Guest Cheryl Hollon + #giveaway

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 AmazonNookKobo, 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.

Visit Cheryl at her WebsiteFacebookInstagram, or Twitter

50 Thoughts

  1. During this past year and a half I kept picturing a stressed, exhausted healthcare worker, kids in bed, home chores done, getting lost reading a paranormal cozy where the good guys won. That image kept me on the path to finishing. Great question.

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    1. I turn to books for stress relief as well. I reread Dorthy L Sayers books this last year to comfort and inspire.

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  2. Hi, Cheryl! Your mom sounds amazing. Talk about a life well-lived! Wow.

    My mom’s memory keeps me going too. She was never one to give up. I try to draw inspiration from her grit and determination every day.

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  3. My son and my 3 granddaughters keep me going. I would do anything for them even when I’m hurting so bad I can barely walk. My dad instilled in us a love of family and we all promised him to stay close and we all get together when we can. Also go to new places helps to keep me going. I was born with the traveling bug. Thank you so much for this chance. pgenest57 at aol dot com

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    1. I’m addicted to travel! This last year has been a challenge but my writing has kept me sane. I can’t wait for Bouchercon!

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  4. I don’t have any great story about what gets me going when I don’t want to budge. The simple need to do what I need to do in order to get stuff done is usually motivation enough. I’d love to be a lazy bones and stay in bed all day but there’s chores to do, bills to pay, errands to run. If I don’t get up and do them each day, they just pile up.

    So other than breaking things down into manageable parts of each particular day, I just get on with it.

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    1. I love that attitude. On one of my military projects, our catchphrase was: Just get on with it! Thanks for bringing back that great memory.

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  5. Oh my, your mother was a force of nature! How inspiring for you, looks like you followed in her footsteps of being a driven woman. My mom is an inspiration to me, too – she had a hard childhood and I think because of that, she held our family unit tight and secure. She fought and lost her battle with pancreatic cancer but never complained through it. Moms really shape their daughters world!

    P.S. St. Petersburg is lovely!

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    1. My mother grew up during the depression and she was always making the best of things. Yes, I love St. Petersburg. We’ve been here since 1975 and our children and grandchildren are all here, too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. What a lovely tribute. I wish I’d known your mom. Talk about a dynamo!

    What gets me going? Little bits. If it’s something I really don’t want to do, I’ll break it into little, doable, chunks and promise myself I only have to do one right now and then I can quit. Nine times out of ten, I keep on going to the end. The tenth time, I ask myself if it’s something I really should be doing!

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    1. I do the same with projects that I’m dreading. Only I use the number five. I’ll just work on it for five minutes. I’ll just edit five pages. I’ll just write for twenty-five minutes. It does work!

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  7. You’re sweet Momma sounds like an amazing woman. She would have fit in perfectly her in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. We are the folk music capital so music is a given, but we are also home of many artisans especially those of the older arts like quilting. I know you have so many sweet memories to pull up on those sad days of missing her. She will always be with you only a memory away. ❤

    As for me, the thing that keeps me going when it doesn't seem I have enough strength to put one foot in front of the other is without question my husband. In fact, today is our anniversary! 🙂 There is nothing he won't do for me or our family and he's proved that numerous times. It's his strength and knowing he's by my side through life's journey and holding me up when I am needing extra support that has kept me going at times when just crawling under a rock and letting the world slip by me would have been my choice. He keeps me strong, upbeat and determined to be the best "me" I can be. To do less would be disappointing him in my eyes and that's something I pray to never do.

    I also think part of what keeps me going was the keeping going, look forward, things will get better attitude taught to me by my Mom by her example.

    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win a copy of "Draw and Order"! It's on my TBR list and can't wait for the opportunity to read it. Shared and hoping to be the lucky one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Hi Kay! Nice to see you here. Happy Anniversary! I live by the mantra – keep on keeping on. It has pulled me through many an unglamorous task. Good Luck to you with the drawing.

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    1. Doing what you can do when you can do it is a successful method for completing a big project. It’s astonishing how much can be accomplished in just a few minutes at a time. Good Luck!

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  8. thank you for sharing about your mom. She seems like a lovely woman. Sweet and pretty pictures.
    this book sounds like fun.
    when I am stuck and have no motivation, in the summer I tend to go outside and soak in nature and pray. In winter, I put on some special inspirational music
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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    1. Hi Lori, I take a walk around Mirror Lake here in St. Petersburg. We have lots of birds, turtles, and a fountain in the middle. It’s restorative to sit on a bench and soak it all in.

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  9. I am a real animal lover. I have 3 dogs, 2 cats ( one is going to be 22 yrs old in August), a Quaker Parrot, a cockatoo and 2 pet quail. Whenever I don’t want to get up and go, I look at them or think about them and how much they need and depend on me and I know what I have to do. They mean the world to me. My husband and I don’t have children and these sweet little beings are my children. They keep me going in spite of anything life throws my way, including Multiple Sclerosis.

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    1. You’re so fortunate to have such a wonderful collection. Good Luck with the giveaway!

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. She was indeed a force of nature and brought me up to be the same. HUGz!

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  10. What a beautiful tribute to your mom and what an amazing woman! She obviously passed all that talent on to you because you are smart, a glass artist, paint beautiful paintings, write and so much more. I want to hear more about the family musical group. And how I wish I would have known her when we lived in Dayton!

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    1. Hi Sherry! Thank you — she was completely responsible for my unique upbringing. Ahead of her time, she insisted that all four of her children — two boys and two girls — learn how to do everything. We all learned to cook, sew, clean, hunt, fish, archery, camping, and play in the family band. I am so lucky.

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  11. There seems always to be something to enjoy, if I just remind myself to turn my mind and heart to it. These days it’s mostly reading and reviewing, and taking note of plants and critters outside my house. In my teaching days, it was my students’ insights, which I encouraged. One very sleepy morning, though, I confessed, “While I love you all, it was the mortgage that got me out of bed this morning,” and they understood. 😉

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  12. What gets me moving when I don’t want to? Knowing I have to pay bills, so I need to get some work done. Even then, there are days I struggle….

    Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman.

    And congrats on the new book.

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    1. My mom was the principal inspiration for this series. Thanks so much for stopping by, Mark!

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  13. How lovely to read about your mother! In the past few years my husband and I have started sharing email stories on our parents’ birthdays with our family members. Our children, nieces and nephews have responded positively to this exercise and we plan to continue it. Almost all of the grandchildren missed getting to know our parents, so this is a way to “bring them to life” a little bit and remember them. We all need an extra incentive sometimes to get started. Your book Still Knife Painting helped me with my own attempts at doing some artwork. I especially appreciate the point in the book where Joe has too much orange and Miranda tells him to let it dry and come back over it with “ocher” to tone down the orange. Now I do paint over colors that seem a bit much, so thank you!

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    1. What a wonderful idea! I think I’ll start that with my siblings on her birthday. Thanks!

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  14. I try not to put things off. If there are things that I know has to be done, instead of leaving it to do later, I just do it right away.

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    1. Hi Julie! Our writing tribe is such a great source of inspiration. I wouldn’t be published without Sisters in Crime.

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  15. That is a wonderful question. In the morning, I sing to myself, Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus. During the day, in my mind, I just keep pestering myself to get up and do it. That way it will be finished. I do not have to worry about it any longer. It has been harder with the warm weather. Even though we have air conditioning, it is hard to move with the humidty in NW Ohio. Thank you for the opportunity. God bless you.

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  16. My family and my pup keep me going. I know that I have to stay healthy so that I can be of help to someone who might need my help. Have a Great weekend and stay safe. God Bless you and your family. Congratulations on your new release.

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  17. I remind myself that in the past I have felt even worse and survived and I just get on with what needs to be done.

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  18. My twin sister is the one that encourages me to keep going when I am struggling. We are each others support.

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