Showing posts with label Picture Not Perfect. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Picture Not Perfect. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"Picture Not Perfect" by D. E. Haggerty


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Picture Not Perfect
(The Not So Reluctant Detectives Book 2)
by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect (The Not So Reluctant Detectives Book 2) by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect, the second book in The Not So Reluctant Detectives series by D. E. Haggerty, has just been released and is currently ON SALE for only $0.99.


Also available in this series: Finders, Not Keepers (read my blog post).

Finders, Not Keepers by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, a guest post by the author, an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.



Description
A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?
When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.
Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?


Excerpt
Chapter 1
There once was a creepy dude
“I’m not sure how gentrification will get more students to read,” Mel complained as she shelved yet another book. Why had she agreed to help her friend re-shelve the entire library? Oh yeah, because she would be getting a nice little bonus in her next paycheck. Usually, she had two days off during parent-teacher conferences. As the school guidance counselor, she didn’t teach classes. This year, however, her friend Terri who was the school librarian had convinced her to help out in the library for two days. It was the evening of the second day and Mel was beyond bored. She didn’t understand how her friend could get excited by books. She wasn’t a reader. Sitting still was not an activity she did unless forced.
“Not gentrification. Genrefication.” Terri corrected.
“Genrefication?” Mel chuckled. “Now you’re just making up words.”
Terri grabbed her arm. “You’re getting crabby. Time for a break.” Mel opened her mouth to deny she was crabby but stopped herself. If being crabby bought her a chance for a break from the endless boredom of shelving books, she could be crabby. Judging by the number of books still stacked on the floor, they were going to be here a while.
“Genrefication is the organization of books by type instead of using the Dewey Decimal system,” Terri explained as they sat down at the big table at the front of the library. Amongst the litter from the remains of their lunch was a freshly brewed pot of coffee.
“Uh-huh,” Melanie mumbled as she poured herself a huge cup of coffee. Terri may be her best friend in the world, but when she started to speak library geek, Melanie tuned her out.
“I know you’re not paying any attention to me, but I don’t care. The library is going to be awesome. Students are going to be able to find books they want to read easier. Everyone’s going to be reading more.” Terri rubbed her hands in excitement.
Melanie hoped her friend was right since Terri had been working her butt off. She’d spent the past month re-cataloging and assigning a genre to all the fiction titles in the library. Then, she’d made new labels for each book before creating signage for all the genres. Huh, looks like she didn’t tune out Terri’s library geek speak the entire time after all.
“And,” Terri waggled her eyebrows, “how’s Owen?”
Melanie huffed. Terri had been nagging her about her ex-boyfriend, Owen, for the past month. She’d rather listen to library geek speak than talk about her ex. “We’ve haven’t gone out yet.” Which Terri knew since she asked Mel the same question every single day. Talk about a broken record.
“Really? It’s been a month since you promised to go out with him.”
Melanie had agreed to go on a date with Owen after he provided her with information she’d needed to help Terri solve a murder. With his police connections, he’d been able to find the address of some goons who’d chased them. It was a long story. “It’s not my fault. He’s been busy.” She may claim she didn’t want to go out with the man, but she was more than a bit miffed he didn’t seem to have time for her.
“Busy? Doing what?”
Mel shrugged. She had no idea, and it was literally driving her crazy. First, the man bugged the heck out of her insisting she agree to a date, and then he dropped her. Well, he didn’t completely drop her. He still sent her text messages a few times a day, but he didn’t seem to have the time to take her to dinner. She couldn’t wait to get the entire obligation over with. The waiting was killing her!
“He must be busy. The man is majorly into you.” Terri waggled her eyebrows again. She looked completely ridiculous, and Mel couldn’t help but laugh. “Uh oh, incoming.”
Mel turned to look out the glass windows covering the entire front of the high school library. She watched as Alfred Schultz, the social sciences teacher, walked to the entrance. “Please tell me you locked the door,” Mel’s words were muffled as she tried to speak without moving her lips.
“Of course, it’s locked,” Terri whispered before shouting. “We’re closed, Mr. Schultz. I’ll be open tomorrow.” She smiled and waved as he nodded in acknowledgment. “Now, walk away, creepy dude.”
Mel and Terri watched as he backed up and slowly walked past the glass windows keeping his eyes locked on Mel who held her breath until he was out of sight.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
Picture Not Perfect was a page-turner. I couldn’t help but enjoy the second chance at love.” ~ My Reading Journeys
Picture Not Perfect was twisty, angst-ridden for Melanie (and reader), with some hot topic contemporary big issues (stalking and instances of inappropriate or overbearing police behavior), and I was kept turning the pages rapidly, too engrossed to stop reading.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
“I loved the book and the mystery portion because I did not suspect the killer until the clues were all revealed at the end and it was quite a surprise how it all came together.” ~ Storeybook Reviews


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
This is the second book in the series. This time we follow school counselor Melanie, who is trying to sort out her relationship with ex-boyfriend Owen. When a teacher at her school is murdered, and numerous photos of Melanie are found in his home, she comes under suspicion by the police. Of course, when Owen (who just happens to be a police officer) says to Melanie, “You are not going to investigate this murder,” you just know she will. Especially given the success she had in solving a mystery with best friend Terri in the previous book. This time, they enlist the help of Pru, the new English lit teacher. Melanie is a cute character, but with her abundance of energy and her recklessness (“I’ll wing it”), she’s bound to get them all in trouble. As their list of suspects grows steadily, I was left guessing, and so will you!
Warnings: murder, sex scene, sexual references.


Some of My Favorite Lines
“She didn’t understand how her friend could get excited by books. She wasn’t a reader. Sitting still was not an activity she did unless forced.”
“Apparently, being creepy wasn’t an offense.”
“She wasn’t going to ruin her shoes to prove a point.”
“Maybe you should watch less television and read a book sometime.”
Home. Owen’s lips on hers again felt like home.”
“If women still swooned, Melanie would be on the floor right now.”
“Maybe yoga wasn’t a good idea. Nope. Yoga was always a good idea.”

Guest Post by the Author
How the Title Picture Not Perfect Was Born
Sometimes writing a book seems like the easiest part of being a writer. Like when you have to figure out a title for one of your manuscripts. I swear I could write another book in the time it takes me to settle on a title. Slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean. Titles for books in a series are even more difficult. At least in my case, that’s true as I like the idea of keeping the titles or at least the style of the titles similar.
The first book in The Not So Reluctant Detectives series is Finders, Not Keepers. The name is a play on the expression ‘finders, keepers’. As I used a common expression for the first book in the series, I thought using an expression for the second book would be fun. But what expression?
I spent days, hours, weeks combing the internet for common expressions. Seriously, I spent more time than I should have. First, I wanted to find a children’s rhyme as ‘finders, keepers’ is not only a saying, but it’s a common rhyme in schoolyards everywhere:
Finders, Keepers
Losers, Weepers
I gave this up after spending entirely too much time on parenting websites. Who knew there were so many websites for parents? Not this childless lady, I tell you.
I went back to common expressions. I wanted to use an expression that had something to do with how things are not as they seem. The kern of the story behind Picture Not Perfect is how police detectives accuse the heroine of murder as she was being stalked. The accusation is based upon pictures the detectives found of the heroine at the murder scene. This led me to the expression “every picture tells a story”. According to the Cambridge dictionary, this expression is used when what has really happened in a situation is clear because of the way that someone or something looks.
But what if a picture tells a story that isn’t true? I could hardly title the novel Every picture tells a story, but is it the truth? That’s a bit long for a title and my graphic designer would kill me for making him figure out how to put a title that long on a book cover.
What about other sayings involving pictures? Maybe there was one I could use that wasn’t quite the mouthful of Every picture tells a story, but is it the truth? ‘Picture perfect’ is another common saying, but again the meaning of the saying didn’t fit with the story. That’s when I had my a-ha! moment. I could – just like with the previous title in the series – add a ‘not’ to the saying.
I ended up with the title Picture Not Perfect. Not only does the title match the previous title in style, but it’s nice and short, and hints at the book’s story. Phew.

About the Author
D. E. Haggerty
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed.
College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.
After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law.
But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul, where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.
But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

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