Joanne Phillips

A Writers Journey


Murder at the Maples

Brilliant Book Signings and A Super Competition

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 …

Book signing before

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 …

ADWD newspaper

So, here I am signing books, chatting to readers and generally looking very happy 🙂

Signing ADWD 1

Signing ADWD 2

Signing ADWD 4

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.

A Date With Death FB

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!

FREE Mystery Ebook All This Weekend!

To celebrate the launch of the second book in my Flora Lively series, I’m offering the first in the series, Murder at the Maples, FREE all this weekend! The sun is shining, what better way to spend the day than sitting in the garden with a glass of wine and a great cozy mystery … (Okay, in the UK we can’t guarantee the sun is going to keep shining, but reading indoors curled up by the fire is almost as much fun.)

Murder at the Maples

This free promotion means, of course, that you can buy both books – Murder at the Maples & A Date With Death for your Kindle for only £1.99/$2.99. Here’s a bit more about the first in the Flora Lively series:

Meet feisty new amateur sleuth Flora Lively in the first of her cozy mystery adventures …

When twenty-nine-year-old Flora Lively loses both of her parents and inherits the family business, she tries hard to make a success of her father’s dream – even at the expense of her own dreams. Burdened with Marshall, her father’s handpicked American manager, Flora finds solace in her friendship with Joy, an elderly client she helped move into the Maples, the local retirement community.

But when strange and dangerous things begin to happen at the Maples, Flora finds herself plunged headfirst into a web of betrayal, intrigue and deceit. Convinced a murderer is preying on helpless residents, Flora is forced to conduct a private murder investigation. But can she solve the puzzle in time, or will the murderer strike again?

I love this series – but then I’m pretty biased! But I do really enjoy writing about Flora, and I’m eager to get going with the new book: ‘The Sign of Seven’. If you enjoy these books and you live in Shropshire or nearby, come and see me at BookShrop, Whitchurch on Saturday 27th June at 11:00 where I’ll be signing copies of A Date With Death and chatting to readers about the series.

In the meantime, please do share news of this offer with your friends and social networks – the more readers Flora meets, the happier I am 🙂

Murder at the Maples is now FREE on Kindle

You’d better not be getting fed up with Flora Lively news because I’ve got one more great bit of news today – to celebrate the release of the audiobook, the Kindle edition of  Murder at the Maples is now FREE! From today until Monday you can download the first in the series for absolutely nothing, giving you plenty of time to read it before Book 2 – A Date With Death – comes out in November.

Click on the cover to get your copy now …


Need more convincing to give it a try? Okay, here’s the blurb from Amazon:

Contemporary mystery with a touch of romance …

“A gripping tale filled with humanity and humor. Don’t miss this one!” Found Between The Covers

When twenty-nine-year-old Flora Lively loses both of her parents and inherits the family business, Shakers Removals, she tries hard to make a success of her father’s dream – even at the expense of her own dreams. Burdened with Marshall, her father’s handpicked American manager, Flora finds solace in her friendship with Joy, an elderly client she helped move into the Maples, the local retirement community. When strange and dangerous things begin to happen at the Maples, Flora finds herself conducting a private murder investigation.

Will Flora discover who’s behind the series of ‘incidents’ at the Maples? Will her newly inherited business be able to fight off their biggest rival? And just who is that mysterious stranger Flora keeps bumping into?

Described as ‘Bridget Jones meets Midsomer Murders’, Murder at the Maples is a new ‘genre-busting’ romance-mystery from the author of Amazon bestseller Can’t Live Without.

“An excellent start to a new cozy mystery series and a brand new amateur sleuth for readers to fall in love with.” Socrates Book Reviews

“There is much more to the story than a mystery to solve. The mystery is underpinned by important and thoughtful considerations of the nature of love, loss, grief and old age – this serious undercurrent adds depth to the book, likely to make the reader think about it for long after they’ve solved the mystery and read the final page.” Debbie Young

“The characters are lovely, and the mystery is top notch. Murder at the Maples is a wonderful start to a cozy series.” Brooke Blogs

“A quirky and well developed main character, strange and interesting secondary characters, and the question of whether there was, or wasn’t, a murder kept me turning the pages. If you’re a fan of Elizabeth Peters, Agatha Christie or Charles Todd, I think this is a book you’ll want to check out.” Queen Of All She Reads

“With her usual comfortable writing style, Joanne Phillips brings to the page a murder mystery full of intrigue but without the gore of the usual murder mystery. Her storytelling is a mix of Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle and M.C. Beaton.” Found Beneath The Covers


With reviews like that you just know that getting it for free is a bargain 😉 I have no Bookbub assistance on this one, just my book and you, so please share and download and share some more. Thank you, and enjoy x

My First Audiobook Is Live!

Today I’m delighted to announce that my first ever audiobook is now available to download from Amazon and Audible!

cover audio snip

It’s been an amazing journey getting to this point. I blogged about the process of uploading your project to ACX back in May (you can read that post here), but even then I had no idea how seamless and easy it would be. I was lucky – Annette Rizzo, the producer/narrator of the book, turned out to be amazing to work with. When the time came to approve the final recording, listening to the final audiobook from start to finish was an incredibly emotional experience. For one thing, it’s a really good book! 😉 Well, I’m bound to say that, but hearing your book professionally narrated brings it to life in a different way. And two, Annette did such a good job with the story and the characters she exceeded all my expectations. She ‘got’ the humour, as well, which I think was very important.

Here is a clip of the book for you to listen to right now:

I love Annette’s voice. After listening to her for 6 hours and 49 minutes, she felt like a good friend – and as the voice of Flora Lively series, she’s perfect. I just hope she’s available to narrate A Date With Death when the time comes.

If you haven’t signed up to Audible yet I really urge you to give it a try. (And if you make my book your first ever purchase I’ll be eternally grateful!) I’ll be honest – I only signed up so I could check out other titles and find out what made good or bad narration so I had something to gauge my own auditions by. But now I’m a member you could not convince me to leave. I LOVE listening to audiobooks now. I listen in my car, while walking, or just when I want to read but I’m feeling too tired. There is something very elemental about being read to – perhaps it reminds us of when we were children. Whatever the reason, I highly recommend Audible – and not just because they’ve got one of my books for sale 😉

Audio snip

So, you can get hold of Murder at the Maples in audio either from Amazon … (it looks so cool to have three formats under your book title: Kindle, paperback and audio)

3 formats

… or from Audible directly. They’ve got a special joining offer of only £3.99 a month for the first 3 months, which means you get one credit a month for any book – and when you consider that most audiobooks are well over £10, that is great value.

So, what’s next for me and audiobooks? I’ve already uploaded Cupid’s Way to ACX and I’m waiting for auditions as we speak. Murder at the Maples did well because it was awarded a Stipend – Cupid’s Way is newer so may not be so lucky. But we’ll see – it’s all a great learning curve. I’m planning to roll out all my books into audio, so watch this space 🙂


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