Today I’m excited to share an excerpt of a new novel called Necklaces and Nooses in addition to a fab interview with the author Laina Turner!
Necklaces & Nooses by Laina Turner
Published: October 2011
Book Details: When Presley’s boss is found hanging she thinks its suicide until the police discover its homicide. Who would want to kill a the owner of a high end women’s boutique? Presley’s not sure but she’s determined to find out.
Presley Thurman Mystery #1
Free on Amazon
Presley Thurman Mystery #2
$2.99 on Amazon
About the Author – Laina Turner
As a child Laina thought she would either be a truck driver (thanks to Jerry Reed in Smokey and the Bandit) or work at Taco Bell (her favorite restaurant as a child).
As she grew older she realized her talents lay in academics and business and for the last several years has been a business consultant and college professor where she uses the analytical side of her brain and not the side that makes up stories.
Through all her career choices she has continued to have a passion for writing. This stemmed from childhood whereas an only child she developed a vivid imagination spending most of her time making things up and thinking the Incredible Hulk lived in her closet.
Proud of her vast experiences in life from barrel racing to being on the dance team for a semi pro basketball team to being a mom of 2 amazing kids, she tells her family and friends that no one is safe from their escapades slipping in to her books.
Taking the plunge to write books (cozy mysteries and chick lit) that she actually let people read in 2010, she has worked her way up to being a real author, having 5 fans (maybe 6 now). Her blog, Writing is a Lifestyle, was launched to share the daily fun in the life of a Real Housewife of the Midwest along with the musing of other fabulous ladies.
Interview with Laina
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Hi I’m Laina. 40 something mother of 2. Lover of yoga, coffee, and wine.
2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
My most recent release was Bats & Bling. The 10th installment in the Presley Thurman mystery series. I try to release at least one Presley novel each year and had written a few around holidays. I had some requests to do a Halloween themed one so Bats & Bling was created.
3. How long did it take you to write Necklaces and Nooses? What is your writing process like?
For me writing isn’t consistent. Sometimes I have a tons of ideas and the words just flow. In some instances faster than I can type. Then there are other times I can barely get 100 words on the page in a day. However, I treat writing like a job and I make myself write every day like it or not. A typical book takes 3 months start to finish.
I don’t write from an outline on the first draft. I just sit down with an idea and write. Then after the first draft I go through and create an outline so I can keep everything straight. I know that might seem a little backwards but it works for me.
4. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I usually work on a couple projects at a time. Just in case I get bored of one. Or stuck. I am working on Weddings & Weapons the 11th Presley Thurman book and another romantic suspense yet to be titled. Both should be out in summer/fall 2016.
5. If you were given an offer to turn the Presley Thurman novels into movies, who would you want to see playing the main characters?
If I had the chance to turn Stilettos & Scoundrels into a movie I would want Debra Messing to play Presley and Charlie Hunnam to play Cooper. I just LOVE him.
6. What is your favorite thing about writing romance novels?
The happily ever after. I love life but life isn’t always happily ever after. Being able to write that perfect ending where all the good people end up happy is so much fun. I think that readers like this genre for the same reason.
7. Did you always want to be a writer?
Since 2nd grade. It took years of doing other things to realize I needed to fulfill my true passion to be happy and fulfilled.
8. If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?
Dirk Pitt. He’s the hero of many Tom Clancy novels. He’s a mans man and a woman’s man.
9. Who are the authors that inspire you and what genres do you enjoy reading?
I don’t read as much as I’d like but I try to read in my genre and others to give me a wider perspective. I’ve recently enjoyed several YA novels, Lauren Oliver and John Green.
10. What inspired you to start writing and what continues to inspire you?
I am an only child and as a kid my imagination was in overdrive It’s never stopped so writing down the things in my head is almost therapeutic.
11. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Never give up. Even when you face adversity and obstacles keep moving forward.
12. Do you have any writing superstitions or rituals?
After my first draft I write long hand and have an amazing woman named Anne type up my notes. I’m convinced I’m not creative typing and prefer to write in color. Blue and black just doesn’t cut it.
13. What are the things you can’t live without in your kitchen?
Cork screw, keurig, and popcorn.
14. What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?
I have this long black cardigan sweater which I wear year ‘round and love, love, love.
15. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?
You so don’t want to do that. It’s a mess. But if you’re hungry you’ll find food and if you’re bored you’ll probably find a toy
16. Where is your favorite place in the world?
New Orleans. I love the weather, the culture, the people, the energy.
Excerpt – Necklaces & Nooses
“Read this!” Anna said. “This Sarah chick says she wants to get to know him better and is willing to try a long distance thing. I guess she lives in Iowa. How the hell did he meet a girl from Iowa?”
“Maybe she is just coming on to him?” I didn’t really like how Jeff treated Anna, but I didn’t want her hurt either. I was hoping to give him the benefit of the doubt.
“Oh no, this is his response.” She clicked on the message to open it and started reading. “I would like to get to know you better by talking to you.”
“That doesn’t necessarily mean anything besides friends.”
“Except he doesn’t mention anywhere in this email thread that he has a girlfriend, and she obviously is thinking he doesn’t or else she doesn’t care. Take this away from me. I just can’t stand to read anymore.”
I took the laptop from her, logged off, and shut it down. Setting it on the floor, I turned to Anna and refilled her wineglass. I could tell she was upset, and I had seen time and time again how much he hurt her. But I could also understand you weren’t done with a relationship until you were really done, and emotions weren’t always something you could force yourself to stop feeling. Even when intellectually you knew you should.
“Do you want to talk?” I said.
“Why, so you can just say I told you so again? I know I’m stupid.”
“Not stupid, Anna. I hate seeing you hurt like this all the time, which is why I say you need to kick him to the curb. But I also know what it’s like to love someone and hope they will change. While maybe not the smartest thing to do, when you look at the situation rationally you can’t help how you feel, and emotions don’t always make sense. Hell, they hardly ever make sense.”
“I need to realize he will never change, at least not with me. But, Presley, I know he loves me.”
“He does love you.” I actually had no doubts that he did love her. He just wasn’t ready to settle down and took her for granted. That was clear by his actions. Before Cooper, I was much more judgmental of Jeff, but I now had a better understanding of how difficult love was.
“Did Willie find out who broke into your condo?” Anna said attempting to change the subject.
“No. It’s disappointing, but whoever did it didn’t leave prints, and none of the doormen remember anyone who wasn’t a tenant. They found a door at the service area that had a busted lock. The maintenance guy said it wasn’t like that a week ago, so Willie is assuming that somehow someone cased the joint and found that was a weak spot.”
“That’s just weird they didn’t take anything.”
“No kidding. They obviously were looking for something. But neither Willie nor I have any idea what. I don’t have anything of value. Any criminal worth their salt should have noticed that right away.”
“Maybe that’s why they trashed the place. They were angry that you didn’t have anything for them.”
“It just doesn’t make sense. There are many people in my building that have a lot more than I do. Willie thinks whoever it was felt I had something they wanted, specifically. I think that Peter guy is involved somehow.”
“What does Willie think of him?”
“That there’s not enough proof to say.”
One thing that really had me confused was that I didn’t understand at all what the faux-German guy, Peter, wanted so badly with accessories from Silk. It didn’t make sense. After seeing him at the funeral, I had told Willie he had to be involved in this somehow. These were way too many coincidences. But Willie didn’t completely agree with me that the connection was necessarily bad. He hadn’t been able to find anything concrete connecting Peter with anyone from a sinister standpoint. Obviously Peter knew someone in the family or he wouldn’t keep showing up, but Willie said he couldn’t just assume it was for a bad reason without proof.
I told him that sometimes the connection wasn’t obvious, and he didn’t really like that. He had the audacity to say I shouldn’t be worrying myself about the investigation so much. We got into our first minor spat, if you could even call it that, about my involvement, and I basically told him he should have not asked my opinion if he didn’t want it. He muttered something under his breath I chose to ignore, and we hung up.
I didn’t think he was really angry, just annoyed. I seemed to have that effect, first with Cooper and now Willie. I had sat there since getting off the phone trying to figure out what the possible link could be. Willie had said this guy had a record for petty crime. James was a lawyer, so maybe that was a connection. Although James’s firm handled mostly white collar crime not smash and grab—Willie’s term not mine—it was plausible. Criminals and criminal lawyers seemed to run in the same circles. Or it could be completely unrelated, and I could be totally off base, and Willie right. Somehow I doubted it.
This blog tour interview and excerpt was organized by CLP Blog Tours.
Check out the other stops in Laina’s blog tour!
May 2 – Caroline Fardig – Q&A
May 2 – Kelly’s Nerdy Obsession – Review
May 3 – The Mystery Tavern – Excerpt
May 4 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A & Excerpt
May 9 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
May 11 – Turning Another Page – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
May 12 – Have Books Will Read – Excerpt
May 13 –Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
May 13 – Around the Worldin Books – Excerpt
May 13 – A Page to Turn – Review