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Investigating a conspiracy really wasn't on Nikki's very long to-do list.


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Secret Identity, Small Town Romance
Available 4.15.24



April's Affections and Intrigues: Love and Mystery Bloom


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Erica Wynters | A Newcomer to Her Small Town Drops Dead in the Local Coffee Shop


Poppies, Perils, and Poison
Erica Wynters

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Camelot Flowers Mysteries book #2

March 2024
On Sale: March 19, 2024
Featuring: Gwen Stevens; Chris Crawford
ISBN: 0167655248
EAN: 2940167655249
Kindle: B0CPKP9N3G
e-Book
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Also by Erica Wynters:
Poppies, Perils, and Poison, March 2024
Add to review list
Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder, March 2023

1--What is the title of your latest release?

POPPIES, PERILS, AND POISON

2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

Florist Gwen Stevens is torn between her lifelong crush on her best friend and the hot new local police detective. But her thorny love life takes a backseat when a newcomer to her small town drops dead in the local coffee shop...and Gwen's surrogate aunt is the main suspect in her murder! Can Gwen uncover the truth before the killer poisons her chances of a happily ever after?

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

When I started writing this series, I knew I wanted the books to be set in a small, rural town in the Midwest. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and modeled Star Junction after my experience of living in a small town. For some reason, I chose to set it in Illinois instead of Wisconsin, but I spent my college years in Illinois so that’s a special state to me too.

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

Absolutely! Gwen is fun, kind, and curious. The thing that I think would make her a really great friend is the way she’s willing to take risks and put herself out there to help the people she cares about. Believe me, if you’re ever wrongfully accused of murder, you want Gwen proving your innocence.

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

I’ll try not to use the words from the previous answer. I’d describe Gwen as loyal, smart, and a nervous babbler.

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

I had to do a fair bit of research on poisons for this book. Without giving too much away, I knew I wanted the poison to be delivered in a certain form. Finding something that could reasonably result in death, but fit the story, was a challenge.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

A little bit of both. I used to edit a lot as I drafted, which made for a cleaner first draft, but makes finishing that first draft take forever. My critique partner used to joke that my first draft always read like a third draft. I’ve gotten much better at pushing forward without going back and obsessively editing along the way, because I found that I was spending a lot of time editing scenes that sometimes got cut in the end! It’s much easier to cut a scene, even if I love it, when I haven’t spent hours finding just the write words.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

I would definitely not consider myself a foodie. I like really basic foods, but my favorite indulgence would be a meal of really good Mexican food followed by Ben and Jerry’s S’mores ice cream, which makes an appearance in this book.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

Currently, I’m writing in my bed under the covers. Sleep experts would say that’s a no-no, but I love being cozy and there’s nothing cozier than my bed. I also love to write on my back patio when the weather is nice.

10--Who is an author you admire?

There are so many authors I admire. One of them is Gemma Halliday. She’s not had great success in her writing, but through her books, she showed me that I could combine writing a compelling mystery with a healthy dose of humor and romance along the way, which was always my favorite combination. I’ve been reading cozy mysteries for decades and while there is a wide variety of styles, most of them don’t have a lot of humor involved. Gemma’s books made me laugh out loud and gave me the permission I needed to write the kind of book I wanted to read.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

I don’t know if this counts as changing my life, but the Little House on the Prairie books are what made me fall in love with reading. I read them for the first time in late elementary school and started a tradition of reading The Long Winter every Christmas break growing up in Wisconsin. It was a bonus if I could read it on a really snowy day. Over the years, I branched out to the other series related to those books including the one about Laura as an adult, the one about Laura’s mom, and even her grandmother.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

I wrote the first book in this series years before it was published. In fact, originally the main character was named Jess and she was a personal trainer. I’d titled the book Stretched to the Limit. I’d queried it to agents and while many agents liked it, they all said it was hard to tell if it was a cozy mystery or a rom-com, which was a fair assessment at the time. The book sat untouched for a couple of years while I wrote other things. During that time, I’d secured an agent for a romantic suspense I’d written. One winter, she sent a message to the authors at the agency saying that Gemma Halliday was actively acquiring projects. I was a huge admirer of Gemma’s and decided to do a frantic rewrite of Stretched to the Limit to take out some of the romance and make it more distinctly a cozy mystery. While I had to do a lot more editing after I signed with Gemma, I’d fixed the book enough to get a contract. I was so excited and honored to be able to work with her. Publishing these books with Gemma Halliday Publishing has been a joy.

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

I have three favorite genres—cozy mysteries, romantic suspense, and fantasy. Fantasy is the only genre on the list I haven’t written, and I don’t think I ever will. I love reading a good fantasy novel, but I wouldn’t want to do all the world-building that those authors have to do. I’m happy to enjoy all of their hard work.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

I have a really hard time picking favorites of any category. I feel like my favorites are always changing, but I love action movies, heist movies, and rom-coms. A movie I’ve watched over and over again is Paycheck with Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. I love that movie, and even though I know how it ends, I’ll watch it anytime I get a chance.

15--What is your favorite season?

My answer has changed since moving to Phoenix almost thirteen years ago. When I lived in the Midwest, it was fall, hands down. I love the leaves changing, sweater weather, and feeling cozy on blustery days. Now, my favorite season would be winter, although since our winter in Phoenix is like most places’ fall weather, maybe it hasn’t really changed. Just the time of year I get to enjoy it is different.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

I love to be with my family for my birthday. My kids, who are sixteen and fourteen, are amazing at doing whatever I want on my birthday with cheerful attitudes, which is the best gift they could give me. We’ll usually eat out somewhere I love and play games as a family.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Some of my favorite TV shows right now are Abbott Elementary, Tracker, and So Help Me Todd. I just watched the movie Lift on Netflix. It was a fun heist movie with good action, some humor, and a little romance, which is my favorite combination. I just started listening to a podcast that I’m enjoying called Very Special Episodes. The description is: Stranger-than-fiction tales about normal people in extraordinary situations.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Mexican food, especially chicken fajitas. Even more specific than that, I love a restaurant in Phoenix called Joyride Tacos and always order three of the crispy fish tacos. They’re soooo good!

19--What do you do when you have free time?

I love to get together with friends, go for walks (when it’s not 100 degrees out), take naps, read, and do crazy health stuff. Sitting in my infrared sauna isn’t the craziest thing I do, but it’s the only one I’m willing to share (wink-wink).

20--What can readers expect from you next?

I’m hoping there will be a fourth Camelot Flowers mystery. I just finished the proposal and will be turning that in to my publisher soon. I also have two closed-door romantic suspense series that I’ll begin publishing in 2025. I’m very excited about those projects. I’ve been working on them a long time, and they’re super fun stories.

POPPIES, PERILS, AND POISON by Erica Wynters

Camelot Flowers Mysteries book #2

Poppies, Perils, and Poison

From author Erica Wynters comes another Camelot Flowers Mystery blooming with secrets, suspicions, and danger at every turn...

Things are finally looking up with florist Gwen Stevens’ family business, Camelot Flowers, which means her biggest problem now is making her heart choose between her lifelong crush on the charming Chris Crawford and her budding romance with Finn Butler, the new police detective who makes her want to stop and smell the roses.

But Gwen’s thorny love life takes a backseat when Shannon Wentworth, a newcomer to the small town of Star Junction, drops dead in the local coffee shop the day after she announces her candidacy for garden club president. Unfortunately, Margie Philips, Gwen’s surrogate aunt, has been garden club president for years and had threatened to win again this year at any cost—which suddenly puts her in the role of prime suspect in Wentworth's untimely demise!

Determined to clear Margie’s name, Gwen digs deep and discovers a bouquet’s worth of secrets, including marital infidelity, a lawsuit threatening to ruin a local business, and even doubts about where Margie was right before the murder. With too many suspects all hiding something, will Gwen uncover the truth before the killer poisons her chances of a happily ever after?

 

Mystery Amateur Sleuth | Mystery Cozy | Mystery Hobbies [Gemma Halliday Publishing, On Sale: March 19, 2024, e-Book, ISBN: 2940167655249 / eISBN: 9798215800171]

Buy POPPIES, PERILS, AND POISONKindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Erica Wynters

Erica Wynters

Erica Wynters started as most authors do - as an avid reader. Cozy mysteries and romantic suspense offered her just the escape she was looking for! The combination of great love and great danger keeps her turning pages late into the night.

Now they keep her writing pages late into the night. Her goal is always two-fold: help you fall in love with love all over again and take you on an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Falling in love has never been so fun...or so dangerous!

Camelot Flowers Mysteries

 

 

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