Apr 292019
 

Interviewing a group like this had to have its own post. 

I am so happy they could stop by for a visit! 

The short stories in Deadly Southern Charm were written by Sisters in Crime-Central Virginia members. All of the stories had to have a female sleuth and be set somewhere in the southern United States. You can read my review here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Frances Aylor, CFA combines her investing experience and love of travel in her financial thrillers. MONEY GRAB is the first in the series.  www.francesaylor.com

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of cookbooks, articles, essays, poetry, and fiction.  An Agatha Award nominee, she lives in Central Virginia.  www.molliecoxbryan.com

Lynn Cahoon is the NYT and USA Today author of the best-selling Tourist Trap, Cat Latimer and Farm-to-Fork mystery series. www.lynncahoon.com

A. Chalkley is a native Virginian. She is a writer, retired public safety communications officer, and a member of Sisters in Crime.

 

Stacie Giles lived many places before settling in Virginia where she is returning to ancestral Southern roots, including a grandfather who was a Memphis policeman.

Barb Goffman has won the Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards for her short stories, and is a two-time finalist for US crime-writing awards.www.Barbgoffman.com

Libby Hall is a communication analyst with a consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia.  She is also a blogger, freelance writer, wife, and mother of two.

Bradley Harper is a retired Army pathologist.  Library Journal named his debut novel, A KNIFE IN THE FOG, Debut of the Month for October 2018.  www.bharperauthor.com

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series and is the president of Sisters in Crime.www.sherryharrisauthor.com

Maggie King penned the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet anthologies. www.maggieking.com

Kristin Kisska is a member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and programs chair of the Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia chapter. www.kristinkisska.com

Samantha McGraw has a love of mysteries and afternoon tea. She lives in Richmond with her husband and blogs at Tea Cottage Mysteries.www.samanthamcgraw.com

K.L. Murphy is a freelance writer and the author of the Detective Cancini Mysteries.  She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two dogs.www.Kellielarsenmurphy.com

Genilee Swope Parente has written the romantic mystery The Fate Series with her mother F. Sharon Swope. The two also have several collections of short stories. www.swopeparente.com

Deb Rolfe primarily writes mystery novels. This is her first published short story. She and her husband enjoy life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

 

Ronald Sterling is the author of six books and draws upon his colorful and varied life experience as a U.S. Airman, saloonkeeper, private detective, realtor, and New Jersey mayor.

S.A. Warwick, in the last century earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Ever since, she has been trying to decipher the American enigma.

Heather Weidner is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries.  She has short stories in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 SHADES OF CABERNET and TO FETCH A THIEF.  She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and Jack Russell terriers.  www.heatherweidner.com

EDITORS

Mary Burton is a New York Times, USA Today and Kindle best-selling author.  She is currently working on her latest suspense. www.maryburton.com

Mary Miley is a historian and writer with 14 nonfiction books and 5 mystery novels to her credit. www.marymileytheobald.com

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS – FacebookTwitterWebsite:

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Frances: I love to travel and have visited over 30 countries. I’ve climbed inside the Egyptian pyramids and paraglided in the Swiss Alps. I’m married to my high school sweetheart.

Heather: I am a cop’s kid. My dad, retired after 46 years on the force, is my best source for murder questions that I don’t want to Google. I love any kind of chocolate, and I share my office with two crazy Jack Russell Terriers.

Bradley: I was once arrested for goat-napping after a very long bachelor’s party. I was skinny-dipping beneath a waterfall in Scotland when a bus load of little old ladies suddenly appeared on the cliff above me. I broke my personal best swimming back to my clothes. I had twelve jumps as an airborne qualified Infantry officer. Jump twelve landed me in a tree. It was my last jump.

Genilee: I’m about to become an official Texan. Moving this spring to be close to family. I have been writing creatively since I was 12 and have many miscellaneous ways to make a living from the written word. I got married late in life and had my child at age 41.

Maggie: I wrote very bad poetry in high school as an outlet for my considerable adolescent angst.  I lived in Los Angeles for many, and what I miss the most is the Hollywood Bowl with its classical and jazz concerts.  I relocated from Los Angeles to Charlottesville, Virginia sight unseen! I lived there for six years before moving down the road to Richmond (which I did visit first).

Lynn: I competed in national and international soft tip dart tournaments.  I took second in doubles in Las Vegas. According to one woman whose husband I had just beat in singles – I’m pretty good for a girl.

Barb: I love the idea of sailing but would never get on any boat, including a cruise. I get terrible seasickness. I love the sound of wind chimes, and I love rainy summer nights. Hey, isn’t there a song about that?…

Kristin: In my twenties, I bought a one-way ticket to Prague and ended up living there for three years. For the past decade, I’ve tap danced as a *Rockette* for our local theater’s live-Christmas holiday spectacular every December. I love to travel, and at one point my passport was so full of stamps, I had to go to the U.S. Embassy to get pages added so I could keep using it.

J.A.: I’ve visited the Chichen Itza ruins in Mexico. In the mid 90’s I competed in an international martial arts tournament in Atlanta. I placed second in weapons with a nunchucks form. Bugs Bunny was, and still is, my hero.

Samantha: I used to be an event planner in the D.C. political world, planning events for some well-known politicians and influencers and working closely with the U.S. Secret Service. I once talked my way backstage at a Robert Plant concert with my husband and got to hang out with him for a bit. I’m a big tea drinker and drink several cups a day, but when I make hot chocolate it’s never from a mix – always a very indulgent chocolate custard type drink that takes some time to make, but so worth it!

Libby:  I married a Bermudian, lived there for 5 years and had our two girls there. I frequently mispronounce words because I read them phonetically and forget to edit them in my head before I say them.  I met Michael Stipe form the band REM at the MTV Awards and didn’t know who I’d been talking to until, immediately after our chat, he got up on stage and started singing.

Stacie: I was a graduate student in the Soviet Union when the only billboards in Moscow were big, red, Communist slogans.  I love to sing, play piano and conduct music and have performed frequently since I was 5 years old.  Although I can only claim to be fluent in one other foreign language, Russian, I can speak 4 others enough that I have used all of them professionally or in volunteer work: French, Spanish, Chinese and Kazakh.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Frances: Uncle Wiggily and His Friends by Howard R. Garis. I still have my childhood copy, which is now missing its spine and is a bit worse for wear but is a treasured favorite.

Heather: My earliest favorites were Green Eggs and Ham, The Monster at the End of the Book, and The Wind in the Willows.

Bradley: My uncle’s Batman comic books.

Genilee: Fun with Dick and Jan. I’m dating myself!

Maggie: That’s a tough one. Maybe something by Anne Emery, or maybe it was The Hidden Staircase, the start of my Nancy Drew craze.

Kristin: Magic Jim was my all-time favorite childhood book. It’s out of print now, but I still have my girlhood copy.

J.A.: I’m sure there were others before it, but the one that sticks with me is The Hobbit.

Samantha: Like Heather, I loved everything Dr. Seuss ever wrote, but one of my favorite childhood reads was Mandy by Julie Andrews (a.k.a. Mary Poppins).

Libby: The Little Golden Book I Am A Bunny

Stacie: The very first book I recall is Are You My Mother? about a poor lost bird who asks this question of the most incredible objects while searching for his mother.  The absurdity of it must have skewed my sense of humor for life.  But my parents kept a full bookshelf, and I freely pulled from it.  At a young age, I read Plato’s Apology, and that sparked my interest in the way humans make rules for themselves as a society.

What are you reading now?

Frances: A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny and The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths. I just finished Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben. I often read several books at the same time, keeping one book upstairs, one downstairs, and the third in my car.

Heather: A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

Bradley: Island of the Mad, by Laurie R King.

Genilee: In Farleigh field, by Rhys Bowen.

Maggie: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline, for the All Henrico Reads program

Sherry: Darker Than Any Shadow by Tina Whittle

Lynn:  Wrinkle in Time by Madelein L’Engle

BarbElevation by Stephen King and Trust Me by Hank Phillippi Ryan.

J.A.: The Midnight Front by David Mack

Kristin: Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

Samantha: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Libby:  The Winter Sea by Susannaj Kearsley

Stacie: Rereading Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles; also Russo and Dezenhall’s Best of Enemies: The Last Great Spy Story of the Cold War.

What books have most inspired you?

Frances: Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier, which inspired me to become a writer. In the Woods by Tana French, a psychological thriller with beautiful and gripping prose.

Heather: I started reading the Nancy Drew mysteries in elementary school, and I was hooked on mysteries. I moved on to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock stories. I like lots of different genres, but mysteries and thrillers are my favorite.

Bradley: The Sherlock Holmes canon, and the Lord of the Rings. I read a lot of Sci-Fi growing up as well but have drifted away.

Genilee: Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke because it made too much sense during a period of my life (college) when I was trying to figure out, “the meaning behind it all.” And maybe the Hunger Games series because I stumbled upon the author and was completely floored by how good the books were.

Maggie: If Morning Ever Comes, by Anne Tyler; Of Human Bondage, by W. Somerset Maugham; Gillian Roberts’s Amanda Pepper series; and Joan Smith’s Loretta Lawson series. And many more.

Lynn: Recently? American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I thought a lot about that book and the concepts long after I closed the book. When I was growing up? The Lord of the Rings held that spot for me. As a young, married mother – it was The Stand.

J.A.: Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is the first mystery I remember reading, and it is my favorite of her work. I’ve always been a fan of mysteries, trying to unravel the puzzle. Mysteries, horror and sci-fi make up much of my personal library.

Kristin: The book that inspired me to start writing my first novel was Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.  Having grown up in the Washington, D.C. area, I could envision most of the settings in his novel. Before I finished the book, I had developed a rough outline of my first (as yet, unpublished) novel.

Samantha: I’ve always been a mystery lover and, like many others, frequently read Nancy Drew, but books by Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton were the most inspirational in giving me a desire to write.

Libby:  The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley; any book by Charles DeLint

Stacie: ­Orwell’s 1984 revealed to me as a teenager the power of the word.  I love Agatha Christie.  I have been captivated by the calm, clever way that the heroine of Alexander McCall Smith’s series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency solves both mysteries and thorny knots in peoples’ lives.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Frances: As a child I loved reading mysteries. My favorites are fast-paced, action-packed thrillers, which I could never find enough of, so I decided to write my own.

Heather: I have loved mysteries since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. I always known that I wanted to write them. My first published mystery was in 2014, a short story in a Sisters in Crime anthology.

Bradley: I had a story stuck in my head involving Conan Doyle in the hunt for Jack the Ripper. It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I wrote it. I sorta backed into mysteries, however, as I’d like to write a pure thriller based upon my time with US Special Forces in Colombia. One day.

Genilee: I love being fooled by a good mystery writer (not many can succeed in doing it) and I love puzzles.

Maggie: Like many mystery writers, I have a strong need to see justice done and set the world right. Mysteries are the perfect vehicle for that. Mysteries are about relationships—relationships that have gone awry. I’m fascinated by family dynamics and how memories of my own family experiences have popped up throughout my life, sometimes in good ways and sometimes in disconcerting ways. Love and obsession intrigue me to no end, as does sin and how we’re impacted by it.

Sherry: I’ve always loved reading mysteries and thrillers. So when I started writing it was natural to write them.

Lynn:  When I went through breast cancer treatment, I had a lot of time to think. Reading cozy mysteries allowed me to travel, find community, and figure out a puzzle, even when I was tied to a chemo chair. They really helped me pass the time.

Kristin: I’ve always enjoyed solving mind puzzles, reading thrillers, and watching detective shows on T.V., so when it came to writing fiction, mystery was a natural fit.

J.A.: I’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries, so I thought it would be fun to write mysteries.

Samantha: I can’t remember a day when I didn’t love mysteries and I didn’t want to write. I love trying to figure out “who did it” and I’m hooked on any kind of mystery/detective T.V. Show.

Libby:  I love mysteries that take place in the South – there is just something murky and mysterious about the humidity and atmosphere.  I grew up in that humidity with a lot of strong, Southern women and quirky people.  Being able to write a Southern mystery and create my own quirky characters was so rewarding!

Stacie: I love mysteries because they are entertaining and engage my mind.  Even more, mystery fiction often shows keen insight into human character; describes places, lifestyles, and historical eras that I myself have never experienced; and often, thrills me with beautiful language.  I have loved mystery fiction for years, and now I want to see if I can contribute something worthwhile to the genre.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Frances: I write on my laptop at the desk in my home office. When I get tired of sitting in my desk chair, I move my laptop to the living room sofa.

Heather: At home, I usually write in my office or on the back deck. But my ultimate favorite place to write is on the beach.

Bradley: My wife calls it the “Writer’s lair.” It is a den/study in our house, where I have my reference books, and I can play my music as loud as I want.

Genilee: My leather/wood recliner on a small lap top with a cat sitting next to me.

Maggie: If I’m in the throes of creativity, I’ll be in my recliner with pen and paper, a cat curled up in my lap. Otherwise, I’ll be working on my laptop, in my den.

Lynn:  I write best at my computer facing my 32-inch monitor. I can write on my laptop (Surface) but I love the desk.

J.A.: At home, I have a woman cave. It’s my hide away for writing.

Kristin: Yes.  99% of my writing happens in my writer’s cave at home.  I also have to have absolute quiet, so if my family is at home, I’m usually writing at 5am while they are all sleeping.

Samantha: Usually in my office or at the dining room table because both are near windows. If it’s a nice day, I’ll take my laptop out to the deck.

Libby:  I write in the car (putting ideas into y phone while being a passenger or dictating texts to myself), in the shower and as I’m waking up. Putting pen to paper usually happens at the kitchen table.

Stacie: In a very comfortable, overstuffed white swivel rocking chair that is just the right height from the ground for my short legs.  It’s surrounded by plants in a window alcove near my desk and is very cozy!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Frances: Money Grab, my first financial thriller, was loosely based on my experiences in the investment industry. I’m getting ideas for future books in the series from newspapers, magazines, and internet sites. Plus, I like to incorporate places I’ve traveled into my books.

Heather: The ideas come from all kinds of places. I keep a notebook with me. I am always jotting down names, snippets of conversation, and notes.

Bradley: History. Go to Wikipedia and type in a year and see what the major events of that year were. My idea for my fourth book involves the theft of the Irish crown jewels which I learned of in this fashion.

Genilee: A good question that many writers can’t answer. My ideas for the series I wrote started with my co-author, who is my mom. But ideas pop into my head all the time.

Maggie: Ideas come from everywhere: the headlines, eavesdropping, especially the headlines. I don’t even need to know the whole story—headlines by themselves are great writing prompts.

Social media is a gold mine of inspiration, a modern day gathering around the water cooler. It seems like everyone has something to say (some way too much). And, as I’m a fiction writer, I don’t have to worry about “fake news.”

Advice columns give me wonderful ideas. Consider the letter from the woman whose boyfriend was spying on her social media accounts; and the distraught man whose wife had an “emotional” affair with his best friend.

Lynn: I have come to realize that my story ideas come from settings. I knew as soon as I walked down Royal Street in New Orleans for the first time that I’d set a story there. The buildings, the sidewalks, the stores, they all scream for a story to be told.

J.A.: Everywhere. Places I’ve been or seen in media. History is a wonderful place to mind ideas. Music often inspires me.

Kristin: Like Lynn, most of my ideas are driven by unique settings. I’m also inspired by interesting news articles, snippets of conversation I overhear, and by pondering, “What if [insert weird situation] …?

Samantha: Ideas are everywhere if you look for them. I’ve picked up ideas from overheard conversations, news stories, T.V. shows, or by just watching people and trying to figure out what they’re talking about based on their body language.

Libby: My ideas come from all kinds of places – social media, the news, relatives, even conversations in the checkout line at Target.

Stacie: For me it all starts with character.  As I develop a story’s main and supportive characters, I begin to know them.  Then the setting helps flesh out aspects of the characters I hadn’t considered, and somehow actions appear!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Frances: I write slowly and am envious of writers who can churn out two or more books a year. Even though I outline in advance and write up summaries of my characters, it still takes me longer than it should to finish a book. I’m trying to stick to a structured writing schedule to improve my productivity.

Heather: I love the plotting and writing parts. The editing and revising feel more like work to me, but they’re necessary if you want a quality product.

Bradley: Creating a character with a unique voice that stands out. If I do it well enough, I don’t have to give a tag as to who said the line. The reader knows.

Genilee: Finding time and not letting the rest of life, including my full-time job, get in the way.

Maggie: Keeping focused on my actual writing. Besides personal distractions, I’m challenged by the myriad of writing-related tasks facing writers these days (promotion, marketing, social media, to name a few).

Lynn:  Not comparing my process or career with someone else. It’s so easy to become discouraged when your book isn’t selling like XXXX’s is (add in the name of the top author in your genre.) But you don’t know what they went through to get there. We all have our own process. Writing in bits and pieces every day keeps me in the story. That might not work for other authors.

J.A.: Getting started. Once I’m in the chair, I enjoy writing, but sometimes it’s hard to make myself sit down and focus.

Kristin: I’ve been writing for eleven years, but I’m always worried I won’t be able to dream-up the next good story idea. Even after seven published short stories and three novels, the fear of writer’s block haunts me.  The struggle is real!

Samantha: Like Maggie, I sometimes find it hard to focus on the writing itself and not all the little details around it.

Libby: Finding time.  Working full-time as a marketing/communications person leaves little energy at the end of the day for creativity.

Stacie: I still find all aspects challenging – but my worst problem is becoming impatient.  Writing takes rewriting! Also checking and rechecking: of facts, of typos, of so many things!  It can be overwhelming.

What do you think makes a good story?

Frances: Believable characters with both good traits and flaws, a fast-paced plot, and a surprise ending.

Heather: I love stories with characters that I can relate to. I like the sleuth to have an interesting career or hobby that I can learn about. And I love a well written mystery with lots of twists and turns.

Bradley: A relatable character with a meaningful struggle for an important goal with an uncertain outcome.

Genilee: Believable characters that interact as part of an unusual event.

Maggie: You know a story is good when you want to race through it, but you never want it to end.

Lynn:  The story that you, the author, need to tell. I’m my first reader. I want to be excited by the story just as much as I want future readers to love it.

Barb:  A good story is one that captivates and entertains the reader.

J.A.: I like stories with characters who are faced with difficult choices and have to face the consequences of their choices and actions. I think setting is very important to a story, you don’t have to tell me every little detail in the scene but make me believe I’ve been there.

Kristin: Every story needs conflict. Without it, you don’t have much of a plot. As far as I’m concerned, the more tension, the better.  A little humor along the way helps too.

Samantha: I love interesting, sometimes eccentric, characters with a puzzle or secret to uncover. I enjoy a story that teases me with just enough information to make me curious about something but leaves it to my imagination to figure out the rest of the pieces.

Libby:  Characters that are likeable but flawed; strong voices; character-driven stories (the best Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories all have characters that you can identify with on some level, and that are flawed).  Good pacing.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Frances: Robbie Bradford, my female financial advisor, has an investment job similar to mine. We are both loyal to friends and family, hard-working and curious.

Heather: My private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald, and I share some traits. We’re both redheads who love Mustangs. She just gets into way more trouble than I do.

Bradley: Hopefully, Professor Joseph Bell, the real-life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. He was a kind man and had the ability to see beyond what was in front of him. Perhaps I am more like him on some days, than on others.

Genilee: Probably my most recent character, who is a small-town gal who is independent but loves people.

Maggie: Like me, Hazel Rose is a seeker of justice. We both lived on the west coast and worked in IT. We both moved from Los Angeles to Charlottesville, Virginia, with calico cats in tow. But she’s been to the altar four times to my one. And she’s much braver!

Lynn:  A lot of my main characters share one trait that I also have -trying new things. New hometowns. New careers. New lives. New restaurants. All of the main characters are in a place where they’re starting over from something. I’ve been known to get in my car and drive just to try to figure out what I’m going to do to solve a problem.

Barb: I had to give this some thought. To my surprise, I think it’s my character Bev from my story “The Case of the Missing Pot Roast,” which appeared in last year’s Bouchercon anthology, Florida Happens. Bev enjoys reading and playing cards and other games with friends. She’ll put herself on the line for those she loves, but she also will put up with things she probably shouldn’t if it makes life easier. And she’s funny.

Kristin: My character Lauryn from “A Colonial Grave” in the anthology, Virginia is For Mysteries: Volume II, is most like me. Though she’s a college student, her reactions to discovering the bones of a cold case murder were exactly as mine would’ve been, especially her wee bit o’ snark.

Samantha: My character Tess in my short story “Deadly Devonshire” is my favorite. I’m writing a series based on the characters in this story and she’s the one I love spending time with the most. Good thing since she’s my main character!

Libby:  My character Mags from my unpublished novel ‘Sanctuary.”  She struggles with finding her place when her world is turned upside down.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Frances: The goal of my financial thrillers is not only to entertain, but also to give some investment tips that readers can use when they manage their own money.

Heather: My sleuth tends to get herself in and out of trouble as she investigates crimes. She also has no fear, so she’s willing to try just about anything like larping and roller derby.

Bradley: Since I have to date only one book, I can only say that I took as much interest in the society of the time the Ripper killings took place, as the murders themselves. I wanted the time and place to be as much a character as any of the named ones.

Genilee: As far as the Fate Series mysteries, Detective Sam Osbourne, who has inherited money so that he takes only the cases he wants.

Maggie: My Hazel Rose Book Group series made the cozy category by a nose. It’s definitely edgy.

Sherry: Part of the action takes place on a military base because my protagonist, Sarah Winston, used to be married to a man in the Air Force. I love incorporating that part of my life into the books.

Lynn: I’ve been told it’s because they’re filled with amazing sounding food.  But I think it’s because they all have strong female protagonists who want to do the right thing.

Barb: I’m known for writing humor. Sure, some other people write funny stories too, but not everyone.

Kristin: Most of my stories stress the limits of some family dysfunction, which is a natural source of conflict most readers can empathize, whether we like it or not.  The more awkward, the better.

Libby:  My stories tend to be comedic, rather than intense.  The comic relief makes them easier to read and they can be more character-focused instead of just plot-focused.

Stacie: I’d like to think I have the cleverness and compassion of Vera.  But I suspect I’ve also got the worry and limited viewpoint of Burnell!

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Frances: The second book in my series has Robbie Bradford traveling to Switzerland to help a client deal with a family crisis. The third book may be set in Egypt, which I just visited. I also give talks on financial management to colleges and other groups.

Heather: I’m working on the third book in the Delanie Fitzgerald series. I’m also working on a cozy mystery set near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bradley: I just turned in my second book, featuring my female protagonist from book one as the major character. That completes my two-book contract. I’ve submitted two more synopses for additional in the series. Fingers crossed.

Genilee: To date, most of my books have been co-authored by my now-91-year-old mom. I am now working on my first solo mystery based on some of the same characters as those that appear in my short story for the Sister in Crime anthology.

Maggie: I’m working on a short story that I plan to submit to a mystery magazine, and I’m starting edits/rewrites for Die Laughing, #3 in my Hazel Rose Book Group series.

Sherry: My next Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery is Let’s Fake a Deal. It comes out in July.

Lynn: I’m writing the next two books in the Farm-to-Fork series and two more full length Tourist Traps this year. Along with a couple other projects that aren’t public knowledge yet. My fifth Cat Latimer book is releasing in June – SCONED TO DEATH.

Barb: I’m editing an anthology to be called Crime Travel. As you can probably guess, all the stories involving crime/mystery and time travel. The book is scheduled to be released by Wildside Press on December 8th, which is Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day. (It’s a real holiday!) The book will have fifteen stories, including one of mine called “Alex’s Choice.”

J.A.: I’m working on a short story for submission to a sci-fi magazine.

Kristin: In addition to “Unbridled”, I have another short story being released this spring, “Snowbirding” in Malice Domestic’s anthology, Mystery Most Edible. I’m currently writing my third novel.

Samantha: I’m working on the first book in the series with the characters from my short story.

Libby: I am finalizing two Southern fiction novels and looking for an agent and working to self-publish pieces from my Subourbonmom” blog.

Stacie: Right now, I’m working on a nonfiction academic project, but I have also begun working on a series of short stories following Vera’s life as an unofficial detective over the years.  Other ideas in the works are contemporary stories set in Los Angeles and Oahu (both places I’ve lived) and possibly a historical series set in Kazakhstan (which I’ve visited and studied).

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Apr 292019
 

About the Book


Deadly Southern Charm (A Lethal Ladies Cozy Mystery Anthology)
Cozy Mystery
Wildside Press (March 27, 2019)
Paperback: 173 pages
ISBN-10: 1479448397
ISBN-13: 978-1479448395

 This is a volume of short stories written by the Sisters in Crime-Central Virginia group. 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I started this book I had planned to read a couple of stories each night, there are 18 in all. I finished The Girl In The Airport by Frances Aylor and loved it and plunged right ahead. When I reached the end of Keepsakes by J.A. Chalkley I had a chill run up my spine and kept reading. I reached Country Song Gone Wrong by Sherry Harris and spent a little time with one of my favorite cozy characters, Sarah Winston and a great little whodunit and couldn’t stop. As I started Keep Your Friends Close by Maggie King my husband interrupted me to ask if I was ready for dinner. It was Easter, so I took a break to eat the wonderful meal he had prepared and spent some time with my family. Before I went to sleep that night I just had to finish Maggie’s story and then didn’t stop until I reached the end of Art Attack by Heather Weidner.

I enjoyed every one of the stories. Most of these authors were new to me and I will be watching for their books now. A few, Molly Cox Bryan, Lynn Cahoon, Sherry Harris, and Heather Weidner already have books on my shelves and I am always excited about their new works.

This anthology was a real treat. I loved the southern theme. Short stories are difficult to write, especially mysteries because so much has to happen. All of these authors did an excellent job. I couldn’t pick a favorite if I tried.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

More Praise for Deadly Southern Charm (Cozy Mystery Anthology)
by Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia

DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM brings together a variety of quick reads that ooze Southern sweetness dipped in venom.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Each tale contained plenty of mystery, mayhem, and twisty, turny plots making each read like a full-length novel, and doing so without the feeling of the stories being rushed, which is no small task.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

About the Authors 

Frances Aylor, CFA combines her investing experience and love of travel in her financial thrillers. MONEY GRAB is the first in the series.  www.francesaylor.com

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of cookbooks, articles, essays, poetry, and fiction.  An Agatha Award nominee, she lives in Central Virginia.  www.molliecoxbryan.com

Lynn Cahoon is the NYT and USA Today author of the best-selling Tourist Trap, Cat Latimer and Farm-to-Fork mystery series. www.lynncahoon.com

A. Chalkley is a native Virginian. She is a writer, retired public safety communications officer, and a member of Sisters in Crime.

 

Stacie Giles lived many places before settling in Virginia where she is returning to ancestral Southern roots, including a grandfather who was a Memphis policeman.

Barb Goffman has won the Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards for her short stories, and is a two-time finalist for US crime-writing awards.www.Barbgoffman.com

Libby Hall is a communication analyst with a consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia.  She is also a blogger, freelance writer, wife, and mother of two.

Bradley Harper is a retired Army pathologist.  Library Journal named his debut novel, A KNIFE IN THE FOG, Debut of the Month for October 2018.  www.bharperauthor.com

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series and is the president of Sisters in Crime.www.sherryharrisauthor.com

Maggie King penned the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet anthologies. www.maggieking.com

Kristin Kisska is a member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and programs chair of the Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia chapter. www.kristinkisska.com

Samantha McGraw has a love of mysteries and afternoon tea. She lives in Richmond with her husband and blogs at Tea Cottage Mysteries.www.samanthamcgraw.com

K.L. Murphy is a freelance writer and the author of the Detective Cancini Mysteries.  She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two dogs.www.Kellielarsenmurphy.com

Genilee Swope Parente has written the romantic mystery The Fate Series with her mother F. Sharon Swope. The two also have several collections of short stories. www.swopeparente.com

Deb Rolfe primarily writes mystery novels. This is her first published short story. She and her husband enjoy life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

 

Ronald Sterling is the author of six books and draws upon his colorful and varied life experience as a U.S. Airman, saloonkeeper, private detective, realtor, and New Jersey mayor.

S.A. Warwick, in the last century earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Ever since, she has been trying to decipher the American enigma.

Heather Weidner is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries.  She has short stories in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 SHADES OF CABERNET and TO FETCH A THIEF.  She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and Jack Russell terriers.  www.heatherweidner.com

EDITORS

Mary Burton is a New York Times, USA Today and Kindle best-selling author.  She is currently working on her latest suspense. www.maryburton.com

Mary Miley is a historian and writer with 14 nonfiction books and 5 mystery novels to her credit. www.marymileytheobald.com

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS – FacebookTwitterWebsite:

Purchase Links – Amazon – Paperback – Kindle should be available soon, 

Wildside  Wildside eBook

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
April 21 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 23 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 25 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
April 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 27 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
April 28 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, RECIPE   
April 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
April 30 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
May 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 1 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
May 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
May 4 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

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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.”

 

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Dec 122018
 


Special Guests

 Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, and Rosemary Shomaker
Authors of To Fetch A Thief

I am so happy to have these wonderful authors here today
as part of their Great Escapes Book Tour!

Welcome Ladies!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Heather: Over the years, I’ve been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. I live in Central Virginia with my husband and a pair of crazy Jack Russell terriers. And I’ve been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew.

 

Jayne: We moved 19 times during his 30-year career, so it was impossible to put down roots. We’re now settled in a cottage by the Chesapeake Bay with our two rescue puppies, Tiller and Scout. I’m a real estate agent by day, and a cozy mystery writer by night.

 Rosemary: I’ve been a huge reader forever. Books really opened up the world to me. I read to my kids as my mother read to me. I even worked in a job where I wrote . . . analytically, that is. Now I write fiction on my own time.

Teresa: I love to write mysteries, go to car shows with my husband, and visit the Outerbanks to write and read good books.   

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Heather: The first two albums (those things before MP3s, CDs, and cassette tapes) I bought with my own money were a 5th of Beethoven and Shaun Cassidy. I have seen the Monkees in concert three times. I have never seen Billy Idol in concert, and it’s still on my bucket list.

Jayne: I play the piano (mostly classical). I watch Little League World Series every August. I once slept on the street of Ventura Blvd in Los Angeles waiting to get into a taping of the Price is Right. It was a few weeks before Bob Barker retired. Sadly, neither my son nor I got called to “Come on down!”

Rosemary: Three things people don’t know about me are: my house got struck by lightning and burned to where we had one whole floor completely renovated; I’m fifty percent Lithuanian; and my first dog had the unfortunate name “Snoopy.”

Teresa: I come from a large family with many brothers and a sister. We were taught to work hard and make something of our lives.I’ve been an administrative professional since high school and have worked in a long and successful career. I’ve loved reading mysteries and watching mysteries on television since I was a kid.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Heather: Green Eggs and Ham and The Monster at the End of the Book

Jayne: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Rosemary: I remember the book The Parent Trap based on the 1961 Haley Mills movie. Before that, I remember some early Dick and Jane readers.

Teresa: Are You My Mother. It’s a fascinating tale of a little bird who was hatched alone while his mother had gone to look for food. He sets out on a journey to find her. He asks a kitten, a hen, a dog, and cow if they are his mother.

What are you reading now?

Heather: John Grisham’s The Reckoning

Jayne:  The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Rosemary: Now I’m reading some of Nevada Barr’s mysteries and some William Tapply mysteries.

Teresa: A wine mystery. Murder Most Fermented by Christine E. Blum.

What made you decide you want to write?

Heather: I have wanted to be a writer since I was in the seventh grade. I loved writing stories and poems. I’ve always loved mysteries, so it was a perfect fit.

Jayne: I read a few bad romances and said “I can write better than that.” Turns out it is MUCH harder than it looks. I soon gave up on the romance-writing career (I just couldn’t keep two desperately in love people apart for 300 pages!) and turned to writing cozy mysteries. It’s so much easier to ramp on the conflict by stumbling over a dead body!

Rosemary: My imagination made me want to write. My mom read to me and my sister, and my dad told great stories—I could so easily picture in my mind what they read and told. Written expression is easier for me than is oral expression, so writing became my medium.

Teresa: I wrote professional articles and loved reading mysteries. So, I combined my love of both and began writing mysteries.

 Do you have a special place you like to write?

Heather: I usually write in my upstairs office. My Jack Russell Terriers each have a bed on either side of my desk. They help me with plotting and dialogue when they’re not napping.

Jayne: I do have a writing room with a “virgin” computer (it doesn’t have a modem so has never connected to the Internet.) It keeps me from getting distracted by Facebook and email.

Rosemary: I like to write at an old desk in my daughter’s old room or outside. I write my raw material longhand.

Teresa: In my bedroom. I have a writing area with a beautiful country view.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Heather: A lot of ideas come from true stories I’ve read in newspapers or magazines. Some come from people watching. I always keep a notebook with me. I jot down ideas when I see or hear them. You never know when they’ll appear in a book.

Jayne: I have always played “what’s the worst that can happen” in my mind as I walk or drive. So I can see a leaf fluttering to the ground and think “now what’s the worst that can happen with a leaf?” (Answer: I can be watching the leaf thinking big thoughts and trip on the sidewalk and fall into the neighbor’s prize rose garden and flatten some bushes just before Secret Garden Tour and my name becomes Mud around the neighborhood. Plus I get all scratched up and have to go to the ER! You can see how this could go on and on and on…) 

Rosemary: My ideas come from what I see on my everyday errands and what I read in the newspaper.

Teresa: Everywhere! Conversations, news, songs, and sometimes plots come to me while I am driving to and from work.

What books have most inspired you?

Heather: There are too many to list. I think I read Charlotte’s Web at least ten times in elementary school. I loved the Nancy Drew stories because she was a teen who had a cool car, great friends, and could solve mysteries before the adults did. My favorite book about writing is Stephen King’s On Writing.

 Jayne: I am not just blowing smoke when I say every book I have ever read has inspired me in some way. Some, because the eloquent turn of the phrase makes me want to make readers pause and take notice; others because the plot is so thin and the characters so flat I challenge myself to be better than that. The short list of authors who have had the biggest influences on my writing are books by Janet Evanovich, Mary Dahiem, and Lillian Jackson Braun.

 Rosemary: In the 1980’s I read Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children Series and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon series, and I was enthralled. In the early 1990’s I read Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Those three series inspired me.

Teresa: Nancy Drew mysteries.

 Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Heather:  The writing is the easy part. The writing life also includes what feels like hundreds of rounds of editing and proofreading. Authors are also responsible for a lot of their marketing and book promotion. And you have to blog, maintain a website, and all your social media sites.

Jayne: It is much easier NOT to write than to sit down and write. Sometimes the biggest challenge is simply getting my rear end in the chair…and keeping it there.

Rosemary: The most challenging aspect of writing is pacing the story. Getting the pace right is hard, and I struggle to keep the story moving because at times my characters get too wordy and introspective.

Teresa: Editing.

What do you think makes a good story?

Heather: I like stories with lots of plot twists. I like clever dialogue and stories where I learn something (event with fiction.

Jayne: Plot twists. When the readers say to themselves, “Wow. I  didn’t see that coming!”

Rosemary: Hmm. I read more and more “how-to” guides and advice about this. I’m warming to the advice that the main character has to mature or evolve in some way, either by dealing with an issue, seeing a different point of view, becoming a better person, etc. In these cases, anyway, there is some problem that needs to be addressed, and the story is how the characters address the problem.

Personally, I’m drawn to the adventure story’s hero’s journey. You know, the journey that starts with the ordinary world, continues with the call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting the mentor, crossing the threshold, test/allies/enemies, approach to the inmost cave, ordeal, reward, the road back, resurrection, and return to the ordinary world a changed person. The best stories fit this archetypal story pattern. I recognize phases of the hero’s journey in mystery stories, although the plotting is necessarily a bit different.

Teresa: Relatable characters, a good location, great plot, and wrapping up all loose ends.

 Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Heather: My private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald and I share a lot of things in common. We are both redheads who like Mustangs, 80s music, and live in Central Virginia. She’s a spunky PI who gets in way more trouble than I do. She’s more like my alter-ego.

Jayne: I will admit to putting a little bit of myself in every character, but the most of me has gone into Ellery Tinsdale in The Blond Leading the Blond and Blond Luck.

Rosemary: My character Olivia Morris in 50 Shades of Cabernet’s “Home Tour Havoc” is most like me. Adam Moreland in “This is Not a Dog Park” has some of my characteristics, too. Like Olivia, I’ve found a sort of peace and regret some decisions from my past. In real life I relish some of those past experiences, however, while Olivia is still hurting from them. Adam Moreland hides from conflict and tends to protect himself from further hurt by walling out people. Hey, I’m right there with Adam on that. Yes, I know that’s not healthy.

Teresa: Strong working women. I write strong female characters who own their own business.

 Why did you pick your particular genre?

Heather: I have loved mysteries since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. They were gateway mysteries that led to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock. I’ve had a library card since I was four, so I’ve sampled quite a few mystery authors and subgenres. (Plus, I’m a cop’s kid. Many of our dinner conversations were crime-themed, so it was a natural fit.) I took a mystery and detection fiction class as an undergraduate, and it was the best class I took in college.

Jayne: I’ve always loved mysteries and adventures with female characters, ever since I read my first (of over 100) Nancy Drew stories as a child.

Rosemary: My short stories are different from other mystery stories because I introduce main characters who refuse the call to investigate and seem ill-equipped to investigate anyway—not in the bumbling way, but in the “I don’t want to get involved” way. Perky matrons with time on their hands and their thumbs on the pulse of the community are not my sleuths.

Teresa: Cozy mysteries are easy to read since they do not contain gore, blood, or violence.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Heather: I write where I know. My novels are set in Central Virginia, and all of my short stories are set in Virginia. It’s a great place to live and work, and I want to share it with my readers. I am also a huge fan of popular culture, so you’ll find lots of references in my works.

Jayne: My amateur sleuth is reluctant to solve the crime, and usually has a stronger person behind pushing (or pulling or dragging) her to find the killer.

Rosemary: My stories are mostly in anthologies, and those anthologies differ from other “books” in the mystery genre in that a reader gets to sample the styles and content of various authors in one book. Anthologies are a great way to find your next favorite author. To Fetch a Thief is the first collection of novellas in the Mutt Mysteries series. Readers get to sample the efforts of four mystery authors in this book. The rotating authors in the next several Mutt Mysteries compilations will allow readers access to the works of other mystery authors, so compilations and anthologies are a win-win for authors and readers.

Teresa: My characters and book titles. I love creating relatable characters and fun titles.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Heather: I have a short story, “Art Attack” coming out in Deadly Southern Charms: A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology next year. I also have a non-fiction article coming out next year in PromoPhobia. I’m working on a cozy set in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the third Delanie Fitzgerald mystery will be out next year.

Jayne: I’m getting ready to release Goin’ Coastal, a collection of two novellas and two short stories that have two things in common, a coastal setting and a gruesome murder. After that is the much anticipated third Blonds at the Beach book, Blond Luck.

Rosemary: Writing “This is Not a Dog Park” was a challenge for this short story writer since the novella length is three times that of a typical short story. I have a better sense, and a greater respect, for what it takes to write a novel. I can make a better stab at a novel now, but I’ll keep my hand in writing short stories. In the spring see my “Heads or Tails” in the Wittier Than Thou anthology, benefiting the upkeep and operation of the Whittier Birthplace Museum in Massachusetts.

 Teresa: Book two in the Mutt Mysteries series.

Thank you, Heath, Jayne, Rosemary, and Teresa for visiting today.

Keep reading to find out more about To Fetch A Thief. . . 

 

About the Book


To Fetch A Thief
Cozy Mystery Anthology
Light, humorous, dog-themed mysteries.
Bay Breeze Publishing, LLC (November 8, 2018)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-10: 1732790701
ISBN-13: 978-1732790704
Digital ASIN: B07K97ZYY6

To Fetch a Thief, the first Mutt Mysteries collection, features four novellas that have gone to the dogs. In this howlingly good read, canine companions help their owners solve crimes and right wrongs. These sleuths may be furry and low to the ground, but their keen senses are on high alert when it comes to sniffing out clues and digging up the truth. Make no bones about it, these pup heroes will steal your heart as they conquer ruff villains.

About the Authors

 

Teresa Inge grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol, but she hotrods. She is president of Sister’s in Crime Mystery by the Sea Chapter and author of short mysteries in Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet.

Website: www.teresainge.com
Connect with Teresa on Facebook, and Twitter

 

Heather Weidner, a member of SinC – Central Virginia and Guppies, is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, Secret Lives and Private Eyes and The Tulip Shirt Murders. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. Heather lives in Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers, Disney and Riley. She’s been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. Some of her life experience comes from being a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. She blogs at Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Website and Blog    Pens, Paws, and Claws Website and Blog      Twitter     Facebook     Instagram

 

Jayne Ormerod grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor.) She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne is the author of the Blonds at the Beach Mysteries, The Blond Leading the Blond, and Blond Luck. She has contributed seven short mysteries to various anthologies to include joining with the other To Fetch a Thief authors in Virginia is for Mysteries, Volumes I and II, and 50 Shades of Cabernet.

Website    Blog

 

Rosemary Shomaker writes about the unexpected in everyday life. She’s the woman you don’t notice in the grocery store or at church but whom you do notice at estate sales and wandering vacant lots. In all these places she’s collecting story ideas. Rosemary writes women’s fiction, paranormal, and mystery short stories, and she’s taking her first steps toward longer fiction, so stay tuned. She’s an urban planner by education, a government policy analyst by trade, and a fiction writer at heart. Rosemary credits Sisters in Crime with developing her craft and applauds the organization’s mission of promoting the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

GoodReads

Mutt Mysteries Links:

Website  Facebook Twitter

Purchase Links –

Amazon   Kobo   B&N

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
December 10 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 11 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 13 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
December 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 14 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
December 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 15 – Varietats – REVIEW
December 16 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
December 17 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
December 17 – The Book’s the Thing – GUEST POST
December 18 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
December 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
December 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE – DOG TREAT
December 20 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
December 20 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
December 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 21 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 21 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 21 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Dec 142017
 

The Tulip Shirt Murders – A Delanie Fitzgerald Mystery
by Heather Weidner


The Tulip Shirt Murders
Mystery – Humorous
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Sandpiper Productions (November 15, 2017)
Paperback -246 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-0999459805
E-Book ASIN: B077CSZ53X

 

Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

The Tulip Shirt Murders is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

One of my favorite Private Eyes, Delanie Fitzgerald, returns along with her partner Duncan Reynolds, and their office mascot/rug, Margaret, the bulldog. This time she is investigating everything from murder to counterfeit CDs and what may be a mild home invasion. When her friend appears to be attacked by the man they are hunting in their murder case, things get very personal for Delanie and she will burn the midnight oil until she catches them. She puts herself out there in several disguises and even finds herself mixing it up with roller derby ladies and taking a part-time job.

There is action in the book from beginning to end. Duncan spends most of his time in the office using his computer skills to follow clues while Delanie is out on the streets every day on stakeouts and questioning suspects and other persons of interests. She gets herself into and out of some dicey situations. I will tell you with the story’s brisk pace it is impossible to put down.

Ms. Weidner has created wonderful characters and put them in a story full of drama but with a lot of comedic moments too thanks mostly to the bulldog you just have to love. The cases Delanie and Duncan take on seem true to life with a nice mix of some cases that are easily handled and others where they really have to dig in and search out the clues. I really enjoyed how they are all happening at the same time, the way I think any busy P.I. office would do it.

I hope this becomes a long-running series, I can wait for the next book by this author. This was a fantastic read.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime-Central Virginia, Guppies, Lethal Ladies Write, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She blogs regularly with the Lethal Ladies and Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Author Links 

Website & Blog

Twitter     Facebook      Pinterest     Instagram     Google+ 

Purchase Links –

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077CSZ53X

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1310643581

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-tulip-shirt-murders-heather-weidner/1127425899?ean=2940155054696

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-tulip-shirt-murders

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/363967058/The-Tulip-Shirt-Murders-The-Delanie-Fitzgerald-Mysteries-2

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 11 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
December 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 12 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT – unable to post
December 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 14 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 15 – Ceticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 17 – Varietats – REVIEW
December 18 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
December 20 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – 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.”

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Jun 232016
 

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secret lives private eyes cover

Secret Lives and Private Eyes
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Virginia
Paperback
Publisher: Koehler Books (June 20, 2016)
Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1633932562
E-Book – ASIN: B01FGRFI1C
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Synopsis

Business has been slow for Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star Johnny Velvet. Could the singer—whose career purportedly ended in a fiery crash almost thirty years ago—still be alive?

As if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Delanie is hired by loud-mouth strip club owner Chaz Wellington Smith, III, to uncover information about the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz becomes the key suspect, and Delanie must clear his name. She also has to figure out why a landscaper keeps popping up in her other investigation. Can the private investigator find the connection between the two cases before another murder—possibly her own—takes place?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald goes to great lengths to get her clients what they need. She puts herself out there even wearing several different disguises, changing her voice as needed. Her partner, Duncan Reynolds handles any needed computer research. He is quite an internet master. Duncan’s bulldog, Margaret, is the office mascot/rug, unless treats are involved. Delanie’s current cases involve a strip club owner and a rock star that supposedly died years ago.  For one case she jumps in with her whole heart and the other investigation could end up costing her her life.

I loved this story. Delanie is a fabulous protagonist. She reminded me a little bit of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, but even better. A fiery redhead focused on her cases.  She is smart but she puts herself in harm’s way to get the answers she needs. She was awfully lucky on several occasions.  Duncan reminded me of my son. He is into video games and even has game nights. Delanie knows she must be in dire straits to interrupt one of those. Unlike my son at least that I know of, Duncan is also quite the internet hacker and can usually find things to move their cases forward. Which may be the reason he disappears when the police show up.

Our Private Eye really digs into many Secret Lives making the entire story is very fast paced. We travel around with Delanie as she follows clues to several cases at the same time. We meet several interesting characters in addition to the strip club owner and the man that may be Johnny Velvet. The mayor, a bouncer, a landscaper, Delanie’s brothers, 2 alpacas, assorted dogs and more.   Woven within this suspenseful story in plenty of humor and the expected Southern charm too.

This was a story I started and just couldn’t put down. I tried the just one more chapter thing several times, but ended up reading it all in one sitting.

A strong plot with impressive characters set in Richmond, Virginia. I call this one a perfect escape!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

heather

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. Her debut novel, Secret Lives and Private Eyes, will be published on June 20, 2016.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She currently lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Guppies, and Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia. She is currently President of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia.

 

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June 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
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June 17 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW
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June 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 24 – Omnimystery News – INTERVIEW
June 24 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

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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.”

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