Kiki Lowenstein Rides Again

One of the best parts of being an author is making friends with other authors.  In 2008 my friend Joanna Campbell Slan began her new mystery series, the Scrap-N-Craft mysteries featuring scrapbooker Kiki Lowenstein, who manages to get herself into the most amazing predicaments.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna here two years ago, and since then she’s gone on to publish more in the series, but also to write a new one, the Jane Eyre Chronicles, which will debut this summer.  Joanna whispered the plot to me at dinner one night, and it’s wonderful.

Meantime, Kiki’s getting all the attention this month, with a brand new book, Ready, Scrap, Shoot.  To whet your appetite for another in the series, Joanna has two autographed copies of her first book, Paper, Scissors, Death, to give away here.  All you have to do is comment on this post.  Tell us what you like about mysteries, about scrapbooking, about reading, or about Joanna.  Just tell us something and you’ll be entered in the giveaway. will choose a winner on April 27th.  Only one entry per reader this time, please.  Sadly I’ll need to limit this to North American readers only.  Please understand it’s all about postage and not about you.

But wait, thanks to Joanna’s generosity, in addition one reader will win a Kiki Lowenstein short story, delivered to his/her Kindle.  You say you don’t have a Kindle?  No problem.  You can download the Kindle App right there on your computer and read it that way.

So that’s three prizes and the same rules apply for each giveaway book.  Now, here’s the scoop from Joanna on her latest book, available now.

Ready, Scrap, Shoot was inspired by events in my own life. The first spark happened years ago when I attended a May Day ceremony at a private school in St. Louis. The pageantry provided a stunning visual treat, but I had also heard the behind the scenes rumblings of the participants and knew there was more to what I was watching than met the eye. The second spark came as I was reflecting how difficult it is to be a caretaker for aging parents/family members.

Early on I decided that there was no reason that a mystery series couldn’t be topically relevant and thought provoking as well as entertaining. I didn’t want to write about stereotypical characters. Instead, I use my books as a laboratory for exploring human nature. The critics seem to have noticed, as Kirkus Reviews said, “Slan’s scrapbook mysteries are most valuable for the well-developed characters and the issues they raise, in this case the hardships of caring for elderly parents” and RT Book Reviews said, “Kiki is so darn entertaining that she’ll keep readers hooked until the explosive…end.”

Lately I’ve been concentrating on building a closer relationship with my fans. I had a “personal page” at Facebook mainly to communicate with my son while he was at college. I switched to a “fan page”  and of course, there’s a wonderful sense of community. My fans clamored for more Kiki. Then I read a small article in the New York Times about a guy who is releasing a serialized novel, like Dickens did. I thought, “Hmmm. What if I released a Kiki Lowenstein short story every month until April when Ready, Scrap, Shoot comes out?” The only way to do that was for me to do the covers. I’m really into Zentangle®, so the covers are Zentangle patterns. I also decided the short stories should be a way for more people to sample Kiki and her world.

My readers love it! They’re participating as Beta readers—and they help me with tons of great ideas. It’s been a blast. In fact, I’m having so much fun with this that I’ll be joining a dozen other writers to offer a Friday the 13th FREE Kindle offer of 13 FREE reads from 13 authors. But remember, the FREE books are available on April 13! Here’s the link.

Ready, Set, Comment!


  1. Victoria H on April 6, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Thank you for giving Joanne the idea to write a mystery featuring a scrapbooker!

  2. Sarah in Houston on April 6, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I have always love mysteries starting with Nancy Drew and moving on to Sherlock Holmes. I had a big thick volume of Holmes stories when I was young and ready most of them. I never stopped loving the mysteries.

  3. Debra Hearne on April 6, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Kiki sounds like an amazing writer and I plan to get to know her! After all, a friend of Emilie’s is a friend of mine! I love a good mystery/suspense novel to give my mind a challenge!

  4. Joanna Campbell Slan on April 6, 2012 at 9:44 am

    That’s right: Emilie encouraged me to create Kiki! I thank Emilie as my muse everytime I sit down to write my Kiki books.

  5. Estelle on April 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Thanks, for leading Joanna to the Kiki mysteries….. I so enjoy them since I am a scrapper. I love to read, so to read a book or short story which also includes my love of scrapbooking is double enjoyable. So Thanks again.

    aka mamahowe in MS

  6. Pat Matejcek on April 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I love reading!! I love good mystery books that keep you in suspense. I also love a good love story~~ Thanks for the contest….

  7. Dru on April 6, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Thanks Emilie! I love Joanna’s Kiki series and I’m so happy she wrote the short stories to entertain and delight us.

  8. Audrey Bonnell on April 6, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Wow I don’t know how you do it but every time you review a writer friend I find another author I just have to read. Too bad there aren’t enough hours in the day. Thanks Emilie and looks like I just might be a Kiki fan.

  9. Stacy Juba on April 6, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I’m really looking forward to reading your books, Joanna, and to reaching some new readers on Friday the 13th. One of my friends is going to teach me about Zentangle – it looks really interesting. Congratulations on the latest books.

  10. Maryann Miller on April 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

    So nice to meet Joanna here and find out more about her new book. I am not into scrapbooking in a big way, but I have enjoyed making books and going to crop sessions at our local scrapbook store. I can see where novels can develop from the groups of folks who gather to snip and paste and trade stories of what is going on in their lives.

  11. Alina Adams on April 6, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Free books? I’m there!

    13 free books? I am SO there.

  12. Suzy on April 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Hi, just followed a link to your blog to thank you for inspiring Joanna to write her famous ‘Scrapbook Mysteries’. Keep up the great work of inspiring others, it is a gift to give inspiration.x

  13. Liz on April 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Have enjoyed the Kiki series to date.

  14. Maryann Miller on April 6, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Oh, forgot to mention that I am one of the 13 authors joining Joanna with the Friday the 13th Event where we will be giving away books. These are all from best-selling authors and I am so thrilled to be a part of this.

  15. Molly Franks on April 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    LOVE all the Kiki books and their mom, Joanna Campbell Slan!
    Because you believed in her Kiki has a voice and many who love Hey.
    Molly Tolar Franks

  16. Joanna Campbell Slan on April 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    If you all haven’t seen Zentangle, you’ll be amazed. All my short story “covers” are Zentangle patterns I’ve done. I am totally HOOKED on this meditation artform. Emilie, I can’t wait to share it with you! To learn more about it, go to

    As per the free books, who doesn’t like a bargain? And this is the ultimate bargain. Why not share the link with a book-loving friend?

  17. Sandra Woodman on April 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I want to thank you for taking the time to suggest to Joanna Campbell Slan that she write a myster about a scrapbooker. That series has become one of my favorites!

  18. Nancy Roessner on April 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    The Kiki Lowenstein series is a favorite with me. I’m always happy to find a new one.

  19. Amy Greenberg on April 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I’m a huge Joanna/Kiki fan and can’t wait for the next book! I’ve loved all of the short stories and hope there are many more to come!

  20. Belinda Ellis on April 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Fun mystery books, scrapbooking = perfect combination.

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