LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

Thanks for joining us on our anniversary scavenger hunt! It’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon/BN GC.

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

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Winter Blogfest: Joanne Guidoccio


This post is part of Long and Short’s Review Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook of A Season for Killing Blondes..


When selecting a gift for a special friend or relative, I try to think and act with the Earth in mind. Instead of spending countless hours searching for that perfect item or gadget that will eventually be relegated to a drawer or closet, I stop and consider what would be appreciated. Mindful gift giving that creates deeper connections and honors environmental values does not require a lot of money or effort.

Consider the following tips:

• Find out what your friend or relative has always dreamed of doing. Writers, artists, and actors would appreciate sessions with professional coaches. Book time in a recording studio for your favorite vocalist or musician.

• Provide opportunities to try out new hobbies or interests. These could include gift certificates for yoga and Pilates studios, golf lessons, scrapbooking, horseback riding, scuba diving sessions, and hot air balloon rides.

• Give parents and grandparents gifts that have sentimental value. You could ask a local artist or artistically inclined relative to paint a picture of the family house or cottage. Have the picture framed and presented at a family gathering. Alternatively, you could commission an embroidered or calligraphic family tree.

• Invite all the children and grandchildren to spend a day scrapbooking or organizing pictures into collages at your parents’ home. Have all the supplies on hand and clear several large tables. Encourage everyone to share the stories behind the pictures and interact as they prepare the scrapbooks and collages. Prepare a simple lunch and have snacks on hand.

• Help the college student in your circle. Fill a reusable bag or basket with Fair Trade, organic coffee and chocolate, green tea, healthy snacks (almonds, walnuts, and pecans), a nut cracker and a cookbook. Include gift certificates for health food stores, organic restaurants and other green retailers in her new community.

• Create gift baskets that support her favorite pastime. If she is a gardener, fill an attractive watering can with seeds, kneeling pads, a gardener’s tool belt, gloves, a pruning kit, and other hand tools. Gourmet cooks will appreciate receiving the latest kitchen gadgets, books, platters, bowls and other items that will improve and enhance their culinary creations.

• Give gift certificates for her favorite restaurant, movie theatre, health food store, beauty salon or spa. If finances permit, give certificates for massages, reflexology and Reiki sessions.

• Release expectations. We all want our efforts to be appreciated, but sometimes, the gift does not fit or it is simply not liked. Consider including a variation of the following message on the card: “This gift is given to you because it reminded me of your unique self. This gift is given freely with no expectations. If, at any time, this gift no longer brings you smiles and good feelings, feel free to pass it along to someone else, thereby practicing a more clutter free life and feeling the joy of letting go!” (Professional Organizer, Marlo Nikkila)

Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the body of golden girl, Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside Gilda’s office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation. When three more dead blondes turn up, all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders.

Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.

About the Author: In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

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Q&A with Joanne Guidoccio

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Joanne will be awarding a $75 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Who is your favorite author and why?

I admire late blooming authors who have launched successful second acts. Two favorites come to mind: Maeve Binchy and Louise Penny. Their novels and writing journeys have inspired me to launch my own second act as a writer. From Maeve, I’ve learned that success is not a pie where only a select few have access to the slices. I’ve taken several pages out of Louise’s disciplined approach to structure my own writing practice.

What are you reading now?

Lately, I’ve been reading memoirs of boomer women and their older sisters. Inspiring journeys chock full of insights…

New Life, No Instructions by Gail Caldwell
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
A Breast Cancer Alphabet by Madhulika Sikka

How do you come up with titles to your books?

When the muse strikes, I start playing around with different titles. In fact, I cannot start writing or assign character names until I have a working title firmly in mind.

Between Land and Sea
After Isabella gives up her tail, she can no longer return to the underwater kingdom. But she is not firmly grounded on Earth. Still connected via the magic tablet with online mermaid support, Isabella struggles with her new body and an uncertain future. Between Land and Sea, without the definite articles, came to mind.

A Season for Killing Blondes
While listening to Turn! Turn! Turn! an oldie-goldie from The Bryds, I focused on the seasons theme and thought of the action within my cozy mystery. In less than a month, four dead blondes turn up in dumpsters near the protagonist’s (a brunette lottery winner) favorite haunts. A very short season…dead blondes…

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

While having a leisurely breakfast is one of my retirement perks, I do not linger over that second cup of coffee. If I choose to have more than one cup, I do so while checking email and social media. At 9:00, I start writing. My goal is 1000 words a day. At first, I used the oven timer to keep me on task, but that annoying sound reminded me of incessant school bells, so I invested in a bird clock. Each hour, one of my feathered friends, among them the Downy Woodpecker, Belted Kingfisher, and Great Horned Owl, chirp and remind me to pace myself.

What is the most surprising thing that you discovered while writing your book?

Halfway through writing Between Land and Sea, I started dreaming about Isabella and the other characters. Interestingly enough, the characters behaved very differently in my dreams. This inspired me to introduce a sub-plot involving Kendra Adams. Originally, I had intended to limit her involvement to a few chapters, but the psychic ex-mermaid had other ideas and started disrupting my dreams.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I have been very pleased with the positive response from my readers. In her review, English teacher Colleen McConnell described Between Land and Seas as “a classic wisdom tale with a twist …reminiscent of Jane Austen.”

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

Ideas are percolating about a Mediterranean trilogy. Right now I’m working on The Coming of Arabella, Book 2 of the trilogy. In subsequent books, I could feature the mermaids—Annabella, Sarabella, Lisa738—and ex-mermaids—Gillian Sanderson, Kendra Davies—introduced in Between Land and Sea.

What are your favorite TV shows?

This past summer, I downgraded my cable package, but ensured that I would be able to still watch Downton Abbey and The Good Wife.

What would we find under your bed?

In my younger days, I purchased several containers meant for under-bed storage. For years, I would store extra papers, books, clothes and other paraphernalia under the bed. All that changed when I read a book on Feng Shui. While I didn’t completely redecorate and rearrange furniture, I followed the advice regarding storage. According to Feng Shui, whenever we store items under the bed, we limit the circulation of energy around our beds, an essential component of a restful night’s sleep. For the most part, I’ve kept the area under my bed free, but when unexpected company arrives…

Favorite quote or saying?

Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. Neale Donald Walsch

Favorite color?


Weather: hot or cold?

Moderate. I love crisp, sunny days where the temperature hovers between 65oF and 70oF.

Favorite place to read?

My den—surrounded by bookshelves filled to capacity, Monet prints, family pictures, diplomas and awards, and a comfortable sofa.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Cranberry Juice

About the Author 11_20 AuthorPicIn high school, I dabbled in poetry, but decided to wait until I had more life experiences before writing a novel. The original plan was to get a general arts degree and take a few years off to travel and write. Instead, I gave in to my practical Italian side and obtained degrees in mathematics and education.

While I experienced many satisfying moments during my teaching career, I never found the time and energy to write. In 2008, I took advantage of early retirement. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and my articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online.

My debut novel, Between Land and Sea, a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid, was released by Soul Mate Publishing on September 18, 2013.

I live and write in Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…

YouTube (Trailer #1):
YouTube (Trailer #2):

11_20 Cover_BetweenLandAndSeaAfter giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged beyond recognition. The horrified banker abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, leaving her to face a difficult human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, Isabella evolves into the persona of Barbara Davies. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers.

Buy the book at Amazon.