Jan 082014
 

 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

This book caught my attention on NetGalley and when I was contacted to do organize a Great Escapes Book Tour I was chair dancing. Then I “met” Mary via emails and we just clicked. This is one of the reasons I love being a blogger. Meeting authors that write these wonderful stories is just wonderful. I am thrilled she is my guest today!!

Mary Marks Publicity Photo - CopyI didn’t start writing until I reached my sixties. I had an unusual life and wanted to tell my story for my children and grandchildren. So I took memoir writing classes at the UCLA Extension Writers Program. For four years I recorded my memories over and over again in an attempt to hone the craft of writing.

After all that time, my life’s story began to sound like a self-indulgent whine fest. So I took a break and, since I loved reading mysteries, enrolled in a mystery writing workshop. To my great surprise I discovered writing fiction was fun. To my even greater surprise I discovered I could write humorous fiction, a welcome contrast to the heavy drama of my memoir.

When I first retired I spent a number of years sewing quilts by hand while listening to books on tape. The art of quilt making and storytelling became my universe. My quilts even got good enough to win a couple of awards. So when I turned my creative efforts to writing mysteries instead of listening to them, it felt natural to make my characters quilters. These were people I knew.

Forget me knot.inddI also chose to set my stories in Encino, California, the suburb of Los Angeles where I live. Encino is familiar and I and feel comfortable here. When I write about the sidewalks broken by tree roots, the falafel restaurants and strip malls on Ventura Boulevard, readers who live here will know just what I’m talking about. Readers who live outside the area will get a picture of Valley living.

My main character, Martha Rose, is Jewish. So aside from the recurring quilting theme of my stories, I also write about Judaism. Much of Martha’s thoughts and behavior are informed by her background and heritage. I know I always enjoy reading books set in cultures that are unfamiliar to me. I hope my readers who are not Jewish will also enjoy learning about different customs and practices.

Martha is overweight. She struggles with a love of food, an aversion to cooking, and a history of failure when it comes to dieting. As a consequence she has what she calls a “typical Jewish figure,” an ample bosom and large hips. But at the age of fifty-five, she’s rather philosophical about the whole weight thing. Better to enjoy a slice of her friend Birdie’s applesauce cake now and worry about the calories later.

Martha is also divorced and living in an empty nest. Her only family is her daughter who lives in Boston, and her elderly uncle Isaac. Although she has serious trust issues and she’s not actively looking for anyone, men seem to come into her life just the same.

Social inequalities seem to pop up as recurrent themes in my books. So many people have common experiences with abuse and injustice whether it takes the form of racism, sexism, ageism, financial or social class. I spotlight these problems in my stories as a way to advocate for those who endure these struggles on a daily basis.

Writing cozy mysteries has been a way for me to draw on my life’s experiences without all the angst that went into writing my memoir. I believe it’s never too late to tell a story, whether it is real, fictionalized, or pure imagination. And having a debut novel at the age of seventy has been an extraordinary confirmation of that.

 ~Mary Marks

About Mary Marks

Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011.
Find out more on Mary’s webpage here.

Forget me knot.indd
Forget Me Knot
(A Quilting Mystery)

A Brand New Cozy Series
Published by Kensington (January 7, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758292056
E-Book File Size: 1254 KB
ASIN: B00DV1IVCE
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Welcome to San Fernando Valley, California, where Martha Rose and her coterie of quilters are enjoying life on the good side of retirement—until murder pulls a stitch out of their plans…

Martha and her besties Lucy and Birdie are set to expand their Quilty Tuesdays by inviting newcomer Claire Terry into their group. Though at forty Claire’s a tad younger than their average age, her crafty reputation could perk up their patchwork proceedings, especially as they prepare for the fancy quilt show coming to town. But when they arrive at Claire’s home and find her dead inside the front door, and her exquisite, prize-winning quilts soon missing, Martha is not one to leave a mystery unraveled. Especially if she wants to stop a killer from establishing a deadly pattern…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Before my accident I was a avid quilter and it is one of the things I miss most but reading books like this let me escape back into the world of quilting with the mystery of a dead body thrown in just for fun. I would love to be part of Martha, Lucy and Birdie’s Quilty Tuesday group.

I can’t believe this is the author’s first cozy, she has nailed it perfectly.

Fabulous, real characters. I love Martha. I can relate because I am 50ish, overweight, love food, hate to cook and a horrible failure when it comes to dieting. She also has great friends, loves to quilt and likes to solve mysteries. But she does put herself in danger and does break a few laws which even land her behind bars. Something I have thankfully not experienced 🙂

Marks also tackles some powerful issues in this story. There is a mystery behind the mystery that just broke my heart. I was impressed how this subplot was presented and revealed. As a quilter I know that many quilts tell a story but after reading Forget Me Knot I will never look at a quilt the same way again.

This is a perfectly plotted and paced story with some very surprising twists that have stuck with me well beyond the final page.

A wonderful way to start 2014!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Kensington I have 5 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Mary for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

FORGET ME KNOT LARGE BANNER 640Check out the rest of Mary’s Tour!!

Tour Participants

January 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
January 7 – Books-n-Kisses – Review – Giveaway
January 8 – Escape With Dollycas – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
January 10– Community Bookstop – Review – Giveaway
January 10 – Dru’s Book Musings – Guest Post
January 11– Dr. Pepper Diva – Review – Giveaway
January 12– A Blue Million Books – Interview – Giveaway
January 13 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
January 14 – My Recent Favorite books – Review – Giveaway
January 15 – Thoughts in Progress – Review – Giveaway
January 16 – Mochas, Mysteries  and More – Guest Post – Giveaway
January 17 – My Devotional Thoughts – Review – Giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  48 Responses to “Cozy Wednesday with Forget Me Knot Author Mary Marks (Giveaway too!)”

  1. My mother in law wrote the family history, both hers and her husband’s. It might even make a good book since my father in laws grandfather and uncles helped found the State of Israel and build the city of Tel Aviv.

    I also feel for your character’s food issues. I’ve been carrying extra weight for over 30 years and have almost given up trying to lose it. I just know I’m going to enjoy reading your book.

  2. Sounds like a cozy to which I could relate even though I do not quilt.

  3. Congratulations on your new book release. Thank you for sharing the love Ladies 🙂

  4. I always like discovering a new mystery series.

  5. I am so excited; a new to me author, a new series, and bonus… you enjoy bringing in Jewish themes!!

  6. I love finding new cozy mysteries to try! Thanks.

  7. Sounds like a good book, I love cozy mysteries.

  8. Mary, It sounds like you’ve had many life experiences to draw from as you created your first cozy mystery!! I look forward to reading it!

  9. I also got a copy of this from Netgalley and thought it was really good. It had a very interesting and unexpected way the mystery was solved.

  10. Congratulations on the publication of Forget Me Knot! It sounds like a very interesting mystery. Since I am a quilter and a lover of mysteries, I have added your book to my wishlist. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  11. I’m getting ready to retire so I think I will be able to relate to Martha very well—I like cozies that have older characters like me.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  12. I was captivated with this wonderful post and learning about the book, the author, the background and would enjoy this book greatly. thanks.

  13. Congratulations on your new book release!
    Im reading it and love it! =)

  14. My grandmother loved to quilt and I wish I had learned the art myself. The book sounds like a wonderful read. I am looking forward to reading this.
    Thanks 🙂

  15. This is going to be a great series!

  16. Sounds like a wonderful new series!

  17. Sounds like an interesting new series.

  18. Very colorful cover and appropriate title. Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. I love finding new authors and this book has been recommended so I am definatley gonna get it next time I go to the books store unless I am fortunate enough to get it as a gift lol or win it. I am an avid reader and so is my sil. I don’t know what I Would do without books but I sure thank you for giving us so much joy by writing books we love or will love.

  20. Hello everyone.

    I’ve tried to reply to each of you who have been kind enough to leave a comment. However, I can’t seem to figure out how this system works, so I’m just going to post a response to everyone and thank you for your interest in Forget Me Knot.

    I sincerely hope you enjoy reading about the exploits of three women of a certain age–in particular, Martha Rose. She manages to get into a lot of trouble despite her good intentions.

    Happy reading everyone!

    All the best,

    Mary Marks

  21. You’re a real inspiration! I always loved writing in school. I should do it again. This series sounds very good! Can’t wait to read it!

  22. Congratulations on your new career and book! I will enjoy reading about the retired, even if they are younger than I am!

  23. I love that Mary embraces the less than perfect but wonderful people in her new cozy.
    Sounds wonderful!

  24. Thank you, there are not many Jewish characters.

  25. Mary your books sounds really great. The cover itself attracted me before I ever read what it was actually about!!

  26. I LOVE the cover!! the brightness!!!!
    good luck to Mary!!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!

  27. A new cozy series and it’s a quilty! Sounds delightful. Congratulations on your debut release. Such a comfy cozy cover too.

  28. I want to thank everyone again for all the kind words of encouragement. And thanks to Lori for hosting me today. I am forever grateful!

  29. New author, new mystery & a mature sleuth! Great way to start 2014!

  30. Congratulations on your first cozy mystery Mary! I just love the cover and the story sounds fantastic. I really enjoy reads like this. I don’t quilt, but love to look at them. I purchased two small ones for my kids from a local quilter. They are both beautiful works of art. My art is basketweaving, it is also my therapy.

  31. I love to read cozy mysteries. I used to quilt alot , but not as much anymore. Tho I stll love quilting. Love the colorful cover to

  32. Added this one to my TBR list. Looks like the start to a fun new series. 🙂

  33. Congratulations on your debut book, Mary! What a fantastic accomplishment.

    You have given me inspiration and really lit my writing fire. 🙂 I am mid-forties, still working toward finishing my first book and have taken extension courses on writing myself. I also live in Southern California so I love reading books set here.

    Thanks for the giveaway and the opportunity. Adding this book to my TBR list.

  34. This sounds like a lovely cozy!

  35. This sounds like a great read! I, also, can identify with the characters’ food issues. I love cozies! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book.

  36. I have put this on my tbr list. Thanks for the giveaway. I quilt and feel like we have a lot more in common. The cover caught my eye.

  37. This sounds like a great read. I love murder mysteries with relatable characters.

  38. […] This is a perfectly plotted and paced story with some very surprising twists that have stuck with me well beyond the final page. ~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good […]

  39. I love cozy mysteries and I enjoy quilting. I’m also in my 60s and attempting to write my first book. But NOT a cozy mystery. Although there is a mystery involved, it is set in the 19th century and deals with my first love, horses.

  40. This sounds like a very nice book. I hope I get a chance to check it out.

  41. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this book

  42. Looks like another great quilt series.
    Ann

  43. Looks like a great new series!

  44. This sounds like a great book! I love books about quilters!

  45. happy new year to all
    can’t wait to read it

  46. I need something new to read so this looks awesome.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Drawing Conclusions (A Sketch in Crime Mystery) by Deirdre VerneBUY TODAY
%d bloggers like this: