Please join me in welcoming author Mary Dodge Allen to the blog to chat about her new novel, Hunt for a Hometown Killer!
Mary Dodge Allen is the recipient of two Royal Palm Literary Awards from the Florida Writer’s Association. She and her husband live in Florida, where she has served as a volunteer with the police department. Her childhood in Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes, sparked her lifelong love of the outdoors. She’s been a Counselor and Social Worker, and she worked as a USPS mail carrier during a college break. Her quirky sense of humor is energized by a passion for coffee and chocolate.
You can connect with Mary on her website.
HUNT FOR A HOMETOWN KILLER
GENRE: Inspirational Mystery/Romantic Suspense
RELEASE DATE: July 7, 2021
Two years to the day after Roxy Silva’s husband was murdered, a freak sinkhole drains a retention pond, exposing the car used in his fatal hit and run. The skeleton of the presumed prime suspect, the car’s owner, is found inside the trunk, thrusting the investigation in a new direction.
Detective Kyle Ransom is determined to find his best friend’s killer, and Roxy is equally determined to help. As a mail carrier, she can remain invisible as she moves around town. Using her total recall memory, she observes activities and captures images of people, vehicles and license plates, as well as the addresses on mail and packages she delivers. Roxy has no idea her amateur sleuthing will place her life in danger.
Together, Roxy and Kyle uncover a shocking trail of deception and secrets. As they work on the cold case, their relationship heats up. Kyle’s wife died years ago, and he’s ready for a commitment. But Roxy is recovering from the depression triggered by her husband’s murder and other sudden and tragic losses in her life. She’s struggling with a deep-seated fear of loss, her faith, and finding meaning in a chaotic world. Complications arise when Roxy’s first love comes back into her life, wanting a second chance. Old feelings of attraction and bitterness surface, as she confronts a long-buried secret in her own past.
Kyle identifies a new prime suspect, and the killer drops out of sight. When Roxy leaves on a ‘wilderness women getaway’ camping trip with her wisecracking friends, she finds herself in danger as the killer stalks her. She returns home, and the killer follows. Roxy is plunged in a fight for her life when she’s taken captive, and she must use her wits to survive.
Hi Mary! Welcome to the blog!
Mary: Summer. I grew up in Minnesota, where the winters can be long and brutally cold. As a child, I always looked forward to the warmth of the summer sunshine and spending time with my family at a small cabin on a lake. Now I live in sunny Florida.
Carrie: I grew up on the Illinois/Wisconsin border and I miss those winters now that I’m in the south where we never get winter lol
Mary: Coffee. I have fond childhood memories of sitting at my Swedish grandmother’s kitchen table, eating sugar lumps dipped in her strong black coffee. Now I drink my coffee unsweetened, but I always keep sugar lumps in my cabinet, and every so often I dip a few of them in my coffee for a special treat.
Carrie: aww that’s a great memory to cherish 🙂
Mary: Hallmark Channel. The Hallmark movies and TV series have uplifting stories that touch the heart, without profanity and dark violent scenes.
Carrie: the Hallmark mysteries channel is my fave!
Mary: Ocean. I love gazing at its vast turquoise blue expanse, with the sunlight sparkling on the water, and I enjoy sitting on the beach and reading a good book while listening to the soothing rhythm of the waves breaking against the sand.
Carrie: I enjoy the ocean as long as i don’t have to be on the beach – too much sand lol
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Mary: Humor. My friends will tell you I have a knack for seeing the humor in situations. Often, I laugh at myself because of the bumbling klutzy things I do.
Carrie: Being able to see the humor in life is a gift – and the best medicine 🙂
Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Emma by Jane Austen
West with the Night by Beryl Markham
Jesus Calling (devotional), by Sarah Young
Carrie: I love Jesus Calling!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Mary: When the weather is nice, I love writing in my small back yard patio area, sitting in my favorite chair in the shade. The playful cats next door often come over to greet me and take a shady nap.
Carrie: It’s my goal to create an environment conducive to working outside in the fall, winter (in GA, that’s possible lol), and spring in our backyard. We have such a pretty setting that makes me feel like I’m in the mountains (my happy place).
Q: If Hollywood wanted to produce Hunt for a Hometown Killer as a movie, who would you want to be cast as the lead roles?
Roxy – Emma Stone
Kyle – Ryan Gosling
Jo – Jennifer Lawrence
Aunt Nell – Meryl Streep
Carrie: oo that would be an excellent cast!
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Mary: I began writing Hunt for a Hometown Killer with an overall plot outline. But I let my imagination run free as I wrote each scene, and my characters surprised me with actions and dialogue I hadn’t consciously planned. Quite often they added humor to the scene, and sometimes they added another layer of intrigue to the plot.
Carrie: The best of both plotting worlds 🙂
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Hunt for a Hometown Killer?
Mary: Main character Roxy wrestles with bitterness about the past and forgiving those who had hurt her. While I was writing these scenes, God prompted me to pray and surrender the unforgiveness I still harbored toward a difficult person in my life. Weeks later, shortly after my book was published, I saw this person at a social event. To my surprise, I no longer felt a knot of anger deep inside. My spirit felt lighter, as if a great weight had been removed. I realized God had helped me to finally let go of my anger, forgive and move on.
Carrie: Unforgiveness affects us more than the person we haven’t forgiven, doesn’t it?
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Mary: I am currently finishing a Historical/Romantic/Suspense novel set during WWII, with the working title: Topping the Wind-Swept Heights. And then I plan to begin the sequel to Hunt for a Hometown Killer.
Mary Dodge Allen is offering a print copy of Hunt for a Hometown Killer to TWO of my readers! (US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Hunt for a Hometown Killer by Mary Dodge Allen?