Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

"Scream Muddy Murder" by Lesley A. Diehl


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Scream Muddy Murder
(Big Lake Murder Mysteries Book 3)
by Lesley A. Diehl

Scream Muddy Murder (Big Lake Murder Mysteries Book 3) by Lesley A. Diehl

Scream Muddy Murder is the third book in the Big Lake Murder Mysteries series by Lesley A. Diehl. Also available: Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed.

Dumpster Dying by Lesley A. DiehlGrilled, Chilled and Killed by Lesley A. Diehl


Scream Muddy Murder 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.


More books by this author: Old Bones Never Die (read my blog post) and Killer Tied (read my blog post).

Description
Emily Rhodes does it again! This time she nosedives into a mud puddle at a Seminole War battle reenactment and finds she’s sharing the muck with a dead body. As usual the hunky detective she loves to aggravate, Stanton Lewis, cautions her against getting involved in the case, and as usual she ignores him. Emily’s sleuthing pays off, revealing disturbing information about the victim’s past. Is it the reason behind his murder? With the help of her family and friends, Emily sets out to uncover secrets kept too long and puts herself and the people she loves in the killer’s path. Too late she realizes Detective Lewis was right. Her snoopiness proves to be a deadly idea.

Excerpt
THE RAIN POURED down on the combatants as they took up their stances on opposite ends of the field. One side stationed their men behind the palm trees and live oaks, while the fighters on the other side positioned themselves out in the open, preparing to march straight at the enemy—a foolish strategy, but insisted upon by their commander.
Emily pushed wet locks of hair off her face and prepared to advance with the first wave of troops. She held no weapon for defense; her assignment was to beat her snare drum. She grasped her drumsticks tightly for fear she’d drop one and would be unable to beat out the martial tempo she’d been assigned. Emily’s daughter, Naomi, holding the American flag, stood beside her, the two of them dressed as boys from the early nineteenth century, shirts with long, full sleeves and knee britches. Naomi had been smart to tie her blond hair back with a leather thong. Their only concession to modern dress was that each wore a pair of rubber boots. Naomi’s sported a yellow duck pattern, Emily’s were a nautical blue with a thin red stripe around the top.
“How did we get ourselves into this mess?” asked Emily, attempting to lift one foot out of the mud. Her boot made a sucking sound. “This is as bad as quicksand.”
“It was your idea to take part,” replied Naomi. “You said it would be fun and a service to the community.”
“It would have been fun if it hadn’t been raining for three days. The field was so flooded the organizers cancelled yesterday’s performance. It’s not much better today.”
A shot rang out signaling the start of the reenactment of the Battle of Okeechobee, an event held each year at the site of the original battle fought in 1837, a military engagement in the Second Seminole War. Emily started at the sound of the gun and stumbled forward, almost falling to her knees. Naomi reached out and steadied her mother. The announcer thumped the microphone to determine if it was working. It gave forth a screech and again startled Emily, but this time she held her position. With a clearing of his throat and another squeal from the loud speaker, the announcer began his account of the military tactics used by the soldiers of the United States commanded by General Zachary Taylor and the Seminoles led by their chief, Alligator, often called Billy Bowlegs.
“Maybe all this water will shortcircuit the loudspeaker, and they’ll call off the event. We could get electrocuted, you know,” Emily said, but began marching, careful to avoid yet another hole in the soggy ground. She took up a steady drumbeat. The two women staggered forward, the thick mud making their advancement slow and difficult.
“Having trouble keeping up?” asked the tall man in front of Emily, slowing his pace and turning back to address her. How he managed to look dry and comfortable in all this rain was beyond Emily, but she always found Detective Stanton Lewis the other side of comprehensible in her mind. He was a member of the local police department, and the man who had arrested Emily for murder on one occasion, and on another, kissed her with passion.
“If I’d have known he’d be volunteering for this event, I would have stayed home,” Emily said.
“I heard that,” replied Lewis, “and I know you don’t mean it.”
Maybe she did and maybe she didn’t. Emily could never tell how she felt about Stanton Lewis. It seemed that whenever they got together two things happened: first there was the verbal battling, and then there was the warmth she felt somewhere south of her waist. He was about the handsomest man she’d ever met, and the most annoying. It seemed he knew the effect he had on her, and he loved to aggravate her by standing too close or smiling that annoying smile with his full, very kissable, lips.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“In the mood for a protagonist who just won't quit? Who won't let obstacles and naysayers dissuade her from her self-appointed rounds? Who has a strength of character and will power we might all emulate? I give you Emily Rhodes, the feisty and strongly self-determined heroine of Lesley A. Diehl's Big Lake Murder Mysteries. […] Scream Bloody Murder is compelling and heartwrenching, with never a dull moment throughout.” ~ Mallory A. Haws: The Haunted Reading Room Reviews
“This is a great read, with a suspenseful plot and a bit of romance thrown in. Diehl gives her readers a multi-layered plot. […] Of course to have a great book, you need great characters as well. This book, like the previous books, are packed with memorable characters. One reason I love reading a series is with each book, I get to know more about the main characters and even some secondary ones, and this book does just that. […] If you are looking for a great mystery, with great characters, and just the right of romance thrown in, you can’t go wrong with this book, and the whole series!” ~ Christie72
“Everyone seems to know more than they are saying and nobody is willing to spill the beans. Fun characters from previous books return to make things crazier. The tension and relationship between Emily Rhodes and Detective Lewis get more muddied than ever. Who enjoys aggravating the other more? […] Nonstop action as the danger mounts. Emily swears she is not going out of her way to interfere in an investigation. This is my favorite book of the series so far.” ~ Laura S Reading

Guest Post by the Author
Writing in the Swamps
Scream Muddy Murder is a cozy mystery, or at least I think it is. The protagonist, Emily Rhodes, is a reluctant amateur sleuth, the kind of snoopy gal one would expect in the cozy genre. She was a preschool teacher until she retired but finding herself strapped for living expenses because her life partner died and left nothing to her, Emily decided she needed to update her skills. Her good friend and next-door neighbor was impressed with Emily’s mixology skills, so Emily enrolled in a mixology course and found herself seeking employment as a bartender in rural Florida, in a town whose bars catered to country dancing, cowboys, cold beers, giant steaks, and barbecue. Could Emily handle enthusiastic cowboys who had had too much to drink? Apparently not because she lost her first job and would have had to find another post retirement career if the manager of the restaurant and bar at the local country club hadn’t hired her to tend bar there. It was a perfect match for Emily who knew many of the golfers. The patrons tended to be older and the bar catered to an early crowd.
Bartender is not the usual profession found in cozy mysteries, but it’s a perfect blend of the traditional with the unusual and provides the reader with a one-of-a-kind protagonist in a cozy mystery. Let’s say Emily’s profession squeaks in under the cozy guidelines.
But what about the setting for the book? The community isn’t a typical cozy mystery village, but a farming and ranching community set on the edge of the largest fresh water lake in Florida. The swampland of south-central Florida as well as southern prairies creates an environment that is beautiful but somewhat deadly. Think large reptiles, I mean really big reptiles and swamps, lots of swamps. It’s not what we usually view as a “cozy” cozy setting.
Because of the large influx of winter visitors who come during the season to fish the lake, the setting has some advantages for a cozy mystery. It avoids the Cabot Cove problem of small village and too many murders wiping out the meager population. Outsiders provide both suspects and victims, and because the area includes wide flung ranches and farms that often employ migrant workers, an element of international intrigue works here also. Not far from the town nearer to the West Palm polo farms breed and raise horses for polo matches drawing hundreds of competitors and attendees. The community may be small and rural, but the surrounding areas attract people from Europe, Central America and South America. Emily quickly realizes that as isolated as the community feels at first, it is connected to the flashier life of the coast and international intrigue.
Regardless of how I have extended Emily’s life beyond the village to a wider community, I have tried to maintain the feeling of intimacy with the people Emily encounters. There are the folks in the retirement village she lives in, the people she meets at the country club and the locals who have lived in the town for years, sometimes generations. This latter group is most important in providing Emily and the reader with the flavor of the rural south Florida. Donald Green, the bartender she hires to work at the country club with her, fishes the lake in his flashy and fast bass boat, allowing Emily to learn about bass fishing. Winning fishing tournaments is more important Donald than bartending and he lets Emily know this at every turn. If the day dawns sunny, but Donald is scheduled to work at the bar, Emily is likely to find herself without a bartender as Donald takes off for the lake.
Fishing the lake is an everyday backdrop for the series, but special events make the setting unique. Everyone in the area loves barbecue and barbecue contests. What better place to locate a dead body but in a beer cooler truck at the local barbecue cook-off. Emily did just that in Grilled, Chilled and Killed. In Scream Muddy Murder, I bring the history of the area into play by opening the book at the annual Battle of Okeechobee, a re-enactment of a famous Seminole War battle which took place in the 1830s. It is the perfect place for Emily to find her third dead body. Lucky gal. Now she has another case to solve. As with all Emily’s snooping, the man who adores her, Detective Stanton Lewis, will find her interference aggravating. That’s perfect, too. What better an element in a cozy mystery than a little romance?
So, of course, I have written a cozy mystery. Ignore the alligators and swamps. They’re just there for atmosphere to get the reader in the mood for a little rural Florida spin on the genre. No alligators, cattle, cowboys or other innocent characters were harmed in the writing of these books, only a couple of bad folks brought to justice.

About the Author
Lesley A. Diehl
Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida - cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She’s presently interviewing for a coyote to serve as her muse for her books and stories set in rural Florida.

Giveaway
Enter our exclusive giveaway for a chance to have your name used in a future book OR to win an ebook copy of Scream Muddy Murder by Lesley A. Diehl (US only).

Links

Friday, December 14, 2018

"The Songs That Brought Me Back" by Mylissa Demeyere


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
The Songs That Brought Me Back
(The Songs Series Book 2)
by Mylissa Demeyere

The Songs That Brought Me Back (The Songs Series Book 2) by Mylissa Demeyere

The Songs That Brought Me Back is the second book in The Songs Series by Mylissa Demeyere. You can read an excerpt from the book and a guest post by the author. You can also enter the giveaway. My full review is coming soon. Also available in this series: The Songs of You and Me (read my blog post).

The Songs of You and Me by Mylissa Demeyere

This book tour is hosted by I Am A Reader.


Description
Have you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end.
Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves.
Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past.
Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew.
They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together.
Always together.
Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.


Book Video


Excerpt
AINSLEY
Beep… Beep…
Floating…I was floating. My body…weightless. For the first time in almost three years, the constant pain that had been pushing on me, threatening to suffocate me…lifted and was gone.
I felt…free.
Beep… Beep…
Finally, I was done and untied, drifting in this place that no longer held me in its terrible grip.
Beep… Beep…
I hovered near the edge, staring down at that empty shell as the doctor and nurses fought to save me. The scene should have sent more anguish through me. The ripped clothes, the chaos, but all I felt was peace.
The body left behind looked like me, but it wasn’t, not really. It hadn’t been me for so long. I had lost myself in that person ages ago.
Something tugged at me, pulling me down, away from the peacefulness I felt and back toward that cold, empty body. My prison. I grasped out around me but only caught handfuls of air. Nothing to hold on to. The pull got stronger. Dread washed over me as I realized what was happening.
I had to go back.
“Push a dose of ketamine, now!”
The weightlessness was out of reach, leaving me confused and exhausted. A new, heavy sensation pushed down on me.
No! I screamed, but no noise left my mouth. Even as the weight of my body and my illness pressed down on me, I longed for the weightlessness I’d felt, the brief glimpse of freedom. I wanted it back.
“Give me a laryngoscope.”
A sharp pain coursed through me, down my mouth, into my throat.
I tried to raise my hand, trying to yank whatever was there away. But it wouldn’t move. The weight was pushing on my hand as well.
No! I screamed again, but no one heard me. It was pointless.
I’m in. Tube her.”
Finally, I surrendered to the darkness as it closed in, and everything went completely black.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“A heartfelt romance with a powerful message about the sanctity of human life. If you’ve ever simply needed a friend, The Songs That Brought Me Back will resonate – and leave you thankful for the people in your life.” ~ Taylor Dean, author of I’m With You and Chasing Fireflies
“Another remarkable read by Mylissa Demeyere. Ethan and Ainsley had me laughing and crying as they face their own demons and fall in love while doing it. This book adds even more depth as it confronts suicide head on. Suicide has become an epidemic that some are afraid to address; Demeyere brings it to light from both the victims and the survivors giving us insight on the struggles of so many. It does not disappoint and I, again, am excited to see what comes next from this talented writer.” ~ Amazon Reviewer
“A beautiful sequel to The Songs of You and Me that cleverly illustrates that there are always two sides to every story and that it is never too late for love to overcome any challenge.” ~ Amazon Reviewer
“This poignant redemption story about second chances and forgiveness yanked my emotions all over the place. I cried, I yearned, I hoped. A beautiful story about what true love is and does.” ~ Charissa Stastny, author of Between Hope and the Highway and The Ruled Out Romance Series


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


I really wanted to read The Songs of You and Me first, and I’m glad I did! However, that put me behind for reading this book, so I’m not quite finished. But I’m really enjoying it and will post my full review soon.

Playlist


Guest Post by the Author
Why I Wrote Ainsley’s Story
Did you know that every forty seconds 1 person dies due to suicide? That’s close to 800,000 worldwide, each year. There are indications that for each adult who dies of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. That’s an estimate of 16,000,000 attempted suicides worldwide amongst adults. (Source: The World Health Organization).
Five days shy of my sixteenth birthday, my father’s body was found after he had killed himself. Needless to say, it wasn’t the sweet sixteen it could have been.
That event had quite an impact on my life and how I decided to face the challenges I meet.
When I wrote The Songs of You and Me, I delved into Jackson’s past. He got to tell his side of how Ainsley’s choices affected him. I never felt I could leave her tale untold. Each story always has at least two sides to it.
Why does a person make such horrible choices as Ainsley did? What drives them to such selfishness? And does a person like Ainsley have it in her to redeem herself?
My dad made the choice not to fight and right the wrongs in his life. It not only ended his life; it impacted many other lives.
Ainsley’s story is my way of showing you what can happen when people who make mistakes decide to try and do better. Because everyone deserves a second chance to right the wrong and start over again.
This is Ainsley’s story of what happens when you choose to not give up.
I hope that whomever reads this, will realize that we all, at one point in our life need and deserve second chances. When we take those chances, and turn our lives around, miracles can happen. I have seen it firsthand and the stories that follow are beautiful. Not perfect, but definitely worth living.
Even when life seems dark, lost, and like there is no other way than ending it, there is ALWAYS another option.
To everyone who has ever felt like there was never another way, this story is for you. My dad didn’t take the other way, but I hope you will find help. Life isn’t always perfect, but it is a wonderful gift. Definitely worth fighting for.

About the Author
Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.
The Songs That Brought Me Back is the sequel to The Songs of You and Me, with third book releasing in the middle of 2019.






Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links

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