Showing posts with label Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"Oh Holy Fright" by Teresa Trent


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Oh Holy Fright
(Pecan Bayou Series Book 8)
by Teresa Trent

Oh Holy Fright (Pecan Bayou Series Book 8) by Teresa Trent

Oh Holy Fright, the eighth book in the Pecan Bayou Series by Teresa Trent, is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. You can also get the book FREE today only! Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on Color Me Dead and my blog post on Murder of a Good Man.

Description
It’s Christmas in Pecan Bayou, Texas. Join Betsy (aka The Happy Hinter) for a good old small-town Christmas complete with Christmas carols, over the top light displays, delicious food, loving friends and … a Christmas Creeper. One of the residents of Pecan Bayou has a secret and you’d better lock the door because that isn’t Santa out there or even a stray elf. Enjoy spending Christmas with the town and family you’ve come to know in the Pecan Bayou Series.
Recipes and helpful hints included!


Excerpt
“What would possess Joe Nelson to give the Christmas solo to a woman who sings like a washing machine full of rocks?” Aunt Maggie’s voice echoed in the community center gym, the location hosting many of the neighborhood churches for the Christmas Eve service. Her attitude was in direct contrast to Rudolph’s blinking nose on her fire engine red Christmas sweatshirt.
“Ooh. You better watch out,” Danny whispered in my ear. “When Mama says words like that, it’s best to look busy.” I had just picked up Danny from the Christmas party for people with disabilities held at his adult care center. Today he seemed especially happy for some reason. And from the way he kept giggling, I could tell Danny had a secret he was bursting to tell me.
“Joe!” Aunt Maggie called out.
The choir director, who was busily engaged in a conversation with Enid Sanford—solo-stealer and owner of the voice that sounded like a washing machine full of rocks—didn’t respond.
“Joe!” she bellowed.
When he failed to respond a second time, she stomped back, turned him around by the shoulders, and plopped her slender black music folder into his hands.
“Take it. I can’t sing in a choir where my voice isn’t heard.”
I had to admit, Maggie was one of the better singers in the holiday choir. Some of the other vocalists possessed lesser talent. One time when I was watching Joe’s friend Howard Gunther at the soundboard, I noticed he was turning down certain microphones. It was wonderful these people volunteered, but some of the singers could be described as cats screeching in the night. Enid Sanford was one of those people; when she hit the high C, it could make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Leaving an astonished Joe, Maggie returned to us. “Well, that’s it. You’re hearing it right here and now. I am quitting the Pecan Bayou Singers. They can jingle their bells with somebody else.”
Lester Jibbets, a tall wiry man with protruding cheekbones and the owner of the most successful port-a-potty business in Central Texas, walked over waving a bony hand. “I totally agree, Maggie. What happened here is nothing short of criminal. It will ruin the Christmas Eve performance, uh huh.” He nodded his head to reinforce his point.
“Thanks, Lester,” Maggie said, about to continue her tirade, but Lester just kept talking.
“Yes, sir, I knew right away I needed to come over and help a beautiful lady in trouble, I did.” More nods.
“Thank you, Lester,” Maggie repeated, but this time she waited. Lester Jibbets was not an easy man to shut up once he got started. I guess the portable bathroom business is pretty lonely, even if you’re at the top of your game.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I enjoyed meeting Betsy, the ‘Happy Hinter’ and her family and friends living in Pecan Bayou.” ~ Carla Loves To Read
“Fast-paced and full of clues, this book can be enjoyed by all ages.” ~ Laura’s Interests
“If you want a funny and cute holiday-themed mystery, this is your book! Trust me, you will be as excited as I was to visit this book and series. It is light-hearted, fun and mysterious, just in time for Christmas!” ~ Bibliophile Reviews
“The Pecan Bayou Series brings cozy mysteries in the kind of town where readers wish they could live. Teresa Trent has a gentle writing style to keep her fans turning the pages in delight and intrigue.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
“I thought I had it all figured out and that it was too easy. I didn't and it wasn't.” ~ PRBC

Guest Post by the Author
Can You Write a Mystery?
How many times have you read a mystery and said to yourself, I could have written that! All I need is an amateur sleuth, a killer, and some other characters. Easy Peasy. It might be a different story when you sit down and try to actually put pen to paper.
Welcome to the great blank wall of storytelling.  
You can write a page, but thousands of words? Maybe not so simple.
So, here's my oversimplified method to help you get past the wall.
Make a list.
What is the crime?
It is best to start with this because your entire story is going to center around it. You can find some great ideas just reading your newspaper. or you can make something up yourself. Make sure it will be interesting to your readers.
Who are your characters?
Is this a cozy mystery or more of a thriller? A cozy mystery hero or heroine has to be beyond reproach. They can investigate, but they can't break any rules doing it. The main character in a thriller can feel free to break the rules. It just depends on the kind of character you have built.
Who are the other characters and or subplot that you can weave in with the crime-solving plot?
Supporting characters can help create subplots. These subplots become problems that will affect your main character, and they need an abundance of problems.
When you have all of this together, start making an outline. Then keep taking your outline to the next level until you can come up with a scene list. 
Read other books in your genre and outline them. I started out outlining Agatha Christie and was amazed how every character had a secret. I'm no Agatha, but I learned so much from her!
In Oh Holy Fright, I started with a crime story. (spoiler alert) I read about a mailman in Italy who died, and they found tons of mail in his garage. From there the characters, subplots and mystery progressed.
As I said before, this is oversimplified, but it gives you an idea of how to get started writing your mystery. Good luck!

About the Author
Teresa Trent
Teresa Trent writes humorous cozy mysteries that take place in the small towns of Texas. Her Pecan Bayou Series features Betsy, the town’s helpful hints columnist who seems to spend a lot of time getting out blood stains. Teresa’s Piney Woods Series with Camel Press takes place in an East Texas hotel and features Nora, a redhead with an eye for crime.
Teresa loves to feature other cozy authors and cozy giveaways on her blog.


Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Mrs. Odboddy: And Then There Was a Tiger" by Elaine Faber


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Mrs. Odboddy: And Then There Was a Tiger
(Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries Book 3)
by Elaine Faber

Mrs. Odboddy: And Then There Was a Tiger (Odboddy Mysteries Book 3) by Elaine Faber


Mrs. Odboddy: Hometown Patriot by Elaine FaberMrs. Odboddy: Undercover Courier by Elaine Faber


Mrs. Odboddy: And Then There Was a Tiger is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
While the “tiger of war” rages across the Pacific during WWII, eccentric, elderly Agnes Odboddy, “fights the war from the home front”. Her patriotic duties are interrupted when she is accused of the Wilkey’s Market burglary.
A traveling carnival with a live tiger joins the parishioner’s harvest fair at The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. Accused again when counterfeit bills are discovered at the carnival, and when the war bond money goes missing, Agnes sets out to restore her reputation and locate the money. Her attempts lead her into harm’s way when she discovers a friend’s betrayal and even more about carnival life than she bargained for.
Granddaughter Katherine’s turbulent love triangle with a doctor and an FBI agent rivals Agnes’s own on-again, off-again relationship with Godfrey.
In Faber’s latest novel, your favorite quirky character, Mrs. Odboddy, prevails against injustice and faces unexpected challenges ... and then There Was a Tiger!

Excerpt from Chapter One
“What in tarnation is all that mess on the front porch?” A tattered shoebox leaned against the newel post beside the front step. Clumps of string lay amidst more shredded paper on the porch.
Agnes switched off the motor of her 1930 Model A Ford. She pulled on the hand brake, jammed her silver chopsticks firmly into the bun on the back of her hennaed hair, and stepped out of the car.
Shreds of brown paper skittered across the lawn. Her frown deepened as she picked up pieces of cardboard and string.
Agnes Agatha Odboddy, in big bold letters, was scribbled across the middle of the brown wrapping paper. She flipped the shoebox over. An offensive odor wafted up from inside. “What the devil…”
Agnes glanced toward the porch and noticed the front door standing ajar. “Jumping Jehoshaphat.” Her granddaughter, Katherine, must have forgotten to lock it when she took their ward, Maddie, to school this morning.
She pushed open the front door, and peeked inside. “Good gravy!” Pillows–askew on the sofa. Magazines–scattered across the rug. Remnants of her grandmother’s vase speckled the hearth.
“Oh, my stars. We’ve been burgled.” Agnes rushed through the living room and into the kitchen. Breakfast coffee puddled in the middle of the table. A cup lay shattered in the sink. A kitchen chair lay sideways on the linoleum floor.
A scuffling sound came from the back bedroom. Agnes spun around. Was someone in there, ransacking her jewelry box? Should she run back out the front door? Agnes Odboddy, self-appointed scourge of the underworld–run for cover? Not on your tintype!
She grabbed a rolling pin from the drawer, the weapon of choice for a woman of a certain age, planning to sneak up on the thief, crack his head, and bring him to his cowardly knees.
Before she had taken three steps, a rat barreled out of her bedroom and down the hall. Agnes jumped back. “Yikes!”
The spindly-tailed rodent raced into the living room and scrambled up the flowered drapes to the top of the curtain rod. Ling-Ling, a feline nemesis in camo-gray, followed.
Merciful Heavens. A measly rodent? Agnes sent the rolling pin flying. It hit the wall, barely missing the front window, and clattered to the floor.
Rrowww! Ling-Ling clawed her way up the curtain, knocking a table lamp to the floor. Thud! The fringed shade spun off the lamp and rolled toward the front door. Down came the rod with a crash, as the rat dropped to the floor and raced out the front door with the Ling-Ling, the Siamese avenger three leaps behind.
Agnes shook her finger. “Ling-Ling. Bad girl. No! No…” What was she saying? “Go get her, girl.”
Agnes stepped onto the porch and put her hand to her eyes in time to see the pair racing up the street, headed toward The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. She checked her watch. Yep, folks should just about be arriving for the afternoon prayer meeting. That’ll give them something to pray about. She stepped back into the house to assess the damage.
Never in her seventy-plus years had she seen such destruction. What unknown scoundrel hated her enough to leave a rat-filled shoebox addressed to her on the porch?
Agnes pondered the situation. Ling-Ling must come upon the shoebox and smelled the rodent through the wrapping paper. She could almost see her determined Siamese killing-machine scratching and kicking the box until she had shredded a hole big enough for the rat to escape, dash through the open door, and into the house. The image sent shivers up Agnes’s spine.
Ling-Ling would have followed with murder in her crossed blue eyes and the chase ensued. Not even an air raid from the Flying Tigers could have left her living room and kitchen in such a mess. No telling how the rest of the house would have suffered if Agnes hadn’t returned just at that moment.
What if Ling-Ling hadn’t found the box and taken matters into her own paws? Why, she might have cut the string herself, opened the box, and the rat would have leaped into her face. Maybe that was exactly the sender’s intention.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“The story does keep you on your toes, and you never see what is about to happen, and the setting is WWII, and even Mrs. Roosevelt is back. A don’t miss read that will make you want more once that last page is turned!” ~ Maureen’s Musings
“If you love wacky but fun adventures, this is the series for you. The historical detail adds additional depth.” ~ Laura’s Interests
“From page one, Faber's lively writing style and authentic language capture the mood of the 1940s and pull me along as a helpless captive to this engaging story. Highly recommended for entertainment value!” ~ June Gillam
“If you've not read this author before this is a must to pick up. She captivates you from the beginning and you just cannot put the book down. Some surprises in it you'll love, too.” ~ Ruth Powers
“With Agnes, there's never a dull page. Expect unceasing entertainment!” ~ Ellen Cardwell

Guest Post by the Author
Expectations of the Reader
A reader spends four to five hours immersed in a book from cover to cover. If the story is well written, for a time, she forgets her personal life. She sees herself either traveling alongside the main character or, if the writer is talented enough, the reader ‘becomes’ the character as the story moves forward.
She may wish to be transported into a romance where she feels loved and cherished. She may be a frustrated crime fighter who receives satisfaction from following clues and perhaps solving a mystery before the end of the book. She may hope to experience the thrills and chills of a thriller-suspense novel. Or, perhaps, to experience life in a different world or a different time in history. She may hope to learn more of the traditions of people from other lands or other cultures, presented in a way she can identify with.
How do these various types of book come about? Does the reader ever think about what was involved before this story could magically appear on the pages and land on a book store shelf for the benefit and pleasure of our reader?
Unless a reader is an author herself, it is doubtful that she could conceive of the time and energy that goes into writing a novel – plotting, writing, researching, editing, reviewing, formatting, and finally to cover design and publication. Each step takes hours and hours and hours.
The author must first come up with a premise for the story. Some authors outline the entire novel before they ever put fingers to keyboard. Others have a general idea of the story line, and let the story evolve as they write, figuring how to bring it all together in a cohesive manner. She thinks about the characters and the story line most days and often into the night. Every little thread must come together in the end. It is essential to keep the suspense or momentum throughout the middle, lest we lose the attention of the reader. She must keep each reaction and comment true to the personality of the characters as she envisions how they might respond to a certain event. She must make the reader understand the motivation and resulting actions or comments of the character through the dialogue.
The end must make sense and, preferably, be a satisfying conclusion to the reader, leaving her wishing there was another hundred pages in the story. She is left wondering where the sequel can be found, if there is one. In ideal circumstances, the characters have become real enough that she can almost see them as next-door neighbors or someone in her circle of friends.
What a challenge and what a victory when a reader comes back and says, “When is the next book coming out?” That is the reader’s expectation and the goal authors seek. That is the highest compliment.

About the Author
Elaine Faber
Elaine Faber lives in Northern California with her husband and two feline companions. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, California Cat Writers, and Northern California Publishers and Authors. She volunteers with the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. She enjoys speaking on author panels, sharing highlights of her novels. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines and multiple anthologies. She has published seven books. In addition to the Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries Elaine writes the Black Cat Mysteries.


Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Links

Thursday, November 1, 2018

"Back Stabbers" by Julie Mulhern

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Back Stabbers
(The Country Club Murders Book 8)
by Julie Mulhern

Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders Book 8) by Julie Mulhern

Back Stabbers is the eighth book in Julie Mulhern's Country Club Murders series set in the 1970s. Also available: The Deep End (read my blog post), Guaranteed to Bleed, Clouds in My Coffee, Send in the Clowns, Watching the Detectives (read my blog post), Cold as Ice (read my blog post), and Shadow Dancing (read my blog post).


Back Stabbers is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
All Ellison Russell wanted was an update on her stock portfolio. Instead, she found her broker dead.
With an unexpected out-of-town guest at her house, Ellison is too busy for a murder investigation. Only this time, Detective Anarchy Jones wants her help, and she can’t deny the handsome detective. Can Mr. Coffee supply her with enough caffeine to keep her brain sharp and everyone else happy?
Juggling bodies (one, two, three, four), two-faced friends, her social calendar, and a cat (yes, a cat) is taxing but Mother might be the biggest challenge of all.
With a killer drawing closer, can Ellison put together the pieces or will she be the one getting stabbed in the back?

Excerpt
ONE
March, 1975
Kansas City, Missouri
The woman in the chair opposite me was hacking up a lung.
If the sick woman died, Mother would have a conniption fit.
Not because the poor woman was dead. No, Mother would be upset I’d been present at her passing. Mother took a dim view of death. She took a dimmer view of my unfortunate habit of stumbling over bodies.
I glanced at my watch. My broker, Winthrop Marshall, had kept me waiting for nearly thirty minutes.
The woman’s eyes streamed. Her nose ran like a faucet. Overwhelmed by her cold, she didn’t cover her mouth when she coughed.
Cough, cough.
I sympathized. I did. But the woman should have stayed home. In bed. With chicken soup, a bottle of 7UP, a box of Kleenex, and a gross of cold pills.
I abandoned the leather club chair (where I sat) and the most recent copy of Barron’s (where I’d found nothing of interest—the magazine had no fashion stories and probably didn’t even block the woman’s germs) and approached the receptionist’s desk.
“I’d like to wait someplace else.” I said.
The receptionist, an exceedingly pretty woman with very white teeth, donned a I-know-you’ve-been-waiting-with-the-plague-but-there’s-nothing-I-can-do smile. “I’m sorry. We don’t have another waiting area but—” her smile grew brighter “—Mr. Marshall should arrive momentarily.”
Winthrop wasn’t even here? That meant his office was empty.
Cough, cough. COUGH!
“Either I wait in Winthrop’s office, or I’m leaving.”
The receptionist eyed the germ (masquerading as a woman) who was busily infecting the brokerage’s elegant waiting room. A wrinkle marred her pretty brow. “I can check with his assistant.”
“Please do.” I stood at the front desk (as far from the sick woman as possible) and waited.
I did not tap my fingers against the high polish of the receptionist’s desk as Mother would have. I did not dig in my purse for a travel pack of tissues as my housekeeper, Aggie DeLucci, would have (then she’d have given them to the sick woman). I did not roll my eyes as Grace, my daughter, would have. I simply fixed a polite but firm smile on my face.
The receptionist pushed a button on what looked like a very complicated switchboard. “Debbie, Mrs. Russell would like to wait in Mr. Marshall’s office.” She glanced (more of a glare) at the coughing woman and lowered her voice to a whisper. “There’s a sick woman up front.”
Cough, cough.
She listened, glanced at me, and manufactured a small smile of her own. “She insists. If she can’t wait in his office, she’ll reschedule.”
She listened again. “Debbie will be right out.”
Winthrop Marshall’s assistant appeared a moment later. Debbie, another exceedingly pretty young woman, had bouncy blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and vivid red lipstick. She wore a dress so short that I hoped, for her sake, she never dropped anything—bending over would give anyone watching a view of everything God gave her.
In her shoes, working for Winthrop as she did, I would have worn a nun’s habit. As it was, I wore pants and a turtleneck sweater in the most serious shade of gray I could find.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Fast paced and with wonderfully descriptive details of the era, the multiple plotlines weave together smoothly and in such an enjoyable way.” ~ Laura’s Interests
“I love the series. Ellison is a precious personality; although born into wealth and married into wealth and raised by a very ‘upper-class disdainful’ mother, she is very much an ‘at-home’, loving, compassionate and generous individual, an artist, and a devoted mother and dog lover.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
Back Stabbers is well-written, well-paced, and includes an occasional touch of humor.” ~ Christa Reads and Writes
“With life getting crazy outside of the mystery hunting, Ellison reminds me of why I love moms that are strong and smart in novels. This latest mystery brings out the best thus far in Ellison and I wouldn’t miss reading this one for the world.” ~ Bibliophile Reviews
“Narrated from Ellison’s first person perspective, the novel is quick-paced and enjoyable, with lots of sleuthing and jumping around.” ~ Nadaness In Motion
“I love going back to this time frame where people talked and not texted it was such fun!” ~ Community Bookstop

About the Author
Julie MulhernJulie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym, and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean - and she's got an active imagination. Truth is - she's an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog, and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Giveaway
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed print copy of Back Stabbers by Julie Mulhern (US only).

Links