Posted in Reviews

Review for A Dark and Stormy Tea, A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It was published on August 9, 2022, and is available for order on Amazon at


This is the first mystery I’ve read by Laura Childs, and I can’t believe what I’ve missed. She has several series. This one, the Tea Shop Mysteries, takes place in Charleston, South Carolina and features Theodosia Browning who owns the Indigo Tea Shop and has a knack for solving crimes as well as brewing tea.

In A Dark and Stormy Tea, the 24th Tea Shop Mystery, Theodosia witnesses the murder of a bookstore owner’s daughter in a cemetery but, because of the rain, she was unable to see the face of the killer. Could he be Fogheel Jack, the name given to a murderer who has strangled women in the past in foggy weather?

The victim’s mother, a friend of Theodosia, asks for her help catching the killer. Against her Detective boyfriend’s wishes and despite her tea sommelier, Drayton’s discouragement, she pursues her own investigation and is nearly killed after a successful mystery tea at her shop.

I found this a charming cozy. The characters and atmosphere were great, and there was an interesting twist. A big plus are the recipes at the end of the book for tea and other yummy goodies. You will devour this story. Highly recommended.

Posted in Cozy Mystery, New Releases

New Release and a Free Book

I’m excited to announce that the 5th book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, No Gravestone Unturned, has been released. Featuring a murder in a cemetery on Halloween and a family secret that goes back generations, this is a perfect October read.

Purchase link:


It’s October in Cobble Cove, and Alicia is busy preparing for the library’s Halloween party when she learns that John’s aunt from Florida has died and that John’s cousins and their spouses are coming to town to bury their mother. The day after the funeral, the caretaker’s son is found dead by John’s grandfather’s gravestone, from a blow on the head. The only witness seems to be Sneaky the library cat, who, having left the library, turned up at Alicia’s door with blood and dirt on him.

As Alicia, Gilly, and Sheriff Ramsay investigate, it uncovers a generation of family secrets. Is one of the guests staying at the inn a killer? Will the humans solve the crime, and can Sneaky, Kittykai, and Salem, the inn’s guest cat, team up to help?

Free October 6 – 10

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. 

Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of Meg Macy, Author of Bear Witness to Murder

I’m pleased to have author Meg Mims who wites as Meg Macy and is also half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland from Southeastern Michigan here to speak about her new cozy mystery, Bear Witness to Murder, that is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.

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

I was first published in 2011 with Double Crossing, a western historical mystery, using Meg Mims. Double Crossing won a Spur Award from the Western Writers of America for Best First Book. That book and the sequel, Double or Nothing, are with Prairie Rose Publications. I wrote several holiday romance novellas and self-published them – Santa Paws, Santa Claws, Home for the Holidays (all with rescue dogs and cats); The Key to Love and The Key to Christmas (artist-themed), Winner Takes All and A Holiday Hoax (both western romance), plus several short stories. I co-write the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries (Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, Move Your Blooming Corpse, Get Me to the Grave On Time, With A Little Bit of Blood) with my college friend Sharon Pisacreta under our D.E. Ireland pseudonym; two books were nominated for Agatha Awards, Best Historical. Right now, I’m writing the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear cozy mysteries for Kensington Books. Bearly Departed debuted in 2017, and the next in that series, Bear Witness to Murder that came out May 29th, 2018.

You’re quite accomplished. Congratulations on the new book. The series sounds delightful. Tell us what you’re working on next.

I’m writing book 3 of my teddy bear mysteries, Have Yourself A Beary Little Murder, coming out late in 2019, as well as working on a new series.

Sounds great.

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 love writing cozy mysteries and my goal is to get two books published in a year or year and a half – I’m not a fast writer, so I’m trying to streamline the process and spend less time on social media. Not easy! I so enjoy sharing funny memes, jokes, and photos with friends every day. It’s like being in a close community, only spread out over the U.S. And writers are often introverts in our own world, so having that contact is important. But I do need to cut down on the time spent on Facebook!

I agree about social media taking up a lot of time. I’m trying to do the same myself to get more writing time; although, as you say, it’s important to stay connected with readers online.

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

Readers of cozy mysteries set in small towns with dogs, cats, and quaint shops. People who love and collect teddy bears, tea parties, art lovers, kid lovers – anyone who loves a good story, really.

Your books certainly have wide appeal.

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

Read, read, read, across genres – good, solid authors – and choose one to outline. The beginning, middle, end, plus the points in between. That will give any would-be writer the structure of a story, but so will Robert McKee’s Story. Know your characters – their flaws and strengths, backstories, etc. But finding your voice is key, and the only way to do that is to keep writing and never give up. Write every day. Discipline yourself to produce, learn how to self-edit and revise, learn to take criticism with grace.

Excellent advice.

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

Learning to infuse emotions into my characters was a challenge for me. I spent far more time on research, plot, and especially setting and other details. It takes a lot of rewriting to get everything in a good balance.

That’s a good point. Characters are crucial in most books and especially cozies.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

 I belong to Sisters In Crime (national and local), Novelists, Inc., and a Facebook group of historical authors called Sleuths in Time (my friend and I write as D.E. Ireland) – we share information about our books and research. I’m hoping to start a Facebook group for fans of cozy mysteries set in Michigan or the Great Lakes region, too.

Nice. I’m a Sisters in Crime member, too.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m an artist (watercolor, pen/ink, mixed media) although I haven’t had much time for it over the past five years. I love reading (every day), love visiting tea rooms with friends for lunch (at least once a month), and must exercise (to improve my health) by either walking at the mall or working out at Planet Fitness. I also love Pinterest, relaxing over photos of teacups, flowers, gardens, book nooks, etc. It’s marvelous. I enjoy watching classic movies with a big bowl of popcorn.

Very nice past times and relaxing, I’m sure.

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

I have lots of ideas, but getting a detailed outline is a challenge for me. Writing is so much easier when you prepare as much as possible ahead of time. I also think self-promotion is much tougher for authors now, although Kensington is really wonderful about helping spread the word about their cozy mysteries. Still, it seems a “social media” presence is necessary – and I prefer Facebook to Twitter. I share photos on Instagram but keep my author info to a minimum there.

I outline very little myself and I agree that can make things difficult, and I also find promotion challenging. I wish I had a larger publisher like Kensington behind me (still querying), but I know authors today need to promote themselves on social media as you say no matter who they publish with.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I was an early reader of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, so the “twist” is important to me. I try hard to incorporate that in my work and hope to surprise readers. I also enjoy creating the quaint setting (and wish I lived in a small town), the “family and friends” community atmosphere, the lack of graphic blood/gore and profanity. I am not a fan of books that utilize all that for shock value, or show violence toward women and children. Just not my cup of tea.

That’s how I feel. I also like to add twists to my mysteries.

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

Of course, I’d love to! Here’s a bit from Chapter 1 of Bear Witness to Murder:

So much had changed in the short time since “Will’s Folly.” That’s what Silver Hollow residents now called the murder of the Silver Bear Shop & Factory’s sales rep, Will Taylor, before Labor Day. Few were sad; Will hadn’t been popular with our workers. Still, others had been affected in the aftermath. Murder was a nasty business. Sales at the shop boomed from all the publicity, good and bad, and visitors to the area tripled. But I wasn’t proud of nearly getting myself killed by sleuthing. I’d learned my lesson.

In record time, the Wentworths had hired a crew to clear out and clean the entire Queen Anne-style house from top to bottom. Then they brought in a massive black walnut sideboard for the front parlor, plus square tables and chintz-covered chairs in a pink, green, and gold rose pattern. They’d installed teacup chandeliers – four in each parlor and two in the library. Crisp linen cloths in pastel pink or green draped the tables with white lace overlays. Place settings in an eclectic array of teacups, saucers, plates, and flatware added to the charm. Gold-framed landscapes of the English countryside and castles hung on the walls.

I had to admit the tea room was an improvement over the dowdy bed-and-breakfast.

“Celia! Stop that,” Elle hissed to her younger daughter, who was dunking a shabby teddy bear’s nose into her full teacup.

“Mom, she spilled all over the tablecloth,” said her older daughter, Cara.

“I’ve got it.” I mopped the liquid with extra napkins. Both girls wore party dresses and hair ribbons, and I recognized Elle’s pale blue dress from a shopping trip we’d taken last spring. “Which of the sandwiches did you like best, girls?”

“The strawberry cream cheese,” Celia sang out.

“I like the peanut butter ones,” Cara said, “but they need more jelly.”

“Jam, not jelly. And no, teddies can’t eat or drink,” Elle said. The girls giggled at the wet smear on Celia’s bear. “Now behave, or we won’t be able to come next year.”

“I’d better get back to work. Of course I’ll bring more scones,” I said when the woman at the next table waved me over. “I hope you’re enjoying the tea party.”

“Yes, indeed. We’re planning on a visit to the new toy and bookstore, too.”

When she turned to speak to her friends, I noted Elle’s discomfort. We were all worried sick for her and my cousin Matt. Bad enough that people ordered books online instead of visiting small bookstores like The Cat’s Cradle. But the competition from Holly Parker’s new toy and bookshop, Through the Looking Glass, would draw customers away and cut into their profits. I knew full well that Matt and Elle were barely surviving.

I glanced at the large corner table where Holly Parker sat with a red-haired woman. Holly and I shared a bitter rivalry long ago in high school; she hadn’t changed her hairstyle, still wearing it straight and long, although her tortoise-shell glasses looked modern. I tried to keep an open mind about her return to Silver Hollow, although I had to wonder why she chose to open a shop two weeks ago in direct competition. That didn’t set well with me or my family.

Holly looked like an ingénue in a white dress with a row of sparkly rhinestones along the neckline. She’d always favored white, from what I recalled, which set off the natural olive hue of her complexion and tanned limbs. A pale pink jacket with silver bling spelling out think pink was draped behind her chair. That reminded me of her extensive collection of Pink Panther memorabilia. Or perhaps “obsession” was more apropos.

To each their own, I supposed.

I wasn’t pleased reading Dave Fox’s Silver Hollow Herald, which quoted Holly as saying “Our shop is already number one in sales here in Silver Hollow.” That seemed a stretch. Maddie had witnessed her double-parking in the middle of Theodore Lane and getting ticketed by the local police for it, over the weekend she’d moved into the former Holly Jolly Christmas shop. That reminded me. I needed to ask about some stray bears.

“Are you both enjoying the party?” I asked. Holly beamed at me.

“Oh, yes! I’m so glad we got tickets. It’s so sweet, seeing all the little kids with their teddy bears. I hope you don’t mind that I passed out a few flyers for my shop.”

Since she’d already done so, I figured it was useless to object. “Gina Lawson,” the red-haired woman said and gave me a firm handshake. “I’m Holly’s shop assistant, marketing guru, and publicity person.”

“Nice to meet you, Gina.” I eyed her short tomato-red pixie haircut, gelled up in a curved ridge, rocker-style, and heart-shaped face. “Sounds like you know your promo stuff. I’ve seen a lot of your social media lately. Tweets and Facebook posts about the new store.”


Gina smiled, a bit slyly I thought, so I addressed Holly. “I should have asked you long before now, but did you happen to come across any of our silver or white teddy bears? Among all the items left behind in the Holly Jolly, I mean.”

Holly looked sorrowful. “No. We tossed broken ornaments, scads of nonworking fairy lights, and empty boxes. It was such a mess cleaning up.”

… My sister Maddie met me at the kitchen doorway and pulled me out of sight beyond the swinging doors. She waved her cell phone in triumph.

“See that red-haired woman? She’s trouble. Mark my words.”

Great excerpt.

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

They can all be read out of order, but if you want to learn more about the characters’ growth over the series, start from the beginning. In my teddy bear series, I like to put kids in the books’ beginning, either in the shop or at an event, because teddy bears are important for children – for comfort, companionship, and lifelong friendship.

The books in my Cobble Cove series can also be read as standalones, but it is better if you start with the first one, A Stone’s Throw, because the main characters develop as minor ones are added or leave. I like the idea of the teddy bears in your books. For adults, they bring back special memories of childhood and create a charming theme to your stories.

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

Thanks so much for the interview, Meg, and best wishes on the blog tour and your new cozy. I’m also including a link to your rafflecopter giveaway for those who wish to enter:


Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Mysteries

Author Spotlight of L. A. Chandlar, Author of Silver Gun, First in the Art Deco mystery series

I’m pleased to have author L. A. (Laurie) Chandlar  from New York here to speak about her writing and first traditional release, the first of her Art Deco mystery series, The Silver Gun, which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

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

The Silver Gun is my first traditionally published novel that debuted August 29th, 2017. This is the first in the Art Deco Mystery Series by Kensington Publishing, Corporation.  I also published my own two books for different talks that I perform. One is short stories in the midst of a novel, about the backstories of the people behind beloved holiday traditions, called The Christmas Journalist. Think Mitch Albom meets Sophie Kinsella. I wrote it as a leaving piece for one of my all-time favorite talks on this topic for a group of women at the United Nations. It’s so much fun. The other is Brass in my Fight to Keep Creativity Alive series for workshops and life-coaching sessions that I do for companies and individuals who want to get a better grasp on creativity and the psychology of creativity both personally and in the workplace.

Congratulations on your first traditionally-published book. I’m currently querying agents for a new cozy mystery series and hope to be traditionally published one day myself. I also have cozies, a new mystery, and short stories published by Solstice Publishing. Your self-published non-fiction sounds very interesting as well.

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.

The Art Deco Mystery Series is set in the late 1930s in New York City and features the firecracker mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia and his aide and protagonist of the series, Lane Sanders. It’s a fresh take on the innovation, humor, and gumption of the Thirties in spite of the Depression. The second in the series, The Gold Pawn, releases September 25th.

Wonderful! As a New Yorker myself (Long Island), I think that setting and time period make for an interesting series.

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 an avid learner and I love to experience new things. So my goals as a writer, are to keep growing and writing, and to get to several conferences where I can learn and meet readers and other writers. I have a contract for three books in the Art Deco Series, and it is my goal to lengthen that to at least five books. I am also shopping The Christmas Journalist to major publishers and I am writing a YA novel that picks up with a young woman who is introduced at the end of The Silver Gun. It would be a lot of fun to intermingle two genres where the two series weave in and out of each other.

What great ideas. I wish you luck with all of that.

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

I think readers who are compelled by adventure, humor, and who enjoy different levels where they discover new things. What I mean is, I feature a different piece of art in each novel of The Art Deco Series. The piece of art comes alongside a character and helps them navigate the mystery. I think art does that in real life, and I love the levels that it offers the reader. In the first book a now-famous artist who was not famous then, is featured in a journal that Lane finds. In the second book, both Lane AND a villain come across a chilling classic novel that everyone knows but no one has read. And in the third –this is so cool—Orson Welles put together the first all-black theater cast and performed MacBeth – set in Haiti instead of Scotland and featured a haunting jungle landcape. This was Voodoo MacBeth and was wildly popular, touring the country, this mirrors another character’s journey and helps uncover the ultimate enemy in the story. I also love to show inspiring and new parts of history that aren’t told in the history books. Mayor LaGuardia was hilarious, and I have a lot of real history in my books. It’s so refreshing to see the human and very funny aspects of history. In fact, the more sensational a chapter seems in my books, it’s most likely it was actual reality. My author notes are a lot of fun to read.

I’m sure they are. I think your series will appeal to a wide range of mystery readers especially art enthusiasts and New Yorkers.

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

Keep going! It’s a tough road and boy, do we all have to deal with rejection and the awful nature of comparing ourselves to others. My advice is to remember the heart of what you do. No one else can tell your story. Self-awareness will help you grow and learn, but never confuse that with self-doubt. Self-doubt always, always tears down. Dismiss it right away and just keep going. Remember your heart and your joy of why you do what you do.

I can totally relate to that. I’ve had my share of rejections. It’s not easy to keep up the momentum and fall victim to the self doubt you mention, but when readers praise you in reviews or in person, it’s a great feeling. And, like you say, the writing comes from the heart.

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

There were a lot. The biggest was just finding the time and energy to write when I was having trouble just surviving. I got the idea to write a novel right when I moved to New York City. I had a new job, a new city, no friends or support, and then we decided to start a family. So sure. Why not write a novel, too? I found it impossible for a long time. But I started with getting a babysitter for just two hours a week. I’d sit my butt down in the closest Starbucks and just write. It started from there and I had so much fun! My work compounded and starting small, but consistently, grew my appetite for more. I also had hard time comparing how other mystery writers begin with an outline. Apparently, I’m horrible at that. So I just started writing scenes and that got me off the ground.

Finding time to write is an issue for most authors who usually also work full-time and have families. I fit mine in very early in the morning. I also create a bare minimum of an outline. I prefer to write as a I go scene by scene.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I’m part of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

I’m also a Sisters in Crime member and belong to a few other groups including International Thriller Writers, Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writers Association.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love watching Food Network and The Great British Bake Off, cooking, drinking wine, and going to museums and parks in New York City.

Nice interests. I love the City museums but don’t get the opportunity to visit them as often as I’d like.

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

What I love the most, is creating stories that help people see something in a new light, and perhaps help them enjoy life themselves just a little bit more. I love characters who enjoy the magic of their everyday life. I also adore meeting and encouraging people, so I try to go to several conferences a year.

What I love the least is that I still find that comparing can be really hard. I can get daunted by what other authors are doing or their successes. I usually have to give myself the same pep-talk I gave above. Like every day. There will always be people who are younger, faster, more successful… but that doesn’t make one iota of difference in that only you can tell your story. When I remember that, it always makes things easier and I enjoy it all even more.

Those are good points for all authors to keep in mind.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

Cozies allow for the reader to settle into a book. I love, love, love characters whom you come to know and enjoy as “friends.” And Thrillers tend to be more about the plot, where I love a good plot with good pacing, but I adore good characters. Cozies let us really sit in that pocket.

That’s so true. Characters are the main draws for cozies. I’ve even created a character Facebook group for my Cobble Cove mystery characters where each character hosts the group on a monthly basis to share excerpts from their scenes and to interact with group members in discussions.

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

Sure! This is a favorite scene that I often read when I’m at a signing. The Thirties were so much more alive than I ever learned in History class. There was so much going on with women rising to prominent positions in the work force, great humor, innovation, amazing art, and cocktails to boot. My protagonist demonstrates that spirit. She’s artful, intelligent, and funny. And she’s always got an idea to get her and her sleuthing partner, Roarke –an investigative reporter—out of a pickle. In this scene, they have gotten a lead that they hope will reveal another piece to the puzzle of the threat against the mayor and the city.


 “Roarke, I think we rushed in without thinking this through,” I said in a whisper as we drew near the slimy building in the Meatpacking District, which, by the way, carried all the odors, images, and carnage that the name implied. I’d never been over here before, and I slipped my hand into Roarke’s as we slunk down a close alley toward our meeting place he’d set in advance with his informant.

The window that we had come close to was high, but Roarke would just about be able to see in if he stood on tiptoe. It was open; maybe the informant had cracked it so we could overhear what was going on inside. All I could hear at first were muffled voices. Then Roarke’s hand tightened on mine as we heard the determined, clipped steps of someone’s shoes making their way across a tile floor, closer and closer to the window we were directly under.

Roarke whispered closely, “My informant figures we’ll be quite safe, since who would bother to look out the window?”

Suddenly, we heard something shift above us. Someone was bothering. Right this second. We ducked down in the narrow alley. I huddled up to the brick wall, willing myself to be invisible like you do in a bad dream. I held my breath as someone wrenched the window further open. Then came the reassuring sound of someone’s steps walking away.

We both slowly looked up. Low voices drifted out. I could only make out every third or fourth word. Then the voices raised, and so did the hairs on my neck as I heard my name.

“What do you mean Lane knows? Knows what?” said a very angry, high-pitched male voice that I knew in an instant was Danny’s. The guy who tried to kill me.

“Well, I’m not sure, I’m just the messenger. I’m just giving you the note. Sh—” said a nasally, fearful voice that must have been the informant’s. But something or someone had cut off what he was going to say next. Was he about to say she or someone’s name that began with S-H?

Then a couple of steps sounded, and a third voice addressed Danny in a low murmur. Just then, Roarke spied something in the window, a small piece of white paper. He slowly raised his hand and took down the paper, using careful, delicate movements. He brought it down as the voice was still murmuring. He opened the paper so both of us could read it. Written on it in sloppy writing was one word: RUN.

Roarke and I locked eyes at the same moment we heard loud footsteps decidedly coming toward our window. In one fluid movement, I turned around and we ran down the alley toward the light. Puddles splashed, things skittered in front of me. I ran like hell. Before we reached the end of the alley, a gun fired.

We were rocked in our shoes for one horrifying second. We realized it came from inside the room and we weren’t hit; we kept running. We swerved around the corner to the right. There were workers all over the place, but we stood out like an ink stain on a white shirt. With me in my bright yellow dress and Roarke in his navy pinstriped suit with white shoes, neither of us was exactly blending in.

We bounded up the street, trying to stay close to other buildings. Just as we thought we might be clear, we saw them: two guys who had gangster written all over them. One was Danny. As I turned my head to look back at him, I saw him smile that awful smirk, and the sun shone off the deep shine of his black, slicked-back hair. They started chasing after us.

“Roarke, run!” I yelled.

I had an idea. I ran ahead and took a left going north toward the docks on the west side, Roarke running right after me. I never ran so fast in my life. My sides hurt, my legs burned. But when you’re literally running for your life, those are very minor inconveniences.

I heard the clack of our pursuers’ shoes on the pavement, urging me to keep going. Neither of them yelled; they just ran relentlessly on after us. Come on, come on, where are you? Ah, there! When I saw my target, I got a final burst of speed. I heard a funny grunt of a laugh as Roarke figured out my plan.

Just ahead was a bevy of at least twenty navy sailors making their way off their ship in port, heading out for some fun for the evening. I ran right toward the biggest guy, waved enthusiastically, and launched myself right into his surprised but receptive arms. I looked back at my shocked pursuers, turned to the stunned sailor, and planted a gigantic kiss right on his lips. He responded with vigor, and it had the reaction from his mates that I’d hoped: They all cheered. I could hear Roarke laughing behind me.

The sailor let me go and set me down carefully. I brushed my hair back, and I said as loudly as I could, “Ah, well. Welcome to New York!” They all cheered again, and we all walked happily toward Broadway. Roarke and I were careful to stay in the middle of the group of laughing, shoving, playful sailors.

About twenty feet away, I spotted Danny and his partner. They had steered clear of the sailors. He was not smiling now. Danny touched his hat in a sort of salute to my efforts, but then slowly raised his hand in a small gesture of a gun, shooting at me. He softly blew the imaginary smoke off his fingers; an unimaginative gesture, but frightening nonetheless. Then he readjusted his hat, did an about-face, and walked away.

Excellent excerpt.

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

Definitely take a quick moment to read the Author Notes and the Group Discussion Questions. I reveal what is real history and what is fiction, and then in the Questions I usually have other tidbits about the story and interesting things I’ve used or pulled into the story. In other words, they aren’t typical discussion questions. Also, I have made a few YouTube walking tours that are Behind the Scenes quickie tours of The Silver Gun. They show you things like Lane’s neighborhood, Central Park then and now, and even Blackwell’s Island (now Roosevelt Island).

I’ll definitely look for those when I read the book. I’m a librarian as well as an author and order the mystery and fiction books for my library. Although a few in our system have your book, ours doesn’t, so I plan to put an order in for it. I’m sure it will appeal to our patrons.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

For behind the scenes virtual tours of The Silver Gun:

Here is a quick link to all my social media:


Thank you so much, Laurie. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you, and best wishes with your blog tour, series, and other projects you’re planning for the future.

For those following Laurie’s blog tour, you can enter her rafflecopter for a prize here:

Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books, Mysteries

Author Spotlight: Matt Ferraz

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with Matt Ferraz from Brazil 

Thanks for joining me, Matt.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable. 

I don’t believe I’ve had any authors from Brazil in my Author Spotlight before. Can you tell me more about your background?

I live in Contagem, an industrial town in central Brazil. Contagem is a nice place but it lacks cultural spots, so I spent a lot of time traveling to Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state, where there are more libraries and theaters.

I have spent the last year living in Buckingham, UK, taking my masters in biography at the town’s university. Whenever I had the chance, I would take the train to London and spend the day on bookshops and museums, or go to the theatre to see a play. It was an amazing experience, and I hope to come back there in the future.

That sounds very exciting. 

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

My first book was Teorema de Mabel (Mabel’s Theorem) a Portuguese-written novella about a young girl named Mabel who gets a job as a typist for her favorite writer. However, when Mabel meets her new boss, she finds out he cannot write anything, so she decides to write the book herself, knowing that he will get the credit. I wrote this book due to my passion for typewriters, and am still very proud of it. It was self published, and I got to appear on local TV and newspapers with it.

After that I published Killing Dr. Watson, a thriller about a geek who teams up with an actor who played Sherlock Holmes on BBC to find out who’s the killer who’s eliminating actors who played Watson on TV. This book was released by MX Publishing, which only deals with Sherlock Holmes related material. It was later released as an audiobook, and it was an amazing thing to listen to it for the first time.

I’m now venturing into cozy mystery with the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series. I always loved the genre, and decided to give it a try. The first volume, The Convenient Cadaver, was released on March 7 through Amazon.

Very nice. I’m hoping to review that book soon. It looks wonderful and is in a genre that I write.

Tell us a little more about your books.

I consider myself a crime writer, but like to venture into other genres once in a while. I created the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series based on my experiences with my grandmothers Edite and Eva and with a elder friend named Silvia. My idea was to write about elderly people but not in a bitter way. Having an old person living with you can be harsh, but it can also be a wonderful and funny experience, and I wanted to write a book showing that.

Grandma Bertha is an old lady who loves horror movies and her dogs. Afraid that she’ll be lonely living by herself, her son Todd decides to make a bedroom for her on his garden shed so she can spend more time with the family. Todd’s wife Lydia doesn’t get along very well with Grandma Bertha, but their son Stu loves having his granny by his side.

One day, while they’re getting ready for a party, Lydia finds a dead body on the alley at the back of their house: a beautiful young woman shot three times on the back. They call the police immediately, but Grandma Bertha decides she’s going to find out who the killer is. You see, Grandma Bertha had an experience like that on the past, when she solved a murder but didn’t report to the police for not believing in her own deductions, and that haunted her for life. Now she wants to redeem herself by catching this one.

Sounds like great characters and a fun plot.

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 entertain people and tell stories they can relate to. I do my best to be funny and endearing and clever and all that good stuff. My goal is to release at least three more books in this series in the next two years, and I believe people will love what I have in mind for Grandma Bertha’s next cases.

I’m also working in a completely different project at the moment, a sci-fi book called Know Thy Enemy. I always wanted to co-write a book with another author, and I met a wonderful writer named Dawn Chapman with whom I got along like we were old buddies. We are now halfway through this book, and as soon as we finished with it I’ll go back to Grandma Bertha.

Excellent. I’m also working on another project at the moment and taking a break before I continue my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series with #4.

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

Anyone who likes a good mystery with touches of humor can enjoy The Convenient Cadaver, but I think that people who has had a strong relationship with their grandparents will find this book special.

Unfortunately, I never knew my grandparents, but I do enjoy mysteries that include a bit of comedy.

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

You have to learn how the publishing industry works. That’s vital. Spend your money in books and courses about this industry. You can write the most amazing novel in the world, but if you’re clueless about how a book gets published, the odds are other people will make money out of your work. Sure, money is not the most important thing, but if you can write a good book and want to make an honest buck out of it, you should be informed about how to do it.

That’s an interesting insight. Although writing is an art, the business side of it is the publishing aspect.

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

Publishing a  book in Brazil is a nightmare! I submited Teorema de Mabel to a Brazilian publishing house that took two years to answer me, and when they did, they wanted me to pay the equivalent of 5,000 dollars to publish my book. That’s more than a year of minimum wage in here, so I politely declined. These publishers don’t believe that your books is going to be successful, so they want you to pay in advance so if the book is a failure, only the author will lose money.

I only got to become a published author after I started writing in English and Italian. It’s much more effort to write a book in another tongue, but it’s amazingly easier to get it published in the UK or in Italy. Most publishers in Brazil are vanity presses, which is a shame, for that harms our own literature.

I agree. I paid to have my first book published, but I used an established self-publisher. I would not pay to publish a book with a vanity press, and I believe there aren’t too many still around in the U.S. for good reason.

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 took an online workshop of How to Get Published at Gotham Writers, and a live workshop called How to Make a Living (and a Life) out of your Writing when I was in London. They were vital for my career, and I advise every writer who wants to become a professional to take these kind of courses.

I’ve taken some online writing and publishing courses and also found them very helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I mostly watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books. I also have a collection of porcelain penguins I’m really proud of. I also collect Italian comics and old VHS’s.

Interesting. I used to collect cat figurines and other collectibles. 

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

The best thing by far is that I can write about anything I want to. That’s the most powerful feeling in the world, knowing that I can write any story that comes to my mind, and all it takes is the effort of sitting down and writing. The worst part is when people ask for free copies, not to read it but just to show their friends that they know a writer. The toughest challenge is that I’m building a career at a very long distance. My books are written in English and I’m living in Brazil, which feels very strange at times.

That must be challenging. 

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Official site:


Goodreads Links:

The Convenient Cadaver:

Killing Dr. Watson:


Amazon Links:

Thank you so much for the interview, Matt. I wish you the best with your mystery series as well as your co-authored science fiction title. I will keep an eye out for them.