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:
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.
When you’re writing a series, how do you know what comes next? Book One lays the groundwork, introducing the setting, characters, and premise for the entire series. How can the second book build on this beginning?
That depends on if your stories are more episodic or serial in nature. For whodunits, we’re more episodic with a different murder mystery to solve in each book. The crime is the focus of the plot, like exploring a new planet on each episode of Star Trek.
But this is only your main character’s external conflict. What about their internal angst? Here’s where you can introduce a serial element. By this, I mean an overarching thread that isn’t solved in book one. This thread deals with the protagonist’s struggle to overcome obstacles to achieve her ultimate personal goal. Each book should evolve from this core inner conflict.
In my Bad Hair Day series, hairstylist sleuth Marla Vail progresses in her dating life and matures to overcome past traumas and to embrace a happy future. But once your character fulfills her destiny, you’ll have to throw in another wrench to clog the wheels. This means that when one thread is tied up, you’ll need to introduce another source. Each story should evolve from the personal issues introduced in the previous story as well as any external problems that remain.
A romance series is more likely to feature spinoffs, or a new set of protagonists per book. These stories might take place in the same town or share a theme, thus adding a commonality. i.e. A missing object must be found or something bad will happen. Each book would then focus on the protagonists revealing a new facet to this mystery, perhaps leading to another clue. It would reflect on their inner journeys as well. This is in addition to whatever external conflict is affecting their relationship.
Or in a science fiction series, perhaps the evil galactic warlord must be stopped. The heroes have many adventures along the way, making friends and enemies as they seek to end the tyranny or to prevent a worse threat from emerging.
Think of Harry Potter. Readers know he’ll have to face Lord Voldemort someday. Meanwhile, he has other villains to defeat. Along the way, he has to find the courage and power to defeat his mortal enemy.
Your cast of secondary characters can provide plenty of opportunities for sequels based on their goals and conflicts and interaction with the protagonist. Give one a prominent role in the next story and focus on this person’s problems. Your hero gets involved because she cares about this character. She’s also grappling with some aspect of her own personal struggle to overcome.
It all goes back to the writing advice that your main characters must grow and change. What would normally happen next in this person’s life?
Enter Here June 23 – 29 to win up to 25+ Cozy Mystery eBooks and bonus paperbacks in this multi-author giveaway. My book, Shear Murder, is included!
Please join me at one of these upcoming online events. It would be great to see some friendly faces in the virtual crowd.
Monday, June 29, 4:00 pm – Chat with author Nancy J. Cohen
Nancy J. Cohen will discuss her cozy mysteries set in Florida with a touch of humor and a hint of romance via Zoom. Sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women Palm Beach as part of their “What’s in the Author’s Bag?” program. **Pre-registration and fee required. https://ncjwpalmbeach.org/whats-in-the-authors-bag/
Wednesday, July 8 at 3 p.m. Self-Publishing Made Simple with Nancy J. Cohen, a writing workshop sponsored by South Florida Book Festival 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. Register here: https://broward.webex.com/broward/k2/j.php?MTID=t2837d4c885a368ab35e39866caaa2420
For more information about #SOFLOBOOKFEST go to www.sfloridabookfestival.com/2020
Wednesday, July 15 at 3 p.m.Blogging, Posting, & Tweeting Your Way to Success with Nancy J. Cohen, a writing workshop sponsored by South Florida Book Festival Blogging is a proven route to building followers. You can start even before you’re published by sharing your writing journey. Or perhaps you already have a blog but want to increase your subscriber list. How can you attract more followers? In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to get started blogging as well as useful techniques for Facebook and Twitter. Register here: https://broward.webex.com/broward/k2/j.php?MTID=t652b81d9202dca80961d83990b69b036
For more information about #SOFLOBOOKFEST go to www.sfloridabookfestival.com/2020
March is a busy month, so I’d like to acquaint you with where I will be and when so we can say hello if you’re attending any of these events. The library talks are free but advance reservations are requested. Saturday March 9, 12-12:45 pm, “Plotting Made Perfect” with Nancy J. Cohen, Room 235 at North Regional/BC Library, 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd, Coconut Creek, FL 33066. Are you stuck in the middle of your manuscript? A multi-published author will discuss character and conflict; plotting techniques; secrets, suspense and subplots; structure and pacing; and writing the smart synopsis. This workshop is part of “TELL YOUR STORY. IT’S YOUR WRITE!” on Saturday, March 9, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm at North Regional/BC Library, 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd, Coconut Creek, FL 33066. Panels, workshops, and onsite bookstore. The event features South FL residents James Grippando and Charles Todd. It’s free and open to the public. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tell-your-story-its-your-write-tickets-54725085203 Wednesday, March 13th at 6:30 -7:30 pm, “Celebrate Women Authors: Local Authors Forum” with Marcia King-Gamble, Nancy J. Cohen, Debbie Reed Fischer, Traci Hall and Flora Doone at Lauderhill Central Park Library, 3810 Northwest 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311.Come and join local women authors specializing in different genres as they discuss their experiences in writing and the publishing process. This event is in celebration of Women’s History Month. Sponsored by The Friends of the Lauderhill Central Park Library. Books will be available for purchase. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrate-women-authors-local-authors-forum-tickets-56650446009
Sleuthfest on March 14-17. Are you registered for this premier mystery writers’ conference in Boca Raton, FL? If not, there’s still time! Register Here: http://sleuthfest.com Friday, March 15, 9:50 – 11:00 am, “How-To Steps for Becoming a Hybrid Author” with Nancy J. Cohen. Introduction by David Wind. Martinique room. Saturday, March 16, 9:00 – 10:20 am, “Ending Your Book” with Susan Sussman, Charles Salzberg, and Nancy J. Cohen. Moderated by Lynette Austin. Bermuda room. Sunday, March 17, 9:00 am – 10:20 am, “Independent Publishing: Self-Publishing for the Professional” with David Wind, Nancy J. Cohen, and Tara L. Ames. Bermuda room. GIVEAWAYS Cozy Mystery Bonanza Choose from 40+ free cozy mysteries in a limited time giveaway, including a copy of my book HAIR RAISER. https://books.bookfunnel.com/cozymysterybonanza/b1nj1qfi4p Booklovers Bench Enter to win a free book from our Prize Vault at Booklovers Bench: https://bookloversbench.com/win-a-free-book-march-2019/
Win 20+ Thriller & Crime Fiction Audiobooks from Ryan Zee’s BookSweeps.
I’ve teamed up with over twenty authors to give away a huge collection of thriller and crime fiction audiobooks to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner! Oh, and did I mention you’ll receive FREE ebooks just for entering? AND you can win my audiobook edition of PERMED TO DEATH, #1 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Click Here to Enter: http://bit.ly/crimeaudio-apr18
Reader Votes Needed!!!
Daily Voting at the 2018 ABR Audiobook Listener Awards
Murder by Manicure Audiobook is a 2018 ABR Audiobook Listener Award Finalist! Click Here for the Mystery category and scroll down to cast your daily vote for Murder by Manicure. http://bit.ly/2EtgoWg
RONE Awards – Vote for Audiobooks April 30 – May 6
Murder by Manicure Audiobook has also been nominated for a RONE Award sponsored by InD’tale Magazine. Reader voting in the audiobook category will take place April 30 – May 6. Register at http://www.indtale.com so you are eligible to vote. Be sure to click the verification link you receive via email.
• A story can come to life in a whole new way when read by a professional narrator.
• You can listen while working out, driving, or doing chores around the house.
• If you have trouble reading due to vision problems, you can listen to a story instead.
• If you buy the ebook along with the audiobook, you can switch devices using Whispersync and never lose your place!
Here’s another opportunity to win free ebooks! Visit Aug. 19 – 26 BookFunnel Mystery Giveaway Collect a bundle of 25 mystery ebooks, including Murder by Manicure. Do you like author giveaways? What prize do you like to win the best?
<><><> Save the Date: September 12, 2017 at 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDT Book Launch Party for HAIR BRAINED (#14 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries) Join Us on Facebook for Fun & Prizes!
Crime Fiction Giveaway, Aug. 7 – 14 I’ve teamed up with 35+ fantastic crime fiction authors to give away a huge collection of novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a Kindle Fire to the Grand Prize winner! You can win a copy of my revised Author’s Edition HIGHLIGHTS TO HEAVEN ebook, plus books from authors like Sara Paretsky, Linda Fairstein, and Lisa Gardner. CLICK HEREto enter. Contest runs for one week only, so enter now!
Booklover’s Bench Giveaway, Aug. 1 – 18 ENTER HERE to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklovers Bench
Don’t want to miss more chances to win? Sign up for my Newsletter for my latest book news, giveaways, bonus content, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.
From now through April 18, you can enter to win some great prizes. Check out the giveaways below.
Spring into Mystery Giveaway April 11-18 To celebrate Spring, I’ve teamed up with Storytellers Unlimited and over 35 mystery authors to give two readers 35+ cozy mysteries, and a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner! My contribution is an ebook copy of Permed to Death: Author’s Edition. Enter here: http://bit.ly/CozySpring
Booklover’s Bench Contest April 1-18 Enter April 1-18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card from Booklover’s Bench
Let’s Talk with Nancy J. Cohen
Win an ebook copy of Hair Raiser at Booklover’s Bench on my Let’s Talk post. http://bookloversbench.com