Wednesday, 12 December 2012

VBT - Book review & giveaway - "Overdue for Murder" by Teresa Trent

Teresa Trent 
Overdue for Murder

Genre - Cozy Mystery 
Publisher – Tightwad Tess Press
Release Date June 2012

Amazon | BN | iTunes | Kobo


When local writers present their books at the Pecan Bayou Library, one author gets a killer review. Betsy Livingston, there to talk about her own gripping book on helpful hints around the house, finds herself the prime suspect for the murder. Join Betsy in her second mystery as she tries to clear her own name in this hilarious tale of small town Texas life and murder.

Overdue For Murder Excerpt

"Aunt Maggie, have you ever made one of these fancy cakes?"

"Like what? Like what you see at the grocery?" Maggie's voice rose at the end, exaggerating her Texas accent.
I propped up the book for her to see a cake titled "Undersea Fantasy," which featured crabs, turtles and dolphins all crafted out of what looked like marshmallows and licorice strings. She peered at it, adjusting her bifocals on her nose as I explained to her what Rocky had asked me to do for Creative Cooks Day.
"Gee, Betsy. I'm thinkin' you're in over your head this time. I remember when you tried to make Danny that smiley face cake. The black icing you used on the grin ran down the side and it about scared him to death. Surprised he made it to his next birthday without counselin'."
I scratched my head. "Oh, yeah. I forgot about that, no wonder on the video all the kids were screaming."
"Sure, and then there was the time you tried to make Judd that cake and forgot to put the eggs in."
"I should have caught that."
"Yeah, we had to put candles on a box of honey buns that day. You got a track record  for  bad baking, baby girl."
Zach and Danny ran into the kitchen. "Mama," Danny said. "We're going to break the world record."
"What world record?" Maggie asked.
"All of them!" Danny answered.
"We're still figuring out what incredible thing we're going to do, Aunt Maggie, so I'm glad you got your hair done." Zach stretched out his arms, imagining his future paparazzi. "There will probably be hundreds of reporters out on the lawn after we do it."
"Thanks for the warning," she smiled.
I paged through the glossy photos in the cookbook. There were cakes that looked like circuses, swimming pools, insects, hats, cartoon characters. I started having a case of baking terror. "You know, Aunt Maggie. I could always drive into Houston and buy something and bring it back. They'll never know."
"You'll know."
I sighed.
"You could make a cake out of rubber bands," suggested Zach.
I nodded. "That's original, but not too tasty." I turned the page and spotted the cake labeled "Beginner's Crocodile Cake." How kind of them to have a cake that was supposed to be easy enough for people like me. I grabbed a pen and started writing down the ingredients I would need. Surely I could stir up some green frosting and turn it into something.

My Review

As the genre states, this is a cozy little mystery. A murder mystery with no graphic images and no foul language.

Overdue for Murder is book 2 in the Pecan Bayou Mysteries, but don't let that put you off if you haven't read book 1 as it does not deter from the enjoyment of the book as it's a new mystery.

Betsy Livingston; "Blogger" on the local newspaper in Pecan Bayou, Texas, is a single mum, who's Husband just disappeared. She was persuaded by her friend to go along to the local library and join her as one of several authors, talking about their books. It was there that one of the authors is found murdered, and Betsy is found standing over the body and becomes the prime suspect. She embarks upon proving her innocence by digging into the lives of those around her, but in the process her life is threatened too.

This book held my interest from the start. I really warmed to Betsy and desperately wanted her to prove her innocence. I found the author kept this book light hearted despite there being a murder at the center of the story.

Pecan Bayou sounds like a cozy little town and has lots of interesting characters living there.
I did not find the ending predictable and it kept me guessing as to who the murderer was. It was an easy book to pick up and put down and still not lose the thread when you went back to it, unlike some books where you have to read the last few paragraphs to familiarise yourself with what you were reading about. (I do anyway!).

I will definately read book 1 in the series now, and look forward to other books from this author.

Great blog post from the Author herself.

My Journey Around the Rejection Letter
by Teresa Trent

Dear Ms. Trent,
Although we thoroughly enjoyed your manuscript, we find it does not meet our editorial needs at this time.
Professionally yours,
Big Publishing House

I used to get one of these nice letters about twice a year. I probably should have received more, but it took me six months to get up enough courage, revised manuscript and optimism to try again.
The summer before I self-published my first novel I went on an all out blitz and sent my manuscript off to ten different places. I received two rejection letters and the rest of the replies seemed to have become lost in wayward query letter land. The reason for my final push had to do with a new way of publishing making its way to people like me. During that long hot summer, I read about two real facts real writers worry about—is there any success to this method and can you make any money doing it?
In late August as I filed away my last rejection letter and checked my calendar to make sure I had given enough time for responses from publishers and agents, I decided to dive in. I read one blurb on an agent's site saying that if I was not willing to visit at least 50 bookstores a year, then I had no business trying to be a writer. If that's the test, I failed. Like so many people, I'm a busy parent. Not only do I not have time to make all those "visits", I could never do that to my family.
So embarking on self-publishing I started out at Smashwords. I made my way through their formatting nightmare, the meat grinder, in only three frustrating weeks. Shazam there it was—my book online. I was on the front page of Smashwords. I went to get my husband to show him my new found author status. Five minutes later he stood in front of my computer as I pulled up the screen. Wait a minute, my book was no longer there! There were ten more "new" books in front of it that had been published in the time it took me to get him.
Lesson To Be Learned
If you find a great new way to do something, chances are a million other people are finding the same way.
Self-publishing is no longer unique. Everyone's doing it and when you finally reveal to someone that you have actual books on Amazon, you hear one of two things. They also have a book on Amazon or they're thinking about writing a book. Watch out for the ones who want you to write their book. Even though this process is now a standard in the industry, standing above the mediocrity is one of the most important things and independently published author can do.
Since that time I've spent a lot of time learning how to promote my book, finding reliable professional services like editors and cover artists, and of course writing the next one. I've made some mistakes along the way, but I'm still glad I went the independent route, and if I go into a bookstore on the weekend it's for fun not for someone else's profit. As for my own profit, I'm not quitting my day job, but I am doing something I've always wanted to do and I've finally rejected the rejection letters.

About the author

Teresa Trent wasn't born in Texas but after a few glasses of sweet tea and some exceptional barbecue she decided to stay. With a father in the Army, she found herself moved all over the world, settling down for a while in her teens in the state of Colorado. Her writing was influenced by all of the interesting people she found in small towns and the sense of family that seemed to be woven through them all. Teresa is a former high school teacher and received her degree from The University of Northern Colorado.  Teresa is presently working on the third book in her Pecan Bayou Series.  Her second book, Overdue For Murder, came out in June of 2012.  

Other Books by Teresa Trent: 

A Mystery for Ghost Hunters!
When Betsy's Aunt Maggie wants to drag her along on a ghost hunting excursion at the local abandoned tuberculosis hospital she isn't sure if she quite believes in ghosts. When she comes upon a fresh spirit in the form of a body, she starts to rethink about what really is haunting the hospital.

Betsy must solve the murder in spite of her father, who is a lieutenant on the Pecan Bayou Police Force, town citizens worried about the effect of the occult on their children, and handsome stranger from Dallas. How do you get blood out of a silk blouse? Betsy Livingston can tell you in her newspaper column, "The Happy Hinter". When she's not writing, or taking care of her young son, she's busy solving mysteries in the tiny Texas town of Pecan Bayou.

Book Genre-Cozy Mystery
Publisher - Tightwad Tess Press
Release Date-September 2011
Barnes and Noble

Why not have a look at some of the other blogs featuring this author, some of which have interviews with the author herself.

November 19 - Meet & Greet at VBT Cafe' Blog
November 21 - Guest Blogging at Marketing Cafe'
November 24 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
November 27 - Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library
November 29 - Interviewed at BK Walker's Blog
December 3 - Guest Blogging at The Stuff of Success
December 5 - Reviewed at Kaisy Daisy's Corner
December 5 - Review & Interview at Author Christie Palmer's Blog
December 7 - Review & Interviewed at Melina's Book Blog
December 10 - Interviewed at FromThe Mind Of Omegia
December 12 - Review  at Bookalicious Travel Addict
December 14 - Reviewed at The Self Taught Cook


Prize Pack – Ebooks : A Dash of Murder, Overdue For Murder, Death Upon Me by B.K. Walker, $25 Gift Card to Crumbs Online Bakery Shop, $5 Amazon Gift Card. Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway