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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Carolyn J. Rose, author of No Substitute for Murder

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Carolyn J. Rose.

About Carolyn:

Carolyn J. Rose is the author of several novels, including Hemlock Lake, An Uncertain Refuge, A Place of Forgetting, and No Substitute for Murder. She penned two humorous cozy mysteries, The Big Grabowski and Sometimes a Great Commotion, with her husband, Mike Nettleton. Through a Yellow Wood, the sequel to Hemlock Lake, will be published in the early summer of 2012 and By the Sea of Regret, the sequel to An Uncertain Refuge, will emerge in the late fall.

She grew up in New York's Catskill Mountains, graduated from the University of Arizona, logged two years in Arkansas with Volunteers in Service to America, and spent 25 years as a television news researcher, writer, producer, and assignment editor in Arkansas, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. She founded the Vancouver Writers' Mixers and is an active supporter of her local bookstore, Cover to Cover. Her interests are reading, gardening, and not cooking.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Carolyn!

Carolyn has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her!

In fashion and fiction, one size doesn’t fit all

Last week I got a flier from a major department store, the kind with a peel-off sticker that reveals the amount of my discount—10, 20, or even 30 %.

This one was—Yes!—30% with a special Wednesday-morning additional discount.

No doubt about it. I had to go shopping.

But when I stared at my reflection in one of those triple mirrors—the bane of any woman whose body is less than perfect—I wondered why I came. The racks of filmy, frothy, form-fitting tops and slacks were obviously designed for someone younger, taller, and thinner, someone tanned and toned. The sweaters were designed more for style than for warmth, and the shorts . . . Well, let’s not go there.

I left with my 30% off coupon unused and tried another store, one aimed at those of us fighting a losing battle against age spots, wrinkles, gray hair, and gravity. Clothing fit better at this store, but the fabric designs reminded me of my grandmother’s wallpaper and the capacious tops and elastic waistbands spoke of room to grow—something my body doesn’t need to be encouraged to do.

Back home, I called a friend and asked, “Who designs these clothes? What are they thinking? Do they ever see these things on real women?”

“Clothes are like books,” she said. “No matter what the advertising says, one style isn’t for everyone, and one size doesn’t fit all.”

Right. Yes, you may be able to get into that one-size-fits-all garment, but will you like the fit? Will you like the style? Will you enjoy wearing it?

Same with books—printed or electronic. Plenty of people may love a book, but that book will have critics as well. Pick a book you enjoyed and check out how others ranked and reviewed it. Odds are that will make my point. Even the classics get slammed. Even books that win the Pulitzer Prize get one-star reviews because they “didn’t fit” those readers.

Even within tightly defined genres, one size/style doesn’t work for everyone.

And wouldn’t we hate it if that was the case? Wouldn’t we be bored if every book included romance, time travel, space aliens, vampires, werewolves, magic, mystery, medicine, mysticism, gunfights, car chases, war, suspense, humor, and dystopian societies?

If we wrote to try to please everyone, we’d include in or edit out so much material that we would please no one—especially ourselves.

I didn’t return from my shopping trip with anything new to wear, but I came back with two renewed decisions. First, I’ll buy clothes because they fit, they’re comfortable, and I like them—not because they’re the latest style. Second, I’ll keep writing about characters and settings and situations that interest me—not those that match the latest trend.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Carolyn!

Two lucky winners will win a copy (one paperback and one digital copy) of Carolyn's latest cozy mystery, No Substitute for Murder. 

Divorced from a philandering con man and downsized from her job as a talk radio show producer, Barbara Reed is desperate for money. She’s got a mortgage, a college loan, an aging car, and a ten-pound dog named Cheese Puff.

With her unemployment checks running out, she signs on as a high school substitute teacher and learns what stress is all about. When she finds history teacher Henry Stoddard strangled with his own outdated tie, her stress level soars into the red zone. Then she’s assigned to cover his classes.

Stoddard was a bully and a blackmailer. The list of suspects is a long one, and police put Barb at the top. When she discovers a second body, the noose of circumstantial evidence tightens.

With help from the showgirl widow of a reputed mobster, a trash-scavenging derelict, and members of the Cheese Puff Care and Comfort Committee, Barb struggles to keep a grip on her job, her sanity, and her freedom.

Notice: This mystery contains no vampires, werewolves, zombies, or space aliens. It was not tested on laboratory animals. It makes no claims to political correctness. Characters may not be fully clothed at all times.

Buy Link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide (the paperback will be open to anyone with a Canada/US mailing address) . The contest will close at 12:01 AM EST on June 30, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Darlene,
    Thanks so much for inviting me to share my comments about fashion and fiction. I'm looking forward to hearing from those who stop by.

  2. Carolyn, a terrific post. Thanks for the comparison. It helped in both areas of my life!

  3. Carolyn,

    So are you saying I should take the Ferrari/Lamborghini car chase out of my 18th century nautical fiction?

  4. LOL, Melanie, if anyone can make that work, it's you.
    Peg, glad I could help - usually I just make things worse.

  5. Great post. Wow, can I ever relate. It seems like clothes are either too old or too young for me -- hard to find anything in between. So I was glad to see I'm not the only one. I also liked your comparison of one-size-fits-all clothing to books. So true!
    I'm looking forward to reading No Substitute for Murder.

  6. Thanks, Sandy. I hope you get a smile out of it. And I really hope it "fits" you.


    Stopping by to have a look around.

    Giveaway on my blog...GODS AND FATHERS...until June 27.

    SUMMERLAND and a GRAND PRIZE OF Elin Hilderbrand's book until July 9.

    Silver's Reviews


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