Sunday, February 12, 2017

Death in Advertising Interview, Review, & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Laura Bradford to the blog today. DEATH IN ADVERTISING, the first book in Laura's new Tobi Tobias Mystery series, was released February 7th.

Kathy: You start a new series with DEATH IN ADVERTISING. Was there a specific inspiration for this series?

LB: I first wrote DEATH IN ADVERTISING years ago. Tobi, the main character, just appeared in my head. She was smart, determined, plucky, and had great friends. So I’d say she was my inspiration for the series.

Kathy: Tobi Tobias has to moonlight in a pet store when she opens her own ad agency. Have you ever worked in a pet store or for an animal rescue organization?

LB: No pet stores for me. But my sweet cat, Hobbes, was a rescue animal and I know how much joy she brought me. I figured putting Tobi around animals would make for some fun—and it does!

Kathy: Do you have pets of your own?

LB: Hobbes passed on 7 years ago and I still think about her all the time. She was truly the sweetest cat I’ve ever known. Now, there is Angus. He, too, is a cat…and while very different than Hobbes, he is a character in his own right.

Kathy: If you could spend time with an animal who you could not have as a pet, what type of animal would it be?

LB: Sea lion. Without a doubt. LOVE them. When I visit a zoo, it’s the first place I must go. When I spent some time in Monterey, CA a few years ago, seeing them in the wild (all over the place) was such a treat!

Kathy: You write multiple series simultaneously. How do you juggle them all? Do you sometimes discover you've accidentally put characters in the wrong series while writing?

LB: I never work on two books at a time, so that’s one way I don’t confuse them. I keep index cards with info on all my characters so that helps, too…although, honestly, they’re all real to me so the only confusion might be remembering eye color (which is why I keep the cards). One time, I put a character from another series in a book, but I caught it during editing and it made me laugh.

Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?

LB: I fall in between. I always know who did the crime and why. And I know the other suspects in advance, as well. But it’s the rest of the book—the flavor, if you will—that I just let write itself.

Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?

LB: I like my author page on Facebook—many of the readers I’ve met through that have become friends. I also love library events. I love talking to/being around readers.

As for what I dislike—Twitter. I don’t get it. But I still try.

Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

LB: Three Tobi Tobias Mysteries will be out in 2017. Death in Advertising (the debut title) is out now. 30 Second Death—book # 2—will be out in July. The 3rd book in the series will be out in December. So that’s exciting.

The Silence of the Flans, the 2nd book in my Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, will be out March 7th.

Patterned After Death, the 12th book in my Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey, will be out in June.

Beyond that, I hope to put out a 6th book in my popular Amish Mysteries this year.

I also have a new project I’m working on (that is now contracted) that I’ll divulge as soon as I can.



The First Tobi Tobias Mystery

Tobi Tobias has started her own advertising agency, a dream she's had since childhood. That dream didn't include a struggling agency and working in a pet store to try to make ends meet, however. Tobi gets her chance to keep her business afloat and pay off some of her mounting bills when she lands the account of another struggling business, the Zander Closet Company. Tobi creates the perfect slogan and both companies begin reaping its benefits. But before the celebration begins in earnest, Tobi's slogan becomes an advertising nightmare. While her slogan didn't cause the death of the prominent Car King of St. Louis, its association is killing her new found success. Determined to save her business, along with hunky Andy Zander's closets and a grieving African Grey parrot, Tobi puts a hold on looking for catchphrases and starts looking for clues.

It took me a while to warm up to Tobi. She acted a bit juvenile and her idiosyncrasies were a bit more annoying than endearing. I was also a bit worried about the pet shop. As an advocate for animals I hoped that the store was a respectable one, promoting adoptions and responsible pet ownership. The story, however, was compelling and Tobi began to grow on me. The more I read, the more I was carried away by the mystery. By the time Grandpa Stu came on the scene I was hooked.

Bradford gives us plenty of interesting characters with a variety of motives. A bit of romance, some laughter, and genuine compassion between the characters add charm. DEATH IN ADVERTISING is a promising start to a new series.

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  1. Really enjoy Laura's books. Looking forward to reading "Death in Advertising".

  2. Really enjoy Laura's books. Looking forward to reading "Death in Advertising".

  3. Really enjoy the cozies. Thanks for this opportunity.

  4. I a absolutely love Laura's books, especially her Burns and Jenkins series and also the Amish series!

  5. Great author, great giveaway, thanks.

  6. I must read this. I work in media & I can definitely see someone getting murdered in this world.