SleuthFest – Day 2

Nancy's Notes From Florida

Friday,  March 2, 2018

Friday morning at SleuthFest mystery writers’ conference offered a choice of three workshops. I attended the talk on “Why Marketing Can Sometimes Yield Little to No Results” given by Maryglenn McCombs. See my workshop recap below. After this talk, I gave my own presentation on “Audiobooks with Amazon’s ACX.”

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Lunch came next with guest forensic specialist Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D, who spoke to us about serial killers. It was a chilling topic to hear during a meal.


Friday afternoon, we had to choose from four workshop tracks. I went to the talk by Patrick Kendrick, thriller author and Fire Rescue Training Consultant. He spoke on USAR or Urban Search and Rescue as part of the nation’s disaster preparedness. The goal is to train the armed forces in fire-fighting and rescue techniques.


Topics covered include technical rescue skills, site surveys and recon, mass decontamination procedures, personal…

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Smorgasbord Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Bergamot

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Twenty years ago I ran a health food shop and diet advisory centre here in Ireland and we sold essential oils for aromatherapy. I thought that I should learn more about it and took a course on the subject. It is not something that I have covered here on the blog, and I am looking forward to refreshing my memory from my course notes. and introducing you to this relaxing therapy at the same time.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils which have been extracted from specific sweet smelling plants for therapeutic massage. They are blended with specialised carrier oils to ensure that they are used in a diluted form and are easily absorbed by the skin. The oils can also be used to add these therapeutic aromas to our environment as well with the use of burners.

This week I begin a series of posts on the…

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Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Brooke Anderson dreams of escaping her troubled past and starting her own business as an event planner. When she crosses paths with her childhood crush, Adam, she falls hard for him and their relationship promises to be her salvation.

But Brooke’s ex-boyfriend, Carlos, is a vengeful drug dealer, who will not let go of her easily. As Brooke struggles to free herself from his control, an earthquake rattles the city of San Francisco, threatening to bury Brooke and her dreams of love in the rubble.

Will her ex destroy her chances of love or will Brooke find a way to put an end to the violence and stalking?

By the time she arrived at a ramshackle parking lot, the sun slipped behind a blanket of fog and Hunter’s Point descended into darkness. Adjusting her vision to the twilight, Brooke identified the bulky shapes of rusting ship hulls. The mammoth iron frames obstructed most of the shoreline.

Brooke released her hands from the steering wheel, turned off the ignition and removed her seatbelt. Hesitating briefly, she reached for the handle and opened the car door. Emerging into the chilly, damp air, she cocked her head and listened to the churn of the restless ocean, splashing and soaking the docks. Normally the sea offered solace. Tonight it sounded different—threatening and powerful.

She scanned the parking lot, searching for his vehicle.

Decades-old spools of rusted cable and random piles of rotting wood littered the cracked asphalt. Brooke cursed at the debris surrounding her, flicking her gaze between the lot and the shore, unable to spot his car. It didn’t matter. She knew he was here somewhere. It wasn’t like him to miss an opportunity to engage in cat-and-mouse games.A feathery flap of wings sailed past her head. Brooke involuntarily gasped, watching as a gull soared toward the open water. Instinctively, she reached out for the car door, leaning against it for support. Brooke paused a moment longer, finally closing the car door to extinguish the light emanating from the interior.

She gripped a small flashlight in her hand, raising it in front of her body like a talisman.

A familiar mixture of briny fish and seaweed filled the air. Something else lingered here too—a cloying, sweet smell laced with a hint of chemicals. Moisture clung to Brooke’s skin. Shivering, she eyed the waterfront. The roiling movement of the sea was barely discernible against the twilight. The sound of metal thudding against the pavement alerted her to danger. She braced herself, waiting for Carlos to emerge.

AmazonAmazon Int’l

Kim Hotzon writes romantic suspense and time travel romance. Her books have been nominated for several awards, including The Romance Review’s Readers’ Choice Awards and the prestigious RONE Awards. Her latest novel, A Time for Love in Paris, was a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards.

She loves penning stories with exotic locations and plot twists driven by determined heroines.

Kim’s novels are inspired by travel and life experience and she never turns up an opportunity to head to a far-flung destination. In October of 2012, Kim embarked on a humanitarian trip to Rwanda, Africa, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Upon her return to Canada, she began her first contemporary romance novel, Hands Full of Ashes. The book was published with Soul Mate Publishing in January 2015 and was nominated for The Romance Review’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards and the 2016 RONE Awards. Kim has also published a short story, The Snow Bird, part of an anthology Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection (published by Soul Mate Publishing).

Though she lived for a time in Japan, she remains a born and bred British Columbian. When not writing romance, Kim unleashes her passion and energy with dragon boat racing and her wedding design business.

Kim is a member of the Romance Writers of America.



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Interview with Freelance Writer & Musician Dhruba Das Roy

“Oh God, why me?”

This is perhaps what we think of when we go through a ‘breakup’.

This story is about Anirudh and Anvi.

Both of them have their own thinking which are not alike.

The story begins with Anirudh meeting with and accident. As he slowly succumbs to the pain, he starts reflecting about his bygone college days where he found his love for music. He loves Anvi dearly who is a long-lost friend of Anirudh.

The story reveals how Anirudh struggles as the hands of reality strikes him down.

Book Links:


1) What inspired you to write this book? 

I just wanted to express myself and writing this book was the best
possible way of reaching the people. My thought process in the novel might not
even be very well accepted and I would really appreciate that, but I would like
say that this is my first novel and the emotions that are linked with this
novel are very genuine for me.
2) How long did it take you to write the book? 
Almost around 2 years of hard work. It was a long process and I did not
wish to hurry with it as it is my first novel. 
3) Coffee or Tea? 
4) Describe your special writing place 
I still haven’t found one. Currently I am just a part timer who works as
a software engineer during the day and writes stories during the nights. But I
would really love sitting by a beach, listening to the sweet melody of the sea
and writing my heart out.  That would be
a dream come true.
5) Are
you a plotter a pantser?
A bit of both I guess. I like to keep certain things in mind while
writing a story or depicting a character, but then again a lot of improvisation
is done once the story or the character comes to life which is not at all

About the Author:

Dhruba Das Roy  is a freelance writer, a musician by passion, and a software engineer by profession. He is from Assam, but born in a small town of Meghalaya, where he finished his schooling. He then obtained his degree in engineering from the esteemed college of National Institute of Technology. He discovered his love for music there and was the lead vocalist of his band, “The Rozarts”.

He loves rock and roll and is a great fan of the pioneers of rock and roll-(Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen and the list goes on).Unfortunately, as engineering life came to an end, the band had to split. Recently, he moved to Kolkata where he is working in one of leading software service based companies in India.

Not everyone can put their thoughts into words. Dhruba had never tried his hand in writing; but he had an experience, an experience which changed his life for the better. Being a vocalist, his only way of expression was through the creative way. He decided to pen down his thoughts and he discovered that writing came naturally to him. His thought process in the novel relates to the general mass in many ways. He decided to stretch his limits and ended up voicing his thoughts in a different way this time.