I am so happy to welcome Kelly Lane to Escape With Dollycas today!
Her latest Olive Grove Mystery was released March 7!
I’ve been asked several times to name my favorite scene in the cozy mystery COLD PRESSED MURDER, book two in Berkley Prime Crime’s OLIVE GROVE MYSTERY series. The story is based around scandal-ridden PR maven Eva Knox and her family at their Georgia olive plantation. And as many times as I’ve been asked to name just one favorite scene, I’ve not yet been able to answer.
I suppose, that’s because naming my favorite scene would be like choosing one of my children over all the others. I can’t do that! Truth be told, there are many scenes in the book that I could call “favorite.”
Fun Smack Talk
For example, I’m always a sucker for any scene with Eva’s nemesis, real estate agent Debi Dicer … she’s just so smug and nasty! Given that Debi loves to talk smack, rubbing Eva’s nose in the fact that Debi’s now seriously dating Eva’s ex-fiancé, Sheriff Buck Tanner, it’s fun to hear in my head what Debi has to say. And I always look forward to Eva’s comebacks. The scenes practically write themselves.
Sister Cross-talk Leads to Drama
When we were looking for ways to lower my word count for the book (I was mere 30,000 words over my limit … ha!) my wonderful editor, Bethany Blair, suggested that I cut the Palatable Pecan restaurant scenes featuring Eva, her two sisters, and friend Precious Darling. However, one of those scenes is a favorite of mine, and in the end, I saved the entire restaurant segment and elected to cut another thread instead.
The restaurant scene with the four women seated at the table is important to the storyline, offering both backstory and set-up for important events to come. Moreover, my favorite part about the scene is the way the women interact with one another as they cross-talk at the dinner table while unexpected drama unfolds. The play between lofty Daphne and flippant Pep was especially fun to write. Pep always cracks me up.
Another favorite scene occurs after Eva’s altercation with the sheriff at the Palatable Pecan restaurant. She huffs out of the restaurant and stomps toward home along a deserted country road, in the dark and danger of night.
Because I wrote the story in the first person, there aren’t many opportunities for suspense. However, this scene offered that opportunity. And I took it. Interestingly, it was one of the easiest and quickest scenes to write in the book. And we used it in bookseller promotions.
Heartthrob’s Wit and Humor Offers Contrast
Then there’s the scene with Eva and heartthrob Ian Collier in his HUMMER. Seductive Ian always seems so composed and controlled. And he has a keen Scottish wit and dry humor—an interesting contrast with Eva, who is always in some sort of emotional dither when she finds herself with Ian. And what woman wouldn’t be, with Ian’s killer good looks and mysterious demeanor!
Short Scene Was Last-minute Addition
Likewise, there’s an intriguing night scene with Ian in Eva’s cottage. And it’s obvious that Ian and Eva have some sort of powerful “thing” for one another. Of course, when Ian shows up in the middle of the night at her bedside, Eva is surprised and totally smitten with her hunky neighbor, along with being just a bit mortified by her own appearance. Of course, Ian doesn’t disappoint!
Like Eva’s roadside episode, this was another scene that took relatively no time at all to write. And interestingly, it was a late addition to the story after my editor said she missed Ian in this book after I cut his storyline to accommodate my word count issues (no worries, Ian’s dropped thread is all back in book three)! Anyway, after the big cut, I wrote this short scene to give editor Bethany her Ian fix. And as it turns out, it gives the whole story a lift. I’m so glad Bethany mentioned missing Ian, and that I thought to add the short scene in the very last editing round! There’s a kind of dreamy, fantastical quality about many of Ian’s scenes. This is definitely one of my favorites.
Characters Act Like Magnets
Okay, so if you twisted my arm, and I really had to tell you my very favorite scene, it would most likely be the scene when Buck, Eva and Eva’s dog Dolly are in the backseat of Buck’s SUV, deep in the woods off an old logging trail. For both Buck and Eva, this scene is all about how complicated their lives suddenly have become after rediscovering one another just months earlier, without ever having found “closure” to their ruined relationship eighteen years earlier.
As the two grapple with issues of the past, struggle to define new ground, and unravel secrets, they can’t seem to stop switching back and forth between thinking with their heads and acting with their hearts … or maybe it’s not their hearts at all. Maybe it’s just remembering and reliving the way they once were together, long ago, before life got so complicated. Such a confusing mix of old and new emotions!
When I wrote this scene, I could almost feel Buck’s rugged and warm presence next to me. Remembering some awkward, confused, intimate moments from my own past—trust me, it happened all too often, the awkward, confused moments, that is <eye roll>—I tried to infuse those feelings into Eva’s narrative.
And like so many moments between Eva and Buck, throughout the scene, they’ve got that magnet thing going on … first the magnets are turned so that they oppose one another. Then in a spit second, they’re turned to attract one another. Then they turn again …
And that’s all I’m going to say about that!
Thank you Kelly so much for visiting today. I will be reading and reviewing Cold Pressed Murder soon.
Cold Pressed Murder (An Olive Grove Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (March 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01CZCW4CW
Eva Knox and her quirky Southern family are back in the second in the “intriguing”* culinary mystery series.
It’s the pits for the attendees of the annual Farm Family Fare in Abundance, Georgia, when olive oil farmer Eva Knox finds herself in the middle of a murder case…
Eva and the residents of Knox Plantation are oozing with excitement over the activities planned for the Farm Family Fare. The weekend event consists of two days of tours, exhibitions, music, tastings, and, most important, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs from the Chow Network. The enthusiasm, however, begins to dribble away after one of the star chefs goes missing—and is later found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck.
The scandal gets messier after the police discover that Eva’s sister Daphne spent the night with the victim right before he died, making her the prime suspect for his murder. It’s up to Eva, with the help of her other sister, Pep, and her best friend, Precious, to track down the real killer before Daphne finds herself squeezed into handcuffs…
About The Author
Kelly Lane lives on a farm near Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to her work as editor and “slush pile reader” for a prominent literary agent, she has penned as a copywriter, journalist, and worked as a business writer, editor, and public relations consultant for Fortune 500 companies. Set on an olive plantation in Southern Georgia, ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE and COLD PRESSED MURDER are the first two books in Kelly Lane’s OLIVE GROVE MYSTERY series published by Berkley Prime Crime. Each book includes original recipes inspired by dishes in the story.
Find out more about Kelly Lane at her webpage here.
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