Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Real Grandma Alma

People often ask me if the characters in my stories are based on real people. I can honestly say yes. As the daughter of a Methodist minister, we moved frequently, and every church we served had their own cast of characters.

The characters in Who Killed the Ghost in the Library? are very personal to me. The owners of the coffeehouse, Jim and Charlotte Shaw, are based on my parents, Jim and Charlotte. Mike, the chief of police, is an old friend of mine who is a deputy sheriff in Arizona. And Grandma Alma is my grandmother, Edna (her middle name really is Alma, although she has two middle names, truth be told). Continue reading

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A Sneak Peak at VERUM by Courtney Cole

“There’s savagery here, there’s grace.
But above all, there’s oblivion and no matter what I do, I will be sucked into it.” 

VERUM, the sequel to Courtney Cole’s spellbindingly dark, heartwrenchind new adult psychological suspense, NOCTE, is coming February 2, 2015.

Are you ready?

VERUM-CourtneyCole-500pxMy name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

Preorder your copy now, and get it the second it’s live:
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Sign up for the NOCTE List and get exclusive series excerpts, teasers, and clues.

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Book Review Thursday: Macdeath by Cindy Brown

This is my first review of 2015! How many books have you read so far already this year? If you need another, I highly recommend you pick up Macdeath on Amazon today!

MACDEATH front under 2mbIvy Meadows is an aspiring actress in Phoenix, although at the moment, she’s trying to keep from completely falling apart (thanks to the heat, a broken car air conditioner, a broken shoe heel, which forces her to wear a leopard spotted leotard) before her audition for Macbeth. She stumbles and tumbles her way through the audition, and wins a coveted spot in the production.

However, the director’s vision of the play and what the Bard intended are two different things. And while the play resembles a circus on the stage, the real show is behind the scenes. Many of the cast and crew have worked together before, and not all the memories are fond ones. One of the actors, Simon Black, asks Ivy help him stay sober during their time together. She doesn’t believe she’s the right one for the job, but agrees to help him.

Everything goes well during the three weeks of rehearsals, but on opening night, someone says “Macbeth” backstage before the show. Everyone knows you don’t say that name because of the curse. But everything goes well, and Ivy even gets a heart-stopping, room-spinning kiss from Jason, the lead actor playing the King. When she goes to see Simon before leaving for the night, she finds him dead in his dressing room. It appears that poor Simon fell off the wagon and drank himself to death. The curse lives!

With the help of Uncle Bob, a private investigator, and Detective Pinkstaff, Ivy has to figure out the complicated relationships between Simon, the cast and crew to find a murderer. But can she do it without falling victim to the Macbeth curse?

As a theater lover (and former actress, gofer, assistant director and director), I fell in love with this book right away. I love Ivy; she’s a klutzy gal after my own heart. The story is well-written, the descriptions are so detailed that I swear at times I could smell the greasepaint, and Ms. Brown kept me guessing until the very end. For those readers that are unfamiliar with what goes on backstage at a show, this will them an unobstructed view of how hard everyone works to make it a success. I had a love/hate relationship with several characters, and I was rooting for one particular character to hook up with Ivy (I’m still hoping!). There wasn’t anything about this book that I didn’t like (I loved it all!), and I am waiting with baited breath for The Sound of Murder, coming out this fall. I would definitely recommend this wonderful book to anyone who has ever spent time in theater or drama classes. This is one book I will be re-reading in the near future!

 

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Promote an Author Tuesday: Cindy Brown

Happy 2015 everyone! Today, I’d like to introduce you to Cindy Brown! Head back on Thursday to read my review of MacDeath. Also, I want to hear what you think of the Promote an Author Tuesday posts! Do you want to see more of them? Do you want to see something else? Tweet me @authorteresaw, head over to my author page on Facebook, or leave a note in the comments section. Your feedback is important to me!

MacDeath

MACDEATH front under 2mbLike every actor, Ivy Meadows knows that Macbeth is cursed. But she’s finally scored her big break, cast as an acrobatic witch in a circus-themed production of Macbeth in Phoenix, Arizona. And though it may not be Broadway, nothing can dampen her enthusiasm—not her flying caldron, too-tight leotard, or carrot-wielding dictator of a director.

But when one of the cast dies on opening night, Ivy is sure the seeming accident is “murder most foul” and that she’s the perfect person to solve the crime (after all, she does work part-time in her uncle’s detective agency). Undeterred by a poisoned Big Gulp, the threat of being blackballed, and the suddenly too-real curse, Ivy pursues the truth at the risk of her hard-won career—and her life.

Questions with the Author

Is there a book you wish you had written? (Someone used “Harry Potter” as an example)

Charlotte’s Web – such humanity, humor, and heart in a seemingly simple story about friendship. “Some Pig,” indeed.

What is your favorite story about your childhood that the family tells over and over?

I was fascinated by stories of people surviving in the wild (and by Euell Gibbons, eating his way through a pine tree) and so was always building shelters, eating plants like horsetails, and making pots out of the clay I found on the creek bank. I even “ran away” once, not because I was upset, but because I’d read a story about a boy who lived in a hollow tree and I wanted to try it. I came home as soon as it got dark.

What’s on your bucket list?

I’d like to go to Cornwall, where my husband and I would visit Port Isaac, the village where they film Doc Martin (we are big geeky fans), explore the very cool and mysterious Lost Gardens of Heligan, and take in a show at the Minack Theatre, a beautiful open-air theatre that overlooks the sea. Barring that, I’d like to ride on a one-horse open sleigh (really).

Where would your main character go on vacation?

New York City, of course! Ivy would go to as many shows as she could afford, wait by stage doors for autographs, and time her trip so she could see free Shakespeare in Central Park.

What is the one thing you can’t live without? That one must have item?

Cheese. I love cheese (and maybe if I say this people will bring cheese to my book signings!). And on a more writerly note, I am the world’s worst typist so I am very fond of my dictation software.

About Cindy Brown

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

Connect with Cindy Brown

CindyBrown-005-2_rt_smallwebWebsite: http://www.cindybrownwriter.com

Twitter: @friendlybrown

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Brown-author/ 288210721356802

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