Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blog Tour and Giveaway of Kindle Fire 7" - $25 Amazon Gift Card - Copy of Landscape For Murder

A Warm Welcome
Joyce Strand

About Joyce Strand:

Mystery author Joyce T. Strand, much like her fictional character, Jillian Hillcrest, served as head of corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder. Rather, she focused on publicizing her companies and their products. She is the author of the Jillian Hillcrest mysteries ON MESSAGE, OPEN MEETINGS, and FAIR DISCLOSURE and the Brynn Bancroft mystery HILLTOP SUNSET. Strand received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA. She currently lives in Southern California with her two cats, a collection of cow statuary and art, and her muse, the roadrunner.


About Landscape for Murder:


A friend’s murder. An unconnected cast of suspects, including the victim’s missing adult daughter. As if that wasn’t enough, Brynn Bancroft’s winery has been broken into. Can she deal with her co-owner ex and help the police find her friend’s murder so she can finally overcome her own troubled past and enjoy family life with her teenage ward?


Social Links:



Twitter:   @joycetstrand

Where to Purchase:

Landscape for Murder  Kindle Editions – November 5, 2015



Look at this AWESOME giveaway.


a Rafflecopter giveaway  





1st Prize: Kindle Fire 7” WiFi 8GB Black plus ebook or paperback copy of Landscape for Murder 


2nd Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and ebook or paperback copy of Landscape for Murder 


3rd Prize: ebook or paperback copy of Landscape for Murder


How Ms. Strand Gets a Whodunit Started:

Conceiving a Whodunit
Inspired by the News and the Mundane
By Joyce T. Strand

“The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”-Agatha Christie

Yes, indeed. Ideas for my plots and traits for my characters occur during such mundane events as hassling household chores or taking car trips. The mind goes on curious journeys all by itself ignoring the tasks at hand.

But inspiration doesn’t begin or end with the mundane.

For my whodunits I search the news for crimes that might occur in my characters’ lives. For the Jillian Hillcrest series, I looked for murders that a public relations executive in Silicon Valley might encounter. For the Brynn Bancroft series, I researched possible crimes that would occur in the Napa/Sonoma wine region.

I then fictionalize the crimes to suit my plot and characters, but each of the crimes contains a kernel of real life.

My newest book, Landscape for Murder, involves burglaries of cases of wine, very much in the news. Also one of the characters is lightly based on a crime boss in San Francisco.

However, I approach my historical mysteries in a different manner by basing them on a real person, such as a California Superior Court Judge in THE JUDGE’S STORY; and a female reporter in the early 1900s for my still-to-be-written next book. My fictional Judge is based on the grandfather of a friend whose memoir inspired my character.

For my next story, I became excited about an early 20th century female reporter when I was visiting a museum where the description of a noted figure mentioned she’d gotten her start as a reporter. Further research on the subject of the history of women in journalism has proven fascinating. When I use the approach and mores of a real person, I build the mystery and back story around the character.

Nonetheless whether I start with a real crime or a real person, I proceed to develop the plot by integrating the elements of a mystery.  That’s where inspiration from mundane tasks most occurs—probably due to my writing process.

Typically I start writing a new story when I have done enough research to know the opening scene, the key characters (I usually write short biographies on each of them), the crime, and the conclusion. That leaves a significant amount of writing in between. And that’s where I most value those “thinkless” tasks and use them as focused time to inspire the scenes that advance the plot, create red herrings, build suspense, and show off the characters.

I target my writing time by number of words, rather than time spent. Depending on my deadlines, I set a goal of at least 3,000 to 5,000 words a day. If it takes me eight hours, then that’s what it takes. Sometimes, if I’ve done enough mundane tasks and have clearly thought-out scenes, I can easily write more than 5,000 in eight hours. However, I don’t over-step my goals because then what will I write about the next day? Momentum is helpful, and if I know exactly what I’m going to write that helps move it along.

No matter where the inspiration originates, my day is full of idea after idea for stories. Perhaps that’s a comment on the rate of crime in the news media. Regardless, inspiration for my whodunits arrives in full buckets!


  1. Thank you for this post. I hope its open to all!

    1. I am not sure, Mystica.

      Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway to be sure.

      Thanks for stopping.

  2. Hello Elizabeth,
    On behalf of Joyce Strand and Book Marketing Services, I would like to thank you for hosting Joyce today on Silver’s Reviews. If anyone has any questions and/or comments they would like to ask Joyce, please leave them in the comment box. She will be by later in the day to respond.
    Joyce is having a giveaway during her tour. 1st prize: Kindle Fire HD 7” WiFi 8GB Black plus ebook or paperback copy of Landscape for Murder; 2nd Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and ebook or paperback copy of Landscape for Murder; 3rd Prize: ebook or paperback copy of Landscape for Murder. Click here to enter:
    Please join us tomorrow, Friday, November 13, 2015 at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More for Joyce’s author spotlight and giveaway on Teddy’s site.
    Landscape for Murder is now available at:
    Amazon - and paperback version is available at:
    Barnes and Noble Nook -
    Unicorn Books and Gifts (autographed paperback):!/~/search/keywords=Landscape%20for%20Murder&offset=0&sort=relevance
    We invite your readers to follow Joyce’s 10 day virtual book blog tour. Direct links for each day of the tour can be found on Joyce’s Facebook page
    Best regards, Della

    1. Thanks for stopping, Della.

      My pleasure for hosting today.

  3. Thank you so very much for hosting me on your blog. I appreciate the opportunity to reach out to your readers and tell them a little something about how I get inspired. I enjoy the process of writing and hope that comes across. I also hope that readers welcome reading about Brynn and her efforts to solve the mystery as much as I enjoyed puzzling it out! Thank you for connecting us.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Joyce.

      It is my pleasure to host you on my blog.

  4. That is a great giveaway. I've seen this book around and am very curious about it. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

  5. The book does sound good, and I agree that it is a fantastic giveaway.

    Thanks for stopping, Diane.