About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #4 in A Novel Idea Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: February 2015
Synopsis from the author's website...
The national bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries make their return with Lila Wilkins, literary agent and “murder magnet” planning a book signing garden party. But things aren’t coming up roses when she ends up trying to weed out a dangerous killer…
The owner of A Novel Idea Literary Agency is thrilled when former local boy and popular television show host Damian York returns to Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, to launch his new gardening book. But Lila is less than excited about the hubbub when she sees the mounting to-do list on her desk. Between planning York’s gala and sprucing up her yard for another event, she’s spread too thin—especially after she finds a skull buried in her flowerbeds.
As Lila’s macabre discovery leads to other secrets hidden in Inspiration Valley’s past, a member of the local garden club is found slumped over her prize roses—murdered with a garden spade. Now it’s up to Lila to dig through old mysteries and new clues to unearth a murderer before someone else is found pushing up daisies…
Socrates’ Book Review Blog would like to welcome author Lucy Arlington to our little corner of the world. Lucy is the author of A Novel Idea Mystery Series. Book #4 of the series, Played by the Book, will be released on Tuesday, February 3rd.
Let the questions begin…
1. Where did the idea for “A Novel Idea Mystery Series” come from?
The Novel Idea Mysteries and the pen name Lucy Arlington were originally conceived by two authors, Ellery Adams and Sylvia May. They created the fictional town of Inspiration Valley, set in the picturesque hills of North Carolina, and home to Lila Wilkins, a literary agent at Novel Idea Literary Agency. The quaint hamlet is portrayed as the ideal location for book lovers. The businesses have book-themed names such as the Sixpence Bakery, Sherlock Holmes Reality, The Secret Garden nursery, and the James Joyce Pub. The main character, Lila Wilkins, spends her days working as a literary agent, reading queries and manuscripts from promising mystery authors. She’s joined by a cast of enchanting co-workers who scheme brilliant ways to promote the agency’s authors: book festivals, a celebrity chef cook-off for a competitive group of cookbook authors, and in the latest installment, Played by the Book, an outdoor candle-lit gala to launch a series of popular garden design books. Of course, as readers soon find out, no event is ever complete without a little mayhem. And while Lila would prefer sticking to fictional mysteries, she often finds herself caught up in solving real whodunits.
2. Will there be more books in the series after book four?
Since the origination of the series, Ellery and Sylvia became inundated with new projects and were unable to write more than the first three books: Buried in a Book, Every Trick in a Book, and Books, Cooks, and Crooks. However, thanks to Lucy’s loyal readers, the publisher decided to continue the series. I feel privileged to have written the fourth installment, Played by the Book, and I’m currently working on the fifth book in the series. I hope there will be many more adventures for Lila and the gang!
3. Who is the greatest influence in your writing career?
I’d have to say my mother has been my greatest writing influence. She’s a marvelous storyteller and has this knack for taking any event and turning it into an interesting story. She can even make an ordinary trip to the grocery store sound enthralling! She’s also a big mystery reader. When I was a teenager, she introduced me to Rex Stout. Together, we read all the Nero Wolfe mysteries and I became hooked. I’ve been reading mysteries ever since.
4. As a child, did you read mysteries?
Yes! Starting with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as a young child, Trixie Belden, Encyclopedia Brown, Nero Wolfe and many, many more.
5. Do you have any favorite authors or books to recommend?
I have so many favorite authors! Currently, I’m zipping through Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache Mysteries and I’m completely captivated.
6. Do you outline a book before you begin? In other words, do you know who did it from the beginning or are you as surprised as the readers are?
I used to write without an outline. I’d start with a general idea and let the characters lead me through the plot. When I contracted with my current publisher and found out the editor required an outline, I cringed. An outline? I can’t write that way! But I soon found how much more efficient it is to outline first. Even though I often stray, having a guideline eliminates plot errors, keeps me on track, and saves so much rewriting. Now I can’t imagine writing without an outline.
7. How long does it take you to write a book?
I’m currently contracted for three books a year. So, four months per book. Sometimes it’s a struggle and I find myself really pushing to make the deadline. Other times, the book just flows and I finish with time to spare.
8. How did you feel when your first book was published?
My first published work was an article in Country Magazine about raising chickens. My first fiction acceptance came from Untreed Reads publishing, a short story titled Christmas in Killarney. The victim’s name is Arney. Kill Arney … get it?
9. Have you done book signings? What kind of experience have you had with fans?
I get nervous before signings, but I’m always happy once I’m there. I’ve found that readers are the nicest people—especially cozy mystery readers. It gives me a lot of happiness to think I’ve written something they will enjoy.
10. Can you give us a sneak peek into your future releases?
The fourth Novel Idea Mystery, Played by the Book, is available for preorder now and will hit bookshelves on February 3rd, 2015. I also have a new series, The Georgia Peach Mysteries. The first book in that series, Peaches and Scream, will come out in July of 2015.
MEET THE AUTHOR: The Novel Idea Mysteries is a New York Times bestselling series of cozy mysteries, including Buried in a Book, Every Trick in the Book, and Books, Cooks, and Crooks and, now, Played by the Book all written under the pseudonym of Lucy Arlington. The writing team of Ellery Adams and Sylvia May, two friends who collaborated on the series, first conceived of Lucy Arlington and her literary agent sleuth. Together, the duo penned the first three books in the series. As time passed and their personal writing workload grew, the two passed the series to another author: Susan Furlong. In addition to now writing as Lucy Arlington, Susan Furlong is the author of another upcoming cozy mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, The Georgia Peach Mysteries. To learn more about Susan, visit her website at www.susanfurlong.com
BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!! (Worldwide!)
Thanks to the generosity of the author, I have one paperback copy of Played by the Book by Lucy Arlington 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) Anyone can enter...this is a worldwide giveaway!
4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.
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No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
The giveaway begins on January 26th (midnight est) and ends on February 2nd (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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway