Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tace Baker


Edith Maxwell, aka Tace Baker

Thanks so much for having me over, Chris!

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing fiction as soon as I could write. I remember writing a little book in first grade, and by third grade my mother told me, “Edie, you’re a good writer.” That one little comment has stuck with me my entire life. (My sweet mother passed away in April and did not get to see this book in print, but I thanked her several times before that for encouraging me to keep writing.)

2. How did you pick the genre you write in?

I love reading mysteries. Many years ago, my now ex-husband said, “You like to read mysteries so much. Why don’t you write one?” Well, duh! So I did. Thanks, John.

3. What was the name of the first novel you wrote?

Did you try to publish it? SPEAKING OF MURDER is the first novel I finished! And it came out last week.

4. What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

The classic, “Butt in the chair, fingers on the keyboard.” It totally works. Sometimes I’ll sit there with no idea of what happens next in the story. I’ll start typing, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE. And then, WELL, I DID WANT TO WRITE THAT SCENE WHERE… and off I go, only to surface hours later. Works every time.

5. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know?

I earned a black belt in karate at age 31.

6. What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go?

Although I have lived in far-flung places like Brazil, Japan, and West Africa, I still haven’t made it to Australia, China, India, Tahiti, or even Germany. With any luck I have a few decades left in my life to get there.

7. What do you do when you are not writing?

Oh, so much. I work full time writing software manuals. I tend an organic vegetable garden. I love cooking. I read. I go for a long brisk walk every day or hit the elliptical strider at the gym and then lift weights. Sometimes I even sleep.

8. What is the one thing your hero would do that you wouldn’t?

Sigh. She’s a runner. My knees just don’t run anymore, but they used to, and I loved the feeling of a long Sunday run when all body parts were working smoothly together.

9. Where do you write?

Mostly I write at my beautiful desk in my home office, but I have been productive on cross-country plane flights and in coffee shops.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The long suspense scene where Lauren puts herself in danger to rescue someone else. Can’t say more than that!

Author Bio

Edith Maxwell is the author of SPEAKING OF MURDER (Barking Rain Press, under pseudonym Tace Baker) featuring Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics and is a member of Amesbury Monthly Meeting of Friends.

Edith also writes the Local Foods Mysteries. A TINE TO LIVE, A TINE TO DIE introduces organic farmer Cam Flaherty and a colorful Locavore Club (Kensington Publishing, June, 2013).

A mother and technical writer, Edith lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats.

Find her at, @edithmaxwell, and Tace Baker can be found at, @tacebaker, and

Book Blurb:

The murder of a talented student at a Massachusetts college thrusts linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau into the search for the killer. Lauren is a Quaker with an ear for accents. Her investigation exposes small-town intrigues, academic blackmail, and a drug cartel that now has its sights set on her.

Convinced that the key to the crime lies hidden in her dead student’s thesis, Lauren races to solve the mystery. Her department chair behaves suspiciously. A century-old boat shop is torched. Lauren’s friend goes missing – and the unsettled relationship with her lover threatens to implode just when she needs him most.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Duffy Brown


Auntie KiKi scurried out the front door waving her hands in the air. “Where in the world have you been?” she panted, leaning in through the open car window. “When I got home, there were people waiting on your porch ready to shop! They said they got one of those tweets.” She tsked, the universal sound of exasperated Southern women everywhere. “Whatever happened to the days when you got a nice phone call from a friend telling you what was what?” she lamented. “You have customers in your dining room looking for bargains, and I have a waltz lesson in ten minutes.”

KiKi thrust a wad of bills at me. “What in the world are you doing with the Lexus?”

“I sold that fountain in the back yard to Raylene Carter for a small fortune. Now I have to deliver it as well as get the car back before Hollis knows I took it. I sort of didn’t tell him.”

“Oh, honey, Grand Theft Auto, your mamma will be so proud.”

I ignored the possibility that my scum-bucket ex would call the cops and I popped the trunk. “Take a look-see at how much room we have. Hollis stores his real estate junk in there.”


I grabbed my purse and rummaged for keys to the shed as I headed for the back yard. “I’ve got a cart. We can haul the fountain and--”

“Sweet Jesus in heaven! Uh, Reagan, honey,” KiKi called, her finger crooked at me in a come-here gesture. “We have junk, a great big pile of it.”

“Dump it on the lawn,” I said hurrying back to the car to help unload. “If I have to hire movers I won’t make any money and I have an electric bill due and-- Holy mother of God!” My gaze landed on Cupcake, eyes wide open, and dead as Lincoln right there in Hollis’s trunk.

KiKi and I stared, neither of us breathing. KiKi finally whispered, “She doesn’t look nearly as good in the pink chiffon as you do.”

“Maybe because she has blood in her hair and is rolled up in plastic like a hotdog in a bun.” I made the sign of the cross for disrespecting the dead.

“There is that.” KiKi sounded faint and slowly slumped to the curb. “You wouldn’t happen to have a martini in that purse of yours, would you?”

At the consignment shop, it’s murder and mayhem for the ex, his Cupcake, the badass attorney.


Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, and conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Iced Chiffon, out October, 2012, is the first in the Consignment Shop Mystery series. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell and is a USA Today bestselling author.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Free Book Monday

Chris Redding


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Joyce Lavene


Treacherous Toys

I heard her footstep behind me. I stood still, looking out over the sleeping Village. I hoped she’d try to sneak behind me and slither back down the stairs. I was happy to pretend I didn’t know she was there. I felt like a fool for coming up there and then realizing there was no way out. It was a heck of a time to get cold feet

But it wasn’t that easy.

“Lady Jessie Morton.” Her voice was deep with a gravelly edge to it like she had a cold. It sounded artificial to me, like she might be afraid that I’d recognize her from it, which told me that I knew her.

I’d hoped that meant she didn’t plan to kill me and wanted to protect her identity for the next time we met. She had killed before, maybe twice. Zigzags of fear went up and down my spine like I was watching a scary movie. A scary movie with me in it!

I started to turn around and face her. I still wouldn’t be able to see her face in that light unless she’d removed her veil. I’d read that making a kidnapper more aware of you as a person was a good thing. It would probably work for killers too.

I put up my hands in the classic form of surrender. “Okay. You got me. I didn’t even know this place was up here. How did you find it?”

“Stay where you are,” she warned me.

I didn’t know a lot about guns but I knew one when I saw it pointed at me. Apparently I was wrong about her not having another one. I wished I was asleep on the Queen’s Revenge, listening to the pirates snore. Why do I always have to do these things?

“I don’t know who you are,” I said (trying to make her feel safe and anonymous) in what I thought sounded like a calm voice. “You won’t get away with killing me any more than you’ll get away with killing Chris.” Oops! Where had that come from?

“You’re so smart, aren’t you? And you have it all. You think you’re queen of the Village. You have the handsome Bailiff and everyone loves you. That could all change tomorrow. Where would you be then?”

It was like the woman had read my mind. I knew she didn’t mean it the way I’d been thinking about me and Chase and my life in the Village, but it was the same thing.

And now I was probably going to die.


Joyce Lavene writes bestselling mystery with her husband/partner Jim. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications.

She lives in rural North Carolina with her family, her cat, Quincy, and her rescue dog, Rudi. She enjoys photography, watercolor, gardening and long rides in her car.

Visit her at, Facebook/ Twitter: @author54 and Google Plus. She blogs at and

Treacherous Toys

Christmas is icy murder at Renaissance Faire Village this year.

When a philandering Father Christmas is found dead in his workshop, his wife is left with eight children, and blamed for his death. Jessie Morton and Village Bailiff Chase Manhattan search for answers. They won’t rest until the lord, lady or serf responsible is brought to justice.

But death is stalking them, winding its way down the cobblestone streets of the Village.

No one is safe from that cold embrace.

Can they find the killer before they become the next victims?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Free books

THE TRAZ School Edition
Eileen Schuh
Free:September 18, 19, 20.


URL ----
A Purse to Die For
Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre
Free: August 18-20 ---

Jessie B Tyson
Free: 16th 17th and 18th Sept
URL: Blog:
How to Win a paperback copy: Follow me on Twitter @JessieBTyson use the #Blessings hashtag and tell me my middle name.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Murder of Crows


Jan Dunlap

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

The first time I walked into a public library. I think I was in second grade, and I wanted to live there so I could read every book. The promise of all that information and all those stories overwhelmed me. And I wanted a book of my own on those shelves.

2. How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first story in fourth grade. We were in a brand-new elementary school, and the librarian asked for student contributions, so I wrote a story, illustrated it, and she bound it to put on the shelves. By the time I was in high school, I wanted to be a journalist, so I quit writing any fiction. I worked in public relations and advertising, then wrote free-lance for Christian publications for many years until I landed a job writing a family humor column for our local paper.

3. How did you pick the genre you write in?

Pure serendipity and foolish pride. I read mysteries when my kids were little because the stories were intriguing enough to keep me reading fast – I didn’t have the time or interest to read anything thick. Finally, I’d read enough that I thought I could do at least as good a job at it as some of the authors I read!

4. What drew you to the subject of “A Murder of Crows”?

Because my Birder Murder Mysteries always deal with a conservation issue that affects birds, I look for those kinds of news items. I began to plot the book after hearing about a controversy in a nearby town that pitted eagle conservationists against a local utility company’s development plan. About the same time, I took a trip through Iowa and was so impressed with the huge wind turbines I saw there that I decided to make my story about wind energy’s impact on bird populations.

5. Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it?

Since I make all my books geographically accurate so others can find the birds that my protagonist finds, I was stumped when I used a birding report from 1965, because I couldn’t find the name of a particular lake on any map. I ended up calling the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (which I do a lot in the course of writing my series!) and they connected me to the DNR in the area referred to in the old report. The officer there took the time to check old maps and confirmed for me that the lake in the report had been renamed. Mystery solved… and my story included that interesting bit of trivia.

6. What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?

I wish I’d known that I would have to manage all my own marketing and publicity! If I had known that, I would have written all 12 books in the series (instead of only 2) before seeking a publisher. Now I’m so busy marketing, I barely have time to write, and I’ve got seven more books to go.

7. What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

Find your voice. It’s not an easy task. You’re always tempted to write like someone else, especially when they’ve gotten published and you haven’t. But a unique, clear voice is what makes a novel stand out. I worked a long time on my protagonist Bob White’s voice, but everyone who reads the series loves him!

8. Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?

I had tried to find an agent for three years, but none of them thought a mystery featuring a birdwatcher would sell. In fact, I had agents tell me that no one was interested in birds. With 48 million birdwatchers in America, though, I was convinced otherwise. I kept thinking there had to be an agent or editor somewhere who liked birds! I finally gave up on landing an agent, and decided that since my book series is about a Minnesota birder, I would look for a regional publisher. When I queried North Star Press of St. Cloud (MN) about the books, I hit the jackpot, because my editor there is a birder!

9. Describe your book.

“A Murder of Crows” is about lust, greed, envy, pride, and home-baked biscuits. Actually, it’s about a birder who’s found dead dressed as a scarecrow, and how he ended up that way, but all those things I just mentioned play a part in the story. Oh, and there’s a hypnotist who gets knocked out before he snaps the kids out of being chickens, and my protagonist Bob White has to round them up before they hatch eggs.

10. What’s your favorite food?

Adele’s Frozen Custard! It’s a small locally-owned shop near my home, and it’s the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. They make different flavors every day and they’re closed for the winter. I count the days every year till March 1 when they re-open!

Author Bio

Jan Dunlap is the Minnesota author of the Birder Murders, a laugh-out-loud mystery series following the adventures of high school counselor/expert birder Bob White, who has a bad habit of finding bodies while he birds. Hailed as "everything a cozy mystery should be," on, Jan's novels mix birding, environmental issues, witty dialogue and characters so real, you'll want to invite them to dinner! Jan’s favorite things are the great outdoors, her five kids, and frozen custard, though not necessarily in that order. Jan welcomes visitors to her website at

Book Blurb

Amidst the annual scarecrow display at the Minnesota Arboretum, Bob White finds the dead body of Sonny Delite, a birding colleague well-known for his conservation advocacy. Dismissed by the police as a suspect, Bob turns his attention to unmasking the former celebrity wrestler who has joined the Savage High School faculty, but quickly regroups when the murder investigation comes home to roost at the high school. Determined to discover the identity of Sonny’s killer, Bob’s chase takes him to the proposed site of a wind farm and into the crosshairs of a World War II explosives expert.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Free Book Mondays

10, 11, 12 September 2012 (Monday, Tues, Wed.)
Eileen Schuh

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Karen Victoria Smith


1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I used to write when I was young, like so many writers. But in high school I was dubbed a math person and with that went the preconception that math-types can’t write. So I didn’t… for decades. Then a few years ago, I had the idea for a character. More accurately, I started hearing her voice in my head. At the same time, a good friend wanted to take an on-line writing class with the wonderful Barbara Rogan. She hesitated to do it alone, so in the words that would seal my fate, I said “I’ll do it, if you do it.” I haven’t stopped writing since.

2. How did you pick the genre you write in?

I write paranormals and urban fantasy with a very Druid twist. Besides a sick and twisted mind, I blame it on my upbringing. I grew up watching old Lugosi, Chaney, Carradine and Karloff movies. I watched the original Dark Shadows and read books on ghosts and other creatures. On top of that, my grandmother, who had come here from Ireland, would tell me stories of her life there in the early part of the twentieth century and the old ways. So in many ways the genre picked me.

3. What drew you to the subject of Dark Dealings?

I am a fan of the more traditional vampire myth, where they hide in the shadows. I also spent a decade working on Wall Street. I realized that the modern world was the perfect hiding place for vampires. We have become a 24-hour world, where even minor celebrities have security details and live behind high walls, where stocks are traded globally through time zones. I wanted to re-explore a world where vampires, shapeshifters and other creatures exist, but we sleep better at night convincing ourselves that they don’t.

4. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know.

I played guitar for the folk mass just after midnight every, technically, Sunday morning while I was in college. I went to school in Philadelphia and at the time the Archbishop could not have cared less what the Vatican had said over a decade before about Saturdays and mass obligations. So lots of devout, tipsy Catholics would show up. I doubt they ever knew if I played well or not.

5. What other time period besides your own would you like to experience?

I would love to time travel to Tudor England and meet the royals. They were so deliciously dysfunctional. Of course, it would have to be in a very “Connecticut Yankee” kind of way. I wouldn’t want to lose my head because I brought my iPod.

6. What three things would you want on a deserted island?

A laptop with a solar battery, coffee and chocolate. The complete life of an author 

7. What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?

I would love to learn to play piano. I wanted to as a child but we lived in a four room apartment and there was no space for one. Hence my guitar lessons and playing. It was more compact. Now all I do is sing loud in the car.

8. What is your favorite writing reference book and why?

Vogler’s Writer’s Journey and the DVDs that accompany it. He took Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces and translated it first to screenplays and by extension to writing. It has helped me think about the effective story arc and re-work and re-shape stories that are floundering.

9. What do you do when you are not writing?

I love to read for fun, I have taken up running and LOVE going to local venues to hear indie musicians and singers. We have so much in common in our paths and struggles, that mutual support comes naturally.

10. If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

How can I make the stories even better? I know every reader has their own individual opinion, but I learned early from critique groups and betas that you look for the common elements in the feedback. I believe that it can help me become a better writer. That said, my protocol in reviewing for another author is that I feel that if I cannot give a book at least a 3 star review I will offer to send them private feedback. Regardless of how we publish, we work for the reader and should always strive to give them our best.

Wall Street has fangs. When international power brokers, creatures hiding in plain sight, threaten Micaela and those she loves, will this heiress of a Druid legacy deny her power again and let others die? A thrill ride of money, magic and murder across the globe.


Karen Victoria Smith grew up with an Irish grandmother who tried to teach her the old ways and watched horror movies with her in the dark. From there she moved on the wider world of college and career. After 25 years in financial services working on Wall Street and for major national banks, she discovered her passion in writing. In Dark Dealings, she has found a way to bring the old ways together with the modern world.

Karen lives in New Jersey with her family who patiently allow her to believe that in a 24-hour world the monsters are real.


Wall Street has fangs. In a 24-hour world, does anyone notice the unusual behaviors of many, including the reclusive rich. When international power brokers, vampires and shapeshifters hiding in plain sight, threaten Micaela and those she loves, will this heiress to a Druid legacy deny her power again and let others die? Can she accept the friendship and love of others with strange and frightening powers? A thrill ride of money, magic and murder across the globe.

Do you sleep better at night believing that vampires are things of fiction

Amazon page:
Barnes and Noble page:
Smashwords (for other formats)
Available in print through Amazon.
Also in print at CreateSpace eStore:

My blog: Storyteller’s Grove

Monday, September 3, 2012

Free Books

Murder at Blue Falls
by Maggie Bishop
Free Sept 8-9, 2012