Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. And today, I am pleased to have Mary here, doing a guest post, on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. (LEAVE A COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A PAPERBACK COPY OF FORGET ME KNOT) Welcome, Mary.
By Mary Marks
Nancy, Adrienne and I are now in our seventies. But at one time we were young, cute, and in high school together. This weekend, for the first time in years, we had a chance to visit via speaker phone. What was the first thing we talked about?
Nancy has just learned how to use the internet. So she talked about logging on to Google and researching her newest physical ailment, a subluxated patella. I mean, really? Our ailing bodies are what we focus on now?
Long ago we focused on the great questions of life like what to study in college and whether or not to French kiss a boy. During sleepovers we’d eat hamburgers on white bread, put our hair in rollers and crowd together in a double bed whispering about the day when we’d have sex with a man. The year was 1960 and we had no idea what great social and moral turmoil lay in front of us.
And then came the great separation. Nancy got married and moved to San Francisco. Adrienne, a gifted musician, attended San Jose State University to become a teacher, and I followed my destiny in Los Angeles. Fifty-four years later, thanks to modern technology, we were giggling together once again.
Nancy told us—are you ready for this—the suppository story. It seems that earlier this year she was in bed in a rehab facility recovering from knee surgery (the same one that now has the subluxated patella). The young nurse approached Nancy, who is quite obese, to give her a glycerin suppository and stuck it in the wrong place.
Nancy informed the nurse that she missed her target, and the embarrassed woman scurried out of the room to get another suppository. Just as the red faced nurse reached to doorway, Nancy shouted for all to hear, “I’ve been violated!”
We laughed hysterically at our friend’s audacity. Things we only whispered about a half century before, we now shouted. The years had made us not only wiser but bolder.
What has happened to the three of us during the last half century?
Nancy lived in Oregon and raised one son, and sold produce for a living until her knees gave out a few years ago. She was known as “The Apple Lady.” A local artist painted her portrait and she was featured in a magazine article. Our ex-hippie friend had carved out a simple and satisfying life.
Adrienne married a navy flyer and pursued a life of teaching and perfecting her art as a violinist. She chose not to have a family and focused instead on guiding and instructing other people’s children.
And I, well one day I’ll publish a memoir about my very crazy, eventful life. I’m the one that parents point out to their daughters as a horrible warning.
When I look at my friends I look past the gray hair, failing eyesight and blue veined hands. To me they are still young, firm, vibrant, full of hope and eager to plunge into the future. The innocent laughter of our teenage years echoes down the decades to the full-bodied hilarity of our older selves.
Real friendship endures. Ours is rooted in the common experiences of our school days together. And it has been enriched over time by the diversity we each bring to the conversation. Nancy with her outrageous stories, Adrienne with her tales of work and travel, and me with my new career in writing murder mysteries.
And love is the glue that holds us together.
Welcome to San Fernando Valley, California, where Martha Rose and her coterie of quilters are enjoying life on the good side of retirement—until murder pulls a stitch out of their plans…
Martha and her besties Lucy and Birdie are set to expand their Quilty Tuesdays by inviting newcomer Claire Terry into their group. Though at forty Claire’s a tad younger than their average age, her crafty reputation could perk up their patchwork proceedings, especially as they prepare for the fancy quilt show coming to town. But when they arrive at Claire’s home and find her dead inside the front door, and her exquisite, prize-winning quilts soon missing, Martha is not one to leave a mystery unraveled. Especially if she wants to stop a killer from establishing a deadly pattern…
Martha Rose is a protagonist for those of a certain age. Past 50, divorced, overweight, gray hair, migraines, fibromyalgia. What’s not to love?!!!! She’s the lone Democrat in a Republican family. She asked if they had private accommodation when she was put in jail. The mystery is cleverly written. The quilting aspect is enjoyable but not overbearing if that doesn’t interest you. The characters will have you falling in love. This is the debut of a mystery series I hope to be reading for a long, long, time!!! A solid ♥♥♥♥♥
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January 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
January 7 – Books-n-Kisses – Review – Giveaway
January 8 – Escape With Dollycas – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
January 10- Community Bookstop – Review – Giveaway
January 10 – <b>Dru’s Book Musings – Guest Post
January 11- Dr. Pepper Diva – Review – Giveaway
January 12- A Blue Million Books – Interview – Giveaway
January 13 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review – Guest Post – Giveaway
January 14 – My Recent Favorite books – Review – Giveaway
January 15 – Thoughts in Progress – Review – Giveaway
January 16 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post – Giveaway
January 17 – My Devotional Thoughts – Review – Giveaway
19 thoughts on “FORGET ME KNOT is on tour and you have a chance to win it!”
I would love to win this!
Forget Me Knot sounds unforgettable and fascinating. Thanks for this lovely giveaway.
Im reading this book ( and wont be entering the contest ) – but wanted to say that I really am enjoying this story! If you love quilts and cozies…you gotta get this one!
Many of my armchair group are quilters, but I just never found the patience to try it. I do love the series though and would love to add this to my personal library.
Always looking for a new and interesting cozy book. Haven’t read this quilt series yet. Looks like a winner!! Love to win this book!! Ronna Lord
Quilting and murder – what a unique combination. Sounds like my kind of book and I’d love to read it.
Quilting and murder, sounds great to me.
I would love a free copy! The library doesn’t order new books and I have to buy them when they are on sale. I loved the story of you and your 2 friends! The 3 of you should write some of your stories so that we all could enjoy them!!
This book looks like it would not only be fun and interesting, but like a book of food, it sounds comforting in a way. Crafts, food, beverages like tea and coffee, all make great scenarios for cozies and I would love to read this book, but better yet, would love to win a copy of it. Thank you for that opportunity.
Great post! Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed reading it. The book sounds wonderful!
brookeb811 at gmail dot com
thank you for the giveaway chance!! would love to read this book!!!
Another cozy series I need to begin reading!
Several women in our church are avid quilters. I like looking a quilts, but have never tried to craft one.
Another cozy mystery series I need to begin reading!
Several women at the church are avid quilters. I enjoy seeing quilts at quilt shows and such, but have never tried to make one myself.
Never mind the quilting, I’m hooked on Martha Rose’s character already! Sounds like a wonderfully new and refreshing take on the Cozy Mystery Genre! Wonderful start for the first book in a series! Looking forward to reading this one! 🙂
I am the little sister of one of the two friends Mary wrote about. All three of them were a special part of my life growing up, and I enjoyed her beautifully written reflections on their recent cyber time together. Mary is a very special person – warm, thoughtful, and a bit mysterious herself. I can’t wait to read her murder mystery “Forget Me Knot”. I have no doubt that it will be a great read!!!
Definite winner in my book. I want to read! Please enter me in the giveaway! Thank you for both the review $ giveaway chance!
I am Patsy’s (see above) sister, and so one of the “Old Friends” mentioned in Mary’s guest essay. How wonderful to be the closest of friends, not only with my sister, but with my high school colleagues since 1960! That’s 53 years!
Mary deserves the highest accolades for her first novel. Her quilting, which is beautiful and masterful, has been put aside for now.
Last night, at 2:30 AM, I finished Mary’s Forget Me Knot. I had read an earlier version, before her work with the publishing house. With attention to detail, and with the highest literary standards, Mary polished this first work to a seamless and compelling read. It involves lovable and quirky characters, a first-person narrative that makes you want to have Martha Rose as your best friend, a story line that keeps you engaged, plus: smatterings of interesting background information on topics related to the story, and best of all, witty humor. I loved this book, and am going to re-read it, starting tonight, this time to more deeply appreciate her craft.
I’m learning that “cozy mysteries” have “standards” of language (think PG13) that one cannot breach, and so in one highly emotional scene where I expected “you pile of monkey sh–!” the phrase used was “monkey puke.” I’m still laughing at that one! Still, adherence to “cozy” standards does not in any way disturb the contemporary feel of the book.
For those of you who are quilters, I encourage you to send a letter to your organizations and provide a link to her website: marymarksmysteries.com Any quilting guild would be delighted to have Mary Marks and Martha Rose as members. Quilting may be the background music, however one does NOT need to be a quilter to enjoy this book. In fact, Mary gives us just the right amount of quilting information to appreciate the lives of her characters.
I am so happy for Mary. She’s truly earned her credentials as a published author. The writing is tight, textured and scintillating. I hope that Forget Me Knot will soon land in your hands. Look for her second book, to be published in November of this year. She’s now writing the third in this series, due in 2015. You rock, dear friend!
Thank you Mary, and I wanted to comment on how lovely the posting is from Patsy. I wish you nothing but the best of luck in your writing career. I am so anxious to get my book and get it read and reviewed for you. Hope that you will still have time for some quilting along with your writing.
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