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03 July 2019

Release Of Poisoned By The Pier & Character Traits | IWSG


The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's optional question is:

"What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?"
Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. You can find out how I answered the question below, as well as find out more about the release of my latest book!



Poisoned by the Pier is now available! This is the third book in my Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery series. You can find the blurb at the end of this post. If you'd like a copy, it's available in ebook, paperback, and large print.

EBOOK: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play

PAPERBACK: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

LARGE PRINT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million 

Part of me is thrilled to have published another book. The other part of me is a mass of writerly insecurities. What if everyone hates it? What if nobody buys it? What if it isn't as funny as the previous ones? What if. . .you get the idea.

But enough about me. Now a word from our sponsor. Okay, he's not really our sponsor, but he's a really cranky cat who won't stop annoying me unless I let him speak. Yep, you know who I'm talking about. None other than Simon the Time Traveling Cat.

* * *

Simon pawed at the computer screen and growled. "Who's that stupid cat in that stupid picture?"

"He seems like a perfectly intelligent cat to me." I picked Simon off of the keyboard and set him on the seat next to me.  "Don't you think his gray and white markings are handsome?"

"If he was smart, he wouldn't be posing next to your books, lady."

"Maybe he likes my books."

Simon jumped back on the table and sprawled next to my laptop. "No one likes your books. You go on and on about chocolate. Nobody likes chocolate."

"I like chocolate," I said.

"So basically it's a book about you." He leaned over the table to look at the pen he had just knocked off. "All you did is write a book about someone just like you."

"Mollie is nothing like me."

"She likes Star Wars, you like Star Wars. She lives on a sailboat, you live on a sailboat. Need I go on?"

"She finds dead bodies everywhere and I don't," I said. "We're nothing alike. Case closed."

"She has a cat and you have a cat."

"Simon, you're imaginary. You only pop up in these IWSG posts. You know I don't have room for a real cat on my boat. Where would I put the litter box?"

"Could an imaginary cat do this?" Simon asked as he proceeded to hack up a hairball on my keyboard.

I put my head in my hands and sighed. Maybe a real cat would be less trouble than an imaginary one.



What would you do if your hubby signed the two of you up for an extreme diet?

Life without chocolate and junk food—completely miserable. Finding someone poisoned by a cake—even worse.

Mollie thought she had enough problems to deal with when her husband threw out all of her chocolate and junk food. But when someone is poisoned during a cake baking competition, she’s thrust into another murder investigation.

While she tries to identify the killer, Coconut Cove’s annual boating festival is in full swing. In between getting ready for her first sailing race and cheating on her diet, Mollie and her cat, Mrs. Moto, uncover clues, interview suspects, and do their best to avoid rutabagas.

Can Mollie nab the murderer before someone else is poisoned?


Poisoned by the Pier is the third book in the light, humorous, and original Mollie McGhie cozy sailing mystery series. If you like kooky characters, adorable cats, and plenty of chocolate, you'll love this cozy mystery. Buy Poisoned by the Pier today and laugh out loud from the first page to the last.

EBOOK: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google Play

PAPERBACK: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

LARGE PRINT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million 

Spoiler Alert: You’ll never look at rutabagas the same way again after you finish reading this book! {Not sure what a rutabaga is? You might know it as a swede, a neep, or a snagger. Find out more here.}


Poisoned by the Pier can be read as a standalone book, but you’ll have more fun if you start at the beginning of the series with Murder at the Marina. And guess what - Murder at the Marina is currently on sale for only 99c/99p!

You can grab a copy of the ebook at your favorite retailer.

Want to know when I have new releases and hear about other fun stuff? Sign up to my newsletter.

Writers - What personal traits do you work into your character(s)? Readers - What are your favorite character traits?

79 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your new release, Poisoned by the Pier. I read Jennifer Lane's review and now I can't wait to read it. And loved the comments written by your "sponsor." Simon always makes my smile and imagine my Tigger demanding attention.
    Thanks for co-hosting this months IWSG blog hop. And cheers to a Happy 4th of July.

    Lynn La Vita @ Writers Supporting Writers

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  2. Thanks for co-hosting with me. Congrats on your new release. I would have the same fears and more if I ever get published.

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  3. Oh, Simon, you crack me up!

    Congratulations on the new book - wishing you lots of success!

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  4. Ellen, congratulations on your new release!!!

    I believe all writer's have to same fears...oops, I just noticed Natalie said the same thing as me. Proves we're all on the same page...

    Thank you for co-hosting!!!

    Happy 4th!

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  5. *raises hand* I like chocolate! A lot.

    Naughty Simon barfing on the keyboard. Have you seen this preview from The Secret Life of Pets 2? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvsKyI3IW5E

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    1. That is hysterical! I think I'll have to see that movie.

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  6. Tell Simon maybe you will find a dead body - his!
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  7. Congratulations on your new release!
    Simon needs to take a nap!

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    1. He needs to take a very long nap. Maybe he'll wake up less cranky.

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  8. Thanks for the great co-hosting post and the laugh. That Simon!

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  9. Haha! I can attest personally, an imaginary cat is less work ;) Congratulations on your new release! How exciting! Let your worries go and be proud ;)

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    1. An imaginary litter box is much easier to change :)

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  10. I had to look up rutabagas a while back as I couldn't believe they existed (such a great name for a vegetable! too good!)
    I can't believe you've just published your 3rd book! I feel so inadequate! ;)
    Lovely to hear from Simon again - an imaginary cat requires far less clearing up after (the tales I could tell about what ours bring home...)

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    1. Using rutabagas in my book was kind of a mistake in retrospect. It never occurred to me that non-Americans wouldn't know what it was. Oh well, live and learn.

      And you shouldn't feel inadequate at all. I've read your stuff - you're an amazing writer! I just happen to have time on my hands at present and can focus on publishing.

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  11. Sounds like your series is going along really well :-) And Simon is adorable, like always. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  12. Your humorous voice really comes through in this post.

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  13. Congratulations on your new release!!! *Doing a happy dance*

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  14. Hmmm, having real cats is a blast, but cleaning up imaginary barf would be a lot easier. Fun post, as always. Simon is getting to be a real star, so you'd better keep him around!

    Congrats on book #3. You are doing an awesome job. Very professional, kiddo. All the way around.

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  15. Huge congrats on the latest book! I loved reading it. And contrary to what Simon believes, chocolate makes books worth reading. I honestly hope the extreme diet idea didn't come from your life. That did sound dreadful.

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    1. While I'd love to shed some weight, there's no way I'd do a diet like that :)

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  16. Oh, Simon! I think placing Mollie was clever because it's what you know well and I can't think of many sleuths that have a boat.

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    1. There's another boating cozy mystery series that I know of - the Hetta Coffey books. They're really great, funny reads.

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  17. Congrats on your fun new book! I loved it! And I like chocolate, too. I think Simon just has his fur in a ruff because you're spending time with other imaginary cats.

    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Ah, I think you may be on to something as to why Simon is so upset.

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  18. Congrats on the new book! I'm pretty sure it is as funny as the others. I think Greg reread it on his day off over the weekend - and I will too soon just to make sure you didn't make the final version it any less funny than I remember.

    Hope you and Scott have a good holiday!

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    1. Thanks so much, Duwan! We'll be having a quiet 4th of July - dinner with Bruce and Michele. I can only imagine the crazy celebrations you all will be having in Cabbagetown :)

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  19. Congratulations on the new release--all the best with it!

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  20. Congrats on new book. Looks like another fun read. Happy IWSG Day!

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  21. Congratulations on your new release! I laughed as I thought of a cat on a sailboat. You do quite well with your imaginary cat though. I really thought you had one sitting next to you!

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    1. We have friends with cats on their boats and it works well, but at the present, we just can't see how we could make it work on ours :(

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  22. Congrats on the new release! It sounds funny, so I don't think you need to worry about those insecurities. :)

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  23. I'm in love with Simon. Congratulations on your new release. So exciting and it sounds like it'd be so much fun to read. On my to-read list. Thank you.

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    1. I'm glad you like Simon. He's a pretty good cat when he's not being demanding or grumpy which is 99%of the time :)

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  24. Congrats on the release of your third book in your cozy mystery series. And yeah, I think imaginary cats are more trouble than they’re worth. It just might be time to get a real one.

    Thanks for co-hosting today. And Happy 4th! :-D

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  25. Loved Poisoned By The Pier!!
    I love Star Wars and chocolate and mysteries too - don't want to find any murderered bodies though!!!

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  26. Simon has such a strong voice, and presence, much like my real life cat Leo. Congrats on publishing another novel! I wish you much success.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  27. I like the cover and the title of Poisoned by the Pier!

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  28. A cozy with cats--love it, Ellen!

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  29. Best wishes for your new book. Cozy mysteries are really popular and they all need at least one cat in them.

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  30. Hi,

    I wish you all the best with your new book launch and sincerely hope you get lots of sales.
    Thank you also for co-hosting.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  31. Congratulations on the book release!

    As I grow older I do find myself inclining more toward an extreme diet. Not too extreme yet, but there are far more foods that no longer appeal to me or in many cases, agree with me. That's okay for now since I do need to lose some weight.


    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  32. Woot! Grats on the new release! And Simon doesn't know what he's talking about. Chocolate is delicious. :)

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  33. You know how much I love your latest book, Ellen. So much fun. Love Simon, too. He's nothing like Mrs. Moto. Maybe he needs some imaginary catnip. Thanks for co-hosting. Wishing you much success with Poisoned by the Pier.

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  34. I’m sure it’s lways good to get a few words of - ahem - encouragement from Simon!

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  35. Congrats on your new release. I don't even know what a rutabaga is or how it looks like, but the words 'rutabaga diet' fill me with dread. I need to google rutabaga right now.

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  36. Congrats on the release and thanks for co-hosting!
    What's wrong with going on and on about chocolate?

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  37. Always glad to hear from Simon! And I've had my doubts about Mollie's husband, but wanting her to give up chocolate entirely? The man is crazy. Probably has a death-wish. Can't wait to read it (next up. Really!)

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  38. Congratulations on the new release! Wishing you many readers :) And thanks for co-hosting again this month.

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  39. Simon has some good points. But I'm so glad that you don't go around finding bodies. And I love that Mollie carries chocolate. I love chocolate. LOL. Congratulations on your new release. I know it's wonderful!

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  40. Congratulations! And if it's true that the best thing to write is what you know, then writing some of your own characteristics into your characters sounds smart!

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  41. Congrats on the new release!!
    I love the premise.

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  42. Wait, let's re-think this. A real-life cat is really more trouble than Simon. Please don't throw out Simon. He makes me giggle. Congrats on the new release!! Love all the fun books in this series. Best wishes!
    JQ Rose

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  43. Thanks for co-hosting, Ellen. Your post sent me straight to the fridge to get a square of chocolate. I think highly of Simon, although maybe a little of his shine is gone since he dissed chocolate. Congratulations on your latest release!

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  44. Cool plot line! If my husband threw my chocolate overboard he'd be the first murder victim. Thanks for co-hosting. Happy IWSG day!

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  45. Congratulations! Your sense of humor and writing are awesome. Thank you for the giggle. And that handsome kitty reminds me of our sweet Luna, though she was long haired, had a gray spot on her chin, and black dots on either side of her little pink nose. You can tell I still miss that girl. Be well, my dear.

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  46. Haha I love Simon that grump! Congratulations on your new book!! You had me at adorable cats even before you got to chocolate. :)

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  47. Congratulations on the launch! I think we all go through these insecurity issues. I like the way you express them through Simon :)

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  48. I have enough cats to cover you now that I've added two kittens to the house in addition to the two cats I already had. Congrats on your new release!

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  49. Cats always make bad critics. They're always so critical, slapping at the keyboard when they don't like what you've typed. Meowing their displeasure when you're concentrating on a scene. Just imagine if they were to get jobs as editors. No book would ever get published.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG post.

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  50. Congrats on the new release and thanks for co-hosting! :-D

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  51. Congratulations on the release of Poisoned by the Pier - even if Simon is all jealous. Now to traits and the crucial question: do you believe in aliens (as well as Time Travelling felines)?

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  52. Thanks for co-hosting this month and I enjoyed the message from your "sponsor" @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  53. Congratulations again, Ellen! I can’t believe you did it already: write and publish three books in your cozy mystery series. In what? A year and a half? Fantastic. Everything looks and reads just right! I like the new covers as well. Any particular reason why you changed them? What’s next? Will there be a #4 or will you start on the new series first? Or... will you be able to go sailing again? I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed for Tickety Boo.

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  54. I’m rather late to this party! But better late than never, right? 😜
    A HUGE congrats on your new release, Ellen. You are rocking the 'authorly life'!
    The books sound really delightful and I'm sure that your light and humorous voice shines through in your series.

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