29 October, 2023.

Dear Readers,

Halloween Offer

Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth on e-reader on table with pumpkin cups of steaming coffee. Gold sticker: Save a Cozy 20%. Cosy fireplace in the background.The mystery genre time of year is upon us. And in honour of that, here is an opportunity to save 20%  on Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth, the first book in the cozy paranormal mystery series. Only available until the end of All Soul’s Night (Thursday, 2nd November). The price is going up to $.4.99 and that is being delayed until Thursday for all time for any eager readers who’d like to save 20% now.

Of course, if you’re a  Kindle Unlimited subscriber then you can still download it, free of charge. Either way, if you enjoy the first book in the series, I’d love to hear from you, either through a review, a comment to me on Facebook or (my favourite) at hollybell@amandacadabra.com.

Author Tip, Reader Insight

This week’s video, part 5 of Fabulous Foreigners in Fiction, offers three ways to convey the mean foreign language in dialogue, where you’re writing cozy mystery of some other genre. I hope that you find it entrancing and, if you’re an author, helpful.

Click to go to video: 3 Ways to Express a Foreign Language - Fabulous Foreigners Part 5


The New Feature

Stack of biographies on a wooden shelf with English village in the backgroundYes, the unveiling of the new feature takes place today. As promised, from this moment on, after you complete each puzzle, you will be able to click on a link which will take you to the cozy mystery character biography page. There, your guess as to the identity or location of the character or scene from the Amanda Cadabra books,you have just assembled will be confirmed (or otherwise).

You may have to scroll down, but each character or scene will be headed by the date the puzzle was published.


The New Puzzle

This week’s cozy mystery character jigsaw is another character dear to Amanda’s heart and the village of Sunken Madley in general. This individual takes the spotlight in Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth. When (possible spoiler alert) they fall under suspicion of murder. Have I said too much ..?

Click to go to the jigsaw puzzle for 29 October 2023

And the question is … who or what would you like next?  Let me know: hollybell@amandacadabra.com

Cute baby bot happy but confused image and below a toddler bot at a keyboard and writing in a book the number 1This Week’s AI Carnival

For the image below,  I asked the bewildered but well-meaning Midjourney AI bot (whom I’ve dubbed ‘MJ’) for the number 9000 rising out of a book. It produced its usual four valiant attempts. It got the book. Believe me that’s progress. Unfortunately, along with spelling, MJ is challenged when it comes to numbers. So, ‘Thank you for the book MJ and I can see you’ve realised that there will text of some description. However, a backwards ‘C’ is not a number here in the UK. I see you’ve got a couple of zeros in this one, and a 9 and even a 900. Good effort but …’ I went off to Dall-E 3.

Dall-E got the whole numbers concept in one, and we worked through some rather tacky attempts with the sparkles until we reached something that fitted the bill. Dall-E is not as artistic or atmospheric as dear MJ but it can read and spell. However both agree that plans for world domination are postponed indefinitely.

Drama in The Ivory Tower

On Thursday, as I heard the chimes at midnight, I checked the website as a sort of admin nightcap, because I do love this site, and the delight that it brings visitors. I was abruptly confronted by … (dramatic music) … a Fatal Error. As a mystery writer, it is, of course, appropriate for an error to be fatal. But what did this thing purport to be?

At once, I got on the chat with my splendid server techies whose support team sleepeth not. They quickly diagnosed the issue as being with, not with the bones of the website (WordPress), but the flesh, the appearance, the ‘theme’. It’s called Rise and is made by Thrive Themes. I submitted a ticket. Unlike my server techies, these guys definitely sleepeth, and it was dawn before I received The News. (Doomladen music).

Cute blonde writer asking what memo? cartoon styleWhat Memo?

‘Your theme is no longer supported. You need to build a new one with our snazzy new theme builder. It’s a pain but trust us, in the end you and your visitors will love it,’ they told me.

‘What!?’ I cried in consternation.

‘Didn’t you get the memo? Actually memos. We’ve be emailing you about it since June.’

‘Oh, those memos? So that’s what they were about. You really need to put the subject line of important stuff like this in caps. But look, I can’t do a new build by Sunday, and I have things I’ve promised to give my readers.’

‘No problem,’ they responded with aplomb. ‘Get your server guys to restore your site from a backup, and everything in your garden will once again be rosy while you build an even rosier site.’

So, I did, they did, and as you see, all is as you’d expect. However, yes, a new, improved version of the site is under construction. It will look very similar to this one, so you can find your way around just as you do now, but with some extras.

SequelThe number 9000 in white coming out of an open book with magic sparkles

More plot has bloomed in my head, more links, more motivations and conversations and humour. This is the best part of the cozy-mystery-writing ride! The word count is now over 9000.

Next week …

I should be able to give you news of a sequel landmark, and there will be a new puzzle and a new video. Part 6 will be, as promised at the end of the video, The List.

Happy Pre-Halloween Weekend,



PS If you want to start the series now:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

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About the Author

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Cat adorer and chocolate lover. Holly Bell's life changed in a day. A best-selling author friend telephoned and convinced her, that after years of penning non-fiction, she could write cozy paranormal mysteries. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Holly lives in the UK and is a photographer and video maker when not writing. Her favourite cat is called Bobby. He is black. Like her favourite hat. Purely coincidental.