I am pleased to welcome Paige Shelton back to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book. She is the author of the Farmer’s Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. A Killer Maize (A Farmers’ Market Mystery) hit stores yesterday and I am so glad she could squeeze in a visit.
It’s hard to believe that it’s December 2012. I’m holding tight to the hope that the Mayans were wrong, or that we’ve misinterpreted their calendar, or perhaps that they just ran out of energy to continue writing said calendar, and we’ll all ride safely into 2013. I’ve made sure not to neglect deadlines for books I have publishing next year, just to be safe.
A Killer Maize is the fourth book in the Farmers’ Market Mystery series, and it’s also my fourth book that has published over the last twelve months. Add in a Farmers’ Market ebook short story, and I’ve definitely experienced some confusing moments lately. Every time someone asks me about a specific book, or character, or plot point, I fall into what probably looks like a daze, but in fact I’m just going through the “files” in my head to track down the right answer. The older I’ve gotten, the slower those files are to be found and opened. So, if I’m ever fortunate enough to meet you in person, I hope you’ll forgive me if I have to take a moment.
These busy years have shown me how incredibly valuable those are who I have pulled into my writer’s life. My family is astoundingly supportive and understanding. My agent and editor have been perfect. They have been there for me in moments when I wasn’t sure if I was headed in the right direction, or perhaps I knew I was headed in the wrong direction but I didn’t know the way out. I even once chose a wrong direction on purpose, and they were quick to let me know it was okay. Phew.
I have a couple friends who read what I write and kindly warn me if I’m off track. They are always thorough and have met the challenge of my recent tight deadlines. It could be considered rude to send an almost three hundred page attachment to someone with a note that says: “Any chance I could get this back in less than a week?” I don’t even need to say that anymore; my Beta readers are up to the task.
There’s also a whole team of people I rarely talk to and will probably never meet but who work with my publisher. A smart and efficient publicist, cover designers, copy editors – I couldn’t do what I do without them. I’ve tried to thank them personally in the acknowledgments of the last couple books, but I can’t express my gratitude enough.
Bloggers, reviewers, everyone who takes a moment to say something positive about my books – your support is sometimes so incredible that I feel overwhelmed. Pardon me this moment of melodrama, but you have brought happy tears to my eyes many times. As a writer, there’s nothing like hearing that something you’ve poured yourself into -something you’ve created – actually resonates with someone other than yourself.
And, most of all, if it weren’t for you, the book lovers and the book readers, I wouldn’t get the opportunity to have four books (and that short story) publish in a twelve month time period. Deadlines wouldn’t matter –shoot, they wouldn’t exist. Agents and editors would have no reason to guide with grace and patience. Cover designers, publicists, copyeditors, bloggers – they’d all have to find something else to do.
So, as the end of the world potentially draws near, I’d really just like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do. You’re the best, and I wish you the happiest of holidays, a fantastic new year, and blessings of good health, abundant happiness, and an always overflowing stack of good books.
Thank you for giving us such wonderful stories to read that bring us so much enjoyment and finding time in your very busy schedule to visit with us!
A Killer Maize
(A Farmers’ Market Mystery)
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
A few of the vendor’s from Bailey’s Farmer’s Market are taking their products to the Swayton County Fall Festival. The festival director thinks their unique products will bring in new customers to the festival. After the first day the vendors think they have made a big mistake. This festival is dead, hardly any people there at all. That is until one of the carnival workers is founding hanging from his rickety Ferris wheel, dead from a gunshot wound.
Funny how murder brings out the people out to the fair, including one of Becca’s exes. He just happens to be running one of the games at the festival and he is acting quite suspicious. Becca just can’t help herself. She has to work her way through a myriad of clues, lies, and secrets to “find a kernel of truth before the killer starts stalking her.”
I love the setting! A fall festival with a huge corn maze and dilapidated rides and maybe even a ghost. Paige Shelton always surprises and never disappoints. A carny with a spider tattoo on his neck!!! Mysterious owners, a creepy little town, and gypsy magic. This story should have come out at Halloween but I am not complaining. I fell right into this story and there is more than one maze in this story. We are led through the clues and hit a few dead ends and have to back up, regroup and chart a new path. Masterfully plotted, just masterful!!
I did miss the regulars at Bailey’s a bit but the new characters were quite colorful and unique. Scott Two’s appearance at the festival gave us a peak at Becca’s past and of course Sam helps out the local police a bit and is in just the right place at the right time.
On top of solving the crime Becca is also making a very important decision of her own. She also learns what Scott has been up to these past few years. I also loved the addition of another furry friend.
Head to the bookstores online or brick and mortar and harvest the homegrown mystery today. A jam packed who-dun-it that will “a-maize” you!
Find out more about Paige and her books at her webpage here.
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 1 copy to giveaway!!
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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.”