Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Character Interview with Tracy from Swell Time For a Swing Dance by Cindy Vincent

* Be sure to keep scrolling after the interview to see the free e-book and giveaway! *

Hello, Heidi, and thank you so much for inviting me here today!  It’s really swell of you!

1.  Hi, Tracy! How fun to have the opportunity to chat with an apprentice P.I.! First off, how long have you had this job title? Have you solved many mysteries?

Goodness, when it comes to being an Apprentice P.I., I’m still what you might call “wet behind the ears”!  Because I just started this job barely a month ago.  My boss, Sammy Falcone—a guy who can pass for an older Humphrey Bogart—always tells me I’m a natural at being a detective.  I’m not sure what he sees in me, but I have to give credit where credit is due—most of the stuff I’ve learned comes from reading Katie McClue mystery novels!  I’ve been reading them since I could even read at all, and they’re my favorite series.  Of course, Katie is absolutely brilliant when it comes to solving crimes, and I’d like to think that I’m following her lead.

Anyway, I ended up getting this job when Sammy and I crossed paths by accident.  I sort of ran into him when I became suspicious about the blonde bombshell who lived across the hall from my best friend, Jayne.  It turned out that Sammy had been following her, too, hoping to get some information from her.  To tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure if Sammy was a good guy or a bad guy at first.  But after I found the bombshell dead and the police accused me of killing her, Sammy jumped in to my rescue.  He claimed I was his apprentice and had only been on the scene to investigate.  And right after he sprung me from the police station, he offered me a job.  His old partner in their detective agency had gone off to war, and he thought I was a shoo-in when it came to being a gumshoe.  So of course I said yes right away.  Being a P.I. was a dream come true.  So here I am!  An Apprentice P.I.

2.  Tell us a bit about your latest mystery. Is this about murder, theft, or both? Is it true your grandmother is a suspect?

Well, I hope everyone went to the pictures to see The Maltese Falcon, the movie that came out last year.  October of 1941 to be exact.  If you did, you probably also know that The Maltese Falcon was considered to be the best mystery thriller of the year.  Anyway, what I’m getting at in a roundabout way is that this newest case is a lot like The Maltese Falcon.  Can you believe it?  There is a murder mystery, as well as an ancient marble bird statue that has gone missing!  The whole case is pretty convoluted, and it has us going in about ten different directions at once.  Plus, on top of it all, it seems like the war has practically landed on my doorstep.  I know that sounds a little cryptic, but you’ll understand after you read my story.  I think this case would’ve even given Katie McClue a run for her money.  And yes, my grandmother is a suspect, but then again, so is my fella, Pete!  So there is a lot at stake for me personally in this mystery.  Whew. 

3.  How has your life changed since the United States is at war?

Plenty!  Sure, we had an idea that Uncle Sam might go to war, but somehow, it was still a pretty big shock when it happened.  There had been rumblings for years now, but when Hitler invaded Poland a couple of years ago, and then goose-stepped his army into France the next year, followed by non-stop bombing of England, well, let’s just say that we could see the writing on the wall.  Finally, after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii, we were in.  And it is very scary stuff.

Now we’ve got fellas enlisting in the service just as fast as they can, ready to go off and fight.  That means us gals need to step into the jobs that men used to hold, just to keep the country running.  It’s a whole new world for lots of us.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t grow up thinking I’d have a real job one day.  But now here I am, working as an Apprentice P.I.  Overall, I really like it a lot.  Though plenty of my friends are thinking about becoming Army nurses and joining other military programs for women.  Like we keep hearing, it’s going to take all of us working together to win this war.  And to protect our own country.  After all, you probably saw the article in Life Magazine, the one that talks about the routes that Germany and Japan will probably take if they try to invade our country?  Like I said, it’s all very scary stuff!

4.  I've heard rumors there's a love interest in your life. :) How does he feel about your line of work? Would you say the relationship is pretty serious?

Well, to be honest, my romantic life has been one big roller coaster ride!  Whew!  Last year I was engaged to a man named Michael, a man that my mother was more in love with than I was.  Not only was it a disaster, but it ended with a rather stormy breakup . . . smack dab in the middle of a thunderstorm!  Then Pete was there.  I’d known him since high school, but I hadn’t seen him in a while.  Though I have to say, the next time I ran into him, I could hardly believe how much he’d grown up!  So we started dating, and we really fit together nicely.  Pete is a wonderful guy, and well, right away, I had an inkling that he might be “the one.”  So I figured we might date for a while and maybe get engaged in a year or so.  Then I guessed it would be another six months before I met him at the altar. 

But this crazy war has changed everything.  Because here’s the deal—Pete, being the noble guy that he is, plans to enlist and go off to fight.  He’ll probably end up in some place that I’ve never even heard of, and most likely, he’ll be in harm’s way.  Just like all the fellas going off to fight!  After he goes, we’ll have nothing but letters to keep in touch.  We won’t have any phone calls and we won’t be able to see each other.  And we have no idea how long this war will last.  Or, if he’ll even live through it.  And with Germany and Japan threatening our country, I wonder if I’ll live through it.  So the bottom line is, we don’t know if we’ll have a tomorrow.  And the idea of getting married is on the table now.  Way, way ahead of schedule.

5.  One last question, and it's a fun one! I've heard you're a great dancer and was wondering if you have any advice for those who want to "cut a rug" but feel like they've got two left feet?

Having “two left feet” isn’t something to worry about, because everyone starts out that way!  But there’s only one way to learn—and that’s to practice, practice, practice!  And sure, there’s always someone around who can give you lessons.  Lots of older people are happy to, because dancing is for old and young alike.  And to tell you the truth, if you don’t know how to dance, you won’t have much of a social life.  Since that’s pretty much what everyone does for fun!  Pete and I go out and swing a wing lots of nights!

Thanks again, Heidi, for hosting me here.  I hope to see you at the next USO dance, and don’t forget to do your part in the war effort!  Take care and God bless!




December 31, 1941. Young Houston socialite Tracy Truworth, Apprentice P.I., can’t imagine a better way to send off the old year and ring in the new than by dancing through the night with her fella, Pete Stalwart. But a swell evening soon takes a terrible turn when a fellow dancer with moves like Fred Astaire ends up dead on the dance floor. And before the hands on the clock can point to midnight, a finger is pointed at Pete, accusing him of murdering the young man.

Then after Pete is hauled away in handcuffs, the night goes from bad to worse . . . and Tracy’s sweet grandmother is accused of stealing an ancient artifact from the museum. Now Tracy must team up with her boss and mentor, Sammy Falcone, in order to find the stolen statuette, unmask the real murderer, and restore the reputations of those she loves the most.

Yet as America becomes embroiled in another world war, the risks and sacrifices intensify—even on the homefront. And Tracy soon finds her own home invaded by a near parade of questionable characters, while unsavory suspects lurk in the shadows, and a ruthless reporter makes her life miserable. With time ticking against her, Tracy must be willing to swing past the setbacks and hop through the hazards if she hopes to solve a mystery that involves a lot of dancing . . . and a lot more danger.

Free E-book

Beginning Tuesday, October 16th, Swell Time For a Swing Dance will be FREE until the end of the blog tour!



Time to get “in the mood” with a fun 1940s-themed giveaway! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a pewter ornament from The National WWII Museum, a Glenn Miller CD, and paperback copies of the first two books in the Tracy Truworth series: Bad Day for a Bombshell and Swell Time for a Swing Dance. Due to shipping costs and varying international laws, this giveaway is open to US residents (age 18 or older) only. Good luck!

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