Werewolf Detective Mysteries

If you like gritty, hardboiled werewolf detective mysteries, you’ll love the new Rock Johnson series by H.D. Welliver.

Werewolves and private detectives go hand-in-hand in this campy pulp series by husband-and-wife writing duo. The main character, Rock Johnson, had a bright future ahead of him as the newest recruit of the Wanasa Lake Police Department. That is, until one night – and one dame – that changed his life forever.

Now, Rock helps residents of the seedier side of the small college town get justice when the local cops fall short, which is far too often.

Follow along on Rock’s latest adventure, Rock Johnson and the Full Buck Moon, out this June.

Preorder now.

Categorized as On Writing

Paranormal cozy mystery vs. Urban fantasy

When I started my Designer to the Dead series, my feet were planted firmly in the realm of paranormal cozy mystery. As time went on, the story skewed more toward urban fantasy.

What are the differences between paranormal cozy mystery and urban fantasy?

Paranormal cozy mysteries and urban fantasy are both subgenres of speculative fiction that often incorporate elements of the supernatural or paranormal. However, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Here are the main differences between the two:

1. Setting and Worldbuilding:

– Paranormal Cozy Mysteries: These stories typically take place in contemporary, real-world settings, often in small towns or cozy communities. The paranormal elements in cozy mysteries are usually minor, and the focus is primarily on solving a mystery or crime. The protagonist is often an amateur sleuth, and the supernatural aspects are often used as a fun twist or a unique element to the mystery.

– Urban Fantasy: Urban fantasy is typically set in urban environments, and the worldbuilding incorporates a hidden, parallel supernatural world existing within the modern-day setting. Magical creatures, supernatural beings, and various magical systems are integral to the story. Unlike cozy mysteries, the paranormal elements in urban fantasy are usually more central to the plot and are explored in depth.

2. Tone and Atmosphere:

– Paranormal Cozy Mysteries: These stories have a lighter, more whimsical tone. While they may involve mysterious occurrences and supernatural elements, they often maintain a sense of humor and warmth. The focus is on solving the mystery rather than delving into darker or more intense themes. In addition, cozy mysteries rarely including violence, swearing or open-door sex.

– Urban Fantasy: Urban fantasy often has a darker and more intense atmosphere. The stakes are usually higher, and the stories can explore complex themes of good versus evil, power, and identity. The characters in urban fantasy frequently have magical abilities and are deeply entwined with the supernatural world, leading to more significant personal and emotional conflicts.

3. Protagonists and Themes:

– Paranormal Cozy Mysteries: In cozy mysteries, the protagonist is typically an ordinary person who stumbles upon a mystery and becomes an amateur detective. The themes often revolve around community, friendship, and solving the puzzle, with the paranormal elements adding a touch of excitement.

– Urban Fantasy: In urban fantasy, the protagonist is often a character with magical abilities or someone who becomes involved in the hidden supernatural world. Themes in urban fantasy can include the struggle between the mundane and magical aspects of life, self-discovery, and the complexities of balancing power and responsibility.

4. Romance Elements:

– Paranormal Cozy Mysteries: While romance may be present in cozy mysteries, it usually takes a backseat to the mystery-solving aspect of the story. If there are romantic subplots, they are often sweet and lighthearted.

– Urban Fantasy: Urban fantasy often includes stronger romantic elements, with relationships and romantic subplots playing a more significant role in the character’s development and overall story arc.

While paranormal cozy mysteries and urban fantasy differ in terms of their settings, tones, focus on mysteries versus supernatural worlds, and the nature of their protagonists and themes, both genres provide readers with exciting and imaginative experiences that blend the mundane with the magical.

What about Paranormal Women’s Fiction?

I think this lean toward urban fantasy explains my dip into paranormal women’s fiction (PWF). While some people insist the stories are just para cozies with older heroines, I believe they’re more urban fantasy with a main character who is an older female and a focus on that character’s emotional development and platonic and romantic relationships.

So, what do you do when your story is in the edge of one genre or bleeding into another? I’d like to know the answer to that myself! I believe there is often overlap, which may be one reason die-hard cozy mystery readers aren’t always fans of the para cozy sub-genre.

Thoughts? Leave them below!

Categorized as On Writing

Preorder canceled

I’m sure some of you noticed that the preorder for Fantastical at Fifty was canceled. I’ve decided to postpone releasing the Little Bold Ladies series. Ideally, they’ll all be finished before any of them are released. 

Why is Little Bold Ladies being postponed?

I want to be able to do the stories justice and not put out something too quickly that doesn’t feel finished. Unfortunately, it seems like whenever I try to rush myself, I end up completely unable to write a thing! It’s a bummer, and I realize some of you will be disappointed. However, I would rather disappoint by taking longer to do something than doing it poorly. Your dollars matter, and I don’t want to deliver a product that’s half-baked. 

What are you writing for now? 

Instead of rushing to finish the books, I’ll be working on a few short stories connected to the series in the hopes of getting those creative juices flowing. I’m also going to be investing in some serious self-care. 

It can be really hard for me to connect with my feminine side, and that is a MUST for this series. These witches are old, but not haggard. They’re secure in themselves and facing a whole new world of problems. I need to really connect with that part of myself if I’m going to be able to tell their stories. That’s hard when your brain is convinced you’re still 14. Haha! 

Where can we find your new paranormal cozy mystery and paranormal women’s fiction stories? 

Some of them will be free on this website, while others will be available through StoryOrigin or for sale on various retailers. I’ll be sure to send out a release announcement on social media and in my newsletter. 

You can connect with me here online:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/katiocozy/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/katieokeene/

Twitter –https://twitter.com/KatiO5

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/KatieOKeene

Or email me at wordwizard@katieokeene.com

Categorized as On Writing

What’s the Deal with Kindle Unlimited?

Does Amazon’s subscription reading service still make sense in 2022?

Kindle Unlimited, Amazon subscription reading service allows members to read up to 20 books at a time for a small monthly fee. You’re also able to read certain magazines, newspapers and audiobooks. However, there is a new, more expansive selection of audiobooks available for a monthly subscription fee through Audible Plus.

Is Kindle Unlimited a Good Deal for Readers?

If you like to read a lot of books, subscription services like Kindle Unlimited are a good bargain.

The thing that sets KU apart from memberships like Scribd or Kobo Plus is that KU requires exclusivity, so there will be some books you can’t get anywhere but Amazon. KU tends to have a larger catalog than other subscription services.

Unfortunately, because some authors don’t want to be tied to Amazon, some of the books you want to read won’t be enrolled in KU.

You can always take a free trial to see if it works for you. Please remember to set yourself an email reminder before the end of the trial, just in case you’d like to cancel.

Sometimes, Amazon runs special deals like 3 months of KU for $1, so keep your eyes out!

Categorized as On Writing

Discovering ‘Mr. Little Guy’

The Minneapolis Elf Who’s Brought Smiles to Faces for Over 25 Years

Every once in a while, I stumble onto research that is too sweet not to share. My next book takes place in Minneapolis near Lake Harriet, where there just happens to be an elf in residence.

He doesn’t make an appearance in the book (at least, not yet) but if you follow the lakeside trail to the south of Lake Harriet, you will eventually stumble upon the home of Thom the Elf, otherwise known as Mr. Little Guy.

A tiny wooden door at the base of an emerald ash tree is locked from fall to spring while, as a note on the door says, Thom stays in ‘his castle to the east’. In spring, that door opens and is flooded in letters from local children who ask the elf all kinds of questions… and they get answers.

Thom is such a funny, positive fellow and has been at this for so long that the Minneapolis City Council gave him his very own holiday, August 15.

I haven’t made a trip to the area yet, but when I do, I’ll be sure to get a photo.

Categorized as Research

Girdles and Ghouls release

Halloween can be hectic, especially for women over forty who fight evil and solve crimes, all while getting dinner on the table.

Fourteen of the best and brightest paranormal women’s fiction authors have banded together in this collection of spellbinding tales featuring older women who are killing it. Now, if only it would stay dead.

With stories by:

L.A. Boruff & Lia Davis, authors of Witching After Forty
Lacey Carter Andersen & Helen Scott, authors of Magical Midlife in Mystic Hollow
Daphne Moore, author of Unsought
Lisa Manifold, author of Hexes & Hot Flashes
Jennifer L. Hart, author of Magical Midlife Misadventures
Terri A.Wilson, author of Last Round
Kat Parrish, author of The Shadow Palace
Ella Winters & Ruby West, authors of The Queen’s Crossroads
Kate Moseman, author of Midlife Elementals
and others

Buy Today

Spiritual experiences while drinking mulberry tea?

old books and heap of mail with antique cup of tea

The summer has become increasingly hot and humid in the Midwest where we’re visiting family. There’s a huge mulberry tree in the backyard, and the berries are already turning pink. It’s the perfect weather to make them nice and sweet.

You can make mulberry tea from fresh or dried leaves. As with many natural substances, there are certain health benefits — and risks. Pregnant woman, those with hypoglycemia, kidney disorders, and those expecting surgery within the next two weeks should abstain, among others. Please do your research if you have existing health conditions.

To make mulberry leaf tea with fresh leaves, take 3 leaves, clean them, cut them into strips and add them to four cups of boiling water. Once the water turns green, filter out the leaves and enjoy, possibly with a teaspoon or so of honey. Some say eating unripe berries and leaves raw can lead to intoxication and hallucinations, similar to the effects of plants used during religious ceremonies. Fortunately, if you’re not into that kind of thing, it’s fairly easy to dry them in the sun.

The taste of dried mulberry tea is similar to green tea, while the fresh variety kind of tastes the way grass clippings smell.

You can also make mulberry ice tea using the juice from the berries. (10/10 preferred.)

While you’re waiting for the effects to kick in, try an intriguing paracozy mystery.

Of astronomy and gastronomy

old books and heap of mail with antique cup of tea

Summer is finally here, which for many of us means nights spent in the great outdoors, stargazing and feasting by the fire.

What is your favorite thing to look for in the night sky? The Pleiades, or the seven sisters, have a faint twinkle that’s hard to see when you’re staring straight at them. You almost have to look to the side to see them well, which is what I find so alluring about them. They’re also directly overhead at Midnight on Halloween and likely had a hand in the timing of the holiday’s roots.

The Pleiades can be seen from everywhere on Earth most of the year. Simply follow Orion’s belt through Aldebaran, the bright star of Taurus, until you see a cluster of six (or seven) stars.

To keep in line with the theme of the newsletter, I went hunting for what I thought would be impossible to find. S’More tea. Wouldn’t you know, there are a few companies producing this flavor? I’ve tried several so you wouldn’t have to. Adagio Campfire S’More Tea was my favorite (though not quite as satisfying as the real thing).

How do you read the leaves?

old books and heap of mail with antique cup of tea

Big thanks to everyone who bought or is reading my first release in the Designer to the Dead series, Apparition In The Kitchen! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it. ?

In Book 2, Phantom In The Family Room, Lindsey runs into a woman who reads tea leaves. Many cultures have their own practices, just as many individuals interpret symbols in their own way. Have you ever tried to read tea leaves?**•̩̩͙✩•̩̩͙*˚ ˚*•̩̩͙✩•̩̩͙*˚*

Looking for the perfect book to enjoy alongside your next cup of tea? Please consider one of these paranormal mysteries.