Posted in Freebies and Special Offers, Mysteries, Thriller

October Sales, New Release, and Interview

Each week in October, I will be offering a Kindle Countdown, free book, or a 99-cent deal for my Solstice Publishing mysteries. My mystery thriller, Reason to Die, is on Kindle Countdown until October 5 when it will go back to its original price. My psychological thriller, Sea Scope, published by Next Chapter is on sale for 99 cents until October 4.

Someone is strangling disabled people in the small town of Baxter, Connecticut. Detective Courtney Lang and her ex-partner and ex-lover, wheelchair-bound Bill Thompson, are paired up again and put in charge of the investigation. During the course of their search, Courtney uncovers information that points toward a connection between the murders and an unsolved series of muggings by a masked man, the same man who shot and disabled Bill a year ago on the night he proposed marriage to her.

Complicating matters for Courtney is her guilt about Thompson’s shooting, her affair with her new partner, Mark Farrell, and her unresolved feelings over the deaths of her mother and sister who perished in a fire while she was away from home.

As the deaths accrue and the “Handicapped Strangler” as the killer is coined by the press continues to rampage the town adding victims of different ages, sex, and disabilities to the murder count, Courtney discovers a clue that could crack open the case but may put her and Bill’s life in jeopardy.


Sea Scope has been chosen by Readers Favorite as a silver-medal winner in their 2020 contest.

Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she returns to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.

Sarah hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.

After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope. Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home.

When past and present collide, Sarah must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?


My latest mystery, Memory Makers was featured in the October issue of the Big Thrill, the magazine of International Thriller Writers. The article included an interview and review of the book.

Besides my books, two of my short science fiction stories, Mirror Image and The Felindae Mission, have been published in What Lies Beyond, a new anthology published by Red Penguin Books.

Posted in author news, Cats, New Releases

October Author News: New Cozy Mystery, Cat Book, Sale, Blog Tours, and More

October is one of my favorite months. It also seems to be the busiest. My daughter’s birthday is this month, and I also adopted my two cats in October. This year, I have two new books releasing in October, two short stories in an anthology, and a sale on my psychological mystery.

As September closes, the 99-cent sale starts for Sea Scope, my mystery about a lighthouse and family secrets. It runs from September 30 to October 4. If you haven’t read this book yet, grab it at this great price.

Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she returns to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.

Sarah hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.

After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope. Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home.

When past and present collide, Sarah must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?

Also, on September 30, the Red Penguin Collection Science Fiction anthology, What Lies Beyond, will be released featuring two of my stories, “The Felindae Mission” and “Mirror Image.”

The 5th book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, No Gravestone Unturned, will be published by Solstice Publishing just in time for Halloween. The blog tour and giveaway for this book will run from October 28 to November 8 on Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

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, a generation of family secrets is uncovered. Are 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?

Last but not least, I’m publishing a non-fiction cat book, Pet Posts: The Cat Chats. There will also be a blog tour for this book in early November.

Ever wonder what cats are thinking? If your cats could write a blog, what would they talk about? In this collection, you’ll meet Debbie De Louise’s current cats and two from the past who share their everyday activities, health concerns, behavior issues, and more. Floppy relates his hospital experience, gives advice about taking pills, and discusses feline diabetes. His younger sister, Holly, talks about her weight issues, describes how she made the change from a feral to a house cat, and even writes a fictional story featuring her fur and human family members. Harry talks about the merits and perils of being a black cat, shares his bad habit of wire and shoelace chewing, and even gives tips about how to cope with a crisis. His sister Hermione reveals her fascination with high and low places, discusses how she mastered the cat flap door, and even reviews the Cat Writers’ Association conference. If there’s a feline in your home or you enjoy reading about these quirky, beautiful, wise, and inspirational creatures, you’ll find these fur-st person tails from the cats’ points of view a purrfect read.

Keep your eyes on this blog and on my social media sites for more information about my upcoming new releases and the blog tours.

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

All Author: https://allauthor.com/author/debbiedelouise/

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

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiedelouise/

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debbiedelouise

Debbie’s Character’s Chat Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

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

Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog: https://Sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

Posted in Cover Reveal, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cover Reveal for No Gravestone Unturned: Cobble Cove Book #5

Coming soon from Solstice Publishing, No Gravestone Unturned, the 5th Cozy Mystery in my Cobble Cove series.

Blurb:

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, a generation of family secrets is uncovered. Are 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?

Have you read the 4 full-length books in the series and the three short eBooks? Find them and my other books here.

Posted in Cat Writers' Association, Contest, events

MUSE-ing About My Award from the Cat Writers’ Association’s Communication Contest

On Saturday night, August 8, the Cat Writers’ Association hosted their 26th annual Awards Ceremony, but this year it was conducted virtually and live streamed through Zoom and Facebook. Despite some minor technical glitches, the event was well planned and professionally presented. Many people were involved in this effort and also the contest itself. CWA President, Deb Barnes, was the main person who made the event possible.

I am truly honored to have won a Muse Medallion, the most prestigious award the CWA sponsors, for my short story, “Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery.” Although I’ve won Certificates of Excellence in the past, this was my first Muse. If you’ve seen or read any of my interviews where I talk about how I got started publishing my work, I always mention CWA. It was the first writing organization I joined over twenty years ago and is the one I feel proudest to belong to.

Besides the awarding of the Muse Medallions in various categories of writing, videography, photography, social media, blogs, and more, the sponsors who supported the contest gave away special prizes that consisted of monetary awards and other items. Here are a list of all the talented winners and their entries: https://catwriters.com/wp_meow/contest/

And here is a link to the beautiful program brochure produced by Past-President, Marci Kladnik. Only the Certificate of Excellence winners are listed  because it was published prior to the event: https://catwriters.com/wp_meow/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-Banquet-Program.pdf

One other feature of the event included raising funds for Tabby’s Place, a cat sanctuary in New Jersey. Donations are still being accepted. Each donation will earn entry into raffles for prizes donated by sponsors. The raffles will be drawn on August 16.

Here’s a video about Tabby’s Place that was featured in the early part of the awards ceremony but got cut off from the Facebook feed:

For those who missed this great event, it can still be viewed here:

I look forward to next year’s awards ceremony that will, fingers and paws crossed, take place at a conference where all members can gather in person.
Posted in Cozy Mysteries, New Releases

Author News: New Release and TV Appearance

I’m proud to announce the release of my new Cobble Cove cozy mystery story, “Sneaky’s Summer Mystery” available on Amazon for only $1.99 and free on Kindle Unlimited.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/SneakySummer

Cobble Cove is in the midst of an August heatwave. It’s the worst time for the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove library to break down. Alicia has no choice but to close the library and bring Sneaky, the library cat, home with her. After scheduling the air conditioner service with Rudy Gibbs, a technician from Hapnabber’s Repair Shop, she is surprised to learn that John knew Rudy when they were teenagers. When Rudy turns up dead after working on the AC at the library and Alicia learns of it during a barbecue she and John host with Gilly and Ramsay, Sneaky and Kittykai must once again protect their favorite ladies when they conduct their own investigation into the murder.

EXCERPT

In this scene, after Sheriff Ramsay is notified at a barbecue that Rudy Gibbs, the repairman hired to fix the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove Library is missing, Sneaky and Kittykai follow him and Alicia to the library where the man was last seen.

Sneaky swallowed a few leftovers that Alicia had tossed him and then said, “Did you hear that, Kit? There’s a missing repairman. We might be able to work on another mystery together.”

Kittykai’s green eyes widened. “That’ll be fun. Shall we follow them?”

Sneaky, who’d lived his whole life inside, unlike Kittykai who Gilly found on a beach in Hawaii during her honeymoon, had only ventured out alone once before when he was investigating alone, and someone left the library window open. “How do you propose we do that, Kit? Alicia is very careful when opening the door.”

“Follow me.”

Sneaky bounded after the calico toward the front door. The sheriff was holding it open for Alicia. Just as he walked through, Kittykai slipped by. She looked back at Sneaky briefly to make sure he was behind her. Outside, they hid in the bush as Alicia got in the sheriff’s car.

“Phew!” Sneaky exclaimed, “You sure are quick, Kittykai.”

“There’s one problem. How do we get to the library? We can’t very well “tail” them,” Kittykai said watching Alicia drive off with the sheriff.

“That won’t be necessary. I know the way to the library and if I get confused, I still have my sniffer to assist.” Sneaky enjoyed showing off for his girlfriend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 Writers’ 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 mysteries Reason to Die and Sea Scope. Her latest book, Memory Makers, is a medical thriller. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and three cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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

All Author: https://allauthor.com/author/debbiedelouise/

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

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiedelouise/

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debbiedelouise

Debbie’s Character’s Chat Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

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

Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog: https://Sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

If you didn’t catch my TV appearance on Between the Covers, you can view it here:

Posted in Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal for Sneaky’s Summer Mystery my New Cobble Cove Story

I’m proud to present the cover for Sneaky’s Summer Mystery, another Cobble Cove story coming soon.

Cobble Cove is in the midst of an August heatwave. It’s the worst time for the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove library to break down. Alicia has no choice but to close the library and bring Sneaky, the library cat, home with her. After scheduling the air conditioner service with Rudy Gibbs, a technician from Hapnabber’s Repair Shop, she is surprised to learn that John knew Rudy when they were teenagers. When Rudy turns up dead after working on the AC at the library and Alicia learns of it during a barbecue she and John host with Gilly and Ramsay, Sneaky and Kittykai must once again protect their favorite ladies when they conduct their own investigation into the murder.

 

Check out Sneaky’s previous, short story, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery, that won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association.

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery: A Cobble Cove Story (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

Also don’t miss the Cobble Cove series.

 

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.