Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Ill-Gotten Panes (A Stained-Glass Mystery #1) by Jennifer McAndrews

Stained-glass aficionado Georgia Kelly packed up her city life for the quiet of small town Wenwood, New York. But the sleepy village’s peace is about to get shattered—by murder…

After a banking scandal loses Georgia her job and fiancé, she decides that a change of scenery will help piece her life back together. But escaping to her grandfather’s house in the old-fashioned, brick-making Hudson River hamlet of Wenwood, New York, turns out to be less relaxing than she expects. Not only is the close-knit community on edge about their beloved brickworks being turned into a marina to draw in tourists, one of those most opposed to the project winds up dead—cracked over the head with a famous Wenwood brick.

Georgia wouldn’t be broken up over the news except for the fact that the main suspect is the deceased’s biggest adversary—her grandfather. Now, to remove the stain from her grandy’s record, Georgia will have to figure out who in town was willing to kill to keep the renovation project alive, before someone else is permanently cut out of the picture.

Looking at my Pinterest boards is like looking at a graphic representation of an incomplete sentence.  I start a board with one picture, and sometimes the category I've assigned stays the same, sometimes the images I collect require an entirely new moniker.  

I have a board now called "writing supplies".  It started life as "writing spaces" because the image that inspired me to begin the board was a picture of Jane Austen's writing table ( - a tiny twelve-sided table that looks barely large enough to hold a potted plant, never mind the entirety of Pride and Prejudice

For my part, though I have a room in my home designated - upon taking up residence - as my "home office", I don't write there.  It turned out to be too hot in summer and too cold in winter and too perfect a place to hide gifts and store books - lots and lots of books.  That, coupled with the day job, the pets, the kids, meant I learned to write wherever I was, with whatever I could grab.  If I wanted to keep working on a story - keep unspooling a tale of friendship, love, murder, adventure - I had to train myself to write in whatever moments and whatever places presented themselves. 

Ill-Gotten Panes, the first in a new series featuring stained-glass hobbyist Georgia Kelly and some other fine folk from the little town of Wenwood, NY, was written in such diverse writer's spaces as: train, plane, hotel room, day-job lunchroom (where, coincidentally, this blog is being written), local library, Panera, and my living room couch.  A lot on the living room couch - lap dog on either side of me and cat waiting for a chance to curl up on the toasty-warm keyboard, with either a Harry Potter movie on the television as the perfect background noise, or headphones firmly in place to drown out anything not Harry Potter (I have no idea why having those movies in the background helps me to work steadily.  Magic?) 

I think that collection of locations illustrates why I was so taken by the image of the little table Jane Austen wrote at.  Not that I would imagine myself equal to her or even worthy of preparing her tea.  But the idea that someone of her caliber created such wonderful stories at a tiny table near a doorway - no perfect view, no evocative music, not even a little potpourri - encourages me.  knowing that it is truly possible to create characters, stories, worlds, with nothing more than imagination and the means of capturing it on the page makes me feel like I'm a part of some special writers club.  

Of course, I do have to admit that I have frequent bouts of envy when writer pals of mine share photos of their writer spaces - beautiful desk, copies of their books on their shelves, framed prints of their book covers on the walls.  One lucky author I know even keeps fresh flowers on her desk.  Another has framed New York Times best seller lists on which her book appears.  Meanwhile, it's all I can do to keep the cat from chewing on the laptop power cord or the blind dog from walking across the keyboard while I'm writing.  And that's okay, really.  I've come to value and love my ability to write anywhere, any time, especially if it means I get to continue exploring the world of cozy mysteries and the gang from Ill-Gotten Panes.  And maybe someday I'll invest in a table the exact dimensions of Jane Austen's and create masterpieces at it.  What?  It could happen.  That little table would totally fit in my living room.

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 paperback copy of Ill-Gotten Panes by Jennifer McAndrews to give away to one of my lucky readers!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways!

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holdenj said...

Nice guest post--I liked reading about all of the various spots to write and how good old HP can always run in the background and help us all!

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