Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Today, it's my pleasure to have Amy M. Reade, author of the The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor as my guest to talk about becoming a writer.

Five Things I Wish I had Known Before Becoming an Author

by Amy M. Reade

When I started my first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, I had no plans to submit it to a publisher. But the more I wrote and the further I got into the story, I began to think that I probably should submit it to someone because it was too much work to do for nothing.

I had no idea what I was getting into. The very first person who rejected the book said it was good, but I had no online presence. So I signed up for a Facebook account, my previous declarations that I would never join Facebook notwithstanding (never say never).

Once the book was accepted for publication, I learned very quickly that my dreams of sitting back and waiting for those royalty checks to roll in were just that—dreams. And thus, firmly planted in reality, here are the five things I wish I had known before becoming an author:

1. Unless you’re J.K. Rowling or John Grisham or some other author who’s sold a million billion books, you have to do most of the legwork to market yourself. If you have a publisher, the publicity department should help you out, but they have so many authors to promote that they can’t devote tons of time and resources to your book. So you have to get out there and promote it yourself. This takes an incredible amount of time and energy. It helps if you’re an extrovert. After I got a personal page on Facebook, I then created an author page, then I started a blog, then I designed my own website, then I ventured into the Twitterverse. I’ve had a steep learning curve, but guess what? I love it.

2. I had no idea how many genres of books there were until I had to pick one for my first novel. Did you know there are at least thirty-six subgenres of romance? Did you know there are at least twenty suspense subgenres and a minimum of twenty-two mystery/crime subgenres? It’s very hard to pick just one or two subgenres for a book, but it’s necessary because that’s how books are sold online, especially through Amazon which, for better or worse, is how most books are sold online.

3. You’ve probably heard the old adage “you have to spend money to make money.” That is almost my mantra now. I’ve had to shell out money for author swag, books to give away, transportation and hotel fare for writers’ conferences, and several blog tours. It’s a very expensive journey. From what I’ve read, most authors spend their first few books in the red because they have to spend so much to promote themselves. It’s not until the third book that the great majority of authors start to break even.

4. Authors read all the time! This one should have been quite obvious, and it was, but I never realized the extent to which other authors read. I love to read and I read during every spare minute, but I’m a rookie compared to other authors I’ve met. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of reading that other writers can accomplish in a day.

5. The writers I’ve been lucky enough to meet, whether in person or online, are the most generous, helpful, kind, supportive, gracious, and interesting group of people I’ve ever met. It may be a rat race to get readers and followers and fans, but it’s not a competition. There’s room for everyone’s books on the bookshelves and most authors seem to acknowledge this. They yearn to connect with other writers and share stories—both good and bad—as well as tips and encouragement.

Why do I wish I had known #5 before I became a writer? Because if I had known it, I would have become a writer sooner. And despite the hard work and the disappointments that come with every job, including that of a writer, I can no longer imagine doing anything else.

I invite you to have a look at my most recent romantic suspense novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor. As you may have guessed from the title, the novel is set at Peppernell Manor, an antebellum plantation near Charleston, South Carolina, that has seen better days. But when its owner hires restoration specialist Carleigh Warner to oversee its return to grandeur, disagreements over the property’s future threaten to tear the Peppernell family apart. Carleigh is swept unwittingly into a whorl of secrets that she must face to protect her future and her daughter’s life.

I also invite you to visit me online, where I love connecting with readers. You can find me at the following places:
 Website: (my website has a page listing my appearances)




About This Author

Amy M. Reade is also the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, a book set in the Thousand Islands of northern New York, where Amy grew up. After graduating from Cornell University, she went on to law school at Indiana University in Bloomington. She practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where, in addition to writing, she is a wife, a full-time mom and a volunteer in school, church and community groups. She lives just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean with her husband and three children as well as a dog and two cats. She loves cooking and all things Hawaii and is currently at work on her next novel.

Thank you Amy for joining us today!  Now let's take a look at...


“Do you know what stories Sarah could tell you about the things that happened in these little cabins? They’d curl that pretty red hair of yours.”

Outside of Charleston, South Carolina, beyond hanging curtains of Spanish moss, at the end of a shaded tunnel of overarching oaks, stands the antebellum mansion of Peppernell Manor in all its faded grandeur. At the request of her friend Evie Peppernell, recently divorced Carleigh Warner and her young daughter Lucy have come to the plantation house to refurbish the interior. But the tall white columns and black shutters hide a dark history of slavery, violence, and greed. The ghost of a former slave is said to haunt the home, and Carleigh is told she disapproves of her restoration efforts. And beneath the polite hospitality of the Peppernell family lie simmering resentments and poisonous secrets that culminate in murder—and place Carleigh and her child in grave danger…

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Blog Tour: DOUBLE DUPLICITY - A Shandra Higheagle Mystery by Paty Jager


On the eve of the biggest art event at Huckleberry Mountain Resort, potter Shandra Higheagle finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She’s ruled out as a suspect, but now it’s up to her to prove the friend she witnessed fleeing the scene was just as innocent. With help from her recently deceased Nez Perce grandmother, Shandra becomes more confused than ever but just as determined to discover the truth.

Detective Ryan Greer prides himself on solving crimes and refuses to ignore a single clue, including Shandra Higheagle’s visions. While Shandra is hesitant to trust her dreams, Ryan believes in them and believes in her.

Can the pair uncover enough clues for Ryan to make an arrest before one of them becomes the next victim?


The mystery is rich in Native American art and culture, including communication with the recently deceased. It is the setting and the culture that provide a different feel for this mystery as Shandra and the detective work to solve the murder. Complicating are family dynamics and conflict. Even with support from Nez Perce, there are many suspects and danger increases as they get closer. The ending is not obvious and that is always a plus. Jager blends culture, small town issues, family conflict, and murder into an enjoyable read. I hope there are more Shandra Higheagle mysteries. 

About This Author

Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

Author Links:

blog; Writing into the Sunset

her website;

Facebook;!/paty.jager , Goodreads

twitter; @patyjag

Purchase Links

Windtree Press





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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blog Tour: LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD (A Liz Talbot Mystery Book 3) by Susan M. Boyer


Where is Kent Heyward? The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.

But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.

Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.


Liz Talbot is called in a month after Kent goes missing. The police have decided that Kent is not missing, but rather left of her own accord. As Liz asks questions and uncovers some family secrets, Liz isn't so sure. Colleen, a ghost is also prompting her along the way. Liz has to be sure to have her ear buds in so if she responds to Colleen and someone hears her, the assumption will be she is talking to a real person not crazy. Amidst the mystery is the relationship between Liz and Nate, neither of which wants to leave their roots, and in Liz's case, Colleen. Despite personal issues, Nate helps with the case and the whodunit is wrapped up nicely. In case the reader missed a clue along the way, Liz and Nate debrief at the end.

This is the third in the series, following LOWCOUNTRY BOIL and LOWCOUNTRY BOMBSHELL. For the story of Kent and the relationship between Nate and Liz, this LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD can easily be read as a stand alone. I haven't read the first two but I gathered from the descriptions and reviews, that Colleen's history and her draw for Liz are set out in these first two books. That said, you might want to start at the beginning with this series.

About This Author

Susan M. Boyer is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the 2012 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and garnered several other award nominations. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives. You’ll find all of the above in her novels.

Susan lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blog Tour: A BOOKMARKED DEATH : A Dehli Laine Mystery by Judi Culbertson


For the first time in nearly twenty years, Delhi Laine’s family is whole. But that doesn’t mean everything is back to normal. With no proof to condemn her daughter’s kidnappers, Delhi’s family is forced to share Elisa with her “adopted” parents. But when they suddenly perish in a mysterious house fire, Elisa is heartbroken…and Delhi’s husband, Colin, is charged with their murder. Delhi knows it’s up to her to prove his innocence, but the deeper she digs, the more it becomes evident that nothing is as it seems. When Elisa goes missing, Delhi fears her nightmare may be repeating itself. If she can’t clear Colin’s name and find Elisa again, there may not be another chance. Twenty years ago she lost her daughter…if she fails now, she might lose everything—and everyone—she holds dear.

Delhi's passion is old books and she has a lot of work to do in her book barn, but it will have to wait.  Her husband Colin is charged with murder, and with them living apart, neither Delhi nor Colin has an alibi. Unfortunately, they both have a motive - Elisa, kidnapped as a toddler by the now deceased couple. Then Elisa goes missing and Hannah may be in danger. Delhi re-examines her life, her marriage, her many decisions as the story unfolds. 

The story has the obvious mystery, complicated by family dynamics that include ups and downs. Delhi's book business is a minor part, but Ruth Carew, the detective in charge who seems bound and determined to nail Colin or her based on some muddy boots and Frank Marsalli add to the conflicts and loyalties.

A BOOKMARKED DEATH is the latest in a series along with A NOVEL DEATH, A PHOTOGRAPHIC DEATH (which includes the story of Elisa) and AN ILLUSTRATED DEATH. Although it is the most recent, there is enough back story to read A BOOKMARKED DEATH as a stand-alone.

About This Author

Judi Culbertson draws on her experience as a used-and-rare book dealer, social worker, and world traveler to create her bibliophile mysteries. No stranger to cemeteries, she also co-authored five illustrated guides with her husband, Tom Randall, starting with Permanent Parisians. She lives in Port Jefferson, New York, with her family.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Guest Post : PATRICE LYLE, Author of KILLER KUNG PAO (Health Nut Mysteries Book 1)


Dr. Piper Meadows heads to the Body, Mind & Spirit Expo expecting to solve health problems, not murder. But her first day starts off wrong when famous psychic Mystic Ming compares her hair to a "dung beetle's nest" and tries to get her kicked out of the show. But Piper's bad-hair day gets worse when her Aunt Alfa gets in a public scuffle with Mystic Ming, where he accuses her of trying to poison him with her peanut oil-based essential oils. When Mystic Ming drops dead from his serving of killer kung pao laced with peanut oil, it's no surprise that Aunt Alfa is fingered as the prime suspect.

Unwilling to let her auntie squander her golden years in prison, Piper orders a set of How To Be a PI flashcards and sets out to find the real killer. Secrets and suspects sprout up faster than wheat grass, including a handsome tattoo artist, Tattoo Tex, who intrigues Piper more than she'd like to admit. But can she trust him? Piper had better solve the case of the killer kung pao before the murderer turns his sights on victim number sleuthing doctor!


What Comes Next After 
By Patrice Lyle

There will be two more books (and hopefully more!) in the Health Nut Mystery series from Gemma Halliday Publishing. Book 2 is KILLER KARAT CREAM and book 3 is KILLER KALE CHIPS. Here are blurbs for both books:

       Diamonds are a girl’s best exfoliater.

       After Dr. Piper Meadows sends out invitations to an exclusive spa night for holistic professionals to debut Sparkle O’s new Karat Cream – a diamond dust exfoliating cream that experts swear blasts off more layers than dynamite – she’s excited to show off the new organic fountain of youth. But when celebrity dermatologist Dr. Jasmine croaks from a lethal dose of poisoned Karat Cream at Dr. Piper’s event, she must turn to her PI flashcards once more to catch a killer intent on ridding the world of more than just dead skin cells.

      Who knew kale chips could be deadly?

      When famous author Veronica Forks drops dead from a bag of poisoned kale chips, suspicion falls on former-Mafioso-turned-surfer-dude Ken, creator of Ken’s Killer Kale Chips. According to Dr. Piper’s PI flashcards, he has the motive (she witnessed a tiff between him and Veronica), the means (the kale chips), and the opportunity. But he’s too cute to be a killer and, as any good PI knows, the flashcards aren’t always right. Plus Aunt Alfa and Brownie are addicted to Ken’s Killer Kale Chips and if Ken’s arrested, Aunt Alfa and Brownie will never snack again. So Dr. Piper takes it upon herself to root out a killer who loves to dabble in kale chips before he or she strikes again.

Author Bio: 
Patrice Lyle loves green smoothies, dark chocolate, mysteries, and humor. She wove these elements together when she created the Health Nut Mysteries, a cozy series about a naturopathic doctor who solves mysteries at health expos. Patrice also writes paranormal young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as holistic medical suspense. She has an MA in Writing Popular Fiction and a PhD in Holistic Nutrition. She's also a Certified Traditional Naturopath. She now lives in Florida with her husband and two kitties, and is a firm believer in the theory that laughter is the best medicine.

My aunt was the most adorable health nut ever. Clad in her size-two teal velour pantsuit, matching foam rollers, and red, patent-leather Mary Jane pumps, she strutted across the beige carpet pulling a neon green duffel roller bag and munching on a gluten-free Cosmic Cupcake (her favorite). She hadn't changed at all—including her hennaed hair—in the last three decades. And I hoped she never would.

"Hey, Pipe." She planted a kiss on my cheek. "You'll never guess what happened on our walk. It was the craziest thing."

Even though it had only been a couple hours since I'd last seen her, I gave her a quick hug. "I was wondering where you—"

And that was when I noticed the suspicious pink snout sticking out of the side zipper of Aunt Alfa's bag. Oh, holy chocolate babka to the nth degree.

"You heard that yoga girl at registration," I said quietly. "Animals aren't allowed in here, and we have to follow the rules."

She pursed her lips as if she were sucking a lemon, which she did every day because lemons are great for the liver, and pointed at a woman nearby who was accompanied by a guide dog. "Check out that dog. Studies have shown pigs are fourth on the intelligence roll, behind humans, primates, and dolphins."

I was familiar with the study because she talked about it all the time.

"It's rude to point." I gently lowered my auntie's arm before someone noticed her. "That woman is blind, Aunt Alfa. Guide dogs are always allowed."

"I know." Aunt Alfa crumpled up her Cosmic Cake wrapper and tossed it into a nearby trashcan, making the shot like a basketball star. "Our piglet should be allowed too because he's smart enough to be a guide pig. Besides, I'm ninety-one years old. I defy anyone to stop me."

A nonagenarian with a 'tude was what her dead ex-boyfriend had called Aunt Alfa during the nightmare séance. I feared he might have been on to something.

"I don't like it either, Aunt Alfa, but you have to take Brownie to our room."

"You know how depressed he gets alone. He'll pig out." She jutted out her crepe-paper jaw. "I can't believe I forgot Charlotte's Web. That's the only movie he likes."

Finally, progress. "Actually, he loves Babe, and I brought the DVD with me."


"Yeah. We watched it last weekend, and he sniffled at all the sad parts." I'd been in major Floyd-avoid-mode so I'd spent my Friday night curled up with a movie, a bag of dark chocolate chip cookies, and a piglet.

Aunt Alfa shot me her pity grin. "He was just being polite, Pipe."

That figured. Guys were all the same. Even the potbelly breeds.

Aunt Alfa rose on her toes and glanced around the room. "I'm going to find the manager and force him to see things my way."

Oh, no. Had I made a mistake insisting she come? I'd worried about her starting a riot at my condo complex while I was gone, but I hadn't considered the consequences at the expo.

"You have to take Brownie to our hotel room," I said. "Seriously."

Brownie must have recognized his name because just then a high-pitched, someone's-murdering-me piglet squeal erupted from her bag.

Weee. Weee. Weeeeeeeeeeee.

Several people turned in response. One woman having a tarot card reading by the yellow-turbaned psychic looked perturbed and asked, "Was that… a pig?"

Then a sneeze louder than a New York City firework festival rang out. Followed by a coughing attack.

"Mystic Ming allergic to pig," a familiar voice choked out. "Ming berry berry allergic to many things."

I turned to see Mystic Ming wobbling in the aisle across from me. Then his skinny legs buckled, and his face lightened to the shade of a marshmallow. Right before he collapsed onto the expo floor.

Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Welcome to my tour stop for Slayed on the Slopes by Kate Dyer-Seeley! This is the second book in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series. Slayed on the Slopes released March 31st by Kensington Publishing. The tour runs April 6- 17 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for more information. 

About the Book:
After talking her way into a job writing for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine, Meg Reed may now really be in over her head. Actually, about 8,000 feet over her head. . .

She’s at Mount Hood’s remote Silcox Hut, covering the seriously hardcore Ridge Rangers—Oregon’s elite high-altitude rescue team–during their four-day winter training. Sure, Meg beefed up her outdoor skills over the summer . . . but she’s still hoping to cover the event with some hot chocolate by the cheery fireplace. Then, during a sudden blizzard, she swears she hears gunshots. No one stranded in the hut believes her . . . until self-absorbed Ridge Ranger Ben Rogers is found outside in a pool of frozen blood. Meg’s now got to find this killer quickly . . . before cabin fever does them all in!

Praise For Scene Of The Climb

“A splendid overview of the greater Portland and Columbia River Gorge region, perfect for travel buffs. Her protagonist shows promise with her determined attitude and moxie.” –Library Journal

Includes Adventure Guides!

Don't miss out on the first book, Scene of the Climb, available now!

About the Author: 
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing. The first book in the series, Scene of the Climb, features the rugged landscapes of the Columbia River Gorge and a young journalist who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme.

Her work has appeared in a variety of regional and international publications including: The Columbian, The Vancouver Voice, Seattle Backpacker, Portland Family Magazine, and Climbing Magazine.

Kate lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Interview with Kate Dyer-Seeley:
1. In Slayed on the Slopes Meg is covering the training of a rescue team. How did you decide on this context?

Mt. Hood is an adventure lover’s paradise all year round. Since it’s a short drive from Portland, Oregon, my family and I love trekking up to the slopes for a snow day in the winter or for an alpine hike in the summer. We spend the holidays at Timberline Lodge and in Government Camp. It’s like stepping back in time and onto the set of a Bing Crosby movie. After a long day out in the snow, we’ll cozy up in front of roaring fire with steaming mugs of hot chocolate or take a dip in the heated pool as fat snowflakes fall. But the mountain is also very dangerous. Hundreds of climbers attempt to summit Mt. Hood every year, and unfortunately many have died in the process. The weather can change in an instant, trapping climber on the mountain for days. When I was in middle school there was a group of students from a local school who became trapped on the mountain, and died. It was a terrible tragedy and left a lasting impression on me.

Meg is working on expanding her outdoor skill set, but I knew she wasn’t ready to summit a mountain yet. I decided the more realistic option for her was to have her cover a training weekend with a group of high altitude guides, the Ridge Rangers. There a number of mountaineering guides in the PNW who train novice climbers and help them summit. The Ridge Rangers are on the slopes to ski, snowboard, ice climb, and brush up on skills like building a snow cave. Not only does Meg have to keep up with them, but a blizzard hits and traps them high up at the remote Silcox Hut.

2. The books in this series include adventure guides. Have you experienced this adventures yourself?

It depends on the adventure! Unlike Meg, I love to hike and be in the outdoors, but I’m a bit of a klutz. I definitely tap into that side of me when I’m writing Meg. For example, when I was in college I went water-skiing for the weekend and skied just fine, but fell climbing off the boat and broke my foot. I have not attempted to summit the mountain. I like to hike, sled, snowshoe, and cross-country ski, but that’s the extent of my adventures on the mountain. I’ve always been fascinated by adrenaline junkies, and have a serious addiction to watching the Discovery Channel and any show about climbers who summit Everest, but I much prefer the comfort of my couch!

My goal with the series is to make the outdoors accessible to everyone. I’ve intentionally written Meg as young and not very experience in outdoor pursuits so that readers can learn along with her. I received a note from a reader who finished Scene of the Climb, the first book in the series, and said it inspired her to take a hike for the first time. That’s to date the best complement I’ve ever received.

The series is also a love letter to all the beautiful places here in the Pacific Northwest. The adventure guides and scenic tours are something that a reader could bring with them and follow Meg’s exact adventure. But if you come, you have to end any outdoor activity the way Meg does—with a pint of microbrew!

3. What is Meg's next assignment?

Next up, Meg’s heading to Hood River, Oregon. She’s going to be on assignment for Northwest Extreme to cover King of the Hook, the biggest windsurfing competition in the world. Fortunately Meg’s a water girl, so this might just finally be her sport. Of course she’s never been on a windsurfing board before, and she has no idea how big the wind can get when it funnels down the mighty Columbia River.

4. Do you have any rituals to writing - specific times, places, refreshment?

I write in the morning. I tend to do my best work in the early hour, and I like to get outside and walk in the afternoons. I find my best ideas and breakthroughs usually happen when I’m not sitting in front of my laptop.

I transform my office when I’m working on Meg. Right now there are tons of windsurfing and Hood River photos posted on the walls. When I was writing Slayed on the Slopes I had pictures of the mountain and lots of snow and winter scenes hanging from the walls. I also create playlists to help me get in Meg’s head. She’s in her early twenties so I listen to a lot of Taylor Swift, and then a bunch of alternative Portland bands. But she also loves all things vintage, so I also loop in big band music—Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

5. Which individuals in your life most motivated you to write?

My parents. My mom was a prolific reader. She read aloud to my brother, sister, and me before we could even walk. She would take us on weekly visits to our local library and I’d come home with a stack of books. She was a huge mystery fan and got me hooked on the genre with Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. I remember reading all of Agatha Christie’s books one summer. Once I started I couldn’t stop.

My dad taught honor’s English so he read all of my papers before I turned them in when I was growing up. I used to hate his red editing pen and the way he would mark my work up. Now I love it. He reads every draft before I send it to my editor.

6. Who are your favorite authors?

I’m an eclectic reader. I’ll read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. However, when I’m working on a new manuscript I don’t read any other mysteries. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of Billy Bryson—he has such a great voice and I’m always astounded at how he manages to make complicate or mundane facts so intriguing. My favorite early childhood authors are Maud Hart Lovelace, Madeline L’Engle and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love Katherine Mansfield’s poetry and anything by Jane Austen.

7. Anything you would like to share with aspiring authors?

Write every single day. I have a daily word count, and I do NOT leave my office until I meet my word count for the day. I think so many aspiring authors (myself included) get caught up in the myth of waiting for the muse to show up. The muse only shows up if you’re actually writing. So plant yourself in a comfy chair and start typing!

8. Anything you would like to share with readers?

Thanks so much for taking time out of you day to read about Meg. Happy reading!

Winter warmer package- signed copy of Slayed on the Slopes, Signed copy of Scene of the Climb, Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix, Oregon Chai Tea, 1 Pound of Coffee and Collectable Mt. Hood art coaster (US)
Ends April 27, 2015

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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blog Tour: BRIDGES BURNED (A Zoe Chambers Mystery #3) - Guest Post by Annette Dashofy

Today I'd like to welcome Annette Dashofy, author of BRIDGES BURNED, as my guest!  

Walking Those Fictional Country Roads

A friend and I were recently discussing our favorite authors and I fired off a list of mine, including Craig Johnson, who writes the Longmire series; Julia Spencer-Fleming, author of the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries; and Linda Castillo, who writes a series of Amish thrillers. My list goes on, but these three illustrate what seems to be a main draw for me.

Location, location, location.

Whether it’s Johnson’s Absaroka County, Wyoming, Spencer-Fleming’s Millers Kill, New York, or Castillo’s Ohio Amish Country, the settings of these series are so rich I feel like I’ve walked those country roads.

In the case of Linda Castillo’s Amish Thrillers, I have walked those roads—or at least driven them, since I live only a couple of hours away. And she nails that world.

After reading a number of Ella Clah Mysteries (by David and Aimee Thurlo), I took my first trip to northwestern New Mexico a couple of years ago, but felt as though I’d been there many times. I had. Through those novels, I’d experienced that landscape and that lifestyle.

I guess it’s no surprise then, that I love to offer my readers a taste of rural southwestern Pennsylvania in my Zoe Chambers mystery series. I’ve lived here all my life, but I’m not sure that’s an advantage. Locals tend to overlook the nuances that jump out at first-time visitors.

I’m teaching a workshop on the subject at next month’s Pennwriters Conference, and a large part of what I ask participants to do is to step into the world they’re writing about and observe. Not just the sights, but the sounds, the smells, the sensations. It’s a practice in mindfulness, which hopefully goes a long way to finding those details that will help the reader experience the setting and the story.

Of course, this isn’t always easy. Bridges Burned is set in July, but took almost a year to write. Hence, I was trying to find details to show a hot, humid, drought-stricken Pennsylvania summer, while outside my door, snow was piled high, ice clung to the trees, and the biting cold temperatures made my face hurt.

My first novel, Circle of Influence, was set in January, but I spent may sultry summer days working on it, conjuring up that intense chill.

Only my readers across the country can tell me if I got it right.

What about you? Do you enjoy visiting new places in the fiction you read? Or do they remind you of a place you know well? Or isn’t location something you necessarily look for in a book? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Thank you again for joining us today Annette!  

About Annette Dashofy

Today best selling author Annette Dashofy is a Pennsylvania farm gal born and bred. After high school, she spent five years as an EMT for the local ambulance service. Since then, she’s worked a variety of jobs, giving her plenty of fodder for her lifelong passion for writing. She, her husband, and their two spoiled cats live on property that was once part of her grandfather’s dairy.


Writing, etc. blog:,
Facebook page:,
Twitter: @Annette_Dashofy


Paramedic Zoe Chambers is used to saving lives, but when she stops a man from running into a raging inferno in a futile attempt to rescue his wife, Zoe finds herself drawn to him, and even more so to his ten-year-old daughter. She invites them both to live at the farm while the grieving widower picks up the pieces of his life.

Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams, of course, is not happy with this setup, especially when he finds evidence implicating Zoe's new houseguest in murder times two. When Zoe ignores Pete's dire warnings, she runs the very real chance of burning one too many bridges, losing everything—and everyone—she holds dear.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, audio books for download, private investigator mystery series, amateur sleuth books.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015


I'm pleased to have as my guest today MARILYN MEREDITH, author of the Rocky Bluff PD Series and VIOLENT DEPARTURES...
Introduction to the Rocky Bluff P.D. Mystery Series

Because this is my first time on this blog, some of the regular readers might not have heard about the RBPD series. Though I call it a police procedural, some have also termed it as a cozy though it doesn’t have the right attributes for one. I think that label has come from the fact that there is no bad language or on-the page sex.

However, there is at least one murder in every book.

When I wrote the first book, Final Respects, I had no idea that it would become a series. My intention was to show how what happens on the job affects the family, and things that happen with the family affect the job. This is a theme that continues throughout the series.

Once I’d finished, I knew I wanted to know more about the characters I’d created, and the only way to do that was to write another book—and another—and another.

People have died, romances and love affairs have happened, marriages began and ended, babies were born, crimes investigated and solved, and I’ve kept on writing about the men and women who serve on the Rocky Bluff Police Department and their families.

Though it’s a series, it doesn’t have to be read in order. Though things change for the characters from book-to-book, the mystery or mysteries in each book are solved.

For those who must read a series in order these are the titles from the beginning:

Final Respects, Bad Tidings, Fringe Benefits, Smell of Death, No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, Angel Lost, No Bells, Dangerous Impulses, Murder in the Worst Degree, and Violent Departures.

F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith

Blurb for Violent Departures:

College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.


F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Besides having family members in law enforcement, she lived in a town much like Rocky Bluff with many police families as neighbors.


Because it has been popular on my other blog tours, once again I’m offering the chance for the person who comments on the most blog posts during this tour to have a character named for him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.

Or if that doesn’t appeal, the person may choose one of the earlier books in the series—either a print book or Kindle copy.





Tomorrow head on over to and you can read about my writing process.