While the publishing industry, like many career fields, is taking steps to combat discrimination and bias, many female-identifying authors feel that getting their work published is more difficult for them than for their male colleagues. In this 5×5 we interviewed five female-identifying authors about their personal experiences in the publishing industry. Keep reading to learn how these authors deal with discrimination and how they have learned to advocate for themselves.
Meet the Authors
Liese Sherwood-Fabre knew she was destined to write when she got an A+ in the second grade for her story about Dick, Jane, and Sally’s ruined picnic. After obtaining her Ph.D., she joined the federal government and worked and lived internationally for more than fifteen years. Returning to the states, she seriously pursued her writing career, garnering such awards as a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest and a Pushcart Prize nomination. A recognized Sherlockian scholar, her essays have appeared in newsletters, the Baker Street Journal, and Canadian Holmes. She has recently turned to a childhood passion: Sherlock Holmes. The Adventure of the Murdered Midwife, the first book in The Early Case Files of Sherlock Holmes series, was the CIBA Mystery and Mayhem 2020 first-place winner. Publishers Weekly has described her third book in the series, The Adventure of the Deceased Scholar, as “the best plot yet.” More about her writing can be found at www.liesesherwoodfabre.com.
Christina Kumar is an International Partner at the World Business Angels Investment Forum, author of Take Massive Action, award-winning entrepreneur, and journalist. Her book, Take Massive Action, calls readers to take back the power over their own lives and to build the mindset they need to become action takers.
Josephine Caminos Oría
Josephine Caminos Oría is an Argentine-American author, entrepreneur, and mom, who in her early 40s took a chance on herself, leaving a C-level career to make dulce de leche. And then she wrote about it. Josephine is the author of the recently published, Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food & Love in Thirteen Courses (Scribe Publishing Co., May 2021) and the cookbook, Dulce de Leche: Recipes, Stories & Sweet Traditions (Burgess Lea Press, 2017).
Cat adorer and chocolate lover, British author Holly Bell is a photographer and video maker when she’s not creating novels. She had long experience with non-fiction writing before being told she began writing cozy mysteries.
Holly devoured all of the Agatha Christie books many years before she knew that Miss Marple was the godmother of the Cozy Mystery. Holly’s love of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings meant that her first literary creation in this area would have to be a cozy paranormal.
Having derived immense delight from the adventure of writing Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole and its five sequels to date, Holly has more in the pipeline.
Her favorite feline is a cat called Bobby. He is black. Like her favorite hat. Purely coincidental.
Kathryn Starke is an author, literacy consultant, reading coach, and the founder of Creative Minds Publications, an award-winning educational publishing and consulting company. Starke’s books have been used in schools, homes, and events in over 26 countries on 6 continents. Her first children’s book, Amy’s Travels, was turned into a musical by the Latin Ballet of Virginia. Starke is also the founder of Tackle Reading, an annual reading event supported by the NFL.
1). Have you encountered discrimination in the publishing industry? What was that like?
The whole experience was a stark reminder that while Latinos are the second largest ethnic group in our country, we are still largely excluded from publishing and film.-Josephine Caminos Oría
Liese Sherwood-Fabre: As a white, straight female, I can’t say that I have experienced any overt discrimination in the publishing industry. There have been times that I felt that a book project was rejected because of its genre or sub-genre, but I have always felt this was a marketing issue for the publisher. For example, “chick lit” was all the rage for a hot minute, with a number of books coming out in a short period of time. The Romance Writers of America even created a new category for their RITAs (most prestigious award given to romance books published each year): “fiction with romantic elements.” The market dried up for these books after a few years, RWA redefined its mission to focus on pure romance, and this category was deleted from competition.
I have to say that RWA’s action made me feel “less than.” I had finaled in the “romantic elements” category, and suddenly the organization said the whole category wasn’t award-worthy. The publishing industry I could understand. They focus on the bottom line. RWA could have been a little more inclusive.
Christina Kumar: I have encountered discrimination in the business industry as it is heavily male-dominated and because of this, I was aware that I may have to prepare for discrimination when I publish my business book. I have learned to speak up for myself and not let myself be pushed around by others. As a young businesswoman, I receive my fair share of judgments, but I have learned to continue anyways. There are always people who will support you and those who won’t.
Josephine Caminos Oría: While I have not experienced what looks like outright discrimination, I have been denied a seat at the table. At the very house that published my first cookbook on all things dulce de leche—as an orphaned new release, nonetheless. Shortly before my original publication date, my boutique publisher was acquired by a much larger publisher. In the process, the original team that worked to bring the book to life and introduce Argentine culture through that one ubiquitous ingredient disappeared altogether, resulting in the book’s publication getting pushed back and subsequently lost in translation. As a debut author, I soon learned this is par for the course in traditional publishing. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was that as an author I would be made to feel invisible. Per my contract, my publisher had the right to first refusal for my next book. Ecstatic at just the thought of publishing a second book, I sent my acquiring editor a three-line email asking if he could walk me through the steps to pitch my next concept, a culinary memoir steeped in magical realism told through the evocative medium of sobremesa—time spent lingering at the table well after the meal is done that nourishes both family and culture beyond the plate. But instead of walking me through the process, he simply let me know that as far as the options on my next book went, I was free to pitch other publishers—they weren’t interested; there would be no pitch. When I asked why—other than my platform, of course—I was told that the concept of sobremesa was too foreign for the general public. He compared the idea to my first cookbook on dulce de leche that he labeled as too niche…too specific and definitely too personal. The acquiring editor went on to tell me there wasn’t a market for my current or future books—or that it was limited at best. After putting a book out in the world together, which I am still grateful for, my acquiring editor made it clear there wasn’t a seat for me at the publishing house’s family table—not even for a ten-minute telephone pitch or discussion. I didn’t need him to accept my pitch, I just wanted the opportunity to be heard. This stung especially hard considering it had been just over a year that I had left a C-level corporate career after being the only woman at the Directors table for some fifteen years. After drawing the lines between my editor’s remarks, I took them to mean that I was too niche—the general public did not relate to an Argentine-American female entrepreneur and mom. The entire experience left me questioning the inclusivity of Latina authors in general—why we do not receive the same support for our projects, which are written from an insider’s perspective. The whole experience was a stark reminder that while Latinos are the second largest ethnic group in our country, we are still largely excluded from publishing and film—that the gatekeepers of the industry more often than not do not reflect the people and the consumers that they serve.
Holly Bell: In the course of research on the publishing industry, while writing my first novel, I read that publishers are more likely to elect to publish a book that is written by a male author. It did give me a jolt. And yes, I did feel a sense of discrimination.
However, that’s a weighted word. If someone chooses an apple over an orange for lunch, it doesn’t mean they hate oranges. There could be all sorts of reasons for their preference. So I set out to find out why my male counterpart was more likely to close a publishing deal. As I read, I began to feel better.
My understanding is that for most of the 400 years since the invention of the printing press, males have had higher wages and greater access to education and higher levels of literacy. Therefore it made economic sense for publishers to target that gender, by favouring male writers, whom their target demographic was more likely to read.
Zooming in, I get the impression that, during the last century, thrillers and mysteries were making the most money. These were, by and large, aimed at and written by men. It is only in recent times that the romance genre has topped the list, and now as many women as men, if not more, are buying books.
Nevertheless, it takes time to bring a juggernaut to a halt and turn it around. When I accepted that publishers were responding to real or perceived market forces, then I stopped taking it personally.
In the end, what I initially felt was discrimination has worked in my favour. It was a factor that led me to self-publish, and I am delighted that I did take that route.
Kathryn Starke: I believe that discrimination can happen to anyone in any industry, and the publishing industry is no different. My goals in publishing were certainly dismissed early on my career by some older men. For me, whenever I feel I am being discriminated or not being taken seriously, it fuels me to work even harder and prove that I have what it takes to make an impact through my words and in my work.
2). When faced with barriers to publishing or writing, how did you motivate yourself to continue advocating for yourself?
When I’m writing a new piece or submitting my work to literary agents or publishing companies, I push myself to continue to share my work until it reaches the individual that best connects with and can champion the book.-Kathryn Starke
Liese Sherwood-Fabre: The advantage for authors these days is independent publishing. When writing for a niche market or for an audience that is too small to attract a traditional publisher, the author can publish on his/her own. Of course, all aspects of publishing fall on the author’s shoulders, from designing the cover to offering the book for sale, to attracting readers and sales, increasing the workload, but many authors have found this rewarding because they keep more of the sales than they would under a traditional publisher.
For myself, when I completed a manuscript based on the Sherlock Holmes character, I recognized the idea had competition from other authors (such as Nancy Springer and Sherry Thomas), but felt that mine, based on how Sherlock Holmes became a detective would offer a different perspective. I wasn’t able to find a traditional publishing contract and decided in the end to self-publish. That’s not to say I wouldn’t have like a traditional publishing contract, but was glad I had the alternative.
Christina Kumar: When faced with barriers to writing, I motivated myself to continue advocating for myself by remembering all of the people I can help with the message of my book. Books are an amazing way to really get a point across and it’s important to remember all of the lives that you can touch with them.
Josephine Caminos Oría: I truly believe that a story chooses us. I didn’t choose to become a writer. It chose me. And we’ve had a very contentious relationship ever since because I’ve never done anything more challenging in my life—other than motherhood, of course (another mostly thankless job that brings us all the joy and heartache in the world). Writing—at least for new authors like me—does not render a lucrative return on investment. More than often, it leaves us in the red. So, we have to dig our heels in and ask a hard “why?” behind our words. If you would have told me ten years ago that I would spend two years publishing my first book, and then another three publishing my second book—not to mention the endless sleepless nights writing, rewriting, querying, and, most of all, dealing with the incessant no’s and unanswered emails many writers face—I would have told you that’s not for me—I’m not a writer. I’d have said I didn’t have it in me. Sure, I had always been an avid reader, to the point I read cookbooks like novels, dissecting the stories behind the food, but I was a career woman who wore TJ Maxx suits on a daily basis and relied upon a stable paycheck. I didn’t have the perseverance to write an entire manuscript and then fight for a seat at the table. Until I did. Until that day my story found me, imploring me to share my Argentine culture through my Abuela Dorita’s eyes. And she hasn’t left me alone since. Why? I believe it’s because I find courage and healing in other women’s journeys. They lift me up. I hope to share mine to help others find the brave deep within themselves—to help them claim their seat at the table. If my first publishing experience taught me anything, it was the sheer importance of finding and creating a strong relationship with a literary agent who will advocate for you. In querying my second book, I was super fortunate to sign with one of the few Latina literary agents in the United States whose goal is to bring diverse and often-ignored voices to the forefront.
Publishing is a trial in perseverance—after all, it just takes one “yes” to move forward. Then there’s that moment when, after the arduous publishing journey, your book finally makes it out into the world, and you get that first email from a reader who shares how your story has impacted his or her life. That one email, that one connection, is all it takes to assure you it was well worth telling—no matter the hurdles, no matter the return on your investment—or lack thereof. So, for anyone out there thinking of writing your own story, who is working out your “why” in your head, let it play out and get out of your own way. If your story wants to be told, she’ll find her way from pen to paper, because our “why” is greater than each and every one of us.
Holly Bell: I choose to take a block in the road as an indication that it is not the right time for that organization to engage with me, or that their vibe is not compatible with me, my writing, or my goals. Then I look at what might turn out to be a better alternative. I enjoy waiting for inspiration. Sometimes it will come in the form of a newsletter from a promoter or blogger who advises writers. I take the view that everything is always working out for the best.
Kathryn Starke: I absolutely believe that everyone has a story to tell, and it will find itself in the hands of the ideal reader. Writing and publishing are so subjective. When I’m writing a new piece or submitting my work to literary agents or publishing companies, I push myself to continue to share my work until it reaches the individual that best connects with and can champion the book.
3). What makes writing important to you?
The simple truth is, we are all worthy of telling our stories.-Josephine Caminos Oría
Liese Sherwood-Fabre: Basically, I have stories in my head that I have to get out, and the more I write, the more stories I have to tell. Beyond getting the story out, I want to make the story worthy of publication and to readers who pick it up. I hire editors to make certain it is the best story I can make.
Christina Kumar: Writing is important to me because it is one of the greatest skills we as people have. It allows us the ability to share knowledge through time. I always valued writing and love to read. I do not take it lightly that I was given the opportunity to be able to learn such an amazing and useful skill.
Josephine Caminos Oría: I believe in the power of storytelling to connect with others and make sense of our lives and the world around us. It’s what we do at the dinner table. It’s what we do when we put pen to paper, or nowadays, fingers to keyboard. I find courage and healing in other women’s journeys. They lift me up. I hope to share mine to help others find the brave deep within themselves. My story is for any woman—and any man, for that matter—who hears their childhood calling them back, beckoning them to reconnect to their roots in order to redirect their life. It’s a starting point for anyone who has ever been tempted to irrationally chuck a professional life they loathe in order to pursue their true passion. I also write for people who, like me, wish to deepen their understanding of new cultures through food, as well as intergenerational immigrants looking to find their place between cultures.
We can’t control the message readers will take away from our writing, but we can control the way we tell it. Writing is an outlet. A way to make sense of our lives. To share a part of the culture we hope will benefit or enrich others’ lives. Writing allows us to leave our stamp or to simply escape. Still, when we talk about ourselves or tell our stories, I’m the first to admit that we can, at times, fall into the trap of framing them in ways that make us the star. But that has never been my intention. I write with the hope that others will see themselves in my own story. I regard myself as no worthier than the next. The simple truth is, we are all worthy of telling our stories. As for mine, I truly feel my writing has been spiritually guided by those I love beyond the grave. That’s what keeps me coming back time after time. I’m awaiting the inspiration for my third book. She has started awakening me at night and coming to me on my morning walks, leaving me feeling excited and anxious for that day when she reveals herself.
Holly Bell: It is important to me personally in the way that eating is important, or going out in the fresh air or standing in the sunshine. It is something I couldn’t do. I take great pleasure in the creative process, how the plots and narrative and characters unfold to me; how conversations play out in my head all by themselves; the way sometimes what I write makes me chuckle or even cry.
‘Important’ in a change-the-world sense? When a reader tells me in an email, a review, or in person, that one of my books made them smile, laugh or feel good in any fashion, I know that, at that moment, in however small a way, I have changed the world for the better.
Kathryn Starke: I’ve always been able to express myself the best through the written word. As a former elementary school teacher, I was always writing stories and songs to teach content. I write a variety of genres to entertain, engage, inform, support, and educate readers of all ages.
4). Do you feel that the publishing industry is influenced by gender and racial biases more or less than typical career paths?
Yes, I think some publishers have the attitude “we already have one X (Black, Asian, LGBTQ, male, female, etc.) author. Why do we need more?”-Liese Sherwood-Fabre
Liese Sherwood-Fabre: I remember listening to an interview with Walter Mosley where he reported how a publisher told him, “We already have one Black author,” to which the interviewer chuckled and said, “And how many white authors do they have?” So yes, I think some publishers have the attitude “we already have one X (Black, Asian, LGBTQ, male, female, etc.) author. Why do we need more?”
This view of representation might be tied back to traditional publishers’ focus on the bottom line. The bigger the audience for a book, the more they will be willing to contract a project. When they view an author’s audience as smaller (based on whom they think the book will appeal to), they may be less likely to contract the project, but I consider this a rather narrow view of the world. I certainly read a variety of books from a variety of authors. Publishers fail to see the appeal of stories to broader audiences based less on the author’s race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., and more on the story itself.
Christina Kumar: I believe as a business book writer, the publishing industry is heavily influenced by gender and racial biases but this has been changing as time progresses. More and more females are excelling in business and also other male-dominated industries as well which is giving rise to more females becoming business book authors. Now, women are known for much more than the cooking and romance aisles; we are starting to be seen in the business and biography aisles and beyond, which is exciting.
Josephine Caminos Oría: It’s my experience that the biases seem to be one and the same, with the only difference being fiercer competition and the importance of platform over performance in the publishing industry. As mentioned above, I do believe that the gatekeepers of the publishing industry more than often do not reflect the people and the consumers that they serve. This is true in corporate culture as well, however, it’s also my experience that a stellar track record in the corporate world has more of a chance of being rewarded—to a certain point, that is. The good news is that this is slowly changing. The barriers in both industries are slowly caving. The question is, is it enough? Even in the Latin and LatinX arena. For instance, Argentines have reportedly come to the United States in waves over the last several years and today are ranked among the top 14 largest U.S. Hispanic groups by origin. Yet, there is still so little known about our culture and how our growing population integrates Argentine values and traditions into our everyday lives here in the States. Renowned Chef Francis Mallmann is the exception. His wildly popular cookbooks Mallmann on Fire (Artisan, 2014) and Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way (Artisan, May 2009) put Argentina’s slow-fire cooking tradition on the map, but there are still few books and films that celebrate its Deep South culture and slow-food cuisine. (I should mention that last fall, Reese Witherspoon chose Argentine author Yamile Saied Méndez’s book, Furia, as her September 2020 Reese’s Book Club YA pick, which was wonderful to see!) Still, our culture is an important one to know, given that both Argentina and the U.S. were once New World magnets for Old World immigrants. Today, both are a mixing pot of the millions of emigrant Europeans who, at the end of the 19th century, were torn between the two: Buenos Aires or New York? Las pampas or the prairie?
Holly Bell: I’m not sure that there is such a thing as a typical career path anymore. People across the gender spectrum have been and are being successful in areas not traditionally associated with that gender. If we keep telling one another that we’re going to face obstacles in our career because of how we self-identify, don’t we hobble with one another at the start?
Also, there is variety across individual organizations within any industry in the way that they recruit, value, and interact with clients, employees, or contractors. However, I do think that you get what you expect. If you look for discrimination, you will inevitably find it, and you’ll feel bad in the process whether or not your expectations are fulfilled. If you expect to be treated fairly then, you will be.
Kathryn Starke: I have spent most of my career in education, which has a large number of females in the profession. When I first started out in publishing, I found that I was often the only female in many meetings and collaborations, which was a new experience for me.
5). Have you been treated differently in the publishing industry based on your audience’s demographic?
To be honest, I no longer see myself as ‘being treated’ in any particular way, as though I am a helpless recipient of behaviour meted out to me.-Holly Bell
Liese Sherwood-Fabre: I think certain genres, because of the main audience’s demographics, are singled out as “less worthy” than others. For example, despite being the top-selling genre fiction category (twice as much in sales revenue compared to the second—Crime and Mystery—a genre in 2019), romance novels have been considered by some as less prestigious, or “not real writing.” Romance Writers of America was formed as a trade organization, in part, as a means of addressing both this attitude as well as the power publishers held. As a combined force, a handful of authors created an organization that grew to the thousands and served as a means of raising the public’s perception of the romance genre through advocacy and research, as well as a force in the publishing industry. Its model became the basis for other genre-based organizations. Regardless, there is still a judgment by some about authors who write in this genre.
Christina Kumar: I have been treated well in the publishing industry as more males want to see females excel in this industry and this is a great thing. This is an industry that has made me feel welcome as a female.
Josephine Caminos Oría: I tend to write with a female audience in mind, but I’ve since realized this is a mistake. We shouldn’t limit the reach of our story or try to determine who it might serve at a particular time in readers’ lives. That being said, I can’t separate the “Latina” from my writing, and yet the greatest challenge about Latin culture is that there is no uniform participant or audience. My own experience has forced me to re-examine the way that “being Latina” is collectively understood in America—or the inadequacy of the same as an identity label. Throughout Latin America, people are more commonly categorized by nationality: Argentine, Venezuelan, Chilean, Uruguayan, Mexican, and so forth. Argentines refer to us from the United States as “Estadounidense.” They often rebuff the “American” label we often give ourselves. After all, we are all American—South, Central, and North. Still, here in the US, we have caged ourselves into categorizing persons of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South, and Central American, not to mention other Spanish descent, into one tiny, ambiguous box. Too often this U.S.-centric “Latino-a-x” label erases, even dismisses, the major political, economic, racial, and cultural differences of Latin American countries. It’s also left Latinas fighting among themselves for a seat at our community table—questioning whether they are Latina enough. This is true in surveys, articles, literature, even everyday television, and cinema. But the reality is, you can’t check us all into one little box. None of us. We are all unique.
I’m also acutely aware that for many not familiar with the diversity of Hispanic and Latin culture, it might not be as easy to detect the differences from one region to another. And while I am so happy to come across more and more Latina-driven social media sights and online communities that, tired of being undervalued, marginalized, and misrepresented, work to provide an inclusive platform for Latin Americans, I rarely find Argentine content. It’s been my experience when pitching these sites on the premise that I would love to share a taste of my Argentine culture through our Deep South cuisine, it’s often passed on, leaving me fighting for my own Latina identity. Then just as I begin to question it, I hear my Abuela Dorita’s voice in my head, “Of course you are. You can take the girl out of Argentina, but you can’t take Argentina out of the girl,” and I’m reminded I’m also American enough. We all are. There are so many stories that remain to be told and heard.
Holly Bell: To be honest, I no longer see myself as ‘being treated in any particular way, as though I am a helpless recipient of behavior meted out to me. When I look at lists of influencers or bloggers or promoters that I might reach out to, most openly state which genres they favor and which they do not touch. I prefer to see that as a personal choice on their part. I would not approach an influencer whose primary genre of interest is horror or westerns. If I knock on that door, then I can expect to be sent away.
It is also true to say that cozy paranormal mystery does not aspire to be Great Art, whistle-blowing, or profound philosophy. It does not set out to be serious literature, and in browsing potentially interested parties for expanding the reach of my work, it is clear that many do favor these kinds of books. So, it is not surprising that so many, yes, mainly women, who write in my genre do, either without hesitation or in the end, decide to self-publish.
Finally, may I add, that the game is changing in the publishing world? After 400 years, it’s something of a miracle that it is. We can look back to the progress that’s been made so far and our participation in that, for example, through the books by female writers we’ve bought, borrowed, or downloaded. We can also look ahead to a balance being achieved that fairly represents the literary contributions of all genders, races, and minority groups across our eternally creative global population.
Kathryn Starke: I have certainly found that children’s books, educational materials, and contemporary romance novels are a particular niche and don’t always receive the same attention and recognition as more traditional fiction and nonfiction books.
Finding these Books
The Early Case Files of Sherlock Holmes series by Liese Sherwood-Fabre
Award-winning author and recognized Sherlockian scholar Liese Sherwood-Fabre’s third novel in “The Early Case Files of Sherlock Holmes” follows the young detective to London for the spring holiday. A tragedy during the 1868 Oxford-Cambridge boat race puts Mycroft Holmes’ reputation on the line when he is connected to a drowning victim discovered during the race. If the young man’s death is ruled a suicide, his assets will be returned to the Crown, leaving his survivors destitute. Should that happen, the victim’s sister has threatened to drag Mycroft’s good name through the mire. Sherlock has only days to discover the truth before more than one family is destroyed.
Take Massive Action by Christina Kumar
Take Massive Action, calls readers to take back the power over their own lives and to build the mindset they need to become action takers.
Sobremesa by Josephine Caminos Oría
If food is the universal language of love, sobremesa is romance. Gather around the table with C-level career woman turned foodpreneur, Josephine Caminos Oría, as she cooks up a magical tale, told morsel by morsel, of some of her most memorable tableside chats—sobremesas—that provided the first-generation Argentine-American the courage to leave the safe life she knew and start over from scratch.
In her coming-of-age adventure, Josephine travels to her family’s homeland of Argentina in search of belonging—to family, to country, to a lover, and ultimately, to oneself. Steeped in the lure of Latin culture, she pieces together her mom and abuela’s pasts, along with the nourishing dishes—delectably and spiritually—that formed their kitchen arsenals. But Josephine’s travels from las pampas to the prairie aren’t easy or conventional. She grapples with mystical encounters with the spirit world that lead her to discover a part of herself that, like sobremesa, had been lost in translation. Just as she’s ready to give up on love altogether, Josephine’s own heart surprises her by surrendering to a forbidden, transcontinental tryst with the Argentine man of her dreams. To stay together, she must make a difficult choice: return to the safe life she knows in the States, or follow her heart and craft a completely different kind of future for herself—one she never saw coming.
This otherworldly, multigenerational story of a daughter’s love and familial culinary legacy serves up, in 13 courses, the timeless traditions that help Josephine navigate transformational love and loss. It’s a reminder that home really is anywhere the heart is. Sobremesa invites you to linger at the table, reveal your own hidden truths, and savor the healing embrace of time-honored food and the wisdom it espouses.
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth by Holly Bell
Asthmatic furniture restorer and covert witch Amanda Cadabra is a survivor. After all, her family’s bus went over a Cornish cliff. Now the presentable but irritating Inspector Trelawney is dogging her footsteps as he investigates the unexplained deaths. But that’s the least of her problems.
Amanda has just landed a furniture restoration job at the old English Manor of Sunken Madley with its murky past. Armed only with a wand and Tempest, her grumpy reincarnated cat, she’s going in. A body, ghosts, hidden tunnels, chills, and unexplained lights; can Amanda solve the mystery in time and save the village from the scandal of murder?
The Perfect Blend by Kathryn Starke
The Perfect Blend is a Valentine ‘s-themed themed romance novel that celebrates family, community, and the power of love. She has no time to date. He has no desire to date. Nevertheless, one sweet treat blends the perfect match. This contemporary romance reminds readers of the power of a variety of relationships in life. You never know what could be brewing right under your nose!
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