Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blog Tour: BRIDGES BURNED (A Zoe Chambers Mystery #3) - Guest Post by Annette Dashofy

Today I'd like to welcome Annette Dashofy, author of BRIDGES BURNED, as my guest!  

Walking Those Fictional Country Roads

A friend and I were recently discussing our favorite authors and I fired off a list of mine, including Craig Johnson, who writes the Longmire series; Julia Spencer-Fleming, author of the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries; and Linda Castillo, who writes a series of Amish thrillers. My list goes on, but these three illustrate what seems to be a main draw for me.

Location, location, location.

Whether it’s Johnson’s Absaroka County, Wyoming, Spencer-Fleming’s Millers Kill, New York, or Castillo’s Ohio Amish Country, the settings of these series are so rich I feel like I’ve walked those country roads.

In the case of Linda Castillo’s Amish Thrillers, I have walked those roads—or at least driven them, since I live only a couple of hours away. And she nails that world.

After reading a number of Ella Clah Mysteries (by David and Aimee Thurlo), I took my first trip to northwestern New Mexico a couple of years ago, but felt as though I’d been there many times. I had. Through those novels, I’d experienced that landscape and that lifestyle.

I guess it’s no surprise then, that I love to offer my readers a taste of rural southwestern Pennsylvania in my Zoe Chambers mystery series. I’ve lived here all my life, but I’m not sure that’s an advantage. Locals tend to overlook the nuances that jump out at first-time visitors.

I’m teaching a workshop on the subject at next month’s Pennwriters Conference, and a large part of what I ask participants to do is to step into the world they’re writing about and observe. Not just the sights, but the sounds, the smells, the sensations. It’s a practice in mindfulness, which hopefully goes a long way to finding those details that will help the reader experience the setting and the story.

Of course, this isn’t always easy. Bridges Burned is set in July, but took almost a year to write. Hence, I was trying to find details to show a hot, humid, drought-stricken Pennsylvania summer, while outside my door, snow was piled high, ice clung to the trees, and the biting cold temperatures made my face hurt.

My first novel, Circle of Influence, was set in January, but I spent may sultry summer days working on it, conjuring up that intense chill.

Only my readers across the country can tell me if I got it right.

What about you? Do you enjoy visiting new places in the fiction you read? Or do they remind you of a place you know well? Or isn’t location something you necessarily look for in a book? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Thank you again for joining us today Annette!  

About Annette Dashofy

Today best selling author Annette Dashofy is a Pennsylvania farm gal born and bred. After high school, she spent five years as an EMT for the local ambulance service. Since then, she’s worked a variety of jobs, giving her plenty of fodder for her lifelong passion for writing. She, her husband, and their two spoiled cats live on property that was once part of her grandfather’s dairy.


Writing, etc. blog:,
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Twitter: @Annette_Dashofy


Paramedic Zoe Chambers is used to saving lives, but when she stops a man from running into a raging inferno in a futile attempt to rescue his wife, Zoe finds herself drawn to him, and even more so to his ten-year-old daughter. She invites them both to live at the farm while the grieving widower picks up the pieces of his life.

Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams, of course, is not happy with this setup, especially when he finds evidence implicating Zoe's new houseguest in murder times two. When Zoe ignores Pete's dire warnings, she runs the very real chance of burning one too many bridges, losing everything—and everyone—she holds dear.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, audio books for download, private investigator mystery series, amateur sleuth books.

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