A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. Check out our sister sites Kings River Lite and KRL News & Reviews for bonus articles.

Previous post:

Next post:


Iced By Avery Daniels: Review/Giveaway/Interviews

IN THE September 30 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andKathleen Costa,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Kathleen Costa

The week we have a review of Iced by Avery Daniels, and a brief review of the recently released audio book version. Also, as a special treat, we not only have an interview with Avery, but also Susan Marlowe who narrated the audio book. Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Iced, and a link to purchase the latest book from Amazon.

Iced: A Resort to Murder Mystery by Avery Daniels
Narration by Susan Marlowe
Review by Kathleen Costa

Julienne ‘Julie’ LaMere, event coordinator and manager-in-training at an upscale resort in Colorado Springs, is frantically finalizing details for the Leadership Luncheon with many local community leaders with frequent last-minute changes. Lobster? No, scallops. Red? Blue? No, white tablecloths, Music? No, no music. Then back to scallops again? “This event must be executed with precision and perfection,” her boss expected.

bookHer training never covered how to handle Pastor Tom Drake, a sleazy local mega-church leader, suggestively accosting her and then soon after, being found impaled by the swordfish ice sculpture in front of the seafood buffet. Because she had the opportunity (she was the last to see the victim), means (the ice sculpture was right behind her), and motive (sexual harassment), she is also the ‘person of interest’ and serious topic of all the news reports. Now her reputation, employment and possibly her freedom is seriously in jeopardy unless she can convince law enforcement or find the killer. Too closely associated with the murder gives her family the perfect occasion to complain about her reluctance to quit and just get married, but she stands firm and figuring this out has now become imperative…

I am always excited about starting a series with the first book. It’s like being first in line for the seafood buffet…wink, wink! Avery Daniels’ Iced: A Resort to Murder is a great beginning to what I hope is several books: Upscale resort? Event planning? Questionable appetites? Murder? The story was very entertaining with twists and turns that I couldn’t hazard a guess because another motive or clue would be revealed leading to a crescendo ending of “Oh, my!”

The characters are well written for a first book with strengths and vulnerabilities that are engaging to follow, and Julienne, a favorite, has personal as well as professional, issues to deal with and her reactions show maturity and efforts to take the reins of her own life. Family will undoubtedly continue to be a headache, and romance more of a dilemma since her dream to travel puts career first, marriage second, but…there still is “the hot new guy.” The story was engaging, the characters entertaining, and I love the idea that there will be more at another resort…Her world travels begin!

I love audiobooks. They are vastly superior to me reading to myself. This version was very entertaining, and Susan Marlowe was brilliant! She enhanced Avery Daniel’s engaging story with a talented array of voices that illustrated the manners and personalities of Avery’s characters: Julienne’s determination and fear, BFF Porsche demanding manner, French accents to, southern twangy, dry and humorless Detective Lawrence, and sexy Mason. Adding the right tone and
speed the emotion and suspense was greatly heightened: I could feel the frustration Julienne had with her family, and was on the edge of my seat when she was put in harm’s way. Overall Susan made this a great experience!

Iced: A Resort to Murder Mystery earns 5/5 Ice Sculpture Displays!

Become a Big Avery Daniels Fan!
Facebook – Avery Daniels Author
Website – Avery Daniels

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Our First Guest…Author Avery Daniels:

KRL: It is great to have with us Avery Daniels celebrating her newly released book Iced: A Resort to Murder Mystery.
Let’s start with an introduction. Can you give us a mini biography of Avery Daniels? Who is she and what influenced her to become a writer?

Avery: I was born and raised in Colorado and graduated from college with a degree in business administration. I have worked in Fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense my entire life. My most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units ? the tales I could tell! I still live in Colorado with two brother black cats as my companions. I inherited a love for reading from my mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.

KRL: Is there a reason you chose to write in the cozy mystery genre? What is it about cozies that interested you?

Avery: One piece of writing advice I received early on was to write in whatever genre you tend to read and I read a lot of cozy and amateur sleuth books. I like how justice is served/villain caught and for a few hours I am on the trail of a killer. The vicarious thrills in the safety of my locked home appeal to me.

author

Avery Daniels

KRL: This is the first book. Can you give us some insights into how the series started? Tell us a little about Julienne LaMere and the other residents of Colorado Springs.

Avery: I initially came up with the idea for the resort as a backdrop, then Julienne began to solidify for the lead character. Julienne is a young professional who skipped college for a manager-in-training program at the local five-star resort. Her dream is to manage resorts around the world to satisfy her wanderlust and desire to experience other cultures.

In the first book she finds her sleuthing legs when she is the prime suspect in the murder of a celebrity Pastor. Julienne is joined by her wild and crazy aunt, uncle and two cousins who look after her, since her father retired to the Florida Keys. Also in the cast is her college professor best friend, Porsche and her eccentric neighbors of the Mountain Shadows townhouses. She has a brand new neighbor labeled “the hot new guy” who takes an interest in her.

KRL: I personally love cozies because they have themes that provide entertainment and/or education. Is there a reason you choose event planning? Did you have experience or was there a lot of research involved?

Avery: I have volunteered over the years and helped coordinate and put on events, from retirement luncheons to signature fund-raising events with silent auctions. I have worked with hotel staff from soup to nuts of events, so I knew a good bit of what goes into the job. As Julienne progresses in her training I will be doing more research. I already got a Resort Management textbook!

KRL: I think your characters are very realistic. They could be our neighbors, shop owners or family. Do you have a personal connection to your characters? Are you like Julienne? Did you write your characters by taking real-life people and “changing the names to…,” you get my drift?

Avery: “The names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Just kidding. Most writers are collectors of personalities and character tidbits. So I may take a piece of this or that from a person I chatted with or an old neighbor, but by and large the characters are unique unto themselves and fictional with only “shading or highlighting” from actual people. Julienne is of French heritage, and I took French throughout high school and college and finally went to Paris in 2010. One in eight women gets breast cancer, so I felt it was important for her mother to have had it and acknowledge that. She plays the clarinet, and I learned to play clarinet as an adult. She wants to travel the world ? so do I. Those are the only real similarities. I am so glad you resonated with the characters!

KRL: You definitely have provided a great deal of entertainment for your fans, but is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?

Avery: I believe most mysteries, even the “softer and gentler” cozies, ultimately deal with human nature and interpersonal relationships. I know more literary fiction is discussed by book clubs, but what better topics than the themes in mysteries that drive a person to desperate actions. Iced can easily spur discussion on what we know is right and that side of us that contemplates, even for a moment, doing the wrong, the forbidden or slipping into a point of no return. What if a person were in the villain’s shoes and this was the last straw in life?

KRL: We know you write, but what do you read? Is there another author who inspires you or one you might consider a professional or personal hero?

Avery: I have always been an avid reader (albeit slow), and I grew up reading mysteries and Gothic suspense. I read cozies and amateur sleuths, intrigue, thrillers, and historical mysteries primarily. Occasionally I read fantasy from high fantasy like Tolkien, Christopher Paolini, Terry Brooks to Harry Potter, or urban fantasy such as the Kate Daniels series, Mercy Thompson series, Tanya Huff Blood series, Veiled Magic, and Baba Yaga series. I read Dystopian, and the occasional steam-punk vampire (Vampire Empire). Less frequently is Sci Fi, and pure historical fiction.

One author only? That is very hard. There are so many talented, brilliant authors. I am inspired by historical fiction authors who have the added challenge of recreating a historical period with accuracy in addition to an interesting plot and fleshed out characters.

KRL: So many authors speak of connecting with their fans. Do you participate in any special online events, bookstores, or conventions? Is there any coming up for you?

Avery: I am building my newsletter subscribers and focusing on making that a fun community. Visit www.Avery-Daniels.com to sign up. I am also on Facebook, and particularly Goodreads. I will be participating in some writer’s conferences next year, but my focus at the moment is to get the second book in the Resort to Murder series written.

KRL: What can we expect from you in the future? Will we be joining Julienne LaMere on another adventure? Is there a peak at a book cover or title you can share? Do you have any plans to write a different series or in another genre?

Avery: The second book in the series will be titled Nailed and will take place in Vail, Colorado, during a blizzard. I have a thriller 3/4 written, and I am plotting an urban fantasy.

KRL: So many authors say writing is all encompassing, but do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

Avery: I volunteer doing outreach, events, and media for a cat shelter that takes a good bit of my time. But I enjoy scrap booking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic.

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

Avery: I am short, 5 foot 1 and easily overlooked!

KRL: Ok, here’s something fun, Avery…Rapid Fire!

Ready! Set! Go!
Coffee or Tea? —Tea
Dog or Cat? — Cats rule!
Carnivore or Herbivore? — Herbivore
Pie or Cake? — Cake
Picnic or 5-star Restaurant? — 5-star any day
Print/eBook or Audio version? — Print/eBook
Theater or Wait for the DVD? — Theater. Live theater even better
Favorite Actor? — Tom Hanks / George Clooney / Benedict Cumberbatch / Denzel Washington
Favorite Actress? — Helen Mirren / Julia Roberts
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? — Pina Colada (Margarita or Mojito preferably)
Beachfront Property or Cabin in the Woods? — Ohhh….tough one. Beachfront
Active or Cuddling in a Comfy Chair? — Cuddling in comfy chair…with my cats

Finish these sentences:

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
If I had just one wish, it would be — No more hatred in the world
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be — Samantha Brown, host of Travel Channel’s Great Weekends, Passport to Europe, Passport to Latin America, and Great Hotels. She gets paid to travel, how great is that!!!

KRL: This has been fun. We’ve covered so many topics. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Avery: I just want to say thank you for the interview! Please join my newsletter community from my website. I hope you enjoy reading Iced, please let me know how you liked it.

Thank you, Avery, for joining us and sharing a little about yourself and your books.

***

Our Second Guest…Susan Marlowe, Narrator of Iced:

KRL: It is great to have Susan Marlowe joining us as we celebrate the newly released book Iced: A Resort to Murder Mystery by Avery Daniels.
Let’s start with an introduction. Can you give us a mini biography of Susan Marlowe? Who is she and what influenced her to become a narrator?

Susan: A mini biography…let’s see. I live in Connecticut with my husband, two sons, and two female cats (I needed to even the score a bit). In my spare time, I participate in community theater, go on scenic rides and eat lots of pizza. I began narrating about two years ago, when I decided I really wanted to use my acting skills for voice work. I love books. I love reading. I love acting. It seemed like a perfect fit!

author

Susan Marlowe

KRL: I am personally a fan of audiobooks because they often enhance greatly the experience; the voices add so much to the character’s manner as well as personality and the tone of the story. You have other narration projects listed on Audible in a range of genres. What is it that draws you to a particular project?

Susan: I love books that have great characters, and without sounding too trite, a great story. In terms of choosing specific projects, I am actually given very little information about a book before I begin the process. Generally, I just have a synopsis, perhaps some character descriptions, and a small excerpt to go on. It can be a leap of faith, but I have been fortunate in that I’ve had some wonderful books to narrate and some great authors to work with!

KRL: Is narrating books your primary employment?

Susan: As of April of this year, YES! It was a scary transition from a traditional job to freelancing self-employment, but I love it.

KRL: Narrators seem to be the unsung hero in a book’s life. Do you participate in any special events? Is there any coming up for you?

Susan: I have yet to participate in any special events, but I am certainly not opposed to the idea. Currently, I have something like five books “on deck,” so it doesn’t leave much time for extra-curricular activities.

KRL: What can we expect from you in the future?

Susan: I just finished up recording a bio of the philanthropist Glorya Kaufman, which should be available soon, and I am beginning a thriller, Hubris, by Canadian author P.A. Wilson.

KRL: So many say their work is all encompassing. I was a teacher whose hobbies often fell by the wayside. But do you have any hobbies you enjoy or activities you’re involved with?

Susan: Other than the theater, cruising and pizza eating? I also like to crochet (a newly acquired skill), bake and sing my heart out in the car.

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

Susan: I occasionally write as well as narrate. In fact, two of my narrated books were written by me as well, Emmett the Eagle, a book I wrote for my oldest son when he was young, and I Hate Christmas, a fun, short, holiday Rom-com.

KRL: Ok, here’s something fun, Susan…Rapid Fire!

Ready! Set! Go!
Coffee or Tea? — coffee
Dog or Cat? — cat
Carnivore or Herbivore? — herbivore
Pie or Cake? — cake
Picnic or 5-star Restaurant? — pizza
Print/eBook or Audio version? — audio, of course!
Theater or Wait for the DVD? — DVD
Favorite Actor? — Colin Firth (swoon)
Favorite Actress? — Kate Winslet
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? — Pina Colada

Beachfront Property or Cabin in the Woods? — beachfront
Active or Cuddling in a Comfy Chair? — comfy chair

Finish these sentences:
If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would — Buddha
If I had just one wish, it would be — happiness for my children
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be — no one. I am happy being me.

KRL: This has been fun. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers…or should I say listeners?

Susan: Follow me on Facebook.

Thank you, Susan, for joining us and sharing a little about yourself.

Audible – Narrator Susan Marlowe

To enter to win either a copy of Iced (print not audio book)-simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “iced,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 7, 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.

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

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.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DonamaeNo Gravatar
Twitter: @donamaekutska
September 30, 2017 at 4:40pm

This book sounds really interesting, I’d like to read it!

Reply

2 Cynthia BlainNo Gravatar September 30, 2017 at 6:16pm

I really enjoyed the interviews in this post with Avery Daniels and Susan Marlowe. I’d love to read either or both of their books. Both authors are new to me so thank you for I producing them . Sincerely,
Cynthia B.

Reply

3 Dianne BahnNo Gravatar October 1, 2017 at 6:49am

Enjoyed the book review and the author interview. I can’t wait to read. Happy oct 1.

Reply

4 Marci KonecnyNo Gravatar October 1, 2017 at 7:38am

I entered via email, but I have to say that I love these interviews! Thank you Avery, Susan and KRL for taking the time to share this with us.

Reply

5 Gloria BrowningNo Gravatar October 2, 2017 at 1:32am

New series? Looks intriguing.

Reply

6 Karen BNo Gravatar October 2, 2017 at 3:28am

Great review and interviews. ICED sounds terrific.
kpbarnett1941@aol.com

Reply

7 Bertha HammondNo Gravatar October 2, 2017 at 12:47pm

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Iced. Sounds like a great story.

bah195@yahoo.com

Reply

8 JoAn VNo Gravatar October 3, 2017 at 10:49am

Iced sounds like a great beginning to a new series. Thank you for the interviews and the review, Kathleen.

Reply

9 Karina ThibodeauNo Gravatar
Twitter: @ThibodeauKarina
October 3, 2017 at 10:28pm

Thank you for the chance.

Reply

10 Doward WilsonNo Gravatar October 6, 2017 at 5:18pm

Sounds like a great read.

Reply

11 Dianne CaseyNo Gravatar October 6, 2017 at 6:50pm

Great interview. Looks like a fun read.
diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

Reply

12 LorieNo Gravatar
Twitter: @mysteryrat
October 10, 2017 at 12:37pm

We have a winner!

Reply

13 Kara MarksNo Gravatar October 15, 2017 at 2:50pm

Great post and sounds like a good book. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

Reply

Leave a Comment

Twitter ID
(ID only; No links or "@" symbols)

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food Fun

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales