Tag Archive | mystery genre

Interview with author Peggy Edelheit

In the first author interview for 2017 on my blog, I have the great pleasure of welcoming Peggy Edelheit, author of the Samantha Jamison mystery series, and non-fiction memoir THE RIVIERA IS BURNING, to Marcia’s Book Talk.

Peggy Edelheit, author photograph

Peggy Edelheit, author photograph

Welcome, Peggy, it is lovely to have you here!

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Since the end of 2009 /2010

THE PUZZLE by Peggy Edelheit

THE PUZZLE by Peggy Edelheit

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: All of my mysteries have some true life experiences weaved throughout them. I’m not admitting to which experiences or how many of them are…chuckle. I leave that to the imagination/enjoyment of the reader deciphering those mysteries.

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: I try to write everyday. I have a designated area where I work and can shut out any distractions. I surround myself with family photos and mementos that bring a smile and inspire me. I have a leather journal to jot down notes when a thought or idea hits me and I don’t want to forget it, regardless of where I am.

One thing I have always done is when I am in the heat of a scene; I often close my eyes to visualize it, taking note of minute details for realism. Of course, when some scenes have happened it comes naturally, as I recapture scenery, details, and dialogue that caught my eye and ear when it actually happened. I’ve also been known to swap dialogue to see how it plays out coming from another character.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s to keep my readers in the loop. I let them know exactly what Sam is thinking and seeing as the story unfolds. If I lose my reader, they may give up on me and not come back. I try to keep the reader engaged. And I try not to forget they are looking over my shoulder.

I have found readers like details that enrich a scene, not detract from it. Unnecessary filler is often used to stretch books. I find when I’m reading a book with fillers; I tend to brush past those pages to get to the meat of the story and action. So I try to avoid it, only adding what I think a reader needs to know, to understand the subject matter at hand and it doesn’t hinder the flow of the story.

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WITHOUT ANY WARNING by Peggy Edelheit

WITHOUT ANY WARNING by Peggy Edelheit

Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I do read all genres and appreciate the varied storylines. There is so much talent out there; sometimes it is hard to pick which one to read. I’m a voracious reader and travel with my eBook reader. I can’t sit and do nothing, while I wait in line, travel, etc. But I continuously drift back to mysteries. I love trying to undo all the strings to figure out who the culprit is and always appreciate an author’s skill when they cleverly place clues in plain sight. I do that all the time in my mysteries. It is only when the reader gets to my surprise endings that they tell me they go back and realize my hints and innuendo leading them to the answers at the end.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: I would have to say there are so many talented authors out there that each one has taught me skills over the years through reading their books and appreciating their individual and unique styles. I don’t think I could pinpoint and single out one or two. Today the talent out there is mindboggling. When I see talent I will support that author if it helps them get recognized for their gifts in relating unique stories.

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THE RIVIERA IS BURNING by Peggy Edelheit

THE RIVIERA IS BURNING by Peggy Edelheit

Q: After reading your memoir of a family summer in the French Riviera, THE RIVIERA IS BURNING, which I found an utterly compelling page turner, will you be writing further non-fiction books of other notable experiences in your life?

A: I’ve been asked that a lot and am mulling that over. The reason I wrote that book was I wanted to put pen to paper before I forgot any relevant details by giving a firsthand account of what we went through as a family from my point of view only. My mysteries are told from Samantha’s viewpoint. I thought if told from that perspective the reader would experience what I was thinking and going through emotionally and physically at my doubts and indecision, not knowing how it would all end. To this day, I still have a fear of fire and what it can do.

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Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: I think they all are close to my heart, as they all have an element of truth to them. Each book takes place in a true-to-life setting where I have lived at one time or another and did experience a few of the incidents I relate in each book. Ex: that horrific ice storm in Book 1 The Puzzle; my becoming fascinated by the oddities of our gardens and property in France in Book 3, 86 Avenue du Goulet; the break-in in FL by a thieves chiseling out the window and throwing it into the pool to gain entry in Book 5, Mouth Of The Rat; my broken leg in Book 6, Death Knell In The Alps; my other broken leg in Book 8, The Lush Life, along with my rehab, which included my wheelchair and learning how to walk again; which led to Book 9, Too Close For Comfort, etc.

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MOUTH OF THE RAT by Peggy Edelheit

MOUTH OF THE RAT by Peggy Edelheit

Q: You have written a multi-part series in the Samantha Jamison detective novels and are currently in the tenth instalment. Will you be writing any other book series?

A: Although it is a series, I wrote each one as a standalone mystery, giving just enough background in each one (not to bore readers) as to who the characters are and how they are relevant to that mystery. Although I have had feedback from readers that they’ve enjoyed the series more when read in order. It is their choice. I’ve had people read them in the usual places: planes and trains, and even in their cars on the way to work, and standing in line at the bank reading on their iPhone. I try to make the chapters not too long so people can pick up and put down the mystery easily and not have to repeat reading chapters to recall who and what is going on. I am now writing #11 in the series.

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Q: You have mainly written in the detective/mystery genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: I have toyed with that idea often, but then Samantha, my protagonist, whispers in my ear another idea for another mystery. Truthfully speaking, I think she has a vested interest in not losing her job as a sleuth. There is some of me in her. (Not saying how much) Maybe she’s my alter ego. But most of all, I have fun with it and embellish where necessary. (Quite often!)

NO HOPE IN NEW HOPE by Peggy Edelheit

NO HOPE IN NEW HOPE by Peggy Edelheit

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: What is out there today in original series: Cable, Netflix, Amazon, I am amazed at the intelligent writing and smart programming, it would be impossible to single out any one. I’m not trying to be evasive, it’s that the consumer has so much more to choose from as far as such varied choices in multiple genres. Good ones!

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: I love cooking and have pots and pans hanging everywhere in my kitchen that overlooks my gardens (another love) as well as old clay pots filled with cooking utensils, flowers, family memorabilia placed everywhere. I do that on purpose so it calls out to me at the end of the day to create something or bake something to relax and unwind from my day. I set tables that encourage lively conversations and much lingering.

I once whipped up a dinner in an hour for 14 friends and family. I felt inspired and began calling everyone at the last minute.

I stared at my table while everything was cooking and prepared. Hmm… I then picked out (I refer to it as going shopping in my house) items as my theme. I quickly began collecting old leather books of odd sizes from my collection and began stacking them haphazardly along the center of my long table in the kitchen. Then put old candlesticks of various heights throughout. Than perched old photos, wire-rimmed glasses, an old pipe, a few cameos, and bookmarks I ‘ve collected from all over the world. Then I set the table, dimmed the lights just as my hubby cranked up the grill outside and the guests began arriving, stunned I had pulled off such a coup! Truth be told, I just love doing it. We all lingered for hours over dinner, wine, and then coffee, telling humorous family/friend stories.

It’s times like those that I absorb dialogue, the natural way people interact and talk, joke, and laugh. I am always listening for the cadence and trueness of language. People don’t speak grammatically correct either.

I was once given a mug that proudly sits on my desk in my office that says: Watch what you say, it may end up in my next novel. Trust me, it does!

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT by Peggy Edelheit

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT by Peggy Edelheit

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Q: Have you written any short stories, either unpublished, or aim to eventually publish?

A: I’ve written brief true stories I have on my website. If readers have read some of them and also my mysteries, they will find that a few of them have found their way into my mysteries. That is what I meant about keeping it real. People have asked where I get my ideas. Read some of those blog/posts and you will find out. I don’t live an ordinary life. I love every minute of it!

…Okay, okay, maybe some instances I’d just as soon forget.

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: Good question with unusual answers. I am left handed, but can cut with scissors only with my right hand. I can only throw a ball, play tennis with my right arm. I eat with my left hand. I don’t know what that says about me, but I can tell you I am real creative (mind wise) for getting into trouble both on paper and off.

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SAVING SINDIA by Peggy Edelheit

SAVING SINDIA by Peggy Edelheit

Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: I am in the middle of #11 in the Samantha Jamison Mystery Series. This one had numerous delays. I refer to that as life interrupted, throughout this last year. As usual, it is an unusual mystery. I’ll leave it at that for now.

Thank you, Marcia.

I’m honored and appreciate you thinking of me for the interview. It was fun.

And to all those readers out there, remember to chase your dreams not someone else’s. Everyday is a blessing.

All the best, Peggy

It has been a sheer pleasure to have you on the blog Peggy.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Peggy today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Peggy, she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Amazon.com

*Peggy’s website

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My Favorite E-Books For 2015

Today I am very happy to present my favorite e-books read over January – December 2015. With increased writing commitments I did not have sufficient time to read more, but, as always, there were some great books to read. You can click on the book cover for a link to its Smashwords or Amazon entry. Without any further ado, please enjoy my favorite e-books read from January – December 2015!

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*DEATH OF A SERPENT, by Susan Russo Anderson, best murder-mystery novel:

DEATH OF A SERPENT by Susan Russo Anderson

DEATH OF A SERPENT by Susan Russo Anderson

*PAMELA’S LOVE COLLECTION, by Pamela Cummins, best non-fiction self help book:

PAMELA'S LOVE COLLECTION by Pamela Cummins

PAMELA’S LOVE COLLECTION by Pamela Cummins

*THE MIRROR, by Sasha Gabriel, best paranormal short story:

THE MIRROR by Sasha Gabriel

THE MIRROR by Sasha Gabriel

*THE HUNTED, by Karen Black, best action-adventure short story:

THE HUNTED by Karen Black

THE HUNTED by Karen Black

*NOSTALGIA, by William Vitka, best horror short story:

NOSTALGIA by William Vitka

NOSTALGIA by William Vitka

*COLLISIONS, by P.S.Winn, best supernatural novel:

COLLISIONS by P.S. Winn

COLLISIONS by P.S. Winn

*ONE NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE, by Misty Reigenborn, best romance short story:

ONE NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE by Misty Reigenborn

ONE NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE by Misty Reigenborn

*…AND WE, by Adonis Mann, best short story erotica:

...AND WE by Adonis Mann

…AND WE by Adonis Mann

*KATE & BEN, by Mark Stewart, best fantasy short story:

KATE & BEN by Mark Stewart

KATE & BEN by Mark Stewart

*AUTUMN LEAVES, by Phil Dumas, best tragedy-themed short story:

AUTUMN LEAVES by Phil Dumas

AUTUMN LEAVES by Phil Dumas

*ONE MORE WINTER, by Rebecca O’Connor, best women’s fiction short story:

ONE MORE WINTER by Rebecca O'Connor

ONE MORE WINTER by Rebecca O’Connor

*WINTER THUNDER, by Sylvan Scott, best male-male short story:

WINTER THUNDER by Sylvan Scott

WINTER THUNDER by Sylvan Scott

Interview with author Carmen DeSousa

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Carmen DeSousa, author of romantic-suspense stories: SOUTHERN ROMANTIC-SUSPENSE series; the CREATUS series; THE LIBRARY; short stories, THE DEPOT and THE PIT STOP; and coming soon a women’s fiction/chick lit series, starting with SOME LUCKY WOMAN; and THE WATERMEN series, amongst her many works, and welcome her to my blog.

Carmen DeSousa, author photograph

Carmen DeSousa, author photograph

Welcome, Carmen!

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Like most writers, I’ve been writing as long as I could hold a pen. As a child, I would write little short stories, bind them with bread ties, and then present them to my grandmother. In college, I wrote a novella, and had planned to make a career as an editor in New York, but life got in the way. I ended up in a sales and marketing career. Thankfully, six years ago, I found my way back. In the last six years, I’ve written and published fourteen novels. And I have two more coming out soon.

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: Oh, my, yes! All of my life experiences, good and bad, are included in my novels. The trick when you read is to figure out what situations I base on my actual life events or someone I know, and which ones come from my twisted mind. 🙂

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: I used to, but again, life has a way of getting in the way of best laid plans. 2015 was a trying year for me, and 2016 isn’t starting out much easier. But as soon as possible, I plan to get back to the plan that allowed me to pen so many books.

Chat with my peeps on Twitter and Facebook over coffee. Then no later than ten a.m., TURN OFF THE INTERNET, and plant myself in my chair until 12:00 p.m. Chat with my peeps while eating lunch, then get back to it from 1:00 until 4:00. My goal is two thousand words a day.

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Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I love anything that isn’t too graphic in nature. I’ll read anything, and I have. From A Game of Thrones (historical, supernatural, action, thriller) to Crazy Little Thing (contemporary romance / chick lit) to Hunger Games (dystopian) to Twilight (paranormal romance). And oddly enough, I write the same way. Although all of my stories have a common thread: romance, mystery, and suspense, I enjoy writing everything from romance to mystery, paranormal to chick lit.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: When I was in college, I loved Sidney Sheldon. We’re so spoiled right now. When we finish a book, the author usually has their next one coming out in a few months or so. Back then, I’d have to wait a year or two for Sheldon’s next book. To me, he was the inventor of romantic suspense featuring a female heroine.

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Q: From my reading experience of THE DEPOT, it was a highly suspenseful, intricately crafted story with well-timed shocks and great hints of romance. What inspired you to write this story?

A: Ahhh…yes. I enjoyed writing that short story. The Depot is actually based on a real ghost story of a place where I worked. I actually added the story at the front of The Library, the follow-up novel to The Depot.

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Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: She Belongs to Me… But if I told you, I’d have to kill you. LOL! But really, She Belongs to Me was my first published story. And as I’ve told others, it took me all my life to put that story together. Some folks read it and think that it’s unbelievable… Between you and me, though… most of it is true. 😉

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: Growing up, my favorite was I Dream of Jeannie. It was sweet and romantic with a paranormal edge, something I love. As an adult, I rarely watch TV, but a couple of shows that I’ve been faithful to and have watched every one is Friends, and now I’m a huge fan of A Game of Thrones.

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: I love the outdoors, and it’s something I like to share with my readers. I especially love to hike and kayak.

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Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in the fantasy, romance and suspense genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: Yes. In fact, as I mentioned above, I just finished a women’s fiction/chick lit. I wasn’t sure if I could pull off writing humor, but my beta readers said I did, so…we’ll see.

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: Right handed. BUT…all of last year, due to two shoulder operations, both on my right arm, I had to learn how to blog and write not only one-handed, but also with my left. Hey…maybe that’s where the funny story came from. 🙂

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Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: Always! Along with the two mentioned above, I have a new series I’ll start working on near the end of this year. I can’t tell you what it’s about, but it’ll be the first time that I place a female lead as the “cop” type. The genre will be romantic thriller, but more on the thrilling part. I want to write a strong female lead, who’s also tender inside. Even though she’ll be too busy to ever let it show. I’ve already written the first chapter, which is usually how I start a book. If I like the character after the first chapter and still want to continue their story, I continue the book. I don’t plan out my books, so characters have to be able to sell me on their story just as much as they have to sell the reader. And I’m a tough sale.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Carmen today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Carmen, she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Facebook page

*Amazon.com

*Carmen’s website/blog

– Carmen’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below. Apart from THE PIT STOP, Carmen’s full book catalog is available to read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

CREATUS series by Carmen DeSousa

CREATUS series by Carmen DeSousa

A SOUTHERN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL series by Carmen DeSousa

A SOUTHERN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL series by Carmen DeSousa

THE PIT STOP by Carmen DeSousa

THE PIT STOP by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE LIBRARY by Carmen DeSousa

THE LIBRARY by Carmen DeSousa

THE WATERMEN series by Carmen DeSousa

THE WATERMEN series by Carmen DeSousa

My Favorite E-books Read From July to December 2014

Today I have the pleasure of presenting the e-books I found to be the best I have read in the period July to December, 2014. As with my other round-up of favorite books, I was in the happy position of choosing these e-books, as there was a great array of entertaining stories from which to choose. You can click on the book cover for a link to its Smashwords or Amazon entry. And now, please enjoy my favorite e-books read from July to December, 2014!

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*MURDER ON THE MOUNTAIN, by Glenn Gabriel, best horror fantasy short story:

MURDER ON THE MOUNTAIN by Glenn Gabriel

MURDER ON THE MOUNTAIN by Glenn Gabriel

*EIGHT YEARS IN ANOTHER WORLD, by Harding Lemay, best non-fiction book:

EIGHT YEARS IN ANOTHER WORLD by Harding Lemay

EIGHT YEARS IN ANOTHER WORLD by Harding Lemay

*PRINCE OF THE CITY: THE CAT’S WHISKERS, by Mackenzie Brown, best mystery story:

PRINCE OF THE CITY: THE CAT'S WHISKERS by Mackenzie Brown

PRINCE OF THE CITY: THE CAT’S WHISKERS by Mackenzie Brown

*ZENZORIS RETURNS, by Jenny Burnley, best science fiction short story:

ZENZORIS RETURNS by Jenny Burnley

ZENZORIS RETURNS by Jenny Burnley

*PICNIC, by Vonda Norwood, best erotic comedy short story:

PICNIC by Vonda Norwood

PICNIC by Vonda Norwood

*CASABLANCA, MY HEART, by Hannah Warren, best romance novel:

CASABLANCA, MY HEART by Hannah Warren

CASABLANCA, MY HEART by Hannah Warren

*THE BEST FRIEND, by Sasha Gabriel, best horror short story:

THE BEST FRIEND by Sasha Gabriel

THE BEST FRIEND by Sasha Gabriel

*THE DEPOT, by Carmen DeSousa, best suspense short story:

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

*HEARTFELTS, by P.S. Winn, best short story collection:

HEARTFELTS by P.S. Winn

HEARTFELTS by P.S. Winn

*WHERE THE JOYS ARE: BERTHA’S GUIDED JOURNAL, by Jane Carroll, best self-help book:

WHERE THE JOYS ARE: BERTHA'S GUIDED JOURNAL by Jane Carroll

WHERE THE JOYS ARE: BERTHA’S GUIDED JOURNAL by Jane Carroll

*WHAT YOU SEE, by Ann Mullen, best detective novel:

WHAT YOU SEE by Ann Mullen

WHAT YOU SEE by Ann Mullen

*GLIMMER, by Melodie Ramone, best romance short story:

GLIMMER by Melodie Ramone

GLIMMER by Melodie Ramone