BLOG TOUR – A Cajun Christmas Killing – GUEST POST

cajun-christmas-killing-large-banner-NEW-640

Hello! Today I’m happy to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for the novel A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron. Ms. Byron sent me a guest post to share with you. Links to the book on Goodreads and purchase links can be found at the end of the post.

Long tree branch with cluster of two pinecones and evergreen stems at the right end of the line
©Graphic Garden

Ellen Byron’s Guest Post

I’m not just a mystery author, I’m a mystery reader. In a big way. I read pretty much all of Agatha Christie’s novels by the time I was fourteen. My favorite current authors are Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear, Rhys Bowen, and G.M. Maliet, to name just a few. I try to read one book by every mystery author I befriend, so my TBR is through the roof! Well, through the virtual roof since I’m trying to adapt to a Kindle to save space and money. But my all-time favorite book is a classic – Wuthering Heights. I spent a good number of years with a literary crush on Heathcliff. Until recently, that is…

 Here’s how I came upon the book. When I was a moody, disaffected teen who could have used a heavy dose of anti-depressants, my family vacationed in Vermont. We eventually happened upon The Haunted Mansion Bookshop. Housed in a spooky Victorian home across from a cemetery, the used bookstore was run by a man with only one arm. As I wandered through the dusty, packed aisles, the one-armed man approached me and used his remaining arm to hand me a book. “I think you’ll like this,” he said. The book was Emily Bronte’s classic tale of passion, Wuthering Heights, and boy, was he right. Emily Bronte’s gothic romance blew me away. I fell madly in love with Heathcliff, the passionate, brooding breakout star of the novel. Could there be a hotter literary hottie? Not to fourteen-year-old me.

But my attitude toward Heathcliff recently changed. I re-read Wuthering Heights because I wanted to use my personal obsession with the book as back story for a character. And the way-older-than fourteen-year-old-me had a completely different reaction to the original anti-hero. Heathcliff is a horrible human being! He’s physically and emotionally abusive, callous, cruel, and basically a stalker. I realized he made a terrible role model for sexy male love interests in my books. It was sending the wrong message to my characters and readers. So Bo Durand, the eye candy in my debut novel, Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery, may look a little like Heathcliff with his jet-black hair and deep brown eyes, but he’s sensitive and kind. Women attracted to him had better be prepared to take a back seat to Bo’s autistic son, Xander, the light of the divorced detective’s life.

Still, Emily Bronte’s passionate prose never ceases to move me. And when you’re together as long as Heathcliff and I were, you can’t just go cold turkey on each other. He’ll still color my characters.  My men will always be a little mysterious. Occasionally, one or two may brood. I could never do a total 180 on the relationship because then the men in my books could become something that Heathcliff never was: boring.

Long tree branch with cluster of two pinecones and evergreen stems at the right end of the line
©Graphic Garden

WRITING FOR TELEVISION VERSUS WRITING MYSTERIES

I’ve been a television writer for (puts hand over mouth to hide how long) years. Mostly I’ve written for sitcoms like WINGS and JUST SHOOT ME. I recently finished a lengthy gig writing the animated Nickelodeon series, FAIRLY ODD PARENTS and BUNSEN IS A BEAST. I’ve written pilots for all the major networks and some cable ones as well. People often ask me what the difference is between writing for television and writing mysteries The answer? Everything.

First of all, I have a partner for writing television – we’re a female writer/producer team and that’s how we’re marketed by our reps. My CAJUN COUNTRY MYSTERY series is totally my own thing. But if I sold it to a network or studio, my writing partner and I would pen the script adaption of it together.

Writing for television is a social occupation. Writing novels is solitary. Although I’ve done dramas, my career has mainly been in comedy, so I’ll focus on that. As a sitcom writer-producer, I’m part of a staff that can be anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen or more writers offering various levels experience. I’ve worked on staffs that have fifteen writers. We work as a room to break stories. With most shows, once a story is broken, it’s assigned to someone on staff who goes off and writes a first draft. If there’s time in the production schedule, the writer will get notes and do a second draft. The entire staff then punches up the script, adding jokes, fixing story problems, etc.

When you’re in production, you’ll have three trains running – a story train, a production train, and a rewrite train. Multi-camera shows like BIG BANG THEORY are almost like plays. You go to run-throughs, and then come back to the writers room to rewrite based on what worked and what didn’t. There’s a studio run-through and a network run-through, and you have to address the notes given by the various executives. Then you shoot the show before a live audience. Sidebar: (BIG BANG THEORY follows a model where scripts are group-written in the room by the staff.)

My mysteries are totally my babies until they go to the publisher. It’s just my computer and me until I have a draft I want to share with beta reader friends. Once that’s polished, I send it to the publisher, who responds with developmental and copy-edit notes. I get to revise and polish up until the book goes to print – and now with e-books, I’ve even made changes a year after publication!

I love having the combination of both writing experiences in my life. It provides a wonderful balance, and exercises different parts of my brain. Have I mentioned I also write plays and am a freelance journalist? But we’ll save that for another post…

Long tree branch with cluster of two pinecones and evergreen stems at the right end of the line
©Graphic Garden

Thank you for joining me today for a stop on the Great Escape Virtual Book Tour for A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron! Below are the purchase links, a link to Goodreads, the Rafflecopter Giveaway, and the Author’s Links. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, click on the banner at the very end and that will take you to the main tour page which will provide you with a list of tour participants.

CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING

Add to Goodreads button

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Author’s Links

 

cajun christmas killing large banner358

 

 

BLOG TOUR – Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang – SPOTLIGHT

Today I’m happy to bring you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for J.R. Ripley’s Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang, which is the 5th book in the Bird Lover’s Mystery series.

line of 5 birds' nests with 5 eggs inside each
© Graphic Garden


Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 247 pages
ASIN: B01MT0HN6F

 

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

As Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms guides a halfhearted birding group around Ruby Lake, rumors soon start flying about the annual Fall Festival’s classic car and tractor show. Local eccentric Chick Sherman—boasting the hottest ride in town—has ruffled feathers by mysteriously entering the contest, and curious Amy hatches a plan to sneak a glimpse at the phantom automobile before the big event kicks off . . .

But competition turns deadly when Amy finally spots the sleek ’56 El Morocco—and it’s on top of Chick’s very dead body. With her neighbor and business partner framed as the murderer and priceless Audubon prints suddenly missing from Chick’s home, only Amy can identify the telltale markings of a killer before another hapless victim is plucked from the flock . . .

alternating line of short green 6-hole birdhouse, short blue & red 1-hole birdhouse with a star, and tall 3-hole yellow birdhouse with heart
© Graphic Garden


JRRipley Kensington author photoAbout The Author

J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit www.jrripley.net

Author Links

Purchase Links: Amazon – B&N  kobo
Other Books in this Series

Rafflecopter giveaway

line of 5 birds' nests with 5 eggs inside each
© Graphic Garden

 

Thanks for joining me today for my stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang. If you wish to visit other participants in the tour, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where you will find a list of tour participants.

CHICKADEE large banner340

BLOG TOUR – Engaged in Trouble – SPOTLIGHT

Large Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones - July 10-July 23, 2017 - includes a photo of the author and the book cover

Today, I’m happy to be hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones, the first in the Enchanted Events Mystery series!

I was supposed to be doing a review, which will come at some point down the road, probably towards the end of next week, but I had to change this post to a spotlight post due to having issues with migraines this week. Dang migraines.

Book Cover: Engaged in Trouble, an Enchanted Events mystery by Jenny B Jones - Night sky background with a cityscape a silhouette of a couple standing on a bridge

Add to Goodreads button

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

birthdaycakeline
©Graphic Garden

Synopsis

When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.

Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldy property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.

Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.

This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.

Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.

Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.

weddingrings

Praise for Engaged in Trouble:

Funny and fast-fast paced, this is a great cozy.
~The Book’s the Thing

Engaged in Trouble was a super fun and quirky cozy mystery!
The story/plot fast paced full of twists and turns and surprises that kept this reader captivated from the very beginning.
~My Reading Journeys

This book is a combo of chick lit and cozy mystery. Humor is spread throughout the book with mystery and a touch of romance. It’s a quick read with “laugh-out-loud” fun.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

Sylvie and Frannie might be two of my favorite characters ever.
~Bubby at Bubble Bath Books

Paisley was really funny, down to earth, and relate-able. Beau was a great character also. I enjoyed his sense of humor and he brought a level of mystery to the book in addition to the murder mystery.
~Bookworm Cafe

wedding-clip-art4

About the Author

Author Jenny B. Jones - Young white woman with dark brown hair stopping just above her shoulders sitting on cement steps wearing a grey and white striped cardigan, grey shell, and pants

Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip. She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever.  She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.

Author sites and social media:

Webpage: www.JennyBJones.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jennybjones/
Twitter: @jenbjones

Instagram: @JennyBJonesAuthor
Good Reads: www.goodreads.com/JennyBJones

birthdaycakeline
©Graphic Garden

Thanks for joining me on today’s stop! I’ll try to get the review up as soon as I can next week! If you wish to visit other stops on the blog tour, click on the banner below! It will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of participants!

 

 

 

 

Dying on the Vine – SPOTLIGHT

Today I’m happy to be hosting a spotlight for “Dying on the Vine” by Marla Cooper! I’ll be reviewing this book either later in the week or early next week!!

Dying on the Vine
by Marla Cooper

Dying on the Vine: A Mystery (Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries)
Series: Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries (Book 2)
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250072559
E-Book ASIN: B01L7BD9VM

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Synopsis

When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.

Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.

Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.

marla cooper

About The Author

As a freelance writer, MARLA COOPER has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

Author Links

Webpage – www.marla-cooper.com

Blog: www.chicksonthecase.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marla.Cooper.Author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kindacozy

Tour Participants

March 28 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

March 28 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 29 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 29 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 30 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

March 30 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

April 1 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – GUEST POST  

April 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

April 2 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST

April 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 3 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

April 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

April 4 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW

April 5 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

April 5 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

April 6 – Varietats – REVIEW

April 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW  

April 7 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 8 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

April 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

April 10 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Blog Tour – Masked To Death – SPOTLIGHT

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents Masked to Death by Christina Freeburn; January 27-February 7,2017 Banner

Today, I’m spotlighting Masked to Death by Christina Freeburn as part of Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours!  Masked to Death is the 5th book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series. Enjoy!

Add to Goodreads button

Rafflecopter – Giveaway

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NiTunes kobo

Synopsis

A Caribbean cruise is the perfect setting for a Roget wedding, and Faith meeting Ted’s family. She also hopes the vacation gets their stalled romance moving, but it doesn’t take long for that dream to capsize. Ted’s daughter hates her. The ex-wife is adored. Odessa Roget is surly. And the banned father of a groom, John Roget, requests Faith’s assistance in bringing down a jewel theft ring masterminded by his ex-wife.

Having had a man she loved accuse her of a crime, Faith won’t let Odessa travel down the same path and agrees to help. Faith sets her course on uncovering the true criminals—which might be a groom’s best friend. The romantic week turns disastrous as a wedding is interrupted, suspicious deaths point to murders, and Ted’s daughter schemes to reunite her parents. Instead of diamonds being a girl’s best friend, Faith finds they’re cruising toward Davy Jones’ Locker.

Continue reading “Blog Tour – Masked To Death – SPOTLIGHT”