News Flash: Grace Koshida is Heather’s lucky winner! Congratulations, Grace, and please check your email.
Edith/Maddie writing from north of Boston, where the weather is ping-ponging and I’m still not ready for Christmas!
I’m delighted to welcome author Heather Weidner and her debut in a new series, Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers. I love the premise and can’t wait to read this one, especially since Mac Almeida – in my Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries – lives in a tiny house! Heather’s going to give one lucky commenter an e-version of the new book.
Here’s the blurb:
There is nothing like finding a dead body, clad only in red satin thong, on your property to jolt you from a quiet routine. Jules Keene, owner of the posh Fern Valley Camping Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is thrust into the world of the Dark Web when one of her guests, Ira Perkins, is found murdered in the woods near her vintage trailers. Jules quickly discovers that the man who claimed to be on a writing retreat was not what he seemed, and someone will go to any length to find what he left at her resort. Jules, along with her Jack Russell Terrier sidekick Bijou, has to put the rest of the missing pieces of a blackmailing scheme together before her glamping business is ruined.
Jules’s resort, set in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville in the quaint town of Fern Valley, offers guests a unique vacation in refurbished and upcycled vintage trailers. Hoping to expand her offerings, she partners with her maintenance/security guy to create a village of tiny houses, the latest home DIY craze, but a second murder of a reporter interrupts Jules’s expansion plans. Curiosity gets the best of her, and she steps up her sleuthing to find out what Ira Perkins was really doing and what he hid at her resort.
I Know it’s December, But I Want to Go Glamping
Hi, all. I know it’s almost winter, but my thoughts are drifting toward summer and the mountains. I want to go glamping, or glamorous camping. I’m not a roughing-it kind of gal. My two requirements for camping are indoor plumbing and a door that locks. My husband likes the more rustic get-aways. (I’m not keen on tying our food in tree branches to keep it away from foraging predators, but that’s another story.) If you’ve never seen the glamping craze, hop over here to see some amazing accommodations and views. There are some really creative campsites.
I’m Heather Weidner, and I write the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In the series, Jules and her father upcycled old, beat up campers into posh trailers with wine chillers, plush beds, and all kinds of electronic doo-dads for a luxurious experience. They saved about fifty trailers from the scrapheap and preserved their history for future generations. The resort also has a lodge for gourmet breakfasts and lots of traditional camping activities like hiking, bird-watching, watching movies and concerts in the amphitheater, and making s’mores at the fire pits. The resort sits on 25 acres in the mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia in the fictional town of Fern Valley.
In the 1970s, my aunt and uncle owned a campground at Crabtree Falls in Nelson County, Virginia. It was located on several acres in a valley, bordered by a mountain stream. The campground was such a fun and magical place to visit. The hikes to the waterfall and fish hatchery and playing in the stream opened up new outdoor worlds for a suburbia girl like me.
I grew up in flat Virginia Beach, so the forest and the mountains were a new experience. I even learned some life skills about hiking in the woods. and that’s where I learned to play pinball, too. Jules’s property is based on my fun memories in the Virginia mountains.
At the Fern Valley Luxury Resort, Jules themed each vintage trailer with special décor like the 1947 Robin Hood Trailer that is decked out in honor of its namesake; the 1959 Sunliner Caravan that sports a posh pink Barbie fashion design in honor of the year that the camper and the doll debuted; the 1953 Redman New Moon decorated in honor of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball’s movie from the same year, The Long, Long Trailer; the 1954 Airstream decked out in honor of Elvis and his recordings at Sun Studios; and the 1955 Terry decorated in honor of James Dean and Rebel without a Cause.
At the end of the book, she partners with her maintenance/security guy to add tiny houses to the resort’s offerings. I am fascinated by these compact structures where all the floor plans and storage are minimalistic. These dwellings usually range from 400-1,000 square feet.
Jules decorates all of the ones at her resort with author and book themes, and each has surprises for the guests like reading nooks, storybook touches, and revolving book cases. Her tiny house neighborhood on the edge of the resort has houses named for Beatrix Potter, L. Frank Baum. J. K. Rowling, and Bram Stoker.
Jules and her trusty sidekick, Bijou, a spunky brown and white Jack Russell Terrier, spend most of their days (and nights) keeping the resort viable. She is always promoting on her social media sites and looking for ideas for fun get-aways like crafters’ weekends, writers’ retreats, wine tastings, and romantic Valentine weekends. It’s a full-time job and then some trying to keep the resort out of the red.
So even if it’s not the season for camping, I can still dream of posh amenities and travel fictionally to Fern Valley to glamp at Jules’s resort.
Readers: Jules themes each of her vintage trailers and tiny houses. What author should she add to her collection for the next tiny house and what would you add to the décor in his/her honor? Do you have any fun camping or glamping stories from adventures past? I’ll send one commenter an ebook version of Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers!
Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers is the first in her cozy mystery series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. She also writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series and the Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries (2023).
Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.
She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ