Monday, January 25, 2021

The Broken Spine (+ Giveaway)

I’m delighted to be a part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for author Dorothy St. James’ latest release, THE BROKEN SPINE, the first installment in her Beloved Bookroom Mystery series.

The Broken Spine

By Dorothy St. James
*Cozy Mystery
*1st in Series: A Beloved Bookroom Mystery
*Publisher: Berkley (January 19, 2021)
*Hardcover: 320 pages
*ISBN-10: 0593098579
*ISBN-13: 978-0593098578
*Kindle ASIN: B086SCQ639

The first in an exciting new series featuring Trudell Becket, a spunky librarian who will stop at nothing to save her beloved books and catch a killer!

Trudell Becket, book-loving librarian, finds herself in a bind when the library where she works is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless library. In a rare move of rebellion, Trudell rescues hundreds of her library's beloved books slated for the recycle center. She sets up a secret book room in the library's basement and opens it to anyone who shares her love of the printed book.

When the town councilman, who was the vocal proponent of the library's transformation into a "futuristic technological center," is crushed under an overturned shelf of DVDs, Trudell becomes the police's prime suspect for his murder. She was the only person in the library at the time of his death, or so the police believe. But that's not true. For the past month, Trudell had been letting a few dozen residents into the building through the basement entrance so they could read and check out the printed books.

But if she tells the police about the backdoor patrons who were in the library at the time of the murder, she'd have to explain about the secret book room and risk losing the books. In order to protect herself from being arrested for a murder she didn't commit, Trudell--with the help of a group of dedicated readers--decides to investigate. She quickly discovers you can't always judge a book by its cover.

can be purchased at the following sites: Amazon - IndieBound - Bookshop - B&N

Meet the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a crazy dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning.

She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing", "perfect", "filled with emotion", and "lined with danger."

For more on Dorothy and her writing, you can connect with her on the following sites:





To learn more about this author and her fascinating book, you can check out her tour by visiting the bloggers below. You can also enter the giveaway by clicking HERE if the Rafflecopter widget doesn’t appear.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Don’t you think a library is the perfect place for a mystery?
January 19 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

January 19 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

January 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 19 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW


January 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 20 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 20 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

January 20 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

January 21 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

January 21 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 21 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

January 21 – MJB Reviewers - SPOTLIGHT

January 22 – Books to the Ceiling - AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 22 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 22 – Moonlight Rendezvous -  REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 22 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy - REVIEW

January 22 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

January 23 – Baroness' Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 23 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

January 23 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

January 23 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT

January 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 24 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic - GUEST POST

January 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 24 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 24 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

January 24 – StoreyBook Reviews - REVIEW

January 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 25 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW


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Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


Friday, January 22, 2021

A Fighting Chance (+ Giveaway)

I’m delighted to welcome Chrys Fey, author of the Disaster Crimes Series, to Thoughts in Progress today to talk about her latest release, A FIGHTING CHANCE.

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Chrys. Welcome, Chrys.

Tornadoes in Florida

While I was writing A Fighting Chance, I had to know the plausibility of a tornado in Central Florida and what strength would be believable. I knew an EF5 (what they called “the finger of God” on the movie Twister) would be too far out there, and writing a realistic story, even with characters who deal with disaster after disaster, is always a priority. I didn’t want my readers to be like, oh course it’s an EF5 tornado (after the hurricane in Hurricane Crimes was a category 5). I wanted to avoid some eye rolls at least. But I wasn’t sold on an EF4 tornado, either. I thought that would still be too strong, too much.

I took to Google and researched the strongest tornadoes in Florida history. I came across information about the February 22-23 1998 Kissimmee tornado outbreak, which produced the deadliest tornado event in Florida history and is known as The Night of the Tornadoes. In the Greater Orlando area, the tornadoes were F3, near F4 (this was before the Fujita Scale was upgraded to the Enhanced Fujita Scale).

Before the 1998 outbreak, the previous record was from 17 on March 31, 1962 when 12 tornadoes touched down. One tracked for a massive 30 miles.

From the 1998 outbreak, the deadliest tornado struck Kissimmee and St. Cloud, which produced near-F4 damage and killed 25 people. The last tornado that night hit Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, which is about 50 miles in west direction of Kissimmee (by car it’s about 60 miles). That tornado was an F1. In all, 42 people died and 260 people were injured.

So, it would be possible for an EF3 to touchdown and cause devastation in Central Florida.


Pages: 154 
Genre: Romantic-Suspense 
Heat Rating: Hot


*A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.*

Thorn has loved Amanda from afar, giving her whatever she needs as a survivor of abuse—space, protection, and stability. He yearns to give her more, though, to share his feelings, kiss her, love her, but he's worried the truth will frighten her away.

And Amanda is afraid. She’s scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.

Up against an abusive ex and Mother Nature, do Thorn and Amanda have a fighting chance?

Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes


Amanda looked up from the current list of up-to-date payments for classes. A movement outside the glass storefront caught her eye. She tilted her head to see a man coming up the sidewalk from the side where the picnic bench sat. Through the vertical blinds, she glimpsed a square face—a short, rugged beard and long, dark hair pulled into a man bun. Her breath fled from her lungs. Her body went from icy cold to flaming hot in the span of a millisecond. She dropped to the floor and slid under the counter, beneath the ledge where they put their purses and cell phones.

“What—” Beth peeked at the windows. Then she snapped her fingers at April and pointed at the stools.

April jumped into action. She pushed the stools in so they blocked Amanda. The bell attached to the door jingled as April removed the jacket she wore and draped it across the stools, creating a curtain to shield Amanda.

From a crack, Amanda watched Beth move to stand in front of the twins, who were in their walkers playing peacefully. “I’m sorry, but we’re going to be closing.”

“I don’t give a shit. I’m here for Amanda.”

The sound of Damon’s voice had her heart beating even harder. That voice had haunted her nightmares, had come back to life in her memories.

Beth cocked her head to the side. “Who? There’s no one by that name here.”

“Don’t bullshit me. I know she works here.”

His voice was closer now. 




 Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

Author’s Note: I wrote The Disaster Curse to answer a few lingering questions readers may have after reading A Fighting Chance, and to tie the whole series together with a neat, shiny, perfect little bow. Plus, there was one disaster that I hadn’t written about yet. *wink*


 The Disaster Crimes Series:

*The Crime Before the Storm (prequel)

Hurricane Crimes (novella, #1)

Seismic Crimes (#2)

Lightning Crimes (free short, #2.5)

Tsunami Crimes (#3)

Flaming Crimes (#4)

Frozen Crimes (#5)

A Fighting Chance (spin-off, #6)

The Disaster Curse (short story, #7)

*Free exclusive story to newsletter subscribers.


***LAUNCHING A WEBSITE*** is a website dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. Inspired by the Disaster Crimes series.


Prizes: Hurricane Crimes (Disaster Crimes 1) and Seismic Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2) eBooks (mobi or epub), Hurricane Crimes Playing Cards, Girl Boss Sign, and a Volcanic Blast Scented Candle


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the Author:

Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. 

She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

 Newsletter / Website / Facebook Group /Blog / BookBub

Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon


Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do tornadoes both scare and fascinate you the way they do me? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Spirit Woman of Lockleer Mountain

It is always a pleasure to welcome author Elaine Faber back to Thoughts in Progress and she always brings such intriguing new stories with her.

Today Elaine joins us to talk about how her latest release, THE SPIRIT WOMAN OF LOCKLEER MOUNTAIN, evolved into being.

First, a short synopsis on the book.

There are sightings of a woman and a mountain lion near Lockleer Mountain, seen at moment of crisis. Is she the legendary Native American's Spirit Woman, sent to protect the community? Nate is convinced his sister, missing for three months, and surely suffering from amnesia, is the elusive woman. He fears she will not survive living wild in the woods with a mountain lion, during the coming winter months.

          While Deputy Nate Darling pursues a relationship with Lou Shoemaker, he and Sheriff Peabody pursue a drug dealer, selling to the youth at the Native American reservation. Things are even more complicated by civil unrest regarding the government's secret plans to build a mysterious facility, a big box store, and a housing tract close to Lockleer Mountain, threatening the livelihood of the local merchants.

Is there any hope that the Spirit Woman, real or imaginary, can bring harmony to the troubled community? Will Nate be able to apprehend the drug dealer, locate his missing sister, maintain his budding romance, and guarantee the financial future of Lockleer Mountain?


By Elaine Faber
*ASIN: 1940781272
*Publisher: Elk Grove Publications (December 31, 2020)
*Language: English
*Paperback: 266 pages
*ISBN-10: 4294245093
*ISBN-13: 978-4294245095

Now let’s give a warm welcome to Elaine. Welcome to Thoughts in Progress, Elaine.

I’ve published four cozy cat mysteries, starring Black Cat, who, with the aid of his ancestors’ memories, helps his ‘person’ solve mysteries and murder.

That was followed by three humorous historical fiction novels set during WWII. An elderly retired government undercover agent, Mrs. Odboddy, is now determined to fight WWII from the home front where she believes Nazi spies and conspiracies abound. She is determined to expose and bring the miscreants to justice.

Many of my short stories included cats, so I published an anthology of ‘cat stories,’ All Things Cat.

Thinking it was time to move on to something new, I remembered a short story I wrote several years ago (which also contained a cat). This was a somewhat humorous account of a man who owned a sewer truck called the Pooper Scooper. While pumping out a septic tank in a rural community one day, he stumbles upon a drug lab, is caught by the drug dealer, and uses his truck to facilitate his escape.

This story begged to be written. Sewer truck driver? Cozy mystery? Humor? Sounded like the theme for a full length novel, something right up my alley.

The Spirit Woman of Lockleer Mountain takes place in the CA Sierra foothills where folks still have wells and septic tanks. As has happened so often in the past, despite my intention that the story should follow a certain direction, when I start to write, the characters often take over and send me in a completely different direction.

So, the story evolved. Lou Shoemaker owns a sewer truck, the Pooper Scooper, and her business takes her into the mountainous region servicing septic tanks. That’s when the characters took over. There ensues a budding romance with Lou and Deputy Sheriff, Nate Darling. Nate’s sister has mysteriously disappeared three months previously following a minor motor vehicle accident and has not been seen since.

The government is up to some shenanigans, pursuing plans to build a mysterious facility near the town without the knowledge of the city fathers, and the local businessmen aren’t happy. When a drug dealer starts selling drugs to the teens on the Native American reservation nearby, it seems their legendary Spirit Woman, said to protect the community, needs to take a hand in resolving the troubling issues. Sightings of her and her pet mountain lion are frequently seen at moments of crisis. Can she help Nate resolve his personal issues as well as solve the town’s troubles?

My novels do not follow the formula so often seen in today’s cozy mysteries. So, instead of the most common theme in cozy mysteries today with the typical widow and her unusual job, who gets involved with a murder and against all advice, pursues the typical killer, with her typical dog and quirky sidekick, Spirit Woman is a mystery with a paranormal figure determined to aid in resolving the most pressing issues a town or a budding romance can handle, with surprises and humor tucked in here and there.

It’s still a cozy, meaning no extreme violence, explicit sex, or profanity. We have wholesome characters (most of them with a few exceptions), an intriguing puzzle and a legendary figure that may or may not be real. What’s not to like? The Spirit Woman of Lockleer Mountain   Amazon $3.99 e-book                                     

Black Cat Mysteries: With the aid of his ancestors’ memories, Black Cat helps solve mysteries and crimes. Partially narrated by Black Cat, much of the story comes from a cat’s often humorous and poignant point of view.

Mrs. Odboddy Mystery/Adventures: Elderly, eccentric Mrs. Odboddy fights WWII from the home front. Follow her antics in these hysterical, historical novels as a self-appointed hometown warrior exposes malcontents, dissidents and Nazi spies…even when she’s wrong.

The Spirit Woman Mystery/Paranormal/Adventures

The Native Americans believe the legendary Spirit Woman ‘protects the community.’ When Govt. demands create social unrest in a small mountain town, and drugs threaten the lives of their youth, the Spirit Woman and her mountain lion companion come to their aid.

Black Cat’s Legacy

Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer      

Black Cat and the Accidental Angel

Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary  

NCPA Cover and Interior Design Silver award 2019

All Things Cat (anthology of short stories)

Mrs. Odboddy-Hometown Patriot    NCPA 1st Fiction 2017

Mrs. Odboddy – Undercover Courier          NCPA 3rd Cover and Design 2018  http://tinyurl/com/jn5bzwb

Mrs. Odboddy – And Then There Was a Tiger      NCPA 2nd Fiction 2019

The Spirit Woman of Lockleer Mountain

Elaine, thanks so much for joining us today and sharing this insight into how this story came to be. It’s always fun learning where stories come from.

For those who aren’t familiar with Elaine, here is some background on her. 

Elaine Faber lives in Elk Grove with her husband and four feline companions. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Cat Writers Association, and Northern California Publishers and Artists. She volunteers at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Elk Grove. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines, have won multiple awards in various short story contests, and are included in at least 16 anthologies. She leads a critique groups in the Sacramento area.

Elaine’s Mrs. Odboddy and Black Cat Mystery series’ have won top awards with Northern California Publishers and Authors annual writers’ contests. Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary and All Things Cat, an anthology of cat stories, won 2018 and 2019 Certificates of Excellence with Cat Writers’ Association.

Elaine enjoys speaking at public author venues and clubs sharing highlights of her novels and her writing experience. She is currently working on two fiction novels to be published in 2021 and 2022.

Thanks everyone for visiting today. Doesn’t this sound like a fascinating story? Who doesn’t love a good cozy mystery, especially when a cat is involved?