Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Anna Simpson's White Light Cozy Murder Mystery Released, Giveway

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Washington, D.C.Photo from USA Guided Tours
Today, January 18, 2016, we honor and celebrate the life of 
Martin Luther King, Jr.
 leader in the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. 
His fight for equality through peaceful means 
brought about change for all of humankind. 

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White LIght by Anna Simpson
Cozy Murder Mystery
Hello and welcome! 
I've been looking forward to cozy author Anna Simpson's visit to the J.Q. Rose blog. We met as fellow bloggers on the Insecure Writers' Support Group blog hop. Her name on her blog is Emaginette. And let me tell you, her blog handle is perfect for her because she has a fantastic imagination and is a creative writing talent. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to introduce you to Anna and her new cozy murder mystery, White Light. Enjoy her article on small towns and be sure to take time to read an excerpt from her brand new release.
Welcome, Anna!
Small Town Living by Anna Simpson
Thanks for having me here today.
Did I use my small town as a template for White Light?
Small towns aren’t just a location on a map. They are a state of mind. A place where it’s okay to make a face at a kid in the grocery checkout, or wear a weird necklace because your first grader put it around your neck when you picked him up.
This way of thinking changes huge cities into warm comfy places full of memories and enjoyable places to visit. Where saying hello to a stranger isn’t that strange.
I wanted to capture that state of mind, that small town feel I grew up with, and share it in a cozy mystery. Lucky for me, cozies are only loosely based on the real world. Cozy lovers, and I do mean cozy mystery lovers, expect a certain amount of wholesome atmosphere, definite lines between right and wrong, and quirky characters.
So the answer to the question is yes I did draw on my small town experience, but it was a place I remembered as a child. I’m not sure how accurate it is. Even then, I had quite the imagination.
Have you used anything from your past to make your life more enjoyable? Family traditions or celebrations? Have you made them your own?
White Light Blog Tour
Anna is having a rafflecopter drawing during the blog tour. After her post, enter the raffle. Here's her schedule of hosts for the tour.


About the book:



Emma never dreamed of being a super-sleuth. In her mind, she’s more Scooby Doo than Nancy Drew and when her nosy neighbor, Mrs. Perkins, drags her to an anniversary party to solve a mystery, she rolls her eyes, buys a box of chocolates and hops in the car.
What’s a party without an attack on its host—or more accurately on the host’s grandson, sparking an allergic reaction and moving the party to the hospital waiting room. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Emma and Mrs. Perkins, along with Great Aunt Alice (a spirit with boundary issues who keeps stepping into Emma’s body like a new dress and playing matchmaker), dive into an investigation that almost gets Emma killed along with the man they are trying to protect. With so many reasons to kill him and so much to be gained if he died, Emma and Mrs. Perkins must unravel the tenuous ties that point to every member of his family as potential killers.
Even if it means going back to the psych ward, Emma will protect her friend and this innocent man. What good is freedom if it’s haunted with guilt?

Goodreads link:
Purchase links:

Excerpt:

To stay free, I perform a ritual every morning. It begins with stepping outside, where dawn streams through the leafy branches of my maple tree, landing, shifting, and dancing on the flowerbeds at my bare feet. A steaming cup of coffee warms my hands. The fragrant air fills my lungs. I sip, leaving the liquid on my tongue to capture a moment of rich goodness.
My name is Emma, and I need to stay grounded and calm. It’s important for my health, so I walk along the fence and let the cool blades of grass tickle my toes and dewdrops cling to my skin. For fun, I kick a ball of dandelion fluff. Little parachutes take flight catching the same breeze moving the leaves above my head. The seeds float up, and up, over the fence to land on Mrs. Perkins’ perfectly tended lawn. Not a dandelion or mat of moss to be seen.
In a half acre of green sits one flowerbed, brimming with Lily of the Valley. I remember the first time I saw them over fifteen years ago. The delicate white bells could only be fairy hats. Today, the round base of cemented river stone is still full of waxy green spear tips. I don’t see fairy hats anymore. No, now I enjoy the effects of nature—its simple perfection.
Mrs. Perkins does it best. In fact, everything around Mrs. Perkins is perfectly cared for—her home, her yard, her car—all perfect.
But not today. A dark line sits between the jamb and the edge of the door.
A few inches of shadow drives my calm away and prickles the long blonde hairs at the nape of my neck. Butterflies in my stomach tell, no scratch that, demand I find my phone and go next door.
Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not a snoop.
Mrs. Perkins, a wiry old bird, did everything herself. I’m not sure if it is because she’s the independent sort or if she has no one else to help her. Either way, when she suggested we watch out for one another, I agreed.
I’m also alone. It doesn’t bother me unless I catch the flu or something. Then I wonder if I will die and no one will notice. It’s a thought, or fear, I can’t shake. Mrs. Perkins’ house has my full attention, and within it sits the same worry. I’ll check on her because she would do the same for me.
I crash into my kitchen, slopping my coffee onto the counter as I slam the mug down. My phone could be anywhere. My gaze travels from the pine tabletop to the gray marble counter. It’s not here. I push through the swinging door to the living area, run my fingertips between the couch and chair cushions, scan the smoked-glass coffee table through my veil of long blonde hair, and sneak a peek under my overturned book on the throw rug. Desperate, I check around the bowl by the door where I toss my keys as I pass the spiral staircase to the loft. Still nothing.
Down the short hallway, I rush to my bedroom. I tug the midnight blue duvet off the bed and shake it. My pulse speeds up as something thuds on to the carpet. I pick up my smartphone and check the battery. Half power.
Excellent. I dash through my front door, across the lawn and unlatch Mrs. Perkins’ white picket gate. Her shiny yellow front door looks as solid as stone. I follow her path to the back wondering if danger lurks.
I gasp as I near the door. It’s like living a moment in a crime drama. I mimic what I have watched on television and bring up my phone to take a picture. Inching forward, heart pounding, I wonder if poor Mrs. Perkins is sprawled out on the bathroom floor, from a stroke, heart attack, or a butcher knife.
Don’t worry, Mrs. Perkins. I’m coming.
I pull my cotton sleeve over my hand and push the door wider. Her kitchen looks untouched as if it’s sterilized or newly installed. Tiles cool my bare feet with each step. Fear scratches at my nerves, “Mrs. Perkins? It’s Emma from next door. Are you okay?”
Silence.
I raise the phone to call for help.
A small sound carries from deeper in the house. I should stop, leave, and make the call.
Following the sound might be dangerous or, worse, plain stupid. And I’m scared. So scared, my breathing is all I hear over the pounding of my heart.
I’d look stupid if I’m wrong. Ravenglass Lake is so small-townsville, and Benny the bully is like no cop I’ve ever met. He would be no help. Worst of all, they’d call me crazy for sure. I slip the phone back into my denim pocket, quietly open her knife drawer, and pull out a meat cleaver. Armed, I creep forward.
Thank goodness Mrs. Perkins likes an open airy room. Evil housebreakers have nowhere to hide in the dining room.
A small thump like a cat landing on carpet makes me jump. But Mrs. Perkins doesn’t have a cat…or carpet—only allergies.
I tighten my grip on the cleaver as I stick my head into the living room. All is quiet and undisturbed. I enter the corridor to the front door. To my right are stairs to the upper floor. Farther ahead is a hall closet and nook where she keeps a desk and a small bookcase. Nothing seems touched.
I glance up at the glittery ceiling, swallow, and pull my phone from my pocket. The sensible thing is to dial 911. I sidestep for the front door, but in my mind’s eye Mrs. Perkins, wiry but frail, shakes her head. Her arm outstretched urging me not to leave.
Thump, I freeze. The noise is right beside me coming from the hall closet.
Without thinking, I open the door and find Mrs. Perkins tied up with duct tape across her lips. Her green eyes, round and unblinking, grow wide, and her usual perfect curls are mussed. I drop the cleaver. It clatters on the floor, and I pull the tape free.

Links:
Anna Simpson
Author Anna Simpson aka Emaginette
About Anna:
Anna Simpson lives near the Canadian-US border with her family. Even though she’s lived in several places in British Columbia, her free spirit wasn’t able to settle down until she moved back to her hometown.
She's easy to find though, if you know the magic word — emaginette. Do an internet search using it and you’ll see what I mean. :-)

Enter the Rafflecopter drawing by clicking the link below. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 comments:

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. Anna I love small towns. I lived in one in Ohio once for a short time as a child and developed this love affair with something not quite real. Your blurb's an eye catcher, Anna. Good luck with your book.

helenafairfax.com said...

Hi JQ and Anna, I agree with Marsha - your blurb is an eye-catcher. I loved the first line of your extract, too - it really drew me in,
Interesting what you say about whether the wholesome small town vibe is just something you remember with nostalgia or actually existed. I do love to read books with that small town feel.
Best of luck with your release!

Erika said...

Hi Anna,
It's fun seeing all of your blog posts around social media. I do believe we write what we know, whether we set out to do so in our stories, or by chance. I think who we are is part of everything we do. I've definitely tapped some of the experiences all my own journey. In my short story in One More Day, I used my experience of moving from a small town in the middle of Kansas, which isn't so small anymore, to one of the biggest cities in Kansas. I moved the location for purposes in the story, but some of the emotional memories helped me fuel the character's choices. I wish you much success! Erika

J Q Rose said...

Hey Anna, it's great to host you on your book tour!

J Q Rose said...

Hi Marsha, I didn't know you lived in Ohio for a bit. I always think of you as a Texan or even a Vermonter? Thanks for stopping in.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Helena, I'm a small town girl so I agree with you about loving the nostalgia of a small town. Lots of quirky characters in small towns too!

J Q Rose said...

Hi Erika, I agree those emotional memories are fodder for a great story. Thanks so much for stopping by.

emaginette said...

Thanks everyone for dropping by and sharing + JQ for letting me visit. There is no other place I'd like to live than my small town. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Stephanie Faris said...

Congrats again to Anna. She's awesome!