6th in Series
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01LJKQFH6
About the book:Wedding bells are ringing at the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa in California’s postcard-perfect Blossom Valley. The entire staff is pitching in to send one of their own down the aisle. But no one knew the nuptials could turn up so many secrets—or that marriage and murder could go hand in hand . . .
Dana Lewis is marrying Jason Forrester, a talented reporter and the love of her life. She couldn’t dream of a better venue than the farm where she works, and her friends are determined to give her the wedding of her dreams. Even her florist, Bethany Lancaster, is making sure she has just the right flowers. But Dana’s happiness wilts when she finds Bethany shot dead—and discovers her friend was a busybody with a blackmail list longer than a cathedral veil. With so many enemies, finding Bethany’s killer seems all but impossible. And when Dana herself is eyed as a suspect, she’ll have to chase down the culprit faster than she can say, “I do”—or she’ll be trading in her wedding dress for prison stripes . .
Meet the author - Staci McLaughlin
Staci McLaughlin graduated from the California State University, East Bay before becoming a technical writer for a number of years. Now she is a stay-at-home mom and a cozy mystery writer in my spare time (Ha!). Once she can wrangle the kids into bed, my husband and I enjoy watching scary movies and playing both board games and video games.
She is currently a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, as well as a contributor to the LadyKillers blog at http://www.theladykillers.typepad.com/. She lives with my family in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Webpage – http://stacimclaughlin.com/home
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Staci-McLaughlin-161577987251041/
Guest Post:One of the things I enjoy about writing the Blossom Valley Mysteries is talking about the settings in the stories. Much of the series takes place at the organic farm and spa where Dana, my main character, works as the sole marketing person. Not only do I get to spend my writing time at a beautiful country destination with vegetable and herb gardens and walking trails, but several animals call the farm home as well. Ducks splash in the pond out front, chickens settle into their roosts in the hen house, and pigs relax in their sty. My favorite pig is Wilbur, who I actually consider to be one of the characters in the books, right up there with Gretchen, who runs the spa, and Gordon, the farm’s manager. Wilbur might not say a lot, but he’s an excellent listener when Dana needs someone, or something, to talk to.
When Dana isn’t working at the farm, she is often hanging out in Blossom Valley, the small Northern California town in which she lives. When I first started the series, I knew I wanted the story to take place in a small town, a place where you might run into your fourth grade teacher at the grocery store or your dentist at the coffee shop. At first, I was going to set the story in Ukiah, the town where I grew up. Soon after I started writing the first book, however, I realized that the Ukiah of my youth wasn’t quite the same as the Ukiah of today. It had grown quite a bit, gotten a few big box stores, and was a lot trendier than I remembered.
So I decided to take the Ukiah from my memory and turn it into Blossom Valley. The town is situated in the same location, but it’s smaller and more isolated. It’s the kind of place where the entertainment choices on the weekend are seeing a movie or trying your luck at bowling. The restaurants are rarely crowded, the sidewalks are litter free, and the shop keepers are extra friendly, except when Dana is asking them questions about a murder, of course.
For my third book, Green Living Can Be Deadly, Dana had the chance to get out of town and drive over the hill to Mendocino, which is a real-life coastal town in Northern California. The area is well-known for its giant redwood trees and beautiful coastal cliffs. That’s one of the fantastic things about setting a book in California. All Dana needs to do is drive an hour or two for a completely different change of scenery.
The possibilities are endless for settings in future stories, but when all is said and done, Dana’s favorite place is with her family and friends. Her mom still lives in the same house where Dana grew up, and Dana loves to go over for Sunday dinners. When she’s not at her mom’s house, she likes to curl up on the couch with her boyfriend, Jason, or even hang out with her immature but lovable sister, Ashlee.
And whenever she has a problem, she knows she can always drive to the farm and talk to Wilbur. He’s always willing to lend an ear.
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