Today I’m bopping along on a character blog hop. I was tagged by Connie Archer, the national bestselling author of the Soup Lovers Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime: A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal and A Roux of Revenge, set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont. The fourth book in the series, Ladle to the Grave, will be released in April 2015. Connie was born and raised in New England. She now lives on the other coast. Visit her website and blog at www.ConnieArcherMysteries.com, Facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.
In this blog hop, authors are to discuss a main character from a work in progress. In the third book of my Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol mystery series, set in 1993, we finally meet Sandy’s sister, Celeste Farmington. She’s the “baby” of the family with two older brothers, Warren and Ernest Farmington (Sandy’s real name).
Celeste is 33 years old and lives in a rented bungalow in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. She has long blond hair and is pretty in a girl-next-door sort of way. She was born blind due to a birth defect. Instead of sending her to a school for the blind, her mother home schooled Celeste. As a result of spending so much time alone, Celeste is not comfortable around strangers or in unfamiliar places.
Like her brothers, Celeste was classically trained in piano and is gifted in music. During the 1970s she recorded two critically acclaimed folk rock albums, A Dragon in the Forest and Gently Sings the Dove. However, her work was overshadowed by her brother, Sandy, who shot to teen idol fame with his best-selling bubblegum albums and TV show. She begged Sandy to use his notoriety to advance her career but nothing worked out and her music was soon forgotten. But Celeste didn’t forget and she held a grudge against her brother.
When Sandy’s musical career fizzled he turned to drink and ignored his family. Celeste felt shut out and neglected. She gave up on music and turned to making abstract ceramic sculptures with little success. She stayed at home, reading books-on-tape and Braille, and struggling to make ends meet on government benefits.
Now Sandy’s back in her life. He’s sober and he wants Celeste to join him in performing a week of shows aboard the USS Zodiac on a Caribbean cruise. At first she’s still angry with him but she moves past old hurts and capitulates. Learning the music and adjusting to life outside of her comfort zone prove difficult but she perseveres.
Aboard the Zodiac, the concerts are a hit but the trip turns deadly when Sandy finds a dead body in his dressing room. He does some amateur sleuthing while Celeste tags along. When Sandy escapes a death trap set by the murderer, Celeste becomes the killer’s next target. Will they both stay alive long enough to restart their careers?
Find out more about Celeste and her famous brother in The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper, due for a November 2014 release.
I’ve tagged Joyce Oroz to continue the blog hop. She is a retired mural artist who writes murder mysteries set around mural painting in California. She says, “I have come to realize that writing is a lot like painting but without the mess. I love sending my protagonist, Josephine Stuart, off to dangerous places to flush out a murderer. It’s how I deal with the scary things in life-I write them down and then take away their power. I have written six mystery novels in the last nine years. My latest book, Roller Rubout will be out this fall.”