Monday, October 21, 2013

Lyndee Walker and BURIED LEADS


Today cozy mystery author LynDee Walker guest blogs about her new book, Buried Leads, and the top five funniest news stories she ever covered while she worked as a reporter. LynDee is giving away a fun gift bag including a $25 gift certificate to your favorite bookstore. All you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter give away box at the end of this post. LynDee is also giving a second prize Swag Bag out to one lucky person who comments on today's guest post below.



Browsing the Mystery shelves at your local bookshop, you’ll find everything from gritty thrillers with explicit crime scene descriptions to cozies featuring crime-solving cats and bakery owners as sleuths. 

I read (and love) a little of everything. But when I sit down to write, mixing the thriller elements with the fun parts of the cozy world is usually what turns up on the page.

My main character is a reporter (I was, too, before I was a mom), so she has a good reason to stick her nose into crime. And she gets in plenty of trouble doing it. But she’s a journalist, not a cop. She loves her impractical shoes, has a sexy Mafia boss for a friend, and uses people and questions to find her answers. 

She’s also funny. I like weaving comic relief into serious scenes, giving readers a fun escape instead of just a straight mystery. I wrote enough depressing true crime stuff in my reporting days, so with my fiction, I try to blend some levity into that world. 

All that got me thinking about the top five funniest news stories I ever covered. Even when you work the crime beat in real life, humor crosses your desk once in a while.

1) The abandoned casket: that’s the kind of police report that makes you snort coffee. Which hurts (I know because I did it that day). I snatched up the phone and called the PD, and the public information officer chuckled through the whole story. A junkyard owner on the edge of town came into work to find a real-life-honest-to-goodness casket blocking the yard’s driveway. He was pretty indignant about the police asking him what was in there. The officer who came out to open it found it full of scrap metal. But I still wonder sometimes why the heck someone had it to get rid of in the first place.

2) The church lady/truck driver standoff in the strip club parking lot. Enough said.

3) The literal cop: one particularly arid summer, the lake in the middle of down dried up to the point that every boat in the marina was sitting in dirt and grass, the waterline having receded hundreds of yards out into the lake bed. So far, in fact, that the owner of the marina stood on his dock waving toward the dam on the other side of the lake and said “Look at that. You could drive a car off my boat ramp all the way to the dam.” 

It was a great quote, and I used it in my story.

One of the officers at the local PD took him literally, and caused quite a stir when he got his squad car stuck in mud that had been under thirty feet of water for about half a century in an effort to test the theory.

4) The open window: I happened to be in a city budget hearing where the police chief was grilled over a bill for a new automatic window for a squad car. His explanation was great: in the middle of a rare Texas ice storm, one of his officers was called out to help a citizen with something (ten years and three kids later, I can’t remember what). Taking care not to fall on the ice as he got out of the car, the officer forgot his keys. They got locked in the car, which he didn’t realize until he came back outside. His phone, computer, and radio were all in the cruiser, so he busted the driver’s side window out. When he got in the car, he noticed that the passenger side window was open.

5) The body in the trunk: This one’s not silly-funny, but odd-coincidence funny. It started off sad, with a young woman’s body found in the trunk of an abandoned car. When the police got to the bottom of it, they found that she’d overdosed on drugs and her companions stuffed her in the trunk, parked the car on a quiet street, and walked away (I know. What is the matter with people?) rather than call 911. Except they abandoned the car in front of a retired homicide detective’s house. He recognized the smell and alerted the local PD in time for them to get fingerprint evidence that led them to solve the case.
Nichelle gets to explore some of these in her adventures, to keep the stories balanced. The abandoned casket is in FRONT PAGE FATALITY (which is on sale until midnight tonight for 99 cents in all ebook formats) and there are a few fun asides in my new novel, BURIED LEADS, too. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and happy reading.

When an Armani-clad corpse turns up in the woods, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke smells a scoop. A little digging, and Nichelle uncovers a web of corruption that stretches all the way to Washington, D.C. Politics. Murder. And a dead lobbyist. It’s everything Nichelle’s ever dreamed of.

The cops are playing it close, the feds even closer, and Nichelle’s afraid her boss will assign the story to the political desk any day. Richmond’s new ATF SuperCop makes an arrest before she can say “Louboutin,” but Nichelle’s gut says he’s got the wrong guy.

Her sexy Mafia boss friend warns her off the case, her TV rival is hot on her designer heels, an ambitious copy editor wants her beat, and victims are piling up faster than she can track them down. As Nichelle zeroes in on the truth, it’ll take some fancy footwork to nab this headline before the killer nabs her.



About LynDee Walker

LynDee Walker grew up in the land of stifling heat and amazing food most people call Texas, and wanted to be Lois Lane from the time she could say the words “press conference.” An award-winning journalist, she traded cops and deadlines for burp cloths and onesies when her oldest child was born. Writing the Headlines in Heels mysteries gives her the best of both worlds. Her debut novel, Front Page Fatality (A Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels Mystery), is an amazon new humor #1 bestseller. LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel. You can visit her online at www.lyndeewalker.com.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

25 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting the tour today! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lyndee for such a great post!

      Delete
  2. I love cozy mysteries. Thank you for sharing Deborah and LynDee :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for being part of this tour!

    ReplyDelete
  4. In my former life, before I got seduced by a decent living wage and regular holidays, I was a reporter. I gravitate to mysteries featuring reporters, it's a natural fit. I didn't care for the crime beat (although the cops and fire fighters would call me on my day off so I'd come cover stories because they disliked the regular police reporter so much) but I did cover it. I preferred the meet-your-neighbor features. I'd still be a reporter, if I could make a living at it. The plot description of this book is interesting - I like the element of danger with the Mafia boss friend. Count me in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise, it truly doesn't pay the bills that well and the hours are murder. Both big reasons I'm very happy writing fiction and being a mommy these days. I also loved writing features, though I didn't get to do it very often.

      Thanks for stopping in, and hope you enjoy the book! :)

      Delete
  5. Love the great post. This book sounds so interesting, fascinating and intriguing. Looking forward to reading it.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Barbara! I hope you enjoy it! :)

      Delete
    2. Congratulations Barbara - you are our winner!

      Delete
  6. Do you have to make your own enchiladas in Virginia, or have you found a good restaurant that serves them? Originally from NM, my sister had a hard time finding Mexican food when she first moved east. Of course, that was several (many) years ago.
    I think a reporter that gets mixed up in mystery is a perfect heroine. And all her adventures should be great reading. I'm rearing to get started with the series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Donna! I'm so glad you're excited to read and I hope you enjoy the books. If you don't have the first one (Front Page Fatality), the e-book versions are all on sale for 99 cents through today!

      Ah, Virginia enchiladas. They can't touch Texas ones, unless I can get to a Texas-based chain like Chuy's, Abuelo's, or On the Border. I'm too lazy to make them, though. Very labor-intensive food, enchiladas. So we've found a nearby mom and pop Mexican restaurant that makes decent ones, and they use the most amazing queso blanco there, it makes up for the lack of spice.

      I do make my own salsa, though. ;)

      Delete
  7. Love mysteries. Always looking for new authors...can't wait to read :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Angie! Hope you enjoy it! :)

      Delete
  8. Great post. I loved heard the real life stories and now at need to read your made up ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kim! It was a fun career, but fictional bereaved people are definitely easier to deal with. :) I hope you enjoy the books!

      Delete
  9. I just went on Amazon to buy Front Page Fatalities. I can attest that Nichelle is a great character (and I love the mafia love interest). I hope this series goes on for a very long time, they're so much fun to read and the mystery is great too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kerry, thanks so much! And thank you for the LOVELY review of Leads on CE. It made my week! I'm so glad you like Nichelle. Hope you enjoy seeing where it all starts. Next up: Christmas at Graceland. With drag queens and a thief. Not a long wait, either, out Dec. 10! :)

      Delete
  10. I think humor gets us through a great deal in life! so glad I can laugh at myself! Sounds like a great book! Thanks , Rhonda
    rhonda_nash_hall (AT) comcast (DOT) net

    ReplyDelete
  11. Cozies are so much fun--and reporters are good amateur sleuths---I think I will enjoy this book.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just love the storyline and this is a book I would enjoy very much.

    cenya2 at Hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Our contest winner is Barbara. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete