Sunday, March 5, 2023

Sazerac, Sleuth & Slay by Mary Cunningham | Blog Tour with Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway


Sazerac, Sleuth & Slay (An Andi Anna Jones Mystery) by Mary Cunningham

About Sazerac, Sleuth & Slay


Sazerac, Sleuth & Slay (An Andi Anna Jones Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting - In and around New Orleans
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (February 27, 2023)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 260 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1509247440
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1509247448
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BQGVDG7P


It’s gonna be a great day! Or, so she thought. 

Andi Anna Jones, so-so travel agent, amateur sleuth, doesn’t suspect her least favorite client, Stewart (The Pain) Payne, will set off circumstances that lead to disappearance and death.

After his wife is a no-show for a convention in New Orleans, his threat to sue Graves Travel for “ten times more than it’s worth”, and Andi’s wish to honor one of her late dad's requests, leads her to The Big Easy in search of Grace Payne.

Five unsolved murders, a body caught in a crawfish cage, and a mysterious candle, magic, and incense shop, takes Andi deep into the bayou on a hunt for clues.

Will another victim be added to a serial killer’s list, or is the main suspect closer to Andi than she thinks?


About the Excerpt

I grabbed the phone to call Ellie, but it rang, instead. “Hello! Uh, Graves Travel.”

“You better have a darned good explanation for this!”

An all too familiar voice threatened through the phone. “Mr. Payne? I just heard. Is there any news on Grace?”

“No, and it’s your fault. I warned you about putting her into some sleazy hotel and now she’s missing! What kind of half-baked business are you running? First you fly me to Texas instead of Georgia, and now you’ve lost my wife!”

I shook so violently, my brain stuttered. How could this happen? I pulled up the reservation. “I’m looking at the hotel website, Mr. Payne, and it’s very presentable. Dozens of 5-Star reviews and no complaints.”

“I don’t care what you or that website says! My wife’s convention is being held at the Sheraton, miles away from the Quarter. Why did you ever make her reservation so far away? I’m worried sick. The police will be contacting you, Miss Jones, and you’d better have some answers for them!”

“But you approved the…” I stared at the silent receiver. The burning knot in my stomach moved its way up to my throat. Where was Grace Payne, and did her reservation get screwed up? I called Ellie and left a message. “Get over here, ASAP. We have a problem.”

About the Author Interview

When did you catch the writing bug? I started writing family memoirs. When my — seldom hands out compliments — mother said, “This is really good!” I knew I was onto something. Seriously, my dad was a journalist and I admired his writing. Guess the transition was natural. 

Besides Author, what other job titles have you held? Bank teller, secretary, travel agent and travel and tourism instructor.

When you’re not working, what fills your time? I love to travel. I enjoy swimming, playing golf, and watching sports – especially my beloved Indiana Hoosiers Basketball (women and men!).

If your life were made into a movie, is it a comedy or drama? Who plays you? In my younger days, Sandra Bullock. Present day, I’d be thrilled with Helen Mirren. The movie must be split between comedy and drama — leaning toward comedy.

What is your favorite childhood memory? Playing in the huge (seemed big then!) backyard of my grandparents. A creek ran past their property and every summer, when my cousins visited, we’d play croquet, wade in the creek, and play card games. 

What advice would you give to your younger self? I’d stop comparing myself to everyone else, especially since I thought I was never pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough. Ugh! I wasted so much time and energy feeling insecure!

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you? Two friends and I were hosts of a women’s sorority meeting. As the president discussed business, we three got a horrible case of the giggles. Even the angry stares of twenty-five women couldn’t stop us. Two of us would get control, then the third would burst out laughing.

What is your greatest achievement? Doing school author visits for my children’s book series and inspiring 4th, 5th and 6th graders to read and especially write. 

What makes you laugh? My best friend, Diana, and I can laugh at anything! We think we’re hilarious when no one else really gets us. I do love dry wit and good physical comedy. 

What is your greatest extravagance? Probably golf. Time and money are necessary if you really enjoy playing. I’ve played all my life (from the age of 8), and will continue until I have to hold onto a walker with one hand and swing a club with the other.

What are your pet peeves? Injustice, lying, hypocrisy. If you exhibit even one of these traits, I probably won’t spend much time around you.

Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows. I’d love to be able to sing. My dad sang with a barbershop quartet (youngsters, Google it!). While I have an excellent ear for music, I can’t sing a lick. I inherited my mother’s voice, whose church hymn singing could break a stained glass window. 

What is always in your fridge? Dark chocolate

What is your most treasured possession? Although I can’t call her a possession, six months ago I would’ve said my sweet little rescue pup, Lucy. She captured out hearts from the moment she adopted us. Sadly, she “crossed the Rainbow Bridge” very suddenly. I haven’t been the same without her. 

What is your favorite movie? TV show? Not fair! How can I pick one? The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings) is a sentimental favorite. I loved the books so much, and when the movie was released, my husband and I went to the movie theatre to see it. I got tears in my eyes watching Gandalf cross the bridge into The Shire. 

Favorite TV? Although it’s no longer on, This Is Us. Such compelling stories and cast. Now I’m bingeing on Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. We still re-watch Game of Thrones reruns, and I love Only Murders In the Building. Wednesday is also a fave. Right now, we’re watching The Last of Us. Chilling! 

What is your favorite song, and why? Almost anything by the Eagles. Brandi Carlisle (too many to name) and Lizzo (About Damn Time) are also favorites. Growing up in the 70s, I loved Fleetwood Mac, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and my all-time favorite, Jim Croce. 

What did you eat for breakfast? Did you make it yourself? I had cereal this morning, with blueberries, and yes, I made it myself!

Describe your perfect day. Two cups of coffee and a latte in the morning with hubs, sharing plans for the day. Some writing and catching up with emails late morning. Then a walk along one of the beautiful trails around our home. Leftovers for dinner, so I don’t have to cook and then binge-watching a series on Netflix or another streaming service. I have very simple tastes, and don’t like a busy social scene. Even when I was young, I shied away from crowds. Probably the introvert and empath in me. 

About Mary Cunningham

Author, Mary Cunningham grew up on the northern side of the Ohio River in Corydon, Indiana.

Her first memories are of her dad’s original bedtime stories that no doubt inspired imagination and love of a well-spun “yarn”.

Through the author’s horrifying stint as a travel agent, protagonist Andi Anna Jones, travel agent and amateur sleuth, sprang to life. The adult/mystery series gives extra meaning to the phrase, “Write what you know.”

Cunningham also has a published biography depicting a military brat, college and professional basketball player, along with a five-book, middle-grade fantasy series.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime, Atlanta Chapter, International Thriller Writers, Inc., and the Carrollton Writers Guild.

When she gives her fingers a break from the keyboard, she enjoys golf, swimming, and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband.

Author Links
Instagram: Author Mary Cunningham (@marycunningham2604) • Instagram photos and videos

Purchase Links
Amazon - B&N 

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