BLOG TOUR – Murder in the Wine Country

Murder in the Wine Country (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
by Janet Finsilver

About Murder in the Wine Country

Murder in the Wine Country (A Kelly Jackson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (April 28, 2020)
Paperback: 178 pages
ISBN-10: 1516104277
ISBN-13: 978-1516104277

Weeding out killers wasn’t part of the job description . . .

Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is excited to participate in an event to raise awareness for the plight of struggling veterans in their Northern California coastal community. Local wineries are sponsoring tastings, and to prepare for a culinary competition, professional chefs will forage for wild edible greens. Kelly plans to come along, despite a warning to beware of poachers, who have been stealing the highly valued succulent Dudleya farinosa. The senior sleuths who call themselves the Silver Sentinels join forces with environmental activists known as the Succulent Saviors to thwart the poaching operation. When a consultant for the sale of a local winery is murdered, the poachers are suspected—but so is a wine merchant, Kelly’s friend Phil. As Kelly and the Silver Sentinels attempt to root out the real killer, what she digs up might just put her permanently underground . . .


Interview with the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?

I’ve loved to read since I was a child. I started with animal books and, as I got older, began to read mysteries. I wondered if I could write one. I attended conferences to learn more about the process. One day a friend of mine commented that I’d been talking about writing a mystery for a while, and she said, “Why don’t you just do it?” So I did.


What genres do you write in?

I write what are called cozies. I prefer to call them safe whodunits. There is no graphic violence so you don’t have to be concerned about turning the page and finding yourself in a gruesome scene you’d rather not have in your head. The main characters will return. They might get hurt a bit, but they won’t be killed.  It’s okay to get attached to them!


What drew you to writing these specific genres?

Cozies are what I like to read. I want a mystery to figure out, with interesting characters, and an attractive setting.


How did you break into the field?

I broke into the field the traditional way by learning how to query agents and finding ones who represent the type of books I write. I was fortunate to have been accepted by an agent who is very familiar with my genre. She liked my first book, Murder at Redwood Cove, and we’re at book six now, Murder in the Wine Country, which came out April 28, 2020.


What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

There are several things I’d like people to take away. I’d like them to have a feeling of enjoyment as a result of reading what they felt was an engaging, well-written mystery that kept them guessing. My series has a crime-solving group of senior citizens, the Silver Sentinels, who help keep their community safe. Readers can take away a feeling of satisfaction from seeing how people help each other. I would also like folks to learn about how dogs contribute to the betterment of people’s lives. My books have dogs with special training. Most of them are service dogs in areas like seizure alert and hearing assistance. One type of dog is featured in each book.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?

I love getting into the story and watching it evolve and connecting with my characters.


What do you find most challenging about writing?

Carving out the time. There is always a “to do” list waiting for me!


What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

Do it because you love to write.


What type of books do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy reading a good mystery with no graphic violence.


Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

I love animals and am currently training my Rhodesian Ridgeback in agility. I went to Africa with my husband in 2017. I had such a great time I went back by myself in 2019. This was challenging because I had to get to Zambia by myself! I’ve had the wonderful experience of touching whales over the side of a small boat in the San Ignacio Lagoon.


What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

I have an author Facebook page. People can make comments there as well as message me. I also have a website with a contact link.

About the Author

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Five books followed with her most recent release on April 28, 2020, of book six, MURDER IN THE WINE COUNTRY.

Janet Finsilver and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys cooking, and a recent attempt to reduce the number of cookbooks in the cupboard wasn’t very successful. She’s an avid reader—of course!

Please feel free to visit and/or contact me on my author Facebook page and my website.

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May 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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BLOG TOUR – Nearly Departed

Nearly Departed (An Eve Appel Mystery)
by Lesley A. Diehl

About Nearly Departed

Nearly Departed (An Eve Appel Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (January 14, 2020)
Print Length: 180 pages
Digital ASIN: B083G9GDJY

Tired of sitting surveillance on insurance fraud, apprentice PI Eve Apple Egret gets her first big case, one where the outcome is important and personal. Eve’s best friend Madeleine has few relatives, so her Uncle Shamus is special, but someone is determined to kill him and has tried several times. Eve is certain she can identify who is after him, but this time she may have taken on more than even our self-confident Eve can handle. Coping with a growing toddler and a teenager, devoting time to the consignment shop and finding someone who can go undercover in a sexual harassment case all vie for Eve’s attention. Eve knows she cannot fail Madeleine. This is more than her favorite uncle’s life. His death would mean devastating loss for Madeleine and call into question Eve’s commitment as a friend and her ability as a PI.


Interview with the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?

I was an only child, raised on a farm in Illinois, so I had few opportunities until I entered school to socialize with other kids my age. I think this made me a shy child, but one with a curious mind. I liked to create fantasies as I played alone in the hayloft or in the fields. I began to write down some of these “tales” when I went into junior high. I even created operas which I sang to myself in a made-up language. In high school my English teacher encouraged creative writing and liked my stories. I was also lucky in college to have a short story published in the college magazine. Unfortunately, creative writing got lost in graduate school and in my career as I moved into nonfiction work. So, retirement led me back to writing stories and in my first year of retirement I began a novel length mystery. That first draft was really awful, but I liked the characters and the story, so I revised it, and finally got it published.


What genres do you write in?

I write humorous cozy mysteries with sassy protagonists. I’ve also published several short stories (cozies also). As I wrote more and more, I found I couldn’t hold back on the humor, so I like to give my readers lots of laughs as well as a tight plot and relatable characters. My protagonists like me are country gals.


What drew you to writing these specific genres?

Mysteries are always what I loved to read from Nancy Drew to Cherry Ames to Agatha Christie. I like the small-town setting in cozies where everyone knows everyone, but where keeping secrets can result in murder.


How did you break into the field?

I first won the MWA Florida Chapter short story contest one year. I felt that acknowledged me as a writer. Around the same time, I sent manuscripts to several small publishers. I was accepted by two of them so that within a year I had two novels in print. Unlike many authors, I don’t have enough rejections to paper my walls., so I was either very lucky or perhaps I chose the right publishers to contact.


What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

My stories are always about family—the family you come from or the one you create. Like all families, there is both truth and lies in the relationships in the family circle. Lies and secrets even those kept for decades always come back when we least expect them to be revealed as falsehoods. The struggle of family members to maintain the lie always results in pain, sometimes in murder, but always results in some profound change in my characters’ lives.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?

What else can one do with an active fantasy life other than roll it into a story? As an introvert who spent much of my younger years entertaining myself, I still find concocting a story almost as exciting as reading one some else has created.


What do you find most challenging about writing?

Most of my books are series. Keeping the ideas fresh and entertaining and making certain my protagonist remains herself throughout the series but develops and grows is always in the back of my mind.


What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

The writing part of being an author is the easy part. Getting published and then getting your books in the hands of readers is difficult. Learning about the profession by joining organizations such as Sisters in Crime, the Guppies Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America and local writing and critique groups is the most important step you can take. Attending writers’ conferences also helps to hone your craft. Don’t write in a vacuum; make contact with other writers.


What type of books do you enjoy reading?

If it’s a mystery, I’ll read it. I like to binge read mystery series. I’m reading Sue Henry’s Alaska series now. Not only are her characters well drawn and interesting, the plots are enticing and her descriptions wonderful. I feel like I’ve been traveling Alaska while in isolation in my house.


Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

I’m still a country gal at heart. I love taking drives in the country to look at the farms. I especially love the cows, and I never miss our county fair so I can walk through the animal barns. There is nothing like the smell of hay, straw and that warm, funky odor of a horse.


What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

Go to my website, All the information on my books and buy links are there as well as background on why I write and why I love it.


About the Author

Cows, Lesley learned as a child growing up on a farm, have a twisted sense of humor. They chased her when she went to the field to herd them in for milking, and one ate the lovely red mitten her grandmother knitted for her. Determining that agriculture wasn’t her career path, she took a job as a stripper, book cover stripper for a publishing company, that is. Now after many years as a college professor and university administrator, she has returned to the world of books and uses her country roots and her training to concoct stories designed to make people laugh in the face of murder. “A good chuckle,” says Lesley,” keeps us emotionally well-oiled long into our old age.”

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BLOG TOUR – Buried in My Past


By Eva Mackenzie
Domestic Romantic Suspense

She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After
surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to
care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by
terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother
disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found
wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one
person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the
surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more
she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?

“Hello, my name is Taylor, and I’m a sex addict.” He looked around the room at a few familiar faces. He’d never told his story to them, but he always liked to introduce himself to the group. Of course, Taylor wasn’t his real name. And perhaps his burden was not exactly sex addiction, but it was in that vein.
“Hello, Taylor.” The group welcomed him.
He quickly took his seat and cast his eyes to the ground.
There was a big group tonight at Sex Addicts Anonymous. The dusty space occupied the third floor of the public library, rented to them every Tuesday night.
Marcie, or so she claimed to be, stood up and moved to the front of the group.
She always liked to share all the gory details of her sex addiction. Taylor secretly wondered if she was getting off telling the group about her promiscuity. Too willing, if you asked him.
He glanced around at the men and women captivated by Marcie’s passionate relapse. He imagined some were fathers and mothers. Some were possibly divorced or in open relationships. Heterosexuals, homosexuals, and anything in between. All looked like average people.
Marcie was maybe a four on a scale of one to ten, so he barely raised his head as she continued.
This was his fifteenth meeting, and every time he walked through those doors, he wondered what he was doing here. Of course, he had a problem, but he wasn’t interested in fixing it. Maybe problem wasn’t the proper classification.
Was his issue a lack of moral character? If so, who was the judge? Society? That was a joke. No one on this earth was free from lust.
All of these people were suffering. Not him. He lived the dream. But on most Tuesday nights he found the time to drive two and half hours to this meeting. He didn’t ask himself why—he knew why—and the anticipation offered a giddy sensation that nudged his crotch. He was a bastard, for sure;
There was no one in this room he was interested in. Hell, who wanted cheap thrills. He was looking for a ten.
He wasn’t a handsome man, although he wasn’t ugly either. Some might say his nose was a bit too sharp or his hair too thin. His features weren’t coveted, and he wasn’t charming or even funny. But he only had sex with women who were nines, at minimum; it was sort of a rule he had.
The group around him broke into applause as Marcie took her seat. She didn’t give him a come-hither glance. Her eyes were glued to the other man she sat next to. As he stood up to introduce himself, Marcie rested a friendly hand on his arm—encouragement. Right. 
He would be Marcie’s next relapse.
It was too easy. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
Not him—he wanted a real lay.
He stood and removed a cigarette from his coat pocket and headed for the door, his movement swift. He had forgotten the time.
Once out on the street, he was greeted by a blast of hot air. The pavement had soaked up the sun and continued to heat the city at night. He lit his smoke and waited while keeping his eyes on the steady stream of people moving down the sidewalk. The working crowd hustled along in and out of Virginia’s metro station in Arlington.
A woman in her early thirties hustled past him. Her Clinique perfume teased his nose as he closed the space quietly. Her feet slid into two-inch heels revealing that sexy muscle on the sides of her calves. She wore a business suit fitting her well in all the right places. Her smooth, pale skin flashed in the intermittent streetlights. She was a ten.
He dropped his smoke, not missing a step as she chose her watering hole.
A pub for working adults and cliques. High-end place. He knew before she even went inside that she would take a seat at the bar.
She graciously held the door for him without a backward glance.
Inside he took a seat at a table with a full view of the restaurant; Virginia didn’t have bars—they had places that serve fried food to patrons consuming large amounts of alcohol. The place was packed, noise assaulting his senses. Just the way he liked it. Much of the same crowd was here last week. He watched Ten take her seat, order her drink, and immediately pull out her cell phone.
“What can I get you?” a waitress asked.
“Gin and tonic and a margarita for my girlfriend.” He patted the table beside him as he nodded to the bathroom. She scurried off without another word.
He watched as a large group of men entered the bar. One of them spotted Ten and boldly joined her.
“Fifteen seventy,” the waitress said as she placed the two drinks in front of him a few minutes later. Opening his wallet, he counted out eighteen dollars and handed the money to her. He imagined the police asking her a list of questions. “What did he look like? How tall was he? Did he have any tattoos?” She would remember none of these things, the tip not large enough or small enough to trigger any memories.
He sipped his drink and watched.
He knew his number ten would be stood up this evening. Her profile picture online, to his delight, was an accurate depiction. In the dim bar light, her skin was as creamy and flawless as he recalled. She scanned her phone once again, her mannerisms jerky. She was looking for a man that didn’t exist. At least he didn’t live in Arlington, Virginia.
Best to travel in groups. There are a lot of assholes out there, Julie.
He pulled a small bottle from his pocket. A clear liquid inside promised adventure as he poured it into his second drink. Number ten was still at the bar, an unhappy pout dressing her full lips. The bold admirer continued a conversation with her. Perfect.
He slunk to the bar and pulled up next to her, careful not to gain her attention yet as she faced away from him. Bodies pressed in all directions. Her margarita sat barely touched in front of her.
“Can I get another gin and tonic?” He held up his empty glass. He scanned faces quickly but discreetly.
Placing his margarita next to hers, he gently tapped her on the shoulder as the bartender turned for his refill.
“This is mine, right?” he asked, pointing to her drink. She looked dazed for a second as she glanced at the two glasses. She nodded absently as he took her drink and left his cocktail instead. After paying the bartender, he went back to his table.
He watched as she drank the whole glass. Shadows danced over his face as he looked at his watch; it had been twenty minutes. Almost time.
Her movements were becoming loose as she swayed gently on the stool. Her admirer smiled at her dolefully as she seemed to lose her inhibition. Her current company mouthed, “I’ll be right back,” and took off toward the restroom. Time to make his move.
“There you are!” he said as he approached her. She looked over at him, glassy warm brown eyes accompanying a silky smile. He didn’t have much time.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Traffic was a mess.” He put his arm around her and kissed her softly on the lips. She didn’t object.
“Let’s go, sweetheart.” He was already moving toward the door.
No, I don’t have a problem. He looked down at his new girl. None at all.

Interview with the Author

What Initially got you interested in writing? Back in middle school a friend and I would write about what we thought our lives would be like when we grew up. I had lots of friends and we lived in a big house. That kicked it off for me. Though I have had a day job since I was a teen, I have always had writing in the back of my mind.


What genres do you write in?  My current release is a domestic/romantic suspense. It’s one of my favorite genres to read as well. I have a psychological thriller releasing in August 2020.


What drew you to writing these specific genres? It’s what I enjoy reading. I can be immersed in a world for six months as I draft and revise. I love writing/reading stories that are emotional, sexy, intriguing and a little shocking.


How did you break into the field? I went to college for an unrelated career that I have been in since 2007. After deciding I really wanted to write I took another 7 years to finish my first book. I hired some great people to work with; cover designers, editors and formatters and decided to go the indie route. It’s been great so far.


What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? I want to make readers feel emotions. All different kinds; happy, sad, sexy, scared. I didn’t realize the power of emotion in my writing until later in my life. That is my main goal. I used to think the ultimate plot twist, or perfect characterization was my aim, but that left me scattered a bit. Now I ask myself if the scenes are causing people to emotionally connect with my characters and become invested.


What do you find most rewarding about writing? Reading a review or e-mail from a reader telling me how much they enjoyed my book. This is huge for me. If someone tells me they couldn’t put it down—that’s what I want.


What do you find most challenging about writing? Because I use intricate plots and several points of view, its hard work to make them all work together seamlessly. It requires a lot of editing and work after the story is initially written.


What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field? Continue to study craft. Whether it’s plotting, characterization or revising, learn as much as you can. With that comes the added benefit of reading a lot of books in your genre and maybe other genres. Its invaluable to learn how great writers are doing it. Not copying but understanding all of the things that makes a story great by reading great stories.


What type of books do you enjoy reading? I like domestic/romantic suspense, thrillers, mystery, sci-fi, some YA titles and mild horror.


Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? I am a marathoner. I usually train for one a year, but I’m taking this season off while I publish two books.


What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work? My website has my currently release and my upcoming psychological thriller details on it. I am also on Goodreads where I read and recommend a lot of books.  My Instagram handle


Thank you for hosting me. Eva



Author Bio

Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing
tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade.
Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.
She is a
wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is
spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or
reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are
Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.
Her latest book is BURIED IN MY PAST.


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