Thank you, Dru, for hosting another cover reveal. I’m always honored to be on dru’s book musing and particularly excited to be here today because this is the cover for 15 Minutes, the first in my new humorous mystery series, Maizie Albright Star Detective. Look for the preorder in about a month, but 15 Minutes launches January 24th!
It’s another Georgia setting, 15 Minutes in the mountain and lake resort town of Black Pine. However, this Georgia Peach’s imported from Hollywood. She’s brought her Gucci’s but is leaving her past behind for a detective do-over.
I reflect back on my twenties and think of all my big moves—moving to Japan, getting married, and leaving grad school to get my teaching degree are the big ones. Biologically, our mid-twenties are when our brains finish growing and developing. And though some people have begun a path at a younger age, mid-twenties are a time when many of us make big determining life decisions.
Except for those who haven’t left the parent’s basement nest at forty and still don’t want to commit to adulting. But that’s for another story.
I had this mind when I created my new character, Maizie Albright. She’s twenty-five and at a pivotal point in her life. Maizie had a strange childhood. With divorced parents, she grew up in Hollywood under the thumb of her manager/stage monster-mother, Vicki. She only saw her father—the owner of DeerNose, a popular scented hunting apparel brand—in Black Pine, Georgia during the summers when she was on hiatus. She doesn’t know much about life outside her LA bubble. And her LA life was corrupt at best, toxic at worst.
But that’s what therapists are for. And trainers, managers, and assistants.
Under Vicki, Maizie rose to stardom in several shows, but most famously in Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective. When puberty caught up with Maizie, her teen star status crashed and burned, relegating her to B-movies, reality shows, and rehab. But Maizie clung to her favorite childhood dream: becoming a real life detective. When a judge gave her a choice of jail or return to Georgia to get a non-show business job, Maizie saw her out.
But she has ten days to get a W-4 sent to the judge or serve time in a California prison.
Ten days to convince the only private investigator in town to mentor her, Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Systems. But he’s got issues of his own, mainly an ex-wife who’s using his client to leverage him out of business. And no interest in mentoring a tabloid star.
Ten days to find a woman she lost on day two. The wife of the client trying to leverage her hopefully soon-to-be-boss out of business.
So actually, nine days to find a missing woman, clear Nash’s name, secure the job, stay out of prison. . .and not get killed.
Any major life changing decision you had to make in your mid-twenties? What do you think of the new cover? Leave me a comment to enter into a drawing for some Japanese tea and chocolates (I’m living in Japan)! The giveaway ends October 25, 2016 at 11: 59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
15 Minutes is the first book in the New Maizie Albright humorous mystery series, coming January 24, 2017.
When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.
By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.
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Excerpt from 15 Minutes.
I loved Julia Pinkerton: Teen Detective.
Not because the show gave me international exposure. I worked with some great actors, both my regular cast and the guest stars. Real nice people who genuinely seemed to like me. Excellent crew and sweet craft folks. Treated me like a princess. On a long running show, they say your colleagues become family. That’s true. But when a show ends, the family disperses.
And you don’t always get a new family. Especially when you’ve outgrown your cheer uniform, but everyone still thinks of you as a cheerleader. And you weren’t that great of an actress anyway.
Even in hindsight, I would have done the show all over again. But not for the reasons you might think. Julia was smart. Really clever, sometimes crafty, but still likable. The other characters underestimated her because she was a teenager, but Julia used it to her advantage. Her teenagerness was her disguise.
She began as a school narc in the first season, working with the local police department, but after falling in love with the high school basketball star/drug dealer—originally a redeemable character, but when his contract wasn’t renewed, the writers had to flip him and kill him off—Julia lost confidence in the police and decided to strike out on her own. When you’re a teen detective on TV, you can do that. It worked. For eight seasons.
That’s like two million in TV years.
Plus, I met real police officers and real security agents. Advisors to the show. They took me for ride-alongs, got me into the Kids Police Academy, and let me hang out with them on set so I could listen to their stories. My agent and Vicki encouraged it, thinking it would help me develop Julia into a more convincing character, even though the advisors were actually hired to assist the writers and director.
Quick-witted and sharp, Julia could make the experts laugh. She asked provocative questions. Detective Earl King—guy with a permanent scowl and no neck—took me for ice cream every Friday.
Detective King said he wished he had a daughter as bright as Julia.
I’ll tell you one thing. Julia Pinkerton would never have gotten socked in the nose by a nail esthetician.
I lay on the floor, holding my nose and tearing up. I was no Julia Pinkerton. I wasn’t even a very good Maizie Albright. But I had succeeded in flushing out Tiffany for Wyatt Nash. Maybe he would still give me the job.
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About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and the Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait Of A Dead Guy (2012), is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition In Murder, releases November 15, 2016. The debut in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, 15 Minutes, releases January 24, 2017. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but still calls Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.
All comments are welcomed.