Guest Chick: Olivia Matthews

We Chicks are just warming up for National Library Week–and what better way to celebrate than to welcome back awesome author Olivia Matthews (a/k/a Patricia Sargeant) as our guest–and introduce you to her brand new Peach Coast Library Mystery series? Take it away, Patricia!

“Did you read that book?”

The memory of my older sister asking 9-year-old me that question still turns my blood cold. But wait. I should first explain how I got into that situation. Pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable.

My family lived within walking distance of our local library. Walking distance. Growing up, walking distance was as far as you could walk before your legs cramped up.

Segue: My husband is from West Virginia. We met in Ohio. The first time I invited him to visit my family in New York – we were dating at the time – we walked from my house to the subway to catch the train into Manhattan. Once on the train, he turned to me.

Him: “I thought you said your house was walking distance from the subway?”

Me, confused: “I did.”

Him: “That wasn’t walking distance. That was 20 blocks.”

Me, more confused: “You walked it, didn’t you? Walking. Distance.” It took me some time to rebuild the trust in our relationship.

Back to my original story. Every Saturday, my sister and I would walk to the library. She was about 11 and I was nine. We’d get a few books, then the next Saturday, we’d return them and get new books. Do you see what I did there? We’d get some books and return them the next Saturday. The week in between visits, my sister read the books she borrowed. I didn’t. For me, our library trips were more about spending time with my sister. When we got home, I’d set the books aside and go play with my younger brother. Equal time. Ha!

The subterfuge eventually caught up with me, though. One Saturday, my sister recommended I read Blackhearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken so I checked the book out. The next Saturday, I planned to return it, which brings us to my sister’s blood-chilling question, “Did you read that book?”

I froze. I couldn’t lie, but I was afraid to tell the truth so I didn’t say anything. She walked away in disgust and I was so ashamed. I renewed the book and this time, when I got home, I read it. Well, my little brother and I played, then I read the book. And I’m so glad I did. It was a wonderful adventure. Reading that story, I felt as though I’d left my bedroom and had entered the world the characters inhabited. I know you understand what I mean. I’d never felt that way before. When I was done reading, I hugged the book to my chest and thought, “I want to write a story that makes people feel like I feel right now.”

That’s one of the reasons libraries are so important to me. Without libraries, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have discovered my love for reading or my passion for writing. And I really appreciate and admire librarians. They were my internet before I had access to the internet. They were my Google search before Google. So imagine my surprise when I meet people who don’t have a library card or go to the library or understand the importance of libraries. ((gasp!!!))

I’m hoping my Peach Coast Library Mystery series will help people understand how libraries make communities stronger and why it’s important to support them. They’re more than a place for books — although that’s tremendously important. They also provide community services such as job search assistance for adults and homework help for students. But these services depend on community support. By the way, April 4-10 is the American Library Association’s National Library Week. Actress, author and activist Natalie Portman is the event’s honorary chair. The 2021 theme is “Welcome to Your Library.” Isn’t that a cool theme?

But I digress …

About the Book

If you love Hallmark mystery movies, you’ll love this cozy mystery with humor, romance, and a librarian amateur sleuth. The first in a new series.

Marvey’s a librarian from Brooklyn who makes book-themed jewelry as a hobby, looks after her cranky cat, and supports events for readers and authors. She’s still adjusting to quirky small-town life in Georgia—and that’s before she discovers a dead body in a bookstore.

When her new best friend becomes a suspect, Marvey develops a new hobby: solving a murder mystery. With her talents for research, her knowledge gleaned from crime novels, and a whole lot of determination, she pursues the truth. But even as she gets closer to it, could she be facing a deadly plot twist?

About the Author

Olivia Matthews is the mystery pseudonym for national best-selling author Patricia Sargeant. Patricia’s mysteries put ordinary people in extraordinary situations to have them find the Hero Inside. Her work has been featured in national publications such as Publishers WeeklyUSA TodayKirkus ReviewsSuspense MagazineMystery Scene MagazineLibrary Journal and RT Book Reviews. For more information about Patricia and her work, visit PatriciaSargeant.com.

Enewsletter: Patricia’s News (http://eepurl.com/cOOIPf)

BookBub: @BooksByPatricia (https://www.bookbub.com/profile/olivia-matthews)

Facebook: @AuthorPatriciaSargeant (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPatriciaSargeant/)

GoodReads: AuthorPatriciaSargeant (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/410574.Patricia_Sargeant)

Twitter: @BooksByPatricia (https://twitter.com/BooksbyPatricia)

 

Dear readers, do you remember the first book you fell in love with and how you discovered it? Olivia is so looking forward to your sharing that memory. Thank you!

59 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Olivia Matthews

  1. I love your definition of “walking distance.” LOL

    My summers as a kid were a lot like you describe: Go to the library on Saturday, get a bunch of books, read them, go back next Saturday. It got me through a lot of summers.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Good morning, everyone! I’m so thrilled to visit with you again! Looking forward to learning your gateway book to the book lover lifestyle. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Growing up, my library was within walking distance, too. The summer reading program was the best. The one book, series really, that comes to mind as the one that kicked off my love for reading as a kid would be The Chronicles of Narnia. I adore those tales and had so much fun introducing them to my kids.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, J.C.! The Chronicles of Narnia! I can absolutely see that series getting people hooked on reading. The summer reading programs are so important! I follow several libraries on social media and always help promote their summer reading programs when they’re announced. Those programs help prevent “summer melt,” which is the phenomena that occurs over the three-month summer vacation when students lose some of the knowledge they gained during the school year. (It also refers to high school students who register for college, then decide not to attend. But that’s another story.)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The library wasn’t within walking distance, but we did make weekly visits (thanks Mom for the car rides). I always liked to read, but in 5th grade I read and fell in love with “Little Women”. I don’t know how many times I checked it out and reread it. And when the librarian suggested I might like some of the other Alcott’s, pure bliss.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mary Eman, I love that memory – from the road trips with your mother to the library to the librarians recommending other Louisa May Alcott stories. Thank you so much for sharing that memory with us. You put a smile on my face.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pippi Longstocking – I remember being impressed by her strength and that she lived with a monkey and a horse. The children’s librarian had recommended the book.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I used to live where the library was within walking distance (or, by your definition, there were several libraries within walking distance). And I’m sorry to say I can’t remember the book that got me hooked on reading as a kid. Or maybe it wasn’t one book but several. I love your memory though, and congrats on your new release!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marla B, you raise a great point. It could very well have been several books that got you and others hooked on reading; not just one. Thank you very much for your cheers on Murder by Page One. I’m so excited. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia, so great to have you back on Chicks today! Congrats on the new series — and thanks for sharing how your sister introduced you to book love!
    I fell in love with Mystery On the Nine-Mile Marsh by Mary C. Jane. I checked it out of my school library so many times, the librarian wouldn’t let me check it out again! (Friends would check it out for me. 😉)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Lisa, your question made me look! It was her real name. And the C stands for Childs, her maiden name. Seems kind of appropriate since she wrote children’s books!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Vickie, that is at the same time funny and sad that friends had to check out that book for you. LOL! That title sounds familiar. I’ll have to look it up.

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  8. Thanks so much for visiting today, Patricia! We can already tell your new series is going to be a hit! I do remember the exact moment that reading clicked for me, in the back seat of the family car on some boring drive somewhere. I was very excited, because I realized I could sound out the words in my mind based on the letters and read to myself. The book: Hop on Pop. In second grade my teacher gifted me a copy of Little Women (the brown cover, where they’re singing around the piano) and I was thrilled. First mysteries: The Bobbsey Twins–starting with vintage eds. (I had no idea what the “magic lantern show” was in Chapter One), then the modern ones, boom boom boom. Hooked, I tell ya. And huge congrats again on the Peach Coast Library Mysteries, Patricia!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, thank you so much for your cheers! I’m super excited – and super nervous. Ha! I had that copy of Little Women, too. LOL! It’s lovely that your teacher gifted you that copy. What a wonderful memory.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Patricia, I CAN’T WAIT to read this book! I have a great affinity for libraries, but growing up, mine was not walking distance, but every Saturday Dad drove us and I checked out everything they’d let me. Once, I snuck upstairs to the grown-up books and found something appealing. I was scared to death I’d get thrown in library jail for veering out of my lane but the librarian never even blinked. Oh, the joyful relief! My kids, however, were within walking distance to the library when they were growing up.

    “Walking distance” makes me laugh, though. We say something similar. “Everything’s walking distance if you try real hard and believe in yourself.” The theory extends to personal pizzas too. “Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try real hard and believe in yourself.”

    Thanks for stopping in today … hope the launch is great gobs of awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Becky!!!! OMG!!!! What a hilarious comment. Everything! “Library jail.” “Everything’s walking distance if you try real hard and believe in yourself.” Hilarious! And that it extends to personal pizzas. Ha!!! Thank you so much for the chuckles. Decades ago, my husband worked at a TV station near the local library. When he had to go in on Saturdays, I’d drive him to the studio, then go to the library. I’d take out some books and sit in the car reading until he was done for the day. Good times. LOL!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree. I look back on that memory and wonder how was I able to do that? How did I find the time? LOL

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  10. What a great story. Glad your sister helped you find the reading bug even if the question did scare you at the time.

    Really enjoyed this book. Be sure to check it out. (Pun always intended.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL! Love the pun, Mark. Good one. And thank you for your kind words regarding the story. I’m so glad you liked it.

      Like

  11. I started out as a slow reader, but that all changed when I discovered the world of horse books at age 9: The Black Stallion, Marguerite Henry, any book that had a horse on the cover, I ate them up. And I’ve been an avid readers ever since–even of books without a horse (but it sure helps!).

    Thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today, Olivia/Patricia, and congrats on the new series–it looks terrific!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leslie, thank you so much for your kind welcome and for your well wishes on Murder by Page One. I love that once you found the type of books you enjoyed, your love for reading blossomed. I truly believe we should encourage people to read what they enjoy. We should force people into one direction or another. I also don’t think we should judge. For example, I still read comic books. Don’t judge me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My best friend’s parents encouraged their two young kids to read by letting them have all the comic books they wanted. They went on to be a doctor and an economist. Long live comics!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi, Patricia! Welcome back, and congrats on the Peach Coast Library Mysteries! (BTW, I love that commercial of your book.)

    I have always adored libraries because they gave me a chance to read oh-so-many books. According to your definition, we probably were within walking distance, but at first, my mom would drive us there. Later on, we’d bike to the library. It was so neat when we actually had a library around the corner from our home.

    As for books that got me hooked…I really enjoyed Charlotte’s Web. For mysteries, I liked Encyclopedia Brown, The Westing Game, and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jennifer! Thank you so much for your kind welcome and for your cheers for the Peach Coast Mystery series. I’m super excited. And thank you for watching the commercial. I was stunned! Stunned! OMG. (Breathing now.) I loved Charlotte’s Web. I’ve got to look into the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. OMG. It sounds delicious!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Jen, I loved From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler also! I lived in CT within train distance of NYC and was the same age as Claudia, so I especially related to it, lol.

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      1. Lisa, thank you for your comment about the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basile E. Frankweiler. It sounds like a fun series. You’d lived in Connecticut at the time? You might have been able to walk to New York. 🙂 (Teasing. LOL!)

        Liked by 1 person

  13. What a wonderful post! Also loved going to the local library on the weekends while growing up. Libraries are the best places. I can’t think of a specific book, but then, like now, I would work my way through a series whenever possible. And in addition to fiction, there was a series of biographies written for young people that had blue covers–I read all of the ones about famous women. 🙂

    Thanks so much for visiting us and congratulations on your new release!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cynthia!!! Thank you for your kind words on the post. I enjoyed writing it. I can get really carried away talking about the library. As a child, a secret fantasy was to be locked into a bookstore or library overnight. ((sigh))

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  14. Please remember, I’m “Liking” your comments in my mind. For some reason, I’m unable to activate the “Like” stars. Obviously, an operator issue. LOL!

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  15. Wow! Your story reminds me of myself. I walked everywhere too! I loved the library and devoured the “Little Maid” series of books. I loved them! They got me into any book that was about horses and then I was off! “Murder By Page One” sounds like my kind of cozy-fun..a small town, cranky cat and jewelry! I look forward to reading it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Kathy! It never occurred to me how much walking I did until my now husband commented on the distance between my family’s home and the subway. It’s just what we did. We walked to church, the grocery, to visit family. We never gave it a second thought. Well, … maybe in the summer when we’d arrive covered in sweat. Ha! Thank you so much for taking a chance on Murder by Page One. I hope you enjoy the story. Phoenix isn’t really cranky; he’s homesick. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve had such a lovely time visiting with you today. Thank you so much for so warmly welcoming me back to your community. I’m so very grateful for the memories – and book titles! – you shared with me today. Thank you! I hadn’t realized it’s after 10 p.m. EST. I’m fading fast. LOL! I’ll wish everyone a safe and peaceful night! Group hug!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you from all of us, Patricia–loved your comments and learning more about you. We hope you’ll come back to Chicks soon to tell us about your next Peach Coast Library Mystery (or Sister Lou)!

      Like

  17. Your definition of walking distance is so far from mine…3 blocks is walking distance to this New Yorker.

    I remember my first trip to the library where I took out 10 books and yes returned the following weeks for 10 more books. Loved looking through the card catalog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dru!!! “… 3 blocks is walking distance to this New Yorker.” LOL! The card catalog! You brought back such fond memories. I remember when the library system switched from card catalogs to the computer, I looked at the computer and thought, “What is the meaning of this?” LOL! Now I’m reserving library books from my computer at home. And accessing the Library of Congress materials! Pinch me! Pinch me!

      Like

  18. Oh my goodness, I love libraries so much! I have such fond memories of going to the library with my mom. She would load up a shopping bag with paperbacks from the “on your honor” section, which meant she could keep them as long as she liked. She was such a voracious reader, she’d get a new bag of books the following week! I follow in her footsteps for her love of reading (although I could never match her volume!).

    Thanks so much for being here and congratulations on your new release! ❤ (And please forgive the late weigh-in. I've been on the road for work.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathleen!!!! No apologies necessary! Please! Thank you so much for sharing that memory. What a beautiful memory. My mom was a voracious reader, too. She read everything, fiction and nonfiction. Thanks for the smile!

      Liked by 1 person

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