Tag Archive for: .99 on Kindle

Checking In with Yourself

By Sparkle Abbey

For us, it’s week seven of practicing social distancing and working
from home. Or as we like to call it, doing our part. Basically, like everyone
else, we’ve been hunkered down in the same living space for over fifty days. (Why
do fifty days seem longer than seven weeks?) Sheltering in place or staying
at home, depending on your community, has us all feeling some sort of emotion—anxiety,
fear, worry, boredom, solidarity, gratitude or blessed. With this mixed bag of
emotions emerges the need to support each other, and it only takes a quick scroll
through social media to see or hear the reassuring phrase, “We’ll get through this
While it’s true we’re in this together,
each one of us is dealing with the pandemic crisis differently. Some of us are
staying busy baking, learning a new language, or tackling those long-forgotten DIY
lists. Others are just trying to make it through each day, putting one foot in
front of the other. Even for us glass-half-full folks, it can be difficult to
stay positive while the world is self-isolating.
We need to do more than just
survive, we need to thrive. With that thought, it’s more important than ever to
practice self-care. We 
wanted to share five questions to ask yourself daily.
  1. Who am I connecting
    with today?
    – We may call it social distancing, but it’s really physical
    . Humans are social
    beings. Pick one or two people to check in with each day.
  2. What
    expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
    – This is the time to
    figure out what’s really important. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic.
    You don’t have to check off each item on your daily to-do list.
  3. How am I getting
    outside today?
    – Getting outside can improve your mood and reduced
    anxiety. Take a walk. Do some yoga in your backyard. Sit in the sun.
  4. How am I moving
    my body today?
    – Keep moving! An active lifestyle during quarantine is an
    important part of keeping both your body and your mind healthy.
  5. What am I
    grateful for today? –
    Take two minutes and jot down what you’re grateful for
    or what has brought you joy that day. The practice of being thankful can help
    you relax and improve your mental health.

Sheltering in place is our normal for now. The idea is to ask these questions to check in with ourselves, but not
to stress about the answers.
What you need might be different. If so what questions would you add to the list?

By the way – In honor of National Pet Week THE GIRL WITH THE DACHSHUND TATTOO is only $0.99 through
the 15th at your favorite eBook retailer!

It starts with a premise…

By Judy Penz Sheluk

People often ask me where I get my ideas and I always tell them “from life.” That may sound trite, but it’s true. And while every author, and every book, follows a different path, I will tell you this secret: It all starts with a premise. Here’s another secret: there’s no such thing as a unique premise. There are, however, different ways to spin the same premise. In other words, the “secret sauce” is the spin.

Consider this example:

The premise behind my 2015 amateur sleuth mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, is all too familiar story: A greedy developer comes to a small town with plans to build a mega-box store on the town’s historic Main Street, thereby threatening the livelihoods of the many independent shops and restaurants. I took that premise and said, “What if someone was willing to commit murder to stop it? But remember, there are no new ideas, just different ways to spin them. Here’s the synopsis for John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers suspense novel, Shock Wave (which I read long after writing Noose, in case you were wondering.)

The superstore chain PyeMart has its sights set on a Minnesota river town, but two very angry groups want to stop it: local merchants fearing for their businesses, and environmentalists, predicting ecological disaster. The protests don’t seem to be slowing the project, though, until someone decides to take matters into his own hands.

The first bomb goes off on the top floor of PyeMart’s headquarters. The second one explodes at the construction site itself. The blasts are meant to inflict maximum damage — and they do. Who’s behind the bombs, and how far will they go?

Okay then, what if we were to take the same premise and turn it into a Hallmark-type Christmas movie? The synopsis would go something like this:

When a ruthless, but handsome, developer comes to a small town with plans to build a mega-box store, the local shop owners band together to stop him, led by the beautiful and widowed owner of an indie bookstore started by her late husband many years before. 

In other words, it all starts with a premise. But then again, you already knew that, didn’t you?

And now it’s time for the inevitable Shameless Self Promotion. The Hanged Man’s Noose is currently on a .99 e-book promo on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple, and GooglePlay. That’s a $4 savings — so pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er because the sale ends March 10th. Seriously, do you want to miss it? I think not.

The Next Big Thing

by Sparkle Abbey

Everyone has dreams and aspirations. We certainly have big dreams! But why do some people achieve their dreams and others struggle? We believe it comes down to one word—action. We strongly believe setting goals, creating a plan, and working hard creates success. You’ve probably read a blog or two by us about goal setting. We love goals! They give us a clear picture of what we want and help us map out how to get there.

All of our writer friends know that as 2018 comes to a close, we will kick off 2019 with new goals and an action plan to turn those new Sparkle Abbey dreams into reality. It never takes long for someone to ask us, “What are you working on now?” We love that question for a number of reasons—to test new titles, to talk about the newest Sparkle Abbey project, and to talk about our individual projects.

Game of Scone CoverAh, yes. . . . Individual projects. Maybe you’ve heard that Sparkle, aka Mary Lee, has been diligently working on her own cozy mystery series under the name of Mary Lee Ashford. We are thrilled to announce that book one, Game of Scones, debuted this week!

It’s the first in a new series called the Sugar & Spice mysteries and we think you’ll see some similarities to our Pampered Pets books  – cozy, twisty, and with a dollop of humor. 

The publisher, Kensington Books/Lyrical Press describes it like this: 

As co-owner of Sugar and Spice Cookbooks, Sugar Calloway has seen simple confections bring friends together and spark fiery feuds. Except this time, the recipe truly is to die for . . . 

We hope you’ll check out Game of Scones and celebrate with us the realization of another dream. And as 2018 comes to a close, we wish you much success as you work toward your own goals in 2019. 

Special Pricing!

Also one last piece of fun news: Raiders of the Lost Bark, book eight in our Pampered Pets series is on sale for 99¢ in all eBook formats. 

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iTunes

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets–Sparkle (Mary Lee’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). If you want to make sure you’re up on all the Sparkle Abbey news, stop by their website and sign up for updates at sparkleabbey.com.

Against the Undertow

by Bethany Maines

It’s release day for Against the Undertow! I’m so excited to bring this book out into the world. The San Juan Island Murder Mystery Series is a little like Matlock went to the beach. It features a cantankerous ex-CIA agent, Tobias Yearly, and his granddaughter, Tish, as they solve mysteries from their home on Orcas Island in Washington State. It’s funny, it’s romantic and it’s full of twists and turns. This semi-cozy series has been a joy to research (mmm… food research) and write (I <3 my characters) and I hope that all of you enjoy it as much as I have.

You never know what will drag you down.
Former actress Tish Yearly is determined to turn an old Orcas Island homestead into the premier wedding venue in the San Juans Islands of Washington, but money, skill and her grandfather, Tobias Yearly, are all standing in her way. Tobias, the septuagenarian ex-CIA agent, wants them to become private investigators. Tish might be able to ignore her grandfather’s whims, except that her one time love interest and current friend, handsome Sheriff’s Deputy Emmett Nash, was just accused of murdering his ex-wife’s boyfriend. Now Tish and Tobias are on the case, and it should be easy—after all, who could really think Nash was a killer?—but the further they investigate, the more people seem to be threatening her life: the police detective on the case, Nash’s angry ex-wife, his psychotic ex-girlfriend, and a strangely venomous group of hippies. Almost everyone on the island seems determined to stop her. Tish is swimming against the undertow, but it might not be enough to save either Nash or herself.

And this month you can also pick book 1 – An Unseen Current – for ¢.99.

You never know what’s beneath the surface.
When Seattle native Tish Yearly finds herself fired and evicted all in one afternoon, she knows she’s in deep water. Unemployed and desperate, the 26 year old ex-actress heads for the one place she knows she’ll be welcome – the house of her cantankerous ex-CIA agent grandfather, Tobias Yearly, in the San Juan Islands. And when she discovers the strangled corpse of Tobias’s best friend, she knows she’s in over her head. Tish is thrown head-long into a mystery that pits her against a handsome but straight-laced Sheriff’s Deputy, a group of eccentric and clannish local residents, and a killer who knows the island far better than she does. Now Tish must swim against the current, depending on her nearly forgotten acting skills and her grandfather’s spy craft, to con a killer and keep them alive.

is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, Tales From the City of Destiny, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found
chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You
can also catch up with her on
Twitter and Facebook.

My Christmas Offering by Marilyn Meredith

Between December 7 and December 11 I am offering an old book of mine, Lingering Spirit for 99 cents on Kindle.

Why am I doing this? Because it is one of my favorite books–not a mystery in the usual sense of the genre–but there are many questions to be answered. Mainly, I’d categorize it as a romance with a touch of the supernatural.

After a month long blog tour, Lingering Spirit made the top 100
best sellers of supernatural romance on Amazon.
Book blurb: 
Some Review Snippets:
is a master of characterization. She fully rounds out the facets of her
protagonists’ personalities and richly develops the details of the supporting
cast. She does not hit any false notes with her dialogue and builds strong
relationships among her characters. She realistically describes what a young
widow would go through following the tragic death of her husband.
Overall, uncovering why this spirit lingers is an incredibly
moving experience.”
New York
Journal of Books–Reviewer Nicole Langan owns the independent publishing house,
Tribute Books
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book!
Spirit is well worth buying and spending time with. It’ll give you a lot to
think about after the story is finished. I loved it, as you can tell. It’s the
perfect summer OR winter read. Great book, one of my favorite reads this year.”

–Beth Anderson, author and book reviewer.
rate this book 5 Stars out of 5 Stars!
I LOVED this book I could not put it down! I
am telling you all Marilyn is a FANTASTIC writer and anyone who does not read
this book is missing out on a fabulous read…” – Vanessa -Ohio Girl Talks
polished this book off in two days and you won’t want to stop reading it once
you pick it up.
Lingering Spirit is the type of book that romance lovers
dream of finding.” –Cheryl Malandrinos, The Book Connection
Blurb: After her police
officer husband is killed in the line of duty, Nicole Ainsworth struggles with
the changes forced on her life. Her efforts to focus on her daughters and cope
with her grief are kept off-balance by images of Steve, her deceased husband
who seems to be trying to communicate with her. Eventually, Nicole finds that
Steve isn’t the only one watching over her, and discovers a second chance at


I do hope some of you will try it, remember only .99 cents between December 7 – 11