Thursday, February 29, 2024

Author Interview & Giveaway ~ THE WILDERNESS TRAP by Jodi Linton

The Wilderness Trap (Southwest Exposure Mystery Series, #5)
by: Jodi Linton
Series: Southwest Exposure Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: February 28, 2024

Explore nature, where the outdoors are wild, the tourists are clueless, and murder is the new adventure.

Andie Sullivan never thought her old nemesis would be running the elementary school career day. She was supposed to be discussing the wonders of nature, but when questions arise about her crime-solving side gig, some of the locals aren’t impressed.

But when career day turns into an actual murder, Andie finds herself on the case. And to make matters worse, the victim is her old nemesis. With the help of her hunky boyfriend, Sheriff Zac Mars, Andie dives into the investigation, determined to find the killer before they strike again.

Can she juggle her thriving outdoor business, her budding relationship with Zac, and find an elusive killer? Or will her pursuit of the truth lead her straight into the crosshairs of a ruthless killer.

Hi Jodi. Welcome back to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m doing great. Thanks for asking.

You’re welcome. The Wilderness Trap is the fifth book in your Southwest Exposure series. Each book features a different outdoor event. Why did you choose to bring the story indoors this time?
The Wilderness Trap isn’t necessarily set indoors but has scenes indoors and outdoors like the rest of the books in the series. Although, this time the title doesn’t feature an outdoor event, I would still say the plot follows the formula of the previous books in the series. I did base all titles in the series off movies (just for fun), so I did a play on The Parent Trap with book five’s title. The story does have a scene on the snow-covered mountain with a snow mobile.

What is a fun fact or two about The Wilderness Trap?
When I wrote The Wilderness Trap, I was also teaching a career project lesson to elementary students.

Who are some of the characters readers will read about in the book?
Naturally, they’ll meet Andie Sullivan, owner of the adventure company and her brother, Kyle. Then there’s Sheriff Zac Mars and Vivian Allen. I think readers will enjoy having Vivian on more pages in The Wilderness Trap. And then there’s the killer, but I can’t give that secret away.

In cozy mysteries, generally, if the protagonist and the police officer are around the same age they date each other. Andie Sullivan is currently dating Sheriff Zac Mars. Was their coupling a forgone conclusion in your mind that they would date or did their relationship evolve and surprise you?
When I started plotting the series, I knew Andie and Zac would get together. I originally got my start in romance, and my first series was a romantic suspense, so it just made sense to me to eventually write them as a couple. I also think it ups the tension in the stories.

Here’s a hard question…If your series was optioned to be a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie, who do you picture being Andie and Zac?
Now, that’s a fun question. First, I’d scream then start crying if Hallmark optioned Andie’s story, then I’d probably faint. I’d have to go with Bethany Joy Lenz for Andie. I’ve loved her since One Tree High, and I think she’d play the perfect Andie. And for Zac, I’d go with Andrew Walker. I remember him from a movie I watched with my mother where he played an ex-cop trying to clear his name. He could pull off Zac Mars.
Photos courtesy of Wikipedia

How do you balance writing with your full-time job and two teens?
I’ll start with my teens. They’re easy-going, have their own life (as they like to tell), so for the most part, I just chauffer them from school events to basketball and choir. As to my full-time job, I teach writing to elementary students, and even though teaching is a very demanding job, I do have my weekends and breaks to write. Having a dedicated schedule really helps me fit in my writing time.

What’s next for you and this series?
My next series is already up for preorder. It’ll release in 2024, and it’s set in a beach town about a bookstore owner, who sees a murder, and finds herself mixed up in an international espionage case with the man she suspects as the murderer.

A Very Fishy Murder - A Piper Blake Mystery is available for pre-order on Amazon:

As to the Southwest Exposure Series, I have more books planned, and hope to have another Andie adventure out in 2024.

Jodi, thank you for answering some questions for me.

Purchase The Wilderness Trap from:
(Affiliated Links Used)

The Southwest Exposure Mystery Series:

USA Today Bestselling author Jodi Linton pens funny romances, whodunnits, and thrillers. She is the author of the Southwest Exposure Cozy Mystery Series, The Deputy Laney Briggs Series, and several standalone romances. She lives in the city with her husband and two teens. When she isn’t writing her next page-turner, she teaches and hikes.

Places to find Jodi Linton:

You can follow The Wilderness Trap Blog Tour here.

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  1. I like the movie like titles. Sounds like a great series.

  2. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading it.

  3. I love murder mysteries and this one sounds great, I love how you can balance work with writing.

  4. This sounds like something I’d love to read! Love the cover the colors are really pretty together


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