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

Guest Authors · Reading and Reviewing

The Deadly Art of Love & Murder

Today I welcome a guest post by Author Linda Crowder. She gives us a sneak peak at her new book coming out this summer. I can hardly wait as I loved her first book in this series, The Deadly Art of Deception. Welcome, Linda.

Guest Post by Linda Crowder61ZvkdfHghL._UY200_

“If I’d known I was going to find a dead body, I would have stayed in bed.”

That’s how art gallery owner, Caribou King, starts off her second adventure, The Deadly Art of Love & Murder. Cara is mid-twenties and more comfortable in business than social situations. She leads with her heart even when it gets her into serious trouble. In the second Deadly Art novel, she’s trying to solve the maybe-murder, maybe-suicide of a kindly older woman while juggling the romantic advances of not just one, but two of Coho Bay’s eligible men. With the solution buried deeper than Alaskan permafrost, and somebody willing to kill to keep it hidden, winter isn’t the only thing that’s closing in on Cara.

Love and Murder will hit the bookstores this summer, but for now, here’s a snippet…

Arriving at the house feeling a bit like an icicle, I closed the door against the wind and stomped my feet in the entry, hoping to pound feeling back into them. It wasn’t much warmer inside and I grimaced to think how cold it must be under the house. I left my coat on and walked into the kitchen, expecting to find the keys on the counter and a note from Mrs. Nash. What I didn’t expect to find was Mrs. Nash herself, but there she was, in the living room, slumped sideways on the couch, half covered in snow. My mouth had already opened to say hello when my brain realized what I was seeing. Her skin was as white as the snow and her face was… missing. The window beside her was broken, effectively turning the room into a deep freeze.

I am not normally a screamer, but when the impact of what I was seeing hit me, I screamed. It was no damsel in distress little scream, either. Rooted to that floor in horror, I made a sound I didn’t know could come from a human being. My mother would have called it sound that would wake the dead, but it didn’t have any effect on Mrs. Nash, which was probably a blessing because I really did not need this to be the start of the zombie apocalypse. After my fit of primal screaming, I did what any self-respecting modern woman of the world would do. I got the heck out of there.

What happened next is blurry, but I might have screamed all the way from the Tilamu house to City Hall. I’m not sure but I do know I was screaming when I got there. When I burst through the door, Coho Bay’s part-time receptionist and full-time matchmaker, Tammy Atumwa, threw the stack of papers she’d been holding into the air and started howling along with me. It didn’t seem to matter that she had no idea why I was screaming. She’d never been one to let a technicality stop her. Dan running from his office, gun drawn, ready to handle whatever bomb was exploding in his lobby.

About the Author

Linda Crowder is best known for her Jake and Emma Mystery series available through 307 Publishing. Set in her adopted hometown of Casper, Wyoming, the series features a pair of accidental detectives who join forces with the local police to track down killers. Her books are a delightful blend of mystery, relationships, humor, and tears. Linda fell in love with Alaska on her first trip north in 2014. Her love of the Inside  Passage led her to place her Caribou King Mystery series, available through Cozy Cat Press, in the mythical cruise ship town of Coho Bay.

Follow Linda at www.lindajcrowder.com

Reading and Reviewing

A Book Review or A Personal Taste

Untitled DesignBook reviews are a complexity when trying to decipher if one wants to believe the reviews in researching whether to buy a book.

Recently I received a one-star review on one of my books that usually gets a four or five-star review on Amazon and Goodreads and Barnes and Noble. I read the choice review: This book must be written for 8-year-olds. They would likely get exhausted reading the same sentences over and over again. No real character development at all and Granny is boring.

I don’t have a hard time with a low star review if I feel a reviewer is fair.  I decided this review probably was fair because I chose to go further and research the person that left this little tidbit. The other books they reviewed were nothing like my cozy mystery. Most were a matter-of-fact or serious crime and mystery books. It was obvious to me that my writing style and choice of the genre were not something this reader would like. They titled the review “Don’t know why I finished this.” Frankly, I didn’t know why they did neither.

It differed from a recent five-star review: Granny is a senior citizen who still has a lot of life left in her, and she works undercover for the police, thwarting thieves. She’s a pure dee mess! How anyone could not like this book is beyond me, I’ve bought the series. I really like Granny!

If you look back through this reviewers books you will see that she enjoys the genre of cozy mysteries. So it would make sense she would like Granny.

If you are a reader or a consumer that reads the reviews so you can make a choice about a purchase then I would ask you to dig a little further. We as mystery writers are always looking for clues and you can join us in that pursuit when you read reviews.

Read more than one review and then check into the history of the reviewer. Are they leaving a review because the subject matter is just not their cup of tea and that is a reason they did or didn’t like it? Or are they leaving a review because they are fairly judging a product on its content and design or workability and not personal prejudice because of their taste?

I am not a sports fan. I would not be a good person to leave a review for a sports book no matter how well written. If I were leaving a fair review I would have to state that I am not interested in the subject and that my view was skewered by that fact.  If I felt it was poorly written but a good subject I would state that but I would also have to ask myself when I am leaving that review if I was being fair. Perhaps I wasn’t understanding the genre or the language of sports. The kind thing for me to do would be to leave no review at all because I probably could not view it with an unbiased eye.

As authors reviews can make or break us. We know we can’t always receive brilliant reviews but we ask our readers to be fair and kind. Authors have feelings too and we do follow our reviews and take into consideration constructive criticism to make our writing better for our readers. We love our readers.

I will say this about both my series of books, the Fuchsia Series and The Brilliant Series. The review in the second paragraph states there any character development in the book Because I write with the series in mind my characters develop over the series of books.

If you are patient while visiting Fuchsia you will find why Granny is the cantankerous person she is. What happened in her life and what personal hurtful experiences shaped how she acts. You will meet her family and the things that were kept hidden.

The same with Jezabelle and the characters from Brilliant Minnesota. What happened in Jezabelle’s youth that she didn’t marry the love of her life? Why is Phoebe rich and ditzy. What about her past is she hiding? Or Mr. Warbler and his secret that no one knows. All this is revealed over the series.

They are both filled with humor when addressing those subjects because in life if we don’t laugh during some of our sorrow it would take us under. My characters use humor to traverse life and the mysteries of their communities.

__________________________________________________________________

When we talk about reviews, what we are really talking about is just a market report – it’s like reading about the new Lexus. You have to know what the guy writing the review cares about to understand his take. Does he like sports cars, or does he like Bentleys?

Mike Nichols
Read more quotes at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mikenichol615423.html

 

Guest Authors · Reading and Reviewing

Guest Spot with Author Gilian Baker

I am happy to have Author Gilian Baker sharing a guest post on my Mysterious Musings Blog today. Welcome, Gillian.

 

Researching Murder is a Killer

 I can dream up all types of interesting ways to kill off a character. The tricky part is to ensure the murder method is believable. That’s when careful research comes in. But researching murder can be a killer!

While writing the debut book in the Jade Blackwell cozy mystery series, I decided early on that I wanted to spice things up by including juxtaposition between the theme and the murder method. The world in which Jade lives and works is a modern one. She’s a blogger, and the book centers on the theme of cyber-crime. So, I thought it would be fun to offset the modernity by killing off the victim with an old-fashioned, natural poison.

Deciding on the murder method is fun and fairly easy. But the question becomes whether or not the method you’ve dreamed up will meet all the criteria you’ll need for your plot to function correctly.

For example, with poison as the murder method, you need to know things like:

  • How long does it take the poison to act?
  • What symptoms does it cause?
  • How much of it is needed to kill a person?
  • Does it have a taste or smell that will make the victim suspicious?
  • How easy is it to get? Where can you get it?

With hemlock, my chosen poison for the victim in Blogging is Murder, I had to research:

  • Does it grow wild in Wyoming? (The setting of the series)
  • Where does it grow wild? How widely available it is?
  • Which parts of the plant are poisonous?
  • Do homeopathic herbalists still use it to treat illnesses? Which ones?
  • What symptoms does it present?
  • Is it still poisonous when dried?
  • What time of the year does it grow in Wyoming?
  • Is it frost-hardy?

Before I started writing the story, I researched some of the questions above. I needed to know right away if hemlock even grew in Wyoming. It didn’t matter what kind it was—there are lots of different varieties of the plant. I just needed it to be readily available in South-Eastern Wyoming.

As I got further into writing the book though, I came up with other ideas for the plot that were dependent on aspects of the poison. Back I went to research the plant further. Some of my ideas I got to keep. Others, sadly, I had to delete. If I wanted to keep hemlock as the murder method, I had to make its properties plausible in the story.

One of my ideas for the final chapters was to add in a freak snowstorm to build tension. I’d already started typing the scene when it dawned on me—I didn’t know how frost-hardy hemlock was. Even though I knew that Wyoming often gets snow during the spring, would all the wild hemlock be killed in such a storm? Could the killer use dried hemlock instead? And where in the heck would they get such a thing?

These questions led me to another realization. I’d written a couple of chapters that included light frosts overnight. Jade’s spring bulbs had already come up so she’d been diligently checking them to make sure they’d survived. But wait! If hemlock isn’t frost-hardy, it wouldn’t even survive the light freeze I’d already written into the story.

See how researching murder can be a killer? Sometimes it takes an author back to the drawing board. The research process never really ends. In this case, I had to go back and change the entire setting to a later time in spring to avoid overnight frosts. That meant rewriting those scenes where Jade worries about her spring bulbs.

Even though researching murder can be frustrating and can kill off great ideas, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cozy mysteries are all about giving the reader a puzzle to figure out. Murder methods give cozy mystery writers puzzles too.

 

 

Gilian Baker is a former English professor who’s gone on to forge a life outside of academia by adding blogger, ghostwriter and author to her C.V. She currently uses her geeky superpowers only for good to entertain murder mystery readers the world over. When she’s not plotting murder for her Jade Blackwell cozy mystery series, you can find her puttering in her vegetable garden, knitting in front of the fire, snuggling with her husband watching British TV or discussing literary theory with her daughter.

Gilian lives in Columbus, Ohio with her family and their three pampered felines. In her next life, she fervently hopes to come back as a cat, though she understands that would be going down the karmic ladder.

Get the first chapter of Blogging is Murder for free! http://gilianbaker.com/blogging-murder-first-chapter/

 

You can find Gillian at:

Thank you for joining us Gilian. Please visit her other media sites and learn more about this author.
Guest Authors · Reading and Reviewing

Meet Author Mary Koppel

I would like to welcome Author Mary Koppel to my Mysterious Musings Blog. Mary is new with Cozy Cat Press with her new book Volunteer To Die. Let’s welcome Mary and find out some interesting facts about her. Welcome, Mary.

Please share a little insight as to who Mary Koppel is?

Mary E. Koppel is an Episcopal priest, mommy, and a lover of travel, reading, and adventure. I really enjoy meeting people and listening to their stories. I also love to make people laugh because I love laughing.

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

When I was in high school, in my senior year, I wrote an essay for a poetry project in Dr. Hood’s English class. I had worked really hard on the project, but I felt pretty good about what I had written. Dr. Hood actually read it to the class. I think that was the turning point for me. I realized that if I put the effort in, I could write. It would take a few more years for me to put into practice what I learned and start writing regularly and then put myself out there.

What tweaks your creativity?

My creativity is tweaked by sunny days and flowers. When I read a really good book or watch a great movie, I am inspired to create.

Tell us about your latest book.

In my latest mystery, Denise Reed is an unemployed youth minister with too much time on her hands and driving her mother crazy in New Orleans. Her confidence is shot and she needs a push to get out of this unemployment funk. Through a chance encounter at Riverview, a luxury retirement home, she stumbles across the mysterious death of an aide at Riverview and a rash of small thefts there.

With a little help from a new friend, she takes a job at Riverview, embarks on her investigation and slowly regains her confidence.

What is the favorite thing about your main character?

I love Denise. My favorite thing about her is that sees so much humor around her. She is smart and kind. She wishes she was a Victoria Secret model, but who wants to eat that much celery?

What is your characters most serious flaw?

Denise doubts her skills, and yet she has so much to offer. I foresee her building up her confidence as the series continues.

What makes you smile?

My daughter makes me smile. She is at a glorious age, filled with really cute observations and cuddles.

What makes you mad/sad?

I feel mad/sad when I witness people being mistreated. I wonder why it is difficult for humans to be decent with each other.

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

I have been discouraged about my writing. In fact, for many years I was discouraged and did not write much more than in my journal. I learned the best thing one can do to work through discouragement with writing is to continue writing. Not every bit of writing is good, but writing builds upon writing.

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

I think that those dreaming of becoming an author and new authors should read, read, read and write, write, write. I wrote regularly in my journal. I also wrote for about 4 years on a blog with a friend before I had the confidence to write a book.

What are you working on now?

I have just started the second Denise Reed Mystery and I am also writing a novel of romantic suspense. This summer should be a lot of fun.

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

Gosh, I feel like you have asked me such wonderful questions. Thank you!

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

My favorite author’s quotation is from Maya Angelou’s “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.” The quotation is: “Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift.”

Volunteer to Die: A Denise Reed Mystery

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Denise Reed is over-educated, unemployed, and about to drive her mother crazy. Denise (and her daughter Emily) has been hiding out at her mother’s home in New Orleans, pretending to job hunt while feeling sorry for herself. One Tuesday she volunteers with her mother at the exclusive independent living facility, Riverview. At Riverview, Denise meets Louise Butler and learns about the mysterious death of an aide, Tina Moore and a rash of small thefts.

Only a few weeks before, the young aide reported a theft at Riverview and within 24 hours she was dead. Was it an accident? Or something more? Is someone really stealing at Riverview? With encouragement from Louise, Denise takes a job at Riverview and begins to investigate the thefts and Tina’s accident. Before she knows it, Denise is Tai Chi-ing her way out of her unemployment funk, crushing on a Jason Statham look-alike named Jason, and avoiding a pimple-faced thug. Will she be able to sort out who she can trust? Or will she end up like Tina Moore?

My Review

This is a great start for a new author. What better place to find mystery than in a nursing home? The main character is likable and believable. Didn’t we all drive our mother’s crazy at one time or another? When Denise teams up with one of the residents to solve the crime, look for anything to happen. I look forward to his author’s next book.

You can find Mary at:

Her blog

Twitter

Make sure you take the time to comment and I will give away an e-copy of her book later this week.

Thank you Mary for visiting us.

 

Reading and Reviewing

Gemini Moon by Maria Grazia Swan

I recently read Gemini Moon by Maria Grazia Swan. 21DQs2DGTpL._UX250_This is the second book I have read by this author and she didn’t disappoint me. Who doesn’t love an Italian? We writers occasionally, or more than occasionally, get our ideas from real events in our life or things that pass by us in the news. This book is no exception.

I gave it five stars. It kept me reading late into the night because it had so many twists and turns I was intrigued. I thought I had it figured out and then bam, it had a surprise. I was suspicious of everyone, even the handsome detective. Was I right to be suspicious? Recently, someone, I thought I knew in my own life threw all their friends for a loop. This book also kept me suspicious of the main characters friends. Did she really know them? And don’t we always worry about our children no matter how old? Lella York is no different. An Italian in Southern California with a missing friend, a handsome detective and a secretive son. What more could you ask for?

Gemini Moon

51RKtB5pQfLWhen her eyes were finally opened to the truth, she couldn’t recognize her own life…
Italian-born Lella York is trying to figure out who she is. Her husband has died. Her son is grown and gone to chase fame and fortune in the movie business. And now, her best friend is missing. Upon returning to Southern California, Lella is shocked to learn the mysterious circumstances of Ruby’s disappearance as well as the death of Ruby’s husband. And Lella’s son is the prime suspect. It doesn’t help that he is driving around in the dead man’s Ferrari.
Caught in the middle of it all, Lella stumbles across the perfect topper–namely, a sexy police detective who keeps secrets from her while he’s setting her pants on fire. Nothing like a little romance to distract a girl while she’s trying to locate a missing person, solve a possible homicide, get her son out of jail and stay two steps ahead of the firing line.

Visit Maria Grazia Swan on her website: Maria Grazia Swan

Guest Authors

Meet Author Al Boyer

I am very happy to have Author, Al Boyer on my blog today. His new series came out this year with his first book Death at the Presidents Church. Let’s get acquainted with Al Boyer.

Author Interview Allen Boyer

Please share a little insight as to who Allen Boyer is?

I’m a father of three children, which makes it a bit of a challenge to find time to write.  However, I am blessed to work with two different publishers as a writer, so I’ve been very fortunate with my books.  My current publisher is Cozy Cat Press.

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

In college, I had a short story published in a national magazine.  I was the only student in our English Department to get published at that level.  I think that’s when I realized I was pretty good at writing.

What tweaks your creativity?

Instrumental music helps with the writing process.  I can listen to the same piece for days if it helps me write some pages.  Also, people watching helps me to formulate some ideas for characters when I’m working on a book.

Tell us about your latest book.

Death at the Presidents Church just came out earlier this year.  I wanted to start a new mystery series since I’ve been working on another cozy mystery series for the last few years.  This book follows two sisters in Washington D.C.  They are long time socialites who have lived in the city for more than seventy years.  They are well connected and have met congressmen, senators and even presidents over the years.  So I thought it would be interesting to take these two ladies and give them a reason to get caught up in the death of a homeless person near their church.  It is through their social connections that their investigation leads them to some surprising discoveries about the victim and his connection to one of Washington’s most influential families.

What is the favorite thing about your main character?

What I like about Charlotte Dupree is that she is based on a good friend of mine who passed away many years ago.  She was also named Charlotte and even though she looked like a sweet grandmother, she had worked in the House of Representatives.  She was tough as nails and wouldn’t mince words on her political views.  I thought it was an interesting combination of looking grandmotherly but being tenacious and being a Washington insider.  The Dupree sisters would be the first to say they aren’t the smartest, but they know how to find information and they never give up when they want to find the truth.

What is your characters most serious flaw?

Charlotte and Ruth have a soft spot in their hearts for Mezzo, a cat that they’ve spoiled rotten.  I’m afraid they would let that cat do almost anything.

Is this a series and if you have another series how is this one different?

This is the first book in the Dupree Sisters Mystery Series.  I’m writing the second book at the moment and I’m afraid to say that poor Mezzo will get some competition from another cat that the sisters will take in.

While this series takes place in the nation’s capital, my other series I’ve been working on takes place at a retirement home in rural Pennsylvania.  The series is called the Bess Bullock Retirement Home Series and it has sold very well.  There are five books in the series.  I would best describe Bess Bullock as a sweeter version of Miss Marple in how they both use their powers of observation on the people around them.

What makes you smile?

My youngest son has some interesting thoughts that make me smile.  He’s in third grade so he has an interesting way of looking at life…that sometimes makes me laugh.  If you’ve ever hung around nine-year-olds, you know how they are.

What makes you mad/sad?

Losing my mom a couple years ago was probably the hardest thing.  She was a painter, so I credit her for my “creativity” genes.

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

I’ve been lucky to never have writer’s block.  I really subscribe to the idea of writing down the bones of the story.  That first drafts won’t be perfect.  Just get it down, warts and all.  I know some writers want everything to be perfect the first time they write a story, but perfection can lead to writer’s block, in my opinion.

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

Writing is subjective.  What will work for you might not work for someone else.  For example, some writers like to outline every detail of a story and stick to it.  Other writers will let the story take on a life of its own and lead them to an ending they didn’t plan.  Everyone is different as a writer, so just use an approach that works for you.

What are you working on now?

Book 2 in the Dupree Sisters, which I’m hoping will be done late this year.  Also, outlining another Bess Bullock story.

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

I was reading a review about one of my Bess Bullock novels.  One reviewer was looking for more humor in this particular book and then went on to cite your Fuchsia Minnesota Mystery Series as a better choice.  That made me laugh.  Small world.

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

James Joyce is my favorite writer.  The way he uses language inspires me.  A quote he gave that I think is a good road map for developing characters is:  “Mistakes are the portal of discovery.” That really is true for my fictional characters.

More about Al

Death at the Presidents Church

They have met many presidents. They are politically well connected. They were born and raised in the social circles of Washington D.C. So why have Charlotte and Ruth Dupree taken such an interest in the death of a homeless man? Drawing from their experiences with former presidents, along with their usual charm, the Dupree Sisters find themselves navigating through a labyrinth of Washington luncheons, social events, and gossip to uncover the facts behind a death that most people would overlook. Join the Dupree Sisters as they use their persistence and good manners to learn the truth behind The Death at Presidents Church.

 

 

 

You can find Al at Alan Boyer, An Author’s Blog

Make sure take the time to comment to win a Kindle copy of Death At The Presidents Church. And while you are at it follow this blog and sign up for my newsletter. Have a beautiful day.

Guest Authors

Meet Author Abby Vandiver

 

I am excited to spotlight Author Abby Vandiver on my new blog today. I am in the midst of reading Bed and Breakfast Bedlam, book one in the Logan Dickerson mysteries, and I am loving it. I will be purchasing the rest. I love funny, quirky characters and Abby’s characters remind me of Granny and Jezabelle in my series of books. Abby is a cozy writer and I would highly recommend her books. What makes her visit exciting is that she is introducing her sixth installment of this series, South Seas Shenanigans. I have to read fast to catch up. Welcome, Abby.

 

Author Abby Vandiver

 

It’s the sixth installment of an Amazon #1 Best Selling cozy mystery series by Author Abby Vandiver! South Seas Shenanigans continues the adventures of amateur sleuths, Logan Dickerson, archaeologist, and Vivienne Pennywell, aka, Miss Vivee – a five-foot-nothing, ninety-something Voodoo herbalist. 

Fans of this series have enjoyed the unusual, rarely heard causes of death that only Miss Vivee and her new husband can recognize, and this one doesn’t disappoint! Sail away on a Fijian paradise vacation with Logan, Miss Vivee and Mac as they suffer the shenanigans of a prankster, dance the Meke, and solve an untimely death. Oh, wait! Did I say “a” death? Make that two! Can you guess whodunit?

Additionally, Abby is offering a boxed set of the first three books in the series. Both South Seas Shenanigans and the Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Boxed Set are set to be released March 29, 2017. Meanwhile, Abby had only planned to write one more book in the series, but in listening to her fans, she has decided to continue writing the series a little longer. Check out her website for more information.

Cozy Mystery Boxed Set

 

 A little more about the Author:

Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She’d always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.

Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, Book I in the Mars Origin “I” Series was an Amazon #1 bestseller. It was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She’s penned a slew of novels since then and has even more in her head. Although she writes mostly mystery, she’s written a historical/women’s fiction novel. It was co-written with author and friend, Kathryn Dionne under the pen name Kathryn Longino. Currently, she is working on her first cozy mystery series. There will be at least five in the series, three, Bed & Breakfast Bedlam, Coastal Cottage Calamity, and Maya Mound Mayhem have already been published and are Amazon international bestsellers.

Abby, a former lawyer, and college professor, has a bachelor’s degree in Economics, a master’s in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her wonderful grandchildren.