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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Blog Tour, Character Interview, Review, & Giveaway for Killing Time by Suzanne Trauth

Character Name: Dodie O’Dell in Killing Time, Dodie O’Dell Mystery Series

1)      Tell us a little bit about yourself--both something we learn from [the story] and something that readers might not guess? 
Wow…where to begin. There’s a lot about my life before Etonville in the Dodie O’Dell Mystery Series. For example, I grew up down the Jersey Shore and lived there most of my life before Hurricane Sandy hit and devastated my home and the restaurant where I worked. In Etonville I manage the Windjammer restaurant and create specials that match the theme of the current production at the Etonville Little Theatre. Which sits next door to the Windjammer. I also support my BFF Lola, the artistic director of the ELT, whenever there’s a crisis near opening. Which is usually every show. And I’ve helped solve some pretty complicated murders…
Oh…and by the way…I got engaged this summer to my hunky police chief boyfriend Bill! Yikes!

So I guess my readers feel they know quite a bit about me. However…a girl has to have some secrets! And I’d be surprised if anybody, including my writer, knows that after college I wanted to become a pilot and even went to ground school until I realized how afraid I was of heights! Also, I watch movies about animals, alone, with a huge bowl of popcorn and cry for two hours straight.
And…Bill and I are planning on eloping. Nobody knows that! Not even my parents!

2)      How did you first meet your writer?
Suzanne would say we met when she was doodling around with mystery novel  possibilities and came up with this idea about a woman, amateur sleuth (me) in a town near New York City (Etonville) who manages a restaurant (the Windjammer) and solves murders. (six so far).
But I say we met long before that: when she was just a kid reading Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins and writing short stories and thinking about writing a heroine who could solve mysteries.
Want to dish about him/her?
I get along well with Suzanne…why not? I’m in her head twenty-four hours a day several months a year. We’ve become great buddies. I’m even in her dreams sometimes.
However…and please don’t repeat this…she can be a little obsessive…not leaving me alone until she finishes a scene or a chapter. And sometimes she puts words in my mouth that I have to wonder about. I mean, am I that stubborn? That persistent? Do I juggle the truth when I’m in the thick of an investigation?
Of course she also makes me that heroine she dreamed up when she was in middle school! And for that I love her…

3)      Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?

I’d like to say I think I’m a pretty interesting character and, to quote my great-aunt Maureen, if I don’t toot my own horn, then who will? But the truth is, I think I’m a wish fulfillment character for my writer. I think somewhere along the line Suzanne wanted to be a sleuth, solving mysteries and keeping folks on their toes. I think she likes to solve puzzles…so because she’s not a detective, I have to be. That’s okay. I like this gig and as long as I’m her heroine, I’m in!

4)      Who's your favorite character? Why? 

I have to say my favorite characters (two) are Bill, my patient, loveable, handsome fiancé who respects my investigative skills, as long as I don’t step on any toes, and Lola, my BFF, partner in crime-solving, and go-to person for crisis support. I can count her in on every caper.

5)      Who's your least favorite character? Why? 

Look, I love everyone in Etonville. For the most part. But if I am pushed to choose someone, I have to say Walter, the director, actor, producer, writer of the Etonville Little Theatre. He wears several hats and, as I’ve said before, some fit better than others.
Friction started between us when he was a person of interest in my first murder investigation…I don’t think he ever got over it. Besides, he thinks I’m a “busybody,” sticking my nose into other people’s business.” Me? Really?

6)      What's next for you? 

Right now I am excited about my upcoming appearance in the sixth book in the Dodie O’Dell mystery series: KILLING TIME. Things get very twisty and challenging for me. It’s Halloween, the Etonville Little Theatre is producing—what else—Dracula! And I find myself with the most difficult murder investigation yet. Etonville has succumbed to vampire fever—Mrs. Parker saw a bat flying over the town park—and taken to wearing garlic necklaces. I can’t tell you more…except to say that I’m doing more than simply killing time!

About Killing Time

Cozy Mystery 6th in Series 
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 2, 2020) 
Number of Pages: 215
  Digital ASIN: B07W8ZX8JV
With Halloween just around the corner, Dodie O’Dell is making preparations to transform the Windjammer Restaurant on the Jersey Shore into a haunted house, while the Etonville Little Theatre is staging Dracula. But casting the titular Transylvanian is proving challenging. The amateur actors in the company are not shy about chewing the scenery, but who among them can convincingly sink their fangs into a victim's neck? When a mysterious newcomer with a transfixing Eastern European accent lands the part, rumors that he might be an actual vampire start to take flight—not unlike the bat who's recently been spotted in the town park.
But everyone’s blood really runs cold when a stranger is found in the cemetery with a real stake in his heart. Dodie decides to put her Halloween theme menu on the back burner and stick her neck out to bring the killer into the light of day. She'd better keep her wits about her, though—or Dodie may be the next one to go down for the Count . . .
“It sure looks haunted,” Edna murmured to no one in particular, to the cast of Dracula in general. They were grouped around her on the sidewalk that ran past the old Hanratty place that Carlos and Bella had rented. I’d never been inside though once I’d driven by it when I first moved to Etonville on my way out of town. The house stood on half an acre of scruffy lawn with patches of dried dirt, surrounded by a few straggly trees—minus leaves at this time of the year—and no neighbors. The nearest houses were on a side street some distance away. The three-story building looked as if it might collapse at any moment, its outer walls covered with weathered, gray shakes, the steps to the front door supported by concrete building blocks. There was no handrail. Light leaked out of windows on the first floor. Curtains covering small, circular panes on the third story—an attic room?—quivered. Was someone up there watching us? I shivered. A turret rose upward from the right side of the structure, giving the house a smidge of outdated dignity. A drain pipe dangled loosely from the gutter.
“Let’s go.” Penny corralled actors and nudged everyone forward to the front door. There were six company members, Renfield saying he’d be along later, plus Penny, Lola, Pauli, and me. Strength in numbers.
We crept across the porch cautiously, aware of the creaking beneath us as the flooring shifted with each individual’s footsteps. Penny put out a hand to knock on the door. Before she could hit knuckles to wood, it flew open. “Welcome everyone!” Bella stood in the doorway, a silhouette backlit by muted foyer lighting.
Behind her Carlos stood silently, observing the group huddled in his entryway, like deer caught in headlights.
Lola took the lead, moving graciously into the house. “Thank you. So nice of you to invite us to your home.”
I’m not sure what the members of the Etonville Little Theatre were expecting. Given the exterior and location of the Hanratty homestead, I anticipated something out of a late-night classic horror film.
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest  review for.

This book was just what I needed during this crazy time we are stuck in. The town is gearing up for Halloween and all it entails. The theater is putting on Dracula to go with the theme with the Windjammer fixing garlic based foods to go with it. As usual the production is cursed with a murder. We gets all kinds of twists, turns, and laughs as she starts investigating only to find herself in danger by the end. Full of quirky characters, mystery, and surprise that all combine until you cannot put it down. A must read for fans of cozies. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5.

About Suzanne Trauth

Suzanne Trauth, Harvard Studio, Montclair, NJ. 06/27/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/
Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former theatre professor at a university. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Dramatists Guild, and League of Professional Theatre Women. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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May 22 – Laura's Interests- CHARACTER GUEST POST  
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May 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
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May 25 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
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May 28 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
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June 1 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW     


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  1. Thank you for your review on "Killing Time" by Suzanne Trauth and for being part of the book tour.

    Enjoyed reading the interview with Dodie O’Dell and can't wait to read more about her with the opportunity to read this wonderful sounding book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Thanks for including me on your blog!

  3. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading it.