Congratulations to Melinda Martinez and Kay Garrett! You are the winners of the giveaway! Jessie will be in touch about sending you your prize.
Jessie: In New Hampshire where the weather cannot decide if it is spring or high summer!
One of the really fun parts of participating in this blog over the years has been the opportunity to discover new authors. In a time when so few live author events are taking place, it is especially lovely to be able to host guests here on the blog for all of you to get to know as well. Here’s a little about her upcoming book DEATH BY AUCTION:
Not only did Abby McCree inherit her aunt’s house in Snowberry Creek, Washington, she inherited a handsome tenant and a whole lot of trouble . . .
It’s hard to say no to Tripp Blackston. That’s how Abby found herself on yet another committee, organizing a bachelors’ auction to raise money for Tripp’s veterans group. The former Special Forces soldier is mortified when Abby enlists him to be one of the prizes, but she has a covert plan to bid on him herself. Before she can, she’s foiled by a sniper bid from a gorgeous stranger, who turns out to be Tripp’s ex-wife, Valerie.
Still reeling from the shock that Tripp was married and wondering what his ex is suddenly doing in town, Abby goes looking to pay the auction’s emcee, radio personality Bryce Cadigan. She finds him in the parking lot, dead in his car. Valerie appears to be the last one to have seen Bryce alive, so she’s the cops’ best bid for suspect. When she asks Tripp for help—and lodgings—it’s Abby’s turn to block by inviting Val to stay with her. But did she just open her home to a murderer?
She is offering two autographed ARCs of DEATH BY AUCTION (USA only) to commenters. Without further ado, here’s Alexis!
I can’t speak for all writers, but for me characters don’t spring onto the page fully formed. Oh, I definitely know a few things—how old they are, the color of their hair and eyes, and what style of clothing they usually wear. However, those things don’t always tell me much about the person inside. Instead, I actually get to know them the same way I do people in the real world—bit by bit as I spend more time with them.
As their story unfolds, I learn what their quirks are, the cadence of their speech, and what they like to do in their spare time. Are they a cat person or a dog person? Do they like kids? What kind of car do they drive and why? Surprisingly, that little detail can tell me a lot, especially if the vehicle is something distinctive like a 1932 Packard or a 1960s muscle car.
If I’m lucky, they’ll eventually tell me more important things about themselves. What experience in their past has profoundly affected the person they are today. Who do they turn to for comfort or advice? Who has betrayed their trust? Whose approval do they seek? And what regrets do they have from a past relationship?
My understanding of Abby, the amateur sleuth in The Abby McCree Mysteries, has grown in depth over the course of the series. I knew from the start that she was in her early thirties and recently divorced. At the beginning of the first book, she’s recently moved to Snowberry Creek to deal with the house she’d inherited from her late aunt. The place came furnished with the clutter of several generations of prior occupants, a 95 lb. mastiff mix named Zeke, and a handsome tenant in the mother-in-law house in the backyard.
All of that added up to Abby going through some major changes in her life and leaving her unsure about what comes next. I may have set all of that in motion in her world, but I didn’t know where it would all lead. I, however, have learned answers to a few of those questions I mentioned above. Her ex-husband was the one who betrayed her, leaving Abby with a few understandable trust issues. It was her aunt Sybil who had a profound affect on Abby’s life, sharing her love of baking and making quilts with her niece.
As I wrote DEATH BY AUCTION, the third book in the series, Abby continued to surprise me. In a very short time, she has developed strong connections with a growing number of people in Snowberry Creek. She now counts the chief of police, the owner of the local coffee shop, and the members of both the quilting guild and the local veterans group as her friends. She’s also fiercely protective of people she cares about to the point that she’ll risk her own safety to find justice for them.
As I work on the next books in her series, I can’t wait to see what I learn about Abby next.
Readers, Abby and I have a couple of things in common. One of my most prized possessions is this hand-pieced quilt made by my late aunt. I also have a bunch of favorite recipes that she gave me, and I think of her every time I make them. Do you have a favorite possession that belonged to a special family member that means a lot to you?
USA Today Best-selling author Alexis Morgan grew up in Missouri but now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. She is the author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories in a variety of genres. Alexis is particularly excited about her latest venture—The Abby McCree Mysteries, a cozy series from Kensington Publishing.