Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Oaky With a Hint of Murder by Dawn Brotherton @RABTBookTours

 Eastover Treasures, Book 2

Cozy Mystery

Date to be Published: 12 Mar 2024

Publisher: Blue Dragon Publishing, LLC


Aury and Scott travel to the Finger Lakes in New York’s wine country to get to the bottom of the mysterious happenings at the Songscape Winery. Disturbed furniture and curious noises are one thing, but when a customer winds up dead, it’s time to dig into the details and see what ferments.

Is there any truth to the Native American legends that cluster near Seneca Lake? Is the warrior’s disapproval of wineries growing legs?

Aury will need to pour over the clues to unearth the mystery before the winery’s reputation is crushed. With the annual wine festival just around the corner, Aury harvests more than she bargained for when the killer tries to bottle her up for good.

Interview with Dawn Brotherton

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    I read a lot and sometimes a name just sticks with me. It may be years before the right character comes along to fit that name, but I’m patient. I also check baby name books for the correct time period, so I don’t use a name like Aury in the 1700s.

    Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    This is my 19th book and each one has an Easter egg that the reader may only pick up on if they follow me. They aren’t “secrets” as much as they are a nod to certain aspects of my personal life. Even people who don’t know me will be able to draw connections across the books as they get to know the characters I created and will pick up on some hidden threads.

    What was your hardest scene to write?

    I break into tears just reading the death notification scene in the second Jackie Austin book (Wind the Clock). I was trained to conduct notifications when I was a commander, but thankfully never had to accomplish in real life. Writing that scene brought the reality of that possibility too close, especially because my husband was a fighter pilot.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    The Eastover Treasures series will have the same main characters throughout: Aury, Scott, and Gran. Those characters will grow throughout the series, but each book can be read on its own. I get frustrated with books that don’t have an end. It makes me feel cheated as the reader. I love a good “tease” that makes me want more, but I don’t want to be unsatisfied with the ending.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    I wanted Aury and Scott to grow as a couple and to travel. I don’t want my series to be stuck in one place, where everyone who is associated with the main characters is subject to something bad happening. I enjoy writing about small towns but not being trapped in just one.

    What inspired you to write Oaky With a Hint of Murder?

    Before I finished the edits on Eastover Treasures, the first in the series, the Beta readers were already begging me for the next book. They wanted to get to know Scott and Aury better. My subconscious must have been working on it, because the seed was set at the end of Eastover. I didn’t really plan it.

    At the end of book one, Scott’s cousins invited Aury and Scott to visit them in the Finger Lakes to help get to the bottom of his haunted winery. I didn’t even realize where the dialogue was taking me, but here I am.

    My husband and I were stationed in Germany for three years; that’s where we learned to appreciate wine. It has become our hobby to try out new wineries when we travel. When our oldest daughter was at school at Cornell, we had the opportunity to explore the Finger Lakes and the many things they have to offer—including wine.

    Just like the setting for Eastover Treasures came to me when I was really on a quilt retreat, the Finger Lakes area proved to be the perfect, natural setting for Oaky.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in the Eastover Treasure Mysteries or what you have planned for the future?

    I don’t have a working title for the third book yet. Aury and Scott will be back at Eastover in Surry, Virginia. All the books in this series have some chapters set in the past. Eastover Treasures is the Civil War. Oaky is the late-1700s. For the third one, I’m researching Virginian legends for inspiration. I have a few scenes written and some only in my head, but it’s coming together. I will continue with this trend, so no research will go to waste. I know one book in the near future will take place on a cruise ship.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Oaky With a Hint of Murder?

    Aury St Clair is a quilter and a crafter. She’s inquisitive, loves to travel, and cares deeply. I prefer to think that I’m living my best life through her. She’s going to get to do some of the things I never had the chance to accomplish. I want to be like her when I grow up.

    Scott enjoys working outdoors with his hands. He tried the traditional 9-to-5 desk job, but it wasn’t working for him. Now, at Eastover, he’s reaping the benefits of his hard work and fulfilling his parents’ dream. His spontaneous nature makes him a good balance for Aury’s organized personality.

    Gran is the fun-loving, quirky grandmother who is encouraging and knowledgeable. Aury gets her sense of adventure from her.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    I don’t typically like history, but since writing Eastover Treasures, I have enjoyed studying. I get lost down rabbit holes while I’m chasing a lead. My characters ask questions, and I need to do research to get the answer. It’s such a fun way to learn new things. I find that while I’m writing dialogue, I’m not directing the conversation; I’m trying to keep up.

About the Author

Dawn Brotherton is an award-winning author of nineteen books and featured speaker at writing and publishing seminars. When it comes to exceptional writing, she draws on her experience as a colonel retired from the US Air Force as well as a softball coach and Girl Scout leader. Her variety of interests has led to a range of genres including mystery, romance, young adult fantasy, middle grade sports, picture book, and nonfiction. When she isn’t using her words, Dawn is in her craft room in Williamsburg, VA, quilting, painting, or taking online classes. Her affection for travel and all-things-crafty keeps her imagination in high gear for the next Eastover Treasure Mystery.


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Marcy Meyer said...

Sounds like a good mystery. Thanks for sharing.

traciem said...

Do you have plans for Valentine's Day?