Blog Tour & Guest Post: Lynn Albrecht – Dying for Sex

Lynn-Albrecht-Blog-Tour-250Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming Lynn Albrecht, who’s been kind enough to share with us her inspiration for her novel, Dying for Sex.

What was your inspiration for Dying For Sex?

Life. Dying For Sex is the first book I’ve ever completed. I started a couple of books in my thirties, but never finished them. Probably because I was so busy corralling children, working in communications, and checking for grey hairs that I never had time to research a story let alone write one.

When I started Dying For Sex, I was still working full-time as a social worker. I knew that if I wanted to finish a book, I had to cut back on the research and write about what I know. That meant, sad to say, I would not be penning the next great historical novel about the fierce British Celtic female warrior Boudicca. But I was fifty-four at the time, and figured I had experienced a lot in my life. I’d changed careers multiple times, skipping from broadcasting to corporate communications to social work. During all that, I’d had a couple of kids, a failed marriage, fallen in love again, and watched my formerly buff body morph into something I barely recognized. So I incorporated some of those life experiences into the character of Lindy Sutton, the heroine of Dying For Sex.

Lindy’s a lot like you and me. She’s trying to make a living, as a caterer and clown, raise her children, look after her crazy Aunt Pip, while keeping track of her keys, avoiding the by-law police, and sussing out the best deals on Spanx. Then the sister of her next-door neighbor dies. Her neighbor believes the woman was murdered and asks Lindy to help find out who did it. But just like most of us, she has absolutely no idea how to go about it. So she enlists the help of her best friend, her sister, and the elderly Chappie Lowton who lives at the retirement home where the victim worked. Of course, they don’t really know how to solve a mystery either, but that doesn’t stop them all from trying.

As so often happens, just when you’re desperately trying to focus on a goal, life intrudes. Lindy’s son brings home this outrageously ugly bus and parks it in their driveway, the extremely irritating cop on the case fires up her long dormant hormones, and she still has to occasionally don the clown suit to keep the food on the table.

Lindy is not particularly brave, she’s hard on herself, and tends to run headlong into situations without letting rational thought get in the way. She’s not a Kay Scarpetta or Kinsey Millhone so she doesn’t solve the mystery in a methodical, professional way, but she does solve it.

There are also a lot of senior citizens in Dying For Sex and that’s because as a social worker in a hospital, my clients are predominantly older. I love working with seniors and wanted my book to be populated with them. Chappy and Dixie are two of my favorite characters in the book. Murder, seniors, and sex all in one book––it’s a fascinating combination.

Now, right about now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Hang on! You say that you drew upon your own life experiences for Dying For Sex. There’s a lot of talk about swinging in the book. Does this mean that you’re a swinger Lynn?”

Okay, so I did have to do some research after all. But I have to say, I’d been hearing about the swinger lifestyle for most of my adult life. I’ve lived in a lot of places in my time and in every town, someone would tell me about going to a party only to find that people were swapping partners faster than the mayor of Toronto can make a fool of himself. Most of my research on the topic was done on-line. I did flirt with the idea of going to a local adult lifestyle club (Just to watch. Oh that doesn’t sound good either does it?), but, chickened out at the last moment much to my husband’s eternal disappointment.

I hope you all enjoy Dying for Sex as much as I enjoyed writing it.

About Dying for Sex

Albrecht_Lynn-DyingForSex

Lindy Sutton has her hands full. In between having her clown act clobbered by pint-sized critics, keeping a group of sex-crazed octogenarians from starting brawls in the raciest bar in town, and trying to keep her crazy Aunt Pip from being tossed out of Laughing Pines retirement home, she still has to contend with her son’s garish band bus parked in her driveway. Could things get any worse? Yup! Margaret Quaid, the social worker at Laughing Pines is found dead of an apparent overdose and the drop dead handsome detective on the case, thinks she stole the drugs from the retirement home and was pretty active in the world of wife swapping to boot. Lindy’s temper soars, along with her long dormant hormones, as she sets out to clear Margaret’s name, find the murderer and make the sexy detective eat crow. Aided and abetted by the aging but flamboyant Chappy Lowton, her eccentric and sarcastic sister, her best friend Patty, and that hoard of sex-crazed geriatrics, Lindy wades into the world of swingers only to find that there are plenty of people with a motive to kill the social worker.

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About Lynn Albrecht

Lynn Albrecht author photo
Lynn C. Albrecht started her career in broadcasting. Quickly realizing she was not going to be the next Lisa Laflamme, she entered the world of corporate communications. After years of writing videos, speeches, advertising, and dressing in power suits with shoulders pads that made her look like Hunter Hearst Helmsley, she had a great epiphany. She ditched the shoulder pads and returned to school. Five years later, she was released into the unsuspecting healthcare system as a social worker. She works at St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario.

Lynn lives in Baden, Ontario with her infinitely patient husband, John Belton.
Dying For Sex is her first book. She is currently hard at work on the second Lindy Sutton mystery.

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Giveaway

Lynn-Albrecht-Giveaway

First Prize: Kindle Paperwhite and an autographed copy of Dying for Sex

Second Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of Dying for Sex

Third Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of Dying for Sex

You can click on the image above to enter, or you can click here. Since wordpress doesn’t allow javascript, I can’t post the rafflecopter form, but you can always visit it.

I would like to thank Lynn Albrecht for taking time out of her busy schedule to pen a guest post for Before Midnight.

BFTA Review: Lou Aronica – Blue

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Title: Blue
Author: Lou Aronica
The Fiction Studio
Rating: 5/5

Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Becky is Chris’s fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges to become a vibrant, vital young woman – and now faces her greatest obstacle yet. Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little, a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own and now finds itself in terrible, maybe fatal trouble. Together, Chris, Becky, and Miea need to uncover a secret. The secret to why their worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them. Blue is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed. (goodreads.com)

Once I got started with this book, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what would happen to Becky, and Tamarisk, and after a while I started really getting the gist of the outcome, but I still kept hoping for something else.

I found myself relating both to Becky, as a child of divorced parents who can’t get along all that well, and to Chris and Polly, as well. It’s really hard to lose someone you love, and it’s especially hard to watch someone die from cancer, because it can be a really slow process.

There were times when I really disliked Polly, mostly because of her poison towards Chris; she dislikes him so much she goes so far as to believe that Chris is trying to take Becky away from her when Becky decides she wants to spend more time at Chris’s. There were times that I disliked her so much that I found her to be unsympathetic. It was Chris’s sadness that tugged my heart strings more, partly because he had lost so much time with Becky, and partly because, just when he was starting to spend more time with her, he loses that time.

I kept hoping for a better ending for Miea, romantically at least. I really wanted her to get back with Dyson, but I know that lives change and Miea had a lot to do, but she at least became friends with Dyson again, and it was a start. But I was also glad they were able to find a cure for the blight.
Even if you don’t read fantasy, or general fiction, I’d recommend you pick this book up and read it. It’s a very touching story, and you won’t regret it.

This book was read and reviewed as part of a virtual tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book. For more information on Lou Aronica or his book, Blue, please visit The Fiction Studio.

Originally posted 11 March 2011.

BFTA Review: Laurel Dewey – Redemption

Dewey_Laurel-Redemption

Title: Redemption
Author: Laurel Dewey
The Story Plant
Rating: 4/5
Read for: Pump Up Your Book tour

After the events in Protector (Story Plant mass market, May 2009), Jane Perry has resigned from the Denver Police Department. Trying to make a living as a private investigator, she finds her past haunting her at every turn and her old demons rising up to torment her.
Seeking some level of comfort at an AA meeting, Jane encounters a woman who knows what Jane does for a living. The woman wants Jane to drive with her from Colorado to Northern California in search of a man who matches the description of the killer who murdered her granddaughter many years before. She’s convinced that the man has started to kill again and she wants to stop him.
Jane thinks the woman is crazy-especially when she discovers that she’s a New Age devotee-but Jane is desperate for work. They head on the road, gathering critical information about the killer, and themselves, along the way. Jane has recently experienced several events in her life that seem to border on the paranormal, though she is a complete skeptic in that regard. Now, those experiences come with greater frequency. And when the trail of the killer leads to a fundamentalist church, the consequences of belief and faith propel her toward a deadly confrontation.

When I first received the book, I didn’t realize it was part of a series, but fortunately it can be read as a stand-alone novel. And, since I haven’t read the first in the Jane Perry series, Protector, I have to do my review like Redemption is a one-shot novel.

I was a little startled when Jane appears, and she’s so angry all the time. She throws things constantly. I was so relieved to see Kit show up, because she gave me a bit of relief from Jane’s ever-constant cynicism. Jane comes across as very close-minded, especially towards things spiritual, and even if she doesn’t believe, she seems to dislike the quality in others, as well. She is quick to dismiss Kit as a nut job, although she does go to her eventually. Knowing now that the book was the second in a series, I wonder if Jane’s attitude is a result of what happened in Protector, or if she’s always like this.
After a while, Jane started to grow on me. Her initial attitude was startling, but after a while (okay, something like five pages) I got used to it.

Overall, I liked the book. I really liked Kit, and her absolute insistance that Jane is the one to help her, even though Jane is resistant. The descriptions are vivid, so much so that I could see the characters, the places, and Jane’s Mustang.

A copy of this book was generously provided to me by the publisher as a part of the Pump Up Your Book tour.

Originally posted 01 March 2011.