Saturday, July 23, 2016


I'm excited to be a stop on the blog tour for author 
Sally Carpenter
and her new book
Book 4 in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries

Former teen idol Sandy Fairfax is a guest panelist on a TV game show—and the first category is murder! When his kid brother, Warren, is framed for killing a college student, Sandy makes it his duty to track down the thug before the police move in. After all, Sandy did play a detective once on a hit TV show. Sandy will get right on the case—right after he visits his kids; fights with his ex; woos his hoped-to-be girlfriend, Cinnamon; and convinces his parents he should be the special entertainment at a black tie gala designed to raise funds for his father’s faltering orchestra. All this while he and his biggest fan attempt to “Raise The Stakes” on a rigged quiz show where––wonder of wonders––the murder victim had recently been a contestant. Sandy’s ready to pull out some of his long blond hair as the game points and the suspects pile up.

Winner will be chosen after July 31
at the end of the tour
Check out the great prize and enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post. 
This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

An Interview With Author
Sally Carpenter

LK: Thanks for being here today, Sally! When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

SC: I think I’ve always known, although I had some detours along the way. When I was growing up, being a writer wasn’t seen as a viable career and I received little encouragement. In late 1990s I realized I really wanted to write and put more effort toward that goal.

LK: What was your inspiration for this series?

SC: The Monkees. Seriously, in 1996 or so that TV show was aired on cable and I became hooked (I wasn’t much of a fan as a kid). I was fascinated by the whole teen idol phenomena and began reading about other pop stars. All teen idols of the 1970s had a TV show, so I put my teen idol character on a show about a teen spy. I loved the idea of an actor who played a crime fighter on TV and then started catching killers for real.

LK: Do you ever get writer’s block? If you do, how do you work through it?

SC: Not really writer’s block, more of writer’s procrastination. It’s easy to find a million distractions to keep from writing. Sometimes I give in and do what I need to do so I can sit and write without thinking of other things.

LK: Do you have a favorite place to do your writing?

SC: My home. I can’t write in a coffee shop. I need peace and quiet and no commotion.

LK: What is your writing schedule like? Do you write a certain number of hours a day or go by word count?

SC:I work a full-time job so my writing time is limited to evenings and weekends. I try to complete an entire scene or chapter at a time. Going by hours and word counts is too much like a day job. I want my writing time to be fun, not a grind.

LK: What is hardest part of writing? What is the easiest part?

SC: Thinking of names for all the characters. I keep a list of all the names I’ve used so I don’t repeat. I generally use short names so I’m not typing a long, hard to spell name a hundred times. The easiest part is after the plot outline is finished. Then I know what goes in each scene and I can just knock it off.

LK: Do you have plans for a new series?

SC: Yes, I’m working on a retro cozy set in 1967. It will have a cat.

LK: What book are you reading?

SC: I just finished “Schlock Homes: The Complete Bagel Street Saga” by Robert L. Fish, a delightful collection of short story parodies about the master detective.

LK: What are three things you want your readers to know about you?

SC: I’m mom to some black cats. I have a black belt in tae kwon do. I’m six feet tall.

LK: Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better!

SC: Thank you for hosting me!

More about Sally

I was born in and grew up in Southern Indiana, but now live in Southern California. While I was working on a master's degree in theater at Indiana State University, two of my plays were regional finalists in the American College Theater Festival's one-act play competition. One play, "Star Collector," was eventually produced in NYC and the characters became the basis for my book, "The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper." This book was recently named a Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel. 

I also have a black belt in tae kwon do and a master's degree in theology. 

I've worked as an actress, jail chaplain, college writing instructor and tour guide/page for a motion picture studio. I'm a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles.

When I'm not penning mysteries, I write the Roots of Faith column for the Acorn Newspapers (

My Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol cozy mystery series was inspired by The Beatles, The Monkees and those goofy spy/detective/action-adventure TV shows of the '60s and '70s. The fourth book is due in spring 2016.

I have short stories in two anthologies, "Plan B: Omnibus" and "Last Exit to Murder." I wrote chapter 3 in the group mystery "Chasing the Codex" by Cozy Cat Press.

Up next is a new cozy series set in the 1960s. Stay tuned for something groovy!

And when I'm not writing, I'm busy feeding the cats.


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  1. Thank you for such an interesting interview-black belt, black cats, Beatles fan, and a prison chaplain, just to name a few. Thanks for the chance to win..

  2. Thanks, Lisa and Sally. Happy Saturday!

  3. Looks like a terrific read. That your inspiration came from the Monkees makes it all the more fun. My kids loved that show. Not that I didn't enjoy it. It was fun. I am hoping this will be an early introduction to your books. And the retro cozy I think would work as well. Success with that. Della at

  4. Thanks for a great interview, Lisa and Sally.

  5. Thank you Lisa for the introduction of a new-to-me author! Sounds like a fun series.