Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Meet Cherie Claire. Mystery, Romance and Ghosts #Free First-in-Series Books

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments
Please welcome Cherie Claire, a freelance travel writer by day and mystery and romance novelist by…well the rest of the time. She has written three series — the Cajun Series of historical romance, the Cajun Embassy contemporary romances and the Viola Valentine paranormal mysteries.
The fourth book in her mystery series, “Ghost Trippin’,” was published February 14th.  
(FYI The first book in each of her series is always free to download. You can find a link to the free downloads at her website https://www.cherieclaire.net/. I found other fun goodies there too. I’ve downloaded my copy of  A Ghost of A Chance (which has 105 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.5 stars)
I read it and am looking forward to reading the next one.  I give it 4.5 stars too. Great read. Ghosts, History and a heartwarming heroine.
I enjoyed the mystery, loved getting to know the heroine. I loved the travel writer theme and getting to know Eureka Springs Arkansas. I look forward to Viola's next adventure
Cherie, please tell us a little more about yourself. 

I hail from New Orleans and, although I moved all over the United States as a newspaper editor, I always seem to come back to Louisiana. Just can’t live without Mardi Gras and gumbo. I now work as a freelance travel and food writer so I still get to see a lot of the country, mostly work in the Deep South, and yes, it’s a really fun job. In addition to all that writing, I’ve been writing fiction my entire life.
I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you decided to self-publish.
I have been with several traditional publishers with many different experiences. When it was time to start finding an agent for my mystery series, my heart wasn’t in it to start beating the sidewalk again. Two friends introduced me to ebook publishing and with my experience in publishing, social media and web work I knew it was the right fit. I never looked back.

Did you hire an editor?  
My sister is an editor and she reads everything. And I’m an editor and I edit and proof my work extensively. That still doesn’t mean it’s perfect. It’s so difficult to edit a book and I would strongly encourage everyone to find a good editor — or two!

How did you choose the cover?
For my romances, I hired a romance cover artist who uses real models because you want to stay true to what sells in genre fiction. For my mystery series, I enlisted my son Josh Coen who’s a graphic artist. I needed a cartoon cover but something unique because my novels blend cozy with supernatural with paranormal - you get the idea — and Josh is excellent at this. Being able to work with someone who knew exactly what I wanted helped a lot. I love the Ghost Covers. You son did a great job.

What advice do you have for other authors who are considering self-publishing?
Publishing, in general, is not for the faint at heart, but self-publishing is time-consuming and you must be the editor, artist, copy editor, formatter, etc. It requires a lot of knowledge, being tech savvy and marketing. Join Novelists Inc. or another writing organization and learn the business. Search out others who are doing this and ask for help. Go to conferences.

Got a recipe you want to share?
Dark Sugar Pralines
3 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk or whipping cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 cup pecans
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix brown sugar, evaporated milk, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once a boil has been reached, cook until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add butter but do not stir. Cool until candy thermometer reads 150 degrees, about 35 minutes. Stir in pecans and vanilla with wooden spoon until candy thickens and butter and vanilla are well absorbed, but is still glossy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Quickly drop on to wax paper in patties. Allow to cool. Makes about 30 medium pralines.  
Thank you. I love pralines. They are my undoing. Drat! I think I have all the ingredients. I have a huge problem with temptation in brown sugar form.

 Tell us about your Viola/Ghost series.
I started my Viola Valentine series with A Ghost of a Chance.
They say there are blessings from Hurricane Katrina. For Viola Valentine of New Orleans, it was losing her dead-end job and leaving behind a loveless marriage and an overbearing family.
 But the storm also blew open a psychic door. Now she sees ghosts who have died by water. 
 As she enters her new career as a travel writer, solving mysteries that appear with apparitions everywhere she goes, the one person she hopes to speak to — her daughter who died of leukemia years before — continues to elude her. 

Or does she?
 It’s followed by Ghost Town, Trace of a Ghost and Ghost Trippin’, which comes out on Valentine’s Day this year. 

Blurb: John Valentine left home for a birding conference and never returned, his family chalking it up to the divorced father’s mid-life crisis. But when a body is found on the old family homestead, his daughter Viola must piece together the clues her father left behind. Along for the ride are her witchy Aunt Mimi, her uptight lawyer sister Portia and her sometimes ex-husband Thibault Boudreaux, otherwise known as TB. What they discover on this crazy ghost trip through Texas will be much more than they anticipated.
The fifth book of the series, Give Up the Ghost, will be published this fall.

 Thank you very much for being here, Cherie.
Dear ones, click over to Cherie's Website. The first book of each of her series is free. Each series has a different tab. How's that for a Valentine's present? If you read any of her books, please consider leaving a review. That's how other people find us. I wish you all a good-book-filled week.


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