It’s my pleasure to welcome mystery author Marilyn Levinson, aka Allison Brook. Marilyn tells us about her latest, DEATH OVERDUE, which I highly recommend. She also shares about her winding path to publication.
Maggie, I’m delighted to be here as your guest to talk about DEATH OVERDUE, the first book in my Haunted Library Mystery series. Carrie Singleton has led a vagabond sort of life since she left college seven years earlier. Feeling downhearted, she visits her great aunt and uncle, who now live in the village of Clover Ridge after selling the family farm where Carrie had spent happy childhood summers. Uncle Bosco is on the library board and gets her a job in the local library. But the work is low level and boring, and Carrie decides it’s time to move on. The director offers her the position of Head of Programs and Events. Carrie’s about to turn it down when a voice urges her to be sensible and say she’ll think it over. Startled to discover the voice belongs to the ghost of Evelyn Havers, a library assistant who died six years earlier, Carrie reconsiders and accepts the position.
Carrie’s first big event features a detective who claims he’s solved a homicide—the murder of a local woman he was investigating fifteen years earlier. The victim’s older son wants the library to cancel the program, but Carrie convinces Sally to present it as scheduled. The detective is poisoned in front of his audience, and Carrie is beside herself. She joins forces with the victim’s younger son to solve the two murders. In the course of their investigation, Carrie exposes many secrets and witnesses various family squabbles. Still, she finds time to build friendships, engage in a budding romance and adopt a stray kitty that becomes a library favorite.
I started out writing novels for young readers quite some time ago. Years later, I wrote romantic suspense and mysteries, which were published by small presses. After encountering problems with some of the small press publishers, I published a few of my books on my own.
While my books have been well-received by readers and reviewers, none have gotten the acclaim and attention bestowed on DEATH OVERDUE, my cozy that came out in October. This time I decided to go the agent route, and my wonderful agent sold the manuscript to Crooked Lane Books. They gave me a two-book contract and asked me to write my new series under a pseudonym, which I was willing to do. I thought Allison Brook was the perfect non de plume.
This proved to be a wonderful decision for me and my Haunted Library mystery series! I have the most wonderful editor, and CLB gave DEATH OVERDUE a vibrant cover that readers love! Things started popping well before my October 10th pub date because of CLB’s wonderful publicist. Blackstone made an audio of the book. Library Journal gave DEATH OVERDUE a starred review and made it Pick of the Month. My book became available on Net Galley, which garnered it many great reviews from readers. It received a favorable review in Publishers Weekly, and thousands of readers have taken part in the Goodreads giveaways. The book is a Mystery/Literary Guild book club selection. The book was listed as #111 of the 200 most popular Goodreads books for October, 2017. I am thrilled each time I learn of a new review or place where my book is being sold.
I’m thankful that I’m with a wonderful publishing company that sends out copies to reviewers and places that might feature my book. I could never do this as a self-published author. When I asked my local Barnes & Noble if they’d like to have me come and read from my new book, I was offered a choice of dates to appear. All this has been an amazing experience for me—and for Carrie Singleton, my sleuth in my Haunted Library mystery series.
Purchase DEATH OVERDUE at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xRVPg4
Marilyn’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/K6Md1O
Allison Brook’s Amazon page: http://tinyurl.com/ksydz3s