We’re celebrating the release of CHALK LINES AND LIPSTICK by Ophelia London! Check out the excerpt and giveaway below!
Title: CHALK LINES AND LIPSTICK by Ophelia London
Age group: Adult
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Gemma Halliday
Scheduled to release: August 11, 2015
Maren Colepepper thought she had it all: a career at a fashion magazine, a successful boyfriend, and a glamorous New York lifestyle. She thought wrong. When her glamorous life suddenly goes belly up, Maren finds herself forced to take the only job she can find at a small town newspaper in the tiny northern California hometown she fled ten years ago.
While Maren expected her new job in no-wheres-ville to kill her with boredom, She never expected to be front row to a shooting on her very first day! Worse yet, Maren is knocked unconscious at the scene, and when she comes to, the body has gone missing and she’s been scooped by another reporter. Talk about a bad first impression. Now Maren is hot on the trail of the story of a lifetime, involving a shady lumber mill and the foresting of old-growth redwoods—a ginormous crime in her neck of the woods! Between her suddenly flirty new editor, her supremely hot new neighbor, and a lovably meddling family, Maren find small town life anything but boring. But if she can’t find the shooter before he strikes again, it may even become deadly!
Let’s talk about kissing…
My newest novel, Chalk Lines & Lipstick, is my first stab at a cozy mystery (pun obviously intended!) and is a bit of uncharted territory for this romance-writing chick. But after having ten romance novels published, I was ready for a new challenge.
However, I couldn’t seem to keep my cozy characters from making out!
The story is set in my hometown of Eureka, California. So we’re talking rain and fog and lots of dark and misty corners for mystery-ish things to happen. Thing is, whenever I put my characters in one of those corners, they went straight to making out. (You’re welcome!)
“Hey, I think that guy with the knife might want to kill me…but we better kiss for a while…”
See what I mean? Once I realized my romance crutch, I couldn’t bear to get rid of it. Because, let’s face it, kissing is totally awesome. Especially when it’s dark and public and rainy and you just…can’t…stop…yourself no matter what else is going on. Or wait, maybe that’s just me.
Either way, I’m thinking maybe I do have a bit of romance writing still left in me, and I will always defend the cozy make outs!
“‘I won’t allow any white, unrefined sugar in my house,’ Katie continued. ‘My children won’t touch it, which is wonderful because it absolutely dulls the hair, ruins the complexions, not to mention what it does to the shape of your body.’ She broke off, and seemed to be studying my face and hair. Evidently, my appearance was evidence of the evils of sugar.”
“It wasn’t a face-to-face breakup. While I was at work getting the ax, he emptied his one dresser drawer and left a note on the back of a Chinese takeout menu.”
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention my mother while you’re touching me there.”
I don’t often read cozy mysteries and for the life of me I don’t know why – I found Chalk Lines and Lipstick to be a light and easy read and nice change of pace from my usual fare. Maren Colepepper is a bit of a contradiction, but then again, most of us are. She is snoopy, witty, and ambitious, yet she is also somewhat naïve, easily distracted, resistant to warnings and directives, and allows an old high school “mean girl” to continue to bully her. I liked and cared for Maren, although I also found her a bit frustrating. I felt for her, she was humiliated and ashamed after a quick series of personal losses and forced to return to her hometown with her head down and broke, but there were also times when I wanted to give her a smack to the back of the head with my trusty kindle. The writing was humorous, easy to follow, and written from Maren’s personal POV. The plot was interesting, relevant, and realistic, although the story seemed to circle and kept me guessing with mixed messages as to whether her talented lipped neighbor was going to be a white hat good guy, or bad black hatter. The humor and writing are tame enough for my elderly mother’s book club, yet also entertained and held my attention.
Giveaway:a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she’s lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes.
Ophelia is the author of DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE; ABBY ROAD and CROSSING ABBY ROAD; the Perfect Kisses series including: FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER, PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE, and MAKING WAVES; and the upcoming AIMEE AND THE HEARTTHROB for Entangled’s Teen Crush. Visit her at www.ophelialondon.com, but don’t call when The Vampire Diaries (or Dawson’s Creek) is on.