About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #11 in A Bad Hair Day Mystery Series
Publisher: Five Star
Release Date: April 2014
Marla’s joyous move to a new house with her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, is marred by their next-door neighbor who erects an illegal fence between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of the local permitting laws, tempers flare—and worse, the neighbor is found dead the following day. Dismayed when Dalton is removed from the case due to a conflict of interest, Marla decides it’s up to her to find the killer. Can the intrepid hairstylist untangle the clues and pin down the culprit before he strikes again?
Marla and her brand new detective husband, Dalton Vail, are excited to move to their new house, but everything is far from perfect. Their next door neighbor puts up an illegal fence way too close to the Vail’s property. At a community meeting Dalton gets into a fight with the man, which doesn’t go all that well since the guy also happens to be the president of the homeowner’s association. None of this sits well with Marla’s intentions to make friends in her new neighborhood.
It goes from bad to worse when the neighbor is found dead in his house from an apparent suicide. It doesn’t take long before the Vails begin to suspect foul play and not suicide. Dalton’s argument with the man puts him in line as the number one suspect and he’s immediately taken off the case, but that doesn’t stop Marla from snooping around. She knows her husband is no killer.
Marla meets up with a cast of characters that go from zany to downright mean. It doesn’t stop her from getting to the bottom of this case before anyone else gets hurt.
This is the 11th book in the series and only the second book I’ve read. I read the previous one and enjoyed that too. I desperately need to make time to read this series from the start. I want to see how Marla grows as a character, but I can honestly say it didn’t deter me from enjoying this book. It’s funny, quirky, fast-paced with just the right amount of romance and humor mixed in with the mystery. Great series!
For reading challenges:
2014 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
2014 ARC Reading Challenge
2014 My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge
FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Author Guest Post
Plotter, Pantser, or Prepper? by Nancy J. Cohen
Among fellow writers, we ask each other if we are plotters or pantsers. Do we plot our stories out ahead of time, or wing it as we go along?
Normally, I’ll write a synopsis before I begin the story. It acts as a writing guideline in addition to a sales tool later on. Although the direction might change when the characters take over, I couldn’t start a book without this narrative. First I’ll plan my crime in terms of the victim and suspects. Then I’ll give each suspect a motive and connect these people to each other through their secrets. At that point, I’m ready to sit in front of the computer and develop my synopsis.
Recently, I’ve discovered another aspect of this process. Maybe we should consider ourselves Preppers as well, since we are preparing ourselves for whatever might result when we launch our book into the world.
Real Preppers exist. They are survivalists who believe in disaster preparedness to the extreme. I researched this topic for Hanging By A Hair, book #11 in my Bad Hair Day Mysteries.
Imagine my surprise to learn this country has up to four million followers of the Prepper movement. They’re concerned with global meltdowns caused by natural disasters, worldwide pandemics, economic collapse or devastating wars.
But rather than yield to fear, Preppers train in self-defense and first aid. They stockpile survival gear, weapons, and food supplies and even build secret bunkers. Books, TV shows, podcasts, and blogs offer a multitude of advice on how to get ready. The religious aspect of this movement, the Rapture, has its own believers. If you’re expecting to ascend to Heaven, you’d better stash supplies for those sinners among friends and family who’ll left behind.
So how does this relate to Hanging By A Hair? One of the characters is involved in the Prepper movement. Reading about this part of our society was an eye-opening experience for me. So it was for Marla, my hairdresser sleuth. Her conclusion is that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow. The present is what counts, and we need to make the most of it. If you’re always afraid of what might happen, you miss being in the moment and the joy it can bring.
That goes for a writing career, too. You can’t worry about how your book is going to fare or what reviewers might say. You just have to make your story the best it can be and put it out there for readers to find. The ultimate way to prepare is to study the craft, treat your career as a business, be professional, and give back to other writers as much as possible.
What kind of person are you? Do you schedule every hour, prefer to muddle through the day, or prepare for events you haven’t foreseen?
All commenters on this blog will be entered into a drawing for an ebook copy of Shear Murder.
About the Author
Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the IMBA bestseller list. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide for writers on how to write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. Her titles in this genre have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. Currently, she is serving as President of Florida Chapter Mystery Writers of America. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising and outlet shopping.
Website – http://nancyjcohen.com
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