Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I'm so happy to have author
Anne Celeste Burke
in today's
Author Spotlight!

Anne is so excited to be in the Spotlight, 
she having a giveaway! 
Keep reading for more information.


Mr. Burke write books in three different series.

Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series

BOOK 1                       BOOK 2

BOOK 3                         BOOK 4

            BOOK 5                  COMING SOON

Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery Series

BOOK 1                        BOOK 2


Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mysteries

BOOK 0                           BOOK 1

BOOK 3                         BOOK 4



One lucky reader will win their choice of any one title from Anna Celeste Burke (Boxed sets not included) Print or Kindle copy, also winner's choice!

This giveaway is open Worldwide!

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.



LKBR:  Thank you for being here today!

ACB: Thanks, so for inviting me to join you on your lovely blog! I’m delighted to be here and excited to share my books with your readers.

LKBR: Please tell us a bit about your books and series.

ACB: I write books in three series. The Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series set in the Coachella Valley, in and around Palm Springs; The Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery Series that takes place in a fictional location on California's Central Coast; and The Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series set in   Orange County, California—better known as “the OC.”

All the mysteries I write blend romance and humor into the storytelling, and they focus "Snooping into life's mysteries with fun, fiction, & food--California style!" Murder and mayhem are weighty subjects. I write about them under the influence of sunny skies and blue Pacific waters. Years ago, I “worked for the Mouse” at “the Mouse Factory” otherwise known as Walt Disney World. Trained as a chef at Walt Disney World University’s Chef School, my characters always eat well as they fight off evildoers and figure out whodunit.

LKBR: How did you come up with the concept for this series? How about the idea for this installment?

ACB: The Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series was the first series I wrote. My husband and I were looking for a place to retire and visited Palm Springs, California. I had been to the Coachella Valley many times while growing up, but I was stunned by how lovely it is. Not just the natural beauty of a desert oasis surrounded by mountains, but there’s a wonderful architectural heritage in the area.

Some of the homes we looked at were stunning, not to mention well beyond our price range. I wondered what it might be like to have all that money and a spectacular home. Then an image of Jessica popped into my head. Rich, beautiful, and well-educated I imagined her lounging on a chaise by the pool in the backyard of a gorgeous golf course estate home.  
Beneath her expensive sunglasses was a woman in shell shock. Ruthlessly betrayed by her husband, her well-planned life has been turned upside down by the Great Recession, and she’s looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Life has become one big mystery for a woman used to having it all under control.
That’s when I decided she’d make an interesting, albeit reluctant sleuth, as she realizes her scumbag ex-husband isn’t the only well-heeled heel in her life. Bam! The pity party is over. Her best friend’s husband is murdered, and Jessica Huntington’s in over her head trying to figure out whodunit. Does that go well? Oh, heck no!

“My first day as a sleuth was more Stephany Plum than Miss Marple.”
The idea for the next book in the series comes from a situation, character, or event in the current book I’m working on.

My newest release is A DEAD MOTHER, Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery #4.
Jessica’s ex-husband, James Harper, and her mother, Alexis, are in big trouble in A Dead Mother. Family dysfunction, infidelity, murder, and mayhem—what else can you expect from members of the rich and famous who move in Jessica Huntington’s circles? An arraignment in court goes off the rails after Jim Harper’s Bel Air mansion is trashed and a man is left fighting for his life. Jessica’s love life almost veers off track, too, as she struggles to balance job, family, sleuthing, and her attraction to Attorney Paul Worthington and Detective Frank Fontana. When the body of a prominent member of the community is found dead on the side of the road, Jessica gives up hope that this year will be better than the last. It’s a three-ring-circus of calamities as Jessica and her friends get pulled into another whirlwind whodunit. There are plenty of well-heeled heels to choose from among the suspects with murderous motives: love, lust, lucre, and loathing. 

LKBR: Do you have a favorite character in your books or series?

ACB: Jessica’s my “first born” so she holds a special place in my heart. So does Jessica’s lovable estate manager and surrogate mother, Bernadette. We should all have a Bernadette in our lives!

LKBR: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love, action, death, etc.?

ACB: At least initially, I had trouble giving the bad guys nuanced character. More recently, I’ve tried to produce bad guys [or gals] with some redeeming features. Not my forte as a write, however. One of my pet peeves is unjust authority—people in positions of privilege and power who abuse others are hard for me to find sympathetic.

LKBR: In your writing, have you ever used experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

ACB: Oh, yes. I borrow phrases, body language, and facial expressions from real people who are often vividly pictured in my mind. I draw from situations I’ve encountered or observed with family, friends, or even strangers.
Brien Williams, Jessica’s wannabe surfer dude pool boy who’s stranded in the California desert, is always mangling language. It’s not only that he sprinkles the conversation with surfer lingo, but he tries to use big words and often uses them in the wrong way.

For example, in A Dead Sister, book 2 of the Jessica Huntington series, Brien quite certain that Bernadette has “extrasensitory precipitation.” What he means, of course, is that she has ESP—extra sensory perception. One of my little brothers who shared Brien’s love of big words came up with that phrase. He was seven years old at the time and I was in awe at his attempt to reach beyond his abilities to express himself. That’s exactly how I feel about my character, Brien, who, in his twenties, is beginning to want more from himself and for himself. I love characters who can grow and change over time. That’s one of the great luxuries that a series allows.

LKBR: When you’re in the process of writing/creating a book, do you use a computer, typewriter, dictate, or use pen to paper?
ACB: I’m a laptop computer fan. Occasionally, if I’m stuck someplace without it, I’ll resort to making notes on my cell phone or scribbling madly with pen and paper.

LKBR: Do you have any writing quirks or rituals that you do before, during, and/or after writing a new book?

ACB: No. My husband has urged me to take more time to celebrate, but I’m usually eager to launch into writing the next book in the lineup. With three series up and running, I always feel like I’m neglecting my characters if I wait too long to take them on a new adventure.

I do love holding paperback copies of a new book in my hands. For me, that’s a highlight of the whole process.

LKBR: What does your family think about your writing? How important is their support?

ACB: My husband reads every word I write. His written feedback is important, but his verbal and nonverbal reactions as he’s reading tell me more about how the manuscript works. If he laughs his way through the comical episodes, and becomes quiet, almost holding his breath during a suspenseful part of the story, I feel like I’m on the right track. His interest, love, and support are vital to me as a person and as a writer—especially if I have one of those blah or low moments that all writers experience. He’s the best!

LKBR: Who/What inspired you to write your first book?  

ACB: My first few decades of writing stemmed from my career as a professor. While I was still a student in graduate school it dawned on me that a career as a teacher and social scientist meant I’d chosen a life as a writer.

There’s a saying that’s used often in University settings: “Publish or Perish!” They mean it! You don’t finish graduate school unless you’ve written a dissertation—that’s typically a book-length manuscript on some supremely nerdy topic. It’s got to stand up under the critical eye of faculty reviewers or you get to rewrite it! And, you don’t get or keep your job as a professor unless you continue to publish more articles and books.

My first works of fiction were inspired my desire to write something more lighthearted and fun than scientific writing allows. Every journal article or nonfiction book has a story to tell. Good academic storytellers try to do that well, but as you can imagine, making stuff up is a big “no-no” in scientific and technical writing. I love the creative flow that goes with inventing characters and other aspects of fictional storytelling.

LKBR: What was one of the most surprising thing(s) you learned when trying to get your first book published?

ACB: Writing the book is only the beginning, not the end of the process. Finding ways to help readers discover the book you’ve written requires a huge effort. I was totally shocked by how much time and energy it takes to market a book after it’s been written.

LKBR: What book are you reading?

ACB: As usual, I’m reading about a dozen fiction and nonfiction books. One of my favorites right now is a book by John Main on the practice of meditation.

LKBR: Do you have any advice for aspiring cozy writers?

ACB: Writing starts with reading. For me, that has meant reading lots of books in different genres. That includes devouring hundreds of traditional and cozy mysteries.  

Write, write, write! Then, edit, edit, edit. Just tell your story, then evaluate it. Separating the creative and critical parts of writing is a vital skill. I wish I’d learned how to do that sooner. I still struggle to keep the critic at bay!!

Once a story has been written, it’s important to get as much feedback as possible—not just on grammar and spelling although that’s important. Input about character development and plotline is also valuable, along with feedback about pacing, dialogue, the use of the setting, and spotting “discontinuities” in the storytelling. By that I mean places where there are glaring errors about who said what. Situations where characters say things they couldn’t possibly already know, or some element of their backstory gets goofed up.   

LKBR: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?

ACB: My Website: (Sign up for my newsletter and get a free eBook)

LKBR: Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better!

ACB: I’m grateful for the opportunity to share a bit about my life and my writing. I’m happy to answer questions from readers, so please join me on Facebook and my website.

Learn More About The Author

Anna Celeste Burke is an award-winning, USA Today Bestselling Author!

Welcome! Join me to get a free eBook--just copy & paste the link: 

Life is an extravaganza! figuring out how to hang tough and make the most of the wild ride is the challenge. 

On my way to Oahu to join the rock musician and high school drop-out I had met in San Diego and married in Tijuana, I was nabbed by the police as a runaway. When the police let me go and the rock band broke up, my husband and I had to find another way to survive. Our next stop: Disney World where we trained to be chefs, courtesy of the Walt Disney World University. A GED for my husband and many more years of education landed us in academia at The Ohio State University. Retired now from my role as a professor in social work and behavioral science, I have picked up a long-time interest in writing fiction. I'm still married to the same sweet guy and live with him in the Palm Springs area. In addition to reading and writing fiction, I enjoy painting, hiking, hanging out with my handsome husband and tending to my Siamese kitties. 

An award-winning and bestselling author I enjoy snooping into life's mysteries with fun, fiction, & food—California style! My books include the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery series set on California’s Central Coast, and The Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery series set in Orange County, California--the OC. Coming soon: The Misadventures of Betsy Stark also set here in the Coachella Valley. Find out more at

Dr. Anna Celeste Burke, USA Today Bestselling Author
Snooping into life's mysteries with fun, fiction, & food--California style!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Thanks, Lisa. I enjoyed the interview. Happy Wednesday!

  2. Thanks, Lisa. I enjoyed the interview. Happy Wednesday!

  3. I enjoyed the interview. I am looking forward to reading Anna's books.

  4. Thanks for the warm welcome and wonderful feature on your lovely blog. I grateful--another blessing on the day before Thanksgiving. xx Anna

  5. I just loved the interview as I love her books and it is nice to know her better!

  6. Anna: I love all of your books but the Georgie Shaw ones are my favorite. Looking forward to your latest A DEAD MOTHER. As always loved hearing more about you and your books. Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    Nancy Wolfe

  7. I love learning about my favorite authors. Thank you for this awesome and interesting interview.

  8. Hello! You knkw I'm a HUGE fan of your books! My favorite series is the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series! I love the story of you and your husband when you started out...that should be a plot for a book! Can't wait for the new ones to come out! Yay! ACB & Lisa, thank you!! :-)

  9. Nice interview and thanks for the giveaway!