Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting "Cozy" with Cindy Sample and Penny Warner...plus a book giveaway!


Cindy Sample wanted to be a detective like Nancy Drew when she grew up. However, she changed her mind in her teen years and decided to write mysteries instead. She worked in the field of real estate and mortgage banking for a while before writing DYING FOR A DATE, which combines bad dates, real estate, a few dead bodies and plenty of giggles. She also writes the popular “Hot Flash” column for the Gold River Community Newspaper and is co-chairing the Left Coast Crime Convention in 2012. Her next Laurel McKay book, DYING FOR A DANCE, will be released in August, 2011 (L&L Dreamspell).


Penny Warner has published over 50 books, including over a dozen party books. Her latest book, HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY, is the first in a new mystery series featuring event planner, Presley Parker, and set on Treasure Island and Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay Area. Book two, HOW TO CRASH A KILLER BASH, is set at the de Young Museum, and HOW TO SURVIVE A KILLER SÉANCE, set at the Winchester Mystery House, comes out March, 2011 (Penguin). Her non-fiction book, THE OFFICIAL NANCY DREW HANDBOOK, was nominated for an Agatha Award.

Since Cindy and Penny both write cozy mysteries, we invited them for a joint visit to Chick Lit Central, where they are sharing their "thankful" lists. We enjoyed what they had to say and hope you will too. In addition, they're each offering two copies of their latest books (Cindy's is "Dying for a Date" and Penny's is "How to Crash a Killer Bash") to some lucky readers in the US and Canada. (That's four chances to win a book!)



Cindy Sample:
My list could go on for pages but rather than clog up the blogosphere I’ll list my top five.

*First of all, I am thankful that my two wonderful children have turned into such incredible adults, especially considering the fact that their mother was a traveling executive/single soccer mom. No one ever wanted to trade lunches with my kids! My daughter and son are amazing people and I couldn’t be prouder of them.
*I am grateful that I was born to a woman of character, generosity and enormous love. My mother has been my rock throughout my life and everyone who comes in contact with her has been blessed with her presence.
*I am thankful for the wonderful circle of friends who have supported me in my new career and who have willingly read and re-read my first novel DYING FOR A DATE. I’m also thankful for their intriguing stories which may occasionally show up on the written page.
*I am thankful that my new life as a published author has brought me into contact with so many new friends, mystery fans, budding and well-established authors, who have embraced me and the humor in my first novel with so much enthusiasm.
*I am grateful that Kit Kat is now making their delectable bars in dark chocolate which has helped increase my daily word count.
*I am thankful that I just celebrated my sixtieth birthday and I can still swivel my hips and cha cha to work off all of those calories from # 5.
*And of course, special thanks to Melissa and Melissa for giving me this opportunity to give thanks.


Penny Warner:
Aside from being thankful for the usual things—health, happiness, family, and friends—I’m thankful for my muses. As a writer of cozy mysteries, I’ve been lucky to have a number of muses—goddesses, spirits, or real people—who inspire my creative works. Here’s my list of nine muses I’m thankful for:

#1: Little Lulu. If it weren’t for this little moppet in a red dress, I wouldn’t have learned how to tell a basic story at a very young age. Lulu taught me that every story has a beginning, middle, and end, plus some snowball fights and a love-hate relationship with a guy named Tubby.

#2: Nancy Drew. Duh. By reading Nancy Drew mysteries, I learned about how to write good cliffhangers—and keep readers turning the page, even if you don’t really exist (like Carolyn Keene.)

#3: Agatha Christie. The dame had a knack for churning out over 80 plots, and she made each one seem fresh and original—even if the all characters seemed to be somewhat similar. Her plots ran the gamut from “everyone did it” to “no one did it” to even “the narrator did it.” What an inspiration.

#4: Compromising Positions. The book by Susan Isaacs was a breakthrough in the realm of mystery fiction, because it was the first time a nice suburban housewife with no detecting skills solved a murder and saved the day. And she did it all with humor.
#5: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. P.D. James really got me thinking about how writing mysteries featuring female sleuths was no longer an unsuitable job for a woman like me—and I didn’t even have to be British. But I did want to change my name to Jemima for awhile there.

#6: Julie Smith, Susan Dunlap, Lia Matera. This Cerberusian trio was among the first Bay Area women I discovered in the library who wrote about Bay Area female sleuths—and it was love at first read. One of my favorite Sue Dunlap scenes featured a Banana Slug Festival and the climax taking place in a torrential rain. Talk about setting!

#7: A is for the Alphabet mysteries. Sue Grafton broke even more new ground with her compelling characterization of Kinsey Milhone. I loved the matter-of-fact voice, the clever titles, and the thrilling ride in and around Santa Teresa.
#8: Janet Evanovich. She put in the laugh track with her fresh take on quirky characters—Lula, Grandma Mazur, Cousin Vinnie—and made me wish I lived in the exciting city of Trenton, New Jersey, was a bounty hunter, and had two hot guys fighting over me.

#9: Last but not least—in fact probably the one muse that’s had the most influence on me—is my mother. I used to come home from school every day and see her typing away at the Olympia typewriter, crafting stories, news articles, and other literary works. She’s my true muse, and I’m lucky to have her continued encouragement and inspiration to this day. Thanks, Mom.

Special thanks to Cindy and Penny for sharing their "thankful" lists and for offering the books to give away.

How to win "Dying for a Date" or "How to Crash a Killer Bash":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

1. Please tell us: Who is your favorite mystery book or TV series character?
2. Please tell us: What is one thing for which you are thankful?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Thursday, November 25th (yes, Thanksgiving) at midnight EST.

55 comments:

Penny Warner said...

Hi Melissa (and Cindy!)
Thanks for sharing our "thankful" blog. Looking forward to signing books for lucky winners.
-Penny

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Two of my favorite people and I'm thankful to know both of you.

Marilyn

Cindy Sample said...

HI Melissa. Thanks for this opportunity. We all have so much to be thankful for. Penny, I love your comments on the mystery authors who have impacted our lives. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Pauline B Jones said...

Most thankful for my family, friends and being able to write and publish! It's a blessing!

Betty Gordon said...

Cindy, your 'thankful' list is wonderful and as one of the L&L group, your words were heartwarming.

I am thankful to know you too even it is through cyberspace.

Betty Gordon

Caitlyn Hunter said...

Inspiring blog, Cindy and Penny. I'm thankful for so many things--too many to list here but there are several on your lists that match mine.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Dänna said...

"Kit-Kat" in DARK chocolate! I am thankful for friends who are inspiring AND informative!
Cindy and Penny, you are both amazing!

Dänna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maddy said...

A great joint post, well done both.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Cindy and Melissa,

Both of you have written really interesing books. I enjoyed hearing the details. Wishing you every success.

Heather Haven said...

What an interesting and fun blog! I hope I catch more of these. Thanks so much.

Heather said...

I love Sue Grafton's ABC mysteries!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am thankful for my wonderful family!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I shared on facebook!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

John Mattson said...

Both of these books sound great! I laughed at Cindy's fun chocolate 'thanks' and was warmed by Penny's thanks to her mom.

Best, John jmattson61@gmail.com

Penny Warner said...

Thanks for all the kind comments!
It was a pleasure being a part of your blog, Melissa, and sharing space with Cindy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

What? No Marcia Muller among those Bay Area sleuths?

No need to enter me, ladies. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Cindy Sample said...

Thanks to all of you for your fun comments. Evidently some of you did not know Kit Kats now come in dark chocolate. Penny and I are grateful we could share our thanks and also such interesting tidbits. Good luck everyone.

morganalyx said...

My first favorite was Sherlock Holmes, but Kinsey Milhone & Stephanie Plum show how it can be fun & funny to be a detective. This was a great post, ladies! Since I already have Cindy's book, I'm hoping that I get Penny's book, if I win.

Alyx
morganalyx[at]yahoo[dot]com

Kat said...

Always wonderful to get insight into the minds of authors. Love the interviews!

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Hard to say who my favourite mystery character is... I hope there's some leniency allowed... I love the whole cast of Criminal Minds. They are brilliant at using the smallest details to get a profile which leads them to the murderers.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I am most thankful for the people who are there supporting me throughout the most difficult times in my life; it's easy to be there for the good stuff.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Already a follower of the blog.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Posted on Facebook.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Already a member of the group.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Lisanne624 said...

My favorite mystery character would have to be Agatha Raisin. She's so prickly, but you still feel sorry for her!

lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

Lisanne624 said...

I'm thankful for my family and the fact that we are all healthy (wait, is that two things??).

lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

Lisanne624 said...

I'm a follower (Lisanne624).

lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

Lisanne624 said...

I joined Chick Lit Central!

lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

1. Please tell us: Who is your favorite mystery book or TV series character?

My favorite mystery books are the Heather Wells series by Meg Cabot.

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I am thankful that my family is healthy and happy.

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow the blog via facebook

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow the blog via twitter

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow the blog via google reader

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow the blog via email

ADR said...

I'm thankful for my dog. He's had a rough year.

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I love the Pink Carnation series

adr52775 at aol dot com

ADR said...

I follow on Facebook & Twitter

adr52775 at aol dot com

Cindy Sample said...

IT's nice to meet all of you mystery readers. I think I've discovered some new series. Thanks for checking out the blog and good luck everyone.

karenk said...

favourite mystery tv character...barnaby jones...remember him?

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm thankful for waking up every morning...and enjoying the day :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Nancye said...

I like James Patterson Books and Jodi Piccoult, does this count?

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I am thankful for my family!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I posted this giveaway on my Facebook Wall.
FB ID: Nancye Epperson Davis

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/7973874524229633

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I joined you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Bonnie said...

I am a facebook follower.
intrepid9923 at yahoo dot com

Bonnie said...

Stephanie Plum is my favorite!
intrepid9923 at yahoo dot com

Bonnie said...

I am thankful everyday just for my family and friends and for everyday living in general....I don't take any day for granted.
intrepid9923 at yahoo dot com

Bonnie said...

shared on facebook.
intrepid9923 at yahoo dot com

Bonnie said...

tweeted!
http://twitter.com/intrepid9923/status/8009968473088000