Friday, June 12, 2020

Snowed Under by Mary Feliz | Blog Tour with Author Guest Post

Snowed Under (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
by Mary Feliz

About Snowed Under

Snowed Under (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 9, 2020)
250 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07WBY669T
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When professional organizer Maggie McDonald finds a body in a snowdrift outside her friend's ski cabin, she must plow through the clues to find a cold-blooded killer . . .

Lake Tahoe in February is beautiful, but Maggie can't see a thing as she drives through a blinding blizzard with her friend Tess Olmos and their dogs, golden retriever Belle and German shepherd Mozart. Maggie has offered her professional decluttering skills to help Tess tidy up her late husband's cabin in preparation to sell. She also plans to get in some skiing when her husband Max and their boys join them later in the week.

What she doesn't plan on is finding a boot in a snowdrift, attached to a corpse. The frozen stiff turns out to be Tess's neighbor, Dev Bailey, who disappeared two months ago. His widow Leslie expresses grief, but Maggie can't help but wonder if it's a snow job. As more suspects start to pile up, things go downhill fast, and Maggie must keep her cool to solve the murder before the killer takes a powder . . .

About the Guest Post

Book Titles: Naming the Cozy Mystery 

Pow! A well-crafted title grabs readers, compelling them to buy and read the book. That’s the plan, anyway. And every genre and sub-genre has its own naming conventions.

Cozy mystery titles typically try to check several boxes, all while telling readers what the book is about:
  1. They’re puns.
  2. They mention death or murder
  3. They’re consistent with the detective’s profession. 
  4. If they lean toward the more slap-stick end of the genre, they’re funny.

Louise Penny’s first title, Still Life, nails it. It’s a pun: Still Life = Death and Still Life = Painting. It hints at death. And two of the central characters are artists. It’s not hilarious, but that’s appropriate to the book’s tone. It has light-hearted moments and quirky characters, but it also has dark and serious themes. 

Maddy Day’s Nacho Average Murder covers the more humorous end of the spectrum with a groaner of a pun signaling that a laugh-out-loud romp awaits the reader. It also tells fans it’s a foodie mystery, with recipes focusing on California fresh Tex-Mex foods. 

My books are somewhere in the middle and generally hit at least two of the three targets of titles in the cozy mystery subgenre. 
  1. Address to Die For – Pun. Death.
  2. Scheduled to Death – Pun. Death. Hints of organization and efficiency, which are right in main character Maggie McDonald’s professional organizer wheelhouse.
  3. Dead Storage – Pun. Death. Storage. 
  4. Disorderly Conduct — Pun. Organization. But a crime, not death. 
  5. Cliff Hanger — Pun. Touches on organization with “hanger.” Signals suspense and tension.
  6. Snowed Under – Pun. Organization. But no murder.

My publisher loved most of these titles as submitted, which is what I was going for. My first “sale” is always getting the publishing and marketing teams at Kensington on my side. If I don’t succeed, readers never see the books. 

The only title that changed from the original was Dead Storage. I’d submitted the manuscript as Cold Storage because the murdered man is found in a restaurant freezer room. The publisher’s version better signals the murder mystery aspect of the book. I wasn’t initially happy with it, but couldn’t think of anything better as we inched toward publication, so I let it stand. It works. 

So, what about the latest title, Snowed Under? Snowed under usually means being overworked and overwhelmed, buried in paperwork. But it also appropriately references snow, since a massive blizzard threatens the story characters and their investigation. Most people I knew growing up in the Northeast and near Chicago, used “snowed in” to refer to a storm so bad that businesses and schools are close. But snowed under is an often-used substitute, so the title works as a pun. 

Luckily for me, when my titles missed ticking all three boxes of the cozy mystery naming ideal, powerful cover artwork picked up the slack. Because they are cozies, there’s no blood or gruesomely detailed crime scene on the covers or between them, but the artwork signals that something is not as it should be. Something that Maggie McDonald and her team will need to set right while identifying the bad guys and bringing them to heel.

What about you, readers? What are your favorite cozy mystery titles? Do my titles meet your personal requirements for the books you prefer? Do they encourage you to read the books? Is there such a thing as too broad a pun in this genre? 

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.

Author Links: 

Purchase Links:
Amazon -  B&N -  Kobo -  Google Books -  Kensington



June 9 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 9 – I'm Into Books – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

June 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

June 10 – The Power of Words - REVIEW

June 11 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 11 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 12 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

June 12 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

June 13 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

June 13 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – Brianne's Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 14 – Diane Reviews Books - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 14 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews - SPOTLIGHT

June 15 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 15 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

June 16 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 16 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 17 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 17 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Island Confidential - SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous- REVIEW, GUEST POST

June 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

June 18 – Literary Gold - CHARACTER GUEST POST

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