Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for The Advice Column Murders by Leslie Nagel

This post was contributed by author Leslie Nagel. Her cozy mystery, The Advice Column Murders, is currently on tour with Dollycas Escape into a Good Book

Email Sent: April 8, 2:49 a.m.
To: Francesca Cartolano Bright <BrightGirl@hotfox.com>

From: Charlotte Elizabeth Carpenter <Charley@oldhat.com>

Subject: Insomnia Sucks

Hey, Shortie—

You can see from the time stamp that I am awake in the middle of the night—again. There is so much rattling around in my brain right now, I’m surprised the noise hasn’t awakened Daddy and Lawrence. Writing things out helps clear my head, and since you are the world’s best listener/reader of late night confessionals, here goes.

First of all, I’m growing more and more concerned about the renovations to Old Hat. It’s nothing to do with the workmanship; Dale Penwater and his crew are the best. But it’s all these delays. I haven’t said this to another soul, but I’m beginning to suspect sabotage. Missing equipment, mysterious power outages that only affect my building, misdirected deliveries, and now a CORN SNAKE in the wall? I mean, seriously. No one’s luck is this bad.

Also, I think something’s up with Duncan, our carpenter. He’s been distracted and even quieter than usual for nearly a week now. I’ve caught him watching me several times, almost as if he wants to tell me something. The look in his eyes today—could it have been fear?

Speaking of fear, the second thing on my mind is that strange girl I told you about. Sarah Weller showed up at the house next door about a week ago, presumably to visit her mother, Judith. If possible, the tension level emanating from the Sharpes’ house shot up even higher. Paxton Sharpe has been treating the neighborhood to extra helpings of yelling since his stepdaughter arrived. What a jerk. Doesn’t he know we can all hear him?

I wish Judith would give me the time of day. She seems like she could use a friend. I feel badly for their twin boys, too. Four years old is too young to endure all this grown up drama. Hank seems well adjusted, but Pippo, the smaller twin? He hardly says a word, lets his brother do the talking for him. That is, he would if Judith allowed them out of her sight. Lawrence tried to give the kids some fresh baked cookies, and you’d have thought he came after them with a chainsaw. Judith dragged them indoors with hardly a thank you. What’s she so afraid of?

On top of all that, Paxton’s teenage son is home for spring break. Too bad Brandon’s fancy military school hasn’t taught him any manners. If anything, that kid is even moodier and more abrupt than his dad or his stepmother. A couple of days ago, I caught him staring at Sarah in the oddest way. She was helping Judith unload groceries, and he watched her like a hungry dog hoping for some table scraps. Sarah’s got to be at least ten years older than Brandon, but I guess the heart wants what the heart wants. So, tensions galore.

Anyway, a few hours ago I was out in the front yard on the off chance some fresh air might calm my thoughts enough for sleep. Out of the shadows stepped Sarah! I jumped two feet, no kidding. Frankie, it was the oddest conversation. She said she knows who I am, that I’m the girl who helps the police. Then, I swear, she seemed like she wanted to ask me something, just like Duncan. Come to think of it, he started acting oddly about the same time she arrived in Oakwood. Hmmm.

The problem is, I don’t know what Sarah wanted, because Judith bellowed for her, and she ran indoors like a scared rabbit. There’s another woman who could use a friend. I’m going to head over there tomorrow and see if I can get her to talk to me.

Okay, third and final thing. Marcus has been gone for five days, and it feels like five months. Why do these cop conventions always have to be in places like Chicago? We have perfectly nice hotels right here in Dayton, Ohio. The thing is, I’m a little rattled to discover that I can’t seem to sleep without him anymore. Hell, we’ve only been seeing one another for a few months. How could I be that hung up on a man in such a short time? It makes me feel . . . at a disadvantage, somehow.

Do NOT roll your eyes, young lady. And don’t deny that you totally rolled them when you read that. The fact is, things between Marc and I are great, but . . . what if it doesn’t last? What if he visits all his buddies and old haunts in Chicago and decides he wants to move back? The police chief has offered him a job with a promotion if he’ll return to their homicide division. Marc says he’s not going anywhere without me, but . . .

So, it’s three a.m. and I am wide awake. I guess I’d better call it a night. Or morning, to be accurate. I like to meet with Dale before eight o’clock to review progress and sign off on things. Hopefully tomorrow will be free of mysterious sabotage-ish developments.

Call me tomorrow? Maybe we can grab lunch at Ground Zero.

Hugs,

Charley

Author Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 2 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

April 3 – Varietats – REVIEW

April 4 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

April 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

April 6 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW

April 6 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 7 – Ms. Cat’s Honest World – REVIEW

April 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

April 10 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 11 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

April 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

April 13 – Girl with Book Lungs – INTERVIEW

April 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

April 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for a Well-Timed Murder by Tracee de Hahn

This post was contributed by author Tracee de Hahn. Her cozy mystery, A Well-Timed Murder is currently on tour with Dollycas Escape into a Good Book

Ready for a trip to a foreign place? In A Well-Timed Murder, we journey to Switzerland, spending time at an idyllic boarding school and at a glamorous watch and jewelry expo in the city of Basel. Following in Inspector Agnes Lüthi’s footsteps, we also travel to the traditional heart of watchmaking country, La Chaux-de-Fonds, and visit the home and factory of a well-regarded watchmaking family.

Agnes Lüthi might have been born in Switzerland, but she shares an appreciation for the country’s traditional architecture with every armchair tourist, thinking more kindly of her in-laws because of their charming chalet. Who wouldn’t appreciate the dark-beamed ceilings and warm fires on a cold day, and the balconies lined with flower boxes that bloom all summer?

SWITZERLAND – MARCH 09: Swiss Federal Railways poster; ?Blick vom Kursaal? (View from the Kursaal) showing customers on a cafe verandah with mountains in the background. Artwork by E von Kager. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

A Well-Timed Murder was the perfect opportunity to showcase Switzerland. A little bit of tradition with a dash of modern thrown in. When renowned watchmaker Guy Chavanon dies he leaves behind a modern factory designed to look like it was built in the Renaissance, and an early 20th century house that reflected the “new” modern look of that period – complete with sleek terraces that resembled promenades on ocean liners. Typical Swiss appreciation for the old and the new.

A journey across Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a boarding school. I’ve visited my husband’s boarding school in Gruyère many times, soaking in the atmosphere with all the appreciation of an outsider. The school in A Well-Timed Murder was based on his, with a large chalet serving as administration building and dormitories for some of the students. Newer buildings are bracingly modern – smooth concrete, large plate glass widows and highly polished wood accents. I added a few touches to my school, including a poison garden based on the one found at Alnwick Castle in England. Mine is tucked away in the kitchen garden. Why a poison garden? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Boarding school is the perfect place to introduce characters from across the globe. French and English may be the official school languages but the accents range far and wide and many secret conversations take place in languages understood by only a few.

Basel’s watch and jewelry show, called Baselworld, serves as an introduction to Swiss industry: sleek, glamorous, and international. While the show lasts only one week of the year, during that time it is the most dazzling high end shopping street in the world. Take the best of Zürich, Paris, New York, or Tokyo and bring them together: that’s Baselworld. Need a new tiara? Choose from antique models or have one designed according to your specifications. Looking for a watch? You’ll have to be more precise. Do you need it to function down to the depths of the ocean and while flying to the moon? Or do you want to impress your friends with the number of precious stones on the watch face? Want a dial that is only visible when a hidden button is pressed and the enameled butterfly wings open? You will find all of these, and more, at the show.

During Agnes’s journey across Switzerland in A Well-Timed Murder you’ll see the diversity of the people, catch a glimpse of their customs – including food – and enjoy a ringside seat as Agnes hunts for a killer.

Enter the rafflecopter for A Well-Timed Murder’s blog tour:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792674/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0