A Summer Facebook Party

A Summer Facebook Party
Mattie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge

Saturday, April 8, 2017

BOOK TOUR


I'm thrilled to be a stop on the 
book tour for 
Edith Maxwell
and her new book
CALLED TO JUSTICE
Book 2 in the Quaker Midwife Mysteries


When Hannah Breed confides to midwife Rose Carroll that she’s pregnant out of wedlock, Rose promises to help her through the pregnancy and figure out a way to break the news to her family. But that night, amid the noise and revelry of the Independence Day fireworks, Hannah is found shot dead.
After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally focusing in on the culprit only to be threatened herself.

An Interview With Edith Maxwell


LKBR:  Thank you for being here today!

EM: I am delighted. Thanks for having me.


LKBR: Please tell us a bit about Called to Justice and your series.

EM: The Quaker Midwife Mysteries feature midwife Rose Carroll in 1888. She catches babies, hears secrets, and solves crimes in the bustling mill and factory town of Amesbury in the northeast corner of Massachusetts, where I live currently. The real Quaker abolitionist and poet John Greenleaf Whittier lives nearby and serves as a sometime mentor and sounding board to Rose, and they both worship in the thriving Friends Meeting of the town. Rose is an independent businesswoman of 24, but has a building romantic relationship with David Dodge, a doctor in the next town.

In Called to Justice, a pregnant unmarried mill girl is killed during the evening Independence Day fireworks. She had confided her condition to Rose only that morning and Rose feels compelled to look into her murder. The story twists and turns among an unscrupulous mill manager, an Irish immigrant mill girl, the victim’s Quaker boyfriend, and a former slave who is first accused of the crime. In the mix are several births, of course, and the course of life in the summer of 1888.


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

EM: I’d been a member of Amesbury Friends Meeting for a quarter century, but I finally moved to Amesbury five years ago. It wasn’t until I started walking to church on Sunday mornings, and learning about the rich history of my town, that I came up with the idea of writing mysteries set in the town almost a hundred and fifty years ago. A midwife is great amateur sleuth, because she can go places the police never can – into women’s bedchambers. She hears secrets and confidences during the throes of labor that can help her solve crimes. And because she cares for women all during their pregnancies, she has to be a good listener.

For this the second book in the series, there is a statue in town that I knew was dedicated on the 4th of July, 1888. I decided to have Called to Justice begin at that dedication. I wanted to bring in the issue of racism and continued prejudice toward former slaves, as the books are set only two decades after the end of the Civil War. I was able to work that theme into the holiday’s ideals of freedom and justice.


LKBR: Do you have a favorite character in the Quaker Midwife Mysteries?

EM: I love Rose, of course, but I’ve also enjoyed getting to know police detective Kevin Donovan. He and Rose have an adversarial relationship in the first book, but that starts to change when he realizes how much she has to offer. And he’s named after a current Amesbury police detective, who kindly fact checks police procedure in certain scenes in my contemporary mysteries.


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

EM: I don’t write sex scenes, so we can avoid that altogether! I think those would be very difficult to write. I don’t know that any type of scene is inherently harder for me than another. I do try to immerse myself in the emotions of the scene, and have found myself in my office with heart pounding, or actually weeping. I figure when that happens, I was able to successfully put the emotions on the page.


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

EM: Generally, I have drawn on my own experiences to inform my protagonist’s occupation or a book’s setting, but that’s at a pretty high level. For example, I had a lot of contact with midwives and observed a number of births a few decades ago, so I can use that knowledge when I’m writing about Rose. More concretely, I use ways I’ve observed people interact, how this person shows disgust or that one expresses joy or sorrow. Some of that goes directly into my stories.

LKBR: When you’re in the process of writing/creating a book, do you use a computer, typewriter, dictate, or use pen to paper?
 EM: I always type directly into a file on the computer, but I can write with pen and paper if I am stranded somewhere without a laptop. Sometimes brainstorming ideas works best in a chair away from my desk, with a nice pen and notebook. And I often come up with new plot ideas when I’m on my daily power walk.


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

EM: I certainly like to celebrate when I’m done. I don’t think I have any particular ritual before I start. I’d like to say I clean my office thoroughly so I begin a new book with a clean, cleared physical slate. But in fact that kind of cleaning rarely happens, and somehow the book gets written, anyway. During the writing, though, I am always working by 7 AM. I am an early riser, and like to get my hour of internet in before 7. Then I drop by writer friend Ramona DeFelice Long’s “sprint club”- a group of us who all check in on her Facebook page and then ignore all else but writing for an hour. It’s a great way to kick start the day’s work.


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

EM: My sons, my sisters, and my boyfriend are all happy I’m happy. They each contribute in different ways, lending expertise in one area or another, and those who can come to my book launch parties. My boyfriend doesn’t read any of my writing, but that’s okay – he doesn’t read fiction at all, and I have plenty of other readers. I am pretty sure I’d be doing this author thing even if I didn’t have my family’s support, but it’s awfully nice to have it.


LKBR: Who/What inspired you to write your first book?
  
EM: I started writing my first Local Foods Mystery – set on an organic farm – during one winter back when I had my own organic farm. I’d heard the age-old adage “write what you know,” so I created a farm not too different from my own in a similar town. The farmer is younger and taller, however, and is single where I was married with two young sons. Also - I never found a body in my greenhouse and was never trapped in a burning barn by a killer, thank goodness.


LKBR: What was one of the most surprising thing(s) you learned when trying to get your first book published?

EM: How hard it is to get an agent. I gave up after fifty rejections. Ultimately I did land an agent, but it wasn’t through the standard route of sending a cold query.


LKBR: What book are you reading?

EM: I’m reading through my fellow nominees for the Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel. I’m extremely honored to have Delivering the Truth, my first Quaker Midwife mystery, nominated this year, as well as my short story, “The Mayor and the Midwife,” which also features Rose Carroll and is nominated for Best Short Story. So next up on my reading list is Murder on Morningside Heights by Victoria Thompson.


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

EM: First, write the best book you can. You can’t fix – or sell – what you haven’t written. So finish that first draft, fix it, revise it, and fix it some more. Then network with your tribe – in this case other cozy authors – and do a manuscript critique exchange. Take online courses, read books on plotting, attend in-person meetings, and do all you can to improve your writing and learn about the field. Good luck!


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

EM: My web site is a good resource for all my writing, both novels and short fiction, in all my series. My Edith Maxwell and Maddie Day Amazon author pages provide links to buy books from them, and my favorite indy bookstore, Jabberywocky Bookshop, lets you order them online, too. I’d love for readers to visit my group blog, the Wicked Cozy Authors. Six of us write New England-based mysteries and we have a lot of fun every weekday. I also blog on the third of every month with Killer Characters, and on the second Thursday with the Midnight Ink writers. I also hang out Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest, and even occasionally on Instagram!


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

EM: This was fun, and you asked some hard questions!

About Edith

Edith Maxwell is an Agatha-nominated and national bestselling mystery author who writes the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries. DELIVERING THE TRUTH, featuring a Quaker midwife sleuth in 1888, released in 2016 and is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery. Her story, "The Mayor and the Midwife," is the second Rose Carroll story to be nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short Story. CALLED TO JUSTICE releases in 2017.

Edith also writes the Local Foods Foods Mysteries. MULCH ADO ABOUT MURDER releases in 2017. Edith once owned and operated the smallest certified-organic farm in Essex County, Massachusetts. 

As Maddie Day, Edith writes the Country Store Mysteries set in southern Indiana. WHEN THE GRITS HIT THE FAN releases in 2017.

Maddie Day also writes the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, with MURDER ON CAPE COD debuting in 2018.

BLUFFING IS MURDER, the second in Edith’s Lauren Rousseau mystery series written as Tace Baker, (http://www.amazon.com/Tace-Baker/e/B007YT2ZVC), features a Quaker linguistics professor. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics.

Edith's short stories have appeared in more than a dozen juried anthologies and magazines. She is active in Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and is President of SINC New England.

Edith, a fourth-generation Californian, has two grown sons and lives in an antique house north of Boston with her beau, their three cats, a small organic garden, and some impressive garden statuary. She worked as a software technical writer for almost two decades but now writes fiction full time. 

~*~*~*~*~*~

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

Two (2) print copies of

CALLED TO JUSTICE

(Open to USA only)

Winners will be chosen after April 16 
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.


MY REVIEW


Author Edith Maxwell is a masterful storyteller. Indeed, only this series can take me away from my reading material of choice, cozy mysteries.

Ms. Maxwell has created a strong protagonist in Quaker midwife, Rose Carroll. Rose, is compassionate, and brilliant. She’s a woman who knows how to take care of things is an era when men dominated.

This historical mystery was very hard to put down. Read in almost one full setting, I was enthralled with the mystery Maxwell created in CALLED TO JUSTICE. From the beginning of the story until all becomes known and things are solved, I was riveted to my chair.

If you’re a fan of historical novels, the Quaker Midlife Mysteries are for you! Even if you’re not, I have a feeling these books will convert you!


Tour Participants April 5 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW April 5 – My Journey Back – REVIEW April 6 – Bibliophile Reviews - REVIEW, INTERVIEW April 6 – The Book's the Thing - REVIEW, GUEST POST April 7 – Shelley's Book Case – REVIEW April 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW April 8 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, INTERVIEW April 9 – The Power of Words - REVIEW April 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, GUEST POST April 10 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW April 10 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT April 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW April 11 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST April 12 – Book Babble – REVIEW April 12 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW April 13 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW April 13 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW April 14 – Leigh Anderson Romance – REVIEW April 14 – Author Annette Drake's blog – SPOTLIGHT April 15 – StoreyBook Reviews - GUEST POST April 15 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW April 16 – Brooke Blogs - REVIEW, GUEST POST April 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT


GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Head over to my friend Mary's blog 
MJB Reviewers
and check out her spotlight on author Lea Wait!

7 comments:

  1. Thanks, Lisa. Very interesting post! Happy Saturday, to you.

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  2. Great interview, Lisa! I can't wait to read more about Rose Carroll in Called to Justice ~

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  3. Thanks for sharing your interview with us, Lisa. Great job.

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  4. Thanks for the great interview. This sounds like a book I would be really interested in reading.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Merry

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  5. Interesting post. I enjoy reading historical fiction and mysteries. Midwives and Quakers sounds like an interesting storyline.

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  6. What a good, insightful and interesting interview! And Edith has even more pen names than I thought! Thanks for hosting a stop and the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. love this author and would love to win a copy of this title! Thank you for the chance

    johnnabooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete