Audiobook Giveaway!

I just found out that the audiobook of Murder in Cottage #6 is now available. With such good news, I decided to do a Giveaway. Please leave a comment, and if you haven’t done so already, please sign up for my newsletter.

Contest ends this Friday at midnight. I’ll be giving away two audio books. Good luck and as always, enjoy!

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Murder at the Cooking School Has Landed!

Happy Monday!
I was just notified that Murder at the Cooking School is now available on Amazon Kindle. I wanted you to be the first to know. Here’s the link: getBook.at/School. The print version will be available in a couple of days.
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Here a brief synopsis – it’s #7 in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series..
“Cooking is nourishing. Murder isn’t. Kelly and her husband, Sheriff Mike, take a belated honeymoon and travel to a cooking school at the Castello di Nardo in Tuscany. The day after they arrive, they learn that Signora Nardo, the owner of the cooking school, has been murdered.
The Signora had her share of people who would like to see the first lady of the castle dead, including her brother, Salvadore, her lover, Giovanni, her lover’s wife, Angelica, the Signora’s husband, a rival cooking school owner, and her sister-in-law, who happens to be the resident chef at the cooking school. Identifying suspects isn’t the problem – finding out which of the suspects killed the Signora is.
Follow Kelly, Mike, and her new four-legged furry friend, Caesar, while they help the local chief of police try to solve the murder. There’s plenty of mouth-watering food, recipes, and a very big guard dog.”
It’s priced at an introductory price of $.99 for now, but I do want to let you know that I will be raising the price shortly.
My husband and I were fortunate to spend time in Tuscany at a cooking school. The recipes all come from there as well as some of the experiences, but we never had to deal with murder!
Enjoy!

Everyone Needs A Bernadette In Their Life!

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It’s not often I use my blog to urge you to buy  a book that I believe is a “must read” for everyone. Today I’m doing that. The book is Love A Foot Above the Ground by Anna Celeste Burke, and yes, that badge is correct. It was recently voted by readers as one of 50 self-published books worth reading.

It’s not only charming, it beautifully deals with the subject of love and loss – for a young woman. I was so taken with the book that I contacted the author and asked her if I might write a blog and if she would let me know how Bernadette came about. Was she someone in Ms. Burke’s past or a created character. It really doesn’t matter, because she’s simply one of the best characters I’ve run across, and I read a lot!!!

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I invite you to read her thoughts on Bernadette and when you’re finished with that, buy the book on Amazon. Believe me, you won’t regret it! Here’s the link: http://ow.ly/RswZO

Without further ado, here’s Ms. Burke’s thoughts on Bernadette:

Imagining Bernadette…

Rich or poor, we should all have a Bernadette in our lives.

Love a Foot above the Ground is Bernadette’s story. She’s a major character in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series. That series features uber-rich Jessica Huntington as a reluctant amateur sleuth. It whisks together mystery and a family saga with themes found in women’s fiction—infidelity, betrayal, divorce, addiction, family and relationship problems. The biggest mystery for Jessica to solve is how her privileged, well-planned life has turned into an utter disaster.

Bernadette is the leavening agent, a key ingredient that adds spice to this series. A mother figure, she’s the heart of the home where Jessica grew up, even though Bernadette’s not related to any of them. Hired to manage the estate before Jessica’s birth, Bernadette soon became much more. The Huntingtons are blessed with good things—wealth, status, education, an illustrious genealogy, but as in so many families that seem to have it all, there is something missing. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, good mental health, morality or ethics, important things that Bernadette seems to possess in spades.

Tough as nails, resourceful, and resilient, Bernadette’s capacity for good is disproportionate to her physical size: she’s tiny. Her influence is disproportionate to her social standing as measured by any of the metrics used to track status, place people in a ‘class,’ or locate them on a hierarchy of power and success. She’s a household manager, and to many that’s synonymous with ‘the maid.’ The maid she is not! Bernadette has a profound sense of service and duty without being subservient. She’s kind and funny, but fierce too when making sure Jessica faces the problems in her life. In book 2 of the Jessica Huntington series, A DEAD SISTER, she tells Jessica: “The worst kind of truth is better than the best lie.”

Love a Foot above the Ground is a glimpse into Bernadette’s past, the circumstances that forged her character, and the bond she formed with Jessica. Bernadette’s story reflects a profound faith and a love of family, nurtured in a traditional setting: a small fishing village on the Sea of Cortez in the 1960s. In her world, “love lifts you up about a foot above the ground,” she tells Jessica, and “even the shadows cast by love are heaven sent.”

She knows what she’s talking about. Bernadette’s world came crashing down around her at sixteen. Those events might have crushed many of us. Not Bernadette. In this coming of age story there’s romance, adventure, mystery, and tragic loss, but Bernadette prevails, an inspiration to us all.

Where does this character come from? Elements of Bernadette recount heroic female figures from my favorite childhood books. Heroines in real life, too, who showed up in school auditoriums to tell us that girls had the right to dream big! She’s also a testament to my chance encounters with every day saints. I’m talking about women working as teachers, school nurses, sales clerks, librarians, counselors; tucked away in unglamorous nooks and crannies, offering small gestures of comfort and support we too often take for granted.

Is there a real Bernadette out there somewhere? I hope so—hordes of them, in fact.

Where to find the book:

AMAZON WORLDWIDE: http://smarturl.it/LOVEABOVE

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-a-foot-above-the-ground-anna-celeste-burke/1120962192?ean=9781505400687

SIGN UP! JOIN ME AT MY WEBSITE FOR MORE ABOUT MY BOOKS, BLOG, RECIPES, AND NEWS

http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com

LET’S CONNECT

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Anna-Celeste-Burke/e/B00H8J4IQS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/aburke59

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/annacelesteburke

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7553558.Anna_Celeste_Burke

OTHER BOOKS:

A DEAD HUSBAND http://smarturl.it/deadhus

A DEAD SISTER http://smarturl.it/deadsis

A DEAD DAUGHTER http://smarturl.it/deaddau

Thanks, Ms. Burke.

I’m a real fan of this lady’s writing, having read everything she’s written and thoroughly enjoyed each one, but I have to tell you, Bernadette will stay with you. If nothing else, put her in the corner of your mind. Her wisdom will serve you well!

 

 

Time for a Giveaway!

It’s time for a Giveaway! You may be one of two winners of my latest book in the Liz Lucas Cozy Mystery Series, The Death Card, by simply leaving a comment, signing up for my newsletter if you haven’t already done so, and going to my Facebook page, http://ow.ly/R9ArI, and sharing the post regarding the Giveaway. It will be at the top of the page. The Giveaway will end Saturday at midnight. Good luck!

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If you can’t wait to see if you’re a winner, here’s the link to buy it: getBook.at/Tarot

As always, enjoy!

Mystery Writers Revealed

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I’m involved with a group of authors in the mystery/cozy mystery genres and this is a date you don’t want to miss. A chance to ask authors questions, etc. I really think you’ll enjoy this, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know about it.

You Say Tomato…

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Duncan Whitehead is one of my absolute favorite authors. I’ve read everything he’s written, and I stand in awe of his wit and cleverness. He’s one of the few people who makes me laugh out loud. When I finish one of his books I’m always amazed at how he can weave a story with so many twists and turns you have no idea how it’s going to turn out. He’s the winner of the 2013 and 2014 Reader’s Favorite International Book Award and Gold Medalist.

I recently asked Duncan to write about his latest book, You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, She Says Murder. First a little background about Duncan. If you’ve not read this talented author before, I envy you. It’s rare to discover an extremely talented author who, after reading one book, makes us want to read everything that author has written. He’s one of the few I put in that category.

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Multi Award Winning Author, Duncan Whitehead hails from the UK and after a successful career in the Royal Navy where he served in British Embassies throughout South America before he joined the world of superyachts.

Eventually retiring to Savannah, Georgia, he began to partake of his greatest passion, writing. Initially writing short stories he finally put pen to paper and wrote THE GORDONSTON LADIES WALKING CLUB, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness of his new environment. The book, a dark comedy mystery, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists, is set in the leafy neighborhood where he once lived.

His passion for comedy saw submissions to many online satire news sites and a stint performing as a stand-up comedian.

Duncan has also written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for an assortment of websites, both in the US and the UK.

He has penned further novels; a comedy set in Manhattan, THE RELUCTANT JESUS, published in April 2014 and republished in July 2015. He has also recently released the final two books in THE GORDONSTON LADIES DOG WALKING CLUB TRILOGY.   He has also recently published two short stories.

Well known for his charity work, kindness to animals, children and old people; and, of course, his short-lived bullfighting career and his hideous hunchback.

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, She Says Murder

I wrote ‘Tomato’ because I enjoy reading quick short stories that end with a twist.  When I began writing it, I had already visualized an idyllic country village in Dorset, where everyone knew each other.  The characters were inspired by my imagination of two old ladies, growing old gracefully and having nothing really to worry about.

Both main characters have no worries, no fears. and the last thing you would expect is for them to be involved in a murder.

I love old English Black and White movies, and I adore Agatha Christie.  Ealing Studios in London used to produce many films that contained characters like the ladies in my book.

The book also has a moral tale.  It shows the lengths someone will go to to win; even if those measures are extreme.

The story is short and sweet, a bit like a tomato and, for info…I love them!

http://www.amazon.com/You-Say-Tomato-Says-Murder-ebook/dp/B012N6HYNE

http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Patricks-Day-Gordonston-Thriller-ebook/dp/B012AN01GW  –

http://www.amazon.com/Gordonston-Ladies-Dog-Walking-Club-ebook/dp/B00FN2KR2G  –  –

http://www.amazon.com/Unleashed-Gordonston-Walking-Mystery-Thriller-ebook/dp/B00NEX4VH8

http://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Jesus-Satirical-Dark-Comedy-ebook/dp/B011M8CQBY

http://www.amazon.com/Actors-Life-Dark-Satirical-Comedy-ebook/dp/B00CLH1PHM

Author Page 0n Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Duncan-Whitehead/e/B00AQIPK2O

Twitter  https://twitter.com/DuncanWhitehead

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheGordonstonLadiesDogWalkingClub

 

Have to Share!

Happy Tuesday!
Just back from British Columbia. My husband had salmon fly fishing on a floating barge hotel only accessible by fly in sea planes on his bucket list, so we decided to go. When we were weathered in at the airport for 24 hours in Port Hardy, British Columbia, I was beginning to have my doubts. Weather cleared, we got flown in, and he got salmon. Have to look at the glass half-full – and I was able to write 25,000 words in a new book. It ended up a win-win and we’re having salmon tonight!
Thrilled when I got back to find out that Murder in Cottage # 6 http://ow.ly/QLoT8 was voted by readers as being one of the top 50, actually #11, of the Best Self-Published Books Worth Reading of 2014-2015 This is a cozy mystery with lots of food and dogs. That was the first good news!
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And the second thing I want to share is the cover of my new book, Murder at the Cooking School. Full disclosure – my husband and I attended a cooking school in Tuscany several years ago, so there are certainly bits and parts of that experience in the book. As always, good food, recipes, a murder, and an Italian dog, a Courser breed, who naturally plays a big role in the book. It will be published in the next ten days or so. Just wanted to give you a head’s up!
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A Day In The Life Of An Author

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There’s an old Zen proverb I’ve always loved. It goes like this: “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” If you’re a child of the 60’s or 70’s you may remember a bestselling book of the same name.

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I’m always asked what does my day consist of? I was thinking about this and realized an author’s life is very similar to the saying with a couple of substitutions: “Before best selling books, write. After best selling books, write.” And that’s what I do.

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I’m an early riser, plus we have a puppy who likes to go outside about five in the morning. I let her out, make some coffee, and curl back up in bed with my iPad for some social media marketing which includes twitter and Facebook. Then I check my email and respond to that.

After that it’s time to get serious about the day, including a shower, maybe having my husband test my knowledge of crossword puzzles while I’m getting dressed, whatever.

Around 7:30 or 8:00 I usually begin my day at the computer in my office, again doing some more social media marketing – the things I couldn’t do from my iPad. There are always the normal interruptions – like the dog walker I decided would be very beneficial in the training of this puppy (by now you’re getting the sense that this is a very, very active young puppy!), a trip to the store, whatever! You all know the things that are involved in running a household – even as mundane as transferring the washing load to the dryer.

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I’m at my desk, on and off, until around 4:00 in the afternoon. My stomach has never opened up for a sit down breakfast, so I usually heat some leftovers from the night before and eat at my desk – yeah, I known, doctors and nutritionists wouldn’t approve, but at 71 and very healthy, what the heck!

During these hours I’ll write or edit a couple of chapters, check email and other social media and back again. It’s really nothing all that glamorous, and it’s a lot of hard work. From the time I started writing which really wasn’t all that long ago, I’ve done it almost every day, unless we’re on vacation, and I often even write then, on my iPad. Matter of fact, my very first foray into the field of writing was a book named Blue Coyote Motel. I wrote it entirely on my iPad while I was in Sacramento, California with my husband who was in the State Legislature at the time. I think the reason I’ve never had writers’ block is that I write almost every day. Some days it comes easily, some days are just grinding out the hours.

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In writing there are two types which are commonly referred to as pantsters or plotters. What that means is that many authors plan out their books, chapter by chapter, before they ever take finger to computer. Then there are those of us who simply can’t do it. I’ve tried, and believe me, I felt like I was in some small elevator and starting to hyperventilate from the sheer boxed in feeling I got.. I cannot write that way, but I’ve come to think of it as a bonus. When I start writing a book, I have no idea what’s going to happen and often, not a clue whodunit! Best of all worlds – I get to read a book while I’m writing it!

That’s just writing the book. Then there are the numerous discussions with the person who designs my covers and formats my books as well as the narrator who I now have narrating my books for audio. Not to mention the marketing. And so it goes! Nothing all that glamorous. I’m pretty much doing almost exactly the same thing I was before my books became best sellers. Still chopping wood and carrying water!

Would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll giveaway an ebook of the one that started the cozy mystery series – Kelly’s Koffee Shop!