Tag Archives: Murder Strikes a Pose

Blog Tour Report: Final Week and a Great Big Thank You

blogTourWeek3Today marks the final stop on the Murder Strikes a Pose book launch blog tour, and the last three stops were special.  Check them out, and please visit and support the people who have supported me!

Saturday, January 11: Rantin’ Ravin’ and Reading

This blog article answers the question many of you have been thinking: What kind of demented yoga teacher writes about murder?  Learn the main reasons I write the series and what I hope to accomplish through its pages.  Besides having fun, of course!

Wednesday, January 15: Killer Characters

Michael—the love interest in Murder Strikes a Pose—finally gets to tell his side of the story! Visit with Michael and learn why he thinks his new girlfriend might be crazy.

Monday, January 20: Inkspot

Inkspot is the blog created by the writers under my publisher, Midnight Ink.  Although Inkspot wasn’t an “official” stop on my tour, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge eleven of the many mystery writers that have supported me on this journey.  Take a look, check out their work, and support them by buying their books.

That’s it for this week.  Next week I’ll be back to blogging about yoga with a book stop every month or so.  Coming up in the next three months are articles on Jungle Red Writers, Coffee with a Canine, The Page 69 Test, Dog Reads and Kings River Life Magazine.

And you’ll find me every Monday here at the Whole Life Yoga Blog.  Thursdays, I blog at Killer Hobbies.

Guess I’d better get typing!

Namaste

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and wherever books are sold.

Blog Tour Report: Week 2!

Hi all!  Today is week two of what feels like my whirlwind blog tour.  Please check out the reviews, articles, and deep dark secrets of yours truly!  I promise you’ll learn things about me that my husband doesn’t even know!

Tuesday, January 7:  Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows

This blog stop was a biggie in so many ways.  An awesome review, lots of great comments, and the chance to share information that I haven’t blogged about anywhere else.  Three teasers:

  • First, a line from her review: “You know a book is fantastic when it’s your first read of the new year and you immediately know it’s going to be on your ‘Best Books of the Year’ list.”
  • Second, learn about my cranky cat Maggie (yes, I have a cat, too!) and a specific cat treat that will guarantee you win your cat’s love and affection forever.
  • Finally, learn about the human who inspired the plot of MURDER STRIKES A POSE. This one will surprise you!

Wednesday, January 8:  Beth Groundwater  and Dru’s Book Musing

On book launch day I visited two blogs.  The first, Beth Groundwater, hosted an interview with me.  My favorite question was about how I get to know my characters.  Check it out and you, too, can realize how truly schizophrenic I am.  (Hmm…maybe I shouldn’t advertise that…)

The second stop wasn’t really by me—it was by yoga sleuth Kate.  Dru asked her to pop by her blog and talk about a typical day.  Problem is, none of Kate’s days have been typical lately.  Will she relive the embarrassing Santa incident? Will she solve George’s murder? And even more importantly, what in the world is she going to do with crazy-dog Bella? Stop by and help her figure it out!

Thursday, January 9:  Chloe Gets a Clue

Chloe hosted me for author interview.  My favorite question in this interview was “What’s your writing superpower?”  That’s me, all right.  Super Tracy!  I also share the best yoga practices for writers and amateur sleuths.

Friday, January 10: Read Your Writes Reviews

I absolutely LOVED visiting with this reviewer.  She owns a rescue dog so she really “gets” Kate’s relationship with Bella.  Here’s a quote: “Without any question, I’m a dog lover.  I will admit that towards the end of the book I actually cried.  I mean SERIOUSLY, who in the world cries reading a cozy mystery?”  She did clarify later that she cried tears of happiness.  😉

That’s all for this week.  Two more official stops on this tour, then I’ll wrap it up and go back to yoga tips, articles, and techniques.  But please do stop by these blogs and support all of the bloggers who have supported me!

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and wherever books are sold.

Blog Tour Report Week 1!

Available Now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Booksellers Everywhere!

 Hi all!  I’m deeply immersed in my first ever blog tour for MURDER STRIKES A POSE.  Check out the progress so far, and please visit the blogs to support the people who are supporting me!

Thursday, January 2:  Thoughts in Progress

It was AWESOME to have the first stop on my first blog tour ever be such a kind and supportive one.  In my first stop, Thoughts in Progress wrote a review of Murder Strikes a Pose.    Here’s a snippet to get you interested, but please check out the full review at the website.

MURDER STRIKES A POSE is an intriguing debut for a fascinating new series that will delight mystery readers. Combining calming techniques, dog-related frolics, mystery and laughs; Weber has crafted a story that is hard to put down.”

Friday, January 3:  Books-N-Kisses

My second stop was at this wonderful blog that highlights books in the mystery, romance, and sci-fi genres.  I wrote a guest article about my book cover and “that pose on the cover.”  Check it out and learn how to Down Dog it the Murder Strikes a Pose way!

Friday, January 3:  Shelley’s Bookcase

This isn’t an official stop on my book tour, but I’m so delighted with the review that I wanted to share it anyway.  Shelley Giusti, a fellow Sister’s in Crime member, reviewed Murder Strikes a Pose.  Here’s a teaser of what she had to say.  Please check out the full review at her website.

“Tracy Weber has a number one hit on her hands with her First in a New Series book! Her characters are strong and you will love them from the start. And Bella, the German shepherd will win your heart.”

Saturday, January 4: Readalot

The final stop this week was at Readalot, which hosted both a review of Murder Strikes a Pose and a giveaway.  There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a free autographed copy!  Here’s a teaser, but please stop by the blog to check out the full review

“Murder Strikes a Pose is entertaining. I laughed, I even shed a tear. Thought of doing yoga for a sec or two.”

I may not have completely won over a new yogi, but at least I got her to consider it!  😉

Sunday, January 5: AuntieEmWrites

I wrote a guest article for this spot, telling the story of how I first became a writer.  Here’s a teaser: it involves my favorite animal, a brutal workout, and a writer named Susan Conant.  I also reveal my husband’s favorite nickname for me—and no, it’s not sweetie-pie. Check it out and leave a comment in the next week. You may win an autographed copy of the book!

That’s all for this week, but lots more fun to come. See you next week as the virtual travel continues…

And, for those of you interested, here’s a little more about the book.  I hope you read and love it!

When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.

One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.

Praise:

“Weber’s debut, which launches the Downward Dog series, should appeal to anyone who likes canines, yoga, and a determined sleuth. … Cozy fans will eagerly await the next installment.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“The delightful start of a promising new series. I couldn’t put it down!”—Waverly Fitzgerald, author of Dial C for Chihuahua

“Murder Strikes a Pose is a delightful debut novel . . . Namaste to Weber and her fresh, new heroine!”—Penny Warner, author of How to Dine on Killer Wine

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and wherever books are sold!

 

Book Launches, Parties, and Blog Tours, Oh My!

great escape tour banner small murder strikes a pose

January is the launch of my first yoga mystery, Murder Strikes a Pose, and I will be going blog crazy!   Through January 20, my Whole Life Yoga and Killer Hobbies blog posts will be devoted to the blog articles and events below.  After that, it will be back to articles on yoga tips, research, practices, and techniques, with an occasional writing blog thrown in for good measure.

Murder Strikes a pose will be available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other e-readers as early as January 1.  It will be available online at Amazon as well as retailers and bookstores everywhere on January 8. You can pre-order any time!

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for sponsoring the blog tour below.  Each stop will provide unique content, so don’t miss any.  You might just learn some of my deep, dark secrets!

A free autographed copy of Murder Strikes a Pose will be given away at each stop!

And, for those of you in Seattle, a couple of in-person events. 

Hugs and prizes will be available at both events–and at Whole Life Yoga, vegan chocolate mousse cake! I hope to see you there!

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available for preorder now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and other retailers!

And so it begins!

box of books

After what feels like an eternity, I now have copies of Murder Strikes a Pose!  I have to say, I am thrilled.  To launch the series’ beginning, I’d like to share the book’s beginning with all of you.  Take a look at Chapter 1 and let me know what you think!

Murder Strikes a Pose is available now at Whole Life Yoga and will be available at bookstores everywhere in January! Books make great Christmas gifts!  😉

CHAPTER 1

I laid my body on the cool wood floor, covered up with a blanket, and prepared to die.

Metaphorically, that is.

Corpse Pose’s ten-minute rest always soothed my stressed-out nerves, and for once I didn’t feel guilty about the indulgence. My to-do list was blank, Serenity Yoga’s phone was silent, and I had a whole blissful hour between clients to do my favorite activity: practice yoga.

Even my eclectic Greenwood neighborhood seemed uncharacteristically quiet, lulled by Seattle’s rare afternoon sun. The residents of the apartments above the yoga studio were off at their day jobs; the alcohol-addicted patrons of the block’s two dive bars slept off their Jim Beam breakfasts; the soccer moms shopping at next door’s upscale PhinneyWood Market purchased the day’s supplies in unusual silence.

I wiggled my toes under a Mexican blanket, covered my eyes with a blue satin eye pillow, and inhaled deeply. The ooey-gooey smell of Mocha Mia’s chocolate caramel cake wafted from across the street and filled my nostrils with sweet toffee-scented bliss—my all-time favorite aromatherapy.

Paradise. Simply paradise.

I released my weight into the earth and silently coached myself, exactly as I would one of my students. OK, Kate. Feel your body relax. Notice the random fluctuations of your mind and—

A vicious snarl ripped through the silence, startling me out of my catnap. I sat straight up, eye pillow falling to the floor with an undignified thump.

What the heck?

When had a dog fighting ring moved into the neighborhood?

A dog fight was the only plausible explanation for the commotion outside. Bursts of deep, frantic barking were followed by high-pitched yelping, all punctuated by the peace-shattering sounds of angry yelling. The phrases I could make out confirmed my suspicions. This had to be a dog fight, albeit one-sided.

“Control your dog!”

“Get that vicious beast out of here!”

And even a simple, “What the hell?”

I closed the door between the yoga room and the studio’s lobby, hoping to block out the intrusive sounds. Snarls, shouts, and an occasional ear-piercing shriek continued to reverberate right through the wall.

Undaunted, I imagined that the sounds were merely clouds floating across my mental horizon. Most of those clouds were dark and ominous, like the deep thunderclouds preceding a hailstorm. But every so often I heard a soft voice, more like the fluffy clouds of childhood summers. I couldn’t quite make out his words, but I could tell that the speaker was a man. From his tone, I assumed he was trying to calm beasts both human and animal.

It wasn’t working.

Neither, for that matter, was my attempted meditation.

I’d obviously have to shift tactics.

I tried drowning out the clamor with low, soft chanting. Then I increased the volume. But even as I belted out Om Santi, my favorite mantra for peace, I felt my jaw start to tighten. My fingernails bit deeply into my palms. My shoulders crept up to my ears.

An entirely different mantra began pounding through my head: Don’t get me angry; you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

A series of yelps and the words “I’m calling the cops!” zapped me like a cattle prod. I leapt from my mat and stormed across the floor, determined to put a stop to that infernal racket. I hurled open the door and came face-to-face, or rather face-to-snout, with the source of the commotion. Not more than five feet away from the studio’s entrance stood a paunchy, dark-haired man and the biggest, skinniest, meanest-looking German shepherd I had ever seen. Don’t get me wrong. I like dogs. I love them, in fact. It’s their human counterparts I could sometimes do without. But this frothing breast was no Rin Tin Tin. A long line of drool oozed from its mouth. Its sharp white teeth glinted in the sunlight, and its black wiry topcoat still stood on end from the prior scuffle. The dog was obviously rabid.

I didn’t recognize the man standing next to the frightening creature, but I did recognize his activity. He worked as a vendor for Dollars for Change, a well-regarded local newspaper that published articles about homelessness and poverty while employing those same homeless individuals as salespeople. Ordinarily I would have welcomed one of their vendors outside my business. If nothing else, supporting the paper demonstrated yoga’s principles of kindness and compassion.

But this was not an ordinary circumstance. I absolutely could not allow that disgusting dog to raise a ruckus outside my studio. The prenatal class would have a fit. Suffice it to say that pregnancy hormones didn’t always leave expecting moms in the best of moods. My moms-to-be liked their yoga practice. They needed their yoga practice. And they needed to be serene while doing it. If a noisy dog fight disturbed their peaceful experience, I’d be the one getting barked at.

Thinking less than yogic thoughts, I marched up to the pair, determined to put a stop to the chaos.

“What in the world’s going on out here?”

The human half of the dastardly duo held a leash in one hand, newspapers in the other. He smiled at me and said, “Sorry about all the noise. I’m George, and this here’s Bella. What’s your name?”

“Kate Davidson, but—”

“Well, nice to meet you, Kate. I’d shake your hand, but mine are full, so Bella will have to do it instead.”

The vicious beast walked up and calmly sniffed my hand. I prayed she wasn’t about to ingest my fingers.

“Bella, say hello!”

Upon hearing her owner’s command, the giant hairy monster-dog immediately went into a perfect sit and sweetly offered me her paw. Maybe she wasn’t rabid after all. Just huge and ill-mannered.

“Don’t mind Bella,” he continued. “She’s very friendly to people. She just doesn’t like other dogs much. She’d be fine if people kept their unruly mutts to themselves, but they think if their rude dog wants to play, Bella has to as well.” He shook his head in disgust. “I don’t understand some people!”

I tried to interrupt, to tell him that his dog was the problem, but he didn’t give me the chance.

“Bella and I are new to this neighborhood, and we’re supposed to sell papers near the market. I tried setting up by the north entrance, but there’s a pet store at that end. Pete’s Pets, I think it’s called? The owner was a nice enough guy and all, but selling there was a disaster with all those dogs going in and out. Bella wasn’t happy at all.” He shrugged. “So I guess we’re going to have to hang out here instead.”

I bit the inside of my lip and considered my options. Up close, George wasn’t exactly the paragon of health I wanted standing outside my business. His friendly smile exposed yellowed teeth in need of significant dental care, and if the sharp, ammonia-like smell was any indication, neither he nor Bella had taken a bath in quite some time. At three-thirty in the afternoon, I could smell whiskey on his breath, and I suspected this most recent drink hadn’t been his first of the day. It would also likely be far from his last. I only knew one thing for certain: if George didn’t frighten my students away, his loud, intimidating, fur-covered companion would.

I needed them to leave, but honestly, I didn’t want to say it out loud. After all, I taught yoga for a living. People expected me to be calm and collected at all times. I wasn’t allowed to be mean, or even irritated, for that matter. I hesitated as I tried to come up with the perfect words to make him want to move, if not out of the neighborhood, then at least across the street.

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), one of my favorite students picked that very moment to walk up with her five-month-old Lab pup, Coalie. “Hey, Kate!” she said. “I hoped I’d run into you! Do you still have space in your Core Strength class tonight?”

Coalie was as rude and friendly as Labs everywhere. She couldn’t stop herself if she tried. She ran up to Bella, wiggling her entire body with glee, and covered Bella’s muzzle in sloppy wet puppy kisses.

Bella wasted no time. Faster than a 747 and stronger than a freight train, Bella pinned Coalie to the ground between her front legs, snarling and air-snapping on either side of Coalie’s neck. I heard the sound of canine teeth chomping together and imagined soft puppy bones shattering between them.

My student screamed. Coalie yelped. George grabbed Bella’s collar while I reached in between razor-sharp teeth to pull Coalie from the jaws of death. The three of us wrestled the two dogs apart, but not before my student almost died of heart failure.

“What’s wrong with you?” she yelled. “Keep that vicious monster away from my baby!”

George quickly apologized, but said, “No damage done. Bella was just teaching that pup some manners.” He pointed at Coalie. “See, it’s all good!”

Coalie, oblivious with joy, seemed unscathed and ready to dive in again. Tail wagging and butt wiggling, she pulled with all her might, trying desperately to get back to Bella.

Bella had other plans. She sat next to George, glaring directly at that pup with a patented Clint Eastwood stare. Go ahead, she seemed to say. Make my day. My soon-to-be-former student ran off as quickly as her legs would move, dragging the still-happy puppy behind her.

“See you in class tonight!” I yelled to her rapidly retreating back. I doubted I’d be seeing her any time soon.

Yoga reputation be damned. I had to get rid of this guy.

I put my hands on my hips and stood nice and tall, taking full advantage of my five-foot-three-inch frame. “Look. I can’t let you stay here with the dog. She’s obviously frightening people. You have to leave.” I paused a moment for emphasis, then added, “Now.”

George stood a little taller, too. “Look yourself, lady. The last time I checked, I’m standing on city property. I have every right to be here. You don’t own this sidewalk, and you can’t stop me from making a living on it.” He glared at me, sharp eyes unblinking. “We Dollars for Change vendors are licensed, and no matter how much you don’t like us, the city says we can be here.”

“There’s no ‘us’ I don’t like,” I replied, frustrated. “It’s your dog. And you may have every right to be here, but the dog is another story. What do you think Animal Control will do if I report a vicious dog attacking people outside my store?”

George stepped back, pulling Bella closer. Seattle had the toughest dangerous dog laws in the nation. We both knew what would happen if I made that call. “You wouldn’t do that!” he said. “Bella’s never hurt anyone.”

I planted my feet stubbornly. “Try me.”

George gave me a wounded look and gathered his papers, shoulders slumped in depressed resignation. “OK, we’ll go. But I thought you yoga people were supposed to be kind.” He shuffled away, shaking his head and mumbling under his breath. Bella followed close by his side.

“Crap,” I muttered, watching their slow departure. “Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.”

He was right. Like all good yoga teachers, I had extensively studied yoga philosophy and tried to live by it. The teachings were clear: A yogi should respond to suffering with active compassion. And George was clearly suffering, whether he realized that fact or not.

Threatening to call the cops on George’s dog may have been active, but it wasn’t all that compassionate, to him or to Bella. I felt like a cad. My solution probably wasn’t what the teachings had in mind, but it was the best I could come up with on short notice.

“Hang on there a minute!” I yelled as I ran to catch up with him. Out of breath, I said, “You’re right. I overreacted, and I’m sorry. How many papers do you have left to sell today?”

George stopped walking. When he turned to look back at me, his eyes sparkled with an unexpected hint of wry humor. “About thirty.”

The calculations weren’t difficult. I wasn’t completely broke—yet—but thirty dollars wasn’t a drop in the bucket. On the other hand, my Monday evening classes were popular, and I had to get this guy away from the front door. Mentally crossing my fingers that the toilet wouldn’t break again, I said, “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” I hurried back to the studio and grabbed thirty dollars from the cash box.

“If I buy all of your papers, will you be done for the day?”

“Yes ma’am, and that would be very kind of you.” He gave me a broad, yellow-toothed smile. “Bella and I appreciate it very much.”

He took the money, left the papers, and wandered off, whistling. Bella happily trotted behind him.

“Well, that wasn’t so difficult,” I said, patting myself on the back. “I should follow the teachings more often!” I went back inside and finished my considerably shortened practice. I chose to ignore the quiet voice in my head telling me I’d just made a huge mistake.

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and bookstores everywhere!