BLOG TOUR – Murder is a Dirty Business – GUEST POST

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Welcome! Today I’m featuring a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Murder is a Dirty Business, the first in the new A Grime Pays series by Tricia L. Sanders.  Ms. Sanders has graciously provided a guest post for today. Information about the book, including purchase links and a Rafflecopter Giveaway are below the guest post!  Enjoy!

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Guest Post from Tricia L. Sanders

Hi and thanks for having me. I’m kicking off 2018 with a recommitment to my passions. I’m identifying my goals and finding ways to make them happen.

My evenings have always been about the R’s: relaxing, rejuvenating, and re-grouping. Basically, sitting around the house and getting some much-needed rest. After the hustle-bustle of the day, I deserved it. On most evenings you could find me curled up with a book on the craft of writing or the latest list of upcoming conferences and a steaming cup of Earl Grey. Each new year my resolution was the same, write my novel. My goal was to get those pesky characters out of my head and onto a page. However, I wasn’t working toward my goal.

One good writing book would give way to another and another and another. Rationalizing the need to study up on dialogue, I’d rush out and find a book on creating engaging dialogue. When I turned to the last page, I’d be giddy with excitement. Now I knew how my characters should converse. But what if my plot stalled, or my protagonist was weak, or my pacing was off? Get the drift. My shelves overflowed with writing books, but not one novel in my bookcase with my name on it.

Then one November, I accepted a challenge along with a few members of my critique group—write 50,000 words in a month. I knew 50,000 words did not a novel make, but it was a darn good start. On the surface it sounded easy—simply write a little over 1600 words per day for thirty days. I could whip out a 2000-word essay in no time flat, so that should be easy. Right?

Oh, boy! Talk about the need for willpower.

Before I began, I made a schedule of writing times, keeping in mind the Thanksgiving holiday. I taped a huge sign over my computer that said, “NOVEL OR BUST.” I told everyone I knew about my mission—nothing like adding a little peer pressure. Every night after supper, I eyed my comfortable chair and the writing book du jour, but instead raced up the stairs to work on my novel. And you know what?  I did it. On the last day of November at 6:01 p.m., I reached my goal. My novel consisted of 50,003 words.

Was it complete? No, but it had a beginning, a middle and an end. Had I given up my “R” evenings? No, I still had work to do, but instead of relaxing, I revised. Instead of rejuvenating, I re-wrote. And in the end, re-grouping gave way to rejoicing! My dream of publication came true in November of 2017. I haven’t stopped reading my books on the craft of writing or attending workshops and conferences, but I put my passion first.

A wise friend once asked me, “If it doesn’t pertain to your passion, why are you doing it?” I ask myself that all the time and it has become my mantra. The best way to keep my passion in mind, is to display it prominently in my office, on the screen saver of my laptop, phone, and tablet, and with a sticky note on my mirror and on the fridge. When I find myself procrastinating, I only need look at my passion to get me back on track. I challenge each of you to work toward your passion this year, whether it’s writing, painting, organizing your life, or traveling. Is this the year your dream comes true?

My 2018 goals are to continue marketing my 2017 novel, publish my second novel, travel, and attend my first RWA conference. When I find myself cleaning out a closet, or lollygagging on the sofa, I ask myself if this is helping me achieve my goal.

Define it and live it.

I hope 2018 brings great rewards for you.

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Murder is a Dirty Business
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Soul Mate Publishing, LLC (November 15, 2017)
Print Length: 254 pages
ASIN: B076KVQ4WR

Purchase Links: Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

When Cece Cavanaugh’s husband empties their joint bank account, steals her designer luggage, and runs off with a younger woman, Cece must decide whether to ask her manipulative mother-in-law for a handout or get a job. Choosing the easier path, Cece lands a job cleaning a crime scene where a high school coach was murdered. When his wife is implicated—a young woman Cece practically raised—Cece finds herself mopping floors, balancing an empty checkbook, and ferreting out a killer.

Amid all this messy business, Cece bumps heads with a handsome detective. She tries to ignore her growing attraction to the detective, but he gives new meaning to the term “hot flash.”

After she stumbles onto a clue that could vindicate her friend, her elation turns to panic when she haphazardly confronts the killer. Through the danger and romance, Cece discovers self-reliance and inner strength.

And that crime—at least, someone else’s—does pay the bills.

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Tricia L. Sanders writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.

Author Links

Website: http://www.triciasanders.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36458199-murder-is-a-dirty-business

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXRJSRSmTjg

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BLOG TOUR – Clairvoyant & Present Danger – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Welcome! Today’s blog post is part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Clairvoyant and Present Danger, a Bay Island Psychic Mystery by Lena Gregory. I’m featuring an interview with the author. Information about the book, purchase links, and a rafflecopter giveaway will be down underneath the interview!

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Author Interview

First, let me say a big “thank you” to Ms. Gregory for being willing to answer my questions!

Q1: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?  Do you enjoy your day job?  

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: When my middle son was diagnosed with autism and needed speech, occupational and physical therapy five days a week, I started cleaning houses to allow me the flexibility I needed to work around his schedule. As he got older, I continued to clean, and I do enjoy it. I’ve had most of my customers for more than ten years, so I could follow the routine of cleaning their houses in my sleep. It gives me time to let my mind wander and come up with new story ideas. More than one person has been killed off while I was working! Plus, it’s great exercise. I’d go crazy if I had to sit still all day.


Q2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: I really need quiet to write, which is rare in my house. I like to write early in the morning, before everyone else gets up, or very late at night. I aim for a thousand words a day, but often don’t meet that goal when other stuff is going on.


Q3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reins” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: I used to just sit down and write, which I enjoyed. Then, when I started contracting more books, I had to provide outlines ahead of time. So, now, my characters do still hijack the story, but I do a rough outline of the story before I start writing. Though I don’t decide who the killer is until after everything else but the last two chapters are written, and it’s still a toss-up whether or not the story will actually follow the outline.

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Q4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: I originally wrote romance and young adult fantasy, and while I did manage to contract everything I wrote, I could probably wallpaper my office with rejections. I never did think about quitting, though. I simply took each thing that came, the good and the bad, as a learning experience. I was fortunate to have worked with some wonderful editors who really taught me a lot. When my agent suggested I try writing cozies, I figured why not, and I found my niche.


Q5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: For the past few years, most of my books have been contracted before they were written and had a deadline, so I don’t usually have time to set them aside. When time allows, I do use a beta reader, then my agent will sometimes read, then my editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader.


Q6: A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: There was no real-life inspiration for the villain in Clairvoyant and Present Danger, though I do tend to give my villains qualities I don’t like in people. I have to admit, though, I do enjoy writing the villains, giving them both good and bad qualities, so it’s not always immediately obvious who’s the bad guy.

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Q7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional? 

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: Most of my characters are purely fictional, but the heroine in my young adult fantasy series is largely based on my daughter who was in her early twenties when I wrote it. Their personalities are very similar.


Q8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: Scarlett O’Hara! Gone With the Wind has been one of my favorite books since I was a kid, and I’d love to write a continuation of her story. She gripped me so much that I’d love to see where she ended up.


Q9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: I haven’t had a lot of time to read lately, but some of my favorite books, that I fall back on when time is limited, include Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter books.

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Q10: What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: Cozy mysteries in general have had the most influence, ever since I was a child and ran to find a comfy spot to read each time the newest Nancy Drew book came in the mail.


Q11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: I’d have to choose Bee Maxwell from the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries series. I’d love to just hang out with him, make the rounds to catch up on good gossip, try on some of the gowns he’s designed, and definitely go for coffee and donuts.


Q12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?

Ms. Gregory’s Answer: If my book is on tour, I always read my reviews. Good or bad, I always respond with a thank you, because I appreciate the time and effort someone put into reading and reviewing my books. Other than that, I read them if someone tags me on social media or if I come across one somewhere, but they don’t usually influence what I write.

Thank you again to Ms. Gregory for being willing to answer my questions!!

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Clairvoyant and Present Danger (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Berkley (February 6, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282779
E-Book ASIN: B071L5C99M

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Whoever said that dead men tell no tales has never met Cass Donnovan…

Cass has always relied on her abilities to guide her, but after communications with a ghost land her in the middle of a murder investigation, she has to wonder if her gifts are really more a curse.

Cass knows she is meant to help track down the killer–much to the chagrin of local law enforcement–when the apparition leads her to a dead body on the beach near her psychic shop, Mystical Musings. But the police are not the only ones who wish Cass would stick to reading palms. Someone is trying to scare her off, and it will take all her powers of premonition to catch the killer before Cass herself becomes the next victim…


Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true

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

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BLOG TOUR – The Phantom of Oz – INTERVIEW

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Welcome! Today’s Great Escapes Virtual Book Touris for The Phantom of Oz by Cindy Brown. I’m bringing you a spotlight on the book and an interview with the author! I’ll be posting the interview first with the spotlight on the book underneath the interview! Enjoy!

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Interview with Cindy Brown

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Q1) Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?  Do you enjoy your day job?

Ms. Brown’s Answer:  I do have a day job—as a writer. I’m a ghostwriter (nonfiction only), and a content and copywriter.  I love my job.  I work with really great people, and I get to learn things and play with words. It can be difficult, though, to sit at a screen all day (especially because I’m an extrovert), and to give my brain enough space for my fiction writing.


Q2) Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

Ms. Brown’s Answer:  I write every day, though life does interrupt sometimes. I do set deadlines for myself, but have to be a little bit flexible with them so I don’t get obsessed.  I sometimes like to listen to Baroque music when I write, and there’s a great app called Coffeetivity which sounds like the murmur of a coffee shop.  It’s supposed to aid creativity, and I like the energy it brings to the room.


Q3) When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reins” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?

Ms. Brown’s Answer: I wouldn’t say the characters hijack the story, but sometimes they surprise me. Sometimes a new character will pop into the story, too, one that I didn’t see coming. Before starting the book, I do a lot of character analysis, and I make sure I know the major points of the story.  I’m a former playwright, so I use a three-act dramatic structure to create an outline. But, things always change as I write—sometimes in a big way.

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Q4) How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

Ms. Brown’s Answer:  It took a couple of years and two major rewrites before I sold Macdeath to Henery Press. I think a couple of things raised me out of the slush pile and kept me going:

  • First of all, those rewrites: When agents told me why the book wasn’t marketable, I listened, and I changed the book drastically.
  • When I found out that Sue Grafton was judging the Words with Jam First Page contest, I entered, using the first page from The Sound of Murder. I won third place, and was so excited I woke up my husband with my yelling. That award looked good in my query letter.
  • I kept learning. I read, and went to workshops and conferences. At one of those workshops, Rhys Bowen offered to blurb my book—that also looked great in my query letter.  At another, I heard Kendel Lynn of Henery Press speak. I really liked her energy and Henery’s books, so I pitched to her once I got home.

Q5) In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

Ms. Brown’s Answer: I usually do three revisions before sending it to my editor, then there are two more after that. I rely heavily on readers—they see things I can’t.  I belong to a writing critique group,  and I also use beta readers for each book.  I would love to set my books aside for awhile during the process, but my deadlines are pretty tight


Q6) A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

Ms. Brown’s Answer: Usually my villains are mash-ups of people who piss me off (scammers, narcissists, greed-heads—you get the idea), but the one of the villains in The Phantom of Oz is based on a reality TV star I read about in a gossip magazine. I don’t want to say who—that seems a little mean.

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Q7) Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?

Ms. Brown’s Answer: The characters are truly fictional.  They sometimes have mannerisms or attributes of real people, but I find it distracting to base a character on someone I know. I can’t even name major characters after people I know well, though sometimes I do my friends’ names in cameo appearances.


Q8) If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?

Ms. Brown’s Answer: I did get to write about one of my heroes! Even though she’s dead, Annie Oakley plays a major role in Ivy Get Your Gun.  Annie was an amazing woman who raised her family out of poverty single-handedly when she was just a teenager, went on to be the most famous woman in the world,  and never lost her modesty,  kindness, and sense of fairness.


Q9) What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Brown’s Answer: I loved Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty—great characters, a gripping plot, and full of humor and heart. I’m also a big fan of anything by Louise Penny, Tana French, and Elizabeth George.

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Q10) What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Brown’s Answer: That’s a tough one. I’m a fast reader, and I always have a book going, so I’ve read thousands of books. Shakespeare has been a major influence—not just with my writing, but with life—I really appreciate his insights into humanity.


Q11) If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day? 

Ms. Brown’s Answer: I’d hang out with Ivy. We’d meet up for lunch (we’re both late sleepers), grab good cheap Mexican food at Filiberto’s drive-through, pick up her brother Cody, and take the food to Encanto Park, where we’d picnic. We’d laze around and feed the ducks, then drop Cody off at his group home, check out one of the funky art galleries in downtown Phoenix before eating dinner and seeing a show. After the show, we’d go out with the cast for drinks (Ivy would know someone in the play—the theatre community is small).


Q12) Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?

Ms. Brown’s Answer: Someone once told me that humans tend to remember the negative, not the positive.  It’s certainly true with me. I was successful as an actor, with a lot of good reviews, but of course, the one that sticks in my head is the worst one.  So now as a writer, I have my husband read my reviews. If they’re good, he’ll let me know and I’ll read them.  If they’re bad, I’ll ask him to let me know about any constructive criticism. I’m sure I’ve incorporated some of that feedback into my writing, but I can’t say what. Everything gets put in that into that giant melting pot that’s my subconscious mind.

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About the Book

The Phantom of Oz (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (January 30, 2018)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112924
E-Book ASIN: B0772Z1CSP

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Creepy munchkins. A mysterious phantom. And a real Wicked Witch. Are you ready for it?

Actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows has been hired to uncover the cause of the creepy accidents that plague the roadshow The Wizard: A Space OZpera and find out who dropped a chandelier on the Wicked Witch of the East.

Was it the ghost who haunts the Grand Phoenician Theatre? A “wicked witch” in the cast? Or is it someone—or something—more sinister?

It’s Ivy’s most personal case so far.

Her best friend Candy, who’s touring with the show, is caught in a downward spiral of self-destruction, and is in more danger than she knows.

To save her friend and the show, Ivy must answer even tougher questions: Do spirits really exist? What is real beauty? What does friendship mean?

Ivy needs to learn the answers, and fast—before Candy reaches the point of no return.

Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:

MACDEATH (#1)
THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2)
OLIVER TWISTED (#3)
IVY GET YOUR GUN (#4)
The Phantom of Oz (#5)

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About the Author

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

Author Links

Website & Blog: www.cindybrownwriter.com

Twitter handle: @friendlybrown

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Brown-author/288210721356802?ref=hl

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BLOG TOUR – The Vanished Bride of Northfield House – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

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Welcome! Today’s Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour is for The Vanished Bride of Northfield House by Phyllis M. Newman.  Ms. Newman was gracious enough to provide a guest post for my blog today. I’ll provide information about the book and the rafflecopter giveaway after the guest post! Enjoy!

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WRITING – ONE STEP AT A TIME

It’s a bad day when the only thing I’ve written is a grocery list!

Most authors have been warned not to wait until ‘the mood strikes’ to create. The general consensus in the writing community is that waiting is a surefire way to never get anything accomplished. To avoid this, I follow the practice of writing every day, even if it is only for twenty minutes. (Truthfully, I have sometimes done my most interesting work during these short spurts!)

I sit at the computer and compose daily, even if I have no clear ideas or goals about my project. I might start with penning interesting scenes, unusual characters and their interaction with others, or descriptions of places. I love to create mood, intrigue, or romantic interludes. When I do this, it leads me to an idea for the plot, then another. This is always fun for me, to see where just fooling around takes me.

But once I have started a project, I find myself thinking of my story and my characters all the time. I keep a small notebook with me to jot down ideas, words, and phrases that I will want to use. Younger writers will no doubt use their phones or other electronic devices for this purpose (I have never gotten beyond the pure pleasure of writing cursive, pen in hand, on paper.)

And I also go to group …

If you want to develop your very best work, you do it with the help of a group! Creditable writing that resonates with the reader is done best with the assistance of a dedicated writing group.

I belong to a merry little band of colleagues called Company of Writers, who go well beyond grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure in making corrections and recommendations. They communicate what they see (or, often, don’t see) in the mood, arc of the story, conflict, plot and character development.

I don’t always see it their way, or take all of their advice, but they encourage me and spur me on to thinking through trouble spots I don’t even notice. I work harder and better with their advice and support. They take my rough stones and polish them into real gems.

My reward for my daily effort and the assistance of Company of Writers is a finished manuscript, THE VANISHED BRIDE OF NORTHFIELD HOUSE.  And you can bet that sometime today I will sit down and see where my minimum of 20 minutes takes me next!

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The Vanished Bride of Northfield House

Gothic Mystery
1st in Series
Date of Release January 26, 2018
Cup of Tea Books
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939403452
Digital ASIN: B0791MQVBM
Purchase Link: Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

England, 1922  Times are hard. Anne Chatham is a clever, modest young woman with little money, no prospects for marriage, and a never-shared secret—she can see spirits.

Anne finds employment as a typist at Northfield House, the grand country manor of the Wellington family. Her employer, the wheelchair-bound Mr. Wellington, is kindly. His haughty wife is not. He has two handsome sons, the wry and dashing Thomas and the dark and somber Owen.

Anne feels sure her prayers have been heard. Until the terrifying night, she stumbles upon a tortured spirit roaming the dark halls of Northfield, a spirit that only she can see.

In a search for answers, she finds herself drawn to Owen as they unearth a tragic story from the Wellington family’s past—a beautiful young bride gone missing on her wedding day.

Then tragedy strikes again on the night of a glittering masquerade ball…

Phyllis M Newman turned to writing mysteries after a career in finance and human resources. She lives in Columbus, Ohio in a big house with a weed-filled yard, three strong-willed cats, and a husband that’s easy on the eyes.

Author webpage www.readphyllismnewman.com

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

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BLOG TOUR – Murder at Fantasia Fair – GUEST POST

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Greetings! Today’s Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour is for Murder at Fantasia Fair, the 2nd book in the Provincetown Mystery series by Jeannette de Beauvoir. Ms. de Beauvoir has generously provided a small guest post about the book and an excerpt from it. Purchase links and Rafflecopter Giveaway link will be below the excerpt. Enjoy!

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Guest Post

Provincetown is a village on a small spit of land in the Atlantic Ocean that has fewer than 2,000 residents in the winter—and over 60,000 in the summer. You just know that with that kind of change in demographics, something untoward might happen… and, of course, it does!

That’s the premise behind my Provincetown Mystery series, stories that take place during the seaside town’s famous “theme weeks,” when Ptown is overrun with all sorts of holidaying folks, from Family Week to the Portuguese festival and beyond.

Wedding consultant Sydney Riley is in the thick of it, and in the second book in the series, Murder at Fantasia Fair, she has to unravel the mystery of who put the knife in the transgender woman’s back… before that person takes aim at her as well. Sydney’s an integral part of her beloved Provincetown and navigates its various populations—straight and gay, old and young, literary personas and party animals—with aplomb and a sense of humor that (some would say way too often!) verges on the sarcastic.

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The inn looked fantastic: I had to give Glenn that. Well, it had always looked fantastic, but there was a certain gaiety about the place today that had me humming the moment I got in. Rachel Parsons, the coordinator for Fantasia Fair, was standing beside the front desk, calmly ticking off items on a clipboard. I tapped her on the shoulder. “Hey, Rachel.”

She glanced at me. “Good morning, Sydney,” she said. “You look awful.”

“Thanks ever so much,” I said sourly. “Couldn’t sleep.”

“They make pills for that sort of thing nowadays,” she observed, her eyes back on her paperwork.

None that are available at three in the morning.”

She glanced at me, amused. “You should live in New York City,” she said. “There’s nothing that you can’t get at three in the morning there.”

“Thanks, but no thanks.” Provincetown’s just the right size for me. In the winter I can go to the Stop & Shop and recognize everybody I see there. In the summer the town is flooded with visitors; and, in some way or another, most of us who live here year-round make our livings catering to those visitors. Sometimes I think it’s the contrast between the two seasons that’s most appealing. “Anyway, my cat would have kept me awake even with pills. He snores.”

“Cats snore?” She stared at me, momentarily distracted. “Who knew?”

“Stick with me. I’ll fill your head with all sorts of useless facts.” I slid past the counter to the space where I worked, tucked aside from the day-to-day business of the inn: a roll top desk, a very big calendar, and a wastepaper basket. My domain, such as it was. “Anyone arrive yet?”

“Heavens, yes,” Rachel said. “The meet-and-greet isn’t until six o’clock tonight, it always is, but that’s never stopped people from getting here early, and already there are about a million questions.”

I sat down and opened my laptop. “You must be used to it,” I said.

She sighed. “Yes, I suppose I must.”

I looked up at her. Rachel is tall—well, many trans women are, having begun life as males—and seemed even taller from where I was sitting. “You suppose you must? That doesn’t sound so positive. Isn’t that your job?”

“Of course it is. But sometimes I feel like, gosh, maybe they can just look at the schedule I hand them, or even go all-out and Google something for themselves. How far to the Monument?” She rolled her eyes. “How far is it? You can see the frigging Monument from here.”

“Ah, that kind of question,” I said, nodding sagely. “Welcome to my world.” I grinned. “Last week, someone asked me what we do with the Monument in the winter. I wanted to say that we roll it up and put it in storage.”

Rachel laughed. “Tourists. Gotta love them.”

“Well, that, or starve,” I said cheerfully.

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Purchase Links/Goodreads/Rafflecopter

Murder at Fantasia Fair: A Provincetown Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
HomePort Press (September 28, 2017)
Paperback: 282 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0999245125
E-Book ASIN: B075ZY26XQ

Purchase Link – Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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