Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday Brunch: Our Writing Projects for 2021 + #Giveaway


VICKI DELANY: Hi everyone and welcome to our new feature. On the third Sunday of every month one of us will be hosting Sunday Brunch. Please join us for news, updates on what we're doing in our lives, and good conversation.  I'd like to take this opportunity to ask the group what's coming in their writing life in 2021. 

I'll start: As always I'm juggling projects. I have FOUR books coming out in 2021. A Curious Incident, the sixth Sherlock Holmes bookshop mystery on January 12. Deadly Ever After, the seventh Lighthouse Library book (by Eva Gates) in May and Murder in a Tea Cup, the second Tea by the Sea book in July. Plus the first in my new 1950s Catskills series, Deadly Summer Nights will be out in August.  Editing and proofreading all those books and writing new ones. It's going to be a busy year and I'm looking forward to it. 

This cover is the first in the new Catskills Resort mysteries and it's very tentative (MY NAME IS SPELLED WRONG) so please don't share. It's just to give you a peek. 

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DENISE: First up for me this year is Fly Me to the Tomb, the seventh in my Devereaux's Dime Store series. I don't have a firm release date yet, but I'm aiming for early spring. Next is Body Over Trouble Water, the twenty-third in my Scumble River series which is due out in July.

I'll be taking a month's sabbatical soon, and once I'm back I'll start to write the second in my Forever Charmed paranormal cozy series. The first, A Call to Charms, was a book I had been thinking about for a long time, so the second will be more of a challenge. ;)

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LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  I'm excited about two very different projects this year. First up is my stand-alone suspense debut, Bitterroot Lake, written as Alicia Beckman, coming in April -- and isn't that cover gorgeous? Carried to the Grave and Other Food Lovers' Village Stories will be out in July, collecting the two published Village short stories and adding several more, including a historical novella set in 1910, when Erin's great-grandparents came to Jewel Bay and opened the original Mercantile. 

Meanwhile, I'm working on the next Spice Shop mystery. After that? Well, a writer's life often involves waiting for offers and contracts. If there's an author whose work you enjoy or a series you love, boost your chances of reading more by telling your friends how much you love the books!   


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MIA P. MANANSALA: Hello everyone! 2021 is my debut year and I'm so excited to finally have my lifelong dream come true. Arsenic and Adobo releases May 4th, and I'll be busy promoting that book, revising Book 2, and drafting Book 3 (Berkley bought the first three books in the Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery Series). Fingers crossed that the series does well and my publisher contracts me for more!

I also have a few short story ideas I hope to work on, an idea for a new series that I want to develop, and also I'd love to revise my first book, which failed on submission back in 2018. I still have high hopes for it, especially since my writing has improved since then. I'm planning on big things this year!


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MADDIE DAY: Congratulation to debut author Mia! My Murder at the Taffy Shop goes from a paperback exclusive to wide release on March 30, so it'll be for sale everywhere in paperback, audio. and ebook. A Changing Light, the seventh in my Agatha-winning historical Quaker Midwife Mystery series, releases on April 13 (that series is written as Edith Maxwell). No Grater CrimeCountry Store Mystery #9, will be out in October. I'm polishing #10, Batter Off Dead now!

Murder at the Lobstah Shack will release at the end of this year, the third Cozy Caper Book Group Mystery. This spring I'll write #4, which will focus on either a bridal shop or a flower shop. After that my next deadline is another Country Store Christmas novella, followed by novel #11 in the series. If your head is spinning, don't worry - mine is, as well. But hey, I'm living my dream. What's for brunch?
 
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LESLIE KARST: I'm very excited to let you all know that I'm embarking on a brand new project. My wife and I have been splitting our time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i for twelve years, so when it came time to start thinking about a new series, the Big Island was the obvious location, with its glorious and dramatic landscape, splendid culture, and yes, delicious cuisine!

The protagonist of this new Orchid Isle Mystery Series, the first of which is tentatively entitled Molten Death, is Valerie Corbin, a retired caterer who comes to the Big Island with her wife Kristen in search of distraction following the loss of her brother and her own brush with death. But when she alone witnesses a body being blanketed by hot flowing lava and no one else believes her, Valerie becomes consumed by the mystery of the body in the lava, determined to find out what happened. I’ve only just finished the revisions to the manuscript, but here’s hoping it’ll be available in print sometime soon! 
 

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CLEO COYLE: Back in 2003, my husband and I began writing The Haunted Bookshop Mystery series. At the time, I was inspired to create the series by my longtime love of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I worked hard with Marc to transform that basic concept into a lively series of original murder mysteries set in a haunted bookshop with a hard-boiled PI ghost named Jack. Five of our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries were published between 2004 and 2009, starting with The Ghost and Mrs. McClure, all were national bestsellers. For a variety of reasons, which we revealed in this post, we put the series on hiatus for nearly ten years. Finally, with the incredible encouragement of our Haunted Bookshop fans and the support of our editor, we took a chance and brought our PI ghost Jack back, along with his living sidekick, the beloved bookseller Penelope McClure. Our 6th entry, The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller became and actual bestseller and a Suspense Magazine Best Book of 2018 selection. Which brings us to...

Our brand new Haunted Bookshop Mystery, The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait, releasing this April. We're proud of this new book. The twisty mystery is loads of fun, but the story also shines a spotlight on abuses and scams in our publishing industry, drawing a few parallels between today's world and the bad-old-days of Jack's time and pulp magazines. We are now under contract for more books in our Haunted series, which we are looking forward to writing! And we are happily still writing our long-running ☕ Coffeehouse Mystery series, which will see its 19th book published (in hardcover, e-book and audio) before year’s end. We'll be starting our 20th Coffeehouse Mystery this year and working out story arcs for future books. Our readers can look forward to plenty more culinary mysteries from us with significant developments in the lives of our Coffeehouse crew. Stay tuned!


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LUCY BURDETTE: It's so much fun to read about all the upcoming releases and projects in this prolific group! My eleventh Key West food critic mystery, A SCONE OF CONTENTION, will hit bookshelves everywhere on August 10--it's available for pre-order now. You'll be able to buy the mass market paperback version of THE KEY LIME CRIME on July 21. And only through January, ebook versions of DEATH ON THE MENU and A DEADLY FEAST are on sale for $1.99, and even THE KEY LIME CRIME is on sale for $2.99!


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MAYA CORRIGAN: The upcoming books from our group sound delicious!  Congratulations to Mia on her debut mystery. I'm currently working on the 8th book in my Five-Ingredient Mystery series. It's not due until summer, and I don't yet have the publication date for it. There is a $1.99 January sale on the e-book version of the first book in the series, BY COOK OR BY CROOK from all vendors, and on the second book SCAM CHOWDER from Amazon and Apple. Amazon currently offers discounted prices on the paperback and e-book versions of other books in the series. If you're looking for a seasonal read, try THE TELL-TALE TARTE. It takes you to the Baltimore cemetery where annually for decades a visitor came by night and left cognac and roses at Poe's grave on his birthday, January 19th. It's a good time of year to curl up with a cozy!


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MARY JANE MAFFINI  What a great beginning for Sunday Brunch here at Mystery Lovers Kitchen!  I am a mystery reader as well as an author and am very keen to catch up with the new series from my MLK friends as well as forthcoming books in series I've loved for a long time. These are not easy times. For me and for so many of us, cozy mysteries such as we write here are a wonderful antidote to the daily challenges we face.  Bring 'em on!  

When not reading or cooking or chasing small wicked dogs, I am busy finishing the sixth Charlotte Adams book: Death Plans a Perfect Trip.  At the same time Beyond the Page is reissuing the first five books in the series, to be released in the spring. The pandemic has slammed the television production industry and we are waiting to hear what will happen with the Charlotte Adams adaptation for TV.  As for the first five, we've been through the edits this past year and now the process of page proofs in underway.  I love page proofs, even if they often require a quick turnaround.  Cover designs will be starting soon. I wish I had a cover to tease you with here, but it was not to be. As Truffle and Sweet Marie, Charlotte Adams's rescued dachshunds, play an important role in each book (not solving any murders though), I am hoping that wiener dogs will appear on the covers. I've sent this photo of some of the resident pooches to the publisher as a hint, and will keep you posted. 



Mia, your book sounds great and it also seems like you have a dachshund on the cover.  Hmm. A new sub-genre?  



GIVEAWAY!


While you're waiting for our new books to arrive in your
bookstore or library, you can enter our giveaway for these great books. 

As authors we're always interested in our readers buying
and reading habits. Please answer one or more of these questions
in the comments (below) to be entered for the draw. 


Do you order books you’re excited about
in advance or eagerly wait until release day? 

Will you read the latest book in a series and skip around?
Or must you start with book one and read in order? 

How do you hear about new authors and books–
friends, newsletters, booksellers & library staff, book clubs? 

How important is the cover to you?
Have you ever bought a book based on the cover?
Does that happen often or rarely?


A Curious Incident by Vicki Delany

Murder at the Taffy Shop by Maddie Day

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller by Cleo Coyle



85 comments:

  1. I like to start with #1 of a series. Don't like long series. As soon as I hear of a book that sounds like one of my kind of book, I get in like for it at the library. Had to stop buying books when I retired. Hope I win here!

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  2. What a ton of great books coming out this year. Congrats to all on your hard work paying off.

    I read a series in order until something makes me skip forward for some reason.

    (No need to enter me in the giveaway.)

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  3. I order the books that I excited about, which is particularly all of them, in advance.
    I always start with the first book in a series.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

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  4. I order my favorite authors ahead. I prefer to read a series in order but I will read out of order also. I find out about most new books online these days since I don’t go to book stores. The cover can attract my attention and then I will examine ghee book.

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  5. Forgot my email. suefoster109 at gmail dot com

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  6. Covers are very important to me. I'm not sure why, but they are. I like to start with book number one if at all possible.
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

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  7. It's so exciting to read about all the books coming out in 2021!

    I'll admit it - I am a book cover lover. Love dissecting a cover to examine all the little details. My mind working all the time to see if I can get a sense of the story. Then after I read the book, I go back to the cover again to see how it actually works into the story comparing with my original thoughts. I have been know to be drawn to a new author by seeing a cover as I pass in a book store as well.

    There are many things that cause me to pick up a book - knowing the author and/or having read their previous books, great recommendations, a newsletter or Facebook post telling about a new book out having me search out the book or even a catchy title, but a lot of the times it's a great cover that will draw my eye first causing me to check out a book.

    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win some awesome books! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Love all this, Kaye! I'll confess that the covers for my cozies include so much wonderful detail that I sometimes don't notice it all until the publisher sends me a poster with the cover blown up! That's particularly true of the first books in both the Food Lovers' Village and Spice Shop series.

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  8. Congratulations on all the new releases! My TBR pile is growing! :)
    I always start with book #1... I’m afraid I’ll miss little details about the characters or something about their backstories if I don’t.
    Sometimes I will preorder if it’s an author I follow and I’ve been excited for the next book in a series.
    I DO enjoy a cute cover and some have made me pick them up, but I can’t say I’ve ever bought a book solely based on the cover itself.
    Best of luck to you all on the new books! I’m very excited!
    bmcewen73@gmail.com

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    1. We are SO grateful for readers who pre-order! Pre-orders give the publisher an idea of the level of buzz around a book, and sometimes even change their promotion campaign to give a book with strong pre-orders a push.

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  9. Congratulations on all the new releases...I’m updating my TBR list as we speak! I have to start at the beginning of a series and never read out of order (unless it’s by accident). I love going to B&N on release day when books by my favorite authors come out. The cover is usually what attracts me first to a new author, but the back cover blurb is what sells me. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Covers are so important, I agree. I've never bought a book because of the cover, but it's certainly made me pick up the book and find out what it's all about.

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  10. I do both, order in advance and sometimes have to wait till comes out. I love to read a series in order, but if it is a new author I have just discovered will read latest and then back to beginning.

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  11. A nice cover can make me want to pick up a book but I've never bought one based solely on the cover. The blurb needs to pull me in and if I'm on the fence what seals the deal is a good recipe or craft pattern in the back. I've tried books based mostly on having good recipes.

    I keep a running list of series/authors I particularily like and release dates so I can get the latest book. New books I find sometimes with a mention online but mostly just browsing through the bookstore. Even if I see it first online, I still like to be able to flip through before committing to buy when it's a totally new series.

    I usually start with book #1, but I've bought books later in the series, especially at library sales. If I really like the later books I'll go back to the beginning. Besides, with all the setup necessary in first books, some take a bit to get going. So if I start with #1 I usually give a series at least 2 or 3 books in before deciding if it's not holding my interest.

    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Love that you sometimes buy for the recipes -- you're in the right place for that! And good point about the effect of the set-up in book one -- we appreciate your patience!

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  12. I'm not averse to reading whatever series book looks good to me. If I like it, I'll go back and read the rest in order. As for finding new authors, I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, so I find some authors that way. I also look at a variety of blogs, as well as Library Journal. My TBR list is pages long, but I keep adding to it!

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    1. A Sister -- yay! Two of us (Roberta and I) have had the privilege of serving as president; others of us have led chapters, and we've all been involved with SinC in some way. Such a great organization!

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  13. Mostly I like to read the first book in a series to get to know the characters. then I may skip arond if I can't find the second book.

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    1. That's a good idea. Terry. We try hard so that readers who join a series in the middle aren't lost, but that initial set up of the characters is important.

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  14. I always have to read in order and most often wdit until release day to get a new release. Thanks for the giveaway and updates on all the great projects in the works or about to be released!

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  15. I always have to read in order and most often wdit until release day to get a new release. Thanks for the giveaway and updates on all the great projects in the works or about to be released!

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  16. Sometimes I pre order, if I hear about the book early or order when released. I like to read from book one, but if I find a new series book other that the first, I will read and then go back to the beginning. I find new authors and new books from author emails, and posts from authors on facebook and from my sister when she mentions a book or author she likes that I don't know about. A few times the cover has totally got me to buy the book.

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  17. I always read a series in order. It is vital for the enjoyment and story. A cover makes the novel come alive but I rely on the blurb to introduce me to the background of the novel. I learn about authors from websites, the library, and bookstores. I wait until the release and anticipate but rarely preorder. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I like to start at the first book, but if I find a book that looks interesting, I'll read it then look for the rest of the series to read in order. That's how I found Cleo Coyle's haunted book shop series. The cover art was very compelling with the floating fedora. I read, I think book 3, was hooked and went back and found the rest of them. I'm beyond happy that the series is going to continue because I adore Jack and Pen!

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    1. Hi, Brenda - Marc and I are enjoying everyone's responses here! Thank you especially for the spirited shout-out on our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries. (Jack and Pen thank you, too. :)) We are looking forward to getting our brand-new release into readers' hands this April. The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait will be the 7th in the series, and I'll just add that Marc and I always do our best to provide background info in our latest books so that new readers will not be lost. We take that same approach in our Coffeehouse Mysteries. Thanks again for the kind words!

      ~ Cleo

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  19. If it is an author I've read before and a new series is begun then I like to start at #1. Sometimes my favorite authors don't have anything new out so I may look for something new and a good cover may tip my choice. Once I find a favorite author I have to read everything they have written. I am a very avid reader. Most of my books are from the military base library and if they don't have it they will find it for me. I do have a personal collection of books that I like to re enjoy now and then. This gets harder to do as I remember them too well after a second or third reading. Occasionally a librarian will recommend a new book and occasionally I'll pick one up from the lending library at the VA hosp. Thank you all for taking the time, effort and creative mind to write these stories. So thankful there is a variety of stories and styles to feed the need of such a variety of readers.

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  20. I usually try to start with book #1 in the series but that wasn't always possible. I follow most of the authors on FB now before I just kept an eye out on Amazon or one of the many other sites. I also check the authors web site for new listings. I rarely judge a book by its cover yet a great cover is always a good thing. Looking forward to all the new releases. nvictoria77(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. When I read a series I start with the first book. I learn about books from many different sources. Newsletters, libraries, publishers sites, and print brochures. These are invaluable. I wait until release day for new books. The cover does not influence me although it can be a draw. Instead I concentrate on the story line and author. Thanks for your lovely giveaway and interesting post today.elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  22. Depending on the author/series, if it's one that I really enjoy, I will preorder. Otherwise I wait until a couple days after pub. day to check out some of the reviews.

    I like to start a series at the beginning, but it's not necessary.

    Newsletters, FB, and various FB groups and author's pages... either website or FB page.

    I do enjoy the cozy covers and titles, but I've never bought one based on the cover alone... although it does help to draw me in to read the synopsis and then decide if I want to get the book.

    kimheniadis at gmail dot com

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