Monday, May 4, 2015

Stay of Execution by Kellie Larson Murphy - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

This interview is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books, Kellie. Why do you write in your genre?

When I first started writing fiction, I didn’t consciously pick a genre. I just started writing the story that was in my head. In hindsight, that’s probably because I’m influenced by what I love. I read everything from literature to non-fiction but somehow, when I just want sheer entertainment, I pick up murder and mayhem. The truth is, writing mystery and suspense comes far more easily than a love scene or comedy. It’s my love of mysteries and thrillers that sparked my writing.

What draws you to it?

There are two main reasons I’m drawn to mystery. First, I love the pacing of a good mystery or thriller. It’s not necessarily that you can’t set the book aside before you get to the end, it’s that you don’t want to. For me, suspense is the definition of page-turner. Second, a good mystery always has a character with an edge, someone who’d different or “out there” or just plain evil. I love the villains almost as much as the good guys!

What research is required?

Both of the books in the Cancini Mystery series required some research, but in Stay of Execution, it was particularly important to learn a little about the history of DNA as well as some basics. Also, while I’ve been to towns very much like the fictional Little Springs, I still had to research small towns across the western part of Virginia to bring it to life.

Name one thing you learned from your hero.

Cancini believes that everyone is not who they seem, no one is above suspicion, and choices are black and white. He struggles to recognize that life is sometimes gray and that doing the right thing can mean different things to different people. I love when he stumbles upon this truth (and so do we). I also love that while he’s a fallen catholic and avoids religion, one of his closest confidantes is a priest.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I don’t really have any quirks but I’m not very good at sharing a work-in-progress. Maybe it’s a habit or a superstition, but I just don’t do it. I know many authors who will post chapters as they go or who let their beta readers see partially finished work. I keep it to myself until I have a completed draft and even then, I don’t show it to anyone until it’s had at least a rough edit first. (See the next question for why!)

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Neither and both! When I first sit down to write a book, I know how the book will start and how it will end. I know who did it! However, I don’t have a working outline to prompt my writing. I just start at the beginning and write sequentially what I feel would happen next. After I’ve completed the book, then I go back and plot everything on a timeline and summarize each chapter. I look for holes or unnecessary chapters. I cut and paste and rewrite. I guess I pants first and plot second!

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My mug of tea. I don’t drink coffee but I drink A LOT of tea. I love it so much that I will even drink decaf if necessary.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Yes, I’m currently working on the third in the Detective Cancini series, The Last Sin. This one takes place in DC and opens with the violent murder of a young and handsome priest.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I don’t want to give away a plot point so my question is fairly general. I’m sensing that readers want the lonely Cancini to find a relationship and love. How much do readers want that in this series?

Little Springs was just a small college town, the kind of town where everyone knew everyone and violent crime was nonexistent--until a series of rapes and murders at the college. After an outbreak of fear and hysteria, only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the "Co-Ed Killer," could end the terror.

Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions surround the identity of the true "Co-Ed Killer," Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man. Suspicions mount when Spradlin's release coincides with a fresh wave of rapes and murders at the college, eerily reminiscent of the original crimes. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the identity of the latest "Co-Ed Killer" before the next girl dies...

A tension-filled psychological mystery, STAY OF EXECUTION is also a novel about loyalty, deceit, and the darker side of truth.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The boy looked up at the tall trees, their branches thick and twisted, blocking the warmth from the sun. He pulled the strings of his knapsack tight and walked faster. Feet moving quickly over the slippery ground cover, he tripped, falling forward toward the round trunk of a large oak. “Stupid root. Stupid trees.” Picking himself up, he wiped his hands on his jeans, the brown, wet moss leaving marks on the worn pants. It was only then that he noticed what had caused his fall. Not a root. A leg. He stepped closer to see a bare leg, a woman’s leg, covered in dirt and leaves as though someone had tried to hide her. The boy’s eyes widened, and he screamed. Turning, he ran from the woods toward the first house he could find, still screaming.

Kellie Larsen Murphy is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution, the first two books in the Detective Cancini Mystery series. She has written for several mid-Atlantic magazines and resides in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs.


Amazon Kindle:

Amazon / Print:

Barnes and Noble Nook:

Barnes and Noble Print:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me today!

  3. Mai, I love you question about the cover because I met with my cover artist 3 times before we made a final decision. I think he did a wonderful job! Yes, I think the cover makes a difference in that a bad cover will not attract potential readers no matter how good the story is. A good cover gives the author a chance to hook the reader. Hope that answers your question!

  4. I really enjoyed your comments. This sounds like a real thriller.

    1. Thanks, MomJane. I give credit to the great questions!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Rita. Hope you get the chance to check out the book and be sure to enter the contest for the Amazon card!

  6. Sounds thrilling! I enjoyed the excerpt Thanks for sharing

    1. Eva, thanks for visiting and hope you get the chance to check out my new book. All the best to you!

  7. thanks for the chance! I loved the excerpt!

    1. Amanda, thank so much for stopping by and registering for the contest. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt and hope you get the opportunity to check out the book! Have a great day!

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! I like the excerpt. :)

    1. Cali, thank you for visiting and glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Good luck in the giveaway!

  9. Replies
    1. Thank so much for visiting and be sure to enter my giveaway!

  10. Replies
    1. Mary Preston, thank you for reading. It was a fun interview and the excerpt is one of my favorite scenes! Have a great day!

  11. Enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

  12. sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway.



So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?