Posted in holidays, New Releases

Happy Holidays and Wishes for a Better New Year

This has been a tough year. As some of you know, I lost a long-time friend and a sweet, elderly homebound patron to COVID. I know some of you have also lost friends, relatives, and co-workers. We’ve all also lost many other things — group gatherings, family events, businesses that have closed, etc. Hope is on the horizon in the form of a vaccine, but it may take a while before the effects are evident. In the meantime, we hope and pray that 2021 is better.

Although we’ve lost a lot, we have gained some things. We’ve gained knowledge of how to connect online through programs such as Zoom, we’ve found ways to occupy ourselves during lockdown and make the most of a bad situation. Personally, I’ve been lucky that my husband, daughter, and I have stayed safe. I’ve published 3 books this year, Memory Makers, No Gravestone Unturned (Cobble Cove #5), and Pet Posts: The Cat Chats.

My short science fiction stories, “The Felindae Mission” and “Mirror Image” appeared in the Red Penguin Collection, What Lies Below.

I had 3 poems published in anthologies: “Window Cats” in the 2020 Nassau County Voices in Verse; “Poetry Contest” in the 2020 Bard’s Annual; and “Advent” in the Tis the Seasons anthology published by Red Penguin Books.

In 2020, I also won two awards – the Cat Writers’ Association’s Muse Medallion for my eBook, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery (on sale for 99 cents through the end of December), and a 5-star silver medal from Readers Favorite for my psychological mystery, Sea Scope

One thing that has kept me sane through these difficult times has been my family, pets, and the support of fellow authors and readers. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday and much brighter days in the New Year.

 

 

Posted in Blog Tour, New Releases, Reviews

New Ebook and $20 Giveaway

I’m proud to announce that Pet Posts: The Cat Chats , is now available in Ebook as well as paperback and is free for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers. This cat book features full-color photos and stories narrated by two of my current felines and two who have passed to the Rainbow Bridge. The “tails” that are told are informative about health topics ranging from feline diabetes, asthma, hyperthyroidism, and more. There are also short stories, a poem, and links to articles and blogs about cats. If you or someone on your holiday list is a cat lover, this is a purr-fect book.

Pet Posts is also on blog tour until December 23rd with a $20 giveaway. The tour can be followed from the host blog, Silver Dagger Book Tours.

Here is the review from Our Town Book Reviews:

Not just an enjoyable book or collection of cat articles to read but also an informative read.

This book is also well-written and well put together. Although it contains a lot of information about cat illnesses and the treatment of them, as well as cat behaviors, it flows like a story. Never dry and what I’ll call “academic”. To make this happen the author has written some of the chapters or articles with the POV being one of the cats.

This book could be titled All About Cats. However, there must be 100 books with that title. So “Pet Posts” is fine, but it is the everything you need to know about cats book. From appetite loss and illness to the best snuggly beds. All told to you by a cat. What more expertise could you get?

Debbie De Louise has many books published. Many have cats in them, some fictional and some not but all have excellent reviews.

Don’t miss this book that makes a great gift for you or a cat lover on your holiday list. The eBook is free on KindleUnlimited and less than $5 for the eBook. The paperback is also now on sale for $1 less.

Posted in Blog Tour, Cats, New Releases

Win An Amazon Gift Card and Learn More About My New Book, Pet Posts: The Cat Chats

My new release, Pet Posts: The Cat Chats, is on blog tour through December 23rd. You can win an Amazon gift card by following the tour and entering the giveaway. You’ll also read some excerpts, guest posts, and reviews about the book which will make a purr-fect gift for cat lovers . . . . or for yourself.

Pet Posts: The Cat Chats Schedule

Dec 13

Kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

Nicole’s Book Musings

Drako’s Den

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Dec 14

Mochas, Mysteries and Meows  – GUEST POST

Binding Addiction

Literary Gold

Scrupulous Dreams

Dec 15

@theenchantedshelf

A Pinch of Bookdust

Craving Lovely Books

The Bookshelf Fairy

Dec 16

Our Town Book Reviews  – REVIEW

Character Madness and Musings

Girl with Pen

Twisted Book Ramblings

Dec 17

Inside the Insanity – GUEST POST

Bedazzled By Books

Insane Books

Dec 18

My Plans Are Booked

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Midnight Book Reader

Dec 19

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

Books all things paranormal and romance

Musings From An Addicted Reader

Dec 20

IndiePowerd by No Sweat Graphics

Books, Authors, Blogs

T’s Stuff

Dec 21

4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – GUEST POST

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

Sylv.net

Dec 22

All the Ups and Downs   – GUEST POST

❧Defining Ways❧

Indie Author Book Reviews

The Faerie Review

Dec 23

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ

Teatime and Books

The Book Dragon

Also, don’t forget that 4 of my ebooks are on sale for 99 cents the entire month of December.

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery

The Missing Mistletoe

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane, A Book Magic Mini Mystery, by Melissa Bourbon

I love animals. We have had quite a few cats and dogs over the years. Naming our sweet pets is sometimes so tough, but it’s always fun. We’ve had cats named Angel, Socrates, Leroy, Scout, and Pablo. Growing up, we had kitties named Tommy, Tuppence, Garr, and Moonbeam.

We’re also dog lovers. Growing up, we had Rupert. Then my husband and I had Sydney, Iris, Trinity, Jazzy, and now we have Bean, a sweet black rescue pug. He was the last dog surrendered by a back yard breeder, was crated the whole time, and is a bit damaged, but so, so loved by us. He’s been with us for 6 1/2 years. Dobby is our other pup. He’s about 2 1/2 years old and is a chug (a chihuahua/bean mix). He’s a character and we adore him!

I always put animals in my books. For me, it makes them complete. In my Magical Dressmaking mystery series, there are goats, which add a bit of comic relief. They are fun!

In my Bread Shop mysteries, Ivy has a pug named Agatha, modeled after Bean.

And in the Book Magic mysteries, Pippin rescues a dog, and Cassie gets to meet Hattie Juniper Pickle’s cat.

Naming these two animals was an important task. I asked my readers for help naming the Vizsla. They were amazing! There were so many great ideas. Ultimately, I landed on Sailor. If you read Murder in Devil’s Cove, you’ll understand why that’s a great name for her.In The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane, a Book Magic Mini Mystery, Hattie’s cat became Cucumber…because her last name is Pickle, and Cucumber is exactly the type of name Hattie would pick for her cat. Once you meet Hattie, you’ll understand!

I’d love to hear your pet names, and if you like pets in the books you read.

Happy Holidays, everyone, and happy reading!

xxx
Melissa


The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane: A Book Magic Mini Mystery
by Melissa Bourbon

About The Secret on
Rum Runner’s Lane


The Secret on Rum Runner’s Lane: A Book Magic Mini Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Mini Mystery #1
Publisher: Lake House Press (November 10, 2020)
Print length: 104 pages
ASIN: B08LDSY5DD

The Lane women are bibliomancers, but Cassie sees her divination not as a gift, but as a curse–one from which she desperately wants to escape. It turns out, though, that running from her fate isn’t as easy as she thought it would be. When a woman goes missing, and a neighbor turns up dead, Cassie turns to the books she’s always avoided to help her find the truth.

About Melissa Bourbon

Melissa Bourbon is the national bestselling author of nineteen mystery books, including the brand new collaborative Book Magic mysteries, the Lola Cruz Mysteries, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, and the Bread Shop Mysteries, written as Winnie Archer. She is a former middle school English teacher who gave up the classroom in order to live in her imagination full time. Melissa, a California native who has lived in Texas and Colorado, now calls the southeast home. She hikes, practices yoga, cooks, and is slowly but surely discovering all the great restaurants in the Carolinas. Since four of her five amazing kids are living their lives, scattered throughout the country, her dogs, Bean, the pug, Dobby, the chug, and Jasper, a cattle dog/lab keep her company while she writes. Melissa lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and their youngest son. She is beyond fortunate to be living the life of her dreams.

Author Links

Website – https://melissabourbon.com/

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

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/BookWarriors

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

Purchase Link – Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE

December 1 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

December 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

December 3 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Maureen Timerman – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

December 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST

December 5 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW

December 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

December 11 – Diane Reviews Books– REVIEW

December 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 12 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

December 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Interview, New Releases

Guest Post, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for Grounds for Murder, A Coffee Lover’s Mystery by Tara Lush

As a real-life journalist in Florida, I’ve written about the shady side of my sunny state for years.

Political corruption, terrible crime, shenanigans at tiki bars, alligators, naked guys with machetes, cockroaches in unmentionable places…nothing shocks me. The cliché of ‘Florida Man’ is a reality here, one that I’ve written too many times to count.

I’ve considered writing crime fiction for years, and entertained the thought of doing true crime. But that seemed a little too close to my day job and I wanted to drift away from the darkness of hard news. My first forays into fiction were contemporary romances, and almost all were set in Florida. But crime lurked in my mind, and in 2019, I sat down and finally plotted a murder mystery.

As I scribbled my first cozy, I imagined a slightly less-dysfunctional tropical paradise than the real thing, one that was loosely based on the events I’ve covered in my twenty-plus years as a reporter in Florida. Of course, it had to have the hallmarks of a cozy — no gore, no swearing, no sex — which was a bit of a change from my romances. But I had a blast plotting the book, and discovered that cozies are really my jam, writing-wise.

I created a fictional island in the Gulf of Mexico, chock full of eccentric characters. Devil’s Beach is where gossipy old hippies mingle with reformed mafiosos. Where the local newspaper writes stories about chicken nuggets shaped like manatees. Where a handsome Instagram-famous barista is found dead and no one bats an eye when a laid off journalist tries to figure out how the barista spent his final hours.

I also wanted a gentle anchor to the book, and that’s why I set the story in the coffee shop of my dreams. It’s called Perkatory, a place decorated in weathered wood and sky-blue accents, with the best coffee in Florida. I imagined readers cracking open a book at a café a block from the beach while on vacation, and kept that image in my mind as I wrote.

Drawing inspiration from decades of covering crime, I plotted my murder. Interestingly, the victim in Grounds for Murder is similar to — but also the opposite of — the hero I wrote in my first romance novel. Both are Italian, handsome and playboys. The difference is, one ended up dead, while the romance hero fell in love. Fiction works in strange ways, doesn’t it?

It wasn’t the only reference to my past.

From the stilted language of cop-speak to wrangling over deadlines with editors, I used details from newspaper stories to seed clues into my fictional story. And the suspects, those were easy — they are all based on people I’ve covered in the past, folks who stood out as true characters.

I believe that for my Florida peeps, they’ll recognize many of the places, stories and details in the book. And for you non-Florida folks, I’m hopeful you’ll read my book and feel like you’re on a beach vacation.

ABOUT GROUNDS FOR MURDER: Barista Lana Lewis’s sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries.

When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.

Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.

With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer. After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?

LINK: books2read.com/u/4A7KLA

SOCIAL:

Website: www.taralush.com

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

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

BIO: Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award winning journalist. For the past decade, she’s been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics.

She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations under her real name, Tamara Lush. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.


Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
by Tara Lush

About Grounds for Murder

Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643856189
ISBN-13: 978-1643856186
Digital ASIN: B0871KTTMC

When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.

Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.

With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer.

After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?

About Tara Lush

Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award-winning journalist. For the past decade, she’s been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.

Author Links

WEB: www.taralush.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/LushBooks

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20274256.Tara_Lush

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/lush_books/

Purchase Links

AMAZONKOBOBARNES AND NOBLEITUNESINDIEBOUND

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 8 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Maureen’s Musings – RECIPE POST

December 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

December 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 10 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

December 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

December 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

December 12 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

December 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 12 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

December 14 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 14 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE POST

December 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 16 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

December 16 – eBook Addicts – RECIPE POST

December 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

December 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in Blog Tour, Freebies and Special Offers, New Releases

The Best Laid Plans – New Book and Blog Tour Update

In my December News, I mentioned that I was publishing a non-fiction cat book, Pet Posts: the Cat Chats, this month and that it would be on blog tour starting today, December 9. I’ve been working on this book for several months. It’s a compilation of articles and blog posts written from the points of view of two of my previous and two of my current cats about feline health, behavior, and other topics. The book also features a large number of cat photos to illustrate the chapters. I had all hopes to have it complete this month. In fact, I originally had a blog tour scheduled in November. However, things didn’t turn out as I expected. I’m still hoping to have this book published shortly, but I’ve had to reschedule the tour to start this Sunday, December 13. I’m thankful that Maia from Silverdagger Book Tours and the book bloggers who signed up for the tour have been so accommodating, and I hope that my readers also understand the technical and other issues involved that often delay publishing a book. I know that other writers will empathize.

I look forward to announcing my new release, and fingers (and paws) crossed, book tour.

***UPDATE: Book has been approved by Amazon. Purchase link coming soon. Tour details announced soon.

In the meantime, please check out my 99-cent stocking stuffers available through December 31.

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters (a Cobble Cove cozy mystery short eBook)

Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Cobble Cove Book #2)

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery (a Cobble Cove cozy mystery short eBook)

The Missing Mistletoe (paranormal romance)

 

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Interview

Interview, Blog Tour, and Giveaway of A Deadly Edition, the new Blue Ridge Library Mystery, by Victoria Gilbert

Today, I’m interviewing author Victoria Gilbert from the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina about her new Blue Ridge Library Mystery release, A Deadly Edition.

Welcome to Ruff Drafts, Victoria. Please tell us how long have you been published and what titles and/or series you’ve published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My first published book (2014) was CROWN OF ICE, a fairytale retelling of H. C. Andersen’s The Snow Queen. It was originally trad. published, but for various reasons I pulled all my rights from that publisher and republished that title, as well as its companion title, SCEPTER OF FIRE – a “mash-up” retelling of Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling and The Steadfast Tin Soldier – as books one and two in the Mirror of Immortality Series. Those books were both independently published in the spring of 2017 with my author co-op, Snowy Wings Publishing.

I also wrote a YA scifi novel that was trad. published in 2016. However, I also had to pull my rights to that book and it’s now out-of-print. I have no plans to republish that particular book.

My first mystery was A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS. It was published in December 2017 by Crooked Lane Books, and is the start of the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series. Since that time, Crooked Lane has published more books in that series – SHELVED UNDER MURDER (2018), PAST DUE FOR MURDER (2019), and BOUND FOR MURDER (2020). The fifth book, A DEADLY EDITION, publishing today, December 8,  2020 by Crooked Lane  is the book being celebrated during this tour.

The first book in my new series, the Booklover’s B&B series, BOOKED FOR DEATH, was published by Crooked Lane in August 2020.

Very nice. As a librarian as well as an author who writes a cozy mystery series involving a librarian, I hope to read some of your Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

Please tell us more 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.

Book two in the Booklover’s B&B series, RESERVED FOR MURDER, will be released in June 2021. It is already available for preorder.

There will also be at least two more books in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series. Book six will be published in Dec. 2021 and book seven in Dec. 2022.

I’ve also recently signed a contract with Crooked Lane Books for a more traditional mystery series – the Hunter and Clewe Mysteries. Book one in that series will be published in spring 2023 and book two in spring 2024.

Sounds like you are very busy. It’s great that you’ve got your next few years’ writing planned.

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 am pretty booked up with contracts over the next few years! I will be working on my two original cozy series as well as the new traditional mystery series.

I plan to write at least two books a year. (I’m actually turning in three books in 2021!) I also hope to enhance my promotional efforts, attend pertinent conferences and conventions (when we can travel again), and continually improve my craft.

Impressive goals.

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

As a very eclectic reader myself, I would be happy to attract anyone who enjoys reading.

As far as who might be most interested in my two current series, I would say anyone who likes cozy or light mysteries, anyone interested in a small-town settings and interesting and diverse characters, anyone who enjoys some (clean) romance in their books, and anyone who likes historical mysteries mixed in with contemporary crime-solving.

You should have a wide audience.

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

I encourage authors to explore new paths to publication if they find the traditional publishing world isn’t interested in books they’ve written and love. Although my SF/F books don’t match the market for trad. publishing today, I’ve found publishing them independently (with my author co-op) a great alternative to leaving them languishing “on the shelf.”

Also, experiment and try new things, especially if you are feeling “stuck” or unfulfilled with where you are now. I started out in one genre, and while I did get published, I discovered that my real strengths as a writer lay elsewhere.

That’s very good advice. Although I have my cozy series and have written several standalone mysteries, I also write other genres and have written short stories, poetry, non-fiction articles, and will be releasing my first non-fiction cat book soon.

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

Despite starting later in life, my path to publication wasn’t as difficult as some. I actually signed with an agent and got a publishing deal after only a year of querying. To be honest, I faced more challenges AFTER being first published than before. I really don’t wish to go into details about those problems, but I will say that all my experiences have taught me a great deal about the publishing business, which I think is always beneficial.

That’s interesting. I’ve been querying agents off and on for a few years. I currently publish with two Indie publishers but have also found more problems after I was published. I wouldn’t call them problems so much as challenges.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I am a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. I am also involved in my local Sisters in Crime chapter, Murder We Write.

I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime, but there’s no local chapter in my area, unfortunately. I’ve also been considering joining Mystery Writers of America.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love reading, of course! I also enjoy gardening, traveling, drawing and painting, listening to music, attending theatre and dance performances, and watching films and TV, especially British and other non-U.S. shows.

That’s a good variety of hobbies and pastimes.

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

What I like most is the creative process and bringing my characters to life. I also enjoy developing plots and honing my words into something that can make me feel proud. (Even though my writing is never perfect and I am still learning). In addition, I love hearing from readers who have enjoyed my books, and discussing writing and books with other readers.

My toughest challenge is promotion. I am not a natural salesperson, so dealing with the marketing aspect of the business is much more of a challenge for me than the creative side.

I feel exactly the same way about creativity and reader recognition as the most fulfilling parts of being an author as well as marketing/promoting being the most demanding and difficult parts.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

As someone who is not fond of reading books that include graphic violence, language, or sex, I enjoy writing in a genre that doesn’t include those things. I also enjoy being able to focus on characters and everyday life while still being able to include action and adventure.

I feel that way, too.

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

From A DEADLY EDITION, Book Five in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series:

“This is starting to remind me of one of those French farces— people coming and going from all directions.” Richard’s fingers curled around mine.

Looking over the area as if to make sure no one was watching, Scott also used the back door to enter the house.

“It is peculiar,” I said, “but I’m sure there’s some reasonable explanation.”

A loud crash silenced Richard’s response.

“Sounds like it came from that direction,” he said, dropping my hand to sprint down the path.

I followed, running to match his longer strides. The path curved off to the right, ending at a wooden garden shed.

Richard paused, grabbing the edge of the half-open door. “Hold on,” he said as I reached him. “We should be careful. It could be some sort of wild animal, and if we back it into a corner, it could turn violent.”

“But it also could be hurt,” I said, pulling the door wider to peer inside the shed. “Can’t see much.”

There’s something on the floor.” Richard pointed toward a large, shadowy object sprawled across the center of the small room.

I backed away. “Not a bear, I hope.”

“It’s not moving. Maybe just some tarps that tipped off that top shelf.” Richard grabbed a rake that was propped next to the door.

As he crept closer to the shadowy object, holding the rake like a weapon, I stepped in behind him and moved to the side to allow light to spill in through the door.

It was a tarp—a cracked blue tarp dusted with mold. But it was draped over something else. Richard tentatively reached out and flipped up an edge of the thick plastic covering.

I gasped as an expensive leather shoe was revealed.

We both rushed forward to fling back the rest of the tarp. Then stood in silence, holding hands, as we stared down at the body of Oscar Selvaggio.

Enticing excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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

While I do write series, and there is character development and plot progression over the course of each series, I never write cliff-hangers! If someone wants to read my books out of order, they should be able to enjoy them.

Also, I’m happy to engage with readers on social media or via my website contact form and would also love to talk to them if we meet at any conferences, signings, or related events. So readers – don’t hesitate to connect with me!

I don’t like writing (or reading) cliffhangers, and I consider that all the books of my Cobble Cove mysteries can be read as standalones, although readers might enjoy the character developments by reading them in order. As for engaging with readers (and also other writers), that’s always a pleasure.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. 

Social Media Links:

Website/blog: http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/ 

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGilbertauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/VictoriaGilbert

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B071ZQZN1P?

BUY LINKS: 

A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/a-murder-for-the-books/

SHELVED UNDER MURDER: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/shelved-under-murder/

PAST DUE FOR MURDER: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/past-due-for-murder/

BOUND FOR MURDER: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612101/bound-for-murder-by-victoria-gilbert/

A DEADLY EDITION: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/647523/a-deadly-edition-by-victoria-gilbert/9781643854762/

BOOKED FOR DEATH:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/622813/booked-for-death-by-victoria-gilbert/

RESERVED FOR MURDER (preorder):

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/659504/reserved-for-murder-by-victoria-gilbert/

Thanks so much, Victoria. I’m including your blog tour and giveaway below. Best wishes on your new release and all your upcoming publications.


A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About A Deadly Edition


A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1643854762
Kindle ASIN: B085N3KN7L

‘Til death do us part” could be closer than the bride realizes in Victoria Gilbert’s tantalizing fifth Blue Ridge Library mystery.”

The pursuit to acquire a rare illustrated book turns deadly, and on the eve of her upcoming wedding, library director Amy Webber is drawn into a web of treachery and betrayal that could derail her happy day–and maybe just claim her life.

Planning a wedding can be murder–sometimes literally. At a party celebrating their upcoming nuptials, Taylorsford, Virginia library director Amy Webber and her fiancé Richard Muir discover the body of art dealer Oscar Selvaggio–a bitter rival of their host, Kurt Kendrick.

Both had been in a heated battle to purchase a rare illustrated volume created by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, so suspicion immediately falls upon Kurt. Amy knows that Kurt has a closet-full of skeletons from his past–but she can’t believe he’s guilty of murder.

Amidst an avalanche of wedding preparations, Amy begins an investigation with the help of her aunt Lydia Talbot and the new mayor of Taylorsford, Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. Much to Lydia’s dismay, her boyfriend, art expert Hugh Chen, becomes convinced of Kurt’s guilt and launches an investigation of his own. As the case hits painfully close to home, the stakes become impossibly high–and the danger all too real.

About Victoria Gilbert

Raised in a historic small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.

Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B series, and the upcoming Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. She has also published fantasy with Snowy Wings Publishing.

A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel. She lives near Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.

Author Links

Website (includes blog): http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/

FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGilbertauthor

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Gilbert/e/B071ZQZN1P

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16912697.Victoria_Gilbert

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

Blue Ridge Library Mystery series:

A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/a-murder-for-the-books/

SHELVED UNDER MURDER: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/shelved-under-murder/

PAST DUE FOR MURDER: http://www.crookedlanebooks.com/titles/past-due-for-murder/

BOUND FOR MURDER: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612101/bound-for-murder-by-victoria-gilbert/

A DEADLY EDITION: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/647523/a-deadly-edition-by-victoria-gilbert/9781643854762/

Booklover’s B&B series:

BOOKED FOR DEATH: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/622813/booked-for-death-by-victoria-gilbert/

RESERVED FOR MURDER (preorder): https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/659504/reserved-for-murder-by-victoria-gilbert/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 6 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

December 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – CelticLady Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 8 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 9 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

December 9 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

December 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

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

December 11 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

December 11 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

December 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

December 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Blog Tour, Guest Post

Guest Post, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for Where There’s A Will, A Glass Dolphin Mystery by Judy Penz Sheluk

Creating a Fictional Town

Judy Penz Sheluk

When I started writing my Glass Dolphin cozy mystery series, I wanted to create a fictional town that readers could believe in, and to do that, it had to be modeled after a town I could relate to. Now, I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and I’ve lived within two hours of that city, mostly in small towns, for all of my adult life. Add to the mix that I’ve never been much of a traveler (I don’t count a week in the Bahamas or the occasional writers’ conference as being a “traveler”) and I couldn’t imagine setting my book in a fictional U.S. town. After all, just like the people in them, every small town I’ve lived in has had its own distinct personality.

And so, I set the Glass Dolphin mysteries in Lount’s Landing, a fictionalized version of Holland Landing, where I’d lived for twenty years. Instead of the Holland River, the Landing (yes, Holland Landing folks refer to it as “the Landing”), I’ve got the Dutch River. Instead of neighboring Newmarket, I’ve got Marketville (though I did borrow its Main Street of indie shops and restaurants for Lount’s Landing).

Why Lount’s Landing, you might ask, and the answer is simple. When I first moved to the town in 1990, one of my first stops was the Holland Landing Public Library. Outside, there was a historical plaque commemorating Samuel Lount, who’d been hanged for treason in 1838. Fascinated, I researched Lount’s story. His history, and his hanging, is an integral part of The Hanged Man’s Noose, book 1 in the series.

In book 2, A Hole in One, Glass Dolphin antiques shop owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland decide to sponsor a hole in one contest at a charity golf tournament in hopes of promoting the store. Unfortunately, finding a dead body in the woods has a way of mucking things up, but the golf course, and the third hole where the body is discovered, is based on Silver Lakes Golf Course in…you guessed it…Holland Landing.

Where There’s A Will, book 3, wraps up the series with Emily getting married and house hunting, and Arabella and her ex-husband, Levon, hired to appraise the contents of an estate. Once again, the setting of Lount’s Landing is integral to the story.

One of the best compliments a reader can give me is to say, “I felt as if I were right there,” because that means I’ve been successful in creating a believable fictional town. And today, when most of us aren’t traveling, isn’t it fun to think you can visit a small town in Canada, where most people are good and those who aren’t eventually get their comeuppance.

Where There’s A Will: A Glass Dolphin Mystery
by Judy Penz Sheluk

About Where There’s A Will. . .


Where There’s A Will: A Glass Dolphin Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Superior Shores Press (November 10, 2020)
Paperback: 210 pages
ISBN-10: 1989495273
ISBN-13: 978-1989495278
Digital ASIN: B08KFLQ6KH

Emily Garland is getting married and looking for the perfect forever home. When the old, and some say haunted, Hadley house comes up for sale, she’s convinced it’s “the one.” The house is also perfect for reality TV star Miles Pemberton and his new series, House Haunters. Emily will fight for her dream home, but Pemberton’s pockets are deeper than Emily’s, and he’ll stretch the rules to get what he wants.

While Pemberton racks up enemies all around Lount’s Landing, Arabella Carpenter, Emily’s partner at the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, has been hired to appraise the contents of the estate, along with her ex-husband, Levon. Could the feuding beneficiaries decide there’s a conflict of interest? Could Pemberton?

Things get even more complicated when Arabella and Levon discover another will hidden inside the house, and with it, a decades-old secret. Can the property stay on the market? And if so, who will make the winning offer: Emily or Miles Pemberton?

About Judy Penz Sheluk

A former journalist and magazine editor, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks & Half-truths, which she also edited. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Chair on the Board of Directors.

Author Links

Website/Blog: http://www.judypenzsheluk.com

Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/JudyPenzSheluk/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/wwwjudypenzshelukcom

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudyPenzSheluk

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/judypenzsheluk/

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/judy-penz-sheluk

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04

Purchase Links:

AmazonB&NKoboApple

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 1 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

December 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

December 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

December 3 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

December 4 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

December 5 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – RECIPE

December 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 7 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

December 7 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

December 8 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 8 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

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Posted in Reviews

Review for Faye Faraway by Helen Fisher

I first heard about this book through a library webinar I attended. As a fan of time-travel books, I found the premise interesting, a story about a woman whose mother died when she was young but who was able to go back in time to see her again. Although I didn’t lose my mother as a child, I know the feeling of wanting to spend more time with a loved one you’ve lost. Faye discovers that there are negatives as well as positives for doing this when she comes across an old box that had originally contained a Christmas gift for her. This box serves as a time machine that can send her back to the year prior to her mother’s death. While the trip back is bumpy, and Faye is bruised and battered from it, she is eager to befriend her mother who is younger than she is at the time. She also meets her young self which is an anomaly in this type of fiction. While Faye is reluctant to share her experience with anyone, including her husband who is about to enter the clergy, she confides in a blind co-worker. As she investigates the past through her time-travel trips and also through information she gathers in the present, she learns some amazing facts about her mother. The end is a twist that will surprise you but that makes sense of the plot. While this is a time-travel mystery, it’s also a story about faith and family. I read the advanced reader’s copy. The book releases in late January, and I highly recommend it.

Posted in Blog Tour, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for On Deadly Tides: A Penny Brannigan Mystery by Elizabeth J. Duncan

A Bit of Literary Library Love

Several of the characters in the Penny Brannigan mystery series are great readers. Amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan loves to curl up with a good mystery. Police procedures are good, but nothing too violent. In Slated for Death, when she couldn’t sleep, the local librarian offered her a nice, boring history of farming practices in the former USSR.

Mrs. Lloyd, a retired postmistress, loves The Lady magazine, and subscribes to it so she won’t miss an issue. And although she occasionally dips into Country Life, she doesn’t read books. Her lodger, Florence Semble, however, is an avid reader, but she chooses not to buy them, preferring to be a regular patron of the Llanelen public library.

Another patron of the local library is Bronwyn Evans, the rector’s wife. She likes Regency romances, and if the story includes a handsome young earl with a smart carriage, so much the better.

But beyond the local public library, two private libraries feature prominently in the Penny Brannigan mystery series. Never Laugh as a Hearse Goes By (2013) is set in the beautiful tranquillity of Gladstone’s Library, in Hawarth, North Wales. Founded by four-time British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone in 1894, the library is the only prime ministerial library in Britain. It’s also a residential library, which means visitors can book a room and stay overnight, and it hosts conferences, which was the perfect reason for a group of my characters to gather.

In 2019’s Remembering the Dead, a pivotal scene takes place in the library of Ty Brith Hall, a Welsh country house.

She opened the door and stood aside to allow the others to enter the library. Three walls were lined with dark, built-in shelving filled with books, and the fourth wall, facing the door, was painted a soft, sophisticated shade of sage green with a hint of grey. It featured a fireplace with an ornately carved mantelpiece and surround situated between two large windows overlooking green fields dotted with grazing sheep.

Comfortable-looking chairs and a sofa upholstered in a muted grey-coloured fabric positioned on a worn, patterned burgundy carpet invited visitors to sit and thumb through the selection of magazines on a coffee table or choose a book.

“Those are the original shelves,” Gwennie pointed out. “They were fitted when the house was built.”

One unit of floor-to- ceiling shelves was filled with old books with leather binding in brown, navy blue, and red, their titles printed in gold on the spines, but most of the books were newer—colourful hardbacks and paperbacks. The books looked read and the room looked formal and felt cozy at the same time, with just the right hint of old-book smell.

“What a beautiful room,” exclaimed Penny.

“It is that,” said Gwennie, “except when it’s time for spring cleaning and every book has to be taken down and dusted.”

Although a library, public or private, doesn’t figure in On Deadly Tides, the most recent title in the Penny Brannigan series, the reading theme is woven throughout the series and probably plays as much a role in my characters’ lives as it does in yours!


On Deadly Tides: A Penny Brannigan Mystery
by Elizabeth J. Duncan

About On Deadly Tides


On Deadly Tides: A Penny Brannigan Mystery
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 10, 2020)
237 pages
ISBN-10: 1643854682
ISBN-13: 978-1643854687
Kindle ASIN: B084V85BT8

With a picturesque black and white lighthouse, pebble beaches and stunning views of sea and mountains, the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales is the perfect place for an idyllic mid-summer painting holiday.

And watercolour artist, businesswoman, and amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan is enjoying the retreat enormously – until she discovers the body of a New Zealand journalist on a secluded beach just as the tide is going out, threatening to take the body with it.

The post mortem reveals the victim died from injuries “consistent with a fall from a great height,” and the death is ruled accidental. But Penny thinks there’s more to the story. Curious how the victim came to such an untimely end at this most inhospitable spot, she uncovers a link to a mysterious disappearance several years earlier.

And as her holiday romance with a wildlife photographer turns to love, she learns some truths about herself, too, that surprise her.

As the winds of change blow through Penny’s own life, she sets sail on a friendly tide for a future she never dreamed possible, in a beautiful place she never imagined.

About Elizabeth J. Duncan

A two-time winner of the Bloody Words (Bony Blithe) Award for Canada’s best light mystery, Elizabeth J. Duncan is the author of two series: the Penny Brannigan mysteries set in North Wales and Shakespeare in the Catskills featuring costume designer Charlotte Fairfax. A former journalist, public relations practioner, and college professor, Elizabeth is a faculty member of the Humber School for Writers. She divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Llandudno, North Wales.

Author Links

Website: www.elizabethjduncan.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/elizabethjduncan

Twitter: @elizabethduncan

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 27 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 28 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 28 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

November 29 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 29 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

November 30 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

November 30 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

December 1 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

December 1 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 2 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

December 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

December 4 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

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