Peril by Ponytail (#12 in the Bad Hair Day mystery series) is available! Join me TONIGHT for a book release party, 7:00 pm EDT, https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty
Hoping for a romantic honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch, hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband Dalton arrive to find a series of mishaps plaguing the resort. A nearby ghost town is suffering similar problems. Is it mere coincidence that Dalton’s Uncle Raymond owns both properties? When Raymond asks for their help in finding the culprit, Marla and Dalton eagerly accept. Then news of a local forest ranger’s death raises the stakes.
With sleuthing more natural to Marla than horseback riding, she delves into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she discovers skeletons in the family closet. Someone means to drive Raymond out of business, and the reason may be linked to his past misdeeds. Raymond isn’t the only one with secrets. The trail leads Marla from an environmental activist group to saguaro poachers to water rights proponents to an abandoned copper mine beneath the ghost town. She’d better saddle up, rein in the clues, and find the killer before she becomes the next spirit inhabiting the haunted hillside.
“Cozy fans will have fun.” —Publishers Weekly
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/T2Vao7yDIVY
View my Arizona photo album (and Like my page while there): https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor
Excerpt from Peril by Ponytail:
The door banged open, and a wrangler stuck his head inside. “Have any of you seen Carol?”
Doc Harrigan shook his head. “No, why?”
“She went for her usual ride this morning. Her horse has returned with a limp. She wasn’t on it.”
“Dear God. Has Wayne been informed?”
“He’s gathering a search party as we speak. Do you want to join the posse, Doc? Carol might be hurt if the horse tossed her.”
“I should tend to the beast, but maybe I can be of some use.” Dr. Harrigan jerked his thumb at Marla and Dalton. “You guys wanna come along?”
“I’ll join you.” Dalton stood, and Marla followed suit. “Can you get a horse ready for me?” he asked the wrangler.
“Yes, sir. Won’t take me but a minute. Meet me in the corral out back.”
“I can’t go,” Marla said in a disappointed tone. “I’d slow everyone down. I’ll wait for news in the main lobby.”
Wayne might return to his office eventually, or at least he’d notify one of the other managers when they’d found Carol. Her heart thumped as conjecture flashed ugly images in her mind of possible scenarios. Carol was a seasoned rider who wouldn’t fall from her saddle without reason
Outside, the men rode off in a cloud of dust toward the trail Carol normally took each morning. Their group got smaller and turned into specks against the mountainside. Marla recalled a time in the recent past when she’d been warned to vary her morning routine by a killer who’d taken advantage of her habits. With a possible saboteur on the ranch, Marla should have given Carol the same advice.
Enter now at http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=7600 to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.
Enter Sept. 4-18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench. Check out our other features, including a weekly Let’s Talk discussion with our authors.
My Blog Tour Continues. Check out my guest posts today at:
Sept. 16 – “Hunting Ghosts,” Mystery Playground
Sept. 16, “On-Site Research Tips”, Southern Writers Magazine, Suite T
A Bad Hair Day Mystery by Nancy J. Cohen
Hairstylist Marla Shore volunteers for Taste of the World, a fund-raiser sponsored by Ocean Guard. It’s a decision she soon regrets. First Chef Pierre’s rum-soaked Bananas Foster goes up in flames, making her wonder if sabotage caused the incident. Her suspicions deepen as more chefs drop off the roster and Ocean Guard’s attorney is murdered. Does the lawyer’s death relate to an estate being managed by the group? If their gala fails, this property will fall into the hands of a mysterious heir.
Marla’s friend, dashingly handsome Detective Dalton Vail, believes the culprit might be one of Ocean Guard’s esteemed board members. She determines to help him untangle the clues. With a killer on the loose, Marla has a lot more to worry about than which canapés her chefs should serve. She’d better comb through the knot of suspects and catch the saboteur before he strikes again.
With her witty style and flair for local color, Nancy J. Cohen has created another page‑turner that will leave readers eager for their next appointment with sassy salon owner Marla Shore.
NOTE: Hair Raiser (Bad Hair Day Mystery #2) was originally published by Kensington Publishing Corp. This Author’s Edition has been revised and reformatted with added bonus material. Coming next in a revised edition will be Murder by Manicure.
Print Edition: https://www.createspace.com/5253406
Add to Goodreads List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24478683-hair-raiser
Hair Raiser was nominated for a Reviewer’s Choice Award by RT Book Reviews
“A saucy murder mystery by Nancy J. Cohen.” Publisher’s Weekly
“An easy-to-take series title with the ready appeal of an independent female sleuth and colorful Florida settings.” Library Journal
“Hair Raiser is a light, funny, cozy read…I had the serious urge to call my hairdresser and schedule an immediate appointment.” Cozies, Capers, & Crimes
“Hair Raiser is curled around a likable amateur sleuth who can handle a curling iron and murder clues with aplomb.” Sun-Sentinel
“Hair Raiser is a fast‑paced, one sitting read that may keep all but the sharpest‑eyed readers confused until the very end.” The Mystery Reader
“Cohen has richly filled this novel with quirky characters, twists and turns that make for a completely satisfying reading experience. The plot will keep you guessing, and Ms. Cohen’s writing style will keep you coming back for more.” MyShelf.com
“Curl up with Nancy Cohen’s stylishly witty and chillingly suspenseful tale of murder on the Florida coast—Hair Raiser is a cut above.” Joanne Pence, author of the Angie Amalfi mystery series
NOTE: New Reviews for this revised edition would be greatly appreciated!
Enter Jan. 27 – Feb. 14 to win a signed hardcover copy of Shear Murder & a $10 Starbucks gift card. Two prizes to be awarded. https://nancyjcohen.com/fun-stuff/contest/
Book Launch Party
Join me tonight (Jan. 27) from 6:00 – 8:00pm EST for fun and giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty
April 18, Friday, Facebook Launch Party 10:00 am – 8:00 pm with Nancy J. Cohen and Maggie Toussaint. Giveaways all day! Join now: https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty
Amazon Hardcover: http://www.amazon.com/Hanging-Hair-Nancy-J-Cohen/dp/1432828142
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Hanging-Hair-Bad-Day-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00JJ2XVUQ/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hanging-by-a-hair-nancy-j-cohen/1116603785
Marla’s joyous move to a new house with her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, is marred by their next-door neighbor who erects an illegal fence between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of the local permitting laws, tempers flare—and worse, the neighbor is found dead the following day. Dismayed when Dalton is removed from the case due to a conflict of interest, Marla decides it’s up to her to find the killer. Can the intrepid hairstylist untangle the clues and pin down the culprit before he strikes again?
“Marla is short for marvelous. If you like your mysteries ‘cozy,’ you’re going to enjoy every minute you spend with her!”—Award-winning author Joanna Campbell Slan
Top Pick 5 Stars! “The author is always keeping you guessing as to where the story will lead you next. Ms. Cohen has just joined the list of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading the other books she has written. I hope you find Hanging by a Hair as great as I did.”—MerryNoelle, Night Owl Reviews
“A pleasingly lighthearted cozy.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Clues abound, as do quirky characters, wonderfully described South Florida settings, intriguing insights into the beauty salon business and into the wild world of Florida home-owning communities, and flavorful recipes. All in all, Hanging by a Hair is entertaining, enjoyable, and informative. I look forward to Number 12 in this delightful series.”— Stephanie Saxon Levine, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
Pinterest Board: http://www.pinterest.com/njcohen/hanging-by-a-hair/
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/gv5ldn9uw7I
April 21 – 27, The Big Thrill Roundtable, “Do you enjoy reading books out of seasons?”
April 21, Monday, “Story Magic,” Mayhem and Magic, http://mayhemandmagic2.blogspot.com/
April 22, Tuesday, “Creating Hooks in Cozy Mysteries,” Musings From the Slush Pile, http://blog.juliealindsey.com/
Join the fun now: https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty
Increase the Chaos. Engage the Reader. by Julie Anne Lindsey
Chaos is one of my favorite things about fiction. This is especially true in a cozy mystery. I truly enjoy the insane amount of juggling required by the heroine. As a woman, I can relate to the pressure and frustration of handling too much- minus the murder investigation, of course – and it’s fun to see the scenarios unfold on someone else for a change. I can relate. It’s no secret women handle unthinkable amounts of responsibilities while maintaining the peace and meeting unreasonable expectations of others. We hold down the household, punch a time clock, volunteer in the community, date, please our family, entertain our friends and so much more. (We really are the more miraculous portion of our species. In my humble opinion). Which is why we all deserve a good book and a break from time to time.
As writers, it’s our job to connect strangers with a character we dreamed up. Chaos is a common ground we can use to our advantage. When I fall into a great new cozy or amateur female sleuth series, I immediately connect with the heroine if she’s got her hands full. I nod along and smile, thinking, man-oh-man am I glad it’s not me this time. My heart goes out to her. It’s hard keeping things afloat, and honestly, the chaos can be pretty entertaining when I’m not on the business end of things.
As I write each mystery, I want my heroine overwhelmed, well-liked and spread paper-thin. I want readers to feel the pull of hands on her time and person. So, as I plot and scheme a fun new investigation, I ask myself “What do I do every day?” and then “What do my friends do?” What keeps us so busy? The snowball method takes over from there because the short answer is we do too much.
Piling up the trouble is a great writers’ tool. It’s a fun and easy way to increase the chaos and pacing of a story. It keeps the pages going and stops the story from stagnating. I spend extra time on my outlines peppering in all the commitments my heroine, Patience, has to maintain in addition to surviving the wrath of a provoked killer and exploring the leads in her investigation, not to mention all the people she wants to please.
Add responsibilities to connect readers to your heroine. Give her problems they can all relate to, like family and romance. Those things are complicated. Messy. Real.
In my newest release, Murder Comes Ashore, I’ve piled up the everyday things that make a woman bananas. As my heroine pursues her investigation, (the crux of the story), she’s drawn away repeatedly by phone calls from clients, impromptu visits from family and a frustrating love triangle she’d prefer not to think about. She’s running from a killer, volunteering at the grade school and questioning birders about anything unusual they might have seen since the murder. Local law enforcement is running a parallel investigation and they get in her way, too.
Adding reality to the fiction anchors readers to your story. Who can’t related to a boss that expects us to show up on time? Or a sister who takes it personally if you’re five minutes late for dinner? The predicaments don’t have to be fantastical because they’re fiction. Take the things that make you the craziest and share them with your heroine. It is fun to move the burden onto someone else and it bridges the gap between you and women readers everywhere. Hey, it’s no fun when I have to fold laundry, check homework assignments and explain to my mom why I haven’t called all week, but when those things fall to a character, I smile because we share common ground. And us XX chromosome types have to stick together.
If you’re looking for a fun new mystery to cozy up with, I hope you’ll consider my new release, Murder Comes Ashore. It’s packed with chaos and a heroine who understands. Besides, who couldn’t use an island escape right now?
Murder Comes Ashore
Patience Price is just settling into her new life as resident counselor on Chincoteague Island when things take a sudden turn for the worse. A collection of body parts have washed up on shore and suddenly nothing feels safe on the quaint island.
Patience instinctively turns to current crush and FBI special agent Sebastian for help, but former flame Adrian is also on the case, hoping that solving the grisly crime will land him a win in the upcoming mayoral election.
When the body count rises and Patience’s parents are brought in as suspects, Patience is spurred to begin her own investigation. It’s not long before she starts receiving terrifying threats from the killer, and though she’s determined to clear her family’s name, it seems the closer Patience gets to finding answers, the closer she comes to being the killer’s next victim.
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.
Murder Comes Ashore is a sequel in her new mystery series, Patience Price, Counselor at Large, from Carina Press.
Learn About Julie at:
SHEAR MURDER by Nancy J. Cohen
Hairstylist Marla Shore is quite excited to be part of her friend Jill’s wedding party. Marla’s own wedding is scheduled for only a few weeks away, but she’s more than delighted to assist her friend. Of course Marla’s own schedule is impossible – between both weddings, moving to a new home, and expanding her hair salon – the last thing she needs is a murder investigation, but that’s exactly what’s thrown her way when Jill’s sister, Torrie, turns up dead at the wedding reception.
Jill begs Marla for her help in investigating the murder. After all, Marla has more experience than the police in investigating crimes these days. She discovers there were quite a few people who would want to kill Torrie, including her good friend Jill. Marla begins to step on many toes as she continues questioning all the suspects.
Meanwhile, Marla’s wedding draws closer and her fiancé, Dalton, who happens to be a police detective, is getting angrier and angrier at her involvement in this murder case. Not to mention it becomes clear that Marla angered the wrong person and has now become the target of a killer. Will she even make it to her own wedding alive?
This is the tenth book of Nancy J. Cohen’s “A Bad Hair Day Mystery” series and I loved it! I haven’t read the previous nine books, which is unusual for me, but it really didn’t matter – at least not as far as the storyline went. I didn’t need the previous books to read this one, but I would like to read about Marla and Dalton’s relationship. Fortunately, I have the first book on my Nook and I’ll definitely be continuing from there.
Marla Shore is a likeable and strong heroine. Although scared for her safety, I did understand her motivation. I loved how Dalton stood behind her and was supportive. A great couple!
The story is laced with humor, romance and mystery. It’s a quick, fast-paced book set in beautiful South Florida. For a few hours, I felt like I was on vacation. It’s a great read to escape from everyday life. It will keep you smiling through the entire book.
Socrates’ Book Review Blog