Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview with Stephanie Queen

Hi! Please welcome Stephanie Queen to the blog!!!

Stephanie is giving away an ecopy of her book, The Throwbacks AND a $25 Amazon GC to one lucky person who comments. Be sure to leave your email address to be entered.

Stephanie Queen Interviews Dan O’Keefe, sidekick to the hero in The Throwbacks, David Young. The Throwbacks is a romantic comedy mystery.

SQ:  It must be fabulous being the sidekick to the great detective from Scotland Yard, David Young, who’s come to Boston to help you out?

Dan:  I thought this interview was about me?

SQ:  Answer the question.

Dan: Fabulous.

SQ:  Elaborate.

Dan:  I’m the real workhorse behind the scenes solving the murder and kidnapping. He’s the suave and sophisticated cool character, so he gets all the attention. And he’s lucky. Especially with women.

SQ:  What do you think about David’s love interest, Grace?

Dan:  She’s every middle-aged man’s dream come true. Don’t you think you should make her more realistic? Give her a flaw—other than being slightly neurotic as all women are—make her fat or…

SQ:  Hey, wait a minute. You do your job and I’ll do mine.

Dan:  And about her half-pint sidekick, Sophia the Pixie. Why don’t you let me just shoot her?  Just a harmless shot in the foot?  Heck, her and Grace are always shooting themselves in the foot anyway, figuratively speaking.

SQ:  You’re off topic. Tell me about yourself. How did you get to be Chief of Police in Boston?

Dan:  [Silence]

SQ:  Well?

Dan:  I don’t know. You were pretty stingy with my back-story. One minute I’m a childhood friend of David’s playing Dick Tracy and the next thing you know I’m married with a kid and chief of the Boston Police Department.

Me:  Oh…

Dan:  So what are you going to do about it?

SQ:  How about if I give you your own story, a novelette about Dan O’Keefe and how he got to be the real life Dick Tracy. It’ll be about how your childhood dream comes true when you become Chief of the Boston Police Department?

Dan:  Don’t make rash promises.

SQ:  I promise.

Dan: You’re a real…

SQ:  Interview over.

Info about the awesome Stephanie Queen 

Personal Tid-Bits:

I have a cat named Kitty  (don’t criticize).
My writing has been called quirky. (whatever that means).
I’m in a Master’s  degree program in Literature & Creative Writing at Harvard University (no, I’m not kidding)
Dr. Seuss often inspires my writing (see quirky).
I love romance with a capital “R” (happy endings, love story optional).
My stories are set in rose-colored-glasses worlds (I’m selling the glasses for a bargain price—talk to me later).
If Pollyanna had a twitter handle, I’d follow her (she’s a fictional character right?)

Amazon Links:





The Throwbacks 55 word blurb:

To salvage his career, exiled Scotland Yard "Flying Squad" detective, the not-so-young David Young, joins the Boston Police Department.
   But this rogue detective can’t resist an unlikely romance with his young and vivacious decorator, Grace Rogers, even when she becomes a key witness in his high-stakes case--and like Kryptonite to his career and well-being.



Chapter 1
Grace tip-toed along the brick path, trying not to get her party heels stuck in the cracks. She heard the cab pull away from the curb and looked back. Sophia bounced behind her, wearing  sensible party boots.
“Do you realize you gave that taxi driver twenty dollars for a two dollar fare?” her friend said.
“Oh—just like in the song.” Grace smiled and climbed the steps leading to Mabel’s back door. Then she stopped. She felt Sophia stop right behind her.
“What?” Sophia prompted.
“You know. The Harry Chapin song where…”
“Quit stalling, Grace. This is not a surprise birthday party. Open the door.”
“Are we sure about that? Today is my birthday.” Or at least she’d always celebrated her birthday on October fifteenth as a close approximation. No one had ever come up with a more likely date.
“No kidding?  Not your thirtieth birthday is it?” Sophia stood on the step below her, making her even shorter than she already was. She looked like an updated version of Lucille Ball with an attitude and a bob. That thought made Grace smile.
“Wait until you turn thirty and see. You’ll have palpitations too.” Grace turned and pushed through the door into the back hall of Mabel’s Beacon Hill townhouse, willing away that intruder sensation she always got. Mabel was as good as family, she almost said out loud. Like the eccentric old aunt she used to dream up for herself back when she used to dream about it.
As they stepped into the old woman’s kitchen, the powerful aroma of food and familiarity warmed her. Even the clatter of the no-doubt expensive caterers didn’t spoil the homey effect.
“Mabel went all out for this bash.  Any idea why she would be hosting this Scotland Yard party?” Sophia asked as she followed her through the kitchen
“I don’t know. It’s a very big deal to her, though. My attendance was a command performance. I only wish I had a date.” She looked down at her friend. “No offense.”
Grace began to give herself the usual pep talk for going into a party dateless, the one about her soul mate being around the next corner, when her purse rang. Somewhere deep inside her  bag her ringing phone hid. Weaving around the catering staff, she crossed the black-and-white tiled kitchen to the swinging doors as she dug inside the bag to find the phone.
“Buck up,” Sophia said. “After all, thirty is the new twenty, right? It‘s not like you’re a spinster.”
The ringing grew louder as she pulled the phone from its depths. Mabel’s Scotland Yard party waited on the other side of the door in front of them. Pushing through the door into the room that Mabel called the “grand salon,” she stabbed the call button and spoke into the phone. Using what she hoped was a discreet voice, she said “Hello.”
“Grace! I’m so glad I got you!” Her friend Theresa Torini’s voice boomed from the other end of the line so that anyone might hear everything.
 “There’s been a murder!”
“What? You didn’t say murder?” Grace said. Then she clapped a hand over her mouth and darted her eyes around to see if anyone was paying attention. A few curious glances were thrown her way. Still holding the phone to her ear, not one more word volunteered its way to her mouth.
“Yes! A murder! And you have to help!” Theresa shrieked loud enough for Sophia to hear.
Sophia’s mouth opened to speak, but Grace shook her head furiously. Sophia clamped her mouth shut and clamped a hand on Grace’s arm, her eyes perplexed.
Grace frowned. Murder? Her help? What the heck was she talking about? But even if Theresa was crazy or confused, her hysteria sounded real.
“Take a deep breath, honey—aren’t you at your wedding rehearsal dinner?” Grace asked.
“Yes!”
Grace moved the phone a distance from her head to lessen the effect of her friend’s shocking volume. She moved away from people as best she could with the crowd already in full swing, pulling Sophia, who was still clamped to her arm, with her.
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you—Rick’s brother—oh poor Rick—his brother who was supposed to be our best man—has been shot! Murdered! Right here!”
“Oh no! I can’t believe it!” Grace stopped, truly taken aback. She watched Sophia’s face turn from confused to incredulous. Grace looked around. A few people stared, and some raised eyebrows. She put on a reassuring smile.
Sophia stuck to her arm, listening in. “Is she serious?”
Grace wasn’t sure. She shook her head.
“When did this all happen?” Grace asked.
“Just now—that’s why I’m calling you.”
“What do you want me to do? I’ll do whatever you need. Are the police there?” Grace asked. It occurred to her that this was a bad time for a murder across town. All the police were at this party.
“No. We have to keep it a secret…”
“Honey—I hate to tell you this—but you’re making no sense whatsoever and normally I’m right on the same page with you but…”
“We can’t call the police! We don’t want the reporters to know. The Mayor—Dad—insists we keep it hush-hush. No media. So I’m calling you…”
“I’m flattered but…” Grace had no idea what to say. Her friend was hysterical. Worse, the Mayor was insane.
“So you can tell the police, but discreetly,” Theresa said and it finally made sense.
“Oh—I get it. Because I’m here at the police party.”
“Yes! But you have to find Dan O’Keefe—the Chief—and tell him it’s top secret.”
“I don’t know who he is, honey. Why don’t you call him directly?”
“Don’t you think they’ve been trying that? They can’t get through on his personal cell phone and they don’t want to call his official line because then everyone will know.”
“Okay, I’ll try to find him—what does he look like?” Grace leaned down toward Sophia so she could be in on the conversation. She despaired at the generic description Theresa gave them to work with, but she didn’t complain. “Sweetheart, don’t worry—Sophia and I will ask around. We’ll find the Chief. And we promise to keep the murder under our hats. I’ll have him call you as soon as we find him.” She shoved the phone back in her bag.
“Gees, and I thought Mabel’s ‘Welcome Scotland Yard Party’ with the Boston police brass and stuffy British big-shots was going to be as exciting as a Latin mass,” Sophia said.
“This is serious—keep a look out for a tall, middle-aged man,” she said to her friend. But the prospect was daunting. The sounds of crystal and silver clinking like children pounding on xylophones sharpened as Grace drew them further into the crowd, looking around. The high-ceilinged room was bright with chandelier light and warm with the haze of cigars and way too many people.
“You look decorative.” Sophia eyed her. “We have a better chance of the police Chief finding you first with those colors you’re wearing. Why don’t you stand on one of these pedestals and give a shout out?”
Grace squinted at her diminutive friend. She had no room to talk. Sophia wore her typical offbeat outfit. Tonight she looked as if she’d stepped out of a fifties sitcom with a cinch-waisted dress and pearls. Grace surveyed the room, skimming over the guests to linger on the high style of the art deco furnishings that made this her favorite townhouse in all of Boston’s tony Beacon Hill. She sighed.
“I don’t know where to start. All these men look the same to me.”
Then her gaze caught on a tall man in a dark suit out in the entry hall. He’d just walked in on a breeze with dried maple leaves floating to the floor around him. He strode into the room and straight into the clutches of several blue-haired ladies and shiny-headed men. They immediately embraced him with cheek-kissing and backslapping affection. Grace watched as the mystery man withstood the onslaught with aplomb.
“At least you can see them—I should have asked Theresa for a description of his shoes,” Sophia said.
“No whining. I wonder if that man could be the Chief?”
“What man?” Sophia asked, standing on tiptoes.
“The distinguished-looking man. Over there.” Grace pointed as subtly as possible with her brilliant orange fingernails.
“Nice nails,” Sophia said. “Could be the Chief. Or he could be the big-shot from Scotland Yard.”
“What?” Grace said. She only half listened to Sophia. The mystery man had moved, but it was easy to keep track of him by the sound of laughter. He was like a fun island in the middle of an ocean of blue bloods. “We need to start somewhere. Let’s start by asking him.” She took her friend’s arm and steered her in his direction.
Grace got them within two feet of the man and then stopped. She watched the man more carefully as she considered him. “I never met anyone in the crime-fighting field before…” she whispered, trying not to show her simmering excitement.
Sophia rolled her eyes. “Grace, he’s not Batman.”
“But he could be heroic.” She thought the words out loud. She shoved aside the possibility that she might be disappointed, and with a tingle of anticipation, she walked right up to Mr. Distinguished. A man like him, a possible crime-fighting hero, would appreciate a bold approach.
“Hello. I’m Grace Rogers. And I’m hoping you’re Boston’s Chief of Police.” She gave the man her best bright smile.

David turned, and his eyes met a classic Marilyn look-alike with bouncing blond curls, twinkling brown eyes and a single deep dimple. He automatically looked over her colorfully clad va-voom body--out of professional habit. He was proud that he kept his mouth closed and his eyes from popping.
In the year since he’d moved back to the States, he hadn’t felt more adrift and out of sorts than he did at this very moment. What could he possibly say to this ridiculously young and beautiful bombshell? Where’s your father?
“Hello, young lady. Why do you hope that I am the police chief of this city?” He couldn’t wait for this answer as he eyed her dimple and looked into her earnest eyes.
“I need to report a murder.”
Hmmm.

Stephanie is giving away an ecopy of her book, The Throwbacks AND a $25 Amazon GC to one lucky person who comments. Be sure to leave your email address to be entered.

34 comments:

  1. You've covered two of my favorite topics—Scotland Yard and detectives! I like Dan's sense of humor, sounds like a fun book! Wonderful interview, ladies! Thanks for sharing :)
    jennyrlowery@yahoo.com

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  2. Hello, I just thought I would check out your story and I thought it was very interesting. I like your point of view and your quirkiness. By the way, my stepdaughter also has a cat named Kitty. You and her would probably be "bff",if you ever met. Good luck with your book.
    Arthur. highwayman99c@Aol.com

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  3. Thank you Jennifer! I had fun interviewing Dan, the sidekick. I can't wait to do the novelette about his story!
    Stephanie Queen

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  4. Hello Arthur! Thanks for the kind words. I think you're right about your stepdaughter since we're both Kitty-lovers!

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  5. Haaaaaahaaaaaa. I loved that interview. Dan is a hoot. He does deserve his own novella. P.R. Mason

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  6. OK, I knew I would love Dan O’Keefe when he responded with, "I thought this interview was about me?" LOL I loved the interview and I'm already excited to read a story about Dan.

    I enjoyed the excerpt, too, and have added The Hhrowbacks to my must have list.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

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  7. LOL, loved the interview--and your story sounds great!

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  8. WOW!! I can't wait to read this loved the interview and excerpt!

    savannah
    brandon_savannah@yahoo.com

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  9. Stephanie is an awesome writer. She is able to create intrigue to keep the conversation flowing. I loved it and can't wait to read more!

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  10. You guys are too kind!
    Glad you're finding Dan a fun character.
    Thanks P.R., Savanna, Brenda, Tracey and Patrice.
    Good luck on the GC drawing!

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  11. Super funny interview, Stephanie! Good job!

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  12. Love the personal tidbits. I can never write those about myself, grr! Hey, you should start a Pollyanna twitter account yourself, give us all a dose of happy each day ;-)

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  13. Thanks, Kerri! I do try.
    I figure I'll at least amuse myself.

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  14. Thanks, Skye!
    What an idea about the @Pollyanna...

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  15. That's so funny! I think I have to move The Throwbacks to the top of my TBR pile.

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  16. Thanks, Linda.
    I'm honored to be in your TBR pile!

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  17. I know I'm going to like Dan, he's quick with the come-backs. THE THROWBACKS looks like such a great read.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  18. Oh, this is a must have! I laughed from the first question all the way through! Anything that makes me laugh like that is a winner!!

    LOVE IT!!

    Gena Robertson
    robertsongena@hotmail.com

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  19. Looks like a funny book. I will have to add it to my TBR pile ASAP. Thanks for the great interview.

    Megan
    Megonski216@yahoo.com

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  20. Fun interview. Great excerpt. Put this book on my wishlist.

    e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

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  21. Love your interview. I love funny women & smart women. Now, I'm glad to have found a '2-fer'. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to read...especially after the shooting the pixie in the foot comment. I'm especially delighted to be a new member to NECRWA...I knew it was a good move!
    Karen

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  22. WOW! thanks for another book to add to my hugenormous TBR pile :)

    supagurlheather@gmail.com

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  23. Great excerpt. I like all the different elements, mystery, romance, cops, comedy.

    I had a female cat called Roger (thanks Mom after 4 kids you'd think you'd be able to tell the difference).

    acm05atjuno.com

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  24. You guys have been wonderful! I appreciate all your feedback--and comments about cats.
    Dan appreciates it too.

    Good luck on the GC drawing. I'll be notifying the winner soon. Then I'll post the winner's name here.

    Stephanie Queen

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  25. THE CONTEST ISN'T OVER YET!

    IT'LL BE OPEN UNTIL 1/18.

    WE'LL PICK ONE LUCKY WINNER TO RECEIVE THE $25 AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATE AND A COPY OF THE THROWBACKS ON 1/18.
    AFTER WE NOTIFY THE WINNER BY E-MAIL, WE'LL POST THEIR NAME HERE.

    THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS SO FAR--KEEP THEM COMING!
    STEPHANIE QUEEN

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  26. I loved the offbeat/quirky humor in the excerpt! Don't feel bad about having a cat named Kitty-growing up I had a horse named Kitty, talk about confusing!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

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  27. Sounds like a fantastic read! Thanks for the interview & excerpt!

    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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  28. I so enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the chance to win.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

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  30. It's not very different than any other detective story, Or is it..will read for sure to know.. keep writing:)

    ashek1@gmail.com

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  31. This sounds like something that I would enjoy reading!
    Good work and thanks for sharing!

    haldreviews@gmail.com !

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  32. I loved the interview! It's funny and sweet all at the same time.
    Happy to meet you here Stephanie...like I promised, I followed you from twitter.
    Mimi

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