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Monday, March 2, 2015

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: A First Date with Death (Love or Money #1) by Diana Orgain

Reality TV meets murder in the first in a new mystery series from the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and co-author the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries.

When brokenhearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose—apart from a good man, a cash prize, and maybe her life…

What was Georgia thinking? Sure, some cad ditched her at the altar, but can she really find love on TV? Her best friend—and producer of the reality show Love or Money—thinks so. Ten men. Ten adventure-filled dates. What can go wrong? For starters, a faulty bungee cord that hurls Georgia’s first date into a tragic spiral off the Golden Gate Bridge.

He’s replaced by Paul Sanders, Georgia’s former fiancé. But the cop isn’t looking for a TV gig. Suspecting that the lover’s leap was no accident, Paul’s going undercover. When another bachelor gets a fatal kiss-off, the reality is that someone has killer new plans for the show—and for Georgia herself. Now, under the threat of permanent cancellation, Georgia fears that the only man on the set she can trust is the one man she just can’t count on.



What am I working on/writing? 

I am working on the second book in my Reality TV series (A Second Chance for Murder) which will be released next spring. The first book in the series, A First Date With Death: A Love or Money Mystery, is available now. Here's the awesome blurb that those wickedly talented copywriters at Berkley came up with: 

When broken-hearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose. Apart from a good man, a cash prize, and maybe her life.  

What was Georgia thinking? Sure, some cad ditched her at the altar, but can she really find love on TV? Her best friend - and producer of the reality show Love or Money - thinks so. Ten men. Ten adventure-filled dates. What can go wrong? For starters, a faulty bungee cord that hurls Georgia's first date into a tragic spiral off the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Just as unexpected: he's replaced by Paul Sanders, Georgia's former fiance. But the cop isn't looking for a TV gig. Suspecting that the lover's leap was no accident, Paul's going undercover. When another bachelor gets a fatal kiss-off, the reality is that someone has killer new plans for the show - and for Georgia herself. Now, under the threat of permanent cancellation, Georgia fears that the only man on the set she can trust is the one man she just can't count on...

How does my writing/work differ from others in its genre? 

I have a M.F.A. in playwriting and one of my favorite professors used to say, "No laughter for the playwright, no laughter for the audience. No tears for the playwright, no tears for the audience." What I took that to mean was that the journey on the page had to be real for me with real emotions otherwise, there's no way that an audience (or reader) will get that emotional journey. That's what writing is all about for me. A way to share myself on the page with others. Growing up, my dad would always quote Hemingway, "There is no friend as loyal as a book." That's my goal with writing: I want my books to be a friend to my readers, to be there in their time or need, or when they need a distraction or just a laugh. 

Why do I write what I do? 

Growing up I devoured Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark - I love a great whodunit and if you add a little suspense in there all the better. The tagline for writing is "Come in for the cozy - stay for the thrill of it!" 

How does my writing process work? 

I do every process imaginable. When one isn't working I move to the next. Right now I'm on a long-hand writing kick. I LOVE filling my notebook with my characters - it flows so easily - the tricky part is converting it into text, but for the wonders of technology - I hear the iPad had a great app for that. Sometimes I use voice dictation (especially when I get tired of typing up my hand written notes). But usually, mostly I sit (or stand - I have one of those convertible desks) and power through my first draft on the keyboard. I like to write all the way through the draft before editing, but sometimes, I have to go and fix things before I move forward.  

Diana Orgain is the author of the Maternal Instincts Mysteries and coauthor of Gilt Trip with Laura Childs in the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries. She holds a B.A. and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University with a minor in acting. Diana has acted professionally both on stage and in national commercials. She's written several plays, which were produced at San Francisco State University, GreenHouse Productions, and PlayGround. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.dianaorgain.com

What I Liked: 
*The Reality TV Show setting
What a creative theme to a series!  I love the whole concept of our protagonist being on the TV scene.  The excitement of television with all of the drama - and eventually murder... you can't beat the theme of this cozy!  

*Georgia
I love it that she felt her life was at such a low point that she did something any normal person would do.  It's so nice when your protagonist is relate-able.  It's a rarity in a lot of books I read, and is such a breath of fresh air!  

*The story's pacing
From start to finish, this is one of the smoothest written stories I've read.  It's has the perfect timing and speed, moving quickly and with all of the right elements to make a great mystery.  The author sure does know how to write!  

What I Didn't Like: 
There wasn't really something in particular that I didn't like, but I'm a bit concerned about this being a series.  I'm curious to know what direction the author goes with the series, given the fact that it'll be unbelievable and improbable to continue bouncing from one reality TV show to the next. 

Overall: 
I liked this book. It was a fantastic first in this series, and I loved getting to know Georgia and the rest of the characters.  I loved the spontaneity of the storyline and all of the drama, and I loved the way it felt like the characters lives were being played out right in front of me.  Just like a TV show! :)  It was very well written and I'm looking forward to whatever the author has for us next.  

Rating: 4.5 stars

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

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4 comments:

Jen Scott said...

First Date with Death sounds like a great book, and I have added it to my TBR list. :)

Diana Orgain said...

Thank you for hosting me Marie!

holdenj said...

Really looking forward to her new series, I have missed her!

Kim Matlock said...

A First Date with Death looks good. I've already read Ladle to the Grave and it was amazing.

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