Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Chattin' with Ava Gruiex of Crepe Factor, Review, & Giveaway

I'm so pleased that Ava Gruiex, BFF to Carmela in Laura Childs' Scrapbooking Mystery series is able to spend time with us today. We're celebrating the paperback release of Crepe Factor, the fourteenth book in the series! Below you'll find a reprint of the review I wrote when the the book was originally published.

Kathy: What makes you and Carmela Bertrand such good friends?

AG: Dawlin’, we just get along even though we’re polar opposites. Carmela’s this nice sweet gal who keeps getting dragged into trouble. Me, I just slip into my four-inch stilettos and go looking for trouble.

Kathy: You and Carmela have had lots of adventures together. Why do you think she keeps getting involved with murder?

AG: Carmela hates to say no. If somebody asks her for help she’s there, no questions asked. And I’m talking about ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, and even ex-ex-boyfriends. Carmela is so loyal and sweet and dear that she’ll bend over backwards to help. Plus, she’s smart. So even when the cops get all bogged down in their investigations, Carmela’s got this super human focus that can often cut through the clutter.

Kathy: In addition to dangerous escapades, you two also enjoy regular outings like the Winter Market, Zombie Crawl, and Ghost Train. Well, regular outings which often become dangerous. In any case, what’s your favorite type of outing to enjoy?

AG: There’s only one proper answer – Mardi Gras! This is the one celebration that folks in New Orleans live for. I mean, the city basically shuts down for this all-important event. Have you ever seen ten-story, lighted, animated floats with sea monsters? Flambeaus and masked riders? Float krewes tossing out doubloons and beads? Well, you need to put that on your bucket list!

Kathy: How did you decide to own a shop like Juju Voodoo?

AG: I was a former Alabama beauty queen who came to New Orleans and immediately fell in love with this magical, seductive city. From the antiquated charm of the French Quarter to the graceful homes of the Garden District, I was enchanted. So I decided to set down roots and open my tiny little voodoo shop. Lucky me, the tourists just started pouring in.

Kathy: What’s your favorite item to sell at Juju Voodoo?

AG: Love potions, of course. I have these adorable little colored bottles filled with oils and essences. Harmless, but so very powerful. I also have some tiny little stitched bags that contain love charms. Put one of those under your sweetie’s pillow and he’s yours for life!

Kathy: What do you say to people who consider you a bit over the top?

AG: I say come visit New Orleans and I’ll look like one of the normal people. I mean, this is a city that comes with a warning label. The Big Easy prides itself on haunted hotels, above-ground cemeteries, hot jazz, Bourbon Street, flickering gaslights, hidden courtyards, and sinful food and drink. What are you waiting for, come on down!

Kathy: Do you have any advice for Carmela or the readers here?

AG: Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (well, maybe grab that money) and rush to the nearest bookstore and grab a few Scrapbook Mysteries. Because here’s the thing – they’re not exactly about scrapbooking. Carmela’s scrapbook shop is kind of ground zero for crazy good old-fashioned mystery. So if you’re at all enchanted by New Orleans, if you love the idea of music (jazz, Cajun, and blues) pouring out of every door, if you want to sip the sights and sounds of New Orleans, then you’re going to love the New Orleans Scrapbooking Mysteries!

Kathy: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me.

AG: The pleasure was all mine!

Love and kisses,



Laura Childs is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Scrapbooking Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Find out more at www.laurachilds.com


CREPE FACTOR by Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran
The Fourteenth Scrapbooking Mystery
Carmela is making the rounds of more New Orleans events with gal pal Ava in their 14th outing. They get more than they bargained for at the Winter Market when they witness an ugly fight between Quigg Brevard, restaurateur and recent vintner, and Martin Lash, food critic and environmentalist. While exploring other tents they are surprised by Lash staggering in, throwing items into disarray, as he falls to his death-a huge serving fork protruding from his neck! The testosterone gets flowing when Detective Edgar Babcock, Carmela's boyfriend, arrives on the scene and other vendors share information about the fight between the victim and Quigg, who happens to have dated Carmela. Quigg, of course, asks Carmela to investigate while Babcock warns her off. Carmela has to deal with an ex who may want more than just her sleuthing skills, an overworked and unhappy boyfriend, the antics of her party friend, running her scrapbooking store as well as teaching crafting classes, and a murder! At least she has Boo and Poobah.

It's always fun to be back in New Orleans, especially with Carmela and Ava. CREPE FACTOR brings us New Orleans and all of the fun activities of Winter Market. It also brings us relationship issues with a too busy, and worried, Babcock and a Quigg in trouble and perhaps wanting to rekindle his old romance. He certainly wants more than Carmela's investigative skills. In getting Quigg off the hook is Carmela risking the loss of Babcock? Ever one to help others, Carmela finds herself in a bind. There's an emotional tension which is released by bouts of comic relief from over the top Ava to my favorite scene which had me laughing out loud thanks to scene stealer Cooter!

Childs brings the fun and excitement of New Orleans to readers in her latest Scrapbooking Mystery. A murder with plenty of possible motives, new characters on the scene as well as returning favorites, and scrapbooking hints and recipes make for a memorable chapter in this entertaining series.
Scrapbook, Stamping, and Craft Tips along with Recipes are included.

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  1. I really enjoy reading cozy mysteries. Thanks for this opportunity.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting Ava and giving your readers a chance to win a paperback copy of Crepe Factor. I know they will enjoy meeting Carmela and Ava! Laura Childs