A few months ago I had a blog tour for by book run by the lovely and talented Samantha from CLP Blog Tours. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to become a host for some of her tours. Today I am pleased to present a book review, author interview and book excerpt for Fashion Victim by Greg (G.T.) Herron.
Greg Herren is a New Orleans-based author and editor. He has written ten novels, including the Lambda Literary Award winning Murder in the Rue Chartres, called by the New Orleans Times-Picayune “the most honest depiction of life in post-Katrina New Orleans published thus far.” He has also published over fifty short stories in markets as varied as Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine to the critically acclaimed anthology New Orleans Noir to various websites, literary magazines, and anthologies.
Smart talking Paige Tourneur has moved on from the adrenaline pumping days of crime writing…. or so she thought. When this month's front page feature turns into a murder victim Paige finds herself back on the beat, and she's quickly remembering why she gave it up.
She may have snagged herself the perfect boyfriend in Ryan Tujague, but she's been keeping secrets, and when she receives an anonymous email she fears those secrets are coming back for her.
Can she solve the mystery before the magazine deadline or will her memories unravel her first?
This book is fun, fast and witty, with Paige's well developed character jumping off the page. Set in New Orleans after Katrina it gave me insight into how the city had suffered in the months after the disastrous hurricane, when the rest of the world had forgotten about it. The city's social differences where also well described and made for interesting reading while they added layers to the plot.
I was a little disappointed with the ending of the book. It seemed rushed and had what I felt were impossible timings, plus there was an information overload after the killer's were found which had me confused – but perhaps that was just me being dim witted.
I will, however, be keeping an eye out for the next book in The Missing Husband Series. It will be interesting to see how Paige handles her not so glorious past when it intrudes on her shiny future.
I gave this book 3.5 stars.
Author Interview with G.T. Herron
You last two series have been about male protagonists, while Fashion Victim is about a female. Was it harder to write from the point of view of a male or a female?
It was definitely harder to write from a woman’s perspective. I’d created Paige years before writing Fashion Victim, so I felt like I knew her pretty well and had a strong grasp of who she was as a person, as well as her voice. Of course, not being a woman and trying to write from the first person perspective of a woman was incredibly daunting and scary. But I loved Paige from the very beginning, and had always wanted to give her a story of her own. I thought she deserved it.
Paige was a character in your Chance McLeod series wasn’t she? What was it about her that inspired you to give her her own series?
Almost from the day I created her, I’d wanted to—I thought it would be a lot of fun to write about her—it certainly was when she’d turn up in one of the Chanse books! And she really clicked with readers—they loved her and wanted more of her!
You’ve written a lot of books now, is writing your primary profession, and if not what is?
I make a very good living from my writing, to be honest, but you can never depend on the checks arriving when you need them! I had a health scare five years ago, and I just couldn’t take the risk anymore that I could get my health insurance reinstated yet again when a royalty check showed up. So, I took a full time job as an HIV educator and counselor to ensure that I always have health insurance. It’s also a great job, and I get to do work that I really believe in—although there are definitely times when I miss being a work-at-home author only; usually when deadlines are creeping up on me!
Is there a particular author that has inspired you more than others during your writing career?
There are actually quite a few, to be honest, and I’m always discovering new ones. I am really enjoying Megan Abbott, Rebecca Chance, and Alison Gaylin right now, but I would have to say the most influential authors for me have always been Ross McDonald, John D. Macdonald, Sue Grafton, Laura Lippman, and Julie Smith.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
Now for some not so writing orientated questions:
If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be and why?
Stevie Nicks, without question. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I was 14, and pretty much love everything she records. Her music resonates with me, and in interviews she always seems to be a really good person. I’d love to spend an evening drinking wine with her.
If you were to be stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you hope to hell you had packed that morning?
Good underwear, good socks, and sunscreen.
What things do you love to do when not writing?
I love to read and binge-watch television shows on Netflix. I also enjoy working out with weights and staying in shape. I love to cook, and trying out new recipes. I also like to clean—I know, I know. But for some reason doing the dishes or folding laundry or mopping the floors is a really creative time for me—if I ever get stuck with whatever I’m writing all I have to do is start cleaning and the problem resolves itself.
And now for my writing food pop quiz:
Tea or coffee? Coffee, preferably a dark French roast with a squirt of vanilla syrup.
Cake or cheese? Definitely cheese
Mashed potato, baked potato or chips? I love potatoes in every manifestation, but I am a sucker for a can of Lay’s Stackers. I can eat a couple of cans in one sitting.
Ice-cream or gelato? I prefer gelato, but either Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s can tempt me to eat a pint.
Wine or beer? Definitely red wine
White chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Dark chocolate.
Thank again Greg for joining us today. I have just one last question which I know any of us who have read Fashion Victim will want the answer to.
When can we expect to see Book 2 in the Paige Tourneur Missing Husband Series?
Hopefully, Dead Housewives of New Orleans will be available on April 15th!
I know by now you're all curious about Fashion Victim, wondering if the wit really is razor sharp, if the story really does drag you from page to page. Well Greg has been kind enough to give me an excerpt for you to read.
Excerpt from Fashion Victim
Fashion shows are not my thing, as a rule. But this had been Marigny Mercereau’s first show in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, and my boss decided this was a big enough deal to warrant putting Marigny on the cover. She was getting the full treatment—coverage of the runway show, a cover shoot, and an in-depth interview. I wasn’t convinced she deserved it, frankly. Don’t get me wrong—I knew it was a good thing that the House of Mercereau was open for business again. Any business coming back since Katrina was terrific, a sign that things were getting back to normal—whatever that meant in New Orleans.
But a cover story on a business whose primary clientele was rich women, drag queens, and high school girls in the market for a prom dress?
I pointed out to my boss this was hardly a newsworthy enough story in our post-Katrina world to warrant such coverage—even if Marigny was a huge advertiser, which she never had been and was unlikely to become. Since I’d gone to work at Crescent City we’d moved away from being a fluff magazine about the city to doing more in-depth investigative pieces—because as a monthly, we could do the kind of in-depth reporting the city’s daily and weekly papers couldn’t, and we were doing quite well with this kind of hard-hitting journalism.
I didn’t understand the return to fluff, but gave in with good grace.
Choosing your battles wisely is becoming a lost art.
I didn’t even bat an eye when the interview was assigned to me—at Marigny’s request. I knew her—I’d dated one of her sons briefly in the pre-Katrina world, and for some reason Marigny liked me. She seemed rather pretentious to me, and her sense of humor was odd…and it’s not like I was really into the entire fashion scene. But before I had a chance to say okay, my boss gave me the whole ‘team player’ speech.
Obviously, she was expecting me to pitch a fit of some sort.
But I loved working at Crescent City, and I really liked my boss. It was a great job, and a huge improvement over working at the city’s daily paper—and besides, there was that whole choose your battles wisely thing. I figured I could use the good will I’d earn doing the Marigny Mercereau interview to my advantage later. We’d scheduled the interview for later this afternoon—so I really needed to pull it together. Marigny had also sent me tickets to her fashion show last night—enclosing them in a card with the note so looking forward to seeing you again, xoxoxoxoxo Marigny—in what she called her ‘trademark’ pink ink.
After all, nothing screams ‘professional’ like pink ink, right?
Fashion victim is available in kindle form on amazon for only $1.99. Click HERE for the link.
I received a complimentary copy of Fashion Victim to read and review as part of the CLP Blog Tour.