Browse Author by Debra Sennefelder
Friday Reads

Friday Reads – Manor of Dying

There’s nothing better than settling in to catch-up with old friends and that’s exactly how reading book 4 in the Hampton’s Home and Garden Mystery series felt for me. When I learned Berkley had made the decision to cancel the series I was sad because I truly enjoyed this series. Then the good news came – the series had been picked up by another publisher and there would be a new book! I made sure to pre-order Manor of Dying by Kathleen Bridge so that it popped into my app on release day.

This book had all the elements of a not-to-miss mystery for me – a manor house that was once a mental asylum on an island, a blizzard that strands Meg and her friend at the island, a creepy murder similar to one decades earlier and Christmas! As a reader I couldn’t ask for anything more. Well, I could ask for another installment for the series and I’m hoping there will be another Meg Barrett book soon.

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments. Have you read any of the Hampton’s Home and Garden mysteries? If so, let me know.

 

 

 

Writing

There’s a novella coming

I’m so excited to share that I am writing a novella for the Resale Boutique series and that it will be released in September 2020! Currently I’m halfway through writing the manuscript and I’m having a blast.

Can you guess the what holiday the novella revolves around? You’re right! Halloween. I’m totally ready for pumpkins, cozy sweaters (I just ordered one. Darn Nordstrom’s sale.) and all things that go bump in the night.

The working title for the novella is WHAT NOT TO WEAR TO A GRAVEYARD. This could change but I do love it. 🙂 In the story, Kelly Quinn stumbles into a dognapping plot turned deadly when she finds the missing dog and then his owner murdered. This wasn’t how Kelly was imagining spending her first Halloween home in Lucky Cove.

This manuscript is so much fun to write especially when Kelly shouts to her uncle, “Follow that clown!” I love my job.

I’d love to know if you enjoy Halloween-themed cozy mysteries. If so, which are you favorite. It’s never too early to start adding to our TBR for Halloween reading.

I shared this news in my newsletter earlier this week so if you missed it and would like to know about upcoming projects, sales and the occasional giveaway (I recently did one for an ARC of THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE) sign up for my newsletter below.

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Coffee & Chat

Saturday Coffee & Chat

Happy Saturday!

It’s another hot and humid weekend here in Connecticut. And my plan for the day is to stay inside in the air conditioner. There’s no need to venture outside other than to get the mail. Nope. I’m staying put. I do plan to do some baking. There’s some recipe development that needs to be done for Food Blogger #4 and another project I’m considering. Not sure about that project yet. But I’ll still bake. Because, why not?

As we get further into the summer I do miss some of the flowers that had bloomed at the start of spring. For some reason, I really love those plants and I miss them as the summer goes on. My favorite flowers are my Azalea’s but they only bloom for a short period of time. The pretty little mound of purple flowers greets me as I pull into our driveway and then walk from the parked car to the front door. Surrounded by greenery, the two plants pop with color and always make me smile. While I’m a little sad they’re gone, I do have something to look forward to next year.

This week I’ve been putting final touches on Food Blogger #4 as I’m preparing to send it off to an editor. It’s never an easy thing to let go of a manuscript you’ve spent months writing.⁠ When I wrote the first draft in January I was so happy to be back in food blogger Hope Early’s world. after spending December writing SILENCED IN SEQUINS. In Hope’s fourth book the reluctant sleuth is starting to realize she has a knack for tracking down murderers. Okay, it’s not a knack we all aspire to and she does still have some resistance to embracing her new found skill set.⁠⠀
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When I set out to create Hope Early I knew I needed a main character that was relatable, had a few flaws and could connect with readers. Trust me, it’s not an easy task. ⁠Hope came to me rather quickly because I kinda gave her a new identity from another character I created years ago. Yeah, a little cheat. 😉 But she slowly evolved into the character she is today – smart, curious, tenacious. Oh, and she wants to feed the whole world around her dinner table. But what didn’t come quickly were her flaws, her backstory, her history with Ethan. Those things came over time as I wrote the first book in the series.⁠ As I’m wrapping up the book, I’m still discovering things about Hope’s character and I’m also seeing how she’s changing throughout each book. In book this I’m really pleased with the fact Hope is owning her amateur sleuth status and all that goes with it. Maybe I’m finally at a point where I’m owning my status as full-time author and all that goes with it. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll do a quick read of the manuscript, incorporate my critique partner’s notes and send this baby to my editor. And thanks to my schedule, I won’t have much time to fret over sending book 4 out because there’s a lot of writing to be done this month.⁠⠀
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This week I also began a new writing project and the photo above is a little clue. While brainstorming the project I made a little reminder card for research. Hmm…old cemeteries…I’m ten thousand words into my new manuscript and I’m having a blast! I’ll be sending out a newsletter this week with all the details of this unexpected writing project. So if you haven’t subscribed to the newsletter now’s the time. 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by today! It’s been great catching up with you. Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re doing this weekend!

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Currently Reading, What I'm Reading Now

My June Reads

Whew! What a month June was! Between being buried by galleys, copy edits, a deadline, a WIP and a family member home unexpectedly thanks to an injury, it’s been a bit chaotic. But now everything is back to normal (well, as normal as you can get when there’s a writer in the house who plots murders) I can get back to reading for pleasure. And I totally missed my deadline for sharing my current reads (yes, I have plans of reviving this sad little blog 🙂 ) and with new projects started (like reviving this sad little blog for one) I don’t have the time reworking the graphic. So pretty much, it is what it is. But the books are good!

I didn’t realize how much I missed curling up on the sofa with Billy and losing myself in a good story just for fun. All of the reading I’ve been doing the past couple of weeks has been for work and believe me, there’s a BIG difference. For starters, while I’m reading either galleys or copy edits, I spend an enormous amount of time beating myself up. How did I ever think that was a good idea? WTF does that mean? OMG, seriously, I wrote that? There you have it, a glimpse into a writer’s mind when she’s reading her own work. Enough about my work.

Let’s talk for a few moments about my current reads. Yes, I typically will read two books at the same time. They’re usually different genres and in different formats. Beaches, Bungalows and Burglaries is a cozy mystery in ebook format with The House on Olive Street is women’s fiction in paperback.

Now, this isn’t going to be a review of either book, or for any books I read in the future. Here you won’t find any negative comments because if I start a book that I don’t connect with I just set it aside and since this is all about sharing my reads with you, I won’t share if I’m not reading and enjoying the book. Okay? Good, let’s continue.

Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries is the first book in the Campers and Criminal Mystery series by Tonya Kappes. Mae West has been thrown for a loop when her husband is sent to prison for a Ponzi scheme. She’s left with nothing but a camper and a campground that should have been condemned years ago. With no money, skills and barely skirting free of prison time for herself (the Ex forged her name on legal documents) she has no choice but to make the Happy Trails Campground, well, happy again so that it’s enticing to a buyer. But nothing is working the way she hopes especially when she learns her Ex has escaped from prison and then his body is found in the Happy Trails mucky green lake.

I’m into chapter five right now and loving this book! I see a book-reading binge in my near future. 🙂

The House On Olive Street by Robyn Carr is about the friendship of five women, one of whom is found dead in the first few pages of the book. Gabby has left a request for them and together throughout the summer they will sort through her personal papers and their own issues, some of which have been kept secret from the others in the group. I’ve just started the second part of the novel and I’ve been drawn in quickly to the world Robyn Carr has created. She’s created very four different women and is slowing peeling back the layers of their lives so we learn how they got to where they are now in their lives and it’s leaving me curious to find out what, if any, changes they will make and whether their friendships will remain intact. It’s been a long time since I’ve read one of her books and I’m certain I won’t wait so long to read another one.

I expect to be finish with these books very soon and I’ll be looking for two more to dive into next. What book have you recently finished that you loved? Share below in the comments.

Coffee & Chat

Saturday coffee & chat

Happy Saturday!

Another week behind us and we’re into a new month and we celebrated a national holiday! Wow! I also finished the 4th draft of Food Blogger #4. Many chapters are still with my critique partner and then the beast is headed to a freelance editor for an edit. I’ll be dealing with that later so I’m focusing on finishing draft 4. I do have the beast printed out and I’m going to read through it. I think a few of my chapters are way too long, so some reorganization needs to happen this coming week. Let’s see if I can keep the red pen away from those pages. LOL.

This week I mailed out the Advance Reader Copies for THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE (available for preorder now). I was blown away by the requests I received for ARCs when I shared on social media I had the books. If you’re a reviewer and didn’t get a print copy, digital ARCs will be available on NetGalley in late August/early September. I have to admit, I’m a little nervous in sending these babies out into the world. I felt the same way with my other books so I guess that feeling never goes away.

Three Widows and A Corpse book one in the Food Blogger Mystery Series

This week we started a new month and I have goals for July. But first, let’s take a moment and let the quote for this month sink in – nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.

Never truer words ever spoken.

Everything I’ve achieved to date with my writing has been because of hard work, effort and commitment. Showing up everyday isn’t easy but if you have a dream you need to commit to it, work at it and celebrate it when you’ve achieved it. Then going forward you’ll practice – Rinse. Repeat. Because you can’t rely on your laurels.

So what are goals for the July? I’m so glad you asked. 🙂

First let me say, I’ve been looking forward to July for the past few weeks because I’ll be diving into my secret project (soon to be announced as the contract has just been received) and I’ll be starting Resale Boutique Mystery #3! The outline for the book was accepted by my editor. In book 3 we find Kelly’s former boss, the dragonista of Seventh Avenue, standing over the dead body of her ex-Husband’s new wife (wearing a fabulous faux leopard fur coat of course). There are so many things about this story I love and I can’t wait to start writing the manuscript. Darn secret project. Just kidding. I love my secret project. There you have pretty much what I have planned for the month – a lot of writing. So I’ll be cocooned in my air condition office with Billy until further notice.

There are times when a gal needs a chocolate cupcake. I needed one Tuesday. Just so you know, not everyday is perfect here in Deb’s writing world all the time. There are sucky days and luckily when I had one this week I also had a fresh batch of chocolate cupcakes to help ease the pain. 🙂 And also luckily for me, I didn’t go into a cupcake coma, I managed to stop myself from eating every single cupcake.

For the rest of the week, I stepped away from social media and I am taking long weekend off from writing. It was a quiet, long-stretch of time that was needed. I worked outside a bit, ate a really good burger and took numerous walks with Billy, well he actually was in the stroller for most of the time outside.

I’d love to hear what your highlight of the week was or what you have planned for this weekend? Did you watch any fireworks?

 

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