Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Parchment and an Interview and Giveaway

I'm so happy to welcome Laura Childs back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Parchment and Old Lace, the 13th book in the Scrapbooking Mystery series was released earlier this month.

Kathy: When it comes to writing, I understand there are two general camps – plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or do you fall somewhere in between?

LC: I’m a fear-driven writer. I’m afraid of missing deadlines, of not having a good idea, of experiencing a catastrophic brain freeze. Seriously, I do quite a bit of plotting. I always start with a “What if?” premise. In the case of my new book Parchment and Old Lace, it’s “What if Carmela hears horrible screams coming from a spooky cemetery and rushes in to help?” Once I figure out a scary way to kick off the book, I decide who my victim should be and create a handful of unsavory suspects. Then I write Chapter one and start piecing together a loose story that contains two or three more huge events as well as a bunch of fun things that my protagonist is involved in. When I have about sixty pages, I go back to the very beginning and write all the way straight through to the end. Obviously, I always hope for a few lightning strikes along the way so I can keep ratcheting up the suspense!

Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

LC: I have kind of a dark side, so I’m always inspired by autumn, Halloween, and all the spooky activities that surround this time of year. Because my release date was October 6, (perfect!) I wanted to give my readers an extra dark and scary read. Thus you have a book filled with murder, cemeteries, séances, abandoned theme parks, and, oh yes, scrapbooking.

Kathy: Lace plays an important role in this book. Is vintage fabric an interest of yours?

LC: I didn’t know a thing about it until I saw an article about vintage mourning clothes in an issue of Town & Country. Fascinating! Those stuffy Edwardians and Victorians had incredibly strict rules governing their dress and the wearing of lace. Since I was looking for a unique angle on a story about a murdered bride-to-be, my brain did a little Aha! and I was off and running.

Kathy: Carmela teaches the most interesting classes at Memory Mine. I wish I could attend! While I’m not in need of a wedding workshop, I’d love to make a charm bracelet. What is your favorite new class offering or technique?

LC: I love it when Carmela teaches her class on memory boxes. She’s always pulling together pieces of exotic paper, pressed flowers, paper ephemera, and tiny statues of birds or angels and placing them in these adorable painted wooden boxes.

Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Carmela?

LC: I’m writing Carmela’s next adventure right now. The title is CREPE FACTOR and the plot involves a rather gruesome murder of a nasty restaurant critic who writes for the blog Glutton for Punishment. It’s scary, moody, and hysterical all at the same time.

Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

LC: Absolutely. SCORCHED EGGS (Cackleberry Club Mystery) will be out in paperback on December 1, and DEVONSHIRE SCREAM (Tea Shop Mystery) will be out in hardcover on March 1, 2016. I also have a hard-edged thriller coming out next June. It’s titled LITTLE GIRL GONE and is a radical departure for me – a very gritty and ripped-from-the-headlines kidnapping. That book will come out under my real name of Gerry Schmitt.


Laura Childs Bio

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five mysteries, including the Scrapbooking Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries, as well as the soon to be released Afton Tangler Thriller series. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won dozens of TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy travel and their two Shar-Pei dogs.


Parchment and Old Lace by Laura Childs
The 13th Scrapbooking Mystery

It's autumn in New Orleans and Carmela is out on a romantic dinner date with her beau, Detective Edgar Babcock. Their date comes to an unfortunate conclusion when, on their way home, they hear a scream emanating from the cemetery. Both rush in only to find the body of a woman they had spoken with just moments before, murdered with a piece of antique lace. Although Carmela fully intends to leave the investigation in the capable hands of the New Orleans police department, she finds herself involved once again when the victim's sister, who happens to be the tarot card reader at Juju Voodoo, asks for her help.

While the book deals with weddings, not only was Isabelle (the murder victim) about to be wed, but Carmela was also teaching a wedding themed class at Memory Mine, it has a decidedly darker feel to it. Parchment and Old Lace brings not only the cooler weather of autumn, but a sense of decay with a cemetery as the crime scene, the use of a Ouija board, and a dilapidated amusement park.

Parchment and Old Lace is a great addition to the Scrapbooking Mystery series. We are given a deftly plotted mystery filled with the darkness autumn brings, yet the fun of good friendships and plenty of adventure. As an added bonus we also get scrapbooking tips and some great recipes.

Laura has graciously offered a copy of Parchment and Old Lace to two of my readers. In order to qualify, simply leave a comment on this blog post no later than 11:59 pm EDT Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 telling us your favorite part of Halloween. Don't forget to include an e-mail so that I'm able to contact you should you win!


  1. Well, you posed a good one!! LOL I guess I have to go with candies!!! But, I also love the decorations folks come up with... And, then all of the spooky mysteries that I can't possibly get enough of! :)
    mtrver at gmail dot com

  2. My favorite part of Halloween is the decorations and all the baked goodies! Thanks for sharing and the chance to win a book!

  3. My favorite part of Halloween is the decorations and the happy children in costumes. Thank you for the chance to win.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. My favorite part of Halloween is seeing children in costumes. Thank you for the chance to win.

  5. My favorite parts of Halloween are the fall colors, the pumpkins and chocolate! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

  6. My favorite part of Halloween is pumpkin carving and baking the pumpkin seeds with my daughter which has been our Halloween tradition since she was 3 years old. vernagass@gmail.com

  7. My favorite part of Halloween is the little ones dressing up in costumes. We act like they scared of, if it's a scary costume. We always take the little ones to the big party that the church has. It's a shame, that, in this day and time, it's just not safe to go door to door. (jozywails@gmail.com)

  8. My favorite part of Halloween is seeing my grandkids in their costumes. They look so cute all dressed up ready to go out Trick or Treating.


  9. The Fall type decorations. I don't celebrate Halloween.

  10. I love seeing the little ones in their costumes. So sweet and special. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. Taking my grandkids and and neighbor children around the neighborhood. They are so thrilled to be wearing costumes I don't think they even care about the candy ! kathambre@yahoo.com

  12. The looks on the children's faces when they come to the door all in so many wonderful outfits. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  13. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love to decorate my yard with pumpkins, scarecrows and mums. When the trick or treaters come I enjoy seeing the costumes especially on the little ones. robeader53@yahoo.com

  14. What a great interview! This is a favorite series of mine and I enjoyed learning more about Laura. My favorite part of Halloween is answering the door and seeing all the cute costumes on the little kids!

  15. I love to see how everyone dresses up & decorates.


  16. I love Halloween. The costumes, the decorations, the candy.....

  17. Congratulations Shelli King and Mary Preston - random.org chose your comments. Be on the look out for an e-mail from me!