I am so excited to have M.K. Scott here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway.
Thanks M.K, and Tasty Book Tours for allowing me to join your Murder Mansion Blog Tour!
Please take it away, M.K.!
The Painted Lady Mysteries #1
By: M.K. Scott
Released November 9th, 2015
Sleeping Dragon Press
Donna’s dream of running a Victorian Bed and Breakfast is almost a reality. Her lack of inn keeping expertise, a shabby house in need of dire renovation and lack of money has slowed her down a bit. The murdered man in the upstairs parlor is her biggest obstacle. Less determined people might give it up, but not Donna. No killer is going to stop her from serving apple crumb cake to high paying guests.
Her natural skill at the Clue board game, along with the grudging assistance of veteran detective, Mark Taber, an overweight Puggle, and a chatty octogenarian neighbor should help her sniff out the killer unless she’s snuffed out first.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/10/murder-mansion-painted-lady-inn.html
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27796277-the-painted-lady-inn-mysteries?from_search=true&search_version=service
Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords
B and N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-painted-lady-inn-mysteries-m-k-scott/1123052109?ean=9780996641197
The strident alarm announced five AM vibrating with vicious vigor on the bedside table. Its annoying shriek would pierce the heaviest stupor sleep could produce. Her eyes blinked slowly focusing on the red numerals. It continued its wail until she slapped it into silence. Daniel gifted her with the clock on her last birthday, joking it could wake the dead.
The murdered man took shape in the predawn darkness. He was standing beside her bed, looking just as lifeless, but standing. His bowed head straightened, and his eyes opened, and he stretched out his open hands toward her. His lips moved. A whispery voice choked out the words, “Find my killer.”
Fear strapped her to the bed, keeping her in place better than a dozen bungee cords. The specter’s pale blue eyes held hers, imploring her, although she felt there was some imperiousness about his attitude. Definitely had to be a doctor in his previous life or some other profession where he ordered people around, and they all scurried to his bidding.
An honest to goodness ghost, a real live spirit — she paused to consider if spirits merited the adjective live or whatever — stood by her bed issuing commands. Her fingers gripped the covers, slowly pulling them up her chest, then over her head, cutting off her view of the glowing ghost. He had to be glowing. How else would she see him in the dark or the color of his eyes? Of course, it could all be the tail end of a dream brought on by a very stressful day. There might have never been a murdered man in her inn either. Her lips pursed as she considered the possibilities. What if she never had purchased the old Victorian? Of course, there’d be no Detective Taber, and she’d still be welcome at The Good Egg restaurant.
The alarm grumbled again, starting weak and growing in irritating intensity. Work remained a constant. It also demanded she lower the covers. It had taken years to rate the primo first shift rotation. Unfortunately, it started early in the morning. Technically, it started at seven, but she had to be there at six-thirty to get the shift change information along with enough time for a cup of coffee.
Her mattress depressed somewhere near her leg freezing her heart in mid-beat. A gentle snuffling sound started it again. Jasper, her dog, often took it upon himself to be the second alarm system. With closed eyes, she dropped the covers afraid if she opened them, her unwelcome visitor would still be there. Jasper’s tongue bathed her face while encasing her in a cloud of smelly dog breath. Ack, he really needed breath mints. Her eyelids flickered open, taking in the shape of her dog illuminated only by the glowing clock and the power lights from various chargers. Her hand reached blindly behind her, finding the clock and turning it off.
No ghost anywhere in the dark room, but just to be sure, she announced, “I’ll find your killer. Not for you, mind you, but for me. I don’t want that kind of thing attached to my inn.” No reason to have some dead man bossing her around. She had enough of that in real life.
What Makes a Suspense/Mystery Work for Me
There are plenty of books with werewolves, vampires, and shape shifters, but they don’t scare me. The reason behind that is I never have to worry about any of those things happening to me. What scares me is what can realistically happen. That’s why all those movies about pandemics scare me to death and have me swallowing vitamin C to boost my immune system.
No magic should be involved. Why is this? It goes back to things being realistic. As a reader, I’m trying to solve the mystery beside the protagonist. I don’t have a magical cat or a mind-reading dog. It seems like a cop out to use supernatural powers.
Possibilities. There can be multiple suspects or motives muddying in the water, but not too many. One mystery my husband read had twenty-two possible suspects. It was hard to keep them straight. In the end, the detective declared the case couldn’t be solved. The book may have flown through the air and hit the wall.
I also like some quirkiness in characters. It could be someone who doesn’t want to be an investigator or an odd trait such as writing info on her arm as to not forget it. I’m fond of Donna because she wants so bad to be a B and B owner, but lacks the social chitchat ability. She’s a great cook and has a good business mind, but a little lacking in the tact department.
Animals. I love pets or even cantankerous farm animals in a story, but they should act like pets as opposed to feline or canine detectives. An animal can lead a detective to information or even catch an intruder, but they can’t evaluate the case.
I also like older heroines. The mystery was the first genre to feature an older woman as the protagonist.
Not relying on the use of crime labs the equivalent of those on NCIS or CSI television shows. For the most part, they only exist in a few select places. There was a horrible serial murder in a nearby town here in Indiana. There were no high tech crime labs to process the evidence. It went to Washington State for processing. For that reason, I use evidence-gathering techniques that are easily accessible.
An interesting cover and blurb also pulls me in. At a recent writing conference, a presenter told the audience that it was okay to use a cover that had nothing to do with the story and a blurb that contained several keywords, but wasn’t pertinent to the story. I’m the person who notices the woman on the cover is a redhead, but inside I discover she’s always been a blonde.
I like to learn stuff. I’m a bit of foodie and enjoy any mysteries involving food. I added the recipes Donna uses in Murder Mansion for people who might want to make the same dishes.
This might sound bad, but I like books under 400 words. Mysteries should end in the book it started in as opposed to making it into a four-book story.
That’s it for me, what do you like?
M.K. Scott is the pen name of husband and wife team, Scott & Morgan. This is their first cozy mystery together, although Scott has worked with several of the Morgan K Wyatt books. The couple has several books planned for the series. In an effort to give the series an authentic touch, Scott and Morgan participated in cooking lessons, winery tours, and stayed at several Bed and Breakfasts. Research is a hard job, but someone has to do it.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
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