Nov 12, 2013

Blog Tour: Murder in Middleton by Charlotte Gerber ~ Review ~ Excerpt ~ Author Interview ~ Giveaway !!!


Murder in Middleton by Charlotte Gerber Book Tour

Virtual Book Tour: 10/30/13 – 11/13/13
Genres: Mystery/Horror/Paranormal

Blurb:

Shannon O’Reilly is a teenager with a problem - she can see her ancestors’ ghosts, and they want her to solve their 100-year old murder mystery. Annabelle and Lily Edmonson have been waiting a long time for someone to see them so that they can tell their story of betrayal, and finally reveal their true killer.

When Shannon begins researching the murders at the local library, someone takes notice. She begins receiving threatening notes and photographs taken of her without her knowledge. An explosion at her home takes away what she holds most dear - her parents.

A secret society steps in and offers to help Shannon fine tune her psychic abilities and to assist in protecting her from those bent on eliminating her. Someone is willing to pay any price to keep the truth, as well as her ancestors, dead and buried.



    


My Thoughts:

I got this book from the author, free of cost, in exchange of an honest review from my side.
Firstly I would like to thank the author and the publisher for giving me this opportunity of reading and reviewing this fabulous book.
A great read which is fully of heart-stopping mystery! This is the first thing that I would like to say about this book. Here we meet Shannon who has a very special psychic power and she sees the dead, literally. Her ancestors’ ghosts reach her and asks for help, they want Shannon to solve their murder mystery and get the killer punished thus by bringing them justice and peace. Shannon sets on solving this mystery and get herself into the clutches of grave danger. Someone is out there who wants her dead and eliminated and keep this 100 years old murder mystery a secret. Will Shannon succeed in revealing the killers? Will she get herself killed?
I really enjoyed this book a lot. It’s thrilling and totally unputdownable. I completed this book in one go and liked the mixture of paranormal genre and mystery genre. The author did a very great job in mixing these two genres so that one doesn’t overpower the other. A perfect blend!!! The mystery regarding the true killer kept me hooked in and the unpredictable twists and turns made me suspect nearly every other character as the potential killer.
The writing style of the author is remarkably good and I felt it very much comfortable which connected me to the story. The best part is that there is no sexual or erotic scene which generally floods the pages of every novel that’s coming out nowadays. If you’re a mystery lover then go for this book because it won’t let you down.
A must recommended read for the readers of all ages and this book is surely going to knock you down in anticipation and by the chilling suspense that the author introduced here. On a side note I would also like to add that the cover is not so good, I mean the cover effects the first impression of a book on the potential readers and to me this cover is not at all attractive but trust me guys this story is awesome and I think that this is one of those books which shouldn’t be judged by its cover, so go grab it and enjoy!!!

Rating: Four Flower Hearts



 Excerpt:

Shannon held her breath for a moment and waited for her mother to join her. A loud explosion erupted from the rear of her house.  She started to run around to the side of the house, but huge flames were shooting outwards and upwards from the area where her back porch had been. 
“Mom, Dad!” she screamed into the night. 
Shannon couldn't see anything in the wreckage and she almost caught herself on fire trying to get back into the house when a man's arms grabbed her from behind. 
“Stop!” he yelled in her ear.  “The fire truck will be here any minute!” 
Shannon tried to wrestle her way out of the man's arms, but he held on to her tight and pulled her backwards away from the house.                                                                          
A crowd started to form near the Opportunity Shop and the sound of sirens could be heard from where Shannon stood.  They whined louder and louder until they appeared on the street before her house.  It seemed like total chaos had broken out as the firemen raced with their hoses to the rear of the house. 
Another fireman ran to the front of the neighbor's house and attached the hose to the fire hydrant.  In a few moments the men had a large fountain of water pointed at her back porch and they wrestled the snake of a hose in an effort to control the blaze.                                                             
The sheriff wasn't very far behind and he arrived with the lights on the top of his car flashing.  Thankfully, he had his siren off and the growing crowd moved to allow him to park his car close to the house. 
“Where's the O'Reillys?” he yelled to the fire chief above the chaos. 
Shannon stared at him and knew he would be turning to face her any moment. 
“I don't know where the other two are," and he nodded towards Shannon. 
She knew the two men were talking about her parents.  Her mind started to race and she thought it just wasn't possible that they were actually in that fire.  It wasn't possible to have this many bad things happen in rapid succession. 
The chief pointed at Shannon and the sheriff made eye contact with her.  He purposefully strode up to her and the man who was now holding her close. 
“I'll take it from here Fred,” the Sheriff said.
The man who had been holding her was their next-door neighbor, Mr. Bickham.  He slowly let go of her and turned away with tears filling his eyes.  Shannon was left standing alone in the side yard of her house staring at the blaze as if in a trance.                                                                                                                 
“Shannon, what happened here?” the fire chief demanded, not quite believing himself that their house had exploded. 
Shannon could only manage to shake her head.  Tears slowly began to roll down her bright pink cheeks.  The sheriff got down on one knee and took her hands in his. 
“I’ll find someone to help, it’ll be okay,” he said unconvincingly. 
A woman forced her way through the crowd and said boldly, “I’ll see to her.” 
Shannon didn’t even bother looking up to see who her champion was. Nothing mattered anymore; she felt completely alone.
Myrtle Green helped Shannon to her car and buckled her into the front passenger seat.  She knew not to ask Shannon any questions; there would be plenty of time for that later.  They  drove back to her house having not said a word. 
Myrtle got out of the car and then went around to Shannon's side and unbuckled her from the seat like a small child.  She held out her hand and helped her out of the car.  Shannon stared ahead blankly and allowed herself to be led through the now familiar gate and walkway up to the house.
The smell of cookies and chocolate still hung in the air when they opened the front door.  Tears started rolling down Shannon's face again when she realized it had only been a little while since she had left a happy little party in this house with her mother.  Now her parents were gone and they weren't going to come back.  Ever.  




Author Interview:


  1. How will you describe your book within a sentence?

  • Murder in Middleton is like a mashup of Nancy Drew meets Paranormal State.

  1. Tell us about your favourite one among the characters of your own book? What special qualities make the particular character your favourite?

  • Brandon O’Reilly is my favorite character because he works hard to make the two women in his life happy. He loves working with his daughter in the basement refinishing furniture, and always gives Shannon first dibs in exploring boxes and trunks for hidden treasure. He is an all-around good guy and friend to his neighbors.  

  1. Your least favourite character from your book and why?

  • My least favorite character is the librarian, Hazel Sanders.  I created her based on a number of not-so-friendly librarians I have known since I was a child.  Hazel’s personality is a compilation of their bad qualities, which makes it easy to dislike her.
  1. If you get a chance of living the life of one of the characters of your book then which one would it be?

  • I’ve always wanted to come back as a cat in my next life.  I would like to be owned by someone who would sneak me goodies from the table, like Ralph gets from Shannon.  While he is a minor character in the book, he has the life of a fat, happy cat.  Not to mention he escapes a fire without as much as a singed whisker.
  1.  Genres you like to read? Genres you prefer to write?

  • I like to read mysteries of all kinds – cozies, crime, paranormal, you name it.  I also enjoy humorous stories, especially the ones that give you belly laughs.

  • I prefer to write mysteries and horror stories. I like making people wonder what awful creature or colossal problem is lurking right around the corner for my protagonist.

  1. When and how did the thought of this story come up?

  • I came up with the idea to write this book in 2003.  I decided to write about an experience I had as a teenager living in a house that was reportedly haunted. That short story eventually evolved into my novel, Murder in Middleton. How I ever completed it is the real mystery though, as I was caring for two small children at the time.

  1. How do you plan out your writing?

  • There are two very different ways that I write books.  The first is writing an outline and following it.  The second is to join NaNoWriMo.org and bang out a novel in 30 days during the month of November each year.

  • There are pros and cons for each of these methods.  The outline method works well if you have concrete ideas about your storyline and characters. There is a road map, and all you have to do is follow it. Since there isn’t a 30-day deadline, editing and revisions can be done along the way. 

  • The NaNoWriMo method requires that you have a basic story idea and are willing to run with it. The downside is that there will be quite a bit of editing and revising afterwards.
  1. Tell us about your inspiration and how it motivated you to become a writer?

  • I’ve always enjoyed storytelling, even at a very young age. I admired the stories written by Jules Verne and Ray Bradbury and I wanted to be just like them. Lofty aspirations for someone in third grade, but no one ever told me I couldn’t be a writer.  I was lucky to have teachers that encouraged my creative writing efforts.

  1. How do you feel now that you’re a published writer? Are you satisfied with your achievement?

  • I feel happy that I finally got Murder in Middleton published, but it wasn’t for the reason that people may think.  The book had been stolen twice, and I decided that if it was going to be out there, it should have my name on it. I ended up going through the process backwards, as I had to get a copyright, seek legal counsel over the copyright violation, and then self-publish the book. It certainly wasn’t the way I had envisioned it.

  • I don’t think any author is ever 100 percent satisfied with their work.  Personally, I am always thinking of ways to improve something I’ve written, even after it has been published. 

  1.  Do you prefer self-publishing or the traditional form of publishing?

  • This was my first book and it was self-published. I haven’t ruled out traditional publishing, but I think it is difficult for new authors. Traditional publishers took a hit with the ebook revolution, and now they don’t want to take a chance on untested new authors; there is too much risk involved.

  1.  Describe yourself in 3 words.

  • Persistent, dedicated, humorous.

  1.  Any secret or fact about you that will surprise your readers and others as well?

  • I’m related to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher.  Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book that some believe helped to start the Civil War.

  1.  Three most important things that an amateur writer must keep in mind while writing his first book.

  • I don’t have a good answer for this one that would be less than a few pages long!

  1.  How do you spend your leisure time except for writing? Are you into sports?

  • I spend my leisure time watching classic movies and gardening.  I was into sports before I became disabled.  My favorite sports then were golfing, horseback riding, and running.

  1.  Your favourite vacation destination? Had it ever became the place where you based any of yours book? If yes, then which one?

  • My favorite vacation destination is actually two historic towns that are close to each other – Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.  I haven’t based a book on these towns yet, but never say never!

  1.  Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not then what was your previous ambition and what made you change your decision and step in the field of writing?

  • I’ve always wanted to be a writer and my first major in college was journalism.  I loved mysteries though and decided law enforcement might be more exciting, so I changed my major to criminology and worked in this field for many years.  When I became disabled in 2004, I turned my attention back to writing full time.
  1.  Are you currently working on a project? If yes, would you like your readers to have a sneak peek into it?

  • I am getting my second book ready for publication this Halloween.  I am giving away 10 copies of the book at the end of this book tour, so sign up to win one! 

  • I have two other books that will be coming out soon.  A Very Merry Middleton Christmas, which is a holiday book about Victoria and Shannon, and how they are managing after the Murder in Middleton story.  The other book, Curiosity Killed the Cat, is a murder mystery.  I hope to have it published in February of 2014.
  1.  Your top three favourite authors?
  • Robert Parker, Mark Twain, Charlaine Harris

  1.  Your top three favourite books of all time?


  • Jules Verne – Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • J.D. Salinger – Catcher in the Rye
  • Rebecca Wells – Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

About the Author:



Charlotte Gerber began her writing career after becoming disabled in 2004.  Since then she has been a writer and editor for LoveToKnow.com, and most recently covering disability issues for the New York Times on their About.com website.
Murder in Middleton, the story of a psychic teenager trying to solve a century’s old murder mystery, was her first book.  A holiday novella, A Very Merry Middleton Christmas, is scheduled for release during the holiday season this year.  I Dream of Zombies, the story of Rose Lee, a zombie social worker, will be released on Halloween this year.
A third book, Curiosity Killed the Cat, is scheduled for release in early 2014.

Author Links: 

 


Giveaway:

Charlotte is giving away ten copies of her newest release, I Dream of Zombies. The giveaway is open to residents located in the USA and the U.K. Winners in the USA will receive a print copy of the book, while an e-book copy will be sent to winners in the U.K.
Enter through Rafflecopter.

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