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Happy Homicides 2, Valentine’s Day: When Love & Murder Go Hand in Hand

IN THE February 13 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Elaine Viets

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an e-book copy of Happy Homicides 2: Thirteen Cozy Mysteries ~ Crimes of the Heart, and a dozen roses.

What’s a writer’s biggest problem?

Getting discovered by readers.

That’s what Joanna Campbell Slan believes. Joanna is a national bestselling author and Daphne du Maurier award winner. But, like all writers, she wants more.

“I was talking to Linda Hengerer, author of Dying for Holiday Tea,” Joanna said. “We both knew that developing a good mailing list for contacting readers was essential. I’m not sure what happened next, but I think a bottle of wine and some chocolate was involved.”

The result? The two authors decided to expand Spot On Publishing, an imprint Joanna started, and do e-anthologies. They invited other successful authors with solid fan bases and a knack for writing short stories with a twist to participate in a holiday-based anthology.

Spot On’s second cozy e-anthology, Happy Homicides 2: Thirteen Cozy Mysteries ~ Crimes of the Heart, debuts this Valentine’s Day for $2.99. It has 13 mystery writers and 14 stories. book

“The e-anthology is a good way to meet new-to-you authors,” Joanna said, “and $2.99 is a good price. You can’t even buy a Hallmark card for that. You know some of the writers–and you should meet the others.”

Happy Homicides 2 has short stories or novellas by Maggie Toussaint, Carolyn Haines, Camille Minichino, Sally Lippert, Randy Rawls, Linda Hengerer, Neil Plakcy, Annie Adams, Teresa Trent, Nancy Jill Thames, Kathi Daley, Anna Celeste Burke, Joanna Campbell Slan – and me. The collection also has a bonus: 19 recipes and five crafts.

I sent in my Agatha-award-winning story, “Wedding Knife.” Any woman who’s ever had to wear an ugly bridesmaid dress (and aren’t they all?) will appreciate this story of love and revenge.

Here’s a sampling of a few more entries:

“Stupid Cupid:” A Cara Mia Delgatto Novella by Joanna Campbell Slan. Cara Mia’s search for love gets her involved in a star-crossed, homicidal romance.

“A Heart for Murder” by Teresa Trent. An expensive family heirloom is stolen from a local jewelry store, and Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick would love to figure out who’s responsible.

“The Sodium Arrow” by Camille Minichino. The love of a student for a favorite teacher drives a freelance embalmer to seek out justice.

“Bones and Arrows” by Carolyn Haines. Intrepid Sarah Booth Delaney would rather face a gun than a party on Valentine’s Day. She’s decided that Cupid is a big phony. But is he a jewel thief, too?

“The Missing Jacket” by Randy Rawls. A golfing buddy offers Jonathan Boykin big money to retrieve a stolen jacket. Jonathan is smart enough to know the difference between love and lust. But can he also figure out the scam?

“Really, Truly Dead” by Maggie Toussaint. Lindsey McKay reluctantly returns back home when her father is accused of murder.

You can pre-order Happy Homicides 2 at amzn.com/B01B3FKGOU.

You can win a dozen roses from the authors of Happy Homicides 2: Thirteen Cozy Mysteries~Crimes of the Heart. We are giving one lucky winner a dozen roses. Sign up for the contest at www.facebook.com/HappyHomicides/app/228910107186452/.roses from Elaine Viets

But wait – there’s more! Win a copy of Happy Homicides 2:

To enter to win an e-book copy of Happy Homicides 2, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “homicides,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 20, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.

Checked Out, Elaine Viets’ new Dead-End Job hardcover, is her 14th Dead-End Job mystery. South Florida PI Helen Hawthorne searches for a missing million-dollar painting in a Florida library. The New York Times praises Elaine’s “quick-witted mysteries.” Elaine has written twenty-seven mysteries in three series, and numerous short stories for anthologies and Alfred Hitchcock?s Mystery Magazine. Brain Storm, the first novel in her new, dark Angela Richman, Death Investigator series, debuts this summer. Elaine took the MedicoLegal Death Investigators Training Course for forensic professionals. She’s won the Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty Awards. She is director at large on the Mystery Writers of America national board. www.elaineviets.com.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn Haines February 13, 2016 at 7:42am

Thanks for posting, Elaine. It’s great fun to be in a collection with such great authors. My story involves a hairy little cupid who may…may…be a thief. Or he could be the real thing.

Reply

2 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:49am

LOL, Carolyn. A lot of us have mixed feeling about Cupid today.

Reply

3 Storyteller Mary February 13, 2016 at 7:51am

I can’t wait for this series! Well done, all!

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4 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:49am

Thanks for stopping by, Mary.

Reply

5 Anna Celeste Burke
Twitter: @aburke59
February 13, 2016 at 8:11am

Great post! ENjoyed it.

Reply

6 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:49am

Thanks!

Reply

7 PA De Voe
Twitter: @PamelaADeVoe
February 13, 2016 at 8:13am

Doing such an anthology not only sounds like fun, but–as you say–a great way to help readers learn about new authors. I know some of these authors, and look forward to reading the others.
Best,
Pam
email: devoemertz1@gmail.com

Reply

8 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:51am

Anthologies work both ways, Pam: we writers get to find new readers and short stories are fun to write.

Reply

9 Nadine Jordan February 13, 2016 at 8:19am

Wish I could afford to buy these books. I love the light reading mysteries.

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10 CAMILLE MINICHINO February 13, 2016 at 8:26am

Hi Elaine, and thanks for your great contribution to HAPPY HOMICIDES 2. I’m so pleased to be part of the anthology and looking forward to the FB party tonight – starting at 8 EST. See you there!

Reply

11 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:54am

The Saturday night party was fun, Camille. And your story, “The Sodium Arrow,” is so clever.

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12 CAMILLE MINICHINO February 13, 2016 at 8:29am

Thought I’d mention that my story, original to HAPPY HOMICIDES 2, is number 10 in the Periodic Table Mysteries. This one features freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent and a alittle too much sodium!

Reply

13 Margaret Rushton
Twitter: @cupcake5858
February 13, 2016 at 8:31am

Some of my favorite authors in one books. That’s going to be a great read!
Thank you so much for offering the book.
scarletbegonia5858@gmail.com

Reply

14 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:55am

Thank you for being part of the contest!

Reply

15 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 13, 2016 at 9:32am

After you sign up to win the HAPPY HOMICIDES 2: CRIMES OF THE HEART e-anthology on Kings River Life, we’re giving away more swag tonight between 8 and 9:30 PM ET: books, collectibles, gift cards and more. See you at http://www.FB.com/joannacampbellslan

Reply

16 Joanna Campbell Slan
Twitter: @joannaslan
February 13, 2016 at 9:44am

When I edit the stories for our anthologies, I’m always amazed at how diverse the plots are, even when all our authors are writing about the same theme (e.g., crimes of the heart). I think readers will see there’s something for everyone in this book!

Reply

17 Kathi Daley February 13, 2016 at 9:55am

I’m honored to be asked to be part of this anthology. My novella, The New Normal, is a spin off from my popular Zoe Donovan series and is experienced from Zoe’s best friend Ellie’s point of view. The story includes a murder and the beginning of a new romance for Ellie. The novella can be read as a stand alone even if you haven’t read the Zoe Donovan Cozy Mystery Series.

Reply

18 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:56am

Short stories allow us writers to experiment in ways we can’t in our books.

Reply

19 Neil Plakcy
Twitter: @neilplakcy
February 13, 2016 at 10:43am

I can’t wait to read the other stories! Mine is called “For the Love of Dog.” My heroes (mostly) reformed computer hacker Steve Levitan and his crime-solving golden retriever Rochester go nose to the ground in search of clues to a Valentine’s Day murder. A crime of passion, sure– but what kind of passion?

Reply

20 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:56am

And who doesn’t love a golden retriever?

Reply

21 Joanne Kocourek
Twitter: @servedogmom
February 13, 2016 at 10:44am

For me, the best thing about anthologies is that they serve to introduce me to authors that are new to me, usually, without breaking our budget. Over time, I’ve discovered a number of authors who have become favorites and fill my world with hours of reading enjoyment. servedogmom@yahoo.com

Reply

22 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:57am

Exactly, Joanne. We get to take new writers for a test drive before we read their books.

Reply

23 Kathleen Costa February 13, 2016 at 11:01am

I have entered by email, but am commenting in support of KRL contests and this book review and giveaway. I love anthology books, especially when so many of the stories are from favorite “must read” authors. Big thumbs up! ??

Reply

24 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:58am

I second that emotion, Kathleen. KRL does writers a real service by introducing us to new writers. Thank you KRL!

Reply

25 Kathleen Costa February 13, 2016 at 11:02am

Sorry.. The ?? is a picture of a “thumbs up!”

Reply

26 Joanna Campbell Slan
Twitter: @joannaslan
February 13, 2016 at 11:35am

Here’s the link to enter the contest for the roses:

https://www.facebook.com/JoannaCampbellSlan/app/228910107186452/

Alternatively, you can go to my Facebook page (http://www.FB.com/JoannaCampbellSlan) and click on the word GIVEAWAY under the big photo of me at the beach. That should work, too.
A recent post from Joanna Campbell Slan: VendorsMy Profile

Reply

27 Sharon
Twitter: @SharonBraswell1
February 13, 2016 at 12:39pm

Sounds like a wonderful collection and nice for the holiday. I’m already a fan of Kathi Daley, and I look forward to meeting new authors and their work through this anthology! Happy Valentines Day and thanks!!

oh_bother88@hotmail.com

Reply

28 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:43am

I have a serious reading jones, Sharon, and anthologies help feed it.

Reply

29 Dianne Casey February 13, 2016 at 1:15pm

Sounds like a great Valentine’s Day read. Would enjoy reading.
diannekc8@gmail.com

Reply

30 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:43am

I think you will enjoy it, Dianne. And if you don’t, let me know.

Reply

31 Linda Gordon Hengerer
Twitter: @VeroWriter
February 13, 2016 at 2:35pm

This anthology has wonderful stories about how bad Valentine’s Day can be. Terrific writers, recipes and crafts for those so inclined, and a chance to win a dozen roses or a free copy of the anthology – thanks, Elaine, for a great Valentine’s Day gift!

Reply

32 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:44am

Hey, Linda, you’re one of the co-publishers. Thank you!

Reply

33 Brooke B.
Twitter: @xbrookeb28x
February 13, 2016 at 3:22pm

I love getting to read several different authors at once in one collection.
A recent post from Brooke B.: A Scone to Die For by H.Y. Hanna – Review + GiveawayMy Profile

Reply

34 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:45am

Me, too, Brooke. An anthology is like a box of chocolates: lots to savor. And no calories!

Reply

35 Peggy Hyndman February 13, 2016 at 4:22pm

I love anthologies … they introduce me to many great “new-to-me” authors. I really enjoyed reading the first Happy Homicides collection. Thank you for this chance!!
peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

Reply

36 Anna Celeste Burke
Twitter: @aburke59
February 21, 2016 at 10:40am

Best of luck to you Peggy Hyndman–hope there are always plenty of cozy mysteries in your life–and a few roses too! Cheers! Celeste

Reply

37 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 9:46am

All 13 of us hope you’ll enjoy our stories, Peggy. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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38 Doward Wilson February 14, 2016 at 2:45pm

A stellar lineup of authors. Thanks for the chance to read new to me authors and stories.

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39 Joanna Campbell Slan
Twitter: @joannaslan
February 14, 2016 at 5:51pm

Doward, even as an editor, I find myself checking out our authors’ other stories, because sometimes I’ve read one of their series, but they’ve written more than that. (Oh, my! Can you tell I’m drinking champagne for Valentine’s Day? Hope you are enjoying yourself, too.)
A recent post from Joanna Campbell Slan: VendorsMy Profile

Reply

40 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 14, 2016 at 10:46pm

So glad you gave us a try, Doward.

Reply

41 Anna Celeste Burke
Twitter: @aburke59
February 21, 2016 at 10:42am

Thanks, Doward, for finding our new collection of stories and for your interest in reading them!

Reply

42 CAMILLE MINICHINO February 14, 2016 at 5:36pm

What does it say that this has been one of the more exciting Valentine’s Days 🙂
Thanks Elaine and all for making it fun!

Reply

43 holdenj
Twitter: @.
February 17, 2016 at 2:57pm

Fun post by Elaine, I am already a fan of hers! Thanks for the chance to win the collection, both some familiar and unfamiliar names!

Reply

44 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
February 19, 2016 at 6:34am

These are writers you really want to know — even if they do kill people for a living.

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45 Joanna Campbell Slan
Twitter: @joannaslan
February 18, 2016 at 7:40am

Camille, I think we should all go out and buy a pair of red high heels. Oops…I’m not sure they have them in Randy or Neil’s sizes!
A recent post from Joanna Campbell Slan: VendorsMy Profile

Reply

46 Anna Celeste Burke
Twitter: @aburke59
February 21, 2016 at 10:51am

Thanks, Kings River Life for the continued support for Happy Homicides 2–getting the word out about the collection of stories and the Roses Giveaway that’s still open for a few more days. Hope all our readers take time to discover all the great posts on this site.

Reply

47 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
March 1, 2016 at 1:01pm

We have a winner!

Reply

48 Elaine Viets
Twitter: @evmysterywriter
March 1, 2016 at 1:03pm

Hooray! Who is it?

Reply

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