Thursday, September 20, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: KAREN C. WHALEN



ABOUT THE BOOK

The Gourmet Dinner Club travels to Ireland to enjoy Irish cuisine while staying at a medieval, ivy-covered castle. Jane Marsh hopes Dale Capricorn will ask her to marry him at this romantic dream destination. But her plans are put on hold when the elderly castle owner becomes violent, a club member restrains him, and he collapses and dies.



The police believe the mysterious death is murder and begin to suspect one of the club’s members. Dale leaves for home on a business emergency, and as the lone single gal in the club full of couples, Jane is thrown into the company of Griffin O’Doherty, the handsome Irishman who stands to inherit the castle.



Jane must prove her friends’ innocence by solving the crime. Which of the sweet-tempered Irish could be a callous killer?



Book Details:


Title: A Stewed Observation


Author: Karen C. Whalen

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: Dinner Club Mysteries, book 4

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press (August 6, 2018)

Print length: 294 pages


On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours







INTERVIEW WITH KAREN C. WHALEN


Q: Karen, what do you love about where you live?
A: Moving to Colorado from the Midwest is one of the best decisions my husband and I made. I’m glad for our Midwestern upbringing, and it’s a joy to go back and revisit those childhood memories of corn fields, lightening bugs, and humid summers, but nothing can beat the glorious Rocky Mountains, the scent of the pines, the cold, crisp mountain air, the vistas and views from 10,000 feet peaks, hiking, biking, camping, and everything outdoors.

Q: What is the most daring thing you've done?
A: Skinny dipping with my girlfriends in college. So what if was just girls and the lake was totally deserted and it was completely dark out. We still felt pretty daring!


Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people? 
A: The dinner club mysteries are based loosely on my own dinner club and are partial composites of people I’ve known in the distant past all the way through the present. I’m sure the people can hardly recognize themselves since I’ve given them words they’ve never said, situations they’ve never been in, and quirks they wouldn’t admit to even if true. All writers use what they know to begin with as a jumping off place. Then the characters become fictional with minds of their own.

Q: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
A: I prefer to write in my makeshift office at home, but do I really need an office to write? A quiet place with a large, flat-surfaced desk to spread out, plus a bookcase to hold stacks of research and office supplies, a few green plants, and some treasured, family photographs. Also, a big window for natural light. Soft carpet for the dogs to sleep at my feet. A CD player for background music. A separate space from the rest of the family to insure there are no interruptions, yet a few short steps from the kitchen for those all too frequent breaks. Quite a few requirements for this office of mine. Yet, in Writing Down the Bones, author Natalie Goldberg recommends that writers practice writing in restaurants and coffee shops so they can learn to block out distractions and write anywhere. And one of my favorite places to write is the indie coffee shop a few miles from my house. I only need my laptop and a few pages of notes, and I can write very well, in spite of the television’s low hum in the corner, customers conversing at other tables, and traffic sounds outside the front door. So, being able to write anywhere is the best preference. 

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A: That the characters I’ve created are like friends, and the reader feels like a part of the dinner club. I spend a lot of time with these characters. I want them to be as real to my readers as they are to me. I’d like to believe they’re the reader’s friends, too.

Q: What are you working on now?
A: The last book in the dinner club murder mysteries, Wasted Thyme. Jane Marsh is finally married. Of course, she stumbles across yet another dead body. This time her new husband helps her solve the mystery.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Karen C. Whalen is the author of a culinary cozy series, the “dinner club murder mysteries.” The first four in the series are: Everything Bundt the Truth, Not According to Flan, No Grater Evil, and A Stewed Observation. The first book in the series tied for First Place in the Suspense Novel category of the 2017 IDA Contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. Her books are similar to those written by cozy authors Jessica Beck and Joanne Fluke. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado and has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She believes that it's never too late to try something new. She loves to host dinner club parties, entertain friends, ride bicycles, hike in the mountains, and read cozy murder mysteries.




Connect with Karen:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble




Monday, September 17, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: GINNY FITE




ABOUT THE BOOK


A DC conspiracy novel of grand proportions . . .

Washington, DC, housewife Margaret Turnbull’s world literally blows up after her husband, FBI agent Clay Turnbull, is falsely arrested and killed by agents working for an international drug cartel.

Unbeknownst to Margaret, her enemy’s tentacles reach all the way to the White House and control senior personnel. Their powerful enterprise in jeopardy, the assassins will stop at nothing to cover their tracks. With cutting-edge surveillance—CIA, FBI, and NSA technology—there is nowhere to hide, no one to trust. No one is safe—anywhere.




Book Details:


Title: No End of Bad


Author: Ginny Fite


Genre: Thriller


Publisher: Black Opal Books
, (June 2018
)

Page count: 280


 On tour with: iRead Book Tours







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH GINNY FITE



A few of your favorite things: A hand-blown glass pen with a silver nib made in Venice and given to me by my granddaughter; a collage of a dancing man made by my grandson; the late afternoon spring light that slants gold across the oak cabinet adjacent to the kitchen window; a photograph of my husband I took during the first month I knew him when he looked like a Greek god.

Things you need to throw out: Unused read/write CD disks, old computer peripherals, old textbooks, notes from classes I took in 1964, keys that don’t unlock any doors, and clothes I haven’t worn in the last ten years. (Something I wish I could get back that I threw out: an old blonde wood spinet piano.)


Things you need in order to write: Quiet, solitude, daylight, my writing room—although I’ve been known to write in the middle of a noisy café—a pen, a pad, my laptop or iPad, hours, Google (for quick research, synonyms, name checks, spelling), a cup of coffee.

Things that hamper your writing: It seems fussy but lots of people in the house, too many events in one day, a calamity, being elsewhere than my writing room, or too much natural beauty around me.



Things you love about writing: Spending hours inside my own imagination, the way words roll out on the page, how characters appear with all their tics and idiosyncrasies when I need them, how if I ask myself “what happens next?” an answer will come.

Things you hate about writing: 
Revising, revising, revising, revising.


Things you love about where you live: Two wide rivers, green mountains that look blue from a distance, vibrant fall foliage, rolling hills, the smell of peaches and then apples in the air in late summer, how after summer thunderstorms sometimes we get rainbows, the quiet, some smart talented friends.
Things that make you want to move:
 The lack of snow removal--although global warming may take care of that problem, the constant anxiety of taking care of an aging house, physical distance from my children.


Things you never want to run out of: Air, water, toilet paper, coffee, fresh peaches, crusty bread, a good tomato sauce, ideas, words.

Things you wish you’d never bought: A canoe we never used, a Fiat that wouldn’t start when it rained, gifts for a man who wasn’t worth it.



Words that describe you: Kind, loving, imaginative, poetic, and prolific
.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Short, fat, old, cranky, frequently belligerent.



Favorite foods: Avocados, artichokes, asparagus, eggplant, a juicy steak, corn on the cob, a freshly picked ripe tomato, pasta with mussels and garlic, mango gelato
.
Things that make you want to throw up: Kasha, raw fish, and insects (even if they’re cooked).



Something you wish you could do: Sail a boat, something small like a Sunfish. I did it once out on a lake by myself, but I had no idea what I was doing. It was exhilarating and terrifying when the wind filled the sail, the skiff tilted, and I skimmed across the water.

Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Say goodbye to people I love.



Something you like to do: Make bread, loaves and loaves of it, and fill the house with that sweet yeasty smell.

Something you wish you’d never done:
 Spent time away from my children when they were young as if there was anything else on the planet that could give me as much joy as being with them.



Things to say to an author: I read your book and put a review up on Amazon; I really loved your book; what are you writing next?

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I didn’t like any of the characters in your book; I don’t understand the ending; why are there so many words?

Best thing you’ve ever done: Directed a month-long art exhibit that showcased the work of fifty artists in a tri-state area.

Biggest mistake: Leaving a cushy job working for a governor to go work on Capitol Hill for a member of Congress.


Most daring thing you’ve ever done: Just living is daring but in the outside-my-comfort-zone category: completed a six-day ropes course that had me rappelling down a mountain, zip-lining between tall trees, and traversing between mountain plateaus above a deep chasm upside down by pulling myself across 250 feet by a rope.

Something you chickened out from doing: Going on a kid’s quiz show on national radio when I was twelve. I pretended to be sick.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Ginny Fite is the author of the dark mystery/thrillers Cromwell’s Folly, No Good Deed Left Undone, and Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder, a funny self-help book on aging, I Should Be Dead by Now, a collection of short stories, What Goes Around, and three books of poetry. She resides in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.




Connect with Ginny:
Website 
Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble










Friday, September 14, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: JAMES HAYMAN




ABOUT THE BOOK 




Someone’s watching . . .

Zoe McCabe is a beautiful young actress on the verge of stardom who has been basking in the standing ovations and rave reviews she’s been getting from critics and fans alike for her portrayal of Desdemona in an off-Broadway production of Othello. As she takes her final bows, Zoe has no idea that, seated in the audience, a man has been studying her night after night, performance after performance. A man whose carefully crafted plans are for the young actress to take a starring role in a far deadlier production he has created just for her.

Portland, Maine detectives Mike McCabe and Maggie Savage are settling into the new rhythm of their relationship when McCabe gets a late night call from his brother Bobby that Zoe, McCabe's favorite niece and Bobby’s daughter, has suddenly disappeared. The NYPD is certain Zoe's abduction is the work of the man the tabloids have dubbed “The Star Struck Strangler,” a killer who has been kidnapping, abusing and finally strangling one beautiful young performer after another. Bobby begs McCabe to return to the New York City crime beat he’d left behind so many years ago, to work his old connections, and to help find Zoe before her time runs out. The stakes for McCabe and Savage have never been higher. Or more personal. And suddenly the race is on to stop a vicious attacker, before the McCabe family is torn apart beyond repair.




Book Details:


Title: A Fatal Obsession

Author: James Hayman

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Series: McCabe and Savage Thrillers, book 6

Publisher: Witness Impulse (August 21, 2018)

Print length: 432 pages

On tour with: Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours








INTERVIEW WITH JAMES HAYMAN


Q: James, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?

A: A Fatal Obsession is the sixth entry in the McCabe/Savage suspense thriller series. Each of the books can be enjoyed as stand alones. However some readers may enjoy the evolution from book to book of the relationship between the two protagonists, Detective Sergeant Michael McCabe and Detective Maggie Savage. 

Q: Where’s home for you?
A: I live in the wonderful small city of Portland, Maine. I call it wonderful because it boasts everything I want in a hometown: a vibrant urban feel, great restaurants, great architecture, terrific art and music scenes and it’s right on the water on Casco Bay.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Manhattan. When I was fourteen I was sent off to boarding school in Andover, MA. where I spent four years. So in a very real sense I can say I also grew up in New England.

Q: What’s your favorite memory?
A: Getting married to a very special woman in a four hundred year old Anglican church in the tiny village of Penkridge, Staffordshire, England and driving off to the reception at my in-laws home in a 1937 Rolls Royce.


Q: If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
A: An extra $100 would buy me a bottle of very, very good single malt Scotch Whisky.

Q: What’s the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?
A: A $100 bottle of very, very good Scotch Whisky.

Q: Have you been in any natural disasters?
A: Yes. When we first moved to Maine we lived right on the ocean in a house we had built on an island off the coast from Portland. On April 18th, 2007 the so-called Patriots Day Storm struck. Hurricane force winds and wild waves for over twenty-four hours. No power for nearly a week. The storm was officially declared a natural disaster.

Q: What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
A: Drove from New York City to the end of Long Island in a driving snowstorm in an ancient VW Beetle. Ran out of windshield washing fluid about halfway and could only keep the windshield from freezing up by washing it with the contents of a bottle of vodka I had in the car.

Q: What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
A: When I was a teenager I was convinced I knew just about all there was to know about life. I wish I knew then what I know now . . . that I knew next to nothing.

Q: What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
A: If I’d known that I’d be able to sell the first novel I ever wrote to major publishers in half a dozen countries I would have started writing novels decades earlier.

Q: What makes you bored?
A: Long windy speeches from dull windy people at weddings, formal dinners, and/or endless business meetings. Happily, on these occasions I can usually retreat into my own world of day-dreams which is invariably more interesting.



Q: What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
A: I’d like to start writing fiction earlier than I did.

Q: If someone gave you $5,000 and said you must solve a problem, what would you do with the money?
A: I’d give it to an organization like a homeless shelter or Doctors Without Borders or the National Resources Defense Council.

Q: How did you meet your spouse?
A: We met on a blind date in London when I went there on vacation. We were introduced by a British girl I knew in New York. I think we both knew we had something special right from the get go. We spent about three days together in England before I had to head home to New York. But, after I got back, I wrote her and asked her to come visit me in NYC. To my amazement she agreed. The rest, as they say, is history.

Q: What are your most cherished mementoes?
A: Two watches inherited from my brother who was much older than me and who died far too young from cancer.

Q: What’s your favorite line from a book?
A: “It is cold at 6:40 in the morning of a March day in Paris and seems even colder when a man is about to be executed by firing squad.” Day of the Jackel by Frederick Forsyth.

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
A: “Outside of a dog a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” –Groucho Marx.

Q: That's one of mine, too! What would your main character say about you?
A: How in the world did somebody as goofy as you dream up somebody as cool as me?

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kate Atkinson, Donna Tartt, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, and Ian McEwan.

Q: What book are you currently reading and in what format?
A: Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss. I’m reading the ebook version.

Q: What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
A: A font too small for my aging eyes. That’s why I usually read on a Kindle. I can make the font as big as I want.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A: “Turning someone else’s terror, pain, and even death into diverting entertainment is at the core of the mystery writer’s craft, and here Hayman offers a stunning lesson in how to do it . . . Everything goes right here: pacing, mood, and lean, elegant writing.” (Booklist)

Q: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
A: In the morning in the quiet room at the top of the University of Southern Maine library.  It’s comfortable, quiet and a five-minute walk from my house. 



OTHER BOOKS BY JAMES HAYMAN

The Cutting 
The Chill of Night 
Darkness First 
The Girl in the Glass
The Girl on the Bridge 








ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A native New Yorker, James Hayman worked for Madison Avenue advertising agencies for over 30 years before moving to Portland, Maine to continue his writing career. His first thriller, The Cutting, was published in 2009 and introduced Portland detectives Mike McCabe and Maggie Savage to mystery fans. Four more McCabe/Savage thrillers followed garnering great reviews and landing Hayman on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-seller lists. James currently lives in Portland with his wife, artist, Jeanne O’Toole Hayman and their rescue cocker spaniel, Pippa. His 6th McCabe/Savage thriller, A Fatal Obsession, came out August 21st and, according to NYT #1 bestselling author   A.J. Finn, “A Fatal Obsession is (Hayman’s) finest to date: a ferocious live-wire thriller starring two of the most appealing cops in contemporary fiction."

Connect with James: Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon
Buy the book:
Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble




Wednesday, September 12, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: SUZANNE TRAUTH




ABOUT THE BOOK


Business is humming at Dodie O'Dell's Windjammer Restaurant, where she offers theme menus connected to the Etonville Little Theatre’s amateur productions. This June, the theatre is collaborating with the neighboring Creston Players to stage Bye Bye Birdie under the stars—their first musical! There's a contest in the play to pick a fan to receive rock idol Conrad Birdie's last kiss before he ships off for the Army, so Dodie plans a contest to pick the food for a pre-show picnic.
 


But before the show opens, Ruby, the rehearsal accompanist, is found dead in her car. Why would anyone murder the crusty old gal who loved to sneak a smoke and a nip between wisecracks? Once again, the resourceful restaurant manager must play the part of amateur sleuth, accompanied by Police Chief Bill Thompson, who also happens to be her beau. Confronted with a chorus of suspects, she'll need to stay composed to catch the killer—or it'll be bye bye Dodie . . .


Book Details:


Title: Just in Time

Author: Suzanne Trauth

Genre: Cozy Mystery

SERIES: A Dodie O'Dell Mystery, book 4

Publisher: Kensington Publishing (September 25, 2018)

Print length: 214 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours






LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH SUZANNE TRAUTH


A few of your favorite things: Spring, sunset, the color blue, chewy brownies, popcorn.
Things you need to throw out: Food left in the refrigerator for over a week, clothes I haven’t worn in five years, scrap paper.

Things you need in order to write: A mug of tea, my laptop, notes, research, a red or green pen.
Things that hamper your writing: Checking email and Facebook, my sometimes messy desk
.

Things you love about writing: The creative process, getting lost in the characters and plot, having people say they enjoy my books, receiving the galleys to proof.
Things you hate about writing: Finishing that first draft, the first hour at my computer.


Easiest thing about being a writer: Generating ideas for new stories, plots, characters.
Hardest thing about being a writer: Maintaining discipline every day – sitting down at the computer every day.

Things you love about where you live: Northern NJ – close to NYC, close to theatre, close to the Jersey shore, close to other northeast cities.
Things that make you want to move: The traffic, cost of living, the Lincoln Tunnel into NYC, constant road construction.

Words that describe you: Driven, ambitious, empathetic, good sense of humor.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Type A, anxious, hyper-responsible.

Favorite foods: Seafood, baked potatoes, broccoli, salads, brownies.
Things that make you want to throw up: Liver, eggplant.

Favorite beverage: Tea
.
Something that gives you a pickle face: Beet juice.

Favorite smell: New mown grass.

Something that makes you hold your nose: Old garbage.

Something you’re really good at: Multi-tasking.
Something you’re really bad at: Tennis.

People you consider as heroes: My mother, Helen Mirren, Abraham Lincoln.
People with a big L on their foreheads: People who have no compassion, people who are compulsively self-absorbed.



Last best thing you ate: Quiche Florentine.

Last thing you regret eating: Mushroom soup.

Things you always put in your books: Restaurant menus and specialties, a play production.
Things you never put in your books: Graphic violence.

Things to say to an author: I love your book! It made me laugh out loud.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I liked your last book better.

Favorite places you’ve been: South of France, Italy, Barcelona, Jersey Shore.
Places you never want to go to again: South Dakota, Russia, south island of New Zealand.

Favorite books: Mysteries (Louis Penny, Elizabeth George), literary fiction (All the Light We Cannot See; Isabel Allende)
.
Books you would ban: Some science fiction.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: Barack Obama, Maggie Smith, Pope Francis, Helen Mirren.

People you’d cancel dinner on: My eighth grade teacher, colleagues from my first teaching job.

Things that make you happy: A good book, dinner with friends, a great play, my family
.
Things that drive you crazy: Getting stuck in traffic, being late, waiting in lines.

Best thing you’ve ever done: Walked 60 miles in three days for charity.
Biggest mistake: Signed up for flying lessons.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne Trauth’s novels include Show Time, Time Out, Running Out of Time, and Just in Time. Her plays include La Fonda, Françoise, Midwives, Rehearsing Desire, iDream, Katrina: the K Word, and Three Sisters Under the Hood. Her screenplays Solitaire and Boomer Broads have won awards at the Austin Film Festival, among other contests, and she wrote and directed the short film Jigsaw.

She is currently a member of Writers Theatre of New Jersey Emerging Women Playwrights program. Ms. Trauth has co-authored Sonia Moore and American Acting Training and co-edited Katrina on Stage: Five Plays. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with Suzanne:
Website  |   Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble





In addition to the Rafflecopter below, Suzanne is giving away one print copy of Just In Time. For a chance to win, comment below and include your email address. The winner will be contacted.







Monday, September 10, 2018

FEATURED CHARACTER: SUSAN BOLES' LILY GAYLE LAMBERT




ABOUT THE BOOK


"Beware the sign of the vampire blood," said the fortune-teller. "It brings madness and turmoil."

Lily Gayle knows what that means, but, for the life of her, can't figure out how the fortune-teller does. A quick road trip with Dixie. An unplanned stop at a roadside park. And, an hour later a dead body. Lily Gayle, Dixie and Miss Edna find themselves knee deep in another homicide investigation when the local vet assistant turns up dead behind an outbuilding at the farmers market.

Lily Gayle believes the words of the fortune-teller will have a major impact on the investigation but can't bring herself to tell the other ladies. To reveal what she believes the words mean might bring trouble to another old friend. And would betray a trust. Only Ben knows and he, as usual, advises Lily Gayle to stay out of his investigation – which she isn't about to do.

When the secret is revealed, the townspeople go mad and the fortune-teller’s words come true. Can Lily Gayle, Dixie and Miss Edna solve the murder before more people are harmed?


Book Details:


Title: Death said the Gypsy Queen

Author: Susan Boles   

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery, book 4


Publisher: Argent Ocean Publishing
Print length: 210 pages

On tour with Great Escapes Book Tours 







ABOUT LILY


Lily Gayle is late forties, a graduate of Ole Miss University and a widow. She came back to Mercy, Mississippi after the death of her husband eight years ago. She makes a living by combining her skills as a seamstress making costumes for re-enactors with her research skills to do genealogy searches for various clients. She lives alone in the home built by her grandparents and left to her after their death. Along with her lifelong best friend, Dixie, and town busybody, Miss Edna, she helps solve mysterious deaths that happen in the town. Much to the consternation of the sheriff, Ben Carter, who is also her cousin.



INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN BOLES’ LILY GAYLE


Q: How did you first meet Susan? 

A:
We met about fifteen years ago. She started writing Death of a Wolfman all the way back then. She got the idea from an old episode of CSI. And, since she loved cozy mysteries and doing genealogy work, she decided to write her first cozy mystery with me as the main character. She decided my age, hair color and eye color. Then made up the town. Which was originally called Mercyonus instead of Mercy. We were perking right along with the story and then, she just left me sitting around on a computer disk for years! Can you believe it? What the heck was that about? Thank goodness she dug me out of that drawer and finished my first story.

Q: Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

A:
My favorite scene in this book is with Doc Johnson. He’s the coroner in Mercy. I find a vampire doll on my porch and it’s wearing a white jacket. I take it over to show it to Doc and warn him that someone may be out to get him. He decides it’s a joke and points out that the doll has hair and he’s bald and an egg so it can’t be about him.

Q: Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters? 

A:
Well. Just between us, Miss Edna drives me up the wall. I mean, she’s eighty years old! Can’t the woman just stay home and tend to her flowers? Why does she have to keep butting into my cases? Dixie and I handle those just fine. We don’t need any help. Dixie is my best friend, you know. We’ve been friends since we were babies in diapers. She’s the best person I know. She’d give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. But, don’t think she’s all wishy-washy. She can give you what for if you get out of line. And Ben. He’s my cousin so I kind of have to love him. Right? Family is important to me. But, I have to confess, he drives me almost as nuts as Miss Edna. Trying to pull off that big brother protection routine with me. I don’t need anyone to take care of me like that. I think he does it just to try and keep me out of solving the murders around here. I know he’s the sheriff and all, but I’ve done some good work getting cases solved around here. So why does he always have to try and keep me out of the loop?

Q: Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?

A:
I’m putting together a bucket list of things I wanted to do. The big one right now is I want to go skydiving. And then learn standup paddle boarding. I haven’t told her yet. But she needs to work those into future books. I think both of those things would be a lot of fun. Especially the skydiving!

Q: Tell us about your best friend. 
A: My best friend is Dixie. We’ve been best friend since we met. We were in diapers at the time. Our mothers were best friends growing up. That’s how it is sometimes in small towns. Dixie tends to be a lot more cautious than me. But, in the long run that’s probably a good thing. I can’t say that she’s ever actually talked me out of doing something, but she’s made me rethink how I was going to go about it. And she’s always there to get me out of trouble. Her super power is working magic with people’s hair. She owns the It’ll Grow Back hair salon in downtown Mercy. If you want to get your hair done somewhere else, you’ll have to drive to the next town. And that would be a shame since people from those towns come to Mercy just to get Dixie to do their hair.



Q: How do you feel about your life right now?

A:
I really like my life right now. I’m getting some issues resolved. Some that probably should have been resolved a long time ago. But, things take time, you know? I’m getting over my fear of driving for one thing. For some reason, after my  husband John was killed in a car wreck years ago I got to where I couldn’t drive at all. The minute I tried it, my hands would shake so bad I could hardly keep them on the steering wheel and my feet just would not press on the accelerator. The strangest thing I ever heard of. A doctor told me it was panic and anxiety and that it would clear up eventually. So, it’s finally starting to do that. And I’m starting to think about romance again. Nothing all crazy fireworks. Just maybe having someone in my life I want to wake up next to every morning.

Q: If your story were a movie, who would play you? 

A:
Oh, definitely Reese Witherspoon. Why, we’re so much alike it’s eerie. Maybe we’re related. I need to do a genealogy search on her family. Maybe we are related! Would that just be a hoot!

Q: Describe the town where you live. 

A:
It such a sweet little town. The downtown is still doing well, even though there’s a Walmart out on the edge of town now. But I’m glad everyone supports the local businesses. Why, my friend Dixie, has the best hair salon around. It’s right on the square. The name is It’ll Grow Back. I wasn’t in favor of that when she told me, but it seems to be a big hit around here. Just goes to show people do have a sense of humor. And, the Grits and Gravy Café is on the town square, too. It’s the place where Dixie, Miss Edna, Missy Elliott, Harley Ann and I get together for breakfast every Thursday morning. That’s when I get my chocolate gravy fix for the week. They make the best for a hundred miles around at the Grits and Gravy. The courthouse is smack in the middle of the town square. It’s almost two hundred years old. And there’s a monument on the lawn with the names of all the original settlers of Barkley County engraved on it. Along with a monument to all the people from Mercy who died in all the wars. That giant magnolia by the gazebo in the town square was planted a hundred years ago by my grandfather. He was county sheriff back then.

Q: Will you encourage Susan to write a sequel? 

A:
Absolutely! She’s working on one right now. I think everyone will really like it.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Susan is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery Series and a contributing author to the Brotherhood Protectors World.



A lifelong long love of all things mysterious led Susan to write cozy mysteries. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were the first to show her that girls can be crime solvers. Agatha Christie showed her that even small towns have big secrets. And Phryne Fisher showed her lady detectives can be outrageously individual. She lives in Mississippi with her rescue mini dachshund, Lucy, and her rescue cat of no particular breed, Zimba. She currently writes the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series set in the fictional town of Mercy, Mississippi featuring a multi-generational cast of female sleuths and romantic suspense in the Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World.



Connect with Susan:


Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Buy the book:
Amazon  




Saturday, September 8, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: SUSAN PETRONE


ABOUT THE BOOK

For three middle-aged women in the suburbs of Cleveland, the issues seemed compelling but relatively conventional: sending a child off to college, dealing with a marriage gone stale, feeling "invisible." But changes were coming . . . and not the predictable ones. Because Margie, Katherine, and Abra are feeling a new kind of power inside of them – literally. Of all the things they thought they might have to contend with as they got older, not one of them considered they'd be exploding a few gender roles by becoming superheroes.

At once a delightful and surprising adventure and a thoughtful examination of a woman's changing role through life's passages, The Super Ladies is larger-than-life fiction at its very best.




Book Details:


Title: The Super Ladies

Author: Susan Petrone

Genre: literary women’s fiction

Publisher: The Story Plant (August 14, 2018)

Print length: 320 pages

On tour with: Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours







INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN PETRONE


Q: Susan, what’s the story behind the title of your book?
A: I normally have a lot of trouble with titles, but not with this book. Once I came up with the concept of three friends who develop superpowers when they go through menopause, it couldn’t be titled anything but The Super Ladies.

Q: Where’s home for you?
A: I live in Cleveland, Ohio. I went to college in Annapolis, Maryland for a time and lived for two years in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, but I always come back here. It’s home.

Q: What’s your favorite memory?
A: My daughter was born in China; my husband and I adopted. Our hotel room in Nanchang had two double beds. We put her crib in between them because we both wanted to be next to her. Our daughter was tiny and lovely with huge eyes that saw simply everything. She didn’t cry, but you could tell she was a little wary of everything that was happening.

The first night with her, I couldn’t sleep and just laid awake marveling at the glorious little being who was suddenly our child. Now that this dream of becoming a parent was a reality, I had an overwhelming wave of joy mixed with fear that I wouldn’t be up to the task. I wanted to be the parent this sweet, good-natured little baby deserved. The baby woke up and looked at me. We stared at each other for a moment, and I put my fingers through the wooden bars of the crib to touch her insanely tiny fingers. She reached out a tiny finger and touched mine back and gave me just the smallest hint of a smile. It was the first time she had smiled at either of us. It really felt like our first moment as mother and daughter.

Q: If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
A: I’d save it for travel money. I think our next big trip is going to be Iceland. Either that or I’d sock it away in my IRA so I can retire earlier and have more time to write.

Q: What do you love about where you live?
A: I love swimming in Lake Erie (yes, you really can swim there) and the change of seasons. I know we can have some snowy, cold winters but that just makes you appreciate the gorgeous spring all the more. And the fall colors are breathtaking.

Q: Have you been in any natural disasters?
A: I live in Cleveland, so the answer is “No.” That’s also another great thing about my hometown—no earthquakes to speak of, no mudslides, no hurricanes, no wildfires, no floods, no tornadoes. We’re pretty safe in that regard.

Q: What is the most daring thing you've done?

A:
When I was at college in Annapolis, Maryland, I used to take walks down to the docks to look at the water and the boats. That summer, there was a replica of a clipper ship called the Mystic Clipper that took people on overnight trips. I was an 18-year-old college freshman with no money and knew nothing about sailing. But I really wanted to go on the ship. I figured it I wanted it, I had to make it happen. I approached the owners of the ship and asked if they ever let people work for their passage. Now all of my sailing knowledge had come from reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in elementary school and going out in a little tiny sailboat twice that semester with the cute guy who worked in the boathouse and who tried to teach the basics. I didn’t tell this to the owners of the Mystic Clipper. If I have a superpower, it’s acting as though I know what I’m doing even when I don’t. The ship’s owners said “okay,” so the following Saturday, I showed up at the Mystic Clipper with a change of clothes and my toothbrush and went aboard.

The crew was three or four young guys and, for that weekend, me. I helped in the galley and polished the brass and hoisted the mainsail and felt a little bit like a sailor. Then one of the guys said that we had to tie down the forestays on the bowsprit and did I want to help. I said, “Sure.” It turns out that the bowsprit is the long, pointed bar sticking out from the prow of the ship. There’s a thin cable running below it. You walk on the cable, over the water, while holding onto the bowsprit and tie down the forestays. I didn’t know this when I said “Sure,” but once I had committed, there was no turning back.

They said the ship didn’t go “that” fast—maybe five or six knots—but looking down and seeing the wake from the ship’s prow and realizing that if I slipped I would surely drown made it seem as though we were going very fast. It occurred to me that maybe two people knew where I was that weekend. I don’t even think the owners of the boat knew my last name. I wondered what they would tell the college if something happened to me. One of the guys made his way out on the cable on one side of the bowsprit, expecting me to follow on the other side. After talking my way into this, how could I chicken out now? I screwed up my courage, put one foot on the cable and then the other, and made my way out over the open water. I tied down the forestay, and I didn’t slip, and it was exhilarating.

Q: What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
A: Getting married in a foreign country to someone I had only known for six months.

Q: What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
A: That being clever and in a hurry won’t get you published; you need to slow down and take your time and revise.


Q: What makes you bored?

A:
If left to my own devices, I don’t get bored because there is always something to do or see or learn or think about.

Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?

A
: Oh my, I can’t even begin to list them.

Q: What makes you nervous?

A:
Public speaking.

Q: What makes you happy?
A: Breathing, being awake and alive.

Q: What makes you scared?
A: Thinking about something bad happening to one of my family or friends, especially my kid.

Q: Do you have another job outside of writing?
A: Yes. I do communications for a research center at Case Western Reserve University. I also teach as an adjunct for Hiram College.

Q: Who are you?
A: I am still figuring that out.

Q: How did you meet your spouse?
A: I had just started working at Cleveland State University’s College of Urban Affairs. We were playing a one-off softball game against the County Commissioners office. He was playing on the college’s team as an alum. My first words to him were “Hi, I’m Susan. I think I’m batting after you.”

Q: What brings you sheer delight?

A:
A 30-mile bike ride on a perfect morning, all by myself.

Q: Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?

A:
I kind of want to be both.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?

A:
London, England.

Q: What would you like people to say about you after you die?

A:
She was a damn good writer, and she made me laugh.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Jane Austen and Kurt Vonnegut.


Q: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
A: I generally write at night after my family goes to bed, but that’s more out of necessity than preference. I work half time and am off one day a week. On my off day, I try to spend most of the day writing. We have a small house, but I’ve commandeered a portion of the second floor as my office. I typically write up there or at the library or coffee shop.

Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on a few things, but my next book will be called The Heebie-Jeebie Girl. It’s about a seven-year-old girl who can pick the daily lottery number and her great-uncle as they try to find the guys who robbed her grandmother. I keep telling people it’s a bit like Crime & Punishment in 1977 Youngstown only with jokes.


EXCERPT FROM THE SUPER LADIES

On the way home, Katherine called shotgun, so Abra had to sit in the back of Margie’s minivan amid soccer shin guards, baseballs, stray sneakers, swim goggles, granola bar wrappers, a rubber-banded stack of Pokemon cards, and a book on playing Minecraft. “How was this shoe not on the seat when we left?” Abra asked.
“I really couldn’t tell you,” Margie replied over her shoulder. “Things back there just seem to migrate around on their own. Hold it up.” Abra did so, and Margie took a quick look at it in the rearview mirror as they pulled out of the parking lot and onto Superior Avenue. “I don’t even think that belongs to one of mine.”
“Now you know why I called shotgun. The backseat scares me,” Katherine said. “I sometimes get overwhelmed with one kid. How do you manage three?”
“I have no life. Duh,” Margie replied.
Margie cut south onto East 12th Street and then turned east onto Chester Avenue, which would take them through Midtown, up Cedar Hill, and back home. As they drove by Cleveland State University, she asked Katherine, “Do we still have to flip the bird to CSU for denying Hal tenure?”
“Nah, the statute of limitations has expired on that one, I think.”
“I like the new housing they’re building down here,” Abra said. “If I ever move downtown, would you two come and visit me?”
“Hell yes,” said Katherine.
“Sure,” Margie added. “Are you seriously thinking of moving or just toying with it?”
“Toying. If I can unload the house to the bank, I’ll have to rent somewhere. And I’d be closer to work.”
“If you move, who will I run with every morning?” “I don’t know. Get another dog?”
Chester was a wide, three-lanes-in-each-direction boulevard that took them past the university neighborhood and through the dead zone in between downtown, where most of the office buildings and entertainment areas were, and University Circle, where most of the city’s museums and cultural gems were ensconced. Economic development hadn’t hit this middle area, and much of it was taken up by vacant buildings, empty lots, and boarded-up houses.
Nine fifteen on a Thursday night in mid-May isn’t late and isn’t scary. Still, Margie got a bad feeling when she saw a young woman on the sidewalk walking fast, hands folded across her chest, not looking at the man who walked next to her. The girl was a stranger—not her age, not her race, not her neighborhood, but still, the girl was someone, some mother’s daughter.
Margie pulled over to the curb, leaving the engine running.
“Why are you stopping?” Katherine asked.
The few other cars on the wide road passed by without slowing. No cars were parked on the street; Margie’s van was the only stopped vehicle for blocks. Katherine and Abra followed Margie’s gaze to the scene unfolding on the sidewalk. The man was yelling at the woman now. They couldn’t make out exactly what he was yelling but heard the words “bitch” and “money” a few times. And they could see his flailing arms, his face leering up against hers. She stopped walking and said something to him, and he hit her. She lost her balance and fell against the chain-link fence that ran along the sidewalk. They were in front of an empty lot, where once there might have been a house but now was only a square of crabgrass and crumbling concrete and stray garbage. For a moment, there were no other cars on the road. There was no one else on the street, no inhabited buildings for a couple blocks either way. If not for them, the woman was on her own.
“Call nine-one-one,” Abra said as the man hit the woman again. The woman tried to get away, but he grabbed her shoulders and shoved her hard against the fence.
“There’s no time,” Katherine said. In a heartbeat, she was out of the car.
“Darn it, come on…” Abra muttered as she fumbled with the sliding side door and jumped out. “Keep the engine running,” she said as she followed Katherine.
“I’ll go with you…” Margie started to say. No, Abra was right. Someone had to stay with the van, keep the engine running, stay behind the wheel in case they needed to make a quick getaway. Glancing behind her, she backed up alongside the people on the sidewalk. It felt proactive. She could hear Katherine’s strong teacher voice saying loudly but calmly, “Leave her alone” and the woman yelling, “Call the police!” It suddenly occurred to Margie that she had a phone. She could call the police. Hands trembling and heart racing, Margie frantically fumbled through her bag for her phone.
She told the 911 dispatcher where she was and what was happening, the whole time watching Katherine and Abra and the couple on the sidewalk. Suddenly, there was a glint of something shiny in the streetlight as the man rushed toward Katherine. She heard a scream, and then she couldn’t see Abra anymore.

Katherine got out of the car purely through instinct. There was someone in trouble—helping is what you were supposed to do, right? It wasn’t until she was on the sidewalk, walking toward the man and woman, saying loudly, “Leave her alone” and watching the man turn to face her that she realized she had absolutely no idea what to do next. None. It was then that her heart started pounding and a hot wave of fear tingled through her arms and legs.
Up close, she could see the guy was taller and more muscular than he appeared from the safety of the van. He was maybe white, maybe light-skinned African American with a shaved head. An indecipherable neck tattoo peeked out from under his close-fitting, long-sleeved black T-shirt. She tried to burn a police description into her brain. The woman yelled, “Call the police!” at the same time the guy said, “This is none of your damn business, lady” to Katherine. The utter disdain in his voice cleared everything out of her brain except one thought: This was such a mistake. This was such a stupid mistake. There was no way this could end well. For a split second, she imagined Hal and Anna without her, wondered if they would think her foolish for getting herself killed in this way. She heard Abra say softly, “Just let her go, man.”
Katherine could just see Abra off to her right. Margie had backed up, and the open doors of the van were only a few yards away. She could faintly hear Margie’s voice, talking to 911 maybe? Knowing they were both nearby gave her a tiny bit more courage. Katherine took a tentative step toward the woman, who was kneeling by the fence. Her face was bloodied, the sleeve of her shirt ripped. “Miss?” she asked. She looked about nineteen or twenty. Not a woman. A girl. “Why don’t you come with us? We’ll give you a ride.”
“She don’t need a ride,” the man said.
The rest of the street seemed eerily quiet. Couldn’t someone else stop and help? Someone big? Someone male maybe? Katherine wasn’t that big, but she was big enough, strong enough. She could help. Slowly she extended her left arm. If the woman wanted to take her hand, she could. Katherine held the woman’s gaze, hoping she could silently convince her that leaving with some strangers was preferable to getting beaten up by her boyfriend. Katherine was so focused that she didn’t see the knife until it was against her arm, in her arm. The man cut so fast that she hardly saw the blade, only the flash of metal against her pale white skin. It occurred to her that she needed to get out in the sun. Why am I worried about how pale I am? I just got cut. She felt the sensation of the blade slicing through flesh, felt a momentary spark of pain, and then the pain was gone. It happened faster than a flu shot—a quick prick, then nothing.
The man only made one swipe, then stopped, triumphant, staring at her arm, expecting blood, expecting her to scream, to fall. There wasn’t any blood on her arm or the knife. No blood, just Katherine staring at him wide-eyed and unharmed.
Then the man was on the ground, hit from the side by…something, something Katherine couldn’t see. The knife dropped from his hands and landed near her foot. She kicked it away at the same time she heard Abra’s voice yell, “Run!” But where the hell was Abra? She must be in the van. Katherine couldn’t see her.
Katherine said, “Come on” to the woman, who was now up and moving toward her. The woman needed no more convincing and was in the car before Katherine, even before Abra. Where had Abra been? How could she be the last one to pile into the minivan, yelling, “Go! Go!” to Margie, who was slamming on the gas before the door was even closed.
Nobody said anything for a moment. The only sound in the car was that of four women catching their breath, being glad they had breath left in their bodies. Then all of them simultaneously erupted into words of relief and fear, asking each other “Are you all right? Are you all right?”
“Oh sweet mother, I can’t believe you all just did that,” Margie said. “I thought—Katherine, I honestly thought he was going to kill you.”
“So did I,” Abra said. “How the hell did he not cut you? How did he miss you?”
“He didn’t miss me,” Katherine replied quietly. Feeling fine seemed intrinsically wrong, but there it was. Unreal sense of calm? Yes. Pain and blood? No.
Before Margie or Abra could respond, the woman exclaimed, “Oh my God, thank you! Sean would’ve done me in this time, I know it. Y’all were like superheroes or something. You saved my life.”
The three women were quiet for a heartbeat. For the moment, the hyperbole of the phrase “You saved my life” was gone. It was arguably true. This was a new sensation. Frightening and humbling. Then Margie said, “Shoot, I dropped the phone.” With one hand on the wheel, she felt around in the great vortex of tissues, empty cups, and scraps of paper in the molded plastic section in between the two front seats.
“I got it,” Katherine said, coming up with the phone. The 911 dispatcher was still on the line, wondering what was going on. “Hello?” Katherine said. “We’re okay. We got away, the woman is safe. We’re going—where are we going?”
“Anywhere away from Sean,” the woman in the back said.
“There’s a police station right down the street at one hundred and fifth,” Abra said.
“Right, I know where that is,” Margie said.
A police car with the siren off but lights flashing came roaring down Chester Avenue in the opposite direction.
“Was that for us?” Margie asked.
“I think so,” Abra said.
Katherine hardly had time to explain what had happened to the dispatcher before they were at the station. There was a long hour-plus of giving witness statements to a jaded-looking police officer who told them several times how lucky they were to have gotten out of the situation with no harm done. “What you three ladies did was very brave and very stupid,” he said in closing.
“We know,” Abra replied.
They were told they might be called as witnesses if the woman, Janelle, decided to press charges against her boyfriend. Then they were free to go. The three of them walked out of the police station and to the waiting minivan. It was nearing midnight, and the spring evening had moved from cool to downright chilly. Even so, none of them moved to get into the van. Margie unlocked it and opened the driver’s door, then just stood looking at the ground, one hand on the door, the other on the side of the van, breathing slowly. Abra paced in a slow oval near the back of the van, while Katherine leaned against it and gazed up at the few faint stars that could be seen against the city lights. She suddenly wanted to be somewhere quiet, away from the city, away from people. Margie’s voice brought her back: “I’m sorry I didn’t do anything to help.”
What are you talking about?” Katherine said. “If it weren’t for you, we never would have gotten out of there.”
Abra walked around the van to Margie. “You were the only smart one. I’m sorry I got out of the car. That was stupid.” As Abra said this, she shivered, her lips trembled, and she started to shake. “That was so stupid.” “I got out first,” Katherine said. “I’m the stupid one.” Katherine almost never saw Margie cry. Even when her eldest child was going through hell, Katherine had been amazed and admiring of her friend’s resilience. But now Margie seemed overwhelmed by heaving sobs. “I’m just so glad the two of you are okay,” Margie stammered. Crying people generally made her nervous, but Katherine joined Margie and Abra on the other side of the van.
When your friends need you, they need you.
***
Excerpt from The Super Ladies by Susan Petrone. Copyright © 2017 by Susan Petrone. Reproduced with permission from Susan Petrone. All rights reserved.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Susan Petrone’s short fiction has been published by Glimmer Train, Muse, Conclave, and Whiskey Island. She is the author of the novels The Super Ladies (2018), Throw Like a Woman (2015), and A Body at Rest (2009), which won a bronze medal for regional fiction from the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY). Her short story, “Monster Jones Wants to Creep You Out” (Conclave, 2010) was nominated by the editor for a Pushcart Prize. On the non-fiction side, Susan’s work has appeared on ESPN.com, and CoolCleveland.com, and she co-owns the Cleveland Indians blog, ItsPronouncedLajaway.com, for ESPN.com’s SweetSpot network. She is also one of the co-founders and board member of Literary Cleveland. Susan lives with one husband, one daughter, and far too many animals in a little house near some medium-sized woods.


Connect with Susan:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Thursday, September 6, 2018

FEATURED CHARACTER: COLLEEN SHOGAN'S KIT MARSHALL




ABOUT THE BOOK


It’s the height of campaign season, and instead of relishing newlywed bliss with her husband Doug Hollingsworth, Capitol Hill staffer Kit Marshall is busy with a tough reelection fight for her boss, member of Congress Maeve Dixon. Before Maeve and her staff–Kit included–leave Washington, D.C. to campaign full time in North Carolina, they have one last fundraising engagement.

On the iconic rooftop of a restaurant overlooking the Capitol and the Washington monument, Kit and her best pal Meg do their best to woo wealthy lobbyists for sizable campaign donations. Everyone’s enjoying the evening soiree until a powerful K Street tycoon mysteriously tumbles off the rooftop. Even with claims the fall must be suicide, Detective Maggie Glass and Kit aren’t so easily convinced foul play isn’t at work. While balancing Doug’s mid-life career crisis, Kit must spring into action to discover who killed the notorious Van Parker before Dixon’s candidacy sputters, even if it means investigating Meg’s handsome new beau, the victim’s conniving widow, and a bicycle advocate hell-bent on settling a long-standing grudge. When threatening note is left on Kit’s car, warning her to back off the investigation, she knows she’s closing in on the true story of what happened.


Book Details:


Title: K Street Killing



Author: Colleen J. Shogan

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: Washington Whodunit, book 4

Publisher: Camel Press (July 15, 2018)

Print length: 242 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours







ABOUT THE CHARACTER

Kit Marshall is a thirty-something Capitol Hill staffer who juggles politics and crime-solving. She’s newly married to a Georgetown history professor and enjoys spending time with her best gal pal Meg and beagle mutt Clarence.




INTERVIEW WITH COLEEN SHOGAN’S KIT MARSHALL


Q:
Kit, how did you first meet Colleen?
A: One day, Colleen was taking a morning stroll in her suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood. She’d just finished reading another mystery novel, and somehow, I appeared right around the corner! By the time she’d returned home from her walk, she’d already come up with my first mystery-solving adventure.

Q: Want to dish about her? 

A: A lot of people think that I’m based on Colleen, but that’s not true at all. Instead, I’m a clever amalgamation of many women Colleen has met on Capitol Hill over the years.

Q: Did you have a hard time convincing Colleen to write any particular scenes for you? 
A: She definitely doesn’t enjoy writing the romantic scenes with Doug. But I convinced her that the storyline needed some romance to spice it up!



Q: Tell us about your best friend. 
A: My best gal pal is Meg Peters, who helps me solve the murders we confront on Capitol Hill. She’s gorgeous, funny, and the guys love her! She’s more adventurous than I am, which is why I often get into lots of trouble.



Q: What’s Colleen’s worst habit?  

A: Colleen loves the setting of Capitol Hill, so she sometimes tells a lot of details about locations we visit when solving a case. Other times, she likes to write about the legislative process. I hope readers don’t find it too boring!



Q: How do you feel about your life right now? 

A: I just got married and only had time for a quickie honeymoon. If I could, I wish I could spend more time with my professor husband, Doug. I guess I’ll just have to convince him to join in on the sleuthing so we can hang out together!

Q: What aspect of Colleen’s writing style do you like best?  

A: I like her snappy dialogue. She writes some memorable lines for her characters. Some might even say they’re funny!

Q:  If your story were a movie, who would play you? 
A: Gosh, I can’t even imagine being on the big screen! Maybe Aubrey Plaza or America Ferrera. Someone with spunk who isn’t a size 2!

Q: What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre?  

A: A lot of other cozy mystery sleuths live in a small town. I live right outside Washington, D.C. in Arlington, Virginia in a high-rise condo building. I’m younger than most of my counterparts, and I live an urban lifestyle. I’m an interesting alternative within the genre. Sometimes, it’s good to break the traditional mold.

Q: If you could be “adopted” by another writer, who would you choose?  

A: Probably Margaret Truman, if she was still alive. It would be nice if Ellen Crosby would take me wine-tasting in Virginia. Or if Joyce Tremel would teach me how to brew craft beers in Pittsburgh!

Q: Will you encourage Collen to write a sequel?  

A: She’s already written another story about me that will come out in 2019. This time, I get caught up in a murder at the Botanic Garden in Washington, DC. Watch out for the killer plants!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service. She is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress who works on great outreach initiatives such as the National Book Festival.

Connect with Colleen:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


 
Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble






Tuesday, September 4, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: WENDY TYSON




ABOUT THE BOOK

It’s summertime in Winsome. Washington Acres is abloom, Megan is preparing for the grand opening of their wood-fired pizza farm, and things with Megan’s beau, handsome Dr. Finn, are getting as hot as the August temperatures.

But when Megan’s ne’er-do-well father arrives in Pennsylvania with his high-maintenance Italian wife, Sylvia, and announces they’re staying at the new yoga retreat center a town away, a sweet occasion sours.

Eager to secure pieces for her Milan boutique, Sylvia finagles a meeting with up-and-coming artist Thana Moore, whose work is showing at the retreat center. After their explosive encounter, Thana is murdered and Sylvia becomes the prime suspect.

Only Sylvia isn’t the only one with ties to the artist—once upon a time, Thana Moore had been Megan’s best friend.

As Megan delves into Thana’s past, piecing together the years since their falling out, she realizes that something sinister is afoot in Bucks County. Unless Megan can find the killer, this idyllic summer will turn nightmarish. Innocent people may be imprisoned—and even more could die.




Book Details:


Title: Rooted in Deceit

Author: Wendy Tyson

Genre: Mystery/Cozy


Series: A Greenhouse Mystery, book 4

Publisher: Henery Press (September 4, 2018)

Print length: 270
 pages







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH WENDY TYSON


A few of your favorite things:
Puppies. Dark maple syrup. Early morning after a late-night snowfall.
Things you need to throw out: Old bills and documents. Rejection letters.



Things you need in order to write: Time. My laptop. Coffee is nice.
Things that hamper your writing: A cluttered mind. Overly loud music. The television.



Things you love about writing: That first draft. The smell of a new book. The uncertainty. My readers.
Things you hate about writing: Editing that first draft. Editing the last draft. The uncertainty.



Things you love about where you live: The change of seasons, especially fall. The focus on eating and buying local. Fresh apple cider.
Things that make you want to move: Driving in the snow and ice.

Favorite foods: Indian and Thai curries. Fresh heirloom tomatoes. Berry crisp.
Things that make you want to throw up: Spam. Sausage. Tapioca pudding.


Last best thing you ate: Carrot Asado “hot dogs.”

Last thing you regret eating: Oreos.

Things you always put in your books: Animals.


Things you never put in your books: Graphic sexual violence.

Things to say to an author: I read your book! (We really do appreciate it). I checked your book out of the library. I left you a review.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I got your book off one of those free download (read: piracy) sites.


Favorite places you’ve been: Teton National Park. Chamonix, France. Sao Miguel, Portugal (Azores).


Places you never want to go to again: The little “camp” in coastal Maine with the slanted floor, paper-thin mattresses, and eight-legged roommates! (That said, I love Maine.)


Favorite things to do: Swimming. Writing. Hanging out with my boys—movies, travel, hiking, anything really. 


Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: Cleaning bathrooms. I absolutely despise cleaning bathrooms.


Most daring thing you’ve ever done: Had children. By far the bravest, most daring thing I have ever done. 


Something you chickened out from doing: Sky diving. I had the opportunity and just squawked away.


ALSO BY WENDY TYSON:

 A Muddied Murder: Book 1 of the Greenhouse Mystery series


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Wendy Tyson is an author, lawyer, and former therapist who writes the bestselling Green-house Mystery Series and the Allison Campbell Mystery Series. Her short fiction has appeared in literary journals and in the short story anthologies Betrayed: Powerful Stories of Kick-Ass Crime Survivors and The Night of the Flood, and her mystery A Dark Homage was recently accepted for publication in January 2020. Wendy is a contributing editor and columnist for International Thriller Writers’ e-zines, The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins. She and her husband recently moved their micro-farm from Pennsylvania to the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Connect with Wendy:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

 Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble