While painting on location in one of her family’s hayfields, Jessie absentmindedly brushes a note of turquoise onto the canvas. Curious about what added the lovely spot of color, the artist walks over to discover a tennis shoe. The mate is still on the foot of a dying Native American girl crammed between the hay bales.
The story becomes more personal when old flame, Sheriff Russell Bonham, reveals that Amber Reynolds, a grad student writing a thesis for her art history major, was attacked while on her way to speak to Jessie’s family about two missing Thomas Moran masterpieces worth millions. The paintings disappeared nearly a hundred years ago from St. Benedict’s Mission School. Right after the unsolved murder of Jessie’s great aunt Kate.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Mary Ann Cherry whose book Death on Canvas thrilled and captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love mystery novels but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Mary, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Mary will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Mary Ann Cherry!
Cherry is a professional artist who writes the Jessie O’Bourne art mystery series in her elusive free time. Like her main character, she paints primarily western and wildlife subject matter, travels to art shows, and also teaches workshops.
Raised in rural Montana, she now lives in Idaho with her husband and several spoiled cats.
Watch for the next Jessie O’Bourne mystery, expected by summer of 2019.
Now, how wonderful does Mary sound?! Mary is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Mary’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Mary, I hope that you enjoy Mary’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
Why does someone in their right mind decide to write a novel? The answer is as varied as the number of writers, but what inspired me was the challenge by my brother, (Dave Lloyd, a western historical writer), to put the scenes I normally painted with oil and soft pastel into words instead—words that painted a complete picture with color, lighting, composition and emotion. Because mystery novels are what I love to read, it’s what I decided to write. Word painting? Not a snap, but the setting of rural Montana in Death on Canvas was perfect for colorful description and fun background color, making the task of painting with words less difficult. I was raised in an area much like the fictitious Sage Bluff where my protagonist, Jessie O’Bourne, has to hunt for missing manuscripts, solve a cold case, and find a killer. And of course, I’m a cat lover so she had to have one. I chose Jack, who is named after champion boxer, Jack Dempsey. Dempsey’s nickname was the “Manassis Mauler” and Jack fulfills expectations with feline catitude.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
My advice to an aspiring writer would be to stay within the genre you love to read. Like historical romance? Write one. Like military thrillers? Give that a try. Begin by reading novels in a genre you’d normally choose and decipher what works and what doesn’t for you as a reader.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
Personally, I like books where the location, the sense of place, is as important as well-developed characters. The location IS a character in a sense. I strive to give readers the feel for the dusty back-roads of Montana, or the excitement and noise of an art auction. However, that being said, the characters must feel like believable real people. That’s the crux of a book. You can love them or hate them, but they need to feel like they could actually exist outside those pages.
One of my favorite writers, Donna Leon, excels at both character development and sense of place (Italy). Another favorite, G. A. McKevett, knows how to put the fun in a fun read. And why read if it isn’t enjoyable.
What is your writing process like?
My art is as important to me as my writing so I divide my time between the two. I teach painting workshops and travel to art shows and auctions as my main character does. I try to schedule half a day for writing and half for picking up a brush and getting to work on canvas. My next Jessie O’Bourne novel will be out with the next month or so and is titled “Death at Crooked Creek.” It takes place in Montana at a March art show.
I hope you’ll stop by and visit Jesse, Arvid and Jack in that new novel. Happy reading!
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Mary! If you have liked what you have read about Mary and are interested in learning more about Mary and reading Mary’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,