Liz here, excited to welcome Lauren Elliott! I feel like we are kindred spirits – bookmobiles and crystals!! I mean, come on! Welcome Lauren, and take it away!
Hi, everyone! I would like to say a huge thank you to Liz Mugavero and all the wonderful Wicked authors for inviting me to be a guest on their blog today.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge cozy fan because they’re fun, easy reads, and they all have a few elements in common. For instance, they’re generally set in an idyllic location and have a cast of colorful, quirky characters who live seemingly normal lives—that is until murder happens on their doorstep. Then the adventure starts as the generally inept amateur sleuth and her (or his) equally as unqualified friends attempt to discover “whodunit.”
Take my Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery cozy series as an example. It centers on Addison (Addie) Greyborne, a thirty-something woman who worked as a research assistant for the acquisitions department at the Boston Library and got to do a bit of sleuthing in tracking down and authenticating rare books and documents. As a classic book nerd and long-time fan of the Golden Age detective writers like Agatha Christie, she had no idea that her research assistant skills would be of use in her real life until she inherited a house and opened a used bookstore in Greyborne Harbor, Massachusetts, a quaint little seaside town where murder is not … uncommon.
In the recent release of A MARGIN FOR MURDER, the eighth book in the series, bookshop owner Addie Greyborne leaves her Greyborne Harbor bookstore, Beyond the Page Books and Curios, in the capable hands of her assistant while she travels to the neighboring town of Pen Hollow to attend a book sale at a library that is closing. But the real find is a bookmobile bus, which she plans to refit as a traveling bookstore to hit all the summer festivals. But before the bookmobile can be delivered to Addie, a fatal car crash occurs. After an autopsy reveals poison in the victim’s system and prize first editions go missing, Addie must determine what would drive someone to murder.
Since I’ve been working on the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series for the past few years, I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it has been to create an entirely new fictional world in my new Crystals & CuriosiTEAS Mystery series, which stemmed from my strong Irish roots and love of all things Irish—especially its history, folklore, and folk medicine. It was these stories about homemade cures, teas, and a mysterious blue bottle, which was rumored to induce second sight abilities, that inspired the contemporary character of Shayleigh Myers or Shay, a broke, divorced, intuitive gemologist that inherits Crystals & CuriosiTEAS, an eclectic tea and psychic shop, from a mystery woman named Bridget Early, someone she barely knew.
In the first book, STEEPED IN SECRETS, due for release in the fall, things reach a boiling point when Shay discovers a stranger’s body on the shop’s roof. The terrifying discovery sets her on an impractical investigation for answers. Not only is she desperate to unravel the secrets of her past but also to find out if there is a connection between them and the body on her rooftop. She soon discovers though that she’s not the only one in the small artsy community of Bray Harbor, California, whose life is steeped in secrets.
Despite where your personal tastes lie, be it with crafters, candy-shop owners, bakers, pet groomers, a tea merchant, or a bookseller—to name a few of the professions that these unusual amateur sleuths work in—there is something in cozies for everyone. Whether you’re lying poolside or on a beach, or you only have a thirty-minute timeout in your hectic day, cozies are the perfect choices to pick up. So, grab your favorite beverage, turn the world off, and get lost in a new one filled with entertaining adventures and a colorful cast of characters. Where else besides a cozy can you channel your inner Miss Marple and work alongside another amateur sleuth to try to put the pieces of a puzzling murder together to figure out “whodunit?”
USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Elliott grew up devouring the entire Nancy Drew series and then graduated to Victoria Holt, Agatha Christie, Barbara Erskine, Lynn Kurland, and Michael Crichton to name a few of her favorite authors. When it came time for post-secondary education, journalism seemed like the logical choice as she had written for as long as she could remember. Soon after graduation, while working for a small publication, she discovered that reporting wasn’t what fueled her writing passions. As someone with an additionally strong background in professional theater who had the love of storytelling and captivating and holding an audience, her fiction-writing career began to take center stage. You can find her on Website, Facebook, Instagram, BookBub, and GoodReads.
Readers, what do you want to ask Lauren? Leave a comment below!
LAUREN: Welcome to the Wickeds, and congratulations on writing the first book in a new series! An eclectic tea & psychic shop sounds like an intriguing setting. I am looking forward to meeting Shay and her community in Bray Harbor.
I am a big fan of your Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. Will there be more books in this series? I enjoy spending time with Addie and her friends in Greyborne Harbor.
Thank you, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series. To date, there are ten books contracted by Kensington in the Addie series, so after A Margin for Murder, there will be at least two more, fingers crossed for a couple after that too though
Welcome to the blog, Lauren! The new series sounds delightful, as does the bookstore series. Congratulations.
Thank you so much and thank you for having me as a guest author today.
Welcome, Lauren! Both series sound great. Congratulations!
Thank you and I’m thrilled to be here today.
I love the Beyond the Page series! Will Addie ever get married?
Thank you, so glad you’re enjoying it. Hum, that’s a good question, but have you seen the cover for book nine, Dedication to Murder? There’s a little hint on it, but then again … you never know what’s in store for Addie in the future, lol.
STEEPED IN SECRETS sounds like a wonderful book and I can’t wait for its release. It’s now on my TBR list.
Do you do research for details in your books or do you write from personal experience and knowledge? If you do research, what is the funniest and strangest thing you have found in doing research? And have you or will you use it in one of your books?
2clowns at arkansas dot net
I guess the details come from a combination of personal experience and hours of research and talking to professionals. Having been trained as a journalist, I feel it’s extremely important to fact check, and although I write fiction, the details have to be based on reality. As far as the funniest and strangest things I’ve come across in my research, I wouldn’t know where to begin, but I have come across some information that was jaw-dropping to say the least. However, I think some of the more interesting facts were when I was researching for Serena’s wedding and reading about how some of the traditions we follow today actually started.
Welcome to the Wickeds! I love your covers and the premise for your books!
Thank you so much, I’m thrilled to be here today. Yes, the Kensington art department has a way of capturing the essence of the story, and so far they have been spot-on with their covers. I’ve loved everyone of them.
Lauren, your books sound intriguing.
My apologies to Liz. She must think I am insane. I sent comments yesterday but my internet connection kept cutting out. I couldn’t tell if anything went through(including an electronic payment) and then everything went through at one time. Good old computer issues!
Thank you, I hope you’ll check them out, and I’m glad you’ve resolved the computer issues and can post today, thank you for joining us.
Lauren, I do not have a question for you, but I want you to know how much I love your Beyond the Page Bookstore Mysteries! In fact, I am currently reading book #4, Proof of Murder. I absolutely love the character development between Addie and Marc and also between Addie and Simon and also between Simon and Marc. It’s just fantastic! I hope the series never stops!
Thank you! I’m so thrilled that you’re enjoying the series, there are a lot more stories for Addie to tell so like you, I have my fingers crossed that her adventures go beyond the ten current book contract.
I’m with you. Cozies are light, fun, charming, and addicting. I love them!
Haven’t read your book, yet. Looking forward to doing so. Great article.
Linda Ortiz, Thank you and I do hope you’ll check them out. I recommend you start the series with the first book; Murder by the Book and then read them in order since I have written it as a series and there are a lot of character developments, not to mention new writer development, lol, as the series moves along.
I know, right? I’ll tell you I can’t get enough of them. If I’m not writing one, then I’m reading one and let me tell you, the Wicked authors group are some of my favorites, I just eat them up.
Welcome to the Wickeds, Lauren! I have a question for you. After ten books in, how are you keeping the series fresh and interesting? (Asking for a friend.)
Thank you and I’m thrilled to be here today. You can tell your *friend*, that is a very good question, because when writing a cozy series, there are only so many murders that can happen in one small town, right? Not to mention the means of the murders without becoming repetitious, this is a challenge that all authors that write a series face. So, I guess the best way to answer it is to quote Mark Twain… “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same-old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” …and then topping it off with an Agatha Christie type twist that hopefully readers won’t see coming. My answer to your question is as clear as mud, right? Lol. 😉
Hi Lauren. I am so glad you are here. Out of all the characters that any author has written, who is your favorite character?
debbiejpruss: Good question but one I’m afraid I don’t have a direct answer to. My favorite character depends on what phase that I’m going through, and if I can relate to them or not. I guess it changes with my moods and or situation as there are many characters I have enjoyed reading about and felt a kindredness with over the years.
Do you have a newsletter? I am just starting your bookstore series and enjoying it. Looking forward to new series. Off to Amazon.
Candy Kennedy: Thank you, I’m so thrilled that you’re enjoying the series. Sadly, I do not have a newsletter at this time, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to develop and maintain one. The best way to find out all the latest news is to check out my author’s page, or join the Lauren Elliott Mystery Readers group on FB. For more information about my books, and upcoming releases, please check out my links.
Facebook – Lauren Elliott Mystery Readers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1213565802478082
Hi Lauren!!! I love your Addie series…you might say I am “ADDIcted” to them… Our book club is on #4, and we have discussed just about every detail and tried to sleuth along with Addie…so far, we have been close, but no cigar at picking the culprit(s). I love how you post so frequently on FB, and your messages and pictures are so inspiring and reveal such kindness…my question would be… How do you publish so many wonderful books in such a short time span and still post several times a day on FB and answer every reply plus answer messages and emails, plus live your own life:-)??? I thank you for sharing your writing talents with us eager readers! Looking forward to reading your new series…!!!! Luis at ole dot travel
olletravel: Thank you so much for your kind words. As far how do I find the time to interact with my readers, along with writing the books and promoting, etc? I guess I’d have to say that I make time for my readers because without them. It’s all pointless. It’s my readers coming back for more that allows me to do what I love to do best, and that’s writing. As Jodi Picoult said, “The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds the house, but the reader makes it a home.”
Welcome!! How many books do you plan on writing in this series? Love the book cover! Thank you for the chance!
B: Thank you. The series would go in forever if I had my choice. However, the number of books I write in the series depends on readers, and if they keep enjoying my stories and then my publisher, as to where they see the future of the series based on reader’s sales and feedback. 🙂
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