"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 22, 2011

COZY WEDNESDAY - With Author Janet Bolin (Giveaway)

After reading Janet's book Dire Threads I can't believe this is her first published novel and it debuted at Barnes & Noble as #9, Borders as #21, and Bookscan  as #17. She has had short stories published in trade magazines and literary journals.  Janet has also had her humorous essays read aloud on national radio programs on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and published in the anthology DEAR SAD GOAT. But Dire Threads is truly her first published novel.

I am so happy to have "met" her and thrilled that she is guest posting today.  I loved her book as you will see from my review below her post.

Welcome Janet!!!!
Thank you for inviting me Lori.  I am so glad you liked my book!
I think Janet LOVES her dogs just
like I LOVE mine.

The Transparent Writer

When I was about seven, I decided to be a writer. However, printing was a little painstaking, so I contented myself with imagining. The story I wrote in my head just happened to match exactly what was going on around me. After someone spoke, I would think “he said” or “she said.” This got to be a habit. I accidentally blurted “she said” after one of my own comments.

I got some funny looks.

“Don’t make faces,” my mother warned. She, by the way, was the all-time world champion of grimacing.

I dutifully tried to curb the outward manifestations of my inward story-telling.

However, classrooms were, apparently, designed for daydreaming. Why listen to a teacher droning on and on when I could imagine an exciting story, instead? Or at the very least, I could mentally add “she said” to the end of every sentence the teacher uttered.

Frequently, I got into trouble. “Janet! What did I just say?” I never knew how to answer that, of course, and I figured that repeating. “She said” would not have helped my cause.

Eventually, I stopped the “he said, she said” ploy, but even as an adult, I am not always able to divorce my body language from what’s going around in my head.

Not too long ago, I was visiting a charming old coaching inn that had been converted into a spacious and comfortable home. As I strolled down the broad, curving front stairs, I imagined the weddings that could have taken place in that building over the years. I wasn’t picturing myself as a bride, or anything like that, but when I reached the foot of the stairs, a friend became concerned. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “Are you limping?”

And now I write mysteries. At the moment, I’m in my most dangerous-looking stage. I’m planning a new book, and there’s this giant white screen in front of me. What am I going to write? One of the first things I’ll need to do is come up with a villain. And a motive.

Physically, I could be walking down a street, but in my head I’m playing and replaying murderous scenes. Greed! Revenge! Loathing! Betrayal!

It’s a good thing I can’t see my own face. And people are crossing the street only to get to the other side, right? Not because the glaring author striding toward them has taken on a distinctly menacing gait?

Janet Bolin

Cover Illustration
by Robin  Moline
Cover Design
by Annette Fiore Defex

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group

A Threadville Mystery
Available now!!!

Threadville is a wonderful village in Pennsylvania.  A town restored by a bunch of crafty shoppes.  Willow Vanderling has come to Threadville to open her dream store In Stitches, a delightful embroidery store catering to both hand and machine embroidery. Bus tours bring customers right to her door every day. The property is perfect, a store at street level, an apartment below and a cute little cottage at the rear of the property.

Willow would love to renovate the little Blueberry Cottage, "a Victorian confection with curlicues and gingerbread trim".  But the village's zoning commissioner, Mike Krawbach, denies her permit to redo and upgrade the little cottage.  Then he shows up in her store, which is full of customers, to try to get them to sign a petition to tear down the cottage to make room for a ATV trail.  These are tourists from out of town and he is tricking them into signing this petition.  Willow is livid and has a war of words with the corrupt commissioner with a wide variety of witnesses.  

So when the commish ends up dead in Willow's backyard she is the one every one thinks killed the man.  Of course she didn't, but she is new in town, people don't know her well, so it is up to her with a little help from her craft shoppe friends to untangle the clues and get a hoop around the person who really killed Mike Krawbach. They have to do it fast because Willow knows she not going to be able to embroider anything from jail.

It is so rare that I LOVE a first book in a series because it takes time to develop everyone's stories, how they fit together, how they relate to the setting and the direction the series is heading.  As I said above it boggles my mind to think this is Janet Bolin's first published novel or even the first book in this series.  

The characters are well defined but have plenty of room for growth.  The setting is picture perfect and thanks to cover illustrator Robin Moline it is so easy to see it and relate to it and want to travel there as soon as possible. There is suspense, humor, a quirky character or two, a few diversions, some lovable pets, and maybe a romance on the horizon.  Bolin has crafted a charming debut to a series I know will keep us In Stitches!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Publishing. 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.”

For more about about Janet and Threadville go to http://threadvillemysteries.com/
Now I know you would love to win a copy of this wonderful story and thanks to the people at Berkley Prime Crime I have 2 copies to giveaway!!!

U.S. and Canadian Residents Only
Followers will receive an 
extra 2 entries for each of their entries.
If you leave a comment for Janet and show her some love you will get an additional 5 entries.
Contest Ends July 6 at 11:59 p.m. CST


Na said...

Congratulations Janet on your debut release, and a successful one at that it looks like.

I recently discovered the cozy mysteries genre and I am enjoying them. There's something about the fun covers that makes me want to cozy up somewhere warm and lose myself in the story. I get to collect clues and play detective. DIRE THREADS sounds full of fun, crafty and quirky characters.

Yvonne said...

Great post and this looks as if it will be a great cozy series.

holdenj said...

Congrats on the debut!
Threadville sounds like a great setting for all manner of murder! I enjoy finding a new cozy series to dive into!

Janet Bolin said...

Thanks, Na, Yvonne, and HoldenJ! I had fun writing DIRE THREADS. Don't you love the background photo on this website? It could have been taken from the Threadville beach!

Joni said...

What an endearing interview. I just enjoyed it so much. I am looking forward to reading this book as soon as possible. Thanks for the giveaway.


afarage said...

Can't wait to read it!!!

Gigi Ann said...

What a delightful interview. I love the way you describe your mind at work. I look forward to reading your cozy mystery, it sounds like a fun enjoyable book to read.

Booklady said...

Sounds like a wonderful new series. I just moved it up on my TBR pile.

Beverly aka Booklady

Darlene said...

Great interview!

Congratulations, Janet, on your debut novel! I love cozy mysteries, and this sounds like something that I would enjoy!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Jubilee Reviews said...

These cozy mysteries sound so fun!

Literary Chanteuse said...

I wish you much success with the book Janet! I like the cover! It gives that small town feeling instantly.


Maureen said...

Janet sounds like she always has a story in her head and this one seems like an interesting one.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Carol N Wong said...

I wish I knew what story you were dreaming up when the teacher caught you. Lookign forward to read your debut book!!!


Carol M said...

Congratulations on your first published novel! I'm looking forward to reading it. It sounds like a book I would enjoy!

katsrus said...

Love the book cover. Your book sounds really good.
Sue B

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a charming series. Congrats on your book debut. I like your description of murderous scenes rolling around in your head!
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

justpeachy36 said...

This was a really great debut. I thought the author did a fantastic job of of creating a town that caters to crafters. I am first and foremost a reader, but I love to create as well and have been an avid cross stitcher for years. I loved the book and the mystery aspect kept me guessing til the end.

cyn209 said...

congratulations & much much success, Janet!!!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!!


tore923@aol.com said...

Janet congratulations on your release. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Janet, I am a FB freind and have the book on my TBR list, hopefully I will be able to get it very soon. I just Cozies.

Linda Kish said...

Your book looks fun and I love the dogs. Anyone who loves dogs is allright in my book. I look forward to reading your book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Steve Capell said...

I love dogs and your debut novel sounds perfect. I wish you much success with your writing career.


Pamela Keener said...

OMG you are hilarious! I am so glad their are people like you in this world to give me stories to read.
Love & Hugs,

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Congratulations on your first book Janet! For some reason I can just imagine the he said, she said. I am daydreamer too and often wonder to myself..did I say that out loud? I'm kind of sort of crafty so this series sounds perfect for me! I look forward to reading it! Great post!

Bookworm Lisa said...

In my book an active imagination is a treasure. I am glad that you have kept it active even with some consequences as a child.

Thanks for the interview. You kept a smile on my face while I was reading it.

Sherry said...

Sounds really good and I can't wait to read it.

sstrode at scrtc dot com

nicolesender said...

I love the cozy mysteries! Your picture with your dogs is great!

Kelley said...

I follow Janet on FB, so I am so happy to see she is already receiving success with her new book! I look forward to reading it, whether it is through this win, or buying my own copy. Continued success Janet!

mamabunny13 said...

Janet I want visit Threadville to check out all the shops!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Ruth said...

Janet, thank you for writing a series like this--this is just the kind of mystery novels that are so hard to find nowadays!

Anonymous said...

I can not wait until this book comes out.

Ann Summerville said...

Love the picture with the dogs.

Unknown said...

I am a daydreamer myself so I can relate. I laughed at the mental picture of people crossing the street when you are coming at them :)

Looking forward to reading your story, it sounds like your great sense of humor shines through.

Bingo said...

I love to think I am crafty and can sew while truthfully, I can't really do more than sew on a button! However, I do think I will like this series in that you liked it so much! Thanks for the chance.

kdhaney at gmail dot com

Martha Eskuchen said...

Thanks for the good interview. I'll have to add this to my wish list! I like that Janet starts with a villain and a motive - that actually makes sense!
Thanks for the giveaway.