Saturday, May 10, 2014

BFFs and Murder in Merino {+ Giveaway}

Murder in Merino coverIt’s always a pleasure to welcome author Sally Goldenbaum back to Thoughts in Progress. Today Sally stops by with MURDER IN MERINO, the latest release in her Seaside Knitters Mystery series.

While she’s here, Sally is talking about BFFs. Find out who hers are. In addition, thanks to Sally and the delightful Danielle at Penguin Group, I have one print copy of MURDER IN MERINO to give away. Please see the end of the post for details.

Here’s a brief synopsis of MURDER IN MERINO

It’s autumn in Sea Harbor, and as the tourists leave, a mysterious guest arrives. When she’s implicated in a crime, the Seaside Knitters must quickly table their knitting project and search out a motif for murder.
      Fall is usually a relaxing time in Sea Harbor, but it’s turning out to be a busy season for Izzy Chambers Perry. Not only is she helping the Seaside Knitters make a magnificent throw to celebrate the fortieth wedding anniversary of her aunt and uncle, but she and her husband are finally selling the cottage she lived in before she got married and had a darling baby girl. To Izzy’s surprise, newcomer Julia Ainsley seems determined to buy the home—although she’s never set foot inside.
      But on the day of the open house, things take a dark turn. A body is uncovered in the cottage’s backyard. When the police find Julia’s name and phone number in the victim’s pocket, this slender thread of evidence makes her a person of interest. Soon the spotlight of suspicion widens to include old friends and town leaders as a tragic happening, long buried in the sleepy seaside town, is slowly brought to the surface.
      Before the joyful anniversary celebration can be realized, the Seaside Knitters must work to unravel the real reason Julia Ainsley has come to their town—and the tangled and troubled ties from the past that bind friends and townsfolk together. 

Please join me now in welcoming Sally.

      Thanks so much for inviting me to stop by today. I’m bringing some friends along—Nell, Birdie, Cass, and Izzy—women whom I didn’t know diddlysquat about a few years ago. And yet today, as MURDER IN MERINO makes its debut alongside the other Seaside Knitters Mysteries, these women have become soul sisters and an integral part of my life.
      And with each book, we become better friends.
      Nell, Birdie, Izzy, and Cass—my friends, my characters, my alter egos. I know how these Sea Harbor women walk, what they eat, how much they weigh, where they went to school, and the first time they had sex. I even know what number they are on the Enneagram chart. They are my ‘stars’ and my muses, my friends.
      But often, way too often, I haven’t a clue what they are going to do next—probably just like your own best friend.
      And that’s good….and difficult.
      Before I sit down to write a new seaside knitters seedmystery, I spend time talking to each of them, sharing a ‘seed’ of an idea with them—that tiny nugget that hopefully will grow into a book. And then I beg them to take me by the hand and lead me along to what comes next, toughen me up as we face the blank computer screen.
      Sometimes they jump right in, like Izzy did in ANGORA ALIBI, (the 7th seaside mystery—the one that just came out in paperback). It took little time for her to share her feelings about pregnancy with me, feelings that moved her to take the actions she did—and that propelled all of her friends (and me, too) into a mystery, a murder, and gradually the steps needed to solve it.
      Or Cass Halloran in A FATAL FLEECE, who showed me she was vulnerable, and not just a crusty lobster fisherman. And Birdie—the 80-year-old matriarch who pulled a skeleton out of her closet in that book, one that changed her life forever. And one that none of us (especially me!) was expecting.
      When I began writing the newest Seaside Mystery, MURDER IN MERINO, I was struck by the fact that I’ve known these fine women for over eight years now. They truly are BFFs. To each other. To me. And I hope to you, too.
      But sometimes, just like happens in real life, they don’t seem to be around when I need them.
      It happened when I began writing MURDER IN MERINO. They disappeared. It was as if they had taken a vacation without me and didn’t tell me where they were going.
      But then one day, suddenly, they were back. Just in the nick of time to lead me around Sea Harbor, into the woodshomes of their friends and neighbors. They introduced me to a new woman in town—a mysterious woman named Jules Ainsley. A woman they took under their wing, even though they weren’t too sure it was a wise thing to do.
      And when they decided to explore her past—they took me by the hand and led me along with them. And they didn’t let go, even when it got all of us tangled up in the murder of a bartender—a dear man we were all fond of. But was the mysterious woman who had become involved in the knitters’ lives fond of him?
      No one knew, not for sure. But my friends just kept leading me along, and at the end of the journey, they surprised me with what they found. The seed had grown into a plant. A book. Into Murder in Merino.
      Yes, after all these years, these women still surprise me. And that’s a good thing. Surprising means they stay fresh, but not completely comfortable. New, but still old friends.
      I hope that these friendships deepen with each book, and that their friendship with you deepheartens, too, so that you’ll keep coming back to sit with them on the deck on in the yarn shop, sharing a glass of wine, a bit of gossip, and secrets of Sea Harbor. I hope they stay fresh for you and for me, unique, but cherished and familiar.
      Kind of like a good marriage or partnership.
      Like BFFs.
Sally, thanks for visiting today. I can see how these ladies have become your BFFs. They feel like that to us readers too.

Now let me tell you a bit about Sally.

Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. She became more serious about knitting with the creation of the Seaside Knitters mystery series and the birth of her first grandchild. Her fictional seaside friends are helping her probe the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries, heartaches and joys of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl. 

For more on Sally and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


This giveaway is for one print copy of MURDER IN MERINO. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and will end Sunday, May 18. When notified, the winner will have 72 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be selected. 

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few minutes to load, please be patient.
Thanks so much for dropping by today. Do you have a BFF? If so, how long have y’all been BFFs?

*This post contains affiliate links. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Interesting question. My BFF Paul and I have been friends for more than 40 years. He let me down in kind of a big way recently and strangely that didn't really change our friendship. Weird, huh? Thanks

  2. I have two BFFs. Both for about 30+ years

  3. Sally, thanks again for joining us. BFFs do make our lives more interesting. Wishing you much success.

  4. Mason - Thanks for hosting Sally.

    Sally - I like it that you've gotten to know your characters so well that they've become friends of yours. That adds to a series I think. I wish you success.

  5. that cover just invites you to buy the book!

  6. Great premise for a book! I love a good mystery, and I'm an avid knitter! Can't think of a better combination!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

  7. Love the idea of BFFs and knitting by the seaside. Maybe not as much sitting and investigating clues!!

  8. Sounds delicious! Love the cover :)

  9. My sister is my BFF, and we have been so our whole lives!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  10. My mom and my daughter are my best friends. It's always been that way even during my teen years and during my daughter's teen years.

  11. Lovely giveaway. MY BF is an older woman who befriended me when my mother died. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. An exceptional mature woman whom I met when I was suffering from my mother's untimely death.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. My BFF and I have been friends since 2nd grade. 48 years....

    lag110 at mchsi dot com


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.