Trimmed to Death, #15 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, will be released on Sept. 25, 2018 and is available for pre-order.
Hairstylist Marla Vail enters a bake-off competition that’s a real killer when a contestant ends up dead.
Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life?
Note: I have review copies available in ebook format. If you are a blogger or reviewer, please notify me via email that you’d like to be added to my reviewer list. Include a link to the site(s) where you post reviews.
Once you or your publisher sets a date for your new release, you can start planning ahead for the big day. You’ll need to begin months earlier and get your pieces lined up ahead of time. Planning for a new release can be a full-time marketing job, so I’d advise you to set aside a few weeks to get everything done. Here’s a basic countdown schedule to act as a guideline.
4 to 6 months ahead
Prepare your story blurbs and tag lines.
Update the author biography on your website. Have a short and long one along with a separate speaker introduction.
Send out advance reading copies to reviewers and bloggers.
Announce the launch date in your newsletter and on your social media sites.
Schedule a virtual blog tour.
Reserve ad space in trade journals, e-magazines, and online reader sites.
Set up speaking engagements and signings.
Consider doing a Pinterest story board.
2 to 4 months ahead
Send out a press release about the new release and include signing dates.
Do a Cover Reveal once your book is available for pre-order.
Write a page full of tweets and Facebook posts about the new release.
Create your book trailer (optional) and add to social media sites.
Write guest blog articles and interviews for your virtual book tour.
Run contests or giveaways with your ARCs as prizes.
Order print promo materials and swag for conferences.
Consider if you want to put another book in your series on sale during the window of your book launch.
1 to 2 months ahead
Set a book launch party date, time and place. Here’s an example of the online site I share with author Maggie Toussaint: https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty/. Other authors might invite their writer friends to participate. Note what appeals to you and use these elements in planning your own book party.
Write the party posts, determine the prizes, and schedule all posts ahead of time.
Create memes for your launch party and the new release.
Send out “Save the Date” notices. Treat the launch as an “event” and broadcast it on your social media sites and to your influential contacts.
Schedule a newsletter and blog to post on the launch date.
Update your website with reviews as they come in. If time permits, thank each reviewer.
Write a book club discussion guide (optional).
Post the first chapter on your website.
Put excerpts on your blog to entice readers to want more.
Do as much of this work in advance as you can. This is simplifying all the effort a book launch entails, but being prepared relieves some of the stress as your book birthday approaches.
Hairball Hijinks: A Bad Hair Day Cozy Mystery Short Story, is now available in ebook format.
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9985317-4-8, $0.99, Orange Grove Press
Hairstylist Marla Vail agrees to help find a neighbor’s lost cat and discovers a ransacked house where more than the pet is missing.
Savvy hairstylist and super sleuth Marla Vail visits her friend Tally who just got out of the hospital after a serious car accident. Marla has been caring for Tally’s baby and is sad but grateful to return him to his mother. She and Tally reconcile their friendship that had become estranged before the crash.
Happy to have her friend back, Marla is about to leave when a knock summons her to the door. It’s a distraught elderly neighbor who claims her cat is missing. Marla, unable to turn down a person in need, accompanies the lady home. But when Marla enters the house, she realizes much more is missing than a lost feline. The place has been ransacked, and when she calls the police, they inform her the neighborhood has been beset by a series of thefts. Can she find the crooks before they cause another cat’astrophe?
Bonus One: An interview with Marla Bonus Two: 5 new recipes! Bonus Three: A sneak preview of Trimmed to Death
Spoiler Alert! This story comes after Hair Brained, #14 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. It contains spoilers so you might want to read that book first.
With special thanks to Lois Crockett for suggesting the story title.
Marla hastened to the front door. After a glance through the peephole, she opened the door to face an elderly woman with white hair.
“I heard you were taking care of Tally’s affairs after her accident, and I recognized your car in the driveway. You have to help me,” said the lady with a frantic expression.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t believe we’ve met.”
“I’m one of Tally’s neighbors. I understand you’ve a reputation for solving crimes. Thanks to your efforts, the police discovered who hurt Tally and her husband. Poor thing to lose her man that way. Now my guy is missing. I can’t find Mr. Stanton anywhere.”
“What do you mean?” Did the woman really address her spouse in that formal manner?
“I went out on some errands. When I got back, he was gone. I don’t know how he could have slipped out of the house on his own.”
Marla gave her a sharp glance. She wanted to learn more, but Luke had quieted, and she didn’t dare risk waking the baby by asking this person inside. Besides, it wasn’t her house. She didn’t have that right.
However, Marla couldn’t turn the woman away. Her natural inclination was to help people, so she stepped outside and shut the door behind her. The first order of business was to determine if this lady was legit or a scam artist preying on folks in the community.
Hairball Hijinks: A Bad Hair Day Cozy Mystery Short Story, is now available for pre-order.
Release Date: June 12, 2018 by Orange Grove Press
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9985317-4-8
When hairstylist Marla Vail agrees to help find a neighbor’s missing cat, she doesn’t expect to get tangled in a series of home burglaries. She gets on the trail of the lost feline, surprised to find more than the pet missing from the elderly woman’s house. The lady’s valuables are gone, and according to the police, it isn’t the first incident in the neighborhood. Can Marla outwit the crooks before they cause another cat’astrophe?
Bonus One: An interview with Marla Bonus Two: 5 new recipes! Bonus Three: A sneak preview of Trimmed to Death
With thanks to Lois Crockett for suggesting the book title.
Spoiler Alert: This story comes after Hair Brained and contains spoilers, so you might want to read that one first.
Are you an #audiobook fan? I’m excited to announce the release of Body Wave Audiobook, #4 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries! Join my Book Launch Party on Thursday, May 17 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDT for Fun & Giveaways at https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty
Narrated by Mary Ann Jacobs. Published May 11, 2018 by Orange Grove Press
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.
Marla tried to fathom the dynamics of their conversation. Florence seemed to be attacking Kimberly’s values while Stella was defending them. Why was the elderly aunt coming down so hard on the dead girl? Did it have anything to do with Florence having been in love with Kim’s father?
She wheeled Miriam away to a discrete distance, on a slight rise where the driveway curved toward a tree-lined avenue leading to the obscured entrance beyond the woods. It was far enough that she wouldn’t appear to be eavesdropping yet could still hear their faint voices.
“Morons,” Miriam muttered. “The poor thing is gone. Why won’t they let her rest in peace?”
Marla didn’t respond, too intent on listening. Her hands placed lightly on the wheelchair handlebars, she inclined her head.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get those albums if Stanley won’t cooperate,” Stella said, wringing her hands. “I should have gone myself. Maybe he’d have listened to me.”
“You tried at the funeral, and he ignored you,” her sister sneered. “Can you blame him, when you came right out and accused him of murdering his wife?”
“He knew what Kim was planning. You, of all people, should understand how it would cause him to react the way he did.”
“By killing her?” Florence said in an incredulous tone.
“Who else could have done it? You?”
“Don’t be absurd.”
“You always resented my daughter. I know how jealous you were that she wasn’t your child.”
“Stop screaming. I hate it when you get hysterical.”
“Did you do it?”
“Hell, no.” Florence shook her elegant head. “If you want to know, Kimberly was messing in things she didn’t understand. She should have minded her own business.” Leaning forward, she spoke in such a low tone that Marla couldn’t catch what she was saying.
Damn, she needed to be closer. Frustrated, Marla took a few steps forward. Suddenly, she heard a shriek. Whipping around, she let a cry erupt from her lips at the sight that greeted her.
Miriam’s wheelchair coasted down the hill at an increasingly perilous speed.
“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
“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.” Romance Readers Connection
This title is also available in ebook and trade paperback formats. Body Wave was originally published by Kensington. This audiobook and related versions are the revised Author’s Edition. For more details, visithttps://nancyjcohen.com/body-wave/
I’m excited to announce the reissue of Silver Serenade. This science fiction romance was originally published by The Wild Rose Press. My newly revised edition has been updated with added bonus materials.
A beautiful assassin and a desperate fugitive join forces to catch a terrorist and prevent a war between worlds.
Starship pilot Jace Vernon is forced to flee his home world after being framed for murder. He seeks justice, but a lovely S.I.N. agent gets in his way. Not only does she distract him with her silvery hair and violet eyes, but she counters his every move in the quest to clear his name. As he attempts to sway her to his cause, he doesn’t count on the personal consequences of success.
Rookie assassin Silver Malloy refuses to abort her deadly mission even if it means killing the one man Jace needs alive to prove his innocence. The leader of Tyrone’s Marauders murdered her family and ended her career. She’s dedicated her life to getting revenge, and now she finally has the chance. She won’t let a wanted criminal get in her path. But as Jace’s charms melt the barriers around her heart, she finds her resolve wavering. Can she help him win his case, even if it means failing her assignment and betraying her people?
Best Book 2010 in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews
The door buzzer sounded, indicating imminent departure. She swallowed, preparing for the gut-wrenching angle of ascent. At the last minute, the man in the black robe jumped from his seat and squeezed out the doors. He’d been so silent, she’d forgotten about him.
She slid over on the bench seat for more space. As the tram tilted into the air and zoomed toward the rooftops, something fell to the floor.
“Oh no, that guy forgot his package.” Silver moved to retrieve it, but she halted at Jace’s sudden intake of breath. She knew at once what he was thinking even before she felt the impact of his fear.
“Stop this thing,” she shouted. The sky tilted outside the windows as they careened to a new heading.
She credited Frok for quick thinking. He leapt up and yanked an overhead pulley. The sudden stop made them crash into each other.
“Quick, open the doors,” Jace urged.
With Frok’s assistance, he forced them wide enough to squeeze through while the tram hovered above a tall building.
“What’s wrong?” Kira asked, glancing at Silver for guidance.
“Bomb.” She couldn’t get another word past her dry throat. Nor could she explain to their newfound friends how she and Jace knew without a doubt they’d been set up. That Elusian had been waiting for them outside the Institute.
Jace stood aside to let the others pass. “We have to jump. Aim for that roof. We should be able to make it. Hurry.”
Silver tapped her utility belt. “I have a tensile line. Let me—” Her words died on her tongue as Jace snatched her and tossed her out the open door.
“Get ready for an epic adventure, as vast as the universe in which it is set! With a touching love story, a great blend of humor, action and passion, and a great cast of characters, this is a book that won’t let you go until the very last page.” The Romance Reviews
“Silver Serenade is an exciting, action-packed space adventure with more attention-grabbing twists and turns than a West Virginia highway. I loved it.” Two Lips Reviews
Silver Serenade by Nancy J. Cohen Published by Orange Grove Press
Glam Up for the New Year! January 9 – 29 Glam up for the new year with a crystal pendant from Effy. To celebrate the reissue of Silver Serenade, I have FIVE to give away. ENTER NOW. Color of stone may differ from what is shown in this picture. U.S. Residents only due to postal constraints.
Booklovers Bench, January 1 – 18 Enter Here to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench.
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Do you set New Year’s Resolutions for your writing career? I divide mine into creative and business goals and also decide what I need to learn next. At the end of the year, I review my accomplishments and see what has to be carried over to the next term. Here are my objectives for 2018. Any additions or suggestions? What are your goals for the new year?
Reissue revised ebook edition of Silver Serenade Publish revised Author’s Edition of Died Blonde Publish Writing the Cozy Mystery: Expanded Second Edition Produce Body Wave Audiobook
Finish and Launch Trimmed to Death, #15 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries
If there’s time left, start on these projects:
Plot Bad Hair Day mystery novella
Revise Keeper of the Rings Revise Dead Roots Continue backlist title reissues and audiobooks
Prepare PowerPoint lectures and handouts for upcoming events
Enter Hair Brained in writing contests
Keep up with newsletter, blogs and social media
Learn how to do Facebook Ads
Learn how to put books on sale across various vendors
Enter Here to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench.
Research Insights – Liquid Latex Research for a novel can lead to all sorts of esoteric topics. For Facials Can Be Fatal, I came across the term liquid latex. I’d heard of latex gloves, and that people could be allergic to latex. My hairdresser sleuth would have to be careful what type of gloves she used when applying hair color to a sensitive client. She could avoid risk by using gloves that do not contain this element. Next time you buy a pair of gloves for washing dishes or doing housework, check the label and see if they are latex-free. So what is liquid latex? Latex is a substance derived from rubber trees as a milky liquid. The commercial substance called liquid latex contains about one-third latex, two-thirds water, and tiny amounts of ammonia for preservation. You can also buy it ammonia-free. This would be desirable when applying the substance to your face. Liquid latex is commonly used for body paint and special effects makeup, such as scars, wrinkles, and wounds. It can be applied with a disposable sponge and takes up to ten minutes to dry. As it dries, the liquid latex hardens to a rubbery consistency and shrinks about three percent. Manufacturers add pigments to provide color choices. Or you can dust shimmer powder over the dried latex to create a metallic effect. Since it also has a sticky quality, liquid latex can be used as an adhesive for bald caps and other prosthetics. Fortunately, this substance is easily removed by peeling it off, but it can remove your fine hairs at the same time. Ouch. Looking to enhance your Halloween costume? You can buy liquid latex online or at your local party store in varying sized containers and a choice of colors. Try building up an area on your skin using alternating layers of latex and tissue paper and color it to make fake injuries. Learn how to apply it by watching a YouTube video. Next time you see a blockbuster movie, note if the special effects makeup might have been done with liquid latex. So how did I use this information in Facials Can Be Fatal? Let’s just say that some people can be highly allergic to the stuff. In other words, latex can be lethal. <><><> Facials Can Be Fatal by Nancy J. Cohen A Bad Hair Day Mystery Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner Finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. The victim, Valerie Weston, was a major donor for Friends of Old Florida, a historic building preservation society. Marla’s stylists are scheduled to work backstage at their upcoming gala fashion show, but Val’s demise might put a crimp in their plans. Hoping to salvage her reputation, Marla determines to track down the suspects. As she learns more about Val, she realizes the benefactress might have stumbled onto secrets others would kill to keep. She’d better prepare for a body count that has nothing to do with hot stone massages and everything to do with murder. View the Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/6OTw5232Eeg Get a Copy Now: Amazon Barnes and Noble iBooks Giveaway Enter Oct. 1 -18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklovers Bench Newsletter Sign up nowfor my latest book news, giveaways, exclusive bonus content, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.
I have several upcoming author events. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you in person at one of these sites. Saturday, Sept. 23, 4:00 pm, Nancy J. Cohen and Alyssa Maxwell will discuss “Character Growth Throughout a Series.” They’ll sign their new releases, Hair Brained by Nancy J. Cohen and Murder at Chateau sur Mer by Alyssa Maxwell. Refreshments will be served. Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, 273 NE 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Phone: 561-279-7790. Saturday, Oct. 7, 2:00 pm, “The Indie Experience” panel with Angela Page, Ruth Berge, Elaine Bossik, Joan Cochran, and Nancy J. Cohen as moderator at Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, 273 NE 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Phone: 561-279-7790. Monday, Oct. 9, 9:30 am, Guest Speaker Nancy J. Cohen, Friends of the Library, Helen B. Hoffman Plantation Library,501 North Fig Tree Lane, Plantation, FL 33317. Phone: 954-797-2140. Oct. 19 – 22,Florida Writers Association Conference, Altamonte Springs, Hilton Orlando Altamonte Spring, 350 Northlake Blvd., Altamonte Springs, FL 32701. Phone: 407-830-1985. Friday, Oct. 20,9:10 – 10:10 am,Writing the Cozy Mystery with Nancy J. Cohen (Crystal A–B) Friday, Oct. 20, 2:00 – 3:00 pm, Dredging Up Your Dark Side (Panel – Royal Palm Ballroom) Saturday, Oct. 21, 9:15 – 10:15 am, Book Promotion on a Budget with Nancy J. Cohen (Crystal D) Monday, Oct. 30, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Day-Before Halloween Party and Booksigning.Costumes optional.Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, 273 NE 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444, Phone: 561-279-7790. Saturday, Nov. 4, 2:00 pm, “Plotting Made Perfect” with Nancy J. Cohen, Nova Southeastern University, Conference Room 4009 Alvin Sherman Library, 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd., Davie, Florida 33314, 954-262-5466 ext. 25466. Advance reservations recommended. http://sherman.library.nova.edu/sites/spotlight/event/plotting-made-perfect-with-nancy-j-cohen/
Please follow along on my Blog Tourfor guest posts, author interviews, character guest posts, and giveaways. Comments welcome! LAST DAY! Enter Hereto win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklovers Bench.
Today is Release Day for Hair Brained (#14 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries)! Digital ISBN 13: 978-0-9970038-7-1 Print ISBN 13: 978-0-9970038-8-8
Published by Orange Grove Press
Book Launch Partytonight at 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDT. Join us at https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty/ Fun and Prizes! When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally—or Ken in the car with her—out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill? Excerpt Marla crossed the pavement toward her Camry, so deep in thought that she didn’t pay attention to her surroundings. A sudden roar made her lift her head. She gasped as a car barreled straight toward her. She leapt to the side, crashed against a parked sedan, and slid to the asphalt. With a squeal of tires, the car sped away. She glimpsed a flash of silver and the back end of an SUV. Shaking from head to foot, she rolled to her knees and managed to stand. It wouldn’t be smart to wait around in case the driver returned to make another pass at her. She had no doubt this had been a deliberate attempt to injure her, or worse. She brushed off her pants, grabbed her purse from the ground, and hobbled to her car. Safely locked inside, she examined herself for damage. Her wrists throbbed, having taken the brunt of impact. They didn’t appear to be broken, thank goodness. And her hip felt bruised but nothing more. She’d been lucky. She sat immobile, her heart racing like a squirrel on steroids. Get a grip, Marla. You’re okay. This proves you’re on the right track if you’ve riled someone enough to take a potshot at you. A Sampling of Praise