Tuesday, December 19, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: VICTORIA GILBERT




ABOUT THE BOOK

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. Managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons is difficult enough. The last thing she needs is a new neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, an outsider. Although acquitted, townsfolk always claimed the wife was guilty, especially when she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families... including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest.






Book details:
A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series

Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314394
E-Book ASIN: B072396C2L



ABOUT THE  CHARACTER

Amy Webber, 33, has an undergraduate degree in Art History as well as a Master of Library and Information Science degree. She worked as a reference librarian at Clarion University before taking the job as director of the public library in Taylorsford, Virginia about a year ago. Taylorsford is her mother’s hometown, and Amy lives with her mother’s sister, Lydia Talbot, who still owns their family’s historic turn-of-the-century home. Amy loves art, film, gardening, and – of course – reading.


CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA GILBERT’S AMY WEBBER


Amy, how did you first meet Victoria?
We first met about a year ago. From what I understand, my writer was at an impasse in her writing career, looking to change genres. Her wonderful agent suggested that she write something she loved to read, which led my writer to mysteries. At that point I stepped into the picture. We had an immediate rapport – partially because my writer is also a librarian whose hometown was a historic town in rural Virginia.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
My favorite scene in the book involves dancing . . . and fishing. Sorry, but you’ll have to read the book to find out how those two things are connected. (I will say that a certain charming neighbor figures into this scene!)

Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
I once dreamed of being an astronomer. (That was before I realized that math was not my strong suit). Of course, I was mainly interested in that field because I loved to read science fiction when I was younger. 

I’d also like to be as great a cook as my Aunt Lydia, but that will be a challenge. I occasionally attempt to make some of her famous dishes and desserts, with mixed results!

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
I would either work in my Aunt Lydia’s gorgeous garden, take a long walk in the woods near Taylorsford, or binge watch my favorite films. Of course, all of this would be more fun if shared with someone I care about – like my best friend, Sunny, my aunt, or my new neighbor, Richard Muir.



What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they've known you for a while?
I suspect when people first meet me they think I am a lot more quiet and reserved than I actually am.  This is probably because, while I am courteous and casually friendly, I am distrustful of strangers and don’t open up to people right away. Partly this is a defense mechanism, especially when I meet men. I tend to compensate for my rather voluptuous figure by coming across as less sexy than say, my friend Sunny might. I think my coolness turns off many guys, but I can’t help it – I may look like a pin-up, but I want to get to know someone before I get too involved. Now, once people get to know me, they soon see that as well as being intelligent, determined, and thoughtful, I can also be whimsical, funny, and . . . quite romantic under the proper circumstances! 



Tell us about your best friend.
My best friend is Sunshine Fields, who goes by “Sunny.”  She lives with her grandparents – former hippies – who own an organic farm outside of town. They raised her after her mother dropped her off and disappeared when she was just a baby. Sunny and I met at a library teen reading group when I visited my aunt in the summers. We have remained friends ever since, even though we are different in many ways. Unlike me, Sunny is slim, blonde, and blue-eyed – and quite a flirt. But we both love books and having fun, and are both unabashedly loyal to those we love. There’s never been any competition over guys or any of that other “mean girl” nonsense between Sunny and me – we know we only want the best for each other. We are the sisters that neither of us has.



What’s the best trait Victoria has given you?
The best trait is my absolute loyalty to my friends and family, and my compassion for others.
What’s the worst?
The worst is my fretting over my body and weight – I am a curvy girl and worry too much about appearance in that regard.

What’s Victoria’s worst habit?
She uses the word “that” too much. I have to remind her to do a “that-ectomy” on all of her drafts before she sends them to our editor!

Describe the town where you live.
Taylorsford is a historic town that lies at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia. It is small, but quite lovely, with its tree-lined streets, charming older homes, and independent businesses housed in restored buildings. There are a few fieldstone structures built in the eighteenth century, but most of the homes date from the Victorian period. There is only one main street. Many of the few side streets lead up into the mountains, and the surrounding countryside still includes small farms, as well as some estates owned by people who either work in Washington, D.C. or are independently wealthy. The public library is a Carnegie Library, built around 1919 with funds donated by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. 

What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre?
I like to think that I am a little less quirky than many of my cozy compatriots, although some of my friends and family might disagree! I also primarily use my intelligence, logic, and library research skills in my sleuthing, eschewing guns or other weapons. I try not to circumvent the work of the sheriff’s department, preferring to aid them in their endeavors rather than work cases on my own.

Will you encourage Victoria to write a sequel?

Actually, I have, and she has already written it.  It is called Shelved Under Murder, and it will be published in July 2018, again by Crooked Lane Books. There will be a third book as well!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Raised in a historic small town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian. An avid reader who appreciates good writing in all genres, Victoria has been known to read seven books in as many days. When not writing or reading, she likes to watch films, listen to music, garden, or travel. Victoria is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.

Connect with Victoria:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Goodreads
Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble 


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