Today, I’m a stop on the Strangled by Silk hosted by Escape With Dollycas blog tour! My stop includes fun for the readers of Traveling With T in the form of a guest post by Barbara Jean Coast to introduce you to the book, Strangled by Silk, plus a giveaway! Want to visit more tour stops? Here is the list of where the Strangled by Silk tour will be visiting!
Guest Post by Barbara Jean Coast- Introduction to Poppy Cove Mystery series!
Hi there, guys and dolls! It’s so wonderful to be able to introduce myself to you! As Barbara Jean Coast, I’m actually the shared pen name of co-authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. They reside in Kelowna, BC, Canada, but I exist in Santa Lucia, California (which is eerily similar to Santa Barbara). I’ll take you on a little tour of my time and toddling little town. So sit yourself down, pour yourself a long, cool beverage of your choice and we’ll get to know each other a little better!
The Poppy Cove Mystery Series is set in the late 50’s/early 60’s, as it was an amazing time in North American culture. The continent was still feeling the glow of having “won the war” and with it came a booming economy and an unsurpassed radiant confidence and idealism that nothing could go wrong. Women’s clothes were feminine and colorful, men dressed sharply in suits and hats, consumerism was at its peak of big, bright and shiny homes and cars. But at the end of the 50’s, and start of the 60’s, there was an underlying change — cold war, McCarthyism, women questioning their roles in society and teenage rebellion were starting to crack through the veneer. It makes for an intriguing setting for telling tales. My cozy series is character driven, revealing the lives and secrets of the residents, how they evolve, change and what they’ve lived through, rounded out with the Poppy Cove creations and daily workings of the town, with a little murder and mayhem tossed in the mix.
The first novel of the series is STRANGLED BY SILK. It begins at the opening ceremony of the new Stearns Academy, an exclusive girls’ boarding school, founded by the town doyenne Constance Stearns-Montgomery. She is nowhere to be seen until found dead in the rose bushes, clad in the dress and strangled by the silk scarf she had commissioned from Poppy Cove, the two and a half year old atelier in the center of town. It’s where Poppy Lane and Cove Street meet and caters to a host of colorful customers. The two main characters, shop owners both in their mid 20’s, are Daphne Huntington-Smythe, a born and bred fun-loving California blonde is the accessories buyer and Margot Williams, a recent arrival with a contemplative nature, is the custom designer of the store’s apparel.
Santa Lucia, population 50,000, just within arm’s reach of Los Angeles, is a bucolic setting of endless possibilities and temperate climate which draw the rich, glamorous and dangerous to its natural charms. Poppy Cove itsself is known to appeal to a starlet or two, including an impromptu fashion show by Joyce Jones, as revealed in the debut novel. It is the place for the elite to get gorgeous and catch up on the latest gossip.
There are other places worth mentioning, starting with Antonio’s, a fabulous little Italian restaurant run by Antonio and Maria Chelli located on the main Cove Street. It’s darling with checkered tablecloths, a vine covered loggia, Chianti bottle candles and pasta, pasta, pasta!!! Another darling location is the Poppy Lane Tea Room, which is a great spot for breakfast or a little nibble. Lana’s homemade muffins, soups and sandwiches in this bright and airy café make it a delightfully perfect place for ladies who lunch.
Right in the center of town is the meeting place known as Avila Square. It has a beautiful fountain and Spanish terracotta and mosaic tiles. If you are lucky enough to be there on a Saturday, it’s the spot for the Farmer’s Market which is a feast for the senses with colorful produce, charming hardworking locals and lively music. Another great place to watch the world go by is the Santa Lucia Fisherman’s Wharf. Located at the foot of Cove Street, there’s something for everyone — the Penny Arcade for the teenagers, the Sand Dollar with fresh take out fish and chips and ice cream delights from the Milky Way. With all the artists offering their wares and busking musicians to accompany the sounds of the ocean waves and fresh sea air, there’s no better way to while away the day from sunrise to sunset.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my kind of town. Why not pick up a copy of STRANGLED BY SILK today? It’ll get you all set for the next in the Poppy Cove Mystery series, currently being penned as you read, where poor Miss Santa Lucia doesn’t know what’s coming!
Barbara Jean Coast
Andrea and Heather (Andrea is on the right!) are the dynamic duo writing under the pen name of Barbara Jean Coast. Strangled by Silk is the first book in the Poppy Cove Mystery series- to connect with the authors- visit Twitter, “friend” Barbara Jean Coast or “like” Poppy Cove Mystery series!
For more information, including where to buy Strangled by Silk- visit here!
*Giveaway information! For a chance to win a copy of Strangled by Silk, just comment on this post! Giveaway is open to US only (sorry!) and will run from October 2-October 14th at 11:59PMEST. Giveaway winner will be announced Oct 15th.