Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Killalot, an Ivy Meadows Mystery, by Cindy Brown


When Your Subplot Just Isn’t Working…

As you can tell by the titles (Macdeath, The Sound of Murder, Oliver Twisted, Ivy Get Your Gun, The Phantom of Oz, and now Killalot) all of the Ivy Meadows mysteries are set during plays. Writing those theatrical subplots is lots of fun (they are very silly) and really tough (you try to mash The Sound of Music with Cabaret). This time around I wanted to set my mystery at a Renaissance Faire. The obvious theatre connection (and the only one, really) was Camelot. I decided to parody the show by setting it during the Kennedy era, since that time is often referred to as America’s Camelot. But try as I might, I could not make the idea work. I didn’t want to give up the Ren faire plot. What could I do?

I made the parody not work. Read on, and you’ll see what I mean:

“So I’d like to welcome you to the first rehearsal for our new musical…” John Robert spread his arms wide to the sky. “Kennelot!” Silence. He dropped his arms. “Kennelot! Get it?”

“Um,” I said, “Doesn’t that sound a little like kennel? As in dog kennel?”

“No, no, no. Don’t you see? It’s a combination of Kennedy and Camelot.”
I was pretty sure we all got it. “Now let’s talk about your characters. Of course, I want you all to research Jackie, JFK, and Marilyn respectively. Let’s talk about them as they relate to Camelot. We’ll get back to the songs tomorrow. The only ones I really have worked out so far are “Kennelot” and “I Love You, the Hell with Silence.”

“That’s a reworking of ‘I Loved You Once in Silence’? The song Guinevere sings to Lancelot?” Hayden asked.

“Exactly. But now you’re going to sing it to Marilyn.”

“But did he really love Marilyn? I mean, me?” I really hoped John Robert was serious about feedback, because I couldn’t seem to keep my mouth shut. “Wasn’t it more about sex?”

“Honey, how old are you? Do you really not know that men confuse sex with love?”

“If you’re talking to Marilyn, no, I don’t think I ever did figure it out. If you’re talking to Iv—”

“No, no, no. Stay Marilyn.”

“It does seem rather a generalization,” said Jackie. “And it’s not just men who confuse the two. Though I do think women are more likely to confuse love and romance.”

“Which brings us right back to Camelot,” John Robert said. “Since that’s precisely what Guinevere does.”

“So I’m Guinevere?” I asked. “And JFK is Lancelot?”

“Exactly,” said John Robert. “Now…”

“Wait, I thought I was Arthur,” said JFK. “Wouldn’t that make Jackie Arthur?”

“Well…oh.” John Robert’s face fell. “That’s a problem. Yes.” His tongue played with his front teeth while he was thinking. “So…Marilyn, you’re the one who destroys Camelot.”

“I’m pretty sure it was Lee Harvey Oswald.”

“In the play, you’re the one who destroys Camelot. So you’re Lancelot.”

“And I’m Guinevere?” said JFK. “I really need to be a man.”

“You are a man, darling,” said Jackie. “That’s why you’re president.”

“Okay, maybe I need to rethink that song. I’ve also been wondering about the round table…Who do you think should be invited to the table?”

“The Cabinet?” said Hayden.

“Too boring.” John Robert shook his head. “Maybe it’s full of JFK’s women?”

“Mistresses aren’t very knight-like,” I said.

“Maybe it’s the Kennedy women,” said Jackie. “You know: me, Ethel, and Joan?”

“Ooh, we could do ‘The First Ladies Who Lunch,’” John Robert said. “Maybe even use the tune from the song in Company. Do you think Sondheim would approve?”

I doubted it.

See? I think it works. What do you think?

Killalot (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
by Cindy Brown

About the Book

Killalot (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (November 15, 2018)
Hardcover: 282 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114330
ISBN-13: 978-1635114331
Paperback: 282 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114306
ISBN-13: 978-1635114300
Digital ASIN: B07H3CH4RH

A jouster, a playwright, and a detective walk into a faire…but it’s no joke when one ends up dead.

Actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows is thrilled when she learns that the famous playwright behind Hello Dolly Madison is in Arizona. Not so much when she realizes he’s a suspect in the murder of a Renaissance faire jouster.

As is her friend Riley. And about a thousand other people, all disguised in Renaissance costume during the fatal jousting match.

When Ivy is hired to investigate the killing, she goes undercover as a Cockney belly dancer at the faire and finagles her way into the playwright’s Kennedy-inspired version of Camelot—as Marilyn Monroe, no less.

Then, in the midst of her toughest case ever, Ivy has to solve another dilemma: Will she follow her lifelong dream of being an actor or settle down with the love of her life?

The murder investigation, the play, and real life come together in a twist that begs the question: Is there a happily-ever-after for anyone?

Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:

MACDEATH (#1)
THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2)
OLIVER TWISTED (#3)
IVY GET YOUR GUN (#4)
The Phantom of Oz (#5)
KILLALOT (#6)

About the Author

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

Author Links

Website & Blog: www.cindybrownwriter.com

Twitter handle: @friendlybrown

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Brown-author/288210721356802?ref=hl

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N

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November 14 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 14 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW

November 15 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

November 16 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW

November 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

November 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, Renaissance Recipe

November 20 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf– SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

November 21 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Character Guest Post and Blog Tour for Purls and Poison, a Black Sheep and Company Book 2 by Anne Canadeo

This post was contributed by Anne Canadeo. Her cozy mystery, Purls and Poison, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

PURLS & POISON VIRTUAL TOUR

Character POV – Suzanne Cavannaugh

Anne Canadeo

 Three Things I Learned from Being A Prime Suspect

Here’s some advice I hope you never have to use. But, as dear Grandma Rosa used to say, “Suzanne, you never know what’s going to happen when you wake up in the morning. For better or worse.”  Being named the prime suspect in a murder investigation definitely falls into the latter category and I am, right now, at the top of the list of some very shady characters who may have killed  my co-worker, Liza Devereaux.

How did I win this dubious honor?  Let’s just say everyone has a Liza in the office; that annoying someone who always has to one up you, poaches your clients and steals the big deals out from under your nose. All of my co-workers – the whole town, practically — knows the nasty truth about our relationship, and someone did a bang up job framing me. It’s a living nightmare and a learning experience, I have to say. Here are a few tips that might help you navigate these choppy waters—and keep you from falling overboard.

# 1) Don’t trust the police to figure it out. And keep your big mouth shut: I guess that’s two tips,  but they are connected.

I hate to talk down the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us every day. Most of the time, they do flush out the guilty party. But if I leave it to them to track down the real culprit of this crime, I’ll be trading my designer wardrobe for an orange jumpsuit in no time.

Each question the detectives pose pushes me closer to an official murder charge.  Partly my fault, since I can’t always control what pops out of my mouth. I know that women especially want to be helpful. But take it from me, the less said the better when you’re stranded in an interview room. Which brings me to my next point…

#2) Support, support, support: Find a smart lawyer. You’ve read it in books and seen it in the movies. The advice is so obvious, why even say it. Hey, it’s a cliché for a reason. Because it’s true! I struggled like a moth caught in a web until super-sharp, no nonsense attorney Helen Forbes flew to my rescue. Then I pressed a hand over my mouth while she did the talking.   (See point # 1 again.) I just hope we can hold out until the truth is discovered.

I also have the greatest family, which goes without saying. And the most amazing group of loyal and true friends, who not only love me unconditionally (while the rest of the town treats me like a soon-to-be jailbird)  but have been putting their very clever heads together 24/7 to find out who really killed Liza.  Let’s hope they can untangle this mess before my time runs out. In the meantime, I cannot neglect self-care, right? Which brings up point number three…

#3) Pamper yourself! Yes, it sounds crazy, but I am so not kidding. Don’t let all the rumors and accusations get into your DNA. You are totally innocent and you know it, even if no one else in the office, or all of Plum Harbor – except for your nearest and dearest – believe you.

Don’t hide in your house, binge on cup cakes and pizza, or dress like a bag lady. Get your hair done, have a massage and a facial or eyebrow threading while you’re at it. The best revenge is looking good, my lovelies. You have nothing to hide. Let the world know it.

The bonus to this strategy? You can and will pick up some very juicy gossip at the salon. What better place to get the low down on the desperate characters who might be involved in this dirty business.

Those are my pearls of wisdom – no pun intended. I will let you know if I wiggle out of this mess. Right now, it’s got a tighter hold on me than a pair of Spanx three sizes too small.

Wish me luck !

Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
by Anne Canadeo

About the Book


Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708636
ISBN-13: 978-1496708632
Digital ASIN: B079KT54BW

When a fellow Black Sheep Knitter is suspected of poisoning her coworker, the group puts down their needles and takes up their friend’s defense . . .

Suzanne Cavanaugh has just about had it with her office rival at Prestige Properties. It’s bad enough that Liza Devereaux is constantly needling her at work, but when she shows up at one of Suzanne’s open houses to poach potential buyers, it’s the last straw. No one in the office fails to hear the two snarling at each other.

When Liza is later found dead in her office cubicle—poisoned by a diet shake—Suzanne becomes the prime suspect. It’s soon discovered, though, that Liza had double-crossed so many around town and stashed their dark secrets in her designer handbags that anyone could be the culprit.

The Black Sheep Knitters have no doubt their friend has been framed—but they need to prove it. Stirred to action, they get together to catch a sneaky killer who’s trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes . . .

About The Author

Anne Canadeo is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, including the Black Sheep & Company Mysteries, and as Katherine Spencer, the Cape Light and Angel Island series. She somehow manages to write a lot, despite many and much loved distractions — such as digging up the garden, hanging out with her dog, trying new recipes, drinking copious amounts of mint tea, eating chocolate and volunteer work in the community. She lives in Northport, NY, a village on the Long Island Sound very much like the settings of her stories. Anne loves to hear from readers. Answering their messages is definitely another favorite distraction in her day.

Author Links

Website: annecanadeo.com
Facebooks: www.facebook.com/AnneCanadeoAuthor
Instagram: www.instagram.com/annecanadeo

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Powell Books

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November 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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November 9 – Ruff Drafts – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 11 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

November 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 16 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 18 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

November 21 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn, a Grime Pays Mystery, by Tricia L. Sanders


My To-Do List or What’s on My Horizon

Making lists is second-nature to me, and I love putting check marks next to the entries. I’ll make a list for almost anything, and if I can color-code it and turn it into a spreadsheet, even better. I have more highlighters on my desk than I have ink pens. And don’t get me started on sticky notes. My top, left desk drawer is dedicated to my sticky note collection. Not kidding! I have them in every shape, size, and color. The notes with flamingos are my favorite.

For this post though, I thought I’d share my to-do list for the next 12 months. Maybe if I get it out there in the blog-o-sphere, it will help me with accountability. Procrastination is my middle name, so the more people who know what I have on tap, the better my chances of actually getting my list completed. And yes, it is in spreadsheet form and color-coded on my laptop. Keep in mind, this is my writing to-do list. My personal to-do list is a beast all to itself.

*Book 3 in the Grime Pays Series. This is the top item on my list. It’s in rough draft stage, needs editing, and still needs a title. It’s the continuation of Cece Cavanaugh’s story and picks up the week before Thanksgiving with… a murder, of course. There’s an unexpected love twist, an ex expires, and Cece’s mother comes to visit. Oh, and someone gets a big surprise.

*Video Book Trailer for Book 2 in the Grime Pays Series, Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn. I put together one for Murder is a Dirty Business and love it so much, I want to get one together for Book 2.

*Marketing two Christmas Anthologies – Candy Canes and Corpses and Sleigh Bells and Sleuthing (coming to Amazon soon.) I have stories in both, and the stories are prequels to two new series ideas.

*Book 4 in the Grime Pays series is partially outlined. Finishing that outline is a priority.

*Outlining Book 1 in the Mattie and Mo Mystery series. This is the story that has a prequel in Sleigh Bells and Sleuthing. The series will focus on retiree couple Mattie and Mo. He’s a former Police Chief, and she’s a certified snoop.

*Outlining Book 1 in the Tropical Cozy Mystery series. This is the story prequel in Candy Canes and Corpses. This series will focus on a mother/daughter, Grace and Shelby Rutherford who inherit what they think is a working plantation but turns out to be a rundown house which includes a coffeeshop and bookstore along with a snow cone truck on an island off the coast of Florida.

As you can see, I have a busy year planned. Oh, and I’m helping my daughter relocate to the U.S. after living abroad for 4 years. That will definitely be more work than anything on my to-do list. And a lot more fun.

What’s on your agenda?

About the Book


Death, Diamonds, and Freezer Burn (Grime Pays Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Soul Mate Publishing, Inc.
Release Date – October 24, 2018
Approximately 254 pages

An unwelcome visitor, an unrequited love, and a dead body create chaos in a middle-aged woman’s plan for a productive summer.

Despite a looming divorce, an empty checkbook, and a struggling cleaning business, Cece Cavanaugh is determined to land on her own two feet. Adamant about staying a safe distance from the handsome detective who has her fantasizing about violating the morals clause in her prenuptial agreement, Cece dives headlong into her work.

Even though she has no free time to spare, Cece finds herself guilted into cleaning a hoarder’s home. Her discoveries in the condemned house are too shocking to ignore. Diamond-laden pachyderms, a secret cache of money, and a dead body lure Cece into launching an investigation that places her in direct contact with the one person she’s desperate to avoid–hunky Detective Case Alder.

With clues in hand, Cece runs down leads and eliminates suspects one by one. Her conclusion and brave accusation put a friend’s life in peril forcing Cece to hatch a plan to outsmart the killer. A daring move could either save Cece and her friend or lead to their demise.

About the Author

Tricia L. Sanders writes cozy mysteries and women’s fiction. She adds a dash of romance and a sprinkling of snark to raise the stakes. Her heroines are humorous women embarking on journeys of self-discovery all the while doing so with class, sass, and a touch of kickass.

Tricia is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

Author Links

Website: www.triciasanders.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortricialsanders/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tricialsanders

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/tricialsanders/

YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXRJSRSmTjg

Newsletter Sign Up: https://mailchi.mp/23a87d715dc3/tricia-l-sanders-sleuthscoop

Purchase Link – Amazon

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October 24 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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October 25 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

October 26 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

October 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

October 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 28 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

October 29 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

October 29 – Valerie’s Musings – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 30 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

October 30 – Laura’s Interests – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 31 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW

November 1 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 1 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

November 2 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST

November 3 – That’s What She’s Reading – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 3 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

November 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 4 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

November 5 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

November 5 – The Avid Reader – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

November 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

November 6 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Mardi Gras Murder, a Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron

A GUEST POST WITH TUG CROZAT

Hi there, y’all, I’m Tug Crozat. You’re probably more familiar with my daughter, Maggie, but I thought I’d drop by and fill you in on what all’s going on these days at Crozat Plantation B&B.

Mardi Gras is a huge deal in Louisiana. Maggie once bought me a joke Christmas sweatshirt that said, “Happy Almost Mardi Gras.” Yup, that’s kind of how we think of it around here. The part of the year that isn’t Carnival Season basically serves as a lead-up to Carnival Season.

The literal translation of “Mardi Gras” is “Fat Tuesday.” It’s the last day you really get let loose before Lent starts. Let me tell you a little about how we celebrate here in our little village of Pelican, Louisiana. (Town motto: “Yes, We Peli-CAN!”) Yes, we have a parade with floats and throws like beads and doubloons. We also have several Courir de Mardi Gras. That means “Mardi Gras Run.” Folks dress up in these colorful costumes and wear handmade masks. Each courir has a capitaine, who keeps the group in line as much as possible as they go from house to house to cajole ingredients for a communal gumbo out of agreeable residents. The Mardi Gras – yup, here it’s a proper noun as well as a holiday name – sing, dance, and beg to get those ingredients. Then everyone comes together at one location where the communal gumbo is made and served. (Nowadays, a lot of the ingredient-gathering is purely ceremonial because the gumbo’s pre-made by local cooks to save time.)

In Pelican, we have a big Mardi Gras party once the Courirs show up with their ingredients. There’s a pageant queen, dancing, and my favorite part of the whole deal – the Gumbo Cookoff. Yup, in addition to the communal gumbo, there’s a whole contest for making it. A lot of men in our village love to cook, and the only thing we like cooking better than jambalaya is gumbo. I always make mine a big old cast iron pot that’s so important to me I store it in our family safe between competitions. It’s been handed down to Crozat men from one generation to another. Nobody knows how old it is, but boy, do I love that baby. Maggie, who’s an only child, jokes that while some of her friends had to compete with a sibling for attention, she had to compete with a black pot. (That’s what we call them – black pots.)

I always spend the week before Mardi Gras fixing up batches of my gumbo, making sure I have the right ingredients handy, doing a little fine tuning of the recipe, which I also keep in the safe. Like the black pot, that recipe’s been handed down through the family for generations, and Crozat men have won the Pelican Mardi Gras gumbo contest more times than I can count. I got my eye on the prize again for this year.

I can’t imagine anything going wrong. Can you?

Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

About the Book


Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 168331705X
ISBN-13: 978-1683317050
Digital ASIN: B078LZ5W3H

Southern charm meets the dark mystery of the bayou as a hundred-year flood, a malicious murder, and a most unusual Mardi Gras converge at the Crozat Plantation B&B.

It’s Mardi Gras season on the bayou, which means parades, pageantry, and gumbo galore. But when a flood upends life in the tiny town of Pelican, Louisiana—and deposits a body of a stranger behind the Crozat Plantation B&B—the celebration takes a decidedly dark turn. The citizens of Pelican are ready to Laissez les bon temps rouler—but there’s beaucoup bad blood on hand this Mardi Gras.

Maggie Crozat is determined to give the stranger a name and find out why he was murdered. The post-flood recovery has delayed the opening of a controversial exhibit about the little-known Louisiana Orphan Train. And when a judge for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant is shot, Maggie’s convinced the murder is connected to the body on the bayou. Does someone covet the pageant queen crown enough to kill for it? Could the deaths be related to the Orphan Train, which delivered its last charges to Louisiana in 1929? The leads are thin on this Fat Tuesday—and until the killer is unmasked, no one in Pelican is safe.

A simmering gumbo of a humorous whodunit, Mardi Gras Murder is the fourth piquant installment in USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s award-winning Cajun Country mysteries.

About the Author

Ellen Byron authors the Cajun Country Mystery series. A Cajun Christmas Killing and Body on the Bayou both won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery and were nominated for Agatha awards in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. Plantation Shudders was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Mardi Gras Murder launches October 9th. Ellen’s TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles, and her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. She also worked as a cater-waiter for the legendary Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing.

Author Links:

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NCrooked LaneBookBubKobo

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October 23 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 24 – Lisa KS Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

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October 25 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW

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October 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

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October 29 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 29 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 30 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 30 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 31 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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November 1 – Island Confidential – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 1 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

November 2 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Murder in the Museum, an Edmund Decleryk Mystery by Karen Shughart

Blog by Karen Shughart, Author, Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery

What is it About Cozies?

Merriam Webster’s definition of the word “cozy”:

Enjoying or affording warmth and ease; marked by or providing contentment or comfort; marked by the intimacy of the family or a close group. 

When I decided to write my first mystery, Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery, there was no question that it would be a Cozy. I had no idea what the market was for this type of book even though my own reading preferences lean heavily to the genre, and then I learned how large the market is. There are bloggers, private and public Facebook groups, book groups that support Cozy authors and books, and of course thousands and thousands of readers.

So, what is it about Cozies that people like? I can’t speak for everyone, but here’s my observation: Many of us like Cozies because they transport us to a gentler and more peaceful world where the characters are polite, courtesy and civility reign, there are no explicit adult scenes, violence or gratuitous language, and the sleuth always solves the crime. And there’s typically a diverse and close-knit community of quirky and interesting characters who get together for meals, and for family and community gatherings.

Many of us Cozy fans either grew up when life was a bit more orderly or, if we didn’t, we long for a time that is. We are overwhelmed by the constant stream of news about a violent and unstable world where something disastrous occurs every day. Cozies help us escape from the realities of the world and transport us to a time and place where certainly there’s good and evil, but good always prevails.

I’ve heard that Cozies are a women’s genre, that many men aren’t interested in them because they don’t feature macho sleuths who frequently sacrifice personal relationships to get the job done. In contrast, comfortable, companionable relationships abound in Cozies. What I’ve learned is that many men do like Cozies, once they are introduced to the genre.  My husband, brothers, male relatives and even friends who work in the field of criminal justice as sheriffs, commanders, and deputies read Cozies, but what they expect is a plot that makes sense, well-developed characters, and a somewhat realistic investigation. Don’t we all?

I’ve been struck by something else. Since writing the novel I’ve met many avid Cozy readers in person and online. Despite the size of this group, it’s a close-knit community of unfailing kind women and men who not only enjoy reading the genre but seem to live their own lives treating others as they would like to be treated.

A new online friend, a Cozy lover and blogger, recently was the victim of an astonishingly cruel incident of unprovoked verbal abuse at a local shopping center. This lovely and beautiful woman posted about her experience to her community of Cozy readers and within seconds received messages of support, encouragement and love that continued for several days. While haunted and sickened by what my friend had been subjected to, I was incredibly grateful for the kind messages she received from the Cozy community, which hopefully helped her recover from the disturbing and hateful attack. I’m getting the picture that Cozy readers are cozy people, by and large.

So, what is it about Cozies that draw me and so many others to the genre? Just about everything- good writing, intriguing plot, great characters, for sure- but also because Cozies expose us to a world that many of us prefer and appreciate, a world where people are kind, good prevails, and we’re not constantly assaulted with one disaster after another. Escapism? Maybe. But what’s so bad about that?

Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery
by Karen Shughart

About the Book


Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (February 13, 2018)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1946063509
ISBN-13: 978-1946063502
Digital ASIN: B07CF74JHQ

Early one gray November morning, retired Lighthouse Cove, NY police chief, Edmund DeCleryk, finds Emily Bradford’s body on the beach at the base of the bluff where the local museum and historical society stands. At the same time, a break-in has been reported at the museum, and Emily’s coat and purse are found hanging on a peg in the museum’s gift shop where she worked. Was her death the result of a burglary gone bad or something more sinister?

When the police chief is called out of town for a family emergency, he hires Ed, now working as a criminal consultant, to assist deputy police chief, Carrie Ramos, with the murder investigation. After several leads don’t pan out, the chief, now back in Lighthouse Cove, decides to close the case. Confident that with more time the murder can be solved, Ed is determined to continue investigating on his own, with encouragement from his wife, Annie the museum’s executive director.

One morning while in the basement of the museum, the couple discovers a copy of a map dated 1785, and Ed’s instincts tell him it may be connected to Emily’s death. On a hunch, he and Annie travel to Toronto, Canada, where he learns of the original map and a manuscript written in 1847 that were unearthed during an archaeological dig. The manuscript contains information about a ship that capsized during a fierce storm on Lake Ontario — in 1785. Now Ed has clues as to why the murder occurred, but he still doesn’t know who committed the crime. Or does he?

About the Author

Karen Shughart received a B.A. in Comprehensive Literature from the University of Pittsburgh and completed graduate courses in English at Shippensburg University.

She is the author of two non-fiction books and has worked as an editor, publicist, photographer, journalist, teacher and non-profit executive. A Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery is her first work of fiction.

Before moving to a small village on the shores of Lake Ontario in upstate New York, she and her husband resided in south central Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg, PA. For more information, visit her website: www.karenshughart.com.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.karenshughart.com

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

Blog: https://ladiesofmystery.com/karenshughart

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2094018.Karen_Shughart

Hometown Reads/Rochester Reads: https://hometownreads.com/books/murder-in-the-museum

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-shughart-738970161/

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

October 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 11 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE

October 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

October 15 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 16 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Varietats – REVIEW

October 18 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

October 20 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

October 21 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

October 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

October 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Books, Guest Post

Guest Post about Fascinating Books by Melisa Marzett

Fascinating books, you might have never heard of

 Reading is probably the most wonderful activity we have ever encountered and the choice we have is impressive. There are plenty of genres and every reader can find something to his/her taste. However, as a rule, people pay much attention to the famous novels such as “Fahrenheit 451”, “The Great Gatsby”, “The Green Mile” etc. That’s why this list will include less propagated books but interesting nevertheless.

The Song of Solomon” by Tony Morrison

Macon is a seeker who wants to finally understand who he is and show what he is made of. Macon Pomer is a child from a wealthy family intended to find out more about the history of his family and his heritage. At the beginning, he just wants to find the treasure hidden by his father but then he is more intended to disclose the mystery of his family. He wants to know what kind of people the member of his family was. In the course of his adventure, he realizes that there is nothing more important and precious than his family regardless all their odds. Since Tony Morrison is a representative of an African American, besides the ideas of love, she also highlights the problems of prejudice and infringing of black people. It perfectly shows the nature of human relationships within the family and society in general. Since Tony Morrison is a Nobel Prize winner her books including this one are worth reading.

The house of mirth by Edith Wharton

She is said to be named a “Lev Tolstoy in the skirt” thanks to this novel. Her masterpiece the novel “The Age of Innocence” was awarded by the Pulitzer Prize and filmed by Martin Scorsese. The house of mirth is the place where the hearts of the fools are being kept, according to the Book of Ecclesiastes. New York at the turn of the century is most likely the house of mirth, the golden age where the young and beautiful Lily Barth, who rejects marriage proposals by means of which her family can win back their place in the society and their wealth. Is it reasonable for her to seek for the true love or it will only lead to her self-destruction?

 “Runaway” by Alice Munroe

She is a Canadian writer, the winner of the Nobel Prize in 2013, as “the master of modern short prose,” and Man Booker International Prize in 2009 for a lifetime contribution to the literature and was named a “Chekhov of our time”. This is one of the most prominent works or her life. This is a story about a woman who was trapped in a bad marriage and then she decided to run away and change her life.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers stands alongside such titans of modern American literature as William Faulkner, Erskine Caldwell, Flannery O’Connor, Harper Lee, as a representative of the “Southern Gothic”. The author is twice a laureate of the Guggenheim Foundation (in 1942 and 1946), the winner of the Henry Bellamann Prize for his outstanding contribution to the literature. “This is a psychological novel telling about the relationships between two deaf-mute friends. The main heroes are the following: a tomboy Mick, an alcoholic and agitator Jack, and Biff Brennom, the owner of a bar and Dr. Benedict Copeland, a black psychiatrist idealist.

The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

The author is the winner of the Booker Prize. In her world, women are numb, they can’t have property, work and love, read or write. They are considered to be blind machines created to born children and serve. This is another good representative of dystopian novels you probably never heard of.

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain

What is the meaning of a successful person that our society tries to make us believe? This is a strong optimistic and communicative person ready to continue moving forward no matter what. Susan Kane tries to convince us that introverts are no worse than extroverts and capable of dealing with complex tasks. Moreover, there are certain peculiarities of introverts’ features that even more beneficial than extroverts’ ones.

Just Kids” by Patti Smith

Patty Smith is an American rock singer and poetess, a friend and a favorite model of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. In her memoirs she perfectly and accurately described New York in the late sixties and early seventies, the atmosphere of Andy Warhol’s Factory and the Chelsea hotel, meetings with great writers and legendary musicians and perfectly combines it with the history of her growing up as one of the greatest representatives of her generation.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This novel has no racial, gender of age borders. It should be written just as a very interesting representative of a modern literature. This is an amazing love story of Hazel Grace, a sixteen-year-old girl suffering from thyroid cancer, and Augustus, a seventeen-year-old boy, she meets at the support group meetings. Hazel gives Augustus the book “The Royal Illness” by Peter Van Houten. Having finished reading it, Augustus is upset since he considers the novel not to be finished. He sends a letter to the writer. Van Hooten responds that he can tell about the end of the story only face to face. Hazel Grace, her mother, and Augustus go to Amsterdam to meet Peter Van Houten. However, this man appeared to be a drunkard who wants to ruin their fantasies about this book but it didn’t stop them from spending a wonderful vacation in Amsterdam.

The State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Brave and risky girl Marina Singh is looking for a miracle, and her intuition tells her that it is within the jungles of the Amazon. She will succeed but her adventures will show her different shades of truth.

The Portrait of a Lady” by Henry James

Henry James is an acknowledged classic of American literature, and ” The Portrait of a Lady” is one of James’s best novels. This novel is about the price we pay for the mistakes and misfortunes. The main character Isabel being a fortuneless young girl in Europe, denies quite worthy contenders for the hand, and having received a fortune, falls in love with rogue Osmond. He marries her only to ensure the decent life of his illegitimate daughter of Pansy, born by a courtesan. Illusions crumble, there is no hope of happiness, but brave Isabel overrides all the misfortunes that have fallen on her shoulders.

The feminine mystique by Betty Friedan

This book is about the time when women were considered only a part of the family rather than a full-fledged member of society. They were obliged to follow strict rules and be nothing like a trophy for a man. “The feminine mystique” must be read by every woman. It is a manifestation of women’s laborious movement as a part of the world culture. In this book, Friedan analyzed a similar social process that took place in postwar America. By means of her analysis, she manages to name the main reasons that triggered this process. With impressive passion, Friedan accuses everyone including sociologists and psychologists, professors and politicians that always try to convince that the role of a woman is a family keeper. She states that attitude deprives women of the opportunity to show their talents and skills and be whatever they want to be. Since instead, they are nothing more but housewives. Despite the fact that this book caused a lot of debates and critics, it became a bestseller almost at once.

Lyric Contingencies” by Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens

She was brave, she was young,  her poetry was interesting compared with one of the man-authors of her time who was boring to read. Unfortunately, she became renowned postmortally.  The first collection of her poems was published in 1890, and without corrections and editing in the fifties of the twentieth century. Emily Dickinson is considered one of the most important figures in the world of poetry thanks to her contribution to the American poetry and worldwide. Moreover, she is one of the most read American authors even today.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

The author has written this book for fifteen years. The book has a very twisted storyline and includes the filming of “Cleopatra” with Elizabeth Taylor in a small Italian town and the television shows of modern America. The lives of the main heroes are weirdly intertwined and continue developing from the 1960s to our days. Everyone has his own role, which they perform brilliantly. The lovers, husbands and wives, dreamers and cynics, stars and losers. stolen love, broken and cured hearts and amiable characters.

Obviously, most of the very popular books were dismissed and there is a strong reason for doing that. You’ve already heard so much about them. It definitely won’t be interesting to read about them again trying to recall the characters and the storylines you’ve already heard about so much. These books are far less famous but they are very interesting and peculiar nevertheless since most of them are based on a personal experience of each author and it will be easy to find wisdom we are all seeking for on the pages of these ones.

About the author: The author of this essay and a great book lover is Melisa Marzett. She did her best to share with you her reading experience and interesting books. By means of her knowledge, experience and writing skills she writes a custom essay. Currently, she works as a freelance writer on http://livecustomwriting.com. If you need help with your writing assignment, she is available online 24/7.

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for The Perfect Body, A Professor Molly Mystery by Frankie Bow

This post was contributed by author Frankie Bow. Her cozy mystery, The Perfect Body, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Book Cover Design and the Danger of Assuming

When I sent out The Perfect Body to my beta readers, I expected feedback and maybe even a little pushback. Professor Molly has just had a baby, and the story contains some graphic elements of postpartum life.

To my relief, no one was offended by descriptions of soggy breast pads or diaper explosions. But one reader had a strong opinion about the cover:

She hated the rat.

Uh-oh. Was this going to be a problem? Maybe the rat didn’t look enough like a lab rat because it was more brownish-gray than white. (A truly white rat would have disappeared against the white clipboard.)

I went to one of the Facebook groups I belong to, Save our Cozies, for advice. Save our Cozies is a community of passionate, outspoken cozy mystery enthusiasts.

Dear cozy-savers, I pleaded, I need your help! I got feedback from one beta reader that the creature on the cover was too vermin-y and gross. Does the redesign (with the standing rodent) fix it?

I expected to get some straightforward feedback from my fellow cozy-savers, and I was not disappointed.

The original rat was not popular. Readers thought it was “creepy,” and some even shared that they had a phobia of rats.

Maybe a cuter rodent would be better—a wee mouse, perhaps?

The little standing mouse had a few positive comments, and was definitely seen as cuter than the rat.

But overall, the rodents didn’t get a lot of love. Quite a few people said they wouldn’t even pick up a book with a rodent on the cover.

My beta reader, it turns out, was on to something.

Well then, how about a cover with no critters? This is nice, right?

Sure, but there was another problem now. Without a critter to draw the eye, the cover was too plain.

What design element would fit the composition of the book cover, and make people think of laboratory research? I asked my husband (who is an actual scientist) for ideas. He suggested I fill the space with a syringe and needle.

I thought that might be a bit much for a cozy, but I decided to give it a try.

We were down to hibiscus-only versus hibiscus and needle.

With only two cover designs to choose from, I enlisted the (free!) site, helpmechooseacover.com and invited the Save our Cozies members to vote.

The winner was hibiscus and needle, which got over 70% of the votes.

So what did I learn?

1) Don’t assume everyone shares your taste.

2) A lot of cozy readers really, really dislike mice and rats (which might by why they love cats so much).

3) “The Hibiscus and Needle” would be an intriguing name for a pub.

About the Book


The Perfect Body (Professor Molly Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Hawaiian Heritage Press
Release Date – September 30, 2018
Print Length: 203 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GVRPNLY

When Professor Molly attends Mahina State University’s exclusive donor dinner, she doesn’t expect to have to share a table with the insufferable Stephen Park. Turns out it’s one thing to invite your toxic ex-boyfriend to drop dead…it’s quite another when he takes you up on it.

About the Author

Like Professor Molly, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Author Links

Twitter https://twitter.com/Frankie_Bow

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7809288.Frankie_Bow

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

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/frankie.bow.1

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

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

Tumblr http://frankiebow.tumblr.com/

RSS Feed https://frankiebow.com/feed/

Purchase Links

Purchase link books2read.com/PerfectBody

Links to all platforms will be there.

Amazon

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 1 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

October 2 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 4 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

October 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 6 – Babs Book Bistro – RECIPE POST

October 7 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 9 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

October 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good BookREVIEW

October 12 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter for the blog tour’s giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/317ab7c621/