Monday, April 18, 2016

Hell to Pay

(What Doesn't Kill You, #7)

An Emily Romantic Mystery
Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Genre: Romantic Mystery

Publisher: SkipJack Publishing

Date of Publication: March 26, 2016

# of pages: 383
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1. What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

The primary roles I’ve held in my career are attorney, human resources executive, and workplace investigator. At one point I also was a card carrying private investigator (I love being able to say that). These have been hugely influential on my writing. I pull from my experience in all three every day.

2. What do your plans for future projects include?

I plan to continue the What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series with three books per female protagonist in the world of characters I’ve created. I am next tackling another Michele novel (she first appeared in Going for Kona, which is #4 in the series), which is tentatively titled Going by the Book, then I’ll be writing some Ava novels. I also plan novels for a new character, named Maggie, and potentially for Laura, a New Mexico jockey who first pops up in Heaven to Betsy.

3. Do you have any strange writing habits you’d like to share with your readers?

I don’t know if this is strange or not because it’s normal to me, but I record my books for transcription while walking my four dogs and my goat. Yes, my goat, Peyton Manning.

4. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names are very important to me. I choose names based on their meaning, their origin, or because the character reminds me of someone important to me. For instance, in Saving Grace, Leaving Annalise, and Finding Harmony, I named the house and the jumbie spirit Annalise because of its meaning: grace. I chose the name Nick for the love interest because it was of Hungarian origin, as he is, and because it was strong and masculine. In Heaven to Betsy, Earth to Emily, and Hell to Pay, Emily’s married last name is Bernal, in homage to the family name of one of my dearest friends. And in Going for Kona, Michele is named Michele with one L in honor of another dear friend and my cousin.

5. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?

Awesome opportunity. For Hell to Pay, I want to be asked this question: what is your favorite out of the novels you have written? And the answer is . . . Hell to Pay! It has been a favorite of my editors and advance readers as well. My husband still loves Going for Kona best. My bestseller is Saving Grace. My biggest awards have come for Finding Harmony and for Heaven to Betsy. But if I had to pick a favorite “child” from my novels, it would be Hell to Pay. I loved writing about the religious cult, and I wrote this book at a time when my self confidence was very low, so for it to come out many orders of magnitude better than I’d dreamed was very sweet.

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily has her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she’s engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante’s childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancĂ©e Nadine, one of Emily’s best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trial for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices. Emily’s nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims a witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman. Before he can mount a defense, Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy’s ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her, and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the heeler, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long emails, best-selling, award-winning mysteries (WINNER USA Best Book Award, Fiction: Cross Genre, Finalist) and hilarious nonfiction. The Houston Press named her as one of Houston's Top 10 Authors (2014). She is a recovering attorney and investigator who resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Wyoming. Pamela has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, traveling in the Bookmobile, and her Keurig. Download her mystery Saving Grace, free everywhere, and visit her  website or drop her a note pamela at pamelahutchins dot com. And if you would like her to visit your book club, women’s group, writer’s group, or library, all you have to do is ask.



April 11 - 20, 2016

Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!

4/11     Margie's Must Reads                Review
4/13     The Page Unbound                   Author Interview #1
4/14     All for the Love of the Word      Review
4/15     Because This is My Life Y'all       Guest Post #1
4/16     My Book Fix Blog                      Excerpt
4/17     It's a Jenn World                       Review
4/18     A Novel Reality                         Author Interview #2
4/19     Texas Book Lover                      Guest Post #2
4/20     Hall Ways Blog                          Review

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Friday, April 1, 2016


Melissa Lenhardt
Genre: Historical Romantic Mystery
Publisher: Redhook
Date of Publication: March 29, 2016
# of pages: 304

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What kind(s) of writing do you do?
Novels. I’ve written a couple of short stories, but I find them very difficult. I’m much too verbose to tell a story in 2000 words.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
Yesterday my editor asked me what I read, wondering what influenced my writing. I wish I could point to one author and say, “She’s who I want to emulate,” but I can’t. There are many writers I like, but I don’t have a favorite contemporary one. There wasn’t a historical fiction novel that inspired me. Instead I wrote SAWBONES because I had trouble finding the kinds of historical fiction I wanted to read: American historical fiction set in the West without being a typical white hat/black hat, describe every gun and mesquite bush Western; gritty, violent, and realistic without being overly graphic; a story focused on the female experience in the West, with the male characters in service to the women’s stories, instead of the other way around.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 
The research. I’ve been warned that someone will point out an inconsistency no matter how careful I am. I suppose as long as I don’t get anything glaringly wrong, I can claim artistic license with the small mistakes. 

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?
Two things: reading everything I can, and not only in the genre I am writing; and putting words on the page.

I have a friend who seems to take everything she reads on writing to heart. She learns something new, returns to her MS (manuscript) and changes everything to fit that rule. She learns something else, says, “That’s what’s wrong with my MS,” returns and makes changes. She’s letting craft theory get in the way of writing reality. I’m not saying to ignore books, seminars, workshops and tips you receive from other writers. But, everyone’s process is different, and my hard and fast rules about writing might be different from someone else’s. What works for me won’t work for you.

What do you like to read in your free time?
I read everything. Classics, literary fiction, historical fiction, historical non-fiction & biographies, mysteries, thrillers, some sci-fi and YA.

What projects are you working on at the present? Any future projects?
Currently I’m editing the third book in the SAWBONES series (untitled as of now), and plotting the third STILLWATER in my head. Besides writing the third STILLWATER novel, I’m not sure about future plans. I have lots of half-formed ideas.

Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest 
in this fast-paced historical debut. 

When Dr. Catherine Bennett is wrongfully accused of murder, she knows her fate likely lies with a noose unless she can disappear. Fleeing with a bounty on her head, she escapes with her maid to the uncharted territories of Colorado to build a new life with a new name. Although the story of the murderess in New York is common gossip, Catherine's false identity serves her well as she fills in as a temporary army doctor. But in a land unknown, so large and yet so small, a female doctor can only hide for so long.


Absolutely loved it! I couldn’t tear myself away from Sawbones. An epic story of love and courage that sweeps from east to west, Sawbones will rip right through you.” 
— Marci Jefferson, author of GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN and ENCHANTRESS OF PARIS 
“As if being a post-Civil War female doctor weren’t hard enough, Catherine Bennett is unfairly accused of murder and forced to flee to the Texas frontier to avoid the noose. You will fall in love with Catherine, as I did, as she struggles to assert herself in a violent and treacherous world, fighting not only prejudice but evil. Melissa Lenhardt’s heroine is a passionate, compassionate woman, who must deal with Indians and bounty hunters, fear and injustice—and even love.”
— Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author
“Melissa Lenhardt has given us an amazing heroine and sent her on a thrilling journey from the teeming streets of New York City to the vast wilderness of the Texas frontier. Dr. Catherine Bennett’s adventure will keep you turning pages long into the night!"
— Victoria Thompson, best-selling author of the Gaslight Mysteries
“Raw, gritty and sometimes graphic, Melissa Lenhardt has crafted a page-turner. In Sawbones, the women are smart, brave and at times ‘incorrigible.’ The plot twists, unique characters and intriguing story of passion and betrayal make this a book well worth discovering. ”
— Jane Kirkpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of A Light in the Wilderness 

  AMAZON           BARNES & NOBLE         KOBO

Melissa Lenhardt writes mystery, historical fiction, and women’s fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in Heater Mystery Magazine, The Western Online, and Christmas Nookies, a holiday romance anthology. Her debut novel, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest. She is a member of the DFW Writers’ Workshop and vice president of the Sisters in Crime North Dallas Chapter. Melissa lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

That's enough to buy a copy for you and a friend!
March 29 - April 7, 2016

Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!
3/29     Books and Broomsticks -- Author Interview #1
3/30     Lucylicious Reads          -- Chapter 1 Reveal
3/31     My Book Fix Blog          -- Review
4/1       A Novel Reality             -- Author Interview #2
4/2       The Crazy Booksellers   -- Promo
4/4       It's a Jenn World           -- Promo
4/5       Texas Book Lover          -- Author Interview #3
4/6       Margie's Must Reads    -- Review
4/7      All for the Love of the Word      -- Chapter 2 Reveal

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