Julie Seedorf

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Beth Groundwater Interview


Hello all. Long time no blog! I've been packing and moving for the past month. Finally in the new house, but still living out of boxes. Also, my Internet hasn't been hooked up, so a shout to my sister who is letting me "borrow" her Internet. Now on to the fun!

Author Beth Groundwater stopped by for a visit. Her new book A BASKET OF TROUBLE#3 in the A Claire Hanover Mystery, releases Friday, November 8! 




Beth Groundwater Interview

LKBR:  You have two series out. The Claire Hanover Mysteries and the RM Outdoor Adventures Mysteries. How do they differ?

BG: The Claire Hanover gift basket designer mysteries are craft cozy mysteries featuring an amateur sleuth in her late forties who lives in Colorado Springs, CO, has a home-based gift basket business, and has a husband and two grown children. The RM Outdoor Adventures mysteries are adventurous soft-boiled mysteries featuring a semi-professional sleuth: river ranger and whitewater rafting guide Mandy Tanner. She lives in Salida, CO, is single and has a boyfriend and a dog. Even though the series are very different, they both feature scenes set in the outdoors of my beautiful home state of Colorado.


LKBR: How much of your personality goes into your characters?

BG: I'm sure it's true for every author that some of their personality goes into all of their characters, even the villains, and it's true for me. You draw on your own emotional experiences when writing about how characters react to things in their lives. In Mandy Tanner's case, I rely on some of my feelings and reactions to happenings in my life when I was in my twenties, and in Claire Hanover's case, I do so for happenings that occurred later in my life. In neither case, however, are the characters exactly like me. I've given them both more emotional baggage than I have, for instance, to make them more "interesting." Also, I consider both of them to be braver than I am, but I feel I'm smarter than they are, because I can write them out of the fixes they get themselves into.


LKBR: The Claire Hanover books really appeal to me. Where did you get the idea about the gift baskets?

BG: I wanted to write a mystery series, since I was, and still am, an avid mystery reader. And, at the time that I was thinking about writing the first book in the series, A Real Basket Case, craft cozy mysteries were very popular with readers. Not being very good with my hands, I cast about for a craft I could personally do, because I knew I would want to delve into researching the craft as much as possible. Then I realized that I already made gift baskets for friends, relatives, and charity events, and I could use that. I augmented what I already knew with knowledge gained from interviews with owners of gift basket businesses, reading trade publications and blogs aimed at gift basket businesses, reading how-to books, scanning the websites of gift basket businesses, etc.


LKBR:  A Basket Of Trouble comes out November of this year. Do you have any other books in the works?

BG: This has been a very busy year for me, with two book releases in one year, the third book in each of my series. Fatal Descent, the third in my RM Outdoor Adventures series, was released in May. I will have a busy schedule of appearances, both in-person and on-line, through the end of the year to promote the release of A Basket Of Trouble, then I hope to take a breather for a bit. I have a number of things on my to-do list, including releasing a collection of my short stories and making all of my books available in a downloadable audio format. Hopefully, I can get some of those things done before diving into another book manuscript.


LKBR:  If you made up a gift basket of your favorite things, what would you fill it with?

BG: I have a few articles on my website, including two related to gift baskets: "Tips for Making Perfect Gift Baskets" and "Recipe for a Mystery Lover's Gift Basket." The second article is close to what I would want in my gift basket, except I would include some mystery novels written by authors other than me and more chocolate. As far as I'm concerned you can't ever have too much chocolate, especially dark chocolate! Here's a link to the articles:
http://bethgroundwater.com/Gift_Basket_articles.html


LKBR:  What is you favorite thing about writing? Your least favorite?

GB: I divide writing a novel-length manuscript into three phases: 1) pre-planning where I do research, profile characters, and outline the book, 2) writing the rough draft, and 3) editing where I make multiple passes through the manuscript looking for character inconsistencies, plot logic problems, and other issues and resolve them. I enjoy the first and third phases more than the middle phase, because in phase 2 I have to put myself on a strict production schedule of 20-25 pages a week to produce the rough draft on time. When I'm "in the zone" and the characters are interacting with each other and I'm just a secretary recording the dialogue and action, then I absolutely love it. That doesn't always happen, though, and I still have to put my butt in the chair and write those pages even when coming up with the words is like pulling teeth. By far, the aspect I like the least about writing, though, is having to promote my work. The one part of promotion I do enjoy is talking one-on-one with readers at appearances, book club visits, or via email.


LKBR:  Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

GB: I love to talk to book clubs who choose one of my books to read and discuss. I will visit either in-person if the club meets near to where I live in Breckenridge, CO, or via speakerphone, Skype, or other teleconferencing technology otherwise. Just contact me at my website to set up a visit! Here's where you can find me on-line:

My website: http://bethgroundwater.com/
My blog: http://bethgroundwater.blogspot.com/
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/beth.groundwater
My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/471598.Beth_Groundwater


Friday, September 20, 2013

Lori Herter Interview and Giveaways

I'm straying away from cozy mysteries on this interview because this author is so great and her new book THE THIN PLACE is so amazing I had to share her with you!

Lori Herter is best known for her vampire romance series Obsession, Possession, Confession and Eternity. Ms. Herter was the front runner in paranormal romance long before vampires were cool. She, to me, made them cool! She also wrote many romances for Silhouette and Harlequin.

Now Ms. Herter has penned a story unlike any of her past books. THE THIN PLACE is an amazing story about a woman's journey of discovery. You can find my review here in a past blog as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble under the name Lisa and/or Tiggedy2. (Yup, that't me too!)

Lori has been kind enough to offer a giveaway of a Kindle verison of THE THIN PLACE to one lucky reader! All you have to do to win is leave a comment about the this interview, the book or to Ms. Herter. A winner will be choosen at random on Monday, September 30. Please remember to include your email address with your comment so we can contact you!

Note: THE THIN PLACE is only available in ebook format.

Bonus Giveaway! Please check the end of this interview to see how 5 lucky winners can each win a signed print copy of one of Lori's backlist titles! These paperbacks are no longer in print. All signed books come directly from Lori's own collection!


LORI HERTER INTERVIEW


Author Lori Herter

LKBR: What is your draw to Ireland?
LH: This is something I wonder about myself, since I’m not the least bit Irish.  My heritage is Swedish and Czech.  I didn’t know much about Ireland, but the idea of Irish fairies like Leprechauns and Banshees caught my fancy.  People who had an Irish brogue charmed me, pictures of the Irish countryside were always beautiful, and everything Irish seemed rather enchanting.   Along came The Irish Tenors on PBS a dozen years ago.  I fell in love with their voices, particularly Anthony Kearns’, and the emotional lyrics of their traditional Irish songs.  The fact that the tenors were so comfortable expressing their feelings—unlike American men—captivated me.  I wanted to see the places they sang about—The Fields of Athenry, Bantry Bay, Boolavogue, the Mountains of Mourne.  So my husband and I began what became a series of vacations in Ireland.  When we discovered tiny Caldragh Graveyard on Boa Island, County Fermanagh, I was intrigued that a centuries old Christian cemetery had been established around a pre-Christian pagan stone with a curious face carved on either side of it.  The Irish have long been devout in their faith, and it fascinated me that their Christian beliefs were not opposed to the idea of fairies and the Celtic Otherworld.  The Irish have a rich spiritual heritage, and I think that ultimately is what I’m drawn to.


LKBR: Has anything magical or mysterious happened to you at the graveyard and/or during your time in Ireland?

LH: My husband and I have visited Caldragh Graveyard several times over the years.  After our very first visit, when I saw the coins left in the top of the pagan stone, I began to get ideas for a book.  I decided it might be fun if I put a fairy tree in the graveyard and also invented the idea that Maeve would come and go to the graveyard by rowboat, since the cemetery is on an island.  By our next visit, I’d learned that fairy trees were usually whitethorn trees that had many small blossoms in spring.  I quickly noticed a tree full of white blossoms, a tree I hadn’t paid any attention to the year before because it wasn’t in bloom.  My husband and I looked closely at its branches and saw pieces of cloth, a necklace, ribbons, etc., that people had left on the tree, and there was a white quartz stone tucked between the tree’s roots.  Clearly locals looked upon it as a fairy tree.  Then I noticed a barely visible path between tall blades of grass outside the graveyard’s metal fence.  My husband hopped over the fence and walked down the path, disappearing from view in the dense foliage.  He called back to me and said, “There’s a rowboat tied up here!”  He took a photo of it.  So the story elements that I thought I’d invented turned out to be true!  I have to say it spooked me a little.


Coins in Janus stone

Fairy tree, Caldragh graveyard

Cloth in fairy tree

Row boat at Caldragh graveyard

LH: Another thing that happened, probably the second year we visited the graveyard and discovered the fairy tree and rowboat there, was that I left a quarter at the pagan stone and also in the fairy tree.  When we got back to our hotel, The Manor House (where Finn stayed), and parked in the hotel’s lot, I got out of the car and saw some coins on the ground by the back tire.  I picked them up, and they were American coins!  And it wasn’t like the hotel was full of American tourists; we hadn’t run into any other Americans.  Seemed like a surprising coincidence, after I’d left U.S. quarters at the graveyard. 

The Manorhouse

LKBR: Is there any part of you in your character Glenna?


LH: Yes, Glenna’s reactions to people and events is rather similar to the way I would react.  Though I’ve never carried the torch for a married man, I’ve had a lifelong, romantic notion in my head as to what the ideal man would be like.  I could easily imagine her meeting such a man, someone she connects with and views as a soul mate, and never finding his like again after he disappears from her life.  There’s a dichotomy about Glenna that I find in myself, in that she’s outwardly practical, sensible and down to earth, but she has a hidden, passionate romantic side few see.  Also, like me—and many women, I think--Glenna is a little too nice for her own good, longsuffering and patient to a fault.  But once someone finally crosses a line, she can be tougher than she seems and stand up for herself very well. 

On the way to Columbas well

Lori at Columbas well

LKBR: Who has inspired you in your writing career?

LH: This is a hard one for me to answer.  I never had a role model for my writing career.  As an only child, I daydreamed a lot, watched old movies on TV a lot, and always loved romantic stories.  I started inventing my own stories in my head, just for fun.  Never wrote them down or told them to anyone.  As I got older, my favorite authors were Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer.  After I got married, my mother-in-law gave me a Harlequin romance novel she’d finished reading.   As I read it, I realized it was similar to the stories I invented.  So I tried writing a book and sold NO TIME FOR LOVE to Dell Candlelight.  If I hadn’t sold my first book—at age 30--I probably would have quit writing.  I didn’t place enough significance on my ability.  Later, a psychologist told me that creativity is more rare than intelligence, and I began to understand that I should value my talent.    But creativity is such a nebulous thing.   I don’t know where it comes from, but it seems to be both within and outside myself.  You may recall a lyric from the musical “A Chorus Line”:  “The gift was ours to borrow.”  That’s how writing seems to me, a gift that comes from somewhere—I’d like to say from God, but that seems presumptuous--and I’m not always sure what to do with it or how long I’ll have it.  When I read some of my old books now, I wonder how I wrote them.  So I guess the answer to your question is, I don’t know who or what inspires me.  It’s a great mystery
Lori at Turas Chomcille stad

Lori standing by stone

LKBR:   Where do you do most of your writing?
LH:  I write at my computer in my office at home.  When I’m editing a chapter, I print it out and read it sitting on a couch or recliner in another room, and use a pen or pencil to make changes which I transfer later to the manuscript on my computer.



LKBR:  Do you need to have quiet when you write or do you listen to music/TV?

LH:  Absolute quiet!  I couldn’t work with music or the TV on. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert.  Other authors I’ve met not only write with the TV going, but can also keep up with the show that’s on.  Some can even write on an airplane, using their laptop. I’ve never understood how they are able to do that, and I envy them. I’m not good at multi-tasking.

With Janus Stone


LKBR:  What has been the most rewarding part of being an author?
LH:  Two things come to mind.  When I have one of those rare writing days that goes really well, when the creative juices are flowing and the scene I’m working on seems to effortlessly take flight—that experience is a very real “high”.   It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s exhilarating and uplifting. 
The other type of reward is quite different.  When I was writing my romantic vampire series for Berkley, I received quite a bit of fan mail, especially for the first book, OBSESSION.  A lot of the letters said things like, “David de Morrissey can come over and bite my neck anytime!”  And those were fun to receive, but a few were more serious.  One letter was from a woman who read my book in a hospital waiting room while her son was undergoing heart surgery.  She wrote to thank me, saying that my novel helped keep her anxious mind occupied during the hours she waited for the doctor to appear and tell her that her son had come through okay.  Another woman, who was caring for a sister who was very unwell, said my book was an absorbing diversion that eased her stress.   Learning that a paperback book I’d written could help someone I’ve never met get through a difficult time helped me place more value on my work.    
Lori and husband Jerry at Giants Causeway

LKBR:  Do you have any other books in the works or any ideas for more? 
LH:  I have a book titled EXIT TO WONDERLAND that I’m hoping to publish by the end of the year.  This one is quite different from my previous romance novels, or my vampire series, or THE THIN PLACE.  EXIT TO WONDERLAND is about a middle-aged career woman who drops out of her life to follow a tenor half her age.  
By the way, if readers would like to see my earlier books, some of which are now available in ebook format, please go to my Amazon Author’s Page:   https://www.amazon.com/author/loriherter 
My new website, which I still need to work up a bit more (but it’s very pretty!), is:  www.loriherter.com
THE THIN PLACE is on sale as an ebook for $2.99 at Amazon, http://amzn.com/B00E0TGBJG
Just an added footnote:  People often ask if my vampire series, OBSESSION, POSSESSION, CONFESSION, and ETERNITY will be reprinted.  Sadly, the answer is probably not, due to legal complications.  The original books are available, however, through used book sellers and on ebay.
A big thank you to Lori for a great interview and for sharing with us her amazing photos of Ireland and the places she has woven into her amazing book! Seeing the photos gives reading the story a whole new depth.
Now, for that other giveaway I mentioned...The first 5 people who purchase a copy of THE THIN PLACE from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble and emails me (lisaksbookreview@aol.com) proof of purchase will win a signed print copy of one of Lori's backlist titles! These paperbacks are no longer in print. All signed books come directly from Lori's own collection! I will send you a list of the titles available (first come/first serve).
A few of Lori's backlist covers. (There is a chance that not all covers shown will be available for the giveaway.





Note: Please remember that THE THIN PLACE is only available in ebook format. And the winning copy is for Kindle.
To win a signed print copy of one of Lori's backlist titles, your purchase of THE THIN PLACE may be purchased for any ereader.
Thank you for stopping in for this very special to my interview!
Good luck to all!
 













Thursday, September 5, 2013

Plum Deadly by Ellie Grant

 
CHOCOHOLIC CREAM. BOUNTIFUL BLUEBERRY. LOTSA LEMON MERINGUE. EVEN DANGEROUSLY DAMSON.

Who could resist such pies? Who would even want to resist the pie shop that makes them? Certainly not the residents of Durham, North Carolina, and the little bakery and café called Pie in the Sky is one of the most popular meet-up places in town.

Unjustly accused of cooking the books, Maggie Grady is forced to retreat from her high-flying New York financial career to the town where she grew up. Her aunt Clara greets her with open arms and a job at the family-owned business that has baked the best pies in the South for over forty years. Unfortunately, while Maggie is determined to return to banking, her reputation there seems permanently in the pits. That is, until her old boss, Lou, visits with news that he’s found the real crook. Before he can reveal the details, though, Maggie finds his body right behind the pie shop.

With only her own word that Lou planned to exonerate her, Maggie is in the spotlight. The police seem to suspect that Aunt Clara’s damson pie may not be just dangerously delectable, but downright deadly. Maggie doesn’t just have her own name to clear; she has to make sure that her aunt’s beloved business isn’t harmed, either. Yummy local reporter Ryan Summerour appears eager to help, and Maggie can’t help hoping that it’s not just the police who find her a person of interest—but Ryan, as well. She’d thought it challenging to make the perfect pie crust that Aunt Clara demands, but that turns out to be nothing compared with finding a murderer. . . .


Plum Deadly is plum delightful!

When a murder victim, Maggie Grady's former boss Lou, is found on the pie shop's back step Maggie looks like prime suspect #1. But with Lou about to clear Maggie's name on embezzlement charges with an announcement of the real thief and an unsavory business man trying a little too hard to buy Aunt Clara's shop at any cost, there are plenty of other suspects to go around!

This first in a new series is a delicious threat. Maggie and her Aunt Clara are wonderful new characters. I had a great time hanging out with them in their pie shop Pie In The Sky. I don't even eat pie and it made me hungry! A fast and entertaining read, I was kept guessing until the surprising conclusion of this great book. I really look forward to the next installment in this new and hopefully long running series.

NOTE: Recipe lovers will be thrilled with the recipes included for flaky pie crust and 3 tasty pies!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Perilous Pranks reivew

 
 
Perilous Pranks a Novella of 22,000 words in the Renaissance Faire Mystery series PLUS the first chapter of Murderous Matrimony, Book Six coming in November 2013.

Wanda Le Fey is dead, and Renaissance Faire lover, Jessie Morton, looks suspiciously like the person who killed her. Jessie was simply returning the prank Wanda played on her by dyeing the other woman blue. It wasn’t her fault that Wanda was also stabbed in the chest by a sword as she tried to get out of her shower. Now Wanda’s blue ghost is prodding Jessie to find her killer. And a dead Wanda is far worse than a live Wanda.
 
Jessie Morton had pulled the perfect revenge prank on Wanda LeFey. A blue dye pack in Wanda's shower head! That would teach her to glue Jessie's dress to a chair while Jessie was still in it. And finding Wanda blue in her cottage should have been a thrill and it would have been if Wanda hadn't been dead! As the prime suspect, Jessie set outs to find Wanda's killer. Little did she know she would be aided but Wanda's blue ghost!
This novella in the Renaissance Faire Mysteries is a wonderful addition to a great series. The unlikely team of Jessie and Wanda is hysterical. As with the other books in this series there are lots of insights into the workings and fun of a Ren Faire.
 
I really enjoyed this story. It had a great flow. I never guessed the killer so the reveal was a nice surprise!
 
Makes me want to go visit my local Ren Faire again this year.
PERLIOUS PRANKS is a great way to keep readers happy until the release of the next full length novel in the  Renaissance Faire Mysteries---MURDEROUS MATRIMONY in November 2013.  
 
 
PERILOUS PRANKS is the first novella in the Renaissance Faire mystery series by Joyce and Jim Lavene. This follows the first five bestsellers in the series: Wicked Weaves, Ghastly Glass, Deadly Daggers, Harrowing Hats, and Treacherous Toys. Each book also includes a craft from the Renaissance. The next book is Murderous Matrimony, which will showcase the wedding of Ren Faire enthusiast, Jessie Morton, to hunky bailiff, Chase Manhattan. That book will be out in November 2013. For more information on the series: www.renaissancefairemysteries.com.


Winner: A Skeleton In The Family

I am happy to announce the winner of a signed copy of Leigh Perry's new book A SKELETON IN THE FAMILY.

Congratulations go out to April! An email has be sent to you.

Thank you to everyone who read the interview and left such kind comments.

And a big thank you to author Leigh Perry. I can't wait to hear more from you and your awesome writing!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Leigh Perry Review, Interview and Giveaway!

I read such a fun new book that I just had to share it with you! And how better to share it then with not only a review, but an interview with the author and a Giveaway?

Author Leigh Perry (know to many as Toni L P Kelner) has written a new book called A Skeleton In The Family, #1 in A Family Skeleton Mystery series, due to be released September 3rd!

To celebrate, Leigh is giving away a signed copy of A Skeleton In The Family! Leave a comment and your email contact for a chance to win! The winner will be drawn on Sunday, August 25th.

On to the fun!


REVIEW: 

Available September 3rd!
 
Most families have skeletons in their closets…

Moving back into her parents’ house with her teenage daughter had not been Georgia Thackery’s “Plan A.” But when she got a job at the local college, it seemed the sensible thing to do. So she settled in and began reconnecting with old friends.

Including Sid. Sid is the Thackery family’s skeleton. He’s lived in the house as long as Georgia can remember, although no one, including Sid, knows exactly where he came from and how he came to be a skeleton.

Sid walks, he talks, he makes bad jokes, he tries to keep Georgia’s dog from considering him a snack.  And he manages to persuade Georgia to let him leave the house. But when she takes him to an anime convention—disguised as a skeleton, of course—he sees a woman who triggers memories of his past.

Now he is determined to find out how he died—with Georgia’s help.  But their investigation may uncover a killer who’s still alive and well and bad to the bone…
 
 
 
It was very easy to get lost in this entertaining, wonderful story.

When I first heard of this book, I was like..."What?" It sounded so unlike any other cozy mystery (or other book) I had ever read. I was right. It was like nothing else I had ever read and I LOVED every minute of it!  From the moment I met Sid the skeleton I was hooked! Indeed, I myself wish I had a Sid.

The friendship of Sid with lead character Georgia is absolutely enchanting and fun! I was wrapped up in every bit of their dialog. Best friends since she was just a little girl, you can tell there is nothing they wouldn't do for each other. And as the story progresses that becomes all too true. I also enjoyed Georgia's relationship with her daughter Madison and Sid's relationship with Georgia's sister Deborah. I looked forward to turning each page to see what would happen next.

Make sure to add this book to your To Be Read stack!



INTERVIEW:

 
LKBR: How did you come up with the idea of Sid the skeleton?

LP: I really don't know. I can find some early notes and emails when I first mentioned the idea to my husband, and then when I ran a few pages past my beta readers, but where the original spark came from is a mystery. The best I can guess is that I was thinking about paranormal mysteries, and how there were great vampire mysteries, fairy mysteries, angel mysteries, ghost mysteries, and so on... What was left? Skeletons! And the field was wide open!


Illustration by Laura's daughter Maggie
 
LKBR: Have you started the second in the A Family Skeleton series? If so, can you give us a hint as to what Sid and Georgia are up to?
 
LP: I have, though I'm not as far along as I would like to be. (Or as far along as my ever-patient editor would like me to be.) Sid's days of hiding in the attic are over! He's starring in a major production of Hamlet. Well, maybe not that major. In fact, it's at Pennycross High, the school Georgia's daughter Madison attends. And Sid isn't exactly the star. He's more along the lines of a featured player. Sort of. Okay, he's a prop, the skull of Yorick during the "Alas poor Yorick" scene. Still, he's out of the house and having a great time watching Madison's drama buddies all day. Then one day Madison forgets to take him home, and while he's stuck backstage overnight, he overhears a murder. When the body is found elsewhere, that means only Sid and Georgia know where the crime really took place, and they're the only ones who can find the killer.
 
With daughters Valerie & Maggie

 
LKBR: Do you write at a certain time of day or whenever the muse speaks?

LP: Here's a picture of my muse. 
His name is Poindexter. Poindexter is on duty 24/7, so I never have to wait for him. Seriously, I don't believe in a muse. You just find the time that works best for you, and go at it. If you wait for a muse, you'll be waiting a whole lot more than you're writing. As for me, I'm most productive in the wee hours of the morning, after the rest of the family has gone to bed. I can edit any time, but for writing, I do best overnight. It's really inconvenient, but that's the schedule that seems to work.
 
With fellow authors Dana Cameron & Charlaine Harris
 

LKBR: Is there anything special you do when starting a new book? Some sort of ritual?
 
LP: I try to spend a week or three just writing notes and ideas about the project before diving into actual manuscript. My daily ritual is to play online games before getting started--the games I play tend to rotate.
 
 
LKBR: Who are some of your favorite authors?
 
LP: My gosh, I could fill a blog with them! Robert Heinlein, Julian May, Andre Norton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Arthur Conan Doyle, Nero Wolfe, Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews, L. Frank Baum, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Elizabeth Peters, my buddies Charlaine Harris and Dana Cameron. Seriously, I could go on for hours.
 
Writting as Toni L P Kelner - Laura Fleming series
 
LKBR: What advice do you have for beginning writers?
 
LP:  1) Read. Read a lot. And don't limit yourself to your favored genre. Or just fiction. The more stuff that goes into your brain--good or bad--the more good stuff that will come out.

2) Use goal-setting techniques. This is another topic that could be a whole blog post, but in brief, give yourself goals that are reachable but not too easy, time-based, and meaningful. And leave yourself some fudge factor--life happens. For my first book, I set a goal of 600 words a day, 4 days a week. As I got faster, I went for 800 words a day, then 1000. (Anything more than 1000 makes me anxious, even though I do often exceed that.) I also write more days a week since I went full-time. But only you can set the right goals for your life.

3) Enjoy writing. If you're not enjoying it, find something else to do.

4) Read the fabulous writing book Motivate Your Writing! by Stephen Kelner, Jr, Ph.D. Okay, I'm biased because he's my husband, but it really is a terrific book.
 
 
LKBR: Is there anything else you would like to mention?  Some information on your other series, signings something you would like readers to know about you?
 
LP: Before I was Leigh Perry, I was Toni L.P. Kelner. (Before that I was Toni Leigh Perry, so now you can see where the names came from.) As Toni, I've written eleven novels -- eight in the Laura Fleming series and three in the "Where are they now?" series -- and a bunch of short stories. I also co-edit urban fantasy anthologies with Charlaine Harris. Games Creatures Play, our sixth, will be out in April 2014.
I'm enjoying being Leigh. It's like starting all over, except I know what I'm doing this time. Sorta kinda.
 
 
To learn more about Leigh Perry  you can find her at...
 
 
 
And check out Sid the Skeleton at...
 
 
You can pre-order your copy of A Skeleton In The Family now!
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 



Sunday, August 18, 2013

3 in 1 Review of the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mysteries

Another 3 in 1 review. Written by Lee Hollis AKA brother and sister writing team Rick Copp & Holly Simason, I really enjoyed the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mysteries. The three titles are as follows.


 
Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the "Island Times" gives her a new assignment---taking over the paper's food column. Hayley's not sure she has the chops---she's an office manager, not a writer, even if her friends clamor for her mouth-watering potluck dishes. But the extra income is tempting, and Hayley's chatty first column is suddenly on everyone's menu---with one exception.

When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found face-down dead in a bowl of Hayley's creamy clam chowder, all signs point to Hayley. To clear her name, she'll have to enlist some help, including her BFFs, a perpetually pregnant lobster woman, and a glamorous real estate agent. As she whips up a list of suspects, Hayley discovers a juicy secret about the victim---and finds herself in a dangerous mix with a cold-blooded killer.
 
 
 
Local food and drink writer Haley Powell thinks she's done solving murders in scenic Bar Harbor, Maine. But when a taste of the South comes to New England, Haley's following another recipe for disaster...
As a single mom, Hayley Powell already has a full plate--she's got deadlines to make and a teenage daughter with eyes for an aspiring singer-songwriter. But when country music superstar Wade Springer rolls into town, Hayley spies an irresistible side gig: personal chef to her all-American idol. After he tries her home cooking, Wade's so impressed that he hires her on the spot--and invites her to dine with him alone.

Hayley and Wade are hitting all the right notes. . .until a body turns up. Wade's tour bus was torched overnight and a roadie named Mickey Pritchett came out well-done. But the real cause of death isn't barbecue: Mickey was shot, his mouth stuffed with one of Hayley's trademark chicken legs. An ornery drunk, Mickey had already made plenty of enemies in town, but Wade's reputation is on the rocks. Hayley reckons it's up to her to settle this mess--a charbroiled mystery with all the fixin's.
 
 
 
Hayley Powell, food and cocktails columnist for Bar Harbor's Island Times, is. . .well, kind of broke. So when she's selected for that extreme coupon-clipping reality game show coming to town...
...she's thrilled, especially when her competition is nasty nurse Candace Culpepper. But when Haley stumbles across a face-down-in-the-snow Candace—scissors gleaming between her shoulders—she knows the next thing she'll be selected for will probably be a police line-up.

Meanwhile, though Hayley's BFF Mona was only joking about "taking Candace out," Bruce Linney, the Island Times crime reporter, definitely isn't laughing. And what about the smarmy, cold-hearted host of the show, Drew Nickerson, who may have been having a steamy affair with the intentionally-iced nurse? Hayley needs to cut to the chase and find the killer. Everything may hinge on a stray coupon, but Hayley better keep her eyes on the real grand prize: staying out of permanent cold storage!
 
 
 
While the first in this series was my favorite, I enjoyed all three of these books and look forward to the fourth in the series, Death of a Chocoholic, due to be released January of 2014.
 
Author Lee Hollis (Mr. Copp & Ms. Simason), has created a delightful protagonist in Hayley Powell. Her exploits in these three tales had me laughing out loud more times then I can count. Hayley is a very real, less than perfect woman, making her way in life raising her two children and working her job at the newspaper. I liked the situations she finds herself in. Hayley is helped through her adventures by her best friends Mona, an always pregnat lobster boat captain and Liddy, a high class real estate agent. Throw into the mix her brother Brain owner of the local bar, his partner Sergio the chief of police, Hayley's children, her dog Leroy (named for her NCIS TV crush Mark Harmon) Sal the editor of The Island Times and Bruce the smarmy crime reporter at the paper---you have a very well rounded cast of characters. Add to that, Bar Harbor, Maine as the beautiful setting and you have winning combinations.
 
With fast paced plots, interesting twists and solid story lines, this series is destined to be a favorite among readers.
 
Recipes lovers, you won't be disappointed. Every book features Hayley's column Island Food & Spirits, which includes seven recipes from Hayley's kitchen along with cocktails to enjoy while preparing your meal! 
 


 

Friday, August 16, 2013

3 in 1 Review of Sew Deadly, Death Threads and Pinned For Murder by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

I've been reading the the Southern Sewing Circle nysteries by Elizabeth Lynn Casey. I've read the first three and would like to share them with you.

 
Ever since she moved to Sweet Briar, South Carolina, Yankee librarian Tori Sinclair has been the talk of the tiny town. But she's been so busy at work, winning over the sewing circle, and trying to forget her cheating ex that she hasn't even had time to baste together a pillow, let alone mind local gossip. Then she finds the hometown sweetheart dead at her back door...

Everyone believes the police investigator, who's just fixin' to link Tori to the murder in a love triangle gone bad. To clear her name, Tori will have to rely on her new sewing sisters and stitch together the truth- or be darned.
 
 
Yankee librarian Tori Sinclair is basking in the warmth of her new circle of friends from South Carolina's Sweet Briar Ladies Society sewing circle. That is until local author Colby Calhoun reveals an unflattering secret about the town's historic past-and then disappears, leaving a bloody trail behind him. And when Tori begins to see a pattern of the townsfolk's age-old Southern pride standing in the way of justice, she knows it's time to unravel the mystery.
 
 
The members of South Carolina's Sweet Briar Ladies Society sewing circle are as loyal and close-knit as the day is long. But when the richest and meanest woman in town turns up murdered, the new Yankee librarian Tori Sinclair finds that some threads can bind dangerously tight.
 
 
 
SEW DEADLY, DEATH THREADS and PINNED FOR MURDER by Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

I'm new to the party on this series. But the good news for me---I still have 5 more of the series in my TBR stack to enjoy! The newest being REMNANTS OF MURDER, released earlier this month.

I fell in love with Tori/Victoria and the people of Sweet Briar from page one of Sew Deadly. Ms. Casey kept me guessing through all 3 stories. Not only that, she kept me laughing! Out loud at times!

The members of the Sweet Briars Ladies Society Sewing Circle are different as night and day. The things they do have in common are, sewing, gossip and their strong belief in each other. Well, some stronger than others. But they always come around in the end.

Tori, the town librarian, along with her fellow sewing circle members, finds herself wrapped up in one mystery after the other in these three titles. But working together there is nothing they can't do, be it a group sewing project or solving a crime. I just wish I had this group of women around in my life. Luckily, I can spend time with them on the pages!

Each book includes sewing tips (Ms Casey gets some from her readers!) and a sewing pattern of the book's project. NOTE: You do not have to know sewing to enjoy these stories. And fans with book themes won't be disappointed. Plenty of time is spent in the Sweet Briar Library!

I can't wait to get into the fourth in the series to see what the ladies are up to!
 
Do yourself a favor...read this series!

 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Karen!
She has won her choice of a signed copy of 1 of Denise Swanson's titles!

Thank you to everyone for entering and for your great comments!
Please check back for more great interviews and giveaways!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Denise Swanson Interview and Giveaway

I'm thrilled to have had a chance to interview Denise Swanson, author of the Scumble River Mysteries series and the Devereaux's Dime Store Mysteries series. And we have a Giveaway! Denise is kindly offering 1 signed copy of the winner's choice of one of her great titles! All you have to do is leave a comment (and email contact info please)! The drawing will be held Thursday, Aug 15.Enjoy the interview and good luck!


Denise Swanson Interview

 
 
 
LKBR:    Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
 
DS:  I actually can't remember a time when I didn't want to write. I was an only child growing up in the country, so I spent almost all my time reading and living in my imagination, which then became stories that I shared with my cousins. It was sort of a natural progression to writing those stories down.
 
 
 
 
LKBR:  How do you come up with your witty titles?
 
DS:  My editor came up with the very first title, Murder of a Small-Town Honey. I was calling the book the Catfish Days Murder, which was definitely not as catchy. After I realized what she was looking for, the titles came fairly naturally. There were a few books I had a hard time coming up with titles and a few books that the titles came to me before the plots. My new book, Murder of a Stacked Librarian was one of those.
 
 
 
 
LKBR:  Why did you decide to give each chapter a name? (cool idea by the way)
 
DS:  I'm not sure why I decided to use chapter titles. I think for the first book (Death Of A Small-Town Honey) , the songs I used just popped into my head as I was writing the chapters.
 
 
Denise with husband David
 
LKBR:  Where do you get the ideas for your characters? Are any of them based on people you know?
 
DS:  Most of my characters are inspired by real life people, but generally there is more than one person that inspires each character.
 
 
 
LKBR:  Of all the books you've written, which is your favorite?
 
DS:  My favorite is always the one that I'm currently writing.
 
 
 
 

LKBR:  Do you ever experience writers block? If so, how do you work through it?
 
DS:  Not exactly writers block, but more like a stumbling block. I'll get to a part in the book that stops me cold, and until I figure out where I took a wrong turn, it's very hard to move ahead in the story. Most often, I'll brainstorm with either my husband or BFF until something clicks. Sometimes, I think about the problem just before I go to sleep and dream the answer.



Devereaux's Dime Store
 
 
LKBR:  What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you as an author?
 
DS:  It's hard to pick just one as I seem to be a weird magnet, but I guess it was a signing at a Borders Express in a mall fairly early in my career. I was sitting near the front door behind a table stacked with my books and a middle aged guy kept walking round and round me. Finally, I asked him if he enjoyed mysteries. He said, "Oh. No. I don't read." Before I could stop myself, I said, "Then what are you doing in a book store?" He shrugged and said, "My wife told me to meet her here. She says it's the only place I don't get into trouble."
 

 
LKBR:  Please tell us about any upcoming projects.
 
DS:  I just finished writing the seventeenth Scumble River book, and I'm taking a couple of months to work on a romance called Can't Buy Me Love.
 
Scumble River
 
LKBR:  Is there anything else you would like to add?
 
DS:  Murder of a Stacked Librarian comes out Sept. 3

 
 

What to know more about Denise and her great books? Check out these links!


 
 
A big thank you to Denise for a wonderful interview! And don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win your choice of one of Denise's titles!