Posted in Cozy Mysteries, Dogs, New Releases

Spotlight for Disorderly Conduct (A Maggie McDonald Mystery) by Mary Feliz

Disorderly Conduct (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
by Mary Feliz

About the Book

Disorderly Conduct (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 10, 2018)
Print Length: 233 pages
ASIN: B076GNYKM8

Professional organizer Maggie McDonald manages to balance a fastidious career with friends, family, and a spunky Golden Retriever. But add a fiery murder mystery to the mix, and Maggie wonders if she’s finally found a mess even she can’t tidy up . . .

With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for a rapid evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover the body of her best friend Tess Olmos’s athletic husband—whose untimely death was anything but accidental. And as Tess agonizes over the whereabouts of her spouse’s drop-dead gorgeous running mate, she becomes the prime suspect in what’s shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts through clues in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. But when her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?

About the Author

Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises competed in whaleboat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.

Author Links:

Website: www.maryfeliz.com

Blog: www.maryfeliz.com/blog/

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

https://www.facebook.com/mary.feliz.581

Twitter: @maryfelizauthor

Kirkus: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/author/mary-feliz/preview/

Purchase Links:

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Posted in Authors, Books, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Dogs

Cozy Chat with Kassandra Lamb

cozycatpicImage00005My  cozy chat guest today is Kassandra Lamb about her  Marcia and Buddy cozy mystery series.

Hi, Kassandra. 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 Marcia and Buddy series? What gave you the idea for it?

I’m a retired psychotherapist and all of my books have psychological themes. I have another series that has 8 books and 4 novellas in it. I was starting to run low on ideas and inspiration for that series (although I will always love those characters). Then I read an article about service dogs for PTSD sufferers and I thought that would make a great series, with a protagonist who trains these dogs for combat veterans with PTSD.

Developing Marcia’s character has been challenging. She’s a thirty-something divorcee with a bit of snark in her personality, and yet she is dedicated to her dogs and to helping her veteran clients. And that’s how she ends up getting sucked into the messes in their lives.

ToKillALabrador PROMO FINALIn Book 1, To Kill A Labrador, Marcia (pronounced Mar-see-a, not Marsha) is called in to dog-sit Buddy, a Black Labrador who was the first dog she trained. His owner, a former Marine, has been arrested for murdering his wife. Marcia ends up trying to clear him and almost gets herself and Buddy killed in the process.

Book 2, Arsenic and Young Lacy is about to be released. It’s available now for preorder for $1.99  until 9/5/16. Book 1 in the series is currently on sale for $0.99 through 9/3. (Both are regularly $3.99)

That’s terrific, Kassandra. I’m a librarian and so is the protagonist in my Cobble Cove mystery series. I also like to get into the minds of my characters, and in my upcoming standalone, I deal a lot with psychological issues. I have to admit, though, that I’m a cat lover. However, I do have a dog as well  a cat in both “A Stone’s Throw” and its sequel, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” that is coming out this fall.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new release planned soon? If so, please provide details about it. Is it part of the series or the start of something else or a standalone?

ArsenicAndYoungLacy FINALI just finished Arsenic and Young Lacy (Book 2). It’s now available for preorder. Here’s the blurb:

Sweet, adorable Lacy has stolen Marcia Banks’ heart, but money is tight. Like it or not, the service dog trainer needs to complete the human phase of the training and deliver the dog to her new owner in order to get paid. But the ex-Army nurse-client turns out to be a challenging trainee. On top of her existing neuroses–which go beyond the psychological damage from a sexual assault during her second tour in Afghanistan–the veteran is now being stalked.

When Marcia  receives a bizarre warning to stay away from her client and Lacy is also caught in the stalker’s malicious orbit, Sheriff Will Haines steps in to investigate. Marcia finds this both endearing and annoying, especially when he expects her to stay on the sidelines. The training fee would make her solvent again, but how can she put her dogs at risk?

Maybe Marcia should be more worried about herself since the stalker has decided to pay her off in a very different way.

Sounds wonderful. There’s a stalker in “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” although the stalker is not central to the plot.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

I only write mysteries but I do write in several subgenres. Some of my books would qualify as romantic suspense and I’ve even written a thriller.

But recently I’ve really gotten into cozies. They’re fun to write!

Yes, cozies are fun to both read and write. I had originally considered “A Stone’s Throw” to be romantic suspense, but my reviewers considered it a cozy, and so I wrote another even cozier than the first. My upcoming book is going to be quite different.  I consider it a psychological thriller.

How did you get started in writing?

I’ve always loved to write. I wrote professional articles and edited a newsletter during my career as a psychotherapist. I even enjoyed writing test questions when I was teaching college, something most professors hate.

But becoming a published author of fiction seemed like an unreachable dream when I was younger. I had a manuscript going, but I could never seem to get past the fifth chapter. I just kept rewriting the beginning of the story.

Then when I retired, I finally started working on that manuscript in earnest, and once I got rolling, there was no stopping me.               

I still sit back in wonder occasionally and contemplate the turn my life has taken. Dreams really can come true if you work at it.

Nice story. I also edited my college paper and graduate school newsletter. I agree completely that dreams are attainable if you don’t give up on them.

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

Never give up on your dream. Keep writing, taking classes, learning your craft. Eventually, your words will find an audience. And it’s never too late. I published my first book at age 59.

That’s inspiring. Although I wrote articles since I was in my 30’s, I didn’t publish my first book until I was in my 40’s, and, although I’m not retired yet, I’m just really getting going now in my 50’s.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

Reading mostly, and on Fridays, I act like the retiree I’m supposed to be. I go to the local senior center and play cards.

Those are both good ways to relax.

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

My stories are definitely character-driven. I love creating “people” (maybe I have a touch of a God complex 😉 ) and I try to make my characters interesting and realistic. I get good feedback about them from readers, so I must be fairly successful most of the time.

I also write character-driven stories.

Can you please share with us the buy links for your books and your social media links?

BUY LINKS for To Kill A Labrador

AMAZON US:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DFPXDVY

AMAZON UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/To-Kill-Labrador-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01DFPXDVY

AMAZON CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01DFPXDVY

APPLE: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1097155186

KOBO:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/to-kill-a-labrador

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-kill-a-labrador-kassandra-lamb/1123596038

BUY LINKS for Arsenic and Young Lacy

AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KNEJ8ZA

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KNEJ8ZA

AMAZON CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01KNEJ8ZA

AMAZON AUS:  https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01KNEJ8ZA

APPLE:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/arsenic-and-young-lacy/id1145590139

KOBO:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/arsenic-and-young-lacy

BARNES & NOBLE:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arsenic-and-young-lacy-kassandra-lamb/1124413006

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/KassandraLamb

FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/kassandralambauthor

PINTEREST:  http://www.pinterest.com/kassandralamb/

GOODREADS:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5624939.Kassandra_Lamb

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Kassandra-Lamb/e/B006NB5WAI/

UK AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B006NB5WAI/

Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Kassandra, and best of luck to you on your current and future books.

 

 

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

Cozy Chat with Carolyn Haines

cozycatpicAlthough I consider myself a romantic suspense author and fan, I also used to be an avid reader of cozy mysteries especially those featuring cats. For those of you who also share that interest, I will be featuring Cozy Chats with cozy mystery authors on this blog. If you are an author who writes a cozy series and would like to participate in a future Cozy Chat, please contact me.

My second Cozy Chat author is Carolyn Haines who I spoke with about her cozy Christmas e-short story “Jingle Bones” from her Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series.

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

rock-a-bye bones jacket revisejingle bones cover

Can you tell us a little bit about the Sarah Booth Delaney Series? What gave you the idea for it? 

I had finished a two-book contract with Dutton, and I was sitting at my computer watching my horses graze, thinking about ideas for a book. I heard these two women bickering. One was really bossy. I sat down and started typing their conversation, because I knew I’d been gifted with a story to tell. As it turned out, one character was Sarah Booth Delaney, who’d returned to Zinnia, Mississippi, after a failed career on Broadway. The other was Jitty, a 150-year-old ghost from the Civil War era. Jitty functions as Sarah Booth’s conscience. 

In an effort to save Dahlia House, Sarah Booth’s home, she takes a case investigating a wealthy man who everyone believes killed is mother when he was a young boy. And so THEM BONES was the first in what turned out to be a mystery series.

What about Jingle Bones, can you tell us a bit about that? I understand it’s a short mystery only available digitally?

Oh yes. Two very bad young boys, Lord Darcy and Heathcliff. Are accused of stealing the baby Jesus from a church manger scene. The goal is to keep them out of the Christmas pageant because they are so disruptive. But the boys extract their own brand of revenge and Sarah Booth and Tinkie are in the middle of it. It’s on sale now, and people can purchase it from Amazon.

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

Write what you love. This is too much work to write about characters you don’t love. After nearly two decades writing about Sarah Booth and the Zinnia gang, they are close friends. I enjoy spending time with them, and it’s a good thing because they’re a big part of my daily life. Read good writers, study the craft, and revise, revise, revise.

I agree completely. I grew so fond of my characters in A Stone’s Throw that I’ve started a sequel. I’m not sure if it will turn into a series, but I think it has at least one or two more possibilities.

What are you currently working on?

I’m editing ROCK-A-BYE BONES, which will be the 16th Sarah Booth mystery. It will be released in May, 2016, by St. Martin’s Press. And I’m finishing the first book in a new series, a paranormal/historical/mystery, which I’m very excited about.

That sounds wonderful. Maybe we can schedule another chat to discuss that.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Yes, I write darker crime stories (under Carolyn Haines) and I also write horror as R.B.Chesterton.

I didn’t know that. I know you also used to write under Carolyn Burnes for your “Fear Familiar” series, one of my favorites because I love cat mysteries. I understand you may be reprinting some of those. Can you share a few details about that? Also, can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I am working to bring the first Familiar book back into print and digital. I’ll probably re-publish under Carolyn Haines.

I grew up in a family of journalists, and I’ve written for publication since I was very young. I’ve always been a big reader, and I loved Southern writers. I was greatly influenced by Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and Doris Betts. I wrote short stories and in a strange turn of events, obtained a literary agent who told me to write a novel. I thought it was nuts, but I had a story I really wanted to tell, so I gave it a try.

Most of the authors I speak with have also been writing since they were young including myself. All of us also love to read.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I rescue animals, and I run a small sanctuary on a farm where I live. I have horses, cats, and dogs. And I work hard to raise awareness for the need to spay and neuter companion pets. Last year Good Fortune Farm Refuge sold cookbooks based on the Bones characters and we raised money to spay/neuter over 100 animals. There are so many unwanted animals who needlessly suffer and die. It doesn’t have to be this way. And I also teach fiction writing at a university. I like to stay busy.

How awesome. I have great respect for animal rescuers. It’s a tough but very rewarding job.

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

I am a terribly practical joker. I love to torment my friends. But I’m also a good friend.

My website is www.carolynhaines.com

 Great info. I will check out your website. Thank you so much for joining us on Cozy Chat today, and good luck with all your writing projects and animal rescue work.

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Cats, Characters, Dogs

Interview with My Characters

interviewblogpostI decided to interview six characters from my upcoming novel, “A Stone’s Throw.” I conducted the interviews at the Cobble Cove Library, the main setting of the book. The people interviewed were:

Alicia Fairmont – Protagonist of “A Stone’s Throw.” She is forty-two, a librarian, and the widow of Peter Fairmont.

John McKinney – The newspaper publisher of the Cobble Cove Courier. He is forty-five, a widower, and Alicia’s new love interest in the novel.

Sheila Whitehead – The fifty-two year old director of the Cobble Cove library.

Jonathan McKinney, Sr. (Mac) – The eighty-year old founder of the Cobble Cove library who is semi-retired. He is John’s father.

Sneaky Cat – The Siamese library cat at Cobble Cove Library.

Fido – John and Mac’s old Golden retriever.

I asked all six the following three questions:

Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favorite and least favorite part of the book?

Why do you think Debbie chose you as a character in “A Stone’s Throw?”

What other characters did you like and dislike in the book?

The four humans sat around a table in the reading room of the Cobble Cove Library. Sneaky, the library cat, was in his cat bed by the Local History section, and Fido was at Mac’s side.

As the lead character, Alicia answered first. She shook her long, chestnut hair away from her face and paused as she considered my questions. “It’s hard not to give away spoilers, but I would say one of my favorite parts of the book was when John took me up to Cobble Point and showed me the view of the town and the cove. I think I started falling in love with him then.  As far as my least favorite part of the book, I think it was when I discovered something that implicated John in my husband’s murder, but I can’t elaborate on that without giving away too much of the plot.”

“I think Debbie chose me because I’m a librarian like she is, and I know authors prefer to write about what they know. I liked most of the townspeople in “A Stone’s Throw,” although it was hard to get to know Dora, the innkeeper, and Casey, the diner owner, at first. I also had mixed feelings about Sheila. The character I think I disliked the most was Detective Ramsay. He took the definition of ‘Bad’ cop a bit too far.”

Next up was John. He smiled, showing the dimple in his left cheek. “I really loved showing Alicia the town and walking around Dora’s garden at the inn. It was really fun to paint with her, too. I hated it when I had to admit my relationship with Tina, and it really hurt me when Alicia stopped trusting me.”

“Debbie probably chose me because I’m so good looking. Just joking. She needed a love interest for Alicia, and I filled the bill. It also helped that I was a newspaper publisher and was also dabbling at writing a mystery. I guess I was Debbie’s other half. Alicia was the librarian, and I was the writer.”

“I try to get along with most people, but Detective Ramsay really tried my patience.”

Sheila answered after John. She tossed her flaming red hair over her shoulder and kicked her boots out from under the table. “I liked showing my strength when I shoveled my walk with John after the snowstorm. I also really enjoyed having tea and chatting with Alicia when we were snowbound at the library. I didn’t like when I realized some of the stupid mistakes I’d made.”

“Debbie probably picked me because I was such a strong character, and I was close to John in a platonic way. I also didn’t like Detective Ramsay, and I almost told him where to shove it (excuse my language). I found Betty, the homebound, a bit exasperating, too, but I felt sorry for her.”

Sneaky meowed when it was his turn to “talk.” He jumped out of his cat bed and joined the group. “I liked the part where I got to sleep with Alicia and helped her find one of the big clues in the book. I didn’t like it when Alicia and John left me alone, and Mac forgot to feed me.”

“My cat sixth-sense tells me Debbie picked me for her book because I’m Siamese like her cat, Oliver. She also loves to write about cats and is even a member of the Cat Writer’s Association.”

“I didn’t like Sheila that much because she never wanted to clean my litter box and always left it up to Mac or John and even had Alicia do it.”

Fido barked for his turn. “I loved when John put me on the mission that was the pivotal point in the plot, but I can’t give that away. I didn’t like it when Alicia and Sheila doubted I was dog enough to help them because of my age.”

“I liked John and Mac the best because they were my owners. I didn’t like Detective Ramsay. He smelled bad literally.”

“I’d wager a bone that Debbie chose me because she had to consider the dog loving readers out there, but I also know that she likes all animals, even though she is partial to cats.”

Mac tapped his cane. “Don’t forget about me.  I loved the part where I told Alicia that things happen for a reason. That was the best line in the book. I didn’t like when John confronted me about issues in my past that forced me to reveal some things I’d done when I was young.”

“I would figure Debbie gave me a role in her book because I had the most experience and, if I wasn’t the smartest, at least I was the one who had the most sense.”

“The character I liked the most was John because he was my only son. I also grew to like Alicia a bunch. Sheila and I sometimes rubbed one another the wrong way, but I respected her. Ramsay was a rude guy, but he was only trying to do his job. Faraday was a lot nicer if you like cops.”

As the interview wrapped up, I thanked all the characters and told them I’d try being gentle when I edited their parts.