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

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

 

Writers Who Kill Guest Post

Hi, I have a guest post today over at the Writers Who Kill blog on the “Elements of a Cozy Mystery.” If you’re a writer with an interest in this genre, these tips will be helpful. Or if you’re a reader who wants to know more about the writing process, this will give you a glimpse behind the scenes.

Go to: https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/2022/04/elements-of-cozy-mystery-by-nancy-j.html

New Mystery Release – Box Set Volume Five

I’m excited to announce the release of The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume Five: Books 13-15

BHD Box Set 5

Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-20-1
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.
Digital Layout by Formatting4u.com

In this trio of adventures, Marla solves a murder at her day spa during the December holidays, investigates her best friend’s suspicious car accident, and enters a bake-off contest at a farm festival where she discovers a dead body in the strawberry field. She even saves a neighbor and her pet from a cat-astrophe in a bonus short story.

TONIGHT, Feb. 15, 7:00 – 8:00 pm EST, Book Launch Party/Author Takeover with Fun & Prizes! 

Launch Party Box Set 5

Included in this Volume:

FACIALS CAN BE FATAL

The last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs during the December holidays is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. Hoping to salvage her reputation, she determines to track down the killer.

Gold Medal Winner in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards

“Take a twisty mystery, add a cast of amiable characters, a dash of family drama, and a pinch of South Florida during the holiday season—they all add up to the recipe for a delightful cozy!” Lucy Burdette, bestselling author of the Key West Food Critic Mysteries

HAIR BRAINED

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend, Tally, is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. She launches an investigation while praying for her friend’s recovery.

First Place Winner in the Chanticleer International Book Awards 

“Readers will become immersed from page one. You’ll hang on every word as the twists and turns of the mystery are revealed.” Suspense Magazine 

HAIRBALL HIJINKS (Short Story)

A cat, a crook, and a confused neighbor cause mirth in this cozy mystery short story.

“A fast-paced read with charming characters.” Socrates Book Reviews

TRIMMED TO DEATH

Savvy hairstylist Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field.

“The dialogue is sharp, the eye for detail is masterful, and the narrative pacing is just right. Plenty of suspicious-seeming characters raise the tension. Even if you’re not yet a ‘Cozy’ fan, you’ll have a blast.” Florida Weekly

BUY LINKS

Amazon https://amzn.to/3GVYXtT
Apple Bookshttps://books.apple.com/us/book/id1601090175
BN Nookhttps://bit.ly/3pcdKdG
Kobohttps://bit.ly/32l0GKl
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/BadHairDayBoxSetFive

Add to Goodreads TBR Listhttps://bit.ly/3Jz19cZ

If you want to get caught up in the series, go here – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08ZDVH1VW

New Release - Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set 5 #cozymystery #boxset #newrelease Click To Tweet

GIVEAWAY

Click Here to Enter Now – Winner Takes All in the Booklover’s Bench 9th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway!

BB Feb22

 

Winner Takes All – February 2022

Looking for some great new cozy mystery reads? Enter Now to Win 7 free books from Booklovers Bench in our 9th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway!

Here’s what you can win:

BB Feb22

Lois Winston – Paperback (U.S. only) or ebook Revenge of the Crafty Corpse
Nancy J. Cohen – Signed mass market paperback  (U.S. only) Shear Murder
Debra H. Goldstein – Paperback (U.S. only) or ebook Four Cuts Too Many
Cheryl Hollon – Signed paperback (U.S. only) Draw and Order
Diane A.S. Stuckart – Hardcover (U.S. only) Peachy Scream
Maggie Toussaint – Paperback (U.S. only) or ebook Lindsey & Ike Mysteries, the Complete Novella Set
Terry Ambrose – Paperback (U.S. only) or ebook Mystery of the Eight Islands

Dates to enter are Feb. 1-18 so get your entry in now. Bonus entries available! Check out our other features while on the site, such as our Let’s Talk weekly blog and On the Bench group posts.

Win 7 free cozy mysteries from Booklovers Bench in our 9th anniversary giveaway! #cozymystery #giveaway Click To Tweet

Blending Romance and Mystery

Mystery fans enjoy a romantic subplot that is slow and subtle. In a series, you don’t want to resolve the relationship by the end of book one. You’ll want to build it step-by-step, advancing or retreating with each story. Especially in a cozy mystery, any graphic sex scenes must take place behind closed doors. Sexual tension is welcome, but it’s not an essential element.

Romance Mystery

As for the heroine juggling multiple boyfriends, this gets old after a few installments. Have her make a decision after the first few titles. It doesn’t have to be the right one, but it’s less frustrating for readers than to keep stringing two suitors along.

The key is to have complications so the main couple can overcome the issues that keep them apart. Once one complication is solved, you need to bring in another. Life is never smooth and always has problems.

Keep in mind that you are writing a murder mystery, and the romance takes second place to the puzzle of solving the crime. If you include a strong romantic subplot, your story may be termed a romantic mystery.

How to Blend Romance and Murder

Give your characters conflicts to keep them from making a commitment. The external conflict is your mystery. The internal conflict is the reason why the protagonists are hesitant to get deeply involved in a relationship.

Conflict

Maybe your heroine was hurt by a former lover and fears getting burned again. Or she has a fierce need for independence because she has to prove herself worthy of respect. Why? What happened in her past to produce this need? Keep asking questions to deepen the motivation. Maybe your hero doesn’t want a family because his own parents went through a bitter divorce. Secretly he feels he isn’t worthy of being loved. Or maybe he suppresses his emotions and doesn’t know how to give affection. Whatever the opposite sex character does seems to deepen or challenge this inner torment.

Your characters are immediately attracted to each other through physical chemistry. This pulls them together while the inner conflicts tear them apart. Yet the benefits of being a couple begin to outweigh the risks. As the characters become emotionally closer, they’ll progress through the stages of intimacy.

Six Stages of Intimacy

1. Physical awareness: Your characters notice each other with heightened sensitivity. For example, the heroine is aware of the man’s physical attributes. She detects his personal scent and has a physical response to his presence. They steal looks at each other when together.
2. Intrusion of thoughts: Your character begins thinking of this other person often. The love interest invades your character’s mind.
3. Touching: First, it may be an arm around the shoulder, lifting a chin, touching an elbow. The couple comes closer until the desire to kiss is almost palpable. Have them lean in toward each other for a kiss and then interrupt them, so when they get to the next stage, it’s highly anticipated. Use the five senses as much as possible to enhance the sexual tension. Flirtatious banter can add to this mounting desire.
4. Kissing
5. Touching in more intimate places
6. Coupling: In a cozy, these scenes are off the page. But if you’re writing romantic suspense, you can include them. Here it’s important to focus on the emotional reactions of your characters rather than the act itself. This is lovemaking, not just sex.

Throw a wrench into the relationship when all seems to be going well. His former spouse appears on the scene. Her on-again, off-again other boyfriend shows up. The heroine does something thoughtless and alienates the guy she likes. He feels pressured and backs off. Finally, they both change and compromise to resolve their differences. Let’s see how this works.

The Bad Hair Day Mysteries

PERMED TO DEATH: Hairstylist Marla Shore meets Detective Dalton Vail. [girl meets boy]. While instantly attracted to each other, they share a mutual distrust. Marla is the prime suspect in her client’s murder [external conflict]. Dalton is suspicious of her, and rightfully so. Marla hides a secret that gives her a motive. Meanwhile, Marla is suspicious of Dalton’s interest because she thinks it’s a pretense to interrogate her. At the story’s end, he asks her for a date and she accepts [relationship moves forward].

HAIR RAISER: Marla meets Dalton’s daughter [forward]. She dates a handsome accountant who earns her family’s approval but may be a murder suspect [relationship moves backward]. Marla and Dalton share their First Kiss [forward].

MURDER BY MANICURE: Marla takes Dalton’s daughter, Brianna, to dance class [forward]. Marla pretends to be her friend Arnie’s fiancée so he can rid himself of an amorous old flame. They coax Dalton to date the woman instead. Marla gets jealous of Dalton when he pays the woman more attention [backward]. Marla earns his daughter’s regard [forward].

BODY WAVE: Marla’s ex-spouse, Stan, enters the picture when his third wife is murdered. Marla and Dalton work together to solve the case [forward]. Stan stirs up feelings Marla would rather forget. Dalton is jealous. Marla accuses him of wanting to pin the murder on Stan [backward].

HIGHLIGHTS TO HEAVEN: Marla and Dalton argue over his restrictive rules for Brianna, and Marla feels she has no place in his life if he won’t listen to her advice [backward].

DIED BLONDE: Dalton acknowledges his need for Marla, and he proposes [forward].

DEAD ROOTS: Dalton meets Marla’s extended family. He presents her with an engagement ring [forward].

PERISH BY PEDICURE: Marla meets the parents of Dalton’s dead wife. Dalton takes their side [backward].

KILLER KNOTS: Marla meets Dalton’s parents on a cruise. She and Dalton set a wedding date [forward].

SHEAR MURDER: Marla and Dalton tie the knot.

If your people get hitched, it doesn’t mean their problems are over. Keep throwing roadblocks in their way. Life is never perfect. In reality, married couples still have conflicts as they learn to face life’s challenges together. If you keep your sleuth single, make sure to motivate her choices to show why this path is right for her. Either way, keep things changing and evolving between your characters. It’s this personal thread that compels readers to come back for more.

Blending Romance and Mystery #amwriting #writingtip Click To Tweet

Are you a fan of a romantic subplot in a mystery?

Cover Reveal – Box Set Five

Box Set Five, the final set in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Collection, will launch on February 15, 2022! Take a look at this fabulous cover by Kim Killion from The Killion Group. It reflects the book’s setting that starts out over the December holidays with the first title.

BHD Box Set 5

Copyright © 2022 by Nancy J. Cohen
Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-20-1
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.
Digital Layout by Formatting4u.com

In this trio of adventures, Marla solves a murder at her day spa in the midst of the December holidays, investigates her best friend’s suspicious car accident, and enters a bake-off contest at a farm festival where she discovers a dead body in the strawberry field. She even saves a neighbor and her pet from a cat-astrophe in a bonus short story.

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7:00 – 8:00 pm EST, Book Launch Party with Fun & Prizes at Cozy Mystery Launch Party site on Facebook – SAVE THE DATE!

Included in this Volume:

FACIALS CAN BE FATAL
During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. Hoping to salvage her reputation, she determines to track down the killer. Gold Medal Winner in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards 

HAIR BRAINED
When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend, Tally, is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. She launches an investigation while praying for her friend’s recovery. First Place Winner in the Chanticleer International Book Awards 

HAIRBALL HIJINKS (Short Story)
A cat, a crook, and a confused neighbor cause mirth in this cozy mystery short story.

TRIMMED TO DEATH
Savvy hairstylist Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field.

GET YOUR COPY HERE

Add to Goodreads TBR List

Click Here if you want to get caught up in the entire Box Set series.

Box Sets

Do you prefer print, ebook, or audiobook? Leave a comment below and I’ll do a drawing for a free copy of Box Set One on next Friday.

 

Best Book 2021

I have some exciting news to share that just can’t wait! This has been a busy time with Thanksgiving, my birthday and the first night of Hanukkah all rolled into one weekend. Now I’m gearing up for the rest of the holidays before hopefully getting back to writing again. Meanwhile, I am thrilled to announce the items below.

Suspense Magazine

STYLED FOR MURDER has been chosen as a “Best Book of 2021” in the Cozy category by Suspense Magazine. Look for a feature in the upcoming December issue. https://www.suspensemagazine.com/

I am beyond excited about this honor and want to thank my fans, friends and family who voted for my book. You guys are the best!  

The Big Thrill

“Having reached Book 17 in the A Bad Hair Day Mystery series, hairstylist-slash-amateur sleuth Marla Vail is almost as familiar with murder as she is with up-dos.” Read the scoop in an exclusive author interview by Allison McKnight in the current issue of The Big Thrill from International Thriller Writers. https://www.thebigthrill.org/?p=73206

ITW


Woman’s World Magazine

STYLED FOR MURDER was featured in Woman’s World Magazine in the Book Club section on page 8 in the Nov. 29th issue.

Woman's World

Here is their review:

“A charmingly funny whodunit unfolds when hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail gets a frantic call from her mother saying she found a dead body in her bathroom during a remodel. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had a reputation for shady dealings. When Marla’s stepfather, Reed, becomes a suspect, Marla digs deeper for clues. Now, she’ll have to put all the pieces together to nail down the truth!” Woman’s World Magazine, Nov. 29, 2021

Upcoming Events

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, 8:00 – 9:45pm, Cozy Holidaze Party with Booklover’s Bench Authors – Fun & Prizes! https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty

Cozy Holidaze Party

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2:00 – 3:00 pm, “Creating Settings that Sizzle” Writing Workshop with Nancy J. Cohen via Zoom for Citrus Crime Writers, https://www.facebook.com/events/322966752607646
If you’re not a member but want to attend, please email us at citruscrimewriters@gmail.com  

Awards, Events, & Giveaways from @nancyjcohen #cozymystery #mysteryseries Click To Tweet

GIVEAWAY

Enter Here Dec. 1 – 18 to win a free book at Booklovers Bench in our monthly giveaway.