A day in the life of Sneaky the library cat by Debbie De Louise

My name is Sneaky, and I’m the Siamese library cat at the Cobble Cove Library. Cobble Cove is a fictional town in upstate New York. I am featured in the Cobble Cove mysteries by Debbie De Louise. The second edition of A Stone’s Throw, where I made my first appearance, was just released on March 8th. My second adventure, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, is also available. My third book, Written in Stone, came out this month, and I am proud to say my photo is on the cover or at least a handsome replica of me-ow truly.

You may wonder what role I play in this cozy mystery series. I started out helping Alicia, the librarian main character, find some clues in the library’s storage room. Unfortunately, my dog co-star, Fido the golden retriever, upstaged me. I tried to make my comeback in our second book where I appeared in a children’s storytime, but Fido joined in there, too. Then Debbie wrote me a scene at the vets that was far from my starring role. To make up for this betrayal, she offered me my own blog. I leaped at the chance. Since then, I have interviewed other cat characters, real cats, and even a dog. You can read my posts here: sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com.

I am quite pleased with the role Debbie wrote for me in our third adventure. Even though there is a scene where Fido competes with me, I am the victor. “Cats rule, dogs drool,” has always been my motto, but I have to admit that Fido is a nice co-star for a dog.

I don’t want to give too much away about our books, although I will say that each one features a mystery that involves Alicia and her love interest, John McKinney, a newspaper man. There are many quirky people who make up Cobble Cove. To introduce them all, Debbie created a Facebook chat group called Cobble Cove Chat that a different character hosts each month. Every host sponsors a contest that features a prize. Besides entering the contest, members may ask any question of a month’s host about the Cobble Cove books and that character’s role in them. I was voted as last February’s host and hope to host again in the future. To learn more about this group or to join, visit the Cobble Cove Character Chat

So what is my day like? As I said, I live upstairs in the Cobble Cove library. Sometimes I pad down to the main library and make myself at home in the comfy cat bed that Mac, John’s father, gave me by the local history collection. At other times, I find a sunny spot in the bay window of the Children’s room where Laura, the new librarian, greets me with some cat treats. She’s younger than Alicia and has quite a few of her own cats. She also works at a cat shelter. I love it when she invites me to the children’s storytimes. As for Alicia, I still keep an eye on her. Even though she and John are married now and write a mystery series together, she continues to work at the library.

I have to admit I have quite a good life as a fictional library cat. Although some of the Cobble Cove characters, especially Alicia, have been in danger in our books, Fido has been the only animal threatened. This occurred in our second adventure. In my current book, the third of the series, Alicia fears for my life when I disappear. I won’t reveal if, when, or where I turn up, but I will say I was involved in a crime.

Since I have to take a catnap soon on my cat tree, I will meow off. Thank you for reading about my life. To learn more, please check out my series. They are listed on Debbie’s Amazon author page and can also be purchased through her website at debbiedelouise.com and on my blog.

You can read more about Sneaky and her human in Written in Stone, the third book in the “Cobble Cove” mystery series.

Alicia McKinney is confused . . . Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister? Cat vs. Dog . . . After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun? Alicia is worried . . . While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation. When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery. Will they survive . . . or is their ending written in stone?

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About the author
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her three published novels include Cloudy Rainbow, A Stone’s Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice Publishing, 2016) that was on the Amazon bestseller list for cozy mysteries. Her new release, the third in the Cobble Cove mystery series, is Written in Stone. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. She is currently querying agents to represent her psychological thriller, Sea Scope. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

A day in the life of Pete Fernandez by Alex Segura

I’m not hungry. This is usually a bad sign.

We’re at a table near the back of El Rinconcito—the “tiny corner”—a small Cuban place on 157th Avenue in West Kendall. It’s a warm day, the Miami temperatures clocking in no higher than 82. Balmy for the area, hellish and humid for anyone else.

My sponsor, Jack, is sitting across from me, sipping his Cafecito and giving me a concerned look. I’ve just dropped a whopper on him. I slide my half-eaten plate of carne asada toward the center of the table.

We’ve just hit our regular midday AA meeting a few blocks from the restaurant. I needed one. After touching base with my partner, Kathy Bentley, I’ve got a lot to think about. Maybe too much. Definitely more than usual.

My name’s Pete Fernandez and I’m a private investigator in my hometown, Miami. It’s taken me a few years to come to terms with that. I’ve crossed paths with mysterious mob guns for hire, raving-mad serial killers and weapon-smuggling drug dealers, but I’ve always tried to avoid the truth: that this is my gig, and I’m pretty good at it. I’m especially good at it when working with Kathy Bentley, a former colleague in my past life as a newspaper employee at The Miami Times. Even better at it when I’m not drunk. The not-drinking part is a relatively new development. Here’s hoping it sticks.

“You gonna take the case?” Jack asked before polishing off his drink.

“Not sure yet. Not sure what the case is, really.”

Jack cleared his throat. He wasn’t the biggest fan of my pre-case wishy-washiness.

“Anyone over the age of thirty knows the Gaspar Varela case,” he said, leaning over the table. “The guy killed his wife. End of story.”

“Some people think otherwise,” I said, motioning for the check. “And they’ve reached out to Kathy.”

“And she’s reached out to you, huh?”

“They want to see if they can find any evidence to get him a new trial,” I said, grabbing the billfold from the waitress. “He was an Narcotics cop. Perfect record before all this.”

“I’m just an old, overweight ex-cop myself, Pete,” Jack said, shrugging. “What do I know? But the whole thing sounds fishy to me. The case has been closed over ten years and you’re supposed to find one sliver of new evidence to save the day? There’s a needle comparison here.”

I laughed. He was usually right. But something nagged at me about the case. There was more to it than what Kathy told me and I wanted to find out. My curiosity was helpful in my line of work. It also got me into a lot of trouble. I wasn’t sure which it was doing right now.

I slipped a twenty and a ten into the fold and got up.

“Gone so soon?” Jack said.

“Gotta run and do some errands,” I said, shaking his hand. “Tomorrow’s gonna be a busy day.”

“It’s starting again, isn’t it?”

It. The case. The next obsession. The dance around the darkness, where I get close enough to maybe pull someone out, but also risk getting myself dragged in. I’m not sure I can survive another bout like the one from last year. Jack doesn’t think so, either.

I nod.

“It’s starting.”

You can read more about Pete in Dangerous Ends, the third “Pete Fernandez Miami” Mystery, out April 11 from Polis Books.

Pete Fernandez has settled into an easy, if somewhat boring life as a P.I.. He takes pictures of cheating husbands. He tracks criminals who’ve skipped bail and he attends weekly AA meetings The days of chasing murderous killers are behind him. Or are they?

When his sometimes partner Kathy Bentley approaches him with a potential new client, Pete balks. Not because he doesn’t need the money, but because the case involves Gaspar Varela, a former Miami police officer serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife – one of the most infamous crimes in Miami history. The client? None other than Varela s daughter, Maya, who s doggedly supported her father s claims of innocence.

As Pete and Kathy wade into a case that no one wants, they also find themselves in the cross-hairs of Los Enfermos, a bloodthirsty gang of pro-Castro killers and drug dealers looking to wipe Pete off the Miami map. As if trying to exonerate Varela wasn’t enough, they find themselves entangled in something even older and more surprising–a bloody, political hit ordered by Fidel Castro himself, that left a still-healing scar on Peteand his dead father’s past.

Fast-paced, hardboiled and surprising, Dangerous Ends pushes Pete Fernandez into a battle with a deadlier, more complex threat, as he tries to shake off the demons haunting Miami s own, sordid past.

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About the author
Alex Segura is a novelist and comic book writer. He is the author of the Miami crime novels featuring Pete Fernandez, Silent City and Down The Darkest Street. The next Fernandez mystery, Dangerous Ends, will be released in April 2017 via Polis Books.

He has also written a number of comic books, including the best-selling and critically acclaimed Archie Meets Kiss storyline, the “Occupy Riverdale” story, Archie Meets Ramones and the upcoming The Archies one-shot.

He lives in New York with his wife and son. He is a Miami native.

All comments are welcomed.

Dangerous Ends is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.

A day in the life of Hannah Vogel by Rebecca Cantrell

a-trace-of-smokeHannah gets up early, even though she would rather sleep in. She’s a crime reporter in Berlin in 1931, and she has a lot to do before she has to show up at the courthouse.

She has a quick breakfast—a roll and some tea, with butter and sugar respectively if she’s feeling flush—dons her cloche hat, and takes the subway to the police station at Alexanderplatz. It’s an imposing building that covers a square block, but she’s used to dodging automobiles, cars, and the occasional earnest police officer.

Folding several newspapers under her arm, she has to keep up, she goes into the massive hall and heads down the gloomy corridor called the Hall of the Unnamed Dead. Police hang death photos of unidentified bodies there. It’s a gruesome sight—a hundred corpses who have been shot, drowned, overdosed, or frozen to death stare down at her as she walks. She’s used to it, but after she saw her brother’s picture there, she averts her eyes.

At the end of her walk is an office that contains her childhood friend, Fritz Waldheim. He lets her look through the most recent crime reports. Sometimes she finds her next story there, and sometimes it makes her sad. Often, both.
After she takes her notes, she tries to get out before she’s spotted by Kommissar Lang. He’s a devout National Socialist and he’s paying too much attention to her. In her experience, it’s never a good thing when a cop or a Nazi gets too interested.

Then she’s off to the giant courthouse at Moabit. She’s covering a trial for the paper and she needs to get a good seat because she’ll be doing courtroom sketches. They often end up in the Berliner Zeitung, and they pay extra.
After the trial she’ll head back to the bullpen to type up her story, see if she can convince them to buy a sketch, and then it’s home to bed.

When her brother was alive she’d sometimes go to cabarets to watch him sing and enjoy a free drink. He usually sang at gay clubs, which meant no one bothered her. She liked the anonymity.

That’s an ordinary day. But Hannah almost never has one of those. She’s either investigating a murder or spying for the British or trying to control a drunken source or getting into prison to investigate or talking to a madam. It’s what she loves best—danger, excitement, and no day like the last.

You can read more about Hannah in A Trace of Smoke, the first book in the “Hannah Vogel” historical mystery series.

It’s 1931 in Berlin, and the world is on the precipice of change—the affluent still dance in their gilded cages but more and more people are living under threat and poverty. Hannah Vogel is a crime reporter forced to write under the male pseudonym Peter Weill. As a widow of the Great War, she’s used to doing what she must to survive. Her careful facade is threatened when she stumbles across a photograph of her brother in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead. Reluctant to make a formal identification until she has all the details, Hannah decides to investigate, herself. She must be cautious as Ernst’s life as a cross-dressing cabaret star was ringed in scandal, and his list of lovers included at least one powerful leader in the Nazi party.

She’s barely had a chance to begin before an endearing five-year-old orphan shows up on her doorstep holding a birth certificate listing her dead brother Ernst as his father, and calling Hannah ‘Mother.’ Further complicating matters are her evolving feelings for Boris Krause, a powerful banker whose world is the antithesis of Hannah’s. Boris has built a solid wall preventing anyone from disturbing his, or his daughter Trudi’s, perfectly managed lives—a wall Hannah and Anton are slowly breaking down.

As Hannah digs, she discovers political intrigues and scandals touching the top ranks of the rising Nazi party. Fired from her job and on the run from Hitler’s troops, she must protect herself and the little boy who has come to love her, but can she afford to find love for herself?

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Meet the author
rcantrellNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell has published twelve novels in over ten different languages. Her novels have won the ITW Thriller, the Macavity, and the Bruce Alexander awards. In addition, they have been nominated for the GoodReads Choice award, the Barry, the RT Reviewers Choice, and the APPY award. She and her husband and son just left Berlin for Hawaii’s sunny shores. Connect with Rebecca at rebeccacantrell.com.

All comments are welcomed.

A Trace of Smoke is available at online booksellers.

The 2017 Raven Award

Tonight (April 27, 2017) is the night that I’ve been waiting for ever since this was announced . . .

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Dru Ann Love will receive the 2017 Raven Award.

Dru Ann Love is owner/editor of dru’s book musings (https://drusbookmusing.com/), a blog where characters give a glimpse into a day in their life, as well as her musings. Her musings also appear in Crimespree Magazine. She is also a guest blogger at the Stiletto Gang. Dru Ann is an avid reader, writes poetry, quilts, and loves attending reader/fan conventions. Dru Ann’s blog was nominated for a 2015 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work. She also serves on the Bouchercon standing committee.

When told that she would receive the Raven Award, Love said, “I’m so thrilled and honored to be awarded the Raven. The mystery community is like a big family and I’m so proud that they have embraced me with open arms. Thanks to the nominating committee for selecting me and a big thanks to the authors—without them, this would not be possible.”

I’m deeply honored to be awarded this prize and I look forward to sharing this evening with you. Photos to follow after the event.

The evening starts with a gathering for the nominees followed by the cocktail hour and then the banquet. Then it’s off to the Malice Domestic Convention. A busy weekend for me and I’m loving it.

A day in the life with Sally Muccio by Catherine Bruns

frosted-with-revengeIt’s finally happening. After all of these years, I’m about to marry the man of my dreams, the only one I’ve truly ever loved. Our invitations have been sent out, the venue is reserved and my crazy but well-meaning parents are cooperating. . .sort of. There’s just one little problem.

Someone is trying to kill me.

My name is Sally Muccio. The last name is pronounced Mooch-EE-oo. My life comes with many blessings and a few trials that include my parents who are–well, unique, to say the least. My father’s hobby is death. Yes, you heard me right. He’s gone from planning his own funeral to driving a hearse to studying to become an undertaker. Now Dad’s the proud operator of his own “killer” blog. Mom’s a lovely woman but she’s been acting very mother-of-the-bridezillish lately. My sister Gianna is always there for me and so is Grandma Rosa, who serves up sound advice along with the world’s best cheesecake.

Josie Sullivan is my best friend and head baker at Sally’s Samples, the novelty cookie shop that I own in Western New York. And of course there’s my fiancé, who would go to any lengths to protect me from this crazy person. Mike and I first dated in high school and broke up over a stupid misunderstanding on prom night, which lead to my marriage to another man (can you say rebound?) It’s been over ten years but we’re finally back together. . .forever. Till death do us part. I just hope that comes later rather than sooner.

You see, ever since I came back to my hometown a year ago when my divorce was final, strange things have been happening. Strange as in murder. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, those blasted fortune cookies are responsible. Every customer gets a free one with their purchase and the cookies are so popular that if I discontinued them, my business would suffer. The messages come from a novelty store but always seem to come true in some shape or form. My latest one said, “Revenge is sweet.” How silly. Why would I ever want revenge on someone? I have a good life, try to be a decent person and give people the benefit of the doubt. Then I finally understood that the message was a warning. . .for me.

Suddenly, I’m suspicious of everyone. I can’t walk down the street without looking over my shoulder. Josie already decked one person she thought was the killer with a batch of her famous Whoopie pies. Maybe I can hire her as a bodyguard. Did I mention that our new delivery boy seems to have a weird obsession with me? Or that a former girlfriend of my fiancé is still carrying a torch for him and hates me? It’s horrible to be afraid.

A woman I didn’t even know is dead, because of me. The killer is communicating with my father through his death blog (appropriate, right?) To top it all off, now this maniac has ended up hurting someone I love. That’s the final straw. You don’t mess with my family and friends.

The cops don’t have any concrete leads so I’ve hatched a plan. It’s dangerous but I can’t live like this anymore. This person will be stopped. . .

If it’s the last thing I do.

You can read more about Sally in FROSTED WITH REVENGE, the fourth book in the Cookies and Chance mystery series.

From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes the next dangerously delicious Cookies & Chance Mystery.

Sally Muccio’s walk down the aisle might be her last.

The some-time amateur sleuth and full-time bakery owner is finally marrying the man of her dreams. But during a last minute taste testing of their wedding cake, Sally and her fiancé are witnesses—and almost victims!—of a random shooting. At least they think it’s random, until an original fortune cookie message proves otherwise. Is someone after Sally? And why does the mysterious shooter want to ice the baker? Sal tries to proceed with caution, but when someone close to her is attacked, all bets are off. She’ll do whatever it takes to bring this monster to justice, even if it means sacrificing herself in the process.

Can Sal make it to the church on time. . .and alive?

Recipes included!

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About the author
Catherine is the USA Today bestselling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York and Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries.
To find out more about future releases and giveaways, you can visit her website at catherinebruns.net and sign up for Catherine’s newsletter at here. Please feel free to connect with her on social media as well at Facebook and Twitter.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win copy of Frosted with Revenge, either Kindle (open to everyone) or print (U.S. residents only), winner’s choice. The giveaway will end April 28, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Frosted with Revenge is available at online booksellers.