Get Lost in a Mystery with Mama, Mia, and a Few Rotten Olives!

"Great idea for a series and full of fun characters." 
–Janet Evanovich

The Spia Family Presses On
Mary Leo

It's been two long years of hard work for Mia Spia and her overly optimistic mom, all the while keeping their family of former wise guys on the straight and narrow.

That is until ex-con Cousin Dickey arrives to throw a rotten olive into the mix.

Soon there's a dead body, a nosy sheriff's detective, a curious finacée, a severed pinky finger, and a randy past lover to contend with, prompting Mia to enlist her best friend, survival expert Lisa Lin, for help. 

While trying to avoid being killed, the two women unravel family secrets, set a trap for a killer, and uncover information about Mia's missing father that can only lead to more rotten olives.

"This is a deliciously entertaining murder mystery ensconced in olive oil." 
Publishers Weekly, Beyond Her Book--Michelle

Jillian: I am happy to welcome Mary Leo to Get Lost in a Story. Tell us a little about yourself––where you grew up, how you came to be a writer.
Mary: I grew up on the south side of Chicago, where my two best-friends and I made up countless love stories about the Beatles. I guess that’s how this whole writing-thing got started---three little girls writing romance about Paul, John George and Ringo.

Romance is simply part of my DNA and I can’t seem to write much of anything else. Even my mysteries have an element of romance in them.  I intend to keep on writing in the romance genre for many years to come. I love a happy ending.

Jillian: Where do you read and how often?
Mary:  On my patio either in the early morning or at dusk, with a cup of hot tea. I put my feet up, lean back and get lost in another world. I try to read at least an hour each day. 
Jillian: What sound or noise do you love? 
Mary: I have two, actually. I love the sound of kids playing…and the sound of birds heralding in the new day. 
Jillian: Describe your favorite kind of hero to read/write?
Mary:  I love a hero who is attracted to the heroine despite the fact that he knows he shouldn’t be. He keeps coming back, can’t say no to her and has a sense of humor. A hero who is willing to wait it out while she finds her footing, and who will put his love out there even when he thinks she’ll walk away. 
Jillian: Who’s your favorite villain? 
Mary: J. R. Ewing
Jillian: What do you do to unwind and relax? 
Mary: I watch TV for about an hour every night. I have my favorite shows which help clear my head after a long day. I’m really into the new Dallas…love a good family drama. And Bones, Castle, The Mentalist and the Amazing Race to name a few. 
Jillian: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? 
Mary: Good friends. I was a lonely kid. My sister is ten years older than me, so she was always off doing her own thing. I had two or three really close girlfriends when I was growing up, but those friendships were always conditional. When I finally took my writing seriously, I joined Writers Anonymous, a group of ten women where the average age was 75. At first I was a bit hesitant about joining…I was in my late 30’s and they seemed ancient. But after only two meetings, I realized the lessons I would learn from these incredible, self-reliant, talented women would impact my entire life…and they did. Not only did they teach me the fundamentals of good storytelling, but they taught me invaluable lessons about the different stages of a woman’s life.  Since that time, I’ve joined many other writing groups, RWA being one of them, where I’ve met so many remarkable and brilliant women that I feel truly blessed to be a part of their lives.  
Jillian: Tea or Coffee? 
Mary: And how do you take it? I love tea, Harney & Sons is my favorite brand. On the weekends I make a pot of Palm Court mixed with a little Formosa Oolong. I add honey and steamed milk, with a sprinkle of cocoa. Yum! During the week, it’s Irish Breakfast or an organic black tea with warmed milk and honey. In the evening, I’ll drink decaf or an herbal. I’m a hot tea die-hard. Very seldom do I drink iced tea unless it’s mixed with a little lemonade. 
Jillian: What’s your favorite kid joke?
Mary: Why is six afraid of seven?  Because seven eight nine.

Mary's got a question for commenters: Whose your favorite wise guy? Could it be Tony Soprano portrayed by James Gandolfini? Ronny Cammarerie played by Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck? Or maybe Harry Valentini, played by Danny DeVito in Wise Guys? Ray Liotta in Goodfellas? Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in the Godfather?  

So many wise guys to choose from! Pick your favorite bad boy or share another! Mary is giving away two ebook copies of her Spia snooks to two lucky commenters.  

Mary's Contacts: Website: http://maryleo.net  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mary.leo.754

***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America  addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


  1. Ya know, I just love Joe Pesci because, well, he's Joe Pesci. Guy won't shut up and he's hilarious and surprising doesn't get popped all the time due to his smart mouth.

  2. Hi Mary!

    Gosh, I think I have to go with any/all of the men in the Corleone family.

    Is The Spia Family Presses On, the first in this series? Do they make wine or olive oil? Please tell us more about them!

  3. Sounds like a fun book. For a wise guy, my pick would be George Cluny in Ocean's Elevens (even though I'm old enough to remembe the original Ocean's Elevens!)

  4. I agree about George Clooney in Ocean's 11.

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Hi Mary and welcome to GLIAS.

    I think I have a new wiseguy that I love from the CBS show, VEGAS. Vincent Savino played by Michael Chicklis. I'm crossing my fingers that CBS doesn't cancel the series. It's a great show.

  6. Congratulations bn100, you have won a digital copy of Mary's Spia snooks!