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Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

Today our guest blogger is JEAN HARRINGTON, whose new book DESIGNED FOR DEATH was released last week by Carina Press.

 

Jean Picture

 

You can find Jean here:

 

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/jeanharrington1

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/JeanHarringtonNaples

Web site:  www.jeanharrington.com


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[ Edited ]

About Jean

 

 Writing has me hooked though the realization was a long time coming. As a child I wanted to be a foreign correspondent when I grew up. I must have been a romantic even then, but reality set in and instead I went to the exotic University of Rhode Island for a degree in English literature and stayed on as a teaching assistant while I earned my master’s degree.

In the meantime, I had married John (he loves it when I give my heroes his name), and we have two grown children, Mary Lee and Chris, and three granddaughters, Amy, Laura and Carolyn.

Following URI and a stint writing PR and advertising copy, I taught writing and lit for sixteen years at Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts. I enjoyed this period of my life tremendously, but when I think back, I realize that always simmering on the back burner of my brain was the old adage, “Those who can do; those who can’t teach.”

Not necessarily true, but after I raised my children, left Becker and moved to Florida with Big John, the gig was up. I began to write, and write, and write, and, well, you get the picture . . . .

My debut novel tells the tale of the captivating, defiant Grace O’Malley, THE BAREFOOT QUEEN, who risks everything she loves for a vow she holds dearer than life itself.

To meet Grace O’Malley, please press Book Excerpts.

 

 

Jean Harrington

 

Jean at the 2009 Naples Author and Book Festival.

 

Jean at the 2009 Naples Author and Book Festival.


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Designed for Death Meets Crafty Ladies

 

Jean_Harrington | January 3rd, 2012

 

A few days before Christmas, I found myself in Michaels Craft Store picking up a spool of wired red ribbon for a friend.  It had been at least ten years since I’d stepped foot in a crafts store. And with good reason. To check out, I had to stand in the world’s longest Conga line.

 

Now I don’t know about you, but personally I’m missing the crafts gene.  You know the one where you glue and staple stuff together and end up with something adorable all your friends coo over.  Well, that has never happened to me–will never happen to me.  So after ten years, this trip to Michaels had the freshness of a brand new experience.  While I stood waiting to pay for the ribbon, I was struck by the fact that practically everybody in town had hit the store at the same time. And that the customers, mostly women, clutched wrapping paper, candles, silk flowers, wreaths, garlands and all manner of, well, crafty supplies.  Clearly, these women wanted to make something beautiful for other people—children, spouses, family, friends.  In other words, they hoped to create a little happiness in the world.

 

So I tried to be good, no shoving, no sighing out loud, no grousing that the line hadn’t moved an inch in fifteen minutes.  Instead I thought of my mother who had elevated homemaking to a high art, who loved decorating rooms for my father and me, and for whom nothing—except maybe her budget—ever kept her from achieving her goal.

 

I thought, too, of my daughter who has taken her grandmother’s sensitivity to house and home and raised it to a new level.  She runs her own interior design firm and is the inspiration for my heroine, interior designer Deva Dunne, the amateur sleuth in Designed for Death, the first in my Murders by Design Mystery Series which Carina released just yesterday.

 

Yipppeee!

 

Deva is a fun, irreverent, witty gal who, after losing her beloved husband, struggles to find a new life while fighting off a killer.  And all the while, she’s creating beautiful homes.  No question, Deva can multi-task.

 

So…back to my Michaels adventure.  After I paid for the ribbon and left the store, I decided to give myself a break.  Maybe my contribution to general household happiness is helping people relax. They can lounge in their easy chairs and romp through the pages of my tongue-in-cheek mystery Designed for Death. If their toes curl with vicarious tension while they’re having a laugh with Deva so much the better.

 

Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  Glue gun or no glue gun.

 

Bio: After a stint as an advertising copywriter, Jean Harrington taught writing and literature for sixteen years at Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts.  She enjoyed teaching tremendously, but always simmering on the back burner of her brain was the desire to write a book of her own.  So when her two children were grown and launched, Jean left Becker and moved to Florida with husband Big John (He loves it when she gives her heroes his name) and began to write in earnest.  Nine novels later, Jean is carving out a brand new career creating tongue-in-cheek cozy mysteries.  She never knew a life of crime could be such fun.


 

 

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EVENTS

 

Friday and Saturday, February 24-25, 2012
The Southwest Florida Annual Conference
The Hyatt Place, 
Estero, Florida


Saturday, March 17, 2012--10-a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Southwest Florida Reading Festival
Harborside Event Center
Ft. Myers, Florida 


Thursday, April 12, 2012—2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
A Friends of Bonita Springs Library’s Annual Panel Discussion
“Death and Dessert”
Main Library, 
Bonita Springs, Florida 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

[ Edited ]

Designed for Death  

 

 

 

Overview

 

An Eye for Detail, a Nose for Trouble

 

 

Interior designer Deva Dunne’s latest project comes to a screeching halt when blood on the carpet leads her to the body of her client, an exotic dancer with a mysterious past. But the murdered woman is not the only resident of the posh beachfront condominium with secrets, and investigating officer Lieutenant Victor Rossi considers them all suspects.

 

Though wary of working in the killer’s midst, Deva continues decorating the unit for the new owner. When she stumbles upon clues that might help crack the case, she can’t resist doing a little digging of her own, despite Rossi’s orders to quit meddling. Now, she’s juggling the investigation, her career and sexy neighbor Simon Yaeger, who seems interested in more than her etchings.

 

Deva can’t help but be flattered by all the male attention—that is, until she realizes the killer has designs on her, too…

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

Designed for Death

 

 

DESIGNED FOR DEATH
Excerpt
   

 

Chapter One



      I opened my condo door to a runway model in stiletto heels and a short little scrap of a dress that fit her like the peel on a banana. 
      “Hi, the name’s Treasure,” she said, holding out a hand to me, her pristine, fire-red nails tipped down. “Are you Deva Dunne?” Mouth agape, I wrapped my fingers around hers then instantly let go and stuffed my hands in my pockets. 
      “Yes, I am.” I eyed her skirt. I like mine short, too, but this one barely covered the essentials. Barelybeing the operative word. “What can I do for you?” 
      She flashed a megawatt smile. “Dick sent me. I just bought Unit 301 on the top floor.” 
      Now everything fell into place, and I nodded. It was a miracle Dick Parker, the owner of the building, hadn’t given her a condo free. He loved women, though he’d lived a married man’s life for years. 
      “Dick told me you’re an interior designer,” she continued, “and, boy, do I need one.” 
      I cleared my throat, doing my best to blink out her dramatic appearance and concentrate on what she was saying. “Well, I am a designer, but I haven’t been working at it lately.” 
      “Oh?” Her star-quality smile dimmed. “Dick said you were redoing the Surfside condos he has up for sale.” 
      I shrugged and ran my tongue along my straight teeth. Four teenage years in braces had given me a smile like hers, right? “Just as a favor, to help him out.” 
      “He’s not paying you?” Her eyes swept wide open. “How terrible.” 
      Dick was up against it financially, but I didn’t think I should mention that. Or that shortly after moving in, I found out he planned to put pink flamingoes on the lawn. I told myself good taste was nothing more than educated timidity… Still, plastic birds. My God. The possibility that a flock of them might roost outside my windows had forced me to plunge back into my design role, which might have been a good thing. Until I healed from Jack’s death, I wouldn’t be fit to tackle a paying job. Though when the healing would begin, I had no idea. Maybe never. So for now at least, redoing Surfside Condominiums was keeping me sane. 
      Treasure peered over my shoulder, taking peeks at my foyer. I opened the door a bit more to make it easier for her. 
      “Would you like to come in?” I hadn’t had a single visitor since I’d moved to Naples three months earlier, and the silence was getting deafening. 
      “Jeez. I thought you’d never ask.” 
      I smiled and stepped aside. She strutted in, sank onto my couch and crossed her legs. The miniskirt rode up to the top of her thighs. 
      I pressed my lips together, sat on a club chair and kept my eyes north of her skirt hem. She pointed a finger at my Irish hunt board. “Old stuff like this is so cool, but it doesn’t add up to guy space.” She twirled a strand of long black hair around the same finger and eyed me inquisitively. “Any men in your life?” 
      I gulped and shook my head, sorry I’d invited her in. Questions about my love life were like drive-by bullets. I had no defense against them. Moisture welled under my lids. I clenched my jaw and jutted out my chin. No way would I let the tears flow. “Not anymore.”
      “Oh, dear. Was it the Big D?” 
      Unable to speak, I nodded. Who was this woman, anyway? Asking me hurtful questions five minutes after we met. 
      “Divorce is hell,” she went on. “When I broke up with my significant other, I thought he’d commit suicide. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.” 
      I cleared my throat. “I haven’t been divorced.” 
      “But you broke up—” 
      “My husband died. Eight months and five days ago.” 
      “Oh, I’m so sorry.” She sounded as if she really meant it. 
      “I am, too.” Sorrier than I could possibly express. Death was the real breakup from hell, but I would not, I would not cry. She flicked a hand. “Honey, I’m sure you’ll find somebody else to love someday. A doll like you with curly red hair and big hazel eyes.” 
      All I wanted, all I had ever wanted, was Jack. But her face was brimming with sympathy, and though she’d probed my wound and drawn blood, she was trying to comfort me. I couldn’t hate her for that. 
      She looked around my peach and taupe living room. “You know, these peach walls are great with your coloring, but…” One of her long nails tapped her chin. 
      Snapping into designer mode, I added, “You wouldn’t be happy with this look. Your personality calls for something different.” I was relieved to change the subject. At least I was good at designing if not at holding on to the love of my life. She laughed. “Yeah, different sounds about right. I sure am different.” 
      Intrigued, I pressed on. “So what do you have in mind?” 
      “You ready for this?” She leaned forward. “I want an Old Hollywood look. Glamorous, all white and ivory, with a few silver screen touches. Like any minute Bogart could step out of the bedroom.” 
      “Hollywood?” I hadn’t done anything remotely like a Tinseltown look before, and a spurt of interest welled up, catching me off guard. It had been months since a creative spark ignited my imagination. It felt good. Damn good. “Could be fun,” I admitted.
      “Yeah. I want everything clean. You know, pure looking.” She hesitated a moment then blurted out, “You probably would never guess, but I used to be an exotic dancer.” 
      “No kidding? You don’t look it,” I lied. Actually, she looked flamboyant enough to set a stage on fire. 
      “Well, before I left showbiz for good, I changed my act. Got rid of the python I used to dance with.” She brushed a speck of dust off her low-cut top. “You know, classed things up. Now I want to forget that life. Start over with a brand-new look. All white. Clean, cold and fresh.” 
      “You don’t mean everywhere? On everything?” 
      “Yeah, I do.” 
      I tested the waters. “How about colored movie posters?” 
      She wrinkled her nose. “No.” 
      “Patterned accent rugs?” 
      “No.” 
      “Pastel throw pillows?” I was grasping at straws here. 
      “No.” 
      I resisted the urge to smile. “You’re one stubborn lady.” 
      She smoothed her skirt an inch closer to her knees. “So guys have told me.” 
      As an interior designer, I was part taste-setter, part psychologist and part color theorist. And according to the principles of color theory, what Treasure wanted was a return to innocence. Maybe even to virginity. I blew out a breath. No telling how far back that would go. 
      One thing for certain, her insistence on pure white was too extreme to be accidental. As we chatted over iced tea, she told me what she had in mind. “White walls and trim, the palest retro shag rug you can find, white silk couches. Ditto for the flowers. I like oleander. Orchids, too. Oh, and white candles on all the glass tables. What do you think?” she asked, noisily sucking up the last of her tea through a straw. 
      “It sounds overwhelming. On a hot, sunny day, the place will be blinding. And how many days in Florida aren’t sunny?” 
      “I don’t care how light it gets. That’s the look I’m after.” 
      Why not? Pleasing the client was the name of the game, and as Treasure revealed her plans for her new home, she looked so happy and excited I caved in then and there. Life ought to be happy, and if I could make hers sing in white, why resist for the sake of some design standard she wouldn’t give two cents for? Besides, with her showbiz looks, she’d be the focal point of every pale room. 
      “Okay, let’s go for it,” I said, plunging in. “Pure white will set you off beautifully. You’ll be the center of attention.” And not incidentally, I’d have a paying job for the first time in months, and a reason to get up in the morning. 
      “You’ve caught it, Deva! It’ll be like a movie set.” She swept her arms wide and treated me to a giant I’ve-just-been-discovered smile. “That’s my goal. To be a star for the rest of my life, and you’ll be the star maker. The Cecil B. DeMille of Surfside Condominiums.” 
      I sipped my tea and looked at Jack’s picture framed on the wall. 
      Hey, Jack, I’m going into showbiz. 
      What a hoot. I caught myself laughing for the first time all year. And this was August. 

 

 

Jean Harrington © 2007-2011. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

MYSTERIES ARE SUCH A PUZZLE

 

By Jean Harrington

 


 

What is it about puzzles?  From childhood on, everybody seems to love them.  Remember playing Hide-and-Seek?  Or Cops and Robbers?  You had to find your friend taking cover behind a tree or the bad guy lurking behind the garage.  Or you might have laid out a jigsaw puzzle on your bedroom floor and struggled for weeks to complete the picture, one crazy-shaped piece at a time.  And then you grew older and discovered the  newspaper crossword that becomes more complex as the week goes on.  Monday’s you can ace but Saturday’s leaves you tearing your hair out.  Still you persist.  You wait for the paper to arrive on your doorstep or hurry to the corner kiosk partly for the fun of a fresh, untouched crossword all your own. 

 

After indulging in most of the above, I’ve come to the conclusion that puzzles fascinate because they offer a challenge.  You discover the bad guy isn’t hiding behind the garage where you thought he was but in a neighbor’s back yard.  Or you snap the five thousandth jigsaw piece in place and see a completed picture of the Apollo Space Shuttle.  Or you figure out that the capital of Ghana begins with an A and you write the name Accra in the crossword squares.  At that point you’ve arrived at an “aha!” moment.  You’ve outfoxed the fox.  What fun.  What triumph.

 

Another word for puzzle, of course, is mystery.  And how I do love a good mystery.   Statistically, I’m not alone.  Next to romance, mystery and suspense novels reign supreme in reader popularity.  That’s not surprising, for all the pleasure of puzzle solving is there for you in the mystery novel.   As you read a mystery, you collect clues, avoid red herrings, pick out the bad guy . . . so it’s not the butler . . . it’s the cook. . .  .  No?  Well, I’ll be darned.  Who did stiff the crotchety old millionaire?  His leggy blond girl friend?  Hmm, she was out of town when he was killed.  But she could have had an accomplice.  The handsome bartender who worked at their parties?  Never.  He’s a loyal family man.  Still, I’m not so sure . . . . And there you are playing sleuth in your head, forgetting all about the sink full of dishes, the unwashed clothes, or the alarm set to go off in just four more hours.

 

You’ve been drawn into another world, mesmerized by the clues piling up around your ankles.  No wonder you can’t put the book down.   Not now when you’re so close to a solution.  Each tiny detail brings you nearer to snapping in the last piece in this mental jigsaw puzzle—the mystery novel.  You have to learn the meaning of that half-empty wine glass left at the crime scene.  No, not that one with its dregs of Pinot Noir.  The other one with the lipstick smear.  Who wears that shade of coral?  Was the kitchen window open all night?  Did the gun go off twice or three times?

 

All details only.  But as every mystery buff knows, the devil is in the details.  The devil’s there for the reader to puzzle over, and for the mystery writer to incorporate into his plot.  So when I set about writing a murder mystery, I thought what better amateur sleuth than an interior designer, a woman who earns her bread by paying attention to killer details.  That  realization was my “aha!” moment.

 

Also my daughter is an interior designer.  In between our visits, during our marathon telephone talks, she regales me with tales of houses she just finished, works in progress and design ideas for upcoming projects.  Over the years, she’s helped develop my sensitivity to color, periods and trends.  So all of that texture (A case in point: “texture” is designer jargon!) I brought into play when writing Designed for Death, the first in my Murders by Design mystery series.

 

As if I were back playing Cops and Robbers, or grappling with a jigsaw, I had great fun writing Designed for Death.  The heroine and amateur sleuth Deva Dunne--short for Devalera--was named for her father’s Irish political hero, Eamon Devalera.  Deva’s been forced to explain her name’s origin to people ever since.

 

With her red hair, freckles, sensational legs—and despite having a man’s name—thirty-two year old Deva is all woman.  Witty, irreverent and grieving, she leaves Boston, the site of her beloved husband’s untimely death, for a new life in Florida.  Concealing her sorrow, she strives to build an interior design business, fights for a measure of happiness and struggles to solve the murder of her first Florida client.  No doubt about it, Deva can multi-task.

 

Scared, but too gutsy to give in to her fear, Deva keeps her chin up and her options open, sparring with the homicide detective on the case and sassing a sexy neighbor whose moves are making her jittery.  She’s a widow right?  Her love life is over, right?  And she knows who the killer is.  Right?

 

Ah.  Even with her talent for seeing those minute details that turn an ordinary room into a show stopper, when it comes to murder, Deva soon learns that the devil in the details is, well, diabolically devilish.  She’ll have to be devilishly clever herself to expose the culprit.  Can she design a plan in time to stop the killer before another victim is murdered? 

 

And the puzzling answer to that, my friends, is why I love a mystery.  How about you?  

 

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

Guest bloggers at Barnes & Noble's Mystery Forum don't always visit with us. Jean Harrington WILL be visiting, so if you have any questions for her, ask away!

 

And please give Jean a big B&N welcome, too!

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

Hi Jean - Thanks for joining us! I really appreciate you writing the guest blog for us. It's interesting that mysteries are actually a form of puzzles. In fact, I know a lot of cozy authors who hate that designation - they prefer to be called the authors of "puzzlers."

 

I wonder how many mystery lovers are into other types of puzzles, too - crosswords, Sudoko, etc.? Are you a fan of those?

 

Since we get a lot more people reading these posts than commenting on them, I'm going to ask a few questions that might interest our "lurkers."

 

*Have you always been a fan of the mystery genre?

 

*Who are some of your favorite mystery authors?

 

*What are you working on now?

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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

Welcome Jean:

 

I enjoyed reading your blog. Your book DESIGNED FOR DEATH looks very interesting, as does your romance novels.

 

Will your new book ever be published as a hand-held book? I have read some e-books but I actually love holding a real book. I'll have to try the audio, I like listening to them in the car during long trips. Anyhow, I definitely want to delve into your book. Interior designing murder is definitely a different idea. If the client doesn't like her new design, I guess she should sleep with her lights on! LOL!

 

Hope you enjoy your visit with you and come back soon!

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

Becke,

First off, anybody who can master those tricky Sudoko puzzles is a genius!  They're even tougher than the New York Times Sunday crossword.  But still, in answer to your question I've been a big fan of mysteries since back in my Nancy Drew days.  Pitting yourself against the author/narrator, trying to outsmart the sleuth, figuring out who the killer is--what fun!  A vicarious adventure and you never leave the comfort of your chair.  The "I KNEW the butler did it!" is a moment of pure joy.

 

Seriously now, my favorite mystery author is P.D. James, for sheer, thorough craftsmanship.  I''m looking forward eagerly to reading her recent release, "Death Comes to Pemberly."  For sassy, witty myster/thrillers, Nelson DeMille has my vote.  A thrill last March was meeting him at the Reading Festival in Ft. Myers, Florida. He was encouraging to me and my work, and that's a golden memory.

 

Right now, I'm working on the third in my mystery series--Murders by Design.  As the blurb above explains, my amateur sleuth is an interior designer with an eye for those devilish details.  The books have been fun to write.  And I hope, will be to read. 

 

 

Jean Harrington
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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

Eadie, You ask, will Designed for Death ever be published as a hand-held book?  Perhaps.  The publisher,Carina Press, does publish print editions of some of its releases.  I've been told my mystery series, Murders by Design, is being considered for print but so far haven't heard what the decision will be.

 

In the meanwhile, I'm enjoying the cyber book experience.  I honestly think electronic print is the wave of the future.  Electronic book sales keep rising. But of course, time will tell. And the audio of the book is a hoot!  The narrator, a Gayle Hendrix, is doing a great job enacting the dialogue, changing her voice for different characters, using lots of inflection in the way she reads.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it--and I know how the book ends!

Jean Harrington
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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!


JeanHarrington wrote:

Becke,

First off, anybody who can master those tricky Sudoko puzzles is a genius!  They're even tougher than the New York Times Sunday crossword.  But still, in answer to your question I've been a big fan of mysteries since back in my Nancy Drew days.  Pitting yourself against the author/narrator, trying to outsmart the sleuth, figuring out who the killer is--what fun!  A vicarious adventure and you never leave the comfort of your chair.  The "I KNEW the butler did it!" is a moment of pure joy.

 

Seriously now, my favorite mystery author is P.D. James, for sheer, thorough craftsmanship.  I''m looking forward eagerly to reading her recent release, "Death Comes to Pemberly."  For sassy, witty myster/thrillers, Nelson DeMille has my vote.  A thrill last March was meeting him at the Reading Festival in Ft. Myers, Florida. He was encouraging to me and my work, and that's a golden memory.

 

Right now, I'm working on the third in my mystery series--Murders by Design.  As the blurb above explains, my amateur sleuth is an interior designer with an eye for those devilish details.  The books have been fun to write.  And I hope, will be to read. 

 

 


You met Nelson DeMille? VERY exciting! I'm also a P.D. James fan, although I haven't read PEMBERLY yet. I've heard really good things about it!

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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

Yes, Nelson (I call him Nelson in my dreams) was quiet and calm and very courtly.  Not at all likethe wise-cracking John Corey protag in his books.  Which just goes to prove that the voice of the narrator is not necessarily the voice of the author, but an assumed personality. 

 

One thing I take the most pleasure in regarding my own writing is that readers tell me they love the voice in Designed for Death.  Deva, the interior designer and amateur sleuth, is sassy and fun but she also has heer moments of serious reflection.  I think for a writer, manipulating the narrator's voice is the biggest challenge of all and the most rewarding when you feel that you've succeeded in expressing it. 

Jean Harrington
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becke_davis
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JeanHarrington wrote:

Yes, Nelson (I call him Nelson in my dreams) was quiet and calm and very courtly.  Not at all likethe wise-cracking John Corey protag in his books.  Which just goes to prove that the voice of the narrator is not necessarily the voice of the author, but an assumed personality. 

 

One thing I take the most pleasure in regarding my own writing is that readers tell me they love the voice in Designed for Death.  Deva, the interior designer and amateur sleuth, is sassy and fun but she also has heer moments of serious reflection.  I think for a writer, manipulating the narrator's voice is the biggest challenge of all and the most rewarding when you feel that you've succeeded in expressing it. 


What made you decide to write a cozy(ish) mystery? Was the idea for Deva and her story something you had in your head for awhile?

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maxcat
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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

I love the blog! Mysteries are puzzles that you piece together to come to an end. Any sort of puzzle suits me and some of the hard ones I can't figure out. I was always puzzled by Agatha Christie. But that's just me. Love a good mystery!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

What made me want to write a cozy mystery?  Well, I wanted to tackle the challenge of writing a mystery, but not the kind that leaves the reader scared to be alone at night.  Yes, there's a murder and a murderer, and yes there is genuine menace and danger to my heroine, but her tongue-in-cheek humor to her problems offsets the evil doing and provides a romp for the reader. Or so my critics tell me!

 

The book--actually the series--has been cooking in my head for a long while.  My daughter is an interior designer, and her experiences in the field have been fascinating me for years.  And I thought the combination of an interior designer with her eye for detail would make a perfect amateur sleuth.  She applies the same "the devil's in the details" approach she uses in her business to helping solve the crime. Just as no fringe is too unimportant to get just right, so too no clue is too unimportant to ignore. 

Jean Harrington
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becke_davis
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!


JeanHarrington wrote:

What made me want to write a cozy mystery?  Well, I wanted to tackle the challenge of writing a mystery, but not the kind that leaves the reader scared to be alone at night.  Yes, there's a murder and a murderer, and yes there is genuine menace and danger to my heroine, but her tongue-in-cheek humor to her problems offsets the evil doing and provides a romp for the reader. Or so my critics tell me!

 

The book--actually the series--has been cooking in my head for a long while.  My daughter is an interior designer, and her experiences in the field have been fascinating me for years.  And I thought the combination of an interior designer with her eye for detail would make a perfect amateur sleuth.  She applies the same "the devil's in the details" approach she uses in her business to helping solve the crime. Just as no fringe is too unimportant to get just right, so too no clue is too unimportant to ignore. 


I've always wondered how Stephen King sleeps at night - his stories certainly keep ME awake! That's one thing with cozies - they give you enough of a puzzle and a thrill to keep it interesting, without making you nervous to read them when you're alone in the house at night!

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JeanHarrington
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Re: Guest Blog by Author JEAN HARRINGTON!

But what good is a puzzle you can easily figure out?  There's no challenge.  No challenge, no excitement. No excitement no enjoyment. The mystery has to be, well, puzzling, to be worthwile.

Jean Harrington