The time it was about The May Queen Murders

Posted May 5, 2016 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 2 Comments

When I saw the cover for The May Queen Murders, I was intrigued. And when I read the premise, I knew I needed it in my greedy hands.  So of course when I saw the sign ups for the blog tour, I couldn’t type fast enough.


Before we get to Sarah’s interview, let’s check out the book.

31Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend.

The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.


Sounds good, right?


1. Please give the elevator pitch for The May Queen Murders.

Two girls face love and loss in a world reminiscent of “The Wicker Man” and “Winter’s Bone.”

2. Where did the idea come from?

It popped into my head one day in September 2012. A few words. A story in its most infantile state. My mother was a superstitious woman, and I took what she passed down to me and added in my love of Ozarks folklore. As I got to know Ivy and Heather, I realized I was writing the love and tragedy of childhood best friends. It was a cathartic experience as I drew from a friend’s murder that rocked my world. In many ways, I think the book is about remembrance.

3. Why do you love Ivy and why should we root for her?

I think many teen girls have a bit of Ivy in them. Sometimes shy, fiercely protective and loving of her friends and family, but not immune to jealousy. If Ivy is to grow, she must step out of Heather’s shadow, but that’s hard when it’s a comfortable place. What time in our lives do we really begin to spread our wings but during our teen years?

4. What makes a good villain and how did you incorporate that into The May Queen Murders?

Villains are rarely the mustache-twirling bad folks tying to victims to train tracks. The most evil people I have ever met were the ones who blended in so that no one knew. They don’t believe they’ve done anything wrong. Evil can be mundane. Everyone has a shadow side that they would rather not expose, which is how it plays out in MQM. I studied criminology in college, and one lesson I took away is that normal people are capable of bad things.

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

One scene that always stuck with me, maybe because of my agent’s notes, is the scene shortly after Heather’s gone missing. Ivy is near the river and watches the Hillman and dogs search for Heather. Rook brings Ivy some coffee because he knows she’s not going to budge from her vigil. It is a tender moment and one of hope and fear and worry. (My agent’s notes had been that, knowing Ivy for as long as he had, he had better know how she took her coffee.)

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

This happened in Target. I hyperventilated and clutched my shopping cart for dear life. My daughter yelled she needed to pee. My son squealed. I cried. A woman asked if I was okay. I was beyond okay.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

My family (including my dogs and guinea pig), a boatload of books, and some essential oil to help my neck, which I fractured when I was 13.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

I’m making the caveat that this cannot include religious texts, so REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier. Ghosts, mansions, duplicity. Oh, yes.

4. Who is your favorite book boyfriend and book BFF?

I refuse to choose between RIVER WEST from April Tucholke’s BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA and Noah Shaw from Michelle Hodkin’s Mara Dyer series. {Excellent choices, they’re both mine, I have proof.} On the female side, I would so court Mary Shelley Black from Cat Winters’ IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS. As far as a book BFF, Maggie from THE AWESOME by Eva Darrows. I don’t think I’d ever stop laughing with Maggie around.

4. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

To forget time exists. We live in such an instant gratification society that it’s hard to remember agents and editors have lives beyond work and submissions. I’ve gotten better over the years, but still, ugh.

5. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question!}

I’d run away as far as I could from Edward and his overbearing family. No one wants that type for their in-laws.


SarahSarah Jude lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath whenever you passed a graveyard or a bridge spanning water.

Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and ghostly apparitions. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and three dogs.


Huge thanks to the ladies at Rockstar Book Tours for the invite and to Sarah for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter, and adding her books to your Goodreads TBR list.

The May Queen Murders released 5/3.  Find it at: IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iBooks

Definitely peek at the other tour stops for more goodies and keep scrolling for a giveaway!

**Good Luck!!**

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