Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels Mystery, Book 2
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: October 15, 2013
Number of pages: 276
Cover Artist: Fayette Terlouw
When an Armani-clad corpse turns up in the woods, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke smells a scoop. A little digging, and Nichelle uncovers a web of corruption that stretches all the way to Washington, D.C. Politics. Murder. And a dead lobbyist. It’s everything Nichelle’s ever dreamed of.Guest Post:
The cops are playing it close, the feds even closer, and Nichelle’s afraid her boss will assign the story to the political desk any day. Richmond’s new ATF SuperCop makes an arrest before she can say “Louboutin,” but Nichelle’s gut says he’s got the wrong guy.
Her sexy Mafia boss friend warns her off the case, her TV rival is hot on her designer heels, an ambitious copy editor wants her beat, and victims are piling up faster than she can track them down. As Nichelle zeroes in on the truth, it’ll take some fancy footwork to nab this headline before the killer nabs her.
Book birthdays: for authors, they’re like Christmas and the Fourth of July rolled into one. You wake up, stomach tingling with anticipation, and hope for fireworks by bedtime.
I’m happy to say that at least on book number two, it has not gotten old. BURIED LEADS launches today, and I’m every bit as thrilled as I was when FRONT PAGE FATALITY came out in January.
I will say that the nerves leading up to the launch have been different this time around. Releasing a book into the wild is a little akin to sending your children off to college, or moving them into a first apartment. You’ve put years of effort and love and tears into something, and you have to let it go off into the world. You know it’s not going to be loved by everyone, but you hope it will find a place to live with people who love it, and that it will bring them joy.
Last time, no one knew who the heck Nichelle was. Or who I was. My eyes popped open on January 29 with mild expectations. I had spent enough years hanging out and learning about traditional fiction publishing to know that a debut by an author no one had ever heard of would have an uphill road. I remember telling myself all that day, “if five people I’ve never met before buy it and love it, I’m happy.”
By the end of that week, Front Page was number one on amazon’s hot new humor list. Number one. Me and Dave Barry, hanging out at the top of this list. And number two in mystery—between James Patterson and J.D. Robb, at one and three, respectively. It was truly like walking around in someone else’s life.
And I wasn’t the only person who stared at those charts all day. My mother-in-law called me from Texas about 657 times, she was so excited. I distinctly recall one point where she said, “Stop watching it. When it hits number one, I’ll call you back. Go to dinner and have fun.”
At that time, we were watching the mystery list, because I didn’t even know about the humor one. I laughed and said, “three is as high as I’m getting. No way I’m passing J.D. Robb.”
“Whatever. Go eat something,” she said.
Ten minutes later, she called back as I was putting my new Nichelle shoes on to go celebrate number three (because that’s amazing in itself).
“Number two!” she singsonged.
“No way.” I muffled the receiver and asked my oldest daughter to bring me my cell phone. Then I had to sit down. I thanked MIL and hung up, looking at my husband. “What is going on here? Where is Rod Serling?”
Four minutes later, the phone rang again.
“Did you KNOW that J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts?” My mother-in-law shrieked.
“I do. That’s why I told you I wouldn’t pass her on this list.”
“My mom just told me that. I had no idea.” She said she was hanging up to call everyone she knew.
I lived pretty much all of February in a fog. I honestly think it took a whole month to get my head around it.
Today, there’s a new book. And there are people who know who Nichelle is. A few even know who I am! The fanfare is a little bigger—I have a TV appearance this morning, some preorders to sign, and the Richmond launch party tomorrow night is part of this year’s Virginia Literary Festival. I am amazed and excited by everything on that list.
Am I expecting number one because it happened last time? Nope. I’m still not sure what combination of star alignment and Heaven smiling on me caused all that. But there are readers—way more than five—waiting for this book. That is mind-boggling to me. I love it. I’m proud of it.
One of the coolest things that happened to me this year was that I stumbled into having cocktails with one of my idols (any other Harlan Coben fans in the house?) at a conference in May. He gave me some good advice: “Write a better book next time. And the time after that. That is how you build a career.”
I’ve tried very hard to follow that, and I hope other folks think so, too.
Thanks so much for stopping by to celebrate this day with me. I’m so thankful for every reader who loves Nichelle and her friends, and I love hearing from y’all. The Headlines in High Heels books don’t have to be read in order, but if you want to check out FRONT PAGE FATALITY before you read BURIED LEADS, Front Page is on sale this week as part of the launch celebration—all ebook formats are only 99 cents!
This is the second book in the Nichelle Clark Headlines in Heels Mystery by LynDee Walker. One of the first book tours I was a part of was for Front Page Fatality and really enjoyed it. So I was thrilled to be able to be part of this tour and get my hands on Buried Leads early! Check out my review of Front Page Fatality here.
This book starts out a couple of months following the ending in book one. Nichelle, or Nicey as she typically goes by, is living the glamorous life of the investigative journalist - tromping through the woods at night, looking for the dead body she heard about on her police scanner. When Nicey gets there, she finds the gruesome remains of a man wearing an expensive suit, shot in the face and left in a shallow grave. The teenagers that found the body give Nicey a quote for her article the next day, but otherwise there is little to go on. While the officers are busy, Nicey takes a closer look at the grave and finds a strange piece of paper in the surrounding grave. Hoping this will get her some brownie points (and perhaps lead to a scoop), Nicey brings it to their attention. Little does she know how important that little piece of paper will prove to be.
In this book we get the return of Joey, the shady mafia guy who visits with Nicey after dark and Kyle, Nicey's high school flame and currently the new ATF agent. Nicey has occasions during her investigation to work with both of the guys separately and we get the joy of being on hand for their first face to face meeting at Nicey's house. All that testosterone in one small space, it's enough to make a girl swoon! *fans self* But seriously, though Alpha guys they be, Nicey is a woman who takes care of herself and calls her own shots. She is not going to let someone tell her how to do her job or live her life. Even when faced with a massive professional set-back, Nicey kept her head high and kept moving forward. Nicey shows us that a woman can be aggressive, yet classy and tough, yet feminine. If you like strong female characters, you are going to want to check out this series. This earned a 4 star rating from me on Goodreads.
1) LynDee Walker is giving away a Swag Package Prize at each stop on the tour. Make sure you follow the tour and comment at each site.
Make sure you leave your email address in separated format. I will choose a random commenter at the end of the tour.
2) There is a Cool Gift Package, including a $25 gift card to the bookstore of the winner’s choice available tour wide.
US Addresses only for both giveaways.
Book Tour Info:
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:
Mommasez… - Review & Giveaways
Musings and Ramblings - Review, Guest Post & Giveaways
dru’s book musing - Guest Post & Giveaways
Thoughts in Progress - Interview & Giveaways
Lily Pond Reads - Review & Giveaways
Mystery Playground - Guest Post & Giveaways
Kaisy Daisy’s Corner - Review & Giveaways
Melina’s Book Blog - Review, Interview & Giveaway
Escape With Dollycas - Review, Interview & Giveaways
Brooke Blogs - Review & Giveaways
Socrates’ Book Review Blog - Review & Giveaways
SavingFor6 - Review & Giveaway
rantin’ ravin’ and reading - Review, Interview & Giveaways
Traveling With T - Review, Guest Post & Giveaaways
LynDee Walker grew up in the land of stifling heat and amazing food most people call Texas, and wanted to be Lois Lane from the time she could say the words “press conference.” An award-winning journalist, she traded cops and deadlines for burp cloths and onesies when her oldest child was born. Writing the Headlines in Heels mysteries gives her the best of both worlds. Her debut novel, Front Page Fatality (A Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels Mystery), is an amazon new humor #1 bestseller. LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel. You can visit her online at www.lyndeewalker.com.
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