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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Blog Tour, Character Guest Post, & Review for Tuesday Trash and Trouble by Joanna Campbell Slan


Cragan Collins of The Friday Night Mystery Club Explains: What Is in a Name?
 Decatur, IL/1986

People never get my name right. It’s Cragan, pronounced CRAIG-in. Actually that’s my middle name, but I come from a family full of Catherines, and rather than add to the confusion, my Nana called me Cragan from the “git-go,” which is Southern for “the start.”

One of my elementary school teachers decided I should be called Kraken. Being a respectful child, and intimidated by her large stature, I didn’t correct her. Later, doing research on Pippi Longstocking, I discovered that a kraken is a huge mythical sea monster that supposedly lives off the coast of Norway. I still couldn’t bring myself to tell the teacher. When my mother found out how my name was being slaughtered, Mom had a hissy fit (a redundant term but true nevertheless).

In a boiled peanut shell, that’s the story of my life. I tend to go along to get along. Most of the time at least. All that changed when I divorced Tim Collins, the TV sports anchor who is a celebrity here in town. For years, I overlooked the enormous debts he’d run up. I swallowed my pride when he made fun of me, and I meekly stood in his shadow because everyone knows television stars tend to be temperamental. But the cheating? Well, that was too much. My friend Zahara “Zee” Johnson explains it this way: All of us drag around an imaginary garbage can. We stuff it with our nasty feelings. When that big old can gets full, look out!

You might say I had a Dumpster-full even before Tim cheated on me, and I gave up when he knocked over the bin. I didn’t respond to his infidelity with a tantrum; I simply made an appointment with a divorce lawyer. That’s the charm of a woman raised in the South. We’ll bite our lips, pinch our thighs, and do somersaults rather than lose our dignity, no matter what. Our behavior stands in stark contrast to that of other people I can name. People such as, Yakov “Yakky” Pavolich, my boss, the head of advertising sales at The Gazette. Yakky has the self-control of a toddler with an ear infection. Yakky once bit a taxi driver in the arm because the cabbie got lost in downtown New York City. And yes, before you ask, Yakky was inebriated at the time. (Sounds a lot classier than stinking drunk, doesn’t it?)

Zee can get a little testy, too. When I do something she thinks is stupid, she comes right out and says, “Cragan? You are some kind of fool.” Translation: I love you dearly. Of course, in the South, we would say, “Bless your heart.”

It was Zee who solved the problem of people mangling my name. “Why not tell them it rhymes with Reagan, as in Ronald Reagan, our president?” she suggested.

That little trick changed my life. So allow me to introduce myself. I am Cragan—rhymes with Reagan—Collins. Nice to meet you!

   About Tuesday Trash and Trouble

Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series 
Setting - Illinois 
 Spot On Publishing (October 10, 2022)
  Paperback ‏ : ‎ 332 pages 
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8357296788  
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B9T64ZNY

Set in 1986, Joanna Campbell Slan’s latest cozy mystery—Tuesday Trash and Trouble--features a down-on-her-luck divorcée whose passion for solving crimes lands her in the arms of a secretive cowboy--and the cross-hairs of a vengeful killer.

The year is 1986, the place is…pitiful. It’s Decatur, Illinois, known for high unemployment, striking unions, the pervasive stink of soybean processing, and seven railroad crossings at one intersection. 

A wrong turn along life’s marital highway has left Catherine “Cragan” Collins stuck in Decatur. With a mountain of post-divorce bills to pay, Cragan takes a job selling high-priced newspaper advertising. If she’s lucky, her commissions will cover the cost of her grandmother’s stay in a nearby retirement home.

After the divorce, Cragan swears off men, but she’s a sucker for a guy in a nice suit. She falls hard for a man who publicly snubs her. On the rebound, she accepts an invitation from Ross Gentry, a quiet hunk who favors pearl snaps and cowboy boots. Cragan reasons that her heart is safe, because she and Ross come from two different worlds. But one night in his arms might be enough to prove her wrong. 

Without warning, everything blows up in Cragan’s face. Her boss threatens to take away her accounts, a friend’s little sister is kidnapped, and an overnight guest is shot. Cragan’s best friend, Pru, is accused of attempted murder. After all, Pru’s gun was used in the crime. 

Cragan calls an emergency meeting of the Friday Night Mystery Club. These mystery-loving career women are a group of smart cookies. Can their combined talents prove that Pru is innocent? And will they find an answer in time to save Cragan from the wrath of a vengeful shooter?

It takes a club to solve a mystery!

*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.
This is a great addition to this cozy series. Set in the 80s we get to visit the past with an interesting group of woman who are just trying to live their lives when they keep getting wound up in a murder investigation. Pru is accused of attempted murder making it necessary for them to call an emergency meeting where they combine their skills to find the truth. Makes for a fun well written cozy that will keep your attention until the very end to see how it all works out. A great choice for those looking for a good cozy set a little ways into the past. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.

About Joanna Campbell Slan

Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.

Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).

Currently, she writes six fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), the Tai Chi Mystery Series (featuring a mature female amateur sleuth!) and the Friday Night Mystery Series (set in Decatur, IL in 1986 with a spunky female heroine.)

A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.

In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at or visit her website at

Author Links
Purchase Link - Amazon  
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