Guest Chick: Diane Vallere

The Chicks welcome back the wonderful Diane Vallere, with a post AND the chance to enter a super cool giveaway!

When One Door Opens, Another One Hits You In The Tush

We’ve all heard the expression: when one door closes, another one opens. And while it’s easier to focus on the open door, the one that represents what’s new, unexpected, fresh, and possible, it’s not always wise to ignore the door we had to close to move forward.

hardcovermdl_2550x3300I’m a fan of fresh starts. I’ve had more than one and by the time I shuffle off this mortal coil, I expect I’ll have racked up a few more. There is something exciting about creating—or recreating—our futures, like clay animals from a fresh container of Play-Doh. But if we’re not careful and we ignore the reasons that led up to that fresh start, we might rush the process and not fully appreciate the middle ground that helps us move from one to the other.

And there’s the rub of moving forward. We can only stretch ourselves so thin. There are things we want that are out of reach—until we let go of the safety net that’s keeping us comfortable. (Hey, there’s nothing wrong with comfort either. Some days my bed is so comfortable I’m willing to ignore my entire to-do list!)

In LOVER COME HACK, Madison Night is faced with a decision. And if it were an easy one, she might have made it in book one. But this being book six, it’s time. She can’t open one door until she closes another (and she’s a decorator, so she knows a thing or two about doors!) And while she and I know moving forward is always good, the decision represents change. And while it’s super easy to be a fan of new, exciting fresh starts and all of the possibilities that lie within, it’s equally easy to hate change.

Madison’s entire business, personal style, and living space are rooted in mid-century. You could make the argument that while Madison is a modern-day businesswoman, she isn’t a particularly big fan of change. And to add insult to injury, I, myself (who maybe has something to do with Madison and her decisions, at least occasionally when she cooperates with me) am in a very different head space than I was when she first showed up in my imagination.

So, can you be a fan of fresh starts and not a fan of change? Can you appreciate the possibilities of an open door if you resent the closed door behind you? Has anyone ever actually managed to have it all and be sane?

Inquiring minds want to know.

About LOVER COME HACK: After a falling out with a friend flips interior decorator Madison Night’s world inside out, she’s determined to revamp her life. Jane Strong, fellow mid-century modern enthusiast, encourages Madison’s entry in an upcoming design competition, but their rift makes collaboration no longer an option.

When Jane is found dead, Madison tops the suspect list. And when anonymous computer hackings interfere with both the investigation and the competition, Jane’s murder no longer seems random. With a mess of a love life, an angry client, and a looming deadline on her contest entry, Madison turns to an unlikely ally to decode a motive before a crash becomes imminent.

About Diane: Vallere, Amazon PicAfter two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. She is a three-time Lefty Award nominee for best humorous mystery and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Website: Facebook: Instagram: YouTube:

Preorder Contest: To celebrate the release of LOVER COME HACK, Diane is giving away a house! A reissue of a 1962 Barbie Dream House, to be specific. Get the scoop here (and get a peek at chapter one while you’re there!)  Good luck!

29 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Diane Vallere

  1. Diane! Thank you for this post. It is definitely a poser to mull.
    Have I ever had a fresh start? With two divorces and a move across country, I would have to say yes, multiple times. If it wasn’t for fresh starts, I would not own my own house (complete with mortgage), a job I love, in a place where I grew up and never thought I’d see again. I have been grounded thanks to fresh starts. And thanks to the grounding, I can now try to fulfill my dreams, one at a time.
    Your books are to die for. I met you several years ago at Malice, because of the vintage outfits you wore. And, thanks to your books, I have fallen in love with Doris Day all over again. Going to preorder Madison’s next book right now!
    Que Sera Sera! Whatever will be, will be!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Welcome, Diane! Yes, I think you can be a fan of fresh starts but not change. With change in general you often don’t know if things will be better or worse. But a fresh start suggests things will end up better in the long run.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Have it all and be sane? Not sure about that one.

    But I understand all about fresh starts and hating change. Losing my job in 2011 was horrible. It was all I knew, I was comfortable, and I knew how I fit into the scheme of things. At the same time, losing that job was the “closing door” I needed to focus on writing.

    So yeah. Exciting and scary all at once.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Liz! I totally agree with you–sometimes we need that scary uncomfortable not-expected, not-welcome closing door to push into new territory that puts us where we want to be. Exciting and scary! But good!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I hadn’t really thoughtbof it before, but I’m with you. I like the idea of a fresh start, but I absolutely hate change. That’s why I stay in my rut so much if the time.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Diane, I love this thoughtful and timely post!

    I find change so difficult and painful that I approach like a Band-Aid, quickly ripping myself from one state to another. Sometimes that fast, clean break works beautifully. Other times, I’m left feeling sore–and wishing I could replace the skin that came off with the bandage. Transitions can be tricky things, but I try to learn from the good and the bad.

    Congrats on the new release!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Kathy! You know, that’s a very good point about change and how we approach it. I think the hardest is the unexpected change, where we’re thrown off kilter and have to adapt, but sometimes that’s when we discover these hidden reserves that define us.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks so much for visiting, Diane! Congrats on the new book. And I’m okay with gradual change. It’s huge ones that lay me out. Like moving. Gah! I made one move across the country. I have no idea what, where or when the next will take place but just the thought of it flips me OUT.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for having me, Ellen! Sometimes gradual change makes me antsy. I get like, I know this has to happen. Why can’t it happen NOW? FAST? But the Capricorn in me (and you) is like, hold on, let’s make a list. Let’s plan this change. Let’s make sure we understand all factors involved…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m with you, Diane–love the idea of change, but hate doing it. (Okay, so maybe I don’t really even like the idea, after all…) My idea of a perfect day is to sit in my back yard on a sunny day with a cup of coffee, the newspaper, and several books.

    Thanks so much for coming to visit the Chicks, and the new books sounds fabulous!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Leslie! Yes, there definitely is something to be said for appreciating a good chair, a good view, a good cup of coffee, and a good book. (the newspaper–that depends on what day of the week it is!)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Diane! Great post and congrats on your new title! It sounds fabulous. (And a vintage Barbie Dreamhouse giveaway—oooo!!!). I think maybe fresh starts are sort of inevitable due to the constant nature of change (“fresh start” is a much more upbeat term than “big change”). But you can do it! (I’ve always been sort of fixated on the Reverend Mother bursting into song after telling Maria, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” So there’s always the window…)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I like to read about fresh starts, but I have not had to make one on my own— instead my husband and I have experienced those together. Our last was to close our bakery’s and begin totally different jobs. It has been good for us, but I do dislike changes— even when they are the best route. I I am looking forward to reading your book.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Suzie! I think it’s actually harder to make the big decision that results in change than to have the change hit you from nowhere and snap into reactionary mode. Congrats on making a tough decision and getting through it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Diane, great post — and thanks for hanging out on Chicks today! Some change is hard, like changing habits. Giving up coffee/caffeine, despite doctor’s preferences — not going to happen. But I always loved starting a new job — learning new things, meeting new people, making the job my own. And starting a new book is always my favorite part — when all possibilities are open and before I’ve written myself into a corner! Good luck with whatever changes are on your horizon and congrats on the new release!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Vickie–I hear you on starting a new book before we write ourselves into corners! Yes! And you’re right: there’s an excitement about change, the learning and the newness. It’s worth embracing that more than stressing about the shifting ground under our feet!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I just started the biggest fresh start of my life. I’m hoping it stays on track, I’m moving forward, not looking back. It was a huge family misunderstanding and after 4 years I was allowed to see my 3 beautiful granddaughters. I’ve never been more thrilled to be called grandma. They would love to someday have a Barbie dream house, I had one when I was a kid but I was older than they are. Thank you so much for this chance.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Thank you so much for a terrific post and visit, Diane! So happy you’re here.

    I am a huge fan of fresh starts. That’s one thing I love about being a prof: our classes change every 15 weeks. It’s always sad to see the students walk out of the classroom for the last time, as hopefully we’ve built a great community, but to begin a new topic of study and discussion each semester is exciting too.

    ps: Love love love all of your books.


  13. I have a gypsy soul. I’m the type to load up a camper & take off with no destination in mind. When I run out of money that’s where I’d stay. Haven’t done it in years because as hubby has gotten old he’s also gotten too scared to do it. But when he’s gone…. I find it exhilarating!


    1. By the way, I just wanted to tell you what an awesome prize you’re offering. I won’t be entering because we don’t get paid till after the deadline, but had to tell you how clever & amazing I think it is. I may be a tad biased. Mid-century mod is my favorite style, & Barbie & I were born the same year & I was (thankfully) named after her.


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