Saturday, February 14, 2015

"A Killer Retreat"

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Weber loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. The second book in her series, A Killer Retreat, was released January, 2015 by Midnight Ink.

Weber and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, the author spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

Weber applied the Page 69 Test to A Killer Retreat and reported the following:
From page 69:
We found Rene in the center’s main office, seated strategically close to an empty wastebasket. Bruce held Rene’s forearm, pressed his fingers against her wrist, and looked at his watch. Emmy hovered beside them, looking concerned. Sam rushed up to Rene and kneeled down beside her.

“Honey, what’s going on? The hostess said you collapsed!”

“I’m fine, Sam, really. I didn’t collapse. I threw up in the bathroom, and when I stood up, I got a little dizzy, that’s all. Honestly, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. It’s just this stupid stomach bug.” She sagged back in her chair. “I haven’t eaten since that pie after lunch. I probably have low blood sugar.” She swallowed hard. “But the thought of eating …” She shuddered. “Please, everyone. Let’s call it a night. I’d like to go back to the cabin and lie down.”

“In a minute,” Emmy replied. “Let Dad take a look at you first.”

Rene made eye contact with me, pointed at Sam under the table, then gestured with her eyes to the door.

Message received.

“Come on guys,” I said. “Let’s wait outside and give them some space.” Sam didn’t move. “You too, Sam,” I added.

He placed his hand protectively on Rene’s back. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Rene sat up straighter and smiled at him encouragingly. “Please Sam, I’m feeling a little claustrophobic. Give me a few minutes.” She gently nudged him toward the door. “I’m OK. I promise.”
A Killer Retreat is a lighthearted cozy mystery, but beyond that it explores relationships. What happens when normally good people face challenges in the relationships they hold most important? Do they face those challenges head on? Do they hide from them? To what lengths will they go in order to keep their secrets? And what, ultimately, can be learned from the truth? In that vein, this scene explores one of the important themes of the work, even though it has nothing to do with the murder investigation.

Rene is hiding something from both her husband, Sam, and her friend Kate, the protagonist in my series. They’re all enjoying a dinner together at a vegan restaurant when Rene disappears, only to be found passed out in the restaurant’s restroom. The scene is typical of first part of the book in that the relationships are stilted—not quite right—and we as readers don’t know why.

Bella—a hundred-pound German shepherd who is one of the primary characters in the story—isn’t in this scene, and Bella pretty much steals every scene she’s in. So from that standpoint, this scene is atypical. Still, it shows that Rene is hiding something from her husband and sets the stage for a future conflict.
Visit Tracy Weber's website, blog, and Facebook page.

Coffee with a Canine: Tracy Weber and Tasha.

The Page 69 Test: Murder Strikes a Pose.

--Marshal Zeringue