Book Tour Begins Today
Thank You Itsy Bitsy Book Bits
Editor Kill Fee is officially on the road. The third in the Taylor Browning Cozy Mystery series took off today. You can find all the scoop here: https://itsybitsybookbits.com/2023/05/editor-kill-fee-the-taylor-browning-cozy-mysteries-book-3-by-gg-collins/
Watch the Book Trailer!
Read the Review:
Here is a new review excerpt written by @tarajohnson513 and published on Book Bub. For the entire review check out: https://www.bookbub.com/reviews/2330489227?utm_content=follow_alert&utm_source=social_email
“This was a great book with an interesting storyline that pulled me and from the first few pages I was hooked. I loved how the author immediately lends an air of mystery, suspense, and intrigue with the setting of Devils Road and Anita being drawn into the woods by a mysterious force. It gave me goosebumps and I could not wait to read what happened next. The characters are well rounded, lovable, and relatable. Taylor is one smart cookie who is ambitious and determined to get to the bottom of a mystery. I loved how she was relentless in getting to bottom of Anita’s disappearance and unravel the truth behind what was going on. A great book with mystery, drama, suspense, intrigue, and twists and turns that will keep you reading until the end.”
— Tara Johnson, Book Bub Member
Get your copy today https://a.co/d/epzN97r but stay away from the Mayan Death Pepper and Devil’s Road!
World Building for the Fiction Writer
by GG Collins Copyright 2023
If you write fiction, you must build a believable world for your reader to inhabit for the length of their stay. Make it authentic, personal and full of local color, wherever that might be.
Sometimes writers don’t realize it, but they’ve been building worlds all along. Mostly thought of as a skill for authors of sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal stories; we all do it. Every time you describe a room or what your heroine is wearing, you’re creating a reality in your reader’s head, subject to their interpretation.
Try this, next time you’re at a writing or reading group, read a paragraph that describes a room. Then, ask the participants where the sofa is? You’ll find that almost everyone has a different layout of the room and where all the furniture is located.
When writing my Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries I frequently have to construct other times and places. In Lemurian Medium, Rachel astral-traveled back to the doomed continent of Lemuria. I read the works of James Churchward and Frank Joseph to get the history. But when it came to clothing, I researched early Roman times.
With Atomic Medium, it was the 1940s Manhattan Project. I was lucky with it because I found photos of the Atomic City houses and buildings in the Science Photo Library at the Atomic Heritage Foundation in Los Alamos, New Mexico. These insights into time and place are invaluable to the writer needing background on historical events.
As I tackled Anasazi Medium, I researched the Fourth World of the Hopi. Both Frank Waters, who probably wrote the book (Book of the Hopi) on this American Southwest tribe, and Harold Courlanders book The Fourth World of the Hopis were a great help in establishing what might happen to my protagonist when she traveled to the Land of the Dead. I used the story of the young man from Oraibi that the Hopi have verbally gifted to each generation. It’s a beautiful account of a boy who risked death to see beyond the veils. Rachel experiences much the same journey as she visits that realm. There, Másaw, the Guardian of the Underworld, speaks with her regarding the end of the Fourth World.
Writing anything historical, for instance, Jacqueline Winspear’s wonderful Maisie Dobbs series, requires not just research, but immersing yourself in that moment in time. Your scenes need to look, maybe even smell and taste, authentic so your reader can’t put it down.
Next time you’re up to your ears in stacks of research and earmarked books, remember how much more interesting and fun your story will be to read because you took the time to hammer together a world beyond our own.
New Book: Editor Kill Fee
Mystery Editor Taylor Browning is Back in a New Cozy
What does a book club, a chile smuggling operation and a missing restaurateur have to do with murder? More than you might think. Taylor Browning is back with her cats and this time the “cantankerous” cat Oscar and new brother Cheddar get in on the action.
Preorder now at: https://amzn.to/3Z4qwJZ
Book Review: Ogre Lake Nothing to Fear by Helen G. Huntley
Get Ready to Enter a Magical Place
By GG Collins (Copyright 2023)
Set during the period before the Great Depression, two brothers return from their father’s funeral only to launch into an argument that is a turning point for both. While Jeremiah tries to calm his brother’s tirade, Isaiah is seething with rage because his father left him nothing. He refers to himself as the spare who will never be as good as his brother in his dead father’s eyes.
In his torment he casts a spell on his brother transforming him into an ogre who will forever be condemned to haunting the nearby lake. That is the only place he can be in human form. If he leaves the lake, he again becomes a monster. In emotional agony, Isaiah throws his father’s portrait into the open fireplace. Soon the fire has spread to the house and Isaiah is consumed by the flames.
Carina Raison, who is a forward-thinking woman of her time – perhaps even part of the suffragette movement? – decides she needs some alone time and drives to Ogre Lake to set up camp. Because of the rumor surrounding the area, she feels certain it will be a quiet experience. After all, she doesn’t believe in ogres. But soon she runs across a man who appears to live in a cave near the lake. In a lovely scene she gives the man soap and cuts his hair and beard. From then on, Carina is a regular at Ogre Lake as she helps him unravel his past so he can have a future. Their romance blossoms from her kindness.
“Jeremiah watched as Isaiah walked through the flames as if they were nothing, parting them with a movement of his hands.”
Cawdron Darois originally came from New Orleans where he had been a detective on the police force. He moved to Connecticut to become a private investigator, leaving the craziness of the Crescent City behind. He was content to find lost pets and take photos of philandering spouses. He could sense the presence of ghosts and Louisiana was full of them. Unfortunately, Connecticut has spirits too and one came with his apartment. Except for the ghost, he lives quietly with his cat Fred. Soon he is drawn into a series of deaths originally thought to be accidents.
Enjoy Huntley’s lyrical prose as you transit the tumultuous times before the Crash. Her characters are vividly written. Huntley’s theatrical experience shines through when she describes the rooms (sets) of the mansions she creates. This transports the reader into a beautiful world not yet cognizant of the approaching global economic collapse. Carina’s love for the ogre helps unravel the murder mystery with the help of a detective, a nun and a ghost.
Note: Adult Content
Book Review: Stone Heart by Susan K. Hamilton
Each Betrayal Begins With Trust
by GG Collins Copyright 2023
Infidelity is uncomfortable … for everyone. It’s painful for family, friends and those intimately involved. The lies, the subterfuge and the loss of integrity are felt by everyone. I think Hamilton wanted to explore this as a caveat. She succeeded. In her author’s note she said the reader might be frustrated with the principles, even angry. I was. It was as if signs were appearing everywhere telling them not to succumb, and yet …
“You’ll see it tonight. She’ll get lost in the music and get this look on her face. It says she’s right where she wants to be. That music is her world and she doesn’t need anything beyond that.”
Lauren Stone is a big-time rock star; front woman for the Kingmakers. Judging by appearances, she had everything: big house on a California beach, successful career, adoring fans. Despite this, when the group traveled to New York City to record their next album, Lauren was panicked by writer’s block. The songs weren’t coming.
The city was her home town and she immediately began thinking of Danny Padovano who was the high school sweetheart who got away. She had never forgotten their painful separation. He didn’t want life on the road. He wanted a family. Lauren was faced with a dilemma that many women have to confront – choosing between a career and someone she loves. This is never an easy choice. We can’t have it all. That’s a lie driven by pop psychology and pretty ads.
In spite of the protagonists agonizing over the temptation to relive something they lost, they leapt headlong into an affair – but only after Danny’s wife accuses him of “sleeping” with Lauren. The truth was they were already involved: chaste hugs, strokes of the hand, a kiss on the cheek. They just hadn’t done the deed. But high-profile celebrities cannot escape scrutiny. Fans with phones are everywhere.
When it does finally become sexual, they try to catch what they once had in their teens. While it seems wonderful to them, it makes everyone they know miserable. The other members of the group are furious with Lauren, so is Danny’s wife, his kids are affected and his devoutly Catholic parents. Absolutely no one is happy.
The music background is interesting and well done. Early on, Lauren does a television interview that is deftly written. The end is stellar. I was cheering for the Kingmakers. Hamilton did an excellent job of showing the allusion of happiness the relationship originally produces and the damage that can’t be undone. This honest depiction of betrayal will make you feel uncomfortable, but wiser.
Note: Adult Content (Sex, Drug Use, Infidelity)
Book Review from Reader’s Favorite
5 Star Book Review for Dead Editor File
Dead Editor File is the first book in The Taylor Browning Cozy Mysteries series by G.G. Collins. Prescott, the much-despised owner of Endicott Publishers, is found dead in his locked office. Taylor Browning, the mystery editor, suspects foul play and does a bit of light sleuthing. Many people had good reasons for disliking Prescott, including his ex-wife, Jessica, who surprisingly gains control of Endicott Publishers. When Taylor reads a manuscript from author Dominique Boucher, she can’t believe how similar the story is to Prescott’s death. Although warned by Detective Sanchez about her sleuthing, Taylor’s curiosity puts her in danger.
5 Stars from Reader’s Favorite reviewer Michelle Stanley. “G.G. Collins has a relaxed, unhurried writing style that allowed me to imagine the beautiful Santa Fe setting and other main features that made the story interesting.”
Find Dead Editor File at Amazon: https://amzn.to/3rNviNU
“Curiosity killed the cat,” but not in Dead Editor File. Taylor’s adorable Abyssinian cat, Oscar, doesn’t get mad but gets even whenever he feels ignored or isn’t fed on time. I don’t envy Taylor whenever he does. G.G. Collins has a relaxed, unhurried writing style that allowed me to imagine the beautiful Santa Fe setting and other main features that made the story interesting. This novel is a light-hearted cozy mystery with a likable main character, Taylor. Jim is a bit obnoxious, but so were other characters who thought highly of themselves. I also gained a bit of insight into the publishing industry from a different angle and found it interesting. The cover artwork is simply awesome and I like the font style used on it as well. Looking Glass Editor is another book in the Taylor Browning Cozy Mysteries series that seems just as appealing as Dead Editor File.
My thanks to Michelle and Reader’s Favorite.
Book Review: You Wish by Mark Scott Piper
Make a Wish!
Review by G G Collins Copyright 2022
High school still sucks in this well-written, fast-paced YA by Mark Scott Piper. You Wish is a book for anyone, even if graduation day exists only in your rearview mirror.
Jake Parker contemplates his lot in life, “A freakin’ nobody.” So it would seem. He sits in a “pile of rejects” while waiting his turn at bat on the baseball field. It’s the same with the girls at his school. They don’t know he’s alive. And why would they? Jake still rides a bike. With nearly two years to go before he can drive, he and best friend Lester make do in Santa Necia. And to end on a high note, his parents are now divorced.
Lester and Jake have a tree house that once passed as their secret pirate ship but having outgrown their yo-ho-ho days, the two renamed it The Snark in honor of the boat built by Jack London. They sometimes play out seafaring fantasies but guard against one of their classmates catching them fearing total humiliation.
One day while exploring the Old Addison Place, a once beautiful Victorian house now in ruins and about to be demolished, Jake finds an old ship’s lantern. His life is about to change, but will it for the better? While polishing the lamp, Jake wishes he had a pizza and abracadabra one appears on his bed.
This plunges Jake into a moral dilemma about how to best use the remaining two wishes. The boys consider the possibilities from making them all rich to world peace. Just when Jake needs it, a new friend appears on the scene. Ben Ackyack, who may be in line to inherit the Addison Place, has parked his dilapidated trailer on the estate property and befriended Jake. Little does Jake know what an important part he will play.
Ben throws a wrench in the plans for the Addison property. So much so, the police begin checking him out. Trouble is, he appears to be devoid of a past. As Ben is arrested, Jake pulls out the lantern and makes his second wish. I won’t ruin it for you, but it’s something that’s caught on video. Reporters and the FBI swoop down on Santa Necia, infiltrating every aspect of Jake’s family life. The FBI even presents Jake with a demand from the President of the U.S. regarding the third wish.
Looking for advice, Jake turns to Ben. He counsels Jake telling him he will recognize when the time is right for the third wish, “It’ll be whatever you really want. Don’t worry, you’ll know.” And when the time comes, and it is a desperate moment, he makes the right wish.
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