June Shaw lives along a lazy bayou in south Louisiana. She became a young widow with five children, completed a college degree, and started teaching junior high students. Then her deferred dream of becoming a writer took hold. She eventually worked on novels, became a grandmother, and then sold RELATIVE DANGER (first in a trilogy) which she is now rereleasing with Untreed Publishing. June is here today as part of her tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. To win an ebook copy of RELATIVE DANGER 1) leave a comment below with your email and 2) for more chances to win just go HERE. Welcome, June.
You seem to have had quite the inspirational mother. Are any of your characters based on her?
Mom was wonderful, so everyone insisted I write a book about her; thus, Nora 102 ½: A Lesson on Aging Well was born. Many readers say it’s the most inspiring book they’ve read in a long time. But my main characters in my Cealie Gunther series, starting with Relative Danger, are actually based on my hunk Bob and my sister-in-law Lois. They will say or do anything without second thought, just like Cealie Gunther. And widowed Cealie’s lover is Gil Thurman, whom she’s trying to avoid so she can rediscover herself, but he opens Cajun restaurants wherever she travels – and she is so bad at avoiding tempting dishes and men. My hunk Bob is Cajun and a great cook, so… what can I say?
Where did the idea for Relative Danger come from?
In this book Cealie pops up in Chicago early to get to visit her motherless granddaughter and watch her graduate, only to discover that because of a death, graduation might not take place. Cealie promised Kat’s mother she’d take her place at Kat’s graduation, so she gets into the school to substitute teach to discover what really happened and help fix things—only to make matters much worse for her grandchild and herself. I taught in public junior and senior high schools for twenty years. Now do you understand where thoughts of murder come from? (J Actually, I loved my students… well, most of them-and they loved me.)
Do you have habits or routines you find yourself needing to follow to be able to get into writing mode? Or did raising five kids on your own and teaching school make you so organized you just sit down from 8 a.m. to noon, come hell or high water and write every single day?
I wake up, grab coffee, read my Daily Word, and get to my desk to write. But organized is not one gift God passed on to me.
I know when I see a cozy with a senior sleuth, I just have to get it. And I’ve heard a lot of other cozy readers say the same thing. Why do you think people of all ages find the senior sleuths so endearing?
Most of us have had endearing mothers and/or grandmothers, and we love to see that people their ages can accomplish exciting things. Also, many of us are not youngsters ourselves and want to put ourselves in the shoes of these not-so-young characters who people the books.
Based on your mother, I’m betting you have a lot more writing years left in you. What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I’m letting people know that my Cealie Gunther series, starting with Relative Danger, has been just released for all e-readers. My two young teenage granddaughters (sisters of the one who wrote the pet ghost book with me) asked to write a book with me, too. They’re avid readers who loved the Hunger Games books; so did I, so we just completed a dystopian YA called Just One Friend, and I sent it in to an editor. Right now I’m putting together ideas for another mystery series.
Now three things that have nothing to do with writing that I ask everybody:
- What is your favorite food? Boiled crayfish – You almost have to slap me to make me quit eating them.
- What is your favorite TV show? Castle
- What is your favorite music? Country
Thank you so much for being here today June, I hope you are enjoying the tour and good luck with the rerelease of Relative Danger. Before you go, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers or have them know about you?
Yes. I truly appreciate being here to share thoughts with all of you. Thank you so much, Kate. I love to hear from readers. You can see my mom, my hunk Bob, and me holding an alligator…. on my website www.juneshaw.com. I hope you’ll give some of my books a try. Thank you!
Title: Relative Danger (A Cealie Gunther Mystery, #1)
Author: June Shaw
Published by Untreed Publishing
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Number of Pages: 256
This is book one in a trilogy featuring widowed Cealie Gunther, who “thinks” she wants to avoid her hunky lover Gil Thurman, but he opens Cajun restaurants wherever she travels — and she is so bad at avoiding tempting dishes and men. RELATIVE DANGER — Spunky widowed Cealie Gunther is a woman of a certain age whose zeal for adventure keeps her in the thick of things—like trouble. She pops up in town early to watch her motherless granddaughter Kat graduate, only to discover that because of a death—accidental—or murder?—graduation might not take place. Determined to find the truth, Cealie snags a job as a substitute teacher, exposing much violence, lurking menace and more disturbing questions than answers. The only thing certain is that a killer has decided she and her grandchild need to be expelled—permanently.
I am always a sucker for a cozy with a senior sleuth. And Cealie Gunther is a great character. Funny and independent. And I like the character of her boyfriend Gil Thurman. I don’t even mind she does stupid things that put her in danger. After all, if we got rid of all the cozies where the protagonist does stupid things that put them in danger, our TBR piles would all be a lot smaller. And I plan to read the next two books in this trilogy. Because Cealie is funny. You sense a but… I am into the tiny details. I have raved over books that others found mediocre because I was impressed with tiny details that 90% of the readers probably didn’t even notice – I love seeing that degree of research. But those tiny details can spoil a book for me too. Unfortunately this book had two things that made me nuts – and when that happens, I can’t get it out of my head. The reason Cealie is involved is she is concerned her granddaughter won’t graduate from high school. Not just the walk across the stage, graduate. Because she is upset about the murder she will fail her final exams, her GPA will drop, etc. DUH! It is a few days before the school year ends. Seniors don’t take those final exams. Their GPA is set in stone. They have already been accepted and chosen their college. Barring making it with the principal’s husband and burning down the school, that honor student grandchild is getting that parchment. The other thing that made me nuts is Cealie signed up to be a substitute teacher with outdated teaching credentials and no background check. Um… no. So since I know most people aren’t as crazy as I am, I say read the book and enjoy it for the funny book it is. But for me, this one was only a ♥♥♥½
October 23 – readalot – Review, Giveaway
October 24 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
October 25 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Interview, Review, Giveaway
October 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview, Giveaway
October 28 – Turning the Pages – Review
October 29 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
October 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
October 31 – Dru’s Book Musings – Guest Post, Giveaway
November 2 – Rose & Beps Blog – Guest Post
November 4 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review, Giveaway
November 5 – Socrates’ Book Review Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
November 6 – Traveling With T – Interview, Giveaway
November 7 – Thoughts in Progress – Review, Giveaway
November 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – Interview, Review
RELATIVE DANGER Excerpt
I applauded. The man onstage pointed beyond me, and my heart lurched.
There, at a corner table, sat Gil. The gunmetal gray of his sports jacket matched his thick hair, teased now with silver streaks. The top button of his white shirt was open. He stood, and I saw that he wore dark jeans. Colorful jockey shorts would be underneath.
Applause rang in my ears. Or maybe it was blood rushing.
“Thank you all for coming,” Gil said, the deep richness of his voice sending molten urges through my body.
People at his table raised their hands toward him and clapped. At the chair beside Gil’s sat a young woman with a bronzed cherub face. Hair like liquid ebony draped around her face, and a black knit top revealed mega cleavage. She gave Gil an expansive smile, her eyes sparkling like those of a woman in love.
Gil’s gaze fell to the woman. He grinned and then peered at his customers. “Please enjoy yourselves. And don’t forget to tell your friends where we are.” He began to sit when his gaze located mine. Gil sprang to his feet, mouthing, “Cealie.”
Somersaults bounced through my belly.
Gil strode to me, saying, “You’re here.” He leaned and kissed my lips. Gil’s lips were warm, his scent manly. I let my mouth linger.
Behind him, someone snickered. The waiter stood, holding my entrée. He set it down and left. Gil stared at me. “What a treat.”
I didn’t speak, enjoying the marvelous twinges in my torso.
“Cealie, I can’t believe you’re really here.”
I struggled to draw my gaze away from his mesmerizing dark gray eyes. Gil’s neck filled his open collar, and chest hair sprinkled the V above his top button. That same chest hair had often tickled my cheeks. I felt a rush of passion no lady should feel while out in public.
“Nice to see you, too,” I said, willing my voice normal. I slid my left hand into my right palm and pinched, an action I’d discovered was more discreet than slapping myself. You are woman, remember? You want to do your own thing.
“I don’t know what brought you, but I’m glad it did.” He cocked his head and gave a smile that made me sizzle. “Would your visit have anything to do with me?”
Kat’s horrid situation sprang to mind. “No,” I said.
“I didn’t think so.” Gil looked disappointed. He indicated the place where the pretty woman sat watching us, her red mouth now puckered in a pout. “Come over to my table and join us.”
“Why don’t you just join me for a minute,” I said, pointedly adding, “if you can?”
Gil sat and drew his chair close. My gaze flickered toward his table. Surely that young woman’s skirt was black and clingy. Black pantyhose would probably run beneath that tiny skirt the entire length of her long legs.
Her gaze locked with mine. We gave each other appraising stares.
My skin had more sag than hers, and my waist was surely not as tapered. I was a decade or two (okay, maybe three) older. Was Gil dating a child now, I wondered, my teeth clenched.
Well that was his decision to make. Still, I wished I’d worn something sassier than the boxy lime-green pantsuit made of crinkled fabric. It was a wise choice in some ways, loose and comfortable with an elastic waistband. The cropped pants were fashionable but made my legs appear shorter. Comparing me in this outfit to the woman staring back, I looked about as chic as Chicken Boy.