Category Archives: craft of writing

A killer thriller! SWEET KAROLINE by @cathyastolfo #amreading #mystery #99cents

sweet-karoline-winter-2

If I knew what I know now, would I have searched so hard for the truth? SWEET KAROLINE Cathy Astolfo #amreading #mystery #books #booksale#99cents Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gNJe54
GET IT ON Amazon FOR ONLY .99 CENTS UNTIL DEC. 15 http://amzn.to/2fL3G9A

GET IT ON SMASHWORDS: FOR ONLY .99 CENTS http://www.imajinbooks.com/smashwords-ebook-sale/

WATCH THE TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/?gl=CA

Anne Williams says she killed her best friend, Karoline. But did she? Or is there more to Karoline’s mysterious death than meets the eye?

Anne embarks on a compelling journey to discover her past and exposes an unusual history, horrific crimes and appalling betrayals. Through unexpected turns and revelations, Anne learns about love, family and who she really is. Can she survive the truth?

READ AN EXCERPT:READ AN EXCERPT: http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Karoline-Catherine…/…/192779207X

STELLAR REVIEWS:
“A deliciously vibrant portrait that realistically muddles good and evil.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Astolfo’s wonderful first sentence in Sweet Karoline explodes on the page and resonates right to the end of this twisting examination of dangerous minds. Never have I encountered a narrative voice that alternates more deftly between alienating and enticing.” —Mel Bradshaw, author of Fire On The Runway
“A deliciously twisted story about the perplexing power of adult female relationships. By turns scathingly funny and darkly insightful, Sweet Karoline is a hedonistic journey with all the right ingredients: lust, betrayal, true love and mystery. Grab a glass of wine and have the bottle handy. A compelling read from the start through to the surprising end.” —Robin Spano, author of Death’s Last Run

“In Catherine Astolfo’s chilling new novel Sweet Karoline, things aren’t always as they seem. Anne, the multifaceted anti-heroine in this noir tale takes a fateful journey into her forgotten past, uncovering the painful roots of her childhood. While furrowing for answers, a mystery unfolds, truths swirl to the surface, a heinous murder occurs. Who’s the killer? Caught in a tangled web of greed, lies and deceit Anne must come to terms with her past, present and future, and the bleak realization that those we hold close may be the last ones to trust. Compelling, visually descriptive, deftly delivered…Catherine Astolfo’s got the goods!” —Douglas Wickard, author of A Perfect Husband

“Sweet Karoline is a multi-layered mystery, where nothing is as it seems. The story grips you on page one and leads you through a maze of history, twisted relationships, and ultimately the darkness of the human mind.” —Liz Bugg, author of Oranges and Lemons
“In Sweet Karoline, Astolfo has created a daring hybrid mystery that combines elements of romance, history, and suspense in a carefully crafted story that keeps you guessing to the very end. Astolfo explores new boundaries as she extends her reach beyond the cozy mystery in this psychological exploration of the mind of a killer. A unique exploration of guilt and revenge.” —Michael J. McCann, author of The Fregoli Delusion

“The clever plot twists in Sweet Karoline will enrapture you from page one through the last paragraphs of this fast-paced modern mystery. Author Catherine Astolfo exhibits a strikingly perceptive gift for believable dialogue and rich character development. Her dry wit and colorful descriptions will have you howling in laughter at points, but in tears at others as she digs deep into the themes of guilt, race, and relationships. The powers of love and redemption are strong, but does the heart of an Ice Queen ever really melt? Enjoy the romp from Los Angeles, through Canada, to a priceless Italian rendezvous—all in the pages of Sweet Karoline, where long-buried secrets lie.” —Lisa Pell, award-winning author of Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Catherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education. Catherine received the Elementary Dufferin-Peel OECTA Award for Outstanding Service in 1998. She was also awarded Dufferin-Peel Catholic Elementary Principal of the Year in 2002 by the Catholic Principals Council of Ontario.

Catherine is a past President of Crime Writers of Canada and a Derrick Murdoch Award winner (2012). She was a Zonta Club 2012 Nominee for Women of Achievement.

Writing is Catherine’s passion. She can recall inventing fantasy stories for her classmates in Grade Three. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of literary Canadian presses. In 2005, she won a Brampton Arts Award. Her short stories won the Bloody Words Short Story Award (second and first) in 2009 and 2010. She won the prestigious Arthur Ellis Best Short Crime Story Award in 2012. Catherine’s novels, The Emily Taylor Mysteries, as well as Sweet Karoline (July 14, 2013), are published by Imajin Books and are optioned for film by Sisbro & Co. Inc. Visit Catherine at www.catherineastolfo.com.

CONNECT WITH CATHERINE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/…/Catherine-Astol…/426898307395107…
Twitter: @cathyastolfo
Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/auth…/show/852970.Catherine_Astolfo
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116263954589831804470
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/castolfo
WEB SITE: www.catherineastolfo.com
BLOG: www.katywords.blogspot.com

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Filed under amreading, Catherine Astolfo, COZY MYSTERY, COZY MYSTERY SERIES, craft of writing, CRIME, CRIME MYSTERY, CRIME THRILLER, MURDER MYSTERY, MURDER MYSTERY SERIES, MYSTERY, MYSTERY SERIES, PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, SUSPENSE, SUSPENSE THRILLER, THRILLER, THRILLER FICTION

There’s nothing like a good murder to get you through the Holidays #mystery #amreading .99cents @cathyastolfo @alisonebruce @melodiecampbell @stpierrecynthia

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FOUR award-winning mystery authors. SIX stellar mysteries.
GET ALL SIX BOOKS FOR ONLY .99 CENTS EACH UNTIL DEC. 15TH!

DEADLY LEGACY: BOOK 1 CARMEDY AND GARRETT MYSTERY  http://amzn.to/2gFbDcZ
DEADLY SEASON: BOOK 2 CARMEDY AND GARRETT MYSTERY http://amzn.to/2h6LKDw

THE BRIDGEMAN: BOOK 1 EMILY TAYLOR MYSTERY SERIES. http://amzn.to/1TljXhT
SWEET KAROLINE (stand-alone mystery): http://amzn.to/2fL3G9A

A PURSE TO DIE FOR: BOOK 1 FASHIONATION WITH MYSTERY http://amzn.to/2gYsPtE
A KILLER NECKLACE: BOOK 2 FASHIONATION WITH MYSTERY http://amzn.to/2g54MIF

OR YOU CAN GET THEM AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATION:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588711 Code: SY32Q

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

http://www.alisonbruce.ca/  @alisonebruce

www.melodiecampbell.com @MelodieCampbell

fashionationwithmystery.com @stpierrecynthia

www.catherineastolfo.com @cathyastolfo

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Filed under Alison Bruce, Carmedy and Garrett Mystery Series, Catherine Astolfo, Christmas Mystery, COZY MYSTERY, COZY MYSTERY SERIES, craft of writing, CRIME, CRIME MYSTERY, CRIME THRILLER, DARK MYSTERY SERIES, DETECTIVE

What do you do if you’re a horror fiction author and you actually see a ghost? You write about it!

Chabot Observatory  http://www.chabotspace.org/

Chabot Observatory
http://www.chabotspace.org/

As I write this, I’m hard at work on my novel The Astronomer’s Crypt, which tells the story of an observatory haunted by the ghost of its founder. Much of the novel is inspired by my own experiences at observatories. Last month, I put out a call for haunted observatory stories and I’ve heard some interesting tales.

Author and editor David B. Riley tells me he heard stories of shadow entities at Chabot Observatory in Oakland, California. He had a roommate many years ago who worked for Oakland Park Police and swore people were seeing entities around there. Shadow entities are also known as black ghosts.

Dressing Room Ghost on Queen Mary In Long Beach, CA

Dressing Room Ghost (as seen by David Lee Summers) on Queen Mary In Long Beach, CA

So far, my most convincing ghost encounter was with one of these shadow entities on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. I was in the changing rooms of the First Class swimming pool and took a photo. I thought I saw a person reflected in the flash, but when I walked in that direction, no one was there. When I looked at the photo on my computer and adjusted the contrast and brightness, I saw a figure standing there, apparently in an old-fashioned bathing suit. For some reason, this “being”  was not illuminated in my flash! You can read the full story here: “Queen Mary Ghost”

Dr. Don Terndrup of Ohio State University told me a story about an observatory where visiting astronomers were cautioned about the woman in white. She would appear in the morning, not long before sunrise, holding a tea kettle. Sure enough, the observers would be working late into the evening when the door to the observing room would slowly creek open. They’d turn around and there would be a woman in white robes holding a kettle.

It turns out the woman was the observatory director’s wife, who would get up early to make tea for the astronomers visiting the observatory. Apparently she never understood why the astronomers always seemed so frightened when she would appear!

In last month’s post, I told the story of James Lick, who is buried under the pier of the 36-inch Telescope at Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton in California. Dr. Elinor Gates who works at the observatory tells me astronomers routinely tell tourists who come to public night at the 36-inch that Lick’s ghost will appear and snatch a visitor from the group. Of course, the astronomers guiding those sessions are just joking.

0032_LitSlits © 2003 Laurie Hatch, image and text multiverse.ssl.berkeley.edu - LICK OBSERVATORY - Mt. Hamilton  California 2003 Spring - Looking west from Kepler Peak at twilight, dome lights briefly illuminate  the Lick 36” (left) and Shane 120“ (right) telescopes. Soon the lights will be extinguished, and telescopes and domes will rotate toward the first objects of the night. Observing has already begun at the Nickel 40” Reflector in the smaller dome at horizon level just left of center; its darkened slit is also facing east. Midway between the Main Building and the Shane are the Tauchmann 22” Reflector left, and Carnegie Double Astrograph right.       - The photographer thanks UCO / Lick Observatory staff for their continual and enthusiastic support. - A VIEW FROM LICK OBSERVATORY  - Lick Observatory crowns the 4,200-foot Mt. Hamilton summit above Silicon Valley in central California. This research station serves astronomers from University of California campuses and their collaborators worldwide. Eccentric Bay Area tycoon and philanthropist James Lick (1796-1876) bequeathed funding for construction which spanned from 1880 to 1887, fulfilling his vision of the Observatory as a premier astronomical facility. In 1959, the Shane 3-meter reflecting telescope was completed on Mt. Hamilton. It continues to provide data for forefront research and engineering programs. In total, the mountain top is home to ten telescopes which are supported by resident staff and by headquarters at UC Santa Cruz. Acclaimed for academic excellence, technical expertise, and superior instrumentation, Lick Observatory probes the expanding frontiers of space.  - EXPOSURE DATA: Pentax 67ii, 90mm f/2.8 lens Velvia 50 Color Reversal film, shot at 100 ISO Exposure: 4 seconds @ f/8    - For more information:  http://www.ucolick.org, http://www.ucolick.org/public/telescopes/, -lh@lauriehatch.com, http://www.lauriehatch.com

0032_LitSlits
© 2003 Laurie Hatch, image and text 
– LICK OBSERVATORY
– Mt. Hamilton California
2003 Spring
http://www.lauriehatch.com

All jokes aside, it’s said that several people have seen the ghost of James Lick in the Director’s Cottage at Lick Observatory. Dr. Gates lives in the cottage and says she hasn’t seen a ghost . . . yet. That said, a previous resident claims to have had several encounters with the ghost and won’t be convinced the house isn’t haunted.

As you can tell from both of these stories, there’s a common thread of astronomers joking about ghosts. We work in dark, quiet buildings late at night. Often our minds do play tricks on us. I definitely pull an element of dark humor into The Astronomer’s Crypt. As it turns out, astronomers don’t always joke about ghosts. Sometimes we joke about vampires as well. I work as a telescope operator and that means I’m rarely seen at the observatory except between sunset and sunrise. One of my co-workers used to say we were the vampires of the mountain.

dracula-book-cover-e1368750274302This particular co-worker was a fan of vampire novels and convinced me to sit down and read Dracula by Bram Stoker. I’ll never forget the night I read the scene in the novel where the ship carrying the vampire blows into Whitby Harbor. The townspeople find the crew of the Demeter missing. The ship’s captain is dead, lashed to the ship’s wheel. The only living creature is a massive dog or wolf that leaps from the ship and runs off into the storm. The night I read this, a particularly fierce storm blew over Kitt Peak. My duties required that I go outside to check on the buildings periodically . . . in the howling wind, pouring rain, and cracking lightning. Every time a bush rustled or a wind howled through a tree, I was convinced a wolf was going to leap out at me. I’ve been a fan of Dracula and horror novels ever since!

A few years later, I had occasion to write a vampire story. I pulled from what I knew. I told the story of a vampire who operated telescopes. He only appeared between sunset and sunrise and never complained about the hours. He never told ghost stories to scare his observers because he wanted them unwary, not suspecting he might attack at any minute. This story went on to become a central chapter in my novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order.

VAMPIRES OF THE SCARLET ORDER COVER 2Although I won’t admit to being a vampire and I can’t honestly say I’ve seen a ghost at the observatory, I’ve certainly been able to channel those spooky experiences into my writing. Through them, I get to explore the stories of people rising to meet impossible challenges, which in turn tells me much about what makes us noble as human beings.

Here’s wishing you and yours a very Happy and Spooky Halloween!

You can purchase David Lee Summers’s books at Lachesis Publishing, on amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

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Filed under craft of writing, HORROR, HORROR BOOKS, HORROR HISTORICAL, Lachesis Publishing, PARANORMAL, SUPERNATURAL, SUSPENSE

Has a fictional character ever inspired you in some way? by Jacqui Morrison

THE-VIGILANTE-COVERJacqui Morrison is a crime thriller author. Her suspense thrillers include Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. You can purchase both books at Lachesis Publishing. But that’s not where it begins and ends with Jacqui. You see, Jacqui works with victims and witnesses of crimes. Her passion for working in the law started at at a young age, when she was inspired by a character in a popular TV show . . . 

Barbara Hale as Della Street from the Perry Mason TV show

Barbara Hale as Della Street from the Perry Mason TV show

Della Street (Barbara Hale) was my favourite character from the television show Perry Mason (which ran from 1957 to 1966). From a young age, I knew I wanted to do something with the law, little did I know that my love of law and justice would turn into a passion for writing courtroom dramas.

At the young age of ten, I’d voraciously watch episodes of Perry Mason, an American TV show about a fictional lawyer. I’d sit down in front of our black and white television and devour every minute of the legal show.

152417593I loved the character Della Street and I erroneously thought she was also a lawyer. Her classy style of speaking, combined with perfect outfits, made for a healthy obsession. I think I was her number one fan.

Perry Mason TV show

Perry Mason TV show

I was so obsessed with what I learned on Perry Mason that I would talk non-stop with my dad about the show. He humoured me as only a father can. I was so enthralled with the show that when I heard that a small provincial courthouse was within walking distance of my house, I wanted to sneak in and watch a real live trial!

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyIn Ontario, Canada, where I lived in the 1970s, they brought courts to small towns because not a lot of people had cars. That’s why there was a courthouse that doubled as an arts and craft venue on other days. I never got up the nerve to enter the court, but I know I dreamt about it. My early fascination with courts and Perry Mason eventually led me to become an an author of crime and courtroom thrillers. It’s a fascination that will always inspire me, both in my work and in my writing.

You can get The Vigilante. on amazon, barnes and noble, koboYou can also purchase Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney on amazon

Connect with author Jacqui Morrison online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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Filed under COURTROOM DRAMA, craft of writing, CRIME, CRIME THRILLER, DETECTIVE, Lachesis Publishing, MYSTERY, POLICE PROCEDURAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, SUSPENSE, SUSPENSE THRILLER

Food in Fiction: Why cozy mystery author J.M. Griffin loves writing about food

While shopping the other day, I ran into a woman who reads my books. She asked me a question that I find I have to answer quite a lot. She wanted to know why I include food in all of my novels. Initially, I chuckled when she asked, and then gave it some thought, as I always do when asked that same question. I think it goes back to childhood, really, where meals together were an important time to catch up with our daily happenings, and to enjoy the taste of homemade goodness.

Image: andyskitchenblog.wordpress.com

Image: andyskitchenblog.wordpress.com

My mother was a great cook and an even better baker. We had wonderful meals, homemade bread and pastries, and in summer, our garden produced the best veggies ever. I watched Mom make delightful meals and luscious desserts. We always had dessert after dinner, and a yummy snack before bed. No junk food at our house, we lived in the countryside, where there were no stores to run to for snacks.

When I married, an Italian, no less, food played a huge part in our household. I enjoyed baking and still do. Back then, when certain fruits were in season, I’d make jams, jellies, pickles and all those delicious things we’d enjoy throughout the winter. My husband’s father was a chef, who taught me to make chicken cacciatore, eggplant casseroles, the tastiest pasta sauce ever, and many other meals that tickled the taste buds of our friends and family.

My kids grew up and left home, but became great cooks in their own right. Now my grandson cooks on Sundays, making meals for his week ahead. I guess that food plays a major part of all our lives and is comforting to us.

Image: eatathomecooks.com

Image: eatathomecooks.com

The Vinnie Esposito series began some years ago with Vinnie stopping by her parents’ house to cadge a meal from her family. Even though she and her father butt heads more often than not, he still manages to give her a bag of food to take home with her. Vinnie’s best friend, Lola Trapezi, owns a deli not far from Vinnie’s house, so again, food becomes part of the story. As the other characters in the novels stop by Vinnie’s house, she offers them a snack or a meal. Again, the story includes food. There’s just something special about that and I get comments all the time concerning the importance of how the food plays into the story.

Death Gone AwryMaybe it’s the comfort of food, or the fact that is brings warmth and meaning to our lives. I’m unsure of the answer, but when I’m asked why I include food in all my novels, I simply say, “It brings us together.” For, if you truly think about it, food does that. How many times do we meet friends for a meal, a snack, or a cookout? Often, we have business meetings that include food. Somehow, it soothes our anxiety.

So, tell me this, how do you feel about food and what does it mean to you? I’d really like to know. In the meantime, I’m off to throw an antipasto together for later. Good eating my friends and thanks for stopping by!

OUR DEAL OF THE WEEK is Death Gone Awry, Book 6 of the Vinnie Esposito Series by J.M. Griffin. It’s a killer of a cozy mystery!

GET IT FOR .99 CENTS RIGHT HERE AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING. THIS WEEK ONLY.

CLICK HERE TO BUY.

Get Death Gone Awry AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING FOR ONLY .99 CENTS THIS WEEK ONLY, or on amazon, BN Nookkobo, or iBooks.

Connect with J.M. Griffin on social media: twitter, web site, facebook

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Filed under COZY MYSTERY, COZY MYSTERY SERIES, craft of writing, FOOD, Food in Fiction, Lachesis Publishing, MYSTERY, MYSTERY SERIES

The right place to write by Joanna D’Angelo

Courtesy thestar.com

Courtesy thestar.com

We all have our favourite places to work, mine is at my desk during the day. Sometimes I will have music playing but usually I like nature sounds. I have a great app on my iphone that has various relaxing sounds and I will often listen to bird sounds while working. In the spring and summer I can open a window but in the winter I have my app. If I’m working at night I will usually work in bed just to be cozy and warm.

But sometimes, I love heading to one of my local coffee shops and just parking myself in a corner with a big cup of tea. Sometimes I’ll be quietly typing and discretely “listening in” on conversations, other times I’ll just gaze out the window or people watch. Hey, we’re writers – always looking for a story right? It turns out I’m not the only one who thinks coffee shops are great for writing. A study in 2012 found that writing in a coffee shop really does help with your creativity. Evidently it has to do something with the noise factor. If there is moderate ambient noise of about 70 decibels, it is conducive to creativity. Ha! Imagine that. Here’s the article from the Toronto Star about writing in coffee shops.

I guess where we choose to write depends on our moods and if we want to be around people. As writers we tend to work alone a lot and while sometimes that’s a wonderful thing, other times it can get – well – lonely. So being in a public place is a nice change. But no matter where we end up – the point is to be in an environment that helps our imagination flow and helps us get the work done.

Where do you like to write?

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea and writing in coffee shops.

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