We Have to Do What? @kdkoppang

Kathleen Delaney, author of Murder Half-Baked and other books, retired from real estate to pursue writing full time. She’s here today to talk about how the shut down is affecting her and why she doesn’t mind it so much.

Purebred Dead, the first in the new Mary McGill series, was released in August 2015 and Curtains for Miss Plym was released in April 2016. Blood Red, White and Blue was released in July 2017 and was a finalist for best canine book of the year in the Dog Writers of America annual writing contest. Kathleen’s newest book in the series, Dressed to Kill, was released in the UK on August 1, 2019 and in the US on November 1, 2019.

http://www.kathleendelaney.net/

I am sitting at my desk, staring at the computer, listening to the clock tick, wondering how I’m going to write this blog. I planned to write about the coronavirus but it’s hard to find something new to say about it. You see someone talking about it on every TV station, hear about it on radio programs and there is information all over social media. How much of that is true, I don’t know, but it’s as hard to get away from as the actual virus itself. So, I guess I’ll just write about my, and my families, reaction to all this.

We’re in lock down. My whole town, and now my whole state. We weren’t at first, but they told all of us seniors, especially all of us senior seniors, to stay at home. To show they meant it, they closed the senior center. Then the gym where I went 2-3x a week for the aquatic class closed. Next the local restaurants dining rooms closed, and lots of small business shut down. The library was still open, which I wasn’t too sure about, but it’s closed now. So is my local nursery. I never thought that someplace outside would close, but it shut. And now, we are under strict orders for everybody to stay at home. Not a nice quiet suggestion but orders from above. Stay at home and wash your hands even if you haven’t come in contact or touched anyone but the dog since the last time you washed them. It looks as if Easter breakfast, which was supposed to be at my house, is going to be postponed, to maybe Mother’s Day. Maybe.

And, you know what? I’m fine with it all.

I don’t mean I like it. No one likes it. I feel a little as if I’m under house arrest, and in a way, I guess that’s what’s happening. But I have no desire to catch this thing. It’s serious. I am 83 and have a file of previous conditions that rivals War and Peace in volume. If I get this virus I doubt if I’d make it out the other side and I don’t like the idea one bit. Nor do I like the idea that I might somehow infect someone else, so I’m staying home. My daughter is bringing in my groceries and I’m getting along fine. I’ve downloaded some new books on my Kindle, why I don’t know. My TBR pile is high and for the first time in ages I’m ploughing through it. By the way, I’m reading a good one now. Lethal Waves by Pauline Rowson, published by Severn House and I’m looking forward to discovering more authors new to me before this is all over. I’ll do a little cooking and put some of it in the freezer, if I can find any room left in there. It’s spring and the closet could stand cleaning out. Repotting the outside pots will have to wait a while but I’m going to see if my daughter, who wears a mask when she does the shopping, can find me some herbs and maybe a tomato plant.

So, dear friends and readers, sit tight, take a deep breath and go wash your hands. This will eventually be over. In the meantime, stay safe, stay home, and keep reading.

Just a quick note. All 9 Kathleen Delaney mystery novels are available on Kindle. Now might be a good time to check them out. Read the 1st chapters here.

www.kathleendelaney.net

When Research Comes to Life

This reminds me so much of my own visit to
Egypt a long time ago! I’m heading right over to iTunes
to pick up the audiobook of Murder at the Mena House 🙂

By Erica Neubauer

I love to travel, and I have, admittedly, done quite a bit of it. But at the top of my bucket list of places to visit has always been Egypt. So, when I set my first novel there, I had to go visit and check my research!

Photo 2

Oh, the things we are forced to do.

Photo 10 Spices

For the first part of the trip, I did a guided tour. It took us around some of the major sights of Cairo, including the local market, which was just as loud and chaotic as you might expect it to be. There were shops crowded together, selling everything from stuffed toy camels to men bending fez around a hot steam iron to large bags of spices and pierced metal lamps and…well, everything. It was loud and bright, but an experience that can’t be missed.

Photo 1

The second day we took a drive out…

View original post 920 more words

Forgive Me! It’s a Writer Thing—and a Cover Reveal!—and a Giveaway! @TheMysteryLadie

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson
Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:

E-Mail: writerlaurencarr@gmail.net
Website: http://mysterylady.net/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lauren.carr.984991
Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries
Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:
http://www.facebook.com/LoversInCrimeMysteries?ref=ts&fref=ts
Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/AcornBookServices?ref=hl
Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themysteryladie/

Okay! I’m throwing up my hands. I can’t help myself.

In January, I was minding my own business―working on Came Upon a Midnight Murder, the upcoming Mac Faraday Mystery―when she came into my mind.

I tried to ignore her, really I did. Readers have been asking for the next Mac Faraday mystery. I had already delayed it once for The Nutcracker Conspiracy. I couldn’t delay it again. But she kept whispering in my ear—begging me to write her cozy little mystery. Leaving me no choice, she promised that it would not take long.

It’s a writer thing.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I had an imaginary friend when I was growing up. His name was Sam. My mother said Sam and I were buddies from the time I could talk until I started school and made real friends. Don’t get scared. None of my imaginary friends have coerced me into robbing banks or committing murder. Basically, they just tell me stories. Eventually, I started writing these stories down.

That is how writers are born.

Writers know that their characters aren’t real people. But they do come to life and, like real people, they can nag you until you feel compelled to give into them.

This occurrence was captured very well in a movie that was released a couple of years ago. The Man Who Invented Christmas told the story of how Charles Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol. In this movie, Dickens was thinking and reworking the plotline for A Christmas Carol. He declared that if you come up with the right name, the character will come to life.

In the scene, which is featured in the movie trailer, Dickens rambled through various names for his main character until he said, “Scrooge.” Suddenly, there is a gust of wind. Off-screen, you hear Christopher Plummer (the actor who played Scrooge) say, “Close the window. I’m not made of money.”

Dicken’s eyes light up and he turns around.

Ebenezer Scrooge stood before him.

For authors, that is precisely how a character comes to life.

No, there is not a real-life flesh and blood person standing before the writer. But they do come to life. They have their histories, their loves, their hates, their issues. Some characters are laid back and will patiently wait their turn for the author to get to them and their story. (Chris Matheson has been quite patient for me to get to the next Geezer Squad mystery.)

Others don’t know the meaning of patience. Such is the case of Nikki Bryant. I wasn’t even looking for a new character for a new book. I was already working on one in progress. Just suddenly, one afternoon while writing a scene in Came Upon a Midnight Murder, I turned around and there she was with her boxer dog Elmo!

While her tendency to bend or even break the rules has earned her journalism awards, Nikki’s foot-on-the-gas nature does get her into trouble. Even after two decades, folks in her small town of Pine Grove still remember that wherever Nikki Bryant goes, Trouble is close behind.

Nikki’s homecoming is not without trepidation. Her world travels were not so much to chase one story after another as it was to run from the one case that she feared facing the most—her father’s unsolved murder.

Now in her mid-thirties, Nikki refuses her mother’s request to return home to take over the family business, a local television station. She is quite content working for a major news station in Las Vegas and curling up at night with her Elmo, a social media influencer.

But then, a friend of hers on social media named NerdyGuy suggests a pact: Reconnect with their first loves. If she goes home to face the man she had left behind, NerdyGuy will reconnect with his first love and tell her how he still feels.

NerdyGuy has Nikki’s number. Never one to back down from a challenge, Nikki packs up Elmo and returns home to Pine Grove—with Trouble right behind her.

Killer Deadline
A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery
Release Date April 23, 2020

Synopsis:

Nikki Bryant Comes Home to a Killer Deadline!

Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant one of the best investigative journalists in her field.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki aims to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.

Pre-order — 99¢
https://amzn.to/3dOs7x9

 

Giveaway

To enter the drawing for a digital
ARC—your choice of epub, mobi
or pdf—just answer this question:

How are you entertaining yourself
during Social Distancing?

Three winning names will be drawn
on Monday evening, April 6th.

Book Reviews: No Substitute for Mimes by Carolyn J. Rose and Mental State by M. Todd Henderson @CarolynJRose @DownAndOutBooks

No Substitute for Mimes
Subbing Isn’t for Sissies #12
Carolyn J. Rose
Carolyn J. Rose, November 2019
ISBN 978-1-7342412-0-4
Trade Paperback

Set in the fictional town of Reckless River, Washington, residents are by turns, bemused, irked, and barely tolerant as their quiet town is besieged by a group of mimes.

Suddenly, they seem to be everywhere. And they are stealing things; small things, useless trinkets. But then, the stolen items reappear. Residents become increasingly bewildered and irritated, but that fails to suppress the turbulent life of substitute teacher, Barbara Reed. Her principal seems bent on handing her the most problematic assignments at the local school where she is a long-time fixture.

Reed’s life is crowded with a large number  of idiosyncratic individuals from a couple of cops, a wealthy retiree, some relatives and a host of friends. And there is a dog with few manners.

The novel is awash with incidents frequently involving several of Reed’s friends, especially local crime news reporter, Stan. People who like this kind of story in which the mystery or crime often takes a back seat to various social activities, will likely be enthralled.

The book is well-written, moves through town at a measured pace and arrives at a surprise ending that engages most of the town.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, March 2020.
http://www.carlbrookins.com http://agora2.blogspot.com
Traces, Grand Lac, Reunion, Red Sky.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mental State
M. Todd Henderson
Down and Out Books, May 2018
ISBN 978-1-948235-33-4
Trade Paperback

Royce Anderson, rogue FBI agent is on a personal crusade. He’s trying to nail the man who killed his brother Alex, a prominent professor of law at a prestigious law school in Chicago. Local police have tentatively ruled Alex’s death as a suicide. Royce is unbelieving, unimpressed, sure his brother would never have done such a thing.

But if Alex’s death wasn’t suicide, what was it? With almost no additional help, except that he sometimes receives along his troubled, occasionally stumbling way, the narrative wanders across the Eastern Seaboard. Indeed, because part of the story involves prior activities by the law professor, there are some undeveloped international elements as well.

The story follows a conflicted and disturbed agent, Royce Anderson, as he uses all his considerable skills and experience to confront and best some very evil and very well-connected people. There are some serious problems, not the least of which are interesting elements of the story which are undeveloped and some major jumps in points of view which may unnerve readers. The occasional political asides add little to what could have been a serious gripping thriller.

Nevertheless, readers with patience will be drawn to Royce’s side as he struggles to avenge his brother and save an innocent man, although at the price of several other lives hugely disrupted.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, February 2019.
http://www.carlbrookins.com http://agora2.blogspot.com
Traces, Grand Lac, Reunion, Red Sky.

Waiting On Wednesday (127) @authorkschleich @shewritespress

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event that
spotlights upcoming releases that I’m really
looking forward to. Waiting On Wednesday
is the creation of Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Salvation Station
Kathryn Schleich
She Writes Press, April 2020
Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller

From the publisher—

Despite her years of experience investigating homicides for the force, Captain Linda Turner is haunted by the murders of the Hansen family. The two small children, clothed in tattered Disney pajamas, were buried with their father, a pastor, in the flower garden behind a church parsonage in Lincoln, Nebraska. But Mrs. Hansen is nowhere to be found―and neither is the killer. In St. Louis, the televangelist Ray Williams is about to lose his show―until one of his regular attendees approaches him with an idea that will help him save it. Despite his initial misgivings, Ray agrees to give it a try. He can’t deny his attraction to this woman, and besides, she’d assured him the plan is just―God gave her the instructions in a dream. Multiple story lines entwine throughout this compelling mystery, delving into the topics of murder, religious faith, and the inherent dangers in blindly accepting faith as truth. While Reverend Williams is swept up in his newfound success and plans for his wedding, Captain Turner can only hope that she and her team will catch the Hansens’ cunning killer―before more bodies surface.

Why am I waiting so eagerly? The premise of this story really intrigues me and it has a number of elements that draw me in—a strong and determined protagonist, a missing person, a look at the hold religion can have on its followers, the way people can behave like sheep given the right voice to lead the way, the machinations of a devious and seductive killer. I suspect Ms. Schleich‘s tale is going to be twisty and turny, the best kind of crime fiction.

Book Review: A Death at the Yoga Cafe by Michelle Kelly

A Death at the Yoga Café
Keeley Carpenter #2
Michelle Kelly
Minotaur Books, January 2017
ISBN 978-1-250-06738-8
Hardcover

Michelle Kelly’s book has all the elements a reader expects in a cozy mystery. Keeley Carpenter, the main character, has returned to her hometown after years away in the big city, and opens a vegetarian café and yoga studio in the building that used to house her father’s butcher shop. Her mother, who shows up for a visit a week before she is expected, is a perfectionist and constantly criticizes Keeley.  Keeley’s boyfriend Ben, is a good-looking detective on the local police force.

Keeley witnesses an argument between the town’s mayor and his newest girlfriend, who is a business rival of Keeley’s and who was the “mean girl” in high school. Unfortunately, this mystery also includes some of the cozy mystery clichés. The girlfriend begs Keeley to investigate the death, instead of hiring a lawyer. Why would someone facing arrest for a murder beg for help from a yoga teacher that she bullied in school? And why would the yoga teacher confront the killer alone, without telling the police her suspicions.

The book contains recipes and instructions on how to do select yoga poses. While the premise of the book shows promise, it fails to deliver on a satisfying conclusion to the mystery.

Reviewed by Susan Belsky, March 2020.

Sunday Sharing (13)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from Ben’s Bitter Blog:

Isolating Long Before It Was
Cool Bitter Friday Giftures

By bensbitterblog on March 27, 2020

As you may not be aware of, there is this outbreak of disease going on, which means that we have to stay home as much as we can for a while. I’m not sure how all these extroverts are going to handle this, but us introverts are doing just fine. If it wasn’t for the other tinier humans in our house driving us crazy and making us do their homework, this would be an ideal situation. I’ve done isolation really well for most of my life and have been called shy, introvert, weirdo, or go-outside-and-mingle-with-someone my whole life. Now all of you naysayers telling me that I was supposed to get out and meet people were wrong. So I don’t want to tell you, “I told you so”, but I absolutely told you so. And I will continue to rub that in your face. Oh wait, I’m not supposed to touch my face or anyone else’s. So I will facetime or Skype it in your faces then. Regardless, the Bitter Friday Giftures will continue in earnest…

Looks like Tom Hanks had it right in the movie…

Fish Years GIF

…not so much in real life.

I am writing songs like this…

away GIF

…all day with my free time. What are you doing?

Turns out Dwight Shrute was right…

Toilet Paper Office GIF by Leroy Patterson

…to turn 2 ply into one ply after all.

We may not have enough toilet paper for a fort…

Donald Glover Troy Barnes GIF

…but we sure have enough pillows.

I saw a couple people outside…

the walking dead zombie GIF

…yesterday.

I went outside…

Lonely The Simpsons GIF

…and did some fun activities with all my friends.

I made sure to…

jennifer lawrence running behind the lady GIF

…100 feet from everyone like I always do.

Made sure to remain…

unproductive GIF by Product Hunt

…as productive as usual.

Made sure to be a good listener…

kim ye-rim whatever GIF

…as usual.

I made sure to stay…

not my job GIF

…nice and motivated.

Made sure to let everyone know…

not my job GIF

…how hard I would be working.

Made sure I got permission…

Ron Swanson GIF

…before I did anything.

Made sure to help everyone…

parks and rec GIF

…with whatever they needed.

I know it seems like I’m a bit of an overachiever, but this is where I thrive. I think Dwight was right when he said that we needed more plagues, so we could get more productive like I clearly am. Make sure you wash your hands because you have to get all that productivity off your hands and make sure you stay at least 100 feet away from everyone, including your family because they might ask you do something for them. Why didn’t we all just listen to me in the beginning?

ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH

Bitter Isolation Before It was Cool Ben