New Sewing Cozy: Better Off Thread

Santa finds himself in a stitch of trouble in the tenth in the series from the national bestselling author of The Stitching Hour…

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Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can’t refuse—especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Despite the ridiculous outfit, Marcy finds herself enjoying spreading cheer—until the hospital’s administrator is found murdered.

Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to fill her stocking with coal, evidence pins the crime on Moe. Now it’s up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend Ted and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe’s name—before someone else winds up crossed off Santa’s list for good…


Gayle Trent (and pseudonym Amanda Lee) writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series and the Embroidery Mystery series. The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. She also writes the Down South Café Mysteries as Gayle Leeson. 

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Author Links:

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


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New romantic cozy with #giveaway and character interview: Literally Dead by Lois Winston

>>Enter to win an electronic copy of Literally Dead<<<

After her last disastrous episode as an amateur sleuth, Gracie Elliott is back. The budding romance writer has spent the past year crafting her first novel. Her hard work and determination pay off when her manuscript wins the Cream of the Crop award, a contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the Society of American Romance Authors. First place entitles her to attend the organization’s annual conference, normally open only to published authors.

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With husband Blake in tow, a starry-eyed Gracie experiences the ultimate fan-girl moment upon entering the hotel. Her favorite authors are everywhere. However, within minutes she learns Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance, is hardly the embodiment of the sweet heroines she creates. Gracie realizes she’s stepped into a romance vipers’ den of backstabbing, deceit, and plagiarism, but she finds a friend and mentor in bestselling author Paisley Prentiss.

Hours later, when Gracie discovers Lovinia’s body in the hotel stairwell, a victim of an apparent fall, Gracie is not convinced her death was an accident. Too many other authors had reason to want Lovinia dead. Ignoring Blake’s advice to “let the police handle it,” Gracie, aided by Paisley, begins her own investigation into the death. Romance has never been so deadly.


 

Q: Gracie, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something readers might not guess?

 

I bear an uncanny resemblance to the late comedienne Gracie Allen, including the eerie coincidence of having one blue eye and one green eye. The one difference being that although we were both born dark brunettes, the other Gracie opted to go blonde. More importantly, though, like Gracie Allen, I often tend to segue into slightly off-kilter rambling discourse, which always makes sense to me but not necessarily to anyone else. The difference? Gracie Allen was acting; I’m not.

 

My dream is to become a bestselling romance author. Ever since my career as a textile designer was outsourced to a Third World nation, I’ve devoted considerable time toward making that happen. I think I’m finally on my way, thanks to winning the Cream of the Crop writing competition. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

 

Q: Which character in Literally Dead do you get along with the best? 

 

That would definitely be my husband Blake. Of the two of us, Blake is the sensible one, the solid, staid, left-brained academician who analyses situations to death before making a decision. I’m the harebrained, right-brained partner who dives into the deep end head first, even though I can’t swim. He’s George Burns; I’m Gracie Allen—the poster couple for Opposites Attract.

 

Q:  Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

That would also have to be Blake. There are times when my left brain goes to battle with his right brain, and I don’t like to lose—even when I know Blake is right. He worries about me and does his best to keep me out of trouble. I know I can often be my own worst enemy, but when I see an injustice, I can’t ignore it, especially when I think someone is about to get away with murder—literally.

 

Q:  Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

 

I suppose I have to say nice things about author Lois Winston. After all, she did create me. Without her, I’d be nothing more than assorted sub-atomic particles confined to some black hole. So I do appreciate her efforts, but I also sometimes feel like I play second fiddle to Anastasia, the amateur sleuth of Lois’s Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series. Anastasia already has five full-length novels and three novelettes, and Lois is currently working on the sixth book in that series. I’ve got a measly two books so far, Definitely Dead and now Literally Dead. It’s not that I’m jealous of Anastasia, but fair is fair, and I really think Lois needs to give Anastasia a rest and allow me to catch up. I’m developing a severe inferiority complex.

 

Q: What’s next for you?

 

That all depends on Lois, doesn’t it? Hopefully, she’ll see this post and realize how unfair it is that she plays favorites. (Okay, technically she doesn’t play favorites; Anastasia was created years before I popped into Lois’s head, and she has been rotating between us ever since.) However, I’d certainly like to see myself in a third Empty Nest Mystery sooner rather than later. I’m sure Anastasia would understand.

 


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About The Author 

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit Lois/Emma at www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. Follow everyone on Tsu at www.tsu.co/loiswinston, on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/anasleuth, and onTwitter at https://twitter.com/Anasleuth. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.MyAuthorBiz.com/ENewsletter.php?acct=LW2467152513


Author Links

Website | BlogPinterestTwitterGoodreads Newsletter | Kindle | Nook | iTunes | Kobo 

 


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New Cozy and #Interview: Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…

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When Suzanne Dietz, proprietor of the Cackleberry Club Café, stops by Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up wheels of cheese, she’s greeted by the urgent, upturned faces of cows that haven’t been milked – as well as Mike’s mangled body! Stunned by her grisly discovery, Suzanne vows to find out who killed this mild-mannered farmer. Was it the shunned neighbor boy, a strange man transporting horses to Canada, or Mike’s unhappy wife? Juggling multiple suspects, a busy restaurant, tea parties, and a raucous Halloween celebration, Suzanne maintains her good humor and keeps her romance with the town doctor sizzling. In the tradition of all her previous New York Times bestselling cozies, Laura Childs doesn’t let her readers down when it comes to heart-warming humor, a breathless pace, and homespun recipes!

 


Q: Laura, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Suzanne? 

A: Suzanne Dietz, is the owner of the Cackleberry Club Café along with her partners Toni and Petra. Suzanne is sweet, tough, and imbued with a can-do spirit. She also has a great sense of justice. When some poor character gets murdered, she’s almost driven to bring the killer to justice. Of course, that puts Suzanne in a lot of hot water and can make her quite unpopular with local law enforcement. Suzanne is also a dog lover, horse owner, and excellent cook who tries to source all her fresh ingredients locally. (She also shares her recipes with readers!)

Q: How much of you is in the Suzanne? What do you think would happen if you met her in real life?

A: Suzanne is curious, unafraid to push the envelope, and very much an entrepreneur, so I’d say there’s some of me in her. I started an ad agency (against the advice of a bunch of seasoned ad guys) at the age of thirty and ran it successfully for twenty years. If I met Suzanne in real life, I’d probably buy her a drink and talk about what the next chapter of our lives holds.

Q: Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

A: They change and evolve somewhat, but their basic personalities always shine through. Suzanne’s two partners, Toni and Petra, are probably a little more outrageous now than when I started. Toni is the resident hottie-pattotie with skin-tight cowboy shirts, hot pink extensions, and a bawdy sense of humor. Petra is probably a little less religious now that when we started out. I guess I’m a bad influence on them.

Q: Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life – only on the pages of a murder mystery?

When I owned my marketing firm, there were always certain clients who were cranky and demanding or tried to cheat us. Now I take my petty revenge on them by putting them in my mysteries (Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbook Mysteries). I either kill them off in a gruesome manner or name a slimy character after them. It’s great fun!

Q: How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

A: I grew up in a small, Midwestern town, so I think my setting for the Cackleberry Club Mysteries is spot on. The mysteries take place in the fictional town of Kindred, which is rural, charming, and filled with quirky characters who have surprisingly dark secrets. Really, just like the place I grew up!

Q: What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

A: No advice, but a very telling story:  Once when I was at the Mystery Writers of American symposium in New York, I was talking with Mary Higgins Clark. She had helped me get started and had set me up with her agent. It was almost noon and I wanted to take her to lunch. But when I brought it up, she got this funny, almost frightened look on her face and said, “Oh, I wish. But I have to go home and write. My publisher wants another 50,000 words in six weeks.” That’s when I knew this whole writing thing was deadly serious – that panels and symposiums and signings are all grand, but until you park yourself in that chair and start cranking out words, you’re not really a professional author at all.

 


About the Author

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Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Visit Laura’s webpage or find her on Facebook.


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Meet the author: Geraldine Evans, featured in #25KillerCozies

>>>25 Mysteries to Die For: Get 25 Killer Cozies for only 99 cents!<<<

Jasper Moon, a seer who failed to foretell his own murder, involves DI Joe Rafferty in a tangled web of deceit.

Geraldine Evans is the author of Death Line: Rafferty & Llewellyn Book 3, one of the 25 killer cozies in this limited-edition bundle.


Geraldine, thank you for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

GE: My name is Geraldine Evans, and I’m a British writer. I’ve been published traditionally, off and on, since 1991 (Hale, Macmillan, Severn House, St Martin’s Press and Worldwide (US), which means I’m an author of a certain vintage!

 My main detective is DI Joe Rafferty, who comes from a family who think – if they must have a copper in their midst – he might at least have the decency to be a bent one. So there’s a fair bit of humour in them given Rafferty’s recent promotion, his sidekick, a moralistic Welshman, who thinks the law should apply to everyone—including the mothers of detective inspectors. Then there’s the rest of his family, who mostly don’t see eye-to-eye with him regarding the letter of the law. All complicated by murder.

 Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

GE: When I was young, I thought people like me didn’t become writers – working-class, council house raised, blah, blah – so it wasn’t till I’d got this thinking out of my system, around my mid-twenties, that I made my first tentative attempts to be a writer. I say tentative, because I never actually finished anything. It took hitting the milestone age of thirty to achieve that—and then I went for broke. I wrote a novel each year for six years (fitted around the day job). The final one of the six was accepted by Hale in 1991. That was a romance.

 But then they rejected my follow-up. I don’t know how you’d have felt, but I was all for murdering someone! So I did. I created Dead Before Morning, #1 in my almost eighteen-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn Mystery Series. It was accepted in 1993, on only its second slush pile outing, by Macmillan.

 What are you currently working on?

 GE: Number 18 of my Rafferty series, which has been a bit of a stop/start effort, as I’ve had to keep putting it aside for marketing and all the work that involves. Then, I really must do what I promised one of my readers, and get on and write #3 in my Casey & Catt Mystery series. I’ve rather let this one languish on the vine, and I shouldn’t. I would also like to write a second biographical historical novel. My first, Reluctant Queen, was about the infamous Henry VIII’s little sister, Mary Rose. It’s taken me a while to find somebody who isn’t written about by everyone.

 Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

 GE: Of the mystery novels, I’ve several favourites: Dying For You #6 Rafferty—where my DI becomes chief suspect in his own murder inquiry. Death Line #4 Rafferty, wherein there was a nifty bit of footwork on my part—especially as I’ve only a tentative grasp of arithmetic. And Blood on the Bones #9 Rafferty, when my hero is unwillingly reacquainted with Catholicism.

My bio historical, Reluctant Queen. I love the Tudor period, but so many of the characters from that era have been done to death (literally, in plenty of cases). So I knew, when I learned a little more about Mary Rose, I was sure I had the Tudor that fitted my bill—not done to death, and a sufficiently interesting life to encourage the masses of research required.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

 GE: On the mystery side, it would have to be Cynthia Harrod Eagles, Reginald Hill, and Ruth Dudley-Edwards. Harrod Eagles is a fabulously witty writer, and her Atherton is the perfect foil for her main character, Bill Sider. Reginald Hill is also a very witty writer, and in his Andy Dalziel has created a nigh-on perfect character. And Ruth Dudley-Edwards with her Baroness Troutbeck character, has created a divine flouter of rules. I do like a good flout! It’s why I wrote both my mystery series.

 Sharon Penman is my all-time-favourite as an author of historicals: the history, the characters, the dialogue—all brilliant. Jean Plaidy was the writer who introduced me to history, and from whom I learned my love of both historical fiction and non-fiction. She was a prolific writer, covered everyone who was anyone, so I’d like to pay a tribute to her, too.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

GE: The most challenging is everything but the writing! The emails. Oh the emails. If I have to leave them for a day I’m swamped with 200-300 of the blessed things, and it takes me a several days (and then some) to plough through them. Meanwhile, the new mail is piling up.

 The marketing, which is another relentless time grab. Sometimes, I don’t know how I manage to do any writing at all. You’ll laugh (or perhaps not if you’re a Rafferty fan, eagerly awaiting my next opus), but I’ve been trying to write #18 Rafferty since January, and I haven’t even got a tricky plot hole as an excuse. How other authors write a book every month, I can’t imagine. I like to write amusing dialogue, and you need to hit on just the right combination of words, and they’ve got to be the perfect words, in the perfect order, no stand-ins will do. The trouble is, it can take days, sometimes, before you can get hold of those words which slide away the second you reach for them. Definitely on the challenging side of the equation.

 The most rewarding is obviously the writing—when I can get at it. I’ve mostly been a seat-of-pants writer, though nowadays I generally write a brief plot plan, if only to lessen the snags, pitfalls and rewriting. That said, there’s nothing so satisfying as writing yourself out of a plot hole as a pantser. I go around with a grin for days. Or if I hit upon a nifty bit of dialogue by-play and manage to seize hold of it immediately.

 What book is on your nightstand?

 GE: I’m currently reading The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman (for about the fourth time—love that book). It’s about the Plantagenet’s, Edward IV and Richard III, all their friends and enemies (sometimes one and the same), and the Wars of the Roses.

On the mystery side, I’ve so many awaiting my attention that I hardly know where to start. But I will. Janet Evanovich’s latest. Love her Stephanie Plum. Then there’s Harrod-Eagles. I mostly read on my Kindle now, or my Fire, and I have an in-built resistance to paying over the odds for digital books. But I invariably give in on my favourites.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

GE: The #18 Rafferty that I mentioned earlier (other things being equal). The second historical (ditto), and the #3 Casey & Catt (I do hate to be repetitive, but ditto again).

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

GE: One thing that I’d like to make clear–I started to write my Rafferty & Llewellyn series in 1991/2, after I received an unexpected rejection from Hale, and it was published by Macmillan in 1993. So when Lewis, the off-shoot from Morse, began, my series was already in its second decade and more. So when readers/reviewers compare the two, they should say that the Lewis series reminds them of my Rafferty, not the other way round. It might sound picky, but us writers are sensitive souls. Each time I get a comment like that in the reviews it’s like a dart to my heart. I feel like writing a comment to that effect beneath the review. So far I’ve resisted the temptation, but oh, my poor, holey heart.

 That said, I love my readers. Even with the dart-to-heart remarks, they mostly say lovely things, and help me resist the urge mentioned above.

 I know how difficult it is to compose reviews—I’ve written a few myself, so am familiar with the angst involved. I think it’s awesome when they take the trouble. Why would they bother? Why not just move on to the next book? I don’t know—but it’s serious Wow! factor time when they do. So—thank you. It’s very humbling and, at the same time, very elevating. I’m floating on air when another reader says they love my characters. Because I do, too.

25 Mysteries to Die For is due out on 27th December and is priced at just 99¢ – get it NOW on preorder  at http://bit.ly/25Mysteries

AUTHOR LINKS

Website/Blog: http://geraldineevansbooks.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@gerrieevans

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Geraldine.Evans.Cime.Author/

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Geraldine Evans is a multi-published mystery author who has had eighteen novels traditionally published. Her publishers include Macmillan and St Martin’s Press. But in 2010, she made the momentous decision to turn indie. Since then, she has published all of her backlist in digital format, including her Rafferty & Llewellyn and Casey & Catt detective series, as well as creating new, original to kindle works. Geraldine also writes biographical historical novels.

Although originally a Londoner, she now lives in an old market town in Norfolk, England, where she moved with George, her late husband, in 2000.

 


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New cozy and #giveaway: Get me to the Grave on Time, an Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery

>>>Enter to win a print copy of Get Me to the Grave on Time<<<
Although Eliza still refuses to marry Freddy Eynsford Hill, everyone around her seems headed for the altar. Not only is her cousin Inspector Jack Shaw about to wed his sweetheart, but Freddy’s younger sister Clara is engaged, along with the niece of Henry Higgins. Another blushing bride is the sixty-year-old Duchess of Carbrey, who plans to marry a handsome fellow half her age. But when the groom is found dead, a jealous mistress is blamed for the murder. However, the death may also be connected to the stolen treasure of an Indian temple.
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Disaster strikes next at Jack and Sybil’s wedding. Soon after, the wedding reception of Higgins’s niece takes a lethal turn. Someone is targeting bridegrooms, and the wedding of Freddy’s sister is next. Before another bridal bouquet is tossed, Higgins and Eliza must track down the killer. Otherwise, Clara’s bridegroom – and perhaps the bride herself – may be murdered before they can get to the church on time.


About The Authors

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D.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Long time friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion. While they admit the lovely film My Fair Lady and its soundtrack proved to be inspiring, they are careful to stick to Shaw’s vision of the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering and Freddy Eynsford Hill. They’ve also added a cast of new characters to flesh out their own version of events post-Pygmalion. They both have patient husbands, brilliant daughters, and share a love of good books, tea and history.

Website: www.deireland.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DEIrelandAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DEIrelandAuthor

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/deirelandauthor/


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New Isobel Spice Mystery and character interview: Offed Stage Left

There’s one role you don’t want a callback for: Prime Suspect.

Aspiring actress Isobel Spice lands her first regional theater job, playing a supporting role and understudying the lead in Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa. A series of minor backstage accidents culminates in the suspicious death of the leading lady on opening night. When Isobel takes over the role, her mastery of the material makes her more suspect than savior, and she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the identity of the murderer—before he or she strikes again.


Q: Isobel Spice, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? 

Sure! I’m from Wisconsin, so moving to New York City was a bit of a shock, but I’ve been dreaming about being an actress since I was three. And you know what they say about New York: if you can make it there…! Really, it’s the center of the theater universe. Maybe even the center of the actual universe. I’ve been auditioning and temping since I got here, and I finally got my first real regional theater job doing Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa. The songs are all Sousa marches, and I have to admit, the lyrics are pretty lame. (Actually, they’re so bad they’re hilarious.) The temp jobs have been something of a mixed bag, mainly because I keep stumbling over dead bodies. But it turns out I’m a pretty good detective. So that’s something I never guessed about myself!

Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? 

My roommate, Delphi. On the surface, we don’t have a lot in common except that we’re both pursuing acting careers. She’s kind of tough and no nonsense, and she dresses Goth, partly to counteract the fact that she’s so classically beautiful. When I first met her, I thought I knew her, but then realized she looked like a Botticelli painting I remembered from my semester abroad in Italy. Anyway, we share a pretty small studio apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, but somehow it works. For one thing, we don’t go out for the same parts or even the same kinds of shows. I do musicals and she wants to do straight plays, especially Shakespeare. This is probably the only time we’ll ever get to do a show together.

Q:  Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

Okay, I’m trying really, really hard to get along with Arden, who’s playing the leading role in Sousacal, but she’s being completely awful to me. I’m her understudy, which means I have to be ready to go on if she gets sick. The thing is, I won’t get to rehearse her role until after we open, so right now I have to work on it myself. I watch her from the wings, and mouth along with her songs, and try to memorize her blocking. I’m only doing my job, but she’s become totally paranoid. She’s convinced I’m planning to do her harm so I can play her part. What a crazy thing! I mean, who does that kind of thing?

Q:  Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

She’s my role model. I love that she does so many things. She writes (books, plays, musicals, music criticism), she’s got two amazing kids, one in college and one in high school, and she still performs. She just played Rosie in Mamma Mia! last summer at Weston Playhouse. Her costumes were so totally awesome! Lots of shiny spandex. And she looked pretty good for a middle-aged woman. In fact, I hope I’m just like her when I’m her age!

Q: What’s next for you?

Back to New York and auditioning. You know what they say: an actor’s job is to audition! And I’ll have to find more temp work, too. Unless I get lucky and land another performing gig right away. But I can’t shake the feeling that whatever I do, there’s likely to be a dead body involved.

 


About the Author

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Writer, singer, and actor Joanne Sydney Lessner draws on her own experiences pursuing a performing career in New York City for her acclaimed Isobel Spice Mysteries: THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE, BAD PUBLICITY,AND JUSTICE FOR SOME, and OFFED STAGE LEFT. With humor and a bit of romance, Isobel juggles auditions and temp jobs, solving murders along the way, while Joanne’s inside knowledge provides a window into the realities of breaking into show business (as well as a forum to share every humiliating audition experience she and her friends ever had.) Joanne’s debut novel, PANDORA’S BOTTLE, was inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine and was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. With her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, she has co-authored several musicals, including the cult hit FERMAT’S LAST TANGO and EINSTEIN’S DREAMS, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, CRITICAL MASS, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010. Joanne is also a regular contributor to OPERA NEWS and a graduate of Yale University.


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Meet the author: Colleen Cross, featured in #25KillerCozies

>>>25 Mysteries to Die For: Get 25 Killer Cozies for only 99 cents!<<<

Helping an ex-con could prove deadly, and accidental death pays double!

Colleen Cross is the author of Blue Moon: a Katerina Carter Color of Money Mystery, one of the 25 killer cozies in this limited-edition bundle.


Colleen, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

 CC: First of all, thank you for having me…it’s very nice to be here. I live in Vancouver, on Canada’s southwest coast.  I’m a writer and a runner, a cat and dog fanatic (though my dog likes cats a little too much, lol), a traveller turned homebody (my life revolves around my dog), and a lover of all things nature and the great outdoors. We go to the beach and hike a lot, and then I come home to write. And naturally, I’m a bookworm. I read mostly mysteries, thrillers, and lots of nonfiction.

 I am a graphic artist turned accountant turned writer. I have always been writing though, so I suppose I have finally come full circle to my true calling.

 Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

CC: I’ve always written stories in my head and began writing (and illustrating) them soon after I learned how to write. In fact, the treehouse I imagined as a child lives on as Cendrine’s home in my Westwick Witches Cozy Mysteries series.  I never dreamed I could write for my day job though. It’s a dream come true!  When I was a kid I read everything I could get my hands on, so it was only natural that would go the DIY route and write my own stories! Back then, they tended towards fantasy.

 What are you currently working on? 

 CC: I’m currently working on the third book in my Westwick Witches Cozy Mysteries series, Witch and Famous. It’s 100% cozy mystery with sprinkles of humour and fantasy. It’s so much fun to write that it often feels like my characters are coming up with their own lines, and sometimes they are rather cheeky! Since witches are magic, I get to make even more stuff up than usual!

 I tend to do ten million things at once, so don’t be surprised if I come up with a completely new series or two while I’m working with the Westwick Witches. In fact, as I’m writing this I just thought up a brand new series! It’s a secret for now…

 Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

 CC: My favourite changes constantly because it’s always the book I’m currently writing. My very first book, Exit Strategy, will always be special to me of course. I’ve got books 4 and 5 in that series outlined and ready to write. I just need to find time to write them!

 What books have most influenced you as a writer?

 There are so many books that I don’t know where to start. As a kid, I loved Nancy Drew. I also loved Russian classics but also Edgar Allen Poe. Most of all, though, I loved Black Beauty. That got me started reading all things horses, which was how I discovered My Friend Flicka and Mary O’Hara’s other books. I wrote to her (back then it was snail mail) and was so thrilled to get a reply from her!  Then I was in love with all things horses, even though I had never ridden one, and read every horse book I could find. Then it was every book about dogs…and I guess you can see why I usually have 2-3 books on the go at any given time. Cozy mysteries are always at the very top of my list along with psychological thrillers (as long as they aren’t too scary).

As an adult, my influences are more from writers like Lisa Scottoline, Kathy Reichs, and Tess Gerritsen, all great mystery / thriller writers. But it was those early reads that really got me hooked on reading, which in turn got me started writing in the first place. Great books in any genre transport us to a different world and give us different perspectives, and there are so many more I want to discover. I learn something from every book I read. I hope that never changes.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

 CC: The most challenging part for me is staying with my original story outline. I find that as the story develops some of the characters take over, so to speak, and take the plot in directions I never expected. As much as I try, I’ll never be a straight plotter. But that has its own rewards, since it often keeps the story fresh and provides me with surprise twist endings!

 The most rewarding part is feedback from readers. I’m alone in my head with my characters until the book is published, so it’s always nice to know that readers enjoy my stories. Knowing that I kept someone guessing, made them laugh out loud, or otherwise entertained them and forget their worries is the greatest reward of all.

What book is on your nightstand?

 CC: I have a couple at the moment: The Secret Place, by Tana French, and The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

CC: Witch and Famous, the third book in the Westwick Witches Cozy Mysteries series, will be published in early 2017. I’ve got more books planned in all of my series, which run the gamut from cozy mysteries to crime thrillers. My absolute favourite to both read and write is cozy mysteries, though. I gravitate towards cozies whenever there is lots of bad news in the world. I like to inject a little humour into my stories, even into my thrillers, which are suspenseful but not dark.

 Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

 CC: Just that I’m happy to know you’re out there, that there are readers out there who “get” me and my quirky family of characters! I’m so grateful to be doing what I do for a living, and thank you for your reviews, feedback and support. I always love to hear from readers.

25 Mysteries to Die For is due out on 27th December and is priced at just 99¢ – get it NOW on preorder  at http://bit.ly/25Mysteries

 AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.colleencross.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/colleenxcross/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleenxcross


 

ABOUT THE AUTHORColleen Cross writes page-turning thrillers and fun, cozy mysteries. She lives with her family on the West Coast. When she’s not writing, she loves to run, hike, and explore with her rescue dog Jaeger, who reminds her daily that life’s too short to not follow your dreams–or a squirrel or two.

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Her books have been translated into multiple languages with more to come.

Visit her website at http://www.colleencross.com and sign up for her twice-yearly private newsletter to hear about new releases and exclusive subscriber-only offers.


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Gift basket #giveaway and Character Interview: First Degree Mudder

>>>Enter to Win Signed copies of all Pacific Northwest Mysteries, 1 pound coffee, Spiced latte organic candle, and Clif Bars!<<<

When a mud marathon champion bites the dust, Meg Reed has to go the distance to make sure a killer comes clean . . .  

Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank. But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life . . .


Q: Meg, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! To get started, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?

A: I’m Meg Reed, twenty-three and a bona fide journalist—finally. I always thought I would be a serious investigative reporter and planned on winning a Pulitzer before I turned thirty, but thanks to social media and the fact that everyone my age has a smartphone as an appendage newspapers have become dinosaurs. That meant that finding a job after college was much more difficult than I anticipated. In fact I was so desperate for a job I was about to take any job I could find. Fortunately a chance encounter with the dreamy editor of Northwest Extreme landed me a gig writing for the outdoor magazine. Sure I don’t have an athletic bone in my body and I’m a total klutz but I can write which is all that should matter, right? Maybe I wear a tad more pink than my colleagues and maybe I have a slight addiction to mochas, but as long as I get the job done that’s all that counts.

Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? 

A: My grandmother, Gam. She’s the wisest and most centered person I know. Sure she has a tendency to hug trees and ask strangers at the grocery store if she can put her hands on them and give them “a zap” of Reiki. Gam might be slightly quirky, but she’s a natural healer and my steadfast supporter. At her shop, Love and Light, she teaches classes on meditation, sells crystals and gems, and has an assortment of books on everything from how to connect with your spirit animal to learning the ancient practice of Qigong. It’s impossible to feel depressed when in Gam’s calming presence. She always know the perfect question to ask me that puts me back on my path of purpose, as she would say. And she also makes the most amazing cinnamon chip cookies that I’ve ever tasted.

Q:  Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

A: Will Barrington. My bestie Jill’s ex-boyfriend. Well at least I hope he’s still her ex. Will Barrington is the most pretentious person I’ve ever met. We call him “the suit” because unlike everyone else in Portland who comes to work in jeans and hiking boots Will wears a three-piece suit every day. And he uses an umbrella. That’s right an umbrella. No self-respecting Portlander would ever be caught dead with an umbrella. Umbrellas are for tourists and people who live in the Pearl—Will’s swanky neighborhood. Aside from the suit and umbrella issue Will is a first-class jerk who treats Jill like dirt. When she caught him cozying up with one of his co-workers last winter she dumped him. Thank goodness. But I’m not sure that she’s completely over him and am constantly worried he’s going to find a way to weasel back into her heart.

Q:  Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

A: I think she’s much more serious. She wants me to grow up and make better choices, but I keep reminding her that I’m twenty-three. Does she even remember how hard it is to be in your early twenties? I feel like my entire world is firsts—my first job, my first apartment, my first love, my first time trying to be grown up and yet totally lost. It doesn’t help that I lost my father. He was my mentor, my idol, and my friend. I had always imagined that he would be around to help guide me and now I’m trying to find my way on my own. Plus there’s the whole issue of trying to find a job. Does she have any idea how competitive Portland has become? They don’t call it the place that millennials come to retire for nothing. If it weren’t for my position at Northwest Extreme I’d be scraping by on soup and grilled cheese and couch surfing. My author wants me to stop taking so many risks, but I don’t have a choice. If I want to keep my position as an extreme sports reporter I have to find a way to claw to the top of mountains and rappel down cliffs. It’s called job security. Oh and that whole thing about sticking my nose into murder investigations, I’d like to see how she would respond if a killer were chasing her through the forest.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: After I finish scrubbing mud from every inch of my body, I’m packing my suitcase—with plenty of pink of course—and heading for Oregon’s high desert where I’ll be spending a week spelunking deep underground in an ancient lava cave.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

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New MYSTERY Collection – Guest Author 13

Interview with Maggie West, author of Picked to Death, included in the 25 Mysteries to Die For box set. Available for preorder now, only 99 cents!
http://bit.ly/25Mysteries

The Pyjama Writer Blog

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I’m participating in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection coming out 27 December which is aiming to hit the USA Today Bestseller List. It’s called 25 Mysteries to Die For. So if you’d like to pick up some bargain reads and help us achieve our goal, you can get it NOW on preorder at only 99 cents.

Yup! That’s what I said – 99 cents.

If you love cosy mysteries, it’s a no-brainer!

Get to know another author featuring in the box set today…

 *  *  *  *  *

MAGGIE WEST AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a copyeditor and writer and mostly a big fan of fiction! I think it’s the escape from the everyday that I love so much about fiction. I’ve read so much fiction that I think the next logical step was to write it. As hobbies, I love antiques and crafting…

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A new Italian Kitchen cozy mystery: The Seven Course Christmas Killer by Rosie Genova

Culinary mystery author Rosie Genova has a new novella out just in time for Christmas!On Christmas Eve, someone might be sleeping with the fishes. . .

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Rosie Genova, author of the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, serves up a new dish this week with the release of her e-book holiday novella, The Seven Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen, only 99 cents!

The story takes place on Christmas Eve, as Vic and the gang prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes for their annual holiday party. But before you can say “shrimp scampi,” Mayor Anne McCrae takes a nasty fall that may not be an accident. Add a nosy reporter, guests with grudges, and a missing kitchen knife—and Vic suddenly has all the ingredients for murder.

Italian Kitchen

The Italian Kitchen Mysteries by Rosie Genova

It’s December at the Casa Lido, which means only one thing: the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, including wine, song, and seven Italian seafood courses. As Victoria and Tim prep scungilli and calamari, Nonna directs the cooking until all is in readiness for the big night.
But the holiday cheer is interrupted by the attempted murder of Mayor Anne McCrae, who asks Vic to investigate. Trouble is, there are as many suspects as there are fishes on the Christmas Eve menu . . .


About the author


A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for her cozy series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries. Her debut, Murder and Marinara, was voted a Best Cozy of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. Her books have been described as blending “mystery with comedy, romance, family drama, a vivid and affectionate portrayal of the Jersey shore and…oh yes, cooking.”

The proud mama of three grown sons, Rosie still lives in her home state with her husband and a charming mutt named Lucy. She also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista.

Shop for the Italian Kitchen Mysteries

 


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