Get to Know Jinx Schwartz

I’m proud to be part of a network of mystery writers who support and encourage each other.  While we’re all different—and that’s reflected in our writing style—we share a common love for mystery fiction and for series that include dogs and other animals.  This week, I’d like you to meet award-winning author Jinx Schwartz, who writes the best-selling Hetta Coffey mystery series. Book #6 (Just Needs Killin’ ) is scheduled for release in July 2014.  Here’s what she has to say about the series and her main character:

jinxdeskonboat

Hetta is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she’s not afraid to use it! Who knew a woman living on a boat could collect so many animal friends?

My readers seem to be all over the map—literally! Men and women (from twenty-somethings to ninety-somethings) of many nationalities enjoy Hetta’s adventures.  Readers say they love the books for their humor, and let’s face it, escapist adventure. With Hetta they are transported into the world of sea adventures, exotic locations, and yes, that element of danger and romance we all love.

Reading, for me, is the best of entertainment, and I strive to entertain. And while Hetta is a woman, many of my male readers like her snarkiness, spunk, and heck, she has a boat!

Hetta’s adventures began way before I ever wrote a book. I was a perpetually single woman with a desire for change, so I bought a large yacht as a man trap and moved aboard. Did it work? Yep. The humorous side of buying a boat for all the wrong reasons, then falling in love with living on the water was the inspiration for Just Add Water, the first in the series.

The Hetta Coffey Mystery Series

Just_The_Pits_Cover

Just the Pits is the fifth book in the series. Hetta is in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, and living on her boat while she tackles a new project at a Baja copper mine.

While her actual job description is somewhat vague, she’s been hired by her mentor, Fidel Wontrobski (his father was a Polish communist, thus the name) who knows Hetta as a problem solver, albeit not always in the most lawful of ways. As a civil engineer, she specializes in Materials Management, and soon discovers significant budget overruns are not the only mystery: employees are disappearing as well. Is it a conspiracy?

She and her friend, Jan, go after the perpetrators, but are also on a mission to rescue a pitiful pup stranded on a forlorn and treacherous highway. As if perps and pups aren’t enough of a challenge, an old enemy surfaces and sets them up as possible murder suspects, making the entire debacle just the pits.

 

 Follow Jinx!

Get to know Jinx on Facebook. To see all her books and get updates about the series, be sure to visit her website. You can find her work in trade paperback, digital, and audio editions.

UPDATE: Jinx is running a special promotion of Just Add Water (the first in the series) in early May. The book opens with a man, under investigation for fraud, preparing to make himself disappear into thin air from Tokyo.  From there, we jump ahead five years and … well, you can read an excerpt for yourself here. Then mark your calendars for May 1st, when you can get a copy of Just Add Water FREE!

Can't get a man?  Just Add Water. FREE May 1st – 5th

Can’t get a man?
Just Add Water.
FREE May 1st – 5th

 

 

Get to Know Marja McGraw

Marja McGraw

Marja McGraw

I’m delighted to introduce readers to Marja McGraw,  a talented writer with over ten books to her credit—and more in the works!  A native of Southern California, she’s lived and worked in California, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and Arizona in jobs ranging from civil and criminal law, to state transportation, to print and digital media. While a member of Sisters in Crime, Marja served as Editor for the organization’s Internet Newsletter.  She and her husband now live in Arizona, where life is good.

Here’s Marja, telling us about her current work:

 I have two series which include canines. The Sandi Webster Mysteries involve a half wolf/half Golden Retriever who’s also half protector/half chicken. The Bogey Man Mysteries include two Yellow Labrador Retrievers, brother and sister, who have a knack for sniffing out bodies and mysteries.

Both series are light reading with a little humor. While there’s nothing funny about murder, you can find humor in the characters solving a case and the situations in which they find themselves. The books concentrate more on solutions than drama.

Most of the stories take place in Los Angeles, which is big enough to account for plenty of crime, and a great place to lose yourself. I’ve thought about—and asked—what readers might be interested in. I’ve learned people still enjoy reading about secret passages, hidden rooms, and buried treasures. They like a good “on a stormy night” story. Readers also enjoy characters they can relate to, and who might make them laugh or smile. I’ve tried to provide all of these things, along with a little history if the story involves a cold case.

The stories are somewhat unusual, either in the subject matter or how they’re solved. The characters are down-to-earth and easy to read.

My target audience? Anyone who enjoys a mystery. The characters in the books range from a child to seniors and everyone in between. I currently have readers in their teen years up to and including readers in their nineties. It’s an open market for a reader of any age.

“A little humor, a little romance, A Little Murder!”

The Sandi Webster Mysteries

Sandi’s a female private investigator who’s a little naïve but growing all the time. From the streets of Los Angeles to the desert in Arizona, mysteries involving cold cases and new situations follow Sandi and her partner, Pete. From the Red Light District in Old Los Angeles, a dog who thinks there’s a ghost in the attic, a 1940s female P.I. who wants an old case solved now, and a ghost town, you never know what you’ll find in the series to ponder and puzzle over. You’ll even find a look-alike for Humphrey Bogart who evolved into a second series.

Death Comes in Threes

Death Comes in Threes is the latest release in the Sandi Webster Mystery Series. Sandi was instrumental in putting David Smith in prison for murder. What’s he been up to during his prison time? He’s murdered a guard and escaped, and he’s coming after Sandi. To make matters worse, her menopausal mother, her elderly neighbor, and her closest friend are all in danger because they won’t leave her side. Are the four women a match for a vengeful killer?

Maybe he’s not a match for them.

The Bogey Man Mysteries

This series features Chris Cross, who’s a dead ringer for Humphrey Bogart. Chris wanted to become a detective until he found out what it involves. Married with an eight-year-old stepson, he tries his hardest to live a calm life while running a forties-themed restaurant. His wife, Pamela, tells the stories about their latest adventures. The family which might remind some of the Thin Man family; they’re always looking for either clues or a way to get their lives back to normal.

Even though he changed his mind about the profession, mysteries continue to seek Chris out. He  gained a little notoriety when he worked with a female private eye, and folks just won’t let him forget that case. Some sweet little Church Ladies even call on him when a friend disappears under mysterious circumstances.

Awkward Moments is the latest release in the Bogey Man Mystery Series. What might happen if you tried to bury the body of a small bird, only to find a body already buried in the hole you’ve dug?  And what might happen if another body ended up in the same hole?

 Awkward Moments

Join Chris, Pamela and Mikey Cross while they try to figure out why someone would be murdered during their vacation, on private property, during the middle of the night. Watch for Chris’s cranky brother to show up unexpectedly, searching for lost gold and running people off of his property.

The Cross family is at it again, just like the amateur sleuths they swear they never meant to be.

Follow this author!

Marja’s mystery blog features an entertaining new post every Monday. Check her website, too, for news and updates on the series, as well as great photos and links. You can find links to book trailers like this one, too.

To order paperback or Kindle editions, check her Amazon page.  And please consider posting a review!

Fayetteville Literary Festival

Susan Holmes, author

Susan Holmes, author

I’m honored to be one of the authors invited to participate in the Fayetteville (Arkansas) Literary Festival this fall! I’ll be part of a discussion titled “Writing in Genres” and will share information about writing a regional mystery series.  (If you’ve just found this site, the series I’m talking about is the Waterside Kennels mystery series, set against the backdrop of the Ozarks and Eureka Springs.)

The festival is a four-day event in early October, featuring writing workshops, readings,  and author events. Organizational partners include the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Schools,  Fayetteville Education Foundation, and other community institutions/agencies.

According to Nancy Hartney, Reference Librarian at the Fayetteville Public Library, the festival’s roots can be found in Fayetteville Public Library’s long running Ozark Writers Live festival, which began in 2007.  The original OWL served to showcase Southern and regional authors and as inspiration for new writers.

From the festival’s website: True Lit is a collaboration between multiple Fayetteville institutions interested in celebrating literary adventures for all ages. The four-day festival includes many events that are free and open to the public.

“The event has grown each year with both participants and authors looking forward to the next year of talks and workshops,” commented Willow Fitzgibbon, Manager of Adult Services at FPL. “We are excited to help build a regional literature festival from OWL’s success.”

Previous guest speakers at the Fayetteville literary festivals have included Donald Harington, Miller Williams, Daniel Woodrell, Pat Carr, Roy Reed, Robert Cochran, Richard A. Knaak, Jo McDougall, Jack Gantos, and Kevin Brockmeier among others. What a distinguished group; I’m thrilled to be included!

In addition to the author presentation, I’ll be signing copies of Deadly Ties. And, if my publication schedule stays on track, I’ll have copies of the second in the series (tentatively titled Murderous Ways), too!

 

Who’s Been Here?

According to these nifty stats WordPress provides, people for 21 different countries have visited this website. Thanks to all!

I hope you’ll come back often.  In the next few weeks you’ll have the chance to “meet” other mystery authors and read excerpts of their work. Stay tuned!

Who's Been Here?

Who’s Been Here?

Another Wonderful Writer

Have you discovered Eva Pohler and her Gatekeeper’s Saga yet?  Eva is featured this week on the blog hop, which gives you a great opportunity to learn about her and her work.  I loved this comment:

At the very center of each of my stories is a woman fighting a battle. Sometimes it happens to be a literal battle, but even then, there are figurative ones. Always.

The Gatekeeper's Secret

The Gatekeeper’s Secret

That’s something our work has in common–a strong woman, seeking justice.  We’re proud of our heroines and all they accomplish, often against overwhelming odds.  And while Greek mythology and Ozarks legends might not seem to have much in common, both series feature story lines focusing on family, love, and the need to avenge a wrong.  In this, Eva knocks it right out of the park!

There’s mystery, myth, and legend just waiting for you. The fifth book in the series is due out very soon. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the first in the series free. Discover this great writer today!

Hop on over . . .

The Scent of Danger

The very talented Doranna Durgin has joined the blog hop party!  Doranna is a marvelously prolific writer and I promise you’ll enjoy learning about her background, process, and current projects.  I’ve invited her to share her post here, so check back soon. Meanwhile, here’s a link to her mystery fiction, featuring what just might be the world’s cutest Beagle!