Thanks for having me, Melissa! I’ll take a tall mocha with double whip and a kitty. Speaking of double, my crime caper DOUBLE WHAMMY’s birthday is just four days away, so I’ll take a party hat with my mocha. And one for the kitty, please.
In a nutshell, or in a pitching elevator, as it were, Davis Way thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she lands a job at the fabulous Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, where she runs straight into her ex-ex husband, a rigged casino game, her evil twin, and a trail of dead bodies. Davis learns the truth and it does not set her free—in fact, it lands her in the pokey. Buried under mountains of mistaken identity, unable to seek help from her family, her luck seems to have run out when her landlord Bradley Cole steps in. Make that her landlord, lawyer, and love interest. Together they find the answers.
A mystery about casino gambling? Really? Yes. Let me pull a few numbers out of my party hat. According to the American Gaming Association, in 2011, U.S. commercial casinos:
- Employed 339,093 people
- Paid wages of 12.9 billion
- Contributed 7.93 billion in direct gaming taxes
That year, U.S. consumers spent 10.2 billion at the movies and 35.65 billion in casinos. It’s crazy fun entertainment. Forty eight states have some form of legalized gambling, every mainland American is within a three-hour drive of a casino, and it’s a big, big deal. I say some casino gambling fiction is in order.
So, Janet Evanovich, you ask? Yes, and what a blurb. I’m humbled and grateful. Yes, I know her. Many years ago, the year Janet did her SEVEN UP tour, a very good friend of mine and I, huge fans, decided we wanted to go to a book signing. Let’s meet this woman who keeps us in stitches. None of the tour stops were even close to our homes in Tennessee, so we chose one in a state neither of us had set foot in—Vermont. It was at a lovely indie bookstore, a stone bridge and a state line away from the Dartmouth campus, for a small, reservations-only gathering of the first thirty or forty registrants. We made the list. Janet was curious as to how boring our lives were that we would travel that far to meet her, so after the signing we joined her for a lovely dinner at an equally lovely bed and breakfast adjacent to the bookstore. I’ll skip the next fifteen years and just say we’ve stayed in touch. And one more thing—she’s a rock star.
Some scoop about me? (Big yawn.) I’ll share a few potpourri things I love to know about other writers. I began writing at a crossroad in my life; my youngest started Kindergarten the same week my oldest left for college. I have a tattoo. I collect first-editions, among them, a signed, first John Steinbeck. I adore Carl Hiaasen’s and Richard Castle’s work. To offset all the time at my desk, I work out six days a week. I’ve had two agents. The first after (not kidding) 200 queries, and she represented my first four manuscripts, all narrative fiction. Tomes. Forever on my hard drive. After throwing in that towel, I took a year off to hang out in bookstores, casinos, and on the sofa with a good mystery. I read 183 cozies-whodunits-thrillers that year. I sat back down at the computer, wrote Double Whammy in four months, and signed with the magnificent Stephany Evans of FinePrint Literary Management a few days after sending out my fifth query. Sometimes it just clicks. The next Davis Way crime caper, DOUBLE DIP, will be out this November, 2013, Henery Press. (Smooches to the Hens!) This kitty has destroyed his party hat. Thanks for having me, Melissa. Happy reading and writing!
Thank you so much, Melissa. Love your site! Love the kitties!
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