Posted in Podcasts

My Podcast with Yvonne Mason’s Off the Chain Radio Show

On Friday, June 16, it was my pleasure to speak with Yvonne Mason, the hostess of Off the Chain Radio, a podcast show broadcasted in 65 countries and heard by a following of 20,000 fans.

I spoke about my childhood, growing up reading books and dreaming of becoming a writer. We also spoke about my lifelong affection for pets especially cats and how I feature them in my books and articles. We discussed my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series including the third and latest title, Written in Stone, and my other books and short stories published by Solstice Publishing. I also described my goal of seeking representation by an agent for my psychological thriller, Sea Scope, that I’d like to publish with a larger publisher. 

The complete broadcast can be heard here on BlogTalk Radio:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yvonnemason/2017/06/17/author-debbie-delouise

and also on Speaker:

http://www.spreaker.com/user/yvonnemason/author-debbie-de-louise

 

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 Although this organization is no longer active, I located a similar Facebook group that might be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: 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

 

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Books

Putting Some Mystery into Romance

stonesthrowloveteaserI’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries and romantic suspense novels. My favorite current authors are Nora Roberts and Mary Higgins Clark. I also like to read new authors and different genres, but I prefer a little romance with my mysteries.

When I first started writing, A STONE’S THROW (Limitless Publishing 2015), I knew I wanted to include both romance and mystery in the book. Everyone likes a nice love story, but adding an element of danger or suspense can make a plot more gripping. Likewise, adding some romance to a mystery can create more relateable characters.

It’s interesting to note that even though a book may be categorized and marketed as either a mystery or a romance, most books include both in varying degrees. A STONE’S THROW is more of a mystery, but I believe the romance that develops between Alicia Fairmont, the widowed librarian main character and small town newspaper publisher, John McKinney, increases stonesthrowpicnicfinaleditthe appeal of the book.

blinddatebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During February, bookstores and libraries tend to display romance novels for those seeking a romantic read for Valentine’s Day. As a librarian as well as an author, I’ve followed this trend and was happy to learn that my library decided to participate in a book selection program this year that other libraries have already been offering to their patrons each February. The program known as “Blind Date with a Book”  involves putting out a display of gift-wrapped books for patrons to choose from without knowing what book they are selecting. Since the wrappers are barcoded, patrons can check out the books and open them at home. This allows them the surprise of a book they may not have ever heard about let alone selected to read on their own.

blinddate5By adding a touch of mystery to a patron’s book selection, “Blind Date with A book” can introduce a reader to a new author, series, or genre for them to consider reading in the future. A patron can also rate their date if the library provides a card or form in with the book. This can be used by the library for user feedback statistics.

blinddate3The “Blind Date with a Book” concept is another perfect example of combining romance with mystery. People who love to read and are willing to take a chance, will appreciate the opportunity to “date” an unknown book during the romantic month of February.

 

 

 

My own romantic mystery will be 99 cents on Sunday, Februray 14th. Order it here: http://amzn.to/1Ta6zfe

99centsale

This blog post was reprinted from the guest post that appeared on Sophia Valentine’s Lifestyle and Literature blog on February 12, 2016.

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, Books, Characters, Romantic Suspense

Romantic Suspense vs. Mystery

gothic I consider my upcoming book, “A Stone’s Throw,” a romantic suspense novel, but it contains a mystery, so why isn’t it classified as one? There are many types of mysteries. Most people are familiar with the Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie detective mysteries or, more currently, the crime solving amateur sleuths featured in Sue Grafton or Janet Evanovich’s books. “A Stone’s Throw” features two detectives, the nasty and arrogant, Ron Ramsay and the nice cop, Michael Faraday. Neither of them are very useful in solving the mystery but that is not why “A Stone’s Throw” is romantic suspense. Would you classify a Mary Higgins Clark novel as a mystery? What about a Nora Roberts book? Compare them to her JD Robb series  of books which are mysteries (but include romance, too).

The Romance Writer’s of America define romantic suspense as a subgenre or romance in which “suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.”

When I was a young girl in the 1970’s, my older brother gave me my favorite Christmas gift. It was the novel, “Winter People” by Phyllis Whitney. Once I read that book, I was hooked. I gobbled up everything Whitney wrote and then began reading similar authors – Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, and others. I was transported to faraway places. I fell in love along with the main character with the mysterious and attractive stranger who might or might not be a killer. These books, sometimes referred to as gothic novels, were very popular at the time. They were also a form of romantic suspense. Daphne Du Maurier was one of the master writers of this genre. All these authors were my teachers and mentors in writing because I was learning their style as I absorbed their words.

The Wikipedia defines romantic suspense as “a blend of romance and mystery.” According to the Wikipedia, “This blend of the romance and mystery was perfected by Mary Stewart, who wrote ten romantic suspense novels between 1955 and 1967. Stewart was one of the first to seamlessly combine the two genres, maintaining a full mystery while focusing on the courtship between two people. In her novels, the process of solving the mystery “helps to illuminate” the hero’s personality, helping the heroine to fall in love with him.”

As I matured, I progressed to other authors and sampled many genres. As a librarian, I had the advantage of access to a wide variety of reading material. However, I still had a preference for mysteries that featured a heroine thrust into danger who was saavy enough to save herself and find love in the process. I began reading Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, and others. I also realized that romantic suspense authors are not exclusively female and neither are the protagonists or main characters of these novels always women.  The prolific James Patterson writes novels that might be considered romantic suspense in addition to his mystery series.

So how would you define romantic suspense? Is it mystery or romance? It’s actually both and that’s why it’s such a popular form of writing and reading.