12-02-2012 11:26 PM
This week's featured authors are JOYCE AND JIM LAVENE! Their website is here: http://www.joyceandjimlavene.com/
And they're on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/JoyceandJimLavene?fref=ts
Joyce and Jim Lavene are a married writing couple who live in North Carolina with their family. They get help from their cat, Quincy, and their big puppy, Rudi, who they rescued in 2010. They have been writing together since 1994 and published since 1999.
Last year marked their 60th book in print. They enjoy writing mysteries but are at home with fantasy, romance and non-fiction. The Weekly Post. They are active in Sisters-in-Crime and Mystery Writers of America and Jim is the chapter president of SinC Triad, Murder We Write.
Contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 26, Midland, NC 28107
12-02-2012 11:27 PM
12-02-2012 11:29 PM
J. J. Cook is a pseudonym for a married couple who writes mysteries, mostly set in the South, with a touch of paranormal and romance. That Old Flame of Mine is the first book in the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee featuring Fire Chief Stella Griffin.
Coming in April 2013
She could tell the heart of the fire was in the basement. They didn’t have long to search for Tory. The flames were spreading up the stairs, igniting the other floors as they reached out toward the roof.
“Third floor,” she told John. She’d purposely chosen him because he’d been a cop for years and she figured he could deal with a crisis better than the others. “Banyin, check the ground floor then get out.”
John and Stella ran up the long winding stairway, parting at the second floor. Tory’s bedroom was on this floor but Stella couldn’t take the chance that she could be somewhere else in the house.
She ran to Tory’s bedroom. The door was locked. She didn’t waste any time kicking it open. She pushed off the face mask and yelled for her friend. There was no response. She ran to the luxurious marble bathroom, shouting Tory’s name. The bathroom was empty too.
“Any sign of her?” She called John and Banyin on the radio.
“Nothing down here,” Banyin responded. “Should I come up there and help you all look?”
“No. Get out,” Stella responded. “John, any luck?”
“Not up here. I’m on my way down.”
Stella looked around the smoky bedroom that was as yet untouched by the fire. Tory might be at the park. She might be outside in the crowd by now. She could be having tea with friends. There was no way to know.
She prayed Tory wasn’t in the basement, although common sense told her that she’d been getting ready for the party. She shouldn’t be there.
“Chief,” John said on the radio. “You gotta get out of there. You won’t make it back down the stairs if you don’t move now.”
“I’m on my way.” Stella was going through Tory’s bedroom one last time. When there were children involved, they always checked the closets. She was going to sweep the closets then hope to God that Tory was already at the party.
Stella opened the closet door in the bedroom and pushed through tons of clothes and shoes to reach the back. All of the clothes were neatly hung, even color coordinated. The shoes were all in boxes or hanging in shoe racks.
Until she got to the back.
Here the clothes were thrown on the floor, shoes everywhere. Stella pushed everything out of the way and swore when she found Tory beneath the mess.
Tory wasn’t breathing.
12-02-2012 11:31 PM
Writing as Ellie Grant:
Coming in September 2013 - Plum Deadly
Pie in the Sky Mysteries are set in Durham, NC near the Duke University Campus
In this cozy mystery, a young woman is framed by her boss for embezzlement and flees to her aunt’s pie shop—but when her ex-boss turns up dead on their doorstep she must start her own investigation to find the killer—before he finds her. When Maggie Grady went back to North Carolina after being accused of stealing from her workplace, she never expected her ex-boss Louis to walk through the door of her aunt’s pie shop and tell her that he knew the truth about her situation—that someone framed her and he’d helped. But before Louis could set things straight in a press conference, he turns up dead on the doorstep of Pie in the Sky. Not only is Maggie’s secret about why she left the big city out, but now she and her aunt are suspects in Louis’s murder. With the help of Ryan, a hunky journalist, Maggie tries to figure out who set her up and killed Louis. But just as she and Ryan get closer to the truth, the killer steps up his game…
Ellie Grant gets help writing from her cat, Quincy, and her big puppy, Rudi, who she rescued in 2010. She loves writing mysteries but is at home with fantasy, romance, and nonfiction.
12-02-2012 11:32 PM
The Stockcar Racing Mysteries
When we decided to write The Stockcar Racing Mysteries, Gene Cherry took us up close and personal into Lowe's Motorspeedway. Wow! What a rush! We thought we knew a lot about stockcar racing, but this was only the beginning.
We already knew our characters. Ruby and Glad Wysznewski are the compilation of many of our racing friends. Glad is a 42-year-old retired homicide detective from Chicago. He decided to leave the job and travel the Superspeedway circuit in his Holiday Rambler RV. Then he met Ruby Furr, a 20-something beautician
from Midland, North Carolina whose family has been involved in racing since The King learned to drive. Together, they make a dynamic duo traveling the country and
solving mysteries at Superspeedway racing events.
We recently finished the second book in the series set in Dover, Delaware at the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway. We had a great time at Dover learning the inside secrets to the concrete oval. Our trip there shaped our second book, HOOKED UP. Read an excerpt here. (click on cover)
In the meantime, keep those emails coming! We've had a good time talking with racing fans from Charlotte to Dover.
See you on the road!
12-02-2012 11:34 PM
12-02-2012 11:39 PM
Do you dream about becoming the next Ernest Hemingway, John Grisham, Amy Tan, Stephen King, or Danielle Steele? If so, it's time to unlock your hidden potential with The Everything(r) Guide to Writing a Novel.
The Everything Guide To Writing A Novel
This step-by-step guide teaches you the tricks of the trade, with advice on all you need to know to compete in the world of fiction. Whether you are seeking to hone your writing style, shape an existing work-in-progress, or begin the submission process to publishers, successfully published novelists Joyce and Jim Lavene give you all you need to know to set you on the fast track to fulfilling your writing dreams!
This authoritative guide shows you how to:
Turn your creative idea into a sellable premise
Build a strong plot
Create realistic character
Develop a first draft
Find an agent
Market and sell your work to publishers
Whether you're writing literary fiction, a terrifying thriller, a sweeping epic, or a passionate romance, The Everything(r) Guide to Writing a Novel is your essential reference to creating the next bestseller!
Joyce and Jim Lavene are co-authors of 40 novels and a wide selection of non-fiction articles and books. Their fiction is a blend of romance, mystery, and suspense. Their first mystery novel, Last Dance, was nominated for the Masters Choice Award; and their romance, Flowers in the Night, was nominated for the Frankfurt Book Award. Reviewers describe their work as startlingly original", wonderfully written", and a sheer delight to read". The couple live in North Carolina with their family. Joyce and Jim also write under the names of Joye Ames and Elyssa Henry. They welcome visitors to their websites www.joyceandjimlavene.com ; www.sharynhowardmysteries.com ; www.peggyleegardenmysteries.com
Exactly what I expected from this dynamic writing duo! Lots of good information in a fun, easy to follow guide!" ~ Barrow Writers
"If Joyce and Jim Lavene don't know how to write and publish a novel, no one does!" Springs' Editor Molly Walton
"You cover everything but some of the best things I got out of it were odd little things like the its/it's and the one space after periods. (which I still can't seem to do!) But the over all thing is that you don't have to write a master piece the first time around. Everything and anything can be changed or fixed. Having this book is vital! I've read several other books and they just didn't cover things this way. Congrats! I hope it's a big seller." Jamie Cailteux, St. Louis, MO
December 13th ~ Killer Characters Blog
12-02-2012 11:42 PM
Joyce and Jim Lavene
Joyce and Jim Lavene have written more than forty novels together. They also write short stories, non-fiction articles and teach writing workshops. Their hobbies include gardening — they are certified Master Gardeners — and photography.
A Haunting Dream, December 2012
Treacherous Toys, September 2012
A Spirited Gift, December 2011
Harrowing Hats, August 2011
A Touch of Gold, March 2011
Deadly Daggers, September 2010
A Timely Vision, May 2010
Ghastly Glass, September 2009
A Corpse for Yew, May 2009
Wicked Weaves, September 2008
Perfect Poison, May 2008
Poisoned Petals, May 2007
Fruit of the Poisoned Tree, May 2006
Pretty Poison, May 2005
12-02-2012 11:44 PM - edited 12-03-2012 12:38 AM
See the book trailer for A HAUNTING DREAM here: http://www.emmieannestudios.blogspot.com/
A Haunting Dream
Joyce and Jim Lavene
The mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O’Donnell, is a woman with a gift for finding lost things. Sometimes it leads her to lost keys or earrings—and sometimes it leads her to murder...
When her boyfriend Kevin’s ex-fiancée Ann arrives in Duck looking for a second chance, Dae suddenly finds herself facing certain heartache. And while her romantic life is in shambles, she’s even more concerned by the sudden change in her gift. After touching a medallion owned by a local named Chuck Sparks, Dae is shocked when her vision reveals his murder—and a cry for help.
Dae doesn’t know what to make of the dead man’s plea to “Help her,” until she has another vision about a kidnapped girl—Chuck’s daughter, Betsy. With a child missing, the FBI steps in to take over the case. But Dae can’t ignore her visions of Betsy, or the fact that Kevin’s psychic ex-fiancée might be the only person who can help find her...
(A Missing Pieces Mystery #4)
Berkley (Prime Crime), December 2012
12-03-2012 12:40 AM
An excerpt from A Haunting Dream by Joyce and Jim Lavene:
The moonlight made a white band out of Duck Road as it moved through the center of town. I followed it, winding down the silent streets, until I reached the shore of the Atlantic. There was a hazy quality to the sea that night. The waves were so calm, it was almost like looking at the Currituck Sound on the other side of town.
I stood on the shore and stared out at the water like so many of my Banker relatives had for centuries in the past. The Atlantic was the lifeblood of Duck and the other older towns on the island. Our ancestors scratched out a living here by taking in cargo that was lost to what came to be known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Hundreds of ships went down here. Some because of the treacherous waters, others because of the local pirates, and a few here and there due to Banker tricks that caused no small amount of disaster. People did what they had to if they wanted to survive. Those weren’t easy times. Cut off from the mainland—no bridges then—life had been difficult.
As I followed the line of the sky with my eyes, I saw what looked like an old wooden ship. It was huge and was under full sail. It looked heavy and cargo rich—a Spanish galleon, if I wasn’t mistaken.
“The Andalusia,” I barely breathed aloud.
It was a legend, a ghost ship that went down with all hands onboard and a treasure of what most people believed to be over twenty-five million dollars in today’s currency. The ship was destroyed in 1721, never to be seen again as a real vessel. But many people had seen it down through the years, sailing across the water. People in Duck took it as an ill omen.
All of my life had been spent here, but I’d never seen this before. As I watched it, thrilled and terrified at the same time, I knew it couldn’t be anything else. The ship, even though it looked heavy with cargo, wasn’t quite resting on the dark water. A light that wasn’t part of the moon glow filled it, creating an aura around it.
I’d heard people say that seeing the ghost ship had transfixed them. They’d walked for miles looking at it. I felt the same way—captivated by the sight of it. I couldn’t look away.
I started walking along the beach, trying to keep pace with the ghostly galleon. Except for that light and the glow from the moon, it was very dark along the water. I stumbled into a ditch in the sand, created by rain running off from the island. It was still very wet from the tail end of a hurricane we’d had recently. I lost my balance and sank to my knees in the soft sand.
I put my hands out to keep myself steady. I didn’t want to look away from the Andalusia, but I had no choice if I wanted to get back on my feet.
I looked down at the sand and saw a face with wide open eyes looking back at me.
The mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O’Donnell, is a woman with a gift for finding lost things. When her boyfriend Kevin’s ex-fiancée Ann arrives in Duck looking for a second chance, Dae suddenly finds herself facing certain heartache. And while her romantic life is in shambles, she’s even more concerned by the sudden change in her gift. After touching a medallion owned by a local named Chuck Sparks, Dae is shocked when her vision reveals his murder—and a cry for help. Dae doesn’t know what to make of the dead man’s plea to “Help her,” until she has another vision about a kidnapped girl—Chuck’s daughter, Betsy. With a child missing, the FBI steps in to take over the case. But Dae can’t ignore her visions of Betsy, or the fact that Kevin’s psychic ex-fiancé might be the only person who can help find her.
Joyce Lavene writes bestselling mystery with her husband/partner Jim. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. She lives in rural North Carolina with her family, her cat, Quincy, and her rescue dog, Rudi. Visit her at www.joyceandjimlavene.com, Facebook/JoyceandJimLavene.com. Twitter: @authorjlavene, http://romanceofmystery.blogspot.com.
Purchase: A Haunting Dream at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-haunting-dream-j
Win a copy of A Haunting Dream, the fourth book in the Missing Pieces Mysteries, by leaving your name at my blog: http://romanceofmystery.blogspot.com
12-03-2012 06:51 AM
Joyce and Jim, weclome and have a great visit. I love the titles of your books. I must check them out.
Do you consider their cozy mysteries? How do you come up with your titles?
So again welcome and have a great visit.
12-03-2012 10:14 AM
12-03-2012 10:25 AM
I first discovered Joyce and Jim through their Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries:
The Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries
Meet Peggy Lee: detective's widow and owner of the Potting Shed, an urban gardener's paradise in center city Charlotte, NC. Each book is set in a specific growing season and has a garden journal along with plenty of information about plants in each chapter. Peggy is an expert on botanical poisons as well as a mother, a hopeful romantic and a dutiful daughter.
Click on book covers to read an excerpt.
Poisoned By Buttercups
available October 2012
Peggy Lee, owner of The Potting Shed garden shop, is involved in another murder investigation. After two years of being on the ‘outs’ with the Charlotte Police, new homicide Lieutenant Al McDonald, asks for her help. The choice of weapon for the killer is flower poison, starting with angel’s trumpet. No one knows botanical poisons as well as Peggy.
The investigation turns personal for her when she realizes the killer has used poison to draw her out. Two men with her dead husband’s name have already died.
Is the killer working toward getting rid of Peggy too?
ISBN - 978-0-425-22810-4
Berkley Prime Crime - May 2009
Peggy's mother volunteers her to look for old bones and antiques in a dry lake during a terrible drought in Charlotte, NC. She finds a corpse and a long standing feud with a group of history buffs while assisting the Charlotte police in their search for a killer. Between dodging questions about her relationship with Steve, will she find time to answer his very important question?
A National Mystery Bestseller!
Berkley Prime Crime - May 2008
While attending a funeral in nearby Badin, Peggy learns of more bad news: a diver performing routine work on the local dam is found dead. The police call on Peggy's new training as a contract forensic botanist to help answer questions, but her findings only raise more questions. Peggy is happy to lend her green thumb to the investigation between remodeling the Potting Shed and finding time for her relationship with Steve, but this may be the one time digging for a killer leaves her empty handed.
Large Print available from Thorndike Press
A National Mystery Bestseller!
Berkley Prime Crime - May 2007
After Peggy's friend, Professor Darmus Appleby, is killed in a fiery explosion, his brother, Luther, takes his place as the head of the global organization, Feed America. When he is found dead shortly after in the Charlotte community garden, she investigates the brothers' deaths using botanical DNA. In her quest, she learns a terrible secret. It will send her to places she never expected to visit and unite her and her son, Paul.
In her personal life, she receives an invitation for a midnight meeting with Nightflyer that brings her closer to Steve. She finds out her visiting parents plan to move to Charlotte and competition for the Potting Shed in the form of a Smith and Hawken garden store will be right behind them.
"Cleverly plotted . . . a delightful botany mystery." ~ The Best Reviews
"An enjoyable and cozy read, perfectly suited for lounging in the garden on a summer day." ~ The Muse Book Reviews
A Barnes and Noble Top Pick!
From Berkley Prime Crime
What made Peggy's lifelong friend Park Lamonte drive off a ramp to his death? Park's aged mother suspects his wife, Beth, killed him for the ten-million-dollar insurance policy. The police think so, too. But Peggy has a growing suspicion that there's more to the story.
She's convinced Beth is innocent -- even after Park's mother is also killed, an evidence emerges that seems to point to Beth. Can Peggy maintain her gardening business, teach her botany classes, nurture her relationship with her new man, deal with her unruly Great Dane . . . and still find time to extract the truth?
The authors do such a fine job in bringing each and every character to life, smoothly bringing them from one book to the next where you never have to play catch-up.
The characters are brimming with personality that will make you chuckle out loud or want to give them a right hook. Peggy's antics and down to earth personality just make these books go over the top in reading enjoyment; and who could resist her lovable dog Shakespeare, her love Steve and the colorful people who work for her at her business, The Potting Shed. As in the first, the mystery that must be solved in this second book twists you around until your dizzy trying to figure it out, but why try; it's more enjoyable just to let Peggy do it.
I cannot recommend this work highly enough. It has everything, mystery, wonderful characters, sinister plot, humor and even romance. The way the authors merge plant knowledge into the storyline is great! Come on! Does it get much better than this? I am a fan for life; well done Joyce and Jim, keep-um coming!
Shirley Johnson ~ Senior Reviewer ~ MidWest Book ReviewFruit of the Poisoned Tree, in addition to being a delight for any serious gardener who also leans toward mysteries, is a real gem for murder-mystery enthusiasts. The Lavenes obviously know what they're doing when it comes to writing in this area. Nothing is left out, and the twist at the end is worthy of hoopla accorded to authors with much larger followings.
Alan Paul Curtis ~ Whodunnit
Large Print available from Thorndike Press
And don't miss the first book in the series . . .
An IMBA and Barnes and Noble Bestseller!
From Berkley Prime Crime
When botanist and garden shop owner Peggy Lee finds a dead man in her shop, The Potting Shed, in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, she takes the matter personally. Especially when her homeless friend, Mr. Cheever, is accused of the crime because he took the dead man’s shoes. Peggy knows he’s innocent, but proving it will mean following the dead man’s trail of broken hearts and lonely women to the one person capable of the act. Peggy’s life will be in danger, she’ll fall in love with a Great Dane and a younger man and manage to break a few rules before she’s done!
“Adventure, romance, humor and mystery. This is truly a read that you do not want to miss. I carry the characters with me and look forward to Peggy's next adventure with great anticipation. Well done!” ~ MidWest Book Review
“PRETTY POISON is the perfect book if you're looking for great suspense. Joyce and Jim Lavene pen a tale that will have you turning page after page. I can't wait for the next!” ~
“Joyce and Jim Lavene have written a fantastic amateur sleuth mystery where the protagonist goes to outrageous lengths to prove the two suspects innocent. Peggy proves life can be rich and rewarding after fifty and the beginning of a romance with a sexy younger man adds an extra ingredient to a charming story. This mystery will appeal to men and women of all ages as PRETTY POISON is a great tale.” ~ Harriet Klausner
Large Print available from Thorndike Press
12-03-2012 11:10 AM
Hi Joyce and Jim, I'm glad you both are doing a series on the speedways starting with the Charlotte Speedway. I'm from Charlotte and have been there twice, once to watch the 600 race in May and the other time, I got to drive in Jimmy Johnson's car at a driving experience school. What a rush as we were doing a mere 75 mph around the oval. Awesome! I have read a few of your books and look forward to your new ones.
12-03-2012 01:33 PM
Welcome Joyce and Jim:
Started reading A TIMELY VISION last night. I am half-way and expected to finish it this morning but Mondays are my daughter's day off and she wanted to visit some antique furniture stores today while her car was being repaired at our local service center.
I am enjoying the book very much and hope to finish it this evening. Seems as though, the antique stores are all closed on Mondays but we had an enjoyable lunch at Chipotle's.
Hope you enjoy your visit with us!
12-03-2012 02:47 PM
12-03-2012 09:07 PM
Welcome, Joyce and Jim. I've just started reading
12-03-2012 10:37 PM
Joyce and Jim are having problems posting comments. (An all too familiar problem lately...)
To ease their frustration a bit, I've asked them to email their responses to me and I'll post them on their behalf.
I know this isn't the ideal situation, but we'll make it work somehow!