I'm so excited to be a stop on
authors Joyce and Jim Lavene's blog tour for
DEAD GIRL BLUES
Book 2 in the Taxi for the Dead Mystery series
Joyce and Jim are giving away a wonderful prize package.
Print copies of
Dead Girl Blues and Broken Hearted Ghoul
a skull mug & skull pen holder and
a $25 Amazon gift card!
To enter the giveaway, use
Rafflecopter at the end of this post.
The Rafflecopter on this blog is connected to the whole tour.
DEAD GIRL BLUES
When Nashville cop Skye Mertz and her husband, Jacob, are killed in a wreck, Skye is given the opportunity to come back for twenty years to raise her five-year-old daughter, Kate. With her ghostly mother-in-law’s help, Skye hopes to be there until Kate is old enough to take care of herself. But three years into her twenty-year service to Abraham Lincoln Jones, the man who gave her the extra time, Skye is beginning to think life might have been easier before she died. Abe asks her to investigate the murder of his sorcerer, Harold the Great, a man who was a victim of too many snakes. And the Life Extended People ( LEPs – a nice term for zombies) who work for Abe have begun turning into ghosts and disappearing. Only Lucas, the possibly evil, amnesiac sorcerer who lives with Skye and her family, can save her from being the next victim of the deadly curse. To make matters more complicated, Skye has found a lead in solving the riddle of her husband’s death. She has never believed Jacob died as a result of the crash, but hasn’t been able to prove it. Many other people have lost their lives in the same lonely stretch of highway that he did three years before. Skye goes against Abe’s express wishes to discover the truth with a crazy man bent on vengeance. Life was simpler when she could just take out a gun and shoot someone.
A word from Joyce and Jim
Dead Girl Blues
Making the Paranormal Seem Normal
By Joyce and Jim Lavene
More than a few times reviewers have said, “Joyce and Jim Lavene make the paranormal seem normal.” We’re not quite sure what that means but we hope it means that we can make paranormal people and events seem real.
That’s the secret to writing paranormal or supernatural characters, isn’t it? Making werewolves, zombies, or other monsters seem like real people. If you can’t do that, no one is going to like or care about your characters.
One way we try to make things seem possible and believable is to know our characters. We don’t do character sketches or anything like that, but we do know these people. We talk about them like they are family or friends.
We wonder what Skye is thinking when she faces the truth about herself and her last ‘undead’ twenty years of life. We think about what her daughter, Kate, feels about the situation she finds herself in. How will it affect her when she’s an adult to have grown up with a ghostly grandmother and a mother who has died and come back?
How does Addie, a woman used to being in charge, feel when she can’t do anything she did when she was alive? How does Jacob’s death affect them all, and tie them together?
Adding the sorcerer Lucas into the mix in this story brought on an extra dimension. Let’s say you can believe in a ghost as a grandmother. How do you feel about a sorcerer who can’t remember who he is? What about a man like Abraham Lincoln Jones who gives Skye another life?
We write very quickly, but the one thing we can’t do quickly is form these characters in our minds and think about what they may or may not do. That takes months, sometimes years, to get to know these people who live in your head. Many times a character’s true nature will come to you just as you’re falling asleep or taking a shower.
That’s when you know the character is in your head. Once that happens, understanding them is easier. You can’t forget them or mistake them, as some readers ask. They are as real as your children and the rest of your life. They only grow stronger, more confident, taking on greater personality.
And is there a part of each writer in their creations?
Maybe. But not always. Sometimes it’s just your imagination taking a stroll in the garden and coming back with a stranger. Sometimes you like them, and sometimes you don’t, but it might be hard to get rid of them!
The Taxi For The Dead series isn’t your everyday cozy. Some may argue it isn’t a cozy at all. I feel these books are semi cozies with an edge and a paranormal twist. But, if you like me, are a fan of Joyce & Jim Lavene, cozy or not, you will have to admit the writing is wonderful!
DEAD GIRL BLUES hit the ground running with Skye Mertz and her partner Debbie Hernandez on the job to bring in another LEP. . . Life Extended People. They’re boss, Abe, doesn’t like it when you call them zombies.
This second installment in this series was even better than the first book, BROKEN HEARTED GHOUL, which now includes the introductory novella UNDEAD BY MORNING. So many new elements have been added to this story. The Lavenes are taking this series beyond the zombie realm of things and creating whole new levels that will carry on through future books.
With action and surprises never in short supply, even the last sentence of this story will have you saying, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.