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 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 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

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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

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

Facebook

Just a little reminder from all of us authors to all our readers. Reviews help so if you like our books please leave a review wherever you bought it.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing, Releases

Granny Is Back!

Did you hear her yell the words “I’m Back?” Yes, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt is back.

From a water-skiing mishap where she finds a dead body to a trip to the Mall of America — have you seen Granny’s freeway driving — the Ecstatic Emporium is being reopened as an escape room venue and Granny’s granddaughter, Angel, thinks she needs to be like Granny. What more could you ask for in the sixth book in the Fuchsia, Minnesota Cozy Mystery Series?

Not only is it now available on Amazon on Kindle and also in print, but it is available on KOBO, Nook, at BarnesandNoble.com, on Overdrive for Libraries and other venues.

Granny, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt, is dear to my heart. When I began the Fuchsia Series I wasn’t sure where it would go. I had intended to end it at the fourth book but my readers wanted more, and so hopefully I can keep up the momentum.

In this book Granny is a tiny bit more serious. She is getting older, aging is a fact of life in our real lives but should we address it in he cozy mystery series? Do you all feel that’s a no-no? I haven’t decided. What I do know is that Angel is getting more like her step-grandmother every day and maybe she will have to step in and learn from Granny and her friends.

Granny’s life has not always been easy. She was forced as a teenager to quell her wild ways, get married to a wonderful man but one who felt women should do what they are told, and she tried to comply, raising her children the way society felt she should. As she got older she realized she has to be who she is which is witty, silly and unconventional. It is a lesson for all of us on living our life.

Fuchsia is a fictional Minnesota community. I never mention where it is, just like I never mention Granny’s age. I like to leave that to the readers imagination. I made Fuchsia non-conforming too. Our communities have become clones and we are restricted on what we can do with our yards and even the color of our homes.

I grew up in a time where the restrictions were less and we could be creative on our properties. I did grow up in a pink home, two of them in fact. Neighbors maybe didn’t always agree with what we did, or what we had in our yards, but people were respectful of each other and they weren’t so much into the perfect yard. I happen to love dandelions and so did my mom.

That’s it in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy the journey of Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt and her family and friends, and the community of Fuchsia where wacky rules. Laugh, enjoy and get away from reality for a smidgeon of time. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the Brilliant Series. It is brilliant.

You can find Granny Bricks A Bandit at these two links:

Kindle

Kobo, Nook and others

Posted in Reading and Reviewing, Releases

It’s A Fuchsia, MN Cozy Mystery Day!

I am excited. Finally, after over a year I will have a new book out. In fact, it has been almost two years since you have heard from Granny aka Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt Crickett.

I wanted to share with you the new cover for Granny Bricks A Bandit. My publishing company tells me it is close.

Here is the scenario: Granny and her cohorts are at it again! When Granny and her neighbor Mavis, go water-skiing and discover a dead body, Granny’s sleuthing instincts take over! She is determined to identify the corpse and find the killer. But wait! No sooner are Granny and her cohorts on the murderer’s trail, then Mavis’ husband George suddenly disappears!  Could he be the killer’s next victim? Or could he be the killer? When the gals take a side trip to the Mall of America, they find a man fell to his death on a climbing wall––and Mavis is certain she spots George nearby! What does it all mean? Will Granny get to the bottom of it, with the help of her entourage of buddies and pets?

In case you haven’t read the others in the Fuchsia Series for one more week the rest of the series will be on sale on Kindle for $.99.

My new newsletter will be out the first part of March with the details and also I will highlight a little of what I have been doing during the snowy exile we have had in Minnesota. Be sure to get on the mailing list.

I am also in the process of writing reviews for a couple of the books I have read so watch this site for those reviews.

Until we meet again in Granny Bricks A Bandit….

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