Friday, March 15, 2019

Nancy Lee Badger Presents Author Erika Hoffman

Erika Hoffman is a fellow member of the Triangle Association of Freelancers, here in Raleigh, North Carolina, and I invited her to share her latest novel with y'all.

Thanks for having me, Nancy Lee. Why Mama is a mystery novel released February 27th by Library Partners Press.

Book Blurb: 

Why Mama emits a gothic southern, nostalgic aura.  The story revolves around Fancy, a fifteen- year-old figuring out who killed her parents in 1974.  Three narrators tell the mystery.  One is Fancy, an upper-class teen who becomes orphaned on a summer day with gusting hurricane winds. Forced to live with her 19-year-old sister Eve and sis’s lecherous husband in a duplex way off the wrong side of the tracks, Fancy begins her quest.  The mission is clear: to discover the identity of her parents’ killers despite the sheriff’s ruling it was a murder/suicide and despite doubts expressed by many townsfolk regarding her sanity. People—Fancy assumes are allies— betray her. Others, viewed as enemies, help. Another narrator is her sister Eve, whose judgment isn’t sound and who’s subject to panic attacks. Fancy’s best friend Judy is the most objective reporter of the murder and ensuing action.  During it all, Fancy follows leads provided by an albino doe whose soulful eyes remind her of her mother and make the teen question the idea of reincarnation. Because of her mother’s strong Christian faith, Fancy believes her mother could never have committed the crimes she’s accused of. Fancy has many questions she’d like to ask her deceased mama, but the main question is: “Why? Why did this happen to us?”

Excerpt from Why, Mama
Chapter 1
Day of Murder Saturday, 3:35 p.m.


    I banged on Fancy’s backdoor. No answer. Dang! Had she gone to the pool without me? 
    “Fancy? Fancy?” I yelled through the screen door while vulture-like flies buzzed around me. I heard the TV droning inside. A dog barked somewhere inside the Fulcher house, behind a closed door, muted. I pounded the door. I edged the door slightly open. 
    “Mrs. Fulcher? Fancy? It’s me, Judy.” Was that a gasp? “Someone in here?” I inquired again. I felt I should enter, but I knew that her dad owned a massive gun collection, and I didn’t want to be mistaken for an intruder. Half in, half out, I shouted, “Fancy? Mrs. Fulcher, ah, Mr. Fulcher? I’m coming in. Anyone here?” 
    Was that a moan? I opened the door and saw the Corningware dish on the floor, its contents, uncooked—spiraled in all directions and the oven on. I took a deep breath. The mixer was out. A bag of pecans, a bottle of Karo syrup, and a stick of butter, melting, rested on the counter.
Fancy often carried her mom’s famed pecan pie to Girl Scout pot lucks or youth group get-togethers. Was Mrs. Fulcher about to make one? 
    “Hello!” I hollered into the kitchen. I listened for a response and heard Buster whining from inside the house, somewhere. As I stepped over the mess and proceeded to the den, I heard a loud exhale.  In the faux leather Lazy Boy slumped over was Fancy’s dad. Blood dripped from his head onto his shirt. 
    Sprawled out nearby was Mrs. Fulcher with a gun barely touching her fingertips. I froze. I knew I should check for a pulse, prop up her head, clear the airway, talk to her, but I forgot all the lessons I’d learned for a merit badge and stood inert—unable to budge. My eyes widened as I spied the phone on the knick-knack strewn end table near the Lazy Boy; I reached across him for it. 
    When I did, Mr. Fulcher’s chair fell backwards, and I tumbled onto his lap, looking upward into his glazed-over eyes. I screamed a scream which ten minutes earlier I wouldn’t have thought my voice box capable of. How much time passed before I dialed 911, I wasn’t sure. 
    “I want to re-re-report a death, maybe two. Not sure.”
    “Calm down. Who is this?” the operator asked. 
    Before I replied, a door squeaked open, footsteps echoed through the kitchen, and there in the doorway to the den stood my friend, wide-eyed, wild-eyed, dripping wet and petrified.

Buy Links:

Amazon        Amazon UK

Amazon CA       

More about the Author
Mostly, Erika pens inspirational, non-fiction essays that appear in anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul or in regional magazines like Sasee of Myrtle Beach. She’s had her advice on writing humor published in The Writer in addition to her essays on the craft published in the online Funds for Writers Magazine and on thewritersdigest website.   

Monthly, she composes a column on the subject of writing for a section called The Writers’ Table in the ezine Page & Spine. A compilation of these essays and others form her book called Erika’s Take on Writing. Also, she teaches a course for Olli at Duke University on composing the personal essay. Although her niche frequently is the non-fiction narrative, she’s crafted fictional stories, featured in Deadly Ink Anthologies, Tough Lit. Magazines, and Page & Spine. A book of her published essays on travel will be completed this year: Erika’s Take on Travel.

Besides her other writing projects, she’s planning on more mysteries being a part of her future! Erika taught public high school for ten years and raised four children. Her degrees are from Duke University. She resides with her husband in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
She is a member of NC Writers Network, Triangle Association of Freelancers, and Carteret Writers.  Connect with Erika here:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Nancy. I appreciate the exposure here on your webpage. Marketing books is work! I've gotten some five-star reviews on Amazon which is encouraging. Looking forward to seeing you at the TAF Conference where I'm going to be a presenter. Fun!