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Monday, March 13, 2017

REVIEW and AUTHOR Q&A: Getting off on Frank Sinatra by Megan Edwards

Getting off on Frank Sinatra
My rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Imbrifex / Smith Publicity
Publishes March 14, 2017

Take a look below for a synopsis of the story, my review and a Q&A with the author (provided by Smith Publicity).

From the back of the cover:  Aspiring journalist Copper Black has just found out that her boyfriend is responsible for his not-quite-ex-wife's pregnancy.  An unexpected house-sitting job at a notorious Vegas "party house" should provide much-needed distraction, but Copper's summer takes a turn for the worse when she discovers the dead body of a local philanthropist behind a door she should never have opened.  As she tries to solve the murder, deal with her family, advance her career, and sort out her love life, Copper stirs up a world of trouble.  Her efforts to foil a sociopath, evade a suspicious homicide detective, and trap a killer make Getting off on Frank Sinatra a nonstop roller coaster of a read.
Review:  Read in one-sitting, this is a delightful, fun and entertaining read from start to finish.  As a habitual visitor to Las Vegas it was fun to read a book in this setting and learn more about the history and backdrop of one of the most exciting places in the United States.  Copper is quite the fun character - she misplaces her phone more than any person that I know and clearly doesn't make the best decisions re her love life... this is real life people!  I'm utterly fascinated with the house she agrees to sit and now want to take on meat-eating plants and tortoises! 

While I didn't feel the story was very suspenseful or twisty, it kept me turning the pages and I fell in love with Copper Black (what a cool name).  She certainly has a lot to deal with between her exes, new interests, parents and their complex lives, the situations she gets herself in and maintaining her career.  This is a fantastic read for those looking for a lighter mystery that will make you smile, shake your head and learn more about Sin City.  I rated this solely based on entertainment value.  What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there, no matter what you think. 😉

Author Q&A

1.    What is your name and where can you be found? Website, Facebook, Twitter

Megan Edwards

2.    Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you do for fun?

Road trips! I’ve been a road trip junkie all my life. After my house burned down in a wildfire, I spent nearly seven years on an extended road trip all over The U.S. and Canada. Not only was it a wonderful experience, it provided me with settings and characters to last a lifetime. I wouldn’t have burned my house down to make it happen, but I am thankful to have had such an unusual opportunity to explore North America.

These days, my road trips are shorter, but I’m fortunate to live in a city surrounded by fabulous natural wonders and western history. Even two hours is enough time for a road trip to someplace cool, and a weekend offers world-class possibilities: Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion, Lake Tahoe, and the list goes on.

3.    How long have you been writing? How many books have you written – including those unpublished?

I began my professional writing career 18 years ago with a newspaper column that I wrote for five years. I’m the author of a three published books and three unpublished ones. Getting off on Frank Sinatra is my first published novel. Two more of my novels will be released this year. Full Service Blonde, a prequel to Getting off on Frank Sinatra, will be released in November.  Strings: A Love Story is the tale of star-crossed lovers and a very expensive violin. It’s due out in September.

4.    What genres do you like to write about? Do you also read those same genres?

I like thrillers and mysteries. I read those genres along with others, and I also enjoy nonfiction.

5.    Why did you write your book? Is it inspired by true events?

I came to Las Vegas in 1999 to do research on a novel I had begun writing. The main character was from Las Vegas, and I wanted to avoid basing her on clichéd stereotypes. I thought I could learn everything I needed to know in six weeks, but Las Vegas had other plans. Within a week, I realized the city was nothing like what I expected. Six months later, I was moving into my new home in a city I never dreamed I’d love.

I wanted to write a novel that reflected my experience getting to know Las Vegas. It surprised and enchanted me back then, and it still is, even after seventeen years. Although the story is fictional, some events, settings, and characters were inspired by real ones.

6.    How did you begin your project? Did you write outlines and character profiles, jump right in or focus on one section at a time?

I decided on the general arc of the story I wanted to tell and did some outlining. I profiled the major characters. Everything always morphs as I write, but I do like having a basic map when I start out.

7.    Where do you like to write? Do you have a “ritual” you do before writing?

I like to write at my desk in my home office, and I also enjoy writing at Grouchy John’s, a wonderful coffee house not far from my home. It’s filled with books, art, and friendly folks, and their cappuccino is fantastic.

I don’t have a precise ritual, but I do use tricks to get myself “primed.” Most often, I read what I wrote at my last session. That’s usually enough to get my motor running. If it doesn’t, I force myself to type a sentence—any sentence. Then I make myself type another one. It’s sort of like starting a lawn mower. I keep yanking that chain until the motor catches. Sooner or later, it always does. I’m grateful for the days when it starts on its own!

8.    What is your next project?

I’m working on the novel that first brought me to Las Vegas for what I thought would be six weeks of research. I finished it back then and got my first agent, but no publisher picked it up. I shelved the project, but I kept thinking about it. I dusted it off a few months ago, and I’m finishing up a draft of a whole new version. I was disappointed when it didn’t sell back in 2000, but now I’m happy about it. Some books need more baking time.

9.    Who do you ask first to look over your writing?

My husband has always been my greatest supporter and my harshest critic. I know I can trust him to tell me the truth, so he gets the first look.

10.  What is your favorite beverage and food to eat while writing?

I am a coffee lover. I usually don’t eat while writing, but if I do, I’ll likely munch on carrots or an apple. I’d eat popcorn, but I don’t like getting little pieces stuck in my keyboard.

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