Character Interview and Giveaway: Hair Brained by Nancy J. Cohen

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Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a car crash, Marla takes over as her baby’s guardian. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally—or Ken in the car with her—out of the way?

Ken’s insurance agency was involved in a fraud investigation. Did someone mean to silence him? Or could something in Tally’s life have put her in jeopardy? She’d recently joined a tea ladies circle. Had she discovered secrets among the women that almost got her killed? Or could she be the target of a disgruntled employee from her dress shop? As Marla delves further into her friends’ backgrounds, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Even so, Tally and Ken have trusted her with their child’s care. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else becomes roadkill?


Character Interview with Marla Vail

Marla, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

I’m Marla Vail, a hairstylist and salon owner. Even though I’ve expanded my business to include a day spa, I still like working behind the chair. I also like solving crimes alongside my detective husband, Dalton. My biggest problem is that I have a hard time saying no when friends make requests of me. I’d never really thought I would have to play guardian to my best friend Tally’s son, even though I agreed to be listed for this role in her estate documents. Then came the horrible car crash. With Tally incapacitated, I had to take her son Luke home to care for him. He’s made a big difference in our household. Dalton’s daughter will soon go off to college, leaving us as empty nesters. Or maybe that’s not in the cards just yet. Taking care of Luke has taught me that I can juggle work and child care. Maybe I can finally put aside the tragedy in my past and move forward with my own family.  

 Who’s the Hair Brained character you get along with the best?

I’d have to say my husband, Detective Dalton Vail. He respects my abilities and seeks my input in his cases. It wasn’t always that way. He used to warn me off until he realized I would persist on my own. I wouldn’t give up, especially if the case involved me or people I cared about. This latest example affects us both. It’s our friends Tally and Ken who were hurt, and we mean to get to the bottom of what caused their car accident. Dalton and I complement each other in our style of interviewing suspects. He comes straight-on, while my conversational skills take a more subtle approach.

Is there any character you have a conflict with?

I wish my mother would stop nagging me to give her grandchildren. The pressure doesn’t help. I can barely cope with things now as it is, at least until Tally is back to normal. And then, my best friend and I have some talking to do. Tally hasn’t been forthcoming lately about the things going on in her life. I’m not sure where we stand in our relationship. It’s going to be a painful discussion.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of Nancy, your author? 

I have a lot more stories to tell, and she gets diverted too easily. She works hard but spends too much time publicizing her books when she could be relating my adventures. However, I’ll be the first to admit that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. And likewise—have you seen her hair when I don’t do it?

What’s coming next for you? 

After this latest challenge, I hope to relax a bit and focus on my own family. Change is coming, but I’m excited about it. Life is full of new adventures. I have in mind to compete in a bake-off contest, too. That would be fun and something I haven’t done before, as long as trouble stays away. But when do you know that to happen around me?


About The Author  

Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring hairdresser Marla Vail, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide on how to write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, theme parks, cruising, and outlet shopping.

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