Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mysteries, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Died in the Wool, A Whiskey Business Mystery, by Melinda Mullet

Melinda Mullet – Died in the Wool Blog Tour

Alright, I’ll admit it — I have a borderline obsession with sheep.

I adore them. They are essentially overgrown dogs with the sweetest ruminative faces and tails that can wag when they are pleased to see you. In all honesty, I’ve tried to convince my husband that raising sheep in rural New Zealand is a viable retirement plan for the two of us. I mean you have to love a country where sheep outnumber humans by 7 to 1. But, so far he isn’t going for it.

Sheep are amazing animals. Consider the following fun facts offered up by Dave Thomas, retired head of sheep studies at the University of Wisconsin. (Yes, that is a legitimate occupation and perhaps my next career move if this writing thing doesn’t pan out.) Dave tells us that:

  • Sheep have very good memories. They can remember at least 50 individual sheep and humans for years. (Better than most humans I know.)
  • Sheep have rectangular pupils that give them amazing peripheral vision that helps to keep them safe from predators. The field of vision is somewhere between 270 and 320 degrees. (Humans average a mere 155 degrees.)
  • Some sheep are gay. (No, really.) While there are instances of homosexuality in almost all animal species, sheep are the only animals besides humans that show a same-sex preference for life. In any flock up to 8% of males prefer other males.
  • Woodrow Wilson kept a flock of sheep on the White House lawn during World War I to keep the grass trimmed as a cost-cutting measure and to show support for the war effort.
  • Sheep can display emotions usually reflected in the position of their ears. They can feel stress and isolation and will show signs of depression similar to humans.
  • Contrary to popular belief, sheep are extremely intelligent animals capable of problem solving. They can differentiate facial expressions and prefer smiles to frowns.

Naturally, these intelligent creatures figure prominently in my stories.  Died in the Wool, the fourth book in the Whisky Business Mystery Series, finds whisky distiller Abi Logan continuing to act as foster parent to a growing flock of sheep saved from being turned into c-h-o-p-s. All named for authors, Agatha (Christie) and Oscar (Wilde) have become deeply attached to their foster mother and live adjacent to the house.

Agatha and Oscar are protective, and like all sheep know their names and will respond when called. Aside from being guard sheep when necessary the flock is producing their share of wool. (A single sheep can produce up to thirty pounds of wool a year. Once pound of wool can make ten miles of yarn.) As if Abi didn’t get tangled up enough in the mysteries she solves, her flock is churning out more than 3,000 miles of wool a year.  Something has to give.

Abi is forced to find an outlet for the wool and becomes involved with a charity for women who are victims of domestic abuse that is funded by the proceeds of an artisan knitting cooperative. Abi donates her wool and her energies to the shelter known as the Shepherd’s Rest, but soon finds herself knee deep in a mystery.  As she tries to unravel a murder and a kidnapping at the shelter it becomes clear that at least on of the shelter’s benefactors is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Watch as Abi and her wooly wordsmiths solve the case before things go from baaad to worse!

Died in the Wool:
A Whisky Business Mystery
by Melinda Mullet

About the Book


Died in the Wool: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Alibi (June 18, 2019)
Print Length ~300 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GN17SQJ

No good deed goes unpunished in the Whisky Business cozy mystery series as distillery owner Abigail Logan uncovers dark secrets—and murder—at a local charity.

Photojournalist Abi Logan is finally ready to put her hectic career on hold and set down roots in the heart of the Scottish countryside. Studying the business and art of distilling whisky at Abbey Glen and volunteering at the Shepherd’s Rest women’s shelter in her spare time seem a surefire way to find the peace and stability she craves. It’s also the logical way to take her mind off her personal life. Abi’s business partner, Grant MacEwan, is facing a career-threatening disability, and as much as Abi longs to be there for him, he seems to prefer the company of a rival.

But as Abi becomes more involved with Shepherd’s Rest, she discovers that their refuge is elusive. When the shelter is rocked by a murder/suicide, Abi is outraged by the police’s lack of attention to these already marginalized women. Increasingly confident in her own skills as an investigator, Abi steps in to find out what the police will not: who left one young woman dead and another missing. But when more deadly deeds come to light, Abi must race to unravel the connections between the shelter’s benefactors and the women they have pledged to protect—and expose the killer before he strikes again.

Melinda Mullet’s delightful Whisky Business mysteries can be read together or separately. Enjoy responsibly:
SINGLE MALT MURDER | DEATH DISTILLED | DEADLY DRAM | DIED IN THE WOOL

About the Author

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

Author Links

Website – http://melindamullet.com/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mulletmysteries

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play

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June 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mysteries, Guest Post

Guest Post Recipe and Blog Tour for Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Murder, A Cast Iron Skillet Mystery, by Jodi Rath

Recipe for Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds* removed and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (1 tsp. if using fine salt)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels plus enough cream, milk, or buttermilk** to equal 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese*** plus bit more for top before baking
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar

*see Notes

Instructions

  1. Place diced jalapeños in skillet, then place in a 10-inch top diameter cast iron skillet in cold oven on middle rack. Preheat oven to 400°F and leave skillet with jalapeños in oven as it preheats. Check periodically to make sure they aren’t burning and to give them a quick stir. Remove when they are lightly browned and allow to cool. Return skillet immediately to oven.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in corn/cream mixture and cheddar cheese. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with a wooden spoon,**** just until butter absorbs the sugar. Add the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the cooled jalapeños. Mix in the dry ingredients just until barely incorporated.
  5. Remove skillet from oven and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Spoon batter into hot pan and quickly top with a bit more grated cheddar cheese. Bake cornbread until top is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed, 25-28 minutes when baked in a 10-inch skillet (may be longer if your skillet is smaller). Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

*If you like your food extra spicy, then leave the seeds in the jalapeños.

**This means you add the corn kernels to a measuring cup first, then pour in the milk until the milk rises to the 1 1/2 cup level. (I was not able to find buttermilk at my local store. If you have the same problem, then you can add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for every one cup of milk.)

***I’m a cheese lover—I added an extra half cup of cheese!

****I tried the recipe mixing with a wooden spoon and again using my Kitchenette mixer. Call me crazy, but I truly believe it tasted better when using the wooden spoon to stir ingredients.

This recipe was adapted from seasonsandsuppas.ca and foodiecrush.com.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder
(The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

About the Book


Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
MYS ED LLC (June 21, 2019)
Digital ASIN: B07Q1K4DN3

Financial fraud of elderly villagers in Leavensport, an urban sprawl threat to the community, disastrous dates, cross-sell marketing gone wrong, and another murder? Jolie Tucker is ready to try dating again. Well, she has no choice—since her family auctioned her off to the highest bidder. Her best friend, Ava, has agreed to a double date, but both friends find out hidden secrets about their partners as well as deception by one of the village’s own, who will soon be found dead. This plot is sure to be spicy!

About the Author

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links: Webpage: https://www.jodirath.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/jodirath FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirath

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jodi-rath

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

  • Monthly Newsletter Link: http://eepurl.com/dIfXdbGet Short Story “Sweet Retreat” for free by subscribing to my monthly newsletter. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive free flash fiction, A Mystery a Month, serial scenes from series, and deleted scenes).

Purchase Links – Amazon

All other e-platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bOAYyK

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Guest Post and Blog Tour for Deco Dames, Demon Rum, and Death, A Jazz Age Mystery by Ellen Mansoor Collier

TOOT YOUR HORN:   CREATIVE MARKETING For INDIES

                     By:  Ellen Mansoor Collier, Author of the Jazz Age mystery series

As an independent author, I admit, my dream was to see my books for sale on shelves in upscale stores, bookshops and retail outlets—not just online. So I tried “creative” ways of marketing, and looked for specialty gift shops and regional stores that also sold books.

I found out the hard way that traditional bookstores or shops are NOT interested in self-published books, unless you’re already rich and famous. Hard to compete with thousands of books anyway, especially if you’re an unknown.  I’ve had bookshop managers compliment my books while shoving me out the door, figuratively speaking. Small book stores tend to feel that Amazon is driving them out of business, and the larger chains think indies are trying to sneak in the back way, without being “vetted.”

The fact that I’ve made my living as a professional journalist doesn’t matter to them. Sadly, they assume independent books mean low-quality or inferior writing and cover design. I’ve worked in publishing almost all my life—besides, my brother is an artist, and I have several editor friends who were willing to review my novels.  In addition, my mother was a writer and excellent editor, as well as a former World History teacher. So I thought, why not publish my books the way I want and retain creative control, plus all my rights?

Since my novels are about 1920s Galveston, I naturally approached shops and hotels in the area and either called or left a copy of FLAPPERS, the first novel in my series. First I started with small, independent business who were happy to accept my books on consignment.  Sadly, the trouble with mom-and-pop stores is they often don’t have the budget or space to keep your books in stock and on display.  (Getting paid can be a tug-of- war, so now I usually require payment upfront.)

Luckily  bookstores often advertise regional books and sponsor book-signings for local authors. I’ve even done book signings at “Roaring Twenties”-themed fundraisers and art gallery parties just by asking—and donated part of my proceeds (usually 20-25).  I also sold my books at an area casino hotel/gift shop just by dropping off FLAPPERS with the staff. During a follow up call, I suggested to the manager that she give my books a try with a small order—which she did!

At first, a major mystery bookstore seemed reluctant to give my books a try, but by the time I’d written a couple of new titles, the tides had turned and suddenly indies were more “socially acceptable,”  if not hot. Still some of the staff remained wary, so it was gratifying when their first order of 25 books sold out in three weeks. Note: Many shops will wait until all books have sold before they reorder, so be prepared for a long wait. I’d suggest a small order at first, especially if the books are on consignment.

In Galveston, I noticed the luxury hotels on the Seawall sold lots of beachy items, but they didn’t have any novels for sale. The retail manage told me to contact the corporate office, which I did a YEAR later. Long story short, I was too chicken to contact them immediately but followed up after my fourth book—and got a call from the regional merchandising manager (sadly he soon left the company). Turns out the retail manager enjoyed FLAPPERS and wanted to start selling it in their hotel gift shops. The regional manager became interested later when he found out I had a series available and ordered 24 copies of each book (96)!  Timing is everything in this business!

Last year, a friend suggested I try a well-known restaurant with a new attached gift shop—that I didn’t know existed. The manager ordered 40 copies of my books—and placed a second order six weeks later. Naturally summer is my best season and sales during the fall and winter often lag.

My advice for indies, young or old, is to identify the factors that make your books unique: is it the setting, the theme, the characters, the storyline? Then contact the stores that fit into those categories. Most cozy mysteries seem to center around a hobby or activity—if your novels are about animals or food or fashion or sports or antiques, try pet shops, bakeries, restaurants, unique clothing boutiques, sports shops or antique malls—even quilt or knitting shops—that cater to the clientele you’d like to reach. Is your book about a certain collectible or is it historical?  Perhaps a specialty gift shop, museum or tea room, even a B&B or boutique hotel or spa may want to offer your books.  Corporate chains and hotels are difficult retail nuts to crack, so I suggest approaching independent businesses at first.

As an indie, I tend to stay away from author events since they can cost a pretty penny and are filled with other hopeful writers who are in the same situation. If I do attend, I’ll go as a reader but then end up buying half the books for sale since I sympathize!  Still it’s fun to network and make local contacts with your peers and potential readers.

To summarize:  Find your niche and then broaden your scope. Once you get your foot in the door and word gets out, you can add bigger markets to your list. Better yet, try chains that reach a regional or national market.  Though I’m not shy, I’ll admit, it’s difficult to peddle your own books—I get more rejections than OKs—but if people express interest, don’t be afraid to follow up with a phone call or repeat visit.  Naturally you don’t want to come across as a pushy car salesperson, but you can check in periodically, especially if you have a new book out.

Sadly, as an indie, you’ll often get the cold shoulder from old-school stores (don’t get me started on my local Barnes & Noble), but if you present quality books and find the right niche, then you, too, can see your beloved books in stores and unique retail outlets.  Good luck!

Deco Dames, Demon Rum and Death
(Jazz Age Mystery Series)
by Ellen Mansoor Collier

About the Book


Deco Dames, Demon Rum and Death (Jazz Age Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Decodame Press (December 28, 2018)
Paperback: 249 pages
ISBN-10: 0989417042
ISBN-13: 978-0989417044
Digital ASIN: B07LGGKPKZ

When young Galveston Gazette society reporter Jazz Cross hears rumors of grave robbers at the Broadway Cemetery, she and photographer Nathan Blaine investigate, hoping to land a scoop. The newshawks witness meetings held by clandestine gangs and enlist the help of her beau, Prohibition Agent James Burton, who attempts to catch the elusive culprits red-handed.

Meanwhile, the supernatural craze takes Galveston by storm, and Jazz is assigned to profile the society set’s favorite fortune teller, Madame Farushka. Sightings of a ghost bride haunting the Hotel Galvez intrigue Jazz, who sets up a Ouija board reading and séance with the spiritualist. Did the bride-to-be drown herself—or was she murdered?

Luckily, Sammy Cook, her black-sheep half-brother, has escaped the Downtown Gang and now acts as the maître d’ for the Hollywood Dinner Club, owned by rival Beach Gang leaders. During a booze bust, the Downtown Gang’s mob boss, Johnny Jack Nounes, is caught and Jazz worries: will Sammy be forced to testify against his former boss? Worse, when a mystery man turns up dead, Sammy is framed for murder and Jazz must solve both murders and help clear Sammy’s name.

As the turf war between rival gangs rages on, Jazz relies on her wits and moxie to rescue her brother and her friends before the Downtown Gang exacts its revenge.

About the Author

Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles and essays have been published in a variety of national magazines. Several of her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications).

She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts and visits Galveston whenever possible.

“When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally, I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper’s life in Galveston during Prohibition.”

Author Links:

Website: http://www.flapperfinds.com/
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45174861-deco-dames-demon-rum-and-death
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/artdecodame/flappers/

Purchase Link: Amazon

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June 12 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW

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June 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

June 14 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

June 15 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

June 17 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

June 19 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

June 20 – Ascroft eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 21 – Ruff Drafts GUEST POST

June 22 – Author Teresa Watson – REVIEW

June 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 23 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW by Guest Reviewer

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Guest Post and Blog Tour for Sconed to Death, A Cat Latimer Mystery, by Lynn Cahoon

Hi Ruff Draft’ers.  I’m Lynn Cahoon, author of the Cat Latimer cozy mystery series.  Cat, my main character, is a YA author who runs a monthly writers retreat out of the Victorian she got when her ex-husband died.

The series is set in Colorado, south of Denver, (so the airport is close) in a little college town that caters to the children of the mob families.  So the college is special but most people don’t know the specific admission requirements. Cat (and her ex-husband) used to teach at the college, but when she divorced the cheater, she moved to California.

She’s now dating her high school sweetheart who is the official retreat handyman and driver.

When Cat moved back home, her BFF came with her and Shauna is the house mom for the retreat. She’s also writing a cookbook. The first one has all of the Warm Springs Writers Retreat breakfast menu items. And a few of her own that she’d picked up along the way.

And that’s where the trouble begins for Sconed to Death.

The fun part of writing this book was the visiting writers. They were all from the same cozy writer critique group in Chicago. And each brings their own personality and problems to the retreat.  I really love the structure of setting the book around the retreat week. I always know what’s happening in the background while Cat’s off sleuthing without her uncle’s permission. (Uncle Pete is the town police chief.)

I always enjoy talking about the writing process and Cat, (surprising, I know) has a few of my own writing quirks. She’s a linear writer. She lets the characters tell the stories. And she likes a bit of magic in her books. Her main character, Tori, gets moved to a boarding school the summer before high school starts. She’s angry at her folks, but, since her magic blossomed that summer, she needs the training in how to deal with this witch thing she has.

I’m not writing Tori’s story (yet) but I did just sell a reluctant witch series to my publisher. Mountain Springs Magic (working title) will be on my writing plate late this year and I’m so excited to get my grimoire going for the story details. It’s going to be a fun series.

So what kind of cozy stories do you like? An inside look at the author life? Small town?  Paranormal?

Sconed to Death
(A Cat Latimer Mystery)
by Lynn Cahoon

About the Book


Sconed to Death (A Cat Latimer Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716833
ISBN-13: 978-1496716835
Kindle ASIN: B07H1ZCS2Z

Cat Latimer pursues a scone-cold killer who iced a top chef in a local bakery . . .

Cat has a full plate at her Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort, as a group of aspiring cozy mystery authors arrives for a writers retreat. So when baker Dee Dee Meyer stirs up trouble by filing a false complaint with the health inspector against the B&B—all because she insists Cat’s best friend Shauna stole her recipes—Cat marches into the shop to confront her.

But Dee Dee’s about to have her own batch of trouble. Greyson Finn—a celebrity chef and, until today, one of Denver’s most eligible bachelors—has been found dead in her bakery. Cat’s uncle Pete, who happens to be the chief of police, warns her not to engage in any half-baked sleuthing. But as her curiosity rises, Cat’s determined to discover who served the chef his just desserts—before the killer takes a powder . . .

About the Author

Lynn Cahoon is the award-winning author of several New York Times and USA Today bestselling cozy mystery series. The Tourist Trap series is set in central coastal California with six holiday novellas releasing in 2018–2019. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. Her newest series, the Farm to Fork mystery series, debuted in 2018. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies.

Author Links

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle Play

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June 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

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June 7 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

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Guest Post about Immersing Yourself in a Novel by Amanda Turner

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

How to Create the Ideal Environment for Getting Lost in a Novel

by Amanda Turner

Sitting down with a good book can be a great way to unwind after a long day. Not only can reading decrease stress, but it can also help improve memory and concentration.  But in order to make your experience as beneficial and enjoyable as possible, it’s important to have a comfortable reading area where you can read in peace.

Although you may think sitting on the couch is the best way to read, giving yourself a designated area will make your journey through an amazing book even better. Keep reading to learn how to create the ideal environment for getting lost in a novel.

Pick a Designated Area

The first step to creating a nice reading environment is to pick a designated space. This could be a room, a corner, or even a reading nook. Picking a specific area and consistently using it for your reading spot will allow you to have a permanent space you know you can go to when you’re ready to get lost in a good book.

Clean and Remove Clutter

If you’ve ever tried to do something productive in a messy and unorganized space, you probably realize how difficult it can be to focus in that kind of environment. Since you want to be able to focus all of your attention on the book you’re reading, it’s important to create a reading space that is clean and organized.

Eliminate Noise and Distractions

Nothing can break your concentration faster than distracting noises. In reality, there may be many things in your home that are loud and make it difficult to concentrate. When setting up, be sure to take care of any necessary home repairs to ensure there aren’t loud noises affecting your focus. Once you’ve designated an area, make a habit of not bringing anything that may try to steal your attention, such as computers and cell phones.

Incorporate Plants

Did you know houseplants can benefit your health by removing dust and pollutants from your air? Plants are also known to help lower background noise. By adding plants to your reading area, you can improve the air quality and create a peaceful atmosphere that will make it easier for you to relax while enjoying your book. Plus, plants can also add some extra style to your space.

Choose Your Seating Carefully

Having a comfortable place to sit while you read can make a world of difference so it’s important to pick the right chair for your reading environment. When choosing a chair, think about how you like to sit when you read. If you prefer a more relaxed position, you may want to go with a chair that also comes with an ottoman. Since you also want your reading space to look as good as it feels, also think about how the chair will match your style.

With a little creativity and flexibility, you can give yourself a reading area you can enjoy for years to come. Once you have the ideal reading environment, you won’t be able to put your books down.

Amanda Turner is a freelance writer and recent graduate who is exploring her passions through writing. 

 

 

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mysteries, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Murder, She Uncovered, A Murder, She Reported Mystery by Peg Cochran

In My Own Words

By Peg Cochran

For this blog I’ve interviewed myself!  If you have any other questions for me, you can contact me through my web site www.pegcochran.com.

 Plotter or Pantser?

A hybrid?  Some plotting and some flying by the seat of my pants.  I like to have the high points mapped out before I begin and sometimes I actually do a scene-by-scene storyboard…but not always!  And virtually every time things change along the way—new ideas, new connections, a new body….

Playlist?

I don’t generally like music playing while I’m writing but while writing my Murder, She Reported series I enjoyed playing songs from the Big Band Era—Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman  The music takes me back and puts me in the mood!

Drink of Choice?

Water while I’m writing.   Wine later to celebrate getting my words done for the day.

When do you write?

I try to write every day so that I stay “in the story.”  But that may change now that I’m retired!  It’s only been a few weeks so I’m still finding my way and trying to nail down a schedule.  I could spend the whole day at the computer, but I need to fit in exercise, walking the dog, cooking dinner and catching a TV show or two.  And reading, of course!

Hobbies?

Not really unless cooking counts.  I enjoy cooking and planning meals.  And of course reading.

Family?

One hubby, two daughters—one nearby and one in Chicago.  Two stepchildren—one in Maine and one in North Carolina.  And one precious granddaughter!

Murder, She Uncovered
(Murder, She Reported Series)
by Peg Cochran

About the Book


Murder, She Uncovered (Murder, She Reported Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Alibi (May 28, 2019)
Print Length ~230 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07H1X2RT9

An intrepid 1930s Manhattan socialite uncovers deadly secrets during an assignment to the Hamptons in this riveting historical cozy mystery for readers of Victoria Thompson, Anne Perry, and Rhys Bowen.

Westhampton, 1938. To the dismay of her well-to-do family, Elizabeth “Biz” Adams is quickly establishing herself as a seasoned photographer over at the Daily Trumpet. Growing more confident in her decision to pursue a career, Elizabeth is thrilled when she and her reporter sidekick, Ralph Kaminsky, are sent to Long Island to cover the story of a young maid found dead in one of the glamourous summer homes in the devastating aftermath of the Great New England Hurricane—also known as the Long Island Express.

At first it’s assumed that the young woman was caught in the terrible storm, but when a suspicious wound is found on the side of her head, the police suspect murder. The maid’s death becomes even more tragic when it’s discovered she was pregnant, and with Elizabeth and Kaminsky at the scene of the crime, the Daily Trumpet scoops all the other papers in town.

The young woman’s boyfriend emerges as the likeliest suspect. But as Elizabeth follows the story, she begins to wonder whether someone in the household of the maid’s employers might be responsible—someone who’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth about the baby’s paternity hidden. . . .

About the Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her books’ stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series, the Cranberry Cove series, and the Farmer’s Daughter series.

Author Links:

Website – http://www.pegcochran.com/

Newsletter Sign Up – http://www.pegcochran.com/newsletter-signup.html

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/@pegcochran

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5352603.Peg_Cochran

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peg-cochran

Purchase Links:

Amazon B&N Kobo

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 28 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

May 29 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

May 29 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

May 30 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW

May 30 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

May 31 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

June 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

June 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

June 3 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 4 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

June 4 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

June 5 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

June 5 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – SPOTLIGHT

June 6 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

June 6 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

June 7 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

June 8 – Kelly P’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

June 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

June 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

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Posted in Guest Post, Solstice Publishing

Guest Post and Blog Tour for The Codebook Murders, An Oakwood Book Club Mystery, by Leslie Nagel

Why Do We Fall In Love With Fictional Characters?

Be honest. Somewhere in your past you met that special someone, your ideal mate, the perfect yin for your yang. Dreams of a blissful life together filled your nights—and possibly spilled into your days. Unfortunately, your love remained unrequited and unfulfilled, because this ideal partner, this paragon of beauty, strength, tenderness, humor, and intelligence, this heaven-sent love of your life, wasn’t real. He or she existed only in the pages of a book.

Don’t be embarrassed. This phenomenon is far more common than you think. And I’m not calling anyone out on this. In fact, I am just as guilty as the next person of constructing fantasy out of fiction. As a teenager, I had quite a thing for Joe Hardy. He was cute, smart, loyal, respected his dad, and solved mysteries. What’s not to love?

As a mystery author, I’ve continued to feed into that need. I created my main character’s love interest in the type I most lust after. Marcus Trenault actually has a lot in common with my husband. He’s tall and rangy, has blue eyes, loves children, classic rock, muscle cars, baseball, and junk food. Oh, my beating heart! Of course, Marc is also a homicide cop who’s not afraid to throw a fist or drive through a fruit stand in pursuit of a killer. Maybe I secretly long for a bit more danger in my life?!?

We agree that it happens. The question remains: WHY? After extensive and highly scientific research into this absorbing topic, I have determined four primary reasons for this phenomenon:

  1. We create our ideal fantasy. It’s easy to fall in love with someone if you are building that persona yourself. This is especially true if the author provides some “point of view” insights for your crush. You’ll feel as if you’re getting to know your favorite in a deep, personal way. Even more important, you have quite a bit of control over what they might look like. “Tall, black hair and blue eyes” is relatively specific, but it still gives you a lot of latitude for personal taste. In your head, you can twist a character on the page to be perfect for you, right down to their tone of voice and the scent of their aftershave.
  2. We don’t have to deal with these people in real life. We don’t have to put up with any of the myriad things that annoy us about actual physical, sweaty, imperfect human beings. That hot guy won’t leave towels on the floor, have bad breath, interrupt your stories, or dismiss your fear of spiders with a condescending eye roll. That sweet, sympathetic woman won’t have daddy issues, an annoying older sister, or a disturbing obsession with Instagramming every moment of your lives. And, of course, this means you get to skip the messy break-up. Who needs the drama?
  3. Often the character we crush on is the love interest of a main character. For that reason, the author puts a lot of effort into showing why the MC finds her/him so appealing. Best attributes will be dwelt upon, perhaps to the exclusion of obvious flaws. And isn’t that the definition of falling in love?
  4. Writers work hard to make their characters believable. They want to grip their readers, encouraging them to read their next book. After all, characters that the reader can connect to is one of the main requirements of a good story.If you’ve been sucked into a fictional world to the point where the inhabitants feel so much like real people that you’re having a genuine emotional response to them, then that author has done their job.

A word of caution. Indulging in a fantasy life can be a healthy thing, if enjoyed in moderation. Invisible friends enable shy, withdrawn, or lonely children to practice social skills and battle the blues. Many therapists encourage their patients to create a fictional “antagonist”, someone to whom they can verbalize their anger, fear and frustration without risking the fallout of a major fight with a loved one. It can be an effective way to process strong feelings safely.

Problems occur when the make believe starts to interfere with the real. If you begin to cut yourself off from real relationships, missing opportunities for genuine connections to another person, then you’ve sunk too far into the fantasy realm. Waking up from the dream isn’t always easy, either. Your best bet is to keep one eye open. Don’t let your fictional crush take over your life.

In the end, and despite whatever logic tells us, we will continue to fall deeply, hopelessly, but willingly in love with our favorite characters. Whatever the reason for your next crush, here’s wishing you a happily ever after.

The Codebook Murders:
The Oakwood Book Club Mystery Series
by Leslie Nagel

About the Book


The Codebook Murders: The Oakwood Book Club Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Alibi (May 21, 2019)
Print Length: 250 pages
ASIN: B07JR9VXCQ

Amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter discovers a coded journal that could crack her small town’s most infamous cold case wide open in this charming cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders.

As the owner of Old Hat Vintage Fashions, Charley Carpenter supplies retro apparel to the residents of Oakwood, Ohio, but she’s been known to set business aside to play detective when a mystery rears its head. And there’s no bigger mystery in Oakwood than the murder of Regan Fletcher—a case that’s haunted the town for decades.

Regan’s boyfriend, Carter, did time for the crime—until another man’s confession freed him. But did the “real killer” really do it? Or did Carter walk away with blood on his hands? When Charley stumbles on an old journal written in code, it only complicates the case by revealing a blackmail scheme that targeted dozens of Oakwood’s citizens, giving them all a motive for murder.

Now, with a spate of new suspects to pursue, plus a fresh murder and the abduction of her sleuthing partner, Charley must dig deeper still into the past—even as she risks being buried by her shadowy prey. Joining forces with Detective Marcus Trenault and the newly formed Oakwood Mystery Book Club, Charley turns to a classic whodunit for clues on catching a killer—before more lives are lost, and the truth dies with them.

Leslie Nagel’s delightful Oakwood Mystery novels can be enjoyed together or separately:
THE BOOK CLUB MURDERS • THE ANTIQUE HOUSE MURDERS • THE ADVICE COLUMN MURDERS • THE CODEBOOK MURDERS

About the Author

About The Author

Leslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, “The Book Club Murders”, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son, and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.Author Links

Website – http://www.leslienagel.com/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/@leslie_nagel

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/leslie_nagel/

Purchase Links

Amazon B&NKoboGoogle Play

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 20 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 20 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

May 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

May 22 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 23 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

May 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

May 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

May 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 26 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

May 27 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

May 28 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 29 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

May 30 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

May 31 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – Elizabeth McKenna’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

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