Welcome Cheryl Hollon!

Liz here, and I’m so happy to welcome one of my very first friends in the writing community – Cheryl Hollon, whose fabulous debut is coming out in September! I’ve known Cheryl Hollon Cheryl since we were eager beginners, looking anxiously ahead to the days when we would join the ranks of published authors. I particularly remember one pitch practice  session out by the pool at Sleuthfest, where Cheryl relentlessly had me revising and re-delivering my pitch. (Thank goodness I ultimately didn’t have to sell books from a pitch session!) But I was grateful to have such a helpful, patient, and wise friend. And now I get to help her celebrate her first novel milestone, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Here’s a summary of Pane and Suffering:

To solve her father’s murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer’s carefully constructed façade. . .

After Savannah’s father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs–including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father’s trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.

As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn’t suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it’s up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father’s apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .

Pane and Suffering

Take it away, Cheryl!

This has been a year of firsts for me as a debut mystery author. The first contract – first advance payment – first cover – first conference panel – and now my first blog! I am honored that I’m here today on Wicked Cozy Writers.

Liz Mugavero and I met at my first New England Crime Bake. We had become friends after participating in a manuscript swap organized by the Guppies Chapter (Great Unpublished) of Sisters in Crime. That first time your manuscript goes out into the world without your caring fingers in control is a scary occasion. I was in the best of hands with Liz. She was encouraging and supportive in her guiding remarks that improved that oh-such-a-beginner’s manuscript. After I learned a mountain of lessons, I put it away to work on the next mystery. This one caught the eye of my literary agency and eventually captured the attention of my agent.

Writing for a traditional publisher is an interesting mix of both solitary and collaborative efforts. The number of people who are working on bringing my first book to life is staggering. I met my wonderful editor, Mercedes Fernandez, who was kind enough to give me a tour of the offices of Kensington Publishing. What a treat!

One delight to share is how other authors have been wildly generous with their time and support. In fact, on the back of the paperback are quotations from Liz Mugavero and Sheila Connolly. It thrills me to my toes every time I see their names.

Although I’ve survived thus far, the ultimate firsts are yet to come. I’m anxious to experience my first review – first release day – first launch party – and finally the first book signing at my local independent, Haslam’s Book Store, located in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg, FL, down the street from my fictional Webb’s Glass Shop.

Readers, what’s your best first? Leave a comment below!

Pane and Suffering releases Sept. 29th. You can find out more about Cheryl and her books at



31 Thoughts

  1. Many many congratulations, Cheryl! You just can’t beat the thrill of all those firsts. Cherish them! I have five books out now and the high of holding the book in my hand for the first time just can’t be beat. Not QUITE up there with holding my first human baby…but close. I’m sure your book will be a big hit and I can’t wait to read it. Cheers!

  2. My congratulations go out to you as well, Cheryl. May you first book be a best seller. I have yet to publish mine but I have a target for the end of this year. Currently my editor and I are still editing it. Your book sounds most intriguing. If you’re interested here is a link to my blog. I have a page that gives a blurb on my novel “Becoming Ruby”.

    1. Thanks for your good wishes, Marianne! As Liz mentioned above, it can be a long journey to publication — mine took ten years, but those years were filled with lasting friendships.

  3. Hi Cheryl,

    I have been a cozy mystery lover for quite some time and a Liz Mugavero fan just as long. Looking forward to Pane and Suffering in September. When I read it I will be more than happy to let you know what I think. I am sure it will be great.

    Mike Vecellio

    1. Hi Mike,

      I love my new series — it combines my love of writing with my fascination with all things glass. I hope you enjoy Pane and Suffering.

  4. Hi, Cheryl,
    We met at Malice and I’ve been looking forward to reading Pane and Suffering ever since. Enjoy every moment of all your firsts!

  5. Cheryl, congrats on your first novel! I’ll definitely be on the look out for it come September 29th.

    Since you asked about our best firsts, I have to share one that happened just about a month ago to me. I had my first blurb in a book – Sherry’s second garage sale mystery. That was such a huge thrill for me!

    Congrats again!

    1. Thanks, Mark. I agonized forever over asking for blurbs. Liz literally pushed me into the deep end at New England Crime Bake last year and I asked Sheila Connolly — who graciously agreed. Liz and Sheila are on the back cover of Pane and Suffering.

      Cheers, Cheryl

    1. Thank you, Brooke! Wish List!!! Definitely words dear to an author’s heart. I’ll be in Dayton, Ohio for a signing sometime near Halloween — don’t know if that’s close to you, but it would be nice to meet. Cheers, Cheryl

  6. Hey Cheryl, here I am waving as requested! Hooray for you. Terrie Farley Moran

    1. Nice to e-meet again Terrie. We talked briefly at Malice this year when you won your Agatha Best First Mystery. Wow – such an honor! Thanks for waving hello. Cheers, Cheryl.

    1. Hi Ramona – Thanks for stopping by — I’m finding this is a lot of fun and very much like having a party with good friends. Cheers, Cheryl

    1. Thanks, Jesse. There’s quite a big shock to the system going from unpublished to ‘I have to turn in WHAT by WHEN?’ in a matter of months — but I’m truly enjoying the ride.

    1. Thank you so much for your good wishes, Sandra. I’m thrilled to bits with the Webb’s Glass Shop series — it’s been a lot of fun.

  7. Congratulations, Cheryl. It is such a pleasure seeing people who I’ve met on the journey gaining success. Wishing you continuing success.

    1. Thanks, Grace. Many times, I’ve thought of the publishing journey as a long ride — we’re all on the same train, but in different cars. ;-D

  8. Welcome! So glad to see it’s out, Cheryl! I’ve already had the chance to read it, and I think Cheryl nailed the glass part (hmm, that sounds wrong). It’s a very enjoyable book!

    Best first, oddly enough, came only a couple of weeks ago, when I walked into a bookstore (with Edith Maxwell and Tiger Wiseman and Sara J. Henry) that we hadn’t planned to visit until the minute we left for it, and the women in the bookstore (Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT) couldn’t believe I was really me and I was there in their store and people came in looking for my books and would I please sign their stock and is it really me? It’s one of the first times a stranger has been so excited to see me.

    (Of course, learning this week that Nora Roberts carries my County Cork series in her bookstore in Maryland is kind of nice too!)

  9. I’m sorry I’m so late to the party, I was out of town. Thanks for taking the time to join us today. I hope all of your “firsts” are fabulous. And I look forward to reading Pane and Suffering.

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