THE MAP QUILT is a the second book in the Buried Treasure Mysteries series, a sequel to THE GOLD STANDARD. You don’t have to read the first novel, as this story is a stand alone…but if you’d like to, that would also be nice.
So, let’s find out what THE MAP QUILT is all about…
Just how high a price does a family secret command?
Death in rural Wisconsin is only the beginning to new chaos in Robertsville. What do a stolen piece of revolutionary agricultural equipment, a long-buried skeleton in the yard, and an old quilt with secrets have in common? Hart and Judy Wingate, who met in THE GOLD STANDARD, are back to solve the mystery of THE MAP QUILT. Hart’s new battery design could forever change the farm implement industry. But after the death of Hart’s most confrontational colleague in a fire that destroys Hart’s workshop, the battery is missing.
Throw in a guest speaker invited to Judy’s elementary classroom who insists she owns the land under Hart’s chief competitor’s corporate headquarters, and a police chief who’s making eyes at Hart’s widowed mother, it’s no wonder Hart is under a ton of pressure to make sure his adventurous pregnant wife stays safe while trying to preserve his company and his reputation.
I’ve gotten to know Lisa simply through slogging it out in the trenches in the Christian fiction publishing industry, and also through her participation as a judge in past years for the Grace Awards. Lisa is not a judge this year, but THE MAP QUILT is a finalist in the Grace Awards 2012 Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller category.
Nike: What motivated you to write THE MAP QUILT, the second in your acclaimed Buried Treasure cozy series? Do you tend to be a plotter or a pantster?
Lisa: Hi, Nike, thanks for having me a guest today. THE MAP QUILT, as you said, is the second book in a series. I was prompted to write the book by a number of elements, which just came together for me. We had purchased a farm in western central Wisconsin, where I first learned the story of the black farmers settlement and of Alga Shivers, who built the round barns. I’m a life-long quilter and historian, and stories of the Underground Railroad put the final tie in the batting, so to speak. For mysteries, a writer needs to be pretty careful to plot. I prefer to have an idea of where I’m going, at least chapter goals, and need to have a lot of research for planting the clues.
Nike: Why write a cozy and not a more gritty style mystery?
Lisa: The cozy, which I’d never heard of before, was because of Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents: Mysteries book club, and that was the style I had to adhere to for the club. I have written a slightly more gritty mystery, but still comic romance, MEOW MAYHEM, which came out in January. I’m a bit of an opportunist in that these were works for hire. There were supposed to be four books in the series, but I’m not sure if I’ll get to number four or not. The third book in the series, THE NEWSPAPER CODE, releases next month, and as you say, I love to write gritty. But these books were fun too.
Nike: Some readers just have to start off with book one of a series, so tell us a bit about THE LAST BEQUEST, first in the Buried Treasure series.
Lisa: THE LAST BEQUEST, or THE GOLD STANDARD, as some may find in dollar stores now across America with other books from the former mystery book club, is where we meet Judy Winters, an orphaned young lady just out on her own after being raised by her maiden aunt. Aunt Louise went home to the farm to take care of the place when her own father died, and when Louise met a very untimely death, Judy inherited the farm. Judy didn’t believe her aunt’s death was natural, or even accidental. As a public school teacher working on her masters degree, she was able to stay on the farm for the summer and investigate her aunt’s death. She meets the boy next door who helped Louise with chores, and whom she hopes very much had nothing to do with Louise’s death. There’s a bit of a take-off of Cinderella in there, as Judy keeps losing shoes. I wish I’d made more of an issue of following fairy tales with the others, though THE NEWSPAPER CODE is a bit of an Ugly Duckling theme.
Nike: You also write romance and women’s fiction. Do you find it easy or difficult to span genres?
Lisa: I should, but I don’t. There must be something wrong with me, I think, when I can write sweet, funny, quirky septuagenarian and an evil prison guard involved in murder in the same week. I still wish I was better at compartmentalizing in real life. Anyway, one of my favorite books is just out now, HEALING GRACE. It’s about a woman with the spiritual gift of healing; Grace ran away from God, only to discover He’s led her exactly in the direction He wanted to go to give her a second chance.
You can read more about THE MAP QUILT and a chapter at: (book page) http://www.lisalickel.com/2012/02/map-quilt.html
Lisa Lickel lives with her husband in an old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain, collects dragons and enjoys travel. Her published novels include the Buried Treasure cozy mystery series, Meow Mayhem, the award-winning romance Meander Scar, the linked novella anthology A Summer in Oakville with best-selling author Shellie Neumeier, and the paranormal romance Healing Grace. She is a freelance feature writer for local news, writes short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin magazine and loves to encourage new authors. Lisa also is an avid book reviewer, a freelance editor, a writing mentor, a hostess at Clash of the Titles.com, and enjoys blogging at theBarnDoor.net and AuthorCulture.blogspot.com. Find her at LisaLickel.com.