Monday, June 19, 2017

Revisiting the Dream

Today my guest is fellow mystery author Joanne Guidoccio. Joanne talks about her road to becoming a mystery writer, her new book, and your chance to win an Amazon gift card.

During my high school years, I dabbled in poetry while dreams of a writing career dangled before me. But I gave in to my practical Italian side and pursued degrees in mathematics and education. While teaching was a good career fit, in my heart of hearts, I knew that I would write a novel at some point in my life.  All I needed was more time and more energy.

Be careful what you wish for...

On the cusp of my fiftieth birthday, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and forced to take a leave of absence. With all my energies focused on healing, I searched for light and entertaining novels that would provide a healthy diversion. I was grateful for the bags of books dropped off by well-meaning friends but get into any of the storylines. I found the spiritual books too intense and the comedic books unsatisfying.

Instead, I gravitated toward cozies, those delightful murder mysteries that include a bloodless crime and contain little violence, sex, or coarse language. I was familiar with Agatha Christie’s novels and pleasantly surprised to discover more authors in the genre, among them Susan Wittig Albert, MC Beaton, Mary Jane Maffini, and Denise Swanson. I read voraciously, often finishing a cozy in one or two sittings.

Toward the end of chemo treatments, I decided to experiment with the genre and considered the following scenario: What if a woman won a major lottery, returned to her hometown, and then found herself embroiled in a murder investigation involving four blondes? Could she prove her innocence and solve this case before it was too late?

I fleshed out the premise and completed the first draft of A Season for Killing Blondes during my sixteen month “sabbatical.” I considered querying but realized the manuscript needed more work and more attention. Reluctantly, I set the cozy aside and focused on the last leg of my teaching career.

Three years later, I retired from teaching and revisited my writing dream. At first, I wrote nonfiction and watched with delight as my articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines, and online. Buoyed by this success, I took on the challenge of revamping A Season for Killing Blondes. I added another sub-plot and several more characters.

On June 12, 2015, The Wild Rose Press released A Season for Killing Blondes, Book 1 in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series. Based in Northern Ontario, these books feature a fifty-something Italian woman, meddling relatives, deserving and undeserving men, food, romance, and murder.

Last month, Too Many Women in the Room, Book 2 was released.
When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.
Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?
Carlo’s hand caressed my thigh. More sex. The man could be insatiable. And it had been almost two weeks since our last romp. We started to kiss and then his cell phone vibrated.
Carlo groaned as he leaned over and picked up the phone. He sat up, his back to me. “What’s happened?” he barked. Carlo’s shoulders tensed. A long sigh and then his terse words. “Clear the perimeter, stat.”
Clear the perimeter. My heart beat faster as I recalled the last time I had heard those dreaded words. It could mean only one thing. Another murder. Two murders in less than twenty-hours. What were the chances of that happening in Sudbury? At the Christmas party, the police chief had bragged about one of the lowest murder rates in Canada during the past twelve months.
I swallowed hard. “What’s wrong?”
Carlo turned and gave me a long glance. “Andrew Frattini was found dead in the alleyway behind the ReCareering office.”
The nightmare couldn’t be starting again. This time with different players but still with the same intent. To pin the murder on me. But that strategy wouldn’t work. I had an iron-clad alibi no one could refute.
Carlo dressed quickly. He picked up his phone and then turned toward me. “Stay clear of this, Gilda.”
“How can I ignore it?” I said as I felt myself tearing up. “Someone’s trying to frame me again.”
He leaned over and kissed me. “Well, they didn’t succeed, did they?”
Book Trailer
Buy Links

Amazon (US):
Amazon (Canada):
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes & Noble:

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
Where to find Joanne...


Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.


Palmaltas said...

Wow! Both books sound very intriguing! And I love cozies.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks Palmaltas! :)

Marilyn Levinson said...

Good morning, Joanne,
I'm glad to have you here on Make Mine Mystery to talk about your writing journey and your new book.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks for hosting me, Marilyn :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I love cozies.
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Morgan Mandel said...

Sounds like an exciting book!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Good to see you here, Choo Say. Hope you're having a wonderful day. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks Morgan! Enjoy the rest of your day. :)