Guest Post: Fran Lewis – WHAT IF?


Happy Monday, my bookish peeps. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I spent most of the weekend mired in reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks, as well as attending virtual book festival events. I feel very fortunate in that I’ve been able to escape into books throughout this pandemic. This morning, I’m pleased to turn the blog over to Fran Lewis, author of What If?. Ms. Lewis will be sharing with us her inspiration for writing What If?. I hope you’ll sit back and spend a few minutes with her, add What If? to your TBR list, and follow along with the blog tour. Thank you, Ms. Lewis, for visiting with us today. My book divas and divos, I give you Ms. Fran Lewis.



The Inspiration For Writing What If?


With this pandemic and people having issues with wearing a mask I decided to create different worlds that might have those people realize we could live in a world that is even worse. What If you had to conform to a wearing a set uniform every day? What If your job was what someone placed you in and there was no advancement? What if your family just disappears and you spend your life wandering fur years to find them? What if we learned to deal with our situation now and try getting along and stopping the violence and protests? Because who knows what’s next!

I thought about this long and hard and ad I walk at times or just take a ride I realize the changes in people and it’s sad. No one smiles, says hello, or even opens doors. The world is filled with the unpredictable and unexpected and a sense of humor is no longer appreciated. What keeps me centered and focused: doing my reviews, my broadcasts, and trying to not think about the negatives and try to appreciate the positives.

Every morning I take a walk and can feel the silence around me. The world is so different that I decided to create ones that are unique, frightening, and hopeless. My next book is titled What’s Next and it will focus on what is left of the world, which cities and countries have people, and the different circumstances they have to endure every day. One city will be covered in a special glass that reaches high above the trees and has a special air filtration system because the air outside has too much Co2. There’s more but you have to wait for it to come out.

The sad thing is that there are people who refuse to wear masks and only think about the way they look and disregard the health issues. Some travel to different locations and bring the virus back. I hope my book What If? gets people to really think about what’s next.






What if?

by Fran Lewis

on Tour October 1-31, 2020





What if? by Fran Lewis


Synopsis:




With the pandemic that never seems to be leaving us anytime soon I’ve created worlds that might make you pause for thought. Dark stories told by the characters as they experienced their journeys into worlds that you might not want to live in a hopefully be happy in the one you’re in.





Book Details:


Genre: Time Travel/ Sci Fi
Published by: Fidelli
Publication Date: July 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 78
ISBN: B08CNKX3DT
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads




Author Bio:


Fran Lewis

Fran Lewis is a reviewer, talk show host, mj network, reading and writing staff developer. She was the administrative assistant to the Principal and created original programs for students after school. She was the music director and created musical festivals along with other staff members. She’s a member of Marquis Who’s Who, Continental Who’s Who, and Who’s Who of America’s Professionals and Educators.


Catch Up With Fran Lewis On:


Website, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!



Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!







Guest Post: Siri Mitchell – EVERYWHERE TO HIDE



Happy Saturday, my bookish peeps! Over the years, I’ve learned quite a bit from reading fiction. I’ve seen glimpses into the past, into other cultures, and learned to empathize with everyone, no matter their race, creed, religion, or ethnicity. If I’ve learned simply by being a reader over 55 years, it’s not a stretch to imagine that authors might learn from writing fiction as well. I’m pleased to welcome Siri Mitchell, author of Everywhere to Hide, to the blog. Ms. Mitchell will be sharing what she’s learned from her characters with us today. I hope you’ll enjoy her visit and perhaps add Everywhere to Hide to your TBR list. Without further adieu, I give you, Siri Mitchell.




What My Characters Have Taught Me


I started writing in 1994 and I haven’t stopped since. During that time, I’ve learned a lot from my characters. They’ve taught me to:


1. Let go of what used to be. One of the best lessons I learned as a writer was to use the first few pages of the book to kick the main character out of the life that used to be and then to lock the door behind her so she can’t get back in. In a story, as in life, momentum comes from living in the present, from moving forward. It doesn’t come from sitting around, longing for the past.

2. Make choices and then commit to them. The most engaging characters don’t dither when they’re faced with a decision. They don’t draw decision trees. They don’t even play rock-paper-scissors. (At least, not normally.) They make the best decisions they can with the information they have at the moment. Do they get it wrong? Sometimes. But at least they don’t let others make decisions for them and they don’t wait around to get rescued by someone else. 

3. Be the person you are. Every person, every character, has flaws. Magic happens in a story when a character, who has tried for so long to hide or compensate for a weakness, has to fall back on that very thing in order to survive. My characters have taught me that those things you hate about yourself, those things that make you different than everyone else, can also become your salvation. You just have to lean into who you are instead of trying to run away from it.

4. Keep on going. You don’t get to the end of a story by taking a breather, throwing a tantrum, or creating a fantasy world to live in where people aren’t out to get you. Characters who react to trouble by cowering tend to be secondary characters. Know why? Because they’re not likable. They might be pitiable, but they’re not courageous. When life gets hard, get harder. When things are tough? Be tougher. Meet the moment. Take the risk. The only way out of a story is to keep walking through it.


It’s funny: when I first started writing, I had so many things I wanted to tell people through the characters in my stories. But as I look back, I realize I wasn’t as smart as I thought. And my characters were much more clever than I knew. 






Everywhere to Hide

by Siri Mitchell

on Tour October 1-31, 2020


Synopsis:


Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell



How can she protect herself from an enemy she can’t see?



Law school graduate Whitney Garrison is a survivor. She admirably deals with an abusive boyfriend, her mother’s death, mounting student debt, dwindling job opportunities, and a rare neurological condition that prevents her from recognizing human faces.

But witnessing a murder might be the crisis she can’t overcome.

The killer has every advantage. Though Whitney saw him, she has no idea what he looks like. He knows where she lives and works. He anticipates her every move. Worst of all, he’s hiding in plain sight and believes she has information he needs. Information worth killing for. Again.

As the hunter drives his prey into a net of terror and international intrigue, Whitney’s only ally, Detective Leo Baroni, is taken off the case. Stripped of all semblance of safety, Whitney must suspect everyone and trust no one—and hope to come out alive.




Book Details:


Genre: Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: October 6th 2020
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785228640 (ISBN13: 9780785228646)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook.com® | Goodreads




Siri Mitchell


Author Bio:


Siri Mitchell is the author of 16 novels. She has also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo.


Visit her online:


www.SiriMitchell.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!






Giveaway!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Siri Mitchell. There will be 3 winners.  Each winner will receive one (1) physical copy of Everywhere To Hide by Siri Mitchell (U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on October 1, 2020, and runs through November 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.


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Guest Post: Colleen Coble – TWO REASONS TO RUN

Two Reasons to Run

by Colleen Coble

on Tour September 21 – October 23, 2020



Good day, book people. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to participate with some lovely blog tour companies as I get to meet some wonderful authors and other bookish people. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I have a varied and eclectic reading style. I enjoy mysteries, thrillers, suspense, romance, YA, literary fiction, ChickLit, nonfiction, and more. If it’s well-written then there’s a pretty good chance I’m going to enjoy it. One author that I discovered through these blog tours is Colleen Coble. Needless to say, I jumped for joy (figuratively not literally), when offered the opportunity to host her on my blog for her latest book Two Reasons to Run. Without further adieu, I now turn my blog over to the USA Today best selling author, Colleen Coble. Thank you, Ms. Coble, for taking the time to stop by today and sharing some thoughts on what almost made you quit writing. May I say, I am so glad you didn’t quit and that I look forward to reading more of your writings in the future.


What made you almost quit?


It’s always been difficult to get published, and back in the 90s it was the same way. I’d sent off countless query letters with the first three chapters of Where Leads the Heart attached. And I got back rejection after rejection. Then finally a small publisher called Here’s Life wanted to publish it. Hooray!

But the next paragraph burst my happy bubble. The editor said the company was being acquired by Thomas Nelson, and the proposal would have to go before their pub board. I was hopeful and haunted by my mailbox for weeks. It didn’t pass pub board, and when that rejection came, I nearly gave up. My family encouraged me to keep going, and a sweet letter from the editor, Dan Benson, came at the right time. He told me he’d found real merit in the story and that I should keep submitting. His words were the impetus I needed, and I sent it out shortly after that to Barbour Publishing. An acceptance letter followed a few weeks later, and after revisions, I was off and running.

But it could have turned out so differently if I’d let that discouragement keep me from sending the proposal out again. I was blessed to get to work with Becky Germany at Barbour who let me really hone my voice without following the usual romance rules. I’ll always be grateful to her for giving me my start.

The really fun thing about that story is that when I wanted to switch to writing romantic mysteries, my agent sold Without a Trace to Thomas Nelson, the company that had rejected Where Leads the Heart, in 2002 and I’ve been there ever since. I’ve gotten the chance to learn from amazing editors and to work with a dream team that is second to none. Who would have thought it would come full circle? 



Synopsis:


Two Reasons to Run by Colleen Coble



Gripping romantic suspense from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.



A lie changed her world.



Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol.

A crisis looms.



When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged.

A killer targets her son.



Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good.

She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays?



Book Details:


Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0785228489 (ISBN13: 9780785228486)
Series: Pelican Harbor #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | ChristianBook.com | Goodreads


Author Bio:


Colleen Coble



Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.



Catch Up With Colleen Coble:


ColleenCoble.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!






Giveway!!



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Colleen Coble. There will be 3 winners, each winning One Little Lie by Colleen Coble (Print). The giveaway begins on September 21, 2020, and runs through October 25, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.


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Guest Post: Jeff Bond – DEAR DURWOOD

Good day, my bookish peeps. We’ve made it to another Friday, YAY! For most of us avid readers, our reading style may change a bit as we age, but the one thing we know when we read it is a good story. We enjoy the characters, the settings, the storylines, and the action. Everything about the story just seems to make sense and work. I’m incredibly pleased to welcome Mr. Jeff Bond, author of the Third Chance Enterprise series including Dear Durwood. Mr. Bond will be discussing why we need what he calls “balance in storytelling” to make stories believable. Thank you, Mr. Bond, for taking time away from your writing to visit with us today. The blog is yours!




Balance in Storytelling


My wife and I had a rare night to ourselves last month, the kids away at a sleepover, and decided to relax with some TV. I usually defer to whatever she wants to watch, but I had been itching to check out a movie on Netflix I’d been hearing about for months. For years, actually.

The Irishman.

De Niro … Pacino … Pesci … the three and a half hour runtime gave me pause, but I had fond memories of watching Goodfellas as a college student and couldn’t wait to see these actors reunited and doing their thing.

We watched the movie.

Now I wouldn’t dream of critiquing Martin Scorsese — and my purpose here isn’t to write a movie review — but we both sat back when the credits rolled with conflicted expressions.

“What did you think?” my wife asked.

I thought the film was subtle and moving and utterly convincing, but I didn’t love it. De Niro, Pacino, Pesci — those same actors I’d been excited to watch again felt somehow suffocating. It was just so much sameness. Leaving aside race for now — the only substantial female plotline involves the De Niro character’s daughter and her ongoing disapproval of his line of work, which she communicates with mute scowls and sidelong glances throughout the film.

In fairness, that’s the world of the Italian-American mafia. It would’ve been disingenuous for Scorsese to portray it otherwise. The issue never even crossed my mind as a young person watching Goodfellas, which owed partly to the different times and diversity not being something we all considered much. (Enough, I should say.)

Another difference between me twenty years ago and me now is that I’ve written several stories of my own. I’ve developed my own method for balancing a book along gender, racial, and sexual orientation lines. It’s nothing groundbreaking, usually just a document I’ll produce at the beginning of the project breaking out the main and secondary characters with either “m” or “f” beside each. If the proportions aren’t close, or if all the f‘s are good and m‘s are bad or vice versa, it’s time to rethink the mix. The technique isn’t perfect by any means, but I do notice now when a story seems to ignore the issue.

The reasons for balancing a book in such a way are simple. One, it reflects the world as it is — a goal anyone trying to write convincing realistic fiction should strive for. Second, it’s shamelessly better for sales. You don’t want to cut your potential audience in half by writing exclusively about one group, leaving others unrepresented. Now that’s an oversimplification because we’re all human beings, and I can certainly enjoy and identify with stories portraying the inner lives of women or people of different ethnic groups than myself. If readers can cast their minds into protagonists from outside their own experiences, though, there’s no reason authors can’t do likewise and meet them halfway.

In fact, I would’ve liked my recent releases to be more diverse than they are. Although I love the throwback pulp-style images my cover artist created for the Third Chance Enterprises books, I feel some angst at all the white faces there. I thought long and hard about making Durwood Oak Jones African-American. Some things about his character would’ve changed, but I think it could have been an interesting twist, paired with his conservative values and deep Appalachian roots. In the end, though, I didn’t feel comfortable risking accusations of cultural appropriation. The Third Chance Enterprises series is nothing more or less than a big, breezy thrill-ride, and I didn’t want to saddle it or tarnish readers’ experiences with an #ownVoices controversy.

I should say here that I have nothing but respect for #ownVoices as a movement. Its goals are the right ones and progress has clearly been made, particularly on the traditional publishing side. The world doesn’t need to weep that straight white male authors like me are slightly constrained in choosing our protagonists. I actually have a couple of books in the outline phase for my new Franklin series — which is more literary/slice-of-life in tone — featuring ensemble casts that should allow me to provide readers with a more representative mix of characters.

Diversity in fiction is tough, coming and going. It can feel artificial when done wrong and patronizing when done very wrong. Stories that reference a character’s protected class without a genuine need to do so seem token-ish. It’s important for writers to dig deep and find organic story elements that support more diverse casts.

In my second novel, Blackquest 40 — a kind of Die Hard in a San Francisco tech company —  I chose a young female computer programmer to be my Bruce Willis. The story revolves around a nightmarish corporate training exercise that turns darker by the hour, and I wanted above all to create maximum conflict between the corporate overlords running the “training” and my protagonist, Deb Bollinger. Given the macho bro-vibe of the Northern California tech world, I thought making Deb a lesbian would exacerbate that split in a good way — and also made sense given I was setting the story in San Francisco. (Partly because that’s where those companies are located; partly because I lived there six years and know the city well.)

This choice took traditional publishing off the table for Blackquest 40, due to #ownVoices concerns. I released it as an indie title and haven’t heard many complaints. Most readers like Deb and seem fine with my portrayal. There are certainly other authors who pull it off. James Patterson comes to mind with his Alex Cross series. Thrillers generally don’t have social statements at their core — they aren’t saying big important things about racial or gender identity — and there’s a side of me that feels like the genre should be ripe for more diverse heroes from authors of all backgrounds. But I realize my own perspective is limited here, and that the long legacy of exclusionary homogeneity in publishing looms over the issue.

Ultimately, like so many of us in this challenging year of 2020, I’m feeling my way through the dark, doing my best, trying to learn.






Dear Durwood

by Jeff Bond

on Tour August 1 – September 30, 2020



Synopsis:


Dear Durwood by Jeff Bond


Book two in the epic Third Chance Enterprises series, Dear Durwood is a standalone mystery pitting uncompromising principle against big city greed.

Durwood Oak Jones is a man of few indulgences. One he does allow is a standing ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine soliciting “injustices in need of attention.”

This month’s bundle of letters includes one from Carol Bridges, mayor of the dusty, blue-collar town of Chickasaw, Texas. For nearly a century, Chickasaw has relied on the jobs and goodwill of Hogan Consolidated, a family-run manufacturer of industrial parts. Now East Coast lawyers and investment bankers have taken aim at the company. The citizens of Chickasaw fear it may be acquired or bankrupted, leading to massive layoffs — effectively destroying the town.

Durwood and his trusty bluetick coonhound, Sue-Ann, fly to Texas to see what can be done. They find a young CEO born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Factory workers with hammers. A good woman, Carol Bridges, who knows her town is being cheated but can’t get to the bottom of how. And lawyers.

Dirty, good-for-nothing lawyers.





Book Details:


Genre: Action-Adventure / Western Romance
Published by: Jeff Bond Books
Publication Date: June 15, 2020
Number of Pages: 215
ISBN: 1732255296 (ISBN13: 9781732255296)
Series: Third Chance Enterprises
Purchase Links: Amazon | Third Chance Stories | Goodreads




Author Bio:


Jeff Bond

Jeff Bond is an American author of popular fiction. His books have been featured in The New York Review of Books, and his 2020 release, The Pinebox Vendetta, received the gold medal (top prize) in the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards. A Kansas native and Yale graduate, he now lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters.

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On:


JeffBondBooks.com
BookBub
Goodreads
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook!




Tour Participants:


Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!





Enter To Win!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeff Bond. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020, and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.


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Guest Post: Marlene M Bell – SPENT IDENTITY



If you’re an avid reader, like me, one of the first things you probably do is check out the cover art after looking at the title, author, and then proceed to read the synopsis. I’ve got to admit to being somewhat of a cover-art snob. If the artwork doesn’t grab me right away, even if I like the author and synopsis, I may put the book on my TBR list and wait sometime before I pick it up to read. Then there are some covers that just completely turn me off due to the amateurish artwork and is doesn’t matter how good the writing may be, I can’t get beyond the cover art. I know, that’s petty and I’m working on it. Today, I’m pleased to welcome the author of Spent Identity, Marlene M. Bell, who will be discussing with this us the importance of book covers. I hope you’ll sit back and follow what she has to say, put Spent Identity on your TBR list, and follow along with the rest of the blog tour. Thank you, Ms. Bell, for spending time with us this Saturday. I now turn the blog over to you.




Why Book Covers are So Important


The key to choosing a cover is knowing your genre. Deciding on a cover doesn’t necessarily mean you can pick anything you like. It’s more what the reader who reads in your genre is expecting to see as your cover. If trying for new, groundbreaking cover art to intrigue, you may find yourself lacking in book sales. Readers want to be visually pulled into the story, but only if they can understand your story—in your genre—from your cover art.

If you can swing a professional book cover designer, I highly recommend that source versus a basic ready-made cover. Stock photos are so common and easy to slap together, but what does that say about you as an author? Stock images are ho-hum boring! I’ve seen a few photos that have worked well as long as there are interesting elements added to a standard photo. Only a few creative designers can pull that off well, however. 

I’ve personally used a husband and wife team from Australia who design all elements on their covers from start to finish. I found them after I fell in love with one of their winning covers in a contest. I was thrilled with my cover for Stolen Obsession! The extra money spent on a fully designed cover was well worth the effort. The cover for Stolen Obsession won the 2018 Independent Book Award for Best Cover in the Fiction Category and the IndieReader cover award. 

In my second book, Spent Identity, I went into a different direction to find my cover designer because my first designers were overloaded with new clients and I would have a long wait. 99 Designs is an online website for graphic designers all over the world. I found Isabel Robalo from Portugal, there. The cover for Spent Identity is simple yet portrays a feeling of foreboding that goes along in the mystery/suspense genres. The book won the 2020 Independent Press Award and has been named as a finalist in other contests currently running this year. It’s well worth your time to research many cover designers before you make your final choice. Expect to pay from $200 to $600 for top designers who create more than stock premade covers.






Spent Identity

by Marlene M. Bell

on Tour August 1-31, 2020




Synopsis:


Spent Identity by Marlene M. Bell

Farm For Sale. 360-acre lot with ranch-style home. Refurbished barn. Corpse not included.



To find her missing aunt, she has to unearth the secrets of the past. But lies and deceit run through the very heart of their town…

What started out as a promising relationship with adventurer and tycoon Alec Zavos has fizzled into an uncertain future for antiquities expert Annalisse Drury. Returning to Walker Farm in Upstate New York to see her Aunt Kate should have been a welcome homecoming and distraction. Instead, she finds the childhood home she expected to inherit is for sale, without her permission. What’s worse, Kate’s ranch manager makes a gruesome discovery in the barn: the body of an unidentified man, dead by foul play.

Annalisse turns to Alec for help. She and her aunt shelter on his estate in the Catskills while the authorities canvass the scene. But when Kate herself disappears without a trace, Annalisse fears the worst: that one of the many secrets of her hometown has ensnared her family—a secret someone is willing to kill for to keep hidden.




Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Ewephoric Publishing
Publication Date: December 11th 2019
Number of Pages: 378
ISBN: 0999539426 (ISBN13: 9780999539422)
Series: Annalisse Series #2 || This is a Stand-Alone novel but the reader may gain more about the character’s past if they pick up the first book.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads




Author Bio:


Marlene M. Bell

Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer and acclaimed artist as well as a photographer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living, and Sheep Industry News, to name a few.

Her catalog venture, Ewephoric, began in 1985 out of her desire to locate personalized sheep stationery. She rarely found sheep products through catalogs and set out to design them herself. Order Ewephoric gifts online or request a catalog at TexasSheep.com.

Marlene and her husband, Gregg, reside in beautiful East Texas on a wooded ranch with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, along with Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats that believe they rule the household—and do.


Catch Up With Marlene M. Bell:


MarleneMBell.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!



Tour Participants:


Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!






Giveaway Image



Enter To Win!:



This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Marlene M. Bell. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a set of autographed books, a notebook, and silver jewelry. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020, and runs through September 2, 2020. Open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. Void where prohibited.



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Guest Post: Vicki Delany – TEA & TREACHERY

Happy Monday, book people. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got some reading done. It seems as if COVID-19 is going to be with us for a little while longer, so I’ve been traveling vicariously through the stories I’ve been reading lately. I’ve visited Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Boston (man, do I miss Boston; I lived there many, many years ago). I’m pleased to welcome Vicki Delany as today’s guest host and she’ll be whisking us off to Cape Cod (another place I miss visiting IRL). I hope you’ll enjoy her introduction to the Cape and her new Tea by the Sea series starting with Tea & Treachery. Thank you, Ms. Delany, for stopping by this morning and evoking some fond memories of Cape Cod for me. 




Escape to the Seaside! By Vicki Delany



When I started writing the new Tea by the Sea series for Kensington, I had no doubt at all as to where I’d set the books. Cape Cod. 

After all, what would be nicer than visiting a tea room called Tea by the Sea or staying in a B&B named Victoria-on-Sea? Cozy mysteries are largely about escape. We read cozies because they provide a break from our normal lives, particularly in stressful times such as these. If you’re not able to get away this year to your favorite holiday location, you can at least go in the pages of a book. And what better than an escape to the sea, to stay in a beautiful historical mansion, enjoy afternoon tea, and forget all about viruses, and social distancing, and missing friends and family. 
  
I myself live nowhere near the sea but I love visiting for the drama of the ocean. The beaches on a calm day, the tide pools teeming with life, the wild storms. All of which, of course, provides an author with a marvelous background for descriptions and for creating atmosphere in a book. I have found that people like reading books set in places they have visiting for vacation. I know I do:  it helps to bring back those fond memories. 

The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, which I also write, are set on a different part of Cape Cod, in the Lower Cape near the town of Chatham, on both the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Sound. I moved the Tea by the Sea series further north, to the Outer Cape, and put the tea room and the B&B just outside the town of North Augusta. North Augusta is fictional, but it’s located (supposedly) near North Truro, looking west over Cape Cod Bay.


At five to six, Éclair and I made our daily commute across the yard toward the house. The property is perched on the west side of the long curving peninsula that makes up the Outer Cape section of Cape Cod, overlooking Cape Cod Bay toward the mainland. The sun doesn’t rise over the water, but the morning view is still spectacular when the long rays of light creep slowly across the bay. There was no wind this morning, and the surface of the water was as smooth and shiny as the surface of the glass tray we served breakfast muffins on. By Cape Cod standards, we’re pretty high here, about a hundred and twenty-five feet above sea level, giving me a nice view of the morning’s activity on the bay. Working fishing boats, charters, and sailboats dotted the calm blue water. In a few hours the whale-watching boats would pass by, heading for the top of the Cape and the open ocean and the animals’ feeding grounds. I stood at the edge of the bluffs, and leaned on the fence protecting walkers from the sharp drop-off. I breathed the sea air and felt the soft, salty wind caress my face, while Éclair ran in circles, sniffing at the ground. I could think of no better place to start the day. Whenever I began to regret leaving Manhattan, I came here, stood still, and simply breathed. 


Tea and Treachery by Vicki Delany. Copyright © 2020 by Vicki Delany. 
Published by Kensington Books. All Rights Reserved.


I hope you’re able to join me this summer on Cape Cod Bay and simply breathe.





Tea & Treachery (Tea by the Sea Mysteries)

by Vicki Delany


About Tea & Treachery



Tea & Treachery (Tea by the Sea Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725069
ISBN-13: 978-1496725066
Digital ASIN: B07ZPKGT3R



In this charming new cozy mystery series from nationally bestselling author, Vicki Delany, a New York City expat-turned-Cape Cod tea shop owner must solve the murder of a local real estate developer to help her feisty grandmother out of a jam . . .



As the proud proprietor and head pastry chef of Tea by the Sea, a traditional English tearoom on the picturesque bluffs of Cape Cod, Roberts has her hands full, often literally. But nothing keeps her busier than steering her sassy grandmother, Rose, away from trouble. Rose operates the grand old Victorian B & B adjacent to Lily’s tea shop . . . for now. An aggressive real estate developer, Jack Ford, is pushing hard to rezone nearby land, with an eye toward building a sprawling golf resort, which would drive Rose and Lily out of business.



Tempers are already steaming, but things really get sticky when Ford is found dead at the foot of Rose’s property and the police think she had something to do with his dramatic demise. Lily can’t let her grandmother get burned by a false murder charge. So she starts her own investigation and discovers Ford’s been brewing bad blood all over town, from his jilted lover to his trophy wife to his shady business partners. Now, it’s down to Lily to stir up some clues, sift through the suspects, and uncover the real killer before Rose is left holding the tea bag.



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About Vicki Delany


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Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea by the Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane Books, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates) for Crooked Lane.


Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. She is the 2019 recipient of the Derrick Murdoch Award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. Vicki lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.


Author Links

Website –  www.vickidelany.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/evagatesauthor;

Twitter:  @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor

Instagram: vickidelany



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