Book Reviews

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingson

The Lighthouse KeeperIn my imagination, I have pictured what it would be like to restore a lighthouse so someone could live there. First, the picture of the lighthouse on the cover drew me in and once I saw the blurb on the back of the book I knew I had to read this book. Dawn, the main character was restoring a lighthouse and there was a mystery.

I wasn’t disappointed. Occasionally when I read it takes me a few chapters to want to keep reading but the easy style of writing and description drew me in right away. I fell in love with Starlight Cove. It is the kind of community we dream of when we want to get away from the busy city world. I walked through the lighthouse step by step with the character and could picture every crevice and nook and cranny.

We have all felt the chill at one time or another at feeling like an outsider and not knowing why and Dawn was no different. In small communities all across America, people are judged by their families and their past and Dawn was too. Could she right the wrong that perhaps her families legacy had left to this small town? Could she prove the judgment against her family was misplaced?

It is a well-written mystery drawing a reader in, making them care about the characters and keeping you guessing to the very end whether judgments were misplaced. This is the first book I have read by Cynthia Ellingson but it won’t be my last.

The Lighthouse Keeper

Dawn Conners’s parents are famous for finding historic treasures, but she has a knack for losing things—her job, her boyfriend, and now, her reputation. Thanks to a mud-slinging exposé, Dawn’s late great-grandfather is assumed guilty of stealing silver from a century-old shipwreck. Hoping to clear his name, Dawn returns to Starlight Cove, her idyllic hometown on Lake Michigan, where the doomed vessel sleeps beneath the beam of a ramshackle lighthouse.

Her plan: remodel and sell the lighthouse while untangling the perplexing family mystery. Neither task is easy, especially once her well-meaning parents and the quirky locals—including nautical researcher and Starlight Cove’s most eligible bachelor, Kip Whittaker—get involved. Despite their attraction, Dawn is reluctant to trust Kip, or any of the close-knit townsfolk. But as she pieces together the truth, Dawn’s once-shuttered heart opens up. And if she’s willing, the lighthouse might guide her to a place she never expected to find, where the past entwines with a bright new beginning.

Cynthia Ellingsen

 

Reading and Reviewing · Releases

Who Is Jezabelle Jingle?

jezabelleapron
Jezabelle Jingle

It’s official! The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors has a new cover, a new publisher, and a new printing company. One might ask why I decided to make some changes with the first book in the Brilliant, Minnesota, Cozy Mystery Series. And if you weren’t  asking,  I will tell you anyway.

I feel The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors is perhaps the best book I have written so far. My readers keep asking for more Granny (Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt)

File Mar 27, 2 41 11 PM
Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt

and there will be more, but I felt the fictional communities of Minnesota needed another series and so the Brilliant Series was born, but it hasn’t taken off as well as I would like, thus the new cover and a new release.

First a little bit about the new cover. In searching for the perfect Victorian House for my main character Jezabelle Jingle, I came across a picture my friend and Author Sherri Hansen posted of her Victorian Bed and Breakfast and Teahouse, The Blue Belle Inn and knew it was perfect for Jezabelle. Sherri generously gave me permission to use the picture and I feel a connection to it.

Jezabelle Jingle is not quite as silly as her name portrays although she has her quirks and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. She grew up in Brilliant, left for a few years and came back to some of her old friends, Police Chief Hank Hardy and Lizzy Langer. Moving into the Penderghast neighborhood of Victorian Houses she loved her retired life, making her famous cheesecakes and keeping an eye on her interesting but quirky neighbors. But fate thrust her into the history and secrecy the Brilliant Brothers built into the town.

Of course, there has to be a connection to Fuchsia, Minnesota, and Granny, from the Fuchsia Series, and it comes in the form of Granny’s friend, Delight Delure, who is Jezabelle’s niece.

Jezabelle is not a sleuth like Granny but when her neighbor’s lives are threatened by unique goings on and deaths, Jezabelle, along with her neighbors, are forced to investigate and they form the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors. Can her neighbors be trusted?

Jezabelle is not above flirting with her cute garbage collector, Hick Rafferty. She is not too old to have a secret admirer or to keep the Police Department on their toes. Her heart has been broken a few times by secrets in her past and…by losing pets, but new pets seem to find her whether she wants them or not.

As the series progresses you will find a community riddled in mystery with actual puzzles needing to be solved, funny situations and a town that looks out for their own despite their differences.

Jezabelle is a conglomeration of fun, silliness with drops of sense and sensibility, all wrapped up in cheesecakes, cupcakes, and intrigue.

The second book in the Brilliant Series is coming soon. It should be out in October. The title is The Discombobulated Decipherers. Not only is there a dead elf wrapped in Christmas lights, but a Christmas puzzle to solve along with more insight into the quirky lives of the Brilliant residents.

Penderghast_Puzzle_Protectors_jpgHere is a little excerpt from The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors.

“What are you doing here, HH?” Jezabelle used her nickname
for the Police Chief. “Didn’t know you covered floor failures
too. I kept telling Warbler he needed to lose some weight—
too many of those banana splits from the Creamy Cow, but he
didn’t listen. I warned him these old houses have weak floors
in places.”
Hank Hardy and Red Hannahan shared a concerned look
between them before Hank answered Jezabelle. “It was no accident, Jezzy. It looks like someone cut a large square out of
the floor. The strange thing was that they must have known
how the house was built.”
“That’s impossible,” replied Jezabelle. “That house, like mine
and all the others on the street, are over one hundred years old.
And they’ve always been in good shape. The owners have kept
them up. Are you telling me we have a one-hundred-year-old
cutting up floors?”
“Here’s the thing.” Red Hannahan interrupted. “That exact
square of floor was framed in a square, not like the normal
joists in a house. That frame was made for exactly that piece
of floor.”
Hardy nodded his head in agreement. “The perpetrator
pulled up that particular floor board without disturbing the
ceiling below. That’s why Warbler didn’t notice it from the
living room underneath the bedroom.”
“And when they did, they pulled the area rug over to hide the
hole. Mr. Warbler stepped on the rug and went right through
the floor. The square was just big enough for part of his rotund
body to go through, but the solid framing of the floor and his
stomach wouldn’t give way for the rest.” Red Hannahan smiled,
remembering the picture of Mr. Warbler hanging through the
ceiling.
Jezabelle wrinkled her nose, puzzled by the events of the
day. “Do you suppose the entire floor is framed like that? And
why would someone want a piece of Mr. Warbler’s floor?”
Hank Hardy ignored the question and answered with one of
his own. “Did you see anything suspicious or anyone you didn’t
recognize around Mr. Warbler’s house today?”
“Other than Miranda Covington actually putting her
garbage out at the correct time so she didn’t have to run down
the street after the garbage truck in her high heels and scanty
nighties? Nope, can’t say I did.” Jezabelle smiled sweetly at the men, remembering that Mr. Warbler was the only one she saw
doing something suspicious the day before. Jezabelle decided
to keep that little bit of news to herself so she could investigate
before she told the police. After all, she didn’t want to put Mr.
Warbler in a bad light, them being neighbors and all. “Nope,
nothing.”

The Blurb:

The Brilliant Brothers founded Brilliant Minnesota, and then they disappeared. The residents of Brilliant didn’t know the brothers left a puzzle needing to be solved. A chain of unexpected present-day events shakes up the Penderghast neighborhood of Brilliant: Mr. Warbler hanging between floors after stepping through a hole cut in his floor by a floornapper, then a dead body in Annabelle Avery’s empty house. To the dismay of Police Chief Hank Hardy, Jezabelle Jingle and her quirky neighbors form their own sleuth group under the guise of the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors to solve the puzzle before any of them end up in pieces or—worse yet—dead. Will they be able to figure out if the same person who is causing the mysterious happenings is also Jezabelle’s secret admirer, or is another mystery unfolding to complicate their investigation? Is the entire town in danger of a pernicious puzzle waiting to be solved?

This is what one reader had to say about the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors: The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors is the first in the new Brilliant Minnesota Mysteries by Julie Seedorf. This new series is just as funny as The Fuchsia Minnesota Series! Julie’s stories are so imaginative and creative. The characters are so much fun! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and look forward to the next one.

If you want to find out more or if you want to check out the reviews it is available in paperback on Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com

As a Kindle Read or Audiobook

 

 

Book Reviews · Reading and Reviewing

The Karma of King Harald – A Canine Cozy

5106WGkmPJLHerald was my father-in-law’s name spelled a little bit different from the Harald in this Canine Mystery. The thought passed through my mind that perhaps the author made a mistake in the spelling because Harald is usually spelled, Harold. However, after becoming immersed in this book, I realized that King Harald, the canine, definitely could not be spelled the boring, normal way as this canine is up to his paws in cahoots and crime.

I wasn’t prepared as to how much I liked this book. There was something about it that loped along easily and pulled me in. I thought perhaps it was the characters such as Harald and his trusty owner Andy Skyberg. Andy shared my values on finding a place to live where I can lead a peaceful existence. Small towns are perfect for that scenario and New Bergen is no different. Enter Trudi Bock. I like unusual people but all people who move to small towns who don’t conform to the residents’ image of a normal person are not always accepted. I have felt that in my lifetime, so this character challenged my stick-up-for-the-weird part of me. Yes, it was more than Harald and Andy which kept me reading.

Loping along, because I felt as if I was on an interesting stroll when reading this book, we run into the proverbial church lady, the small town police and the upper crust of society. This in itself would not have entirely satisfied my reading adventure but just when a reader thinks they have a mystery solved another one is thrown into the mix complicating what you believed to be true. And it all starts with the death of an iguana–who knew iguanas were so important, and ends with… well all I can tell you is I didn’t see it coming.

I have the next work of this series in my hot little hands and I can’t wait to read it. I loved this book and I look for the right words to explain why, besides what I have written above. All I can say it was the feeling of walking down a cozy community with quirks and twists along the path anticipating the end of the journey would leave me satisfied. My journey in New Bergin with King Harald and Andy ended. I didn’t count on wanting to visit New Bergin and get mixed up with King Harald again. Thank you, Richard Audry.

The Karma Of King Harald

More about Richard Audry

61N2oWjuuuL._UX250_Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. In addition to his career as a journalist and copywriter, D. R. has written a dozen books, both fiction and non-fiction. His current projects include a fantasy adventure trilogy, a canine cozy mystery series, and historical mysteries set at the turn of the last century.

On Facebook you can like him at facebook.com/richardaudryauthor
and at facebook.com/johnnygraphicadventures

To contact D. R., visit his blogs at johnnygraphicadventures.com or drmartinbooks.com

If you’re a fan of Travis McGee, D. R. invites you to join the discussion at his popular blog about the intrepid tough guy, drmar120.wordpress.com

Guest Authors · Reading and Reviewing

Meet Author Carol Ann Kauffman

Today I welcome Carol Ann Kaufman to my blog. I asked her for an interview over a month ago and she got back to me right away but as you might have noticed life got in my way the past few weeks and I have not been too active on here. I hope to change that and what better way to get back into the swing of things than an inspirational author such as Carol Ann. She is the author of the Time After Time series, which follows a pair of lovers through their many lifetimes together, and the Cat Collier Mysteries, as well as holiday short stories with Books To Go Now Publishers. Enjoy getting to know Carol as I did. I have to add I see she is a member of the Red Cross. Please read my other blog Sprinkled Notes to see how the Red Cross just helped out in my community.

61zKe7KimhL._UX250_Carol Ann Kauffman

Please share a little insight as to who Carol is?

This is from my Amazon Author Page:

Carol Ann Kauffman is the author of twenty books to date, from short stories to full-length novels. Her novels, classified as romantic action adventures with a sci-fi/ fantasy twist, and mysteries. They’re about life, love, loss, and lunacy. She is a retired teacher from a local school district in Ohio, where she taught for thirty-five years. She has worked as a printer, managed a department store office, worked as an insurance agent, and worked in the hardware and automotive departments of a large store. She was a Red Cross volunteer. Carol loves to travel; her favorite places being Italy and Aruba, which show up in her novels quite a bit. She loves to play Bridge and to garden. She grows African violets and orchids. Carol loves dachshunds and trains. She is the author of the Time After Time series, which follows a pair of lovers through their many lifetimes together, and the Cat Collier Mysteries, as well as holiday short stories with Books To Go Now Publishers. Connect with Carol on Twitter at @Cay47. Visit her website at carolannkauffman.weebly.com or visit her blog, Vision and Verse at visionandverse.blogspot.com.

What was the first thing you ever wrote that made you think perhaps you would like to be a writer?

I won an essay contest in seventh grade. I was shocked!  They had a dinner for us and gave me a trophy. I was so surprised someone else liked my writing and thought maybe this might be a good thing to do for a living.

What tweaks your creativity?

Everyday life. Listening to other people’s life stories. Events in my own life.

Tell us about your latest book.

It’s called The Captain and the Ambassador.  512gMW8zoELIt’s a sci-fi romantic adventure. Ambassador Tull Redmond is looking for a quick ride back home to Earth after ending her twenty-year mission as a peace negotiator. All she wants is peace, quiet, and to be left alone. She boards the Earth Starship Giuseppe Verdi with its questionable leader, Captain Ben Jacobs anyway. It’s the fastest way home. Her quarters has a full bath, a space view window, and a large, real bed! How bad could this rule-breaking, authority-defying Captain Casanova be? High Council hates him, true, but his crew loves him. Surely, she’s too old and tired to be drawn into this bad boy of the quadrant’s personal circus.
Will Ambassador Redmond get the quiet, uneventful ride home she craves?

Is it part of a series?

As of right now, no. But, if it is well received, there’s a possibility it could be the first in a series of three. I have a few ideas for the further adventures of Ambassador Redmond and friends.

What is the favorite thing about your main character?

In this last book, Ambassador Redmond is an average woman and mother, who faces many of the same problems we all face. She is smart and resourceful. She loves intensely. In  general, my main character is usually a  tough, kick-ass woman.

What are your characters most serious flaw?

My main character’s main flaw is she never wants to give up. And in real life, sometimes you need to throw in the towel and walk away, for your own sanity.

What makes you smile?

I am a naturally smiley person. I love nature and animals, entertaining moments. I laugh at slapstick comedy moments. Kids are naturally funny. My dog, a 17 ½-year-old dachshund, is hysterical. My husband makes me laugh. He sees the humor in almost every situation.

What makes you mad/sad?

I dislike high drama, conflict-causing people. That makes me want to run.

Writers get discouraged at times. Have you ever been discouraged and what do you do about it?

Yes, I’ve been discouraged enough to want to quit. And if you can, I encourage you to leave this crazy business and do something else. The problem is I just can’t quit. I usually have three or four stories going on in my head at a time. I MAY quit publishing my work, but I won’t quit writing.

What advice would you give to new authors or those dreaming of becoming an author?

Write. Write every day. The only way you get better is to keep writing.  You can write one truly awful book but if you write twenty, you have to show some improvement. Also, read. You need to read what’s out there. Read all genres that hold your interest. And then read something really different. Read traditional and indies.  Don’t let anybody discourage you.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the sequel to my bestselling sci-fi novel BELTERRA, called DARK RETURN, where the indigenous bat-like species comes out of the ocean and wants their planet back.  And Neeka is still patching up soldiers and sending them back into battle, and Braedon is still trying to single-handedly save the world.

I’m also working on the next Cat Collier Mystery, The Lavender Mists of May. It’s a series of short story adventures of a small town Ohio detective named Mary Catherine, or Cat, Collier.  January through April are out and doing well.

WAIT FOR ME, a Time After Time novel, is on my editor’s desk now. The Time After Time series follows a pair of quintessential lovers through their many lifetimes together. In this one, Richard travels from London on a hunch to find Nicole, but she is married to some oaf.   There is seven Time After Time stories in the series already published. Some are full-length novels. Some are novellas.

Did I forget to ask anything you would like us to know?

Yes. Food.  I like radishes, the little green leaves in the center of a stalk of celery, and red wine. (Not together.) And anything Italian.

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

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” –Winston Churchill

Find Carol Ann at the links above in the article. Thank you Carol and I wish all the readers a fun day. Feel free to comment if you like. Comments are screened so it might take a short time for them to show up.

 

 

Book Reviews

Review: Murder By Chance by Pat Dennis

51zlS0jB+XLIt is no secret I am a fan of Pat Dennis. She makes me laugh and lightens my day. Murder By Chance certainly gave me a few chuckles along with a fun mystery. I love this series. This is the second book I have read in the Betty Chance Mystery Series.

The scenario is Casino in Minnesota and Betty has a tour business called “Take A Chance Tours”  but as with most of Betty’s tours something happens and this time it is a body on a bus. What happens next in her mysteries is anyone’s guess because the hapless, disorganized funny characters always create situations you can visualize in your mind, which make you want to be a fly on the wall to see how they manage the trouble that always seems to find them.

There are many surprises, a good mystery, a great ending and a fun bunch of characters and I use that term loosely. Follow Betty and “Take A Chance Tours” and I guarantee you will never look at bus tours in the same way.

Five stars as far as I’m concerned.

About Pat Dennis: Pat Dennis is an award-winning author and comedian. Pat is the author of HOTDISH TO DIE FOR, a collection of six culinary mystery short stories where hotdish is the weapon of choice (18 hotdish recipes are included). MURDER BY CHANCE is her debut novel in the Betty Chance mystery series. It is the story of a woman whose husband leaves her for an older fatter woman. Betty Chance was left penniless and deeply in debt. In order to earn a living, she opens a tour business for gambling junkets to casinos. All bets are off when she discovers a dead body, or two. KILLED BY CHANCE is the second book in the series, set in Biloxi, Mississippi. The third book in the series is DEAD BY CHANCE, set is Deadwood, South Dakota. Pat’s critically acclaimed humorous and touching travel memoir FAT OLD LADY IN LAS VEGAS: GAMBLING, DIETING, AND WICKED FUN was released in 2016. She is the contributing editor for HOTDISH HAIKU and WHO DIED IN HERE?, 25 mystery short stories by 25 premier storytellers where the crime occurs in the bathroom. Her novel STAND-UP AND DIE is a mystery set in the stand-up comedy world. Pat’s short stories have appeared in ANNE FRASIER’S DEADLY TREATS, The Minnesota Crime Wave’s SILENCE OF THE LOONS, RESORT TO MURDER, ONCE UPON A CRIME ANTHOLOGY, WRITES OF SPRING and the upcoming COOKED TO DEATH from Nodin Press. Her fiction and humor have been published in National Public Radio’s Minnesota Monthly, FMAM, Woman’s World, The Pioneer Press, and The Sun Current Newspapers. She is a veteran of 1,000 plus performances in comedy clubs, Fortune 500 special events, woman’s organizations, and church basements across the country. She has worked with such notables as Phyllis Diller, Lewis Black, Tommy Chong and Nick Swardson

Find Pat at:

Amazon

Website

 

Book Reviews · Reading and Reviewing

Review Bookman DEAD STYLE by Paige Shelton

51mPFU1QG1LThe cover of Bookman DEAD STYLE drew me in to pick up this book at my local library. And…I remember typewriters of this age since my Grandmother had one. It tweaked my interest having typewriters woven into a mystery.

The Star City Film Festival is a happening in the Utah ski resort. A murder disrupts this festival and Clare quietly investigates.  Clare and her Grandfather’s business, The Rescued Word, is a hub of activity for their skill at restoring old books and old typewriters. But it also introduces them to perhaps a murderer and an interesting find in their shop.

The author describes the places in this community and the scenery so well I wanted to blend in and walk the steps with Clare. I could see the snow and the beautiful buildings. It was a place I would love to visit.

Paige Shelton is a master at writing mysteries which hold your interest, keep you reading and wanting more. This book does all that and more.

About Paige: Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market, Country Cooking School, Dangerous Type, and Scottish Bookshop mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently, resides in Arizona.

Amazon

Paige Shelton Author Page Amazon

Paige Shelton Website

 

Reading and Reviewing · Releases

Book Release: Two Little Girls by Julie Seedorf

back cover two AMOld friends are treasured in our hearts forever. Many years ago I had to leave one of my best heart friends when I moved. Although we were not going to be a great distance from one another, only twenty-two miles, I knew our friendship would change. We both still had children and our lives were busy. I wrote this book for my forever friend, Donna so she would know how important she was to me.

Over the years time and distance didn’t separate our hearts. We talked on the telephone at least once a week. Cell phones kept us connected easier because of texting. Our kids grew and we both worked and our time together was few and far in-between.

Time and age have made it easier for us. She retired and I work for myself so I can arrange my time. We still “get” each other.

I met Donna when we were both volunteers for a self-esteem program in our school which I started. I was the coordinator. Soon Donna joined me in that role and when we went into the classroom we did things we never thought we would do as adults. We would role play and be silly and let kids know they were special just as they are.

We learned to play together again as adults and be silly and crazy. We shared laughter, sorrow and lifted one another up when the other was down. That is what friendship should be–accepting each other as we are with our faults and silly bodies and personality quirks. This book “Two Little Girls” is about that friendship.

I hope kids will like it but I also wrote it for adults to remember to cherish our friendships over the years. I am not an illustrator but I felt I needed to illustrate this book for Donna who always challenges me to try something new.

Two Little Girls is available in paperback and as a Kindle read. The paperback is adorable if I may say so myself. And of course, this was my first foray into publishing a picture book so please forgive any glitches you see.

two litle girls cover (2)I present Two Little Girls.

Friendship reaches across age, distance and time.
Two Little Girls is a story of a friendship between two adult women. Through their friendship, they learn to play during their volunteer activities with children. Acting out silly stories and skits the two girls found it didn’t matter the age because you are never too old to play.
When one of the girls aka women has to move they find the friendship changes because of distance but what they learned from each other and feel in their hearts lives forever.
Written by the author as a tribute to her friend, this story can be read by the very young and the very old remind us all that
“You Are Someone Special”

Paperback

Kindle

Uncategorized

Series Spotlight and Book Giveaway

Thank you MJB Teviewers for having me. Make sure you visit the blog for a chance to win.

mjbreviewers

I am so happy to be hosting a Series Spotlight and Give Away for author Julie Seedorf. Julie writes A Fuchsia Minnesota Mystery series, starring Granny, and the series is very funny, entertaining and have great mysteries to solve.

18234552Granny leads a secret life in the small, unique community of Fuschia, Minnesota. It’s not just her all junk food diet, multiplying pets, or her shocking bedtime attire that makes Granny one in a million. No, Granny is an undercover cop, charged by “the Big Guy” (the town’s police chief) of preventing theft in local stores. Granny takes her job seriously and daily foils many shoplifters using her trusty spiked umbrella and amazing acting skills. When some startlingly brazen burglaries begin to occur that Granny can’t solve, along with mysteriously appearing bad guys, disappearing clerks, and misplaced Corvettes, Granny begins to wonder if she isn’t ready for the wrinkle farm. Maybe…

View original post 1,099 more words

Guest Authors · Reading and Reviewing

Another Granny? Author Matt Ferraz

I am excited to have Author Matt Ferraz1535502_859713800773510_2150689483235988986_n-1 on my blog today. He is the author of The Convenient Cadaver. I love the name of the cozy mystery. Let’s get to know Matt and his characters a little better.

Please share a little insight as to who Matt Ferraz is?

Most of the time I’m a reader, a watcher, a listener and an observer. By doing a lot of this, I’ve become a writer. I’ve tried to write in most genres, but there was always that voice in my head telling me I was put on this Earth to write about locked room murders, eccentric detectives and unsolvable mysteries being solved.

What was the first thing you ever wrote that made you think perhaps you would like to be a writer?

When I was five years old, my mother was helping my brother with his homework, and I was disturbing them to get attention. Mum gave me a sheet of paper and a pencil and told me to do some drawings. I then wrote a story about a wizard named Merlin – because I thought every wizard was named Merlin – who wants to find a magic crown that will give him unlimited power. That was my first story, and I haven’t stopped ever since.

What tweaks your creativity?

Little things. Every time I’m in a strange situation or a place I wasn’t supposed to be, I decided to look around and take some idea out of it. For example, every day I take a bus that goes on the same road. I’ve been on that road hundreds of times, but once the bus had to stop in an unusual place, and looking out of the window, I realized there were imprints of a dog’s paw on the road pavement. At some point, while the asphalt was fresh, a dog walked over it and left those marks. I passed by it all the time, but only then I noticed those imprints. I love that kind of thing.

Tell us about your latest book.

The Convenient Cadaver is the first volume of Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, a cozy mystery series. It tells the story of an old lady – Grandma Bertha – living in a remodeled garden shed in the backyard of her son Todd. Like most old people, Grandma Bertha isn’t happy to be dismissed like she has nothing to offer. There’s just so much she still wants to do in this life! And she has the chance to prove her worth when a mysterious murder happens near the family house. Grandma Bertha decides to become a detective and solve that mystery before everyone else.

What is the favorite thing about your main character?

She’s just so easy to write! Grandma Bertha is positive, upbeat, joyful and colorful, and never stops until she sees justice done. It’s good for the soul to write about someone like that.

What are your characters most serious flaw?

Sometimes Grandma Bertha is so obsessed by her investigation she doesn’t see it’s harming the people she loves the most. And even when she sees it, she doesn’t stop. That can be hard on her family, especially her daughter-in-law. Many of my readers hate Lydia for not coping with Grandma Bertha, but she’s just trying to do what’s best for her husband and son, and if we were in her place, we might do the same.

What makes you smile?

Nice stuff happening to nice people. Playing with my dog and my kittens. Tasting something I’ve just cooked or baked and realizing it tastes good. Spending the afternoon with my grandmothers.

What makes you mad/sad?

People doing something they know it’s wrong, and preparing the apologies they know they’ll have to ask later.

Writers get discouraged at times. Have you ever been discouraged and what do you do about it?

Oh, yeah! I’m Brazilian, so I spent a lot of time writing in Portuguese. Unfortunately, even though we have a rich and wonderful literature, and millions of wonderful readers, the Brazilian publishing market is awful to new writers. The best response I’ve ever had was from a publisher who took two years to read my manuscript, and wanted fourteen-thousand reais (more than three thousand dollars) out of my pocket to publish it! By that time I was already writing in English, with much better results.

What advice would you give to new authors or those dreaming of becoming an author?

Know the business. I cannot stress this enough. Know how publishing works. Know how literary agencies work. Learn about self-publishing and traditional publishing. Spend money on books and courses about these subjects. You’re gonna thank me later.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the second Grandma Bertha book, which will be a collection of short stories. It’s been great to revisit this character. I’m also working on two other projects. One is a sci-fi book I’m co-writing with another author, and the other is a book about cinema which will be written in Portuguese. In other words, I’m pretty busy!

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

There’s an interview with my favorite film director, Pier Paolo Pasolini, where they ask him how he likes to be called professionally. Pasolini responds, in French, “Dans le passport, je écrit simplement l’écrivain.” In English: “In my passport, it just says writer”!

 

51NRXZ0az9L._SY346_The Convenient Cadaver

by Matt Ferraz

When Grandma Bertha moved to her son’s place, she brought along three dogs, several cases of beer and many, many horror film DVDs. While her daughter-in-law insists on the idea of sending Grandma Bertha to a retirement home, a dead girl appears near the house, shot three times in the back. Many years ago, Grandma Bertha let a murderer escape for not trusting in her own detective abilities. Now, armed with her wit and wisdom, she decides to solve that crime before the police. Could this crazy dog lady be a threat to a cold-blooded killer? And for how long can the family stand that situation?

About the author

Author of all trades, Matt Ferraz has written thrillers, sci-fi, cozy mysteries and a lot of witty e-mails that sadly can’t be published. With a degree in journalism and a masters in biography, Matt has works published in English, Italian and Portuguese, and loves trying out new genres.

‘Killing Dr. Watson’ was released in March 2016 by MX Publishing. The book deals with TV series fandom, and follows the misadventures of a TV geek with no social life and a Sherlock Holmes actor past his prime who team up and become the most unusual detectives in the business.

With ‘The Convenient Cadaver’, Matt is starting the ‘Grandma Bertha Solving Murders’ series, starring an old lady who loves beer, dogs, horror movies and a good murder to solve. Grandma Bertha was based on Matt’s own grandmothers and on an elderly friend, all of whom loved to be turned into a literary character.

Matt won’t stop writing, and right now he’s working on the next installment of ‘Grandma Bertha’ and on a LitRPG book, which will be out next October.

My Review

I always love a Granny and Granny Bertha is not a disappointment. She is cunning and wily and keeps her family on her toes. The cast of characters is quirky and fun and the mystery will keep you guessing. If you like to laugh and love a good mystery and of course a Granny who gets into trouble you will love this mystery.

Contact Matt at:

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

 

 

Compassion For Others · Reading and Reviewing

The Generosity of Love

13590468_10207053393155239_895574845988907892_nIt’s easy to scroll through our Facebook posts, read something and keep on going. Over the years we develop friendships with people all over the world through our social media accounts. As authors we pull together as friends and because we share a passion for writing and reading, many of us become close friends even though we have never met. We spend time talking on our cell phones when we know one of us is hurting, listening, offering a shoulder and being a friend. We spend time on Facetime and Skype getting to know one another. Lisa Kelly is one of those people. She reviews Cozy Mysteries and goes out of her way to support all authors.

Recently I read between the lines of one of her posts and felt Lisa needed some help. Reluctantly she told me her story and that is how the GoFundMe page for Rent for Lisa started. We have raised some money but have a way to go so Lisa can get back on her feet again. Please read Lisa’s story and if you can, please donate to help her get caught up and move forward in her life. We all experience times when we need a little help. Even a dollar can make a difference. I introduce Lisa Kelly reviewer extraordinaire. I asked her to write a letter because she can explain her situation better than I can. And did I mention she is fair when she gives a book review.

12108211_10153732298987792_3698585073854452187_nLetter from Lisa explaining her situation:

Many of you have seen a post from Julie Seedorf asking for help for Lisa K. and her sister with help for their rent. And she has set up a Go Fund Me account. Those of you who know me, have no doubt figured out Julie is speaking of me. My beautiful friend asked me yesterday if I was okay. After hiding it from most, once I started telling Julie, I couldn’t stop. While a few have known, to share this information on FB with people I admire, wasn’t my idea. I’m embarrassed. After working so hard all my life, my sister Tammie as well, to find ourselves in this situation feels like a nightmare. We both had jobs at 15 years old. We both worked until situations stopped us from being able to do so. At 50, and 40 years old, we find ourselves in a place in our lives we never thought we would be in.

 

I’d like to say up front, we will not become homeless. Yes, we could be asked to move from this home, but our siblings would take us in. God bless them, they have been helping where they can as well. My brother always seems to have cooked too much for them to ever finish, so Tammie and I often find ourselves bringing home several nights of dinner for ourselves. My sister takes us to dinner, or will order take out and have it sent to us. And yet another sister has been sending holiday cards (for every holiday) and enclosing a little money in each card. Tammie and I aren’t starving. Tammie had a great job, and because of being “tight fisted” with her money (I’ve always teased her about that), we were good for many months after her unemployment stopped. That money is almost gone. I receive a disability check once a month that isn’t enough to keep one person, let alone two, afloat.

 

Our landlady has been amazing. We have rented from her for about 13 years. We were friends before that, and also employees of hers at one time. But after a year of not paying rent, of course it was time for her to say something to us. Again, we won’t be homeless, but our siblings would have to make major changes to have us stay with them. And, I’m not ashamed to admit, Tammie and I have never lived apart. We’re like those two old ladies from The Waltons. We have always lived together, and we figured we always would. Moving in with siblings, we would be living apart. Hey, not the worst thing in the world by a long shot, but still a big change in a world that has thrown a lot of changes at us since 2015.

 

This is pride talking now, but I don’t want my friends, you readers, bloggers, and authors, who mean so very much to me, I don’t want you to see me differently. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I don’t want you to think less of me. I normally try not to care what people think of me, but my friends through Facebook, you are my world. My reasons for getting out of bed every day are to interact with all of you, to do the best reviews I can, to have the best blog I can, and to help all of you in any way I can. And I will always help in whatever way I can.

 

Now, according to Julie and a few other friends, one who suggested Go Fund Me several months ago (I said no. No way was I going to ask people to pay my rent.), I need to ask for help. Julie Seedorf, being the wonderful, extraordinary woman she is, took the choice from me and set up a Go Fund Me account, so my sister Tammie and I can pay our back rent. She has shared it with many, but has informed me it’s time for me myself to share the link. It can be found here . . . https://www.gofundme.com/rent-for-lisa .

 

This is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Not only will my family in the cozy mystery community now all know about this, but old family friends that I am connected with through Facebook will now know as well. I will keep my head up. I will try hard to not be ashamed that I need help, and have now asked for it.

 

Thank you for your time, and your friendship.

God bless

Love Lisa

So far we have raised $2840.00. Here is the link to the GoFundMe page. Rent For Lisa. If you can’t donate please visit Lisa’s blog and support all the authors she supports. You may find your favorite author by browsing through Lisa’s site. May I add she charges us authors nothing for promoting our books. She loves to read and loves to help others. Because she is so generous we authors want to help her.

Lisa’s Blog

Lisa’s Twitter

This is also one of the ways Social Media can have a positive effect. For more on what we can do with Social Media to have a postive effect on our lives please visit Amy Beth Arkawy’s Blog Talk Radio show where we discussed different ways to help other people. Coffee Klatch – The Social Media Editioncc1d7d54-6c4c-41df-bca9-b3a6cab2747e_callcard-square-webonly