Posted in blog challenge

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: 5 Things about Me

takeoveraboutmeIf you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you know a lot about me already; so when I attempted to meet the challenge of writing five things about myself, I decided to include facts that some people weren’t aware of but might find interesting.

  1. debbienewpicI chose to become a librarian after taking a college vocational test in my Sophomore year at college that showed my interests and skills to be best matched to a career in librarianship  and writing. I’ve worked as a librarian for 25 years and will be publishing my third novel this fall.
  2. I grew up with cats, have written about them in short stories, articles, and books and am a long-time member of a wonderful organization known as the Cat Writer’s Association. I currently have two male cats of my own – a striped, 7-year old tabby my daughter named Stripey and my mother’s 16-year old Siamese, Oliver, who I adopted three years ago. oliverstripey
  3. bonesAlthough I don’t watch a lot of television, I enjoy The Librarians, The Catch, and my favorite series, Bones, that I recently started watching on Netflix.
  4. hollybabyMy happiest experiences were my wedding day 25 years ago next July; the birth of my daughter who will be 12 this October; and the contract offer from Limitless Publishing I received for my novel, A STONE’S THROW, that was published last November and which will soon have a sequel.
  5. blackforestcake2My favorite dessert is Black Forest cake, and I love dark chocolate. My favorite snacks are unsalted peanuts out of the shell and sugarless gum.

 

blogchallengegraphicupdated
It’s a pleasure to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

 

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: Profile of My Character

betweenarockandahardplacesolsticecover
Cover Image of BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, releasing this fall.

While this blog post topic is a week late for the challenge because I was on vacation and very busy when I returned, I still wanted to write it to introduce one of my newest characters in my mystery BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, the sequel to A STONE’S THROW.  I am busy working on edits for this book and hope it’s out in October or November.

Warning: If you haven’t read A STONE’S THROW yet, you might want to skip this post because it contains a spoiler from the ending.

kimpic
What Kim Pierce, college journalism major from the upcoming BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, Cobble Cove Mystery #2, might look like

While many characters from A STONE’S THROW are still included in its sequel, there are also quite a few new characters as Cobble Cove expands. Two of the newer characters introduced in BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE are college students, Kim Pierce and Andy Phillips. The two young people are journalism interns who work for John at the Cobble Cove Courier. Kim also babysits for John and Alicia’s twins. I am profiling her for this challenge.

Kim is the second oldest in a large family. She wears her brown hair in a ponytail and dresses casually in sweaters and jeans. She and Andy, who work together on the newspaper, are dating. Their relationship becomes tested in the book when he is suspected and later accused of some of the crimes that take place in Cobble Cove during the holiday season. When Kim witnesses an event that touches John and Alicia, her older brother Carter comforts her in Andy’s place.

Here is an unedited scene from BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, Cobble Cove Mystery #2 starring Kim:

The babysitter appeared at the nursery door. She was dressed in tight-fitting jeans, a pale fuzzy blue sweater that accented her light blue eyes. Her brown hair was tied back in a ponytail.

“Sorry that took so long,” she said not even out of breath having run up the stairs. Alicia envied the girl’s 20-year old body.

“Not to worry. I know how long doctors take. Sheila sent me home because she thinks I need more rest, but I feel fine. John was around earlier, but he’s gone to do some chores. Since you’re here, maybe I’ll take him up on his suggestion to go Christmas shopping or do something in town.”

Kim smiled. “Of course. You deserve to have time to yourself. I can watch the twins until four and then I have to get ready for my evening class.”

“I should be back way before then. How are your classes going this semester?”

Kim walked over to the cribs and looked down at the babies who were starting to fall asleep. In a low voice, she replied. “They’re good. Lots of work, but I enjoy it.”

“How much longer do you need to go before you earn your degree?”

Kim was by Carol’s crib, and she smiled as the baby opened her eyes again and regarded her with a gurgle. She reached down and tickled her.

“So sweet. Your babies are adorable, Alicia. One day, I hope to have cuties like these. But I want to start my career first. If I can afford the classes next year, I’ll be able to finish the following spring.”

Alicia knew college costs were high. “Are you taking out any loans?” When Alicia was at Long Island University, she’d earned some scholarships but she’d also borrowed money in her last year at library school. Luckily, she was able to pay her loan off shortly after she married her first husband.

“I’m not sure that’s a wise thing to do,” Kim said walking over to Johnny and watching as he followed his sister in waking up.

“I hate to have to pay back all that money with interest. I know I won’t earn much in the field I’m entering, especially in the beginning, and I can’t expect my parents to help much since I have three sisters and a brother at home.”

Alicia knew that both Kim and John’s other assistant, Andy, were from lower middle-class families. Kim came from a large family compared to today’s households and, although Andy only had a younger brother, his dad had died in a car accident a few years ago. His mother was struggling to make ends meet. She felt for the young people who were just starting out and was glad that John was paying them for their work on the paper and that she could offer Kim additional money for babysitting.

Buy links for A STONE’S THROW:

Amazon U.S.: KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1MjaJgN

Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/1Sdh82D

Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/1SdheHi

Amazon U.K.: http://amzn.to/1QutXBW

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nQPyv4

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1KGYHep

Also available on iTunes and Ingram

Connect with me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

 

 

 

 

Posted in Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Cat Collection

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

catcollecting2catcollecting4editedThe topic of this week’s challenge is collections. I used to be an avid collector of all types of cat items — cat plates, cat music boxes, cat statues, cat knick knacks, cat jewelry, cat clothing, and, of course, cat books.

catcollecting5catcollecting6Not only did I collect cat objects, but I found creative ways to store and display them. Many of my delicate figurines are contained inside a tower of boxes featuring cats, while a bunch of round, cat-decorated boxes are home to my cat jewelry and scarves. Some of my Cat’s Meow Village pieces grace the window in my office while several figurines line my bedroom bookshelf.

I became so addicted to cat collecting that I even joined Cat Collectors, an international organization established by Marilyn Dipboye in 1982. It had its own newsletter, Cat Talk, published by Karen Shanks and even an annual conference. Although this organization is no longer active, I located a similar Facebook group that might be

catcollecting1I became so addicted to cat collecting that I even joined Cat Collectors, an international organization established by Marilyn Dipboye in 1982. It had its own newsletter, Cat Talk, published by Karen Shanks and even an annual conference. Although this organization is no longer active, I located a similar Facebook group that seems to be its successor: https://www.facebook.com/Cat.Collectors/

I don’t collect as many cat items as I once did mainly because there isn’t room for them in my house. However, if I come across a unique cat item or one that I can’t resist, I allow myself to splurge on it. Cat collectibles are still very popular and can be found at craft fairs, street fairs, festivals, garage sales, souvenir shops, antique shops, gift shops, department stores, and, of course, on Ebay, Amazon.com, and other online sites.

Here is the 1985 article about Cat Collectors: http://trib.in/29RMPyf

This is the Ebay site for listings of cat collectibles: http://ebay.to/29BtVrm

You can find some cat figurines through this search on Amazon: http://amzn.to/29GLB6G

This is the link to the Cat’s Meow Village collectibles site: https://www.catsmeow.com/

A Few Cat Collectible gift sites:

http://bit.ly/29Givs2

http://bit.ly/29BtNrY

http://bit.ly/29Tu9zM

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Top 5 (10) Books and Why

blogchallengegraphicupdatedThis week’s blog challenge is about my 5 Favorite books and what I like about them. I couldn’t limit it to 5, so I am featuring my top 10 (I could probably list a lot more and have actually cheated a bit by listing more than one by each author). Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created this blog challenge (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

My 10 Favorite Books

Authors (and librarians, too) are often asked what books they have read and enjoyed. Like movie reviews, their replies are very individual and not necessarily meant as recommendations. Below I have listed some of my favorite books and series along with why I liked them and what I would perhaps like to emulate about the writing style or plot. They are not listed in any particular order.

friblog1secondglance1. Second Glance and Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 
While I have read a few of Picoult’s books, these two stand out for me. They both have a touch of paranormal that I like with the sense of past and strong characters that appeal to me. I also enjoyed  Leaving Time for it’s unique information about elephants and a great twist featuring a touch of supernatural, as well.  One of my books, Cloudy Rainbow, also features a touch of the paranormal.

2. The Eight by Katherine Neville

friblog2Not an easy book to read but one that is worth reading several times. Historical detail about the French Revolution is nicely researched. It brings to mind one of my classic favorites, A Tale of Two Cities. The characters are witty and colorful. The time switches between the past and the present merge well. Information about chess and its history and masters is a plus.

friblog33. Chill Factor by Sandra Brown
This mystery novel is atmospheric and features well-depicted winter weather effects. It kept me guessing until nearly the end.

4. The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux friblog4
As a time travel fan, this hit a chord with me. I loved the characters and plot.

friblog55. Find Me by Carol O’Connell
All of the Mallory mysteries are good, but this one was especially well written. The Mallory series is tough to read but worth the effort. I like books that make you think and feel. This psychological thriller does both, as do all the books in this series.

6. Lightning by Dean Koontz friblog6
Koontz is another of my favorite horror authors. This was an oldie but greatie featuring time travel with great characters and plot.

friblog77. Time and Again by Jack Finney
This wonderful time travel classic tells a beautiful love story set in atmospheric turn-of-the-century New York. The black and white photos were an interesting plus. I loved this book.

8. Carolina Moon, Midnight Bayou, and Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts (counting these as 1)  whiskeybeachfriblog8
I thoroughly enjoy most of this prolific author’s novels, but these are friblog9my favorites, so far, for atmosphere, suspense, and romance. I also love her futuristic In Death mystery series Roberts writes as J.D. Robb.

friblog10

9  Me Before You by Jojo Moyes– This is a different type of book about a woman who falls in love with a paraplegic. The characters were portrayed realistically, and it made me cry at the end. I can’t wait to see the movie that just came out.

1friblog110.  I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins  – a suspenseful read that keeps you guessing who-dun-it. I love Mary Higgins Clark.

Of course, my own book, A Stone’s Throw, is one of my favorites, as well, and I hope it will become one of yours, too.  It features mystery, romance, and what most reviewers are saying is a great twist.

Connect with me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com

Posted in Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: 6 Marketing Tips

blogchallengegraphicupdatedThis week’s blog challenge is about marketing tips. Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created this challenge (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

I don’t have many book marketing tips I can recommend and hope to learn something from others taking this challenge, but here are six things I’ve done that seemed to help my sales of  “A Stone’s Throw,”so far:

  1. thanksreadersarticleI spoke to the editor of my local paper about my book before it first came out, and she interviewed me and published an article the week of its release.
  2. Since I’m a librarian, I sent a press release to the Nassau County Library Association, and they featured me and my book in their monthly newsletter. This can work for anyone who is a member of any association or group that publishes a newsletter which features member news.
  3. I contacted book blogs for reviews and interviews. See my Media page for those that featured me.
  4. I organized a Thanksreader’s Facebook party around the time of my release. Since my book came out around Thanksgiving, I used a theme of a virtual feast at which each author taking over brought a “dish” as well as giveaways. The dishes often included recipes and yummy photos.
  5. I signed up for a release blitz with Book Enthusiast Promotions.
  6. I created teasers using Canva.com with scenes from my book, as well as review quotes that I used on Facebook posts and Twitter tweets.1stonesthrowcatcatcherteasaerIn addition to these marketing tips, there are some things I tried that weren’t productive for me but that doesn’t mean they won’t be productive for you. These included posting in FB groups, taking out Facebook ads, and holding Goodreads and Facebook giveaways. While these didn’t result in much sales for me, I may not have promoted them properly. You might have totally different results. The main thing is to try many avenues to reach your target market — both online and through personal appearances, signings, etc. It’s a tough market, but if your books  are good, you don’t give up, and you keep writing, you will be noticed, build a fan base, and eventually earn some profit from your hard work.
Posted in Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Bookshelf/Latest Reads

blogchallengegraphicupdatedThis week’s blog challenge is on the topic of My Bookshelf/Latest Reads. Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created this challenge (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

 

 

bookshelf2bookshelf4I actually have several bookshelves in my home. What do you expect from a librarian who is also an author? Even though I borrow many books from the library, I have a large collection of my own. My bed’s headboard actually holds some paperbacks, and there’s room in my bureau’s shelves. I also decorate my bookcases with knick knacks and curios, most of them cat-related.

bookshelf1Of course, my own books, Cloudy Rainbow and a Stone’s Throw, have prominent spots on my bedroom bookshelf as well as the Cat Crimes in Time anthology in which my short mystery, Stitches in Time, appears.

bookshelf3

My bookshelves are not limited to the space in my house. I also have a virtual bookshelf on my Kindle Fire with many books waiting to be read including ebooks by fellow Limitless Publishing authors.

Since I write for and edit my library’s Staff Picks newsletter, I need to review at least one book a month, and I usually try to review two. I used to be a much more voracious reader, but my reading time is limited by the hours I spend writing and promoting my own books. Occasionally, I ask my cat, Oliver, for help choosing what to read next from my huge TBR pile. My latest choices are pictured below. I just began “House of Dreams” by Kate Lord Brown, one of my newest favorite authors. Her previous book, The Perfume Garden, was a page-turner.bookshelf7housedreams

If you’re interested in learning more about me and my books, I’d love to connect with you on the following sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

Posted in Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Writing Room

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

My Writing Room is the first subject of this new blog challenge, and I find it challenging indeed because I don’t have a writing room at this point or beautiful photos to share with you of to-die-for offices or dens that some other authors do. I get up at 5 a.m.  each morning to write (a little later on weekends or when I’m off from work). My computer is set up on my kitchen table which is good access so I can have my coffee and eat breakfast as I write (although I do get crumbs in the keyboard sometimes that frustrates my husband to no end).

bookandOliverstripeytypingThe other place I do a lot of writing, if only mental writing, is in my bed at night curled up around my Siamese cat Oliver (which also irritates my husband). I mull over the next scene of my book in my sleep and, when I wake up, I am ready to write. Occasionally, my other cat, Stripey, lends me a paw typing on his laptop.

writing4 One day I may have an official office with windows all around overlooking a beautiful garden or the seashore.

writinggraphic1For now, until my book “A Stone’s Throw” or one of my forthcoming ones becomes a bestseller, I am typing at the table like a starving artist literally because while food is within my reach, I’m still trying to stay on my diet. On the other hand, when I get a touch of writer’s block, a handy piece of dark chocolate always seems to do the trick to help get the words flowing again.

writinggraphic3If I did have a writing room, it would be a cross between a library and a peaceful retreat. I’d move the Kittendales calendar featuring hunky men holding kittens from my bedroom to feature on one of the walls, and my books (the current two I’ve published and the next 100 I have in my mind and plan to write when I have time) will fill several bookcases along with my favorite authors, Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, Jodi Picoult, and Sandra Brown. The only problem is with all the bookcases and the calendar, I wouldn’t have much room for windows, and I’d have to have at least one with a window seat where my cats could sit while I composed my masterpieces and looked out at the flowers or the sea.

writinggraphic2Instead of filling this blog post with photos of my writing room, I’ve filled it with photos of my dream writing rooms. If you’d like to support this starving writer so she can afford a writing room  of her own, please order my book through any of the following links. I’d also love you to connect with me on the social media sites listed after.

Buy links for A STONE’S THROW:

Amazon U.S.: KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1MjaJgN

Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/1Sdh82D

Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/1SdheHi

Amazon U.K.: http://amzn.to/1QutXBW

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nQPyv4

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1KGYHep

Also available on iTunes and Ingram

Connect with me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW/

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com