Good morning! Today I’m hosting another Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. This time, I’m spotlighting Crepe Factor by Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran. Purchase links and a link to the Rafflecopter Giveaway are at the bottom of the post!
by Laura Childs
with Terry Farley Moran
The Winter Market in the French Quarter is in full swing, but murder isn’t taking a holiday in the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Parchment and Old Lace…
The holidays are a busy time for scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand—but not so hectic that she doesn’t have time to enjoy browsing the booths at the Winter Market with her best friend Ava. The last thing the ladies expect to see is a lurching man stabbed by a serving fork, dying in front of them.
The victim is loathed restaurant critic Martin Lash, who posted his scathing reviews on the Glutton for Punishment website. And the prime suspect is New Orleans restauranteur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela, Quigg asks for her help, which does not please her current beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, to say the least.
Before her relationship is the next victim, Carmela needs to find a murderer who had no reservations about punishing the culinary curmudgeon…
I love the friendship between Carmela and Ava they are great together. I also love how the girls worked with Moony and Squirrel as well. Such a great team of friends. ~Community Bookstop
…the mystery in this book is what kept me reading. It was really engaging and intriguing. ~Bookworm Cafe
About The Authors
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. followed by Caught Read-Handed and Read to Death released in July of this year. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.
Thanks for joining me today on this latest Great Escape Virtual Book Tour. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below, which will take you to the main tour page with a list of participants!
Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene–and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father. It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet. Time’s running out in this deadly cat-and-mouse game in Cat Got Your Secrets, the delightfully funny third novel in Julie Chase’s Kitty Couture mystery series, perfect for “all those feline fanciers who love to read Rita Mae Brown” (Suspense Magazine).
I loved this newest installment of the Kitty Couture mysteries. Lacy still gets me a little riled sometimes when she does stupid things without thinking, but she’s gotten at least a little better at that than she was before. Not much, but a little.
While it was true that we had a murder in this one, the blackmail was really the intriguing part of the mystery. The story moved along at a decent pace and stayed on track nicely.
I look forward to seeing what else Lacy gets into in further installments in the series!
** Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC I received. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. **
About the Author
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.
Thanks for joining me today for a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Cat Got Your Secrets. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click the banner below. The banner will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of participants!
Today, I’m excited to be the latest stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase. This post contains a review of the book and an interview with the author, Julie Chase, at the end!
Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats–and one very dead Annie.
Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie’s family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie’s fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie–if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.
Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before it’s too late! (Source: Goodreads)
Cat Got Your Cash is the 2nd book in the Kitty Couture mystery series by Julie Chase and it was great! While it didn’t have that extra pizzazz or emotional hook in it to push it up to a 5-star rating, it was still a delightful read!
In this book, we get to know Lacy a little bit more and also our two heroes – Chase, the handsome lawyer and Lacy’s schoolgirl crush and Jack, our dashing detective, who may just have the hots for Lacy. All of these characters are fun and exciting and well-developed. I’ll be honest and admit I’m rooting for Jack, but should Lacy choose Chase, I wouldn’t be overly disappointed. I just like Jack better! Lacy can be a little head strong and sometimes does things that makes me cringe (note to Lacy: When the hot detective tells you to stay put somewhere – STAY PUT!), but I still enjoy reading her stories.
The setting finds us in New Orleans and while the descriptions of the settings aren’t overly flowery, they are described well enough that I’m able to imagine most of the places in the book. I think Lacy’s shop sounds charming and while I don’t have any pets to dress up or pamper, I can easily imagine it being a place that would fit right in down in New Orleans, or even up here in Ann Arbor, near where I live! I know many pet owners who would love to shop somewhere that made organic treats for their pets!
The plot line in this book moved along at a pretty good pace. There was a small section in the middle where I felt it dragged a bit, but it quickly picked back up and was steady throughout the rest of the book. I had no idea who the villain was before Lacy figured it out so that was fun! I just couldn’t figure out who would want the victim dead. While it turned out that she wasn’t the great person that Lacy always idolized, it still was hard to imagine someone killing her. Once the villain was revealed and it was explained, it was easy to see. I love when mysteries surprise me with the villain, so that was a plus in my eyes!
All in all it was a delightful read. While the story can definitely stand on its own, this is a series and you’ll understand the personal relationships and interactions better if you read the first book, Cat Got Your Diamonds, before you read this one! Get out there and buy both books or borrow them from your local library today!
[I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions expressed are my own.]
Interview With Julie Chase, author of ‘Cat Got Your Cash’
Before I get started sharing the questions and answers that I asked and Ms. Chase answered, I just wanted to say a big “Thank you!” to Ms. Chase for being willing to answer my questions for today’s post!
Question #1: 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?
J.C.’s Answer: Writing is my day job. My night job. The reason I rarely sleep….
Question #2: 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?
J.C.’s Answer: I write everyday while my children are at school, often after they go to bed at night as well and nearly every morning beginning at 5, before the family begins to stir. I write in complete silence because it’s loud enough in my head already. And I write 1 chapter a day, roughly 2500 – 3300 words.
For the most part, it’s a well-oiled machine over here. Granted, it can be a bizarre, Dr. Seuss looking thing, but it works.
Question #3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reigns” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?
J.C.’s Answer: I’m a dedicated outliner. It helps me stay on schedule and easily predict when each project will end, when I can begin a new one and how soon that will also be finished. That said, my characters can make any changes they want, so long as they stay within the confines of the genre. I’m all for creative freedom, until my cozy heroine wants to time travel or have a wild night out, then I have to rein it in because readers don’t want those things in a cozy, and I don’t want to upset my readers.
Question #4: 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?
J.C.’s Answer: I don’t feel as if I’ve broken in. I’ve been at it a while, but I’m still looking for readers and trying to make a place for myself in this industry. Not an easy task. Today’s authors are among the very best in history, I think. Still, it’s my dream to make it in this business, so I’m trying every day.
I’ve received countless rejections. Hundreds. And believe me, it’s depressing. I’ve quit writing FOREVER at least once a year since I started. The problem was that even when I wasn’t writing for publication, I was still writing. Fan fiction. Personal journals. Writing. Writing. Writing. Finally, I realized I’m a writer. I can’t turn it off, and I can’t walk away so stopped quitting and started revising my plan.
Question #5: 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?
J.C.’s Answer: I spend about 2 weeks writing a full synopsis and detailed outline for my novels. Then, I begin writing. I write one chapter a day. Reread it for clean up, then, send it on to two published authors who read for me. They provide feedback, I clean it up some more and move on to the next chapter. Using this process, I can write a novel in 6-8 weeks. When it’s finished, I reread from start to finish looking for places to improve, then it goes to my agent. She’ll give it a read and let me know if she sees any issues. I make her suggested changes in about a day, then off it goes to the publisher where it will be given an editorial letter for overall revisions, then several rounds of general and copy edits before being queued for production.
Question #6: 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?
J.C.’s Answer: This villain in Cat Got Your Cash was really fun to write. He’s a little different than some of my others because he isn’t bad-bad as much as just not really “good.” He’s made a series of terrible and selfish choices, which has led him to desperation while trying to cover his tracks. My villain in this story is as new to villainy as my heroine is to sleuthing and together I think it’s hilarious. A nice reprieve, in my opinion, from the innately evil bad guys we see all too often in the real world.
Question #7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?
J.C.’s Answer: My characters are all fictional. I mostly steal names and attributes from the people I know and put them together in interesting new ways on the page.
Question #8: What are some great books you’ve read recently?
J.C.’s Answer: I’ve been reading lots of Harlequin Intrigue novels lately. Those are romantic suspense. Very very good. I recently read The Girl on the Train and The Woman in Cabin 10, psychological thrillers, for my book club. Wow. My head is still rattling from those. Next up on my TBR pile is Marla Cooper’s Terror in Taffeta. She’s a lovely cozy author and I can’t wait to dig in.
Question #9: What books have influenced your life the most?
J.C.’s Answer: Every book I’ve ever read has influenced my life. I fell in love with the colorful imagination of Dr. Seuss as a young reader, then the marvelous adventures of Anne of Green Gables as a tween. The sleuthing prowess of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew taught me to think outside the box and try to beat them to solving the crime. In college, I fell in love with the melodious prose of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. More recently, I found my zest for humor in Janet Evanovich. Books have molded and shaped me, my personality and my life from the very start.
Question #10: If you could spend one day with a character from your book, who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
J.C.’s Answer: I would love to spend a day in the Garden District, working with Lacy at Furry Godmother. I’d meet her friends, share her lunch and just hang out to see what we could get into. Her life is great, even when it’s a literal hot mess.
Question #11: 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?
J.C.’s Answer: I ALWAYS read my reviews. Everyone says not to, but if the reader took the time to read my book and even more time to say something about it, I feel like I should take the time to hear them. On the other hand, I never want a reader to feel like I’m spying or invading their space, so I don’t respond no matter how kind or malicious the review may be. I mean, no one asked me what I thought of their opinion. Right? So, I will keep it to myself. Besides, reviews aren’t meant for me anyway. They’re for other readers and the reviewer.
That said, I take every review to heart. If there’s a way I can do better the next time, I want to know. And if I’m doing something right, I want to keep it up. More reasons reviews are so important. So, please keep them coming.
Thank you again to Julie Chase for being willing to answer my questions today! With all the parts to each one, it’s far more than just 11 questions and I appreciate her taking the time! And thank you for joining me on this stop in the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour! The banner below takes you to the main Tour Page where you can visit other stops along the tour and all of the author’s links!
Cat Got Your Diamonds is the first book in the Kitty Couture mystery series by Julie Chase and it’s delightful! I’ve been meaning to read it ever since it came out last spring and I finally was able to do so after finishing my latest round of blog tours. It did not disappoint!
Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.
Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?
Witty and whimsical, Cat Got Your Diamonds, the first in a new cozy series by Julie Chase, will be the cat’s meow for fans of Rita Mae Brown and Miranda James. (Source: Goodreads)
I love Lacy. She’s kind of quirky, sometimes absent-minded, and just totally lovable. I love her spunky spirit, her go-get-em attitude, and her stubbornness. Her interactions with Detective Oliver are pretty great as well. I like the two of them together. 🙂 The other characters are fun as well. They’re mostly well-rounded and developed. I’m sure the author deliberately left some things out in order to expand on them in later books in the series.
The plot line moves along at a decent pace. I never felt like the pace was dragging, but nor did I feel like the story was so fast-paced that I couldn’t keep up. I enjoyed the plot twists along the way. I didn’t have an inkling of the villain until he was revealed. Even then, I was completely surprised. I can’t wait to read the second one in another week or so for a blog tour to find out how all of it is going to affect Lacy and her business!
I love the New Orleans setting. I also love that it’s set in the Garden District and not just the Quarter which is where so many TV shows and books are set when they talk about New Orleans. The descriptions of the settings are lovely.
All in all it’s a delightful read and a fun first book to the series! The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is that it didn’t have an emotional “hook” for me – that little bit of extra pizzazz that will push it up to a 5 in my book. But it’s still a wonderful and fun book!
About the Author
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.
Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. (Source: Goodreads)