Lavene, Joyce (Joye Ames, a joint pseudonym, Elyssa Henry, a joint pseudonym)

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Lavene, Joyce (Joye Ames, a joint pseudonym, Elyssa Henry, a joint pseudonym)

PERSONAL:

Married Jim Lavene (a computer specialist and author), c. 1971; children: Christopher, Jennifer, Emily. Hobbies and other interests: Watercolor painting, sculpting, alternative medicine, gardening, photography, taking road trips.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Midland, NC. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer.

MEMBER:

Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Master's Choice award (with Jim Lavene), for best first mystery novel.

WRITINGS:

(Under pseudonym Elyssa Henry; with husband, Jim Lavene) A Family for the Sheriff, Silhouette Romance (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

(With Jim Lavene) Paper Roses (novel), Southern Charm Press (Hampton, GA), 2003.

(With Jim Lavene) Kiss the Past Goodbye (novel), Southern Charm Press (Hampton, GA), 2003.

(With Jim Lavene) The Everything Guide to Writing a Novel: From Completing the First Draft to Landing a Book Contract—All You Need to Fulfill Your Dreams (nonfiction), Adams Media (Avon, MA), 2004.

(With Jim Lavene) Swapping Paint: A Stock Car Racing Mystery, Midnight Ink (Woodbury, MN), 2007.

Also contributor to periodicals and e-zines, including Writers Weekly.

"SHERIFF SHARYN HOWARD" MYSTERY SERIES; WITH JIM LAVENE

Last Dance, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 1999.

One Last Good-Bye, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2000.

The Last to Remember, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Until Our Last Embrace, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Dreams Don't Last, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2002.

For the Last Time, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Last Fires Burning, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Glory's Last Victim, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Last One Down, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Last Rites, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Before the Last Lap, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2005.

The First Shall Be Last, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2007.

NOVELS; WITH JIM LAVENE; UNDER JOINT PSEUDONYM JOYE AMES

If Not for You, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Only You, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 1999.

A Time for Love, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Save Your Heart for Me, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2000.

The Dowager Duchess, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Madison's Miracles, Avalon Books (New York, NY), 2004.

"PEGGY LEE GARDEN" MYSTERY SERIES; WITH JIM LAVENE

Pretty Poison, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2005.

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2006.

Poisoned Petals, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2007.

"E-BOOKS"; WITH JIM LAVENE

Flowers in the Night, Awe-Struck E-Books, 1999.

Mask of the Stranger, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2000.

'Till There Was You, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2001.

Still the One, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2001.

Two of Hearts, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2002.

The Singing Trees, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2002.

Alternative Diabetic (nonfiction), Awe-Struck E-Books, 2002.

Chrysalis, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2003.

Treasures of the Heart, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2003.

Constant Craving, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2004.

Amelia Gallant, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2004.

Heart of Shadows, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2005.

Paper Roses, Awe-Struck E-Books, 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

Husband-and-wife team Joyce and Jim Lavene have collaborated on numerous mystery and romance novels, including the "Peggy Lee Garden" and "Sheriff Sharyn Howard" mystery series. The latter series of books takes place in North Carolina in the Uwharrie Mountains. The novels feature Howard, the female sheriff of the small town of Diamond Springs, as she simultaneously solves a mystery from the past along with a current murder. For example, The Last to Remember features the murder of a wealthy citizen who confesses to killing a young boy forty years ago after the body has recently been recovered. Writing on the Ivy Quill Web site, Cindy Vallar commented that the authors "have created a wonderful cast of characters that make for a most engaging murder mystery." Vallar added: "The twists and turns … will keep readers intrigued, compelling them to turn the page until the puzzle is solved." In Before the Last Lap, the Lavenes present Howard trying to clear her assistant Trudy and her husband of the murder of a racecar driver named Duke Beatty. In the meantime, Howard is also trying to discover the truth behind the death of her father years ago. Sue O'Brien, writing in Booklist, appreciated the novel's "likable characters, fast pacing, and an intriguing subplot."

The "Peggy Lee Garden" mysteries feature widow and botanist Peggy Lee, a Charlotte, North Carolina, resident who owns and operates the Potting Shed. In the first book in the series, Pretty Poison, Peggy finds a man's body in the back of her store. The victim's head has been bashed in with one of her shovels. When a homeless man that Peggy has befriended is arrested for the crime, Peggy sets out to prove him innocent. She is soon faced with the possibility that the dead man was killed by one of her own clerks, Keely Prinz, who had become pregnant after having an affair with the man. Referring to the mystery as a "charming story," an MBR Bookwatch contributor added: "This mystery will appeal to men and women of all ages as Pretty Poison is a great tale." Fruit of the Poisoned Tree finds Peggy looking into the death of a close friend who supposedly committed suicide by driving off a bridge. "The blend of romance, mystery, and botany blend into a fascinating and hard to put down tale," according to Tracy Farnsworth on the Roundtable Reviews Web site.

The couple have also started a mystery series that features mysteries taking place at various NASCAR race tracks across the country. The first book in the series, Swapping Paint: A Stock Car Racing Mystery, revolves around the murder of the NASCAR racer Ricky Sanders, who was universally disliked. As a result, suspects abound, including an ex-girlfriend who bore his child and another race-car driver, Bobby Furr, with whom Sanders had an accident on the race track. Although Furr is the primary suspect and has something to hide, his brother-in-law, Glad, a retired homicide detective, sets out to find the real killer. "Racing buffs will like this latest from the Lavenes," assured a Kirkus Reviews contributor.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2005, Sue O'Brien, review of Last One Down, p. 1065; August 1, 2005, Sue O'Brien, review of Before the Last Lap, p. 2000.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2007, review of Swapping Paint: A Stock Car Racing Mystery, p. 197.

Library Journal, August 1, 2002, Rex Klett, review of For the Last Time, p. 150.

MBR Bookwatch, April 1, 2005, review of Pretty Poison.

Publishers Weekly, November 26, 2001, "December Publications," includes review of Until Our Last Embrace, p. 43.

ONLINE

Author Network,http://www.author-network.com/ (April 19, 2007), biography of Jim Lavene.

Avalon Books,http://www.avalonbooks.com/ (October 8, 2004), biographical information on Joyce and Jim Lavene.

Awe-Struck E-Books,http://www.awe-struck.net/ (October 8, 2004), interview with Joyce and Jim Lavene, and descriptions of e-books.

Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (April 19, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of Pretty Poison, and Dawn Dowdle, review of Pretty Poison.

Carolina Conspiracy,http://www.carolinaconspiracy.com/ (April 19, 2007), brief profile of Jim Lavene.

EscapetoRomance.com,http://www.escapetoromance.com/ (April 19, 2007), Elena Channing, review of Save Your Heart for Me.

Fallen Angel Reviews,http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/ (April 19, 2007), review of Last One Down.

Ivy Quill,http://www.ivyquill.com/ (April 19, 2007), Randi Bradford, review of Still the One, Sally G. Laturi, review of Mask of the Stranger, and Cindy Vallar, reviews of 'Till There Was You, Until Our Last Embrace, and The Last to Remember.

Joyce and Jim Lavene Home Page,http://www.joyceandjimlavene.com (April 19, 2007).

Love Romances,http://www.loveromances.com/ (October 8, 2004), "An Interview with Jim and Joyce Lavene."

Nascar Mystery Web site,http://www.nascarmysteries.com (April 19, 2007).

New Mystery Reader.com,http://www.newmysteryreader.com/ (April 19, 2007), Susan Illis, review of Before the Last Lap.

Peggy Lee Garden Mystery Web site,http://www.peggyleegardenmysteries.com (April 19, 2007).

Road to Romance,http://www.roadtoromance.ca/ (August 16, 2004), Jennifer Ray, review of Madison's Miracles.

Romantic Times,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (April 19, 2007), Pamela B. Cohen, review of A Family for the Sheriff, and Deborah Brent, review of Save Your Heart for Me.

Roundtable Reviews,http://www.roundtablereviews.com/ (April 19, 2007), Pam Bless, review of Constant Craving, Tracy Farnsworth, reviews of Fruit of the Poisoned Tree and Pretty Poison, Deb Jones, review of Glory's Last Victim, and Josie de Dios, review of Treasures of the Heart.

Sharyn Howard Mystery Web site,http://www.sharynhowardmysteries.com/ (April 19, 2007).

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Lavene, Joyce (Joye Ames, a joint pseudonym, Elyssa Henry, a joint pseudonym)

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