Hi there, we’re Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth, and we’ve written a book together! If you like romantic comedies with a heavy dose of sarcasm and swearing, all wrapped around a murder mystery with more than a few twists and turns, we think you’ll really like our book, Murder Most Lovely – Lacetown Mysteries Case One. The book is available right now for pre-order in e-book and paperback on Dreamspinner Press’s site as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
We’ve been friends for several years, and have both written gay romance in a variety of genres, including contemporary, paranormal, and romantic comedies. One cold night back in early February, 2018, Deanna had a few drinks and ended up sending Hank a Facebook message that read: “Full disclosure: I’m drinking tonight lol… but I think we should write a book together. #Justsayin.”
Some more back and forth followed, and soon we were working through the plot on Google Docs. The end result was the first book in a planned trilogy about a sassy and sexy hair stylist, Jasper “Jazz” Dilworth, who meets the reserved and very dirty-minded Michael Fleishman, the only mortician in small lakeside Lacetown, Michigan, and the county coroner as well. The first book, Murder Most Lovely, details how Jazz and Michael meet, go on ill-fated dates, and end up embroiled in a grisly murder mystery.
Once we had the plot sort of hashed out, we needed a locale. We’re both mid-westerners, so we decided to place our fictional small town of Lacetown in western Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. After some discussion about where the funeral home was located in comparison to the police station and the hair salon, we each did hand-drawn maps of the town layout and then took pictures of them and shared them in Google Docs. Old school meets new school.
While we had our heroes and our victim, we needed a foil. Not really a murderer, but someone to clash with our heroes as they worked to solve the case. And so the town sheriff, Hilton Musgrave, was born, and he quickly took on a life of his own. We decided that he and Michael went to high school together where Hilton played football and sometimes picked on Michael. Now that they’re older, it’s difficult for Hilton to break out of old habits, and he tends to pick on Michael and Jazz throughout the investigation. One of Hilton’s most used phrases in the book is “Don’t leave town,” and Jazz starts to say it before the sheriff can, which earns him more than a few dirty looks and surly remarks.
With all of that figured out, we knew something else was missing. Both of us are animal lovers, and we realized one of them needed a pet. The most logical choice was Michael since he owned a home and worked at the funeral parlor right next door. We agreed he was more of a cat person than a dog person, and the amazing Mr. Pickles Furryton the Third came to be. Mr. Pickles is a fat black and white cat who Michael carries back and forth between his house and the funeral home. Mr. Pickles has the run of the funeral home (not the basement, however, where the embalming takes place), and sometimes acts as a therapy cat for people who are grieving.
Mr. Pickles had a lot of personality, and soon we realized he needed to play a larger part in the story. At one point, Mr. Pickles is cat-napped and held for ransom, a twist that leaves Michael in deep anguish. But then he and Jazz work with the sheriff and his deputies to get Mr. Pickles back, during which time the sheriff grumbles about doing all of this for a mangy cat, to which Michael states with more than a little edge that his cat does not have mange!
The steel in Michael’s voice really turns Jazz on. Seeing as how this is an erotic romance, when Jazz and Michael finally manage to find time and opportunity to be alone together, they are happy to discover they are more than a good match. The sex is romantic and steamy, and the two are quickly smitten with each other. To be honest, Deanna and Hank are more than a bit smitten as well.
But, back to the mystery! With each clue they uncover, Jazz and Michael are pulled deeper into the mystery until they suddenly find themselves in way over their heads. Luckily, we have ideas for at least two more mysteries for them to solve, so they live to see their HEA, but it is well-earned.
Speaking of other books planned, we recently submitted the second book in the series to Dreamspinner Press for consideration. This book is titled Murder Most Deserving – Lacetown Mysteries Case Two, and finds Jazz and Michael working with Sheriff Musgrave to solve murders that hit a bit too close to home for their comfort. Stay tuned for details on that book, but for now, grab your copy of Murder Most Lovely – Lacetown Murder Mysteries Case One in e-book or paperback. Continue reading “Blog Tour ~ Murder Most Lovely by Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth (Guest Post+Review+Giveaway)”