Interview with Denise Swanson, author of The Scumble River series

murder of stacked librarian

I’m a cozy mystery fan. Have been for years. The books are light and fluffy- but with a good mystery at it’s core. Plus the characters are funny and enjoyable!

This week, Denise Swanson’s latest, Murder of a Stacked Librarian, will be in stores! Denise found some time to come by and talk to me- so read the interview- then go buy the book!

 

Interview with Denise Swanson

Denise, how did you create the character Skye?

When I decided to write a mystery, a school psychologist as the main character seemed like a good idea. No one else was writing about that profession and as a school psychologist myself, I knew I could give readers a true idea of what it was like. I also thought the profession lent itself to being an ideal one for a sleuth as we are trained investigators and everyone tells us their secrets.

 

Scumble River is a fictional town set in the Midwest (near Chicago, IL). How did the idea of Scumble River happen?

I originally was going to set the books in my hometown of Coal City, but when I was offered a publication contract, my husband asked me if I had ever heard of the word lawsuit and suggested that I fictionalize the setting. Scumble River is inspired by Coal City, and the two neighboring towns of Braidwood and Wilmington. My mother grew up in Braidwood and I was a school psychologist in Wilmington for several years.

 

Murder of a Stacked Librarian is the latest book in the Scumble River series. How has Skye changed from the first of the series to now?

Skye has changed a great deal from her first appearance in Murder of a Small-Town Honey. In that book, she had just moved back to Scumble River after being jilted and fired. She had maxed out her credit cards and had only come home because she had no other options. Throughout the series, she’s learned what she really wants out of life and grown up a great deal.

Denise, do you have an idea how you will end the Scumble River series? Or will you keep writing for as long as you can?

I currently have no intentions of ending the series. For a while, I thought when Skye got married that would be the final book, but then I realized there is life (and sleuthing) after marriage. 😉

I’m finishing up the honeymoon book now and have a great idea for the 2015 book. The big question is will my publisher offer me a contract past the 2014 book, which is the last one I’m contracted to write. Penguin makes that decision based on overall sales, but even more on the first week sales. So the sales of Murder of a Stacked Librarian between September 3 and 7 will probably determine if I get to write about  the 2015 book or not.

Do you have a writing space or routine?

I’m fortunate to have an office, complete with a cat. My routine is to write from about 8 AM to 2 or 3 PM seven days a week. My goal is five pages, but if I can write seven that’s even better.

Can you reveal anything that is happening next for Skye?

Skye does get married in Murder of a Stacked Librarian, but I can say whether or not it’s to her current fiancé.  Her honeymoon is fabulous, but there is a big surprise waiting for her there.

The Dozier family is a set of characters that Skye interacts with often in the Scumble River series. What was the inspiration for the Dozier family?

Skye’s interactions with the Dooziers are inspired by many of my own experiences as a school psychologist. As I like to say, there’s a little Earl Doozier in everyone.

The 3rd book in the Dime Store Mystery series (your other cozy mystery series) will be released in spring of 2014. Will the next Scumble River be released in fall of 2014?

Dead Between the Lines, the third Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery comes out March 2014 and Scumble River # 17 will be out the first Tuesday of September 2014.

 

*Special thanks to Denise Swanson for agreeing to be interviewed!

 

denise swanson

Denise Swanson writes both the Scumble River Mystery series and Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series. Connect with Denise on Facebook!

 

3 books that make me happy September is almost here!

 

Normally, September approaches and I’m not a happy camper. The days are getting a bit shorter. The pool is getting ready to be closed down.  Kids are back to school.  And on and on….

However this September, there are 3 books that are making me count down the days!

 

murder of stacked librarianMurder of a Stacked Librarian by Denise Swanson  (September 3rd)

In Denise Swanson’s latest, Skye is getting married. Maybe. With wedding plans still needing completing, a groom that is too busy to help, and May being suspiciously tight-lipped about things- Skye wonders if she’ll be ready to walk down the aisle- and if she is, will the groom be there? Or will he still be at work at the police station?

Murder, shenanigans, and other things happen in Scumble River. Visit this small town for fun, nice mystery and good characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

you knew me when   You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert  (September 3rd)

Kitty and Laney. Best friends. Laney has a plan for their future- going to college together, then moving to NYC. But life happens and changes the plan.

Years later, Katherine is now living in NYC, head of cosmetics line, Blend. Katherine is a workaholic- but she loves her life. Then Katherine gets a letter that brings her back home- back to face her old best friend, Laney. A person she has not spoken to in 12 years.

Can the old friends find common ground? And what happened 12 years ago?

 

 

 

 

 

w is for wasted

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton (September 10th)

 

Sue Grafton’s latest book has Kinsey Millhone digging into the lives of 2 dead men- one she knew and one she’d never met until she saw him in the morgue.

Kinsey wonders several things, and as she looks into the case- she knows she could be opening a box that is best left closed. But Kinsey wouldn’t be Kinsey if she did not get to the bottom of the mystery.

Join in on the latest adventures of Kinsey!

 

 

 

 

Need more book recommendations? Bookmagnet has several that are VERY good sounding!

 

 

Swanson’s Sleuths Street Team Interview 3: Nancy

swanson street teamA few weeks ago, Denise Swanson approached several of us about our opinions of a Street Team. A Street Team can vary from author to author- but for Denise- we hand out bookmarks, post to Twitter and Facebook, take pictures of our books and chatter excitedly about the new book, Murder of a Stacked Librarian (in stores Sept 3rd!)

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting interviews with some of the members- and spreading the word about Scumble River and Densie Swanson. If you enjoy cozy books, I hope you’ll consider trying out a Scumble River book. If you’ve never read a cozy mystery- now’s the perfect time to try!

Interview with Nancy

1. How did you begin reading Denise Swanson books?

My sister got my interested in the Scumble River series.

2. Do you read other cozy mysteries?

Yes I read Cleo Coyle, Joanne Fluke, Heather Blake-Webber many more. I also am a big Janet Evanovich fan, but I am not sure she is considered “cozy” LOL. Another big time favorite author of mine is Mary Daheim. Her Bed and Breakfast mysteries and her Alpine series are really great.

3. You are a member of Swanon’s Sleuths (Denise Swanson’s Street Team to help promote her Scumble River books.) Are you a member of other street teams? What do you think of street teams- are they helpful to authors?

I was thinking of joining Janet Evanovich’s street team but not sure yet. I think they do help the author get the word out about there books!

4. What is your favorite Denise Swanson mystery?

I can’t choose a favorite I love them all!

5. Do you read Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery (Denise Swanson’s other mystery series)? If you do, do you prefer Devereaux’s Dime Store or Scumble River? Or do you like them both?

Love both series of books. I am re-reading Little Shop of Homicide now actually. I need to get the second book.

6. What character in Scumble River would make the BEST best friend forever (BFF)? And why?

Trixie would make a Best best friend forever because she seems loyal but yet not in her friends business 24/7 but she is there when she needs her.  That is something that is great in a friend.

Swanon’s Sleuths Street Team Interview 2: Carrie

swanson street teamA few weeks ago, Denise Swanson approached several of us about our opinions of a Street Team. A Street Team can vary from author to author- but for Denise- we hand out bookmarks, post to Twitter and Facebook, take pictures of our books and chatter excitedly about the new book, Murder of a Stacked Librarian (in stores Sept 3rd!)

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting interviews with some of the members- and spreading the word about Scumble River and Densie Swanson. If you enjoy cozy books, I hope you’ll consider trying out a Scumble River book. If you’ve never read a cozy mystery- now’s the perfect time to try!

 

Interview with Carrie

1. How did you begin reading Denise Swanson books?

I got addicted to cozies several summers ago.  I think I read Victoria Laurie first, and then because I enjoyed her series so much, I used Amazon to give me suggestions.  I bought Denise’s first book and read it in a few hours and knew I had to have all of the other ones!

2. Do you read other cozy mysteries?

I read LOTS of other cozy series.

3. You are a member of Swanon’s Sleuths (Denise Swanson’s Street Team to help promote her Scumble River books.) Are you a member of other street teams? What do you think of street teams- are they helpful to authors?

I am not a member of any other street team.  I think this a great way to bring exposure to great authors!

4. What is your favorite Denise Swanson mystery?

I absolutely cannot pick a favorite.  Each book has something unforgettable about it.

5. Do you read Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery (Denise Swanson’s other mystery series)? If you do, do you prefer Devereaux’s Dime Store or Scumble River? Or do you like them both?

I have read both Dime Store mysteries and enjoyed them.  Right now I do prefer the Scumble River mysteries I guess because there are so many in that series that it just feels comfortable when I read them.

6. What character in Scumble River would make the BEST best friend forever (BFF)? And why?

I would love to be friends with Skye!  I am a high school English teacher and our lives seem so parallel at times!

 

Tuesday Mashup

 

Tuesday is looking good for giveaways and book-ish news:

 

#giveaways

1. Lisa K’s Book Reviews is giving away a Denise Swanson autographed book (plus has a pretty awesome interview as well!) Get there fast- it ends soon *Aug 15th!* ! #swansonssleuths

 

2. A Novel Review is giving away a copy of the book The Fort by Aric Davis!

 

3. Book-alicious Mama is giving away The Secret Rescue by Cate Lineberry!

 

4. Peg Cochran is giving away her second book, Steamed to Death, on Goodreads. If you are a fan of cozy books, this is a good one!

 

5. Traveling With T is giving away a copy of The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo!

 

6. Brenda Janowitz stopped by Traveling With T for a guest post on being a hybrid author- and to talk of her healthy obsession with The Vampire Diaries 😉 Enter to win her 2 previous books, Scot on the Rocks and Jack With a Twist (Kindle Books!)

 

#Book-ish Things

 

7. Rebecca @ Love At First Book and Allison @ The Book Wheel teamed up months ago to make a book-ish bucket list. Check out the 50 Bookish Things list! Are you on Facebook? Then go “Like” 50 Bookish Things You Must Do Before You Die!

 

Happy Reading!

 

Cozy-riffic Cuties: Murder of a Small-Town Honey discussion questions

murder of small town honey

It’s here: Today is the day to discussion for Murder of a Small-Town Honey by Denise Swanson. Part of the reason I chose this book to discuss is because I’m a member of the Swanson’s Sleuths Street Team, but mainly because- this is a great cozy series and I’ve been wanting to find people to discuss cozy books with!

 

Questions:

1. Skye leaves Scumble River on the heels of a memorable speech- but returns years later. Could you have returned? Would you have returned to Scumble River?

2.  What do you think of the town of Scumble River?

3. Honey has a past- and it ties to a few residents of Scumble River. What did you think of her past? Could Honey have learned from her past?

4. Skye is not a size 6 character. Is it refreshing to see a character that has curves?

5. For people who have read more of the Scumble River series- what are the differences in the Skye we meet in Murder of a Small-Town Honey and the Skye we see in later books? Has she grown-up? Changed? Still the same Skye? Embraced her small-town roots?

6. What did you think of the mystery? Engaging? Good first book in series? Needs more work? Chime in!

Thanks for coming by- for August- we’ll read Kate Collin’s newest book, Seed No Evil (out Aug 5th)!

Cozy-riffic Cuties Book Club: Sign-up for July Read!

murder of small town honeyI love cozy mysteries. They are some of my favorite reads. The characters, the mysteries, the settings- cozy mysteries are good!

But, not everyone likes them, and while I have the pleasure of talking to some of the most interesting book-ish folks, I do miss out on talking to people about cozy mysteries. Luckily, being a member of Swanson’s Sleuths and reviewing other cozy mysteries with Cozy Mystery Reviews has put me in contact with fans of cozy books. Then I decided- why not create an online book club for cozy books?

So here it is: Cozy-riffic Cuties- an online book club to discuss cozy mysteries!

For July- we will be reading Murder of a Small-Town Honey by Denise Swanson. Since several people that expressed interest in the group has already read this book (many of us are Swanson’s Sleuths Street Team Members), July will be a bit different than other months. While we will discuss the book, we also will be discussing things like the main character, Skye, and how much she has changed over the course of the books in Scumble River series.

We will meet and discuss for 1 day during the month of July. Can’t make it that day? No problem- come and discuss when you can! Questions  about Murder of a Small-Town Honey will be posted July 30th.

August and September book selection has already been picked by me, as well- Kate Collins newest, Seed No Evil (in stores Aug 5th) will be August and September will be Denise Swanson’s newest- Murder of a Stacked Librarian (in stores Sept 4th).

For October- we will discuss what book to read!

Any questions/comments/concerns- please direct them to me.

I look forward to discussing cozy mysteries with you!

Nickled- and Dimed to Death: A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery by Denise Swanson

Dev is back in the second book in Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery series.

Dev has a hot date planned with the hot US Marshal Jake- until he gets the last minute call that he’s able to go back to duty and on a hot case. Dev’s disappointed( who wouldn’t be after buying a new dress?), but when Dr. Noah Underwood calls asking her to accompany him to an event and saying he has a business connection she needs to make, she decides not to waste the dress!

While at the event, she gets a phone call from Boone, one of her best friends. He’s at the police station and a suspect in the Elise Whitmore murder. Dev and Poppy know Boone could not murder someone- so with the help of Noah, they start digging into Elise Whitmore’s murder. Between the 3 of them- they find some interesting suspects- but do they find the murderer?

To top off Dev’s days- she’s got 2 hunky men wanting to be with her- Jake and Noah. And neither one looks like they are willing to throw in the towel when it comes to Dev.

Funny. Enjoyable. Great little cozy series. While it is different than Denise Swanson’s other series (Scumble River) this series defintely stands on it’s own. Cozy readers, sit back and enjoy Dev’s world.

My Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies 2013 Reading List…

Cruisin 2013

January 1. Today is the beginning of Cruisin’ Thru The Cozies Reading Challenge 2013. Listed below is my list of books I plan to read. As I read a book, a review will be posted. I’ll also be posting a round-up of cozies I’ve read thus far in the challenge (it may be monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly- that is to be determined.) Goal: 13 books to reach Super Sleuth status (although I may read more- time and books available will determine that). Good luck to all who is participating in this reading challenge. Happy Reading!

Jan 1- A Deal to Die For (Good Buy Girls #2) by Josie Belle

Feb 5th- Veiled Revenge: A crime of fashion mystery by Ellen Byerrum

Feb 26 – Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen) by Joanne Fluke

March 5th- Nickeled and Dimed to Death- A Deveraux’s Dime Store Mystery by Denise Swanson

April 2nd- Going, Going, Ganache (Cupcake Mystery) by Jenn McKinlay

May 7th- Topped Chef: A Key West Food Mystery by Lucy Burdette

Aug 6th- Seed No Evil (Flower Shop Mysteries) by Kate Collins

Sept 3rd- Murder of a Stacked Librarian (Scumble River) by Denise Swanson

Oct 1- Billionaire Blend (Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo Coyle

Other cozies I’ll be reading:

Fiber and Brimstone by Laura Childs

Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson

Crunch Time by Diane Mott Davidson

Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart

There are 2 Jenn McKinlay books that should both be released in 2013 that I plan to read as well.

As the year progresses, I plan to add more to the list- I plan to read a minimum of 13 cozies to meet Super Sleuth for Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2013.

 

Books I’m Looking forward to in 2013

I’m the girl who loves to know when the next book of the series is coming out- pretty much just as soon as I finish the previous book. I may or may not mark my calendar to earmark these special days (I’ll let you be the judge of that!)

While this is in no way a complete list- these are the books I’m currently aware of…..

Jan 8th- Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton

Feb 5th- Veiled Revenge: A crime of fashion mystery by Ellen Byerrum

Feb 26 – Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen) by Joanne Fluke

March 5th- Nickeled and Dimed to Death- A Deveraux’s Dime Store Mystery by Denise Swanson

April 2nd- Going, Going, Ganache (Cupcake Mystery) by Jenn McKinlay

May 7th- Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck

May 7th- Topped Chef: A Key West Food Mystery by Lucy Burdette

May 9th- Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

June 4th- Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

June 18th- Island Girls by Nancy Thayer

June 25th- Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

July 9th- Finding Colin Firth by Mia March

Aug 6th- Seed No Evil (Flower Shop Mysteries) by Kate Collins

Sept 3rd- Murder of a Stacked Librarian (Scumble River) by Denise Swanson

Oct 1- Billionaire Blend (Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo Coyle

What books  are you looking forward to reading?