Author Fun: 13 Questions About Beth Prentice!

bethprenticewg1. Where is your favorite place to write? I usually write in my office with my dogs at my feet and I love that. But the beach would be my favorite place. I take my laptop, grab a coffee and find a shady spot under a tree. Even though, I know if I did it every day, I’d probably fall sleep more than write, lol!

2. Coffee or Tea? I’m a coffee girl. But I only drink decaf because caffeine does awful things to me. I order a skinny milk, decaf cappuccino and people are always asking me why I bother!

3. Favorite book of all-time? I honestly don’t have one. I love lots of books, but my favorite genre is definitely mystery. But it has to have a large dash of humor to go with it.

4. NaNoWriMo yes or no? I’ve never participated in this but the idea sounds good. It would suit the way I write. I tend to get my idea on the page and then go back over it again and again until I get it how I want it. Not very efficient I guess, but it works for me. 

5. Genre that you would write if you had no restrictions? I’m not sure if there is a genre that I would fit in, but it would definitely be suspense with a bit of romance and a lot of humor along the way.deadlywipeout_5in

6. If you could have any superpower what would it be? To move things with my mind. You have no idea how many times I sit on the couch, three dogs jump onto my lap and then I have to get back up because I forgot something.

7. Favorite author? Hmmm, I have a few. I love Gemma Halliday of course. Not only because I love her as a publisher, but I’ve been reading her books for many years before that. I also love Sophie Kinsella, JK Rowling, Jennifer Crusie and Janet Evanovich just to name a few. Honestly, this list wouldn’t end if I wrote them all 

8. What kind of music do you listen to when you write? I listen to the radio – a mix of current music and old school. I like to keep it happy though, and if a sad song comes on I generally change station.

9. If you could live anywhere in the world where will it be? Right here, where I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia. I love everything about it!

10. What do you do when you get writer’s block? I go shopping!

11. Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m a bit of both. I have the general plot outlined, but what happens after that often surprises even me 

12. Do you have a playlist for your characters? This is a fun idea! I’ve never done this, but I’d say that Samantha from my new novel Deadly Wipeout would listen to a lot of 50’s music. You know a bit of Beach Boys, a bit of Connie Francis – that kind of thing.

13. Do you write every day? I try to. Some days I start but then get distracted by the promotion side of it all. And maybe reading. That distracts me at times also!

 

Visit Beth’s website for the latest news!

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

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eBook Review: Amaretto Amber by Traci Andrighetti

SPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]ynopsis: Private investigator Franki Amato has just turned thirty, and she feels anything but festive. For starters, she can’t have cake because she’s given up sweets, and one of her teeth is torturing her. To add insult to birthday injury, she has to investigate a surreal strip club homicide—with her sixtyish ex-stripper landlady. Then her Sicilian grandma crashes the New Orleans non-party and insists that she steal a lemon to land a husband. Unfortunately for Franki, the man she has in mind has his mind somewhere else, and their relationship seems to have soured. Adding to her troubles, she has to figure out what a missing amber pendant and a mysterious amaretto bottle have to do with the murder, not to mention why she’s being followed. When a second dancer goes down and a third is threatened, Franki turns to a weird witch to crack the case and cancel a curse before someone blows out her candles for good.

 

My thoughts: Look out world, our enchanting, uproarious leading lady is celebrating the big three-o! Yes, our gal, Franki Amato has entered her third decade and she is not feeling celebratory at all. Again, look out world…and readers.

 

Andrighetti’s Franki Amato series gets crisper, smarter and wittier with each installment. Her storytelling skills are superior, her characters are so vivaciously sketched they jump off the page, her dialogue is authentically carved, her setting is accurately designed, and the way she delivers a mystery is brilliantly sculpted.

Andrighetti’s third outing cements her firmly as the newest heir to the comedy mystery throne. In fact, not since 2002, when Laura Levine released This Pen for Hire, has there been a mystery scribe who impeccably fuses the flawless mix of comedy, mystery and prose like Andrighetti.

Amaretto Amber deftly glides along without losing its sidesplitting momentum as it reaches its action-filled, ingeniously crafted and unforeseen climax.

 

Amaretto Amber is deliciously addicting, wickedly exciting, skillfully well-written, and her best Franki Amato outing to date.

 

Amaretto Amber authenticates Andrighetti is one of the best mystery writers of all-time.
 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco
Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.

eBook Review: Invitation to Murder by Beth Prentice

InvitationtoMurder (2)Synopsis: When Alexandra Anderson is invited to a work place reunion at the television station where she formerly worked, she’s excited to catch up with old friends. And the theme of the reunion is a Murder Mystery Party, so that should be fun, right? Wrong! Alexandra’s first horror is coming face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend and his brand new, gorgeous wife. Second, the party happens to coincide with one of the worst storms of the season, knocking out utility lines and cell service. And when her less-than-beloved ex-boss becomes the Murder Party’s fake victim, Alexandra and her “team” are tasked with solving the fake murder before anyone else. The only bright spot? The sexy cameraman on Alex’s team with the sparkling blue eyes and soft, full lips.

 

But what starts out as a game becomes all too real when Alexandra stumbles upon the actual dead body of her ex’s new wife. Did someone take the game too seriously? Is there a real murderer among the party-goers? Can following the clues to a fake murder help Alex solve a real one? Trapped by the storm, with “players” disappearing and time running out, Alex finds herself in the middle of a deadly game of cat and mouse… where not everyone will make it out alive!

 

My thoughts: *double whistle* Beth Prentice has crafted an extremely addictive, edge-of-your-seat, splendidly layered, suspense-filled page-turner with the brilliantly written Invitation to Murder.

Wow! Invitation to Murder is a mystery aficionado’s buttercream-frosting-cherries-on-top decadent treat kinda read. Prentice is unequivocally a prose bombshell. Which makes this a must read for summer on the beach, on the shore, on a boat, at the cabin, on the lake, on your patio, on the lawn, on your couch, on a recliner, in bed, on a plane, train or bus…you get my drift.

 

Prentice’s storytelling skills are smokin’ hot! As the mystery unfolds, readers will wonder what on earth is going to happen next with Alex, as they feverishly flip pages. Please note, “whilst” in the process of devouring Alex’s adventure, readers may even forget to exhale as they experience the tightly woven mystery Prentice has proficiently designed unfold.

 

The secondary players are as three-dimensionally sketched as the protagonist and that is a mark of not only a noteworthy writer, but a remarkable reader who delivers the goods she likes to receive in her reading excursions.

Prentice’s Invitation to Murder is an invitation to one of the most delectable mystery jaunts you will encounter in your life! Pssst- remember to breathe!

 

Visit Prentice’s website.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

 

Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.

What I’m Reading…

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]

Private investigator Franki Amato has just turned thirty, and she feels anything but festive. For starters, she can’t have cake because she’s given up sweets, and one of her teeth is torturing her. To add insult to birthday injury, she has to investigate a surreal strip club homicide—with her sixtyish ex-stripper landlady. Then her Sicilian grandma crashes the New Orleans non-party and insists that she steal a lemon to land a husband. Unfortunately for Franki, the man she has in mind has his mind somewhere else, and their relationship seems to have soured. Adding to her troubles, she has to figure out what a missing amber pendant and a mysterious amaretto bottle have to do with the murder, not to mention why she’s being followed. When a second dancer goes down and a third is threatened, Franki turns to a weird witch to crack the case and cancel a curse before someone blows out her candles for good.

Stories You Should Not Live Without: Limoncello Yellow (Franki Amato #1) by Traci Andrighetti

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]For as long as I can remember, reading has always been among my ultimate passions. I remember when my mom and grandma surprised me with the monthly Snoopy book collection by the wonderfully gifted Charles Schultz. I was so excited when they gave me my first set of books. The package came with a “special gift” that filled my heart with joy – a set of blue Snoopy book ends. I was over the moon to have my very own library. Shortly after, the Golden Books and the Dr. Seuss monthly collections arrived at our door.

 

My grandma not only taught me how to read, my grandma encouraged me to read. In fact, both of my grandparents fortified my voracity for reading. I have always been surrounded by books, comics and magazines. Reading has always been one of my absolute joys. It became both my sanctuary and my saving grace to escape from the chaos of my childhood when my grandma died.

 

I love to be swept away by remarkable storytellers to the enchanted lands they create and dazzling writers who spill their innards out on the written page; for me, one of life’s most reflective delights is to open a book and learn from its stirring pages. When I lose myself in a story no matter what form of writing it is, comics, lyrics, memoirs, novels, poems, or scripts; I don’t want to be amazed, I don’t want to understand, and I don’t want to grow…I DEMAND it!

 

With this segment, I will share some of my favorites, by phenomenal writers who have inspired my soul, revitalized my spirit and touched my heart.

 

Synopsis: Francesca “Franki” Amato is a tough-talking rookie cop in Austin, Texas—until an unfortunate 911 call involving her boyfriend, Vince, and a German female wrestler convinces her once and for all that she just isn’t cut out for a life on the police force. So Franki makes the snap decision to move to New Orleans to work at her friend Veronica’s detective agency, Private Chicks, Inc. But Franki’s hopes for a more stable life are soon dashed when Private Chicks is hired by the prime suspect in a murder case to find out what really happened to a beautiful young boutique manager who was found strangled to death with a cheap yellow scarf. When she’s not investigating, Franki is hoping to seduce handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, but most of her time is spent dodging date offers from a string of “good Italian boys”—make that not-so-good aging Italian men—that her meddlesome Sicilian grandma has recruited as marriage candidates. As Mardi Gras approaches and the mystery of the murdered shop girl gets more complicated, Franki must decipher the odd ramblings of a Voodoo priestess to solve both the murder and the mystery of her own love life.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

eBook Review: Passion, Poison & Puppy Dogs by Elizabeth Ashby, Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00026]Synopsis: When Lizzie Jones, pet sitter extraordinaire, is asked to watch over her best friend’s two spoiled dogs at the posh gated community of Craggy Hill Estates, the last thing she expects is to wind up in the middle of a homicide. But that’s exactly what happens when she finds her best friend’s cheating husband and Danger Cove’s celebrity bodybuilder champ, Mr. Jupiter, floating face down in his hot tub. To make matters worse, the police aren’t looking any further than the wife for a suspect—isn’t it always the wife? Well, not in this case—at least Lizzie refuses to believe it.

Between dealing with Craggy Hill’s hot security guard, Tino Morales—who also just happens to be the man who broke Lizzie’s heart in high school, caring for her grieving friend, and watching three rambunctious dogs, Lizzie has her hands full. So she recruits her famous granddad, retired network field correspondent, Jimmy John Jones, to help her put two and two together to find the real killer. Was Mr. Jupiter murdered by one of his women on the side? A jealous, disgruntled employee? Or someone with a bitter and deep-seated hatred of the superstar? It’s up to Lizzie, Jimmy John, and Lizzie’s own pug, Vader, to crack the case before the killer claims another victim…this one much closer to Lizzie’s own heart!

 

My thoughts: If Jessica Fletcher were to ever pull up stakes and leave Cabot Cove due to a decline in body count, I know she would end up in Danger Cove where the bodies are plentiful!
DC JF DM Q

 

Move over Batman and Robin, Smith and Steffens are the coolest, sharpest and wittiest crime fighting duo to come along since you donned your tights! Ba-Bam!

MOBNR SNS

This series installment written by the extremely gifted Smith and Steffens team reveals just the precise meld of animal adoration, juicy storytelling goodness and a well-plotted mystery to hook readers to the Danger Cove series and the pair’s well-stocked backlist.

SNSAP

Passion, Poison & Puppy Dogs introduces an intriguing new sleuth with the energizing Lizzie Jones and endearing sidekicks guaranteed to charm readers of all genres and leave them famished for more.EAshby

The duo’s captivating Pet Sitter installment does an outstanding job at further layering the foundation in the Danger Cove community.

DangerCoveLighthouse

Passion, Poison & Puppy Dogs is littered with rollicking laughter, a dazzlingly romance with delectable banter, a cache of whimsical characters to showcase interminable and untapped opportunities while superbly illustrating just what makes a cozy a cozy.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Writers on Writing: Aimee Gilchrist

AG Writing space 2Aimee Gilchrist lives in New Mexico with her husband and six children. She writes mysteries for both teens and adults. She calls her lifetime of jumping from one job to another ‘experience’ for her books and not an inability to settle down. Aimee loves mysteries and a good, happy romance. She also loves to laugh. Sometimes she likes all of them together.

A fan of quirky movies and indie books, Aimee likes to be with her family, is socially inept, and fears strangers and small yippy dogs. She alternates between writing and being a mom and wife. She tries to do both at the same time but her kids don’t appreciate being served lunch and told, “This is the hot dog of your discontent.” So mostly she writes when everyone else is in bed.

Aimee also writes YA and Inspirational Romantic Comedies under the name Amber Gilchrist.

 DiggingUpBones_5in

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

Personally, I don’t really think classes and books on craft are helpful.  I know some people swear by them, but I think the only way to learn to be a good writer is to write, write, and write.  And when you’re not writing, be reading.  Those are the best teachers.

 

How has this helped you as a writer?

The twenty years I spent writing before I started writing for publication were something I did because I enjoyed it.  I didn’t ever consider publishing because the business side of writing wasn’t something I wanted to deal with.  I have half a dozen children, literally, and my time is limited.  I wanted to spend the time I had writing and I wanted to just enjoy it for what it was.  There came a point where I decided I had to take it more seriously if I was going to waste my time doing it.  So as soon as I started trying to get published I was successful very quickly, as I’d done my time for years before I got to the point I wanted to bother with the ‘hard part’ of query letters, synops, and social media chatting with readers.  New writers sometimes want to jump right in before they are ready.  Years of writing for the sake of writing was very helpful to me.

 

Mac or PC?

Definitely PC.  I’m very low tech haha.  The more confusing something is the more likely I am to avoid it.  PCs have remained fairly static over the years, so those are my best friend.  I always write on a desktop.  I hate laptops with a passion.  When we’re on a trip or something and I’m forced to use my husband’s laptop, there always comes a point where I will inevitably yell, “I hate laptops!”  I know they are becoming obsolete, but I don’t care.  The high tech masses can have my desktop when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

 AG Writing space 1

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

For reference, see above 😉  I’ve tried using Scrivener before, but I was stymied by my complete inability to use technology.  I should mention here that I’m not as old as I make myself sound.  I’m a Gen Xer, and technically technology should be in my blood, but it’s just not.  I hear there are amazing benefits to Scrivener, but the only part I could ever figure out was the cork board/note card features. Then I just decided to just put three cork boards on my wall and put note cards on them.  Problem solved.

 

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

I feel like I’m going to come across as primeval here, but again, I don’t do technology much.  I do take notes and plenty of them, but I do them in notebooks.  I have a wicker basket of notebooks on my desk. I take notes in them.  Then I invariably leave them somewhere I can’t remember and have to make the whole thing up again, but hey, there’s value in just taking notes, right?

 

Do you have any writing rituals?

Not a one.  As mentioned above, I REALLY have a lot of kids.  My bio says I only have three, but that was written many moons, and kids, ago.  If I had rituals I needed to follow to get work done, I swear I’d never get anything done.  My process is to sit down and write when I have a chance.  Loud, chaotic, crazy, I have to ignore all of it if I want to write.

 AG Writing space 3

Do you start by writing or researching first?

Actually, neither.  I start by spending serious time, sometimes weeks, thinking about the characters.  I’m really an intensely character driven writer, and to me there’s no sense in writing if I don’t know the characters very, very well.  So I spend a long time letting the characters talk to me before I even start writing.  Some are chattier than others, so this process is variable.  I don’t plot.  I just write.  But the reason I can do that is because the characters tell me their story.  I just write what they say as I go along.  Which can sometimes lead to me not knowing what will happen next, but it works for me.

I was writing a romantic suspense once, and the character was kicking in a door in an old theater.  He didn’t know what was behind the door, but, hey, neither did I.  That’s how much of a pantser I am.  Once the door was open, he and I got to figure it out at the same time 😉  If I do need to research, I stop what I’m doing in the middle of writing and research whatever that specific topic is.  Sometimes it can be annoying, but I rarely know what the topics will be beforehand.  Which is probably why it’s best that I don’t write historicals…

 

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

I always write at my desk, so the season doesn’t matter.  I am very attached, as mentioned above, to my desktop, and I do have a designated office space where I work every day.  It does have a window, but I’m a terrible hermity sort of person when I’m writing, so I never open it.  I don’t know if it’s winter or summer from where I’m sitting.
Interview first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.
Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco