Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Broken Bone China - Interview with Laura Childs

Broken Bone China
(A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
20th in Series
Publisher: Berkley 
Publication date: 5 March 2019
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489632
ISBN-13: 978-0451489630

Theodosia Browning serves tea and solves crimes in Charleston, a city steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It is Sunday afternoon, and Theodosia and Drayton are catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally. The view aloft is not only stunning, they are also surrounded by a dozen other colorful hot-air balloons. But as the sky turns gray and the clouds start to boil up, a strange object zooms out of nowhere. It is a drone, and it appears to be buzzing around the balloons, checking them out.

As Theodosia and Drayton watch, the drone, hovering like some angry, mechanized insect, deliberately crashes into the balloon next to them. An enormous, fiery explosion erupts, and everyone watches in horror as the balloon plummets to the earth, killing all three of its passengers.

Sirens scream, first responders arrive, and Theodosia is interviewed by the police. During the interview she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.

Intrigued, Theodosia begins her own investigation. Was it the CEO's soon-to-be ex-wife, who is restoring an enormous mansion at no expense? The CEO's personal assistant, who also functioned as curator of his prized collection of Americana? Two rival antiques' dealers known for dirty dealing? Or was the killer the fiancée of one of Theodosia's dear friends, who turns out to be an employee—and whistle-blower—at SyncSoft?


Exclusive Interview with Laura Childs by Nadaness In Motion

Nadaness In Motion: Having written 20 books in the Tea Shop Mystery series, what has been your favorite thing about the books and/or writing process?
Laura Childs: The absolute coolest thing is that I’ve never run out of ideas. There are so many delicious ways to kill someone that I’m always anxious to start the next book. I also love developing a “theme” I can carry through the entire book. It can be something like wine tasting or Halloween or a hurricane – a kind of hook that weaves its way through your storyline.

Nadaness In Motion: How many years have elapsed between book 1 and book 20?
Laura Childs: It’s been 19 years and book 20 has just come out. I’m also halfway finished with book 21 and have notes for book 22.

Nadaness In Motion: How many books do you write per year?
Laura Childs: It varies between 1 and 4 books. Last year was a super busy writing year with 4 books, this year I’m slacking off and writing 2 books.

Nadaness In Motion: Has your writing process changed over the years? For example, have you picked up new hacks that have helped you write better or faster?
Laura Childs: I think I write better and faster because I’m doing it constantly. The imagination is a powerful muscle and the more you bend and stretch it, the more flexible and responsive it becomes. The other thing I do is read constantly – sometimes 3 books a week. It’s amazing what you can learn (plotting, pacing, twists, etc.) by studying other writers!

Nadaness In Motion: Has your former role as CEO and Creative Director of a marketing firm helped you with your books? How so?
Laura Childs: I’m lucky in that I developed the skill to be creative on demand, despite the pressure of tight deadlines. I also have a distinct knack for knowing what appeals to an audience. And I’m pretty darn good at figuring out how to market a product – even when it is my own.

Nadaness In Motion: Since your books can be read as standalones, what aspects do you have to remind your readers of between books?
Laura Childs: Actually, not that much. I do a bit of backgrounding on the main characters, of course. Then I re-introduce some of the secondary characters and then quickly move on to following up with hints or suspicious that I planted in the previous book.

Nadaness In Motion: When you’re not writing or researching something for your books, what would you be doing?
Laura Childs: Traveling, shopping, having lunch with friends. But please realize, I usually write six days a week.

Nadaness In Motion: If you could pick up only one of your series to be made into a TV series, which would it be – and why?
Laura Childs: My Tea Shop Mysteries have already been optioned twice for TV (I’m still waiting), so I think the Scrapbooking Mysteries would be perfect. Since they’re set in New Orleans, the plots could be quite exciting (Mardi Gras, bayous, vampires!) and I’m positive the camera would love the city’s spooky, ethereal atmosphere.

Nadaness In Motion: Apart from book tours, what else do you do to market your books?
Laura Childs: My rule of thumb is that an author needs to do at least 50 different things to publicize a book. My publisher handles about a dozen things (ARCs, contests, press releases, Book Bub, interviews, etc.), so that leaves me doing blog tours, guest posts, Q&A’s, library visits, bookstore visits, book club talks, presentations to librarian groups, web contests, public relations, media relations, industry book show appearances, running print ads and radio spots, promos on Shelf-Awareness.com, Bookclubbing, Facebook posts, Facebook ads, Bookmovement, DearReader, Kindle Nation, and a whole bunch of other things. It’s exhausting – it almost kills you – but it works.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes on Laura Childs’s newest mystery Broken Bone China.

After catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally, tea shop maven Theodosia and her tea sommelier Drayton bask in a hot air balloon ride. But as the skies darken, a rogue drone buzzes in and strikes a nearby balloon, causing an enormous, fiery explosion. People are dead and one of them is Don Kingsley, software bigwig and owner of a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag.

As Kingsley’s widow presses Theodosia for help, suspects abound in the form of rival antiques dealers, museum representatives, and private collectors. Five million dollars is also missing from the software firm and the fiancé of Angie Congdon (Theodosia’s dear friend and B and B owner) also becomes a prime suspect.

In the midst of all this drama, Theodosia still has to charm her tea shop guests, manage the photo shoot at Drayton’s historic home, and pull off a Beaux Arts Tea, her most elaborate tea party yet. In the tradition of all Laura Childs’s previous New York Times bestselling thriller-cozies (thrillzies!), Broken Bone China delivers a breakneck pace, heart-warming moments, and recipes that include Eggnog Scones, Strawberry Butter, Banana Pudding Pie, Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms, and Sea Scallops with Brown Butter.

2020 Update:
In March 2020, I had the pleasure of - finally - reading one of Laura Childs' books, namely book 21 in the Tea Shop Mystery Series, Lavender Blue Murder.

About the Author:
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:
The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Connect with Laura Childs via her Website and Facebook.

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play

Keep up with the rest of the tour, including reviews, more interviews, guest posts, and spotlights!

5 March - The Avid Reader – Book Review & Mysteries with Character – Author Interview 
6 March - Reading Authors – Book Review & fundinmental – Spotlight
7 March - A Holland Reads – Book Review & Babs Book Bistro – Spotlight 
March– My Journey Back-The Journey Back & A Wytch's Book Review Blog – Book Reviews
March – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Book Review Celticlady's Reviews – Spotlight
10 March - Cozy Up With Kathy - Book Review StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight
11 March – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlight A Chick Who Reads – Book Review
12 March – Nadaness In Motion – Author Interview & I'm Into Books – Spotlight
13 March – The Book Diva's Reads – Spotlight Valerie's Musings – Book Review
14 March – The Book's the Thing – Book Review + Guest Post  & Ruff Drafts – Spotlight
15 March Community Bookstop – Book Review View from the Birdhouse – Spotlight
16 March– Here's How It Happened - Book Review & Brooke Blogs – Guest Post 
17 March - A Blue Million Books – Author Interview & Laura’s Interests – Book Review
18 March – Melina's Book Blog & Lisa Ks Book Review Book Reviews & The Montana Bookaholic – Guest Post 

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