Saturday, August 8, 2015

Blog Tour: Give 'Em Pumpkin To Talk About by Joyce and Jim Lavene (Review/Guest Post/Tour Wide Giveaway)

About the Book

Give Em Pumpkin To Talk About
(Pumpkin Patch Mysteries Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 199 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (August 4, 2015)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

First in a New Series

Richmond attorney Sarah Tucker returns to sell her family’s abandoned farm in Misty River, Virginia despite unanswered questions about her grandparents’ disappearance sixteen years earlier. Sarah was only twelve when she went to visit and found her grandparents had vanished. No amount of searching has brought answers.

Now Sarah is faced with other issues when a man is killed who claimed to have information about what happened to her grandparents. She learns of a Confederate chest of gold that is said to be buried on the property, and treasure hunters who are willing to do anything to get their hands on it.

Were her grandparents murdered for the gold? Sarah can’t sell the land and go back to her life until she has answers. But the cost of the answers may be her life.

Includes farm-fresh recipes!

My Review

Sarah Tucker takes some time off from her job in Richmond, Virginia where she is a lawyer to help her family settle some unfinished business in Misty River. Sixteen years ago her grandparents vanished from their farm never to be seen again. Sarah’s family never did anything about their property, but now it’s time to sell it. Nobody else is interested in the farm so the best thing to do is get rid of it. Sarah is elected to do just that.

In the back of her mind, Sarah is still looking for an explanation as to where her grandparents went. When she gets a call from a man claiming to have information, she can’t help but be interested in what he has to say. Unfortunately, he’s murdered just when he’s about to tell her everything. One thing she does learn is that there may be gold buried on the land and many people are more than a little interested in finding it.

To add to her confusion, Sarah runs into a childhood friend, Jack, who had been asked to watch over the farm by her grandfather. Jack takes his promise very seriously. Sarah wonders if he took it seriously enough to commit murder.

How exciting…another new series by Joyce and Jim Lavene! Two of my favorite cozy mystery authors. I love starting series from the beginning and they never disappoint me.

Sarah Tucker is a strong, likeable character right from the start. All of the characters are well rounded and interesting. The mystery kept me intrigued to the very end. Even after I finished the book, I continued to wonder about Sarah’s grandparents. I practically devoured this book as I do all of the Lavene’s books. I’m looking forward to reading more of this captivating series.

For reading challenges:
2015 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

Writing about Real Places and People
By Joyce and Jim Lavene

We’ve written our fair share of people, places, and happenings that aren’t real. But we’ve also written many books that are set in real places and using real people – some by name!

Our NASCAR mysteries were probably the biggest user of real people. We had Richard Petty and other drivers talking to our characters about the races and our characters went to real racetracks in Charlotte, NC and Dover, Delaware.

Our rule of thumb – you can write anyone famous into a book – as long as you don’t make them a killer or do other terrible things with them (temper tantrums, assault, etc.) They have no expectation of privacy since their names frequently appear in the media.

Places are the same way. We didn’t know that when we wrote our first mystery series – Sheriff Sharyn Howard mysteries – so we renamed the town and didn’t even come close to real names. Now towns have asked us to use their names and kill people there so they get a mention.

Duck, NC didn’t ask us to kill people there but we’ve enjoyed our relationship with the small town on the Outer Banks. They’ve given us many good ideas for mysteries, as well as telling us different directions the town is headed to include in our Missing Pieces Mysteries.

For our new series, Pumpkin Patch Mysteries, we’ve used the name of a friend who grew up on a farm with a pumpkin patch. She has been invaluable, giving us insight into ideas for the first book Give “Em Pumpkin to Talk About. This book takes place in Virginia – Richmond, Suffolk, and Misty River - which isn’t a real place. Some ideas we have in mind for future books just seemed to go better with a fictional town!

We always tell writers not to use their neighbor’s real names and descriptions. Don’t include family and friends that you want to kill off by name. Those people have a right to privacy and cause quite a stir if they think you’ve used them to commit heinous crimes.

Use other characters for the heinous stuff. Just imagine that you’re killing off your daughter’s cheating boyfriend – like we did!

About the Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Author Links

Purchase Link

Tour Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Just looking at the authors' picture makes me want to smile at them, and your review made me want to read the book - just added it to my wish-list, thanks for sharing :)

  2. And thanks for hosting us here today!

  3. And thanks for hosting us here today!

  4. I am looking forward to this new series! Joyce and Jim create such great characters!

  5. Thanks, Yvonne...loved the post and your review!

  6. Love the title and the cover! Sounds like an interesting book!

  7. I was wondering about the grandparents too, Yvonne, but I have a sneaking suspicion there is more to the story! *lol*

    Joyce & Jim, I didn't know until yesterday that you had a Nascar series! And I call myself a fan. *sigh* And if you ever want some really weird town names for a setting, Kentucky is FULL of them - Monkey's Elbow, Bee Lick to name a couple.

    1. Great names, Yvonne. I could write a book of just those things. And yes, we wrote two NaScar mysteries. They were fun.

    2. Great names, Yvonne. I could write a book of just those things. And yes, we wrote two NaScar mysteries. They were fun.

  8. Sounds like a good cozy series :)

  9. Anything with pumpkins catches my eye and by the sound of this book it's going to be off to a great start. It's on my tbr list.

  10. This sounds great! Since it's the beginning of the series it's the best time to jump right in. Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. I adored this book! This is the very first time I started one of their series at the beginning. Looking forward to more and to reading another release, Be My Banshee. They keep writing, I'll keep reading:)


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