Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"Oh Holy Fright" by Teresa Trent


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Oh Holy Fright
(Pecan Bayou Series Book 8)
by Teresa Trent

Oh Holy Fright (Pecan Bayou Series Book 8) by Teresa Trent

Oh Holy Fright, the eighth book in the Pecan Bayou Series by Teresa Trent, is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. You can also get the book FREE today only! Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on Color Me Dead and my blog post on Murder of a Good Man.

Description
It’s Christmas in Pecan Bayou, Texas. Join Betsy (aka The Happy Hinter) for a good old small-town Christmas complete with Christmas carols, over the top light displays, delicious food, loving friends and … a Christmas Creeper. One of the residents of Pecan Bayou has a secret and you’d better lock the door because that isn’t Santa out there or even a stray elf. Enjoy spending Christmas with the town and family you’ve come to know in the Pecan Bayou Series.
Recipes and helpful hints included!


Excerpt
“What would possess Joe Nelson to give the Christmas solo to a woman who sings like a washing machine full of rocks?” Aunt Maggie’s voice echoed in the community center gym, the location hosting many of the neighborhood churches for the Christmas Eve service. Her attitude was in direct contrast to Rudolph’s blinking nose on her fire engine red Christmas sweatshirt.
“Ooh. You better watch out,” Danny whispered in my ear. “When Mama says words like that, it’s best to look busy.” I had just picked up Danny from the Christmas party for people with disabilities held at his adult care center. Today he seemed especially happy for some reason. And from the way he kept giggling, I could tell Danny had a secret he was bursting to tell me.
“Joe!” Aunt Maggie called out.
The choir director, who was busily engaged in a conversation with Enid Sanford—solo-stealer and owner of the voice that sounded like a washing machine full of rocks—didn’t respond.
“Joe!” she bellowed.
When he failed to respond a second time, she stomped back, turned him around by the shoulders, and plopped her slender black music folder into his hands.
“Take it. I can’t sing in a choir where my voice isn’t heard.”
I had to admit, Maggie was one of the better singers in the holiday choir. Some of the other vocalists possessed lesser talent. One time when I was watching Joe’s friend Howard Gunther at the soundboard, I noticed he was turning down certain microphones. It was wonderful these people volunteered, but some of the singers could be described as cats screeching in the night. Enid Sanford was one of those people; when she hit the high C, it could make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Leaving an astonished Joe, Maggie returned to us. “Well, that’s it. You’re hearing it right here and now. I am quitting the Pecan Bayou Singers. They can jingle their bells with somebody else.”
Lester Jibbets, a tall wiry man with protruding cheekbones and the owner of the most successful port-a-potty business in Central Texas, walked over waving a bony hand. “I totally agree, Maggie. What happened here is nothing short of criminal. It will ruin the Christmas Eve performance, uh huh.” He nodded his head to reinforce his point.
“Thanks, Lester,” Maggie said, about to continue her tirade, but Lester just kept talking.
“Yes, sir, I knew right away I needed to come over and help a beautiful lady in trouble, I did.” More nods.
“Thank you, Lester,” Maggie repeated, but this time she waited. Lester Jibbets was not an easy man to shut up once he got started. I guess the portable bathroom business is pretty lonely, even if you’re at the top of your game.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I enjoyed meeting Betsy, the ‘Happy Hinter’ and her family and friends living in Pecan Bayou.” ~ Carla Loves To Read
“Fast-paced and full of clues, this book can be enjoyed by all ages.” ~ Laura’s Interests
“If you want a funny and cute holiday-themed mystery, this is your book! Trust me, you will be as excited as I was to visit this book and series. It is light-hearted, fun and mysterious, just in time for Christmas!” ~ Bibliophile Reviews
“The Pecan Bayou Series brings cozy mysteries in the kind of town where readers wish they could live. Teresa Trent has a gentle writing style to keep her fans turning the pages in delight and intrigue.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
“I thought I had it all figured out and that it was too easy. I didn't and it wasn't.” ~ PRBC

Guest Post by the Author
Can You Write a Mystery?
How many times have you read a mystery and said to yourself, I could have written that! All I need is an amateur sleuth, a killer, and some other characters. Easy Peasy. It might be a different story when you sit down and try to actually put pen to paper.
Welcome to the great blank wall of storytelling.  
You can write a page, but thousands of words? Maybe not so simple.
So, here's my oversimplified method to help you get past the wall.
Make a list.
What is the crime?
It is best to start with this because your entire story is going to center around it. You can find some great ideas just reading your newspaper. or you can make something up yourself. Make sure it will be interesting to your readers.
Who are your characters?
Is this a cozy mystery or more of a thriller? A cozy mystery hero or heroine has to be beyond reproach. They can investigate, but they can't break any rules doing it. The main character in a thriller can feel free to break the rules. It just depends on the kind of character you have built.
Who are the other characters and or subplot that you can weave in with the crime-solving plot?
Supporting characters can help create subplots. These subplots become problems that will affect your main character, and they need an abundance of problems.
When you have all of this together, start making an outline. Then keep taking your outline to the next level until you can come up with a scene list. 
Read other books in your genre and outline them. I started out outlining Agatha Christie and was amazed how every character had a secret. I'm no Agatha, but I learned so much from her!
In Oh Holy Fright, I started with a crime story. (spoiler alert) I read about a mailman in Italy who died, and they found tons of mail in his garage. From there the characters, subplots and mystery progressed.
As I said before, this is oversimplified, but it gives you an idea of how to get started writing your mystery. Good luck!

About the Author
Teresa Trent
Teresa Trent writes humorous cozy mysteries that take place in the small towns of Texas. Her Pecan Bayou Series features Betsy, the town’s helpful hints columnist who seems to spend a lot of time getting out blood stains. Teresa’s Piney Woods Series with Camel Press takes place in an East Texas hotel and features Nora, a redhead with an eye for crime.
Teresa loves to feature other cozy authors and cozy giveaways on her blog.


Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

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