Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Tour, Reviews, and Interview: Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction and Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

by Amy Metz

Genre: Cozy Mystery




Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction:

When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder. Suddenly she’s learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle. 

A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery that Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready. 


*** 5/5 Stars! ***

This book was excitingly cute and quirky. The town is full of charm, goofballs, and some stodgy, questionable characters. After her divorce, Tess moves into an home that belonged to one of the town's old family's. While fighting her attraction to Jackson, a mystery/murder writer, odd and dangerous things start to occur around Tess and her home. Delving into a decades old murder, and ahem lots of romance, the pair and their slew of quirky side kicks and friends end involved in a murder, kidnapping, and insanely old secret.

I enjoyed this book a ton and it sure kept me entertained. It's full of southern charm, drawl, and sayings. Thankfully, translation for their southern speak is included.


Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction



Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the quirky little Southern town with the arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress. 



*** 5/5 Stars! ***

Book number two of this cozy little southern mystery takes readers into the life of Martha Maye, who is being stalked by a creepy admirer, chasing off her no good soon to be ex husband, and the welcome romantic attentions of the new police chief. Petty thefts around the town are keeping the small police force busy. A sudden gruesome murder out on Martha's lawn causes the town's gossipy eye to be focused on her and her romantic interest, Johnny, the chief of police.

Just as cute and quirky as book numero uno, this book was very entertaining and very fun. I seriously did not know who dun it until the author revealed it at the end.




Chapter 1




Marry in haste, repent in leisure.

~Southern Proverb



Lenny drove to his neighborhood bar with the windows wide open and Johnny Cash blaring on the radio, but he was oblivious to both. He was thinking about the phone conversation he’d just had with his ten-year-old daughter Carrie. It made him crazy the way her mother’s family called her “Butterbean.” What kind of a name was that for a child? But today he was crazy for a whole new reason. Jealousy and anger tore through him faster than small-town gossip. His daughter had spilled everything, and just when he thought he’d finally gotten a break, she said, “Mama kinda had a boyfriend but not anymore.” And: “Mama was kidnapped, but she’s back now.”

He pulled into the parking lot of the bar thinking, Boyfriend? We literally aren’t even divorced yet and she had a boyfriend? He pounded his fist against the steering wheel. He knew she’d been cheating on him. And now she’d done it right in front of their daughter. No doubt about it, he was going to have to do something about this Martha Maye situation.

Pulling into a primo spot at the front door, he looked up at the old rusty sign that had been over the entrance for years: Teetotalers ain’t welcome here. He winced at the loud screech announcing his car door opening, followed by the same screech when he slammed it shut. He glanced around the parking lot and saw the same cars that were there every night. His feet crunched on the gravel as he walked, and he remembered waking up three months earlier and slowly realizing his wife and daughter weren’t there.

The familiar bacon and coffee smells were gone. Cartoons weren’t blaring on the TV. His wife’s clothes were missing, along with his daughter’s, her teddy bear, and her dolls. The bookshelves were dotted with bare spots where Martha Maye’s favorite knickknacks and paddywhacks had been. And then he saw the note on the kitchen table that said she was divorcing him and that he shouldn’t try to find them. The realization that she’d left him in the middle of the night and taken their daughter seared through him like a red-hot poker.

Pretty stealthy for a woman who could literally be outwitted by a jar of marshmallow fluff. If she thinks she can literally run out on me and then humiliate me by going out with some scumbag before we’re even divorced, she has another think coming. I’ll show her. I’ll put on the charm and win her back.

Country music blasted as he opened the door, turned his head, and spit in disgust. She literally can’t be let her out by herself. Just look where it got her: kidnapped and almost killed.

His daughter had told him they’d been staying at his mother-in-law’s house. He should have figured. He’d always known Louetta to be a meddlesome old biddy. She lied to me when I called looking for my wife and daughter. She aided and abetted a woman leaving her husband. She allowed nefarious suitors to court my wife. Both of them must have literally stopped to think and forgotten how to start again.

And then there was his no-account, good-for-nothing brother who, upon learning of the impending divorce, wanted to know if Lenny would mind if he dated Martha Maye. Boy, I’m gonna slap you so hard, when you quit rolling your clothes’ll literally be outta style. My baby brother and my wife. Yeah. Over my dead body. How could he even ask such a thing? Both of them were nothing but a bunch of backstabbing traitors.

He hitched up his jeans under his overflowing beer belly, swaggered into the bar, and ordered a Colt 45. The jukebox was playing, “I Want a Beer as Cold as My Ex-Wife’s Heart,” and he thought that was pretty darn perfect for his life at the moment.

Looking around the room, he spotted a hot blonde giving him the eye. He sucked in his gut—a move that didn’t yield the desired result—and looked back, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. She brazenly smiled back at him.

How dare Martha Maye leave me? I can literally get any woman I want. And two on Saturday.

A football star in high school, homecoming king, and voted best looking his senior year, Lenny was used to women coming onto him, not leaving him. He put the bottle to his lips and downed half of it.

That woman was literally lucky to have me. Sure, I’ve put on a little weight, but only in the gut. I practically have to fight women off with a stick. Looking around the room again, he saw female eyes on him from several tables in the room. Yessirree, sir, I still got it.

Lenny started to lift his bottle to his mouth again but halted midway when two men sat down heavily on barstools on either side of him; they looked capable of eating their young. Both men were muscular and tough. One was as tall as a telephone pole. One was as short as a gnat’s tail. The taller man had black eyes under bushy eyebrows, and the other man wore aviator sunglasses on a flat, wide nose. He pushed the glasses to the top of his head to give Lenny his best glare.

“We’ve been looking all over Hell and half of Georgia for you, boy.” Eyebrows scooted his stool in close, crowding Lenny.

“Shoot.” Lenny’s hand automatically moved to his ankle holster, checking for his knife. “That don’t surprise me none. You literally couldn’t find oil with a dipstick.”

“Solly says he’s had about enough of you,” Eyebrows said.

“Yeah,” Mr. Gnat joined in, “he’s had about enough of you.”

Lenny snorted. “You can tell Solly to blow it out his butt,” Lenny said boldly, more boldly than he felt. He shelled a peanut, popped it in his mouth, and threw the shell into Mr. Gnat’s face.

“Solly says not to let you off the hook this time.”

“Yeah, not to let you off the hook.” Mr. Gnat’s left eye twitched.

“What’s with Mr. Echo over here?” Lenny pointed his thumb at the short man.

The telephone pole ignored him and said, “Solly says you’ve screwed him over for the last time.”

“Yeah, the last time.”

“I didn’t screw him over the first time.” Lenny drained his bottle. He felt like his mouth was full of cotton. “Solly wouldn’t tell the truth to save his life from dying.” Lenny tried to stand up, but the men had him penned in.

“You can’t talk about Solly that way.”

“Yeah, not that way,” Mr. Gnat echoed.

Eyebrows looked behind Lenny to his friend. “This boy has the mental agility of a soap dish, Joey.”

“Yeah, a soap dish.”

Lenny leaned in real close to Joey, who said, “Whatta you think you’re doing?”

“Just wondered if I got close enough if I could literally hear the ocean.”

“Boy, what you need is an education,” Eyebrows said.

“Yeah, an edj-ee-cation.” Gnat strung the word out.

The men grabbed Lenny’s arms, lifting him off his stool. The song on the jukebox had ended, and Lenny heard the crunch of peanut shells as the men propelled him toward the door.

“Boys, y’all best not be messing with me,” Lenny snapped, trying to break free.

“That’s mighty big talk for a punk like you.” They stepped aside as someone came through the door, and then they threw Lenny through it. He landed on the ground but sprang right back to his feet, his dukes up, ready to fight.

Eyebrows was fast. He knocked Lenny to the ground again with a left hook. Joey followed up with two kicks to the ribs.

Lenny pulled himself into a ball, both to protect himself from further harm and to have better access to his ankle holster. But Joey saw the knife and kicked it away as Lenny drew it from his pants leg.

The men both grabbed Lenny by an arm again, pulling him upright, and Eyebrows punched him in the gut, causing him to double over. They double-teamed him and left him on the ground bloody and beaten, as cars whizzed past on the road in front of the bar.

Right before Lenny passed out, he thought: Tomorrow I’ll pack up and head for Goose Pimple Junction to reclaim what’s rightfully mine. I’ll literally be a devoted husband and father and get my family back. I ain’t gonna let that woman leave me. Nobody leaves Lenny Applewhite.



Tell us a bit about yourself. 
I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, where I still live. I taught first grade before I had  two sons — my oldest is married and my youngest is a freshman in college. I’m a semi-retired mom, completely retired wife (divorced), and full-time writer. I love photography,  baking, and sweet tea. 

When did you begin writing? 
I started writing as therapy when my mother was diagnosed with dementia and I became her caretaker. It was therapeutic, but it was also stressful to relive the experiences, so I began writing a humorous southern mystery as an escape from real life. I found I really like living in imaginary worlds and talking to imaginary people, 

Have you ever been discouraged in regard to your writing ability and if so, how did you get past it and move forward? 
Yes. I've had some negative reviews that hurt and caused me to question myself as a writer: " I can't imagine how this got published." Another person said the book was "idiotic and sadly offensive." Luckily, the good reviews outnumber the bad. When someone says something hurtful, I just go read the good ones again. 

What's your favorite thing about writing? 
Getting lost in another world. 

What is your writing style? Do you like to outline or just write as you go? 
Both. With Murder & Mayhem, I knew how I wanted it to end, and I just wrote the book until I got there. I felt like the characters were telling me what to write. With Heroes & Hooligans I had a harder time and ended up outlining. I'm outlining with the third book also. 

Do you have a favorite spot where you like to write? 
Not really. I write on a laptop, so I can work anywhere. One thing I have to have is a lot of light. Preferably natural light. 

What is something you've written that will never see the light of day? 
Possibly a thriller I started writing. I got stuck on the plot and put it aside three years ago. 

What is your writer food? 
Sweet tea and M&Ms. Sometimes Mtn. Dew and jellybeans. 

What's the hardest thing about writing for you? 
Figuring out a complete plot. 

What inspires you to write? 

How many books have you written and which is your favorite? 
I have written three complete books, but my favorite is always the one I'm currently working on. 

What are some of your favorite books? 
I love all three series that Robert B. Parker wrote. My next favorite is David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series, Michael Connelly's Bosch series,  and . . . I could go on and on. 

What authors do you like to read? 
In addition to the above authors, I like Harlan Coben, Laura Lippman, John Sandford, Michael Lee West, Chris Knopf, Rick Bragg, and Dr. Seuss . . . there's a never ending list. 

What inspired you to write Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction? 
The characters. They had more to say and do. 

Would you say you relate to any of your characters? If so, which one and why? 
I relate to Tess in that we're both writers, both divorced, and we both can trip over a cordless phone. I relate to Martha Maye in that I'm too trusting and now doubt everyone. 

This or that. 
Sweet or Salty? Sweeet 
Naughty or nice? Nice 
Cats or dogs? Dogs 
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate 

If you were deserted on an island, which author would you want to be stranded with? 
David Rosenfelt. He would keep


Amy Metz is the author of Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.


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