Guest Laura Walker #giveaway

News Flash: Judith is the lucky winner of Laura Walker’s giveaway! Judith, please check your email.

Edith here, stunned at this heat at the start of June. But I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I have my health, a loving family, a career I love, and some special friends. Including Laura Jensen Walker, who has a new book out and is here to talk about gratitude! She’s even giving away a copy of Deadly Delights to a commenter. First, let’s hear about the book:

August in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, always means one thing: the annual baking contest. Picture The Great British Baking Show, writ Midwestern. Naturally, bon vivant baker-turned-mystery writer Teddie St. John has a pie in the ring. The white baking tent boasts an array of folding tables housing each entrant’s daily baked good. And at one of those tables sits the corpse of the lecherous head judge, his face half-buried in a delectable coconut cream pie with Teddie’s distinctive embossed rolling pin by his side…covered with blood. With the help of her friends, Teddie must concoct a recipe to clear her name–if the real killer doesn’t ice her first.

Gratitude

Thank you, Edith, and the rest of the Wickeds for having me back again as I celebrate my book birthday for Deadly Delights. My second Bookish Baker Mystery (the sequel to the Agatha-nominated Murder Most Sweet) is my third cozy and 20th book. Yes, twenty books—can you believe it? I can’t. Who’d have thought? My first book (a non-fiction humor book ala Erma Bombeck) released twenty-four years ago. After writing seventeen books in twelve years, however, I was burned out and didn’t think I’d ever write another book again.

Happily, after an 11-year writing sabbatical and working in state government cubicle world, I’m back—now writing mysteries and having a blast doing so. Who’d have thought?

Certainly not me.

Although I’ve been a mystery fan since my Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Belden childhood, I never dreamed I’d be writing in my favorite genre. Not this pantser. In fact, I’ll be honest—I was TERRIFIED to write my first cozy. What made me think I could write a mystery? Mysteries are all about plot and this seat-of-the-pants writer doesn’t plot. But… all those years of reading Phyllis Whitney, Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, and Diane Mott Davidson had an effect. The whodunits apparently seeped into my subconscious so that when I sat down to write, the plot unfolded with each word I wrote, and the story flowed naturally and organically. Evidently it wasn’t a fluke either. These recent reviews for Deadly Delights made this non-plotter’s day. (Actually, I shrieked with joy and ran down the hall to read them aloud to Michael):

“Lively characters complement the twisty plot.”
—Publishers Weekly
 
Deadly Delights moves along at warp speed…[Walker’s] writing and story development is top notch.”
—New York Journal of Books

This pantser wrote a twisty plot! Best. Review. Ever. I’m astonished and grateful. Ever so grateful. In fact, I’m grateful for many things these days. At the top of my gratitude list is being fully vaccinated. Such a relief.

Other items on my grateful list include:

  • Having friends and family over again
  • A husband who cooks (and bakes)
  • Art
  • Our sweet dog Mellie. Most adorable dog ever.
  • Being 29 years cancer-free this summer
  • See’s Candy
  • Our newly painted living room and dining room. (I love the pale sage green, but am never painting a ceiling again.)
  • Pink peonies
  • Being nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel
  • Crisp cool cotton sheets
  • The lovely and welcoming mystery community
  • Our little house and garden—a sanctuary this past year
  • Writing

Readers: What about you? What are you grateful for? For a chance to win a copy of Deadly Delights, please leave a comment on the top three (or four) things for which you’re grateful.

Finally, I’d like to invite you all to my virtual launch of Deadly Delights TONIGHT (Tues., June 8 at 6 p.m. PT). Hope you can stop by as I talk to my friend and fellow Agatha nominee (for Best Historical) Catriona McPherson. (There will also be a giveaway of Deadly Delights.)

Here’s the link to register:

https://capitalbooksonk.com/events

Thanks! I hope to see you there.

Laura Jensen Walker has loved mysteries since she read Trixie Belden in the fourth grade. A former journalist and the author of several books, including three cozy mysteries: the Agatha-nominated Murder Most Sweet; Hope, Faith, & a Corpse, and Deadly Delights, Laura lives in Northern California. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Laura loves hearing from readers. You can connect with her through www.laurajensenwalker.com, on Twitter @LauraJensenWal1 or Facebook.

80 Thoughts

  1. 1. Being sober for 20 years, without which I wouldn’t have
    2. The world’s greatest hubby
    3. A fantastic, loving daughter
    4. A wonderful life.

    Love your living room and dining room. I won’t ceilings ever again, either! 🤪

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Congratulations om being sober for 20 years, Ginny! I might have to arm-wrestle you though for the world’s greatest hubby honor 🙂 Thanks for the kind words about my living room and dining room.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Way to kick ass and take names, Ginny! I’m sure the authors will permit me to use one semi-naughty word because for 20 years, that’s what you’re truly doing- kicking ass!

      Like

  2. I am grateful for so many things! Just a few –

    – that our country is finally recovering from the pandemic
    – that my family, friends and I are healthy and vaccinated
    – that I finally got to see my grandson after 18 months apart
    – that my book and knitting groups are meeting in person after months on Zoom
    – that young people are embracing movements to save the environment, BLM, reproductive and LGBTQ rights

    One last note – I have never met anyone else who was a Trixie Belden fan! I remember waiting for the new books to come into the five & dime, using my allowance to buy them. Lots of Nancy Drew fans (I liked them too) but very few who remember Trixie & Honey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Judith, so glad you got to see your grandson after so long apart! Isn’t it wonderful to be vaccinated. I pray that those who haven’t been vaccinated yet will do so soon, so the pandemic recovery will continue. Trixie rocks! I love Trixie and Honey (and had a crush on Jim when I was a kid) & always wanted to be a member of the Bob Whites.

      Like

  3. It sounds delightful!
    As life returns to some semblance of normal, I am thankful for our health, family, friends and the technology that allowed so many to stay in touch virtually.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on the new release, the Agatha nomination, and being cancer-free!

    Ah, gratitude. I think this past year has taught us all a lesson about being grateful for the small things. I’m grateful my husband and I survived the pandemic. I’m grateful for hugs and handshakes. I’m grateful to be able to make plans again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Annette! I’m with you–so grateful my husband and I survived the pandemic too. (We had some comorbidities that put us a high risk, so for a long time I felt like I was walking around with a black cloud of death over me. Which disappeared the moment we scheduled our vaccines. Yay!)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Congrats on the new book Laura!

    What I’m grateful for? Hmmm…well I guess I’m pretty standard in that regard.

    I’m grateful to have a roof over my head, a job to earn money, food in my belly, being relatively healthy, the few friends that I have and being vaccinated is good too. Being able to have books to read and music to listen to and then getting to write about both.

    And I am always grateful for being able to be on friendly terms with a few authors whose work I love!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jay! All great things to be thankful for. Books to read and music to listen to are at the top of my thankful list as well. Being on friendly terms with authors whose work you love is pretty fabulous too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Laura, congratulations on all of your accomplishments – I’ve been putting off painting my ceiling for almost a year now – completely agree! Love the sage color. So restful. Congratulations on the 29 years. That’s fantastic!

    I’m grateful that the pandemic is winding down and that both my husband and I are fully vaccinated. Hugs and handshakes are flowing freely and we no longer have to speak to friends and neighbors through masks at a distance of six feet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kait. Isn’t it great to talk to our vaccinated friends without masks now? Yay! I certainly wasn’t thankful in the midst of painting the ceiling, but am now grateful every morning that it’s finished as I enjoy my cup of PG Tips in those serene surroundings. It is pretty fantastic to be cancer-free for all these years–it’s always easy for me to remember the number of years since I was diagnosed the day after my first wedding anniversary. In two months we’ll be celebrating our 30th anniversary–another milestone for which I’m grateful.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Pink peonies are one of my favorite flowers–so gorgeous! Thank you, and all of The Wickeds for having me today; it’s always a treat to be here. (I can’t wait to meet you all in person next year–either at LCC or Malice.)

      Like

  7. Congratulations on your book’s birthday! I’m grateful that my friends and family are hale and hardy, that everyone in my family is vaccinated, that I’ve got a pile of wonderful books to read, and, on this 90+ degree day, that our air conditioner is working!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Mally! Working air conditioners are high on my list of gratitude too, (We had to invest in a new HVAC system a few months ago–so glad during this hot June that we diid!)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. First and foremost, I’m extremely grateful for my loving hubby. Oh how my world changed when he stepped into it – well the second time. You see we didn’t hit it off at ALL the first time. Both were in a difficult part of our lives. Fast forward a couple years, another meeting and WHAM it didn’t take long for blooming friendship to turn to true everlasting love. He’s the one I love spending time in the kitchen with (he doesn’t mind the cleanup), he’s the one that can make me laugh when all I want to do is cry, and he’s the one I’ll gladly spend the retirement with.
    I’m grateful that neither of us contacted Covid and we haven’t lost a loved one to it.
    I’m grateful that at the age of 67 that I was finally able to get hydrangeas to grow. Growing up they were “Granny Flowers” because she had them every year when we came back on vacation. It fascinated me that one flower could make a whole bouquet. Loved them then and still do!
    And last, but surely not least, grateful for our 16 ½ year old furbaby, Snickerdoodle. Although virtually blind and deaf, on insulin twice a day and having arthritis, I can’t imagine life without our precious little boy.

    I know that me and many, many others are extremely happy that you didn’t give up writing and that you gave your hand to trying this genre. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “Deadly Delights”. Thank you for the chance to win a copy! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Loving husbands are the best, aren’t they Kay? After years of dating jerks, I didn’t think there were any good men out there, but I’m so grateful I was wrong. Hydrangeas are another favorite flower–our blue hydrangeas this year are the size of dinner plates! Thank you so much for your kind words about my writing–I’m thrilled to be back pursuing my passion again AND to be writing cozy mysteries. Good luck on the giveaway!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m grateful for:

    – the love and support of my friends and family.
    – we came through the pandemic unscathed; our jobs were never in jeopardy and no one contracted a serious case
    – my dog, Koda, who keeps me company every day
    – being able to do the best “side gig” in the world, writing.

    Congrats on the book and being cancer-free!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Liz. Writing is definitely the best “side gig” in the world, isn’t it? (It’s even better when you retire and get to do it full-time–another thing I’m grateful for.)

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Gratitude Attitude, I’m trying to consciously be more grateful lately! Very grateful for my family and friends, health, energy, garden (my peonies are blooming, too), being financially comfortable in retirement, and just plain being a happy person. Your living room looks so cozy!! I admire your decorating ability! Congrats on your new book, I adored the Bobbsey twins!

    P.S. “pantser” is a new word to me, ill be googling it lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writing by the seat of your pants, Kathy! That is, mainly without an outline. Others call it organic writing or writing into the headlights (when you drive to the next state at night, you can’t see it, but if you keep driving into the headlights, you’ll get there).

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, Kathy. Decorating is one of my creative passions (after writing.) I love creating vignettes around the house and making things pretty. As Edith said, pantser means writing by the seat of your pants 🙂 Outlines make me shudder and twitch.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats on the new book! I’m excited to read it.
    Right now I’d say I’m most grateful for family, including my cat. Books for sure. Yarn. Air conditioning! Our nice quiet little town. And did I mention books?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sherry! Always great to spend time with The Wickeds. I’m looking forward to 2021 when I can finally meet much of our wonderful writing community in person!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Welcome back, Laura, and congratulations on Deadly Delights.

    On Saturday my husband and I did an errand (in a store!) and then went to a fish restaurant on the Saco River. We sat in the bar (really just a corner of the deck), in the sunshine, overlooking the river, beach, and marsh, and ate and drank, surrounded by convivial conversations by people who were also so happy to be out. It was a simple thing, but it was wonderful and I am so grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So grateful here for health, family, friends, faith AND authors and their books! I also read Trixie Belden along with Cherry Ames (nurse), Vicki Barr (Stewardess) and all the Honey Bunch books. Book companions all, they provided endless good times and now happy memories of childhood reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read Cherry Ames too, Kathy. There was another nursing series featuring three sisters, but I don’t remember the name?. One of the sisters (the brown-haired one) was named Kathy– the middle sister maybe? The youngest sister (who had a name similar to Cherry I think) was a nursing student. Does that sound at all familiar?

      Like

  14. I am grateful for:

    My husband
    My wonderful cats who purr with great regularity
    Books
    Crocheting (I just recently took it up again and I still love it)
    Friends

    Congratulations on your latest release!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’ve never been good with sewing and needle crafts, but my husband likes to crochet while we’re watching TV. Friends and family (including me) are the beneficiaries of his great scarves.

      Like

  15. I’d love to win a copy of your new book! I am grateful for so many things: My 4 grandchildren who love me unconditionally, my health since my heart has been giving me lots of problems, my husband of 48 years who is always there for me and I am thankful for the cozy mystery authors that provide so much enjoyment and entertainment in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting, Susan. Sorry to hear your heart has been giving you lots of problems; I wish you continued good health. I write to entertain and provide an escape for readers, so it’s always lovely to hear that readers enjoy their cozies. Good luck on the giveaway!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Congratulations
    I chuckled through Murder Most Sweet. I can’t wait to read the next.
    I am grateful for:
    My family we love each other,squabbles and all.

    My rescue Scotties, I’m still working on earning their trust.

    My recent retirement, I’m getting to know myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 1. The blueberries are ripening slowly enough that I can eat my fill and not have too many left for the birds (but then they got ALL the cherries).
    2. Electricity, without which I’d have no way to communicate with you all.
    3. Social Security and Meals on Wheels have kept me safe during the pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry the birds ate all your cherries, Barbara, but glad you’re enjoying your blueberries. Meals on Wheels–in addition to the meals we brought her–were a big help to my mom.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I am thankful for my husband, our daughters, son in laws and 3 grandchildren
    I am thankful that the pandemic has eased sufficiently that our daughters, son in laws and grandchildren can visit us this year
    I am thankful for having a good place to live and food to eat
    I am thankful for having good neighbors and friends who are willing to help when necessary

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am forever grateful for the love of my heavenly Father. Each and every breath that He gives to me is a gift! Secondly, I am grateful for my husband, who is the love of my life. Every day that we spend together is a gift from God. Finally, I am grateful for the endless supply of cozy mysteries that give me hours of pleasure. There are so many talented mystery writers, and I have access to many of their works. I am so blessed!

    Like

  20. I’m also very big into family, so they are always first on my list. That includes my dachshund Daisy. Yes, I’m one of those, “She’s my baby…” Fur Moms. Books and music are definitely high up on the list as well. Mostly 70s and 80s for me, please. Music, that is. What they have more recently dubbed as “Yacht Rock.” Anyway, the last thing I’ll mention is coffee. I’m. so. grateful. for coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I am thankful that my Multiple Sclerosis is stable. I am thankful that I live in the country with a husband who also cooks and bakes. I’m thankful for my 3 dogs and 2 cats, my one cat will be 22 years old come August and I am so glad he is still here with me, happy and healthy. And I am glad my husband and I are fully vaccinated as well.
    Congratulations on the new book and all the accolades. I would love to add thankful I won a copy to my thankful list. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie, you have many things to be thankful for. So glad your nearly 22 year old cat is still with you. Good luck on the giveaway!

      Like

  22. I’m grateful for so many things.
    1. I have the best Sister ever
    2. I have great family members and friends
    3. I have two great cats
    4. Great books to read
    5. Air conditioning
    Congratulations on your new release, looking forward to reading the series.

    Like

  23. I am grateful that 1) family members have all been vaccinated
    2) I can safely visit family and friends
    3) I can now enter the library and browse

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I am grateful for many things. The Lord has blessed me with much. I am so thankful for my family, my friends and my health especially.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Julie! It’s pretty fabulous to be published, isn’t it? I’m so glad to have made all these wonderful new writing friends online, but can’t wait until I can actually meet you all in person! I’m fully vaccinated and planning to attend LCC and Malice next year. Hope to see you there!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Congratulations on your new book release! Your book sounds like a great read and I really love the book cover, it is Beautiful! I am Grateful for: Good Health, My Family and our pets, Another day of my life to enjoy everyone and everything that I love, I am Grateful for vaccines. Have a great week and stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I am grateful for my husband, my home, my sisters in Christ and our prayer group and air conditioning!

    Like

  27. I’m grateful for my family, my kids, my husband and our health!

    Thanks for the chance! I’m so excited to read this book! Love your books! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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