New Hamptons Murder Mystery: Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle

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Like a basket of warm cinnamon buns, an unsolved crime is something that Hamptons innkeeper and sleuth Antonia Bingham just can’t resist. Despite a busy high-season schedule and an inn booked to capacity, Antonia has agreed to investigate a cold case in her beloved adopted hometown, East Hampton, NY: the killing of Susie Whitaker, whose brutal 1990 slaying on a tennis court in the poshest part of town was never solved. And the person who has hired Antonia? Prime suspect Pauline Framingham, a manipulative pharmaceutical heiress from a powerful family. The crime scene is compromised, the circumstances are complicated, and former witnesses are cagey, haunted and very reluctant to revisit what happened on that sun-splashed afternoon decades earlier. As Antonia attempts to unravel the mysteries of the past she unearths even darker secrets and ultimately wonders if it would have been best to let sleeping dogs lie. To make matters worse, past acquaintances and love interests reappear in the Hamptons, disrupting Antonia’s world and causing her to scurry to the fridge for comfort.

Death on West End Road is the third book in the Hamptons Murder Mystery Series. Along with a colorful cast of supporting characters, the beating heart of the book is Antonia Bingham, restaurateur, gourmand, and nosy carb-lover.

Praise for Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle:
“Doyle is an enthusiastic guide for Long Island’s East End village…fun and satisfying”
–Kirkus Reviews

“…a fast-paced, cozy mystery story set within the well-heeled confines of East Hampton, New York…[it] will keep audiences guessing right up until the end…”
–Foreword reviews


Island Confidential: Antonia, welcome back to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers something about yourself that we might not know?

Antonia Bingham: Despite the fact that I am chatty and love to engage with people I actually can be quite secretive. I think the readers would be shocked to know that I am planning a trip. Pretty soon I will be heading back to California and I will confront my past. It’s time that I come face to face with my fears and ensure that my ex-husband will never harm me again or anyone else for that matter. No one who knows me would imagine that I am planning this, and if they knew they would surely stop me. That’s why no one can know.

Are you and Joseph Fowler still on good terms? Does he have any competition in the BFF department?

AB: Joseph Fowler, the acclaimed author of many award winning historical novels is my best friend and really like a father to me. I am so lucky I have him in my life. But recently, believe it or not, Larry Lipper, the annoying crime reporter from The East Hampton Star, has been instrumental to me. Now I definitely do not want to say we get along best—he’s irritating, vain, narcissistic and believes every woman is in love with him. But actually, I was recently asked to solve a cold case and it was Larry who was my wingman. He helped me more than I could imagine.

Now that you and Larry seem to have declared a truce, is there any other character do you have a conflict with? 

AB: I have a one-sided imaginary conflict with Melanie Wells, a famous actress and the wife of Nick Darrow, the famous actor. The truth is, I have a giant crush on him and wish she were not around. I know that’s terrible, terrible! But they have such a toxic relationship to begin with that it makes me angry. I despise how she treats him. Okay, of course I only know his side of things. But still. Look, I know I am no competition to a gorgeous movie star, but a girl can dream, right?

Last time we spoke, your told me your author, Carrie Doyle, was procrastinating. But now it sounds like she’s been working hard and might want to take a little time for herself!

AB: I think that like me, she spent too much time in the kitchen this year and needs to get out and enjoy the sun! East Hampton is beautiful so I would encourage her to take a bike ride or go for a swim in the ocean. There is so much to see and do away from the desk and the computer and summer is so short!

What’s next for you?

AB: A mysterious man has booked the inn for a weekend and several guests will be joining him. They are all addressed by pseudonyms. It all sounds very creepy and dramatic but I am looking forward to it!


About the Author:

 

Carrie Doyle was the founding Editor-in- Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire Magazine. She is currently a Contributing Editor of Hamptons Magazine and has written extensively for Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and has also written for Women’s Health and Avenue on the Beach. With Jill Kargman, Carrie co-wrote the film Intern (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999), as well as several screenplays sold to Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Films and the Oxygen Network. Carrie and Jill co-wrote five books together, including three teen books for HarperCollins and two bestselling women’s fiction books, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing (Broadway Books). Carrie also penned the popular novel The Infidelity Pact (Broadway Books). Carrie lives in New York City with her husband and two children and is currently at work on an animated series for broadcast as well as her new series, the Hamptons Murder Mysteries.

 

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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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New Bakeshop Mystery: A Crime of Passion (Fruit)

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Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary . .

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

“A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!” ―Fresh Fiction

“A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.”
―Library Journal

 

 


About The Author  

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

 

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What I Learned at Today’s Student Success Webinar

Or: Why should I keep all this misery to myself?

1) Students are our customers. You don’t go into a store and expect the cashier to tell you what to do. Similarly, who are we to tell students what to do?

1a) We need to take our students in hand and teach them time management. You know, the way cashiers do.

2) Some students report dropping out because of boredom or lack of motivation. Therefore it’s our responsibility to be more “entertaining” and “inspirational.” Other reasons students gave for dropping out included procrastination, poor sleeping habits, relationship issues, death in the family, addiction, and partying. These can all be fixed if we are “engaging” enough. We must not make lame excuses like “but I’m not a trained addiction counselor.” Anything short of taking full responsibility for students’ progress is tantamount to blaming the students, and we must never blame the students.

3) Many students report dropping out due to financial issues. For some reason this point was passed over quickly and without discussion.

4) Millennials want meaning, not money or job security.

5) Some majors “need to go” because they don’t lead to those high-paying and stable careers that millennials apparently don’t care about. (Also, “everyone knows” which majors should be eliminated: The ones that sound old-fashioned and don’t have “digital” in the name.)

6) Students need to find their passion. We don’t have the right to discourage students from following their passion.

6b) But if they major in something impractical and end up broke and indebted that’s our fault.

7) The presenter thinks we’re idiots. “Look up your institution’s graduation rate on College Navigator. Are you shocked your graduation rate is so low?” Um, no, folks like you have been beating us up about our (entirely predictable) graduation rate for years.

The miserable icing on this cake of despair? The above gems were greeted with coos of appreciation
and mutterings of “we really need to get the faculty involved in this conversation.” [1]

Unfortunately, it’s too early to start drinking. So I’m going to go look at guinea pigs in costumes instead.

[1] Of course there won’t actually be a conversation. If there were, the faculty would trot out  the same old hidebound and unfashionable ideas we’re always banging on about: offering the classes students need to graduate, reducing class size, hiring full-time faculty and paying them a living wage, and providing childcare. BO-ring!

Source: . . . . Zooze the Horse: What I Learned at Today’s Student Success Webinar


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First in Series Country Music Murder Mystery: Killer Music by Tammy L. Grace (with a guest post)

 

When private detective Cooper “Coop” Harrington meets record label mogul Grayson Taylor at a swank gathering of country music artists and politicians he never imagines he’ll be investigating his brutal murder less than twenty-four hours later.

 

The suspects are plentiful. More than a handful of people could have wanted him dead. Retained by Taylor’s widow, Coop works alongside his best friend and Chief of Detectives, Ben Mason. The investigation leads Coop and Ben to visit the luxurious mansions of recording industry magnates, navigate the murky undercurrents of the political world, and probe complicated family matters. Scandalous indiscretions, secrets, and hints of corruption swirl in the midst of their pursuit of the killer.

Coop’s faithful friend and assistant, Annabelle and his loyal golden retriever, Gus, both lend a hand during the investigation. Even his Aunt Camille mines the local gossip mill to unearth potential killers with motive. Yet the case seems hopeless until a crucial piece of evidence emerges that sends Coop and Ben on a race to catch the killer before someone else dies.


Characters and Setting
Tammy L. Grace

I love to write for the same reasons I read—enjoyment and escape. I’ve been an avid reader all my life and find myself most attracted to characters in novels. Not to say I don’t pay attention to plot, but if push comes to shove, I’ll stick with a character I like over a well-developed plot with mediocre personas. I’m embarrassed to admit, but many times I remember the main character’s name in a book, rather than the author’s name.

I need to relate to the character and more importantly, I need to care about what happens to her. I read a bestselling novel not long ago and despite the rave reviews, hated it because I didn’t care about any of the characters. I thought they were all horrible and frankly didn’t care what happened to any of them…live or die.

When I’m creating my main characters I work hard to make them believable and relatable. The female protagonists in my Hometown Harbor series are all women with whom I’d enjoy spending my free time. I strive to create individuals readers love or sometimes love to hate. I believe central characters should be memorable.

Speaking of villains, they’re rather fun to construct. I take a lot of time with my characters and keep a notebook full of traits and characteristics for each of them. I pay attention when I’m out and about and take note of peculiarities or mannerisms I observe. When it comes to the bad apples, I tend to extract the most detestable traits I’ve seen and concoct an amalgamation to form the perfect evil character. It’s a fun exercise and as an author I enjoy embellishing a minor irritating quality I’ve noticed and turning it into a revolting character. This is especially fun in my mystery series where I get to create lots of suspects.

In my Cooper Harrington series I chose to use a male protagonist with a strong female supporting character in Annabelle. I made this choice because I wanted to differentiate my novels from the typical female amateur sleuth type of story. My mysteries are full of twists, but leave out the gore, sex, and violence associated with many of the typical male detective characters in the genre. Coop is capable, but quirky. Endearing and hardworking. He’s a forty-something bachelor and a chronic insomniac with commitment issues. He’s addicted to caffeine and lives with his wealthy aunt. His relationship with his mother is, uh…complicated and Coop spends more time with his dog than anyone else. He’s loveable and the reader cares about him, but he doesn’t overshadow the whole point of the book—solving the murder.

With Coop I focus mostly on the plot, revealing bits about the main characters, but the overriding theme of the book is the whodunit, not the character relationships. Readers tell me how much they like Coop and Annabelle and I must confess they are two of my favorite characters. But the plot drives the mystery, which is the exact opposite of the Hometown Harbor series where the whole story revolves around the lives of the characters and their emotional journeys.

I chose Nashville for the setting of my mystery series after a trip there a few years ago. I loved the area and while driving around the idea for a mystery series began to form. I found the perfect spot for a murder and the plot started to percolate. From there I built the characters and have since collected more ideas for upcoming cases for Coop. I do extensive research online and incorporate my own observations from my visits to give the reader an authentic experience. I want the reader to feel like they’ve visited Nashville or Friday Harbor after reading my books.

The Hometown Harbor series is my women’s fiction series and each book focuses on a different female protagonist. All of the women are connected through friendship and their lives are intertwined in the small island community of Friday Harbor. Each woman faces struggles that take her on an emotional journey of self-discovery. Complex family relationships and enduring friendships are key elements for the group of women. The choices they often have to make are difficult and risky.

While my mystery series is more of a fast-paced whodunit (on the cozy side), readers find my Hometown Harbor series to be relaxing and often describe them as books that transport them to another place. In this case, the gorgeous San Juan Islands. For me the quaint island community that is the setting almost becomes another character. They are an ideal read for vacations, relaxing breaks, or just an escape from everyday life. I tend to indulge in books as a reward to myself and they are the perfect calorie-free treat.

The female leads are more mature women in their 40’s and 50’s. I made this choice for a few reasons—I don’t relate to the twenty-something crowd and I think women of a certain age are underrepresented in mainstream novels, but have the most to offer readers.

The Cooper Harrington Detective Novels are designed to be stand-alone books, but I think they’re better when read in order, so start with Killer Music—it’s an award-winning mystery. Deadly Connection was released last year and I have plans for the third one to be released in 2018.

The Hometown Harbor Series has to be read in order, so start with Finding Home. I’m finishing up the fifth one now and it will be released in the summer of 2017.

I love to hear from readers and invite you to follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tammylgrace.books or Amazon http://www.amazon.com/author/tammylgrace or visit my website at http://www.tammylgrace.com to contact me. I’d love to add you to my newsletter and send you some free content just for subscribing. You’ll be the first to know about book news, blog posts, contests, and giveaways.


About The Author  

Tammy L. Grace is the award-winning author of The Hometown Harbor Series of women’s fiction set in the picturesque San Jan Islands in Washington and a mystery series set in Nashville, Tennessee, featuring Cooper Harrington, Private Detective.

Born and raised in Nevada, Tammy L. Grace loved reading at a young age. With the help of her middle school teacher, she discovered the joy of writing. When Tammy isn’t working on ideas for a novel, she’s spending time with family and friends or supporting her addiction to books and chocolate. She and her husband have one grown son and a spoiled golden retriever.

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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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‘Ulysses’ VR Game Developed in Boston, Showcased in Ireland

A virtual reality game developed by college students in Boston and based on James Joyce’s “Ulysses” is being showcased in Dublin as the Irish capital holds its annual celebration of the author and novel.

Read more at the NYT:  http://nyti.ms/2ss3Yrq


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New Teddy Bear Shop Mystery: Bearly Departed by Meg Macy

>>>Enter to win Gummi Bears, a teddy bear and a Print Copy of the book <<<

As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . .

 

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer

 


About The Author  

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historicals, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

 

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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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