Cabin 9 Mysteries New Series Launch

Campground Corpse Cabin 9 Mysteries Book 1

Campground Corpse Book 1
in Cabin 9 Mysteries

I have been so excited about launching this newest Cozy Mystery series! Cabin 9 Mysteries will take place near the fictional small town of Old Mill, Indiana. Hannah Taylor Reigler, her friends call her Taylor, has moved to Indiana to begin a Bed & Breakfast venue on the Whispering Oaks Campgrounds. The grounds that now contain a Main Lodge and nine log cabins has been closed for around 15 years. Taylor has recently inherited the property and hopes to spend the next month getting things ready to begin a quieter life away from Pittsburgh, PA into the more sedate life she has dreamed of for years. She is filled with anticipation to begin her new venture until she drives up into the grounds. Waist-high grass and weeds are the first to greet her.

Unexpected Guests

Taylor is furious with the overgrown vegetation and begins to take pictures as proof that the man who was hired to keep the grounds cleared has not done his job. Aiming her phone’s camera toward Cabin 9, Taylor sees something that she had hoped she had left behind. She hasn’t been thrilled with her newly discovered ability to see dead people and even worse she can talk to them. That ghost down there at the last cabin needs to just go away!

At least this ghost isn’t as needy as the ones she left back in Pittsburgh! The old guy just wanted to set things right so that he could join his wife. It is after he fades away that she discovers the tall grass won’t be her only obstacle. The interior of the buildings is covered with a bout a decade and a half of dust. She isn’t sure she is ready for this much adulting.

Premise of the Cabin 9 Series

Okay, so I mentioned above that Taylor sees dead people just like the kid in the movie. In Campground Corpse and the forthcoming books, Taylor will help solve mysteries with the local Town Marshal who she also finds quite easy to look at and enjoyable to be around. She is often given clues in how to help the handsome law officer from the resident Spirit who happens to stay in Cabin 9 and is a distant relative of Taylor’s.

Florence Ann Reigler , Aunt Flossie, tries to explain the workings of the after-life to her living niece while guiding her to information. She will often act as an intermediary between Taylor and the ghosts who need help. Aunt Flossie can be a help and a bother but always delightful and funny to encounter. I think you will enjoy Taylor and her great-great-aunt Flossie as they stumble through solving mysteries together.

Book 4 Newly Released: Missing in Beaver Falls

Now available on Amazon, Book 4 has been completed and is waiting for you to continue your journey with Roni Rainer, her family and her friends. The Title? Well, this one is called Missing in Beaver Falls. From the title, I hope you can guess that someone is missing rather than dead. Your mission, should you chose to accept it is: Who is missing? Who took them? Why?

missing
Who might show up on a milk carton? (image courtesy of pixabay.com)

I had fun writing this one! I thought that it might be interesting to see how different characters would react to a missing person in the small town of Beaver Falls. Some might be truly concerned while others might make some unfair assumptions.

old blue truck
Not exactly what my mind envisioned but there is a faded old blue truck involved (image courtesy of pixabay.com

“Missing” has some new things waiting for you!

Along with the mystery, I have introduced a few new characters into the series. You will meet Clay’s mother in Missing in Beaver Falls. I hope that you enjoy her as much as I did writing her! I also, took the opportunity to wrap the mystery of Jacqueline Abbott and why she is hiding from someone in Chicago. There is a fun little twist to that story!

Blurbs hopefully sell books.

Part of the blurb for the book:
While placing campaign signs for Mitch Denton, who is running for Sheriff in Butler County, Indiana; Roni Rainer almost faints as her inner alarm system goes into to overload when she touches a discarded cup in the parking lot of Buck’s Bar. Someone is in trouble but who? 

Oh, another fun thing added to Book 4 is that I included some recipes for you at the end of the book. I would love to know if you enjoyed getting those or not. So, is your curiosity piqued yet? Hmmm? I hope so! Well, what are you waiting for? Go on over and check it out!

Missing in Beaver Falls

Available in digital and paperback.

Why am I writing anyway?

I often ask myself this question. Why do I keep writing? It is on the days that I feel the self-doubt invading my mind. (It is an invasion, you know!) Why am I doing this? Is it worth the time (so much time) that I spend at my keyboard? The time I spend figuring out a scene to write or rewrite. Researching different aspects to make the story believable eats up a lot of time. So very much time each day. Is it a waste or is it worth it?

writing
Writing image courtesy of pixabay.com

Down deep, I know why I write. It is because I love it. I love telling a story, I always have. From the time I first learned to read, I have wanted to write. So, it isn’t the actual writing that gets me down. It is the part that I love the most, actually. I am not sure that I could ever really stop, even if I never published another book.

doubt
I need to stop doubting!

Sometimes I am a doubting Thomas

So, why do I keep doubting myself? Sometimes, I think it has more to do with the unending task of trying to promote my work. There are days that I feel like I spend more time trying to promote than I do actually writing. I know that it is important, people have to know that you even have a book or two or three. They aren’t going to read them if they don’t know they even exist. Now, are they?

The self-promotion part of this journey bothers me. I am not very good at it. Promoting takes me out of my comfort zone. I like forming friendships but I don’t want to be one of those people who is constantly saying, “Buy my book, buy my book, please buy my book.” Even though that is kind of the point, isn’t it? Of course, I want folks to buy my books. More importantly I want them to like them.

Don’t let us down

The let down comes when you know that many have purchased the books but there isn’t much feedback. Authors need that feedback almost as much as we need to write. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that an author can’t go on without glorious words of praise. Sure, we like it but there is more to it. A little affirmation goes a long way for a writer. We need to know that someone found joy in what we wrote or it touched their soul or it reminded them of something they had lived. We need to know how our writing made you feel.

On the other hand, we also need to know if a reader didn’t like our work at all. I think that I get more out of a negative review than I do the nice ones. It makes me want to work harder on the next book. How will I know where I need to grow if no one tells me?

The lack of positive or negative feedback is what makes some writers give up, I think. So, maybe that is what I really want to say today. Take a few minutes after reading a book, any book by any author, to leave a review for the book. Let the author know whether they wrote something you enjoyed or didn’t. You never know but what your comment gave them the courage to keep writing….

Are you curious about my series? A Bundle of the first three books can be found on Amazon.

Roni Rainer

Meet Roni Rainer our protagonist

Veronica Rainer is the main character in the Roni Rainer Mysteries series. Not many people call her Veronica; her name was shortened to Roni when she was very small. There are a few people in her life that have different ways of addressing her. Mitchell Denton, Mitch for short, has called her Dimples since their grade school days. Her employees call her Mrs. R for the most part except for Clayton Burton (Clay) who usually calls her Boss Lady.

What makes Roni Rainer tick?

Roni was born on April 28, 1974 making her 43 when the series begins. Her birth date puts her in the astrological earth sign of Taurus. Being a Taurean, she is a generous, dependable and nurturing soul. She can resemble the Bull of the Heavens with her stubbornness and temper if she is pushed too far. Roni might be considered by many as a modern example of the original earth mother which is typical of the women born in her sign. Her approach in life is down to earth and practical. Roni prefers to provide situations for her friends and loved ones to shine rather than to try to prove to the world that she is intelligent or clever. Her patient nature allows her to plant the seeds of love in those around her while being willing to wait until they take root and grow.

taurus-ronis-sign
Taurus Bull (Roni’s Zodiac Sign)

Unlike many of the traditional amateur detectives in Cozy Mysteries, Roni is more of an accidental sleuth. She isn’t driven to solve the crime out of curiosity as much as her desire to ease the pain caused by the crime. Her motive is not to out-do the police in solving a crime. She feels comfortable to gather information from conversations and observations that will assist the law enforcement officers to make the needed arrests. The “warnings” that often direct her are due to her being an Earth Empath with strong intuitive abilities. She is connected to the earth around her sensing when there is danger or something out of balance. Roni can feel the emotions of the people she encounters instinctively; quickly determining whether they are to be trusted or not . Her spiritual adviser, Kitchi, has trained her to control the feelings in a way that they don’t overwhelm her since she was a small child.

Roni suffers from the loss of her parents in a car accident when she was only eight years old. She gives a lot of credit to her maternal grandmother, Grandma Claire, for raising her with the values that she has as an adult woman. In the beginning of the series she is married to a man who has been controlling and verbally abusive throughout their marriage. His treatment of her causes some pretty strong resolutions to never be treated like that again although they aren’t mentioned much in the story lines.

Physical Traits of Roni:

Roni Rainer is tall and slender. Her long black hair is straight and her eyes are very dark brown. She resembles her Ojibwe father more than her Caucasian mother. Her dimples, that melt Mitch Denton’s heart, are from her lovely mother. She is extremely attractive and has a natural sensuality that she is totally unaware of. I will leave it here because you as the reader will most likely visualize her differently than the woman who lives inside my head.

Book 3 in series launched

On March 4, 2019 the third book in the Roni Rainer Mysteries series launched on Amazon. The book is available in both digital and print versions.

Roni’s up-cycling business is thriving with the help of Charlotte’s creative ideas along with Brody Scott’s wood sculptures. She and the board of directors are busy planning the opening of the Community Center in a few weeks.

Although life is good for her in the small town of Beaver Falls, Indiana she still suffers from the trauma of her abduction and the break-up of her marriage. For the last six months she has visited the large boulder that the locals refer to as Talking Rock. There is something about the solitude along with the energy of the stone that helps her fight the negative demons in her head.

Her visit is cut short when she finds the body of a local man on the western face of the rock. Will she be able to help the handsome Deputy Mitch Denton find the culprit?

Find the answers while getting to know more about Roni and her friends in Beaver Falls. (The Puzzle of Talking Rock)

Love J A Whiting Sweet Cove Series

A Cozy Mystery Series That I Enjoy Reading

cozy mysteries
Reading Sweet Cove Series

Currently, I am in the middle of reading a series of cozy mysteries by J A Whiting called the Sweet Cove Mystery series. All of the stories take place in a small Massachusetts town named, you guessed it, Sweet Cove.

One of the reasons that I find these books so much fun to read is that instead of one amateur sleuth there are seven.  There are five humans and two very interesting felines. That is correct, J A Whiting has created a most interesting set of plots that involve more than one person working together to solve the mystery. I am finding her characters most lovable to follow through each book.


Sweet Cove Mystery Book 1

Each book follows Angie Roseland and her sisters in the cozy little town of Sweet Cove. Jenna is Angie’s twin sister along with two other sisters, Ellie and Courtney. So, I have named four of the five humans. In book one you will meet the four sisters along with one of the feline sleuths. I am not going to give away the fifth human’s name or the cat at this point. I hate it when people spoil a plot like that!

Without giving too much away, I will tell you that there is a little bit of paranormal activity taking place in the small town which makes the books even more fun to read. Again, I don’t want to spoil it for you so I am leaving it to you to read the series and find out what that activity entails.

Should you read them in order of publishing?

Each book can stand alone for an enjoyable reading experience.  I recommend that you start with book 1 in the Sweet Cove series and continue in order. The mystery in each book is solved at the end but often the next book will build on events that happened in the previous books. This is particularly true in the relationships and friendships that the sisters make from book to book.

The books are not too incredibly long, you could probably finish one in a couple of hours if you have the time to snuggle up and read. I believe that you will find them most entertaining and will become a fan of J A Whiting as I have.

Coffee Mugs For Authors

This writer drinks a lot of coffee

coffee for authors
Coffee for authors image courtesy of pixabay.com

Coffee mugs make wonderful gifts for authors, in my opinion. I would venture to say that most writers drink a lot of coffee or possibly tea to keep their juices flowing in a writing session. It is my beverage of choice, anyway.

When you have someone on your gift list who happens to be a writer, there are a variety of coffee mugs that are whimsical and functional for the author on your list. One of my favorites is:


Mug for the Author
coffee mugs

I love mugs like the one above because it is funny and useful all in one. Another good one would be, “Be careful what you say, I might use it in my next book.” Hopefully, I will find that one some day on a mug.

Another Coffee Mugs option for the author


Writes A Book Cup
coffee cup

Take it from an author, we love to talk about our books. It may be one we have already published or one we are working on. Just ask and we will talk your ear off!

All of us hope that one day we will find our name on a best seller list like Stephen King or J. K. Rowling. So, the mug below would be a perfect gift for one of us.


Best Seller Wanna Be Cup
best seller mug

Three mugs that are perfect for the author on your list for a gift and who also drink coffee while they write. Even if the warm beverage is not for the time they spend sitting at the keyboard or at their desk with pen and paper, I bet they drink at least one cup in the morning.

A fun thing to do when giving a gift like this is to fill it with something. Candy works well, sometimes we need a sugar high to keep us going! Another idea is to fill the cup with pencils or pens because we are always jotting down an idea that strikes us for the book we are working on. Including small post it notes is a great idea, too.

What about it? Would you consider one of these mugs for the author on your gift list?

My Sleuth Upcycles For A Living

Why did I choose upcycling as my sleuth’s small business?

upcycling wine bottles
Upcycled Wine bottles image courtesy of pixabay.com

Every Cozy Mystery, well almost all of them, have the element of a small business owner being the sleuth. I chose to have my sleuth own an upcycling business. Why use someone who upcycles? Well, quite honestly, I had not seen it done before. Having read hundreds of the cozy little mysteries, what is normally found are owners of:

  • book stores
  • antique shops
  • hobby shops like crochet, knitting and quilting
  • coffee shops
  • bakeries

My brain has a pretty good working knowledge of all of the above. So, how could I make my series of mysteries different? With upcycling or repurposing being quite the trend in decor for the home and office, it seemed a good choice for my sleuth to have a business in. Using my knowledge of antiques and recycling, I already had a good beginning for her business. Besides, I love that sort of thing.

Growing up, my family was pretty poor. Grandma taught me how to recycle before that was ever really a word in the dictionary. One just found ways to re-use items instead of throwing them away. It would be decades before I understood that what I was doing was re-purposing or upcycling items.

Cool factoid: Earth day was created on my birthday!

It only seemed natural for my sleuth, Roni Rainer, to have a business in the fictional small town of Beaver Falls that specializes in upcycling found items. Finding items to repurpose in her shop are easily found in her community through estate and garage sales, auctions and donations. I could visualize a shop with this sort of merchandise in my mind; so, I ran with it.

Where do I find repurposing ideas for her shop?

Oh goodness, there are a slew of places that I can search for ideas! Some are just in my own head but others can be found easily. I watch a lot of HGTV which often gives me inspiration. There are also upcycle  projects on their website that appeal to me.

Other places to look, if you want some ideas are Pinterest boards, Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens to name just a few. Seriously, just google the words upcycling or repurposing and you will find all sorts of places to travel to. It is what I do when I need some inspiration for something that Roni or Charlotte will make in the shop known in the series as, Revived.

My idea for her business seems to be appreciated by my readers. There was even a review that expressly mentioned an upcycled item. The gal said she wanted one of those ladder tables that the gals created. It made me chuckle just a bit because I want my hubby to make me one too.

Are you curious about what Roni and Charlotte create? By the way, the upcycled ladder table is described in the first book of the series. Perhaps now would be a good time to read Book One.

Sue Grafton Will Be Missed

Saying Goodbye To A Legend

My heart was saddened today to see the report that Sue Grafton has passed away at the age of 77. According to her daughter, Grafton had battled two long years with cancer. To her family I say, “I am so very sorry for your loss!” The world of mystery readers is saddened, too.  At least I know I am.

It is difficult for me to fathom that it has been 35 years since I read her first book in the Kinsey Millhone series, also known as the alphabet series. The first book, A is for Alibi made me an avid fan. I loved the character of Kinsey from the get go! Kind of a smart-ass and yet slightly broken. She was believable back then and remained so in all of the books that followed. That took some good writing, folks!

When the series was first released, we readers heard the ambitious goal of the author which was that she wanted to write a series of books for every letter in the alphabet. It kind of became a game for her fans to guess what the title would be for each novel before it was released. Pretty ingenious when you think about it. I don’t know whether she thought about it or not but her goal created a marketing plan that would last for a long time. We call it branding now, but back then it was just a brilliant stroke of genius.

Sue Grafton Ends The Alphabet With Y

Sadly, Sue didn’t get all the way through the alphabet. She almost made it ending with Y is for Yesterday; only one letter to go. Her daughter Jamie released a statement on Sue’s website announcing the passing of her mother. In the statement she reminds her fans that Sue was adamant that a ghost writer would never write under her name. It touched my heart when Jamie says that as far as the family is concerned the alphabet now ends with Y. That brought tears to my eyes!

I think that it is safe to say that Sue Grafton will be sorely missed by her loving family along with her millions of fans. Thank you for your wonderful work throughout the years with believable characters and plots. May you rest in peace dear lady!

 

Inspired By Stephen King

I Wish I Could Write Like Stephen King

I was late in becoming a fan of Stephen King, I had always avoided his books because I was under the impression that he only wrote in the horror genre. When I saw that he had written a book about the Kennedy Assassination back in 2011, I decided that I would take a look at it. As with many Americans in my generation, I distinctly remember the day they killed our president. I became a fan of Stephen King before I finished the first page of his book!

kennedy motorcade
Photo of the Kennedys and Connallys in the Presidential car in Dallas JFK Assassination Materials: Warren Commission Document CD 727 File Name: CD 727_2010_001

I became engrossed in his fictional account of that fateful day.  I, also, found myself drooling over his style of writing. My reading journey of 11/22/63  began while my husband and I began a long trip in the car. As I read that first few pages, I looked at my husband and said, “Wow, just wow!” I was already interested in the story and how he began telling it but it was more than that. He is a wordsmith; plain and simple. Six years after reading those first few pages, I still recall how he described a character in such a marvelous way that I knew the guy had cancer before he ever told us readers that in a later paragraph. That is a gift, my dear readers. An honest to goodness gift!

Suffice it to say, it was a book that I had trouble putting down and I told everyone I ran into that they should read it, too. When I read the final chapter, I was disappointed.  Not with his story but that I was no longer to be captivated by his words.

A series of tomes worth the time to read

I mentioned to my son-in-law that I had so loved reading Stephen King but as good as he was at descriptive writing I was truly afraid to read any of his horror books. I was certain that he would literally scare the bee-jeeze-us out of me. That is when my dear son by marriage introduced me to the Dark Tower series. This set of books are more in the fantasy fiction genre and they did not disappoint me at all. Well, truth be told I don’t think Mr. King would ever disappoint me with his work.

I have always wanted to write my own books and now I have actually started to do just that. My goal is to become maybe one fourth as good a wordsmith as Stephen King. I know that I will never be half as good or ever attain his ability in turning words into pictures but if I could just be 25% as good well that would be something!

Don’t allow yourself to not read something by Stephen King if you think that all he writes are horror stories. Take a gander at some of his other novels that fit into fantasy fiction. You will not be disappointed, I am sure. Experience a true craftsman in telling a tale with the ability to put words together that bring the images straight to your head.