A Spooky Halloween Read

Happy Halloween! If you’re looking for a spooky read, check out my Halloween novella titled Haunted Hair Nights. This book won Third Place in the IDA Contest in the Suspense Short category. The story falls between Peril by Ponytail and Facials Can Be Fatal in my Bad Hair Day mystery series.

Haunted Hair Nights

Digital ISBN: 978-0-9970038-3-3
Print ISBN: 978-0-9970038-4-0
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Interior Design by www.formatting4U.com

When history teacher Bill Ripari offers his property for a Halloween school haunted house project, hairstylist Marla Vail volunteers to help put the scare factor into the place. She joins her stepdaughter along with other students, parents, and teachers to transform the wooded estate into a creepy attraction. She’s busy creating decorations when a splash of red on the estate grounds catches her eye. Upon a closer look, she realizes the dark stain isn’t fake blood meant to be part of the scene. The trail leads to the history teacher’s dead body.

Worried about the kids, Marla puts on her sleuthing hat to investigate. She discovers that every one of the volunteers present that night had a possible motive. Between slacker students, helicopter parents, unexpected heirs, and a stonewalling school administration, Marla has her hands full in solving the murder and keeping her stepdaughter safe. Can she sift through the suspects and unmask the killer before Halloween fright night turns into reality?

“Halloween, mystery, dead body, oh my! This novella, although short, was filled with lots of twists and turns, interesting complex characters and a great storyline!” Charlene’s Reviews

“This standalone novella will keep you flipping pages wondering who done it until the end. For those of us who don’t want bad dreams for Halloween, this entry into the Bad Hair Day series is an excellent alternative.” Reader by Night

“This is a good cozy mystery that can be enjoyed by young adults on up. It was a pleasure to read this story.” Readers’ Favorite

“I love this series so much. It’s especially nice to read how Marla is progressing with her new family. A haunted mansion is the perfect setting for a Halloween read.” Socrates Book Reviews

Click Here to Get Your Copy Now

Happy Halloween! 

Clues and Buttons

My latest cozy mystery release, Star Tangled Murder, takes place over July Fourth weekend. Hairstylist Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton attend a Seminole War battle reenactment at a living history village when the town marshal is murdered. A pearl button is found at the scene of the crime. It’s a vintage design with a gold metal shank. Since the site is a pioneer village, such a relic isn’t an anomaly. However, how it ended up under Phil Pufferfish’s body is a mystery.

Since Dalton is close to retirement, Marla joins his investigation to help him wrap things fast. One of the suspects collects buttons, and Marla gets an earful of button lore when she interviews the guy. Here’s what she learned:

The word ‘button’ comes from the French word bouton, meaning bud or knob. Buttons have been around for nearly five thousand years. The earliest one came from the Pakistan region and was made from a curved shell, its purpose being more ornamental than useful. The ancient Romans also made buttons from wood, horn, and bronze. However, it wasn’t until the thirteenth century that buttonholes were invented.

Buttons became widespread throughout Europe and then button-maker guilds were formed. These guilds regulated the manufacture and use of buttons. In those days, they were signs of wealth. By the eighteenth century, steel and ivory buttons replaced fabric ones. Then pewter and brass came into play. Fabric-covered buttons started being made mechanically in the middle of the next century.

In the U.S., early pearl buttons were produced from imported sources. Then an American manufacturer discovered that a bend in the Mississippi River near Muscatine, Iowa caused mussel shells to accumulate there. He began using this source to manufacture buttons. By the turn of the twentieth century, over one-third of the world’s pearl shell buttons came from this region. The industry declined when plastic buttons were introduced. Depletion of the source and the high cost of labor contributed to its demise.

Until the nineteenth century, most buttons were used for men’s clothing. Women’s clothes were fastened by hooks and laces. Then women became the primary consumers. Do you know why men and women button their clothes from opposite sides? Men’s clothing buttons on the right side. That’s because most men were right-handed and dressed themselves. Wealthy women, on the other hand, were often dressed by maids. Placing buttons on the left side made it possible for servants to face their ladies and fasten the buttons.

This is more than you wanted to know, right? I couldn’t put all of this info into my story, but I can share it with you here. I learn all sorts of fascinating things while researching my books. Fortunately, my editor and critique partners catch me out when these passages go on too long. But learning new topics is what makes each book exciting for me to write.

As for the button clue in Star Tangled Murder, you’ll have to read the book to find out what it means.

Buttons as clues in STAR TANGLED MURDER and a bit of button history - #cozymystery #research Share on X

Do you keep a jar of assorted buttons in your house like I do? Would you even know how to sew a button onto a shirt?

GIVEAWAY

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To Change or Not to Change

I need your opinions on a change I am considering for the opening of Hair Raiser, #2 in my Bad Hair Day Mysteries. I’m wondering if a less suggestive first page would attract more readers. Please read on and see what you think.

Hair Raiser

Original Version

“You must treat her like a lover. Stroke her tenderly, undress her, and zen unleash your desire when you devour her. I guarantee you will be satisfied.”

Chef Pierre Chevalier fixed his class of fifteen wannabe cooks with a stern glare. Holding up an unblemished banana, he waved it in the air like a giant phallic symbol. “Observe ze proper technique. To make Bananas Foster, first begin by peeling ze skin with a gentle hand to avoid bruising.”

With infinite care, he pared one piece after another as though stripping off his lover’s garments. His gaze deepened as he stared longingly at the naked fruit glistening in his hand. “You see? Look at ze velvety smoothness of zis shaft. Ze moist tip and firm inner core remind you of something, no?” A chuckle rumbled from his throat. “Zis we can put in ze mouth, but only after it is properly prepared.”

Marla watched his movements, amazed that such a stout man with a round face could be so sexy. Perhaps that accounted for the popularity of Pierre’s culinary classes. “Never mind the innuendos, I’m gaining five pounds just by sitting here,” she commented to her friend Tally Riggs beside her.

The chef finished slicing the banana into a bowl. Several more fruits met the same fate before Pierre melted a chunk of butter in a skillet. He added the banana slices, sprinkling cinnamon on top until a delicious fragrance filled the air.

Tally’s blue eyes widened in admiration. “I could never get brown sugar to melt that way without scorching the pan.”

“Wait until he adds the rum,” Marla said. “Did you ever think food could inspire such passion? No wonder people flock to his restaurant. Pierre will be a big draw at Taste of the World.”

“Ken and I bought tickets already. He feels it’s important to support Ocean Guard’s annual fund-raiser. You know how he gets a kick out of joining their beach cleanups. It makes me think Ken is a beachcomber at heart.”

“My cousin is getting nervous about hosting the event at her estate. It’s less than two months away now. I can’t believe I let her con me into working as liaison to the chefs. At least I’ve met most of the major participants, including Pierre.”

As Marla watched, he removed the skillet from the heat. His fingers flew through the practiced motions of warming a measure of rum in a separate saucepan. “Zis is le grand finale, ze moment of ecstasy,” he cooed, pursing his lips in an air kiss. “All zat foreplay was just building up to zis eruption of heat. You are hungry, no?”

“Yeah, but not for what you have in mind,” Marla muttered. She watched him lift the smaller pot and pour the rum over the bubbling bananas. A sugary fragrance wafted into her nostrils, making her stomach growl. It was nine o’clock on Wednesday evening, and she hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Everyone was waiting to sample the dishes after Pierre finished his demos. Let’s wrap it up, she thought, folding her packet of recipes and stuffing them in her purse.

Pierre’s tall white toque bobbed on his head as he lit a match and tilted it toward the warmed rum in the skillet. The flame had barely touched the liquid when an explosion rocked the room, sending a wall of fire shooting into the air.

Revised Version

Marla Shore couldn’t help admiring Chef Pierre Chevalier’s deft wrist movements as he sliced several bananas into a bowl. He stood at a counter facing his class of fifteen wannabe cooks. Everyone had a good view of his workspace while he worked.

She nudged her friend Tally beside her. “If I sliced bananas like that, I’d cut my finger off.”

“Hah. You have more risk of hurting yourself with a hot curling iron.”

“Excuse me? I’m a hairstylist. I know how to use my tools.”

“The chef is just as skilled at his trade as you are,” Tally told her. “Practice makes perfect. If you did this all day, you’d learn the same skills.”

“No, thanks. I’d rather have an assistant do the prep work.”

Chef Pierre glared at them. “In case you are wondering about the origins of this dish, Bananas Foster was created in the early nineteen-fifties at Owen Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans.” He spoke with a French accent in a loud stage voice to command attention. “Owen asked his sister Ella to create a new dessert for a dinner honoring Richard Foster, who’d been appointed Chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission. Ella took some bananas, split them in half, and sauteed them with butter and brown sugar. Then she poured rum and banana liqueur on top, set it on fire by the table, and served it with vanilla ice cream. Voilà, a new recipe was born!”

Marla watched, amazed that his description alone could make her crave sweets. “I’m gaining five pounds just by sitting here,” she said to Tally.

Tally patted her stomach. “So am I.”

“I doubt it. You can eat anything and not gain weight.” Tally’s model-thin figure didn’t change no matter what she ate. Marla wished she could say the same.

Pierre melted a chunk of butter in a skillet over medium heat. He stirred in brown sugar then added the banana slices, sprinkling cinnamon on top until a delicious fragrance filled the air.

Tally’s blue eyes widened. “I could never get brown sugar to melt that way without scorching the pan.”

“Did you ever think food could inspire such temptation?” Marla said. “No wonder people flock to his restaurant. Pierre will be a big draw at our Taste of the World fundraiser.”

“Ken and I bought tickets already. He feels it’s important to support Ocean Guard.”

Marla frowned. “Cynthia is getting nervous about hosting the event at her estate. I can’t believe I let my cousin con me into taking charge of the chefs.” She’d taken on the job while already having enough to do managing her salon and tending to her clients. One of the reasons she’d come tonight was to see Chef Pierre in action.

He removed the skillet from the heat and then warmed a measure of rum in a separate saucepan. “This is le grand finale. You are hungry, non?” As the class watched, he lifted the smaller pot and poured the rum over the bubbling bananas.

A sugary scent made Marla’s stomach growl. It was nine o’clock on Wednesday evening, and she hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Everyone was waiting to sample the dishes after Pierre finished this last demo. Let’s wrap it up and eat the food already, she thought, stuffing her packet of recipes into her purse.

Pierre’s tall white toque bobbed on his head as he lit a match and tilted it toward the warmed rum in the skillet. The flame had barely touched the liquid when an explosion rocked the room, sending a wall of fire shooting into the air.

What do you think? Is the second version better than the first, or should I leave things as they are in the original? 

Leave a Comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a signed print copy of Hair Raiser trade paperback edition.

Tea and Murder

In writing a novel, authors research much more material than goes into the story. If we add too much, our editors call it an info dump. But too little, and things might not make sense.

In Star Tangled Murder, hairstylist Marla Vail and her detective husband, Dalton, attend a battle reenactment at a living history village where the town marshal ends up dead. During their investigation, they learn about tea production. I researched the topic and was surprised at the complexity of the process.

Tea bushes first arrived in the United States from China in the 1700s. Attempts to cultivate the camellia sinensis plant in this country failed until a chemist, Dr. Charles Shepard, founded the Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville, South Carolina in the late 1880s. He produced award-winning teas until he died.

Meanwhile, the Lipton Company acquired a farm on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina. They relocated Shepard’s plants there. William Barclay Hall, a professional tea taster, bought the land in 1987. He converted the farm into a commercial operation, and the Charleston Tea Plantation was born. They renamed it the Charleston Tea Garden when Bigelow took over the property.

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Each type of tea requires different processing. You can’t just pluck leaves off a plant and brew a pot. For example, green tea leaves are steamed on arrival to halt oxidation and to preserve their freshness. Black tea requires withering, rolling, and oxidizing. Oolong is a semi-oxidized tea that falls in between the other two. The tea plant grows best in places with high heat, humidity, good rainfall, and acidic soil. China, Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya are the four major suppliers.

Tea is promoted as having various health benefits. In particular, green tea drinkers allegedly have a lower incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease. This may be related to the high content of polyphenols in green tea. These have antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties and may also stimulate the immune system.

Green tea is one of the least processed varieties. Only the top two leaves and a bud from one stem are picked. This is called the flush. During harvesting season, the plant produces a new flush every seven to fifteen days. For black and oolong tea, two to four leaves down from the top are picked. There’s also white tea made from the buds of a plant. The only step for white tea is drying it to reduce moisture.

Yellow tea is similar to green tea in the initial production process, but it requires an additional procedure called sealed yellowing. This removes the grassy scent associated with green tea. Matcha teas are a type of Japanese green tea. The leaves are ground into a fine powder and then whisked into hot water. It has more antioxidants than green tea but also more caffeine.

When writing a book, it’s a fine line between dumping too much info into the story versus sharing this information with readers. I cut out this portion from the final version of Star Tangled Murder:

“Here the leaves for black and oolong teas undergo oxidation on these conveyor belts. This kickstarts the fermentation process. Next is what we call disruption,” he said, gesturing to a rotating tumbler. “Tossing the leaves tears them and allows for oxygen to penetrate the bruised cells. When sufficient oxidation has occurred, the leaves enter a gas-heated dryer for a short period to stop fermentation. This stage is called fixation and is the most critical part because it determines the tea’s taste, aroma, and color.”

“Then it’s ready for consumption?” Marla asked, not seeing anything that would account for the security measures.

“Not yet. The leaves go through a sieve to filter out undesirable particles, such as stems and fibers. Then the tea is shaped into tiny pellets to intensify the flavor. Once this cycle is complete, the tea enters the final firing stage in this oven.”

This would have been too much detail to leave in my story. I might find it fascinating, but readers want to move on to see what happens next regarding the mystery.

Tea and Murder #cozymystery #research Share on X

Do you like learning new topics in a mystery, or do you prefer a story that sticks to the bones of the plot? And what’s your favorite kind of tea?

GIVEAWAY

Enter Here to win a free book from Booklover’s Bench

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour

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.

March 15 – Fundinmental – REVIEW

March 15 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT

March 16 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, GUEST POST “Corn and Crime” & RECIPE

March 17 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST “Holidays and Homicide”

March 17 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT

March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 19 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – GUEST POST “History and Mystery” & GIVEAWAY

March 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST “Tales of Lost Treasure”

March 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 21 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 21 – Cinnamon and Sugar and A Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, Salmon Mini Quiches RECIPE, & GIVEAWAY

March 22 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

March 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

March 23 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – “Interview with Marla Vail”

March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

March 24 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 24 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

March 25 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour with Nancy J. Cohen Share on X

 

Star Tangled Murder New Release

I am excited to announce the release of STAR TANGLED MURDER, #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries.

Star Tangled Murder

Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-24-9
Print ISBN: 978-1-952886-25-6
Edited by Deni Dietz at Stray Cat Productions
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.
Interior Design www.formatting4U.com
Cover Copy by BlurbWriter.com

Join me at TWO Book Launch Parties for Fun & Prizes!

TONIGHT March 14 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm EDT at https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty/

 

Friday, March 17, 7:00 to 8:00 pm EDT at https://www.facebook.com/groups/cozymysteryparty

 

Story Description

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!

GET YOUR COPY HERE  

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BQS68WS7
Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952886252/
Apple Books: http://books.apple.com/us/book/id6445207585
BN Nook: https://bit.ly/3vuluKN
BN Print: https://bit.ly/3I6HpyU
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=UICjEAAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/star-tangled-murder
Books2Read: https://books2read.com/StarTangledMurder
Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781952886256
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1298730

Booksellers & Librarians: This title is also available from Ingram.

STAR TANGLED MURDER is now available in print and ebook formats! #newrelease #cozymystery Share on X

Note: Contact me for a Reader Discussion Guide 

GREAT ESCAPES VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR March 15 – 25, 2023

Follow my Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for book reviews, spotlights, author interviews, guest posts and giveaways!

 

GIVEAWAYS

Enter Here March 12 – 27 to win a signed copy of “Star Tangled Murder” and a Box of White Tea.

 

Enter Here March 1 – 18 to win a free book at Booklover’s Bench.

 

Star Tangled Murder Complete Book Tour Schedule

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.

Jan. 4 – Sunhusky’s Daisy Reads 2 – REVIEW

Jan. 15 – Mostly Cozy Librarian – REVIEW

March 1 – Donovan’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

March 1, The Big Thrill – INTERVIEW

March 1, Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 10 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

March 11 – Dru’s Book Musing – “Coming Week of March 12, 2023”

March 12 – MJB Reviewers – New Releases for the Week of March 12, 2023

March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – BOOK SHOWCASE

March 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 14 – Storeybook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – BookGoodies – SPOTLIGHT

Tuesday, March 14, 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDTBOOK LAUNCH PARTY
Facebook Party with Fun & Prizes!

March 15 – Mystery Reads – Spotlight

March 15 – 25 – GREAT ESCAPES VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR 

March 15 – Fundinmental – REVIEW

March 15 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT

March 16 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW & GUEST POST “Corn and Crime” & RECIPE

March 16 – Dru’s Book Musings – GUEST POST “A Day in my Life by Marla Vail” 

Friday, March 17, 7:00 to 8:00 pm EDT – AUTHOR TAKEOVER
Facebook Event with Fun & Prizes!

March 17 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST “Holidays and Homicide”

March 17 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

March 17- MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

March 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT

March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 19 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – GUEST POST “History and Mystery”

March 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST “Tales of Lost Treasure”

March 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 21 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 21 – Cinnamon and Sugar and A Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, “Salmon Mini Quiches” RECIPE, & Giveaway

March 22 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

March 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

March 23 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – “Interview with Marla Vail”

March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

March 24 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 24 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

March 24 – KRL News & Reviews – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

March 25 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

March 28 – Denise Swanson’s Mysteries, Romances, and More – GIVEAWAY

March 28 – Denise Swanson’s Mysteries, Romances, and More – GIVEAWAY

March 29 – Cozy Mystery Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 1 – Dru’s Book Musings – INTERVIEW “A Word with the Author”

Follow Nancy J. Cohen's Complete Book Tour for STAR TANGLED MURDER Share on X

GIVEAWAYS

Enter Here March 12 – 27 to win a signed copy of “Star Tangled Murder” and a Box of White Tea

 

Enter Here March 1 – 18 to win a free book at Booklover’s Bench

 

Star Tangled Murder Book Tour Schedule

Please join me as I celebrate the release of STAR TANGLED MURDER with a virtual book tour. Follow along for book reviews, spotlights, author interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Wednesday, March 1 – Donovan’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

Wednesday, March 1, The Big Thrill – INTERVIEW

Wednesday, March 1, Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

Friday, March 10 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

Friday, March 11 – Dru’s Book Musing – “Coming Week of March 12, 2023”

Sunday, March 12 – MJB Reviewers – New Releases for the Week of March 12, 2023

Monday, March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – BOOK SHOWCASE

Monday, March 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

Tuesday, March 14 – Storeybook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Tuesday, March 14 – BookGoodies – SPOTLIGHT

Tuesday, March 14 – Book Launch Party, 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDT

March 15 – Mystery Reads – Spotlight

March 15 – 25 – Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour

March 15 – Fundinmental – REVIEW

March 15 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT

March 16 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW, GUEST POST “Corn and Crime” & RECIPE 

March 16 – Dru’s Book Musings – “A Day in my Life by Marla Vail” GUEST POST

March 17 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST “Holidays and Homicide”

March 17 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

March 17, 7:00 to 8:00 pm EDT – AUTHOR TAKEOVER

March 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 19 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – GUEST POST “History and Mystery”

March 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST “Tale of Lost Treasure”

March 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT & EXCERPT

March 21 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY

March 21 – Cinnamon and Sugar and A Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, “Salmon Mini Quiches” RECIPE & GIVEAWAY

March 22 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

March 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

March 23 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW “Interview with Marla Vail”

March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

March 24 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 24 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

March 24 – KRL News & Reviews – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

March 25 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

March 28 – Denise Swanson’s Mysteries, Romances, and More – GIVEAWAY

March 29 – Cozy Mystery Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 1 – Dru’s Book Musings – INTERVIEW “A Word with the Author”

Booklovers Bench Tenth Anniversary

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.