Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book Excerpt: I INVITED HER IN by Adele Parks

I Invited Her In by Adele Parks
ISBN: 9780778308850 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778369219 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488035050 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205682 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07BMVYG12 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: February 5, 2019


Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.
This is worse.
When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.
But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel's help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It's the least Mel can do.
After all, friends look out for each other, don't they?
I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can't have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

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Read an excerpt

     I wonder, does she? How much contact has she had? Other than the people who turn up on her chat-show sofa, does she have any interaction with kids? Is she a godmother to anyone? She must be, right? She's perfect godparent material.
     At that moment, I hear the front door bang against the hall wall and a rucksack being dropped. I look out of the kitchen window and notice that the street lamps are on, the sky has turned a deep indigo; it will be black as a bruise in another hour. "Liam's home," I announce. "He's been at football practice."
     Liam lopes into the room and I am, as always, so very pleased to see him. Liam has an easy, cheerful manner, besides which he manages his two younger sisters with flair and effective ease; he'll probably be able to retrieve the lippy and scent. I know Abi will be impressed by his height and his manners—all my friends always are.
     "Liam, come and meet a friend of mine." I jump up and rush to him. I thread my arm through his, just resisting presenting him with a ta-da. "This is Abi—we went to university together."
     He was expecting her, or at least he should have been; the house has been turned upside down by her imminent arrival and yet he looks surprised. Typical boy. It's possible that he's forgotten we've a house guest staying for a few days. Still, his manners are as perfect as ever. He leans forward and extends his hand for her to shake. She reaches for it and at the same time gracefully pulls herself up to standing.
     "Oh my God. I wouldn't have known him."
     "Well, you haven't seen him since he was about two months old," I point out, laughing.
     "He's—" She pauses, remembering that he's in the room. "You're all grown up," she murmurs, obviously shocked that in a blink of an eye my baby has turned into this. Looking at Liam no doubt makes Abi feel old in a way that even birthdays can't. I totally understand. Kids are like egg timers. Time slips through your fingers like sand, as you stand back and watch them grow.
     "A-levels this year," I say proudly.
     "Really? What subjects?"
     "Maths, philosophy and politics," Liam reels off his subject choices.
     "Wow, clever as well." I'm grateful that she hasn't spelt out exactly what he is, besides clever.
     He's handsome.
     There's no doubt about it. Quite particularly so. But he's young and absolutely hates it when my friends say as much, even though they are only trying to pay him a compliment. Even now, under her gaze, he blushes a little bit. He keeps his head down, his blond, sleek, straight fringe falling over his eyes. His eyes are arguably his best feature. Deep, dark blue pools. Framed with long, thick lashes. I already pity the girls who are going to feel the heat of his gaze once he fully understands the power of it.
     I suppose there will be quite a few. He has been seeing Tanya for eight months now; it's serious but it can't be it. He's too young. There were girls before her, and there will be others after.
     "Yeah, he's smart," I say, not being able to hide my pride. "Wants to change the world, does our Liam. Don't you, love?"
     Liam shrugs. He thinks I'm being flip about his ambitions to become a politician, to champion the rights of those without voices, to find a way of doing the right thing in a world where doing the wrong thing seems to pay, but I'm not. I'm proud of him. A little daunted, to be honest. His ambitions seem so big.
     Liam turns to his sisters, engaging with genuine interest. "What have you got on your face?"
     "Lipstick," they chorus, giggling proudly. They fling themselves at him and cling like limpets. Although he is too old to comfortably accept a hug from his mum, I'm pleased to say he still cuddles his younger sisters with genuine zeal. Well, really, they don't give him any choice.
     "Have you two had your tea?" he asks.
     I glance at the clock guiltily. It's past six. I normally feed the girls by quarter to five. I've been distracted by Abi's arrival. "Wow, no, no they haven't. You must be starving, girls." Although probably not—Abi hasn't touched the brownies and yet there's only one left on the plate. "What do you want?" I ask.
     Liam sees my panic and somehow senses my desire to stay put and chat with Abi some more. He waves his hand. "I'll do it. No problem. What's it to be, girls? Scrambled egg or beans on toast?" 
     "No, honestly love, I'll do their tea but if you could just go and see they wash their hands. Perhaps listen to them reading for school, while I put something on for us all."
     Liam leads them out of the room. Abi and I smile at one another as we listen to their chatter and laughter trail upstairs.
     "He's quite something."
     "Thank you."
     "You did a fine job, Mel." She looks me in the eye and nods.
     "Thank you. I didn't do it on my own. Ben is a brilliant dad and my parents have been such a help."
     "Yup, I don't doubt it, but it's mostly you."
     I nod and accept her compliment because it's what I like to believe. Not that I mostly did the bringing up. But that he is mostly me. He's a fine boy and he is mostly mine. Nothing to do with the boy I had a one-night stand with, someone I hardly knew; he is irrelevant.

Excerpt from I Invited Her In by Adele Parks. Copyright © 2018 by Adele Parks. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission from Harlequin/MIRA.



Meet the Author

Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women's fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 3 million books and her work has been translated into 25 different languages.

1500+ 5 star reviews have kindly been written by her fans on Amazon.co.uk 🙂

She has published 15 novels in the past 15 years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers.

Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970's childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University. 

Connect with the author via Facebook, her WebsiteTwitter, and Instagram.



Excerpt Tour Stops
(Follow the tour to read all of the excerpts)

Thursday, November 1st: Helen's Book Blog

Friday, November 2nd: Chick Lit Central

Monday, November 5th: Novel Gossip

Tuesday, November 6th: A Holland Reads

Wednesday, November 7th: Broken Teepee

Thursday, November 8th: Cheryl's Book Nook

Thursday, November 8th: The Lit Bitch

Friday, November 9th: Books a la Mode

Monday, November 12th: From the TBR Pile

Monday, November 12th: Books and Spoons

Tuesday, November 13th: Palmer's Page Turners

Wednesday, November 14th: Girls in Books

Thursday, November 15th: A Dream Within a Dream

Friday, November 16th: Rad Babes Read

Monday, November 19th: Bewitched Bookworms

Monday, November 19th: Stuck in Books

Tuesday, November 20th: Books and Cats and Coffee

Tuesday, November 20th: The Book Diva's Reads

Wednesday, November 21st: She Reads With Cats



This excerpt tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours


Monday, November 19, 2018

Book Spotlight: MRS. ODBODDY AND THEN THERE WAS A TIGER by Elaine Faber


Mrs. Odboddy: And Then There Was a Tiger: (Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries)

by Elaine Faber

A WWII tale of conflict and carnivals, turmoil and tigers.


About the Book



Mrs. Odboddy: And Then There Was a Tiger (Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries)
WWII tale of conflict and carnivals, turmoil and tigers.
Cozy Mystery/Humorous/Historical
3rd in Series
Elk Grove Publications (July 25, 2018)
Print Length: 349 pages
Digital ASIN: B07FXDV1C6


While the 'tiger of war' rages across the Pacific during WWII, eccentric, elderly Agnes Odboddy, 'fights the war from the home front'. Her patriotic duties are interrupted when she is accused of the Wilkey's Market burglary.
A traveling carnival with a live tiger joins the parishioner's harvest fair at The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. Accused again when counterfeit bills are discovered at the carnival, and when the war bond money goes missing, Agnes sets out to restore her reputation and locate the money. Her attempts lead her into harm's way when she discovers a friend's betrayal and even more about carnival life than she bargained for.
Granddaughter Katherine's turbulent love triangle with a doctor and an FBI agent rivals Agnes's own on-again, off-again relationship with Godfrey.
In Faber's latest novel, your favorite quirky character, Mrs. Odboddy, prevails against injustice and faces unexpected challenges . . . and then There Was a Tiger!


Read an excerpt:

Mrs. Odboddy – And Then There Was a Tiger
A true account as it occurred in the fall of 1943. Only the facts were made up... 

Chapter One
"That'll give them something to pray about." Agnes
"What in tarnation is all that mess on the front porch?" A tattered shoebox leaned against the newel post beside the front step. Clumps of string lay amidst more shredded paper on the porch. 
Agnes switched off the motor of her 1930 Model A Ford. She pulled on the hand brake, jammed her silver chopsticks firmly into the bun on the back of her hennaed hair, and stepped out of the car. 
Shreds of brown paper skittered across the lawn. Her frown deepened as she picked up pieces of cardboard and string. 
Agnes Agatha Odboddy, in big bold letters, was scribbled across the middle of the brown wrapping paper. She flipped the shoebox over. An offensive odor wafted up from inside. "What the devil…"
Agnes glanced toward the porch and noticed the front door standing ajar. "Jumping Jehoshaphat." Her granddaughter, Katherine, must have forgotten to lock it when she took their ward, Maddie, to school this morning. 
She pushed open the front door, and peeked inside. "Good gravy!" Pillows–askew on the sofa. Magazines–scattered across the rug. Remnants of her grandmother's vase speckled the hearth.
"Oh, my stars. We've been burgled." Agnes rushed through the living room and into the kitchen. Breakfast coffee puddled in the middle of the table. A cup lay shattered in the sink. A kitchen chair lay sideways on the linoleum floor.
A scuffling sound came from the back bedroom. Agnes spun around. Was someone in there, ransacking her jewelry box? Should she run back out the front door? Agnes Odboddy, self-appointed scourge of the underworld–run for cover? Not on your tintype!
She grabbed a rolling pin from the drawer, the weapon of choice for a woman of a certain age, planning to sneak up on the thief, crack his head, and bring him to his cowardly knees. 
Before she had taken three steps, a rat barreled out of her bedroom and down the hall. Agnes jumped back. "Yikes!" 
The spindly-tailed rodent raced into the living room and scrambled up the flowered drapes to the top of the curtain rod. Ling-Ling, a feline nemesis in camo-gray, followed. 
Merciful Heavens. A measly rodent? Agnes sent the rolling pin flying. It hit the wall, barely missing the front window, and clattered to the floor. 
Rrowww! Ling-Ling clawed her way up the curtain, knocking a table lamp to the floor. Thud! The fringed shade spun off the lamp and rolled toward the front door. Down came the rod with a crash, as the rat dropped to the floor and raced out the front door with the Ling-Ling, the Siamese avenger three leaps behind. 
Agnes shook her finger. "Ling-Ling. Bad girl. No! No…" What was she saying? "Go get her, girl." 
Agnes stepped onto the porch and put her hand to her eyes in time to see the pair racing up the street, headed toward The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. She checked her watch. Yep, folks should just about be arriving for the afternoon prayer meeting. That'll give them something to pray about. She stepped back into the house to assess the damage. 
Never in her seventy-plus years had she seen such destruction. What unknown scoundrel hated her enough to leave a rat-filled shoebox addressed to her on the porch? 
Agnes pondered the situation. Ling-Ling must come upon the shoebox and smelled the rodent through the wrapping paper. She could almost see her determined Siamese killing-machine scratching and kicking the box until she had shredded a hole big enough for the rat to escape, dash through the open door, and into the house. The image sent shivers up Agnes's spine. 
Ling-Ling would have followed with murder in her crossed blue eyes and the chase ensued. Not even an air raid from the Flying Tigers could have left her living room and kitchen in such a mess. No telling how the rest of the house would have suffered if Agnes hadn't returned just at that moment.
What if Ling-Ling hadn't found the box and taken matters into her own paws? Why, she might have cut the string herself, opened the box, and the rat would have leaped into her face. Maybe that was exactly the sender's intention. 



About the Author


elaine-4.-touchup
Elaine Faber lives in Northern California with her husband and two feline companions. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, California Cat Writers, and Northern California Publishers and Authors. She volunteers with the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. She enjoys speaking on author panels, sharing highlights of her novels. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines and multiple anthologies. She has published seven books. In addition to the Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries Elaine writes the Black Cat Mysteries.



     
  • Webpage/blog: www.mindcandymysteries.com

  •  
  • Facebook, http://tinyurl.com/zm2j4n5


  • Purchase Link - Amazon



    TOUR PARTICIPANTS

    November 19 – Here's How It Happened – GUEST POST

    November 19 – The Book Diva's Reads – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

    November 20 – Mythical Books - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

    November 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT, RECIPE

    November 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

    November 22 – Thanksgiving U.S. - Off

    November 23 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW

    November 23 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

    November 24 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW

    November 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

    November 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

    November 26 – Books Direct - GUEST POST, EXCERPT

    November 27 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

    November 27 – T's Stuff – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

    November 28 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

    November 29 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

    November 30 – Socrates' Book Reviews – REVIEW

    December 1 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

    December 1 – Bibliophile Reviews - REVIEW



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    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    Guest Post: Bruce Robert Coffin - BEYOND THE TRUTH

    Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin


    Hello, my bookish divas and divos. I'm always pleased to welcome visits by authors and today I'm honored to welcome Bruce Robert Coffin, author of the acclaimed and bestselling Detective Byron Mystery series including Beyond The Truth. Mr. Coffin is also a retired police officer and I thank him for his years of service (my youngest brother is a police officer in my hometown and I know just a bit about what these brave men and women do and go through on a daily basis). I've often wondered how an author feels with the release of a new book, Mr. Coffin is here today to share with us his feelings about that and more. Ladies and gents, I give you Mr. Bruce Robert Coffin.




    Beyond the Truth, the third novel in my Detective Byron mystery series, was released on October 30th. How do I feel? I feel exactly the same way I did for the other two novels. Excitement, apprehension, perhaps even a bit somber. Surprised by that last emotion? Don't be. Watching a novel take its first steps out the door, the same novel you spent over a year envisioning, researching, writing, rewriting, editing, rewriting again, and polishing, is akin to looking on helplessly as your five-year-climbs up the steps of the big yellow bus for the first day of school. Will they be embraced by their peers? Or picked on and criticized. Sending a book out into the world is all about letting go. You can't work on a book forever. All any writer can really hope to do is their best.

    I suspect it's the same for most authors. Likewise, I imagine that these feelings never completely leave us. Even now as I toil over the manuscript for what I hope will be my fourth novel, fifth if you count the drawer novel, banished to the cellar of unpublished manuscripts, I wonder what readers will think of it. But love it or hate it, the true litmus test of any novel is whether or not we, the authors, are pleased with the finished product. After all, writers are readers first. And I believe that most writers strive to write the type of books they would want to read.

    Lee Child once said if you write a novel that you are happy with, odds are that hundreds of readers will be happy with it too. The trick is in writing a novel that thousands of readers or even hundreds of thousands of readers are happy with. I believe, no matter what else happens, that the author must be happy first.

    When Among the Shadows, my first published novel, was released, I had no idea whether or not mystery fans would embrace it. But to my delight, they did. And most of them loved the characters in my Detective Byron series. Then I worried, would fans of the first book embrace Beneath the Depths, the second in the series? And again, they did. As the number of Detective Byron fans continues to grow, I realize that I must continue to give them my best. Each novel must have something to say. Each must be entertaining. And each must advance the arcs that I have established for my characters. If every novel I write can accomplish those goals, I needn't worry. But I will anyway.





    Beyond the Truth

    by Bruce Robert Coffin

    on Tour November 1-30, 2018



    Synopsis:


    Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin

    In this latest enthralling mystery from #1 bestselling author Bruce Robert Coffin, Detective Sergeant John Byron faces the greatest challenge of his career.
    When a popular high school senior is shot by police following a late night robbery, chaos ensues. The actions of the officer are immediately called into question. Amid community protests, political grandstanding, department leaks, and reluctant witnesses, Byron and his team must work quickly to find the missing pieces.
    And when an attempt is made on the officer's life, Byron shifts into overdrive, putting everything on the line. Was the attack merely retribution or something more sinister? The search for the truth may come at a price not even Byron can afford.



    Book Details:


    Genre: Mystery
    Published by: Witness Impulse
    Publication Date: October 30, 2018
    Number of Pages: 448
    ISBN: 0062569511 (ISBN13: 9780062569516)
    Series: Detective Byron #3
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads



    Author Bio:


    Bruce Robert Coffin

    Bruce Robert Coffin is a former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement. At the time of his retirement from the Portland, Maine police department, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine's largest city. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Bruce spent four years working counter-terrorism with the FBI, earning the Director's Award, the highest honor a non-agent can receive. His first two books, Among the Shadows and Beneath the Depths, were both Maine Sunday Telegram #1 bestsellers.



    Catch Up With Bruce Robert Coffin On:


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    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Witness Impulse/Harper Collins. There will be 3 winners of one (1) print copy of Beneath The Depths by Bruce Robert Coffin. The giveaway begins on November 1, 2018, and runs through December 2, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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    Monday, November 12, 2018

    Book Spotlight: CHILDREN OF A GOOD WAR by Jack Woodville London

    French Letters: Children of a Good War by Jack Woodville London
    ISBN: 9780990612186 (paperback)
    ASIN: B07H9KF9Q5 (Kindle edition)
    Publisher: Vire Press
    Release Date: November 8, 2018


    Four decades after World War II, 1986 is a year of terrorist hijackings, of personal computers and CD players, of AIDS and Miami Vice. It also is a year in which a beloved doctor falls to his death, a Pan Am pilot is shot while trying to foil the takeover of Pan Am flight 73, and when four bitter French widows use their medicines as bets to play poker in their retirement home while a lonely nun observes her vows of silence in an Irish convent. And it is the year when a cache of faded letters is discovered in a cellar, causing Frank Hastings to realize that he is not who he believed he is, and to go in search of his mother. 


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    Author Q & A

    1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write? 

    8th grade. I was enrolled in a 'Ready Writing' competition and won a prize of some kind for a story about someone very like me who somehow fixed up a wrecked sports car, then had lots of adventures in places whose names I misspelled. I was taken by the craft of writing when I read a number of books in which the word choices the authors made were extraordinary. Examples were the romance poem 'The Eve of St. Agnes' and 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' ("The hound? The hound did nothing." "Exactly.")

    2.  Where/When do you best like to write?  

    In my study. I write best in the mornings when I'm alone.  

    3.  Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?  

    Probably not. I believe that when working on fiction, you should attempt 1000 words a day. I also believe that you should begin by reading what you wrote yesterday, edit and revise it, then move on to a fresh 1000  words. Repeat tomorrow.  

    4.  When you are struggling to write/have writer's block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?  

    I dig out one of several novels that just light my fires. Larry McMurtry teaches creative writing with every sentence. I read almost anything by Evelyn Waugh or Anthony Powell. John Lanchester and Hilary Mantel are creative and inspiring.      

    5.  What do you think makes a good story?

    A flawed protagonist, a conflict, a solution, then disaster. 


    6. What inspired your story?  

    a.  I thought that there should be a story that reflects three conditions of the cycle (cyclone?) of life: being taken for granted (and attempting revenge); being utterly alone in the world, no matter how many people are around you; and, learning that you really don't know who you are, then setting out to find out.
    b.  I found the meanness of the Biblical story of the brothers Jacob and Esau and the things they did to their father to also be timeless. I build a family saga around parents who were not always completely blameless, their friends, their enemies, and their children, creating a story in which there are individual bits that all of us will recognize from our family, friends, or, shudder, ourselves. And, as Jacob and Esau feuded and lied, so do brothers feud and lie today, with lasting consequences. Finally, one of the great narratives of sibling rivalries is the accusation that one of them is not really a sibling at all, but a foundling, a child dug up under a cabbage patch, or a bastard that someone brought home to raise.

    7.  How does a new story idea come to you? Is it an event that sparks the plot or a character speaking to you?

    Characters are wonderful devices. You can create them, then drop them into nearly any period or event and they will act as such characters would act at any time in history, whether it is ancient Greece, Tudor England, baby boomers in the 1980s, or Trump America. 

    8.  Is there a message/theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  

    I hope that the notion comes through that finding out who we are is something each of us must find out for himself or herself; while we may or may not know who our parents are, we almost never know who they were.  

    9.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?  

    How little we really know about our parents.  

    10.  What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?  

    When drawing complex characters with richly detailed individual lives, it takes a great deal of focus to keep their individual storylines arranged so that they become a part of the real story. There are clues buried in most of the characters' roles that readers often breeze through as minor details of daily life, then realize some time downstream that they are important pieces of the story. 




    Meet the Author


    Jack Woodville London studied the craft of fiction at the Academy of Fiction, St. Céré, France and at Oxford University. He was the first Author of the Year of the Military Writers Society of America. His French Letters novels are widely praised for their portrayal of America in the 1940s, both at home and in the Second World War, and as Americans evolved from the experience of that war into the consumer society of the baby boom generation. Children of a Good War is the third book in that series. The first book, Virginia's War, was a Finalist for Best Novel of the South and the Dear Author 'Novel with a Romantic Element' contest. The second volume, Engaged in War, won the silver medal for general fiction at the London Book Festival, among other awards. His craft book, A Novel Approach, a short and light-hearted work on the conventions of writing, is designed to help writers who are setting out on the path to write their first book. A Novel Approach won the E-Lit Gold Medal for non-fiction in 2015. Jack also is the author of several published articles on the craft of writing and on early 20th-century history. His work in progress is Shades of the Deep Blue Sea, a mystery-adventure novel about two sailors and a girl, set on a Pacific island World War II. Jack lives in Austin, Texas. 

    Connect with the author via Facebook, his Website,  or YouTube.



    This author Q&A and spotlight brought to you by PR by the Book



    Friday, November 9, 2018

    Book Spotlight: A COLD BREW KILLING by Lena Gregory



    A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)

    by Lena Gregory

    About the Book

    Cozy Mystery
    3rd in Series
    Lyrical Underground (November 6, 2018)
    Print Length Approximately 250 Pages
    Digital ASIN: B079R5Y14L


    When an ice cream vendor discovers a frozen stiff, Florida diner owner Gia Morelli has to serve up some just desserts . . .

    Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café. Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities. But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something's very wrong. Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold. When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight—a dead body in the open freezer. But the ice cream man's troubles are just beginning. The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface. Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice . . .





    Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

    When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

    Author Links:

    Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

    Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

    Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

    Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

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

    Purchase Links

    Amazon   B&N  Kobo



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    November 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

    November 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower - REVIEW

    November 7 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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    November 8 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

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    November 9 – FUONLYKNEW - SPOTLIGHT

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    November 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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    Thursday, November 8, 2018

    Guest Post: Mary Ellen Hughes - A VINTAGE DEATH



    Good day, my fellow book lovers. I'm always interested in learning where authors find their ideas for writing, such as how they come up with their characters, how do they choose the setting, themes, etc. Today, Mary Ellen Hughes, acclaimed author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries, the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, and the Keepsake Cove Series including A Vintage Death stops by and shares with us some insight on creating characters. Thank you, Ms. Hughes, for taking the time to visit with us today. 





    Creating Characters
    Mary Ellen Hughes

         When someone learns that I'm a mystery author, their thoughts seem to fly to the hard-boiled police detective or serial killer kind. But there's many others, and I choose to write the less violent mystery that focuses on the puzzle. I like to explore motives that cause an every-day sort of person to murder, or the inner workings of the average-seeming person who's hiding a secret darkness. People fascinate me, so I love to create characters.

         For my Keepsake Cove series, I created Callie, a young woman whose life is suddenly changed by the death of an aunt who she didn't know well. In the first book, A Fatal Collection, Callie inherits a music box shop and cottage in Keepsake Cove from that aunt, but after she moves into her new home and learns more about her aunt's life, she finds it impossible to believe that the death was accidental. So Callie asks questions and studies the people around her to discover who might have actually caused it. This, of course, meant bringing in many characters, all of whom I enjoyed presenting to the reader for them to decide who could be trusted and who couldn't.

         In my latest release, A Vintage Death, Callie has settled into her new life. As part of Keepsake Cove's fall celebration, she invites a popular suspense author for a book event that will draw a crowd. I loved creating that author, whose life and personality is a contrast to Callie's. They quickly become friends, and Lyssa becomes an ally in a new murder investigation. My critique group liked that character so much they urged me to keep her in the series, so I have, writing her a big part in the next book that's currently in progress.

         The amazing thing to me is that someone who only exists on paper because I described her and wrote everything she said, becomes real, at least in the minds of readers. I've had emails from readers worried about what so-and-so was going to do next, or hoping a problem for them was going to turn out all right. That boggles my mind, while at the same time it delights me and motivates me to do more.

         Writing can be hard. It's time-consuming, and it often means giving up other things you'd like to do. But knowing that what you wrote has put someone into a world they wanted to be in, introduced them to people that they came to care about, and lingered pleasurably in their minds long after the book was closed, makes the effort so worthwhile.

    I'll continue to create those new worlds and new people as long as anyone wants me to, and probably longer. My worlds might not be anything you can touch and feel or my characters anyone you can actually have over for a chat. But they can become real in the imaginations of readers. If my readers have learned new things while walking through those worlds and understood the people around them a little better from looking into the minds of those characters, then that's all to the good. I've done my job, and I was most happy to do it.




    A Vintage Death (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)

    by Mary Ellen Hughes

    About the Book

    Cozy Mystery
    2nd in Series
    Midnight Ink (November 8, 2018)
    Paperback: 264 pages
    ISBN-10: 0738752274
    ISBN-13: 978-0738752273
    Digital
    ASIN: B0795RTP2B



    As the new music box store owner and resident of Keepsake Cove, a quaint town full of collectible shops on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Callie Reed is eager to get more involved in her community. She volunteers to plan the Fall street decorations and welcome a visiting author who's come for a special book signing. But the celebratory mood is cut short when the local B&B owner is found dead, killed by a pair of vintage scissors.
    Suspicion is cast on the victim's estranged wife, Dorothy, who owns Keepsake Cove's vintage sewing shop. Callie is sure Dorothy is innocent, and the visiting author agrees. Together, they begin their own investigation, only to discover that many people in Keepsake Cove have secrets. Secrets that are worth killing to keep quiet.



    About the Author




    Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she's set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

    Author Links

    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MaryEllenHughesauthor

    Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mehughes13/

    Twitter – https://twitter.com/mehughesauthor

    GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/402922.Mary_Ellen_Hughes



    Purchase Links – Amazon    B&N  Midnight Ink



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