Guest Post/Virtual Tour with Giveaway ~ Fool Me Once by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco


Here’s an old cliché writing device I’ve never resorted to before: “Hey, kids – try to describe [mundane thing X] as if you were explaining it to an alien!” But it popped into my head as I sat down to write this guest blog post because I recently realized something weird about myself. Or, to be more exact, I recently realized that something I already knew about myself was weird.

Hi, I'm Steve. I like writing about murder…and I like to make it funny.

Try explaining that to Zeeboop from Garfulon 6.

Just last night I was listening to a podcast on which someone cracked a joke about a real-life serial killer, and I thought to myself, “Ick. That’s not funny.” Yet here I am to promote Fool Me Once, a mystery with a wisecracking narrator who uses her skills as a (reformed) scam artist to catch a killer. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from a deeply sarcastic (though not necessarily insincere) guide to reading tarot cards, providing extra chuckles as our hero closes in on the murderer.

So am I a huge hypocrite or what?

“Or what,” I like to think. But how do I justify that?

Maybe I should run it by Zeeboop.

[Phone rings]

Me: Hello?

Zeeboop: Greetings. My name is Zeeboop, and I am conducting a survey of Earth dwellers as part of an intergalactic research project for the University of Garfulon 6. Would you have five minutes to speak with me this evening?

Me: Well, I was just about to sit down with my family for dinner, and –

Zeeboop: Excellent. Let us begin. Your species has two genders. Which are you?

Me: Uhh…I’m a guy.

Zeeboop: I do not understand “guy.”

Me: I’m a dude.

Zeeboop: What is ”dude?”

Me: Male. I’m male.

Zeeboop: I see. Thank you. I only have two boxes to check. “Male” or “female.”

Me: And you haven’t learned to tell them apart on the phone yet?

Zeeboop: To me all Earth dwellers are identically repulsive blobs of bacteria-infested protoplasm.

Me: Oh. Um. You know, it’s taco night, so I think I’ll just say goodbye and –

Zeeboop: What is your function?

Me: My function?

Zeeboop: What task justifies your existence to other Earth dwellers?

Me: Oh, my job? I write mysteries.

Zeeboop: What are these “mysteries” of which you speak?

Me: They're stories. Someone has been murdered, and —

Zeeboop: [gasps] Quickly! Flee your domicile, Earth "dude"!

Me: Huh?

Zeeboop: You said someone has been murdered!

Me: No, no. Not in my house. In the stories. The mysteries.

Zeeboop: Oh. I see. So you tell stories of murder? This is your function?

Me: Man, it sounds so dark when you put it like that.

Zeeboop: I am not a man.

Me: I know. It's just an —

Zeeboop: We do not have "men" on Garfulon 6.

Me: I know someone women who'd love to move there, then!

Zeeboop: [long silence]

Me: That was a joke.

Zeeboop: [long silence]

Me: Like in my mysteries. I like to make them funny.

Zeeboop: You put jokes in your stories of murder?

Me: Yeah. But it's not like I'm writing about real murders. And they're not gruesome or sadistic or anything. The murders aren't even really the point. They're simply an excuse to write a mystery story. I'm not exploiting something tragic. I'm just having fun with an established storytelling form.

Zeeboop: [short silence] It's still weird.

Me: [sighs] I guess it is.

Zeeboop: So how are these "mysteries" conveyed to your fellow Earth dwellers?

Me: Well, the ones I do are books.

Zeeboop: B-uh-uks?

Me: Yeah. Books. Writing printed on paper.

Zeeboop: Pay-per?

Me: [sighs again] Thin sheets made from processed wood.

Zeeboop: So your murder stories are stamped onto the dead flesh of slaughtered trees?

Me: Well…yes.

Zeeboop: You Earth dwellers are sick.

Me: I'm gonna go eat my tacos now.

Zeeboop: What are these tah-coz?


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foolSeries: A Tarot Mystery (Book 2)
Publisher: Midnight Ink (August 8, 2015)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0738742236
ISBN-13: 978-0738742236
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


After taking over the White Magic Five & Dime, Alanis McLachlan is trying to make up for her mother’s con jobs by tracking down old customers and making amends. When Martha, one of the most loyal clients, comes looking for a way out of her abusive marriage, Alanis does everything she can to help.

But helping Martha leads to unforeseen consequences . . . including murder. When Martha’s husband is found dead, the police show up at Alanis’s door. And things only get more complicated as she tries to clear her name from the top of the suspect list. With her growing mastery of the tarot and the Fool card to guide her, can Alanis find her way to the truth before the killer gets to her first?

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steveSteve Hockensmith’s first novel, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and Dilys awards. He went on to write four sequels as well as a pair of bestselling follow-ups to the international publishing sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. More recently, he wrote (with collaborator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder) the middle-grade mysteries Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab and Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Tarot Mysteries

post-divider rightThanks to the author, I have one (1) copy Fool Me Once to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on August 22nd

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Tour Schedule

August 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review 
August 8 –
Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post
August 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
August 10 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Review, Interview, Giveaway
August 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – Spotlight
August 12 – Omnimystery News – Guest post
August 13 – Hobby Lady – Spotlight
August 14 – Nadaness In Motion – Guest Post, Giveaway
August 15 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight
August 16 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
August 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
August 18 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
August 19 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Spotlight
August 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review







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  1. Kathleen Costa says:

    I've tried the same exercise with my fourth graders…explain to an alien how to play a certain game, what your favorite food is… I like the theme in Fool Me Once! New book added to my "must read" list!

  2. Thanks, Kathleen — I hope you enjoy the book!

  3. LMAO!!!!!  OMG!  You're hilarious.  And Zeebop?  Great straight man.  I love the premise of this book!  

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