Tuesday, August 26, 2014

OF CATS AND COZIES.....PLUS SHELF GIVEAWAY!


Of Cats and Cozies…..
Most of the mysteries on my bookshelf, I confess, are cozy mysteries.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the genre, cozies are a subgenre of crime fiction where the crime and the detection takes place in a small town.  Remember the old Murder She Wrote series? That’s a good example of a cozy.  The detectives in such stories are nearly always amateurs (cue JB Fletcher) sometimes retired lawmen or women. The majority of the detectives are of the female persuasion, and often hold jobs that bring them into contact with the other residents of their town.  More often than not they’ll have a contact on the local police force who’ll help them out with a clue or two.
The killers aren’t usually hard boiled serial killer types, and once unmasked, are most often taken into custody with little or no violence. If there is violence, it happens off-screen…no grisly murder scenes depicted in any cozies! Foul language is also kept to a minimum.  The murders are generally members of or related to someone in the town wherein the murder occurs and the motives – greed, jealousy, revenge – often are deep rooted. 
Cozies frequently revolve around a theme – for example, Diane Mott Davidson’s revolves around cooking, Parnell Hall’s around crossword puzzles, Monica Ferris’ needlework…you get the idea.  Animal lovers are also well represented, as well, which brings me to my cozy mystery series, debuting in December from Berkley Prime Crime…..think Jessica Fletcher with a cat and you’ve got it!
My series is the Nick and Nora mystery series.  Nora is Nora Charles, ex-crime reporter turned restaraunt entrepreneur.  She’s returned after a 12 year absence from reporting on crime in Chicago back to her hometown of Cruz, California, to take over her deceased mother’s sandwich shop.  Shortly thereafter, Nora finds a surprise waiting outside her door – a stocky, black and white cat.  She takes the cat in and names him Nick (after Nick Charles, the Thin Man, of course).  She later finds out that the cat did in fact belong to a PI, Nick Atkins, who is currently MIA – she also finds out that Nick has many talents, among them the ability to spell out words with Scrabble tiles – plus, he’s got a nose for scenting out crime.
Here’s the teaser, taken from the back of the book:
Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…
Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too. 
Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives. 
I hope you’ll join Nick and Nora on some of their adventures, but even if a crime solving cat isn’t your cup of tea, I’m sure that there are many other cozies out there that are.  Sample the genre today – I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised!
Want to win a selection of my favorite cozies? Leave your name and email address in the comments section, and tell us why you love cozy mysteries! If they feature cats so much the better LOL.  One winner will be chosen by random.org. Contest ends midnight, Aug. 27.  US residents only.
And don't forget to visit all the other great giveaways you can find here:

61 comments:

  1. I have loved cozies since Nancy Drew because they are fun escapism with a brain teaser of who-done-it without excessive gore or sex. Throw in a cat or two and I am a devoted fan. Thanks for the giveaway. Kuzlin at aol.com. Linda Kuzminczuk

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  2. Cozies and cats - two of my favorite things.
    Sitting with them makes my heart sing.
    At the end of a long day serving wine at my place,
    A glass in my hand helps me slow down the pace.
    Winning these books would be really grand,
    And they would quickly find their way to my hand.
    Margo: Meow@MarjimManor.com

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  3. I love cozies that feature dogs, food, and especially cats. I've loved reading them for more years than I can count. I can't walk into a bookstore without buying lots of cozies. You can never have too many cozy mysteries.
    scarletbegonia5858@gmail.com

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  4. I love cozy mysteries because they are engaging enough for a thinking person,(usually!), but not a stressful read.(Who needs more stress? I don't!)
    Can't wait for Nick and Nora! (And I am glad to hear that she has not been immediately, completely embraced by everyone; THAT is the reality of moving to a small town.)
    tonettemjs@gmail.com

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  5. i love cozies because they are always creative in themes and keep my attention from start to end, they are the best.
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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  6. This is great!! My friend and I are on a mission to find all the cozy books with cats in them. We just started and have found a couple if great series. Maybe we'll find more here!! Ronnalord(at)msn(dot) com

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    1. Meow, Ronna! We have hosted many fine writers over the years who write mysteries featuring cats! Carole Nelson Douglas and Ali Brandon and Miranda James come specifically to mind - and there are lots out there (including my HUMAN, with our Nick and Nora mysteries - and who do you think inspired NICK, hmmm MEROW!

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  7. I started reading cozy mysteries, this summer, and QUICKLY started looking for ones with cats. (I have two tuxedo cats and two torties.) I love trying to figure out who the murderer is before the author reveals it.

    patucker54 at aol dot com

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    1. I, also, should have said cozy mysteries are devoid of violence, gore, sex and bad language...all good qualities.

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  8. Saba
    familyreads at ymail dot com

    I love cats so any mystery that involves them is a huge hit for me. One of my favorite cozy mystery is the Cat in the Stack mysteries. And I would have to agree with Patricia T, in that, these type of stories lack the usual indecencies of many mysteries of other genres.

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  9. I like Cozy Mysteries because you also get to learn so much about whatever the character's day job is, whether it's a librarian, art restorer, tea house proprietor or waitress. It's a great way to learn about other jobs and lifestyle from the comfy confines of my couch. :)

    bookworm (dot) judy (at) gmail (dot) com

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  10. I've been reading mysteries since Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden got me hooked in the 70s. Nearly all of my current favorite cozy series include cats...Magical Cats, Sofie Kelly, Bookmobile Cat, Laurie Cass, etc.

    eeyoregirl2009@aol.com

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    1. Those are some of our favorites too, Teresa!

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  11. I like cozy mysteries because they are a light, fun escape and I always try to see if I can solve the mystery along with the characters! I love cats so having them in the books is always a bonus! Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win!

    klaxon63350 (at) mypacks (dot) net

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  12. I love cats and cozies--I got hooked on them with the Cat Who... series years ago. I like that they aren't gory and are nice light reading.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  13. Love cozies and cats, er cats and cozies, . . . . Not sure which I like the best. Love to snuggle with both. Thanks for the giveaway. msudawgtoo@comsouth.net

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  14. I have loved Mysteries since I was seven with my first Nancy Drew. As an adult I have collected many of the out of print Children's Series Mysteries.
    Cozies are my absolute favorite-- always enhanced by the clever titles and catchy cover art. My favorite pastime is to snuggle with our two rescued kitties while having a cup of tea and digging through a pile of Cozies on a chilly rainy day. Life Is Good!!
    Nancy Mejia
    nmpianoforte@hotmail.com

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  15. I love cozies because they are always a fun read, never depressing. msteele79(at)live(dot)com

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  16. I like cozy mysteries because they are charming enjoyable reads. They are fun and quick reads.

    Mia Jacobs mia at jacobsracing dot com

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  17. I like cozy mysteries because I cannot put the book down til I find out the outcome. Sometimes there is romance thrown in, sometimes animals!
    Cheryl Rogers cherylslife67(at)charter(dot)net

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  18. Love Cats, love books, the 2 together.....priceless.
    dotkel50 at comcast dot net

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  19. I like cozy mysteries because they have a fun setting like a bookstore, a tea shop, a vineyard, an antique shop, or a scrapbooking store. I usually learn a little something along the way due to the setting. Also, cosy mysteries are usually light and fun and won't give you nightmares. I also like to figure out " who done it" before the end of the book!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  20. I love cozies because most of the time there seems to be more emphasis on the characters and settings. Plus it's fun learning about a variety of things and places. Also they are very light reads where you know most of the time issues are going to work out and if they don't, there's usually something better coming. And a lot of them have my favorite furry friends in them-cats!

    Meg
    robbfan141729@yahoo.com

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  21. Love cozy mystery. It reminds me of great tv shows like Murder She Wrote, Matlock.

    xzjh04@ gmail.com

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  22. I love all kinds of mysteries, but sometimes thrillers are just too much for me. I don't need that adrenaline rush or being afraid to go to bed just because I read a scary story! Cozy mysteries provide the fun without the gore and the thriller aspect, and I love them for it.

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    1. Email linked in profile, but forgot to put it here (sorry!): egholtrop at gmail dot com

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  23. I have just recently discovered cozy mysteries. Alas I have not had a chance to read any yet. What I absolutely love about cozies are the covers. gailusann20( at) live( dot )com

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  24. I have never read a cozy mystery before but I would love to. And I love cats. Thank you isisthe12th@gmail.com

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  25. I like cozies because they tend to involve small towns, which are great settings and quirky secondary characters. Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. I love mysteries an cozies. They are more of a relaxing read.I also find they read easy!!! I also love cats!!! I just lost my cat, she was 18 years old and just got tired!!!

    Judy
    magnolias_1(at)msn(dot)com

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  27. I loved Murder She Wrote! Cozies are so fun, and I love cats too. I'm well on my way to Crazy Cat Lady LOL Not really, but I do have a fair collection of barn cats...

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  28. RobinBlankenship - robinblankenship@gmail.com

    I love a good mystery reminds me of watching Perry Mason with my mom

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  29. I love cozies because they are light reading, but terrific reading because it requires a special talent to make "light" really interesting and fun. Cozies often feel like long letters from home, with a little murder thrown into the mix. Pet--cats--definitely add a lot of the "cozy" I believe, because they are such loving beings that are always ready to cozy up with us, for any reason. Who can live without a good cozy?!?!? Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

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  30. I love cozies because they are light but do make me think.
    nlb1050@yahoo.com

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  31. I love cozies because they are like mini fun vacations with a twist. They are also the kind of book I don't have to worry about the kids picking up.

    KellysShining(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. Cozies are my favorite mysteries because they seem more about homebody types like myself. I have always liked the ones with cats in them (Sneaky Pie Brown is a favorite character) because cats are so smart and sly that I can see them solving mysteries.

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  33. I am so crazy I forgot to put my email address :(
    madonnal@gmail.com

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    1. not crazy at all...and we love Rita and Sneaky Pie Brown Mrs. Murphy series too.

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  34. Hi! I love mysteries especially cozy ones...Why? Because I detest bad language and explicit sex scenes. I do not have to get my mind corrupted any more than
    I have to in this world.

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  35. I love Cozy Mysteries -- they are about all that I read. And I obviously love cats -- in books and in real life! :) I really want to win!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  36. I've been a fan of cozies since before I knew that was what they were. While I'm allergic to the furry little guys I'd love to have one. I have a friend down in Md. who actually has a "clean" guest room just for people who are allergic.

    Pretty Please sir, may I be the winner?

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

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  37. I have loved these types of books for years. I love mysteries and I love cats, what could be better than combining the two. Kelley Shaw kshaw1234@bellsouth.net

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  38. I love cozy mysteries because i need to get away from my real life and escape in the adventures of someones mind of crime & solving the mystery. I love cozies that have kitties. My cat Abby loves sitting with me while we read a cozy book.
    elisanabby at gmail dot com

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    1. That's great, Elisa- ROCCO enjoys sitting ON a cozy book....

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  39. I love mysteries of all sorts. While I do love my hardcore mysteries, it's nice to step back and read a cozy mystery and enjoy the genre without all the blood and guts. I love animals, so any book that includes a pet is a favorite of mine. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

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  40. I love cozies because I like a mystery that is not gory. Jan Hall fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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  41. I enjoy reading all kinds of cozy mysteries. Your characters Nick and Nora remind me of the "The Thin Man" movies. Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  42. Meow, such amazing entries! Good thing random.org picks the winner at random, we have no idea how we'd choose from all these great comments!
    Even though we will continue regular posting tomorrow, you can still enter the contest up until midnight Wednesday. We'll announce the winner next week.

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  43. I love to try and solve them right along with the protagonist!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  44. I enjoy cozies because they are fun and not so dark and psychological as many current mysteries (which I read as well on occasion). Agatha Christie was a great favorite of mine, and I enjoy Carole Nelson Douglas and Mary Daheim's Alpine series. I think I would enjoy your Nick & Nora mysteries, i would like to check them out (I assume there is a cat instead of a cute dog?!). lotusg@yahoo.com

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    1. Absolutely, Berkeley! Nick is an adorable, sassy and smart tuxedo cat modelled after yours truly!

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  45. Cozies are great. They are like a mini-vacation to get away from the things that life throws at you and let's you just forget for a little while.
    janicecrespo at gmail dot com

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  46. I love cozies because they are usually clean :) I like the feeling they give me. I still love Murder She Wrote. Father Dowling was another of my favorite shows! ineedadietcoke at aol dot com

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  47. I have been into cozies since my young days curling up with Nancy and The Secret of the Old Clock. Yes it was a library copy but i really enjoyed it. I have also enjoyed Lilian Jackson Braun series of The Cat Who?

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  48. I like cozies because they are a lighthearted mystery. No gore.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  49. I love cozy mysteries. They are "comfort" reading. I can sleep after reading one without having nightmares! ingliskf@gmail.com

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  50. Cozy mysteries are my favorites! I really enjoy the amateur sleuths, the fun activities like food or crafts, and the pets. Cozies just make me feel good inside when I read them.

    Brooke Bumgardner
    brookeb811 at gmail dot com

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