(A Berry Basket Mystery)
by Sharon Farrow
I am so excited to welcome Sharon Farrow today!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sharon Farrow is my latest pen name. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, I’ve been a freelance writer since my twenties. My first novel was an award winning historical romantic suspense called Stolen Hearts, released in 1998. Under the names Sharon Pisacreta and Cynthia Kirk, I’ve been published in romance, fantasy, and mystery. I currently write the Berry Basket mysteries as Sharon Farrow, but also co-author the Agatha nominated Henry Higgins & Eliza Doolittle mystery series as D.E. Ireland. And I’m sure there are more pen names in my future.
In addition to writing, I’ve worked as a college history instructor, art gallery assistant, archaeologist, and owner of an office services company. Although I’ve lived in Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey, I’m happy to be back in my home state, specifically the beautiful coastline of Lake Michigan. My reading and viewing pleasures span everything from Louise Penney’s Inspector Gamache novels to all of the Real Housewives shows on Bravo. But I’m presently in withdrawal now that Game of Thrones has ended.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
- I have a graduate degree in archaeology and was an excavation team member on several archaeological sites, including a Roman fort in Britain and a National Parks Service project on Ellis Island.
- In ninth grade I was kicked off the school band for being too much of an extrovert/class clown.
- I danced onstage at the local mall while wearing a cat costume (including a giant cat’s head). The nonprofit I worked for periodically required employees to don animal costumes and perform at drug prevention programs for children. It’s too complicated to explain why we had to wear costumes (it involved puppets), but take my word for it when I say those costumes raised your body temperature quickly. If you didn’t take them off after thirty minutes, you were at risk of passing out.
What is the first book you remember reading?
The Little Bear books. And how I loved those Maurice Sendak illustrations!
What are you reading now?
What books have most inspired you?
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. The Diaries of Anais Nin. Above all, Ray Bradbury’s short stores and Dandelion Wine showed me that a prose writer could also be a poet. I only wish I could have met Bradbury because I wanted to thank him. He is one of the reasons I became a writer.
What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?
Trixie Belden. My mother gave me the first Trixie Belden mystery when I was 11. After that, I got hooked not only on Trixie Belden, but mystery novels. Thank you, Trixie.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
A leather club chair and ottoman by my living room window. I settle in with my laptop, often with a cup of tea placed on a small table beside me. In addition, I have several bird feeders in front of the window so I always hear birdsong and chatter while I’m typing. And in the winter, cedar waxwings stop by to eat the berries on my holly bushes right below the window. Sometimes the birds peek in and catch me watching them. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m a devoted bird watcher.
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
Everywhere…literally. From chance comments I overhear, breaking news stories, my own life experiences, dreams, magazine articles, movies, etc. The inspiration for my first published novel resulted from a viewing of The Fugitive with Harrison Ford. I thought “what if I tweaked this story, set it in 1893 Colorado, and made the fugitive a woman?” It landed me my first publishing contract. And a biography of Natalie Wood gave me an idea for a plot point in my latest Berry Basket mystery, Mulberry Mischief.
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
The first draft and all those blank pages. I love to revise, but looking at a blank screen every day while under deadline never gets easier.
What do you think makes a good story?
Pacing, emotion, interesting characters, humor, and being able to deftly tie up every loose end.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
My heroine, Marlee Jacob, is partly a reflection of myself: caring, inquisitive, hard working, sometimes sarcastic, and willing to break the rules. In addition Marlee lived for several years in New York City, as I did. I even made her half Italian in a nod to my own ancestry.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
Although there are other cozies that take place in west Michigan, what differentiates us is our own particular voice. I also set my series in my fictional version of Saugatuck and South Haven, two coastal towns I love. I moved to this area soon after my father died. His long illness was a painful time for my family. The villages along the Lake Michigan shore served as a balm; solace after those difficult years. I wrote the series to show my thanks and appreciation to this region.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’m in the middle of writing the fifth Berry Basket mystery, Hollyberry Homicide, which should be out in 2020. I also co-author the Henry Higgins & Eliza Doolittle mysteries with Meg Mims. We hope to start work on the next installment in that series after the first of the year.
Thank you, Sharon, for visiting today!
About the Book
Mulberry Mischief (A Berry Basket Mystery)
4th in Series
Kensington (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07L2FVR11
Autumn has arrived on the shores of Lake Michigan, but Marlee Jacob, proprietor of The Berry Basket, is feeling a chill for other reasons …
With the Harvest Health Fair in full swing, Marlee makes sure to stock up on elderberry products for cold and flu season. But this year there’s also a run on mulberry when an eccentric customer wants to use the dried berries to ward off evil forces. True, it’s almost Halloween, but something else seems to be spooking Leticia the Lake Lady, Oriole Point’s oddest resident. She believes someone plans to kill her—and the ghost. Only mulberries can protect them. Marlee doesn’t take her fears seriously until a man named Felix Bonaventure arrives in the village, asking questions about a mysterious woman.
The next day, Marlee finds Bonaventure dead on Leticia’s property—shot through the heart with an arrow made of mulberry wood. And Leticia has disappeared. Marlee soon learns the Lake Lady has a deadly past that is connected to the famous Sable family who are in town for the health fair. A bunch of clues start to come together—and figuring out what’s going on puts Marlee in a real jam …
Includes Berry Recipes!
Praise for Mulberry Mischief
(A Berry Basket Mystery)
by Sharon Farrow
Mulberry Mischief is everything delightful that you want in a cozy mystery. Quaint small town, intriguing & layered characters, solid & diverse friendships, and a smart plot that unravels at the perfect pace.
~Reading Is My SuperPower
I loved how many of the residents of the town were volunteering at a health fair and were in costume since the event was close to Halloween . . . This series gets better with each book and we give this one 5 paws up.
Mulberry Mischief is an upbeat cozy mystery with Halloween hijinks, a frisky feline, mulberry mania, a costumed killer, and a booming bell.
~The Avid Reader
The characters are well developed. The secondary cast supports Marlee very well. I love the rapport she has with her friends. I, also, enjoy her budding romance explored.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…
What a fantastic cozy!!
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
Mulberry Mischief is another great entry in a fantastic series. The characters, the plotline, the mystery, and the everyday events make this a very enjoyable read.
~Curling Up By The Fire
MULBERRY MISCHIEF is a heart pounding adventure with plenty of tricks and the ultimate treat of watching the Oriole Point gang band together once more.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
About Sharon Farrow
Sharon Farrow is the latest pen name of award-winning author Sharon Pisacreta. A freelance writer since her twenties, she has been published in mystery, fantasy, and romance. Sharon currently writes The Berry Basket cozy mystery series for Kensington. The series debuted in 2016 and is set along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline where she now lives. She is also one half of the writing team D.E. Ireland, who co-author the Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mysteries.
Author Links –
WEB PAGE http://sharonfarrowauthor.com/
August 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 26 – I Read what You Write – SPOTLIGHT
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August 31 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
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