Reading and Reviewing

Digital is the Name, More Markets is My Game!

granny_hooks_a_crook_4Just in case you are interested Granny Hooks A Crook is now available in e-book in more digital stores. Here’s the link. https://books2read.com/u/4Eya0e It is also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Granny-Hooks-Crook-Fuchsia-Minnesota-ebook/dp/B00DVL2CVU 

 

Uncategorized

Mystery Lovers Mega Sale

Imagine that an author (mystery author) put out a call for her fellow authors to join her in a multi-author promo. Imagine that same author’s surprise when dozens of her author friends responded. Now imagine what that large group of mystery authors could do if they worked together.

Well, you don’t have to imagine anymore because those dozens of authors have put together the Mystery Lovers’ Mega Sale with over 100 FREE & 99 cent mysteries for mystery fans.

Check it out here: http://writeravamallory.wixsite.com/avamallory/mystery-lovers-mega-sale

If you like cozy mysteries, we have something for you.

If you’re a fan of paranormal mysteries, we have something for you.

If you love romance mysteries, we have something for you.

If you love women sleuths, meddling octogenarians, nosy neighbors, curious snoops, or anyone who can’t help but want to dig for clues, we have something for you.

Go forth and shop or download your heart out. This weekend only! Sept. 7th – Sept. 9th.

giveaway · Reading and Reviewing

It’s Hard To Be An Author

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I always dreamed of becoming an author. It was one of those romantic dreams of a career that you think is never going to come true. I didn’t, and when it did I thought I still was in a dream but let me tell you though I love what I do there, is nothing romantic about it.

Being an author is hard work for little pay unless of course you are one of the big names such as Catherine Coulter, John Patterson — who put in years of sweat equity to get them where they are today.

I was lucky and was offered a contract with Cozy Cat Press in 2012 for my first book, Granny Hooks a Crook. Since then I have published four more books File Mar 03, 7 57 13 AMwith this publishing company and I have also branched out into the independent publishing world with my two other series, The Brilliant Minnesota Series and The Granny Is In Trouble Series. The Fuchsia Series and the Brilliant Series are for adults and the Granny Is In Trouble Series is for kids and those adults young at heart.

Since I was blessed and kind of fell into this I had no idea about editing, promoting and how to keep my readers happy. It was learn-as-you-go with a lot of help from other authors and mentors. I have enjoyed the ride.

No, I am not telling you I am wrapping up my writing, just the opposite. I am finishing the sixth book in the Fuchsia, MN Cozy Mysteries for Cozy Cat Press and then I will work on the Brilliant Series. I have started another series totally different from these two ones, though it will have some humor it will be more down to earth. I haven’t named it but right now I am calling it Angel just so I can recognize where I stored it. And I am working on a devotion book incorporating my watercolor into it.

However I am changing some of the ways I do things. At some point I have to relieve my stress of trying to do it all, which means writing, editing, promoting and having a life. Though I love Social Media it overwhelms at times. I love connecting with my readers so I hope they will hold on through the changes.

The publishing world has changed since I started in 2012. There are more self-published books out there. Authors, trying to get noticed are doing giveaway after giveaway, even gift cards, to attract readers to their books. Our e-books are either free during these times or prices at $.99. Though my books sell well I have to look at the use of my time and whether I value what I write and what I do, and I value my worth. I spin my wheels along with author friends on how to get our name out there and promote, and again it is overwhelming and I am not sure it works. I am tired. I want to write, create and paint and feel valued for my accomplishments rather than feeling the only way someone will buy my work is if it is free or on sale.

I am opting for trust in my readers, trust God will get me moving forward to be successful and opting for more peace in my life and my writing.

It takes me at least three to six months to write a book if I want to be picky, and make it have heart and humor. I can’t just churn out book after book without feeling I compromise what I write for the sake of expediency and sales. For some very talented authors this works. It isn’t me. It isn’t who I want to be.

When I started I looked at the way my author friends were writing and structuring their books and I was in awe. I tried to conform to the way they were doing it and I failed miserably and I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t me. We each have our own style and our own gifts and we need to be true to ourselves to write and reach others.

Where am I going with this long…long post? Today August 30 and August 31 all my Kindle e-books are $.99. The books, including the first one in the series will go up to regular price after that with occasional sales. I am going to eventually take all off of Kindle Select and go with wide with Kobo and other venues. I am branching out. It is a reality I have to make somewhat of a living from writing but I also live to write and so I am feeling a sensation of calm by making this decision. Can I live with you if I am homeless? LOL just kidding.

I value all of you who are reading my books. I value all of you who have told others and by word of mouth have sold my books. I hope you follow my blogs and my author pages as I will be connecting still through Social Media and occasional newsletters but I will be writing more and on Social Media less. It is time to take back my writing life and hope others value my work above $.99 and free giveaways and gift cards, although occasionally I will surprise you on my blog with some fun and a sale or giveaway.

Happy reading and don’t forget what is happening on my blog and Facebook page the next two days — Audiobook Giveaway and a Sale of my  e-books. Like Granny would say, “I can’t do it unless I do it and I make up my mind that silly and old makes me want to go bold. It’s bold and old so the story can be told.”

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Amazon Sale

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Go to the blog post before this one to enter.

 

 

 

giveaway · Releases

An Audiobook Giveaway and A Sale!

gpapFinally, I experienced the fun part of summer and I am getting back to work again. In the past few weeks the Audio book of Granny Pins A Pilferer has been released. Earlier I posted a little bit about my narrator and producer Beth Kesler. She is awesome and she interpreted my characters with finesse and humor. I even laughed when I listened.

This is what reviewer Vicki Mejia-Gewe  had to say about it: As with every book by Seedorf, Granny Pins a Pilferer is full of hilarity and silliness, making me laugh throughout the whole course of the book. The plot has plenty of creativity and excitement, with new twists throughout the whole thing. Beth Kesler as narrator helps to add to the delight of getting to listen to this book. I give the book five bright gold stars!

Now it is time for all of you to have some fun. I am giving away on this blog two copies of the audio book. I am also giving away two copies on my Facebook author page. Four copies and you might be the lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog or on my Facebook page stating the best thing about growing older. No NEGATIVE growing older comments. I challenge you to find something positive about getting older.

I will choose a random winner on Sept. 4. Feel free to share with your friends.

Here is a little example of the audio book. Enjoy and make sure you comment.

And… watch for the sale of all my Kindle books on August 30 – 31.

 

 

Book Reviews · Marvelous Guests · Reading and Reviewing · Releases

Meet My Narrator Beth Kesler

It’s almost here. Granny_Pins_A_Pilferer_jpeg (3)Granny Pins A Pilferer will be out in audiobook within the next week. I have a new narrator for my series. Priscilla Finch who did an outstanding job narrating my other books decided to take another way with her career and so that left me looking for someone new that could interpret my vision of my books. Enter narrator Beth Kesler. She brings a new flair to the series. You might note some of the characters take on a different flavor or tone as far as dialect and those will be written into the future series books. Up until now, we haven’t delved too far into some of the other characters in the books such as Lulu or Ditty Belle but in the future, you will learn more about them.

Now I would like you to meet Beth Kesler.

Beth-1Interview with Beth Kesler

Please tell me a little bit about Beth Kesler.

Although I’ve spent most of my life in Ohio, I’ve had many chances to broaden my worldview through travel: to China and South Korea as a student, to Australia on a job exchange, to Canada for culture, and most recently to Nigeria to visit friends.

How did you get into producing with ACX?

As a novice voice actor, it was a way to break into the audiobook narration scene without having to have the “credentials” one needs with big publishing companies.  As a matter of fact, I was officially on ACX only 24 hours before an author contacted me and asked me to narrate her series of three novels!  I didn’t even audition – she heard my demo and liked it enough to hire me.

What makes you decide to audition for someone’s book?

Would you think less of me if I say that I judge a book by its cover?  Anyhow, that’s where it starts.  I do read as much of the book as I can get my hands on to see if it sounds interesting, is well-written, and is something I could hear myself contributing to.

Is this your career or are you a master of many talents?

This is currently my career.  I do voice-overs of many kinds.  In addition to audiobooks, I do radio and TV ads, online videos, eLearning, public service announcements, award show announcements, telephony, and cartoon voicing.  Before I worked as a voice actor, I taught English as a second language for many years at two different Ohio universities.

You are producing and narrating Granny Pins A Pilferer for Julie Seedorf. What is the most difficult part of narrating this book? What was the most challenging?

The most difficult part for this book was trying to create not only the distinct voices for 29 characters but keeping them reasonably consistent throughout the novel.  In the final chapter, which lasts only three and a half minutes, there were 13 characters speaking!

How long have you been doing this?

I’ve been a full-time voice actor for four years.

What tweaks your creativity?

Well-written books make my job so much easier.  When I can get lost in a novel, I hear the characters’ voices in my head.  Then I just have to make them come out of my mouth!

Do you have something that tries to distract you when you are working such as a shyster or a furry creature? Or do you lock yourself away?

Yes, my furry distraction is named Bitsy!   IMG_0018She’s a 6-pound Yorkie and would be perfectly happy having me cuddle her and play ball with her all day long.  But she’s learned to be good when I’m recording, and naps on the small sofa in my studio.

Are we writers difficult to please?

No, not usually.  I had one author who was also a screen director, and he found it difficult not to direct my entire performance.  I must admit, that the direction he did give me was great!  Only once was I unable to work with an author.  She didn’t know what she wanted until she heard what I’d recorded, and then decided it was “all wrong”, and “couldn’t you just do that one more time?”  After 6 chapters like that, I suggested she find another narrator.  I hope she did – it was a clever book!

What advice would you give to those wanting to get into the field or to an author who is scared to try and look for a narrator for their book?

For narrators, listen to other audiobooks and learn from those who do it well and those who do it badly.  Then practice, practice, practice:  read aloud to your microphone, read to your family, volunteer to read to kids at the library.  Then get as much training as you can afford.  A professional coach is invaluable.

What are you working on now?

A young adult science fiction novel called 51l7jMKyhGLBaily Chatham and the Time Crystals by G.R. Zee.

 

 

 

I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

 

Listen to my work at bethkesler.com

And you can find the Fuchsia Series Audiobooks and the first book of the Brilliant Cozy Mystery Series of mine at Audible and Amazon.

Comment on the post for a chance to win a free copy of the audiobook Granny Pins A Pilferer when it comes out on Audible, Amazon and Itunes.

Book Reviews · Reading and Reviewing

Dark Side of the Loon by Twin City Sinc Members

51PNDbVTVNLWhere History Meets Mystery. Dark Side of the Loon is an anthology of short stories by my friends and colleagues from the Twin Cities Sisters In Crime. Alas, I am a part of this organization but…I do not have one of my stories in this book. Why? Because I am very shy about trying to write a short story. I am so wordy I am not sure I could do this but my Sisters and some Brothers in Crime write the perfect stories in the perfect settings.

Dark Side of the Loon highlights historical places and happenings in Minnesota. Fur trappers, pioneers, train robbers and just strange Minnesotans. That is a compliment. We Minnesotans like our quirkiness. Ya, you betcha we do. And this book has it’s quirky Minnesota moments.

I enjoyed each and every story in this book. Yes, I know many of the authors but if you know me, that does not make me leave a good review. If I don’t like something I don’t review it. I would give this anthology five stars not just for the writing but the surprises along the way. At the end of the book I wanted more and more and…more!

This would make a perfect gift or a wonderful book for discussion at a book club or a Sunday summer read or a winter by the fireplace read. It is an all-seasons book.

While you are at it make sure you take time to search out the  other books by these authors. I will provide links. Five stars websites_1Sisters and Brothers in Crime!

 

 

 

51PNDbVTVNLDark Side of the Loon

”Minnesota nice” casts a long shadow. Dark emotions and even darker thoughts seep from these murky depths, harvested by writers whose stories take us down in flames, up in smoke, and leave us helplessly entranced by the haunting call of the loon.

Foreword by Ellen Hart, award-winning author of the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenway series, and MWA Grand Master.

Stories by Lori L. Lake, Marlene Chabot, Michael Allan Mallory, Carol Huss, Marcia Adair, Natalie Fowler, Barbara Merritt Deese, A.W. Powers, Cheryl Lewis, Christine Husom, Cheryl Ullyot, Karl W. Jorgenson, Marcie Rendon, Sherry Roberts, Midge Bubany, M.E. Bakos, Greg Dahlager, T.S. Owen, and Judy Kerr.

Twin Cities Sisters In Crime Website

Twin Cities Sisters In Crime Facebook Fanpage

Sisters In Crime National

Ellen Hart

Lori L. Lake

Marlene Chabot

Michael Allan Mallory

Carol Huss

Marcia Adair

Natalie Fowler

Barbara Merritt Deese

A. W. Powers

Cheryl Lewis

Christine Husom

Cheryl Ullyot

Karl W. Jorgenson

Marcie Rendon

Sherry Roberts

Midge Bubany

M. E. Bakos

Greg Dahlager

T. S. Owen

Judy Kerr

Sheyna Gaylon

Christina Glendenning

Doug Dorow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews · Guest Authors

Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook

It is no secret 26047381_10155060885697611_5873356279400153772_nAuthor Claire Cook is one of my favorites, so I was over the moon when I won her book “Best Staged Plans.”51u6AWVTKNL._SY346_ It  was autographed too. Can you feel my excitement? Her books seem to fit where I am at this stage in my life. The first book  I read by MS Cook was “Never Too Late Your Roadmap for Reinvention.” After that I devoured the books my library had and now I am into buying her books to keep forever. This doesn’t happen very often for me except with Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison. I actually gifted “Never Too Late Your Roadmap for Reinvention to a couple of my best friends.

Best staged plans never usually work out for me and the road is bumpy right now for the main character, Sandy Sullivan. She wants to let go of her house and reinvent her life but the other members of her family who  share her life can’t seem to get on the same page. Her husband and son seem to tune her out when she needs help staging the house for sale. She is a professional and stages houses for a living so she knew what needed to be done to sell her house and to move on so she and her husband could become empty nesters.  Frustrated with the progress she accepts a job out-of-town and leaves a list to be finished while she is gone. Does it happen? Does she find what she is looking for while she is on a designing journey? You will have to read the book to find out.

I happen to be on this frustrating journey right now. I would love to sell our four bedroom home and let go of all the maintenance that comes with an older home freeing us the responsibility that home ownership requires.  I too have a husband who is dragging his heals.  I resonated with Sandy but I must admit I love the premise of the main character staging homes. I am a HGTV lover and wannabe home stager in my dreams.

I would definitely give “Best Staged Plans” five stars.

About Claire Cook taken from her Amazon author page: Thanks so much for discovering my books! Reinvention is the story of my books and my life. I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. I’m now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 18 books. It’s Never Too Late to Shine On!

I’ve reinvented myself again by turning Must Love Dogs into a series and writing my first nonfiction books Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (#1 Amazon Bestseller Women’s Personal Growth!) and Shine On: How to Grow Awesome Instead of Old to share everything I’ve learned on my own journey that might help you in your own.

Some of the nice things that have been said about my work: “The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the  and funniest creators of contemporary women’s fiction,” according to The Times-Picayune. People magazine said my writing “goes down as easy as it sounds,” Good Housekeeping called it “laugh-out-loud,” Redbook “gleefully quirky” and the Chicago Tribune “funny and pitch perfect.” Shelf Awareness said, “Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women’s fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations.”

I was a teacher for sixteen years before writing my first book. I was born in Virginia, and lived for many years in Scituate, Massachusetts, a beach town between Boston and Cape Cod. My husband and I have recently moved to the suburbs of Atlanta to be closer to our two adult kids, who actually want us around again!

I have the world’s most fabulous readers, and I’m forever grateful to you all for giving me the gift of this career.

Be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways and insider extras at ClaireCook.com/newsletter. Hang out with me on Facebook (ClaireCookauthorpage), Twitter (ClaireCookwrite) and Pinterest (ClaireCookwrite).

Best Staged Plans

Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager who lives and works in the Boston suburbs. So getting rid of her own house and downsizing should be a breeze, right? Well, best staged plans and all, Sandy’s husband, Greg, is dragging his feet and their son, Luke, has returned home and moved into the “bat cave” in the basement. Sandy reads them both the riot act and takes a job staging a boutique hotel recently acquired by her best friend’s boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time in Atlanta with her recently married daughter, Shannon. The bad news is that Shannon soon receives a promotion and heads back up to Boston for training, leaving Sandy and her Southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. And Sandy finds herself in another delicate situation when she suspects her best friend’s boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side. Fixing up houses may turn out to be easier than fixing up lives.

You can find Clair Cook at:

Amazon

and her website: Claire Cook

 

Happy Reading! And thank you Claire Cook for entertaining us with your writing.

Book Reviews · Reading and Reviewing

Murder In Vail by Judy Moore

51EXvWdU5+LMurder In Vail by Judy Moore

Sally Braddock’s serene lifestyle atop a mountain in Vail, Colorado, changes drastically each year when her three spoiled children and their spouses visit her – and her money – for Christmas. They live off their trust funds, which are disappearing quickly, and spend most of the holidays bickering and hitting up their mother for money.

This year, Sally makes an announcement that sends her children into a tizzy, an announcement so extreme that it pushes someone in the house to murder. The storm inside the house

My Review

Judy Moore is a new author to me. It was one of those books that I downloaded on my Kindle and was wishy-washy about reading it. I tend to read authors  I am familiar with first when picking a book, and seem to put those I am not familiar with on my to-read list, sometimes removing it from the Kindle before I read it. I am glad I did not do this with Murder In Vail.

It drew me in right away. I had a few days of trying to to get through another book and not being able to get into it so I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t want to put this book down.

I liked the characters and thought the family dynamics were interesting. It was a good story on what pulls families together or what pulls them apart. Along with highlighting no matter how much we differ or we fight we seem to defend our families and the Braddock family in this book is no different.

The plot was easy to follow but the mystery was not so easy to solve. I kept flopping back and forth trying to decide the guilty party. The easy style of the writing drew me in, kept me focused so much that I finished this in an afternoon. I could also identify with Sally and her questioning her parenting decisions. Don’t we all do that with our adult children?

I good read. A new author for me to explore. I can’t ask for anything more.

To find out more about Judy Moore and her books visit her Amazon page.

Book Reviews · Reading and Reviewing

Meet Author Karen Shughart

A New Cozy Author.

B1dqRR8IRuS._US230_Karen Shughart, a new author with Cozy Cat Press, has a new book called Murder In The Museum.

Murder In The Museum51oDncYUWXL._SY346_

Early one gray November morning, retired Lighthouse Cove, NY police chief, Edmund DeCleryk, finds Emily Bradford’s body on the beach at the base of the bluff where the local museum and historical society stands. At the same time, a break-in has been reported at the museum, and Emily’s coat and purse are found hanging on a peg in the museum’s gift shop where she worked. Was her death the result of a burglary gone bad or something more sinister?

When the police chief is called out of town for a family emergency, he hires Ed, now working as a criminal consultant, to assist deputy police chief, Carrie Ramos, with the murder investigation. After several leads don’t pan out, the chief, now back in Lighthouse Cove, decides to close the case. Confident that with more time the murder can be solved, Ed is determined to continue investigating on his own, with encouragement from his wife, Annie the museum’s executive director.

One morning while in the basement of the museum, the couple discovers a copy of a map dated 1785, and Ed’s instincts tell him it may be connected to Emily’s death. On a hunch, he and Annie travel to Toronto, Canada, where he learns of the original map and a manuscript written in 1847 that was unearthed during an archaeological dig. The manuscript contains information about a ship that capsized during a fierce storm on Lake Ontario — in 1785. Now Ed has clues as to why the murder occurred, but he still doesn’t know who committed the crime. Or does he?

About Author Karen Shughart

Karen Shughart has worked professionally as a journalist, writer, editor, publicist and non-profit executive. Her passions include her family, cooking, gardening, writing, photography, walking, and learning new things. Karen’s first novel, Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery (Cozy Cat Press, April 2018) is the first in a series that takes place in Lighthouse Cove, NY on the southern shores of Lake Ontario. It is available in all Amazon formats. In addition, she is the author of two non-fiction books: The Pennsylvania Bed and Breakfast Guide and Cookbook; and Creating Special Events, from Dollars to Dessert.

My Review

This mystery takes place in Lighthouse Cove, NY. From the opening pages until the end this well-written book will keep you captivated. I especially was intrigued by the Prologue and the way the characters were introduced in the first few chapters. A museum murder and a mystery tied to happenings many years ago weave together a  plot that is perfect for a mystery tied to a museum.

You can find Karen’s book on her Amazon page.

Visit her website at Karen Shughart.com