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Chutes and Ladder:
A Silicon Valley Mystery
by Marc Jedel
About the Book
Chutes and Ladder: A Silicon Valley Mystery
2nd in Series
BGM Press (March 12, 2019)
Print Length: 195 pages
Dead friend. Free fall. Girl Scouts. Can Uncle Marty untangle the mystery before things really get out of control?
Juggling a budding relationship, demanding job, and mischievous nieces, Marty Golden struggled to keep his head above water — even before his friend’s death. Trying his best to be a good boyfriend and fun uncle, Marty had his own ideas for the weekend until his cunning sister tricked him again.
Convinced his friend’s death was no accident, Marty tries to summon superhero powers but merely manages to bumble along as an amateur sleuth. When Marty’s cousin shows up, she wreaks havoc with his plans and pulls him into yet another mystery.
As threats blossom, Marty doubles down now that his family’s involved. Besides, it’s poor manners to let your friend’s death go unsolved.
Can Marty figure out what happened before a killer, or his imagination, gets to him?
Chutes and Ladder is the second novel in a refreshingly modern mystery series set in Silicon Valley. If you like clever humor and wacky side characters, you’ll love this twisty mystery.
About the Author
For most of my life, I’ve been inventing stories. Some, especially when I was young, involved my sister as the villain. As my sister’s brother for her entire life, I’m highly qualified to tell the tale of this evolving, quirky sibling relationship.
My writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While my high tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, we called these marketing collateral, emails and ads.
The publication of my first novel, Uncle and Ants, gave me permission to claim “author” as my job. This leads to way more interesting discussions than answering “marketing.”
My family would tell you that Marty’s character isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for me, but I proudly resemble that remark.
Like Marty, I live in Silicon Valley and can’t believe that otherwise normal people would willingly jump out of an airplane and call it fun. Unlike Marty, I have a wonderful wife and a neurotic but sweet, small dog, who is often the first to weigh in on the humor in my writing.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.marcjedel.com
- FaceBook: www.facebook.com/MarcJedel.Author
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mjedel/
- GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/18403497.Marc_Jedel
- BookBub: www.bookbub.com/profile/marc-jedel
Purchase Link: Amazon
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Author Interview with Marc Jedel
How did you get started writing cozy mysteries?
I’ve wanted to write a book forever. For the longest time, it seemed I couldn’t come up with a good plot. My writing research had clearly demonstrated that having a plot is critical for a successful book. One day, I received this awesome birthday drawing from my nieces. And my kids, or nieces, or one of our friends’ kids had done some crazy things. Probably all of the above.
One thing led to another and the idea formed to loosely base a mystery with a self-absorbed, fashion-backward software engineer, his sister, and his nieces on my life. It’s clearly fiction. I mean, I’m not a software engineer. Check out the drawing on my blog (www.marcjedel.com/blog).
After that, the ideas kept flowing so I had characters, plot points, and concepts for more books. Chutes and Ladder takes place about six weeks after Uncle and Ants while book 3, Serf and Turf, will start the day after Chutes and Ladder ends.
How do you flesh out the ideas for your books?
Much dog walking was involved. Well, the dog doesn’t seem to contribute all that much dialogue but my wife is amazing. We talk through ideas and then she tells me which of my jokes aren’t as funny as I think. Skye’s eye rolls may well be based on her. But you didn’t hear that from me. Oh yeah, I also do a lot of outlining.
Are the anecdotes in the book autobiographical?
Probably more than you’d think and less than my friends think. The escapades of Buddy, the Labrador, in Chutes and Ladder are based on a family friend’s dog. And the ice cream truck story that finishes chapter two in Uncle and Ants is completely true, believe it or not. As for the rest, It’s loosely based on reality except where I’ve exaggerated, made it up or falsified my memories to fit the story.
Do you tell a lot of dad jokes?
Well I’ve been a dad myself for a long time so I’ll plead the fifth. Also, it’s not my fault that I did grow up with a master dad joke teller. But, don’t worry about too many stupid jokes in the book. That’s the best part about editors — they keep writers honest. Mine kept saying “that’s funny, but keep the focus on the mystery.” Hearing that she felt my writing was funny sure felt good. After the warm and fuzzy feeling wore off, I listened to her advice and made sure the story balanced humor with a crisp pace and an interesting mystery.
What’s different about your book from other cozies?
Besides the author? Well, my book doesn’t take place in a small, seaside town where the main protagonist runs a bakery, bookshop, or bed & breakfast. While I like those cozies as much as the next reader, I find myself getting bored by similar settings and characters over and over. Setting my novel in Silicon Valley allowed me to show a little more of its unique people and environment without delving into boring techno-babble. I hope readers like Marty, the protagonist, as well as his nieces, sister, and other wacky side characters. Some help and some hinder his progress.
Any last comments?
Chutes and Ladder, book 2 in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, can be read standalone. It and Uncle and Ants are free for Kindle Unlimited readers and will have special pricing during the Great Escapes Tour so be sure to buy them today at Amazon. For more about my books or me and to sign up to hear about special offers and free chapters, please visit www.marcjedel.com.
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