Jun 152019
 

The Corpse Wore Stilettos
by MJ O’Neill

I am so happy to shine the Spotlight on this book today! 

I hope to read it soon!

 

About the Book


The Corpse Wore Stilettos
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Red Adept Publishing, LLC (April 30, 2019)
Print Length: 246 pages
ASIN: B07Q6VZ4V9

SHE WORE A DONNA KARAN MARKED FOR REPOSSESSION

Since Kat Waters’s father took a trip to the slammer on what she’s sure are trumped-up racketeering charges, life’s been tough. All their assets are frozen, and she’s down to the last few pairs of Jimmy Choos she can swap for rent. To keep her family out of the homeless shelter, the former socialite took a job at the local morgue—a job she’s about to lose when the body of a murder victim goes missing on her watch.

HE WORE A CAPTIVATING SMILE

While Kat’s processing the latest victim in the prostitute serial killings, ex-Special Forces soldier Burns McPhee strolls in with an air of confidence, expecting access to the Jane Doe. While Burns tries to flirt his way into examining the latest victim, whom he thinks is connected to the death of his best friend, someone else steals the body right out from under them.

THE CORPSE WORE STILETTOS

Dodging questions from the cops and kidnapping attempts from a body-snatching psycho, Kat and Burns forge a deal. He’ll clear her name and keep her safe if she gets him information on her peculiar coworkers, one of whom he’s certain is involved with the body heist. But digging up secrets can lead to a lower life expectancy. The unlikely team will need all their talents not to end up as the morgue’s next clients while they hunt for a murderer, the missing corpse, and a pair of diamond-studded stilettos.

Praise for The Corpse Wore Stilettos
by MJ O’Neill

I was busting a gut with this book. It’s hard to make death humorous, but MJ O’Neill has done a terrific job with this book.
~Literary Gold

This is well-written, and the characters you’re supposed to like are multi-dimensional and likable.
~Christa Reads and Writes

This new cozy series kept me guessing and laughing until the end. The characters are quirky, hunky, and a bit frightening, but all of these just add to the story and will keep you riveted to your seat.
~Storeybook Reviews

 

About the Author

As the owner of a boutique chocolate factory in Atlanta, MJ O’Neill loves to write lighthearted, romantic mysteries with a sweet twist. She has a degree in business communications from North Carolina State University. When she’s not spinning a sweet yarn or creating delicious confections, she spends time with her husband, their kids, a hyperactive cocker spaniel named Devo (after the band), a princess tabby cat named Twilight (before the book stole her name) and a collection of stray fish. The whole gang can be found tooling around the back roads of the South in their RV where MJ uses the downtime to hatch her next sweet plot.

Author Links – WebsiteTwitter – Instagram – Facebook

Purchase Link – Amazon

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
June 11 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
June 11 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 14 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
June 14 – ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 15 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – CHARACTER GUEST POST
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June 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

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Special Guest – Frances Metzman – Author of The Cha Cha Babes of Pelican Bay – Great Escapes Book Tour

 Giveaways, Great Escapes Book Tours, Guest Posts, Spotlights  Comments Off on Special Guest – Frances Metzman – Author of The Cha Cha Babes of Pelican Bay – Great Escapes Book Tour
Jan 122019
 

I am excited to welcome Frances Metzman to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Frances,

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

 I believe I’ve gone the distance to develop my characters as much as the plot. It’s important to reveal my character’s upbringing as well as how they get through the hurdles and conflicts in their particular situation. How do they resolve overwhelming issues? What choices do they make and how does it reflect on their upbringing. How do they handle resolution and look to the future.

  1. What’s next on the horizon for you?

I have a sequel in progress to The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way and an outline of a 3rd book.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Formally, I was a sculptor and a social worker. I always wanted to write and 30 years – ago set out to do just that. But I knew structure was of the utmost importance. So, my quest included conferences, workshops, writing groups, individual lessons and wherever I could seek out information. They were given in tidbits, slivers or nonexistent. It was frustrating. I then devised my own standards of basic writing structure by piecing it together and lots of reading. I live by that framework and can manipulate the structure now without losing balance in writing. I liken it to the abstract painter who actually knows realistic work prior to experimenting. I teach that structure and occasionally meet resistance. Nonetheless, I will never divert and water it down.

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

I hike/walk a lot, entertain to look like complex but try to use one pot, AND, I wanted to be a furniture maker but it won’t happen in this life.

  1. What is the first book you remember reading?

See Dick and Jane. I remember elements that were shocking to me. The dad going to work in a suit and briefcase, Mom kissing her children goodbye and conversations between parent and children – I came from a family of 5 children.

  1. What are you reading now?

The Gentleman from Moscow, Ian McEwan– Saturday, Alice Munro-Dear Life, Anne Tyler-St. Maybe, (I’m not always up-to-date)

  1. What made you decide you want to write?

I’m pretty sure it started as a healing process to re-arrange history and establish a resolution with my mother which I didn’t do in real life. Writing gave me the opportunity to manage the chaos in life so that conflicts are resolved and inner depths are examined. The process actually did help in my real life. 

  1. Do you have a special place you like to write?

I do. I write in my office.

  1. Do you write at the same day every day?

I try to write from 10 AM till 5 or 6 PM. If I start later in the day I try to work later – that is if my brain hasn’t gone numb.

  1. Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I think much of my ideas come from researching white collar crime. I read those types of crime in newspapers and from those who I have known.

  1. What books have most inspired you?

I think Cynthia Ozick for plotting and characterization early on and I admire Ian McEwan very much for his fastidious researching and characterization.

  1. Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Editing especially cutting my best pages.

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

 I believe in plotting even in literary books where there is a sense of a story. We have had stories – beginning, middle and ending from the earliest times of our lives. It doesn’t have to be obvious. It can be very subtle, even in literary books, but there nonetheless. Call me old-fashioned, it’s okay. Also, character development is equally if not more important.

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

That’s tough. Maybe a bit of them all, but Celia perhaps a tad more than others.

  1. Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve mentioned my fascination with white collar crimes committed by people I’ve known who are economically comfortable. Also, my need to bring about order and understand why people behave the way they do.

Thank you, Frances, for visiting today!

_________________________________________________________

About the Book

The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way
Cozy Mystery
Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC (June 21, 2018)
Paperback: 506 pages
ISBN-10: 9781941948064
ISBN-13: 978-1941948064
Digital ASIN: B07CV2GP9Z

Would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend? Ask cha-cha babe Celia Ewing, a sixty-five-year-old widow who has just settled into Boca Pelicano Palms, the Florida retirement community of her dreams. When Celia’s best friend Marcy calls her and their friend Deb for help in the middle of the night, they find a naked Marcy trapped under the body of her beau, the community’s board president, Melvin. And he’s dead. The three friends secretly move Melvin back to his apartment setting off a chain of events that will threaten to tear their community apart and send them to jail. Melvin is one of a number of residents who are dying under suspicious circumstances; and soon Celia becomes an amateur sleuth in an attempt to identify what she suspects is a serial murderer.

Filled with humorous, witty observations about retirement communities, the realities of getting older, and the promise of new love, the Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way celebrates the deep bonds of female friendships, the desire for companionship at any age, and shows us that it’s never too late to learn how to cha-cha through life.

About the Author

 

Frances Metzman, a graduate of Moore College of Art and a Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania, co-authored a novel, Ugly Cookies, by Pella Press. Her short story collection, The Hungry Heart: Stories, was published by Wilderness House Press, February 1, 2012. In 2009 she won a nomination for a Dzanc Books award, “Best of the Web.” In addition to publishing numerous (25) short stories in various literary journals, she has a novel published by Wild River Books, 2018, The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way. Her teaching credits include Adjunct professor at Rosemont College to graduate school, Temple University at OLLI (creative writing and memoir). Other writing workshops, memoir/creative writing, have been given at universities and colleges such as Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Widener, etc. As fiction editor for a literary journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal, she selects and edits the submissions. Many articles, essays, and stories she writes deal with aspects of society that influences relationships for all ages, including the mature set (sometimes tongue in cheek). Many articles are dedicated to improving attitudes toward the mature folks and address myths about “age appropriate” thinking.

Author Links

Twitter Facebook GoodReads – 

FrancesMetzman.com

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&N – Kobo 

Praise for The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way
by Frances Metzman

What a page-turner. Honestly once I got into the story it was hard to put down!
~My Reading Journeys

This heartwarming cozy mystery is surprising uplifting; it certainly raised my spirits.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 7 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 8 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
January 11 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 13 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 14 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
January 16 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
January 17 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 20 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Dec 142018
 

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden


Welcome, Rosalind! 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m hopelessly creative, with a whimsical way of looking at the world, when I’m not looking at the world with a pair of satirical glasses, that is.

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

Yes, my hair is real; 2) I’m a decades-long vegetarian/mostly vegan; 3) No, I don’t understand why I’m not thin.

What is the first book you remember reading?

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss, and “Put Me in the Zoo,” by Robert Lopshire. In a burst of de-cluttering awhile back, I gave away “Put Me in the Zoo,” and have regretted it ever since.

What are you reading now?

I typically read several books at the same time. The first book I’m reading is the short story collection “Arithmophobia” by Ruschelle Dillion. It’s published by Mystery and Horror LLC, which also published “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.” I’m enjoying the darkly humorous, well-constructed stories in “Arithmophobia” that weave around the theme of numbers. Intriguing stuff.

I’m also re-reading two books I picked up on a whim from the Homer Bookstore: “Tails of a Dogsitter” by Karen Roush, and “Invisible Ink,” an anthology of short stories by Homer authors edited by Joyce Baker Porte. I think these two books have possessed me. By the way, it’s worth going to Homer, Alaska for this bookstore, in my opinion. Homer is an interesting place.

I regularly re-read books that I’ve enjoyed in the past. That’s why I find it so hard to give them away even though I probably should be “de-cluttering” them. I like being surrounded by interesting books.

What made you decide you want to write?

I always assumed I’d be a writer. I liked telling stories and reading stories from as far back as I remember. My Mom was a big influence on me. She was a creative person who did some writing too. She always encouraged my creative pursuits and believed in me. I remember our frequent trips to the library where me and my siblings camped out in the children’s section, while she headed to the biographies, her favorite section. She’d buy us kids plenty of books too, even though we lived on a tight budget (“Put Me in the Zoo,” for example). I was raised with books. Not everyone is, so I’m really lucky to have had a Mom like that.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I have my laptop on a table where it fits. I write where I can. I also write long-hand in paper notebooks if I’m out and about. Got tired of lugging my laptop around. Plus, I worry about someone snatching my laptop (and all my writing-in-progress!). There’s not a lot of resale value in used paper notebooks, so less snatching worries there. I do have a fantasy of a dedicated writing office with a sublime view, lots of shelf space for my books, and a couch where I can drowsily dream of new ideas.

Do you write at the same time every day?

No. For me, that’s not practical. I write when I can.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere. The seed of an idea will come into my head, and then I let my mind wander from there. I usually don’t remember where the original little bit of an idea came from. There are exceptions. For “American Witch,” I vividly remember watering the backyard where I used to live, and it was like the character of George came right up beside me. So, of course, I had to write his story. I’ve never had another character come to me so strongly. “American Witch” probably is the best I’ve written, and I wish it’d gotten a wider readership. But that’s the challenge of self-publishing. It’s tough to promote, which is something I learned from that book. I’m making more of a promotion effort nowadays!

What books have most inspired you?

It’s challenging to narrow my list down, because I read so much and am inspired and impressed by so many books and writers. I may have a different answer tomorrow, but today, here goes: “King Rat” by James Clavell and “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller for their dark satire. Same for “Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe. Tom Wolfe’s writing style amazes me. His words bounce off the page with impertinent glee. I confess I have been known to “borrow” some of his favorite style bits. Douglas Adams and P.J. Wodehouse inspire me for their satire of the lighter variety. The first two “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling are my favorites from the series. “Five Children and It” by Edith Nesbit because it’s slyly subversive. I enjoy older humorous books and short stories, like Robert Benchley’s essay collection, “My Ten Years in a Quandry,” Josephine Dodge Daskam’s short story “A Study in Piracy,” and cozy mystery “The Haunted Bookshop” by Christopher Morley. “Ghosts, A Treasury of Chilling Tales Old and New” selected by Marvin Kaye also comes to mind. Douglas Clegg’s books are dark and impossible to put down. Going back to my early reading years, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak influenced me. I desperately wanted to take that boat to the island with the Wild Things. I did rig up a “boat” and hoped I’d have the same result as Max in the book, but no such luck. Maybe I’ll try again later.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Finding the time. That’s the toughest. Not many people understand that a writer needs a lot of time to sit down, create, revise, plus daydream about the concept in the first place. It’s hard to tell a friend I can’t do something over the weekend because that’s the only free weekend I’ve had in awhile and I desperately want to stay in to write. People tend to become upset.

And the promotion. In this day and age, writers also have to be marketers. It eats up precious writing time, and to me, it’s harder than doing the writing itself. The exception is meeting readers in person at book signings. That’s fun. But trying to puzzle out promotion dos and don’ts? Not so fun. Because I write in different genres, my “brand” is elusive, which is a big frowny-face in book marketing. I remain hopeful that readers with a sense of humor will discover my work and be patient that I don’t fit neatly within a brand.

What do you think makes a good story?

Wanting to turn the page and keep going. Also thinking about the book, the characters, the scenes long after I’ve finished reading. Deciding to give the book another read after a couple of years, or couple of months. Third read, then fourth read. I once told another writer that I’d read “Bonfire of the Vanities” twenty times. She didn’t believe me, but it’s true. Tom Wolfe is a word master and I love his sentences!

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

I’m in every story I write, sometimes more, sometimes less. For “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” there’s a lot of Sparky in me. Sparky is resourceful, adventurous, but misunderstood, which I think describes me.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve been toying with mysteries for a long time. They’re challenging to write, because they have the puzzle solving element. But that’s what makes mystery writing interesting. “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case” grew out of my short story “The Monkey’s Ghost,” which appears in the short mystery anthology, “History and Mystery, Oh My!” published by Mystery and Horror LLC in 2015. Some of the characters are the same, though I made Marigold older in “Sparky.” The main characters in “Sparky” are new, except silent screen vamp, Tootsie, who is pulled from another, unpublished short story of mine. That story explains Tootsie’s early, pre-stardom days that are only eluded to in “Sparky.”

Of course, I also write horror and sci-fi, because I enjoy reading them. My novel “American Witch” is dark satire because, again, I enjoy reading satire. I love picture books, which explains why I wrote and illustrated “TV Monster.” Picture books are an art form in their own right. I love to read many types of books, which leads me to write many types!

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

I don’t think there’s another humorous, noir, 1930s, Los Angeles, Young Adult mystery novel out there besides “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.”

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m currently writing book two in the “Sparky of Bunker Hill” series, tentatively titled, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the No Nose Knucklehead.” After that, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Monkey Island Murder.” Sparky bumps into one challenge after another in both books.

In “No Nose Knucklehead,” life gets really real, really fast for Sparky. Bobby, the bum, is out of town with his cozy family so is no help whatsoever. She’s got to handle the mess (it’s a big mess) on her own. And find out who the real cannibal is.

In “Monkey Island Murder,” she goes back to school, which is tough for independent, smarty-pants Sparky. Will any of the other kids ever talk to Sparky? And what’s with the escaped gorilla?

Thank you, Rosalind, for visiting today. 

Keep reading to find out about Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Case Kid

 

About the Book


Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
Young Adult Mystery
Mystery & Horror, LLC (October 9, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1949281027
ISBN-13: 978-1949281026
Digital ASIN: B07H49P46T

Lots of characters have it bad, in my Bunker Hill neighborhood smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, but I’ve had it rougher than most.
There may be something to this 13th business.

That’s my birthday, and I’m learning to dread seeing it roll around. My mother died on one birthday. The cousins dumped me on my last. This year, 1932, I found a dead kid on a park bench. It’s my eleventh birthday, and the day me, Sparky, ended up on the run, wanted for murder.

If the dead girl wasn’t enough, the dirty newspapers pinned every body in LA on me, and even blamed me for the Great War. I wasn’t even born then. The price on my head got bigger by the day.

It was up to me to find out who killed the girl and why I got framed, before I ended up dangling from the hangman’s rope.

Praise for Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden

What a fun, exciting adventure book! . . You just can’t help loving Sparky and her way of thinking and talking.
~Here’s How It Happened

About the Author

 

Over thirty of Rosalind Barden’s short stories have appeared in print anthologies and webzines, including the U.K.’s acclaimed Whispers of Wickedness. Mystery and Horror, LLC has included her stories in their anthologies History and Mystery, Oh My! (FAPA President’s Book Award Silver Medalist), Mardi Gras Murder, and four of the Strangely Funny series. Ellen Datlow selected her short story “Lion Friend” as a Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention after it appeared in Cern Zoo, a British Fantasy Society nominee for best anthology, part of DF Lewis’ award-winning Nemonymous anthology series. TV Monster is her print children’s book that she wrote and illustrated. Her satirical literary novel American Witch is available as an e-book. In addition, her scripts, novel manuscripts, and short fiction have placed in numerous competitions, including the Writers’ Digest Screenplay Competition and the Shriekfast Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Discover more at RosalindBarden.com

Author Links
Website Amazon Author Page 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 13 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
December 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 16 – My Journey Back- The Journey Back  – REVIEW  
December 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 18 – Ruff Drafts – INTERVIEW
December 19 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
December 19 – Varietats – GUEST POST

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Dec 122018
 


Special Guests

 Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, and Rosemary Shomaker
Authors of To Fetch A Thief

I am so happy to have these wonderful authors here today
as part of their Great Escapes Book Tour!

Welcome Ladies!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Heather: Over the years, I’ve been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. I live in Central Virginia with my husband and a pair of crazy Jack Russell terriers. And I’ve been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew.

 

Jayne: We moved 19 times during his 30-year career, so it was impossible to put down roots. We’re now settled in a cottage by the Chesapeake Bay with our two rescue puppies, Tiller and Scout. I’m a real estate agent by day, and a cozy mystery writer by night.

 Rosemary: I’ve been a huge reader forever. Books really opened up the world to me. I read to my kids as my mother read to me. I even worked in a job where I wrote . . . analytically, that is. Now I write fiction on my own time.

Teresa: I love to write mysteries, go to car shows with my husband, and visit the Outerbanks to write and read good books.   

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

Heather: The first two albums (those things before MP3s, CDs, and cassette tapes) I bought with my own money were a 5th of Beethoven and Shaun Cassidy. I have seen the Monkees in concert three times. I have never seen Billy Idol in concert, and it’s still on my bucket list.

Jayne: I play the piano (mostly classical). I watch Little League World Series every August. I once slept on the street of Ventura Blvd in Los Angeles waiting to get into a taping of the Price is Right. It was a few weeks before Bob Barker retired. Sadly, neither my son nor I got called to “Come on down!”

Rosemary: Three things people don’t know about me are: my house got struck by lightning and burned to where we had one whole floor completely renovated; I’m fifty percent Lithuanian; and my first dog had the unfortunate name “Snoopy.”

Teresa: I come from a large family with many brothers and a sister. We were taught to work hard and make something of our lives.I’ve been an administrative professional since high school and have worked in a long and successful career. I’ve loved reading mysteries and watching mysteries on television since I was a kid.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Heather: Green Eggs and Ham and The Monster at the End of the Book

Jayne: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Rosemary: I remember the book The Parent Trap based on the 1961 Haley Mills movie. Before that, I remember some early Dick and Jane readers.

Teresa: Are You My Mother. It’s a fascinating tale of a little bird who was hatched alone while his mother had gone to look for food. He sets out on a journey to find her. He asks a kitten, a hen, a dog, and cow if they are his mother.

What are you reading now?

Heather: John Grisham’s The Reckoning

Jayne:  The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Rosemary: Now I’m reading some of Nevada Barr’s mysteries and some William Tapply mysteries.

Teresa: A wine mystery. Murder Most Fermented by Christine E. Blum.

What made you decide you want to write?

Heather: I have wanted to be a writer since I was in the seventh grade. I loved writing stories and poems. I’ve always loved mysteries, so it was a perfect fit.

Jayne: I read a few bad romances and said “I can write better than that.” Turns out it is MUCH harder than it looks. I soon gave up on the romance-writing career (I just couldn’t keep two desperately in love people apart for 300 pages!) and turned to writing cozy mysteries. It’s so much easier to ramp on the conflict by stumbling over a dead body!

Rosemary: My imagination made me want to write. My mom read to me and my sister, and my dad told great stories—I could so easily picture in my mind what they read and told. Written expression is easier for me than is oral expression, so writing became my medium.

Teresa: I wrote professional articles and loved reading mysteries. So, I combined my love of both and began writing mysteries.

 Do you have a special place you like to write?

Heather: I usually write in my upstairs office. My Jack Russell Terriers each have a bed on either side of my desk. They help me with plotting and dialogue when they’re not napping.

Jayne: I do have a writing room with a “virgin” computer (it doesn’t have a modem so has never connected to the Internet.) It keeps me from getting distracted by Facebook and email.

Rosemary: I like to write at an old desk in my daughter’s old room or outside. I write my raw material longhand.

Teresa: In my bedroom. I have a writing area with a beautiful country view.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Heather: A lot of ideas come from true stories I’ve read in newspapers or magazines. Some come from people watching. I always keep a notebook with me. I jot down ideas when I see or hear them. You never know when they’ll appear in a book.

Jayne: I have always played “what’s the worst that can happen” in my mind as I walk or drive. So I can see a leaf fluttering to the ground and think “now what’s the worst that can happen with a leaf?” (Answer: I can be watching the leaf thinking big thoughts and trip on the sidewalk and fall into the neighbor’s prize rose garden and flatten some bushes just before Secret Garden Tour and my name becomes Mud around the neighborhood. Plus I get all scratched up and have to go to the ER! You can see how this could go on and on and on…) 

Rosemary: My ideas come from what I see on my everyday errands and what I read in the newspaper.

Teresa: Everywhere! Conversations, news, songs, and sometimes plots come to me while I am driving to and from work.

What books have most inspired you?

Heather: There are too many to list. I think I read Charlotte’s Web at least ten times in elementary school. I loved the Nancy Drew stories because she was a teen who had a cool car, great friends, and could solve mysteries before the adults did. My favorite book about writing is Stephen King’s On Writing.

 Jayne: I am not just blowing smoke when I say every book I have ever read has inspired me in some way. Some, because the eloquent turn of the phrase makes me want to make readers pause and take notice; others because the plot is so thin and the characters so flat I challenge myself to be better than that. The short list of authors who have had the biggest influences on my writing are books by Janet Evanovich, Mary Dahiem, and Lillian Jackson Braun.

 Rosemary: In the 1980’s I read Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children Series and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon series, and I was enthralled. In the early 1990’s I read Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Those three series inspired me.

Teresa: Nancy Drew mysteries.

 Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Heather:  The writing is the easy part. The writing life also includes what feels like hundreds of rounds of editing and proofreading. Authors are also responsible for a lot of their marketing and book promotion. And you have to blog, maintain a website, and all your social media sites.

Jayne: It is much easier NOT to write than to sit down and write. Sometimes the biggest challenge is simply getting my rear end in the chair…and keeping it there.

Rosemary: The most challenging aspect of writing is pacing the story. Getting the pace right is hard, and I struggle to keep the story moving because at times my characters get too wordy and introspective.

Teresa: Editing.

What do you think makes a good story?

Heather: I like stories with lots of plot twists. I like clever dialogue and stories where I learn something (event with fiction.

Jayne: Plot twists. When the readers say to themselves, “Wow. I  didn’t see that coming!”

Rosemary: Hmm. I read more and more “how-to” guides and advice about this. I’m warming to the advice that the main character has to mature or evolve in some way, either by dealing with an issue, seeing a different point of view, becoming a better person, etc. In these cases, anyway, there is some problem that needs to be addressed, and the story is how the characters address the problem.

Personally, I’m drawn to the adventure story’s hero’s journey. You know, the journey that starts with the ordinary world, continues with the call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting the mentor, crossing the threshold, test/allies/enemies, approach to the inmost cave, ordeal, reward, the road back, resurrection, and return to the ordinary world a changed person. The best stories fit this archetypal story pattern. I recognize phases of the hero’s journey in mystery stories, although the plotting is necessarily a bit different.

Teresa: Relatable characters, a good location, great plot, and wrapping up all loose ends.

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

Heather: My private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald and I share a lot of things in common. We are both redheads who like Mustangs, 80s music, and live in Central Virginia. She’s a spunky PI who gets in way more trouble than I do. She’s more like my alter-ego.

Jayne: I will admit to putting a little bit of myself in every character, but the most of me has gone into Ellery Tinsdale in The Blond Leading the Blond and Blond Luck.

Rosemary: My character Olivia Morris in 50 Shades of Cabernet’s “Home Tour Havoc” is most like me. Adam Moreland in “This is Not a Dog Park” has some of my characteristics, too. Like Olivia, I’ve found a sort of peace and regret some decisions from my past. In real life I relish some of those past experiences, however, while Olivia is still hurting from them. Adam Moreland hides from conflict and tends to protect himself from further hurt by walling out people. Hey, I’m right there with Adam on that. Yes, I know that’s not healthy.

Teresa: Strong working women. I write strong female characters who own their own business.

 Why did you pick your particular genre?

Heather: I have loved mysteries since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. They were gateway mysteries that led to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock. I’ve had a library card since I was four, so I’ve sampled quite a few mystery authors and subgenres. (Plus, I’m a cop’s kid. Many of our dinner conversations were crime-themed, so it was a natural fit.) I took a mystery and detection fiction class as an undergraduate, and it was the best class I took in college.

Jayne: I’ve always loved mysteries and adventures with female characters, ever since I read my first (of over 100) Nancy Drew stories as a child.

Rosemary: My short stories are different from other mystery stories because I introduce main characters who refuse the call to investigate and seem ill-equipped to investigate anyway—not in the bumbling way, but in the “I don’t want to get involved” way. Perky matrons with time on their hands and their thumbs on the pulse of the community are not my sleuths.

Teresa: Cozy mysteries are easy to read since they do not contain gore, blood, or violence.

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

Heather: I write where I know. My novels are set in Central Virginia, and all of my short stories are set in Virginia. It’s a great place to live and work, and I want to share it with my readers. I am also a huge fan of popular culture, so you’ll find lots of references in my works.

Jayne: My amateur sleuth is reluctant to solve the crime, and usually has a stronger person behind pushing (or pulling or dragging) her to find the killer.

Rosemary: My stories are mostly in anthologies, and those anthologies differ from other “books” in the mystery genre in that a reader gets to sample the styles and content of various authors in one book. Anthologies are a great way to find your next favorite author. To Fetch a Thief is the first collection of novellas in the Mutt Mysteries series. Readers get to sample the efforts of four mystery authors in this book. The rotating authors in the next several Mutt Mysteries compilations will allow readers access to the works of other mystery authors, so compilations and anthologies are a win-win for authors and readers.

Teresa: My characters and book titles. I love creating relatable characters and fun titles.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Heather: I have a short story, “Art Attack” coming out in Deadly Southern Charms: A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology next year. I also have a non-fiction article coming out next year in PromoPhobia. I’m working on a cozy set in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the third Delanie Fitzgerald mystery will be out next year.

Jayne: I’m getting ready to release Goin’ Coastal, a collection of two novellas and two short stories that have two things in common, a coastal setting and a gruesome murder. After that is the much anticipated third Blonds at the Beach book, Blond Luck.

Rosemary: Writing “This is Not a Dog Park” was a challenge for this short story writer since the novella length is three times that of a typical short story. I have a better sense, and a greater respect, for what it takes to write a novel. I can make a better stab at a novel now, but I’ll keep my hand in writing short stories. In the spring see my “Heads or Tails” in the Wittier Than Thou anthology, benefiting the upkeep and operation of the Whittier Birthplace Museum in Massachusetts.

 Teresa: Book two in the Mutt Mysteries series.

Thank you, Heath, Jayne, Rosemary, and Teresa for visiting today.

Keep reading to find out more about To Fetch A Thief. . . 

 

About the Book


To Fetch A Thief
Cozy Mystery Anthology
Light, humorous, dog-themed mysteries.
Bay Breeze Publishing, LLC (November 8, 2018)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-10: 1732790701
ISBN-13: 978-1732790704
Digital ASIN: B07K97ZYY6

To Fetch a Thief, the first Mutt Mysteries collection, features four novellas that have gone to the dogs. In this howlingly good read, canine companions help their owners solve crimes and right wrongs. These sleuths may be furry and low to the ground, but their keen senses are on high alert when it comes to sniffing out clues and digging up the truth. Make no bones about it, these pup heroes will steal your heart as they conquer ruff villains.

About the Authors

 

Teresa Inge grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol, but she hotrods. She is president of Sister’s in Crime Mystery by the Sea Chapter and author of short mysteries in Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet.

Website: www.teresainge.com
Connect with Teresa on Facebook, and Twitter

 

Heather Weidner, a member of SinC – Central Virginia and Guppies, is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, Secret Lives and Private Eyes and The Tulip Shirt Murders. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. Heather lives in Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers, Disney and Riley. She’s been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. Some of her life experience comes from being a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. She blogs at Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Website and Blog    Pens, Paws, and Claws Website and Blog      Twitter     Facebook     Instagram

 

Jayne Ormerod grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor.) She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne is the author of the Blonds at the Beach Mysteries, The Blond Leading the Blond, and Blond Luck. She has contributed seven short mysteries to various anthologies to include joining with the other To Fetch a Thief authors in Virginia is for Mysteries, Volumes I and II, and 50 Shades of Cabernet.

Website    Blog

 

Rosemary Shomaker writes about the unexpected in everyday life. She’s the woman you don’t notice in the grocery store or at church but whom you do notice at estate sales and wandering vacant lots. In all these places she’s collecting story ideas. Rosemary writes women’s fiction, paranormal, and mystery short stories, and she’s taking her first steps toward longer fiction, so stay tuned. She’s an urban planner by education, a government policy analyst by trade, and a fiction writer at heart. Rosemary credits Sisters in Crime with developing her craft and applauds the organization’s mission of promoting the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

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Jun 232018
 

Poison by Punctuation (Chalkboard Outlines)
by Kelley Kaye

About the Book


Poison by Punctuation (Chalkboard Outlines)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Red Adept Publishing, LLC (April 24, 2018)
Print Length: 243 pages
Digital ASIN: B07BTYJXCG

High school teacher Emma Lovett is finally recovering from her first year of teaching when she discovers another dead body. As if that wasn’t bad enough, this time, someone has killed a student, Kisten Hollis.

Emma and her best friend, Leslie, are desperate to solve this murder. But suspects abound. The perpetrator could be a teacher, an administrator, a member of Kisten’s zealous church community, or even another student.

Emma must juggle her teaching responsibilities, her new romance with handsome Hunter Wells, and interest from a hunky second suitor, all while searching for evidence to bring a killer to justice before someone else dies.

About the Author

“Kelley Kaye” taught High School English and Drama since 1992 in California, then Colorado and now Cali again, but her love for storytelling dates back to creating captions in her high school yearbook. Maybe back to the tales she created for her Barbie and Ken—whatever the case, the love’s been around a long time. She’s married to an amazing man who cooks for her, and they have two funny and wonderful sons.

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Praise for Poison by Punctuation (Chalkboard Outlines)
by Kelley Kaye

Poison by Punctuation by Kelley Kaye is a witty and often humorous cozy mystery with great characters!
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

If you have, had, or will have children in school, or if you ever attended school at some point, there is something in this book (and by extension, the series) for you. (Oh, and bonus points for all the quotes from Shakespeare, my favorite playwright EVER!)
~Back Porchervations

 

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Aug 052017
 

A Margin of Lust (The Seven Deadly Sins)
by Greta Boris


A Margin of Lust (The Seven Deadly Sins)
1st in Series
Fawkes Press, LLC (May 10, 2017)
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1945419218
E-Book ASIN: B0719CMTFF

Synopsis:
Gwen Bishop, wife, mother, and struggling real estate agent, has two big fears: claustrophobia and being buried in suburban obscurity. When she signs her dream listing, a multi-million dollar beachfront property in Laguna Beach, California, she’s sure her problems are behind her. And they would be, if it wasn’t for the secret in the basement and the body in an upstairs bedroom.

When the crime scene tape comes down, Gwen enlists the aid of a handsome co-worker with a background in construction to help her ready the house for sale and bolster her flagging courage. But every time they’re ready to put it back on the market, something goes horribly wrong. She must face old fears and new ones, temptations and buried truths. Gwen is determined to sell the dream house—or die trying.

About The Author

Greta Boris is the author of the 2017 releases, A Margin of Lust and The Scent of Wrath, the first two books in her 7 Deadly Sins domestic suspense series. She’s also the Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over 800 published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California.

She’s published articles on culture, health, and entertainment for a variety of national magazines including Victorian Homes, Zombies, 50 Scariest Movies, Exodus, and Women of the Bible. She’s also the author of the Amazon Kindle Bestseller The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Sip, Savor, and Strengthen for a Healthier Life.

You can visit her at http://gretaboris.com. She describes her work (and her life) as an O.C. housewife meets Dante’s Inferno

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