Monday, March 7, 2016

An Unfolding Trap by Jo A. Hiestand (VBT, guest post, excerpt and GIVEAWAY) GFT




I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Jo A. Hiestand, one of the Roses in the Wild Rose Press garden, who answers...

ELF:  What do you think is the strongest attraction about the genre you like to write in?

JAH:  I write classic mysteries. I add a strong dose of the cozy element to them—a closed group of people who know each other, all in a small location like a village, and the focus of the story is to solve the identity of the murderer.

For me, and probably many readers, one attraction of reading this type of book is the puzzle, solving the killer’s identity along with—or before—the sleuth does. It’s a race, pitting our observations and reasoning against those of the experienced detective. It’s grand fun, attempting to solve the riddle, figuring out clues; a grand workout for the brain.

Another allure this book exerts is escape. While reading, cares and problems of every day life are left behind. We’re plunged into another world, perhaps a different location from where we live. We get to experience people, sights, customs, cultures unlike our own, and that’s tremendously interesting. We’re learning, too, about these places. Reading a mystery, involving us in the characters’ problems, is a great release from the familiarity (and at times what we may consider boredom) of our routines. Nothing spices up our lives like escaping to Scotland along with McLaren, for example, and keeping out of a killer’s clutches!

Mysteries also offer a dose of Justice. In our present, crazy world we’re bombarded with news of terrorist strikes, mass shootings, civil unrest, and suicide bombers. The mystery shows us that this crime, at least, has been dealt with according to Law. The guilty person has been arrested, possibly about to stand trial and conviction. Right has triumphed; no one got away with anything. The system works.

Control might be another attraction to mysteries. We may have little control over many things in our lives: bad weather, bad drivers, house repairs, co-workers or the boss, family members, rising prices, taxes… These things can produce frustration, anger, or dejection. But when we read that the killer is behind bars and all is well in that fictional world, that sense of everything returning to normal assures us that one place, at least, has gained control of the madness that claimed it for a while.

In addition to all this, the genre awards the sense of safety. No matter the fear produced by the murder, blackmail or assaults, we sense this will end peacefully with the criminal’s apprehension. There will be no more murders, the blackmail has ended, the physical abuse or threats are over. The victims and community can relax, stop looking over their shoulders and avoiding shadows. We are safe.

McLaren isn’t looking for a killer or kidnapper or family trouble in An Unfolding Trap. But those things find him, and his world spirals out of his control. He loses his sense of safety. During his hunt for the killer and the person behind the assaults heaped upon him he is pursing an outcome of Justice for himself and the victims. He, too, puzzles through the clues with which he’s presented, and he triumphs in the end. There’s more than satisfaction in stopping a killer and madman, and rescuing a victim in the Scottish highlands. He’s also brought peace to his own life. It seems to fit right in with the reason we read mysteries.



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by Jo A. Hiestand

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GENRE: British mystery

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BLURB:



Since his infancy, Michael McLaren has been the target of his paternal grandfather’s anger. So when the patriarch sends an invitation to heal the rift, McLaren travels to Scotland, eager to meet and finally end the feud. But the welcome never happens. If Grandfather hadn’t invited him, who had? And why?

In Edinburgh, a man standing beside McLaren in a bus queue is killed in a hit-and-run accident. After an attack leaves McLaren for dead on a wintry moor, he’s convinced someone from his past is trying to murder him.

As McLaren trails the hit-and-run driver from the medieval ‘underground city’ of Edinburgh to the Boar’s Rock the MacLaren Clan’s ancestral meeting place the assaults intensify, and he’s plunged into a very personal hunt for a World War II treasure. The puzzle is fascinating; he just has to stay alive to solve it.



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EXCERPT

Ross leaned forward, closing the distance between them. “You’re sure you didn’t get angry when you found him this afternoon?”

“Of course I got angry!  Who the hell wouldn’t? The bloody git killed a man, frightened a dozen others who were there, kidnapped Miss Skene, held her hostage⎯”  McLaren stopped before saying Lanny had knocked him on the head and left him for dead in the marshland along the loch, or that he was a threat to Neill McLaren. He took a deep breath. “But I didn’t kill him. I tied him up so he wouldn’t escape, then phoned you when I could.”

“An hour later.” The voice was flat, unimpressed.

“Yes. An hour later. Maybe ninety minutes. I didn’t write down the time, but I phoned here, in the village.”

“Why wait so long to ring us?”

“Pardon?” The suspicion that things were turning horribly wrong whispered to McLaren.

“Why didn’t you phone right then? Did you want to put some space between you and the killing so you could establish an alibi?”



Amazon

  
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors. Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.




LINKS:

Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page



********************************

GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here





46 comments:

  1. What draws you to this genre?

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    2. Well, I think the strongest thing is the sense of justice -- the bad guy is arrested and punished for his crime. It's very satisfying and brings a sense of "all is well", even if it is in a make believe world. There might be hope for our world that bad guys will be punished. Then I like the puzzle -- figuring out who did the dastardly deed and how it was done. It's just a genre that appeals to me.

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    3. Good to see you, Mai, and great question! I love Jo's answer and I agree with it wholeheartedly!

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  2. Thank you for hosting today!

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    1. You are quite welcome, congrats on the release and good luck with the tour. I apologize for being so tardy in welcoming you and want to extend my gratitude for you being willing to interact with my visitors!

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  3. Jo, Will there be more McLaren books after "Unfolding Trap"

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    1. Hi, Kathy -- I have three more finished books just waiting to be published. No Known Address, An Unwilling Suspect, and Arrested Flight will follow (in that order) beginning June 1 and the last one published Dec 1. Hope you like them..thanks for asking!

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    3. Oops...typo. I'll retype this.
      Thanks, Kathy! I can't wait either, as a matter of fact!

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    4. Hi, Kathy! Thanks for coming by to ask and question!

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  4. This really sounds like a fascinating and exciting mystery story.

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    1. Hi, MomJane -- thanks for the compliment. I hope you like the book if you choose to read it. Even tho it's the fifth book in the series, I doubt you'll have any trouble sorting out the Jamie is McLaren's best friend, Dena is McLaren's fiancee, etc. It was such fun to write, too!

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    2. Thanks for dropping by, Jane!

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  5. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

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    1. Rita, thank you! It's difficult for me to pick an excerpt that I think readers would find interesting. So I appreciate your comment and 'like' all the more!

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    2. Good to hear, Rita. Thanks for popping in!

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  6. Jo is a new author for me. I'm excited to read this series.

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    1. HI, Patricia -- I hope you enjoy the McLaren mysteries. He's a pretty amazing guy, IMHO, ha ha! ;-) Thanks for "stopping by" and commenting.

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    2. Excellent, Patricia! Thanks for coming by, I hope you get a chance to read the series!

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  7. Enjoyed the excerpt the guest post, sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing and good luck with the tour!

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    1. Thank you, Eva. I'm glad you like the posting -- the question certainly made me think hard! ;-)

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  8. Sounds like a good read. It's always interesting to see if I can figure out the murderer before the end of the book.

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    1. I hope you enjoy solving it along with McLaren. I just usually "go along with the ride" and watch the sleuth do it! ;-)

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  9. I've never read a British mystery before so I'm looking forward to reading a new genre. I love mystery books so this sounds like something I'll enjoy, thanks for sharing and introducing me to a new author/genre :)

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    1. HI, Victoria. Funny, but that's about all I read -- I grew up with Sherlock and the British classics like Jane Eyre, so I'm steeped in that culture even though I'm a native St. Louisan. But I hope you like McLaren and my books, if you read them -- thanks for the comment!

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  10. Thanks for the giveaway! I like the excerpt. :)

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    1. Cali, thanks for stopping by. Glad you like the excerpt!

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  11. sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway.

    rounder9834@yahoo.com

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    1. HI, Thomas -- good luck with the giveaway raffle! Thanks for "stopping by."

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  12. I shall log off for tonight. Thanks to The Reading Addict for having me as a guest author today, and thanks to everyone who commented -- I appreciate it!

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  13. Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thank you, Samantha. It was a fun book to write.

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  14. Really enjoyed reading the blurb & excerpt, thank you!

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    1. Nikolina...I appreciate your comment. Thanks!

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  15. Thanks for the chance to win, The excerpt makes me want to start reading right now!

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    1. Well, AnneL, I hope you like the book if you read it! ;-)

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  16. I just love the book cover, it’s amazing!

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    1. Hi, Dario -- I love the cover, too. The artist, Angela, has done the other McLaren books by my publisher. I think she's captured the mood of the story.

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  17. I enjoyed this entire post and am looking forward to learning more about the book. Thank you for sharing the post and the giveaway!

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    1. Ree -- thanks for your post. I had such a good time with this "tour." I appreciate your comment, too.

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