Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Interview

Interview, Blog Tour, and Giveaway of A Deadly Edition, the new Blue Ridge Library Mystery, by Victoria Gilbert

Today, I’m interviewing author Victoria Gilbert from the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina about her new Blue Ridge Library Mystery release, A Deadly Edition.

Welcome to Ruff Drafts, Victoria. Please tell us how long have you been published and what titles and/or series you’ve published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My first published book (2014) was CROWN OF ICE, a fairytale retelling of H. C. Andersen’s The Snow Queen. It was originally trad. published, but for various reasons I pulled all my rights from that publisher and republished that title, as well as its companion title, SCEPTER OF FIRE – a “mash-up” retelling of Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling and The Steadfast Tin Soldier – as books one and two in the Mirror of Immortality Series. Those books were both independently published in the spring of 2017 with my author co-op, Snowy Wings Publishing.

I also wrote a YA scifi novel that was trad. published in 2016. However, I also had to pull my rights to that book and it’s now out-of-print. I have no plans to republish that particular book.

My first mystery was A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS. It was published in December 2017 by Crooked Lane Books, and is the start of the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series. Since that time, Crooked Lane has published more books in that series – SHELVED UNDER MURDER (2018), PAST DUE FOR MURDER (2019), and BOUND FOR MURDER (2020). The fifth book, A DEADLY EDITION, publishing today, December 8,  2020 by Crooked Lane  is the book being celebrated during this tour.

The first book in my new series, the Booklover’s B&B series, BOOKED FOR DEATH, was published by Crooked Lane in August 2020.

Very nice. As a librarian as well as an author who writes a cozy mystery series involving a librarian, I hope to read some of your Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

Please tell us more about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

Book two in the Booklover’s B&B series, RESERVED FOR MURDER, will be released in June 2021. It is already available for preorder.

There will also be at least two more books in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series. Book six will be published in Dec. 2021 and book seven in Dec. 2022.

I’ve also recently signed a contract with Crooked Lane Books for a more traditional mystery series – the Hunter and Clewe Mysteries. Book one in that series will be published in spring 2023 and book two in spring 2024.

Sounds like you are very busy. It’s great that you’ve got your next few years’ writing planned.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I am pretty booked up with contracts over the next few years! I will be working on my two original cozy series as well as the new traditional mystery series.

I plan to write at least two books a year. (I’m actually turning in three books in 2021!) I also hope to enhance my promotional efforts, attend pertinent conferences and conventions (when we can travel again), and continually improve my craft.

Impressive goals.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

As a very eclectic reader myself, I would be happy to attract anyone who enjoys reading.

As far as who might be most interested in my two current series, I would say anyone who likes cozy or light mysteries, anyone interested in a small-town settings and interesting and diverse characters, anyone who enjoys some (clean) romance in their books, and anyone who likes historical mysteries mixed in with contemporary crime-solving.

You should have a wide audience.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

I encourage authors to explore new paths to publication if they find the traditional publishing world isn’t interested in books they’ve written and love. Although my SF/F books don’t match the market for trad. publishing today, I’ve found publishing them independently (with my author co-op) a great alternative to leaving them languishing “on the shelf.”

Also, experiment and try new things, especially if you are feeling “stuck” or unfulfilled with where you are now. I started out in one genre, and while I did get published, I discovered that my real strengths as a writer lay elsewhere.

That’s very good advice. Although I have my cozy series and have written several standalone mysteries, I also write other genres and have written short stories, poetry, non-fiction articles, and will be releasing my first non-fiction cat book soon.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Despite starting later in life, my path to publication wasn’t as difficult as some. I actually signed with an agent and got a publishing deal after only a year of querying. To be honest, I faced more challenges AFTER being first published than before. I really don’t wish to go into details about those problems, but I will say that all my experiences have taught me a great deal about the publishing business, which I think is always beneficial.

That’s interesting. I’ve been querying agents off and on for a few years. I currently publish with two Indie publishers but have also found more problems after I was published. I wouldn’t call them problems so much as challenges.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I am a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. I am also involved in my local Sisters in Crime chapter, Murder We Write.

I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime, but there’s no local chapter in my area, unfortunately. I’ve also been considering joining Mystery Writers of America.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love reading, of course! I also enjoy gardening, traveling, drawing and painting, listening to music, attending theatre and dance performances, and watching films and TV, especially British and other non-U.S. shows.

That’s a good variety of hobbies and pastimes.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

What I like most is the creative process and bringing my characters to life. I also enjoy developing plots and honing my words into something that can make me feel proud. (Even though my writing is never perfect and I am still learning). In addition, I love hearing from readers who have enjoyed my books, and discussing writing and books with other readers.

My toughest challenge is promotion. I am not a natural salesperson, so dealing with the marketing aspect of the business is much more of a challenge for me than the creative side.

I feel exactly the same way about creativity and reader recognition as the most fulfilling parts of being an author as well as marketing/promoting being the most demanding and difficult parts.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

As someone who is not fond of reading books that include graphic violence, language, or sex, I enjoy writing in a genre that doesn’t include those things. I also enjoy being able to focus on characters and everyday life while still being able to include action and adventure.

I feel that way, too.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?

From A DEADLY EDITION, Book Five in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series:

“This is starting to remind me of one of those French farces— people coming and going from all directions.” Richard’s fingers curled around mine.

Looking over the area as if to make sure no one was watching, Scott also used the back door to enter the house.

“It is peculiar,” I said, “but I’m sure there’s some reasonable explanation.”

A loud crash silenced Richard’s response.

“Sounds like it came from that direction,” he said, dropping my hand to sprint down the path.

I followed, running to match his longer strides. The path curved off to the right, ending at a wooden garden shed.

Richard paused, grabbing the edge of the half-open door. “Hold on,” he said as I reached him. “We should be careful. It could be some sort of wild animal, and if we back it into a corner, it could turn violent.”

“But it also could be hurt,” I said, pulling the door wider to peer inside the shed. “Can’t see much.”

There’s something on the floor.” Richard pointed toward a large, shadowy object sprawled across the center of the small room.

I backed away. “Not a bear, I hope.”

“It’s not moving. Maybe just some tarps that tipped off that top shelf.” Richard grabbed a rake that was propped next to the door.

As he crept closer to the shadowy object, holding the rake like a weapon, I stepped in behind him and moved to the side to allow light to spill in through the door.

It was a tarp—a cracked blue tarp dusted with mold. But it was draped over something else. Richard tentatively reached out and flipped up an edge of the thick plastic covering.

I gasped as an expensive leather shoe was revealed.

We both rushed forward to fling back the rest of the tarp. Then stood in silence, holding hands, as we stared down at the body of Oscar Selvaggio.

Enticing excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?

While I do write series, and there is character development and plot progression over the course of each series, I never write cliff-hangers! If someone wants to read my books out of order, they should be able to enjoy them.

Also, I’m happy to engage with readers on social media or via my website contact form and would also love to talk to them if we meet at any conferences, signings, or related events. So readers – don’t hesitate to connect with me!

I don’t like writing (or reading) cliffhangers, and I consider that all the books of my Cobble Cove mysteries can be read as standalones, although readers might enjoy the character developments by reading them in order. As for engaging with readers (and also other writers), that’s always a pleasure.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. 

Social Media Links:


Facebook author page: 




Amazon author page:









Thanks so much, Victoria. I’m including your blog tour and giveaway below. Best wishes on your new release and all your upcoming publications.

A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About A Deadly Edition

A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1643854762
Kindle ASIN: B085N3KN7L

‘Til death do us part” could be closer than the bride realizes in Victoria Gilbert’s tantalizing fifth Blue Ridge Library mystery.”

The pursuit to acquire a rare illustrated book turns deadly, and on the eve of her upcoming wedding, library director Amy Webber is drawn into a web of treachery and betrayal that could derail her happy day–and maybe just claim her life.

Planning a wedding can be murder–sometimes literally. At a party celebrating their upcoming nuptials, Taylorsford, Virginia library director Amy Webber and her fiancé Richard Muir discover the body of art dealer Oscar Selvaggio–a bitter rival of their host, Kurt Kendrick.

Both had been in a heated battle to purchase a rare illustrated volume created by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, so suspicion immediately falls upon Kurt. Amy knows that Kurt has a closet-full of skeletons from his past–but she can’t believe he’s guilty of murder.

Amidst an avalanche of wedding preparations, Amy begins an investigation with the help of her aunt Lydia Talbot and the new mayor of Taylorsford, Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. Much to Lydia’s dismay, her boyfriend, art expert Hugh Chen, becomes convinced of Kurt’s guilt and launches an investigation of his own. As the case hits painfully close to home, the stakes become impossibly high–and the danger all too real.

About Victoria Gilbert

Raised in a historic small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.

Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B series, and the upcoming Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. She has also published fantasy with Snowy Wings Publishing.

A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel. She lives near Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.

Author Links

Website (includes blog):

FB author page:


Amazon author page:



Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

Blue Ridge Library Mystery series:






Booklover’s B&B series:



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I'm a retired librarian and the author of the Cobble Cove and Buttercup Bend cozy mystery series and other novels, short stories, poems, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, REASON TO DIE, SEA SCOPE, MEMORY MAKERS, TIME'S RELATIVE, MEOWS AND PURRS, and MEMORIES AND MEOWS. My Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing consists of 6 books: A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, LOVE ON THE ROCKS, NO GRAVESTONE UNTURNED, and SNEAKY'S SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY AND OTHER COBBLE COVE STORIES. My new Buttercup Bend series published by Next Chapter Publishing includes THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY and THE CASE OF THE PARROT LOVING PROFESSOR. I've also written a romantic comedy novella, WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE, and short stories of various genres published as eBooks and in anthologies published by the Red Penguin Collection. My poetry appears in the Nassau County Voices in Verse and the Bard's Annual. I'm a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers' Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and 2 cats.

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