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Mattie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I'm so happy to be hosting a to have author 
Maggie King
on the blog today!
Maggie is the author of 
MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP
Book 1 in the Book Group Mystery series


For fans of Anne Canadeo comes a fun and sassy cozy mystery in which one woman must solve the murder of a book group member and untangle a web of secrets hidden by her bookish cohorts.

Hazel Rose never dreamed that the murder mystery book group she and her friend Carlene started would stage a real murder.

Nevertheless, the normally composed Carlene is unusually angry and rattled one night during a book group discussion and dies after drinking cyanide-spiked tea. Despite a suicide note, Hazel is skeptical; Carlene never seemed suicidal—she was busy making plans for her future. Incidentally, Carlene was married to Hazel’s ex-husband, and Hazel has always suspected there might be something more to her past than she let on.

How much does anyone really know about Carlene Arness? And did she die by her own hand or someone else’s? Hazel begins a search for the truth that produces no shortage of motives, as she unearths the past that Carlene took great pains to hide. And most of those motives belong to the members of her very own book group…

Featuring memorable characters and a wicked sense of humor, Murder at the Book Group shows the darker side of a book club where reading isn’t about pleasure—it’s about payback.

Maggie is giving away one copy of 
MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP

UPDATE:
Maggie is so thrilled with the response to the giveaway, she's adding another copy of 
MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP 
for a second lucky winner! 

Giveaway open to USA only. 
Please use the Rafflecopter form at the end of the post.

An interview with
Maggie King


LKBR: Hi Maggie. I’m so happy to have you on the blog today!

MK: Thank you, Lisa. I’m so happy to be here!


LKBR: Do you recall when and/or how your interest in writing originated?

MK: As a child I devoured the Nancy Drew and Dana Girls stories and thought “I could write like that.” And so I did. I wish I still had that great unfinished manuscript. I read chapters of it to my friends on the way home from school and they enjoyed them. And these girls weren’t shy about offering their honest opinions! In high school I coped with my adolescent angst by penning bad poetry. After that, I limited my writing to journaling until the mid-nineties.

What happened in the mid-nineties, you ask? I was living in the mountains that bordered the Mojave Desert in North Los Angeles County, binge-reading mysteries. Like I had years before with Nancy Drew and the Dana Girls, I thought “I could write like that.” At the same time three of my co-workers took creative writing and screenwriting courses at UCLA Extension. I read their work and was impressed by their talent. My competitive spirit kicked in and I thought—you guessed it—“I could write like that.”

And so I started “writing like that” and haven’t put down my quill since.



LKBR: How has the response been for your book MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP?

MK: It’s been great. I’ve had some wonderful reviews and I post my favorites on my web site. My top two:

“This promising series debut—edgier and sexier than many cozies—should intrigue anyone who enjoys biblio crime.” – Booklist

“ … The amateur sleuth's pseudo-investigative skills and her interactions with a cast of well-drawn, small-town characters reveal a deception that ultimately coalesces into a study of human nature and the limits of perception.” Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines.

To be honest, some folks are underwhelmed by my debut effort, but they’ve offered good feedback that I can use as I move forward with my writing projects.


LKBR: How did you develop the idea for the story? For the characters? Anything taken from real life?

MK: The first book group I attended met in Santa Clarita, California. It was a congenial group of women and we focused on mysteries. The members picked books based on theme rather than specific titles; when we met each member discussed her selection. The theme could be setting location, sleuth’s profession, or a time period. With my imagination forever in overdrive I bestowed secrets and scandals on these nice women, making it crucial that these secrets and scandals be protected at all costs—at all costs.

I modeled the Murder on Tour group in Murder at the Book Group after this congenial one but added the aforementioned secrets and scandals and heaped on conflicts. Needless to say, these women—and one man—are not a congenial bunch.

Hazel Rose is not me but we share common experiences. We both spent a number of years in Los Angeles, working in the IT world. We both had calicos named Shammy who accompanied us when we moved to Virginia. But there all similarity ends. Hazel was married four times; I’ve been married once and am still married to the same wonderful man. Hazel’s last husband left her a well-fixed widow. Alas, no one’s gifted me with a windfall.

One character is based on a woman I used to see at the gym. I never chatted with her but her flamboyant outfits and masses of blonde hair fascinated me. And so I invented a personality to match her appearance. Another character “reminds” me of an earthy and profane former co-worker. And a co-worker with whom I enjoyed an adversarial work relationship snuck into the pages.

But most of my characters are composites of the many people I’ve known in my life. As I’ve lived in a lot of places and had many jobs I’m fortunate to have at hand a stockpile of character types for inspiration.



LKBR: Is there any part the writing process you find particularly challenging?

MK: Describing the great outdoors is challenging for me. How many ways can I say the sky is blue? Depicting interior spaces and people is much easier, perhaps because there’s more room for variety. Story endings are hard for many writers and we must avoid those sagging middles at all costs! 


LKBR: Can you share anything with us about your current work in progress?

MK: Eight years have passed since Hazel solved the murder that devastated her book group. She is now a successful romance writer. Out of the blue, someone asks her to find out who killed a middle-aged drunken woman in the parking lot of a redneck bar.


LKBR: What are three things you would like your readers to know about you?

MK:
·         I come up with my best story ideas on my daily walks
·         My husband and I love cats and are privileged to have Olive and Morris living with us—perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we live with Olive and Morris J
·         Clint Eastwood once autographed a scrap of paper for me in a health food store in North Hollywood, California


LKBR: Thank you so much for being here, Maggie! Best wishes on your future projects.

MK: Lisa, it’s been a pleasure!


MY REVIEW


I very much enjoyed MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP. There were a few characters that I couldn't warm up to, but the ones I did like were fun to read. I look forward to getting to learn more about them all in the next installment of this series.

Author Maggie King penned a story that flowed easily. It read as though she wrote effortlessly and I have no doubt that a lot of people are going to feel the same.

The Book Group Mystery series, I believe, is a good start to what is sure to be a great series!

And look for Maggie King in the anthology
VIRGINIA IS FOR MURDER


Virginia Is for Mysteries is a collection of sixteen short stories set in and around the state of Virginia. All stories are written by Virginia residents with “murder” in mind. 

Each author is a member of Sisters in Crime, either the Central Virginia chapter or the Mystery by the Sea (Chesapeake) chapter.Virginia Is for Mysteries can be compared to Chesapeake Crimes, Fish Tales, Fish Nets, or Best New England Crime Stories.
Contributing authors are Meredith Cole, Maria Hudgins, Teresa Inge, Maggie King, May Layne, Vivian Lawry, Michael McGowan, Smita Harish Jain, Jayne Ormerod, Yvonne Saxon, Rosemary Shomaker, Fiona Quinn, Linda Thornburg, and Heather Baker Weidner.
Learn more about author 
Maggie King


Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive. 





As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

GOOD LUCK!
NOTE:  Any Twitter users using the Twitter entries and the "I'm not on Twitter" entry, will be disqualified. Thank you. :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


38 comments:

  1. Absolutely wonderful! Thank you, again, for introducing me to a new author.

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  2. Murder at the Book Group sounds like a lovely and fun read. Thank you for a chance to win a copy of the book.

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    1. My email address (if needed)
      myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. This book sounds great, would love to win read this

    debbiec1313@yahoo.com

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  4. This sounds like a terrific book and I can't wait to read Virginia is for Mysteries!
    Thank you for the contest!

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  5. happy St. Pat's Day.
    Sounds interesting. I've never been in a book group.
    thanks

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  6. Happy St. Pat's Day.
    Sounds like an interesting book. I've never been in a book club.
    thanks.
    Hope this isn't a duplicate - the first one seems to have disappeared.

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  7. I am enjoying the book a lot. I still haven't figured out who did it. Hopefully today I will get the answer. The book does have a bit more about sex than I am used to in cozy mysteries. But I really like Hazel and most of the other characters in the book. I recommend it.

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  8. I love book group mysteries and this sounds a bit sassy, too! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  9. Books and a mystery! I'm there! I'd love to read this.

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  10. A delightful and interesting cozy. Thanks for this feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. Happy Tuesday, Lisa...another new-to-me author!

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  12. I would love to win a copy of this book! I enjoyed the review and reading what the book was about.

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  13. Thank you so much for the chance to win Murder At The Book Group!! Can you believe, I don't know how to tweet, Lisa!!!!

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    Replies
    1. That does surprise me with you. But I bet you decide one day that you want to do and will.

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  14. Thanks for your kind comments. It is definitely sassy and yes, it has more sex than most cozies—but it’s all talk, nothing graphic. Actually it made it into the cozy category by a nose!

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  15. Would really like to read this - your review and interview have made it even more enticing! Thank you for the chance to win!

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  16. Thanks for the review . Would love to win this terrific book. Thanks for the chance .
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. sounds like a great book I must read!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

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  18. Excited to read this!

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  19. Murder at the Book Group sounds like an enjoyable read. Glad to be introduced to another great author.

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  20. This sounds like a great book! I can't wait to read it!

    kpowers784@yahoo.com

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  21. I'm intrigued by the secrets and perhaps no so friendly book club members.

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  22. I can't wait to read this book. It sounds very good. Thank you

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  23. Love trying new series! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  24. I'm in the other CNC book club. So sorry I missed you, Maggie, last week. Would love to win this giveaway. Thanks, Lisa and Maggie.

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  25. Sounds really interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!!!
    sharonbabyme@yahoo.com

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  26. What a wonderful interview and review. The cover is a"pick me up and read me" book.Would love to win this book as would everyone. Thank you for such an informative blog Lisa.
    Cynthia

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  27. I love the sound of this one! I can't believe Carlene is, was, married to Hazel's ex-husband, is Hazel's friend, and helped Hazel start this book group! There must be some very interesting conversations in this book group! Thank you Lisa and Maggie!
    oh_bother88@hotmail.com

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  28. A Virginian too but I am a native. Thanks for sharing.

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  29. This is a new-to-me series & author. Can't wait to dive in. :)

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  30. I really enjoyed the excerpt! This book is going to have many twists & turns! I love it!
    Robin in NC rw620 at aol dot com

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  31. This book group sounds like a wonderful place....not only for books but the conversations must be a hoot. Would love to read.

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  32. I love Virginia and this book sounds like a great spoof about book groups. I would love to be a lucky individual to win a copy.

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  33. Thanks to all who entered the drawing and for your great comments. I hope you enjoy my debut mystery,

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