Follow my Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour March 15 – 25 for reviews, spotlights, author interviews, guest posts and giveaways to celebrate the release of STAR TANGLED MURDER, #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. I will be updating this site with permalinks so stop by here or my Appearances tab for the latest.
Hairstylist Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a Seminole battle reenactment turns up a real dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal with a tomahawk.
As Dalton gets involved in the investigation, Marla determines to help him solve the case. Her flare for uncovering secrets reveals that everyone in the village is a suspect. Instead of celebrating the holiday with red, white, and barbecues, she discovers secrets, lies, and false avenues. Did the marshal’s murder have anything to do with a lost Confederate payroll, or did his plans to renovate the park light a fuse that he couldn’t snuff out?
In a place where history comes alive, the dead bodies are piling up. Marla would rather be chilling and grilling, but somebody’s mind is on killing. If she’s not careful, her sleuthing could blow up in her face like a faulty firecracker and she’ll become the next victim. Recipes Included!
Follow my complete virtual book tour to celebrate the release of STAR TANGLED MURDER, #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Join in for reviews, spotlights, author interviews, guest posts and giveaways! I will update this as reviews and permalinks come in, so please stop by again either here or at my Appearances tab for the latest.
This year at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, many tempting food choices await at the booths around World Showcase. I lucked out this year with all good selections. Accompanying us were Sue and Mark Bernstein and Ann Meier.
At World Showcase, we turned left toward Mexico. Our first stop was Lotus House at China. I got the Pan-fried Vegetable Dumplings. They were very tasty and served drizzled with a sweet sauce. I would get these again.
At the Refreshment Outpost by Africa, I got an Ice Cream Float with Tangerine soft serve ice cream and Cream Soda. It was a refreshing drink. This is always my husband’s go-to stop for a hot dog.
Potato Pancakes with homemade Applesauce were found at Germany’s Bauernmarkt Farmer’s Market stand. I thought I’d get one potato latke and ordered two portions, one for me and one for Richard. It turns out we could have shared. On each plate were two thick potato pancakes. They could have been a bit thinner and crispier, but I liked them nonetheless.
At La Isla Fresca (between France and Morocco), I had the Coconut Tres Leches: Vanilla cake soaked in oat milk, almond milk, and coconut milk with toasted coconut. Custardy taste with whipped topping and toasted coconut melted in my mouth. Oh-so-good! Perfect accompaniment was Florida Orange Groves Winery Tropical Perception White Sangria, a light white wine that wasn’t too fruity.
As always, the displays of flowers and topiary were inspiring.
While it may seem a no-brainer to reissue a backlist title in print format, it’s not so easy. There’s a lot more work involved than you might think. Assuming you’ve revised your traditionally published book earlier and reissued it in digital format, you’ll need to refresh this material before converting it into print.
My eight backlist romances had been traditionally published. I revised these stories by improving the writing with tighter sentences and better editing, and then reissued them in e-book format. But then some of my readers requested them in print. This is for you, my friends!
What does a new print edition involve?
Back Cover Copy – Use your long story blurb but first see if it needs updating. Add any mention of awards this title has won and a few review quotes.
Purchase and Assign an ISBN number for the paperback edition. See my Previous Post on this topic. You’ll need to know your publication date when you enter the data at MyIdentifiers.com.
Front and Back Material – Add the new print ISBN number to your copyright page. Update your books list and your biography. Add or revise any of the other front or back material. See my Previous Post on this topic.
Review your chapter headings and space breaks for consistency.
Distribution – Decide if you will be distributing the print edition via Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, and/or Draft2Digital.
Format for Print – Either learn how to DIY or hire someone. Carefully review your file for any conversion errors.
Either way, you’ll need to know what trim size you will be using (i.e. 5.5 x 8.5) white or cream paper (I use white) with black & white interior, gloss or matte finish (I like gloss), and for IngramSpark, the paper weight (I choose 50 lb.) and Perfect Bound paperback.
Cover Design – Once you have the pdf file with a page count, you can send all this information to your cover designer. Be aware the cover templates are different for KDP and IS. Your designer might charge extra for doing both.
You have your cover and your print file in pdf formats. Now what?
Update your e-book with the revised blurb, copyright page, bio and book list. Update the title’s metadata at the same time.
Upload the print edition to your chosen distributor sites. Set the publication date.
At IngramSpark, you can set a future publication date and approve preorders. Carefully review the eProof when IS notifies you that it is ready. Check over the parameters for the cover and the spine in particular. If all is well, Approve the book as the publisher. Once the book is available, you can override the publication date and order a Proof copy. These will look the same as the finished product. There is no ARC bar or marking like for KDP. There’s also no limit on the number of copies you can order.
At Amazon KDP, upload everything but do not add a date and Save as Draft before you hit Publish. KDP does not do pre-orders. You have to come back and Publish on your release date. Meanwhile, you can order up to 5 Proof copies. These will come with a bar across the front cover stating the book is not for resale.
Collect your book buy links when available and add to your website, Books2Read site, and anywhere else your various editions are mentioned.
Book Launch Tips
Decide if this will be a full-blown release or a soft release. I do the latter since this book has already been available in a revised e-book format.
Either way, prepare a blog post, a page of FB and Twitter posts, a newsletter mention or feature, and announcements for other sites.
Consider offering your e-book on sale at the same time as the print book’s release.
The Festival of the Arts during the winter months at Epcot is always fun to attend. You can view art works on display and sample dishes at food booths around World Showcase.
Here are some of the items we tried:
Duck and Dumplings at the Artist’s Table by the American Adventure. Smoked Duck Breast, Ricotto Dumplings, Petite Vegetables, and Duck Jus. I liked the smoked duck flavor, and the meat was easy to cut. I’ve had better at higher end restaurants, though. The ricotto dumplings were interesting, almost like a potato texture.
Three-Meat Meatloafwith “Peas and Carrots” came with Green Pea Pudding, Carrot Ketchup, Shaved Carrot salad, and Snap Peas. This was a dish that appealed to my husband. He said it was “average,” meaning it wasn’t anything special to his palate. Same location as above.
Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Puree, Broccolini, Baby Tomatoes, and Aged Balsamic at the Pastoral Palate by Germany was by far the best of the batch. The boneless meat was supremely tender and tasty as well. This one would be on my repeat list.
General Tso’s Chicken Shumai at The Painted Panda by China came with three pieces of shumai. These were tasty and enough to share. I’m a fan of Trader Joe’s frozen chicken shumai and so I knew I’d like this version.
On a second visit, our friend Ann Meier had the Napoleon with Beets, Cashew-Herb Filling, Pepper-Pine Nut Sauce, and Balsamic Vinegar Caviar from the France pavilion.
Then Ann tried the Carrots Three Ways from Morocco while I had their Chicken Skewer.
Next, we’ll look forward to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. A whole new tasting experience begins March 1st with a fresh set of “outdoor kitchen” choices.
Last Day! Enter Now to win 1 of 7 free cozy mysteries from Booklover’s Bench in our 10th Anniversary Contest!
I am excited to announce that Keeper of the Rings is now available in a new print edition!
This is the book that taught me how to write a murder mystery. It was the fourth novel I wrote for Dorchester in my early days as a romance writer. This version has been revised and updated. At the heart of the story is a puzzle. As an archeologist, Leena is assigned the perilous mission to retrieve a stolen sacred artifact. Her brother takes on the task of investigating the theft. Who had access to the relic? Only the twelve members of the ruling council, the Synod, had the opportunity. That meant each one was a suspect.
These could easily be the characters in a murder mystery. With a limited number of suspects, most of whom know each other, an amateur sleuth, and a confined setting, it’s the prescription for a cozy mystery. I’ve combined this element with a “quest” theme in the search for the missing artifact.
What was my favorite part to write? I loved planning the booby traps in the ancient temple and figuring out what was hidden inside that’s critically important to the planet. As a fan of Indiana Jones, I couldn’t help conjuring a tale of mystery, fantasy and romance all rolled into one grand adventure.
An archaeologist and her mysterious protector search for a stolen sacred artifact to prevent planetary disaster.
Archaeologist Leena Worthington-Jax is hired to locate a stolen sacred horn that controls her planet’s weather cycles. Accompanying her is Taurin Rey Niris, a mysterious stranger engaged as her protector. She believes him to be a simple farmer until he exhibits skills worthy of a warrior. Curious about his background and increasingly tempted by his tantalizing touch, Leena trusts him to keep her safe during their perilous journey.
Taurin hides his alien origins from Leena as he aids in the search for the missing relic. He’s aware that if he shares his knowledge about her world’s history, it’ll destroy her faith and cause a rift between them. Yet revealing the truth might be the only way to save her planet from global ruin. Can he keep Leena from discovering his secrets while guarding her from their enemies and from his own heart?
A PRISM Awards Finalist
“Nancy Cohen combines the elements of science fiction and fantasy into a marvelous love story. Her books capture the imagination with their originality.” The Literary Times
“Keeper is a lot like Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone. A good mystery, action/adventure, sci‑fi, and romance all rolled into one.” Mary Saums, Author of the Thistle & Twigg Mysteries
“The spellbinding action gets more terrifying and enthralling as the uniquely different plot thickens. The conclusion is stunning!” Rendezvous
“Prepare yourself for exotic locales, evildoers galore, and two splendid romances!” The Paperback Forum
“Intense and fast, Keeper of the Rings has an absorbing and complex plot. Like ripples in a pond, the reverberations are felt throughout the book to the very explosive climax.” Affaire de Coeur
Leena followed him toward a recess in the wall. Vines dangled from overhead like a curtain, as though warning trespassers to stay away. Her breath hitched at the familiar sight of two stone helixcats, their faces partially eroded. They stood as sentinels on each side of the entrance.
“I’ll go first,” she said. “I’m familiar with these temples.”
Her discerning glance observed a gap farther inside. She squeezed through the narrow opening into an interior passageway. The walls glowed with a strange luminescence that thankfully provided illumination. She watched her footing as she made her way along, with Taurin at her heels. As the walls closed in on them, a musty odor entered her nose.
She glanced at him over her shoulder. “Don’t stray from the path. This temple might have hidden dangers.”
“Now you tell me.” His voice sounded loud in the confines of the tunnel.
“Maybe that’s why the excavation stopped,” she suggested. “The early explorers might not have been able to get past the obstacles. Grotus’s men wouldn’t have had much more success.”
Halting as she came to a wide archway, Leena glanced at the floor of the room past the arch. It consisted of a patchwork of evenly-shaped stones. At the other end of the cavernous room was another open archway flanked by two huge stone statues. But what made her emit a soft cry was what she saw in between.
“What is it?” Taurin said, peering over her shoulder.
“Nothing good.” Leena pointed to the bones littering the chamber ahead.
Booklover’s Bench is celebrating our tenth-year anniversary this February 2023. It all started when author Terry Odell returned from a Novelists, Inc. conference with the idea of starting a group for cross-promotion. These were called lifeboat teams back then. We started out with a slew of authors, some of whom left and others who joined in.
Today our members include Nancy J. Cohen, Maggie Toussaint, Terry Ambrose, Cheryl Hollon, Diane A.S. Stuckart, Debra H. Goldstein, and Lois Winston. We’re all cozy mystery authors who share in the costs, responsibilities, and promotion of the site. But we gain so much more on a personal level. We share the trials and tribulations of a career as an author and offer support for life’s events as well. We share advice and help each other with book blurbs and reviews. Any question is not too trivial for us to ask.
Our goal has always been to connect with readers by offering interesting content and free book giveaways. We still do this, but in addition to holding a monthly book contest that runs from the 1-18 of each month, there are regular Thursday blogs from the authors on a rotating basis, special group posts on the 4th Monday of the month, a group Facebook page, group Facebook parties, and group holiday posts.
For this month’s special celebration, we will have 7 winners! Enter Here to win one of seven free cozy mysteries and don’t forget to tour the other pages on our site while you are there.
If you’re looking for a weekend spot north of Orlando where you can kayak, canoe, and hang out by the river or in a tiki bar, Wekiva Island is the place for you. It was not the place for us old fogies. The structures had a dilapidated look about them, except for the bar that appeared much more appealing.
The café, while offering an interesting menu, looked no bigger than a food truck and had outdoor seating. Even the view wasn’t as expansive as I’d expected. It was more like a canal.
I could see the appeal for young adults but not seniors like us who prefer more atmosphere for a lunch venue. We came on a quiet weekday but I understand they can get lines of cars waiting to get in on weekends. Artists had set up their easels along the waterfront on the day we visited. A sign warned of gators and snakes so swim at your own risk if at all and don’t fall out of your boat.
We walked around the perimeter in about ten minutes. For a scene in a mystery, however, this place could serve as a model. The various buildings, including one set up as a classroom, harbored intriguing nooks and crannies.
For lunch, we drove to The Southern Deli in Apopka since I’d been wanting to try it. The food was tasty if you enjoy southern fare, but next time I’d rather go to a deli with traditional favorites like grilled cheese, tuna melt, and nova on a bagel. My meal here was chicken in BBQ sauce over cheese grits and my husband had a burger.
It’s fun to go out exploring and trying new places even if it’s a One and Done experience.
Half-Price Sale! The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Audiobooks are on sale for 50% off retail price! Get started with the first four books in this award-winning mystery series. Narrated by Mary Ann Jacobs. Available at Apple, BN, Chirp, Google & Spotify.