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and life along the winding road

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lorena McCourtney Guest Post

Lorena McCourtney, who is a prolific writer and has published 43 books so far, was kind enough to stop by today as a guest on Cozy in Texas.

Tell us a little about Dolled Up to Die:
Dolled Up to Die is Book #2 in my lighthearted Cate Kinkaid Files mystery series. Book #1 was Dying to Read, which made it onto a New York Times bestseller list. In that book, Cate, desperate for a job, became an assistant private investigator in her Uncle Joe’s Belmont Investigations and was immediately propelled into a murder.
Now, in Book #2, she receives a frantic call about a triple homicide. But she soon has a new rule to add to what she’s already learned: always find out if the victims really have human DNA. But even if these three are definitely short on that aspect of humanity,   another victim who has plenty of that human DNA soon turns up.
And Cate is off on another rollicking adventure involving a beautiful trophy wife, a woman who claims she can reveal your past lives,  a wedding and a wig, and hunky Mitch Berenski. Who is having ever more doubts about Cate as a PI.

Which authors inspire you?
I can’t say that I’m inspired by any specific authors, but I’m often inspired by whatever I’m reading at the time.  Reading a riveting mystery with compelling characters inspires me to want to write something compelling and riveting too.
Although sometimes it works in reverse, and the inspiration is that I don’t want my writing to sound like whatever I’m reading. I don’t want my characters to be that unlikeable,  my plot to be that mundane, etc.

What are you working on next?
 My next book is Book #3 in the Cate Kinkaid Files, which Revell plans to release in July of 2014. The title is “Death Takes a Ride.”

 Tell us a little about you:
 I’m a Christian, a wife, mother, grandmother, and writer. With the hope that in time I’ll be better at all of these! Dolled Up to Die is my 43rd published book. I wrote a number of romances before turning to mysteries, and I think I’ve found my real home now in mysteries with a touch of romance.

 What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
 Persistence. Talent is great, but I think it’s persistence that will get a writer somewhere over the long haul. By this I don’t mean simply never-give-up persistence in submitting the same manuscript over and over (though that can be important too). I mean persistence in studying the craft of writing, in studying the books you like to read to discern what it is that makes you like them. And persistence  finishing a writing project.  Beginnings can be fun. You feel fresh and excited. But it’s all too easy to drop something when it gets difficult and go on to the next exciting idea without finishing the first one. Persistence!

 What's your favorite season/weather?
 I like fall best. I like the feeling of closing things down for the coming winter, getting things finished. A gathering-in time of completion.

Who do you imagine is your reader?
I see my reader usually in the fifty to sixty-five age group. Someone who values her independence but has a strong sense of family. Someone who likes mysteries with a touch of romance and without bad language or steamy scenes. But I’ve sometimes been surprised by readers who communicate with me.  I’ve heard from 11-year-olds and 90-year-olds. I’ve heard from a reader who says she, her mother, and her daughter are all enjoying the same book, often one of my Ivy Malone Mysteries. I hear from a few male readers, and they’re usually surprised to find they liked what looked like a women’s book.

Where is “Dolled Up to Die” available?
The print edition is available in many bookstores, or on the internet at Christianbook.com, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and various other internet outlets. The e-book version is available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, etc. Here are a couple of links:

For Amazon, print or Kindle: Lorena's Books on Amazon
For Barnes & Noble, print or Nook:

How can readers find out more about you?
Visit my website at Lorena McCourtney

Come “like” my Lorena McCourtney Author page on Facebook, and be my “friend” at Lorena's Facebook Page

Thanks for visiting Lorena, I loved Invisible and In Plain Sight and can't wait to read about Cate Kincaid. 

For a little glimpse into Dolled Up to Die read on:
            Case closed!
Until she’d become an assistant private investigator, Cate Kinkaid had never realized how satisfying those words were. Gleefully, she threw her hands up and clapped. She added the time and date to the report and hit the print button.
Okay, the case didn’t rank up there with capture of a most-wanted serial killer or an episode of CSI on TV, but she had successfully cleared Ridley Jackson of his wife’s suspicion that he was cheating on her. Ridley had decided to learn to play the saxophone, knew his wife would disapprove, and had been practicing with friends in a barn out in the country. Having heard the sounds emanating from Ridley’s sax, Cate suspected a barn might be the appropriate setting for his musical talent. But her job was just to uncover the facts, not to critique them.
She changed to jeans worn thin at the knees and a faded sweatshirt for an evening with Mitch on a cleanup job for the Helping Hands project sponsored by the church. She and Mitch Berenski had been dating more or less regularly since they met on her very first case. She was headed for the door when the office phone rang. She jumped back to answer it. Mitch? No, an unfamiliar name and number on the caller ID.
“Belmont Investigations. Assistant Investigator Cate Kinkaid speak—”
“Lucinda, Marianne, and Toby have been shot!” a breathless voice interrupted. “All of them! Shot! And—”
“Wait, wait! If there’s been a shooting, call 911 immediately! They’ll send the police and an ambulance.”
“I did call the police. I guess they’re coming, but they don’t seem in any big hurry to get here.”
Three shootings, and officers weren’t responding with screaming sirens and screeching tires? That didn’t sound like the capable and effective Eugene, Oregon, police force Cate had dealt with. She glanced at the caller ID screen again, J. Kieferson. Something about the name seemed familiar, but she couldn’t place it. “Mrs. Kieferson, are you all right?”
“Of course I’m not all right,” the woman snapped. “I told you, Lucinda, Marianne, and Toby have been shot! Marianne’s head is gone.”
“A head gone, shot away? “Are you alone? Could the shooter still be nearby?”
“I don’t know! I just got home a few minutes ago and found this massacre.”
“Mrs. Kieferson, you should—” Cate started to tell the woman to lock the doors and stay inside until the police arrived, but if the killer could still be in the house, that was hardly good advice. “Can you get to your car?”
“I guess. Maybe.”
“Then go to the car and drive away from there. Contact the police again and tell them where you are. I’d like to help, but violent crime situations are outside our area of investigation.”
Uncle Joe had emphasized that when he hired her. Belmont Investigations handled routine matters only. Background checks, serving subpoenas, insurance investigations. Although Cate’s very first case had unexpectedly rocketed right into murder.
“You need the police,” Cate repeated.
“You won’t come, then?”
The woman wasn’t sounding too rational, but her reproachful tone jabbed Cate’s conscience button. Which immediately shouted, You can’t just ignore this woman and three people shot!

1 comment:

Joanne said...

fun interview and excerpt. I know you passed on In Plain Sight, and I need to pull it from my pile and start reading. After 43 books, I'd say she has persistance. All the best for many more books and sales.