Annette's blog, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

Crime and Catnip

Today I interview author T. C. LoTempio about her newest installment in her Nick and Nora cozy mystery series, Crime and Catnip. Welcome!

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I’ve always loved mysteries ever since I read my first Nancy Drew, so it was more of a natural progression. I actually started out writing horror, then graduated to paranormal romance, but when my vampire novels weren’t selling, I came up with the idea for the Nick and Nora mysteries. Penguin at that time was more receptive to cat-inspired cozies than they are now, and they bought it in January of 2014

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Crime And Catnip is the third in the Nick and Nora mystery series. The series was inspired by my tuxedo cat Rocco, who has a mind of his own and definite opinions on things as his blog followers will attest to.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
Honestly, I’m grateful to have any readers! I’m so appreciative of all who have read the Nick and Nora series and are supporters! If I had to describe the average reader who likes my series, it would probably be career women who love cats!

Please describe your writing routine.
I sit in front of the computer, crank up my CD player, and hopefully do not spend hours staring at a blank screen. I work from an outline that changes daily – and, of course, Rocco and brother Maxx are nearby for inspiration! I try to write one to two hours a week at least three nights during the week after work, and an average of between four to six hours on Saturday and Sunday (which is why I have no life). It generally takes me about four to five months to crank out a book, from idea inception to outline to finished product.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Read, read, read and write, write, write. This truly is a profession where practice makes perfect. And never give up!

More about Crime and Catnip:
Nick and Nora aren’t just pussyfooting around this time as they deal with a missing person’s case and murder.
While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.
As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him…

Grab your copy here: [amazon text=Amazon&asin=B01CZCW4ZY]

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How to connect with T.C.:
Website: http://www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com; tclotempio.com
Email: roccomom53@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toni.lotempio.5
Twitter:@RoccoBlogger

Annette's blog

Mâtowak Woman Who Cries

matowak-woman-who-cries-tour-bannerToday, I welcome author Joylene Nowell Butler to talk about her latest suspense novel, Matowak Woman Who Cries. Welcome, Joylene.author-joylene-nowell-butler

Why do you write suspense thrillers?
I like novels with an adrenaline rush. I like the thrill of sitting on the edge of my seat as I read through the story. I love it when I forget I’m reading, live the story, care about the characters, and worry about them.  That’s the reaction I want from my readers. I want to hook them into a compelling read that they can’t put down.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
After I finished the prequel to Matowak: Woman Who Cries, Sally Warner, one of the characters began haunting me. It was as if she had a story to tell and wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it. I tried ignoring her, but she wouldn’t go away. I finally agreed because she seemed so desperate. Matowak is about 60-year-old Sally finding her husband dead on the kitchen floor eighteen months after their sons die violently. The investigator, Danny Killian, thinks Sally may have killed her husband; and if that’s so, hopes to find enough evidence to ensure Sally is found not guilty for reasons of spousal abuse. Sally has no idea how to prove she’s innocent.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I envision a reader like myself, someone who wants what I want: to be moved and changed by what I read. I want my readers to think about my characters long after the story is over.  

Please describe your writing routine.
I spend mornings and evenings with my husband, who, thankfully, is an early bird. As soon as he leaves in the morning, (he sells firewood) I sit down and answer emails. Then I open my latest WIP and work until noon. Before lunch, I go for a 2k bike run, mostly uphill, then I come home and write/edit/revise until around 4pm. I spend evenings with my hubby and don’t return to my computer until 7am the next morning.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Read all the best writing manuals. Read anything by Don Maas, Alexander Sokoloff, or Dwight Swan. Or any books recommended by your mentor. Then apply what you’ve learned while studying your favorite novels. Don’t be afraid to use colored markers on those novels. Highlight active verbs, sentence structure, or sentences that pop out as unique and visual. Study until you understand why this particular novel works. There is no end to what you can learn by reading a best seller.

More about Mâtowak Woman Who Cries:
matowak-woman-who-cries-by-joylene-nowell-butlerA murder enveloped in pain and mystery…
When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder.
The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.
Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…

Grab your copy here: [amazon text=Amazon&asin=B01K017650]

Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is available in eBook at Amazon.ca and Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C

The print copy is available at:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com.

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Follow along with the tour:
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Annette's blog, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

Tangled Up in Brew

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Today I host author Joyce Tremel who is sharing the news of her new mystery, Tangled Up in Brew. This is the second book in the Brewing Trouble Mystery series. Welcome, Joyce!joyce-tremel

More about Tangled Up in Brew:
Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow…
tangled-up-in-brew-cover-artBrew pub owner Maxine “Max” O’Hara and her chef/boyfriend, Jake Lambert, are excited to be participating in the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival. Max hopes to win the coveted Golden Stein for best craft beer. But even if she doesn’t, the festival will be great publicity for her Allegheny Brew House.
Or will it? When notoriously nasty food and beverage critic Reginald Mobley is drafted as a last-minute replacement judge, Max dreads a punishing review. Her fears are confirmed when Mobley literally spits out her beer, but things get even worse when the cranky critic drops dead right after trying one of Jake’s burgers. Now an ambitious new police detective is determined to pin Mobley’s murder on Max and Jake, who must pore over the clues to protect their freedom and reputations — and to find the self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.

Grab your copy here: [amazon text=Amazon&asin=B01AHKXIAQ]

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How to connect with Joyce:
Webpage – http://www.joycetremel.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JoyceTremel/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JoyceTremel
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13746162.Joyce_Tremel

Annette's blog, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

The CEO Came DOA

the-ceo-came-doa-large-banner640Heather Haven shares news of her new cozy mystery, The CEO Came DOA. Welcome, Heather!ceo-author-photo

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I love to read them and love to write them. They take me away to a wonderful world in my mind.

Please tell us about your book.
The CEO Came DOA is the 5th book of the Alvarez Murder Mystery Series, but each book is pretty much a deliberate stand alone. I’ve had people write and tell me they didn’t know a book was part of the series until they went online, left a review, and saw the others. That’s the best compliment a series writer can receive.

What ideas or images inspired this novel?
The title, The CEO Came DOA, flashed into my mind out of the blue. I knew I wanted that for the title of the next Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries. I wrapped the entire storyline around the title! It was challenging, but a lot of fun.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
Yes, an educated woman with a sense of humor and style. You know who you are! There are quite a few men who meet that criterion, as well. You know who you are too!

Please describe your writing routine.
A cup of coffee and I sit down and start writing. Almost every day. Depending on the day and my back, I will be at the computer from 3 to 7 hours at least 6 days a week.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Have a quality product i.e., write a good novel. And writing is rewriting. Once you have the first draft, you will probably need to go over it ten to twenty times, maybe more. That’s the way a good novel is written, no matter what the subject or genre. Never slack off, never compromise. Be true to yourself and your craft. Write the best novel you can write. Always.
And remember what Isaac Asimov said on persistence:
“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.”

More about The CEO Came DOA:
ceo-silver-silicon-valley-copySomeone is trying to sabotage the Initial Public Offering of ‘Read-Out’, a small Silicon Valley start-up, and Lee Alvarez has been hired to find the culprit. Meanwhile, the first Alvarez grandchild is about to be born while Lee is planning her very own Christmas wedding; or rather letting her mother plan it. When Lee finds the CEO hanging by the neck in his boardroom wearing nothing but baby blue boxer shorts, she has to ask herself, was it suicide? Or was it murder? If so, was the saboteur responsible, one of his business partners, or even his famous rock star ex-wife? There are too many suspects and the bodies start piling up just in time for Christmas. Ho, ho, ho!

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Grab your copy here: [amazon text=Amazon&asin=B01HSMVBDC]

How to connect with Heather:
Website: http://heatherhavenstories.com/
Email address: Heather@heatherhavenstories.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherHavenStories
Twitter: Twitter@HeatherHaven

Annette's blog, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

The Bluebonnet Betrayal

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Author Marty Wingate visits my pages today to talk about her new cozy mystery, The Bluebonnet Betrayal. Welcome, Marty.MARTY

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
Someone has said that authors write what they want to read, and for the most part that’s true for me. I love the traditional and cozy mysteries because they are always so much more than a puzzle to solve. There’s the setting, which is important to me (and so I’ve made it important in my books) and the characters’ stories. I have been known to begin reading a series, like it, and then pick up subsequent books and scan them, looking for mention of my favorite character from the previous book! I like the overall series arc the main character has (or should have).

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
The Bluebonnet Betrayal takes place at one of my favorite yearly events, the Chelsea Flower Show in London. This is the fifth book in the Potting Shed series and Pru Parke (American gardener who has moved to England) gets an out-of-the-blue email from a long-ago co-worker at the Dallas Arboretum asking Pru if she would help the Austin Rock Garden Society build a display at Chelsea. How can she say no? Once committed, however, she discovers back-biting, resentments, and jealousies among the contractor, designer, and the Austin women who show up to work. The murder is particularly difficult for Pru and so it’s a sort of campaign for her to help solve it.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
My reader is someone who likes to travel – I think that’s part of the allure of a series set abroad) and enjoys the outdoors. It isn’t necessary to be a fantastic gardener, but gardens do figure prominently. So does food – Pru loves a good meal, but she is not a cook. Also, my reader likes a mystery, but doesn’t necessarily need a detailed description of someone’s brains being blown to bits. Know what I mean?

Please describe your writing routine.
I write new material mostly in the morning, and I rewrite and edit some in the afternoons. I write or attend to the story in some way every day. It becomes a part of me, so that I am never at a loss for something to do while waiting in a line or sitting on a bus or train. I have a story in my head, and I’m my own entertainment.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Write. Don’t know where to begin? Don’t think of it as a beginning – the first words you put down could end up in chapter three. Read. Read books that you enjoy (I steer clear of books I’m “supposed” to read). Absorb all those wonderful words. Talk about writing. Talk about story arcs and character development. Do this with friends, or at writing workshops. Join a writing group or just go out regularly for coffee with one writing friend.

More about The Bluebonnet Betrayal:
BLUEBONNET BETRAYALPru’s life in England is coming full circle. A Texas transplant, she’s married to the love of her life, thriving in the plum gardening position she shares with her long-lost brother, and prepping a Chelsea Flower Show exhibit featuring the beloved bluebonnets of the Texas hill country. Technically, Twyla Woodford, the president of a gardening club in the Lone Star State, is in charge of the London event, but Pru seems to be the one getting her hands dirty. When they finally do meet, Pru senses a kindred spirit—until Twyla turns up dead.
Although Twyla’s body was half buried under a wall in their display, Pru remains determined to mount a spectacular show. Twyla would have insisted. So Pru recruits her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, to go undercover and do a bit of unofficial digging into Twyla’s final hours. If Pru has anything to say about it, this killer is going to learn the hard way not to mess with Texas.

Grab your copy here: [amazon text=Amazon&asin=B017QLSIU4]

How to connect with Marty:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/martywingateauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/martywingate
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/453259.Marty_Wingate
Website: http://www.martywingate.com
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marthawingate/

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Marty-Wingate/e/B001JS1AIS

Annette's blog, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

Secret Lives and Private Eyes

secret lives large banner640Author Heather Weidner shares news of her debut novel, SecSecret Lives author photoret Lives and Private Eyes.

Heather’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. Her debut novel, Secret Lives and Private Eyes,  premiered on June 20.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She currently lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Guppies, and Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia. She is currently President of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia.

More about Secret Lives and Private Eyes:

Secret Lives coverBusiness has been slow for Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star Johnny Velvet. Could the singer—whose career purportedly ended in a fiery crash almost thirty years ago—still be alive?

As if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Delanie is hired by loud-mouth strip club owner Chaz Wellington Smith, III, to uncover information about the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz becomes the key suspect, and Delanie must clear his name. She also has to figure out why a landscaper keeps popping up in her other investigation. Can the private investigator find the connection between the two cases before another murder—possibly her own—takes place?

Secret Lives and Private Eyes is a fast-paced mystery that will appeal to readers who like a strong, female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of difficult, and sometimes humorous, situations.

Grab your copy here: [amazon text=Amazon&asin=B01FGRFI1C]

How to connect with Heather:

Website & Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherWeidner1

FB: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherWeidnerAuthor?ref=hl

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/crazyforwords13/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heather_mystery_writer/

Google+ : https://plus.google.com/+HeatherWeidner

The author is giving away 10 print copies.

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Annette's blog, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction

bannerToday, with pure delight, I welcome author Amy Metz to my website. Amy and I connected in January when she hosted me on her website to promote my first mystery. Today, she shares the fourth book in her cozy mystery series, Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction. Welcome, Amy!Amy Metz

Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I love mysteries, but I don’t like gory, scary ones. I also love to laugh, so humor is important in my books. Cozy mysteries don’t have sex, violence, or bad language, but that doesn’t have to mean boring. I write cozy mysteries because that’s my style. I didn’t realize I’d written one until I sent my first book to a publisher who told me it was a cozy mystery.

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Caledonia goes through a divorce in Rogues & Rascals — something I recently went through. My ex-husband’s attorney inspired a lot of this book. Some people may think the attorney in the book is a caricature. Sadly, she is not.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I write what my characters tell me to write. I don’t really have a specific reader in mind. I just want to tell a fun story with a little mystery and intrigue.

Please describe your writing routine.
I don’t have one. I write when my characters are speaking to me. When they’re not, I edit, rewrite, or work on marketing the series. It’s not a very disciplined approach, but it’s the one that works for me.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Get beta readers — preferably not family members — and listen to their feedback. Find readers who will be brutally honest like reviewers will be after the book is published. Writers become too close to their work and can’t be objective about it. Beta readers can help you work out the kinks and make your book better.

More about Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction:
Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.
Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.
Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.
When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this…

Grab your copy here: [amazon text=Amazon&asin=B01EGOZKSW]

How to connect with Amy:
Website: authoramymetz.com
Email address: authoramymetz@yahoo.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramymetz
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmyMetz

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