The quest of the self-published author to be recognized is a long and winding road.

“Making a Mystery with Annie Tillery” is a tool for anyone interested in literature, writing and educating and exposing young readers to what it’s like to be an author, told through an exciting, engaging great teen mystery. The book included book discussion questions, lesson plans, websites and a writing activity. All this is embedded in the author, Linda Maria Frank’s (that’s me), notes, ideas and back stories about the book.


But now the hard work begins. I need to market this book, somewhat like the Annie Tillery Mystery series, but also to the educators whom I hope will use this book. I’m starting with social media. I’ve done interviews on The Authors Show for all the books in the series, and I am hoping readers will listen to these interviews, available here, to see the parallels between the series, and my notes on writing them.

I will move on to other venues, but for now I hope you enjoy my interviews, https://wnbnetworkwest.com/

Scroll down the list of interviews and find me on June 14. Let me know what you think?

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Hi Kids! Hi Parents! Hi Gramma and Grampa, and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins. Give your favorite Kid a Thrilling, Page-Turning, Just Pure Fun Mystery for a Holiday Gift. 

Books make great gifts for the holidays

Books make great gifts for the holidays

ANNIE TILLERY MYSTERIES are just the books to fit that bill. Visit the website, lindamariafrank.com , to find out more about the books, and to order directly from the website.


Books make great gifts for the holidays


teen mystery, girl detective, ghost story, summer read

Annie and her boyfriend, Ty, uncover the secrets hidden by Fire Island and The Madonna Ghost.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

An exciting YA mystery

The Brooklyn Bridge leads to the mysterious brownstone in Brooklyn where Annie and friends must find the clues to solve the murder of John DiCristiani.        

New Annie Tillery Mystery

Take the magic carpet ride of your imagination to Turkey. Join Annie and Ty in the caves of mysterious Cappadocia for another thrilling adventure.         

Books make great gifts for the holidays

The latest Annie Tillery mystery takes us from the present to 1943. The ghost of Annie’s great grandmother helps her to solve a cold case involving the famous Avenger aircraft.             

Books make great gifts for the holidays

Great Teen Mysteries                                                                                                   

Books make great gifts for the holidays

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The Adventures of a Self-Published Author Proves to Be a Matter of Trial and Error.

Ideas can come. And then, they can go.

Ideas can come. And then, they can go.

The challenge continues to be marketing. I finished the fourth book in the Annie Tillery Mystery series late this year, and it’s with the editor, and the illustrator who is working on the three illustrations I have included in all the books of the series.

I hope to get it to the publisher by the end of January. If you are an author, you know how that feels. If you are a reader, the story you are reading happens from the germ of an idea, and travels through much brain work to paper.

I’m now planning my marketing strategies. This is what I plan based on what I have learned:

  • Expensive services usually don’t measure up to their cost.
  • Social media is necessary and takes constant searching for the right sites, and input. POST. TWEET. POST. TWEET. ETC.
  • Twitter is a great research tool. Search for author services, contests and reviewers, as well as sites where you can advertise your books.
  • I’m beginning to wonder if all the “cheap” services I pay for might be better spent on a publicist.
  • There is an endless parade of folks who want to market your books. Choosing the right ones is a challenge, falling under the category of, “Some you win, some you lose”.
  • Review services are a chancy business, especially if your plot, background material, and for me science, are out of the ordinary. I paid for a review that claimed I should check my facts about my setting, one that I visited, recorded in pictures, journaled, and interviewed residents to get my information. This was such a stupid, unfounded criticism that I have become leery about asking for reviews. Don’t pay until you see the review.
  • Local media can be your best friend.
  • Make an organized plan for marketing, one that involves daily, weekly, and monthly activities using various media. This is essential for a self-published author, and probably for traditionally published authors as well.
  • In summary, be careful what you pay for. A lot of marketing can be done by you for free, or little cost.

teen mystery, girl detective, ghost story, summer read        An exciting YA mystery     New Annie Tillery Mystery

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You never know, when you write a book, what the reviews will be. I’d like to share these reviews with you. First, because I am grateful that my work is appreciated, and second because the reviewers got what I hoped that you, the reader, would also get. Thanks for reading Annie Tillery Mysteries, great teen mystery books.

Raymond Klesc at New Book Journal has included “Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys” in the collection. See it at:

at Pinterest at…

Simon Barrett at bloggernews.net gives all three books a lovely review.

For “The Madonna Ghost”


I first encountered author Linda Frank when I read her third book in the Annie Tillery series The Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys. Linda Frank assured me in an interview that while the books were indeed a series, each one was a stand alone work with Annie and her boyfriend Ty as the central characters.
I rather like the book, so I am not prepared to take the plot discussion any further. I will leave that for readers to discover by themselves. But I will make some observations, Linda Frank knows her stuff. She is a retired science teacher at both High School and College level. One popular class was ‘forensics’.

The Madonna Ghost is a great way to introduce Young Adult readers to the often convoluted world of science. It is easy to confuse a fictional TV show such as CSI with reality. Linda Frank does use an element of science to tell the story, but much prefers good old common sense.

For “Girl with Pencil Drawing”


Girl With Pencil, Drawing was the second in the series. In some ways it is also my favorite. Possibly it is because of the subject matter, stolen and forged art work. This is an area that I have spent countless hours researching. The book is fiction, but in true Linda Frank fashion, there is a huge amount of factual content. This is learning without realizing you are learning!
What jumped out at me while reading Girl With Pencil, Drawing was the close attention paid to detail. No art forger with his or her salt forges a well known work, Trying to sell a copy of the Mona Lisa, would likely not get very far in the art world. Forgers tend to go for lesser known artists. A good forger does not copy, he creates a new as yet undiscovered work by an artist. The master forger will even go so far as to weave a fictitious provenance for the work.

Linda Frank touches on all of these subjects and much more. Although billed as a YA (Young Adult) book I think it has much broader appeal.

For “Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys”


This is third book that Linda Maria Frank has published in her Annie Tillery series. People love to put books in genres and the publisher has deemed that Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys is Juvenile Fiction. I personally would have labeled it YA (Young Adult), but that is of no matter. It is the story that matters, not the filing cabinet it is put in.

I rather like the style that the author uses, she does not talk down to her young readers, rather she treats them as peers on a quest.
I had the opportunity to talk to Linda before reading her latest book. It is amazing how much you can learn about a book before you read it. “CSI meets Nancy Drew” was a comment that I rather liked. Indeed Annie Tillery is much more modern than Nancy Drew. The writing style is also much more modern.

Growing up I was a fan of Enid Blyton and the Famous Five, even the Secret Seven. Those books are now dated. The youth of today are looking for stories that they can relate to. iPhones and computers are the key.

Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys is a great read, what I particularly like is that Linda Maria Frank manages to weave a good deal of factual material into the action and adventure. One could call it ‘sneaky learning’ 🙂 This actually should come as no surprise as the author was a school and college teacher before turning her attention to writing.

There is also a very interesting twist in the end of the book. It is one that I had not foreseen, yet makes perfect sense.

And from My Blog Tour, Enchanted Blog Tours

After all the hard work of writing publishing and promoting the Annie Tillery Mystery series, it is pure joy to get a review that gets what I have been trying so hard for. Thanks Mindy.


I have fallen in love with spunky Annie and her mysteries. This is going to become part of the books I pass down to the children in my life.
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 clouds.

And lastly from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Madonna-Ghost-Linda-Maria-Frank/dp/1491710624/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Linda Frank might as well be the next Carolyn Keene with her new age mystery luring readers from every angle–suspense, romance, and modern forensics. This is a perfect book for all ages, particularly young readers who might find Nancy Drew a bit old-fashioned. Written in a way where every chapter leaves you with a crisp, familiar image of each character and location. A great book to encourage summer reading, or satisfy the urge for a rainy day thriller.


Bravo to Linda Maria Frank! This third book in her Annie Tillery Mystery series is a stunner! Although written for a YA audience, even I as a senior citizen was captured by the mystery and intrigue interwoven throughout this story. And who could resist the element of romance embedded in the two oh-so-appealing main characters, Annie and Ty? But most compelling to me was an introduction to the history and topography of this country with its ancient Fairy Chimneys. Half way through this book, I began researching trips to this wonderland and have placed Turkey at the top of my bucket list for future travels. A beautifully crafted, impeccably edited work. Linda Maria Frank deserves many kudos and an equal number of followers. I know I will be looking out for more of her books to recommend to the young adults in my life, but not before I sneak a peak at them myself.
Lois W. Stern
Creator of the Tales2Inspire book series


With strong characters, flowing dialog and layers of mystery, soon everyone is caught up in a real who-dun-it that involves a long lists of suspects and hidden clues. Twists and turns with all the dangers that come into play when an International Art Fraud has been perpetrated.
Learn the ins and out of the art world that include how scientists tests for authenticity in original paintings by world renown artist like Renoir and the lucrative forgeries that make this underworld as treacherous as any international mob association.

Follow the clues, wait for the DNA evidence and sift through the ashes left by an arsonist. Inspire a young reader to discover the innate detective skills of Annie Tillery who is fast becoming the next Nancy Drew. This series should be placed on our schools’ summer reading list.

Cold Coffee Press endorses ‘Girl with Pencil, Drawing’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. We received a PDF version of this book for review. Review completion date March 24, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press.


See an AUTHORS SHOW interview with Linda Maria Frank






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Wish me luck! You can read my entry essay about DNA and authors by going to the following link. Just scroll down to my name. http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow50Writers2014-VotingPageFinalists.html

Learn about my books and if you are interested in mysteries and mystery writing, contact me about the programs I do in libraries, museums, classrooms, and for book clubs. Looking forward to hearing from you.


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Do you have a favorite recurring character? My first was Nancy Drew. As a child I loved the familiarity of Nancy, her dad, Carson, housekeeper, Hannah, boyfriend Ned Nickerson, and her trusty chums George and Bess. The mysteries and setting changed, but we always knew Nancy and Company would come through to solve the mystery.

Is the popularity the same for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, or Hercule Poirot? What about the more modern heroes of fiction: Kay Scarpetta, Gabriel Allon, Jack Ryan, or Jack Reacher. Some have even made it to TV. Consider Castle and Rizzoli and Isles.

Of course, now my favorite character is Annie Tillery, the girl detective in my teen mystery books, Annie Tillery Mysteries.

Who is your favorite character? What do you like about series with recurring characters? Do you have a recurring character in your books?

teen mystery Annie Tillery mysteries

Trouble on the Brooklyn Bridge

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I often fall in love with a book because of its setting. Choosing the setting for your book can make a big difference in the mood of your book. In some stories the setting itself can be one of the character, for instance, the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s “The Shining”. Experts say write what you know and often authors choose a place that’s well known to them. My first book, “The Madonna Ghost”, is set on Fire Island, the barrier island that protects the south shore of Long Island, N.Y. I know the island very well, having spent much time there, sailing around the island, and volunteering at the Fire Island Lighthouse. I can describe its features, both historical and natural, even its towns. But what really helped me to feel the mood of the place was research I did into its history, including some inglorious episodes of piracy, boot legging and drug smuggling. It helped set the stage in my mind for a good teen mystery book.

Have you ever read a book where you wish you knew more about the setting? I’ve read some, where the setting is embedded in my memory. My thoughts are that when we write we miss a great opportunity to enhance our stories if we don’t research our settings, even if we know them well. A technique I am going to try for my next book, because part of it takes place decades ago, is to interview folks who were there, so they can tell me what historical accounts and photos cannot.

Please share your favorite settings. Talk about the settings in your books. Share a hint for researching settings?

united states life saving service

This 1800’s Fire Island Lighthouse assisted the U.S.L.S.S.

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My Services and Projects include lots of GOODIES for Readers, Writers, Listeners and Watchers.

  • FOR WATCHERS  – View The Writer’s Dream on YouTube. A platform for authors marketing their books.
  • FOR READERS AND WRITERS– Adults and Children  Contact me about my workshops. See facebook: Official Fans of The Madonna Ghost
  1. Self-publishing
  2. Mystery Writing
  3. How a Story becomes a Book
  • FOR EDUCATORS (Teachers and Parents)
  1. LESSON PLANS at www.annietillery.com
    1. Meeting the common core values
    2. Student centered
    3. Interactive
    4. Web-based
    5. Motivating students with exciting fiction

AUTHOR of Annie Tillery Mysteries

teen mystery, girl detective, ghost story, summer read

Annie and her boyfriend, Ty, uncover the secrets hidden by Fire Island and The Madonna Ghost.

1.The Madonna Ghost  http://www.amazon.com/Madonna-Ghost-Annie-Tillery-Mystery/dp/1440190747/ref=la_B004XD6AOK_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369581321&sr=1-1or


An exciting YA mystery

The Brooklyn Bridge leads to the mysterious brownstone in Brooklyn where Annie and friends must find the clues to solve the murder of John DiCristiani.

2. Girl with Pencil, Drawing 

http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Pencil-Drawing-Linda-Frank/dp/1450285392/ref=la_B004XD6AOK_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1369581321&sr=1-2 or

http://www.audible.com/search/ref=search_tseft?advsearchKeywords=girl+with+pencil+drawing&filterby=field-keywords&sprefix=Girl+with+penSecrets in the Fairy Chimneys – Coming soon.

New Annie Tillery Mystery

Take the magic carpet ride of your imagination to Turkey. Join Annie and Ty in the caves of mysterious Cappadocia for another thrilling adventure.

3. Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys – coming soon



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INTRODUCTION: The Madonna Ghost is a mystery novel revolving around a local ghost on Fire Island, New York. As the mystery evolves, a terrorist plot is uncovered by the two main characters. Investigation of the back story of the ghost and the terrorist plot reveal some of Fire Island history, which can be used to motivate an understanding:
• the colonial history of the New York colony
• the history of East Coast lighthouses
• shipping on the East Coast in the early history of the United States including the effects of piracy, hurricanes, and shipwrecks on the local economy, and
• the geographic location and geological formations of Fire Island in relation to its role in crimes, especially smuggling.
The work is a fast moving adventure involving two main characters who are teens, appealing to middle school students. As the adventure unfolds, so do references and hits to the bulleted topics above, offering splendid opportunities to pose questions about the local history of Fire Island and its relationship to the colonial history of New York (8th Grade Social Studies Curriculum). The lesson plans provide a window into not only history, but the nature of historical research as well, referenced in the Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.
• My rationale for the lessons I have created include:
1. The reading of materials that cause students to ask question pertinent to a curriculum area supports the teaching model, “Understanding by Design”. http://ubdexchange.org/
2. Reading for research is a skill necessary for the investigation of any curriculum topic, and is a skill that needs to be guided, practiced and reinforced. It can be best done when interest in the subject at hand has been stimulated by pertinent interesting media, in this case a mystery/adventure novel. See Filkin above.
3. Introducing students to curriculum/content knowledge through the reading of popular fiction exposes them to the value of having the ability to, not only garner knowledge from the fiction they read, fit the story they are reading into a broader context of science, history and the prevailing culture, but also to develop their interests as far as the type of literature they would like to read.
In “Alternative Book Reports” by Michael J. Vokoun, he quotes Busching and Slesinger.
“Students need to see their own lives interpreted and validated in the books they read, and they also need to see the wide panoply of humanity, not just to watch these characters enact their lives, but also to see into their lives, but also to see into their lives. Through books, students can develop strong bonds with diverse individuals they would be unlikely to meet in their actual lives, or could never know well” (146-7). Busching,B., & Slesinger, B.A. (2002). “It’s Our World Too”: Socially Responsive Learners in Middle School Language Arts. Urbans, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
4. Although popular fiction is not the source of content knowledge, students can appreciate that general knowledge can be increased by reading all kinds of literature.
5. Lessons which spring from readings which provoke student questions are student-centered, thus giving students that sense of ownership which may lead to an interest in reading that lives long after the lesson.
6. Including Reading in any lesson reinforces vocabulary and reasoning skills as borne out by a correlation between habitual reading skills and SAT scores.
7. Lessons that use computer skills, not as the focus of the lesson, but as the tool to answer students’ questions foster good research skills.
From Wading Through the Web: Teaching Internet Research Strategies by Sarah Dennis-Shaw.
“Communication and comprehension are two of the most important aspects of using technology.
In order for technology to be an effective enhancement for literacy instruction, students must first master the basics of using computers so that students can concentrate more on literacy tasks than on technology.”
8. The lessons I propose are designed to work best with cooperative learning groups.
9. The lessons provide a variety of approaches for researching the questions arising from the books.
10. I am a great believer in the interdisciplinary approach to learning. History made science come alive for my students. Linda Maria Frank

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Please listen to WGBB, 1240am, at 8pm on July 26 to hear a radio interview with Linda Maria Frank, author of Annie Tillery Mysteries.

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