Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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

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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Kate Atherton’s idyllic retirement is going well…if you don’t count the two murders, the mysterious drone, and her photographer friend who manages to poke a hornet’s nest of criminal activity, that is.

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.

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.
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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69 comments:

  1. I like the name of the book. It really peaks my interest.

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    1. Thanks, Kanaleis! I chose the title because photographers are sometimes referred to as "light catchers," and so much of the story revolves around photography. Also, as the name suggests, one of the murder victims is a photographer. I do hope you'll give the book a read and let me know what you think. You can contact me through my website, jocassiemcrae.com.

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    1. Thank you, Brittany! I have been pleased with the reception the cover has received. I knew I was taking a chance by not choosing a typical cozy mystery cover design. Because the book is not a typical cozy mystery, it seemed like a good idea. And my cover designer, Heather Foster of Star Street Creative www.starstreetcreative.com, did an amazing job of capturing the story in the cover. I hope you'll read the book and that you'll like the story as much as you like the cover.

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    1. Thanks for the question, Deborah. This one took over a year to write, largely because I was still working my "day job" while I was writing and had to grab bits of time whenever I had the time and energy to write. Now that I'm retired, I'm hoping the next book in the series will move a bit faster.

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  4. Nice cover, and I love mystery books, so I can't wait to read it. Congrats to the author!

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, and for indicating that you plan to read it! I hope you will enjoy it and that you will spread the word. Advertising is great but, bottom line, it's word-of-mouth that sells books. I don't know about you, but most of the books I read are chosen because a friend recommends them to me.

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  5. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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    1. Thanks, Deb! I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and comment!

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  6. The cover looks very mysterious! I love it!

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    1. Thanks, Wanda. I do feel my cover designer, Heather Foster, did an outstanding job of capturing the story in her cover design.

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  7. Cover and book description look great! I'm anxious to read more about what's behind the crimes in Wheaton Creek!

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    1. Thanks, Tracy. I do hope you'll read the book and that you'll enjoy it. If you'd like to learn more about Wheaton Creek and the characters, you can visit my website: jocassiemcrae.com. Also, if you're interested, I was a guest on Linda Nickell's "Happiness Hour" earlier this month and did a presentation on the photography aspect of the book. I also read a few excerpts and touched on how THE LIGHT CATCHER MURDERS differs from the typical cozy mystery. That video is available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjVxTCm7eA&t=6s

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  8. The book sounds very interesting to me!

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    1. Thank you, Delilah. I hope you will read and enjoy it! Please contact me through my website, jocassiemcrae.com, to share your impressions after you read it.

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  9. The book cover is very interesting and eye catching.

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    1. Thanks, Jen. I've had so many positive comments on the cover. I do feel it captures the story quite well, and I have my designer, Heather Foster, to thank for that. Also, if you're interested, I was a guest on Linda Nickell's "Happiness Hour" earlier this month. My cover designer was also on board to discuss how she developed the cover. I did a presentation on the photography aspect of the book. I also read a few excerpts and touched on how THE LIGHT CATCHER MURDERS differs from the typical cozy mystery. That video is available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjVxTCm7eA&t=6s

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  10. David HollingsworthJanuary 27, 2021 at 10:48 PM

    The book sounds really good and intriguing.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, David. If you're interested, I was a guest on Linda Nickell's "Happiness Hour" earlier this month and did a presentation on the photography aspect of the book. I also read a few excerpts and touched on how THE LIGHT CATCHER MURDERS differs from the typical cozy mystery. That video is available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjVxTCm7eA&t=6s

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  11. I love cozy mysteries and the cover looks very suspenseful.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. If you're interested, I was a guest on Linda Nickell's "Happiness Hour" earlier this month and did a presentation on the photography aspect of the book. My cover designer was there, too, and she did a brief presentation on how she developed the cover. I also read a few excerpts and touched on how THE LIGHT CATCHER MURDERS differs from the typical cozy mystery. That video is available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjVxTCm7eA&t=6s

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  12. Replies
    1. Thank you, Leonie! After you read it, you can contact me via my website to let me know what you think. I'm currently writing the sequel and am keeping readers' comments in mind as I write.

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  13. I like how the cover was done. It goes perfectly with the title.

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    1. Thanks, Debby. The cover designer, Heather Foster at Star Street Creative, did a great job of capturing the story in her cover design. If you're interested, I was a guest on Linda Nickell's "Happiness Hour" earlier this month. My cover designer was also on board to discuss how she developed the cover. I did a presentation on the photography aspect of the book. I also read a few excerpts and touched on how THE LIGHT CATCHER MURDERS differs from the typical cozy mystery. That video is available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjVxTCm7eA&t=6s

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  14. Replies
    1. Thanks, Carol, for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Readers are telling me they like the book and hope there will be another one (there will). Feedback tells me that readers particularly like the characters. This excerpt from Our Town Book Reviews reflects that general feeling: "Aside from the undercurrent always keeping you wondering a little bit, I loved the way the author varied her characters. There’s a young computer guy (sorry don’t know today’s socially acceptable name for nerd). There are artists, professionals, retired people. Each of which has his or her own interesting spot in the story. Most importantly to me was a character named Kate Atherton, the series title of the book. Kate is retired, quiet, well not really, and laid back, well not really. I liked her a lot. She’s the calm in the storm. Smart, strong, and cheeky." I hope you'll give the book a read!

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  15. love the cover!

    mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Thank you! Heather Foster at Star Street Creative www.starstreetcreative.com was my designer. She was a dream to work with, and I thought she knocked it out of the park with this one. Also, the background photo was provided by photographer Linda Nickell. You can see this photo in its unadulterated form along with more of her gorgeous photos at lindanickell.com

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  16. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. Thanks, Debbi. I hope you will enjoy the book, as well!

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  17. Nice cover. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Please give the book a read and let me know what you think.

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  18. Thank you for stopping by and checking it out!

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    1. Thanks, Ken. I hope you'll give it a read and let me know what you think!

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    1. I'm so happy to hear that you plan to read it! I do hope you'll let me know what you think after you've finished. You can always contact me via my website.

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  21. Sounds like a great read and i love the cover

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    1. Thanks, Danielle! I think the cover does a great job of "describing" the book and I hope you'll give it a read!

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    1. Thanks, Jeffrey! My cover designer, Heather Foster, was just amazing to work with. If you'd like to see more about her process, that discussion is part of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjVxTCm7eA&t=42s

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  23. Replies
    1. Thanks, Danielle! Please give it a read and let me know what you think!

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    1. Thank you for the comment, Jessica. Heather Foster at Star Street Creative www.starstreetcreative.com was my designer. She was a dream to work with, and I thought she knocked it out of the park with this one. Also, the background photo was provided by photographer Linda Nickell. You can see this photo in its unadulterated form along with more of her gorgeous photos at lindanickell.com
      YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjVxTCm7eA

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  25. My daughter would enjoy this book

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    1. Thanks! I hope you'll send her a copy and ask her to let me know what she thinks via my website, jocassiemcrae.com

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  26. I like the cover and there's nothing like a series to keep your readers coming back for more!

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. One of the reason I created so many interesting characters with different occupations and backgrounds was because I felt it would allow me to create interesting and unique stories for each of the following novels.

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    1. Thank you, Bridgett. This is a case where I hope readers will judge the book by its cover. I had this lovely review the other day: "The Light Catcher Murders was a very enjoyable read. I really liked Kate Atherton, the main character. What a delight to see a book featuring a woman in her 60's, vibrant and smart, the glue that holds all of the drama in Wheaton Creek, TX together. Very suspenseful and interesting- the story held my interest. I will look for more from this author." – Amazon Review. I hope that will encourage you to check out the book!

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  28. Cover is mysterious. I wish it showed her head

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    1. That's an interesting thought. We were trying to keep as much mystery as possible while capturing the flavor of the story. I'm always a little reticent about providing a depiction of a character because I like for readers to be able to form their own vision based on what they read. I think that's why we're always so unhappy with TV or movie adaptions of our favorite books--because we like the image we had in our head better than whatever actor or actress is cast.

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  29. So the one capturing photos is being watched herself. Intriguing.....is it because obsession or dark fantasy?

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    1. Neither. It's a murder mystery and the cover is supposed to suggest that the photographer might be the one in peril. All of the graphic elements in the cover design are drawn from something in the story. Thanks for your question! If you'd like to learn more about that, you might be interested in this interview I did back in January. My cover designer, Heather Foster, also did a presentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjVxTCm7eA&t=44s (You can also go to YouTube and search for Jo Cassie McRae.

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  30. This sounds like a great read on this cold day.

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    1. Oh, it would definitely be just the thing to take you away to warmer spring weather and fields of wildflowers!

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  31. There are so many different things going on with the cover that you have to look at it a piece at a time and I bet I still missed some stuff. Thank you

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    1. Thanks for that observation, Candie. Yes, I thought my cover designer, Heather Foster, did an outstanding job of pulling many of the story elements into that cover.

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  32. The book cover looks great! I love mysteries and from the blurb and excerpt this sounds like a really good one.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I do hope you'll read the book and spread the word!

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  33. I love a mysteries ❤️ Thank you for this opportunity to win

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Jillion! Good luck!

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  34. The cover is mysterious and intriguing!

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I am so glad readers are liking the cover. I knew I was taking a risk by choosing something different from the typical cozy mystery cover, and it is gratifying to have my choice well received.

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