Friday, November 17, 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON: JAMIE BLAIR






     ABOUT THE BOOK


Cameron Cripps-Hayman is taken aback when she stumbles upon another murdered neighbor, this time behind her sister's shop, Dog Diggity. The timing couldn't be worse, as there's only a week left before the store's grand opening during Canal Days, the biggest festival of the year.

When the police arrest her handyman, Cameron knows they've got the wrong suspect, so the Metamora Action Agency sets their sights on cracking the case. With one solved murder under their belts, how hard could a second be?

With a flood warning and a murderer on the loose threatening the start of Canal Days, can Cameron and her crew save the town's annual dog and pony show from being canceled?

Canal Days Calamity 
(A Dog Days Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
, 2nd in Series

Midnight Ink (November 8, 2017)

Paperback: 240 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0738751221
E-Book 
ASIN: B01N5RVJDY 
  




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jamie Blair (Ohio) is the award-winning author of young adult and romance books, including Leap of Faith (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and Lost to Me. Visit her online at and on Twitter.


Buy the book:
Amazon    Barnes ∓ Noble 




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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: WENDY TYSON



ABOUT THE BOOK

It may be the holiday season, but the mood in Winsome is anything but jolly.



Megan Sawyer is determined to farm year-round. So much so that she braves a December snowstorm to pitch her fresh greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs. 

And then she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road. 

But this woman is no stranger to Winsome. It’s Becca Fox, a self-proclaimed “love chemist” (you read that right). Becca’s headed to her aunt’s house to sell her love potions at holiday events. 

Or so Becca thinks.



Her sneaky aunt only invited Becca home to reunite her with her estranged father. It sounds noble and kind-hearted, until the man ends up dead. 

Megan soon finds herself in the middle. She realizes Becca’s not the only one getting iced over. Megan’s own aunt, the famous mystery author, is dragged into the drama. Her novels implicate her and she’s in trouble.



Now it’s personal. Megan must follow a cryptic trail of literary clues, all while sifting through the victim’s sordid past. She gets closer to the truth as the murderer gets closer to her.


Seeds of Revenge
A Greenhouse Mystery Book Three
By Wendy Tyson

Henery Press
Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
ISBN: 9781635112757

Original Trade Paperback & E-Book: $15.95 / $4.99
272 pages





LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT INTERVIEW WITH WENDY TYSON

A few of your favorite things:
My photo albums. The chef’s knife my son made for me. The pottery I’ve collected while traveling.
Things you need to throw out:
Clothes that no longer fit. Correspondence—I’m terrible at organizing paperwork. 


Things you need in order to write:
Computer or pen and paper.
Things that hamper your writing:
Bickering children. (My identical twin boys have made a sport of arguing.) A lack of down time—I need free time to let my mind wander.


Things you love about writing:
Starting a new novel. Finishing a short story. Meeting readers.
Things you hate about writing:
The final proofread. By then, I just can’t look at a manuscript anymore.

Things you love about where you live:
The views. The number of outdoor recreational opportunities. The smell of the woods after it rains. The emphasis on local foods. (We recently moved to Vermont.)
Things that make you want to move:
When the temperature dips below zero. Icy roads.


Things you never want to run out of:
Chocolate. Toothpaste.
Things you wish you’d never bought:
That wrinkle cream (doesn’t work!). The wide-legged black pants (not a good look on me).

Favorite foods:
Garden-grown tomatoes. Potatoes. Paneer Tikka Masala. Fresh strawberries.
Things that make you want to throw up: 
Spam. Sausage. Scrapple. Anything gelatinous.

Favorite band:
The Cat Empire.
Music that makes your ears bleed:
Too much electric guitar.

Favorite beverage:
Unsweetened iced tea.

Something that gives you a pickle face:
Tonic water.

Favorite smell:
Smell of wood smoke in the fall.

Something that makes you hold your nose:
Rosemary (I want to like it, but . . . )

Something you’re really good at:
Cooking.

Something you’re really bad at:
Cleaning.


Last best thing you ate: 
Mushroom stew over new potatoes.

Last thing you regret eating:
Peanut M&Ms.

Things you always put in your books:
Dogs.

Things you never put in your books:
Gratuitous graphic violence.

Things to say to an author:

“I read your book and left a review on Amazon.” We appreciate reviews—they really do matter. “I can tell you put a lot of time into getting the details right.”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book:
“You’re still writing that novel?”

Favorite things to do:

Writing. Traveling to new places with my family. Trying out new recipes, especially in the summer when the garden is bursting with fresh vegetables.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing:
Cleaning the bathroom.

Things that make you happy: 
Puppies. Autumn in Vermont. A day with no commitments. Walking along the beach. Morning coffee with my husband. Planning a trip. A new book.

Things that drive you crazy:
When people drive slowly in the passing lane of a highway. Rudeness. Hypocrisy. Litter. Paperwork.

The last thing you did for the first time:
I was the keynote speaker at a large legal event.

Something you’ll never do again:
Downhill skiing. Every time I try it, I’m as terrified as I was the first time. Nordic skiing for me!



EXCERPT FROM SEEDS OF REVENGE


Merry Chance’s statuesque four square was alit with white Christmas lights—Colonial candles in the windows, braids of lights outlining the window sills and doorways, blinking lights woven into wreaths, and miniscule bulbs incorporated into a doe and two fawns that adorned the front lawn. As Megan pulled up alongside the road in front of the home, she saw with relief that Merry was home. In fact, she was standing on her porch talking with a man.

Becca gave Megan a quick hug. “Thank you,” she sang. “You saved me quite a trek.”

Megan climbed out of the truck and pulled Becca’s suitcase from the bed while Becca unloaded her boxes of love potions. Merry had noticed them, and she turned her attention toward her niece.

“Aunt Merry!” Becca called. “Hello!”

She hurried toward her aunt and stopped short just feet from the landing, Megan trailing behind. The man had turned to look at them so that his face was visible. He was older, mid- to late-sixties, but his resemblance to Becca was unmistakable. Strong features: a square chin, a broad nose, unnaturally black hair receding ever-so-slightly into his scalp line. He wore a tailored coat and carried an expensive bag. His bearing screamed money and privilege.

The man regarded Becca with an evenness that seemed unnerving, while Becca’s whole body shook with emotion.

No one acknowledged Megan. She watched the scene unfold the way a bystander witnesses a car crash. Helpless and transfixed.

“No! Why is he here? Aunt Merry, why the hell is he here?” To him, “I told you I never want to see you again. Never. Do you know what that means? You brought him here on purpose.”

“Rebecca, calm down,” Merry snapped. “You’re jumping to conclusions.”

“He’s here, I’m here. What conclusions am I jumping to?”

The man said, “Actually, I was just leaving.”

“That might be best, Paul.” Merry glanced at her niece, lips pursed into a frown. “Let’s give Becca some time to calm down.”

Paul nodded curtly. “Very well. Thank you, Merry. You know where I’ll be.” He walked down the steps, past Becca, without so much as another glance in her direction. Becca placed her bags on the ground. With a sudden rush, she darted toward the man in the slippery snow, hands outstretched. She would have pushed him had he not reacted with laser speed. He grabbed her wrists and held them out in front of her. Merry took a step forward. Megan dropped the suitcase, ready to intervene.

But Paul and Becca just stood there, staring at one another. Finally, Becca said, “You’re hurting me.”

He looked down at his hands, wrapped like bindings around her wrists, and let go. “I’m sorry.” He backed away, his eyes unwavering in their focus on Becca’s face.

He climbed into his car—a silver Mercedes—and Becca spat at the ground near his tire. She rubbed her wrists, shoulders hunched.

Becca watched as he pulled away, his rear tires slipping in the deep snow. “Why would you invite him here, Aunt Merry?”

“I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow.”

“He’s staying here. He made that pretty clear.”

“He wanted to see you. He wants to make amends.”

“I will never forgive him. You of all people should understand that.”

Merry regarded her niece with a long, sad stare. Finally she said, “Megan, I assume Becca’s car had some difficulty in the snow?” When Megan nodded, she said, “Thank you for bringing her.”

It was a dismissal, at odds with Merry’s normally saccharine insistence on hospitality. Megan placed Becca’s suitcase on her porch and and returned to her truck. She watched as Becca followed her aunt obediently inside. With the front door shut, the visage of the house returned to its festive façade.

A façade, indeed, Megan thought as she pulled away. That was all it seemed to be. She wondered what conversation was going on inside.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wendy Tyson is a writer, lawyer, and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy writes two mystery series. Killer Image, Wendy’s first novel in her popular Allison Campbell Mystery Series, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by the Examiner. Additional books in the Allison Campbell series are Deadly Assets (July 2014), Dying Brand (May 2015), and Fatal Façade (June 2017). Wendy’s bestselling Greenhouse Mystery Series includes A Muddied Murder (March 2016), Bitter Harvest (March 2017), which received a starred Publishers Weekly review; and Seeds of Revenge,  (November 2017). Wendy’s short stories have appeared in literary journals, including KARAMU, Concho River Review, and Eclipse, A Literary Journal, and she has short fiction in two fiction anthologies, The Night of the Flood and Betrayed. Wendy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Penn Writers, and International Thriller Writers, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for International Thriller Writers’ online magazines, The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins. Wendy splits her time between Pennsylvania and Vermont.

Connect with Wendy:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble iTunes 

Monday, November 13, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: SHARON FARROW





ABOUT THE BOOK

As owner of The Berry Basket, Marlee Jacob has learned a thing or two about surviving summer tourist season in Oriole Point, Michigan. So she gladly agrees to help run the road rally in honor of the local Blackberry Art School's centenary celebration. While alumni arrive from around the country, Marlee hopes the Sanderling farm will make an appropriate starting point for the race - despite rumors that the land is haunted.

But when Marlee surveys the property, she stumbles upon a long-dead body hidden in the bramble. It's a horrifying mystery to everyone except her baker, who's convinced the skeletal remains belong to a former student who went missing twenty years earlier. As the Fourth of July activities heat up, Marlee must rush to catch an elusive murderer before the next "blackberry victim" is ripe for the picking!







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT INTERVIEW WITH SHARON FARROW


A few of your favorite things:
Books, photography, dogs, coffee frappuccinos, Lake Michigan, Halloween, New York City, rainy days, autumn.
Things you need to throw out:
Stacks of magazines that I will never get around to reading. The numerous copies of all the drafts of all my old manuscripts that I print off. I need to stop doing this. I’m killing far too many trees.

Things you need in order to write:
My laptop, a comfortable chair, a mug of tea or vanilla latte.
Things that hamper your writing:
Phone calls, Facebook, Twitter
.

Things you love about writing:

The satisfaction of telling a story the way I originally envisioned.
Things you hate about writing:
Composing a long, detailed synopsis before I’ve written a single word of chapter one.

Hardest thing about being a writer:

Getting a thumbs up from my inner critic
.
Easiest thing about being a writer:
Hearing from readers and becoming friends with other authors
.

Things you love about where you live:
Being only a few minutes drive from Lake Michigan.
Things that make you want to move:
I don’t. I love my lakeshore village. However, I wouldn’t mind a shorter winter.

Favorite foods:
Dark chocolate, pizza, blueberries, most cheeses, roast chicken, ice cream, mashed potatoes, omelettes. And honeydew melon at the perfect stage of ripeness!
Things that make you want to throw up: 
Grapefruit, rice pudding, pea soup.

Favorite music or song:
Movie soundtracks, the Top Hits of the 1980s, Celtic music, Broadway show tunes, “You Got Me” by The Kinks, Prince, Streisand, lots more.
Music that make your ears bleed:
Heavy metal.

Favorite beverage:
Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino with whip
.
Something that gives you a pickle face:
Grapefruit.

Favorite smell:
Lilacs
.
Something that makes you hold your nose:
Barbecue sauce.

Something you’re really good at:
Defending myself in an argument
.
Something you’re really bad at:
Being patient
.

Something you wish you could do:

Dance like a ballerina.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do:
Algebra.

Something you like to do:

Climb the Great Pyramid of Giza
.
Something you wish you’d never done:
Taken an algebra class in high school.

Things you’d walk a mile for:
Tickets for Hamilton and an autographed first edition of any book by Ray Bradbury or Agatha Christie.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room:
Anything to do with football, TV shows about demon possession (ugh!). 

Things you always put in your books:
Descriptions of food
.
Things you never put in your books:
Cruelty to animals.

Favorite books:
Mysteries and historical novels. Current favorites are Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books, and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga.

Books you would ban:
I’d never ban a book.

People you’d like to invite to dinner:
Tina Fey, The Obamas, Fran Lebowitz, Martin Short, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Meryl Streep, Stephen Sondheim, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bill and Melinda Gates, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Louise Penny and Prince Harry. I’d love to extend the guest list, but that would turn this dinner party into a state banquet.

People you’d cancel dinner on:
Most politicians.

Things that make you happy:
My family and friends.

Things that drive you crazy:
The current political scene.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told:

I can’t remember offhand, but I’m sure it involved how much I weighed.

A lie you wish you’d told:
I wish I’d told my cousin that I was busy the night she fixed me up on the one and only blind date I’ve ever gone out on.

Best thing you’ve ever done:
Raised my daughter.

Biggest mistake:
Buying a shirt with fringe along the sleeves. In my defense, it looked great on QVC.

The last thing you did for the first time:
Going under general anesthesia.
Something you’ll never do again:
Ride on a roller coaster. My stomach is no longer roller coaster ready.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Farrow is the latest pen name of award winning author Sharon Pisacreta. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Sharon has been a freelance writer since her twenties, with her first novel released in 1998. Published in mystery, fantasy, and romance, Sharon currently writes The Berry Basket cozy mystery series, which debuted in 2016 with Dying For Strawberries. She is also one half of the writing team D.E. Ireland, who co-authored the Agatha-nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries.
In her former life, Sharon turned her hand to a variety of endeavors from principal investigator on an archaeological site, college history instructor, caterer’s assistant, and dancing in a giant dog costume for a non-profit company (it’s a long story). Although Sharon has lived in Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey, she calls Michigan home, specifically the beautiful coastline of Lake Michigan. She is so enamored of the sand dunes, orchards and beaches of western Michigan, she set The Berry Basket mysteries in a town similar to the one she is lucky to live in.
Connect with Sharon:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble 



Saturday, November 11, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: MARY ELLEN HUGHES




ABOUT THE BOOK


Callie Reed makes a long overdue visit to her aunt Melodie, who lives in a fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, home to a bevy of unique collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Just as they’re beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt’s body on the floor of her music box shop. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can’t accept Melodie’s death being called accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she there in the middle of the night?

As Callie searches for the truth, signs seem to come from her late aunt through a favorite music box, urging Callie on. Or are they warnings? If Callie isn’t careful, she could meet a similar deadly fate amid Melodie’s collection.

A Fatal Collection (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting
Maryland
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2017)

Paperback: 264 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0738752198

E-Book ASIN: B01MR8L4IS








GUEST POST BY MARY ELLEN HUGHES


Can Murder Really Be “Cozy?”


Fans read cozy mysteries for many different reasons, but the one that seems to pop up most often is “for fun and relaxation.” Hmm. People find murder fun and relaxing? Well, I suppose mostly if it happens to someone else. But still. Murder? Let’s think about it.

First of all, murders in a cozy usually takes place off stage. Unlike thrillers or police procedurals, readers can count on their cozy mystery to have no inch-by-inch grisly descriptions of the act. The body will simply be discovered after the fact, and though the cause of death will be mentioned – gunshot wound, stabbing, or blunt force injury, whatever – there will be no gory autopsy to read through.

In A Fatal Collection, the first of my new Keepsake Cove series, the body of Melodie Reed was found by her visiting niece, Callie, early the next morning as she looked for her aunt in the music box shop. Neither Callie nor the reader learns Melodie had been killed until hours after it happened.

The focus of a cozy tends to be the puzzle: who had motive and opportunity? Finding that out, breaking fake alibis or digging up the secret motivations becomes a kind of a game. Was Colonel Mustard really at the party the entire night, or did he manage to slip out without anyone noticing? Had Professor Plum never known Miss Scarlet as he’d claimed, or was he actually being blackmailed by her for something in his past?

In A Fatal Collection, Aunt Mel’s death was ruled an accident. Callie doesn’t buy it and so tries to find out who had a good reason to want her aunt dead. Which illustrates a point of the “fun and relaxing” part of cozy mysteries. The reader can count on the murderer in a cozy never being a serial killer who picks out victims at random to torture and kill. “Cozy” murderers are those every day, ordinary people you might live next door to or run into at the PTA meeting or supermarket. Some things happens to tip them over the edge, whether it’s blackmail over a scandalous secret, jealousy, revenge, or that most petty but prolific reason: money.

In A Fatal Collection, Callie starts to see the darker sides of some people who at first meeting seemed to be all sweetness and light—well, most of them. There’s also a hidden side to her aunt to be investigated. Why did Melodie keep an active, disposable cell phone with no contacts or messages stored on it? And what was in the locked metal box Callie discovers at the bottom of the closet?

And so the mystery slowly unravels, with occasional breaks in the tension for non-murder related things. Cozies have lots of people populating their towns, and it can be fun to get to know them and to learn about the town itself. Aunt Mel lived in Keepsake Cove, a part of town where all the shops specialize in collectible items. The one Callie inherits from her carries unique music boxes. Then there’s the shop that offers toys from past generations, the one with collectible sewing items, and more. Walking through the streets of Keepsake Cove is a collector’s dream.

But something needs to shake everyone awake once in a while, and that, in a cozy mystery, will be murder. A nice, tidy, off-stage, very real, but not too upsetting murder. In fact, a fun and relaxing murder. But only between the covers of that cozy mystery. A safe place where readers can go to enjoy a good story. And to sleep well afterwards, knowing that justice has been served and all is well. Until, that is, the next book in the series arrives (A Vintage Death) and a new murder occurs. Off-stage, of course.
   


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories.

Connect with Mary Ellen:
Website   |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest 

Buy the book:
Amazon Barnes & Noble  |  kobo




Thursday, November 9, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: RICHARD AUDRY




ABOUT THE BOOK


It’s early December and Andy Skyberg is itching to blow town for a weekend of holiday cheer with old friends—including a date with an attractive divorcée who thinks he’s hot.

But first, Aunt Bev needs a teensy bit of help. She’s managing the Girls’ Weekend Out event at the Beaver Tail Resort and could use some extra muscle. Andy figures he can spare a few hours before hitting the road.

Mother Nature, though, has other plans. A giant blizzard makes an unexpected turn. Andy and his pooch King Harald find themselves snowbound—in a hotel full of hard-partying women, stranded travelers, a hockey team, a man-eating novelist, a belligerent blogger, and one violent, devious jewel thief.

Before you know it, man and mutt are up to their noses in another case. It’s a winter wonderland of fast-paced fun and merry madness, as the sleuthing duo dig out from King Harald’s Snow Job.


King Harald’s Snow Job (King Harald Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series

Conger Road Press (August 1, 2017)

Paperback: 302 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0985019686
E
Book ASIN: B0747QWYLZ






LOVE OR HATE INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD AUDRY


A few of your favorite things:
My guitars, my cameras, my library of movies and TV shows.
Things you need to throw out:
Old heavy, ugly furniture
.

Things you love about writing:
Being able to play God by creating worlds and characters.
Things you hate about writing:
It’s a sedentary activity that isn’t, on balance, ideal for your health.

Favorite foods: 
Baked salmon with polenta, buttered bread warm out of the oven, brats and potato salad and icy cold beer on a hot summer day.
Things that make you want to throw up:
Rutabagas, radishes, oysters, blanched slivered almonds.

Favorite music or song:
Jazz guitar albums (especially Klugh, Pass, Montgomery, Bickert).
Music that makes your ears bleed:
Rap.

Favorite beverage:
Gin Martini on the rocks with good olives
.
Something that gives you a pickle face:
Flavored, sweet coffee.

Favorite smell:
Lilacs on a springtime walk
.
Something that makes you hold your nose:
Any strong chemical smell.

Something you’re really good at:
Cooking.

Something you’re really bad at:
Overcoming my inertia in making big decisions.

People you consider as heroes:
Politicians who genuinely help their constituents, not their big-buck donors.

People with a big L on their foreheads:
Politicians who are hypocrites. For example, politicians who deny disaster aid to other states, while begging for it for their own.



Last best thing you ate:
A superb grilled cheese sandwich with a wonderful tomato sauce
.
Last thing you regret eating:
A Tim Horton frosted donut.

Things to say to an author:
Writing novels to make money is a poor reason. Write them because you have something you’re eager to say or you simply love the process. If you’re lucky, the money will follow. But don’t count on it.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book:
Sorry, pal, put this one in the drawer and try again.

Things that make you happy:
Dinner out with my wife, long walks in perfect weather, finishing writing a book knowing I told a good tale well.

Things that drive you crazy:
Idiot drivers who tailgate, don’t use turn signals, creep at low speeds, run red lights.

Best thing you’ve ever done:
Spotting my wife at the department store where we worked and (three years later) marrying her.

Biggest mistake:
Not starting sustained literary efforts when I was younger.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done:
About to be caught in my then-girlfriend’s dorm room after hours, I jumped ten feet out her window in the dark onto a grating, miraculously avoiding breaking a leg.

Something you chickened out from doing:
Bungee cord jump.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. In addition to his career as a journalist and copywriter, D. R. has written a dozen books, both fiction and non-fiction. His current projects include a fantasy adventure trilogy, a canine cozy mystery series, and historical mysteries set at the turn of the last century.

Connect with Richard:
Webpage  |  Facebook 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble 







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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: SARAH FOX


ABOUT THE BOOK

With a Hollywood film crew in town to shoot a remake of the horror classic The Perishing, the residents of Wildwood Cove are all abuzz. Even Marley McKinney, owner of The Flip Side Pancake House, can overlook the fact that the lead actress, Alyssa Jayde, happens to be an old flame of her boyfriend. After all, the crew loves Marley’s crêpes—so much so that Christine, the head makeup artist, invites her onset for a behind-the-scenes tour. But when Marley arrives, the special-effects trailer is on fire . . . with Christine inside.

The cops quickly rule Christine’s death a murder, and Alyssa a suspect. Marley’s boyfriend insists that the actress is innocent, but when Marley sticks her nose into the complicated lives of The Perishing’s cast and crew, she discovers more questions than answers. It seems that everyone has a hidden agenda—and a plausible motive. And as the horror spills over from the silver screen, Marley gets a funny feeling that she may be the killer’s next victim.




LOVE OR HATE INTERVIEW WITH SARAH FOX


A few of your favorite things:
My books, my camera, my animals.
Things you need to throw out:
So many things!


Things you need in order to write:
Quiet.
Things that hamper your writing:
Noise, letting myself get distracted by social media.


Hardest thing about being a writer:
Waiting (to hear back from publishers, for book releases, etc).

Easiest thing about being a writer:
Bringing my characters to life on the page.


Things you love about where you live:

It’s peaceful and the neighbors are friendly.
Things that make you want to move:
Most of my close friends don’t live nearby.


Things you never want to run out of:
Books!
Things you wish you’d never bought:
A pair of wedge heels I can’t walk in.


Favorite foods:
Chocolate, rice, quinoa, prawns, pumpkin pie crêpes.
Things that make you want to throw up:
Liver, beef.

Favorite music:
Linkin Park, Florence and the Machine, Sarah McLachlan.
Music that makes your ears bleed:
Anything that sounds like people screaming rather than singing.

Favorite beverage:
Root beer.

Something that gives you a pickle face:
Sour milk.

Last best thing you ate:
A cookie.

Last thing you regret eating:
The same cookie.

Things you always put in your books:
Murders, red herrings, a touch of romance.

Things you never put in your books:
Graphic violence.

Favorite places you’ve been:
Japan, Maui, and Churchill, Manitoba.
Places you never want to go to again:
A hospital operating room as a patient.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she is often reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English springer spaniel.

Connect with Sarah:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Instagram  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Penguin Random House  |  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble 





Sunday, November 5, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH LOIS WINSTON’S ANASTASIA POLLACK



ABOUT THE BOOK

Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but normal deserted craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s world nearly a year ago. Now, tripping over dead bodies seems to be the “new normal” for this reluctant amateur sleuth.

When the daughter of a murdered neighbor asks Anastasia to create a family scrapbook from old photographs and memorabilia discovered in a battered suitcase, she agrees—not only out of friendship but also from a sense of guilt over the older woman’s death. However, as Anastasia begins sorting through the contents of the suitcase, she discovers a letter revealing a fifty-year-old secret, one that unearths a long-buried scandal and unleashes a killer. Suddenly Anastasia is back in sleuthing mode as she races to prevent a suitcase full of trouble from leading to more deaths.






ABOUT ANASTASIA POLLACK

When magazine craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s husband permanently cashed in his chips in Las Vegas, her life crapped out. Previously clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction, she’s now dealing with debt greater than the GNP of Uzbekistan. She’s also stuck with her semi-invalid Communist mother-in-law as a permanent houseguest, who’s sharing a bedroom with her mother, a self-proclaimed descendant of Russian nobility. Anastasia’s two teenage sons, her mother’s cat, her mother-in-law’s dog, and a Shakespeare-quoting parrot all vie for space and attention in her too-small suburban home.

When Anastasia returns to work, she discovers the body of the magazine’s fashion editor glued to her office chair. The woman collected enemies and ex-lovers like Jimmy Choos. When evidence surfaces of an illicit affair between her and Anastasia's husband, Anastasia becomes the prime suspect. Suddenly she’s thrust into the role of reluctant amateur sleuth to prove her innocence.

As the series progresses (there are currently six books—Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, Death By Killer Mop Doll, Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, Decoupage Can Be Deadly, A Stitch to Die For, and Scrapbook of Murder and three novellas—Crewel Intentions, Mosaic Mayhem, and Patchwork Peril), Anastasia takes on various moonlighting jobs to pay down her debt, only to find herself constantly tripping over dead bodies, forcing her to continue sleuthing. The one bright spot in her life is photojournalist and possible government operative Zack Barnes. Simmering sexual tension between the two eventually leads to romance.





CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH LOIS WINSTON’S ANASTASIA POLLACK


Anastasia, how did you first meet Lois?
I was a typical middle-class suburban working mom when author Lois Winston hijacked my life. Now I’m a penniless widow who’s constantly dealing with murder and mayhem. Why would she do that to me? I’m a magazine crafts editor, not Jane Rizzoli!

Want to dish about her?
I’m no psychiatrist, but personally, I think Lois Winston has some unresolved family issues, especially with her communist mother-in-law. Why else would she foist a nasty communist mother-in-law on me?
 
Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?

I don’t know, but I definitely lost the heroine lottery. Lois used to write romance. Why couldn’t she have chosen me for a heroine in one of her earlier romances? Six books and three novellas into the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, and I’m still looking for my happily-ever-after. Lois isn’t a total sadist, though. She did allow hunky Zack Barnes to rent the apartment over my garage when she could just as easily have rented to a couple of rowdy college kids. So I have to thank her for that. But then, of course, she couldn’t leave it at that. I seriously suspect that along with being a photojournalist, Zack is also a government agent, and the photography gig is merely a cover for his spy work.

Did you have a hard time convincing Lois to write any particular scenes for you?
I’ve begged for some steamy love scenes featuring Zack and me. I know Lois is capable of writing them. I’ve read her romances. But she keeps denying my request. She says it’s all about reader expectations and the differences between the romance genre and the mystery genre. In cozy and amateur sleuth mysteries readers are more interested in the solving of the mystery. They don’t want mushy love scenes getting in the way. So Zack and I are limited to the occasional passionate kiss before Lois slams the bedroom door. And she’s made it clear she’ll continue slamming that door.

What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Let’s see . . . I’m a single mom who’s been forced to take on moonlighting jobs to try to whittle down the debt my dead husband stuck me with. When I’m not working, I’m busy keeping my mother and my mother-in-law from killing each other. And then there are all those dead bodies Lois tosses in my path on a regular basis. I did have one short respite, though. In Mosaic Mayhem, Zack took me to Barcelona on one of his photo assignments, but I wound up getting kidnapped, so the vacation was a bit of a bust.

Bummer! Besides that particular plot, if you could rewrite anything in your books, what would it be?
I’d like my pre-Lois life back, but she rattled off something about the need for plot arcs and character goals, motivation, and conflict and said no one would be interested in reading about a protagonist with a boring, normal life.

Well, she does have a point. Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?
I love my sons, and I love Zack. And as much as she tries my patience, I love my mother—most days. But then there’s my mother-in-law Lucille. She would try the patience of a hundred saints. I understand one of Lois’s good friends keeps asking her to kill off Lucille, but Lois claims she’s the character readers love to hate. So I guess I’m stuck with her.

With the exception of our prima donna fashion editor (and what fashion editor isn’t a prima donna?) my coworkers are wonderful, especially food editor Cloris McWerther. Along with keeping my sweet tooth satisfied, she also saved my life once. I owe her big time. So I don’t hesitate to jump in and help when she finds herself in trouble in Scrapbook of Murder.

Do you have any secret aspirations that Lois doesn’t know about?
Not really. I’m not shy about letting her know how I feel and what I want. Unfortunately, she rarely listens to me.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
What I wouldn’t give for a spa day! Ever since Dead Louse of a Spouse left me in debt up the yin-yang, I can barely afford a haircut once a year, let alone anything else.

What's the worst thing that's happened in your life? What did you learn from it?
That would be discovering my husband had a serious gambling addiction that he kept well hidden from me. When a man says, don’t worry, he’ll take care of everything—especially when it comes to money—don’t believe him. Trust but verify.

What are you most afraid of?
Winding up living in a cardboard box over a subway grate.

What’s Lois’s worst habit?
Given what she’s done to me? She’s obviously a sadist.

What aspect of her writing style do you like best?
Her ability to write humor. As bad as I have it, thanks to Lois imbuing me with a sense of humor, I’ve been able to survive everything she’s thrown at me—at least so far. Can you imagine what my life would be like if she’d decided to write a series of dark mysteries?

Horrors! If your story were a movie, who would play you?
Tina Fey, hands down. Publishers Weekly even compared me quite favorably to her Liz Lemon character from 30 Rock in their starred review of the first book in the series.

What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre?
Most cozy and amateur sleuth mysteries feature small-town women from New England or down South. I’m a Jersey girl with a Jersey girl’s attitude.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR


USA Today
bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.




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