Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

The Tainted Course by Diane Weiner

Author Diane Weiner’s new release The Tainted Course is a winner in my book. The Tainted Course is the fourth in her Sugarbury Falls Series. I thank Diane for guesting on my blog with a post on the ins and outs of writing another book in an already popular series. Welcome, Diane.

From Diane

From devouring soap operas with my grandmother to reading Nancy Drew mysteries, I’ve always loved a good series. The characters and settings become old friends and unlike in a standalone or a movie, the characters have time to grow and change over a period of time while we become more and more attached to them. A series is attractive because we are in it for the long haul.

In my ten-book Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mysteries series, retired teacher Susan Wiles solves murders which occur in and around school settings. Just how many mysteries can Susan solve without the books getting boring? What about Emily and Henry Fox in my Sugarbury Falls series? Semi-retired and living in a small town in Vermont, they’ve already seen a lot of action. How does an author keep a series fresh, both for herself as a writer, and for her readers?

            We learn by exposure to different people, ideas, and locals. So do my main characters. What happens when you think your newly found half-brother is a killer, or you’re stuck with your recently discovered mother on house arrest in your home? How do you react when you’ve lived a peaceful life for half a century and suddenly must deal with a moody, eye-rolling teenager? What if your child is in danger? Do you remain meek and quiet if that’s been your way, of does the situation bring out a wild cougar you never knew existed?

In Murder is Medical, the latest in the Schoolhouse Mysteries, Susan teams up with a new friend. We hadn’t seen her working with someone her own age with the same intelligence, curiosity, and gumption as she has. How does she adapt and what does she learn from the experience? By observing the actions and quirks of her new friend, what does she realize about herself?

            Changing locales is another way to keep a series fresh. In Murder is Private, Susan and her daughter travel to Florida and help solve a murder while visiting newly discovered family members. Susan and Mike travel to Atlanta to solve a crime linked to a mysterious letter they receive in Murder is Legal, and to St. Louis in Murder is Medical. New places bring new people and situations into the mix. I’m planning on writing about a destination wedding in an upcoming book.

            Health problems can also keep a series fresh. What does Susan do when Mike has a heart attack and she fears losing him? What about keeping her own diabetes in check? She struggles with weight all through the series, having, like most of us, her ups and downs with it. Emily faces a possible cancer diagnosis. How does she react, especially now that she has a child and that child has already lost a mother recently?

Characters, like all of use, have personal demons, doubts, shortcoming, and self-inflicted obstacles. Over the course of a series, we can empathize with a character facing many of the challenges that we do. Our interactions with others, new experiences, and the challenge of overcoming vulnerabilities is a catalyst for growth both for the reader and the for the protagonist.

My Review:

Emily and Henry are back and there is a new resident in Sugarbury Falls. She brings with her an entire set of problems that disrupt the lives of the community. It is no secret that this series is my favorite series of Diane’s. My previous reviews have stated that.

This is a cozy series but this book touches on a few serious subjects that are prevalent in our society today. I give kudos to bringing this up in her cozy mystery and Sugarbury Falls. As much as we want our books to take us away from the world and give us that cozy feel, adding a little of the real world is not necessarily a bad thing because small communities are not immune to the world’s problems and the way small towns come together in times of crisis is refreshing. I give this book five stars.

The Tainted Course

In a town known for covered bridges, craft fairs, and a cat cafe, murder just doesn’t fit. When newcomer Faith Maguire is murdered, sleuthing couple Henry and Emily Fox are compelled to find the killer and restore equilibrium to their beloved hometown. After all, their daughter is friends with the victim’s daughter, and the body was discovered after a dinner at their good friend Coralee’s inn. Is the owner of the new bed and breakfast in town responsible? Emily uncovers disturbing evidence that shows she’s capable of such a deed. Meanwhile, an elusive motorcyclist throws warning messages through the Fox’s cabin, the handyman from the inn makes secret treks after dinner, and Faith’s ex-husband, denied custody of his girls’ thanks to his wife’s accusations, has been less than truthful since coming to town. Will teamwork bring the killer to justice before it’s too late?

About Diane:

Diane Weiner is a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. She has enjoyed reading for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of reading Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York and yearned to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to her readers. Being an animal lover, she is a vegetarian and shares her home with two adorable cats. In her free time, she enjoys running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with her family (especially going to the mall with her daughter and getting Dairy Queen afterward). Murder is Medical is the latest (book 10) in the Susan Wiles School House Mystery series. Clearing the Course (book 3) is the latest in her Sugarbury Falls series. A Deadly Course won an Eric Hoffer finalist award. Murder is Collegiate made the shortlist for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem Mystery Award. Follow her at dianeweinerauthor.com or visit her Facebook page at dianeweinerauthor.

Thank you for being here Diane. I hope you visit her links and enthrall yourself with her mysteries.

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

What is a Blog Tour?

I am a lucky writer. There are many people who help me promote my writing and Lori Caswell who hosts the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours is one of them. This past week my blog tour for Granny Bricks A Bandit kicked off.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Blog Tours when it comes to books, I will give a short version of what happens.

Many travelers, when they go on a vacation book their vacation with a travel agency. The travel agency books their stops and sets up their itinerary. All the travelers have to do is hop on the bus or plane and enjoy their vacation. Blog Tours are like that.

Lori Caswell and her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours arrange our stop on book blogs. Mine is a14 stop tour. As an author, we get instructions from each blog on what they need from us. It may be an interview or they may review our book or we may do an actual guest blog. It is all arranged by Lori. We send everything to her and she gets it where it needs to go. We authors are forever in her debt. She does an outstanding job of promoting us. Thank you, Lori.

Here is the list of my stops. Feel free to visit the ones you have missed. There is something different on each stop. You might even hear from Granny. Make sure you visit Lori’s site too to find out about other cozy authors and their new releases and books. Also along the way, there may be prizes It is lots of fun for all of us.

Enjoy.

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

June 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews  – REVIEW

June 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 14 – Teresa Watson’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW  

June 15 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 16 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

June 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 18 – The Cozy Pages – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 19 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

June 19 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

June 20 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

June 21 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

June 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

June 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST

June 24 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 25 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

Tour Page Here: https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/upcoming-great-escapes-book-tours/granny-bricks-a-bandit-fuchsia-minnesota-series-by-julie-seedorf/

If you like the series here is the link for all the books.

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Straight River by Chris Norbury

It was a treat to read Chris Norbury’s novel Straight River. It is a mystery that holds your attention as the plot unfolds throughout the book.

Matt Lanier comes home after his father is found dead in a farming accident. Things hadn’t been good with their relationship and Matt feels guilt that perhaps his father’s death could have prevented had he listened to the message from his father and returned his call.

It is easy as a reader to identify with Matt as he ponders the fate of his father and sorts out his feelings about being back home and getting reacquainted with old friends. Many of us find ourselves in the same situation. Mr. Norbury’s interpretation of his character put us into Matt’s head and lets us feel his emotions. Does his past interfere with the conspiracy theory he thinks surrounds his father’s death?

I can’t wait to read his next novel in the series titled Castle Danger. Straight River is well written and an exciting read. Chris Norbury is up there with the best of the best with his writing. He deserves accolades and recognition for his skillful plot twists. This is definitely five stars in my mind.

STRAIGHT RIVER

After his estranged father dies in a farming accident, professional musician Matt Lanier returns to his hometown of Straight River, Minnesota. While he’s settling the estate, an old friend and neighbor asks him for help. Her husband’s recent death was ruled a suicide. She insists it was not. Ownership of her farm hangs in the balance.

The local police are uncooperative, so Matt turns to his ex-wife and a young computer prodigy for assistance. As new information surfaces, Matt suspects the two deaths are connected to a violent conspiracy with national implications. His dilemma: Should he risk his life to protect his friend and hundreds of other farmers from ruin?

A1T-pMjGytL._US230_About the Author

Chris Norbury is the award-winning author of the suspense-thriller Castle Danger. His new novel, Straight River, is the prequel to Castle Danger and the first book of a planned trilogy. The stories feature Matt Lanier, a southern Minnesota farm-kid-turned-professional-musician whose middle-class world is turned upside down by a conspiracy of powerful, ambitious, violent men.

Chris grew up in the Twin Cities and earned a B.S. in Music Education at the University of Minnesota. His essays on wilderness canoeing have been published in the Boundary Waters Journal. A volunteer Big Brother since 2000, Chris donates a portion of all book sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota. During the golf season in Minnesota, he works on perfecting his golf game. It’s an impossible dream but also a good excuse to get out of the office. He lives in Owatonna, MN with his wife and golf clubs.

Chris is a member of both the Twin Cities and national chapters of Sisters in Crime. He also belongs to the Alliance of Independent Authors(ALLi), and Support for Indie Authors (SIA). Chris is an advocate of independent bookstores and actively promotes the websiteindiebound.org

Thank you Chris for letting me use the biography from your website and good luck on your future endeavors. you can find Chris at his at:

website Christ Norbury

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Death By Chocolate by Sally Berneathy

Sally Berneathy was a new author for me. Death By Chocolate was the first book I read by this author. At the same time I bought this book another friend of mine, Twin City Sinc President and Member, Timya Owen posted about it on her Facebook page. I knew I was on to something because Timya reads only the best.

I love this author’s writing style and the book. It drew me right into the story, was a little quirky and had characters I could relate to. It was a refreshing fun mystery that is well written and keeps you wanting more. And more I will get because this author is now on my list of favorites. I will let the blurb on the book explain the mystery but take my word for it, if you are a cozy fan you will want to pick up a book by Sally Berneathy. Just because she is new to me doesn’t mean you might not already be reading her books because she is a USA Today Bestseller, I am happy I found her.

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Chocolate-Sally-Berneathy-ebook/dp/B004LX0FYS

Death By Chocolate

Lindsay loves chocolate. It tastes good, it makes her feel good, it never cheats on her like her almost-ex-husband. It’s her best friend. But someone wants her dead and uses her weak spot—chocolate—to try to murder her. 

Lindsay’s only secret is the recipe for her chocolate chip cookies, but she is surrounded by neighbors with deadly secrets. Suddenly she finds herself battling poisoned chocolate, a psycho stalker, and a dead man who seems awfully active for a corpse. 

Her best friend and co-worker, Paula, dyes her blond hair brown, hides from everybody and insists on always having an emergency exit from any room. Secrets from Paula’s past have come back to put lives in jeopardy.

Determined to help Paula, Lindsay enlists the reluctant aid of another neighbor, Fred, an OCD computer nerd. In spite of his mundane existence, Fred possesses tidbits of knowledge about such things as hidden microphones, guns, the inside of maximum security prisons and how to take someone down with a well-aimed kick to his chin. 

As Lindsay battles the elusive stalker, poisoned chocolate, and the dead man, she will need more than a chocolate fix to survive. But that’s always a good start.

About the Author which I took from her Amazon page. I hope she doesn’t mind.

I grew up in a small rural town in Oklahoma where our favorite entertainment on summer evenings was to sit outside under the stars and tell stories. When I went to bed at night, instead of a lullaby, I got a story. That could be due to the fact that everybody in my family has a singing voice like a bullfrog with laryngitis, but they sure could tell stories–ghost stories, funny stories, happy stories, scary stories. 

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a storyteller. Thank goodness for computers so I can write down my stories. It’s hard to make listeners sit still for the length of a book! Like my family’s tales, my stories are funny, scary, dramatic, romantic, paranormal, magic. 

Besides writing, my interests are reading, eating chocolate and riding my Harley. 

Currently I have written six Death by Chocolate mysteries: Death by Chocolate; Murder, Lies and Chocolate; The Great Chocolate Scam; Chocolate Mousse Attack; Fatal Chocolate Obsession; and Deadly Chocolate Addiction as well as four Charley’s Ghost mysteries: The Ex Who Wouldn’t Die; The Ex Who Glowed in the Dark; The Ex Who Conned a Psychic; and The Ex Who Saw a Ghost. More in each series will be released as soon as I can copy them from my brain to the computer! 

I have sold fifteen romance novels ranging from comedy to dark suspense under the names Sally Carleen, Sally Steward and Sara Garrett. For these novels, I won several awards including National Readers’ Choice, Romantic Times Best Silhouette Romance and two Rita finalist slots. Most of the Silhouettes are available as e-books, and I have e-pubbed six of the out-of-print single titles. 

Contact information is available on my website. I love to talk to readers! Okay, I just plain love to talk! 
http://www.sallyberneathy.com

Posted in Book Reviews

Murder Is Medical by Diane Weiner

It is a pleasure to leave a review for Murder is Medical the 10th book in the Susan Wiles Cozy Mystery Series. I feel this series keeps getting better and better. I have always liked this series but
if I am going, to be honest, at the beginning of the series, I wasn’t sure about the main character, Susan. She was a nosy snoop and I didn’t always like her. Now I realize that the author was very smart in the way she developed this character and also her supporting characters.

Susan has grown over the life of the series and is now one of my favorite characters. Is she perfect–absolutely not–but that is what makes her real and makes her a good mom and most of all a good sleuth.

In Murder is Medical Susan and her husband are in St. Louis, MO for a Match Day celebration to find where their son will go to Medical School. I could relate to Susan’s feelings when it comes to her children and wanting them closer to home. Her husband suffers a medical emergency and while he is hospitalized Susan gets herself involved in a murder mystery.

I felt the author articulated the concern we all feel when someone we love is ill so it was very relatable. Another addition to this book was a new friend that she meets who helps her solve this crime. The addition of a friendship forming was also something I could relate to because we all meet friends in the strangest places.

The plot was easy to follow, hard to guess, which you want in a mystery, and pure joy to read.

I would give this book five stars and I would recommend you read the entire series. You won’t be sorry if you like Cozy Mysteries.

MURDER IS MEDICAL

When Susan and Mike travel to St. Louis to find out where Evan will be doing his residency, the Match Day celebration takes a deadly turn. The dean of the medical school dies at the reception. Was it a heart attack or was it murder? Kept in St. Louis due to a personal crisis, Susan teams up with the mother of the detective assigned to the case. It’s double trouble as the duo uncovers secrets worthy of murder. Meanwhile, Susan confronts her biggest fear–losing someone close to her heart. Set in the biggest small town in the country, Murder is Medical takes you through a whirlwind of suspects and emotions as the mystery is unraveled.

About the Author:

Diane Weiner is a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. She has enjoyed reading for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of reading Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York and yearned to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to her readers. Being an animal lover, she is a vegetarian and shares her home with two adorable cats. In her free time, she enjoys running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with her family (especially going to the mall with her daughter and getting Dairy Queen afterward). Soon to be released, Murder is Medical is the latest (book 10) in the Susan Wiles School House Mystery series. Clearing the Course (book 3) is the latest in her Sugarbury Falls series. A Deadly Course won an Eric Hoffer finalist award. Murder is Collegiate made the shortlist for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem Mystery Award. Follow her at dianeweinerauthor.com or visit her Facebook page at dianeweinerauthor.

You can find Diane at:

Website

Posted in Book Reviews

Shout From A Rooftop by Bart Gilbertson

I became aware of Author, Bart Gilbertson and his books a few years ago when he joined the publishing company that publishes my Fuchsia, Minnesota Cozy Mystery Series. His first book was Deathbed and Breakfast. I loved the book and he quickly became a friend. Bart took a few years off for some personal business and now he is back. Not only did he author the first chapter in the new group mystery, Wheel of Death by Cozy Cat Press,  but his new short story will get your attention.

Shout From A Rooftop is based on a true story and takes place in Corpus Christi, Texas. Who knew a girl’s slumber party could turn into a mystery that will keep the community on edge and a reader turning the pages in anticipation of the next words or twist and turn in the story?  Bart’s writing has only gotten better. You will want to read this short story and his book, Deathbed and Breakfast. I look forward to the next book in his journey as an author. Five stars and that is not because he is my friend but because he has earned it.

Shout From A Rooftop

In 1961, the only thing that might save your life is a Shout From A Rooftop.
Based on a true story.

Late one night in Corpus Christi, Texas, a teenage girl pajama party is crashed by an uninvited guest – a man with white hair and pink eyes. What began as a night of fun, games and music turned into a nightmare that none of them would ever be able to forget. You won’t believe what your eyes are reading as a crazed maniac pursues them to all ends … even if it means going all the way to the top of the roof.

This is his best work yet!” – Jean Hendry, Reviewer
At times I even felt like I was the one in danger.” – Billie Jenrette, Reviewer
I couldn’t put it down. It was captivating!” – Emillie Leaver, Reviewer

Bart Gilbertson

Taken from Bart’s Author page on Amazon.

WELCOME and thank you for stopping by my Author Page. So, who am I? Well, I guess I’m just your average person pursuing his dream. I love a good fiction novel. A mystery, epic fantasy, adventure, or comedy…I love it all. With my own writing, I want to put a good quality story on the shelf…something that I would like to read. Something I think that you’d like to read.

Things I like (but am not restricted to): Positive, upbeat people. Smiles. A hot cup of coffee. Flannel shirts. Sports (mainly football and basketball). Music … love music.

I live in Nebraska, am the father of two and now the grandfather of two. Amazing how the time flies…

If you like my stories, please remember to leave a review.

Visit Bart at his Website

Facebook Page

Posted in Book Reviews

Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby

I bought this book when I saw it advertised on one of the books sites I belong to. The cover caught my eye along with the title. I read the synopsis and thought perhaps it might be a good read but I was wrong. It was a great read! I loved…loved…loved this book!

Perhaps the reason I like it so much was because I am in the same season of life as the women in this book. Sina, Ateca, Ingrid, Maya, Lisbeth and Kat have all had different experiences. Sina, Ingrid, Maya, LIsbeth and Kat were friends in their youth. They drifted apart over the years but Kat brings them all together on a tropical island to perhaps live out their days or discover new things about themselves.

I could resonate with many of their feelings. I felt the yearning for a simplicity in their later years. And the regrets. We all have regrets. We all have ideas in our mind of what was only to find out our perceptions in our youth might have been skewed.

Journey with these women. You will laugh, cry and be invested in their lives by the end of the book. This was an unexpected treat of a read. I highly recommend it. I would give it more than five stars but reading is a journey each person experiences in different ways.

Pieces of Happiness

A novel of five lifelong friends who, in their sixties, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where they not only start a chocolate business but strengthen their friendships and rediscover themselves.

“I’ve planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset. Why don’t you join me? Leave behind everything that didn’t work out!”

When Sina, Maya, Ingrid, and Lisbeth each receive a letter in the mail posing the same question, the answer is obvious. Their old high school friend Kat—Kat the adventurer, Kat who spread her wings and took off as soon as they graduated—has extended the invitation of a lifetime: Come live with me on my cocoa farm in Fiji. Come spend the days eating chocolate and gabbing like teenagers once again, free from men, worries, and cold. Come grow old in paradise, together, as sisters. Who could say no?
     Now in their sixties, the friends have all but resigned themselves to the cards they’ve been dealt. There’s Sina, a single mom with financial woes; gentle Maya who feels the world slipping away from her; Ingrid, the perennial loner; Lisbeth, a woman with a seemingly picture-perfect life; and then Kat, who is recently widowed. As they adjust to their new lives together, the friends are watched over by Ateca, Kat’s longtime housekeeper, who oftentimes knows the women better than they know themselves and recognizes them for what they are: like “a necklace made of shells: from the same beach but all of them different.” Surrounded by an azure-blue ocean, cocoa trees, and a local culture that is fascinatingly, joyfully alien, the friends find a new purpose in starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness.
     A story of love, hope, and chocolate, PIECES OF HAPPINESS will reaffirm your faith in friendship, second chances, and the importance of indulging one’s sweet tooth

About the Author


Anne Ostby is a Norwegian author, b. 1958. She has eleven published books for adults, YA, and children. Her latest novel, Pieces of Happiness, is sold to eleven different countries, and will be out in English in June (Doubleday Books).
Anne Ostby has spent the last 27 years as a global nomad, living in nine different countries. Her novels frequently discuss questions of identity in an international setting, and depict women’s lives in various cultures. She currently lives in East Timor.

You can find her books on Amazon

Website

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Clearing the Course by Diane Weiner

It is no secret that I like Diane Weiner’s Sugarbury Falls series. It is my favorite of her two series. I have been remiss in posting this review. I finished the book as soon as it B1DEGTNeYKS._UY200_came out because of course, I wanted to be one of the first to review and then life got in the way. I want to apologize for this being so late.

I have grown to love the main characters in this series, Emily, Henry, and Maddy. They are likable and I think the adoption story resonates with many. Not only is this mystery set in the idyllic cozy town but it weaves a tale of a family secret buried which endangers the lives of the entire Fox family.

If I can’t connect with the characters in a mystery and I don’t begin to care about them as any series progresses then I lose interest. A reader will not lose interest in this series. If you haven’t read the first two books, A Deadly Course and Murder of Course then I urge you to buy the set. You won’t be disappointed. I have Clearing The Course five stars.

CLEARING THE COURSE

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The Fox family returns from Scotland to find Sugarbury Falls mourning the mysterious death of a young college student. When teenager Maddy’s friend Robby is accused of the murder, Emily and Henry try to clear his name. After all, they’d do anything to help their newly adopted daughter. The more they investigate, however, the less certain they are of Robby’s innocence. With a detour leading to a long-buried family secret, the path of the investigation is convoluted and dangerous. Can they clear the course and arrive at the truth, or is it too late?

 

ABOUT Diane Weiner

Diane Weiner is a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. She has enjoyed reading for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of reading Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York and yearned to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to her readers. Being an animal lover, she is a vegetarian and shares her home with two adorable cats. In her free time, she enjoys running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with her family (especially going to the mall with her teenage daughter and getting Dairy Queen afterward). Murder is Homework is the latest (book 9) in the Susan Wiles School House Mystery series and Clearing the Course (book 3) is the latest in her Sugarbury Falls series. A Deadly Course won an Eric Hoffer finalist award last year. Murder is Collegiate is currently on the shortlist for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem Mystery Award. Follow her at dianeweinerauthor.com or visit her Facebook page at dianeweinerauthor.com

Reviews are important so if you like this book leave a review on Amazon or wherever you bought the book.

Posted in 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

 

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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.

Posted in 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