Posted in Reading and Reviewing

A New Audiobook and Producer, Darla Middlebrook

The Discombobulated Decipherers is finally out in Audiobook form. What a perfect time for a winter mystery and lots of fun. I feel privileged to have had Darla Middlebrook narrate and produce my book. She is an excellent voice person and adds many surprises to the narration. Wait until you hear her singing voice. I thought it was only fitting to introduce you to Darla and for all of us to get to know a little about her. After reading her interview I know I want to become better friends. Thank you, Darla, for taking us into the story of Jezabelle and Brilliant and leave us wanting more.

Darla MIddlebrook

Who is Darla Middlebrook in real life behind the voice and the acting?

Darla is a 68 years “young” retiree who works on audiobook recording 3 or 4 days a week and does volunteer readings at the local hospital and some of the local nursing homes. When did you realize you wanted to enter the world of acting and voice work or was it something you always knew and began as a child?

Audiobooks, audiobook narration and voice acting, in general, were not things I had heard of when I was a child.  I began to be interested in doing this right after I retired in 2009.  I thought it would be easy because “it’s just reading, heck I can do that!” (quoting my uninformed, July 2009 self)

How do you choose the projects you accept?

Most of us have heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  Well, that’s usually the first thing that grabs my attention.  Then I read the author’s take on the book, read the audition clip and go from there.  If I don’t like one or the other of these, I don’t audition for the book.  I have occasionally, been asked to audition because an author likes my voice.

The Discombobulated Decipherers has many characters. Is it hard to switch voices and how do you decide what inflection to put into each character?

I, usually, skim the entire manuscript to get a “feel” for the characters.  Then I have them talk to each other (in my mind).  I decide right away which characters are “villains” and why they are “villains”.  I do this by indulging in my “bad habit” of reading the last couple of chapters first.  I always make recordings of each character when s/he first occurs in the story and when s/he has emotional moments.  This way I can refer back to the recording to refresh my memory of how I made the character sound. This has helped me to keep the characters consistent if I end up being asked to do a series.

You previously were a Speech Pathologist. How does that career work into your career as an actor and voice professional?

I have more insight into the care of my instrument (voice).  I know what muscles to use and have a decent ear for vocalization.  I am more aware (I believe) of what types of voice(s) can be used when I work because I do not want to pick something that is going to tire or damage my instrument in the long run.  I can refer back to speech errors/problems that I can imitate which actually work as characterizations for voices.  I have also worked with a  professional singing coach since 1975.  This has helped me to use a wide pitch range when building character voices.  Often, a ¼ to ½ tone change in pitch can make all the difference in a character’s voice.

Tell us a little bit about AIRS-LA and why you chose to be a part of that venue?

AIRS-LA has a website which explains their goals and vision much better than I can.  I became involved with them through my first voice-over acting coach, Vanessa Hart (deceased).  She advised me to do as much reading as possible to improve my skills.  After I started with AIRS-LA, I was approached at a conference by Joe Jurca (who is heavily involved with AIRS-LA).  He thanked me for my contribution and praised my reading skills (made me glow, I tell you).  So, I have continued on with them.  Originally, I read CAT FANCY (now called CATSTER) magazine.  Then I suggested that I read the Canadian version of Reader’s Digest.  So, now I read from two magazines. (Did you know that Reader’s Digest is different in each country in which it is published?  Stories are related to the particular country, so Canada’s version has stories that you may not see in the US, British, or Australian editions)

In the Discombobulated Decipherers, you use your beautiful singing voice to add to the story. Do you have other releases or music that you have produced?

No, I do not have any professional music releases.  I have, however, sung in several musicals, operas, and operettas with a couple of semi-professional theatre group in Regina, Saskatchewan.  Regina is the capital of the province and is just up the road about 45 minutes from Moose Jaw, where I live.

     Please tell us about some of your other projects. What was your favorite and what was the hardest one and why?

My favorite project is always the one on which I am, currently, working.  The hardest one I have worked on required that I pronounce several Aztec and Mayan words.  But, in some ways that particular project was easy.  It happened to be a story based on an actual archeological dig in South American.  One of the things that I often do is refer to YouTube for pronunciations.  Well, when I was working on this project, I Googled the “The red Queen dig”.  Up popped a 2-hour National Geographic special about that particular dig!  Words were pronounced and spelled out on the screen!!  All I had to do was listen to them, repeat after the speaker and voila, I sounded like a genius!!  ☺ ☺

What advice would you give to authors or those wanting to go into your profession?

My best advice to authors would be to “read your manuscript aloud to someone” so that you know whether or not it “flows”.  I think authors should do this even if they do not plan to have the book converted to audiobook format.  For those who want to go into Voice Over work, find a good, reputable coach.  DO NOT fall for any of the internet scams that tell you that you can become a voice-over actor in (pick a number) easy online quick lessons.  YOU CAN NOT!  I am lucky that I have had several very good coaches.  I met my coaches at valid Voice Over conferences, not online.  I have singing, acting and speech pathology background that has stood me in good stead, but even after doing this for 10 years, I still consider myself to be a newbie.

Is there anything you would like us to know about you that I haven’t asked?

I am (almost) a crazy cat lady.  Lots of cat-related clothing and knickknacks, but only one cat.  My cat can be a little monster at times and lets me know when (she feels) I have been in my studio for too long ☺

I always ask my guest for their favorite quote? What is yours?

This changes every day, but today’s quotes would be:  “No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot” – Mark Twain  OR  “Highly Illogical” – Mr. Spock (Star Trek)

Thank you Darla for taking the time to be here and answer my questions. Make sure you visit Darla’s site and links to see and hear her other work.

Darla’s Website:  https://www.darlasvoice.net/

Darlas’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/199095733771188/

Darla’s Voice Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/Darlas-Voice-246840192020028/

You can find the Discombobulated Decipherer’s Audiobook here along with the others from the series.

It is also available in print and e-book form from Amazon and also available at these ebook retailers.

Comment on this blog as I am giving away two free copies of the audiobook The Discombobulated Decipherers. Invite people over and let them sign up too. I can’t wait for your comments.

Posted in Guest Authors, Reading and Reviewing

Meet Granny Bertha from The Solving the Mystery Series by Matt Ferazz

I am happy to welcome Granny Bertha to my blog today. Granny was introduced to me by Author Matt Ferazz. Let’s meet Granny and see what she has to say.

What was the first investigation you ever did? What was the last? Do you expect to do more investigations in the future?

Oh, Granny, my first investigation was such a long time ago! I was still a young woman, pregnant with my son, when I read in the papers about a man who was found dead in my town. I decided to investigate it by myself, and found out who did it, but was afraid to show my conclusions to the police. Unfortunately, the killer committed another crime after that. I felt so guilty that I promised I was never going to let my fear get in the way of justice again. 

Decades after that, when I was already a grandma, a dead girl appeared near my house, and I promised I was going to get the killer. And I did.

My last case involved a rich girl who freaked out when she saw a painting being unveiled. Nobody knew what that meant, but my sixth sense told me there was something odd about that girl. My investigation proved me right. There was a murder hidden in that story.

It’s my plan to continue my investigations as long as there are murders to be solved. I want to help people, most of all. If I can do that, I’ll be a happy woman.

What do you know about the psychology of a criminal?

Everything I know about the criminal mind – or the human mind, for that matter – comes from my life experience. I like to think I can differentiate a person who would commit a murder from a person who wouldn’t. Unfortunately, I believe that most people can kill if they have the motif and the chance. That’s the tough part of the job.

How would you describe your investigation style?

Each case is different, and I use different methods for each one. I try to listen to everybody, to let them tell their version of the story. It’s so rare to find someone who listens nowadays! People open up like a book when they realize you are hearing what they have to say.

Can you describe a time when your work as a detective was criticized?

Yes: everytime I’m around my daughter-in-law, Lydia. She’s not a bad person, but she hates having a detective in the family. She was a pain in the neck during most of the Convenient Cadaver case, and even afterwards, when I was traveling, she kept telling me I should mind my own business and let the police handle the cases. 

How do you handle investigating when people don’t believe in you?

Let me put it this way: if I only acted when people support me, I wouldn’t do anything in my life! After all, Granny, we are old ladies facing dangerous criminals. People will always say that we’re crazy, and that we should limit ourselves to knitting and taking pills. I love knitting, but I always love catching criminals and I’m good at that. So that’s what I’ll continue to do as long as I can stand on my feet!

Bio: 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 new genres.

Thank you Granny for being here today. You can find out more about Granny Bertha and Matt at the following links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Matt-Ferraz/e/B01G2I8FFU/
Blog: https://grandmaberthainterviews.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14405163.Matt_Ferraz
Twitter: @Matt_Ferraz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MattFerrazAuthor/

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 Characters from my books, Marvelous Guests, Reading and Reviewing

It’s Delightful Delight DeLure of Fuchsia Fame

Today I welcome Delight Delure, former owner of Ella’s Enchanted Forest and current owner of The Pink Percolator to my blog. Delight is one of Granny’s best friends and also is the niece of Jezabelle Jingle of Brilliant, MN. Let’s see what Delight has to say.

Wow, I can’t believe I am actually a guest on a blog. Usually it is Granny that gets that honor. Let me see, what can I tell you about myself?

I was the former owner of Ella’s Enchanted Forest. It was a bistro type experience. I served coffee, tea, my own made up concoctions and goodies to my customers. Trees and plants were a huge part of my business too. I was the go-to place for funerals, weddings and “just because”occasions. I actually had trees growing in my building with the ceiling extended so they could grow and thrive. But all that ended when Granny got me involved in a new investigation of hers. Someone stole my trees and planted them in Granny’s back yard. Then we found out the floor moved down into the underground streets. Gravy, that’s Gile Graves, owner of Graves Funeral Home, thought my building would be the perfect place to relocate his mortuary because when the weather was bad, they could transport the casket to the Mausoleum in the cemetery by way of the underground streets. The city thought so too so they gave me funds to build my own new coffeehouse so Gravy could move to my building.

You can’t miss the Pink Percolator if you drive into Fuchsia. It is shaped like a giant percolator, pink of course, attached to a teapot addition. In the middle is our patio with our whipped cream fountain. It really is a better place for me to create my concoctions.

I have a daughter and her name is Ella. She helps me with the coffee and tea along with falling in love from time to time with various men in this town. My husband is dead but that doesn’t mean I am not looking to replace him. Don’t tell Ella, that might upset her. My Aunt Jezabelle lives in Brilliant. She is more my age but she is still my aunt. I can’t mention her name in front of Granny because they are a little competitive. Jezabelle solves crimes too, and Granny doesn’t always approve of the way she does it. I think Granny is just being ornery and doesn’t want to admit that maybe together the two would be a dynamic duo. Just my opinion.

Folks in Fuchsia are friendly. I know most of what goes on. I eavesdrop on conversations and I have been known to mike a table so Granny and her gang can find out what the men are up to. They seem to think all we should do is knit. The last time Granny held a knitting needle she skewered someone.

I also have a van, although Granny finally added to her car collection with a van so I don’t always have to use my business van to drive us on our escapades. Her van is Fuchsia so it does get noticed, but then no one outside of Fuchsia suspects a group of little old ladies can be cunning and dangerous.

I have Granny to thank for helping me have faith in myself too. My husband usually made all the decisions. I thought I couldn’t think for myself but with Granny’s help, I know I am a successful delightful woman. I like to giggle. It’s up to you to guess what I might be giggling about. I will tell you it might shock you.

It’s time to go. I need to come up with a new coffee drink. Granny made Mavis a drink, an alcoholic drink with coffee to make her quick blubbering. I need to mimic it but leave out the tequila, or maybe I won’t. Until next time. It’s been fun.

You can find Delight Delure most days in The Pink Percolator and getting in trouble with Granny from the Fuchsia, MN cozy mystery series. Or visiting her aunt in Brilliant in the Brilliant, MN series. Make sure you leave a comment or a tip on a new coffee drink or pastry delicacy that Delight can try.

You can find Delight and the books here.

Posted in Characters from my books, Reading and Reviewing

Who Did Granny Fall For Literally? Franklin Gatsby, Of Course

Today Franklin Gatsby is visiting my blog. Franklin will tell you about his life, how he met Granny and came to reside in Fuchsia. We meet Franklin for the first time in Granny Hooks A Crook. Welcome Franklin.

I am happy to be here today. Most of the time the women in this series get the most publicity. I guess you could say the women in Fuchsia attract publicity and trouble, like honey attracts flies. Isn’t that what they say? I am never sure about old sayings anymore since I met Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt. She turns sentences upside down and keeps you wondering who the confused one is.

I moved to Fuchsia from New York City, retiring from my career as a detective back in the city. A quieter life was what I was looking for, but also an interesting one. I closed my eyes and put my finger on the map and it landed on Fuchsia, Minnesota. I had never heard of the town and Minnesota wasn’t even on my radar, but I decided you only live once and here I am.

Fuchsia surprised me. The first time I hit a pothole and reported it to the street department they laughed at me. The city boys explained to me if they kept the potholes, it slowed people down. They didn’t have to install rumble strips. Now I think the only person they want to slow down is Hermiony, or Granny as she likes to be called. She’s a word I can’t mention—on wheels.

I expected quiet and then they had a murder, found some underground streets, have a flamingo festival in winter and the women…they think they own the place so I questioned my decision to move. Granny actually fell in to my arms, probably tripping over the umbrella she used to carry. It was an interesting meeting. I wouldn’t want to cross her with that umbrella because she knows how to use it, and I don’t mean to protect herself from the rain.

I do have family. My grown daughters finally moved to Fuchsia but that’s a story for another time.

Granny reminds me of my mother. My mother drove me crazy. I thought Granny drove me crazy in a good way, now I am not so sure, but she sure makes life interesting.

After adjusting to life in Fuchsia I got back into the swing of things helping the local police keep track of Granny and helping out on their investigations. There seem to be too many shysters running around this town too, and I don’t mean the two legged kind. I love animals but this town loves, loves, animals. These people protect their own.

I hear my wife calling. Yes, I am married now. That too is a long story. It seems the new amusement park in Fuchsia is almost done and Lars, Granny’s nephew, is stuck on top of the new ferris wheel and needs to be rescued. Why they need this old detective for that I have no idea.

Visit us soon in Fuchsia. I think I am here to stay. After all those women always seem to catch their man and I was led astray and became one of them. Watch out if you visit. Your life may be compromised one way or another.

Click on the image to buy the series

______________________________________________

That was interesting. Thank you Franklin for visiting. You will find Franklin living in Fuchsia and still in the business of hunting down those who put others in danger. Although I am not sure if that means the crooks or Granny and her cohorts.

Posted in Characters from my books, Marvelous Guests, Reading and Reviewing

Meet Mavis from the Fuchsia Cozy Mystery Series

Today I welcome Granny’s friend, Mavis, to the blog. Mavis lives across the street from Granny. She introduced herself in the first book, Granny Hooks A Crook. Let’s see what Mavis has to say.

Welcome Mavis.

Hi, it’s me, Mavis. If you are looking for my picture you are going to look for a long time, because I save this beautiful mug for my pretend reality series only. I live across the street from Granny. I am known for producing and starring in my pretend reality series. The name of my series changes depending on what reality I feel I am in at any given moment.

Granny and I go way back to when she first moved to Fuchsia. She used to be boring but once her kids were grown she changed. I don’t quite know how to describer her —maybe wacky and wild. Yes, that’s it, wacky and wild.

But enough about Granny. This is supposed to be about me. I lived alone in my neighborhood. I passed the time hanging from my ceiling by my window. I needed that attention. Or sunbathing on the roof of my house in my bikini. I don’t want to hear I am too old for that. Doing that caught the attention of my neighbor George.

I did have a sister. We weren’t close. She stole my chance at fame when we were younger. You can read all about that in Granny Pins A Pilferer. Granny has this fear of wrinkle farms, but when we did a stint together there I found it to be a great place to meet men.

Life was very quiet until I got pulled into Granny’s shenanigans. I never thought I would worry about my life being in danger.

Finally, I got the house of my dreams. Of course, it happened after Silas’ house, which is next to mine, blew up and damaged my home. That was a blessing in disguise because now my home looks like a giant television and I can act in front of the big screen. Do you suppose I might get an Oscar someday?

I don’t have any kids. Granny’s kids are like my own only they let me live my life the way I want. Or maybe I live my life the way Granny wants. I have to think about this. We have been in a lot of trouble lately.

As far as romance—do you see me raising my eyebrows and winking? You’ll have to follow me in the series to find out if I do or I don’t visit Red Hot Momma’s Boutique. I do like the Go Belly Up Casino. I hope it doesn’t go belly up.

It’s been nice meeting you. Ask me questions. I might or might not answer. Make sure to introduce me to your friends. I’ll try to corrupt them and they will thank you.

Toodles for now. I do have a secret to tell you. Or maybe I don’t. If I tell you it won’t be a secret.

You can find Mavis in the Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing

I Goofed Just Like Granny

If any of you have downloaded my new book, Granny Bricks A Bandit, you know there are errors. I have to apologize. I don’t know what happened or if the wrong file got uploaded, but I have fixed this and am waiting for the KDP people and the other venue where they are published, to advise me if they have updated the books for those of you that have already purchased it.

She is sorry. Will you forgive her? It might take me a short time but I am holding out for treats.

I am so sorry this happened. Please know that I and Granny must be just alike. Having said that, I hope you were able to overlook those many errors and enjoy the book.

As writers we send our books to beta readers and they catch the mistakes, but the goofs still ended up in the final copy that got uploaded. As writers we read and reread and use software to stop our mistakes, but after many readings our eyes get fuzzy, our brains trick us into seeing things that may not be there. It could be that we know our book so well our mind just doesn’t acknowledge we could make a mistake.

I give you permission, although you don’t need it, to make mistakes, forgive yourself and hope others do too but that part is out of your control. I will make more mistakes, some will be doozies, Others will be tiny. Many you will know about and many I will keep secret. Choose what you will do with yours. Until next time…goof off.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing

You Can, You Can’t, It’s Another Granny Rant!

Granny Bricks A Bandit the sixth book in the Fuchsia, Minnesota Cozy Mystery series is finally here. It’s getting rave reviews but one reader brought up a subject I thought I would address. This fabulous reader felt Granny is a tad more subdued in her new adventure. I thought about the criticism and it might be valid.

Over the next few weeks some of  the residents from Fuchsia will visit my  blog. Hopefully Wednesdays will be visiting day but remember, Granny says life is to be lived so if something better comes up, my character for the day might follow a different path which leads them to mischief. But for today, here’s Granny.

 Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt, yup, that’s my name.  My mother was in a rhyming phase when I was born hence Hermiony Criony. At least she put Vidalia in there. My mother loved onions. She especially liked the Vidalia onion and I was the lucky one in my family that was named after an onion. I’m being sarcastic in case you  can’t tell.  You might guess I am not a lover of onions. Why couldn’t she have named me Cocoa after chocolate. I love chocolate.

I grew up wanting to run with my brothers. We had an apple orchard and I got out there as often as I could. I stopped some apple bandits one day but my mother and father never found out about that. I would have had to do inside chores forever if they would have known.

I always knew I could do anything I set my mind to but life in the time I grew up wasn’t a piece of cake for women’s lib, in fact they probably never heard of it.   I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, unlike a few of my siblings who I won’t name here, so I stayed home and became the daughter they always wanted. Ferdinand, my first husband, walked on water with the folks. There wasn’t much I could say when they wanted me to marry him. I caved. My spirit was kind of tromped on but I kept it alive secretly hoping someday I could have a different life. I never let go of the hope.

Then Ferdinand died. How could he leave me with all that responsibility. A part of me secretly felt free when that happened, but  I remembered the kids. Ferdinand was a good man but he certainly had an idea of where a woman’s place should be and it wasn’t the same place I thought it should be, but because of the kids I held back. And then he died and I still did things the way I was expected.

My kids grew up. I raised them up in the way they should go and they went Ferdinands way, so now I wonder what would have happened if I would have showed the real me. Between you and me, my kids are kind of boring, always following the rules and doing things the way everyone thinks life should be lived.

Once they were grown I could finally let it all out. I could be me. OK, you’ve got me. At first I kept it hidden. I wasn’t deceitful to my adult kids because I was scared of them,  it I felt wasn’t worth the effort to fight with my kids, in fact it was kind of fun to pull the wool over their eyes. Until, that is, they wanted to put me into the wrinkle farm. I knew I had to do something fast and it came to me. I needed a fiance and I found one.

However, my fiance didn’t like my secret life. I was undercover for the city of Fuchsia. He tried to tell me what to do. He told me I drove him crazy like his mother did. I never did meet her but I have a feeling we would have been friends.

Now I have a great group of very quirky friends. I found myself a man that accepts me as I am…maybe. I live in a wacky community that fits my wacky way of thinking. What more could I want?

So I will answer the question. Am I more subdued in Granny Bricks A Bandit? Maybe, or it could just be a ruse for the next book or… happiness has a way of toning me down. Did you notice I’m not as crabby as I was? Did you notice I am not as secretive? It’s also called Angel and Herman, my young grandchildren.  I want them to know I’m a little different, and it’s true,  all they have to do is look at my house to see that I’m different.

I have to go. The shysters are in trouble and we still haven’t figured out who Roost belongs to. So let’s put it this way. in case you are still wondering about me toning myself down.

You’re on a need to know basis and I don’g know what you need to know because I don’t know what I need to know so how do you expect me to know you need to know what I don’t know.

Leave a question. I might answer.

Granny Bricks A Bandit is also available on Kobo, BarnesandNoble.com, Nook, Walmart E-books, and more. Here’s the link.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing, Releases

Deadly Flip by M. E. Bakos

I am an M. E. Bakos fan. I will let you in on a secret. I actually know her in the flesh, not just online. Having said that, those of you that know me and the books I review are aware of the fact I only review books I like. I can’t see any reason to give someone a bad review. If you are reading my reviews know that I give four and five stars and if I don’t like a book, you will never know I read it.

Amazon

Having got that out of the way Deadly Flip was a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. This is the second book in the series. A hidden diary, a house flip, a quirky ex-husband, a hunky sheriff and main character who is a great amateur sleuth without becoming annoying, all come together in a mystery which weaves an interesting story with an ending which will surprise you. What more can you want? When a cozy mystery makes me feel that I want to settle in to the community and become a friend of the characters it is a winner with me, and this book does all of that and more. Definitely a Five Star mystery.

About the Author

I have published several short stories in national women’s magazines. My love of mysteries has led to writing cozies. My first mystery short story, “Carpe Diem or Murder at the Carp Fest” appeared in the Festival of Crime, a SINC Anthology. My second, “Perfect Storm. . . Perfect Murder” is in Dark Side of the Loon, also a SINC Anthology. 

     As an enthusiastic fan of home improvement shows, I have done numerous projects through the years. A fun fact: As an intern with a Minneapolis non-profit housing agency, I researched, wrote and edited a monthly home improvement newsletter. 

     I am a member of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime, the SINC Guppies Group, and an alumna of the University of Minnesota. DEADLY FLIP is my latest Home Renovator Mystery. FATAL FLIP is my first cozy mystery novel. Published by Cozy Cat Press.

     I am a lifelong resident of Minnesota and reside in Minneapolis with my husband Joe Sebesta, and our spoiled Morkie.

Deadly Flip

Flipping houses can be deadly!
Katelyn takes on a home renovation in Hiptown, Minnesota, that “has history . . . a murder” at BFF Myra’s urging. What was she thinking? Besides the young woman being killed by the home’s prior owner, she learns the girl didn’t get the justice she deserved. Because of a double jeopardy ruling, the killer got away with murder! 
Katelyn finds a hidden diary, foils an intruder, and discovers more secrets while delays and expenses escalate as she renovates the house. Could the victim’s restless spirit be haunting the house, making it the rehab from hell? Can she find peace and justice for the dead woman? To get the renovation back on track, Katelyn, Myra, ex-hubby Eddy (it’s complicated), and handyman Wayne hold a séance and bring in paranormal investigators. Will this finally rid the house of bad karma? 
To top it off, Eddy is acting just plain weird, and hunky Sheriff Don Williams is a puzzle. Nosy neighbor, Mrs. Gilman, and Boots, the rescue cat, add to the fun in the second Home Renovator Mystery.

Find Mary at:

Website

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