Book: “Dying for a Diamond”
Author: Cindy Sample
Publisher: Cindy Sample, published February 2017, paperback and e-book versions, 242 pages
“I, Laurel McKay, have very simple needs and make only one request for my upcoming nuptials and honeymoon. No dead bodies.” — “Dying for a Diamond”
If you are familiar with Cindy Sample’s Laurel McKay mystery series, you know that’s just not going to happen. At last, El Dorado Hills soccer mom Laurel McKay and the detective of her dreams Tom Hunter become man and wife. But romance on their Caribbean cruise honeymoon has to be squeezed in between murders, jewelry thefts, the unexpected appearance of Laurel’s adult family members, Laurel’s unstoppable sleuthing and all that cruise food.
In her previous exploits Laurel tangled with murderous dates (“Dying for a Date“), dance-offs that go very wrong (“Dying for a Dance”), homicides in Hawaii (“Dying for a Daiquiri”), Gold Rush skeletons (“Dying for a Dude”) and death in a pastry shack (“Dying for a Doughnut”).
In “Diamond,” Sample’s sixth action-packed, comic mystery, readers are whisked out of El Dorado County and onto the open sea where obnoxious passengers, feisty relatives and backstage quarrels abound. The Caribbean may never recover.
El Dorado Hills author Sample believes in writing about the things we know. Personally taste-testing the doughnuts at an Apple Hill member ranch, drinking daiquiris in Hawaii, taking dance lessons, joining an online dating service, riding with the Highway 50 Wagon Train and going on Caribbean cruises are just part of her meticulous research. Adding a little bling to the mix is just a part of the job.
“‘Dying for a Doughnut’ was the most dangerous book for me — I gained 8 pounds tasting those pastries,” said Sample.
With six books under her belt you’d think that writing would be a breeze but Sample says not.
“It’s harder because now I have more fans and I want to make sure they’re happy with what I write,” Sample said. “This (‘Diamond’) was the most difficult book to write, so far. I went on a cruise last January and was already plotting the book but it’s a lot easier to write when the book happens in Apple Hill than it is in the Caribbean.”
Where on a cruise ship is the best place to hide the bodies? Sample had help from many of her fans, one of whom she met while on a cruise.
“I’m a total pantser (flying by the seat of her pants) and so I’m just as interested to see how things end up as the readers,” said Sample. “It’s frustrating sometimes but exhilarating, too.”
Sample is already plotting her seventh book based on a title her mother gave her — “Dying for a Deal,” that will return Laurel to El Dorado County and an eighth book is in the works as well.
“My brain is always spinning,” she added.
Catch Cindy Sample at her book launch for “Dying for a Diamond” at Face in a Book, 4359 Town Center Blvd. in El Dorado Hills, on Sunday, Feb. 19 from 1-4 p.m. She will also be making a presentation at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center at 1 p.m. on Feb. 21. For more information about upcoming presentations and books, visit the website at cindysamplebooks.com.
“Dying for a Diamond” is available in e-book version at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Kobo, IndieBound and the iTunes store. The print version is available locally at Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills and the Placerville News Company in Placerville.