Posted in Blog Tour, holidays

Blog Tour and Giveaway for The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable by Able Barrett

Andrew and his older brother Nicholas were separated as children.

Nicholas had been snatched away by the Prince of Darkness, and Andrew had all but given up hope, but now their mother is ill, and he’s determined to reunite them before she passes – despite her objections.

With his dog Jenny by his side, Andrew sets out on an epic and perilous crusade well beyond his wildest imagination, facing evil protectors, giant wolves, dark magic, Sorcerers, Goblins, and even the Prince of Darkness himself.

Then there’s The Great Tree.

It’s enormous, with a presence that’s nearly impossible to describe…

And it’s clearly the heart of the kingdom of the wicked Sorcerer.

This is the setting for the adventure story that changed Christmas forever!

Young people and adults of all ages will enjoy this thrilling fable in the same way we’ve enjoyed other great Christmas stories of the past.

Jenny the dog is based on a very real Jenny, the author’s vision of a true warrior – who has her own inspiring story that he’s happy to share with anyone who asks.

EXCERPT

The room at the inn had a window that faced the Great Tree with the castle by its side. As Andrew gazed through the window at the castle, his mind wandered back to his mother, who was at home sick with the deadly fever. Although she wanted to see her lost son one more time before she passed, she insisted that Andrew not look for him, for it was much too dangerous. She made Andrew promise that he would not venture off and search for his brother. Andrew agreed not to.

Andrew was now looking for his brother, Nicholas, in defiance of his mother’s wishes. He had made up his mind that he could not live with himself if he did not try. He understood his mother’s concern, but he felt he had to do what he thought was right. He lied to his mother out of love for her and because he did not want her worrying about him on his quest. Right or wrong, it was the way he felt about it. Nicholas had been abducted by an evil Sorcerer, an evil wizard of sorts, when they were both very young. Nicholas was his older brother. Andrew had been searching for Nicholas for weeks; he was now at a small mountain village where he had hoped to find Nicholas and bring him back to his mother before she died.

With Jenny at his side, Andrew, weary from his lengthy travels, fell soundly asleep while gazing at the castle in the distance.

All proceeds from the sale of The Great Tree go to The Last Road Dog Animal Sanctuary to rescue unadoptable dogs, cats, and horses, an approved 501 (c)(3) Animal Public Welfare Charity that greatly appreciates the ongoing support of readers like you!Author Bio:

Able Barrett is a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Strike Force Prosecutor who shamelessly admits he loves animals more than most people, and he’s the manager of The Last Road Dog Animal Sanctuary.

Author Links:

Website:  www.thelastroaddog.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TLRDSANCTUARY

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blkdogr4/

Purchase and Review Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BGK2ZNJF

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60553311-the-great-tree

CONTEST

For a chance to win these great giveaways, comment on this blog how an animal has been important in your life. The deadline for the contest is Thursday, December 1.

  • A signed copy of the book
  • Donation of $50 to The Last Road dog Animal Sanctuary in the winner’s name or a friend or family they wish give it in as a gift
  • The short video “The Journey” download
  • TLRD Water Bottle
  • Pet backpack carrier

Posted in Blog Tour, Interview

Interview of Heather Weidner, author of Film Crews and Rendezvous, A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery

Today, I’m welcoming Heather Weidner from Midlothian, Virginia to Ruff Drafts.

Hi, Heather. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

I have been published since 2013. I write the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, and the Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries.

The Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries
Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers (Oct. 2021) Secret Lives and Private Eyes (2016, 2021)
Film Crews and Rendezvous (Oct. 2022) The Tulip Shirt Murders (2017)
Christmas Lights and Cat Fights (Oct. 2023) Glitter, Glam, and Contraband (2020)

Male Revues and Subterfuge (2022)

 

The Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries

Sticks and Stones and a Bag of Bones

Twinkle, Twinkle Au Revoir

A Tisket A Tasket, Not Another Casket

 

Short Stories

Virginia is for Mysteries (2014)

Virginia is for Mysteries II (2016)

50 Shades of Cabernet (2017)

Deadly Southern Charm (2019)

Murder by the Glass (July 2021)

Virginia is for Mysteries III (Jan. 2022)

 

Novellas
To Fetch a Thief (2019)  
To Fetch a Scoundrel (2020)  
To Fetch a Villain (2020)  
To Fetch a Killer (2021)

My publishers include Level Best Books, Untreed Reads, Wildside Press, Bay Breeze Publishing, Sandpiper Productions, and Koehler Books.

That’s quite a list of publishers and books.

Tell us a little bit about them — any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress.

FILM CREWS AND RENDEZVOUS is the second book in the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. The next in the series are CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AND CAT FIGHTS, DEADLINES AND VALENTINES, TEDDY BEARS AND GHOSTLY LAIRS, and FRUITY DRINKS AND HIJINKS.

STICKS AND STONES AND A BAG OF BONES is the first in the Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries, and it launches in January 2023. The other books in this series are TWINKLE TWINKLE AUVREVOIR and A TISKET A TASKET, NOT ANOTHER CASKET.

The fourth book in the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries launched in August. It’s called MALE REVUES AND SUBTERFUGE

Wow! You are certainly busy. I love the title of the next book in your Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries: Christmas Lights and Cat Fights. As an author who includes cats in most of my books and has two of her own, that title speaks to me 🙂

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 so excited to have three series, and I’m working on a fourth right now. It’s also set in Virginia. The last few years have been very busy with lots of projects. I plan to work on the new series and final revisions on the other.

Great goals. I just started my second cozy mystery series, the Buttercup Bend Mysteries. I can’t imagine how you handle four.

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

My readers like fun, entertaining mysteries. Most are cozy mysteries with not a lot of graphic scenes.

We have similar readers.

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

Be persistent. It takes a lot of work (and waiting) to get your book published. Keep writing and revising.Writing is a business, and you have to think about it that way. Publishers and agents are looking for projects that don’t need a lot of rewrites and can be sold. You often only get one chance when you query, so make sure your manuscript is the best it can be.

Excellent advice and very true.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I do, and I think finding your writing crew is important for support, networking, and ideas. I’m a member of Sisters in Crime National and the Guppy, Central Virginia, and Chessie chapters, James River Writers, and International Thriller Writers.

I agree. I also belong to Sisters in Crime National and the Guppy group, as well as International Thriller Writers.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

We live near the reservoir, so I love to take the kayaks out for a paddle. I also have two crazy Jack Russells who like to go for walks, hikes, and car rides.

Very nice.

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

I love writing and researching. Editing and revising are my least favorite tasks, but they are probably the most important ones. When it’s time to sit down and revise, I have to stay focused.

I feel the same.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I have loved mysteries since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. I love the small, quaint communities and the quirky characters. I also love that they are amateur sleuths who solve crimes and puzzles and fight for justice.

I also love the crime and puzzle elements of cozy mysteries and the quirky characters in the small towns such as Alicia the librarian from Cobble Cove and Cathy from Buttercup Bend.

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

This is a bit from Film Crews and Rendezvous.

Jules Keene’s phone buzzed as she clipped the leash on Bijou, her Jack Russell Terrier. Another text from someone in town who just had to be an extra for the filming at her resort. Ignoring the latest request, she headed across the grassy area to the office.

Hollywood had arrived in Fern Valley, and Jules wasn’t sure the one-stoplight town would be the same. She had had to keep all the location scouting a secret, and that was difficult with the town’s active gossip grapevine. Now, everyone seemed to be plotting ways to get close to the action.

Great excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.

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

I’m a C. K. (cop’s kid), and I thought everyone talked about murder and mayhem at the dinner table. It wasn’t until I was college age that I learned that most folks didn’t. My dad is retired now after 46 years on the force, but he’s still my best resource, and he answers a lot of questions that I don’t want to Google.

Interesting. That must’ve been a great help to your writing.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Links

Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherWeidner1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherWeidnerAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heather_mystery_writer/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8121854.Heather_Weidner

Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/HeatherBWeidner/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-weidner-0064b233?trk=hp-identity-name

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-weidner-d6430278-c5c9-4b10-b911-340828fc7003

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@heather_weidner_author

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyBjyB0zz-M1DaM-rU1bXGA?view_as=subscriber

Biography

Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She writes the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, The Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, and The Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries.

Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Thanks so much for the wonderful interview, Heather. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below. Best of wishes on your new release.


Film Crews and Rendezvous: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
by Heather Weidner

About Film Crews and Rendezvous


Film Crews and Rendezvous: A Jules Keene Glamping Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Level Best Books (October 25, 2022)
Number of Pages 240
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BHLSYBZ9

Hollywood has come to Fern Valley, and the one stoplight town may never be the same. Everyone wants to get in on the act.

The crew from the wildly popular, fan favorite, Fatal Impressions, takes over Jules Keene’s glamping resort, and they bring a lot of offscreen drama and baggage that doesn’t include the scads of costumes, props, and crowds that descend on the bucolic resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Added security, hundreds of calls from hopeful extras, and some demanding divas keep Jules’s team hopping.

When the show’s prickly head writer ends up dead under the L. Frank Baum tiny house in what looks like a staged murder scene with a kitschy homage to the Wizard of Oz, Jules has to figure out who would want the writer dead. Then while they are still reeling from the first murder, the popular publicist gets lost after a long night at the local honky-tonk and winds up strangled. Jules needs to solve both crimes before filming is canceled, and her business is ruined.

About Heather Weidner

Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers is the first in her cozy mystery series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. She also writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series set in Virginia. Her Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries debut in 2023.

Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Author Links

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Lady Hawkeye – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 17 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Mythical Books – AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 18 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews– SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 22 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 23 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 24 – THANKSGIVING

November 25 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 26 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

November 26 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

November 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 30 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Interview

Interview with Dorothy St. James, Author of A Book Club to Die For, A Beloved Bookroom Cozy Mystery

It’s my pleasure to feature an interview with Dorothy St. James who also writes romances under her real name, Dorothy McFalls. Dorothy is the author of A Book Club to Die For that is currently on blog tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book tours. She hails from Charleston, South Carolina.

Hi, Dorothy. Welcome to Ruff Drafts. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My first book, THE MARRIAGE LIST, was published in 2005 by Signet books as Dorothy McFalls. I have since self-published this book, and it’s become one of my top sellers.

My career as cozy mystery Dorothy St. James author began in 2011 with the White House Gardener Mystery series, published by my dream publisher Berkley Prime Crime. These books follow the adventures of a Charleston gardener who takes a job working as an assistant gardener at the White House. She digs up all sorts of crime there!

My next series, the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series, was published by Crooked Lane Books. This series is set on the fictional beach community of Camilla Beach. It’s based on the artsy town of Folly Beach in where I lived for twenty years. It has quirky southern characters, delicious chocolate recipes, and murder in a vacation setting. What more could you ask for?

And now I’m writing the Beloved Bookroom Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. I’m back with my dream publisher! This series follows the adventures of an assistant librarian in a small town as she stands up to government officials in her quest to protect her library’s books. It’s been a fun series since it combines my love of books with my past career with working for small southern governments.

I’ve written a few books that have been self-published and hope to do more in the future. In fact, I’ve continued the cancelled Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series by publishing the fourth book (and hopefully more to come) by myself. Self-publishing has been quite successful for me. I enjoy being able to take a book directly to the reader.

Wow! You’re quite an established author, and I find it interesting that you’ve found success both through a large publisher and through self publishing. My cozy mysteries and other books are currently being published by small, Indie publishers, but I’ve been trying to find an agent, so I can get them published by a larger publisher. My only experience with self publishing was for my first novel, a paranormal romance that I published through a self-publishing company. I since sold it to one of my publishers. That was years ago before authors began to self publish on their own. I’m still not sure it would be for me, but I’ll be having more time in the future to consider my writing path, as I’m retiring shortly.

Please tell us a bit more about your books.

My latest release, A BOOK CLUB TO DIE FOR (November 1, 2022) is the third book in the Beloved Bookroom Mystery series. Trudell Becket, assistant librarian at the Town of Cypress Public Library, is facing what might prove to be her biggest challenge yet. The Cypress Arete Society is one of the town’s oldest and most exclusive clubs. When Tru is invited to speak to the group about the library, its modernization, and her efforts to bring printed books to the reading public, her friend Flossie invites herself along. Flossie has been on the book club’s waiting list for five years, and she’s determined to find out why she’s never received an invitation to join.

But not long after Tru and Flossie arrive for the meeting, they’re shocked to find the club’s president, Rebecca White, dead in the kitchen. Rebecca was a former TV actress and local celebrity, but was not known for being patient or pleasant. She’d been particularly unkind to the book club’s host for the evening, who also happens to be the mother of Detective Jace Bailey, Tru’s boyfriend. And Rebecca had made it clear that she didn’t think Flossie was book club material.

With her boyfriend and one of her best friends wrapped up in a murder, Tru has to work fast to figure out who cut Rebecca’s story short before the killer takes another victim out of circulation….

Love that premise and that your book is about a librarian. I currently work at a public library and feature a librarian in my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. There’s also a librarian playing a minor role so far in my new Buttercup Bend mysteries.

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 hope to write stories that make the reader feel hope while also providing entertainment. The world can be a difficult place. For me, books have often served as a refuge in turbulent times. My fondest wish is to provide that safe harbor for others out there.

I hope to branch out into new genres in the coming years and to stretch myself as an author. I have been writing new stories and developing new ideas that take me outside my comfort zone and challenge me to ask some bigger questions and delve deeper into why my characters make the decisions they make. While I aim to bring to the table richer tales, I will always strive to keep the stories fast-paced, entertaining, and with endings filled with hope.

You have nice goals. Best of luck with them.

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

I would like to appeal to a broad range of readers. Most of my readers are women. And being a woman myself, I’m okay with that. Readers who enjoy solving puzzles and who are looking for a lighter read will enjoy my books.

That’s not to say my books are shallow. Comedies can be sneaky teachers. There’s no reason why comedic prose cannot tackle the same difficult questions that more “serious” books take on. And many comedic books do! How the author tackles the issue is what changes. I hope readers will walk away from my books feeling as if they have learned something valuable either about themselves or about the world.

I agree that most women enjoy cozies, although there are men who find them interesting.. I also like to add a bit of humor to my mysteries, along with more serious topics.

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

I have been writing seriously since 2001. And I’ve been hearing all this time that it’s becoming harder and harder to get published. The story never changes. So, if you are told this, don’t lose hope. I started out needing to learn many lessons about the craft of writing and the business of publication. As I honed my skills, it became easier and easier to find publishers and readers. That’s not to say it’s always easy. It’s not. But you can learn the market. You can learn to write the books the market wants. And if those aren’t the books you want to write, you can find readers by self-publishing your books and selling directly to your market.

And one more thing. I firmly believe that every person has an important story that they can tell. All it takes is the will and the time to learn the best way to tell it.

I totally agree with you. I published my first book in 2008 and have been publishing regularly since 2015. I currently have 14 books published by two publishers and have done that working full-time. I feel that I’ve improved with each book and am close to achieving wider recognition in the publishing industry.

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

Oh, I had so many challenges! I came from a government job writing regulations and grants, both of which I excelled at. I didn’t know how to write compelling prose. I didn’t know how to find my voice. But luckily, both of these things are skills that can be learned. I took online courses. I went to workshops offered by local writing groups. I took notes from the novels I read and enjoyed. And I read many how-to books. Eventually, gradually, I improved.

If I can do it, anyone can.

Thanks for sharing that. It’s an inspiring story.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers groups. I’ve been members of other groups along the way, including Novelist Inc. and Romance Writers of America. It’s important to find groups that fit where you are in your career and have programs that will help you grow and a place to network to find a support network of writers who are at the same level in their career as you.

I agree. I also belong to Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers, as well as a few other groups including the Cat Writers’ Association of which I’ve been a member of for many years and have received awards and opportunities.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love to read. And naps. Naps play a big role in my life. I also enjoy traveling, hiking, getting out into nature, and fiber arts (knitting, crocheting, macramé.)

Lol. Naps are good. They’re healthy for you. Traveling can give writers more ideas from which to draw. I also love the outdoors and enjoy visiting gardens, parks, etc. My daughter is into knitting and crocheting, like you. She’s self taught and enjoys that hobby immensely.

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

I love it when a story comes together. My heart starts pounding and my fingers move faster over the keyboard the moment when the plot and the subplots all make sense to me. I feel so accomplished.

I dislike the daily grind of coming to the page and fighting a plot that doesn’t feel like it’s working. Sometimes that means there is something wrong with the plot. Sometimes it means I’m tired. And sometimes it means I have to work through the rough bits to find the good bits. It can be a challenge figuring out where I am in the process and how to make my story move forward and to get better.

My biggest challenge is fighting my self-doubt. I suspect I’m—like many authors out there—my biggest obstacle. Self-doubt can be difficult to overcome. But if you have a story singing in your heart, it’s important to push through and get that story out on the page, even if you’re doing it only for yourself…especially if you’re doing it only for yourself.

You’ve made some very important points that other writers will identify with. I certainly do.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love both the puzzles of the cozy mysteries and the rich variety of characters. I think as a reader I come for mystery and come back to a series for the characters. Over time, the characters in a series can become as dear to me as an old friend.

That is exactly how I feel about writing my cozies.

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

Sure! I’d love to.

A loud crash from the kitchen made us both jump.

As we moved toward the swinging door to investigate, the front doorbell rang.

“What should we do?” I asked as I automatically moved toward the front door. “Answer the door or offer our help in the kitchen?

“Kitchen,” Flossie announced as she rolled her wheelchair in that direction. “As hostess, Hazel should be the one to greet her guests. She wouldn’t thank us for doing that for her.” The kitchen door swung back and forth in Flossie’s wake.

I hesitated.

The head librarian, Mrs. Farnsworth might be on the other side of the front door, ringing the bell. She wouldn’t appreciate being made to wait outside.

But then there was a second crash in the kitchen.

“Flossie? Is everything alright in there?” I abandoned my quest to open the front door and jogged to the kitchen to find Flossie sitting in her wheelchair next to an enormous kitchen counter that was lined with sumptuous dishes.

“Hazel did this all by herself?” I wondered aloud, barely able to restrain myself from taking a nibble out of one of the rainbow-colored mini hamburgers topped with feta cheese. My empty stomach rumbled.

Strangely, Flossie wasn’t looking at the food, but was busy slipping something into her bag.

“What were those crashes?” I asked her.

“Hazel must have dropped her pasta casserole onto the floor. It’s everywhere,” Flossie said. Her wheelchair made a squishy sound as she rolled through elbow pasta floating in an eggy mayonnaise sauce strewn with cucumbers, pink seared tuna, and chives. “You’d better get a mop.”

“We’re going to need more than a mop,” I said as I stepped further into the kitchen.

I pointed to the hardwood floor near the kitchen counter where a pair of legs were sticking out from behind the kitchen counter.

“Is it—?” Flossie asked.

I peered around the counter and followed the legs up to the rest of the woman. Rebecca White was lying flat on back. Her unmoving eyes seemed to be staring judgmentally at a tiny cobweb hanging from the ceiling.

Flossie looked at the shattered casserole dish lying in pieces next to Rebecca’s body. “Tell me she isn’t dead.”

“Can’t do that.” I sighed.

Flossie breathed out a long, loud breath. “It looks like there will be an opening for a new member in the society after all.”

“An opening? What do you mean an opening?” Hazel demanded. “Did Rebecca say something about my membership?” Our hostess came into the kitchen through the back door. She was carrying an empty garbage can while wearing bright yellow dish gloves. I was embarrassed that she’d heard Flossie’s uncharitable remark about a dead woman. “What’s going on in here?” Her voice was filled with suspicion as soon as she noticed the awful mess.

“What did you do to Rebecca?” Flossie demanded right back at our hostess.

Hazel looked at the pasta salad splattered all over the floor first and then at Rebecca who was lying in the middle of the mess. “Good gracious, Mary, and Joseph. She’s dead, isn’t she?”

The front doorbell rang for a second time.

“And the rest of the ladies are here. Of course, they are,” Hazel said before bursting out in a loud peel of laughter. The poor woman laughed so hard she had to bend over and grab hold of her knees to keep from falling over. And she kept laughing.

I called the police while Hazel continued to laugh so hard tears poured down her face. It took Flossie threatening to slap her silly before the poor woman managed to get control of herself.

“Sorry, sorry, I’ve had to put up with this sharp-tongued woman all week. She kept telling me that tonight was going to be a disaster…and then the dessert burned…and I had to take it out to the garbage…and…now…this,” Hazel explained between gasping breaths. “She was right, wasn’t she? Tonight is a disaster. I bet she died just to make sure she would be right. She would always go to any length to ensure her rightness. I can’t tell you how much I hated that.”

The doorbell rang again. Hazel glanced over at where Rebecca was still on the floor dead. The soles of the former actress’s high heels were really the only thing visible from where the three of us were. A short laugh seemed to explode out Hazel’s mouth. “Sorry. I can’t seem to help myself. Seeing her there reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the East at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz movie. Smashed by a house. Ding-dong.” She fought back more giggles and more tears. “Gracious, it isn’t funny. I know it isn’t. It’s just that I worked myself half to death this past week trying to make Rebecca happy and then, the moment before the guests arrive and before Rebecca’s friend from that television show comes to set up, that terrible woman drops dead. And my casserole dish is smashed too. It was a wedding gift from my sister.”

“You didn’t do this?” Flossie asked, pointing to the shattered remains of what I supposed to be the murder weapon.

“What? Buy that dish?” Hazel shook her head. “No. I just told you it had been a wedding gift from my sister. I’ve had it forever. It’s hard to find quality ones that are that large enough nowadays. I don’t know how I’ll replace it.

Love it! Thanks for sharing.

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

I live in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with my family and neurotic pets. I often can be found at the local library, searching for my next favorite read. I hope you’ll give one of my books a chance.

I certainly hope my readers will, and I plan to do so, too. Thanks so much for the wonderful interview. I’m sharing the blog tour for you new release below. Best wishes.

 


A Book Club to Die For (A Beloved Bookroom)
by Dorothy St. James

About A Book Club to Die For


A Book Club to Die For (A Beloved Bookroom)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Cypress, South Carolina
‎Berkley (November 1, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593098633
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593098639
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PZSBCVW

When a member of an exclusive book club is checked out, spunky librarian Trudell Becket must sort fact from fiction to solve the murder.

The Cypress Arete Society is one of the town’s oldest and most exclusive clubs. When assistant librarian Trudell Becket is invited to speak to the group about the library, its modernization, and her efforts to bring printed books to the reading public, her friend Flossie invites herself along. Flossie has been on the book club’s waiting list for five years, and she’s determined to find out why she’s never received an invitation to join.

But not long after Tru and Flossie arrive for the meeting, they’re shocked to find the club’s president, Rebecca White, dead in the kitchen. Rebecca was a former TV actress and local celebrity, but was not known for being patient or pleasant. She’d been particularly unkind to the book club’s host for the evening, who also happens to be the mother of Detective Jace Bailey, Tru’s boyfriend. And Rebecca had made it clear that she didn’t think Flossie was book club material.

With her boyfriend and one of her best friends wrapped up in a murder, Tru has to work fast to figure out who cut Rebecca’s story short before the killer takes another victim out of circulation….

About Dorothy St. James

Dorothy St. James is a former Folly Beach beach bum. She now lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with her family, slightly (OK, terribly) needy dogs, and the friendliest cat you’ll ever meet. Author of a dozen novels, Dorothy enjoys writing both cozy mysteries and romance.

Follow Dorothy Online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dorothy.stjames

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorothywrites

Instagram: www.instagram.com/dorothymcfalls

Website: www.dorothystjames.com

Purchase Links – AmazonPenguin Random HouseB&NKoboIndieBound

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 1 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 1 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 1 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 3 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

November 4 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

November 5 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 5 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – The Book Diva’s Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 7 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 7 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

November 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 9 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 10 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Interview, Reviews

Interview, Blog Tour, and Review for A Dark and Stormy Tea by Laura Childs

It’s a pleasure to have Laura Childs, New York Times Bestselling Author of A Dark and Stormy Tea, here on Ruff Drafts,

Welcome, Laura. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher?

For the last 21 years I’ve been writing 4 different series that are all published by Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Random House. These include the Tea Shop Mysteries, New Orleans Scrapbooking Mysteries, Cackleberry Club Mysteries, and the Afton Tangler Thriller series. All together it comes to a total of 52 books with 3 more written and waiting to be published.

That’s amazing. Congratulations on such a prolific career.

Tell us a little about your four different series.

My most popular series is the Tea Shop Mysteries. These books all feature tea maven Theodosia Browning who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC and has a tea shop dog named Earl Grey. My Scrapbook Mysteries are a little edgier because they’re set in New Orleans. They feature Carmela Bertrand, an artsy scrapbook shop owner, along with her voodoo shop-owning BFA Ava. The Cackleberry Club Mysteries are set in a cute little Midwestern café and feature three women who’ve all lost their husbands – one through death, one through Alzheimer’s, and one whose husband ran off with the floozy waitress at the VFW with the hot pink extensions in her hair. My fourth series is the Afton Tangler Thrillers. Afton is a crime victim’s advocate who’s also a detective wanna-be and manages to insert herself in high profile cases.

They all sound wonderful. I’m sorry to admit that the only book I’ve read of yours so far is your latest Tea Shop mystery, A Dark and Stormy Tea, that I’ve reviewed below. I absolutely loved it.

What’s the date of your upcoming release and what’s your current work-in-progress?

My new release is A DARK AND STORMY TEA that was released on August 9th. I also have LEMON CURD KILLER and HONEY DROP DEAD coming out next year. Works in progress include MURDER IN THE TEA LEAVES and CADMIUM RED DEAD.

After reading A Dark and Stormy Tea, I hope to read another in that series and also try out your other series.

Describe your goals as a writer.

My goal is to always (always!) entertain my readers. That’s why I jumpstart every book – boom! – with a huge murder right there in the first chapter. Then I drop my main character smack dab in the middle of the chaos and give them a life and death reason to get involved and help track down the killer.

Sounds like a great way to get readers hooked.

What type of readers do you attract? Who’s most interested in reading your books?

My three cozy series certainly appeal to a cozy reader, but I’ve had readers who claimed to be strict thriller fans or true crime fans, comment that they actually enjoyed my books. You see? I pulled them over from the dark side!

Lol. After reading your latest book, I can see why.

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

Three things. Read as much as you can in your genre because you’ll start to pick up all sorts of little tricks and tactics from other authors. Second, be sure you know the difference between a story idea and an actual plot (outlining will help you figure this out). And, finally, please don’t start your book with all sorts of back story. Drop your reader right into the action, then fill in the facts and figures later.

Excellent advice.

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

Actually, I was very lucky. Early on, a friend introduced me to the great Mary Higgins Clark and she (God bless her) helped me get started. She even gave me her agent!

Wow! I wish I could get that lucky – lol. But although that was a lucky way to get started, I’m sure your talent took it from there.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I serve on the boards of a couple of non-profit organizations and enjoy travel, art, and investing.

Very nice.

What do you like most – and least – about being an author?

My favorite thing is getting out and meeting my readers. A few weeks ago I did a talk for a book club of 300 – what fun! My least favorite thing is working alone – when I was CEO of my marketing firm I loved the collaborative creative process. So I really do miss that aspect.

I think most writers enjoy interacting with readers and also don’t always enjoy the solitary aspect of writing.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

The best thing is – there are no rules! Sure, cozies are supposed to be a kinder, gentler type of mystery, but that doesn’t mean you can’t push the envelope and make your mystery as exciting as possible. I’ve kicked off my books with kidnappings, exploding floats, hangings, art thefts, yacht races, jewelry heists, poisonings, and a strangling in a creepy cemetery – and ended them with killer drones, food truck chases, alligators, hidden tunnels, ghosts and lots more. You just need to flip the script a bit.

I agree that writing cozies can be fun if you make it that way. Finishing the second book of my new Buttercup Bend series, I included a seventies costume dance party, a club of parrot lovers, and mysterious notes containing Shakespeare quotes.

Can you share a short synopsis of your new release, A DARK AND STORMY TEA?

Love to. Here it is:

Tea shop entrepreneur Theodosia Browning dashes down Charleston’s famed Gateway Walk as she attempts to outrun an oncoming storm. But lighting, thunder, and pelting rain soon overtake her, and the normally picturesque ramble of hedges, statuary, and flowers becomes a twisted labyrinth of fog and driving rain. As Theodosia approaches St. Philips Cemetery, she sees two figures locked in a strange embrace. Wiping rain from her eyes, Theodosia realizes she’s just witnessed a brutal murder and sees a dark hooded figure slip away into the fog.

In the throes of alerting police, Theodosia recognizes the victim – it’s the daughter of her friend, Lois, who owns the Antiquarian Bookshop next door to her own Indigo Tea Shop. Even though this appears to be the work of a serial killer that’s been stalking the back alleys of Charleston, Lois begs Theodosia for help. Against the advice of her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, and the sage words of Drayton, her tea sommelier, amateur sleuth Theodosia launches her own shadow investigation. And quickly discovers that suspects abound with the dead girl’s boyfriend, nefarious real estate developer, private security man, bumbling reporter, and her own neighbor who’s writing a true crime book and searching for a big ending. Between a raging storm, real-life murder investigation, and staging her Murder Mystery Tea at Chillingham Manor, Theodosia suddenly worries that she might be the next victim!

Wonderful! I truly enjoyed reading it.

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

Yup. These aren’t your typical cozies. In fact, I coined the term thrillzies to describe them – because they’re a hybrid cozy that moves at the pace of a thriller. Oh, and when I mention a wonderful scone or tea sandwich in my books, I always include the recipe.

Interesting, and your recipes certainly sound delicious.

Thank you so much for the interview, Laura. I’ve included your bio below along with your blog tour and my 5-star review of your book.

Laura Childs Bio:

Laura Childs is the author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. All have been on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists. Recently, Book Riot named her mysteries to their list of “25 of the All Time Best Cozy Mystery Series.” In her previous life Laura was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, and has a Chinese Shar-Pei named Lotus.

Find out more at laurachilds.com or become a Friend on Facebook at Laura Childs Author

A Dark and Stormy Tea (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

About A Dark and Stormy Tea


A Dark and Stormy Tea (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
24th in Series
Berkley (August 9, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593200896
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593200896
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09LH6VG4P

A possible serial killer on the loose sends tea maven Theodosia Browning into a whirlwind of investigation in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

It was a dark and stormy night, but that was the least of Theodosia Browning’s troubles. As she approaches St. Philips Graveyard, Theodosia sees two figures locked in a strange embrace. Wiping rain from her eyes, Theodosia realizes she has just witnessed a brutal murder and sees a dark-hooded figure slip away into the fog.

In the throes of alerting police, Theodosia recognizes the victim—it is the daughter of her friend, Lois, who owns the Antiquarian Bookshop next door to her own Indigo Tea Shop.

Even though this appears to be the work of a serial killer who is stalking the back alleys of Charleston, Lois begs Theodosia for help. Against the advice of her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, and the sage words of Drayton, her tea sommelier, amateur-sleuth Theodosia launches her own shadow investigation. And quickly discovers that suspects abound with the dead girl’s boyfriend, nefarious real estate developer, private-security man, bumbling reporter, and her own neighbor who is writing a true-crime book and searching for a big ending.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

My Review of A Dark and Stormy Tea

*****5-stars

This is the first mystery I’ve read by Laura Childs, and I can’t believe what I’ve missed. She has several series. This one, the Tea Shop Mysteries, takes place in Charleston, South Carolina and features Theodosia Browning who owns the Indigo Tea Shop and has a knack for solving crimes as well as brewing tea.

In A Dark and Stormy Tea, the 24th Tea Shop Mystery, Theodosia witnesses the murder of a bookstore owner’s daughter in a cemetery but, because of the rain, she was unable to see the face of the killer. Could he be Fogheel Jack, the name given to a murderer who has strangled women in the past in foggy weather?

The victim’s mother, a friend of Theodosia, asks for her help catching the killer. Against her Detective boyfriend’s wishes and despite her tea sommelier, Drayton’s discouragement, Theo pursues her own investigation and is nearly killed after a successful mystery tea at her shop.

I found this a charming cozy. The characters and atmosphere were great, and there was an interesting twist. A big plus are the recipes at the end of the book for tea and other yummy goodies. You will devour this story. Highly recommended.

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.

Laura’s Links: WebsiteFacebook

Purchase Links
AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 8 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

August 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

August 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

August 11 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

August 11 – The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

August 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW

August 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

August 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

August 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 17 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 17 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

August 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

August 18 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 20 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT

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Spotlight and Blog Tour for Lethal Legacies, A Washington Whodunit, by Colleen Shogan


Lethal Legacies (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

About Lethal Legacies


Lethal Legacies (A Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Camel Press (August 9, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 236 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1684920302
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1684920303
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09VMPZCC4

It’s springtime in Washington, D.C. and congressional staffer Kit Marshall has more on her plate than she can handle. With her boss campaigning for an open U.S. Senate seat, Kit is left to run the office in her absence and manage a new week long American history extravaganza filled with high-profile events, lectures, and receptions.

When the Director of the Capitol Visitor’s Center ends up dead, Kit springs into action to clear a longtime friend, who becomes the prime suspect in the murder. With her best pal Meg pressuring her to solve the mystery quickly, Kit must figure out how to navigate her closest relationships while keeping an eye out for the diabolical killer.

The investigation takes Kit across the city to famous locations, including Georgetown University, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the White House.

When the killer strikes a second time, the pressure to solve the crimes intensifies. Has our favorite Capitol Hill sleuth finally met her match? In the end, Kit learns the hard way that history tends to repeat itself, often with deadly consequences.

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. “Larceny at the Library” won the 2021 IPPY bronze medal for mystery. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/cshogan276

Website – www.colleenshogan.com

GoodReads – www.goodreads.com/cshogan276

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

Praise for the Series

“The mystery is perplexing—for Kit and company, and for me—and well done. I was impressed by the complexity of the murder plot. I enjoyed the political theme, and all the details about lobbyists.” —Jane Reads

“To someone who has mastered that uniquely Washington skill of bobbling two cell phones and a glass of wine without spilling a drop, solving a murder is practically child’s play.” —HillRag

“A solid choice for political junkies and readers of ­Maggie ­Sefton, Fred Hunter, and Mike Lawson.” —Library Journal

“The fourth volume in author Colleen J. Shogan’s simply outstanding ‘Washington Whodunit’ series, K Street Killing is a consistently entertaining read with many an unexpected twist and turn by a true master of the genre.” —Midwest Book Review

“Shogan does a good job depicting the creaky, squeaky wheels of government, and Marshall plays politics and sleuth with equal dexterity in this capital Capitol Hill mystery.” —Publishers Weekly

“Loads of inside scoop about the workings of Senate offices—complete with all the gossiping, back-stabbing, and procedural maneuvering—plus an appealing young sleuth, sprightly pacing, and an edge-of-your-seat showdown on the Hart-Dirksen underground train.” —Literary Hill

“An excellent whodunit…. I was really impressed with this very smart story. The author is a former Senate staffer so she is writing what she knows, less the murder, I hope.” —Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book

“Readers who enjoy amateur sleuth mysteries written in the style of Agatha Christie will enjoy this promising debut mystery.” —The Washington Independent Review of Books

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 8 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

August 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

August 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

August 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

August 11 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST

August 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 17 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT

August 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 18 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 19 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

August 20 – The Mystery of Writing – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 21 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Spotlight

Spotlight and Blog Tour for Inheriting Murder: the first Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie


Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery
by Jamie Rutland Gillespie

About Inheriting Murder


Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Independently Published (May 1, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 287 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8814800398
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Z9889D4

When Landry Burke’s favorite Aunt Tildie passes away, Landry inherits the entire estate. It includes a five story apartment building named Magnolia Place, as well as a bookstore across the street named Jasmine Bloom Books, both located in Bobwhite Mountain, Tennessee.

Landry packs up and leaves Bent Branch, SC for the hills of Tennessee. On her very first day there, she and her aunt’s attorney, Adam Wilcox, find the body of one of Magnolia Place’s employees. Between her panic attacks, anxiety and trying to adjust to her new surroundings, Landry wants this murder solved and fast.

Sheriff Wyatt Collins and his deputies are on the case. Now, if they can just keep Landry from trying to help and causing danger to herself.

And Jasmine Bloom’s manager, and late Aunt Tildie’s best friend, Ms. Millie, is convinced that Landry is trying to get her killed because of all the zany situations they find themselves in.

Take a visit to Bobwhite Mountain and find out what all of the fuss is about.

About Jamie Rutland Gillespie

Jamie Rutland Gillespie was born and raised in a tiny, country town in South Carolina. At the age of 18, she moved to a slightly larger town in the same state and still lives there. She spent much of her youth visiting the beaches of the low country and taking trips to the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. The mountains were always her “happy place” and she still visits every chance she gets.

Jamie has always loved to read; she got her library card at the small library of her hometown at the young age of 6. She has a vivid imagination and has always made-up stories of places, people and situations that only exist in her head.

She currently lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughter and 17-year-old Yorkie Pom, who is her baby and shadow. She loves college football and has been a South Carolina Gamecock fan since birth. She also loves MLB and has been a Braves fan since she was a little girl, watching the games and going to games with her Dad. She is still an avid reader and enjoys writing, crossword puzzles, baking, and spending time with her family.

Author Links

FacebookInstagramAmazonTwitterBookBub

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 1 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT

August 2 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

August 2 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – RECIPE POST

August 4 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

August 5 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 5 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 9 – Novels Alive – RECIPE POST

August 10 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

August 10 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

August 11 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

August 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

August 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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Spotlight and Blog Tour for A Killing in Costumes, the first Hollywood Treasures Cozy Mystery by Zac Bissonnette


A Killing in Costumes (A Hollywood Treasures Mystery)
by Zac Bissonnette

About A Killing in Costumes


A Killing in Costumes (A Hollywood Treasures Mystery)
Cozy Mystery – LBGT
1st in Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (August 9, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639100865
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639100866
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09LH99ZCM

Stardom fades fast when you’re on the line for murder, in this debut cozy mystery perfect for fans of Richard Osman and Jenn McKinlay.

Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper were soap opera stars in the late ’90s, a wholesome young husband-and-wife duo who combined musical talent with humor and charisma. When the truth about their sexual orientations came to light, their marriage and TV careers ended, but decades later they have remained friends. Together, they open Palm Springs’ chicest movie memorabilia store, Hooray for Hollywood–but no customers and dwindling finances spell trouble.

A Hail Mary arrives in the form of Yana Tosh, a ninety-year-old diva of the silver screen who has amassed a valuable collection of costumes and props and is looking to sell. But first, Jay and Cindy have to beat their competition, a vice president from a mega-auction house with ten times their resources. And when he winds up dead, they become prime suspects in the murder.

With their freedom and livelihoods on the line, Jay and Cindy desperately need to clear their names. There are plenty of other potential suspects, but they’ll have to solve it soon before they’re forced to trade in their vintage costume collection for two orange jumpsuits.

About Zac Bissonnette

Zac Bissonnette is the New York Times bestselling author of several nonfiction books, including The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute.

His favorite singer is Perry Como. His favorite author is Agatha Christie. His favorite tea is Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice.

Author Links – WebsiteTwitterBookBubGoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 3 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 5 – The Editing Pen – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 5 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

August 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 7 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

August 7 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

August 9 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

August 10 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

August 10 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT

August 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Blog Tour, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight

Spotlight and Blog Tour for Shielding Her Son, a West Investigations Romantic Suspense Novel by K.D. Richards


Shielding Her Son (West Investigations)
by K.D. Richards

About Shielding Her Son


Shielding Her Son (West Investigations)
Romantic Suspense
4th in Series
Harlequin Intrigue (July 26, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1335582088
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1335582089
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09N1PY2PH

She thought she’d escaped her past…

Has it caught up with her?

Erika Powell has lived in hiding for years to protect her son from his wealthy, tyrannical grandfather. Wary of strangers, she’s suspicious of James West, who’s renting a neighboring cabin, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when attempts are made on Erika’s life, James fears he may have endangered her—because the undercover PI’s investigation of Erika may have led someone dangerous right to her.

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

Discover more action-packed stories in the West Investigations series. All books are stand-alone with uplifting endings but were published in the following order:

Book 1: Pursuit of the Truth
Book 2: Missing at Christmas
Book 3: Christmas Data Breach
Book 4: Shielding Her Son

About K.D. Richards

K.D. Richards was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs just outside of Washington, D.C. A writer since a young age, after college Kia earned a law degree and worked as an attorney and legal instructor for fifteen years but never stopped writing fiction. She currently splits her time between Toronto and Maryland with her husband and two sons.

Author Links

Website www.kdrichardsbooks.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/kdrichardsauthor

Instagram www.instagram.com/kdrichardsauthor

GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20494862.K_D_Richards

Purchase Links

Harlequin Amazon Kobo B&N

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 25 – The Mystery of Writing – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 25 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 26 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

July 27 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

July 27 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 28 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

July 28 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

July 28 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

July 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 31 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

July 31 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Blog Tour, Interview

Interview with Author Mary Keliikoa and Blog Tour for Deceived, her new Kelly Pruett Mystery

It’s my pleasure to welcome Mary Keliikoa to Ruff Drafts. Mary is the author of Deceived, the third Kelly Pruett Mystery. She hails from Ridgefield, Washington.

Hi, Mary. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Please give details.

My first publication was in 1996 with a short mystery that appeared in Woman’s World. In 2021, Untreed Reads published my short story as part of an anthology Peace, Love, Crime: Crime Fiction Inspired by Songs of the Sixties.

As far as novel length, I debuted in 2020 at Camel Press with DERAILED, the first book in the Kelly Pruett mystery series. I followed up with DENIED in 2021 and DECEIVED came out on May 10, 2022.

Great! Please tell us a little bit about your books.

My current series features a PI who is a single mom to a deaf daughter, and who has inherited her father’s detective agency. She also lives next door to her ex-mother-in-law and is co-parenting with her ex-husband. So you can imagine there’s all kinds of conflict that can arise from that! The series starts with her first case shortly after her dad’s death and as she goes through a stiff learning curve, she improves as an investigator and a mom throughout the books.

I also have a new series beginning October 25, 2022, with Level Best Books that I’m quite excited about! HIDDEN PIECES is set at the Oregon coast and straddles psychological suspense and mystery. It features a former Portland homicide detective turned small town sheriff. Jax Turner has been struggling to function after the death of his daughter from cancer and his marriage, but the case of a missing teenage girl brings him back to life. And when he finds ties to a 25-year-old cold case, he seeks redemption vowing to get it right this time. 

Good news. I just started a new series myself. I’ve heard nice things about Level Best Books. One day, I may consider querying them. Both of my series are with Indie publishers. I assume Level Best Books is traditional publisher and require an agent. I’m still looking for one.

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?

Continuing to write of course is priority one! My agent has a stand-alone domestic suspense that she’s pitching, and I’m busy working on edits for Jax Turner’s Book 2 (Deadly Tides) and a new stand-alone domestic suspense! My goal long term is really to just continue to write and to publish. And hope to continuously grow my audience as I do that.

But I also want to continue to improve my craft. I regularly attend conference workshops, read books, and attend classes. I also seek out experienced writers who edit my work. It’s fun to learn in the classroom, but nothing beats getting words on the page and having them critiqued to know if it’s sinking in.

Excellent goals. I have similar ones. I also enjoy alternating my cozy mysteries with standalone psychological mysteries. I like writing and reading both of those types of books.

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

Mystery and suspense lovers, of course! But also people who gravitate to character driven novels versus plot only. I believe my novels in general have broad appeal. They aren’t too graphic, and I really work to create worlds where people are relatable, and justice is served in the end.

You should have a nice-sized audience. I also feel that characters are as important as plots in books.

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

Find your tribe and continue to improve on your craft. Both are so important during the process. There are days when the story doesn’t flow, or the plot isn’t working, and it’s wonderful to have writing friends to reach out to. They get you on a level that no one else can. Of course, always improving as a writer is key, but don’t let the amount of classes and books distract you from doing the actual writing. And whatever you do, don’t give up! It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Every day you dedicate to your passion, is a day well spent.

That sounds like great advice.

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

Just that overwhelming feeling that it was never going to be good enough. I had over 100 rejections on my first Kelly Pruett novel, DERAILED, before I got an agent. And then a year after that to get the book deal. But then it went on to receive 4 nominations for best debut.

You really have to shut down the naysayers and keep writing—keep editing—keep believing. I won’t say it was easy. I had dark days, but I also tried to put it into perspective. I have a very full productive life with a wonderful husband and family, and so I focused on the one thing I could control in the process—writing.

It’s true that persistence pays off. I know there’s at least one of my books that I should’ve queried further to agents because I don’t think I sent out even a quarter as many as you did before you landed one, but I’m glad that I can keep writing and publishing.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I do—I think community is so important and you definitely find that in writing groups. I’m the VP of my local Sisters in Crime chapter. I’m also an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and Willamette Writers.

I’m also a Sisters-in-Crime member. Although I don’t have a local chapter, I belong to others that I can attend virtually. I’m considering joining Mystery Writers of America. Even though my publishers aren’t recognized by them, I could probably join as an Associate Member because I’m also a librarian. I’ve never heard of Private Eye Writers of America but will check them out.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Of course, I’m an avid reader. Mystery and suspense are my main genres, but I also enjoy some Women’s Fiction, and an occasional fantasy or Sci-fi as well. In addition, I love to travel. I recently purchased a map of the world so I could keep track of all the places I’ve been, and where I want to go. And the list is long! I also love to golf, take cooking and baking classes, and spend time with my family. With 10 grandchildren, there’s never a dull moment.

Ten grandchildren, wow! The only grandkids I have are my two grandcats who belong to my seventeen-year-old daughter. We have similar reading interests. I like to try different authors, both well-known and lesser known. I also like to travel, but I’m still working full-time and worry about finding someone to catsit my cats if I go away with my husband and daughter.

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

I love connecting with readers and talking story in general. That is my favorite part hands down. The toughest challenge for me is marketing my work. I’m not alone in this, I know. Us introverts and authors are happiest behind the keyboard, creating in our own little worlds. But sometimes we have to come out and say – hey – maybe check out my book? And that’s just not a natural thing for me.

I agree completely about the challenge of marketing and promoting. I also love connecting with readers. It’s always a thrill to hear from people all over the country through email or Facebook who are reading my books.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love the community, the family feeling, and the lack of violence on the page. I think you can tune into the nightly news for that, and I like to write stories that focus in on solving of the crime, and the relationships, versus the graphic imagery of a crime.

I agree completely. I also like writing cozies because, as the series continues, the characters develop and almost become like friends, whether you’re reading or writing about them.

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

You can actually go to my website here and read the first chapter of DECEIVED!

https://marykeliikoa.com/pi-kelly-pruett/deceived

 Thanks. I’ll check it out, and I hope my readers will, too.

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

Only that I think they’re a fun read. I really work to marry plot with character and create characters that are both relatable and those to be rooted for. I also like to say I make sure justice is served in the end, and I think readers can trust that will always be the case.

Nice. Thank you so much for the interview. Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. I’ll also be sharing your blog tour for Deceived. I wish you the best on your new release and upcoming books.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Mary.Keliikoa.Author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mary_keliikoa

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mary.keliikoa.author/

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-keliikoa

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20038534.Mary_Keliikoa


Deceived (A Kelly Pruett Mystery)
by Mary Keliikoa

About Deceived

Deceived (A Kelly Pruett Mystery)
Cozy Mystery – Woman Sleuths
3rd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Camel Press (May 10, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 218 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1603818650
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1603818650
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Q7SG18K

In the third thrilling book in the Kelly Pruett mystery series–Her world was falling into place. Then women started dropping off the map.

PI Kelly Pruett finally feels like she’s coming into her own. With her personal life well on track, a gig uncovering what drove a client’s granddaughter underground could be good for business. But after her undercover operation at the homeless shelter reveals rampant drug dealing, she’s suddenly kicked off the case… just as another girl goes missing.

Vowing to expose the truth even if it means pro-bono work, Kelly is taken aback when her half-sister helps her hunt down answers in a tent city brimming with distrust. When her investigation doesn’t move quickly enough to save a second woman from a vicious murder, Kelly doubles her efforts unwilling to accept defeat.

About Mary Keliikoa

Mary Keliikoa is the Shamus finalist and Lefty, Agatha and Anthony nominated author of the PI Kelly Pruett mystery series, and the Misty Pines mystery series featuring former Portland homicide detective turned small-town sheriff. Her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World and in the anthology Peace, Love and Crime.

A Pacific NW native, she spent years working around lawyers and admits to being that person who gets excited when called for jury duty. When not in Washington, you can find Mary on the beach in Hawaii. But even under the palm trees and blazing sun, she’s plotting her next murder—novel that is.

Author Links

Website: https://marykeliikoa.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mary.Keliikoa.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mary_keliikoa

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mary.keliikoa.author/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-keliikoa

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20038534.Mary_Keliikoa

Purchase Links

SIGNED COPIES ARE AVAILABLE THRU VINTAGE BOOKS

AmazonB&NBookshop.orgAppleKobo

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 20 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

July 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

July 22 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

July 22 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

July 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

July 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 24 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

July 25 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 25 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 26 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 27 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 28 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

July 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

July 30 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 31 – ebook addicts – REVIEW

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Posted in Blog Tour, Guest Post

Blog Tour and Guest Post for Fragrance of Death, A Sally Solari Mystery by Leslie Karst

The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery)
by Leslie Karst

About The Fragrance of Death


The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Severn House; Main edition (August 2, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1448309034
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1448309030
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09V878YNB

Restaurateur Sally Solari has a nose for trouble, but when her sense of smell goes missing, it’s not just her career on the line . . . it’s her life.

Restaurateur Sally Solari is a champion, both in the kitchen and on the case, but after getting mixed up in one too many murders, she’s noticed her nonna’s friends have now taken to crossing themselves when they see her in the street. Adding to her woes, a sinus infection has knocked out her sense of smell, making cooking on the hot line difficult, indeed. Nevertheless, Sally is determined to stay out of trouble and focus on her work.

But then her old acquaintance Neil Lerici is murdered at the annual Santa Cruz Artichoke Cook-Off, and her powers of investigation are called into action once more. Could Neil have been killed by the local restaurant owner who took his winning spot at the competition? Or maybe by one of his siblings, who were desperate to sell the family farm to a real estate developer?

Sally plunges headfirst into the case, risking alienating everyone she knows – including the dapper Detective Vargas, who finds her sleuthing both infuriating and endearing. And soon it’s not only her restaurant and tentative new relationship that are on the line – it’s her life . . .

The Fragrance of Death is a non-stop fun cozy mystery that will keep your mind buzzing and your mouth watering, and contains a selection of delicious recipes to cook at home.

Guest Post: Stop and Smell the Coffee—If You Can

The Fragrance of Death, the brand new book in my Sally Solari culinary mystery series, opens with a horror story. Or at least that’s how it feels to Sally, who wakes up on page one to discover she’s completely lost her sense of smell. And I mean completely: not even the stink of a thousand cloves of garlic would be enough to set her olfactory nerves alight.

Since Sally is the owner and sous chef at Gauguin, a trendy French-Polynesian eatery in Santa Cruz, California, having no sense of smell—which translates to having no sense of taste, either—spells disaster for her as a restaurateur. Not to mention as a human being, because there’s nothing she loves more than the flavor of a roast chicken scented with tarragon and butter, or the fragrance of a vine-ripened peach served atop a dollop of raspberry-spiked crème fraîche.

And to make matters even worse, this is the day she’s competing in the annual artichoke cook-off—at which she’d vowed to best her beloved but highly competitive father, who owns Solari’s, a traditional Italian seafood place out on the town’s historic fisherman’s wharf. How on earth can Sally be expected to prepare Artichoke Salad with Lemon Aïoli for two hundred people with no ability to smell or taste a thing?

You may suspect that this plot device is based on the plight of the myriad people who lost their sense of smell as a result of Covid. But no. It was actually inspired by personal experience, something completely unrelated to the pandemic. For I suffered through my own horror story when, some years back, after having a particularly vicious sinus infection, I thought I’d recovered—only to wake up one morning unable to smell a thing.

It’s an exceedingly bizarre experience to brew your morning pot of coffee and then suddenly realize you can’t detect any aroma whatsoever from those beans you’re grinding. And then to bite into the half a hamburger you’ve reheated for breakfast and have your tastebuds register nothing whatsoever—even after you douse the thing with a tablespoon of of Sriracha sauce. (Which is exactly what happened to me that dire morning.)

And then to have my ENT inform me that my sense of smell may never ever return? That it all depended on whether or not the nerves regenerated on their own? Horror of horrors!

I almost balked at throwing such a horrendous experience at my protagonist. After four books, I’d grown quite fond of her, and it seemed somehow, well…mean to saddle her with such a plight. But it is a murder mystery, after all, so I figured she could take it. Sally is a tough gal.

And, after all, my sense of smell did thank goodness eventually return—though not for six long, miserable and excruciating weeks. But you’ll just have to read the book to see what happens with Sally….

About Leslie Karst

Leslie Karst is the author of the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari culinary mystery series. The daughter of a law professor and a potter, she waited tables and sang in a new wave rock band before deciding she was ready for “real” job and ending up at Stanford Law School. It was during her career as a research and appellate attorney in Santa Cruz, California, that Leslie rediscovered her youthful passion for food and cooking and once more returned to school—this time to earn a degree in culinary arts.

Now retired from the law, Leslie spends her time cooking, cycling, gardening, singing alto in her local community chorus, and of course writing. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Author Links

Website http://www.lesliekarstauthor.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lesliekarstauthor/

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/leslie-karst

GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14220589.Leslie_Karst

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lesliekarst/

Twitter https://twitter.com/LeslieKarst

Purchase Links – AmazonBookShopB&N

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 28 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

July 28 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 29 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

July 30 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

July 30 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

July 31 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

July 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 31 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

August 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Novels Alive – RECIPE POST

August 2 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 2 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – Island Confidential – REVIEW, GUEST POST

August 4 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

August 5 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

August 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 6 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

August 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

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