Spotlight: Death’s Favorite Child by Frankie Y. Bailey

Death’s Favorite Child

By Frankie Y. Bailey


ISBN-10: 1628158026

ISBN-13: 978-1628158021

Speaking Volumes, LLC

Paperback: 318 pages

November 30, 2017, $16.95

Genre: Romantic suspense

Series: A Lizzie Stuart Mystery


When They Met, Murder Was Only the Beginning


African-American, 38, a crime historian, Lizzie Stuart has spent most of her life in Drucilla, Kentucky. When her grand­mother dies, Lizzie decides it is time for a vacation. She joins her best friend, Tess, a travel writer, for a week in Cornwall, England, in the resort town of St. Regis. Lizzie finds her vacation anything but restful when she becomes an eyewitness to murder and the probable next victim.


Criminologist Frankie Bailey has five books and two published short stories in a mystery series featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart. The Red Queen Dies, the first book in a near-future police procedural series featuring Detective Hannah McCabe, came out in September, 2013.  The second book in the series, What the Fly Saw came out in March 2015. Frankie is a former executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.

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Twitter:  @FrankieYBailey



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Here’s a surprise for you…

Private Spies

By PJ Nunn


ISBN-13: 978-0615832562

Tidal Wave Publishing

Trade paper $13.95

Kindle ASIN: B00D96VHDQ


June 2013

Also available for Kindle and Nook


When Jesse Morgan’s boss and best friend died, she inherited Private Spies, a private investigation firm that specializes in missing persons. Unfortunately, she knew little about the business aside from her intensive work on the computer. But if Joey thought she could handle it, she felt obligated to at least give it a try. How hard could it be, right?


So Jesse took on her first case. Very straightforward. This guy is missing, find him. Oh but wait, he also kidnapped his own daughter. Find her too. Still not that hard. Except when she ran his report, the picture she found on his driver’s license is of another guy. And when she found a guy who matched the first picture, he had another name. And when she found a girl that looked like the daughter, she didn’t match anything. Not good.


Enter a retired police officer named Byron (really?) who says before Joey died, he hired him to work for them. Ok. This might be helpful. But then came a stalker, and a dead guy, a dead duck and an increasing list of incidents that all seem confusing to Jesse. Up to her eyeballs in threats and questions, Jesse’s outraged when the woman who hired her decides to fire her. Unbelievable! Unable to stop at that point, Jesse is determined to find the guy and solve the case. If only it was as easy as it sounded.


Back cover bio:

PJ Nunn is the owner of BreakThrough Promotions and has spent much of the last 15 years running promotional campaigns for authors. She says her Master’s Degree in Psychology and Criminology comes in handy from time to time. PJ has been a freelance writer since 1984 and is also the author of Angel Killer: A Shari Markham Mystery.

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Spotlight: Murder at the Bus Depot by Judy Alter

Judy Alter is the author of six books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries, four books in the Blue Plate Café Mysteries; and two in the Oak Grove Mysteries. Pigface and the Perfect Dog follows The Perfect Coed in this series of mysteries set on a university campus. Judy is no stranger to college campuses. She attended the University of Chicago, Truman State University in Missouri, and Texas Christian University, where she earned a Ph.D. and taught English. For twenty years, she was director of TCU Press, the book publishing program of the university. The author of many books for both children and adults primarily on women of the American West, she retired in 2010 and turned her attention to writing contemporary cozy mysteries.

She holds awards from the Western Writers of America, the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Texas Institute of Letters. She was inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame and recognized as an Outstanding Woman of Fort Worth and a woman who has left her mark on Texas. Western Writers of America gave her the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement and will induct her into its Hall of Fame in June 2015.

The single parent of four and the grandmother of seven, she lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her perfect dog, Sophie. Follow her at (Amazon); her blog:; and Facebook:


Murder at the Bus Depot

By Judy Alter



Alter Ego Press

Print Length: 220 pages

April 6, 2018

Genre: Mystery

Series: Blue Plate Café Mystery 4


Also available in Kindle format



Is the depot a symbol of the worst episode in a town’s history or does it stand for revitalization, bringing the citizens of Wheeler together with pride in their community?

Kate Chamber’s trouble antenna goes up when Dallas developer Silas Fletcher decides to help “grow” Wheeler. She and her brother-in-law, Mayor Tom Bryson, have less spectacular and drastic ideas for revitalizing the town. When Old Man Jackson dies in an automobile accident, the specter of the past comes back to haunt the town. Thirty years ago, Jackson’s daughter, Sallie, was murdered at the bus depot. The murder is still unsolved.

Kate and Silas clash over almost everything, from the future use of the abandoned depot to a fall festival celebrating Wheeler. Another murder at the depot blows the town apart, and Kate knows she must do something to solve the murders and save her town, let alone the festival she’s planning.


Other books in the series:

Murder at the Blue Plate Café

Murder at the Tremont House

Murder at Peacock Mansion

Spotlight: Flying Jenny by Theasa Tuohy

Theasa Tuohy is a long-time journalist who has happily turned her life experiences and reporting skills to fiction featuring female reporters. She is the daughter and namesake of a pioneering pilot who flew an old-World War I “Jenny” with an OX-5 engine. Theasa worked for five daily newspapers and the Associated Press. Her “first woman” stints included assistant city editor at The Detroit News and the copy desk at The (Newark) Star Ledger.


Her first novel, The Five O’Clock Follies, was published in 2012. Flying Jenny came out May 1, 2018. She is currently working on a mystery series set in Paris and is co-author of the book for “Lawrence,” an award-winning musical about the life of D. H. Lawrence.

She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and lives in Manhattan.


Flying Jenny

By Theasa Tuohy


ISBN-10: 1617756210

ISBN-13: 978-1617756214

Kaylie Jones Books

Paperback: 288 pages

May 1, 2018, $15.99

Genre: Fiction


Also available for Kindle and Nook


People are doing all sorts of screwy things in 1929. It is a time of hope, boundless optimism, and prosperity. “Blue Skies” is the song on everyone’s lips. The tabloids are full of flagpole sitters, flappers, and marathon dancers. Ever since Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic solo, the entire world has gone nuts over flying. But everyone agrees that the stunt pilots take the cake.

Jenny Flynn defies the odds and conventions in her pursuit of the sky. She attracts the attention of Laura Bailey, a brash reporter crashing through her own glass ceiling at a New York City newspaper. Laura chases the pilot’s story–and the truth about her own mysterious father–on a barnstorming escapade from Manhattan to the Midwest.

Flying Jenny offers a vivid portrait of an earlier time when airplanes drew swarming crowds entranced by the pioneers–male and female–of flight.

Theasa Logan Tuohy, the author’s mother.

“The heroes and heroines and the characters Tuohy brings to life in the book were derived from tales told to her by her mother, the daring, petite fire-cracker female pilot (named Theasa as well), who was a contemporary of Will Rogers and friend of Wiley Post, the first pilot to fly solo around the world.”
Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine

“It is August 1929, and this romp through the early days of women’s aviation history arrives with all the immediacy of a late-night edition. Theasa Tuohy memorably limns the adventures of not one but two pioneering women. Debutante pilot Jenny Flynn and cub reporter Laura Bailey carry the spunk of Thelma & Louise to new heights as they fight for space in the cockpit and the city room.”
Janet Groth, author of The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker

Books That Changed My Life—Make That, Books that Changed “Me” By R. Franklin James

What’s the difference between my ‘life’ and ‘me’? When I contemplated writing on this potential topic the first thing that came to mind was: why would anyone care what books changed my life?  I’m not Oprah, Lee Child or Agatha Christie, or in politics—or anyone else of celebrity. But then I thought that as a reader vs. a writer, I would be interested in knowing what books had the capacity to change lives—how people were transformed.


The first book that changed my life was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I was in high school and the radical thinking of “self-ness” was enthralling to me. She had the ability to fictionalize social issues without being boring. She was followed closely on the heels by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. He was not a mystery writer, but I loved the way he could make words sing off the page. He is my favorite to this very day. These two books are about as opposite in thought and style as books can be but their storylines are timeless from the 1930’s to the 21st century. They also had three things in common: first, they made me think about the story between the words; second, they were entertaining; and, third, the prose while wildly different was lyrical with no wasted words, and each one with meaning. I knew I wanted to write like that.

I have come to realize that true classics, regardless of genre, are stories about the human condition. That said, I write in the genre of mysteries.


I loved and still love to solve puzzles. While I read Nancy Drew in my younger years, in college my interest was snared by John LeCarre and his novels of intrigue and betrayal. Because of him, my goal to write page-turners was forged forever. From then on, I wanted to write suspenseful mysteries with twists and turns that kept the reader guessing until the very believable end.


Then there was Agatha Christie, with story plots that also kept me turning pages and P.D. James who wrote flawed characters that seemed so real. There is Walter Mosely who transports the reader into a mid-20th-century world that is just as built as any science fiction work.


I’m not a person who reads the book and then goes to see the movie version. I don’t want the exactness of the author’s words interpreted by an actor that may not fit my imagination. Books that change my thinking stand on their own as works of literature and personal growth, which may sound like a lot for a book to accomplish, but the good ones do.


Today, I find that my taste in books is not meant to change my life as much as to enhance it—to feed it and hopefully make me a better writer. Most recently, Louise Penny’s, The Great Reckoning, brought me up to attention. Her words in the context of a powerful plot touched on all my senses and emotions. Harlan Coben can do that and so can Brad Meltzer, David Baldacci, and the late Sue Grafton’s Yesterday.


As a mystery writer, I write best in the style of what I like to read.  After completing my sixth book in the Hollis Morgan Mystery Series—The Identity Thief, I’ve come to realize that the best series are carried by strong characters that span a protagonist’s arc. Hollis, is a former ex-felon turned attorney, who sees life as a half-empty glass. But, it was her pardon for insurance fraud made it possible for her to take the bar exam.  It was her husband, now her ex, who set her up to take his stay in prison, now, she finds herself coming to the aid of those who also face disgrace or injustice.


A good book of fiction no matter what the genre must convey “meaning” for the reader. Characters must be made real and have compelling storylines so that readers can think: “Wow, that’s the way it is for me, too.” Additionally, a mystery writer wants the reader to think: “I should have seen that coming, but thanks to the author, I didn’t.”


Franklin James is a native Californian and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. After years of public service, and serving as Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles, she went back to her first love—writing mysteries. In 2013, her debut novel in the Hollis Morgan Mystery Series, The Fallen Angels Book Club was published by Camel Press.  Her second book, Sticks & Stones, was released in 2014, followed by THE RETURN OF THE FALLEN ANGELS BOOK CLUB (2015), THE TRADE LIST (2016) and THE BELL TOLLS (2017). The next book in the series, THE IDENTITY THIEF was released earlier this year. R. Franklin James lives in Northern California with her husband. See more about the author on Facebook and at :

One Size Does Not Fit All by S.K. Rizzolo

I tend to hibernate while working on a book. I do not participate in much social media and do very little, if any, active promotion. The truth is that it’s hard for me to switch my brain from creative into marketing mode. During the gestation of a project, I need time apart, a quiet space to contemplate. Maybe that’s because real-world considerations shatter the fictive dream, disrupt my thought processes, and sometimes make me anxious. Worrying about promotion stops the writing cold every time. I guess I have a one-track mind.


There are writers who are able to organize their days, allocating an hour or two to posting on Twitter, running their own blog, or doing whatever they deem useful to help them sell books. But I find writing a novel to be a messy, eternally demanding pursuit that absorbs all my energies. Thus, I tend to launch into marketing only when the book is done and the publication date approaches. At that point I set up blog tours, update my website, write historical essays, send out a notification in my newsletter, arrange Goodreads giveaways, attend conferences—anything I can think of. On publication day I make an announcement on social media, but I don’t often post about individual reviews after that. Blazing a trail in terms of marketing and promotion? Not so much.


Still, occasionally I’ll try something new. For example, a few months ago I teamed up with a travel company and wrote a post that highlighted some iconic sites of Regency London, the setting for my historical mystery series. The company generously combined this post with a giveaway that included a set of my books and a tea set. The result: the promotion attracted over 2700 entries, so at the very least I made contact with 2700 people who had probably never heard of me or my books. For my next release, I plan to purchase some extra copies from my publisher and give them away to readers. It’s a simple idea. Since I am traditionally published and can’t offer deep discounts or perma-free series openers, I’ll supplement the free copies provided by my publisher with a few autographed ones to send out into the world (not unlike messages in a bottle tossed into the ocean). With these gifts I hope to tempt a reader here, a reader there—anyone who likes the genre in which I write and would like to try my work. It’s fine with me that building a readership is a slow, organic process that can take years. Finding even one loyal fan is a big deal.


No doubt this isn’t the most effective or efficient approach, but it’s the one that works for me. Which, I suppose, is my point. As 21st-century authors, we hear a lot about what we are supposed to be doing to sell our books—as if we can singlehandedly determine their fate if we follow all the right steps and push all the right buttons. But I don’t think “success” is that easy, and I’m quite sure it means different things to different people. The bottom line: Each author needs to discover his or her own version of authorship through trial and error. Marketing is a highly personalized skill that develops over time and evolves as the writer evolves. I don’t mean to suggest that we should sit back and do nothing. Our books deserve that we make an effort to introduce them to others in order to give our work a chance to contribute something positive to another person’s life. Maybe we can entertain that reader or provide a much-needed distraction from troubles or even shed some light on the human condition. Overall, I find that focusing on this essential goal of communication keeps me on track in both art and business.


Author’s Biography

An incurable Anglophile, S.K. Rizzolo writes mysteries exploring the darker side of Regency England. Her books feature a trio of crime-solving friends: a Bow Street Runner, an unconventional lady, and a melancholic barrister. Currently she is at work on the first novel in a new series introducing a female detective in Victorian London. Rizzolo lives in Los Angeles with Oliver Twist and Lucy, her cats, and Michael, her husband. She also has an actress daughter named after Miranda in The Tempest.



Synopsis for On a Desert Shore (most recent release)


London, 1813: A wealthy West India merchant’s daughter is in danger with a vast fortune at stake. Hired to protect the heiress, Bow Street Runner John Chase copes with a bitter inheritance dispute and vicious murder. Meanwhile, his sleuthing partner, abandoned wife Penelope Wolfe, must decide whether Society’s censure is too great a bar to a relationship with barrister Edward Buckler. On a Desert Shore stretches from the brutal colony of Jamaica to the prosperity and apparent peace of suburban London. Here a father’s ambition to transplant a child of mixed blood and create an English dynasty will lead to terrible deeds.


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Must a mystery have a murder? by John Lindermuth

Modern readers have come to expect one or more dead bodies in crime stories. But, with the increasing violence encountered in ‘real life,’ many are becoming offended with the amount of gore in fiction, which may partly account for the growing popularity of those novels termed ‘cozy’. In these books murder exists, though it’s mentioned after-the-fact and never seen in its most brutal aspects.

Still, the questions remains–must a mystery have a murder?

What’s most important for many readers in a crime novel is a puzzle. Why a crime was committed and who did it? And, if they can answer those questions before the author reveals them, more the joy. This is most evident in ‘classic’ crime tales which often didn’t focus on murder as the highlight of the menu.

Murder is absent from several of Conan Doyle’s best Sherlock Holmes tales. Wilkie Collins didn’t need a murder to intrigue us with The Woman in White. And there’s no murder in Dorothy Saylor’s Gaudy Night.

Yet, as P. D. James tells us (Talking About Detective Fiction), “Readers are likely to remain more interested in which of Aunt Ellie’s heirs laced her nightly cocoa with arsenic than in who stole her diamond necklace while she was safely holidaying in Bournemouth.” Truth is, as abhorrent we may find it in reality, murder fascinates the human species and always has.

There are several murders in my latest novel, The Bartered Body, but they come late in the story and are not its main focus. Here’s a blurb:

Why would thieves steal the body of a dead woman?

That’s the most challenging question yet to be faced by Sylvester Tilghman, the third of his family to serve as sheriff of Arahpot, Jordan County, Pennsylvania, in the waning days of the 19th century.

And it’s not just any body but that of Mrs. Arbuckle, Nathan Zimmerman’s late mother-in-law. Zimmerman is burgess of Arahpot and Tilghman’s boss, which puts more than a little pressure on the sheriff to solve the crime in a hurry.

Syl’s investigation is complicated by the arrival in town of a former flame who threatens his relationship with his sweetheart Lydia Longlow; clashes with his old enemy, former burgess McLean Ruppenthal; a string of armed robberies, and a record snowstorm that shuts down train traffic, cuts off telegraph service and freezes cattle in the fields.

It will take all of Syl’s skills and the help of his deputy and friends to untangle the various threads and bring the criminals to justice.

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