Nominee – Kindle Scout

Forgotten_ebook final coverThere are a lot of good books listed on Kindle Scout for readers to nominate. Forgotten Body is mine. It’s a good deal for readers as well as authors. The program lists each accepted book for thirty days, then gives readers the opportunity to nominate their favorites. Best part—when a book is chosen for publication by Kindle Scout, all those who nominated that title get it free (as an e-book) shortly before publication.

The program is good for authors too as they receive an advance and a favorable contract.

My blurb: Jo Durbin, embedded reporter, covers a reenactment of America’s forgotten War of 1812. Piece of cake. Action, faux dead bodies, pretend battles, and everyday lives of the RVers (Workampers)—all fodder for her pen. Except there’s a real body, forgotten in the grass. With the victim’s checkered past, suspects multiply. When children are endangered, Jo follows a figment of her imagination despite any help or hindrance from her sister, a friend, and the man who wants to be more than a friend.

 

Kindle Scout book coming-Forgotten Body

Forgotten_ebook final coverNovember 14, 2015, is the big day! I just got word this morning (the 12th). My next mystery, Forgotten Body, will be on Kindle Scout.

Okay, you want to know exactly what Kindle Scout is? It’s partly a choose-your-own-read, in that anyone can nominate books they would like to read. After giving the reading public thirty days to choose a book, Amazon decides which ones they will publish in e-book form. (Part of their decision is based on the book’s popularity.) The best part for the reader: You receive a free e-book copy of each of the books you nominated. Okay, that’s only true if they decide to publish the book. (If not, they tell you where it is available.) As a reader, I’ve nominated many books I’d like to read. (They allow three nominations at a time.) Several have been published by Kindle Scout, so I’ve received free e-books. They were all great reads. They earned four or five stars when I placed my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. (Since I know those reviews help the author and the reader, I try to review every book I read.)

Of course, there’s good news for the author too. The Kindle Scout program offers a favorable contract with advance and royalties, as well as publicity.

The Kindle Scout site for Forgotten Body will include the one sentence teaser, the blurb, and almost all of the first two chapters. It will even tell you something about me and ask me questions. (I answer, of course.) Meanwhile, I’ll tell you Forgotten Body is a sequel to Yesterday’s Body. Jo Durbin, my amateur detective will do her thing (along with that elusive, imaginary cat) at a reenactment of the War of 1812. On Saturday the 12th, the whole thing will go live here. So visit, and if you like what you see, nominate. If you have any questions, ask here.

Five Stars for Deadly Occupation

10-19 Bloody OccupationDeadly Occupation is a just-published prequel to the other Michael Stoddard historic mysteries. Lieutenant Stoddard is a British officer stationed in the American colonies during the Revolution. As such, one might not think him a hero to a 2015 American reader, but that is not a concern for this American reader. I have read the other mysteries in this series, and while I recognize characters from those, this book gives backgrounds of characters without spoiling or revealing anything from other books.

The Stoddard books bring out the ambiguity in America at that time. There were Americans who preferred British rule as well as those who didn’t. (And there were nasties on each side, one revealed for sure.) Deadly Occupation also illustrates the ambiguities of historians, for Suzanne Adair has delved into history that is seldom reported. Makes for a (excuse me) damn good read!

Other readers agree. Here’s a bit from one Amazon five-star review: “Michael Stoddard is a young, 27-year-old, Lieutenant with a gift for solving crimes, a chin full of blemishes, and a murky past. In this novel, he chooses an assistant, 18-year-old Nick Spry. Spry has his own talents, an eye for detail and a relaxed way with people that encourages them to open up to him. He’s young, but he’s no one’s fool. They are an unlikely pair, yet they get results.

“Whether stationed in one location or on the move with the Regiment, the settings are well-crafted with historical details that bring each scene to life. The suspects and characters populating the novels are realistic, with basic human motivations. They are colorful, interesting, and many are seemingly drawn from authentic historic figures.”

One place to order Deadly Occupation is Amazon. (There are others as well.)

I’m on the Hen House Blog

The years my husband and I spent sailing on Chesapeake Bay and beyond contributed to my mystery writing. For one, I found a couple of boats I wanted to include in my stories. One, a small lobster boat converted to a live-aboard cruiser, is front and center of my second published mystery. Here’s the picture, and here’s the resulting cover.

Snapdragon1

HotChickSmallerFrontCoverThat’s just one of my stories. As one of the contributors to the Sisters in Crime Writes of Passage, today I visit the Hen House Blog. Come read my story and see a couple of pictures of why I place my mysteries on Chesapeake Bay.

 

Five Stars for The Witch Doctor’s Wife

9-28 Witch doctors wifeWith The Witch Doctor’s Wife, Tamar Myers delves into her personal history as the daughter of Christian missionaries in the Belgian Congo. Rich and alive with the sights and sounds of the continent—as exciting, evocative, charming, and suspenseful as Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels—Myer’s unforgettable excursion to colonial Africa recalls Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, even the Academy Award-nominated film Blood Diamond. Award-winning author Carolyn Hart raves: “Mesmerizing….The Witch Doctor’s Wife will long linger in the hearts and minds of readers. Authentic. Powerful. Triumphant.”

The above is part of the publisher’s blurb for the book that followed many of Tamar Myer’s two wonderfully funny and clever cozy mysteries. I read The Witch Doctor’s Wife about five years ago, before I joined Goodreads, before I had a blog, and, mainly—before I began reviewing the books I read. However, I remember it fondly, so you know it has staying power.

I did interview Tamar for the Sisters in Crime blog. I remember a couple of answers from that interview. For one, she had a computer dedicated to writing, with no games or internet access. (That’s one I really, really should follow.) Also, she said she didn’t write the story—it was already written. All she did was ask the Universe to deliver her daily portion of creativity and it did. She then sat down and wrote a thousand polished words a day, five days a week.

And that is talent!

Incidentally, she has written more books in that series, as well as continuing the cozy series. In fact, she has a four-page Amazon author page. For a taste of Tamar’s fun, I would suggest reading the acknowledgments in Death of Pie.

Five Stars for Digital Dick

I like mystery: cozy, noir, historic, romantic, suspense, and especially off-beat mystery. Digital Dick definitely qualifies on that last one.

9-21 Digital Dick coverI absolutely love this book about a sentient computer. That’s a computer who learns to solve crimes while wishing he had hands so he could plug into the electricity himself. He learns as he goes along, but he’s quite knowledgeable for a seven-year old. Still, his goofs on proper behavior are funny (or exasperating to his human sister), while, of course, he mentally runs rings around the bad guys. Even the guys who aren’t bad, just don’t believe in Digital Dick.

The publishers says, “As a computer with a human personality, Dick Young struggles to understand people. Some would deny personhood to Dick, others who fear him would take him apart chip by chip.

“After he witnesses a bloody murder, Dick offers to assist the San Diego Police Department catch the killer. But when the search for the murderer turns up a second body, Dick’s Satisfaction Index plummets. He breaks company with the police and begins investigating the case on his own. As he follows the clues, Dick learns more and more about humans: how they live, how they love and how they murder. He will need that knowledge to overcome the killer who threatens to destroy Dick and everyone that Dick holds dear.”

The July 2015 Midwest Book Review, puts it this way: “In addition to taking the prize for originality, this book is a great piece of story-telling and a good read. I highly recommend it.”

And I add, if you like your mystery with a great sense of humor while keeping up the suspense, this is the read for you.

Five Stars for Buried In A Bog

9-14 Buried in a Bog coverI’m going back in my Goodreads file of five star reads. If I look at one I read two years ago and I can remember the story with renewed pleasure, I know it deserved every one of those five stars. That’s this one, Buried In A Bog, by Sheila Connolly.

My review:  This is the first of Sheila Connolly’s third mystery series, and my favorite. Buried in a Bog is far more than a mystery–it’s the story of a young woman from Boston dealing with loss and finding her way forward, as well as a story of a small village in Ireland. It was grandmother’s last wish that she visit. It’s a story of relationships, generations, and above all, real—actually fictional, but for sure real people. It’s a mystery too, dealing with murder. This book satisfies on every level.

Another reviewer said, “Awesome book! The setting was cozy and real and made me want to head off to Ireland for a spell. Can’t wait for the next one!”

Since then, Sheila Connolly has written the next one, and others as well. I especially like the first of her fourth series as well. (It’s a bit woo woo.) But why don’t you check out all of her series on her Amazon author page? You’ll be glad you did.

Five Stars for Murder on Lexington Avenue

8-31 Victoria Thompson coverMurder on Lexington Avenue is the 12th in Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight Mystery series. I’ve read several, but this one is a favorite of mine. My review: Sarah Brandt, New York midwife in the early 1900s, keeps getting involved in murder while delivering babies. It isn’t anything about souls passing in and out, it’s just that the same people are involved. While one woman is having a baby, someone she knows, be it her family or her neighbors, is mixed up in murder, often as the victim. Sarah is handy and willing to help out an Irish cop, Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy. In this case, the teenage daughter of the victim is involved with conflicting schools of training the deaf. Her father is a generally disliked business owner. But, who killed him? Seemingly he was alone at his place of business. His business partner, and several others may have visited. Or, none of them saw him, if one is to believe the testimony. And, even if Frank Malloy finds the killer, 1903 in New York often meant Frank, although he was the police, would find it difficult to accuse anyone who had the money to make sure he didn’t keep his job. Then another murder complicates the possibilities.

The ambiance is authentic, the plot is devious, the characters are a mix from delightful to devilish. Best of all, the outcome is completely unexpected, but, oh so absolutely right! Highly recommended to mystery and history readers.

Victoria Thompson has been nominated for an Agatha for historic mystery. There are now 17 books in the series. Her Amazon author page is here. (I believe the midwife and the police detective sergeant are planning to wed in the latest. Must read that too!)

Five Stars for Death By A Dark Horse

8-17 Death by a Dark HorseWhen Thea’s missing horse, Blackie, is found in the pasture with a dead woman, the first thought was that crushed head was caused by Blackie. Thea knows that’s not true, but how did Valerie die?

Was it murder? Who did it? And why? Soon Thea is asking all those questions, but so are the police, and they have more clout.

Death by a Dark Horse is the first in Susan Schreyer’s Thea Campbell series. Blackie is a prominent character in each one. (For a horse lover, how can that be bad?) And, since Thea has a habit of finding danger, and her horse seems to realize that—how can that be bad for a mystery lover?

Let me share some other reviews from Goodreads. “The cleverly titled Death By A Dark Horse has all the trappings of an engaging murder mystery: high stakes, an independent heroine, intimidating goons and a clever villain. All of this is set upon a backdrop of horse-riding and dressage, so right off the bat I can easily recommend this story to horse lovers.”

Another one: “This mystery has enough twists, turns, and interesting characters to keep me reaching for my Kindle every free moment.

“I enjoyed learning interesting tidbits about horses and their care while trying to figure out “whodunit” and why. The protagonist’s characteristics make her someone I will follow into the next book of the series: Levels Of Deception.”

I, too, found this mystery a captivating read. Recommended for horse lovers, mystery lovers, heck, let’s just say for all readers and be done with it! And, I just discovered, right now it’s a free ebook at Amazon.