Tuesday, March 10, 2015

“Take Five” with Lora Lee and her BRINGING IN THE THIEVES Blog Tour!

I’m excited to be one of the stops in author Lora Lee’s blog tour for the first book in her “Joyful Noise” cozy mystery series! I was fortunate to get an early read and I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that I devoured every sassy phrase and endearingly quirky character like a honeyed biscuit and tall glass of sweet tea. BRINGING IN THE THIEVES is a laugh-out-loud delight. The Southern twang of its prose, the heart-tugging hijinks when a cast of angel-voiced misfits collide with holier than Moses town leaders, and the tender grit of a heroine trying to solve a crime before she takes the blame had me at the back cover blurb and held me through every enjoyable page. I can’t wait for book two!

I’ve wrangled these answers to my “Take Five” questions from Lora Lee herself, so sit a spell and enjoy.

Lora Lee
I want to thank Nancy for making time in her busy week to participate in my blog tour. She is always an enthusiastic support of her fellow authors and generously shares her expertise as a writer when she can. I’m happy to be here today. Nancy has asked me some great questions, so here goes.

Take 5: What’s it like to begin a career at 60?

LL: Definitely shocking! Almost as exciting and scary as reaching the big 6-0! And I’m way beyond that now. When I was a kid I viewed people as OLD if they were over 50. How wrong I was. Age is a state of mind, right? I haven’t even decided what I want to be when I grow up. I’m leaning toward being a writer, though. (wink, wink)

Take 5: How important is it to hold onto your unique writing voice?
LL: I think it’s important as long as it is genuine. A false affectation to sound like someone else will never ring true in your writing. And you’ll never go wrong with correct grammar.

Take 5: What’s your favorite slice of heaven place you’d love to return to?

LL: Oh my! That’s a toss-up between my home state of Texas and Ireland, which holds a special place in my heart.

Take 5: Where do you go to get a kick start of inspiration?

LL: Music plays a big part in inspiring me. I have play lists for all my books. But there’s nothing like a good brainstorming session with my critique group, the best of the best, to give me that kick start.

Take 5: You can take the gal outta Texas, but can you take Texas outta the gal?

LL: Hmmm. I’ll always be a Texan, so No, I don’ t think you can take Texas outta me totally. You might could take some of my twang away. (I think most of it is already gone.) But when I talk with anyone from south of the Mason-Dixon line, it’s easy to slip back into the slower pace of speaking. A few of the colloquialisms are so much a part of me I don’t even realize I use them.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Length: 168 Pages
Published by: Bell Bridge Books

Frankie Lou’s back and Poppy’s madder than a wet hen.
Create a church choir filled with teenage misfits?
Over Poppy’s dead body.

Minister’s daughter Frankie Lou McMasters has come back to Ruby Springs, Texas with her daughter, Betsy, eleven years after running off to marry the town bad boy. Her mild notoriety as a bad girl is prime gossip for her childhood enemy, Poppy Fremont, now choir director of Faith Community Church–where Frankie Lou’s daddy, now retired to Florida, was the preacher.

When Frankie Lou comes to the deacons with a request to add a youth choir of at-risk teens she’s been coaching, Poppy throws a fit. A few hours later, Frankie Lou finds her dead in the baptistery pool. And Poppy’s not playing possum.

Frankie Lou sets out to clear her name as the main suspect, and tries to locate the real killer. Could he be sexy Joe Camps, the father of one of her teen singers? In the meantime, her momma shows up from Florida to take charge of Frankie Lou’s life. Bless her heart.

The Book Excerpt

About Lora Lee

You can’t be a preacher’s kid and raise a little hob without some serious repercussions. Yes, ma’am, that’s the gospel truth. Lora Lee’s JOYFUL NOISE mystery series for Bell Bridge Books, sheds a little light on just how serious those consequences can be when Frankie Lou Birmingham McMasters returns to her hometown of Ruby Springs, Texas after ten years in hopes of putting some shine on her tarnished reputation, but finds herself in the middle of murder and mayhem instead.

Though author Lora Lee insists the series isn’t about her in any way, shape or form, she does admit to being a real-life P.K. (that’s preacher’s kid, in case you didn’t know.) She was born in Texas and her Southern blood runs deep. Her daddy told her any place below the Mason-Dixon line was part of the South, including the Lone Star State.

Since living in West Michigan most of her married life, she’s lost some of her Texas twang, but once in awhile, a might could and a y’all or two slips into her conversation with her critique partners. They love her, anyway. So does her husband of fifty-plus years and their children. With a current family count of twenty-three, get-togethers often resemble an old time revival when they all gather for fun and food.

Lora Lee is a member of Romance Writer’s of America, Mid-Michigan RWA, Sisters-in-Crime, RWA’s specialty chapter Kiss of Death and is currently published in contemporary romance. She is also a proud graduate of the Grand Rapids Citizens Police Academy.

When not writing or trying to keep up with her ever-growing family, she enjoys reading, music and travel.


  1. Mornin', Nancy. Thanks for the shout out here on Romance by Any Other Name. Frankie Lou and I sure do appreciate your support of Bringing in the Thieves.

  2. You are such an inspiration, Lora Lee. I'm so happy you found your voice. I just love Frankie Lou and can't wait to read another Joyful Noise mystery.

    1. Wow! Diane, thanks for the encouraging words.

  3. Congratulations on your new book! Bringing in the Thieves sounds like a fun cozy mystery. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt.


  5. Oh, this sounds like one awesome book!! I am putting it on my ever expanding wish list. congratulations on the release.

    mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com