Just a quick note today to let you know Bite the Dust ebook is now on sale for $0.99 until September 30.
Do you look at Labor Day as the end of summer? Or does the holiday allow you to have a three-day weekend? Do you work or relax and enjoy the day? Maybe you shop and look for good sales.
Labor Day began as a way to celebrate the laborers and their work. Oregon was the first to observe Labor Day on February 21, 1887. A few years later it became a nationally-recognized holiday in the United States.
I hope you are able to enjoy your holiday in 2020. Stay safe and have fun!
Today begins the Great Escapes Book Tour for Dog-Gone Dead.
Here’s the schedule. I’d love to see you on some of these blogs where I answer so many fun questions. You can also enter to win a copy of Bite the Dust, a Starbucks gift card, and other fun items.
September 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 2 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
September 3 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
September 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 4 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 4 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
September 5 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 6 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
September 6 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
September 7 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
September 8 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 8 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 10 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
September 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
September 12 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
September 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
I’m so excited to have Debra H. Goldstein on my blog today. I know you’ll enjoy meeting her.
What’s the first mystery you remember reading?
Memory is a funny thing. I remember reading two things at the same time – one was the Bobbsey Twins, all of which I devoured, and one was a Perry Mason book. My parents were visiting friends and to keep me entertained, I was permitted to go into the host’s library and pick a book to read. The one I pulled down was a Perry Mason. I may not have understood all of it, but I knew I liked it enough that when we went to leave, and I hadn’t quite finished it, I asked to borrow it. Because my parents saw these friends often, I was allowed to take the book home and finish reading it. Of course, it wasn’t until many years later, when I watched the re-runs of Perry Mason, that the book and Raymond Burr’s portrayal became one and the same.
When did you begin writing? How did you know you wanted to begin a career writing?
I began making stories up in my head at bedtime well before I began school, but it was in first grade that I was given an opportunity to write (or should I say print) little stories. My teacher apparently liked them because she encouraged me to write more.
Do you ever change the killer in the middle of the story?
Yes. When I wrote One Taste Too Many, the writing was going well and then it wasn’t. The book went flat, and I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. I stopped writing and let it percolate for a few weeks. In that stage between sleep and waking, it came to me that I had the wrong killer. I was pushing the characters to fit what I thought I wanted when it was so obvious that another character was the killer. When I got out of bed, I was energized to rewrite. I threw out half the book and started the revision. Once again, the words flew, and I knew the story and the book itself worked. Happily, when it was pitched to Kensington, they agreed.
Tell us a little about your story.
In Three Treats Too Many, when a romantic rival opens a competing restaurant in small-town Wheaton, Alabama, Sarah Blair discovers murder is the specialty of the house . . .
For someone whose greatest culinary skill is ordering takeout, Sarah never expected to be co-owner of a restaurant. Even her Siamese cat, RahRah, seems to be looking at her differently. But while Sarah and her twin sister, Chef Emily, are tangled up in red tape waiting for the building inspector to get around to them, an attention-stealing new establishment—run by none other than Sarah’s late ex-husband’s mistress, Jane—is having its grand opening across the street.
Jane’s new sous chef, Riley Miller, is the talk of Wheaton with her delicious vegan specialties. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah’s friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, the former line cook—whose infatuation with Riley was no secret—becomes the prime suspect. Now Sarah must turn up the heat on the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder . . .
Includes quick and easy recipes!
Do you have any pets?
Although I’ve had dogs, turtles, goldfish, and guppies (the latter three being in my childhood), we don’t have any pets now. I do have three grand dogs.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while writing?
Do you have a tip to share for getting through this pandemic? Anything that makes your days a little easier?
For me, it is a matter of getting up, dressed, and addressing whatever needs to be done. Although I’m not writing or reading as much as I usually did in the past, part of that has been having several pieces that were on deadline, needing to write a number of blogs before Three Treats Too Many releases on August 25, being involved in more zoom calls than I can keep count of, and getting the brilliant idea to build a new house during the pandemic. My tip is to keep doing things.
Are you a beach person?
The beach is where I go to renew my energy and spirit. Although I love walking in the surf, even sitting in an air-conditioned condo peering at the waves makes me happy. Sadly, even though we can be at the beach in just under four hours, we haven’t gone there since the world shut down in March.
You created a character in Sarah Blair that is different than most cozy protagonists. Why did you do this, and do you relate to her?
Sarah Blair is a woman who finds being in the kitchen more frightening than murder. That’s where our similarities end. She was married at eighteen, divorced by twenty-eight, works as a law firm receptionist and lives with the only thing she got out of the marriage—her Siamese cat, RahRah—as she finds herself. I’m not twenty-eight, I’ve been married almost thirty-seven years to the same man, my career was as a lawyer and judge, and we no longer have any pets.
I created Sarah because, after my first two traditional mystery books were orphaned, I wanted to write a cozy. I had no problem with most of the elements usually contained within a cozy, but I was stumped by whether my character would cook, bake, or be good at crafts. I hate cooking, baking, and I’m lousy at crafts. Mulling my dilemma over, it dawned on me that there had to be other readers like me. Sarah was born from that realization. One of the interesting things in my books is to watch how Sarah changes or grows in each book. She is much stronger character in Three Treats Too Many than she was in One Taste Too Many or Silver Falchion finalist Two Bites Too Many.
Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (Three Treats Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, One Taste Too Many). She also authored Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, which have been named Agatha, Anthony, Derringer finalists, have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra serves on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and is president of SEMWA and past president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter. Find out more about Debra at www.DebraHGoldstein.com
You can also find Debra on social media:
Website – www.DebraHGoldstein.com
Twitter – @DebraHGoldstein
Instagram – debra.h.goldstein
If you want your own copy of Three Treat Too many you can find it here:
Growing up my brother and I played Smush Bug and Horsie for entertainment in the car. We also played the license plate game on trips. I may not know much about vehicles, but I pay attention.
One vehicle that has always intrigued me is a VW Bus. It’s not actually a bus, but it’s not called a van. Why? The VW Bus also came in fun colors.
In a story I’m working on now, I’m including a VW Bus as a ‘food truck.’ It’s actually a coffee bar in my story. So I’d already been thinking about this particular vehicle when Tim and I drove by one. Tim’s so good to me, and parked near it so I could take some pictures to pun on my Pinterest board.
Seeing this VW made me happy, and I’d like to share pictures of it with you. Have you ever owned a VW bug? Bus? Any VW?
2020 has been a hard year, but let’s don’t miss out on little things that bring us happiness!
In case you don’t know who Joanne Fluke is, she’s the author of the Hannah Swensen books. Hallmark also picked up some of the books to make into movies.
In honor of National Chocolate Chip Day, I decided to share some quotes from Joanne.
“The secret of high finance…if you really need a loan, you won’t qualify. And if you don’t need a loan, all the lenders will line up to give you money.” Peach Cobbler Murder
“If chocolate were a mandatory part of breakfast, people wouldn’t be so
grouchy in the morning.” Strawberry Shortcake Murder
“If God gave Dad Alzheimer’s, He’s got to understand when Dad forgets what church he belongs to.” Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
“You’ll never see a hearse towing a U-Haul.” Joanne Fluke
“There was no greater gift than making someone laugh. People who laughed were happy.” Apple Turnover Murder
“Solving crimes certainly wasn’t as easy as they made it seem in the movies.” Chocolate Chip Murder
In 2019 I met Hank Phillippi Ryan. I still wasn’t published at the time, and she’d written so many books which was intimidating. I was excited and nervous at the same time to meet her. It turns out, I had nothing to fear.
Hank was kind and gracious. She believed in me enough to offer to promote me when my first book came out. When my first book was about to be released, I debated bothering Hank. My husband encouraged me to reach out, so I did.
Once again, she was gracious. Here’s what she came back with after I sent her my book.
Completely charming–and exactly what a cozy mystery should be. Amateur sleuth (and dog whisperer) Andi Grace Scott is wonderfully endearing, and her devotion to her pooches–and to justice–will have you rooting for her from the absolutely irresistible page one. Bow WOW–What a terrific debut!
Hank Phillippi Ryan Nationally best-selling and award-winning author of THE MURDER LIST
On August 4, Hank’s new book comes out. I’ve pre-ordered The First to Lie and look forward to reading it. I’ll be sure to review it for you in a few weeks. Publishers Weekly calls it, “Stellar.”
Stay safe my friends!
Hi everyone! Today I have something fun to share…a special chance to win some help with your writing bills. Awesome, right?
Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I’m part of their street team. I’m handing the blog over to them so they can tell you about their Writer’s Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!
Certain details can reveal a lot about a character, such as their goals, desires, and backstory wounds. But did you know there’s another detail that can tie your character’s arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the “get to know the character” curve for readers?
It’s true. Your character’s occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.
Think about it: how much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles…or bringing you joy and helping you live your truth?
Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.
Maybe you haven’t thought much about jobs in the past and how they act as a window into your character’s personality, interests, and skills. It’s okay, you aren’t alone. The good news is that The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. (Here’s one of the job profiles we cover in this book: FIREFIGHTER.)
GIVEAWAY ALERT: THE WRITER’S SHOWCASE
To celebrate the release of a new book, Writers Helping Writers has a giveaway happening July 20th & July 23rd. You can win some great prizes, including gift certificates that can be spent on writing services within our Writer’s Showcase. Stop by to enter!
Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters
Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past. What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right? To access this list, GO HERE.
Happy writing to all!
In my last post, I shared a few pictures of my trip to France. If you’ve read any books in A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery series, you know Andi Grace Scott dreams of visiting France. So it seemed like the time celebrate Bastille Day.
My research shows the most respectful way to say happy Bastille day is, bonne Fete Nationale.
What is Bastille Day? Glad you asked.
Bastille Day incorporates two French historical events in one day.
The storming of the Bastille, which marked a turning point in the French Revolution is the main focus on the celebration. The holiday also acknowledges the Fête de la Fédération which is an 18th century holiday festival in France.
July 14, 1789 a mob attacked the Parisian political prison in search of more ammunition. It the process of attacking the medieval fortress, seven prisoners were released. The mob took control of the Bastille and kindled the revolution which would lead to the French Republic.
History has never been my strong suit, so if you want to learn more this seems to be a good time to research it.
Instead I’ll share a few more pictures to honor the French as they celebrate Bastille Day 2020.
How many times in 2020 have we had to change our plans? Everything from vacations to doctor appointments. Today we were supposed to go to Kentucky to visit our family. We haven’t seen them since Christmas, and we were so ready for this trip.
We live in South Carolina, and if you’ve listened to the news at all, you know we’re one of the hot spots. It didn’t matter because we had a plan. We’re already super cautious because of my husband works with elderly people. Our plan was to only go to three homes. We wouldn’t go shopping or out to eat. All we care about is seeing our family.
Then more and more people were getting tested. If we left for Kentucky, would we possibly take the virus to our loved ones? We have family members aged one to ninety-two. Was it fair to them? What about the people my husband works with? Would it be fair for us to leave if they needed him?
So, we finally decided to stay home. We’re not going to give up though. We’ll get there, but it won’t be today.
Aubrey Hepburn was known for her inspirational quotes, and I want to share three.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
Paris is always a good idea.
The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.