The Book Diva’s Reads is incredibly honored to host a return visit from Tonya Kappes, author of the Divorced Diva Mystery series, the Laurel London Mystery series, the Magical Cures Mystery series, the Olivia Davis Mystery series, the Kenni Lowry Mystery series, the Killer Coffee Mystery series, the Ghostly Southern Mystery series, and more. Today Ms. Kappes will be discussing the value and importance of the reader from one author’s perspective. Read her thoughts on this matter, then read an excerpt from the latest addition to the Ghostly Southern Mystery series, A Ghostly Mortality, and finally enter to win a set of the Ghostly Southern Mystery series print books.
I’ll never forget the very first email I had received from a reader. She was telling me how much my books helped her through a very difficult time in her life. That is when I sat back and really took notice of how important a reader is.
You see, I started writing for myself. And when I decided to pursue publishing I still had myself in mind. I wanted to see my book on Amazon or on the shelf at the book store. It had become a dream of mine. BUT I never took into consideration who was going to buy my book. . .outside of my family.
And her email really touched me. Her words filled my soul with gratitude and joy. After her email, it was like the floodgates opened. One after the other, more and more reader mail popped up in my email. Each one had something different to say about my stories.
The more I heard from them, the more they fed my muse. I wanted to give them more. It wasn’t about me selling more books, it was about pleasing the readers that I had gained. I wanted to make them feel good and continue to feel good.
Sometimes I think that authors forget about the reader. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not putting any authors down or saying that I’m the right one here, but I see readers different than most writers.
I started a TONYA KAPPES STREET TEAM. This is a Facebook page where my readers have gathered and we talk about everyday life, what they are reading, or just a quick hello. It’s not a place for my readers to praise me. It’s the place where I PRAISE them!
Here is what it’s all about:
This is a team that I have assembled because you have been so supportive and an instrumental part of my success. I’m creating this group to help spread the word about my books. The best sell for an author is personal recommendation. The best way for me to do that is for you, my friends, to spread the word through email or word of mouth would be a great big help.
There isn’t much to it. As a member, you will join my online yahoo group which is a yes to the street team invite. And in return you get a chance to:
- Have a character named after you in my books
- Win monthly drawing for Street Team Members only – you are automatically entered. (this includes gift cards, books, and other fun stuff)
- In the month of my releases, you have a chance to win a $25 Visa Gift card
- Fun tips about my characters
- Extra more things!
What do you have to do to be a COZY KREW STREET TEAM MEMBER? You only have to do none or all of these:)
- Spread the word to family and friends about the books of mine that you really liked
- Take promo materials to local writers groups, conventions, etc…
- Be my friend
- Pick one of my books for your book club
- Skype me into your book club or google plus is fine too
- If you have a blog, feature my new book trailer, review my book, interview me
- Post reviews for my books on all the reader-centric sites like Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc…
I can’t take credit for the street team concept. It was coined in the 70’s with music executives working on spreading the word about new artists, and making them bigger names. But as authors, we have to find inventive ways with the explosion of social media to reach readers other than book signings.
on Tour February 28 – March 30, 2017
That ghost sure looks . . . familiar
Only a handful of people know that Emma Lee Raines, proprietor of a small-town Kentucky funeral home, is a “Betweener.” She helps ghosts stuck between here and the ever-after—murdered ghosts. Once Emma Lee gets them justice they can cross over to the great beyond.
But Emma Lee’s own sister refuses to believe in her special ability. In fact, the Raines sisters have barely gotten along since Charlotte Rae left the family business for the competition. After a doozy of an argument, Emma Lee is relieved to see Charlotte Rae back home to make nice. Until she realizes her usually snorting, sarcastic, family-ditching sister is a… ghost.
Charlotte Rae has no earthly idea who murdered her or why. With her heart in tatters, Emma Lee relies more than ever on her sexy beau, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross…because this time, catching a killer means the Raines sisters will have to make peace with each other first.
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: Witness
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0062466976 (ISBN13: 9780062466976)
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
“Lawdy bee.” Granny scooted to the edge of the chair and lifted her arms in the air like she was worshiping in the Sunday morning service at Sleepy Hollow Baptist and the spirit just got put in her.
I sucked in a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever was going to come out of Zula Fae Raines Payne’s mouth, my granny. She was a ball of southern spitfire in her five-foot-four-inch frame topped off with bright red hair that I wasn’t sure was real or out of a L’Oréal bottle she’d gotten down at the Buy-N-Fly.
“Please, please, please,” she begged. “Let me die before anything happens to Emma Lee.” Her body slid down the fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair as she fell to her knees with her hands clasped together, bringing them back up in the air as she pleaded to the Big Guy in the sky. “I’m begging you.”
“Are you nuts?” My voice faded to a hushed stillness. I glanced back at the closed door of my sister’s new office, in fear she was going to walk in and see Granny acting up. I sat in the other fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair next to Granny’s and grabbed her by the loose skin of her underarm. “Get back up on this chair before Charlotte Rae gets back in here and sees you acting like a fool.”
“What?” Granny quirked her eyebrows questioningly as if her behavior was normal. My head dropped along with my jaw in the “are you kidding me” look.
“Well, I ain’t lying!” She spat, “I do hope and pray you are the granddaughter that will be doing my funeral, unless you get a flare up of the ‘Funeral Trauma.’ ” She sucked in a deep breath and got up off her knees. She ran her bony fingers down the front of her cream sweater to smooth out any wrinkles so she’d be presentable like a good southern woman, forgetting she was just on her knees begging for mercy.
“Flare up?” I sighed with exasperation. “It’s not like arthritis.”
The “Funeral Trauma.” It was true. I was diagnosed with the “Funeral Trauma” after a decorative plastic Santa fell off the roof of Artie’s Meat and Deli, knocking me flat out cold and now I could see dead people. I had told Doc Clyde I was having some sort of hallucinations and seeing dead people, but he insisted I had been in the funeral business a little too long and seeing corpses all of my life had brought on the trauma. Truthfully, the Santa had given me a gift. Not a gift you’d expect Santa to give you, but it was the gift of seeing clients of Eternal Slumber, my family’s funeral home business where I was the undertaker. Some family business. Anyway, a psychic told me I was now a Betweener. I helped people who were stuck between here and the ever after. The Great Beyond. The Big Guy in the sky. One catch . . . the dead people I saw were murdered and they needed me to help them solve their murder before they could cross over.
“I’m fine,” I huffed and took the pamphlet off of Charlotte Rae’s desk, keeping my gift to myself. The only people who knew were me, the psychic and Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, my hot, hunky and sexy boyfriend. He was as handy as a pocket on a shirt when it came time for me to find a killer when a ghost was following me around. “We are here to get her to sign my papers and talk about this sideboard issue once and for all.” Granny stared at me.
My head slid forward like a turtle and I popped my eyes open.
“I’m fine,” I said through closed teeth.
“You are not fine.” Granny rolled her eyes so big, I swear she probably hurt herself. “People are still going around talking about how you talk to yourself.” She shook her finger at me. “If you don’t watch it, you are going to be committed. Surrounded by padded walls. Then—She jabbed her finger on my arm. I swatted her away with the pamphlet.
“Charlotte Rae will have full control over my dead body and I don’t want someone celebrating a wedding while I lay corpse in the next room. Lawdy bee,” Granny griped. I opened the pamphlet and tried to ignore Granny as best I could.
“Do you hear me, Emma Lee?” Granny asked. I could feel her beady eyes boring into me.
“Don’t you be disrespecting your elders. I asked you a question,” she warned when I didn’t immediately answer her question.
“Granny.” I placed the brochure in my lap and reminded myself to remain calm. Something I did often when it came to my granny. “I hear you. Don’t you worry about a thing. By the time you get ready to die, they will have you in the nut-house alongside me,” I joked, knowing it would get her goat. The door flung open and the click of Charlotte Rae’s high-dollar heels tapped the hardwood floor as she sashayed her way back into her office. The soft linen green suit complemented Charlotte’s sparkly green eyes and the chocolate scarf that was neatly tied around her neck. It was the perfect shade of brown to go with her long red hair and pale skin.
“I’m so sorry about that.” She stopped next to our chairs and looked between me and Granny. She shook the long, loose curls over her shoulders. “What? What is wrong, now?”
“Granny is all worried I’m going to get sent away to the nuthouse and you are going to lay her out here.” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them. Or did my subconscious take over my mouth? It was always a competition between me and Charlotte, only it was one-sided. Mine. Charlotte never viewed me as competition because she railroaded me all my life. Like now. She’d left Eternal Slumber with zero guilt, leaving me in charge so she could make more money at Hardgrove’s Legacy Center, formerly known as Hardgrove’s Funeral Homes until they got too big for their britches and decided to host every life event possible just to make more money.
Excerpt from A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes.
Copyright © 2017 by Tonya Kappes.
Reproduced with permission from Witness. All rights reserved.
Tonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tonya Kappes and Witness Impulse. There will be 1 US winner of one PRINTED set of The Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1-6 by Tonya Kappes. The giveaway begins on February 27th and runs through April 2nd, 2017.
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