AudioBookBlogTour “Marketville Mysteries” by Judy Penz Sheluk

Audiobook Series Tour: Marketville Mysteries by Judy Penz Sheluk

Author: Judy Penz Sheluk

Narrator: Claira Jordyn

Series: Marketville Mysteries, Book 1

Publisher: Judy Penz Sheluk

Released: Jul. 31, 2017

Genre: Mystery

What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there.

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville – a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a 30-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic? Find out.

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Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series. Her short stories can be found in several collections, including Live Free or Tri and The Best Laid Plans, which she edited. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.

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Narrator Bio

Claira Jordyn is an on-camera and voice over actress based in New York City. She can most recently be heard on a variety of television and radio commercials encouraging you to ski in Colorado, shop at Old Navy and also to try a particularly popular makeup brand this holiday season. She can also be heard reading countless books including Opaque, The Endless Horizons Sagas and an upcoming retelling of children’s fairytales. She lives just north of New York with her husband and super mutt Junebug, loves telling stories for a living and is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do that every day.

 

 

Q&A with Author Judy Penz Sheluk
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I believes it completely depends on choosing the right narrator. I have a collection of three short mystery stories that comes in at about an hour. Kate Tyler narrates that and she does a great job, absolutely nails it. But as much as I enjoyed working with her—she’s a complete pro—and loved her narration of Live Free or Tri, she didn’t have the right voice for Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, the protagonist in my Marketville mystery series. Find the right narrator, and any book will be a good fit for audio. After all, just like traditional readers, audiobook listeners have a variety of interests.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not initially, no, in fact, when I first started writing I never thought any of my books would end up on audio. However, when we were recording (narrator Kelli Lindsay) A Hole in One, book 2 in my Glass Dolphin mystery series, Kelli pronounced Graham Gilroy as “Gram Gilroy.” I’m from Canada (Toronto area) and here Gram is short for Grandma…we say Gray-ham. I consulted with fellow members of Sisters in Crime and discovered this is very much a regional thing. Some parts of the U.S. say Gray-ham, and others, like California, say Gram. Because the book is set in Canada, Kelli switched to the Canadian pronunciation.
    • Fast forward to writing A Fool’s Journey, book 3 in my Marketville mystery series, and I have my protagonist, Callie, entering a foyer. Now, in Canada we say Foy-eh, but I know from watching house hunting shows set in the U.S. that Americans say Foy-ur. To avoid another Gram/Gray-ham situation, I switched it to “Callie entered the front hallway.”
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • All of my books are loosely inspired by real life events, emphasis on the loosely. The idea for Skeletons in the Attic came to me while I waited with my husband, Mike, in our lawyer’s office in Newmarket, Ontario. We were there to update our wills, and our lawyer’s goldendoodle kept us company while our lawyer was detained at court. The opening scenes of the book are culled directly from that experience: While Mike spent the time reading back issues of Bicycling Magazine, I started thinking… “What if I was here, not to update my will, but to inherit…what if there were strings attached…what if I inherited something I had no idea had existed…what if that something was a house in a small town called…Marketville.” I started scribbling notes down (I always keep a notebook and pen in my purse) and by the time our lawyer arrived I had finished chapter 1.
    • In the case of Past & Present, the inspiration came from a train case found at the back of my late mother’s clothes closet. I’d never seen the documents inside—her immigration papers from 1952, an old passport, her mother’s death certificate, among other things—made me want to delve into a past she’d pretty much kept to herself. Before long, that research became Callie’s research. The book is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Anneliese Penz, and there is a character in the book named Anneliese Prei, who was murdered in 1956 in Toronto, after immigrating to Canada in 1952. Prei was my mother’s (my grandmother’s) maiden name, something I learned for the first time from the death certificate in that train case. A personal aside: Skeletons in the Attic was the last book my mother read.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Burn-out is what I felt working in a 9-5 corporate world, mostly in management positions. In 2003, I walked away from that life and started to work as a freelance journalist, which eventually led to Senior Editing positions for several different magazines. In 2012, I went to a writing conference as a reader and came away knowing I had to write a book; the result was The Hanged Man’s Noose (published July 2015 in print/ebook and in Nov. 2017 in audio). My writing journey hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve never looked back. There’s something magical about creating a world, living in it for weeks and months, and knowing when to write THE END. By the time I do that, I’ve already got an idea or two for another book.
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • I’ve been told that this series would adapt well to film, so I love this question. In Skeletons in the Attic, Callie is 36, so perhaps Evangaline Lilly, who is also Canadian. Kate Hudson would make a great Chantelle Marchand, Callie’s best friend and, in Past & Present, her business partner. But wouldn’t it be fun if the role of Callie became a breakout for an actress hoping for the perfect part. Let’s put that thought out there in the universe: The Marketville Mystery Movie Series. I do like the sound of that!
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • There’s an old saying: You can’t judge a book by its cover. You also can’t judge a person because they choose to listen to a book, for whatever reason, instead of reading it. Even when it comes to “real reading” people have different preferences: hardcover, large print, paperback, e-book…as an author, I’m delighted if someone enjoys what I’ve written, regardless of format.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I’ve written two series (Marketville and Glass Dolphin mysteries), and zero standalones, though I am working on a standalone. The pros of a series is you create a world and then keep adding to it, so it becomes familiar, not just to the author, but to the reader. The cons are exactly the same: it becomes familiar, meaning the author must allow the characters to grow and age. A standalone can be freeing…everything is shiny and new and you don’t have to worry if your character suddenly does something completey out of character (in the way you would with a series) because no one really “knows” that character yet. The con is that from a marketing perspective, there’s no one following the series, or waiting for the next book in the series. Because there is no expectation, it’s easy to put the project aside for another day.
  • What’s your favorite:
    • Food: cheese pizza, but any non-meat topping pizza will make me smile
    • Song: Bulletproof by Jim Cuddy
    • Book: Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery, which I first read as a young girl, and is one of the few books I’ve read more than once.
    • Television show: Gilmore Girls
    • Movie: The Sting (tied for second, Primal Fear and The First Wives Club)
    • Band: Blue Rodeo
    • Sports team: Toronto Maple Leafs though I’ve recently hopped on the Raptors bandwagon
    • City: Toronto
  • Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
    • Callie loves pizza, though she orders it with hot peppers and extra sauce. I mention Blue Rodeo and Jim Cuddy in my Glass Dolphin series. And there’s a scene in A Hole in One, book 2 in my Glass Dolphin series, where Arabella recites lines from The Sting. That’s an old movie, but it holds up. If it was re-released, as is, it would still be a runaway hit. Great cast, great writing.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • I always answer this question with a quote from Agatha Christie: “There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”

Giveaway

Giveaway: 5 Judy Penz Sheluk Audiobooks

Marketville Mysteries Giveaway: 5 Judy Penz Sheluk Audiobooks

VIEW THE FULL 14-DAY SCHEDULE HERE!

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#Review “Finding Ruby” by J.A. Higgins

Finding Ruby cover

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5/5 Stars!

I was only a few pages into Finding Ruby when I couldn’t decide if I felt sorry for the protagonist’s situation or if I hated her for allowing herself to be in that situation.

At first glance, Eleanor “Nell” Montague appears ditsy, frazzled and weak as she arrives late to her own grandmother’s funeral.

My sympathy swelled as she rushes back to work, concocting scenarios to account for her time so as not to arouse the ire later of her live-in boyfriend, Gary. He doesn’t need much provocation to lay hands on her.

Nell annoyed me as I read her thoughts on all the punches, smacks and beatings she’d endured because of some transgression Gary believed she’d committed.

Why didn’t she leave? Why didn’t she pick up a baseball bat and swing for the bleachers?

Nell’s life is that of a typical abuse victim. Isolated from friends and coworkers, and with the death of her beloved grandmother, she has no more family.

Her mother died years ago and she assumes her father is also deceased… but she isn’t sure since he abandoned the family when she was a small child.

But there is nothing typical about Nell.

As I learned more about Nell, I didn’t feel she was so much stuck in her situation as she was waiting for something.

I have no idea what—and I don’t believe Nell knew either at that point—but it’s obvious she wishes she was more like her alter-ego, Ruby.

Her father, Will, used to tell her “stories” about the fierce, confident young girl, and Ruby came alive in Nell’s fantasies. Ruby wouldn’t put up with Gary’s crap. Ruby would stand up for herself at work. Ruby would marry a wonderful man and have beautiful children. But it’s all pure fantasy because Ruby disappeared decades ago.

Nell’s wait comes to an abrupt end when she’s handed the keys to a new life… and ghosts of the past.

Fear becomes Nell’s constant companion because she’s afraid she’ll give in and return to Gary simply because he’s all she has left. She loves him but she isn’t in love with him, he’s just the only constant in her life, even if he is a bastard. However her bigger fear is now Ruby, who haunts her days as well as her nights.

Nell sees and hears her and believes she suffered from one too many of Gary’s attacks. But then Emily, another missing young girl, appears to Nell. First, as a captive in a cellar, then standing behind Nell in a crowd.

Maxine, a local nurse and quirky psychic unsure of her own abilities, may be the key to saving Nell’s sanity.

But Nell also wonders if she needs saving from the mysterious Mr. Austin who’s been stalking her since her grandmother’s funeral. He claims to be looking for her father, but Nell is sure his connection runs deeper, she just doesn’t know how deep, or if there’s any truth to the rumors of Will Montague being involved in Ruby’s disappearance.

Nell Montague is not some badass, take-no-prisoners heroine. She’s afraid or anxious during much of this story.

However, as she comes to realize the answers are within her and only she can save herself—and possibly two missing girls—she shows a sense of determination and quiet strength as her past and present collide in the wake of repressed memories and haunting evil.

And I am cheering her own!

Finding Ruby is engaging fiction with spot-on character development, but it’s the plot twists straight out of left field that turn this read into page-turning suspense as you try to figure out who’s alive, who’s dead, who’s innocent, who’s guilty, and who’s just sad.

Issues are resolved by the story’s end but… that ending! Here’s hoping I haven’t seen the last of Nell Montague.

Readers who enjoy mystery and suspense… and a dash of the supernatural will enjoy this solid read. Those with emotional triggers should be aware that while not graphic or gratuitous, there are scenes of domestic violence and sexual assault as part of the story line.

Enjoy!

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On Halloween night thirteen year old Ruby disappears in the company of a masked figure. She is never seen again. The only witness is Nell Montague who is just seven years old.

Twenty three years later, Nell is trapped in an abusive relationship and still suffering from vivid nightmares of what she saw. When tragedy strikes she escapes and attempts to put her past behind her. Then thirteen year old Emily disappears.

Haunted by increasingly disturbing visions and helped by a reluctant psychic, Nell must unravel the mystery of what really happened that night because to save Emily she must first find Ruby.  But to do so she will question everything she thought she knew about her own childhood and soon discovers that nightmares don’t always end when you wake up.

Purchase Links

Silverwood Books     |     Amazon US     |     Amazon UK

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Author Bio

Born and raised at Porton Down in Wiltshire, and currently works for the NHS in Salisbury, J A Higgins has always been fascinated by crime, history and the unexplained.  Finding Ruby is the first in the Nell Montague mystery series which will examine how horrors from the past are still very relevant today.

Social Media Links

Twitter     |     Instagram

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#ReleaseBlitz “Royal Holiday” by Mckenna James

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ROYAL HOLIDAY BY #MCKENNA JAMES IS **LIVE**

#LiveNow #RoyalHoliday #NewRelease #MckennaJames

BLURB

In Brooklandia, the holiday countdown doesn’t begin until the Royal Family throws their Midnight Magic Ball two weeks before Christmas Eve.

Princess Martina Parisier hates the lavish royal parties with their boring guests, having to behave like a lady for hours on end.

But this year’s ball will be a masquerade. Everyone there will be in costume, so at least she can hide in plain sight.

So when a dashing masked man captures her under the mistletoe and gives her a toe-curling kiss then leaves her with a single red rose, she has no idea who he is.

Now the mysterious stranger is sending her a red rose each day in a countdown of his own.

He knows who she is and claims he will see her under the mistletoe again on Christmas Eve…

Amazon→ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZTRMMFW

Goodreads→ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48278464-royal-holiday

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Mckenna James Bio:

Mckenna James is the pen name for a collaborative writing duo who share an addiction to sweet tea and a love for wealthy, attractive men.

Since they don’t know enough devastatingly handsome men with boatloads of cash to spare, they decided to create some. They specialize in fairytales for today’s world featuring modern princes and heroines who speak their minds and carve out happily ever afters on their own terms.

Amazon Author Page→ https://www.amazon.com/Mckenna-James/e/B07T3HBZMP/

Bookbub→ https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mckenna-james

Facebook→ https://www.facebook.com/MckennaJamesbks/

Twitter→ https://twitter.com/MckennaJamesbks

Instagram→ https://www.instagram.com/mckennajamesbks/

Pinterest→ https://www.pinterest.com/mckennajameswrites/

Goodreads→ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19259409.McKenna_James

Song Lyric Sunday | “I’ll Be Around” – The Spinners

 

Song Lyric Sunday_new

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  Around/Down/Sideways/Up.

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Following my first mind led me to this smooth groove from the early 70s.

I’ll Be Around was initially released as the B-side of the group’s first single on Atlantic Records, with How Could I Let You Get Away being the A-side. Radio deejays, however, soon opted for I’ll Be Around which led to Atlantic flipping the single over and the song became an unexpected hit, eventually spending five weeks at number one on the U.S. R&B chart (the group’s first number-one on the R&B chart), and reaching number three on the U.S. Pop chart in the fall of 1972. It also reached sales of over one million copies, The Spinners’ first record ever to do so. The success of I’ll Be Around would be the first in a series of chart successes The Spinners and Bell would have together during the 1970s.

FUN FACTS:

  • The Spinners were known as the Detroit Spinners in the UK.
  • This song of devotion is heartbreaking on a deeper level. The lyrics, written by the aptly named Phil Hurtt, find our hero unable to move on from a relationship that has ended. There is an air of desperation as he offers himself up to his lost love unconditionally. He might be bowing out gracefully, but he can’t leave her behind.
  • Cover versions of I’ll Be Around made the US Hot 100 in the each of the three decades after The Spinners first charted with the song.

A 70s song from a 70s group, of course, the video performance is from Soul Train!

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

I’ll Be Around

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.
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