Perish by Pedicure On Sale

Looking for a fun Beach Read or a new book for the holiday weekend? Grab a copy of PERISH BY PEDICURE on sale for only 99 cents! Limited time offer.

Salon owner Marla Shore finds herself fixing more than just hair at a Fort Lauderdale beauty show. When the much‑disliked director of Luxor Beauty Products is murdered, Marla jumps into sleuth mode. Suspects include her former college roommate, a pompous celebrity stylist, an ambitious company sales rep, and an aspiring hairdresser to the stars.

“Find your favorite beach chair and a tall glass of lemonade to enjoy another Marla Shore mystery amidst the fashionistas! The perfect read for a beach chair.” Nancy Martin, author of the Blackbird Sisters mystery series

Perish by Pedicure is filled with hair-splitting humor, unexpected nail-biting twists, and a bad hair week caused by former in‑laws while Marla cuts to the roots of the case.” Midwest Book Review

“Nancy J. Cohen leads readers into the world of beauty shows, where salon owner and amateur sleuth Marla Shore finds things more tangled than a model’s tresses.” Miami Herald

Perish by Pedicure is a suspenseful and enjoyable read… the perfect gift for your hairdresser.” Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore

“If you want something lighthearted to pick up and just laugh, then this is great.” Fashionable Maven

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If you enjoy the story, please leave a review at your favorite online bookstore.

PERISH BY PEDICURE is on sale for 99 Cents. Get your copy now! #mystery #beachread Click To Tweet

More July Mysteries on Sale!

Check out the full list here: https://books.bookfunnel.com/endsjuly31st_mtssales/1wnh2p92ik

 

Booklover’s Bench Giveaway

Enter Here July 1-18 to win a free book from Booklovers Bench in our monthly giveaway

Party with the Authors

Cross-promotion with other authors is one of the best ways to increase exposure to new readers for your books while supporting your fellow writers. This can occur via group blogs, websites, contests, social media shares, and special events.

Summer Book Blast

Tonight’s party is an example of a Facebook event featuring several of our Booklover’s Bench members. We’ve each prepared a couple of posts with giveaways for our readers. We hope you’ll come and bring your friends.

Winning a book can introduce you to a whole new series. Look for these opportunities and jump in to participate when you see a multi-author event pop up on your screen. They’re fun to attend not only because of the giveaways, but also because you can learn about new authors who might interest you.

Meanwhile, join us TONIGHT at 7:00-8:00 pm EDT for a Summer Book Blast party with fun posts, prizes and giveaways at https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty

Korean Dramas on TV

Recently I’ve been exposed to an entirely new genre on television. K-Dramas apparently have been around a while, but I’d never heard of these Korean TV series until recently when my writer friends, Charlotte Hunter and Ruth Owen, clued me in. Now I am utterly addicted to this mesmerizing form of entertainment. These shows are made in South Korea with subtitles in different languages.

K-Dramas

While the series may be contemporary or historical, I prefer the period dramas. There’s a whole list of them on Netflix. At the recommendation of my friends, I started with The King’s Affection. Oh, my. It had every trope I loved! And so do most of them. If you enjoy these recurrent themes, you should give these shows a chance: Person in disguise, hidden identity, twins, amnesia, royalty, court intrigue, secret baby, forbidden love, swordfights, murder and betrayal. These stories have it all. Moreover, many episodes end in a cliffhanger that compels you to keep watching.

At the heart of each one that I’ve seen so far is a classic romance. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl clash but are attracted to each other. We see them falling in love and gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes. Then the Big Black Moment follows where all seems lost and you wonder how these two will ever be together. The resolution and happy-ever-after ending come just like in a Hallmark movie, albeit after 16 to 20 episodes.

I’ve only seen three of these series so far. Because they’re so addicting, I need to get caught up on my other shows in between. It’s fun to figure out the types of characters in these period dramas that take place in the Joseon Dynasty. Here are some commonalities that I’ve noticed in the three series I have seen to date.

Common Recurrent Characters

Aristocrats or Royalty in the lead roles
Weak Ruler
Evil First Minister
Ambitious Stepmother as the Queen
Friends who are the Comic Relief characters
A secondary character who is in love with the hero/heroine who loves someone else
An assassin who serves the bad guys
Evil henchmen and loyal royalists

Storylines

The King’s Affection – When her twin brother is murdered, his sister steps in to assume his identity as crown prince. Her situation is complicated when she’s attracted to her tutor who thinks she’s a boy. Meanwhile, she tracks down her brother’s killer who is still at large.

100 Days My Prince – The crown prince is injured in an assassination attempt. He wakes up with no memory of his identity and in a strange home. The heroine’s father has restored him to health and claims he is their daughter’s fiancé. As his own loyal followers search for his whereabouts, so does the traitor who wants him dead. Meanwhile, the heroine is guarding a secret of her own that could put her in peril if exposed.

My Sassy Girl – This is a classic romance with a snippy princess attracted to a handsome tutor. He rescues the princess from a drunken bout and ends up falling for her. Danger surrounds them as the person responsible for her mother’s dethronement ten years ago is making a grab for power.

Watch Korean Dramas on TV #adventure #romance Click To Tweet

Resources

https://www.preview.ph/culture/historical-korean-dramas-netflix-a00268-20200530
https://www.cbr.com/korean-historical-dramas-netflix-bridgerton/
https://reelrundown.com/tv/top-30-best-historical-korean-dramas-sageuks-you-must-watch
https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/2638104 
https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/12123

Put K-Dramas or Korean period dramas into your search window and see what you get. These series may be available on other channels besides Netflix.

Kobo 30% off Box Set Sale!

Get a copy of the Bad Hair Day Mysteries Volume One: Books 1-3 for 30% off at Kobo – Use promo code JUNE30 at checkout. https://bit.ly/33fPpIi

June 28 Facebook Party

Save the Date! Tuesday, June 28, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT Summer Book Blast 2022 with 4 Fabulous Cozy Authors! Fun & Prizes! https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty  

Summer Book Blast

New Cozy Mystery Award

MWA has announced the Lilian Jackson Braun Award for contemporary cozy mysteries. It’s gratifying that the cozy subgenre has finally been recognized by Mystery Writers of America. Ever since I’ve been a member, the Edgars have leaned toward serious crime fiction. Conferences such as Malice Domestic, Killer Nashville, and Left Coast Crime offered cozy writers a chance to win their own awards.

Books submitted for the Lilian Jackson Braun Award must be at least 65,000 words and be published by a traditional MWA-approved publisher in the year prior to the award. The story must feature an amateur sleuth in a setting with a sense of community, a lighthearted tone, and a crime to solve. Historical mysteries are not eligible.

While I applaud this recognition for the cozy mystery genre by our national organization, I yearn for the day that MWA also accepts indie published books into their contest. Fortunately, there are other competitions that indie authors can enter. Usually, these require an ISBN number and may ask for a publisher name, but they don’t distinguish between trad published and self-published titles. The Alliance of Independent Authors puts out a good list.

Do readers look for the publisher’s name when considering which book to buy? Or are peer reviews, the storyline, writing style, and price more important? How about contest wins? The well-known awards naturally garner more attention and respect, but how about first place wins at other sites? Do these influence readers in any way? What do you think?

Also see my previous post on Writing Contests for Published Authors.

Kobo 30% off Box Set Sale!

Get your copy now of the Bad Hair Day Mysteries Volume One: Books 1-3 for 30% off at Kobo – Use promo code JUNE30 at checkout. Valid June 16 – 27 in Canada, US, UK, Australia, & New Zealand.

The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume One

 

 

 

A Writer’s Life by Mary Cunningham

Let’s welcome our guest, Author Mary Cunningham, who will share what inspired her to write the Andi Anna Jones mystery series featuring a travel agent sleuth.

A Writer’s Life by Mary Cunningham

I’ve written most my life, but until the ripe old age of fifty, I’d never ventured beyond family memoirs and very bad poetry. Then five crazy women got together and formed WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty. All of us had reached that magical milestone, or were about to, and weren’t all that thrilled with the ramifications. Hormones, hot flashes, hair loss, and weight gain were just a few of the complaints. We decided to become proactive and write a book that not only made light of our fate, but would honor our love of dogs, too. We embarked on the WOOF adventure.

From there, I moved on to middle-grade fantasy. Huh? Not a natural transition you say? When you have a recurring dream about a friend’s attic that served as your clubhouse on rainy days, you have to write about it. Write? Er…right? Cynthia’s Attic Series features best friends, ancestors, family stories, and time travel. While I, my family nor friends have admitted to time travel, writing about family stories passed down from great-grandparents, grandparents, and my mom and dad, gave me as much writing material as any Google search could generate.

I’ve now jumped into a totally different genre—a cozy mystery series about an inept travel agent whose real talent is amateur sleuthing. One of the first “writerly” pieces of advice I got was “Write what you know.” I was that inept travel agent in North Miami Beach. (Won’t mention the agency in case there are pending lawsuits against me) Seriously, I was awful. And hated it. I’m thrilled this new book and series has given me some sense of redemption and exorcised a ghost or two.

All those miserable days I spent, completely out of my element, led to one of the most satisfying journeys of my life. Writing about Andi, and her quirky cohorts, has been a freeing experience. Not only does writing give me a release from the past, I can draw on the good and the bad. For instance, Andi’s sidekick (and true agency manager) Ellie, is based on Ellen, the proficient agent who worked with me, and saved my backside on many occasions. She knew, instinctively, when I was struggling to make an airline reservation or book a trip, and would subtly step in and guide me through the process.

So many characters in Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder are written for the reader’s enjoyment and for the purpose of making lemonade from lemons. I can’t remember writing a story that made me laugh out loud. This one did.

Throughout my writing life, I’ve made fun of the aging process (WOOF), made up adventures about my ancestors, and written about a poor, but short-lived career choice; all with self-deprecating humor. If you have life-experiences you want to remember, or would rather forget, maybe writing will help.

Do you have any memories of quirky characters or mysterious family stories?

A Writer's Life by Mary Cunningham #amwriting #writetip Click To Tweet

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Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder

Andi’s step-mother, Ruby, is a real piece of work, but is she a murderer?

Andi Anna Jones, so-so travel agent/amateur sleuth, puts aside her resentment of her father’s widow and books a 60th birthday cruise to Cancun for Ruby and three friends. Never does Andi imagine the cruise will include the murder of a has-been lounge singer—or that Ruby might be the main suspect.

Flirting with more than danger after arriving in Mexico, Andi connects with charming local sheriff, Manual Gonzales. An embarrassing night involving the sheriff, too many margaritas, and a Mariachi band, can’t quell her determination to clear the name of her ex-stepmother.

While gathering clues and interviewing witnesses, however, she suspects dear old step-mom isn’t the only one in jeopardy.

If you have as much fun reading Margaritas, Mayhem, & Murder: An Andi Anna Jones Mystery (# 1) as I had writing it, we’ll all be winners!

Order Your Copy Here or at your favorite online bookstore:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Biography

Author Mary Cunningham grew up on the northern side of the Ohio River in Corydon, Indiana. Her first memories are of her dad’s original bedtime stories that no doubt inspired her imagination and love of a well-spun “yarn.” Through the author’s horrifying stint as a travel agent, Andi Anna Jones sprang to life. This series gives extra meaning to the phrase, “Write what you know.” Cunningham has several other books published, including five books in the Cynthia’s Attic middle-grade fantasy series, the women’s lifestyle/humor book, WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty, Ghost Light and Christmas With Daisy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Carrollton Writers Guild. When she gives her fingers a break from the keyboard, she enjoys golf, swimming, and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband and adopted, four-legged, furry daughter, Lucy.

Find Mary on Social Media:

Website: https://www.marycunninghambooks.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/marycunninghambooks/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MaryCunningham
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLNEK4
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-cunningham

 

Twitter Chat

Join me tonight for a Twitter Chat Q&A from 7pm to 8pm EDT sponsored by @cozymysteryclub. Use the hashtag #cozycornerchat and ask me questions. Or you can follow me at https://twitter.com/nancyjcohen

Twitter Chat

Ask anything you want about my books or publishing or the writing process. I’ll be available for the entire hour. And if you’re not familiar with Twitter Chats, we can learn together. This will be my first one, so I hope you’ll join in!

WATCH THE VIDEOS

If you missed my workshop on “Self-Publishing Made Simple” you can watch it here for a limited time: https://bit.ly/3Q2OthF

If you missed my interview by author Jennie Spallone, watch it now at https://bit.ly/3QhzbFM – Use this Passcode: #wu3zQbH

 

Bargain Books

Are your favorite author’s books being priced out of your range? Or maybe you’ve found a new series that interests you, but the backlist titles are too expensive. Where can you get them if not retail? And how can you find new authors at prices that won’t break the bank?

Beach Bag

Check out my post at Booklover’s Bench for tips in filling your beach reads basket and enter our monthly giveaway while there. Also take a look at our group posts “On the Bench” for some entertaining responses. Go to: https://bookloversbench.com/lets-talks/bargain-and-backlist-books/

Hurricane Prep List

Hurricane season begins June 1st, and this month is the best time to stock up on emergency supplies. Once a storm is on the way, store shelves will empty fast. Remember to also review the expiration dates on your pantry items to see if any need replacements. When a warning is issued, follow the tips below.

Hurricane Prep

1. Buy bags of ice. Put on lower shelves in freezer, and later in fridge if power is out, so melting ice doesn’t flood the interior. Or freeze water in plastic containers to help keep food cool. You can also use empty water bottles instead of discarding them. Turn fridge to coldest setting ahead of storm.
2. Buy bottled water, fruit juices, sports drinks, and caffeinated beverages that you can drink cold or at room temperature. Fill plastic pitchers, thermos bottles, and other containers with tap water and refrigerate for drinking.
3. Have enough food in stock. Fruits that keep well are grapes, apples, bananas. Applesauce and other packaged fruits are good buys. Get bread for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You can buy peanut butter in individual portions. Get snack packs with hard cheeses, crackers, dried fruits, apple slices, or grapes. Canned chicken, baked beans, and nuts are good sources of protein. Cans of tuna or salmon tend to smell more if there’s no garbage pickup so buy these in a pouch. Make a sandwich ahead of time so you have a grab-and-go lunch.
4. Cook and eat the perishable foods in your freezer and refrigerator. Hard boil your eggs, and make sure you cook dinner early as the storm approaches in case the power goes out.
5. Have a cooler handy. If you lose power, put a container of ice or a freezer pack inside along with the refrigerated foods you’re likely to eat first. This will save you from opening the refrigerator door too often.
6. Consider boarding your pet at a kennel or make plans to secure your pet with enough supplies.
7. Back up important computer files. Send an email to yourself at another address with your most recent files. Back up to a flash drive that you can carry around. Store files in the Cloud.
8. Bring in all loose objects from outside.
9. Do the laundry.
10. Perform personal grooming essentials. It’s hard to shave and wash hair with no lights, and the water might get contaminated.
11. Fill gas tank in car. No power, no pumps. And motorists on the run will consume the fuel.
12. Get extra cash to have on hand. ATMs won’t work in a power failure.
13. Pay bills due or coming due.
14. Charge cell phone, tablet, and other portable electronics. Get a portable charger.
15. Prepare a list of repairmen and tree trimmers who might be needed.
16. Buy hand sanitizer and moist wipes in case the water is contaminated.
17. Have paper plates and cups on hand along with plastic utensils and paper towels. Also invest in duct tape and plastic sheeting to use if a window breaks.
18. Stock up on trash bags to clear away debris.
19. Place a flashlight or battery-run lantern in each room or in a central location. Keep extra batteries in stock. Candles can be a fire hazard, and they don’t provide enough light to read by in the dark. Carry a flashlight with you wherever you go in the house in case the power blinks out. For any solar-powered devices, make sure they’re well exposed to light beforehand.
20. Put insurance papers and other important documents, including copies of recent utility bills, into a plastic bag for quick departure, or store copies in a separate location. Scan them into your computer files and backup to the Cloud. Put other important papers into a plastic container. Some folks suggest putting these papers into your dishwasher or washing machine, as they are waterproof, and closing it tight.
21. Buy an emergency hand-crank radio that also comes with a light and a cell phone charger. I like the Eton brand, which is sold on Amazon. Make sure you get one with a USB port for charging your devices.
22. Learn how to open your garage on manual in case the power goes out. Keep these instructions handy. Also learn how to turn off the low battery alert on your security system.
23. Get a Kindle or other e-reader with a backlight to use when the power goes out. Keep it fully charged.
24. If you think water might get into the house, put some clothes into a large plastic garbage bag and seal it.
25. Prepare your safe room for tornadoes. Put blankets on the floor unless it’s carpeted. Add a portable radio, lantern, e-reader, snacks, water bottles, and emergency papers in a plastic bag. Put your purse in there. Also have a go-bag with chargers and other emergency items.
26. Keep the air-conditioning temperature very low so when the power goes, it’ll stay cooler a little longer.
27. Add a first aid kit to your supplies.
28. Have a plan with family members on how to get in touch after the storm passes.
29. Take photos of your belongings. If you can, keep a spreadsheet with dates and place of purchase as well as cost. Store these in the Cloud or on a flash drive for insurance purposes.
30. Consider where you’ll go if power outages will last a while. Hotel or relatives? That’s assuming you can leave the area with downed trees and power lines.

Hurricane Prep List - Are You Ready for Storm Season? #hurricane #tropicalstorm Click To Tweet

Watch the weather reports at:
National Hurricane Center:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
The Weather Channel: http://www.weather.com/
Spectrum News Orlando: https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando
Broward County Hurricane Page: http://www.broward.org/hurricane/Pages/Default.aspx
Disasters: https://www.ready.gov/

GIVEAWAY

Enter Here to win a free book from Booklovers Bench in our monthly giveaway!

June Contest

Writing a Book and Doctor Visits

Writing a book is like going to the doctor. You enter the office with nervous anticipation. You leave with a sense of relief. Writing a novel is similar. You begin the story with the same sense of heightened anticipation. When the first draft is done, you feel immensely relieved.

A doctor visit engenders several questions. Will he find something unexpected? Will the procedure hurt? Do I have to disrobe? What kind of follow-up will I need? And why is that poor fish swimming all alone in the waiting room’s aquarium?

Unexpected Finds

We’re always afraid the doctor might find a disease we didn’t know we had. This question also applies to writing your book. Will you discover some unexpected plot twists as your characters take over the story? Will the results turn out the way you’d planned? New ideas may pop into your head or be inspired by things you see and hear around you. These may take your story in a whole new direction. For writers, the unexpected reveal is a pleasurable event. The more your story stews in the subconscious, the more chances of this happening. Embrace the unexpected and see where it leads you.

Will it Hurt?

Writing a novel can be painful. Not because it may dredge up memories from your past, but because it’s not easy to face the blank page every day. Will you be able to reach your word count? What happens if you write yourself into a corner and get stuck? Will this book be as good as the last one? We struggle with these demons and others as we sit at the computer each day. Nonetheless, we keep plugging away until the first draft is complete. Similar to a medical procedure, if it’s something that needs to be done, you just have to do it. Remember BICHOK – Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. That’s the key to writing a novel.

Do I Have to Disrobe?

Your novel, once published, exposes your vulnerabilities to the reader. This book baby is naked to the world. Reviews will be mixed, hopefully with the good outweighing the bad. It’s inevitable that you expose yourself as a writer when you publish your work. You invite feedback every time you put a story out there. Grow a thick skin and get over it.

What about Follow-Up?

Like the next doctor visit, fans will be anticipating your next book. You need to get started on it soon after you finish this one, while allowing yourself time to decompress, research, and plot the sequel. Marketing is essential at this stage, too. You can’t put your book out there and forget about it. If you slack off in your promotional efforts, book sales will lag, too.

The Lone Fish

Writing is a lonely business. We sit in our home office in front of the computer all day. When we’re not writing, we are working on promotion and marketing. Friends and family don’t understand the hours of dedication we need to get the job done. It’s a full-time career with no time off. The pressure is always on to produce more or to do more social media.

We have to remind ourselves that we’re not the only fish in the sea, and we need our families to support us. In return, we have to take the time to be with them because that’s what really matters in life. Writing a book is an achievement, but you want someone with whom to share it. In terms of understanding what you do, your critique partners and writing friends can empathize. Don’t feel you’re in the turbulent waters all alone.

Writing a Book is like a Doctor Visit #writingcommunity #writers Click To Tweet

Upcoming Workshop

Saturday, June 4, 2:00 – 3:30 pm, “Self-Publishing Made Simple” Writing Workshop via Zoom with Nancy J. Cohen sponsored by Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University. Pre-Register at https://bit.ly/3ytN1yn

Do you have a novel that doesn’t fit genre guidelines or a personal project you want to self-publish? Or perhaps you want to reissue backlist titles or become a hybrid author? In this workshop, award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen will discuss setting up your own imprint, buying and assigning ISBNs, preparing your manuscript, ebook and print distributors, and marketing tips.

St. Johns River Restaurant

It’s fun to explore a new area, and the St. Johns River has been on my to-do list since moving to the Orlando area. After I took my car for maintenance at a dealership in Sanford, we headed east for lunch at a restaurant that I’ve wanted to visit. St. Johns River Steak & Seafood is at 550 N. Palmetto Ave. in Sanford, FL. It’s at a wharf adjacent to the historic downtown. We were very pleased with the food and the views of the expansive waterway.

 

My husband had crabcakes. I had grilled grouper with asparagus and a baked potato. We couldn’t resist key lime pie for dessert. The meal was enough for leftovers even without a salad or bread.

  

I miss the ocean in Fort Lauderdale and seeing the cruise ships, freighters, and barges offshore. This is the closest we come here, but it doesn’t compare to the Intracoastal either with its water taxis and gleaming white yachts. Still, we enjoyed the tranquility as we feasted on our meals.

 

The drinks must have filled us up. Richard had a Mai Tai and I got a glass of red sangria. With our stomachs satisfied, we kept our couches company when we got home. Forget about getting any work done.

 

Recent other excursions have been to Central Florida Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Epcot for the Flower & Garden Festival.

Meanwhile, I’m plugging away at Star Tangled Murder. I’m over 36,000 words on page 123. My goal is approximately 80,000 words. This will be book #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries.