I am excited to announce the release of The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume Two: Books 4-6!
Meet Marla Shore, a Florida hairstylist and salon owner with a knack for styling hair and solving crimes. In this trio of adventures, Marla helps her ex-spouse solve a murder, searches for her missing pet-loving neighbor, and stumbles across the body of a rival hairdresser.
BODY WAVE – Book 4
In a story braided with unexpected twists and curls, salon owner Marla Shore takes on a role as nurse’s aide for wealthy Miriam Pearl. While Marla snoops into the elderly matriarch’s affairs, her boyfriend, Detective Dalton Vail, is afraid that the only affair she’ll snag is with her ex-spouse, Stan. Juggling work at her salon, crime solving, and two amorously inclined males, Marla fights a race against time to save Stan before the dashing detective nails him for murder. RONE Award Winner!
“Ms. Cohen’s plot has more twists than a French braid, and Marla is a shear delight.” Joanne Fluke, author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries
HIGHLIGHTS TO HEAVEN – Book 5
Hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Shore lands a case close to home when her animal-loving neighbor—a man aptly named Goat—disappears, leaving his pets alone and a dead body in his master bedroom. Even more disturbing is the pattern of highlights Marla notes in the victim’s hair. She recognizes the signature technique of her former mentor, master stylist Cutter Corrigan. Soon she’s untangling clues that link Goat, Cutter, and the unsavory pet fur trade to her own past. Someone at her former beauty school has a hair-raising secret worth killing to keep.
“Full of twists and turns, great characters, and an interesting setting. Who could ask for more?” Denise Swanson, author of the Scumble River mystery series
DIED BLONDE – Book 6
Hairstylist Marla Shore stumbles over her rival’s body in the meter room behind their competing salons. When her boyfriend, hunky Detective Dalton Vail, asks for her help in solving the murder, she jumps on the case. The stakes rise when the victim’s trusted psychic warns her that someone she loves is in danger. Her investigation takes her to a smoky bingo parlor, a spooky town run by spiritualists, and sunny Delray Beach. But what scares Marla the most is her relationship with Dalton that takes a surprising turn.
“Nancy Cohen has penned another follicle‑raising frolic with a wry twist of romance.” P.J. Parrish, NY Times Bestselling Author
Get Your Copy Now
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Books2Read – https://bit.ly/3nSLQBy
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Enter Here July 1-18 to win a free book from Booklover’s Bench in our monthly giveaway.
Summer Book Blast Celebration – July 8, 2021
Save the date! Join us for a fun Summer Book Blast Celebration with 6 authors, prizes, and giveaways! The Facebook party is Thursday, July 8 at 8:00 – 9:30 pm EDT https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty
“And the Women Gather” Annual Book Event – Aug. 21, 2021
Saturday, Aug. 21, 2:00 pm, “And the Women Gather” Annual Book Event with authors Nancy J. Cohen and Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes at the Museum of Art, 100 N. Woodland Blvd, DeLand, FL. https://www.desert-sage.co/single-post/and-the-women-gather-annual-book-event Cost is $19.00. Buy tickets here – https://www.desert-sage.co/events
Enter Here May 25 – 31 to win 30+ whole series, box sets and ebooks – https://AuthorsXP.com/giveaway
Visit the Book Fair for free, sale, and Kindle Unlimited books – https://authorsxp.com/book-fair
Want more book bargains? Join the following for free:Enter Here May 25 – 31 to win 30+ whole series, box sets and ebooks Click To Tweet
I am excited to announce the launch of the Bad Hair Day mystery series box sets. Volume One will be released on May 1, 2021. Meet Marla Shore, a Florida hairstylist and salon owner with a knack for styling hair and solving crimes. In her debut case, the brazen beautician unravels a shocking murder that’s making waves all over Palm Haven, a small southern town where almost everyone has something to hide.
The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume One: Books 1-3
Copyright © 2021 by Nancy J. Cohen
Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-16-4
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.
Digital Layout by www.formatting4u.com
PERMED TO DEATH – Book 1
Sassy salon owner Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when her client dies in the shampoo chair. If that isn’t enough to give her a bad hair day, handsome Detective Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman’s coffee creamer. Figuring she’d better expose the real killer before the next victim frizzes out, Marla sets on the trail of a wave of wacky suspects. Her theory regarding whodunit gels only after she looks for the culprit closer to home.
HAIR RAISER – Book 2
When South Florida hairstylist Marla Shore takes charge of a fundraiser for a coastal preservation society, she has to comb through a knot of suspects to determine who’s sabotaging their gala event. Participating chefs are dropping off the roster like hot rollers, and it’s only through a series of hair-raising exploits that she can tease the truth from a tangle of suspects. Too late to stop a murder, Marla must salvage the grand affair before she’s moussed into oblivion.
MURDER BY MANICURE – Book 3
Hairstylist Marla Shore joins a fitness club to get in shape but discovers a dead body instead of an exercise routine. Jolene Myers—a client at Marla’s salon—has drowned beneath the frothing waters of the whirlpool. When Homicide Detective Dalton Vail determines Jolene’s death was no accident, Marla decides to give her deductive skills a workout and help solve the case.
If you enjoy murder and mayhem with a touch of humor and romance, you’ll love the Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Pre-order your boxed set today!Pre-Order the Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set One now! #amreading #mysteryseries Click To Tweet
I am pleased to announce the reissue of Hanging by a Hair, #11 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries. The new Author’s Edition is available in ebook and print formats.
Copyright © 2014 by Nancy J. Cohen
Digital ISBN 978-1-952886-00-3; $4.99; Orange Grove Press
Print ISBN 978-1-952886-01-0; $14.99; Orange Grove Press
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica
Digital Layout by www.formatting4U.com
Snarky neighbors, sordid secrets, and community politics play a role in this madcap murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.
Hairstylist Marla Vail’s joyous move to a new house with her detective husband, Dalton, is marred by their next-door neighbor who erects an illegal fence between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of local permitting laws, tempers flare—and worse, the neighbor is found dead the following day. Alan Krabber was president of the HOA, making Marla wonder if a member of the board had an interest in his death. But before her husband’s investigation can begin, he is removed from the case due to a conflict of interest. Now it’s up to Marla to clear her husband’s name and make the neighborhood safe again. Can she unravel the clues and pin down the culprit before he targets her as the next victim?
Reader Discussion Guide
Five Easy Recipes
Peril by Ponytail Excerpt
“Marla is short for marvelous. If you like your mysteries ‘cozy,’ you’re going to enjoy every minute you spend with her!” Joanna Campbell Slan, author of the award-winning Kiki Lowenstein mystery series
Suspense Magazine “Best of 2014” Cozy Mystery
Night Owl Reviews 5 Stars Top Pick
Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore Bestseller
“Marla Vail tackles married life and a slimy homeowners’ association in Cohen’s cheerful 11th series entry…A pleasingly lighthearted cozy.” Publisher’s Weekly
“The suspense element in this unusually funny mystery is gripping. What many readers will enjoy is the sensitive, realistic portrait of domestic life and the gently satiric treatment of the South Florida suburban milieu.” Phil Jason, Florida Weekly
“Funny, quirky, fast-paced with just the right amount of romance and humor mixed in with the mystery. Great series!”—Socrates Book Reviews
“…a madcap murder mystery that will have you laughing and guessing until the very end.” Mason Canyon, Thoughts in Progress
Amazon Kindle – https://amzn.to/2X3rDNx
Amazon Print – https://amzn.to/2X1ZDtt
Apple – http://books.apple.com/us/book/id1515005221
BN Nook – https://bit.ly/2ZBYVF5
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hanging-by-a-hair
Books2Read – Coming Soon
Ingram – Coming Soon
BookBub – https://bit.ly/36wqbX9
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53471369-hanging-by-a-hair
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/hanging-by-a-hair/
A Word About Reviews
Reviews are always welcome even on older titles and reissues. The number of reviews and average ratings count toward promotional opportunities and help attract new readers to my books. Scroll down on a book’s page to where it says Add a Customer Review and write a few lines on why you liked the book. My thanks in advance!
When you propose a book that’s number one in a series, it helps to have blurbs for the next couple of titles ready to go. You can send this along with your query or later with your full manuscript. Create a tagline for your series title, and check online to make sure this title hasn’t been taken. Then craft a query letter and mention this is the first book in a series.
My route to selling the Bad Hair Day mystery series was a circuitous one. When I first presented a proposal for Permed to Death, book #1, I sent out the first three chapters and a synopsis in a multiple submission to various agents. Here is my original query letter.
As we’ve mentioned before in a post on Tips for Query Letters, your one-page letter should include three paragraphs. The first one introduces you, gives the word count and the story genre. Next comes a catchy story blurb, followed by your writing credits. A marketing hook can also be included or suggestions for possible markets. In this case, that extra paragraph is where I mention a series.
Dear Ms. P.:
I’m a published author seeking a new agent to represent me for a mystery book proposal. PERMED TO DEATH is a 75,000 word novel featuring beauty salon owner Marla Shore.
When one of her clients is poisoned while getting a perm, Marla becomes a prime suspect. She attends the woman’s funeral and meets her relatives and business associates, all of whom have logical motives for murder. But so does Marla, as Homicide Detective Dalton Vail learns during his investigation. Desperately seeking to salvage her reputation, Marla tries to identify the killer before the next “permanent” solution is her own.
PERMED TO DEATH is the first book in a proposed series. Also available is a synopsis for the next story, HAIR RAISER. The title for the third installment is MURDER BY MANICURE.
I have four futuristic romance novels in print and am the winner of the 1995 HOLT Medallion Award in the paranormal category. PERMED TO DEATH is my first mystery. Would you be interested in seeing the complete proposal? An SASE is included for your reply. Please note this is a multiple submission. Thank you for your consideration.
I received rejections from all ten plus agents. (See my earlier post on this topic.) Some of them gave insightful comments as to what needed fixing. I decided to put this book aside to focus on romance again. I’d met an agent at a Florida Romance Writers conference who recommended me to a colleague of hers. I sent this person a query for Phantom Bride, a contemporary romance I’d written. Here is a copy of that letter:
Dear Agent L.:
I’m a published author seeking a new agent. This past weekend, I had a delightful conversation with Agent R. at the FRW Conference in Ft. Lauderdale. She is familiar with my four published futuristic romance novels for Leisure Love Spell Books and urged me to send you my new proposal.
Enclosed are the first three chapters and synopsis for Phantom Bride, a 60,000 word contemporary romance novel. I’ve already sent this proposal to Brenda Chin at Harlequin Temptation and am working to finish the book within the next couple of months. I’m seeking representation for this and other works in progress.
Included are my bio, one of my books, and an SASE for your convenience. I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Agent L. took me on in Feb. 1997. While she was trying to sell my romance novel, I rewrote the first three chapters of Permed to Death as per the suggestions in those earlier rejection letters and completed the manuscript. In June 1997, I sent this agent a query for Permed to Death mentioning the series title.
Dear Agent L.:
Enclosed are the manuscript and synopsis for Permed to Death, a 75,000 word mystery novel and first book in my proposed series called The Bad Hair Day Mysteries.
I’ve already spoken to RC, Senior Mystery Editor at St. Martins Press, whom I met at SleuthFest in Fort Lauderdale this past spring. I told her about this story and she expressed interest in looking at it.
If you like the story and think JS at Avon might be interested, please feel free to send it along. GB is on my list as a mystery editor at Berkley Prime Crime, and I may have more marketing ideas in my files. As always, I’m open to suggestions for revisions.
At this point, I didn’t follow my own advice and had merely a completed manuscript for Permed to Death, a synopsis for Hair Raiser, and a title for Murder by Manicure. And that’s how I sold the series in a three-book deal to Kensington. Then and Now book covers:
Below is how I would write this proposal now:
Series Proposal for The Bad Hair Day Mysteries
Hairstylist and salon owner Marla Shore solves crimes with wit and style in sultry South Florida.
PERMED TO DEATH – Book 1
Sassy hairstylist Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when her client dies in the shampoo chair. If that isn’t enough to give her a Bad Hair Day, handsome Detective Dalton Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman’s coffee creamer.
HAIR RAISER – Book 2
Hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Shore volunteers for Ocean Guard, a coastal preservation society. When someone sabotages their gala fundraiser, she must comb through a knot of suspects to unmask a killer.
MURDER BY MANICURE – Book 3
Hairstylist Marla Shore joins a fitness club to get in shape, but she finds a murder instead of an exercise program. To complicate matters, handsome Detective Dalton Vail disapproves of the charade she’s playing to help a friend.
My First Mystery Sale
Permed to Death sold to Kensington and appeared in hardcover in December 1999. The sale was a 3-book contract, and the series took off from there.
The Lesson – If you’re presenting a book that is part of a series, have blurbs on books 2 and 3 available along with the overall series title and a tagline. The same goes when you are pitching your book in person. Mention that it’s part of a series. See my post on Tips for the Hot Pitch for more details.Query Letters for a Book Series #amwriting #pubtip Click To Tweet