Thursday, August 22, 2013

Leigh Perry Review, Interview and Giveaway!

I read such a fun new book that I just had to share it with you! And how better to share it then with not only a review, but an interview with the author and a Giveaway?

Author Leigh Perry (know to many as Toni L P Kelner) has written a new book called A Skeleton In The Family, #1 in A Family Skeleton Mystery series, due to be released September 3rd!

To celebrate, Leigh is giving away a signed copy of A Skeleton In The Family! Leave a comment and your email contact for a chance to win! The winner will be drawn on Sunday, August 25th.

On to the fun!


Available September 3rd!
Most families have skeletons in their closets…

Moving back into her parents’ house with her teenage daughter had not been Georgia Thackery’s “Plan A.” But when she got a job at the local college, it seemed the sensible thing to do. So she settled in and began reconnecting with old friends.

Including Sid. Sid is the Thackery family’s skeleton. He’s lived in the house as long as Georgia can remember, although no one, including Sid, knows exactly where he came from and how he came to be a skeleton.

Sid walks, he talks, he makes bad jokes, he tries to keep Georgia’s dog from considering him a snack.  And he manages to persuade Georgia to let him leave the house. But when she takes him to an anime convention—disguised as a skeleton, of course—he sees a woman who triggers memories of his past.

Now he is determined to find out how he died—with Georgia’s help.  But their investigation may uncover a killer who’s still alive and well and bad to the bone…
It was very easy to get lost in this entertaining, wonderful story.

When I first heard of this book, I was like..."What?" It sounded so unlike any other cozy mystery (or other book) I had ever read. I was right. It was like nothing else I had ever read and I LOVED every minute of it!  From the moment I met Sid the skeleton I was hooked! Indeed, I myself wish I had a Sid.

The friendship of Sid with lead character Georgia is absolutely enchanting and fun! I was wrapped up in every bit of their dialog. Best friends since she was just a little girl, you can tell there is nothing they wouldn't do for each other. And as the story progresses that becomes all too true. I also enjoyed Georgia's relationship with her daughter Madison and Sid's relationship with Georgia's sister Deborah. I looked forward to turning each page to see what would happen next.

Make sure to add this book to your To Be Read stack!


LKBR: How did you come up with the idea of Sid the skeleton?

LP: I really don't know. I can find some early notes and emails when I first mentioned the idea to my husband, and then when I ran a few pages past my beta readers, but where the original spark came from is a mystery. The best I can guess is that I was thinking about paranormal mysteries, and how there were great vampire mysteries, fairy mysteries, angel mysteries, ghost mysteries, and so on... What was left? Skeletons! And the field was wide open!

Illustration by Laura's daughter Maggie
LKBR: Have you started the second in the A Family Skeleton series? If so, can you give us a hint as to what Sid and Georgia are up to?
LP: I have, though I'm not as far along as I would like to be. (Or as far along as my ever-patient editor would like me to be.) Sid's days of hiding in the attic are over! He's starring in a major production of Hamlet. Well, maybe not that major. In fact, it's at Pennycross High, the school Georgia's daughter Madison attends. And Sid isn't exactly the star. He's more along the lines of a featured player. Sort of. Okay, he's a prop, the skull of Yorick during the "Alas poor Yorick" scene. Still, he's out of the house and having a great time watching Madison's drama buddies all day. Then one day Madison forgets to take him home, and while he's stuck backstage overnight, he overhears a murder. When the body is found elsewhere, that means only Sid and Georgia know where the crime really took place, and they're the only ones who can find the killer.
With daughters Valerie & Maggie

LKBR: Do you write at a certain time of day or whenever the muse speaks?

LP: Here's a picture of my muse. 
His name is Poindexter. Poindexter is on duty 24/7, so I never have to wait for him. Seriously, I don't believe in a muse. You just find the time that works best for you, and go at it. If you wait for a muse, you'll be waiting a whole lot more than you're writing. As for me, I'm most productive in the wee hours of the morning, after the rest of the family has gone to bed. I can edit any time, but for writing, I do best overnight. It's really inconvenient, but that's the schedule that seems to work.
With fellow authors Dana Cameron & Charlaine Harris

LKBR: Is there anything special you do when starting a new book? Some sort of ritual?
LP: I try to spend a week or three just writing notes and ideas about the project before diving into actual manuscript. My daily ritual is to play online games before getting started--the games I play tend to rotate.
LKBR: Who are some of your favorite authors?
LP: My gosh, I could fill a blog with them! Robert Heinlein, Julian May, Andre Norton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Arthur Conan Doyle, Nero Wolfe, Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews, L. Frank Baum, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Elizabeth Peters, my buddies Charlaine Harris and Dana Cameron. Seriously, I could go on for hours.
Writting as Toni L P Kelner - Laura Fleming series
LKBR: What advice do you have for beginning writers?
LP:  1) Read. Read a lot. And don't limit yourself to your favored genre. Or just fiction. The more stuff that goes into your brain--good or bad--the more good stuff that will come out.

2) Use goal-setting techniques. This is another topic that could be a whole blog post, but in brief, give yourself goals that are reachable but not too easy, time-based, and meaningful. And leave yourself some fudge factor--life happens. For my first book, I set a goal of 600 words a day, 4 days a week. As I got faster, I went for 800 words a day, then 1000. (Anything more than 1000 makes me anxious, even though I do often exceed that.) I also write more days a week since I went full-time. But only you can set the right goals for your life.

3) Enjoy writing. If you're not enjoying it, find something else to do.

4) Read the fabulous writing book Motivate Your Writing! by Stephen Kelner, Jr, Ph.D. Okay, I'm biased because he's my husband, but it really is a terrific book.
LKBR: Is there anything else you would like to mention?  Some information on your other series, signings something you would like readers to know about you?
LP: Before I was Leigh Perry, I was Toni L.P. Kelner. (Before that I was Toni Leigh Perry, so now you can see where the names came from.) As Toni, I've written eleven novels -- eight in the Laura Fleming series and three in the "Where are they now?" series -- and a bunch of short stories. I also co-edit urban fantasy anthologies with Charlaine Harris. Games Creatures Play, our sixth, will be out in April 2014.
I'm enjoying being Leigh. It's like starting all over, except I know what I'm doing this time. Sorta kinda.
To learn more about Leigh Perry  you can find her at...
And check out Sid the Skeleton at...
You can pre-order your copy of A Skeleton In The Family now!



  1. Would love a copy of A Skeleton In The Family - sounds like a great new series.

  2. This looks like a fun read, would love to win it!! Great interview!

  3. I have to agree regarding the skeleton. I don't see that in many cozies or books for that matter. I think that was a smart choice. It sounds like it would be a funny book. I will be adding it to my TBR list.

  4. I would love to win this book, thanks for the giveaway !

  5. Bizarre premise. Will have to try it.

  6. I don't think we have any skeletons in the closet but we have had our share of ghostly great grandparents keeping an eye on our kids when they were small. I'd love to win this book and share it with all my mystery loving kids.


  7. I can't wait for this book to come out! I am so excited! I would love to win this!
    April Anderson

  8. Thank you for this giveaway. This looks like a fun book.

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  9. I have loved your books since the first Laura Fleming, and I'm not going to stop now,Toni! Ellen Healy

  10. Can we enter my sister Connie Spencer:

    For some reason, her posts aren't showing.

  11. Kathleen McCormackAugust 23, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    I am so looking forward to reading this book! Would really love to win a copy.

  12. Been on my To read list for awhile now. Can't wait!

  13. This is a new and interesting premise. It's on my TBR list now.

  14. This book sounds great, definitely adding it to the tbr list.

  15. This book sounds fantastic! Can't wait to meet Sid! Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!
    Barbara Thompson

  16. I love cozies with a paranormal twist...this one is definitely going on my TBR pile. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  17. Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the giveaway. :)