Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gossamer Ghost: Grab the Hot Glue Gun {+ Giveaways}

9780425266663_large_Gossamer_GhostI’m delighted today to be participating in author Laura Childs’ virtual book tour for her recent release, GOSSAMER GHOST, the latest installment in her Scrapbooking Mystery series.

You don’t have to be a scrapbooking expert or even like the craft to enjoy this series by Laura. You might be surprised, though, as Laura has a way of drawing you into the craft with this fun series.

Laura joins us today to talk about a bit about crafting using a hot glue gun and I’ll share my thoughts on GOSSAMER GHOST. Thanks to the lovely Danielle at Penguin Group, I have a print copy of the book to give away. But wait - to add to the excitement, Laura is offering two more print copies. That’s right, I have 3 print copies of GOSSAMER GHOST to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more details on the giveaway. 

Here’s a brief synopsis of this tantalizing story:

Carmela Bertrand knows that Halloween in New Orleans means a week of rabble-rousing, costumed craziness—and she can’t wait to get the party started. But when a local antiques dealer turns up dead, Carmela suddenly finds herself in a real-life danse macabre…
        An evening’s work deciding on the class schedule for her scrapbooking shop has put Carmela in the mood to kick up her heels. But after some strange noises draw her into Oddities, the neighboring antiques shop, Carmela’s night is abruptly put on hold when a bloody body falls out of a curio cabinet—and into her arms.
        While shop owner Marcus Joubert was known for being an eccentric with a penchant for eclectic merchandise, Carmela never thought he was the kind of man who could inspire the passion required to kill. But when Marcus’s assistant—and fiancée—Mavis reveals that a priceless death mask was also stolen, it becomes clear that murder wasn’t the culprit’s sole intention.
        Carmela can’t resist the urge to investigate the growing mystery, but as the list of suspects increases, she realizes it’ll take every trick in the book to unmask the killer thief before there’s another night of murderous mischief…

Now join me in giving Laura a warm welcome as she talks about ‘Grab that hot glue gun and get to work’. Welcome, Laura. 

I’m delighted that crafting is suddenly back with a vengeance! And not just scrapbooking, card making, rubber stamping, and journaling – all those fun goodies that are detailed in my Scrapbooking Mysteries. Today we’re caught up in a veritable tsunami of hot glue gunning, embellishing, collaging, silk-screening, painting, stippling, knitting, felting, and all manner of creative tweaking.

Craft fairs are popping up like errant mushrooms. Craft stores are selling supplies like crazy. Schools and churches have scrapped bake sales in favor of craft auctions. And the craft site Etsy racked up an amazing $29 billion in sales last year.

What’s at the heart of all this craft mania? For one thing, I believe that crafting gives us all a respite from this slick, digital world that we now find ourselves living in. And when big box stores are filled with row upon row of homogenous products, it’s only natural that we want to create something unique. Something handmade and one-of-a-kind.

And we crafters are a devilishly clever and resourceful bunch. We love the notion of repurposing paper, labels, ephemera, and even flea market finds. It’s smart, challenging, and kind to the environment. We know that handmade greeting cards (which truly do come from the heart!) will trump a quickie email any day. 

According to the Craft & Hobby Association, more than half of all households take part in at least one crafting activity – whether it’s actually making soap, or buying bars of soap and then lovingly wrapping them in beautiful paper. Believe me, you don’t need a specially tricked out, designated craft room to reap the joys of crafting. All you need is a flicker of an idea – and the desire to play around a little bit. (Remember playing? From when you were a kid?)

I love weaving craft projects into all my Scrapbooking Mysteries, and my newest mystery, GOSSAMER GHOST, is no exception. This one is a Halloween mystery, so it’s particularly suited for this time of year. And, as you might expect, there are a few Halloween-themed crafts that are detailed. Of course, there are also sachets, collaging, and scrapbooking. And tips on how to rubber stamp your own guest towels and design your own wine labels.

But I’m getting ahead of myself now, because the story’s really the thing. And I think you’ll get swept up in the mystery as scrapbook maven Carmela Bertrand discovers that the owner of Oddities Antiques has been murdered and a Napoleon death mask stolen. She and her BFF Ava scramble for clues, of course. But a Halloween investigation in New Orleans’ French Quarter also means shuffling zombies, a phony French countess, and a tricked out ghost train with a deadly confrontation. Oh yes, and along the way are New Orleans recipes for Seafood Bisque, Spoon Bread, Baked Porcupines, and Beignets. 

Interested? Then please do enjoy!

All my very best, Laura Childs

Laura, thanks for stopping by today and discussing crafting ideas. There is something special about receiving a handmade card or gift from a friend/family member. Crafting can be fun and a great way to relax.

For those who aren’t familiar with Laura, here’s a bit of background on her.

Laura Childs, a pseudonym for Gerry Schmitt, is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, the Scrapbooking Mysteries, and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is a consummate tea drinker, scrapbooker, and dog lover, and travels frequently to China and Japan with Dr. Bob, her professor husband. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm.

For more on Laura, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Now for my thoughts ………

GOSSAMER GHOST by Laura Childs

Halloween is a great time to visit New Orleans, especially if you’re visiting Carmela Bertrand, the protagonist in author Laura Childs’ Scrapbooking Mystery series.

In GOSSAMER GHOST, the latest installment in the series, things are just gearing up for Halloween in the French Quarter. With all the events scheduled the one thing Carmela doesn’t need is to find her shop neighbor Marcus Joubert murdered.

It seems Marcus had a rare Napoleon death mask that has gone missing. The questions begin – was he killed for the mask or was he killed because he may have stolen the mask from someone else.

Even with her handsome detective boyfriend on the case, Carmela can’t help but get involved especially since she discovered the body. With help from her best friend Ava, Carmela sets out to find a few answers and the killer before the mask claims another life.

This story moves at a steady pace and has a lot of events going on, but it’s easy for readers to follow along. The rich, detailed descriptions of the New Orleans setting will quickly draw readers in. The author’s eye for detail places the reader in the middle of the scene. 

Weaving a mixture of history, mystery, and storyline, the author captures the spirit of the season and brings it to life. The characters are well-developed and likable. The secondary characters are eclectic and enhance the story.

GOSSAMER GHOST can be read as a standalone with new readers not being left in the dark by references to Carmela’s prior adventures. Readers get an extra treat with scrapbooking tips and delicious Cajun recipes included at the end of the book. As an added bonus, readers also get a sneak preview of SCORCHED EGGS, the next installment in the author’s Cackleberry Club Mystery series coming in December. 

This tantalizing cozy features a taste of New Orleans blended with a suspenseful murder mystery highlighted with humor and fascinating characters.

Gossamer Ghost by Laura Childs. Scrapbooking Mystery Book #12, Berkley, @2014, ISBN: 978-0425266663, Hardcover, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


This giveaway is for three (3) print copies of GOSSAMER GHOST. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 12 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. 

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 Laura Childs’ Tour’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

Thanks so very much for dropping by today during Laura’s visit. Have you ever been to New Orleans during Halloween? Do you have a fun craft for Halloween you’d like to share with us?

*This post contains affiliate links. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congratulations, Laura.
    Does crafting a Halloween pumpkin count? I can craft a song, but I'm sure that's not the same thing.
    Oh, and cat alert.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Laura.

    Laura - Thanks for sharing the way you work craft projects into your novels. It is interesting to see how popular they've become. I wish you much success.

  3. One of my favorite authors; thank you for the chance to win it, hope I get a chance to :)

  4. love the lil' doggie in the blue trench coat on the cover :)

  5. Laura, thanks again for joining us and sharing this insight. I'm not a scrapbooker but your series makes me want to try. Wishing you much success.

    Hi all, thanks for stopping by. I'm still away from the computer for a few more days.

  6. I love the way that Laura brings us to New Orleans! I can't go there but I can enjoy the traditions in my comfy chair.

  7. My daughter loves your books Laura, thank you for the chance to win this new one for her. She will owe me, lol.


  8. Thanks, Mason...congratulations, Laura...12th book, in the series...Wow! I am not a crafty person. My sister got all that talent!

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  9. A favorite author writes about New Orleans, Halloween, murder. Add in crafts and recipes - what's not to love!!

  10. Thanks for this captivating feature and giveaway. N.O. and a murder, crafts and recipes are delightful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. Sorry to say I have not read any of these books. I am sure they are all good. Thank you for the give away.

  12. This book sounds like it has everything in it for a great Halloween read! I love craft fairs. They are so much fun.

  13. I know Halloween can be crazy anywhere so I can only imagine how super-intense it must be in NOLA. It might be a lot of fun but I'd want a safe place to hide too. Thanks.

  14. I love the cover, and no I've never been to New Orleans at Halloween or any other time for that matter. Other than carving pumpkins, I can't think of any crafts, I am slowly putting together a Halloween village.

    1. oops, don't know if you need my email address.

  15. A murder, Halloween, and New Orleans! You have my attention.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  16. I haven't been to New Orleans at any time of year, just with Carmela in books! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  17. Looks like a great read. Thank you for the giveaway.

    I've been in New Orleans during the summer. I would love to be there during Halloween.

  18. I've been to New Orleans twice, but never over a holiday. Love this series.

  19. Hi, Mason. Thanks for sharing about this book and series. Cool cover. I haven't done any crafting in quite some time. Would like to start doing some cross stitching again.


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