I’m excited to announce the release of Facials Can Be Fatal (Bad Hair Day Mystery #13) from Five Star Publishing. This cozy mystery title is available in hardcover and digital editions.
Salon owner Marla Vail’s new day spa hits a snag when a client dies during a facial.
“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.
“Marla and Dalton solve a mystery that includes pirates and shipwrecks off the Florida coast, and readers will be standing in line to get on this series as fast as possible. Marla and Dalton work extremely well together and are a whole lot of fun to read. This is one book in a series but is also a fantastic standalone for anyone who might not have met this couple before.” Reviewed by Mary Lignor for Suspense Magazine. “Facials Can Be Fatal is a nice, comfy, cozy mystery starring Marla Vail and her new family. Although this is one book in a series, it is a great standalone. I recommend this book to those who are cozy mystery fans and enjoy a sleuth mystery with many twists and turns.” 5 Stars! Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite Note: This story includes excerpts from a true-life travel journal titled Florida Escape written by my father. Join my Book Launch Party TONIGHT from 6:30 – 8:00 pmEST. Fun and prizes!https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty/
Click Herefor Author Appearances and Blog Tour. Coming next is: Feb. 22: Dru’s Book Musings,“A Day In The Life” Guest Post Feb. 28, Terry’s Place, Character Interview, View the Book Trailer Add to Goodreads Order Now at Amazon or BN or get a Signed Copy from Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore. Reviews are always appreciated. Please send me the link if you post a review so I can thank you personally. CLICK HERE TO TWEET about the new release.
Tropical Treats Giveaway, Feb. 21 – March 14 Enter to win a blue scarf, a blue crystal pendant necklace by Effy, a West Indies cookbook, and a signed hardcover Killer Knots Sign up for Nancy’s newsletterto learn about her book news, appearances, contests, and recipes. FREE Book for new subscribers.
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Hair Raiser Audiobook, book #2 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available on Audible and iTunes. Narrated by the talented Mary Ann Jacobs from Voice Over Visions.
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. It’s only through a series of hair-raising exploits that Marla can tease the truth from a tangle of suspects. Too late to stop a murder, she must salvage the grand affair before she’s moussed into oblivion.
If you haven’t tried audiobooks, here are some good reasons to check them out: • A story can come to life in a 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.
Haunted Hair Nights: A Bad Hair Day Cozy Mystery Novella is now available in ebook and print. This title originally appeared in Happy Homicides 4: Fall into Crime. My new standalone edition includes a bonus chapter from Facials Can Be Fatal (Bad Hair Day Mystery #13).
When history teacher Bill Ripari offers his property for a school haunted house project, hairstylist Marla Vail volunteers to put the scare factor into the props’ hair. She joins her stepdaughter along with other students, parents, and teachers to transform the wooded estate into a creepy attraction.
Marla is busy creating decorations when she spies a splash of red on the estate grounds. Curiosity compels her to go outside for a closer look, but the dark stain isn’t fake blood meant to be part of fright night. Instead, the trail leads straight to the history teacher’s dead body.
Worried about the kids, Marla puts on her sleuthing hat to investigate. She discovers 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.
Reviews are needed, so I urge you to post a customer review at any of these sites. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read the story in Happy Homicides or the standalone version. Go here to add your review or to order your copy of the book. Also consider adding it as a gift for the people on your holiday shopping list.
This is part 3 of my series on Audiobooks with ACX. After a narrator has accepted your offer, she’ll send you the first fifteen minutes to review and approve. Thereafter, each chapter is uploaded by the producer as a separate file.
Follow along with the text as you listen and look for missing or extra words, wrong pronunciations, missing lines, or words that may be spoken too low to hear. You want as exact a match as possible if you intend for your book to be Whispersync ready. This feature allows readers to switch between reading their Kindle edition and listening to the corresponding audiobook across devices without losing their place.
Note if a character’s voice seems appropriate. Should he speak in a bolder tone or a softer one? Higher pitched or lower? Is the accent right? Is there enough emotion in his voice? Can you distinguish among the characters in a scene with two or more people present? Are your character voices consistent throughout the story? Does the narrator pause at a space break? Does she have enough expression in her voice during exposition to keep the listener interested?
Next, listen to the files without looking at the written text. Close your eyes and pay attention to the story as it unfolds. Note qualities in your writing that you might tone down next time because they don’t sound right when spoken aloud.
If you have corrections for the narrator, note them in a separate file. Write down the chapter number and the exact time in the recording where the correction needs to take place. For your own sake, also indicate the page numbers in your pdf file. This makes it easier to go down the entire list at the end to make sure all of your suggested changes have been made. Here is an example of the type of errors I’d found:
20:33, “You think I’m meshugeh?” You pronounce the word okay, but you read the sentence as, “You think I’m ah-meshugeh.” Please correct.
8:14, Moishe should sound like Moish, not Moish-ee
p. 26/267; Monkshood should be monks-hood, and not monk-shood.
31:44, p. 34/267; you say leather black handbag. It should be black leather handbag.
Dalton’s voice could be more expressive.
18:39 Should be “Don’t think me rude”, rather than “Don’t make me rude.”
Chapter 4 is good as is.
19:55: See this passage toward the end. A couple of words/lines are missing that I’ve bolded here.
“Yep, that’s me.” A frown creased her forehead. She didn’t recognize the voice, nor was she sure of the caller’s gender. The caller ID showed out of area.
“I have a suggestion for you,” rasped the person on the other end of the line. “Mind your own business, unless you want your next cup of coffee to be your last.”
Click.The dial tone buzzed, while Marla stood riveted with the receiver to her ear.
Chapter 6 is good as is.
11:10 Afraid he’d probe, not afraid he’d probed. We can leave it this way if the sentence makes sense to you in past tense.
17:40 With deft movements, not delft movements
And so on. You get the idea? To communicate these changes to the producer, go to ACX and click on your project in production where you see the list of chapter files. Click on Request Changes in the upper right to unlock the site so the producer can do a new upload. Then send your producer a message listing each change. Keep all messages within the ACX format so they are properly documented. You can also communicate via email if you wish and send the correction file as an attachment, in addition to the ACX messages. Keep in mind that each time you want changes made, you have to click on that Request Changes button.
While you’re on this page, upload your audiobookcover that must be sized 2400 x 2400 pixels. You can look up other cover art requirements on the ACX site. Make sure your cover artist hasn’t just stretched out your ebook cover. Some modifications to fit the square format will have to be made.
Next, click on the Edit Retail Information in blue toward the top right and under the Approve button. Click here and double-check the metadata info listed.
When no further changes are needed and your narrator has uploaded the final files, click Approve Audiobook.
Permed to Death audiobook, book #1 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Narrated by the talented Mary Ann Jacobs from Voice Over Visions. 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. Listen to sample clips.
July 11-Aug 8 29 Days of Summer – Cozy Mystery Giveaway
Join our summer celebration and enter to win more than 40 cozy mysteries from an amazing collection of authors, PLUS a Kindle Fire! Click Here to Enter
July 1-31 Body Wave (Bad Hair Day Mystery #4) is on sale for $1.00 at Smashwords until July 31. Coupon Code SSW75. Marla the hairstylist goes undercover as a nurse’s aide to help solve the murder of her ex-spouse’s third wife.
July 28 Killer Knots original edition ebook will be on sale for ONE DAY ONLY on July 28 for $2.99. Mark your calendars now. Available at most online retailers.
I am pleased to announce the release of a newly revised and updated Author’s Edition of Permed to Death, #1 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. This title is available in print and ebook formats. I’ve tightened the writing, added new back materials, and hopefully improved the story with these changes. Isn’t this cover great? Patty G. Henderson at Boulevard Photografica is a genius.
Join me in celebrating the start of Marla’s adventures at a Book Launch Party on Facebook Tuesday evening 7:00 – 8:00 pm EDT. Fun and prizes!
The Open Road Media ebook edition is still available if you want to see how my writing has progressed through the years. The original title was published by Kensington.
Since most of the reviews for Permed to Death are based on the original text, I’d appreciate any new customer reviews for my revised edition. This book is especially important to entice readers into reading the entire series, so your kind words would be greatly appreciated!
Permed to Death 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.
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.
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.
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I’m excited to announce the release of Body Wave, #4 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Body Wave was originally published by Kensington. This Author’s Edition has been revised and updated with added bonus materials.
Stylist Marla Shore goes undercover in a hair-brained scheme to catch a killer in her latest South Florida adventure. In a story braided with unexpected twists and curls, she 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.
Excerpt from Body Wave
Marla is being interviewed on Sunday for the part-time nurse’s aide position. Also present are Morris, a family member, and Agnes, the woman’s regular nurse.
“We’ve had a death in the family,” Morris explained to Marla, “so things aren’t well organized right now. Why don’t you come on Thursday next week? We’ll expect you to wear a white uniform when you report for work.”
Marla glanced at Agnes, who wore slacks and a pullover sweater. Did that mean the nurse was already off-duty for today?
“You can run off now, Agnes,” Morris said, answering Marla’s silent question. “Miss Shore will begin at once.”
Marla nearly dropped her handbag on the floor. “Now? But I’m not ready. I mean, this was just supposed to be an interview. I thought you said you wanted me to start on Thursday.”
“It doesn’t matter that you’re not in uniform today,” Morris said. “Come upstairs, and I’ll introduce you to my mother.”
“B-but what do I do? Agnes, aren’t you going to instruct me?”
“I already did.” Agnes paused. “Good luck, Miss Shore. May I call you Marla?”
The woman’s gaze cooled. “A word of caution, Marla. Mrs. Pearl is a special lady, and I care deeply about her. See that you follow her orders explicitly. If she has any complaints, I’ll hear about them. I may be an employee here, but I report directly to Miriam. She’ll listen to me if I advise her to dismiss you.”
“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
“In Nancy J. Cohen’s fourth bubbly Bad Hair Day mystery, Florida hairdresser Marla Shore agrees to help her snake of an ex‑husband, Stan Kaufman, who’s been arrested for the murder of his third wife, Kimberly, find the real killer.” Publishers Weekly
“In Body Wave, Marla faces more shades of guilt and malice than she has colors of nail polish in her salon ‑‑ and exposes herself to a hidden killer who may decide that eliminating Marla is a permanent solution for getting away with murder.” Barnes & Noble Ransom Notes
“The Bad Hair Day mysteries have been noted for their humor, quick pacing and an intelligent amateur sleuth. Author Nancy J. Cohen continues to offer a refreshing and fun series.” Creatures ‘n Crooks
“You will find it all within the pages of Body Wave: a touch of romance, laugh out loud moments, hilarious characters, and a puzzling mystery.” The Romance Readers Connection