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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

BOOK TOUR


I'm so happy to be a stop on the 
blog tour for 
Janice Peacock
and her new book
OFF THE BEADIN' PATH
Book 3 in the Glass Bead Mysteries


Glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they take a glassblowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist--and infamous lothario. After the first night of class, Tessa sees a body through the rain-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco, and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff isn't taking the disappearances seriously, but Tessa knows what she saw. To complicate matters, Officer Shaw and Detective Grant are both vying for Jax’s attention as she tracks down clues in a small town that's been keeping more than one secret. Jax and Tessa must face their fears to find the body and uncover the killer before another life is shattered.


An Interview With Janice Peacock

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today!

JP : Hi Lisa! My pleasure! Thanks for hosting me on your blog.


LKBR: Please tell us a bit about the Glass Bead Mystery Series.

JP: It’s a cozy mystery series with a craft theme, and from the title of the series you can tell that it’s about beads.  But, the books are about more than beads. There’s always a good dose of humor, a murder—of course, some romance, and more than a few quirky characters. The main character, Jax, is a glass beadmaker—which is an unusual occupation.  Basically, Jax melts colorful glass in a 2,000 degree torch to create beads.  I’ve been a glass beadmaker for over 25 years, so it’s been fun to write about a fictional glass bead artist and include some of what I know about this fascinating process. I love a good murder mystery, so writing this series has been very rewarding for me.

The first book, which I’m happy to report has over 80 positive reviews on Amazon, is called High Strung.  It’s set in Seattle during the grand opening celebration of a bead shop, which is marred by the discovery of a body. The second book in the series, A Bead in the Hand, takes place at a bead bazaar in Portland, Oregon at hotel that is likely haunted.
I’m excited to announce that the third book in the series, Off the Beadin’ Path, was published a few days ago.  In this book Jax and her friend Tessa decide to take a glassblowing class.  Here’s a little bit about the book:

Glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they take a glassblowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist—and infamous lothario. After the first night of class, Tessa sees a body through the rain-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco, and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff isn't taking the disappearances seriously, but Tessa knows what she saw. To complicate matters, Officer Shaw and Detective Grant are both vying for Jax’s attention as she tracks down clues in a small town that's been keeping more than one secret. Jax and Tessa must face their fears to find the body and uncover the killer before another life is shattered. 


LKBR: How did you come up with the concept for this series? How about the idea for this installment?

JP: Off the Beadin Path was the first plot I ever developed. I had the idea while I was working in a glass studio in Corning, NY.  I was taking a torch-working class, where we were learning to make realistic small-scale animal sculptures in glass.  Well, mine weren’t that realistic because I wasn’t very good at making them. A glassblowing class was going on in the same studio.  During the course of the week-long class I saw all sorts of bad behavior that reminded me of some of the cozy mystery books I’d read in the past—grudges, big egos, little flirtations, and power plays.  I had an epiphany, really, as I walked through the glassblowing studio one day during class—the perfect murder weapon. I don’t want to give away too much, but I finally found a way to use what I found at the studio all those years ago and put it in Off the Beadin’ Path.  I’m happy with how it turned out and glad I waited until the third book in the series to use the idea.


LKBR: Do you have a favorite character in your book/series?

JP: There are things I like about each of the main characters. Jax is fun, but determined—she is willing to go to great distances to make sure that the truth comes out, even if she knows she might get in trouble along the way.  Tessa, Jax’s best friend, is a stubborn Italian mom, and I love how she tries to protect Jax, but ultimately goes along for the ride, if for no other reason than to try to reel Jax in.  Tessa speaks to the mom in me.  The third friend in the series, Val, is one of my favorites, and she is a reader favorite as well.  Val is Jax’s neighbor, who is a tall red-haired former beauty queen with a penchant for science fiction.  She’s a little nutty. I do think there is a bit of me in Val, because I have been known to don a tiara from time to time, and I do love Star Wars.  While Val is definitely comic relief, she also adds warmth to the stories because she is one of Jax’s most loyal friends, and certainly the quirkiest.



LKBR: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love, action, death, etc?

JP: Hands down, the hardest thing for me to write is romance.  I mean, it’s really, really hard for me.  I avoid it!  The reason?  I’ve been happily married for nearly 30 years. That means I’ve forgotten a lot about how single people flirt and what that dizzying tension feels like when you’re falling in love. Jax is so awkward with her romantic interludes because it’s the easiest way for me to handle writing those kinds of scenes.  It’s also why I love writing cozy mysteries—nothing ever gets too steamy!


LKBR: In your writing, have you ever used experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

JP: I try not to use experiences from someone else’s life, at least not in a way that they would ever recognize! But, I do think that some of the artists’ struggles that show up in my books are based on experiences I have shared with others who make a living with their creative work. I include authors among those people.  Certainly, artists can have trouble from time to time making ends meet financially, and there are problems as well with plagiarism, competition, and fear of failure.  These threads run through my books, as motives for murder, but in general, as issues that drive the characters forward. 
On a lighter note, I will say that Gumdrop, Jax’s cat, while not inspired by a specific cat I have had, has done some things that other cats in my life have done.  I can say unequivocally that I have never had a cat who is addicted to catnip, as Gumdrop is. By the way, I have no idea how I came up with that concept. In Off the Beadin’ Path, Jax does mention how Gummie likes to sun himself in the window and if he needs a little more heat, will plop himself down on the heater vent on the floor.  One of my cats, Willow, does exactly that nearly every day. I thought it was adorable, so I decided to put it in the book.



LKBR: Do you have any writing quirks or rituals that you do before, during, and/or after writing a new book?

JP: For the first couple of books, I bought a Japanese Daruma, which is a wishing charm.  It’s a small round ceramic figure with blank eyes.  How it works is you paint in a pupil on one eye and make your wish.  My wish was to finish writing my first book! The Daruma, who wants his other eye, will help you with your wish. When you get what you want, you can paint in the other eye, which gives the Daruma what he wants, as well.  I don’t have one for this most recent book, and I think I’m going to miss that celebratory eye painting. I plan to buy a Daruma for the next book in my series, To Bead or Not to Bead, which I have in rough draft form.  I can’t wait to get back to revising it.


LKBR: What does your family think about your writing? How important is their support?

JP: My family has been extremely supportive.  In particular, my husband has been amazing about reading my books and giving me feedback.  He can’t find a typo if his life depended on it, but he is an avid reader and really understands what makes a good book tick. Several friends and fans have been early readers of my books and have provided me with invaluable feedback that helps me improve my work tremendously.  I feel fortunate to have such a terrific group of friends, fellow glass beadmakers, and supporters in the cozy mystery community.



LKBR: What book are you reading?

JP: I often read non-fiction while I am actively writing a work of fiction—which what I’ve been doing night and day in recent weeks. I’m currently reading Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah.  Actually, I’m listening to it as an audio book, and it’s absolutely fascinating! Trevor Noah grew up in South Africa during Apartheid with a black mother and a white father.  Life was difficult for this talented man as he was growing up. It has been mesmerizing listening to him, especially when he speaks in the various African languages he knows. I’m a language geek, so I guess that’s why I’m enjoying listening to it.  Plus, he’s an amazing storyteller.
Speaking of audio books, the first book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series, High Strung, is coming out as an audio book. Many crafters are excited about this because they love to listen to books while doing their favorite creative hobby.  Look for it on Audible and iTunes.


LKBR: Do you have any advice for aspiring cozy writers?

JP: My best advice is to make sure that someone proofreads your work before you self-publish.  Since everyone, myself included, is blind to their own typos after staring at a manuscript for hours on end, having a fresh set of eyes can be helpful for catching those pesky errors that can detract from a reader’s enjoyment of a book.  I also recommend that new writers spend some time learning the ins and outs of creating eBook files so that their books are formatted well.  You don’t necessarily need to hire someone to do it, but it is important to do these final polishing steps—even when you are exhausted from working for months to get your story just right.



LKBR: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?

JP: Off the Beadin’ Path was published a few days ago.  Readers can find it in eBook and paperback editions on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and many other on-line retailers. 

Amazon:
Barnes and Noble:
iTunes:


Here’s my Amazon page—in case you are one of those folks who likes to read the books in order, you can get copies of High Strung and A Bead in the Hand, plus freebie Be Still by Beading Heart.

Here’s my web site, where all the official stuff happens, plus you can read my blog here:

One of the best places to keep up with me is on Facebook:

I love Instagram, and often post there, also Twitter, and Pinterest:
@JanPeac on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

LKBR: Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better!

 JP: Thanks very much! It’s always a pleasure hanging out with you, Lisa.

About Janice Peacock


Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn't always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, launching a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O'Connell.

When Janice isn't writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, WA, and in private collections worldwide.

Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and twelve chickens. She has a studio full of beads...lots and lots of beads.


~*~*~*~*~*~

*****!!!GIVEAWAY!!!*****

1  luck reader will win a
Glass Bead and Pewter Bookmark!

(Open to USA only)

Winners will be chosen after March 24 
at the end of the tour
Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.


Tour Participants
March 15 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews
March 15 – My Journey Back
March 16 – StoreyBook Reviews
March 16 – Babs Book Bistro
March 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
March 17 – Books,Dreams,Life
March 18 – Sleuth Cafe
March 18 – My Reading Journeys
March 19 – Island Confidential
March 20 – Celticlady's Reviews
March 21 – Varietats
March 21 – Queen of All She Reads
March 22 – Book Babble
March 22 – Readeropolis
March 23 – A Blue Million Books
March 23 – I Read What You Write
March 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book


MY REVIEW


The Glass Bead Mystery series just keeps getting better! Each installment out does the one before, something I would have thought to be impossible.

I have followed this series since the first book, HIGH STRUNG. I enjoy everything about it. Author Janice Peacock’s knowledge of the art of glass making really shines through. It’s very clear that she loves what she does, both bead making, and writing.  

You’re not going to put this book down once you get started. Well written, witty, and informative, OFF THE BEADIN’ PATH is an excellent and unpredictable mystery that will keep you in your seat until you have read the last word. I certainly didn’t plan to read it in one sitting, but I should have known I would after reading the other books.

If you’re already a fan of this series, you have got to check out this great addition. If the Glass Bead Mysteries are new to you, you can read OFF THE BEADIN’ PATH, and not feel lost, but I do suggest you pick up the first two books, and the short story. You’ll be happy you did!


GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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let me know what you think!

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5 comments:

  1. Thanks, Lisa (and Janice). I love the cover! Happy Wednesday, to you.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your interview and review, Lisa. I have to check this series out.

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  3. I really enjoyed the interview. I have added the book to my TBR list.

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  4. Thanks for the great interview and review of this book and author. I've not heard of this series yet, but will be sure to check it out!

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  5. Hi Everyone! Thanks for the comments. I hope that those of you who haven't heard of the Glass Bead Mystery Series will check it out. All of the books, I am happy to say, have received rave reviews. Don't forget to enter the drawing for the glass bead and pewter bookmark.

    Cheers,
    Janice Peacock

    ReplyDelete