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