Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mysteries

Spotlight and Blog Tour for Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery by Olivia Matthews

Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery
by Olivia Matthews

Murder by Page One has set the Peach Coast Library Mysteries off to a splendid start. The core characters are very engaging and I want to get to know them better . . .
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

This is an even-paced read, with a dash of humor, mis-steps, dumpster-diving, and surprises . . . If you’re a fan of Hallmark movies, especially the mysteries, you will enjoy Marvey’s adventures.
~Christa Reads and Writes

Murder By Page One was indeed a page-turner and kept me up reading well into the night. I can’t wait to visit Peach Coast again.
~My Reading Journeys

About Murder Page One


Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing (March 23, 2021)
Print length: 328 pages
Digital ASIN: B08KHPBDBS

If you love Hallmark mystery movies,
you’ll love this cozy mystery
with humor, intrigue, and a librarian amateur sleuth.

Marvey, a librarian, has moved from Brooklyn to a quirky small town in Georgia. When she’s not at the library organizing events for readers, she’s handcrafting book-themed jewelry and looking after her cranky cat. At times, her new life in the South still feels strange…and that’s before the discovery of the dead body in the bookstore.

After one of her friends becomes a suspect, Marvey sets out to solve the murder mystery. She even convinces Spence, the wealthy and charming newspaper owner, to help. With his ties to the community, her talents for research, and her fellow librarians’ knowledge, Marvey pursues the truth. But as she gets closer to it, could she be facing a deadly plot twist?

This first in series cozy mystery includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Classic Peach Cobbler.

About Olivia Matthews 

     Olivia Matthews is the cozy mystery pseudonym for Patricia Sargeant, a national best-selling, award-winning author. Her work has been featured in national publications such as Publishers WeeklyUSA TodayKirkus ReviewsSuspense MagazineMystery Scene MagazineLibrary Journal and RT Book Reviews. For more information about Patricia and her work, visit PatriciaSargeant.com.

Author Links

Website: https://PatriciaSargeant.com.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BooksbyPatricia

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/olivia-matthews

Purchase Links – Amazon – Hallmark Publishing  –  Apple  –  Barnes & Noble – Bookshop –  Fantastic Fiction  –  Kobo – 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

March 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

March 18 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  

March 19 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT

March 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 19 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

March 20 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 20 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

March 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 22 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

March 22 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

March 22 – Reading Reality – REVIEW

March 22 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

March 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mysteries

Recipe, Spotlight, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for Long Island Iced Tina: A Catering Hall Mystery by Maria DiRico


Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Long Island Iced Tina


Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725352
ISBN-13: 978-1496725356
Digital ASIN: B089NCJ9NS

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .

Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View—but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.

Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina . . .

Italian recipes included!

Check this one out!

Honey Phyllo Rollups

Ingredients:

The cookies:

  • 2 cups ground nuts—walnuts, pecans, pistachio, or almonds work. Baker’s choice
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsps. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 24 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1⁄2 cup butter, melted

The syrup:

  • 1⁄2 cup honey
  • 1⁄2 cup white sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the ground nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside.
  • Place two sheets of phyllo dough on a sheet of parchment paper larger than the dough. Brush the phyllo dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the dough with 1⁄4 cup of thenut mixture. Roll the dough tightly but carefully from the long side upward, creating a slim log. Slice the log into four pieces and set each into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • You can pack the rollups tightly—they won’t expand.
  • (Note: keep the unused phyllo dough covered with a wet cloth or paper towel so that it doesn’t dry out.) When you’ve finished making the rollups, bake for 14-16 minutes until they’re light brown. Let them cool.
  • While the rollups are in the oven, make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for around five minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about ten minutes.
  • Spoon the syrup over the rollups. If you have any leftover nut mixture, sprinkle it over the rollups.

Serving: 24 rollups.

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Website – https://www.ellenbyron.com/catering-hall-mysteries

Chicks on the Case – http://chicksonthecase.net/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CateringHallMysteries/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ellenbyronla

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 1 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW

March 1 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – Novel Alive – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, EXCERPT

March 3 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, RECIPE

March 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

March 5 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 5 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

March 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 8 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 9 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 10 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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

March 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, Dogs

Spotlight and Blog Tour for To Fetch a Villain, Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder: A Mutt Mystery

To Fetch a Villain – Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder A Mutt Mystery
by Jayne Ormerod, Maria Hudgins, Teresa Inge, & Heather Weidner

About To Fetch A Villain


To Fetch a Villain – Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder A Mutt Mystery
Cozy Mysteries
3rd in Series
Publisher: Bay Breeze Books
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8681709619
ASIN: B08LSQ7VVX

Old dogs and new tricks abound in TO FETCH A VILLAIN, the third installment in the Mutt Mysteries series. This collection of four novellas illustrates why dogs are our best friends and the perfect companions for digging up clues, solving crimes, and bringing villains to justice. Let sleeping dogs lie? Not when the MUTTS are on the case.

About the Authors

Heather Weidner

Heather Weidner writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series (Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband). Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and Deadly Southern Charm. Her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series (To Fetch a Thief, To Fetch a Scoundrel, and To Fetch a Villain). Her new cozy series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, launches October 2021.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. Through the years, she has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.

Maria Hudgins

Maria Hudgins is a mystery writer and a former high school science teacher. She is the author of the Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries, the Lacy Glass Archaeology Mysteries and several published short stories. Her favorite things are traveling, reading, dogs, and cats. She lives in Hampton, Virginia with her cat, Lulu.

Jayne Ormerod

Jayne Ormerod grew up in a small Ohio town and attended a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her accountancy degree, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor). She married a naval officer, and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, settled in a cottage by the Chesapeake Bay. Jayne writes cozy mysteries about small towns with beach settings. You can read more about Jayne and her many publications at www.JayneOrmerod.com.

Teresa Inge

Teresa Inge grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol, but she hotrods. She is president of Sisters in Crime Mystery by the Sea Chapter and author of short mysteries in Virginia is for Mysteries, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Coastal Crimes: Mysteries by the Sea, and Murder by the Glass.

She resides in Southeastern Virginia with her husband and two dogs, Luke and Lena.

MUTT MYSTERIES

Purchase Links – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 16 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 16 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 18 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews -SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

November 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Books to the Ceiling – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST

November 23 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 23 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

November 24 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

November 24 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 24 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 25 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

November 25 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

November 25 – Reading Authors Network – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Author News: New Release and TV Appearance

I’m proud to announce the release of my new Cobble Cove cozy mystery story, “Sneaky’s Summer Mystery” available on Amazon for only $1.99 and free on Kindle Unlimited.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/SneakySummer

Cobble Cove is in the midst of an August heatwave. It’s the worst time for the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove library to break down. Alicia has no choice but to close the library and bring Sneaky, the library cat, home with her. After scheduling the air conditioner service with Rudy Gibbs, a technician from Hapnabber’s Repair Shop, she is surprised to learn that John knew Rudy when they were teenagers. When Rudy turns up dead after working on the AC at the library and Alicia learns of it during a barbecue she and John host with Gilly and Ramsay, Sneaky and Kittykai must once again protect their favorite ladies when they conduct their own investigation into the murder.

EXCERPT

In this scene, after Sheriff Ramsay is notified at a barbecue that Rudy Gibbs, the repairman hired to fix the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove Library is missing, Sneaky and Kittykai follow him and Alicia to the library where the man was last seen.

Sneaky swallowed a few leftovers that Alicia had tossed him and then said, “Did you hear that, Kit? There’s a missing repairman. We might be able to work on another mystery together.”

Kittykai’s green eyes widened. “That’ll be fun. Shall we follow them?”

Sneaky, who’d lived his whole life inside, unlike Kittykai who Gilly found on a beach in Hawaii during her honeymoon, had only ventured out alone once before when he was investigating alone, and someone left the library window open. “How do you propose we do that, Kit? Alicia is very careful when opening the door.”

“Follow me.”

Sneaky bounded after the calico toward the front door. The sheriff was holding it open for Alicia. Just as he walked through, Kittykai slipped by. She looked back at Sneaky briefly to make sure he was behind her. Outside, they hid in the bush as Alicia got in the sheriff’s car.

“Phew!” Sneaky exclaimed, “You sure are quick, Kittykai.”

“There’s one problem. How do we get to the library? We can’t very well “tail” them,” Kittykai said watching Alicia drive off with the sheriff.

“That won’t be necessary. I know the way to the library and if I get confused, I still have my sniffer to assist.” Sneaky enjoyed showing off for his girlfriend.

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, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the four books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and the standalone mysteries Reason to Die and Sea Scope. Her latest book, Memory Makers, is a medical thriller. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and three cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

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

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ

All Author: https://allauthor.com/author/debbiedelouise/

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

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debbie-de-louise

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

Debbie’s Character’s Chat Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

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

Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog: https://Sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

If you didn’t catch my TV appearance on Between the Covers, you can view it here:

Posted in Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Celebrating Christmas with my Characters, Cozy Mysteries, Freebies and Special Offers, holidays

3 FREE Books to Celebrate Christmas in July

Stay cool and enjoy 3 Free holiday and winter eBooks.

(Free July 17 – 21)

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters

The characters from my 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 and second book of the series.

(Free July 18 -22)

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

(Free July 17 – 21)

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have quite an interesting publishing background.

Tell us a little bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

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

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

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

Very nice. They all sound like great books.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sounds like you have a wide target audience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

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

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

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

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

A nice and varied set of hobbies.

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

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

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

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

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

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

I feel the same way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Booked for Death


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

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

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

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

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

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

About Virginia Gilbert

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

Author Links:

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGilbertauthor

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

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

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

BUY LINKS: 

Amazon B&N Kobo Indie Bound

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

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

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

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 8 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

June 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

June 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

June 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 10 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

June 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

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

June 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

June 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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

June 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 15 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

June 15 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 16 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous– REVIEW

June 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

June 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

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

June 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

June 18 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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

June 19 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

June 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 20 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

June 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 21 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight for Murder in the Wine Country, A Kelly Jackson Mystery, by Janet Finsilver

Murder in the Wine Country (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
by Janet Finsilver

About Murder in the Wine Country

Murder in the Wine Country (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (April 28, 2020)
Paperback: 178 pages
ISBN-10: 1516104277
ISBN-13: 978-1516104277
Kindle ASIN: B07Z5PKHVW

Weeding out killers wasn’t part of the job description . . .

Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is excited to participate in an event to raise awareness for the plight of struggling veterans in their Northern California coastal community. Local wineries are sponsoring tastings, and to prepare for a culinary competition, professional chefs will forage for wild edible greens. Kelly plans to come along, despite a warning to beware of poachers, who have been stealing the highly valued succulent Dudleya farinosa. The senior sleuths who call themselves the Silver Sentinels join forces with environmental activists known as the Succulent Saviors to thwart the poaching operation. When a consultant for the sale of a local winery is murdered, the poachers are suspected—but so is a wine merchant, Kelly’s friend Phil. As Kelly and the Silver Sentinels attempt to root out the real killer, what she digs up might just put her permanently underground . . .

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Five books followed with her most recent release on April 28, 2020, of book six, MURDER IN THE WINE COUNTRY.

Janet Finsilver and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys cooking, and a recent attempt to reduce the number of cookbooks in the cupboard wasn’t very successful. She’s an avid reader—of course!

Please feel free to visit and/or contact me on my author Facebook page and my website. https://www.facebook.com/janetfinsilverauthor/ http://janetfinsilver.com/

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/janetfinsilverauthor/?fref=ts

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JanetFinsilver

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/janetfinsilver/

Web – http://janetfinsilver.com/

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 20 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

May 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

May 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 21 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 22 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

May 22 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 23 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

May 23 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

May 24 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

May 24 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 25 – Christy’s Cozy Corners– GUEST POST

May 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

May 27 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 28 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

May 28 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 29 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW

May 30 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 30 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

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Posted in Cozy Mysteries, Freebies and Special Offers

Special 99-cent Sale on Frozen Stiff Drink, A Braxton Campus Cozy Mystery by James J. Cudney

Frozen Stiff Drink: Death at Danby Landing, the 6th book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, will be available as a .99 Kindle download. Below you’ll find several highlights, and if you are interested in reading the book, you can purchase it as a physical book or a Kindle version via Amazon.

About Frozen Stiff Drink

Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Gumshoe – A Next Chapter Imprint (March 18, 2020)
Digital Edition – ~270 Pages
ASIN: B0849MJH6H

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

5 out of 5 stars
This was a really great book! The suspense was just right and I had only a small inkling of who the villain MIGHT be.
~Valerie’s Musings

The story is well-written and James Cudney does a great job pulling all the storylines together to give us a wonderful conclusion.
~Carla Loves to Read

Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney is a complex plot with multiple crimes and intriguing characters.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Mr. Cudney has written an intricate story that is multifaceted with subplots twisted together and Kellan in the middle of them all . . . Full of twists and misdirections, the pace is at a constant high. The ending was exciting and full of surprises.
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

This was good clean cosy mystery that will keep you guessing, once again I thought I had the culprit down but a few red herrings made me rethink and once again I was off the mark! Now that makes a good mystery in my eyes,
~eBook addicts

Where to Buy It

Kindle: http://mybook.to/fsd

Paperback: http://mybook.to/frozenstiffpb

Large Print: http://mybook.to/frozenstifflp

Blog Tour

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/completed-tours-2020/frozen-stiff-drink-a-kellan-ayrwick-cozy-mystery-braxton-campus-mysteries-by-james-j-cudney/

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

March 19 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 19 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

March 20 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

March 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 24 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 24 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 26 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

March 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 27 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

March 27 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

Book Excerpt

“Grrr! Argh! Blech!” Circling the shopping district’s downtown lot for the third time, I begged the parking gods to graciously relinquish an open spot. Everyone and their mother roamed the streets in frenzied pursuit of supplies and their cowering sanity. A vicious blizzard barreled toward Wharton County, and all four towns had flipped their lids in fear of Doomsday’s imminent arrival. I insisted Madam Zenya’s premonition of the disaster was a hallucination despite worrying she often hit the proverbial bullseye.

“Was that gibberish? Are you speaking English, Kellan?” Lara, a late-forties former supermodel turned news reporter, bellowed through the staticky phone. We’d met the previous year when she moderated Nana D’s mayoral debates. After the charming Ms. Bouvier had co-investigated a suspicious death that summer, we’d become good friends and colleagues on our television show, Dark Reality.

I hurled the headset onto the passenger seat, switched my cell to speakerphone, and gripped the steering wheel with such ferocity it permanently imprinted my palms. “Sorry, the hands-free device cut out. It’s good you didn’t hear my mumbling. They weren’t the most flattering words.”

“For heaven’s sake, park in the loading zone outside Nutberry Pharmacy. Your grandmother is the mayor. You’re dating the sheriff. I doubt you’ll get a ticket.” Lara chortled with amusement regarding my current predicament. “Unless they’re conspiring to exact revenge on you… ummm… on second thought, you’re right. Drive around one more time. I suspect you’ll get lucky soon.”

“Yep, Nana D and April rarely get along, but torturing me is the one pastime they share in common.” Upon noticing an empty spot in the far corner, I swiftly cut the steering wheel and expediently navigated toward it. “You were right! I found one.”

It was my second trip in the last hour to the drugstore. My visits hadn’t exactly delighted the Nutberry family ever since I’d discovered the crimes one of them committed the previous spring. Murder wasn’t known to unite people in blissful harmony. Neither was the threat of inclement weather.

Fresh off a full day of teaching students who prayed for the cancellation of next week’s classes, due to the monster-sized winter storm whizzing our way, a dozen last-minute errands still plagued my to-do notes. After I’d ticked them off the list, my fifteen-year-old cousin informed me he’d run out of deodorant. Ulan had become my ward after Uncle Zach extended his African expedition to protect a rare elephant species. Under normal circumstances, notwithstanding the teenage hormones and noxious fumes emanating from his bedroom, I’d wait until tomorrow to buy it. Procrastination wasn’t possible this time. Ulan and my seven-year-old daughter, Emma, were leaving for Disney World in the morning.

“Excellent. We need to discuss Hiram’s Dark Reality segment. Although he’s improved since emerging from the coma last month, his recovery will take months. He’s agreed to step down and recommend a temporary replacement judge before the next election,” Lara exclaimed after her impromptu visit to Willow Trees Rehabilitation Center. Judge Grey, her former father-in-law, was recuperating from a haunted hayride accident that’d threatened his life four months ago.

“And Wharton County collectively breathes a sigh of relief. Nana D will dance an Irish jig when the crusty magistrate vacates the bench. Sayonara to the ancient red tape she’s trying to eliminate.” Truthfully, the man had no chance of re-election. When news leaked about his conspiracy with a psychiatrist to murder a healthy and sane patient years ago, citizens would revolt. The only reasons for a delayed uproar were his submersion into a coma and inability to perform judicial duties.

Lara raved about Nana D’s plans for ridding our county of corruption. “When I got there, some young girl with a pastel green streak in her hair yelled at him about destroying families. Good for her!”

“Judge Grey is a blight on Wharton County. Did he reveal his replacement nominee?”

“Nope, he refused. It honestly looked like the Grim Reaper was knocking at his door. My heart swells for Imogene. My daughter loves her grandfather in spite of all the shameless things he’s done.” Lara shared an update on Hiram’s condition: alive, more arrogant than usual, and begging for someone to sneak in a bottle of expensive bourbon. “Can you believe that man stashes a special crystal tumbler at the rehab center for his hourly cocktails? Even that persnickety red-haired nurse threatened to clobber him if he barked one more order at her.”

“Given my frustrations at this unbearable moment, Hiram’s demands don’t sound half bad.”

“You need to relax. Finish your errands, meander home, and drink something potent to squelch your attitude.” Lara suggested we meet for breakfast the following morning at the Pick-Me-Up Diner, my sister’s famed cozy eatery, to plot the episode we were filming on the Garibaldi and Grey families.

“Duly noted.” I slammed on the brakes, causing my neck to crash into the seat’s headrest and seesaw until I practically collided with the dashboard too. “I don’t believe it! Who does he think… of all the moronic things… what the—”

Lara interrupted before I could mutter another stream of obscenities that would prompt Nana D to wash out my mouth with soap. “What’s going on? You’re back to gibberish again, darling. For a literature and film professor at Braxton, words don’t come naturally to you, do they?”

“Some idiot stole my parking spot. He gunned ahead of me.” I rolled down my window, shivered at the frosty gusts pricking my cheeks, and waited for the sneaky louse to exit his tiny red sports car.

A tall, well-built man in his early thirties, the same age as me, stepped out of the convertible and strolled by without a care in the world. I swear he bobbed his head and hummed Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” I grunted and stink-eyed the jerk strutting around in dark jeans, a black V-neck tee, and a Nordic ski hat that covered most of his unshaven, structured face. The guy had zero body fat to speak of—how did he walk the streets dressed like we weren’t approaching an ice age again? It was the middle of February and colder than the Arctic. No matter how hard I tried—regardless of growing up in this snow globe—I couldn’t acclimate to the harsh Pennsylvania winters after living in LA for the last decade.

“Hey, sorry, man. Didn’t realize you wanted that spot,” he carelessly called out, shrugging as he sauntered away with a poorly concealed and immature chuckle. “Better luck next time.”

As he turned, a tattoo of a snake—with the longest tongue I’d ever seen—roamed the entire length of his beefy arm, both surprising and confusing me. Although I didn’t know everyone in our small town, I was certain he hailed from other parts. “Seriously? You’re gonna walk away like that?” While idling in the middle of the lot, I snarled and shifted the car into park, remembering Lara lingered on the phone. “Hold on. That was the last spot, and I’m in a rush.”

“Life’s short, dude. You gotta take what you want and never look back.” The obnoxious spot-stealer winked, sped into a jog, and waved at a shorter, dark-skinned man near the corner of Nutberry Pharmacy. He proffered the other man a small package, and in return, the spot-stealer collected a bank envelope he discreetly stuffed inside his back pocket. Had I witnessed a drug deal in progress?

Lara hollered my name. “Let it go. Find another space. See you tomorrow morning if we both survive the impending apocalypse. Ciao, babe.”

“Thanks for the advice!” I swallowed my rising anger and considered my options. It would take five minutes to run into the store, select a stick of deodorant that’d protect us from Ulan’s death sweat, and dash back to the car. With the decision unanimously agreed, I parked behind the red sports car, ensuring its delinquent driver couldn’t back out, and executed my errand. It was rare I fought fire with fire, but he deserved my wrath, and I would return before him—most likely.

As I approached the counter in our local family-run pharmacy, frowning at the five people in front of me, I held up the deodorant to Tiffany Nutberry. I gestured something that volunteered I was in a hurry or had gotten my tongue stuck to an icy pole, then begged her to add it to my tab. My brother’s former college gal pal nodded and focused on her next customer. Sometimes living in a small town where everyone knew your name was a beneficial curse.

I retreated to the front door, scanning the area for the creep who’d stolen the spot, but found no sign of my newest mortal enemy or the stranger he’d surreptitiously met. While I catapulted across the lot, a note on the windshield and an empty parking space garnered my attention. The spot-stealer had driven over the low curb rather than wait for me to return. I anxiously read the message:

Your plan backfired. Mine won’t. I know how to get even. I also don’t give up easily.

A petulant man would’ve kicked the tires in frustration. An intelligent guy would’ve shaken it off and escaped without a colossal tantrum. Judging by the throbbing in my foot when I pressed the gas pedal to dart away from the vacant space, my level of maturity sputtered in a non-ideal direction.

It had been a day. If I could’ve returned it for a refund or shoplifted a new one from a discount rack, I’d have been better off. While driving to Danby Landing, Nana D’s organic orchard and farm, I conjured ways to avenge the spot-stealer and heeded the tail end of a regional weather report—or desperate warning that we’d soon march to a painful death. I couldn’t decipher his bleak tone.

“To recap for those who missed my detailed forecast, temperatures will drop like atom bombs overnight into the teens. By afternoon, snow flurries will descend on us poor, unfortunate souls. Although the weekend will sprinkle only a trifle of snow, be cognizant of fierce and major precipitation by Sunday evening when you will become unavoidably trapped—housebound for days like suffering prisoners. Some are nicknaming it the blizzard of the century, and one thing’s for sure, folks… don’t leave your pets and shoes outside this weekend. By Monday, we will greet three feet of snow with another six inches dropped on us by dinnertime. No one wants to lose a pinky toe to frostbite or visit the local taxidermist.”

I switched the channel and snorted at the static blasting through the speakers. “It’s a good thing my parents and the kids are leaving on vacation.” Though I spoke to myself, it was better than listening to the weather forecast. I’d wanted to escape with them on the trip, but Braxton’s Spring Break wasn’t until the following week. I couldn’t abandon my job. My parents were doing me a favor by watching the kids, which allowed me extra time to address the premier episode of Dark Reality with Lara. We needed to focus all our spare energy on preparing for the thrilling series revitalization.

I’d also spend quality time with April. Our lack of intimacy had descended into sore subject territory. Although we’d shared a romantic Valentine’s Day earlier that week, a burst pipe in the sheriff’s office had slashed our time shorter than a matchstick. The kids were always a priority. And ever since she’d revealed that a divorce from her husband had not formally taken place years ago, we’d been tracing the mysterious man’s whereabouts to resolve the itty-bitty complication.

During April’s and my first official date on my birthday last Halloween, Madam Zenya interrupted to warn us she foresaw danger imminently hurtling in our direction. Months had passed without Beelzebub’s fireballs singing us, but she’d also suggested it would prevail during a winter blizzard. Could the approaching storm be what she’d hinted about?

That night, April had also given me a birthday present—a fake certificate awarding me an honorary degree in meddling and nuisance studies. The gift came with a plastic badge she brazenly directed to affix to my lips whenever I yearned to solve murders. Irony prompted half the town to refer to me as The Unlikely Death Locator. I’d somehow innocently involved myself in five of her murder investigations in the last year, and despite the frequent trouble it caused, we’d still developed a fiery attraction to one another. Unfortunately, my separation from a not-so-dead mobster wife, Francesca Castigliano, had just begun, and April’s split from her globetrotting not-so-divorced husband, Fox Terrell, was an unexpected new obstacle. Quite a pair of hot messes, weren’t we?

As I drove past the Danby Landing cottage, my brother and his boyfriend zoomed down the path on his motorcycle. Of all the idiotic things to do given the threat of a snowstorm, Gabriel would be the one knucklehead to risk his and Sam’s lives on a bike. I hastily waved through the window, knowing we’d scheduled dinner for Sunday, unless the looming winter disaster rendered that impossible. I’d decided to introduce my girlfriend to my family in a non-official capacity by testing the waters with Gabriel. His sarcasm and humor were on par with mine. It would be easy to relax in a group setting while Sam was on a break from graduate school. They’d been dating for six months even though the long-distance had occasionally caused a few issues cum calamities. Gabriel could be quite an obnoxious handful.

About The Author

Background

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, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

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

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Spotlight for Fireworks, A Firecracker & Foul Play, A Death by Cupcake Mystery by D.E. Haggerty

Fireworks, A Firecracker & Foul Play (Death by Cupcake)
by D.E. Haggerty

About Fireworks, A Firecracker & Foul Play


Fireworks, A Firecracker & Foul Play
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Independently Published
Number of Pages: approximately 200 (including recipes)
Digital ASIN: B0862DF52C

How do you plan the perfect July 4th wedding with the groom in jail for murder?

Anna is not about to find out. And no way is she getting married in the jail house. Not happening. Instead, she’s off to uncover the actual murderer, because there’s no way her fiancé Logan would hurt anyone. Yeah, sure, he looks kind of intimidating, but he’s a cop. He fights crime. He doesn’t commit it!

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes solve the mystery before Anna’s wedding is ruined?

Cupcakes not included, although recipes for all the delicious cupcakes Anna bakes are.

About D.E. Haggerty

D.E. Haggerty is actually just plain old Dena, but she thinks using initials makes her sound sophisticated and maybe even grown up. She was born and raised in the U.S. but considers herself a Dutchie and not only because it sounds way cooler. After a stint in the U.S. Army, she escaped the US to join her husband in Holland. She fled Holland over ten years ago when she couldn’t stand the idea of being a lawyer for one single second more. Turns out Bed & Breakfast owner in Germany didn’t do it for her either. When the hubby got a job in Istanbul, she jumped ship and decided to give this whole writer thing a go. She’s now back in Holland, which she considers home. Sorry, Mom.

Author links

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com

Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dehaggerty

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/

Newsletter signup: https://mailchi.mp/027b2768aa1c/newsletter-sign-up-for-a-writers-life-by-de-haggerty

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-e-haggerty

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/d-e-haggerty-4b49a29/

Purchase Links

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Posted in Authors, Cozy Mysteries, Interview

Interview of Maggie Toussaint, author of Seas the Day, A Seafood Caper Mystery

I’m pleased to speak with author Maggie Toussaint from Tolomato Island near Georgia, Darien, about herself and her new release, Seas the Day.

Welcome Maggie. Nice to have you with us.

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.

Hi, Debbie. I’m a hybrid published author by choice and necessity. My first book came out in 2006, so I’ve been at this for a while now. I’ve published over twenty books in romantic suspense, mystery, and science fiction. A listing follows:

Romantic Suspense

House of Lies, The Wild Rose Press and now Muddle House Publishing (MHP)

No Second Chance, The Wild Rose Press and now MHP

Muddy Water, The Wild Rose Press and now MHP

Hot Water, The Wild Rose Press and now MHP

Rough Waters, The Wild Rose Press and now MHP

Seeing Red, Freya’s Bower and now MHP

Cozy Mystery

In For a Penny, Five Star and now MHP

On the Nickel, Five Star and now MHP

Dime If I Know, Five Star and now MHP

Murder in the Buff, Muse It Up Publishing and now MHP

Death, Island Style, Five Star and now MHP

Gone and Done It, Five Star and now MHP

Bubba Done It, Five Star and now MHP

Doggone It, Five Star and now MHP

Dadgummit, Camel Press

Confound It, Camel Press

Dreamed It, Camel Press

All Done with It, Camel Press (coming Aug 2020)

The Lyndsey & Ike Novella Mystery Series, MHP

Seas the Day, Henery Press

Science Fiction, writing as Rigel Carson

G-1, Kindle Scout winner (Kindle Press) and now MHP

G-2, MHP

G-3, MHP

NonFiction, writing as Margaret Toussaint

Remembering, MHP

The Descendants of Ann Margaret Atwood, MHP

Wow! That’s very 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.

I have written series in multiple genres. Seas the Day is my first book in my brand new Seafood Caper Mystery Series, featuring amateur sleuth and caterer, River Holloway. This is my first culinary cozy, and I’m so pleased with how it came out. In addition, I have another current series, the Dreamwalker Mysteries, and the last book in that series, All Done With It, will release August 11, 2020.

That’s great. Congratulations!

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 and publishing books, but in these perilous times, it’s hard to be sure of anything. There are two more books written in the Seafood Caper Mysteries, and I will be bringing them out myself since my publisher, Henery Press, will only be publishing book one.

Good luck to you with that. I know these are tough times for everyone.

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

I love readers who appreciate an ensemble cast of small town characters, who love Southern settings, and who appreciate pets, smart women, cooking, and recipes.

Sounds like you have a wide audience.

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

The only thing you can control is the quality of book you produce. Keep writing your best stuff and good things will happen.

I agree with that. I’m currently polishing my eighth novel and am taking my time with it because I want it to be up to par with my other titles.

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

The hardest challenge was to keep believing in myself as the submission process went on for years.

Yes, that is very difficult. Authors sometime give up because they are tired of waiting for an acceptance and aren’t interested in self publishing.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I am currently a past chapter president of Mystery Writers of America, Southeast Chapter, and a founding member of LowCountry Sisters in Crime.

Nice. I belong to Sisters-in-Crime, the online guppies chapter because my area doesn’t have a local chapter. I’m currently taking a plotting class offered through them which I’m finding very helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I teach yoga, take photographs of nature, sing in a choir, and play guitar. I’m fond of puzzles of all kinds, and I enjoy sewing. I’ve always loved going to the beach because it’s the right blend of activity and peacefulness.

You have a nice variety of hobbies.

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

I love to sit at the computer each day and distill lines from the story ether onto the computer screen. I dislike busy weeks when I have to scramble to meet my writing goals at non-optimum times for writing. My toughest challenge is realizing that the market acts like a living being, most of the times like a cat.

As a cat lover, I find that a very interesting observation. I agree that the market can be very fickle.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I enjoy having an amateur sleuth who has insider knowledge delve into homicides and manage to figure out who the killer is before the cops zero in on the right suspect. I’ve always rooted for the underdog to win and this is another aspect of that philosophy.

I enjoy that aspect of cozies, too.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title?

Here’s a snip from Seas the Day:

“My Chili’s gone,” Estelle Bolz sobbed in my ear. “You gotta help me, River. You can find anything. Please, please find my son.”

Gone?” Oh, no. I needed his fresh fish for tonight’s Holloway Catering client. Still holding the phone, I stepped away from the pie crust bowl, moved to the kitchen window, half-expecting to see Chili sauntering across my lawn. “I don’t understand. He left town?”

“You tell me. His keys are on the hutch. His truck was parked at the house until the cops took it. His boat’s in the slip. He hasn’t called me since Tuesday morning. I can’t lose another son.”

My heart went out to this woman who’d been through so much. Her youngest son perished at sea last year. Having another missing son was my late mother’s bridge partner’s worst nightmare.

I switched the phone to speaker and reached for pen and paper. “When did you last see him?”

“Monday. Around dinnertime.”

“Did you notify the cops?”

“I did. A deputy is looking for Chili, but he’s made no progress all week. I rode over to the Law Enforcement Center for three days in a row. They say there’s no sign of foul play and he’s an adult. Meanwhile, Chili hasn’t called in three nights. This is not right.”

Today was Friday. “I ordered sea bass from Chili on Tuesday morning, right after I booked a catering job. Nobody’s heard from him since Tuesday?”

“Nope. He wouldn’t take off like this and leave me to worry about where he is. That’s why he calls every night. I’m tied up in knots.” She sniffed loudly into the phone. “You’ve always been like a daughter to me, and I know this is a lot to ask. Please help me find Chili.”

I felt uneasy being asked to find a missing person. That was much different from finding misplaced keys or a lost dog, but Chili was my friend. He must be in trouble if he wasn’t calling his mom. Estelle’s rapid breaths filled my ear like a huffing freight train. “I’ll help you. First, sit down and breathe deeply. We’ll sort this out together.”

“Thank you,” Estelle said. “I just didn’t know where else to turn.”

“That’s it. Deep full breaths. In and out.” My breathing calmed too. I started with the easy questions: “Have you tried his friends? Did he find a new girlfriend after he and Trina broke up?”

“After his brother died at sea, Chili kept to himself. That no-account Trina lasted six minutes past Kale’s funeral. Chili’s all I got left in the world. When I consider possibilities of why he’s missing, my gut aches so bad I can’t stand up straight. Something’s horribly wrong. I’m terrified he’s hurt or worse, and I need to do something. We need to do something.”

I felt for her, I truly did. Mr. Bolz died of a heart attack long before the family moved here. Estelle supported her family with a dry cleaning business, with only her sons and friends for companionship. My mother died last year, a few months after Kale was lost at sea. It was hard enough to lose one relative, but to lose two so close together would be devastating.

Estelle needed an advocate. Without her boys, she was all alone. Mom’s friend needed an insider who knew her son. However, there must be a reason the cops weren’t getting anywhere.

“Chili needs your help,” Estelle continued while I mulled things over. “I’m begging you. Find my son.”

I stated the obvious. “If he left Shell Island, I don’t have the resources to find him. The cops do. Convince them to expand their search. I’ll go with you to the station if you like.”

“Don’t get me started on the po-lice. The sheriff has his eye on reelection and that new deputy thinks I’m an alarmist. It’s so frustrating.”

Estelle paused for so long I thought she must be crying, then she began again. “Your mother, bless her heart, used to brag on you all the time, especially how good you were at solving puzzles. I trust you, River, not the people who hand out speeding tickets. Those outsiders don’t know my family. They don’t understand why Chili wouldn’t leave. Not on purpose. We rely on each other. I-I-I can’t make it without him. Please, River.”

I’d known the Bolz family most of my life. Chili was two school grades ahead of me, Kale a school grade behind. Like my family, they worked several jobs to make ends meet because money was scarce here.

“I’m flattered by your faith in me, but I’m not a detective. I don’t have a network of professional investigators like the sheriff does. If I ask around, will you keep the pressure on the cops? They can put out a notice that he’s missing and it will go all over the state. Did you think about going to the newspaper, radio, or TV with your story?”

“Heavens, no,” Estelle shrilled. “Chili doesn’t want everybody and his brother spying on him. He’s a private person. First, I thought he must’ve fallen off the wagon and gotten tangled up with Mr. Jim Beam again.” She sighed. “I looked, and there’s not a drop of booze in his place or in his trash. He isn’t on a bender. I want somebody I trust on the case. I’ll pay you too.”

“I won’t take your money. I’m hesitating because if he’s in dire straits, you need more than me helping you.”

“Tell you what, I’ll keep the pressure on Sheriff Vargas, if you’ll question the younger crowd,” Estelle countered. “They’re more likely to talk to you than a stranger anyway.”

I was relieved she sounded calmer. “I am very concerned about Chili and wish I could drop everything and start searching right now. But my livelihood depends on successful catering events. Tonight I’m booked for the Robertson’s anniversary dinner. I’ll be busy all afternoon prepping the meal. They eat at seven and it will be after nine before I get home.”

“Do what you have to do and ask everyone about Chili. We have to find him.”

“I’ll do my best. If I learn anything, I’ll call you. When you spoke to him on Tuesday, what did he say?”

“He cancelled on our regular lunch at the Sunset Buffet. It’s unlike him to miss the meatloaf special. That boy loves his meatloaf. If I’d’a known that when I had him, I’d’ve named him Meatloaf.”

“Did he say why he cancelled?”

“Nope. Said something came up. I didn’t actually speak to him. He left me a message.”

“Did you play it for the cops?”

“Deputy Hamlyn said it wasn’t helpful. I’m out of my mind worrying about Chili. You’ll find him, won’t ya?”

“I hope so.”

Great excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books? I love to hear from readers.

Sign up for my newsletter on my website if you’d love to hear from me: https://maggietoussaint.com

I hope my readers will do that. I’m also sharing your blog tour and giveaway. Thanks again for the great interview, and best wishes on your new release.

Seas the Day (A Seafood Capers Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint

About Seas the Day


Seas the Day (A Seafood Capers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (April 21, 2020)
Hardcover: 282 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115868
ISBN-13: 978-1635115864
Paperback: 282 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115833
ISBN-13: 978-1635115833
Digital ASIN: B0844K2Q4D

Caterer River Holloway cooks like a dream and is known on Shell Island as a “finder” of things. Which is why a desperate mother begs River to track down her grown son, Chili Bolz, who’s vanished.

Deputy Lance Hamlyn can’t find the missing man, so he teams up with River. The missing person case boils over into something frightening when Chili’s mother falls victim to a brutal assault. Worse, her dying words incriminate River’s friends in both kidnapping and, now, murder. River soon finds herself caught in an unsavory recipe for disaster.

Despite catering events and the return of her absentee boyfriend, River finds the number of suspects growing longer than her food shopping list. Along the way she befriends a black cat who becomes her crime-solving partner. River must locate Chili and discover who killed his mother before her own goose is quite literally cooked.

Maggie Toussaint serves up a fun and captivating read in Seas the Day, the first in her Seafood Capers series.

About the Author

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes cozy and paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, and dystopian fiction, with twenty fiction novels published. A three-time finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, she’s won three Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s past president of Mystery Writers of America-Southeast chapter and an officer of LowCountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Visit her at https://maggietoussaint.com/

Author Links

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Booklover’s Bench | Amazon Author Central | Website | Bookbub

Purchase LinksAmazon

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