I am so happy to Welcome Sharon to Escape With Dollycas!
Her book Dying for Strawberries (A Berry Basket Mystery) was released on October 25!
MY PATH TO MURDER
At the age of nine, I announced to my mother that I was going to write books when I grew up. This didn’t surprise her. I was one of those kids who huddled at night under the sheets with a flashlight, quietly turning pages. I checked out the maximum amount of books from the school library and drove my dad frantic with the number of book clubs I joined. When my parents took me on a visit to a home where there were no children to play with, the hosts were informed of my reading addiction. I ended up being offered all sorts of reading material, from a biography of Napoleon to A Turn of the Screw – both of which I was too young to fully appreciate, but which I enjoyed nonetheless.
When I was eleven, my mother ushered in a whole new literary world by giving me the first book in the Trixie Belden mystery series. As soon as I read The Secret of the Mansion, I was hooked on Trixie and her friends and family in Sleepy Hollow, New York, reading each successive installment in the series way too many times. I suspect when I’m nearing the end of my life and most things have fallen away, I will still be able to recall exactly how Trixie ingeniously saves the day when she, her brother, and best friend Honey are trapped on a roof during a flood in Happy Valley Mystery. It remains one of my favorite climaxes ever.
Trixie introduced me to the mystery genre. While the delights of discovering Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poiret, and Lord Peter Wimsey still lay in the future, I knew this was a world where I could find a literary home one day. Two of the first short stories I had published were mysteries that appeared in Ellery Queen Magazine. This encouraged me to write a suspense novel, which got shelved when I joined the Romance Writers of America. At the time, I became part of the organization because I thought it had a lot to teach me about how to write and publish a novel. And it did. So much so, that I wrote romance for the next decade under two different pen names. Although romantic suspense might be a better description.
Even then, I couldn’t resist killing people off. My first novel, Stolen Hearts, featured a young woman on the run from a vengeful police detective, who had framed her for a robbery. His pursuit of her was as dogged as Javert’s hunt for Jean Valjean, and I loved interspersing romantic scenes of her and the hero with scenes of Detective Devlin plotting a way to trap her for good. And, yes, things end violently for Devlin. But I made death even more unusual in my second book, Magic and Moonlight. There the heroine, who has become a magician’s assistant, is in danger from a malicious woman, who follows the hero and heroine to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. This time, I killed off the antagonist on a bed of nails – and in front of a paying audience, too. My editor called me after he read my manuscript to ask, “I don’t think anyone has ever been killed on a bed of nails in a romance before. Are you sure you want to do this?” I was sure.
I went on to kill people off in subsequent stories until it finally occurred to me that my natural bent was a tad dark for the romance genre. So when a friend and fellow writer suggested we collaborate on a mystery series featuring Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, I couldn’t resist. I admit it was lovely creating loads of suspicious characters with crimes to match. And although there are nods to romance in the books we write under the name D.E. Ireland, romantic elements take a backseat to murder and mayhem.
My arrival in the mystery genre was further solidified when I sold the Berry Basket cozy series to Kensington in 2015. Like most cozy heroines, my shopkeeper Marlee Jacob has a romantic life. In fact, she’s engaged and plans to marry soon. But the path of true love will not run smooth. There will be another man – or even two – who cause Marlee to second guess her upcoming marriage. And a few dead bodies accompanied by attempts on her life will not make things any easier for her. While I prefer the passion and happy endings of my romance books for my personal life, I am pleased to now be writing in the genre I have loved since Trixie Belden first thrilled me. My path back to murder took two decades to complete, but the trip was well worth it. I learned romance is delightful and forever, while a murder mystery is dangerous and disturbing. Both, however, are completely irresistible. And who knows? I might take the path back to romance once again. After all, I still wonder if Trixie ever did marry Jim Frayne, the boy next door. I hope so.
About the author
Sharon Farrow is the latest pen name of award winning author Sharon Pisacreta. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Sharon has been a freelance writer since her twenties, with her first novel released in 1998. Published in mystery, fantasy, and romance, Sharon currently writes The Berry Basket cozy mystery series, which debuted October 2016 with Dying For Strawberries. She is also one half of the writing team D.E. Ireland, who co-author the Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries. Visit the author at www.sharonfarrowauthor.com/, on Twitter @SharonFarrowBB, and facebook.com/SharonFarrowAuthor.
Dying For Strawberries is the first book in the Berry Basket mysteries, published by Kensington, October 2016. Look for the second book in the series, Blackberry Burial, in November 2017.
With seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun—and murder.
Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan two years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the thirty-year-old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York . . .
But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Natasha disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Natasha, Marlee realizes she’ll have to foil a killer’s plot herself—before the past permanently stains her future.
I am thrilled to share this book for with you today. I so appreciate Sharon for letting me know that I may be uncomfortable with the story because of my son’s death last year. The cover did draw me to this book and the synopsis sounds fantastic. I hope to pick up this series with book #2. Click on the covers to order book from Amazon or here for B&N.
Thank you Sharon for being my guest today!
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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