Buy A Plain Malice And Give Back To Those In Need

Finally, it’s here! The book you’ve been waiting for! After months of ups and downs, A Plain Malice, the fourth and final novel in the Appleseed Creek Mystery Series is set to release. It’s been quite a journey to see this book in print, and I would have given up if it hadn’t been for the encouragement of you, the readers.
sleigh- www.discoverlancasterpa.com / Terry Ross

Since I’ve always considered this novel a gift to my readers, I have decided to donate all of my royalties for the novel that I earn through Thanksgiving Day to charity.

Preorder or purchase any edition of A Plain Malice between now and Thursday, November 27, 2014, and 100% of my royalties will go to a local food pantry, The Landing, located in Akron, Ohio. My brother and sister-in-law, Andrew and Nicole Flower, manage the Landing in the basement of Akron Christian Reformed Church with a group of dedicated volunteers. The food pantry feeds over sixty families in the church’s neighborhood on $200 per week. You can learn more about the Landing in this article and video recently published in the Akronist.
The Kindle and Nook edition released on September 16th. September 16th is a special day for me because it’s my mother’s birthday, and I can’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to release A Plain Malice on her birthday. She read it before she passed away and said it was her favorite of all of my books.

Order Kindle edition HERE!

Order Nook edition HERE!

The paperback edition will release in early November if not before.
Buy a mystery and help feed a community! And as always thank you for reading! I hope A Plain Malice brings a smile to your face.

Follow Amanda on Social Media at: Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest

ALA Bound! Vegas, baby!

When I was a young writer and wanted to sell just one mystery novel to a publisher, I never dreamed that one day my publisher would fly me across the country to sign books. I’ve been blessed enough that I have had this oporunity several times over the last few years. However, this upcoming weekend will be a real pinch me moment when I sign free copies of my novels at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in both the Penguin and Zondervan/HarperCollins booths. I never dreamed that big!

So fellow librarians if you will be at ALA this weekend, please see me and grab one of my free titles. I can’t wait to talk about books, writing, and all things librarianish!

Here’s my schedule:
Friday, June 27 5-7pm, Penguin booth, signing Murder, Simply Stitched
Saturday, June 28 9:00-10:00am, Zondervan booth inside HarperCollins area, signing ARCs of Andi Under Pressure
Saturday, June 28 10:30-11:30am, Sisters in Crime booth, signing Murder, Simply Stitched

MurderSimplyStitched-1

 

Andi Under Pressure

 

If you aren’t attending the conference, you can still take part in the adventure! Watch for Dead Fred pics from Las Vegas on my Facebook Pages.

https://www.facebook.com/authoramandaflower

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaAlanAuthor

India Got Paperback! New edition of Maid of Murder

It’s been a long time coming, but I can finally share with you the cover of the mass market paperback edition of MAID OF MURDER.  This new edition will be published by Harlequin in July 2014, just a few weeks from now and is available to purchase through Harlequin’s website. Click here to see the pricing.

I can’t tell you how exciting this is for me. MAID OF MURDER will always be the book of my heart. It’s my first baby, the one that started my career, the one nominated for the Agatha, and the one that made my dreams come true. I’m so happy that it will now have a chance to reach more readers in paperback form. Huge thanks goes to my super star agent Nicole for making this happen.

 

Now the cover…

maid of murder pbHERE LIES THE BRIDE . . .
An upscale Fourth-of-July wedding. A beyond-horrible bridesmaid’s dress. A snobbish mother-of-the-bride from hell…. If the struggling college librarian India Hayes didn’t owe ex-friend Olivia Blocken a big favor, she’d bail before the champagne is chilled. Especially since India’s brother, Mark, is still piecing his life together after Olivia’s callous rejection, and India’s family won’t forgive the not-so-beautiful bride. Now Olivia is dead in a campus fountain—and police find incriminating evidence in Mark’s possession. And even as India tries to keep her parents’ street-theater protests from sending the investigation into a tailspin, she must dig deep to uncover Olivia’s secrets. But trapping a murderer with a lot to lose won’t be a piece of eight-tiered, 24-karat-gold-frosted, crystal-decorated spun-sugar cake….

 

It’s so different than India’s first cover, but I do love it! I like to think India is a bridesmaid in the middle with the skull bouquet. ;)

 

 

MURDER, SIMPLY STITCHED Release Day & Giveaway!

Happy Murder, Simply Stitched Release Day!

I’m so happy share this novel with you and introduce you to Petunia the Goat!

MurderSimplyStitched-1

Order Now!

Amazon | B&N | Books-A-Million | CBD

About the novel:

When Angela Braddock enters her quilts in an Amish auction, she never expects one of her neighbors to end up going, going, gone….

Angie is finding her niche as the new owner of her late aunt’s Amish quilt shop, Running Stitch. But as the summer is winding down, so is business. To bolster support for the shop, Angie decides to sell her quilts in the Rolling Brook Amish Auction, including some of her aunt’s most prized works.

The quilts promise to be a hit—but the gavel comes down on the lively event when Angie stumbles upon the body of township trustee Wanda Hunt behind a canning shed. The cause of death: a poisoned blueberry fry pie from Rachel Miller’s bakery table. Now Angie’s closest friend is a murder suspect. With Angie taking the lead, she and the other women of her aunt’s quilting circle set out to patch together the clues and stop a killer set on shredding the simple peace of Rolling Brook.

Includes Quilting Tips!

I’m celebrating the novel’s release by giving away two Amish charm bracelets. There will be two winners!

Enter here: http://www.amandaflower.com/Giveaways.html

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Happy Reading!

 

goatmeme 3 copy

Cover Reveal! ANDI UNDER PRESSURE

The cover of my second children’s mystery is here! I’m so excited to reveal the cover of Andi Under Pressure. This is the sequel to Andi Unexpected, which was a 2013 Agatha Award nominee for Best Children’s/YA Novel. In book two, Andi and Colin are back solving the mysteries of Killdeer, Ohio’s checkered past. There might be a slight explosion in this one! Very special thanks to my friend chemistry professor, Dr. Sarah Preston, who helped me with the science behind the story.

Official Blurb:

Twelve-year-old Andora ‘Andi’ Boggs and her new best friend Colin Carter couldn’t be more excited to attend the prestigious science camp at the local university in Killdeer, Ohio. Unfortunately, Discovery Camp’s curriculum appears to include much more than just chemistry and biology. From day one, the university is plagued by a series of pranks—missing markers, loose crickets, and stolen scales. Campus security blames the mysterious janitor Polk, but even though Andi agrees he’s acting suspicious, she can’t believe the gentle old man would do anything illegal. Then one prank goes too far and their chemistry professor is injured by an explosion in the lab, upping the stakes of the investigation. Andi and Colin must unravel the secrets behind the chemistry department and Polk’s dark past before danger closes the camp for good.

Andi Under Pressure releases on October 7, 2014 and is available for preorder now.

Amazon | B&N | CBD

AND HERE’S THE COVER!

Someone is up to no good in the chemistry lab!

Andi Under Pressure

Praise for the series

Andi Unexpected 2013 Agatha Award Nominee

“In the upstanding tradition of Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy, Andi is spunky and unafraid to take risks” – Booklist

“A fun little detective story with some simple life lessons.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Flower creates a cast of memorable characters and a colorful, historically detailed setting.” – Publishers Weekly

 

Malice Domestic Bound

I’m packing for the Malice Domestic Convention, and I cannot wait to get there to see old and new friends and to meet readers. I love my readers!

I’m still pinching myself that Andi Unexpected was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Children’s/YA mystery. It’s my second nomination and first for the children’s/YA category. The winner will be announced at the Agatha Banquet on Saturday (5/3/14).

If you see me at the convention, stop me to say “hello.” I’ll be in the hotel all weekend, but you can also find me at my panel, Kids Love A Mystery: Our Agatha Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel Nominees, along with my fellow nominees: Joelle Charbonneau, Kathleen Ernst, and Penny Warner on Saturday (5/3) at 9am with a signing right afterward. Leslie Blatt is moderating what promises to be a fun panel about kids and mystery.

I hope to see you there! Oh and be on the lookout for Dead Fred photos at the convention on my Facebook Page.

Mister Tumnus thinks he's coming too!

Mister Tumnus thinks he’s coming too!

 

My mother’s sermons

I’ve never had a home office. My home is small, and I’ve shared it for many years with my mother, who was not well. When she died at the end of last year, the house suddenly felt cavernous. Slowly, I’ve become accustom to the quiet and the idea of having a home office. Of all the places I could put it, her room was the obvious choice.

It’s been easier than I expected to claim the space as my own because I know how happy it would make her to know I am writing in her room, which my niece and nephew still call “Grandma’s room.” I pray they never stop calling it that.

However, there have been moments the task of going through my mother’s things overwhelmed me, flattened me to the ground, and left me feeling like grief had me by my throat. Last night was one of those moments. My mother was a Presbyterian minister, and I found her sermons, over thirty years’ worth crumbled and jammed into plastic crates. They were handwritten or printed on everything from yellowed mimeograph to crisp copier paper. She’d scribbled last minute notes in the margins. More than her clothes, more than her possessions, her words made me crumble. Whether written or spoken, a person’s words are the closest someone can ever be to another person’s thoughts and who he or she really is at the core. It’s too hard for me yet to be reminded of my mother’s thoughts. She was closer to God and more deeply thoughtful than I could ever hope to be.

This has made me think of my own mortality. Maybe too I am preoccupied with it because the last few months my life has been filled with probate, wills, life insurance, and beneficiaries. Being surrounded with those things, I can’t help but worry what will happen when I die. Someday, I will have to leave my niece and nephew with the task I now bear for my mother. I pray it is a long time from now because I want the honor of watching them grow up into the man and woman God wants them to be. But when I do pass away, what will break them?

I pray nothing brings them sorrow, but if something does, may it be my words. I’m an author. When I die, I will leave millions of words behind. When my dear ones are ready, I hope they will read my books again and laugh at what a quirky imagination I had.

Last night, I only read one paragraph, one paragraph of one sermon, and I had to stop. But someday, I will retype all of her sermons and put them in a book if only for myself and my family. Just not yet.P1030463

Ask an Amish author about books and such…

Yes, it’s time once again for “Everything you wanted to know about Amish authors but were afraid to ask.” Of course, maybe you aren’t afraid to ask but just haven’t known whom to ask. Well, wonder no further. Jennifer Beckstrand has gathered eight Amish authors together to ask them the burning questions. If you have a question for our authors, please send leave it in the comment and I will forward it to Jennifer.

jw_smith_pix_bookcoverWe all have childhood memories of special books. What are some of the books that inspired you as a child?

Mary Ellis: I adored Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I got the impetus to become a writer “when I grew up” from Jo March. I received my first copy around 8 (a highly abridged illustrated edition.) I now own several editions, my favorite being a 1904 copy published by Little, Brown, and Company of Boston. On my bucket list is to find a first edition released by the University Press in Cambridge, Mass. I have been to her childhood home, Orchard House, where she penned her lovely tale in Concord, Mass. Okay, now you know I’m a Louisa groupie!

Vannetta Chapman: My grandmother was a writer, and I can remember sitting with her books in my lap. They were home economics books that had been translated into many different languages. I couldn’t actually read them, but I’d hold them and flip through the pictures. It was very special knowing my grandmother had written them.

Kelly Irvin: All the Little House on the Prairie books, A Wrinkle in Time, Little Women, The Changling, Harriet the Spy, The Oregon Trail. Nancy Drew mysteries. LOL. I read everything I could get my hands on as a kid. I lived at the public library, going to story hour every week and working as a volunteer shelving books when I was old enough. I think I read every book at the Robert Louis Stevens children’s section of the Abilene Public Library!

Shelley Shepard Gray: I mainly remember reading all of the Nancy Drew books, followed by all of the Agatha Christie novels. I don’t really write mysteries, but those books definitely inspired me to want to create characters that people want to get to know. Those books also spurred an interest in collecting books. At one time I had all the Agatha Christie books lined up in chronological order. That’s kind of a big deal for me, since I don’t even put soup on the same shelf in our pantry.

Amanda Flower: Charlotte’s Web, The Baby-sitters Club, Anything by Beverly Cleary, James and Giant Peach

Amy Clipston: My favorite book when I was a little girl was Elizabeth by Liesel Moak Skorpen. It’s out of print now, but I have a copy that I cherish. I also knew Good Night Moon by heart. My mother would turn the page, and I would recite it. When I was in junior high I read The Outsiders until the book fell apart. I also knew the movie by heart. I recently bought a set of S.E. Hinton books for my older son. He hasn’t opened one yet, but I’m not giving up hope yet!

Jennifer Beckstrand: Where the Red Fern Grows was one of those life-changing books for me. I remember sitting on the rug in Mrs. Hershey’s fourth grade class enthralled as she read to us. I think I have read that book to every one of my children. One of my favorite memories is sitting on the bed with my boys reading the last pages of the story, all three of us crying like babies when the dogs died.

Charlotte’s Web and The Outsiders are other tear-jerkers that really had an impact on me.

Amy Lillard: I think I had a lot of different reading material than most. I loved the Hardy Boys Mysteries (Not Nancy Drew but the Hardy Boys). I also loved the Miss Pickerell series, about a little old lady who manages to get into all sorts of trouble. But my favorite of all was a book called Shadow Castle.

What are your 4 or 5 favorite classic novels?

Mary Ellis: Gone With the Wind, Cold Mountain, Killer Angels, Great Expectations, The Stand

Vannetta Chapman: Jane Eyre, Little Women, Anna Karenina, Grapes of Wrath

Kelly Irvin: That is so hard! To Kill a Mocking Bird. Gone with the Wind. Anna Karenina, Doctor Zhivago, The Count of Monte Cristo, Gaudy Night

Shelley Shepard Gray: Gone with the Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird, Little Women, Murder on the Orient Express, Cannery Row

Amanda Flower: Charlotte’s Web, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Stuart Little

Amy Clipston: The Outsiders, Farewell to Arms, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up

Jennifer Beckstrand: Pride and Prejudice–my all-time favorite book, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Help, My Name is Asher Lev, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Ender’s Game, Ella Enchanted

Sorry, I can’t choose just 5!

Amy Lillard: I love To Kill A Mockingbird. That’s my all time favorite. I read it every year or so. I also love 1984, Of Mice and Men, and Lord of the Flies. All very different from what I write.

I love seeing what we all have in common as well as our differing tastes. To Kill a Mockingbird and Little Women show up quite a bit.

Have you ever used a personal experience in one of your books? Would you like to tell us about it? 

Mary Ellis: I use personal experiences in just about all my books. The trick for the reader is to figure out what’s fact and what’s fiction in my stories.

Vannetta Chapman: Oh, golly yes! Whenever my mind draws a blank — I just put in something from life! In my new release, Murder Simply Brewed, the romance is very similar to the story of me and my husband. :)

Kelly Irvin: Yes. My March release, Love Redeemed, draws on a personal experience. Without revealing too much of the story, I can share that I lost a brother who drowned in a boating accident in 1991. It’s taken that many years, but I was able to drawn on those emotions and the experience of what my parents went through to help my characters as they struggle through a similar loss. I do think, however, that we draw on all our experiences when we write, even if it’s not readily apparent. Who we are and what we’ve done throughout our lives colors everything we write, even if it’s subconsciously. My writing voice is mine because of everything that has happened to me in my life.

Shelley Shepard Gray: I’ve added all kinds of little ‘Shelley’ things to my books. I’ve had badly behaved dogs (our beagle once pulled a ham from a table two minutes before a dinner party), kitchen mishaps, characters enjoying pie and donuts. (I really love donuts) I’ve also had most of my characters be voracious readers because I am.

Amanda Flower: Well, my first protagonist India Hayes is an academic librarian at a small liberal arts college near Cleveland, and I’m an academic librarian at a small liberal arts college near Cleveland. Strange, right? And in the Appleseed Creek Mysteries, Chloe Humphrey is twenty-four and moves with her cat to Amish Country. Oddly, I moved to Amish Country with my cat when I was twenty-four. How weird are those coincidences?

Amy Clipston: Since my husband has had two kidney transplants, I featured a liver transplant in my book A Place of Peace. My memoir, A Gift of Love, which details my husband’s kidney transplants and my kidney donation, will be available in March. Also, my father had a massive stroke, and I feature a character who is a stroke victim in my novella A Spoonful of Love.

Jennifer Beckstrand: They say that art imitates life, which in my case means: I’ve never been shy about putting my most embarrassing moments on paper.

Anna Helmuth, the feisty eighty-two-year-old Amish grandmother in Huckleberry Hill, loves to knit and cook. Even after sixty years of cooking for her family, Anna likes to pull out her new recipe book and experiment with a recipe she’s never tried before. Anna has many talents, but cooking is not one of them. In fact, she has a well-earned reputation for being the worst cook in Bonduel, Wisconsin. I’m not saying that I am as bad a cook as Anna, but my life definitely provided some inspiration for the character.

Several months ago, my husband and I hosted some friends for dinner, and I broke the first rule of entertaining: Never try out a new recipe on dinner guests. I wanted to make something new and exciting to serve my guests, and the reviews for “Sweet and Sour Meatballs” sounded positively delicious. Trouble came with the cryptic ingredient called “chili sauce.” I bought a quart of the most likely chili sauce I could find and dumped it into the crockpot with my meatballs. As dinnertime approached, I tested my bright orange meatballs and realized that my concoction was going to be a tad spicy. Okay, mouth-on-fire spicy. Inedibly spicy. In desperation, I poured a pint of whipping cream into the crockpot because dairy is supposed to cool spicy food. It didn’t even make a dent and added about a thousand calories to my shame. I was forced to serve the meatballs-from-heck to my friends, who didn’t complain but didn’t eat much either. I take comfort in the fact that those meatballs certainly looked lovely served over noodles. A version of this story appears in Huckleberry Hill. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Amy Lillard: My latest release, Gabriel’s Bride, has several personal experiences in it, though I borrowed them from other people. What does that make them…? Second hand personal experiences? J Though I have to admit Rachel Yoder is more like me than I care to examine.

You can learn more about these great authors on their websites. We would all love it if you would like our Facebook pages too!

Vannetta Chapman: http://vannettachapman.com/

https://www.facebook.com/VannettaChapmanBooks

Amanda Flower: http://www.amandaflower.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authoramandaflower
https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaAlanAuthor

Amy Clipston: http://www.amyclipston.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks

Mary Ellis: http://www.maryellis.net/

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

Shelley Shepard Gray: http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ShelleyShepardGray

Kelly Irvin: http://www.kellyirvin.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Kelly.Irvin.Author

Jennifer Beckstrand: JenniferBeckstrand.com

https://www.facebook.com/jenniferbeckstrandfans

Amy Lillard: http://amywritesromance.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Lillard-Author/177732292332322

Andi Unexpected Nominated for the Agatha Award

I’m so thrilled and delighted to share that my middle grade mystery, Andi Unexpected, has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Children’s/YA Novel. The Agathas are awards that honor the best in traditional mystery. It’s a great honor! My very first novel, Maid of Murder, was nominated for Best First Novel in 2010. That event changed the course of my writing career, so I know how monumental being nominated is. I’m so grateful for the Malice Domestic Convention that hosts the awards. I’m also thankful for my wonderful publisher Zonderkidz, my agent Nicole Resciniti, and my editor Kim Childress. The winners will be announced on May 3, 2014 during the Malice Domestic Convention.

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Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best Historical Novel

Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Death in the Time of Ice by Kaye George (Untreed Reads Publishing)
A Friendly Game of Murder by JJ Murphy (Signet)
Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson (Berkley Prime Crime)
A Question of Honor by Charles Todd (William Morrow)

Best Children’s/YA Nominations

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery by Kathleen Ernst (American Girl Mysteries)
Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower (Zonderkidz)
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein (Random House Books)
Code Busters Club: Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure by Penny Warner (Edgmont USA)

Best Contemporary Novel

Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur Books)
Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Clammed Up by Barbara Ross (Kensington Books)
The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)

Best Nonfiction

Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester (Source Books Inc.)
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova (Viking Penguin)
Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea: An Interesting & Entertaining History of Malice Domestic’s First 25 Years by Verena Rose and Rita Owen (editors) (Wildside Press)
The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur Books)

Best First Novel

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz (Berkley Prime Crime)
You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa (Pocket Books)
Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn (Henery Press)
Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero (Kensington)
Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker (Henery Press)

Best Short Story

“Evil Little Girl” in Don’t Get Mad, Get Even by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
“Nightmare” in Don’t Get Mad, Get Even by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
“The Hindi Houdini” in Fish Nets by Gigi Pandian (Wildside Press)
“Bread Baby” in Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold by Barbara Ross (Level Best Books)
“The Care and Feeding of House Plants” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Great Amish Book Giveaway!!

7 Best-selling Amish Authors, 27 books, 9 Winners, 1 Great Book Giveaway!

On Wednesday, January 29, 7 authors are joining together for a Great Amish book Giveaway!
All you have to do is stop by the following author’s websites or FB Page on WEDNESDAY and leave a comment. Giveaway limited to US mailing addresses.

On Wednesday, each author will randomly pick one or two winners. Each winner will receive a trio of books from 3 of the participating authors!
Here is the list of authors, and the place where you can find them:

Vannetta Chapman: http://vannettachapman.com/
Amanda Flower: http://www.amandaflower.com/
Amy Clipston: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks
Mary Ellis: http://www.maryellis.net/
Shelley Shepard Gray: http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com/
Kelly Irvin: http://www.facebook.com/kellyirvin
Jennifer Beckstrand: http://www.jenniferbeckstrand.com/

LEAVE A COMMENT HERE ON MY BLOG TO ENTER MY PORTION OF THE GIVEAWAY!!! Giveaway ends Wednesday, January 29th at 8pm EST.

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