Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Erica Wynters & Poppies, Perils, and Poison

Posted March 22, 2024 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, contemporary, cozy mystery, Erica Wynters, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 11 Comments


Erica Wynters guest post

Please join me in welcoming author Erica Wynters to the blog today to talk about her new cozy mystery Poppies, Perils, and Poison – and to share an excerpt!

Poppies, Perils, and Poison by Erica WyntersPOPPIES, PERILS, AND POISON by Erica Wynters
SERIES:
Camelot Flowers Mysteries #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Gemma Halliday Publishing
RELEASE DATE: March 19, 2024
PAGES: 266

From author Erica Wynters comes another Camelot Flowers Mystery blooming with secrets, suspicions, and danger at every turn…

Things are finally looking up with florist Gwen Stevens’ family business, Camelot Flowers, which means her biggest problem now is making her heart choose between her lifelong crush on the charming Chris Crawford and her budding romance with Finn Butler, the new police detective who makes her want to stop and smell the roses.

But Gwen’s thorny love life takes a backseat when Shannon Wentworth, a newcomer to the small town of Star Junction, drops dead in the local coffee shop the day after she announces her candidacy for garden club president. Unfortunately, Margie Philips, Gwen’s surrogate aunt, has been garden club president for years and had threatened to win again this year at any cost—which suddenly puts her in the role of prime suspect in Wentworth’s untimely demise!

Determined to clear Margie’s name, Gwen digs deep and discovers a bouquet’s worth of secrets, including marital infidelity, a lawsuit threatening to ruin a local business, and even doubts about where Margie was right before the murder. With too many suspects all hiding something, will Gwen uncover the truth before the killer poisons her chances of a happily ever after?

 

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Other Books in This Series


Cozy Mysteries: Where Charm and Mystery Collide

by Erica Wynters, author of Poppies, Perils and Poison

Charming and murder mystery aren’t concepts you’d normally think of together, but that’s exactly what the cozy mystery genre manages to combine with great success. If you’ve read cozy mysteries, you know exactly what I’m talking about—an idyllic small town, a main character with a charming profession (cupcakes, anyone?), and more often than not, a sweet romance that develops over several books in the series. In the midst of all this charm, there’s always a murder that forces our main character into an investigation between baking for her café, running the library, or creating beautiful bouquets at her flower shop.

The Camelot Flowers Mystery Series captures this balance of a charming life and murder investigation in the small town of Star Junction, Illinois, where everyone knows everyone else’s business and gossip is practically an Olympic sport. After already solving one murder, Gwen Stevens is ready to hang up her detective hat. That is, until Poppies, Perils, and Poison, the second book in the series. A woman, new to town, drops dead right in front of Gwen at the local coffee shop, poisoned. To make matters worse, Gwen’s mom’s best friend, Margie, is the prime suspect. Once again, Gwen wades into the sticky waters of suspects, motives, and secrets that turn dangerous, all while balancing running her family’s flower shop and sorting through her complicated love life.

People love cozy mysteries because they allow us to experience the excitement of a murder investigation without any of the gore or grit of traditional mysteries. Reading a cozy mystery is like a warm hug, a hot cup of tea, and a mystery all rolled into one. The Camelot Flowers Mystery Series is no different. Keep reading for a short excerpt from Poppies, Perils, and Poison.

Shannon moved to a table in the corner opposite Margie and Dave. She set her drink on the table, pulled out two light-purple sweetener packets, and emptied them into the coffee. Standing, she tossed the empty packets into the garbage near her and returned to her seat.

After stirring the coffee, she replaced the lid and took a sip. Ignoring the fact that everyone in the coffee shop was staring at her after her petty display with Margie, Shannon opened a book and took another long sip of her coffee.

I shot Margie a wan smile. She bugged her eyes out in Shannon’s direction and ran her finger across her throat. I gave her a come on, you’re not serious look. She replied by putting her thumb up to her nose and wiggling her fingers in the air like a little kid taunting a classmate. Then she smiled. That was the Margie I knew and loved. She just needed to blow off some steam. Everything was going to be fine.

“Back to tonight,” Chris said, drawing my attention away from the garden club drama.

I groaned. Back to tonight. “What about tomorrow after church?” I asked.

Chris’s eyes lit up like a kid finding a puppy under the Christmas tree. “That works for me. I’ve missed you. It seems like you’ve been too busy to hang out lately.”

I had been busy. I’d also been busy trying to decide how I felt about Chris’s sudden change of heart when it came to our relationship.

Margie’s voice interrupted my thoughts when she said, “We get it. You’re a good Christian woman.”

I followed Margie’s gaze. Shannon was bent over her coffee cup like she was praying. Her shoulder-length white-blonde hair covered the side of her face.

“Margie,” I scolded. Somehow, I’d become the disapproving mother and Margie the snotty adolescent.

“What?” Margie said defensively. “I’m just saying nobody prays that long over their coffee unless they’re trying to win an election they have no right being in by proving what a good person they are.”

Chris shot me a concerned look, and I shrugged. In all the time that Margie had been insulting her, Shannon hadn’t once moved.

“Maybe she’s a pro at meditation and she’s in a deep trance,” I murmured to Chris.

Chris shook his head, his sandy-blond hair flopping over his forehead. He brushed it back absently before saying, “I’m going to check on her.”

“What do you mean check on her?” I asked. Chris hadn’t been in the coffee shop the day before to witness Shannon’s meltdown with Amanda. The woman was best left alone. No telling what she’d do if someone interrupted whatever she was doing.

I looked at Chris and reconsidered my hesitation. Chris was the whole package— the charming smile, the crystal-blue eyes, the somehow perpetually tanned skin even after a long winter, the boyish enthusiasm for life that always had people forgiving any little mistakes he made along the way. If anyone was going to survive approaching Shannon, it would be Chris. “Actually,” I said, “maybe you’re the perfect person for the job.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked suspiciously.

I gave him a little nudge toward Shannon’s table. She still hadn’t moved a muscle. It was like someone had replaced her with a Shannon-statue. “It means she’ll forgive you for bugging her because of your charm and good looks,” I said.

Chris preened at my words.

“Oh, stop it,” I said, pretending to be perturbed but feeling charmed, just like I’d said. “Get over there and see what the deal is. She’s starting to freak me out.”

Chris approached Shannon. “I’m sorry to bother you, ma’am,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure everything was okay.” He touched Shannon’s shoulder.

She didn’t lift her head. She didn’t snap at him to leave her alone. What she did do was tip right out of her chair and stare at the ceiling with empty, sightless eyes.

Interested in diving into all that the town of Star Junction has to offer?

On March 19, 2024, Poppies, Perils, and Poison, the second book in the Camelot Flowers Mystery Series debuted.

Book 1 – Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder released in May 2023
Book 3 – Sunflowers, Scarecrows, and Scandal releases fall 2024

I love to connect with readers. You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ericawynters. On Instagram at www.instagram.com/ericawyntersauthor. Or at my website at www.ericawynters.com.


Erica Wynters

Erica Wynters may have lived most of her life in the frigid Midwest, but now she spends her time in the warmth and sunshine of Arizona. She loves hiking, hunting down waterfalls in the desert, reading (of course), and napping. Can napping be considered a hobby? When not weaving tales of mystery with plenty of quirky characters, laughs, and a dash of romance, Erica works as a Marriage and Family Therapist helping others find their Happily Ever Afters.


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What about you? What makes you want to read Poppies, Perils and Poison by Erica Wynters?

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11 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Erica Wynters & Poppies, Perils, and Poison

  1. I love to read because it takes my stress away from what disability I have. I actually was just in the hospital yesterday and the day before because of seizures. I wasn’t reading. I need to read an actual book. Not a book on my phone or anything digital.

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for being part of the blog tour for POPPIES, PERILS, AND POISON by Erica Wynters.

    Enjoyed the author’s guest post and being able to read an excerpt of the book. Sound wonderful and definitely a book I would enjoy reading. It’s now on my TBR list.

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