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 Book Reviews, Guest Authors

Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook

It is no secret 26047381_10155060885697611_5873356279400153772_nAuthor Claire Cook is one of my favorites, so I was over the moon when I won her book “Best Staged Plans.”51u6AWVTKNL._SY346_ It  was autographed too. Can you feel my excitement? Her books seem to fit where I am at this stage in my life. The first book  I read by MS Cook was “Never Too Late Your Roadmap for Reinvention.” After that I devoured the books my library had and now I am into buying her books to keep forever. This doesn’t happen very often for me except with Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison. I actually gifted “Never Too Late Your Roadmap for Reinvention to a couple of my best friends.

Best staged plans never usually work out for me and the road is bumpy right now for the main character, Sandy Sullivan. She wants to let go of her house and reinvent her life but the other members of her family who  share her life can’t seem to get on the same page. Her husband and son seem to tune her out when she needs help staging the house for sale. She is a professional and stages houses for a living so she knew what needed to be done to sell her house and to move on so she and her husband could become empty nesters.  Frustrated with the progress she accepts a job out-of-town and leaves a list to be finished while she is gone. Does it happen? Does she find what she is looking for while she is on a designing journey? You will have to read the book to find out.

I happen to be on this frustrating journey right now. I would love to sell our four bedroom home and let go of all the maintenance that comes with an older home freeing us the responsibility that home ownership requires.  I too have a husband who is dragging his heals.  I resonated with Sandy but I must admit I love the premise of the main character staging homes. I am a HGTV lover and wannabe home stager in my dreams.

I would definitely give “Best Staged Plans” five stars.

About Claire Cook taken from her Amazon author page: Thanks so much for discovering my books! Reinvention is the story of my books and my life. I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. I’m now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 18 books. It’s Never Too Late to Shine On!

I’ve reinvented myself again by turning Must Love Dogs into a series and writing my first nonfiction books Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (#1 Amazon Bestseller Women’s Personal Growth!) and Shine On: How to Grow Awesome Instead of Old to share everything I’ve learned on my own journey that might help you in your own.

Some of the nice things that have been said about my work: “The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the  and funniest creators of contemporary women’s fiction,” according to The Times-Picayune. People magazine said my writing “goes down as easy as it sounds,” Good Housekeeping called it “laugh-out-loud,” Redbook “gleefully quirky” and the Chicago Tribune “funny and pitch perfect.” Shelf Awareness said, “Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women’s fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations.”

I was a teacher for sixteen years before writing my first book. I was born in Virginia, and lived for many years in Scituate, Massachusetts, a beach town between Boston and Cape Cod. My husband and I have recently moved to the suburbs of Atlanta to be closer to our two adult kids, who actually want us around again!

I have the world’s most fabulous readers, and I’m forever grateful to you all for giving me the gift of this career.

Be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways and insider extras at ClaireCook.com/newsletter. Hang out with me on Facebook (ClaireCookauthorpage), Twitter (ClaireCookwrite) and Pinterest (ClaireCookwrite).

Best Staged Plans

Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager who lives and works in the Boston suburbs. So getting rid of her own house and downsizing should be a breeze, right? Well, best staged plans and all, Sandy’s husband, Greg, is dragging his feet and their son, Luke, has returned home and moved into the “bat cave” in the basement. Sandy reads them both the riot act and takes a job staging a boutique hotel recently acquired by her best friend’s boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time in Atlanta with her recently married daughter, Shannon. The bad news is that Shannon soon receives a promotion and heads back up to Boston for training, leaving Sandy and her Southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. And Sandy finds herself in another delicate situation when she suspects her best friend’s boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side. Fixing up houses may turn out to be easier than fixing up lives.

You can find Clair Cook at:

Amazon

and her website: Claire Cook

 

Happy Reading! And thank you Claire Cook for entertaining us with your writing.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Frosty Taste of Scandal by CeeCee James

The Frosty Taste of Scandal
The Frosty Taste of Scandal

The beautiful cover of The Frosty Taste of Scandal drew me to buy and open the book. The first chapter pulled me in instantly and I didn’t look back.

This book has it all, a good mystery, likable characters, a little romance, food, and friendship. One of the highlights for me was the addition of Lucy, a teenager who is going through a rough spot and taken in by our main character, Elise. It reminded me the difference a mentor can make to a young person. I give this book five stars.

About the author:

CeeCee James is a wife, mom of four kids and pet mom to two mini-dachshunds. She’s always loved to read and always had her nose in a book– getting her into trouble at school when she’d sneak it in her textbooks.

Writing has been a lifelong passion. Her first works were published in middle school in a local newspaper, and she won several short story and poetry competitions throughout her life. Her published works include the Angel Lake Cozy Mystery series, nonfiction Ghost No More, and Wrecked and Yours, a sweet romance series.She loves writing about love, humanity’s struggles and the celebration of life. Sometimes there is beauty even in the chaos of a messy moment. For her, writing is about

The Frosty Taste of Scandal

Elise Pepper has had her share of bad dates, but she’s never had a dead body crash one before. Mr. Hamilton, the renowned Ice-man, purveyor of shady mortgages does just that when Elise finds him dead at the ice-rink. The scene of the crime is no coincidence, either. The Ice-man meets an icy end. And a freak power outage is only impeding the police.

When Elise’s coworker, Sue, begs for help, Elise is surprised to discover Sue was related to the man. And her family is fighting over his will and the appearance of an illegitimate son. It doesn’t take long to discover everyone in town had reason to benefit from the banker’s death.

When even the king and queen of the local high school’s Winter Ball come under suspicion, Elise wonders if they’ll ever find out who did it.

This may be the first case where the killer walks away.

You can find out more about CeeCee and her books on her Amazon page.

 

Posted in Reading and Reviewing, Releases

New Release! The Discombobulated Decipherers – November 21

It’s finally here. My new book, book two in the Brilliant, Minnesota Series, will be released on November 21 and is available for in print on Amazon and soon at BarnesandNoble.com, and for pre-order on Kindle, Kobo, Nook and other venues.

The Discombobulated Decipherers

It’s Christmas in Brilliant, Minnesota, and Brilliant is known for its glitzy Christmas traditions. A world-renowned Christmas pageant, the town square decked out with Santa’s Village and a live nativity scene bring visitors to Brilliant each year. Just as the tourists arrive, Jezabelle Jingle and her mystery writer friend, Miranda, find the body of Ernest the elf dead and wrapped in a bundle of Christmas lights in the town square. Is Ernest part of a new holiday puzzle the Discombobulated Decipherers need to solve? Or is dead Ernest part of a bigger plot? Will Jezabelle decipher the clues so Brilliant can celebrate Christmas in peace? Or will Jezabelle be the next gift-wrapped box under the village tree?

This is what one reader who got a sneak peek at the book had to say about it:

‘(I received an advanced copy from the author. I am voluntarily reviewing it) “Well…where’s your ho, ho,ho now? How can we have a Merry Christmas after all this?” Jezabelle Jingle and her crew of Pendergast Puzzlers are at it again. This time, they stumble upon a live Christmas scene and a dead elf. Whether or not the police have ordered the group to not get in any way involved, they not so quietly (at times) try to fit the pieces of Elfy’s death in place, and it might take more than brains to find out just what happened before Christmas! Jezabelle has bought the Brilliant Bistro and she and best friend Lizzie are making a go of it, especially now that it’s the Holidays. The uniqueness of the design of Brilliant MN has opened up all sorts of possibilities, and a few questions as seemingly unrelated situations come together in a hodgepodge of fragments that make no ordinary sense until the Decipherers figure it out in a lively and fast-paced read that will keep you guessing to the end. Recommended holiday fun! 4 stars” Andrea Stoeckel

Here is a little about me in case you haven’t investigated my website.

As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.

I have worn many hats throughout my life such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities, office manager and finally computer repair person eventually owning my own computer repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Adding four more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a new Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity.

I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble.

Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

Now if you haven’t read the first book in the series The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors, I would recommend you buy it now so you can get the history of Brilliant and the ever-changing Penderghast Puzzle Protectors who turn into the Discombobulated Decipherers in the second book. It’s only .99 on Kindle, a free read on Kindle Select, or if you prefer the print version it is also available on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com,  It is also available in Audiobook.

Thank you for your patience and happy reading. Make sure you comment as I will give away a Kindle copy of The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors to prepare you for the Discombobulated Decipherers. And make sure you tell your friends.

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

The Karma of King Harald – A Canine Cozy

5106WGkmPJLHerald was my father-in-law’s name spelled a little bit different from the Harald in this Canine Mystery. The thought passed through my mind that perhaps the author made a mistake in the spelling because Harald is usually spelled, Harold. However, after becoming immersed in this book, I realized that King Harald, the canine, definitely could not be spelled the boring, normal way as this canine is up to his paws in cahoots and crime.

I wasn’t prepared as to how much I liked this book. There was something about it that loped along easily and pulled me in. I thought perhaps it was the characters such as Harald and his trusty owner Andy Skyberg. Andy shared my values on finding a place to live where I can lead a peaceful existence. Small towns are perfect for that scenario and New Bergen is no different. Enter Trudi Bock. I like unusual people but all people who move to small towns who don’t conform to the residents’ image of a normal person are not always accepted. I have felt that in my lifetime, so this character challenged my stick-up-for-the-weird part of me. Yes, it was more than Harald and Andy which kept me reading.

Loping along, because I felt as if I was on an interesting stroll when reading this book, we run into the proverbial church lady, the small town police and the upper crust of society. This in itself would not have entirely satisfied my reading adventure but just when a reader thinks they have a mystery solved another one is thrown into the mix complicating what you believed to be true. And it all starts with the death of an iguana–who knew iguanas were so important, and ends with… well all I can tell you is I didn’t see it coming.

I have the next work of this series in my hot little hands and I can’t wait to read it. I loved this book and I look for the right words to explain why, besides what I have written above. All I can say it was the feeling of walking down a cozy community with quirks and twists along the path anticipating the end of the journey would leave me satisfied. My journey in New Bergin with King Harald and Andy ended. I didn’t count on wanting to visit New Bergin and get mixed up with King Harald again. Thank you, Richard Audry.

The Karma Of King Harald

More about Richard Audry

61N2oWjuuuL._UX250_Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. In addition to his career as a journalist and copywriter, D. R. has written a dozen books, both fiction and non-fiction. His current projects include a fantasy adventure trilogy, a canine cozy mystery series, and historical mysteries set at the turn of the last century.

On Facebook you can like him at facebook.com/richardaudryauthor
and at facebook.com/johnnygraphicadventures

To contact D. R., visit his blogs at johnnygraphicadventures.com or drmartinbooks.com

If you’re a fan of Travis McGee, D. R. invites you to join the discussion at his popular blog about the intrepid tough guy, drmar120.wordpress.com

Posted in Guest Authors, Reading and Reviewing

Meet Author Carol Ann Kauffman

Today I welcome Carol Ann Kaufman to my blog. I asked her for an interview over a month ago and she got back to me right away but as you might have noticed life got in my way the past few weeks and I have not been too active on here. I hope to change that and what better way to get back into the swing of things than an inspirational author such as Carol Ann. She is the author of the Time After Time series, which follows a pair of lovers through their many lifetimes together, and the Cat Collier Mysteries, as well as holiday short stories with Books To Go Now Publishers. Enjoy getting to know Carol as I did. I have to add I see she is a member of the Red Cross. Please read my other blog Sprinkled Notes to see how the Red Cross just helped out in my community.

61zKe7KimhL._UX250_Carol Ann Kauffman

Please share a little insight as to who Carol is?

This is from my Amazon Author Page:

Carol Ann Kauffman is the author of twenty books to date, from short stories to full-length novels. Her novels, classified as romantic action adventures with a sci-fi/ fantasy twist, and mysteries. They’re about life, love, loss, and lunacy. She is a retired teacher from a local school district in Ohio, where she taught for thirty-five years. She has worked as a printer, managed a department store office, worked as an insurance agent, and worked in the hardware and automotive departments of a large store. She was a Red Cross volunteer. Carol loves to travel; her favorite places being Italy and Aruba, which show up in her novels quite a bit. She loves to play Bridge and to garden. She grows African violets and orchids. Carol loves dachshunds and trains. She is the author of the Time After Time series, which follows a pair of lovers through their many lifetimes together, and the Cat Collier Mysteries, as well as holiday short stories with Books To Go Now Publishers. Connect with Carol on Twitter at @Cay47. Visit her website at carolannkauffman.weebly.com or visit her blog, Vision and Verse at visionandverse.blogspot.com.

What was the first thing you ever wrote that made you think perhaps you would like to be a writer?

I won an essay contest in seventh grade. I was shocked!  They had a dinner for us and gave me a trophy. I was so surprised someone else liked my writing and thought maybe this might be a good thing to do for a living.

What tweaks your creativity?

Everyday life. Listening to other people’s life stories. Events in my own life.

Tell us about your latest book.

It’s called The Captain and the Ambassador.  512gMW8zoELIt’s a sci-fi romantic adventure. Ambassador Tull Redmond is looking for a quick ride back home to Earth after ending her twenty-year mission as a peace negotiator. All she wants is peace, quiet, and to be left alone. She boards the Earth Starship Giuseppe Verdi with its questionable leader, Captain Ben Jacobs anyway. It’s the fastest way home. Her quarters has a full bath, a space view window, and a large, real bed! How bad could this rule-breaking, authority-defying Captain Casanova be? High Council hates him, true, but his crew loves him. Surely, she’s too old and tired to be drawn into this bad boy of the quadrant’s personal circus.
Will Ambassador Redmond get the quiet, uneventful ride home she craves?

Is it part of a series?

As of right now, no. But, if it is well received, there’s a possibility it could be the first in a series of three. I have a few ideas for the further adventures of Ambassador Redmond and friends.

What is the favorite thing about your main character?

In this last book, Ambassador Redmond is an average woman and mother, who faces many of the same problems we all face. She is smart and resourceful. She loves intensely. In  general, my main character is usually a  tough, kick-ass woman.

What are your characters most serious flaw?

My main character’s main flaw is she never wants to give up. And in real life, sometimes you need to throw in the towel and walk away, for your own sanity.

What makes you smile?

I am a naturally smiley person. I love nature and animals, entertaining moments. I laugh at slapstick comedy moments. Kids are naturally funny. My dog, a 17 ½-year-old dachshund, is hysterical. My husband makes me laugh. He sees the humor in almost every situation.

What makes you mad/sad?

I dislike high drama, conflict-causing people. That makes me want to run.

Writers get discouraged at times. Have you ever been discouraged and what do you do about it?

Yes, I’ve been discouraged enough to want to quit. And if you can, I encourage you to leave this crazy business and do something else. The problem is I just can’t quit. I usually have three or four stories going on in my head at a time. I MAY quit publishing my work, but I won’t quit writing.

What advice would you give to new authors or those dreaming of becoming an author?

Write. Write every day. The only way you get better is to keep writing.  You can write one truly awful book but if you write twenty, you have to show some improvement. Also, read. You need to read what’s out there. Read all genres that hold your interest. And then read something really different. Read traditional and indies.  Don’t let anybody discourage you.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the sequel to my bestselling sci-fi novel BELTERRA, called DARK RETURN, where the indigenous bat-like species comes out of the ocean and wants their planet back.  And Neeka is still patching up soldiers and sending them back into battle, and Braedon is still trying to single-handedly save the world.

I’m also working on the next Cat Collier Mystery, The Lavender Mists of May. It’s a series of short story adventures of a small town Ohio detective named Mary Catherine, or Cat, Collier.  January through April are out and doing well.

WAIT FOR ME, a Time After Time novel, is on my editor’s desk now. The Time After Time series follows a pair of quintessential lovers through their many lifetimes together. In this one, Richard travels from London on a hunch to find Nicole, but she is married to some oaf.   There is seven Time After Time stories in the series already published. Some are full-length novels. Some are novellas.

Did I forget to ask anything you would like us to know?

Yes. Food.  I like radishes, the little green leaves in the center of a stalk of celery, and red wine. (Not together.) And anything Italian.

I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” –Winston Churchill

Find Carol Ann at the links above in the article. Thank you Carol and I wish all the readers a fun day. Feel free to comment if you like. Comments are screened so it might take a short time for them to show up.

 

 

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 Guest Authors

Meet Author Al Boyer

I am very happy to have Author, Al Boyer on my blog today. His new series came out this year with his first book Death at the Presidents Church. Let’s get acquainted with Al Boyer.

Author Interview Allen Boyer

Please share a little insight as to who Allen Boyer is?

I’m a father of three children, which makes it a bit of a challenge to find time to write.  However, I am blessed to work with two different publishers as a writer, so I’ve been very fortunate with my books.  My current publisher is Cozy Cat Press.

What was the first thing you ever wrote that made you think perhaps you would like to be a writer?

In college, I had a short story published in a national magazine.  I was the only student in our English Department to get published at that level.  I think that’s when I realized I was pretty good at writing.

What tweaks your creativity?

Instrumental music helps with the writing process.  I can listen to the same piece for days if it helps me write some pages.  Also, people watching helps me to formulate some ideas for characters when I’m working on a book.

Tell us about your latest book.

Death at the Presidents Church just came out earlier this year.  I wanted to start a new mystery series since I’ve been working on another cozy mystery series for the last few years.  This book follows two sisters in Washington D.C.  They are long time socialites who have lived in the city for more than seventy years.  They are well connected and have met congressmen, senators and even presidents over the years.  So I thought it would be interesting to take these two ladies and give them a reason to get caught up in the death of a homeless person near their church.  It is through their social connections that their investigation leads them to some surprising discoveries about the victim and his connection to one of Washington’s most influential families.

What is the favorite thing about your main character?

What I like about Charlotte Dupree is that she is based on a good friend of mine who passed away many years ago.  She was also named Charlotte and even though she looked like a sweet grandmother, she had worked in the House of Representatives.  She was tough as nails and wouldn’t mince words on her political views.  I thought it was an interesting combination of looking grandmotherly but being tenacious and being a Washington insider.  The Dupree sisters would be the first to say they aren’t the smartest, but they know how to find information and they never give up when they want to find the truth.

What is your characters most serious flaw?

Charlotte and Ruth have a soft spot in their hearts for Mezzo, a cat that they’ve spoiled rotten.  I’m afraid they would let that cat do almost anything.

Is this a series and if you have another series how is this one different?

This is the first book in the Dupree Sisters Mystery Series.  I’m writing the second book at the moment and I’m afraid to say that poor Mezzo will get some competition from another cat that the sisters will take in.

While this series takes place in the nation’s capital, my other series I’ve been working on takes place at a retirement home in rural Pennsylvania.  The series is called the Bess Bullock Retirement Home Series and it has sold very well.  There are five books in the series.  I would best describe Bess Bullock as a sweeter version of Miss Marple in how they both use their powers of observation on the people around them.

What makes you smile?

My youngest son has some interesting thoughts that make me smile.  He’s in third grade so he has an interesting way of looking at life…that sometimes makes me laugh.  If you’ve ever hung around nine-year-olds, you know how they are.

What makes you mad/sad?

Losing my mom a couple years ago was probably the hardest thing.  She was a painter, so I credit her for my “creativity” genes.

Writers get discouraged at times. Have you ever been discouraged and what do you do about it?  

I’ve been lucky to never have writer’s block.  I really subscribe to the idea of writing down the bones of the story.  That first drafts won’t be perfect.  Just get it down, warts and all.  I know some writers want everything to be perfect the first time they write a story, but perfection can lead to writer’s block, in my opinion.

What advice would you give to new authors or those dreaming of becoming an author?

Writing is subjective.  What will work for you might not work for someone else.  For example, some writers like to outline every detail of a story and stick to it.  Other writers will let the story take on a life of its own and lead them to an ending they didn’t plan.  Everyone is different as a writer, so just use an approach that works for you.

What are you working on now?

Book 2 in the Dupree Sisters, which I’m hoping will be done late this year.  Also, outlining another Bess Bullock story.

Did I forget to ask anything you would like us to know?

I was reading a review about one of my Bess Bullock novels.  One reviewer was looking for more humor in this particular book and then went on to cite your Fuchsia Minnesota Mystery Series as a better choice.  That made me laugh.  Small world.

I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?

James Joyce is my favorite writer.  The way he uses language inspires me.  A quote he gave that I think is a good road map for developing characters is:  “Mistakes are the portal of discovery.” That really is true for my fictional characters.

More about Al

Death at the Presidents Church

They have met many presidents. They are politically well connected. They were born and raised in the social circles of Washington D.C. So why have Charlotte and Ruth Dupree taken such an interest in the death of a homeless man? Drawing from their experiences with former presidents, along with their usual charm, the Dupree Sisters find themselves navigating through a labyrinth of Washington luncheons, social events, and gossip to uncover the facts behind a death that most people would overlook. Join the Dupree Sisters as they use their persistence and good manners to learn the truth behind The Death at Presidents Church.

 

 

 

You can find Al at Alan Boyer, An Author’s Blog

Make sure take the time to comment to win a Kindle copy of Death At The Presidents Church. And while you are at it follow this blog and sign up for my newsletter. Have a beautiful day.

Posted in Guest Authors

Meet Author Abby Vandiver

 

I am excited to spotlight Author Abby Vandiver on my new blog today. I am in the midst of reading Bed and Breakfast Bedlam, book one in the Logan Dickerson mysteries, and I am loving it. I will be purchasing the rest. I love funny, quirky characters and Abby’s characters remind me of Granny and Jezabelle in my series of books. Abby is a cozy writer and I would highly recommend her books. What makes her visit exciting is that she is introducing her sixth installment of this series, South Seas Shenanigans. I have to read fast to catch up. Welcome, Abby.

 

Author Abby Vandiver

 

It’s the sixth installment of an Amazon #1 Best Selling cozy mystery series by Author Abby Vandiver! South Seas Shenanigans continues the adventures of amateur sleuths, Logan Dickerson, archaeologist, and Vivienne Pennywell, aka, Miss Vivee – a five-foot-nothing, ninety-something Voodoo herbalist. 

Fans of this series have enjoyed the unusual, rarely heard causes of death that only Miss Vivee and her new husband can recognize, and this one doesn’t disappoint! Sail away on a Fijian paradise vacation with Logan, Miss Vivee and Mac as they suffer the shenanigans of a prankster, dance the Meke, and solve an untimely death. Oh, wait! Did I say “a” death? Make that two! Can you guess whodunit?

Additionally, Abby is offering a boxed set of the first three books in the series. Both South Seas Shenanigans and the Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Boxed Set are set to be released March 29, 2017. Meanwhile, Abby had only planned to write one more book in the series, but in listening to her fans, she has decided to continue writing the series a little longer. Check out her website for more information.

Cozy Mystery Boxed Set

 

 A little more about the Author:

Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She’d always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.

Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, Book I in the Mars Origin “I” Series was an Amazon #1 bestseller. It was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She’s penned a slew of novels since then and has even more in her head. Although she writes mostly mystery, she’s written a historical/women’s fiction novel. It was co-written with author and friend, Kathryn Dionne under the pen name Kathryn Longino. Currently, she is working on her first cozy mystery series. There will be at least five in the series, three, Bed & Breakfast Bedlam, Coastal Cottage Calamity, and Maya Mound Mayhem have already been published and are Amazon international bestsellers.

Abby, a former lawyer, and college professor, has a bachelor’s degree in Economics, a master’s in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her wonderful grandchildren.