Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Diner Knock Out by Terri L. Austin

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for Diner Knock Out by Terri L. Austin.  Please leave a comment or question for Terri to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, where Terri will award a print copy of Heartbreak Hotel to five (5) randomly drawn commenters, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can follow all of the stops on Terri’s tour by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your chances of winning. 
Why I Write Mysteries by Terri L. Austin

Recently, there was a hashtag floating around the twitterverse—#WhyIWriteCozies. I tweeted: So I can get literary revenge on that mean girl from high school. It’s sort of true, but I don’t really consider my books cozy, not in the traditional sense anyway. I think I write new cozies or capers.

Some people wonder what defines a cozy. Typically, it features an amateur sleuth, someone who’s bumbled their way into a murder, and usually features a female protagonist. Our heroine has a fun job like a museum curator (think Julie Hyzy’s Manor House Mysteries) or an event planner (like Nancy Coco’s Candy-Coated Mysteries). There’s no sex, little swearing, and the violence is kept to a minimum.

But I like a bit of swearing. I like a little violence. And while I don’t show explicit sex on the page (my hot, contemporary romances cover that), my heroine has a very healthy love life.  

My main character, Rose Strickland, is a former rich girl-turned-waitress. Rose has come down in the world by choice, not by circumstance. Her very snooty mother continues to hound Rose about returning to her old life, but my heroine has made a new family for herself. There’s her bestie, Roxy Block, a sassy fellow server who dresses like a Lolita. There’s Ma, Rose’s elderly boss. She loves to be in the thick of things. Axton Graystone is Rose’s best guy friend. He’s never met a bong or a graphic novel he didn’t love. And then there’s Rose’s boyfriend, Sullivan. He’s a crime lord, and she’s mostly okay with that. Though she spends her time trying to chase down criminals, she’s also sleeping with one.

See? New cozy!

Mysteries provide a puzzle. As an author, I like to tangle a web that will leave my readers hopefully baffled, guessing at multiple suspects until the end.

Mystery readers put themselves in the shoes of the protagonist, and when she stumbles, we trip right along with her. We search for clues she’s overlooked. Seek hidden meaning in dialog that our heroine has taken at face value. Mysteries are just plain fun to read and write.

However, what I love the most about writing the Rose Strickland series, are the characters. Rose’s wealthy, uptight family pulls her in one direction, her friends pull her in another, and then there’s always a mystery that needs to be cracked.

The quirky characters that inhabit Rose’s world are like old friends. I can’t wait to tag along and see what they’ve been doing in my absence. To me, they’re like family. Will Roxy get over her difficult breakup? Will Axton’s perpetually stoned roommate ever sober up? I can’t wait to start each book to find out.

With each addition, I add to the roster of crazies. In this book, I brought in a new character, Sugar de la Tarte. Sugar is an internet pinup girl and a burlesque performer. She’s unabashedly sexy and uses it to her advantage as she helps Rose find a missing MMA fighter. I loved getting to know Sugar.

In addition to my characters, I use a lot of humor, throw out red herrings, and lead my reader down one wrong turn after another. Why do I write mysteries? Because it’s fun.

To add to your TBR pile, here are a few caper/new cozy/paranormal mysteries by some of my favorite authors: Cherry Tucker Mysteries by Larissa Reinhart, The Deadwood Humorous Mysteries by Ann Charles, Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries by Angie Fox.

So, do you have a favorite new cozy series? I want to hear all about it. I’m always looking to add new authors to my reading list.   

Diner Knock Out
By Terri L. Austin
Rose Strickland Mystery, Book 4

Publisher:  Henery Press
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: eBook/Print
Length: 292 Pages (825 KB)
ISBN:  9781943390090
ASIN:   B012B59QM4

Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks 

About the book:

Rose Strickland's life is complicated. Besides her waitressing gig, she works part-time for Andre Thomas, a PI with no faith in Rose's ability to investigate, her love life with Sullivan has stalled, and her BFF, Roxy, has found a new bestie, leaving Rose out in the cold.

Determined to prove herself, Rose takes a case on the sly. As she searches for a missing MMA fighter, Rose discovers an illegal fight club, a group of ruthless businessmen, dead bodies, and a trail of drugs.

Hunting down clues that lead too close to home, Rose finds herself in the fight of her life. Can she beat the killer to the punch before she gets knocked out for good?

Books in the Rose Strickland Humorous Mystery Series:


As a girl, Terri L. Austin thought she’d outgrow dreaming up stories and creating imaginary friends. Instead, she’s made a career of it. She met her own Prince Charming and together they live in Missouri. She loves to hear from readers. Drop her a note at

Author Links:

A cozy mystery filled with colorful characters, a touch of comedy and a handful of dangerous criminals, Diner Knock Out by Terri L. Austin is a great addition to her Rose Strickland Mystery series.  Set in the fictional town of Huntingford, Missouri, the fourth installment finds Rose working as a part-time waitress and a part-time private investigator.  Trying to solve a missing person’s case without her bosses’ knowledge, Rose deals with a touch of the green monster and her currently stalled love life.  Proving that getting what you wish for isn’t always what you really want, she finds herself up to her armpits in danger making me wonder if Rose would make it through this case in one piece.  If you like cozy mysteries this is a series you really should check out.

One of the best things about this series is Ms. Austin’s character development.  I have to admit that I’m heavily invested in what happens to Rose, her crazy friends Ax and Roxie, Ma and Ray at the diner and even her boyfriend Thomas Sullivan, who’s still involved in a criminal lifestyle.  Each character brings depth and color to Rose’s life and a smile to this reader’s face.  They also back her up as she runs a clandestine investigation without the approval of Andre Thomas, former cop and the owner of the private investigation firm she works for part time. 

What begins as a simple missing person’s case soon turns into something much darker as Rose and company investigate an illegal MMA fight circuit involving steroids, illegal pain medications and murder.  Determined to discover who runs everything behind the scenes, Rose uncovers evidence leading to prominent and successful businessmen, society leaders and associates of her boyfriend. 

Ms. Austin does a good job developing the mystery; there are plenty of twists and turns, a touch of physical action and the looming threat of danger, which kept me turning the pages to discover what Rose would discover next.  Like Rose, I also worried about how deeply Sullivan was involved and what this would do to their already fragile relationship.  Especially since Rose really loves Sullivan and it doesn’t look like he’s getting out of the criminal lifestyle anytime soon. 

Will Rose uncover who killed the missing fighter?  Will Rose, Roxie and their new friends make it through this investigation in one piece?  And will Rose and Sullivan’s relationship progress to dinner at her parent’s house?  You’ll have to read Diner Knock Out to find out.  I loved it and hope we don’t have to wait too long to read Rose’s next adventure.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Crowns

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  1. Sounds like a great read! Thank you for the review and giveaway.

  2. What a great post and interview. Love the blog tours, thanks for the giveaway.