Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway: The Light Catcher Murders (Kate Atherton Mysteries #1) by Jo Cassie McRae

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for The Light Catcher Murders (Kate Atherton Mysteries #1) by Jo Cassie McRae. The blurb blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in the blitz for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Light Catcher Murders
Series: Kate Atherton Mysteries #1
Author: Jo Cassie McRae
Publication Date: August 28th 2020
Print Length: 235 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
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Nestled in the scenic Texas Hill Country, the cozy town of Wheaton Creek seemed an idyllic place to escape the world’s increasingly harsh realities. At least, that’s what Kate Atherton thought.

Kate once enjoyed a long, successful career with a specialized, highly secret federal intelligence agency. Crises in both her personal and professional life drove her to early retirement and, ultimately, to Wheaton Creek, the perfect place for her and her former-military husband to escape what had come to feel like a world made up of wars, hatred, fear, and untimely death. And, at first, the escape was all Kate had hoped for. Then murder came to Wheaton Creek—a crime that a corrupt county sheriff seems determined to pin on Kate’s photographer friend, Lucy Celek.

Lucy’s work has been chosen to appear at a prestigious photography festival, a festival that could take her from amateur to professional standing. All goes well until the gallery displaying her work is broken into, and one of Lucy’s photographs is vandalized. A week later, the man Lucy suspected of destroying her photograph—a fellow photographer who was angry that his own work was not chosen by the festival committee—is murdered. Faced with a sheriff who shows little interest in expanding his list of suspects beyond Lucy, Kate feels she must dust off her puzzle-solving skills to find the real killer. Murder is just the beginning, though, as Kate’s amateur sleuthing begins to reveal a tangled web of crimes that go beyond anything she could have imagined.

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EXCERPT:
Picking her way through the broken glass again, Kate slipped up behind Lucy. She gave the beleaguered deputy a sympathetic smile and gently took hold of Lucy’s elbow. “Lucy, dear. Do you think you might want to calm down? This officer is going to do his best to find out who did this and why. He isn’t the bad guy here.”

Lucy wheeled on her. “He doesn’t have to look far to find out who did this. If he’d just listen to me and quit asking irrelevant questions! I’ve been telling him that it has to be Stewart Wilson. You saw how Stewart behaved after the festival. He’s a horrible, angry, vindictive man! Did you see how he ripped into my mural? The bastard! If I could get my hands on him, I swear I’d rip into him the same way!”

The deputy’s eyebrows shot up, and he shifted uneasily, his pen hovering over his notepad. Kate’s grip on Lucy’s elbow tightened, as did the smile she showed the deputy. “I’m sure Ms. Celek didn’t mean that, Deputy Green,” she said. When Lucy started to disagree, Kate squeezed her arm so tightly that Lucy let out a little yelp of pain. “She’s understandably distraught. If you have more questions for her, might I suggest that you give her some time to collect herself? I’m sure she’ll be more helpful when she’s feeling a bit more rational.”

“Rational?” Lucy flinched again under the renewed fierceness of Kate’s grip and did not finish what she had been about to say.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jo Cassie McRae is a native Texan who has lived near Austin on the edge of the Texas Hill country for over 30 years. In addition to writing, McRae loves to read, garden, and cook. Like Kate Atherton (The Light Catcher Murders), McRae’s bookshelves overflow with history books, biographies, historical fiction, and mystery novels. Unlike Kate, McRae does not have a mysterious, secret former career, having worked instead as a rather ordinary legal assistant at an Austin law firm.

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GIVEAWAY:
Jo Cassie McRae will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the blitz. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the blitz each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

97 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting us today. I hope you have a lovely day!

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  2. I know Texas Hill Country is a real area. Is Wheaton Creek a real place or based on a real place?

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    1. Wheaton Creek is a fictional town. It is an amalgamation of several small towns near me. I imagined it as the kind of place that came into being simply because the first non-native settler got that far and couldn't go any further. The town's fictional inhabitants and varied architecture have been created with an eye toward the cultural makeup of the area. In the Hill Country, one encounters Native American and Hispanic cultural influences, of course, but there were also a lot of German and Scottish immigrants. If you're interested in a fictional history of the town, or a number of beautiful photos of the actual Hill Country, you can find those on my website, jocassiemcrae.com. Other towns mentioned in the book--Boerne, Gruene, and Marble Falls--are real places, as is the famous Bluebonnet Cafe! (We love their coconut cream pie.)

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  3. This sounds like a great mystery. Congrats on the book.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I hope you'll give it a try. I'm getting good feedback, so I don't think you'll be disappointed!

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    1. Well, if you don't mind a little murder and mayhem in your small towns, I think you'd like The Light Catcher Murders! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you'll give it a try! I'm getting good feedback so far, so I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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    1. Thank you for the comment, and thank you for following the tour!

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you. My designer was Heather Foster at Star Street Creative www.starstreetcreative.com. She was wonderful to work with!

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  8. This book sounds like an interesting read.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Thank you! I hope you'll give it a read and let me know if it meets your expectations.

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  9. Sounds good. Thank you for this chance. 1cow0993(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. Being from a small town myself, I really enjoy books that are based in small towns!

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    1. Hopefully your small town did not have all the secrets Wheaton Creek has! I hope you'll read the book and let me know what you think.

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  11. I like the cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you for the nice comment. My cover designer was Heather Foster at Star Street Creative www.starstreetcreative.com. The background photo, which is also the inspiration for Lucy's mural, was taken by Linda Nickell. You can see the more colorful, "unadulterated" image on her website, lindanickell.com.

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    1. I had an idea in my head that I wanted to use the photo that is the background photo. I did a mock-up and sent it to my designer, who gently told me it wasn't a very good cover and came up with something way better--though still using the photo that was the inspiration for Lucy's ill-fated mural. She read the book before she created her design, which is why the cover so perfectly fits the story.

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  13. Thank you for the big giveaway! What part of the FBI is she supposed to be an agent of?

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    1. Kate is not supposed to be a former FBI agent. The name of her former agency is not revealed, and I will probably continue to be ambiguous on that point. In my head, it is a fictitious agency, though there may come a time when it serves Kate's overall story arc better to pick an existing agency. Leaving it a fictional agency adds to the mystery, don't you think?

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    2. Yup. I wouldn't wait too long though in the series to reveal it, though.

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  14. Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you'll like what's inside, as well!

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  15. Enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like an excellent way to spend my time! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you will feel that it was time well spent after you read it! Please let me know.

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  16. My question is where do you get your ideas for your stories.

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    1. I gather ideas from things I come into contact with as I go about my day. I once told a photographer friend that when she travels, she wants to photograph everything; when I travel, I want to write about everything. In the case of the Light Catcher Murders, some of the characters were loosely inspired by some of my friends. Sometimes I feel like my brain is a notebook in which I keep impressions of everything I see. Some of them stick with me and come out on the page--often in exaggerated fashion that little resembles their origin. Yes, many of my friends and family think I'm a little daft. Ha!

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  17. What do you most enjoy about writing in this genre?

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    1. The ability to have a little fun. Humor is very important to me and I'd have difficulty writing in a genre that is just deadly serious all the time. When someone tells me they laughed out loud a few times while reading the book, that pleases me. Humor helps us get through the unpleasant bits of a story just as it sometimes helps us get through the unpleasant bits of life, I think.

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  18. I'd like to thank All The Ups and Downs for hosting us today! What a wonderful bunch of readers you have! I've enjoyed my day, and hope you all will enjoy reading The Light Catcher Murders.

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  19. It sounds like a real page turner!

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  20. thanks this sounds like a wonderful book

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I hope you'll give it a read and let me know what you think.

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  21. nice book cover, and the book sounds interesting.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, my cover designer was wonderful! I hope you'll read The Light Catcher Murders and share your comments with me.

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  22. I appreciate getting to hear about a new book. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. 

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    1. It has been my pleasure. Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. Who is the authors favorite author besides herself?

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  24. I love Jane Austen, Dorothy Dunnett, and Bernard Cornwell. I think I'd choose Dunnett as my "favorite." It's a tough question to answer, really, because my reading is a little bit all over the place. I like non-fiction history and historical fiction, mysteries, cozies, some fantasy, and literature. I’m a big fan of Dorothy Dunnett’s Game of Kings (Lymond Chronicles) series, and I like pretty much everything by Bernard Cornwell. The Sookie Stackhouse series was very enjoyable, as were Lilian Jackson Braun’s “Cat Who…” books. Of course, I love Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books and stories, along with the Vera books by Ann Cleeves and the Gamache books by Louise Penny. For heavier crime/mystery, I turn to Lee Child. Carl Hiaasen’s books are always great fun if you don’t mind your humor a little on the irreverent side!

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  25. Great blog post- love finding new (to me) authors

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    1. Well, I'm certainly glad you've found me! I hope you'll read The Light Catcher Murders, and that you'll let me know what you think of it. Thanks for your comment.

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  26. I enjoyed the excerpt. thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. Thanks for reading the excerpt. I hope you will enjoy the entire book!

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  27. The excerpt sounds great to me. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. It has been my pleasure to share The Light Catcher Murders with new friends. I hope you will enjoy the whole book! Thanks for reading the excerpt.

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  28. I love reading book series and sometimes I learn about the book late and have to work backwards.. this one I can start from the beginning.. going to request this as a Christmas present....

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    1. That's wonderful! Thank you so much! Yes, I hope to have the next book out sometime next year. The world is so topsy-turvy these days, schedules are a little unpredictable.

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  29. The more I read about this book, the more I want to read!!

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    1. Well, now's the time to go for it! The book is still a Kindle Unlimited selection, or it's available for purchase in the Kindle Store. The paperback is available on Amazon.com. I hope you will read it and let me know what you think of it!

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  30. How long did it take you to write this book?

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    1. This one took over a year because I could only write in short bursts here and there. I am retiring from my day job soon, which means I'll be able to write on a more productive schedule. I'm hoping the next book won't take so long!

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  31. Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you'll think what's between the covers is great, too!

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  32. How do you pick your characters for your books

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    1. For this book, many of the characters are loosely based on people I know. (None of the "bad guys," though, happy to say!). In general, I try to create characters that will make readers feel they know someone like that and/or they can relate to those characters in some way.

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  33. Nice cover. I really liked the blurb and excerpt. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks! My cover designer was Heather Foster at Star Street Creative www.starstreetcreative.com. I hope you will read the book and that you will enjoy it as much as you did the excerpt.

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  34. Love book series and this one sounds great!!! Can't wait to start this read!

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    1. Thank you for your nice comment. Please let me know what you think of the book after you read it. I am working on the second book now, and I'm trying to keep reader comments at the back of my mind as I write. You can reach me via my website, or DM me on FB. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I hope you'll give the book a try.

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  36. Sounds like a good murder mystery

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    1. Thank you. I hope you'll give it a read and let me know what you think of it!

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  37. My entire life is about humor, and I love the added fun!

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    1. Thank you. Humor is very important to me, as well, and I liked adding those elements to the book. I hope you will enjoy reading it!

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  38. Sounds great, I can't wait to read it.

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    1. Thank you so much! Please let me know what you think after you read it. My contact info is at the back of the book as well as on this blog page.

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  39. I love cozy mysteries and this book sounds so good! Adding to my to be read list.

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope hope you enjoy it! Please let me know.

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    1. Thanks! I can't say enough good things about my designer, Heather Foster at Star Street Creative www.starstreetcreative.com. It was wonderful to work with someone who considered my likes and dislikes, and who even read the book to get a feel for the story and atmosphere.

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    1. I'm not really sure. It just seems to be part of me--something I've always wanted to do and loved to do. As far as what inspires particular works, it could be anything. It's usually something I've read about, or something I've experienced when traveling. It doesn't take much with me; if I see it, I want to write about it!

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    1. I generally get a good idea of the overall story in my head before I start writing. If I know up front I'll need to do some research, I get that done. When I first sit down, I put placeholders or headings in a document that form a rough outline or framework for the story I have in mind. Then I start writing. The original concept may change somewhat as I work, and I might move things around, add things or delete things, but I know the essence of my story before I begin.

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