BLOG TOUR – Murder She Meowed – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Argh. So far not starting off on a good start with this trying to blog more. Not only did I miss posting earlier in the week, I’m sorry to say that this post should have been up yesterday and I just realized it! 😦 My sincere apologies to the author, Liz Mugavero, for the lateness of my post.

This post is part of the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Murder, She Meowed by Liz Mugavero. I’m presenting an author interview that Ms. Mugavero was gracious enough to answer my questions for.  Information about the book, including purchase links will be below the interview.

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Author Interview with Liz Mugavero

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?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I do have a day job! I work in marketing and communications, and currently lead a strategic communications team at Freddie Mac. I enjoy a lot of what I do.


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?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I try to write a thousand words a day, usually as part of my morning routine. Otherwise the day’s distractions pile up and it’s harder to focus after a long day of work.


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?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I am in the middle of being a plotter and a pantser. I used to be way more of a pantser, but now I work from an outline and do some plotting. It’s helpful especially with deadlines and day jobs. But I often pivot during the writing, because sometimes the book just needs something different than what I thought when I initially sat down to outline it.

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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?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I never wanted to quit. I always knew I wanted to write. It took me 10 years to get published after I started seriously writing mysteries, and then it kind of happened “overnight” when an agent reached out to my chapter of Sisters in Crime and inquired about authors who might want to develop a cozy proposal. I wrote a proposal, sold it, and I was off and running. I will be forever grateful for that experience!


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?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: Given my schedule I don’t have the luxury of lingering over a finished book for a long time. I do a lot of revising when I write, and then I rely on one or two beta readers to give me final feedback right before I turn the book in.


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?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I didn’t have a real-life inspiration for this villain – it unfolded naturally as I thought about my victim and why he might have ended up dead. I had to get into my killer’s head to think about the why and the justification for taking such a dire path – but that’s part of the fun!

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Q7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: Oh, a lot of my coworkers show up in my books…often as the dead people! But shhh…don’t tell them 🙂


Q8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I would love to write about Nellie Bly. Her story and her dedication to her work and the truth inspired me to become a journalist years ago, and I think there could be some great stories there.


Q9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I really enjoyed Becoming by Michelle Obama. Also Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere. I’m currently reading John Woman by Walter Mosley, and it’s excellent.

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Q10: What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: Starting with when I was a kid – Nancy Drew, of course. And Trixie Belden. Dennis Lehane has been a huge influence on me – I am in awe of his writing. Mystic River is still my favorite book to this day. And Joyce Carol Oates’ We Were the Mulvaneys – a haunting story of a family affected by a tragedy.


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? 

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I’d love to hang out with Jake McGee at his Irish pub, McSwigg’s. It seems like a fun place to be! And Jake’s pretty cute, so….


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?

Ms. Mugavero’s Answer: I do read them sometimes, and I’ve learned to take the bad ones with a grain of salt. I’m always up for constructive criticism, but if it’s a bad review for the sake of it, I’ve learned to ignore it.

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About the Book


Murder, She Meowed (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717589
ISBN-13: 978-1496717580
Digital ASIN: B07CWDC8G9

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

Kristan “Stan” Connor loves concocting tasty organic treats for dogs and cats—and she also loves her fiancé, pub owner Jake McGee. But she’s not so enthusiastic about finding a dead body at her own bachelorette party . . .

Stan and Jake’s wedding will soon take place on the town green in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, followed by a reception at their beloved Irish pub filled with friends, family, and their four favorite canine companions. Stan just has to endure the traditional girls’ night out first. Male strippers jumping out of gigantic cakes aren’t her preferred entertainment. But the hired hottie never gets around to taking it all off . . . because someone takes him out first with one of Stan’s kitchen knives. A heartbroken Stan recognizes the victim as one of the delivery men from the local farm—who must have been moonlighting for some extra cash. Now the guest list has turned into a suspect list—and Stan’s making a vow to find the killer . . .

Includes Gourmet Pet Food Recipes!

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Thanks for joining me! My sincere apologies again to the author, Liz Mugavero, for the lateness of the post and my thanks for being willing to answer my questions. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below to be taken to the main tour page!

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BLOG TOUR – Airships, Crypts, & Chocolate Chips – REVIEW

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Welcome!  Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Airships, Crypts, & Chocolate Chips, the sixth book in the Spells & Caramels series by Erin Johnson.  Erin has done it again and brought us a fantastic book!

About the Book

Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Spells & Caramels)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Self Published
Publication Date: June 23, 2018
ASIN: B07DMBNCM2

Purchase Links: Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Synopsis

A bewitched prison. A brother with a deadly request. Can a magical baker launch a jailbreak and still keep her prince in the process?

Imogen’s magical bakery is thriving and she loves the company of the Water Kingdom’s dashing prince. But she’s not so enamored with the time she’s forced to spend with his awful Royal Family. She also can’t help but worry that the increased media scrutiny could reveal her secret contact with the Royal Family’s sworn enemy: her own brother.

When her sibling shows up and demands Imogen spring his cronies out of jail, she flat out refuses. But when he threatens to hurt the ones she loves the most, she balances her allegiance to the prince with her plan for a covert prison break. Can Imogen keep up family appearances and avoid betraying the kingdom or will her pie-in-the-sky scheme become a recipe for disaster?

Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips is the sixth standalone book in a clever paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like crafty witches, charming romances, and fabulous French settings, then you’ll love Erin Johnson’s enchanting adventure.

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Review – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Erin Johnson has done it again! She’s brought us an absolutely amazing new story in the Spells & Caramels series! This one did not garner 5 stars from me though like the last two have.  The sole reason it’s a 4.5 instead of a 5 is that I feel as though the book was a little too suspenseful. Cozy mysteries don’t usually have the suspense that Ms. Johnson put in this book. It even ended on a cliff-hanger.  I felt as though that kind of detracted from the story line.  In fact, I’m going to have to read it a second time because I feel like there are nuances I missed because I was so into the action happening.

Outside of that fact, it’s a fantastic book. I adore the characters in this series and this book didn’t disappoint. The characters were as quirky and loveable as they usually are. Hank even goes above and beyond to prove his love to Imogen. Horace even becomes more loveable in this installment.

I’m excitedly awaiting the seventh installment which I hope will be out soon since this one ended on a cliff-hanger!  I do recommend that if you want to read the series, that you start with the first book in the series, Seashells, Spells, & Caramels. You’ll understand the interpersonal relationships a lot more if you start with the first book.

Read them and enjoy them – it’s a great series!

About the Author

Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Website: www.erinjohnsonwrites.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites. Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites

BLOG TOUR – WITCH WAY TO MINTWOOD – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Welcome! I swear, I seem to go in spurts where I get posts up on time and then I always have one that I forget. Today was that post. Anyway, today I’m hosting a stop for the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Witch Way to Mintwood by Addison Creek. One of Ms. Creek’s characters has stopped by today to visit with us!

More information about the book and the author will be beneath the character’s guest post!

Guest Post

Hello! I’m Lemmi, or Lemonia if you’re my least favorite aunt. I’m the Witch of Mintwood, Maine, and I’m here to tell you what that’s like. Maine is a big state with only a few people in it. Mintwood has four thousand of them, and I live on an old farm with plenty of space. The only trouble is that townsfolk before me somehow managed to build the farm on a graveyard. I probably wouldn’t even know this, except that as a witch I can see and speak with ghosts. My farmhouse is occupied by the tea lady ghosts, the former mayor ghost, and a ghost named Mr. Bone, but that’s to ignore the most important ghost, the cat Paws.

 We all get along just fine as long as everyone does what Paws wants at all times.

 Most of my job as the Witch of Mintwood involves investigating murders, helped by my ability to see and talk to the ghosts of the victims. My two friends Greer and Charlie, who are also my roommates, help me out.

 Somehow there’s always a ghost around of someone who’s been murdered, but tensions in Mintwood don’t just come from ghostly sources. There’s also Jasper Wolf of the Wolf Corporation to consider. He’s a dreamboat in a corporate greed sort of way. I’ve loved him since high school. Unfortunately, now that I’m the Witch of Mintwood, my life doesn’t exactly scream cool and fast track. It’s more like the falling down porch, mouthy ghost cat, outspoken friends, and ratty hair track. Come join the fun! If you need me I’ll be investigating a murder or refereeing a fight between loved ones. Just a normal day in a witchy small town!

About the Book


Witch Way to Mintwood (Witch of Mintwood Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published (December 19, 2016)
Print Length: 208 pages
ASIN: B01N5HIGH5

Purchase Link: Amazon

House falling down? Check. Pet sitting job with annoying clients? Check. Ability to speak to ghosts, which has the unfortunate side effect of having to listen to what they say back? Double check! Hot high school crush still in town being all successful and stuff while you protest his building projects? All kinds of checks! Did anyone say Witch of Mintwood? Yup! Just add murder and this will be a week to remember!

 

About the Author

Reading, writing, dark chocolate, and cheese.

Hello! I’m the author of the Witch Way to Mintwood series and the Spooky Business series! I live in New England and love it. I survive the winter by layering, good-natured complaining, and more layering. In case you were wondering. Hearing from readers is always lovely, so come visit me here me on my blog or Facebook.

 

Thanks for joining me today! If you’re interested in visiting other stops on the tour, please click the banner below!

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BLOG TOUR – Plum Tea Crazy – GUEST POST, REVIEW

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Plum Tea Crazy, a Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs. I love this series so I was excited to be able to read and review this newest installment.

Before we get to my review, I’m happy to say that we have a guest post from Laura Childs herself to enjoy! Thank you to Ms. Childs for being willing to write a guest post for my blog!

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Guest Post from Laura Childs

A Q&A with Laura Childs, New York Times Bestselling Author of Plum Tea Crazy.

When you write, Laura, do you normally have an idea several months ahead of time or do stories just come to you as you’re writing?

The answer to both those questions is yes. I usually have three or four plot ideas pin-balling around in my head, so I start to work them up and then pick the one I like best. The other ideas are always kept in reserve so I can circle back to them at a later date and flesh them out for the next few books. Since I spent 20 years heading my own advertising agency, I’m lucky that I developed a knack for being “creative on demand,” with ideas coming fairly easy to me.


As you decide on characters, is there something that calls out to you?

Characters in my mysteries are either protagonists or antagonists. That is, they are either the hero or a suspected villain. That means my stories need to include a roster of suspicious characters that keep my readers guessing and turning the pages fairly quickly. I also strive to create suspects that are flamboyant and fairly dysfunctional. In Plum Tea Crazy, for example, I’ve got a snarky banker, goofball handyman, shopaholic ex-wife, and a slicko stalker attorney. There are a few other crazies tossed in for good measure, too.


Are your mysteries based on real life surroundings?

Since the Tea Shop Mysteries all take place in Charleston, SC, I try to create a very careful sense of place right down to the last cobblestone. Do you feel that damp fog as it rolls in off the Atlantic? Can you hear the mournful toot from the lighthouse over on Patriot’s Point? Is someone sneaking up behind you in Dueler’s Alley? Charleston is one of those cities that is eccentric and highly atmospheric – old mansions, live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, fog-shrouded bayous. Those are all very real elements and I try my best to sprinkle them throughout my mysteries.


For Plum Tea Crazy was there something you really wanted readers to come away with . . . as in a different outlook on life?

I always try to make the point that my main character, Theodosia, is extremely independent and entrepreneurial. When I was in marketing, I ran into dozens of women who longed for more focus and control in their work lives. These were smart women – ad managers, product managers, administrators, etc. – who wanted to flee corporate life to open a tea shop, needle craft store, or antique shop. I think most women are natural born entrepreneurs. They don’t always want to build a Fortune 500 company but they do want an environment that is nourishing and rewarding.


Tell us a little bit about Plum Tea Crazy.

 As tea shop owner Theodosia views Charleston Harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of a nearby mansion, a local banker tumbles over the narrow railing and plunges to his death. But when Theodosia discovers that the victim was actually shot with a crossbow, this tragic accident turns sinister. With pacing that moves like a thriller, and any number of quirky suspects, it’s one of the reasons Book Riot named my Tea Shop Mysteries to their list of “25 of the All Time Best Cozy Mystery Series.”


Thanks for spending time with us.

Thank you and hugs to everyone!

Laura Childs

Thank you again to Ms. Childs for writing a guest post for today!

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About the Book

Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Berkley (March 6, 2018)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451489609
Digital ASIN: B071K4DPRH
Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.

At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

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Review – 4 out of 5 stars

This newest installment in the Tea Shop Mystery series from Laura Childs is just as wonderful as the others have been!

I love the cast of characters in this series. Honestly, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t still be reading the series. Characters are far more important to me than the plot line. I can put up with pretty abysmal plot lines (which this is NOT one of those books – this plot line was excellent) if the characters are awesome. I’ve always enjoyed Theodosia, Drayton, Haley, Detective Tidwell and the rest. It’s fun to come back each spring to another visit into their world! These are well-rounded, complex, developed characters and they’re delightful.

The plot line in this one was excellent. There were enough suspects that it was hard to know who was the true villain. I did guess correctly, but it would have been very easy for me to be side-tracked by one of the other options. There was just something about the villain character that seemed “off” about them. That’s all I’m going to say so I don’t give anything away though!

If you haven’t read the series before, you could certainly start with this one as each mystery is its own story, but I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series with Death by Darjeeling. There are backstory things that will make more sense if you start the series at the beginning.

Either way, pick up Plum Tea Crazy and enjoy the newest installment in this great series!

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Thank you for joining me today! If you wish to visit other sites on the tour, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of tour participants.

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BLOG TOUR – Cookie Dough, Snow, and Wands – REVIEW

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Greetings! Welcome to another Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Today I’m thrilled to be hosting a stop for Cookie Dough, Snow, and Wands Aglow, the fourth book in the Spells & Caramels series by Erin Johnson! This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series and as my quote on the banner says, I’m absolutely enamored with this series!

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About the Book

Cookie Dough, Snow & Wands Aglow: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Spells & Caramels)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Self Published
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1983404115
Digital ASIN: B078MNJZFM
Purchase Links: Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

Murder in a magical, merry town just brimming with secrets.

On the snowy road to the Earth Kingdom for the holidays, Imogen and the bakers are ambushed by Horace, villainous leader of the Badlands Army. They’re forced to detour to an idyllic, rural village, bedecked in lights, garlands and winter cheer…all a little too perfect to believe. At least that’s so for Imogen, who’s seeing burned out buildings and mysterious memorials that no one else seems to notice.

Hank’s royal presence gets them invited to the big bash at the governor’s mansion. The night is filled with dancing, stolen kisses under the mistletoe and fun, until a guest is found dead in the cauldron of punch.

As bodies and mysteries pile up, all the evidence points to the vampire Francis as the culprit. The gang must come together to clear their friend’s name and save themselves from the angry villagers. Even worse, Imogen struggles with having to keep her relationship with Hank hidden, while working with him to find the real killer.

As Imogen unearths more than a few town secrets, she finally solves the riddles of her past and discovers the truth of Horace’s pursuit of her. But will all the secrets be unraveled in time to stop the killer, or will Imogen and her friends suffer a monstrous fate?

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Review – 4.5 out of 5 stars

I love this series so much! This latest installment in the series does not disappoint at all.

We find our characters on a special trip for Bruma, a holiday to celebrate the Winter Solstice. They get detoured to this little town and as usual, a murder occurs and the investigative spirits of the team are needed to help solve the mystery!

These characters are very well-rounded and complex. They’re realistic (aside from the magic part 😉 ), wonderful, and just a joy to read. I enjoy learning more and more about them as we get further into the series. The characters just draw you in and make you believe that you’re friends with them all. And let me tell you, I don’t normally do vampires, but I love Francis, so that’s really saying something!

This particular book found us learning something important truths. I did NOT see the plot twist coming at all. It makes things make a lot of sense, but I still wasn’t expecting it. The way that we find these things out is perfect.

I did figure out the villain before the reveal, though I hadn’t figured out how she had done it exactly, so that part was still a surprise when it was revealed.

All in all this is an excellent 4th installment in the series and I’m looking forward to the 5th book! If you wish to read the series, I highly, HIGHLY recommend you start at the beginning with Seashells, Spells, & Caramels. While each mystery in the series is it’s own separate story, you need the backstory on the personal relationships and other things that are happening throughout the whole series in order to understand why the plot twist was so astounding.

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©Cute Colors

 

About the Author

 

Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Website: www.erinjohnsonwrites.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites. Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites

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Thanks for joining me today! If you wish to visit more spots on the tour, please click on the banner below to be transported to the main tour page where you can find a list of all tour participants!

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