I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for author Maria Geraci and her fantastic book Beach Blanket Homicide. This is the fist book in her Whispering Bay Mystery series and I really liked it a lot.
Beach Blanket Homicide (Whispering Bay Mystery)
1st in Series
Independently Published (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 268 pages
Digital ASIN: B07K6WXBG8
Purchase Link – Amazon
The first book in a fun, quirky chick-lit mystery series featuring Lucy McGuffin, world’s best muffin maker and amateur sleuth.
Everyone agrees that Lucy McGuffin bakes the best muffins in Whispering Bay, but she’s got another talent, one that she’s tried her whole life to hide. Lucy can always tell when a person is lying or telling the truth. Being a human lie detector isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Especially when you don’t really want the answer to the universal question: Does this dress make my butt look too big?
When Lucy is hired to cater the grand opening celebration of the city’s new community center, she stumbles across the dead body of Abby Delgado, a prominent member of the Sunshine Ghost Society. Lucy’s brother, Father Sebastian, a local priest, is the last person to have seen Abby alive. Convinced he’ll be breaking a confidence, Sebastian refuses to cooperate with the police, forcing Lucy to put her skills to the test to save her brother’s good name.
Enter the town’s new hotshot deputy, Travis Fontaine. Travis doesn’t want an amateur like Lucy snooping around his turf, so he offers her a deal. He’ll stay out of her kitchen if she’ll stay away from his crime scene. But Lucy isn’t about to let her brother’s fate rest in the hands of an arrogant cop. Good thing she has her best friend Will and her new little rescue dog, Paco, to back her up, because its up to Lucy to figure out what everyone in the quaint little beachside town is hiding.
This is the first book that I have read by this author but it definitely will not be the last. I so enjoyed this book, I thought it was fantastic.
The characters are well developed and well rounded. I really enjoyed meeting Lucy and her friends and family. Lucy is hard working, fun-loving and loyal. She also has a hidden talent–she is a human lie detector. She is not very happy having this hidden talent, but it is what it is. She has learned to live with it and when her brother is considered a person of interest when someone is killed, she is very happy to be able to know if someone is telling the truth or not. She is determined to find the culprit before her brother is put away for life.
The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and I felt I was right there at the beachside town, watching all the action take place and listening in on conversations. Her description pulled me into the story right from the beginning. Her writing style kept me engaged throughout the entire book and took me on a fantastic journey. The book was very funny and I was laughing out loud at some parts of the book, especially Lucy’s inner thoughts.
I thought the mystery was well plotted and moved along at a nice steady pace. There were enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider and it was not easy to solve, which is just fine with me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. The combination of intriguing characters, a homey small town setting, plenty of humor and a great mystery makes this book a must read. If I could I would give it more than five stars.
Maria Geraci writes quirky, fun, romantic women’s fiction and cozy mysteries. She’s a two time RITA® Finalist, as well as a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards and Romantic Times’ American Title Contest. She lives in central Florida and is always on the lookout for the perfect key lime pie recipe (but not the kind they served on Dexter).
Website – http://mariageraci.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MariaGeraciBooks
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/authormariageraci/
When did you know that you wanted to be an author? What things, if any, influenced that decision?
First off, thank you for having me here today!
I didn’t get the writing bug until my early forties. I’ve always been a big reader, and I think that influenced my desire to write more than anything.
With so many cozies being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?
I think that the only thing that can make a book stand out from the crowd, regardless of genre, is the author’s voice. Let’s face it, everything has been done before. It’s the way the author tells a story that makes it different from anyone else’s.
Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
A little bit of both. Cozies are basically a puzzle, so I have to outline the who-done-it part, but the rest of the story (the relationships, the secondary characters) I just sit back and see where the story takes me.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
Yes, I read my reviews, but I never respond to them. I appreciate every review my books receive, even the not so good ones because I feel like it helps readers decide whether or not to buy my books. If a review is mean-spirited or just kind of crazy and out there (and all authors get those!) I feel it reflects more on the reviewer than on the book.
I have an Advanced Review Team that I offer digital ARCS to before the book comes out. In exchange I ask them to leave an honest review on places like Amazon and Goodreads, but I don’t police the team or require it.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Inaction is really the only mistake one can make.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)? Who designs your book covers?
I definitely think a good cover helps sway buyers, but it’s a combination of a lot of things—a good book, good cover, good title, good marketing. And of course, the most important thing of all—good word of mouth.
Kim Killion designs all my covers, both for my cozy mysteries and my romantic comedies. She’s awesome!
Please give us an insight into your main characters. What do you think makes them special?
Lucy McGuffin, my amateur sleuth, is the world’s best muffin maker. She’s also a human lie detector, a “gift” that can help her solve crime, but it can also get her in trouble, too.
What have you learned about yourselves since becoming an author?
That anything is possible and hard work really can take you far.
Do you write full-time or part-time? What do your plans for future projects include?
I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time. I have lots of projects coming up this year—three more Whispering Bay Mysteries and I’m also working on a new romantic comedy series titled Undercover Matchmakers.
What do you think the hardest part of writing is? What is the easiest?
The hardest is definitely having the time to get it all done. The easiest? Coming up with ideas! I wish I had time to write them all.
What type of books do you like to read? Who are some of your favorite authors?
I love chick-lit, romantic comedy, cozy mystery. Favorite authors of the past include Jane Austen. In the present, Sophie Kinsella, Mary Kay Andrews, Angie Fox, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Roxanne St. Claire, and so many more.
What is the one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
Like my main character, Lucy, I’m a bit afraid of squirrels!
Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading! I know that now, more than ever, there are a lot of choices, so I truly appreciate each and every one of my readers. If you enjoy my books, please let me know by connecting with me on Facebook or sending me an email. And reviews are always welcome!
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/mariageraci
To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway, click on the link below:
March 6 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 6 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Valerie’s Musings – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 7 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – My Reading Journeys – GUEST POST
March 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Laura’s Interests – GUEST POST
March 11 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
March 11 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 12 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW