A Perfect Manhattan Murder

Author Tracy Kiely shares news of her recent release, A Perfect Manhattan Murder. This is the third installment in her Nic and Nigel Mystery series. Welcome, Tracy.

More about A Perfect Manhattan Murder:
Thrilled that their playwright friend’s Broadway debut was a rousing success, Nic and Nigel are trying to enjoy the A-list after-party with their pal Harper. Unfortunately, all the champagne and repartee in the world aren’t enough to overlook the churlish behavior of Harper’s theater-critic 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 is their friend and they’re intent on helping her any way they can. Invigorated by the thrill of the hunt and fortified by a flood of cocktails, catching the killer becomes the Martinis’ top priority…with their behemoth Bullmastiff Skippy along for the ride.
Includes cocktail recipes.
Grab your copy here!

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More about Tracy:
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 Price 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.

How to connect:
Webpage: http://www.tracykielymysteries.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tracykielymysteries
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tracy_Kiely
Blog: http://www.tracykielymysteries.com/?p=blog

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And the results are in…

Hey, guys.
I’ve been crowing and crowing about the BookBub promotion that ran yesterday, so I thought perhaps I should share some results. About 23,000 readers grabbed a copy of Celebration House!
I’ve already heard from a few readers: where’s the third book? So, here I am, at 5:15 a.m., working on Return to Celebration House.
To be honest, it’s hard to get excited about writing a third book when no one reads the first two! Much easier when you have two emails first thing in the morning with the question: where’s the third book?
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Grateful: party of one.

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BookBub promotion starts tomorrow!

Hey, guys.
I just wanted to send a quick reminder that Building Celebration House will be featured tomorrow in a BookBub promotion. It’s currently priced at FREE!
Free is good, right?
So far, more than 900 readers have downloaded it. Reviews have begun to trickle in, including a five-star left yesterday. Thank you.
All of which makes me say: YIPPEE!

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A Good Day to Buy

Today I welcome author Sherry Harris to talk about her new release, A Good Day to Buy. Welcome, Sherry!

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
This is such a great question and really made me think about the why. I love the challenge of writing a good mystery with an amateur sleuth, interesting characters and settings, and trying to keep the reader guessing until the mystery is solved by the sleuth. I love reading all kinds of crime fiction, but cozies present a unique opportunity to have someone without a special background or skill solve a puzzle aka the crime.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Sarah Winston’s estranged brother shows up at her door the same day a beloved Vietnam vet is murder while she is running a garage sale for him. Her brother begs her not to tell anyone he’s in town, especially not to tell her ex-husband, the chief of police of Ellington, Massachusetts. When Sarah’s brother disappears she realizes that to find her brother, she’ll have to figure out who killed the Vietnam vet.
I’d been thinking a lot about heroes before I started writing this book. Who is a hero? What makes a hero? People in Sarah’s town called her a hero after an incident earlier in the year, but she certainly doesn’t feel like one. At about the same time I read an article about a man who tracked down people who defrauded the government by pretending to be military veterans. Both of those things became an integral part of A Good Day To Buy.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
A smart reader of any age who likes complex, twisty tales, some light humor and who just wants to escape their own world for a while.

Please describe your writing routine.
I’m lucky enough to have a home office. My desk came from a thrift store and my bookcase from a resale store. I have some favorite pieces of art – a painting with the saying “follow your dreams” from a craft show, a painting my daughter painted in fifth grade, among other things. That doesn’t exactly sound like part of my writing routine, but it does inspire me. I usually write in the afternoons because I’m not a morning person. Although, as a deadline nears, I write anytime of the day.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Two things! 1. Study the craft of writing. I’ve taken college classes, attended writing conferences and fan conferences to hear authors speak, and read numerous books about writing. 2. Get out there and network. Meet other authors. A turning point in my career was connecting with someone at a banquet who told me to join Sisters in Crime and eventually that led to my contract with Kensington. It’s a long and winding trail from banquet to publication, but I still wonder if I would have been published without that happening.

More about A Good Day to Buy:
When Sarah Winston’s estranged brother Luke shows up on her doorstep, asking her not to tell anyone he’s in town — especially her ex, the chief of police — the timing is strange, to say the least. Hours earlier, Sarah’s latest garage sale was taped off as a crime scene following the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife—her clients, the Spencers.
All Luke will tell Sarah is that he’s undercover, investigating a story. Before she can learn more, he vanishes as suddenly as he appeared. Rummaging through his things for a clue to his whereabouts, Sarah comes upon a list of veterans and realizes that to find her brother, she’ll have to figure out who killed Mr. Spencer. And all without telling her ex . . .

Grab your copy here!

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How to connect with Sherry:
Website: https://sherryharrisauthor.com
Email address: sherryharrisauthor@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SherryHarrisauthor/
Twitter: @SHarrisAuthor

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Bed and Breakfast and Murder

Today I welcome prolific author Patti Larsen to talk about her newest series, Bed and Breakfast and Murder. Welcome, Patti!

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I’ve fallen in love with murder. Most of my other works are YA paranormal, with some kind of witchy or magical or supernatural bent to them. I’ve dabbled in science fiction, post apocalyptic, even horror. But there’s a special kind of awesome in creating crime that gives me a thrill.
Everything about cozies appeals, from the amateur sleuth to the investigative ingenuity to the bloodless crimes. My voice tends toward the snarky sarcastic and humorous internal dialogue that seems to fit the genre really well.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Bed and Breakfast and Murder introduces Fiona Fleming, daughter of an ex-county sheriff and a school principal, who spent ten years running away from her old life in the small town of Reading, Vermont. When she realizes her boyfriend has been cheating on her and that her existence in the big city isn’t giving her the kind of fulfillment she’s looking for, she accepts the inheritance of her recently deceased grandmother’s bed and breakfast, Petunia’s. Saddled with a flatulent pug of the same name, two elderly staff members who wish she stayed in New York and a rapidly fading fantasy that owning a B&B could possibly be glamorous and romantic, Fee finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation when a body appears in her garden’s koi pond.
I love the small town feeling of this series. I grew up in such a place, where everyone knows everyone and your business is not your own. The vivid beauty of the mountains, a picturesque town nestled in the valley below, a colonial three story with a lovely carriage house and English country garden in the back all called to me as the perfect setting for Fee’s adventures.
And, as the owner of two adorable pug babies, the addition of Petunia as Fee’s sidekick was a natural choice.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I’m in my mid-forties, but I feel like I’m still twenty most of the time. So, for the cozy series I tend to write to women around my age, aiming for anyone with a wicked sense of humor who love to push boundaries and try new things, to become as fully absorbed in what they are reading as their own lives. Readers who love animals and adventure and the kind of sweet romance and bloodless murder that makes writing cozies so much fun. And readers who like to talk about what they read, who interact and communicate with me and others.
But, you know what? My ideal is the person who gives my work a chance, regardless of the outcome. That’s my kind of reader.

Please describe your writing routine.
I’m fairly prolific and tend to write and publish at least one book a month, sometimes two, though depending on life demands I’ve been known to take time off here and there for other projects outside my literary life.
If I’m working on a new book or series, I tend to spend all day at it. For the Fiona Fleming series, for example, I sat down and outlined the entire run—from murderers to victims to suspects to murder weapons—over the course of a few days. I like to see the entire project from start to finish before I write book one so I don’t drop threads or get lost. That’s how I discovered the original twelve books were actually thirteen.
When I’m writing, I tend to tackle large chunks at a time. So, between 6-15k per day (anywhere from four to ten chapters). I don’t like to be distracted and tend to finish a book before moving on to the next one. So, when the first draft is complete, I take two days to edit then send it off to beta readers to make sure I hit the mark or my editor before starting the next book.
Rinse. Repeat.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
I love this question and struggle with it, too. There’s so much advice and yet, my journey is my journey and it’s impossible for you to replicate what I’ve done. Nor should you! So, here’s what I typically say when I’m asked:
– Be professional. Always, in all forums, at all times. Yes, we have bad days, we have frustrations and times when it seems like nothing is going right, that reviewers are being cruel or someone on social media is saying things that hurt or feel like bullying. I get it, I really get it. But the face you put out to the public, to your readers, is the persona their going to attach to. Their lives are tough, too. They deserve the best from you. So find a place to privately vent the things you need to vent and keep your public sphere professional.
– Be your own boss. Whether you take the traditional publishing route, go all indie or somewhere in between, always take responsibility for your career. You choose where you go from here, what books you write, how you brand yourself and what deals you accept. No one else can do that for you.
– Have fun! Why else are we doing this? If it’s not fun anymore, there’s a reason for it. Find that reason, wipe it clean, and find the joy again. Because you might as well be in a cubicle working 9-5 if you’re not in love with what you’re doing.

More about Bed and Breakfast and Murder:
Fiona Fleming hasn’t lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small-town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. And then, in the shocker of a lifetime, Fee’s grandmother wills her a bed and breakfast. Awesome! It’s the fresh start she’s been dying for. Or is it?
Petunia’s might seem like a refuge from her cheating ex and so-called life in the big city, but being accused of murder within two weeks of arriving back in her hometown? That’s anything but charming. Can she uncover the truth before the handsome new sheriff puts her behind bars instead of asking her to dinner?

Grab your copy here!

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How to connect with Patti:
Website: http://pattilarsen.com
Email address: patti@pattilarsen.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/pattilarsenauthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/PattiLarsen @PattiLarsen

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Dial P for Poison

Zara Keane stops by to share news of her recent release, Dial P for Poison. Welcome, Zara.

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
Cozies are my favorite crime fiction subgenre. I’d wanted to write a cozy for several years before I started work on the Movie Club Mysteries, but it was hard to fit in another genre on top of my romance writing schedule. Now that my youngest child is in pre-school, I have four kid-free mornings a week, and I decided it was the perfect moment to dig out my mystery notes and flesh them out into a viable series concept. And so the Movie Club Mysteries came into being.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Dial P For Poison is the first book in the Movie Club Mysteries. It introduces us to Maggie Doyle, a former San Francisco cop, who moves to Ireland after her marriage falls apart. When the most hated woman on Whisper Island is poisoned at her aunt’s Movie Theater Café, Maggie and her rock-hard muffins are hurled into the investigation.
I had a blast writing this book. I’m Irish, so the setting details came easily to me. Whisper Island is loosely based on the Aran Islands, an area I’ve visited many times. My mom was born and grew up in San Francisco and moved to Ireland when she was nineteen. With Maggie, I was able to play with the culture shock/fish out of water element that my mother experienced.
Like Maggie, I’m a huge fan of old movies, and I loved the idea of incorporating that interest into the story. The book’s name comes from the Hitchcock movie, Dial M For Murder. In Dial P For Poison, the murder occurs while the movie club members are watching Dial M For Murder. I’m also a cocktail fan and I was able to get that into the book in the form of the murder weapon. Be sure to check out the back of the book for a recipe of the fatal cocktail—minus its deadly ingredient!

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
Honestly? My ideal reader is me, at least at the writing stage. I strive to write the sort of books I want to read: heavy on humor, rich on setting details, and filled with characters I’d like to hang out with in real life. I’ve tried to write to market, but unless the idea genuinely fires me up with enthusiasm, it’s a recipe for misery. All that said, I am aware of the market and of what’s currently selling well in the cozy mystery genre. As a business person, it’s smart to keep an eye on trends and figure out how to best place your books so that readers looking for the sort of stories you write can easily find them.

Please describe your writing routine.
I work somewhere between part-time and full-time hours, depending on the week. My morning routine is very predictable, but afternoons vary. Once I’ve packed the kids off to school and kindergarten, I sit down at my computer and get to work. I write from 8:00 to 10:00 and then take a break. Three days a week, I use this break to go jogging. I’m usually back at my computer by 11:00 and I work for another hour before the kids come home for lunch. We live in Switzerland—school kids come home every day for a ninety-minute lunch break. There’s a reason I work from home! When the kids go back to school, I get about two hours of writing time between 13:00 to 17:00, depending on what after school activities and appointments we have. Unless I have a pressing deadline, I use the time between 18:00 and 20:00 to take care of admin, marketing, and other tasks. I try not to work on weekends, but I sometimes use the time to work on book covers or teasers if those need to be taken care of.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Write the story that excites you and FINISH IT! Twenty-five perfectly polished first chapters will teach you far less about storytelling and creating compelling characters than one hot mess of a finished first draft. If the idea of finishing an 80,000-word book seems daunting, try writing a novella. Focusing on just one plot thread is easier than juggling a main plot and a few subplots and it’ll teach you to keep your writing tight. This is a valuable skill for when you tackle a longer more complex story. Good luck!

More about Dial P for Poison:
Movies. Muffins. Murder.
Maggie Doyle moved to Ireland to escape her cheating ex and crumbling career in the San Francisco PD. When the most hated woman on Whisper Island is poisoned at her aunt’s Movie Theater Café, Maggie and her rock-hard muffins are hurled into the investigation.
With the help of her UFO-enthusiast friend, a nun, and a feral puppy, Maggie is determined to clear her aunt’s name. Can she catch the murderer before they strike again? Or will her terrible baking skills burn down the café first?
Cozy, quirky, and fun, this tongue-in-cheek mystery is a delicious introduction to the Movie Club Mysteries Series. Grab a cocktail and join Maggie as she takes her detective skills across the pond in Dial P For Poison.

Grab your copy here!

Zara Keane’s Movie Club Mysteries Launch Giveaway

How to connect with Zara:
Website: https://zarakeane.com
Email address: zara@zarakeane.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zarakeaneauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/zara_keane

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Occult and Battery

Today I welcome author Lena Gregory to share news of her recent release, Occult and Battery. Welcome, Lena.

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
One of the things I especially love about writing cozy mysteries is the amount of time I get to spend with my characters. I love writing (and reading) a series as opposed to a standalone book because of how invested you become in the characters. There’s time to develop each character’s backstory and time to get to know them. I also love creating the town surrounding the characters. Sitting down to write or read a cozy is kind of like coming home to visit with friends. Plus, the mystery itself is a ton of fun to plot.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Long Island is filled with old, supposedly haunted mansions. Every time I pass one, I wonder what it would be like to spend a weekend there. It seemed like the perfect setting for a séance.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I think my ideal reader would be someone who enjoys getting to know my characters and has fun trying to solve the mystery along with my main character.

Please describe your writing routine.
I keep a stack of spiral notebooks on my nightstand, one on my desk, and one in the living room. I even keep a small notebook in my car and one in my purse in case I have an idea while I’m out. Every time I have an idea for a story, I pull out a notebook and start plotting it out. I list the characters, giving a lot of thought to their names, sometimes even researching names that have some meaning that relates to the story. Then I give each of them a back story and work them into each other. Then I research ways to kill people. And then I plot the story. Once I finish all of that, I just sit down and start writing. I try to write a minimum of a thousand words a day, but I don’t always make it.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Sit down and write your story. Don’t worry about getting everything perfect on the first draft. It’s more important to just get the story down, and take care of the rest on your first round of self-edits.

More about Occult and Battery:
Cass Donovan uses her skills as a former psychiatrist to get away with pretending to be psychic, but she’s not about to let anyone get away with murder…
The outlook is not so good for Cass’s psychic shop, Mystical Musings. With winter winds discouraging tourists from riding the ferry from Long Island to Bay Island, Cass hopes to draw in more customers by hosting a murder mystery weekend, complete with a séance, in a supposedly haunted mansion.
But Cass begins to lose her spirit when her ex-husband shows up, along with his fiancée—Cass’s ex-best friend. Then, after one of the guests is found dead, a blizzard blows in, trapping everyone inside with a murderer. Now Cass must divine who did the deed before her reputation and her livelihood fade away.

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How to connect with Lena:
Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/
Public email address: lenagregoryauthor@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

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Called to Justice

Mystery author Edith Maxwell returns to my pages to share news of her recent release, Called to Justice.

More about the book:
Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?

Grab your copy here!

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How to connect with Edith:

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Southern Fried

Author Tonya Kappes stops by to talk about her new release, Southern Fried. Welcome, Tonya!

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I love cozies! I love a good/clean mystery that will take you into the hearts of a small town and get to know the cozy characters.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
My target audience is the cozy mystery reader.

Please describe your writing routine.
Every morning I get up around 5:30 and do business stuff until 8. Then I go exercise for an hour. I return home and write until 1 p.m. I only stop to eat lunch and watch Days of Our Lives (hahahhaa!). After lunch I will do another hour of business stuff (like these interviews and emails) before my husband and kids get home.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
After you finish the book, start the next one.

More about Southern Fried:
In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried
After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding.
The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to the recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.

Grab your copy now!

How to connect with Tonya:
Email: Tonyak11@yahoo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortonyakappes/?ref=tn_tnmn
Cozy Krew Group:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4423580.Tonya_Kappes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyakappes11
Amazon Tonya Kappes Author Page:
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tonya-kappes
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tonyakappes/

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When the Grits Hit the Fan

Today I feature author Maddie Day (alias Edith Maxwell) to share the story behind the story of hew new mystery, When the Grits Hit the Fan. Welcome!

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
It’s one of my favorite genres to read. I like writing clean, accessible, not-terrifying stories where justice is restored to the community in the end. And I like reading books with strong, adventurous female protagonists, so that’s what I write.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
I spent five happy years in a PhD program at Indiana University in the next county from where I set the Country Store Mysteries. I knew I wanted to involve fictional academics in at least one of the books but bring it local to South Lick. In book time, the year had rolled around to winter, and I’d had the idea for a body in the ice long ago. I also live in antique New England houses that my boyfriend renovates (yes, while we’re living in them…) and he’s always discovering old things in the walls he opens up. That’s what inspires the item Robbie finds in one of the upstairs walls of her building – an object that gets her and her boyfriend Abe in some pretty hot water!

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
Studies show that most cozy mystery readers are women over forty, and some much older, although I know some younger readers and also quite a few men who love the genre. I learned to read Agatha Christie and other mysteries from my mother when I was quite young, and she would not tolerate books (or movies) with swearing, sex, or gratuitous violence in them. So in a way I’m writing these with Mommy in mind, even though she passed away five years ago right before my first book came out.

Please describe your writing routine.
I am at my desk in my upstairs home office, writing by seven every morning but Sunday. I work all morning, then take my plotting walk, have lunch, and work on promotional business in the afternoons. I left my day job as a tech writer four years ago, and I treat fiction writing as my job, which it is! Except now I’m my own boss and my commute is thirty seconds long.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
The most important thing to do is write the best book you can. You can’t revise words you haven’t written. And keep studying your craft – take workshops, read books on writing, and study writers in your genre whose books you admire. Then find your tribe. Join Sisters in Crime if you write crime fiction, or the online or local group in your genre. Their advice and friendship will be invaluable.

More about When the Grits Hit the Fan:
Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s Country Store restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer? Robbie and her friend Lou go snowshoeing and find a contentious academic frozen under the ice. Police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff in Pans ‘N Pancakes the night before. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie absorbs local gossip about the professor’s past and develops her own thesis on the homicide — even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way.

Grab your copy here!

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How to connect with Maddie Day, aka Edith Maxwell:
Website: edithmaxwell.com
Email address: edith@edithmaxwell.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdithMaxwellAuthor/, https://www.facebook.com/MaddieDayAuthor/
Twitter: @EdithMaxwell, @MaddieDayAuthor

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