Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MAID OF MURDER BLOG TOUR: AUTHOR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
MAID OF MURDER

An India Hayes Mystery
BY AMANDA FLOWER


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Humor and wit abound in a new cozy mystery called Maid of Murder from first-time author Amanda Flower. The book, set to be released June 16, 2010, by Five Star Mystery/Gale Cengage Publishing, follows the misadventures of India Hayes, a librarian at a small college in Northeast Ohio. When India’s best childhood friend is murdered a week before her wedding, India’s mathematician brother is arrested for the crime.

As she sets about to prove her brother’s innocence, India also finds herself dealing with her protest-happy hippie parents, an Irish-centric neighbor who fears India is dating an Englishman, and a checking account emptied to purchase the most hideous gold bridesmaid gown India’s ever seen. These are just some of the trials India Hayes faces in Maid of Murder, her debut as an amateur sleuth.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR...

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. Welcome please Amanda Flower, author of MAID OF MURDER, who has kindly agreed to answer a few questions some of the readers might be interested in. But first let’s learn a little about Amanda and how she got started writing.

BIOGRAPHY:

Author Amanda Flower, a native of Akron, Ohio, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Like her main character India Hayes, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. When she is not at the library or writing her next mystery, she is an avid traveler who has been to seventeen countries, forty-eight U.S. states, and counting. Maid of Murder is her debut novel and the first in a series featuring amateur sleuth India Hayes.
Amanda Flower’s website http://amandaflower.com/

2. Where did you get the inspiration or idea for this book?

The main character of Maid of Murder, India Hayes, inspired me to write her story. Nine years ago, I was sitting in a Blockbuster parking lot on the Fourth of July, and India’s mildly sarcastic voice popped into my head. Although it’s been revised many times since, the first paragraph of Maid of Murder is what India said to me that day. From her remarks a novel and series was born.

3. How did the title of your book come about?


Before the title Maid of Murder, I had another working title for the manuscript and my publisher asked me to change it. I thought of the new title while driving home from work one evening. I have a pretty long commute; it’s about an hour one way. During the drive, I played a word game, trying to merge the concept of wedding and mystery into a short and concise book title. By the time, I got home I had three contenders, but Maid of Murder was by the far the best.

4. Do you see yourself in your characters? Which characters are easiest or more difficult to write?

I see a lot of myself in several of my characters. I’m the closest to India, I suppose, because we are both academic librarians who work at small colleges. However, our personalities are pretty different. She’s much more phlegmatic than I am.

The easiest characters for me to write about are the humorous ones like India’s landlady, Ina Carroll. I also enjoy creating the not-so-nice characters. Not necessarily, the villains, but the jerks in the novel. You know who I’m talking about; it’s that person you work with who drives you nuts by tapping her pen over and over again or your fussy neighbor who plucks your flowers because they are encroaching on his lawn. These types of people crack me up in fiction. In real life, not so much. For me writing the less extreme, even-keel characters can be the most challenging. I don’t want any of my characters to be boring because even the most mild-mannered person in the world has a quirk about him or her. I like to expose those quirks in my fiction.

5. What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out? What are you currently reading?

I’m really inspired by novels with wit whether they are mysteries or not. For example, I love Gillian Roberts’s Amanda Pepper Mystery Series. I love how she included her main character’s dry humor into the series. I’m also inspired by authors like Meg Cabot, who write humorous series with a lot of heart. If a novel can make me chuckle with a turn of a phrase, I give it five stars.

6. What is the next or current book/project you are working on?

I am currently revising the sequel to Maid of Murder. In the second book, India, much to her chagrin, is taking part in a folk art festival. In addition, I am actively seeking a publisher from my middle grade mystery novel, The Mystery of the First Andora.

7. What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?

I want people to know how grateful I am to be a published author. I have been literally been chasing this dream since I was eleven-years-old, and sometimes, I still can’t believe it has come true. Even more so, I’m so thankful to the readers who have embraced the book and are looking forward to the second one. That means so much to me.

8. What is your best advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?

My advice would be to write what you love to write. Don’t write for the market because you will spend your time chasing it and may never catch it. Good writing goes a long way in the publishing industry, and you will write your best work if you write the stories you love to tell, whatever they may be.


GIVEAWAY


THANKS TO VERA AT LUXURY READING FOR
HAVING THIS TOUR, I HAVE ONE COPY OF
THIS EXCITING BOOK TO GIVE AWAY.



--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING INTERESTING FROM AMANDA FLOWER'S INTERVIEW AND THE BOOK DESCRIPTION THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: "LIKE" AMANDA FLOWER ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE HERE AND LEAVE A COMMENT THERE THAT YOU HAVE SEEN MY REVIEW OF HER BOOK ON BOOKIN' WITH BINGO

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ON AMANDA FLOWER'S WEBSITE HERE


GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, AUGUST 23!


Blog Tour Schedule:

Melissa's Bookshelf - http://www.melissas-bookshelf.com/ - August 9th

Bookin' with Bingo - http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/ - August 11th (interview)

The Lit Witch - http://www.thelitwitch.com/ - August 12th

Just Short of Crazy - http://justshortofcrazy.blogspot.com/ - August 16th

Reading at the Beach - www.readingatthebeach.com - August 17th

Books and Needlepoint - http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/ - August 18th

Books By Their Cover - booksbytheircover.blogspot.com - August 19th

Luxury Reading - www.luxuryreading.com - August 20th

78 comments:

Steve Capell said...

I found her statement: "My advice would be to write what you love to write. Don’t write for the market because you will spend your time chasing it and may never catch it." I absolutely agree with this. I find many authors trying to chase the market and you can find that in their writings. I would really like to read this book so I thank you for hosting this giveaway.


steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

Ashley said...

I would like this because the characters sound very colorful :)

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of using a word game to figure out the title for this book.



CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I "liked" Amanada Flower on FB and added comment there too!


CarolNWong(at)aol.com

Anonymous said...

Amanda Flower has been to Slokia, Iceland, Ireland and Isreal.



CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Young in TX said...

entry 1: COMMENT ON SOMETHING INTERESTING FROM AMANDA FLOWER'S INTERVIEW AND THE BOOK DESCRIPTION THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK... Amanda sees herself in the characters. I'd like to win this book because it's a mystery.

Thanks.

Young in TX said...

entry 2: I liked Amanda Flowers on FB and commented that I saw her book review here.

Young in TX said...

entry 3: from Amanda's website I found that Publishers Weekly finds
"Flower’s ... [has] a quirky heroine"

Thanks.
Laura_in_TX
123yes456@gmail.com

CherylS22 said...

I like the description of this book - "Humor and wit abound in a new cozy mystery". I like to be able to laugh while reading a good book.

Thanks for the giveaway ~
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

Became a FB fan of Amanda Flower & left a message on her wall
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

I found Ms. Flower's travels interesting - Slovakia, Ireland & Israel. She sure has seen some differing cultures in those countries.

megalon22 at yahoo dot com

holdenj said...

I think it's interesting that they are both academic librarians! Thanks for the info and chance to win.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

debbie said...

I like that she writes about what she likes, and gives that advice to others. It sounds like a good mystery.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Chanelle said...

Find it interesting that she has traveled to seventeen countries,and forty-eight differnt states. Love Mysteries and this one sounds like a grea read!
cparkins14 AT teancum.net

Cindy W. said...

I went to Amanda Flower's website and found that she is an academic librarian at a small college in Ohio.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I love books that are humorous and witty. I also love a good mystery. So to read a book that combines all of these aspects puts that book at the top of my list. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

rubynreba said...

I would like to read this book because I love to read mysteries.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I find it interesting that she is writing a sequel to this book.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Tore said...

Great interview. I love the sound of this book. I reall want to read it. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Kaye said...

It's a cozy! need I say more? You know how I love the genre. I'm glad she drew some inspiration from the Amanda Pepper series. I love that series!

florida982002{at} yahoo.com

Margie said...

Looks like an intriguing book...a mystery with interesting characters.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

The author is an academic librarian who likes to travel. She lives in Ohio.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

traveler said...

I am captivated with this story and the mystery aspect. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

How lucky for this young lady to have travelled to so many interesting destinations. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

A mystery with a unique appeal. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

She is an academic librarian as well as ther character and has travelled far and wide. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Andrea I said...

I liked Amanda on Facebook and left a comment.


andrea.infinger@gmail.com

Andrea I said...

Amanda is an avid traveler and aspires to visit as much of the globe as she can.


andrea.infinger@gmail.com

Andrea I said...

It looks like a very entertaining book with interesting characters.


andrea.infinger@gmail.com

Linda Kish said...

Protest -happy hippie parents and a quirky librarian along with a murder. What could be more fun than that?

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I liked the look into her life in her photos.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

LAMusing said...

I always appreciate humor with my murder mysteries :)

adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Norma said...

I;m also from Akron Ohio! Would love to read this - I wonder if I'd recognize locations?
bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

I love the layout of Amannda's site - quirky like her heroine I'm guessing. Interesting she loves to ravel
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Amanda said...

I like that she and her main character are both college librarians and her mention of loving to write annoying characters!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Amanda said...

I liked the picture of her on a camel on her website!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Ruthie said...

Always wanted to be a librarian.

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Ruthie said...

FB fan bonus

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

StephTheBookworm said...

Ooh, I want to read this! It's about a librarian, and I'm in school right now studying to be a librarian! :)

stephaniet117 at yahoo dot com

Margie said...

+5 Swag
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Tea said...

I liked hearing about the first story Amanda wrote while in school. I bet the story was funny. Being stuck in a ferris wheel is no fun.

teakettle58(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tea said...

I have been to Amanda's Facebook page. I wrote and said I liked her and the book. I shared.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amanda-Flower/199666665449?v=wall

Tea said...

I have linked to you from my blog in the sidebar.

http://readwithtea.blogspot.com

Tea said...

I love her website. In the header are the old fashioned library drawers. I still can remember pulling those drawers out and looking for a title, subject. I also watched the movie trailer. I loved the music. India's poor brother is in a mess of trouble. ::))

throuthehaze said...

The cover is so interesting it makes me want to read the book! It also sounds like it is filled with some crazy characters :)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Christine H said...

+5swag chirth7@yahoo.com

Jeff said...

+5swag jeff72768@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

+5swag shundelt@yahoo.com

A Musing Mother said...

Being a published author - - something to be very grateful for!

ntaylor228 at yahoo dot com

Sarah said...

I like that she sees herself in her characters:)

Sarah said...

From her website I like that she is a librarian....how fun for a book lover!

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I "liked" her on facebook

Sarah said...

+5 swag

foxchick0323@live.com

ossmcalc said...

The statement at the very beginning of the review, "Humor and wit abound in a new cozy mystery," definitely caught my eye. Usually I really like thrillers, but this one also has humor and wit. Would love to see how this works in a murder mystery. The guy who is arrested for the murder is a mathematician, and so am I. Would like to know why they think that it is him.


Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I "LIKE" AMANDA FLOWER ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE AND LEFT A COMMENT THERE THAT I HAD READ YOUR REVIEW OF HER BOOK ON BOOKIN' WITH BINGO.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I discovered that Amanda is an avid traveler, aspiring to visit as much of the globe as she can. She has recently returned from Slovakia, Ireland, and Israel.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

Entry 1

+5 SWAG

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

Entry 2

+5 SWAG

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

Entry 3

+5 SWAG

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

Entry 4

+5 SWAG

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

Entry 5

+5 SWAG

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Christine H said...

I'm so envious of authors when they say that storyies and idea;'s pop in their heads all the time, sometiomes more than they can keep up with. I think that would be great! I've always wanted to write, but storuies don't just pop uop in my head so I'm very envious of that talent! I think it's a blessing.

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

+1 MORE ENTRY: "LIKE" AMANDA FLOWER ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE HERE AND LEAVE A COMMENT THERE THAT YOU HAVE SEEN MY REVIEW OF HER BOOK ON BOOKIN' WITH BINGO- I did this :)

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

https://twitter.com/Romantic73/status/21784704687

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000641625482&v=wall&story_fbid=122162537833198#!/profile.php?id=100000641625482&v=wall&story_fbid=153943721286525&ref=mf

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/chirth7/review/45047269/

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://bulletins.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bulletin.read&authorID=533391661&messageID=6680441547&hash

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

She's a libraian and loves to travel. chirth7@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

Wow this is one lucky women to have traveled the country the way she has. I find that fasinating I bet she'd have a lot of great stories to tell. shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

+1 MORE ENTRY: "LIKE" AMANDA FLOWER ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE HERE AND LEAVE A COMMENT THERE THAT YOU HAVE SEEN MY REVIEW OF HER BOOK ON BOOKIN' WITH BINGO- done

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

http://twitter.com/Grandmamaof10/status/21786487596

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100001087052807&v=wall&story_fbid=108040902585274&ref=mf shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/shundelt45/review/45047703/

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

http://bulletins.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bulletin.read&authorID=540593519&messageID=6679461419&hash

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

she's a writer and libraian and a world traveler. shundelt@yahoo.com

A Musing Mother said...

I simply liked the way she advised to write what you love to write.

Amen.

ntaylor228 at yahoo dot com

allisonsbj3 said...

I love reading these types of books. I will have to add this series to my list to read.

allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

allisonsbj3 said...

I love the layout of Amanda's site! Can't wait to read the book!

allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

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