Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Special 99c deal on The Furrever Friends Cat Café #SweetRomance Collection - 5 #romance novels for #CatLovers for <$1 until Feb 7! #BookTwitter

The Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the workers and customers at a small-town cat café, and the adorable cats and kittens looking for their forever homes. Each book is a complete story with a happy ending for one couple (and maybe more than one rescued cat). This collection contains 5 books in the series. (Book 1, Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Café, is also 99 cents or free in Kindle Unlimited.)

♥ “I absolutely love this heartfelt series.” ♥

Get this five-book collection for only 99 cents/99 pence, only until Feb 7! The Furrever Friends Cat Café Sweet Romance Collection includes:

Kittens and Kisses at the Cat Café 

He’s loved her forever. She still sees him as the neighbor kid. Can five desperate kittens bring them together?

Tea and Temptation at the Cat Café 

Veterinarian Jenna needs a foster for the sick kitten abandoned by its owners. Novelist Zach is simply trying to get through his cancer treatments, but he can’t turn away from another creature in need. Zach and Jenna bond over kitten care. Could they have more? 

Romance and Rescues at the Cat Café 

Can getting stranded in a creepy house full of abandoned cats turn these enemies into friends—or even something more?

Christmas Cookies at the Cat Café 

Christmas isn’t the same since Diane’s kids grew up and her husband died – so when her high school sweetheart comes back to town, maybe it’s time for some cozy new holiday traditions.

Cupcakes and Confessions at The Cat Café 

A chance meeting connects Fiona to the daughter she gave up for adoption 23 years ago. Sean steadies Fiona through this emotional roller coaster, but she doesn’t have room for romance – does she?

♥ “Small town romance with cats ... what more could you want?” ♥

Visit the Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series page on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

♥ “The Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series is one of my favorite series of all time.” ♥

Get Lions and Love at the Cat Café, a sweet romance novella, free when you sign up for the Kris Bock email newsletter.

Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 35-page story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter. You’ll also get a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the cat café novels and a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material.

Kris also writes romantic suspense set in the Southwestern U.S. If you love Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels, try Kris Bock’s stories of treasure hunting, archaeology, and intrigue in the Southwest. Learn more at www.krisbock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.)

Sunday, January 29, 2023

#BookBuzz on The Accidental Detective, a humorous #mystery series with a midlife heroine #CozyMystery #mysterynovel #BookRecommendation

The Accidental Detective seriesA witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty.

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven made Barnes & Noble's list of Handpicked Favorites You'll Love!

When patients are dying at an Alzheimer's unit, a former war correspondent must use her journalism skills to uncover the killer and save her mother. Kate has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world, but can she survive going home? 

Praise for Something Shady at Sunshine Haven

“This is remarkably enjoyable start to a brand new cozy mystery series. Bock is a new author for me but I found the writing style to be great mix of people, events, and details that really create a fun read as we follow along. Makes for quite the fun cozy read that is a great choice for fans of the genre or those wanting to try one. I really liked it.  - Books a Plenty 

“A great start to a new series, Something Shady at Sunshine Haven by Kris Bock has a little something for everyone. Readers will enjoy this new cozy mystery and eagerly wait for more sleuthing with Kate and the Coffee Shop Irregulars!” ~Reading is my Superpower

“This is a fast-paced book that keeps you thinking. It’s a great jump start for this new series. I will anxiously await the second book.” ~Socrates' Book Reviews

“Something Shady at Sunshine Haven by Kris Bock grabbed me from the first page to the last. Ms. Bock is a new-to-me author, and I will be back to read more of her books if this showcases her caliber of writing.” ~Novels Alive

“I thought that this was a well-thought-out book and mystery. The characters seemed well developed for the first book and I expect that to continue with future books.” ~Storeybook 

Something Deadly on Desert Drive: The Accidental Detective Book 2

Kate's father and his coffee group are worried. Their friend Larry married a younger woman who now claims he has dementia and won't let anyone see him. They think his wife and her lazy adult children are keeping him isolated so they can steal his money. They're determined to save Larry, and they need Kate’s help to prove what’s happening.

Before they can dig out the truth, a murder raises the stakes, and Kate's father is among the suspects. To save him and Larry, she must reveal the real murderer – but her investigation could put all their lives at risk.

Chapter 1 Preview: Something Shady at Sunshine Haven

My childhood home had faded in the harsh Arizona sun and now showed its age—rather like me. I’d never dreamed of living here again after thirty years of traveling the world. But I needed to rest and heal, and where better to do that than in my parents’ house? In a few weeks—I promised myself weeks, not months, and definitely not years—I would be well enough to return to journalism. “How’s Mom?” I asked.

“Good,” Dad said. “Well, you know. She’s settled in. She can’t wait to see you.”

I didn’t ask if she’d remember me. I hadn’t noticed signs of Alzheimer’s on my last visit, but that had been a year ago.

“Hey, a friend of yours runs the care home. She gave me a message for you. Said it was urgent.” Dad shuffled through the mail on the little table by the door.

I couldn’t think of any friends in Arizona. I hadn’t had any here since my childhood. My friends were scattered around the world, wherever news was happening.

Dad handed me an envelope. I propped my cane against the table so I had two hands to tear open the envelope. The handwritten message inside was brief:

Kitty—Please come see me ASAP. I need your help.

—Heather Garcia

“She sounded . . .” Dad hesitated. “She asked about your journalism and begged me to bring you in as soon as possible.”

Try An Accidental Detective short story free: Get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material when you sign up for my newsletterThis collection includes a ten-page mystery short story set in the world of “The Accidental Detective” series, information about the series, and the first chapter of book 1. After that are three fun, short stories originally written for children. You’ll also get Lions and Love at the Cat Café, a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café, and “22 recipes from the cat café.”

Kris Bock writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. She has lived in ten states and one foreign country but is now firmly planted in the Southwest, where many of her books are set. Learn more at www.krisbock.com

Kris’s cat café series is lighthearted sweet romance. Readers call it heartwarming, fun, and delightful. Visit the Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series page on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Kris also writes a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Follow the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. These first two chapters from the novel Felony Melanie in Pageant Pandemonium stand alone as a short story. In the future, you’ll get fun content about upcoming Felony Melanie novels and other romantic comedy news and links. Or find book 1 at Amazon US or All E-book retailers.

Kris writes for children as Chris Eboch.

Kris Bock

Website
GoodReads Author Page
BookBub

Friday, January 27, 2023

Meet the employees, customers, and cats at the Furrever Friends Cat Café in this #SweetRomance for only 99 cents! #Romance #BookTwitter

Coffee and Crushes at the Cat Café: a Furrever Friends Sweet Romance is only 99 cents! 

“I loved this book so much and absolutely loved the concept of the café.”

Visit the Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series page on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

What do you do when you meet the guy of your dreams? Set him up with your sister, of course.

Kari doesn’t have time for love when she’s opening her new cat café. She’s busy hiring employees, fighting with the health inspector – oh, and welcoming 16 shelter cats. She’s doing this for the cats, the community, and her family. The café will give her sister, Marley, a job worthy of her baking skills.

Then a tattooed military vet wanders in claiming he’s a master baker. Surely Marley will fall for a guy this sweet, this sexy, this tasty.

Colin has other ideas. It’s Kari who makes him want to turn up the heat. But he’s spent the last two years recovering from physical and psychological wounds. Is he really ready for a relationship? He’s not even sure he should commit to Samson, the sweet Siamese cat who steals his heart.

“This was just the sweetest book. The cats were adorable, and I was sorry to see it end. I will definitely be checking out the other books in the series.”

The Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the workers and customers at a small-town cat café, and the adorable cats and kittens looking for their forever homes. Each book is a complete story with a happy ending for one couple. 

I loved this book so much that I purchased the next book in the series, and it is just as sweet!”

Get Lions and Love at the Cat Café, a sweet romance novella, free when you sign up for the Kris Bock email newsletter.

Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. In the humorous Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. Get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material when you sign up for her newsletter. You’ll also get a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café and a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the cat café novels. 

Kris is also writing a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The Felony Melanie series follows the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. The series starts with Felony Melanie in Pageant Pandemonium. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find the books on Amazon US or All E-book retailers.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Happy Book Birthday to Charming the Billionaire Cowboy: The Accidental Billionaire Cowboys book 2 #Romance #ContemporaryRomance #ReadzTule #BookTwitter #BookBuzz

Find the Accidental Billionaire Cowboys series in print or ebook at Amazon US, Amazon UK, B&N/Nook or Kobo.

Who wouldn't want to be a billionaire? Turns out winning the lottery causes as many problems as it solves.

Praise for The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas

I highly recommend this book. I look forward to the next book. Kris has a winning series here.” 

“I can hardly wait for the next in this series.”

Charming the Billionaire Cowboy

For the first time, his cowboy charm seems to backfire…

With his Texas ranching family’s lottery win, TC Tomlinson is finally able to build a ranch with alternative livestock. TC has a lot to prove, starting with his new ostrich herd, so when he catches a beauty scooping up an escaped baby bird, TC chases her down, assuming she wants to meet him for his money.

When Hallie Armstrong
 
sees the injured baby ostrich, she jumps into professional mode. A former vet tech, she’s moved to Last Stand to work at her aunt's wildlife rescue and heal from an attack. She’s skittish of the handsome cowboy, but when he starts to flirt, she decides two can play at this game—the rescue needs fundraising, and TC is an eligible bachelor.

As they brainstorm ideas for a bachelor auction and work to solve the mystery of local sheep attacks, TC finds himself falling for the feisty cowgirl. But when he learns she’s still in danger, his protective instincts threaten to drive the independent Hallie away. Can TC convince Hallie she can have her independence and him too?

Praise 
for The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas

“What a wonderful book! I loved every word of this book and highly recommend it.”

“I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see where these characters go next.”

Find the Accidental Billionaire Cowboys series in print or ebook at Amazon USAmazon UKB&N/Nook or Kobo.

Excerpt:

Hallie drove down the country road between green fields. Nothing looked familiar. Was that because she was lost or because her memory was faulty? She pulled to the side of the road, got out of the car, and looked around. A sudden rustling came from the ditch beside the road. Then an odd trilling noise filled the air. A bird or frog? But the rustling sounded like a large animal.

Hallie headed for the ditch, prepared to race back and dive inside the car if she needed to escape danger.

She stared down at a fluffy ball that rustled the grasses as it moved. It looked like a giant feather duster had come to life. A tiny head bobbed on a long neck. A beak opened and chirped. What was that thing? Some kind of bird, judging by the beak. A large bird, with a body the size of a basketball.

She looked around. No one in sight. So this wasn’t a bizarre prank. She was pretty sure she wasn’t dreaming, since she had the presence of mind to wonder if she was dreaming. Her memory might be shaky, but it had yet to give her hallucinations.

She crouched for a closer look. The animal chirped and tried to get up, but it quickly pitched forward, flapping short wings. It must be caught or injured somehow. She could do something about that. Many animals calmed down if you covered their eyes. That made it easier to handle them. She didn’t have a towel in the car, and on this warm spring day, she hadn’t brought a jacket. Oh well. Hallie peeled off her long-sleeved T-shirt, leaving her in a sturdy sports bra in cheerful purple and turquoise.

Hallie duckwalked into the ditch and tossed her shirt over the creature. She knelt beside the bird and wrapped her shirt around its head, loosely tucking the long sleeves around the neck a few times to hold the shirt in place.

The animal gave a few last pathetic peeps and settled down. She put her arm around its body. The gray-brown feathers were downy, silky against her bare skin, so it must be young. She gently straightened at the waist, still on her knees, revealing the bird’s long legs with knobby knees and two large toes on each foot. It might be young, but it would stand about three feet high. An ostrich? She recalled hearing about an ostrich farm around here.

Well, they apparently weren’t very attentive ostrich farmers, because this little critter had escaped and was far from the herd or flock or whatever ostriches had. It also had a gash on its leg, shallow but long, still oozing blood.

“Okay, let’s get you help.” She rose to her feet with a grunt. The bird must weigh fifty pounds.

She got the squirming bird in the car, dodging its bobbing head. As she shifted toward the driver’s side door, she glanced down the road. An oversized red pickup truck was coming up fast. Hallie hadn’t noticed the truck approaching, and now it was within fifty feet. She slid into the car, yanked the door shut, and turned the ignition.

That truck was almost on top of her. She’d wait for it to pass.

She glared as the shiny red truck pulled past. It was enormous, so apparently somebody felt the need to compensate for something.

The truck swung across the road and stopped in front of her. A door slammed. A tall, lanky cowboy strode around the front of the truck, scowling.

Hallie gave a squeak worthy of the baby ostrich and hit the automatic door lock.

The man stormed up to her door. He had to lean way over to peer in at her. “What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded.

Hallie gaped at him. How was she supposed to answer that? She thought she was minding her own business. 

He rapped on the window. No way was she going to roll it down.

Hallie put the car in reverse. He was blocking the road ahead, so she’d go back the way she came. 

He tried her door handle. Thank goodness she’d locked it.

He knocked on the window again, his fierce face a foot away. “Open up!”

Hallie shook her head vigorously. She eased off the brakes so the car started rolling backward.

He skipped back from the car. Hallie let out a shaky breath and touched the gas. She couldn’t go too fast in reverse, though, or she might back into the ditch. Then she’d really be in trouble.

The angry cowboy ran after her, shouting something.

It took a moment for his words to penetrate.

“Give me back my ostrich!”

Whoops.

Find the Accidental Billionaire Cowboys series in print or ebook at Amazon USAmazon UKB&N/Nook or Kobo.

Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. In the Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona. Get a free cat café novella, mystery stories, and more when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter.

Kris also writes a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The Felony Melanie series follows the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find the books on Amazon US or All E-book retailers.

Monday, January 16, 2023

How to Write a Mystery Series By Lois Winston #amwriting #mystery #BookTwitter

Post a comment for a chance to win a promo code for a free audiobook download of Death by Killer Mop Doll, Book 2 in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.

How to Write a Mystery Series by Lois Winston

I began my career writing romance. I wrote my first mystery as a result of a conversation my agent had with an editor who was looking for a crafting mystery series. Since my day job consisted of designing craft projects for kit manufacturers, craft book publishers, and both craft and women’s magazines, my agent thought I’d be the perfect person to write such a series. Thus was born my critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series.
 
Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but normal deserted magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack’s world the day her husband permanently cashed in his chips in Las Vegas and her comfortable middle-class life crapped out. Now she’s got her husband’s loan shark demanding payment—or else. And along with debt greater than the GNP of Uzbekistan, she’s permanently stuck with her Communist mother-in-law who is often forced to share a bedroom with Anastasia’s mother, a self-proclaimed descendant of Russian nobility.
 
Anastasia’s two teenage sons Alex and Nick (not named after Russian czars); her mother’s cat Catherine the Great; her mother-in-law’s dog Manifesto; and Ralph, the Shakespeare-quoting parrot, all vie for space and attention in Anastasia’s cramped suburban New Jersey home.
 
Did I mention this was a humorous amateur sleuth mystery series?
 
Throughout the series, Anastasia takes on various moonlighting jobs to pay down her debt, only to find herself constantly tripping over dead bodies, forcing her to continue sleuthing.
 
The advice I’m offering is based on my experience. There is no elusive Golden Ticket to Success, but there are pitfalls you can avoid if you know what they are.
 
1. Decide on the type of mystery you want to write.
Do you know the difference between cozy mysteries, amateur sleuth mysteries, traditional mysteries, romantic suspense, romantic mysteries, police procedurals, detective stories, and noir mysteries? If not, educate yourself. Different sub-genres have different conventions and different reader expectations.
 
2. Decide whether you want to write a limited series or an ongoing series.
In a limited series the story arc and characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts develop over a set number of books and are resolved at the end of the last book in the series.
 
An ongoing series features episodic stories that resolve at the end of each book but include the same main characters throughout the series. Plots are independent of each other but can be tied to previous books. Characters introduced in one book may return several books later. In most cases, the main characters continue to grow throughout the series, sometimes experiencing life-altering changes such as marriage, career change, or death of a family member.
 
3. Develop a character who can carry a series over multiple books.
Set long-term goals for your protagonist and place her in different settings to keep your series fresh. Anastasia’s moonlighting enables me to place her in different locations where she stumbles upon other murder victims. It also gives me the chance to introduce different antagonists, murder victims, weapons, and ways in which Anastasia solves the murders, keeping the stories different enough that readers don’t feel as though I’m recycling plots.
 
Even though you end each book with the reader learning whodunit, you want to leave your reader wondering what happens next in the character’s life. One way I’ve done this is by introducing new characters. For example, in Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, the third book in the series, I introduced Anastasia’s deceased husband’s previously unknown half-brother.
 
In Drop Dead Ornaments, the seventh book in the series, I give Anastasia’s older son Alex a girlfriend and create a murder plot that involves her and her father. And of course, there’s the mysterious Zack Barnes, a photojournalist who rented the apartment over Anastasia’s garage in Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun. Even though Anastasia suspects he’s really a government operative, a relationship begins to develop between them as the series progresses.
 
4. Give your protagonist a job conducive to discovering and solving murders.
If you’re writing about a professional investigator, this is a given, but the amateur sleuth needs a career where she isn’t chained to her desk in a cubicle forty hours a week, then goes home to spend her evenings watching TV with only her cat for company. She has to be able to get around to investigate the murders and interact with witnesses and suspects. Having family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers for her to interact with will give you more opportunities for additional plots in future books.
 
If your sleuth travels for her job, you can locate your plots in different locations, keeping the settings fresh and interesting from book to book. Anastasia has solved murders at the magazine where she’s the crafts editor, at the set of a morning TV show where she was a guest, at a convention center where her company was an exhibitor, and in the town where she lives, and on a cruise ship.
 
5. Create your sleuth’s world.
Decide whether your books will take place in a real town or city, a fictional town or city, or a fictionalized version of a real town or city. I’ve set my books in and around New York City and its New Jersey suburbs. I find it easier to keep track of locations when I’m familiar with them. It’s also fairly simple for me to go to the locations to check them out (or it was before I moved to Tennessee!) Some authors will take a real town or city but change the names. Others will create completely fictional locations.
 
If you decide on a fictional location, make it a place your readers will want to continue reading about from book to book. Give the place some unique characteristics. Is it a tourist destination? A commuter town near a big city? A college town? A town with only one industry? A shore town or one nestled in the mountains? Your setting should become an integral part of your series.
 
For fictitious locations create a map to use as a reference while writing your books. You don’t want to make a street one way in one direction in one book and have it going in the other direction two books later. Savvy readers often catch such errors and let you know about them.
 
If you want to set a story in a real town or city you don’t know or don’t know well, do extensive research regarding the location. Don’t just rely on Google Maps. You don’t want to make the mistake of writing about a massive accident involving half a dozen eighteen-wheelers on a roadway where trucks are forbidden.
 
6. Cupcakes, crafts and cats.
Three of the most popular sub-genres of cozy mysteries are culinary cozies, crafting cozies, and pet cozies. Culinary and crafting cozies generally include a recipe or craft project. In pet cozies, the pet becomes a secondary character in the series, one the sleuth will often view as almost human. Sometimes the pet will even play a role in solving the mystery.
 
Even non-pet cozies often feature pets, especially cats and dogs. Editors often insist an author add a cat or dog to the series before offering a contract. In my Anastasia series, Anastasia’s mother owns a cat. Her mother-in-law owns a dog. Both animals mimic their owner’s personalities. Anastasia has inherited Ralph, a Shakespeare-quoting parrot who squawks situation-appropriate passages from The Bard.
 
When planning your series, you need to decide if you’ll follow a trend or buck trends, writing something outside the box. In a crowded market it’s often difficult to break in and find a fan base when you’re competing against well-established series. On the other hand, although publishers will always say they’re looking for something new and fresh, they’re often reticent to take a chance on something different from what they know sells. It’s a definite conundrum.
 
When I began writing the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, I did some research into crafting mysteries. All either featured a craft shop owner, a crafting club, or a crafter, and all concentrated on a single craft—knitting, crochet, scrapbooking, stained glass, etc. I decided to buck the single-craft trend by making Anastasia the crafts editor at a women’s magazine. That way I could feature a different craft in each book.
 
7. BFFs and sidekicks.
Most cozy and amateur sleuth series will have a sidekick that becomes Watson to your protagonist’s Sherlock. This can be a coworker, a relative, a best friend, or a love interest. The sidekick often provides certain character traits that complement your sleuth. In my Empty Nest Mystery Series, which is a modern-day twist on Nick and Nora Charles of the classic Thin Man movies, my sleuth’s college professor husband is forced to tag along to keep her out of trouble when she insists on sticking her nose into murder investigations. But in Anastasia’s world, depending on the book, her sidekicks alternate between several people in her life, including her best friend, magazine food editor Cloris McWerther, and her tenant-turned-love-interest, Zack Barnes.
 
8. Secondary and tertiary characters.
Juggling the number of characters in your sleuth’s world can be a delicate balancing act. Too few characters won’t give you enough possibilities for plots to keep your series going, but too many can become confusing to the reader.
 
Not every character you create needs to be in each book. Some characters may play a major role in only one book or pop up sporadically from time to time. Resist the urge to force a character into a story because you introduced him or her in a previous book. Only bring the character back when it makes sense to the story.
 
When I received a note from a reader wondering if I’d ever bring back Tino Martinelli from Decoupage Can Be Deadly, because she loved the character, I was in the middle of writing Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide. I realized Tino was exactly the character I needed to round out that book’s plot.
 
9. Create a series bible.
If you plan to write a series over many years, it’s essential that you keep accurate track of all series details—descriptions, ages, professions, back-story, relatives, hobbies, street layouts, shops, etc. Don’t rely on memory. Create a database. Each time you add a character, mention a characteristic, or describe a location, add it to the database. Routinely refer to the database to avoid errors.
 
10. Decide how quickly your characters will age.
Most authors write a book a year. Will your characters age a year between each book, or will each book take place days, weeks, or months after the preceding one? This is something you need to decide before you begin writing the second book in your series.
 
If you choose to have your characters age a year with each book, how will aging affect their world? If your sleuth has teenagers, will they go off to college in future books? Is she nearing retirement age? Will she have to deal with aging parents? What about technological advances and current events? Will you incorporate them into future stories?
 
11. Keep a timeline of events.
It’s far too easy to lose track of the time elapsing in your story as you work on it, especially if you’re a writer who often goes back and tweaks scenes. And you can’t always rely on editors catching every mistake you make. The easiest way to avoid such mistakes is to keep a scene calendar for each book in your series. Print out blank calendar pages. Decide on the month and day your story will start. Record the scenes that occur on each day to keep your timeline accurate.
 
12. Don’t leave readers scratching their heads.
It’s important that each book in your series can be read as a standalone. This is important because most bookstores will not carry many or all of your previous titles in a series unless you become a famous bestselling author. If a reader picks up a book from the middle of your series, you don’t want her to feel confused about the characters in your story. You want her to have an enjoyable reading experience, enough so that she’ll search out your prior titles and purchase future ones.
 
Avoid the urge to info-dump, though. It’s not necessary to provide each character’s complete biography and description the first time you introduce him or her in each book. A few carefully worded phrases at appropriate times is all you need to avoid reader confusion.

Guilty as Framed

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 11

 
When an elderly man shows up at the home of reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack, she’s drawn into the unsolved mystery of the greatest art heist in history.
 
Boston mob boss Cormac Murphy has recently been released from prison. He doesn’t believe Anastasia’s assertion that the man he’s looking for doesn’t live at her address and attempts to muscle his way into her home. His efforts are thwarted by Anastasia’s fiancé Zack Barnes.
 
A week later, a stolen SUV containing a dead body appears in Anastasia’s driveway. Anastasia believes Murphy is sending her a message. It’s only the first in a series of alarming incidents, including a mugging, a break-in, another murder, and the discovery of a cache of jewelry and an etching from the largest museum burglary in history.
 
But will Anastasia solve the mystery behind these shocking events before she falls victim to a couple of desperate thugs who will stop at nothing to get what they want?


Lois Winston
USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Learn more about Lois and her books at her website www.loiswinston.com where you can also sign up for her newsletter and follow her on various social media sites.

Post a comment for a chance to win a promo code for a free audiobook download of Death by Killer Mop Doll, Book 3 in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Brenda Whiteside on the setting for her #RomanticSuspense The MacKenzie Chronicles, inspired by a real-life #Arizona destination, Jerome. #BookTwitter #Romance

Welcome guest Brenda Whiteside!

I was born and raised in Arizona and have been in and out of the state all my life. My favorite area of the state is from central to north. We live in the high desert, and we’re only thirty minutes away from the pines of the Mogollon Rim, which means snow in the winter. I’m inspired by this part of Arizona.
 
The setting for The MacKenzie Chronicles is a fictional town, Joshua, Arizona, inspired by a real-life Arizona destination, Jerome. Once dubbed “The Wickedest Town in the West,” the history is rich with tales of mining, brothels, and ghosts from another century. Add to that history the hippie settlers of the 1960s and 1970s who revitalized the crumbling town into an art mecca. 

The streets are stacked on the side of the mountain. There’s a jail still intact that literally slid down the mountain decades ago. Wine, food, ruins, and adventure await the tourist. The town looks much the same as it did in the early part of the twentieth century. If you get to Arizona, you really must visit Jerome.

Secrets of The Ravine is the first book in The MacKenzie Chronicles. In this multi-layered romantic suspense story, Magpie is driven to learn the truth about a decades-old murder that could find her father the murderer and reconnect her with a dead love. The reader is immersed in Magpie’s present, as well as her father’s past, as she scours a twisty path that could end with her the next victim.
 
Magpie MacKenzie doesn’t believe in coincidence. But when a ringer for her long-dead love walks into her life the same day skeletal remains are unearthed, she’s convinced the universe is sending her a message. Fearing her father will be accused of the crime, Magpie will do whatever it takes to find the truth. Even risk her heart on this familiar stranger who may hold critical clues to the unsolved mystery.
 
While visiting purportedly haunted Joshua, Arizona, lawyer Zac Peartree is instantly drawn to the free-wheeling shopkeeper. His attraction propels him on a collision course between past and present, where digging up secrets could prove fatal.
 
Using decades-old clues and Zac’s déjà vu moments, the couple embark on a treacherous race to prove her father’s innocence before Magpie becomes the next victim. Can they save her from a murderous fate, or will love be the final casualty?
 
There is something for everyone in this slightly magical mystery romance. And yes, there is a logical explanation for the doppelganger. But you will have to read Secrets of the Ravine to find out.

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Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, romance, and cozy mystery. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart and won't discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes. Visit Brenda at https://www.brendawhiteside.com or https://www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Who wouldn't want to be a billionaire? One Texas ranching family learns the pitfalls in the Accidental Billionaire Cowboys series: #Cowboys #Romance #ContemporaryRomance #ReadzTule #BookTwitter #BookBuzz

Charming the Billionaire Cowboy: The Accidental Billionaire Cowboys series

For the first time, his cowboy charm seems to backfire…

With his Texas ranching family’s lottery win, TC Tomlinson is finally able to build a ranch with alternative livestock. TC has a lot to prove, starting with his new ostrich herd, so when he catches a beauty scooping up an escaped baby bird, TC chases her down, assuming she wants to meet him for his money.

When Hallie Armstrong
 
sees the injured baby ostrich, she jumps into professional mode. A former vet tech, she’s moved to Last Stand to work at her aunt's wildlife rescue and heal from an attack. She’s skittish of the handsome cowboy, but when he starts to flirt, she decides two can play at this game—the rescue needs fundraising, and TC is an eligible bachelor.

As they brainstorm ideas for a bachelor auction and work to solve the mystery of local sheep attacks, TC finds himself falling for the feisty cowgirl. But when he learns she’s still in danger, his protective instincts threaten to drive the independent Hallie away. Can TC convince Hallie she can have her independence and him too?


RELEASE DATE: Jan 23 (preorder now!)

BookBub reviews: 

“A charming story of a cute couple destined for love.” 

“[It] grabbed me right away” 

“It was such good writing to have me caring about Hallie so much.”  

Chapter 1

     Hallie drove down the country road between green fields. Nothing looked familiar. Was that because she was lost or because her memory was faulty? She pulled to the side of the road and stopped. She tipped her head back and closed her eyes. It was fine. She had GPS. She could call for help if necessary. No reason to blink away tears. No reason to get upset or frustrated.
     Her brain was healing. Each week, she got a little better. That didn’t mean she’d never have setbacks. Anyway, maybe she was simply lost. She’d only moved to Last Stand a week ago.
     Hallie got out of the car and looked around. A sudden rustling came from the ditch beside the road. Then an odd trilling noise filled the air. A bird or frog? But the rustling sounded like a large animal.
     Hallie headed for the ditch, prepared to race back and dive inside the car if she needed to escape danger.
     She stared down at a fluffy ball that rustled the grasses as it moved. It looked like a giant feather duster had come to life. A tiny head bobbed on a long neck. A beak opened and chirped. What was that thing? Some kind of bird, judging by the beak. A large bird, with a body the size of a basketball.
     She looked around. No one in sight. So this wasn’t a bizarre prank. She was pretty sure she wasn’t dreaming, since she had the presence of mind to wonder if she was dreaming. Her memory might be shaky, but it had yet to give her hallucinations.
     She crouched for a closer look. The animal chirped and tried to get up, but it quickly pitched forward, flapping short wings. It must be caught or injured somehow. She could do something about that. Many animals calmed down if you covered their eyes. That made it easier to handle them. She didn’t have a towel in the car, and on this warm spring day, she hadn’t brought a jacket. Oh well. Hallie peeled off her long-sleeved T-shirt, leaving her in a sturdy sports bra in cheerful purple and turquoise.
     Hallie duckwalked into the ditch and tossed her shirt over the creature. She knelt beside the bird and wrapped her shirt around its head, loosely tucking the long sleeves around the neck a few times to hold the shirt in place.
     The animal gave a few last pathetic peeps and settled down. She put her arm around its body. The gray-brown feathers were downy, silky against her bare skin, so it must be young. She gently straightened at the waist, still on her knees, revealing the bird’s long legs with knobby knees and two large toes on each foot. It might be young, but it would stand about three feet high. An ostrich? She’d never seen a young one, but she thought she recalled hearing about an ostrich farm around here.
     Well, they apparently weren’t very attentive ostrich farmers, because this little critter had escaped and was far from the herd or flock or whatever ostriches had. It also had a gash on its leg, shallow but long, still oozing blood. Hallie didn’t have first aid material with her, but her aunt had plenty.
     “Okay, let’s get you help.” She rose to her feet with a grunt. The bird must weigh fifty pounds.
     She got the squirming bird in the car, dodging its bobbing head. Its beak might be covered with cloth, but it would hurt if it hit her. At least the thrashing hadn’t opened its gash any further. She glanced down at her jeans, which were covered with baby ostrich poop. It figured.
     As she shifted toward the driver’s side door, she glanced down the road. An oversized red pickup truck was coming up fast. Hallie hadn’t noticed the truck approaching, and now it was within fifty feet. She slid into the car, yanked the door shut, and turned the ignition.
     That truck was almost on top of her. She’d wait for it to pass.
     She glared as the shiny red truck pulled past. It was enormous, so apparently somebody felt the need to compensate for something.
     The truck swung across the road and stopped in front of her. A door slammed. A tall, lanky cowboy strode around the front of the truck, scowling.
     Hallie gave a squeak worthy of the baby ostrich and hit the automatic door lock.
     The man stormed up to her door. He had to lean way over to peer in at her. “What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded.
     Hallie gaped at him. How was she supposed to answer that? She thought she was minding her own business. Granted, she was lost, maybe, but she didn’t want to ask this angry man for directions. She was pretty sure she hadn’t passed any signs marking this as a private road.
     He rapped on the window. No way was she going to roll it down.
     Hallie put the car in reverse. He was blocking the road ahead, so she’d go back the way she came. But she’d have to back up far enough to get away from him and then try to turn around on the narrow dirt road. His truck was bigger, so he’d take longer to make a turn, unless he simply drove into the ditch and through the edge of the field, which he probably could do with those big tires.
     He tried her door handle. Thank goodness she’d locked it.
     He knocked on the window again, his fierce face a foot away. “Open up!”
     Hallie shook her head vigorously.
     She eased off the brakes so the car started rolling backward. It was tempting to go fast and hope she rolled over his foot. That would distract him for a minute or two! But she couldn’t bring herself to hurt a stranger who had so far only yelled and scowled.
     He skipped back from the car. Hallie let out a shaky breath and touched the gas. She couldn’t go too fast in reverse, though, or she might back into the ditch. Then she’d really be in trouble.
     The angry cowboy ran after her, shouting something.
     It took a moment for his words to penetrate.
     “Give me back my ostrich!”
     Whoops.

The Accidental Billionaire Cowboys seriesWhen the Tomlinsons win a fortune in the lottery, the formerly tight-knit Texas ranching family is suddenly on edge. Everything changes when you’re rich, and often not for the better. Can these cowboy brothers find love when everyone seems to want something else from them?

Praise for book 1, The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas:

“I highly recommend this book. I look forward to the next book. Kris has a winning series here.” 

“What a wonderful book! I loved every word of this book and highly recommend it.”

“I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see where these characters go next.”

“I can hardly wait for the next in this series. I highly recommend this clean, romantic Christmas story.”

Kris Bock
writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. In the Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona. Get a free cat café novella, mystery stories, and more when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter.
 
Kris also writes a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The Felony Melanie series follows the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find the books on Amazon US or All E-book retailers.
 
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