Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nancy J. Parra: Engaged in Murder {+Giveaway}

9780425270356_medium_Engaged_in_MurderCozy murder mysteries are among my favorite genres to read. With that in mind I’m delighted to welcome author Nancy J. Parra here today on the release day of her latest cozy murder mystery, ENGAGED IN MURDER, the first installment in her new Perfect Proposals Mystery series.

Nancy joins us to talk about love and murder. In celebration of this new release, I have one print copy of ENGAGED IN MURDER to giveaway thanks to Nancy and the lovely Danielle at Penguin Group. Please see the end of the post for giveaway details.

First, here’s a quick look at ENGAGED IN MURDER:

There’s no planning for murder…
      Event planner Pepper Pomeroy is making the most of her current unemployment by arranging a surprise for her sister, Felicity. Warren, Felicity’s boyfriend, plans to lure his lovely lady into a private jet, propose, and whisk her away on a romantic vacation. He just needs Pepper to handle all the fine details in order to make it the perfect proposal — and it is. Everything goes so well when Warren pops the question that he suggests Pepper do this sort of thing professionally.
      But before she can get her new business off the ground, there are some disturbing questions. Like who’s the dead guy Pepper finds in the ladies’ room of the jet hangar? Is it possible Felicity’s high-flying fiancĂ© has been hiding more than the engagement ring? Pepper’s not married to the idea of having a criminal in the family, so in order to protect her sister, she takes off in pursuit of a killer… 

Please join me in welcoming Nancy to Thoughts in Progress.

It used to be that a fellow in love would ask the girl’s father for her hand. Then he would buy a ring and over a candlelit dinner, he would get down on one knee and ask her to marry him. With advent of video these simple proposals became grander and grander. Suddenly there were proposals at half-time at basketball and football games. Proposals from Santa’s knee. Flash mobs singing and dancing their way into the heart of the woman. In fact I have a Pinterest board of cool proposals where you can see some of the fun and crazy ways that men plot and plan to ask a woman to marry them. I often thought how fun would it be to help men plan these proposals.

When I had the opportunity to write about an amateur sleuth who planned extravagant proposals I jumped all over it and Pepper Pomeroy was born. Pepper is a tall, thin red head who would like to consider herself perfect, but knows better. She was recently “down-sized” from her job as an event coordinator for a downtown Chicago Hotel/conference center and is facing a dwindling savings account and the idea that she may have to live with her parents again at age thirty.

Her younger sister Felicity on the other hand is practically perfect. She is shorter and blond and curvy in all the right places. And Felicity’s long time boyfriend, warren Evans has come to Pepper with a request. Could she plan an extravagant proposal for Felicity? Who but Pepper would know Felicity better and understand what she might think would be her dream proposal.

With not much else to do Pepper agrees and happily helps Warren plan a jet setting proposal for Felicity. The proposal goes off with just one hitch. 

Right before Felicity arrives Pepper discovers a man passed out in the woman’s bathroom at the tiny airport where Warren is popping the question. In a decision that would prove to haunt her, Pepper decides to let the authorities know about the drunk guy after Warren and Felicity jet off to an exotic weekend. The proposal goes so well that Warren tells Pepper she should start her own business event planning proposals and Perfect Proposals is born.

As she waves good bye, Pepper remembers the guy and calls the police only to discover that there has been a murder and Warren is suspect number one. Now Pepper feels she must prove Warren’s innocence to save her sister from a lifetime of grief. What Pepper learns is that it’s not easy catching a killer and she must trust her instincts if she wants to save the day.

To see some of the proposals I’ve pinned, as well as possible bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses follow me on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/nancyjparra/

Nancy, thanks for joining us today on your release day for ENGAGED IN MURDER. I had never thought about the unusual proposals before, but you do have a point. Some people have gone all out.

Now let me tell you a bit about Nancy.

Best known for writing “…strong stubborn heroes and plucky heroines who aren’t afraid to go toe to toe with them,” (Shelley Mosley, Booklist Magazine), Nancy currently has 12 books published. Two of her books have made the top ten list and a total of five were given starred reviews by ALA's Booklist. 

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


This giveaway is for one print copy of ENGAGED IN MURDER. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and post office box addresses cannot be accepted. The giveaway will end on Wednesday, June 11. 

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress: Engaged in Murder’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you’ve been proposed to, was it a typical proposal or something quite unusual? Do you think proposals should be typical or creative?

*This post contains affiliate links. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. OK, I tried to delete my other comment. My proposal as pretty typical. He just asked me to marry him.


  3. Clever premise. Funny how some women really want an extravagant proposal. I just proposed to my wife in our favorite restaurant. I think I've I'd done anything crazy that involved money she wouldn't been upset I didn't spend the money on something like a vacation.

  4. I think unique proposals are fun but it should be whatever fits the couple. Some do not like unique proposals so in that case it should be a typical one. This looks like a fun book.

  5. Nancy, thanks again for visiting. Your proposal theme mystery series is going to be a lot of fun to follow. Wishing you much success.

    Hi all, thanks for stopping by.

  6. Mason - Thanks for hosting Nancy.

    Nancy - I think event planners probably see so much drama as they do their work that it's a really effective context for a crime series. I wish you success.

  7. I think that the proposal should fit the couple.

  8. I prefer typical but it does depend on the couple.

  9. Sometimes being creative is enjoyable and memorable. Within limits. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. What a great concept for a series of books! I wish Nancy all the best with her new novel.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

  11. There are probably lots of cool ways a man can propose. Mine was pretty basic: He got down on his knee, pulled out the ring and said, "Well?" ;0)

  12. While part of me thinks the more creative the better, there's also a part of me that would want to retain a bit of the traditional, if not 'typical'. Ring in a dessert or glass of champagne, bordering of creative while not losing a traditional feel. Thanks for the chance to win! Looks like a great new series.

  13. I got a typical proposal on the step of the house we were building not long after the foundation had been poured. Really, I had gotten the proposal earlier, he just got on his knee and proposed again to give me an engagement ring. :-)

  14. Congrats to Nancy. I love a good cozy mystery.

  15. I like a typical proposal.

  16. Oh, proposals should be whatever the man wants and is comfortable with :)

  17. Myself, I would prefer traditional. But hearing about the creative ones are cool, too!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net


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