Welcome Guest Beth Dolgner #giveaway

Carol Pigg and qnofdnilesblog are the winners of Beth’s giveaway! A random number generator was used to pick the winners. Look for an email from Beth!

I met Beth when we recorded (via Zoom) a cozy mystery panel for DragonCon along with Mia P. Manansala. I wrote her after to tell her I loved the wallpaper behind her. I noticed it while we were recording. Beth is delightful and I wanted to introduce all of you to her!

Desert Heat, Halloween, and Homicide   I am not a desert person. Let’s just get that out into the open right now, shall we? I was born and raised in Florida, which means I’m used to lush green grass, short drives to the beach, and humidity so thick you could cut it with a knife.  

So, when my husband and I moved to Tucson, Arizona, nearly two years ago, it was a big adjustment for me. I’ve lived in several places since my upbringing in Florida, including a few years in Germany, but I felt more like a foreigner in Tucson than I ever did in Berlin.   It didn’t take me long to figure out why I felt like such a fish out of water. The desert landscape gave me the sensation that I had stepped off the airplane and onto a distant planet. Even the craggy mountains surrounding Tucson looked strange to my eyes.  

Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I was delighted to learn Tucson has an excellent haunted house attraction that was only a 10-minute drive from our new home. (Well, our old home: we live in a possibly haunted Victorian bungalow.)   This discovery led me to casually lament that we had never lived in a place with a year-round haunted house, where I could go scare myself silly anytime I liked. Why did I have to wait for October to get chased by actors in zombie makeup?  

I decided that if I couldn’t have a year-round haunted house, I could write about a town that did. And, not only that, but my main character would actually work there, and she would discover that her co-workers weren’t just playing parts every night. They were, in fact, the very supernatural creatures they were pretending to be for the tourists.   Add in a dead body, and I had the beginnings of a new paranormal cozy mystery series. All I needed was a quirky small town to host my heroine and the haunt.  

And then, a few months after we had moved to Tucson, my husband and I made a day trip to Tombstone, Arizona. Yes, that Tombstone. The one where the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday were part of the infamous shootout at the OK Corral.   I fell in love with every tacky, touristy bit of Tombstone. The city has covered their main street in dirt and given the buildings a Wild West makeover. Stagecoaches give rides to the tourists, and actors dressed as cowboys regularly stage shootouts in the street.  

What if, I wondered, my fictional haunted house was in a Wild West tourist town like Tombstone? What if the regular, human residents were so quirky that no one noticed if there were vampires, a werewolf, and even a chupacabra roaming around?   The fictional town of Nightmare, Arizona, was born.

I channeled all of my discomfort about adjusting to desert life into my heroine, Olivia Kendrick, a Nashville woman on her way to California for a fresh start after a messy divorce. When she breaks down in Nightmare, she gets the first job she can find, then stumbles across a dead body.   Homicide at the Haunted House, book one of the Nightmare, Arizona paranormal cozy mysteries, debuted in March of 2023. Like Olivia, I have decided that living in the desert isn’t so bad, after all. I have yet to meet a chupacabra, though.  

Readers, what’s your favorite holiday? Comment below with your answer to be entered to win one of two ebook copies of Homicide at the Haunted House!

Bio: Beth Dolgner writes paranormal cozy mysteries and romantic urban fantasy, including the Nightmare, Arizona paranormal cozy mysteries. She lectures on Victorian death customs and Spiritualism, and she has been a ghost tour guide, a ghost hunter, and a volunteer at a Victorian cemetery. She likes to think of it all as research for her books.

She’s online at bethdolgner.com.   Links Website: https://bethdolgner.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bethdolgnerauthor/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beth_dolgner/ BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/beth-dolgner

About Homicide at the Haunted House: Murder, monsters, and a midlife crisis in Nightmare, Arizona Divorced, broke, and broken down in the old mining town of Nightmare, Arizona, Olivia Kendrick is desperate for a job. At forty-two years old, she never thought she would be starting over like this, let alone in a tucked-away town filled with tourists, offbeat residents, and an outspoken UFO hunter. Olivia takes a job at a year-round haunted house, but when she arrives for her first day, she faces real horror: a local man’s body has been dumped at the front entrance.

Olivia is an immediate suspect. After all, she’s a stranger in town. As Olivia tries to find the real killer, she begins to realize her co-workers aren’t just putting on a show every night at Nightmare Sanctuary Haunted House. And why does the “dog” running around have such long fangs?

Things only get worse when Damien Shackleford, the son of the haunted house’s missing owner, shows up. He might be handsome, but his arrogant attitude makes everyone miserable. Olivia must forge a new life, solve a murder, and decide who’s more of a monster: Damien or the actual monsters she works with…  

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BN2D835V

45 Thoughts

  1. Halloween is my favorite holiday! Love it so much, it’s also my anniversary! Your book really sounds fun.

  2. My favorite holiday is Halloween. When we lived in MA we decorated our yard like a cemetery with some of the occupants trying to escape. We used to get over 200 kids and a few times ran out of candy but loved seeing the costumes. I would dress up also and play spooky music. Now that we live in Florida most years we don’t get any kids. I buy candy that my husband likes just in case we do get any. It’s mostly retirees near us. I would love to read about Nightmare, AZ. Thank you for this chance at your giveaway. pgenest57 at aol dot com

    1. Oh, I would love to get that many trick-or-treaters! My friends know that I stay home on the 31st, because giving out candy and seeing all the excited kids is one of my favorite things about Halloween. I need to up my yard decoration game so I can have that many kids, too!

  3. School holidays were the best when I worked in the educational field. They became even better when our son was in the military. It meant we could go visit him when he was not deployed.

    1. Both of my parents worked in education, too, so I know how exciting it was to have the entire family off and ready for vacation! I’m sure being able to visit your son made it even sweeter.

  4. Love the ideas behind the making of the Arizona paranormal cozy mysteries series! Haven’t read “Homicide at the Haunted House” – yet, but now I really want to and have added it to my TBR list.

    My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I think so because it’s some what like Christmas (gatherings of family and friends and lots of great food) without some of the trappings (like hunting down presents, all the decorations – going up and then down, and so much stress).

    Don’t enter me into the contest. As much as I would LOVE to read it, I’m not able to read on the computer. Medical issues prevent me from spending a great quantity of time online making it impossible to do a book justice or to satisfy my reading desires with ebooks.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Yes, Thanksgiving is always so much less stress than Christmas! I’m partial to Thanksgiving because my birthday is 11/22, so some years, it falls on my birthday!

    1. I appreciate that we have a holiday that’s about gratitude. On the years that Thanksgiving and my birthday fall on the same day, I joke that the whole country is celebrating my birthday!

  5. My favorite holiday is Christmas, although Halloween is a close second. Halloween is a fun holiday and the perfect time to visit a Haunted house or take a ghost tour. Like the name of the town, Nightmare, Arizona. Sounds like a fun read.

    1. Thank you, Dianne! The name Nightmare is inspired by some of the creative town names here in Arizona, like Tombstone, Surprise, and Nothing!

    1. Thank you for having me here as a guest, Sherry! One of the things I love the most about Dragon Con is all the wonderful people I get to meet – even if it’s virtual!

  6. Beth, congrats on your books and welcome to the blog!

    Please don’t enter me into the contest, I can’t read e-books unfortunately.

    But I did want to chime in about favorite holidays. My friend Ann celebrates all things Halloween like it was those Christmas Days you see in movies. It is her Christmas for sure.

    But for me, I’m a bit more partial to Thanksgiving. Not so much for the notion of gathering with family because UGH!

    But given that it is a day of yummy food…and lots of it, I like Turkey Day because even my doctor gives me a pass on having a big meal (or two) on that day. Any day with a big meal is A-OK in my book.

    Christmas is good too but I celebrate it as a purely commercial thing myself.

    As for my own feelings about Halloween, I like it. But it isn’t the same since I’m not going out gathering a lot of individual sugar highs anymore. But it is probably my favorite holiday to take an active role (that doesn’t involve eating) in it.

    And that’s because I’m the one who gives out the candy at the door. And not just the standard “Here’s your candy, now scram!” kind of thing either. I give out plenty of candy sure, my neighborhood is a drop off point for the whole town and some other towns too. But as a devoted comic book fan, I give out comics to the kids as well. And if possible I theme them to the costume they are wearing. But wait…there’s more! I also give out special prizes for good costumes too. You should see my living room when I lay out all the stuff out before that first trick-or-treater comes knocking on the door. I have one girl who used to come to the house and her mom told me that she would always leave their house and say, “When are we going to the comic book house?”

    I know this is a lengthy reply but I think that’s it now.

    1. Oh, how fun! Giving out comic books is such a fabulous idea! I’m sure the kids all get a kick out of getting something so special. Now you’re giving me ideas about how I can take things to the next level for my local trick-or-treaters!

      1. Beth, you aren’t the only author who I’ve given the idea to believe me. I met Brad Meltzer a few years back. He was doing a signing for one of his kids books but I went because I’m a fan of his thrillers and comic book work. I waited until all the kids got their books signed and then I got to talk to him for a few minutes. I mentioned what I do with the comics and he said that since he was still on the DC Comics comp list because of the work he did for them, he was going to look into donating his freebies to a local hospital. I don’t know if he did it or not but it’s nice to give the idea to others.

  7. I love most holidays even tho’ they are much lower key now. Family keeps shrinking.

    What I really love us Arizona. Our daughter lived there for over 20 years and it was always great to visit her, even in the summer. I think Tombstone is a gas and see how it would make a great setting for a haunted house. I want to visit Nightmare! Speaking of paranormal, have you been to Ludlow, the UFO town?

    This series sounds like right up my (haunted) alley.

    1. A UFO town?! Ooh, I’m off to Google that…. I joke with my husband that if I’m ever going to see a UFO, it will happen while living in Arizona!

  8. Count me in on Christmas – it’s a fun filled family holiday and the only ghosts around belong to Ebenezer on television – or sometimes I think my relatives have a visit.

  9. this sounds like a fun series. i can’t say i have a favorite holiday as they are all so different both in meaning and how celebrated.
    fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

    1. I also find that as I get older, what makes holidays special changes for me. Christmas is one of those holidays whose significance has really evolved for me.

  10. My favorite holiday is Labor Day. For me, it signals the end of summer and the beginning of cooler weather. My husband and I have planned many vacations to begin after Labor Day and the start of the school year.

    1. As Sherry mentioned in her intro, she and I met through a virtual panel for Dragon Con, which is held every Labor Day Weekend. It’s a family tradition to go: me, my husband, my mom, and my aunt all go to be nerdy together for four days. So I’m right there with you in loving Labor Day!

  11. Christmas would be my favorite holiday but I do enjoy Halloween as well.

    1. I put up Nightmare Before Christmas decor in October, then leave it up through December. I figure why not just celebrate both holidays for three months straight? 🙂

  12. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

    1. It’s nice to see how many people name Thanksgiving as their favorite. The non-commercial holiday about gratitude is clearly an important one to us!

  13. Halloween is my 16-year-old daughter’s favorite holiday. October is her birthday and my birthday month so it is a fun month all around. My favorite holiday is Christmas, but I also find Halloween fun.

  14. I like them all. The book sounds like fun. So glad it’s set in Southern AZ.

    1. Thank you! Setting the series here in AZ has made me a lot more attentive of my surroundings so I can describe things better in the books. My fiction is making me more present and aware in my real life!

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