The Ins and Outs of a Promo
I’ve never before joined a BookFunnel Promo, in fact, I think they are rather new. This one runs from October 1 — 7, 2019, and is for cozy paranormal mysteries. Hey, I can do that. I have a couple of books with ghosts and one with an imaginary cat. Unfortunately, there are only eight books signed up, so it probably won’t be a big success. (Just how much can you make off of a 99 cent book? Some are even free.) But it doesn’t cost a cent (other than the annual amount to use BookFunnel). And, I get to play with canva.com to make a visual. Which I did, as you see above.
The title of the promo is Witches and Wolves, but there are no books included with wolves. There’s a haunted ship, a dog that sees ghosts, a psychic cat, and a collection of both witches and ghosts. Oh, yes, if you want to take a look, here’s the link to these cozy mysteries.
I like to write my blogs for readers, but sometimes I include something for writers. Okay, this could be considered for both audiences, right? Tomorrow is my day to promote this to my newsletter. (That’s for readers.) I’ll do the wrap-up after this is over. (That’s for the writers.)
I’d love to hear any comment about my blog, or my stupendous, wonderful, took me all of 15 minutes to make visual. Okay, it was fun, anyway!
It’s Agatha Christie’s Birthday — Let’s Celebrate International Cozy Mystery Day
Did you know September 15 is Agatha Christie’s birthday? Since Dame Christie’s mysteries started the mystery genre now known as cozies, both England and the United States celebrate today as International Cozy Mystery Day. Officially, cozies are all about murder in a small community that is solved by someone other than the police. (Amateur detective, please step forward!)
English cozies can be quite mannerly, with Lords and Ladies. American cozies often involved dogs or cats, and especially food, or a small shop that sells a variety of things.
Cozy communities come in all varieties: small towns, fishing villages, farm communities, the sea shore, and even aboard ship. The time zone may certainly be current, but many cozies are set in the past. Some are even set in the future. There might be ghosts involved, artificial intelligence, or aliens, and even romance. Holidays bring out a new batch of titles. (Nothing quite like a little murder for Halloween, right?) In fact, anything or anyone can be included in a cozy — except a truly gruesome killing, a world-wide threat, or a professional crime solver!
I’ve illustrated a bit of variety with twelve covers. A couple of authors answered when I asked for volunteers. Some, I selected from a Guppy post. (Guppies are Sisters in Crime members.) I’ve read some of the books myself. And, others I just happened to have the cover copied to my canva dot come file. (Made it easy.) Some of the titles are quite old, some brand new. (I’m enclosing the Kindle links I find at Amazon — one is only available in print.)
What cozy do you love the most? Do you have a cozy series you can’t get enough of? One of my favorites is the series that includes Click Here For Murder by Donna Andrews. Unfortunately, I must be in the minority, as her publisher only wanted four of them. There definitely was an overall ongoing plot that never happened. (Oh, and the fact that the alphabet now ends at Y. But that one is understandable.)
Death By Dissertation — Christmas Cocoa Murder — Down in Flames — Portrait of a Dead Guy — Click Here for Murder — Cliff Hanger — A Souffle of Suspicion — Judge Thee Not — The Family Way — Strangled Eggs and Ham — Play It Again, Spam — Fat Cat at Large
A young widow trying to survive, a ghost with an agenda, and the boat they share.
That’s the elevator pitch for Death of a Hot Chick. What is an elevator pitch, you ask? That’s when an author finds herself in an elevator with an agent and she wants to tell said agent all about her wonderful book before the door opens.
I’m not looking for an agent. I want to tell readers about my mystery and the elevator pitch works for that too. I could tell you more, but instead, I’ll talk about the cover. The boat pictured is real. Some years before I wrote this book, I saw the original Snapdragon. I took pictures and asked the owner if I could place a murder mystery on her boat. She agreed, with one reservation. Not gonna tell you what that one was, but I will tell you, perhaps she should have asked for more.
Since Death of a Hot Chick is now available for all e‑readers, as well as in paperback, I want to show them all in one place. Do check them out.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBook | BAM | 24symbols |
Now, you have to admit—The Anteater of Death is an unusual name for a mystery story. Okay—crazy! But I truly like it. It’s got a lot going for it.
A. The name attracts attention. (Always good.)
B. The story lives up to the title. (Also good.)
C. The anteater (in a zoo, thankfully) is not only a suspect in murder, but has a devoted advocate in the heroine of the story—Teddy, the amateur detective.
This was how I put it a couple of months ago when I read The Anteater of Death:
The plot is full of unexpected twists, the characters are mostly known to each other (for generations) and quite individual. The suspense is right up there, along with enough humor to fit the title. But there is also suspense to keep the reader on the edge of her (or his) seat. The book starts and ends with a chapter in the anteater’s viewpoint—quite a bit different than a human viewpoint. In between it’s Teddy’s story. She’s related to the wealthy zoo donors and working at the zoo. And yes, there is death. Great story for those looking for the unusual subject. Spiced with zoo and animal information.
Right now the Kindle ebook is $.99. Betty Webb is the author. She has two other zoo books, and a desert series of mysteries.
Agatha awards, so named for Agatha Christie of mystery writing fame, are given every year at the Malice Domestic conference. One award is given for the top short story published the previous year. This year’s nominees are all winners, even though only one will receive the tea pot that is the coveted prize. Nominated for Best Short Story are:
“The Odds are Against Us” by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov. 2014
“Premonition” by Art Taylor, Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays (Wildside Press)
“The Shadow Knows” by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays (Wildside Press)
“Just Desserts for Johnny” by Edith Maxwell (Kings River Life Magazine)
“The Blessing Witch” by Kathy Lynn Emerson, Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave (Level Best Books)
Those who attend Malice Domestic this year are in for a dilemma. Which of these excellent stories will they vote for? What idea sparked the story? Find that answer on the Wicked Cozy Author blog, Best Short Agatha Nominees on Ideas. The Writers Who Kill blog asked each writer other questions. How many characters? How should they be developed? What comes first, story or theme? Their post is: An Interview with the 2014 Agatha Best Short Story Nominee Authors. They also have links to each story.
Wish I were going to Malice Domestic, except, then I’d have to decide which story was best. Quite an impossibility.
(Other links of interest are the Malice Domestic list of earlier short story winners and all more recent winners.)
I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed the Blackbird Sisters mysteries by Nancy Martin, but this is my latest. (Not hers, but I’m a bit behind.) The three sisters make do without the money they grew up with (and their parents misspent before they deserted the crumbling family home). Nora tries to keep body and soul together, save the family estate, and, oh, yes, not marry the man she loves who just happens to be a semi-reformed mobster. You see, there’s this thing about any man who marries one of the sisters (there have been several) dying a sudden and usually dreadful death.
That is something that runs through all the books. But the sisters have a lot more going on. Babies, for one. That’s one sister’s specialty—she’s had many husbands. Mystery for another. A mystery that involves Nora more than anyone. In this book, Nora is sent by the new boss at her newspaper to write a profile on a billionaire fashion designer at his new high-tech organic farm. Unfortunately, he is murdered before she can complete the interview.
To quote from the Goodreads description, “If anything can bring the blue-blooded Blackbird sisters together, it’s a murder investigation involving high-society events, glamorous people, and the disappearance of a genetically perfect pig that may or may not be basking in the sun at Blackbird Farm. They’ll all have to pull together this time, because if Nora can’t bring home the bacon, she might have to exchange her bucolic estate for a cramped walk-up.”
The Blackbird Sisters mysteries are always great reads. I especially liked this one. Lots of fun and fashion, mystery and danger. Nora and her sisters keep me enthralled!
Seasonal? Not as in salt and pepper or onion flakes. Oh, no. As in, it must be fall because kids went back to school, despite the fact that fall does not officially arrive until later in September. So, since it IS fall, Halloween must be close behind. How do I know? My local grocery store has a full display of Halloween Tastykakes. Yum!
Definitely time for spooky thoughts. Ghosts, magic, and spooky paranormal mystery books. Yes!
One series of choice for the season is L. L. Bartlett’s Jeff Resnick series. Bartlett (under two other names) writes two of my favorite cozy mystery series, but this is more of a psychological thriller. Jeff has dreams, or visions, of murder. How spooky is that? The first in the series is Murder on the Mind. The newest one, Dark Waters, comes out on October 1, 2013.
Another favorite series is Sofie Kelly’s Magical Cats mystery series. Are those cats real, ghosts, or what? One that I read is Curiosity Thrilled The Cat. The newest one, Final Catcall, also comes out October 1, 2013.
Soon I hope to announce my newest mystery, a spooky young adult titled Cherish. There are ghosts, time travel, and Halloween involved in this one.
I keep trying to get comments active on this post. Maybe this time? Don’t know yet. However, comments will be open on my Goodreads blog tomorrow.