Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Connie Berry, author of A Dream of Death, A Kate Hamilton Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Connie Berry from Delaware, Ohio to chat about her writing and her cozy mystery, A Dream of Death, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Nice to have you here, Connie. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher: Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My debut mystery, A Dream of Death, was published this month by Crooked Lane Books. Wait, wait—did I just say that? I don’t think I’ll believe it until I actually see my book on a library shelf or in a bookstore somewhere. Although I know plenty of wonderful and successful self-published authors, my goal was always to be traditionally published.

Congratulations, Connie. Tell us a little bit about your book.

A Dream of Death is the first in the Kate Hamilton Mystery series. Autumn has come and gone on the Scottish Isle of Glenroth, and the locals gather for the Tartan Ball, the annual end-of-leaf-season gala. Spirits are high. A recently published novel about island history has attracted hordes of tourists to the small Hebridean resort community. On the guest list is American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton. Kate returns reluctantly to the island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his sister, proprietor of the island’s luxe country house hotel. Kate has hardly unpacked when a body turns up, murdered in a way eerily reminiscent of an infamous murder described in the book. The Scottish police discount the historical connection, but when her husband’s best childhood friend is arrested, Kate teams up with a vacationing detective inspector from Suffolk, England, to unmask a killer determined to rewrite island history—and Kate’s future.

The second in the series, A Legacy of Murder, will be published in October of 2019. Currently I’m working on the third in the series, The Chinese Vases (working title).

They sound wonderful.

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

On a practical level, I hope to continue writing the Kate Hamilton Mystery series. With the third book underway, two more are rough outlined and another two are roaming around in the back of my brain. On an aspirational level, my goal is to continue growing as a writer—honing my skills, adding depth and complexity to my characters and plot, writing beautiful prose. I would love to have my books described as literary mysteries. For the future, I’ve been thinking about a second series set in the UK, maybe an historical.

Terrific goals. Good luck with them.

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

I imagine my readers will be a lot like me—those who enjoy a good mystery and love to be surprised at the end. I hope to attract readers who like vivid characters with gifts and flaws, regrets and dreams. My readers will include fellow Anglophiles and those who like stories set in another country or culture. They will love history and reading about how the present is shaped by the past. I hope they will enjoy learning a bit about the world of fine art and antiques.

That’s great. Sounds like you have a an interesting target audience.

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

My best advice is to read, read, read. Notice how writers use language, setting, dialogue, and characterization. Pay attention to story structure. Take time to learn craft. Attend as many writers’ conferences and workshops as you can afford. Join groups like Sisters in Crime or Romance Writers of America. Connect with other writers. Swap manuscripts. Help others succeed.

That’s very good advice.

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

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. With a master’s degree in English literature and having read hundreds of mysteries, I thought, “How hard could it be?” As it turned out, pretty hard. I struggled with impatience, an unwillingness to stop writing and start learning. It took me years to produce a manuscript I felt confident putting out there. Finally, once I’d done everything I knew how to do, I was fortunate enough to meet my wonderful editor, Faith Black Ross from Crooked Lane Books, and my agent, Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary.

It’s so true that there’s a lot more to writing than what people imagine before they publish.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Yes. I belong to Sisters in Crime, national, as well as my local chapter, Buckeye Crime Writers. I also belong to the Midwest chapter of  Mystery Writers of America. Some years ago I attended a writers’ workshop called Seascape, hosted by Roberta Isleib, Hallie Ephron, and Hank Phillippi Ryan. Afterwards, a fellow attendee asked me to join a critique group. We’re scattered all over the country—California, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Maine. Three of the four are now published with the fourth not far behind. We exchange manuscripts online and try to meet yearly at the Crime Bake conference near Boston.

I also belong to Sisters in Crime. It’s a great group.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Great question! Life is more than writing. My interests include reading (of course), knitting, my family, our sweet dog, Millie, spending time at our lake cottage in northern Wisconsin, foreign travel with a hint of adventure, and hiking. I attend BSF, International—the class I taught for over twenty-five years. I belong to a book club. And I’m on the board of two organizations—Buckeye Crime Writers and the Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

You certainly are busy.

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

What I like most about writing is re-writing—revising and polishing a manuscript. Once I have words on a page, I relax and begin to enjoy life. What I like least is putting words on a blank page. Because they’re never good. As Ernest Hemingway famously said (quoted in a posthumous article published by Arnold Samuelson), “The first draft of anything is [rubbish].” With that said, one of my toughest practical challenges as a writer is getting enough exercise. This past year—getting my first novel launched and finishing the second—has been brutal on my body. One of my goals going forward is adding regular exercise to my daily routine.

I make it a point to exercise a half hour a day and take breaks between computer time.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I call my books traditional mysteries with cozy characteristics. There are plenty of non-cozy crime novels out there, and I read them—Ann Cleeves, Tana French, Val McDermid, Elizabeth George. But years ago my thesis advisor recommended picking a topic I loved enough to spend many months with. That applies to writing. Reading a crime novel takes days. Writing one takes months if not years. I choose not to describe violence in graphic detail. I have no wish to venture into other peoples’ bedrooms. I love children and pets too much to describe their harm. And while I admire crime novels based in large cities (especially if the city is London), I’m more interested in the complex dynamics of a village. Perhaps it’s my early exposure to Agatha Christie, but I like nothing better than writing about a small community with plenty of interconnections and conflicts to create havoc—and murder. Writing a mystery with cozy characteristics isn’t a matter of what I do and don’t approve. Wasn’t it Miss Marple who said, “I don’t approve of murder.”

I feel the same about my books. Even when I write my standalones, apart from my Cobble Cove mystery series, I tend to inject cozy elements.

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

The setting is the Tartan Ball. Kate’s self-centered sister-in-law, Elenor, has just announced her engagement to Dr. Hugh Guthrie, a bachelor who cares for his disabled mother, Margaret—the closest thing the Isle of Glenroth has to nobility:

Elenor held up both hands. “Before we celebrate, there’s someone Hugh and I wish to acknowledge.” She turned toward the head table. “Margaret, may I call you Mother now?”

 Every head in the room swiveled toward Margaret Guthrie, sitting like a ramrod in her wheelchair. She looked as if she’d just taken a swig of sour milk. “Even though Hugh and I will no longer be living on Glenroth,” Elenor said, her eyes glittering, “we will always have your welfare uppermost in our minds. Wherever you choose to live—now that Hugh will no longer be able to care for you himself—please remember that we will do everything in our power to make the days you have left happy ones.” I heard a few audible gasps. Guthrie pulled a handkerchief from his inside pocket and mopped his face.

Margaret Guthrie reared up like a cobra in her wheelchair. “You are too hasty, my dear. I am certain my son has agreed to no such plans.” She turned to Hugh. “Take me home now. I’m tired.” The audience held its collective breath. Hugh Guthrie stood motionless, a pile of metal shavings between two powerful magnets. He looked at Elenor, then at his mother, and seemed to quail. Releasing himself from Elenor’s grip, he stepped from the platform and hurried to Margaret’s side. The wheelchair squeaked through the stone archways toward the exit. Moments  later we heard the thud of the heavy front door closing, followed shortly by the roar of an engine and the crunch of tires on gravel. Elenor still held the microphone, her face frozen in a smile. The band began to play “Some Enchanted Evening.” Clearly one of the musicians had a wicked sense of humor.

Excellent excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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

A Dream of Death involves a contemporary murder and a historical murder from 1810. The two stories are interwoven through the use of excerpts from a novel written in the form of a diary. A list of book club questions will appear shortly on my website (see below). I’d love to meet readers! If you live in central Ohio, check out my scheduled appearances; and if you’re planning to attend Malice Domestic in May, please say hello!

If you’d like to know more about my writing and upcoming events, you can find me at www.connieberry.com. Sign up for my newsletter. Watch for my bi-monthly blog. Follow me on social media:

Facebook and Instagram: Connie Berry, Author

Twitter: @conniecberry

Pinterest: Connie Campbell Berry

Thanks so much, Connie, and best wishes on your release and upcoming books in the series. I’m sharing your blog tour below.

A Dream of Death
(A Kate Hamilton Mystery)
by Connie Berry

About the Book


A Dream of Death (A Kate Hamilton Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (April 9, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319877
ISBN-13: 978-1683319870
Digital ASIN: B07H7P2KTS

On a remote Scottish island, American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton wrestles with her own past while sleuthing a brutal killing, staged to recreate a two-hundred-year-old unsolved murder.

Autumn has come and gone on Scotland’s Isle of Glenroth, and the islanders gather for the Tartan Ball, the annual end-of-tourist-season gala. Spirits are high. A recently published novel about island history has brought hordes of tourists to the small Hebridean resort community. On the guest list is American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton. Kate returns reluctantly to the island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his sister, proprietor of the island’s luxe country house hotel, famous for its connection with Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Kate has hardly unpacked when the next morning a body is found, murdered in a reenactment of an infamous unsolved murder described in the novel—and the only clue to the killer’s identity lies in a curiously embellished antique casket. The Scottish police discount the historical connection, but when a much-loved local handyman is arrested, Kate teams up with a vacationing detective inspector from Suffolk, England, to unmask a killer determined to rewrite island history—and Kate’s future.

About the Author

Like her main character, Connie Berry was raised by charmingly eccentric antique collectors who opened a shop, not because they wanted to sell antiques but because they needed a plausible excuse to keep buying them. Connie adores history, off-season foreign travel, cute animals, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable Shih Tzu, Millie.

Author Links: Website –www.connieberry.com

Facebook Author@Facebook.com

Twitter @conniecberry

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18733373.Connie_Berry

Purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 15 – The Editing Pen – GUEST POST

April 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

April 16 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 16 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

April 17 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT*

April 17 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

April 18 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 19 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

April 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

April 20 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

April 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

April 23 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

April 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 24 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 25 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 26 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 26 – My Devotional Thoughts – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Stephen Kaminski, Author of An Au Pair To Remember, A Male Housekeeper Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Stephen Kaminiski from Arlington, Virginia here to chat about his writing and his cozy mystery, An Au Pair to Remember, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

I’ve been published since 2012.

 It Takes Two to Strangle, A Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery (Cozy Cat Press, 2012)

 Don’t Cry Over Killed Milk, A Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery (Cozy Cat Press, 2013)

 Murder, She Floats, A Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery (Cozy Cat Press, 2014)

 An Au Pair to Remember, A Male Housekeeper Mystery (Cozy Cat Press, 2019)

Nice. Tell us a little bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

Between 2012-2014, three books in Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series were published.  In January 2019, I just launched a new series—the Male Housekeeper Mysteries, focusing on charming characters, snappy dialogue, eclectic murders, and cunning confidence schemes.  Here’s a brief overview of the series backdrop and of the first book—An Au Pair to Remember.

To his mind, Cam Reddick has failed—as a husband, as a father, and as a professional. After recognizing that his vanilla credentials didn’t stack up in a big city brimming with overachievers and toiling in drudgery for half of a decade, an emotionally raw Cam returns to his childhood hometown—the quaint and quirky village of Rusted Bonnet, Michigan. He’s determined to resuscitate relationships marred by youthful immaturity, most importantly those with his ex-wife Kacey Gingerfield (who doubles as the village’s Deputy Chief of Police) and their first grader, Emma. Armed with striking looks and an endearing proclivity for mixing metaphors, but saddled by “momma’s boy” tendencies, Cam takes the helm of his mother’s housekeeping business—Peachy Kleen. Access to homes across the village facilitates Cam’s penchant for amateur sleuthing as Kacey’s aide-de-camp. Surrounded by Kacey, his sophisticated mother Darby, garrulous senior housekeeper Samantha, and recuse fish cum confidant Bait, Cam’s circuitous journeys to solving murders and unravelling complex cons hasten his struggle down the path of self-healing to self-respect. And there’s hope that—just maybe—he can rekindle the romance he once had with Kacey.

In An Au Pair to Remember, Cam’s plan for a quiet return to Rusted Bonnet is dashed when a beautiful German au pair, Greta Astor, is found dead in Dutch McRae’s foyer with all signs pointing to a hastily disassembled trip wire at the top of the stairs. When Kacey learns that Cam was cleaning the McRae home the previous afternoon, she confides to him that Chief Bernie Leftwich is set on arresting Dutch for the murder—either alone or in tandem with Greta’s bartender boyfriend. But she worries that Bernie’s been duped. And later, when his mother Darby becomes a suspect, Cam inserts himself into the investigation and stumbles through a series of ostensible incongruities—a thief swallowing a cache of stolen diamonds, a snack food distributor laundering money, and a Cash-for-Gold scam. Meanwhile, Peachy Kleen’s young African housekeeper has disappeared with one of the company vans. All the while, Cam finds himself flirting with his new neighbor and struggling with his complicated feelings for Kacey.

Your new series sounds like it’s off to a great start.

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

My goals are to excite and entertain.  My writing is light and I simply want readers to enjoy themselves.  In the next twelve months I’d like to finish the next book in my Male Housekeeper Mystery series.

Excellent!

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

Anyone who enjoys quick-witted dialogue and a lighthearted approach to murder will enjoy my books—basically the antithesis of hardboiled crime.

There’s certainly an audience for that among cozy readers.

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

Write and submit, write and submit, write and submit.  Then take constructive criticism to heart and follow advice that publishers offer.

Good advice.

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

I think the biggest challenge was figuring out my style.  My first manuscript for It Takes Two to Strangle (in 2012) was about 30,000 words longer than what eventually was accepted for publication.  I was trying to mold my writing into what I saw most often on library and bookstore shelves without realizing that a shorter and snappier version of my writing style was perfect for the cozy genre.  Thankfully, Cozy Cat Press saw my potential and took the time to and work with me.

It takes time for authors to develop their special style of writing. I’m sure it was helpful to work with your publisher to develop it.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Unfortunately, not—between a demanding full time job, child care responsibilities, and writing, I haven’t been able to participate in any groups.

I can understand that.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m typically reading, cooking (but not baking!), exercising, and playing the vital roles of chauffer and wallet-on-legs for my teen-aged daughter.

Lol. I know what you mean about wallet-on-legs for teenagers. I have a 14-year old daughter.

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

What I like most is the sense of calm it brings me.  My favorite time to write is very early in the morning with a cup of black coffee in hand and a blanket on my lap.  Quiet evenings with a candle or two and a glass of red wine or three are almost as rewarding.  I also enjoy writing things that I think will make readers laugh or bring them a sense of joyful bewilderment as they twist and turn through the plot.

I can relate. I get a lot of enjoyment from my writing, and I also like to write early in the morning before work.

 The toughest challenge is getting stuck.  All writers get stuck at times and it’s very challenging to work through.  For me, it often happens when I need to get “from A to B,” but I can’t figure out a way to do it in a way that’s engaging to the reader.

I find that often happens midway in a book, but then if you take a break and go back, something fresh usually pops up to add to the story.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I can be corny and cheeky, which fits my personality well.  I can spin the plot lines in a manner that’s sends a reader every which way, but then all comes together at the end.  I can create some characters who are clever and others who have their heads-in-the-clouds.  And in all of my books, in addition to the murder, I embed a number of clever cons for the reader to sink her or his teeth into.

Sounds interesting.

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

Leaving Samantha with her suppositions at the Laundromat, Cam took a detour past Becka Blom’s living quarters—the basement apartment of a historic Victorian. The red-, green-, and white-colored home featured a striking array of dormers, gables, and turrets. Cam stepped onto the portico and rang the bell.

A gray-haired man sporting an Einstein-inspired mustache and a knit sweater fraying at the cuffs opened the door.

“Good evening, sir,” Cam said. “Is Ms. Blom home?”

“I wouldn’t know for certain,” the man said convivially. “She has a separate entrance around the back. But I haven’t seen her car all day.”

“It’s at my office.” Cam explained that Becka worked for his cleaning company and hadn’t been seen since early in the morning.

“That doesn’t sound like Becka. Come on inside. Let me get my wife and see if she’s spoken with her.”

Cam followed him into a formal living room decorated in a French provincial style. While the man went off to find his wife, Cam looked down at his sweatshirt and jeans, feeling out of place.

“Please sit down,” a woman’s voice commanded with the authority of a general.

The mustachioed man immediately sat on a sofa.

“I wasn’t talking to you, Reg,” she said sternly and extended her hand toward a high-backed chair. Cam sat as directed.

She introduced herself as Diane Archambault. Pronounced Dee-Ahn, she was as put together as her husband was disheveled. “Reg tells me that Ms. Blom works for you. Is that correct?”

Cam nodded. The mistress of the house stood over him, her sapphire blue eyes piercing his.

“I heard her car back out of the drive at seven thirty this morning,” Diane said crisply. “I assumed she was going to work. Did she arrive?”

Cam told her she had, then ran off in one of his cleaning vans and hadn’t returned any of his messages.

“That certainly is worrisome.” Diane took a step back. “The girl came to the United States four years ago,” she offered. “Just she and her father. He was a shipbuilder from South Africa.”

“Why did they move to Rusted Bonnet?” Cam asked.

“I don’t know,” Diane said. “Ms. Blom’s father passed away two years ago. That’s when she moved in here.” She paused, then added, “I thought she worked for a woman.”

“That was my mother,” Cam explained. “I took over when she retired.”

Diane folded her hands and sat on the edge of the sofa next to her husband. Her fingernails were flawlessly manicured.

Suddenly a clank came from directly below the living room floor. Cam’s eyes shot open wide and he jumped to his feet.

“Sit back down,” Diane ordered sharply. “I don’t have her locked up in the basement. The girl has a cat, always knocking about down there.”

A disturbing thought flashed into Cam’s head. Becka was twenty-four, almost the same age as Greta. Was this mismatched couple sitting in front of him murdering young women in the village?

But Reg Archambault mitigated his fears by asking, “Should we call the police?”

“My ex-wife is the deputy chief here in Rusted Bonnet,” Cam said. “I spoke with her earlier this evening. She told me that the police don’t spend time looking for adults who leave under their own power.”

“Too bad,” Reg said. “Why don’t you try that friend of hers?”

“Missy?” Cam asked. “I’ve tried.”

 Reg stifled a sneeze. “Sorry, darn moustache hair is always getting up in there.”

Diane shook her head with apparent disgust. “That’s the only one who comes around now and again.” She stood and motioned for Cam to rise and take his leave. At the door, Diane added, “I won’t say that Ms. Blom is like a daughter to me, because we don’t have that kind of relationship. But I certainly hope she hasn’t run off. She’s a good tenant and a proper young lady.”

Cam returned home, then laid awake all night, envisioning Becka Blom tied to a chair in the Archambaults’ basement.

Great excerpt.

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

I think your mystery-loving readers might be interested to know that in my professional life I handle all things poison!  I’m the chief executive of the association that represents the country’s poison control system—55 centers made up of medical professionals who answer about 3 million calls to poison control every year.  While our centers regularly handle opioids abuse and accidental ingestions of household products, if there’s ever a place to expertly advise on hemlock, strychnine, or belladonna exposures, it’s our centers and their toxicologists.

Very interesting. I’m sure that helps you planning some of your murder mysteries.

Thanks for chatting today, Stephen, and best wishes with your new release and series. I’m sharing your blog tour below.

An Au Pair to Remember:
A Male Housekeeper Mystery
by Stephen Kaminski

About the Book


An Au Pair to Remember: A Male Housekeeper Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (January 27, 2019)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1946063703
ISBN-13: 978-1946063700
Digital ASIN: B07NCBZ23L

From the author of the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series comes the Male Housekeeper Mysteries, focusing on charming characters, snappy dialogue, eclectic murders, and cunning confidence schemes. To his mind, Cam Reddick has failed—as a husband, as a father, and as a professional. After recognizing that his vanilla credentials didn’t stack up in a big city brimming with overachievers and toiling in drudgery for half of a decade, an emotionally raw Cam returns to his childhood hometown—the quaint and quirky village of Rusted Bonnet, Michigan. He’s determined to resuscitate relationships marred by youthful immaturity, most importantly those with his ex-wife Kacey Gingerfield (who doubles as the village’s Deputy Chief of Police) and their first grader, Emma. Armed with striking looks and an endearing proclivity for mixing metaphors, but saddled by “momma’s boy” tendencies, Cam takes the helm of his mother’s housekeeping business—Peachy Kleen. Access to homes across the village facilitates Cam’s penchant for amateur sleuthing as Kacey’s aide-de-camp. Surrounded by Kacey, his sophisticated mother Darby, garrulous senior housekeeper Samantha, and recuse fish cum confidant Bait, Cam’s circuitous journeys to solving murders and unravelling complex cons hasten his struggle down the path of self-healing to self-respect. And there’s hope that—just maybe—he can rekindle the romance he once had with Kacey.

In An Au Pair to Remember, Cam’s plan for a quiet return to Rusted Bonnet is dashed when a beautiful German au pair, Greta Astor, is found dead in Dutch McRae’s foyer with all signs pointing to a hastily disassembled trip wire at the top of the stairs. When Kacey learns that Cam was cleaning the McRae home the previous afternoon, she confides to him that Chief Bernie Leftwich is set on arresting Dutch for the murder—either alone or in tandem with Greta’s bartender boyfriend. But she worries that Bernie’s been duped. And later, when his mother Darby becomes a suspect, Cam inserts himself into the investigation and stumbles through a series of ostensible incongruities—a thief swallowing a cache of stolen diamonds, a snack food distributor laundering money, and a Cash-for-Gold scam. Meanwhile, Peachy Kleen’s young African housekeeper has disappeared with one of the company vans. All the while, Cam finds himself flirting with his new neighbor and struggling with his complicated feelings for Kacey.

About the Author

Stephen Kaminski is the author of An Au Pair to Remember, the first installment of the Male Housekeeper Mystery series. He also writes the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective books. Stephen is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the trade association representing the United States’ poison control system and its fifty-five centers. He lives with his daughter and rescue kitty in the Washington, DC area.

Author Links

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43834065-an-au-pair-to-remember

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

Purchase Links – Amazon KindleAmazon Paperback

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 18 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 19 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 23 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 23 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW

March 24 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

March 25 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 26 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 27 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 28 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 28 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Linda Hope Lee, Author of Murder Between the Pages, a Nina Foster Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Linda Hope Lee from Edmonds, Washington to chat about her writing and her cozy mystery, Murder Between the Pages, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Nice to have you here, Nina How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

I’ve published 28 books of contemporary, romantic suspense, and mystery. One is these, Treasures of the Heart, is self-published. Murder Between the Pages is my first cozy mystery.

Wow! That’s quite a writing career.

Tell us a little bit about your books.

Early books were written as Hope Goodwin. Now I’m using my legal name, Linda Hope Lee. Murder Between the Pages, the Nina Foster Mystery Series, Book 1, was released in Dec. 2018. Book 2, Secrets to Die For is in production but no pub date yet.

Something to look forward to.

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

I want to write more books in the Nina Foster series. I am currently working on Book 3.

Sounds great.

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

Readers who like cozy mysteries.

Those are very popular today.

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

Not original advice but I can think of nothing better than to keep writing and sending out your work.

That can’t be emphasized enough.

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

Juggling a full-time job with writing.

I think most writers struggle with that. I know I do.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to RWA, Greater Seattle, Evergreen, and Faith, Hope and Love Chapters; Sisters in Crime.

I also belong to Sisters in Crime. It’s a great group.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Watercolor painting and photography.

Other creative pursuits.

What do you like most and least about being an author?

Like the most: making up stories. Like the least: Marketing. What is your toughest challenge? Marketing

Most authors dislike marketing. It’s one of my least favorite parts of publishing, too.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

Working along with the amateur sleuth while she puts together the puzzle pieces and solves the crime.

That certainly is fun.

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

From Murder Between the Pages, P. 116.  Nina visits the murder victim’s bookstore, Bergman Books:

Next to the reading area, a wrought iron spiral staircase led to the second level, where…a domed skylight allowed light to beam on the lower level…. The skylight was the main reason Wildeen chose this building for her bookstore. She wanted customers to sit and enjoy the books under the dome’s natural light.

     “Aren’t you afraid people will only read and not buy?” Nina had asked.

     “Not at all,” Wildeen replied. “Books are like clothes. You have to try them on to see if they fit.”

Very nice excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.

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

I love writing stories and feel so lucky and privileged to have had my books published.

I feel the same. It was a pleasure to have you here on Ruff Drafts, and I wish you success with your new cozy mystery series. I’m sharing your blog tour below.

Murder Between the Pages
(The Nina Foster Mystery Series)
by Linda Hope Lee

About the Book

Murder Between the Pages (The Nina Foster Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (Crimson Rose) (December 19, 2018)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1509223673
ISBN-13: 978-1509223671
Digital Print Length: 190 pages
ASIN: B07JKZT5TM

It’s a sad day for librarian Nina Foster when she discovers her good friend, bookstore owner Wildeen Bergman, dead on her office floor. Worse yet, another friend, romance writer Zelma Duke, becomes the police’s prime suspect. Nina knows Wildeen had something on Zelma. Was it enough to warrant murder? Handsome Stephen Kraslow, owner of the local newspaper, joins forces with Nina to find out the truth. The quest takes them on a dangerous journey of twists and turns before they reach the final outcome.

About the Author

Linda Hope Lee had written contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. Other pursuits include watercolor painting, photography, collecting children’s books and anything to do with wire-haired fox terriers. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest.

Author Links

Website http://www.lindahopelee.com

Twitter: @lindahopelee

Facebook: facebook.com/lindahopelee

Goodreads: goodreads.com/lindahopelee

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 11 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 11 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

March 12 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW

March 13 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

March 14 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 14 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

March 15 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 16 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

March 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

March 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

March 18 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

March 18 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Kathleen Valenti, author of As Directed, A Maggie O’Malley Mystery by Kathleen Valenti

I’m pleased to have author Kathleen Valenti from Bend, Oregon (a.k.a. paradise) to chat about her writing and new release, As Directed, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Great to have you here, Kathleen. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

The Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, published by Henery Press, has been out for about a year and a half. My first book, PROTOCOL, debuted in September of 2017. It was followed by 39 WINKS in May of 2018. I’m excited for the launch of the series’ third book, AS DIRECTED, which releases this month.

Nice. I featured a spotlight on 39 Winks and am happy to feature your new title.

Can you please tell us a little bit about your books?

In the Maggie O’Malley Mystery series, sometime pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley cures mysteries with wit, the scientific method, and her wise-cracking best friend, Constantine. The first book in the series, PROTOCOL, was nominated for the prestigious Agatha and Lefty awards and was followed by fan favorite, 39 WINKS. AS DIRECTED, released on March 12, 2019.

Congratulations for publishing the latest of what sounds like a wonderful series. Alicia’s friend Gilly in my Cobble Cove mystery series might be a lot like Maggie’s friend Constantine.

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

 I hope to introduce more readers to Maggie by reaching out to them through outlets like this (thank you for hosting me!) and via my social media channels. Please come say hello on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kathleenvalentiauthor

I already “like” your page and hope that readers of this blog will do so, too.

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

I’m looking for readers who love books with suspense, twisty plots, and witty dialogue.

A good target group.

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

Keep at it! It’s a tough business to break into, but don’t lose hope. If you continue to hone your craft and write the best book you can, you’ll find people who believe in it as much as you do.

Wise advice.

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

There are so many great avenues for getting a book out into the world these days, but I decided I wanted to go the traditional route. More than ever, that means securing an agent. For me, that was by far the most difficult and daunting part of the process. The rejection rate of agents responding to queries is 99%. 99%!! That’s where the perseverance I mentioned above comes in. While searching for the right agent, I made sure I had the right book. It took an enormous amount of time, energy and effort, but it was absolutely worth it.

I’m still trying to find an agent, but I’m happy that I’ve been published with several publishers, although I hope to publish with a large one eventually.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to Sisters in Crime, a fantastic organization that supports sisters (and misters!) who write crime fiction, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. I’m also a blogger on two multi-author blogs: Chicks on the Case and Mysteristas.

I agree Sisters in Crime is a wonderful group. I belong to them, too, as well as International Thriller Writers. I must check out the blogs you mentioned, and I hope my readers will, too. They sound great. I also blog on a multi-author, blog, Pens, Paws, and Claws and my character cat, Sneaky the Library Cat, has his own blog.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Of course reading is near the top of the list. I also love to snowmobile, camp, hike, run and Jazzercise.

It’s good you stay active when you’re an author and have to spend a lot of time at the computer writing. As a librarian, I love to read, too, but I make it a point to exercise daily. I enjoy the Leslie Sansone walking videos. I imagine Jazzercise must be fun.

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

I love the puzzle of writing a mystery. The toughest challenge is marketing. There are so many wonderful books out there that it can be difficult to be seen and heard in the marketplace.

I know exactly what you mean.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

My books actually aren’t cozies. They’re traditional mysteries with a medical angle. I love the traditional mystery genre for its ability to create interest and intrigue while engaging the reader.

While I have a cozy series, I have written a traditional mystery, Reason to Die, and have just signed with another publisher for my psychological thriller, Sea Scope.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title o?

Here’s an excerpt from AS DIRECTED:

Claudia Warren took too long to die.

She should have been dead when her lungs stopped inflating, when her brain stopped communicating with the rest of her body. But her heart kept beating, even as her cells began to necrotize and the blood pooled in her muscles.

Claudia couldn’t even die right.

Then again, she’d never been murdered before, so maybe that was to be expected.

Claudia died alone, as she did most things. She came home from the grocery store, carefully inserted her key into the deadbolt, jiggling it up and down to engage the tumblers, then tossed her purse on the counter next to yesterday’s mail. She deposited white plastic grocery bags on the counter—she couldn’t be bothered with toting around cloth ones—and began to unpack the fruits of her Pick-N-Save foraging.

A pack of single-serving puddings.

A box of single-serving juices.

An array of Lean Cuisine entrées, the accent capping the “e” an attempt to catapult the food from TV dinner to culinary experience.

Single serving food for her table-for-one life.

Not that she minded living alone. She relished it. She had her rescue cat, Todd, a fat tabby who bumped her chin with his head when she bent to fill his dish, and her work as an advertising account exec, which followed her home every night like a stalker.

Human beings? She found them overrated. They were too critical of her missteps. Too overbearing in their suggestions. Too there.

And yet the moment she knew something was wrong, very wrong, she had a sudden and intense urging for that thereness.

Her cheating ex-husband. Her meddling mother. The woman next door who pilfered coupons from her mailbox. It didn’t matter. She would’ve taken any of them. She needed help. She needed someone there. She needed someone to stop her heart from stopping.

Exciting excerpt. Thank you for sharing. I’ve added you to my TBR author list.

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

When I’m not writing mysteries, I work as an advertising copywriter, writing ads for everything from banks and healthcare to athletic apparel and transmissions. Really!

Interesting. You certainly are a wordsmith, Kathleen.

Thanks so much for a great interview. I’m sharing the information about your blog tour below. Best wishes on your new release and future mysteries.

Thank you again for having me!

As Directed
(A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

About the Book


As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Mystery
3rd in Series
Henery Press (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114705
ISBN-13: 978-1635114706
Digital ASIN: B07LB6N22B

In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.

But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.

The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

About the Author

Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.

Author Links

https://www.kathleenvalenti.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kathleenvalentiauthor/

https://twitter.com/KathyValenti1

https://www.instagram.com/kathleen_valenti/

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomkathleenvalenti

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kathleen-valenti

Purchase Links

Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Kobo

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 1 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

March 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – GUEST POST

March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 11 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 12 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

March 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 14 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

March 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 15 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Interview, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Cathy Ace

I’m pleased to have author Cathy Ace here from just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Cathy was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales and migrated to Canada from the UK when she was 40. She’shere to speak about her writing and new release, The Wrong Boy that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

Hi, Debbie. Thanks for having me along today!

My pleasure, Cathy. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My first novel was published in 2012. THE CORPSE WITH THE SILVER TONGUE was the first in the Cait Morgan Mysteries – there are now eight books in that series (TouchWood Editons). They feature a Welsh Canadian professor of criminal psychology who travels the world solving “closed circle” mysteries (contemporary, but very much like Agatha Christie, in that they are true “traditional” mysteries). I also write the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (Severn House Publishing), which feature four female professional PIs who run their business out of a Welsh stately home. They’re cozier than the Cait Morgan Mysteries. I have two collections which are self-published (Four Tails Publishing) – one is a collection of short stories, the other a collection of novellas. These two volumes contain the earliest tales about both Cait Morgan and the WISE women, and also about DI Evan Glover…who appears in my forthcoming novel THE WRONG BOY, which was published on January 9th 2019.

Congratulations! That’s quite a nice publishing record. Your mysteries sound very interesting.

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

I hope to keep writing the two series across which I have already 12 books published, but also want to be able to work on standalones, which will be darker – though not gritty. In other words, I intend to keep my head down, and work hard!

Good luck with those goals. I also hope to start a new cozy series and keep writing standalones. I’d also like to publish some short story collections.

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

My Cait Morgan Mysteries attract readers who enjoy a true traditional novel, whilst the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries attract those who enjoy tea and cakes, a bit of gossip and real British mysteries. THE WRONG BOY will appeal to those who enjoy a thrilling tale of suspense with layers of deceit and old lies being ripped away…the effects of which impact a small community in Wales, and one family of three women in particular.

A widespread audience.

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

Read! Not books about how to write, or about how to get published, but award-winning books in the genre and sub-genre that appeal to you. You need to know what’s good (and bad) out there to learn from the best and avoid the worst.

Excellent advice. As a librarian, I have access to a large number of books and try to read as much as time permits.

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

I was very fortunate – after a career of writing professionally (in advertising and public relations) I self-published two collections of stories mailed them to a publisher, who asked me to submit a manuscript for one of the characters – and that was published. Right background, right place, right proposition, right time!

It all lined up for you. What a great story, excuse the pun.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

No, writing is – for me – a solitary undertaking.

I can understand that. Some writers find groups helpful. Others, like you, prefer to go it alone.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m an avid gardener. Lucky enough to live on five acres, my husband and I actively garden about three of those acres. I love it!

Nice. A good way of getting healthy exercise and fresh air away from the computer.

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

Easy….I love writing a first draft, and I hate editing!

Editing is a challenge, but I find promotion an even bigger one. First drafts are fun and a great way to flex the creative muscles.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I have to admit that whilst my WISE series is cozy, my Cait Morgan and DI Glover series are not and, for me, I enjoy writing in a mix of styles.

I feel the same way. I’ve written other genres but prefer mysteries of different types.

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

These are the opening two pages of THE WRONG BOY.

John Watkins hooked open the bedroom curtains and wiped the frost-feathered window with his pajama sleeve. ‘I thought that’s what I could see. Somebody’s lit a fire on the hill above the village.’

His wife tutted her annoyance at him letting in the cold. ‘All the way up there? No.’

‘Yes. Come and take a look.’ Brass rings clattered as he pulled at the worn brocade. He breathed hard on a couple of panes to clear them.

Dilys gripped her steaming mug of tea with both hands as she shuffled across the room. The moon hung in the coal black sky, and glistened on the coal black sea. Her eyes shifted from the sparkling surf to the inky hillside above. ‘That’s up by the old RAF listening station, by the looks of it.’

‘Guy Fawkes Night. Probably some kids,’ mused John, rubbing his arthritic thumb. ‘They had that do at the pub in Rhosddraig tonight, didn’t they? Sparklers and hot dogs. Maybe someone had one too many and thought it would be a good idea to start their own bonfire up there.’

‘That’s dangerous, lighting fires all over the place.’ Dilys shook her head with resignation as she turned toward the bed, eyeing its welcoming mounds with delight. Even her bones felt tired. ‘It’s nearly midnight. Who’d be out there in this temperature, doing that?’

Her husband’s face creased into a smile. ‘It’s only one fire, not loads of them, Dilys. And I can think of a woman who – when she was a girl – would have been up for a bit of mischief like that.’ He winked and smiled. ‘Remember her?’

Dilys rolled her eyes. ‘Even sixty-odd years ago I wouldn’t have wanted to be out in this cold, not with you or anyone else, John Watkins.’ She sat on the edge of the bed, placed her mug beside the alarm clock, and pushed off her slippers with her toes. ‘Come on, let’s get back in here to warm ourselves, and get some sleep. We’re up early in the morning with a long day ahead of us. A diamond wedding anniversary, with a blessing in the church and a party afterwards, only happens once. You never know, there might be a surprise for you at the breakfast table.’ She patted her husband’s pillow.

‘Who’s that, now then?’ said John, ignoring his wife’s invitation. He was still at the window, bobbing his head to avoid the reflection of the bedside lamp. ‘Well, well, I don’t know how that family’s got enough to pay out for the sort of get-ups they wear these days. That coat alone must have set them back a bit. And look at that – riding a bicycle on the footpath. I’ll have a word with them about that, I will. And the fire, too.’

‘John, come on, it’s late, love.’

John clambered into bed, and kissed his wife’s cheek. ‘What were you doing sixty years ago tonight, I wonder?’

Dilys gave her husband a gentle shove. ‘Crying myself to sleep because I was terrified about my wedding night, that’s what. My mother – God rest her soul – had tried to tell me what to expect of being with a man for the first time; she didn’t do a very good job of it. I had a bad stomach that night too. Butterflies they were back then, not this blinking wind I’ve got griping me now; I can’t seem to shift it.’

John snuggled under the duvet. ‘You were such a sweet girl. Carried away with you, I was. And I love you even more now. You know that, don’t you?’

Dilys nodded and grunted.

John didn’t like to see his wife in pain. He thought she looked more than usually peaky. ‘Why don’t you sit up for a bit; rub your tummy. Maybe that tea will shift it. You took some of your medicine, didn’t you?’

‘Yes, I did. Don’t worry, love, it’ll pass. It always does – one way or another.’ Dilys chuckled. ‘Now, come on, night, night. It’ll be time to get up before you know it.’

‘True enough.’

John turned off the lamp.

It was gone four in the morning when John rang for the ambulance. For once in his life he cursed the fact that the farm – high on the coastal moor between the villages of Rhosddraig and Lower Middleford – was so remote.

Very nice. Great descriptions.

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

Knowing that THE WRONG BOY moves in darker territory than my two other series, I have written it bearing in mind the fact that I don’t want to shock or offend my existing readers, and hoping they’ll take a chance to journey down a Welsh country lane with me, to find out what really goes on behind all those twitching net curtains!

I think your readers may welcome a change of pace.

Well, it was great having you here, Cathy, and I’m sharing info about your blog tour and giveaway below.

I appreciate that, Debbie, and enjoyed the interview.

The Wrong Boy
by Cathy Ace

About the Book

The Wrong Boy
Suspense/Thriller
Four Tails Publishing Ltd. (January 9, 2019)
Print Length: 307 pages
ASIN: B07KRNGV3R

Perched on a Welsh clifftop, the ancient, picturesque hamlet of Rhosddraig has its peaceful façade ripped apart when human remains are discovered under a pile of stones. The village pub, The Dragon’s Head, run by three generations of women, becomes the focal point for those interested in the grisly find, and it’s where layers of deceit are peeled away to expose old secrets, and deep wounds. The police need to establish who died, how, and why, but DI Evan Glover knows he can’t be involved in the investigation, because he’s just two days away from retirement. However, as the case develops in unexpected ways, it becomes irrevocably woven into his life, and the lives of local families, leading to disturbing revelations – and deadly consequences . . .

Author Links: Website Facebook Twitter: @AceCathy GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonKobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

January 8 – Reading Authors – SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

January 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

January 11 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 11 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

January 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

January 14 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

January 14 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

January 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

January 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

January 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Author Spotlight, Cozy Mysteries, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Matt Ferraz, author of Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game

I’m pleased to have author Matt Ferraz from Contagem in Southeastern Brazil here to speak about his writing and new release, Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game.

Welcome, Matt. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

I self published my first book, Teorema de Mabel (Mabel’s Theorem) in 2013. It’s my only literary book written in my mother language, Portuguese. Since then, most of my works have been in English, and a few in Italian. My second novel was Killing Dr. Watson, a murder mystery which was released in the UK by MX Publishing. Then, I started my series Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, with the first volume, The Convenient Cadaver, being self published in 2015. It’s a cozy mystery series with a character I did inspired by my own grandmother. The second book in that series is coming out in early 2018.

My new book is called Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game, and it’s a crossover between the world’s greatest detective and Pollyanna Whittier, from the Glad Game books written by Eleanor H. Porter. The synopsis is as follows:

British sleuth Sherlock Holmes can solve any mystery from a small clue. American traveler Pollyanna Whittier can only see the good side of every situation. The only thing they have in common is their friendship with Dr. John Watson. When Pollyanna shows up in London with a mystery for Holmes to solve, she decides to teach the detective the Glad Game: a way of remaining optimistic no matter what. A dangerous – and hilarious – clash of minds, where these two characters of classic literature need to learn how to work together in order to catch a dangerous criminal.

Sounds like you’ve written some nice mysteries.

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

My dream, which I share with most writers, is to make a full living out of my books. It’s not easy, and takes a lot of hard work, but I’m determined to pursue it. My country is going through an economic crisis right now, so I have just as many chances of making money with my books as I would with a regular job.

Sorry about your country’s economic situation, but best of luck with your book selling.

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

With Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game I intend to reach sherlockians, who love everything related to the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; cozy readers, who love a clean mystery read; and also people who like classic literature and want to see how characters as different as Holmes and Pollyanna will interact.

A nice audience.

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

Learn everything you can about the publishing market. It’s not enough just being a good storyteller and putting the business work in the hands of an agent or publisher. You need to know the ground you’re stepping in.

I agree completely.

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

I had problems with word count, and everything I wrote was far too short to be released by a regular publisher. It took some time to fix that.

I think most publishers are now accepting shorter-length books.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I attended to a wonderful workshop with Joanna Penn and Orna Ross in London, which taught me lots about how to make a living out of books. Besides that, I took some courses about publishing, but never about the writing itself. I agree with Stephen King, who says that writing can be learned but not taught.

Interesting idea.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m a trained barista, and can make some pretty tasty coffee drinks. I also love cinema, and go the movies as often as I can.

Nice.

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

Being a writer makes me feel like I can be in the same club where many people I look up to are. The worst part is that people don’t see it as a career, only as a hobby, and I have a tough time convincing them that this is what I want to do for a living.

I understand that issue.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.
Great! Thanks for chatting with me today, Matt, and best wishes on your new release and upcoming mysteries.
Posted in Cozy Mystery, Mysteries, New Releases, Thriller

Two New Mysteries at Surprising Prices

If you like cozies:

mybook.to/LLLibrary 

Who killed library patron, Mr. Small?

When librarian Eugenia Pratt finds the body of a patron in the archives, she employs the help of Agatha, the library’s cat, to ferret out a clue to who-dun-it.

If you like thrilers:mybook.to/BulletBack 

With Friends Like These…

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

Maybe you like both? They’re free on KindleUnlimited or only 99 cents each on Amazon.