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

Posted in A Stone's Throw

Book Discussion Feedback on A Stone’s Throw

stonesthrowamazonThe first book of my Cobble Cove mystery series, A Stone’s Throw, was discussed today at my library, and I was asked to attend to open the discussion and answer any questions the readers had about me or the book. Because this was a local event, I decided to write a summary for my blog readers who who may have also read A Stone’s Throw or might be interested in learning more about the book and my writing.

I opened the discussion by explaining that the version of A Stone’s Throw published in November 2015 that the book group members had read is no longer available except for a ridiculous sum from third-party sellers because it is currently out of print. A new version will soon be released by my current publisher, Solstice Publishing, and will contain some fresh material, although the main plot and characters will remain the same. The new book will also feature a different cover. It will be available in both paperback and ebook editions.

pbjBefore I invited the book group members to ask questions, I spoke about five of the characters in the book and how I had created and/or named them. I explained that Alicia, my main character who is also a librarian, was based on me and also shared some of my personality traits such as being a bit hesitant to try new things and being afraid of letting go of the past. As the book progresses, Alicia becomes more open to change and realizes that “things happen for a reason.” The elderly character, Mac, is actually the first person who says this phrase in the book. I based him on a man I worked with in my college days at the C.W. Post library who ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day. In the book, Mac has a special recipe for PB&J sandwiches and, in the second of the series, I have included a recipe that won a contest that one of my readers submitted.

sneaky-the-library-catMac’s first love who he never completely forgot, was named Carol after my mother-in-law who passed away a year before I wrote the book and to whom I dedicated it. The library cat, Sneaky, was modeled after my Siamese, Oliver. I even started a fun blog where Sneaky “interviews” cat characters from other books, but he also branches out sometimes and interviews real cats of authors or those with a special story to tell. For instance, he recently interviewed some cats who live at a winery. To read his blog, you can visit: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com/

The last character I discussed was John, the widower and newspaper publisher with whom Alicia becomes involved with romantically when trying to locate her dead husband’s family in the small upstate New York town of Cobble Cove where she ends up working in the local library. Although John is not based on my husband or any particular man, he is named after a childhood friend who I was sorry to learn had recently passed away. In the new book, I’m adding a dedication to him along with the one for my mother-in-law.

questionmarksHaving given some background about my characters, I opened the discussion up to questions. Some that were asked related to the book; others to the writing and publishing process. Below are some of them along with my answers. I am always interested in readers’ comments and questions. If you have any that aren’t listed below, please post a comment. I also started a Facebook group where a different character from the series answers questions each month and also offers a contest. January’s host is John. The Cobble Cove Character Chat group is located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Here are the book discussion questions and answers. Some of them have been edited for clarification.

Was Gilly, Alicia’s friend, based on anyone you knew? 

No. I have had a few friends and known women with similar personalities, but Gilly was not based on any particular person.

Is Cobble Cove a real town?

No. Although many of the towns mentioned in the book are real, Cobble Cove is fictional as is the nearby town of Carlsville. I decided to create a fictional place and populate it with quirky characters.

How long did it take you to write A Stone’s Throw?

It generally takes me six to eight weeks to write a first draft. I then edit and revise it a few times before submitting it to a publisher and that can take another two months. I also try to send it to beta readers, friends or fellow authors who give me feedback on it, before I submit it. After I submit it, if I’m offered a contract with a publisher, I’m assigned an editor. Sometimes I get one quickly, and other times there can be a wait. Once I start working with the editor, we go back and forth through a few rounds of edits before the book is published. So, you see, the writing itself is only part of the time it takes to publish a book.

Do editors change your work?

I’ve heard that some editors and publishers require some authors to make changes, but I’ve been lucky that the editors I’ve worked with have allowed me to review their suggested changes and decide whether I accept them or not. Working with an editor is a two-way street. I’ve found things my editors have missed and vice versa. Even after something is published, errors might be noticed. It’s good to let writing sit a bit before looking it over yourself and also important to have other people proof and edit it. You can go crazy revising and editing, so you have to get to a point where you’re satisfied enough with the manuscript to let it go.

Do you make a lot of outlines and notes before you write or let the plot and characters develop as you write?

There’s a term for people who do a lot of preparatory work before they write. They are called plotters. The opposite are pantsters who “work by the seat of their pants.” I fall in to the latter category, although I try to create character sketches and a flexible plot to start. I often don’t know who-dun-it until more than midway through the book. In my second of the series, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, I ended up killing off a character I had not planned to have murdered. I figure if I surprise myself, I’ll probably surprise my readers, too.

Do writers need a lot of real life experience to draw from to be good writers?

I believe that’s helpful, but there are other ways of gaining experience than actually living them such as research. For instance, for my second book, I spoke with pediatricians and new mothers to gather some facts about babies. I have a daughter, but I couldn’t remember the things she was able to do or not do at six months old. Real-life experience is always useful, though. If you are writing about something you’ve never done, like skydiving, you might want to try it, so you can accurately describe it in the book. But if you’d rather not jump out of a plane, you could talk with a skydiver for the info. If you haven’t been to a certain country you’re setting a scene in, you may want to travel there, but if you can’t afford to do that, reading about it or speaking to someone who lives there, could be a good substitute.

Is it very hard to get published?

The problem with getting published is that there’s so much competition. Publishers and editors receive thousands of submissions a day, and many of them end up in the slush pile, even if they are promising work. It takes authors many years to establish themselves and build a fan base. There are pros and cons to self publishing, landing an agent, being at the right place at the right time, etc. I currently have a wonderful publisher. They are small but have been around for nine years which is a long time in the small press business. I’d love to have my books published by a large publisher, so they would be distributed more widely and in additional formats. I have one I’m currently querying with agents, but I’m happy with my progress so far. I love writing. I like editing. I’m not too fond of promoting because I have a hard time pushing people to buy my book, but I realize writing is a business and to continue to publish I need to show sales.

How do writers get paid?

If you publish with a small publisher, like I do, you usually get a statement of your book sales and then receive payment through Paypal or a check for the royalty amount which is less than what the publisher receives. Like any small business, you usually spend more money on promotion the first few years than you make back in royalties. If you publish with a large publisher, you may get an advance which you keep but which you need to earn out before you start earning additional royalties.

Besides the questions the book group members asked, people also made some comments. I always find it interesting to hear what people take away from reading my books. One person thought the epilogue was too neatly tied up and would’ve been better placed in the second book, while another really liked the epilogue and love how I tied together all the subplots. One person said they had trouble keeping track of the characters and their relationships with one another, but another person thought the characters were easy to follow and that the book was an easy and quick read. Someone suggested I submit the books to the Hallmark channel (several other people have told me my series would fit there, so I’m giving this some consideration).

Along with the positive comments, I received a few negative ones which I took as constructive criticism. One person thought I featured the police officers in the book as too stereotyped eating donuts and not pursuing the investigation seriously. I explained that one of the reasons for this was my attempt at putting some comic relief into the plot, but I assume it didn’t work for this reader. Someone else thought the character of John was not likable at the beginning and seemed to be hiding something, but as they read the story, they realized it was because I was trying to make his behavior suspicious to test Alicia’s trust and have the reader question whether he was a bad or good guy.

I was thankful that I had the opportunity to interact with the library book club group, and I hope some of the feedback I presented here might be of interest to other authors and readers.

 

 

 

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

Looking Back to 2016 and Forward to 2017

When the year ends, it’s very common for people to reflect on what they accomplished in the previous twelve months and what they’d like to achieve in the future. As I look back at 2016, I realize how blessed I’ve been both personally and professionally. Not only did I publish my third book and several short stories, but I wrote two other novels that I hope to publish in 2017. More importantly, I’ve made many new friends among fellow authors and readers and strengthened the friendships I already had. My family and library co-workers have been supportive of my endeavors, and I’ve begun to actually feel like an author and not someone whose hobby is writing. 2016year

debbiehicksvilleMy year in review starts in January 2016 when I gave my first author talk at the Hicksville Public Library on my first Cobble Cove mystery, A Stone’s Throw. Not having had any previous public-speaking experience, I was very nervous. It was the day before a major snowstorm, but more people attended than I imagined. I thought many of them would be shopping for food or staying home. Those that came were patrons I already knew who were interested in hearing about my book. I found that I was among friends and my fear of talking in front of an audience diminished. I even started enjoying myself.

bn412162In March, I spoke again. This time, at my local Barnes and Noble store to a small group composed of several of those who attended my library talk as well as a few friends and co-workers. Their support meant so much.

mase4festivalshotJune was a busy month, as I traveled to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut to attend the MASE (Mystic Author Signing Event) with other authors of my past publisher. Although I did not talk at this event, it was my first time at a signing. A few weeks later, I was one of three local authors who attended the Levittown Library’s Summer Reading opening festival and signed books in the “Author’s Garden.” While I did not sell many books at either of these events, I met some wonderful people including local authors and now good friends, Lisa Diaz Meyer and Kimberly Amato. The month capped off with my being awarded the Cat Writer’s Association Glamour Puss Award sponsored by Hartz Corporation for my article, “Brush your Cat for Bonding, Beauty, and Better Health.” BADGE_WhiteSpecialAwards

In August, I signed with Solstice Publishing for my second Cobble Cove Mystery, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and spoke at the Levittown Library’s summer closing program.

pioneerstoryIn September, the C.W. Post Pioneer newspaper published an article about my books. I was especially thrilled to be featured in the paper that I had worked on as a secretary and Features editor when I attended college.

northbellmore4betweenarockandahardplacesolsticecover

 

In October, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was published, and I gave an author talk at the North Bellmore Public Library.

An article bout my mystery series appeared in the Hicksville News in December, a week before I spoke there again about my new book and my publishing journey. Right before Christmas, Between a Rock and a Hard Place hicksvilledecember16authortalkamazonbestsellerawardwas #18 on Amazon.com’s Top 100 list for cozy mysteries.

 

 

2017year

I already have some plans for this year and quite a few dreams.

In January, I will give an introduction to my mystery series for the Hicksville Library book club who will be discussing Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

seashell-stone-finalIn February, my short historical/paranormal romance, “The Seashell and the Stone” will be published in an anthology of love stories by Solstice Publishing.

In April, a local church book group will be featuring Between a Rock and a Hard Place for their book discussion, and I will be attending the talk.

In May, I head out to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the Cat Writer’s Association Conference.

In June, I will be attending Book Expo America in New York City.

sea-scopecoming-soon-written-in-stoneI also plan to publish Written in Stone, Cobble Cove Mystery #3 and Sea Scope, my standalone psychological thriller that I am querying with agents in the hope that they will recognize it as worthy of a contract with a large publisher. Of course, I also have many ideas for new stories, books, and articles.

I want to thank you all for being part of my 2016 and hope you will stay with me as I continue my writing journey.

thank-you

 

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

Introducing Cobble Cove Character Chat

I have some exciting news to share, but first, I want to thank all those great authors who helped me and my characters host our Cobble Cove mysteries birthday party on Facebook this past week. The guest hosts did a wonderful job, and we had a great turn out of readers.

ccchatedited

Now for the big news. My brilliant 7th-grade daughter came up with a great idea which includes all the characters from the Cobble Cove mysteries hosting a monthly event called Cobble Cove Character Chat on the first Wednesday of each month. There will be a different character each month. That character will “chat” with anyone who visits the page that day. The character will post some information about themselves, maybe share an excerpt from a book in which they appear, and also offer a contest, freebie, or something else of interest to readers. Those who visit the CCCC event page may ask any question(s) they want of the character of that month. Doesn’t that sound like a lot of fun? Why not drop by and check out the first chat on Wednesday, December 7?

The event page is located here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1826399190969939/

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Anthology, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Characters, Solstice Publishing

Pre-Orders Open for Solstice Publishing’s A Winter Holiday 2016 Anthology

a-winter-holiday-2016-001The end of year holidays are filled with joy as decorations go up worldwide. Parades give everyone a chance to join with others in happiness. Families make plans to gather for meals and celebrations.

A season for joy…

A season for celebration…

A season for family…

Solstice Publishing presents eleven talented authors with a dozen stories that portray the winter holiday season in many ways. Each tale will fill you with wonder, joy, and a sense of earned togetherness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm8GCXvEYik&feature=youtu.be

solstice-publishing-logo-2016Celebrate with K.C. Sprayberry, Donna Alice Patton, Johnny Gunn, Susan Lynn Solomon, Debbie De Louise, Elle Marlow, Leah Hamrick, Eden S. Clark, E.B. Sullivan, M.A. Cortez, and Rebecca L. Frencl this winter holiday season.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01N41UOYH

My story, Christmas with My Characters, is included in this anthology. Here is the blurb:

The characters from Debbie De Louise’s Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from the author; and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first book, A Stone’s Throw, and the new release, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

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

Join my Books Birthday Party Featuring Giveaways, Contests, and Prizes

newgraphic

You are invited to the Cobble Cove Mysteries Birthday party taking place on Facebook Tuesday night, November 15 through Wednesday afternoon, November 16. Join me and 8 other authors in celebrating the one-year birthday of A Stone’s Throw and the one-month birthday of Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

The party will feature giveaways, free books, contests, and fun. Some of the hosts may also bring virtual birthday presents, decorations, food, and drinks. Alicia and Sneaky the library cat, characters from the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, will make special guest appearances on both days.

The schedule of authors and the link to the event page are listed below. I look forward to seeing you at the party.

Tuesday, Nov 15:

6:30 – 7:00 pm – Alicia (from the Cobble Cove Mysteries)
7:00 – 7:30 pm – Alisha Vincent
7:30 – 8 pm – Natalie Silk
8:00 – 8:30 pm Ali.Brandon
8:30-9:00 pm Natalina Bell
9:00 – 9:30 pm – Sneaky Cat (from the Cobble Cove Mysteries)

Wednesday, Nov. 16:

10:00 – 10:30 am – Debbie De Louise Author
10:30 – 11 am – Steve Lindahl
11 – 11:30 am – Ramona Marek
11:30 – 12 noon – Author Charmain Zimmerman Brackett
12 noon – 12:30 Sneaky Cat (from the Cobble Cove Mysteries)
12:30 – 1 pm – Sophia Valentine

https://www.facebook.com/events/686222481543213/