Hello! Here I am, very very late to the party. I was supposed to do this post LAST Monday and Sunday night my laptop wouldn’t cooperate and then I just forgot about it with the hustle and bustle of the week. 😦 😦 My apologies to the author!
About A Murder Yule Regret
A Murder Yule Regret (A Bread Shop Mystery)
7th in Series
Publisher : Kensington Cozies (November 30, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 149673355X
ISBN-13 : 978-1496733559
Digital ASIN : B08Y69YZKB
Freelance photographer and Yeast of Eden bakery assistant Ivy Culpepper has just scored the job of a lifetime shooting the Dickensian dress-up X-mas party thrown by It Girl film actress Eliza Fox . . . until an unwanted guest appears.
A holiday costume party in the sleepy coastal town of Santa Sofia could be just the boost Ivy needs for her fledgling photography business. At the party, Ivy enters a Victorian fantasy come to life, all courtesy of the fabulous Ms. Fox. Ivy gets to play shutterbug while hanging with Scrooge, Marley, the Cratchits, and more classic Dickens characters. But what begins as the best of times turns out to be the very worst for one of the party guests—a tabloid journalist with more enemies than Ebenezer himself.
When the man’s body is found sprawled across the jagged rocks below the house, the fingers begin pointing at Eliza. Meanwhile, Ivy gets roped into helping prove the starlet’s innocence. Her festive photos are now official evidence—and the Ghosts of Christmas Present could mean the party for Eliza is over, once and for all.
Review – 4 out of 5 stars
Before I get into my review in depth, I just wanted to say that I don’t give 5 stars very often. The book has to really go above and beyond in the storyline or in the way it touched me. 4 stars for me means I still really loved the book, it just didn’t quite hit the 5-star mark!
The book was great! It was one of the better installments in this series! I really enjoyed the storyline and the additional characters we met. There were PLENTY of red herrings in the story and it wasn’t until close to the end of the book that I put two and two together. I like the kind of mystery where I can’t solve it too easily. It makes it more fun!
The characters in this series are really well-rounded and in-depth characters. I like the characters. Characters are what make me come back to a series instead of being a one book and done read.
All in all a very fun new installment in the series. Of course series are always best when started from the beginning, but you can read this book as a stand-alone. A great start to my holiday cozy mysteries this year!
Author Interview with Winnie Archer
Q1: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day? Do you enjoy your day job?
Answer: I used to, but not anymore! I was a middle school teacher. Now I am fortunate to be able to write full-time. That being said, I’m a teacher at heart. Because of that, I created WriterSpark Writing Academy (you can find it on my website) and am in the process of launching the first course, 30 Days to Craft Your Novel. I am always busy!
Q2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?
Answer: I write daily, although I save the weekends for research and work on WriterSpark stuff. I aim for 2000-2500 words a day. Usually I get there.
I often use Brain FM while I’m writing. It’s a brain music app and it really does help me focus and stay in the zone!
Q3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reins” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?
Answer: I fall somewhere in between on the plotting/pantsing spectrum. I generally have a broad overview of the story. I know who the victim is. I know a few possible scenarios for why the victim was killed. I generally know who the killer is, although sometimes that changes in the writing.
Once I start writing, my creative mind kicks into gear to fill in the nuances of the story.
Q4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?
Answer: Oh my gosh, I thought about throwing in the towel so many times! I started my first book in 2002 when my youngest son was born. I got many rejections back then (all via snail mail!). But I eventually signed with an agent (the same agent I still have), and in 2008, that book was published. A Murder Yule Regret is my 25th published book!
My passion for writing and my desire to share the stories in my head with others kept me going. I am a tenacious person, and I operate with the philosophy that I can do anything!
Q5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?
Answer: I have a pretty solid production plan. I generally write 2-3 books a year. I plot and plan, write, revise as I go, and again at the end, then off it goes to my editor. With her, we generally go through just one round of revisions.
With my Indie published series, my process is the same. The only difference is that I contract with an editor.
Q6: A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?
Answer: Sometimes there is real life inspiration for my villains! The plot in Death Gone a-Rye, in fact, was sort of ripped from the headlines of my life, and the villain was based on a real person. She was just as horrible in real life as she is in the book.
Generally, the villain evolves as the I create the actual crime/murder. From there, it falls into place.
Q7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?
Answer: My characters are sometimes influenced by character traits I observe in people I have met in real life. I pull bits and bops from real life, but in the end, my characters always evolve and become their own people.
Q8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?
Answer: Right now, I’m researching Tuatha Dé Danann, the supernatural race of gods and goddesses in Irish mythology. I’m writing about several of them in the context of my Book Magic mystery series, which is about a bibliomancer and a 2000 year old curse. I’m having so much fun creating the series arc using these people.
I can’t think beyond that because this is what I’m so wrapped up in at the moment!
Q9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?
Answer: I’m really into memoirs and autobiographies lately! I’ve read (or listened to, because I love audio books!) Leah Remini’s Troublemaker, Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights, and I’m in the middle of Will Smith’s Will. Highly recommend all of them!
Q10: What books have influenced your life the most?
Answer: Agatha Christie, for sure! I spent my childhood and young adulthood reading Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, and I graduated to Agatha Christie. These books and series were the beginning of my love of mysteries, which led to my writing of mysteries.
Q11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please)
Answer: From my Bread Shop series, It would be a toss up between Olaya Solis and Penelope Branford. I want to be inspired by Mrs. Branford, who is spry and active and an inspiration to me. I want to be like her when I’m in my 80s. And Olaya is magical, and I’d love to have her teach me her traditional bread making techniques.
Q12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?
Answer: I do! I respond to 4 and 5 star reviews on Goodreads, because I want to thank those people who really love my books.
Thank you for joining me today on this very late blog tour post! If you wish to visit other sites on the tour, please click on the tour page button below!