New Release: POISONED BY THE PIER by @Ellen_Jacobson

Congratulations to Ellen Jaconson on the release of the third novel in her cozy mystery series! I’m reading it now and enjoying the wacky characters.

 
Poisoned by the Pier Now Available!

Poisoned by the Pier, the third book in the Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery series, is now available in ebook, paperback, and large print.

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play

When Mollie’s husband signs the two of them up for an extreme diet, she’s not amused. When someone ends up poisoned by a cake, things get even worse.

While she tries to identify the killer, Coconut Cove’s annual boating festival is in full swing. In between getting ready for her first sailing race and cheating on her diet, Mollie and her cat, Mrs. Moto, uncover clues, interview suspects, and do their best to avoid rutabagas.

Can Mollie nab the killer before someone else is poisoned?

If you like quirky characters, adorable cats, and plenty of chocolate, you’ll love this cozy mystery. Pick up a copy of Poisoned by the Pier and laugh out loud from the first page to the last.

New to the Series?

If you’re new to the series, you might want to start with Murder at the Marina. Now’s the perfect opportunity as the ebook is on sale for 99c/99p for a limited time.

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play

About the Author

Ellen Jacobson lives on a sailboat with her husband and an imaginary cat named Simon. When she isn’t working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she writes cozy mysteries and sci-fi/fantasy stories.

Connect with Ellen on her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Blog

You can also sign up for Ellen’s newsletter !

New Release: MURDER AT THE MARINA by @Ellen_Jacobson #5starreview


Congratulations to Ellen Jacobson on the release of her debut novel, Murder at the Marina!


First I welcome Ellen for a guest post, followed by my FIVE-STAR review. Take it away, Ellen:

Thanks for hosting me on your site today to celebrate the release of my cozy mystery, Murder at the Marina. This is the first book in the lighthearted and humorous Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery series, featuring a reluctant sailor turned amateur sleuth.

My own sailing adventures and misadventures inspired me to write this series. My husband and I bought our first sailboat in New Zealand in 2012. After a couple of years cruising in those beautiful waters, we returned to the States and bought a bigger boat which we moved onto in 2015. We’ve since cruised in Florida and the Bahamas, labored over endless boat projects, and worked to keep our cruising kitty (savings) topped up.

I wanted to reflect my experiences learning to sail, cruising and living aboard a boat, and being part of the boating community in my cozy mysteries. You could say that there’s a little bit of me in my main character, Mollie.

I thought I’d share one of the boating tidbits which I wrote about in Murder at the Marinanamely, fear of alligators and other sea monsters. When Mollie first visits Palm Tree Marina and walks down the dock, she worries about falling into the water and what dangers might lurk there. I can completely relate to this as we have alligators who make their home at our marina, swimming right next to my boat. Typically, alligators aren’t interested in attacking humans, but, unfortunately, there’s always someone who decides to feed them. Not a great idea. The gators start to associate humans with food and, more often than not, they have to be removed and destroyed.

Now that I’ve become more accustomed to alligators, I don’t freak out as much as I used to. In fact, we have a couple of babies swimming around at the marina right now and I caught myself thinking that they were adorable. Then I remembered the teeth. It will be interesting to see if Mollie does encounter alligators, crocodiles, or other creatures over the course of the series and how she reacts.

If you’d like to learn more about Mollie and her sailing adventures, you can find details about Murder at the Marinabelow.

Murder at the Marina (A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #1)Murder at the Marina by Ellen Jacobson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Little Sweet Potato Sleuth

What a charming debut novel!

Mollie McGhie is an intrepid journalist who has just moved to a Florida coastal town with her husband, Scooter. Scooter has some endearing nicknames for his wife, like, My Little Sweet Potato, but his 10th wedding anniversary gift is not so endearing: a ramshackle sailboat. Neither Mollie nor Scooter possesses the skills to rehabilitate the boat, much less sail the open sea.

Mollie’s disdain for the sailboat multiplies when she finds a dead body on deck. Who murdered the victim? Suspects abound in the town’s colorful cast of characters.

After Mollie overhears one suspicious conversation, her clueless question cracked me up:

“Wait until those new marks of yours find out what you sold them.”

He shook Penny by the shoulders. “You better not say anything, you hear me?”

I was left with one question—who were these new marks she was referring to?

Chocolate is Mollie’s fuel for sleuthing. Not only is she trying to identify the murderer, but also she believes one woman in town suffers from alien abduction. Good thing her “journalist” job is for the Federation of Alien Research, Outreach, and UFO Tracking. She’s determined to beat out another woman for promotion.

Mollie’s investigative efforts do not impress the police chief.

”Mrs. McGhie, what a surprise to find you here. You seem to specialize in finding bodies.” Chief Dalton raised both of his eyebrows. “That makes two bodies in just four days, doesn’t it?”

His math was correct. I guess the ability to be able to do simple arithmetic was an important skill for police officers. That’s probably why I never joined the force. I struggle with math. I’m also scared of guns.

I found the female version of Inspector Clouseau to be fun and entertaining despite the danger swirling around her. A great read!

View all my reviews




Blurb

A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary—not very romantic. A dead body on board—even worse.

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.

When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.

Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.

Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?

Buy Links

Murder at the Marina—A Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery #1
Print ISBN 978-1-7321602-1-7
eBook ISBN 978-1-7321602-0-0
Mystery


Author Bio

Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and scifi/fantasy stories. She is the author of the “Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery” series. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn’t working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures at The Cynical Sailor.

You can connect with Ellen on:

The Cynical Sailor Blog – http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/
The Cynical Sailor Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/TheCynicalSailor/

Newsletter Sign-up – http://eepurl.com/dpy5sv

No Justice by Darcia Helle: Review and Interview

Meeting author Darcia Helle is one reason I enjoy being an author. She is so kind and supportive! And I’m pleased to have her on the blog for an interview about her suspense novel No Justice. But first here’s my review:

No JusticeNo Justice by Darcia Helle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Leaving Las Vegas Meets Dexter

In No Justice, Darcia Helle creates a gritty world reminiscent of the movie Leaving Las Vegas. Instead of alcoholic Nicholas Cage turning to prostitute Elizabeth Shue for solace, this time it’s hit man Michael Sykora falling for prostitute Nicki. Similar to the TV show Dexter, Michael kills bad men — like the one who murdered his wife.

From the first line…

Let him laugh. One more hour and he’d be dead.

…it’s clear a dark ride awaits. Somehow Darcia manages to show Michael’s integrity despite his sinister side vocation as hit man.

Although Michael first met Nicki when she serviced him as a prostitute, both developed genuine feelings for each other. He felt guilty for his attraction to her due to his allegiance to his dead wife, so he cut off all ties with her. But when Nicki later calls him, scared and on the run from her friend’s thuggish boyfriend, Michael can’t help but jump into the fray to help her. And when Michael goes in, he goes all in, encountering true danger from creepy Anthony Lott and his gang.

Michael’s day job is computer programming, and his office assistant Ruby is one of my favorite characters.

Ruby tapped on the side door, then, without waiting for Michael’s response, pushed it open and stepped inside. She said, “You’ve been locked up in here brooding all morning.”
Michael clicked out of the window he’d had open on his computer screen. He said, “I’m not brooding.”
“You prefer I call it pouting?”
Frowning, Michael looked up. Ruby had taken her non-nonsense stance, with both feet planted firmly about a foot apart and her hands spread out over her fleshy hips. “I do not pout,” he said.
“Really now? You look in the mirror yet today?”
“You come in here solely for the pleasure of giving me a hard time?”
“Course not,” Ruby replied. “It just comes so easy, sometimes I can’t help myself.”
“Lucky me.”

Other well-drawn supporting characters include Michael’s two friends: Ruby’s son Isaac, a police officer, and Sean, a fellow hit man who Michael originally hired to take out his wife’s killer. I love the complexity of both of these characters. Lawman Isaac just might know about Michael’s secret penchant for murder but keeps it quiet. Sean is a ruthless killer who demonstrates admirable loyalty toward Michael.

I look forward to reading Michael’s future exploits in
Beyond Salvation — it appears Nicki will still be hanging around, worming her way into his cold, shattered heart. It’s wonderful to hear Darcia is writing book three in the series!

View all my reviews

And now welcome to Darcia Helle for an interview:

1. I loved hearing the story behind No Justice. Please tell us more about how you turned jury duty into a novel!

First, I want to say that a typical murder trial is nothing at all like the televised O.J. Simpson trial. Money buys an entirely different type of justice.

I took two very important lessons away from my experience: 1. The murder victim has no rights or protection during a trial, while the accused has all the rights and protection. 2. Jurors have to dig beneath the crap being flung to find the truth. Sadly, that surface crap is what most jurors base their opinions on.

I don’t remember now what prompted the conversation with my husband, but we were discussing my experience during that trial and the justice system in general. He’s ex-military and has a strong sense of protection toward those he loves. When I asked him what he’d do if I’d been murdered, he gave me a detailed and colorful reply. During that conversation, Michael Sykora was born.

In some ways, my husband and I are yin and yang. I’m a peacenik. I try to see the best in everyone, and I think, under the right circumstances, most people are capable of redemption. My husband, on the other hand, is all about an eye for an eye. Despite our different approach, we agree that our justice system is broken. The phrase that gave birth to this series is something my husband believes: There is no justice, only revenge.

** Readers interested in the piece I wrote about what inspired this book can find it on my Things of Interest page: http://www.quietfurybooks.com/thingsofinterest.html **

2. My review compared this novel to Leaving Las Vegas and Dexter. Have you seen either? Do movies or TV shows inspire your writing?

I haven’t seen either Dexter or Leaving Las Vegas. I fail miserably at TV and movie trivia.
The Dexter comparison makes me chuckle. Several years ago, before I decided to self-publish, I sent the requisite query and synopsis for No Justice off to an agent. He rejected my query because he felt the concept was too similar to Dexter. I’d never even heard of the show or the novel, and had to Google it. I really need to rent the series on DVD one of these days!

I don’t watch many movies, so that’s not an area of inspiration for me. I do get occasional ideas and inspiration from programs like Criminal Minds and Perception. I’m fascinated by the psychology behind criminal behavior. Few people are simply evil. I want to see the shades of gray; the good within the bad. The legalities of the pursuit and arrest don’t interest me nearly as much as the emotional, psychological and sociological aspects of criminal behavior.

3. One of my favorite characters is Ruby, Michael’s assistant. What went into her character development?

I’d love to take credit for hours of character building and outlines, but the truth is I honestly don’t know. Like so many of my characters, she just appeared fully formed. Before I write, and during the process of the first draft, I spend a lot of time twisting ideas around in my mind. I knew Michael needed a small but strong support system. He needed a quasi family to give him stability and keep him from crossing all the way into the dark side. Beyond that, I had no real concept of her; not even a name. As I was writing, when I got to that first scene with her, she stepped into my mind as clearly as if she’d stepped into the room with me.

4. How sympathetic are you to Michael?

I’m extremely sympathetic to his character, which intrigues me. As I said before, I’m a peacenik. I don’t believe in the death penalty, so it’s odd that I can relate to and sympathize with someone who murders people.

When I decided to write this book, I knew my biggest hurdle would be in creating a killer that people would like. As his character took shape, I realized I really liked him and that gave me hope readers would as well. While he is, in essence, a murderer, he is also a man with morals and standards. He doesn’t kill for pleasure. And he only kills the worst of the worst, such as pedophiles and repeat rapists. The victims of these crimes are, in his eyes, failed by our justice system. He’s out to balance the scales and make the world a little safer for the good guys.

5. I hear you’re finishing book three of this series. What are your plans?

Book three has been too long in the making! I kept getting sidetracked with other projects. I’ve also been struggling with a lot of health complications this year, so this one has taken me longer to write than any other. I hope to have it complete and published in early spring of 2013.

I don’t have any specific plans for this series beyond completing the one I’m working on. I do have lots of stray ideas for future stories. With this book, Sean, a minor character in the first two, has a much bigger role. I see future books branching off with his character as a lead. Something happens within book three that gives me lots of room to expand on Sean’s life. I’d also like to bring Isaac, another minor character, in for a bigger role in a future story.

The main thing for me with this series is to keep it new and fresh. As a reader, I get bored when a series just rehashes similar plots with the same characters for 10 or 12 books. As a writer, I get bored when the characters have established themselves and have nothing new to say to me. In order to keep myself and my readers involved and coming back for more, I need to explore the supporting cast. I want to see how their actions might affect Michael, and how he reacts to the change around him.

Thank you Darcia! Can’t wait to read Beyond Salvation.

And now please join us for the Omnific Publishing Author Blog Bounce!