Sunday, March 26, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: PAUL ANTHONY



ABOUT THE BOOK

White Eagle is about a Cumbrian detective working with the Special Crime Unit and various elements of British Intelligence.  

When a desperate young man is forced out of his home in the mountains, he claims ‘Qisas’ and sets out on a bitter journey of revenge. As he terrorizes a continent with his wicked plan, the evil megalomaniac becomes an iconic figure synonymous with fear and dread. In a fast-moving, white knuckle ride, the unknown assassin leaves police and intelligence services reeling from the sheer pressure of relentless attacks.

What is White Eagle? Is it the name of a bird of prey? Or is it a mysterious individual who has no name? There are those who think White Eagle is a newly formed terrorist group working for the highest bidder. Whichever, it’s a mystery no-one can solve.

Mouretti, the man from NATO, takes up the case and is determined to claim all the glory.

The plot explodes when Boyd and his team from the Special Crime Unit become involved. All hell breaks out as three single-minded individuals, each propelled and fueled by revenge, fight for victory.

Who will win and who is doomed to failure? In the chaos that surrounds the investigation, does anyone walk away unscathed?

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING:

Boyd continues his unique career in this story of love, hate, loss, devastation, betrayal, trust, and loyalty. Paul Anthony’s latest novel takes his reader from the dizzy heights of a mountain range to the quiet backwaters of rural England as he portrays one man’s journey from birth to adulthood. This is yet another First-Class novel from Paul Anthony. 

An excellent action-packed thriller from the pen of crime-writer Paul Anthony. This is the kind of book that entertains, informs, thrills, fascinates, and delivers a tremendous read.

INTERVIEW WITH PAUL ANTHONY


Paul, how did you get started writing?
I studied economics and sociology for five years with the Open University. This involved getting up at 4am every Sunday morning, preparing, and writing a thesis as part of the course. When I’d got the degree, I used to wake up on a Sunday morning thinking… What next? My wife suggested I write the book I had been promising for years. So, that’s how the first one, The Fragile Peace, came about. I hasten to add that I no longer write at 4am every Sunday morning.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
Plotting the book, then crafting the plot into chapters, then drawing it all together and writing the book from start to finish.

Do you have a writing routine?
I tend to write every day during the evenings. I seldom watch television, read and research a lot, edit books for others, and usually have a glass of red wine on a Friday evening to accompany the writing.

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
I’ve written over twenty books. The challenge is constantly finding and developing new plots that my readers have not come across before. An author needs to capture the reader and this can only be accomplished on a  regular basis by a changing plot structure.

What’s more important – characters or plot?
The plot is more important because the reader can often imagine the character whilst never knowing the plot.

What books do you currently have published?
I’ve brought together all my books in an online bookshop. Here, there is a selection of two crime series, an anthology section, a suspense series, and my biography. There is also a selection of verified reviews.

Do you have any secret talents?
I’m not sure they are secret talents, but I love Latin and ballroom dancing and have been doing that for many years. I’m also learning to speak Spanish to go with a little Portuguese. I also play the guitar – badly – and regularly sing to the animals in the wood nearby. For some reason, my wife won’t let me sing in the house .  . . How strange!

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
After thirty-three years in the UK’s police force I’d say the worst job you could do was ‘body recovery’ from the scenes of a death – either by murder or in a road death. It taught me that whilst mankind can send rockets into space, we still can’t communicate with each other on the same planet.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
Sell yourself because no one will do it for you. Make friends and contacts with other authors across the globe – from different genres – and share your work regularly. And learn from others that you meet online and in real life.

How often do you tweet?
Daily.

How do you feel about Facebook?
Social media gives an author a fantastic opportunity to share their work and make useful contacts in the writing world. I use Facebook mainly to interact with friends and family. I tend not to ‘friend’ or accept ‘friendship’ from people I don’t know. I use ‘book groups’ regularly since they are comprised of other authors and many readers.

What do you love about where you live?
I live in Cumbria, England, ten miles from the Scottish Border, one mile from the remnants of the Roman Wall, and thirty miles from Ullswater in the Lake District. We live in an isolated part of the county surrounded by wildlife but with close access to motorways and the city. The scenery is hard to beat, and we love it here.

Sounds wonderful! What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Reading a book.

What’s your favorite beverage?
Red wine, probably from the Garonne area of France.

Where is your favorite place to visit?
Corralejo in Fuerteventura and Carvoeiro in Portugal.

What would you name your autobiography?

Strike! Strike! Strike! . . . The title comes from a surveillance term and is used to denote when an undercover surveillance team would move in to make an arrest. I published my biography in March, 2016. It reached the #1 spot after 4 weeks and held it there for 4 weeks. 12 months later, it is still in the top 100. It’s a great read.

Awesome! What are you working on now?
I’ve just published White Eagle in March 2017, so I am working on marketing that work at the moment. I woke up the day after it was published to find that it had reached #7 in the kindle store. It’s about a  megalomaniac who plans a campaign of terror across a continent. I think it may be one of the best books I’ve written. It took me six months to plot, craft, and write the book. One month to edit, re-write, and format, and then . . . Well, the rest is history.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul Anthony is the pseudonym of a man born in Southport, Lancashire. He has written a number of fictional novels and a collection of poetry in Print, Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad and PDF Download. He has also written television scripts, screenplays and film scripts as an individual or with the award wining scriptwriter, Nick Gordon. The son of a soldier, Paul Anthony settled in Cumbria before becoming a police cadet. Seconded to Haigh Colliery in Whitehaven, he mined the pit face and then worked at a biscuit factory, in Carlisle, as a machine operator. Our author also worked with deaf people and was trained in the treatment of drug addicts and alcoholics. He went to Eskdale Outward Bound School but eventually joined Cumbria Police proper. Working as a detective, he served in the CID, the Regional Crime Squad in Manchester, the Special Branch, and other national agencies in the UK. He has an honours degree in social sciences, and diplomas in management and office management.

Connect with Paul:

Website  |   Facebook  |   Twitter 

Buy the book:
Amazon UK  |  Amazon USA  |  Lulu 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: GRETCHEN ARCHER



ABOUT THE BOOK

On behalf of USA TODAY bestselling author Gretchen Archer and the entire Henery Press crew, welcome aboard flight 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.


INTERVIEW WITH GRETCHEN ARCHER


Gretchen, how did you get started writing?

My oldest left for college the same week my youngest started kindergarten. For the first time in eighteen years I had a little extra time on my hands. Taking advantage of it, I began writing.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
“The End.”

I hear you! Do you have a writing routine?
I write for several hours in the morning. I hit my desk at four. O’clock. In the morning. It’s quiet—the phone isn’t ringing, there’s nothing online to distract me, and that’s when I do my best work.

Do you write every day?
Four months of the year, I’m writing a draft, and yes, every day. The next two months are back-and-forth editing. I spend a month plotting the next book, and the rest of the time I’m writing grocery lists.

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
Finding the balance between character growth and driving the plot.

What’s more important – characters or plot? 
Characters. 

What books do you currently have published?
Six full-length books in the Davis Way Crime Caper series: Double Whammy, Double Dip, Double Strike, Double Mint, Double Knot, and the just-released Double Up. And one short story, "Double Jinx." Whew!


What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
If I’d known being a published writer meant I’d be running a business—I’m the writer, head of marketing, and head of sales—I’d have learned more about running a business.

True dat! What’s the oldest thing you own and still use?
An acrylic cutting board shaped like the state of Texas. I’ve had it since high school. I need to throw it out.

Wow! I have a wooden one in the shape of Kentucky! Do you have any secret talents?
No, but I have a secret tattoo.

Oooooh . . . Is writing your dream job?
My dream job has always been to own a mystery book store. I’d carry first editions and collectibles and host mystery book clubs.


What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
I was an animal. When I was a teenager, I wore an animal costume through an amusement park greeting guests for an entire summer. I learned not all kids are sweet.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
Find your brand, or, better put, your message. Stick to it, stay on it, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll build an audience. If you write cruise ship mysteries, keep your readers and fans entertained with cruise ship news, deals, and videos of fabulous balcony rooms. If a cat plays a major role in your series, ask readers to send pictures of their cats. Stay busy engaging readers between books.

How often do you tweet?
When a Twitter notification email hits my inbox. (*hides*)

How do you feel about Facebook?
I wish I owned stock in it.

What scares you the most?
Facebook.

Would you make a good character in a book?

I think I do too much laundry to be a good character in a book. I can see the reviews now. “Two stars. This character can get stains out all day long, but I don’t care.”

What five things would you never want to live without?
A good coffee pot. A screened-in porch. Bobbi Brown mascara. My wedding ring. UGG boots.

What’s one thing you never leave the house without (besides your phone)?
It’s not my car keys, because I’m forever going back in to track them down.

What do you love about where you live?
I live at the top of Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. I absolutely love where I live. If you’ve ever driven through the south, you’ve seen billboards: See Rock City and See Ruby Falls. That’s where I live. We’re a community of 2,000 with our own police and fire department, our own post office, and everyone knows everyone. Our pharmacy and dry cleaner deliver to our front doors, our little market cooks full meals every day, and I feel like I live in Mayberry. With Aunt Bea.

Sounds like Goose Pimple Junction! What drives you crazy?
Winter!

Ditto. 
What do you wish you could do?
Have my grandparents back.

Ditto again. 
Who are your favorite fictional characters? 
Ronald Weasley, Jo March, Archy McNally, Sidallee Walker, Eloise, Mrs. deWinter, and every Carl Hiaasen protagonist.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gretchen Archer is a Tennessee housewife who began writing when her daughters, seeking higher educations, left her. She lives on Lookout Mountain with her husband, son, and a Yorkie named Bently. Double Up is the sixth book in the Davis Way Crime Caper series.


Connect with Gretchen:
Website  |   Facebook  |   Twitter  |  Goodreads  

Buy the book:
Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble

Thursday, March 23, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: JANICE PEACOCK


ABOUT THE BOOK

Jax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they head to the small town of Carthage to take a glass blowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist. While Jax loves melting glass to make beads, she discovers that standing in front of the glass furnace’s inferno frightens her.

After the first night of class, Tessa sees a dead body through the water-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco—dead or alive—and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff doesn’t take the disappearance seriously, so Jax and Tessa take matters into their own hands.

Jax must face her fears to find the body, track down the clues, and uncover the killer—and do it all before another life is shattered.


Off the Beadin’ Path is the third book in the Glass Bead Mystery series.




INTERVIEW WITH JANICE PEACOCK


Janice, if you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?

Life is not a dress rehearsal. I love this expression, and I try to remember it when living my life. We get very few chances to do something again, so I try to make the most of the moment I’m in and not expect, or even desire, any re-dos.
What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?I think the hardest part is the final polishing of the manuscript. I become blind at some point to any typos and grammatical errors, since I’ve stared at the words on the pages for hundreds of hours. There comes a point where I’m just sick of the whole thing. My best remedy at that point is put the manuscript away for about two weeks. After that, I can come back to it with fresh eyes and renewed energy and get back to work. Of course, that’s hard to do when you’ve got a deadline. I usually end up squeaking in under the deadline, but my brinksmanship can get a little out of hand.

How often do you read?
I read nearly every day. When I’m actively writing, I tend to read non-fiction. I just finished listening to an audio book memoir by Trevor Noah called Stories from a South African Childhood. Speaking of audio books, I’ve also finished listening to my own audio book, High Strung. We’ve just finished production and it should be available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes in a matter of days. I’m excited about this development because I know a lot of crafters who have been waiting for the audio book so they can work on their favorite hobby while listening to one of my books.

Also, having just finished Off the Beadin’ Path, in this gap before I start working on the fourth book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series, To Bead or Not to Bead, I’m diving back into my long list of to-be-read books, which are mostly mysteries.

What do you love about where you live?
I live east of San Francisco in a suburban/semi-rural area. My house is in a small valley on a long street that ends in a cul-de-sac. While we do have neighbors on both sides, our house is situated in a way that we don’t feel like we are jammed in close to anyone. Our property is big enough that we can have chickens, beehives, fruit trees, and a veggie garden. I have a glass bead making studio, as well. It is really quite wonderful. Our town of Lafayette has many walking trails and often my husband and I are out walking (aka “getting our 10,000 steps”) in the late afternoons, invariably running into friends and neighbors with whom we stop and chat, which means we often don’t log as many steps as we would like.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
You know, this one is hard for me, I think because it is a relatively recent incident. My husband and I were recently planning a short-term move to Maui. Due to a job change for my husband, moving, even temporarily, would have been tricky. We decided to stay put. In retrospect, I think we should have probably gone anyway, but at that time, making the best choices we could with the information we had, it wasn’t the right thing to do. Fortunately, other than being a disappointment, it did not lead to any long-term or disastrous outcomes.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t know if this is really hidden, but I am crafty! Other than making glass beads, I love to sew and have finished a couple of quilts. Most recently I’ve been working on a quilt made of a million thin strips of fabrics sewn into blocks which form diamond patterns. Inspired by a fellow glass beadmaker, I’ve started making clothing and recently finished a batik skirt and several pairs of flannel PJ bottoms which I’ve given to friends and family. I just bought patterns for some cute and comfy pants and a summer dress, and I’m excited to get started on those, once things calm down around here. Though, I’m not sure when that will be…

What’s your favorite Internet site?
Other than Facebook, I’d say my favorite site is eBay. I’m a collector of vintage glass fruit jewelry. I know this is a very unusual thing to collect, but I love these necklaces because they are made from the same Italian glass that I use to make beads. And, the vintage pieces are from Venice, one my favorite places in the world. The jewelry pieces were made in the 1930s and 1940s and they simply aren’t manufactured anymore. I have a Pinterest board of full of them at pinterest.com/janpeac.

What’s your favorite beverage?
That depends on the time of day. If it’s any time before noon then that’s a non-fat latte. I usually have one about ten o’clock every day. If I’m out and about it is pretty much a requirement for me to get one at our local Peet’s Coffee. I’m not much of a fan of Starbucks, but it will do in a pinch if I ask the barista to put an extra shot of espresso in the cup. Any time after noon—okay usually not until after four o’clock—I absolutely love a glass of red wine. We make our own wine, so we always have some on hand. In fact, we have a ridiculous number of bottles stored in our hall closet. We need a wine cellar, but I don’t think that will be happening any time soon. I especially love having a glass of wine on my back deck while my fire pit blazes and my friends and husband sit with me talking, laughing, and listening to music.

Do you procrastinate?
Let me get back to you on that. Just kidding…yes, I do procrastinate. I like to make elaborate to-do lists, adding even the simplest tasks—sometimes I even add tasks that I’ve almost completed so that I can cross them off my list. It feels good to cross easy things off the list. The most important tasks, which are often the most difficult, are left languishing on my list. I eventually buckle down and get my tasks done, but oftentimes I am sliding in at the eleventh hour.

What five things would you never want to live without?
I’ll avoid the obvious ones: laptop, car, chocolate, cell phone. Here goes: dental floss (I have high-maintenance teeth), fleece socks (I can’t sleep if my feet are cold), espresso machine (mine was broken for a period of time and those were dark days), prescription glasses (I refuse to go through life as Monet did–half-blind and painting blurry pictures), light bulbs (because lamps don’t work without them).

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
My best advice is to get a copy of Rachel Thompson’s book BadRedHead Media Book Marketing Challenge. (Not a paid endorsement!) This book really helped me up my game when it came to social media marketing. I highly recommend it.

What books do you currently have published?
I have three novels and one short story, all part of the Glass Bead Mystery Series. Here’s the order to read them in:
High Strung, Book One
A Bead in the Hand, Book Two
"Be Still My Beading Heart," A Glass Bead Mini-Mystery (free short story)
Off the Beadin’ Path, Book Three


What are you working on now?
Right now I’m getting ready for a bead and glass show in Las Vegas that’s happening at the end of the month. I’ve been making glass beads to sell, working on a lecture I’m giving about social media, and ordering books to take with me. I’ve got about a week left before I leave and am in an absolute frenzy.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the quirky and often humorous characters in the murder mystery books she loves to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung, the first book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell. Janice has continued the series with A Bead in the Hand, and "Be Still My Beading Heart," A Glass Bead Mini-Mystery.

When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she creates glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, Washington, and in private collections worldwide.

Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and an undisclosed number chickens. She has a studio full of beads . . . lots and lots of beads.

Connect with Janice:

Website  |  
Blog  |   
Facebook  |   
Twitter   |   
Goodreads 


Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iTunes  |  Smashwords

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: JANET FINSILVER


ABOUT THE BOOK

When a local woman is desperate to find a couple she hasn’t seen since the 1960s, Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager, Kelly Jackson, and the crime-solving group of seniors, the Silver Sentinels, offer to help out. They realize there is more to the search than they were aware of after the woman is found dead beside the body of a Greek fortune teller and a fellow Sentinel gets attacked. As Kelly juggles work and her responsibilities at a food and wine festival in town, she and the Silver Sentinels must confront a killer obsessed with old secrets and solve a murder mystery more than fifty years in the making.



 



INTERVIEW WITH JANET FINSILVER


Janet, do you have a writing routine?

Yes. I like to get whatever business or chores I need to get accomplished out of the way in the morning. This helps clear my mind. However, a lot of thoughts come to me when I’m exercising or doing routine tasks. I make notes throughout the morning. I do a combination jog/walk a couple of times a week. I often come back with four or five pages dictated on my iPhone of ideas I want to put in the book or problems I’ve worked out. I begin writing early afternoon, sometimes before that if I have a deadline crunch. My days don’t always work out this way, but this is what I like for my writing routine.

What is your writing style?
I write what are called cozy mysteries. When I do presentations, I tell people I feel it’s something of an oxymoron. If someone asks me what I do for a living, it sounds funny to say I write a cozy murder series. Cozy and murder don’t seem to go together. I then say I write safe whodunits. By safe I mean there won’t be any graphic violence. I’ve been disappointed in some authors I’ve read who had a great plot going and then out of nowhere threw in a torture scene. That’s not what I want to read. With a cozy you also know the regular characters will be back. They might get a little bruised once in a while, but they will return. Other aspects of the cozy genre are no bad language and no explicit sex.

What books do you currently have published?
Murder at Redwood Cove
Murder at the Mansion
Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table


Is writing your dream job?
Yes. I love entering the world of my series. It’s fun to create what happens and to describe the beautiful area of Mendocino, California, which Redwood Cove is based upon. I also get to visit the town for my research which I really enjoy.

How often do you tweet?
I try to tweet at least several times a week. Twitter was new to me until this past spring. I never thought I’d be doing a lot of tweeting. I love the pictures I’m seeing. I’m involved with a lot of animal groups because of the dogs I have in each book of my series. If I need something to smile about, all I have to do is go to my Twitter account. I also have a number of writers and writing groups I follow and who follow me.

How do you feel about Facebook?

I really like Facebook. Again, this was a big change for me. At one point a while back, one of the members of my writing group wouldn’t let me leave at the end of our meeting until I posted something because I’d never put anything on Facebook. I was nervous about putting something out there for the world to see. Now I try to post on a regular basis. I have some readers who always respond to me on my author page. It’s been fun to interact with them.

What’s your favorite beverage?
Okay. Here it is. A Starbuck’s coffee frappuccino with an extra shot of espresso. Hmmm…good! Whenever I drive to Mendocino, it’s my treat half way there. It’s about a three and a half hour drive. The first half is freeway, and the second half is a windy two lane road, so the coffee helps with that part of the drive.

Where is your favorite place to visit?

San Ignacio Lagoon in Mexico. This is one of the places where gray whales go to have their babies. I’ve touched young whales, and it was an absolutely amazing experience. I’ve been three times. Recently I attended the Mendocino Whale Festival and my husband put together a slideshow of photos from our trips. It was fun to see the photographs and bring the memories back.

Do you procrastinate?
Okay. Truth time. Yes, sometimes I procrastinate . . . but only for a while. I know I need to push the book forward. At some point I remind myself of that and get to work.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy?

How quickly paper piles up in my life. I have difficulty keeping up with the magazines, catalogs, newspapers, and various other pieces of mail.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Let’s see. Green beans for the dogs. They needed to loose a few pounds and a friend suggested the beans to fill them up when I reduced their amount of food. They LOVE them. They’ve lost the weight, but I don’t have the heart to stop giving them the green beans. Their names are Kylie (Rhodesian ridgeback) and Ellie (coonhound/boxer mix). There’s cheese for the dogs . . . and an occasional slice for me. I cut it up into small pieces for an over-the-top treat for them. My husband has his Unsweetened Original Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond milk and there are lots of fresh vegetables and fruit.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“To live happily is an inward power of the soul.” Marcus Aurelius

What are you working on now?
Currently I’m working on my fourth book tentatively titled Murder at the Mushroom Festival. There is a contest to see who can find the widest variety of mushrooms during a given period of time. There are two animals trained to find fungi that help the hunters—a dog named Max and a pig named Priscilla. When a person if found murdered, the type of hunt changes. Kelly Jackson and the crime-solving seniors, the Silver Sentinels, begin looking for the killer to help one of their friends who has become a suspect in the investigation.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. Murder at Redwood Cove, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, Murder at the Mansion, became available on June 7, 2016. The third book, Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table, was released on March 14, 2017.

Janet Finsilver and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys cooking, and a recent attempt to reduce the number of cookbooks in the cupboard wasn’t very successful. She’s an avid reader—of course!

Connect with Janet:
Website  |  
Blog Facebook  | 
 Twitter  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble Apple  |  Google  |   Kobo 

Monday, March 20, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: LESLEY DIEHL


ABOUT THE BOOK

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.




Nappi Napolitani talks about his relationship with Eve Appel

By Lesley A. Diehl

Author of Old Bones Never Die


My Name is Nappi Napolitani, and I am a good friend of Eve Appel’s. I originally come from the Northeast, but have relocated most of my interests to Florida, the Palm Beach Coast area. Since I met Eve Apple and her grandmother—who I’d heard of when I was in Connecticut and she lived there too—I’ve spend more time in Sabal Bay. As much as Eve with her spiky blonde hair and fondness for stiletto heels stood out when she first moved to rural Florida, I may be even more noticeable. I’m not even certain I should be the character from the books talking to you because I’m not your typical pal or buddy. I’m a mob boss, and I dress like one even in Sabal bay: suede jacket, silk shirt and black mohair pants, tasseled loafers, no socks, and I like men’s designer fragrances and high priced haircuts. People notice me wherever I go even when I’m back in my element in a Northern urban area, and they recognize me for what I claim to be, a “Family” man. No one messes with me.

I know that sounds pretty tough, and I am someone who’s been around some nasty people, but I’m also a gentleman and to this, Grandy, Eve’s grandmother can attest. She likes me and trusts me. To earn the respect of Grandy means I’m an okay fellow despite my selection of profession. Grandfather Egret, Eve’s husband’s grandfather is a Miccosukee Indian who seems to be able to predict the future. He is someone everyone reveres as do I. He says I’m a good friend and seems to have no difficulty with my helping Eve bend some laws on occasion. So, you see, I come with great references. I hope you can overlook my profession and look inside the man to see me for the person I am: loving, kind and a real supporter of Eve Appel, her friend for life. I was upfront about my business, so Eve has never been in the dark about how I’m see by others. The only question is whether I am totally honest about my profession. Recently Eve raised an question about why I’ve never been arrested for mob activities. She asked me if I was really mob boss or whether I might be an undercover FBI agent. I asked her if she really wanted to know. Luckily something came up, so I didn’t have to answer that question. I think a little mystery about a man is interesting, don’t you?

Why do I love Eve so? She sees what’s inside others and never judges them by their appearance. I like that especially because I’m so often stereotyped, and it’s refreshing to have someone more interested in what I value, what I enjoy doing and the people I like hanging out with.  Eve and I share concern for the environment and out-of-control development especially here in rural Florida where human encroachment has done much to destroy the swamps. You may not think that’s a problem but swampland is where species breed, nest and hunt. If we lose it we see a reduction in birdlife, small mammals, deer and the Florida panther. And, of course, alligators, turtles and snake, perhaps not your favorite species or mine, but they are part of the ecosystem. Farming, ranching, sugar production, if not controlled, result in water pollution in Lake Okeechobee and resultant issues in estuaries on the east coast—witness the algae bloom in the Stuart area this past summer. The coastline looked like it was piled about four feet high in places with overcooked, stinking spinach. So mess with rural Florida and you won’t be enjoying those lovely sandy beaches.

I also like my women saucy or sassy, bold, opinionated, but compassionate and loyal to their friends. There is almost nothing Eve won’t do for her friends and family. When her best friend, Madeleine was kidnapped, Eve took on the Russian mob to get her back. Of course, I helped. (Note here from Eve: Nappi was a great help. He always is. He’s as loyal to his friends and family and “Family” as he says I am. We have a mutual admiration society.)

In Old Bones Never Die, Eve and I search out the background of a shady lawyer working for a development company. My past associations with “Family” in the Miami area afford us information about him that leads us to discover the link between bones buried for over three decades and the murder of the backhoe operator who dug up the bones. I know Grandy likes having me partner with Eve in her search for killers because Grandy sees me as Eve’s safety net and, if you know how impulsive Eve is, you know she can use someone who’s got her back.

Nice talking with you. Now I have an appointment with my tailor for a new suit, black, of course.



Prologue from Old Bones Never Die


The morning air was cold, but once the sun rose over the levee, its heat penetrated the construction site and brought with it the humidity of south central Florida. The backhoe operator paused to remove his sweatshirt and push his thick, black hair away from his face, then moved the levers of the machine forward so that the mouth of the bucket opened, showing its large metal teeth. Another move of the lever lowered the bucket. The teeth bit into the black dirt of the Big Lake basin.

The operator felt the assessing gaze of the foreman, who stood at the side of the pit, his hardhat pushed back on his forehead. New to the job, Walter Egret was skilled, but he knew he’d been hired by the company against the foreman’s wishes. As a Miccosukee, his work would be scrutinized more closely than that of others employed by Coastal Development Company and its construction arm, Gator Way. The foreman’s constant surveillance bothered him, but not as much as the feeling that someone else watched him from the cover of the sabal palms that stood at the edge of the property. He’d felt a shadowy presence there for several days. It was probably nothing, but today he would take a walk over to the trees during his lunch break.

This land now being readied for a sportsman’s retreat had once belonged to his people, but legal maneuvering by slick lawyers deeded it away from the tribe into the developers’ hands. Walter didn’t like to think about that too much. Being a backhoe operator was a job, a way for him to support his three boys. He dumped the bucket of dirt and maneuvered the machine back to bite the earth again. This time the bucket picked up debris lighter colored than the soil. Probably some buried tree limbs, he thought, halting the rise of the bucket. Huh. Looked like bones from some animal, maybe a cow. Lotta bones.

“Hey, dump that back in the hole. What the hell have we got?” shouted the foreman.

Walter did as he was told and deposited the bucket load back in the area he’d dug. He shut down the backhoe, and both he and the foreman jumped into the hole to take a closer look.

“Oh, damn,” said the foreman, “look at that.” He pointed at a round object, dull and gray, lying in the dirt. “I think we’ve got ourselves a burial ground. I gotta make a call.”

The foreman climbed out of the hole and walked away, his cell in his hand.

Walter continued to stare at the object. A skull. Those were human bones. Maybe the bones of one of his people. Bending over to get a closer look, he saw a metal object buried in the loose dirt. He pulled it out, brushing the soil off what turned out to be a heavy gold chain. At the end of the chain swung a pocket watch. It looked like one he dimly remembered seeing when he was a child.

“Get the hell out of there. Don’t move anything.” The foreman’s face was red and shiny with sweat, not from exertion but something else—fear, maybe? “You find something?”

Walter’s fist closed around the watch. “No. Just more bones.”

“Yeah. Well, we got to shut down and notify the authorities. That damn Indian grave stuff.”

“The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act,” Walter said.

The foreman shot him an angry look. “Real wiseass, aren’t you? Well, I don’t know when we can begin work again, so you’re out of a job for now.” His words seemed to suggest it was Walter’s fault the job had to be halted.

The foreman hesitated, then added, as if embarrassed by his earlier accusatory tone, “Well, you seem to know your way around machinery, so you’ll probably hear from us.” He grunted a goodbye and turned toward his pickup truck, which stood parked near the palm tree grove. “You go on, now. I’ll wait here for the authorities.” Walter watched him climb into his truck and start it up. He knew the foreman would sit there in air-conditioned luxury until someone showed up.

As he began his five mile walk home, Walter envied the man the cool air. His old Ford truck wouldn’t start this morning, so he’d had to walk to work, and he was spectacularly unsuccessful at thumbing a ride. No one wanted to pick up a Miccosukee in work clothes and beat-up work boots unless it was some other tribe member. The morning’s walk hadn’t been so bad because it was cool. Now the midday sun beat down on his head. He pulled a strip of leather from his pocket and tied his long hair back. Once well away from the construction site, he stopped and took the watch from his pocket. It was battered and scraped; a long gash on the back told him one of the bucket’s teeth had gouged it. He wiped away the dirt on his jeans to reveal a plumed wading bird etched on the cover face. He tried to pry open the case, but wasn’t successful. He knew that if he did, he’d find an inscription inside. He was certain this was the watch his mother had given his father as a birthday present.

Finally the mystery was solved. He’d found his father. After so much time. Grandfather was right. The swamp had returned him. He had to call Sammy. Sammy would want to know, and Sammy would know what to do.

He had no cellphone, but he couldn’t wait until he got home to call. He’d have to stop at the Dusty Boot, a biker’s bar up the road a mile, and use the phone there. He quickened his pace despite the heat. Once in the cool darkness of the bar, he grabbed a stool and asked for a coke. Remembering he’d left his lunch in the backhoe, he ordered a ham sandwich.

There was no payphone in the bar, so while he waited for his sandwich to arrive, he asked the bartender if he could borrow the house phone.

“It’s really important. A local call.”

The bartender, a woman with teased blonde hair, a spaghetti strap top, and two full sleeves of tattoos hesitated, but once she’d looked around the empty bar, she shoved the phone his way. “I ain’t supposed to let ya, so be quick and don’t tell no one.”

The call connected to Grandfather and Sammy’s answering machine.

“Sammy? I need to see you tonight. I found Father’s watch on a body we unearthed at the construction site today. I think the body is Father’s.”

The bartender brought Walter his sandwich, which he ate slowly, savoring every bite of the dry white bread and fatty ham concoction. Walter was happy. Now he knew what had happened to his father. Now he could bring Father home to rest.


The car hit Walter Egret a mile down the road from the Dusty Boot. Two men stepped out of the black SUV and approached the body.

“Do it,” the man in the suit said to the other.

The other man, short, ferret-faced, and dressed in jeans and a tee-shirt, searched the body. “Not much money, no cellphone, cheap wallet, and this.” He held up the pocket watch.

“Nothing we should worry about, I guess. Leave it all. We want this to look like an accident.”

The man in the suit got back into the car. He didn’t see the other man pocket the watch.

The driver spoke into his cell. “We cleaned everything up here. We’ll finish it later.”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York.  In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport.  Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse.  When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.

She is the author of a number of mystery series (Microbrewing Series, Big Lake Mystery Series, Eve Appel Mystery Series, and the Laura Murphy Mysteries), a standalone mystery (Angel Sleuth) and numerous short stories.  

Connect with Lesley:
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Buy the book:
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

GUEST POST BY SUSAN BOLES


ABOUT THE BOOK

Lily Gayle and the gang set out to find a killer after local baker Luxen Natolovich is found dead hours before the grand opening weekend at the new Bed and Breakfast in town, Midnight Dragonfly. As Lily Gayle deciphers the clues around Luxen’s death she uncovers a conspiracy of lies and half truths that could very well be tied to a refugee camp in Mississippi during World War II. The deeper Lily Gayle digs, the deeper the conspiracy runs, and the closer she comes to being the killer’s next victim.




GUEST POST BY SUSAN BOLES


Hi! I'm very excited to be here at A Blue Million Books today to talk about Cherry Cake and a Cadaver. It's the second book in the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series. I really love writing these books, and I hope everyone enjoys reading them. The cast of characters have already become a second family to me. Creating lives and backgrounds for Lily Gayle, Dixe, Miss Edna and Ben, along with the introduction of a new character, Harley Ann, has really kept the old brain cells turning to make them as intersting to you as they are to me. And my mama asked me if Miss Edna is based on her! I told her that is not the case, but I think she's secretly disappointed that she's not in the book.

This time around, Lily Gayle persuades her best friend, Dixie, to accompany her on a pre-opening night peeking-through-the-windows expedition to the Midnight Dragonfly Inn. It's in the former Mitchell Manor which became vacant after the Mitchell's went a little crazy in the first book in the series.  As they ooh and aah over the renovations they can see, they work their way around the house from window to window. At the back, they find the door ajar, a cherry cake on the kitchen counter, and feet clad in a pair of leather loafers protuding from behind the kitchen island. A sight definitely not on the 'must see' list.

Lily Gayle gets the bit between her teeth and sets off to find the killer. After all, she did a bang up job solving the wolf man murder, right? From beauty shop gossip to old newspapers, she on the trail of clues. The discovery of more than one buried secret and the disappearance of another local resident are a recipe that's sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats to the surprising end.

With many thanks,
Susan Boles


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan calls McNairy County, Tennessee her home ground even though she has moved away. It was here, at Bethel Springs Junior High School that she began her writing career with two friends. They formed their own little writers group that was so secret they were the only ones who knew it existed. She still has some of the stories they wrote carefully preserved in a loose leaf binder and tucked away for safety.

She has worked in retail management, briefly for the Census Bureau, and for many years in the investment/insurance industry in the regulatory compliance arena. All of which are left brain activities. So she exercises her right brain activity with reading and writing . . . just to keep both sides even.

Reading has been a passion since she was very young. As a toddler, her mother read to her from her ‘baby books,’ and her Mother tells a story about her holding one of them upside down and ‘reading’ by repeating the story verbatim from memory.

Death of a Wolfman
is the first in the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series. Her previously published romantic suspense novel, Fated Love, is a contemporary paranormal romantic suspense (with a twist of paranormal) set in Memphis, Tennessee. Her first novel, Kate’s Pride, is a historical women’s fiction set in West Tennessee in the aftermath of the Civil War. The novel is loosely based on her own great grandmother and published under the pen name Renee Russell.

Life got in the way of writing for many years, but now she’s come back to her early love.

Connect with Susan:
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Buy the book:
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH CYNTHIA KUHN'S LILA MACLEAN





ABOUT THE BOOK 


When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week.

The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.




WHO IS LILA MACLEAN
?

Lila Maclean is a new assistant professor of English (and sometimes amateur sleuth) at Stonedale University in Colorado.


INTERVIEW WITH LILA MACLEAN


Lila, w
hat impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
People seem to think that I’m a pushover.

How about after they've known you for a while?
Eventually, they realize that’s definitely not the case. 



Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Yes, the one where I win the lottery and then spend a whole chapter trying to figure out how much money to give to everyone I love. (She wouldn’t write it.)

What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
My schedule revolves around teaching—so I’m probably preparing for class, grading, or attending meetings. But if I had a day off, I might drive up and explore the Rocky Mountains. Haven’t had much of a chance to do that yet.

If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
All the places where I blurted something out that would have better been left unsaid. It keeps getting me into trouble!

Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?
They’re all interesting and mysterious in their own ways.
 

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Sit on the porch with a new book and a cool drink.


What's the worst thing that's happened in your life?
My father left before I was born—don’t even know who he is. I’ve learned how to live without a father, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about him. 



Tell us about your best friend.

My best friend is my cousin Calista. We grew up together. She’s sweet, honest, and quirky—and she writes amazing poetry. She’s also looking out for me here at Stonedale, and I’m lucky to have someone like her in my corner.

If your story were a movie, who would play you?

Maybe someone who is a cross between Sandra Bullock and Lizzy Caplan.

Will you encourage your author to write a sequel?
Yes. I’d love to know what happens next!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean academic mystery series. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. She teaches English at Metropolitan State University of Denver and serves as president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado.

Connect with Cynthia:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble