Gayle Trent/Amanda Lee, author of The Quick and the Thread, launches her blog tour!

Monday, July 26, 2010
& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Amanda Lee is the lady next to you in the grocery line or car pool. She has twins: one boy and one girl; she's a baseball fan, she likes to decorate cakes, she rocks at Guitar Hero... Oh, and she likes to think about murder. But it's okay! She only writes about murder...a lot!

Amanda Lee is the pseudonym Gayle Trent is using for her new cozy mystery series featuring a heroine who owns an embroidery shop (The Quick and the Thread: An Embroidery Mystery). Gayle is also the author of the Daphne Martin cake decorating series that includes Murder Takes the Cake and Dead Pan.

Find out more about Gayle by visiting her websites:

The Quick and the Thread: An Embroidery Mystery
By Amanda Lee

The first in a new mystery series that will have readers stitching--and itching--for more...

Marcy Singer has big plans: a move to the breathtaking Oregon coast, opening an embroidery shop called The Seven Year Stitch, and a fun grand opening stitch-in. What she doesn't plan on is the shop's old owner showing up--DEAD--in her shop. Some people think Marcy killed him. Some people think she's the next victim. All Marcy knows is someone has to uncover the murderer before she's forced to flip the sign on her shop door to CLOSED permanently. And it looks like that someone might be Marcy. She'll have to find the killer before someone puts a final stitch in her.

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Signet (August 2010)
ISBN: 0451230965

The Quick and the Thread is available at, Barnes & Noble, and both chain and independent bookstores nation wide.

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!
If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Amanda Lee's novel, The Quick and the Thread: An Embroidery Mystery, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment.

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: Welcome, Gayle/Amanda! We're thrilled to be launching your blog tour today! This is your second blog tour with us, and the first time you were with a different publisher. What brought about you going from Grace Abraham Publishing to Bell Bridge Books to Penguin?

Grace Abraham Publishing was formed so I could publish my own books and discover new talent at the same time. While I did find some talented writers, the administrative duties of running a publishing company prevented me from doing much writing. When I closed the publishing company, I basically had to start over from scratch. The good thing, though, was that I'd had experience and success with marketing (Woman's Day had allowed Grace Abraham Publishing to participate in a WD giveaway in October of 2005). The marketing experience gave me an additional edge when approaching agents and publishers.

WOW: Wow, I didn't know that Grace was your own publishing company! That must have been an amazing experience, but I can understand how time consuming it must have been. Now that you're at Penguin do you feel like you have to prove yourself all over again? If so, what steps have you taken to make The Quick and the Thread a big splash?

In a way. With a larger publisher, the numbers are really important. Another cozy mystery writer once told me that if a series doesn't perform well, the publisher will drop it and that's true even if they've bought more than one book in the series.

I began researching markets for The Quick and The Thread (TQTT) even as I was writing it. When I received galleys, I called Nordic Needle in North Dakota and asked them if I could send them one. I'd received their catalog and knew they carried some fiction. They accepted the galley and have already placed an order with Penguin's special market department to have the book in their store, catalogs and distribution network. I also ran a contest in June offering a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway for those who preordered the book. I hoped it would generate some pre-release buzz.

WOW: I didn't know that about publishers dropping a complete series. Scary! So what happens when you move from one publishing house to another, especially when you have an established series like the Daphne Martin cake decorating mystery series? Are you working for two publishers, writing one series for each house?

The Daphne Martin series has been bought by Simon & Schuster (it was originally with Bell Bridge). S&S is releasing a revised version of Murder Takes the Cake in January, and that will be followed by the next book in the series, Killer Sweet Tooth. Bell Bridge will still be permitted to sell the e-book version (with the revised text) of Murder Takes the Cake and book two in the series titled Dead Pan. The embroidery series is with Penguin and is being written under the pseudonym Amanda Lee (at the publisher's request).

WOW: My head is spinning trying to keep it all straight! Tell us about your alter-ego Amanda Lee. You're still writing as Gayle Trent, correct?

I'm still writing as Gayle Trent. The publisher (Penguin) requested I use Amanda Lee for The Quick and the Thread and the other books in the embroidery mystery series. This is because the embroidery series is owned by the publisher, and the pen name allows another writer to come in and take over the series if necessary.

WOW: We wouldn't want anyone but you writing the Seven-Year Stitch mystery series! Tell us about writing under two names. Is it just the names that change or is there a more significant change? Does your writing style change?

I think mainly it's just a different name. I'm not sure the writing style changed; but I will say that writing for different editors affects your style. For example, when I first started writing the embroidery mystery series, I had to beef up my descriptions.

WOW: That's interesting. It never occurred to me that an editor's style would also affect their writer's style. Tell us more about leading a "double life." Do many mystery authors have double lives for different mystery series? Do they hide their pen names or are they open about being two people?

My agent made sure I'd be able to allow people to know that Gayle Trent is Amanda Lee. It was important to me that I'd be able to maximize my marketing efforts to benefit both series. The only other time I've ever had a pen name was when I was writing for Grace Abraham Publishing and writing two very different types of books (the comedic Between a Clutch and a Hard Place and the more serious The Perfect Woman). I know that Jayne Ann Krentz writes under several pen names. Nora Roberts uses that name and J.D. Robb.

WOW: What's up next? Do you have an idea for another series (or two) percolating? Will you keep knocking people off or do you want to try another genre?

I'll stick with the cozy mysteries, at least for now. I really enjoy this genre. I plan to continue working on both the Daphne Martin and Marcy Singer series for as long as they'll have me! :)

WOW: I can't wait! You're one of my favorite writers. :) Thanks so much, Gayle/Amanda, for chatting with us today!

Want to join Gayle Trent/Amanda Lee on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

July 26, 2010 Monday
Gayle Trent will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Amanda Lee's book!

July 27, 2010 Tuesday
What type of person has two names? Spies, people in witness protection, movie stars...and writers. Amanda Lee tells us what it's like to go through life with two personas--one writing mysteries about a cake decorator and the other writing mysteries about an embroiderer.

July 28, 2010 Wednesday
In her interview today, Amanda Lee (a.k.a. Gayle Trent) tells us that murder isn't the only thing she has to research for her cozy mysteries. For The Quick and the Thread, the first book in her new embroidery series, the unlikely subject was whales!

July 29, 2010 Thursday
Amanda Lee is stopping by Mom-e-Centric to tell us about how murder and embroidery make a wonderful mix. She'll also be giving away a copy of The Quick and the Thread!

July 30, 2010 Friday
Stop by today for an interview with Amanda Lee by fellow mystery writer Christine Verstraete. These two will be sharing some great mystery writing tips!

August 1, 2010 Sunday
Blue hair, the early bird special, embroidery. Three things grandmas like. Or are they? Amanda Lee tells us about what a fun hobby embroidery can be for all ages and about her young embroiderer who also solves murders in The Quick and the Thread.

August 3, 2010 Tuesday
Tahiti, the Antarctic, can you use exotic locales in your writing when your most exciting destination has been...Canada? Amanda Lee gives tips on researching unfamiliar locations today on Writers Inspired. She's also giving away a copy of her latest cozy murder mystery The Quick and the Thread. Setting: the Oregon coast.

August 6, 2010 Friday
Stop by to learn more about Amanda Lee, author of the new cozy mystery series The Quick and the Thread, in a fabulous WordHustler interview!

August 10, 2010 Tuesday
Amanda Lee tells us her deep dark secrets: How a Baseball Mom Learned How to Murder. She's also giving away a copy of the first book in her new cozy mystery series, The Quick and the Thread!

August 11, 2010 Wednesday
On today's "What Not to Do" Wednesday, Amanda Lee, a.k.a. Gayle Trent, will be giving you the insider's scoop on living two lives--by writing under a pen name. She'll also be interviewed by Cathy C. Hall and is giving away a copy of her latest book, The Quick and the Thread!

August 13, 2010 Friday
Jodi reviews The Quick and the Thread at Words by Webb today! She also asks Amanda the 5 Ws: who, what, why, where, and when.

August 17, 2010 Tuesday
LuAnn Morgan is reviewing The Quick and the Thread, the first book in Amanda Lee's new embroidery mystery series.

August 20, 2010 Friday
We're winding up Amanda Lee's tour with a review of her cozy mystery The Quick and the Thread by Swapna Krishna who loves, loves, loves mysteries. Stop by and find out what she has to say about the first book in the new Seven-Year Stitch series!

To view all of our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

If you have a blog or website and would like to host Amanda Lee (a.k.a. Gayle Trent) or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at:

And be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Amanda Lee's novel The Quick and the Thread: An Embroidery Mystery! And check back in a couple of days in the comments section to see if you won!


Julie Anne Lindsey said...

I can't wait to read your work. I read my first cozy this month (how is it possible I waited so long?) and I am HOOKED. Now, having a face and personality to go with your books, I'm headed over to Amazon. LOL! Also, as a mother of, can I appreciate the juggling act you have going. I am amazed,impressed and inspired. Thank you!

cindyja said...

Reading, writing, and stitching; three of my favorite things. I've found much pleasure in sewing over the years; I think because it doesn't get undone, like cleaning, cooking, laundry. Unless, of course the stitcher is murdered! I can't wait to read "The Quick and the Thread" and I think I've found a new author to follow. Yeah! Thanks for the interesting interview.

Anonymous said...

Wow - this author and both series are completely new to me, but I will definitely start reading Gayle/Amanda now! Particularly the Marcy Singer series as I'm an avid needle crafter. And a very inspiring interview as well! Best of luck to you :)

Margo Dill said...

I am so super excited for you and this book series! Would love to win this book. The premise sounds like the perfect Lifetime Movie! :) Best of luck to you and this series.


Gayle said...

Hi, everybody! Thanks so much for your warm, encouraging comments. Julie, I have 14 yo. boy/girl twins, and so I humbly bow to you for raising three! Sometimes I'm afraid there's not enough me to go around for them; so I admire YOUR juggling act!

Cindy, I understand exactly where you're coming from. Every time I get the laundry caught up, I feel like announcing, "Could everybody either not change clothes for the next couple hours, or at least hide the clothes in their rooms to give me a false sense of security?" And even if I just washed a load of clothes, I will have inevitably have missed the one thing somebody HAS to have. :p

AC, I love your giant clog! Where are you located? I want to have my picture made with your shoe! :)

A Lifetime movie.... I like the sound of that! Wonder if you and I could be extras, Margo?

Hope Clark said...

Congrats, Gayle. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks to your success with Bell Bridge and Amazon, I asked my agent to talk to Bell Bridge. They are seriously considering my mystery series now.

Read your first book and look forward to reading more.

Ruth J. Hartman said...


I love your books! I'm very excited to read this one, too :). Best of luck with your tour.


Ruth J. Hartman

Angela Mackintosh said...

Hope, That's awesome news about Bell Bridge! :o)

Gayle, Loved your interview with Jodi. That's so exciting that S&S is re-releasing Murder Takes the Cake! I saw the page already up on Amazon, but it looks like they didn't have a book cover up yet. Are they keeping the one you had or creating a new one?

Gayle said...

Congratulations, Hope! Please keep me posted.

Ruth, I appreciate your continued support!

As for MTTC, Angela, the book will be revised and reissued essentially as a new release--new cover, new back-of-the book stuff, etc. Still, I'm wondering how to market it. Anyone have any ideas?

Angela Mackintosh said...

Fantastic, Gayle! I can't wait to see what they'll do for the new cover. I loved the other one. :)

As for marketing... you should definitely do some bookstore events, author readings/signings, speaking events, and create some cool promo items. Maybe be a judge at a cake decorating competition! ;) Definitely throw a release party with lots of cake. ;)

Shelley Munro said...

Congratulations on your upcoming release. You've chosen a beautiful setting for murder. I enjoyed watching your trailer BTW.

Lisa Tiffin said...

Hope - Congrats. Fingers crossed!

Gayle - Loved the interview and will definitely be picking up your books!

For your Murder/Cake book, you should pitch one of the Food Network/TLC Cake shows to do a competition based on your book. Very creative,and so far I haven't seen one based on a book (shows, themes, star birthdays, etc). I think it would be a fun show and awesome publicity. Plus they usually have a key person (you!) as guest judge.

Gayle said...

Wonderful idea, Lisa! Thank you! And thanks, Angela, for your great marketing tips as well.

I agree, Shelley, the setting does seem beautiful and mysterious. I want to go there someday! :)

Kristi's Book Nook said...

I cant' wait to read the book. Great interview.

Roxanne Rhoads said...

please enter me this sounds like a fun and fabulous book

Toni said...

Sounds like a fun read! I love themed mysteries. I wish you much success with this new series. :) What part of the Oregon coast is the book set on? We're in Oregon and love the coastal region.

Karen McGrath said...

I love mysteries and needlework although out of time lately. Looking forward to your writing tips on the rest of your blog tour. Best wishes!

Beth Cato said...

I adore your book title. Best of luck with the blog tour!

Lynn McCallum said...

I found the interview very informative. And I learned a lot about publishing. The book sounds interesting, and I look forward to read it.
Lynn McCallum

Gayle said...

Thanks again, everybody, for your warm, encouraging comments. Toni, the book is set in the fictional town of Tallulah Falls, which I put close to Depoe Bay.

Thesis papers said...

Looks interesting. Can't wait to read your book.

Essay Papers

Anonymous said...

Cozie mysteries are my favorite genre. I have even been thinking of trying to write one myself. I am attracted by the lack of blood and gore and bonus of learning something about the field that the book touches on.
I wish you the best of luck.


Anonymous said...

Cozie mysteries are my favorite genre. I have even been thinking of trying to write one myself. I am attracted by the lack of blood and gore and bonus of learning something about the field that the book touches on.
I wish you the best of luck.


WOW! said...

Hi Ladies,

Thank you for your comments! We held a random drawing for Gayle's book, and the winner is... Toni!

Congratulations, Toni! Please email with your mailing address and we will forward it to Gayle. :)

Readers, please visit the other blog stops on Gayle's tour for more book giveaway contests and fantastic advice on writing mysteries and more!

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