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 Weekly, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Suspense Magazine, Mystery Scene Magazine, Library 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!