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The Gray Man

Just for fun today, I want to share the legend of The Gray Man in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

The story goes, the gray man died around 1822. He was on his way to the island to meet his sweetheart and died, maybe of a broken neck from hurrying to see her. Maybe he sunk in the pluff mud or drown. Whatever the cause of his death, the grieving lady spotted him on the beach. It appeared to her that he was warning her to leave.

The young lady’s family thought she’d lost her mind from grief, and they took her away from the beach. Within hours, the great storm of 1822 destroyed the area of the house where she and her family had been staying.

For years, The Gray Man has been spotted on or around the beach before a storm. He always wears gray. The people who actually see him say their property isn’t harmed in the storm even the home all around them are destroyed.

One child even asked her family who the man in gray was. She explained that he helped her not to be scared in the storm.

Many of the locals believe The Gray Man is a kind, wandering spirit who warns of impending storms.

When weather forecasters predict a hurricane, many locals ask each other if they’ve seen The Gray Man.

I personally have never seen The Gray Man, but if a man wearing gray appears before a big storm and tells me to leave, you better believe I’m heading inland.

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Food fit for Andi Grace’s Wedding

Some of you may know Tracy Condie from Cooking With My Cozys on Instagram. She reads cozy mysteries then creates food from the story.

I asked Tracy to share an idea for Andi Grace. Here’s Tracy…

Reading Jackie’s latest book, A Killer Unleashed, brings back memories of my own wedding planning. Thank goodness my planning did not have to include stumbling upon a murder, dognapping,  and sleuthing. I still don’t know how Andie Grace and Marc are able to find the time to see to the details.  So many details to be seen to and so many choices to be made and there are only so many hours in a day after working a full time job and taking care of all the little things that come up on a daily basis.

These days the venue can be a big deal.

For some people the floral arrangements must be amazing. Still there is the cake and what size, shape, and flavor it should be.

My groom wanted a miniature fountain to be underneath out traditional three tier cake. Last but most definitely not least, in my opinion, is the biggie, the food. Being a foodie I feel that the menu should be themed just as much as the occasion. 

Our wedding took place on the banks of the Alabama River in Montgomery, Alabama next to a historic train depot where a paddleboat style river boat usually docked (the boat was unavailable due to unscheduled repair work). We were not a fancy couple so a sit down formal meal was not our style and one thing that the South is known for is BBQ, really good and really diverse BBQ. So we had Alabama style BBQ and all the fixings which means a red sauce.  Eastern North Carolina has a red pepper and vinegar based sauce while South Carolina goes for a Mustard based sauce. My wedding took place in 1996, before people began elevating foods, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. If I was to do it all over again I would go with a menu similar to what Andi Grace and Marc have decided on for their big day. Be sure to pick up a copy of A Killer Unleashed so you too can see how the happy couple solve a crime, pick a cake flavor, rehome another pup, and plan the menu fit for a Southern wedding. 

Tracy, thanks so much for joining us today. Thanks also for sharing about your wedding. Your wedding sounds beautiful and fun!

Friends here are some ways to connect with Tracy.

Tracy’s Tidbits: https://tracyjcondie.blogspot.com/

Instagram: @cooking_with_my_cozys https://www.instagram.com/cooking_with_my_cozys/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000690968166

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Happy Valentine’s Day and Book Release Day

I hope you’re having a lovely Valentine’s Day. My publisher, Beyond the Page, showed me some love with a book release on this special day.

What’s Book Five about?

When a client’s dog turns up missing and her husband turns up dead, Low Country dog walker Andi Grace Scott will have to rely on dogged determination to track down a killer . . .

When a frantic client calls, worried about her dog, Andi Grace is happy to drop by the woman’s home and check in on her beloved pet. She’s initially concerned when she discovers the dog’s not in the house, but she’s out-and-out shocked to discover that the woman’s husband is—strangled to death in his office chair. On top of that, she soon finds a ransom note demanding a hefty sum for the dog’s safe return. Andi Grace knows better than to meddle in a murder investigation, but there’s no way she’s going to let a dognapper get away with it.

Unsure of whether the killer took the dog or if they were unrelated crimes, Andi Grace finds herself confounded from the start. More puzzling still is that the dog’s owner seems more upset about her missing pooch than her dead husband. Could the whole thing have been a setup? Did the woman murder her own husband and send Andi Grace to the house under false pretenses to discover the body? As sinister as that possibility may be, the trail of clues leads Andi Grace to uncover an even more nefarious scheme, and she knows she’ll have to tie up all the loose ends fast before the whole case goes to the dogs . . .

Here are some links where you can purchase A Killer Unleashed.

http://bit.ly/3jbGX8u  A Killer Unleashed paperback B&N

https://bit.ly/3DbZVmb   Nook

https://bit.ly/3XxPSAc  Rakuten

https://amzn.to/3GY3M7H Amazon Kindle

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-killer-unleashed  kobo

https://amzn.to/3JqtpRs  paperback Amazon

https://bit.ly/3jbGX8u B&N paperback

Thanks for spending a little time with me.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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A Killer Unleashed

We’re days away from the release of A Killer Unleashed the fifth book of A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery series.

Curious about what’s going to happnen? Here’s the blurb:

When a client’s dog turns up missing and her husband turns up dead, Low Country dog walker Andi Grace Scott will have to rely on dogged determination to track down a killer . . .

When a frantic client calls, worried about her dog, Andi Grace is happy to drop by the woman’s home and check in on her beloved pet. She’s initially concerned when she discovers the dog’s not in the house, but she’s out-and-out shocked to discover that the woman’s husband is—strangled to death in his office chair. On top of that, she soon finds a ransom note demanding a hefty sum for the dog’s safe return. Andi Grace knows better than to meddle in a murder investigation, but there’s no way she’s going to let a dognapper get away with it.

Unsure of whether the killer took the dog or if they were unrelated crimes, Andi Grace finds herself confounded from the start. More puzzling still is that the dog’s owner seems more upset about her missing pooch than her dead husband. Could the whole thing have been a setup? Did the woman murder her own husband and send Andi Grace to the house under false pretenses to discover the body? As sinister as that possibility may be, the trail of clues leads Andi Grace to uncover an even more nefarious scheme, and she knows she’ll have to tie up all the loose ends fast before the whole case goes to the dogs . . .

The ebook is $3.99 before the release on February 14, 2023.

Here are the ebook links:

http://bit.ly/3jbGX8u  A Killer Unleashed paperback B&N

https://bit.ly/3DbZVmb   Nook

https://bit.ly/3XxPSAc  Rakuten

https://amzn.to/3GY3M7H Amazon Kindle

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-killer-unleashed  Kobo

If you’d like to preorder the paperback, here are the links:

https://amzn.to/3JqtpRs  paperback Amazon

https://bit.ly/3jbGX8u B&N paperback

For sticking with me, I’m going to share a quote from Sheriff Wade Stone in A Killer Unleashed.

“Andi Grace. Marc. It’s good to see y’all having fun for a change instead of nosing into my murder investigation.”

Thanks my friends for sharing your time with me. I’m excited you’ll soon be able to read A Killer Unleashed.

Happy reading!

Jackie

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Here’s Heather Weidner

I’m excited to have Heather back, and she’s going to share about her new book, STICKS AND STONES AND A BAG OF BONES. Isn’t that a catchy title?

Heather took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions.

Why did you decide to write a new series?

I have always loved cozy mysteries, and I have so many ideas for sleuths and adventures (and murder and mayhem). I have two series with Level Best Books, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries and the Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries. My sleuths have fun jobs that I think about sometimes. Jules owns a camping resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She has restored vintage trailers for the ultimate glamping experience for her guests. She and her boyfriend, the hunky Jake Evans, added a village of tiny houses, themed for famous writers, to the resort for additional glamorous camping experiences.

Jade Hicks owns a Christmas store in the quaint beach community of Mermaid Bay. I grew up in Virginia Beach, and I always loved the Christmas stores that catered to the tourists. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and shopping for ornaments is always a must when we’re on vacation.

Tell us about your new sleuth. What is her career? Why did she decide to solve a murder? My latest mystery is STICKS AND STONES AND A BAG OF BONES. Jade works really hard to keep her Christmas shop that she inherited from her grandmother solvent in the tiny beach town of Mermaid Bay. She had no intention of sleuthing. She’s too busy with the shop and its online business. But one morning, she and her rollie pollie French bulldog Chloe bump into what washed up on shore, a suitcase full of bones. And it happened on the day that the town’s Christmas in July festival is set to kickoff. The town’s grapevine goes into overdrive, and everyone is concerned about the ominous message. Then local business owners start to get targeted messages and creepy warning posters pop up in front of all the businesses. Panic sets in when the town’s prickly bookstore owner ends up dead behind the hot dog stand. She’s been strangled with a string of Christmas lights. All eyes turn toward Jade and her store, and she becomes determined to solve the mystery before it kills her business.

Jade will appear next in TWINKLE, TWINKLE AU REVOIR and A TISKET A TASKET, NOT ANOTHER CASKET.

How long have you been writing? How many books do you release every year? How long does it take you to write a book?

I’ve been writing since the seventh grade. (I wrote the Adventures of Share-a-lot Bones for my 7th grade English class.) I have loved mysteries since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. (Plus, my dad was a police officer, and I thought everyone talked about murder and mayhem at the dinner table.)

I usually have 2-3 publications a year. One novel from each series comes out, and then I’ve been fortunate enough to have some articles and short stories published in anthologies.

Right now, I can write 2 to 3 cozy novels a year. When I started, it took me 5 years to write the first book, and another 2 to get it published. I worked on my writing and found that if I write every day with word count goals, I can finish a first draft in 5-6 weeks. (Now there’s lots of editing and revising after that.)

When the pandemic took over all of our lives, my company let us work from home full-time. I promised that I would use my commute time (about 2 hours a day with traffic) and my lunch hour to write and edit. I was amazed that I was able to write 3 novels during each of those years just by committing to a 3-hour a day schedule.

Thank you so much for letting me share my cozy mysteries with your readers. Both series have pet sidekicks like your fabulous series. The glamping series, features Bijou, the Jack Russell Terrier, and Chloe the French bulldog teases her arch-nemesis, Neville the Devil Cat, at ‘Tis the Season, the Christmas Shoppe.

Heather, thank you for sharing. It’s been fun!

More about Heather:

Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, and the Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries, all set in Virginia.

Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

 Social Media Links

Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherWeidner1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherWeidnerAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heather_mystery_writer/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8121854.Heather_Weidner

Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/HeatherBWeidner/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-weidner-0064b233?trk=hp-identity-name

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-weidner-d6430278-c5c9-4b10-b911-340828fc7003

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@heather_weidner_author?lang=en

Book Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sticks-Stones-Bag-Bones-Christmas-ebook/dp/B0BS9ZN3DG

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1685122000

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/shop/heatherweidner

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1685122000

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/shop/heatherweidner

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Hidden Treasures

Walking around downtown Charleston, you’ll find yourself on cobblestone streets and surrounded by history. You’ll probably see horse-drawn carriages as you walk around the French Quarter and the Battery.

We started out early on a January morning. It was a quiet morning, but as the temperature warmed up, more people showed up.

There are museums, shops, restaurants, and historic homes you can tour. But on this particular Saturday, we decided to explore on our own.

Homes have beautiful doors, and there are a wide variety of walls and fences. Many porches run along the side of the house to catch the best breeze. Yards are hidden behind pretty gates. There was a hush in the air the morning we walked. Many homes have window flower boxes. Everywhere you look, there’s something beautiful to see.

I hope you are able to enjoy the beauty of the area where you live, or come visit Charleston! It’s never disappointed me.

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Polish Pottery Gallery in Charleston

In anticipation of the fifth book of A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery series, I plan to share some fun things about Charleston, South Carolina.

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Polish Pottery Gallery. From the moment I walked inside, the beauty took my breath away. There were so many appealing patterns, but there were also unique pieces too.

For instance, Polish pottery soup bowls. These bowls were first made in World War II at a pottery factory in Boleslawiec. Back then there was little food available. Men and women tied these soup bowls to their clothes, and if soup became available they could scoop it up in their soup bowl then drink right out of the bowl. Today the bowls are pretty and functional.

There was also an odd shaped cup with two holes in the bottom. I asked the lady working about it. You place the cup over a small bowl or large mug. Line the top cup with a filter and add coffee and pour hot water over it.

There were plates, bowls, mugs, and serving dishes. It was such a unique find on King Street. If you can’t make it to Charleston, but you’re interested in seeing more, they have a website. https://www.polishpotterygalleryofcharleston.com/

I hope you enjoyed stepping into one of many amazing shops you’ll find if you visit the Low Country!

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A Sale and A Peek at My New Cover

Happy New Year. December was super busy for me, as I’m sure it was for you. I hope you had a good month.

Let’s begin the year with an ebook sale on Bite the Dust. It’s available between now and January 15, 2023 for $0.99 wherever you like to buy your ebooks.

And I promised to begin revealing the cover for A Killer Unleashed. Here we go.

I’ll share the full cover reveal next week.

Here’s a quick look into the busy days of December.

Yes, we’re expecting two granddaughters anytime this next week. We’re so blessed.

No, we didn’t get a new puppy. Heinz went to doggy heaven in August, and our hearts are tender to every dog we come across. This is Luna, and she’s eight weeks old.

I hope 2023 is a wonderful year of blessings for you.

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Thanksgiving Fun

Family, friends, food, and football are a few things we think about when it comes to Thanksgiving.

Today, I wanted to share some fun Thanksgiving trivia with you. Do you know what President Calvin Coolidge received as a Thanksgiving gift one year? It was a racoon in 1926. Vinnie Joyce from Mississippi sent a live racoon to be served as Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksfully President Coolidge took a liking to the furry critter that he made it a pet and named her Rebecca.

Do you know what food the colonists and Native Americans did NOT have at the first Thanksgiving? Turkey.

Thomas Jefferson refused to declare Thanksgiving a holiday.

I also discovered only male turkeys gobble. Female turkeys cackle.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I want to let you know I’m thankful for all of you!