Posted in author news

June 2020 Author News and Updates

Hello, Readers. I hope you are all well, staying safe, and enjoying your “new normal” summer. At the beginning of June, I created a survey that I sent to my blog and newsletter subscribers. I also posted it on my social media sites. From that survey, I learned that many of my readers would prefer my publishing the first series of a new cozy. Although I just signed a contract for a medical, non-cozy mystery (but even my non-cozies feature cozy elements), I’m working on the final revisions for a new cozy that I’m hoping to submit in early July.

The survey also showed that readers want more of my author news and regular work-in-progress excerpts, so I’ve decided to post updates to this blog twice a month and updates to my newsletter monthly.

Here’s the blurb I’ve written for my forthcoming mystery, Memory Makers, that will be published by Next Chapter. Note that my publisher may edit this blurb when it’s published and that the cover has yet to be created.

Twenty-five years ago, Lauren Phelps and her sister Patty were kidnapped from their backyard on Long Island. Lauren escaped her captor, but Patty was killed. Ever since that day, Lauren has suffered from nightmares of the “Shadow Man.” In an effort to recall his face and avenge her sister’s murder, Lauren, now a kidnap investigator, enrolls in a clinical trial for a new memory drug.

Leaving her two kittens in her mother’s care and her partner Rick Dexter working on the case of a kidnapped boy, she travels to the offices of Memory Makers in California. As she receives the injections of the Memory Maker’s serum, she begins to experience flashbacks of repressed memories about her family and their neighbors. Along with these flashbacks, she receives threats from an anonymous source that point back to her childhood trauma. Suspecting that someone at Memory Makers is behind these warnings, she becomes involved with a fellow trial participant who seeks to recall what happened the night his wife was murdered. 

Will Lauren remember the face of the “Shadow Man” before her sister’s killer acts again and finishes what he started twenty-five years ago?

I’ve also compiled a tentative schedule of writing goals. Because life often gets in the way, these goals are subject to change, but I’m trying my best to meet them. Here’s a breakdown of my goals through 2022:

June 2020 Memory Makers (Medical Mystery) – submitted and signed contract with Next Chapter Publishers

July 2020 The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady: Rainbow Gardens Pet Mystery #1 – (cozy mystery) submit to agents/publishers

August 2020  self-published non-fiction cat book

October 2020 Cobble Cove #5– (cozy mystery)- submit to Solstice Publishing

January 2021  Supernatural mystery submit to publishers

April 2021 Rainbow Gardens Pet Mystery #2 – submit to publisher

July 2021 Time travel mystery – submit to publishers

October 2021 Rainbow Gardens Pet Mystery #3 – submit to publishers

January 2022 Second in series of time travel mystery – submit to publishers

While these goals don’t reflect any of my short stories and articles, I also plan to write them and would like to compile a collection of my short mysteries. I’m also hoping to write another Cobble Cove short mystery Sneaky’s Summer Mystery, later this summer and maybe another non-fiction cat book.

Among other news, I’ve received three Certificates of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association and am in the running for the highly prized muse medallion as well as prizes from contest sponsors. Winners are selected during their Virtual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, August 8, 2020.

 

For those of you who haven’t read my psychological mystery, Sea Scope, the ebook will be on sale for 99 cents from June 30 to July 4 and makes a great summer read.

In the next Author’s Update, I will post some excerpts from my new cozy mystery work-in-progress.

Posted in holidays, Mysteries, New Releases, short stories

Two New Holiday Mysteries and a Free eBook to Stuff Your Stocking

The holidays are a busy time. Between shopping, decorating, and socializing, it’s hard to find the time to read. That’s why short holiday stories are so popular. They can put you in the spirit of the season without taking too much time away from your day. I hope you will consider stuffing your stocking (or your Kindle) with one of my new short mysteries.

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery

mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Another death has occurred in Cobble Cove near the holidays. This time, it’s the owner of the new pet store in town who was felled by a case of cat food that crushed his skull. Was it an accident, or murder? While the townspeople including the sheriff are divided in their opinions, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, sniff out the truth.

Excerpt:

Sneaky endured the humiliation of the Santa Claus costume as Laura read Christmas books to the children. It was worth it because when the stories were over, he was released to the delight of the kids who clamored over him. There were no sticky hands, and no one pulled his tail. They all took turns petting him gently following Laura’s instructions. As he purred and reveled in the words and touches of the kids, he overheard Alicia speaking with Gilly, her best friend, who worked at the library part-time and operated an inn. Gilly had recently married the town’s sheriff and brought home a calico kitten named Kittykai from her honeymoon in Hawaii.

“It’s a shame about what happened at the pet shop, and it was only open a few weeks.”

“I don’t think we should discuss this here, Gilly.”

“But it’s all over the papers. John published it in yesterday’s Courier.” John, who had taken Carol and Johnny up to pet Sneaky, wasn’t aware of what Gilly was saying.

Sneaky needn’t strain his hypersensitive ears to hear the two women’s whispered words. One thing he loved about being a cat was how he could hear conversations and noises that humans couldn’t. He knew all about the murders that had happened in Cobble Cove and even helped Alicia on some of them.

Murder Unwrapped

mybook.to/xmasunwrap

Richard Bright is a man with a plan. He’s an inventor who he wants to kill his wife with one of his inventions. He hopes to put his plan into effect on Christmas, but his invention isn’t quite perfected. Dealing with his wife isn’t an option, nor her two rambunctious kittens, Harry and Hermione. What sweetens the pot is her large inheritance and a pretty young woman who is now working at his shop. Will Richard’s plan to have his special gift ready in time pan out, or will it fizzle with some of his other unfinished projects?

Excerpt:

Ben was smart. He never married. “Richard,” he’d say. “Women are trouble. They want fancy clothes, big houses, and babies. That’s not my scene, and I don’t think it’s yours either.” He worked with Ben for ten years. They never made much money, but they were happy drinking beer in Ben’s basement and watching “Let’s Make a Deal” and other game shows on TV. He and Ben sold their inventions at local fairs and through the Internet. It was a good life until that fateful day Ben had a heart attack. Richard took the remainder of the money his mother left him and all the projects he and Ben had completed and opened a shop on Main Street.

It was through the dusty doors of Creative Inventions that Jane Carter walked two years ago wearing a fur coat and diamond jewelry. She’d seen the displays in the window and was interested in the Jack-in-the-box which was actually a cat-in-the-box, a stuffed toy that meowed when it “popped.” When he demonstrated it for her, she giggled. She told him it was cute and that she had to buy it. Her cat would enjoy watching it. Eager to make a sale, Richard sold it for the asking price which was double what it cost him to make. She didn’t haggle, but when she reached into her purse and he saw all the hundred-dollar bills, he nearly fainted. He wanted to make this lady a regular customer. Even better, he wanted to make her his wife.

Last, but not least, my third Cobble Cove Mystery, Written in Stone, is free for Cyber Monday, December 2, only.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/CC3ebook

Alicia McKinney is confused . . . .

Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister?

Cat vs. Dog . . .

After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun?

Alicia is worried . . .

While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation.

When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery.

Will they survive . . . .

or is their ending written in stone?

Check out this video of the other great holiday stories just released from Solstice Publishing.

Posted in Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Freebies and Special Offers

Free eBook, One Day Only, November 29, and a Sneak Peek of Two New Holiday Stories

If you had the chance to read A Stone’s Throw, the first book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, you came to know widowed librarian, Alicia, and followed her through the mystery that brought her to Cobble Cove and her meeting with John, the town’s newspaper publisher. In Between a Rock and a Hard Place, that takes place near the holidays in Cobble Cove, Alicia is faced with several new mysteries and one that is particularly close to home. This story can be read as a standalone or part of the 4-book series.

Get Your FREE book here (11/29 only): myBook.to/CobbleCove2

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

brhp-teaser-2Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

Check out the book trailer for this book:

 

Sneak Peek of Two Holiday Stories Releasing December 2:

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery

Another death has occurred in Cobble Cove near the holidays. This time, it’s the owner of the new pet store in town who was felled by a case of cat food that crushed his skull. Was it an accident, or murder? While the townspeople including the sheriff are divided in their opinions, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, sniff out the truth.

Murder Unwrapped

Richard Bright is a man with a plan. He’s an inventor who wants to kill his wife with one of his inventions. He hopes to put his plan into effect on Christmas, but his invention isn’t quite perfected. Dealing with his wife isn’t an option, nor her two rambunctious kittens, Harry and Hermione. What sweetens the pot is her large inheritance and a pretty young woman who is now working at his shop. Will Richard’s plan to have his special gift ready in time pan out, or will it fizzle with some of his other unfinished projects?

Thank you all for reading this post and my books and stories. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Posted in Authors, Books

Why Writers Shouldn’t Give Up

I’m participating in the Writing Contest: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer. The idea behind the contest is to write a blog post to inspire other authors to keep writing. In this crazy, competitive field, it’s very easy to become discouraged. Like other authors, I’ve gone through spells of depression and dissatisfaction with myself and my work. There were numerous times I was prepared to throw in the towel, chuck my writing, spend more time with my family and friends, and only write for myself if I felt the need. But this feeling passed when I reminded myself of how far I’ve come and the way I’ve touched readers’ lives by sharing my words with them.

I’ve been writing professionally for over thirty years. Because I’m an animal lover, and it’s always a good idea to write what you know or at least what you can research, I started by publishing articles in pet magazines. My first two articles about my cats enabled me to become a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association. A few years later, my first mystery story, “Stitches in Time,” appeared in the anthology, Cat Crimes Through Time.  In 2008, after my cat Floppy passed away, I self-published my first book, Cloudy Rainbow, a paranormal romance about a woman who participates in a virtual seance to save the man she loves. I featured Floppy as a character and the backstory included fictional details from my college days as an editor on the student newspaper at Long Island University/C. W. Post campus. I had no idea how to market the book, so I didn’t sell many copies, but I got a copy on the shelf at the library where I worked as a librarian.

I didn’t write again until 2015 because I thought I was too busy with work and family obligations. That was an excuse. I now realize that I stopped because I’d lost faith in myself and my ability to write because I hadn’t sold many copies of my first book. I came out of this funk when a patron at my library who’d read Cloudy Rainbow encouraged me to keep writing. She told me she believed I had talent and that I should follow my dream of being an author. I was hesitant to listen to her, but her words finally got through to me. I was inspired to write another book. This time, instead of self publishing the book, I began to look for a publisher. Having become involved in social media, I entered a Twitter competition called #Pit2Pub. It was through this competition that several small publishers contacted me and asked to read my complete manuscript. I ended up signing with one of them for A Stone’s Throwthe first book of what would become my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series that now totals four books.

Although I was thrilled to have landed a publisher, albeit a small one that focused on publishing eBooks, things didn’t turn out the way I’d envisioned them. I wasn’t paid an advance, and my royalties often totalled less than two digits. However, I’d met other authors, both those who wrote for my publisher and those who belonged to online Indie author groups, who showed me that they were in the same boat as I was. I no longer focused on making money but on reaching readers. It made my day when someone wrote a 5-star review for my book on Amazon or told me in person at the library that they loved the characters and the twist at the end of my book.

I was feeling better about myself and my writing until my publisher turned down the second book of my series. I was devastated. I thought my writing career was over before it really began. Then I saw an announcement for another #Pit2Pub competition. I figured that I had nothing to lose by entering, but I was worried that no one would want the second book of a series. As it turned out, I heard from a different publisher, Solstice Publishing, and signed a contract with them for Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceAlso, after getting my rights back from my first publisher, Solstice reprinted A Stone’s Throw with a new cover and updated edits. They also reprinted Cloudy Rainbow as a tenth-anniversary edition. I currently have six books and several stories published by them and have signed for two holiday eBook stories that will be published this December.

Last year, I found a second publisher, Creativia, now known as Next Chapter, through another author. I had an unpublished psychological mystery, Sea Scope, that I’d been shopping around to agents hoping to publish it with a larger publisher. I was attracted by Next Chapter because of its marketing approach, attractive covers, and the formats in which its booked were published. In May 2019, Sea Scope was published in paperback, eBook, and large type editions. The audio was released afterwards on Audible, and hardcover copies are scheduled soon.

Despite my success and experience with seven published books and three publishers, I still haven’t achieved my dream. I’m still seeking an agent and traditional publisher. I know that this dream is possible, but I also know that agents receive tons of queries. It’s hard to stand out in the current competitive book market, but that’s no reason to stop trying. I truly believe that whatever your writing dream is, you can achieve it as long as you don’t give up.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

FREE Fantasy Story, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, in Memory of My Cat, Oliver

In memory of my sweet Oliver, who passed away two years ago on November 4, 2017 from a bout with Chronic Kidney disease, I’m offering my story, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, free from November 3 to November 5. I hope it gives some solace to others who have lost a beloved pet.

mybook.to/RainbowBridge

EXCERPT:

Old Tom the tabby was at the Gate. Next to him stood Shadow, a black shorthair who had been summoned while sun bathing on the Bridge. Shadow knew the reason Tom wanted to speak with him. It could mean only one thing. Another resident was arriving.

“Sorry to disturb you,” Old Tom said. “But I’ve had orders from above that another one of Kate Stewart’s cats will be joining us. This time, it’s Sam, her Siamese. He’s had a long life and much happiness with her, but it’s his time. Please alert Kate’s other cats about the new arrival.”

Shadow nodded his dark head. “I will be on it right away, sir. When is the welcome party scheduled?”

“Looks like tomorrow morning around 6 a.m. Remember, it takes time for the soul to reach us.”

“Who will be in charge of the party?” Shadow knew that, according to Bridge rules, the last cat admitted from a human’s family was the next in line to welcome the incoming resident. A year ago, when a car hit Shadow after he stupidly ran out the door when his human Ben came home from a doctor’s appointment, there had been no other cats in Ben’s family on the Bridge or at least none that Ben had forged the forever bond with, so Old Tom had welcomed Shadow. Now it was Shadow’s job to notify the last member of each incoming cat’s family until another first-timer was admitted.

Old Tom checked the register he held in his paws. Tom had been supervisor of the cat’s side of RB since he arrived 20 years ago because he was one of the unbonded, those pets who had either been ferals, strays, or housecats who had never developed the forever bond, that special connection of heart and soul that united animal and human eternally. In Tom’s case, he had been a stray in the alleys of New York City, living a surprisingly long life of ten years for an outdoor cat.

“Kate’s Floppy was admitted a few years ago,” Tom said. “I think he’s now residing on the north cloud over the rainbow. He’s a gray and white tuxedo fellow. Kate lost him from diabetic complications. It was one of our sadder cases. She administered insulin shots to him for many years and was at his side at the vet’s when the lethal injection was given. She’d had him since he was a kitten, and he misses her dearly but is glad that she found another cat to love while he waits for her on the Bridge.”

Shadow felt a tear wet his cheek fur. He was always choked up when he heard these touching tales. “Thanks, Tom. I will find Floppy and let him know. Although this is the first party he will host, he’s attended enough to know the procedure.” Floppy had already been on the Bridge for eight years, although up there they didn’t keep track of human time.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers, Horror, Short Story

FREE HORROR STORY – October 29 to November 1

Just in time for Halloween, my horror story, Knowledge is Power, is Free from October 29 to November 1.

getbook.at/Knowledge

On the one-month anniversary of the death of her beloved cat, Librarian Margaret Goodley, uses her excellent research skills to cast a spell to bring Bluebell back to life. Unfortunately, there are unexpected consequences when two other women who have lost their own loved ones on the same day interrupt the ceremony.

EXCERPT:

The air was scented with the approaching rain as Margaret walked through the cemetery crossing the twig-strewn path that cut across her backyard. This was the familiar path she strode twice a day in her flat brown loafers on her way to and from work at the Donker Public Library in the small town of Donker, Massachusetts due south of Salem.

Tonight, she was arriving home much later than usual with a worn book tucked under her arm, the results of her after-hours research. Charlie, the custodian, had let her stay until he closed the building at ten. She could see the light she’d left on in anticipation of her late arrival shining through the windows of the small, gray clapboard house. Just a few weeks ago, Bluebell would be running to the door as soon as the key was turning in the lock. The silver tabby had been a member of her favorite welcoming committee, the only member of any committee that ever welcomed Margaret Goodley.

As she approached the house, Margaret intentionally avoided the small patch of dug-up earth under the bush near the front window. When she opened the door, the loss of Bluebell hit her anew as it did every time she came home to the empty house. She hadn’t missed Paul after he left her for that young waitress half as much as she missed her dead cat.

 Although she was tired from a full day’s work plus the additional five hours she’d spent reading and researching, she couldn’t yet sleep. There was more work to be done. She lay the library book down on the kitchen table and plugged a small fan into the outlet next to the microwave. The closed-up house had retained the heat of the early September night.

As the fan whirled hot air around her, she sat at the table and opened the book. She had already read it at the library along with countless articles both on the Internet and through the online databases. Who would have thought she’d find the perfect source for her purpose right in her own library’s collection? A phrase her father had told her as a child repeated in her mind, “knowledge is power.”

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers, Horror, Paranormal, short stories

Don’t Miss the “Deadline” for Deadline, my Free Paranormal eBook

FREE OCTOBER 15-18:  DEADLINEmybook.to/Deadline

When college student Susan Shaffer wakes up on the wrong side of the bed in her dorm room, strange things begin to happen. Time seems to shift and draw her into an imaginary deadline that would rival those of the stories she writes for the student paper. Unable to face horrible news that she can’t remember happening, she traces the events of the last few days. Discovering the awful truth of why these hours are a blank, she must meet a deadline that is truly deadly.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers, Mysteries, New Releases

3 Free Horror/Paranormal Stories, a New Time-Travel Mystery, and an Audio Offer

I’m proud to announce the release of The Mistaken Mission, my time-travel short story that’s a sequel to “Stitches in Time,” a story I wrote in 1999 for the anthology, Cat Crimes Through Time.

eBook & Kindle Unlimited:

mybook.to/mistakenmission

Nineteen years ago, Gina Garrett’s father disappeared into the past using a time-travel disk he and his partner created. The only person who believed Gina when she explained what happened was her father’s partner’s son. When he, now a detective, shows up at her door claiming that he needs her to help him prevent a murder that happened a year ago, she hopes they can find her father, too.


Excerpt

A few minutes after I hung up, there was a knock at my door. Checking the peephole with Stripey at my ankles, I saw a tall man with red hair and a matching beard. He wore a police uniform. I opened the door hesitantly.

“Gina Garrett. Sorry I came so late. I was just off my shift. Did your mother tell you I called?”

I swallowed a gulp of my own saliva and almost chocked. “Yes. She did. Come in, uh, Mr. Logan.”

“It’s Andy, remember?” He walked through the door.

“What’s wrong? Maybe that’s a silly question.” He paused. I was aware of him looking down at me. Even as a boy, he’d been taller than the tallest girl in the neighborhood.

“I know you must be surprised, even shocked to see me after all this time. When we moved away, I should’ve written or called you. I’m sorry.”

I turned around. “Have a seat. We can talk. I’ll make coffee, or maybe you’d like tea?” I led him into the small kitchen.

He straddled a chair, his long legs looping over it. “Nothing, thanks, but you can go ahead and make yourself a drink if you want.”

“I was about to have some champagne. I don’t drink often, but I was . . .”

“Celebrating your birthday,” he finished for me.

“You remember?”

“How could I forget? I was sorry for you when I heard what happened. Mother agreed that your father ran away with another woman. I never believed that.”

“Neither did I.” I sat across from him, and he turned his chair.

“Looking back, now that I’m a detective, I realize things didn’t make sense. Your dad took nothing with him – no wallet, money, or clothes.”

“They said he had another set of clothes and a fake ID, that he left the state or country with his mistress.”

The smile Andy had greeted me with faded. “Gina, I’m here for another reason than to dredge up old memories. I need your help with a case.”

“Why me? I have no police experience unless you count some of the stories I’ve covered.”

“I know you’re a reporter. I checked you out, but that’s not why I’m here.” He gazed at me through his blue eyes, and I saw images of him and me as kids riding our bikes around Boston Public Garden, playing softball in the street with a few other friends, taking walks through the neighborhood.

“I never doubted what you said all those years ago, about your going back in time. Recently, I may have found proof that you were right.”

OCTOBER FREEBIES

October 1-4: HAUNTED HONEYMOONmybook.to/hhoneymoon

Ghost Cat. Don’t honeymoon without one.

Francesco and Gina are not your typical engaged couple. They met in a cemetery and spent their dates watching horror movies. But when Francesco suggests they honeymoon in a haunted house in Venice, Gina is shocked when she learns the place may actually be Francesco’s childhood home where his parents were murdered.

OCTOBER 15-18:  DEADLINE

mybook.to/Deadline

When college student Susan Shaffer wakes up on the wrong side of the bed in her dorm room, strange things begin to happen. Time seems to shift and draw her into an imaginary deadline that would rival those of the stories she writes for the student paper. Unable to face horrible news that she can’t remember happening, she traces the events of the last few days. Discovering the awful truth of why these hours are a blank, she must meet a deadline that is truly deadly.

OCTOBER 29 – November 1: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

getbook.at/Knowledge

On the one-month anniversary of the death of her beloved cat, Librarian Margaret Goodley, uses her excellent research skills to cast a spell to bring Bluebell back to life. Unfortunately, there are unexpected consequences when two other women who have lost their own loved ones on the same day interrupt the ceremony.

Also, my psychological mystery, Sea Scope, is now available on audio. I still have a few U.S. and U.K. free audible codes. Comment on this blog if you’d like one.

mybook.to/SeaScope

Author Bio

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the four books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and the standalone mystery, Reason to Die. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and three cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione.

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://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debbie-de-louise

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

Posted in New Releases

New Release: Creche Terrenium by K.C. Sprayberry

A galaxy under attack… youth out of control… extreme measures are called for… until the citizens are faced with impossible choices.

Good day and welcome to the release of Crèche Terrenium. This book was written many years ago, when I was first starting out in my writing career. I submitted it to Millennial Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine as a 5,000 word short story. This was during the days of snail mail submissions and waiting months on end to hear back from the editor in chief. To my surprise, I heard back rather quickly, about six weeks. Figuring they’d laughed and sent me a letter telling me that I should quit writing, I waited a couple of days before reading the bad news. Well, it wasn’t a contract to have the short story published in their magazine. What I did get was a letter telling me that the then editor in chief loved the concept of my short story and wanted me to develop it into a full book before resubmitting.

The full book was written, critiqued, edited, rewritten, etc. over a period of six months of sleepless nights and fingernail chewing days. I finally resubmitted the new story to the editor in chief per her request, only to hear back nearly immediately. The thin envelope pretty much told the story before I opened it.

Turns out while I was breathing life into this novel, the editor in chief had been replaced with someone else. That individual bluntly informed me that they were no longer interested in teen sci-fi books, as “teens didn’t read.” Who was I to argue? I knew the book was good. All I had to do was wait for the right time and place to present it to the world.

The time is now. The place is here. Enjoy!

Crèche Terrenium on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/61rFrEsxp3wgKiuatfzzDy

The Melane Galaxy has a problem, one that threatens their very existence. Led by a reporter, Susannah Tilotsen, the citizens demand a solution to their children terrorizing people. Yet, when Chairman Marcus Sterling institutes the Crèche system, Susannah feels deep shock and dismay.

The children will be taken from their parents and raised by a computer designed to educate and monitor them. No adults will have interaction with the youth of the galaxy. The overall goal is to create good citizens of the youths rather than out of control hooligans.

Is this solution good intentions by the leadership? What if a parent protests the loss of their child? What choice do they have?

Blurb

Youth out of control… Citizens demand a solution.

The Edict…

A law enacted to deal with recalcitrant children lays the blame on their parents. Only a computer can properly change The Melane Galaxy’s youth and turn them into good citizens. Chairman Sterling must force people to realize that parents aren’t right for raising children.

The Reporter…

Susannah Tilotsen discovers she’s being used by a government attempting to parent children. She soon realizes no one is safe from this new law. The loss of her beloved husband and her daughter being forcibly taken to Crèche Terrenium drives her to organize a group determined to stop this madness

The Boy…

Ripped from his loving home, Joey Dinaldo is taken to Crèche Terrenium after government troops find him living with his parents. He works hard to be a good citizen and obey the rules but soon discovers he can’t support a system designed to turn children into uncaring robots.

The Computer…

Master, the computer system that will raise these children, controls every second of their lives. Yet, there is no one to maintain the machine. The computer never thinks it needs to be repaired, even as the control it exerts slowly erodes. It is perfect, and fights to keep from being destroyed.

Rebels refuse to stop fighting until they have closed down the Crèche system and returned the children to their parents. Or find them a guardian. All of them are willing to do whatever it takes to end this madness… but at what cost?

Amazon eBook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SJTGPX1/

Amazon print book: https://amzn.to/2XowPcp

Excerpt

Black words on the creamy parchment in her hand numbed Susannah Tilotsen. Shivers racked her spine; fear deadened her fingertips. Her grip loosened and the document fluttered to her feet. The forty-something man in front of her caressed his silver-shot sable hair before spreading his hands. She watched the public façade take over as the benevolent leader of a fractious, crumbling galaxy smiled.  She knew better. His duplicitous expression sent chills up her spine.

She looked at the settlement she was reporting on to a galaxy awaiting a solution for a growing problem. The gray on gray buildings depressed her. The same hue was repeated in the walkways and latticed worked fences enclosing the twelve living areas. The children who soon call this place home would have no relief from the depressing shades of grey.

https://youtu.be/8x0CFWcSn0o

About K.C. Sprayberry

Living a dream she’s had since she first discovered the magic of books. K.C. Sprayberry traveled the U.S. and Europe before finally settling in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. She’s been married to her soulmate for nearly a quarter of a century and they enjoy spoiling their grandchildren along with many other activities.

A multi-genre author, K.C. Sprayberry is always on the hunt for new stories. Inspiration strikes at the weirdest times and drives her to grab notebook and pen to jot down her ideas. Those close to her swear nothing or no one is safe if she’s smiling gently in a corner and watching those in the same room interact. Her observations have often given her ideas for her next story, set not only in the South but wherever the characters demand they settle.

Find out more about my books at these social media sites:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorKCSprayberry/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog:

http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

MeWe: https://mewe.com/group/5c668604d7749276f0a8689a

Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/collection/playlists

Manic Readers:

http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

AUTHORSdB:

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/5230-k-c-sprayberry

Authorgraph:

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Email:

kcspray01@gmail.com

Posted in Travel/Conferences

The Cat Writers’ Association 25th Anniversary: Something to Meow About

This week, I’ll be flying to St. Louis to join fellow members of the Cat Writers’ Association for their annual conference. This year, CWA will be celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary. I’ve been a member for twenty of those years.

Back when I decided to join, I was an unpublished author. I’d been writing for many years but; besides the articles I’d written for my college newspaper and the stories and books I’d composed in dozens of notebooks, I hadn’t submitted anything to be published professionally. Learning of this group that represented authors of all types who wrote about cats, I felt it would be suitable for me since I’d always been a cat lover and enjoyed reading cat mysteries by such authors as Carole Nelson Douglas famous for her feline sleuth Midnight Louie and Shirley Rousseau Murphy, who writes about Joe Grey, both of whom were members.

The only thing that stood in the way of my becoming a professional member of CWA was that I needed to have two published pieces. To fulfill this requirement, I began sending articles about my cats, Floppy and Holly, to pet magazines and newsletters. I wrote one about how I introduced Holly to Floppy that was published in the 1998 issue of Cat Fancy Magazine. I published another article on how to care for a cat with diabetes when Floppy became diabetic.

My cat Floppy who was the inspiration for my article on feline diabetes that was published in Cat Fancy Magazine and who was featured in my first novel, Cloudy Rainbow after he passed away.

When my membership was accepted, I attended the 1999 conference in Kansas City and met Shirley Rousseau Murphy in person. I also met Amy Shojai, the then CWA president and founder. I felt right at home with these cat-loving authors and enjoyed the conference sessions, awards banquet, and meeting  people with whom I had so much in common.

Me and Shirley Rousseau Murphy at the Cat Writers’ conference in Kansas City in 1999

I regret that I wasn’t able to attend any conferences after that first one that was so enjoyable. Although I continued to write and kept up my membership, I didn’t have much time or opportunity to travel. I was working full-time as a librarian and had a young daughter. I continued, however, to write cat-related articles in pet magazines and, in 2001, published my first cat mystery, “Stitches in Time,” a short story that appeared in the anthology, Cat Crimes Through Time.

In 2008, I published my first novel, Cloudy Rainbow, that featured Floppy, who passed away the year before. I self-published the book and didn’t sell many copies, so I stopped writing for a time until a patron at my library encouraged me to write another book. Me and Shirley Murphy at the Cat Writers' conference in Kansas City in 1989In 2015, I published A Stone’s Throw, that became the first of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series featuring Sneaky the Library Cat. The series now consists of four books. This first edition was published by Limitless Publishing and was later reprinted by Solstice Publishing with whom I now have six books including the reprint of Cloudy Rainbow, as well as several short stories and a novella. I also recently published a standalone mystery, Sea Scope, with Creativia.

My 7 published novels including the 4 books of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series.

All my books feature cats who don’t play major roles or talk but usually help uncover clues to the mysteries. The 4th book of my Cobble Cove series, Love on the Rocks, recently won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association and is one of several up for consideration for the coveted Muse Medallion that will be awarded in St. Louis this Saturday night.

The Muse Medallion, the highest honor awarded at the Cat Writers’ Banquet during their annual conference.
My latest Cobble Cove mystery that won a Certificate of Excellence and is up for a muse medallion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m looking forward to attending another CWA conference and appearing on a panel of cat fiction authors. I’ll also be signing books at the Missouri Humane Society’s fundraiser with other CWA authors.

I’ll be on a panel with cat fiction authors top left to right: Mollie Hunt, Patricia Fry. Bottom left to right: Sandra Murphy, Me

My bags are almost packed, and I’ve managed to gather all my cat tops, cat ears, and other cat items to bring to the event in, what else, a cat suitcase. It should be fun as well as educational with speakers, editors, sessions on a variety of topics, and networking opportunities. My only regret is having to leave my three cats at home, but I know they’ll be happy when I return with my swag bag of feline goodies from all the wonderful pet company sponsors. The 25th anniversary will definitely be something to meow about!