Good day, book people. Do you find yourself reading books that are set in real cities or towns and reminiscing about the locations mentioned? If I’m reading a book set in Toronto Canada, Atlanta GA, Boston MA, Savannah GA, or Charleston WV and SC, I count the number of places I’ve been to and try to picture the action and setting in my head. I’ve got to admit, I even do this for cities I only have a passing acquaintance with like San Francisco CA, Detroit MI, New York NY, Washington DC, etc. I don’t know why, but reading descriptions of places I’ve been to and can vividly picture just brings something extra to the story. I’m pleased to welcome back to the blog, Laura Childs, author of Lemon Curd Killer, the latest release in one of my favorite series, the Tea Shop Mysteries. Ms. Childs will be sharing with us her thoughts on using location as a character. I hope you’ll enjoy what she has to share, add Lemon Curd Killer to your TBR list, follow the blog tour to learn more about this book and author, and don’t forget to enter the tour giveaway. Thank you, Ms. Childs, for taking time away from your writing to join us today. I’ll now turn the blog over to you.
Location as Character
by Laura Childs
When I first began writing my Tea Shop Mysteries, one of the things I immediately realized was that location can actually serve as its own unique character. Let me explain. Setting my Tea Shop Mysteries in Charleston, South Carolina gave me a lot to work with. First off, it’s an old city established way before the Revolutionary War. So that in itself means historic buildings, twisty narrow lanes, a lovely Historic District, and a genteel Southern pace. Really, the perfect setting for a Tea Shop Mystery.
Then, describing key elements such as the secretive Gateway Walk, the haunted St. Philips Cemetery, or the narrow and very private Stolls Alley ratchets up the suspense and helps my readers visualize where my characters exist in the story.
Setting can also elicit an emotional response. When I describe the Indigo Tea Shop using such terms as Rembrandt lighting, a quasi-British setting with a touch of country French, or pegged heart pine floors covered in faded Aubusson rugs, my readers tell me they can feel the relaxing and restorative nature of the setting.
Location as a character also adds greatly to the plot. It gives readers context on place, mood, and environment. This can be as simple as describing the fog rolling in off the Atlantic Ocean and giving Charleston’s antique streetlights a warm hazy glow. Or it could be more intricate, such as describing a wild chase down Gateway Walk where my protagonist rushes through the Governor Aiken Gates, hurries past the Gibbes Museum of Art, then dodges around statuary, stands of palmettos, and pattering fountains, finally ending up in a moss-shrouded cemetery complete with tilting tombstones right behind a centuries-old church.
Location also connects story elements. Dialogue is great for expressing conflict and other emotions, while plot is critical too. But when you feel as if you can actually see and touch something, when you can walk in my characters’ footsteps down a cobblestone alley and smell the fragrant magnolias, that’s the point where everything gets pulled together and a book becomes so much more real.
Thank you so much for reading this. And if you’re at all intrigued, my brand new Tea Shop Mystery, Lemon Curd Killer, has just been released. ♦
Lemon Curd Killer (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs
About Lemon Curd Killer
Lemon Curd Killer (A Tea Shop Mystery)
High tea and high fashion turn deadly in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.
Tea shop entrepreneur Theodosia Browning has been tapped to host a fancy Limón Tea in a genuine lemon orchard as a rousing kickoff to Charleston Fashion Week. But as fairy lights twinkle and the scent of lemon wafts among the tea tables, the deadly murder of a fashion designer puts the squeeze on things.
As the lemon curd begins to sour, the murdered woman’s daughter begs Theodosia to help find the killer. Tea events and fashion shows must go on, however, which puts Theodosia and her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley, right in the thick of squabbling business partners, crazed clothing designers, irate film producers, drug deals, and a disastrous Tea Trolley Tour.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!
25th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Berkley (March 7, 2023)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN13: 9780593200926 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 9780593200933 (eBook)
ISBN: 9781705082508 (Digital audiobook)
ASIN: B0BP9Y5L9Z (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B0B3HQFB3N (Kindle edition)
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible Audiobook | Audiobooks.com | Barnes and Noble | B&N eBook | B&N Audiobook | BookDepository.com | Downpour Audiobook | Kobo Audiobook | Kobo eBook | PenguinRandomHouse
About Laura Childs
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
Laura’s Links: Website | Facebook
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