Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blog Tour: Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies by Janis Thornton (Review/Guest Post/Giveaway)

About the Book

Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies
(An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery Book 1)
Publisher: Cup of Tea Books,
An Imprint of PageSpring Publishing (October 15, 2014)
E-Book File Size: 3659 KB
Print Length: 286 pages


When it comes to murder, forget the butler . . . it’s the housekeeper who knows where the bodies are buried.

Small-town newspaper editor Crystal Cropper never takes “no” for an answer, hates to be called a “senior citizen,” and uses the power of her pen to expose corruption in her small town.

Cleaning lady Gertie has a knack for sweeping skeletons out of closets—which makes her one of Crystal’s best informants. But Gertie’s latest hot tip has landed her in a coma, courtesy of an unknown assailant.

Now Crystal must follow the trail of dirt and gossip right to the doorsteps of several prominent local families to solve a decade-old murder and the disappearance of a young boy . . .

My Review

Sixtyish Crystal Cropper is the editor of the local newspaper, the Elmwood Gazette. (You won’t call her a senior citizen if you know what’s good for you!) She continually finds herself involved in all kinds of craziness. Her current predicament involves her local informant, an eighty year old cleaning lady, Gertie, who has much information to share. Unfortunately, this time, Crystal finds Gertie unconscious and obviously a victim of knowing too much. Crystal is determined to find out what happened and who is behind this.

Crystal does a bit of digging and learns that Gertie might have some information about a teenage death and a teenager who disappeared many years ago. She decides to follow the clues – she not only wants to know what happened to those teenagers but she wants to know who attacked Gertie.

This book is filled with both humor and mystery. The author creates wonderful and loveable characters. I’m already a member of Crystal’s fan club! She’s a great amateur sleuth and a great character. The story is fast-paced and makes for enjoyable reading. 

It so much fun for me to read characters that are a bit older than the traditional 20 or 30 something protagonists that we usually run into. This story is fast-paced and filled with excellent characters. I’m already a fan of this series and it’s only been one book!

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.

Guest Post

“Every Life Is a Story”
By Janis Thornton

Author of Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies;

Every Life Is a Story Worth Writing

I’ve been writing professionally for a long time, but about three years ago, I discovered a budding writing vocation that I latched onto like it was a red velvet, double chocolate chip muffin (with marshmallow frosting): Personal Historian.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, a personal historian is someone who provides her writing, graphic design, and publishing skills to help clients preserve their life stories for future generations as a family heirloom.

Many people think memoirs are just for the rich and famous. However, in truth, everybody’s life is unique and infinitely fascinating, woven from an individual set of fibers—genetics, birthright, millions of decisions (deliberate and impulsive), uncountable chance situations, circumstances and events. Through it all, each of us forms a distinct perspective about world events unfolding around us and to history in the making. However, if we fail to record the moments of our lives, they will eventually become lost as if we never experienced them.

Recently, I was poking around and stumbled upon a 1922 photo of a large Dinkins family gathering, which identified only my great-grandparents, who I’d never even seen before. I was thrilled, and I suspected the little blond boy reclining on the grass might be my father and the little dark-haired girl at the end might be his sister (my aunt). But I had no way of knowing whether I was correct. So, I sent a note to the person who posted the photo and was thrilled when she replied, listing all the names written on the back of the photo. Eureka! It was indeed my dad and my aunt. From the names, I was able to pick out my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins—some of whom my dad had told me about, others I had met when I was a kid, and the rest were people I’d never even heard of.

I wish I could share this photo with my dad; but sadly, he died three years ago. At the time of his passing, I thought I knew everything there was to know about him, but how wrong I was. Just from this one picture, I now realize that each of the people who had gathered for that photo on May 7, 1922, had a story and a connection to me that I will never know.

If only they had recorded their stories, their descendants could pass them on down the line, so that eventually I, and others like me, could cherish those stories and hand them on to the next generation, and on and on. I can’t help but feel sad that I am deprived of knowing their personal histories and their connection to the world at large.

Every life has a beginning, a middle, and an end (hence, a story). Consider the benefits to your family, as well as to the generations yet to come. Write a first-person accounting of your dreams, your achievements, your experiences, your philosophy and your wisdom. Whether you hire someone to help you – or do it yourself - your loved ones will cherish it and that story will become your legacy.

I encourage you to do it now … while you still have time.

* * *


This is the photo I found recently of my dad & his family in 1922.

About the Author

Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small Indiana town not unlike Elmwood. Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is her debut cozy mystery.

Author Links

Website and blog:
New Facebook Author Page:
Purchase Link:

Tour Participants

October 15 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Guest Post
October 16 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
October 17 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post
October 18 – Darla King Series – Review
October 19 – Psychotic State Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
October 20 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
October 21 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Guest Post
October 22 – Traci Andrighetti’s blog – Review
October 23 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
October 24 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Review, Interview
October 25 – off
October 26 – off
October 27 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Guest Post
October 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
October 29 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review
October 30 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds like a fun one. Crystal sounds like a great character and I definitely think I'd enjoy her adventures. What a great story about the family picture in the author bio! I love genealogy and is such a great resource.

  2. I agree, this does sound like fun.

  3. I'm sure my cleaning lady knows almost as much about my house as I do---In some cases maybe more. Love the title of this book.

  4. Older characters FTW! With a title like Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies, I would hope the story has humor. It sounds like a fun story.

  5. Caught my attention. Eager to read.


Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog! I always love reading comments and getting to know my readers!

After some careful consideration, I've decided to become an award-free blog. Although I appreciate and am honored by each and every award I've received, your comments and friendship are enough award for me. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness.

Due to way too many spam comments, I disabled the Anonymous User comments. We'll see if this works, otherwise I'll have to go back to word verification.