Hi all! Today the Wickeds host author Dorothy Howell, who is here to introduce Seams Like Murder, the first book in her new Sewing Studio Mystery series, which was released last Tuesday in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats. A large print edition is coming later. Dorothy is currently running a giving away. For instructions on how to enter, see below.
Take it away, Dorothy!
Construct a whole new town???
Here’s a shout out and a big thank-you to Barb, our host!
Lots of things must come together when launching a new series. When I came up with my oh-so great idea of writing Seams Like Murder, the launch book of the Sewing Studio Mystery series, the pieces fell into place pretty easily. Whew!
In the story, Abbey Chandler retreats to the small town where she spent idyllic childhood summers with her aunt. To fill her time there—and after she’s a suspect in a murder and her car is towed to the crime lab—Abbey gets involved with a charity project making pillowcase dresses for girls in Africa. Since I’ve been involved with that project myself for several years—I’ve made and donated over 1,000 dresses so far—it seemed like a natural fit for the story.
But what about the town itself? It was integral to the plot—almost like a character in the story. I thought of places I’d visited and looked online for something suitable, and finally decided I’d have to make one up myself. Thus, the town of Hideaway Grove was born.
I had such fun constructing this imaginary town. It’s small and quaint, a mecca for tourists with its antique stores, art galleries, and specialty shops. All the houses are cute cottages surrounded by picket fences and lots of flowers. I decided the town’s founder had been a birdwatcher so most everything has a bird theme. The streets are Hummingbird Lane, Dove Drive, Hawk Avenue, and the businesses are Birdie’s Gifts and Gadgets, and Flight of Flowers florist.
I spent my early years living near a small town in Virginia where you always ran into someone you knew, stopped and chatted, and waved to the merchants inside the stores. Then I ended up living in Los Angeles where you don’t even make eye contact with people on the street.
In Seams Like Murder, Abbie, too, lived in Los Angeles before retreating to Hideaway Grove. She loved her childhood summers there with her aunt. After her life falls apart in L.A. she’s desperate for the peace and quiet of a small town. Even after she ends up involved in a murder, she tries her best to reconnect with the town. But when the opportunity arises to return to the big city, will she stay, or go?
Readers: What do you think? Do you prefer living in a small town or a big city?
About the book
Abbey Chandler and her fellow sewing circle members live in the quaint, touristy town of Hideaway Cove. Abbey Chandler needs a new start and a place to escape, so Hideaway Grove, where she spent her childhood summers, seems like a perfect choice. Once there, she takes up a rewarding new hobby—but also gets tangled up in a hit-and-run homicide…
Abbey has barely arrived in the quaint, quiet town of Hideaway Grove before things turn from blissful to bloody—as the new librarian is mowed down by a car. The only witness on the scene isn’t much help, aside from handing Abbey the bag of books dropped by the victim. Even worse, the sheriff’s office seizes Abbey’s car because of a suspicious dent in the right front fender.
While she waits for the problem to be sorted out, Abbey is drawn into a charity sewing project—even though she can’t tell a bobbin from a seam ripper. Before she knows it, she’s graduating from pillowcase dresses to aprons, setting up a studio in a back room of her aunt’s bakery, and making plans to participate in the upcoming craft fair.
But through it all, she keeps looking for patterns and possible conflicts in the late librarian’s personal, professional, and romantic life. Then a shocking discovery sends her in a new direction, and as the truth begins to unspool, she’s got a notion about who’s guilty…
Dorothy Howell is the USA Today bestselling author of 48 novels in the mystery and romance genres. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages with millions sold worldwide.
Dorothy writes the Sewing Studio mystery series, as well as the Hollis Brannigan personal shopper series, and the Haley Randolph and Dana Mackenzie series. She writes historical romance novels under her pen name Judith Stacy.
Dorothy lives with her family in Los Angeles.
Visit Dorothy Howell Novels on Facebook.
Visit her web site www.DorothyHowellNovels.com