I am so excited to welcome Janis Thornton to Escape With Dollycas today!
Her book Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies (An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery)
will be released on October 15 and she will be touring with
Great Escapes Book Tours October 15 – 30!!
There are those who contend that pinning thoughts to paper (or computer screen!) is a lonely job requiring solitude and serenity, without distractions or outside pressures. When it’s just you, your thoughts, and your writing tools, Zen happens.
Or does it?
When I’m by myself at home with noise-producing devices turned off, my muse tends to go AWOL and random thoughts start running amok. Should I make my bed? How about the stack of dishes in the kitchen sink? Have I checked Facebook in the last hour?
For me, Zen tends to happen under circumstances that are counter to prevailing beliefs. I have found no better escape for writing than being in the middle of unbridled activity, and nothing has helped me hone the ability to tune out distractions and focus on the writing more than my years as a newspaper reporter and editor. Thanks to that experience, I’m at my creative and productive best when I’m:
• Beside a persistently ringing telephone
• On deadline
• In a crowded newsroom
• Against all odds
• Under the scrutiny of an impatient boss
• Over a warm Coke
• Amid a chorus of cursing co-workers
I’ve always drawn energy and inspiration from crowds. As an anonymous spectator with no ties to the activities swirling around me, I am free to withdraw deep into my own head, where I can explore notions, ideas, plots, and funny little paths that reveal themselves under no other circumstances.
As contemporary author/activist Cory Doctorow once said, “Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.”
When you find your ideal great escape, I urge you to relish it, make it work for you, and go there whenever you must. Conversely, don’t lose sight that your great escape has absolutely nothing to do with what surrounds you.
It’s all about what lies within.
Crystal Cropper, the protagonist for my mystery, Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies (due out October 15 from Cup of Tea Books), has a background much like mine. Crystal is the Baby Boomer-age newspaper editor for the Elmwood Gazette. She loves her job and refuses to buckle under the pressure of the chaos that constantly swirls around her. Nor does she let it stop the power of her mighty pen to expose the perpetrators of corruption that percolates inches below the surface of Elmwood’s Arcadian veneer.
Crystal has a nose for news and a penchant for sticking it into places that smell like the leftovers in the back of her fridge. Fortunately for her, what her nose doesn’t sniff out, her best confidential informant — 80-year-old cleaning lady Gertie Tyroo — sweeps her way. Too bad Gertie’s latest hot tip has landed her in a coma, courtesy of an unknown assailant.
Now Crystal must follow the trail of dirt and gossip right to the doorsteps of several prominent local families to solve a decades-old murder and the disappearance of a young boy . . .
About This Author
Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small, Indiana town not unlike Elmwood. Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is her debut novel.
Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/-/e/B00E5UTSFY
Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies
(An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery)
New Cozy Series
Published by Cup of Tea Books
An Imprint of PageSpring Publishing (October 15, 2014)
E-Book File Size: 3659 KB
Print Length: 286 pages
When it comes to murder, forget the butler . . . it’s the housekeeper who knows where the bodies are buried.
Small-town newspaper editor Crystal Cropper never takes “no” for an answer, hates to be called a “senior citizen,” and uses the power of her pen to expose corruption in her small town.
Cleaning lady Gertie has a knack for sweeping skeletons out of closets—which makes her one of Crystal’s best informants. But Gertie’s latest hot tip has landed her in a coma, courtesy of an unknown assailant.
Now Crystal must follow the trail of dirt and gossip right to the doorsteps of several prominent local families to solve a decade-old murder and the disappearance of a young boy . . .
In this debut novel Janis Thornton hits all the cozy mystery marks:
- Small town – Elmwood, Indiana
- Engaging characters – Crystal Cropper is a strong protagonist with a nose for news and the ability to stick that nose where it doesn’t belong to solve matters that should be left to the police.
- Quirky characters – Gertie is both quirky and engaging. She may work as a cleaning lady but she has a whole slew of secrets. Virl, the local law, and Bud owner of Bud’s Roadside Diner also fit the bill.
- Plenty of suspects – You bet, this story has quite a few.
- A plot with twists and turns – This mystery is full of surprises and a couple of shocking moments.
- A bit of humor – The dialogue and interactions between Crystal and Virl and with Gertie and other characters is wonderful and full of humor. Crystal is a woman who speaks her mind and her mouth doesn’t have much of a filter.
- No gory violence or foul language – this story pushes the envelope with this as there is a bit of swearing and the violence gets close but I didn’t think crossed the line. The ending was absolutely thrilling.
This story was so much fun to read. I can’t believe it is Janis Thornton’s debut novel. I am excited to see where she takes these characters next!
I have one Kindle e-copy to give away!
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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.”