Tuesday, June 19, 2018

BLOOD'S ECHO Is a 2018 Mariposa Award Finalist!

A huge congratulations go to Isabella Maldonado and her book Blood's Echo, which is a finalist for the 2018 Mariposa Award for Best First Novel!

The Mariposa Awards (Spanish for "butterfly") are part of the International Latino Book Awards, celebrating literary achievements and books by and about Latinos. They are produced by Latino Literacy Now, a nonprofit organization co-founded in 1997 by Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler. A full list of finalists is available here.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on September 8, 2018, in Los Angeles.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cherry Pies and Millennial Slang: A Guest Post from CHERRY PIES & DEADLY LIES Author Darci Hannah

We welcome Darci Hannah, author of the new Cherry Pies & Deadly Lies (the first book in the Very Cherry Mystery Series), to Midnight Ink's blog today! Here she shares some insight into her new protagonist, millennial slang, and cherry pies.

Screaming goats, cherry pies, a spectacular lakeside setting, and a confounding murder… what's not to love about that?

For an author there's nothing quite as thrilling as the launch of a new novel, and I'm doubly thrilled because this month my very first cozy mystery, Cherry Pies & Deadly Lies, will be released from Midnight Ink. Not only is this my first mystery, but it's also the first time I've written a novel set in the present. I've always loved creating entertaining characters, but I'm particularly fond of Whitney Bloom. She's a clever, tech-savvy twenty-eight-year old millennial with a lively personality and a tendency towards the overzealous. Of course, she's got some issues as well, like her predilection for sketchy reality TV, trying to keep a roof over her head, and trying not to think about her hunky ex-boyfriend, Tate Vander Hagen, a man who runs the marina in Cherry Cove and sails a boat named The Lusty Dutchman.

Why a millennial protagonist, you ask? The short answer is that I'm surrounded by millennials. I have three amazing sons in their early twenties, and two beautiful nieces of the same age who visit often. I love the millennial spirit, their energy, their fearlessness, their belief that they can do anything and their breezy acceptance of mind-boggling technology. I'm also enchanted by phrases like, "Hey, bro, how's that workin' out for you?" Or, the ever popular, "Dude, like, I don't even know how to answer that?" Although proper English is always encouraged in our house, I have found myself on the receiving end of a "Dude" more than once. Every time it happens my husband just shakes his head and says, "You do realize that you've just 'duded' your mother, right?"

Whitney, to my knowledge, has never been "duded," but she has had her share of embarrassments, the biggest of which was producing a questionable commercial while working at one of Chicago's largest advertising agencies. When we first meet Whitney she's desperately trying to get her old job back, but, um, that's not about to happen. Let's just say that her overzealous nature had gotten the better of her on that one. But she's hopeful, and resourceful, and doing whatever it takes to avoid returning home to her family's cherry orchard in Cherry Cove, Wisconsin. Fate, however, has other plans for Whitney. And when a dead body turns up in the cherry orchard during the ever-popular Cherry Blossom Festival, Whitney has no choice but to return home and face all her demons, including a former high school nemesis, her hunky ex-boyfriend, a dead body, Sasquatch, and a crazy murderer.

CAUTION: Reading this novel may cause unexplained cravings for cherry pie!

I've added the above warning as a service to those of you who may have a predisposed weakness for cherry pie, like I do. Even if cherry pie isn't quite your thing, reading about Whitney and her delectable cherry treats might change that. Don't worry if you don't happen to have a cherry pie on hand. You can always make your own using one of the delicious recipes in the back of this book. In fact, I highly recommend that you do. Invite some friends. And don't forget the scoop of vanilla ice cream!


Cherry Pies & Deadly Lies Crime with a Slice of Cherry Pie

Cherry enthusiast Whitney Bloom is furiously baking her way into the heart of Chicago with her fabulous cherry pies when she receives a desperate call from her mother. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival has just kicked off at the Cherry Orchard Inn in Door County, Wisconsin, and the manager of the Bloom family orchard has been found dead beneath the cherry blossoms. Worse yet, all evidence points to Whitney's father as the killer. After she races home to help, things really land in the pits for Whitney when she discovers that Jack MacLaren, her old high school nemesis, is Cherry Cove's only police officer. Putting her cherry-tastic treats on hold, Whitney matches wits against Jack. But will she have what it takes to clear her father's name and sift out the real Cherry Cove killer?

Praise for Cherry Pies & Deadly Lies:

"The first in an amusing new series features a fearless, reckless sleuth who unravels a complicated mystery while juggling her sex life and her future plans."
Kirkus Reviews

Darci Hannah (Howell, MI) is the author of two previous works of historical fiction, The Exile of Sara Stevenson and The Angel of Blythe Hall (Ballantine). When she isn't whipping up tasty treats in her kitchen, she's hard at work writing. Cherry Pies & Deadly Lies is her first mystery.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Getting Out There

By Linda O. Johnston

As I've been blogging about recently, Pick and Chews, my fourth Barkery & Biscuits Mystery from Midnight Ink, has been published and is now available.

And now I want the world to know about it!

At the moment, I'm on a Great Escapes Virtual Blog Tour.  Pick and Chews was available early in May, but I didn't start the tour until a few days ago because of some travel and other plans.  The blog tour is enjoyable.  I've provided guest posts and guest interviews, both by me and by some of my characters including protagonist Carrie Kennersly and her dog Biscuit.  Sometimes the blogs are spotlights on my new book, and sometimes they contain reviews.  There's also a book giveaway to a lucky reader who posts a comment on one of the subject blogs.

I blog otherwise about the new book, and I hope blogging is productive since I do quite a bit of it--and not just here on Under Cover of Midnight.  I've a weekly post at Killer Hobbies, and a monthly post at Killer Characters and A Slice of Orange, plus I do other guest posts now and then.

And of course I mention it a lot in my various promotional posts at Writerspace, a fun online promotional community that I belong to.

Plus, I visit my local bookstores and leave Pick and Chews bookmarks whether or not there are copies available in the store.  That sometimes encourages the stores to order copies so I can sign them next time I come in.  Of course if they already have copies I sign them then.

And I participate in whatever events I can, local to L.A. or otherwise, to talk on panels or otherwise about me, my writing... and my latest work.

So... does the world now know about Pick and Chews?  It should!