Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING blog hop!  This is a fantastic new way for readers to discover authors they may not find in their local bookstore.

Here you will discover information about us (Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton) as co-authors and a sneak peak at the book we are currently working on, AN ICY DEATH, which will be part of our Jeff McQuede High County Mystery Series.  Here’s a review of the second book in the series: WHISPERS OF THE STONES:

"Whispers of the Stones" is a multi-layered mystery that should prove a strong addition for genre fans--
Midwest Book Review

In this BIG BLOG HOP, Loretta and I will answer ten questions about our current work in progress.  You can learn a little about the latest novel we are working on as well as some insight into where our ideas come from.  Then check out the links below this post to our fellow authors at their blogs to find out more about their works in progress. 

We’d like to thank Pat Browning for inviting us to participate.
 Pat Browning is the author of ABSINTHE OF MALICE, a Penny Mackenzie Mystery.  Her books are cozy/amateur sleuth mysteries set in Central California.   Her main character could be characterized as “Miss Marple in pantyhose.”  Her romance angle is a second time around love affair between two characters pushing fifty.  Pat’s work in progress with the working title METAPHOR FOR MURDER, has a Chinese angle, and centers around China Alley and mystery within an old Chinese cemetery. Read more about her and her works at

Here is our Next Big Thing!


1. What is the working title of your book?

Our first book in the High Country Mystery Series is MURDER IN BLACK AND WHITE published by Avalon Books.  The second and third books in the series are WHISPERS OF THE STONES and STEALER OF HORSES.  All of them have recently become available through Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint.
Our work-in-progress has a working title of AN ICY DEATH.
2: Where did the idea come from for the WIP
The idea grew out of a trip we took through Wyoming in the winter.
3: What genre does your book come under?
 Mystery, Cozy. 
Jeff McQuede is the sheriff of Coal County.  He is a real character, who always tries to do the right thing, but is sometimes  plagued by doubts.  His hero and inspiration was his relative and Old West namesake, who battled early-day outlaws.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 
He would have to be rugged, capable, yet very human.  Maybe on the order of the old Bonanza star Lorne Greene, Edward James Olmos, or Tommy Lee Jones.  

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
(Well, it’s a long sentence....)
When a woman is found frozen to death in her car on an abandoned road, McQuede believes it is an accident until evidence points to cold-blooded murder, making his main suspect her husband, who against all odds has stumbled to safety and stands to profit.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

Our books in this series were published by Avalon.  Recently the company was bought out by Amazon, who now is handling the series.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Because we write together, a novel takes about six months, a little longer when a lot of research is involved.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

We both love the novels of Tony Hillerman and his good-hearted hero, Joe Leaphorn, and have always looked to him for inspiration.  We also enjoy the works of  Margaret Coel, Jean Henry Mead, and Craig Johnson, who also write about Wyoming.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
In Laramie, Wyoming, hypothermia is common and we read about many instances of people freezing to death from exposure to the icy temperatures.   When I (Vickie) lived there I read about a woman who froze to death walking home from work.  Another body was discovered in the woods.  A perfect site for a murder novel.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Sheriff Jeff McQuede has for a long time has been attempting to bring to justice a local ruffian named Ruger.  When he arrests him for murder, however, he doesn’t believe Ruger is guilty of this particular crime.  McQuede now faces a moral dilemma--he has done his duty by making the arrest, but is that all there is to his duty?  Should he delve deeper and work to release a man that for years he has been trying to apprehend?
Also he is deeply in love with the Loris, the local museum curator who can’t make up her mind whether to marry him and settle down in Coal County.  She is extremely ambitious and rebels against ending with in a small, dead-end job when she has been offered a position at the Smithsonian by McQuede’s handsome rival, Arden Reed.

Below you will find the authors who will post their Q&A on their own blogs next Wednesday, Jan. 23.  Be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases!

1. Lille Ammann is the author of DREAM OR DESTINY and A STROKE OF LUCK.  In her suspense DREAM OR DESTINY, Marilee Anderson dreams about a murder and wakes to find  it really happened. She and David Nichols, the victim’s brother, become the prime suspects. Though they have their secrets and aren’t sure they can trust each other, Marilee and David team up to find the killer.  As they take it upon themselves to question a  host of suspects, will they they end up in jail—or dead?

Lillie also writes nonfiction e-books such as Preserving Memories: How to Write a Family History, Finding the Information you Need: Research Tips and The Secrets of Fantastic Houseplants.

Visit Lillie’s blog A Writer’s Word, and Editor’s Eye, at

2. Michael Thal is the award-winning author of middle school and YA novels.  He is the author of THE LEGEND OF KOOLURA and GOODBY TCHAIKOVSKY, about a young violin virtuoso who must cope with severe hearing loss.

Koolura is a girl with extraordinary powers.  She has the COOL.  The sixth grade Armenian girl has the ability to dematerialize at will and reappear wherever she wants.  She can also move objects with her mind and  defy gravity.  But she also has doubts about herself and the ability of her special powers to save her from a talker intent on her destruction.  KOOLURA AND THE MYSTERY AT CAMP SADDLEBACK, the second in the Koolura series, will be published sometime in 2013. Currently, Michael is working on a third Koolura book.

To read more about Michael and his books, visit his website:

3. Elizabeth Delisi
Elizabeth is a multi-published, award-winning author of romance, mystery and suspense. Her time-travel romance set in ancient Egypt, LADY OF THE TWO LANDS, won a Bloody Dagger Award and was a Golden Rose Award nominee. Her romantic suspense novel, SINCE ALL IS PASSING was an EPPIE Award finalist and Bloody Dagger Award finalist.
Her paranormal mystery, FATAL FORTUNE, was a Word Museum Reviewer’s Choice Masterpiece.  In FATAL FORTUNE, no one in Cheyenne, North Dakota believes in Lottie Baldwin’s psychic abilities; especially not Harlan Erikson, Lottie’s boyfriend and Chief Deputy in the Sheriff’s Office. When a friend’s husband disappears, Lottie can’t leave it to Harlan to discover what happened to Harry. Armed with her courage and her tarot cards, Lottie tries to solve the mystery herself, regardless of who attempts to stop her: Harlan, her friend—or the criminal.
Elizabeth is also an instructor for Writer’s Digest University. She is currently at work on DEADLY DESTINY and PERILOUS PREDICTION, , the sequels to FATAL FORTUNE, and KNIT A SPELL, a paranormal romance. Elizabeth lives in New Hampshire with her husband and feisty parakeet. She invites her readers to check out her website at

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