Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Author: 
J.M. Edwards

About the book:

Meet Ruby Wisdom. Smart and sensible. Humorous and heroic. Tough and tender. As the only private investigator in tiny Wormwood, New York, Ruby handles a wide range of cases—everything from jewel heists and cheating husbands to stolen wedding gowns, kidnapped artwork and fraudulent heirs.

In Handcuffs & High Heels, Ruby is hired by the wife of a millionaire when the woman suspects her husband is having an affair. And he is—several of them. But when Ruby begins connecting the duplicitous dots, the deceitful spouse ends up in a much more difficult dilemma than being caught with his hands in Cookie’s jar. And that’s when the real investigation begins.

Handcuffs & High Heels, is a cozy mystery loaded with humor, romance, memorable characters and a sleuth who knows her way around baked goods and sweet treats as well as crime scenes and tricky investigations.

Guest Post by J.M. Edwards:

How to Read a Cozy Mystery

One afternoon while having coffee with a friend, our conversation drifted into familiar and welcome territory: books. More specifically, cozy mysteries. Kate and I are both fans of the genre, dedicated devotees who knit at least a few minutes of reading into every day.

“My favorite place to read is the bathtub,” she said. “There’s nothing better than a bubble bath, a glass of pinot noir and a few chapters of Miss Marple.”

In all the years that we’ve been friends, Kate had never mentioned that she read while soaking in a perfumed stew of foamy bubbles. For some reason, I always thought her favorite place to enjoy a good book was tucked in bed beside her husband, with one cat at her feet and another nestled under her arm. When I questioned her about that option, she smiled and nodded.

“That’s my second favorite,” Kate explained. “But, you know, there are actually lots of ways to read a cozy.”

With those words—and another refill of our coffee cups—Kate and I were off on a quest to list a few of our favorite ways to enjoy quality time with a cozy. As we discussed a few techniques as well as tips for maximizing the experience, we also identified potential hazards associated with each option.

Bath: Tuck inflatable pillow or rolled bath towel behind the neck. Position glass of wine, hot cocoa, chilled milk, ice water or other preferred beverage on a nearby surface. Hang DO NOT DISTURB sign on doorknob to ensure privacy and full enjoyment. Warning: Beware of severely wrinkled skin.

Bed: Build a small mountain of feather pillows against wall or headboard. Dim or extinguish lights in the room, with the exception of bedside lamp. Position bolster beneath knees, pull bed sheets and blankets to waist or just below the chin. Inform husband, boyfriend and/or children that there is nothing more sacrosanct than silence at the end of the day. Warning: Beware of fictional characters inhabiting your dreams.

Hammock: This technique is similar to the bathtub or bed. Of course, you don’t need to worry about a reading lamp, pillows or the DO NOT DISTURB sign. But there’s something truly magical about gently swinging in the shade beneath two towering trees for an afternoon of relaxation and reading. Warning: Beware of insects. And naps.

Coffee Shop: Find a table that’s clean and located as far as possible from crying babies, noisy conversationalists and the dissonant sputtering of the cappuccino machine. Warning: Beware of the highly-caloric baked goods and sweet treats. Kate once gained three pounds finishing the new Janet Evanovich.

Car: If you’re a passenger and motion sickness isn’t a problem, long-distance trips can be ideal for reading. And, if you’re traveling alone, audio books are a great way to fight the monotony of interstate highways as well as keep up with your TBR. Warning: This approach can be difficult if the driver is a Chatty Cathy. I learned this the hard way. During a ten-hour round-trip drive with my sister to visit our parents, I read the same chapter eight times—the same number of times that she told me about her husband’s good intentions to overcome his bad habits.

Plane: Similar to long-distance car trips. However, this technique comes with several potential hazards: crying babies, turbulence and talkative seatmates. To avoid two out of three, I recommend earplugs or earphones with the cord tucked into a pocket. Warning: The middle or aisle seats tend to be less conducive to enjoying your book.

Airport Terminal: Considering how often flights are delayed these days, this technique is becoming increasingly popular. Kate travels often for work, so she’s developed a nearly foolproof approach. Find an out-of-the-way seating alcove or one of the gates that isn’t being readied for arrivals or departures. Grab a beverage on the way, tuck yourself into a chair and enjoy a reading respite while everyone else scurries toward their destinations. Warning: Announcements from the public address system can be intrusive. You may want to keep those earplugs handy for maximum reading pleasure.

Beach/Poolside: Reading on vacation is one of my favorite things. I love seeing the sights, exploring the attractions and enjoying the local culinary fare. But there’s something impossibly relaxing about making yourself comfortable on a chaise lounge or beach towel, applying sun screen and ordering a cool drink before diving back into the book you started on the plane. Warning: Beware of sunburns. And naps.

About the author:

J.M. Edwards loves crime. But only when it’s fictional. A lifelong fan of mystery novels, police procedurals and thrillers, J.M. has worked as a copywriter, bartender, dog walker and newspaper reporter. When it comes to reading, she has a few favorites (Robert B. Parker, Sue Grafton, Dashiell Hammett, Robert B. Parker, Lee Child), but always enjoys learning about new authors to add to the TBR pile. In addition to writing the new Ruby Wisdom cozy mystery series, J.M. spends time gardening, traveling, spoiling a small herd of cats and dogs, doing volunteer work and taking the occasional nap.

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