Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Disorderly Conduct by Mary Feliz | Blog Tour with Guest Post

Disorderly Conduct by Mary Feliz
Series: A Maggie McDonald Mystery, #4
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: 
July 10, 2018
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-10: 151610529X
ISBN-13: 978-1516105298
e-Book File Size: 2012 KB
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The Blurb

Professional organizer Maggie McDonald manages to balance a fastidious career with friends, family, and a spunky Golden Retriever. But add a fiery murder mystery to the mix, and Maggie wonders if she’s finally found a mess even she can’t tidy up . . .

With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for a rapid evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover the body of her best friend Tess Olmos’s athletic husband — whose untimely death was anything but accidental. And as Tess agonizes over the whereabouts of her spouse’s drop-dead gorgeous running mate, she becomes the prime suspect in what's shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts through clues in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. But when her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?

The Guest Post

Bird-Brained Authors

Anne Lamott’s best-selling Bird by Bird is a wise, warm, and witty approach to writing and life. But she’s not the only person to make a connection between birdwatching and literary pursuits. In fact, a surprising number of my author friends are birders. And after a lifetime with zero interest in stalking feathered creatures with binoculars, my husband last year gave me a camera optimized for the amateur ornithologist. What’s the connection? My interest stems from proximity to a rich source of varied wildlife. Two years ago, we moved to California’s central coast near a marine sanctuary that, coupled with nearby fields and wetlands, is a haven for some 500 avian species, resident and migratory. The migrants spend their time with us in subdued winter plumage, making identification tricky. But the nature of their journey and their visit helps. They’re exhausted, with a biological drive to eat, drink, and rest. Lucky for the newbie bird fan, that means they don’t move much. There’s a path surrounds our pond so I can shift my location until the bird is centered in my field of view much as it is in the drawings or photographs in the guides. Handy, that! Despite my fledgling camera skills, even a blurry photo of a feathered friend can provide clear insight into its genus and species. That Nike swoosh on the side of the dark-winged dabbler is enough to tell me it’s a ring-necked duck. The pizza wedge of white carved out of the round black head of the male bufflehead is distinctive even when smeared or pixelated. And from the right angle, the bill of the Northern shoveler looks exactly like the pictures — as if someone cruelly flattened their bills in a vise. Herons who take off in a whoosh that can be felt as well as heard and are among my favorites, as are the snowy owls who are nearly silent and inspire quiet in the voice and soul of the observer. That’s the appeal, at least for me. Though much of our creative life appears inactive, writers’ minds are chaotic. We chase down clues, tidy up loose ends, prod reluctant characters to act, and wrestle with the scene-stealing tendencies of secondary characters. We drive plots, stir up conflict, and race from climax to wrap up. After hours spent amidst that commotion, we must move our bodies and quiet our minds. Exercise helps, but the meditative aspects of a long workout tend to steer our thoughts back to our books without a refreshing rest. Birding, on the other hand, forces us to notice a world beyond the one inhabited by our imaginary friends. Spying on nature takes us out of our heads and strengthens observational skills that are an essential part of our jobs. We feel the air, hear the wind, smell the delightful scents and sometimes noxious odors of nature. We aren’t in control, the world around us is, and that’s refreshing. Identifying birds is an odd experience in itself. I don’t hike weighed down by a bird book, to the dismay of my more expert friends. I’d rather try to snap a picture, remember what I can, and check the book at home. Meandering through a bird book is as soothing as the hike. I get side-tracked, reading descriptions of birds that don’t resemble the one I struggle to identify. My brain flits, but in a relaxed fashion rather than a frantic one. As a result, I often spot a bird I’ve never seen before while I’m driving, cycling, or waiting for my airline flight to taxi toward the gate. And though it’s unfamiliar to me, its name appears in my head, unbidden, as though someone typed it there. That eerie connection to a forgotten fact is another tie between twitching (another word for birdwatching) and crafting fiction. While writers seldom intend to create autobiographical tales, our life experiences are condiments that we blend to add flavor and depth to our plots, settings, and characters. That bully from third grade spices up the villain in my fourth book. A child’s hospital stay becomes a scene in book five, but only after it’s blended with memories of other doctors, surgeries, and emergency rooms. A nightmare, forgotten college lecture, embarrassing or scary moment, or a chance meeting with an unusual stranger all pop unplanned into a rough manuscript to flesh out the prose. It happens, I think, by the same mechanism that helps identify never-before-seen birds. There’s so much about the brain we don’t know. So much, in fact, that creativity looks like magic. It’s easy to imagine a muse who feeds us ideas or delivers a lightning bolt of inspiration. In learning to birdwatch, in crafting a novel, or unwrapping the multi-layered complexity of the brain, it’s essential to take the process step by step. Or, as Anne Lamott suggests, bird by bird.

Photos by Mary Feliz: Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Stilt

The Author

About Mary Feliz

Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises competed in whaleboat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.

Find Mary on the web at

Follow the tour, to read other Guest Posts, plus Interviews and reviews!


July 9 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT


July 10 – cherylbbookblog – SPOTLIGHT

July 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

July 12 – Reading Authors – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 13 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

July 13 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

July 14 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW


July 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 17 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

July 17 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

July 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 18 – Ruff Drafts - SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 19 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

July 21 – The Montana Bookaholic - REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

July 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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