Our Authors

Our Authors

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MY WRITING DAY By Cynthia Hickey


 My writing day starts out like this…

 

  • I wake up at six a.m. (which is always a good thing), fix my coffee and check my emails and sales reports.
  • I eat a bowl of oatmeal and work on clients’ needs.
  • At approximately 7:30 a.m. I take a shower and get dressed.
  • Around 8:00 a.m. I start writing. I always tell myself I won’t do anything else until I reach 2,000 words on my current work in progress. This NEVER works. Inevitably, I’ll get an email that needs addressing.
  • When I finish my word count, sometime around noon, I have lunch. Most times, I work at my desk while eating, but occasionally…I’ll sneak in a taped episode of Castle or Criminal Minds or Property Brothers, then go back to work.
  • On a normal day, my work day ends around four p.m. On a good day, it might end around 2:30 or 3:00
  • I empty dishwasher, fill dishwasher, ignore the rest of the house, and veg in front of the TV or run errands.

 

I am a busy woman and I wouldn’t have it any other way J

Writing is not only my job, it is my passion. I love being an author. I love owning a small press. I went from five to twenty clients. Some are much more active than others, so it makes a nice balance. I take Sundays off. Thankfully, my children are grown. My youngest is starting college.  (This is him at 8 years old)

 

Welcome to the new chapter in my life! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

My newest mystery for your enjoyment is Jogging is Bad For Your Health. Enjoy!

 When Stormi's nephew asks her to help him stop the abuse to a friend of his, Stormi is more than willing to step in. What she finds is worse than anything she imagined. No amount of research prepared her for a group of men so evil, Stormi must dig deep inside herself and call on God to rescue the man she loves. Purchase Here

 

Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 300,000 copies of her works. Cynthia is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. She is a featured speaker/teacher at ACFW national. She and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer.” Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com                                                                         

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Launch Party for Murder at the Empress Hotel!




O Happy Day! Book 10 is out this summer! Thanks for joining me today. Please have some treats - zero calories online. We'll also need a nice cup of tea. 

I'd like to share with you a few notes on why I wrote the story of "Murder at the Empress Hotel." 

The main reason I used Victoria, British Columbia for the setting was in remembrance of a family trip in 1986. That was when my husband and I started our second family together, unbeknownst to us. We were on a road trip up the Pacific Coast with our two older children at the time and both sets of grandparents. What a wonderful vacation we had visiting many attractions along the way. In Victoria, we strolled the docks of  the inner harbor and fisherman's wharf, and took a day to see the Butchart Gardens. 

Some things have changed since our visit, like moving the Ann Hathaway Cottage as it was called to a nearby island, and the addition of Blue Heron House at Royal Roads University. But one thing remains the same. Afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel still serves their famed spread every afternoon. 


In doing research for "Murder at the Empress Hotel," I learned about the First Nations people who were the first inhabitants of Vancouver Island. It wouldn't be an authentic setting without a few of their stories, even though they're from my imagination. The book is dedicated to them.


"Set in the beautiful city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, a bitter conflict over fishing rights and the love of one woman turns deadly with the murder of a young attorney, drawing Jillian and Teddy into yet another intriguing adventure."

Well, that sums up the story all right, but there's a little more to it. Like the characters for instance: 


Jillian Bradley, garden columnist and amateur sleuth

Teddy, Jillian's Yorkie companion and fellow sleuth
Arthur Wingate, fellow collaborator and good friend
Diana Wingate, wife of Arthur and newly appointed hotel reviewer
Father Goodman, priest and university professor of aboriginal relationships 
Rainbow Knight, sister of Badger and grad assistant to Father Goodman
Gerald Dawson, associate professor of aboriginal studies
Leo Hunter, Director of Canadian Oceans and Fisheries
David Blackwolf, lawyer for Canadian Oceans and Fisheries
Badger Knight, opposing lawyer for First Nations
Kelly Morrison, administrative assistant to David Blackwolf and Leo Hunter
Sergeant Nick Stone, head of Victoria homicide division

Mix all together and somewhere you'll discover a victim and a motive for murder! 


To order copies of "Murder at the Empress Hotel" and Books 1-9, please follow the links:


Enjoy!


~Nancy Jill 

NANCY JILL THAMES

Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley, and clue-sniffing Yorkie, “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas and California finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand or having afternoon tea with friends.

She is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors.

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit:

NANCY JILL THAMES

Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley, and clue-sniffing Yorkie, “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas and California finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand or having afternoon tea with friends.

She is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors.

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit:


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Want one of my free Audible books? Going, going...by Linda Kozar

TODAY and today only on Cozy Mystery Magazine, I will be giving away some codes for FREE Audible books. If you haven't tried listening to books, you should! It's delightful to hear the characters come to life! Hands free and headfirst into the story! Now is your chance to kick the tires on one of my Audible books.

The only FREE BOOKS still available are: A Tisket, A Casket, Dead As A Doornail, and That Wasn't Chicken (see below). Weighty Matters isn't published yet--I'm still working on it but thought I would offer a preview of things to come.

Here's how to get your free Audible book:
  • LEAVE A COMMENT to this blog IF YOU WANT A FREE AUDIBLE BOOK
  • TELL ME WHICH ONE YOU WANT
Here's how it works: 


Here's your free download of [NAME OF BOOK] Listen on iTunes!

1  Go to my book's page on Audible.com: (Type the name of the book in the search box).
2  Add the audiobook to your cart.
3  Create a new Audible.com account or log in.
4  Enter the promo code and click "Redeem" on the cart page as you check out.
5  To change the price from full price to $0.00, click the box next to "1 Credit" and click the "update" button to apply the credit to your purchase.
6  Complete checkout, and start listening to the free copy of the book.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Two Heads are Better Than One - Meet Blanche Day Manos

Lately, recreational reading has re-entered my life for reasons I may choose discuss someday. But not today. One book worth telling you about was "The Cemetery Club" by Blanche Day Manos and Barbara Burgess. I was curious about how the two authors came to write the book, so I asked Blanche. Here is what she told me:

The three Darcy and Flora cozies, The Cemetery Club, Grave Shift, and Best Left Buried, were written with a friend of mine who lives in a neighboring town, Barbara Burgess. This is how it all came about:


Barbara and I had a mutual friend, Levern Jones, who introduced us as two writers who should get to know each other. This we proceeded to do over coffee and an orange Danish in a tearoom.

“You know,” I said to Barbara, “we could collaborate on a book. It might be fun.”

Barbara is of Cherokee descent and so am I. We were both brought up in small towns, and cozy mysteries were our favorite genre. Cherokee legends and the people who live in rural areas should be what our books centered around, we both decided. So, The Cemetery Club began its journey toward publication.

We began with a legend of Cherokee gold and the greedy men who were out to find it. Adding a murdered body which disappeared, a dim and faded map, an old romance about to be re-kindled, and a couple of more murders, Barbara and I had our book.

Working with a co-author is fun and rewarding. You’ve heard the adage, “two heads are better than one”. Well, in collaborating on the Darcy and Flora series, this proved to be true. We were the sounding boards for each other. If the plot hit a snag, one or the other came up with an answer. We emailed, talked on the phone, and met in person. At last, The Cemetery Club made its debut.

Writing with a partner is not for everyone, but for those who think it might be fun, I heartily recommend it. It certainly worked for co-author Barbara Burgess and me.

Currently, I am working on the fourth Darcy and Flora cozy. This one I am writing solo with no co-author.

In December, Moonlight Can Be Murder is to make its debut. This is a brand-new series, in addition to the Darcy and Flora series. MCBM has a different protagonist, different Oklahoma town, but the same spine-tingling mystery. Instead of a mother and daughter team, MCBM involves a woman and two childhood friends who are reunited after a number of years. It involves a Victorian house, a couple of mysterious murders, and a surprise ending.

There was nothing I didn't like about this cozy mystery. From the gruesome discovery of the body under a pile of brush, which gave me chills, to escaping the bad guys, this book held my attention until the end. If you like a great story with a sprinkling of Oklahoma history and heart, read "The Cemetery Club." Here is a link to the series:

http://www.amazon.com/Blanche-Day-Manos/e/B0090018EI

Blanche’s Bio

It might seem strange to some that a mild-mannered kindergarten teacher would resort to murder and mayhem but never fear! The murders all happen on paper only and it’s a good fit. After nearly three decades teaching in public schools and numerous articles and stories being published in a hometown newspaper and various periodicals, this writer found a niche in the field of cozy mysteries.

A native Oklahoman, Blanche’s books reflect her small-town upbringing and the values as well as the legends she grew up with. Nearly a life-long Oklahoma resident, Blanche moved to Northwest Arkansas a few years ago. Now she makes her home within hollerin’ distance from her son and his family. And, she couldn’t be happier with the arrangement.

Other places where you can read more about Blanche Day Manos and her books:

http://pen-l.com/Mystery.html

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=blanche+day+manos

https://www.facebook.com/blanchedaymanos.author?_rdr=p

https://www.pinterest.com/blanchemanos/




Cheers!

~Nancy Jill Thames~

Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley, and clue-sniffing Yorkie, “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas and California finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand or having afternoon tea with friends.

She is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors.

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit  http://www.nancyjillthames.com.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

AN EXERPT FROM JOGGING IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH by Cynthia Hickey




When Stormi's nephew asks her to help him stop the abuse to a friend of his, Stormi is more than willing to step in. What she finds is worse than anything she imagined. No amount of research prepared her for a group of men so evil, Stormi must dig deep inside herself and call on God to rescue the man she loves.

This is the fifth book in the Nosy Neighbor series. While still fun to write, the characters took the story in a direction I hadn't planned on while plotting out the book. I was as surprised as I hope my readers will be. Enjoy the exerpt!







I retrieved my dog and spotted the skittish teenage girl from before getting out of yet another car. She flashed a grin at someone inside before turning as looking as forlorn as a boy who had lost his dog.
She kicked at a rock on the sidewalk, thrusting her hands into shorts barely long enough to be called decent. It wasn’t until I took a good look at her face that I noticed the ruby lips and smoky eyes of skillfully applied makeup.
As was normal for me, curiosity reared its head and I decided to follow her.
She ducked between the bakery and the bookstore, now with new owners. I hurried across the street after her.
She turned right at the alley, back toward Oak Meadows Estates, but stopped behind the drugstore. My nephew, Dakota, stepped from the shadows and pulled her into his arms.
Very interesting. He hadn’t said anything about having a girlfriend. I pressed against the building, keeping a hand on Sadie’s muzzle to keep her quiet.
“I thought you were never going to show,” Dakota said.
“I had a hard time getting away,” the girl replied. “I only just now snuck out.”
“Your foster parents shouldn’t keep such a tight rein on you.”
The girl was lying. I’d seen her leave her house an hour ago. I wasn’t na├»ve enough to believe teenagers didn’t lie, they did, but why would she lie to Dakota?
I averted my face when they started an embarrassingly heavy make-out session. After what seemed like an eternity, they kissed one last time and parted. The girl ducked back between the buildings and Dakota continued in the alley. This time I actually jogged as I caught up with him.
“Hey.”
He glanced over his shoulder and scowled. “Are you spying on me?”
“Nope.” I held up my coffee. “Jogging and drinking. Who is your friend?”
“Heather Miller. She’s new to the neighborhood.” His eyes narrowed, glittering under the street lamp as we stepped onto the sidewalk. “You were watching me.”
“Completely by accident.” I wrapped my lips around my straw so I wouldn’t say more than I should and get myself into trouble.
“We need to help her,” he said, his young face hardening. “Her foster parents are horrible. They hardly let her out of the house, and I’ve seen bruises on her arms and thighs more than once.”
“Have you told anyone?”
“I’m telling you.” He stopped and faced me. “As your investigating assistant, I’d like this to be our first case.”
No one actually said he was my assistant, but he wouldn’t hear otherwise. “We can look into it if you think she’s being abused. What about the other kids? Have you spoken to them?”
“I’ve only seen them. There’s two other girls. One black and one Mexican. Heather said her foster parents only take in girls. She won’t talk much about her home life. If I mention the bruises, she changes the subject.”
It definitely sounded like abuse to me. “I’ll talk to Matt and see what he has to say.”
“We can’t get the police involved!” Dakota shook his head. “And you call yourself an investigator. Just ask some questions. Make friends with her mother. Do your job.”
“My job is writing books. My PI license is to give me leeway when investigating.” I held up a finger as he opened his mouth to protest. “But … I will look into this. My way. And you will remember your manners when speaking to me.” I gave him a stern look and strolled away. Yes, strolled. Jogging hadn’t done anything that night other than cause me more work. Besides, I didn’t want to risk spilling my drink.
I wasn’t making light of his friend’s plight. To the contrary. Abuse of any living creature did not sit well with me. I’d be knocking on my new neighbor’s door come morning.

To read the full story, click here 

To read the first book in the series, click here 




Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 300,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. Her and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com