I’m really excited to announce that Book 3 in the Flora Lively series of cozy mysteries is now available in ebook and paperback! Check out this gorgeous cover (and scroll down for the blurb and links if you’re interested).
I’m absolutely loving the purple vibe – thanks to Chris Howard for another excellent cover design. Chris is currently working on a complete overhaul of all my contemporary fiction, so watch out for that.
In The Sign of Seven, Flora has her most challenging mystery yet! The story is set in a spooky old museum of antiquities, and sees Flora and Marshall packing up a wacky collection of artefacts, ready to move them to the British Museum. But on the very first night … you guessed it! A dead body is discovered, and Flora is bang in the middle of yet another mystery.
When a priceless artefact goes missing, museum owner Jasmine White fears that an ancient curse has come to pass. Flora Lively is called upon to investigate, but her first ‘official’ case is set to be her most challenging yet …
Flora’s new job at the White & Co. Museum of Antiquities takes a deadly turn when a body is discovered in a packing crate that Flora herself sealed shut only hours earlier. Who is the murdered woman and how did she get there? As the stakes get higher, the threat moves closer to home. This time, Flora may be truly out of her depth.
This is the lamassu, and you’ll get to know A LOT about these in the book! I’m fascinated with these creatures, and visited the huge statues on the British Museum as part of the research for The Sign of Seven.
As well as a twisty-turny mystery, the continued story of Flora and Marshall’s romance, and some very spooky museum exhibits, there is an additional – very personal – challenge for Flora. But you’ll have to read the book to find out more 🙂
So, if you’re interested, here is the Amazon link to download for Kindle or order in paperback: smarturl.it/SignSeven
Flora is going on tour for the next fortnight, popping into book blogs all over the US and beyond! Once again my thanks go out to Lori Caswell from Great Escapes Book Tours for organising all of this. This time there are 14 stops on the tour, with a fantastic mix of content for readers old and new.
Check out the tour schedule below and come along for the ride! There are some fab interviews and guest posts to read, along with reviews and excerpts, and did I mention that you could win a $10 Amazon voucher along the way? It has to go to someone, and it might be you. You get a number of chances to win during every stop on the tour – entering the Rafflecopter is super-easy. And you can start right away by visiting A Blue Million Books where I’m answering some very interesting questions about my writing life …
Wow, what a weekend! The book signing event in Whitchurch was a fantastic success, with a real buzz going and readers actually queuing up to get their books signed! Most people bought a copy of each of the Flora Lively mysteries, and the new cover for book one looked awesome in paperback – check out one very proud author on her way out the door to go to the signing …
Dinah Anderson from BookShrop had set the signing table up beautifully – she always goes to so much trouble for her authors, it’s no wonder the events are successful. Many readers had heard about the event from the local papers – coverage was great, check this out …
So, here I am signing books, chatting to readers and generally looking very happy 🙂
Special thanks to Lynsey for the flowers, and to Emma, above, for travelling all the way from Bedfordshire to get her copy of A Date With Death!
All-in-all a great success, and every time I do a signing event more people show up, which is lovely. My husband and I were trying to work out how much it would cost to pay 20 or 30 people to queue up outside the bookshop, with the idea that other people tend to just join queues even if they don’t know what they’re queuing for! We decided it would cost way too much 😉 – but that hopefully one day that wish might be a reality. You never know.
If you couldn’t make it and you’d like to enter a competition to Win a signed copy of A Date With Death, along with lots of other goodies, just pop over to my Facebook Page and enter the competition there.
Meanwhile, Murder at the Maples continues to do well in the US and UK charts, so thanks again to everyone who downloaded a copy during the recent BookBub promotion. I’m totally fired up to get on with book 3 – The Sign of Seven. Can’t wait to get that cover up there with the others!
It’s Independent Bookshops Week – and I’ve probably got even more reason to be excited than most! But first I want to talk about why you should make an effort to buy local. (Prepare yourselves – it’s a bit of a rant!)
Local bookshops are wonderful places. No matter how hard Amazon try, with their ‘customers also bought’ lists and recommended titles, nothing can compete with being able to walk into a bookshop and ask for help. On Friday evening just before 5pm I dashed into BookShrop and panted: “What book would my dad like for Father’s Day?” Dinah, who owns BookShrop, doesn’t know the first thing about my dad, but somehow she managed to produce the perfect book for him in less than three minutes and after asking only two questions. And, true enough, when I gave my dad his present he loved it! I’d also phoned up in the week to order a book for my daughter to give to Jez as her Father’s Day gift, and Dinah stocks a lovely selection of cards and other gifts alongside the books – as do many independent bookshops.
This week is an opportunity to think about the people who own and run businesses on our high streets, and to try and imagine our towns and cities without these independent shops. Do you really want everything to be moved online or to big out of town retailers? Really? Think about it for a minute. It’s not just about convenience. It’s not only about saving a few pence, or finding a parking space. Those kinds of concerns are momentary and, actually, fairly selfish. This is about community. About the people who are at the heart of a community, about hubs and places where people can connect and speak to each other face-to-face. It’s about thinking for a moment about the kinds of people who set up and run a local business – not just bookshops, but other kinds of businesses too. They have families to support, bills to pay, and often run on margins that would make you wince. They chose to set up a local business because they love their local community (that means YOU) and because they have a dream. It’s up to all of us to take care of our high streets, because without a vibrant high street filled with real, independent retailers and businesses, a town loses its heart.
Need more convincing to shop local? Okay, here goes:
Convenience: your local independent bookshop can take orders over the phone or online too, and will often post a book directly out to you. So there!
Cost: you think local shops are more expensive, but are they really? Have you checked recently? Often our local stores are a lot more competitive than we realise. And remember, it’s often only certain loss-leader items that superstores offer more cheaply, tempting you in so you then spend more on your overall shop.
House prices: here’s an interesting reason to support local businesses – the value of your home. Run-down high streets with tumbleweed blowing past and nothing but charity shops interspersed with ‘To Let’ signs does not make for a desirable place to live!
So, head over to your local independent bookshop this week and show your support. If you don’t know where your local bookshop is, there is a handy tool on the Independent Bookshops Week website to help you find it. And if your response to this post is “I don’t read much anyway so why do I care?” … You don’t even want to get me started on that 🙂
So, now to my own personal reasons for being a little bit in love with my local bookshop. On Saturday, BookShrop in Whitchurch will be launching the paperback of my second Flora Lively book: A Date With Death. This will be my 4th book signing event here, and I’m fully expecting it to be the biggest and best so far. All the ingredients are there for a great turn out: A local indie author launching a book with a local setting during local indie bookshop week. And if you want a copy of A Date With Death but can’t make it to the launch, please order it from your own local bookshop. The ISBN is 9780957309449 and your bookshop can order it from their usual suppliers.
Watch out later this week for my guide for authors who want to get their books stocked by their local bookshop. Insider information and a step-by-step guide – not to be missed!