Thriller Thursday: A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal #ITWBlog

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest Radha Vatsal! 

When this blog releases, I will be in Phoenix herding cats…literally! I’m coordinating the CWA Conference in conjunction with BlogPaws, and besides wonderful bloggers and writers, there will be dogs, cats, and other critters onsite. So with my “paws” full with that event, I’m delighted to have a guest post from Radha. Take it away, Radha!

A Front Page Affair is the first in a series featuring Kitty Weeks, a journalist with society connections. Weeks is particularly positioned to have access to all of walks of life. Her society connections get her into the parties and Upper East Side penthouses off-limits to the average journalist and her press pass allows her access and movement that women in 1915 New York would not have enjoyed.

Vatsal by Juliette ConroyINSPIRED BY CHRISTIE & FRANCIS . . .

Growing up, I loved to read mysteries, particularly those by Agatha Christie or Dick Francis.  They made me feel happy at any time, but especially on rainy days when I could think of nothing I’d like more than to lie in bed and read one from cover to cover.  Agatha Christie was my introduction to the genre and Dick Francis taught me that mysteries could draw me into a world that I knew nothing about—in this case horseracing—and teach me a lot.

For some reason, which I can’t explain, my desire to write seriously was tied to writing a mystery novel.  Perhaps part of me thought that the “rules” of mystery writing would make the process easier.  Was I mistaken.  For me, as a reader, a book has to hit certain marks.  I’ve been trained to expect certain things to happen at certain moments—a murder, a plot twist, a doubling back—and for the plot to keep humming along.  As a writer, you have to make those same things happen and make them happen effortlessly.  You have to follow a format that’s been done thousands of times but make it different.  And that’s no easy task.

Vatsal coverWHY THIS TIME FRAME?

I chose the mid-1910s for the setting of my first novel because so much was happening then—culturally and politically—and yet it remains a relatively under-explored area in fiction.  New York became the location because I love all the facets of the city and it happened to be home to a fascinating array of historical characters.   Settling on a heroine was a harder: she had to be someone who could carry a series and who was able to undertake an investigation, but at the same time, she needed to be part of her milieu. She couldn’t flaunt all the rules that applied to women during the 1910s because that would take away some of the tension and the fun.

So, she became a reporter for the Ladies’ Page of a newspaper and after much deliberation I decided to name her “Capability”—because it speaks to her character—but also because it could be shortened to Kitty, which is far less threatening.  Her ability to navigate different worlds makes her effective at what she does.  Meet Kitty Weeks, Ladies Page reporter at the New York Sentinel.  I hope you will enjoy A FRONT PAGE AFFAIR, her first outing in 1915 New York.

WHAT READERS SAY?

“This lively and well-researched debut introduces a charming historical series and an appealing fish-out-of-water sleuth who seeks independence and a career in an age when most women are bent on getting married, particularly to titled Englishmen. Devotees of Rhys Bowen’s mysteries will enjoy making the acquaintance of Miss Weeks.” —Library Journal (starred review), Debut of the Month

“Vatsal deftly intertwines the tumult of the era, from emerging women’s rights to spreading international conflict, into this rich historical.” —Publishers Weekly

AUTHOR BIO

Radha Vatsal grew up in Mumbai, India, and came to the United States to attend boarding school when she was sixteen. Her fascination with the 1910s began when she studied women filmmakers and action-film heroines of silent cinema at Duke University, where she earned her PhD from the English department. Vatsal lives with her husband and two daughters in New York City. A Front Page Affair is her first novel.

CONNECT WITH RADHA & HER BOOK HERE!


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Thriller Thursday! Marla Cooper & Terror In Taffeta #ITWBlog

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest Marla Cooper! 

Hey there, Sweet Peeps! I know it’s not Thursday….but I didn’t want to wait to share about this debut from a great new writer. This fun mystery published March 22, 2016 by Minotaur Books is definitely on my summer TO-BE-READ pile. Heck, Marla’s originally from Texas and she lives with a polydactyl tuxedo kitty. ‘Nuff said.

AUTHOR BIO

Marla Cooper author headshot

Marla Cooper, Author

MARLA COOPER was astonished when she realized people could actually get paid to write things. So she switched her major from business to advertising—much to the relief of her accounting professor—and began her career as an advertising copywriter. After moving to San Francisco, she became a freelancer so she could take advantage of perks like working in her pajamas, and it was while ghostwriting a book on destination weddings that she found inspiration for her first novel, Terror in Taffeta. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat. Visit her at www.marla-cooper.com.

FIND & FOLLOW MARLA & THE BOOK HERE:

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WHAT READERS SAY…

“This mystery novel is a real roller coaster with twists, turns and dips at every corner. Just when readers feel like they know who the bad guys are, their world is rocked by more information and more suspects. The end is unpredictable but believable and readers will be all too delighted to go on this ride that the author has masterfully crafted.” – RT Book Reviews

“Feisty and funny, Marla Cooper’s debut novel shines as she encapsulates the best the genre has to offer, with a quick-witted heroine, a puzzling page turner of a plot, and a cast of quirky characters like no other. I highly recommend this terrific first in a series!” – Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author

READ A SAMPLE: TERROR IN TAFFETA-EXCERPT

Marla Cooper book

Synopsis:   Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna is just a few hours away from wrapping up her latest job: a destination wedding in the charming, colonial Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. The reception is all set up, the tequila donkey is waiting outside, and the bride and groom are standing on the altar, pledging their eternal love. But just as the priest is about to pronounce them husband and wife, one of the bridesmaids upstages the couple by collapsing into a floral arrangement (a definite wedding “don’t”).

Kelsey soon discovers that the girl hasn’t just fainted—she’s dead.

 Losing a bridesmaid is bad enough, but when the bride’s sister is arrested for murder, the demanding mother of the bride insists that Kelsey fix the matter at once. And although Kelsey is pretty sure investigating a murder isn’t in her contract, crossing the well-connected Mrs. Abernathy could be a career-killer. Before she can leave Mexico and get back to planning weddings, Kelsey must deal with stubborn detectives, a rekindled romance, and guests who didn’t even RSVP.


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!