Monday, May 27, 2019

"Drowning Lessons" by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

Drowning Lessons
(Red Frog Beach Mystery Book 1)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

Drowning Lessons (Red Frog Beach Mystery Book 1) by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds

Drowning Lessons by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

You are cordially invited to a destination wedding to die for…
Welcome to Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Five days of glorious sun and lush rainforest await the forty guests celebrating Bridezilla Olivia’s dream wedding - but will a murder sink the catered affair? Before anyone’s got time to start working on a tan, an unfortunate snorkeling accident eliminates a member of the wedding party. Maid of honor Lexie Marino smells trouble, and is thrust into the responsibility of investigating, needing to solve the case before her bestie’s trip down the aisle gets tropically derailed. The show must go on.
Lexie’s a little too tall, a little too awkward, and a little too brokenhearted, but she’s determined to nail the real killer. Can this unlikely sleuth stay afloat as she’s hit by wave after wave of wildly entertaining characters, including an alpha bride, surfing detectives, and a high school flame long forgotten? You’ll find yourself laughing until the very end of Drowning Lessons, a debut cozy mystery that makes the perfect beach read. Rub in some coconut oil, dangle your feet in the crystal-blue waters of Dolphin Bay, and sip a cool drink as Lexie discovers the deductive superpowers she never knew she had. Let the party begin!

Our captain cut the motor of the speedboat about 300 feet from Cinco Puntos Beach and sat there, staring into the crystal waters off the Caribbean coast of Panama.
The beach was one of the most magical places I had ever seen. It was a gorgeous, empty white sand beach lined with starfish so big that it would take two hands to pick one up.
A good swimmer could have easily made it quickly to shore, but, as we sat under the noonday sun, the captain lied to my fellow passengers, muttering, “Piranhas.”
The captain was lying at my personal misguided request. My next action wasn’t going to make anyone happy, and I wanted all the help I could get.
Feeling relatively comfortable in my safety vest, I rose to look my guests in the eyes, teetering a bit due to my fear of water. “Welcome to Bocas del Toro,” I nervously said.
As the Maid of Honor for my dearest friend Olivia’s wedding, I was one of four attendants put in charge of small groups of guests. Each group of invitees was scattered over four eco-resorts on two neighboring islands.
The bridal party had flown down on Saturday to get the lay of the land, to indulge in a little relaxation, and to prep for the additional thirty-five guests who’d be joining us for the ultra-luxurious destination wedding.
The other three bridesmaids and I were responsible for the constant entertainment of our little flocks. They were a high maintenance contingency. Entertaining them on a regular day would have been hard enough, but an all too recent break-up with Salty, my ridiculously-named ex of five years, made it all feel like a Herculean task.
Currently it was my duty to ready these guests for the first in a packed schedule of five days of decadent events. The problem was just that it simply wasn’t going to start well.
The five guests began sweating away, waiting for whatever I was going to say before I led them out of the perils of the piranhas (in my extensive research of safety of all the sea dwellers of the archipelago, piranhas were far from the worse, but I wasn’t going to get into that just then).
“Come on, Lexie,” Dave, the groom Walter’s brother, said, “why aren’t we going to shore?”
Good question.
It’s because I have to perform my first official duty as a bridesmaid.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“This story is much more than a cozy mystery. It is a dramedy where literally everything that can go wrong does. Twists, turns, craziness, and good old mayhem fill these pages all on an idyllic chain of islands ... This was a fun book to read and a great start for this series.” ~ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
“The story itself had a rather intriguing mystery attached to it ... I didn’t quite figure out ‘who done it,’ and thankfully, the mystery was cleverly laid out.” ~ My Devotional Thoughts
“I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. What a treat. Such a fantastic debut by the author that will sure to become one of my favorites. Where do I start? The main character made me cry and laugh, and really wish the book would never end. The situations were believably hilarious, chapters flew, I had a dozen murder theories - all of them false! This is the type of novel you want to read with a glass of wine next to you and no distractions. What a fun way to unwind from the stress of the days.” ~ Katerina
“An absolutely thrilling and unexpected murder mystery. This is the rare ‘beach read’ that is not only fun, but intellectually satisfying. The characters are extraordinarily memorable and delightfully wicked. I can’t recommend this enough.” ~ NY Reader
Drowning Lessons is a great read - I couldn't wait to get back to it each time I put it down. The characters came alive on the screen of my Kindle and I was sucked right in from the beginning. Written with sharp humor, the main character, Lexie, caught my heart from the very beginning. I wanted to join her in Bocas del Toro (which I now want to visit, thanks to the beautiful descriptions of azure waters and gorgeous weather and scenery). The author's talent of bringing each of the many characters to full life kept my rapt attention for several hours at a time. And kept me guessing until the end - I loved that!! I was so excited to see that a sequel with several of the main characters is coming out before the end of the year - I am truly looking forward to buying and reading. Well done!!” ~ Incumbent

Guest Post by the Author
I Am a Writer
A strange thing happened to me last week. After decades of writing, I finally decided that I had earned the right to allow myself the official title. It was a raining day, as they tend to be, in London where I live, and I signed for my Fed-Ex, knowing right well what it was. I tore into the packaging, and there in my hands was the item that I'd been waiting for my entire life.
My book.
Rachel Neuburger Reynolds, you are now allowed to be called “Writer.”
The beautiful tropical cover of Drowning Lessons, covering up 292 pages of things I made up and scribbled passionately. It had heft. I picked it up, smelled it, leafed through it, and even took a selfie of myself with it. I put it on the bookshelf in between The Great Gatsby and Evil Under the Sun, where I believe it held its own, even for a fleeting second. I documented that for Instagram as well. Rinse twice, repeat.
It's funny, though. I've written two other books, had two plays produced and sold a screenplay, but I’ve never felt like the title of “Writer” was deserved. Truth be told, in a month from now, I may not feel as confident about it for a million reasons.
I started trying to write my first novel when I was in the fifth grade, using the gift of a wonky old typewriter from a great-aunt, that typed with a dropped “y.” With a heavy hand and Judy Blume in my heart, I banged out ten pages of the truest 10-year-old angst that ever hit the pages. My novel was called Flat Friends and was kept by my mom until she passed away, in various boxes with everything that I ever had written.
My husband recently read those ten pages back to me, trading in his UK gentleman’s accent to one of which he assumed for a pre-teen from Boston, Massachusetts. Double-spaced onion paper with the only choice of type and size that was afforded to us: Courier, 12-point. I hardly ever curse in life, and never in my cozies, but that fifth-grade Judy Blume wannabe had a mouth like a truck driver! But despite language, medium, or format, shouldn’t that have been enough to call myself a writer?
It always shocks me to hear how hard it is for people to say that they are a writer confidently. It should be simple – you've written a book, or a play, or a poem, and you are a writer. You have typed the words, “The End,” and you have earned the right to call yourself an author.
Perhaps it has something to do with how hard it is to make it your full-time living, regardless of how many books you have published and are on sale. Sometimes I hear fellow writers talking about their works as if it were almost an apology. I work as a writing coach as well, and almost everyone asks themselves a version of the same question:
“Who am I to think I can write a book?”
Easy. You are the person who is knocking it out of the park.
I can't always take my own advice on this kind of thing, most people can't. I love writing cozy mysteries and am just past halfway through the first draft of the second one in this series, and today, I feel like a writer. I will admit that after I received the printed proof in the mail, I've shown it to everyone I've had plans with, and my plumber, Mickey, as well. They've got the cover a little off, and I'm missing the top third of my name and the final ‘ns’ of Drowning Lessons, but they'll fix that. I hope!
It’s been a good week, is what I’ve been saying.
Thank you for having me as a guest blogger! It’s been a blast!

About the Author
Rachel Neuburger Reynolds
Rachel Neuburger Reynolds is the author of the Red Frog Beach Mystery series. As a playwright, her plays have had been produced in London, Edinburgh and New York. After 25-years in New York City, she now resides with her husband between London and St Leonards-on-Sea in England.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

Featured in this post: