Cold Weather and March/April Appearances

Baby TomatoesHere it is spring already.  It is spring, right?  Even in South Texas we’re getting the arctic blast that is wreaking havoc everywhere else.  I have about 8 tiny tomato plants sitting in my kitchen window waiting to get planted.  I’m hoping this is our last cold spell, because my little window garden is ready to go in the ground!  I know that by summertime I’ll be dreaming of these chilly days and trying to remember what it felt like to wear a sweater.  Right now, though, there’s chili on the stove and lots of writing to do!

Good news, I’m finishing up the first book in my Piney Woods series.  I have a whole new set of characters (that I’m already crazy about) and lots of surprises in this book.   I’m not sure about the status of this one- if I’ll go Indie or try traditional.  It’s in the “what if column” for right now.

Here are some exciting places I’m going to be at in the next month or so!

I will be doing an author visit at Freeman Memorial Library in Houston, Texas on March 9.

I will be appearing at Katy Budget Books in Katy, Texas on April 12 from 2-4 for the Dear Texas Event.

A Dash of Murder @ 99 Cents!

Pecan Bayou Series #1

Pecan Bayou Series #1

One thing I often find is that when people read the first book in my Pecan Bayou Series, A Dash of Murder, they tend to want to read more of Betsy and Leo and all the crazy characters in Pecan Bayou.  So the good news is, if you haven’t read the first book, it is now available for 99 Cents on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and more.   Could you go on a ghost hunt in an abandoned hospital…at night?  I’ll admit it.  The closest I would get to that is in my own head!  The joy of writing.

From Bunnie’s Review-

I love reading a good mystery and this one did not let me down. The author will take readers on a trail with ghost, murder and a little romance. This book is a short fast read. Yet, the author created a book that will keep readers interested until the end. I did not figure out the villain until it was revealed in the book. Okay no more about that I do not want to write any spoilers.

 

Michele Lynn Siegfried visits with her new book Community Affairs + A Giveaway!

Seigfried photo Community AffairsOur visiting author this month is Michele Lynn Siegfried with her newest book Community Affairs.  This is the second book I’ve read in the series and I have to say they just keep getting better.  What I like about Michele’s writing is definitely the pacing.  You can’t put it down.  The characters are engaging and funny and the scene with the flaming dog poop on the porch?  Is this a Jersey thing?  That is a ONE BAD NEIGHBOR.

Michele was kind enough to answer some questions about her writing and after you read that don’t forget to scroll down and find the prize guy!  Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card, a signed copy of Community Affairs, and an ebook copy!

Here’s Michele…..

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. 

Hi Teresa!  Thanks for hosting me on your blog today! 

I guess I’ll start with telling you about my books! I have written three mystery novels for adults and seven children’s picture books. The mystery novels are all part of the Jersey Shore Mystery Series and include Red Tape, Tax Cut and Community Affairs (in that order).  The children’s books I write are inspired by my toddler, who just turned three this month. I was an art minor in college, so I love to illustrate as well as write.  Writing and illustrating for me are an escape from reality! I find both to be relaxing and fun.  

Other than being a mom, I also work full-time in a government job. I was born and raised in New Jersey, and though I travel a lot, I’ve never lived elsewhere. I come from a very large Italian family and I have a beautiful adopted English Setter puppy too!  

 What inspired the idea behind your book?  Or should I ask, what are your neighbors really like? 

I knew I wanted to write a third book in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series, and I just loved Bonnie’s character so much that I wanted to give her a leading role. Yes, I have had some crazy neighbors—not quite with the antics Lyla Spratt pulled in Community Affairs! I also get inspiration from current events or even not so current ones, like the anthrax scare at a major post office in the town where I grew up. 

Who is your favorite character to create scenes for in the book?

Boy, it is hard to pick just one.  Bonnie is fun to write because she can be so crazy. Tex’s sarcasm is a lot of fun as well. Here is one of their exchanges: 

 I dialed Tex’s cell phone. I wasn’t sure if he’d be at work on a Saturday. He answered on the second ring.  

“Speak to me.” 

“That’s a rude way to answer your phone.” 

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the whore who lives next door.” 

“And I’m talking to the prick who was hit with the Entenmann’s stick.” 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” 

“It means you’re cruel and overweight. It also means you’re not too bright, being that I had to explain it to you.” 

“Hey. That wasn’t nice.” 

“And I didn’t appreciate you calling me a whore.” 

“Fine. Truce?” 

“Truce.” 

“So, let me guess. You are calling about your neighbor.” 

“Yes, but I’m not complaining. I called to tell you my neighbor sent the envelope with the powder in it to my work.” 

“Yes, dear. I’m already aware.” 

“Oh. How did you know? Cop code? You guys are worse than little old ladies with the way you gossip.” 

“No, Ms. Know-It-All. I got a call from Homeland Security.” 

 

 How can readers find your books and what other books are in this series? 

 Readers can find my books on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and many other retailers. They can also find out more information about each on my website www.michelelynnseigfried.com 

 

The books in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series are: 

Red Tape 

Tax Cut 

Community Affairs 

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Community Affairs Prizes

$50 Amazon gift card

An autographed copy of Community Affairs

A Kindle copy of Community Affairs

 

My Review of Community Affairs- 5 Stars

Michele Lynn Siegfried does it again with her city clerk, Bonnie Fattori who sometimes can’t keep her mouth shut or her sense of flirtation down to a respectable level.  This time Bonnie encounters a crazy new neighbor with a husband who just loves to flirt.  Miss Siegfried peppers the story with some wonderful descriptions that had me laughing out loud like “he lit up like a teenager with a fistful of ones at a nudie bar.”   This is a fun, fast-paced mystery to read with a plot twist you won’t see coming.   Just excellent!

Murder for a Rainy Day is Now Available on Nook

To all of my Nook readers- you can now pick up a copy of the sixth book in the Pecan Bayou Series- Murder for a Rainy Day.

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Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, local helpful hints columnist for the Pecan Bayou Gazette, is trying keep her mind off of being nine months pregnant in the blistering Texas summer heat. Troubled by haunting dreams, she pursues the odd animal thefts in a case that soon turns into murder. As Betsy closes in on the killer, a hurricane is headed straight for the Gulf Coast sending spin-off storms and tornadoes to the little town of Pecan Bayou. “Hunker down” with Betsy and the lovable characters of Pecan Bayou in the latest Betsy Livingston mystery from cozy author Teresa Trent. Recipes and helpful hints included.

Order on Nook

Devil in the Deadline Author Visit and Giveaway

great escape tour banner large devil in the deadline640
I’m so excited my visiting author this month is LynDee Walker with her new book Devil in the Deadline.  She creates a mystery from the perspective of an investigative reporter which really gets her into some great character revelations.   LynDee took some time to answer some questions and even shared a recipe.  My kind of writer!!

Of course there is a Giveaway!  Scroll down to find the Prize Guy for all this loot: A tote bag with a Richmond Telegraph t-shirt, an electronic copy of Front Page Fatality, a signed Hardcover copy of Heartache Motel, a $10 amazon gift card, and assorted Headlines in High Heels swag.

1. You came to writing novels as a journalist. How has that influenced your writing fiction?

Dialogue. That’s the place I see the most impact of my years reporting. I spent so many years

really listening to different people—from different backgrounds and cultures—speak. I hear the

characters talk in my head and it comes across as pretty true-to-life.

2. What inspired the idea behind your book?

This is the first book I’ve written where the central mystery was based loosely on a story I

covered as a working reporter. I’ve always wanted to fictionalize that world (I’ll let you guess

which parts are based on reality and which are totally made up). When my husband came in from

a run along the James last year saying “I know where your next body is going to turn up,” and we

discovered the old power plant, everything came together to put the televangelism story in this

book. It was such fun to send Nichelle to do things I didn’t get to.

3. Who is your favorite character to create scenes for in the book?

That’s a tough one! I love most of the characters in Nichelle’s world, and for different reasons.

They’re all fun people to write about. But I think my favorite is probably Grant Parker, the sports

columnist at the newspaper and a good friend of Nichelle’s. He’s an almost-professional pitcher

whose career ended before it really began because of a torn rotator cuff, and a local hero. Parker

is smart and funny and has an unshakable confidence that’s so much a part of who he is—and

really fun to write about.

Devil in the Deadline CoverHere’s a fun scene where he’s helping Nichelle dig up information in BURIED LEADS:

Feeling suddenly more dated than a pair of battered Doc Martens, I smiled and shook

my head, waiting for them to pass before I charged after Parker. By the time I caught

up to him, he’d been surrounded by a knot of college kids who were hanging on his

every word as he told a story about digging his team out of a ninth-inning, three-run

deficit with three three-and-outs in a row followed by a grand slam.

I laid two fingers on his elbow and he slid his eyes to me. He didn’t miss a beat in his

tale as he nodded subtly to a tall, dark-haired kid across the circle from him.

They erupted into spontaneous applause when he recounted crossing home plate and

he laughed.

“It was fun,” he said. “I played because I loved the game. Stick with that, and you’ll

never be unhappy.”

He kept his eyes on the dark-haired kid as he spoke, and the boy suddenly became very

interested in his shoes.

Bingo.

4. Living in Texas and being a burrito lover myself-what is your favorite kind?

I love just about any incarnation of Tex-Mex, and it’s hard to come by in Richmond. My go-to for a

craving is a burrito bowl I can whip up for lunch any day, thanks to single serve rice cups.

1 Single serving cup of mulitigrain or brown rice

1/2 lime

1/2 tsp dried cilantro

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 cup black beans, drained

diced tomato

1/4 cup sweet corn kernels, drained

2 tbsp sour cream

2 tbsp grated cheese

salsa

Remove lid and cover from rice cup, and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Microwave according to

package directions. Set aside.

Stir cumin into black beans and microwave until warm, usually about 30-35 seconds.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. Makes one serving.

*you can easily add leftover taco or fajita meat to this dish with no modifications.

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It’s me the PRIZE GUY!  Click on Me to Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

 

 

5. How can readers find your books, and are there more coming in this series?

The books are available wherever books are sold—hardcover, trade paperback, and all ebook

formats.

This series is currently contracted with Henery Press through book six. Number five, COVER SHOT,

is slated for release in October.

My Review: 5 Stars

Holy Manolos!  How can you not love a book with a phrase like that?  Nichelle Clark is a reporter who has an outstanding ability to get people to trust her, whether it’s the suspect, the police or the killer.  In this fourth installment of the Headlines in High Heels Series, Nichelle or “Nicey” uses just that talent to get details on a murder from a group of homeless kids.  From there she is lead to a creepy megachurch pulling down loads of cash and finds her reporting is being scooped by a … blogger. I enjoyed LynDee Walker’s cast of characters including a sexy ATF guy and an uber sexy mob guy.  This book was funny and the pace of the mystery was terrific!

Building a New World in a Cozy Mystery

World Building Happy 2015!  I’ve been on the quiet side for the last month, but that’s actually a good thing.  I’m hard at work on my next book, which will be the first in my Piney Woods Series.  When starting a series, not only am I creating new characters, but I’m building a world for them to live, love, grow and of course, murder each other in.  When I finished with Pecan Bayou, I had folders full of pictures of almost every location in the six books, along with characters and even objects.

When creating new characters I love to go to Internet Movie Database and “cast” my character.  (I figure whenever Lifetime or Hallmark calls me to tell me they want to make one of my books into a movie, I have my casting decisions made, right?).  I may look up someone I remember from a movie or tv show, or I may toss the dice and go through the people on the “Born Today” page.  I need to see the person to get into my character’s head, movements, and even fashion sense, whatever.  I also need to see the setting.  This can be a geographical location or something small like a diner.  I can’t drive to every place I write about, but with the internet and  Google Earth, I can go for a little virtual drive.  All of this may sound like I’m playing, and to tell the truth, I’m have fun doing it, but it does lead to the world building needed to write a mystery.

I also keep tabs on crime stories around the world.  Today, I found an article about a woman who got drunk on Vanilla and received a DUI, or would it be DUIV?  What a great idea for one of my homey characters.  That goes in the “Wacky People” file.

Animal rustling is alive and well in the sleepy little town of Pecan Bayou, Texas--but with a particularly peculiar spin. Only the fake livestock seem to be at risk. First, cowboy legend Charlie Loper's  larger-than-life fiberglass horse disappears from the town square, but before the police can get any solid leads, the cow in front of the local steak house gets pinched.   Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, local helpful hints columnist for the Pecan Bayou Gazette, is trying keep her mind off of being nine months pregnant in the blistering Texas summer heat. Troubled by haunting dreams, she pursues the odd animal thefts in a case that soon turns into murder. As Betsy closes in on the killer, a hurricane is headed straight for the Gulf Coast sending spin-off storms and tornadoes to the little town of Pecan Bayou. "Hunker down" with Betsy and the lovable characters of Pecan Bayou in the latest Betsy Livingston mystery from cozy author Teresa Trent. Recipes and helpful hints included.

My Latest Book: #6 in the Pecan Bayou Series/Murder for a Rainy Day available on Amazon. Good News- Murder for a Rainy Day will be available on Nook, Sony, Apple and Smashwords in February.  Reviews are always welcomed and appreciated!

Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, local helpful hints columnist for the Pecan Bayou Gazette, is trying keep her mind off of being nine months pregnant in the blistering Texas summer heat. Troubled by haunting dreams, she pursues the odd animal thefts in a case that soon turns into murder. As Betsy closes in on the killer, a hurricane is headed straight for the Gulf Coast sending spin-off storms and tornadoes to the little town of Pecan Bayou. 

5 Days Left on Murder for a Rainy Day Goodreads Giveaway

I have one more giveaway up my sleeve for Christmas.  If you haven’t entered my Goodreads giveaway for a signed paperback copy of Murder for a Rainy Day-Here’s your chance!  There are only five days left before the drawing, so get your name in now.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Murder for a Rainy Day by Teresa Trent

Murder for a Rainy Day

by Teresa Trent

Giveaway ends December 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

We also have a winner of my $25 gift card from Amazon!  Congratulations Shihori.  Check your email for a little extra Amazon Santa Cash.