Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blog Tour- Murder at Cold Creek College

I am delighted to be part of this blog tour! Christa Nardi's book Murder at Cold Creek College is out and it was a fantastic read! Thank you for being here with us Christa!
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Murder at Cold Creek College
by Christa Nardi

MCCCMurder at Cold Creek College
(Cold Creek #1)

Cozy Mystery
File Size: 632 KB
Print Length: 340 pages

Sheridan Hendley is a professor and psychologist, not a sleuth. When her colleague at Cold Creek College, Adam Millberg, is murdered, she is charged with helping the Detective assigned to the case. Immediately, her good friend becomes the prime suspect and Sheridan is motivated to help solve the case and prove Kim isn’t guilty. It also becomes apparent that Sheridan is attracted to the handsome Detective. As Sheridan tries to implement the crisis plan on campus and connect all the people in Adam’s life, she finds that many women have a motive for Adam’s murder. Slashed tires are the first indication that Sheridan’s involvement is obviously making someone nervous.
My Review:
This is a first in a new series and it was a fantastic read! I love reading a book that keeps you wanting more and reading to the end. For me it was this thrilling whodunit! Sheridan is a strong character and the plot is fast-paced and makes you want to read without stopping! I am looking forward to the next one! 
My interview with Christa:
Shelley, I’d like to thank you for having me here today.

S.G-Can you tell us a little about yourself?

C.N-.Christa Nardi is a pen name for a real life professor/psychologist from the Northeast.  I have always enjoyed reading and writing, and use a pen name to keep my fiction writing separate from nonfiction/technical writing. I’m happily married and old enough to be contemplating retirement.

S.G-What sparked the idea to write this novel?
C.N.-As a psychologist/professor, I am familiar with the college setting – I attended several over the years, worked at three.  As with any business setting, the individuals and office politics are fascinating.  In writing about Cold Creek College, I could create the various personalities and the politics, the need for crisis plans and the differing responses to crises.
Murder at Cold Creek College is about a womanizing cad who gets himself murdered. That was the “seed” that started the story.  Sheridan has mostly positive characteristics but is not without flaws. She is, however, an intelligent and independent female in a male’s world.  The small town, the close community, and the handsome detective provide distraction. There are so many possibilities as to the murderer with a mix of personalities that made it fun to write (and hopefully to read).
S.G.-Can you give us a sneak peek on what you are working on now?
C.N.-As the lead in any kind of crisis response, Sheridan is asked to help out when a body is found in the arboretum.  Why was Justin Blake in the arboretum?  Why was he murdered?  Is the groundskeeper the murderer or just a convenient patsy?
Excerpt from Murder in the Arboretum:
Charlie barked as we turned the corner.  We walked into a small clearing and stumbled on a group.  All conversation stopped, replaced with intense silence.  Four males and one female stared at us.  The way they stood, they effectively blocked the path ahead.  They looked a bit tense and that tension was contagious.
“Hi! Nice day for a walk, don’t you think?” I offered as a friendly gesture though the tension wasn’t exactly conducive to friendliness.
The others looked to the oldest looking male who responded with a glare and snarled, “What are you doing here?”  His voice and tone drew growls from Charlie.
Soothing Charlie, I answered, “Just taking my dog for a run and checking out the flowers. With all the excitement this week, I didn’t get to come see what was
I hoped that my increased discomfort and distrust of this group wasn’t obvious.  I concentrated on appearing calm.  I soothed Charlie some more rather than make eye contact.  I certainly didn’t want to appear to be a threat.  Besides, while I soothed Charlie, I could observe them.
The leader of the pack looked to be in his early thirties, average height, on the muscular side.  He had a heavy beard. His hair was long and messy, falling into his face.  It looked coarse and he was definitely in need of a good barber. All in all his piercing blue eyes amidst all the dark hair were intimidating.
The other three males seemed younger, maybe mid-twenties.  Still, none of them looked like the typical Cold Creek students I saw every day. A little too rough around the edges for the private college.  Although they also sported facial hair, they didn’t look quite as rough and scruffy as the lead man though.  They stayed quiet, fidgeted some, and kept their eyes down.
Only the female, also probably in her twenties, made even fleeting eye contact with me.  She had a tattoo of a rose on her wrist and her cropped black hair was frosted with hot pink and chartreuse stripes.  Not the norm at this college for sure.  She shifted her weight from one foot to another, the only sign that she too was nervous.
I did my best to keep calm and show a non-threatening expression as I stepped forward.  “Well, Charlie and I are going to be on our way.  I hope you enjoy your visit to the arboretum.”
I held my breath and focused on the trail straight ahead. The two guys blocking it moved slightly and I rushed Charlie through.  She still emitted a low growl and I kept up comforting words.  I never looked back, but Charlie did a couple times.  That and the occasional twig snap suggested to me that one of them followed us at least for a few minutes.
Thankfully, there was another curve in the path and another cut-out about ten minutes later.  I sat down on the bench and pulled Charlie into my lap.  Although she’s a miniature sheltie, Charlie weighs about 35 pounds.  I held her in my arms and took some deep breaths.  I was aware that my heart raced. I was drenched from sweat and Charlie licked the sweat from my neck.  Realizing now how scared I was, I was glad I hadn’t wet my pants.

S.G-Do you have any favorite authors and books?
C.N.- Besides Nancy Drew, Dana Girls, and Perry Mason… of current cozy mystery writers, I always look forward to the next one in the series by Vanessa Gray Bartal (Lacy Steele Mystery Series), Kassandra Lamb (Kate Huntington Mystery Series), and Ellen Crosby (Wine Country Mysteries), and of course Janet Evanovich.
S.G.-What is the most fascinating/ craziest thing you have done in the name of research?
Shelley, I’m afraid I can’t think of anything fascinating or crazy that I have done in the name of research.  I’ve never been involved in a real murder, though I did participate in a murder mystery dinner theater once - I was a suspect.  I rode with a policeman in my younger years, but that was related to training for a volunteer ambulance.

S.G.-What do you do when you aren't writing?

C.N.-I love to read – mystery, cozy mystery, romance, and scifi/fantasy.  I also love to garden, and spend many hours working in mine.  When not writing, reading or gardening, I am likely doing jigsaw puzzles or logic puzzles.  I also love to travel and have new experiences.
S.G.-What book are you reading right now?
C.N.-I recently finished Death in Perspective (#4 in the Cherry Tucker Series) by Larissa Reinhart and Icy Grip of Murder (Lacy Steele Mystery #7) by Vanessa Gray Bartal.  I am currently reading
S.G.-If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
C.N.-“Life as Rubik’s Cube”  Just as with a Rubik’s cube, a single shift on one sphere of life creates shifts in all other areas.  For several years, my mother complained that she had to write my address in pencil because I moved so often (to accommodate jobs, school, or roommates).
S.G.-Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
C.N.-Please stop by my blog (Christa Reads and Writes  christanardi@blogspot.com) where I post reviews and provide updates on the happenings in Cold Creek.  With the pending release of Murder in the Arboretum, more excerpts as well as giveaways are planned.
S.G.-If you could have a dinner party with 5 authors living or dead, whom would you choose and why?
C.N.-I’d want a mix of authors rather than all mystery.  I enjoy the humanism of Mercedes Lackey’s fantasy, the suspense of Lisa Gardner, and cozy feel of Kassandra Lamb for the living. Of those deceased, I would have to include Louisa May Alcott since I adopted Jo as my heroine as a teenager and read every one of her books, some of them multiple times.  For the fifth, it would be a toss up between Earl Stanley Gardner/A A Fair and J R R Tolkien.  I’ve read (and watched) Perry Mason’s multiple times and Tolkien turned me on to fantasy.
Thank you again Shelley for your hospitality!

Christa1About This Author
Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery/crime along with romance are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories growing up to technical, research, and nonfiction in her professional life. With Murder at Cold Creek College, Christa is joining many other reader/writers in writing one genre she enjoys reading – the cozy mystery. Christa Nardi is a pen name for a real life professor/psychologist from the Northeast.
Author Links

Blog: Christa Reads and Writes (christanardi.blogspot.com)


  1. Great interview! This book sounds really good!

  2. Thank you and thank you Shelley for hosting today!


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