Guest Post: Linda Lovely – WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE

With Neighbors Like These

by Linda Lovely

July 12 – August 6, 2021 Tour

Good day, book people. One of my many quirks, and I have quite a few, is that I enjoy reading about small towns but don’t like living in one. Although I live in one of the largest cities in my home state, it has a population of less than 50,000 so definitely has that small-town vibe. I love big cities, the bigger the better. Readjusting to small-town life after nearly 30 years of living in cities like Boston, MA and Atlanta, GA is huge. Having said that, I really enjoy small town life as it is portrayed in books. Today, I’m pleased to welcome an author that is no stranger to living and writing about small town life. Linda Lovely is the author of numerous books, including the recently released With Neighbors Like These. Ms. Lovely will be sharing with us why she’s attracted to writing about small town life. Thank you, Ms. Lovely, for stopping by and sharing with us today, the blog is all yours.

A Small Town Mold

As unlikely as it might seem, the heroines of my nine mystery-suspense novels have one thing in common—they’re native Iowans. This may seem rather odd given that only two of my books are set in Iowa, and one of these is a 1938 historical suspense.

My heroines range in age from late twenties to early fifties. Their professions run the gamut from forensic accountant to vegan chef. Two of my leading ladies retired from military careers—one as an Army Intelligence officer, the latest, as a Coast Guard Investigator. These women tend to live in the South. Not a big surprise since my husband and I have called the South home for four decades.

Yet, like me, my heroines either grew up in Keokuk, Iowa—my hometown—or another small Midwestern city.

Why? With my active imagination, it’s easy to picture what life might be like today for a vegan chef or a retired Coastie. What I can’t seem to envision is growing up someplace other than the Midwest. My values, frames of reference, figures of speech, experiences and outlook are rooted in my small town, middle-America upbringing. As a consequence, my heroines tote the same bags (for better or worse).

I’m talking lifestyle not politics. My heroines are independent and stubborn, partially as a result of growing up with smart, working mothers. These moms lectured their girls on the importance of education and encouraged their daughters to speak their minds. Since money was tight, my heroines worked summer jobs. They picked strawberries and tomatoes, taught swimming, waitressed, and worked as cooks. In addition to girlfriends, their friendship circles included boy pals. My heroines played softball, and rode their bikes to the public swimming pool. As members of high school debate teams, they traveled the state, arguing one side of a question one week, the opposite, the next.

I realize girls who grew up elsewhere may share the same values, determination and optimism as my heroines. I’m just not confident my writing can conjure up appropriate coming-of-age experiences for young women growing up in the Big Apple or LA, on a Deep South farm, or in a wealthy suburb. As a result, my heroines are stuck with the lessons and memories of my early years. Plus, their Iowa upbringing gives them a legit reason to call something “hinky” and share my other figure-of-speech peculiarities that sometimes stump my Southern-born critique partners.

That said, while my heroines all began their lives in Iowa, they’ve succeeded in diverse careers and they’ve found plenty of adventure, friendship, laughter and love in their new homes.


Synopsis:

With Neighbors Like These by Linda Lovely

MANAGING AN HOA IS MURDER…

He championed shooting deer inside the HOA’s nature sanctuary. Now his corpse is posed curbside, cradling a trophy deer head. The theatrical murder panics residents, and Ted Welch asks Kylee Kane, retired Coast Guard investigator, to help his HOA management firm calm fears. Kylee agrees. Her own mother is getting death threats over her crusade to protect the deer.

HOA=DOA TERROR REIGNS…

When a belligerent owner in another HOA is murdered, terror reigns. The Sheriff’s Department blames Ted for letting HOA feuds spiral into homicide. Kylee discovers links between the victims and suspects a recently-pardoned general is next. Authorities and the arrogant general dismiss her warning. Can she foil the third act in the crafty killer’s death-as-theater game or will she be the next corpse on display?

Praise for With Neighbors Like These:

“Linda Lovely delivers another twisty mystery with the perfect mix of wry humor and quirky characters. Anyone looking for a fun, fast page-turner, here it is!”
–Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“HOA communities seem deceptively safe, but the mix of gossip and politics in rule-bound groups can be a fertile breeding ground for murder. For the gutsy Kylee Kane, a fact-finding gig in South Carolina’s Lowcountry turns increasingly complex and dangerous. With Neighbors Like These offers a distinctive setting, a tenacious female sleuth and captivating suspense.”
–Katherine Ramsland, bestselling author of How to Catch a Killer

“Low Country murder, intrigue, and even a little romance abound in With Neighbors Like These. Kylee Kane is a welcome addition to the genre, and author Linda Lovely knows how to stir the pot with crackling dialogue and a tidy little mystery. Highly recommended!”
–Richard Helms, Derringer and Thriller Awards winning author of Brittle Karma

Book Details:

Genre:Traditional Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: July 13th 2021
Number of Pages: 326
ISBN: 9781953789457
Series: HOA Mystery Series, Book 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Linda Lovely

A journalism major in college, Linda Lovely has spent most of her career working in PR and advertising—an early introduction to penning fiction. With Neighbors Like These is Lovely’s ninth mystery/suspense novel. Whether she’s writing cozy mysteries, historical suspense or contemporary thrillers, her novels share one common element—smart, independent heroines. Humor and romance also sneak into every manuscript. Her work has earned nominations for a number of prestigious awards, ranging from RWA’s Golden Heart for Romantic Suspense to Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion for Best Cozy Mystery. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime and former chapter president, Lovely also belongs to International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For many years, she helped organize the Writers’ Police Academy. She lives on a lake in Upstate South Carolina with her husband, and enjoys swimming, tennis, gardening, long walks, and, of course, reading.

Catch Up With Our Author:
www.LindaLovely.com
Goodreads
BookBub: @LindaLovely
Twitter: @LovelyAuthor
Facebook: @LindaLovelyAuthor

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
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Giveaway:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Linda Lovely. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs July 12 through August 8, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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Guest Post: Linda Lovely – BAD PICK



Good day, my fellow bookish peeps. I’m always thrilled to meet new-to-me authors and series. I’m always intrigued by how an author can take a small idea and grow it into a plot for a book. Today, I’m honored to welcome Linda Lovely, author of the Brie Hooker mystery series. Ms. Lovely will be sharing with us her thoughts on DNA and the role it plays in her latest Brie Hooker story, Bad Pick. I hope you’ll all read what Ms. Lovely has to say, follow this blog tour, learn more about this book and author, and put Bad Pick and the Brie Hooker mystery series on your TBR list. Thank you, Ms. Lovely, for taking the time to stop by today and share with us. Ladies and gents I give you, Ms. Linda Lovely.





DNA Surprises
by Linda Lovely


Are you tempted to take a DNA test to learn if your genes up the odds you’ll suffer from various diseases? Are you curious about your ethnic makeup? Do you view testing and DNA databases as vehicles to expand your genealogy research and learn more about your family history?

People are curious beings, and this curiosity quite naturally extends to our own bodies and family sagas DNA testing services now available can cater to an individual’s specific interests, whether they’re focused on health issues or ancestry. As a consequence, some 12 million American adults—about 1 in 25—paid to use DNA testing services in 2017.

However, folks who take advantage of DNA testing need to be prepared to learn things they’d rather not know. In some cases, test results and database matches yield unwelcome surprises that cause personal anxiety or family upheavals.   

Despite urging from some of my relatives, I’ve resisted DNA testing because my mother fought a fourteen-year battle with Alzheimer’s before she died. I already worry enough that the disease may loom in my future without a test saying “yeah, your odds are above average.” That would make me even more concerned any time I forget a word or a name. As long as there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, my saliva won’t be making an airmail trip to a DNA lab.

Yet, as an author of mysteries, DNA testing intrigues me. I’ve been especially interested in news stories describing how detectives have used “familial DNA” to solve cases where they’d run out of leads to pursue. In such cases, the detectives have samples of a suspected killer’s DNA but can’t find a match in any law enforcement database because the suspect’s never been arrested or convicted of a crime. In many states, these detectives now are allowed to search for “near” matches of first-degree relatives.  Each person’s DNA contains about 20 critical markers. If software can find a DNA result that matches 10 of these 20 markers, the person with that DNA is most likely the suspect’s parent, child or sibling. This technique has yielded some headline-making arrests in previously hard-to-solve cold cases.

Of course, it’s not just law enforcement use of familial DNA that has the capacity to reveal surprising results. Individuals who give consumer testing services permission to put their DNA in databases that search for relatives may discover one or both of their biological parents are strangers and not the people they’ve always called Mom or Dad. In fact, a Facebook support community for people who’ve discovered unexpected parentage already has more than two thousand members.

The relative-matching software also can reveal that a person has one or more half-brothers or half-sisters previously unknown to them. This could be the result of prior hushed-up marriages, infidelity, or adoptions. When such a discovery is made, what can happen if contact is made or parents are confronted about long-held secrets? 

In Bad Pick, my latest cozy Brie Hooker Mystery series, a familial DNA surprise plays a key role in the plot. But that’s the only hint I’ll give you. You’ll have to read Bad Pick to discover why the consequences can lead to murder.




Author Bio:

Hundreds of mystery writers have met Linda Lovely at check-in for the annual Writers’ Police Academy, which she helps organize. Lovely finds writing pure fiction isn’t a huge stretch given the years she’s spent penning PR and ad copy. She writes a blend of mystery and humor, chuckling as she plots to “disappear” the types of characters who most annoy her. Quite satisfying plus there’s no need to pester relatives for bail. Her new Brie Hooker Mystery series offers good-natured salutes to both her vegan family doctor and her cheese-addicted kin. Bad Pick is her eighth published mystery novel. She served as president of her local Sisters in Crime chapter for five years and belongs to International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America.


Catch Up With Our Author On:


lindalovely.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!



Bad Pick

by Linda Lovely

on Tour April 1-May 31, 2019


Synopsis:


Bad Pick by Linda Lovely


Vegan Brie Hooker lives and works with her feisty Aunt Eva at Udderly Kidding Dairy, a hop, skip, and jump away from South Carolina’s Clemson University. Brie’s fun farm outreach attempt backfires when religious extremists decide goat yoga is a form of devil worship. Believing one of the zealots might be persuaded to see reason, Brie’s free-wheeling friend Mollye convinces her they should call on the young woman. Big mistake.

Picketers at Udderly’s gates soon become the least of Brie’s troubles. Not only is she accused of murder, she worries the death might actually be her fault. Danger mounts when an old family friend’s visit ensnares Brie in a high-stakes feud between a U.S. Supreme Court nominee and the woman determined to expose his secrets. In her personal life, Brie’s still torn between the town’s two most eligible bachelors. While she’s edging toward a decision, she must first survive a cunning killer adept at crafting murders that look like tragic accidents. Will Brie be another “accident” victim? Pay a visit to Udderly Kidding Dairy and find out!



Praise for Bad Pick



“There’s such a lot to enjoy in Linda Lovely’s third Brie Hooker mystery Bad Pick. Of course, I came for the goat yoga and the religious extremists (I’m only human), but I stayed for the love triangle, the female friendships, the family members rubbing along so realistically, the sidelights on vegan cooking and the rich depiction of small-town life. And what kept me flicking the pages fast enough to cause a draft? The twisty, knotty, killer plot underneath all that charm. Bad Pick is a good un!”—Catriona McPherson, Multi-Award-Winning Author of the Last Ditch Mysteries.


“Wow! In Bad Pick, Lovely wrote an amazing novel only to see one part of the plot come to life in headlines all over the country. A fringe religious cult, a Supreme Court nominee, and goat yoga combine together in a tale that fans of mysteries won’t want to miss.” –Sherry Harris, Agatha Award Nominee and Author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries.


“The Brie Hooker mysteries from author Linda Lovely continue to entertain, this time with extremists who really don’t like the farm’s new goat yoga offering. You’ll find yourself muttering, “What the feta?” as you follow the action around not one but two murders from the edge of your seat. Fix yourself a chevre sandwich and sit down to enjoy a delightful – and suspense-filled – read.”—Edith Maxwell, Author of the Local Foods Mysteries and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries.




Book Details:


Genre: Cozy Mystery
 

Published by: Henery Press
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Number of Pages: 270
ISBN: 9781635114744
Series: Brie Hooker Mystery Series

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads



Tour Participants:


Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


Enter To Win!:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Linda Lovely. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 1, 2019, and runs through June 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.


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