Posted in Anthology, New Releases

New Holiday Anthologies and Novellas

 

A Winter Holiday 2017

The winter holidays are fast approaching. Even the weather is cooperating, giving us cold days and nights, rain, sleet, snow, even icy roads. What better way to get into the spirit of the season than grabbing your very own copy of Solstice Publishing’s A Winter Holiday 2017, or one of the two standalone novellas: An Interrupted Holiday and Lost Soul Barren Holiday 1?

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J5FKJW

Text messages send Halia on a quest.

Can he capture wondrous enchantment?

An unusual stranger captivates Gina’s heart.

Time travel via Victorian mistletoe.

Will Sara Anne find a daddy by Christmas?

A rip-roaring ride through a Hawaiian Christmas.

Never Was Mrs. Claus Rocks!

What happened on your best New Year’s Eve?

Follow your heart, trust your instincts.

How does Emlyn Goode celebrate Christmas? Food, friends… and murder.

The incredible talents of Eddie Edwards, Leigh Podgorski, E.B. Sullivan, Debbie De Louise, Jeannie Sharpe, Justin Herzog, Gloria Weber, A.F. Weeks, A.A. Schenna, and Susan Lynn Solomon combine in this holiday anthology. Be prepared to experience the winter holidays as you never have before, with tales that will make you laugh, cry, and remember what the spirit of these holidays is all about.

https://youtu.be/y07ee7a5oXA

And what about those standalone novellas? The first is a winner from Donna Alice Patton, set in her favorite time, those exhilarating days of the Wild West.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J7WB74

In the icy crevices of a blizzard and his heart – James’ Montfort will learn that the invisible world is never too far away.

K.C. Sprayberry offers us her latest series of teens overcoming trouble and discovering that the winter holidays can be good with Lost Soul Barren Holiday 1.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077J3Q3C3

The neighborhood knew what Cody Allen Luther endured on a daily basis for five long years. Everyone except Brandy Mason turned their heads. After all, it was a parent’s right to discipline their child. On Christmas Eve, 1969, Cody finally can’t take the brutal abuse any longer, but not for himself—his mother turns her unreasonable anger on his younger stepsiblings and he makes a life changing decision, killing her instead of allowing her to keep hurting his family.

Only one person has ever understood the why Cody reacted as he did that Christmas Eve of 1969. Brandy Mason will do anything to protect Cody, even stand up against classmates willing to petition the governor to have Cody tried as an adult for murder once he is released from juvenile detention.

We at Solstice Publishing hope all of your holidays are wonderful and fun. If you’re stuck inside because of inclement weather, these stories will warm more than your heart.

 

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Posted in Cats

After Oliver – Life Goes on but the Pain Lingers

It’s been a week of ups and downs for me. It started out on a heartbreaking note last Saturday when I had to say goodbye to my handsome 17-year old cat, Oliver after only 4 1/2 short but wonderful years together. Oliver had been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney disease two years ago but had been leading a comfortable life up until August when a vet visit showed a weight loss of three pounds and some bloodwork revealed the progression of the disease to Stage 4. He remained asymptomatic, but cats are very adept at hiding their discomfort. I also noticed he continued to lose weight, especially in his hindquarters, despite eating well.

At the end of October, Oliver began acting very lethargic. He wasn’t mowing or purring and, while he still slept with me, he no longer came up by my pillow. He also had difficulty walking. His hind legs became weak, and he could no longer jump up on my bed but cried for me to lift him up. He become fussier with his food and would only eat boiled chicken or cat food heavy in sauce. Consulting a vet, we tried several days of fluid therapy, but there seemed to be no improvement in his condition. The last day of his life he hid on the floor behind my headboard, and I knew he was letting me know it was time for him to go to Rainbow Bridge.

After I said goodbye to Oliver, in my sorrow, I thought about a story I had written last year for the Solstice Publishing fantasy anthology, The Realms of Fantastic Stories. It was also published as an eBook. The story was a tale about Rainbow Bridge, a place where pets are supposed to be reunited with their loving human after they die. I asked my publisher if this book could be put up for free in memory of Oliver. I had not intended the book to become a bestseller and never imagined it would become an International one, but it ended up being #1 in the U.S. Amazon category for fantasy and science fiction short reads and also in the top 100 in the United Kingdom and Canada. Although I made no money off these sales, I received two 5-star verified reviews and made many new friends worldwide, some of whom sent me private messages about the loss of their own cats. Amid my sadness, I was happy to know that I’d helped others who were grieving for their special fur babies.

Something that most people don’t know about me is that, in addition to being a librarian and author, I also own and operate a pet memorial center in the virtual world of Second Life. I joined Second Life initially to meet librarians from around the world who were part of the Community Virtual Library group. However, a year after I joined, my cat Floppy passed away. With the help of a few other librarians, I created Rainbow Gardens Pet Memorial Center, a beautiful place that features a pet viewer with photos of real-life pets contributed by residents of Second Life. I’ve just added Oliver to the viewer. Although I’m not as active in Second Life as I used to be because of my writing and other offline commitments, I still maintain the memorial center by adding seasonal decorations and pet photos as requested.

There are other virtual memorials. One where pets can be remembered in a variety of ways is online at https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/

Although you can purchase an annual Rainbow Residency for your pet, the Monday candle lighting services are free. I will be participating in one for Oliver this Monday, November 12, at 9 p.m. Anyone who has lost a pet either recently or in the past can also join in. Information on how to do this is included at the website.

On a brighter note, some nice things happened to me last week. My publisher sent me the date I would start working with an editor to prepare my recently signed mystery novel, Reason to Die, for publication.

Amazon also approved my Kindle Scout campaign for my psychological mystery/thriller, Sea Scope, that is running until December 8. I’ve had quite a few nominations for this book already and am hoping to be offered a publishing contract at the end of the campaign. If this happens, everyone who nominated the book will receive an e-copy. For more information and to vote for the book, click on this link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2372SIVNZ28O0

 

Posted in Cats, Monday blogs, Older cats

Saying Goodbye to Oliver

Saturday was a very sad day for me. I had to say goodbye to my 17-year old cat, Oliver after a week of seeing him decline from kidney disease. Oliver was diagnosed two years ago with Chronic Kidney Disease. He held up well until August when his physical showed a weight loss of three pounds, down from fifteen pounds to eleven, and his blood work confirmed that he was now in Stage 4 of the disease. A few months before that, he had begun yowling early in the morning. I’ve heard that senior cats do that sometimes, but looking back, I think it was part of his illness.

Last week, Oliver began to lose weight even more rapidly especially in his hind legs that were now so weak he had difficulty walking down the hall to his water bowl, climbing up on my bed, or on the table in the outside enclosed room where he liked to sunbathe. I was boiling him chicken every day and feeding him in bed. He would meow to let me know when he needed to be lifted up. Otherwise, he was very quiet. He would hardly purr when I petted him and would no longer sleep near my pillow where he used to sleep every night. He appeared listless and depressed. His beautiful blue eyes had sunk into his face. His fur was dull, and he hardly cleaned himself. I recognized all these signs as the dehydration he was suffering from by his failing kidneys. It brought back memories of my cat, Benny, who at eight-years old suffered kidney failure and went into a coma. My mother and I had been treating him with sub-q fluid injections under the skin, but he was not responding. I raced home from work that day when she called me to tell me he was in a coma and carried him wrapped in a blanket on my lap to the vets where he was helped along to Rainbow Bridge. The vet told me he was on his way already, but at least I got to spend the end with him. I vowed to do the same with Oliver if it came to that, but I wouldn’t let it go that far.

I was lucky to have a vet come to my house to check Oliver. She was compassionate and visited us every day to give him fluids and help make him comfortable. Friday night, she explained to me that Oliver wasn’t going to recover and that it was up to me when I was ready to say goodbye to him. At this point, he was barely making it around the house. He was not having a quality of life. The following day, I had to work. A few hours after I started, my husband called to tell me that Oliver had gone behind the headboard of my bed. I knew that hiding in a dark place was a sign that a cat was preparing to die. I rushed home and contacted my vet. When she came over, she helped me take Oliver out of his hiding place. She told me he was letting me know he was ready, so it would be easier for me to make my decision to let him go in peace.

We placed Oliver on his cat bed outside on the patio where he’d loved to sit and sun himself, and the vet administered a sedative to relax him. I stood by him brushing, kissing, and talking to him. When she gave the dose that would send him to Rainbow Bridge, she let me have some moments alone with him and then took out a kit where she made a set of paw prints and clipped some fur. Although I’d buried my other cats, I’d decided to have Oliver cremated, and she said she would take care of this for us but that it would take about three weeks to get his ashes.  I had also purchased a pretty urn in which to store them because I knew the time was arriving when I would need it. I planned to keep it in my room where he always stayed waiting for me when I got home from work and when he slept with me with his paw on my pillow, and I would stroke his handsome chest.

That’s the story of how I said goodbye to Oliver, but there’s more to his story than that. Oliver was a special cat to many people, and he appeared in two articles I wrote for Catster.com. The following is how Oliver came to us as a senior cat of 13 and how he gave us four and a half wonderful years. http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/what-i-learned-senior-citizen-cat-adoption.

The second article is one that won me an award from Hartz in the Cat Writers Association contest. http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/brush-your-cat-for-bonding-beauty-and-better-health

I also wrote a story last year called, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, in which a Siamese cat is the one of the main characters. Many of my cats are featured in this tale, and I am offering the eBook copy free from Monday, November 6 to Friday, November 10, to those who have lost their own beloved pets.

In addition to these articles and that story, I also feature a Siamese cat in my Cobble Cove mystery series. Sneaky the library cat is based on Oliver. I have also included a Siamese of the same name in my upcoming standalone mystery, Reason to Die, which will be published by Solstice Publishing and am currently writing the first book of another cozy mystery series that I plan to dedicate to Oliver.

To end this post, here’s a poem I wrote for my sweet Oliver:

Ode to Oliver

There’s a spot next to my pillow that’s bare.

Oliver always used to sleep there.

He loved me to stroke his chest.

Of all my cats, he was one of the best.

He was a handsome Siamese cat.

There was no doubt about that.

Although we only had him four years,

I can’t help shedding so many tears.

His favorite spot was his cat bed.

It’s so hard to believe he’s dead.

He did such cute things in the past,

like fishing in his water bowl where he made quite a splash.

He loved to be brushed,

and his fur was so lush.

His loud voice in the morning was my alarm clock,

Losing him is still a shock.

But he’s out of pain now on Rainbow Bridge waiting for me

with my other special cats who one day I will see.

Posted in Anthology, Solstice Publishing

A Reader’s Treat for Halloween: A New Horror Anthology and Novella by Solstice Publishing

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Vol. 6

There’s never enough of a scare factor with just one horror anthology. That’s why Solstice Shadows presents a second Halloween themed collection of stories by an incredible group of authors for your reading pleasure.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B076ZWB84Q

Paperback also available: myBook.to/NLMDS6paper

Are you ready to make sure the windows and doors are locked? That you’ve put out all the necessary spook deterrents? Will those be good enough to keep out the ghosts, ghouls, and other creatures that rule this special night?

https://youtu.be/UJm1DiabtZc

Voodoo, greed, and prejudice mar paradise.

Extraordinary characters create strange bedfellows

Obsession never dies.

Evil Waits in the Darkness

Some whacked game or pure evil?

Ava just wants to play.

Ghost Cat. Don’t honeymoon without one.

What’s the cost of endless cash?

Southern heat can drive you crazy

Her powers were about to lead her to her doom.

Ten tales of horror and frightdom filled with tales scary enough to have you watching your every move are offered for your reading enjoyment. Ten incredibly talented authors contributed to this finale of horror: Noelle Myers, Davina Guy, Ken Newman, David Mannes, Leigh Podgorski, K.A. Meng, Debbie De Louise E.B. Sullivan, Adam Zorzi, and Palvi Sharma serve up stories guaranteed to make your fright night truly fearful.

Don’t miss my story, Haunted Honeymoon,  featuring a ghost cat in Venice and a honeymoon that turns out to be more of a honey doom.

Yet again, we decided these ten stories aren’t quite enough. Grab a peek at Nicole Luttrell’s The Man in the Woods for even more spine tingling enjoyment.

Posted in New Releases, Solstice Publishing

Breaking News: New Book & Online Radio Interview

I’m excited to announce that I have signed with Solstice Publishing for a new standalone mystery, Reason to Die. Many of the character names in this book were chosen from entries in my newsletter contest several months ago. I will update my blog readers and newsletter subscribers with excerpts and further details about this book during the editing process.

I would also like to invite you all to listen to my interview on the Authors Show that will be broadcast all day on Thursday, October 19. The interview includes an excerpt from my first Cobble Cove mystery, A Stone’s Throw.  To hear the broadcast, go to this website and click on the link on my name: https://wnbnetworkwest.com/ 

 

Posted in Authors, Monday blogs, Writing

Indie Author Day at the Bellmore Memorial Library

It was my pleasure to attend the Indie Author Day at the Bellmore Memorial Library on Saturday, October 14.  The day consisted of speakers, panelists, and authors who interacted with the local community. There was also publishing workshop videos streaming in the Meeting Room throughout the event.

The morning schedule included presentations by three speakers in the library’s community room outside of which snacks, water, and handouts were provided. The first speaker, Dina Santorelli, author of thriller and suspense novels who earned a degree in Creative Writing from Hofstra University, spoke about her experience as a self-published author and her success with her book, Baby Grand.  Santorelli explained how she made the decision to self-publish after having signed with an agent and attempting to sell her book to a traditional publisher. She chose to go the Indie author route to have more control over the production and marketing of her book. Although she had to invest her own money in cover designers and editors, Santorelli was able to sell 100 copies of her book in the first month after it was released and has currently sold tens of thousands of books. She described some misconceptions about self-publishing and explained how most sales of books today are from Amazon eBooks. She said that social  media, particularly twitter, is of utmost importance to authors for them to be discovered by a world-wide audience.

The second speaker was Ellen Meister, author of Dorothy Parker Drank Here, Farewell Dorothy Parker, and other contemporary works. Meister gave suggestions on how to hook a literary agent. She pointed out the advantages of signing with one and gave an overview of what agents did for authors. She also offered tips on what authors should do before they query an agent including the type of research about the agent they should do and where to find the information. She then described the parts of the query letter and what happens if an agent is interested in an author’s query.

The final speaker of the morning was Jan Kardys, literary agent and founder of the Unicorn Writers Conference whose experience working with a large number of traditional publishing houses allowed her to offer her clients creative and unique opportunities to attract a large publisher. She gave examples of how she helped one of her clients build a platform and a brand for herself. She also stressed the importance of social media especially Facebook and Linkedin. She discussed popular resources for writers to help them locate information about agents and publishers, and she also spoke about the importance of copyrighting one’s work. She recommended meetup groups and networking with other writers.

Following a brief break, the program continued with panels of local authors on topics that included, “Telling Our Stories and Those of Others;” “Writing Fiction,” and “Writing for Children.”

Me with my friend and fellow author, Lisa Diaz Meyer, in Author Alley at the Bellmore Memorial Library

In addition to the speakers and panelists, other authors sold their books at tables on the main floor of the library in “Author’s Alley.” There were also giveaways and raffles, and the community had a chance to speak directly to local authors about their unique experiences whether they self-published, published with a small Indie publisher, or published traditionally with a larger publisher.

Me standing by my poster behind my table at the Indie Author Fair. I enjoyed chatting with readers and other local authors attending the event.

The Reference Librarian who helped organize the Bellmore Library’s first ever Indie Author event was Martha DiVittorio. She did a wonderful job selecting speakers, panelists, and local authors. The event was well attended, informative, and a great success.

Posted in Cats, Cozy Series

Sneaky the Library Cat Talks Books, Blogs, and Groups

I’m proud to have the library cat from my cozy mystery series here to talk about our books and fill my readers in on the latest Cobble Cove news. Hi, Sneaky. thanks for dropping in on my blog.

Hi, Debbie. It’s mice to be here for a change.  For those who don’t know, I have my own blog where I interview cats and other pet characters as well as real-life pets of authors. I’ve had some really interesting guests including a group of llamas recently. You can read and subscribbe to my blog here: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

That sounds great, Sneaky. So tell me what’s going on in Cobble Cove. Any news you’d like to share?

Well, you should know more than me, Debbie, because you’re the author, but I have heard some rumors that a fourth book of the series is in the works.

That’s true. I’ve just started writing the fourth Cobble Cove Mystery. I’m not quite ready to give away any hints about it yet, but maybe you’d like to say something about the first three books since you are featured in all of them.

Yep. I’m a regular character along with Alicia, the librarian; John, the newspaper publisher/mystery author; Fido, my dog co-star, and a bunch of other really fun folks who all live in the small upstate town of Cobble Cove, New York, where most of the action takes place. But, let me tell you, for a cozy small town, this place turns out to be a hotbed of crime; and, by “hotbed,” I don’t mean the warm in the sunny bay window type of hotbed. 

In the first book, A Stone’s Throw, there are a few scenes on Long Island where Alicia, like you, is originally from. One of the settings of the second book is New York City during the holidays; and in our latest, Written in Stone, we are back on Long Island for a bit. 

Since I don’t like to give away spoilers, I will just give a brief overview of each book.

In my first adventure, I am introduced as the library cat of the Cobble Cove Library. I help Alicia uncover clues to a very old mystery in the secret room above the library. It isn’t exactly secret because a previous librarian had stayed there, but I like to add a little drama to my descriptions. 

A Stone’s Throw

ebook: myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

paperback: myBook.to/stonesthrow2paper

In the second Cobble Cove mystery, I appear in a children’s storytime at the library. I don’t really help solve the three crimes of burglary, kidnapping, and murder featured in this book, but I provide a bit of comic relief which is an important role in any story.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

ebook: myBook.to/CobbleCove2

paperback: myBook.to/CC2paper

In my latest mystery, I play a big role. Not only do I go missing from the library, but I turn up clues that lead to the person who killed the lady in the library who was wearing the same blouse as Alicia. I also convinced you to let our publisher put my likeness on the cover.  Aren’t I handsome?

Written in Stone

ebook: myBook.to/CC3ebook

paperback: myBook.to/cc3paper

You certainly are, Sneaky, and quite modest. Is there anything else you’d like to say about yourself or our books?

Not purr-ticularly, but I hope I’ve piqued some people’s curiosity and that they check out our series on the links I’ve added underneath the cover of each book. If they want to know more about me or any of the other characters, they can join the Cobble Cove Character Chat group that is hosted each month by a different Cobble Cove resident. I’ve hosted twice and am the current host for September. Each host answers questions from group members, posts excerpts from their scenes in the book, and sponsors a contest for a prize. The winners and new hosts are chosen at the end of each month. https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Thanks for letting the readers know about that, Sneaky. We’re always looking for new members, and I know you are always seeking new pet and pet characters for interviews on your blog.

Yes, Debbie. I love cat chatting with guests. It was fun to talk on your blog, but I must get back to Cobble Cove to help you finish writing our next book and make sure you give me some pawsome scenes. 

I promise I will try, Sneaky. Now for a shameless plug by your author for her other books of various genres that feature cats (sorry, Sneaky).

Check out my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW. Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author and Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Don’t forget to join my author newsletter for updates and monthly contests. Sign up on my website: https://debbiedelouise.com