Our Authors

Our Authors

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's Happening!

Hi readers (and writers). Just wanted to bring y'all up-to-date on what I've been doing lately. This past October (2014) I had my fourth Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery published - "Chilled in Chattanooga." Trixie goes to Chattanooga, Tenn. to an intensive writer's conference and is accompanied by her best friend Dee Dee and her great-aunt Nana. While at the conference Trixie finds a body (that's all I can tell ya!) and becomes the prime suspect. Of, course, she is being framed so she along with Dee Dee and Nana have to find the real culprit before her caboose is thrown in the caboose.


Image result for deborah malone author
Speaking of Writer's Conferences I love to go to conferences, literary festivals, books clubs, libraries, and reader's venues - just about anywhere that someone will listen to me about my books. A couple of weeks ago I was in Birmingham, Alabama for "Murder in the Magic City" where readers and fans can come and listen to mystery authors talk about their books and writing - and they can buy books. That was on a Saturday. I meant to tell you that Birmingham is the home to Anne George, one of the greatest cozy mystery writers in my opinion. But I am biased. :)


Murder in the Magic City


The top picture is of writers one of the panels. I'm second from the left in the white shirt. The picture below is with a fan during the book signing time. It was so much fun. That was on Saturday. Then we all packed up and drove to Wetumpka, Alabama (where The Big Fish was filmed) and we had "Murder on the Menu." We sat at tables with readers and fans while they ate lunch. It was so much fun to meet readers and talk to them about what they liked in a mystery.







Some ladies I talked with at "Murder on the Menu." I love to talk with my readers. I encourage them to write me an email and let me know how they like my books. Oh, just a little tidbit, the man in the picture is my fiancĂ©, Travis Williams. He is so good to go with me and help me carry books, encouragement, etc.  I could go on, but I won't bore you any longer. I look forward to a productive 2015. I have a story plotted out for another Trixie Montgomery book "Homicide in Helen." And I have the first book finished in a new series - Skye Southerland Cozy Mystery Series. I'm just looking for a home for it. I have several venues to attend this next year so I'm looking forward to those. Hope you enjoyed this little bit of news. Let me hear about your plans or goals for 2015. 




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

They Like me. They Really Like Me. Maybe.

If you've read my books, you know that I write, gulp, stories other than mysteries. Although, I must say that I do have an affinity for writing mysteries more than any other genre. I am currently working on another book in my When The Fat Ladies Sing cozy mystery series. It's titled Weighty Matters and revolves around a murder under the Big Top, when a circus comes to the tiny town of Wachita, AND a Sasquatch sighting. That's right, a Sasquatch sighting. Don't ask me how that's going to work out. You'll just have to read the story:) Heaven knows, I'm having fun with it!!!


In the meantime, I recently finished a contemporary book which fits perfectly in the new NA (New Adult) market which primarily targets, but is definitely not limited to, readers in the 18-30 range. Anyway, the manuscript and proposal for Food Baby are off to my agent and I'm trying to forge on with my other projects instead of obsessing about which publishing house might actually like the story, or if my agent will even like the story. All I know is I like it! I never try to write to a certain market, or a special segment of the population. I just write the story. That's all. Pure and simple.

I can't help daydreaming though. And I soooo want to perform a requiem to Sally Field's iconic Oscar delivery some day. "They like me! They really like me!"

Here is an excerpt from my NA for your reading enjoyment (or not).

An Excerpt from Food Baby, by Linda Kozar:
From Chapter One


Suddenly everything made sense. Kyle didn’t want to be seen with her. In fact, he was ashamed to acknowledge her as his girlfriend in public. Ashamed.
            JoBeth reached for the donuts and simultaneously hung up on her friend. Some people turn to a bottle. Others turn to a little happy pill, or to the bedroom. But what does a good Christian girl turn to when she’s down?  Food.
Ever since she could remember she’d always turned to food. And over the years, food had certainly turned on her. She’d ballooned to a persistent plus size. Not exactly the delicate flower she wanted to be.
She closed her eyes, imagining Kyle and her blissfully in love and married with a couple of kids, a pool, a dog, a goldfish or two and a perfect Mary Poppins life in the suburbs.
But the dream disappeared faster than a puff of powdered sugar.
And on the verge of a very big, ugly demographic change--her thirtieth birthday on April third to be exact, she found herself over-and-out with Kyle, overweight, almost overdrawn, and way out of luck.
She glanced around the room. Besides all that, she lived in a dirty, dumpy rent house that would make Mary Poppins hurl if she saw it.
Of course, maybe Mary Poppins might be onto something. A spoonful of sugar might be just what she needed. While she waited for Rayne’s inevitable knock on the door, she finished the bag of donuts and started on the Little Debbie’s, cotton candy, salted peanuts in the shell, corn dogs and potato chips.

Sorrow snacking, Major League style.



Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/eBook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009), Misfortune Cookies and Just Desserts (“When The Fat Ladies Sing” cozy mystery series, Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), and Strands of Fate (Hardcover/eBook, Creative Woman Mysteries 2012). Her cozy mystery series again published and expanded as ebooks at Spyglass Lane Mysteries, MacGregor Literary from 2012-2014, and in September of 2014 Linda indie-published and the continues the series: Misfortune CookiesA Tisket, A Casket, Dead As A Doornail, That Wasn't Chicken, and Felony Fruitcake. Her latest foray into indie publishing, produced Alligator Pear, (a gothic historical romance, 2013), Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, (a nonfiction anthology 2013), and Doomsday Devotions (an end times devotional 2014). Linda is an active member of Cozy Mystery Magazine, which publishes an annual Christmas anthology of its contributing authors, A Cup of Cozy (Short Mysteries and Holiday Recipes, 2013) and A Cup of Cozy 2 (Short Mysteries and Holiday Recipes 2014). Her speculative fiction story, Aperture, will release in an anthology book titled Out of the Storm (HopeSprings Books 2015), the proceeds of which will be donated to the ACFW Scholarship Fund. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed, and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years and continues on the board. In addition to writing, Linda has served as Lead Host of the Gate Beautiful Radio Show, on the Red River Radio Network/BlogTalk Radio since 2010. She and her husband Michael, married for over 25 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), NHRWA (North Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.

Represented by Amanda Luedeke, MacGregor Literary.

Linda’s Website: http://www.lindakozar.com


Linda Kozar, Author
They like me...they really like me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bad Guys and Great Deals

I have a nice little pile of mystery news today!

First, I am also one of the authors in the mystery anthology that Cynthia mentioned! So if you want a great deal--seven deadly mysteries for only 99 cents--pre-order it now!

Second...

Dark and Stormy the second Tillgiven Romantic Mystery is now available in paperback and ebook!

If Isaac Daniels can catch the pranksters before they ruin the Christmas Smorgasbord, he can make up for ditching his job in October. It's a great plan--until a dead body turns up.

Dani Honeywell grew up in the mountains with a mom on the search and rescue team, so if there's one thing she knows, it is dead bodies.

What she isn't that keen on is pickled fish.

So when a dead body turns up at the Tillgiven Bible School she has the chance to escape the kitchen and do something she's good at.

Solve a murder, save her boyfriend's reputation, and avoid pickled fish--Christmas break is starting to look up!

And third, but definitely not least...

Right now is a great time to join my newsletter email...sign up via A Girl and her Ebook and get a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite and a year of Kindle Unlimited!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As you can see, it's been a busy and fun winter for me, I hope the books will be just as much fun for you!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A SHAMELESS PLUG By Cynthia Hickey


DEATH BY BAKING By Cynthia Hickey

 I’m suffering from a bad headache while writing this post, so I’m going to do a bit of shameless self-promotion. Death by Baking, the 4th book in the Nosy Neighbor series is scheduled for a February 15 release. The first book in the series, Anything For a Mystery, is an Amazon Best Seller. This series has been so much fun to write and the last three books will release throughout 2015.

 

Death by Baking:

When a body shows up dead in a vat of chocolate in Stormi’s mother’s bakery, there is little else to do but find out why. Someone wants to purchase all the shops along Main Street and will do anything to get the owners to sell out. Stormi and her literary assistant, Mary Ann, set out to make sure that doesn’t happen. They run across afternoon romance, bar fights, and a rodent infestation, all designed to prevent the two sleuths from finding out the truth.

 

I’m also in a compilation of cozy mystery writers, which releases March 3. It is available for pre-order.


 

Multi-published and 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. 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, January 28, 2015

Goodbye for Now

Author Candice Speare Prentice

The authors of Cozy Mystery Magazine wish Candice Prentice all the best blessings as she takes a sabbatical from writing this year. We've enjoyed her excellent, well researched posts and will miss her contributions!

Candice is the author of Murder in the Milk CaseBand Room Bash, and Kitty Litter Killer(Print, Barbour Publishing, 2005-2006), and Mayhem in Maryland—a cozy compilation (Print, Barbour Publishing, 2008). She also co-authored three romances published in 2010 by Barbour. In 2013, MacGregor Literary Agency re-released Candice’s cozies as e-books. You can find out more about them here.

Candice lives in Maryland with her husband and Jack the Whiney Dog, who is the subject of many of her personal blog articles. She reads and researches for fun and especially enjoys medical history, which explains her collection of antique medical bottles and memorabilia.    

Candice Speare Prentice
Intriguing Stories. . .Inspiring Hope. . .Finding Joy in Restoration

Find her on Facebook

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What's an Authormorph?

The Before
Welcome to an afternoon tea! Let me pour you a nice cup of Lady Grey. Please help yourself to some yummy treats. 

Do you like to read autobiographies? I do. To me, some celebrities' journeys are better than fiction! Some of my favorites are Jackie Kennedy, Lauren Bacall, and Coco Chanel. Do you have any? Today, I wanted to share how I morphed into an author. I'd love to hear your comments on morphing as well!

How does an ordinary housewife become a writer? It's not like one dreams of writing a book. Being an author was probably the farthest thing from my mind until things began to happen that changed my trajectory. 

Martha Hyer
Years ago, a fellow juror handed me a newspaper clipping of an actress named Martha Hyer and told me I looked like her. Maybe to him I did. But the real kicker was someone telling me I looked exactly like Angela Lansbury. Now, as many may know, Angela Lansbury starred not only in GaslightThe Manchurian Candidate, and Blue Hawaii, but she also starred in a 10-year run of Murder, She Wrote.

Angela Lansbury in Murder, She Wrote
After I believed I looked like Angela, I think I tuned in for all ten years of that series, which left quite an impression on my brain coupled with discovering a special display in the library where I took my young children every week.

A library benefactor had bequeathed the entire leather bound set of the Agatha Christie Mystery Collection, and those books called to me until I had checked out and read every one...again and again.


Over the years raising children, leading the PTA, organizing Vacation Bible School, spending time with girlfriends giving luncheons, throwing tea parties, and reading Agatha Christie, little did I realize it was all a dress rehearsal preparing me for writing the Jillian Bradley Mystery Series

When time came for an empty nest and an outlet for my creative urges, it was if the Lord turned on the switch and the stories began to flow. 

That was the fun part. 

The struggle came when readers would give critical reviews. I wanted to give up, but I prayed hard, asking God for direction. Ever been there? 

He directed me to writing groups and blogs where I found help. There are amazing people out there who I consider to be super heroes. When you ask God for direction, He will always show you what to do.

Four years and nine books later I finally realized I had morphed into an author. 

Worth the struggle? You bet! The only thing I could live without are the "stretch" marks. 

Seriously, it's humbling to know people all over the world read the adventures of Jillian and Teddy. Many have said they can't wait for the next one.

If you want to read a mystery where you find an inexpensive escape to luxurious hotels, a place to eat fabulous food without gaining weight, indulge in afternoon tea without all the work, and have an adorable little fur ball for a virtual companion, then you'd probably enjoy the adventures of Jillian Bradley and her Yorkie, Teddy. 

Begin with Book 1 - "Murder in Half Moon Bay" 


Available on Amazon.com for only $3.99 




Cheers!
The After
~Nancy Jill


P.S. You can also read Murder in Half Moon Bay for free on Wattpad.com
To learn more about Nancy Jill visit http://www.nancyjillthames.com.