Welcome to my stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Dead of Winter Break (A Cassandra Sato Mystery) by Kelly Brakenhoff. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, guest posts, spotlights, reviews and more!
Dead of Winter Break (A Cassandra Sato Mystery) by Kelly Brakenhoff
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Dead of Winter Break (A Cassandra Sato Mystery)
3rd in Series
Publisher: Emerald Prairie Press (November 17, 2020)
It’s beginning to look a lot like murder . . .
And Cassandra is knee deep in . . .
Her boss is dead, and the police are calling it burglary gone wrong. But when the killer comes after her, it’s going to take more than a pair of furry boots to keep the smart, witty Morton College administrator, Cassandra Sato, out of the deep. . .
Her first Christmas in Nebraska could be her last unless her friends help unravel the mystery and housebreak her dog.
Buy now for a fast-paced, holiday themed whodunit.
Dead of Winter Break is the third book in Kelly Brakenhoff’s popular Cassandra Sato Mystery Series. Death by Dissertation was a 2020 RONE Award Finalist. Publishers Weekly called Dead Week, “a diverting whodunit.”
Guest post Dead of Winter Break Playlists
Music playlists help me write.
I learned early on in my writing life that music focuses me on the page. Without songs that remind me of the characters or mood of the story, my brain is like my dog’s. He can be in the middle of chasing a tennis ball and suddenly rush off to bark at a squirrel. It’s tough to write a book that way. You can find the playlist I made for Dead Week (book 2) here.
Writing during a pandemic was distracting.
It took me several weeks of “working from home” before any actual work got done. Instead I filed papers, cleaned out the basement, and binged old episodes of The Office and all the Harry Potter movies before finally buckling down to finish Dead of Winter Break.
For this book, I made three playlists because it’s 2020 and the normal rules don’t apply.
I needed one for the pandemic angst I felt when I wasn’t writing. Titles included REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel, “What’s Goin’ On” by Marvin Gaye, and “Don’t Stand so Close to Me” by the Police. Most of these songs remind me that I’ve been through difficult times before and give me hope that someday we will be back to regular life again.
My writing playlist has mostly movie scores without words.
They set a mood and the lyrics don’t pull me out of the scene I’m writing. If you want to concentrate on a task and haven’t listened to The Piano Guys, I highly recommend them. Often, they put their own twist on popular songs. My favorites are “Fight Song/Amazing Grace,” “All of Me,” and “Michael Meets Mozart.” There’s also a Lord of the Rings soundtrack filled with brooding dramatic pieces filled with doom and triumph.
The Dead of Winter Break story playlist has songs that remind me of the characters in Cassandra Sato’s circle of friends, and the Morton College setting. Sometimes I’ll set several songs on repeat and play them over and over while writing key scenes in the book. One new one I heard this summer was a version of Billy Joel’s song “Vienna” sung by Benjamin Platt. (Check out the video here.) His voice is mesmerizing, and the lyrics seem like lessons Cassandra needs to learn. “But then if you’re so smart, then tell me why are you still so afraid? . . . You’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need. Though you can see when you’re wrong, you know you can’t always see when you’re right.” In the song, “All Your Favorite Bands,” by Dawes, I love the line that says, “I hope that life without a chaperone is what you thought it’d be.” Cassandra is a complicated mix of smart and vulnerable, serious and hopeful.
I hope you find time to check out my playlists for your own use too!
And be sure to tell me if you think of more songs that fit my pandemic playlist.
Video of Ben Platt singing Vienna:
Dead Week Inspiration. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5koDzBHWqHHBLcgTRLQPkd
Pandemic Playlist. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Ulds7sjonHwtoi2YOHAmM
Dead of Winter Break. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1mrMfHu912LeQREzhbzbOl
Writing playlist. https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/writing/pl.u-jV899JkCaMvZxR
About Kelly Brakenhoff
KELLY BRAKENHOFF writes the Cassandra Sato Mystery series including DEATH BY DISSERTATION, a 2020 RONE Award Mystery Finalist, DEAD WEEK, “a diverting whodunit,” (Publishers Weekly), and DEAD OF WINTER BREAK available in November 2020.
Kelly is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends. NEVER MIND and FARTS MAKE NOISE, her children’s picture books featuring Duke the Deaf Dog and illustrated by her sister, Theresa Murray, have quickly become popular with children, parents, and educators for promoting inclusive conversations about children with differences.
The mother of four young adults and a German Wirehair Pointer, Kelly and her husband call Nebraska home.
Purchase Link – Amazon
Dead of Winter Break Tour Participants
I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Socrates Book Reviews– RECIPE
Island Confidential – REVIEW
Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
Brooke Blogs -SPOTLIGHT
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