Tag Archive | Henery Press

Cozy Prizes Friday: Staging is Murder



Just to show you how on top of my blog schedule I am, I had lunch with this lovely lady at Malice Domestic and didn’t realize she was scheduled for an interview today! Senior cozy author moment. Don’t forget to scroll down and enter for a chance at a free copy of Staging is Murder!

Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th-century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, replacing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties.

To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.

Worse still, the meddling of a horoscope-guided friend, a determined grandmother, and the local funeral director could get them all killed before Laura props the first pillow.

My Interview with Grace

  • How did you come with an idea for your book? 

There were two things I had to come up with for my book. One was the hook for my character, and the other one was the “what if” question.

In a cozy, the main character usually has a hook, which I learned is a profession or interest (baker, florist, garage sale expert, etc.) that becomes a major part of the story. I was advised that since I would be spending a lot of time writing about this hook that I should pick one that I like or know something about—or be willing to do a lot of research. After looking at all of the areas of my life, work, interests, hobbies, etc., I came to realize the one thing that I enjoyed was home staging. I had spent way too many hours watching HGTV home staging shows, and when I discovered that I had a knack for it, I helped friends stage their homes. So I decided that would be my hook, and that’s how STAGING IS MURDER came about.

The “What if” question is the basis for a story. For example, what if a young boy receives a scholarship to a school of wizardry? The basis of the Harry Potter books. What if a little girl and her home are blown away by a tornado? The basis for the “Wizard of Oz.” In my case, I wrote my mystery around the question: What if a fax went to the wrong number? What could be in that fax that might cause someone to commit murder?

  • What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

When I started writing fiction, the one thing that surprised me was how humor kept creeping into my writing—either from situations I put my characters in or from the snarky remarks my main character, Laura Bishop, made. A scene that I hope readers enjoy, and I hope find a bit humorous, is the one where Laura and her BFF Nita go to a campground at night to investigate whether some men living there in a rickety camper could be the ones who committed the murder. First they had to cross a field to get there, which they discovered had been used to graze cows. You can imagine the stuff they ran (or stepped) into. Later Nita also drags Laura to the same campground searching for some members of Hell’s Angels who might have been involved with the murder. Laura frequently ends up playing Ethel to Nita’s Lucy.

  • What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

I’m busy working on the second book in the Laura Bishop series (tentatively titled STAGING WARS). This one involves members of a local arts group. Laura gets to see Monica, her high school nemesis, behind bars and having to sleep on a cot without her usual silk sheets. Monica definitely needs Laura’s help. But would you be willing to help clear someone of murder when you suspect that person had an affair with your late husband?

I recently completed a short story about a woman who discovers her husband of twenty-five years plans to leave her for a very young woman who lives next door and what she plans to do about it. He may regret that he strayed.

  • If you could write any other genre what would that be?

I spent a career writing step-by-step procedural guidelines and computer user guides. Quite boring, which is why I turned to murder mysteries. But if I had to write in another area, I would probably draw on that experience and turn to writing nonfiction self-help books or articles. During my career, I helped guide a lot of people in writing their resumes and applying for work. I’m definitely not an expert in that area, but I know enough to help someone who doesn’t have a clue where to start.

  • Is there a giveaway or promotion with this book?

I will be happy to send one commenter a copy of the ARC for STAGING IS MURDER.

  • Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

I hope readers will enjoy STAGING IS MURDER, and if they are willing to leave a comment or review, I would greatly appreciate it. They can leave it at one of the following:

Amazon 

Goodreads

Grace’s Website: https://www.gracetopping.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gtoppingauthor

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44098504-staging-is-murder?from_search=true

Back Cover Copy

Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th-century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, removing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties. 

To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.

Worse still, the meddling of a horoscope-guided friend, a determined grandmother, and the local funeral director could get them all killed before Laura props the first pillow.

Bio

More About the Author

Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. Grace is the current vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.

Author Links

Website – https://www.gracetopping.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/gtoppingauthor

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GraceToppingAuthor

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomgracetopping

Purchase Links – Amazon B&N Kobo

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Reason to Doubt

Just imagine if your daughter brought her new boyfriend to dinner and you realize he has a striking resemblance to a killer? This would go at the tippity top of my awkward moments list. Nancy Cole Silverman’s latest Carol Child’s mystery looks like it’s full of suspense and some interesting characters!  Be sure to enter the giveaway below 🙂

About the Book


Reason To Doubt (A Carol Childs Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (November 6, 2018)

Carol Childs is in the middle of one of the biggest stories of her life. Her daughter Cate has returned from college with a boyfriend in tow. A photographer who police suspect to be The Model Slayer, responsible for the murder of three young women.

Not since the Hillside Strangler has Los Angeles been so on edge.

And when the police arrest Cate’s boyfriend, Carol’s personal life and professional worlds collide. A tattooed cocktail waitress calls the radio station and asks to speak with Carol off the record. She knows the true identity of the real Model Slayer because she says she killed him.

Tensions mount as the clock ticks. The police are convinced they have the right man. Mother and daughter aren’t talking. Carol can’t reveal to investigators all she knows, and unless Carol can find the real killer before the trial begins, an innocent man may spend the rest of his life in prison or be executed for a crime he didn’t commit.

You can find Reason to Doubt at these online retailers

AmazonB&NKobo

About the Author

Nancy Cole Silverman credits her twenty-five years in radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. In 2001, Silverman retired from news and copywriting to write fiction full time. In 2014, Silverman signed with Henery Press for her new mystery series, The Carol Childs’ Mysteries. The first of the series, Shadow of Doubt, debuted in December 2014 and the second, Beyond a Doubt, was July 2015. The third, Without A Doubt, was released May 24, 2016. Room for Doubt was released on July 18, 2017, Reason to Doubt hits stores November 6. For more information visit www.nancycolesilverman.com

 

Author Links
FacebookGoodReads Twitter: @NancyColeSilve1

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Cozy Prizes Friday: The Spirit in Question

Today we have a cozy mystery that is set in a haunted theater. Have you ever been in a dark theater all alone? It is seriously creepy! Cynthia Kuhn is visiting us this Friday with The Spirit in Question, the third book in her Academic Mystery Series. Cynthia is an Agatha Award winner for a best first novel, and if you don’t know about the Agatha’s think Emmy’s but for cozy mysteries.  So let’s meet Cynthia and don’t forget to enter her giveaway for your choice of books and a $25 Amazon gift card.

A few words with Cynthia

ck2x3How did you come with an idea for your book?

Tolliver Ingersoll is a character I loved to write who had been cut out of both of the first two books, so I decided to center The Spirit in Question on him. He is a playwright, so I began with a play, then imagined what trouble could happen at the theater and went from there.

What scene do you hope your readers enjoy the most?

I can’t name it without giving too much away. It’s supposed to be unexpected when it happens. How about: I hope they’ll enjoy multiple scenes!

What other things have you written or what projects might we see in the future?

The first two books in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series are The Semester of Our Discontent and The Art of Vanishing. I’ve also written fiction, poetry, and essays. In addition, I have blogged with Mysteristas and Chicks on the Case. In the future, more mysteries, I hope!

If you could write any other genre what would that be?

Mystery is my favorite genre. I do have an idea for a book that would probably be classified as fantasy.

Is there a giveaway or promotion with this book?

Yes! Thank you for asking (and thank you so much for having me on your blog). There’s a giveaway for one Lila book associated with this book tour.

Where can readers leave reviews of your book?

Most readers seem to gravitate toward Amazon, Goodreads, Library Thing, and Barnes and Noble.

Please share the link for readers to add your book on Goodreads!

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/cynthiakuhn

About the Book

The Spirit in Question (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Henery Press (October 2, 2018)

English professor Lila Maclean knew drama would be involved when she agreed to consult on Stonedale University’s production of Puzzled: The Musical.

But she didn’t expect to find herself cast into such chaos: the incomprehensible play is a disaster, the crumbling theater appears to be haunted, and, before long, murder takes center stage.

The show must go on—yet as they speed toward opening night, it becomes clear that other members of the company may be targeted as well. Lila searches for answers while contending with a tenacious historical society, an eccentric playwright, an unsettling psychic, an enigmatic apparition, and a paranormal search squad.

With all of this in play, will she be able to identify who killed her colleague…or will it soon be curtains for Lila too?

You can find The Spirit in Question at these online retailers

Amazon B&N Kobo BookBub

About the Author

Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series: The Semester of Our Discontent, an Agatha Award recipient for Best First Novel; The Art of Vanishing, a Lefty Award nominee for Best Humorous Mystery; and The Spirit in Question. She teaches in Denver, serves as president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado, and blogs with Chicks on the Case. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.

Author Links

Webpage: cynthiakuhn.wordpress.com

Blog: mysteristas.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cynthiakuhnwriter

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/cynthiakuhn

Twitter: @cynthiakuhn

 

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Book Blast Tuesday: Uneasy Prey

 

Watch out for those dangerous curves on snowy days! (So glad I live in South Texas today!)  Annette Dashofy is here today with her newest Zoe Chambers mystery–Uneasy Prey.  Our amateur sleuth is a paramedic who gets a little too involved with her patients.

You can read a little more about the book, and then scroll down and look for the prize guy! Today he’s giving you a chance 1 of 5 signed print copies of Uneasy Prey.

About the Book


Uneasy Prey (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania

On the way to the emergency room, an elderly woman regains consciousness long enough to inform paramedic Zoe Chambers that her fall down the basement steps was no accident. Before she can say more, she succumbs to her injuries, launching Zoe and Police Chief Pete Adams into the investigation of a burglary ring targeting the area’s vulnerable senior citizens.

Zoe—in spite of Pete’s objections—takes it upon herself to act as protection detail after the con men, disguised as water company employees, set their sights on Zoe’s beloved former landlady. It’s a decision that eventually puts Zoe in harm’s way.

With Zoe already recovering from one close call, Pete must race against time to stop the crime ring—and a dangerous killer—before they strike again.

 

You can pick up Uneasy Prey at these locations
Amazon   B&N    Kobo

About the Author

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and BRIDGES BURNEDwas nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. UNEASY PREY, the sixth in the series, is set for release on March 27.

Author Links

Website– www.annettedashofy.com

Blog– http://annettedashofy.blogspot.com/ 

Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/annette.dashofy

Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy 

 

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Cozy Prizes Friday: Altered to Death

Welcome to Cozy Prizes Friday where we learn that scrapbookers seem to have a lot of tiny paper skeletons in their closets! I love the inspiration Christina Freeburn used to write her latest mystery Altered to Death. How much family history do you really include in those scrapbooks? Which reminds me–time to heavily edit that Christmas letter…

Don’t forget to look for the Prize Guy. Today he is offering a chance at a print copy of Altered To Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery).  It would make a terrific Christmas gift!

 

Secrets: What Needs to be Told

Guest Post by Christina Freeburn

The idea for Altered to Death came from a discussion I read on a scrapbooking message board about if it was wrong for family historians (the person who does the memory keeping) to omit some of the details about family life. It was a tossup with half the responders saying it was dishonest not to include everything that happened during the year (vacation, event, etc.), and others who said they felt no need to document the sad or ugly times in their life. Their families cherished the albums and the memory keeper doesn’t want to include things that would make others feel bad or show them in a negative light.

It had me wondering if we have a right to know everything about our relatives and/or about the people we know in life. Are they lying if they keep some of their past to themselves? Are they required to tell all? And then I started to wonder if how we see someone is the actual truth or is our viewed skewed (either good or bad) by our life experiences and what they show to us and not others? I know I’ve been conversations with people about an event and we each have such different views of it, or in the case of an argument who was the one at fault. What happens if we were to learn what we believed the truth actually was not?

I took those what-ifs and had two mysteries about two disappearances—one of the founding family of the town and the other about a dead-beat father—and created the plot for Altered to Death. This book was a little harder for me to write as the questions I was addressing seemed to not have an answer. It is a complicated matter—what needs to be told and what does no one else have a right to be told.

 

About the Book

Looking for a craft cozy so memorable you’ll stay up late scrapping about it? Well, welcome to the town of Eden.

Faith Hunter, who is supposed to be planning her wedding, instead finds herself distracted by the town scrapbook she was commissioned to create. Eden’s oldest mystery, the founding family’s exodus nearly a hundred years ago, remains unsolved.

A search through the family’s abandoned mansion leads to the uncovering of bones on that very property. And then ex-boyfriend Steve Davis announces a surprise heir has staked a claim.

How can Faith not be distracted? Now she’s determined to dig up the truth left behind.

Because scrappers are multi-taskers extraordinaire, Faith can’t say no when family friend Wyatt Buford asks her to look into his deadbeat father’s disappearing act and his connection to the murder.

Her quest for answers unearths secrets past and present that some would prefer stay buried at any cost. Faith’s resolve to present the facts and nothing but about Eden’s history could lead to her own future being cut short.

See what I mean about memorable? Delve in to Eden and you’ll find a cozy you won’t soon forget.

Altered To Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (November 28, 2017)
Paperback: 276 pages

 

 Enter Below for Your Chance to Win a Print Copy of ALTERED TO DEATH

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About the Author

The Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series brings together Christina Freeburn’s love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook room or at a crop. Alas, none of the real-life crops have had a sexy male prosecutor or a handsome police officer attending.

Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.

Author Links:

Webpage: www.christinafreeburn.com

Blog: www.theselfrescueprincess.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christina-Freeburn-Author/245592138834150

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristinaFreeb1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ChristinaFreeburn