books2read.com/u/md0XMl

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Pineapple-Upside-Murder-Skillet-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07GXDPPSP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542310454&sr=8-1&keywords=pineapple+upside+down+murder

Thanks for the interview, Jodi, and best wishes on your book and upcoming ones in your series. I’m also sharing some info about your blog tour.

Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

About the Book

Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
MYS ED llc (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 130 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GXDPPSP

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

About the Author

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links: Webpage: https://www.jodirath.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/jodirath FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirath

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jodi-rath

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

Purchase Links: Amazon: http://authl.it/B07GXDPPSP All other e-platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/md0XMl

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 6 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

December 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 7 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

December 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

December 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, RECIPE

December 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 11 –Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST

December 12 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

December 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

December 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 14 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

December 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

December 16 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

December 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

December 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Cozy Mysteries, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Matt Ferraz, author of Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game

I’m pleased to have author Matt Ferraz from Contagem in Southeastern Brazil here to speak about his writing and new release, Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game.

Welcome, Matt. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

I self published my first book, Teorema de Mabel (Mabel’s Theorem) in 2013. It’s my only literary book written in my mother language, Portuguese. Since then, most of my works have been in English, and a few in Italian. My second novel was Killing Dr. Watson, a murder mystery which was released in the UK by MX Publishing. Then, I started my series Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, with the first volume, The Convenient Cadaver, being self published in 2015. It’s a cozy mystery series with a character I did inspired by my own grandmother. The second book in that series is coming out in early 2018.

My new book is called Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game, and it’s a crossover between the world’s greatest detective and Pollyanna Whittier, from the Glad Game books written by Eleanor H. Porter. The synopsis is as follows:

British sleuth Sherlock Holmes can solve any mystery from a small clue. American traveler Pollyanna Whittier can only see the good side of every situation. The only thing they have in common is their friendship with Dr. John Watson. When Pollyanna shows up in London with a mystery for Holmes to solve, she decides to teach the detective the Glad Game: a way of remaining optimistic no matter what. A dangerous – and hilarious – clash of minds, where these two characters of classic literature need to learn how to work together in order to catch a dangerous criminal.

Sounds like you’ve written some nice mysteries.

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

My dream, which I share with most writers, is to make a full living out of my books. It’s not easy, and takes a lot of hard work, but I’m determined to pursue it. My country is going through an economic crisis right now, so I have just as many chances of making money with my books as I would with a regular job.

Sorry about your country’s economic situation, but best of luck with your book selling.

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

With Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game I intend to reach sherlockians, who love everything related to the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; cozy readers, who love a clean mystery read; and also people who like classic literature and want to see how characters as different as Holmes and Pollyanna will interact.

A nice audience.

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

Learn everything you can about the publishing market. It’s not enough just being a good storyteller and putting the business work in the hands of an agent or publisher. You need to know the ground you’re stepping in.

I agree completely.

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

I had problems with word count, and everything I wrote was far too short to be released by a regular publisher. It took some time to fix that.

I think most publishers are now accepting shorter-length books.

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 attended to a wonderful workshop with Joanna Penn and Orna Ross in London, which taught me lots about how to make a living out of books. Besides that, I took some courses about publishing, but never about the writing itself. I agree with Stephen King, who says that writing can be learned but not taught.

Interesting idea.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m a trained barista, and can make some pretty tasty coffee drinks. I also love cinema, and go the movies as often as I can.

Nice.

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

Being a writer makes me feel like I can be in the same club where many people I look up to are. The worst part is that people don’t see it as a career, only as a hobby, and I have a tough time convincing them that this is what I want to do for a living.

I understand that issue.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.
Great! Thanks for chatting with me today, Matt, and best wishes on your new release and upcoming mysteries.
Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Leigh Perry, Author of The Skeleton Makes a Friend, a Family Skeleton Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Leigh Perrry who also writes as Toni L.P. Kelner from Malden, Massachusettes here to speak about her writing and new release, The Skeleton Makes a Friend that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Welcome, Leigh.

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.

Are you trying to make me feel old? My first book came out just over 25 years ago! I had eight books of the Laura Fleming series with Kensington. (Though two were under the Zebra imprint.) The three books of the “Where are they now?” series came out from Berkley Prime Crime. The anthologies I co-edited with Charlaine Harris came out from Ace. (Though one came out from Audible first.) The first three books of the Family Skeleton series were published by Berkley Prime Crime, and the most recent two are coming from Diversion. And I published one collection of the Laura Fleming series under the auspices of JABberwocky, my literary agency. That’s not counting short stories—if we throw those into the mix, it’ll be far too confusing.

Wow! that’s quite a publishing history. I’m impressed.  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.

These days I’m writing the Family Skeleton mysteries for Diversion Books, and the fifth—The Skeleton Makes a Friend—came out November 6. The elevator pitch for the series is this: Adjunct English professor Georgia Thackery moves her teenaged daughter back to her family’s home, and has to confront the family skeleton. Which is a skeleton. Named Sid. He walks, he talks, he makes bad bone jokes. Together, he and Georgia solve crimes!

That 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?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? I’d like to hit the New York Times Best Seller List (extended list would be fine), get a movie or TV show option, and receive an Edgar nomination. And all I can do for all three is to write the best books and stories I can.

Well, good luck with those excellent goals. I hope you achieve them.

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

Generally, I think I appeal to the cozy reader. But these books also appeal to a handful of young people who are usually science fiction and fantasy readers.

That’s a good mix for a readership.

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

Don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to try new things. I started out trying to write science fiction, and honestly wasn’t very good at it. When I switched to mystery, I did much better, but it still took a lot of query letters, rewriting, and more query letters before I got a contract.

It’s even harder in today’s publishing world. I’m trying to find an agent myself, although I’ve been publishing my series with a a very good online publisher.

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

I don’t know that I had it any harder than anybody else. It might have been a little more difficult getting interest in a Southern series back then, but Margaret Maron, Carolyn G. Hart, Sharyn McCrumb, and Joan Hess were doing just fine. In some ways it’s harder now because there are fewer big traditional publishers.

Very true. As a librarian, I recognize those authors and have enjoyed their books.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I’m in some writer’s organizations (Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, American Crime Writers League, Shore Mystery Fiction Society), but no writing workshop kinds of groups.

Those are good organizations. I belong to Sisters in Crime and also their guppies group.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Reading and playing on the computer.

Those are my hobbies, too, although I also like to exercise to video DVD’s to get away from the computer and play with my cat and new kittens.

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

I hate the waiting. Waiting for a contract, waiting for an edit, waiting for reviews, waiting for sales figures. It’s a powerless feeling, and I despise it. My personal challenge is belief in myself, even after all these books.

I think those challenges are pretty common for most authors.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I don’t think I set out to write cozies—I just set out to write the world I know, and my world is pretty cozy. That being said, there’s still plenty of meanness, anger, fear, vengeance, and of course murder to keep my mysteries moving.

I relate to that because I didn’t set out to write my cozy series either. I thought the first book was a romantic suspense standalone novel, but readers thought differently, and so the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series was born.

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

Sid unzipped the rest of the way, pulled himself out of the suitcase and back together, and tried to turn the knob. “It’s locked.”

“Can you open it?”

“Easy peasy,” he said, pulling a set of lock picks from inside the suitcase. My locksmith sister Deborah probably hadn’t realized that teaching my daughter Madison how to pick locks was tantamount to teaching Sid. Madison had shared everything she’d learned with him, and he’d promptly ordered his own picks online. “You really should learn to do this, Georgia. It’s not that hard.”

Despite his assurance, it seemed to take an awful long time to get the door open. Or maybe it just seemed like a long time because I kept looking down the stairs, worried that somebody would hear us and come to see what was going on.

Finally there was a loud click, and Sid said, “Nailed it!” He opened the door, and cold air streamed out.

“Brr!” I said. “Wouldn’t you know that a department with everybody on vacation would be the one with overachieving air conditioners?” The window unit in my classroom had gone out twice. “Not to mention the waste of electricity.”

“You can complain about it later,” Sid said. “Come on.”

I followed him into the human resources department, pulling the empty suitcase along.

There were four more closed doors: three offices labeled with names and one marked File Room.

“Here we go,” Sid said, using his picks on one of the office doors.

This lock was easier to deal with, which was a relief, but unfortunately, the smell seemed to be coming from that office. “I’m going in.”

“Remember what I said. Get in, look around fast, get out.”

“Got it.” He stepped inside.

Between the cold, the horrid stink, and the fear of being caught, I was hoping that Sid would be swift, but I was surprised when he came out in under two minutes. “That was fast. Did you find something?”

“Don’t go in there.”

“I wasn’t going to—”

Then I looked at him.

He shouldn’t have been able to look like anything but bone-colored, but somehow he seemed paler than usual, and his bones were so loose he was nearly falling apart. “What’s wrong?”

“He’s in there. At least I think it’s him.”

“Did he see you?” I said stupidly.

He slowly shook his skull, and only then did I realize what it was we’d been smelling.

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

Just that the Family Skeleton is not a metaphorical skeleton. Sid is a real live… Okay, not live, but a real living skeleton. So many mysteries use skeletons and skulls on their covers, and I don’t want anybody getting upset when Sid shows up on the page.

Thanks for clearing that up for those who may have misunderstood.

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

Website: http://leighperryauthor.com/

Sid’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Family_Skeleton

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/LeighPerryAuthor

My Alter Ego

Toni L.P. Kelner: www.tonilpkelner.com

The Skeleton Makes a Friend (A Family Skeleton Mystery)
by Leigh Perry

About the Book


The Skeleton Makes a Friend (A Family Skeleton Mystery)
Diversion Books (November 6, 2018)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-10: 1635764440
ISBN-13: 978-1635764444
Digital ASIN: B07GT39K2X

Georgia Thackery is feeling pretty good about her summer job teaching at prestigious Overfeld College, and she’s renting a rustic cabin right by a lake for herself, her daughter, Madison, and her best friend, Sid the Skeleton. Together again, the trio are enjoying the quiet when a teenager named Jen shows up looking for her friend. Georgia doesn’t recognize the name, but she learns that the person Jen was looking for is actually Sid.

Sid reveals that he and Jen are part of a regular online gaming group that formed locally, and one of their members has gone missing. Sid admits that he might have bragged about his investigative prowess, enough so that Jen wants him to find their missing player. Given that Sid doesn’t have many friends offline—none, really, unless you count the Thackery family—Georgia agrees to help him search. They manage to discreetly enlist Jen, who lives in town, and follow the clues to… a dead buddy.

Now they’ve got a killer on their hands. Probing the life of Sid’s friend, they realize a lot is wrong both on campus and in the seemingly quaint town, and someone doesn’t want them looking deeper.

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Author Spotlight of Loretta Marion, Author of House of Ashes, a Haunted Bluffs Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Loretta Marion from Bristol, Rhode Island here to speak about her writing and new release, House of Ashes that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My current book, HOUSE OF ASHES, releases on November 13th and is published by Crooked Lane Books.

My debut novel, THE FOOL’S TRUTH, was independently published through a company I set up, Time at Last Books. (Fall of 2016)

Very nice. Congratulations!

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.

HOUSE OF ASHES is the first in the Haunted Bluffs Mystery series that takes place in the fictional town of Whale Rock on Cape Cod. The story centers on Cassie Mitchell, a thirty-seven-year old painter who is about to lose her beloved family home to mounting debt. The mystery involves the disappearance of two young people who happen upon Cassie’s property and end up staying for a while to help her out of her bind. Interwoven into the present-day story is the account of Cassie’s great-grandparents and the century-old curse that still threatens the Mitchell family. That the spirits of these ancestors still inhabit The Bluffs adds another element of mystery to the story. Why are they still there and what do they want of Cassie?

HOUSE OF ASHES has the upcoming release date of November 13, 2018. The next book in the series will be published in the fall of 2019.

THE FOOL’S TRUTH is a twisty mystery with whispers of romance, following Cordelia Richmond, a desperate young mother who becomes stranded in the backwoods of Maine. Dark secrets, deceit and danger emerge when she and her young daughter are taken in by a witch-like hermit living off the grid. THE FOOL’S TRUTH received the following awards: Finalist in two categories (Mystery & Suspense) IAN 2017 Book of the Year Awards, Honorable Mention New England Bookfest, Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Both books sound fantastic.

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

I’ve never been a goal-oriented individual, but simply put, I hope to continue to write books that entertain, to hone my craft and to build a readership following for my writing,

I was told early on, the more you write, the better you become. I intend to keep writing.

That’s a great goal in itself.

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

As a mystery with elements of the paranormal and a touch of romance, HOUSE OF ASHES has a lot to offer. It would appeal to readers of mysteries, romantic mystery, romantic suspense and paranormal mysteries. With a main character who struggles with hardships – many brought upon herself – and evolves to become more resilient, I think the story would also be appealing to fans of women’s fiction.

Sounds like there’s a large audience for your book.

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

Make sure you are submitting a very clean and polished manuscript to agents and editors. Continue to learn about the craft and be open to constructive suggestions. Attend writing conferences and learn how to pitch your book. Be persistent but patient and realistic. Not every book has a Cinderella story attached to it.

Good advice.

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

Probably my greatest struggle was in determining if my writing would attract a following, which is difficult to assess until you are actually published. I struggled with the decision of whether to take one of my books to the market independently to make that determination. I ultimately took that route with my first book, which was quite a journey and a long learning curve. But I’m glad for the experience as it helped me better understand the publishing world as well as my own personal expectations.

All publishing journeys are educational.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Not at present but I’m looking into which would be a good fit for me and my writing.

There are many to choose from, some are better than others.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love to travel as well as outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and kayaking. My quiet hobby is knitting, and I especially enjoy making baby blankets and scarves – nothing too complicated please!

A nice variety of interests besides reading and writing.

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

I enjoy entertaining people with my stories and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to do so. It’s wonderful to be able to spend time with my characters. At the beginning of a project they are mere acquaintances, by the end they’ve become a part of me.

What I like the least are deadlines. It’s a different process when you are writing to serve someone else’s timetable.

The toughest challenge is probably book promotion. Although I’m proud of my writing, it’s not easy for me to tout my work. Also, finding a good balance between the writing, the promotional aspects and life can be a challenge.

I know exactly how you feel. Characters definitely grow on an author. As far as book promotion, most authors struggle with that. I certainly do.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

Though a mystery, HOUSE OF ASHES would not be considered a cozy. Most of my writing involves a mystery in some form, though I didn’t start out with that intent. I was originally headed in the direction of Women’s Fiction, but that element of mystery kept insinuating itself into my writing. I must admit, there is something uniquely satisfying about plotting out the intricate threads of a mystery and then weaving them together to reveal unexpected results.

I write different types of mysteries in addition to my cozy mystery series. I also love to read them.

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

Since the book interweaves two stories, I’ll share excerpts from both the historic and present-day accounts.

EXCERPT ONE:

Eighty years ago ~ Whale Rock, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod Bay

Friday, December 13th

The fire bell was ringing, and someone yelled in through the tavern door, “There’s a fire up on the north end! Battersea Bluffs. We need all the hands we can get!”

“No, it can’t be,” Percy whispered. The Bluffs was his home. He leapt from the barstool and ran for the street, bumping into a stranger as he passed through the tavern door. The man’s eyes were ominously familiar to him, but with more pressing concerns, there was no time to bring to memory why. He had to get home to Celeste.

It sickened him to see the flames as his Ford pickup rounded the top of Lavender Hill. How hard he and Celeste had worked to build this house, a grand Victorian with a widow’s walk and a proud front porch facing out to sea. Fire trucks were already there, and men he’d known these many years were working hard to contain the blaze.

As he ran toward the house, it came to him who the stranger in the tavern had been, and later one of the firefighters would recount that Percy had screamed: “Damn that lighterman’s curse. Damn you to hell, Robert Toomey!” Nobody was quick enough to keep Percy Mitchell from entering the inferno. Moments later he emerged, his clothing and hair afire, carrying a charred human form. Any man would have been delirious from the pain, but as the firefighters looked on in shocked disbelief, Percy walked with a purposeful bearing and a swift gait toward the bluffs. A few men chased after their friend, but before anyone could stop him, Percy reached the ledge and cried out, “I am not finished!”

And then, with his already dead wife in his arms, he hurled them both into Cape Cod Bay.

 EXCERPT TWO:

Present day ~ Whale Rock, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod

September ~ three days since the disappearance

Back at home, I took a good look at my beloved Battersea Bluffs, with its towering widow’s walk, double chimneys, and impressive wrap-around porch. It had become part of Whale Rock’s lore that the majestic Victorian sitting high above the cliffs on the craggy northern end of town was possessed by the spirits of my great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, its original owners. The legend evolved from a rumor initiated by my father when he was trying to take back his rightful home. It had been a successful strategy, but he could never have guessed how prophetic his fable would become—or maybe he’d already sensed the mysterious aspects of the old house. To be fair, Papa and I had never discussed the lurking scents and sounds presented by the spirits sharing our home.

I unlatched the gate, to a warm greeting of soft whimpers and an exuberant tail.

“You’re missing them too, aren’t ya, buddy?” I reached down to stroke the German shepherd’s glossy black fur, those usually erect ears momentarily relaxed. I widened the gate.

I followed the dog to the ledge of Percy’s Bluffs, so named after my great-grandfather’s dramatic leap from the cliffs overlooking Cape Cod Bay. I stared down to where the waves were crashing against the rocks below. Through the years, this spot had become my refuge, where I’d come to contemplate decisions or brood over troubles. Exhausted and numb, I sank to the ground and idly fingered an abandoned champagne cork, probably left here the night Vince and Ashley moved in with me. We’d brought a bottle down to the cliffs to toast our new alliance and the home they were going to help me save. I closed my eyes to bring to memory the feel of the fizzy liquid against my tongue, the first I’d tasted in years.  There’d not been much to celebrate in recent times. But that night, a sense of hope had returned to me.

Excellent excerpts. You’ve got me hooked.

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

My desire to become a writer of fiction evolved from the unlikely world of hospice. As a volunteer, I started a Legacy Story program for the patients who were still able to tell their stories. It was an incredibly meaningful experience. I credit the courage demonstrated by those patients who were facing their grim realities for inspiring me to be bold enough to step out onto that path that may or may not lead to publication. I’ll be eternally grateful for how those patients’ stories touched my heart and for the journey that resulted from the experience.

The paranormal aspect of HOUSE OF ASHES was inspired by my own experience with an otherworldly visitor.

How interesting. It’s not uncommon for authors to weave their own personal experiences into their books, and that makes them more realistic.

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

Website: https://www.lorettamarion.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15863622.Loretta_Marion

Links for HOUSE OF ASHES:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/House-Ashes-Haunted-Bluffs-Mystery/dp/1683318439

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/house-of-ashes-loretta-marion/1128856330?ean=9781683318439#/

Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/House-Ashes/Loretta-Marion/9781683318439?id=7293377974282

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781683318439

Links for THE FOOL’S TRUTH:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997788607

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LY8U5B1

I’ve enjoyed answering these interview questions. Thank you for your interest in my spotlighting my writing!

My pleasure. I’m just sorry I posted your interview late. I’ve been preparing for an author talk at my library and got caught up. I wish you the best of luck with your new release and your future mysteries.

House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery
Supernatural Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318439
ISBN-13: 978-1683318439
Digital Details Coming Soon

A family patriarch’s dying proclamation, an enigmatic disappearance, and a century-old curse converge in the shadows of a majestic home on Cape Cod’s craggy coast.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it’s by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter―but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help―until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what’s happened to the young couple…even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police―as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism―Cassie can’t help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family’s dark curse destroys everything in its path?

About the Author

An author of fiction, Loretta Marion’s writing bridges the genres of mystery and suspense and women’s fiction, always with hints of romance and humor, sometimes delving into the psychological and paranormal. She creates strong but flawed and struggling characters as appealing as the rich atmospheric settings in which the stories take place.

Loretta is a true bibliophile and has loved reading and creating with words since she was a young girl. And that affection for the written word followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she put pen to paper crafting marketing and advertising copy, educational brochures, and newsletters. But her passion for writing fiction evolved from the unlikely world of hospice. As a volunteer, she set out to establish a Legacy Story program to honor and preserve the rich heritage of the fascinating people who were soon to leave this world. The meaningful experience inspired her to create her own interesting characters and stories. Her debut novel, The Fool’s Truth, was a twisty and suspenseful mystery with whispers of romance. Her newest novel, HOUSE OF ASHES – A Haunted Bluffs Mystery, is the first in a series published by Crooked Lane Books.

Though born and raised in the Midwest, Loretta fell in love with New England and has made it the setting for much of her writing. When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey, and their beloved Mr. Peabody, a sweet, devoted and amusing “Corgador” (Corgi-Labrador cross). (www.LorettaMarion.com)

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