I am so excited to welcome Dawn Eastman back to Escape With Dollycas!!
The Revenge Character
by Dawn Eastman
Characters seem to come to me from the strangest places. Sometimes, I simply need a character for a specific job in the story. It’s a bit like a job interview. For instance, in a mystery novel, there has to be a victim, a sleuth, and a villain. But sometimes a character appears who isn’t technically necessary to the plot, but who adds a wonderful dimension to the story. And often they are created in a roundabout way. Seth Proffit, my sleuth’s nephew, is one of those characters.
I live with a teenager and a tween. Be Careful What You Witch For is dedicated to the teenager. Six or so years ago, when I was writing the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery series, I was engaged in a pitched battle with my oldest child over when he could ride in the front seat of the car. I’m a physician and my husband is a physician and we tend to be conservative when it comes to things like bike helmets, trampolines, and automobile safety. Insurance companies love us. My son really wanted to ride in the front seat even though the guidelines said he wasn’t yet tall enough or old enough. Everyone he knew was in the front – even younger kids! Looking back, we probably could have loosened up the rules a bit, but as our first child, we tend to practice on him so we can get it right for the next one.
Finally, the glorious day came when he was allowed to ride in the front seat. He. Drove. Me. Nuts. He kept up a running commentary on how much better the view was, constantly adjusted the seat (including putting it all the way back so he could nap on the way to the grocery store which was two minutes from the house), flipped radio stations and pressed every button within reach. It was more than I could take and I almost banished him to the dreaded backseat. I warned him. I really did. I said, “If you don’t knock it off, I’m going to write all of this in my book.” He was undeterred. For one thing, I wasn’t published yet, so how many people would actually see my threatened exposé? Well, I warned him.
The beginning of Pall in the Family wasn’t right. It needed tweaking, and the boy had gotten on my last nerve. So, with an immature desire for revenge, which I would regret if not for the wonderful result, I wrote a scene with a character named Seth who drove Clyde nuts. He chattered constantly and messed up the seats in her car, he had something to say about her every action and opinion. He slouched, he sulked, he was like a monkey on speed. My son thought it was hilarious and even added his own slant to the ridiculous scene. We had a good laugh over the whole thing and I hit delete.
But Seth did not accept his fate. He kept coming back, inserting himself into the story. He promised to tone things down and be helpful. He stopped adjusting the seat and pressing the buttons. He developed a relationship with the dogs. He ended up being one of my favorite characters to write and one of the most mentioned favorite characters of readers. He has obviously strayed far from his roots. He is now his own person and there is nothing in the books that can be directly related to anything my son has ever done. For one thing, as far as I know, my son is not an animal psychic. But they do share a gentle nature, and an acceptance of others that I admire. And a snarky sense of humor.
Seth, and the rest of the gang return in Be Careful What You Witch For.They look forward to spending time with you.
About This Author
Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery Series. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.
Twitter – @DawnAEastman
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DawnEastmanAuthor
Be Careful What You Witch For
(A Family Fortune Mystery)
2nd in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 1883 KB
Leaving a traumatic police career behind, Clyde Fortune has returned to her seemingly quiet hometown of Crystal Haven, Michigan. In spite of the psychic powers of its residents, there’s no telling what trouble is brewing in this burg…
The highlight of this year’s fall festival in Crystal Haven is a bonfire with a witch’s cauldron resting over it. Clyde’s best friend, Diana, leads a ritual to divine the future, but it seems no one foresees that one of their own will drop dead—or that Diana will be a prime suspect.
Clyde already has her hands full with her eccentric family, runaway nephew, and burgeoning secret romance with a hunky homicide detective. But after another coven member is attacked, Clyde suspects there’s a witch hunt afoot and focuses her psychic and sleuthing skills to clear her friend’s name and catch a killer.
Crystal Haven’s Fall Festival has something for everyone, a bonfire, a boiling cauldron, and even a dead body. Okay so the dead body of Rafe Godwin was not part of the planned festivities but it will definitely make the event memorable.
Clytemnestra, oh what a name, (Clyde) is right in the middle of another murder investigation and her “gift” is really haunting her. She has dreams about things that seem to be happening in the future but she really doesn’t understand her ability yet. Can she change the future? She enlists a little help from woman she never imagined ever visiting hopeful that it will help her dreams not be such nightmares.
Clyde’s family takes eccentric to a whole new level. With the exception of her father they all have different special gifts. Aunt Vi is an absolute hoot and a half. I would only be able to handle her myself in very small doses but she does really add the humor to the story.
Diana, Clyde’s best friend finds herself in hot water when it appears Rafe died of an allergic reaction from a piece of bread she had baked but then the prime suspect quickly becomes her brother Dylan. The Fortune family goes into overdrive using all their crystals and pendulums. They even stakeout suspects and follow them to try to catch the real killer.
Seth has also returned to Crystal Haven. I really felt for this teenager who has learned he also has a special gift and it is unbearable in the big city. His mother has vowed not to return to Crystal Haven but she just may have to if she wants to do what is best for her son.
Eastman has brewed up a real mystery for us readers to enjoy. The paranormal parts are not overpowering, they just give the story a very interesting element. There is the perfect balance of spooky, mystery, humor and romance. We also see that not everyone is happy with the Wiccans having so much of a presence in the community. Even Clyde catches herself making presumptions.
The Fortunes are not your normal American family but I sure love our visits with them. Then again my family is far from normal but I don’t think we have anyone with these nice spiritual gifts 🙂 but there are times I wish they did.
A truly charming mystery that I highly recommend. Fun and entertaining. You may catch yourself laughing out loud.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”