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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: On Borrowed Time (Library Lover's Mystery #5) by Jenn McKinlay

Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.

Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.

Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water.





Sometimes I feel desperately guilty.  ON BORROWED TIME is the fifth book in the Library Lover’s mysteries and in her quest for the truth, my amateur sleuth, library director Lindsey Norris has been close to death numerous times not the least of which were being frozen and blown up.  How can I not feel guilty for subjecting her to such horrific events?

Then again, if she wasn’t such a curious sort, the mysteries would never happen, she’d just turn things over to the police and that would be that.  The thing is, I used to be a librarian and by and large we are a terminally nosy bunch.  Our entire life’s work is based on ferreting out information, anything from obscure Shakespeare quotes to why the rabbit’s foot is considered lucky to how to start a small business, so naturally if a murder were to happen in our midst we would feel compelled to solve it.

For balance, I try to give my characters something positive in their life.  In Lindsey’s case she has a close group of friends, a crafternoon group, with whom she shares food, a favorite book and a craft.  She also has a dog named Heathcliif who was found abandoned in the library book drop but has become her loyal companion.  And lastly, she has the potential for a real romance in her life, assuming the man she is interested in can prove to her that he can handle a relationship.

This assuages some of the guilt but not all of it.  When a character rattles around in your head for a few years, you get attached.  I never thought it was possible but go through a few murders together and the bond is strong.  I would like nothing more than to marry off my characters and let them ride off into the sunset without a care, but life doesn’t really work that way, does it?  There is always a mix of good and evil, right and wrong, happy and sad.  Besides if there were no more crimes there would be no more books and then I’d really miss my ladies.

In ON BORROWED TIME, available on Nov 4th, I really put Lindsey through the wringer.  Yes, more guilt but I think the story was worth it and I hope you do, too.  Here’s a snippet of the book so you can see what I mean:

Loving a good cup of coffee runs in the family for Briar Creek library director Lindsey Norris. But when her brother, Jack, a consultant for a coffee company, goes missing, her favorite beverage becomes a key clue in a dangerous mystery.

Between preparing the library for the holidays and juggling the affections of ex-boyfriend, Captain Mike Sullivan, and her new crush, actor Robbie Vine, Lindsey has her hands full. But the mysterious disappearance of her world-traveling playboy brother takes precedence over all.

Afraid that involving the police could brew trouble for Jack, Lindsey takes matters into her own hands. But as her quest for her brother embroils her in a strange case involving South American business dealings and an enigmatic and exotic woman, it’ll take the help of both her library book club—the crafternooners—and her eager-to-please suitors to keep Jack from ending up in hot water… 

I hope you enjoy reading ON BORROWED TIME as much as I enjoyed writing it.  For more information about me or my books, you can go to my website www.jennmckinlay.com or find me on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy Reading!
Jenn

When did I decide to become a writer? Funny story. True story. I was a teenager and went to see the movie Romancing the Stone. I don't know that I decided to be a writer so much as I decided to be Kathleen Turner. Yes, that would be quite a stretch for me, but living in an apartment in New York City, writing romance novels for a living seemed like a good gig and so the dream began. I did nothing with it for YEARS.

I went to Southern Conn State Univ, where I studied English Literature and Library Science and worked at a bar called Toad's Place. I then took a full time job working as a librarian in Cromwell, CT. Still, I wrote nothing. Full time work was not conducive to writing time. I knew I needed to live in a place where I could afford to live, working part-time.

So, I packed up all of my crap and my cat and moved 3,000 miles across the country to Arizona and then I started writing -- romances. Hmmm. They were pretty bad, but I learned a lot along the way about POV, character development and plotting, etc. I took a wide variety of part-time jobs, convinced that it was all temporary because one day I would be a published writer.

While I was pursuing this dream with some pretty impressive (also called psychopathic) single-mindedness, I had my heart broken a few times and I broke a few along the way. I found my soul mate (in a library - for real) and married him. I had a gorgeous baby boy.

And then the call came! A lovely woman called from Harlequin and wanted to buy a book I had submitted a year (yes, a WHOLE year) before. She said, "We want to buy your book." I looked at the bundle of joy in my arms and asked, "What book?" She said, "Hmm. Usually people scream about now." I said, "I can't. It'd wake the baby." This was my first lesson in perspective and what is truly important in life, my family, but I still wanted to be a writer.

I signed a contract and went on to write for a couple of Harlequin's romantic comedy lines. I learned so much and I joined a group of writers who quickly became friends that I still talk to pretty much every day. I had another gorgeous baby boy.

The writing was hard for me and I learned that I was not a romance writer so much as a mystery writer. I'm just better at killing people than I am at making them fall in love. Knowing this, my husband sleeps really well at night, really! Bwa ha ha.

So, I started over. I wrote several mysteries. I submitted to agents and publishers. No one loved the whole package. They loved my characters and hated my plot or vice versa. It was agony. Then a lone voice, an agent, decided she thought I was a genius (always a good sign).

She signed me and now I had a buddy to suffer the rejection with me. It still hurt. We kept trying. It went on for two years. And then we sold! In 2008, I agreed to write a decoupage mystery series, then I submitted an idea for a cupcake bakery mystery series and it sold. Sadly, my original agent left to pursue new and different dreams of her own.

I stayed with my agency, liking her partner very much. I knew it was a good match when I submitted an idea for a library lover's series and my new agent loved it and sold it.

You'd think I'd rest now. You know, take a chill pill and just enjoy the ride. Yeah, I'm not built that way. After so many years of hours hunched over my keyboard, banging out stories, years spent checking my mail box and my email inbox for good news, I don't think I'll rest until I really feel like I've achieved what I set out to do. And so, I agreed to write the bargain hunters series and most recently, I sold another idea for a mystery series set in London that looks like it will be a blast to write! This will be my fifth mystery series. Wow. I am very excited!

Is it enough yet? I don't think so. So far, two of my series have landed on the New York Times best seller's list. Awesome, but still, there's something just outside my reach. I guess I'll know what it is when it's in my grasp. Maybe it is something only time can give me. I don't know.

In the meantime, I am writing up a storm in the corner of my kitchen in my house in the desert. While my house, which is filled to bursting with kids, pets and my husband's guitars, is not the New York City apartment I dreamed of as a teen, I wouldn't trade it or the life I am living for anything!

So clever! I loved this story!  It was like reading a spy/espionage thriller set with a cozy backdrop.  It was fun, smart and so enjoyable.  The characters are all wonderful, particularly Lindsey!  She is a great heroine with quite the personality.  I loved the crafts, the recipes, and the mystery is one of the best I've ever read in a cozy.  

I will definitely be awaiting the next book in this great series! 

Rating: 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own.

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 paperback copy of On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay 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!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 comments:

Jenn McKinlay said...

Thanks so much, Marie! You're wonderful!

Grandma Cootie said...

The book sounds great, enjoy the other series, have to try this one. And what a nice post.

Nancy said...

I love Jenn's writing, especially this series!

Linda Rima said...

Love this series! Thanks for the review & giveaway chance!

Sue said...

Look like another good book.

Rebecca Prazak said...

Love this series!

Ronna Lord said...

This is a new series for me. Sounds great !

Eileen A-W said...

I am loving this book!! I am so glad you kept at it!! Love all of your series!!

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