"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

COZY WEDNESDAY - With Author Clare O'Donohue (Giveaway)

I was introduced to Clare by her Someday Quilts series, they are so good. A couple of months ago she sent me an Advance Review Copy of the first book in her new series starring Kate Conway and it broke my rules, very rarely do I LOVE the first book in the series because I feel it takes more than one book to get to know the characters, the protagonist, the setting and the background.  But this book grabbed me from page 1.  

I am thrilled to have Clare here today to tell us about writing two series that are so vastly different.

Welcome Clare!
Thanks Lori!

A New Friend
            For the last few years, I’ve spent part of my time in a quiet river town called Archers Rest. Three hours north of New York City, it’s famous for three things; an amazing shop called Someday Quilts, a larger than logical murder rate, and for being entirely fictional.
            It’s been fun for me to write each book in my Someday Quilts series, including The Devil’s Puzzle, which will be released in late September. I love Nell Fitzgerald, the main character of the series, and I love being part of the lively quilt group, who manage to solve murders and finish most of their quilting projects at the same time. Archers Rest has become a very comfortable place for me to hang out, and I hope for the readers of this series as well.
            But things are changing. With the release of Missing Persons, the first in the Kate Conway Mysteries, a new location, a real location – Chicago – and a new set of characters, is taking hold on my imagination. Kate is older and more sarcastic than Nell. And the world of Missing Persons is more complicated. There’s no quilting (though I do mention a quilt in the book!) and, unlike the deaths in my Someday series, which I like to refer to as step-over-the-body murders, the mysteries in Missing Persons change forever the lives of all involved. 
            Some people have asked if it’s hard for me to write two very different series at the same time. No more difficult, I think, than having two friends with different personalities. Nell is romantic, curious, and headstrong. An art student and quilter, she is surrounded by the love and protection of her boyfriend, Jesse, and her grandmother, Eleanor, as well as all the members of her quilt group, including its most popular member, Barney, the loveable golden retriever. Nell’s curiosity may get her into trouble, but she has plenty of people around to keep things from getting out of control. 
            Kate, on the other hand, is complicated, funny, and overwhelmed. She has no quilt group, no grandmother, no boyfriend, to offer support and friendship. Her soon to be ex-husband is dead, and Kate is left with her in-laws, her meddling sister, and worst of all, her husband’s girlfriend. Plus, her job as a TV producer of a true crime show requires her to exploit the family of a missing girl.
        Something Kate does just well enough to feel bad about it. Kate isn’t curious. In fact, she just wants to sit on her couch and eat take-out Chinese. But she hates to be treated like a fool. Kate looks into the death of her husband and the disappearance of the missing girl because she is convinced that someone is lying – and she does it without knowing if anyone will be there to help if she gets into trouble.
            Kate and Nell might not be similar to each other (or to me) but I like them both. And going back and forth between them allows me to talk about life, death, love… you know, all the big subjects… from two very different points of view.
            Of course, as I launch Missing Persons, I do wonder if my readers will like Kate as much as Nell. It’s always hard to introduce a new friend to an established circle. But I’m hoping they give Kate a chance. She may not know how to quilt, but Kate Conway sure has a knack for tripping over a body, and who doesn’t need a friend like that?
Clare O’Donohue is the author of four novels, including the just released Missing Persons; A Kate Conway Mystery. She still works as a TV producer and writer, and lives in Chicago.  Check out her web page for more information.

Published by The Penguin Group

A Kate Conway Mystery
First In A Brand New Series
ISBN-10: 0452297060
ISBN-13: 978-0452297067

Kate Conway's soon to be ex-husband Frank is dead and the cops always think the spouse did it so Kate becomes the number one suspect.  Strange too is that his new girlfriend wants to be her new best friend.

She decides to bury herself in work to get her mind off his death and give the police time to find the real killer. She is offered a new assignment for a brand new series, Missing Persons.

Kate starts researching the story of Theresa Moretti, a young woman who has been missing for a year.  Her family is still holding out hope Theresa is alive and believes Kate will find her.  Kate just wants to get enough footage to tell the missing girl's story and move on but Theresa's family has really touched her which causes her to dig a little deeper and the more she digs she finds the death of her ex may be related to this Missing Person story.   She also finds the deeper she digs she may be putting her own life in danger.

This is an edgy story that not only draws you in but educates on how these True Crime shows are made and with an author that has a background in television all the jargon rings true, especially how long it takes, how much film is needed, and how much is cut to tell a story in about 22 minutes.  

The unexpected is that as each clue is uncovered you feel you are actually right on the scene.  This can happen with a lot of stories but this one actually played in my mind's eye like a television program. It made you almost forget this is a work of fiction and that you were actually reading a book. It really is hard to believe the same author who wrote the Someday Quilts series in the same person who wrote this book.  Clare you have a wonderful imagination and I LOVE IT!!!

I am sure readers of the previous series will love this book but I see it bringing in a whole new group of readers, those who love true crime. This story fits the description of a cozy mystery in the way that the crime solver in an intelligent female amateur sleuth,  but this series seems to go further just because of Kate's job and takes place in the big city of Chicago.

This series has a wealth of information available as people go missing and crimes are committed everyday.  I look forward to being on the scene of the next Kate Conway Mystery.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel  Agent
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume, A Division of Penguin Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Thanks to the wonderful people at Plume we have two copies of this outstanding book to giveaway!!!!!
U.S. and Canadian Residents Only
Followers will receive an additional 2 entries 
for each of their entries.
Leave a comment for Clare and 
you will receive an additional 5 entries!!
Contest Ends June 15 at 11:59 p.m.



Gigi Ann said...

It is always nice to meet new authors, I am looking forward to reading this cozy mystery.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of Clare's books yet, but I have a couple of the quilt series in my TBR pile. This new series is very, very interesting to me. I'll definitely be on the lookout for it. The cover is a little sad but intriguing. I would probably pick up the book just based on that or at least take a look. Thanks for sharing, Lori, and thanks for writing, Clare!

LuAnn said...

I also have to admit that I haven't read any of Clare's books yet. This would be a good one to start with!

Sharon Galligar Chance said...

Sending you a little award! http://sharonsgardenofbookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/somebody-thinks-im-sweet-irresistibly.html

Carol N Wong said...

I haven't read any of your books yet but from the review, it sounds like I am really missing a lot!!!


dollycas aka Lori said...

This would be a great book to start with and when you read the other series you will really see the depth of this author. Like I said her imagination is wonderful!!!!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I have seen Clare's Someday Quilts series around but haven't had the chance to get my hands on them yet. I love quilts and dabble a bit with quilting so that series really speaks to me. This new sries sounds just as good too. I will be putting both series on my wish list. Both characters sound delightful and I can't wait to get acquainted with them! It was a pleasure to "meet" you Clare!

Tiffany Drew said...

I haven't read any of Clare's books yet, but I'd love to start with this one. I love a good mystery, and this one looks like a definite page turner. I am also always on the lookout for new-to-me authors :)

Victoria Zumbrum said...

I haven't read any Clare's books yet but I would like to very much. They sound very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Literary Chanteuse said...

This sounds very good Claire! I am trying to increase mysteries in my book selections as of late and would love to add this one. Thanks so much for the giveaway!


justpeachy36 said...

This looks like a great book and the Someday Quilt series sounds like a series that would really appeal to me as well. I'll have to give both a try!

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cyn209 said...

Congrats & GoodLuck, Clare, on MissingPersons!!!! i've yet to read your other series, but i already have them & are waiting to be read!! my ToBeRead pile is over 400 books now!!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!!


Dru said...

Having read all of the books in the Someday Quilt series, I've been eagerly waiting for the release of this book. I can't wait to dive into it.

Clare, are we going to see glimpse of the Chicago setting in this series?

Stacie said...

Trilled to find a new author to read. I look forward to checking out both of her series. Thanks for the giveaway :)


Anonymous said...

Hi! Just stopped by to ask you to come by my blog and pick up your Award! :) Rae

DarcyO said...

Congrats on your new series, Clare. It sounds like a winner!

Ricki said...

Not entering because I already have every single one of your books. I just want to say that I am a huge fan and I have gotten my MIL turned on to your Someday Quilts mysteries. We are both eagerly awaiting The Devil's Square (did I get the name right?). I loved Missing Persons, too!

Amy said...

What a terrific post, Clare and Lori, too, thank you! I think it's very impressive that you're writing two different series at one time! I love how you describe Nell and Kate like friends of yours with different personalities who enable you to talk about various issues and themes from different points of view. You make writing a book series sound so inviting and engaging! "Missing Persons" really interests me because I think Kate sounds like quite an intriguing character and I'm very interested in true crime TV shows and would love to know more about them from "behind the scenes"! I also think your job as a TV producer and writer sounds extremely interesting, Clare!

Thank you Clare and Lori for a great post and the giveaway!
~ Amy

Clare O'Donohue said...

Thanks everyone! I hope those who love Someday will give Missing Persons a try, and for those who haven't started either series yet - get reading!!! And yes, Chicago (my hometown) is featured lovingly in the series. Clare

holdenj said...

Hi Clare!
What a great interview--can't wait to meet Kate Conway too! Thanks.

Carol M said...

This book sounds really good! I love reading mysteries of all kinds! Thank you for the giveaway.

mamabunny13 said...

Clare I had baby doves hatch in my hanging basket on the front porch this morning so I have to cover your book before I can read it now. lol loved the interview. :)
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

kt said...

Just about the only TV programs I watch are crime shows so this book sounds really appealing. Looking forward to reading it.

Unknown said...

This seems like a setting that would be a natural for a good mystery. I'm looking forward to it.

Mollie Bryan said...

I love Clare's Someday Quilts Series and am really looking forward to this new book--or ANYTHING she writes!

Na said...

This looks like a series to watch for. Another cozy mystery to add to my to-read list. Let the detective work begin!