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Silence of the Flans By Laura Bradford: Review/Giveaway/Interview

IN THE March 25 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andCynthia Chow,
andFood Fun,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Cynthia Chow

This week we have a review & giveaway of a fun new food mystery by Laura Bradford, along with an interesting interview with Laura. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Silence of the Flans. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Silence of the Flans: An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery by Laura Bradford
Review by Cynthia Chow

Although a drastic hike in rent forced Winnie Johnson to give up her beloved bakery, an unexpected inheritance allowed her to create the Emergency Dessert Squad, where on-demand customized delicacies are delivered by a vintage ambulance. Less welcome is the gift that came in the form of hissing feline Lovey, who seems to love everyone except Winnie. Otherwise, prospects for the business look to be on an upswing; at least right until the recipient of one of the Emergency Dessert Squad’s latest deliveries is found poisoned to death by pastry.

bookGossip and local media immediately condemn Winnie’s business as being responsible for the death of college newspaper investigator Melinda Tully. As a result, requests for emergency desserts dwindle to the few pity orders called in by Master Sergeant Hottie Greg Stevens, a stunning member of Silver Lake’s Ambulance Corps. Winnie’s heart leans toward college professor Jay Morgan, although his daughter’s absolute loathing of Winnie seems to be a massive roadblock in their relationship. At least, that was before an even bigger obstacle came in the form of Jay’s apparent condemnation and avoidance of Winnie following the murder. Infuriated and determined to prove her innocence, Winnie unites with her senior citizen friends to investigate who may have had a hand in the young journalist’s death and used Winnie as a scapegoat.

This second in the Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series is full of quirky characters who feel perfectly enmeshed in the Silver Lake college town. Nosy Mr. Nelson, a lecherous geriatric former sailor, may flirt with every female within his vicinity, but his crusty exterior shields a mushy core that will have him dedicated to helping Winnie save her business. Winnie’s romantic life might be on a back burner, but her creativity continues to be sparked by her D’éclairs éclairs and other inspired delights. Although the sustainability of an on-demand dessert delivery service may be in question, what is never doubtful is the prevalence of delicious creations and humorous dialogue, all led by one very engaging lead heroine.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Interview of Laura Bradford:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

Laura: Honestly, it feels like forever. I was always the kid who was writing stories in her free time after school, leading the [Girl] Scout newsletter, writing pieces for my college paper, etc. After college I worked as a reporter to pay the bills. After I got married and had my second daughter, I turned my attention back to my true writing love: fiction.

KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?

Laura: My first novel came out in 2005. It was called Jury of One, and it [was] released with a small independent press. That book went on to be picked up by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery’s book club and to receive an Agatha nomination for Best First [Novel]. The protagonist is a young newspaper reporter in a beach town along the New Jersey shoreline. I wrote two more books in that series (all being picked up by Worldwide) before making the decision to shoot for a New York publisher. I’ve since brought these first three books out in e-format and they have new names now. Jury of One is now called Deadly Readings.

KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not what else have you written?

Laura: While the majority of my work, thus far, has been mystery, I’ve also written four category romances for Harlequin’s American Romance line. Two of those books were nominated for RT’s Reviewer’s Choice Award and one—Miracle Baby—won!

author

Laura Bradford

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Please tell us a little about the setting and main character for your most recent book.

Laura: My Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries came to life in a fun way. I’d been a [Girl] Scout leader for my daughter’s troop for eight years. During that time I grew close with many of my scouts via the troop and their friendships with my daughter. One of those girls came to visit us in our new state a few years ago. She loved to bake and was considering a career in that field. She told me she was drawn to food trucks. My mind played with that for a little while and, suddenly, the concept of a “dessert ambulance” came to me. I mentioned it to this young lady and while she kind of shrugged it off, I knew, almost instantly, that I had a heckuva cozy waiting to be written.

And write it, I did. Soon I had Winnie Johnson, a baker, forced out of her bakery due to rising rent costs. A bequest from an elderly friend of an old vintage ambulance (which seems useless in the immediate [circumstance]), soon proves to be the very thing that keeps Winnie baking. I like Winnie’s determination and my readers seem to, as well.

KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?

Laura: I write to offer an escape (from tough times), and an opportunity to try new things and visit new places the reader might not otherwise try/visit. Occasionally there’s a message infused into a story, but very often it just happens, and it’s the readers who point it out to me afterward.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?

Laura: I’m a morning writer. I do my best work before 3 p.m. However, during deadline crunch, I can write through the night if I’m entrenched in the story.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?

Laura: I know the main things that need to happen before I start. But the flavor—the relationships, etc.—happen as I write. These characters are real to me so they often know what works best more than my conscious mind does.

I also use a bullet-point system that keeps me on track, chapter by chapter. I note the main points that need to happen (a suspect, a clue, an encounter) and that’s what I use to stay on track.

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?

Laura: I started in short stories. Got a lot of rejections. But as my writing changed, the responses did, as well. Yes, I still got rejections, but it was different. I was close. So I kept going.

KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?

Laura: I have a fun contract continuation story involving the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries, [which] I write under the pen name Elizabeth Lynn Casey. It was near Christmas time and I wanted to post something fun on my author Facebook page, so I wrote: “I wonder what the ladies of Sweet Briar are doing for Christmas.”

Less than two hours later, while shopping for stocking stuffers at a local store, my phone rang. A check of the screen showed my agent’s number. I figured it was a “Merry Christmas” call and picked up in kind. She said, “We have a deal.” Confused, I asked her how. I was mid-contract already and hadn’t pitched anything. Her response to my inquiry? “Your editor read your Facebook post and she wants to know what they’re doing for Christmas, too.” Two years later, Let It Sew (my Southern Sewing Circle Christmas-themed mystery) hit store shelves.

KRL: What a fun story! Do you have a most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?

Laura: I think it would have to be the moment a reader told me she’d driven five hours to meet me and have me sign her book. Total pinch-worthy moment.

KRL: Future writing goals?

Laura: I want to continue in mystery but also expand my horizons. I’ve just signed a contract for two Amish Women’s Fiction novels with Kensington Publishing.

KRL: Writing heroes?

Laura: Mary Higgins Clark. Her book, A Cry in the Night, is what eventually led me to writing mystery rather than the children’s books I once envisioned myself writing.
Linda Castillo. I absolutely love her Kate Burkholder series. Exciting side note here: I’ll meet Linda this month as she’s hosting a signing I’m doing at Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona!

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

Laura: That depends on the series I’m writing. For my Amish books, I spend time in Lancaster, PA soaking up everything I can about the Amish. For my Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, I spend a lot of time baking (and eating).

KRL: What do you read?

Laura: Linda Castillo [and] Harlan Coben.

KRL: Favorite TV or movies?

Laura: I watch Survivor and have since the first season. I think it’s habit at this point. A few of my favorite movies include: The Intern, Hitch, A Few Good Men. I like characters with really good stories.

KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

Laura: Read. And don’t spend too much time on how-to-write books. Just write.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Laura: Since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in July 2006, I have gone on to have 29 more books contracted with New York publishing houses (to date). I’m proud of that accomplishment and the hope it gives to others.

KRL: That is wonderful. Website? Twitter? Facebook?

Laura: Yes to all:
www.laurabradford.com
@Bradfordauthor
www.facebook.com/laurabradfordauthor

To enter to win a copy of Silence of the Flans, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “flans,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 1, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

sybilfinalad

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bertha HammondNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 9:18am

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Silence Of The Flan.

bah195@yahoo.com

Reply

2 Sandy HemsherNo Gravatar
Twitter: @Sandy Hemsher
March 25, 2017 at 9:38am

I LOVE this Reid’s. The first was so good!!! And what not to love about a FLAN!!!!!! Good Luck All!!!!!!

Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

Reply

3 CeciliaNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 10:08am

This book sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

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4 Fay GraceNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 11:15am

I love reading interviews it gives me a chance to get to know a little about the authors. Thanks for a chance to win!!!

Reply

5 Laura BradfordNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 11:57am

Thanks for having me here!

Reply

6 DonamaeNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 12:56pm

It looks really good! I’m excited to read it! Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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7 DonamaeNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 12:56pm

It looks really good! I’m excited to read it! Donamaekutska7@gmail.com thank you

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8 Pam PriborskyNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 2:20pm

I love Laura’s books and would enjoy reading this!

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9 Marlene EzellNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 8:17pm

I so enjoy Laura’s books. Thanks so much for the chance to win this book.
marlene(dot)ezell(at)gmail(dot)com

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10 Valerie HoynackiNo Gravatar March 25, 2017 at 8:34pm

Tasty food, a cat, a mystery – what a read!!!

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11 Karen BNo Gravatar March 26, 2017 at 2:49am

Nice interview of a favorite author, plus a giveaway. Can’t beat that!!
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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12 LynnNo Gravatar March 26, 2017 at 5:52am

Put it on my list to read, thanks!

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13 Judy WeaverNo Gravatar March 26, 2017 at 7:15am

Book looks like a great read! Great interview!

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14 Annette NaishNo Gravatar March 26, 2017 at 8:29am

I could sing Flan, Wonderful Flan to the tune of Food, Wonderful Food from the musical Oliver. This does sound like a really good series.

Reply

15 Margaret RushtonNo Gravatar
Twitter: @cupcake5858
March 26, 2017 at 8:55am

I love the title and the interview was wonderful. I love her books and can’t wait to read this one.
scarletbegonia5858@gmail.com

Reply

16 Nora-AdrienneNo Gravatar
Twitter: @NoraAdrienne
March 26, 2017 at 11:28am

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book. It would be even nicer to actually own a copy.
A recent post from Nora-Adrienne: It’s almost April so here are the upcoming releasesMy Profile

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17 Kathleen KendlerNo Gravatar March 26, 2017 at 1:49pm

Thanks for the interview. Looking forward to this book. Thank-you for the chance.
kckendler at gmail dot com

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18 Jess DNo Gravatar March 26, 2017 at 4:18pm

Thanks for the chance

Reply

19 Jess DNo Gravatar March 26, 2017 at 4:19pm

Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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20 Doward WilsonNo Gravatar March 26, 2017 at 7:10pm

Thanks for a chance to win & read this series.

Reply

21 Jill BroussardNo Gravatar March 27, 2017 at 11:18am

I love Lauras acceptance story! Thankyou for the opportunity!

Reply

22 Donna GanttNo Gravatar March 28, 2017 at 8:58am

I enjoyed the interview and would like to read the book. Thanks for an opportunity to win!

Reply

23 johnna smithNo Gravatar
Twitter: @johnnabooks135
March 30, 2017 at 11:50am

It doesnt matter what this author writes….it is a fun read. Looking forward to reading this title as well

johnnabooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

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24 Dianne CaseyNo Gravatar March 30, 2017 at 4:56pm

I love Laura Bradford’s books. Would enjoy reading “Silence of the Flans”.
diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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25 Brittany AbbottNo Gravatar
Twitter: @ilovefinnegan
March 31, 2017 at 7:06pm

I just started the first book in this series! utaker555@gmail.com

Reply

26 LorieNo Gravatar
Twitter: @mysteryrat
April 17, 2017 at 10:38am

We have a winner!

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