ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LYNETTE SOWELL loves to spin adventures for the characters who emerge from story ideas in her head. She desires to take readers on an entertaining journey and hopes they catch a glimpse of God's truth along the way. Lynette is a Massachusetts transplant who lives in central Texas with her husband, two kids by love and marriage (what's a step-kid?), and five cats who have their humans well-trained. She loves to read, travel, spend time with her family, and also tries not to kill her houseplants, although her tropical hibiscus contemplated pressing charges after last winter. You can visit her at her web site by clicking on her name above or her blog by clicking here.
THE WILES OF WATERMELON
by Lynette Sowell
Published by Heartsong Presents Mysteries
ABOUT THE BOOK
After the most rain Greenburg, Tennessee has seen in years, Andi and Ben Hartley's watermelon patch yields more than watermelons when Andi's kitten discovers human remains in the field. Then Honey Haggerty, the fiery and notorious owner of Greenburg's yummiest down-home eatery, is found murdered. Fingers point at Ben and a lineup of other suspects. The more Andi discovers, the more she believes the two deaths are related. She races to find a killer--or is it killers?--before it's too late.
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1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
When I heard Barbour was planning a cozy mystery book club, I knew I had to find a unique profession for my heroine. Salado, Texas is a cozy little town north of Austin, and one of my favorite shops there is a homemade soap store. We go there a couple times a year and stock up on facial scrubs, bath salts, glycerin soaps, etc. Smells amazing! So I thought that was a unique job for my heroine. The series really sprang from my heroine and her life in her small Tennessee town.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?
I know authors draw on their own experiences many times when they shape their characters. Andi's struggle with fear is one I share, and I think many of us do. As believers, we know we have The Answer. But some lessons take a while to learn.
Also, I could never imagine NOT wanting a child for the reasons Andi did. And she's a pretty bad pet mom, although she finally gets the hang of it. Around here, our kitties are like family. So that's where we differ.
3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what he/she be and why?
Chocolate fudge brownie. She loves comfort food.
4. What themes exist in The Wiles of Watermelon that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?
The verse about the love of money being the root of all kinds of evil is my theme verse for this story. Sad, sad things happen because of people thinking money answers their problems. Having it, and not having it can cause plenty of heartache. It can destroy relationships and fracture families.
One theme that reemerged from the first book and carried into this book was Andi battling fear again. I knew she had fears, but why? Well, Andi wants a baby, but the thought of that child having the potential to stray and break their hearts just terrifies her. She's seen it happen in her family already. So she's avoiding that conversation with her husband, who's getting ready to hit the big 4-0 in a couple of years.
5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
In one scene, Andi has a dream about what happened the night her aunt died. That was difficult to write, because we lost my brother-in-law to cancer last fall when I was writing this book. I thought of the real-life choices he made that made him spiral downward, just like Andi's aunt did.
Another scene that I enjoyed writing, but still felt bittersweet, was when Andi realizes who killed her aunt, and the chase that ensues. She confronts this person face-to-face before they, well, I can't spill the beans on what happens at the end of that scene (grin). But she looks on this person with compassion and she knows they're not a monster but someone who also made some really bad choices--all for money, and some for love.
6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
My next book is The Perils of Peaches, book 3 in the Scents of Murder series. It releases in spring 2009 and it's the final book in Andi's story and the last time we visit Greenburg, Tennessee.
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Thank you, Lynette, for being in the spotlight with us.
Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of The Wiles of a Watermelon.
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This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.
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