Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries) by Amber Royer #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries)
by Amber Royer

I am very happy to welcome Amber Royer back to Escape With Dollycas!

Hi Amber,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi!   I live in McKinney, Texas.(Just north of Dallas).  My husband and I are coming up on our 25th anniversary.  I grew up in Southeast Texas, a ferry ride away from Galveston, where my bean to bar mysteries are set.   I have been teaching creative writing for over a decade now.  I love working with new students because I love getting to know new story worlds and characters, and see how these change as they are refined.  I was a librarian before I became an author coach, so books have always played a part in my life.

I am a nut when it comes to linguistics, and have built grammatical rules for several of the languages in my science fiction.  I am a language learner in both Spanish and Japanese.  I read/write enough Japanese to pass the practice test for the JLPT 5 (easiest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test), though I’ve not taken the official exam.

I am an avid herb gardener, and I love to cook.  I even have a cookbook that combines these two passions – There are Herbs in My Chocolate.  I gave the cooking style developed in that cookbook to Carmen, the employee Felicity just promoted to official pastry chef at the beginning of 70% Dark Intentions.  Now that we are beginning to be able to entertain again, I am looking forward to the opportunity to make cupcakes for people again.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’m adopted.  I’m working on the manuscript for the Bean to Bar Mysteries NO. 3, and I’ve uncovered that one of my characters is also adopted.  You will get to know a bit about that character in 70% Dark Intentions – though he has no idea yet that he’s adopted.

I’m left-handed.  They say people who are left-handed are supposed to have talent with visual arts and beautiful handwriting.  Well . . . my handwriting is awful.  It was so bad in high school that my teachers asked me to type instead (which explains why I type basically as fast as I can think).  I can read cursive, but I never completely learned how to write it.

I am surprisingly good at Beat Sabre (a VR game where you have Star-Wars style light sabers that you use to hit floating squares to the beat of music.  Kind of a cross between slashing at the squares and banging on the drums.)  I took years of dance classes when I was a kid.  So I guess now they’re not going to waste. LOL.

What is the first book you remember reading?

The first thing I can remember reading is Where the Wild Things Are.  It was probably read TO me, as opposed to me reading it myself, but it was the first one that made an impression.  This book exemplifies the Hero’s Journey – could there be any stronger call to adventure?  Or a character more changed by the experience?  Is it any wonder I fell in love with books?

What are you reading now?

I am just finishing up Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz.  I was hooked when I found out it was about a spice shop.  And when I saw it was set in Seattle, I knew there would be coffee.  And coffee is one of my favorite things.  (Bonus: I was interviewed last year by Erin Andrews of Indi Chocolate, who has a shop in Pike’s Place Market, where Pepper has her fictional shop.  It has been cool seeing that space brought to life in the story.  You can catch the Virtual Chocolate Salon re-watch at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=252215839559244&ref=watch_permalink ).

Next up on my TBR list is The Plot is Murder by VM Burns.  I am a total sucker for anything that feels like it is going to be a bit meta, and from the blurb, it feels like this book is going to have a UHF-esque imagination dovetailing into reality kind of vibe.

As far as nonfiction, I’m just getting into Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat.  I want to get through the book before I watch the Netflix docuseries.  I love cookbooks that explore principles (my favorite cookbook ever is Ratio by Michael Ruhlman) and this one promises to take the concept in-depth.

What books have most inspired you?

I still think Treasure Island is a beautiful example of how to tell a story without wasting anything.  It is a big influence on how I think about putting together the different elements of storytelling.

But this time I want to talk a bit about Jane Austen.  (Felicity, my protagonist in the Bean to Bar Mysteries, is an Austen fan.  Go figure.  In Book 2, Felicity forms a friendship with another character in part because they both appreciate Austen.)  It is often said that story is character, and I believe that this is true.  Austen is a master of psychologically examining her characters, which is why these stories endure and get adapted in different formats.  Trends in structure have changed since Austen’s day (compare the book version of Emma, where the big climactic scene with Knightley takes place over 100 pages from the end, versus the more recent movie versions, where that scene comes at the end) but the way the characters are drawn as people – and the characteristics inside those psychological profiles that make us viscerally feel the romantic chemistry between her leads – doesn’t change.  Austin is probably more of an influence on my writing than I realize, since no matter what kind of story I try to tell, my characters all wind up with awkward/complex friendships and compelling love interests.

Mysteries that have inspired me include:

Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels.

Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax series

Lillian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who series.

Dorothy Cannell’s Ellie Haskell series.

Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldie Bear series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always loved reading them.  I feel like all fiction has an element of puzzle to it, as we figure out the plot along with the characters.  Mysteries to me are the most direct expression of this, which is why I think as a reader, it is so easy to get caught up in them.  But they are anything but direct to write.  You have to get to know the characters so well that you can see how each one of the possible suspects COULD have an element of darkness inside that would allow that individual to be a murderer – while at the same time making all the innocent ones likable enough that readers are okay with them showing back up in the next book.  The plot has to be logical, and yet surprising.  When I was a teenager, one of my first attempts at writing a novel was about half of a mystery manuscript.  I just didn’t have the writing skill at the time to pull it off.  But that convinced me for a long time that I COULDN’T write a mystery.

It wasn’t until I’d written a lot of other things that I took another stab at writing a mystery. (Pun mostly intended.)   Felicity was a character who demanded to be written.  She’s inspired in part by a number of different chocolate makers I’d met while researching and marketing the Chocoverse books.  But a lot of her is also me, getting to talk about a fictionalized version of the area where I grew up and food that I love.  The mysteries she finds herself involved in serve as a vehicle for Felicity moving towards understanding herself and what she wants in life.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write on my laptop, so I’m more of a will-travel-for-inspiration kind of writer than having any one set place.  (I’ll write in the back seat of a moving car, since the glare of a laptop   Over the past year, I’ve been more or less grounded, so most of my writing has taken place in my living room.  I LOVE writing in coffee shops, though.  (And I hope to get to start doing that again soon!)  I used to meet up with some other writers at this little boba tea and ramen place, and I miss that vibe. I’m one of those people who has to have a bit of noise in the background to get anything done.  I have a desk in our home office, but it faces a blank wall.  Basically, I only use it if I am working on a project where I can bounce ideas off my husband, or if I’m doing something via Zoom, so there are other people virtually hanging out with me.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Writers are observers.  We take in elements of the world, and sometimes these memories can rattle around for years before they show up in a project.  I love the ocean and the beach, so writing about this setting is a no-brainer.  Galveston wildlife shows up in 70% Dark Intentions, and growing up, I visited Sea Rim State Park (on the mainland, not far from Galveston) and Galveston State Park a number of times.  There are alligator observation stations in both, and this inspires part of the story.  Sometimes you see something and it sparks an idea immediately.  But sometimes it’s a combination of both.  Another wildlife element that shows up in this book is the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.  When we visited Galveston to film some clips for the Book 1 trailer, we came across a number of the Turtles About Town sculptures – which highlight these endangered turtles, and their nesting on the island.  This came together in my mind with a visit Jake and I took about a decade and a half ago to a turtle sanctuary in Acapulco, where we got to see baby turtles awaiting release back into the ocean.  This sparked another way wildlife shows up in the plot of this story.

When I build characters, I usually start with a name and a few details, and I write a little from that person’s point of view.  Once I feel like I know a character well enough, I do a character interview and find out what they want out of the story, what they’re afraid of and what they value.  I don’t intentionally model characters on real people, although I’m sure traits from people I know show up in my fictional people.  I have had friends assume they are certain people in my stories, and I can sometimes see why they might think that, even though this was not intentional.  When I envision a project, I usually do picture one of my friends who would particularly enjoy it.   I’ve borrowed those friends’ names – with permission, of course – for the protagonists of some of my stories.

Writers are often told to write what they know, or to write what they want to understand.  Ind that’s true.  My story ideas are a mix, really, of things I know, things I want to know, things I’d love to tell my friends and cool things I uncover while living life.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

My biggest challenge is still narrowing the story down to a reasonable word count.  There are so many aspects to any story, and particularly to cozy mysteries – which have tons of support characters and suspects and a whole community to explore, not to mention possible love interests.  It’s hard to narrow it down to just the characters who are relevant to the current installment of the story, and to focus subplots so that they don’t overtake the main plot.

What do you think makes a good story?

Story is about people and conflict.  Most often that means people in conflict with each other.  And there has to be something at stake in the conflict that both characters want desperately – and that is weighty enough to be worth a reader’s time.  That what draws us in and keeps us reading.  A GREAT story changes the characters along the way, so that the events of the story shakes them to their core and changes who they are and how they look at life.

There also needs to be an element of uncertainty.  If we can easily guess the outcome of a story early on, there’s no puzzles to figure out.  If it’s obvious who wins and how, we can’t worry for the characters – or with them.

For a cozy mystery, the character also needs a reason to solve the particular murder at the heart of your story.  Maybe she cares about the person suspected, or is suspected herself, or somehow her reputation or her business is at stake.  In most cozies, the protagonist isn’t solving the mystery as part of her job.  So you need to manufacture a reason.  If the sleuth has nothing at risk, we won’t believe that she cares so much about solving a murder, when there are other people on hand with catching killers in their job descriptions.  This time, I dealt with this by attaching the disappearance of one of Felicity’s employees to the events surrounding the murder.  And I’m having Felicity try to resist getting involved – even though the people in her life assume that having solved one murder that happened on her premises, she’s bound to investigate this second one.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I think all my characters have a little of me in them – even the bad guys.  Demographically, Felicity is most like me.  I gave her a Cajun side to her background, because I wanted to get to pepper the series with food references and flavors of my childhood.  Felicity has a good heart, and she genuinely feels bad when she makes mistakes while investigating.  And like me, she loves books and reading and a good cup of coffee.  But unlike me, she’s good at chemistry, and has a medical background, while I was too squeamish to even do my own experiments in high school biology.  Which makes her strong and cool in a crisis, whereas I tend to go into panic mode.

Psychologically, I’m more like Autumn Ellis, Felicity’s best friend.  Autumn is a former mystery writer, who wanted to be a poet since she was a little girl.  She and Felicity met in eighth grade, when they were both doing UIL Poetry competitions.  She’s more intuitive than logical.  She speaks her mind – sometimes without regard for the consequences.  And like me, she’s an extrovert who works from home, which means she needs routines for social interaction – and she gets terribly excited when she gets invited to a party.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

My protagonist is a bean to bar craft chocolate maker, with ties to the chocolate making world.  Between books, she travels to work with farmers growing cacao in different countries – and elements of that wanderlust come home with her and show up in the books.

The Bean to Bar Mysteries boarder on the more actiony side of cozy, with one of Felicity’s love interests being a former bodyguard.  And in this one, one of Felicity’s employees goes missing at the same time as the murder.  70% Dark Intentions deals directly with the fallout of the first book in the series, where after being threatened by the murderer, someone in Felicity’s life has developed issues with self-confidence.

There is also a focus on character development for Felicity herself, as she continues to cope with the grief in her backstory that brought her home in the first place – and the fact that her friends’ lives keep changing around her.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I’m already drafting Bean to Bar Mysteries No. 3: Out of Temper.  Book 1 dealt with the Gulf Coast’s tempestuous weather, and Book 2 deals with Galveston’s wildlife.  Book 3 is going to bring in elements from Galveston’s cruise ship terminals.  Which means a lot of the characters from the first two books are going to get to go on a little boat ride, when Felicity gets invited to do chocolate making demos and tastings on board a cruise.

I’m also working on a manuscript involving time travel and Impressionist art.

Thank you Amber for visiting today!

Keep reading to learn about Amber’s new book! 

About 70% Dark Intentions


70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher – Golden Tip Press (July 20, 2021)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1952854105
ISBN-13: 978-1952854101
Digital ASIN : B091KMVY8P

Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is bringing in plenty of customers – in part due to the notoriety of the recent murder of one of her assistants, which she managed to solve. Things seem to be taking a turn for the better. Her new assistant, Mateo, even gets along with Carmen, the shop’s barista turned pastry chef. Felicity thinks she’s learning to cope with change – right up until one of her friends gets engaged. Everyone’s expecting her to ask Logan, her former bodyguard, to be her plus one. But even the thought of asking out someone else still makes her feel disloyal to her late husband’s memory — so maybe she hasn’t moved on from her husband’s death as much as she thought.

 

Felicity isn’t planning to contact Logan any time soon. Only, Felicity finds ANOTHER body right outside her shop – making it two murders at Greetings and Felicitations in as many months. That night, Mateo disappears, leaving Felicity to take care of his pet octopus. The police believe that Mateo committed the murder, but Felicity is convinced that, despite the mounting evidence, something more is going on, and Mateo may actually be in trouble.

 

When Logan assumes that he’s going to help Felicity investigate, she realizes she’s going to have to spend time with him – whether she’s ready to really talk to him or not. Can Felicity find out what happened to Mateo, unmask a killer, and throw an engagement party all at the same time?

 

More About Amber Royer

Amber Royer writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the BEAN TO BAR MYSTERIES. She is also the author of STORY LIKE A JOURNALIST: A WORKBOOK FOR NOVELISTS, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She blogs about creative writing techniques and all things chocolate at www.amberroyer.com. She also teaches creative writing for both UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes.

Author Links

Website     Blog    Instagram   Facebook     Youtube      Twitter     Amazon Author Page     Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon   Barnes and Noble    Kobo    Apple Books

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
July 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, EXCERPT  
July 15 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – CelticLady Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
July 17 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 19 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
July 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 21 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
July 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – ebook addicts – REVIEW
July 24 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
July 25 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

#Author Interview – Charlotte Stuart – Author of Who, Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Who, Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite
by Charlotte Stuart

I am so happy to have Charlotte Stuart drop by today!

Hi Charlotte,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve done a variety of things to make a living, from being a flight attendant to commercial salmon fishing. The job I enjoyed the most was as a management consultant. I did individual and group assessments, leadership training, and strategic planning. I like to analyze and categorize and solve problems. That’s why I recently put together a matrix on the five sub-genres of humorous mysteries. You can check out the two-part sessions on YouTube: A Reader’s Guide to Choosing Humorous Mysteries.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I enjoy research. How much time I spend depends on the theme related to the motivation for murder. For Why Me? Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish, the first book in the Macavity & Me Mysteries, I did a lot of reading about illegal trafficking in human organs, chimera research, and laws governing chimera research in different countries. It was both fascinating and a bit scary. I already had a lot of background about fraud in nonprofits, but I still did a fair amount of reading for Who Me? Also, I just completed a Police Academy course for civilians and have been attending webinars on all things sinister, like poison and weaponry and blood splatter patterns. I like to be as accurate as possible.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

There are times when the ideas flow better than others. But I’ve always liked the process of writing. I even enjoyed working on my PhD dissertation. And I survived several years writing a column on leadership for a business journal. If I’m suffering from brain fog, I take a break, preferably going for a walk in the woods.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

I know this sounds cliché, but don’t let rejection get you down. One of the things I’ve researched is authors writing about getting rejected. Some authors are blessed with quick and easy success, but most suffer from a string of rejections along the way. If you aren’t having luck finding an agent or a publisher, consider self-publishing. I self-published a book to use in my consulting business before self-publishing was popular. Currently, I know a number of successful authors who wouldn’t do it any other way. Just go for it.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I walk every day for exercise and pleasure, mostly on trails, sometimes on the beach. I also like kayaking and swimming. I’m a water and woods person. And I enjoy meeting with friends over coffee.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and your writing?

I feel guilty for enjoying myself while others were going through difficult times. I was pleased to have plenty of time to write, places to walk, and a husband I like being with. And for me, Zooming was a good option, both professionally and personally. In some ways, it’s going to be hard to go back to dealing with ferry schedules, traffic and crowds.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

If I could be teleported to places instead of having to take public transportation, I would begin by visiting the ruins at Machu Picchu, stopping in the Australian outback for a quick look around, going for a hike in the Canary Islands, and having dinner in an Italian hill village with a view of a valley filled with olive trees. Seeing new places in person engages all five senses. You can touch the stone walls, smell the foliage, feel the ground underfoot. But sometimes returning to a place you’ve already been is worthwhile. I can almost taste the antipasto and smell the fettuccine con Carciofi we had in a tiny family restaurant in Italy—

What is next on the horizon for you?

I’ve started three series, so it’s mainly a question of which book to work on next. The third in my Discount Detective series will be coming out on November 2nd, so I’ll definitely be spending some time getting the word out about Shopping Can Be Deadly (A Discount Detective Mystery).

Thank you, Charlotte for visiting today!

Keep reading to find out about Charlotte’s new book. 

About Who, Me?
Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite 


Who, Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Taylor & Seale Publishing
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 236 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1950613704
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1950613700
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097D67XKS

A heated argument on a nearby boat followed by a loud splash . . .

 

Who, Me? Fog Bows, Fraud and Aphrodite is a mystery set in an urban boating community in Seattle. Bryn Baczek lives on a sailboat in a small marina with her cat, Macavity, and a series of short-lived goldfish. When a neighbor she doesn’t like becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation, she reluctantly seeks evidence to prove him innocent. She ends up being threatened by the victim’s abusive boyfriend, betrayed by a close friend, and can’t resist using subterfuge to enter a secured building to search the victim’s office. Although she shares what she learns with a charming detective, she is one step ahead of the police in identifying the murderer . . . a step that puts her in a dangerous face-to-face confrontation.

 

More About Charlotte Stuart

 

In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart, PhD, has taught college courses in speech communication, was a management consultant and a VP of HR, and has enjoyed time spent sailing and commercial salmon fishing in Alaska. Her current passion is for writing mysteries with a dollop of adventure and a smattering of humor. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching herons, eagles, seals and other sea life from her Vashon Island home office.

Author Links

Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads   Instagram  

Purchase Links – Amazon

Also by Charlotte Stuart

Coming November 2, 2021

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please check out every stop. 
June 28 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 1 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
July 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 4 – OFF
July 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 6 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 9 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
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Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

The Corpse with the Iron Will (The Cait Morgan Mysteries) by Cathy Ace #AuthorInterview -Great Escapes Book Tour


The Corpse with the Iron Will (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
by Cathy Ace

I am thrilled to welcome Cathy Ace to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Cathy,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 First of all, (a lot of people ask me this) yes, Cathy Ace is my real name – my birth name, in any case. I’m Welsh, having been born and raised in Swansea, and I migrated to Canada aged forty. I now live half-way up a little mountain in a rural area in the southwestern corner of British Columbia.

 

What are three things most people dont know about you?

 Hmmm, maybe they hadn’t guessed that I’m Welsh? Or, if they knew that, maybe they didn’t know my husband is also Welsh – so we keep our Swansea accents alive, despite the fact we’re both Canadian now.

I’m a natural optimist – which helps a great deal if you’re a writer, because you have to believe the planets will all align to allow your next book to be published, and sell.

I live by the maxim: “Don’t dream it, be it” (which is stolen from Dr. Frankenfurter in The Rocky Horror Show)

 What is the first book you remember reading?

 This is impossible to answer, because I read so much, and so fast, when I was little, that all the Enid BlytonFamous Five” and “Secret Seven” books roll themselves up into one adventure-filled ball. I vividly recall the cover-art for Nancy Drew books, and I’m pretty sure the first Agatha Christie I read was “Death in the Clouds” – which, again, I recall for the wonderful cover-art by the artist Tom Adams – but I could be wrong about that. I do have a copy of a book called “Little John Little” on my shelves, which I recall was bedtime reading when I was very small, so possibly that?

 What are you reading now?

 A bit of a confession here – I’m actually reading one of my own books! I wrote The Corpse with the Golden Nose in 2012, and it was published in 2013, which feels like a very long time ago. It was the second Cait Morgan Mystery, and there are characters in it who will make an appearance in the planned eleventh book in the series, which I am currently plotting (see more below). I knew I had to go back to them before I could write about them again, and I am therefore rereading that book. It’s a weird experience – I can hardly believe I wrote it, and there are bits I painfully wish I could rewrite, and bits which fill me with delight, and pride.

 What books have most inspired you?

Every book I have ever read has inspired me, in some way or another, but – since you’re asking me to be specific – I’ll plump for the works of William Shakespeare and the works of Agatha Christie.

 What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

 I’ve always read mysteries, and I cannot imagine writing anything else. Each book I write is a book I’d like to read, and I’m a complete dyed-in-the-wool mystery reader, so that’s my thing, and I’ll stick to it.

 Do you have a special place you like to write?

 I have an office, and writing is my work, so I tend to write there. However, for a few years I wrote at the dining table, and I have been known to spend time in the summer out on the back deck, enjoying the fresh air as I edit – but I can’t write there, just edit. No idea why! Wherever I am I need silence to be able to write. My most productive hours are between about 9pm and 2am, so – fortunately – that’s naturally a pretty quiet time, though the owls, bats, and coyotes keep me company.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

This is one of those annoying answers, because it’s honestly, “It depends”! I might hear or see something that makes me think, “What a great way to kill someone!”, or I might be struck by a situation or an encounter when I think “What a great reason to want someone dead!”. Once there’s the germ of a starting point, that’s when the hard work of crafting a complex plot begins, and I enjoy thinking through the details of a plot as I work on our acreage, or do a spot of DIY.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

For me, the entire process of writing involves much more than sitting at a keyboard – I think of it as including all the plotting, researching, outlining, and then writing and editing, too. Of the overall process, what I dislike most is editing. For me, the first draft is the most fun, because I’m trying to get the movie I’ve already seen in my head onto the page in such a way that the reader can see that same movie, without the words getting in the way.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story is like a good piece of music: there are only so many notes to play with, but it’s the unique voice of the composer that makes the music what it is. In the same way that I’m drawn to the works of certain composers, I’m drawn to the works of certain writers – no matter what sub-genre they are writing in (Note: I honestly only read crime). Thus, whilst I need a story to “work” overall, for me it’s the voice that draws me in, and – ultimately – satisfies me.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Unquestionably, Cait Morgan. She’s Welsh, an immigrant to Canada, over-indulgent, judgmental, a bit bossy, and has a soft heart (but an acid internal voice).

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I think this comes back to the point I made earlier – voice. The Cait Morgan Mysteries are traditional, Christie-style mysteries: they always feature a closed circle of suspects, play fair with the clues, and deliver red herrings, with a final denouement and comeuppances for the baddies. In other words, they deliver against the expectations of those who enjoy that “shape” of mystery, and I think that’s important (it is for me, as a reader, anyway). But I write them, with my voice, in my head (which is Cait’s voice, of course, and these books are written in the first person) so they are unique to me in that respect. In all honesty, it would only be others who could tell you how my voice differs from that of other authors; I’m not clever enough to do that.

 Whats next on the horizon for you?

As I mentioned, I’m plotting the eleventh Cait Morgan Mystery at the moment. I know where it’s set, who the main players are, the basics of what happens to whom, and the how and why of that – but I’m not quite ready to announce the title or the publication date, yet. I’m a detailed planner – I have no idea how anyone begins to write a book until they’ve already outlined the entire thing not only in their head but on paper, too – so I have to work out all the twists, turns, and details before I can be sure this story will end up being the next book. There will be an eleventh Cait Morgan Mystery, but this might not be the story I tell; I hope it is, because I really want to take folks to the location, which is fantastic – but it’s too early for me to be certain.

Thank you, Cathy, so much for visiting today!

Keep reading to learn about Cathy’s new book!

About The Corpse With The Iron Will


The Corpse with the Iron Will (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Publisher: Four Tails Publishing Ltd. (June 3, 2021)
Number of Pages: 325
Digital ASIN: B08YRQP569

Welsh criminal psychologist and globetrotting sleuth, Cait Morgan, and her retired-cop husband Bud Anderson, are enjoying some well-deserved peace and quiet at home, in moody, mountainous British Columbia. The sudden death of a neighbor is a significant loss for them both, so Cait’s honored when Gordy Krantz’s “unusual” will requests that she eulogize him at his memorial.

 

However, delving into the dead man’s background becomes a pressing priority when a puzzling theft, and some surprising discoveries, put our favourite sleuths on high alert. Might someone living in their seemingly tight-knit – and certainly off-beat – rural community have wanted their neighbor dead? And if so, are more people they know at risk?

 

The tenth Cait Morgan Mystery from Bony Blithe Award-winning author Cathy Ace, The Corpse with the Iron Will, forces Cait and Bud to use the skills they’ve honed tackling cases around the world to unmask a killer who’s too close to home for comfort!

More About Cathy Ace

 

Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, Wales, then migrated to Canada aged 40. Having traveled the world (for business and pleasure) for decades, Cathy put her knowledge of the cultures, history, art, and food she encountered to good use in the Cait Morgan Mysteries – a series of traditional whodunits featuring a globetrotting Welsh Canadian professor of criminal psychology. These books have been optioned by Free@LastTV (Agatha Raisin). Ace also writes the #1 Amazon bestselling WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, featuring four female PIs (one is Welsh, one Irish, one Scottish, one English). They tackle quirky, quintessentially British cases from a Welsh stately home in the rolling countryside of the Wye Valley. Her standalone tale of psychological suspense, The Wrong Boy, also became an amazon #1 bestseller, and is due to become a bilingual TV mini series. Cathy lives on five rural acres in British Columbia, where her ever-supportive husband ensures she’s able to work full-time as an author, and enjoy her other great passion – gardening. She’s been shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award three times in four years, winning in 2015, has won an IPPY Award, and was shortlisted for an IBA Award and an Arthur Ellis Award.

Author Links:    Website    Facebook     Twitter: @AceCathy    GoodReads   Instagram

Purchase Links – AmazonKobo

Also by Cathy Ace


TOUR PARTICIPANTS
June 7 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
June 8 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 10 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
June 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
June 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Interviews

Cozy Wednesday with Tricia L. Sanders Author of Flea Market Felony (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries) #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!


Flea Market Felony (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries)
by Tricia L. Sanders

I reviewed this book back on April 6 and was chair dancing when the author asked for a Great Escapes Book Tour. She also agreed to be my guest today for an Author Interview!


Hi Tricia! Welcome to Escape With Dollycas. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ll let my bio speak to that. Tricia L. Sanders lives in the Austin, Texas area and writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I’m pretty much an open book. If there’s anything people don’t know about me, it’s because I don’t want them to know. I hope that doesn’t sound snobby. It’s not meant that way. Some secrets are meant to be kept. Ha!

What is the first book you remember reading?

It probably sounds cliché, but it would be a Dick and Jane book when I first started school. I loved those books. The illustrations made me happy and kept me turning the pages.

What are you reading now?

Just downloaded Win by Harlan Coben.

Oh, I enjoyed that one!

What books have most inspired you?

As a child, the Donna Parker books. (Look them up.) As a student, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. As a young adult, Pocahontas by Susan Donnell, and more recently Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always loved mysteries, starting with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. I wrote down clues and created suspect lists as I read. So, it just made sense that I would graduate to writing my own mysteries.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Used to be my desk in my office, but I’ve recently moved, and my office is mostly a storage room until I find a place for everything. For now, I write on my patio when the weather cooperates or in my comfy chair in the living room. Before Covid, I spent 2 hours a day writing at a local coffee shop. I look forward to being able to do that again soon.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Mostly from crime reports. I try to find unique cases, then put on spin on them and find a way to inject a bit of humor into a very serious topic.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

The initial plotting is always difficult for me. I really would prefer to write without an outline, but my mind doesn’t work that way. I’ve tried and I usually write myself into a corner, then spend way too much time trying to get the story back on track.

What do you think makes a good story?

I want my readers to come away from a book feeling like they’ve made a new friend and want to continue the journey with my protagonist.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Probably Mattie Modesky in my latest series, The Mattie and Mo Mysteries. She’s spunky but not foo full of herself.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I hope it’s the friendship aspect of each story. My characters have long term friendships that mean the world to them, but they also continue to cultivate relationships, sometimes challenging ones like Cece and Nancy in my Grime Pays Mystery series. Nothing about either of their backgrounds indicates they would ever in a thousand years become friends, but they slowly do.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m still getting The Mattie and Mo Mysteries launched and will continue the Grime Pays Mystery series. Next on the agenda is a tropical cozy series which features a mother and daughter pair and explores their relationship as well as their mystery-solving skills while balancing financial difficulties.

Thank you Tricia so much for visiting today! 

Keep reading to find out about Flea Market Felony!

About Flea Market Felony


Flea Market Felony (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Independently published (April 1, 2021)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8729049523
Digital ASIN: B08ZMBTQ8B

These new retirees have just hit the road. Will their first campsite’s shenanigans land them both in handcuffs?

 

Mattie Modesky’s been hankering to start retirement right. Even if it’s in an RV. The sassy senior believes there’s no time like the present after her policeman husband hangs up his badge and they hit the road.

 

When they reach their first RV park, the yoga instructor hitting on Mattie’s man turns her peaceful vacation sour. In an effort to stand her ground and confront the sneaky resident, Mattie finds a new friend, a stiff corpse, and her husband as the prime suspect.

 

She is shocked to her core when her man’s newly purchased pocketknife is the murder weapon. But when the real killer makes the fatal mistake of dognapping her beloved pooch, the silver-haired sleuth sets her sights on solving the crime herself and proving her lawman’s innocence.

 

Can Mattie clear her hubby’s name and reclaim their pup before the villain turns their golden years into iron bars? Or will the killer roll away in a motor home with Mattie’s dog in the passenger seat?

 

Flea Market Felony is the adventure-packed first book in The Mattie and Mo Mysteries series. If you like irresistible characters, fun surprises, and captivating whodunits, then you’ll love Tricia L. Sanders’s clever read.

 

Buy Flea Market Felony to catch a dastardly devil today!

Dollycas’s Thoughts – Click Here to Read My Review.

More About Tricia L. Sanders

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology, and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.

Purchase Links – AmazonBooks2Read 


Also by Tricia L. Sanders

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 1 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
June 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST,
June 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
June 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
June 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
June 9 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
June 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 10 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
June 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
June 13 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Murder in the Family (An Eve Appel Mystery) by Lesley A Diehl #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Murder in the Family (An Eve Appel Mystery)
by Lesley A Diehl


It is my pleasure to welcome Lesley Diehl to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Lesley,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in the country on a dairy farm in Illinois. As far as I’m concerned it was the best place to be as a child, exploring the fields and the woods, being with our animals and developing a love of the smell and look of rural life. So of course all my protagonists are country gals because they also grew up in the country or have adopted the rural life. Although I no longer live on a farm, I have not strayed far from my country roots. The settings for all my work whether full length novels or short stories are in small communities. Right now, as I look out my office window in my small cottage, I am watching a mother robin raise her brood of three. That sight makes me happy and inspires me in my writing. Nothing dark for me, only humorous cozies.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I got my undergraduate degree in a small college in Iowa, as I like to tell people, “it was in the middle of a corn field.”

I love to shop; whether in a thrift shop, department store or now online, I’m crazy about clothes and household furnishings. I also love shoes.

Not only do I talk to my cat, but I also talk for him. I’ve always done this with all my cats and have had some of the most intelligent conversations this way.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Here’s an odd one. Next to Nancy Drew and the Dana girls, I read Darwin’s Origin of Species. It was a second edition I found on my grandfather’s bookshelf.

What are you reading now?

I’m into the Country Club Murders, Book 7, Shadow Dancing by Julie Mulhern. It is set in the 1970s, the same period of my Aunt Nozzie and the Grandmothers works. It’s a favorite decade of mine.

I love that series!

What books have most inspired you?

I love Lori King’s books about Sherlock Holmes and Mary Holmes. I read all of them during the past year. It was my way of traveling in another time and around the world while isolated during the pandemic. They are so carefully researched and so beautifully written. It’s a joy to see how she had created another side to Holmes with her introduction of Mary into his life.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

As you can guess, I began to read mysteries at a young age, first Nancy Drew and then Agatha Christie and then any mystery I found in our small town’s library. I was intrigued by the puzzle these books presented and by the main characters. These were the neighbors one might find in a small town like the one I lived in. I always suspected my real neighbors had hidden lives, ones I’d never know about unless I made them up. Behind the most mundane were secrets waiting to be revealed, and I wanted to expose them. I loved words; I loved to be able to use them to describe the world. Why not use words to write about hidden lives?

Do you have a special place where you like to write?

When I’m in my cottage on the trout stream, I write in my office near the window and get a view of birds in the yard as well as an occasional woodchuck wandering by, a few chipmunks, rabbits, and the daylilies and lilacs in bloom.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Plots just seem to pop into my head sometimes inspired by observations of the world. For example, an alligator hiding under a neighbor’s car in Florida inspired me to write a short story in which a very nasty man got his up and comings when an alligator grabbed his arm.

But characters? Lately, I’ve found that people from my past especially my quirky relatives have found their way into my work.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Sometimes I have a beautiful plot and then some tiny, but significant detail gets in the way and ruins the logic. I usually find my way out of these holes late at night when I can’t sleep.

What do you think makes a good story?

The characters are the most important for me. Without interesting people, the story is nothing. Why continue reading if you aren’t taken with the character? And usually the character helps create the plot.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

In the stories from the six The Killer Wore Cranberry anthologies from Untreed Reads, I write four characters from my childhood, an aunt, two grandmothers and the narrator who is me. The stories are all set in the early 1970s, and the narrator is a woman in her late twenties, the age I would have been at that time. She is a college professor, a farm girl, loves her aunt and grandmothers, is unsure of how to relate to her mother and she struggles with weight and men issues. She is me from that time and age.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

My protagonist is bolder, less refined, less like anyone most of us have met. She loves high end fashion but moves to rural Florida where her punked, gelled and dyed hair and her three inch stilettoes definitely do not fit in. But what is endearing about this gal is her love of family and her loyalty to her friends, and some of her friends like to play loose with the law. There are no dogs, cats, bunnies or hamsters in these stories. There are, however, alligators. How could a writer create a story set in rural Florida without them?

What’s next on the horizon for you?

The trio of relatives inhabiting the Thanksgiving anthology stories (The Killer Wore Cranberry: Books 1-6) and a novella about Halloween (Happy Homicides: Book 4, Fall into Murder) are too good to let go, so I have written a book length mystery with these three crime stoppers. Led by Aunt Nozzie, Grandma Mama and Grandma Papa try to find out who killed their niece Darcie’s colleague and why. It’s yet another riotous ride in an aging motorhome through the hills of Upstate New York. It is currently being considered for publication.

Thank you Lesley so much for visiting today!

Keep reading to find about Lesley’s new book.

About Murder in the Family

Murder in the Family (An Eve Appel Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (April 14, 2021)
Paperback: 214 pages
ISBN-10: 1603817638
ISBN-13: 978-1603817639
Digital ASIN: B08TFDNN14

The past comes back seeking vengeance. To save her family and friends, Novice PI Eve Appel, pregnant with her second child, must outwit the bad guys in a final act of desperation, risking her life and that of the man she’s asked to help her, her mob boss friend, Nappi.

 

Someone is targeting the friends and family of Eve Appel Egret, owner of a rural Florida high-end consignment shop and part-time private investigator. The intimidation includes stealing the horse of one of Eve’s rancher friends, forcing her car off the road, attempting to kidnap her daughter and leaving messages on her phone threatening more dreadful acts to come. Eve almost succumbs to gas inhalation when someone enters the consignment shop and cuts the gas line while she is in the shop. And just when Eve could use the help of her mob boss friend, Nappi, with his far-reaching resources, she discovers he has gone into hiding, himself a target. By the time she finds him, he has lost all his financial assets and his influence, but not his determination to help Eve. It’s clear to Eve that someone from the past has returned to seek vengeance on her and those she loves. Her hunches lead her to believe she can bring the person responsible for the threats into the open by setting a clever and desperate trap. She knows the bad guy will come with reinforcements, but she never counted on who they would be.

 

About Lesley A. Diehl

Cows, Lesley learned growing up on a farm, have a twisted sense of humor. They chased her when she went to the field to herd them in for milking, and one ate the lovely red mitten her grandmother knitted for her. Determining that agriculture wasn’t a good career choice, instead she uses her country roots and her training as a psychologist to concoct stories designed to make people laugh in the face of murder. “A good chuckle,” says Lesley,” keeps us emotionally well-oiled long into our old age.” She is the author of several cozy mystery series and numerous short stories.

Author Links – Website – Blog – Facebook – Facebook Author Page – GoodReads – 

Purchase Links 


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Also by This Author

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 4 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
June 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 9 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
June 9 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews -SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

 

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A Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


A Ghost and His Gold
by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

It is my pleasure to welcome Roberta Eaton Cheadle to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Hi Robbie, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an author with 8 published children’s books, 2 young adult books, one a historical fictionalized memoir and the other a supernatural fantasy with a strong historical influence. I also have 1 published poetry book and stories in 8 anthologies. My latest novel for adults is a paranormal historical book set partially during the Great South African War.

I published my first children’s book in August 2016 and have not looked back since them. I have one self-published book, Open a new door, a collection of poetry, and my other books are published through TSL Publications in the United Kingdom.

I have a full-time job as the head of the capital markets team at my firm. I have been in corporate finance for over twenty years and during this time I have written several publications about investing in Africa and the potential impact of the fourth industrial revolution on various African countries.

I am married with two sons, both of whom are teenagers. My younger son, Michael, co-authored the Sir Chocolate series of books with me. He has outgrown these books for the time being and I am not expecting to write any more in this series as the writing of these books was a collaboration with Michael.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I am always reading up about historical events and ghost stories and they often evolve into story ideas. When a particular story or event strikes my fancy as a novel idea, I then research the entire outline of the historical event or situation.

Once I have this general overview in my mind, I start writing my story, working towards the ending I have already planned. I always have a basic outline and an ending in my mind when I start writing a story. I have discovered that I need to have an end goal to aim for with my novels, even if the middle often goes off in a different direction to what I originally planned. This method keeps my writing on track and prevents to much distraction and deviation with the plot. It also ensures I don’t get halfway through a book and then realise I have no ideas for the ending. Weak endings in books is something I dislike intensely, and they are common, even among well know and famous writers.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

No, my biggest problem is a lack of time to write all the books I would like too. Historical fiction is very time intensive and involves a lot of research so my word count in a day is rarely over 1, 000 words in 2 – 3 hours.

To date, writer’s block has not reared its head.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Writing and publishing a book is a huge commitment of time and effort. A Ghost and His Gold took me two years to research, write and edit and I wrote during weekends and holidays and whenever else I got the chance to write.

The road to publication is a hard one and you have to love writing and be open to comments and positive criticism from other people to write the best book you can.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I work full time and have a family, so I don’t have that much spare time. I write on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6am to 8.30am and I like to read for at least 1 hour every evening before bed. If I have any other free time, I enjoy baking and cake art and going for walks in the local park.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and your writing?

The pandemic has made my work much busier and it has encroached on my evenings and weekends. This has reduced my time for writing, and I can get a little grumpy about it when I can’t write for a few weeks. Writing is like a meditation for me and it helps relieve my work stress so when work takes over everything in my life, I have no release valve for tension. My doctor told me recently “I must get a life and not work all the time.” I think that says it all.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I like visiting the UK and Europe. I have been to Scotland and a number of places in the UK, including spending time in London. I have also visited Finland, Italy, and Budapest. I would like to see more of Europe and also visit Glastonbury in the UK. Glastonbury and London were on our agenda for our 2020 visit, but obviously that didn’t happen.

What is next on the horizon for you?

In the short term, fellow author, Kaye Lynne Booth, and I have copied an anthology of poetry called Poetry Treasures which will be published early in May 2021.

I am also finalizing a second book of poetry called, Behind closed doors, a collection of poetry, which will be published later this year.

In the medium term, I am continuing to focus my attention on writing for adults in the paranormal historical genre. I am currently writing a new novel called The Soldier and the Radium Girl which is about the American participation in WW1 and the female dial painters at the factories that produced glow-in-the-dark watches for use in the trenches.

I am also working on a sequel to my book, While the Bombs Fell, a fictionalized account of my mother’s life growing up in a small English town during WWII.

In the longer term, I have plans for a three-book series about South African history from the 1820 settlers through to the end of the Anglo Zulu War.

Thank you Robbie for stopping by today! 

Keep reading to learn about her latest release!

 

About A Ghost And His Gold


A Ghost and His Gold
Supernatural Historical
Stand-Alone Novel
Publisher TSL Publications (1/27/2021)
Number of Pages 264 pages
ISBN 9781914245039

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.

 

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

 

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

 

More Robbie Eaton Cheadle

 

Robbie Cheadle has published nine books for children and one poetry book. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children’s books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate children’s picture books are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions that children can make under adult supervision. Her books for older children also incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s supernatural stories combine fabulous paranormal elements with fascinating historical facts.

Children’s picture books – available as a square book and an A5 book (co-authored with Michael Cheadle):
Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook

Middle school books:
Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town (includes five fun party cake ideas)
While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with Elsie Hancy Eaton)

Poetry book:
Open a new door (co-authored with Kim Blades)

Supernatural fantasy YA novel:
Through the Nethergate

Supernatural historical adult novel:

A Ghost and His Gold

Horror Anthologies (edited by Dan Alatorre):
Spellbound
Nightmareland
Dark Visions
Wings & Fire

Paranormal Anthologies (edited by Kaye Lynne Booth):
Spirits of the West
Whispers of the Past

Murder mystery Anthology (edited by Stephen Bentley)
Death Among Us

Follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle at:

Website 

Blog

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

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Great Escapes Praise for A Ghost and His Gold
by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Eaton cleverly uses the past to hint about the future… and it works very well. I enjoy her ability to paint characters in a realistic light, both positive and negative attributes.
~This Is My Truth Now

Roberta brought to life a one-of-a-kind paranormal story that’s jam-packed rich South African history. I learned a lot of extremely interesting facts about the wars that took place in South Africa in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
~Author, Didi Oviatt

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
May 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 4 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 4 – Dodi Oviatt Author – REVIEW
May 5 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
May 6 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
May 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 9 – Kyrosmagica– REVIEW
\May 9 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 10 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
May 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
May 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
May 12 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
May 12 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

 

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Monkey Bread Business (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath #Interview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Monkey Bread Business (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

I am thrilled to have Jodi Rath here for a visit today! 

Hi Jodi, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thanks for having me here today! I’m Jodi Rath and I taught high school English for twenty-three years. Currently, I own a business, MYS ED LLC, where I teach seven online courses to Ohio educators, write for educational blogs, affiliations, and publishers, write Cast Iron Skillet Cozy Mystery Series, and recently I signed a contract to write a script for a psychological series. I write under different pen names and believe it or not, I also write kids and YA books too.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

  1. I have a brown belt (one away from black) in Kenpo Kickboxing.
  2. I’ve raced a race car on Laguna Seca racetrack and did a racing school and I do auto-crossing.
  3. I’m EXTREMELY introverted and a homebody—like Emily Dickinson homebody.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Choose Your Own Adventure books and Nancy Drew books—but I know my mom read to me and I remember her getting the Seasame Street book of the month where I got a hardback book every month—I remember it feeling like I got Christmas once a month!

What are you reading now?

Kristen Lepionka’s The Last Place You Look, Engage the Brain: how to Design for Learning That Taps into the Power of Emotion by Allison Posey, Writing the Thriller by T. Macdonald Skillman and a textbook The Process of Investigation for the script. I’m normally reading anywhere from five to twelve books at once.

What books have most inspired you?

And She Was by Cindy Dyson, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, and everything by both Sara Paretsky and Agatha Christie.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

When I taught high school English,—I was also the high school Reading teacher for struggling readers with comprehension AND students that had dyslexia—I used to use two and five minute mysteries as bell ringers. I felt like Choose Your Own Adventure books were mysteries to solve too.

I’m a life-long learner and a child of trauma and a late teen—all of my twenties woman of trauma who is thankful for all the good and all the bad in my life. I am who I am because of every experience I’ve faced. Life is beautiful—even the ugliness can bring beauty. Life is a huge mystery. Many people think what they think or believe IS the only right answer but there are so many different races, religions, cultures, backgrounds, variables that make up each individual person in this world—with seven to eight BILLION people—no one will ever agree on everything. So being open-minded and tolerant and finding a way to be thankful is key. Figuring out how to that alone is a huge mystery to many of us. Yet, we persevere.

So, what was the question again? Oh yeah, all of that makes me want to continue to write all types of mysteries but also do all types of writing, too.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Always at home—again, very Dickinson-like—but in my office is my main place—my office is on the second floor of our home overlooking our woods. Our deck overlooks the woods too—so in good weather, you’ll find me out there or in bed or in my fave chair with legs up on the rust-colored ottoman with episodes of Gilmore Girls, The Good Wife, Grey’s Anatomy, or NYPD Blue playing in the background.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Life. Teaching high school for all those years helps me with topics for some of the writing I do—including this cozy series. Most of my students and I are still friends and follow each other on social media and many of them read the series.

I’ve dealt with my own trauma in life but there’s so much I never experienced but saw my students struggle with things. News stories, TV shows, music, poetry, nature, literary writers (classics—I was an English Literature undergrad in college), research, pictures—oh yeah—I sketch and paint too—I find ideas everywhere—from many of my readers.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Time. I love every single part of my business. As you see, I do a lot of writing and I’m diverse in all the types of writing I do—I want more time to write more.

What do you think makes a good story?

Universal themes that readers can connect to and reflect on as they read and walk away feeling they related to the characters and themes.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

The protagonist. This is my first cozy mystery series—so, I wrote in first person and created a character that has some similarities to myself. Jolie Tucker is in her late twenties now and is just starting to grow up. I grew up at a young age but had lots of friends in my twenties that were just starting to grow up in their mid to late twenties—many of the students I’ve taught—I see that they are figuring more out in their twenties too. So, I liked the idea of getting to be a person who got to grow up in my twenties through Jolie instead of Jodi—who had to grow up at age four.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

It’s a cozy mystery but there is a lot of diversity in the series. There’s teens without homes, gentrification, urban sprawl, dysfunctional families, communities at war BUT also people learning how to accept each other along the way and be able to solve their own problems and take responsibility for themselves as adults, members of society, and a greater whole as well.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I signed a contract to write this script on 2/1/21 and I wasn’t expecting that to happen while writing Monkey Bread Business. So, I’m learning scriptwriting software, film industry terms, and how to structure and write a script.

There are also two more books in the Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series coming out in 2021 after Monkey  Bread Business in April of 2021, too.

Thank you for having me here today!

Thank you Jodi for stopping by today!

About Monkey Bread Business


Monkey Bread Business (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: MYS ED LLC; 1st edition (April 16, 2021)
Digital 222 Pages
ASIN: B08FGFK6G7

Nature breeds new life with the sign of Spring in the air in Leavensport, Ohio, and Jolie and Ava find their new families’ lives turned upside down! With properties in Leavensport beginning to sell, Nina Sanchez opened a bakery after purchasing the lot next to M&M’s Italian restaurant. She is new to town and swears to Ava and Jolie she has no connection to the Dominican Republic Sanchez mafia family. Yet, Ava is skeptical, and this sends Jolie and Ava off on yet another investigation looking at how organized crime connects to their little village and the politics that surround it.

 

Meanwhile, Nina Sanchez is not thrilled to feel obliged to cross-sell and become a full-fledged member of Leavensport, especially not with Jolie and Ava investigating her history. She has no choice when her son discovers a murdered homeless woman on the street on his way to deliver bread to the local shelter—it looks a lot like a mob hit and the reveal of who the homeless woman is will send all of Leavensport on alert making Jolie question the future of her town.

 

Welcome to Leavensport, Ohio, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!

 

More About Jodi Rath

 

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her nine cats.

Author Links:

Webpage    Facebook Facebook Author Page Twitter @jodirath     Goodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest

Monthly Newsletter Link: http://eepurl.com/dIfXdb

.

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Coming July 23, 2021

All other e-platforms:  https://books2read.com/u/mglk2R

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Great Escapes Praise for Monkey Bread Business (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

Monkey Bread Business by Jodi Rath is another book that I couldn’t put down. I loved reading every minute of it . . .
~Baroness’ Book Trove

The current case seems to tie into some stuff they have been researching though it does take a couple surprising turns along the way making for an entertaining mystery as these two try to figure things out. This fun adventure makes for a pleasant read as it all progresses that is sure to delight cozy fans.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I loved that I was able to sit down and read this story in one sitting. Now that the crime has been solved, I wouldn’t mind moving to this little town.
~Literary Gold

. . . hard to put down what with fun quirky characters, some yummy food, and lots of crime to solve. A few twists and turns make for a fun and entertaining read.
~My Reading Journeys

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 16 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 16 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 17 – Tea Book Blanket – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 18 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 18 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
April 19 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 20 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 22 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 23 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 24 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 25 – CelticLady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery) by Joan Lipinsky Cochran #Interview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
by Joan Lipinsky Cochran

It is my pleasure to welcome Joan Lipinsky Cochran
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Joan,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a former journalist and freelance writer who got my MFA about ten years ago and have been focusing on mystery and crime writing since. I’m from Miami but now live in Boca Raton with my husband and cat and love everything about the beach from reading while listening to waves to snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and kayaking. I also enjoy finding settings for murders here, which isn’t hard given the swamps and bodies of water around South Florida.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

That I play both classical violin and Irish fiddle and am working up a set of tunes in both genres with my husband on the hammered dulcimer.

That I really enjoy refinishing furniture and wicker although I swear to myself each project will be my last.

That I’m addicted to mysteries, especially those by such Golden Age Authors as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Nagio Marsh.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I can’t be specific but I have clear memories of bringing the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary home from our neighborhood library and reading them under the covers at night. My snitch of a sister ratted on me.

What are you reading now?

I’m rereading Dorothy L. Sayers’ Have His Carcase and reading Barbara Neely’s Blanche on the Lam.

What books have most inspired you?

So man!  Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls and  The Sun Also Rises for his spare writing style, John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany for plotting and psychological depth, Catcher in the Rye for voice, Anais Nin’s Diaries because she helped me understand what it means to be a woman writer.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I loved reading them and kept my eyes open for years for the spark that would get me going. I was a science writer for more than a decade and came across a “perfect” way to murder someone, then integrated that with my interest in the Cuban revolution. Voila, a mystery. It’s still in a drawer somewhere.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

My preference is the second floor of the library near my house, in an open area that overlooks a lake. They used to have a café where I’d pick up coffee. Since COVID, I write at the roll-top desk my mother got me when I was 16 and which sits in my son’s old bedroom.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Conversations with friends, family, and strangers, newspaper, internet and magazine articles, eavesdropping, and events I witness in public.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Staying focused. Sitting at my desk and writing without letting myself become distracted. It sounds crazy, but eating Tootsie Roll pops or practicing the violin seems the most effective method for getting my focus back.

What do you think makes a good story?

I love strong interesting and quirky characters who react in a surprising manner when put in tough or unusual situations. I also enjoy reading about unique settings from bowling alleys to European chateaus.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Becks, my protagonist, is closest to what I’d like to be. She’s strong, determined, and smart and doesn’t take any guff but is still warm and nurturing. She’s taller than I am and much tougher on her husband.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Well, first, I am exploring subcultures of American Judaism through mysteries, which I haven’t seen before. Investigating a murder gives Becks a very good excuse for asking personal questions and exploring unique communities that might not otherwise be available. Also, I’m told my characters are genuine and relatable and that my readers get swept into the world I’ve created.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m working on a murder mystery that involves the Jewish Cubans (Jewbans) who moved to Miami in the wake of Fidel Castro’s revolution. It’s a fascinating story about determined and resilient individuals who will go to any length to succeed in their new country. The origins of that murder date back to events that occurred during the post-revolutionary period, while the story will put Becks in touch with her Cuban family members and reveal old family secrets.

Thank you Joan for visiting today! 

I reviewed The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son last Saturday.
Click this link if you missed it!

About The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son


The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Perricot Publishing (March 30, 2021)
Number of Pages – 318 pages
Digital – ASIN : B08ZVF86VF

Boca Raton reporter Becks Ruchinsky is stunned when her son, Gabe, brings an ultra-Orthodox friend home from college and asks her to hide him. Six days later, his body is found floating in a canal. When police deem his death an accident, Becks launches her own inquiry—a journey that takes her from secretive Hasidic enclaves to the seedy underbelly of South Beach’s glitzy club scene—to find his killer. What she discovers jeopardizes her son’s life and challenges her religious conviction.

 

The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son is an intriguing and compulsively readable mystery that contrasts the beauty of Hasidic tradition with the unbending rules that may lead to desperation and murder.

More About Joan Lipinsky Cochran

 

Joan Lipinsky Cochran is a South Florida-based writer whose crime and mystery novels focus on subcultures of American Judaism. In her latest novel, The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son, her protagonist is compelled to explore the glitzy South Beach nightclub scene and the secretive world of Hasidic Judaism to find a killer. It is the second in The Becks Ruchinsky Mystery Series. The first, The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter, is the story of a woman whose world is upended – and life threatened – when she discovers her father was a member of the Jewish mafia.

Author Links

Website www.joanlipinskycochran.com,

Twitter @WordsByJoan,

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/joanlipinskycochran/

Instagram joan.l.cochran

Purchase Link – Amazon

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 30 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 30 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT. RECIPE
April 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 4 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
April 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 7 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
April 8 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
April 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 9 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
April 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Reading Author’s Network – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 12 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
April 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Arrowed: Resort to Murder 4 by Avery Daniels #Interview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @My_AveryDaniels


Arrowed: Resort to Murder 4
by Avery Daniels

I am so happy to welcome Avery Daniels to Escape with Dollycas today!

Hi Avery!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Colorado native who loves the mountains and low bug population but hates the snow and cold. I have been a bookworm since second grade.  Around that time, I ended up having to get glasses (a social nightmare at the time) and my mother was old-school.  She got me cat-eye-shaped glasses when the aviator style was the trend.  I ended up busting them and claiming it was an accident.  I still feel guilty about that.

I was raised by a single mother and a live-in grandmother.  They were both voracious readers of mostly historical fiction.  We discussed the books we were reading at the dinner table.  I learned a lot about history and was the oddball third grader who could recite Henry VIII’s wives and how they died.  I still love history and read a lot of historical mysteries.

I paint in watercolor or acrylics and am an amateur photographer.  I also do scrapbooking and card making.  I must have a thousand sheets of colorful crafting paper and around two hundred rubber stamps!  I volunteer at a cat shelter, which is where I adopted my two black cats.  They are brothers who are bonded and never parted.  I spoil them and love them to bits.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

1) According to Myers Briggs, I am an off-the-charts introvert.  Which made being a corporate adult trainer a challenge!

2) I was turned down to join a convent!  Long story (I was just out of high school) and seems sooo long ago.  The mother superior was very nice about it, but she was correct that it wasn’t for me.

3)  I had kidney stones when I was just eleven years old.  The doctors were shocked someone so young had gotten them.  That’s me, a medical wonder!

What is the first book you remember reading?

Oh my, that is very difficult.  I think it was a Dr Seuss, but I can’t remember which one.  I was reading by myself at that point.  I love Dr. Seuss, but then who doesn’t?  Seriously?

What are you reading now?

Steve Berry’s The Kaiser’s Web and Dianne Freeman’s A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder.  I read multiple books at a time.  At one point in high school, my record was eight books simultaneously without confusing them.  I finished all of them.  It depends on what I’m in the mood for at that moment.

What books have most inspired you?

Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Celestine Prophecy have inspired me on a deep level.  As for inspiration as an author, there are so many.  But I have been a long-time fan of Mary Stewart, from her YA mysteries, her adult suspense novels, to her genius Merlin trilogy.  I loved her gutsy female characters before that was a thing, and she made the setting a character too.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

They say to write in the genre you read most often, and that is mysteries.  I read the occasional high fantasy (Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Paolini) or science fiction (Star Trek or Star Wars type books), but mysteries of all sub-genres I enjoy most.  Initially, I started writing a suspense thriller, after finishing three cozy mysteries I finally finished the thriller (under the pen name C.G. Abbot).

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Other than during Covid, I have a coffee shop downtown where I live.  It is a college hangout but draws an eclectic crowd.  I love it there; I even have my favorite table to sit at and set up my laptop.  I love the background noise, plus it is great to people watch and pick up gestures or nuances that come in handy for characters.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Pretty much anywhere.  Arrowed I got the idea for a major part of it from a business magazine on Venture Capital Firms.  I find tidbits in the news, current or past.  I find myself in discussion with others and I’ll say, “Oh, I have to use that in a book!”  Of course, remembering that tidbit is the hard part.  I have to email or text myself!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Hahaha, the marketing!  For an extreme introvert, this is a challenge right here.  Book signings are harder.  I keep hoping when I do a book signing that I will meet somebody I know from my newsletter subscribers or Goodreads (I’m pretty active there) so I’ll feel like I kind of know them already.  If you get the chance to meet me at a book signing, give me a hug.  It makes a big difference and I feel more comfortable with a person after a hug.

What do you think makes a good story?

Of course, a tight plot, well-developed characters, spot-on pacing, and I personally love the setting being another character because it is so integral to the story.  For murder mysteries, I love a harrowing killer reveal, gets the blood pumping!

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

At this point, Julienne.  She is the main character in the Resort to Murder series.  She plays Clarinet and that is the only instrument I ever learned to play.  We both want to travel a lot and enjoy learning about other cultures.  We both love Santa Fe!

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Besides a luxury resort in every book? I don’t have a few of the standard tropes.  I want Julienne to have a pet, but about every other book I set at a different resort (away from her home resort).  With the traveling, I have a hard time with her having a pet.  I think I’ll just have a cat adopt her and work around her being gone. So, stay tuned for how Julienne gets a pet!!!  I also don’t have a policeman as her boyfriend.  Mason is former military, works as a bodyguard for hire, is building his professional photography business, and plays high-stakes poker for fun.  I do have Julienne’s best friend dating a policeman, though.  Julienne lives in a community with several quirky mature residents who are busy body’s when it comes to her love life.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I am developing the plot for a new cozy paranormal series (Accidental Vampire PI) that will feature a self-help reading newbie vampire.  I am looking forward to this new series.  I’m already putting ideas down for the next Resort to Murder novel, Stoned, that will take place in a New England historic luxury resort.  And I’m slowly working on plotting the second Elizabeth Grant thriller, The Legacy, under the C.G. Abbot pen name.  I don’t know how much I will get done this year.  I had set a goal of four books this year, but I may have set that bar too high.  We will see how many I manage.

Thank you, Avery, for stopping by today.

Keep reading to find out about Avery’s latest release!

About Arrowed


Arrowed: Resort to Murder 4
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Blazing Sword Publishing Ltd. (March 1, 2021)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1735566314
ISBN-13: 978-1735566313
Digital ASIN: B08T8GBDBP

It all began when a dying man with an arrow in his chest grabs her ankle.

 

During a heatwave at a Santa Fe resort, Julienne has the resort owner pressuring her to solve the murder. The victim is a high profile businessman who made enemies rather than friends, leaving Julienne with a roster of suspects. She was supposed to be training the staff and spending quality time with Mason rather than investigating a murder. The heat turns up when an old girlfriend of Mason’s checks in and is determined to get back together.

 

More About Avery Daniels

Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.

Author Links 

Webpage    Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads     BookBub      Newsletter

Purchase Links  Amazon   

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Great Escapes Praise for Arrowed: Resort to Murder 4
by Avery Daniels

The plot was well-developed with a cast of intriguing supporting characters and a cleverly layered murder mystery to solve.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

I was turning the pages and enjoying every minute . . . It was refreshing to read a book where the Sleuthing Main Character wasn’t downed at every turn by the boyfriend and law enforcement!
~My Reading Journeys

Filled with lots of excitement, you will not be disappointed with this one. It’s a fairly quick read and loaded with mystery!
~Literary Gold

“Arrowed” was a quick, easy read and a fun way to spend several hours . . . Looking for a light, easy cozy with a little romance? This is your book. 🙂
~Bea’s Book Nook

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
March 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 18 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 19 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – The Book’s the Thing – GUEST POST
March 21 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – NO POST
March 22 – Maureen’s Musings -SPOTLIGHT
March 22 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – GUEST POST
March 23 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 23 – Wickedly Romance – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 24 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
March 24 – Christa Reads and Writes – GUEST POST
March 25 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW
March 25 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
March 27 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 28 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
March 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

All That Shines (Glitter Bay Mysteries) by Diane Bator #Interview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @dibator


All That Shines (Glitter Bay Mysteries)
by Diane Bator

I am so happy to welcome Diane Bator to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Diane, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a writer, playwright, and mom who works in theatre by day and writes every chance I get. I have four mystery series Im currently working on: Wild Blue Mysteries, Gilda Wright Mysteries, Glitter Bay Mysteries, and Sugarwood Mysteries.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I am a mom to three young men and two cats.

Ive written one play and am working on a second one.

I have also written a couple of fantasy novels that I have yet to publish.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I remember having lots of Little Golden books as a kid. Aside from every Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew mystery I could get my hands on, I read a Sidney Sheldon novel, I think it was The Other Side of Midnight, that I was totally absorbed in until the ending. Someone had torn out the last few pages and I was livid!!

What are you reading now?

Kenora Reinvented by a Canadian author Hyacinthe M. Miller who I got to meet right before lockdown last year.

What books have most inspired you?

I grew up on the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, but Ive read so many books that Ive thought I could do this! such as Lillian Braun Jacksons The Cat Who books and Janet Evanovichs Stephanie Plum series. I loved their styles and the humor.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Ive always loved to read them but never actually thought about writing them until I took part in a contest called Mystery in Ink put on by a small publisher in North Bay, Ontario. We had to use a murder mystery party game and write 10 chapters, each from the perspective of a different character. I loved it! And I won! My very first published book was that little novella called Murder on Manitou, which I plan to re-release one day soon. I was hooked!

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I used to love to write in a local coffee shop but I have written practically everywhere! Trying to write with three kids around, I learned to summon the muse wherever I stopped for a minute. Even while I was cooking dinner!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Anywhere and everywhere. Ive had ideas come from dreams, from conversations, from seeing photographs or memes, you name it. My latest play idea hit me while I walked from my office ten feet down the hall to my living room. I had it outlined fifteen minutes later. It doesnt always happen that fast, but when inspiration hits it can be like a runaway train!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Im great with getting the story going but sometimes figuring out whodunit can be a bit tricky. Other times, Ill know the ending and have to work backward. For me, there is no formula. The story comes as it comes. I think my biggest challenge is in the details of bringing the setting to life. I enjoy writing dialogue which makes playwriting so much fun for me as well.

What do you think makes a good story?

To me what makes a good story are strong characters, a few great plot twists, and that the story is believable. I once read a book where the bad guy had his leg nearly bitten off by an alligator, yet he got back up and chased after the hero. A good story should draw a reader in and not let them go until the end.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I know its cliché, but theres always a bit of the author in every character, especially our protagonists. I most relate to two of my main characters:  Gilda in my Gilda Wright Mysteries and Sage Miller in the Glitter Bay series. Both have had heartbreak and struggles, yet they dont roll over and give up. In each book, Gilda finds a little more of the inner strength she needs to recreate her life, which is something Ive had to do over the past few years.

Meanwhile in All That Shines, Sage is slowly discovering that she has a lot more to offer the world than she knows. Thanks to her sister and her new best friend, shes becoming more confident and empowered. As for me, Im becoming more confident in my books and my writing ability and trusting in my dreams.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

The great thing about writing is that there is always another book! Im currently editing a whole new mystery for a whole new series. Ive also written my first play. Since I work in a professional theatre, theres a good chance Ill be able to have it workshopped and possibly even performed. Fingers crossed!

Thank you, Diane, for visiting today.

Keep reading to find out all about Diane’s new book.

About All That Shines


All That Shines (Glitter Bay Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: BWL Publishing Inc. (March 1, 2021)
Print Length: 250 pages
Digital ASIN: B08W2J3LBQ

When Sage Miller’s sister Laken decides to host a fashion show as a grand opening for the new location of Vintage Sage, she’s not amused. Even less so when she discovers her sister hired a Hollywood fashion designer to help. Not only does the designer show up in the middle of renovations, but he drags along his protégé.

 

Then she finds Sebastian Hayward III, dead in her store.

 

Suddenly it seems half of Los Angeles—all unwelcome guests from Laken’s past—appear in Vintage Sage seeking something Sebastian had in his possession. Sage has to deal with renovations, a fashion show, and a murder before she and Laken come unglued.

 

More About Diane Bator

Diane Bator is the author of several mystery novels—and series. She’s a member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime Toronto, International Thriller Writers and the Writers Union of Canada. When she’s not writing, she works in a small, professional theatre which will one day be subjected to immortality in a whole new series.

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