Take it away, Jen!
Eileen Goudge is back in a big way. Her newest page-turner, BONES AND ROSES, is a cozy mystery brimming with plot twists and turns. No, she hasn’t walked away from women’s fiction for something darker. Plenty of love interests, best friend issues, and hilarity abound in this novel for the fans who know and love her richly detailed novels. Penning a mystery is something Eileen has wanted to explore for some time. After writing 32 books for young adults (including several in the SWEET VALLEY HIGH series), and 15 in women’s fiction, I’m giddy she has finished the first installment in the Cyprus Bay Series. Truly, she has written a gem. Here’s the book description via Amazon:
Welcome to the northern California seaside town of Cypress Bay, where the surf's up, the sixties live on and long-buried secrets are about to surface.
From home invasions to cheating spouses, Rest Easy Property Management owner Leticia "Tish" Ballard thought she'd seen it all. Almost four years sober after flambéing her real estate career in an alcohol-fueled blowout, she's finally in a good place in her life when the discovery of skeletal human remains rocks her world and plunges her headlong into solving a decades-old crime. Now she must delve into the darkness of her own past, including the one-night stand gone horribly wrong with Spence Breedlove, who happens to be the lead detective on the case.
When the truth comes out at long last, Tish finds herself pitted against an enemy who will stop at nothing in a fight for her own life.
Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
In all transparency, I’m a lucky duck to know and love this amazing lady. We text many mornings while sipping caffeine laced tea in respective zip codes. She’s someone I turn to in the midst of bad days and her wisdom and wit inevitably take the weight of my world off of my plate. We’ve decided we could room together in the old folks’ home one day, and that’s saying something! Whether Eileen is a new author name to you, or you’ve loved her previous books, she’s excited to give you all an opportunity to win a digital copy of BONES AND ROSES! Here she is, New York Times Bestselling Author, Eileen Goudge.
You took big leaps of faith with your new novel, BONES AND ROSES. Tell me why you chose to pen a mystery after making your mark in women’s fiction.
It was a genre leap, but I didn’t go from women’s fiction to hard-boiled crime, so it’s not as big a leap as you might image. I think the fans of my other novels will find Bones and Roses (Book one of my Cypress Bay mystery series) similar in many ways. My heroine, Tish, not unlike the heroines of my women’s fiction titles, is flawed but has a good heart. She’s plucky and tries to do the right thing, though she occasionally puts her foot in it. Bones and Roses is a mystery, sure, but it’s also about friendship and family and the dramas therein—plot elements that are my trademark.
You made the decision to self-publish your new title after an established career with traditional publishers. Why was the time right for you to make this move professionally?
I felt I’d hit a brick wall with traditional publishing. The triple whammy—recession, dwindling sales for all but front-list print books, and general atmosphere of caution that had publishers loath to go out on a limb for established authors who’d hit a career lull— more or less flattened me. Like in the Road Runner cartoons except I couldn’t peel myself off the wall, at least not in traditional publishing. That’s what made indie publishing so attractive – I could get a fresh start and be judged (by readers) solely on the merits of my work and not my prior sales figures.
Where did the inspiration come from regarding the bug sculptures created by one of the characters in BONES AND ROSES? It reminded me of the white mice Steve Carell’s character collected and—should I say—refurbished in DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS.
My artist friend, Lisa Wood, was the inspiration for the character of Ivy in Bones and Roses. She makes these amazing insect dioramas that you are like nothing you’ve ever seen. What might sound kind of icky is actually strangely beautiful, and of course utterly unique and as eccentric as Lisa herself. One reader expressed a desire to own one. Well, guess what? You can purchase them if you live within driving distance of San Francisco, where her curiosity shop is located. Last I heard she doesn’t ship, due to how fragile her dioramas are.
The love and devotion you share with your husband, entertainment reporter, Sandy Kenyon, is such a lovely thing to see. I know he’s your biggest cheerleader. What’s it like being married to someone who’s been immortalized on an episode of South Park, and whose face pops up on TV screens, in New York City cabs, sharing the latest movie reviews?
Very cool, because he doesn’t let it go to his head. He enjoys interacting with fans who come up to him on the street, but that’s only because he’s a people person and loves to tell his stories. The other day, a young man on the subway asked if he could take a selfie with Sandy. Sandy was happy to oblige, and the young man missed his subway stop as a result. “Totally worth it,” he declared cheerfully as he got off at the next stop. What I like most is that my husband is totally not in awe of the celebrities he interviews, which includes glamorous actresses who are among the world’s great beauties. Afterwards he always says to me, “She’s not as pretty as you.” The best part is, he’s not just saying it. He truly believes it. God bless the rose-colored glasses of love!
You’re planning a dinner party at your home. If you could seat anyone around the table, living or no longer with us, who are the lucky invitees and why? *Jen crosses her fingers she makes the cut*
You totally make the cut, Jen! Place of honor for my girl! All the Beach Babes would have to be on the guest list: you, me, Samantha Stroh Bailey, Meredith Schorr, Francine LaSala and Julie Valerie (so named due to an infamous girls’ weekend at the beach where wine flowed & secrets were divulged that shall not be revealed – except maybe in the pages of our novels, and then heavily disguised so as to protect the identities of the real life people involved). I would also invite Stephen King so he could entertain us with ghost stories.
|The ultimate dinner party! (L to R: Jen, Julie, Meredith, |
Eileen, Francine, Samantha)
What will readers see coming from you next?
Book two of my Cypress Bay mystery series, Swimsuit Body, in which Tish Ballard’s adventures and misadventures continue.
Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt. In September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at Twitter, Facebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.
Thanks to Jen for putting this interview together for us and to Eileen for sharing her book with our readers!
How to win:
Tell us three guests (living or dead, famous or not) who would make for a memorable dinner party.
One entry per person.
Entries without contact information (e-mail address, Twitter account, Facebook page, etc.) will NOT be counted (and we do NOT count "Google +" as contact information).
Worldwide. Giveaway ends August 26th at midnight EST.