Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: Don't Go Home by Caroline G Hart

TITLE: DON'T GO HOME
Author: CAROLYN HART

(Death On Demand Mystery Series)

Max has left home for a week. He's on a trip with buddies, fishing and having a wonderful break.
Annie Darling has a little more "me" time and hasn't decided what to do with her free time. That is until a knock at the door of "Death On Demand Bookstore" changes everything.
Alex Griffith wrote a bestselling novel and Annie always tries to never run out of copies of his books. He was raised on Broward's Rock.
When Rae Griffith knocks on the unopened door of Death On Demand and wants Annie to host a book signing for the famous author Alex Griffith, Annie agrees. This will be great and keep her mind off Max's away trip.

What she didn't know is that Alex planned on writing a sequel to DON'T GO HOME and that it will reveal secrets. Tons of secrets, some long buried, some in his own family and he Alex doesn't care who doesn't like the idea.
However, Annie does and she decides against having anything to do with the lecture, signing etc.....

Secrets hit to close to home for Annie when Alex is murdered and the suspect list is almost as long as the population of Broward's Rock. Among the list of things to hide is reporter Marian Kenyon and Annie refuses not to help Marian.

The thing is she had promised Max no more snooping. Annie never breaks a promise to Max and her trio of help are on a cruise. She is pretty much on her own and when more murders happen she knows it's up to her and Marian to get to the bottom of the murders.
DON'T GO HOME gets a *********** star review. I loved this book and all of it's shadows.


Pamela

Saturday, June 27, 2015

My birthday Box

My birthday box from Terri arrived today. Well she knows me very well as she sent me a Red Apron with a Skull on it in black . Pictures will be taken later. She also sent me a watch to die for and books.
Maggie King, Duffy Brown and Charles Todd so those should keep me out of trouble.
It is pretty warm today. Our temp is only 82 but it is humid.

How is your Saturday? I have sent interviews to authors, made author inquiries.

Tonight we are having tacos. What's for supper?

As you can see I am thrilled I can post and send to the blog all by myself.
You might as well know I am computer challenged.
Oh I can hardly wait for our readers see some of the interviews we have lined up.
Although all of the interviews we have posted really wonderful.
Okay off here for now.
Pam

Sisters in Crime Meeting with Allison Leotta on Prosecuting Federal Sex Crimes

Had a great time.  Allison was interesting and fun and I can see why her books are so popular.

She uses her experience as a prosecutor to make the stories as real and accurate as possible.  And of course, they are set in DC which is an extra for me!


 They are referring to her as the female John Grisham.  Legal thrillers at their best!

Terri

Aunt Dimity Review

Title: Aunt Dimity &
the Wishing Well
Author: Nancy Atherton

This is now my favorite book in the series.
 Hector Huggins the recluse has died. He made it clear he didn't like visitors. Anyway his nephew Jack McBride from Australia arrives late to the funeral. He is in time to raise eyebrows and gossip.
Lori befriends Jack, soon she learns he  is tasked with his Uncle's last wishes. He has to fix the yard and house and in doing so Jack and Lori, find a wishing well.
Off handedly Lori makes a wish that the rain needs to stop. It does stop and in a matter of hours the all of Finch knows it.
A lot of Finch residents make their own wishes. Secretly and a few out in the open. When they come true for a brief while it's like winning the lottery.
The down side is be careful what you wish for...soon odd things happen, odd people show up and life in Finch is more than Lori can take.

AUNT DIMITY & the WISHING WELL by Nancy  Atherton, is the best one yet. I give it ten out of ten stars.
Pamela

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Trying out new blogger.

Friday, June 26, 2015

An Interview with Janet Cantrell/Kaye George

Interview With  Janet Cantrell/aka Kaye George by Pamela James


> MM2: Good Morning Janet, tell us about your cat series and do you own cats?

Quincy is the Fat Cat featured in this series. His vet has put him on a diet, but he detests dry diet cat food! Being a clever feline, he knows how to escape from almost anywhere and go looking for better things to eat. He finds them, and clues--and dead bodies. I've owned many, many cats. One recent one, now buried under a lantana plant because he was a tough little guy, was Agamemnon, a rescued feral who was the smartest one we ever had. Quincy learned some of his antics from Agamemnon!

> MM2: Do you belong to writing groups?

I'm a long time member of Sisters in Crime. When I've lived near a local chapter, I've belonged, twice--in Dallas and in Austin. I was president of the Guppies online chapter for 2 years and can't say enough good things about them. I've been in several face to face writing critique groups, as well as some through the Guppies. Great experiences!

> MM2: What are some of the challenges of writing  mystery series?

Just in writing a mystery, there are a few. Creating interesting plots, likable characters, planting clues so that you play fair with the reader (while hiding them well enough so the killer isn't obvious). In writing a series, of course, keeping the characters and plots fresh is a challenge.

> MM2: In total how many series and books have you written?

I'm doing 4 series. (I know, I'm nuts.) I self-published three Imogene Duckworthy humorous Texas mysteries, CHOKE, SMOKE, and BROKE. 




With Barking Rain Press, one Cressa Carraway Musical mystery is out, EINE KLEINE MURDER, and the second is coming in April, REQUIEM IN RED.

With Untreed Reads, the first People of the Wind Neanderthal mystery is DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE. The second, DEATH ON THE TREK, will be out next June.

All of the above are written as Kaye George.


For Berkley Prime Crime, writing as Janet Cantrell, there are two of the Fat Cat mysteries out, FAT CAT AT LARGE and FAT CAT SPREADS OUT. The third, FAT CAT TAKES THE CAKE, will be published in March.


> MM2: What comes first setting, the plot or the character?

I guess that varies! Usually the character(s), though. They tend to come to me WITH their settings. The plots sometimes develop easily, sometimes I have to really squeeze them out.

> MM2: Do you have some favorite minor characters?

I do! Hortense Duckworthy, Imogene's mother, is one of my favorites. I also like Ralph in that same series. However, at the end of the first book he became somewhat more than an minor character, much to my surprise.

Neek, the unseen phone seer and friend to Cressa Carraway is a favorite, too.

 In my Neanderthal series (talk about a challenging series to write!), a young lad named Jeek (funny how that's so close to Neek) took over part of the narrative, becoming an ally of Enga Dancing Flower, the adult female main character.

> MM2: Take us through a typical writing day for you?

I'm not a morning person, so I do internet things, promotion and interfacing, earlier in the day. If there are errands or shopping, those are for the early afternoon. Late afternoon is when I get serious about cranking out the words. If I haven't had time during the day, I write late a night. I wish my typical day involved more regular exercise. I'm working on it.

> MM2: Okay fun questions. Where would you like to visit for vacation that you
> haven't already seen? Do you have a favorite movie, song, day of the week?

Australia! And I'd like to tack on New Zealand. I would also love to spend New Year's Eve in Iceland.

Lots and lots of favorite songs. Too many to list! 

My favorite day is always Friday the 13th. We were engaged and married on the 13th, so I consider that my lucky number.

  > MM2: Do you reread some of your favorite books by other authors etc...?

I haven't time to reread lately, but I do like to reread things that make me laugh. James Thurber, Ogden Nash, Douglas Adams. I'm constantly reading for Suspense Magazine reviews and new mysteries. I like to throw in biography and true crime for variety.

> MM2: What would your characters tell us about you?

I suppose they get a little upset at what I put them through. They might utter some strong opinions about that. But if they lived boring, easy lives, they wouldn't be very interesting. I think all of them would like me to write their stories more quickly. I DO have too many series going.

> MM2: What would be your dream car? Do you own it or have you owned it in the
> past?

I love my PT Cruiser. They don't make them any more, so I'll have to pick something else when Petey goes to the Great Junkyard in the Sky. I'm not sure yet. I like Smart Cars, but am not quite convinced. I also like that little Chevy truck thing. The SSR.

> MM2: Tell us what you like about where you live?

After living in Texas with heat, drought, and fires for many years, it's good to be where it rains, Knoxville, TN. We have 3 small grandchildren here and are closer to the other two young ones, which is a delight. We moved away from one son and his family and do miss seeing them so often.

> MM2: Leave us with some writing words of wisdom. Direct us to your website
> or blogs?

The best advice I ever got when trying to get published was to not give up. It took me about 10 years of serious writing (and learning how to do it) before I got a novel published (CHOKE). It won an Agatha nomination, so it was worth it to take all that time to learn to do it well. Read widely, take courses, get feedback whenever and wherever you can--but don't take all of it seriously. If two or more people have trouble with a passage I wrote, I know it needs fixing. I hardly ever do what was suggested, because we're all different writers, but I do know that a change has to be made.

My website: http://janetcantrell.com/ 



Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Interview with Donna Ball

An Interview with Donna Ball 
by Pamela James

MM2: Donna how many books have you written?

DB:  I have written close to 100 books (or perhaps slightly more than that by now!) The first 50 or so were contemporary romance for Harlequin/Silhouette, which I’ve been told by more than one agent don’t count.  But I love those books, and I learned more about writing from them than I’ve done from all the rest of my books put together.

MM2: What comes first, the characters, setting or plot?

DB: The characters always come first.  They’re the ones who tell the story!  I’ve always said that unless you have a set of characters about whom the reader cares and in whom the reader is passionately invested, your story doesn’t matter, because no one is going to read it!

MM2: What would you like to say to your readers?

DB:The first thing I always want to say is that I have the classiest readers in the world.  They are amazing, and they are the only reason I do what I do.  The second thing I’d like to say is that your opinion matters!  If you like a book, write a review, e-mail me, let me know.  You’d be surprised at how often something that simple can make the difference between a series that goes on to be a success, and a series that is canceled after three books.
   
MM2: What has been the best writing advice you received?

DB: I know I am a product of all the advice I’ve ever received from everyone who’s ever given it, but the best advice probably came from the friend who shoved a paperback novel into my hand thirty years ago and said, “You can do better than this.”  Turns out I could.
  
MM2: Do you ever reread any of your favorite author's books?

DB: One day, I hope to have time to sit down and do just that. 

MM2: After a hard day at the computer. How do you de-stress?

DB:  My daily ritual is to watch the sunset from my porch or deck with a glass of wine.  This is sacred quiet time for me, and I am so obsessive about it that I’ve been known to wrap up in multiple layers with gloves and a knit hat to go out to watch the sun set when it’s 10 degrees outside.

MM2: Tell us about where you live? Your favorite vacation, your favorite meal and movie?

DB: I am so fortunate to be able to live in two of the most beautiful places in the world: the Blue Ridge mountains of northeastern Georgia, and the Atlantic beaches of Florida. As for my favorite vacation, well I’ve been a lot of places and had some amazing times, but my favorite?  Disney World! My favorite meal is Sunday brunch, the kind with mimosas and eggs benedict.  My favorite movie?  I can’t pick just one!  Love Actually is my favorite Christmas-time movie.  I have a July Fourth tradition that includes Independence Day, Apollo Thirteen and The American President.  Love those stirring speeches!  My favorite musical is probably Mama Mia, mostly because of the amazing shots of Greece.  And I can’t wait to see Jurassic World because Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorites, a true classic.

MM2: What would your characters tell us about you?

DB:My characters would probably say I’m pretty easy to work with.  I let them tell their stories and hardly ever censor their thoughts.  I can get a little stern with those who ramble on and on, and I’m sure a few of them would have something to say about how free I am with the “delete” button, but for the most part, I think they’d give me a pretty good report.

MM2: Leave us with some writing words of wisdom.

DB: Okay.  Here’s something you don’t hear very often: If there are 105 things you need in order to become a writer, talent is number 103. I can’t tell you how many talented writers I’ve met who have nothing but that, and who will never, ever succeed.  Do the work. Do the work. Do the work. Those are my words of wisdom.

MM2: Be sure to lead us to your website and any blogs you might like us to know about.

DB: Learn more about me at http:\\www.donnaball.net.  

Check out the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series at www.rainestocktondogmysteries.blogspot.com 

and don’t forget my latest release, FLASH at http:\\www.doglegislanddogmysteries.blogspot.com.  

If you are a fan of women’s fiction, check out the Ladybug Farm series and THE HUMMINGBIRD HOUSE  at www.ladybugfarmcharms.blogspot.com.

Here’s an amazon.com link to Flash, the first book in my newest mystery series: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V3KTHT6




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pam's Library Trip

My library trip:

Last night I went to the library. Here is the library stash:
The DOUBLE CROSS By CLARE O'DONOHUE (A Someday Quilt Mystery Series)


TAKEN IN By ELIZABETH LYNN CASEY (Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series)


SPADE & ARCHER By JOE GORES (The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's -The Maltese Falcon)

LITTLE INDISCRETIONS By CARMEN POSADAS (A DELECTABLE MYSTERY)


This will be helpful. I am also reading a great book on my kindle set in the 1940's shade of Sam Spade. It's in the bedroom so I will have tell you the title when I add it to my book journal list.

Current Read AUNT DIMITY and the WISHING WELL it should be finished tonight.

What are you reading? What did you finish reading?


Pamela

Review: Clam Wake by Mary Daheim

Title: CLAM WAKE (A BED-AND-BREAKFAST MYSTERY SERIES)
Author: MARY DAHEIM


It's January and the fish are biting but they are biting for Bill and Joe in another country. New Zealand and off Bill and Joe go on an adventure.

Little do Cousin Renie and Judith realize that they are about to embark on an adventure of their own.
Auntie Vance and Uncle Vince are called away to help an ailing relative and they need someone to house sit on Obsession Shores. Judith could use the down time and Renie could complete her work assignment there as anywhere. So off they go and Auntie Vance has left them stocked with homemade clam chowder, beef noodle bake, homemade desserts and life will be wonderful.

However, the waters become choppy when they discover a dead man on the beach. There is talk of gold coins, water rights, land rights, more than a few odd neighbors. Plus everyone's winter hobby is drinking and lots of it.

Auntie Vance did not warn them of the danger that Obsession Shores hold. As the fog thickens so does the plot and this time the secrets and lies hit a little too close to home for Judith and Renie.

I give this witty, wise and mouth watering mystery an nine out of ten stars.

Pamela



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Birthday continued

​So today we found out that on Terri's Birthday it is not only the day Terri turns 50, but on this day Lizzie Borden, was acquitted of murdering her parents. 
If you don't read many nonfiction books. Try reading one of the many re-accounts of Lizzie Borden. Now do you know of anything or anyone that happened on the day you were born?

Hugs,
Pamela

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Terri

​HAPPY BIRTHDAY TERRI PARSONS,

I hope your day is as fantastic as you are. Have fun and here's hoping you never ever run out of interesting books to read.

Okay everyone let's think of a mystery title that includes something about Terri:

Mine is: Terri's traveling Halloween Topics that will thrill you!

Pam

Thursday, June 18, 2015

An Interview with Dana Cameron

An Interview with Dana Cameron 
by Pamela James

MM2: Dana, What genres and how many books have you written?


          Thanks for having me, Pamela and Terri!  I've written nine novels, including six in the Emma Fielding archaeology series, which is traditional mystery with an amateur sleuth.  Most recently, I've been writing urban fantasy, featuring archaeologist (and werewolf) Zoe Miller.  There are three books in the Fangborn series: Seven Kinds of Hell, Pack of Strays, and Hellbender.

          If you're counting short stories, by the time this year's done, I'll have written twenty-one short stories.  They're all over the map, genre-wise, including traditional mystery, thriller, historical, noir, urban fantasy, Sherlockian pastiche, erotica, and horror.

MM2: What is your latest book and give us some insight into your series characters?

The latest book is Hellbender.  Zoe Miller is an archaeologist who discovers she's a werewolf and Fangborn, a family of werewolves, vampires, and oracles dedicated to protecting humanity.  She wasn't born and raised within the family, however, so she's trying to get a handle on who they are and why her powers are different.

MM2: What comes first the setting, character, plot or that niggling voice of a conversation or thread?

Most often, it's the setting.  That sets the mood for me, and tells me who will be there, what's at stake, and why. 

MM2: What would you like your readers to know about you and your characters?

Well, my characters and I seem to share an interest in archaeology (my first profession) and history, the idea of women and power, and getting to know a cultural context through traveling (and eating!).  Unlike some of my characters, I am not a werewolf with superpowers or a “recovering” covert operative with a flexible sense of right and wrong.

MM2: Do you belong to any writer' groups? What are your favorite conventions?

I've worked with writers groups and they did great things for my writing—I heartily recommend them!  Right now, I act as a beta reader with two other authors, who return the favor for me.

MM2: Have you discovered any new books that you want to read?

Recently, I finished Paul Tremblay's A Head Full of Ghosts and really liked it.  I also loved The Martian, by Andy Weir, and The Girl with All the Gifts, by Mike Carey.  I'm looking forward to reading Rob Hart's New Yorked, Eloisa James's The Duke Is Mine, Jaye Wells' Cursed Moon, and Laura Ann Gilman's Silver on the Road.  I read a lot of comics and can hardly wait for each new episode of Bitch Planet and Captain Marvel (both by Kelly Sue DeConnick) and Ms. Marvel (by G. Willow Wilson).

MM2: Summer is almost here. My question is when you are not penning books or doing promo for books, where and what can we find you doing?

Actually, I'll be spending most of my time writing!  I'll be going to NECON for the first time.  Any spare time I have, I'll probably go to a museum or out to eat; I like spending time hanging with friends on our back deck.

MM2: Is there someone you would like to thank for mentoring, writing advice or editing your books?

Oh, sure!  My husband is my alpha reader, and Charlaine Harris, Toni Kelner (AKA Leigh Perry), and my agent, Josh Getzler are my most important beta readers.  I got a huge amount of perspective and advice from my group leader, David Bradley, when I attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.

MM2: Where do you like to vacation? Your favorite meal, movie, childhood memory?

          I travel a lot for work and then go farther afield for fun!  Most recently, Japan, France, and Germany, and soon, Portugal and Spain.  My favorite meal...that's hard to pin down.  Anything that's done well, but I'm a sucker for a good pizza.  I love small food—Turkish meze, Spanish tapas, Chinese dim sum, Japanese casual kaiseki or bento boxes.  And cheese, I adore cheese. How much space do I have?  LOL

          Favorite movie?  Another tough one.  Off the top of my head, let's go with “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Desperado,” and something by John Woo.
          Favorite childhood memory?  The first time I went to London.
         
MM2: Are there any books about series writing or in general writing books that you have found helpful?

I always recommend Stephen King's On Writing and Anne LaMotte's Bird by Bird.  Those are the books that have most informed my writing process.

MM2: Lastly direct us to your website and leave us with some writing words of wisdom.

          My website is www.danacameron.com.  As practical advice (don't know about the wisdom part), I'd say, if you're going to write, commit to it every day, even if it's just a few minutes.  Challenge yourself.  Finish the book or story—that's huge!  Then get increasingly tough and useful criticism from people you trust.  Go where the other writers and agents go, and learn about the industry. 

          Thanks for having me!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

An Interview with Edith Maxwell

An Interview With Edith Maxwell
by Pamela James

MM2: Edith, give us a little backstory on how your writing career began?


E: First, thanks so much for having me to visit, and I loved these interview questions.
I've been writing all my life, but I began writing crime fiction twenty years ago and had several short stories published in juried anthologies. After I was laid off a job at the end of 2008, I began writing mystery novels in earnest.

MM2: Tell us about your writing schedule?

E: Since I've been a full-time fiction writer for two years now, I'm at my desk usually by six every morning, and working by seven. I'm part of Ramona Defelice Long's virtual sprint club. A bunch of us check in with her just before seven on Facebook, and then we all work furiously with no interruptions for an hour. I continue that for myself the rest of the morning until I meet my daily word count (1500 words) or run out of creativity.

MM2: What is the best part of writing a series?

E: I don't have to make up a new world with every book, and I get to visit with some of the continuing characters who, despite the fact that I made them up, I like!

MM2: Let's talk about your latest books and soon to be released books?

E: Farmed and Dangerous just came out, the third Local Foods mystery. In this one, there's a murder at the assisted living residence where farmer Cam's dear great uncle Albert lives - and the death came after the victim ate Cam's produce. 

My next book out, written as Maddie Day, is Flipped for Murder, which is set in scenic southern Indiana in Robbie Jordan's new breakfast-and-lunch country store, Pans 'N Pancakes, which also stocks vintage cookware. Look for that in late October. Both those books are from Kensington Publishing. 

And next April Delivering the Truth, my first Quaker Midwife mystery, releases from Midnight Ink. It's an 1888 series with Rose Carroll solving crimes in my town in northeastern Massachusetts. So yeah, I'm busy!

MM2: What writing advice do you have for mystery writers that want to embark on series writing?

E: Butt in the chair, fingers on the keyboard, and then create a world and characters you'll want to spend time with for the next five years. Or, with luck, even longer.

MM2: Do you ever re-read a series?

E: Not really.

MM2: Do you belong to a writer's group?

E: I'm in an excellent in-person critique group on Monday nights. I'm also one of the six Wicked Cozy Authors. We not only blog every weekday, we are also each other's lifeboats and a mutual support team. Come join us in our conversations on the blog. 

MM2: What come first the setting, character or plot?

E: For the series, the setting and character are linked. For each book, since I already have my setting and protagonist, it's the plot. But that can change as I'm writing it, so I guess it's character. I follow them around and write down what they do, and I'm often surprised.

MM2: When not writing how do you decompress?

E: Half the year I have an organic vegetable garden out back plus blueberries, asparagus, and flowers that I tend. I like to sit on the deck (or on the couch in the winter) with a glass of wine and good cozy mystery. I don't watch any television except for the rare BBC show like Downton Abbey or Call the Midwife.

MM2: Leave us with some words of wisdom from one of your characters?

E: Cam Flaherty might say that even hardened introverts can learn to schmooze. She discovered the hard way that farming is as much chatting up the loyal customers as it is growing produce.

MM2: Lastly please leave us with your website address. If you have a blog we would love to have that address.

E: Please stop by www.edithmaxwell.com, where you can find information about all my series and award-winning short stories (one was nominated for an Agatha Award this year). And the Wicked Cozy Authors blog, too, as well as Killer Characters on the third of each month (starting in July).


Monday, June 15, 2015

 Maeve Kincaid is a Millenial living with her parents, when she receives an unexpected inheritance from her Aunt - A Food Truck.  So, she decides to give it a go.  What she didn't expect was a resentful employee who had expected to inherit the truck himself and a criminal past associated with the truck.  When the owner of a rival food truck is found brutally murdered, she finds out that her aunt may have also been murdered.  She doesn't understand the events around her and as she investigates to learn more, she places her own life in danger.
 
   I really enjoyed the book though I think it could have used a bit more rounding out of supporting characters (it was only 149 pages) but will definitely be reading more in this series

Terri

Friday, June 12, 2015

An Interview with Carolyn Haines

Interview With Carolyn Haines:

By Pamela James

MM2: Carolyn, how many books have you written? How many genres do you write ?

I've published 70 books. I read all kinds of books so I write in a lot of genres. Mystery/suspense/horror as well as general fiction, nonfiction, short fiction, romantic mysteries, crime fiction and humor.

MM2: Are you a member of any writer's groups?

I belong to HWA, MWA, and a small critique group.

MM2: Tell us about your latest mysteries? Are you currently writing a book?

Bone to Be Wild, the 15th Sarah Booth Delaney Mississippi Delta mystery, just came out with St. Martin's Press. I'm working on the next Sarah Booth book, and also a historical/paranormal/mystery. I have so many ideas and not enough time to get to all of them.


MM2: What is your typical writing schedule?

Depends on the season. I like to write in the middle of the day in the summer because it's so hot and humid outside. In the winter I like to write very early in the morning so I can get out and take care of the animals when the sun is out and nice. I split my writing day when I'm working on two different kinds of books at the same time, which I don't mind doing.

MM2: Do you re-read some of your favorite books?

I find I re-read a lot of the children's classics I loved so much. And there are some writers who compel me to visit the world they create again and again. It's like a visit to a place I love with an old friend. So yes, I do re-read.

MM2: I know you love animals so tell us about your pets?

I run Good Fortune Farm Refuge (I founded the 501(c)3 rescue). I have 5 horses, 8 dogs, 9 cats living here, and we also administer a Banfield Charities basic vet care grant that helps low income families get shots, exams, etc., for their pets. This is our third year to work with Banfield and it is a terrific program to help people who love their pets but are having a hard time in this slow economy. We also had a spay/neuter grant funded by the sale of cookbooks, which my friends helped me create. Bone-A-Fied Delicious, Recipes from Zinnia's Finest Chefs. We have currently sold out.

MM2: After a long writing day how do you decompress?

I catch up on emails and sometimes watch a show I've recorded earlier. Or read. Or have a gab session with some friends.


MM2: Now for reader fun....what is your favorite movie, meal and drink?

I love "The Wizard of Oz." Probably because of the wonderful childhood memories linked with it. "Silence of the Lambs" is so well constructed, I watch it to learn. My tastes change, though. I would never have thought I'd say I really liked "Fifty First Dates" but there is a sweetness to the movie that always makes me smile.

MM2: Is there anything special you would like to say to someone?

Thank you to all the readers who support writers like me. Without readers, would writers write? I love the process of writing, but I write for an audience. I want to share my stories. If readers didn't buy the books, the publishers would stop publishing them. I think readers should know they are such an important part of the publishing dynamic.

MM2: Lastly, what would Jitty, like us to know about you? How about Sarah Booth Delaney?

Jitty thinks I work too much. She tells me all the time that I should get out and kick up my heels. And I agree. As to Sarah Booth, Jitty knows her far too well. She knows Sarah Booth will never be able to resist taking up for the underdog or defending the innocent. She will eventually learn to balance her "missions" and her home life, but there are a lot of adventures between here and there.


Carolyn Haines is the award-winning author of the Sarah Booth Delaney Mississippi Delta mystery series. The latest title is BONE TO BE WILD, the 15th book in the series. She is currently at work on the next Sarah Booth story. She also writes ghost stories as R.B. Chesterton. Learn more about her at Carolyn Haines - Home  and sign up for her newsletter.


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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: The Wolfe Widow by Victoria Abbott

Title: THE WOLFE WIDOW
Author: VICTORIA ABBOTT
(A Book Collector Mystery Series)
Hardcover Library Book)

A rare moment occurred someone dared knock on Vera Van Alst's front door. She doesn't receive visitors, Muriel Delgado wasn't to be turned away which is what Jordan Bingham would loved to have done. Instead Vera's receives her and when the meeting is over Muriel is in and Jordan is fired. Tossed out and never to return.

This doesn't set well with Jordan and she wants to know why she was fired but more importantly why Muriel is there all moved and what she has on Vera but when Jordan is hit by a car while trying to investigate then she must rely on her uncles to help with the investigations.
Ten when Jordan finds out that Muriel is trying to sell off the Nero Wolfe Collection book by Jordan knows that Muriel is pure evil.
Vera would never allow this to happen as Vera's fondness for the books is sentimental. It's one of the rare things Vera and her father shared an she wouldn't part with one book of that collection.

Tim is running out and Jordan knows it's only a matter of time before Vera is met with an untimely death.

THE WOLFE WIDOW is priceless one of the best books in this series. Victoria Abbott really claims hr fame in this one!
************ I give it 12 stars out of 10, yes that's right the book and series is that good.

Pamela James

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

An Interview with Maggie King

MM2: Maggie, tell us about MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP.

Murder at the Book Group is the story of two women: Carlene Arness is a mystery writer who dies after drinking poisoned tea during a meeting of her book group in Richmond, VA. Hazel Rose is a romance writer who decides to find out who killed Carlene. Hazel is amazed when she finds that the refined and reserved Carlene had quite a checkered past, full of secrets, scandals, and betrayals. She’s equally amazed at what she learns about the other Baby Boomer aged book group members.­

Where did you get the idea?

I love book groups and have been in many—they have a special dynamic and the members can be fascinating to observe.
I joined my first mystery book group in Santa Clarita, CA in 1993. I’d been reading Agatha Christie for years but there was a whole world of other mystery authors out there and I was ready to dive in. The women in the group were lovely—almost too lovely. I hadn’t yet started my writing career but I knew I was on my way when the what-if scenarios came to me unbidden—
What if these women weren’t really so nice?
What if this was all for show and they harbored secrets, agendas, hatreds?
I held unto these ideas for many years. When I started Murder at the Book Group in earnest I gave these women backstories and they became the story prototypes.
I also like to write and read about people at a crossroads in their lives. In Murder at the Book Group both the sleuth and the victim are standing at a crossroads—Hazel Rose is at loose ends in her life, stuck in a rut.  She isn’t unhappy but she isn’t fulfilled either. As for Carlene Arness, the victim, she’s recently published her first mystery but her marriage to Hazel’s first husband is falling apart. Carlene probably wasn’t cut out for monogamy and her eye has started to wander.

Unfortunately, Carlene doesn’t get to cross the road—but solving her murder gives Hazel the opportunity to grow and get out of her rut. 

How long it took you to write the book?

About ten years. At least. I’d been writing variations of the story for many years before.

MM2: Do you belong to a book group?

Not at this time. I’ve been in several over the years, often two at a time. Ironically, the only way I could finish Murder at the Book Group was to give up book groups! 
 
MM2: For you what comes first, the setting or the characters, plot such as the murder?

For Murder at the Book Group and for my second Hazel Rose mystery (as yet untitled) the plot came first, and the setting and characters complement the plot. For “A Not So Genteel Murder,” published in the Virginia is for Mysteries anthology (Koehler Books, 2014), the setting came first because a Virginia setting was a requirement for submission. I developed the plot around the setting and the characters followed. The same holds true for the story I submitted to the Virginia is for Mysteries II anthology, due out April, 2016.

MM2: What advice do you have for mystery writers?

Write every day, even for a short time, and make it a priority. Find a schedule that works for you. It’s important to get into the habit of writing. Walk a lot (that’s when I get my best ideas). Read mysteries, especially in your sub-genre (cozy, thriller, police procedure, etc.). Read books on craft, but don’t let reading interfere with your writing.

MM2: How do you combat the stress of writing a book? Which of course is a huge undertaking?

I try to stay healthy by eating right, walking, stretching—and remembering to breathe! If I feel overwhelmed I tell myself “It’s one chapter at a time.” Sometimes it’s “a page at a time,” “a paragraph at a time,” “a sentence…” you get the idea.

MM2: Tell us a little about your family life, friends, writing support group and your favorite meal?

I have a loving husband, Glen, and two cats named Morris and Olive. I treasure the time I spend with them. Glen and I dine by candlelight, drink coffee in bed, and watch mysteries on DVDs that we rent from the library.
I’ve lived in a lot of places and had a lot of jobs so I’ve acquired many friends over the years. I enjoy connecting with all of them.
I belong to the Sisters in Crime Central Virginia chapter. We support each other at each stage of our writing careers and we have fun going “on the road” to promote our anthology.
My favorite meal? Anything Italian!

MM2: Leave us with words of wisdom for your protagonist? 

Hazel, develop your writing talents and maintain your compassion for others. Learn from your past mistakes and then move forward and embrace love.

MM2: Please direct us to any websites or blogs?

http://www.maggieking.com my author web site
http://annerallen.blogspot.com a great blog for writers
https://cncbooksblog.wordpress.com Buried Under Books: Tales of a Former Indie Bookseller
http://www.virginiaisformysteries.com Virginia is for Mysteries anthology, collection of seventeen stories penned by members of the Sisters in Crime Central Virginia and Mysteries by the Sea chapters.

Bio

Maggie King is the author of Murder at the Book Group, published in 2014 by Simon and Schuster. She contributed the short story, “A Not So Genteel Murder,” in the Virginia is for Mysteries anthology. Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor.
Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.




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