Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Bear Witness, an Alaska Untamed Mystery by Lark O. Jensen

Guest Blog Post, by Linda O. Johnston, who wrote Bear Witness, the first Alaska Untamed Mystery, under the pseudonym Lark O. Jensen:

Whodunnits and Wildlife

What do writers who love animals, and also love to read and write cozy mysteries, do for fun?

Well, at least some of them, like me, write cozy mysteries that contain animals!  Are you surprised? 😊

That has been the case with all the various cozy mystery series I’ve written, from the Kendra Ballantyne Mysteries to the Pet Rescue Mysteries, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries, and even the Superstition Mysteries. They all contain dogs, my favorite animals.

And now? More animals, including wildlife! My new book BEAR WITNESS is an Alaska Untamed mystery, the first in a series. Does it contain a dog? Of course! It’s Sasha, a husky, whose name means “defender,” and in addition to being a wonderful companion, that’s what Sasha does: defend people.

Sasha belongs to Stacie Calder, the series protagonist. Stacie is a naturalist, by education and vocation, and because of her love of animals. Right now, she lives in Alaska and provides tours during the warmest seasons on a tour boat owned by a family with an entire fleet of tour boats. Yes, she points out animals, some wonderful wildlife, while Sasha comes along with her

Stacie loves to show tourists the seal mamas and babies on ice floes in the waterways where they travel, as well as birds in the sky and wolves and bears along the shore. She likes the people she works with, too, including the captain and assistant captain of her boat and the staff in addition to herself, as well as most of the tourists she helps to watch all those wonderful animals.

You note I said most of the tourists. Some who take sightseeing trips with them aren’t particularly nice, especially a few who are snooping and trying to learn all they can about running that kind of tour boat, since they want to buy their own and go into competition. They even talk about it, to each other, and to those who work on the tour boat.

Not exactly a good way to make friends onboard, at least not with those who are in charge.

And one of those passengers who says he wants to become a competitor winds up dead. He disappears one day, and his body is found in the water when they take the same journey the next day. Who finds him? Sasha, with her wonderful sense of scent, discovers him off the side of the boat, along the shore.

It turns out he was murdered.

As I said, Stacie is a naturalist and doesn’t consider herself any kind of detective. But when one of her favorite people, the captain of her tour boat, winds up being considered the main suspect, she has to try to find the answer. There are other suspects too. Stacie herself even argued with the murder victim, so to some extent she has to investigate to protect herself.

She’s not the only one investigating, of course. Among other authorities, Officer Liam Amaruq of a new wing of the Alaska State Troopers winds up officially looking into it. Stacie likes Liam. They even start developing a bit of a relationship, although he doesn’t really want her snooping.

Yes, it’s a cozy mystery.

I got the idea of this kind of mystery series while I was on an Alaskan cruise a few years ago. No, my dogs weren’t with me, but I took one of those boat tours in the Juneau area and was highly impressed with the wonderful wildlife pointed out by the tour guides on that boat. Seals and whales and porpoises in the water, various birds in the air, and bears and wolves on the shoreline landscape.

My animal-lover writer mind got into business and started brainstorming about how I could use what I saw in a story, even a series.

The Alaska Untamed Mysteries are the result!

By the way, I also write Harlequin Romantic Suspense novels, and most of them also contain—what else?—dogs.

Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery)
by Lark O. Jensen

About Bear Witness


Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alaska
Crooked Lane Books (May 10, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643858963
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643858968
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09CD3RWVD

Alaska tour boat guide Stacie Calder faces the deep freeze in this scenic cozy series debut perfect for fans of Paige Shelton.

No nine-to-five cubicle career will suit Stacie Calder—the naturalist much prefers working in the great outdoors. Specifically, the spacious and spectacular Alaskan wilderness, whose rugged charms she shares with sightseers on the top deck of the tour boat where she works. But one May afternoon, Stacie’s passengers see more than glittering glaciers, frolicking harbor seals, climbing bears and soaring seabirds…they also witness a man lying dead in the frigid Alaskan waters. And it seems likely that someone gave him a fatal push.

Stacie didn’t know the unfortunate victim, but he sure wanted to know a lot about her. He spent most of his final afternoon bombarding her with questions quite awkward to answer. And when he wasn’t in her hair, he was arguing incessantly with the boat’s beleaguered crew. Which makes for a suspect list about as long as the passenger manifest. Furthermore, as police helicopters relentlessly circle her boat in search of any clues, Stacie is shaken to find herself on that suspect list.

Before the tour boat reaches shore Stacie—accompanied by her beautiful blue-eyed husky, Sasha—must deduce just who sent the testy tourist tumbling into the turgid waters and have the authorities take custody. Because if she can’t, then the killer might aim a fatal ice-cold stare at Stacie.

About Lark O. Jensen

Lark O. Jensen is the pseudonym of Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer. Lark has written Bear Witness, the first Alaska Untamed mystery for Crooked Lane. Linda has written the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery series and the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink and the Pet Rescue Mysteries and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and her stories often involve dogs.

Author Links

Website: www.LindaOJohnston.com

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

Purchase Links

Amazon Barnes & Noble

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Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for Costumes & Cadavers: A Sassy Supplies Cozy Mystery, by Katherine H. Brown

Hi, everyone.

I’m Katherine, the author of Costumes & Cadavers, and I’m humbled to be here today.

Authors often receive questions about their writing process or story creation. I thought this would be a nice opportunity to see if I can answer one of those today.

Do the characters come to you at the same time, or do some of them come as you write?

Many of my characters start with a quick thought: a quirky conversation pops in my head; an outfit that would be fabulous at getting in the way while hunting a murderer; a cool name.

Then POOF.

I take that thought, jot it down in a spiral or a Word document, and start making up some extras to go with it. Soon, I’ve created perhaps two to five of my characters and some small details about them. From there, I decide what is going to happen to toss them into some mystery or mayhem. And I begin writing!

I’m what we in the writer world call a plantser. I mostly write by the seat of my pants, though I may string together a simple outline or plan for a character or two, I don’t usually know the details of the middle of the book. Those come as I write. Or as I write myself into a corner and have to find my way out, either way.

So, many characters pop up unexpectedly in the middle of a scene and I just write them based on the part they need to play in the story.

Once, a chef suddenly started speaking French. Another time, a Yakuza gang appeared out of nowhere in a sleepy little beach town. I don’t even begin to question when these things happen; I simply grin and keep typing.
Costumes & Cadavers: Sassy Supplies Cozy Mystery
by Katherine H. Brown

About Costumes & Cadavers

Costumes & Cadavers: Sassy Supplies Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (January 17, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 36 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09QMRXW4T

Nobody ever plans to be the death of the party.

Party guests congratulate Charity Basham, owner of Sassy Supplies Crafts & More, on the scariness of her backyard skeleton decoration. Unfortunately, Charity didn’t put out any skeleton decorations.

With the discovery of a dead body, her Halloween party turns into a nightmare. With her fingerprints (and some white cat fur) are all over the murder weapon, Charity finds herself at the top of the suspect list.

Can she clear her name before the dishy Detective Sota arrests her for murder?

About Katherine H. Brown

Texas author Katherine Brown is a wife, a mother to two beautiful book-devouring girls, a bookaholic ice cream lover, Harry Potter fan, and an enthusiastic weaver of words. Writing since she could scribble with crayons, Katherine has published books for adults and children alike. Fans of her cozy mystery series range from age twelve to seventy-two. She hopes to inspire in others a passion for reading and provide many adventures through the pages of books for years to come.

Author Links

Websitewww.katherinebrownbooks.com

Instagram – www.instagram.com/katherinebrownkatie

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18681694.Katherine_Brown

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/katherine-h-brown

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Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Katherine-Brown/e/B078J72H8M

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Murder Most Pemberly, An Eliza Darcy Mystery by Jessica Berg

Top Ten Ways Romance Authors Lie to You

As a contemporary romance author and a cozy author who loves to add romance to my mystery plots, writing the title hurt a little bit. Okay, it hurt quite a bit. If you are in a serious relationship or married, you know what kind of pretty half-truths we writers employ to get you to melt into your chair and never leave until gorgeous guy kisses beautiful girl in front of a glorious sunset. Just like the Masked Magician in the television show The Masked Magician threw his fellow magicians under the proverbial bus by exposing the secrets of illusions, I’m about to reveal the top 10 “lies” writers use to make you swoon. So, play along while the Wrapped Writer (not so clever, but I don’t have time to come up with something else with fitting alliteration) exposes the illusion of fictional love.

#1: Man must be gorgeous.

Newsflash: not all men are hot; some aren’t even good-looking; some have a face only a mother could love. However, looks really are inconsequential when it comes to finding the guy that will make you happy. Looks fade away; personality does not.

#2: Every kiss tastes of something besides real life.

This one is my favorite, both to exploit readers and to be exploited by. But, if you have ever been kissed, you know the truth. Kisses, unless both kissers are prepared and have either brushed their teeth or chewed gum, taste nothing like romance books’ puckers. Here is a taste of real-life kisses: garlic, coffee, anything eaten for lunch (like tacos or salty fries), wine, and the mother of all tastes: morning breath.

#3: Two people must overcome battles to find each other.

I met my future husband on a smoke break. Nothing romantic, nothing dangerous (unless you count smoking as dangerous), no spies trying to kill us, no ex-lover trying to win back my or his affection. We just met, liked each other, and the rest is history. You, too, can have this simple, albeit boring romantic adventure. If your relationship requires high level of espionage or unpacked baggage, you might be in for a world of hurt when the relationship settles around “Hey, will you pick up some lettuce on your way home from work?”

#4: Female protagonist is petite and pretty.

This is a “lie” I try not to partake in as an author, but many romance writers succumb to this characterization ploy. Women come in all shapes and sizes and colors; a real man will look at personality and not the size on the label in a pair of jeans or the cup size of a bra.

#5: Female protagonist is outspoken and may occasionally throw something.

So, I sin with this lie. Here’s why. Because part of me, and I’m assuming other romance writers feel the same, wishes I could be like my female characters. I wish I could speak my mind when angry instead of stew in silence. I wish I could be brave enough to smash a vase against the wall to show my frustration at times. And because I can’t/won’t/shouldn’t do these things, my characters sometimes do. Bye-bye sheepish author lady, hello sexy vixen who knows just the right words to say just the right things.

#6: Muscles are in.

The only six pack worth having, ladies, is a six pack of your favorite beverage. Six packs are difficult to attain and even tougher to maintain, so unless your main squeeze spends all his time in the gym and eats a very specific diet, you will have to deal with some pudge and a slight love handle or two.

#7: Every time lovers touch, electricity happens.

Um…no. Just a plain, big, old, fat no. It may happen that when you hold your significant other’s hand, jolts of hormones and pheromones and whatever else race up your skin. But if this phenomenon does not happen, please, please, please don’t freak out. You are not falling out of love; you are simply being human holding another human’s hand. Don’t expect butterflies, lighting bolts, or whatever other metaphor we authors throw at you every time you touch your lover.

#8: Weather as a barometer of The Love Journey.

Authors use weather as a symbolic device. You will not experience rebirth or rejuvenation every time it rains; you will simply get wet.

#9: The end is the end.

The end is only the beginning. Where the author leaves the couple in a passionate embrace is where real life takes over. Oil changes, spit-up, diaper duty, household chores, honey-do lists, and life begin at “the kiss.”

#10: Romance is huge, planned events.

Romance is the opposite. It’s the little moments, the insignificant moments that add up to colossal romance. Late night grocery store missions, snuggling on the couch, a back rub just because, loading/unloading the dishwasher, getting the kids out of the house make up a true relationship. Don’t lose that for an ideal that literally only exists in fiction.

So, in closing, please remember that fictional romance is exactly what it is: fictional. Read it, enjoy it, find escape in it, but then leave it and enjoy real-life romance as well. The real-life stuff is better anyway!


Murder Most Pemberley (Eliza Darcy Mysteries)
by Jessica Berg

About Murder Most Pemberley

Murder Most Pemberley (Eliza Darcy Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing (March 8, 2021)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1948051656
ISBN-13: 978-1948051651
Digital
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC (February 16, 2021)
ASIN: B08TKJ73L1

Eat a crumpet. Check. Say “bloody hell” in an English pub. Check. Solve three murders and fall in love? Definitely not on the list. But when England dishes up murder, even an American girl knows it’s time to channel her inner Agatha Christie.

American Eliza Darcy travels to Merry Old England to partake in a Darcy/Bennet family reunion for one reason: to solve the estrangement between her father and uncle. Not long after Eliza’s arrival and exploration of the vast estate of her ancestors, a dead body surfaces. Murder and mayhem replace afternoon teas and flirting with her British heartthrob. Eliza has every intention of keeping her snoot out of official Scotland Yard business, but when clues to the murder begin to merge with her investigation into her family’s rift, her inner wannabe sleuth self-activates.

With the help of her batty great-aunt and the sexy Heath Tilney, Eliza hurries to untangle the web of lies and secrets. As corpses start to pile up faster than the clues, Eliza fears the estate’s family graveyard will swallow another body: hers.

About Jessica Berg

Jessica Berg, a child of the Dakotas and the prairie, grew up amongst hard-working men and women and learned at an early early age to “put some effort into it.” Following that wise adage, she has put effort into teaching high school English for over a decade, being a mother to four children (she finds herself surprised at this number, too), basking in the love of her husband of more than fifteen years and losing herself in the imaginary worlds she creates.

Author Links

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Posted in Blog Tour, Guest Post

Guest Post by Rita Moreau, Author of Wheeler Dealer, the First Ghost and Camper Kooky Cozy Mystery

Guest Post by Rita Moreau

One of the questions I have been asked – well in the past when we did book launches in real life – was how do you write a book? I would like to do that, but I don’t know where to start.

I responded you write one word at a time. Not the magic answer they were looking for but it’s the truth because the bottom line is you must write, and you have to write every day and consistently.

In today’s climate writers are writing at a fast pace. Books are done in a month. Why? Readers in today’s climate will not wait a year unless you are a very well-known author.  I have tried to write at a faster clip but its not easy. The pandemic in a way was helpful in that regard because I had no other distractions. I taught group fitness classes and for me it was my socialization. Writing is solitary and lonely and hard. When that went away, I was like all of us in lockdown and I sat and wrote.  Last year I started a new series and have two books in the series complete and working on the third one.  I have it down to about 4 months to finish a book taking into time for editing and formatting and book covers.

The other question or answer to questions I have given new authors or those who want to write is that you must hire a professional editor. You must take the time to learn about editing. For example, do you know there are different types of editing? When I first realized I needed an editor I asked an author who was speaking at an event about editing and how to go about finding an editor. I was floored with the answer – “I have three editors”. Well now I have three editors or have worked with three, a developmental, a copy and line editor and a proofreader.  Not to mention beta readers who seem to catch issues your editors may have missed.  I also have found reading the manuscript out loud to be extremely helpful.  You will catch so much if you take the time to read your work out loud. Sometimes writing in longhand is helpful. I use it when I’m first sitting down to write a new novel. It helps me with my outline. I am more of a plotter but not detailed. I have a outline but use it more as a guide. Recently I have found I can write the ending before I reach the end. It helps me because I know where I am going. It may not turn out to be the end but it gets me past any writers block.

Finally, if you can accept the fact that more than likely you are not going to sell your book to Netflix or you are not going to make a bundle or you are not going to make the best seller list you will finally relax and take that pressure off your shoulders. And then who knows – you might write that book that makes it to the big or little screen. But still when I read a review and the reader tells me my words made them laugh and gave them a break from what they were going through in their everyday life than that is more than making a million dollars off the sale of your books.  That’s the real joy on paper.

Wheeler-Dealer Ghost & Camper Kooky Mystery
by Rita Moreau

About Wheeler- Dealer


Wheeler-Dealer Ghost & Camper Kooky Mystery
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently published (April 1, 2021)
Paperback: 332 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8676266394
Digital ASIN: B08YP5NJNV

Solving a murder might raise her spirits. But will it spring her spectral friend from Purgatory?

Mabel Gold still isn’t sure what happened. Traded by her husband for a busty bimbo the same age as their youngest daughter, the feisty sixty-something rejects the retirement community and heads west in a vintage camper. But the RV comes complete with a ghost who needs a good deed to get into Heaven, and cracking open a homicide at their first stop in Savannah could give them both a new lease on life.

Determined to dig up the dirt on the dead wheeler-dealer, Mabel and her phantom companion tackle the crime. But with two rich dudes from Dubai, a Willie Nelson lookalike mobster, and a widow nicknamed The Barracuda all on the suspect list, conjuring up the truth could take a real live miracle.

Can Mabel catch the killer before she’s the next soul crashing the Pearly Gates?

Wheeler-Dealer is the high-spirited first book in the hilarious Ghost & the Camper kooky mystery series. If you like golden-girl sleuths, zany characters, and sardonic humor, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s witty whodunit.

About Rita Moreau

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series and the Ghost & Camper Kooky Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns and The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Last year when we entered the Twilight Zone Rita wrote the first two new novels in the Ghost & the Camper series. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries, or you can find her teaching SilverSneakers fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers. Visit her at http://www.RitaMoreau.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/RitaMoreauAuthor. She would love to hear from you.

Author Links

Website – http://www.ritamoreau.com

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RitaMoreau

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ritamoreau4996/

Radio – http://www.radio-joyonpaper.com

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6587803.Rita_Moreau

Purchase Link – Amazon

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Guest Post, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for Death by Donut, A Pismawallops PTA Cozy Mystery by Rebecca M. Douglass

Where on Earth is Pismawallops Island, and how did it get there?

For those new to my PTA mystery series, the setting is a fairly small island in Puget Sound (Washington State), way up nearly in Canada. So how did it get there, and what made me chose an island? Aside from the obvious answer (“why not?”), I actually have several good reasons, even not considering the pleasures of owning an entire island. Okay, I admit that Pismawallops doesn’t actually exist outside of my books and my imagination, but it’s still mine.

Why else an island? I grew up on one. An island, in fact, not radically different from Pismawallops Island. So there’s an obvious attraction there—it’s easy to set a book in your hometown, and even easier if you make it a fictional version of your town. Pismawallops isn’t Vashon Island, but there are influences.

My childhood island is about 14 miles long, 6 miles wide, and when I was a kid had about 10,000 year-round residents. When my mom grew up there in the 1930s and 40s they had a lot of summer people, but by my time the summer cottages had mostly been refurbished for year-round use (or just moved into and occupants left to shiver through the winters). Vashon provided a couple of key elements I knew my fictional island had to have. For one thing, it has its own school district. I didn’t want some big-city administrators interfering with the operations of my little island, so I borrowed that element even though Pismawallops is probably too small to get away with it in the real world.

The second really key element was limited access. Pismawallops, like Vashon, is accessible only by ferry. I like islands that *are* islands. Some of my favorite childhood stories are set on islands of one sort or another, and the more remote the better. The limited access also lets me treat the island more like the isolated British country house of a different era of mystery writers. I honestly don’t know how mystery writers manage urban settings, where to me it feels like the suspects are infinite.

So what other islands have I known, besides the one I grew up on? Pismawallops is influenced by the San Juan Islands, also in Puget Sound. I never got to live there, but I did several bicycle trips there in my younger years, and somehow even to this girl from an island not so far off, they felt exotic. I borrowed heavily from the feeling of isolation and sparseness of population I got cycling on Lopez Island and even San Juan Island.

Other favorite islands are less apparent in the genesis of Pismawallops: Wizard Island, in the middle of Crater Lake. Alcatraz. Angel Island, where you can camp out and admire the San Francisco skyline all night. Every single little island off the Maine coast (even though I haven’t visited any, they have appeared in so many books I’ve read that just looking at them from the shore evokes adventure). Prince Edward Island, of course. I haven’t visited it, either, but Anne of Green Gables was a fixture of my childhood.

Of course, if we want to get a little larger, there’s Great Britain, and finally, ever and always the islands of my heart, New Zealand. With all that love of islands, can you wonder any longer that when I decided to invest in some imaginary real estate, I invented an island?

Death By Donut (A Pismawallops PTA Mystery)
by Rebecca M. Douglass

About Death by Donut


Death By Donut (A Pismawallops PTA Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th In Series
Independently Published (May 16, 2021)
~200 Pages
Digital ASIN: B08VKSZV2D

Election day’s almost here, and the island’s new pool is on the line. JJ should be all in with the campaign, but when a prominent Island businessman drops dead at her feet in the Have-A-Bite Bakery, someone has a mystery to solve. JJ’s fiancé—police chief Ron Karlson—is out of town. Who else is there?

JJ is missing her sweetheart, tired of the winter rains, and distracted by everybody’s questions about when the wedding’s happening. Even more worrying, her foster-daughter’s father has failed to show up on schedule. No wonder JJ’s struggling to wrap this one up before someone else bites into the wrong donut. There’s no time to lose, because something truly essential is on the line: saving the bakery—and JJ’s favorite espresso brownies!

About Rebecca M. Douglass

Rebecca M. Douglass was raised in Washington State on an island only a little bigger than Pismawallops. Though she has lived most of her adult life in California, the salt waters of Puget Sound continue to call to her and she enjoys owning an island in the Salish Sea, even if she had to invent one to do so! Rebecca has written a number of children’s books as well as her Pismawallops PTA mysteries and has had short stories published in several anthologies. When she isn’t writing, she likes to spend her free time hiking and biking, and her vacations exploring the outdoor world by camping, hiking, and backpacking.

Author Links

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

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-M-Douglass/e/B0078SLT2A/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1502128942&sr=8-2

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Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5755891.Rebecca_M_Douglass

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Douglass_RM

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Posted in Blog Tour, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for a Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Guest Post: The Siege of Ladysmith by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Background

The siege of Ladysmith, a town in British controlled Natal, was a lengthily engagement between the British and the Boers during the Great South African War (Second Anglo Boer War).

When the negotiations between the two Boer republics and Britain broke down and war was declared on the 11th of October 1899, 21,000 Boers advanced into Natal from all sides. By way of a countermeasure, Lieutenant Sir George White deployed his British troops around the garrison town of Ladysmith. As the Boers surrounded Ladysmith, White engaged in the Battle of Ladysmith with ended in disaster for the British with 1,200 men killed, wounded or captured.

The town was then besieged for 118 days from 2 November 1899 to 28 February 1900. On the 15th of December 1899 the first British relief force under General Redvers Henry Buller was defeated at the Battle of Colenso.

On Christmas Day 1899, the Boers fired into Ladysmith a carrier shell without a fuse. It contained a Christmas pudding, two Union Flags and the message ‘compliments of the season’.

Following repeated attempts by Buller to fight his way across the Tugela River, he finally broke through the Boer positions on the 27th of February 1900. On the evening of the 28th of February, the first party of the relief column, under Major Hubert Gough and including Winston Churchill, rode into Ladysmith.

Map from Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Ladysmith

Extract from A Ghost and His Gold

Robert’s Diary – 13 January 1900

Today, Richard arrived in a state of great excitement.

“The Boer besiegers of Ladysmith launched an attack on the British defenders last week and it was decisively repulsed.”

This was an encouraging piece of news.

Ladysmith is a large town in Natal. The last news I’d heard about it related to the disastrous Battle of Ladysmith on the 30th of October last year.

 A large British force had gathered in the town under Lieutenant General Sir George White, an elderly officer who had served mainly in India. He ordered a sortie of his entire force to capture the Boer forces who were stealthily surrounding the town.

This approach resulted in complete defeat for the British. His troops were driven back into the town after having suffered losses of one thousand two hundred men, killed, wounded or captured.

News of a defeat of the Boer besiegers was encouraging, especially in the context of Mafeking’s own besieged status.

“The men are all celebrating the news,” continued Richard, his eyes sparkling with pleasure. “The dispatch said that sixty-five Boers were killed during the attack and another one hundred and twenty wounded. “It also said that on Christmas Day, the Boers fired a carrier shell into the town without a fuse. It contained a Christmas pudding, two Union Jacks and a message saying, ‘compliments of the season.’ Isn’t that hilarious? The Boers do have a sense of humour, don’t they?”

I grinned back at him, his enthusiasm was contagious.

“That is funny. I told you many of the Boers are intelligent and witty.”

“There is also a poem that was written by one of the people in the town at the beginning of the siege. It is aimed at the Boer military leader, Kommandant-General Piet Joubert.”

Richard stopped speaking to pull a crumpled piece of newspaper from his short-pants pocket. A collection of other items came out with it, including a bit of string and a nail.

He’s still such a boy. He should be going to school every day and playing sport with his mates, not fighting in a war.

Opening the paper out, he smoothed it with his hands and started reading.

To General Slim Piet

Hail mighty Oom: Jew Boer

Proud leader of a dirty crew

Who shell at night instead of fight

as savage Bourbon Tartars do.

Your deeds of valour at the sound

the nations well may quake

The sick and wounded down you strike

The Church and Town Hall break.

The nature folk you blandly strip

of cattle clothes and money

and thus you prove you’re closely bred

To sow and wolf or monkey.

Oh slippery one at last you’ve hit

The biggest marks in town

Days twenty four you’ve done your best

To shell the Red Cross down.

But still it waves and up its back

Stands honour, brave and true

Our warrior lads but wait the word

to meet and share and square with you.

“What does slim mean?” he asked when he’d finished.

“In South African English it means someone who has outwitted you. It is not an insult.”

His forehead wrinkled with effort as he attempted to understand the poem’s satire.

“The use of the word slim in this context is satire. The poet is ridiculing the general by saying his is clever and then clearly informing him that the shells he is firing into Ladysmith are only hitting soft targets like the churches, hospitals and civilians instead of the military. The poet is essentially criticising him for his stupidity while praising him for being clever.”

“I understand now. Thanks for explaining.”

The corners of his mouth turned up in a broad smile as he silently re-read the poem with greater understanding.

Seeing this boy learn and develop is rewarding and I’ll miss him when the siege eventually ends, and I move on from Mafeking. Assuming it ever does end; it is relentless and endless right now.

The poem is from “The War Report, The Anglo-Boer War Through the Eyes of the Burghers” by J.E.H. Grobler


A Ghost and His Gold
by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

About A Ghost And His Gold


A Ghost and His Gold
Supernatural Historical
Stand-Alone Novel
Publisher TSL Publications (1/27/2021)
Number of Pages 264 pages
ISBN 9781914245039

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

About Robbie Eaton Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle has published nine books for children and one poetry book. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children’s books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate children’s picture books are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions that children can make under adult supervision. Her books for older children also incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s supernatural stories combine fabulous paranormal elements with fascinating historical facts.

Children’s picture books – available as a square book and an A5 book (co-authored with Michael Cheadle):
Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook

Middle school books:
Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town (includes five fun party cake ideas)
While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with Elsie Hancy Eaton)

Poetry book:
Open a new door (co-authored with Kim Blades)

Supernatural fantasy YA novel:
Through the Nethergate

Supernatural historical adult novel:

A Ghost and His Gold

Horror Anthologies (edited by Dan Alatorre):
Spellbound
Nightmareland
Dark Visions
Wings & Fire

Paranormal Anthologies (edited by Kaye Lynne Booth):
Spirits of the West
Whispers of the Past

Murder mystery Anthology (edited by Stephen Bentley)
Death Among Us

Follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle at:

Website https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19631306.Roberta_Eaton_Cheadle

Twitter https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

Purchase Links – Paperback: https://tslbooks.uk/product/a-ghost-and-his-gold-roberta-eaton-cheadle/https://amzn.to/3sqtkBH

Ebook: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/robert-eaton-cheadle/a-ghost-and-his-gold/ebook/product-d858km.html?page=1&pageSize=4

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Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post for The Blind Switch: A Rosedale Investigations Mystery by Lyn Farrell

Pennames Lia Farrell and Lyn Farrell

Plausibility and Feedback

                One of the major issues faced by novelists, and particularly mystery writers, is plausibility. Everything in your story from your characters, to your dialogue, to the technical details of the plot must be plausible. In my mind, this is one of the most important reasons to join writing groups and critique groups. Other readers’ reactions can immediately tell you whether or not a scene or a character is plausible. Like Jiminy Cricket, readers can tell when you are telling selling wild improbable tales.

When you have the privilege of reading your material to the members of a writing group, one of the common things they will say is, “I don’t get it. Why is she doing this? Why did he say that?” This is the point where most authors, even experienced writers, get their backs up. A given scene, or piece of dialogue invariably seems credible to the person who wrote it, so it’s natural to feel defensive, but try to consider the speaker’s point of view. One of the rules for writing groups that works well is to prevent the author from commenting on his/her work until all the members of the group have had their say. Then the author can react. This pause gives the writer time to remember-feedback is always helpful.

I recently read part of a chapter from “The Blind Split” to my writing group. In the reading, my detective, Wayne Nichols, is entering a deserted house in the dark. Because the mafia has been suspected of abducting a woman and child, he is armed. The members of my writing group are mostly older, well-educated white women. One of them said she hated guns and didn’t want to hear anything about weapons in the story. I had to clamp my hand over my mouth to keep from saying, “For goodness sakes, the Detective is in law enforcement! Of course he has a gun.” However, when I re-wrote the chapter I removed some of the description of the type of weapon and simply said he had come armed.

Perhaps the most important way of achieving plausibility in your story is doing your research. There are two ways of doing this. One way is to have someone you can consult who is an expert in the field. I am fortunate to have an emergency room physician in my family and he is the person I always consult on medical details. In addition to his broad knowledge of medicine, he has made a sub-specialty of testifying as an expert witness. I have another person in my extended family, who is a police officer. Early in his career, he was a narc and so is able to help with confidential informants, drug usage and jurisdiction, just to name a few issues. One of my dearest friends is a clinical psychologist and has been enormously helpful with such issues as sibling rivalry, grief, and abuse.

The second way of doing your research is by reading or consulting the internet. The Net is the quickest way to find information, but you have to be careful. Some of the stuff on the Net is just plain wrong! I like Wikipedia, although I am careful to consult other sources about a given topic because anyone can contribute to articles on Wikipedia. I also like government sites. These were especially helpful in writing “The Blind Split.” The book takes place in 2020 and I felt it was unethical not to deal with the pandemic. The State Health Department sites were terrific sources of data.

Bottom line: if you are writing a novel of a mystery, keep in mind that it is NOT a Memoir. Your own experiences are not enough. Don’t hide your head in the sand! Remember what Grandma said, “You have two ears and only one mouth,” so listen more than talk, do your research, and keep writing!  


The Blind Switch (A Rosedale Investigations Mystery)
by Lyn Farrell

About The Blind Switch


The Blind Switch (A Rosedale Investigations Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (January 12, 2021)
Paperback: 230 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816968
ISBN-13: 978-1603816960
Digital ASIN: B08QBH2BHH

The first book in the Rosedale Investigations series finds Wayne Nichols, our doggedly determined Detective, and his sassy and irreverent partner, Dory Clarkson, starting new jobs as private investigators. Their first client, Cara Summerfield, comes with what appears to be a missing person’s case. Cara got pregnant in high school and baby Danny was adopted. Her husband, Grant, an up-and-coming politician has never been told about the pregnancy. Their only clue is an unreadable return address on a letter sent to Cara from Danny’s girlfriend. Danny is now a racehorse trainer and has been assaulted for non-payment of gambling debts. Cara charges Rosedale Investigations to find Danny and keep his existence completely confidential. When Danny is found, he’s in the ICU and not expected to live. When he passes away, it appears to the pathologist to be natural causes, but Detective Nichols doesn’t buy it. It looks like murder to him.

About Lyn Farrell

Lynda J. Farquhar (penname Lyn Farrell) holds a master’s degree in English and a Ph.D. in Higher Education/Administration from Michigan State University. Prior to her retirement from MSU, she was a professor in the College of Human Medicine where she worked for 30+ years. When she retired, she returned to her first love, writing, and self-published a YA Trilogy, “Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom.” Subsequently, she and her daughter, Lisa Fitzsimmons, wrote a 7-book mystery series, “The Mae December Mysteries,” published by Camel Press under their joint penname, Lia Farrell. Marketing efforts for the Mae December mysteries, as well as much work by Camel on subsidiary rights, deal with Harlequin, have resulted in sales of 22,000+ (to date) for the series. She is now writing a new mystery series, “Rosedale Investigations.” The first is titled, “The Blind Switch” and was released in January 2021.

Author Links

WEBPAGE AND BLOG: https://www.lynfarrell.com/ FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Rosedale-Investigations-by-Lyn-Farrell-110618660507612

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for the Corpse Who Knew Too Much, A Food Blogger Cozy Mystery by Debra Sennefelder

My Favorite Podcasts by Debra Sennefelder

There were two inspirations for writing THE CORPSE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, the fourth book in the Food Blogger Mystery series. The first was my fascination with podcasts, and the second was my interest in cold cases. Today I’m going to share with you five podcasts I enjoy listening to.

In the book, Hope’s old high school friend, Devon Markham, returns to Jefferson. She has a podcast called Search for the Missing. Now she’s ready to tackle the one missing person’s case that has haunted her for twenty years – her mother’s.

She reconnects with Hope and asks for her help in finding the truth about her mother’s disappearance. At first, Hope is reluctant to get involved. A lot is going on between her blog, teaching her first blogging course, and her budding relationship with Ethan Cahill, the police chief. And because she’s been involved in a few murder investigations already, she’s had enough true crime to last her a long time.

However, when Devon disappears just like her mother had, Hope is determined to find out what happened to both mother and daughter.

Unlike Hope, who wasn’t into podcasts when the book opens, I’ve been very interested in them for a few years. I first started listening to podcasts about the craft of writing and then discovered true crime. Now I subscribe to several, so there’s always a new episode to listen to when I’m doing chores around the house or outside in the garden. When I see the notifications pop up on my phone’s screen to let me know there are new podcasts, I am almost excited to do laundry.

Ready to find out my top five faves? Here we go.

My favorite wellness podcast is Flipping 50. The host, Debra Atkinson, has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to women’s fitness. Her show is around under thirty minutes and has a nice mix of guests.

My favorite writing podcast is Write Your Best Book. Host Christina Kaye has great episodes ranging from writing story arcs for series to how to build a marketing platform to plot.

My favorite true crime is My Favorite Murder. The hosts Karen Kilgariif and George Hardstark explore murders from all over the country. The topic is horrible but giving a voice to the victims draws me to true crime podcasts.

My favorite bookish podcast is Author Stories with Hank Gardner. I discovered this podcast years ago, and I was beyond thrilled to get booked on the show to talk about the Food Blogger Mystery series. I love Hank’s interview style and the wide-range of authors he speaks with.

My favorite cozy-focused podcast is Cozy Ink with Leah Bailey. This was also a podcast I was on, and I love how she formats her interviews. There’s typically a brief interview about the author’s book and then a second interview with the author that gives writing tips.

There you have my top five podcasts that are an automatic listen. Do you listen to podcasts? What are some of your favorite ones? Please leave them in the comments section.


The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

About The Corpse Who Knew Too Much

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496728912
ISBN-13: 978-1496728913
Digital ASIN: B082WR1YCL

Food blogger Hope Early takes on a cold case that’s heating up fast . . .

Building on her recipe for success with her food blog, Hope at Home, Hope is teaching her first blogging class at the local library in Jefferson, Connecticut. She’s also learning about podcasts, including a true-crime one called Search for the Missing, hosted by Hope’s childhood friend, Devon Markham. Twenty years ago on Valentine’s Day, right here in Jefferson, Devon’s mom disappeared and was never found. Finally Devon has returned to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother—and she asks Hope to help.

The next day Hope discovers Devon’s apartment has been ransacked. Her laptop with the research on her mother’s cold case is missing, and Devon is nowhere to be found. When her friend’s body is later discovered in a car wreck, Hope is convinced it’s no accident. Clearly, Devon was too close to the truth, and the cold-blooded killer is still at large in Jefferson. Now it’s up to Hope to find the guilty party—before the food blogger herself becomes the next subject of another true-crime podcast . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

About Debbie Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

Author Links – Website & Blog | Facebook | Instagram

WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/2lQwSNi

NEWSLETTER: http://bit.ly/2jBx9oV

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: http://bit.ly/2qjwHyT

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Purchase Links

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April 1 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW*

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April 3 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

April 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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April 4 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT

April 4 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW*

April 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW*, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

April 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW*

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

April 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW*, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

April 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners -SPOTLIGHT

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April 13 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

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Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Rhino Charge, A Kenya Kanga Mystery by Victoria Tait

Guest Post – Rhino’s in Kenya

Rhino once roamed the African continent in their thousands.  They comprised two species, the black rhino and larger white rhino, with genetically distinct northern and southern subspecies.

White and Black Rhino

Both species are actually steel grey in colour.  The first difference between them is their size.  A white rhino female weighs about 1,700kg and the male about 2,300 kg, compared with a black rhino which ranges between 800 kg and 1,400 kg.

The other notable difference between them is their upper lip. The black rhino has a hooked lip while the white rhino has a square lip. This is linked to their eating habits.  Whereas white rhino like to graze on grass, the black rhino prefer to browse and their hooked lip helps them munch on leaves from trees and bushes.  The white rhino also have a longer skull, a less defined forehead and a more obvious shoulder hump.

Black Rhino Population

During the 1960s, Kenya was home to an estimated 20,000 black rhino but humans pushed the species to the brink of extinction and their numbers were slashed to under 300.  One of the worst years was 2013 when 59 rhinos were killed by poachers.  Through conservation, the species is recovering and Kenya is now home to over 600 black rhinos.  But they remain critically endangered.

Kenya is a pioneer of the sanctuary approach to rhino conservation, placing them in fenced-off areas under the close watch of armed rangers equipped with thermal imaging cameras and drones.

Leading the way is Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and its western neighbour, Borana Conservancy, which removed the fence separating the two properties in 2014, to form 93,000 acres of prime black rhino habitat.

In 2019 Lewa-Borana were delighted by the birth of another calf, taking their black rhino population to 100.  They also have a significant white rhino population of 94.  Part of their success has been Lewa’s bloodhound tracking dogs who follow the scent of poachers after an incident.  This has led to arrests and acts as a huge deterrent.  Readers can find out more about these dogs, and Lewa and Borana conservancies, in book 4 of the Kenya Kanga Mysteries, Jackal & Hide.

White Rhino Population

The southern white rhino is listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  The subspecies was on the brink of extinction at the end of the nineteenth century with less than 25 animals solely in South Africa.  However, through successful collective conservation efforts, the population is now thriving with over 20,000 animals in eastern and southern Africa.  White rhino can be found across Kenya including Lewa-Borana, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Solio Ranch.

Solio is one of my favourite places to spot Rhino as they are visible from the road which runs alongside the private ranch.  Solio has also been instrumental in breeding black and white rhino.

The northern white rhino is a far more tragic story.  Just two females remain in the world. They are Najin and Fatu who live under constant protection from poachers in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in Laikipa.  Sudan, the last remaining male, died on March 19th 2018, effectively rendering the entire subspecies extinct.

Sudan and Ringo at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Sudan and Ringo at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

I saw Sudan and met his tiny friend Ringo, an abandoned southern white rhino calf, at Ol Pejeta.  Unfortunately Ringo also died, in July 2016.  Ol Pejeta conservancy wrote on their website,

‘During his short life, Ringo inspired hundreds of people all over the world with his playful antics and irresistible charm.  In simply being himself, he helped to raise awareness about the plight of rhinos in Africa…. Ringo achieved global fame in a very short space of time.  He was named after the musician and animal rights activist Ringo Starr, who was personally involved with supporting the rhino.”

It is gratifying to witness the increase in both the black rhino and southern white rhino populations.  Whilst dreams of a natural resurgence of northern white rhino died with Sudan, experts are hopeful that in vitro fertilisation, and southern white rhino surrogates, may be a way to reintroduce the northern white rhino so that we can once again see them roaming the plains of Laikipia.

Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait

About Rhino Charge

Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Kanga Press (February 5, 2021)
Number of Pages: ~290
Digital ASIN: B08PV45HYJ
GoodReads Link Coming Soon

A treacherous race to stop an extinction. A mysterious death linked to the past. Can a silver-haired sleuth track down the clues in time to save a life?

‘Mama Rose’ Hardie has always fought to conserve Kenya’s precious wildlife. Officiating at an off-road fundraising race in the iconic Maasai Mara, she’s shocked when a vehicle crash claims the life of a friend. And worse still, this was no accident…

When another friend is accused of plotting a deadly sabotage, the clever amateur sleuth vows to clear his name. But with motives between teams reaching deep into an unfortunate past, the determined woman must work fast to track down the wily killer. .

Can Rose catch the culprit before more lives are endangered?

Rhino Charge is the thrilling third tale in the Kenya Kanga cozy mystery series. If you like sharp heroines, suspenseful reveals, and iconic African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s breathtaking story.

Buy Rhino Charge to set a trap for a callous murderer today!

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About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is the author of the enchanting Kenya Kanga Mystery series. She’s drawn on her 8 years of experience living in rural Kenya, with her family, to write vivid and evocative descriptions. Her readers feel the heat, taste the dryness, and smell the dust of Africa. Her elderly amateur sleuth, “Mama Rose” Hardie is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple reincarnated and living in Kenya.

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and has recently moved to war-scarred Sarajevo in Bosnia. She has two fast growing teenage boys. She enjoys horse riding and mountain biking but is apprehensive about learning to ski. Victoria is looking forward to the sun, sand, and seafood of neighbouring Croatia when the world returns to normal.

Author Links

You can find Victoria at https://www.victoriatait.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaTait

Blog/News: https://victoriatait.com/news/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20373879.Victoria_Tait

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/vataitauthor/

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Posted in Guest Post, Romantic Suspense

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Crime Scene Connection by Deena Alexander

Evolution of My Writing Process

By Deena Alexander

One of the first interview questions I ever answered as a writer was, “Are you a plotter or a panster?” To which I adamantly declared I was, and would always be, a panster. Well, like most things in life, you can never be too sure what’s going to change. My first novel came in at a whopping 100,000 words. When it was published, it had been ruthlessly—and sometimes tearfully—cut to 54,000.

When I first started writing, I would sit at my computer each night and write whatever came to mind. Usually, what came to mind led to a satisfying conclusion—often with only a few minor tweaks to the storyline. Then one day, I painted my hero into a corner I couldn’t find a way out of. I eventually did, but I was never quite satisfied with the outcome.

When I started my next book, I was careful to outline the progress of the story and the ending so I wouldn’t have the same problem. That worked out so well, I started plotting everything. I plotted the number of words in each chapter, whose head each scene would come from, how many words would be in each scene. I made sure each point-of-view character got an equal amount of time. Needless to say, too much of a good thing hindered the writing process, and I ended up with a major case of writer’s block.

Now I’ve found a nice balance between the two. I plot the major parts of the story. I don’t plot the ending. I never decide how a book is going to end or who the killer is until the entire story has been written and gone through several rounds of edits. Once the rest of the story is in good shape and ready to go out for submission, I write the ending. I love being surprised when I find out what happens.

Crime Scene Connection (Love Inspired Suspense)
by Deena Alexander

About Crime Scene Connection


Crime Scene Connection (Love Inspired Suspense)
Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (January 12, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1335404996
ISBN-13: 978-1335404992
Digital Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (January 1, 2021)
ASIN: B089RLTK6L

Her writing was fiction, until a killer made the danger very real…

A serial killer’s imitating crime scenes from Addison Keller’s bestselling novel, determined to make her the final victim. But with former police officer Jace Montana and his dog at her side, Addison might just be able to unmask the murderer. With time running out as the killer closes in, she must confront her past and unravel long-buried secrets…and hope they can all escape with their lives.

About Deena Alexander

Deena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, where she met and married her high school sweetheart. She recently relocated to Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Now she enjoys long walks in nature all year long, despite the occasional alligator or snake she sometimes encounters. Deena’s love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night, and she now works full time as a writer and a freelance editor.

Author Links

Webpage: http://deenaalexander.com/index.html

Blog: http://deenaalexander.com/blog.html

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeenaAlexanderA

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20382104.Deena_Alexander

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/deena-alexander

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Indiebound – Walmart  – Apple Books  – Google Play

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