My guest today— my first guest ever for my new Book Talk series— is Debbie De Louise. Debbie is the author of The Cobble Cove Mystery series (A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone). Other of ber books include Cloudy Rainbow; a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace; and several short stories. Her latest, a standalone mystery, Reason to Die, will be out this coming month of April.
I see you have written both stand-alone books and a series. Which do you prefer to write? To read? Why?
I prefer to read and write both standalones and series books. I like getting to know and follow characters from book to book in a series, but I also like a story that is complete start to finish. I enjoy alternating between series and standalones.
Like me, you are a member of the Cat Writers’ Association, demonstrating your true dedication to cats. How many cats do you have? Do they help with your writing?
I currently only have one cat, Stripey, a male tabby. I lost my older Siamese, Oliver, this past November to kidney disease. Neither of my cats ever helped with my writing except to provide inspiration in the form of feline behavior.
I enjoy adding cats as well as other pets to my books. In my Cobble Cove series, Sneaky, the library cat who also has his own blog, is the main character. Like Oliver, he’s a Siamese. There are a few other less prominent cat characters in the series as well as two dogs. Fido, the golden retriever, is Sneaky’s dog co-star. In my upcoming standalone, Reason to Die, I even feature a bird, a parrot named Chirpy, although I’ve never had a bird.
I’m so sorry to hear about Oliver. Losing a beloved cat is one of the hardest things a cat person can go through.
Tell us briefly about your favorite real or fictional cat story.
What stands out is Shirley Murphy’s Catswold Portal that I read ages ago, but there are so many others. I’ve always enjoyed Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie series and Shirley Murphy’s Joe Grey series.
I also love Rousseau’s cat books! She is a fellow member of CWA, of course!
Yes, it was my pleasure to meet her at one of the conferences years ago.
What is the most useful writing tip you’ve ever been given?
I’d have to say the most useful writing tip I’ve received is to keep writing and be persistent in pursuing publication. I’ve been lucky to have found an excellent small publisher, Solstice Publishing, but I’m still seeking an agent and to publish with a larger publisher one day.
Sound advice, Debbie.
Please add something you would like to tell us just for fun.
I once had a cat birthday party for Oliver. We took him into our home when he was twelve years old and we didn’t really know his birthday, but I celebrated his first year on the day in May that he came to live with us. We invited several of my friends and a few of my daughters’ who were also cat lovers, and each friend brought Oliver a gift, a cat toy or treat. The table was decorated with a cat tablecloth, and we even had a cat-shaped cake and cat ginger cookies. Oliver wore a birthday hat and bib (see photos). This is such a sweet memory for me.
What a beautiful memory! Thank you for sharing, and for adopting a senior cat.
Do you have any book news coming up soon?
Reason to Die, my new standalone mystery, will be published in April by Solstice Publishing. (Look below for a description.)
I’ll be appearing at the Port Washington Public Library’s author fair on Long Island on Saturday, April 29 and at the St. Stephens Lutheran Church Author’s Fair in Hicksville on Saturday, May 12.
*Debbie has another bit of exciting news! She just found out she won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association for her short story, The Path to the Rainbow Bridge. Congratulations, Debbie!
How exciting! Thank you so much for being with us today. Best of luck on the new book and your book events in New York.
Here are more ways to connect with Debbie De Louise:
Amazon Author Page: Author.to/DebbieDeLouise
Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com
Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com
Cobble Cove Character Chat Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/
Debbie De Louise is the author of The Cobble Cove Mystery series (A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone); Cloudy Rainbow; and her upcoming standalone mystery, Reason to Die. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, and several short stories of various genres. She has an unpublished psychological thriller, Sea Scope, and a cozy mystery, The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady, that she is currently querying to agents.
Someone is strangling disabled people in the small town of Baxter, Connecticut. Detective Courtney Lang and her ex-partner and ex-lover, wheelchair-bound Bill Thompson, are paired up again and put in charge of the investigation. During the course of their search, Courtney uncovers information that points toward a connection between the murders and an unsolved series of muggings by a masked man, the same man who shot and disabled Bill a year ago on the night he proposed marriage to her.
Complicating matters for Courtney is her guilt about Thompson’s shooting, her affair with her new partner, Mark Farrell, and her unresolved feelings over the deaths of her mother and sister who perished in a fire while she was away from home.
As the deaths accrue and the “Handicapped Strangler” as the killer is coined by the press continues to rampage the town adding victims of different ages, sex, and disabilities to the murder count, Courtney discovers a clue that could crack open the case but may put her and Bill’s life in jeopardy.
A Stone’s Throw (Cobble Cove Mystery #1)
Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers… After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.
Secrets stretch decades into the past… Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.
Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered… When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…
Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?
Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Cobble Cove Mystery #2)
Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her… Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.
Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged… Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.
John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse… When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.
Alicia faces her worst nightmare… The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?
Written in Stone (Cobble Cove Mystery #3)
Alicia McKinney is confused . . . . Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister?
Cat vs. Dog . . . After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun?
Alicia is worried . . . While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation.
When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery.
Jackie Riordan’s in trouble . . . When her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in crime. She also doesn’t expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.
All bets are off . . . After Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?
Things that sparkle aren’t always Diamonds . . . Before Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself atop the Willis Tower carrying her father’s ashes in her pocket and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie’s only choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or face imprisonment.