Friday, March 7, 2014

Spotlight/Book Giveaway/Guest Post: Spinning in Her Grave by Molly MacRae



About the Book

Genre: Cozy Mystery, #3 in A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery Series
Publisher: Obsidian Mystery
Release Date: March 2014


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Kath Rutledge is settling in as the owner of the Weaver’s Cat, a fiber and fabric shop in Blue Plum, Tennessee. But nothing, not even the ghost haunting her shop, prepares her for the mystery that will leave the whole town spinning....

It’s time for Blue Plum’s annual historical festival, and everyone—including Kath and her spunky fiber and needlework group, TGIF—is getting in on the action. Expert spinners are being gathered, and a businessman has approached Kath about using the second-floor windows of her store for part of a reenactment. But the reenactment ends in real-life bloodshed when local baker Reva Louise Snapp is shot—with a bullet from a modern-day gun.

Kath has her theories about who wanted to end Reva Louise’s life. But there’s also talk of a sniper stalking Blue Plum, and Kath’s shop is suspected to be the murderer’s hideout. Now Kath, her TGIF pals, and the gloomy ghost, Geneva, must unravel the mystery quickly, or someone else might be left hanging by a thread....

Author Guest Post



What’s it like to write a mystery series set in a small town? It’s like having the coolest set of blocks to play with that you can imagine—complete with action figures and accessories!

For my Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, I took my blocks and built Blue Plum, Tennessee, borrowing the best parts of my favorite small towns for inspiration. The streets crisscross a creek (with fish) that meanders through town. The courthouse is there, and the library (with real books,) and if my action figures get hungry they can stop by Mel’s on Main, the best café in town (with real pastries in the bakery case—that you can smell!) And then, of course, there’s the fiber and fabric shop called the Weaver’s Cat. It’s in a three-story, antebellum brick row house and it comes with gorgeous yarns, flosses, quilting fabric, needles, notions, spinning, dying, and weaving supplies, and a window seat in the study up in the attic. And I get to play with all of it!

Kath Rutledge is the main action figure for the series. She’s new in Blue Plum, but getting settled, and she’s playing nicely with her friends. There’s Ardis, her shop manager; Mel, who owns the café; Thea, the librarian; Joe, the fisherman; Joe’s brother Clod, the sheriff’s deputy; Argyle the cat; and Geneva the ghost. Each of their mystery stories comes with an Action Figure & Accessories bonus pack, too. For Spinning in Her Grave, their latest adventure, the bonus pack includes a baker, a piano salesman, working spinning wheels, a bass boat, and a piglet that really squeals.

In this story, everyone is getting ready for the annual heritage festival called Blue Plum Preserves. Oh—and the bonus pack also includes pavilion tents, a music stage to set up on the courthouse steps, banjos, a high wheel bicycle, and antique rifles. Fun! (Although the rifles are a little disturbing.)

This business of writing a small town mystery takes a love for micro-scale world building and playing with dolls. It takes a love for something else, too—something related to the love for driving little cars around the streets and creating window displays at the Weaver’s Cat. But this goes beyond a love for picking paint for other people’s kitchens or dressing some of the action figures with questionable taste. A key part of writing mysteries is a love for meddling in other peoples’ lives.

I set Blue Plum up so that it’s just right—add trees, porch swings, a festival on a pretty summer weekend where people are having a good time—and then I start tinkering, tweaking, and tossing problems at them. What if the piano salesman is directing a piece of street theater involving guns? What if he approaches Kath and asks if one of his actors can hide in the Weaver’s Cat and shoot blank rounds from a second-story window? What if she says no, but someone does it anyway, the rounds aren’t blank, and the baker dies? What if Clod, the sheriff’s deputy, still thinks Kath might be interested in him? What if Geneva, the ghost, discovers she’s afraid of ghosts? Do you see what I mean? Why can’t I leave these poor people alone?

People might assume, after reading Spinning in Her Grave, or the first two books in the series, that I spin, dye, weave, or knit regularly and well. Especially knit, because the action figures belonging to TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber) challenged themselves to knit 1,000 baby hats by the end of the year and they’re always talking about self-striping yarn and other knitter stuff. I do knit, in a rudimentary way, and I’ve done a bit of weaving, spinning, and dyeing. But what I really like to do with knitting needles (or spindles or shuttles or crochet hooks) is poke around in the lives of my action figures, gum up the works, and see what happens. I’m not mean, though, except for killing one or two people in each book. These are cozy mysteries, after all, and I care about my action figures. Even the poor things who do end up dead—bless their hearts.

So, what’s it like to write a mystery series set in a small town? For me, it’s a great way to knit (or spin, weave, or dye) vicariously. It’s a way to indulge my meddling gene safely. And it’s just plain fun.


BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!!

Now you can win a paperback copy of Spinning in Her Grave by Molly MacRae? Thanks to Obsidian, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For an one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For an one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on March 7th (midnight est) and ends on March 14th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

68 comments:

  1. I listened to the audio book of the first in this series and just loved it. I'd love to read this one also.

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    1. So glad you liked Last Wool and Testament, Brooke. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  2. Another seires that I'll have to try!

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    1. Please do try them, Alicia. And I hope you enjoy reading the books as much as I enjoy writing them!

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  3. I love paranormal cozies. That tough of woo woo adds an extra layer of depth to any storyline.

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    1. And this is the series that puts the woo woo in the wool!

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  4. Love to win and read this book

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    1. Penguin knows how to make covers that draw people in, don't they Lisa?

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    1. Start with Last Wool and Testament, Betty Louise. But I think they stand up pretty well even if read out of order. Hope you like them!

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  7. I love small town mysteries :) They are just so well knitted ;D

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    1. Ha! Spinning tales and weaving plots - I do love it!

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  8. Sounds so good. Thank you for the chance to win!

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  9. Love the sound of the book.

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  10. I love small town mysteries. I still watch Murder, She Wrote on Netflix. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. I love Murder, She Wrote, Cheryl. Something cool - in one of the recent Murder, She Wrote books, Jessica is reading my book Lawn Order at bedtime. Hah! I was so tickled to see that!

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  11. this mystery sounds captivating and unique. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Sounds like a book I would really like!

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  13. Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to win as you are a new author to me.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  14. My mother taught me most everything I know about crafts and sewing. She came from Tennessee. Though I hope her ghost is no where around, I'm sure she would want me to read your book!! Looks so interesting!

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    1. Cool, Ronna. Your mother lived in a beautiful state. We loved living there in northeast Tennessee. And I think you're right - your mother would want you to read my book! :)

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  15. This sounds fun, I love the idea of a haunted shop. I've got to check out the rest of books. Thanks for the chance to win.

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    1. I've had so much fun with a ghost in these books. She feels like a dear friend.

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  16. So nice to hear that you are not an expert knitter.

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    1. I wish I were. My sisters are terrific knitters, though, and they don't laugh at my attempts.

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  17. I haven't read a cozy with a a ghost in it before. Ah well, there is a first time for everything, non? TBR'd on GoodReads.

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    1. And I never expected to be writing a mystery with a ghost in it, but she popped in and seems to be there to stay. And it turns out that I like her a whole lot!

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  18. I would love to visit a haunted yarn shop.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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    1. I would, too! I'd really like to visit the Weaver's Cat, in real life, not just in my head.

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  19. I totally CANNOT knit, sew, weave or any such thing. But I sure do love to read your books.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you, Sue! And there's nothing wrong with vicarious needlework!

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  20. I like the sounds of Blue Plum and the way Molly described using pieces of lots of favorite small towns.

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    1. Thank you! There's so much to like about small towns - and so many possibilities for mysteries!

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  21. I'm looking forward to reading this, whether I win it or buy it!

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    1. Well, hello, Sara! Thanks for stopping by. I was reading your book Stella Brite and the Dark Matter Mystery just the other day. Small world!

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  22. I enjoy cozy mysteries and knitting, so I know I'd love to read this book!

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    1. I wish I had more time for knitting. I do plan to start knitting baby socks soon - for our first grandchild, due in July!

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  23. I am reading 'Dyeing Wishes' right now and can't wait to read this one.

    Kimberlee
    girllostinabook@hotmail.com
    www.girllostinabook.com

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  24. I enjoy paranormal cozies and this sounds like a good one!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. Thanks, Carol. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  25. Another new-to-me series that sounds like it is right up my cozy-loving, knitterly alley! [happy dance] And I love the description of writing mysteries as playing with action figures and dollhouses. ( I kept thinking of my daughter's "Sweet Streets" toys, when she was young.)

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    1. I hope you enjoy the books, Lark. One of my sons gave me my very first set of Legos for my birthday. What a lot of fun!

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  26. I enjoy this series thank you for the chance to win the new one in the series.

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    1. I'm so glad you like the books, Angela! Thanks for stopping by.

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  27. this series is in my HUGE TBR pile!!
    have to start it soon!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

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    1. I can relate to the HUGE TBR pile. It's so hard to say no to a book that needs a home!

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  28. I just heard about this series and I can't wait to read it!!!!

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    1. Terrific, Vickie! Thanks, and I hope you like the books.

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  29. I knkow I will be reading and enjoying this series.
    I like the TGIF group. Here we have a DIIP - do it in public, drop in needlecrafters group.

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    1. Doi it in Public is a great name! Hope you have fun with TGIF!

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  30. I haven't heard of this series before, but the book sounds interesting. Hmmmmm.

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    1. Aw, go on, give it a try, Kim! You might be glad you did! :)

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  31. It sounds like a cool mstery. I love that it is set in a small town and has great characters. Thanks for having the giveaway.

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  32. Haven't tried this series yet. Good time to try this fun looking book!

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    1. I hope you enjoy reading the books as much as I do writing them, Ronna!

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  33. Looking forward to starting this series.

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  34. Loved the first 2 & looking forward to this one. Thank you for the giveaway chance!

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  35. I love finding new books to read! There are so many books here that I want (including this one).
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  36. Have this series on my tbr pile. Moving up the list since I'm anxious to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

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