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:
http://www.edithmaxwell.com
http://wickecozyauthors.com
https://www.facebook.com/EdithMaxwellAuthor/
https://twitter.com/edithmaxwell
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5826191.Edith_Maxwell
http://www.amazon.com/Edith-Maxwell/e/B001HQ0XU8
https://www.pinterest.com/edithmaxwell/

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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:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/208579765929709/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4423580.Tonya_Kappes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyakappes11
Amazon Tonya Kappes Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Tonya-Kappes/e/B0048NYQLE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1453516750&sr=8-2-ent
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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Silence of the Jams

Today I welcome author Gayle Leeson to talk about her new cozy mystery, Silence of the Jams. Welcome, Gayle.
Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I enjoy the puzzle-solving aspect of mysteries but don’t care for too much blood and gore. Cozies seem like a kinder, gentler murder somehow.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
I grew up in a small town like Winter Garden. Our big deal of the summer was when the carnival came to town. My cousin, brother, and I would plan for it as soon as we saw the first flyer announcing when the carnival was coming to town. We decided what we wanted to ride, what we wanted to eat, who else among our friends might be going. Trust me, it was exciting. So I wanted to embody some of that excitement in Winter Garden’s Independence Day Celebration. The town is small, so they don’t have the budget to do a lot. They have large celebrations for the Fourth of July and for Christmas, so the townspeople really get involved and enjoy themselves on those two occasions.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I don’t. I basically write the book I feel…the book I believe is true to the characters and the story. I do, however, sometimes hear my editor in my head as I write. Does that mean she’s my ideal reader?

Please describe your writing routine.
I do a rough overall outline so that I know basically where the story is going, and then I outline a chapter at a time prior to writing it. That way, if the plot takes a turn I wasn’t expecting, I can just pick up the threads and keep weaving. I try to write a chapter a day. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. When I’m on deadline, I make myself get that chapter in.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Never give up and never stop learning!

More about Silence of the Jams:
It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B and B on the site. When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack — until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Grab your copy here!

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How to connect with Gayle:
Website: http://www.gayleleeson.com/
Email address: gayle@gayletrent.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

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Double Up!

I’m thrilled to host Gretchen Archer today to share news of her most recent release, Double Up. She’s the author of the Davis Way Crime Caper Mystery Series. Welcome, Gretchen.

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I wrote four stand-alone women’s fiction books before I went the cozy route. I managed to land an agent with my first novel — a miracle — and wrote the next three while waiting, waiting, waiting for the first to sell. It didn’t. I took a year off and studied the market: What was selling? Mysteries were selling. I took a hard look at my bookshelves, packed with Nancy Drew, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, and Lawrence Sanders, and realized I should have been writing a mystery series all along. I landed in cozy because I can’t write gore.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Double Up, the sixth full-length in my series, has a central theme of friendship inspired by my own friendships.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
My ideal reader loves all things southern, which is not to say from the south, but appreciates southern charms. With my series set in a fictional casino, my ideal reader might be one of the 1.6 billion US casino visitors last year. More than anything else, my ideal reader has a sense of humor.

Please describe your writing routine.
I hit my desk at four in the morning. Four months of the year I’m writing a draft, the next month I’m rewriting the draft, and the next two months are back-and-forth editing. I generally spend the next month plotting and researching the next book. I take a little time off for releases, then I go back to the blank page.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Make friends. Join writer groups, attend conferences, and dive into the industry. It wasn’t until publishing that I really met My People. You’ll meet yours, and they’ll help you along the way.

More about Double Up:
Fasten your seatbelts for non-stop action as stiff competition blows into town and the resulting turbulence threatens to take down the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Super Secret Spy Davis Way Cole, who lives on the twenty-ninth floor of the hotel with her CEO husband and newborn twins, takes it hard. If the casino goes belly up, she won’t be a stay-at-home mom because she won’t have a home. Not to mention her husband won’t have a job.
Davis can’t find a way to stop the inevitable end of the Bellissimo life she loves until her ex-ex-mother-in-law shows up, unexpected and definitely uninvited. Davis makes the best of a bad Bea Crawford situation and recruits her for a little corporate espionage work, which would’ve been great, had Bea not turned out to be the world’s worst spy.
Ever.
Seatbacks and tray tables in their upright positions as we prepare for a bumpy ride with babies, bankruptcies, besties, and shrimp. (Shrimp?)
Enjoy your flight!

Grab your Amazon copy Here!

How to connect with Gretchen:
Website: www.gretchenarcher.com

Public email address: gretchen@gretchenarcher.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/crimecapers

Twitter: http://twitter.com/gretchen_archer

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Single Malt Murder

Author Melinda Mullet stops by to talk about her newest cozy mystery, Single Malt Murder. Welcome, Melinda.

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I write what I love to read. I’ve always written, but I was forced to do a lot of very dry writing as a lawyer. Lawyers are notoriously bad writers and as an English major, I was stuck editing everyone else’s work as well as my own. After fifteen years in the legal trenches, I was burnt out on the writing process, but once I exited the profession I found my desire to write for pleasure coming back.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
I’d been following my husband around on a tour of the Speyside whisky distilleries in Scotland and at what felt like distillery number four hundred and thirty seven, I found myself thinking that the giant wooden vat we were peering into would make a great place to discover a dead body. Other mystery people will understand that this isn’t really as disturbed a thought as it seems, nor is it a subconscious desire to be rid of my whisky loving husband. From there I started writing the Whisky Business series. The series focuses on a journalist named Abi Logan who finds herself thrust into the male dominated world of single malt whisky when she inherits a distillery in rural Scotland. When one of her employees is found dead in a vat of the distillery’s finest, she must use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the killer before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky especially when everyone seems to have something to hide. The story looks at preconceived gender stereotypes and at the crisis of self that so many of us face at the mid point of our lives. What am I doing with my life? How did I get here? Where am I going?

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
My ideal reader is someone in need of an escape from the stress and pressure of their daily life. Someone who likes to travel in their mind and experience new things from the comfort of their armchair at the end of a long day. I also hope my readers enjoy a bit of mental exercise trying to identify the killer.

Please describe your writing routine.
I try to write every day although it’s harder at the beginning. There is nothing like a deadline to get the juices flowing. Practically speaking, I do my research first then I spend quite a bit of time outlining the story and trying to block out scenes on index cards. After that I’ll move through a first draft and start editing for flow and continuity. From there it’s a matter of polishing the prose and tightening the language.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Revise, revise, revise. It’s very important to be willing to take constructive criticism and look at your own work objectively. It can be very hard to remove a favorite character or scene, but if it’s slowing down the pace of the plot it may have to go. Pacing is everything in commercial fiction these days. If you want to sell you have to adapt. One of my tricks early on was to cut sections and keep them in a separate document. That way they’ve been transferred not killed. I often find homes for them in later stories.

More about Single-Malt Murder:
Abigail Logan never expected to inherit a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands. But in the first novel of an engaging new series blending fine spirits with chilling mystery, Abi finds that there are secrets lurking in the misty glens that some will go to any lengths to protect… even murder.
When Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot — but making the perfect shot is another matter. When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.
Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge — especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.

Grab your Amazon copy Here!

How to connect with Melinda:
Website: www.melindamullet.com
Email address: Melinda@melindamullet.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mulletmysteries
Twitter: www.twitter.com/mulletmysteries

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Dying on the Vine

Author Marla Cooper shares news of her release, Dying on the Vine. Welcome, Marla. Please, tell us more about your book.

Dying on the Vine:
When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.
There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings — and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.
Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.
Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course … murder.

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Grab your Amazon copy Here!

How to connect with Martha:

Website: www.marla-cooper.com

Blog: www.chicksonthecase.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marla.Cooper.Author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kindacozy

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Old Bones Never Die

Today I welcome author Lesley Diehl back to my pages to share the inspiration behind her new mystery, Old Bones Never Die. What an ominous title. Welcome back, Lesley!

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I have loved the cozy mystery from the time I first read Agatha Christie and knew if I ever wrote fiction I would use her as my example.
I grew up in a small farming community in the Midwest, so I know how wonderful a small town setting can be: everyone knows everyone (perhaps all too well!), crimes there are usually crimes of passion — personal in nature, so they are events readers can understand and may be familiar with — and a writer can pick almost any individual in the community to kill, to be the killer and to serve as protagonist or amateur sleuth. Important in a cozy mystery is use of brain power on the part of the sleuth to solve the crime, not brawn or weapons. There is no blood, sex or use of profanity so the cozy is something a reader can share with anyone from her grandmother to her twelve-year-old niece. Best of all, the bad guys or gals get what is coming to them.
That doesn’t mean the cozy mystery doesn’t include serious themes in it. It may be humorous and light in tone, but cozies usually address issues of living such as domestic violence, family problems, miscarriage of justice, drugs, any of the problems that can affect our daily lives.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Old Bones Never Die is Book 5 in the Eve Apple mysteries. Eve has come to rural Florida to set up a consignment shop business with her best friend. From the day of the grand opening, Eve finds rural Florida anything but tranquil, and she seems to have a peculiar bent for finding dead bodies. Because Eve is both bold and snoopy, she deems it her mission to find the people responsible for the murders.
In Old Bones Never Die, a relative of Eve’s Miccosukee friends is hit and killed by a car. The police believe it is a hit-and-run, but Eve thinks it is murder, and related to the finding of an old watch on a body unearthed by a development company building a classy recreation facility for wealthy sportsmen. Eve and her motley crew of companions take on a case where family secrets may prove to be as deadly as the developer’s need to sidestep the law in the pursuit of a million dollar project.
Living as I do in rural Florida, I am surrounded by Florida the way it used to be before interstates, an influx of tourists and destruction of nature and wildlife changed the landscape. I see an abundance of bird life on the canal in back of my house as well as turtles and alligators. Cowboys still ride horses to round up cattle in the nearby fields, and swamps provide breeding habitat for wildlife. You cannot live here without being aware of a wild world at your doorstep. I’ve introduced Eve from a city in the Northeast to this place, using the hardworking people here and the rural setting to reshape her character into more than a gal who likes to shop. The transformation of Eve is often funny, but always with the goal of letting her find her true self.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
Give me any reader who likes a mystery with humor, a protagonist with sass and loveable, relatable characters. And, oh yes, a bit of romance, too! That could be someone aged twelve to one hundred, female or male. This is for the reader who likes happy endings, as well as action and who also likes being able to work through the puzzle of whodunit with the protagonist. Lovers of Evanovich who are not afraid to take on the swamps of Florida will find Eve Appel their kind of gal.

Please describe your writing routine.
Unlike all those well-disciplined writers whom I admire but cannot emulate, I am not a morning person. I write every day, but in the afternoon. In the morning I do publicity and promotional work for my books. After lunch (and sometimes a nap!) I have the goal of putting out at least 1000 words, and I do revisions of what I wrote yesterday. By the time I have completed what I call a rough draft, it has been rewritten at least twice and sometimes more than that. Sometimes I work from an outline, which I usually violate, but it serves as an emotional safety net for me. I always know the main plot and the plot points associated with it, but I sometimes change the killer several times throughout the work. I do that less now than I did when I first began writing when I was strictly a pantser. Because Eve Appel mysteries is a series, I know my characters well, but I also intend Eve to change within a given book and throughout the series. I know where I want to take her, but sometimes am not clear on how to get her there. I may then try something I’d not planned, and it usually works out, but sometimes I have to rewrite a scene many times to get it just right. Someone said writing is really rewriting, and I think they are correct.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Here is what I wish someone had told me when I began:
– Join a writers’ group. Sisters in Crime is especially good because you can ask questions, exchange query letters, first pages, first chapters or an entire manuscript. Having access to those who know the business can save you a lot of heartache and costly mistakes;
– Write every day to keep your writing muscles in shape;
– Learn your craft by attending conferences, signing up for workshops in person or on line and run your work past professionals as suggested above or use a critique group. This is hard work, and there are no short cuts;
– Own the designation of writer. Tell people you are a writer.
– Do your research so that you don’t make mistakes about crime fiction. Readers now are sophisticated about the area so know what you are talking about. As I said, this is work, so do it!

More about Old Bones Never Die:
Just before Walter Egret is killed in a hit-and-run, he phoned his half-brother Sammy to report that he’d unearthed their missing father’s pocket watch, along with a pile of human bones. The project is put on hold until it can be determined if the site is an Indian burial ground. Then the bones disappear.
Now Sammy and his brother’s three orphaned children want Eve Appel to go pro, applying her innate snoopiness to the trade of private investigator.
Eve already has her hands full with her two consignment stores. What is she going to do? Sammy and Walter are Miccosukee Indians, and Walter was employed as a backhoe operator on a construction site for a sportsmen’s resort. Was Walter’s death murder or an accident? If the bones belong to Sammy’s father, how did they get there? Delving into these mysteries, Eve is aided by her usual crew of friends and family. This adventure will not only up the stakes for Eve as an investigator, but it will also open her eyes to life possibilities she never imagined.

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Grab your Amazon copy Here!

How to connect with Lesley:

Website: www.lesleyadiehl.com

Blog: www.lesleyadiehl.com/blog

Twitter: @lesleydiehl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lesley.diehl.1

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No Way Home


I welcome author Annette Dashofy back to my website to talk about her newest release, No Way Home. Welcome, Annette!

To begin with, I love your cover! My family and I once owned a 1968 Oasis travel trailer that looked just like the one in your illustration. Okay. Please forgive my gushing. Tell us about your book!

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
While my books are classified as “cozy,” I think of them more as “traditional” mysteries. Zoe Chambers is a paramedic and a deputy coroner so she has a legitimate reason to be at crime scenes and part of the investigation. As for why I write them, I guess it’s because I love to read this genre. And I love to create puzzles. Creating mysteries is just another way of creating a puzzle.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
No Way Home takes Zoe far out of her comfort zone. She’s finally overcome some of her personal obstacles in the coroner’s office and has been given the opportunity to work a high-profile case when she’s pulled away by a request from her best friend to help find the friend’s missing son … over halfway across the country. The story was inspired by New Mexico itself and the trips I’ve taken there. My best friend lives in Aztec, NM, where the story is set, and her son works in law enforcement. He’s taken me into the badlands and canyons and given me so much good material, I simply had to use it!

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
Mostly I write for readers like me. I used to try to narrow it down — 60ish female with a college education, but I’ve met many fans of the Zoe series (older men, younger women, teens, etc.), who are far out of that “type,” so now I focus on telling the kind of stories I enjoy.

Please describe your writing routine.
Right now, it’s changing. I used to cram my full day’s writing into one hour very early (6 a.m.) because my mother was in failing health, and I needed to keep the bulk of my days free … just in case. She passed away recently, so my entire schedule is in flux. I still find my best writing time is the morning, although not quite as early. I usually open my current work-in-progress at 8 a.m. and work until I meet my page count or run out of creative steam. After lunch, I focus on the other aspects of the business: marketing, promotion, bookkeeping.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
I have three bits of advice I like to offer. Join a writing group, either face-to-face or online. Learn your craft and keep trying to improve. And never give up. Writing may be an art, however publishing is all business and involves a lot of rejection. The only guaranteed way to NOT get published is to stop trying. Never. Give. Up.

More about No Way Home:
A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods. Inconsistencies surround the horrible accident, but before she can investigate further, she’s pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away. When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home. The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy’s sister and a mysterious young Navajo.
Back at home, Vance Township’s Chief of Police Pete Adams must deal not only with the commissioner’s homicide, but with an influx of meth and a subsequent rash of drug overdoses in his rural community. Bodies keep turning up while suspects keep disappearing. However little else matters when he learns that half a continent away, a brutal killer has Zoe in his sights.

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Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Circle Of Influence, published by Henery Press, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. Lost Legacy, was released in September 2014 followed in April 2015 by Bridges Burned, which has been nominated for the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. With A Vengeance, the fourth in the series, was released in May of 2016.

How to connect with Annette:

website– www.annettedashofy.com

blog– http://annettedashofy.blogspot.com/

Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/annette.dashofy

Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy

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