Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on October 30, 2017

16 Millimeters: A Maizie Albright Humorous Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Romance
2nd in Series
Past Perfect Press (October 17, 2017)
Print Length: 320 pages


#StillAWannabeDetective In continuing her career-makeover quest as a for-real detective, ex-teen and reality star Maizie Albright has a big learning curve to overcome. A sleuthing background starring in a TV show— Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective—does not cut the real life mustard. It doesn’t even buy her lunch, let alone extra condiments. Her chosen mentor, Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions, is not a willing teacher. He’d rather stick Maizie with a safe desk job and handle the security solution-ing himself. But Maizie’s got other plans to help Nash. First, win Nash’s trust. Second, his heart.

Wait, not his heart. His respect. His hearty respect.

So when a major movie producer needs a babysitter for his hot mess starlet, Maizie eagerly takes the job. But when her starlet appears dead, and then not dead, Maizie’s got more than an actress to watch and a missing corpse to find. Body doubles, dead bodies, and hot bodies abound when the big screen, small screen, and silent screams collide. Maizie’s on the job, on the skids, and on thin ice, hunting a killer who may be a celebrity stalker. And Maizie just might be the next celebrity who gets snuffed.

Guest Post

“Georgiawood” Georgia: the new Hollywood

This is a story of how Hollywood can sneak up on you and the little world you live in. And how you can take the following events and about twenty years later use them in a book series.

About four miles from my house is Senoia, Georgia. When I first moved to the area from Atlanta back in 1999, Senoia — an old whistlestop town — had a few antique shops, a mom and pop hardware, a mom and pop furniture store, and a coffee shop on the main boulevard. At the time, Senoia was famous for a handful of movies — Fried Green Tomatoes and Driving Miss Daisy, namely. There was a small film studio there, Raleigh Studios, but you wouldn’t live in Senoia to break into the movie business. Most couldn’t tell you what Raleigh Studios did. You lived there because you were born there, homes were affordable, and/or you wanted to live in a quaint small town that had kept its Southern roots.

More movie people came. They made Sweet Home Alabama and a few other films. More businesses came to Senoia. We were thrilled to have a few restaurants and more shops. Other folks might have known AMC had scouted the location. I had no idea.

My family moved to Japan for two years in 2009, and when we returned, Senoia had a new line of buildings on the main street, built to look old in keeping with the town’s flavor. I had my professional author pics taken there because I loved Senoia and hoped to get some of that Southern flavor in the background (we mainly used an old brick wall while I’d hoped for a veranda).

Around that time, I heard this show Drop Dead Diva was filmed in my town, Peachtree City. I had never heard of the show, but I saw their fake courthouse every time I ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Mimi’s. Mimi said TV folks came in to eat. Wasn’t that interesting? We nodded and agreed. Although we never did see the TV people. We didn’t think. But at a local Starbucks, we did meet two young actresses who wanted to pet our puppy, Biscuit. My husband asked them if they had future career goals other than acting (because why would you be in our little neck of the world if you were an actress?) They smiled, said no, and moved on.

About 2011, the zombie people had moved to Senoia. They’d been filming around Georgia the year before —mainly Atlanta  — but the filming around Senoia was still relatively unknown. The next year, Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band opened a bar with live music to bring in income for his Camp Southern Ground Foundation charity. Senoia had two Southern Living Homes in two years. We vied for tickets to take tours of the homes. One, a brick townhouse with an elevator (!), was rumored to have been used by a director. Or a producer. Or someone in some kind of film business. We didn’t know. But it was pretty cool.

The Walking Dead took off in a big way. Little Senoia was suddenly cool.

We would go to Senoia to eat or shop and see the signs asking people not to mow their grass, because you know, no time for mowing during a zombie apocalypse. The main street was used in the town of Woodbury for the show. There was an actual fake building between real buildings. New houses were built on the other side of the tracks. And about three years later, a wall of corrugated metal was built around those homes. For the show. The set had changed. And suddenly there were tourists. Not the regular tourists who like to visit old towns in Georgia. These were fans of the show. They descended on Senoia like…hoards of zombies.

It was just so bizarre.

The local paper said that Pinewood Studios (we all had to look up Pinewood Studios —except my husband who remembers such trivia and recognized the name from Star Wars filming) was building a few miles away in the other direction. Near Fayetteville. And they were going to make movies there. Big movies. Like Spiderman, the Avengers, maybe an Angelina Jolie movie (I’m a little unclear if that was postulating by a friend or real). They bought a HUGE tract of land and a school. The school was new but not needed because of a shift in population. So we were happy the school went to good use and went on with our lives.

I learned the renters across the street were movie people after they moved out. My friend who works for Porsche USA said they were using the new Porsche headquarters for an Avengers set. And he saw all the Avengers. From far away. But he still saw them. However, Porsche USA is in Atlanta. And Atlanta has all kinds of stars. We were still removed. But then there was talk that maybe Sony Pictures was going to move in down here, too.

What was going on here? It was a little unreal. Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Chad Coleman (Tyreese) from TWD waved at my daughter’s bus as she passed by a temporary location set on her way to school. She didn’t know them, but other kids did. They’d built a temporary wall in front of our old subdivision. To keep out zombies.

About that time, I began to write 15 MINUTES. The first in my Maizie Albright Star Detective series, where the ex-celebrity returns to her hometown in rural Georgia. And learns she can’t escape Hollywood because Hollywood had moved to rural Georgia.

My family moved to Japan again for two years (something of a habit for us) and we returned this past May. Senoia has more new/old buildings and more shops and restaurants, including one owned by six of The Walking Dead folks. My BFF saw Thor (the actor who plays Thor) working out in her gym. When I shop in my Kroger, I spot hipsters and the organic section has grown four-fold. We heard AMC was buying little Raleigh Studio.

And in Senoia, there are more hoards. And tours. And the wall is still there, but now there are guards, keeping all these zombie tourists from getting into the walled area. Also, prices and traffic have increased. Everything looks a little more polished. There are moms at my children’s schools who look a little more flashy (but maybe that’s the old mom in me talking and that’s just how young moms look now).

And I find it all ripe for the picking in my Maizie Albright series. In my mind, money, power, and fame bring bigger crimes, although thankfully that hasn’t happened and hopefully it won’t, except in Maizie Albright’s Black Pine.

Thanks so much for having me on Storeybook Reviews. Has anything similar happened in your community?

SBR – Larissa so great to have you here today!  I’m in Texas and they do a lot of filming all across the state. Usually not too much of a problem, except when they block off streets in downtown Dallas or Fort Worth during a business day.  Makes it hard to get out and go home.  Thankfully that did not happen often.  And I loved that show, Drop Dead Diva!  I didn’t realize it had been filmed in Peachtree City.


About the Author

After seeing Paper Moon as a child, Larissa Reinhart fell in love with stories about confidence capers. QUICK SKETCH is the Cherry Tucker prequel to PORTRAIT in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL. HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is the third in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series from Henery Press, following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (#2) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY (#1), a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit.

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