Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Spotlight, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for Crime in Cornwall, The British Book Tour Mysteries, by Emma Dakin


Crime in Cornwall (British Book tour Mysteries)
by Emma Dakin

About Crime in Cornwall


Crime in Cornwall (British Book Tour Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (October 13, 2020)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816100
ISBN-13: 978-1603816106

Patrick and Rita Stonning, Claire’s neighbors in Ashton-on-Tinch, dash down from London on weekends to host loud parties. They work in a publishing house and use their Ashton semi-detached home as a break from big city stress. Patrick arrives at Claire’s door distraught, reporting one of his partygoers, Olive Nott a best-selling author, dead. Claire discovers that not only is he dead, he’s been murdered. Patrick is suspected of the murder and has enough motive to satisfy the police. Nott wrote mysteries set in Cornwall and had planned to take his lucrative contracts to a competing company. His latest book dealt with smuggling in the caves of Cornwall. The police, including DI Mark Evans from the newly formed Major investigations Team wonder if he learned too much from his research. Claire takes her six tourists, most from America, to the Cornwall coast in search of sites of mystery novels and hears the opinions of the Cornish people on smuggling. She asks Patrick to meet her in Penzance to give a guest lecture on the smuggling in Oliver Nott’s novels. Claire finds Patrick self-aggrandizing and arrogant but doesn’t agree he would murder and sets out to find the one responsible.

From Amazon

Claire Barclay is enthusiastic about her British Mystery Book Tour business. She enjoys taking her guests, usually from America, to the settings of mystery novels where bodies are long dead. Her neighbor’s plea for help to deal with a recently murdered well-known author unsettles her. She leaves the body to the police and takes her guests to Cornwall, including a British tourist who far is too interested in the dead author.

About Emma Dakin

Emma Dakin lives in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. She has over twenty-five trade published books of mystery and adventure for teens and middle-grade children and non-fiction for teens and adults. Her love of the British countryside and villages and her addiction to cozy mysteries now keep her writing about characters who live and work in those villages. She introduces readers to the problems that disturb that idyllic setting.

Author Links

Webpage/Blog emmadakinauthor.com

Facebook http://tiny.cc/ilk3az

Goodreads http://tiny.cc/ttk3az

Purchase Link – Amazon B&N IndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – GUEST POST

November 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 10 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

November 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 13 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

November 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

November 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 16 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

November 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 17 – Mysteries with Character -AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

November 19 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

November 21 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

November 22 – I Read What You Write– CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 22 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Interview

Interview of Jen Collins Moore, Author of Murder in the Piazza, the first Maggie White Cozy Mystery

Today, I have author Jen Collins Moore from Chicago here to talk about herself and her new release, Murder in the Piazza, the first Maggie White cozy mystery.

Hi, Jenn. Please tell us how long you’ve been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

Murder in the Piazza (9/2020) from Level Best Books is my first publication. I have not self-published any titles.

Congratulations! Please 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.

Murder in the Piazza is the first Maggie White Mystery. I’m hard at work on the second title in the series, Murder in Trastevere, which is also set in Rome. It is scheduled for launch September 2021.

Nice. Good luck with that.

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

My goal is to entertain readers. Like most writers, I love to read, and I’m writing the types of books I like to read myself: smart and funny with relatable characters. I love armchair travel and so have set the books against the backdrop of Rome, and I’m keeping the tone light and entertaining, so it’s a great read after a long day at work.

Great goals. I also enjoy writing books that I like to read. I’m a fan of all types of mysteries, although I do read (and write) other genres.

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

I’ve been delighted to find that my book appeals to traditional mystery readers and general fiction readers alike. People interested in the art, food and culture of Italy will particularly love this series.

That sounds like a wide audience.

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

Keep working! Seriously. If your first draft isn’t working, revise and keep going. If you send out a query letter and you get a rejection, send out three more. And if there’s a trend in the rejections, take another look at your manuscript to see if the agents might be seeing something in your work that you might want to address.

The first version of my book was set in the 1980s. I thought it was a fun time period and fit my character’s emotional journey, but I got consistent feedback from agents that the time period would be a problem when selling the book to publishers. I took the note and revised the manuscript. I was amazed at how easy it was to make the changes and how much better it made the story bringing it to present day! That doesn’t mean you should change your vision to match someone else’s, but when you hear the same thing over and over again, it’s worth asking yourself if it’s something you should consider.

Good advice. I’m still querying agents for a for the first book of a new cozy series.

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

I think the hardest thing for me was learning the craft. I love to read and always received high marks for my writing in school and in business. Then I wrote the opening to my book and submitted it to my local Mystery Writers of America chapter critique program.

I honestly thought I’d be told it was amazing, brilliant, all that stuff. But the author who read my early draft gently and kindly told me all the things that weren’t working. I had no idea how bad it was until she told me!

But she also said enough good things that I made me want to double down and keep going. So I signed up for a year-long writing class focused on novel writing, and then its year-long follow-on class on revising, and with those two years and many, many, many rewrites, I got better.

I had no idea how hard writing would be when I started out. And that’s probably a good thing, because no sane person would choose to do this with their time if they knew up front how long the road would be!

LOL. I totally agree with you. Writing books is far from easy. I belong to Sisters-in-Crime, but they don’t currently have a local chapter. I’ve thought about joining Mystery Writers of America, but my publishers aren’t on their list. One of my publishers is on the list for International Thriller Writers to which I also belong.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I have a wonderful writing group. Six of us were members of a year-long novel writing class, and when that class ended we continued meeting monthly to critique and cheerlead. Providing feedback on other people’s work has enabled me to see my own writing in a fresh light. Participating in critique is invaluable, and I recommend every writer beginning his or her journey find opportunities for it.

I’ve taken a few writing classes through Sisters-in-Crime and found them helpful, although the members didn’t form any groups afterwards. Great idea, though, and I’m sure helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m not sure if a family counts as a hobby or not, but I love spending time with my husband and two young boys, playing with our dog, running, reading, cooking, and knitting.

It’s important that you can make time for your family. My daughter is a teenager, so I treasure spending time with her and our 3 cats who we both adore.

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

A successful author told me once “It’s all hard,” and she was right. But it’s also all fun. What better problem is there than to face than to go to your imagination and figure out a story? The thing I like most is hearing from readers they love my stories, that I entertained them and brought pleasure into their day. The toughest challenge is when I sit down to write and the words don’t come easily or don’t sound right. But I tell myself revision is a wonderful thing and move on.

That’s so true. I don’t have that problem with writing, although I don’t edit myself until I’m done with the first draft. My problem with writing is finding the time.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

The readers! Cozy mystery readers have high standards when it comes to an entertaining plot, clever puzzle and quirky characters, and I love getting to interact with them.

Yes, cozy readers are great. I’ve met many at Facebook parties and in groups. The Cozy Mystery Village Facebook group is wonderful, and I just had my own Halloween party that was hosted by, Sneaky, the character cat in my Cobble Cove mysteries.

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

Absolutely. I’ve pasted 500 words below.

Thanks for sharing.

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

Now, more than ever, we all need a some feel-good escapism. Since I can’t be in Italy in person right now, sitting at my desk, imagining my characters walking the cobbled streets, eating warm pastries and enjoying a glass of wine at a café is bringing me more joy than I expected. I hope reading the book gives readers the same experience.

You’re absolutely right. We had planned a trip to Italy but haven’t yet gone. The last trip I took before the pandemic was to California. It was great, but I miss traveling. Virtual traveling isn’t the same, but it certainly helps and is less expensive, plus you don’t suffer jet lag – lol!

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

https://www.jennifercollinsmoore.com/

https://www.instagram.com/jennifercollinsmoore/

https://www.facebook.com/jencollinsmoore

Murder in the Piazza Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

The city of Rome celebrates its defeat of the barbarians in 753 B.C. with reenactments of battle scenes and an impressive fireworks display. Guests of Masterpiece Tours will enjoy the view from Lord Philip’s private terrace, staying, quite literally, above the chaos and crowds that spoil so many Roman holidays.

—Masterpiece Tours “Welcome to Rome” pamphlet

Maggie White started fantasizing about Lord Philip’s death on her third day. Just a painless, but fatal, heart attack that would strike her boss down in the middle of the night. When that failed to materialize, she imagined him taking a wrong step in front of a speeding bus. Today she moved on to poison.

Maggie was the “new girl” at Masterpiece Tours, which offered exclusive painting holidays to well-heeled Americans. She was seated on the rooftop terrace of a minor 17th-century palace on the Piazza Navona with guests on the current tour. It was a lovely April evening, her chair was comfortable, and she was pleasantly full. But Maggie had had as much of Lord Philip Walpole as she could take.

Could she sneak arsenic into Lord Philip’s whiskey? Maggie considered this as the tourists around her oohed over a particularly brilliant firework bursting over the Colosseum in honor of Rome’s birthday celebration. Would he notice the taste? How much would it take?

Getting the deadly liquid would be a problem. She seemed to remember arsenic came from juniper berries, but perhaps that was cyanide. She took a sip of her drink. Espresso, smooth and strong. Maybe slipping the poison into Lord Philip’s morning coffee would be safer.

It was only her sixth day on the job—four days with the tour group and two before the guests arrived—and the man had reduced her to tears five times. And Maggie wasn’t a woman who cried easily. She’d been in Italy for five months, spent three of them trying to fit in as a woman of leisure, then two fruitlessly looking for a job, and it wasn’t until she met Lord Philip that she’d lost control.

Maggie breathed in the scent of the flowers in the giant pots around Lord Philip’s rooftop terrace and sighed. She wouldn’t kill her employer, pleasant as it was to imagine. She’d managed to survive fifty-five years without killing anyone—including that awful Lana Harrison, who thought she knew more about managing an advertising campaign than Maggie—and she would survive without killing Lord Philip, too.

She could quit, just as her husband, Burt, said she should. But Maggie wasn’t a quitter. Hadn’t she been the youngest woman ever promoted to vice president at Bells & Wallace? Hadn’t she single-handedly saved the PTA bake sale when 450 cupcakes, cookies, and Rice Krispies treats were savaged by Mrs. Simpson’s basset hound, Napoleon? And hadn’t she sent two high-spirited children off to excellent liberal arts colleges?

Quitting now would prove her husband was right about this job being a mistake, and Maggie wasn’t about to admit that.

Excellent excerpt. Thanks for the interview, and I’ve shared your blog tour and giveaway below. Best of luck with the series and your forthcoming books.


Murder in the Piazza: A Maggie White Mystery
by Jen Collins Moore

About Murder in the Piazza

Murder in the Piazza: A Maggie White Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Level Best Books (September 22, 2020)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-10: 1947915533
ISBN-13: 978-1947915534
Digital ASIN: B08FBL9GV8

Maggie White, a downsized American executive stuck in Rome on her husband’s expat assignment, is finding the dolce vita isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’s taken a job offering painting instruction to well-heeled travelers and her boss-a rather unpleasant English lord-has turned up dead in his penthouse. Maggie’s left with a palazzo full of suspicious guests, a valuable painting her boss might have stolen, and a policeman who’s decided she’s the prime suspect. Now Maggie must keep the tour up and running while she tracks the killer and works to clear her name.

About Jen Collins Moore

Jen Collins Moore is the author of the Maggie White Mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mystery Weekly, and she is the editor of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest newsletter. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, as well an established marketer and entrepreneur. A transplanted New Englander, she lives in Chicago with her husband and two boys.

Author Link:

https://www.jennifercollinsmoore.com/

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 2 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 2 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

November 3 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 3 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

November 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

November 9 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST

November 12 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

November 12 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 13 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

November 14 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 15 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Freebies and Special Offers

Win 1 of 3 Copies of No Gravestone Unturned, My New Cozy Mystery, in Huge, Multi-Author Halloween Giveaway

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I’m giving away 3 copies of my new cozy mystery, No Gravestone Unturned, featuring a murder on Halloween, in this huge multi-author giveaway on Writing in the Modern Age. My entry is #64.

It’s October in Cobble Cove, and Alicia is busy preparing for the library’s Halloween party when she learns that John’s aunt from Florida has died and that John’s cousins and their spouses are coming to town to bury their mother. The day after the funeral, the caretaker’s son is found dead by John’s grandfather’s gravestone, from a blow on the head. The only witness seems to be Sneaky the library cat, who, having left the library, turned up at Alicia’s door with blood and dirt on him. As Alicia, Gilly, and Sheriff Ramsay investigate, a generation of family secrets is uncovered. Are one of the guests staying at the inn a killer? Will the humans solve the crime, and can Sneaky, Kittykai, and Salem, the inn’s guest cat, team up to help?

Here’s a direct link to the Rafflecopter to enter the contest: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3055b312184/

The winners will be announced on October 31st.

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Spotlight, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for A Waffle Lot of Murder, A All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery by Lena Gregory

A Waffle Lot of Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

About A Waffle Lot of Murder


A Waffle Lot of Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in the Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (October 6, 2020)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10 : 151611048X
ISBN-13: 978-1516110483
Digital ASIN : B082WR2ZHJ

For diner owner Gia Morelli, her seasonal fall menu calls for two main ingredients—maple syrup and murder . . .

While the first hints of autumn grace Boggy Creek, Florida, Gia misses the colorful harvest traditions she left behind in New York. On a scramble to make new fall memories—and promote her irresistible pumpkin spice waffles—things take a dark turn when she gets roped into the Haunted Town Festival, a spooky celebration held on deserted farmlands. The desolate area conjures plenty of eerie vibes at night, but Gia and her best friend, Savannah, are nearly frightened to death upon the discovery of the event organizer’s body buried in the nearby woods. More alarming, the local rumor mill says the woman’s shady dealings may have egged someone into sending her to an early grave. Now, there’s no shortage of creepy clues to feast on as Gia and her pals try to stop a killer with a very scary appetite . . .

Includes recipes from the All-Day Breakfast Café!

About Lena Gregory

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Newsletter: http://lenagregory.us12.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9765d0711ed4fab4fa31b16ac&id=49d42335d1.

Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

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

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle Play
a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 6 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 6 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 7 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 7 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 8 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

October 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 9 – Christa Reads and Writes– SPOTLIGHT

October 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

October 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 11 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

October 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

October 12 – Ms. Cat’s Honest World – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 12 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 14 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

October 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – GUEST POST

October 15 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – RECIPE

October 16 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

October 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

October 17 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

October 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

October 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

October 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco by Richie Narvaez

Going Back in Time to 1979: Researching the Disco Era

by Richie Narvaez

 I never thought I would write a historical mystery or a YA mystery. But the process of writing Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco (Pinãta Books, 2020) involved a fair bit of time travel. And a lot of in-seat dancing. I decided to set this book in 1979 because I was going to write about a 14-year-old protagonist. And the last time I had been 14 was in 1979.

But that meant a little sentimental journeying. I got out the old high school yearbook and found pages and pages of character suggestions. For the book, I scrambled names and personalities, I made an old friend the school principal, I made an old rival look like an idiot. This is what writing is all about! This was great!

But the thing that helped me most get back to that long-ago era and get into the right mood was music.

For most of the ’70s, I listened to the likes of John Denver, Harry Chapin, Janis Ian, and a lot of American Standards — because that’s what Pop liked and Pop had command of the radio. But as my sister and brother got older, they would bring home these disco albums to play (on our wonky record player in our rickety entertainment unit). At first, I balked at John Revolta and his three-piece suit and the chipmunk sound of the Bee-Gees. Jeez louise!

But then there was this song called “Supernature” by Cerrone. With its bizarre lyrics (telling a story similar to a dozen Animals Gone Wild movies from the ’70s) and insistent beat, it was like a 10-minute B-grade horror movie you could dance to. This appealed to my nerdy, sci fi- and horror-loving pre-adolescent mind. Then there was “Devil’s Gun,” by C. J. & Company, which had a neon green demon/alien on the cover. Hello, you’ve got my attention.

So, I learned to like disco quite a bit. But, really, I was too young to love it the way my sister and brother did. I never learned to do the Hustle, never went to Studio 54. Musical genres like Modern Rock and Freestyle were more a part of my formative years.

As I sat down to plan the book, I realized I hadn’t thought about disco in a long time. There was quite a bit of social history to uncover. Disco may have been maligned for its sameness and mindlessness, but there were clearly undertones of homophobia and prejudice in the malice directed toward it.

As to the music itself, I dove right in — by listening to music the way you do nowadays. I went to YouTube. Now, I don’t usually listen to music when I scribble, but my neighbor upstairs had been proving particularly lead-footed, so on went the headphones.

First I focused on what was popular, and I found I still wasn’t crazy about the Bee Gees. But then I rediscovered Donna Summer! That plaintive, sultry voice is mesmerizing. From there I listened to MFSB, Tavares, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the Hues Corporation, France Joli, Earth, Wind, & Fire, and more. I even discovered I had a favorite disco song: “Native New Yorker,” by Odyssey, a melancholy slow-disco meditation on Big Apple dreaming.

There was so much to listen to. Every day, I’d go through playlists and find singers and bands I wanted to learn more about. You know the idea of a wikihole? It’s an Internet-age rabbit hole of discovery after discovery. I went down that path willfully, gleefully, rocking in my chair, if not rocking dancing shoes.

I think Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco came out all the better for it. I was able to get into the mood of the era. I was able to hear what my teen detective protagonist was hearing and imagine her reactions. And if I could do that, then I could take my readers’ hands and invite them on to the dance floor with me.

Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco
by Richie Narvaez

About Holly Hernandez and
the Death of Disco

Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco
Young Adult Cozy Mystery
Grade Level: 10 – 12
1st in Series
Publisher: Pinata Books (May 31, 2020)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1558859020
ISBN-13: 978-1558859029
Digital Publisher: Arte Público Press (June 22, 2020)
Print Length: 255 pages
ASIN: B08BQRZLTC

Holly Hernandez, voted “Miss Bright of ’79” and valedictorian at her previous school, is excited to start fresh at Flatbush Technical High School, one of the most competitive public schools in New York City. She’ll be one of thousands; anonymous. But her dreams of a normal school life disappear when her mother, a homicide detective, has to investigate the murder of Mr. Friedman, the social studies teacher.

One of her classmates, Xander Herrera, quickly becomes the primary suspect. The tall, awkward boy is socially inept, but Holly doesn’t think he’s a murderer. She is intent on exonerating him—but he wants nothing to do with her. To Xander, Holly is the overly enthusiastic student who always sits in the front row and answers all the teachers’ questions—correctly. He hates perky people!

Eventually cleared of the crime, Xander is determined to find the killer before Holly. As they race to solve the case, their separate investigations lead to a slew of suspects, including another teacher seen arguing with Friedman and a mysterious person named Steve who met with him several times before his death. Could it have been a disgruntled student? Ultimately, a trophy for a disco-dancing contest leads the intrepid young detectives to the Mission Venus nightclub and a murderer intent on killing again!

About Richie Narvaez

Richie Narvaez is author of the award-winning collection Roachkiller and Other Stories and the gentrification thriller Hipster Death Rattle. His latest novel is the historical YA mystery Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco.

Author Links

Website – https://www.richienarvaez.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RichieNarvaezAuthor/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/richie_narvaez
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rnz1000/
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4530759.Richie_Narvaez

Purchase Links – AmazonBookshopIndieBoundB&N

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 15 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

October 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

October 16 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 16 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – MJB Reviewers -SPOTLIGHT

October 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

October 19 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 20 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW

October 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Interview, New Releases

Interview of Sarah E. Burr, Author of #Trending Topic: Murder, A Trending Topic Mystery

Welcome to Ruff Drafts, Sarah. I see you’re from New York City which is not far from my home on Long Island.

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.

In 2017, I began my writing journey with self-publishing. My first title was a novella called The Ducal Detective. Taking place in the fictional Realm of Virtues, my little novella about a Duchess solving the murder of her parents has since turned into an eleven-book saga that continues to grow. My latest self-published novel is Harrowed Heir, with a new Court of Mystery novel arriving this winter.

Trending Topic #Murder is my first traditionally published novel, which arrived on the scene September of 2020. It is first in the Trending Topic Mysteries, published by Camel Press.

Congratulations! We have a lot in common besides being New Yorkers, as I also write mysteries. I just published the fifth book, No Gravestone Unturned, in my Cobble Cove series.

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.

Trending Topic #Murder, first in the Trending Topic Mysteries, shines the spotlight on celebrity blogger and social media consultant Coco Cline after she discovers a dead body in her clients’ store. With her rep on the line, Coco is forced to untangle a web of deadly secrets in her small, beachside town.

Coco’s story takes into account how ingrained social media has become in our everyday lives and showcase really just how much information is out there at our fingertips. It goes to prove that anyone can be a couch detective if they put their mind to it!

Trending Topic #Murder made its debut September 8, 2020, and I am currently working on Book 2 in the series.

I will also be releasing the next Court of Mystery novel this winter.

Interesting choice of occupation for the character of your new novel.

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

My main writing goal has always been to capture all the stories whirling around in my head and wrangle them into a manuscript. There are so many unfinished tales that have been marinating in my mind for years…my goal is to write as many of them down as I can. I also want to explore more genres outside of mystery/cozy mystery. My first major writing project that I ever completed was a fantasy series for young adults. I wrote most of it while in college, so it definitely needs some polishing, as I’ve learned so much about writing and communicating my thoughts since graduating. I would love to return to that series someday, clean it up, and publish it. I also have a few psychological thrillers in mind.

Achieving these goals is all about time management. I already write two series, so for any projects that pop up outside of those, I need to be mindful of time and my publication commitments. They come first. But where I’m blessed to be able to write full-time, I have the ability to carve out “project time” during my workday to pursue these other writing interests.

Sounds like we have the same goals. I like to explore other genres, as well, and have written short eBooks and stories in them, as well as non-fiction articles and will be publishing a non-fiction cat book soon. I’m also hoping to add a second cozy series. I agree time management is essential. It’s very important for me to organize my writing and promoting time because I also work full-time as a librarian.

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

I would love to bring more young women and men my age to the cozy mystery genre. Sometimes, I think cozies get overlooked by twenty and thirty-year olds, which is funny because most cozies feature a young heroine. By creating a more contemporary and modern main character in Coco Cline—someone who is attached to her phone and knows the power of social media and the web—I hope I have created a character that younger generations can identify with. I’ve loved cozies all my life, so I’m a little bias about how awesome the genre is, but I think a lot of people could benefit from reading about an everyday heroine who takes justice into her own hands. I think if we were all more like the heroines in our cozy mystery novels, the world would be a fairer, more just place.

That’s very true. While my main character is in her forties, I try to feature characters of various ages including teens, children, and seniors in different books of the series. The main character of my new cozy that I’ve been querying to agents is a young woman in her twenties.

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

Believe in your work. You know its value, so don’t give up because a few people thought differently. Querying can be one of the most demoralizing experiences in the world. You’ve put your heart and soul into your submission, only to have it rejected over and over again. I kept a spreadsheet of every rejection I received during this whole process. I pull it up every so often to remind myself that it only takes one person, one publisher to believe in your work as much as you do.

On a more practical note, proofread your submissions multiple times and even have a friends or family member proofread for you. A polished piece does wonders for the person on the other end of the line experiencing your work for the first time. And a catchy tagline for your book or series is always a winner!

Excellent advice. I think authors can identify with that.

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

I really struggled convincing the literary world that the cozy mystery genre was ready for a social media-savvy main character. I got a lot of rejections saying readers wouldn’t be able to understand or identify with Coco using her phone and computer to investigate her victim and suspects. I found this odd, considering my 83-year-old grandmother has a Bitmoji character. It felt like some publishers didn’t quite understand that the world had gone viral. Luckily, I found a publisher that believed in this book and believed that audiences would fall in love with Coco Cline and her squad.

Even before I started querying, I struggled with being ready, or believing my manuscript was done. Of course, it was far from done, but I eventually realized I had gone as far as I could go without help. Help from an agent, help from an editor. That was when I knew it was time to query. I needed someone else to help me take this book to the next level.

Thanks for sharing.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

As of right now, I am not involved with any writing groups. I am about as introverted as can be. A bit ironic, since I write about a main character who loves the spotlight. I tend to bounce my ideas off my beta readers.

You’re not alone in that. Many authors do the same.

 What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Every writer is a reader, first and foremost. I love sitting out on my porch with a good book. I am also an avid video gamer, lover of Broadway musicals, and swimming. I am a big movie and TV buff, as well.

Nice variety of interests.

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

What I like most about being an author is connecting with readers. I absolutely love knowing my books connect with people and bring them joy. Hearing from readers how much they enjoyed one of my books has got to be one of the best feelings in the world.

What I like least about being an author and my toughest challenge are linked together. I’m really kinda awful with my newsletter. I try to write a newsletter quarterly, but I find it really tricky to share new details. I use social media so much to connect with readers and let them know the big news, that my newsletters always felt like a regurgitation of information. To overcome this hurdle, I’ve started using my newsletter to share exclusive content regarding my books, like short stories or character profiles. Since it is a more creative outlet, I find writing those types of newsletters more enjoyable than just listing my accomplishments or upcoming release information.

I have a similar issue with my newsletters, and I really like your idea for creating interest.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love picturing myself as my heroine. It gives me the chance to live another life and have adventures I’ve not experienced. I love the warm, welcoming feeling of a cozy mystery setting. I moved around a few times growing up, so I never really had those deep bonds that cozy MC’s have with their hometowns or the places they live. I also love the idea of solving a mystery. For the longest time, I wanted to be a detective (my idol still is and will forever be Nancy Drew) so writing mysteries has become as good as solving mysteries to me.

I know the feeling. I also enjoy the writing process and becoming absorbed in my own story.

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

From Trending Topic #Murder:

I nodded, heading toward the front door, surprised by the lump forming in my throat. Not one to normally show an abundance of fragile emotion, I took a deep breath, trying to calm my nerves. As much as I wanted the horrible image of Stacy out of my head, pushing her away felt disrespectful. Adding to the fact I hardly knew her, even though I saw her every day for nearly a month, I was racked with guilt over the whole thing. If I hadn’t waited around before letting myself in, perhaps I would have thwarted her attacker, or at least taken him by surprise. Why was she alone at the store? Olivia and Peter were always there to supervise her work. How did the culprit get in and out of the store if all the doors were locked? As I slid into the driver’s seat, I realized I hadn’t yet asked myself the biggest question of them all. Who could possibly have killed her?

Great excerpt. Thank you.

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

I’m an open book! I love connecting with readers, so please feel free to reach out to me through whatever channel you enjoy best. I love posting content about my books, but also about my new dog, Eevee. She’s my first furbaby as an adult, so she is getting a lot of screen time!

Thanks so much for the interview, Sarah. I’ve shared your blog tour below. Best wishes on your new release and your forthcoming books.


Trending Topic #Murder (Trending Topic Mystery Series)
by Sarah E. Burr

About Trending Topic #Murder


Trending Topic #Murder (Trending Topic Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (September 8, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816305
ISBN-13: 978-1603816304
Digital ASIN: B08DH78VXM

Meet 28-year-old celebrity blogger Coco Cline, who has started her own social media consulting company in her hometown of Central Shores, Delaware. Her new clients, Peter and Olivia Chen, are ten days away from the grand opening of their specialty consignment shop when Coco finds their store clerk Stacy dead behind the register.

Worried that a cloud of suspicion will ruin their chances of a successful business launch, the Chens ask Coco to work alongside the inexperienced, small-town police force to speed up the investigation. Using her celebrity status and social media savviness, Coco realizes Stacy’s seemingly ordinary life was all an act. Following a trail of cryptic online posts and muddied gossip, Coco and her friends discover Stacy’s questionable relationships just might be the reason for her untimely demise.

About Sarah E. Burr

Sarah E. Burr grew up in the small town of Appleton, Maine and now lives outside New York City. Since she was seven, Sarah has wanted to be Nancy Drew, but she wasn’t stumbling across any mysteries in corporate America. Deciding it was time to follow her dreams, Sarah left her career in healthcare information technology three years ago and started writing mysteries of her own. The Trending Topic Mysteries is her first traditionally published series. Sarah also writes the Court of Mystery series.

Sarah attended Elmira College and graduated with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy & Religious Studies. She loves to weave these themes into her writing. When she’s not spinning up new stories, Ms. Burr is off seeing Broadway musicals, reading up a storm, video gaming, and enjoying walks around the city.

Author Links

Webpage: https://www.saraheburr.com

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

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahEBurr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54713602-trending-topic-murder

Purchase Links

AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 7 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

October 9 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, (SPOTLIGHT)

October 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

October 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

October 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews– REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 15 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 16 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 16 – Celticlady’s Review – SPOTLIGHT

October 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Freebies and Special Offers

Free Cozy Mystery Book October 11-15

Each week in October, a few Solstice Publishing authors are offering special sales on their books. This week, the 4th book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, Love on the Rocks, is free.

Purchase Link:  mybook.to/cc4

This is the book that introduces Kittykai, the calico who becomes Sneaky, the Siamese library cat’s, gal pal. It’s the last book before my new release of No Gravestone Unturned, Cobble Cove Mystery #5. Even though you can read all the books in the series as standalones, this is a nice chance to catch up on the characters. This book also won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association.

Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases

New Release and a Free Book

I’m excited to announce that the 5th book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, No Gravestone Unturned, has been released. Featuring a murder in a cemetery on Halloween and a family secret that goes back generations, this is a perfect October read.

Purchase link: mybook.to/CobbleCove5

Blurb

It’s October in Cobble Cove, and Alicia is busy preparing for the library’s Halloween party when she learns that John’s aunt from Florida has died and that John’s cousins and their spouses are coming to town to bury their mother. The day after the funeral, the caretaker’s son is found dead by John’s grandfather’s gravestone, from a blow on the head. The only witness seems to be Sneaky the library cat, who, having left the library, turned up at Alicia’s door with blood and dirt on him.

As Alicia, Gilly, and Sheriff Ramsay investigate, it uncovers a generation of family secrets. Is one of the guests staying at the inn a killer? Will the humans solve the crime, and can Sneaky, Kittykai, and Salem, the inn’s guest cat, team up to help?

Free October 6 – 10

mybook.to/BulletBack

With Friends Like These…

When Susan Drummond accompanies her husband, Ray, to his cabin where he goes to get away from it all and write, her friends and father become concerned that she isn’t answering her cell phone. They all decide to check in on her and find no trace of her or Ray except a newly dug grave. 

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Reviews

Review of Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

*

*****5 stars

This review appeared in the October 1, 2020 issue of Booklist..

As a big fan of Joanne Fluke’s cozy mystery series featuring cookie baker Hannah Swenson and her family in Lake Eden, Minnesota, I was thrilled to review her latest mystery, Christmas Cupcake Murder. Although part of the series, this book takes place before Hannah solves her first missing person’s case and before her mother, Delores, opens an antique store with her friend, Carrie Rhodes.

When Hannah finds an injured man on the floor of a vacant building that her mother is renting to house her antiques, she learns that he’s had a blow to the head that’s rendered him with memory loss. Determined to help the man, who seems to identify with the name “Joe” and is experienced with furniture repair and restoration, Hannah begins a search to find his family. When “Joe” befriends Freddie, the intellectually disabled man who helps at the hospital, he recalls that he has a brother with a similar condition. As Hannah follows further clues about “Joe,” she discovers that someone attempted to murder him. The mystery is finally solved by locating a recipe in a library book.

At the end of nearly every chapter of this fun story are delicious holiday recipes. There is also a handy index at the back. Don’t miss this charming cozy mystery that will also satisfy your sweet tooth.