New Cozy Mystery Sleuth on the Horizon

Hi, I’m Melanie Hart, the newly-minted crime solver and ace reporter being created by mystery writer Anna Drake. My first episode isn’t out yet. My creator, the slow poke, is still writing it. Sometimes I have to give her a kick in her behind to get into gear. Ugh. Anyway, please watch for my release. I’ll do what I can to keep my author-child tooling along and writing good stuff. But you know how it goes. Some days are better than others. In the meantime, let me treat you to a view of my first book’s cover.


Death Among the Roses 7

Olympus Rises, by Jim Roberts, a Review

olympus rises

Staff Sergeant Joseph Braddock is about to go home from his post at Firebase Foxtrot on the Afghan northern border. But first he must complete one more mission. So begins a tale which is part action, part adventure, and part science fiction.

As the story unwinds Joseph and the men in his command face an extraordinary enemy, one not only well-trained and disciplined but also equipped with advanced weaponry never seen on a battlefield before.

Plus, Olympus has its own goals, and they have nothing to do with the sergeant or his pressing wish, which is to get his men safely back to base. And their opposing interests result in several pitched battles as the two forces fight for dominance.

This book is outside my normal mystery genre, but the cover drew me in. I’m glad it did, because I enjoyed the tale.

Murderous Relations Now on Scribd


My mystery, Murderous Relations, is now available through Scribd’s ebook subscription service. The program allows people who sign up to read an unlimited number of books for no additional charge beyond the monthly fee. In the meantime, publishers and authors are paid for each book read. Some people have reservations about the viability of such services. But from where I sit, it looks like a win/win to me.

You may check out my book here.



Read an Ebook Week Reviews, Quinn Checks In

In honor of Read an Ebook Week, I thought I’d review novels I discovered through the promotion. The first of those is Quinn Checks In, written by L. H. Thomson.


This is apparently the first book in Thomson’s Quinn series and appears to be a permafree, but I discovered it during the Read an Ebook Week promotion, so I’m reviewing it here.

Thomson’s main character is an ex-artist, ex-boxer, and ex-con, which is no easy feat, but all of which combine to make Quinn an interesting character. He’s currently working as an insurance investigator, specializing in art. But he handles other odd jobs as well.

The novel is set mostly in the working class neighborhoods of Philly and features fellow characters ranging from cops to mobsters to well-heeled swells. Under Thomson’s guidance they all combine into a highly interesting whodunit.

If I had stars to post here, I’d give this book five.

February is the month of love — AND A GIVEAWAY

Warm up your winter with the Tales of the Dark Side of Love giveaway. It’s your chance to win free books, Amazon gift certificates, and a Kindle Fire HD. The event’s being hosted by romantic suspense author Bianca Sloane. Throughout the month, she and other authors will fill you in on the less than ideal view of romance.

I write mysteries with a touch of romance and a bit of suspense. So I know several things about how love can go wrong. I’d even be more than willing to fill you in. But to get a hopefully more balanced view about twisted love, follow the daily posts at Bianca’s blog.

There are three ways to enter the Dark Side of Love contest:


  • Tweet about the giveaway/promotion using the hashtag #DARKSIDEOFLOVE with a link back to the blog at

  • Leave a comment on blog posts with their email address. No email address means no entry.

  • Email Bianca at with the subject line “Dark Side of Love.”


Guest Post: New Thriller, Rough Edges, from V. J. Chambers.

rough edges

Hi, I’m V. J. Chambers, and I’d like to share with you a little about my new release Rough Edges. Inspired by a real murder case in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Rough Edges is a tale in the vein of Basic Instinct but set against small town America. Here’s what it’s all about.

Was a twelve-year-old girl victimized when her parents were murdered? Or was she the co-conspirator and illicit lover of the murderer?

When true crime writer Samson Black gets a call from Lola Ward saying she wants him to write a book about her, he seizes the opportunity. This is his chance to resurrect his career and discover what really happened eleven years ago, when Nicholas Todd kicked off his tri-state rampage by stabbing twelve-year-old Lola’s parents to death.

At the time, Lola claimed Todd was a stranger who’d broken into her house and kidnapped her. Todd, however, insisted that he and Lola had a forbidden love affair, and that Lola begged him to murder her parents so they could be together.

Now, Lola’s all grown up—brash, sure of herself, and unsettlingly alluring. Though she says she wants to open up about her past, she makes Sam work for every piece of information he gets. Nothing makes sense. He doesn’t know if she helped kill her parents. He doesn’t even understand why she wants him to write this book.

But then Nicholas Todd escapes from jail and wants revenge against Lola. Still unsure about her involvement in her parents’ murders, Sam must determine whether he faces a bigger threat from the killer outside or the woman standing next to him.

Buy it, $3.99

Barnes and Noble
Google Play

A Modern Take on a Book Tour: Linsdell Explains

You’ve written your masterpiece. Now, how do you tell the world about it? Well, as writers have known for decades, there’s this little item called a book tour. Only today’s tours are different from those of yore. To that end, we’re visiting with Jo Linsdell to discuss her latest offering designed to help you build your writing career. The book’s called: Virtual Book Tours, Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home.

 Linsdell is a best-selling author and illustrator, award-winning blogger and freelance writer. She is also the founder and organizer of the annual online event “Promo Day” ( Find out more about her at her website

This book was published August 16 on Kindle and is up and available here: Once out in print, Linsdell says the book can be purchased online and through all major book stores.

Q. Organizing a virtual book tour sounds complicated. How much time is involved?

A. It depends on the type of tour you decide to do and the number of stops. A successful tour takes time and effort. Between producing content, finding hosts, promoting, etc… you need to set aside plenty of time to do it all.

For a month long tour with daily posts, you’ll need to start organizing it at least a month in advance (minimum). In addition the things that need doing during the tour itself you’ll also need to take actions pre and post-tour if you want to get the best results.

Doing a virtual book tour isn’t as complicated as it might seem. It does however take time to prepare and requires some organizational skills.

Q. Does an author need a wide circle of writing friends to have a successful tour, or can a newbie jump in?

Having a support network already in place is helpful but not necessary. You can know no one and have no connections and still do a successful virtual book tour.

Q. What is the most challenging part of putting together a virtual book tour?

Staying organized. There’s lots of different elements to think about, especially with longer tours that include various types of stops.

Q. What kind of benefits can an author expect to realize from a tour?

The benefits are numerous. The results of your tour will depend on the goals you set for it and the type of tour you do but these are a few of the most common benefits; back-links that help search ranking, strengthens your author branding, spreads the word about your book, can increase book sales and reviews, and often helps your book become a best seller.

Q. What is the most important point you’d like your readers to take away from this book?

That any author can successfully promote their own book without spending lots of money. One of the things I like most about virtual book tours is that they can be done completely free of charge and the impact is long term. Unlike with traditional book tours, with a virtual book tour once you put the content out there it’s there to stay.

Jo, thank you, This has been an informative session. Do you have any other information you’d like to share with out readers?

Yes. Virtual Book Tours : Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home is available to buy at a reduced price for the whole month of September. And again, that link is: