Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: CAST IRON STAKE THROUGH THE HEART by Jodi Rath & Rebecca Grubb

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Today as part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I am please to have as my guest, Jodi Rath, co-author of Cast Iron Stake Through the Heart (A Cast Iron Skillet Mystery, Book Four)In her guest post, Jodi relates a bit of her experience collaborating with Rebecca Grubb and their co-authoring experience.


When Besties Co-Write a  Mystery by Jodi Rath

61nOLLFwNtL._US230_Cast Iron Stake Through the Heart is the fourth installment in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series, although it’s the sixth story with two other holiday stories. As usual, life happens, and I found myself behind on my deadline for the first draft. My BFF and editor, Rebecca Grubb, and I have been in writing groups together, and I’ve seen the stories she has created. Plus, she knows all of the books in the series and has been there to save my tush on many occasions—so, naturally, I called her, put her on the spot, and asked if she’d co-write this book with me. Being true to the wonderful human being she is, she didn’t let me down. 

While Rebecca is an excellent editor and writer, she’s never been published before, so this was all new to her. She was used to me texting, emailing, and calling all hours of the day as I pulled my wild curls out while trying to meet deadlines and to bounce ideas off of her—but, she wasn’t used to being on said deadline to produce the story and come up with ideas. You have to understand our friendship—it looks a lot like Jolie’s and Ava’s friendship in the books, but we aren’t nearly as clean and proper at all times! And let’s face it, that’s a beautiful thing to have in a bestie—one who you know you can show your best and worst parts of yourself and they will still be there after all is said and done. And let me tell you all—I am flawed, baby—seriously flawed! 

So, off we are on our new journey into co-writing. What a beautiful yellow-brick road we saw before us—like Dorothy—many twists and turns followed that path. Yes, there were times we wanted to strangle each other, and times we said to each other, “YOU ARE BRILLIANT MY DEAR!” And in the end, we created a gold nugget of suspense, mystery, and adventure that will surely take you on a wild ride. Enjoy!


About the Book

CAST-IRON-STAKE-THROUGH-THE-HEARTOn again, off again, ON AGAIN–Jolie Tucker and Mick Meiser are giving their relationship another try. Things seem to be working out for them so far, and love is on the menu all over Leavensport! An unexpected pregnancy with a surprising partner, a therapist pairs off with the chief of police, and the mayor of Leavensport falls for Jolie’s Aunt Fern!

Although Leavensport is serving up affairs of the heart, there are a lot of mysterious activities lurking in the air. The townspeople awake to find freshly dug empty holes throughout the fields that were recently up for sale under suspicious circumstances. Jolie and Ava believe they are taking a break from solving murders when they start teaching an online cooking course–until they witness one of their students take a stake through the heart!

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

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of Cast Iron Stake Through the Heart.

About the Authors

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: https://www.jodirath.com/
  • FB: https://www.facebook.com/jodirath
  • FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjodirath
  • Twitter @jodirath
  • Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18363719.Jodi_Rath Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jodi-rath
  • Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jodirath/
  • Monthly Newsletter Link: http://eepurl.com/dIfXdb Get  Short Story “Sweet Retreat” for free by subscribing to my monthly newsletter. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive free flash fiction, A Mystery a Month, serial scenes from series, and deleted scenes).

RgurbbRebecca Grubb

Rebecca Grubb utilizes her experience in the high school English classroom and her decades as a bookworm to coach writers and edit fiction and creative non-fiction. She enjoys reading and writing books, particularly mysteries and science fiction. She lives in a small town in Ohio with her husband and the three mischievous children.

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Spotlight & Giveaway: GRAVE CONSEQUENCES by Lena Gregory

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Today, as part of a blog rout organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, the spotlight shines on the Lena Gregory’s latest release – Grave Consequences  (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery, 5).

About the Book

Cass Donovan is reminded that you can’t believe everything you hear, especially when it comes from the dead . . .

GRAVE-CONSEQUENCESWhen stories begin circulating of a centuries-old ghost haunting the Bay Island lighthouse, Cass is caught up in mystical happenings of her own, with countless voices from the beyond all clamoring for her attention with dire warnings. But before she has a chance to learn whether there’s a connection between the rumored ghost and her restless visitors, the lighthouse keeper mysteriously falls to his death, and Cass’s reputation for communing with the dead lands her right in the middle of the police investigation.

Cass knows the victim was no saint, as he made little effort to hide his philandering ways from his wife or anyone else, and often acted out with no thought for the feelings of others. But had he finally gone too far, or were there more menacing motives behind his murder? As Cass begins building a list of suspects, including the man’s supposedly grieving wife and a mysterious new woman in town, she also turns her ear to those otherworldly voices, hoping for a clue. And as she begins to close in on the culprit, she realizes too late that if she’s not careful, she’ll soon be communicating with the dead in person . . .

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card from the publisher.

About the Author

lena-gregory-portraitLena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

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Release Blitz: LAKE EFFECT by K.C. Gillis

As part of a Release Blitz organized by RABT Blog Tours and PR, today’s post turns the spotlight on Lake Effect (A Jordan Reed Mystery) by K.C. Gillis, which released today.   this sounds like an engaging read and the cover is gorgeous.

About the Book

LakeffectcoverMysterious marina accidents. Destroyed evidence. Can a tenacious reporter decipher the twisted clues at a small-town lake?

Jordan Reed is burned out from all the attention on her previous high-profile story. But when a new lead lands in her lap, she reluctantly postpones her vacation to investigate a classic New England marina. With hundreds of dead fish washing up on Copper Lake’s otherwise pristine shores, Jordan suspects a sinister cover-up.

But by the time she arrives on the scene, she’s surprised to discover the police chief eliminated every last carcass and seems hellbent on blocking her inquiries. And her search for the culprit takes a perilous turn when gambling kingpins descend on the city and a string of unexplained calamities plague the docks.

Can Jordan expose the corruption, or will she be the next to go belly-up?

Lake Effect is the second book in the fast-paced Jordan Reed mystery series. If you like steely female sleuths, gripping action, and clever twists that’ll keep you guessing, then you’ll love K.C. Gillis’s page-turning mystery.

About the Author

K.C. (Kevin) Gillis is the author of the Jordan Reed mystery series. Despite being a lifelong lover of stories and books, writing took a distant back seat as his professional career travelled through the Canadian Air Force, a decade as a chemist, followed by a long and continuing run in corporate America. With writing no longer in the back seat (but not quite yet in the front seat), Kevin now has the Jordan Reed series well underway. His personal interests focus on endurance and water sports. Having grown up in the Canadian Maritimes, he now lives in the US northeast.

Contact Links

Purchase Link:  

  • Amazon
    Read FREE With Kindle Unlimited

Other books in the Jordan Reed Mystery series:

Toxic Deception

Strange symptoms. Bloody secrets. Can one reporter solve a medical mystery before she ends up in a body bag?

Jordan Reed put her world on hold to hunt down corruption. So when the gutsy journalist gets tipped off about blood money changing hands at a pharmaceutical factory, she dives into the story. With an otherwise healthy worker dropping dead of multiple organ failure, Jordan suspects something far more sinister than a simple accident…

Buy Toxic Deception to unravel a contagious mystery today HERE!

Review & Giveaway: A CASE FOR THE WINEMAKER by Candace Havens

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As part of a blog tour organized by Silver Dagger Book Tours to celebrate today’s release of A Case for the Yarn Maker,  I recently enjoyed reading A Case for the Winemaker, the first book in the Ainsley McGregor mystery series by Candace Havens.

About A Case for the Winemaker (Ainsley McGregor Book 1)

A Case for the Winemaker ebook_394x600The closer she gets to the truth, the more she finds herself drowning in trouble.

It’s an exciting time in Sweet River, Texas, and the whole town’s talking. Maybe, a little too much. Former English professor Ainsley McGregor has gambled everything on her new business: Bless Your Art, an artisan market where local artists sell their wares and teach classes.

The bright, white space is filled to the brim with colorful art, yarn, jewelry, pet treats, antiques and even a few medieval weapons. Oh, and there are wine tastings. Everything’s better with wine. Ainsley is surprised by how well things are going–right up until the moment her Great Dane finds a dead body. With her friend accused of the murder, it’s up to Ainsley to find the real killer.

As the suspect list grows longer, Ainsley has her work cut out for her. The task is made more difficult by the fact her brother, the sheriff, doesn’t seem to want her help. If she doesn’t wrap up the case soon, she might be the next wine, um, one to die.

Add to Goodreads  Amazon * B&N * Kobo * Website

My Review

This book is very much a traditional cozy mystery, from the quaint small town setting to the relationships between the characters.  Ainsley is a likeable main character and George Clooney, her irresistible Great Dane, makes for a wonderful sidekick. The book was well written and engaging, even though I was able to guess the culprit midway through reading.

I liked that the setting in this first in series lays the stage for future stories to include all kinds of “cozy” professions – as reflected by the range of craftsmen/women who sell their goods in the Artisan’s Market. Great idea.

FTC disclosure: I received a review copy of this book as part of this blog tour.  This has not affected the content of my review.

About A Case for the Yarn Maker (Ainsley McGregor Book 2)

Spin a yarn…at your own risk.

The Case for the Yarn Maker ebook_394x600Everyone at Bless Your Art in Sweet River, Texas, is excited about the Yarn Goddess (yes, that’s her real name) coming to town. Ainsley McGregor has set up a special event at the local community center, but when old Mrs. Whedon doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the Goddess about using quality yarn, a fight breaks out. Who knew the octogenarian had ninja moves like that?

It’s all fun and games until George Clooney, Ainsley’s Great Dane, finds Ms. Yarn’s dead body in a booth at Bless Your Art. Now the prime suspect is Mrs. Whedon, and while she’s not the easiest woman to get along with, there’s no way she’s the killer. At least, Ainsley doesn’t think so. As this yarn unravels, Ainsley and her quirky friends learn some interesting things about the case and the Goddess’s checkered past. But there’s a killer on the loose, and George may be the only thing protecting Ainsley from certain death.

Add to Goodreads   Amazon * B&N * Kobo

Giveaway

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card from this generous author.

About the Author

Candace Havens_400x389Bestselling author Candace Havens has published more than 25 books. Her novels have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion, Write Touch Reader Awards and National Readers Choice Awards. She is a Barbara Wilson Award winner. She is the author of the biography “Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy” and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities from George Clooney to Chris Pratt. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews with Hawkeye in the Morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Links

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Review & Giveaway: NEARLY DEPARTED by Lesley A. Diehl

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As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading Nearly Departed, the latest addition to the Eve Appel Mystery series by Lesley A. Diehl.

Description

nearly-departed-4-FINALTired of sitting surveillance on insurance fraud, apprentice PI Eve Apple Egret gets her first big case, one where the outcome is important and personal. Eve’s best friend Madeleine has few relatives, so her Uncle Shamus is special, but someone is determined to kill him and has tried several times. Eve is certain she can identify who is after him, but this time she may have taken on more than even our self-confident Eve can handle. Coping with a growing toddler and a teenager, devoting time to the consignment shop and finding someone who can go undercover in a sexual harassment case all vie for Eve’s attention. Eve knows she cannot fail Madeleine. This is more than her favorite uncle’s life. His death would mean devastating loss for Madeleine and call into question Eve’s commitment as a friend and her ability as a PI.

My Review

In this latest Eve Appel mystery, Eve remains true to form – likable, spunky and determined.  Her ongoing PI apprenticeship places two new cases on her plate one related to sexual harassment and another to the possible attempted murder of one of her best friend’s visiting relatives.  In her pursuit of the truth she is helped by a familiar cast of family and friends, including a loving grandmother, an amazingly likeable Mafia mob boss and a close friend who happens to be a police officer.  And they all rally around to help her solve the case.

As in previous books in this series, family was very much at the center of this book this time with focus on Madeleine’s extended family and their relationships as were various aspects of Sammy’s Miccosukee heritage.

Diverse characters and interesting twists made this an enjoyable light read..

Note: Although this book is part of a series, it can definitely be enjoyed as a standalone.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of this blog tour.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win some great reads from the author.

About the Author

Cows, Lesley learned as a child 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 appellovely red mitten her grandmother knitted for her. Determining that agriculture wasn’t her career path, she took a job as a stripper, book cover stripper for a publishing company, that is. Now after many years as a college professor and university administrator, she has returned to the world of books and uses her country roots and her training 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.”

Author Links

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Guest Post, Spotlight & Giveaway: KILLER DEADLINE by Lauren Carr

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As part of a blog tour organized by iRead Book Tours, I am honored to have Lauren Carr as my guest as she celebrates the release of her latest book – Killer Deadline.   Enjoy!


How Editors Are Like Hair Stylists 
by Lauren Carr

When you get too old to learn new things, then you’re old. That’s why I am always open to learning new things. I don’t want to be old.

My most recent discovery: Editors are like hair stylists.

Lauren & Muse AdjustedWhen you find a good one, never let him or her go. If forced to choose—keep your editor and divorce your spouse. My mother used to say men are like buses. Another one will come by in ten minutes. Good hair stylists whose touch makes your hair quiver and give in to their every demand—not so frequent.

It’s the same with editors who know just what to fix in your writing to make it sing to the reader.

I lost the editor I had used for several of my last books to a big publisher, who made her sign an exclusivity agreement. Since then, I’ve been having flashbacks to when I moved from the northern panhandle of West Virginia to Washington—leaving my first hair stylist behind.

Leslie found me wandering aimlessly into her shop after having been used and abused by another hairdresser who thought he could toy with my locks. Up until then, I confess, I played around—roaming from salon to salon—looking for style in all the wrong places. I was so young and naïve. Every time a stylist would whisper sweet nothings in my ear, promising to give me a look that would turn other women green with envy—I’d believe them.

After so many bad haircuts—I became hardened and cynical—believing that I had a head of hair that only a mother could love.

I still remember that last session I had with Leslie. It was raining—just like a scene in the movies—when I told Leslie that I was leaving—I cried bitter tears of heartache and swore that I’d never forget her. Still, to this day, I remember the look in her eyes when she said to me, “Do you want hair spray?”

God got me for leaving Leslie high and dry like that. I’d suffered the shame of bad haircuts for five long miserable years.

When my editor left me, I once again felt that sense of loss. Whatever shall I do? Wherever shall I go?

To which she replied, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. They’re giving me full benefits, including a 401K and healthcare.”

I bit my knuckle and collapsed to the floor.

When the edited manuscript for my latest mystery came back from my new editor, I once again suffered horrible memories of when those cheap stylists had their way with my hair—leaving it dry, with all the life sucked out of it.

Tears came to my eyes as I stroked the screen of my laptop, whispering comforting words to my book. “That’s okay. I still love you. We’ll get this mess sorted out. This horrid experience will be nothing but a distant memory—eventually.”

It’s been a growing experience. Just because someone has lovely hair, that doesn’t mean they’re a hair stylist. Likewise, just because someone reads a lot and picks up mistakes in books, does not make them an editor.

Also, in the same way that not all good hair stylists are a good fit for every client, not all good editors are a good fit for every writer. I have worked with many editors—even some very good ones, who just weren’t a good fit for me—for whatever reason. My previous editor (sob) grew to know my style. Her strengths complemented my weaknesses and she knew exactly how far to go and what to leave.

Once again, I was out there— wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’. Plannin’ and dreamin’—that Santa Claus will bring me an editor for Christmas.

Note: Before everyone sends me names of their neighbor’s nephew who happens to be available for editing, I do have a new one lined up for my next Mac Faraday. But, if this relationship doesn’t pan out, then maybe I can meet him for happy hour.


About the Book

killer deadline eBook coverFolks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to  chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.

Buy link:  Amazon.com

Add to Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across
three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Killer Deadline marks Lauren’s first venture into mystery’s purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and
humor.

​A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Pinterest

Spotlight & Giveaway: MURDER IN THE SECRET MAZE by Judith Gonda

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As part of tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, today’s post turns the  spotlight on Murder in the Secret Maze, the first book in a new series by Judith Gonda.

About the Book

First in a new series featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning!

Landscape architect Tory Benning knows the lay of the land, but she’ll have to dig through the clues to unearth a killer . . .

Murder-in-the-Secret-Maze-5-1-scaledAfter a whirlwind romance and a glorious wedding at the luxurious Hotel Santa Sofia, Tory Benning is ready to let down her hair, slip into her dancing shoes, and celebrate—until she discovers that her newly minted husband has vanished. The police suspect cold feet and second thoughts are behind Milo’s disappearance, but Tory’s certain he’s met with foul play. And since she designed the plush resort, she knows every nook and cranny of the grounds and adjoining secret maze, and wastes no time delving into her search.

As clues begin to emerge that Milo may have taken his last breath in the maze, Tory steps up her sleuthing, even as she learns she’s the prime suspect of a cop with a chip on his shoulder and is squarely in the sights of a menacing stalker. And when a second body is found on the grounds, Tory fears she’s up against a killer determined to silence any and all who get in the way. .

Not to be deterred, Tory forges ahead, navigating a case with more twists and turns than the maze itself, until the labyrinth of clues leads her to shocking revelations about her husband, her family, and the identity of a killer who’s dead set on making her the next victim . . . .

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of Murder in the Secret Maze.

About the Author

judithgondaJudith Gonda is a mystery writer and Ph.D. psychologist with a penchant for Pomeranians and puns, so it’s not surprising that psychology, Poms, and puns pop up in her amateur sleuth mysteries featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning.

Author Links:

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Guest Post & Giveaway: A SMALL TOWN CAN BE #MURDER by Julie Seedorf

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As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book tours, I am pleased to have Julie Seedorf as my guest today as she celebrates the recent release of A Small Town Can be #Murder.  Julie’s post shares insights into the motivations that shaped her writing over the years.


Thoughts on Writing, Julie Seedorf

I am not an award-winning writer. I don’t know if I could be an award-winning writer. The fact is, I have never applied for any awards and my publishing companies are small publishers that do not have the bank accounts that big publishers have to pay for entry fees. To be honest, neither do I.

jseedorfBut also to be honest, awards are not the reason I write. I write for a variety of reasons. It started with a diary when I was young. I recorded all my hopes, my dreams and my crushes and my first kiss. I was lucky enough that creative writing was part of the curriculum my junior year in high school. Thank you Jim Colletti. It was a class where I got my first A+ and I loved it. I might mention I wasn’t a straight-A student unless I liked a subject. Don’t tell my grandkids.

As I entered my young adult years, I turned to poetry and recorded my feelings that way. Here is an example.

Confusion

Confusion! 
A massive blur of jumbled thoughts
All swirling around in the tiny area of my brain
Until I think I can stand it no more.
Surely I will burst with such confusion.
Round and round and round
Thoughts that don’t make sense.
Words and more words
Twisted and jumbled until the truth is lost.
Was the truth there in the first place?
Questions without answers.
Memories and emotions drowning all reason.
Logic and common sense – unbelievable.
You don’t want to believe them.
Faith and trust lost?
How? Why? Because?
Swirling, turning thoughts
Until finally there is no way to turn.
No one to go to.
Just you
And doubts
And hurt
But still love,
Love ruling the mass of confusion
Until the hurt grows
And the tears fall
And
You pray.

© Julie Seedorf  2020

I left it as is from my notebook written fifty years ago by me, a young woman churning out her feelings at the time.

I can say I dreamed of being an author because my love of books started when I was young thanks to my mother. She loved books too although she was so busy taking care of me, my dad, her mother, plus her brothers and two households. My mother also worked in their shoe store taking care of the bools and the ordering and because of her schedule I never saw her reading anything except the paper, but she always made sure I had books. There were only school libraries in my youth so any books were ones that were purchased for me from the drugstore which carried books.

Again, to be honest I never considered a career in writing seriously  because of fear that I wasn’t good enough, and it was very hard to get a publishing company to accept your work.

Fast forward to my almost senior citizen years. It was possible to self publish with Amazon. It was possible to find small publishing companies that would offer you a contract if they liked your work. On a wing and a prayer I sent my manuscript in and my new career in writing began. I might mention that by that time I had been a newspaper columnist for years because I found I have an opinion and occasionally people wanted to hear it.

I also must admit there are times I am envious of seeing those awards when others post, such as a New York Times best-selling author. I absolutely don’t know how to achieve that and that takes me back to my opening paragraph. I don’t write for awards. I write to make people laugh and take them away from the world. I write because I have wacky ideas and wacky mysteries in my head and they fuel my creativity that helps me get out a depression or sad times. I write because I am passionate about something and I want to touch other people’s lives and make them feel better. I write because I have to still the constant whirling of words in my brain.

Along the way I read and discover award-winning authors that have no awards posted on their books, but they should. It is a sea of books out there and to be found is like looking for a certain grain of sand on the beach with the author hoping when the waves clear the sand, their special grain will sparkle and be noticed.

Don’t feel bad for me. I am where the grace of God has placed me and if I touch one heart or make one person feel better for a short time than that is my award and reward.


About A Small Town Can Be #Murder

image1You have all heard the story: big-city girl moves to small town and lives happily ever after. That’s not the forever-after Angel Delaight found when she moved to Whistle Stop, Minnesota. First her realtor is found dead in her new house, which is also rumored to be haunted. Then homeless animals began showing up at her door, along with a bevy of townspeople who seem to know what she is doing at all times. Not to mention a secret journal turning up during renovation, revealing more secrets hidden in this small community.

Will those secrets from the past put Angel’s life and those of her friends and family in danger? When the big-city girl meets a small town, it can be murder.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a print copy of A Small Town Can Be #Murder.

About the Author

A Bit About Me As An Impassioned Writer

As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.

I have worn many hats throughout my life such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities person, office manager and finally a computer repair person eventually owning my own computer sales and repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Adding five more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity. This year the Whistle Stop series was born. Small towns have my heart and I hoped to convey that in my new series.

I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble.

Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

Author Links

Purchase Links – Amazon – KoboBarnesandNoble.comSmashwordsApple – Skype Bridge Publishing

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Review: A CONSPIRACY OF BONES by Kathy Reichs

I confess. I am a long time fan of Kathy Reichs’s writing and the Temperance Brennan series.  I haven’t read all the books in the series but I have read a fair number of them, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to read an ARC of A Conspiracy of Bones when it became available on Net Galley.  I wasn’t disappointed.

51gx80rymrlAbout the Book*

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.

An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.

To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?

With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.

But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes…

*from Amazon webpage

My Review

This well written thriller features Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, who is drawn into a puzzling case by external forces, despite being effectively shut out by the woman in charge of the Charlotte ME’s office. Although coping with some major health issues, her sense of determination remains strong and she works the case on the sly, with help from her friends.  The fast-paced plot  is complex and integrated a fair number of twists and surprises before the mystery is resolved.

In this book, the author shows us a more vulnerable side of Temperance, while highlighting just enough of her past experiences to help us understand how her character was shaped.  I think it’s amazing how Reichs has managed to create a character that continues to develop and evolve, even 19 books into the series. Kudos to an exceptional author.

FTC disclosure:  I received an advanced review copy of this book prior to its publication.  This has not affected the content of my review.

Release Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: PAWS FOR MURDER by Scarlett English

PAWS FOR MURDER BANNER update 2 184

As part of a book tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual  Book Tours, I recently had the pleasure of reading Paws for Murder, the first book in the new Barking Mad cozy mystery series by Scarlett English.

About the Book

Welcome to Adlebury where village life can be downright deadly.

PawsForMurder - Scarlett EnglishVeterinarian Petronella Knight seems to have it all. A job she loves, good friends, and patients who adore her. But when she gets into an argument with dog breeder Gladys Harrington, and she finds the woman dead, she also finds herself accused of murder.

Ella will need all her friends, including the new and very handsome American policeman, and all her sharpest sleuthing skills to figure out who murdered the dog breeder before another dead body pops up.

Paws for Murder contains one enthusiastic amateur detective with a penchant for rescuing animals, a guard duck called George, a large amount of homemade gooseberry wine, and a very confused American who has never met an English village quite like this one.

You’d be Barking Mad to pass this one by.

My Review

Set in a quaint English village, this mystery has all of the elements of the typical cozy mystery – including a likable amateur sleuth, a charming detective, and a victim that is hard not to dislike.  And animals. Lots of animals.  Petronella is a vet and we are treated to a glimpse into all that goes with that job alongside her efforts to prove her innocence and identify the killer.  The main characters are well developed and the plot moved along at a nice pace, with interesting developments as the story unfolded. With a sprinkling of humor and a  healthy dose of romantic suspense, Paws for Murder makes a delightful start to a new cozy mystery series.

FTC disclosure:  I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher. This has not affected the content of my review.

Giveaway

giveawayEnter the rafflecopter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

About the Author

Scarlett English is a crazy cat lady who likes solving mysteries. Or actually, make that a dog lady. Much to her chagrin, the police have never sought to consult her, which is why there seems to be so much unsolved crime. Especially—surprisingly enough—in the small English village where she lives. So, armed with curiosity, a penchant for taking in strays, a love of homemade wine and a good gossip, she puts her detecting talents to good use murdering her imaginary friends and neighbors and solving the cases one story at a time.

Purchase Link – Amazon

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