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. Random.org 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!