We love a good mystery. In fact, Lisa's secret nickname is PI Spice! Don't even try to get one past her-her ability to sniff out when something's fishy is, in the words of Barney Stinson, legendary! (And can be somewhat annoying if you are the fishy-havin' person...) So we're thrilled to have Daphne Uviller sharing her Do's and a Do-Over on the site today! She burst onto the scene with Super in the City and her heroine from that novel, Zephyr returns in her second sassy mystery,Hotel No Tell. It's a lot of fun! Perfect to read while you're laying out at the pool and relaxing.
The smart and sassy detective Zephyr Zuckerman is now armed and undercover in a Greenwich Village hotel where mysteries—from garbage-grabbing guests to the reservation system—lurk around every corner. Now working as a junior detective with the New York City Special Investigations Commission, Zephyr’s gone incognito as a concierge to find out who laundered a hundred grand off the hotel books—and why. But the discovery of a prone, flush-faced guest gasping for air in room 502 only hints at the sinister goings-on inside this funky establishment. While the rapid response of the fire department leads to a sweaty date with a smooth-talking, rock-climbing rescue worker, Zephyr finds herself even more hot and bothered by an attempted murder on her watch. Could the smart-mouthed Japanese yenta across the hall know more than she’s telling? How are cryptic phone calls from a mysterious corporation linked to the victim in 502? Under pressure and overwhelmed, Zephyr soon finds that a concierge cover is no protection in a place where crime, like the city itself, never sleeps.
Sound fun? Um, YEAH it does! And there's no "mystery" about how to get your own copy. Just leave a comment and you'll entered to win one of FIVE copies! We'll choose the winners on Sunday May 1st after 6pm PST.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS: DAPHNE UVILLER'S 5 DO'S AND A DO-OVER
1. Take a break from the books. I took a leave of absence in college, a full year off between sophomore and junior years, and lived in London. I was lonely and depressed and have never before or since turned to art for comfort the way I did that year. Museums, theater – both were cheap for students, and I immersed myself completely. Then I’d return to my cold flat and spew the worst nonsense into one journal after another. But it was the first time in my life I was writing without worrying about being graded or edited. Which is exactly what a writer needs to do to in order to create the essential lousy first draft. Thank you, London!
2. Follow the fun. When I could swing it financially, I took whatever job sounded interesting, even if it didn’t seem part of an overarching plan. Three years in law enforcement? Really fun, and fifteen years later it turned into fodder for Hotel No Tell. The unpaid internship at The Paris Review? I learned that I wasn’t yet ready to write fiction professionally, and turned to journalism.
3. Sleep around. Okay, that’s a bit of steamy overstatement, but I made the most of the three years between the end of a long-term relationship and meeting my husband. Those dating adventures gave me great stories, taught me loads about adult emotion and relationships – essential for a storyteller – and made it crystal clear to me that there is no other man out there who makes me as happy as my beloved does.
4. Honor the umbilical cord. In my twenties, I was sorely tempted to move to L.A. and pursue television writing, a potential career I was passionate about. I made a difficult and conscious decision to pass up Hollywood in order to stay east, to be near my parents. Not just near – downstairs. I chose to be a low-paid print writer and remain in the city I love with two of the best people I’ve ever known. And then, whaddya know – the result of that decision became fodder for Super in the City, my first novel. (Nothing and no one is spared.)
5. Pay it forward. I met and befriended Elizabeth Gilbert while I was at The Paris Review (see Follow the Fun, above). I tentatively asked her about a career in writing and by way of answer, she invited me to her upstate home for the day, made a stew, and took me hiking. “There’s plenty of work to go around,” she assured me, and proceeded to share half a dozen professional contacts. Ever since, I have tried my best to be equally kind to aspiring writers.
Turn up the music. I played the flute for ten years, and I kept at it mainly so that I could continue to return to my summer music camp, a place I adored. But I stopped playing in college and it is one of my few but big regrets. I sorely wish I’d kept it up. Playing a musical instrument makes the world a bigger, more beautiful place.
Thanks Daphne! xoxo, L&L