Wednesday, September 23, 2015

RRBC Book and Blog Tour: COLD CREEK MYSTERY SERIES


Welcome to my stop as part of the month-long RRBC Book & Blog Block Party.

As part of the festivities, leave a comment on this blog today and be automatically entered for a chances to win an e-copy of MURDER AT COLD CREEK COLLEGE or MURDER IN THE ARBORETUM.  Winners will get to choose which they prefer to receive. There will be 4 winners on this blog stop! Winners will be announced here tomorrow!  

But that's not all, RRBC is offering great prizes to visitors on participating blogs. Simply leave a comment. The more blogs you visit and comment on, the better your chances of winning. Winners will be announced by RRBC in October.
For the complete tour lineup and details, click here.

Most times, the posts on the blog are about other authors and books, often as a stop in various blog tours (feel free to check out the other posts listed on the right), but today the topic is my current mystery series:

The Cold Creek Mystery Series

So what can I tell you about the Cold Creek Mystery Series?  Let's start with the location.  You won't find Cold Creek, VA on any map.  Cold Creek is a fictitious town, nestled between Roanoke and Richmond. It's your typical small town where everyone knows everybody's business or at least they think they do. The rich live on the side of town with the country club, and the less wealthy live in smaller neighborhoods. Needless to say, there are tensions between the upper class and the working class.

Cold Creek is home to Cold Creek College, a private four-year college that primarily caters to local families with money.  There are some scholarship students and tension among them. The college, like any other work place has its own problems and personalities. These personalities are reflected in the characters of the series, and surrounding the murder of a faculty member.

What about the characters? Who is who?

Sheridan Hendley is the female protagonist, a professor and psychologist, and unintentional sleuth. Originally from Delaware, she came to Cold Creek to start over when her marriage ended. She's a strong, smart female, independent, or at least she'd like to think so. She's middle-aged, enjoys teaching, and likes to solve puzzles. She's also in charge of the campus crisis plan and that puts her in the middle of things. In her personal life, she has a sheltie named Charlie, likes to run, and hasn't had the best of luck with online dating or with the local dentist. Can helping the attractive detective change the direction of her life?

Kim Pennzel is Sheridan's close friend and fellow psychologist, also involved in crisis response. Middle-aged and divorced, Kim is much more social, gregarious, impulsive, and outgoing than Sheridan. She has a more active dating life but not always with the best outcomes. Unfortunately, her taste in men has not always been best and in MURDER AT COLD CREEK COLLEGE, she is the prime suspect when a faculty member she's been dating is found dead. Online dating anyone?

Brett McMann is the very attractive State Police detective called in to help the local police chief with the potentially political murder of a faculty member. He isn't familiar with the college. Lucky for her, Sheridan is assigned to help him arrange to interview all the possible suspects -er - faculty members. He is middle-aged and divorced, and as I mentioned, attractive. Helping him is not a hardship.

Supporting characters are many, but most notably:

Max Bentley is the obnoxious, arrogant young faculty member who's easy to dislike. He's more interested in his own research with rats and mice than teaching, students, or murder - unless the murder interferes with his research. Somehow, he manages to take pieces of information and turn them around in ways that only make the situations worse. Mostly, he's a distraction, often ranting about how administration could be better. 

Chief Barney Pfeiffe is the bumbling, older police chief. He's pressured to get help from the State Police when there's a murder at the college that may have political ramifications. He isn't thrilled but is quick to call on the State Police the next time there's a problem. Chief Pfeiffe is in favor of quick solutions that don't sully the reputations of the powerful people in Cold Creek. 

There are of course, many minor characters, whose roles are more or less important depending on the book. These include other faculty, support staff, other members of the police department, and community members. Characters grow and change from one book to the next, and relationships (especially between Sheridan and Brett) progress, but each mystery can be read as a stand alone. These are "clean reads" or "flinch free fiction" - no graphic violence or gore, no profanity or offensive language, and no explicit sexual content. 

The Books in the Series

MURDER AT COLD CREEK COLLEGE is the first in the series. A dead body is not a good way to start the fall semester for anyone, but especially the victim. Adam Millberg is a womanizer and the suspect list is long. Is infidelity the only motive? Or sexual harassment?

"It was a fun romp, well-paced and suspenseful, with just the right amount of humor, romance and intrigue thrown in."  

"The story was well-plotted and the twists and turns the story takes make it a very enjoyable read." 
AMAZON


In the second in the series, MURDER IN THE ARBORETUM, there is no obvious motive, no obvious reason for Justin Blake to be in the Arboretum. Many question the guilt of the convenient scapegoat and Sheridan works hard to prove his innocence. Tensions are high and Sheridan's sleuthing is more dangerous. Is it time for those self-defense classes or too late?

"The story line was not predicable, taking a few unexpected turns as the mystery unfolded."

"I just couldn't put this one down. I was hooked from the first chapter."      
AMAZON

The third in the series, MURDER AT THE GRILL, is planned for release later this fall. Sheridan and Kim's favorite waitress at the family owned restaurant is arrested for her ex-husband's murder. Keep your eyes peeled for the cover reveal!

I'm also working on a second series - more on that in the future!  Thanks for stopping by today!
  
Be sure to comment and check out the other great blog stops -  for the complete tour lineup and details, click here. See you at the next stop!

89 comments:

  1. Hi Christa. Great blog post. Your books look really interesting and I will add them to my TBR list. I love the fact that you promote other authors on your blog. Have a fabulous party!

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    1. Thanks Lizzie! I hope you enjoy the books!

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  2. Sounds like you've lived in a small town before. ;-) Best of luck with your series and have a great party day!! :-)

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    1. Definitely a small town girl! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Christa, this series sounds pretty exciting! I'm a mystery fan and I like a little romance. Brett McMann sounds like my kind of guy! LOL! I will add these to the ever-growing list of RRBC selections. Enjoy your party today!

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    1. Thanks Linda! He's my kind of guy too :-)

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  4. Those small towns all seem to have a bumbling sheriff. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Yes, and they are fun to have as characters.

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  5. I don't usually read murder mysteries but your books sound really interesting, I may have to make an exception! Have fun with the block party.

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    1. Perhaps you'll be a lucky winner! Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Your books sound intriguing, and I love the covers. I enjoy a good murder mystery, so these sound right up my street. Thanks for always being so supportive, Christa. Very best of luck with everything! :)

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    1. Thanks Harmony. These are new covers and I can tell you the new covers made a big difference in the sales! Well worth the investment.

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  7. Nice post today. Your books are intriguing and the covers look great.

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  8. Good work, Christa. Are all the books set in the same town? Thanks for hosting the block party today!

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    1. Yes, the Cold Creek Series books are all in Cold Creek - the first two victims are found on the college campus, the last in a family owned restaurant. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I love a good mystery, Christa, and it looks like you have a couple of winners here! Have lots of fun with your party today!

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  10. Hi, Christa. Blog looks good. Great "Cold Creek" cover. Murder. So much fun. Have a great party day. :)

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  11. Hi Christa. Your books sound interesting and your covers are perfect for the genre! Have a great day at the party!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! Stop by again some time!

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  12. Hi Christa,
    Great blog post! It's wonderful to learn a little more about you and your work. Bravo! Have a great party today! :)

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    1. Thanks Natalie! This has been fun blog tour!

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  13. Very nice presentation of your books. I already bought one and its on my TBR

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    1. Great Marc! I hope you enjoy it (though I know my TBR list is rather long!) Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. Your books sound exciting! Nice post. Hope you have a great day. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Joe! Hope you have a great day!

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  15. Lovely blog and very attractive covers, Christa. Thank you for supporting other authors and for inviting us to your blog party. Best wishes for a super day.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by JB. Have a good day!

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  16. Great blog! Your stories look like fun reads! Have a wonderful tour!

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    1. They were fun to write so I hope readers enjoy them! Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Intriguing characters, fine looking covers, engaging storylines - great post and book series, Christa! Looking forward to experiencing more! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you Lisa! And thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Great covers! I love a good murder mystery, so long as it's not gory. Have a great blog party today :)

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    2. These are the new covers and sales increased dramatically with the professional look! These are all "clean reads" - definitely no gore (or profanity or graphic sex) - maybe you'll be a winner!

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  19. What happened Christa? Your window just opened on my site. I've been waiting since morning to get in and enjoy your party. :) Well I see that you already have a full house. I have one of your books on my Kindle, the MURDER IN THE ARBORETUM. I will now advance it. Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Hi Joy! Glad you were able to stop by!!! I hope you enjoy the book!

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  20. Thanks for sharing. Your books sound great! Enjoy your day!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your day as well.

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  21. Love this series, Christa. Have read the first one and have purchased the second one. It's on my TBR list. When is book 3 coming out? :) Cold Creek sounds like where I grew up. Where I live now we have communities with Creek in the names. Two are Bent Creek and Avery Creek. Have fund today!

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    1. So glad you like it Kim! Book 3 is in the editing stage... hopefully I will get it to beta readers for a second read and then published by November??? That's the plan, but we'll see what happens. Thanks for stopping by!

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  22. Nice post. I have read both books and look forward to seeing that new one in print. Great cozy mysteries!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed! As I mentioned to Kim, I'm hoping for publishing in November!

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  23. Nice to discover you and your work, Christa! Your books sound appealing. Have fun at your party!

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    1. Thanks Rebecca and thanks for stopping by!

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  24. Hi Christa, my comment disappeared, so I'm writing again. My apologies if two comments show up!! Anyway....I love the introductions you offered for your characters; they really got me interested in your books. And, when I read the brief summaries of your books....I was hooked. I'll be reading your books soon! Have a wonderful party day!

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    1. Thanks Gwen! Hopefully you will be a winner to get you started. Thanks for stopping by!

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  25. Great party, Christa! I love what you've done with the place. Murder mysteries are always a favorite in reading material. Your selections are quite enticing. Perhaps I'll partake--once I scrape together a little extra reading time. Best wishes on your blog day!

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    1. Thanks Beem! Finding time for reading is always a challenge, especially while writing (and sleeping)! Thanks for stopping by!

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  26. Hi Christa, Your site looks terrific and it's nice to see your works displayed so well.

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    1. The Murder at Cold Creek College sounds VERY intriguing. I live right out side of DC so I'm very close to "Cold Creek". (smile) I'm a huge fan of murder mysteries! This sounds like a good one!!

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    2. Thanks Kim - perhaps you will be a winner! Hope you have a good day!

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  28. Hi Christa - I just love mysteries! Yours sound great and I will der check them out!

    Thanks for hosting the RRBC Back to School Blog Block Party today. All this partying will mean a big 'blog withdrawal' hangover for all of us I am sure.... :-)

    Best regards and good luck with your book! - ML

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Michael! One of the benefits of this blog block party is finding blogs to follow so you can avoid that withdrawal (hint, hint).

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  29. Hi Christa, I read, enjoyed and reviewed Murder at Cold Creek College. Have Murder in the Arboretum on my TBR list but, as a member of the RRBC, you'll know just how long thesel ists can get. But I will get to it. I hope you are enjoying your blog party.

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    1. Brian, I definitely know how long the TBR lists can get... I think I have enough books on my kindle (nevermind the "few" paperbacks) to keep me busy for a long time. Thanks for stopping by.

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  30. The Johns let me have my keys back on the promise not to get all "emotional and philosophical" again, so here I am.
    Wow, Christa! 3 years of fantastic support for other authors - you deserve the payback and it looks like you're getting it - some great reviews on Amazon.

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    1. Hi Steven! Thank you for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the blog!

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    2. Now, which one of you "Johns" gave Steve his keys back without checking with me first? I STILL smell alcohol! LOL

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  31. Hi Christa. I enjoyed visiting your blog, & your books look great! I hope you have a fantastic tour day. ☺

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    1. Thanks Rhani! and thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a fantastic day as well.

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  32. Hi Christa, your series sounds like a good read. I especially like the way you set up your character profiles. Good luck with your new release!

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    1. Hi Micki! Thanks for stopping by. Maybe you will be a winner and have the opportunity to read one of the books!

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  33. Christa, I hope you're having a ball today! I certainly had one on my tour stop yesterday, although I'm still tired from responding to all the great comments that were left. I still haven't finished them all. But COLD CREEK sounds like a good read! Hope I win! (If not, I'll just buy a copy!)

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  34. HI Nonnie! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I hope you get a chance to read the books and enjoy them.

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  35. Christa, I liked your character introductions for Murder at Cold Creek College in your blog post today. Sounds like an interesting read.

    Cheers! Enjoy your party.

    Peggy Hattendorf

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    1. Thanks Peggy! and thanks for stopping by today. Come back some other time.

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  36. Hi, Christa. Great party & prizes! Oh, your books sound fabulous... Must add to my TBR. :)

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    1. Thanks - maybe you'll be a winner and that will for sure get them on the TBR! Thanks for stopping by!

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  37. Great looking books, Christa - I would love to win them!! Will add to my ever growing TBR list in any case 😊😊

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    1. Great! Glad to hear it... hope you are a winner! Thanks for stopping by

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    2. I AM a winner!!! I saw my name up in lights!!! So... I'll take Murder in the Arboretum sine I already bought Cold Creek :D - this is GREAT thank you !!!

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  38. Hi Christa - lovely to come over and get to know you and your books better! :-) Colleges are always good for a bit of academic scheming and rivalries - just as well Sheridan's a psychologist! ;-)

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    1. Hi Jan -Thanks for stopping by... colleges are loaded with personalities, and then there are the students :-)

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  39. I like your "voice" in your writing. :-) I laughed with the "especially the victim" line. That was clever. ;-) I lived in Newport News, VA, for a little bit and we would go to Richmond for King's Dominion every now and then. It'd be fun to visit a fictional town just a bit away from there. ;-)

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    1. Thanks Yvette! Glad I made you laugh! I hope you "visit" Cold Creek!

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  40. Christa, great post! Your books sound interesting. I always like a good mystery.

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    1. Hi Bruce! Thanks and thanks for stopping by - come back and visit again!

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  41. Hi Christa, sorry I missed your party yesterday. I hope you had a great day! Your characters sound really interesting, your book covers look great, and I want to find out more about the tension between the upper class and the working class in Cold Creek! I'm busy reading a lot of other books at the moment but I will definitely find time to read your books in the future.

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    1. Thanks Renae! Time can certainly slip away!

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  42. I missed your party yesterday due to unruly health reasons but I have added your book series to my list of to be read. Thanks so much for publishing a common person's series where we can all relate. robeader53@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Robin! I hope you are feeling better and I do hope that readers can relate to my characters.

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  43. Congratulations to Sherry Fundin, Micki Peluso, S. M. Spencer, Michael Lynes - the winners of yesterday's post! I will be in touch with you shortly!

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    1. Thanks Linda! and thanks for stopping by!

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