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Guest Blog by Author LAURA CHILDS!

I'm betting quite a few of you are fans of the talented and prolific LAURA CHILDS, as I am. I'm very excited to bring you a guest blog from Laura today!

 

 

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbooking mysteries. In her past life she was a Clio Award–winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm. She lives in Plymouth, Minnesota.

 

Laura's website is here: http://www.laurachilds.com/

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FAQ's

 

Q  Will you please make recommendations on what teas to buy?

A  It's going to be a lot more fun for you if you visit your local tea shop or gourmet shop and talk to the real experts. You can also shop and explore at tea websites such as adagio.com, stashtea.com, harney.com, and teatreasures.com. And be sure to check out specialty tea magazines such as Tea- A Magazine (teamag.com) and Tea Time (teatimemagazine.com).

 

Q  I have a great idea for a new mystery. How do I get started, and how do I find a publisher?

A  First, you need to have a finished manuscript in hand. Publishers do not just buy "ideas." Once you have your manuscript written and polished, send a one page query letter (not the manuscript) to a literary agent. Tell the prospective agent about the merits of your book and include a short synopsis. There are books at the library and in bookstores that list these agents. 

One helpful blog written by a literary agent (http://blog.nathanbransford.com/) gives a wealth of information about query letters, agents, writing a synopsis, publishing lingo, etc.

 

Q  What is your writing background?

A  I was a writer/producer at several national ad agencies, then headed my own company, Mission Critical Marketing, as CEO and Creative Director. Because I had written and produced so many TV commercials, I decided to try my hand at writing screenplays. I wrote four screenplays, got one read by Paramount, but never actually sold one. I then turned to writing mysteries. After I'd produced two manuscripts, the planets seemed to align, and I got very lucky with a great agent and a visionary editor. I have since sold my ad agency and now write mysteries full time. I do miss the interaction of working with my creative and account teams, but the tight deadlines and creativity-on-demand are very reminiscent of the ad game!

 

Q  Why do you mention so many wonderful foods but only include a few recipes?

A  I'd love to include more recipes, but as my publisher keeps pointing out, I'm writing mysteries not cook books!

 

Q  I'd like to review your book for the publication (or Internet site) that I work for or own.

A  Wonderful! I'd very much appreciate your doing that. Just e-mail me with the details, plus the exact mailing address of the publication you're affiliated with, and I'll have my publisher send a book.

 

Q  Which of your mysteries are available in hardcover and which are available in paperback?

A  Death by DarjeelingGunpowder GreenShades of Earl GreyThe English Breakfast MurderJasmine Moon MurderChamomile MourningBlood Orange BrewingDragonwell DeadThe Silver Needle Murder,Oolong Dead, The Teaberry Strangler and Scones & Bones are all available in paperback. 

The first seven Scrapbook Mysteries, Keepsake CrimesPhoto FinishedBound For MurderFrill KillDeath SwatchTragic Magic, and Fiber & Brimstone are all available in paperback. Skeleton Letters is currently available in hard cover. 

All of the Cackleberry Club Mysteries, Eggs in PurgatoryEggs Benedict Arnold, and Bedeviled Eggs are available in paperback.

 

Q  There are a few errors in some of your recipes. Can you clarify please?

A  Sorry about that. The correct amount of flour for Mississippi Mud Cake in Bound for Murder is one and a half cups.

The ingredients for Chicken Perloo mentioned in Shades of Earl Grey are different from the recipe given in the back of the book. Chicken Perloo, like stew, has hundreds of variations. So don't be afraid to experiment. 

And, yes, I now know that raisins are toxic for dogs.

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Re: Guest Blog by Author LAURA CHILDS!

The book covers in this series are just gorgeous!

 

Agony of the Leaves (Tea Shop Series #13)  

 

 

Agony of the Leaves

 

 

When tea shop owner Theodosia slips away from serving tea and scones at the Neptune Aquarium, she discovers the body of a man, tangled in a net, in the vast Ocean Wall exhibit. EMTs say the man drowned, but Theodosia spots defensive wounds. Though police aren’t keen on her theory, Theodosia chases down a raft of suspects that include a shady lawyer, extravagant lady restaurateur, and aquarium board member.  

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Bedeviled Eggs (Cackleberry Club Series #3)  

 

Bedeviled Eggs

 

Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, the wise-cracking (and egg cracking) ladies of the Cackleberry Club café whip up Egg Strata and Slumbering Volcanoes in the morning, then work a double shift as amateur sleuths. Because in this go round, a read dating event ends with a mayoral candidate getting shot with a crossbow. Then, two days later, a sheriff’s deputy is found murdered on the historical society’s Quilt Trail.

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Skeleton Letters (Scrapbooking Series #9)  

 

Skeleton  Letters

 

The last thing scrapbooking maven Carmela Bertrand expected to bear witness to in St. Tristan’s Church was a crime. But now a beloved member of her scrapbooking circle is dead – and a mysterious hooded figure has absconded with an antique crucifix.

 

With the church, a popular New Orleans tourist site, pretty much open to the public, it looks like the police don’t have a prayer of finding the killer.

 

Good thing amateur sleuth Carmela and her voodoo shop-owning friend, Ava, are hot on the trail of suspects that range from the strange Brother Paul to the cult group The Seekers. Combing New Orleans for clues, they end up in a bayou at midnight--stalked by an enraged killer!

 

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[ Edited ]

 

If Murder is your Cup of Tea . . .

 

by Laura Childs

 

If you haven’t met Theodosia Browning yet, the main character in my new Tea Shop Mystery, Agony of the Leaves, you’re in for a treat.  Theodosia isn’t your basic cozy heroine – she’s smart, savvy, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC, and is “mom” to a sweet service dog named Earl Grey.  She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on “coincidences” or inept police work to solve crimes.  Theodosia dives right in, rubs elbows with the right people, and digs for information.  Does she get in trouble for this?  Oh my, yes. 

 

In Agony of the Leaves, Theodosia is attending the opening of Charleston’s Neptune Aquarium where she’s been tapped to cater tea, scones, and finger foods for a private party of big buck donors.  But when Theodosia slips away to view the Ocean Wall exhibit, she discovers the body of a man, tangled in a net, drowned in this state-of-the-art tank.

 

To make matters worse, the victim is Theodosia’s former boyfriend Parker Scully.  The EMTs on the scene say poor Parker drowned, but Theodosia spots defensive wounds on his hands and realizes someone must have wanted him dead.  Even though the police aren’t keen on her theory, Theodosia chases down a raft of suspects that include a shady lawyer, an extravagant lady restaurateur, and an aquarium board member.  Complications ensue when Theodosia competes in a charity scavenger event, caters a tea luncheon at her Aunt Libby’s plantation, and hosts a Chado ceremony at the Heritage Society.  In fact, this clever amateur sleuth’s investigation leads her from high tea into high drama and a surprise cemetery shocker at the end! 

 

Agony of the Leaves, like all my other mysteries, isn’t really a traditional cozy.  My book are written in the thriller style, with a big opening, two or three surprise events in the middle of the book, and a whopping big ending.  I call this type of hybrid cozy a “thrillzy.”

 

I’ve also included a dozens of recipes and tea tips in the book.  And I think you’re really going to enjoy my Charleston Pecan Brownie Bars, Honey Bee Scones, and Sweet Potato Butter in particular.  Got the munchies?  Get the book!

 

 

Laura Childs Biography

 

I’m currently the author of 13 Tea Shop Mysteries, 9 Scrapbooking Mysteries, and 3 Cackleberry Club Mysteries.  I’ve been lucky (knock on wood) to have several of my books named to the USA Today andThe New York Times Bestseller Lists.  In my past life, I was CEO of Mission Critical Marketing and handled marketing and advertising campaigns for multi-national medical and technology clients.  I’m married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese Art History and we have two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs, Asia and Moosha. 

 

 

Other Mysteries Published

 

Tea Shop Mysteries

Death by Darjeeling

Gunpowder Green

Shades of Earl Grey

English Breakfast Club Murder

Jasmine Moon Murder

Chamomile Mourning

Blood Orange Brewing

Dragonwell Dead

The Silver Needle Murder

Oolong Dead

The Teaberry Strangler

Scones & Bones

Agony of the Leaves

 

Scrapbook Mysteries

Keepsake Crimes

Photo Finished

Bound for Murder

Motif for Murder

Frill Kill

Death Swatch

Tragic Magic

Fiber & Brimstone

Skeleton Letters

 

Cackleberry Club Mysteries

Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs Benedict Arnold

Bedeviled Eggs

 

 

For more information go to www.laurachilds.com


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I'm a big fan of tea - I just added Laura's books to one of my Pinterest boards: http://pinterest.com/beckedavis/it-s-always-tea-time/

 

How many of you are tea drinkers?

 

 


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Re: Guest Blog by Author LAURA CHILDS!

A Google search turned up some interesting pictures:

 

:-)

 

:-)

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[ Edited ]
Welcome Laura: I have a few of your books in my to-be-read pile - I'll have to move them up! In regards to raisins, my vet daughter just informed me that onions are toxic for dogs. I just heard on TV the other day that if you take any medications, you should not drink black tea as it inhibits your medicine from working properly. I am a big black tea drinker but this week I've been drinking some peach with ginger tea. I like it but not as much as all the different black teas I usually drink. My husband and I are on 95 heading toward Delaware. We are heading to my beach house. It's a beautiful day going up to 70 but the weekend will be only highs in the 40's. My daughter works for a vet in Salisbury, MD, so she lives at our beach house near Assateague. Her in-laws are coming for the weekend so we are going to build a fire on the beach and enjoy ourselves this weekend. Our new Sleep Number bed was delivered this morning, so it will be waiting for us when we get home. I was playing with all the buttons this morning. You can adjust the head and feet up for reading and the massage was cool too! Hope you enjoy your visit with us. I have a couple of your scrapbook series. I am now really interested in your books about the different teas. I'll be sure to check those out. Which is your favorite type of tea?
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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Sorry about the long paragraph, my i-pad does not recognize spacing on this blog for some reason!
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 LAURA CHILDS!

Welcome, Laura and what a wonderful blog. I have read a couple of your Tea Shop mysteries but I am tantalized to by your new Cackleberry Club 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 LAURA CHILDS!

Hi everyone - I don't think Laura will be visiting with us today, but I've passed the link on to her publisher, so she will see all your comments. Thank you!

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becke_davis wrote:

 

I'm a big fan of tea - I just added Laura's books to one of my Pinterest boards: http://pinterest.com/beckedavis/it-s-always-tea-time/

 

How many of you are tea drinkers?

 

 



Well, I'm a tea drinker. I have a cup of green tea, every morning, and then usually at least one glass of ice tea during the day or evening. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors,  C.S. Lewis:You can't get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough, to suit me!

 

I really enjoy reading Laura's books. The Tea Shop mysteries are my favorites, maybe because I discovered them first, but I really like Theodosia and her assistants. I do enjoy the Scrapbook and Cackleberry mysteries too, though. Hope there will be another Cackleberry mystery coming out soon!

 

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
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Fricka wrote:

becke_davis wrote:

 

I'm a big fan of tea - I just added Laura's books to one of my Pinterest boards: http://pinterest.com/beckedavis/it-s-always-tea-time/

 

How many of you are tea drinkers?

 

 



Well, I'm a tea drinker. I have a cup of green tea, every morning, and then usually at least one glass of ice tea during the day or evening. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors,  C.S. Lewis:You can't get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough, to suit me!

 

I really enjoy reading Laura's books. The Tea Shop mysteries are my favorites, maybe because I discovered them first, but I really like Theodosia and her assistants. I do enjoy the Scrapbook and Cackleberry mysteries too, though. Hope there will be another Cackleberry mystery coming out soon!

 


I discovered her tea shop mysteries first, too! Aren't the new covers great?

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Fricka
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Re: Guest Blog by Author LAURA CHILDS!


becke_davis wrote:

Fricka wrote:

becke_davis wrote:

 

I'm a big fan of tea - I just added Laura's books to one of my Pinterest boards: http://pinterest.com/beckedavis/it-s-always-tea-time/

 

How many of you are tea drinkers?

 

 



Well, I'm a tea drinker. I have a cup of green tea, every morning, and then usually at least one glass of ice tea during the day or evening. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors,  C.S. Lewis:You can't get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough, to suit me!

 

I really enjoy reading Laura's books. The Tea Shop mysteries are my favorites, maybe because I discovered them first, but I really like Theodosia and her assistants. I do enjoy the Scrapbook and Cackleberry mysteries too, though. Hope there will be another Cackleberry mystery coming out soon!

 


I discovered her tea shop mysteries first, too! Aren't the new covers great?


Yes, especially the cover for Agony of the Leaves. Love the color scheme there! Not that there was anything wrong with the previous covers, though--I liked them, too.

Now that I come to think of it, I do have a question for Laura. I'd like to know how she came up with the name for her protagonist in the Tea Shop mysteries. Theodosia is the name of a Byzantine Empress, and Browning is the last name of a famous English poets(one of my favorites, by the way). Just curious as to what made her choose both the first and last names of TB.

 

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie