Tag Archives: mystery

Author Spotlight with Kristen Joy Wilks

IMG_3799Kristen Joy Wilks lives in the beautiful Cascade mountains with her camp director husband, three fierce sons, and a large slobbery dog. She spent her misguided youth falling in love with Commander Spock via Star Trek reruns, being suspended upside down over a homemade pit filled with gardener snakes, and stampeding herds of elk while on horseback. Now most of her adventures consist of preventing her hubby from filling another wall of the dining room with board games, thwarting her 3 boys’ efforts to sneak their pet chickens onto the bunk beds whenever she turns her back to fold laundry, and trying not to trip over the throng of random teenagers that swarm their house to play all those board games. She can be found tucked under a tattered quilt in an overstuffed chair at 4:00am writing a wide variety of implausible tales or at www.kristenjoywilks.com

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Morgan Ravn arrives in Denmark seeking clues about her mysterious heritage. What she finds is a flirtatious stranger who regales her with a story about a jewel thief from 1958 and then abandons her with a large unruly dog.

Can Morgan locate the irresponsible pet owner before his monstrous canine drags her through every puddle in Copenhagen and sheds all over her last dress? And why are strangers dogging her every step, snapping photos? Is the shutter happy behavior a bizarre Danish custom or something more sinister?

 

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Death by the Book

BookCoverLg Welcome back Julianna! Please tell us about Death by the Book.

Death by the Book is the sequel to Rules of Murder, the first book in my Drew Farthering mystery series.  Drew is a young Englishman of wealth and privilege who loves mystery novels.  In this book, he and his sweetheart Madeline and his best friend Nick find themselves enmeshed in another string of baffling murders that seem to have no connection to each other except the cryptic notes left at the scene and the antique hatpins securing them to the victims’ bodies.  Plus, just as Drew is trying to convince Madeline to accept his proposal of marriage, her formidable maiden aunt arrives, determined to break them up and whisk Madeline back home to America.  As you can see, Drew has his hands full this time.

This sounds like a fun read. 🙂 What inspired you to right this particular story?

This series was inspired by my love of classic crime novels (Christie, Sayers, Allingham, etc.) and my delight in other books from the 1920s and ’30s, like the Jeeves and Wooster novels.  The Drew Farthering Mysteries each have an individual literary inspiration as well.  For example, Rules of Murder was inspired by Father Knox’s Ten Commandments for mystery writing.  In Death by the Book, though, the inspiration is really a big clue to solving the mystery, so I have to keep that a secret for now.

Interesting. Now everyone will need to read it to figure out the clue. 😉 How many books have you written?

Death by the Book and its sequel Murder at the Mikado (due this summer) are the ninth and tenth books I’ve had traditionally published.  I have a Civil War story I wrote some years ago that need some polish before I find it a home.  I’ve also written a couple of novel-length stories based on well-known literary characters, so needless to say, I can’t publish those.  They were a fun write though.

When did you start writing and when was your first book published?

I started writing episodes to my favorite TV shows when I was a teen, but I didn’t really write original stuff until I was in college and very bored.  I started writing random scenes with original characters and then decided to make them all into a real book.  That became the first book of my medieval trilogy, In Honor Bound, written as DeAnna Julie Dodson.  It was published in 1997.

I’m grinning over your comment about being bored in college. My experience was opposite. I was so busy I thought for sure I was going to lose my mind–I was a Behavioral Science major. 🙂 I don’t think I read a single book for pleasure the entire time I was in college. 

Do you write in more than one genre? 

As mentioned above, I write romantic historical fiction.  My first book, In Honor Bound, was followed by By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered.  They are medieval, but I have ideas for everything up to World War II.  I also write contemporary mystery for the Annie’s Attic mystery series, my favorite was the third of the four I wrote for them, The Diary in the Attic.

Thanks for joining us Julianna, it’s been fun! Julianna has offered to give away a copy of her book. Please leave a comment to be entered.

Rules: You must have a USA mailing address to be entered. There must be at least ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. The drawing ends 3/30/2014. The winner will be contacted by email on 3/31/14 and have until 4/6/2014 to respond or forfeit–no new winner will be chosen. The author or their publisher is responsible for sending the book. Void where prohibited by law.

DodsonAJULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (www.booksandsuch.biz).

Rules of Murder

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This week we welcome Julianna Deering. Please tell us about Rules of Murder.

Rules of Murder is a mystery in the tradition of Agatha Christie’s classic works.  It’s got the prototypical English manor house complete with a vast amount of staff, the stylish young lord of the manor, Drew Farthering, and a house-full of socialites.  Of course someone gets killed.  And then someone else.  And, naturally, there is romance.  Madeline Parker is the beautiful American debutante who happens to catch Drew’s eye and who also insists on helping him investigate the crimes, much to the amusement of Drew’s best friend and co-sleuth, Nick Dennison, and to the chagrin of the longsuffering Chief Inspector Birdsong.

I love mysteries. It looks like this is book one in the series. Is that correct? What made you want to write mysteries?

Yes this is the first book in the series. I decided to write mysteries because I’ve been a longtime fan of Agatha Christie and her contemporaries, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham. They were the greatest writers of the Golden Age of Crime Fiction of the 1920s and ’30s. And, being a writer, I couldn’t help trying my hand at their type of story.

What is the spiritual take away?
I think the main thing is that, even with his wealth and looks and social standing, even with his intelligence and charm, Drew realizes there is an emptiness inside him that can be filled only by God.  He realizes, too, that it is never too late to come to Him as long as he does finally come.  And he comes to see that he doesn’t need to know everything God has planned for him.  He merely needs to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
I noticed on Amazon that the second book releases in 2014. Do you have any other books coming out in the near or not-so-near future? Do you write under any other names?
The second installment in my Drew Farthering Mysteries, Death by the Book, is due out in March, 2014.  Murder at the Mikado, the third book, is scheduled for that summer.   I do write under my real name, DeAnna Julie Dodson, and I have a fourth book in the Annie’s Attic Mysteries due out this summer:  The Legacy in the Attic.  The other Annie’s books I’ve written are Letters in the Attic, The Key in the Attic and The Diary in the Attic (my personal favorite).  I’ve also written a trilogy of medieval romances, In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered.  The paperback versions are now out of print, but they are available from Amazon as e-books.
Finally, if you could sit down for a meal with anyone living or dead who would it be and why?
I know if I say Jesus, it would sound like a pat answer.  Maybe it is.  I don’t care.  He would be my choice.  I would, if I could get over the awe, get to just talk to Him face to face about everything–  everything that bothers me and everything I don’t understand and everything I can’t fix and everything I think He wants me to do but I’m not quite sure about.  And I think He would just hold me close and tell me to trust him until I need to know (which is what I’m supposed to do anyway), and that would be okay.
I’m with you! I recently had to answer this same question and after much thought and even asking my family for help, because I hesitated to say Jesus I said Jesus too. 🙂
If you would like an chance to win a copy of Rules of Murder  you must answer the following question:
What work of fiction have you read that has really touched you emotionally and/or spiritually?
Rules: You must answer the question to be entered. Drawing is open to U.S, addresses only. There must be at least 10 qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Void where prohibited by law. I will contact the winner by email on August 12th. You must reply no later than August 18th with your address or you forfeit the book. No other winner will be drawn.
DodsonAJULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (www.booksandsuch.biz).

Love In Disguise

Love In Disguise, by Carol Cox is a historical romance set in a mining town in Arizona.

Ellie Moore is desperate for a job, but there are few jobs for a respectable woman in Chicago with her skill set. Her funds are running out and she estimates she only has enough money to live in the boarding house for one more week. She overhears two men talking about needing a woman for a job and follows them to the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Ellie convinces the men that she is the woman for the job and heads off to Arizona to discover who keeps stealing the miner’s silver deliveries.

Stephen, one of the mine owners is desperate to catch the thieves and when Lavinia an older woman shows up in town claiming to want to invest in his mine he is convinced she is his answer to prayer. If he only knew what kind of answer she really is.:)

Love is Disguise is a fantastic mystery and romance set in the west. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and couldn’t wait to find out if I’d guessed correctly about who the bad guys were.

This has nothing at all to do with the book above, but a friend of mine asked me to spread the word about her book. Her message is below.

FREE on Kindle Aug 20-22, Monday-Wed., (possibly available as soon as midnight tonight, I’m not positive of the time zone or when it actually rolls over into ‘free’) The Other Daughter by Miralee Ferrell, contemporary women’s fiction (Christian). This is my debut novel, published in 2007. I’ve had 5 more books release since this one and have grown as a writer, but still love this story.

Dying to Read

Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney is what I would call a cozy mystery with a touch of romance. Keep reading to find out how to win a copy of Dying to Read.

Cate Kinkaid has gone through job after job and is now unable to secure employment, so her P.I. uncle offers to hire her as his assistant. For her first assignment he gives her a seemingly easy case. All she has to do is confirm a woman’s address. This simple case turns up a dead body and Cate suspects murder. To complicate matters her uncle ends up in the hospital for an extended period of time leaving Cate  on her own. In the process of her investigation Cate meets many interesting people, including Mitch who is there for her no matter what.

Follow Cate in Dying to Read on her sometimes humorous, sometimes nail biting investigation as she learns to become a P.I. and solve her first case.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Dying to Read. Leave a comment along with your email. If I spot any questions for Lorena, I’ll let her know and maybe she’ll reply.:) Anyone who becomes a new follower will receive an extra entry. I will only give my copy of  the book away if there are at least 10 entries, so tell all your friends. The drawing will take place Monday August 13th. You must be a resident in the U.S.A. to enter and have a physical address (not just P.O. Box).

Threat of Darkness

A while back I told you about book one in the Defenders series by Valerie Hansen. Book two, Threat of Darkness revisits the small town of Serentiy and Nurse Samantha Rochard. Abused as a child, Samantha has made it her life goal to help abused children. This desire gets her into more messes than you’d expect.

When a young man brings in a small child that ingested his illegal drugs Samantha’s world is shaken. Someone believes the man passed off a package to her and they will stop at nothing to get it back. To complicate matters her former boyfriend Detective John Waltham has come back to town, and he is determined to protect her from all the trouble that follows her.

This story is packed with disaster after disaster for Samantha, and John takes a few blows too. If you enjoy action and trying to solve a mystery then this romantic suspense may be just what you’re looking for. Happy reading:)