Thursday, May 26, 2016

Murder at Morningside by Sandra Bretting (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

It is my pleasure to have a guest post by author Sandra Bretting, who shares some of the experience of being a published author.

Welcome to the World, Baby Book!

By Sandra Bretting

Today my latest mystery turns two days old. While that may not sound like much, it’s been plinking around in the universe for a whole lot longer.

I originally wrote
Murder at Morningside in 2014. A year later, my agent sold it in a three-book deal to publisher Kensington books. And now…here we are.

The birth of a book is a strange thing. Unlike with babies, books normally germinate for at least a few years before the public gets a glimpse of them. Earnest Hemingway once said he thought about writing
The Old Man and the Sea for seventeen years before he actually did it. (He based the book on a magazine story he wrote for Esquire in the ‘50s.)

Not surprisingly, Hemingway confessed it was his favorite book when he reached the end of his life.

Since I already had two other books under my belt by the time I wrote
Murder at Morningside, I kind of knew what to expect. Like having a firstborn and learning by trial and error, you get the feel for how it’s all going to play out ahead of time. Here’s what those first few months before a book’s release day feel like:

Two Months Before Due Date: Friends and family start mentioning it. “Are you excited?” “Why aren’t you excited?” “It’s getting clossseeerrr.” Little do they know you’ve already started on your next book, and you’re mired in that dreaded beginning stage most writers hate. It’s the stage where nothing sounds good, you must be a horrible writer, and what ever made you think you could do this, anyway? That stage. At this point, you just smile and nod at your friends and family, and try not to throw a laptop at ‘em.

One Month Before Due Date
: This is when book reviewers start weighing in on your beloved baby. Now you have to train yourself not to jump out of bed in the morning to check websites like Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. But you can’t help it. It’s like peeking under a BandAid: you want to know what’s in there, but you really don’t.

The Blessed Event: The morning your book debuts, you awaken like it’s any other (in my case) Tuesday. Starlings still squeak outside the bedroom window, the dog still whines to be fed, and the high schooler once more tears out of the house at the last possible minute. If you’re lucky, a few friends might post something nice on your Facebook page. If you’re not, you spend the morning wondering how the whole world could go about its business when this wonderful thing has just happened. Don’t they know? Don’t they care? And why is the dog still whining?

It’s a surreal way to spend a day. This thing you’ve created—alone, in front of a computer—over many, many months has finally come to life. And, in your heart of hearts, you want everyone to love it as much as you do. You can’t help it…you’re its mother.


by Sandra Bretting


GENRE: Cozy Mystery



Heads turn when milliner Missy Dubois waltzes into town to set up shop on the Great River Road in Louisiana. Heaven only knows the brides who get married in the grand old mansions there could use a bit of help.

But then Missy discovers a murder among the magnolias, and even the worst “bridezilla” seems suddenly tame.



Time rewound with each footfall as I began to climb the grand outer staircase at Morningside Plantation. The limestone steps, burdened with the history of five generations, heaved their way toward heaven.

At the top lay a wide-plank verandah supported by columns painted pure white, like the clouds. By the time I took a third step, the digital camera in my right hand began to dissolve into the sterling silver handle of a ladies parasol. The visitors’ guide in my left hand magically transformed into a ballroom dance card bound by a satin cord.

Another step and the Mississippi River came into view as it flowed to the Gulf, languid as a waltz and the color of sweet tea. Could that be a whistle from a steamboat ferrying passengers past the plantation? If so, a turn and a wave wouldn’t be out of the question once I reached the top of the stairs, and good manners would dictate it.

I was about to do that when I realized the whistle was only my friend’s cell and not a Mississippi riverboat. “Ambrose! Turn that thing off. Honestly.”

“Sorry.” He shrugged. “I always forget you were Scarlett O’Hara in a past life.”

The mood was broken, though, and the sterling silver in my hand returned to plastic while the linen dance card hardened to a glossy brochure.

Amazon link


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sandra Bretting works as a freelance feature writer under contract to the Houston Chronicle. She received a journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and wrote for other publications (including the Los Angeles Times and Orange Coast Magazine) before moving to Texas.

Her Missy DuBois Mysteries series debuts from Kensington/Lyrical Underground in May 2016. Bretting’s previous mysteries include Unholy Lies (2012) and Bless the Dying (2014). 

Readers can reach her online at website and through Facebook.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


  1. Thanks for having me here today. Hope everyone's off to a great start!

  2. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

    1. Hi, Mai! I'm a big fan of biking, and I love a good yoga class. Since writers spend so much time sitting down, it's nice to be able to get up and move the ol' muscles! Good luck in the giveaway.

  3. I enjoyed reading the excerpt. Sounds like an interesting story. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

  4. Hi, Marcy. Nice to "e-meet" you! Best of luck in the drawing!

  5. I can't wait to read this one! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Thanks for the nice comment, Victoria! (BTW - I have a young friend named Victoria and we call her Tory. Or Toto, in the case of her brothers :))

  7. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Rita! Best of luck in the raffle.

  8. I enjoyed reading the excerpt. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book.

    1. Thanks, Ally! My publisher priced it right at $3.99, so I'm hoping lots of people can get to know Missy and her friends. Good luck in the raffle!

  9. Thanks for the inside look.

  10. I just know I'm going to love the rest of this book.

  11. Looking forward to reading this book!

    Betul E.