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Archive for 'cozy mystery'



M.S. Spencer: Flotsam and Jetsam — the Amelia Island Affair
Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

Thanks for hosting me, Delilah. I love to talk about the inspiration for my new mystery romance, Flotsam and Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair.

Flotsam & Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair is a cozy mystery romance set on a barrier island in north-east Florida. Released December 17, 2018 by Wild Rose Press, it arose out of a visit to the island.

I first visited Amelia Island to attend the Amelia Island Book Festival, and was struck by the crazy quilt of events it had witnessed. Known as the Isle of Eight Flags, it had seen wave after wave of conquering armies, some big—like the Spanish, and some tiny—like the Patriots of Amelia Island, who mustered nine gunboats and maybe a hundred men. Timucuan Indians, French, Spanish, pirates, Scots mercenaries, Confederate and Union soldiers—all occupied the tiny island at one point or another. It also has a sizable Geechee (Gullah) community. Faced with a setting like that, who wouldn’t want to craft a nice little murder mystery?

The main town, Fernandina Beach, contains several historical buildings, a marina, and Fort Clinch. Built in 1847 by the US, the fort sits on the northern corner of the island, protecting the entrance to the Amelia River. South of it is Egan’s Creek, a marshy area.  In Flotsam & Jetsam, four bodies are discovered, ranging from north of the fort all the way to Egan’s Marsh. While Ellie and Simon investigate the deaths, they have to draw on much of Amelia Island’s colorful history. I hope readers find it as fascinating as I do.

Flotsam and Jetsam: The Amelia Island Affair

Who’s littering the park with corpses?

State Park Rangers Simon Ribault and Ellie Ironstone are used to dealing with messy campers and ravaging raccoons, but when three bodies wash up on the beach, they mobilize all their powers of deduction. Who are they and how did they get to the shore of Amelia Island? Are they connected to the secretive League of the Green Cross? Or linked to a mysterious Jamaican drug ring?

Ellie, new to Amelia Island, must penetrate a close-knit community if she wants to find answers to the mystery, all while deciding between two rivals for her affection: Thad, the handsome local idol, and Simon, the clever, quirky bookworm.

Simon, for his part, will have to call on his not-so-well-honed romantic prowess to lure Ellie away from Thad and at the same time use his wide-ranging research skills to solve the case.

 Excerpt: First Kiss

“Simon…”

The magic word. He walked the finger up her arm, circled her neck, and brought her lips to his. The kiss lingered, but not enough to satisfy him. He had adored this little creature for so long—since she arrived at the fort in fact, in a crisp new uniform, her campaign hat still unfaded, her expression a mix of terror and determination. He had fallen like a shooting star and could still feel the burn marks. But he had never in his wildest dreams thought she might feel the same way. He sat back, letting his hand fall.

She pulled him toward her and kissed him again. As the kiss wound down, they heard a tapping on the window. Georgia stood on the sidewalk grinning. “There’s a hotel around the corner, you know.”

Simon swiveled to look at Ellie and found himself the butt of a furious, hissing face. “You.”

“Me? What are you talking about?”

“Two-faced, two-timing, two-dollar bill. Or should I say multiple timing. How many other women do you have hidden in island nooks and crannies—this island which you know so well?”

“Huh?” This isn’t going as swimmingly as I thought. “I…uh.”

“Take me home. Now.”

“Ellie…”

Now.”

When they rolled up in front of Ellie’s house, a cheery yellow bungalow on Fletcher Avenue with a wide porch and hanging geraniums, a silver sports car sat at the curb. Oh great, the mighty Thad.

Simon’s nemesis disentangled himself from the wheel. Slowly, as if for maximum effect, he unfurled his powerful body, planting his size fourteen shoes solidly on the ground. A beefy hand languidly brushed the sandy hair from his forehead. Strapping shoulders squared, he loped over.

Flotsam and Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair
The Wild Rose Press, December 17, 2018
Imprint: Mainstream Mystery
Rating: Spicy (PG13)
Paper 430 p.; Ebook 97,578 words

Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6345-flotsam-and-jetsam-the-amelia-island-affair.html
Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Flotsam-Jetsam-Amelia-Island-Affair-ebook/dp/B07JKTXYJC
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/flotsam-and-jetsam-m-s-spencer/1129787048?ean=2940161601945
ITunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/flotsam-and-jetsam/id1439717297?mt=11
KOBO:https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/flotsam-and-jetsam-the-amelia-island-affair
Indigo:https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/flotsam-and-jetsam-the-amelia/9781509223350-item.html

About the Author

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents,the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. She has two grown children and a perfect granddaughter. Ms. Spencer has published twelve mystery/romantic suspense novels, and currently divides her time between Florida and Maine.

Contacts:
Blog: https://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msspencerromance
Twitter: www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/msspencerauthor/
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MSSpencerauthor
Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-s-spencer
https://www.bookbub.com/m-s-spencer
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/msspencerauthor/

Cathy Perkins: That Truck Did What With Those Rocks?
Friday, July 6th, 2018

Thanks for letting me visit with you, Delilah! I thought it would be fun to share the story behind the story with your readers. Let me back up a minute. The first question usually starts: Where do authors get their ideas?

Someone told me they think an author’s brain is a scary place! We do constantly ask, “What if…?”

Sometimes a daydream offers a story start, but ideas and inspiration can show up in the strangest places. My husband and I were in eastern Washington state, hiking along the Snake River in a game management area called Big Flats (which happens to feature in So About The Money, the first book in the Holly Price Mystery series). We had to push through some tangled foliage at the shoreline. Being a mystery writer whose mind really can go strange places, I glanced over my shoulder and said, “Wouldn’t this be a great place to find a body?”

Fortunately, he laughed.

That germ of an idea—a body in the middle of nowhere—kept growing. Why would the heroine be at Big Flats to stumble over the body? How did the body end up beside the river in the first place?

The idea for In It For The Money (Book 4 in the series) came while I was chatting with a friend’s nephew at a party. He was all excited about designing some bizarre machine called a Rockcrawler. I had no clue what he was talking about, but I picked up on his passion. And my writer’s brain went, Hmmm… Rockcrawlers… That’s different.

Let me explain Rockcrawling—or rather, here’s how Holly described the sport to her friend, Laurie Gordon, after Holly dragged Laurie to the opening day events:

“Two guys were sitting on their back porch, drinking.” Holly raised her wine glass and Laurie clicked the rim. “One polished off his beer, belched, and popped open another can. He pointed at the vacant lot next door and said, ‘Betcha I can drive my truck over those rocks.'”

“You’re lying.” Laurie narrowed her eyes.

“Swear to God.” Holly raised her right hand. “And since God takes care of idiots and drunks, the first one made it over—alive—and his friend and all their friends had to try. And their friends…” She waved at the scene before them.

Continuing that excerpt…

Beyond the last vendor booth, Holly saw another jacked-up truck rumble toward the enormous pile of boulders that marked the start of the rockcrawler course. The crowd shifted, watching the truck’s progress up the torturous 45-degree angle.

Just past a short series of tented seating—the sponsors’ section and some “premium seats”—an array of parked pickup trucks overflowed the designated parking area. Men—and a few women—stood in the beds for an elevated view. More than one person had climbed onto the top of the truck’s cab. The coolers and grills gave new meaning to the term “tailgate party.”

Holly waved a hand at the crowded areas beside the course. She wasn’t sure what to call the space. The stands? Infield? Peanut gallery? “Trucks climbing over rocks may be nuts, but this is fun. It’s like a big party.”

“Clearly, you don’t get out enough,” Laurie said dryly.

“Maybe.”

Probably.

“’Course, when you told me rockcrawling was a big deal, I about laughed my ass off. I mean, seriously? Rockcrawlers? I still can’t believe they drive trucks over big piles of rocks.” Laurie worked in admin at the local hospital. The Boulder Bounders sporting event wasn’t exactly her scene, either. “I’ve never seen so much alcohol and testosterone in the same place. It’s like a slow-mo NASCAR race with giant wheels.”

“And rocks. Don’t forget the rocks,” Holly said. For a moment, she longingly watched the partying instead of the competing truck. She needed to, make that wanted to, invite friends over for a cookout at her house—if she could find an open afternoon in her overcrowded schedule.

Yeah, good luck with that.

IN IT FOR THE MONEY

Holly Price traded professional goals for personal plans when she agreed to leave her high-flying position with the Seattle Mergers and Acquisition team and take over the family accounting practice. Reunited with JC Dimitrak, her former fiancé, she’s already questioning whether she’s ready to flip her condo for marriage and a house in the ‘burbs.

When her cousin Tate needs investors for his innovative car suspension, Holly works her business matchmaking skills and connects him with a client. The Rockcrawler showcasing the new part crashes at its debut event, however, and the driver dies. Framed for the sabotage, Tate turns to Holly when the local cops—including JC—are ready to haul him to jail. Holly soon finds her cousin and client embroiled in multiple criminal schemes. She’s drawn into the investigation, a position that threatens her life, her family and her already shaky relationship with JC.

LINKS:

Amazon: http://authl.it/B07D6FDF2X
http://bit.ly/InIt_AmazonUniversal
Nook: http://bit.ly/Nook_InItForTheMoney
Kobo: http://bit.ly/Kobo_InItForTheMoney
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooks_InItForTheMoney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cathy Perkins started writing when recurring characters and dialogue populated her day job commuting daydreams. Fortunately, that first novel lives under the bed, but she was hooked on the joy of creating stories. When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.

Sign up for her newsletter on her website or follow her on BookBub for new release announcements.

You can also find her hanging out on Twitter – https://twitter.com/cperkinswrites and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCathyPerkins

Janet Lane-Walters: Fifty Years Published
Sunday, June 10th, 2018

Fifty years ago, I published my first attempt to become a writer. Over the years, I’ve seen so many changes. In the old days, I often received my manuscripts with comments written in the margins or in letters helping me improve my stories. These days, editors seem to want a manuscript nearly ready to publish. In those days, there were magazines galore waiting for short stories and an agent wasn’t needed for submission. Slowly, the magazine market dried up. A number of book publishers have either closed their doors or merged with other publishers. In some ways, this is sad.

But there are positive matters to consider. Back then, there were only hard cover and paperback books. I remember being at a small conference when two writers so envied me because three of my books were in hard cover. Now, there are many ways to publish. Major publishers, small publishers, electronic publishers, self publishing.

I found electronic publishing near the end of 1997 and had my first eBook appear in 1998. These times were exciting and sometimes traumatic for writers, if they chose to go that ways. My first book, though it’s been updated and parts re-written, is available today. The book in its many incarnations has not made me a fortune but has continued to sell and sell. MURDER and MINT TEA was and is the title.

Murder and Mint Tea

Katherine is a retired nurse and a retired church organist. The small Hudson River village where she lives in her Victorian “Painted Lady” makes her the neighborhood matriarch. Along with her Maine Coon Cat Robespierre, she guards friends and families.

When amoral Rachel moves into the first floor apartment of Katherine’s house, trouble erupts. The murder weapon is one she recognizes and makes her fear for her friends and family.
Finding the killer becomes her goal.

Get your copy here!

Editorial Review
“Murder and Mint Tea is a gem in its genre, combining the voice of a classic American whodunit with that of a traditional British detective novel. Murder She Wrote meets Miss Marple in a beautifully crafted tale that makes the reader want to reach into the pages and dispense justice to the villainess themselves.” ~ Writer Gail Roughton