Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Running Out of Time Blog Tour – Author Spotlight of Suzanne Trauth

I am pleased to have author Suzanne Trauth of Woodland Park, New Jersey, here to speak about her writing and book, Running Out of Time, which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

Suzanne Trauth, Harvard Studio, Montclair, NJ. 06/27/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/HarvardStudio.com

Welcome, Susan. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you’ve been published with and if you have any self-published titles?

I spent a long career in academic theatre – nonfiction – before I began writing my mystery series so my first books (an acting text and play anthology) were published in the decade before I published my fiction. My Dodie O’Dell mystery series published by Kensington Publishing consists of three books now – SHOW TIME (2016); TIME OUT (2017); RUNNING OUT OF TIME (October, 2017, my most recent release). I have not self-published.

Very nice. Can you please tell us about your series and any upcoming releases you have planned?

RUNNING OUT OF TIME (October, 2017) is my most recent release. Currently I am writing book four in my mystery series – JUST IN TIME – due out September, 2018.

I’m also writing Book 4 in my series, but I’ve been waylaid by writing number one in a new series.

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

In the next few years I will publish books 4, 5, 6 in the mystery series: September, 2018; 2019; 2020. Since my contract with Kensington Publishing specifies dates when the books are due, my contract will help me reach my goals to meet the deadlines!

I’m sure that’s helpful but also a bit stressful, I would imagine.

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

I am hoping to attract anyone who likes a good mystery, especially a cozy mystery – small town life, a strong female sleuth, a healthy dose of humor. My books also feature a community theater and a restaurant – food and plays!

How interesting, great subjects for a cozy mystery series.

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

I suppose first of all don’t give up…persist! But also find a great editor who can help you develop the book and give you some submission advice. Finally, search out readers you trust who can offer you an initial, objective assessment of your book.

Good advice.

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

I struggled to define my genre. I was straddling two genres before a very savvy and insightful editor set me on the right path: how to write in the mystery genre. I also was challenged – like many writers – by facing rejection until the stars aligned and I was blessed with an editor and then a publisher.

I also had problems with genre. I believed the first book of my series was a romantic suspense novel, but reviewers considered it a cozy mystery, so I took their opinions to heart and went on to create my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. I have a novella and stories in other genres but they still feature cozy-like themes and characters.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Since I also write plays, I take writing classes in that genre that keep me working on a defined schedule. I belong to a book club, a group of very perceptive readers; I’ve discovered that reading broadly is one of the best things I can do as a writer. I imagine that all of the fiction I read pours words and ideas and structures into my brain! Reading nurtures the writing.

As an avid reader and librarian as well as an author, I agree with that completely.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

When I am not writing, I teach in an acting studio for a small group of performers. I am a celebrant and very much enjoy presiding over weddings in my area. I travel when I can; it’s a great way to absorb material!

Yes, travel allows you many great experiences from which to draw for writing.

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

I enjoy the creative, freewheeling fun of first drafts. Letting my imagination go wild! The discipline of revision through multiple drafts is more challenging. Some days I struggle with distractions…email, Facebook…I have to turn technology off! Some days I sit in front of my computer for an hour or so before I can sink into the writing.

I, too, enjoy the creative aspects of putting my ideas on paper and also find revisions more challenging. However, promoting and marketing are my toughest challenges. Even more so is finding the time to do everything.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

In writing the Dodie O’Dell mystery series, I have fun creating the world of a small town – Etonville, NJ – and visiting the same cast of characters with each book. In each book the Etonville Little Theatre is rehearsing a different play so I get to play with each production!

That must be a lot of fun for you. I also like creating the quirky characters of Cobble Cove and seeing them develop from book to book.

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

Sure…

    The temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up. I flipped up the hood of my jacket and stared down the street. It wasn’t late—not even eight o’clock—but the darkness felt as if it was well into the night. I began to retrace my steps up the street. A few yards into the alley I noticed shadows to the right of me. The backyards of houses that faced the street where Sally and I had sat in her car and talked. A few bare trees with snow-laden branches dipped to and fro like dancing skeletons. I hadn’t noticed how eerie this back lane was earlier. I was too busy trying to keep up with Sally. But now, a spooky sensation creeped me out. The only sound, at first, was the scraping of my boots on the slushy gravel, stones and chunks of ice rubbing against each other. Then I could swear I heard an echo of my footsteps. I turned backward and saw nothing; never mind, I told myself, and broke into a light jog. My hairs began to twitch and my heart pounded. Every step I took seemed to be answered with another one, a fraction of a second behind mine.

     I was puffing heavily, cold air painful in my lungs as I increased my speed. I could see the end of the alley just ahead and almost laughed. In my relief I didn’t detect the sheet of black ice in the middle of the lane. I’d missed it trailing Sally, but now I was moving quickly and carelessly. Unknowingly, I placed one foot on the ice and skidded forward, landing face down on the gravel and freezing mud. I could taste the muck on my lips and my left cheek felt raw and sore. My ears were ringing; I knew I wouldn’t be able to hear someone stalking me. I rolled onto my back and faced the night sky, the moon covered in a sheer layer of clouds, and battled to stand up and regain my footing. I gingerly moved to the end of the alley and onto the street. The diner was up ahead on my left, the car wash on my right. I must have looked a fright—two young guys left the diner, poked each other and smirked at me. I ignored them and ran across the street. I fumbled with the door key and collapsed into the front seat, gasping. The street was uninhabited now. The diner had posted a Closed sign in the window. Could it all have been a figment of my overactive imagination? Bill would probably think so…

     I turned the key in the ignition and the engine sputtered as it had done on many occasions in the last few days. But this time as I cranked the motor, it wouldn’t turn over. I pumped the gas pedal and tried again. The Hyundai stubbornly refused to start. My dread returned. I didn’t feel safe in a deadbeat car on a street that was deserted in a town I wasn’t too familiar with. If I had to call for help how was I going to explain my presence here? Meaning, what would I tell Bill if I got caught texting and meeting with Sally? Not to mention how mortified I’d feel with my face in this state. I switched the ignition key to Off. The evening had been a bust and all I had to show for it were a scraped cheek and a split lip that was swelling slightly. I rested my stinging face on the steering wheel and my great aunt Maureen’s words came to mind: Dorothy, you must accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue. Right now I swore I could hear wings flapping.

Excellent. I enjoyed that very much. Lots of action and character development.

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

Periodically, I run contests on Facebook and Goodreads. Please check them out and enter! Recently, I asked readers for their favorite recipes and received some really delicious and interesting dishes that will be featured in book four: JUST IN TIME.

I also run contests during Facebook events, and I recently sponsored an Amazon giveaway. I also have a Facebook Chat group and newsletter where I feature a contest each month. One of my contests was also for a recipe that was included in my second book.

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

You can contact me through Facebook or my website. I’d love to hear from you!

Website: suzannetrauth.com

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

Thank you. It was nice speaking with you, and best wishes on your series and blog tour. I am including your blog tour page and rafflecopter giveaway link below.

http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/upcoming-great-escapes-book-tours/running-time-dodie-odell-mystery-suzanne-trauth/

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792645/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0

 

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases

New Release: Written in Stone: Cobble Cove Mystery #3


Welcome to book three of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. This book continues the adventures of Alicia and John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Follow them as they face their third mystery that involves threatening emails and texts from a person pretending to be one of the characters in their novels. Is the sender a crazy fan or someone they know?

Written in Stone

By Debbie De Louise

Published by Solstice Publishing

 Universal Purchase Link (eBook): myBook.to/CC3ebook

Universal Purchase Link (Paperback):  myBook.to/cc3paper

BOOK TRAILER

Alicia McKinney is confused . . . .

Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister?

Cat vs. Dog . . .

After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun?

Alicia is worried . . .

While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation.

When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery.

Will they survive . . . .

or is their ending written in stone?

Check out the first two Cobble Cove Mysteries:

A Stone’s Throw, Cobble Cove Mystery #1

By Debbie De Louise

Published by Solstice Publishing

Universal Purchase Link (eBook): myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

Universal Purchase Link (Paperback): myBook.to/stonesthrow2paper

 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?

Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Cobble Cove Mystery #2

By Debbie De Louise

Published by Solstice Publishing

Universal Purchase Link (eBook): myBook.to/CobbleCove2

Universal Purchase Link (Paperback): myBook.to/CC2paper

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?

 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 novels include Cloudy RainbowA Stone’s Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. 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: https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

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

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

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

Posted in Authors, Books, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Peg Cochran

cozycatpicToday’s guest for a Cozy Chat is Peg Cochran about her Farmer’s Daughter Series.

Hi, Peg. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

NoFarmNoFoulCan you tell us a little bit about the Farmer’s Daughter series? What gave you the idea for it?

My agent and I tossed various ideas around. She had the idea for a farmer who blogs, and I really liked the concept.  I decided I wanted to do something a little different so I made her a young widow with an almost teenaged daughter and an eight-year-old son.  She blogs about cooking, farming, raising children and life in general which, on Love Blossom Farm, is sometimes a little crazy!

Sounds nice. Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Never give up! I had 400 rejections on three projects I’d been circulating to agents for two years when I finally got my “big break” thanks to a writing buddy who put me in touch with her agent about a project. Another bit of advice—network with other writers through on-line writers’ groups.  You never know who might open a door for you.  As for writing cozies, the key is a strong “hook.”

Wow! That’s impressive. Being persistent is definitely important for authors. I’m currently looking for an agent myself and, although I haven’t sent out nearly as many queries as you mentioned, I don’t let the rejections deter me.

What are you currently working on?

I just received the copy-edits from my editor for the third Cranberry Cove release, Dead and Berried. The second Farmer’s Daughter book, Sowed to Death, is scheduled for release in 2017. The first one, “No Farm, No Foul”  is scheduled for release today, September 6, and I’m working on the fifth book in my e-book Lucille Series coming out through Beyond the Page Publishing.

Sounds like a full schedule. I also juggle several books and other writing projects. Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Right now I am very busy with my cozies, but I’m doing research for a proposal for a historical mystery, and I’d love to try my hand at suspense. I like a challenge!

I think that’s great. Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

By reading. Reading Nancy Drew gave me the urge to write a mystery although my first writing, done when I was around seven, was plays that I forced my cousins to perform at Christmas dinner!

Nice story. What are your hobbies besides writing?

Reading, of course, and I love to cook.  I’m hopeless at needlework of any kind, and forget scrapbooking—the only pictures that have made it into albums are through 1984!

LOL. It’s hard to find the time for hobbies when you write, but reading is always helpful.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

IMG_2845I love hearing from readers! They can contact me through my website: pegcochran.com. 

Thanks for the interview, Peg, and best wishes on your upcoming cozies and other books.

 

Posted in Authors, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Linda Rawlins

cozycatpic

Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Linda Rawlins for a chat about her cozy mysteries.

Hi, Linda. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

Can you tell us a little bit about your new book, Misty Manor and  what gave you the idea for it?

LindaRawlings2Hi, my name is Linda Rawlins. My new book is named, Misty Manor. Misty Manor is the first of my new series, which takes place at the NJ Shore. I love being at the beach. It relieves my stress. I love the setting. The Grand Victorian homes are gorgeous and I often wonder what it was like to live there in the 1800’s. I believe many people go to the beach and ocean to relax.

Yes, the sea can be very relaxing, and the setting of you book sounds charming. I’ve enjoyed vacations on the Jersey Shore especially Cape May. I’m also a lover of Victorian architecture and featured one in my short historical romance story, “The Seashell and the Stone” that I recently published with a group of other authors in the Love, Always anthology that is available exclusively as a contest prize and giveaway in my newsletter and on my Facebook takeovers.

LindaRawlings3Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

The most important advice I can give to writers is to write every day!! When I started writing, I spent time trying to make sure the first chapter was perfect before I went on to the next. I soon learned it was better to simply write the story. The initial story is similar to a rough stone. Through editing, you begin to polish that stone. With every level of editing, content, grammar, line, and copy, you continue to polish your manuscript until it is a sparkling gem. So just relax and write! You can add, subtract and edit later.

That is excellent advice. I have always written that way and know that editing is the tough part, but allowing the words to flow and the story to unfold initially without interruption is vital. What are you currently working on?

I have begun to work on the next book of the Misty Manor series. It can be read as a standalone, but will continue the story of Megan Stanford and Misty Manor. I like to read and write mystery fiction.

LindarawlingsMy other series, Rocky Meadow Mystery series, takes place in Vermont at a catholic retreat center. A trauma surgeon, Dr. Amy Daniels, flees to Vermont after she learns she saved the life of a man who killed her sister. There she meets a psychologist priest, Father Michael Lauretta, and together they solve mysteries while she works through her pain. They are helped by Tony Noce, a former NYPD cop, Katie Novak, rectory cook and housekeeper and Willow Davis, a millionaire teenager abandoned by her parents. The three books, The Bench, Fatal Breach and Sacred Gold can be read as standalones or in order.

Very nice. I also just signed a contract for the second book of my Cobble Cove novels that started with “A Stone’s Throw.” It can also be read as a standalone but will feature the same characters with some new ones, as well, with a different storyline and mystery.

Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I always dreamed of writing a book and started my first mystery novel in fifth grade. I would write various things but was always pulled away by my day job. I finally dedicated myself in 2010! 

I was a prolific reader as a child. I started by reading my grandmother’s books, written by Phyllis Whitney, Emily Loring and Victoria Holt. I had also read most of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy mysteries by the time I reached fifth grade and started to write my own mystery. Realizing my love for reading and writing, my fifth grade teacher allowed me to take a book, which he self-published, home to show my parents. I am sure that day was one of the most inspirational for my writing.

In addition to my studies, I continued to read as much fiction as I could through high school and won first place in a poetry contest. The novels I choose covered most genres – mystery, romance, sci-fi, horror and fantasy.

In college, I studied different forms of literature, reading American Classics and English Novelists as well as majoring in PreMed. During college, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov and Dr. Ruth.  Over the years I’ve also met many writers such as Mary Higgins Clark, Donald Bain, Diana Gabaldon and others.

I studied hard and went to Medical School. I no longer had time to read fiction, but I did have the privilege of meeting many wonderful people. Working with them, they shared many wonderful, emotional, painful and special experiences and I believe it is a combination of all these personalities which helped to make up my characters.

Eventually, I was able to return to reading fiction and begin to write my own stories.

That sounds very much like my own experience. I was also an avid reader as a kid and, coincidentally, loved the authors you mentioned. I was a big fan of Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. I’ve been writing in one form or other since I learned how. My first published works were articles for my college newspaper followed by articles I published in pet magazines. I then advanced to a short story in a mystery anthology before self-publishing my first novel and then publishing “A Stone’s Throw” with Limitless Publishing. My new mystery, tentatively called. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” will be published by Solstice Publishing.

What are your hobbies besides writing? 

My day job is that of a board certified family physician and I have met many wonderful people! I also love to read, sing, walk, hike in Vermont, and above all spend time with my family!

Those sound like nice and relaxing past-times, Linda. I’m a librarian so, of course, my main hobby is reading which fits right in with my writing. I’m also a big cat lover and have two of cats of my own that are part of my family that includes my husband and daughter.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I want to thank all my readers for reading my books. I love hearing from readers and am honored they have read my work. 

I love all my novels and each is special in a unique way. However, I read to escape and I love to go to the beach to relax, renew and reorganize. Misty Manor is my favorite as I was able to visit my favorite place each time I started writing.  I hope you will too!

Our days are never guaranteed. Always love one another and Happy Reading!

I feel the same way, Linda. I’m including your social media links, so readers can keep in touch with you. Thanks so much for chatting with me today. I am also reading Misty Manor right now and will post a review of it soon. So far, I’m enjoying it very much. It’s like I’m vacationing back on the Jersey Shore.

Keep in touch with Linda at:

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Cats, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Dianne Harman

cozycatpicToday, I have the pleasure of chatting with Dianne Harman about her High Desert cozy mystery series.

Hi, Dianne. Thanks for joining us. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

 

HDCS_1Can you tell us a little bit about your series? What gave you the idea for it?

My husband’s uncle lived in a compound with three other artists in the high desert outside of Palm Springs, California. We visited him several times, and I was always charmed by the four homes which surrounded a central courtyard. It had a large tree filled with twinkling lights, and it stayed with me. I was an art and antique appraiser prior to becoming an author, and it was a natural to combine the two. I love food and dogs, so they found their way in as well. One of the people who lives in the compound has a food truck, the antique appraiser has a black Labrador retriever who wears pink booties, and I have a recipe section in all of my books.

Very nice. Books always seem more realistic when authors base them on their own experiences and knowledge. My book, A Stone’s Throw, features a librarian like me and a cat and dog. I’m a pet lover, especially of cats, and the Siamese in the book is based on my 16-year old cat, Oliver.

Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Just do it! You don’t need one more class, one more critique group, one more anything. You learn as you go, and believe me, the more you write, the more you’ll learn.

I agree. Even though writing classes and groups can be helpful, experience is the best teacher.

What are you currently working on?

I launched a new series this week, the Jack Trout Cozy Mystery Series. One of my books in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series is about an English guide being murdered while fishing in Cuba. My husband and I were fortunate enough to go to Cuba recently with Jack, who is a fishing guide. People responded so favorably to Jack and his wife, Carola, that I decided to do a series about them and fishing different places. Murdered in Argentina, released July 18th, is based on a trip we recently took with them to Chile and Argentina. I fell in love with a small little town, San Martin de Los Andes, and decided to base the book there.

That sounds terrific. Best of luck with that. I’m sure there will be a lot of interest from your readers.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

I wrote the Coyote Series, three psychological thrillers, prior to writing cozy mysteries.

Interesting. I just finished a psychological thriller tentatively titled “Sea Scope” that I hope to publish next year. My sequel to “A Stone’s Throw” will hopefully be out soon, as well, and I have a great idea for a pet cozy series that I’d like to start. 

Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

My husband and I were attending a wedding in Palm Springs, California. It was October and the temperature was 107. The air conditioning was so quiet that I happened to make the comment “Wouldn’t it be wild if someone put a ‘feel good drug’ in the air conditioner and everyone felt good all the time?” My husband looked at me and said the words that started a whole new career for me, “Why don’t you write a book about it?” And so I did.

What a great story.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I love to cook, and I love to read. Plus, you’ll always find at least one dog in our household, often more than that!

Pets are great additions to a home. They really become part of the family. I have one daughter, but my two male cats are almost like baby sons to me.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I’m just so grateful that readers have consistently made my books best sellers. This was something that was never planned when the word “retirement” came up, but I love every minute of it!

I can imagine what a great feeling that is, Diane. I’m just starting to build my writing business although I’ve been writing for a long time. I hope to be as successful as you. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it to know there are people reading and enjoying your books. I hope I can also make it a full-time career when I retire in ten years or so.

Can you share some links with us of your social media sites and Amazon page?

Amazon: http://ow.ly/s6pN5 
Web Site http://www.DianneHarman.com
Blog: http://dianneharman.com/blog/
Twitter: @DianneDHarman

Thanks so much. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. Best of luck on your new series and forthcoming books.

 

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Harper Lin

cozycatpicToday’s Cozy Chat is with Harper Lin who I spoke with about her Cape Bay Cafe mysteries.
Hi, Harper.  Thanks for joining me for a Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

capebaycafemysteryCan you tell us a little bit about the Cape Bay Cafe Mystery series? What gave you the idea for it?

I don’t live near the beach, but always thought it would be fun to. I also love cafes. Whenever I travel, the cafe scene in a city or town is very important to me, so this series is really fantasy fulfillment for me, to live in a friendly small town, running a cozy cafe where all the locals congregate—except for all the murders, of course!

Sounds like fun and a great theme for a cozy mystery series.

Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

It’s easier to write a mystery when you plot it out first. Write down who the killer is, what their motive is, and a few other suspects and their possible motives. Sometimes I can’t plot out everything beforehand because the characters need to develop and discover as they go, but I do put down the bare bones of the story first.

I like that advice. I’m more of a pantster than a plotter, but I definitely agree it’s important to have some basic plot points and a character outline for a mystery. In my mystery, A STONE’S THROW, as well as its sequel which I hope will be published soon, I had an idea who I wanted to be the bad guy (or gal as the case may be), but I did change things toward the end.

What are you currently working on?

harperlinbook1harperlinbook2There is a fourth book in the series called “Latte, Ladyfingers, and Lies.” I also have two other books coming out in my other series, “The Wonder Cats Mysteries“, and “The Patisserie Mysteries“. 

Wow! You write a variety of mysteries. I’m partial to the cat one. I must add it to my TBR cozy pile.

Do you write any genres other than cozies?

No, but I really want to write a young adult series. Perhaps a YA mystery series!

YA books are very popular right now. It would probably do well.

Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I always read a lot, and I started writing for fun. Then I went down the self-publishing venture after lots of help from other writers and by hiring professional editors. 

As a new author, I’ve found other writers tremendously helpful. They are so eager to share their experience, and the networking and support is very motivational.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I love yoga. Sometimes I bake, but I don’t have as much time for that as I used to since I am busy writing all the time. Of course, reading is a big one!

I used to enjoy yoga. Now I’ve just been walking and doing Leslie Sansone videos when I can’t walk outside. The stretching is very important.

I also know what you mean about writing taking up so much time, and most authors are avid readers, as well.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I hope my books are entertaining. Readers tell me that the stories help them relax after stressful days at work, so I’m glad I’m able to entertain them.

Books can be very relaxing, especially cozies. Even though they feature murder and other crimes, some of the characters almost become friends.

Thanks so much for joining me today and best wishes to you on all your series. I’m including some of your contact information for readers who want to connect with you.

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Posted in Authors, Books, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Ellery Adams

cozycatpicelleryadamsThis week’s Cozy Chat is with Ellery Adams who I spoke with about her Books by the Bay mysteries.
Hi, Ellery.  Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.


Can you tell us a little bit about the Books by the Bay series? What gave you the idea for it?

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 11.24.36 AMThis series features a group of aspiring writers turned amateur sleuths. It’s set in a fictional town on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina and the seaside setting permeates nearly every scene. I wanted to write a series featuring a very strong, but haunted female protagonist. I also wanted her to be middle-aged. Olivia Limoges is the heroine of the series, though her friends, the Bayside Book Writers, are integral because they bring her out of her shell. As does her standard poodle, Captain Haviland. This is a series for anyone who enjoys complex characters, multi-layered plotlines sprinkled with historical detail, a coastal setting, and literary references.

Sounds quite interesting, Ellery. As a fellow author, I can relate to a mystery involving a writer’s group. In fact, I’m starting one next month at the library where I work. I also love mysteries that involve pets. Mine also has a dog (Fido) and a library cat (Sneaky), as well. The poodle in yours has a wonderful name.

Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

My advice is to write what you feel passionate about – not what you think might sell. If you put your heart (and tons of editing!) into your work, it’s bound to speak to people.

I agree totally. It’s very important to write what you know and love, although the know can be researched. The love has to come from the heart. As far as the tons of editing, that’s also very true. I am editing the sequel to my mystery, A STONE’S THROW, right now, and it’s slow-going because of all the little but important things that need to be smoothed out.

What are you currently working on?

Tomorrow, Feb 26th, I’m releasing an ebook only copy of  A Devious Lot, the 5th Antiques & deviouslotCollectibles mystery. 

MurderInTheSecretGarden_FCI am also working on Murder in the Secret Garden, the 3rd Book Retreat Mystery featuring Jane Steward of Storyton Hall, Virginia.

Screenshot 2015-11-14 19.17.51The 5th installment of the Charmed Pie Shoppe series, Breach of Crust, will hit bookstore shelves on April 5, 2016. Here’s a brief summary:

Plate up another slice of Southern magic and mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Lemon Pies and Little White Lies . . .

  Ella Mae LeFaye’s delicious pies are still drawing long lines—as well as the attention of Beatrice Burbank, president of the Camellia Club, a philanthropic organization comprised of high-society Southern ladies from the charming and affluent town of Sweet Briar, Georgia. To ensure the success of their centennial dessert cookbook, Bea hires Ella Mae to teach the tasty tricks of her trade to the club’s members at their annual retreat. Eager to work on new recipes for customers with food allergies and dietary restrictions, Ella Mae readily agrees.

But when Ella Mae finds Bea’s body floating in Lake Havenwood, she wonders what she’s gotten herself mixed up in. Someone certainly wanted Bea to eat humble pie, and the retreat offers no shortage of unsavory characters, including Ella Mae’s longtime nemesis, Loralyn Gaynor. Ella Mae definitely doesn’t need magic to tell her she must find the killer before someone else gets panned.

That sounds great. Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Not at the moment. I weave other genres into my mysteries (history, literary fiction, and fantasy) but I am planning on trying my hand at women’s fiction in 2016.

Can you also tell me how you got started in writing?

I used to sell homemade books for a quarter apiece to the neighborhood kids. They featured my friends as the heroes and they always had a happy ending.

Wow! That’s interesting. I actually used to make comics as a kid featuring some of my neighbors in different adventures and stories. I never sold them to anyone, but I had funny creating them.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

To be honest, I had more hobbies before I started writing three series, but when I have a rare moment between deadlines, I like to read, bake, garden, binge-watch Masterpiece Theater shows.

I know what you mean. Writing, editing, and promoting have really put a limit on my extra time.  Your interests sound enjoyable, and I’m sure they’re relaxing when you fit them in.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

Just that I’m grateful to any reader for buying my books or asking for them at their local library. It’s a very competitive market out there and it’s getting harder and harder for the mid-list author to survive. The “big names” get all the backing from the publishing companies, but cozy readers are incredibly loyal and do such an amazing job at PR when it comes to a writer/series they love. So thank you. Thank you for keeping our genre going and for being so tireless in supporting cozy mysteries. As long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!

I feel the same way, Ellery. As I’m working on my Cobble Cove books, it seems people are beginning to view them as cozies, and although I originally thought they fell into romantic suspense or general mystery, I think they might appeal more to the cozy audience because there’s no explicit violence or sex and I also focus on the characters in a small, fictional town (Cobble Cove, New York).

Thanks for joining me today, and best wishes to you on your series.