Andi Anna Jones is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder, the latest novel in the Andi Anna Jones mystery series.
Welcome, Andi. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Hi folks! I run a travel agency, although my right hand, Ellie, would, and should, take credit for the success of Graves Travel. That said, most people assume I love traveling. I suppose that’s a popular belief when it comes to agents. Actually, I get so sick of hearing customer complaints, personal travel is about the last thing I want to do! And, crowded airplanes (I’m a severe claustrophobe!), airports, and lost luggage? Forget it! Another fallacy is that I travel in luxury. Ha! I have to beg for a comped room or plane ticket. Even then, luxury is not involved.
Other than work, my life consists of some fun, sun, and adventure. However I usually manage to get tangled up in more dangerous situations than I care to admit. Add to that, an extremely annoying ex-stepmother, Ruby, who constantly drags me into her dramas, and you pretty much have it.
Yep, unfortunately I have to stay on my toes because the series continues with a very dangerous trip to Louisiana in Sazerac, Sleuth & Slay (2023). I sure do hope my author gives me enough time to rest up before I have to tackle those alligator-infested bayous!
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
Oh, she likes to think she’s in charge, but on occasion, I put my foot down and say, “Nope! I’m not going there!” I even drag an unexpected character or two into the story, especially if I get bored.
How did you evolve as the main character?
Through a stressful turn of events. Years ago, my author thought she wanted to be a travel agent in North Miami. She even went to school to learn the airline computer reservation system. After one week on the job, she knew she’d made a huge mistake. I hate to insult her, but she was the worst travel agent this side of the Mississippi. I’ve heard she used to hide behind the computer, or run to the break room when a particularly difficult customer would walk in. Guess she needed to exorcise those ghosts from the past, so she created me. I was ready to walk off the job until she gave me a hunky love interest. He balances the good with the bad.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
Well, there’s Ruby. I don’t like sharing anything with her, but she’ll pout if I don’t mention her. My mother had been gone almost ten years when he met this “firecracker redhead” at the Hialeah Bingo Parlor. Ruby and I were like oil and water from the very beginning, so you can imagine my shock and dismay when he asked me to look after her if anything happened to him. They were married for five years until he “left the earthly bonds”, and I’m stuck trying to keep her, and her flea-market hairpiece and pencil-drawn eyebrows, out of trouble.
I thought I’d gotten rid of her in the second book, but readers kept asking, “What’s Ruby up to next?” “Oh, I can’t wait to read Ruby’s next adventure!” So, my author and I are stuck with her.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Oh, I can’t tell you that. I’d give too much away. You’ll just have to see for yourself how much “agency” I reveal from one sticky situation to the next.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Buy it! Read it! Post a review about the heroine (me!). I’m really getting into all this fame and notoriety and hope I get to star in a 3rd or 4th book. All this excitement keeps me out of the agency so Ellie can do her work instead of fixing my mistakes. She runs the place, anyway, and knows it.
Thank you for answering my questions, Andi, and good luck to you and your author, Mary Cunningham, with Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder, the latest book in the Andi Anna Jones mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Mary Cunningham: Mary Cunningham grew up on the northern side of the Ohio River in Corydon, Indiana. Her first memories are of her dad’s original bedtime stories that no doubt inspired her imagination and love of a well-spun “yarn.” Through the author’s horrifying stint as a travel agent, Andi Anna Jones sprang to life. The adult/mystery series gives extra meaning to the phrase, “Write what you know.”
Cunningham has several books published, including Cynthia’s Attic, a five-book middle-grade fantasy, women’s lifestyle/humor book, WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty, Ebooks, Christmas With Daisy and Ghost Light. A biography of an army brat, turned UConn and WNBA basketball player, will be published in the spring of 2022. She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Sisters In Crime-Atlanta Chapter, International Thriller Writers, Inc., and the Carrollton Writers Guild.
When she gives her fingers a break from the keyboard, Mary enjoys golf, swimming, and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband and adopted, four-legged, furry daughter, Lucy.