New Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery: Dead Air and Double Dares

>>> Enter to win a copy of Dead Air and Double Dares (U.S. Only) <<<

Crystal Cropper, editor of the Elmwood Gazette, has added incentive in finding out who killed Horace Q. Ogilvie, owner of the local radio station and the most reviled man in town. Horace turns up dead minutes before he is supposed to broadcast his next malicious editorial, designed to destroy yet another Elmwood luminary.

Fortunately for the police department, Horace’s list of future targets provides an abundant pool of suspects. Unfortunately for Crystal, her name is at the top!


Guest post from Janis Thornton: Butt-Bustin’, Bloomin’ Boomers

 

Imagine my delight when I read this paragraph in the first email from the new editor assigned to give my book a final scrub:

 

“I am currently at work on the proofreading of Dead Air & Double Dares. While hunting for misplaced commas and odd spacing, I have been enjoying Crystal’s adventures. I need your help on something. I had my assistant Olivia read DA&DD before I set to work. I told her very little about the book so I could get a fresh read. Olivia found herself quite far into the novel before she realized that Crystal was in her sixties. She assumed our sleuth was in her thirties.”

 

I had to read it again. Olivia assumed my sixty-plus-year-old protagonist was in her thirties! I wrote back my editor praising her assistant’s presumption.

 

I enjoyed hearing about Olivia’s surprise finding out Crystal is over 60. What she experienced is exactly what I’m trying to convey through Crystal’s character — that just because someone is well into their “golden years” doesn’t mean they can’t be as vibrant and relevant and youthful as they were in their 30s and 40s.

 

Part of the fun of writing a novel is creating characters that channel the author’s views and attitudes. Take my protagonist, Crystal Cropper, for example. Crystal is very much like me. I confess, she embodies many of the life experiences that make me who I am: We’re both only-children … we’ve both been editors at small-town newspapers … we’re single, independent, fun loving, and domestically challenged. And although we’re well into our sixties, we both blow our pretty, blonde stacks every time someone dares suggest or treats us like we’re “old ladies.”

While we are proud to be children of the era of skinny Elvis, saddle shoes, and poodle skirts … do not expect us to behave like “old ladies.”

Crystal is a Baby Boomer, but she has no use for society’s long-accepted expectation that she behave in a manner traditionally associated with being older. She lives her life on her own terms, as a woman who’s tireless, culturally current, curious, relevant, and bold. She will not be dismissed, diminished, disregarded, or declared irrelevant simply because there are silver roots at the bottom of her blonde curls.

Crystal’s self-proclaimed mission is to gather support for a long-overdue, age-based demographic: Butt-Bustin’, Bloomin’ Boomers.

Not getting the picture? Then picture this: Meryl Streep. Sally Field. Condoleezza Rice. Helen Mirren. Kathy Bates. Oprah Winfrey. Hillary Clinton. All are relevant, high-energy, resourceful, independent, confidant, accomplished Boomers. They’re all well into their third act, living with the same positive attitude, lust and gusto they exhibited at half their age.

I beg my Boomer-aged friends to reject the long-standing, stereotypical definition of them as gerontologically impaired. I also encourage them to hold up their past as a telephoto lens and focus it on their potential. And their future.

I hope as you read “Dead Air & Double Dares,” Book 2 in the Elmwood Confidential series, you will find a kinship with Crystal Cropper. She’s not old. She’s better than ever — a Butt-Bustin’ Bloomin’ Boomer through and through. I hope my readers — regardless of their generational identity — connect with her. Those who have yet to reach their sixth decade of life are in for an exciting awakening. That classic advertising slogan, “I’m not getting old … I’m getting better,” has never been more relevant. It’s true for Crystal and me, and it should be true for women at every age and stage of life.

So here’s to Olivia … mission accomplished! Thank you for seeing Crystal for the woman she is and not the woman you expected. Crystal Cropper may have lived sixty years, but she is ageless!


About the Author:

 

Janis Thornton is a writer, personal historian, and journalist. She is the author of two local history books, “Images of America: Tipton County” and “Images of America: Frankfort”; and contributor to “Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2” (page 189!). “Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies” is her debut novel (a cozy mystery), released in October 2014. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. A 2009 MWW Fellow, she also was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier contest that year. Her newspaper feature stories have been recognized by Women in Communications (Lafayette, Indiana chapter), Smiles Unlimited, and the Hoosier State Press Association. She lives in Indiana. You may contact/follow/like her at http://www.janis-thornton.com, Twitter (@JanisThornton), and Facebook (facebook.com/janis.thorntonauthor).

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From Dorothy Cannell, “The American P.G. Wodehouse”: The Trouble with Harriet

>>> Enter to win an e-copy of The Trouble with Harriet <<<

In a murder mystery so charming it could only have come from Dorothy Cannell—hailed by Nancy Pickard as “America’s P. G. Wodehouse”—Ellie Haskell is shocked when her long-lost father shows up on her doorstep with some rather . . . compromising baggage.

Ellie Haskell and her husband, Ben, haven’t taken a vacation in years. Now their suitcases are packed, their tickets are booked, and they’re ready for a romantic getaway in France. But everything goes awry after a chain-smoking fortune teller makes a dire prediction: “Take that trip at your peril!” Those ominous words ring true when Ellie’s prodigal father, Morley, suddenly appears with the remains of his ladylove, Harriet, whose untimely death in a car accident has left him bereft.

But after Morley loses the urn in a bizarre series of events, Harriet’s family is furious. Now a bewildered Ellie finds herself asks some probing questions: Who or what was in that urn? Could her father be a pawn in a deadly game? And what exactly is the meaning of that darn prophecy? Ellie just hopes she lives to find out whether the answers are worth the trouble.

Praise for Dorothy Cannell and the Ellie Haskell series

“A thoroughly entertaining series.”—Cosmopolitan

“It is the absurd predicaments of her central characters that readers find themselves recalling, and Cannell is cunning at devising outlandish situations for them.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“Cannell is a master of subtle wit and humorous asides that lift her cozies to great heights. Before the influx of writers trying to out-humor Janet Evanovich, there was Dorothy Cannell. Long may she write!”—Library Journal

 

 


 

About the Author:

 

Dorothy was born in Nottingham, England and came to the U.S. in 1963. She married Julian Cannell and they lived in Peoria, Illinois, from 1965 to 2004. They then moved to Maine where they now reside with their two dogs, Teddy and Watson.

Dorothy became an aspiring writer after taking English 110 at Illinois Central College and being encouraged to write for publication by the class teacher. Seven years later she sold her first short story.

Her first novel, The Thin Woman published in 1984 has been selected as one of the 100 favorite mysteries of the Twentieth Century by the Mystery Book Sellers of America. In 2014, Dorothy received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Malice Domestic. Dorothy has published eighteen novels and a collection of short stories.

 

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New Celebrity Mystery, Interview, and Amazon card giveaway: Fatal Facade by Wendy Tyson

>>> Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card <<<

Allison Campbell accepted a dream assignment: a visit to the Italian Dolomites to help Hollywood socialite Elle Rose reinvent herself. A guest cottage on the grounds of Elle’s historic castle promises to be a much-needed respite from Allison’s harried life on the Philadelphia Main Line, and the picturesque region, with its sharp peaks, rolling pastures, and medieval churches, is the perfect spot from which to plan her upcoming wedding.

Only this idyllic retreat is anything but peaceful. There are the other visitors—an entourage of back-biting expats and Hollywood VIPs. There’s Elle’s famous rock star father, now a shadowy recluse hovering behind the castle’s closed doors. And then there’s Elle’s erratic behavior. Nothing is as it seems. After a guest plummets to her death from a cliff on the castle grounds, Allison’s trip of a lifetime turns nightmarish—but before she can journey home, Allison must catch a killer.


Wendy, welcome to Island Confidential.  Can you tell us about your protagonist? 

Wendy Tyson: Allison Campbell is Philadelphia’s premier image consultant. A dissertation shy of a PhD in psychology, she spends her days helping others reinvent themselves, but her biggest transformation was her own.

Allison had a troubled childhood. Determined to overcome an abusive family life, she decided to become a psychologist. While in graduate school, she grew close to a teenage patient who ran away and was presumed dead. Allison blamed herself. Eventually Allison moved to the Philadelphia Main Line and reinvented herself as an image consultant. She’s able to use her understanding of human nature and her own experiences as an outsider to assist others (and solve crimes), but no matter how successful she becomes, the mistakes of her past haunt her.

How much of you is in Allison?

WT: I think there is part of me in every character I write. Like me, Allison has a background in psychology. She can be driven and controlling, but has a soft spot for the underdog. And her feeling of never quite fitting in echoes with me too.

I think I would like Allison very much if I met her in real life—eventually. Allison can come across as overly reserved or determined when you first meet her, but when you get to know her you realize those traits cover up a warm personality and a streak of kindness that often works to her detriment. That may be the reason she gets involved in so many investigations.

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

WT: Definitely. That’s the beauty of writing a series: you get to have your characters evolve and grow both over the course of a novel and through the course of the series. For example, when we first meet Allison in KILLER IMAGE, she is quite career focused, preferring the routine and predictability of her consulting business to the messiness of personal relationships. By the end of KILLER IMAGE, she has dealt with some of her demons and has realized that messiness is part of life. By FATAL FAÇADE we see her continuing to grow and taking risks that would have been unimaginable for the Allison in book one.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

WT: Haha! Of course. I resist the urge, but it does occur to me now and again. What’s the saying? Mean people suck. Life is short—be kind. (Or you may find yourself on the wrong side of a mystery…)

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

WT: For the Allison Campbell series, the setting is quite realistic. Allison works on the Main Line of Philadelphia, a wealthy suburb with prestigious schools, upscale shopping, and old money estates. I went to law school on the Main Line and I work near there now. I’ve taken some liberties, but for the most part the Main Line setting is true to life.

On the other hand, FATAL FAÇADE takes place largely in the Dolomite Mountains, in the South Tyrol region of Italy. I did spend time there while doing research for the book, so I tried to capture the essence of the area. That said, Bidero, the town over which Castle San Pietro towers, is a fictional town.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

WT: I’m terrible with this question. In fact, I welcome suggestions by your readers! I will say that for my Greenhouse Mystery Series, I would cast Sam Heughan (Outlander) as the sexy Scottish veterinarian, Dr. Denver Finn.

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

WT: Worst advice? Write what you know. The fact is, you should be knowledgeable enough to know what type of research is needed and then you should do whatever’s necessary to flesh out your knowledge so your books feel authentic. In my opinion, writers should explore new areas as the basis for their work. If I only wrote about the things I knew best, I’d be writing about ERISA law—and that might put my readers to sleep.

Best advice? I’ve received a lot of good advice over the years, but one simple piece has stuck with me. Someone told me writers should be able to describe a novel in a one sentence elevator pitch. That may not seem like earth shattering advice, but it’s helped me keep my work focused and it’s been instrumental when marketing. When you have to distill a four hundred page document down into one sentence, you really need to be succinct. You need to understand who the hero is and what crisis they’re trying to overcome. I do this now after I sketch out an idea but before I write the book. It saves me time and heartache later on.


About The Author

Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives there again on a micro-farm with her husband, three sons and three dogs.  Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery Series and the Greenhouse Mystery Series.

 

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The Witherston Murder Mysteries

The mayor of the north Georgia town of Witherston and one of its prominent attorneys are being blackmailed by a mysterious Donna Dam, who threatens to expose the two men’s shameful activities of forty years ago if they do not take a paternity test, pay a hefty sum of money, and if Mayor Rather does not withdraw his proposal to build a dam, creating a lake on top of a sacred Cherokee burial ground. Blackmail leads to murder, and when Detective Mev Arroyo and her two teenage twins investigate, they discover some dark secrets, putting all their lives in danger…


Betty Jean Craige, author of Dam Witherston and other Witherston Murder Mysteries

on the history behind her mysteries

Cherokees lived there for a thousand years, in north Georgia and western North Carolina, before the white settlers discovered gold. That was in 1828. In the early 1830s Georgia distributed the Cherokees’ land in forty-acre lots to winners of the Georgia Land Lotteries. When the Cherokees exhibited their anger, they were removed from their land and force-marched—on the Trail of Tears—to the area now called Oklahoma.

This is the history of my state that underpins the stories I tell in the Witherston Murder Mysteries.

I set Downstream, Fairfield’s Auction, and Dam Witherston, the first three novels in the series, in a small town I called Witherston, twenty miles north of Dahlonega, Georgia, where Hearty Withers (1798-1841) panned for gold, won the land lottery, and got rich. Hearty Withers and his wife Penance begat Harold Francis (“Harry”) Withers in 1830, after which Hearty died at the hands of a Cherokee. Harry went to the University of Georgia briefly, was expelled, married Patience Gray, begat Withers Francis (“Witty”) Withers in 1858, and founded the town of Witherston in 1860. Harry did not have to serve in the War Between the States because he paid a young man to take his place. Witty Withers and his wife Obedience begat Hearty Harold (“HaHa”) Withers in 1881 and Hearty’s sister Penance Louise Withers in 1900. In 1930 Penance Louise Withers eloped with Mohe Kingfisher, a Cherokee. Witty disinherited her for marrying a Cherokee Indian, so the couple moved to Tahlequah, Oklahoma. HaHa Withers begat Francis Hearty Withers in 1915. Francis Hearty Withers, having turned his inheritance into several billion dollars, died mysteriously over Memorial Day weekend at the age of one hundred to the benefit of four thousand Witherstonians.

This fictional genealogy is based on historical events that I researched: the rise and fall of the Cherokee civilization, the Georgia Gold Rush, the Georgia Land Lotteries, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Georgia’s miscegenation laws. I began creating the genealogy when I wrote Downstream, in which centenarian Francis Hearty Withers is murdered. I continued developing it when I wrote Fairfield’s Auction, in which Cherokee artifacts are sold to the highest bidder. I filled in details when I wrote Dam Witherston, in which Witherston’s mayor proposes to build a dam over sacred Cherokee burial ground. Dam Witherston features three murders: one in the present, one in 1977, when the Toccoa dam broke, and one in 1828. All of them involve interracial rape and pregnancy.

The past resides in the present. That is the common theme of my mysteries. And what pleasure I’ve had in populating the past with eccentric but credible characters!


About The Author

Dr. Betty Jean Craige is University Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. She has lived in Athens, Georgia, since 1973. Her first non-academic book was Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Grey Parrot (2010). After retiring in 2011, she published a column about animal behavior in the local paper titled “Cosmo Talks” and began writing fiction. Her Witherston Murder Mystery series, set in north Georgia, includes Downstream (2014), Fairfield’s Auction (2016), and Dam Witherston (2017).


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New suspense from Crooked Lane: No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan

>>> Enter to win a print copy of NO TURNING BACK by Tracy Buchanan (U.S. Only) <<<

Anna Graves’s whole life has recently been turned upside down. A new mother, she’s just gone back to her job as a radio presenter and is busy navigating a new schedule of late night feeding and early morning wake ups while also dealing with her newly separated husband. Then the worst happens. While Anna is walking on the beach with her daughter, she’s attacked by a crazed teenager. Terrified, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her baby.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister. A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the “Ophelia Killer,” a serial killer who preyed on the town twenty years ago—and who abruptly stopped when Anna’s father committed suicide.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life? Internationally bestselling author Tracy Buchanan takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride filled with heart-stopping secrets and hairpin turns in No Turning Back, her US debut.


 

About The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.

Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie at http://juliechasebooks.com/

 

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Who is your favorite fictional professor?

The Chronicle of Higher Education wants to know: Who is your favorite fictional professor?

Fictional characters exhibit some of the distinct qualities — whether weird, malicious, or magical — of real-life instructors. So we want to know: Who is your favorite fictional professor?

To respond, fill out this form. The Chronicle of Higher Education plans to share the responses in future coverage.


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New Ex-Nun Cozy: The Clock Strikes Nun by Alice Loweecey

>>>Enter to win an e-copy of The Clock Strikes Nun<<<

When terrified Elaine Patrick knocks on Driscoll Investigations’ door and insists her house is haunted, Giulia Driscoll’s first response is “we don’t handle ghosts.” When Elaine’s housekeeper and crackpot filthy rich cousin descend on Giulia and demand she find out who’s trying to steal sweet, fragile Elaine’s family business out from under her, that’s a different story. They want DI to provide Tarot readings, ghost hunting sessions, and even an exorcism.

Ghost hunting? There are apps for that. Tarot readings? Experts in the skill are right across the street. Exorcisms? Having a priest for a brother-in-law comes in handy. Giulia plunges into a crash course in all things supernatural, convinced everything happening to Elaine is stagecraft.

Except when it isn’t. Giulia’s about to discover a new dimension to sleuthing, if she can survive attempted murder long enough to see through the web of lies around her client.


Island Confidential: Alice, welcome back to Island Confidential! For our new readers, and those who need a little refresher, can you tell us a little about your protagonist Giulia?

Alice Loweecey: Giulia Driscoll is an ex-nun, now married and running her own private investigation agency. She grows her own vegetables, cooks from scratch as much as she can, and is expecting her first baby. In other words, she’s a multitasking kick-butt woman.

How much of you is in Giulia?

AL: Only a little of me is in Giulia. I’m an ex-nun and I grow veggies and cook from scratch, but it ends there. Giulia is much nicer than I am. She’s also a bit more tightly wound than I am. She never cusses, ever. If we met in person we’d probably share recipes and argue about the merits of the Catholic Church, since she’s still a member in good standing and I walked away a long time ago.

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

AL: Definitely yes. Giulia is much more comfortable in her own skin than she was a few books ago. She has more confidence and even makes jokes. Her assistant Sidney has mellowed a bit with motherhood but not enough to eat processed foods. Some things don’t change! Her admin Zane was a scared genius rabbit when Giulia hired him. Now he’s going undercover and interacting with humans instead of computer screens.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

AL: Hahaha, no. Karma. I will admit to disguising a few people in my books to make unpleasant things happen to them.

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

AL: Absolutely true to life. My books take place in a made-up suburb of Pittsburgh, but my friends in the Pittsburgh area always help me with details. Giulia uses modern equipment and methods and I spend an inordinate amount of time researching. I love research.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

AL: Oh, from your lips to Hallmark’s ears!
Giulia: Cobie Smulders
Frank: Alan Tudyk
Sidney: Christina Milian
Zane: Paul Bettany

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

AL: The worst: “Don’t write strong female characters. They make male readers uncomfortable.” The best: “It’s okay if the first draft is crap. Get the story on the page. You have coffee and edits after you write The End.”


About the Author

 

Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer Horror and Scooby-Doo Mysteries, which might explain a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for Giulia Falcone-Driscoll, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

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A new Blossom Valley Mystery: Marriage is Pure Murder by Staci McLaughlin

>>>Enter to win a paper copy of Marriage Is Pure Murder by Staci McLaughlin (U.S. Only)<<<

Wedding bells are ringing at the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa in California’s postcard-perfect Blossom Valley. The entire staff is pitching in to send one of their own down the aisle. But no one knew the nuptials could turn up so many secrets—or that marriage and murder could go hand in hand . . .

Dana Lewis is marrying Jason Forrester, a talented reporter and the love of her life. She couldn’t dream of a better venue than the farm where she works, and her friends are determined to give her the wedding of her dreams. Even her florist, Bethany Lancaster, is making sure she has just the right flowers. But Dana’s happiness wilts when she finds Bethany shot dead—and discovers her friend was a busybody with a blackmail list longer than a cathedral veil. With so many enemies, finding Bethany’s killer seems all but impossible. And when Dana herself is eyed as a suspect, she’ll have to chase down the culprit faster than she can say, “I do”—or she’ll be trading in her wedding dress for prison stripes.


Island Confidential: Staci, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little about your protagonist, Dana Lewis?

Staci McLaughlin:  Dana is in her late twenties and living on her own when she is unexpectedly laid off from her marketing job in the San Francisco Bay Area. She finds herself moving back to the small Northern California town where she grew up. Now she has to put her life back together and rethink her career while living with her mom and annoying younger sister.

How much of you is in Dana?  How would you feel about her if you met her in real life?

SM:  Dana is a lot like me. We share the same core values and interests. She tries her best, even when she doesn’t always succeed, and values her family. I think Dana and I would have a lot of fun together, especially since we both love junk food!

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

SM:  Yes, definitely. Dana starts out a little uncertain about where her life is headed in the first book, but in each progressive book she starts to gain confidence in both her career and her personal life. Similarly, her younger sister Ashlee, who is an absolute brat in the first book, matures somewhat as the books progress.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

A:  Not yet! I’ve heard of writers doing that, but I can’t think of anyone I have ever been so mad at that I would wish them dead, either on the page or in real life.

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

SM: Blossom Valley is a fictional town, but it is loosely based on Ukiah, a real town in Northern California where I grew up. The population of Blossom Valley is considerably smaller, and the town more closely resembles the Ukiah of my childhood rather than today, but it has the same atmosphere and kinds of people. One thing I like about using a fictional place is the flexibility. I can create a new business at the spur of the moment if needed or add other features that are important to the plot.
When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

SM: I love how you say, “when”! I think Jennifer Lawrence would be a good pick for Dana, since Dana is mostly practical but can also be a bit goofy. Ryan Reynolds would be great as Dana’s love interest, Jason.

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

SM: The best advice I have ever received was to just keep writing. Like anything, the more you practice, the better you get. When I make sure to write every day, it’s much easier to get into the proper mindset and come up with ideas. If I don’t write for a week or longer, it can take me a day or two to get back into the rhythm.

I guess the worst advice would be to write what you know. If I were to stick to only what I know, it would be a very short book! Plus, one of the fun aspects of writing is doing research and learning about new topics. I love to then share that information with the readers.


About The Author

Staci McLaughlin graduated from the California State University, East Bay before becoming a technical writer for a number of years. Now she is a stay-at-home mom and a cozy mystery writer in my spare time (Ha!). Once she can wrangle the kids into bed, my husband and I enjoy watching scary movies and playing both board games and video games.

She is currently a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, as well as a contributor to the LadyKillers blog. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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New Paranormal Cozy Cat Mystery from Vicki Vass: Bloodline

>>> Enter to win a coffee mug and a print copy of the book <<<

Fleeing from the witch trials in Salem, Terra Rowan finds herself in modern day Asheville, North Carolina.

A dark spirit from the past hunts this last witch of Salem. With the help of the ladies of the Biltmore Society, Terra must discover the secret within the forest to preserve the bloodline.


Thank you so much, Frankie, for inviting me. My name is Terra Rowan, I am the heroine of Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery.

Island Confidential: Welcome, Terra! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

TR: I’m not as confident as I appear. I’ve had glimpses of my future, and it scares me.

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

TR: I have a kinship with Abigail and a great love for Mrs. Twiggs but to narrow it down to one if I have to, it would have to be Pixel. He is a gentle soul who takes pleasure in the simple things. He’s brave and a faithful friend and will not waver in dire straits.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

TR: That would be Tracker. My first instinct is to avoid creatures of his ilk but there is a strength in him that I admire.

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

TR: I think that she understands my world. She knows the hard work and research to earn my trust. She struggles with forming the perfect words to tell my tale but that makes her even more endearing. I believe the true measure of a person is in the effort not the result.

What’s next for you?

TR: To continue the journey that was set forth in Bloodline, my companions at my side.


About the Author:

With a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

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A New Nic and Nigel Mystery: A Perfect Manhattan Murder

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Thrilled that their friend’s Broadway debut was a rousing success, Nic and Nigel Martini, along with Nic’s college pal Harper, are trying to enjoy the exclusive after-party. Unfortunately, all the champagne and repartee in the world aren’t enough to overlook the churlish behavior of Harper’s husband, Dan. Nic is shocked the next morning when she learns that Dan’s been murdered. Nigel thinks the world may be a better place without him.
Still, Harper’s their friend and they’re intent on helping her any way they can. The Martinis will stop at nothing—with the possible exception of cocktails and walks with their bull mastiff Skippy—to see that the killer ends up behind bars.


About the Author

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Tracy Kiely is a self-proclaimed Anglophile (a fact which distresses certain members of her Irish Catholic family). She grew up reading Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and watching Hitchcock movies. She fell in love with Austen’s wit, Christie’s clever plots, and Hitchcock’s recurrent theme of “the average man caught in extraordinary circumstances.”

After spending years of trying to find a proper job that would enable her to use her skills garnered as an English major, she decided to write a book. It would, of course, have to be a mystery; it would have to be funny; and it would have to feature an average person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. She began to wonder how the characters in Pride and Prejudice might fit into a mystery. What, if after years of living with unbearably rude and condescending behavior, old Mrs. Jenkins up and strangled Lady Catherine? What if Charlotte snapped one day and poisoned Mr. Collins’ toast and jam? Skip ahead several years, and several different plot ideas, and you have her first mystery Murder at Longbourn.

While she does not claim to be Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, or Hitchcock (one big reason being that they’re all dead), she has tried to combine the elements of all three in her books.

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