Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Author, author... Malicious Mischief by Marianne Harden + giveaway !!

...read all about her !!

Welcome Marianne, so great to have you here with us.  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Marianne Harden, a romantic mystery writer, as well as a California beach bum turned Washington State tree-hugger, world traveler, mother of two, stepmother to two more, devoted wife, aspiring artist, Starbucks aficionado, thrift store scavenger, gym rat.   

Do real life events find their way into your stories?

Goodness, no! If I lived Rylie’s life, I wouldn’t get out of bed. I torture the poor girl. I swamp her with tricky affairs of the heart and make her storm right into them. Then the wind changes and I hurl her into a disaster that I, thank God, have never experienced. I’m wicked like that. 

Do you ever mimic family members or people you know when you choose characters? 

Twice I used real people as inspiration, and twice I had to change them before the book went to print. Their spot-on depiction rushed straight at me and ran into with my conscience. I hadn’t meant to capture them so dead right. Certainly, it was because I knew them well, even though decades had passed since our last meeting. And as with most things that bring a sense of relief, my decision had been a good one, as I reconnected with one of them on Facebook recently. Someday I’ll fess up and we’ll both laugh about it. That said, I’m still glad I changed the character. He was a pisser.

Do you find yourself going back to the same inspiration for each story or is it always something different?

I happily and unhappily find inspiration all over the place. A costumed crowd becomes a murder scene, a shopping cart a weapon, a sun-speckled forest a spot for a little ‘luv’, or even a doctor’s office turns into a clue finding adventure. It’s almost too easy to find yourself working every moment, day and night, as I’ve also had dreams that inspired scenes or dialogue.

When do you write?  Early morning? During the day sometime or all day?  After the kids go to bed?
Fluid writing is so hit or miss that I seem to write all day waiting for those special moments to strike. I never feel as if I write enough words each day, and I never like what I write at the time. Be that as it may, writing feels most fruitful in the afternoon. Maybe because it’s closer to cocktails and dinner. I offer no protests when my foodie husband whips up a meal and cracks opens a bottle of wine. I’m a simple woman.

How do you feel about marketing your book?

Kill me now. Childbirth was easier. I’m a people person, but pushing myself on others comes with all the discomfort and awkwardness as begging with a tin cup. Despite that, I love interacting with friends and soon-to-be-friends on social media. It’s the pimping of my wares that sticks in my craw. 

What social sites do you feel work best for marketing?

No surprise here, it's the two major players:  Twitter & Facebook.

Do you like to pitch stories to your publisher or do you wait until you have written the story and have a final manuscript to turn in?

I don’t like to waste time writing what publishers don’t think they can sell. Because of that, a story may begin and end with a partial and synopsis. But what the heck, there are many more plots just waiting for a chance to spring to life.

Is there any other genre that you would love to try writing?  If so, what is it?

Steampunk. It blows me away, and writing a Steampunk romantic mystery series would be the bomb. I love the period, the extravagant science, the clothes, and the way they talk. But most of all I love the idea of writing something—anything Dickensian.

'Oh! For God's sake let me go!' cried Oliver; 'let me run away and die in the fields. I will never come near London; never, never! Oh! pray have mercy on me, and do not make me steal. For the love of all the bright Angels that rest in Heaven, have mercy upon me!'

For me, it doesn’t get any better than Charles Dickens.

Do you always/ever see yourself as the heroine/hero when you write a story?

Sometimes when I look into my eyes in the mirror, I see a bit of Rylie, mostly in her indecisiveness and reluctance to hurt her Granddad. Her story, of course, both past and present, differs from mine. However, we both have a tendency to go along with what others want for us rather than forging ahead on our own, though Rylie grows more of a backbone than I’ve ever managed to do.

Just for fun, I have a few personal questions, 

Favorite 5

1)      Favorite Male Actor - Harrison Ford

2)      Favorite vehicle – Vintage Volkswagen Beetle convertible

3)      Favorite way to relax – Wine, lots of wine!

4)      Favorite ice cream – Black Licorice

5)      Favorite outfit – Fleece pajamas

And for a bonus:  If you could pick any place in the world to live, besides where you are now, where would it be? (Of course, without the hindrance of jobs or money needed)

Cornwall, England

Where can our readers find you?? 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarianneHarden
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarianneHarden

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Marianne-Harden/e/B00CH7QU26/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it?

a fun, flirty romantic mystery. And the first of many Rylie Keyes mysteries.

 Is it strange to have the unemployment office on speed dial? Not for twenty-four-year-old college dropout Rylie Keyes. However, her current job at a small retirement home is worlds more important than all her past gigs. Fact is, if she loses this job, she’ll fail to stop the forced sale of her grandfather’s home, a modest lakeside bungalow that has been in the family for ages. But to keep her job she needs to figure out the truth behind the death of a senior citizen found murdered in her care.

The victim was thought to be a penniless man with a silly grudge against Rylie. However, his enemies will do whatever it takes to keep their part in his murder secret.

Forced to dust off the PI training she must keep hidden from her ex-detective grandfather, Rylie has to juggle the attentions of two very sexy, very different cops who both arouse and fluster her at the same time. And as she trudges through the case, she has no idea that along the way she just might win, or lose, a little piece of her heart. 


I managed to look down. Froze. Zach’s jacket had somehow twisted to the front, leaving my butt out in the open. I started to tug it back into place, spied a huge pool of blood nearby, and keeled over. Splat.
“Isn’t that somethin’, you’re wearing a pink thong.” Cokey Bill’s voice sounded distant. “Doris won’t wear one, on account of her incontinence.”
Dizzily, I struggled to my knees, staggered a little, then righted with a hand to one of the orange boxes for support. “Mr. Oley—we need to get—help. Doris needs—help.”
“Ah, that’s the sweetest thing, you moving over like that. I got a nice view now.”
I lapsed into a moment of stillness, hand to my heart. I had a strong feeling nothing could be done for Doris, so I wanted to give Cokey Bill a moment with his wife.
“Rare and beautiful thing, a nice ass,” he said.
Omigod! “Are you kidding me? You pervert. You’re looking at my butt!”
“I’m a simple man,” he said.
“You should be ashamed—” I broke off when his eyes went glassy. “Mr. Oley, are you all right?”
He sunk lower in his seat, grinned, and sagged against the steering wheel, making the horn blare with his pointy nose.
I couldn’t move, couldn’t blink. This wasn’t happening.
Solo popped his head inside the open passenger door. “Holy crap!”
“Where have you been?” I managed.
“Watching some bunnies in the bushes.” He looked from Cokey Bill to Doris and back to me. “What did you do, whisper them to death?”
“No!” I said, gulping air. “Check his pulse.” Then I closed my eyes to the blood and straddled Doris to do my best with CPR. It didn’t matter that I thought it was useless, I couldn’t give up on her or Cokey Bill. A minute later, I eyed Solo. “How’s he doing?”
He shook his head, shoulders slumped. “Dead.”
The blood left my face, I felt it go, drip by bloody drip. “You sure?”
He nodded. “Pretty darn.”
I dragged my eyes off Cokey Bill and went back to work on Doris. The shock and effort made me woozier. My panting and the footsteps outside sounded as one. When the truck’s rear doors flew open, my heart skipped a beat.
“Holy Mother Mary!” Zach said.
Fish and guts streamed out in a silver wave. Zach leaped back. I grabbed for something, anything, but my hands were slimy. The truck’s sharp angle made it worse. I missed a hand strap, but fisted some of Doris’s shirt. She wasn’t moving, probably caught on something. I heard a ripping noise. Ack! She was on the loose.
A jaunty slippery-slide over the rear bumper whipped me higher than a bucking horse. We bounced onto the pavement, bounced again. It turned out Doris was kind of springy. Even so, we went splat, a bouncy splat that whipped me onto my back, my knees heavenward, and my arms above my head. I opened one eye, peered up at Zach; his eyes were steely.

“I can explain.”


One last thing before we let you leave us today.  Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share?  I like to cook and am always looking for new recipes to try and share.

A Pacific Northwest Favorite: Blueberry Cobbler


·         2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         1/2 lemon, juiced

·         1 cup white sugar, or to taste

·         1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour

·         1 tablespoon butter, melted

·         1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

·         4 teaspoons baking powder

·         6 tablespoons white sugar

·         5 tablespoons butter

·         1 cup milk

·         2 teaspoons sugar

·         1 pinch ground cinnamon


1.    Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Place the blueberries into the baking dish, and mix with vanilla and lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of flour, then stir in the tablespoon of melted butter. Set aside.

2.    In a medium bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups of flour, baking powder, and 6 tablespoons sugar. Rub in the 5 tablespoons butter using your fingers, or cut in with a pastry blender until it is in small pieces. Make a well in the center, and quickly stir in the milk. Mix just until moistened. You should have a very thick batter, or very wet dough. You may need to add a splash more milk. Cover, and let batter rest for 10 minutes.

3.    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spoon the batter over the blueberries, leaving only a few small holes for the berries to peek through. Mix together the cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar; sprinkle over the top.

4.    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown. A knife inserted into the topping should come out clean - of course there will be blueberry syrup on the knife. Let cool until just warm before serving. This can store in the refrigerator for 2 days.

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Marianne, thanks so much for visiting with us today!  Your book sounds delightful and I always love a good mystery :)
I do have to say that i'm especially excited for the Blueberry Cobbler.  That's one fruit that's a favorite in our house!!

Readers, thanks so much for stopping by and make sure you get your copy of Malicious Mischief !!

Until next time, happy reading !


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