Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Guest Blog by Allison Kingsley and Review and Giveaway of Extra Sensory Deception - August 5, 2014

Please welcome Allison Kingsley to The Qwillery. Extra Sensory Deception, the 4th Raven's Nest Bookstore Mystery, is out today from Berkley. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Allison a Happy Publication Day!

I like to watch people, whether I’m in a grocery store or a restaurant, filing away in my mind little snips of information I can use in my books. I have often drawn some curious stares myself in a checkout stand. Like the time I had a flash of inspiration and excitedly told my husband that I’d decided to hire a hit man to kill Simon’s wife. The woman in front of me spun around as if she’d been shot, hurriedly grabbed her bag and fled.

When starting a new book, the characters come first with me. I have to know intimately the people who will drive my story. I have to know their deepest secrets, for only then can I tell how they will react to all the problems I’m going to throw at them.

Take Clara and Stephanie, the main characters in Extra Sensory Deception, for instance. They are cousins, both an only child, and grew up inseparable. They shared everything, from books and clothes to wishes and dreams. One was rarely seen without the other. Yet they are as different as sea and sand. Stephanie is impulsive, quick to act and just as quick to have second thoughts. Clara takes her time, analyzing, reflecting and weighing the consequences. Their adventures take them on the same path, but often with quite different results.

Secondary characters are the most fun to create. I can be more adventurous with them, giving them quirks and traits that would be tiresome in the main characters. In Extra Sensory Deception Clara’s assistant is a very large, very exuberant, somewhat mischievous dog named Tatters. Clara also has an unusual gift – she has inherited the family’s sixth sense, which allows her to read Tatters’ mind. Their conversations are a joy to write.

I’m often asked if I base my characters on real people. I think all writers do that, even if they’re not aware of it. I do know that a little bit of me is in all my main characters, and that all the people I create in my stories are made up of traits, quirks and descriptions of people I’ve met in my life.

When I was still living in England, my parents owned a small seaside hotel. The guests came from all over the country, and from all walks of life. It fascinated me to discover that we are all alike in so many ways, with the same wants and needs, yet every one of us is unique in some special way. It is in that individuality that I find my most memorable characters.

The people in my stories are like family to me. I smile when they smile, cry when they cry. They wake me up in the night to tell me their story, and they are with me every minute of the day until the book is finished. Then I’m off again to the grocery store for more inspiration.

So, if you see someone staring at you in the checkout stand, it might just be a writer like me, fascinated by something you’ve said or done. Or not.

Extra Sensory Deception
A Raven's Nest Bookstore Mystery 4
Berkeley, August 5, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 288 pages
Review Copy: Provided by the Publisher

As the owners of the Raven’s Nest bookstore, cousins Stephanie and Clara Quinn are the premier booksellers in the quaint town of Finn’s Harbor, Maine. But with Clara’s inherited ability to read minds and see the future, she’s also the premier crime solver…

You don’t have to be a psychic to know: The rodeo is coming to town! Clara’s boyfriend, Rick Sanders, invites her to the show to meet his high school buddy and expert calf roper, Wes Carlton. But when Clara’s Quinn Sense offers her a disturbing vision involving a rodeo clown, she worries that there will be more danger at the rodeo than just the traditional bucking bronco.

Of course, her premonition turns out to be accurate, and a dead body is discovered behind the concert stage, strangled by Wes’s piggin’ string. Rick is sure that there’s no way Wes could have murdered anyone, but he’s going to need Clara’s Quinn Sense to keep the authorities from roping the wrong suspect... 

Qwill's Thoughts

Extra Sensory Deception is the 4th paranormal cozy mystery in Allison Kingsley's Raven's Nest Bookstore series set in Finn's Harbor, Maine. Cousins Stephanie and Clara are back (of course) as well as Clara's boyfriend, Rick, and bookstore employee, Molly, along with other inhabitants of Finn's Harbor.

The rodeo comes to town as a new part of the annual Memorial Day weekend festival. Clara, who has inherited the family's 6th sense (the Quinn Sense) has a premonition of something bad happening to a rodeo clown. Clara is not a fan of her Quinn Sense. It's unpredictable, unclear and out of her control. So far she has explained her mental absences when having a vision as indigestion. I'm not sure why anyone believes that but they do. Clara is dating Rick Sanders, the hardware store owner. She hasn't told him about her Quinn Sense though he knows that she is very intuitive and seems to know what people are thinking.

In Extra Sensory Deception, Rick asks Clara to ask some questions about a murder at the rodeo because the main suspect is an old friend of Rick's, Wes Carlton. Of course, Clara and Stephanie ask more than a few questions and start investigating the murder. Clara doesn't feel that Wes did it but is not 100% sure of that. Shenanigans ensue as the cousins start tracking down leads. There are plenty of suspects for them to investigate despite the police chief of Finn's Harbor asking Clara to not get herself in trouble. Stephanie is her willing accomplice as usual.

I really enjoy the interactions between Clara and Tatters (the dog). Her Quinn Sense allows her to read Tatter's mind so that they can converse. Clara's relationship with Rick is really nice and I'm hoping that they stay together. I also enjoy reading Stephanie's interactions with her husband George. Clara and Stephanie have a bond that comes through to the reader throughout the novel. Kingsley is very, very good at creating authentic relationships between the characters.

The murder mystery is complicated enough without being outlandish and is well done. It kept me wondering who the murderer was though I had my suspicions. The entire novel moves along at a nice clip without being rushed.

While Clara's Quinn Sense gives her visions, lets her read minds occasionally and intuit if someone is lying, I can't help but wonder if Clara would accept her Quinn Sense instead of fighting against it, the meaning of her visions would be more clear and she'd have more control. On the other hand she does worry about what others outside of her family will think of her gift. Something to ponder!

Extra Sensory Deception is another engaging cozy mystery from Allison Kingsley. Visit the Raven's Nest Bookshop for the mystery, stay for the wonderful characters.

About Allison

Allison Kingsley has been writing romance and mysteries for twenty-five years. She has published over sixty novels and two short stories. She lives on a golf course in Oregon with her husband, Bill, and Tippi, a rat terrier who thinks she’s a Great Dane. When she’s not playing golf, she’s either going camping with her husband in their motor home, or analyzing movies on TV.


The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Extra Sensory Deception by Allison Kingsley from the publisher. US ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59PM US Eastern Time on August 14, 2014. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. My favorite bookstore is "Uncle Edwards" in Minneapolis---it's devoted to mysteries and I can spend all day there.

  2. I'd probably end up at the closest Half Price Books every weekend if I could. You just never know what's there so it's always fun when I can find a new series or that one book in the series I don't have yet.

  3. Strand in NYC.....I've spent DAYS there!!

  4. I love used bookstores, especially ones with an in-house cat!

    patucker54 at aol dot com