Sex, Lies and Snickerdoodles – Review, Giveaway, Interview & Book Excerpt!

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A Cozy Mystery – 300 Pages

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SYNOPSIS:

Everybody’s got a secret.

A secret crush. A secret liaison. A secret recipe. And for a deadly few, a secret murder.

Port Merritt’s favorite bad boy, Russell Falco, was a seasoned veteran of secret liaisons. But after his body washes up on the shore of Merritt Bay, Deputy Coroner and human lie detector, Charmaine Digby, suspects one of those liaisons got Russell killed.

Secrets. Lies. Cookie-baking rivals. And a dead guy. Char’s on the case and is determined to find the killer . . . if the killer doesn’t find her first!

My Review:

Sex, Lies and Snickerdoodles is the second book in the Working Stiffs Mystery Series. I didn’t read the first book, but I was not lost in the characters or the plot, which is a good thing. Cozy fanatics, never fear–unlike the title might suggest, there is no graphic sex in the book. I know that is something cozy fans don’t necessarily enjoy in their reads.

Charmaine Digby works for the coroner’s office, so there is a reason why she is investigating the untimely death of a local playboy. As a government worker myself, I enjoyed that Charmaine was also working for the government. I’m not so sure how I felt about her relationship with Steve.  I think the author hit the nail on the head with Steve’s “cop” attitude. He definitely got on my nerves at times.  Charmaine’s mother, a famous actress, is a hoot.

The characters are likeable and I was racking my brain trying to figure out who the villain was. Cozy fans will enjoy this light and quick read.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review and to be part of this blog tour.

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About the Author:

Wendy Delaney writes fun-filled cozy mysteries and is the author of Sex, Lies & Snickerdoodles, the second book in her Working Stiffs Mystery series. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America, she’s a Food Network addict and pastry chef wannabe. When she’s not killing off story people she can be found on her treadmill, working off the calories from her latest culinary adventure. Wendy makes her home in the Seattle area with her husband and has two grown sons. You can connect with Wendy on Facebook and via her website: www.wendydelaney.com.

An Interview with Wendy Delaney:

Hi, Michele. I’m delighted to appear on your blog today!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a cozy mystery writer who, after many years of working as a programmer/analyst, recently ditched the day job and is now able to write full-time. That is, when my husband, who also recently retired, doesn’t have the itch to travel—something we both love to do. After working on my craft and writing on the weekend for more years than I want to count, my first cozy mystery (Trudy, Madly, Deeply) was published in July of last year.

How many other books have you written?  Tell us a little about each.

I started out writing romance, but after completing two novels I realized that needed to go back to my first love: mystery. I had a plot idea swirling in my brain that had been inspired by a 60 Minutes episode from a few years back. After a year of extensive research and planning, I developed the “bones” for my Working Stiffs Mystery series and wrote Trudy, Madly, Deeply, a lighthearted cozy set in the Pacific Northwest. Trudy, Madly, Deeply introduces human lie detector Charmaine Digby, the series sleuth who works as an assistant to a rural county coroner. My second cozy (Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles) picks up three weeks after book one leaves off. Here’s a short blurb:

Everybody’s got a secret. A secret crush. A secret liaison. A secret recipe. And for a deadly few, a secret murder.

Port Merritt’s favorite bad boy, Russell Falco, was a seasoned veteran of secret liaisons. But after his body washes up on the shore of Merritt Bay, Deputy Coroner and human lie detector, Charmaine Digby, suspects one of those liaisons got Russell killed.

Secrets. Lies. Cookie-baking rivals. And a dead guy. Char’s on the case and is determined to find the killer… if the killer doesn’t find her first!

When did you know that writing was for you?

I always loved to write, but my practical side didn’t allow me to seriously entertain the goal of becoming a writer until my children were grown and I had a little more time on my hands. The more I read and studied the more I was hooked! But it wasn’t until I entered my work into contests and started winning that I gained confidence that I could one day become a published author.

I understand you’ve won some awards.  Tell us about those.

I was thrilled when my first cozy, Trudy, Madly, Deeply, won the 2013 Mystery & Mayhem Award for best Amateur Sleuth. Charmaine and the gang had some stiff competition so it was a great honor to receive that award.

Do you have a current work in progress? A book 3 in the Working Stiffs Mystery Series, perhaps?

Yes, indeed! Char and all the series regulars will be back in book three—title TBD. There’s no release date as yet, but I’m hopeful that the ebook will come out in the spring with print books to follow.

Are any of your characters based on real people?

None of the characters are actually based on real people, but as the first book developed, Duke and Alice (Char’s great-uncle and great-aunt) started sounding more and more like family members. Duke has a booming voice like my late father and they share the same world view. As for Alice, she’s an opinionated pie-baking dynamo like my granny. My dad and his mother never worked in a diner, at least not that I know of, but they were hard-working, and loving, and tremendous influences on me. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they found their way into my stories.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?

I write in first-person, so I write through Char’s eyes. I’m definitely in her head, privy to all her thoughts, but I don’t “become” her during the writing process. It’s more like I’m with Char in the scenes that I am imagining, watching her and all her interactions with the other characters.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist so it’s challenging for me to get the “editor” off of my shoulder while writing the first draft. By editor I mean the little voice inside my head that not-so-gently suggests that what I wrote needs some “polishing.” With every first draft I get a little better at ignoring that internal editor. As I was once told, you need to put a muzzle on her and just write! That’s probably some of the best writing advice I was ever given.

When you aren’t working and writing, what else do you like to do?

Like most writers, I love movies and relish reading books by my favorite authors. Now that my husband and I have retired from our day jobs, we thoroughly enjoy hitting the open road. Our goal is to visit every state in the U.S. in the next few years. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to meet some of my readers in the process!

Is there any advice you would give to aspiring writers out there?

If you want to be a writer, write. Take classes and read, read, read. You learn by doing, but I feel strongly that you can also learn a lot from other authors. Find books that resonate with you and study them. Join a critique group so that you can help one another grow. Writing can be a lonely occupation at times, so finding a small group (or a larger group like a writing organization) where you can feel nurtured can be very helpful.

Thank you for joining me on my blog today, Wendy!

Author Links:

Webpage: http://www.wendydelaney.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Wendy-Delaney/1122544009

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/7191068.Wendy_Delaney

 

To Purchase Sex, Lies and Snickerdoodles:

Amazon

B&N

Excerpt:

“How’re you doing, Kelsey?” Steve asked in an easy manner as I scampered behind him. It was the same easy manner I’d witnessed in Detective Sixkiller countless times in the three months since I moved back to Port Merritt, Washington. Combine it with the winning smile of a charmer and there was hardly a soul in my hometown of five thousand and fifty-three residents who wouldn’t welcome the former high school football captain into their home with open arms.

Kelsey pursed her mouth. “I’d be doing better if certain men would do what they said they were going to do, when they said they were going to do it!”

Russell was in deep doo-doo.

Kelsey stabbed her sterling silver-adorned index finger in the direction of a sign on the front display window of her shop, the Feathered Nest. “Do you see where it says to come and meet local artist, Lance Greenwood, September 7th? As in tonight?”

I sure did. Nice sign. No doubt Kelsey had spent more than a few bucks to have it printed.

“Russell Falco was supposed to be here over an hour ago to install track lighting in the back room and help me set up.” She dramatically tossed her head back, her dark blue eyes blinking back tears. “How could he be a no show when he knew how important tonight was to me?”

According to Lucille, the senior gossip wrangler waitressing at Duke’s Cafe, my great-uncle’s greasy spoon, Russell Falco had no shortage of ladies vying for his attention, so it wouldn’t have surprised me if he’d received a more enticing offer.

The summer I was fifteen and filling in as a short-order cook at Duke’s, Russell came in after working on his dad’s charter boat with his brothers. He was twenty-three, a raven-haired hunk and a half, and a shameless flirt. Despite the fact that we rarely saw him sober, all the waitresses were crazy about him.

“He’s trouble with a capital T,” Uncle Duke proclaimed after Russell got his nose broken for sniffing around the wrong woman. Shortly after that, he dropped out of sight. Lucille had said that he fell in with a motorcycle gang and served some prison time in California.

For Russell and Kelsey’s sakes, I hoped that history wasn’t repeating itself.

“Do you already have the light fixtures you need installed?” Steve asked her.

Kelsey nodded, her fine honey-blonde hair spilling over her shoulders. “Everything’s inside the shop. The lights, all the hardware, Lance’s paintings. Last night, we emptied out the back room to set everything up like a real gallery. All I need now is Russell and his tools.”

Given Russell’s bad boy reputation and the tension bleeding through Kelsey’s brittle smile, I sensed that wasn’t the full extent of what Kelsey needed from him.

“Russell isn’t the only guy around here with tools.” Steve turned to me. “Looks like I’m going to owe you brunch instead of breakfast.”

Fine with me because either way some crispy bacon would be in my future. “And you just got a helper to ensure that you make good on that debt.”

Two hours later, the Feathered Nest’s new track lighting had been installed, and Steve and I were hanging the last of the garish oil paintings Kelsey kept raving about when she wasn’t tending to a customer.

I tilted my head at the landscape with red and orange streaks invading muddy violet globs of paint that looked like chocolate raspberry mousse blended with Steve’s poopy smoothie. “What do you think this is supposed to be?” I reached for the artist’s business card listing the name of the painting as Olympic Sunset and sucked in a breath when I read the fifteen-hundred dollar asking price.

Steve slid his hammer onto his tool belt. “I call it over-priced crap.”

I shushed him but couldn’t help but admire the way the tool belt hung low on his hips like a gunslinger’s holster. All he needed was the black cowboy hat to accompany the steely-eyed glare he was directing toward Lance Greenwood’s handiwork.

“Don’t you just love what he does with color?” Kelsey gushed from the doorway.

“Yeah,” Steve muttered unenthusiastically as I tacked the business card eyelevel with the artist’s Dante’s Inferno interpretation of the sun setting behind Washington’s Olympic mountain range.

She stepped between us and started folding the brown paper wrapper that had covered Olympic Sunset three minutes earlier. “Okay, so it’s not your cup of tea, but I’ll have you know that he’s an up and coming artist, known throughout North America. It’s quite an honor to host tonight’s event for him.”

If he was such a big deal in the art world, it was curious that he had agreed to show his work in the tight confines of the Feathered Nest instead of one of the galleries in Port Townsend.

My grandmother had already announced that she wanted to attend tonight’s soiree, which translated into me accompanying her as her date for the evening. Personally, I suspected she wanted to see what all the fuss surrounding Lance Greenwood was about. From the gloppy examples of the man’s talent hanging on Kelsey’s walls, I wondered the same thing.

“I’m sure it is,” I said. Clearly, with the way Kelsey was beaming, a prouder hostess couldn’t be found.

“It looks like you’re about ready for show time.” Steve unhooked his tool belt as he inched toward the door. “And I owe someone breakfast while they’re still serving, so Char and I should get going.”

Since my stomach had been growling for the last hour, he’d get no argument from me.

Steve’s cell phone rang and he stopped in his tracks when he pulled it from his pocket. “Hey, Captain.” His gaze sharpened, then he turned his back to me.

Steve had kidded me about being a human lie detector ever since I participated in a university study as a favor to my former sister-in-law, the clinical psychologist. Even before my perceptive abilities had been documented, he’d made a point of sheltering his face when he didn’t want me to read his body language. But since the Port Merritt PD captain was calling his one and only detective on his day off, anyone in the room should have been able to see that something very bad had happened.

“Tell him not to touch anything,” he said. “I’ll be there in ten.”

“What’s happened?” I asked the second Steve disconnected, my voice a squeaky blend of breath and apprehension.

He pocketed his cell phone. “Russell Falco has been found.”

Tour Participants:

August 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Giveaway  

August 13 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview

August 14 – readalot blog – Review, Giveaway

August 15 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway

August 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post

August 18 – Traci Andrighett’s blog – Review

August 19 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner  – Review, Giveaway

August 20 – A Chick Who Reads – Review

August 21 – Omnimystery News – Interview

August 24 – Author Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Review, Interview

August 25 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Guest Post, Giveaway

August 26 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review, Giveaway

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2 thoughts on “Sex, Lies and Snickerdoodles – Review, Giveaway, Interview & Book Excerpt!

  1. Another great review for one of my favorite authors. Loved her books, can’t wait for more.

  2. Awesome book and reviews for an amazing lady.

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