Wreath
December 4
Day 4

Sue Ann Jaffarian

I first met Sue Ann Jaffarian on Twitter. Our second meeting was at another author's book signing. The third was at her own book signing for CORPSE ON THE COB, the fifth book in her popular Odelia Grey mystery series.

Odelia is a plus-sized paralegal living in Los Angeles and happens to have a flair for finding mysterious situations (not to mention dead bodies). When I heard the premise of CORPSE ON THE COB, I was intrigued, and despite not having read the first four books in the series, I plunged right in. Odelia goes to Massachusetts to confront her mother, absent from her life for 34 years, and happens to find her bent over a dead body in the middle of a corn maze.

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CORPSE ON THE COB was such a fun read I scrambled to get the first in the series, TOO BIG TO MISS. It's high on next year's to-be-read bookshelf.

As it happens, Odelia Grey is not the only series Sue Ann writes. She also pens the GHOST OF GRANNY APPLES mysteries and the FANG IN CHEEK vampire novels. The first in the series, MURDER IN VEIN, is another novel I had the good fortune to enjoy this year, and if vampires are your thing, definitely put it on your list.

Sue Ann was kind enough to answer some questions to celebrate 25 Days of Books:

1) You are currently writing three series. C'mon, be honest: which one is the most fun to write? (No fair saying you love all your children equally).

Right now, I'd have to say the vampire mysteries are the most fun to write. They are so removed from reality and are darker and sexier than my other series, and it's great to exercise those writing muscles.

2) What trait(s) do you share with Odelia? What about your newest heroine, Madison Rose?

I share a lot of traits with Odelia. First of all we're both middle-aged, plus size paralegals. We're both loyal, determined, pig headed and given to sarcasm. In writing Madison Rose, I trot out my insecurities such as lack of trust and skepticism. She's also had a very rough life and while mine was nothing like hers (thankfully!) it sometimes allows me to tap into my deep inner feelings to round her out.

3) When does the next Odelia Grey book come out?

Twice As Dead will be out June 2011!

4) What is your perfect meal, beverage included?

Wow, that's a tough one since it depends on my mood at the moment. But overall, I have to say, a nice heavy beer, ceasar salad, and a fabulous pepperoni and mushroom pizza with extra cheese and a thin-ish crust and all the calories magically sucked out.

5) How will you be spending the holidays this year?

Quietly, as I usually do, with a nice meal and good music. And with my fingers pounding out the 3rd Granny Apples book.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me, Sue Ann!

If you're buying books as gifts this holiday season, please consider purchasing from your local independent bookshop. The level of customer service you'll receive is unmatched, you'll have the added benefit of making new friends of the staff, and you'll help support a local business.

Books featured in this post can be purchased from the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles (orders@mystery-bookstore.com).

Wreath

December 2
Day Two

Sophie Littlefield

I was first introduced to Sophie Littlefield's novel, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY, at a writer's conference. Sophie's agent was there, and she couldn't stop talking about the book. She was so enthusiastic, I knew I had to read it.

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I wasn't disappointed. A BAD DAY FOR SORRY is the first in a series featuring Stella Hardesty, an unlikely heroine who uses some unconventional methods to find justice but entices you to root for her from page one of the first book, right through to the last page in the second book, A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY.

Sophie's BAD DAY has become a series I look forward to with the same anticipation I have for Sue Grafton's ABC books. There is no higher praise than that! And I'm not the only one who likes A BAD DAY FOR SORRY. It was nominated for six first novel awards and won the Anthony Award for best first novel.

Fresh off a December 1 book deadline, Sophie was kind enough to answer some questions for me:

1) What was your first published novel, and is it the first novel you wrote?

A BAD DAY FOR SORRY was my first published, but the 9th I wrote.

2) How long did it take you to write (the first pubbed novel)

…and I wrote it in what can only be described as a six-week temper tantrum after being rejected a couple hundred times on the ones that came before.

3) Name one quality that Stella Hardesty has that you share.

Fierce, unstoppable determination! Also known as "headstrong" 🙂

4) When does the next book in the "BAD DAY" series come out?

The third in the series, A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL, will be out in June 2011.

5) How will you be celebrating the holidays this year?

I spent Thanksgiving eating grocery-store dinner and worrying about the book that was due December 1, so I am planning to take December off and spend it baking cookies and wrapping presents and singing christmas tunes and basically being kind of like a whisky-soaked Norman Rockwell apparition.

Thanks for stopping by, Sophie!

If that wasn't enough Sophie Littlefield for you, Sophie is having a book giveaway at her blog:

Win My Books!

Win a book for yourself or a gift, and Sophie will even show off her mad wrapping skills by gift wrapping it for you.

If you're buying books as gifts this holiday season, please consider purchasing from your local independent bookshop. The level of customer service you'll receive is unmatched, you'll have the added benefit of making new friends of the staff, and you'll help support a local business.

Books featured in this post can be purchased from the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles (orders@mystery-bookstore.com).