Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dead Storage by Mary Feliz-A Great Escapes Tour-Book Review/Cool Giveaway


About the book 
As a professional organizer, Maggie McDonald brings order to messy situations. But when a good friend becomes a murder suspect, surviving the chaos is one tall task . . .
Despite a looming deadline, Maggie thinks she has what it takes to help friends Jason and Stephen unclutter their large Victorian in time for its scheduled renovation. But before she can fill a single bin with unused junk, Jason leaves for Texas on an emergency business trip, Stephen’s injured mastiff limps home—and Stephen himself lands in jail for murder. Someone killed the owner of a local Chinese restaurant and stuffed him in the freezer. Stephen, caught at the crime scene covered in blood, is the number one suspect. Now Maggie must devise a strategy to sort through secrets and set him free—before she’s tossed into permanent storage next . . .
Author interview

Welcome  Mary  I am delighted to have you visit the blog!
Thanks, Sherry, I'm so happy to be here. You're a wonderful hostess.

I am enjoying reading Dead Storage for The Great Escapes Tour.
There is nothing that makes a writer happier than to hear that someone is enjoying their book. I hope you'll consider going back to the first and second novels in the series, which are ADDRESS TO DIE FOR and SCHEDULED TO DEATH. Address to Die For was just named a best book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews, so I'm over the moon about that.

Is this your first tour with Lori at Great Escapes?
I toured with the two previous books in the series and plan to tour again when the fourth book, DISORDERLY CONDUCT is released in July.

What is your favorite part of the tour? (interviews, quest post etc.)
I think my favorite part is also the least formal aspect of the tours -- answering questions from readers in the blog comments. I'm an informal and somewhat unpredictable person, so those same aspects of the comment section appeal to me.

Before we get into the new book I have a few fun questions.  At least I hope they are fun!

Do you have any little guilty pleasures that you indulge in when you writing?
That's so tempting! Writer's joke all the time about chocolate, coffee, and adult beverages fueling their writing. It's quite possible that a dish of M&Ms would kick my skills up a notch. But when I'm sitting for long periods of time, particularly when I'm on a deadline, the last thing I need are more temptations. For that reason, I stick to coffee, preferrably a latte with steamed milk.

Which is more intriguing as a place to write.   A private island?  A cabin in the woods?
The busy city?    Have you ever written in any of these places?
I've written in coffee shops in the city out of necessity, and have no idea how I learned to tune out all the activity around me. While I'd love to do a retreat on an island or in the woods, I find that when I'm in the zone, I'm actually in Orchard View (the setting for my books) and the world around me disappears.

This is my first chance to read any of the Maggie MacDonald mysteries.  Can you tell us what we’ve missed and get us up to speed on  Dead Storage
. In the first Maggie McDonald Mystery, ADDRESS TO DIE FOR, Maggie and her family move from California's Central Valley to an old house they've inherited in Silicon Valley. Their plans go awry when they find a dead body in their basement. In the process of solving the murder, they meet a variety of local characters who recur in the subsequent books. Many of the characters share Maggie's love of dogs, because I find it easy to quickly and subtly reveal character idiosyncracies through individual's interactions with animals. Scheduled to Death takes Maggie to the halls of academia at Stanford University, and to a community garden. All the books look at the sense of community that we all need, and what people do to repair the damage when violence rends those essential ties. I touch on social issues in all the books, too. That wasn't part of my original plan for the books, but I think it's difficult to avoid confronting social issues when you're talking about what drives people to commit murder. These are cozy mysteries, so I don't dig deep into the angsty psychology or political drama and, unfortunately, I've not come up with any brilliant solutions.

If you were to have a little time for a chit chat with one of the cast who would you choose?   What would you serve?  Coffee, tea a glass of wine?
Since my characters live in the fictional world, we'd have all those cookies, cakes, and other rich food that are better avoided in real life. Carbs and calories don't exist in fiction.

I love the cover.  I was wondering how much input do you have in the cover design.  I admit I am a bit of a cover junkie I always curious!
Kensington Lyrical has done a wonderful job on all my covers. I'm so happy with them. Developing the covers starts with the publisher asking me for my ideas and preferences. The artists start with stock photography, so I'll often look over the stock available to illustrate my ideas. And then the artists go to work. My contract states that I don't have veto power over the covers, but I've never had a problem with the finished work. The upcoming novel, Disorderly Conduct, throws the McDonald family into the conflicts that occur when your home and community are threatened by wildfire. I found a gorgeous and terrifying image of a fire burning on the top of a ridge, lighting up the surrounding countryside. My editor (rightly so), suggested that might be too violent for a cozy mystery cover, so we brainstormed and came up with the concept of Belle with the running shoe.

Astute readers will note that Belle's size has increased with every book title. I'm wondering if, by book 6 we'll only see a giant dog nose on the cover. It would be appropriate, I think. Belle is great at sniffing out the clues.

So how did you come up with the idea of an Organizer as Maggie’s Job. BTW  I love the organizing tips at the beginning of each chapter.
Maggie has always been organized, but hasn't always been an organizer. To strengthen the books adherence to the format of a cozy mystery, an early editor suggested she needed her own business. I felt all manner of careers as cooks and crafters had been fully explored by my colleagues, so I wanted something different. At the time, I was working on downsizing and moving, and really felt I could speed things up with a professional organizer of my own. I wasn't sure exactly how organizers work, so I spent a weekend at a professional organizer conference and joined the National Association of Professional Organizers as an affliate member. Real organizers at the conference answered my incessant questions about their work and Maggie's business, Simplicity Itself, was born.

And now a couple of fun and random questions based on the characters.

If you were to start a ‘spin off’ series based on one of the characters in Maggie’s world which one would it be and why? It seems like secondary characters are always jockeying to become spin-off series protagonists. And that's good. It means they're strong, individualized, and fun to write about. And if I did start a new series it would definitely be a spin-off. But choosing one of the other characters would be difficult. I have toyed with the idea of a different series set in a Monterey Bay Beach resort that would feature a property manager. She's currently a secondary character in my work in progress, the fifth Maggie McDonald mystery..

You got the call Dead Storage is going to be made into a movie.  And you get to cast the main characters!  Who would you choose?
I've thought about this a lot because Address to Die For is in the very early stages of being considered for a movie. (Expert tells me to expect this process to take decades). Originally, I imagined Maggie as a Laura Linney character, but now that I know how long the process takes, I'm thinking Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Stone would be old enough to play Maggie by the time any actually filming were to occur.

This has been so fun.  Thank you for taking the time to visit.  I need to go finish up Dead Storage!

Thank you, Sherry. I hope you enjoy the ending.

Congratulations on the new book!
Thank you.

Thanks so much for chatting today.  I hope you have a Great tour!

Thanks so much for hosting me! If any of your readers have questions, I'm happy to answer them. 

And I thought 
Admittedly I might be a wee bit biased but, I just 'get' Maggie McDonald.  Possibly because I am a dog lover.  I mean who can resist that cover!  I know again I am off on the cover but doesn't it just make you  to see whats inside?  

I digress.....the other reason I get Maggie is I am also a professional organizer.  I have to admit I loved all the organizing tips that preceded each chapter.  

And then there was the plot/story line!   Dead Storage was just a good great read.  

From page 1 this reader was drawn in and turning the pages to the end!

I have not read any of the other installments in this series.  But 
I am putting the Maggie McDonald Mystery series on my Santa please list!

Wanna buy it?  This is one that is fairly widely available.  I love a title that can be purchased in either print or e-version.  (see the links below)  

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escapes Tours.
This review will appear on retail sites where available. 
This review will appear on Good Reads.

Available 

Visit the tour
To read more reviews, excerpts, character interviews and guest posts click Here.

Giveaway
The author has offered a free print copy!  All you need to do to enter is follow My Reading Journeys and leave me a comment that your following!  This is a really cool and easy giveaway.  Good Luck!  

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