Monday, July 23, 2018

#Giveaway Tail of The Dragon Interview with author Connie di Marco a Partners in Crime tour

Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco tour, read our interview and be sure to enter the #giveaway for an Amazon Gift Card.

Tail of the Dragon

by Connie di Marco

on Tour July 16 - August 31, 2018


San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but now, Julia’s former boss and current client has asked for help. He has serious problems at his law firm. Two attorneys and a paralegal have received death threats and the only common denominator between all three is a case long settled — the highly publicized Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s convinced a woman is behind the threats, perhaps even the widow of the man who died in that same fire, but no one wants to listen — they can’t believe astrology could provide a clue. Before Julia can help her client, two lawyers are dead and her own life is threatened. Can she unmask the killer before he (or she) takes another life?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: August 8th 2018
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0738751065 (ISBN13: 9780738751061)
Series: Zodiac Mystery #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

The doorbell rang. I hurried down the stairs to the front door. I hesitated as I saw a woman’s figure through the glass. Maggie. It was Maggie. I threw the door open and we hugged. Michael’s sister and I got along famously from the first time we met. Maggie probably understands better than anyone how I feel and even though we don’t stay in touch as much as we used to, every time we meet it’s as though no time has elapsed at all. I stepped back and took a good look at her. She wasn’t smiling. “Maggie? What is it?”
“Can I come in?”
“Of course. Yes.” She was quiet as we climbed the stairs. She headed straight for the kitchen and sat down at the table. I joined her. “What’s wrong?”
“Something’s come up.”
“About . . .”
“Yes,” she didn’t have to say it. I knew she meant Michael.
“What’s happened?” Part of me hoped against hope that we might find an answer some day, another part of me just wanted the sadness and unknowingness to go away.
“Let me try to tell you in some kind of order.” She took a deep breath. “Do you remember the elderly man who used to live across the street from Michael’s old apartment?”
I nodded. I did remember. Michael’s apartment at 45th and Taraval was just a few blocks from my old place in the Sunset District. “Michael and I used to see him when he walked his dog. And then . . .” I shrugged, “there was a time when we didn’t see him as much.”
“Well, I think what happened was his son took the dog because it became too much for the old guy. But the dad didn’t want to leave his home so the family arranged some care and a companion for him.” I waited, not sure what Maggie’s story had to do with Michael. “Apparently, the old man was always taking pictures. He wasn’t any kind of a real photographer, but he liked to do that. He was always fooling around with his camera.”
“Yes, I remember now. He’d even take pictures of the flowers in his yard.”
“He died a couple of weeks ago. And his son and his daughter-in-law are putting the house up for sale. They’ve been there every day, moving stuff out and selling a few things to the neighbors. The thing is . . . they found a box of photos. The father didn’t like digital cameras, he had an old camera that he used and then he’d . . .
“Maggie . . .” I couldn’t imagine where she was going with this story.
“They found a photo of Michael. On the street. Just as that car hit him.”
I gasped and covered my mouth. My heart was racing wildly. “He saw. He saw who hit Michael?”
“He must have. He must have tried to take a picture of what happened from his window.”
“Why didn’t he ever say anything?”
Maggie shook her head. “I don’t know. I really don’t. Maybe he didn’t want to get involved. Maybe he was afraid he’d have to testify.”
As much as I dreaded looking at anything Maggie had described, I still needed to see the photo. “Do you have it with you?”
“I don’t. The old man’s son and his wife knew what it was. They didn’t know Michael, but they knew there had been a hit and run in the neighborhood and that someone had died, so they turned it over to the police.”
“Have you seen it?”
“Yes, they showed it to me and my mother. She’s hysterical right now.” Celia, Michael’s mother had refused to speak to me since his death. She wasn’t on firm ground to begin with but after the accident, in her convoluted logic, she blamed me for her loss. If he hadn’t been in such a hurry to meet me, he would have been more careful. He wouldn’t have been killed.
“I can imagine.” I didn’t envy Maggie the emotional turmoil she must be dealing with.
“I told you before, Julia, she’s made a shrine of Michael’s room and I’m so worried about her. She never wants to go out or do anything. Once in a while I manage to drag her to a restaurant for brunch or something, but even her old friends have given up calling her.”
“What can they tell from the photo?”
“Not much, it’s not digital and it’s old. He had an old Nikon, I think, so they can’t see very much. Michael is lying on his side on the street and . . .” Maggie’s voice shook, “and you can just see the edge of the car. It’s dark or black and there’s a bit of a bumper and the corner of the right rear tire. The police think the driver must have panicked and took off. The old guy might have been looking out his window when it happened and snapped it really quick. They’re going to try to get as much information from it as they can, but they don’t really hold out much hope.”
“Who’s in charge of this?”
“Actually, a retired detective has volunteered to work on it. The case has never been closed, but this is the first thing they’ve had to go on at all. I can get you the name of the detective in charge, and maybe he’ll give you more information. I’ll find out and let him know you might want to talk to him.”
“Thanks, Maggie.” My heart sank. In all this time, no witnesses to the accident had come forward. One woman at the end of the block remembered a dark vehicle traveling fast, but couldn’t swear it had anything at all to do with the car that hit Michael. “We shouldn’t get our hopes up.”
“I want some answers, Julia!” Maggie’s voice had risen. “And I’m sure you do too. It’s not right. What this has done to our family, to me, to you. All our lives have been changed because of this. I want to see someone pay for what they did.”
I nodded. “I do too. It won’t change anything. It won’t bring him back. But you’re right. We’ve all gone through so much . . .”
“I have to go.” Maggie stood suddenly and I realized she hadn’t even taken her coat off. “I’m staying at my Mom’s for a little while. I’m so worried about her. I don’t like the thought of her being all alone in that big house.”
“Okay. Stay in touch and let me know what you find out?”
“I will.” Maggie leaned toward me and I put my arms around her, holding her tight. I felt her chest rise, a quiet sob. “I’m sorry to arrive on your doorstep like this, but I had to tell you face to face.”
“I’m glad you did, Maggie. I’m glad you did. And maybe we’ll learn more.”
Maggie pulled away. I could see tears forming in her eyes as she rushed down the stairs.
Excerpt from Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco. Copyright © 2018 by Connie di Marco. Reproduced with permission from Connie di Marco. All rights reserved.

My Interview with Connie:

 Connie Hi! Welcome to The Reading Frenzy
Tell my readers a bit about Tail of The Dragon.
Thanks so much for inviting me!  It’s great to be here today.
Tail of the Dragon is the third book in the Zodiac Mystery series.  My protagonist is Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco astrologer who, because of her clients, finds herself involved in crime and murder.  This time, her former employer, and now a client, David Meyers, is frantic because three people in his law firm have received death threats.  The threats have been reported to the police, but still the culprit hasn’t been found. 
David’s secretary is on vacation for a week, so he sees the perfect opportunity to utilize Julia’s talents.  If she’ll commit to working for him again, temporarily just for a week, he’s sure she’ll get to the bottom of the matter by keeping her eyes and ears open.  Julia reluctantly agrees but the plan goes horribly awry when the murderer makes good on the first death threat

This is the third Zodiac Mystery staring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti.
Does Julia keep you on your writer toes or is she a well behaved character?
I don’t know if it’s Julia or if it’s me, but she just can’t seem to stay out of trouble.  She blames me for making her life difficult and dangerous, but I have to remind her that conflict is essential and in every story her life must absolutely be at risk.  I think she understands.  At least I hope she does.

The premise of an astrologist solving mysteries is quite unique.
Share the birth of the series and Julia please.
I knew I wanted to write a series set in San Francisco.  Many writers think of Los Angeles when they think of noir, but my imagination goes to the City by the Bay.  So many other writers have used that city to set their mysteries.  In fact I wrote a blog about that last year.  You can read more here []
It’s a city with many moods, bright, sunny and windy, brilliantly clear, with the waters of the Bay sparkling like diamonds.  Then it can shift to a dark, mysterious place where fog blurs the outlines of reality.  It’s also a city of secret stairways, haunted places and a lot of history

I felt my protagonist should have an unusual occupation, one that brought her in contact with all sorts of people from different walks of life.  I’ve read a lot of astrology books and have always found that subject fascinating.  So I thought, what could be better as an unusual occupation than astrology?
I’ve only recently revealed Julia’s birth information.  It’s been a well-kept secret till now.  She admits to being 36 at the start of the series.  I wanted her to be beyond the age of an ingenue, yet still young enough that she’d be strong and courageous.  I thought mid to late 30’s was a perfect age for Julia.  Old enough to know her own mind, conscious of what motivates her and experienced enough that she can give thoughtful advice to people in trouble. 
Julia’s birthdate is December 3, 1981 at 11:04 a.m. in San Francisco.  She’s a Sagittarian with a sensitive Moon in Pisces.  She’s very compassionate and generous and has a really hard time saying no to people who need her. 

Are there a planned number of novels planned for the series or does it depend on Julia’s body count?
Well, there’s no limit to the crimes Julia can discover in the city.  But so far, my publisher has committed to three books in the series.  Whether that publisher will want more, I don’t know as yet.  But I do plan to continue the series.
In recent months, I’ve received emails and FB messages asking about Julia’s grandmother Gloria, how Julia first became interested in astrology and how she found her cat Wizard.  The more I thought about those questions, the more I realized it would be fun to write a novella that pre-dates the start of the series and answers all these questions.  I’m working on that now and also working on Book 4, which I’ve tentatively entitled, Serpent’s Doom.  That title may change, we’ll see, but that’s what I’m calling it now

You also write mysteries under the name Connie Archer.
Is this a past series or else why the dual pseudonyms?
Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime was the publisher of those books, the Soup Lover’s Mysteries, set in Vermont.  That publisher required a pseudonym that they would control.  It’s a very common arrangement for many writers of cozy mysteries.  I was able to choose my pen name, but of course, I can’t use that name again with any other series.  The series ended when Random House merged with Penguin, but the books are still doing well.  There are five in that series:  A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal, A Roux of Revenge, Ladle to the Grave and A Clue in the Stew.  You can see the publisher loved to use titles that are plays on words. 
Once I had completed all those books, my agent was able to focus on the Zodiac Mysteries which were already in progress.  These books are very close to my heart, so I’m thrilled they’re finally out in the world! 

Thanks Connie, good luck with the new novel and the series.
Thanks so much!!!  And thanks for inviting me today! 

Author Bio:

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. Tail of the Dragon, third in the series, will be released on August 8, 2018.
Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of MWA, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.

Catch Up With Connie On: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!  


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Connie di Marco. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on July 16, 2018 and runs through September 1, 2018. Void where prohibited.
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  1. Great interview. I enjoy getting to know the author behind the book.

  2. Hi Debbie, thanks for hosting my stop today!

    1. Connie, Hi back it was my pleasure. Your new book looks great and I love the cover!

    2. Thanks, Debbie. I really love this cover too!

  3. Thanks so much for the giveaway chance Debbie, sounds fun!

    1. Best of luck! I hope you’ll be reading Julia’s latest adventure soon!

    2. you are so welcome Ali and yes its a great giveaway!

  4. Thanks for sharing this one, it is a new one to me and I do like the sounds of it too.

    1. Hi Jenea ~ I hope you'll be reading the Zodiac Mysteries soon!

    2. Oh I knew you'd like this on Jenea :)

  5. i have heard about the fog :) But now I forgot its name

    1. There's plenty of fog in the Zodiac Mysteries! Good luck to you!

    2. Hey Blodeuedd I didn't know it had a name but I did some looking up its Karl and it has its own twitter handle @KarlTheFog
      Thanks for the tip!

    3. Oh I think I’ve seen this guy on Twitter!

  6. This sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. Stellar interview, and you've piqued my curiosity about the Zodiac Murder Mysteries

    1. Hi Kimberly ~ I hope you'll enjoy Julia's adventures in the Zodiac Mysteries! I've tried to make these stories as exciting as possible!

  8. I enjoyed your interview and this sounds like a fun set of cozy mysteries.

    1. Hi Kathryn ~ best of luck! I hope you get to meet Julia and all her friends (and cat) soon!

  9. That does sound unique and like a lot of fun :)

    1. Hi Anna ~ best of luck! I hope you enjoy Julia's latest adventure!