Nov 232018
 

Too Good a Girl: Remembering Olene Emberton and the Mystery of Her Death
True Crime/Memoir
Setting – Indiana
Life Sentences Publishing LLC (July 3, 2018)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 069215115X
ISBN-13: 978-0692151150

In the mid-sixties, the small, midwestern farm town of Tipton, Indiana, seemed like the safest, most serene place in the world. That changed October 16, 1965, when Olene Emberton, a quiet, 17-year-old Tipton High School senior disappeared after a Saturday night date. Two days later, her body was found alongside a remote country road, her clothes neatly folded and stacked beside her. Lacking any witnesses, clues, a confession, or even a cause of death, the case was never solved. More than 50 years later, with dogged determination, Olene’s classmate, Janis Thornton, explores the mystery. Presented as part true crime, part oral history, and part memoir, “Too Good a Girl” weaves together the strands of the tragedy that stunned a community and tore a family apart. The truth is there. It is only up to the reader to determine which truth is the right truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story is personal for author Janis Thornton. For more than 50 years this case has gone unsolved and it has bothered her each and every day. She has researched and done interviews with as many people connected to the case as she could. She wanted to publish her book back in 2007 but she wasn’t going to print with Olean’s family approval. In 2016 she got approval from the family and worked hard to produce this book. She was Olean’s classmate, but now with adult eyes, she is able to look back at how Olean Emberton’s death rocked the small town of Tipton, Indiana. She clearly lays out her findings and the evidence but doesn’t go so far as to say she solved the case. She has a clear suspect, but she ends the book in a way that lets the reader decide for themselves if there is enough proof.

For residents of the small town of Tipton, this book will have great meaning. Ms. Thorton takes an eerie death and writes a compelling account in a very respectable way. I truly appreciated the perspective she brought to this case.

It is hard to say I enjoyed a story about such a heartwrenching death, Olean is not some fictional character in the mysteries I usually read. She was “Too Good Of Girl” to die this way and her story will stick with me for a long time. Well written and well researched, the author had a difficult task telling a story that needed to be told.

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I am giving away my review copy.

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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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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 242017
 


I am so please to welcome Janis to Escape With Dollycas today!
Her Great Escapes Tour runs through July 2.

Spinning Characters from Strands of You, You, You and … You!

Who hasn’t seen that amusing T-shirt with “Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel” stamped across its front?

The playful warning sparks one of the questions I hear most as an author: “Where do you get ideas for your characters?”

I must admit that, for years, I was preparing for the day I could populate a novel with characters spun from the best parts of all the people I’d known. While they were passing through my life, unwittingly shedding bits and pieces of themselves, I was discreetly following with my broom and dustpan, sweeping their priceless fallout into my author’s bag of tricks.

But … now that I’ve come clean about where my characters came from, please don’t ask me which of their parts came from whom. Any mystery author worth her weight in red herrings and cliffhangers never tells. Or rather, she doesn’t unless she’s writing a blog about crafting fictional characters. In that case, she has no choice but to throw those red herrings off a cliff.

To be honest, when it comes to some of my jaunty supporting characters, I am not above borrowing traits from some of my closest friends. For example, Crystal’s buddy, Judge Auggie Stillwater, bears a striking resemblance to my judge friend, Kathy. And the best part about that is, Kathy doesn’t mind! She calls friends “buddy,” and is often heard uttering “cool beans.” Auggie has adopted both expressions, and Kathy hasn’t made a federal case of it.

Another friend of mine, Lu — a feisty, diminutive octogenarian with no shortage of pluck — holds a private investigator’s license AND she’s a clown. I doubt I could have dreamed up a quirkier, more likable character. With her blessing, I infused a couple of my characters with some of her life experience, the result being Gertie Tyroo and Patti Jones. Thanks, Lu!

Another recurring character I’m especially fond of is Bud, the colorful, greasy spoon restaurateur — cigarette dangling off his lower lip, grouchy disposition, scruffy five o’clock shadow. Typically, I wouldn’t transfuse so much of a friend’s personality into a fictional character. However, in this case, the real-life Bud had been an actor, who guest starred on numerous, popular TV dramas. So I’m certain if he were still living, he’d be totally onboard with guest starring in the Elmwood Confidential series. In fact, he probably would be giving me tips.

Not everyone is so eager to be depicted as a cozy mystery story prop. That’s why a legal statement is routinely inserted into the front of novels. This one appears in both of mine:

“This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincident

Regardless of the disclaimer, it’s my policy not to model an unsavory character in the image of a person I know. Nor would I borrow their flaws or less-than-admirable idiosyncrasies. However, there is one real-life individual I’ve excluded from this policy.

Me.

It’s no secret that in developing characters, authors have a penchant for infusing their protagonists with some of their own personality traits, preferences, and prejudices. Likewise, their antagonists often harbor various aspects of the author’s dark side.

Why? Why, it’s fun!

It’s particularly been fun writing my protagonist, Crystal Cropper. She is fond of wisecracks, vanilla milkshakes, and frozen entrees — just like me. On the flip side, she is impatient, snarky, and stays up much too late. Also like me. Nevertheless, Crystal is her own, unique woman. She possesses an abundance of traits that are hers alone, which she revealed to me as we progressed first through “Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies” and then “Dead Air & Double Dares.” For instance, when she boasted about her fling with Mr. Burt Reynolds in Book 1, frankly, I was jealous. And when, in Book 2, she found out she was a grandmother, I was as astonished as she was.

So there it is — some insight to where my characters come from. They lurk everywhere — in the house next door, sitting across the kitchen table, at the office, on the TV screen, sitting on a park bench. And they come in fragments or fully formed, at a turning point moment or with an entire backstory.

No one is immune from ending up in my novel. So be careful, or it might be you.

~Janis

 

Now let me tell about Janis’ new book! 

Dead Air and Double Dares by Janis Thornton
Cup of Tea Books, an imprint of PageSpring Publishing (June 18, 2017)
Number of Pages 241
E-BOOK ASIN: B071L28F34

Crystal Cropper, editor of the Elmwood Gazette, has added incentive in finding out who killed Horace Q. Ogilvie, owner of the local radio station and the most reviled man in town. Horace turns up dead minutes before he is supposed to broadcast his next malicious editorial, designed to destroy yet another Elmwood luminary. Fortunately for the police department, Horace’s list of future targets provides an abundant pool of suspects. Unfortunately for Crystal, her name is at the top!

 

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.

 

Webpage – Facebook  GoodReads 

Purchase Link – Amazon

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Tour Participants

June 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
June 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Author Annette Drake’s blog– INTERVIEW
June 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 24 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
June 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
June 25 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 26 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
June 27 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Celebrating Authors – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
June 30 – Teresa Trent Author Site – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 2 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW
July 2 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

 

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Sep 172014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

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!!

Janis author photo2Find Your Great Escape and Zen Happens

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?

DustBunniesDeadBodies4Needless to say, little writing gets done.

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.

Author Links
Website: www.janis-thornton.com
Blog: www.janis-thornton.com/blog
Facebook: www.facebook.com/janis.thornton.96
Twitter: www.twitter.com/JanisThornton
Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/-/e/B00E5UTSFY

DustBunniesDeadBodies4Dust 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
ASIN: B00N34T6XM
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

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 . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

I have one Kindle e-copy to give away!

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave A Commnt For Janis for 5 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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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