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.
Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com
Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ
What a fun idea; mixing Tiny Houses with glamped-up vintage trailers is a formula for laughs and mayhem. One of my Dracula-obsessed friends will want to stay in the Bram Stoker house. I’d be ‘all in’ for an Elizabeth Peters / Amelia Peabody house, especially if a young Ramses is around.
I love the Elizabeth Peters’ idea!
Congratulations on your book release. I’m a hotel kind of gal, no camping/glamping for me.
Congratulations on your new book launch! I’m fascinated by tiny houses, too, though I wouldn’t want to live in one for more than a few days. And why not add Douglas Adams to your character’s collection of tiny houses? Jules can paint the Milky Way across the ceiling & include a telescope, star guide & books like Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Dava Sobel’s Galileo’s Daughter for guests.
Thanks, Mally! I love that idea! Perfect for a reading retreat!
What a cute cover! Congratulations on your book! We camp with our kids all summer. Love the idea of glamping. So much fun reading about tiny houses and vintage campers.
Thanks for the chance!
Thank you so much!
I absolutely love glamping! We have a 26′ RV and I couldn’t live without a shower, frig, and oven either. Did the tent camping and roughing it camping when the kids were little and to heck with that now that I’m older lol! Blue Ridge Mountains are incredible, we lived in Roanoke, loved it. I like Mally’s idea above about painting the ceiling with the Milky Way!
Roanoke is pretty close to me. We’re in Central Virginia!
Love the idea behind the series and can’t wait to explore each of the books as they come out – starting with “Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers”!
I’d love to vacation in one of the trailers. I use to love the idea of a tiny home, but as I get older the idea of a loft is less appealing. I have no problem with the space part. 🙂
2clowns at arkansas dot net
I love the tiny house designs. I would really have to declutter and downsize.
Congratulations, Heather, on your new series!
Me, I am a city gal and don’t drive, so I never really enjoyed camping in a tent on the rough ground.
I would be a glamper, for sure, but I think I need a larger space than these cute trailer homes.
I am so fascinated with the tiny spaces.
I would too, but they do an amazing job with using every nook and cranny for storage.
I love this idea—Jules is living the dream! My husband and I used to camp a lot, but he got injured some years ago, and we haven’t been since. Maybe we need to try glamping. My only really good camping adventure involves being chased down a hillside trail by a guy with a gun and a chainsaw (I only wish I were making that up). As for which author theme to go with next, my first thought is Stephen King (see: guy with fun and chainsaw), but since this is a cozy series, how about A. Conan Doyle and do you a tiny house like 221B Baker Street? I’d stay there!
Love the King and Doyle ideas! Oh my stars, you did have a camping adventure!
LOL, yeah I did. My other camping adventure involved a black widow and a rattlesnake. And then there was the near-drowning. Now that I think about it, maybe I should stick to motels.
Youi have definitely had the camping adventures! Stay safe!
Since we live in a house named Chez Lapin, I would want to go glamping in a tiny house or RV named for Margaret Wise Brown and her book Goodnight Moon. It could be painted green with red baloon light fixtures; an old vintage phone turned into a radio or clock; pictures of the cow jumping over the moon and the three bears could grace the walls; a little “toy house” with bookcases next to it holding cozy mysteries would be great; and of course there would be a rocking chair. Stars and a full moon would cover the ceiling and there must be a nice soft bed with a stuffed bunny on it. I can just picture it! Fun! Best of luck with your series, too.
Love that idea! Thanks so much!
Welcome, Heather! I love the premise of this series! How fun. I think you need a Jane Austen themed tiny house. And all of my camping experiences are disaster stories.
Thank you so much! I love the Jane Austen idea!
When I was 14 we were camping and I was going up the hill from the pond from taking a dip and got caught in a whirlwind and couldn’t get out. Everyone was looking on helplessly as I was screaming for help. It didn’t last long even though it felt like it did. I was covered in small bruises from the small rock and sticks that hit me. My dad listened to the radio and there were reports of tornadoes in the area. I had leaves in my hair. To this day we still talk about the day I got stuck in the whirlwind. Thank you so much for this chance at your giveaway! pgenest57 at aol dot com
Wow! I’m glad it turned out okay. That is definitely a camping memory!
Big time congrats on the new release, Heather! What a fab cover. My wife and I used to in our younger days. One of our favorite trips was when we spent Thanksgiving weekend camping at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and went hiking on the park’s portion of the Appalachian Trail on Thanksgiving. Great memories.
Thank you so much! I love the Great Smokey Mountains, too. What a beautiful part of the country!
Hi Heather! Congratulations on the new release. I have many happy memories of camping both when our kids were young and with our extended family. Each family was assigned a meal and my husband and his three brothers would get quite competitive about the cooking. A treat for us all!
I love that idea. I bet you had some amazing meals, too!
I used to love camping, but I’m now pretty attached to indoor plumbing and a read bed, so glamping sounds right up my alley. But I’ve never done it.
But Heather, we’re equally amazed by some of those tiny houses. Wow!
Me too. People are so creative! I’m definitely not an outdoorsy girl.
I grew up camping every year for two weeks in Sequoia National Park in the Sierras, and I have so many fond memories. But when I took my sons there in 2009, to show them one of my favorite places in the world, we rented a camping cabin. I needed a real bed and a bathroom I didn’t have to trek through the night to find! Still, the cabin was right in the woods, with the stars and tree fragrances and clean mountain air I love. We had a great trip.
How about a Sherlock Holmes tiny house? Clues could be hidden everywhere, and a violin hung on the wall!
I love the idea of a Sherlock-themed one. Perfect for mystery lovers!
Sounds like a fun series, Heather. How about a Raymond Chandler trailer or tiny house?
Yesss! Great idea! Perfect for hard-boiled, classic mystery fans!
I look forward specially to reading about the tiny houses. I live in one–600 square feet–and wish i had all that creative storage space. I keep preaching to my grandson who lives in the main house that when you live in a small space you have to be extra neat. But my own lesson hasn’t taken completely with me!
Me too. I would really have to downsize if we moved to one. I would love to have one has a writing retreat. Thanks!
What a great premise for a book series! I used to tent camp when getting up from the ground was a lot easier! I love the concept of tiny houses, but I have way too many books to fit in one. I could do without most of the other things I have.
First thought was Sherlock Holmes (which I’m happy to see I’m not alone) and then jasper fforde. So much fun fantasy.
Love these ideas!!!!
I love this series premise and I’m excited to read it! I do lots of roughing-it camping with my family (I have 3 teenage daughters), but I am definitely intrigued by the glamping options. A non-camping story about an Airstream- last year, for our first meal out since Feb 2020, we went to a restaurant in Cape May, NJ (Exit Zero), where they had Airstreams for private dining, each representing a different theme. Ours represented the 1950’s, and it was fun watching my daughters figure out how to use the turntable to play records! For a literary theme, my first thought was Agatha Christie- Miss Marple/St. Mary Mead decor, but my second thought was Sue Grafton, ie, Kinsey Millhone in the 1980s! Congrats on your book!
Love the restaurant idea! That sounds like fun!!!
How about Zane Grey with a western theme
Love the western theme! Great choice!
By that definition of a tiny house, I get my condo represents a tiny house. It’s certainly feeling like it with my book and ornament collections.
I grew up camping. Not quite glamping, but in a tent trailer and then a small real trailer. Certainly not like you are describing, but the memories are just as wonderful.
I’ve got this book on deck. Looking forward to reading it.
Congrats!!! Love camping, glam ping and tiny houses!!
There are multiple people who would be fun-President Obama, President Clinton, James Patterson,Kristy Woodson Harvey, Robyn Carr, Kristin Harmel, Mary Kay Andrews, and Kate Carlisle. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas.
I didn’t like sleeping on my back porch so never went any further into camping. I might have liked glamping in the past but now I hate to pack and like being in my own house.
A Hobbit house sounds like a winner. It would be small and cozy.
All great ideas!!!
I really like the idea of a Hobbit house!
I find tiny houses so interesting! This sounds like such a fun series!!
Thank you so much! Happy reading!
Yay, I saw that I won the ebook. Thanks, Heather!
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