A Great Review for A Bull by the Horns

nightowlreviewWith all the holiday busy-ness the last couple of weeks, I almost missed this wonderful review of A Bull by the Horns by Pauline Michael at Night Owl Reviews. This kind of praise is the best Christmas present a person could ever hope for. Thank you!

Here’s my favorite part:

Deb Donahue delights readers with this fantastic first in a cozy mystery series. Honestly I finished reading this days ago and haven’t stopped talking about it. I’ve mentioned it to friends and family and even a stranger in a doctor’s office. I found the characters and scenario refreshing and entertaining. In fact I was so taken with the story that I’m seriously thinking of finding a retreat like this or starting one of my own. The setting is lovely, the suspects are intriguing and the death, definitely unique and attention grabbing.

Source: A Bull by the Horns – A Coffman Country Art Colony Cozy, #1

To read the whole review, please visit their website.

Black Friday Weekend – FREE Book!

I am so thankful for the blessings I’ve had this year I decided to give away a free Kindle version of Eyes at the Window for Black Friday weekend.  Just think, not only is this a sale you can shop at in your pjs, but it costs absolutely nothing!

Giveaway starts Thanksgiving Day, Thursday Nov. 24 and goes through Monday, Nov. 28.

EYES_Ebook

Is Miranda’s phobic fear of the dark causing paranoia, or did she really see someone staring at her through the window that first night? When she quit her high-stress job as a TV meteorologist and moved to the country, she was looking for peace, quiet, and anonymity.

But her neighbor is hounding her to sell her grandmother’s run down farmhouse, and she keeps glimpsing a mysterious figure lingering on the forest edge at the back of the property.
Is the shadowy figure she sees watching from the barn loft real? Why is Harlan Hunter so insistent on owning her property? When she uncovers a skeleton buried in debris along the creek, Miranda must face her fears to learn the truth.

 

Free Kindle Book Nov. 24 – 28 Amazon

Windy City Reviews Weighs In

Want to hear what Starza Thompson had to say about A Bull by the Horns on Windy City Reviews?  Here’s a small taste. Go to their site to read the whole thing.

“I found the premise of this novel enjoyable and refreshing. Combining farming and the typical worries of crops, nosy neighbors, and the legacy of the Coffman name with the quirky artists in residence and the complications of a murder, makes for an interesting read. Add in a part-time sheriff as the main character’s husband and you have a lot of action being carried out by a character (Carina) who wouldn’t otherwise have much to do with a murder investigation. Tension, guessing—and second guessing—and questioning the motives of every character, makes this story a true delight to read.”

Source: Windy City Reviews – Book Reviews – Book Review: A Bull by the Horns

The First Two Reviews Are In

A Bull by the Horns earned two reviews in September, each with a five star rating. Here’s a couple excerpts from what the readers had to say:a-bull-by-the-hornscover

“Here’s a book you’ll sit up in bed to read or take to work to read on your lunch hour. Once you start it, you’ll look up and be surprised that you’re not in a spacious farmhouse, dealing with the deftly drawn assortment of characters who are guests in Carina’s art colony, or that the weather outside isn’t what it’s doing so realistically in the novel.”

“Set on a farm in Ellendale, it is Donahue’s depiction of Coffman’s Country Art Colony that stuck with me days after finishing the novel. It made me want to sign up for the Coffman’s Art Colony—or not. You’ll see what I mean.”

A Bull by the Horns Finally Released

BullHornsI’m breathing a sign of relief, but not for too long.  August 1, all versions of my Coffman Country Art Colony cozy mystery were released.  It took me longer to get this done than I had predicted, but I wanted to make sure it was the best that it can be.  I hope you think it was worth the wait. It can be purchased at the links below. Or if you want to try to win a print version, wait till August 11 and enter the Goodreads contest. Now I need to do my best to get the word out.  Hopefully all my friends and family will help spread the word!

Carina Coffman has worked hard to fulfill her grandmother’s dream of turning the family farm into an artist’s retreat. She thought the only obstacles she had left to deal with were a disgruntled neighbor unhappy with her new venture, and training Larry the goat to stop head-butting his companions Curly and Moe. When one of her guests ends up impaled by the longhorn of Ferdinand the taxidermied bull, however, she has her work cut out for her.

Amazonkobo   B-N

Eyes at the Window

Now Released in the U.S.!

Eyes at the Window

EYES_EbookFirst released by PersonalNOVEL in 2013 as Through the Dark, a personalizable novel in Europe and the UK, I am now able to offer this Midwestern romantic suspense to U.S. readers under the new title of Eyes at the Window. Available in trade paperback and Kindle versions.

Is Miranda’s phobic fear of the dark causing paranoia, or did she really see someone staring at her through the window that first night? When she quit her high-stress job as a TV metorologist and moved to the country, she was looking for peace, quiet, and anonymity. But her neighbor is hounding her to sell her grandmother’s run down farmhouse, and she keeps glimpsing a mysterious figure lingering on the forest edge at the back of the property. Is the shadowy figure she sees watching from the barn loft real? Why is Harlan Hunter so insistent on owning her property? When she uncovers a skeleton buried in debris along the creek, Miranda must face her fears to learn the truth.

Trade Paperback link: Amazon

Ebook download:  Amazon

EXCERPT: The dog was standing on her stomach, barking furiously toward the window at her feet. Thunder rumbled, followed by a flash of light, and in that brief second, she saw what had disturbed him. A face, white and distorted by the rain rivulets streaming down the glass, stared back at her.

Option (a), (b), or (c) All of the Above?

I have a dilemma. True, it’s not an entirely unpleasant one, but I always have a hard time making decisions, so I’m hoping advice from my friends might make this easier.

About three years ago, I contracted with PersonalNOVEL, a publisher in Europe, to write a book they could publish as a personalized novel—meaning buyers could change the names and details about people and places to match their own friends and families.

ThroughthedarkThe story idea I sold them on was based on a manuscript I’d written many years before, but had not published and did not have to hand anymore. All I had was my memory of the general storyline and a few snippets of scenes I remembered as being key elements. They liked it; they paid me; they’re selling it now.

Now that the contract terms are up for renewal, they are giving me the option to reprint a non-personalized version with another publisher if I want. Great, right? Let’s do it. Here, however, is where the dilemma comes in.

After moving back to Illinois a couple of years ago, I took all my things out of storage that sat here for over 15 years and guess what I found in a box of old notebooks and papers? You’ve got it—the original manuscript of the story.

Reading through it, I realized there was a whole lot I remembered wrong—or differently, at least. The three main characters are there, though their background and names are a bit different. The intent of the heroes and bad guy remain primarily the same. Certain scenes are very similar: the female character waking to find eyes staring at her through a car window, the ghostly scent of perfume that seems to come from nowhere at night, what happens in the climax scene at the end.

But whole chunks of it are completely different. My main character is no longer a city career woman tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, but a vulnerable, damaged girl trying to regain confident footing after a lifetime of verbal abuse. There is a fourth main character, as well, who I’d completely forgotten about, who lends a triangular element to the romance/suspense. I also had to tame down some of the more risqué elements of the story to fit in with the family friendly guidelines of the publisher.

So here’s what I’m asking. If I choose to republish this story, should I go with the version already printed, or do I edit and release the original version? Or should I do what I really kind of want to do, publish both of them with different titles?

Here are the first few paragraphs of each version which will show you how similar they can be in some scenes. Maybe that will help you give me some helpful advice.

 

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