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Our Authors

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Three Letters to God

Writing can be full of highs and lows. As a Christian I've often wanted to give up whenever I receive a negative review or sales are low (like at the end of the month when readers are pinching pennies). But here's one thing I've done for encouragement early in my writing career - I wrote letters to God. I'd like to share three I've saved. They begin a little over a year after I'd published "Murder in Half Moon Bay." I pray they may inspire you a little with whatever challenges you may be facing.



                                          Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dear Lord,

What do you want me to do with my life? You say, "Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Me. Take care of the orphans and widows." So, show me how to do those things. I think of widows and see a need for reaching out, really, seniors in general. I see a need at the SPCA. I need a community to be a part of, a tribe, a family.

I want to do more for my family. Food, support, attention. Please show me Your will for my life. I don't think it's in being an author.

I love You, Lord,

Jill

                                                                                                          Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dear Lord,

It seems Ted (my husband) believes in my writing ability. The technology is in my favor. I can only do this with Your help and guidance so I continue to look to You for instruction.

Thank You!

I love You!


                                                                                                                           April 3, 2012

Dear Lord,

Thank you for affirmation that You want me to write books. I've never been so happy!

Book 1 is my free eBook gift to you to start the series.
Kindle  Nook  Kobo  Smashwords (iTunes)
I love You!

Nancy Jill Thames,
Author


Blessings on your day, dear readers.  

Cheers!

~Nancy Jill


















Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley and clue-sniffing Yorkie “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas, California, and Georgia finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand, or having afternoon tea with friends.

She lives with her husband in Leander, Texas, where she is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors. 

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit these sites.







Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fighting Crime in the Big City



Well, the truth is Rome, GA is not a big city but I did help fight crime for a night. In Rome you are able to ride along with a police officer on his shift. I was privileged to ride with Officer Cory of the City of Rome Police Department. This is great for research when writing any genre of mysteries. Come along with me as I tell you about our big night. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you that I did have to stay in the car when on calls. However, I could see the small monitor on their screen and I could hear what he was saying. Let's go on some calls!
3:00 - Time for group briefing before going out on the beat. Sectors and cars were assigned. 

3:30 -  We got a call to check on someone at one of the local extended stay motels known for drug use and prostitution. A woman had called in to 911 saying she was concerned about her father and thought he might be suicidal. We made the call and officer Cory discovered the man was all right. He called his daughter and relayed the message to her. 

3:50 - We no sooner got down the road when we came upon a wreck that had just happened. Officer Cory turns the car around in the middle of the road and proceeds to work the wreck. No one was hurt, but the EMT's were called to check out an elderly lady. She was fine, but I'm afraid the car wasn't as lucky and had to be towed.

4:11 - While I was waiting on Officer Cory to wrap up the wreck scene I heard there was a domestic situation between two unrelated people at the local CVS right across the street. Since he was tied up we didn't go to that one so I don't know the outcome of that situation.

4:26 - We were called to the local senior apartments where a lady said there was a young child being abused in one of the apartments. Officer Cory went to check it out and talked with the man living there. He said the child was his eight year old son, but had not been to the apartment for two weeks. We went to the child's home and followed up on the accusation. 

5:23 - While he was talking with the young man I heard a call where a suspect was running on foot. The description was a white male with black facial hair and a pony tail. At the time I did not realize we were in the neighborhood where the suspect was. When Officer Cory returned to the car he zoomed away to the location. We were the second car to arrive at a residence where the suspect ran  into. He jumped out running and about 3 or 4 other cars zoomed in on the area. The suspect was apprehended and I saw him being handcuffed, frisked and led to the car. If we'd been a few minutes earlier we'd have arrested the suspect - well I mean Officer Cory. The suspect had fled the scene of a wreck.````

The next few hours were quite and during that time Officer Cory worked on reports and we took a break to eat supper. Then we were back on the beat.

8:30 - A call came in to go to a domestic situation between a wife and husband. This call lasted about 45 minutes with the officers writing a citation banning the husband from coming on the property. 

We were headed back to the station to drop me off (Officer Cory was working a 10 hour shift until 1 a.m.) when there was a call to a situation where a man was going from door to door in a neighborhood asking if they had stolen his wallet. The man had gotten into a argument with a couple of the men living in the neighborhood. Officer Cory couldn't get him to leave. When he did start to leave he bumped into one of the men with his car. Officer Cory got him out handcuffed him so he could talk to him. He wrote him a citation and then followed him home to make sure that's where he went.

10:00 - Finally arrived at the station and I thanked Officer Cory for letting me tag along for the night and wished him a safe night. I so appreciate what these Officers have to deal with day after day protecting us. 

The great thing about the time we spent together I was able to pick his brain about the duties of police and the protocols. I had many questions and he was so gracious to answer all of them. If you're thinking of writing a mystery or just want a night of excitement then call your local police station and inquire if they have something like this for citizens. Some areas even offer a citizens academy. 

 Image result for deborah malone author of death in dahlonega

Death in Dahlonega is being offered on Kindle for a special price of .99.


Image result for deborah malone author of death in dahlonegaDeborah Malone has worked as a freelance writer and photographer since 2001, for the historical magazine, "Georgia Backroads." Her writing is also featured in "Tales of the Rails," edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of Georgia Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Spoiled Rotten Murder

Poor Jane.



So many readers took a side in the little love triangle of Jane and Isaac and Jake that when Jane finally realized where her heart was (in Bright New Murder) I couldn't just abandon Isaac! Readers loved him. And anyway, I had drawn inspiration for his character from my own dear husband (warts and all, poor, Daniel.) And I love the guy, too, so in the last year, we have taken a detour from Jane's adventures to follow Isaac overseas to a new job and a new romance in the Tillgiven Romantic Mysteries.

But, if you happened to pick up our blog's short story collection, you got a little taste of fun for Jane--a taste that is very important! So if you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend
A Cup of Cozy 2. Jane's story in that book is a series must read! And you must read it now, because Spoiled Rotten Murder, the fifth Plain Jane is finally live in ebook and paperback!



A missing groom, a dead gamer, and a woman who had the nerve to design a popular video game. A case of possible insurance fraud turns into a bloody mess for Jane Adler and her new boss at the Senior Corps of Retired Investigators.

But the good news is Jane Adler has gone legit. As an intern for SCoRI, she's getting the supervised hours she needs for her Private Investigator's License. And her first case as a real investigator proves murder is not a game.

Spoiled Rotten Murder is just 99 cents for a limited time!

*clears throat and prepares TV announcer voice*

But that's not all!

Also for a limited time, you can get five mysteries for just 99 cents in the Dying to Read collection...a library of cozy mysteries, (featuring the first Tillgiven Romantic Mystery, Hard to Find)...

But there's more!

Speaking of romance, you can pick up a copy of Hearts to God, my own Western romance in Love Out West, a collection of four Western romances--all for just 99 cents!

You're probably thinking, "That's an obnoxious announcer voice" and "That's a lot of links to click."

*clears throat and puts down coffee. Talks in normal voice again*

I apologize. That was an obnoxious voice. And it is kind of a lot of links. On the other hand... it's ten novels for less than three dollars!

And you can make it 11 novels for less than three dollars by clicking one more link...tracihilton.com

If you click that one, and sign up for my newsletter, you get a free copy of Dark and Stormy, the second Tillgiven Romantic Mystery!

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MY WRITING DAY By Cynthia Hickey


 My writing day starts out like this…

 

  • I wake up at six a.m. (which is always a good thing), fix my coffee and check my emails and sales reports.
  • I eat a bowl of oatmeal and work on clients’ needs.
  • At approximately 7:30 a.m. I take a shower and get dressed.
  • Around 8:00 a.m. I start writing. I always tell myself I won’t do anything else until I reach 2,000 words on my current work in progress. This NEVER works. Inevitably, I’ll get an email that needs addressing.
  • When I finish my word count, sometime around noon, I have lunch. Most times, I work at my desk while eating, but occasionally…I’ll sneak in a taped episode of Castle or Criminal Minds or Property Brothers, then go back to work.
  • On a normal day, my work day ends around four p.m. On a good day, it might end around 2:30 or 3:00
  • I empty dishwasher, fill dishwasher, ignore the rest of the house, and veg in front of the TV or run errands.

 

I am a busy woman and I wouldn’t have it any other way J

Writing is not only my job, it is my passion. I love being an author. I love owning a small press. I went from five to twenty clients. Some are much more active than others, so it makes a nice balance. I take Sundays off. Thankfully, my children are grown. My youngest is starting college.  (This is him at 8 years old)

 

Welcome to the new chapter in my life! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

My newest mystery for your enjoyment is Jogging is Bad For Your Health. Enjoy!

 When Stormi's nephew asks her to help him stop the abuse to a friend of his, Stormi is more than willing to step in. What she finds is worse than anything she imagined. No amount of research prepared her for a group of men so evil, Stormi must dig deep inside herself and call on God to rescue the man she loves. Purchase Here

 

Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 300,000 copies of her works. Cynthia is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. She is a featured speaker/teacher at ACFW national. She and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer.” Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com                                                                         

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Launch Party for Murder at the Empress Hotel!




O Happy Day! Book 10 is out this summer! Thanks for joining me today. Please have some treats - zero calories online. We'll also need a nice cup of tea. 

I'd like to share with you a few notes on why I wrote the story of "Murder at the Empress Hotel." 

The main reason I used Victoria, British Columbia for the setting was in remembrance of a family trip in 1986. That was when my husband and I started our second family together, unbeknownst to us. We were on a road trip up the Pacific Coast with our two older children at the time and both sets of grandparents. What a wonderful vacation we had visiting many attractions along the way. In Victoria, we strolled the docks of  the inner harbor and fisherman's wharf, and took a day to see the Butchart Gardens. 

Some things have changed since our visit, like moving the Ann Hathaway Cottage as it was called to a nearby island, and the addition of Blue Heron House at Royal Roads University. But one thing remains the same. Afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel still serves their famed spread every afternoon. 


In doing research for "Murder at the Empress Hotel," I learned about the First Nations people who were the first inhabitants of Vancouver Island. It wouldn't be an authentic setting without a few of their stories, even though they're from my imagination. The book is dedicated to them.


"Set in the beautiful city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, a bitter conflict over fishing rights and the love of one woman turns deadly with the murder of a young attorney, drawing Jillian and Teddy into yet another intriguing adventure."

Well, that sums up the story all right, but there's a little more to it. Like the characters for instance: 


Jillian Bradley, garden columnist and amateur sleuth

Teddy, Jillian's Yorkie companion and fellow sleuth
Arthur Wingate, fellow collaborator and good friend
Diana Wingate, wife of Arthur and newly appointed hotel reviewer
Father Goodman, priest and university professor of aboriginal relationships 
Rainbow Knight, sister of Badger and grad assistant to Father Goodman
Gerald Dawson, associate professor of aboriginal studies
Leo Hunter, Director of Canadian Oceans and Fisheries
David Blackwolf, lawyer for Canadian Oceans and Fisheries
Badger Knight, opposing lawyer for First Nations
Kelly Morrison, administrative assistant to David Blackwolf and Leo Hunter
Sergeant Nick Stone, head of Victoria homicide division

Mix all together and somewhere you'll discover a victim and a motive for murder! 


To order copies of "Murder at the Empress Hotel" and Books 1-9, please follow the links:


Enjoy!


~Nancy Jill 

NANCY JILL THAMES

Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley, and clue-sniffing Yorkie, “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas and California finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand or having afternoon tea with friends.

She is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors.

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit:

NANCY JILL THAMES

Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley, and clue-sniffing Yorkie, “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas and California finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand or having afternoon tea with friends.

She is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors.

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit: