Sunday, August 21, 2016


I'm so excited to be a stop on the 
blog tour for author 
Marla Cooper
and her new book
Book 1 in the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries 

Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna is just a few hours away from wrapping up her latest job: a destination wedding in the charming, colonial Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. The reception is all set up, the tequila donkey is waiting outside, and the bride and groom are standing on the altar, pledging their eternal love. But just as the priest is about to pronounce them husband and wife, one of the bridesmaids upstages the couple by collapsing into a floral arrangement, a definite wedding "don't." Kelsey soon discovers that the girl hasn't just fainted--she's dead.

Losing a bridesmaid is bad enough, but when the bride's sister is arrested for murder, the demanding mother of the bride insists that Kelsey fix the matter at once. And although Kelsey is pretty sure investigating a murder isn't in her contract, crossing the well-connected Mrs. Abernathy could be a career-killer. Before she can leave Mexico and get back to planning weddings, Kelsey must deal with stubborn detectives, a rekindled romance, and late-night death threats in this smart, funny cozy mystery debut.

Winner will be chosen after August 26
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.

Interview With Marla

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today, Marla!

MC: Thanks for having me!

LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

MC: I never really set out to be an author, per se. I’ve always been a writer of some sort, and my day job is writing advertising and marketing copy. So I wanted to write something that was just for fun, and I didn’t really have any major goals around getting published. I’d say it was about halfway through writing Terror in Taffeta that I started thinking, “Hey, this might be something!” If I’d started out thinking I wanted to be an author—instead of just wanting to have a creative outlet—I probably would have been too scared to ever write it!

LKBR: What was your inspiration for this series? Where did the name come from?

MC: Right around the time a friend of mine sold a cozy mystery series, I got a job ghost-writing a nonfiction book on planning a destination wedding. As the wedding planner was telling me about her job—which involves traveling off to faraway places with people she doesn’t know all that well—I realized it was the perfect setup for a mystery!

As for the title, I brainstormed a ton of them. There were a lot of them that would have worked, but as soon as I came up Terror in Taffeta, I knew it was the one.

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

MC: When I really don’t feel like writing (but know that I have to) I will make myself sit down and commit to writing 200 words. That’s not that many words, and if they’re terrible, I can toss them without feeling like I wasted too much time. But what happens more often than not is that it gets me back into the groove and I end up writing a couple thousand words. 

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

MC: I have two: one is in a lounge chair in my back yard under an enormous redwood tree, and the other is at the library. Being there keeps me focused and it’s quiet enough that I can concentrate—plus, having all those books around inspires me to keep going!

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

MC: It really depends! I usually just write for as long as I feel inspired, and when the words stop flowing, I know it’s time to quit. Of course, it was easy with Terror in Taffeta because there was no deadline. Even with my second book, I had a generous enough deadline that I didn’t have to set any particular goals. I imagine if I ever have a tight deadline though, I’d be more of a word-count kind of girl.

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

MC: For me, the hardest part is figuring out clues that will point to the killer without giving away his or her identity. The ending somehow has to be inevitable but without being obvious. And whenever I write a scene with the killer in it, I feel like there’s a big, flashing neon sign over their head saying, “He did it! It was him!” or “She did it! Isn’t it obvious?”

The easiest part is writing dialogue. I love writing fun banter between my main character and her best friend, Brody, and if I really “get” the character, the dialogue practically writes itself.

LKBR: Do you have plans for a new series?

MC: Not yet—although there are always things floating around in my brain. I’m just wrapping up edits for the second book in this series. It’s set in the California wine country and it’s called Dying on the Vine.

LKBR: What book are you reading?

MC: I haven’t had the time to read anything lately, but as soon as I finish edits on Dying on the Vine, I have a backlog of cozies that I can’t wait to dig into! I’ve also had a copy of Furiously Happy sitting on my bedside table for several months now. It doesn’t matter that I’m not reading it yet; the manic raccoon on the cover makes me laugh every time I see it.

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

MC: The most important thing I want them to know is that the mother of the bride in Terror in Taffeta is meant as comic relief, the character you love to hate. Most people get that, but I’ve heard from a couple of people who just hated her without the “love” part. But if you think of her as a relative who you have to put up with despite her flaws, she’s actually really funny.

Another thing I’d like for them to know is that San Miguel de Allende, where Terror in Taffeta is set, is a place that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s a beautiful colonial town in central Mexico with cobblestone streets, and it’s actually kind of magical. My dad went to art school there, and he took my mom back there on their honeymoon. Some people wonder why I set the book in Mexico, but if they’d ever visited San Miguel, they’d understand!

And finally, I’d want my readers to know that I love hearing from them! It makes my day when someone writes to say hi, and it’s also really interesting to hear people’s reactions to things. It’s also kind of amazing when someone you’ve never met before writes to tell you that they basically just spent five or six hours inside your brain.

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

MC: Thanks for having me, Lisa!

More About Marla

As a freelance writer, MARLA COOPER has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

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  1. Thanks, Lisa. Happy Sunday to you.

  2. Great interview. Thanks for introducing me to a new author.

  3. Hi, Lisa, thanks so much for having me on your blog! What fun!

  4. "Terror in Taffeta" sounds like an amazing read. Really looking forward to reading.

  5. Looking forward to reading "Terror in Taffeta". Sounds like a delightful read.