An exploding Mardi Gras float has got to be the strangest murder weapon scrappy sleuth Carmela Bertrand has ever encountered in this latest Scrapbooking Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author.

It’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans and scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand is excited to be attending the Pluvius Parade along with her best friend Ava. Carmela’s ex-husband Shamus rides by the duo on his float at the head of the parade, when suddenly the revelry turns to disaster. Shamus’ float crashes and explodes, and although Shamus escapes unhurt, a member of his krewe is killed.

Carmela and Ava plunge into an investigation of the krewe-member’s death, but as they dig deeper it starts to look less like an accident and more like a murder….and Shamus seems less like a victim, and more like a suspect.

Scrapbooking tips and recipes included! 

Interview with Laura Childs, New York Times bestselling author

Laura, welcome back to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little about the protagonist of Glitter Bomb? 

Carmela Bertrand is smart, entrepreneurial, and owns a small scrapbook shop in the French Quarter. She’s loyal to a fault and quick to help a friend in trouble. Of course, this puts Carmela in incredibly dangerous situations. For example, in Glitter Bomb Carmela’s ex-husband begs her to help clear him as a suspect when a Mardi Gras float explodes and kills a hedge fund bigwig. With multiple (and dangerous) suspects, Carmela has to muster up her amateur sleuthing skills and run her own shadow investigation.

How would you feel about Carmela if you met her in real life?

I’d love to hang out with Carmela – especially at Mardi Gras. I mean, what’s better than a week of parades, parties, beignets, and beads! And the food in New Orleans is to die for. We’re talking beignets, po-boys, crawfish etouffee, gumbo, pralines, and crazy drinks like hurricanes and frozen daiquiris. Let the good times roll and thank you, Carmela, for all those recipes you included in the book!

Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

Let’s just say they progress. They get a little bit funnier, smarter, saltier, and outrageous as the books go on. Glitter Bomb is the 15th book in my New Orleans Scrapbook Mystery series, so the main characters, Carmela and Ava, are pretty much over the top by now. And, yes, it’s called a Scrapbook Mystery, but the scrapbook shop just serves as home base for a rip-roaring mystery that includes haunted cemeteries, a fashion show, sports car rally, party at the zoo, and hungry alligators.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life – on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

Not exactly, but people who have been unkind to me in the past often find their names used for disreputable and annoying characters in my books.

Excellent idea! So how realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

My New Orleans setting is extremely realistic. I try very hard to capture the raucousness of the French Quarter, spookiness of the above ground cemeteries, and primordial beauty of the bayous. Also, through friends who live in New Orleans, I’ve had the great fortune to visit the dens where the Mardi Gras floats are constructed, attend the Rex ball, and even march in a Mardi Gras parade.

As someone whose day job is teaching, I’m well aware of the pitfalls and horrors of group assignments. Yet you and your coauthor, Terrie Farley Moran, seem to have a very productive partnership. Can you tell us a little about her?

Terrie is a consummate pro. She’s smart, witty, and immensely talented. Sometimes we work on a chapter together, sometimes we work independently and alternate chapters. Whatever the method, our words and ideas always mesh!

What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

Worst advice would be to “write what you know.” If authors seriously did that there’d be no Harry Potter, Middle Earth, Star Trek, or Hunger Games. The best advice I’ve heard is to write every day – and work straight through. Don’t go back and revise a single chapter until your manuscript is completely finished. Chances are, when it’s done, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Okay, THEN you go back and punch up your work like crazy – really ratchet up the action and human drama, make your characters even more lovable or despicable.

About the Authors

Gerry Schmitt, who writes under the pen name Laura Childs is now adding two more series that are harder-edged Wednesday February 26, 2014 in Plymouth. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:

Webpage –

Facebook –


Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. followed by Caught Read-Handed and Read to Death released in July of this year.  The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.

Terrie’s Links:




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