Grounds for Murder: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery by Tara Lush launched December 8
Visit all the stops on her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!
Author Interview + Rafflecopter Giveaway!
Grounds for Murder
Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B0871KTTMC
When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed.
In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.
Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.
With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer.
After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?
To purchase the book, click on any of the following links: AMAZON – KOBO – BARNES AND NOBLE – ITUNES – INDIEBOUND
Author Interview—Tara Lush
You and your protagonist—Lana Lewis—share a history in journalism. What other characteristics do you share?
I think Lana and I both share a deep skepticism about everything. There’s a saying in journalism that goes, “if your mother says she loves you, check it out,” and nowhere is this more accurate than Florida. It’s a sunny place for shady people, and one always has to be suspicious that people aren’t telling the truth, especially during interviews.
Lana is a little younger than me, so she’s probably a bit more idealistic than I am.
Your latest cozy mystery, Grounds for Murder, combines a few of my favorite things: Coffee, beaches, and dogs. How did you come up with the idea for beachside, coffee-flavored murder?
I also write romance, and many of those stories are set in Florida. There’s something about setting books in my home state—it’s quirky and funny and not to mention easy! So when I began writing my cozy, I wanted to take a page from some well-known Florida fiction authors, like Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey. But I didn’t want the sharp edges of those books, so I set my cozy in a beautiful coffee shop, on a gorgeous tropical island.
I’m also a coffee lover, and took a coffeehouse tour in my city. The details I learned during that tour were so fascinating, I knew I had to work them into a book somehow!
Also, I wanted readers to feel as though they’re dropped into a tropical paradise while reading.
Tell us about Stanley:
Stanley is a six-month-old Shih Tzu puppy. He’s actually the pet of the victim in Grounds for Murder, but the heroine, Lana, becomes so attached to him that she adopts him after the victim is found dead.
Personality-wise, Stanley is a mash-up of my two dogs, Gigi and Dino. Gigi’s a Shih Tzu with a ton of energy. Dino is a Tibetan Spaniel who loves to cuddle and sleep in.
Are your own dogs excellent distractions to writing or are they supportive co-workers?
My dogs are extremely supportive co-workers. Dino especially enjoys stretching out next to me on the sofa while I write. They also love everything I read aloud to them, and never criticize my stories. I’d say they are my best readers!
What was it like to be an Amtrak fellow?
It was INCREDIBLE. In January of 2017, I traveled from Florida, to New York, to Chicago, then to San Francisco, Los Angeles and finally, New Orleans. I stopped and stayed overnight in many of those places, and visited friends and family.
The stretch from Chicago to San Francisco was the most stunning, because we went through snow-covered mountains and the scenery was so different than what I’m used to in Florida. I had a sleeper car with a big window, and I sat in my cabin and wrote for long stretches of time.
I highly recommend cross-country train tours for authors. It was incredibly inspiring, and the book I finished on that trip went on to final in RWA’s RITA awards.
Something about the rhythm of the train, combined with the fact that for large swaths of the country there’s no wifi, makes for a highly productive trip.
What are you working on now?
I am working on edits of the second book in my Coffee Lover’s cozy mystery series, and am about to begin plotting the third book in that series.
Words of Wisdom for aspiring writers:
Read. Read in your genre, and outside of your genre. Read widely and often. Read narrative non-fiction from magazines and newspapers. Just read.
Your dogs are adorable! So great to have all of you on my blog! Congratulations on the launch of your latest novel.
Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award-winning journalist.
For the past decade, she’s been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics.
She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.
To learn more about Tara, click on her name, photo or any of the following links: Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram
Visit all the stops on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Grounds for Murder!
December 8 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Maureen’s Musings – RECIPE POST
December 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 10 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
December 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
December 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 12 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
December 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
December 14 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE POST
December 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – eBook Addicts – RECIPE POST
December 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
December 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Elena Taylor is the author of All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio book format at all your favorite on-line retailers. And don’t forget many independent bookstores can order books for you and have them shipped to your home or for curbside pickup.
For more information on All We Buried, click on the link here to visit the home page.