Welcome to the 1st Cozy Wednesday of 2018!
I am pleased as punch to welcome Gail Oust back to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book today!
A DAY IN THE LIFE: THE CASE OF THE REVOLVING EDITORS
by Gail Oust
Two books, five editors. How did I get so lucky? Or should make that unlucky? The saga began when Anne Brewer, my dream of an editor, made an offer for two more books in my Spice Shop Mysteries—Curried Away and Ginger Snapped. I was elated at learning this while visiting family in Michigan over the Christmas holidays. Sadly, Anne decided after returning from maternity leave to depart Minotaur/St. Martin’s for another publishing house. She left me in the capable hands of her assistant who I’ll refer to as Editor B. B came on board just in time to request revisions on Curried Away. Unfortunately, the request came at a time when we were eight hundred miles from home due to a family medical emergency. I invariably travel with my computer as though it’s attached by an invisible umbilical cord–but not this time. The life-or-death emergency had prompted us to hastily throw essentials into the car and head north. I prevailed—make that begged, pleaded—family members to help me out of this predicament. Help came in the form of my granddaughter’s mother-in-law, Deb. I rolled up my shirtsleeves and went to work. It wasn’t the revisions that left me frustrated—B’s hand with the red ink was mercifully light—it was the fact Deb used a totally different Windows Office from which I was accustomed. In spite of afternoons and evenings spent at the hospital, mornings were devoted to revisions. Thanks to Deb I was able to complete and return everything on schedule.
Shortly afterward, B informed me she, too, was leaving Minotaur. Editor C became my new editor. By this time, I had begun the final book of my contract. I haven’t the foggiest idea of what happened to her, but Editor C lasted only two months before replaced by Editor D. D jumped in with both feet and promptly changed the title. I have to admit her idea was terrific. When it comes to titles, it was easier naming my children. D ably guided my baby, now titled Ginger Snapped, through all its stages of growth and development: revisions, copyedits, page proofs, cover copy, and cover design. I really liked D and felt bad when I learned she, too, was moving on to newer pastures. At that point, E, my fifth and final editor, appeared on the scene. Editor D didn’t leave much behind for E to do on Ginger Snapped, but she answers all of my emails promptly and seems enthusiastic on my behalf. I’m not dissatisfied.
At times I wonder how this game of revolving editors has impacted my writing career. To be honest, I’ve seen some differences between the first three books in the series and the last two. Could these be the result of editor turnover? On the other hand, these changes could also be the result of business strategies far beyond my control. I remind myself that you can’t control what you can’t control. I also like the adage that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So, here’s to lemonade and Ginger Snapped!
Thank you so much, Gail, for visiting today!
Ginger Snapped: A Spice Shop Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Georgia
Minotaur Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B071LM71RR
Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride might have gotten off on the wrong foot but, over the past year, their interactions have evolved into a friendship of sorts. And when the body of Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole, their relationship reaches entirely new territory.
Shirley, the town’s Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt’s suspected romantic interest, and now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the handsome lawman, Piper springs into action to save his reputation and possibly his freedom. She enlists the aid of her BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, along with Wyatt himself, to help solve the puzzle and find Shirley’s real killer.
Pointing them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs, the investigation soon becomes personal when Piper’s shop, Spice It Up!, is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night, narrowly escaping serious injury. Realizing that she must be close to uncovering the truth and that the evidence against Wyatt is no longer circumstantial, Piper resorts to drastic measures to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.
The town of Brandywine Creek is turned upside down when local realtor Shirley Randolph is found in Police Chief Wyatt McBride’s fishing hole. He is suspended from the force and is now the prime suspect. Piper is on the case to prove his innocence and set things right all around town, but it isn’t easy when her ex gets right in the middle of things. She is clearly on the killer’s radar because her shop was broken into and the person was definitely looking for something. Circumstances get dicey when her life is in danger and spicy when she gets closer to the chief.
This was a fun mystery to read. Piper and Reba Mae are always entertaining, but the direction of Wyatt and Piper’s relationship was the part I liked the best. Him, being suspended made him see how beneficial Piper could be with her bit of investigating. Plus spending time together sure didn’t hurt. This is not your typical cozy romance, in fact, Piper did believe the gossip around town, that he and the deceased were seeing each other. Kudos to the author for the way this is written.
The case this time was tricky because the officer left in charge was trying harder to prove Wyatt’s guilt, being after his job, rather than trying to find the real guilty party. Thankfully Piper was following the clues and reporting back to the chief so that the truth would be revealed. I was there with them every step of the way.
This mystery is nicely seasoned with plenty of humor. Small town life lends well to that as does small-town politics. At times I was shaking my head because so many things remind me of the small town where I grew up. Then you add in the Southern ways and charm, and you have a perfect cozy mystery.
There are also fantastic recipes in the book after the story.
What a great read to start the new year!
Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement. While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington. It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery. Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL. In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look. Gail has written five Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s. Her favorite pastimes are reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends.
Tour Participants – Be sure to visit all the stops!
January 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
January 4 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 4 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
January 5 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – INTERVIEW
January 5 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST WITH RECIPE
January 5 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
January 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
January 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
January 6 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Varietats – REVIEW
January 7 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
January 9 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
January 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – The Self-Rescue Princess – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 10 – Book Babble – REVIEW
January 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 11 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
January 12 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
January 12 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Community Bookstop -REVIEW
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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.”