Wednesday, October 31, 2018

You may have noticed the tour
date above has passed.

I was unable to host my originally scheduled day.
So, I'm sharing it with you today. 


I'm so excited to be a (belated) stop
on the blog tour for
Book 2 in the Marketville Mysteries
by Judy Penz Sheluk

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present...
It's been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?
Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business, Past & Present Investigations.
It's not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a "bad end" in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese's past winds its way into Callie's present, and not in a manner anyone--least of all Callie--could have predicted.

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today, Judy!

Judy: Thank you for hosting me.

LKBR: Please tell us a bit about your most recent book, Past & Present.

Judy: Past & Present is the sequel to Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in my Marketville Mystery series. In the first book, my protagonist, Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, inherits a house in Marketville under the condition that she move into the house and find out who murdered her mother 30 years before. In Past & Present, Callie takes her newfound investigative knowledge and starts her own company, Past & Present Investigations. Her first case involves finding out all she can about a woman who was murdered in 1956.

LKBR: How did you come up with the concept?

Judy: Marketville is a thinly disguised Newmarket, a commuter town about 90 minutes north of Toronto. The initial idea for Skeletons came to me when I was sitting in my lawyer’s office, waiting for him to come in from court. I was there with my husband to update our wills and I got to thinking: What if I was inheriting… and the idea snowballed from there. The idea for Past & Present came to me when I was going through my late mother’s documents. She had them tucked inside an old train case, and there were her immigration papers, an old passport, photos and postcards. I’d never seen those things and my mom didn’t talk much about her life before she immigrated to Canada in 1952. So I traced her journey through those papers, and suddenly, Past & Present came to life. I dedicated the book to my mom, Anneliese Penz, and named one the character Callie is trying to learn more about, Anneliese. And the book is being released on the second anniversary of my mom’s death.

LKBR: What are your future plans for this series? Any hints or spoilers you can give us about the next book?

Judy: I’m currently writing book three in both series (Glass Dolphin and Marketville), but I’m superstitious. I won’t talk about my books while they’re in progress.

LKBR: Is writing an energizing experience, or does it take a lot out of you?

Judy: It can be both. On a great day, you feel like you can ride the wave forever. On a day when the words don’t come, you feel like the waves are battering at you from every direction. But I ride it out either way. If you wait for the muse to come, you’ll have a lot of blank pages to stare at, and you can’t edit a blank page.

LKBR: Once you knew you wanted to be a published writer, who was the first person you reached out to for help? (Such as a publisher, or author)

Judy: I went to Bloody Words in Toronto (the last conference was 2014) and soaked up everything I could about writing, publishing, social media and spoke to authors and wannabe authors. That was 2012. I wrote my first book (The Hanged Man’s Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery) after that, and got a publishing contract in July 2014 from Barking Rain Press. The second book in that series, A Hole In One, came out in March 2018, also from Barking Rain. I think, as a writer, you can ask other authors for advice, but at the end of the day, it’s you doing the heavy lifting and you have to do your own research on what works and what doesn’t vis-à-vis marketing and social media. One size definitely does not fit all.

LKBR: What sort of research do you do for your books? Is it more computer based or hands on?

Judy: Definitely more computer based. I always joke with my husband that he better delete my browser history if anything happens to me!

LKBR: What is your writing process? Place, time of day, by the hour or word count?

Judy: Time of day varies but when I’m working on a project, I aim for a chapter a day. It doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s the plan. I do tend to work 7 days a week, but a lot of time is spent on marketing, writing blogs, etc. I try to balance it all.

LKBR: How do you come up with character names?

Judy: Different ways. I’ll see someone’s name on film or TV credits and think “that’s an interesting first or last name.” I to try and google names to make sure the person isn’t super famous. And some names, like Emily Garland, the protagonist in Noose, is a combination of the first book I read that made me want to be a writer (Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery) and Judy Garland – I was named after Judy Garland!

LKBR: Do you read reviews of your books? If you do, and a review is bad, what effect does it have on you? (I know some reviews are mean as opposed to constructive.)

Judy: Yes, I do read my reviews on Amazon, Goodreads etc. If someone has taken the time to read my book and review it, I feel I owe it to them to read the review. I remember my first 1-star review for Skeletons. It came off a string of 5-stars and the guy wrote something like, “it’s not a bad book but it doesn’t deserve 5 stars so I need to bring the rating down.” I was crushed, but then I realized that even crazy mad bestsellers like Gone Girl get 1-star reviews. That said, a great 5-star review can make your day. The other day, someone wrote (about Skeletons) that it would make a great movie. Hello Hollywood, are you reading this?

LKBR: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?


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

Judy: Thank you for asking.

Judy Penz Sheluk's debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man's Noose, was published in July 2015 by Barking Rain Press. A Hole in One, the sequel, was released March 2018. Skeletons in the Attic, Judy's second novel, and the first in her Marketville Mystery series, was first published in August 2016 and released in second edition in Nov. 2017. Past & Present, the sequel, was released September 2018. Her short crime and literary fiction can be found in several collections.

In her less mysterious pursuits, Judy has worked as a freelance writer; her articles have appeared regularly in dozens of U.S. and Canadian consumer and trade publications. She is currently the Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal.

Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime International/Guppies/Toronto, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as a Director and Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario.

Find Judy at, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.

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  1. Thank you for posting! Better late than never...and I love the timing of Halloween.

  2. Thanks for the interview with Judy Penz Sheluk and the information on "PAST & PRESENT". I can't wait for the opportunity to read this.

    Happy Halloween and may your day be more treats than tricks!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net