Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Treble at the Jam Fest" by Leslie Budewitz

Treble at the Jam Fest
(Food Lovers' Village Mysteries Book 4)
by Leslie Budewitz

Treble at the Jam Fest (Food Lovers' Village Mysteries Book 4) by Leslie Budewitz

Treble at the Jam Fest is the fourth book in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz. Also available: Death al Dente, Crime Rib, and Butter Off Dead.

Death al Dente by Leslie BudewitzCrime Rib by Leslie Budewitz

Treble at the Jam Fest is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.
Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident - or did someone even the score?
Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
"Settle in for a cozy read but be prepared to want to read the next book to find out what happens next." ~ Laura’s Interests
"I truly enjoy the creativity the author shows in developing festivals for the town. I especially liked the Jazz Festival theme used for this book since it’s one of my favorite types of music to listen to while reading and enjoying a glass of wine." ~ Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder
"They are a family of strong women with their own thoughts and opinions. It was interesting to watch their family dynamics weave into the rest of the story." ~ A Cozy Experience
"I stayed up more than a little past my bedtime because I just had to finish the book and find out whodunit!" ~ I Wish I Lived In a Library
"Sweet and tart, just like a good strawberry-rhubarb jam, Treble at the Jam Fest is perfect for longtime fans of the series as well as newcomers who aren’t yet sure what to expect." ~ Reading is My SuperPower

Guest Post by the Author
Researching the truth
“It’s fiction, you just make stuff up, right?” readers sometimes say.
No, not really. Because truth matters. I can hardly say otherwise - after all, I’m a lawyer who wrote a book aimed at helping writers get the legal details right in their stories. And frankly, the truth - the odd, the weird, the gut-wrenching, heart-rending, improbable, magnificent truth of life, is what makes it so interesting.
But I’m a novelist, not a historian. And novelists use fiction - made-up stories - to get at the emotional truth of life. To help ourselves and our readers understand this wild, chaotic world a little better. Through the people on the page, we can imagine how we would respond, what we would do, how we would feel. If we’re doing fiction write - er, right - our readers come away entertained, relaxed, and a little more deeply connected to the experience of being human.
None of that happens if we don’t portray a world that’s real enough for our readers to enter easily. It’s a paradox that writers of science fiction and fantasy confront every day: Though they are creating worlds that do not exist, they must provide enough detail that readers can identify with the story people and places, creating a relationship of trust so that readers believe them when they describe the hierarchy of sensate interconnection on the 4th planet in the Carnuvian galaxy of the Dionysian solar system. (And no, I don’t know what that means, either.)
But it’s just as true in the more recognizable worlds like the village in NW Montana where my Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries take place. Besides, research is fun.
So when I started planning Treble at the Jam Fest, the 4th in the series (June 8, 2017, Midnight Ink), it wasn’t enough to imagine the spot where the victim died. (Not a spoiler, I promise!) Mr. Right and I took along our favorite trail. Here? No, too many trees, not enough rocks. Here? Maybe. What about here? Ah, just right. (The trail was busy that sunny day, and we had to keep our voices low as we plotted. We still giggle about it.)
The Jewel Bay Jazz Festival - the “jam fest” of the title - is based on a guitar festival held close by. Mr. Right is a student, attending workshops with amazing artists from around the world by day, and all week, we revel in music at the evening concert, along with 600 of our closest friends under a giant tent in a pasture at the local guest ranch. (You can visit the ranch in Crime Rib, 2nd in the series.) So though I changed the music to jazz, moved the concerts into the village, and rescheduled it, I called on my memories and observations of sights, sounds, tastes, and talk.
Phrases like “sound check” and “green room”. What kind of guitar would young phee-nom Gabby Drake play? A Gibson L-200, like Emmylou Harris plays, a smaller version of the famous J-200. And what kind of cash could the estranged wife of a student get for that 1964 Gibson ES 330 of his, one of the finest hollow-bodies ever made? He never plays it, anyway.
Every character has a backstory. Some come from worlds where I’m a stranger. What roles did Gabby’s mother sing in the chorus of the Metropolitan Opera? What kind of financial scam ruined her father? Would his fingerprints be in the system? What were they eating that looked so good when Erin, my main character, spotted them in the Irish pub in Pondera with the owner of a local art gallery? (Pon-duh-RAY, in case your research hasn’t taken you that far.)
I draw maps. I sketch out floor plans of the Merc and Le Panier, the French bakery next door, and of Erin’s cabin and the Orchard, the house where she grew up. I tear pages from catalogs with outfits she and her mother, Fresca, might wear. What about Erin’s blue bag and her red boots? Lou Mary, the new sales clerk, loves big, bold jewelry. Hmm, like what? (I’ve tacked a few of those images on my Pinterest board for the series - take a peek.)
Of course, the best part of research is the food. My characters are as obsessed with it as I am, and each book includes recipes so you can create the festival food and other dishes at home. I promise you, every recipe is thoroughly tested in my own kitchen, and if it doesn’t get two thumbs up, it never sees the page. (And if you love food and mystery, too, please drop by Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, where I’m one of 9 authors cooking up crime and recipes.)
Because fiction, like truth, lives in the details.

About the Author
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of two print copies of Treble at the Jam Fest by Leslie Budewitz (US only).