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 Audiobook, Reading and Reviewing

It’s Been Awhile

I have been remiss on faithfully blogging here at my Mysterious Musings Blog. My last post was about my wonderful narrator, Darla MIddlebrook and my new audiobook that is out for The Discombobulated Decipherers.

I have no excuses except one for my laziness and that is laziness. I was tired and I needed to take some time to rest. We all need that.

If you haven’t commented on my previous post and my interview with Darla make sure you do so as I haven’t given away the audiobooks yet or you can comment here.

Today I am going to give you a little snippet of the book. I’ll be back with more another day but enjoy and if you like it make sure you listen to the other audiobooks I have out. They are a hoot. Until we meet again. Wasn’t that a Roy Rogers song?

If you are interested here are the links for the book.

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 Reading and Reviewing

Digital is the Name, More Markets is My Game!

granny_hooks_a_crook_4Just in case you are interested Granny Hooks A Crook is now available in e-book in more digital stores. Here’s the link. https://books2read.com/u/4Eya0e It is also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Granny-Hooks-Crook-Fuchsia-Minnesota-ebook/dp/B00DVL2CVU 

 

Posted in giveaway, Reading and Reviewing

It’s Hard To Be An Author

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I always dreamed of becoming an author. It was one of those romantic dreams of a career that you think is never going to come true. I didn’t, and when it did I thought I still was in a dream but let me tell you though I love what I do there, is nothing romantic about it.

Being an author is hard work for little pay unless of course you are one of the big names such as Catherine Coulter, John Patterson — who put in years of sweat equity to get them where they are today.

I was lucky and was offered a contract with Cozy Cat Press in 2012 for my first book, Granny Hooks a Crook. Since then I have published four more books File Mar 03, 7 57 13 AMwith this publishing company and I have also branched out into the independent publishing world with my two other series, The Brilliant Minnesota Series and The Granny Is In Trouble Series. The Fuchsia Series and the Brilliant Series are for adults and the Granny Is In Trouble Series is for kids and those adults young at heart.

Since I was blessed and kind of fell into this I had no idea about editing, promoting and how to keep my readers happy. It was learn-as-you-go with a lot of help from other authors and mentors. I have enjoyed the ride.

No, I am not telling you I am wrapping up my writing, just the opposite. I am finishing the sixth book in the Fuchsia, MN Cozy Mysteries for Cozy Cat Press and then I will work on the Brilliant Series. I have started another series totally different from these two ones, though it will have some humor it will be more down to earth. I haven’t named it but right now I am calling it Angel just so I can recognize where I stored it. And I am working on a devotion book incorporating my watercolor into it.

However I am changing some of the ways I do things. At some point I have to relieve my stress of trying to do it all, which means writing, editing, promoting and having a life. Though I love Social Media it overwhelms at times. I love connecting with my readers so I hope they will hold on through the changes.

The publishing world has changed since I started in 2012. There are more self-published books out there. Authors, trying to get noticed are doing giveaway after giveaway, even gift cards, to attract readers to their books. Our e-books are either free during these times or prices at $.99. Though my books sell well I have to look at the use of my time and whether I value what I write and what I do, and I value my worth. I spin my wheels along with author friends on how to get our name out there and promote, and again it is overwhelming and I am not sure it works. I am tired. I want to write, create and paint and feel valued for my accomplishments rather than feeling the only way someone will buy my work is if it is free or on sale.

I am opting for trust in my readers, trust God will get me moving forward to be successful and opting for more peace in my life and my writing.

It takes me at least three to six months to write a book if I want to be picky, and make it have heart and humor. I can’t just churn out book after book without feeling I compromise what I write for the sake of expediency and sales. For some very talented authors this works. It isn’t me. It isn’t who I want to be.

When I started I looked at the way my author friends were writing and structuring their books and I was in awe. I tried to conform to the way they were doing it and I failed miserably and I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t me. We each have our own style and our own gifts and we need to be true to ourselves to write and reach others.

Where am I going with this long…long post? Today August 30 and August 31 all my Kindle e-books are $.99. The books, including the first one in the series will go up to regular price after that with occasional sales. I am going to eventually take all off of Kindle Select and go with wide with Kobo and other venues. I am branching out. It is a reality I have to make somewhat of a living from writing but I also live to write and so I am feeling a sensation of calm by making this decision. Can I live with you if I am homeless? LOL just kidding.

I value all of you who are reading my books. I value all of you who have told others and by word of mouth have sold my books. I hope you follow my blogs and my author pages as I will be connecting still through Social Media and occasional newsletters but I will be writing more and on Social Media less. It is time to take back my writing life and hope others value my work above $.99 and free giveaways and gift cards, although occasionally I will surprise you on my blog with some fun and a sale or giveaway.

Happy reading and don’t forget what is happening on my blog and Facebook page the next two days — Audiobook Giveaway and a Sale of my  e-books. Like Granny would say, “I can’t do it unless I do it and I make up my mind that silly and old makes me want to go bold. It’s bold and old so the story can be told.”

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Amazon Sale

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Go to the blog post before this one to enter.

 

 

 

Posted in giveaway, Releases

An Audiobook Giveaway and A Sale!

gpapFinally, I experienced the fun part of summer and I am getting back to work again. In the past few weeks the Audio book of Granny Pins A Pilferer has been released. Earlier I posted a little bit about my narrator and producer Beth Kesler. She is awesome and she interpreted my characters with finesse and humor. I even laughed when I listened.

This is what reviewer Vicki Mejia-Gewe  had to say about it: As with every book by Seedorf, Granny Pins a Pilferer is full of hilarity and silliness, making me laugh throughout the whole course of the book. The plot has plenty of creativity and excitement, with new twists throughout the whole thing. Beth Kesler as narrator helps to add to the delight of getting to listen to this book. I give the book five bright gold stars!

Now it is time for all of you to have some fun. I am giving away on this blog two copies of the audio book. I am also giving away two copies on my Facebook author page. Four copies and you might be the lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog or on my Facebook page stating the best thing about growing older. No NEGATIVE growing older comments. I challenge you to find something positive about getting older.

I will choose a random winner on Sept. 4. Feel free to share with your friends.

Here is a little example of the audio book. Enjoy and make sure you comment.

And… watch for the sale of all my Kindle books on August 30 – 31.

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Virtual Enemies by Sharon Mierke

It is no secret I am a fan of Sharon Mierke and her writing. I read Virtual Enemies a couple of years ago and I decided to read it again. Beryl Swallows goes back home to attend the funeral of a classmate who committed suicide. She hadn’t seen her classmate or her friends in years. It seemed everyone had a secret and that included her dead classmate Mary Lou.

I find Sharon Mierke books comfortable reads. By that I mean they take you along with characters as if you fit into their lives and are standing right there observing everything. Not only did this mystery remind me we occasionally find the people who used to be important in our early years may change so you can’t really go back home. The book moves along easily but at no point could I guess whodunnit and believe me as a mystery writer I like to figure it out early in the book.

I am moving on again to her other books, the ones I have read and the ones I haven’t put on my kindle yet. Take the time and see what Author Sharon Mierke has to offer. You won’t be disappointed if you like Cozy Mysteries.

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When Beryl Swallows attended the funeral of a former schoolmate, Mary Lou Sanders, she had no idea that instead of renewing old friendships, she would be making new enemies. She also did not know that she would find herself immersed in a murder investigation – hired for big bucks by Mary Lou herself. The question was: Was Mary Lou murdered or did she really commit suicide as her note indicated? After not seeing her former friends, Lydia, Julia and Esther, for almost thirty years, they were virtually strangers or as she was to find out, virtual enemies.

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Sharon Rose now writing as Sharon Mierke!

Sharon Mierke’s mother was a writer and her father, a photographer, so it seemed natural to drift into the writing field and also keep her love for photography. She began writing many years ago but it wasn’t until her four children had left home that she began to do some serious writing. While taking a three-year writing course, she had several short stories published and two novels: Who Needs Enemies? and Missed by a Hair (both now out of print). Sharon enjoys writing mysteries and historical fiction.

Her book, Virtual Enemies, is a mystery and introduces readers to Beryl Swallows, a retired police officer and now private investigator. In Virtual Enemies she is hired to solve a murder – by the victim herself. A mystery within a mystery. This is the first in the Beryl Swallows Mysteries. In the second, Case Closed.not, Beryl finds one of her mother’s old diaries and it takes her back into a past she never knew existed. Was her own mother a murderer?

Sharon has four current books in the Mabel Wickles mystery series: Deception by Design, Calamity by the Car Wash, Cold Case Conundrum, and Frozen Identity. Mabel is good at finding trouble; however, along with her friend, Flori, and other Parson’s Cove citizens, she always seems to find the way out. And find the guilty party.

Besides writing mysteries, Sharon writes historical fiction. Her first historical fiction, Sarah’s Valley, carries us on a journey from the east coast of the United States, through the Midwest, and up into Canada. Her second historical fiction, The Widow’s Walk, centers around life in the early 1800s on the Texas Panhandle and down to the island of Galveston. The sequel to Sarah’s Valley, Return to Sarah’s Valley, is now available on Amazon. Now it is Patrick’s turn to tell his life story to one of Winnipesaukee’s descendants.

Sharon’s books contain no graphic violence, sexual content, or coarse language.

Sharon Rose Mierke and her husband live in Manitoba, Canada, where the summers are hot and the winters, cold. They have four grown children and four grandchildren. Sharon’s hobbies include reading, scrapbooking, and photography.

Visit Sharon At:
Posted in Book Reviews, Guest Authors

Fatal Flip by M.E. Bakos

619dW7BCKsL._UX250_M. E. Bakos is a new author and Fatal Flip is her first book in the Home Renovator Mystery Series.

How many of us find ourselves in the midst of a life change? How many of us have the courage to follow our bliss?  Katelyn has lost her job and she is in the midst of a career change. Of course, changes do not always run smooth. Becoming a Rehab Specialist in Minnesota she runs into a snag when she finds a dead body in the middle of her first project. Let the hijinks begin.

I like stories about rehabbing houses. I always, being a mystery writer too, imagine what the homes could say if they could talk. M.E. Bakos does a very good job of weaving a tale of mystery and leading us through the clues and mystery surrounding the residents of Crocus Heights, Minnesota. Her characters and pets throw an interesting mix into the story.  I look forward to her next book.

51cg4SIQ+KLFatal Flip

Flipping houses can be fatal! When Katelyn finds a dead body in her first home renovation project, she seriously doubts her decision to “follow her bliss.” After getting fired from her steady job, her plan to flip houses takes a hit when she becomes a suspect. After all, possession is nine points of the law, isn’t it? Especially, when it’s a dead body.
To keep herself in pizza, peanut butter, good coffee, and her stray cat, Boots, in kitty chow she takes survival jobs as a wine sample hostess and market researcher. Meanwhile, Sheriff Don is kind of hunky, and her ex-husband, Eddy (it’s complicated) is back in her life sleeping on her sofa. How’s a girl supposed to solve dead body mysteries, make a living, and find love?

M. E. Bakos

M.E. Bakos has published several short stories in national women’s magazines. Her love of mysteries has led to writing cozies. Her first mystery short story, “Carpe Diem or Murder at the Carp Fest” appeared in the Festival of Crime, a SINC Anthology. Her second, “Perfect Storm . . . Perfect Murder” will be in Dark Side of the Loon, May, 2018 also a SINC Anthology.
Her first cozy, FATAL FLIP, A Home Renovator Mystery has several home improvement tips for the reader.
Mary is a member of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime, the SINC Guppies Group, and an alumna of the University of Minnesota. She is a lifelong resident of Minnesota and resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Joe Sebesta, and their spoiled Morkie.

Links to M. E. Bakos:

Amazon