A New Country Club Murder Mystery from Julie Mulhern: Cold as Ice

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Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.

When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.


Ellison, welcome to Island Confidential!  Tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?

I’m Ellison Russell. I’m a mother, a painter, and a widow (if I wasn’t a widow I’d be a divorcee). Not too long ago, I swam into a body and my life has been chaos ever since.

I don’t mourn my late-husband (he was a horrid man who, arguably, got what he deserved) but I do worry about my daughter growing up without a father. And, when she gets herself into trouble, I wish Henry was still around—frankly, being a single mother in 1974 isn’t easy.

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

Have you met Mr. Coffee? He changed my life. Truly. What other man does exactly what what I ask when I ask? Mr. Coffee listens. He doesn’t judge. And, he doesn’t tell me what to do. Instead, he provides me with as much coffee as I can drink (which is a lot).

There are women out there who still cling to their percolators. To them, I say, “Why? Just because your mother brewed coffee that way doesn’t mean you have to. The world is changing!”

Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

Mother and I have had our differences.

She is old-school and believes that a woman’s happiness depends on a man. She wants to see me married again.

After Henry, I’m not sure I’ll ever remarry. Why would I when I have Mr. Coffee to keep me company?

Also, Mother operates under the impression that I find bodies on purpose. She seems to think I go looking for corpses. Nothing could be further from the truth. I AVOID dead people.

The following is typical Mother:

Mother staggered.

I caught her elbow, led her to a settee, and crouched next to her when she sat. “Would you like a glass of water?” I wanted one—if only to rinse the awful taste from my mouth.

Her cheeks were pale, but she found the inner fortitude to say, “No. I do not want a glass of water.” Her shoulders squared and she glared at me. “That’s two this week, Ellison. If you keep this up, we won’t have any friends left.”

Two bodies in a week. Was it only Wednesday when Laurie’s body had turned up in a freezer? “It’s not my fault. I’m not killing them.”

Mother buried her head in her hands. “People are starting to avoid you. You’ll adopt a bunch of cats and grow old alone.”

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

Julie has the power to send me to St. Bart’s or Milan or Paris. Instead, she leaves me in Kansas City and throws bodies in my path. Why? I’m a nice woman. I volunteer. I write checks to worthy charities. I’m a good friend and a better mother. Yet, every time I turn around there’s another body.

You know what I think? I think Julie enjoys all those dead bodies. There must be something wrong with her.

What’s next for you?

In book seven, my best friend Libba drags me to a medium…

            “You are surrounded by death.”

            Oh dear Lord. Libba’s “medium” sat on one side of a small table. I sat on the other. I tugged against her vice-like grip on my hand.

            When Libba had said “medium” I’d imagined a woman in a turban (royal purple or turquoise) and long, flowing robes who was surrounded by the scent of patchouli. Someone who spoke with a foreign accent. The reality was an older woman with a surprisingly strong grip, wispy white hair, creped skin, liver spots, and fire engine red lipstick that had bled into the wrinkles surrounding her mouth. As for that accent—pure Brooklyn.

            “You cannot fight your fate.” Madame Reyna stared at my trapped palm through rhinestone speckled cat glasses as thick as Coke bottles. Those glasses made her eyes appear ten times larger than they actually were. Those eyes, dark and enormous, lent her an otherworldly air completely at odds with our surroundings—a gold brocade living room set covered with plastic slip covers, deep, recently raked shag carpet, macramé wall hangings, and a corduroy chair the size of Maryland. Dust motes waltzed through the half-hearted sunshine peeking through the curtains. The lingering scent of a late breakfast—bacon and fried eggs by the smell of it—hung in the air.

            Again I pulled at my hand.

            Madame Reyna held on. She leaned forward, peered more closely through her Coke-bottle glasses, and tsked. “So much death.”

            I shot Libba a look that should have killed her.

Ellison, thanks for stopping by! Anyone who’s interested in reading Ellison’s adventures from the beginning should start here


About The Author  

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. Julie spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean is an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog, and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Julie Mulhern

 

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New Brewing Trouble Mystery: A Room with a Brew by Joyce Tremel

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It’s Oktoberfest in Pittsburgh, and brewpub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara is prepping for a busy month at the Allegheny Brew House. To create the perfect atmosphere for the boozy celebration, Max hires an oompah band. But when one of the members from the band turns up dead, it’s up to Max to solve the murder before the festivities are ruined.

Adding to the brewing trouble, Candy, Max’s friend, is acting suspicious… Secrets from her past are fermenting under the surface, and Max must uncover the truth to prove her friend’s innocence. To make matters worse, Jake’s snooty ex-fiancée shows up in town for an art gallery opening, and she’ll be nothing but a barrel of trouble for Max.

 


About The Author

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in a suburb of the city with her husband.

Her debut mystery, To Brew Or Not To Brew was nominated for the 2015 Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Amateur Sleuth by RT Book Reviews. The second book in the series, Tangled Up In Brewwas released in October 2016 and chosen as a “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews. It was the winner of the 2016 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. It was also named one of the Best Books of 2016 by Kings River Life Magazine.

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Why I Write Cozies: Guest post and new Haunted Library Mystery from Allison Brook

Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she’s offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura’s case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it’s due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.

Enter to win a print copy


Why I Write Cozies
by Marilyn Levinson/Allison Brook

Like many authors who have been writing novels for several years, I write in various genres—mysteries, romantic suspense and kiddy lit. Recently I find myself especially drawn to writing cozies. And here are the reasons why:
1. I love writing mysteries but prefer leaving the CSI end of it to other authors. I’m interested in the puzzle and human interest aspects. Why was a person or persons murdered? How does my sleuth go about her investigation to expose the killer?
2. While I enjoy plotting, my characters are my main concern. What makes each one of them tick? How do they relate to one another? Why do they behave the way they do?
3. I LOVE secrets. Many of my characters have secrets that influence their current behavior. Secrets can make a character look guilty when she isn’t. Keeping a secret secret can drive a character to murder.
4. I love writing about small towns. Small towns where everyone knows everyone else is such a cozy element. The setting of a cozy is another character because it influences the people in the story. DEATH OVERDUE takes place in a small town with centuries- old homes and shops built around a village green. My sleuth, Carrie, is a librarian, so a good part of the action occurs in the library.
5. Romance winds its way in many cozies. In DEATH OVERDUE, Carrie finds herself attracting the attention of not one but two very different men.
6. Animals and cozies go hand-in-hand. In DEATH OVERDUE, a half-grown cat attaches himself to Carrie, and she finds herself bringing him to work. In a matter of minutes, Smoky Joe becomes a Library Cat.
7. Cozies always have a satisfying ending. The murderer is caught. Justice prevails. Most cozies are written in series, giving one’s sleuth an opportunity to forge more adventures and solve more mysteries.


About the Author

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

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New Paradise mystery, giveaway, and character interview: Fireworks in Paradise

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While on vacation in South Carolina, Tj Jensen receives a call that her father has been left in a coma after a devastating car crash. Back home in Paradise Lake, Tj learns the accident that killed family friend Judge Harper and left her father clinging to life wasn’t an accident at all—someone cut their brake lines.

To make matters worse, her friend and police contact, Deputy Roy Fisher, is working with a new partner who has no intention of letting Tj anywhere near the case. Facing an investigation more explosive than the annual fireworks show, Tj enlists the help of her best friends to unravel the mystery, all the while navigating a new romance and the thought her father may never wake up.


Tj, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

My name is Tj Jensen and I am a high school physical education teacher and coach who lives at the lakeside resort owned by my father. I live with my grandfather, father, and two half-sisters, who I have been raising since our mother died. While I appear to have a good head on my shoulders, and a firm handle on things, I am really unsure and insecure much of the time. My life has been through so many changes in the past four years that there are times I look in the mirror and wonder what happened to the single and carefree girl I was. But then I look at the man I have chosen to welcome into my life, and the two young sisters I have agreed to raise, and I realize that while uncomplicated may be a thing of the past, I wouldn’t trade who I was, for who I have become, for all the carefree moments in the world.

Of all the characters in the series, who’s the one you get along with the best?

At the moment I would have to say the character I get along with best is Kyle Donovan since we are entering a new phase in our friendship and opening the door to love. The thing I love the most about a new relationship is that the world seems to hold nothing but hope and promise in spite of the everyday challenges we all must face.

Is there anyone you don’t get along with so well? At the moment the character I seem to be getting along the least with is the new deputy in town, Kate Baldwin, who seems intent on putting an end to my amateur sleuthing even if it is the last thing she does.

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

Well basically she is an okay person but she has really put me though the ringer in terms of my romantic life over the course of the past four years. Between you and me, I really like Kyle and I hope my author has finally made up her mind and settled on my happily ever after.

What’s next for you?

I guess you will have to ask Kathi what comes next, which I have, and basically she said she really doesn’t know. I imagine that whatever she settles on will be a surprise to the both of us.


Check out the other books in the series

Pumpkins in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 1)

Between volunteering for the annual pumpkin festival and coaching her girls to the state soccer finals, high school teacher Tj Jensen finds her good friend Zachary Collins dead in his favorite chair.

When the handsome new deputy closes the case without so much as a “why” or “how,” Tj turns her attention from chili cook-offs and pumpkin carving to complex puzzles, prophetic riddles, and a decades-old secret she seems destined to unravel.

 

 

Snowmen in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 2)
Winter Carnival comes to Serenity, and with it Tj finds her schedule busier than ever. Not only is her ski and snowboard team heavily involved in demonstrations and local competitions, but her ragtag choir is about to debut in their first live performance. To make matters even more complicated, someone has killed Travis Davidson, a town favorite son, world-class snowboarder, and Olympic hopeful. Tj is determined not to get involved in the subsequent investigation until she learns the prime suspect is Chelsea Hanson, high-school boyfriend Hunter Hanson’s sister.

Although there’s no shortage of Sereninites with a grudge against the hometown hero, even Tj has to admit there’s good cause to suspect Chelsea of the murder. Balancing bridesmaid duties, Winter Carnival obligations, show choir duty, and after-hours investigation, Tj sets out to prove Chelsea innocent.

 

Bikinis in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 3)
When the Tropical Tan Corporation descends on Maggie’s Hideaway, the lakeside resort where Tj Jensen lives, she must juggle a bikini contest, a BBQ cook-off, a missing model, and a dead chaperone while her father is out of town. Lead Deputy Dylan Caine is on vacation while his sister is visiting, leaving Assistant Deputy Roy Fisher in charge. When Roy asks Tj for her help they find there may be more going on than anyone realized. With Kyle and Jenna’s help, they dig into the lives of those involved, only to find a mystery more complex than anything they could ever have imagined.

 

Christmas in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 4) Christmas in Serenity is a magical time of year Tj has always looked forward to with happy anticipation. This year her holiday spirit is marred by the impending arrival of two new men in her life. When one of them ends up dead, Tj must juggle community plays, Christmas tree cuttings, sleigh rides, and holiday shopping with a complex murder investigation. As the facts begin to unravel, she realizes she may have to risk everything to save someone she loves.

 

 

 


Puppies in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 5)
When a friend of Tj’s is injured in a car accident during a blizzard, Tj takes responsibility for the litter of puppies left behind. Meanwhile, she works with Kyle, Jenna, and the gang to catch the person responsible for the death of a close family friend. When it turns out that the main suspects are also close to the Jensens, Tj must deal with one of the most difficult decisions she’s ever had to make.

 

Halloween in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery Book 6)

In the midst of the annual Halloween frenzy, Tj finds herself pulled into a series of events at the high school where she works. Not only must she help one of the girls on her team deal with a case of cyberbullying, but she must help a student who has recently suffered a personal tragedy. And as if Tj wasn’t busy enough, in walks Samantha Colton, a reporter for Second Look, a television series that takes a look back at unsolved murders. This time the case is the death of a popular student after the homecoming dance ten years before. To make matters even worse—or maybe more convenient—the graduating class of the victim is in town for their ten-year reunion and all the suspects just happen to have converged on Serenity for the weekend. When Samantha turns up dead, Tj must track down someone who seems willing to kill again to keep their secret.

 

 


About the Author

Author of the Zoe Donovan cozy Mystery Series, Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series, Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Series, Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mysteries, and Seacliff High Teen Cozy Mystery Series.

Come for the murder, stay for the romance.

Kathi lives in the beautiful alpine community of Lake Tahoe with her husband Ken and dog Echo. When she’s not writing she enjoys hanging out on the beach with her children and grandchildren. During the summer she enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and sunset cruises on the lake. During the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and curling up by a fire with a good book.

Kathi uses her mountain home as inspiration for her books, all which include appearances by the wildlife she shares her life with.

Visit Kathi Daley:

Blog – http://kathidaleyblog.com

Facebook at Kathi Daley Books, www.facebook.com/kathidaleybooks

Kathi Daley Teen – www.facebook.com/kathidaleyteen

Kathi Daley Books Group Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/569578823146850/

Kathi Daley Books Birthday Club- get a book on your birthday –https://www.facebook.com/groups/1040638412628912/

Kathi Daley Recipe Exchange – https://www.facebook.com/groups/752806778126428/

Webpage – www.kathidaley.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278377.Kathi_Daley

Twitter at Kathi Daley@kathidaley – https://twitter.com/kathidaley

Tumblr – http://kathidaleybooks.tumblr.com/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/kathidaley/


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A new Chloe Ellefson Mystery: Mining for Justice by Kathleen Ernst

>>> Enter to Win a Print Copy<<<

Chloe Ellefson is excited to be learning about Wisconsin’s Cornish immigrants and mining history while on temporary assignment at Pendarvis, a historic site in charming Mineral Point. But when her boyfriend, police officer Roelke McKenna, discovers long-buried human remains in the root cellar of an old Cornish cottage, Chloe reluctantly agrees to mine the historical record for answers.

She soon finds herself in the center of a heated and deadly controversy that threatens to close Pendarvis. While struggling to help the historic site, Chloe must unearth dark secrets, past and present . . . before a killer comes to bury her.


Character Interview with Chloe Ellefson

Chloe, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers something about yourself? 

I work as curator of collections at a huge outdoor museum, Old World Wisconsin. As you would guess, I am passionate about history. My special focus is on the 19th-century immigrant experience, especially involving women. I love shining a little lamplight on long-gone everyday women who left no handy diaries or breathtaking folk art behind, but faced and survived extraordinary challenges.

What might come as a surprise is that I attended forestry school at West Virginia University, majoring in environmental education. My background is unusual in the history world, but it helps me understand early settlers within the context of their physical environment. Oh – and it also left me with a blue ribbon in a Jack-and-Jill crosscut saw competition! I’m pretty proud of that.

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

That’s an easy one:  my special guy, Officer Roelke McKenna. He’s a beat cop in the Village of Eagle, close to Old World Wisconsin. He’s nothing like the man I imagined settling down with. He’s a few years younger than me, doesn’t have any particular interest in history, can be a wee bit intense when focused on police work. He’s still working on managing his temper when dealing with bad guys. He also is a man of enormous integrity, who’d do anything to protect someone in need – especially people he loves. In the beginning we didn’t always get along so well…but we grown a lot since then, and I can’t imagine life without him.

Which character do you not get along with so well? 

Equally easy! My boss, Ralph Petty. Petty is a misogynistic megalomaniac with a graduate degree in micromanagement. He’s been on my case since the day I started my job at the site. I try to protect the seasonal employees from the worst of his wrath. I also do my best to protect program integrity in the face of his often-bizarre ideas. He’s already tried to fire me once. I’m committed to Old World Wisconsin, and to living with Roelke at his family farm nearby, so every day at work is like walking a tightrope.

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

For the most part, she does a pretty good job. I sometimes wish she didn’t write about my quirks and personal challenges, but I guess she has to be true to the stories. She doesn’t depict me as some stereotypical ever-brave heroine, but as a real person who tries to do the right thing in sometimes difficult circumstances.

What’s next for you?

Since Ralph Petty’s favorite sight is my tail lights disappearing in the distance, he’s always finding reasons to send me off on special assignment. I’m about to leave for a week’s gig as volunteer curator at another historic site. I’ll be studying the immigration history of an ethnic group that’s new to me, so I’m excited. But I can’t say more than that!


About The Author  

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest.  Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers.  Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations.  Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

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16 Millimeters: A new Maizie Albright mystery from Larissa Reinhart

 

16 Millimeters: A Maizie Albright Humorous Mystery
by Larissa Reinhart

October 10 & 11, 2017

Release Date – October 17, 2017

16 Millimeters: A Maizie Albright Humorous Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Romance
2nd in Series
Past Perfect Press
Print Length: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B074TW9MZ8

#StillAWannabeDetective In continuing her career-makeover quest as a for-real detective, ex-teen and reality star Maizie Albright has a big learning curve to overcome. A sleuthing background starring in a TV show— Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective—does not cut the real life mustard. It doesn’t even buy her lunch, let alone extra condiments. Her chosen mentor, Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions, is not a willing teacher. He’d rather stick Maizie with a safe desk job and handle the security solution-ing himself. But Maizie’s got other plans to help Nash. First, win Nash’s trust. Second, his heart.

Wait, not his heart. His respect. His hearty respect.

So when a major movie producer needs a babysitter for his hot mess starlet, Maizie eagerly takes the job. But when her starlet appears dead, and then not dead, Maizie’s got more than an actress to watch and a missing corpse to find. Body doubles, dead bodies, and hot bodies abound when the big screen, small screen, and silent screams collide. Maizie’s on the job, on the skids, and on thin ice, hunting a killer who may be a celebrity stalker. And Maizie just might be the next celebrity who gets snuffed.

Pre-Order Links

Amazon B&N

About The Author

Larissa is a 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, 2014 finalist for the Silver Falchion and Georgia Author of the Year, 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, have been living in Nagoya, Japan, but once again call Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, LarissaReinhart.com, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.

 

Website: http://larissareinhart.com/

Official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RisWrites

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

Instagram: http://instagram.com/larissareinhart

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarissaReinhart

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/LarissaReinhart/

Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/LarissaGoodreads

Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/larissanewsletter

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/larissa-reinhart

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/LarissaReinhart

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Ava Mallory’s free and 99 cent cozy extravaganza ends tomorrow

>>> Sixty hand-picked cozy mysteries, free or 99 cents <<<

Download great October reads from Ava Mallory, Julie Mulhern, Shéa MacLeod, Maggie West, Carolyn Dean, Amy Metz, Alannah Rogers, Larissa Reinhart, and more. And it’s not too early to grab The 12 Slays of Christmas, a 12-book Christmas box set for 99 cents!

Graphics from freepik.com

Hurry–this promo ends October 8, and many books will be going back to their regular price.

See all the books here


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A Celestial Romantic Comedy: Divinely Yours by bestselling novelist Karin Gillespie

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Skye Sebring is a hospitality greeter inside the pearly gates of an unorthodox Heaven, where carefree and lusty angels get tipsy in the Live A Little Lounge, practice cloud art, and are guided by a brassy female deity who sounds and looks like Bette Midler.

During the course of her duties, Skye meets lawyer Ryan Blaine, who has a brush with death due to a motorcycle accident.

It’s not Ryan’s time to die yet, so he returns back to Earth, but Skye can’t get him out of her mind. Why does Ryan seem so familiar to her and why does she feel an unexplainable attraction to him? She begins spying on Ryan’s life from her perch in heaven and even manages to follow him down to Earth. There she finds a world very different than Heaven, where drinking too much champagne results in hangovers, roses can prick fingers, and hearts are capable of being broken. All seems lost until she remembers that most of life’s lessons can be learned from the lyrics of five Beatles songs and one of the Fab Four’s songs might actually help win her the love of a lifetime.

Divinely Yours is a celestial romantic comedy about a love that crosses all dimensions.


Guest Post: My True Hollywood Story

All my life I’ve had stars in my eyes. When I was nine, after a successful turn as the lead in a local theater production of Alice in Wonderland , I told my mother she needed to take me to California immediately where I could fulfill my destiny as an actress. She refused (there was a little matter of leaving my father and two brothers behind). Thus, for years, my only connection with the limelight was my weekly purchase of People magazine.

One day, however, I was thrust out of my humble, ordinary existence. One afternoon, out of the blue, I had a close encounter with one of the beautiful people.

It was a typical workday for me: Stare blankly at the computer monitor. Type a couple of words. Check e-mails. Eat chocolate. Repeat.

The phone rang. Generally I screen my calls so as to not distract myself from my daydreams and chocolate consumption, but for this afternoon I answered on the second ring.

“Hello! This is James Woods,” said the voice on the other end of the phone. “The movie actor. Do you know who I am?”

I was momentarily befuddled. First of all, I have to admit that movie stars don’t call me every day. In fact, this was my very first call from a movie star. Secondly, I couldn’t figure out why he was calling me. Was he trying to sell me something? Was James Woods the actor now James Woods the telemarketer? Had I missed news of his downfall?

“My mother was reading the large-print edition of your book Bet Your Bottom Dollar,” he continued, “and she was laughing so much that I asked her if I could read it, too. After I finished, I thought it would make a great movie. Have you ever thought about who would play some of the characters in your book?”

Finally. My chance to be in the spotlight.

“Mr. Woods. It just so happens that when I was eight, I starred in Alice in Wonderland …”

“Actually, I was thinking Meryl might be ideal for one of the parts,” he interrupted. “We’re friends from way back; I’ll call her.

“Meryl? As in Meryl Streep? Well, yes, I suppose she is probably a little more experienced.”

Long story short, James Woods’ people got in touch with my agent and the papers were drawn up for the movie option. After it happened, friends kept asking me when I was buying a Greek island. Truthfully the money would only purchase a few Greek salads, but I had big dreams. How much was Crete going for, I wondered.

After the papers were inked, James Wood called me on the phone and we had a long talk about his vision for the film. He also sent me a dozen red American Beauty roses; the card read, “Can’t wait to make a film with you, Best wishes, Jimmy.”

That was it. I never heard from him again. My Hollywood hopes dashed like a dinghy on the merciless rocks of a craggy shore.

Not really.

I’m a practical sort and had always seen as the film option as a fun story more than an actual reality. Since then Hollywood has sniffed around my door several times. I had a flurry of interest in Divinely Yours,  the story of a greeter in Heaven who falls in love with a mortal, but nothing came out of it…

Buy Divinely Yours on Amazon or B&N


About The Author  

Karin Gillespie is the national-bestselling novelist and has also written for the New York TimesWashington Post and Writer Magazine. She has an MFA from Converse College and lives in Augusta, Georgia and is a recipient of a Georgia Author of the Year award.

Visit her on her web site, her FB page or on Twitter. She is also on Good Reads.


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New Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery: The Ninja’s Illusion by Gigi Pandian

>>> Enter to win a signed copy and a set of book-themed recipe cards <<<

A fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed…

A lost work of art linking India to the Italian Renaissance. A killer hiding behind a centuries-old ghost story.When Jaya travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery.With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay’s trick, along with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician’s assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim.The Ninja’s Illusion is #5 in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series. Available at Amazon  | B&N | kobo

Other books in the series:
•FOOL’S GOLD (prequel novella in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE)
ARTIFACT (#1)
PIRATE VISHNU (#2)
QUICKSAND (#3)
MICHELANGELO’S GHOST (#4)


About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s the author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and Quicksand) and the Accidental Alchemist mysteries (The Accidental Alchemist and The Masquerading Magician).

Gigi’s debut mystery was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant, the follow-up won the Left Coast Crime Rose Award, and her short fiction has been short-listed for Agatha and Macavity awards. A breast cancer diagnosis in her thirties taught her two important life lessons: healing foods can taste amazing, and life’s too short to waste a single moment.

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New scrapbooking mystery: Crepe Factor by Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran

>>>Enter to win a print copy of Crepe Factor (U.S. only) <<<

Author Laura Childs is a superb writer and is now joined in writing this series with another of my favorite authors, Terrie Farley Moran! They make a perfect fit for sure. Reading the books, you’d never know two writers were contributing. The quality storytelling in CREPE FACTOR is of a standard that many authors can only hope to achieve.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews
CREPE FACTOR is not only a fun, madcap romp through New Orleans and the bayou with memorable characters, the book provides inspiration and tips for scrapbooking along with several delicious recipes.
~Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of MurderThis is a lively read. Carmela and Ava are fun characters, and I loved their scenes together. The dialogue is sharp and quick, and really moves the story along.
~View from the BirdhouseLaura was my first cozy mystery author I read and it was this series I started with. She is who got me hooked on cozy mysteries and why I keep coming back to them.
~A. Holland ReadsCrepe Factor is quirky, fun, and entertaining. It is well written by seasoned authors, and their dual contribution flows seamlessly.
~The Power of WordsThe descriptions of this New Orleans community makes the reader feel like they are right there…I did enjoy the book, well written with a touch of humor.
~CelticLady ReviewsI found this book a delight!…The mystery was lots of fun.
~I Wish I Lived In a Library

I have followed this series from the start and when you put both of these authors together , their writing styles go so well together that you get an outstanding read.
~Shelley’s Book Case

This book really pulled you in wanting you to figure out who killed him and why. I loved going on the adventure with them.
~Community Bookstop

This was an entertaining and fun read. It had the right amount of humor in it that made me chuckle at times.
~Melina’s Book Blog

I love the setting of New Orleans. One of America’s most fascinating places. I love the friendship between Ava and Carmela. And I love the scrapbooking store setting.
~MysteriesEtc

I enjoyed main characters, Carmella and Ava. They were fun, quirky, and full of adventure. I appreciated that I could come into book fourteen as a new reader and not feel left behind in the series.
~Grace, Gratitude, Life

The Winter Market in the French Quarter is in full swing, but murder isn’t taking a holiday in the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Parchment and Old Lace…
 
The holidays are a busy time for scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand—but not so hectic that she doesn’t have time to enjoy browsing the booths at the Winter Market with her best friend Ava. The last thing the ladies expect to see is a lurching man stabbed by a serving fork, dying in front of them.

The victim is loathed restaurant critic Martin Lash, who posted his scathing reviews on the Glutton for Punishment website. And the prime suspect is New Orleans restauranteur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela, Quigg asks for her help, which does not please her current beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, to say the least.

Before her relationship is the next victim, Carmela needs to find a murderer who had no reservations about punishing the culinary curmudgeon…

Scrapbooking tips and recipes included! 


Character interview

Meet Carmela Bertrand, scrapbook guru, New Orleans habitué,
and main character in Crepe Factor by Laura Childs.

Carmela, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a New Orleans girl through and through. A few years ago I opened a little scrapbook shop called Memory Mine in the French Quarter and it took off like a bottle rocket. Now we’ve evolved into creating invitations, memory boxes, rubber stamping, Paperclay earrings, handmade books, altered teacups, and all sorts of fab crafts. What you might not guess is that I was once married to a rich playboy from a fine old New Orleans banking family – the operative word being was. One day, Shamus (my ex) slipped into his boogie shoes and left me flat. It’s a good thing I’m resourceful and not afraid of hard work!

Who’s the character in Crepe Factor that you get along with the best, would you say?

That would be my BFF Ava Gruiex. Ava’s a self-proclaimed hottie-patottie who wears leather pants, a push-up bra, and owns Juju Voodoo in the French Quarter. Mostly she sells love charms made from herbs and plays my partner in crime when I try to solve a murder mystery. Which, for some reason, happens a lot in New Orleans. Hey, what can I say? We’re the Big Easy, home of Mardi Gras, crazy above ground cemeteries, haunted bayous, Cajun spiced food, great architecture, and bad behavior.

Anyone you don’t get along with so well?

I hate to admit this, but my soon-to- be fiancé Detective Edgar Babcock goes bonkers when I get involved in police business. For example, at the Winter Market, the food critic Martin Lash was murdered – skewered with a serving fork. And just because Lash had a fiery argument with my old boyfriend Quigg Brevard, Babcock rushed in and grilled poor Quigg like a pig on a spit. Then, when I decided to get involved (I call it a shadow investigation) to help Quigg, it evolved into a second murder and a wild and wooly romp where Ava and I gobbled fine foods, flaunted fashion, and ran for our lives through the bayou! Fun, huh?

Just between you and me, what do you really think of your author, Laura Childs?

Well, she’s pretty hard working for one thing. I mean, she’s banged out over 40 mysteries in the last fifteen years and most of them hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. So I guess that’s something.

What’s next for you?

Mardi Gras is coming up and that means another raucous adventure where a Mardi Gras float explodes and a fat cat finance guy who’s riding on the float is killed. When my ex-husband Shamus (aka the rat) is accused of murder, he begs me to help him. Needless to say, this evolves into my snooping at parties, in Mardi Gras float dens, and old French Quarter mansions. You can read all about it in Glitter Bomb when it comes out next year.


Gerry Schmitt, who writes under the pen name Laura Childs is now adding two more series that are harder-edged Wednesday February 26, 2014 in Plymouth. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

 

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.

Laura’s Links:

Webpage – http://www.laurachilds.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31


terrie-farley-moran

Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. followed by Caught Read-Handed and Read to Death released in July of this year.  The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.

Terrie’s Links:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/terrie.moran.9

Blog:www.womenofmystery.net

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/23186092-terrie-moran

Purchase Links:

      Amazon    B&N    Goggle Books    IndieBound


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