Murder Cuts the Mustard-Launch Day Giveaway!

Jessie: In New Hampshire, where there are more leaves skittering about on the ground than clinging to the trees!

I am so delighted that today is the release day for my third Beryl and Edwina Mystery, Murder Cuts the Mustard! I have had so much fun writing each of these books and this one was no different than the first two. With each passing book I love discovering more and more about my two intrepid sleuths!

Every time I sit down to write about these ladies I can hear them each chattering away distinctly in my ears. I love to eavesdrop on their conversations and take notes as they go about their business! I’ve mentioned before that I outline my novels so I have some idea what sorts of mechanics I am trying to accomplish with each scene I set out to write. I jot a couple sentences on a sticky note for each scene and arrange them into an order that feels right to me at the outset of the project.

But even though this is my ninth novel to be released I never know before I get started just how the story will actually unfold. Until I start to work in earnest I don’t know who will say what or how they will say it. I don’t know if a new quirk in one of the characters’ personalities will rise to the surface or if an unexpected backstory will flesh out. It is always delightful to experience the surprise of it all!

And speaking of surprises, I like to think of how surprised Edwina, and even Beryl, would be by the changes in the world since their era, the 1920s. In Murder Cuts the Mustard Beryl acquires a Remington portable typewriter and both she and Edwina make use of it. I would love to see either of their faces if they could watch me writing about them. While I am certain they would love my my computer, they would be even more intrigued by the fact that I dictate my books using Dragon dicatation software.

I open Scrivener, my preferred writing software, and turn on my dictation program. Then I pop my headset on and close my eyes or focus on a soft on the wall. I clear my throat and wait for what amounts to a movie to start running behind my eyes. I usually “see” the film from the perspective of whichever of my characters is narrating that particular scene.

Then I begin to describe what I am seeing. For the most part it doesn’t feel as though I am doing any of the decision making as the scene plays out. It feels as though the story just moves through my head and then on out of my mouth. From time to time, I flick my gaze to the screen to check that the software is keeping up with my steady stream of story. I still cannot quite believe the computer is able to keep up with me, especially when Beryl is the one with something to say!

I think they would also both be enchanted by the opportunity to correspond with each of you here, on the blog! Beryl would love to chat with you about places to travel and best spots to drop in for an illicit cocktail. Edwina would delight in swapping recipes or gardening tips or even to chat about reading recommendations.

They would also love to chime in on my Jessica Ellicott Facebook page for a live event this evening at 7:30 ET to help launch Murder Cuts the Mustard! Since they cannot really join me, I hope that you will!

Readers, who is one of your favorite fictional characters and what would you like to chat with her or him about? Leave a comment by midnight ET on October 31 for a chance to win one of three copies of Murder Cuts the Mustard.

49 Thoughts

  1. Happy release day, Jessie! Personally, I wouldn’t mind chatting with either Beryl or Edwina, although if I could only choose one I’d go with Beryl. Sorry, Edwina, but Beryl seems to have so many adventure stories in her I’m sure she could keep me entertained for hours!

  2. Happy book birthday, my friend! I can’t wait to read the next B&E adventure!

    As for chatting with characters…Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane come to mind. He’d get a kick out of life today, and I’d love to show her what strides women have made.

  3. Congratulations, Jessie! I can’t wait to read the new adventures. I’d like to chat with Gemma, Deborah Crombie’s long-running British detective. Or Miss Marple!

  4. Congratulations on your new release!! There are so many wonderful fictional characters…The first that pop into my mind are Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple – would love to go to tea with them!

  5. I would love to chat with Jim Chee, from the Tony Hillerman series and ask him more about his culture. Congratulations on your new release. You are a new to me author.

    1. Thanks, Dianne! Learning things from fiction and the characters that populate it is such a pleasure, isn’t it? I completely understand why you would choose Jim Chee!

  6. Congratulations on the new book Jessie!

    I find it hard to narrow down which particular character I would like to have a conversation with. Let’s face it, most of the characters I have nothing in common with. I mean that’s part of the appeal, they do stuff I can’t or wouldn’t do myself.

    I suppose Spenser would be interesting to hang out with for a beer (even though I don’t drink).

    Robbie Jordan would be cool to hang out with but that’s probably because I want to eat at Pans ‘N Pancakes so much.

    Jane Lawless and Cordelia Thorn would be an interesting gathering.

    Mitch Rapp would probably be cool to meet up with too.

    There’s just so many options.

  7. Congratulations on your newest release! How exciting! I would like to meet ‘Wolf’ from Daniel Cole’s Ragdoll series, he may not be an obvious choice but I would love to chat to him about his situation. Can’t say any more, don’t want to give the plot away!

  8. All of the above, plus Arly Hanks from the Maggody series. I would love to have a huge dinner party and invite all my favorite cozy characters and watch them interact. 🙂

  9. Congratulations on the new book! I’m really looking forward to reading it. I think I would have to be Lady Georgie from Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series. I think she would be a lot of fun to hang out.

  10. I have always thought I would like to meet Anne Perry’s character Charlotte Pitt. She always has interesting ways of getting involved in her husbands cases.

    Congratulations on the new book. These ladies intrigue me.

  11. First and foremost, congratulations on the release of “Murder Cuts the Mustard”!

    Love Edwina and Beryl and reading about their adventures! I also love to read the Quaker Midwife Mysteries by Edith Maxwell. Rose Carroll, like Edwina and Beryl, gives me a glimpse of the life and times in another era, how things were perceived differently then and how technology really has changed mankind in so many ways. I think we can learn from looking back and taking a bit of it with us in the future. Plus their adventures are well-written and keep me coming back wanting more.

    I can’t wait for the opportunity to read “Murder Cuts the Mustard” and greatly appreciate the opportunity to win a copy.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  12. Well, when it’s crime solving on my mind the character I love most is Jessica Fletcher. I think I would just like to ask, “How can I be more like you, Jessica?” And I don’t know about Beryl and Edwina, but I am fascinated by the tools writers use now and the writing process.

  13. I’m not surprised these characters are so real to you. They feel just as real to me.

    Congrats on the book. It’s a lot of fun.

  14. Glad I found your series. It’s a new-to-me and I do enjoy finding new ones. Congratulations on your book release. As for a fictional character I would like to meet and chat with….he’s not a cozy character, but he does solve mysteries. I would love to meet Harry Dresden, the private investigator in Jim Butcher’s series, Dresden Files.

  15. So many good fictional characters to chose from. How about Sherlock Holmes, or maybe the time traveler from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. Either one, or a hundred others, would be great. Thanks!

  16. Wish I could join you all this evening but we are celebrating my grandson’s 14th birthday for supper at 7pm. Happy Birthday to Ivan Rudy! One of my favorite characters in all the thousands of books I have read is a guy named Barrons from the Karen Marie Moning Fever series. He is such an enigma and I would love to spend a few hours talking with him one on one.

  17. Gosh, so very many I’d love to actually talk with about their views, likes, dislikes, not only concerning their world, but on this crazy world we all live. It’s a tough go just picking one from Mrs. Hudson, Miss. Marple, Lilly Jayne, Mrs. Pollifax, Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe, Fritz Brenner, Edwina, I could go on and on!!! Congratulations on Murder Cuts the Mustard, I do love this series!

  18. While I would like to talk to all of my favorite sleuths, I think chatting with the cooks, bakers, and gardeners would be most helpful to me. I love books with recipes even if I don’t make them all. Just made Black Forest brownies from Joanne Fluke’s cookbook, except I didn’t put in enough chocolate so they are Brown Forest brownies. I baked something from one of Joyce Tremel’s book, also. I enjoyed your other Beryl and Edwinna books.

  19. Congrats on your new release. One of my favorite book characters is Jordana Baldwin in the series of Ribbons West by Judith Pella and Tracie Peterson. Jordana is a tomboy stuck in a girls body and she is supposed to act the part. She wants to obey her parents and obey God but she has such a tough time of it. She goes with her brother west as the train tracks are being put down. Her brother is photographing all of this. I would love to talk with her about her feelings as a tom boy supposed to be a lady. About listening to Gods voice and obeying. As a human I think I have problems with this. I would love to talk with her about what it was like to cross the country being a lady and having to deal with men and women that really didnt care if you were good or bad, they just treated her as dirt anyway. Oh yes there would be so much i would love to talk over with her.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  20. Congratulations on your new release! Love the cover and I’m looking forward to reading the book. I would really like to chat with Melaine from Karen White’s Tradd Street Books. I would like to know she feels about having psychic powers and how she feels about using them.

  21. I would like to talk to so many characters.My first thought was Anne Shirley of Green Gables to talk of being a Kindred Spirit,then BillyBoyle of WW11 series by James R Benn to learn more of his life. I could fill pages and reasons. Thanks for the chance.

    1. Perhaps Peter Diamond in Peter Lovesey’s series, one of my favorites. Interesting question that got me thinking.
      browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot) com

  22. Congratulations on the book! Happy Halloween! I like reading romantic suspense and cozies. I would like to talk to Stephanie Plum!

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