Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Currently Writing...

"Who was that? That wasn't Mark, was it? Who was it? Kasia?"

A slight smack to the arm broke my reverie and brought me back to reality, but my eyes must have still been glazed over as Vic continued, "What is wrong with you?"

At that moment I heard the front door open and Craig reentered  the store. "Yup, there they are. I left my gloves in here. It was great meeting you, oh hi." Seeing Vic, Craig introduced himself to a speechless Victoria. "Well, I have to dash, I need to make the rest of these deliveries. I hope I'll see you both again soon." With a quick wave and a grin, he was out the door, grape shaped bells ringing his exit.

"Whoa."
"Yeah."

We both paused to admire the exiting winemaker, but Vic was the first to break the silence. "Well, now you have something other than that house to drool over." I have a feeling my smack to her arm was a bit more forceful than hers.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Canal Days Calamity - Spotlight & Giveaway

Canal Days Calamity (A Dog Days Mystery) by Jamie M. Blair

 
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2017) Paperback: 240 pages 
Cameron Cripps-Hayman is taken aback when she stumbles upon another murdered neighbor, this time behind her sister's shop, Dog Diggity. The timing couldn't be worse, as there's only a week left before the store's grand opening during Canal Days, the biggest festival of the year.
When the police arrest her handyman, Cameron knows they've got the wrong suspect, so the Metamora Action Agency sets their sights on cracking the case. With one solved murder under their belts, how hard could a second be?
With a flood warning and a murderer on the loose threatening the start of Canal Days, can Cameron and her crew save the town's annual dog and pony show from being canceled?
About The Author:
 

Jamie Blair (Ohio) is the award-winning author of young adult and romance books, including Leap of Faith (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and Lost to Me. Visit her online at www.JamieBlairAuthor.com and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JamieMBlair

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon B&N

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Fatal Collection - Review & Giveaway

Review


A FATAL COLLECTION by Mary Ellen Hughes
The First Keepsake Cove Mystery

Needing some time away from her loser boyfriend, Callie Reed decides to spend some time visiting  her favorite Aunt Melody in charming Keepsake Cove. Their visit abruptly ends when Callie finds her aunt dead in her music box shop, apparently having accidentally fallen during the night. When Callie learns she is Melody's only heir and now owns her shop and cottage, she decides to leave West Virginia for good and start a new life in the Maryland town catering to collectors. Yet, the more time passes, the more Callie questions her aunt's death. What was she doing in the store in the middle of the night? Was it really an accident? Or did it have something to do with her nasty neighbor? Or the controversy she started with the Keepsake Cove Association? And why is her grandfather's music box suddenly playing when no one has wound it up? 

I love the exposition found in the first book of a series, meeting the characters and exploring their world. Mary Ellen Hughes does not disappoint. We meet interesting well developed characters who exist in a charming town. Being a collector, though not of music boxes or salt and pepper shakers, I wish I could walk the streets and browse the stores of Keepsake Cove. Callie Reed is a smart protagonist who doesn't go about deliberately putting herself at risk, although she does find herself in danger.

I enjoy the open ended possibilities we're left with at the end of the first Keepsake Cove mystery. There are lots of avenues to explore and three characters in particular I'm sure we haven't heard the last of!

A FATAL COLLECTION is a fantastic start to a new series. There's a well plotted mystery and a hint of otherworldiness that makes this series debut a hit!

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Friday, November 17, 2017

The Turning Point – Have You Reached It? - Guest Post & Giveaway



I'm happy to welcome Cheryl Hollon to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Cheryl writes the Webb's Glass Shop Mystery series. Etched in Tears is the fourth book in the series and will be released next week.

 
The Turning Point – Have You Reached It?

The road to publication can be a difficult journey filled with detours, obstructions and an endless supply of unknown obstacles. It’s an individual journey and uniquely different for each writer. For me, establishing the fixed habit of writing every single day was the turning point from writer-in-waiting to about-to-be-published author.

Strangely, it wasn’t the quality of the words that pushed me to a higher level of professionalism. It was taking that nearly obsessive approach to the physical act of writing every day. As I am deep in revisions for the fifth book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series, I feel like a professional going about the practical business of crafting another story.

That is the situation you are looking for – how you achieve that feeling is a personal journey of discovery. Some writers I know achieved that level by first submitting short stories until one was accepted and published. Yes! Validation achieved. Others have considered the completion of a novel-length manuscript as proof of professional credentials. The key in these cases was that afterwards, they felt like a career writer.

The journey will take different paths and will be unique to each writer. Look for that turning point and see how it affects your next steps. The funny part is that you can’t tell if you’ve turned that corner until you can look back and see it. When I look back after securing an agent, a publisher, a two three-book contracts from Kensington Publishing. Now that I can hold those books in my hand, I see that I turned that corner when I started writing everyday – just like a job – every single day.

Where are you on your writing journey?

************************************************************************


Etched in Tears: A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery
By Cheryl Hollon

When a famous glass artist is murdered at his own exhibit, deadly secrets are put on display, and it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb to see through a killer’s cover.

Celebrated glass artist Dennis Lansing is returning to St. Petersburg, Florida, for an exhibit at the world-renowned Salvador Dali Museum. His unique style of embedding document images in his art is at the vanguard of contemporary glasswork. But as Savannah’s first boyfriend and a former apprentice to her father, Dennis’s return home has her reflecting on the past—a trip down memory lane that takes a dark turn when Dennis is found murdered at the museum with an old reference letter from her father in his pocket. A search through her father’s records sheds new light on Dennis’s history, but it seems his present life wasn’t so transparent either. Now, with a gallery of suspects to consider, it’s up to Savannah to figure out who fits the mold of a murderer.

********************************************************************
About the author:


Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

Visit and sign up for my newsletter at my website:  http://www.cherylhollon.com
Follow me on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/cherylhollon
 

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes. This book is the first of the Keepsake Cove Mystery series and was released last week.

Needing some time away from her loser boyfriend, Callie Reed decides to spend some time visiting  her favorite Aunt Melody in charming Keepsake Cove. Their visit abruptly ends when Callie finds her aunt dead in her music box shop, apparently having accidentally fallen during the night. When Callie learns she is Melody's only heir and now owns her shop and cottage, she decides to leave West Virginia for good and start a new life in the town catering to collectors. Yet, the more time passes, the more Callie questions her aunt's death. What was she doing in the store in the middle of the night? Was it really an accident? Or did it have something to do with her nasty neighbor? Or the controversy she started with the Keepsake Cove Association? And why is her grandfather's music box suddenly playing when no one has wound it up?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Down to No Good Interview and Giveaway


I'm happy to welcome Earl Javorsky to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Earl writes the Charlieminer  Mystery series. DOWN TO NO GOOD, the second book in the series was released last week.


Kathy: In DOWN TO NO GOOD, private investigator Charlie Miner is called to check out a "psychic to the stars." Have you ever been to a psychic?

EJ: Actually, yes. Well, this guy was a channeler. My wife is into that sort of thing, so I tagged along to a session. As a skeptic, I tend to resist most claims to extraordinary powers, and to label the claimants as frauds. But this guy—his name was Ron Scolastico—felt legit. I think of his offering as one of a deep intuitive nature, one so profound that it seems “other” and is therefore attributed to ethereal beings in some unseen reality.


Kathy: Charlie is quite a unique character, especially since he had a "full-death experience." Are you interested in researching the afterlife? Do you believe in ghosts?

EJ: I do not believe in ghosts, and I am ambivalent about the possibility of an afterlife. I am intellectually a skeptic, but my heart leans toward the spiritual and larger possibilities. Nor do I read much in the way of supernatural or paranormal fiction; the first page of Down SOLO spilled out one day, and I had to go with it.


Kathy: Charlie has first-hand experience with the inexplicable. Have you?

EJ: Well, as a member of the recovery community, I’ve seen many people, including myself, tap into something that has a powerful effect. Merriam Webster has several definitions of the word “miracle”— 1:an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs the healing miracles described in the Gospels; and 2: an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment—The bridge is a miracle of engineering. I think conflating the two is problematic, and I tend to favor the second definition to describe the depth of psychic change that can occur in recovery.


Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?

EJ: My dad used to have Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine on his toilet tank. I would swipe them and become entranced. He also had Fantasy and Science Fiction, which really grabbed me.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

EJ: I just had a short story called "Spanking" accepted for the upcoming issue of a literary magazine called Adelaide. I’m especially pleased to have published something that isn’t about drug fiends and murders.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

EJ: Charlie Miner, inexplicably revived from death, can still operate his body; he can even leave it and roam around. His first mission is to find out who killed him, which leads to some pretty dark places. In the sequel, he is recruited by an LAPD homicide detective to help solve a series of crimes that seem to involve a supernatural element.


Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

EJ:  I like Dave Robicheaux, the central character in an astonishingly good series by James Lee Burke. He’s believable, introspective, predictably unpredictable, has enormous heart and empathy, and is endowed with Burke’s wonderful voice, so his insights into human character and the nature of evil are expressed not only through his words and thoughts but also his actions.


Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

EJ: Originally, I had two. One was a book called COLD HEAVEN by a favorite author of mine, Brian Moore. It had a character who had died but somehow carried on—he was a secondary character, but the weirdness of it stuck with me, especially because there was no other emphasis on the supernatural; it was just there as an accepted fact.

Then there was the film Memento, by Christopher Nolan. I liked the idea that my character, Charlie Miner, would have an impaired memory due to the bullet in his brain, and would have to pursue his killer as past events leading up to his own murder were revealed to him.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

EJ: The same impulse that made me want to record and publish music when that was my aspiration: to share something on an intimate level, to bring you into a mood and a world that engaged and, hopefully, moved you.


Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

EJ: I would really like to sit down with Ray McKinnon, who created the character Daniel Holden in the TV show Rectify, which I think is a powerful work. Iain Pears, a British author (STONE'S FALL, AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST) would be a great dinner companion. Then there’s Karen Armstrong, whose books—especially ThE BATTLE FOR GOD—are full of deep understanding. Same for Joseph Campell, but to get back to fiction writers, let’s add Barbara Kingsolver or James Lee Burke.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

EJ: WRITTEN OFF, by Sheila Lowe, a gifted writer who is also a handwriting expert, as is her chief character. Then I’ll start Lou Berney’s THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE.


Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

EJ: I am a lifelong surfer and just about drowned in Mexico the day before yesterday to prove it. I still love playing guitar, especially now that the heat is off to perform. And, I’m a hoops fiend. I play about six nights a week at the local gym. Old guy with a corner shot.


Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

EJ: Ice cream, salad makings, frozen Gatorades (for basketball sessions), and good bread.


Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

EJ: I have a third Charlie Miner book sketched out called DOWN ANDOU T COLD. I’m currently collaborating on a project with an interesting writer in Boston (I’m in San Diego) and will sometime start a project with the real Dave Putnam, who is the model for the Dave Putnam character in my Charlie Miner books. Also, I have a father-son novel in mind that is close to my heart.


Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

EJ: When I connect, when someone reads something I’ve done and I know they “get me” at a level that counts, at depth. And when I get a laugh here or there. My favorite books reach me mind to mind and heart to heart, and that’s my goal as a writer.

**************************************************************************

Down to No Good

by Earl Javorsky

on Tour October 30, 2017 - January 6, 2018

Synopsis:


Private investigator Charlie Miner, freshly revived from his own murder, gets a call from Homicide Detective Dave Putnam. Self-styled “psychic to the stars” Tamara Gale has given crucial information about three murders, and the brass thinks it makes the Department look bad. Dave wants Charlie to help figure out the angle, since he has first-hand experience with the inexplicable. Trouble is, Charlie, just weeks after his full-death experience, once again has severe cognitive problems and may get them both killed.
Earl Javorsky’s DOWN TO NO GOOD is wildly original, wildly energetic, wildly funny – it’s just straight up wild, and I mean that in the best possible way.
– Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE

It's a shame you missed Down Solo:

“Earl Javorsky’s bold and unusual Down Solo blends the mysterious and the supernatural boldly and successfully. The novel is strong and haunting, a wonderful debut.”
– T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of Full Measure and The Famous and the Dead
“Awesome”
– James Frey, New York Times bestselling author
“Don’t miss Earl Javorsky’s Down Solo. It’s kick-ass, man. Excellent writing. This guy is the real deal.”
– Dan Fante, author of the memoir Fante and the novel Point Doom
“Javorksy’s writing reminded me of the Carl Hiaasen novels I’d read sprawled out on the deck on one sunny Florida vacation. Perfect entertainment, with the right amount of action to keep me alert (and to keep me from snoozing myself into a sunburned state). But there’s also a deeper layer in Down Solo, which left me thinking past the final page.”
– Bibliosmiles
“Javorsky’s dark and gritty prose is leavened with just enough humor to make Down Solo a compelling story that will take readers to the outer limits of noir.”
– San Diego City Beat

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 1611882532 (ISBN13: 9781611882537)
Series: This is the sequel to DOWN SOLO.
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

I wake up looking down at my body, naked on a gurney at the morgue.
No.
That’s a memory.
This has happened to me before.
I was riding my bike, working a case, high as a meteorite that doesn’t yet know it’s about to crash and burn, still happily tooling along in space, at night, wrapped in a warm blanket of summer air, Jack Daniels, and a smidgen of heroin. Some creep shot me in the temple, and I woke up hovering above my own corpse.
This time is different.
Not a gurney. Not the morgue.
A bed. My body, eyes closed, on a bed. I’ve got a bird’s-eye view, hovering like a kite, still tethered, but barely, by an invisible string.
Let’s get clear on my condition. I don’t know what it is, but I know what it is not. I am not a vampire, or a zombie, or a ghost. I’m not a thousand years old, I have no superpowers, and I’ve never been a hero. What I do have is a broken life, a broken family, and, so far, an inexplicable inoculation against dying. And a daughter I would die for—or, in this case, return to life for.
The tether reels me in. I descend toward the body, a mirror image to it, my arms at my sides, my feet slightly apart. Three bullet holes in my face—and one in my gut—are going to need some repair. At contact, I am absorbed and no longer looking down at myself but looking up at the ceiling.
I stretch my fingers, curl them into fists, and stretch them again.
“Jesus holy fucking Christ!”
I know that voice.
I turn my head. It’s awkward, after the lightness of floating, to be in the body, to know its heaviness and vulnerability. There’s a man sitting in a chair next to the bed. He’s a cop, and the first thing I think is: He knows my secret. Now he really knows it. But it’s okay, because he’s also my friend and I trust him. I have to.
“Hey, Dave, how’s it going?” My voice sounds artificial—a forced process of pushing air, modulating vibrations with my vocal cords, shaping syllables with my mouth and tongue. I make my lips grin.
Dave sits there like a stuffed panda in his rumpled white shirt and cheap black sports coat. There’s blood on his clothes. It’s in his fingernails—my blood, dried and caked on his hands. His right hand is clasped around a Heineken, which he finally tilts to his mouth and drains.
I force the body up and into a sitting position, feet on the floor. I flex my fingers a few more times, roll my shoulders, and look at Dave. For a moment, I close my eyes and leave the body, just as an experiment, and roam around the room. From over Dave’s shoulder I watch it slump back into the pillows like a marionette whose strings have been cut. Dave stands and moves toward the bed, but I slip back into the body and work my mouth and tell him it’s okay.
I sit back up and ask Dave, “Why am I naked?”
“Because you were shot full of holes and clinically dead. I brought you back to my place and cleaned you up. I took off your clothes to see how many more bullets there might be in you. Your things are right over there.” He points to a chair in the corner.
“You’re taking this pretty well.”
He shrugs. “I feel like I’m in a bad movie, but hey . . .”
“I appreciate your bringing me here.”
“I knew if I called the paramedics you’d have been sliced and diced at the coroner’s.”
“How long have I been here?”
Dave looks at his watch. “It’s noon. Call it thirty-six hours.”
“What day is it? And date?”
“Wednesday. Last day in August.”
I stand and walk to the chair to get dressed. Roaming—moving freely out of the body—is easier than this, but I’ll adjust. I have before. The gorilla-suit quality of living in the body becomes commonplace, the intentional management of operating the system, beating the heart, making the blood run in the veins, the conscious act of breathing: all of it becomes second nature.
It’s almost like being alive.
***
Excerpt from Down to No Good by Earl Javorsky. Copyright © 2017 by Earl Javorsky. Reproduced with permission from The Story Plant. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:


Daniel Earl Javorsky was born in Berlin and immigrated to the US. He has been, among other things, a delivery boy, musician, product rep in the chemical entertainment industry, university music teacher, software salesman, copy editor, proofreader, and author of two previous novels, Down Solo and Trust Me.
He is the black sheep of a family of high artistic achievers.

Catch Up With Our Author On: earljavorsky.com , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !

 

Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!  

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Earl Javorsky and The Story Plant. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and 2 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Down Solo by Earl Javorsky. The giveaway begins on October 30 and runs through January 8, 2018.
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