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Nancy Martin is In the HOUSE!

I am so pleased to welcome Nancy Martin to ENLR today. I’ve been a huge fan for years. If that name sounds familiar, Nancy wrote the very popular Blackbird Sisters Mysteries. Her fans have “fought” over who gets Mick Abruzzo for years! Of course we all know that Mick belongs to me.

Welcome Nancy.

Thanks for having me. Are you pouring, babycakes?

Of course I am…Champagne…but only you and me know why!

I’m really need to catch up with Nora and her sisters. Rumor has it that we might get an update.

Yes, I’m working on the 8th Blackbird book now. Trying to spring Mick from jail, as a matter of fact. The sisters have inherited an enormous fortune from their Aunt Madeleine Blackbird, except they decide to look that gift horse in the mouth.  As they learn more about their heritage—and the Blackbird curse–hilarity ensues.

I have to admit…I really miss the sisters. It’s strange how real they always felt to me. They obviously came from the mind of a very talented writer!

Now you’re writing a new series starting Roxy Abruzzo…a real character if there ever was one. Your latest Roxy book is Sticky Fingers. What’s Roxy up to in Sticky Fingers?

Times are tough for Roxy, who has started making ends meet by doing “favors” for her Uncle Carmine.  When she’s asked to kidnap her high school nemesis, though, Roxy declines . . . and thingsget complicated fast. Roxy is not a good girl, and she tends to grab a tire iron and roll into action when trouble breaks out. Look out!  In STICKY FINGERS, we also see Roxy working her second job—as a back-up singer in a rock n’roll band. She’s a busy girl.

I hear rumors that you like to lock yourself away in a hotel room, use room service, and write your fingers off. True? What’s your favorite hotel to hide out in? If you’re really hitting a blank wall (when writing), what do you order from room service?

Oh, I do appreciate a nice hotel.  But when I’m working flat-out, I don’t need one with many amenities, just room service and a nice view from the window.  I usually check into the Renaissance hotel here in Pittsburgh.  My usual room overlooks the baseball stadium and two of the three rivers, so I can stand and stare outside when my brain runs dry..  I bring a bag of fruit, but I must admit there’s a chocolate decadence dessert on the room service menu.  I order one to reward myself near the end of my stay.  Aaaahhhh….

I’ve noticed that both Blackbird Sisters Mysteries and the Roxy Abruzzo Mysteries have strong Mob ties. Given we all know that writers do lots of research, tell us about your time with the Mob. How did you ever gain their trust? Do you ever worry about telling their secrets?

There are very few secrets in the Mob.  Honestly? When you hang out with the guys and buy the espresso, there’s always somebody who starts bragging and—-uh, I mean—er—nevermind.  I don’t know a thing.  I make it all up.  Really, I had nothing to do with those indictments last fall.

Readers really like to get to know the personal side of an author. So…

Coke or Pepsi?  Aren’t both of them going to be outlawed in Boston soon?

WHAT?? Outlawed in Boston? There must be a story there I don’t know!

Wine, beer or martini?  The correct answer is, “Yes, please.”  But to tell the truth, I never turn down a glass of champagne.

Favorite book of all time?  This is really hard.  Can I name a few? Mary Stewart’s NINE COACHES WAITING had an enormous impact on my teenage years and probably turned me into a writer. Michael Chabon’s WONDER BOYS is the best book about the  writing life, hands down. I re-read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE every summer just for the beauty and precision of the language.  And I might also include Diana Vreeland’s memoir, DV which is witty and entertaining and wonderfully surprising on every page.  Delightful.

What do you watch on TV? Reality, Comedy or Drama?  I know I’m just asking people to call me a liar when I say this, but I really don’t want much TV.  News-entertainment in the morning.  HGTV when I’m braindead. Castle and Justified (ooh, Raylan!) when I remember when they’re on.  But, really?  I think one of the keys to being a writer is knowing when to keep the TV turned off.

Sorry. You’re a friend and all but Rylan is ALL MINE!!!

Would you rather have dinner with Roxy or Nora Blackbird? Why? As long as Mick Abruzzo does the cooking, who cares? But seeing Nora and Roxy at the same table—that might be interesting. Roxy has no filters.  And Nora has too many.  Putting them together at a table with Mick in the middle could get explosive.

You’re right about Mick cooking. On second thought, who needs Nora and Roxy there when Mick’s cooking!

Sticky Fingers is getting great reviews. That must thrill you! From Amazon site:

“A hilarious combination of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum and Lisa Scottoline’s Bennie Rosato”
—(New Orleans) Times-Picayune

“Light years away from Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, and is grittier and more sexual than Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan.”
Pittsburgh Tribune Review

“In this stellar first in a new series, Martin introduces Roxy Abruzzo, ultra-sexy Pittsburgh sleuth and owner of Bada Bling Architectural Salvage. . . . A tough girl like Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, if with an edgier vibe . . . A wild cat-and-mouse game with a killer that will leave Martin’s fans clamoring for more.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An unusual frame story, well-drawn characters, and an interesting mystery are pluses for this Pittsburgh-set crime novel.”

“Verdict: This new series by the author of the best-selling Blackbird Sisters Mysteries introduces a tough-as-nails heroine. . . . A clever and naughty mystery.”
Library Journal

“Her architectural-salvage business involves Roxy Abruzzo in a number of exciting finds, including an unexpected case of murder. . . . Martin’s change of sleuths . . . to gritty Pittsburgh tough gal Roxy is a definite improvement.”
Kirkus Reviews


Here’s a little more about the book:  A few days after Roxy—architectural salvage expert, singer, and recovering sex addict—turns down an offer on behalf of her imprisoned mobster uncle, Carmine Abruzzo, to kidnap snooty museum curator Clarice Crabtree, a former high school classmate of hers, Det. Bug Duffy of the Pittsburgh police takes her to a crime scene at an old industrial site. Bug shows her a body recovered from the Ohio River that Roxy identifies as Clarice. Curious to find out who popped Clarice, Roxy rolls into action accompanied by her lovable sidekick, Nooch Santonucci, a big lug with a heart of gold, and her pooch, Rooney. Roxy’s evolving relationships with Sage, her rapidly maturing teenage daughter, and with Sage’s chef dad, Patrick Flynn, give this series an extra heart-tugging zing.

Grab one of the links below to get your hands on this awesome mystery

IndieboundBordersB & NPowell’sAmazon

If you want to join me in stalking, er following Nancy, here are a few places you can find her:

Website The Lipstick Chronicles Facebook Nancy Personal Blog

Thanks so much for stopping by, Nancy. I am so excited at well Sticky Fingers is being received. You are welcome back anytime.

Leave a message. Nancy said she’ll stop by and answer any questions from the back blog.

23 Responses

  1. Sounds like a fun read!

  2. Nancy, I’m very much looking forward to reading your work. I confess it’s not for lack of interest, but lack of time. My critique partner raves about you. If you say it, it’s gospel. 😉 Congratulations on such stellar review, and great interview, Cyndi!

  3. I recently had the chance to visit Pittsburgh. What a very cool city:) Your series sounds like a hoot. Best of luck!

  4. Roxy sounds like my kind of heroine. Looks like a fab book. I’ll have to check it out.

  5. I loved the interview Nancy and Cyndi, it was very entertaining.

    I stopped by earlier at lunch and was reading it but forgot to say hello to Nancy and welcome to the blog.

    I have your books on my TBR list because Cyndi recommended them to me. I honestly just haven’t had time to get to them yet, grad school is killing me this semester. I hope to get to them very soon.

    Thanks again for joing us and what a great Q&A.

  6. I’m totally jellin’ here. I want to check in to a hotel to write!!! sign me up…for somewhere on a beach!

  7. Welcome, Nancy! Great interview ladies!! Can’t wait to get my hands on this one! LOL

  8. Great Blog, Cyndi and Nancy! I LOVE the sound of your new series and I had to laugh about you camping out at a hotel. And like you, I love a nice glass of the bubbly stuff…

  9. Cyndi, great interview. Nancy, loved the part about your writing process, and camping out in the hotel – guaranteed luxury, room-service. NINE COACHES WAITING by Mary Stewart – one of my one favorites. Your new book sounds fabulous. Congratulations.


  10. Great interview, Cyndi!
    Nancy–your books sound fun! I’ve become a Kindle ho, so I’m off to download!

  11. Your book sounds so much fun, Nancy. I’m definitely checking it out.

    I’d love to check in at a hotel, too. Just for the chocolate decadence dessert. And now I want to reread Nine Coaches Waiting. It’s been so long since I read her books. I miss them.

  12. OMG, I hate to admit this but I’ve bought your books and sent them to my mom (as b-day gifts), but never really checked them out myself. Now I know what I’ll be doing with my BnN gift card. They sound like fab beach reading.

  13. Oh, I love me some Nancy Martin! After the last time she visited, I immediately went out and got a book. I loved it! Definitely someone I will always pick up when I want a fun mystery. Thanks for stopping by today. Sorry I’m a bit late. 🙂

  14. Roxy was in the house? How did I miss this? Stupid day job.

  15. I met Nancy when I attended a Mystery Writers’ conference in Tulsa a few years ago. Come to think about it, I think Cyndi was there too. Great stories!! You won’t go wrong with on of hers. Very clever and fun!

  16. Nancy – the book sounds fantastic! Way to go on all those great reviews, too.

    I love your idea of a personal writer’s retreat. I was thinking about trying itmyself until I got to the line about room service. Much too dangerous.

    Lots of luck with Roxy!

  17. Great interview! Ah, to be able to hide away in a hotel and write. I’m insanely jealous right now!

  18. What the others said! Hanging with Cynthia has to be a blast. My critique ladies and I do plotting weekends at a hotel. Wonderful!

  19. Did I mention we go to a wine tasting first?

  20. Awesome interview! Sticky Fingers sounds like a laugh-out-loud fab read! I can’t wait to check it out.

  21. Good heavens, you are all so welcoming! Thank you. (I’m actually taking a commercial break away from Raylan—Watch yourself, Cyndi!–to respond.) Yes, the hotel is a sinful way to meet a deadline. But I love it! Did I mention I don’t take any extra clothes? Just write in my jammies. Makes life easy. 😉

  22. You MAY NOT have Rylan…wow..I have a dilemma…do I want a man of the law in Rylan or a sexy, mobster’s son who is a great cook and a great lover.

    Decisions decisions….

  23. You will never have Mick, Cyndi, dear. He’s in a committed relationship now. 😉

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