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 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 Book Reviews

Shout From A Rooftop by Bart Gilbertson

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

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

Shout From A Rooftop

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

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

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

Bart Gilbertson

Taken from Bart’s Author page on Amazon.

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

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

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

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

Visit Bart at his Website

Facebook Page

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Review Bookman DEAD STYLE by Paige Shelton

51mPFU1QG1LThe cover of Bookman DEAD STYLE drew me in to pick up this book at my local library. And…I remember typewriters of this age since my Grandmother had one. It tweaked my interest having typewriters woven into a mystery.

The Star City Film Festival is a happening in the Utah ski resort. A murder disrupts this festival and Clare quietly investigates.  Clare and her Grandfather’s business, The Rescued Word, is a hub of activity for their skill at restoring old books and old typewriters. But it also introduces them to perhaps a murderer and an interesting find in their shop.

The author describes the places in this community and the scenery so well I wanted to blend in and walk the steps with Clare. I could see the snow and the beautiful buildings. It was a place I would love to visit.

Paige Shelton is a master at writing mysteries which hold your interest, keep you reading and wanting more. This book does all that and more.

About Paige: Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market, Country Cooking School, Dangerous Type, and Scottish Bookshop mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently, resides in Arizona.

Amazon

Paige Shelton Author Page Amazon

Paige Shelton Website

 

Posted in Guest Authors, Reading and Reviewing

Guest Spot with Author Gilian Baker

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

 

Researching Murder is a Killer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

You can find Gillian at:

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

Gemini Moon by Maria Grazia Swan

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

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

Gemini Moon

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

Visit Maria Grazia Swan on her website: Maria Grazia Swan