Edith here, reeling that it’s already July, but I’m loving full summer! I’m so happy today to welcome my good friend, and good friend of the Wickeds, Cheryl Hollon. Her new Paint and Shine mystery is out and she’s giving away a copy of Draw and Order to one lucky commenter today.
Appalachian artist and local guide Miranda Trent opens a new murder investigation after her Paint & Shine tour group discovers the remains of a missing hiker along an ancient trail. For her latest excursion, Miranda is thrilled to take a close-knit group of rock climbers, the Risky Business Adventurers, up the challenging Battleship Rock Trail to paint and sample moonshine. But the outing is cut short when they discover a skeleton near the trailhead. Even more startling, the bones belong to Howard Cable, Miranda’s cousin…and a former classmate of the Risky Business group.
The sheriff chalks it up to a hiking accident, but Miranda isn’t convinced that Howard, an experienced woodsman, died within sight of a well-marked trail. So, with the help of Ranger Austin Morgan, Miranda sets out on her own investigation and discovers that the Risky Business group is keeping plenty of secrets. But is one of them hiding the truth about Howard’s death?
Cheryl’s post isn’t really about the book, but it is a lovely, bittersweet homage to her mother, a woman I wish I had known.
Thank you, Edith. I’m delighted to be back here again to launch Draw and Order, the second book in the Paint & Shine Mystery Series. The setting for this series is an area of outstanding beauty in eastern Kentucky within the Daniel Boone National Forest. It is also the place where my parents were born, married, and now rest in peace.
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for this book – it was the last one my mother read before she died peacefully, just a few weeks shy of 95 years of age. She loved to read about strong women with fascinating lives. I love having a series of books about the country life she enjoyed while growing into a young woman.
Marcella Hollon lived an exciting life that she carved out for herself from a cultural environment that didn’t always appreciate her determination. She was known for her love of painting portraits and playing music on her favorite bass guitar, a traditional folk autoharp, and performing duets with her late husband on harmonicas. She was an enthusiastic square dancer and founded the Tuesday Afternoon Plus dance club in Dayton, Ohio. She also danced with the Friendly Squares, the Golden Squares, Kitty Hawk, and Gem City Squares dance clubs.
Marcella belonged to several popular gospel quartets, including the Holy Hills and the Glorylanders. She performed with her husband and children in a band known as The Hollon Family. Marcella was a talented seamstress, painted in oil on canvas and sketched in pencil and charcoal. She was an accomplished poet and songwriter. In 1958 she was awarded the Ohio third-place championship in longbow archery. Marcella was prolific with her quilting, crocheting, knitting, cooking, and gardening.
(Edith: Readers, see what I mean about Marcella?)
As you can see, my mom inspired me to get off my duff and tackle my dreams with energy and determination. She wouldn’t be happy if I faltered now. Future books in the Paint & Shine series will be full of bittersweet memories, but she’s a willful force of nature in my stories.
Readers: What gets you going when you don’t want to budge? For a chance to win a copy of Draw and Order, please leave a comment on who or what inspires you to keep going when the going gets tough.
Draw and Order released on June 29, 2021, and is available for you to order at Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and in your favorite bookstores. Kensington Books publishes the Paint & Shine Mystery Series. If possible, support your local independent bookstore. Also, if your budget is tight, please ask your library to order it.
Cheryl Hollon is the author of the Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries and the Paint & Shine Mysteries. She writes full-time after an engineering career designing and installing military flight simulators in England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Living the dream, she combines a love of writing with a passion for creating glass art with her husband in St. Petersburg, Florida. Cheryl is the Past President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, a member of the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.