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Friday, November 22, 2013

Hijack In Abstract by Larissa Reinhart (Author Interview / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Hijack In Abstract by Author Larissa Reinhart!







Author Interview


Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Larissa!

Before we get to the interview, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

First, thank so much for having me on Jersey Girl. I love your blog! I’m a wife and mom to two elementary aged girls. We live in Georgia with our Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, two frogs, and two fish. When I’m not writing, I’m driving them to activities or letting the dog in and out. The squirrels keep him busy. On Monday and Wednesday I also do laundry. :)

How long have you been a writer?

I started writing at age four, but none of that was publishable. I did try to sell homemade books to my neighbors in elementary school, but that was before the days of indie publishing, so I didn’t make much headway. The publishable stuff came many years later. After working and starting a family, I found myself in Japan with children in school and no day job. It was kind of a perfect storm of space/time/creativity for me to start writing again. That was four years ago.

Do you have a day job, or is being an author your career?

My day job is driving children to activities and letting the dog in and out of the house. I used to be a teacher, but when we adopted our first daughter from China, I decided to stay home. So I’ve been lucky to be a stay-at-home mom for the last (ack) almost ten years.

What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer.

I’ve always been a big reader. I don’t think you could find a writer who isn’t a big reader. I’ve also always had story ideas in my head. I think it began as a kid on the long bus rides to school (I lived in the country). It was a way to entertain myself and keep to myself. But I couldn’t stop and probably the reason why I never learned any math. I’d replay the stories to finesse them and later, I’d write them down. I still do that.

Please give a brief description/storyline about HIJACK IN ABSTRACT.

My heroine Cherry Tucker is a portrait artist living in rural Georgia. Her love life has shifted into neutral. And her siblings, Grandpa, and sort-of-ex-husband have flipped her personal life to greasy side up. But life in Halo, Georgia, isn’t all badfor the sassy, Southern artist. Her career has pushed into full throttle. A classical series sold. A portrait commissioned. Then Uncle Will, Forks County Sheriff, calls in a favor to have Cherry draw a composite sketch of a hijacker. Suddenly, life takes a hairpin when the composite leads to a related murder, her local card sharking buddy Max Avtaikin becomes bear bait, and her Amazonian nemesis labels the classical series “pervert art,” causing Cherry to be shunned by the town. Cherry’s jamming gears between trailer parks, Atlanta mansions, and trucker bars searching for the hijacker who left a widow and orphan destitute and Max Avtaikin in legal jeopardy. While she seeks to help the misfortunate and save her local reputation, Cherry’s hammer down attitude has her facing the headlights of an oncoming killer, ready to grind her gears for good.

What was the inspiration for this story?

I have a friend who’s a Special Agent in the Department of Labor. He fed me some great ideas for a hijacking story where I could also delve into my character, Max Avtaikin’s, past a bit more.

How did it feel to have your first book published?

Fantastic! It still feels unbelievable to see my name on the cover of a book.

Do you write books for a specific genre?

The Cherry Tucker books are humorous mysteries. I’m also working on a paranormal detective series set in Japan that could fall under that category. I like the mystery plot and some romance. And I also like to laugh, so there you go. Humorous smexy mystery.

What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?

I like all kinds of genres. I lean more toward voice than genre. If I love an author’s voice, I’ll read all their books. I tend to like books that are quirky and witty. I also like gothic. PG Wodehouse meets Daphne du Maurier. That’s what I like.

Do you have a special spot/area where you like to do your writing?

Right now I’m writing in an armchair because I don’t have a desk. We had a leak above my desk in the living room about two months ago and nothing’s put back yet. But I have a MacBook Air which fits in my purse, so I can write about anywhere. When I started writing in Japan, I didn’t have a desk either, so as long as I’ve got a place to plug in, I’m good.

How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?

I don’t always know. Ideas just strike me and I let them percolate, sometimes for a year or more, and when I feel like I’ve got a good handle on the characters and story, I try it out.

When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?

I really try to write every week day. I have word count goals because I’m working on deadlines. Sometimes other projects take precedent. For me, daily writing brings about more inspiration than waiting for the mood to strike.

What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?

I’m character driven, so I love dialogue. I don’t like to spend much time on description, probably because I don’t like to read a lot of description.

What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?

I love travel, even if it’s just day trips somewhere in the country. Usually the jaunts center around finding good food, so I guess eating is another favorite!

What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?

I loved Stephen King’s ON WRITING. I’m paraphrasing, but he said he likes to put his characters in an impossible situation and then steps back to see how they get out of it. I try to do that.

What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?

When readers contact me to talk about the characters. I love that.

How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?

I spend a lot of time on Facebook, but sometimes they email me. I’m on Twitter, too, and have had some fun chats there. I also have a street team with author LynDee Walker called Mystery Minions (on Facebook). We love to chat with our readers there.

Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?

I took some of the cases from my Special Agent friend and threw them in my brain’s mixer for Hijack in Abstract. I like to make the “situation” of the crime realistic. But most of it’s from my imagination.

What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?

All of them!

What is your definition of success as a writer?

I think it changes. At first it was to get fifty pages written, then one hundred, then to finish a story. Then to write another one. Then to get published and so on. Now I focus on my readers. I can’t make them all happy, but if they’re enjoying the books, it rocks my world.

Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?

I’m working on Cherry Tucker’s fourth book, Death in Perspective, coming out next June (2014). She’s been hired by a drama teacher at a posh private school to do the set design and to protect him from a virulent texter. She’s also got an interesting relationship going on, but that’s all I’ll say!

When I finish it, I’m going go back to my paranormal detective story, because that’s a lot of fun to write, too. It’s set in Japan, which I miss, so I’m enjoying spending time back there on paper. :)

Thanks so much for having me on!

Thank you for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Larissa!




About The Author



Growing up in a small town, Larissa Reinhart couldn’t wait to move to an exotic city far from corn fields. After moving around the US and Japan, now she loves to write about rough hewn characters that live near corn fields, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble. HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is the third in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series from Henery Press, following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (May 2013) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. QUICK SKETCH, a Cherry Tucker prequel to PORTRAIT, is in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL (December 2013). She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit.


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Book Review



Hijack In Abstract by Larissa Reinhart
Book 3: A Cherry Tucker Mystery Series
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback - 284 pages / Kindle - 633 KB / Nook - 625 KB
ISBN: 1938383729
ASIN: B00GEEJY80
Genre: Cozy Mystery


BUY THE BOOK: Hijack In Abstrast

BUY THE SERIES: A Cherry Tucker Mystery
Book 1: Portrait Of A Dead Guy
Book 2: Still Life In Brunswick Stew
Book 3: Hijack In Abstract


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.


Book Description:

Cherry Tucker’s love life has shifted into neutral. And her siblings, Grandpa, and sort-of-ex-husband have flipped her personal life to greasy side up. But life in Halo, Georgia, isn’t all bad for the sassy, Southern artist. Her career has pushed into full throttle. A classical series sold. A portrait commissioned. Then Uncle Will, Forks County Sheriff, calls in a favor to have Cherry draw a composite sketch of a hijacker. Suddenly, life takes a hairpin when the composite leads to a related murder, her local card sharking buddy Max Avtaikin becomes bear bait, and her Amazonian nemesis labels the classical series “pervert art,” causing Cherry to be shunned by the town.

Cherry’s jamming gears between trailer parks, Atlanta mansions, and trucker bars searching for the hijacker who left a widow and orphan destitute and Max Avtaikin in legal jeopardy. While she seeks to help the misfortunate and save her local reputation, Cherry’s hammer down attitude has her facing the headlights of an oncoming killer, ready to grind her gears for good.


Book Excerpt:


Two cowboys strolled to our corner of the bar. One tipped his hat toward Dona. The other looked me square in the eye and rolled his toothpick from one corner of his mouth to the other.

“Wanna dance?” he said.

I shrugged and looked him over. He was a rangy guy, without boots he was missing a couple inches on most men, but clean shaven and clear eyed. And young. “Why not.”

He took my hand and I followed him to the dance floor. He placed a hand at the small of my back, the other near my neck, and began steering me around.

“How old are you?” I said. “You look familiar.”

“Old enough,” he rolled the toothpick between his teeth. “You a cougar or something?”

“Do I look like a cougar? I’m twenty-six. How could I be a cougar?”

“That’s older than me,” he smiled. “I like older women.”

“Wait a minute. Did you go to Halo High? Are you friends with Cody Tucker?”

“I know Cody,” he said. “Are you one of his sisters? I thought I might know you. I’m Zach Stowe.”

“What are you doing hanging out at the Gearjammer, Zach? This crowd seems a little old for you.”

With his eyes on me, his toothpick took another trip across his mouth. “I’m saving up for truck driving school. I like hanging out with the guys. Learn a lot.”

“Good for you.”

He leaned me back in a dip. The lip of his hat brushed my forehead.

My back began to ache, but I kept my eyes on his. “Have you heard about the truck hijacking that happened yesterday?”

We popped back up and began another circle. “Sure. Everybody’s talking about it.”

“What do you mean everybody? Whenever I mention it, they say they’ve never heard anything.”

The toothpick sucked into his mouth and reappeared on his tongue. “That’s because some of ‘em are on the take. And we’re not sure which and don’t want to get anybody in trouble. Everyone also knows the guy you’re with is a cop.”

“Dangit,” I glanced over my shoulder at Luke, but Zach’s quick pivot had me looking back at him.

“You’re kind of cute,” said Zach. “Which sister are you? The wild one or the one that gets married all the time?”

“I don’t get married all the time. Just once and only for a minute.”

“Either way, you’ve been around.” He dipped me again.

“That line is going to get you absolutely nowhere.” I glared into his dark, hopeful eyes. “And no more dipping. It makes my back hurt. Tell me more about these guys on the take.”

“I figured it out from a few things they said. It’s risky, but you can make serious bankroll for it. They prearrange a place and time for the hold up. It looks like a hijack except you walk away with ex- tra cash. They take your haul. Insurance covers the company. Everybody wins.”

“Everybody doesn’t win, Zach. You wonder why your insurance costs keep going up? Or why companies go out of business?”

He twirled me around and pressed me closer. “I didn’t say I was going to do it. You want to go out and see the backup moves I’ve been practicing? These guys will let me borrow a cab for an hour.”

A hand clamped on Zach’s shoulder and we stopped mid-twirl. I stumbled against Zach and looked above his shoulder.

“I’m cutting in,” said Luke.

Zach looked at me for approval, and I nodded. “I’ll talk to you later.”

He peeled himself off my body and tipped his hat. “Later, darlin’.”

His caustic glance bounced off of Luke. Taking my hand, Luke led me closer to the jukebox. Always On My Mind played and couples crowded the floor.

“That teenager was getting pretty friendly,” Luke remarked, wrapping an arm around my lower back. “Make you feel young again?”

I rose on my toes and wished I had worn heels instead of my boots so I wouldn’t have to crank my head back to look at him. “One of Cody’s friends. I learned something very interesting.”

“What’s that?” Luke bent to press his cheek against my hair and pulled me into his lean body, so he could hear me. Or to get to second base without trying.

“It seems everyone knows you’re a cop, which is causing an epidemic of amnesia. And I think you better talk to your truck driver again. His hijacking might have been preordained.”

“Shit.” Luke straightened, dropping his arms and my balance.


My Book Review:

Hijack In Abstract is the third book in the entertaining Cherry Tucker Mystery Series. Written in the first person narrative, the reader is transported back to Halo, Georgia, for the latest investigative adventure of struggling artist Cherry Tucker.

Cherry Tucker sure has a knack for getting into trouble, and in this latest installment of her quirky adventures, Cherry gets a call to help the Sheriff's Office sketch a composite of the suspect in a hijacking that occurred in town, and ends up uncovering secrets that gets herself involved in the middle of the hijacking and a related murder case. Cherry also finds herself in trouble again with old nemesis Shawna Branson, who once again tries to sabotage Cherry's reputation. And if that isn't enough, Cherry's love life is a mess when she is caught up in an ongoing love triangle with her ex-boyfriend Sheriff's Deputy Luke Harper and her ex-husband Todd!

This was such a fun whodunit to read, it had a great mixture of mystery, romance and humor. I easily found myself entertained by Cherry's craziness and her madcap investigative adventures. From Cherry's dysfunctional family, to her ongoing romantic issues, to her amateur sleuthing skills, this sassy southern lady's antics kept me entertained and laughing as I followed her quest to solve the latest murder case.

With a zany cast of characters (many who return from Portrait of a Dead Guy and Still Life In Brunswick Stew) who keep the reader in stitches with their witty dialogue and hilarious interactions; a storyline filled with enough drama, suspense and twist and turns that keeps the reader guessing; and a richly detailed setting that transports the reader to a quirky Southern small town for some down home sweet tea and local southern delicacies; Hijack In Abstract is an entertaining cozy mystery interwoven with Southern charm and humor that leaves you wanting to go on more crazy adventures with sassy Cherry Tucker!


RATING: 4 STARS ****




Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

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Virtual Book Tour Schedule



Tour Schedule:

November 4 – Mary Castillo – Q&A
November 5 – The Book Bag – Review & Excerpt 
November 6 – Ink and Paper – Review & Q&A
November 8 – Shelf Pleasure – Q&A
November 12 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review
November 12 – Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews – Q&A & Excerpt
November 14 – Tlassy – Review 
November 15 – Musings and Ramblings – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
November 18 – Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and More – Excerpt
November 19 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
November 22- Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
November 25 – Everything Books and Authors – Excerpt



2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. :)

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