Monday, November 18, 2013

Interview with Marianne Harden, Malicious Mischief Review

Welcome everyone! Today's stop is part of the Malicious Mischief Blog tour! I'm so happy to have Marianne Harden on the blog for an interview! Oooh, the questions I've asked. ;)  And, I have a review of Marianne's debut, Malicious Mischief! Stay around for the fun, and be sure to leave a comment! 

Tell me about yourself, and your writing. I’m Marianne Harden, a romantic mystery writer, as well as a California beach bum turned Washington State tree-hugger, world traveler, mother of two, stepmother to two more, devoted wife, aspiring artist, Starbucks aficionado, thrift store scavenger, and gym rat.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres? MALICIOUS MISCHIEF is my debut romantic mystery. Newbie.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre? I’d love to take a shot at Steampunk. It’s the bomb.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants? Both. I plot, then change direction, then re-plot, then change direction again. Dithering nincompoop.

What is a typical writing day like for you? I always seem to be working, between writing, plotting, marketing, and social media. Boring overachiever.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books? From old favorites like James Michener and James Clavell to current rock stars like Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovich.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year? Make a bestseller’s list. Dreaming big.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be? Clairvoyance. Spiritual advice needed.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have? Pegasus the winged horse. Oh, to fly on his back!

Tell us a little about your latest release. In Malicious Mischief, P.I. wannabe, Rylie Keyes must solve the mystery of a retirement home resident found dead in her care; all while juggling the attentions of two handsome police officers and meeting the madcap needs of pie-eating seniors.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members) My pillow. Side-sleeper.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write? Janet Evanovich. Hilarious mysteries. Dream gig.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them? President Harry Truman. Regarding his order to drop the atomic bomb, why begin a period in human history that can only end in eventual self-annihilation? Irrational.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing? Painting: oil & acrylic. Traveling. Gardening. Soothing.

What is something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet. Why not? Powered paragliding. Big scardy-cat.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick? One of the Archy McNally books by the late Lawrence Sanders. Very funny.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't? A firm grasp of technology. Hopeless bonehead.

Favorite color? Raspberry. Beau-ti-ful.

Weather: Hot or cold? Cold. Hands down.

Favorite place to read? Sitting beside a fire on the hearth. Snuggly.

Favorite meal Curry Chicken & Pan-fried Pawns with Honeyed Walnuts. Mouth-watering.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink. Diet Peach Snapple. Gotta have it.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits, or money holding you back, where would you go? The deepest depth in the oceans. So cool.

Blurb:  Is it strange to have the unemployment office on speed dial? Not for twenty-four-year-old college dropout Rylie Keyes. However, her current job at a small retirement home is worlds more important than all her past gigs. Fact is, if she loses this job, she’ll fail to stop the forced sale of her grandfather’s home, a modest lakeside bungalow that has been in the family for ages. But to keep her job she needs to figure out the truth behind the death of a senior citizen found murdered in her care.

The victim was thought to be a penniless man with a silly grudge against Rylie. However, his enemies will do whatever it takes to keep their part in his murder secret.

Forced to dust off the PI training she must keep hidden from her ex-detective grandfather, Rylie has to juggle the attentions of two very sexy, very different cops who both arouse and fluster her at the same time. And as she trudges through the case, she has no idea that along the way she just might win, or lose, a little piece of her heart. 

Authors Bio:
I love making people laugh. True, I should probably spend time on an analyst’s couch, but I’d rather spill loads of fun into my books. I’m rarely at a loss for words, which is wicked cool for a writer. And it would be poppycock to say I didn’t laze away my wonder years dreaming of far-off places.
Over the years, I’ve traversed the insanely fun back roads of Australia and New Zealand, trekked the wildly exotic landscapes of Asia and Africa, soaked up the blistering Caribbean sun, survived bitter Arctic cold to witness the Northern Lights, and lost a wee bit of my heart to the awesomeness of Europe.
My goals in life are simple: do more good than harm and someday master the do-not-mess-with-me look. I roost in Washington State with my husband and our two children.


I took off in a run, the fire swelling around me in a wide circle. As I drew near, Zach recovered enough to fish out the fire extinguisher from among the trash bags. He stumbled back, pulled the safety pin, and squeezed the handle. The force threw him to the ground.
I tried to grab the extinguisher but he fought me off. “Get the hell out of here.”
I tried again. This time I managed a better grip and yanked it free. Budding raindrops had me scanning the sky as I smothered the fire with dry foam. I barely took in the wet against my skin as the rain swelled to a downpour. Then out the tail of my eye, I saw something unbelievable: Zach shaking with laughter. I blinked, turned. His eyes were glued to my backside.
My mind was already shrieking when I twisted for a glimpse. The fire had left my skirt a no-show over my ass, and the scarcity of my pink thong made it a shiny moonbeam.
Zach climbed to his feet, shrugged off his jacket, and tied the sleeves around my waist.
“Could this morning get any worse?” I asked, sighing.
Bad thing, questioning fate. I heard a loud gasp. My lifting gaze tracked Solo’s raised and pointing finger as he drew near in hurried steps. A hairy forearm hung out of the van. By the age spots, I knew it was a senior, almost certainly male. A round scar, silver dollar size and ugly, marred the back of his hand. It was familiar, yet no other thoughts gelled together.
Zach rushed to the van. Solo froze, his finger still suspended. My head filled with a boatload of promises to God as Zach lifted the man’s limp wrist. I started praying big time, pondering and zeroing in on my worst habit. I mumbled bargaining words about not screwing up at work for a day, maybe two days if the G-man needed a bigger carrot. Please don’t let the guy be dead.
“Alive?” I didn’t blink, couldn’t.
Zach shook his head, pushed aside the trash bags, and leaned in. “He’s an old dude, small and bald. He has a mustache and white beard. And he’s very dead.”
My mind clicked. A Nazi bullet had caused the scar. “It’s Otto Weiner, isn’t it?”
“The Jewish guy from FoY?” Zach asked. “The one who wears the beanie?”
“Kippah,” I said, and drew his puzzled gaze. “It’s called a kippah.”
“He isn’t wearing one now, but it’s him. It looks like he suffocated. A plastic bag is taped over his head.”
I stared blindly at the ground. I heard a squeak like a chew toy and cut my gaze to Solo. His eyes were bright like doppelganger comets.
“I’ve heard baking soda helps, or rubbing alcohol.” Not only could I not bring myself to believe Otto Weiner was dead in the van, but I was babbling like a stooge.
Solo wagged his finger. “Rylie, this is bad, really bad. What if they think you did it because of that fight?”
I sucked in air; it froze in my throat.
“That’s ridiculous,” Zach told him. “What fight? Rylie never fights.”
I inched my eyes his way. “I might have once.”
“With who?” Zach wanted to know.
My ears rang so loud they ached. “Otto Weiner.”

Well, now that you've learned more about the author, read an excerpt, it's time to unveil my review, what do you say?

Review Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: Before we begin, I have a few warnings. You might want to read them.

WARNING: Do not read this book while eating or drinking- choking hazard!
WARNING: Do not read this book around others unless you plan on explaining yourself with the multiple bouts of laughter. If you read in a place that's meant to be quiet...I'm sure you'll get kicked out.
WARNING: If you have just had surgery on your sides and have stitches, I'd advise you not to read this until you are fully healed.

If you haven't noticed already by my warnings...this book is funny! Oh, don't worry. It's meant to be that way!  The story is full of humor, wit, mystery, and a bit of murder. Uh oh...Yeah, this mystery has plenty going for it.  Ahh Rylie...she's a stitch! Cracks me up! Sometimes, though she's a little on the ditzy side, but we can't all have them perfect, right? Really, she's great though.  A heroine I can relate to on more than one level. And man oh man does she wind up in some serious craziness.

The story is plenty shots mystery, definite shots humor, and a mad dash of romance.  I curled up in my chair to read this and laughed out loud sooooo many times. Occasionally, things were so full of life that they became hard to follow. It's just that at once, a few things were happening. But it didn't distract me too much from the story. I was way to invested to see what crazy mix up Rylie and her gang of side characters were going to deal with next. Marianne Harden's debut book is one to pick up if you enjoy a great mystery and a lot of laughs! I'll be eagerly awaiting so much more from this fabulous author. I love her writing style and the quotes that began each chapter cracked me up.

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  1. Hilarious interview - great review.

  2. I'm so glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read the interview. It was hilarious!! Tweeted.

  3. Wonderful review and I agree with Ella, hilarious interview. I do that plot/re-plot/change directions thing too! Now I know when people ask it is called a Dithering nincompoop, lol!

  4. Great interview and I'm reading this book now!

  5. Thanks, Nikki, for the interview! It was so much fun! And thanks for reading and reviewing Malicious Mischief!

  6. Daryl, Ella, Toni, Kary and Nikki....thanks for all the support! You're the best!

  7. Wonderful review! I love the warnings as well as your quips behind each of your answers. Great sounding book, but I'll heed the warnings and not read it in the library!