Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Knit Before Dying - A Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Sadie Hartwell, who writes the Tangled Web Mystery series. A KNIT BEFORE DYING, the second book in the series, was released August 29th.

Thanks for having me back, Kathy! We’re old friends now, aren’t we?

One of the things readers sometimes wonder about the Tangled Web Mysteries, of which A KNIT BEFORE DYING is book 2, is why Josie owns a yarn shop, but doesn’t knit. Well, I purposely made her a nonknitter, and here’s why.

The story wouldn’t have been as interesting otherwise. Ask any knitter what their dream job is, and “own a yarn shop” is almost certainly in their Top Ten. For sure it’s in mine (maybe Top Two, LOL!). So if Josie had already been a fiber artist, the decision to leave behind her career in the fashion industry for a farm in rural Connecticut would have been a no-brainer. And where’s the conflict in that? Josie needed to make a conscious choice to embark on something new and unknown, even if it secretly scared her—not that she’d ever admit that, except maybe to her cat Coco, who is extremely good at keeping confidences.

In fiction, a character has to grow and change, the same way the mystery and all its loose ends have to be wrapped up, for a story to be satisfying. And it’s the same way in real life. Think about something that comes easily to you, and something that required some effort to master. For me, working as an office drone for more years than I care to admit was the easy thing. I was in my comfort zone. I was making a paycheck. I’d been there so long, I had a ton of time off and great benefits. But it was eight hours a day that didn’t feed my soul.

And so I decided to do something I’d always wanted to do (while I was still in the safe cocoon of that job). For my own self-respect, I needed to tell a story. At the time, I wasn’t even thinking about publishing. I only knew I needed to get from “Chapter One” to “The End” and tell a full story in between. Even if it stunk. There were plenty of self-doubts and plenty of stinky sentences and paragraphs. But I had the support of one friend who was on the same journey, and that made all the difference. We nagged and prodded and encouraged each other until we’d each finished a complete novel.

But if writing came easily to me—although frankly, I’m not sure that’s the case for anyone—there is no way I would have felt the joy of accomplishment and catharsis when I finally typed “The End.” A weight seemed to lift from me. I’d accomplished a life goal and man, did that feel great. Since then, I’ve published five novels, met a whole lot of amazing people, and I’ve even left that job and embarked on a new one that is absolutely perfect for me and makes a difference in people’s lives in some small way.

So I would encourage you, reader friends, to stretch yourself. Try something that you’ve never tried before but always wanted to. Travel. Start a side business doing something you love. Call a friend or relative you haven’t seen in years and catch up. Dye your hair the colors of the rainbow. Do some writing, if that’s your calling. The point is, step out of your comfort zone. I know you’ll be glad you did.



A KNIT BEFORE DYING by Sadie Hartwell
The Second Tangled Web Mystery

Josie Blair is adjusting to life in small town Connecticut. A shop owner and new landlady, Josie's happy to see new life coming into the too quiet town. One of her new tenants has just moved in next door and the competition is on between two of her older friends to see who can snag this eligible antiques dealer. There are rumblings of trouble, however. Dougie, mayor and owner of the general store, is cutting corners at the g.s. and Diantha is still spewing venomous hatred at Josie. But everyone is in for a bigger shock when Josie meets her second tenant standing by the very dead body of his partner.

Josie Blair and her friends are back, breathing new life into Dorset Falls. Of course, since this is a mystery series the book also brings new death. In the second book in the Tangled Web Mystery series Sadie Hartwell takes on secrets from the past, combining an old missing persons case, with a new murder. Could they be related? Trouble at the general store, the ongoing feud between her uncle and Mitch's grandfather, and Josie's own inability to knit create a multidimensional story. Hartwell leads readers through a gamut of emotions including curiosity, anger, concern, and joy combined with laughter. I especially love Jethro and the pranks of the two crotchety old men!.

It's great to be back in Dorset Falls. We're given a fine mystery as well as a story about friendship and community. A KNIT BEFORE DYING is a book knitters will love, but you don't have to know how to knit to enjoy this book, heck, even Josie, our protagonist and owner of Miss Marple Knits, doesn't know how to knit. The book is about more than just knitting and yarn. It's about reaching out, trying new things, and creating new relationships.

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  1. The cover is gorgeous and I am sure the book is fabulous. Definitely on my wish lift.

    Cynthia B.

  2. I like that Josie is a nonknitter. It allows the nonknitter reader to learn along with her.

  3. This sounds like a great series! Definitely checking it out!

  4. Interesting that you made Josie a non-knitter and the reason why. Looking forward to reading the series.

  5. Interesting that you made Josie a non-knitter and the reason why. Looking forward to reading the series.