I’m honored to have Laura Childs, author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, here to talk about herself and her books and also to share the blog tour for her latest release.
Hello, Laura, and welcome. How long have you been published? What titles/series have you published with which publisher?
I’ve been lucky enough to have published 45 books over the past 20 years. My series include the New York Times bestselling Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. All are with Berkley, a division of Penguin Random House.
That’s wonderful. Please tell us about your newest book, Lavender Blue Murder.
As tea shop owner Theodosia and her tea sommelier Drayton enjoy a British-style day of shooting at Creekmore Plantation, gunshots explode like Black Cat firecrackers. But the distinctive pop of a handgun sounds too close for comfort. Theodosia wanders into a neighboring lavender field and discovers their host Reginald Doyle bleeding to death. Hours later, a fire rips through the Doyle’s plantation house. A shooting and a fire feel way too coincidental, so Theodosia launches an investigation. Fingers are pointed, suspects abound, and old secrets are revealed even as Reginald’s daughter-in law is missing and presumed drowned. A wild, cross-country chase with more shots fired reveals the killer. This is one of my most action-packed mysteries yet!
It sounds exciting.
What are your goals as a writer?
Always to entertain and delight my reader. There are so many good books, movies, TV shows, etc. out there, that I really try my best to come up with quirky murders and interesting, twisty plots.
Judging by your success, I’d say you’ve managed to do that.
What type of reader do you attract?
My readers are all ages – I always say my books are good for girls to grandmas. But I get a lot of male readers too. I think it’s primarily women who buy my books and then their husbands or boyfriends pick them up and read them too.
Interesting. I feel the same way about my books. I know men have read my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, although I’m sure they attract women more.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Read the genre you’re most interested in writing and check Publisher’s Weekly to see what editors are buying. Then try to write a little bit each day. When you’re first starting out, it really helps to outline your book. Also, make your chapter one super exciting, weave any necessary back story into later chapters, and try to keep your story moving forward at a super-fast pace.
Great advice. As a librarian, I read a variety of books and am also now a reviewer for Booklist. However, I’m a pantster, so I should probably try to outline more. I’ve also been told that my mysteries pick up later in the book, so I need to add more excitement in the earlier chapters.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before becoming published?
Mostly just finding time. I was CEO of my own marketing firm so it was difficult to carve out time to work on my novels.
Finding time to write is a big issue for most authors. I know it is for me, as I work full-time as a librarian. Your marketing background must’ve helped you when it came to promoting your books.
What do you like most about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
Much like running a marketing firm, I enjoy being my own boss. I can skip a day of work or I can write for 20 hours straight if I choose. My toughest challenges always come in piecing together a good plot and jump starting the book with a scary murder. On the other hand, there are so many delicious ways to kill a person!
Very well put.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I love the idea of an amateur sleuth who isn’t constrained by the usual police procedures, regulations, search warrants, etc. That allows my amateur sleuths to snoop around to her heart’s content!
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title?
Love to! Here you go:
Theodosia couldn’t bear it any longer. She knew she had to do something to keep Fawn from being shot to death!
Theodosia lifted her flashlight high above her head and swung it with all her might, as if she were hitting the winning home run in the final game of the World Series. As the flashlight crashed into the dusty window, the old glass shattered like skim ice on a pond. Shards of brittle glass flew like a hail of bullets. Theodosia felt a sting hit her forehead, watched as hundreds more sharp pieces blew into the old barn.
“Stop!” Theodosia screamed with all the sound and fury she could muster. “Drop the gun, Jacoby!”
Caught off guard by the sudden noise and slivers of glass that had come blasting out of nowhere, Jacoby’s hand wavered slightly as he squeezed the trigger.
Great action scene.
What’s your website and social media?
Find me at www.laurachilds and on Facebook at Laura Childs Author
Thank you. It’s been great having you here, Laura. Best wishes on your new release and upcoming books. I’m also sharing your blog tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours that includes a giveaway.
And thank you so much, Ruff Drafts!
Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs
About Lavender Blue Murder
Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
21th in Series
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R
Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.
Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.
But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.
His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.
As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald’s daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she’s made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
About Laura Childs
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31
March 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
March 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 4 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
March 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
March 5 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 6 – I’m All About Books-SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
March 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLGHT
March 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 13 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
March 14 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
March 16 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 16 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 19 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
March 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
March 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
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