Circle of Light – New Print Edition

I am excited to offer a new trade paperback edition of Circle of Light, #1 in The Light-Year Series. This title was originally published by Dorchester and has been revised with added bonus materials. The idea came as a dream, and when I woke up, I realized I had to finish the story. Circle of Light was my first published book and winner of the HOLT Medallion Award. If you’re in the mood for an escapist read with adventure, mystery, and romance, this is the book for you.

Circle of Light

Published by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-06-5
Print ISBN: 978-1-952886-29-4
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.
Interior Design by

Attorney Sarina Bretton believes in facts, not fantasies of faraway planets. Then Captain Teir Reylock of the Coalition Defense League kidnaps her from Earth and whisks her to worlds she couldn’t have imagined. While she’s stunned at first, Sarina is even more astonished when Teir says he’s taking her to marry a member of the High Council. Through this union, she is destined to become the legendary Great Healer and save the galaxy from a devastating plague.

At the capital city of Bimordus Two, Sarina discovers the wonders of an advanced civilization. She also awakens to her passion for Teir, who is assigned as her personal bodyguard. He returns her regard, but he’s sworn to duty. He must protect Sarina from the Coalition’s enemies and from his own desire. If Sarina fails to fulfill the legend, the law decrees she’ll be executed. The only way they can be together is to unlock the legend’s secrets and expose the hidden truth.


“This action-packed novel will excite and satiate fans of science fiction and romance works alike. Nancy Cohen is a tremendous talent whose novel will remind readers of the Star Wars trilogy.” The Talisman

“Nancy J. Cohen is a writer whose amazing talent propels readers into a universe filled with strange new worlds, amazing technologies, and unusual species that would have made George Lucas sit up and take notice.” Affaire de Coeur

Circle of Light is a well-constructed futuristic romance that will appeal even to die-hard Star Trek and general science fiction readers. Great plot, believable aliens, and interesting locations.” The Paperback Trader

“Nancy Cohen sparks your imagination and melts your heart with her wonderful tale of galactic adventure and star-crossed lovers.” Marilyn Campbell, award-winning author of The Innerworld Affairs series

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Booksellers & Librarians – This title is available through Ingram and at Overdrive and Hoopla.

CIRCLE OF LIGHT blends sci-fi, mystery and romance into a fast-paced, escapist tale. #spaceopera #romance Click To Tweet


Reader Drawing

To celebrate this new release, I’m giving away an advance reading copy of Silver Serenade. Leave a comment here to be entered into the drawing. Winner will be selected and notified by email on May 23. In return, an honest review at your favorite online bookstore would be greatly appreciated.

Booklover’s Bench

Enter Now to win two free books from Booklover’s Bench in our monthly giveaway.


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 Click To Tweet

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?


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Your Book Was Reviewed – Now What?

Reviews are an author’s lifeblood. At best, they can strongly influence new readers to buy your book. At worst, a slew of poor reviews or low numbers may lead your publisher to think twice about accepting your option book. The quantity and ratings also affect your promotional opportunities since some ads require at least 10 reviews with a 4.0 or higher average. For a writer, getting reviews is paramount.

When a reader goes to an online bookstore site to scout out a potential new read, she’ll read the story blurb, look inside for a taste of your writing, and then read the customer reviews. Editors and agents may also look at reviews of your prior titles when considering which author to take on. Like with any business, we want to make a good impression.

This discussion does not involve how to get reviews. We’re going to talk about what you can do with a review once you receive one.

Here are some steps to take:

Create a subfolder labeled Reviews under your book title in your word processing program.

Copy and paste the entire review to a blank page and name the file. Put it in the Reviews folder.

Add the reviewer’s social media links.

Pull out several quotes. Add these quotes to your page of Tweets for this book title.

Add the review to your website’s book page.

Make a meme with a quote and for a featured book review. Examples:



Share the review on your social media sites. Tag the reviewer.

Leave a comment on the reviewer’s site thanking her for the review.

“Like” reviews for your book on Goodreads and BookBub.

Add it to the editorial reviews on Amazon if the reviewer didn’t post there.

If you are self-published, add the quotes elsewhere, such as IngramSpark and Barnes and Noble through their publishing platforms.

If you are trad published, copy the review to your editor.

Make a meme including several advance quotes for a new release

Keep a personal list or spreadsheet with each reviewer’s name, contact info, social media sites, and links to your reviews. This will give you a head start for your next release. Don’t forget to add how they’ve acquired your book (i.e. you sent them a file/link or they got it on NetGalley) and the dates for all correspondence.

Send out a reminder letter after the book goes live with buy links to reviewers who have downloaded the book but have not yet posted a review.

Send thank you notes to reviewers who have followed through.

Your Book Was Reviewed - Now What? #BookPromotion Click To Tweet

Keeping meticulous records will show you who to approach for your next release. You’ll know who responded and who didn’t and where they posted reviews. This list will be fluid, changing for each book. Just remember to always be courteous, thank the reviewers for their time, and share their posts on your social media sites to show your appreciation.

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Book Tour Highlights

In case you missed my virtual book tour, here are some of the highlights. Please check out the interviews and guest posts with recipes and research related to my book. Keep reading for more chances to win a copy of Star Tangled Murder.


Guest Posts 

March 16 – Carla Loves To Read – “Corn and Crime” with Corn Casserole Recipe

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

March 17 – Jane Reads – “Holidays and Homicide” 

March 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – “History and Mystery”

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

March 21 – Cinnamon & Sugar and A Little Bit of Murder – Book Review & Salmon Mini Quiches Recipe 


March 1, The Big Thrill – Author Interview

March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Author Interview 

March 21 – Literary Gold – Author Interview

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

March 24 – Ascroft, eh? – Author Interview

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

More Sites

If you want to see the full schedule of stops I made on my tour, go here:

Or here –

Nancy J. Cohen's Book Tour Highlights #guestposts #authorinterviews Click To Tweet


March 28Denise Swanson’s Mysteries, Romances, and MoreA copy of Star Tangled Murder

Congratulations to Julie W. and Rita W. who have won my Rafflecopter contest! They’ve each won a signed copy of STAR TANGLED MURDER and a Box of White Tea.

You have another chance to win a copy of my new release at KRL News & Reviews. Contest is open there until April 8, 2023. 


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
Cover Copy by

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

TONIGHT March 14 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm EDT at


Friday, March 17, 7:00 to 8:00 pm EDT at


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!


Amazon Kindle:
Amazon Print:
Apple Books:
BN Nook:
BN Print:
Google Play:

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

STAR TANGLED MURDER is now available in print and ebook formats! #newrelease #cozymystery Click To Tweet

Note: Contact me for a Reader Discussion Guide 


Follow my Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for book reviews, spotlights, author interviews, guest posts and 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 – 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 – 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 Click To Tweet


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