It’s always exciting when reviews trickle in for a new book. With Peril by Ponytail’s release date on Sept. 16, I am thrilled to share the first batch of reviews.
“Hairdresser Marla Vail spends her honeymoon at the dude ranch from hell. Marla is annoyed when her handsome husband, Dalton, accepts his cousin Wayne’s offer of a post-wedding stay at the Last Trail Dude Ranch in Arizona. She’d rather be lounging by the pool in a Caribbean resort than riding ponies up dusty trails and learning the mysterious ways of saguaro cactuses. And she’s even more annoyed to learn that Wayne and his wife, Carol, have asked Dalton to check out a string of mishaps at the ranch, ranging from a fire in the kitchen to a flood caused by an open valve on the water heater…As usual, it’s just a matter of time before Marla risks life and limb to help her husband solve a case that’s bigger than either of them anticipated.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Nancy J. Cohen once again delivers a delightful cozy mystery with the latest escapades of Marla and her partner Dalton.”—PaulineMichael, Night Owl Reviews
“This is a good addition to Cohen’s long-running series. The heroine is in fine form and … the slight bit of paranormal activity adds a nice touch.”—Susan Mobley, RT Book Reviews
“The author does a great job between all the characters, the storyline, the descriptions and the scenery. Each of them draws you into the book and you never want to stop until the story ends even then you want the story to keep going. A great series you will not be disappointed in reading.” —Babs Hightower, BTS eMagazine
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
Have you sold a book and now you’re panicking about what to do? Does the thought of book promotion strike terror into your writer’s heart? Here are some guidelines to keep you straight on the road to self-promotion. Or if you are a seasoned author, use it as a quick checklist of things to do. Always remember to be courteous, to avoid clogging the loops with your constant pronouncements, and to comment on other people’s posts in return. Don’t feel obliged to do everything mentioned here. Select what works best for you.
IMMEDIATELY UPON SIGNING CONTRACT
Send a press release to local media with an angle that will interest them.
Send notices to alumni newsletters and professional organizations, if appropriate.
Solicit cover quotes from other authors.
Get a professional photo taken or consider updating your photo.
If you’re a new author, reserve your domain name and the domain name for your series.
Create a website or update your landing page with your book sale news.
Announce the sale on your social media sites.
Send an email newsletter announcing the sale to your mailing lists.
4-6 MONTHS PRIOR TO PUB DATE
Send advance reading copies (ARCs) to book bloggers and reviewers after making personal contact. Some sites online allow you to fill in a review request form and upload a pdf copy.
Notify booksellers and librarians about your upcoming release.
Reserve ad space in trade journals, e-magazines, and online reader sites.
Offer to write articles in trade magazines for issues matching your pub date.
As soon as you get your book cover art, order printed promo materials.
Do a Cover Reveal as an Event. You may want to time it to when your book goes on pre-sale.
Design video trailer. Some of your blog tour hosts may ask for this link along with book data.
Contact bookstores to schedule events. Offer to be a speaker at writers’ groups, community clubs, conferences, and libraries. Schedule live radio interviews for release month.
Arrange for a virtual blog tour. Hire a company or solicit blog tour hosts on your own.
2-4 MONTHS AHEAD
As soon as the book appears for pre-order online, add the buy link to all your sites.
Send a press release with signing dates to local media.
Load video book trailer and add links to all your sites.
Write the blogs for your virtual tour and match topics with hosts. Post your schedule online.
Decide what to do for a book launch party. Schedule it as an Event on all your sites.
Run giveaways of your ARCs on Goodreads and LibraryThing.
Order swag materials for conferences.
Look for niche marketing opportunities.
1-2 MONTHS AHEAD
Contact booksellers and event organizers to verify your appearances and to make sure they’ll have your books in time.
Send email newsletter to readers, including signing dates, blog tour schedule, contests, and pre-order information.
Send promo materials or swag to conferences for goody bags or promo tables.
Set a virtual book launch party date and list it as an Event.
Prepare your newsletter and giveaways to coincide with the launch date.
Update websites with reviews as you receive them.
Write a page full of tweets and Facebook posts so you have them ready to go announcing your book launch. Do earlier if your book is available for pre-order. Include quotes from reviews when you get them.
Write a book club discussion guide if you want to have one available.
Post excerpts on social media to raise interest. Put your first chapter on your website.
Remember to promote yourself to your publisher. Send them copies of book reviews, feature articles, and promo events.
Send out a newsletter to your readers announcing the launch and inviting them to join your online party and enter your giveaways.
Announce the release on all your social media sites and online forums. Schedule tweets to run all day. You can schedule Facebook posts ahead of time on your author page.
Don’t forget to thank your blog hosts and respond to comments.
Go out and celebrate!
Time, budget, and energy are considerations when planning your promotional campaign. Choose what’s reasonable for you to accomplish, and remember that family takes priority, writing comes next, and all else is a bonus. The above suggestions aren’t written in stone. Some items you may be able to do sooner and some may come later. You’ll eventually work out your own rhythm. Do as much or as little as is comfortable at your level.
Marketing is what I’m spending all my time on these days. I am readying to launch my revised Author’s Edition of Body Wave in June, and I’m working on the release campaign for Peril by Ponytail coming in September. And by the way, I have some ARCs available for my 12th Bad Hair Day mystery.
If you are a book blogger or have a review site, and you’d like to be considered for an advance copy of Peril by Ponytail, please query me privately. Reviews would be appreciated on Amazon, Goodreads, and BN as well.
Hanging by a Hair (Bad Hair Day Mystery #11) is now available in a mass market paperback edition from Worldwide Mystery Library.
Florida salon owner Marla Vail is happily settling into domestic life with her husband, Dalton, and her teenage stepdaughter. Too bad her dream house comes with a neighbor from hell. Alan Krabber, president of the Royal Oaks Homeowners’ Association, throws up roadblocks on everyone’s projects—except his own. But after he and Dalton argue about an illegal fence, Krabber is found hanging from his second-floor balcony.
It’s homicide masquerading as suicide—and Lieutenant Dalton Vail is the prime suspect. Between ferreting out the culprit who’s pilfering from her salon and clearing her husband’s name, Marla’s got a lot to untangle…especially after another resident is killed. But can she follow the twisty trail of blackmail, betrayal and fraud to stop a killer who’s getting in everyone’s hair?
“The suspense element in this unusually funny mystery is gripping.”—Phil Jason, Florida Weekly
“Clues abound, as do quirky characters, wonderfully described South Florida settings, intriguing insights into the beauty salon business and into the wild world of Florida home-owning communities, and flavorful recipes. All in all, Hanging by a Hair is entertaining, enjoyable, and informative.”— Stephanie Saxon Levine, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
“If you’ve ever had neighbors that lived too close for comfort, then you’ll get a laugh out of author Nancy J. Cohen’s latest release, HANGING BY A HAIR. This is a madcap murder mystery that will have you laughing and guessing until the very end.”—Mason Canyon, Thoughts in Progress
Suspense Magazine “Best of 2014” Book Night Owl Reviews Top Pick Nominated for BTS Red Carpet Award
Pottery sculptor Erika Sherwood has no idea her televised wedding in Las Vegas is for real until an official confirms she and the stranger she’s just met are legitimately wed.
A Drift Lord and warrior of the Tsuran, Magnor tricks the redhead into marriage because she’s one of six women prophesied to save Earth. But as he’s forced into her company in their race against the apocalypse, he wonders if he risks his heart more than his life.
Can a free-spirited ceramic artist and a fierce swordsman trust each other enough to prevent disaster?
Marla’s joyous move to a new house with her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, is marred by their next-door neighbor who erects an illegal fence between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of the local permitting laws, tempers flare—and worse, the neighbor is found dead the following day. Dismayed when Dalton is removed from the case due to a conflict of interest, Marla decides it’s up to her to find the killer. Can the intrepid hairstylist untangle the clues and pin down the culprit before he strikes again?
“Marla is short for marvelous. If you like your mysteries ‘cozy,’ you’re going to enjoy every minute you spend with her!”—Award-winning author Joanna Campbell Slan
Top Pick 5 Stars! “The author is always keeping you guessing as to where the story will lead you next. Ms. Cohen has just joined the list of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading the other books she has written. I hope you find Hanging by a Hair as great as I did.”—MerryNoelle, Night Owl Reviews
“Clues abound, as do quirky characters, wonderfully described South Florida settings, intriguing insights into the beauty salon business and into the wild world of Florida home-owning communities, and flavorful recipes. All in all, Hanging by a Hair is entertaining, enjoyable, and informative. I look forward to Number 12 in this delightful series.”— Stephanie Saxon Levine, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
April is a super busy month for me, so I won’t be able to write many regular blog posts. It’s my release month for Hanging By A Hair (April 18). As a result, I have a blog tour, online launch party, various appearances, contests, and all this while doing a final reading of Peril by Ponytail before turning it in to my editor. At the end of this month, I leave for the Malice Domestic conference in Maryland. So please bear with me during all these announcements and SAVE THESE DATES!
April 15, Tuesday, Blog Hop sponsored by Florida Chapter of MWA. You can start with my topic, “Characters Too Weird To Be True” and follow along from there. Enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite and other prizes! So come back here on April 15 for this special event. http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com
April 19, Saturday, 11:30 am, “Writing the Cozy Mystery” including 4 Giant Steps to Self-Publishing with Nancy J. Cohen, Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Doubletree by Hilton, 100 Fairway Drive, Deerfield Beach, 33441. Reservations Required, http://mwaflorida.org/
I am excited to announce that Hanging By A Hair, my 11th Bad Hair Day Mystery, has a tentative release date of April 2014 from Five Star.
Marla’s joyous move to a new house with her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, is marred by their next doorneighbor who erects an illegal fence between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of the local permitting laws, tempers flare—and worse, the neighbor is found dead the following day. Dismayed when Dalton is removed from the case due to a conflict of interest, Marla decides it’s up to her to find the killer. Can the intrepid hairstylist untangle the clues and pin downthe culprit before he strikes again?
We all hate dealing with homeowners associations, right? Marla’s neighbor happens to be the HOA president for her neighborhood. This story is easily relatable to anyone who’s had a dispute with their neighbors or a conflict with their HOA Board of Directors. Otherwise, it’s a fun ride on another whodunit express with Marla and Dalton.
Shear Murder, Bad Hair Day Mystery #10, has sold mass market paperback reprint rights to Harlequin’s Worldwide Mystery Library. I am excited that this title will be available to readers in yet another edition. No word on a pub date or availability, but I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, if you have a Kindle or have downloaded the free Kindle app to your computer/tablet, you can get the ebook copy from Amazon for the reasonable price of $3.19.
I have a research trip scheduled to Arizona for next Fall, and you’ll have to read the end of Hanging By A Hair to see what this is all about. Please sign up on my website for my quarterly email newsletter if you want to stay informed.
CLICK HERE to Enter my Release Day Contest April 26-May 19! You can win a hand-made troll figurine by Trolls of Norway or a runner up prize of a signed copy Wicked Women Whodunit.
No purchase is necessary. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. By submitting your entry, you agree to be entered into the author’s email newsletter list. Your information will not be shared with anyone else, and you may unsubscribe at any time. Winner will be notified by email. Author is not responsible for transmission failures, computer glitches or lost, late, damaged or returned email. Winner agrees for their name to be used in conjunction with the contest on the author’s social media sites.
Join the Launch Day celebration on my Facebook Page (and Like the page while you’re there)– today only!
Leave a comment and be entered into my grand prize blog tour drawing for a $25 Amazon or BN gift card.
Have you ever met anyone you consider could be a troll?