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Dying on the Vine
by Marla Cooper

Dying on the Vine: A Mystery (Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries)
Series: Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries (Book 2)
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250072559


When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.

Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.

Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.

marla cooper

Interview with the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?


I’ve always been a word person, and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in writing. When I was a kid, I asked for a typewriter for Christmas so I could get my ideas down faster. I never saw myself writing a novel, though, until I read Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. It was so much fun—fast paced with lots of dialogue—and it made me realize that not every novel had to have beautiful, evocative descriptions and important life lessons. I was hooked!


What genres do you write in?


I write humorous traditional mysteries—basically cozies but without any crafts, pets, or cooking. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)


What drew you to writing that genre?


I knew I wanted to write a mystery because I’ve always been drawn to stories where there’s an element of justice being served, but I also knew I wanted humor in it. And since my idea involved an amateur sleuth, the cozy subgenre was really the perfect fit.


How did you break into the field?


A writer friend who had sold a similar series offered to introduce me to her agent. And I guess we really do have similar writing styles, because not only did her agent sign me, but she sold my book to the same editor. So I have to admit I had it easy, but only because someone else had already cleared the path for me.


What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?


I want my readers to feel the satisfaction of justice being served, but I mostly want them to close the book and say, “Boy, that was fun!”


What do you find most rewarding about writing?


Watching the words pile up is incredibly satisfying. It’s amazing how small efforts can add up. And I love those times when I surprise myself, like when a line of dialogue spontaneously pops into my head that makes me laugh, or when I realize something is about to happen that I didn’t even see coming.


What do you find the most challenging?


Plotting. That’s especially true with mysteries, which have to have a puzzle that’s complicated enough to keep people guessing but that still makes sense. One wrong turn and you could end up having to go back and unravel several chapters. And I always feel like it’s glaringly obvious who the killer is. It’s so hard hiding them in plain sight!


What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?


Broadly speaking? Don’t give up. Write with conviction, write a lot, and write the book you want to read. But at the risk of sounding like a series of motivational Tweets, I’ll also share the best practical advice I got: understand your sub-genre. Are you writing a cozy? A thriller? Romantic suspense? Each one has its own set of rules, and you’ll have an easier go of it if you’re clear on what kind of book you’re writing.


What type of books do you enjoy reading?


When I’m not reading mysteries, I like to read young adult and nonfiction. I’m really drawn to humor and authors with a strong voice, though, so I’ll read anything that has those two things going for it.


Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?


I love playing the ukulele. My husband and one of our friends are both learning to play the guitar, so we get together and have ridiculously inept and wildly fun jam sessions that require singing loudly. So far, none of our neighbors have complained, so I call that a win!


What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
I love hearing from readers! You can visit my website, which also has my contact information. Or, you can connect with me via:

My blog, Chicks on the Case

My Facebook page

My Facebook author page

My Twitter account

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today!

About The Author

As a freelance writer, MARLA COOPER has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

Author Links


Blog: www.chicksonthecase.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marla.Cooper.Author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kindacozy

Purchase Links

Amazon B&N

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

March 28 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

March 28 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 29 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 29 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 30 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

March 30 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 31 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

April 1 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – GUEST POST

April 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

April 2 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST

April 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 3 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

April 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

April 4 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW

April 5 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

April 5 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

April 6 – Varietats – REVIEW

April 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

April 7 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 8 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

April 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

April 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

April 10 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

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1 Comment

  1. Dianne Casey

    I like the wedding planner storyline of this book. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading.

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