Tuesday, April 08, 2014

{Guest Post} Connie Archer, author of A Roux of Revenge

Today, I'm happy to have a guest post by Connie Archer, author of the Soup Lover's series of mysteries. I've also got a copy of the book to give away, so make sure you read all the way to the bottom to find out how to enter!

Special thanks to Michelle’s Romantic Tangle for hosting this stop on my blog tour for A Roux of Revenge, the third book in the soup lover’s mystery series. 

It’s Halloween and Lucky Jamieson, the owner of the By the Spoonful Soup Shop, is looking forward to the holiday and the Harvest Festival that Snowflake, Vermont is hosting.  But an old crime is about to cast a long shadow over the village.  Nate Edgerton, Snowflake’s Chief of Police, is called to the scene of a wreck where he discovers a dead man.  His instincts tell him this was no accident – he has a murder on his hands. 

The Festival has brought many strangers to the town – too many for Nate’s liking.  One of them has been watching and following Janie, a young waitress at the Spoonful.  She’s terrified of the sinister presence.  When Janie decides to do a little snooping of her own, she gets much more than she bargained for -- her very life may be in jeopardy. 

I have never made a quilt, but I imagine it’s very much like writing a book.  It must be a matter of visualizing the main design and all the steps it will take to get there, and all the pieces and stitches that will have to be made along the way.  The quilter must be able to “see” the finished product in his or her mind, choose the colors, plan the layout and arrive at the final pattern she (or he) wishes to create. 

The structure of a book, the plot and pacing, is much the same.  A writer needs to know where he or she is going and what sort of story they wish to create.  Just as the choice of fabric pieces and colors set the mood of a quilt, so too do the the characters and their dilemmas set the feeling tone of a story. 

I’m a very visual person and a planner.  I like to outline.  I like to know where I’m going, how long it will take to get there, and what other story lines will come into play as the timeline progresses.  I use colored pieces of paper, sticky notes, in yellow and orange and green, however many colors I need.  I spread them across a large table.  The main plot and its chronology are in one color, the interweaving of story lines that will effect or support the main plot in another, and then a third or a fourth or more for clues to be interspersed or tangents to the main story line.  When I’m finished, my table is covered with sticky notes in various colors, much like a quilt.  By then, it’s very clear to me how I’ll proceed and what order is necessary.  That’s when I breathe a sigh of relief. 

I have a roadmap.  I transpose all those sticky notes into a detailed chronological outline that covers several pages.  Is it carved in stone?  No.  It can still be flexible.  I can take little detours and still manage to come back to the main pattern and not get lost.  When my book is finished several months later I don’t have a beautiful quilt, but hopefully I’ll have a book my readers will not want to put down.

You can get to know the residents of Snowflake, Vermont in any of the books, but I know you’ll really enjoy reading about their adventures in A Roux of Revenge

Author’s Note:  All the beautiful quilts shown in this post are on display at the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont. 

Connie Archer is the author of A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal, and just released, A Roux of Revenge.
You can visit Connie at www.conniearchermysteries.com
Twitter:  @SnowflakeVT

Want a chance to win a copy of A Roux of Revenge? Just leave a comment on this post before midnight PST on April 15,  letting us know what your favorite kind of soup is. (I'll admit it -- I'm getting desperate for new dinner ideas!)

Edited to add: 

The winner is TerryH, who wrote:

Turkey(or chicken)corn chowder recipe I got from my PT lady. It is wonderful. A good mystery is
always welcome. Thanks for the chance.


Joyce Carter said...

This book really sounds fantastic. I love a good murder mystery. Thank you for the giveaway. My favorite soup is homemade vegetable soup.

Maria2 said...

I love vegetable beef soup.

Unknown said...

Chicken and dumplings are my favorite. :)

Linda said...

My favorite soup is chicken noodle. No wait chicken and dumplings. or maybe tomato bisque. Or maybe bean soup with lots of yummy ham pieces. Or farro and spicy sausage with kale. Or .... see my problem - I like just about any kind of soup. Always have a container of homemade soup in the refrigerator ready to heat for a quick, tasty meal.

Unknown said...

Hi everyone ~ just checking in on my blog day. I love all these suggestions of soups and am jotting down ideas right now. Good luck in the giveaway and thanks for stopping by!

TerryH said...

Turkey(or chicken)corn chowder recipe I got from my PT lady. It is wonderful. A good mystery is
always welcome. Thanks for the chance.

Barbara said...

My favorite soup is chili. I love to read cozy mysteries.

Barbara in MD

Patricia P. said...

Your book sounds fantastic. My favorite soup is broccoli cheddar.

bookwomen said...

Broccoli and cheese with warm bread. I love this series.

Michelle F. said...

Ooh, I love chicken and dumplings (Sweet Sue's in cans) but I don't really consider that to be soup. My other favorite type of soup would be potato soup, especially Chunky or Progresso (they used to have potato, ham, and cheese soup). Years ago I used to get potato-leek soup at the Barnes and Noble café.


Glenda in Florida said...

This sounds like a great book--thanks for the chance to win. I choose cream of mushroom soup--I had a great bowl of soup at a diner on old route 66 last week.

Unknown said...

Hi everyone! I'm getting so many good ideas from these comments, and getting hungry too! Best of luck to everyone!


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