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Flower Power Fatality (The Psychedelic Spy Mysteries)
by Sally Carpenter
About the Book
Flower Power Fatality (The Psychedelic Spy Mysteries)
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (April 22, 2018)
Paperback: 234 pages
Digital ASIN: B07DLJS6FF
The Cold War gets cozy in this retro-cozy spy caper set in 1967, a year of music, miniskirts—and murder! Actress Noelle McNabb works at the Country Christmas Family Fun Park in Yuletide, Indiana, but she longs for the bright lights of Hollywood.
Real-life drama comes her way when a stranger with a fatal gunshot wound stumbles across her doorstep. When she attempts to finds the man’s murderer, Noelle encounters a super-secret spy agency, SIAMESE (Special Intelligence Apparatus for Midwest Enemy Surveillance and Espionage). SIAMESE recruits Noelle on a quest to find missing microdots under the guidance of a street-wise agent, Destiny King. As Noelle goes undercover in a cheesy nightclub and faces the enemy in late-night chases, she uncovers family secrets and finds her moral values put to the test. Along with her pet cat, Ceebee, and the kooky residents of Yuletide, Noelle discovers it takes a village to catch a killer.
Guest Post by the Author
The thrills and spills of theme parks
By Sally Carpenter
For my new cozy series, my heroine works at a theme park. I’m not aware of any series with this setting, and a theme park seemed like a fun place, something different for a cozy protagonist than a bakery or a clothing store.
I’ve been to a few theme parks but I’m not what you call a rabid fan of them. My first theme park experience was in elementary school when I visited Santa Claus Land in the small town of Santa Claus, Indiana. It’s the oldest theme park in the world (opened 1946), not Disneyland (opened 1955).
I knew about Santa Claus Land because my church denomination ran a camp in the area (the camp is still in operation and, according to the website, seems to have the same buildings). One summer when mom picked me up from camp, we visited the park. Unfortunately we didn’t take photos and I don’t remember much except that Santa Claus was there in the middle of summer, talking to the children.
When I was in high school my Youth for Christ group went to Hershey, Penn., for a week of revival services. One day we toured the Hershey chocolate factory and then Hersheypark. After years of hearing about roller coasters, I was looking forward to riding my first one! I expected a fun and exciting time. I was OK as the car chugged up the incline, but going down I discovered I hated the sensation of zero gs. And this was a “mild” ride. After an eyes-closed, white-knuckled ride, I hated roller coasters (I dislike flying for the same reason).
As an adult I finally made my way to the granddaddy of them all, Disneyland. I knew someone whose son worked there and she gave me free admission tickets (entry is nowadays nearly $100 for one day). I suppose Disneyland is best experienced as a child or with a kid in tow who gets excited at the sight of a teen dressed as Mickey Mouse.
One should tackle Disneyland over two or more days. I tried to cram as such as possible into one day. I was exhausted from walking over the vast acreage and standing in line in the hot sun.
In 2002 I visit California Adventure, the poor stepchild next door to Disneyland. I went mainly to see The Monkees (well, two of them, Micky and Davy), in an outdoor afternoon concert (free show included in the admission price). In the summer after 9/11, the park ran a summer concert series to lure the tourists back. And local residents received a discount on admission.
Calif. Adventure has radically changed since I saw it. The Bug’s Life area has been removed, a Cars section has been added, and the pier area is all new. In 2002 the park was rather pitiful. I saw the entire layout in three hours and much of it looked chintzy. The Soaring Calif. ride was nice (hanging in suspended, moving seats while watching an 3-D film of the state shot from plane) and the 3-D Muppet show was cute.
The concert stage was on the edge of a man-made lake. The back of the stage faced the water, and the musicians were boated in!
The park had a ride called Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a multi-story edifice built like a haunted house (the ride has since been revamped into a Masters of the Universe theme). I decided to go on it and see if I could cure my aversion to scary rides.
The victims, er, riders climbed a stairway to the top of the building. The Twilight Zone-themed displays along the way were neat. At the top, the patrons got in the seats and were dropped in freefall to the ground floor. As if plummeting once wasn’t bad enough, the car would stop, move upward a few floors, and plunge again. When I thankfully reached bottom, the ride had cured me all right—of my desire to ever get into another thrill ride.
My story heroine, Noelle McNabb, doesn’t encounter anything that unnerving at the County Christmas Family Fun Park where she works. (yes, it was inspired by Santa Claus Land, with my own touches). But Noelle has some experiences that are even scarier, such as a stranger with a fatal bullet wound who shows up at her door.
If you want to visit Santa Claus Land, it’s now called Holiday World/Splashin’ Safari and is still in business.
About the Author
Sally Carpenter has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City.
Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.
She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.
In her Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series are: “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper” (2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel), “The Sinister Sitcom Caper,” “The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper” and “The Quirky Quiz Show Caper.”
She has short stories in two anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in “Last Exit to Murder” and “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in “Plan B: Omnibus.”
She penned chapter three of “Chasing the Codex,” a group mystery written by 24 authors with Cozy Cat Press, and writes the Roots of Faith column for the Acorn Newspapers.
She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles.
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