Note: The winner of this giveaway is Elaine K. Congratulations Elaine and thanks to everyone who entered.
I’m delighted to be participating in author Molly Cox Bryan’s Great Escape Virtual Book Tour for her latest release, DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA, the third installment in her Cumberland Creek Mystery series.
As part of the tour, Molly will be joining us to talk about ‘not being an Irish dancer,’ and I’ll share my thoughts on this charming cozy mystery. Thanks to Molly and the lovely Lori at Great Escape Virtual Book Tour, I have a copy of DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the details.
Now here’s Mollie, the dancing diva. Welcome, Mollie.
I am not an Irish dancer, though I did take a basic Irish dancing class once with my youngest daughter. The class was taught by one of the people I listed in my dedication of my newest book, DEATH OF AN IRSH DIVA (CUMBERLAND CREEK # 3). After studying ballet for many years, I could not but help compare the two dances. Maybe somewhere in that comparison and experience was the glimmer of this book.
For the record, I love both forms of dance. And ballet, of course is the root of most Western dance, whether or not it’s acknowledged. All you have to do is watch the soft-shoe form of Irish dance to see the ballet influence.
But my character Emily McGlashen was not your average Irish dancer—she was an extremely competitive, World-Champion with secrets, which haunted her and lead to her untimely death. But not before she had made more than one enemy in Cumberland Creek.
One of those enemies is Vera, a woman who owns the only other dance studio in town. When Emily is found, dead Vera is a noted person of interest. Read the following excerpt to see what I mean.
When Vera opened her apartment door to Detective Bryant holding her purse in a plastic bag, her first thought was one of relief.
“You found my purse,” she said. “Oh, thank heaven. I was looking everywhere for it.” When she went to reach for it, she was interrupted by a crashing sound. “Oh, shoot,” she said, taking off toward where the noise was coming from. “Come in, Detective,” she managed to say, waving him in.
“Oh, Lizzie!” she said to her grinning daughter, who was sitting in the middle of a huge stack of CDs that had been piled nicely in several stacks around the floor. They were just too tempting for an inquisitive three-year-old. At least the silver disks were all still inside the covers. Lizzie hadn’t gotten around to that yet.
Vera reached for Lizzie and pulled her up to her hip. She looked at the detective, who stood by awkwardly with her purse. Annie had just walked in behind him.
“Hey,” she said.
Lizzie squealed and squirmed down from her mother. “Annie!” She ran to her.
“You want to come and play at my house?” Annie said.
“Annie, why do you want my daughter? Don’t you think you should check with me first?” Vera asked, smiling. She was so glad Annie and Lizzie got along so well. After all, Lizzie’s father was mostly never around these days.
“Detective Bryant wants to talk to you. I just thought I’d help out by taking Lizzie home with me for a little while. Do you mind?”
Vera sighed. “Look at this place. No. I don’t mind. I’m still trying to unpack.”
Lizzie grabbed Annie’s hand.
“Her diaper bag is in the hall closet there, just in case,” Vera said. Lizzie was mostly potty trained. Mostly. Sometimes Lizzie was indignant at the thought of diaper bags, because she took great pride in using the potty.
After she kissed her daughter good-bye and watched as she and Annie left the room, Vera turned back around to face handsome, but annoying Detective Adam Bryant.
“Well,” she said, straightening out the stacks of CDs on the floor, “what can I help you with?”
“How long has your purse been missing?” he asked.
“You know, it’s the craziest thing,” she replied, stacking up the last group of CDs. “I woke up this morning and thought I should charge my cell. I meant to do that last night, when I got in, but I was exhausted. I just fell into bed. So I looked for my purse this morning and couldn’t find it. I thought maybe I left it downstairs. ”
“Your cell is usually in your purse?”
“Usually,” she replied. “So where did you find it?”
“Before I tell you that, can you tell me where you were last night?”
“After the Saint Patrick’s Day parade and show, Lizzie and I went to my mother’s house. We had dinner with Jon and Mom. Why?”
“Any reason your purse would be in Emily McGlashen’s studio?”
“What? Why? No. That bitch. Did she take my purse? I knew the woman had some screws loose, but to take my bag? As if ruining my business wasn’t enough, she had to steal my purse?”
Vera had hoped that Irish dancing was a fad, and that Emily McGlashen would have moved on by now. For God’s sake, ballet was so much more important to the development of a dancer. Why would her dancers leave her studio to study with Emily? Okay, the dancing looked like fun, with its jumps and turns and precision footwork. And then there was the fact that Emily made sure her classes were cheaper than Vera’s. How did she do it? Vera couldn’t discount any more classes and make financial ends meet.
“Sit down, Vera,” Bryant said and gestured with his arm.
“Why? What’s going on?” she asked but sat down on her secondhand couch. Oh, how she longed for the comfortable, light blue, deep-cushioned couch sitting in her house. This couch was uncomfortable and stiff. Not very pretty, either, with its green plaid cushions. In fact, her apartment was full of mismatched, uncomfortable furniture. She had rented her house out fully furnished, which was what her Realtor had advised. And it went quickly: a visiting University of Virginia professor snapped it up.
He looked deflated momentarily. His eyes scanned the room. “You really do have your hands full, don’t you? Big changes, huh?”
“Yes,” she replied. “At least we have a roof over our head and food for the table.”
He sighed. “Emily McGlashen is dead, Vera.”
She gasped, and her hand went to her mouth. “What—what happened to her? So young . . .”
“Twenty-eight, to be exact,” he said. “She was strangled. Murdered at her studio late last night or early this morning. Time of death is inconclusive.”
Vera felt the room spin as her mind sifted through the recent murders in her small town. Cumberland Creek had always been so safe. Except for the past few years.
“Vera, your purse was found at the scene of the crime. I’m going to have to take you to the station for questioning,” he said.
So Vera’s competition with Emily sets her up nicely to be a suspect for murder. Well, that, and the fact that her purse is found at the scene of the crime. Most of her friends and family think it’s absurd—Vera could never kill anybody. But that’s what many people say about neighbors and friend who HAVE killed. You never know, do you?
Mollie, thanks for joining us today and sharing this inside look at DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA. You’re so right about neighbors being surprised by neighbors who really have killed.
Here’s a bit of background on Mollie.
She writes the Cumberland Creek Mysteries, published by Kensington. DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA is the third in the series. The first book, SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2012; the next one SCRAPPED was published in January 2013. An e-novella will be released this June—A SCRAPPY SUMMER. The next book in the series, A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS, will be released in October 2014.
Mollie lives in Waynesboro, Va., with her husband and two daughters. For more on Mollie and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
You can also learn more about Mollie and her writing, as well as have more chances to win a copy of DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA by checking out the blogs below participating in her tour.
February 4 – Celticlady's Reviews - Review
February 5 – A Blue Million Books - Interview
February 6 – Books-n-Kisses - Review
February 7- Queen of All She Reads - Guest Post, Giveaway
February 8 – Booklady's Booknotes - Review, Interview, Giveaway
February 9 – Dr. Pepper Diva - Review, Giveaway
February 10 – dru's book musing - Guest Post, Giveaway
February 11 - Jane Reads - Review, Giveaway
February 13 –Books Are Life - Vita Libri - Review, Giveaway
DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA can be found at the following sites: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book World.
Now for my thoughts on this cozy murder mystery.
DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA by Mollie Cox Bryan
The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cumberland Creek went off without a problem, but famed Irish dancer Emily McGlashen is found murdered in her dance studio shortly thereafter. The prime suspect is Vera Matthews, one of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop, and Emily competitor.
Vera’s ballet studio has suffered since Emily set up her Irish dance studio. The croppers, however, can’t believe Vera is a vengeful killer and set out to shed light on the real killer. Leading the search for the murderer is Annie Chamovitz, scrapbooker and freelance reporter. The more she digs, the more secrets Annie uncovers. It takes an antique scrapbook to point the way to the true killer’s identify.
Author Mollie Cox Bryan has created a cast of zany characters that are likable and realistic. She has given them strengths and flaws readers can relate to. The characters are a vast assortment of personalities including Vera’s 83-year-old mother, Beatrice, who doesn’t act her age.
DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA flows smoothly and is told from a variety of viewpoints adding depth to the story. The pace is steady and the action filled with twists, turns and surprises.
The author has an eye for detail and draws the reader into the scrapbooking world. Scrapbooking trends and techniques are discussed throughout the book, but are not overwhelming to those who aren’t fans of the craft. A glossary of scrapbooking terms is included to aid the non-scrapbooker through the story.
This is the third installment in the Cumberland Creek Mystery series, but can be read as a standalone book. Readers searching for an enticing murder mystery in the cozy genre look no further, Bryan will keep you guessing from beginning to end.
Death of an Irish Diva by Mollie Cox Bryan, A Cumberland Creek Mystery Book #3, Kensington, @2014, ISBN: 978-0758266330, Paperback, 352 Pages
FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving this complimentary copy did not influence my review.
This giveaway is for one print copy of DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA and is open to residents of the U.S. only.
Entry for this giveaway is going to be a bit different again. To enter the contest, just answer the question below in the comments. Be sure to include a valid email address with your comment, if one is not available in your profile.
If you wish not to be entered in the contest, just say ‘Not entering’ and then comment all you’d like. I don’t want to discourage someone from commenting just because they don’t want to enter the contest.
The deadline for entering the contest will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Friday, Feb. 21. The winner will be selected by Random.Org and I will notify the winner by email with the subject line ‘Thoughts in Progress Irish Diva.’ The winner will have 72 hours to respond to the email with their mailing information. If there isn’t a response in 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Answer the following question for a chance to win a copy of DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA. “Are you an Irish dancer or just enjoy the performances of groups such as Riverdance?”
***********Well, the snow return Monday night and is predicted to be here until at least Thursday. When I made the photos below we had almost 4 inches then with another 1 to 3 expected during the night Tuesday. I leave you with a couple of photos I made Tuesday morning. Stay warm and safe.