Posted in Books, Monday blogs

My Author Talk at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library

On Thursday night, June 22, I presented an author talk at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library on Long Island. The program, sponsored by their Friends of the Library group, was part of their summer reading events. It was my eighth library appearance, and I will be speaking again at my home library, Hicksville, on August 18.

After being introduced by Jeannine Sharkey, a librarian at Plainview, I further introduced myself and spoke about how I started writing, my books including my Cobble Cove mystery series that include A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and my latest, Written in Stone, published April 2017 by Solstice Publishing.

The Lawrence C. Lobaugh, Jr. Memorial Award for Journalism Award I received for my writing on the Post Pioneer.

I explained that since I was a young girl, I’d always loved reading, writing, telling stories, and cats. My love of books brought me to the field of librarianship in which I’ve worked for 25 years. My love of cats started me writing articles for pet magazines such as Cat Fancy after I graduated from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island where I majored in English and Library and Information Science and also wrote for the student newspaper, The Pioneer, for which I received a journalism award for my feature writing.

I shared the history of my first published story and novel. My first published story was a mystery in the Cat Crimes Through Time anthology called Stitches in Time and was a time travel tale that involved Betsy Ross’s cat. In 2008, I self-published Cloudy Rainbow, my first novel, that was a romance with some paranormal elements and a cat named after my beloved Floppy who passed away that year at 15.

After Cloudy Rainbow, I told the audience that I stopped writing for a time while my daughter was young and I focused on my full-time library position. In 2015, after a patron who’d read my book persuaded me to write another, I took advantage of my library’s new Gale Courses online database to take several publishing courses and ease my way back into writing. Two months later, writing in the early morning before work, I had completed the first draft of what was to become the first Cobble Cove mystery, A Stone’s Throw. I sold that book to a small publisher, Limitless Publishing, and it was published in November 2015.

Not initially intending A Stone’s Throw to become a series or a cozy mystery, I decided to continue the story of a librarian, Alicia and a newspaper reporter, John McKinney, in the small, fictional upstate town of Cobble Cove, New York with a second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I changed publishers at this time to Solstice Publishing who now have published the three books in the series and also several of my short stories in anthologies of various genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and romance.

In February 2017, I related that I also published a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, and my story, Saving Snow White, appears in the latest anthology from Solstice, That Summer Day, that was published just a few days before my talk on June 21.

I pointed out that all my books and stories include at least one cat and sometimes a dog. The Cobble Cove mysteries feature a Siamese library cat, Sneaky, and Fido, a golden retriever.  The audience found it amusing when I explained that Sneaky has his own blog where he “scoops the shelves of cat litterature” and where he has interviewed a variety of other cat characters. His blog can be found at https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com. I also created a Facebook group called Cobble Cove Character Chat that is hosted by a different character from the series each month and where group members can enter a monthly contest for prizes that range from Amazon gift certificates to copies of books.

Although I had some technical difficulties with my Powerpoint slideshow, I was able to display some of my book covers and the newspaper articles that were written upon their releases. I also read some excerpts from my mysteries and the blurbs of my stories. In addition, I played the book trailers, short clips, to each of the Cobble Cove novels.

I ended my talk with information about my future publishing plans. I am currently querying agents for my psychological thriller, Sea Scope, and have completed a standalone mystery, Reason to Die, that I hope to edit and submit for publication in a few months. I may also start the fourth Cobble Cove mystery soon.

When I asked for audience questions, one guest wanted to know why I like cats so much. I explained that I like other animals but am especially fond of cats because they have unique natures, are quite intelligent, and can intuitively sense when you are sad and need comforting. I am far from alone in this interest for felines, as they are often characters in books, art, and online videos that go viral.

The evening wrapped up with a raffle for an autographed copy of Written in Stone. The winner posed for a photo with me.

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Free and On Sale May 9 and 10 the First 2 Cobble Cove Mysteries

The first of my Cobble Cove mystery series, A Stone’s Throw, is free on Amazon on Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 10. The second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, is on sale for 99 cents. Grab a copy of both for less than a $1.

5-star review of A Stone’s Throw: “A wonderfully written cozy murder mystery! I was completely enraptured from the first page and found myself quite unable to put it down! The storyline was masterfully crafted and flowed smoothly, unveiling more and more secrets and tidbits as it progressed and kept me completely hooked the entire time.”  myBook.to/Stonesthrow

5-star review of Between a Rock and a Hard Place: “If you like a small town mystery with a twist you will enjoy this book. Cobble Cove is a cozy town and reading about its residents makes you feel like you are there and know the characters.” myBook.to/CobbleCove2

The books are also on tour with Great Escapes through May 13. Hosting blogs feature reviews, guest posts, spotlights, and interviews of my series as well as a chance to win all 3 books in a giveaway. The tour schedule is below:

May 5 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

May 6 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 8 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

May 8 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

May 10 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

May 11 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

May 12 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

May 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

Posted in Books, New Releases

New Release: Superior Species 2: Finding Karen by K. A. Meng

Hello, thank you for having me on your blog. I want to introduce you to my newest book in the world of Superior Species: Superior Species Book 2: Finding Karen. There is a surprise later.

Amazon link: http://getBook.at/SuperiorSpecies2

Superior Species Book 2 Finding Karen Blurb:

Ivory Ames has learned the truth about Los Roshano, New Mexico and the university she attends there, but it isn’t what she expected. Monsters exist. They’ve been running the town in secret to fill their ranks. She vows to keep her friends and herself safe from their evil clutches.

As soon as Ivory makes her pledge, her best friend is missing. The race to find Karen Bakke is on before she is killed or worse.

Teasers: 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/miDzdFjFmfA

I made you a promise. As part of Superior Species Book 2 Finding Karen release, you can obtain a FREE ebook copy of Superior Species Book 1 on Friday, May 12, 2017: http://getBook.at/SuperiorSpecies

Superior Species Blurb:

Ivory Ames has caught the attention of four gorgeous guys. At Los Roshano University this isn’t normal, even when all the upperclassmen have perfect physiques, flawless complexions, and hypnotic looks. That’s not even the weirdest part. The town has a strict sunset curfew because of wild animals attacking.

To keep her friends and herself safe, Ivory must figure out the truth behind the town’s mysteries before it’s too late. 

Meet the Author:

K. A. Meng lives in North Dakota, in the same town she grew up. Her love for the paranormal started at a young age when she saw her first ghost.

Today, she spends her time writing paranormal romance, fantasy, and everything in-between. When life drags her away from it, she hangs out with her son and friends, goes to movies, watches TV, plays board games, walks her dogs, and reads books. She is actively involved in two writing groups and wishes to some day visit Disney World.

Find K.A. Meng:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012856366750&fref=ts

Facebook Like Page: https://www.facebook.com/KAMengAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KAMengAuthor

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

Website: https://www.kamengauthor.com/

 

Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books, Mysteries

Author Spotlight: Matt Ferraz

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with Matt Ferraz from Brazil 
limitlesslibrarylounge

Thanks for joining me, Matt.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable. 

I don’t believe I’ve had any authors from Brazil in my Author Spotlight before. Can you tell me more about your background?

I live in Contagem, an industrial town in central Brazil. Contagem is a nice place but it lacks cultural spots, so I spent a lot of time traveling to Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state, where there are more libraries and theaters.

I have spent the last year living in Buckingham, UK, taking my masters in biography at the town’s university. Whenever I had the chance, I would take the train to London and spend the day on bookshops and museums, or go to the theatre to see a play. It was an amazing experience, and I hope to come back there in the future.

That sounds very exciting. 

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

My first book was Teorema de Mabel (Mabel’s Theorem) a Portuguese-written novella about a young girl named Mabel who gets a job as a typist for her favorite writer. However, when Mabel meets her new boss, she finds out he cannot write anything, so she decides to write the book herself, knowing that he will get the credit. I wrote this book due to my passion for typewriters, and am still very proud of it. It was self published, and I got to appear on local TV and newspapers with it.

After that I published Killing Dr. Watson, a thriller about a geek who teams up with an actor who played Sherlock Holmes on BBC to find out who’s the killer who’s eliminating actors who played Watson on TV. This book was released by MX Publishing, which only deals with Sherlock Holmes related material. It was later released as an audiobook, and it was an amazing thing to listen to it for the first time.

I’m now venturing into cozy mystery with the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series. I always loved the genre, and decided to give it a try. The first volume, The Convenient Cadaver, was released on March 7 through Amazon.

Very nice. I’m hoping to review that book soon. It looks wonderful and is in a genre that I write.

Tell us a little more about your books.

I consider myself a crime writer, but like to venture into other genres once in a while. I created the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series based on my experiences with my grandmothers Edite and Eva and with a elder friend named Silvia. My idea was to write about elderly people but not in a bitter way. Having an old person living with you can be harsh, but it can also be a wonderful and funny experience, and I wanted to write a book showing that.

Grandma Bertha is an old lady who loves horror movies and her dogs. Afraid that she’ll be lonely living by herself, her son Todd decides to make a bedroom for her on his garden shed so she can spend more time with the family. Todd’s wife Lydia doesn’t get along very well with Grandma Bertha, but their son Stu loves having his granny by his side.

One day, while they’re getting ready for a party, Lydia finds a dead body on the alley at the back of their house: a beautiful young woman shot three times on the back. They call the police immediately, but Grandma Bertha decides she’s going to find out who the killer is. You see, Grandma Bertha had an experience like that on the past, when she solved a murder but didn’t report to the police for not believing in her own deductions, and that haunted her for life. Now she wants to redeem herself by catching this one.

Sounds like great characters and a fun plot.

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 entertain people and tell stories they can relate to. I do my best to be funny and endearing and clever and all that good stuff. My goal is to release at least three more books in this series in the next two years, and I believe people will love what I have in mind for Grandma Bertha’s next cases.

I’m also working in a completely different project at the moment, a sci-fi book called Know Thy Enemy. I always wanted to co-write a book with another author, and I met a wonderful writer named Dawn Chapman with whom I got along like we were old buddies. We are now halfway through this book, and as soon as we finished with it I’ll go back to Grandma Bertha.

Excellent. I’m also working on another project at the moment and taking a break before I continue my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series with #4.

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

Anyone who likes a good mystery with touches of humor can enjoy The Convenient Cadaver, but I think that people who has had a strong relationship with their grandparents will find this book special.

Unfortunately, I never knew my grandparents, but I do enjoy mysteries that include a bit of comedy.

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

You have to learn how the publishing industry works. That’s vital. Spend your money in books and courses about this industry. You can write the most amazing novel in the world, but if you’re clueless about how a book gets published, the odds are other people will make money out of your work. Sure, money is not the most important thing, but if you can write a good book and want to make an honest buck out of it, you should be informed about how to do it.

That’s an interesting insight. Although writing is an art, the business side of it is the publishing aspect.

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

Publishing a  book in Brazil is a nightmare! I submited Teorema de Mabel to a Brazilian publishing house that took two years to answer me, and when they did, they wanted me to pay the equivalent of 5,000 dollars to publish my book. That’s more than a year of minimum wage in here, so I politely declined. These publishers don’t believe that your books is going to be successful, so they want you to pay in advance so if the book is a failure, only the author will lose money.

I only got to become a published author after I started writing in English and Italian. It’s much more effort to write a book in another tongue, but it’s amazingly easier to get it published in the UK or in Italy. Most publishers in Brazil are vanity presses, which is a shame, for that harms our own literature.

I agree. I paid to have my first book published, but I used an established self-publisher. I would not pay to publish a book with a vanity press, and I believe there aren’t too many still around in the U.S. for good reason.

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 took an online workshop of How to Get Published at Gotham Writers, and a live workshop called How to Make a Living (and a Life) out of your Writing when I was in London. They were vital for my career, and I advise every writer who wants to become a professional to take these kind of courses.

I’ve taken some online writing and publishing courses and also found them very helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I mostly watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books. I also have a collection of porcelain penguins I’m really proud of. I also collect Italian comics and old VHS’s.

Interesting. I used to collect cat figurines and other collectibles. 

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

The best thing by far is that I can write about anything I want to. That’s the most powerful feeling in the world, knowing that I can write any story that comes to my mind, and all it takes is the effort of sitting down and writing. The worst part is when people ask for free copies, not to read it but just to show their friends that they know a writer. The toughest challenge is that I’m building a career at a very long distance. My books are written in English and I’m living in Brazil, which feels very strange at times.

That must be challenging. 

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

Official site: https://mattferraz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matheus.b.ferraz

Goodreads Links:

The Convenient Cadaver: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34728968-the-convenient-cadaver?ac=1&from_search=true

Killing Dr. Watson: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26760441-killing-dr-watson

Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14405163.Matt_Ferraz

Amazon Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Convenient-Cadaver-Grandma-Solving-Murders-ebook/dp/B06XYSQ1W8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491144570&sr=8-1&keywords=the+convenient+cadaver

Thank you so much for the interview, Matt. I wish you the best with your mystery series as well as your co-authored science fiction title. I will keep an eye out for them. 

Posted in Books, Monday blogs

Why Most Indie Books Don’t Get Shelf Space in Libraries

A fellow author suggested I write this post to let other Indie authors and those who publish with small presses understand how books are selected for purchase by libraries. The reason I’m qualified to write this is that I’m a librarian at a public library and am in charge of ordering the fiction titles for our collection.

As part of my job, I select books from reviews written in publishing journals. Our library uses Booklist. Other popular professional journals include Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. The books reviewed in these journals tend to be from the traditional Big 5 publishers. However, Booklist and Library Journal have both started adding sections devoted to self-published books. Kirkus offers an Indie Review service for a fee. Library Journal offers a database for local authors, Self-e by Biblioboard, that includes free downloads of self-published eBooks. Our library had previewed this database but did not feel it would be useful to our community at this time because we already use Overdrive, a popular library database for free eBooks.

How are print books selected for libraries? At our library, we divide ordering among the reference librarians. Books are primarily chosen through library journals as mentioned above and by patron request. We also order high-demand titles from the New York Times Bestseller List. Orders are placed through Baker & Taylor’s online ordering system. We receive a library discount for the books ordered. Unfortunately, most Indie books are not listed on B & T. For those we can’t obtain through them, we use Amazon.com. Some libraries use Ingram. Ordering budgets are set up for different types of books and materials – fiction, non-fiction, Audio, Video, Periodicals, etc. Depending on a library’s size, these budgets can be small or large. Our library serves a community of 40,000 people. However, not all our residents are library card holders, and we also welcome residents from neighboring libraries.

Even if a library stays within its budget, another factor needed to consider when ordering books is how much room is available on their shelves. Librarians are constantly weeding out damaged, old, or low circulating books to make room for new and bestselling titles. For this reason, they have to be selective. That doesn’t mean libraries don’t order any self-published or small press books. I often have local authors send me or bring in literature about their books. Some offer to donate the book if we place it on our shelves. The problem is that these books, if added to the collection, are rarely borrowed unless they are put on display or reviewed in our staff picks newsletter that is distributed in the library and also posted online. The reason is obvious. Without a name like Patterson, Grisham, Clark, Roberts, etc., a new author doesn’t yet have a following. These authors started out in the discard pile when they began and now some of their books are being reprinted to a larger audience.

So what should an Indie author or one who publishes with an Indie Press do to get their book in libraries? This is a question that I, as a librarian and author, have asked myself. While I’ve managed to have my books purchased by my library (of course, I’m the one in charge of ordering fiction), I haven’t had as much luck with other libraries. A few of the libraries in my county have purchased my books after I’ve made calls to fellow librarians, advertised in my library association’s newsletter, participated in an interview by my local paper, and done some author talks for nearby libraries. Since I haven’t had much success, I can imagine how difficult it would be for those authors who aren’t librarians.

But is having a library buy your book an important goal? Although some of the patrons at my library and also staff members who have heard me talk have purchased autographed copies of my books, most of them just borrow my books. That doesn’t do anything for my sales rating or my royalty checks. If I could get libraries across the country to buy my book, that would be another matter. There are 9,041 public libraries in the United States according to statistics from the American Library Association. This figure was last updated in 2014, so there may be more or less at this time. I wouldn’t mind 9,000 sales. But since many libraries are part of larger systems as my library is, there would be no need for each library to buy a copy when they could interloan or share it among their system libraries. That’s if there’s even a demand for it beyond the library that purchased it.

I figure that the reason libraries don’t purchase many Indie books is the same reason they purchase very few textbooks. According to a Bowker report, 700,000 Indie books were published in 2015. With these figures growing annually, it would be impossible for libraries (and bookstores, too) to keep up with the demand and find room on their shelves for these titles. However, if your book is of local interest, if it’s appeared in your local paper, or been reviewed anywhere (Amazon usually doesn’t count), or if you are a regular patron at your home library, you could give it a shot. It never hurts to try, and you never know, your book might be chosen for your library’s book talk group or staff picks newsletter. At the very least, it might end up shelved between some popular authors or in the local author section if your library has one.

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Blog Tour

Have you Entered my Blog Tour Giveaway for $15? Tour Ends March 22

I hope you’ve all been following the stops on my new release book tour  for the first book of the Cobble Cove mystery series, A Stone’s Throw. The tour runs through Wednesday, March 22. Those who enter the rafflecopter giveaway are eligible to win a $15 Amazon gift card and e-copies of my new book.

The tour starts here at the tour host’s blog: Silver Dagger Scriptorium

I am thankful to the following blogs that are part of the tour:

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, New Releases, Solstice Publishing

The First Cobble Cove Mystery Back in Print with a New Chapter

I’m proud to announce that my first Cobble Cove Mystery, A Stone’s Throw, is back in print with a new chapter and excellent edits.

A Stone’s Throw: the first book in the Cobble Cove mystery series

Welcome to book one of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. In this book, you will meet widowed librarian, Alicia, and follow her through the mystery that brings her to Cobble Cove and her meeting with John McKinney, the small town newspaper publisher with whom she becomes romantically involved before realizing that he may play a part in the death of her first husband. This book is a second edition that includes a new chapter and cover.

A Stone’s Throw releases March 8, 2017

By Solstice Publishing 

Universal Purchase Link: myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

Paperback:   myBook.to/stonesthrow2paper

Amazon Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XGNXQCS/

Blurb

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers …

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past… 

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered … 

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTL6s3a9Y1s 

 Check out myBlog tour for a chance to win $15.

http://silver-dagger-scriptorium.weebly.com/sdsxx-tours/a-stones-throw-book-tour-and-giveaway

About the Author:

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her three published novels include Cloudy RainbowA Stone’s Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice Publishing, 2016) that has been on the Amazon bestseller list for cozy mysteries. Her romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, was published in February 2017. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. Her third Cobble Cove mystery, Written in Stone, will be published in Spring 2017. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DebbieDeLouise

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiedelouise

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: (use whichever one works. If they both do, include them both)

Universal Link: Author.to/DebbieDeLouise or https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

Cobble Cove Facebook Chat Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com.

Check out myBlog tour for a chance to win $15. http://silver-dagger-scriptorium.weebly.com/sdsxx-tours/a-stones-throw-book-tour-and-giveaway