Sunday, August 17, 2014

It All Comes Down to Character - Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

It All Comes Down to Character
By Wendy Delaney

I think that’s true in all fiction, and based on the reader feedback I received after the release of Trudy, Madly, Deeply (Working Stiffs Mysteries, book 1), a lot of people agree with me.

My readers often tell me that Charmaine Digby, the sleuth in my cozy mystery series, is a woman they can identify with. As an author that’s music to my ears.

Char tends to eat a lot of comfort food when she’s under stress, causing her to be on a perpetual diet (much like her author). She drinks too much coffee to combat a chronic lack of sleep, she doesn’t get enough exercise, and she doesn’t plan to change her lifestyle any time soon. She’s just trying to make it through the day as best she can. Because she’s the Special Assistant to the County Coroner, that day sometimes includes trying to solve a murder! 

Like a lot of us, Char has a complicated relationship with her mother. She has an even more complicated relationship with her one of her oldest friends, Steve Sixkiller, the hunky detective who doesn’t want the Coroner’s Assistant sticking her nose where he thinks it doesn’t belong. She would inform Steve that she’s just doing her job: asking questions on behalf of the Coroner. Since Char is a deception detection expert—a human lie detector—this is something she is uniquely qualified to do. But an inquisitive human lie detector armed only with a deputy coroner badge has to be careful to avoid putting herself in harm’s way. And she is . . . most of the time.

I love writing scenes with Charmaine and Marietta, Char’s actress mother. It’s fun to listen to them talking to one another. As the author I also know what is not being said, what can’t be said without one of them inserting a foot into her mouth. There’s so much fodder in mother/daughter relationships. That relationship can form the strongest bond two women have. There can be an intensity to it like no other in our lives, sometimes making that person very difficult to live with. For those of you who read Trudy, Madly, Deeply, you now know why, when Marietta blows into town, she always takes over Char’s bedroom at Gram’s house. They both have a lot of “work to do” as Marietta’s shrink would call it, and they need to be under the same roof to do it. Usually, much to Char’s dismay. To make matters worse, in her heyday Marietta played a TV detective so she’s full of great advice for her daughter. Char would correct me and say that her mother is just “full of it.” Yep, there’s no shortage of fodder in this relationship!

Char’s world is populated with a variety of people in this fictional small town. There’s a large community of senior citizens who watched her grow up. A number of longtime residents remember her as that weird kid—that actress’s daughter rumored to have some sort of ESP. And, of course, there are a few townspeople who think they can get away with murder. Obviously those characters will be developing a closer relationship with Char as the series progresses!    

I don’t know about you, but I read books for characters that I want to spend time with. And when I find a mystery series with characters that I strike a bond with, I come back for more.

Who are some of your favorite fictional characters—the ones who keep you coming back for more?



Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles by Wendy Delaney
The Second Working Stiffs Mystery

Charmaine Digby, Deputy Coroner and human lie detector, is back in action...and getting some action from good friend and detective Steve Sixkiller. Town bad boy, Russell Falco, is also a playboy, but is that what got him killed? Char is as determined to prove that his death is indeed murder, thus requiring investigation from the coroner's office, as she is from avoiding her mother who has returned to town, or facing any more meaningful feelings towards Steve.

This is a book of complications, and their avoidance. Charmaine would rather sleep on the Crippler, the sleeper sofa in her late grandfather's study, than in Steve's king sized bed while her mother is in town usurping her bedroom. She enjoys Steve and their new friendship with benefits, but would prefer to keep it quiet and casual. At least she thinks that's what she wants. Char's mom, Marietta Moreau, formerly known as Mary Jo Digby, is back in town with complications of her own. She's nearly broke and is looking to sell her Malibu home and return to Port Merritt. Will she add another husband or get involved in an investment scheme? There are also complications of the baking contest. Will Char's grandmother beat out her own sister, or the two town favorites. Those favorites have complications of their own, their involvement with Russell Falco, the murdered man. Of course, Char brings the complication of investigating the murder before it's even a case for the coroner.

Through all of the complications Wendy Delaney brings fun and humor, as well as a good mystery! I enjoy spending time with Char and her friends and family. I love how Marietta "helps" Charmaine investigate. I was laughing out loud during their stake out. I love this funny series and can really relate to Char...and the annoyance of having fat pants that get too small. Sigh.


Would you like to win an e-book copy of Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles? To enter just leave a comment on this blog post answering Wendy's question-"Who are some of your favorite fictional characters—the ones who keep you coming back for more?". Leave your comment no later than Thursday, August 21, 2014 EST and also leave your e-mail address. Also, be sure to enter the rafflecopter contest as well!

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  1. Stephanie Plum, Mrs Murphy, Joe Grey, Kate Shughack,

    1. So many great characters to choose from, aren't there, Kaye? You definitely named some of mine.

  2. You nailed it with these statements. The characters are exactly why I read these books. I love the mother daughter relationship. I'm sure it's an "I can say what I want about my mom but you'd better leave her alone" relationship. We can all relate. That's what makes it fun. I also love the people she comes across that she knew in the past. Gives a past, makes her more real. I found myself "making friends" with Char (love the nick name "chow mein") and can't wait for the next book!

    1. Thanks for the awesome feedback, Brenda! I'm hard at work on book 3 and will post news about it as it becomes available. :)

  3. Thank you for featuring me on your blog, Kathy. I'm so happy you enjoyed SL&S. Wonderful review - thanks so much! :)

    1. Thank you for spending time with us. I look forward to Book 3 and more fun with Char!

  4. V. I. Warshawski, Stephanie Plum, Zoe and so many more.