#BlogTour #FrolicBlogTours @frolicblogtours / #QandAs : Cake & Corruption #CakeAndCorruption – S.C. Merritt

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

call-cake and corruption

Today I’m on the ‘Cake & Corruption’ blogtour, organised by Frolic Blog Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

SC Merritt - photo 1S.C. Merritt writes cozy mysteries featuring female sleuths, plots with a twist, lots of humor, and a little sprinkle of romance. Her Sweetwater Springs Southern Mystery Series is set in a small, Alabama town full of quirky characters, delicious restaurants, and lots of murder. Recipes are included in each book.
When not writing, she is traveling, watching classic movies and tv shows, or collecting flamingos.
She lives in Mississippi with her husband and miniature Schnauzer, Izzy and dreams of living in a tropical locale someday.

Website 
Facebook
Instagram
GoodReads
Amazon
BookBub

Synopsis :

Title: Cake and Corruption
Author’s name: S.C. Merritt
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Sweetwater Springs Southern Mystery series, Book 6
Publish date: March 4, 2021
Publisher: S.C. Merritt
Page count: 184

Cake and Corruption by SC Merritt - book coverIt’s wedding week and as mother of the bride, Glory wants her daughter’s wedding to be a day she’ll never forget. But when her address is found in the pocket of an unidentified body in a car crash, Glory’s biggest nightmare becomes reality. The past has followed her to Sweetwater Springs and it’s not going away without a fight. Can she solve the mystery and maybe even her husband’s two-year-old cold case murder in the process?

Purchase Link

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m a 59 year old wife and mother of two grown/married children. My husband and I live in Mississippi, but are moving soon to Georgia for his new job.
I work full-time as a church secretary but am looking forward to writing full-time someday.
I love to read and watch cozy mysteries, so on a whim, I decided to see if I could write my own story. I never, ever intended to publish anything. My mom and daughter read it and encouraged me to give it a shot. That was in January 2020. 6 books and 3 novellas later, I still have to pinch myself that people actually read what I write. I’m having the time of my life. My only regret is that I didn’t discover this passion sooner.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I wasn’t a huge reader growing up. I did read alot of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. I watched ALOT of mystery TV with my mom and grandmother. We never missed episodes of Perry Mason, Hawaii Five-O, Barnaby Jones, Mannix, Murder She Wrote, Rockford Files. The list goes on forever.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Absolutely! And I do it quite often. The writing community is so open and helpful, especially to new authors. I’ve written to many of my favorite authors to ask their opinions on different things, or their advice on a certain style. Jenna St. James, Hope Callaghan, Laina Turner, Melissa Bourbon, CeeCee James are all authors who have been amazingly helpful and encouraging to me as a newbie author.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Jessica Fletcher comes to mind. She has so many life experiences to pull from for her book ideas.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. I like to have quiet if possible. Right now, I don’t have an office. My husband is working remotely and he has the office. The other two bedrooms are taken up with other family. I dream of having my own office where I can have complete quiet and focus on the world I’m working in at the moment.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I read and watch alot of mystery, but sometimes I get it from online articles I come across. People who know I write mystery will share things with me that they think would be a great plot twist or murder motive. My books are set in a fictional (but very recognizable) version of my hometown in Alabama. Sometimes the characters are recognizable, but I try not to paint them in a bad light, or worse, make them a murderer. Although, I have had friends ask to be killed in one of my books!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a pantser, but I’m trying my best to learn to be a plotter. I know I could write so much faster if I plotted, but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Sometimes I don’t know who the killer will be until the last few chapters. If I change my mind, I have to go back and rewrite to make it work.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Writing’s the easy part. Even publishing is easy when you get the hang of formatting. The hard part is the marketing and social media. I took some bad advice at the beginning from someone who told me I had to be on every platform and I had to do this and I had to do that. No. You don’t. I stressed myself out so much over social media, website, advertising, that I almost quit.
The best thing you can do is start simple. Start with what you’re comfortable with. I knew facebook and Instagram, so that’s what I do. I have a website. I finally got a monthly newletter going out. When I had a little money in my account, I hired a personal assistant who does my newsletter and lines up other publicity things. She is a huge help. I know there are other things out there, but right now, it’s enough for me.

What are your futureplans as an author?
Write, write, write. They say the best marketing for your books is more books. Especially in the cozy genre. Readers are voracious. They love to binge read and as long as they want to read my books, I want to keep writing them.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

“Glory Harper.” Hunt glowered at me. “If I didn’t love you so much, I’d strangle you with my sash.”
I could see the red tinge running up the back of his neck and all the way to the tips of his ears. I struggled so hard to keep from grinning, my face hurt.
“It’s freezing in here! Where’s that breeze coming from?” Hunt tugged at the costume trying to cover more of his bare legs.
“You look great! So handsome and manly,” I cooed, batting my eyelashes and stifling a giggle.
Kelly walked over to Jake, raised up on her tiptoes and planted a kiss on his rosy cheek. “So do you, baby.”
“You two are going to owe us big time for this one.” Jake raised his arm, clanking his armguard against the sword hanging from his waist, and pointed at us.
“I think a Roman guard is a totally logical part for both of you to play since you have plenty of experience in law enforcement,” Kelly said.
“At least my uniform has pants!” Jake retorted.
“Those skirt things are a tad shorter than I expected, but at least they fit. I just hope you’re both wearing running shorts underneath.” Kelly knelt to lace up Jake’s sandals.
Hunt Walker was chief detective on the Sweetwater Springs police force. He and I had been dating for about a year. My brother, Jake Miller, was his right-hand man. Jake was right. Kelly and I were going to be paying for this for a long time to come.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, S.C. Merritt.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #FrolicBlogTours @frolicblogtours / #QandAs : Black Willows #BlackWillows – Jill Hand @jillhand1_gef @brwpublisher

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

schedule-black willows

Today I’m on the ‘Black Willows’ blogtour, organised by Frolic Blog Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

author-Jill HandJill Hand is a former crime reporter. She is a member of International Thriller Writers.
White Oaks, the first book in her series about the scheming, free-wheeling Trapnell siblings, won first place for thrillers in the 2019 PenCraft Awards. Her short stories have appeared in many anthologies.

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

cover-Black Willows by Jill HandThe terrible Trapnells, Georgia’s wealthiest and most eccentric family, are at it again. Laughter and suspense are in store as siblings Aimee, Trainor, and Marsh attempt to find their father’s lost will while battling the supernatural.

A mysterious cowboy is stalking the eccentric Trapnell siblings. Is he a supernatural entity or a hired killer? To complicate things, the will making them heirs to their billionaire father’s estate is missing and a relative has returned from a watery grave.
Last time, the Trapnells saved the world from destruction. This time they may not be able to save themselves. Black Willows is a darkly funny Southern-fried adventure, complete with Voodoo, arson, and alligators.
Book 2 in the Trapnell Thriller series is available now for pre-order.

Amazon

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I taught myself to read when I was three, thanks to my father, who brought home a new Little Golden Book every night. I loved those books: the Poky Little Puppy, the Curious Little Kitten, etc. After Mom read me the story at bedtime I’d give it ten minutes after she turned off the light before looking through the evening’s book under the covers with a flashlight. Eventually it got so I could read the words.
My parents were delighted that they didn’t have to read to me anymore. I was an only child, born late in their lives. Reading gave me something to do so they could relax. From reading I went to writing and illustrating my own books. The first one was called “Why I Need a Pony.” Sadly, it failed to convince my family to provide me with one.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Which books did I love as a child? All of them. I was an indiscriminate and voracious reader. The Dick and Jane books came as a serious disappointment. I’d read my father’s detective novels by then, thrilling stuff about world-weary private investigators getting mixed up with beautiful dames and bank heists and double crosses and gunshots ringing out. Dick and Jane just didn’t cut it for me after that. I liked the Trixie Belden books, and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I liked everything Burnett wrote. Later I got into H.P. Lovecraft and M.R. James and Algernon Blackwood.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
If I could pick a writer’s brain for advice it would be William Makepeace Thackeray. Vanity Fair is my absolute favorite book of all time. He created wonderful characters who lived during the Napoleonic Wars while poking fun at the social conventions of the time. Becky Sharp is one of the inspirations for my scheming heroine Aimee Trapnell.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would love to have tea with Marsh Trapnell. He’s a witty, Harvard-educated international arms dealer with a social conscience. He’d be great company. Plus, he always has a gun or two on his person at all times, in case trouble erupts.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
My habits are to write every day, for as long as I can.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My ideas come from just bout anyplace. I’ve got a crazy imagination.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a pantser. I don’t make outlines. I go with the flow. I think of the next thing that’s going to happen while I’m vacuuming or dusting or cooking.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I’d tell novice writes to read as much of the good stuff as possible. Then try and figure out what makes it good. Agatha Christie talked about adding “plumbs” to her writing; little surprises that made readers want to keep on reading. Shirley Jackson talked about “garlic” in her work, by which she meant an unexpected turn of phrase. Try and do that while finding your own voice.

What are your futureplans as an author?
My future plans are to write more about the Trapnells and her friends and adversaries. They never fail to amuse me. I hope they have the same effect on my readers.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Here’s a teaser from Black Willows, coming from Black Rose Writing on Oct. 22, 2020, available now for preorder:

It began to rain harder. As they rounded a curve in the road a figure sprang out from among the trees and darted directly in front of them. Trainor slammed on the brakes. The big car skidded, its tires screeching. The Rolls crashed into a ditch filled with weeks and muddy water. There was a loud thud as it hit the bottom of the ditch. The engine stalled.
Through the passenger side windows they could see the figure turn and grin at them. It was the tulpa.
“Damn it!” said Trainor cranking the ignition.
“Don’t! You’ll flood it,” said Karen.
Too late. The ignition made a clicking sound and then silence. The engine wouldn’t turn over.
“Double-damn it! We’re stuck in this ditch,” said Trainor. He pounded on the steering wheel in frustration.
Something moved through the weeds, something long and green, with knobby skin. “Oh, look,” said Marsh. “There’s an alligator. It must live in this ditch.”
The alligator wasn’t large, as alligators go – about four feet long – but it didn’t seem like a good idea to get out of the car. It was raining hard. The Trapnells sat there watching the alligator as it watched them.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Jill Hand.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

 

#BlogTour #FrolicBlogTours @frolicblogtours / #QandAs : Harlem Rhapsody #HarlemRhapsody #TheVolunteersSeries – John Nuckel @JohnNuckel

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

HarlemRhapsody-tour-schedule

Today I’m on the ‘Harlem Rhapsody’ blogtour, organised by Frolic Blog Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

John-Nuckel-lgJohn Nuckel grew up in the welfare apartments of a middle-class town. “I’ll meet you there,” he’d always say to his friends. Couldn’t have them seeing the two-bedroom apartment in which he lived with four siblings and his mom.
They didn’t have much food, the furniture was charity, the TV a small black-and-white. He went to bed hungry many nights. What they did have was a mother with a creative spirit. They had music—her record collection was bigger than all of theirs combined. And they had books. A new book every two weeks. John devoured them.
The ingredients to develop “John the author” were tossed in the pot at an early age. The old-school music—Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw. Reading “grown-up” books before he was ten—Dickens, Swift, Hemingway, Chandler, and too many more to list. He’d finish a novel then go hop the fence to the schoolyard to see what his buddies were up to, back behind the handball courts.
The Rector series was John’s first trilogy and included The Vig, Grit and Blind Trust. John is currently working on his latest series, The Volunteers, which started with Drive and continues with his latest novel, Harlem Rhapsody.
John currently lives in New York City.

Website
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

Synopsis :

HarlemRhapsody-cover-flatIn the days of prohibition and the Harlem Renaissance, Owney Madden, gangster and Cotton Club owner, has a plan to defeat the tyranny of Tammany Hall.
He’ll whack mob kingpin Arnold Rothstein.
Harlem Rhapsody follows this turbulent era (1927-1937), from Duke Ellington’s debut at the Cotton Club, to the unsolved murder of Rothstein, and the machinations of a secret organization, the Volunteers.
Based on true events and real people (The Belle of Broadway; Titanic Thompson; Lucky Luciano) Harlem Rhapsody is the second book in The Volunteer series about Teddy Roosevelt’s band of men who, with financial assistance from J.P. Morgan and John Rockefeller, fight to take down corruption and Tammany Hall.

Purchase links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Indiebound US

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve worked in the financial industry for my entire career. I came to writing late in life and it has taken me over. I’ve always been an avid reader and I was the go-to-guy to write a business proposal or opening statement. I could turn a phrase. I finally sat down and wrote a book. It took five years and it receievd some acclaim so there was no turning back.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I was always encouraged by my mother to read as much as possible. We didn’t have much so books were an inexpensive escape. I read everything. As a young kid I was reading Dickens and Swift. They were passed down by my mother. As I got older I would read every thriller I could get my hands on. I would go through two or three a month.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
F. Scott Fitzgerald. I would ask him how he used the same words as I but made them sound so magical. How can he write a paragrah about a simple ordinary thing and make me weep reading it?

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would choose Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove. It would be a glass whiskey, not a cup of tea.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I usually think about what I want to write for a week or so, start writing feverishly, then change just about everything I thought about.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No worries. I’ve been concentrating on historical fiction lately. Not that there isn’t anything to fear about the past.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I write a formal outline than change most of it as I go along. I’m a big, “hey, that would be cool” type of writer.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Keep writing. Don’t pay to be published.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m going to continue with the historical fiction series I’m working on now, The Volunteers. I’m well into the next one. Nazi spies in NYC before WW2!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Harlem Rhapsody is the second book in the Volunteers series. It takes place during the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance. The most vibrant, creative and violent time in the history of New York. There are gangsters, showgirls and great music. What’s not to like?

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, John Nuckel.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

 

 

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!